The two April Mornings



We walk’d along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun,
And Matthew stopp’d, he look’d, and said,
“The will of God be done !”
A village Schoolmaster was he,5
With hair of glittering grey;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.
And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,10
We travell’d merrily to pass
A day among the hills.
“Our work,” said I, “ was well begun;
Then, from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,15
So sad a sigh has brought ?
A second time did Matthew stop,
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top
To me he made reply.20
Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.
And on that slope of springing corn25
The self-same crimson hue
Fell from the sky that April morn,
The same which now I view !
With rod and line my silent sport
I plied by Derwent’s wave,30
And, coming to the church, stopp’d short
Beside my Daughter’s grave.
Nine summers had she scarcely seen
The pride of all the vale;
And then she sang !—she would have been35
A very nightingale.
Six feet in earth my Emma lay,
And yet I lov’d her more,
For so it seem’d, than till that day
I e’er had lov’d before.40
And, turning from her grave, I met
Beside the church-yard Yew
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.
A basket on her head she bare,45
Her brow was smooth and white,
To see a Child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!
No fountain from its rocky cave
E’er tripp’d with foot so free,50
She seem’d as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.
There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine;
I look’d at her and look’d again;55
—And did not wish her mine.
Matthew is in his grave, yet now
Methinks I see him stand,
As at that moment, with his bough
Of wilding in his hand.60