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One daughter, little Jane, had he,
The silent Sexton's only child;
And when she laughed aloud and free,
The gray old Sexton smiled.



Beside the church upon the hill
A cottage stood of aspect gray,
Whose owner's task it was to till
The three fair fields that round him

2. An orchard small, a garden-plot, By closest hedge-rows fenced around, With leafy tufts adorned the spot, And marked the churchyard's ancient bound.

3. The church and tall church-spire at

band, Around the cottage shed repose, And gravely watch the teeming land, Where slow a stream through mea

dows flows.

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.

9. 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; Jane only looked so full of life As if that she could never die.

11. 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.

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.



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.


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.

13. Henceforth on many a summer day, While hollowing deep the sunlit grave,

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