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Only a Hobo

From the Omaha Daily Bee, October 25, 1913. By Robert F. Shutes.

Only a hobo, dusty and tired,
    Sitting by the railroad track;
No friends or relations to care for him now,
    His wardrobe contained in a sack;
Sadly he thinks of days gone by,
    Of home and wife so dear,
Of the dear little one they have laid away
    And his grief is hard to bear.

Where is his wife? Perhaps you ask
    As you watch him beside the track;
She left one day with a traveling man—
    Of course she never came back.
Wildly he searched for the erring one
    Till hope and money were gone,
Then took to the road, a common tramp,
    The search he still carried on.

At last he found her, deserted, alone,
    Dying of sickness and want;
The wolf of hunger looked in at the door,
    Famished, eager and gaunt.
Quickly he knelt by the pallet of straw
    And raised her poor, tired head;
She murmured softly, “Dear Jack, forgive!”
    Then the erring one was dead.

Sadly he turned next day from her grave,
    No hope, no friends and no home;
No wife or children to love him now,
    He must wander through life all alone.
Back to the track he found his way,
    All pride and ambition were dead;
Wearily he travels his lonely way
    Begging his daily bread.

No word of censure e’er passed his lips
    Of the woman he loved so true;
His anger was all for the traveling man—
    I honor him for it, don’t you?
If ever a man deserved a crown
    ’Tis that hobo, meek and mild,
Who loved and lost the woman he loved—
    The mother of his child.

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