A Winter Morning.

It was upon a wint’ry morn,—1
When snow flakes on the wind were borne,2
The keen black frost had scarcely failed,3
And sleet and rain by turns assailed4
I marked, as where in warmth I stood,5
And the sight did almost freeze my blood,6
A little infant, on a stone,7
Chilled and shivering, sat alone.8
The snow fell thick and fast, yet he9
Did never speak, but piteously10
Upon each passer, with a sigh,11
Bent his little, tearful eye12
Yet of him notice none was taken,13
He seemed to be by all forsaken,14
As cold and shivering on the stone,15
The little sufferer sat alone.16
He asked not aid—he looked for one17
Who came not—who, alas! was gone18
For ever from him—ne’er was he19
Again that guilty one to see,20
Nor e’er again was that sweet boy21
To warm his mother’s heart with joy22
For she, that morn, upon that stone,23
Had left him there to sit alone.24
At length his fears his silence broke,25
And thus the little lost one spoke :26
‛ Alas ! methinks she lingers long27
I cannot see her in the throng,28
I strain my eyes to look in vain,29
Alas ! she will not come again30
And yet she promised, when alone31
She left me sitting on this stone.32
Oh, mother ! come to me, for I33
Am cold—and sick—and verily34
Methinks the night begins to fall,35
For darkness shuts me out from all36
I saw before—I feel not now37
The damp snow falling on my brow,38
And sure the cold has left this stone,39
Where I have sat so long alone.40
Come, mother, come ! nor tarry longer,41
For oh ! this weakness grows still stronger ;42
Come, mother ! take me to my home43
How faint I am—come—mother—come.”44
He said no more—his little breast45
Heaved but once, then sunk to rest.46
Now calm, and colder than the stone47
Where first he sat, he lies alone.48
But soon that wretched mother came,49
With her eyes in tears and her heart in flame;50
And—God !— how she stood in mute surprise51
When first the vision met her eyes,52
When first his little face she knew53
So chang’d from the last and lovely hue54
It wore that morn, when she left him alone,55
In tempest and storm, ona damp cold stone.56
But who shall tell the pangs she felt,57
As madly in the snow she knelt58
And clasp’d him round, in her deep distress,59
In all his chilling iciness ?—60
The tear at once forsook her eye,61
And she rais’d a harsh and horrid ery,62
That seem’d on its rushing wing to bear63
The last of her knowledge of grief and care.64
Oh ! ne’er will she taste sweet rest again65
For madness reigns in her troubled brain,66
For her boy she calls through day and night ;67
In coldness—in darkness—in pale moon-
My boy !— my boy !— have you seen my
boy ?”
Not another thought does her mind employ70
Not a gleam of hope from the past can she
As she wanders along in the grasp of her
sorrow !