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Beside him he would have her stay, And bones to be her playthings gave.

14. At whiles the busied man would raise Above the brink his bare gray head, With quiet smile a moment gaze, And turn to labour for the dead.

15. And when, slow-winding up the hill, Between the elms, the funeral came, Her voice would sound so cheerly shrill As if 'twere all an infant's game.

16. But when the burial rite was there, The drooping forms, the weeping eyes, The awful thrill, the hallowing prayer, The sudden whisper lost in sighs,—

17. The child then sought her father's side, And spoke in wondering accents low, And he almost aloud replied, "Hush,hush, my dearl 'tis always so."

18. One day upon a baby's grave His morning's work must Simon spend, And Jane her seat by him must have, And all his well-known task attend.

19. Soon 'mid the herbage soft and green The little place of rest was made, Whence daisy-cover'd meads were

seen, And where the hawthorn cast a shade.

20. Old Simon, almost resting now, With slackened stroke his labour plied, And raising oft his moistened brow, With longer looks his darling eyed.

21. Then Jane cried out in sudden glee, "Oh, what a pretty grave is there! It would be just a bed for me, With room enough, and none to spare."

22. The father's hand let fall the spade, His check grew pale, he heaved a

groan; And when the children's graves he

made, Thenceforth he always worked alone.

23. These hours, and others more, when he In fields was labouring far away, Dear Jane beside her mother's knee Would oftener pass than she would play.

24. The child and woman thus akin, Two shapes of earth's obscurest

mould, Had love as true, both hearts within, As e'er in loftiest lay was told.


I know not—'twas not said of yore—
But still to me, a man, it seems
That motherhood is something moro
Than e'en a father's fondness deems.

26. The teeming breast has thrills, 'tis

plain, More deep than e'er its partner knew, A mystery of hopeful pain, That makes a greater blessing due.

27. And thus, though far in years apart, The mother and her child were one; The youthful and the elder heart To one true heart had grown.

28. The mother was an humble woman, Unskilled in aught that's known to few, And having only this uncommon— A zeal to practise all she knew.

29. And Mary from her bosom's core Of many things could speak to Jane, That, never finding voice before, Had mutely dwelt, but not in vain.

30. Of change and trial here on earth, Of hopes by which we conquer sins, And of the spirit's better birtli Than that which first our life begins.

31. And sometimes, when the closing day Shot through the cottage window-pan^, And o'er the mother cast a ray That kindled all the heart of Jane,—

32. Then starting she would turn and

As if it were the cloven sky
That o'er the quiet face and book
Shot out its glories suddenly.

Oft, too, while Mary mildly spake
In words now flowing smooth and free,
From Simon's eyes a gleam would

break; So both were taught, his child and he.

34. Thus from within and from without, She grew a flower for mind and eye; 'Twas love that circled her about, And love in her made quick reply.

35. Church, too, and churchyard were to

Jane A realm of dream, and sight, and lore; And, but for one green field or twain, All else a sea without a shore.

36. Of this her isle the contral roek Stood up in that old tower sublime, Which titter'd from its wondrous

clock The only thought she had of Time.

37. For her at Sunday-service hours The world she knew expanded wide, The chiming bell had wizard powers To bid new visions round her glide.

38. For now came trooping up the hill The young and old, the faint and

strong; The white-frock'd men the sunshine

fill, And girls, a many-colour'd throng.

39. The sires of all from age to age Were laid below the grassy mould, Whose hillocks were to Jane a page Inscribed with lessons manifold.

40. And in the porch, or on the green. And in the pause between the prayers, She marked each various face and

mien With eyes that softened theirs.

41. She marked the mild gray head serene, Or happy look of youthful glow,

As if a sunbeam played between Those hearts and hers to warm her so.

42. And brows where darker passions

wrought, And strength with more of ill than

good, Would stamp upon her infant thought A fear ill understood.

43. She turned from these and blushed,

and heard With deeper sense the prayer and

praise, And oft some strange but holy word Her soul in vague delight could raise.

44. The child between her parents

knelt, Who prayed the more to God above, Because so close to them they felt The dearest gift of heavenly love.

45. And well that heart the mother

knew Which he but as from far could prize; For scarce an impulse in it grew But Mary first had seen it rise.

Part II.


Years flowed away and never brought The weary weight of care to Jane; They gave emotion, wonder, thought, The strength of life without the pain.

