[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]


WE came from church, she from the Down was coming;
She with a branch of may,
We laden with persistence of the humming
Wherein men think they pray;
She winning to her faded face a beauty
From the kissed buds, we having heard " the duty
Performed," with needful prayer-book thumbing;
We proper, she so gay.

Yet, as we met, her little joy was dashed
By our spruce decency;
She hung her head as who must be abashed
In her poor liberty;
Forgetting how in that damp city cellar
The sick child pines, whom none but God did tell her
To bring bright flowers Himself has splashed
With dew for such as she.

Or was it but the natural rebound
To what thou truly art,
O worn with life ! whose soul-depths He would sound,
And prick upon His chart?
Is this thy " service " ? Stay ! for very grace!
One moment stay, and lift the faded face!
O woman ! woman ! thou hast found
The way into my heart.


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