SHE'D DIE IF SHE KNEW.
Copyright, 1896, by Frank Harding.
Words and Music by John F. Palmer.
In a prison stands the chaplain close beside a convict's door.
Breathing forth his words of comfort to a wretch upon the floor,
Who, with tear-stained face turned upward, listens till the good man's through,
Then sinks downward, as he mutters," It would kill her if she knew.
No, good sir," he tells the chaplain," There is no one I would see;
While the world will call me guilty, let her think that I am free.
It's only my gray-haired mother, who had no one but me
To cheer her last few hours in this world of misery;
No heart in this world is so faithful.
No one so loving and true
As my dearest, my best of all mothers;
Don't tell her, she'd die if she knew."
"I have stolen-yes, I own it! "then he murmured, with a sigh,
"She was starving, and I love her-you'd have done the same as I;
For, when young, she toiled and struggled, all to keep her only son;
Were she hungry-for a mother-just the same you would have done.
Take my clothes, I'm wearing these now; I won't need them when I'm through;
Take them, sell them, raise some money, buy her food-I'll trust to you." - Ref.