[From Mona's Isle, 1844]


My Mary, sit thee down by me,
And I will sing a song of love
Beneath the hawthorn’s shady tree,
In this sequester’d, silent grove;
Remote from worldly cares and strife
I ‘ll sit me down and tune my lay
To thee, my ever-soothing wife,
As ‘mongst the grass our children play:

And as they pluck the cowslip sweet,
Or chase the butterfly or bee,
I will my melodies repeat,
My Mary, dear,—in praise of thee!
And all my tuneful powers devote
To please thee, love, though I should fail
In making each vibrating note
Flow sweetly on the evening gale.

Were I the monarch of this earth,
Possessing all within its round,
Or of a high and noble birth,
Or for glorious deeds renown’d,—
My Mary still my queen should be,
My lady, or my heroine,
For who could I exchange for thee,
My sweet, my lovely nymph divine!

And though our portion be but small
Of what the worldly folk call wealth,
That little sum is more than all
To us, with happiness and health;
We envy not the rich and great,
Moving within their gorgeous sphere,
But blest within our humble state
We taste those joys to us so dear!

The riches which mankind deceive
Destroy the dictates of the mind,
Oft causing many to believe
That gold can make them more refined;
But ours is far the happier lot,
No riches have we to destroy
The humble blessings of our cot,
Which we, content, in peace enjoy.

To me, my Mary, worldly life
Would be a burden fraught with care,
Were not those blessings round me rife,
And thee—who ‘rt ready aye to share
My sorrow or my happiness,
Alternately as Providence
Still in His wisdom lays the stress
On each frail human circumstance.


Thou in life’s darkness s’hinest as bright, -—
E’en as the brilliant evening star
Sheds lustre o’er the shades of night,
When solar rays are drawn afar,—
Dispelling all that might give pain
Unto this anxious breast of mine,
By that sweet smile which first did gain
And join’d this heart, my love, to thine !—
Or,—like a solitary rose
Within the desert’s barren ground,
That ‘mongst the thorns and briars grows,
Thou cheer’st the gloom that hangs around
The bitter moments of this life,
When cares or woe possess the mind ;—
Ah, who would be without a wife
Were all the sex, like thee, so kind?

Our tender offspring, as they play,
Remind us of what we have been,
Ëre care began to take its sway
In marring life’s most pleasing scene!
Then let us not destroy their mirth,
While innocently they employ
Their happiest moments here on earth,
But rather join them in their joyi
We’ll think ourselves in youth again
By mingling in their childish play,
While I shall choose a lively strain,
And my best vocal powers essay
To help my simple rural lyre,
As on the happy moments glide,—
Our young-ones round us to inspire
Our hearts with pure parental pride.

But ah, too soon, alas ! they ‘ll know
That their young joy is but a glance
That briefly shines—ere yet their woe
Shall shade the scene as years advance;
But, love, we’ll ne’er forget that still
To bring them up to us is given,
And we must each our part fulfil
In training their young minds for heaven!


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000