Versified by Mrs. Clara Doty Bates.
Little Goody Two-Shoes!
Do you know about her? Well,
I'm ready now to tell
How the little creature came
By so odd a name.
It was very long ago,
In the days of good Queen Bess,
When upon the cold world's care,
Fatherless and motherless,
There were thrown two helpless ones,
Destitute as they could be;
Tom, they called the little boy,
And the girl was Margery.
Many a day they cried for food
When the cup-board shelves were bare;
Many an hour they roamed the streets
Scarcely knowing why or where.
As to kindred, all were dead;
As to shelter, they had none;
As to shoes, Tom had a pair;
Little Margery had but one!
Think of Little One-Shoe!
Think how never a pretty boot
Was buttoned on the tender foot;
Nor yet a slipper, fairy-light,
With dainty knot or buckle bright!
But above our human woes
Bends an always loving Heaven;
And to every hungry cry
Is there somewhere answer given.
Kind eyes watched the wandering ones,
Pitied their forlorn distress;
Grieved to note Tom's ragged coat,
And Margery's tattered dress.
'Twas the village clergyman,
And he sought them tenderly,
Gave them warm, soft clothes to wear.
Ordered shoes for Margery.
"Two shoes, two shoes,
Oh, see my two shoes!"
So did little Margery cry,
When the cobbler came to try
If they fitted trim and neat
On the worn and tired feet:
That is how and why she came
By so strange a name.
Tom went off to London town;
Margery went to village school;
Apt she was, and quick to learn,
Docile to the simplest rule.
Out from the long alphabet
Letters looked at her and smiled,
Almost seemed to nod and speak,
Glad to know so bright a child,
Ranged themselves in winsome words;
Then in sentences. Indeed,
Quite before she knew the fact,
Margery had learned to read.
Eager Goody Two-Shoes!
When the magic art she knew,
She planned to help poor children too;
And those who had no chance to learn
Their letters, she would teach in turn.
Now, in the days of good Queen Bess,
Few books were printed, very few--
None, scarcely, for the little folks;
So Margery studied what to do.
She cut from proper blocks of wood
Sets of the letters: A, B, C;
And in some cosy shady place
Would group the children round her knee
And teach them--not alone to read,
But how to spell, and how to sing;
And how to practice gentle ways,
And to be kind to everything.
So grew Goody Two-Shoes!
First a maiden, comely, sweet;
Then a woman, wise, discreet;
Called now, as a courtesy,
Little Mrs. Margery.
An honored, faithful teacher she!
And every year an added grace,
More fair than youth's fair roses are,
Blossomed upon her charming face.
All living things seemed drawn to her:
A helpless lamb, whose dam had died,
She reared and tended till he ran
Tame as a kitten at her side;
A sky-lark stolen from its nest
Sang on her finger, though he knew
His unclipped wings were free to soar
At will into the heaven's blue;
A raven which had fought and torn
Its captor's hand with savage beak,
And which at first could only croak,
She taught in gracious words to speak;
Jumper, the dog, watched all her steps
With constant eyes and jealous love;
A great cat purred and rubbed her dress;
And on her shoulder perched a dove.
Ah me, Margery Two-Shoes!
Maybe the days of good Queen Bess
Were times of wisdom; nevertheless,
Witches (the people said) might be--
And a witch they thought our Margery!
'Twas Nickey Noodle, a simpleton,
Who raised the cry, "A witch, a witch!"
Then she was summoned to the court,
Amused, or grieved, she scarce knew which.
Plenty of friends, however, proved
How false was Justice Shallow's plea
That "She must be a witch, because--
Because of the raven, don't you see?"
Sir Edward Lovell, a baronet,
Who stood in court and saw her grace
Her sweet good sense, her dignity,
And the pure beauty of her face,
Sighed heavily in his high-born breast
As Mrs. Margery was set free,
Saying, "I know she is a witch,
For, ah, she so bewitches me!"
He watched her go her quiet ways,
And vowed, whatever might betide,
If his best love could win her heart
And hand, then she should be his bride.
Lady Lovell, if she choose!
Her the noble lover wooed,
Humbly, as a lover should,
Eagerly, as lover ought,
With entire heart and thought.
What her answer, all may guess,
For the old church chime that rung
Its next wedding anthem sung
With a most delighted tongue:
Wedding day of Two-Shoes!
Barefoot lass but yesterday,
Lady Lovell is to-day!
Lovely Lady Two-Shoes!"
Who is this that rides so fast,
With plumed hat and cheek of brown,
With golden trappings on his horse,
Gallant and gay from London town?
He hears the bells, he strikes his spurs,
The flecks of foam are on his rein,
The dust of journey whitens him,
He leans to see the bridal train!
Lady Goody Two-Shoes!
Tom it is, come home once more!
Even now he's at the door,
Rich and grand as any king--
Come to bless the wedding ring!