Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/146

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Literary Gazette 6th December 1823, Page 778-779

And he grew tired of wandering; back he came
To his own village, as a place of rest.
'Twas a drear autumn morning, and the trees
Were bare, or covered but with yellow leaves;
The fields lay fallow, and a drizzling rain
Fell gloomily: it seemed as all was changed,
Even as he himself was changed; the bell
Of the old church was tolling dolefully
The farewell of the living to the dead.
The grave was scant, the holy words were said
Hurriedly, coldly: but for a poor child,
That begged the pit to give him back his mother,
There had not been one single tear. The Boy
Kept on his wail; but all his prayers were made
To the dark tomb, as conscious those around
Would chide if he asked them; and when they threw
The last earth on the coffin, down he laid
His little head, and sobbed most bitterly.
And Edward took him in his arms, and kissed
His wet pale cheeks; while the child clung to him,
Not with the shyness of one petted, loved,
And careless of a stranger's fond caress,
But like one knowing well what kindness was,
But knew not where to seek it, as he pined
Beneath neglect, and harshness, fear and want.
'Twas strange, this mingling of their destinies:
That boy was Marion's—it was Marion's grave!
She had died young, and poor, and broken-hearted.
Her husband had deserted her; one child
Was buried with its mother, one was left
An orphan unto chance; but Edward took
The boy unto him even as his own.
He buried the remembrance of his wrongs,
Only recalling that he once had loved,
And that his Love was dead.L. E. L.