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Were busy with her name. She had to bear
The sharper sorrow of neglect from him
Whom she had loved so dearly. Once he wrote,
But only once that drop of comfort came
To mingle with her cup of wretchedness;
And when his parents had some tidings from him,
There was no mention of poor Hannah there,
Or 'twas the cold inquiry, more unkind
Than silence. So she pined and pined away,
And for herself and baby toil'd and toil'd;
Nor did she, even on her death-bed, rest
From labour, knitting there with lifted arms,
Till she sunk with very weakness. Her old mother
Omitted no kind office, working for her,
Albeit her hardest labour barely earn'd
Enough to keep life struggling, and prolong
The pains of grief and sickness. Thus she lay
On the sick bed of poverty, worn out
With her long suffering and those painful thoughts
Which at her heart were rankling, and so weak,
That she could make no effort to express
Affection for her infant; and the child,
Whose lisping love perhaps had solaced her,
Shunn’d her as one indifferent. But she too
Had grown indifferent to all things of earth;
Finding her only comfort in the thought
Of that cold bed wherein the wretched rest.
There had she now, in that last home been laid,
And all was over now, sickness and grief,
Her shame, her suffering, and her penitence:
Their work was done. The school-boys as they sport
In the church-yard, for awhile might turn away
From the fresh grave till grass should cover it;
Nature would do that office soon ; and none
Who trod upon the senseless turf would think
Of what a world of woes lay buried there!
Slowly thy flowing tide
Came in, old Avon' scarcely did mine eyes,
As watchfully I roam'd thy green-wood side,
Behold the gentle rise.
With many a stroke and strong The labouring boatmen upward plied their oars, And yet the eye beheld them labouring long
Between thy winding shores.
Now down thine ebbing tide The unlabour'd boat falls rapidly along ; The solitary helmsman sits to guide,
And sings an idle song.
Now o'er the rocks that lay
So silent late the shallow current roars;
Fast flow thy waters on their sea-ward way,
Through wider-spreading shores.
Avon' I gaze and know
The lesson emblem'd in thy varying way;
It speaks of human joys that rise so slow,
So rapidly decay.
Kingdoms which long have stood, And slow to strength and power attain’d at last, Thus from the summit of high fortune's flood
Ebb to their ruin fast.
Thus like thy flow appears Time's tardy course to manhood's envied stage; Alas! how hurryingly the ebbing years
Then hasten to old age 1
THE WICTORY. HARK, how the church bells' thundering harmony Stuns the glad ear! tidings of joy have come, Good tidings of great joy! two gallant ships Met on the element;-they met, they fought A desperate fight!—good tidings of great joy! Old England triumph'd –yet another day Of glory for the ruler of the waves!
For those who fell, 'twas in their country's cause, They have their passing paragraphs of praise, And are forgotten
There was one who died In that day's glory, whose obscurer name No proud historian's page will chronicle. Peace to his honest soul | I read his name, 'Twas in the list of slaughter, and blest God The sound was not familiar to mine ear. But it was told me, after, that this man Was one whom lawful violence had forced From his own home, and wife, and little ones, Who by his labour lived; that he was one Whose uncorrupted heart could keenly feel A husband's love, a father's anxiousness; That, from the wages of his toil, he fed The distant dear ones, and would talk of them At midnight, when he trod the silent deck With him he valued;—talk of them, of joys Which he had known, oh God l and of the hour When they should meet again, till his full heart, His manly heart, at last would overflow— Even like a child's—with very tenderness. Peace to his honest spirit ! suddenly It came, and merciful the ball of death, For it came suddenly and shatter'd him, And left no moment's agonizing thought On those he loved so well.
He, ocean deep, Now lies at rest. Be Thou her comforter Who art the widow's friend Man does not know What a cold sickness made her blood run back When first she heard the tidings of the fight: Man does not know with what a dreadful hope She listened to the names of those who died : Man does not know, or, knowing, will not heed,— With what an agony of tenderness She gazed upon her children, and beheld His image who was gone. O God! be Thou, Who art the widow's friend, her comforter'
THE BATTLE OF BLEN HE IM.
It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar's work was done,
And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun,
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,
Which he beside the rivulet
In playing there had found;
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.
Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by ;
And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh,
“”Tis some poor fellow's scull,” said he,
“Who fell in the great victory.”
“I find them in the garden,
“For there's many here about;
“And often when I go to plough,
“The ploughshare turns them out!
“For many thousand men,” said he,
“Were slain in that great victory.”
“Now tell us what 'twas all about,”
Young Peterkin he cries;
While little Wilhelmine looks up,
With wonder-waiting eyes;
“Now tell us all about the war,
“And what they kill'd each other for.”
“It was the English,” Kaspar cried,
“Who put the French to rout,
“But what they kill'd each other for,
“I could not well make out.
“But every body said,” quoth he,
“That 'twas a famous victory.
“My father lived at Blenheim then,
“Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
“And he was forced to fly;
“So with his wife and child he fled,
“Nor had he where to rest his head.
“With fire and sword the country round
“Was wasted far and wide;
“And many a childing mother then,
“And new-born baby died;
But things like that, you know, must be
“At every famous victory.
“They say it was a shocking sight
“After the field was won;
“For many thousand bodies here
“Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be
“After a famous victory.
“Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,
“And our good prince Eugene.”
“Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!”
Said little Wilhelmine.
“Nay—nay—my little girl,” quoth he,
“It was a famous victory.
“And every body prais'd the Duke
“Who this great fight did win.”
“But what good came of it at last 7”
Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why, that I cannot tell,” said he,
“But 'twas a famous victory.”
Thou wert out betimes, thou busy, busy Bee'
As abroad I took my early way,
Before the cow from her resting-place
Had risen up and left her trace
On the meadow, with dew so grey,
Saw I thee, thou busy, busy Bee.