|The cuckoo’s note was strange to them,
They’d never heard a wild bird sing,
Nor seen the yellow cowslips grow
About the meadows, in the spring.
Nor had they run with rosy boys,
At early morning to the school,
Nor spent the pleasant holidays
In catching minnows in the pool.
Ah, no! and yet they were not left
With nought but death and darkness there,
A minister of love was sent,
In answer to their mother’s prayer.
But little thought those orphan boys,
When to their wretched bed they crept,
That all the night, and Angel bright,
Would watch beside them, as they slept.
|When dimly dawned the light, they rose,
And Chris looked round with chattering teeth;
The sheet was spread from foot to head,
He knew his mother lay beneath.
“Let’s go out to the pump and wash,
As she would always have us do;
We’d better mind about her words,
I think,” said John; “Chris, what say you!”
“Let’s go,” said Chris, “beside, you know,
We’ve got our breakfast now to find.”
They went out in the narrow street,
The shining Angel went behind.
A woman at a chandler’s shop,
Who knew the children of the dead,
Was touched with pity, as they passed,
And gave them each a slice of bread.