A TALE FOUNDED ON FACT
Literary Gazette, 5th July 1823, Page 427-428
There sits a pallid Boy, with thin white lips,
And, spectre-like, his hand is on a Dog
As meagre as himself, the only thing
That he will let to share his solitude.
This was not always so;—when the last Spring
Gave her first kiss to Summer, there were none
More happy than his Father and that Boy,—
He had a Father then! and there was not
A neater cottage, or a garden where
Were fruit or flowers more plenty, in the vale.
They were not poor;—can that be poverty
Where each day brings its own? there is no food
Like that ourselves have gained, no sleep like that
Which is the rest of labour. It was worth
A day of toil to sit, as they would sit,
Through the long winter evenings, by a fire
Less bright than the glad face of the fair Child
Who sat beside his Father, listening
With eager eyes to the strange tales which he,
A sailor in his youth, could tell; or else,
In gentler tones, heard how his Mother died
The very day that first he lisped her name.
And yet more pleasant on a summer eve
To sit in the cool shade of their own door,
While Edward, quite forgetful of how tired
He had been in the morning, would start up
And join and win his young companions' race,
His Father watching, proud of each fleet step.
They never seemed apart, for Edward was
His own dear parent's shadow—labour was
A pleasure by his side; and oftentimes
He would leave all his sports, and fondly steal
To his most happy Father, whose whole life
Was centered but in his. There is no tie
Like that last holiest link of love, which binds
The lonely child to its more lonely parent.