THE POOR LITTLE TOE

I am all tired out, said the mouth, with a pout,
    I am all tired out with talk.
Just wait, said the knee, till you're lame as you can be,
    And then have to walk--walk--walk.
My work, said the hand, is the hardest in the land.
    Nay, mine is harder yet, said the brain.
When you toil, said the eye, as steadily as I,
    Why, then you'll have reason to complain.
Then a voice faint and low of the poor little toe
    Spoke out in the dark with a wail :
It is seldom I complain, but you all will bear your pain
    With more patience if you hearken to my tale.
I'm the youngest of five, and the others live and thrive,
    They are cared for and considered and admired.
I am overlooked and snubbed, I am pushed upon and rubbed,
    I am always sick and ailing, sore and tired.
Yet I carry all the weight of the body, small or great,
    But no one ever praises what I do,
I am always in the way, and 'tis I who have to pay
    For the folly and the pride of all of you.
Then the mouth and the brain and the hand said : 'tis plain,
    Though troubled be our lives with woe,
The hardest lot of all, does certainly befall
    The poor little humble little toe--
The rubbed little, snubbed little toe.                                      --Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The Charlotte Democrat 27 Jul. 1894: 1.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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