2. To her new beauty largely given From deeper fountains looked and

smiled; And, like a morning dream from

heaven, The woman gleamed within the child.

3. Her looks were oftener turned to

earth, i

Bnt every glance was lovelier now; 'Twaa plain that light of inward

birth Now kissed the sunshine round her brow.

4. Withdrawn was she from passing

eyes By more than Fortune's outward law, By bashful thoughts like silent sighs, By Feeling's lone retiring awe.

5. So fair the veil that twilight weaves Around its golden shows,

Or shadow of its own green leaves
Upon the crimson rose.

And she had reached a higher state,
Though infant joys about her clung;
With gaze more fixed a graver fate
Above her beauty hung.


So fares it still with human life, Which, ever journeying on, Unconscious climbs from peace to

strife, Till new ascents be won.

8. And thus about her youth was spread The shadow thrown by coming Time, The expectance deepening o'er her

head Of passion's sad Sublime;

9. While all that on the dreadless flower The war of Will and Doom may bring, Stands waiting but the signal hour To sweep on fiery wing.

10. Heavy and stern came down the blow On her who had no shield of pride; Who never felt the grasp of wo Until her mother died.


The gold-haired maid and hoary man
Together knelt beside the bed,
And saw with helpless gaze the span
That parts the living from the dead.

Slow dragged the following day: for

His known familiar life was gone;
The Past was something dark and

That he must look at now alone.

But all his fondest heart awoke,
And opened toward his orphan child;
To her with cheerful ease he spoke,
And wondering marked she never

She knew not what the mind will

Yet only learn the more to brave;
It seemed the world so large and fair
Must sink within her mother's grave.

That grave himself would Simon

And she could only turn and groan,
When first the spade she saw him

As if the grief were not his own.

Then soon the burial pang was o'er,
And calmer flowed the stream again;
But Jane would never witness more
An open grave or funeral train.

The maiden now was left to be
Her father's only prop and stay,
And in her looks was plain to see
A heart resolved, but never gay;

A loveliness that made men sad,
Like some delightful, mournful ditty,
Too fair for any but the bad
To think of without love and pity.

Each household task she duly wrought,
No change but one the house could

know, And peace for her was in the thought, Her mother would have wished it so.

20. But often in the silent hours Of summer dawn, while men were

sleeping, She rose to gather fragrant flowers, And wet their leaves with weeping.

21. She strewed them o'er her mother's

grave, To wither where her joys Lad faded j

No growth she deemed could either

have, Though shower and sunshine aided.

And oft she read her Bible there,
Her mother's book that well she knew;
And felt that in the hallowed air
Its meanings brighter grew.

One morning, while she sat intent
Beside the grassy mound,
Her brow upon the headstone leant,
Her foot upon the ground,—

24. The sunshine sparkled through the

sky. The breeze and lark sang on together, And yet there seemed, afar and nigh, One silent world of azure weather.

But from beyond the old Yew-tree
A voice disturbed the maiden's ear,
And in the lone tranquillity
It sounded strangely near.

26. 'Twas now a broken word of prayer, 'Twas now a sob of " Mother! Mother 1" And all the sorrow bursting there The heart she felt had sought to smother.

27. No woman's voice so deeply rings, Though men by graves but seldom

pray; And,ah! how truethe grief that brings A man to weep by light of day!

28. With wonder awed, with pity stirred, From off the book she turned away; And still the same low sob she heard, And still he seemed to pray.

29. With sorrow moved for others' woes, The maiden rose upon her knee; Upon her feet the maiden rose, And stood beside the old yew-tree.

30. And doubting, trembling, there she

stood, Nor dared the mourning man to see; And, though her thoughts were all of

good, She feared to stay, she feared to flee.

31. Against the broad yew-trunk she

leant, The black boughs' vault of shade a

dorning,— A fixed, fair, living monument, Amid the light of morning:

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The pair who thus that morning met Had never mingled mutual speech, And now could neither heart forget What time so brief availed to teach.

2. In secret thought each breast could say That one it knew of kindred mould, And through the long, long summer

day That tale in fancy oft was told.

For far unlike was Henry's mind
To aught that Jane had seen before;
Though poor and lowly, yet refined
With much of noblest lore.

A gentle widow's only child
He grew beneath a loving rule;
A man with spirit undefiled,
He taught the village school.

