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There many an humble green grave showed
Where want, and pain, and toil did rest, And many a flattering stone I viewed
O'er those who once had wealth possessed. A faded beech, its shadow brown,
Threw o'er a grave where sorrow slept, On which, though scarce with grass o'ergrown,
Two ragged children sat and wept. A piece of bread between them lay,
Which neither seemed inclined to take, And yet they looked so much a prey
To want, it made my heart to ache. “ My little children, let me know
“Why you in such distress appear, “ And why you wasteful from you
throw “ That bread which many a one would cheer ?' The little boy, in accents sweet,
Replied, while tears each other chased “ Lady! we've not enough to eat,
“Oh! if we had, we would not waste. “ But sister Mary's naughty grown,
“ And will not eat, whate'er I say, “ Though sure I am, the bread's her own,
- For she has tasted none to-day.” “ Indeed," the wan starved Mary said,
“ Till Henry eats, I'll eat no more, “ For yesterday I got some bread,
“ He's had none since the day before.” My heart did swell, my bosom heave, Í felt as though deprived of speech,
I silent sat upon
With looks that told a tale of woe,
With looks that spoke a grateful heart, The shivering boy then nearer drew,
And did his simple tale impart. “ Before my father went away,
“ Enticed by bad men o'er the sea, “ Sister and I did nought but play
“ We lived beside yon great ash-tree. “But then poor mother did so cry,
“ And looked so changed I cannot tell ; “ She told us that she soon should die,
“ And bade us love each other well. “ She said that when the war was o'er,
Perhaps we might our father see, " But if we never saw him more,
" That God our father then would be ! “ She kissed us both, and then she died,
“ And we no more a mother have ; “ Here many a day we've sat and cried,
Together on poor mother's grave. “But when my father came not here,
I thought, if we could find the sea, “ We should be sure to meet him there,
“ And once again might happy be. “We hand in hand went many a mile,
“ And asked our way of all we met; “ And some did sigh, and some did smile,
“And we of some did victuals get. “ But when we reached the sea, and found
“ 'Twas one great water round us spread, “ We thought that father must be drowned,
“ And cried, and wished we both were dead.
“ So we returned to mother's grave,
" And only long with her to be, “ For Goody, when this bread she gave,
“ Said, father died beyond the sea. “ Then since no parent here we have,
“ We'll go and search for God around; “ Lady ! pray can you tell us where
“ That God, our father, may be found ? “ He lives in heaven, mother said,
“ And Goody says that mother's there,
I think, perhaps, she'll send him here."
And cried, “ Come both and live with me; “ I'll clothe you, feed you, give you rest,
" And will a second mother be. “ And God shall be your father still,
«« 'Twas he in mercy sent me here ; “ To teach you to obey his will,
" Your steps to guide, your hearts to cheer.”
ALP. (THE BATTLE FIELD.)
ALP wandered on, along the beach,
As his measured step on the stone below
Alp turned him from the sickening sight :
But when all is past, it is humbling to tread
THE GRASP OF THE DEAD.
'Twas in the battle field, and the cold pale moon
Looked down on the dead and dying ; And the wind passed o'er with a dirge and a wail,
Where the young and brave were lying.
With his father's sword in his red right hand,
And the hostile dead around him, Lay a youthful chief : but his bed was the ground,
And the grave's icy sleep had bound him.
A reckless rover, ʼmid death and doom,
Passed a soldier, his plunder seeking. Careless he stept, where friend and foe
Lay alike in their life-blood reeking.
Drawn by the shine of the warrior's sword,
The soldier paused beside it :
But the grasp of the dead defied it.
He loosed his hold, and his English heart
Took part with the dead before him; And he honoured the brave who died sword in hand,
As with softened brow he leant o'er him.