Thomas was an idle lad,
000And loung’d about all day;
And though he many a lesson had,
000He minded nought but play.
He only car’d for top or ball,
000Or marbles, hoop or kite:
But as for learning, that was all
000Neglected by him quite.
In vain his mother’s kind advice,
000In vain his master’s care;
He follow’d ev’ry idle vice,
000And learnt to curse and swear!
And think you, when he grew a man,
000He prosper’d in his ways?
No; wicked courses never can
000Bring good and happy days.
Without a shilling in his purse,
000Or cot to call his own,
Poor Thomas grew from bad to worse
000And harden’d as a stone.
And oh, it grieves me much to write
000His melancholy end;
Then let us leave the dreadful sight,
000And thoughts of pity send.
But may we this important truth
000Observe and ever hold:
“All those who’re idle in their youth
000Will suffer when they’re old.”
From "Phebe, the Blackberry Girl - Uncle Thomas's Stories for Good Children", 1856, by Anonymous