And many books had Henry read,
And other tongues than ours he knew,
His heart with many fancies fed
Which oft from hidden wells he drew.

What souls heroic dared and bore
In ancient days for love and duty,
What sages could by thought explore,
What poets sang of beauty:

With these he dwelt, because within
His breast was full of silent fire.
No praise of men he cared to win,
More high was his desire;

To be, to know whate'er of Good
To man below is given;
And, asking Truth as daily food,
Seek little more from Heaven.

To him the friend of all his days
Had been his saintly mother,
And ev'n the playmate of his plays-
He never wished another.

For he was weak and oft in pain;
From noisy sports he shrank away;
But songs to sing, or tales to feign,
For him made holiday.

And she had lived in cities wide,
Had sailed across the fearful ocean,
Could tell of wealth, and camps, and

pride, And peopled earth's commotion.

12. And books had she a precious store, With words whose light was never

dim; Five crowded shelves, like mines of

ore, Or undiscovered realms for him.

13. A surgeon had the husband been, Who left this young and widowed

bride; He left her while her leaves were

green, But ah 1 they withered when he died.

14. So here she lived unmarked, alone, Through quiet years remote from

blame, With little that she called her own But him who bore his father's name.

15. Two hearts had she, the one so sad It often ached within her breast; But in her boy a heart she had Now thrilled with hope, now lulled to rest.

16. And tall he grew, though never

strong, And beautiful at least to her; A soul he seemed attuned to song, With thoughts of endless inward stir.

17. By love she taught him best to love, She gave him hope by trust in God;

When pained below he looked above, Yet scorned no flower of nature's sod.

18. And when to fill the ripening man In deeper flow Reflection came, When Thought and Wish their strife

began, Fears, Passions, Doubts no longer tame;

19. Though small the help 'twas hers to

give,— For deep not wide her best of lore,— "Still, still," she said," by Conscience

live, And Peace and Truth from Heaven implore.

20. "My son, for theso to toil is good, For these to none who seek denied; And thought must be thy lonely food, No teacher at thy side."

No teacher had he; but a friend,
The only friend in Henry's reach,
The kindly Vicar, books would lend,
And counsel, though unskilled to teach.

And by his word was Henry made
The master o'er the village boys;
A teacher still, by smiles and aid
Alluring on to nobler joys.

Thus Henry lived in meek repose,
Though suffering oft the body's pain,
Though sometimes aimless Thoughts

and Woes Like wrestling giants racked the brain.

24. But now an outward sorrow fell Down on his heart with heavier sway; Through months of sickness long to

tell His mother passed from earth away.

25. His books, his thoughts, his boys were

now A swarm of insects murmuring round. Afresh they stung his aching brow, And fevered him with woary sound.

26. And when the toilsome day was past, And darkness veiled his burning eyes, Upon the bed his limbs he cast, And wished he ne'er again might rise.

27. A flitting wish and soon recalled; But still there lived within his mind A shame for courage thus appalled, faith so weak, and reason blind.

28.He knew not if he slept or woke, 'Twas all exhaustion's clouded gloom, When light like moonshine round him

broke, And showed his mother's grassy tomb.

29. And o'er it floated, borne in air, Her form serene in brightness clad, With glistening stars around the hair, And eyes of love no longer sad.

30. Her looks like summer lightning

spread, And filled the boundless heavenly

deep;Devoutest peace around she shed, The calm without the trance of sleep.

31. He knew not how, but soon was gone The phantom shape that blessed his

eyes; The churchyard Yew-tree, black and

lone, Stood up against the starry skies.

32. Bewildered, yet consoled, he rose, And looked abroad; the dawn was

breaking, It was the night's gray chilly close, The day's fresh golden waking.

33. He left the village, crossed the rill, While dawn's pale gleams had scarce

begun;He climbed the elm-hedarkened hill, And in the churchyard faced the sun.

34. Beneath a clear unruffled morn, Beside the grave he knelt in prayer; There breathed a voice to soothe and

warn, And still Repose was whispering there.

35. And there he saw the gentle maid Whose earliest grief was like his

own: To him it seemed his mother bade Their hearts should each to each be known.

36. Yet passed a week as if no more They could recall their mournful

meeting; And then, when seven long days were

o'er, Again they spoke with timid greeting.

37. Amid the noiseless crystal morn They stood below the nightly Yew;

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