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So through the moonlight lanes they go,
And far into the moonlight dale,
And by the church, and o'er the down,
To bring a doctor from the town,
To comfort poor old Susan Gale.
And Betty, now at Susan's side,
Is in the middle of her story,
What speedy help her boy will bring,
With many a most diverting thing,
Of Johnny's wit, and Johnny's glory.
And Betty, still at Susan's side,
By this time is not quite so flurried :
Demure with porringer and plate
She sits, as if in Susan's fate
Her life and soul were buried.
But Betty, poor good woman ! she,-
You plainly in her face may read it, —
Could lend out of that moment's store
Five years of happiness or more
To any that might need it.
But yet I guess that now and then
With Betty all was not so well,
And to the road she turns her ears,
And thence full many a sound she hears, 140
Which she to Susan will not tell.
Poor Susan moans, poor Susan groans ;
“ As sure as there's a moon in heaven,"
Cries Betty,“ he'll be back again ;
They'll both be here—'tis almost ten-
They'll both be here before eleven.”
Poor Susan moans, poor
The clock gives warning for eleven;
'Tis on the stroke—“He must be near,”
Quoth Betty, “and will soon be here,
As sure as there's a moon in heaven."
The clock is on the stroke of twelve,
And Johnny is not yet in sight;
The moon's in heaven, as Betty sees,
But Betty is not quite at ease;
And Susan has a dreadful night.
And Betty, half-an-hour ago,
On Johnny vile reflections cast:
A little idle sauntering thing !”
With other names, an endless string,
But now that time is gone and past.
And Betty's drooping at the heart,
That happy time all past and gone,
How can it be he is so late ?
The doctor, he has made him wait ;
Susan ! they'll both be here anon.”
And Susan's growing worse and worse,
And Betty's in a sad quandary;
And then there's nobody to say
If she must go or she must stay!
She's in a sad quandary.
The clock is on the stroke of one ;
But neither doctor nor his guide
Appears along the moonlight road ,
There's neither horse nor man abroad,
And Betty's still at Susan's side.
And Susan she begins to fear
Of sad mischances not a few,
That Johnny may perhaps be drown’d,
Or lost, perhaps, and never found ;
Which they must both for ever rue.
She prefaced half a hint of this
With, “God forbid it should be true !"
At the first word that Susan said,
Cried Betty, rising from the bed,
“ Susan, I'd gladly stay with you.
“I must be gone, I must away,
Consider, Johnny's but half-wise ;
Susan, we must take care of him,
If he is hurt in life or limb”.
“ O God forbid !”
poor Susan cries.
“ What can I do?” says Betty, going,
“What can I do to ease your pain? .
Good Susan, tell me, and I'll stay ;
I fear you're in a dreadful way,
But I shall soon be back again.”
“Nay, Betty, go! good Betty, go !
There's nothing that can ease my pain.”
Then off she hies ; but with a prayer
That God poor Susan's life would spare
Till she comes back again.
So through the moonlight lane she goes,
And far into the moonlight dale:
And how she ran, and how she walk'd,
And all that to herself she talk'd,
Would surely be a tedious tale.
In high and low, above, below,
In great and small, in round and square,
In tree and tower was Johnny seen,
In bush and brake, in black and green,
'Twas Johnny, Johnny, everywhere.
And while she crossed the bridge, there came
A thought with which her heart is sore, -
Johnny perhaps his horse forsook,
To hunt the moon that's in the brook, 215
And never will be heard of more.
Now is she high upon the down,
Alone amid a prospect wide;
There's neither Johnny nor his horse
Among the fern or in the gorse :
There's neither doctor nor his guide.
“O saints ! what is become of him ?
Perhaps he's climb'd into an oak,
Where he will stay till he is dead;
Or, sadly, he has been misled,
And join'd the wandering gipsy-folk.
“Or him that wicked pony's carried
To the dark cave, the goblin's hall ;
Or in the castle he's pursuing,
Among the ghosts his own undoing ;
Or playing with the waterfall."
At poor old Susan then she raild,
While to the town she posts away ;
6. If Susan had not been so ill,
Alas ! I should have had him still,
My Johnny, till my dying day."
Poor Betty, in this sad distemper,
The doctor's self would hardly spare ;
Unworthy things she talk'd, and wild ;
Even he, of cattle the most mild,
pony had his share.
And now she's fairly in the town,
And to the doctor's door she hies ;
'Tis silence all on every side;
The town so long, the town so wide;
Is silent as the skies.
And now she's at the doctor's door, She lifts the knocker, rap, rap, rap; The doctor at the casement shows His glimmering eyes that peep and doze! 250 And one hand rubs his old nightcap. “O doctor! doctor! where's my Johnny ?" “ I'm here, what is't you want with me?” “O sir ! you know I'm Betty Foy, And I have lost my poor dear boy, 255 You know him-him you often see;
“He's not so wise as some folk be.”
“ The devil take his wisdom," said
The doctor, looking somewhat grim,
What, woman, should I know of him?” 260 And grumbling, he went back to bed.
O woe is me! O woe is me!
Here will I die; here will I die !
I thought to find my lost one here ;
But he is neither far nor near ;
Oh! what a wretched mother I !”
She stops, she stands, she looks about ;
Which way to turn she cannot tell.
Poor Betty! it would ease her pain
If she had heart to knock again;
270. - The clock strikes three-a dismal knell !
Then up along the town she hies,
No wonder if her senses fail,
This piteous news so much it shock'd lier,
She quite forgot to send the doctor
To comfort poor old Susan Gale.
And now she's high upon the down,
And she can see a mile of road;
“Oh cruel! I'm almost threescore;
Such night as this was ne'er before,
There's not a single soul abroad."
She listens, but she cannot hear
The foot of horse, the voice of man;
The streams with softest sounds are flowing,
The grass you
almost hear it growing, 285 You hear it now, if e'er you can.
The owlets through the long blue night
Are shouting to each other still :
Fond lovers ! yet not quite hob-nob,
They lengthen out the tremulous sob,
That echoes far from hill to hill.