« PreviousContinue »
THE ORPHAN BOY.
Alas! I am an orphan boy,
With nought on earth to cheer my heart: No father's Jove, no mother's joy,
Nor kin, nor kind, to take my part.
I eat the bread of charity;
There is no kiss, alas! for me.
Yet once I had a father dear,
A mother, too, I wont to prize, With ready hand to wipe the tear—
If chanced a childish tear to rise: But cause of tears was rarely found;
For all my heart was youthful glee; And, when the kisls of'love went round,
How sweet a kiss there was for me!
But, ah! there came a war, they say—
What is a war I cannot tell;
And loudly rung our village bell.
In troth, it was a pretty sound,
I thought! nor could I thence foresee
That, when the kiss of love went round,
A scarlet coat my father took,
And sword, as bright as bright could be! And feathers that so gaily look,
All in a shining cap had he.
Alas! I thought it fine to see;
There soon should be no kiss for me.
My mother sighed, my mother wept,
Till I, to see her, did the same.
My father mounts with shout and glee: Then gave a kiss to all around;
And, ah! how sweet a kiss to me!
But when I found he rode so far,
And came not home as heretofore, I said it was a naughty war,
And loved the fife and drum no more.
My mother oft in tears was drowned—
And, when the hour of night came round,
At length the bell again did ring;
There was a victory they said: 'Twas what my father said he'd bring;
But, ah! it brought my lather dead. My mother shrieked; her heart was woe;
She clasped me to her trembling knee. Oh, God! that you may never know
How wild a kiss she gave to me.
But once again—but once again
These lips a mother's kisses felt; That once again—that once again—
The tale a heart of stone would melt; 'Twas when upon her death-bed laid,—
(Oh, God! oh, God! that sight to see I) 'My child !—my child !' she feebly said,
And gave a parting kiss to me.
So, now, I am an orphan boy,
With nought below my heart to cheer z.
No mother's love, no father's joy,
My lodging is the cold—cold ground;
I eat the bread of charity;
But I will to the grave and weep,
Where late they laid my mother low,
All in her shroud as white as snow.
All underneath the church-yard tree,
For those cold lips are dear to me.
THE SOLITARY TOMB.
Not a leaf of the tree which stood near me was stirred,
Nor a farewell note from a sweet-singing bird,
The sky was cloudless and calm, except
And there the rich tints of the rainbow slept,
And the evening star with its ray so clear,
So tremulous, soft, and tender, Had lit up its lamp, and shot down from its sphere
Its dewy, delightful splendour.
And I stood all alone on that gentle hill,
And its spirit and tone, so serene and still,
Far off was the Deben, whose briny flood
By its windy banks was sweeping;
The dead in their damp graves were sleeping.
How lonely and lovely their resting-place seemed!
An enclosure which care could not enter; And how sweetly the grey lights of evening gleamed
On the solitary tomb in its centre I