Leafy beech in verdant hollow—mighty oak
with branches hoary,
Sycamores—all proudly wearing autumn garb of russet yellow,
These are fair, oh these are fair.
But when darling Hywel’s near me, what care I for woodland glory?
Fairer far than all the greenwood is my sweetheart’s face to cheer me,
Fairer far a thousand times, oh fairer far.
Sweet the song of thrushes filling all the air with
shake and quiver,
While the feathered songsters, vying each with each, their songs are
Sweet the sound, oh sweet the sound.
But to me my love’s caressing words and looks are sweeter ever,
Would this moment I were near him, and my lips to his were pressing,
Sweetheart mine, O sweetheart mine.
God in heaven be Thou his sentry. Guard him
from the tempests wintry,
Sheep and shepherd ever tending—such my prayer to heaven ascending,
O hear my cry and guard my love.
Loving Saviour, stay beside us; let Thy Holy Spirit guide us,
Keep our feet from rock and mire, till within Thy heavenly choir,
We shall rest with Thee above.
John Jones was born at Newcastle Emlyn in 1818, and apprenticed to a watchmaker at Crickhowel. He did a good deal of journalistic work and entered the Baptist ministry in 1853. After holding various charges in South Wales, he died Jan., 1873. His fame rests almost entirely on lyric, “The Pauper’s Grave,” which is one of the most popular in the language.
The Pauper’s Grave.
Lo! a grassy mound, where lowers
Branching wide a sombre yew,
Rises as to catch the showers,
Jewelled showers, of heaven-sent dew.
Many a one with foot unheeding,
Tramples down its verdure brave,
Hurrying onward, careless treading,—
It is but a pauper’s grave.
Workhouse hirelings from the Union
Bore him to his last, lone bed,
“Dust to dust,” that sad communion
Woke no grief, no tear was shed.
Worn by woes and life’s denials,
Only rest he now would crave:
Quiet haven from all trials
To the pauper is his grave.
E’en the rough-hewn stone is broken,
Where some rude, untutored hand
Carved two letters, as a token
Of their boyhood’s scattered band,
And when bright Palm Sunday neareth,
When the dead remembrance crave,
Friend nor brother garland beareth
For the pauper’s squalid grave.
Not for him the Muse which weepeth,
Carved in marble rich and rare;
Even now time’s ploughshare creepeth
Through the grass which groweth there.
O’er the place where he is sleeping
Soon will roll oblivion’s wave:
Still God’s angel will be keeping
Ward above the pauper’s grave.
Robert Williams was born May 25, 1830, and followed his father’s trade as a tailor. He published two small volumes in his lifetime, “Fy Noswyl” in 1861, and “Y Geninen” in 1869. The contents of these with large additions were published after his death—which took place August 5, 1877—under the title of “Gwaith Barddonol Trebor Mai” (Isaac Ffoulkes, Liverpool, 1883).