Little Joe

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What will the birds do, mother, in the spring
Will they gather the crumbs around our door
Will they fly from the nest to the top of the tree
And ask why Joe wanders out no more

What will the kitten do, mother, all alone
Will she stray from her frolic for a day
Will she lie on the rug beside my bed
Like she did before I went away

What will Thomas, the old gardener do
When you ask him for flowers for me
Will he give you a rose he has tended with care
The fairest one that lies around the tree

I saw the tears coming to his honest eyes
He said it was the wind that brought ’em there
As he gazed on my cheeks growing paler each day
His hand trembled over my hair

Keep Tag, mother, my little dog
I know that he’ll mourn for me too
Keep him though blind and older he grows
To sleep in the whole summer through

Show him my coat, mother, so he may know
That his master then will be dead
Speak to him kindly and often of Joe
And pat him on his brown shaggy head

And you, dearest mother, shall miss me for a while
But in heaven I shall no larger grow
And any kind angel you meet at the gate
Can take you to your darling Little Joe