“There’s ane o’ them sittin’
afore the fire!
Janet, gae na to see;
Ye left a chair afore the fire,
Whaur I tauld ye nae chair sud be.”
Janet she smiled in her mither’s face:
She had brunt the roddin reid:
And she left aneath the birken chair
The spale frae a coffin lid.
She rase and she gaed but the hoose,
Aye steekin’ door and door,
Three hours gaed by ere her mother heard
Her fit upo’ the flure.
But whan the grey cock crew she heard
The soun’ o’ shoeless feet,
Whan the red cock crew she heard the door
An’ a sough o’ wind an’ weet.
An’ Janet cam’ back wi’ a wan face,
But never a word said she;
No man ever heard her voice lood oot—
It cam’ like frae ower the sea.
And no man ever heard her lauch,
Nor yet say alas nor wae;
But a smile aye glimmert on her wan face
Like the moonlicht on the sea.
And ilka nicht ‘twixt the Sancts an’ Souls
Wide open she set the door;
And she mendit the fire, and she left ae chair
And that spale upo’ the flure.
And at midnicht she gaed but the hoose,
Aye steekin’ door and door.
Whan the red cock crew she cam’ ben the hoose,
Aye wanner than before.
Wanner her face and sweeter her smile,
Till the seventh All-Souls Eve
Her mither she heard the shoeless feet,
Says “She’s comin’, I believe.”
But she camna ben, an’ her mither lay;
For fear she cudna stan’,
But up she rase an’ ben she gaed
Whan the gowden cock hed crawn.
And Janet sat upo’ the chair,
White as the day did daw,
Her smile was as sunlight left on the sea
Whan the sun has gane awa.
HALLOWS’ E’EN: WINIFRED M. LETTS
The girls are laughing with the boys, and gaming by
They’re wishful, every one of them, to see her heart’s desire,
Twas Thesie cut the barnbrack and found the ring inside,
Before next Hallows’ E’en has dawned herself will be a bride.
But little Mollie stands alone outside the cabin door,
And breaks her heart for one the waves threw dead upon the shore.
Twas Katie’s nut lepped from the hearth, and
left poor Pat’s alone
But Ellen’s stayed by Christy Byrne’s upon the wide hearthstone.
An’ all the while the childher bobbed for apples set afloat,
The old men smoked their pipes and talked about the foundered boat,
But Mollie walked upon the cliff, and never feared the rain;
She called the name of one she loved and bid him come again.
Young Peter pulled the cabbage-stump to win a wealthy
Rosanna threw the apple-peel to know who’d share her life;
And Lizzie had a looking-glass she’d hid in some dark place
To try if there, foreninst her own, she’d see her comrade’s face.
But Mollie walked along the quay where Terry’s feet had trod,
And sobbed her grief out in the night, with no one near but God.