The Little Ghost

The stars began to peep
— Gone was the bitter day.
She heard the milky ewes
— Bleat to their lambs astray.
Her heart cried for her lamb
— Lapped cold in the churchyard sod,
She could not think on the happy children
— At play with the Lamb of God.

She heard the calling ewes
— And the lambs' answer, alas!
She heard her heart's blood drip in the night
— As the ewes' milk on the grass.
Her tears that burnt like fire
— So bitter and slow ran down
She could not think on the new-washed children
— Playing by Mary's gown.

Oh who is this comes in
— Over her threshold stone?
And why is the old dog wild with joy
— Who all day long made moan?
This fair little radiant ghost,
— Her one little son of seven,
New 'scaped from the band of merry children
— In the nurseries of Heaven.

He was all clad in white
— Without a speck or stain;
His curls had a ring of light
— That rose and fell again.
" Now come with me, my own mother,
— And you shall have great ease,
For you shall see the lost children
— Gathered to Mary's knees. "

Oh, lightly sprang she up
— Nor waked her sleeping man,
And hand in hand with the little ghost
— Through the dark night she ran.
She is gone swift as a fawn,
— As a bird homes to its nest,
She has seen them lie, the sleepy children
— Twixt Mary's arm and breast.

At morning she came back;
— Her eyes were strange to see.
She will not fear the long journey,
— However long it be.
As she goes in and out
— She sings unto hersel';
For she has seen the mothers' children
— And knows that it is well.
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