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Sons & daughters

Stolen child

(4) Stolen child

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         The Stolen Child.

Alone on the heather a fair child was straying,
Whose innocent features were brightened with joy,
And as 'mid the flowers he careless was playing,
My heart yearned with love, and I spoke to the boy :
"Young stranger whence art thon ?"

His blue eyes upturning,
He answered, "My home is yon tent on the plain :
And ere the eve closes I must be returning,
Or they will not let me roam hither again.
"Do thy parents await thee ? He paused and the gladness,
That mantled his brow was o'ershaded in gloom,
"I saw them but once ;" and he added with sadness,
"They tell me that both are asleep in the tomb,
The gipsy was kind, but my mother was fonder,
She sang me so softly to rest in her arms,
But now she is gone, and her darling must wander,
Though the soft words she whispered my bosom still warms,
"And soon will I seek them where both are reposing,
And take my best flowers to plant by their side,
That summer, when all their bright tints are unclosing,
May bless the green turf with their beauty and pride."

He bounded away, as my tears were fast falling,
To think how the gipsy such love had beguiled,
I saw him no more, but the sad tale recalling.
I often remember the poor stolen child.

         The Woodpecker.

I knew by the smoke that so gracefully curl'd
Above the green elms, that a cottage was near ;
And I said, if there's peace to be found in the world,
A heart that is humble might hope for it here,
Every leaf was at rest, and I heard not a sound,
But the woodpecker tapping the old hollow tree.

And here in this lone little cot, I exclaim'd
With a maid who was lovely to soul and to eye ;
Who would blush when I prais'd her, and weep if I blam'd
How blest could I live, and how calm could I die.

By the shade of yon sumach, whose red berry dips
In the gush of the fountain, how sweet to recline,
And to know that I sigh'd upon innocent lips
Which, ne'er had been sigh'd on by any but mine.

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            The Wife's Dream.

Now tell me Mary, how it is that you can look so gay,
When evening after evening your husband is away ?
I never see you sulk or pout, or say an angry word,
And yet you've plenty of cause for tears ii' all be true I've heard.
It is because, my sister dear, a husband you ne'er wed,
Nor saw your children gathering round, and asking you for bread,
You ne'er can know how it becomes a woman's lot thro' life,
To be, even to a drunkard's faults, a patient loving wife.

And yet I can recall the time when hitter tears I shed;
And when my husband stagger'd home what angry words I said;
I never thought that I could be as cheerful now I seem,
Yet this happy change was brought about by a simple little dream.
One ev'ning as I sat beside our humble cottage door,
And listened for my husband as oft I'd done before,
Some wretched thoughts came in my mind, and bitterly I said,
I never wish to see him more ! oh, would that he were dead.

They say the wretched cannot sleep, yet surely it is not so,
For very soon I fell asleep 'mid tears of grief and woe;
I dreamt I had my wish fulfilled, my husband was no more,
I fell upon his lifeless form, and kiss'd him o'er and o'er.
Oh Dermot darling speak to me, I meant not what I said,
Oh speak one word unto your wile, say, say, you are not dead,
And sure I'm not, my Mary dear—I woke up with a scream,
And found my husband standing by—his death was but a dream!

And since that time, whene'er I feel disposed to be unkind,
The warning of that fatal dream comes fresh before my mind;
And though it cost me many a pang to know the life he leads,
I try to greet him with a smile, when oft my poor heart bleeds.
I'll humbly put my trust in God, and ask for strength to bear,
The trials that he sends on earth for all of us to share ;
And if by patience I can change, my husband's wand'ring life,
I'd bless the hour that dream was sent to his neglected wife.


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