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Lillie of the Snowstorm

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Lillie of the Snowstorm

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Lillie of the Snowstorm
(Henry Clay Work)

To his home, his once-white, once-loved cottage,
Late at night a poor inebriate came,
To his wife, the waiting wife and daughter,
Who for him had fann'd the midnight flame.`
     Rudely met, they answer'd him with kindness,
     Gave him all their own untasted store,
     'Twas but small, and he with awful curses,
     Spurned the gift and drove them from the door.

cho: While the storm, the wild, wild wint'ry tempest,
     Swept across the prairies cold and white,
     What a shame that Lillie and her mother,
     Were abroad on such a fearful night!

Far across the prairie stood a dwelling
Where from harm they oft had found retreat
Thither now, all brave and uncomplaining
Did they urge their weary way-worn feet.
But their strength, unequal to their courage
Failed them as they wandewred to and fro
Till at last, the feeble, fainting mother
Speechless sank upon the drifting snow.

Lillie prays the harps are hushed in heaven
Angels poise them midway in the sky;
Up from earth there comes a wail of sorrow,
Such a wail as must be heard on High.
"Father dear! My other, better Father!
Won't you hear your daughter, Lillie, pray?
Won't you send some strong and careful angel
Who will help my mother on her way?"

Mornng dawns, the husband and the father,
Sobered now, to seek his flock has come
Lillie dear is living, but her mother
Hours ago, an angel bore her home.
Ah, poor man! How bitter is his anguish
As he now repents his punished sin,
Bending o'er the child who, half unconscious,
Sadly cries, "Please father, let us in!"

From Songs of Henry Clay Work, Work
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