I saw an old cottage of clay, And only of mud was the floor; It was all falling into decay, And the snow drifted in at the door.
Yet there a poor family dwelt, In a hovel so dismal and rude; And though gnawing hunger they felt, They had not a morsel of food.
The children were crying for bread, And to their poor mother they’d run; ‘Oh, give us some breakfast,’ they said, Alas! their poor mother had none.
She viewed them with looks of despair, She said (and I’m sure it was true), ‘’Tis not for myself that I care, But, my poor little children, for you.’
O then, let the wealthy and gay But see such a hovel as this, That in a poor cottage of clay They may know what true misery is.
And what I may have to bestow I never will squander away, While many poor people I know Around me are wretched as they.
Jane Taylor (1783 – 1824) was an English poet and novelist. She wrote the words to the song “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star“, which is known worldwide, but its authorship generally forgotten. The sisters, Jane and Ann Taylor and their authorship of various works have often been confused, in part because their early works were published together. Ann Taylor’s son, Josiah Gilbert, wrote in her biography, “Two little poems – ‘My Mother,’ and ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little Star’ – are perhaps, more frequently quoted than any; the first, a lyric of life, was by Ann, the second, of nature, by Jane; and they illustrate this difference between the sisters.” [Wikipedia]