A Village Tale.

The rooks are cawing in the elms,1
As on the very day2
That sunny morning, mother dear,3
When Lucy went away ;4
And April’s pleasant gleams have come,5
And April’s gentle rain6
Fresh leaves are on the vine—but when7
Will Lucy come again ?8
The spring is as it used to be,9
And all must be the same ;10
And yet, I miss the feeling now,11
That always with it came ;12
It seems as if to me she made13
The sweetness of the year14
As if I could be glad no more,15
Now Lucy is not here.16
A year—it seems but yesterday,17
When in this very door18
You stood ; and she came running back,19
To say good bye once more ;20
I hear you sob—your parting kiss—21
The last fond words you said22
Ah ! little did we think—one year,23
And Lucy would be dead !24
How all comes back—the happy times,25
Before our father died ;26
When, blessed with him, we knew no want,27
Scarce knew a wish denied28
His loss, and all our struggles on,29
And that worst dread, to know,30
From home, too poor to shelter all,31
That one at last must go.32
How often do I blame myself,33
How often do I think,34
How wrong I was to shrink from that35
From which she did not shrink ;36
And when I wish that I had gone,37
And know the wish is vain ;38
And say, she might have lived, I think,—39
How can I smile again.40
I dread to be alone, for then,41
Before my swimming eyes,42
Her parting face, her waving hand,43
Distinct before me rise ;44
Slow rolls the waggon down the road—45
I watch it disappear46
Her last “dear sister,” fond “ good-bye,”47
Still lingering in my ear.48
Oh, mother, had but father lived49
It would not have been thus ;50
Or, if God still had taken her,51
She would have died with us ; 52
She would have had kind looks, fond words,53
Around her dying bed54
Our hands to press her dying hands,55
To raise her dying head.56
I’m always thinking, mother, now,57
Of what she must have thought ;58
Poor girl ! as day on day went by,59
And neither of us brought ;—60
Of how she must have yearned, one face,61
That was not strange, to see62
Have longed one moment to have set63
One look on you and me.64
Sometimes I dream a happy dream—65
I think that she is laid66
Beside our own old village church,67
Where we so often played ;68
And I can sit upon her grave,69
And with her we shall lie,70
Afar from where the city’s noise,71
And thronging feet go by.72
Nay, mother—mother—weep not so,73
God judges for the best,74
And from a world of pain and woe, 75
He took her to his rest ;76
Why should we wish her back again ?77
Oh, freed from sin and care,78
Let us the rather pray God’s love,79
Ere long to join her there.80