T'was the night before Christmas
and in the workhouse,
Little Olly was chatting
To his favourite mouse.
As he told him his dreams
and ridiculous schemes,
the mouse caught a passing woodlouse.
The mouse had heard it all before
and had to stifle a yawn
as Olly coughed his lungs up
and spoke 'til the first light of dawn.
He was wracked with consumption
and I'm sorry to mention
was doomed from the day he'd been born.
T'was Christmas day in the workhouse,
little Olly was sweeping the floor.
Of all the jobs they gave him,
this was his favourite chore.
As he pushed the broom
round the echoing room,
his coughing sounds bounced off the door.
He dreamed he was up in Heaven
where brushing the floors was a treat,
and was pushing his gold-plated broomstick
asking angels to please lift their feet.
There were chocolates galore
in piles on the floor
and he could have all he could eat.
T'was now the day after Christmas
and Olly had finished his coughing.
A pauper's grave was his destiny -
no hearse to carry him off in.
His broom lay at rest,
he was dressed in his best,
laid out in a rather small coffin.
In heaven the angels were singing.
Their prayers had been answered it seems.
Little Olly was sweeping around them
having finally realised his dreams.
He flew round the room
with a gilt-covered broom
and his mouth full of strawberry creams.