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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 som
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 my son.
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 mate ; 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 through 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'd
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,
With all its casements bedded, and its walls
And chimneys muffled in the leafy vine.
There, on a slope of orchard, Francis laid
A damask napkin wrought with horse and hound,
Brought out a dusky loaf that smelt of home,
And, half-cut-down, a pasty costly-made,
Where quail and pigeon, lark and leveret, lay,
Like fossils of the rock, with golden yolks
Imbedded and injellied ; last, with these,
A flask of cider from his father's vats,
Prime, which I knew ; and so we sat and eat
And talk’d old matters over : who was dead,
Who married, who was like to be, and how
The races went, and who would rent the hall :
Then touch'd upon the game, how scarce it was
This season ; glancing thence, discuss’d the farm,
The fourfield system, and the price of grain ;
And struck upon the corn-laws, where we split,