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And spied her not; for none of all his men
Dare tell him Dora waited with the child;
And Dora would have risen and gone to him,
But her heart fail?d her; and the reapers reap’d,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
But when the morrow came, she rose and took
The child once more, and sat upon the mound;
And made a little wreath of all the flowers
That grew about, and tied it round his hat
To make him pleasing in her uncle's eye.
Then when the farmer pass'd into the field
He spied her, and he left his men at work,
And came and said; “Where were you yesterday?
Whose child is that? What are you doing here?”
So Dora cast her eyes upon the ground,
And answer'd softly, “ This is William's child !”
“And did I not,” said Allan,“ did I not
Forbid you, Dora ?” Dora said again ;
“Do with me as you will, but take the child
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone!”
And Allan said, “I see it is a trick
Got up betwixt you and the woman there.
I must be taught my duty, and by you !
You knew my word was law, and yet you dared
To slight it. Well—for I will take the boy ;
But go you hence, and never see me more.”
So saying, he took the boy, that cried aloud And struggled hard. The wreath of flowers fell
At Dora's feet. She bow'd upon her hands,
And the boy's cry came to her from the field,
More and more distant. She bow'd down her head,
Remembering the day when first she came,
And all the things that had been. She bow'd down
And wept in secret ; and the reapers reap'd,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood
Upon the threshold Mary saw the boy
Was not with Dora. She broke out in praise
To God, that help'd her in her widowhood.
And Dora said, “My uncle took the boy ;
But, Mary, let me live and work with you :
He says that he will never see me more."
Then answer'd Mary, “ This shall never be,
That thou shouldst take my trouble on thyself :
And, now I think, he shall not have the boy,
For he will teach him hardness, and to slight
His mother; therefore thou and I will go.
And I will have my boy, and bring him home ;
And I will beg of him to take thee back :
But if he will not take thee back again,
Then thou and I will live within one house,
And work for William's child, until he grows
Of age to help us.”
So the women kiss'd
Each other, and set out, and reach'd the farm.
The door was off the latch : they peep'd, and saw
The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's knees,
Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm,
And clapt him on the hands and on the cheeks,
Like one that loved him : and the lad stretch'd out
And babbled for the golden seal, that hung
From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire.
Then they came in : but when the boy beheld
His mother, he cried out to come to her :
And Allan set him down, and Mary said :
“O Father !-if you let me call you so—
I never came a-begging for myself,
Or William, or this child; but now I come
For Dora : take her back; she loves you well.
O Sir, when William died, he died at peace
With all men ; for I ask'd him, and he said,
He could not ever rue his marrying me-
I had been a patient wife : but, Sir, he said
That he was wrong to cross his father thus :
‘God bless him !' he said, 'and may he never know
The troubles I have gone thro'!' Then he turn'd
His face and pass'd—unhappy that I am !
But now, Sir, let me have my boy, for you
Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight
His father's memory; and take Dora back,
And let all this be as it was before.”
So Mary said, and Dora hid her face
By Mary. There was silence in the room;
And all at once the old man burst in sobs :-
“I have been to blame-to blame. I have kill'd
I have kill'd him—but I loved him—my dear son.
May God forgive me !I have been to blame.
Kiss me, my children.”
Then they clung about
The old man's neck, and kiss'd him many times.
And all the man was broken with remorse ;
And all his love came back a hundredfold;
And for three hours he sobb'd o'er William's child,
Thinking of William.
So those four abode
Within one house together; and as years
Went forward, Mary took another inate;
But Dora lived unmarried till her death.
“THE Bull, the Fleece are cramm’d, and not a room For love or money. Let us picnic there At Audley Court.”
I spoke, while Audley feast
Humm'd like a hive all round the narrow quay,
To Francis, with a basket on his arm,
To Francis just alighted from the boat,
And breathing of the sea. “With all my heart,"
Said Francis. Then we shoulder'd thro' the swarm,
And rounded by the stillness of the beach
To where the bay runs up its latest horn.
We left the dying ebb that faintly lipp'd
The flat red granite; so by many a sweep
Of meadow smooth from aftermath we reach'l
The griffin-guarded gates, and pass’d thro' all
The pillar'd dusk of sounding sycamores,
And cross'd the garden to the gardener’s lodge,