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O hear me, hear me, Lord in Heaven,
O curse this woman, at whose house
By night and day, in bed and bower,
So having pray'd, steady and slow,
I saw poor Ellen kneeling still,
And when the prayers were done, we all
A trouble in her eye.
But ere she from the church-door stepp'd She smil❜d and told us why:
"It was a wicked woman's curse"
Quoth she," and what care I?”
She smil'd, and smil'd, and pass'd it off
But all agree it would have been
And if her heart was not at ease,
There was a hurry in her looks,
These tears will come-I dandled her
She told it not to Mary.
But Mary heard the tale: her arms
"O Ellen, Ellen, she curs'd me,
I saw young Edward by himself
Stalk fast adown the lee,
He snatcht a stick from every fence,
A twig from every tree.
He snapt 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 ?
He heard it there, he heard it all,
Now Ellen was a darling love
And in the moment of his prayers
Yea, both sweet names with one sweet joy
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,
Dear Ellen did not weep at all,
But closelier did she cling,
And turn'd her face and look'd as if
To 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 :
Oh! 'tis 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!
"Aye, Sexton! 'tis a touching tale."
"You, Sir! are but a lad;
This month I'm in
my seventieth year,
And still it makes me sad.
And Mary's sister told it me,
For three good hours and more; Tho' I had heard it, in the main, From Edward's self, before.
Well! it pass'd off! the gentle Ellen
And she went oftener than before,
And Mary lov'd her more and more:
To market she on market-days,
All seem'd the same: all seem'd so, Sir !