University of Virginia Library



She will come tho' she loiter, believe,
Her pledge it assigns not the day;
Why brood by the embers night after night,
Sighing over their dying away—
Well, let her delay;
She is everywhere longed for as here;
A favorite, freakish and young:
Her can we gladden, then us she can cheer?
Let us think no wrong.


But watch and wait:
Wait by the pasture-bars
Or watch by the garden-gate;
For, after coming, tho' wide she stray,
First ever she shows on the slender way—
Slim sheep-track threads the hill-side brown,
Or foot-path leads to the garden down.



While snow lingered under the fir,
Loth to melt from embrace of the earth,
And ashy red embers of logs
In moonlight dozed on the hearth;
And in cage by the window sun-warmed
Our bird was enheartened to song;
It was then that, as yearly before,
By the self-same foot-path along,
She drew to the weather-beat door
That was sunned thro' the skeleton-tree:
Nothing she said, but seemed to say—
“Old folks, aren't ye glad to see me!”
And tears brimmed our eyes—bless the day!
Then she turned; revisited in sort—
She was here—she was there,
Peeping eager everywhere,
Like one who revisits scenes never forgot.