The prospect fills me with dismay.
Therefore in time, dear sir, reflect, I pray.
[They pass on.]
Ay, out of sight is out of mind!
Politeness easy is to you;
Friends everywhere, and not a few,
Wiser than I am, you will find.
O dearest, trust me, what doth pass for sense
Full oft is self-conceit and blindness!
Simplicity and holy innocence—
When will ye learn your hallow’d worth to know!
Ah, when will meekness and humility,
Kind and all-bounteous nature’s loftiest dower—
Only one little moment think of me!
To think of you I shall have many an hour.
You are perhaps much alone?
Yes, small our household is, I own,
Yet must I see to it. No maid we keep,
And I must cook, sew, knit, and sweep,
Still early on my feet and late;
My mother is in all things, great and small,
Not that for thrift there is such pressing need,
Than others we might make more show indeed;
My father left behind a small estate,
A house and garden near the city-wall.
But fairly quiet now my days, I own;
As soldier is my brother gone;
My little sister’s dead; the babe to rear
Occasion’d me some care and fond annoy;
But I would go through all again with joy,
The darling was to me so dear.
An angel, sweet, if it resembled thee!
I reared it up, and it grew fond of me.
After my father’s death it saw the day;
We gave my mother up for lost, she lay
In such a wretched plight, and then at length
So very slowly she regain’d her strength.
Weak as she was, ’twas vain for her to try
Herself to suckle the poor babe, so I
Reared it on milk and water all alone;
And thus the child became as ’twere my own;
Within my arms it stretched itself and grew,
And smiling, nestled in my bosom too.
Doubtless the purest happiness was thine.