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92                                                           SONGS FOR CHILDHOOD.
And the white fluff shrunk from the tiny feet, And the little fat hands caught none.
She sat wearily down by the steep cliff's foot, Till the waves seemed to change their mind,
And the white foam flowed to her as she sat, As though 'twould at last be kind.
And the fluff played over her soft white feet, And the feathers flew up to the chin,
And the soft, loving water kissed her lips, And I carried my dead child in!
LUCY GRAY.
William Wordsworth.
Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see, at break of day, The solitary child.
No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor, The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door.
You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will nevermore be seen.
" To-night will be a stormy night�
You to the town must go, And take a lantern, child, to light
Your mother through the snow."
" That, father, will I gladly do,
'Tis scarcely afternoon; The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon!"
At this the father raised his hook,
And snapped a fagot-baud. He plied his work, and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.
Not blither is the mountain roe :
With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.
The storm came on before its time;
She wandered up and down ; And many a hill did Lucy climb,
But never reached the town.
The wretched parents all that night Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide.
At day-break on the hill they stood
That overlooked the moor, And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.
LITTLE WILLIE.
Gekald Massey.
Poor little Willie,
With his many pretty wiles, Worlds of wisdom in his looks,
And quaint, quiet smiles; Hair of amber, touched with
Gold of heaven so brave� All lying darkly hid
In a work-house grave.
You remember little Willie�
Fair and funny fellow! He Sprung like a lily
From the dirt of poverty. Poor little Willie!
Not a friend was nigh, When, from the cold world,
He crouched down to die.
In the day we wandered foodless,
Little Willie cried for bread ; In the night we wandered homeless,
Little Willie cried for bed. Parted at the work-house door,
Not a word we said; Ah, so tired was poor Willie,
And so sweetly sleep the dead!
'Twas in the dead of winter
We laid him in the earth ; The world brought in the new year
On a tide of mirth. But for lost little Willie
Not a tear we crave; Cold and hunger cau not wake him,
In his work-house grave!







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III