In The Firelight

Come and sit by my side, my daughter, for memory stirs to-night
(How the wind on the wold is sighing, though our hearth is warm and bright!),
And I feel sunk in a slumber, with the past for a vivid dream;
Less real than the lost and vanished, do the living and present seem.

In the gloaming I see the spire that keeps guard where your mother lies,
But the very ghost of her girlhood looks out in your wistful eyes
And your brother is just such a lad as I was in years gone past:
Life is a dream, they say, daughter. But the morning must come at last.

I am weary, you think, and wandering? I know I am frail and weak,
And old folks are like little children: they cry when when they cannot speak.
There's a new life beginning in both, with longings they cannot say;
But the mothers lull the babies, and death hushes the old away.

Are you weeping, my daughter? Nay, nay, what is there to make you weep?
An angel, see, on the other side, is sharing the watch you keep:
And she does not grieve, daughter Mary. And yet, let your tears have way,
For all save the bride and bridegroom are sad on the marriage-day.

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