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Then she took up her burden of life again,
Alas for maiden, alas for judge,
God pity them both ! and pity us all,
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
And, in the hereafter, angels may
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
HANNAH BINDING SHOES.
POOR lone Hannah,
Bright-eyed beauty once was she,
Spring and winter
Not a neighbor
To her whisper,
“ Is there from the fishers any news?”
Oh, her heart's adrift with one
Night and morning
Fair young Hannah,
Hale and clever,
May Day skies are all aglow,
For her wedding
May is passing: 'Mid the apple boughs a pigeon coos.
Round the rocks of Marblehead,
Old with watching,
Twenty summers ;-
Still her dim eyes silently
In all the land, range up, range down,
Is there ever a place so pleasant and sweet
Just out of the bustle of square and street ?
Swallows' nests in roof and wall,
I seem to be able to see it all.
For now, in summer, I take my chair,
And sit outside in the sun, and hear The distant murmur of street and square,
And the swallows and sparrows chirping near ; And Fanny, who lives just over the way, Comes running many a time each day
With her little hand's touch so warm and kind ; And I smile and talk, with the sun on my cheek,
And the little live hand seems to stir and speak;
For Fanny is dumb and I am blind.
Fanny is sweet thirteen, and she
Has fine black ringlets and dark eyes clear,
Why should we hold one another so dear?
The water-cart's splash or the milkman's call !
Yet know she is gazing upon them all !
For the sun is shining, the swallows fly,
The bees and the blue-flies murmur low,
With its cool splash! splash! down the dusty row;
Where birds are chirping in summer shine;
And the little soft fingers flutter in mine.
Hath not the dear little hand a tongue,
When it stirs on my palm for the love of me? Do I not know she is pretty and young ?
Hath not my soul an eye to see ? 'Tis pleasure to make one's bosom stir, To wonder how things appear to her,
That I only hear as they pass around;
And I am happy to keep God's sound.
Why, I know her face, though I am blind,
I made it of music long ago :
Round the pensive light of a brow of snow;
And hear the music that haunts the place,
And seeing the music upon my face.
Though, if ever the Lord should grant me a prayer
(I know the fancy is only vain), I should pray, just once, when the weather is fair,
To see little Fanny and Langley Lane ;
of the birds, the hum of the street,It is better to be as we have been,Each keeping up something, unheard, unseen,
To make God's heaven more strange and sweet.
Ah ! life is pleasant in Langley Lane!
There is always something sweet to hear,Chirping of birds or patter of rain,
And Fanny, my little one, always near.