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Had Ellen lost her mirth? Oh! no!.
But she was seldom cheerful ;
That Ellen's mirth was fearful.
When by herself, she to herself
Must sing some merry rhime;
Yet silent all the time.
And when she sooth'd her friend, thro' all
Her soothing words 'twas plain She had a sore grief of her own,
A haunting in her brain.
And oft she said, I'm not grown thin!
And then her wrist she spann’d: And once when Mary was down-cast,
She took her by the hand, And gaz'd upon her, and at first
She gently press’d her hand;
Then harder, till her grasp at length
Did gripe like a convulsion ! Alas! said she, we ne'er can be
Made happy by compulsion !
And once her both arms suddenly
Round Mary's neck she flung, And her heart panted, and she felt
The words upon her tongue.
She felt them coming, but no power
Had she the words to smother ; And with a kind of shriek she cried,
“ Oh Christ ! you're like your Mother!"
So gentle Ellen now no more
Could make this sad house cheary; And Mary's melancholy ways
Drove Edward wild and weary:
Lingering he rais’d his latch at eve,
Though tired in heart and limb : He lov'd no other place, and yet
Home was no home to him.
One evening he took up a book,
And nothing in it read ;
Oh! Heaven ! that I were dead.
Mary look’d up into his face,
And nothing to him said ;
Mournfully leaned her head.
And he burst into tears, and fell
Upon his knees in prayer :
It is too great to bear!
'Twas such a foggy time as makes
Old Sextons, Sir! like me, Rest on their spades to cough ; the spring
Was late uncommonly.
And then the hot days, all at once,
They came, we knew not how : You look'd about for shade, when scarce
A leaf was on a bough.
It happen’d then ('twas in the bower
A furlong up the wood :
I scarce know how you shou’d)
No path leads thither, 'tis not nigh.
To any pasture-plot ;
Lone hollies mark'd the spot.
Those hollies of themselves a shape
As of an arbor took,
Not three strides from a brook.
Within this arbor, which was still
With scarlet berries hung, Were these three friends, one Sunday morn,
Just as the first bell rung.
'Tis sweet to hear a brook, 'tis sweet
To hear the Sabbath-bell, 'Tis sweet to hear them both at once,
Deep in a woody dell.
His limbs along the moss, his head
Upon a mossy heap,
And he had pass’d a restless night,
And was not well in health ; The women sat down by his side,
And talk'd as 'twere by stealth.
“ The Sun peeps thro’ the close thick leaves,
66 See, dearest Ellen ! see ! “ 'Tis in the leaves, a little Sun,
“ No bigger than your ee;
“A tiny Sun, and it has got
“A perfect glory too : “ Ten thousand threads and hairs of light, Make up a glory, gay and bright,
“ Round that small orb, so blue.”
And then they argued of those rays,
What colour they might be: Says this, “ they're mostly green; "says that,
6 They’re amber-like to me.”
So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts,
Were troubling Edward's rest;
And the thumping in his breast.