1. 'Come in, little stranger,' I said,

As she tapped at my half open door;

While the blanket, pinned over her head,

Just reached to the basket she bore.

2. A look full of innocence fell

From her modest and pretty blue eye,

As she said, 'I have matches to sell,

And hope you are willing to buy.

3. 'A penny a bunch is the price,

I think you'll not find it too much;

They are tied up so even and nice,

And ready to light with a touch.'

4. I asked, 'What's your name, little girl?'

''Tis Mary,' said she, 'Mary Dow;'

And carelessly tossed off a curl,

That played on her delicate brow.

5. 'My father was lost on the deep;

The ship never got to the shore;

And mother is sad, and will weep,

To hear the wind blow and sea roar.

6. 'She sits there at home, without food,

Beside our poor, sick Willy's bed;

She paid all her money for wood,

And so I sell matches for bread.

7. 'I'd go to the yard and get chips,

But then it would make me too sad

To see the men building the ships,

And think they had made one so bad.

8. 'But God, I am sure, who can take

Such fatherly care of a bird,

Will never forget nor forsake

The children who trust in his word.

9. 'And now, if I only can sell

The matches I brought out today,

I think I shall do very well,

And we shall rejoice at the pay.'

10. 'Fly home, little bird,' then I thought,

'Fly home, full of joy, to your nest;'

For I took all the matches she brought,

And Mary may tell you the rest.


1. Blanket: A square of loosely woven woolen cloth.

2. Matches: Small splits of wood, one end of which has been dipped in a preparation which will take fire by rubbing.

3. Penny: Coin worth one cent.

4. Delicate: Soft and fair.

8. Forsake: Leave, reject.

Teaching Guide:

Step 1: Study the New Words

  • Listen to the new words.
  • Recite each of the new words aloud.

Step 2: Examine the Lesson Image

Describe the image, its setting, and its characters.

Step 3: Read the Lesson Passage

  • Find each new word in the passage.
  • Practice reading the passage, both silently and aloud.
  • Upon mastering the passage, recite it aloud to your instructor.

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