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And, close beside this aged Thorn,
Ah me! what lovely tints are there!
Of olive green and scarlet bright,
In spikes, in branches, and in stars,
Green, red, and pearly white.
This heap of earth o'ergrown with moss,
Which close beside the Thorn you see,
So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,
Is like an infant's grave in size,
As like as like can be:
But never, never any where,
An infant's grave was half so fair.
Now would you see this aged Thorn,
This Pond, and beauteous Hill of moss,
You must take care and choose your time
The mountain when to cross.
For oft there sits, between the Heap
That's like an infant's grave in size,
And that same Pond of which I spoke,
A Woman in a scarlet cloak,
And to herself she cries,
"Oh misery! oh misery!
Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
At all times of the day and night
*' Now wherefore, thus, by day and night, In rain, in tempest, and in snow, Thus to the dreary mountain-top Does this poor Woman go?And why sits she beside the Thorn When the blue daylight's in the sky, Or when the whirlwind's on the hill, Or frosty air is keen and still, And wherefore does she cry ?— Oh wherefore ? wherefore? tell me why Does she repeat that doleful cry?"
"I cannot tell; I wish I could;
"But wherefore to the mountain-top
I'll give you the best help I can:
And they had fix'd the wedding-day,
The morning that must wed them both;
But Stephen to another Maid
Had sworn another oath;
And with this other Maid to church
Unthinking Stephen went—
Poor Martha! on that woeful day
A pang of pitiless dismay
Into her soul was sent;
A Fire was kindled in her breast,
Which might not burn itself to rest.
They say, full six months after this,
While yet the summer leaves were green,
She to the mountain-top would go,
And there was often seen.
'Tis said, a child was in her womb,
As now to any eye was plain;
She was with child, and she was mad;
Yet often she was sober sad
From her exceeding pain.
Oh me! ten thousand times I'd rather
That he had died, that cruel father!