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Had Ellen lost her mirth? Oh! no!.
And Edward look'd as if he thought
When by herself, she to herself
Must sing some merry rhime;
She could not now be glad for hours,
Yet silent all the time.
And when she sooth'd her friend, thro' all
Her soothing words 'twas plain
She had a sore grief of her own,
And oft she said, I'm not grown thin!
And gaz'd 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
She felt them coming, but no power
So gentle Ellen now no more
Could make this sad house cheary;
And Mary's melancholy ways
Drove Edward wild and weary.
Lingering he rais'd his latch at eve,
One evening he took up a book,
And nothing in it read;
Then flung it down, and groaning cried,
Oh! 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
And he burst into tears, and fell
'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 shou'd)
No path leads thither, 'tis not nigh
To any pasture-plot;
But cluster'd near the chattering brook,
Those hollies of themselves a shape
A close, round arbor; and it stands
Not three strides from a brook.
Within this arbor, which was still
With scarlet berries hung,
Were these three friends, one Sunday morn,
Just as the first bell rung.
'Tis sweet to hear a brook, 'tis sweet
To hear the Sabbath-bell,
"Tis sweet to hear them both at once,
Deep in a woody dell.
His limbs along the moss, his head
With shut-up senses, Edward lay:
That brook e'en on a working day
Might chatter one to sleep.
And he had pass'd a restless night,
The women sat down by his side,
And talk'd as 'twere by stealth.
"The Sun peeps thro' the close thick leaves, 66 See, dearest Ellen! see!
" "Tis in the leaves, a little Sun,
"No bigger than your ee;
"A tiny Sun, and it has got
"A perfect glory too:
"Ten thousand threads and hairs of light,
Make up a glory, gay and bright,
"Round that small orb, so blue."
And then they argued of those rays,
What colour they might be:
Says this, "they're mostly green; "says that,
66 They're amber-like to me."
So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts,
But soon they heard his hard quick pants,