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A VILLAGE TALE.
12. A VILLAGE TALE. The rooks are cawing in the elms,
As on the very day-
When Lucy went away;
And April's gentle rain
Will Lucy come again?
And all must be the same;
That always with it came; It seems to me as if she made
The sweetness of the year-
Now Lucy is not here.
When in this very door
To say good-bye once more.
The last fond words you said-
And Lucy would be dead.
Before our father died,
Scarce knew a wish denied;
And that worst dread to know, From home, too poor to shelter all,
That one at last must go.
A VILLAGE TALE.
How often do I blame myself!
How often do I think,
From which she did not shrink !
And know the wish is vain,
How can I smile again?
I dread to be alone, for then,
Before my swimming eyes,
Distinct before me rise ;
I watch it disappear;
Still lingering in my ear.
Oh, mother, had but father lived,
It would not have been thus;
She would have died with us;
Around her dying bed,
To raise her dying head.
I'm always thinking, mother, now,
Of what she must have thought,
And neither of us brought;
That was not strange, to see;
One look on you and me.
MY COUNTRY, I LOVE THEE.
Sometimes I dream a happy dream
I think that she is laid
Where we so often played ;
And with her we shall lie,
And thronging feet go by.
God judges for the best,
He took her to his rest;
Oh! freed from sin and care,
13. MY COUNTRY, I LOVE THEE. Oh, England! thy white cliffs are dearer to me i Than all the famed coast of a far foreign sea; What emerald can peer, or what sapphire can vie With the grass of thy fields or thy summer-day sky ? They tell me of regions where flowers are found, Whose perfume and tints spread a paradise round; But brighter to me cannot garland the earth Than those that spring forth in the land of my birth. My country, I love thee: though freely I'd rove Through the western savannah, or sweet orange grove ; Yet warmly my bosom would welcome the gale That bore me away with a homeward-bound sail. My country, I love thee !--and oh, may'st thou have The last throb of my heart, ere 'tis cold in the grave; May'st thou yield me that grave in thine own daisied earth, And my ashes repose in the land of my birth!
THE FIRST SNOW-FALL.
14. THE FIRST SNOW-FALL. THE snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
With a silence deep and white.
Wore ermine too dear for an earl, And the poorest twig on the elm tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl. From sheds, new roofed with Carrara,
Came Chanticleer's muffled crow, The stiff rails were softened to swans'-down:
And still fluttered down the snow.
I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky,
Like brown leaves whirling by.
I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
Where a little head-stone stood,
As did robins the babes in the wood.
Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, “Father, who makes it snow ?" And I told of the good Allfather
Who cares for us all below.
And thought of the leaden sky,
When that mound was heaped so high,
I remembered the gradual patience
That fell from the clouds like snow,
The scar of that deep-stabbed woe.
And again to the child I whispered,
“ The snow that husheth alī, Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall.”
Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her,
And she, kissing back, could not know
J. R. LOWELL
15. PLEASANT THINGS.
_'TIS sweet to hear At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep The song and oar of Adria’s gondolier,
By distance mellowed, o'er the waters sweep; 'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear ;
'Tis sweet to listen as the night-winds creep From leaf to leaf; 'tis sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.
'Tis sweet to hear the watcb-dog's honest bark
Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come; 'Tis sweet to be awakened by the lark,
Or lull'd by falling waters ; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.