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    I WAS A STRANGER AND YE TOOK SEE IN.'   Table of Contents     THE FATHER'S LOVE.

Tucker, Mary E.
Poems

- THE DRUNKARD'S WIFE.


THE DRUNKARD'S WIFE.


HOW slowly glide the hours by, the minutes
hours seem;
Ah! can such misery be real, or is it but a dream?
'Tis passing strange that such as this should be
my lot in life--
The curse I've always dreaded most--to be an
unloved wife.

The lark sung blithely as he left, quite early in
the day;
The noon-time came, and then the night, and still
he stays away;
Alas! I am too lonely now, for the children are
asleep,
And I have nothing else to do, but watch, and
wait, and weep.
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160

The moon is shining brightly, and her calm and
chilly beams
Would woo me if they could to seek the fairy land
of dreams;
And the stars look down with pity from their lofty
thrones above,
And tell me of the many things I have on earth
to love.

Ah! earth is very beautiful: its sunshine and its
flowers
Can truly heal the broken heart, and cheer its
lonely hours;
But, ah! when night comes--lonely night, with all
its starry train,--
The new-healed wound, the broken heart, begins to
bleed again.

How endless seems this dreary night! and yet,
'tis only ten;
I ask aloud, "when will he come?" Echo repeats
the "when?"
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I fancy in each leaf that falls, 'tis his footsteps I hear;
But I will learn to school myself, nor deign to shed
a tear.

Eleven, now! the night wears on, and still I am
alone,--
How favored are the mortals who are blessed with
hearts of stone!
My Father, on thy daughters look with pitying
eye, I pray;
Ere such a lot in life be theirs, take them from
life away.

Ah! oft, too oft, such lives of woe merge into lives
of sin;
Poor woman's heart must bow before some image
loved within;
Man's love must guide her footsteps, and her daily
pathway cheer--
Then can it be a sin to love the one who holds
her dear?
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'Tis twelve o'clock! How can I still this throbbing
of my brain?
I wonder how much life like this makes loving
wives insane!
Each passing sound--the gentle breeze falls on my
ear like fire,
And yet I dread to hear his voice--dread the
drunkard's ire!

The ceaseless ticking of the clock, with hollow,
vocal sound,
Smites on my heart with boding voice, that leaves
a bleeding wound:
And now, 'tis on the stroke of one! Will this
night never end?
The watch-dog's bark, the mock-bird's note, and
cock's shrill clarion blend.

Another hour rolls slowly on, and in the distant west
The pale moon hides her pearly beams, by sinking
down to rest;
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And now a down the distant road his horse I surely
hear--
Ah, yes! ah, yes! his maudlin tones fall on my
listening ear.

"Down, Flora, down! here, Pup, come here!
Why, puppies, are you glad
To see your master home again? I believe the
dogs are mad!"
And now he comes with tottering steps, and fury
in his eye--
Ah! if I could, right gladly would I lay me down
and die.

How can I bear the heavy load-- for months,
perhaps for years;
Wear out my life of misery with sorrow, sin, and
tears?
How long! how long! how long! oh, Lord, will
last this life of strife?
And shall I always-- always be a drunkard's
wretched wife?
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    I WAS A STRANGER AND YE TOOK SEE IN.'   Table of Contents     THE FATHER'S LOVE.