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THE GRANDMOTHER.

263

A sweeter maid was by my side

Than things of dreams can be :
First, precious love to her I gave,

And, Alice, thou wert she !
Nae lip can ever speak, Alice,

Nae tongue can ever tell
The sumless love for thee, Alice,

With which my heart doth swell!
Pure as the thoughts of infants' souls,

And innocent and young,
Sic love was never tauld in sangs,

Sic sangs were never sung!
My hand is on thy heart, Alice,

Sae place thy hand on mine;
Now, welcome weal and woe, Alice,

Our love we canna tine.
Ae kiss ! let others gather gowd

Frae ilka land and sea;
My treasure is the richest yet,
For, Alice, I ha'e thee !

Robert Nicoll.

THE GRANDMOTHER.

(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

man.

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.

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THE GRANDMOTHER.

me,

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

lies ;

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 GRANDMOTHER.

265

the same,

The moon like a rick on fire was rising over the dale,
And whit, whit, whit, in the bush beside me chirrupt the

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.

a crown.

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THE GRANDMOTHER.

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

so near.

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

hill.

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

by.

LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE.

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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.

Tennyson.

LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE.

(By permission of Messrs. Strahan & Co.)
LADY Clara Vere de Vere,

Of me you shall not win renown :
You thought to break a country heart

For pastime, ere you went to town.
At me you smiled, but unbeguiled

I saw the snare, and I retired :
The daughter of a hundred earls,

You are not one to be desired.
Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

I know you proud to bear your name;
Your pride is yet no mate for mine,

Too proud to care from whence I came.
Nor would I break for your sweet sake

A heart that doats on truer charms ;
A simple maiden in her flower

Is orth a hu red coats of arms.

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