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 just above yon slope of corn25
“Such colours, and no other
“Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the very brother.
“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 sung;—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