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Littell's Living Age/Volume 145/Issue 1876/My Little Woman

A homely cottage, quaint and old,
Its thatch grown thick with green and gold,
     And wind-sown grasses;
Unchanged it stands in sun and rain,
And seldom through the quiet lane
     A footstep passes.

Yet here my little woman dwelt,
And saw the shroud of winter melt
     From meads and fallows;
And heard the yellow-hammer sing
A tiny welcome to the spring
     From budding sallows.

She saw the early morning sky
Blush with a tender wild-rose dye
     Above the larches;
And watched the crimson sunset burn
Behind the summer plumes of fern
     In woodland arches.

My little woman, gone away
To that far land which knows, they say,
     No more sun-setting!
I wonder if her gentle soul,
Securely resting at the goal,
     Has learnt forgetting?

My heart wakes up, and cries in vain;
She gave me love, I gave her pain
     While she was living;
I knew not when her spirit fled,
But those who stood beside her, said
     She died forgiving.

My dove has found a better rest,
And yet I love the empty nest
     She left neglected;
I tread the very path she trod,
And ask, — in her new home with God
     Am I expected?

If it were but the Father's will
To let me know she loves me still,
     This aching sorrow
Would turn to hope, and I could say,
Perchance she whispers day by day,
      "He comes to-morrow."

I linger in the silent lane,
And high above the clover plain
     The clouds are riven;
Across the fields she used to know
The light breaks, and the wind sighs low,
      "Loved and forgiven."