The two April Mornings
Two APRIL MORNINGS.
We walked along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun;
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said,
“The will of God be done!”
A village Schoolmaster was he,5
With hair of glittering gray;
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 travelled 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 loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day
I e’er had loved 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 tripped with foot so free;50
She seemed as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.
“There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine;
I looked at her and looked 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