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I saw young Edward by himself

Stalk fast adown the lee,
He snatch'd a stick from every fence,

A twig from every tree.

He snapp'd them still with hand or knee,

And then away they flew ! As if with his uneasy

limbs He knew not what to do!

You see, good sir ! that single hill ?

His farm lies underneath :
He heard it there, he heard it all,

And only gnash'd his teeth.

Now Ellen was a darling love

In all his joys and cares :
And Ellen's name and Mary's name
Fast-link'd they both together came,

Whene'er he said his prayers.

And in the moment of his prayers

He loved them both alike : Yea, both sweet names with one sweet joy

Upon his heart did strike !


He reach'd his home, and by his looks

They saw his inward strife : And they clung round him with their arms,

Both Ellen and his wife.

And Mary could not check her tears,

So on his breast she bow'd ; Then frenzy melted into grief,

And Edward wept aloud.

Dear Ellen did not weep at all,

But closelier did she cling,
And turn'd her face and look'd as if

She saw some frightful thing.



see a man tread over graves

I hold it no good mark ; 'Tis wicked in the sun and moon,

And bad luck in the dark !

You see that grave? The Lord he gives,

The Lord he takes away :
O Sir ! the child of my old age

Lies there as cold as clay.

Except that grave, you scarce see one

That was not dug by me; I'd rather dance upon 'em all

Than tread upon these three !

Ay, Sexton ! 'tis a touching tale."

You, sir ! are but a lad;

This month I'm in


seventieth year, And still it makes me sad.

And Mary's sister told it me,

For three good hours and more; Though I had heard it, in the main,

From Edward's self before.

Well ! it pass'd off! the gentle Ellen

Did well nigh dote on Mary;
And she went oftener than before,
And Mary loved her more and more:

She managed all the dairy.

To market she on market-days,

To church on Sundays came;
All seem'd the same : all seem'd so, sir !

But all was not the same !

Had Ellen lost her mirth ? Oh ! no !

But she was seldom cheerful ;
And Edward look'd as if he thought

That Ellen's mirth was fearful.

When by herself, she to herself

Must sing some merry rhyme ;
She could not now be glad for hours,

Yet silent all the time.

And when she soothed her friend, through all

Her soothing words 'twas plain

She had a sore grief of her own,

A haunting in her brain.

And oft she said, I'm not grown thin !

And then her wrist she spann'd; And once when Mary was down-cast,

She took her by the hand, And gazed upon her, and at first

She gently press'd her hand;

Then harder, till her grasp at length

Did gripe like a convulsion ! Alas !” said she, we ne'er can be

Made happy by compulsion !”

And once her both arms suddenly

Round Mary's neck she flung, And her heart panted, and she felt

The words upon her tongue.

She felt them coming, but no power

Had she the words to smother ; And with a kind of shriek she cried,

“Oh Christ ! you're like your mother!”

So gentle Ellen now no more

Could make this sad house cheery ; And Mary's melancholy ways

Drove Edward wild and weary.

Lingering he raised his latch at eve,

Though tired in heart and limb :

He loved no other place, and yet

Home was no home to him.

One evening he took up a book,

And nothing in it read; Then flung it down, and groaning cried,

O! Heaven ! that I were dead."

Mary look'd up into his face,

And nothing to him said;
She tried to smile, and on his arm

Mournfully lean'd her head.

And he burst into tears, and fell

Upon his knees in prayer : “ Her heart is broke ! O God! my grief,

It is too great to bear !”

'Twas such a foggy time as makes

Old sextons, sir ! like me, Rest on their spades to cough; the spring

Was late uncommonly.

And then the hot days, all at once,

They came, we knew not how: You look'd about for shade, when scarce

A leaf was on a bough.

It happen'd then ('twas in the bower,

A furlong up the wood:
Perhaps you know the place, and yet

I scarce know how you should,-)

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