Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 10/The moon's wanderings

THE MOON’S WANDERINGS

(FROM THE GERMAN.)


I.

"The keeper is gone to the feast to-night,"
Is the whispering poacher's call;
His wife and his child are sleeping: bright
Shines the moon on the chamber wall.

II.

As she shone on the palely glimm’ring bed,
The child grasp'd his mother's warm hand,—
"O mother! why tarries father so long?
I fear, for 'tis lone o'er the land."

III.

"Oh! look not into the moonlight, my child,
Oh! close fast those little tired eyes;
The moon is bright, but the night it is long,
Sleep on till to-morrow's sun rise."

IV.

Then the moon shone bright on the father's gun:
"Ah! did you not hear that strange shot?
I fear me, and tremble, and cannot rest,
For my father's gun it was not."

V.

"Child!" cried the mother, "it is but a dream,
Look not in the moonlight again;
When father returns with the morning's beam,
You'll know that your dreams are all vain."

VI.

Then the moon shone clear on the father's head,
As his picture hung in the light;
His child started up, with a sudden cry,
"Mother! why is his face so white?"

VII.

And ere the mother awoke from her sleep,
Or ere she had left her lone bed,
And while she was wond’ring why he had stay’d,
They had brought him home to her dead.

Margaret Swayne.