A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Little Cripple's Complaint." by Ann Taylor (1782-1866)
Publication: Taylor, Jane & Taylor, Ann. Little Ann and Other Poems. London, New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1883. pp. 33-34.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 33]


I'M a helpless cripple child,
  Gentle Christians, pity me;
Once, in rosy health I smiled,
  Blithe and gay as you can be,
And upon the village green
First in every sport was seen.

Now, alas! I'm weak and low,
  Cannot either work or play;
Tottering on my crutches, slow,
  Thus I drag my weary way:
Now no longer dance and sing,
Gaily, in the merry ring.

[Page 34]

Many sleepless nights I live,
  Turning on my weary bed;
Softest pillows cannot give
  Slumber to my aching head;
Constant anguish makes it fly
From my heavy, wakeful eye.

And, when morning beams return,
  Still no comfort beams for me:
Still my limbs with fever burn,
  Painful still my crippled knee.
And another tedious day
Passes slow and sad away.

From my chamber-window high,
  Lifted to my easy-chair,
I the village-green can spy,
  Once I used to frolic there,
March, or beat my new-bought drum;
Happy times! no more to come.

There I see my fellows gay,
  Sporting on the daisied turf,
And, amidst their cheerful play,
  Stopp'd by many a merry laugh;
But the sight I scarce can bear,
Leaning in my easy-chair.

Let not then the scoffing eye
  Laugh, my twisted leg to see:
Gentle Christians, passing by,
  Stop awhile, and pity me,
And for you I'll breathe a prayer,
Leaning in my easy-chair.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom