THE DRUNKARD'S WIFE.
HOW slowly glide the hours by, the minutes
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
The lark sung blithely as he left, quite early in
The noon-time came, and then the night, and still
he stays away;
Alas! I am too lonely now, for the children are
And I have nothing else to do, but watch, and
wait, and weep.
The moon is shining brightly, and her calm and
Would woo me if they could to seek the fairy land
And the stars look down with pity from their lofty
And tell me of the many things I have on earth
Ah! earth is very beautiful: its sunshine and its
Can truly heal the broken heart, and cheer its
But, ah! when night comes--lonely night, with all
its starry train,--
The new-healed wound, the broken heart, begins to
How endless seems this dreary night! and yet,
'tis only ten;
I ask aloud, "when will he come?" Echo repeats
161I fancy in each leaf that falls, 'tis his footsteps I hear;
But I will learn to school myself, nor deign to shed
Eleven, now! the night wears on, and still I am
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
Ah! oft, too oft, such lives of woe merge into lives
Poor woman's heart must bow before some image
Man's love must guide her footsteps, and her daily
Then can it be a sin to love the one who holds
'Tis twelve o'clock! How can I still this throbbing
of my brain?
I wonder how much life like this makes loving
Each passing sound--the gentle breeze falls on my
ear like fire,
And yet I dread to hear his voice--dread the
The ceaseless ticking of the clock, with hollow,
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;
163And now a down the distant road his horse I surely
Ah, yes! ah, yes! his maudlin tones fall on my
"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
How can I bear the heavy load-- for months,
perhaps for years;
Wear out my life of misery with sorrow, sin, and
How long! how long! how long! oh, Lord, will
last this life of strife?
And shall I always-- always be a drunkard's