The Little Girl’s Lament.

A girl stands barefoot outside at night gazing into the distance. 1/2 page.
Is Heaven a long way off, Mother ?1
I watch through all the day,2
To see my Father coming back3
And meet him on the way.4
And when the night comes on, I stand5
Where once I used to wait,6
To see him coming from the fields7
And meet him at the gate ;8
Then I used to put my hand in his,9
And cared not more to play ;10
But I never meet him coming now,11
However long I stay.12
And you tell me he’s in Heaven, and far,13
Far happier than we ;14
And loves us still the same—but how,15
Dear Mother, can that be ?16
For he never left us for a day17
To market or to fair,18
But the best of all that Father saw,19
He brought for us to share.20
He cared for nothing then but us—21
I have heard Father say,22
That coming back made worth his. while23
Sometimes to go away ;24
He used to say he liked our house25
Far better than the Hall ;26
He would not change it for the best,27
The grandest place of all :28
And if where he is now, Mother,29
Allis so good and fair,30
He would have come back long ago,31
To take us with him there.32
He never would be missed from Heaven :33
I have heard Father say34
How many angels God has there,35
To praise Him night and day ;36
He never would be missed in Heaven,37
From all that blessed throng ;38
And we—oh !  we have missed him here,39
So sadly and so long !40
But if he came to fetch us, then41
I would hold his hand so fast,42
I would not let it go again43
Till all the way was past ;44
He’d tell me all that he has seen,45
But I would never say,46
How dull and lonely we have been,47
Since he went far away.48
When you raised me to the bed, Mother,49
And I kissed him on the cheek,50
His cheek was pale and very cold,51
And his voice was low and weak.52
And yet I can remember well53
Each word that he spoke then,54
For he said I must be a dear, good girl,55
And we should meet again !56
And oh !  but I have tried since then57
To be good through all the day ;58
I have done whatever you bid me, Mother,59
Yet Father stays away !60
Is it because God loves him so ?—61
I know that in His love62
He takes the good away from earth,63
To live with him above !64
O that God had not loved him so !65
For then he might have stayed66
And kissed me as he used at nights,67
When by his knee I played ;68
O that he had not been so good,69
So patient, or so kind !70
Oh !  had but we been more like him,71
And not been left behind !72