« ForrigeFortsett »
"Lovely my daughter grew, her face was fair, "But no expression ever brighten'd there; "I doubted long, and vainly strove to make "Some certain meaning of the words she spake ; "But meaning there was none, and I survey'd "With dread the beauties of my idiot-maid. "Still I submitted; Oh! 'tis meet and fit "In all we feel to make the heart submit ;
Gloomy and calm my days, but I had then, "It seem'd, attractions for the eyes of men: "The sober master of a decent trade
"O'erlook'd my errors, and his offer made ;
shalt be no more my guide.'
"When wed, our toil and trouble, pains and care, "Of means to live procured us humble share; "Five were our sons,—and we, though careful, found
“Our hopes declining as the year came round:
"That still the more we pay, our debts the more
"That he who feels not the mysterious call, "Lies bound in sin, still grov'ling from the fall. My husband felt not: —our persuasion, prayer, "And our best reason, darken'd his despair; "His very nature changed; he now reviled "My former conduct, he reproach'd my child: "He talked of bastard slips, and cursed his bed, "And from our kindness to concealment fled; "For ever to some evil change inclined, "To every gloomy thought he lent his mind "Nor rest would give to us, nor rest himself could find;
"His son suspended saw him, long bereft "Of life, nor prospect of revival left.
"With him died all our prospects, and once
"I shared th' allotments of the parish poor;
"Three sons I follow'd to the grave, "Oh! can I speak of that unhappy son? "Would all the memory of that time were fled, "And all those horrors, with my child, were dead! "Before the world seduced him, what a grace "And smile of gladness shone upon his face! “Then, he had knowledge; finely would he write; "Study to him was pleasure and delight;
"Here I must cease
"Great was his courage, and but few could stand
"Int'rest was made that they should not destroy "The comely form of my deluded boy—
"But pardon came not; damp the place and deep
"He'd means of dress, and dress'd beyond his
"And so to see him in such dismal scenes,
cannot bear to tell
"I cannot speak it
I heard the passing bell!
"Slowly they went; he smiled, and look'd so
"Yet sure he shudder'd when he saw the cart,
"Oft as I sit, and ever in my dreams, "I see that look, and they have heard my screams.
"Now let me speak no more - yet all declared "That one so young, in pity, should be spared, "And one so manly; on his graceful neck, "That chains of jewels may be proud to deck, "To a small mole a mother's lips have press'd, "And there the cord · my breath is sore oppress'd.
"I now can speak again :- - my elder boy "Was that year drown'd, a seaman in a hoy: "He left a numerous race; of these would some "In their young troubles to my cottage come, "And these I taught- an humble teacher I
Upon their heavenly Parent to rely.
"Alas! I needed such reliance more: "My idiot-girl, so simply gay before,
"Now wept in pain; some wretch had found a time, "Depraved and wicked, for that coward-crime; "I had indeed my doubt, but I suppress'd "The thought that day and night disturb'd my
"She and that sick-pale brother-but why strive "To keep the terrors of that time alive?
"The hour arrived, the new, th' undreaded pain, "That came with violence, and yet came in vain. "I saw her die: her brother too is dead ; "Nor own'd such crime-what is it that I dread ?
"The parish aid withdrawn, I look'd around, "And in my school a bless'd subsistence found "My winter-calm of life: to be of use "Would pleasant thoughts and heavenly hopes produce;
"I loved them all; it soothed me to presage "The various trials of their riper age,
"Then dwell on mine, and bless the Power who gave "Pains to correct us, and remorse to save.
"Yes! these were days of peace, but they are past, "A trial came, I will believe, a last;
"I lost my sight, and my employment gone, "Useless I live, but to the day live on ;
"Those eyes, which long the light o. heaven enjoy'd, "Were not by pain, by agony destroy'd:
My senses fail not all; I speak, I pray ;
By night my rest, my food I take by day; "And, as my mind looks cheerful to my end, "I love mankind, and call my GOD my friend."