THE NIGHT LIGHT
 
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I've been thinking of the home where my early years were spent
'Neath the care of a kind maiden aunt
And to go there once again has often been my intent
But the railways fare's expensive, so I can't
Still I never can forget that night when last we met
'Oh, promise me - whate'er you do,' she said
Wear flannel next your chest, and, when you go to rest
Keep a night-light always burning by your bed.'

And my eyes are dim and wet
For I seem to hear them yet
Those solemn words of parting that she said
'Now mind you burn a night-light
'Twill last until it's quite-light
In a saucerful of water by your bed.'

I promised as she wished, and her tears I gently dried
As she gave me all the halfpence that she had
And through the world e'er since I have wandered far and wide
And been gradually going to the bad.
Many a folly, many a crime, I've committed in my time
For a lawless and a chequered life I've led
Still I've kept the promise sworn - flannel next my skin I've worn
And I've always burnt a night-light by my bed.

All unhallowed my pursuits
(Oft to bed I've been in boots)
Still o'er my uneasy slumber has been shed
The moderately bright light
Afforded by a night-light
In a saucerful of water by my bed.

A little while ago, in a dream my aunt I saw
In her frill-surrounded night-cap there she stood
And I sought to hide my head 'neath the counterpane in awe
And I trembled - for my conscience isn't good
But her countenance was mild - so indulgently she smiled
That I knew there was no further need for dread
She had seen the flannel vest enveloping my chest
And the night-light in its saucer by my bed.

But ere a word she spoke
I unhappily awoke
And away, alas, the beauteous vision sped
There was nothing but the slight light
Of the melancholy night-light
That was burning on a saucer by my bed.

 
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Written and performed by Archie Naish (b. 1878)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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