The Lancashire Factory Girl

An "Ower True" Poem

All, all are gone, I’ve nothing more
To pawn or sell for bread;
And soon there’ll be no home for me,
No place to lay my head.

Oh, none can tell the grief I’ve felt,
The tears that I have shed,
In parting with some little things
Presented by the dead.

Before my little brother died
He said, “Come hither, Winnie,
I’ll leave you my dicky-bird;
Be kind to it for Willie.”

Then little sister Nelly died –
And, oh, I loved her well;
She left me all she had to leave –
A little silver bell.

My father (poor, but honest man!)
Long struggled with affliction;
And, ere he died, with trembling words,
Gave me his benediction.

I loved my father, brother, all,
As well, as well could be;
But my poor sainted mother’s death
Was more than all to me.

She told me, when her end drew near,
To reach her leather pocket,
From which she drew, with tender care,
A little golden locket.

“My child,” she said, “this is a gift
Thy father gave to me:
A token of his early love:
I’ll leave it unto thee.”

A smile played o’er her features wan
As to her lips she pressed
Love’s early offering, and then
She gently sunk to rest!

Little Willy’s dicky-bird,
And Nelly’s silver bell,
And the golden locket which in life
My Mother loved so well –

All, all are gone, I’ve nothing more
To pawn or sell for bread;
First went my Sunday clothes, and then
The reliques of the dead!

Oh, blame me not, ye who have health,
And wealth and good position;
Perhaps ye might have done the same
Were you in my condition.

‘Midst all my trials I have kept
My honest reputation;
This oft to me, when troubles came,
Has been a consolation.

Oh, Father of the fatherless,
List to an orphan’s prayer:-
Help me to keep in virtue’s path,
Shield me from tempter’s snare!

Grant soon that peace may be proclaimed
Among our brethren o’er the sea;
And then our mills will run again,
And happy, happy we shall be!

Preston 25 November 1862.