The Story Of A Dirty Child

A poem by Heinrich Hoffmann

The little girls whom now you'll see
Were sisters in one family;
And both enjoyed an equal share
Of a kind mother's anxious care.
This one in neatness took a pride,
And oft the brush and comb applied;


Oft washed her face, and oft her hands;
See, now, thus occupied she stands.


The other--oh! I grieve to say
How she would scream and run away,
Soon as she saw her mother stand,
With water by, and sponge in hand.
She'd kick and stamp, and jump about,
And set up such an awful shout,
That one who did not know the child,
Would say she must be going wild.


In consequence it came to pass,
While one was quite a pretty lass,
And many a fond admirer gained,
And many a little gift obtained;


The other, viewed with general scorn,
Was left forsaken and forlorn;
For no one can endure to see
A child all dirt and misery.
Behold how needful 'tis that we
Should clean in dress and person be;
Or else, believe me, 'tis in vain
We hope affection to obtain.


A sloven will be always viewed
With pity by the wise and good;
While ev'n the vicious and the base
Behold with scorn a dirty face.

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