The Widow at Her Daughter's Bridal
DEAL gently, thou whose hand hath won
The young bird from its nest away,
Where, careless,'neath a vernal sun,
She gayly carolled day by day;
The haunt is lone, the heart must grieve,
From where her timid wing doth soar
They pensive lisp at hush of eve,
Yet hear her gushing song no more.
Deal gently with her; thou art dear,
Beyond what vestal lips have told,
And, like a lamb from fountains clear,
She turns, confiding, to thy fold.
She round thy sweet, domestic bower
The wreath of changeless love shall twine,
Watch for thy step at vesper hour,
And blend her holiest prayer with thine.
Deal gently, thou, when, far away,
'Mid stranger scenes her foot shall rove,
Nor let thy tender care decay;
The soul of woman lives in love.
And shouldst thou, wondering, mark a tear,
Unconscious, from her eyelids break,
Be pitiful, and soothe the fear
That man's strong heart may ne'er partake.
A mother yields her gem to thee,
On thy true breast to sparkle rare;
She places'neath thy household tree
The idol of her fondest care;
And, by thy trust to be forgiven
When judgment wakes in terror wild,
By all thy treasured hopes of heaven,
Deal gently with the widow's child.