Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

Providence by Ernest R. Heale, Nosmo King & Ernest Longstaffe (1938)


Have you ever been broke, just to the wide
With just what you stand up in, and nothing beside?
Living on scraps for best part of a week,
When you can't get 'em and know where to seek.
I've been like that on a cold winter's night
When the streets were deserted with nothing in sight
But a slow moving Bobby, whose job is to see
That the public's protected from fellows like me.
Who get put inside to answer the Court
Why they're wandering round with no means of support.
It always strikes me as a queer sort of joke,
To pick on a man just because he is broke.
Do they think he enjoys wand'ring round in the rain,
Soaked thro' to the skin with a dull aching pain,
Thro' his stomach forgetting its last decent meal,
Just praying for the time when it's too numb to feel.
Life isn't worth much when you get to that state
Or just waiting to die with nowhere to wait -
I remember the time, it's a long while ago,
When I stood on a bridge, with the river below.
The last food I'd had was two days before
And I never expected I'd need any more -
That night was the worst that ever I've known,
With a dirty wet fog that chilled to the bone.
I set my teeth hard, and I set down my heel,
On the rail that my hands were too perish'd to feel,
When a sniveling pup came out of the fog
And whimpered at me - just a scrap of a dog.
Bedraggled and dirty like me, just a wreck,
With a sad little face on his poor scraggy neck.
A few seconds more and I would have died
But he just licked my hand and I sat down and cried.
And I covered the poor little chap with my coat
And I carried him off with a lump in my throat.
I took him along to the one place I knew
Where they'd give him a bed and a biscuit or two.
They didn't feel keen on taking him in
But the sergeant in charge gave a bit of a grin
When I told him the dog could do with a meal
`I'll fix him up, but how do you feel?'
It may be, perhaps, that the Sergeant had seen
The state I was in, I wasn't too clean,
The hunger and cold that I'd suffered all day
Exhausted my limits - I fainted away.
Well, they fed me and slept me, and gave me two bob,
And the following day they found me a job.
I've worked ever since and put a bit by,
I'm comfortable now and I don't want to die.
I've a nice little house in a quiet little street,
With a decent sized garden that's always kept neat,
I've worked there a lot when I've had time to spare,
And I'm so proud of one little corner that's there.
With the pick of the flowers round a little old stone
That stands in a corner, all on its own.
It bears an inscription - not very grand -
The letters are crooked, but you'll understand -
That I wasn't too steady, I couldn't quite see
At the time that I carved it - quite recently.
Here are the words that I carved on the stone:
`Here lies my friend - when I was alone,
Hopeless and friendless, just lost in a fog,
God saved my life... with the help of a dog. 

Ernest R. Heale, Nosmo King & Ernest Longstaffe (1938)

In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, 
is God's activity in the world. 
"The foreseeing and guardianship of God over His creatures...
a manifestation of His divine care or direction"
May thou feel cared for tonight under God's care.  
Lady Sharon
Scribe of Camelot
Read more Inspirational Stories

About The Author


Comments are closed.