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A sweeter maid was by my side
Than things of dreams can be :
And, Alice, thou wert she !
Nae tongue can ever tell
With which my heart doth swell!
And innocent and young,
Sic sangs were never sung!
Sae place thy hand on mine;
Our love we canna tine.
Frae ilka land and sea;
(By permission of Messrs. Strahan & Co.) AND Willy, my eldest born, is gone, you say, little Annie? Ruddy, and white, and strong on his legs, he looks like a
And Willy's wife has written ; she never was overwise, Never the wife for Willy : he wouldn't take my advice. For, Annie, you see, her father was not the man to save, Hadn't a head.to manage, and drunk himself into his
grave. Pretty enough, very pretty! but I was against it for one ; Eh, but he wouldn't hear me—and Willy, you say, is
gone. Willy, my beauty, my eldest-born, the flower of the flock; Never a man could fling him, for Willy stood like a rock. “Here's a leg for a babe of a week !” says doctor, and he
would be bound There was not his like that year in twenty parishes round.
Strong of his hands, and strong on his legs, but still of his
tongue ! I ought to have gone before him: I wonder he went so
young. I cannot cry for him, Annie-I have not long to stay ; Perhaps I shall see him the sooner, for he lived far away. Why do you look at me, Annie ? you
think I am hard and cold; But all my children have gone
before I am so old. I cannot weep for Willy, nor can I weep for the rest ; Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the best. For I remember a quarrel I had with your father, my dear, All for a slanderous story, that cost me many a tearI mean your grandfather, Annie—it cost me a world of woe, Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years ago. For Jenny, my cousin, had come to the place, and I knew
right weli That Jenny had tript in her time : I knew, but I would
not tell ; And she to be coming and slandering me, the base little
liar ! But the tongue is a fire, as you know, my dear, the tongue
is a fire ! And the parson made it his text that week, and he said
likewise, That a lie which is half the truth is ever the blackest of
That a lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with
outright, But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight. And Willy had not been down to the farm for a week and
a day; And all things look'd half dead, tho' it was the middle of
May. Jenny to slander me, who knew what Jenny had been ! But soiling another, Annie, will never make oneself clean. And I cried myself well-nigh blind, and all of an evening late I climb'd to the top of the garth, and stood by the road at
the gate ;
The moon like a rick on fire was rising over the dale,
nightingale. All oí a sudden he stopt; there passed by the gate of the
farm Willy-he didn't see me—and Jenny hung on his arm. Out into the road I started, and spoke I scarce knew how: Ah, tkere's no fool like the old one
e-it makes me angry now. Willy stood up like a man, and look'd the thing that he
meant; Jenny, the viper, made me a mocking curtsey and went. And I said, “Let us part : in a hundred years it'll all be You cannot love me at all, if you love not my good name.” And he turn'd, and I saw his eyes all wet in the sweet
moonshine : Sweethtart, I love you so well that your good name is
mine; And what do I care for Jane, let her speak of you well or ill, But marryme out of hand : we two shall be happy still.” Marry you, Willy!” said I,“ but I needs must speak my
mind, And I fear yıu'll listen to tales, be jealous, and hard, and
unkind." But he turn's and claspt me in his arms, and answer'd,
No, love no; Seventy years go, my darling, seventy years ago. So Willy and I vere wedded : I wore a lilac gown; And the ringers rang with a will, and he gave the ringers But the first thatever I bare was dead before he was born, Shadow and shine is life, little Annie, flower and thorn. This was the first tme, too, that ever I thought of death : There lay the sweet little body that never had drawn a
breath. I had not went, little Annie, not since I had been a wife; But I wept like a chill that day, for the babe had fought
for his life.
His dear little face was troubled, as if with anger or pain ; I looked at the still, little body-his trouble had been in
vain. For Willy I cannot weep, I shall see him another morn: But I wept like a child for the child that was dead before
he was born.
But he cheer'd me, my good man, for he seldom said me
nay: Kind, like a man, was he; like a man, too, would have his
way : Never jealous—not he: we had many a happy year ; And he died, and I could not weep-my own time seem'd
But I wish'd it had been God's will that I, too, they could
have died : I began to be tired a little, and fain had slept at hs side. And that was ten years back, or more, if I don't forget : But as to the children, Annie, they're all about ne yet.
Pattering over the boards, my Annie who left me at two, Patter she goes, my own little Annie, an Annie ike you ; Pattering over the boards, she comes and goes it her will, While Harry is in the five-acre and Charlie ploughing the
And Harry and Charlie, I hear them too-they sing to
their team : Often they come to the door in a pleasant kid of dream. They come and sit by my chair, they hover wout my bedI am not always certain if they be alive or lead. And yet I know for a truth there's none ofthem left alive ; For Harry went at sixty, your father at säty-five : And Willy, my eldest born, at nigh threescore and ten. I knew them all as babies, and now they're elderly men. For mine is a time of peace, it is not ofen I grieve ; I am oftener sitting at home in my faher's farm at eve : And the neighbours come and laugh ard gossip, and so do I; I find myself often laughing at things that have long gone
LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE.
To be sure the preacher says our sins should make us sad; But this is a time of peace, and there is grace to be had ; And God, not man, is the Judge of us all when life shall
cease ; And in this book, little Annie, the message is one of Peace. And
age is a time of peace, so it be free from pain, And happy has been my life, but I would not live again. I seem to be tired a little, that's all, and long for rest; Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the best. So Willy has gone, my beauty, my eldest-born, my flower; But how can weep for Willy, he has but gone for an hour, Gone for a minute, my son, from this room into the next; I, too, shall go in a minute. What time have I to be vext? And Willy's wife has written-she never was overwise. Get me my glasses, Annie : thank God that I keep my
eyes. There is but a trifle left you when I shall have past away ; But stay with the old woman now : you cannot have long to stay.
LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE.
(By permission of Messrs. Strahan & Co.)
Of me you shall not win renown :
For pastime, ere you went to town.
I saw the snare, and I retired :
You are not one to be desired.
I know you proud to bear your name;
Too proud to care from whence I came.
A heart that doats on truer charms ;
Is orth a hu red coats of arms.