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It is the last New-year that I shall ever see,
Then you may lay me low i' the mould and think no more

of me.

To-night I saw the sun set: he set and left behind
The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of
And the New-year's coming up, mother, but I shall never

mind;

see

The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.
Last May we made a crown of flowers : we had a merry

day; Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen

of May; And we danced about the may-pole and in the hazel copse, Till Charles's Wain came out above the tall white chimney

tops. There's not a flower on all the hills: the frost is on the

pane : I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again : I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high : I long to see a flower so before the day I die. The building rook 'ill caw from the windy tall elm-tree, And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea, And the swallow 'ill come back again with summer o'er the

wave, But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave. Upon the chancel-casement, and upon that grave of mine, In the early early morning the summer sun 'ill shine, Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill, When you are warm-asleep, mother, and all the world is

still. When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning

light You'll never see me more in the long gray fields at night; When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the

pool. You'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn

shade, And you'll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when you

pass, With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant

grass. I have been wild and wayward, but you'll forgive me now; You'll kiss me, my own mother, and forgive me ere I go; Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild, You should not fret for me, mother, you have another child. If I can I'll come again, mother, from out my resting-place; Tho' you'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your

face;

Tho' I cannot speak a word, I shall harken what you say, And be often, often with you when you think I'm far away. Goodnight, goodnight, when I have said goodnight for

evermore, And you see me carried out from the threshold of the

door; Don't let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing

green: She'll be a better child to you than ever I have been. She'll find my garden-tools upon the granary floor : Let her take 'em : they are hers: I shall never garden

more :

But tell her, when I'm gone, to train the rose-bush that I

set About the parlour-window and the box of mignonette. Good-night, sweet mother : call me before the day is born. All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn; But I would see the sun rise upon the glad New-year, So, if you're waking, call me, call me early, mother dear.

LXXIX

CONCLUSION I THOUGHT to pass away before, and yet alive I am ; And in the fields all round I hear the bleating of the lamb. How sadly, I remember, rose the morning of the year ! To die before the snowdrop came, and now the violet's

here. O sweet is the new violet, that comes beneath the skies, And sweeter is the young lamb's voice to me that cannot And sweet is all the land about, and all the flowers that

blow, And sweeter far is death than life to me that long to go. It seem'd so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun, And now it seems as hard to stay, and yet His will be

done! But still I think it can't be long before I find release; And that good man, the clergyman, has told me words of

peace. O blessings on his kindly voice and on his silver hair! And blessings on his whole life long, until he meet me

there! O blessings on his kindly heart and on his silver head! A thousand times I blest him, as he knelt beside my

bed. He taught me all the mercy, for he show'd me all the sin. Now, tho' my lamp was lighted late, there's One will let me

in : Nor would I now be well, mother, again, if that could be, For my desire is but to pass to Him that died for me. I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the death-watch

beat, There came a sweeter token when the night and morning

meet : But sit beside my bed, mother, and put your hand in mine, And Effie on the other side, and I will tell the sign. All in the wild March-morning I heard the angels call; It was when the moon was setting, and the dark was over

all;

The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,
And in the wild March-morning I heard them call my soul.
For lying broad awake I thought of you and Effie dear;
I saw you sitting in the house, and I no longer here;
With all my strength I pray'd for both, and so I felt

resign'd, And

up the valley came a swell of music on the wind. I thought that it was fancy, and I listen’d in my bed, And then did something speak to me-I know not what was

said ; For great delight and shuddering took hold of all my mind, And up the valley came again the music on the wind.

But you were sleeping ; and I said, “It's not for them : it's

mine."

And if it comes three times, I thought, I take it for a sign. And once again it came, and close beside the window-bars, Then seem'd to go right up to Heaven and die among the

stars. So now I think my time is near. I trust it is. I know The blessed music went that way my soul will have to go. And for myself, indeed, I care not if I go to-day. But, Effie, you must comfort her when I am past away. And say to Robin a kind word, and tell him not to fret; There's many worthier than I, would make him happy yet. If I had lived—I cannot tell— I might have been his wife; But all these things have ceased to be, with my desire of

life. O look! the sun begins to rise, the heavens are in a glow; He shines upon a hundred fields, and all of them I know. And there I move no longer now, and there his light may

shineWild flowers in the valley for other hands than mine. O sweet and strange it seems to me, that ere this day is

done The voice, that now is speaking, may be beyond the sunFor ever and for ever with those just souls and trueAnd what is life, that we should moan? why make we such

ado? For ever and for ever, all in a blessed homeAnd there to wait a little while till you and Effie comeTo lie within the light of God, as I lie upon your breast And the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are

at rest. (1853)

a

LXXX

THE HESPERIDES.
Hesperus and his daughters three,
That sing about the golden tree.

-COMUS.
The Northwind fall'n, in the new-starrèd night
Zidonian Hanno, voyaging beyond
The hoary promontory of Soloë
Past Thymiaterion, in calmèd bays,

Between the southern and the western Horn,
Heard neither warbling of the nightingale,
Nor melody o' the Lybian lotusflute
Blown seaward from the shore; but from a slope
That ran bloombright into the Atlantic blue,
Beneath a highland leaning down a weight
Of cliffs, and zoned below with cedarshade,
Came voices, like the voices in a dream,
Continuous, till he reached the outer sea.

SONG

1

The golden apple, the golden apple, the hallowed fruit,
Guard it well, guard it warily,
Singing airily,
Standing about the charmèd root.
Round about all is mute,
As the snowfield on the mountain-peaks,
As the sandfield at the mountain-foot.
Crocodiles in briny creeks
Sleep and stir not: all is mute.
If ye sing not, if ye make false measure,
We shall lose eternal pleasure,
Worth eternal want of rest.
Laugh not loudly: watch the treasure
Of the wisdom of the west.
In a corner wisdom whispers. Five and three
(Let it not be preached abroad) make an awful mystery.
For the blossom unto threefold music bloweth ;
Evermore it is born anew;
And the sap to threefold music floweth,
From the root
Drawn in the dark,
Up to the fruit,
Creeping under the fragrant bark,
Liquid gold, honeysweet, thro' and thro'.
Keen-eyed Sisters, singing airily,
Looking warily
Every way,
Guard the apple night and day,
Lest one from the East come and take it away.

IT

Father Hesper, Father Hesper, watch, watch, ever and aye, Looking under silver hair with a silver eye.

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