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Below, upon the prosperous plain, From that high church the gazer sees A village small, with fields of grain, And pastures bright, and shading trees. 5.
To him who owned the church-side farm,
The churchyard yielded gain as well; The Sexton he, whose strenuous arm Dug all the graves, and tolled the bell. 6.
Sad seemed the dull gray-headed man, Of sluggish thought, and careful heed; He shaped his life by rule and plan, And hoarded all beyond his need.
VOL. XLIV. NO. CCLXXIII.
One daughter, little Jane, had he,
For she within his heart had crept, Himself he could not tell you why, But often he has almost wept Because he heard her cry.
All else to him appeared as dead, Awaiting but the shroud and pall; It seemed that to himself he said, "I soon shall dig the graves of all." 10.
And beast, and man, and home, and wife,
He saw with cold, accustomed eye;
And when she still could hardly walk By holding fast his wrinkled finger, So well he loved her prattling talk, He often from his work would linger. 12.
Around her waist in sport he tied The coffin-ropes for leading-strings, And on his spade she learnt to ride, And handled all his churchyard things.
Henceforth on many a summer day, While hollowing deep the sunlit grave,