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The wretched parents all that night
But there was neither sound nor sight
At day-break on a hill they stood
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
They wept-and, turning homeward, cried, 'In heaven we all shall meet!'
-When in the snow the mother spied
Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
And by the long stone-wall:
And then an open field they crossed;
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
They followed from the snowy bank
And further there were none !
-Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.
O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
A Maid whom there were none to praise
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye! -Fair as a star, when only one Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
Three years she grew in sun and shower, Then Nature said, 'A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown ;
This Child I to myself will take,
She shall be mine, and I will make
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower, Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the fawn
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
The floating clouds their state shall lend
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm.
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell.'
Thus Nature spake—The work was done—
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS.
We walked along, while bright and red
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said, 'The will of God be done!'
A village schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering grey;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.
And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.
'Our work,' said I, 'was well begun :
Then, from thy breast what thought,
So sad a sigh has brought?'
A second time did Matthew stop,
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top,
To me he made reply:
'Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.
And just above yon slope of corn
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky, that April morn,
With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, to the church-yard come, stopped short Beside my daughter's grave.
Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale;
And then she sang;-she would have been
A very nightingale.
Six feet in earth my Emma lay;
And yet I loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day
I e'er had loved before.
And, turning from her grave, I met,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
A basket on her head she bare;
No fountain from its rocky cave
There came from me a sigh of pain
I looked at her, and looked again:
Matthew is in his grave, yet now,
As at that moment, with a bough