Legend of the Crossing-Sweeper

The boarders look so good and new,
A saint it would annoy!
To squirt upon them two by two
Would be my greatest joy.
The boarders think — I know it's true,
I am a wicked boy.

Save one — I've never known her stare
As if I were a wall
That had no business to be there,
Or anywhere at all;
And once — to stop she didn't dare —
She let a sixpence fall.

She smiled to show she couldn't wait,
And gently said, " Good-night."
You bet I pulled my cap off straight,
I nodded all my might;
But now she seldom comes: I hate
To see her look so white.

There is a place — she'll go some day,
Right up above the sky.
It is uncommon bright and gay,
Swells live there when they die.
Some tell us any fellow may,
But that is all my eye.

They stand with harps and crowns in rows,
For doing all they should;
But I should miss her, I suppose,
I'd save her if I could —
Only a boy that never goes
To Sunday school's no good.

And I'm the worst boy in the town,
I lark, I fight, I swear,
I knock the other fellows down
And lick them. I don't care.
They'll give her such a harp and crown,
But I shall not be there.

Those crowns — if one could hang about
The gate, till all was done —
She'll stand in a white gown, no doubt,
With gold hair like the sun.
I'd like to see them given out,
I'd never ask for one.
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