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It was in truth a lamentable hour,
When, from the last hill-top, my Sire surveyed,
Peering above the trees, the steeple tower
That on his marriage-day sweet music made.
Till then he hoped his bones might there be laid,
Close by my Mother, in their native bowers ;
Bidding me trust in God, he stood and prayed,
I could not pray :-through tears that fell in showers
I saw our own dear home, that was no longer ours.
There was a Youth, whom I had loved so long,
That when I loved him not I cannot say.
and many a song
We two had sung, like gladsome birds in May.
When we began to tire of childish play
We seemed still more and more to prize each other;
We talked of marriage and our marriage day;
And I in truth did love him like a brother ;
For never could I hope to meet with such another,
Two years were pass’d, since to a distant Town
He had repair'd to ply the artist's trade.
What tears of bitter grief till then unknown !
What tender vows our last sad kiss delayed!.
To him we turned:-we had no other aid.
Like one revived, upon his neck I wept :
And her whom he had loved in joy, he said
He well could love in grief: his faith he kept;
And in a quiet home once more my Father slept.
We lived in peace and comfort; and were blest
With daily bread, by constant toil supplied.
Three lovely Infants lay upon my breast;
And often, viewing their sweet smiles, I sighed,
And knew not why. My happy Father died
When sad distress reduced the Children's meal::
Thrice happy! that from him the grave did hide
The empty loom, cold hearth, and silent wheel,
And tears that flowed for ills which patience could
'Twas a hard change, an evil time was come;
We had no hope, and no relief could gain.
But soon, day after day, the noisy drum
Beat round, to sweep the streets of want and pain.
My husband's arms now only served to strain
Me and his children hungering in his view:
In such dismay my prayers and tears were vain :
To join those miserable men he flew :
And now to the sea-coast, with numbers more, wedrew.
There, Jong were we neglected, and we bore
Much sorrow ere the fleet its anchor weigh’d;
Green fields before us and our native shore,
We breath'd a pestilential air that made
Ravage for which no knell was heard. We pray'd
For our departure; wish'd and wish'd-nor knew
'Mid that long sickness, and those hopes delay'd,
That happier days we never more must view:
The parting signal streamed, at last the land withdrew.
But the calm summer season now was past.
On as we drove, the equinoctial Deep
Ran mountains-high before the howling blast;
And many perished in the whirlwind's sweep.
We gazed with terror on their gloomy sleep,
Untaught that soon such anguish must ensue,
Our hopes such harvest of affliction reap,
That we the mercy of the waves should rue.
We reach'd the Western World, a poor, devoted crew.
The pains and plagues that on our heads came down,
Disease and famine, agony and fear,
In wood or wilderness, in camp or town,
It would thy brain unsettle, even to hear.
All perished-all, in one remorseless year,
Husband and Children! one by one, by sword
And ravenous plague, all perished : every tear
Dried up, despairing, desolate, on board
A British ship I waked, as from a trance restored.
Peaceful as some immeasurable plain
By the first beams of dawning light impress'd,
In the calm sunshine slept the glittering main.
very ocean has its hour of rest.
I too was calm, though heavily distress'd!
Oh me, how quiet sky and ocean were !
My heart was healed within me, I was bless'd,
And looked, and looked along the silent air,
Until it seemed to bring a joy to my despair.
Ah! how unlike those late terrific sleeps !
And groans, that rage of racking famine spoke !
The unburied dead that lay in festering heaps !
The breathing pestilence that rose like smoke !
The shriek that from the distant battle broke!
The mine's dire earthquake, and the pallid host
Driven by the bomb's incessant thunder-stroke
To loathsome vaults, where heart-sick anguish toss'd,
Hope died, and fear itself in agony was lost !