“The Watcher” by SARAH JOSEPHA HALE (1788 – 1879)

The Watcher


The night was dark and fearful,
The blast swept wailing by;
A Watcher, pale and tearful,
Look’d forth with anxious eye;
How wistfully she gazes–
No gleam of morn is there!
And then her heart upraises
Its agony of prayer!

Within that dwelling lonely,
Where want and darkness reign,
Her precious child, her only,
Lay moaning in his pain;
And death alone can free him–
She feels that this must be:
“But oh! for morn to see him
Smile once again for me!”

A hundred lights are glancing
In yonder mansion fair,
And merry feet are dancing–
They heed not morning there.
Oh! young and lovely creatures,
One lamp, from out your store,
Would give that poor boy’s features
To her fond gaze once more.

The morning sun is shining–
She heedeth not its ray;
Beside her dead, reclining,
That pale, dead mother lay!
A smile her lip was wreathing,
A smile of hope and love,
As though she still were breathing–
“There’s light for us above!”

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