Little Mill Girl

I am but a little girl,

Working at the mill.

As I sit at my jenny,

I stare out the window.

How I long for my freedom,

As here I'm but a slave.

"Look at the lil' girl,"

That's all I hear them say.

"She's got a smile

Plastered on her face.

Never once wavering;

Never once cracked.

Look at that kind lil' girl,

She must be happy here."

How much I'd like

To disagree,

To tell them I'm not kind

To tell them that my smile

Masks the expression behind.

My pay is o so little,

Just enough for my family.

Yet even as I work

Sixteen hours a day,

I still live in poverty

With not a dime to spare.