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Littell's Living Age/Volume 132/Issue 1707/Will's Widow


It's hard enough for folks to work
For such a little pay;
To me it does not matter much,
Now Will is gone away.
The bird whose mate is flown afar
Cares little for her nest:
For glimpse of distant paradise
The barest bough serves best.

A cup of tea and crust of bread
Are quite enough for me:
To give me dainties would be waste
As Will's not here to see;
Or leastways, if he can look down
He knows too much to care,
Knows that it does not signify
What people eat or wear.

If I was living in the place
Where once I lived with Will,
All going on the same old way,
But just the house grown still,
I'm sure Will would seem further off,
So slowly time would go:
One needn't sit to watch for death,
That's sure to come, we know.

But now I seldom make a moan
About the sadder part;
I think the moving of the hands
Is wholesome for the heart
For as I stitch, I recollect
The happy times we had,
Our courting days, and wedding morn,
When every one was glad.

I have Will's bird to sing to me,
And, lest it pine for trees,
When Sunday evening's calm and fair
I take it for a breeze.
Will's lying not so far from this,
And that is where we go:
The little bird cheeps cheerily —
I fancy it may know.

Will's buried by the old grey church
That stands upon the moor,
And as I can't take Dick inside,
I listen at the door;
And every word the parson speaks,
I seem to hear Will say,
"That's something good for you, old girl" —
For that was poor Will's way.

And all the time as I walk home
I watch the sun go down;
It makes our grim old city look
Like New Jerusalem town.
And I have such sweet fancies come
I never had before;
When you've none else to talk with you,
I think God talks the more.

When first Will went, I longed to die,
But now I wait content;
As parson says, "When comforts go,
The Comforter is sent."
Yet, oh! how glad I'll meet with Will,
And tell him it came true
When he said, "Polly, dear old girl,
God will look after you."

Cassell's Family Magazine.
Isabella Fyvie Mayo.