Declamation Piece “Guilty or Not Guilty”

She stood at the bar of Justice,
A creature, wan and wild,
In form too small for a woman,
In features too old for a child.
For a look so worn and pathetic
Was stamped on her pale young face,
It seemed long years of suffering
Must have left that silent trace.

“Your name,” said the judge, as he eyed her with a kindly look, yet keen.
Mary Aguirre, if you please, sir.””
“And your age?” “I am fifteen.”
“Well, Mary,” – and then from a paper
He slowly and gravely read –
“You are charged here – I am sorry to say it – with stealing three loaves of bread.

“You took not like an old offender,
And I hope that you can show the charge to be false.
Now tell me, Are you guilty of this, or not?”
A passionate burst of weeping
Was at first her sole reply;
But she dried her tears in a moment,
And looked in the judge’s eyes.

I will tell you just how it was, sir
My father and mother are dead,
And my little brothers and sisters were hungry
And asked me for bread.
At first, I earned it for them
By working hard all day.
But somehow the times were hard, sir, and the work all fell away.

I could get no more employment,
The weather was bitter cold;
The young ones cried and shivered
So what was I to do, sir?
I am guilty, but do not condemn;
I took – O! was it stealing? –
The bread to give to them.

Every man in the courtroom,
Graybeard and thoughless youth –
Knew, as he looked upon her,
That the prisoner spoke the truth,
Out from their pockets came kerchiefs,
Out from old, faded wallets
Treasures hoarded for years.

The judge’s face was a study,
The strangest you ever saw,
As he cleared his throat and murmured
Something about the law.
For one so learned in such matters,
So wise in dealing with men
He seemed, on a simple question
Sorely puzzled just then.

No one blamed him, or wondered
When at last these words they heard
“The sentence of this young prisoner is for the present deferred.”
And no one blamed him or wondered
When he went to her and smiled
And tenderly left from the courtroom
Himself, the “guilty” child!

25 Responses to Declamation Piece “Guilty or Not Guilty”

  1. NJCD says:

    I love you!

  2. braixvii says:

    do u know the declamation piece entitled “i’m dead”? Im not familiar to the author ehh. hope u can help thanks.!

  3. Lhenn says:

    when do u need it?

  4. mye says:

    do you know who wrote the declamation piece guilty or not guilty?

  5. Butzsp says:

    nice piece… i like it! thanks.

  6. Purple Princess says:

    Hi! Thanks a Lot! This piece really helped to ace my Language Oral Communication!

  7. hay naku rerecite namin ng guilty or not guilty

  8. ewan says:

    what is the nationality of guilty or not guilty?

  9. Janela_17 says:

    Thanks for the wonderful declamation piece…
    It is our project and we will recite it….
    A millions thanks!!!!

  10. Skateremo1 says:

    hehe were gonna report this next next week….tnx!

  11. sk8ergurL says:

    hey! i can use this piece for our roleplay ! thanks a lot!

  12. BADETH PERNO says:

    iT’S Cute!!!!! i love it!!!!!!

  13. Pengshuuuu says:

    Good Job!

  14. marga says:

    who’s the author of this piece?

  15. Julia says:

    I was chosen by my teacher to join the poetry contest in our school,my teacher chose my piece will be guilty or not guilty, and it was so long, but memorized it not the last stanza

  16. Jino says:

    I might use this…

  17. MEGAANAMARIE says:


  18. airelle01 says:

    anu ba yan pinag recite kmi ng guilty or noy guilty pero isang stansa lng nakabisado ko eh kakainis

  19. shane says:

    nice sad ui….

  20. Honey says:

    haba naman pero ganda ng story :))

  21. I might pick this. But there is also the Short Virsion. Called the Five loaves. Who is the author anyway?!

  22. Haba yan ang declaim nang pinsan ko Guilty or Not Guilty ako memorise ko na saakin O Captain!My Captain 1 hour ako nakaka memorise nang isang story or declaim.

  23. stranger says:

    this my declamation it looks quite long but how come when i read it it is quite short.

  24. matheresa casil says:

    wow ang ganda naman ni2 for yhis the best i like this story

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