Recollections of John Pounds: Polly by Reverend Henry Hawkes

Winter set in early; the cold was intense; but it seemed to make little difference to John Pounds. He was seen striding along the street, early and late, without hat or coat on, his neck and chest bare, his shirt-sleeves rolled up above the elbows; carrying his good nourishing things, that he had been preparing, to comfort his poor suffering neighbours.

old photo of little girl

One keen frosty morning, after a severely cold night, as a beautiful little boy came running jumping in, with shining rosy cheeks; – “How’s Polly Wilkins, Jemmy?” – the old man said. “She’s dead, Mr. Pounds,.” “Dead?
Polly – dead?” “Yes, Mr. Pounds; she died last night.” “Poor little Polly!
The Lord bless her; – and take her to himself! – She’s be happy – there. We’s all to go, Jemmy. Some goes first; some follows after. But – we’s all to go, – when our time comes. The Lord grant us – be ready, – when he calls us. Dear little Polly! We’s not see her here any more.
But we hopes, we’s all meet in heaven. The will of the Lord be done!” The old man said this – with simple, deep feeling: – and all were still. All felt it.
“Here, Carry! – run and take these to poor little Willy;” – and he handed her a warm plate of roasted apples; – carefully covered with another warm plate.
Both plates looked clean and bright; – all very nice. “And ask mother, Carry, if he’s getting better.” “Yes, Mr. Pounds!” – with delighted earnestness. “You’s not mind the snow, Carry?” “No, Mr. Pounds!” And off she bounded full of joy. And all the rest looked after her pleased.