Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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Crimes
355
146 THE WIDOW'S PLEA
Reprinted from Mr. Russell Gore, The Detroit News, April 29, 1934, p 7.
1    I strolled into a courtroom not many miles from here;
A lad stood in the prisoner's box, his mother she stood near. The lad was quite a youngster, but he had gone astray, And from the master's cash box had stole some coins away.
2    The lad addressed His Honor as the tears ran down his cheek, He said, "Kind sir, will you allow my mother here to speak?" His Honor then consented, the lad hung down his head. And turning to the jurymen these words his mother said:
3    "Remember Fm a widow and the prisoner here's my son; And, gentlemen, remember 'tis the first wrong he has done. Don't send my boy to prison, for that would drive me wild; Remember I'm a widow and pleading for my child."
4   The prosecuting attorney on this woman did frown.
He politely asked His Honor1 if he'd ask her to sit down;
It was a disgracing insult, and a great one indeed,
For him to sit there on that bench and allow the widow to plead.
5    The woman's eyes flashed fire, her cheeks grew deadly pale; Says she, "I'm here to try to save my offspring from the jail.
I know my boy is guilty; I own his crime is bad;
But who is here more fit to plead than a mother for her lad?"
6   The judge addressed the prisoner and unto him did say, "I'm sorry to sit here on the bench and see you here today; I will not blight your future, but on your crime I frown;
I cannot but remember I have children of my own.
7   "Therefore I will discharge you"—the court then gave a cheer— "Remember it is chiefly through your widowed mother here.
I hope you prove a comfort and no more make her sad, For she's proved there's no one can plead like a mother for her lad.







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