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We walked along, while bright and red ·
Uprose the morning sun;
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said,
6. The will of God be done !”
A village Schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering gray;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.
And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.
“ Our work,” said I, “ was well begun;
Then, from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought ?"
A second time did Matthew stop;
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top,
To me he made reply:
“ Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.
“ And just above yon slope of corn
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the very brother.
“ With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, coming to the church, stopped short
Beside my daughter's grave.
“ Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale';
And then she sang;
she would have been A very nightingale.
“ Six feet in earth my Emma lay;
And yet I loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day
I e'er had loved before.
“ And, turning from her grave, I met,
Beside the churchyard Yew,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.
66 A basket on her head she bare ;
Her brow was smooth and white :
To see a Child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!
66 No fountain from its rocky cave
E'er tripped with foot so free;
She seemed as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.
« There came from me a sigh of pain Which I could ill confine ; I looked at her, and looked again :
And did not wish her mine."
Matthew is in his grave, yet now,
Methinks, I see him stand,
As at that moment, with a bough
Of wilding in his hand.
We talked with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true,
A pair of Friends, though I was young,
And Matthew seventy-two.
We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat ;
And from the turf a fountain broke,
And gurgled at our feet.
“ Now, Matthew !” said I, “ let us match
This water's pleasant tune
With some old Border-song, or Catch,
That suits a summer's noon;
Or of the Church-clock and the chimes
Sing here beneath the shade,
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
Which you last April made !"