Ruth and Naomi

" Turn my daughters, full of wo,

Is my heart so sad and lone?

Leave me children — I would go

To my loved and distant home.

" From my bosom death has torn

Husband, children, all my stay,

Left me not a single one,

For my life's declining day

" Want and wo surround my way,

Grief and famine where I tread;

In my native land they say

God is giving Jacob bread. "

Naomi ceased, her daughters wept,

Their yearning hearts were filled;

Falling upon her withered neck,

Their grief in tears distill'd.

Like rain upon a blighted tree,

The tears of Orpah fell

Kissing the pale and quivering lip,

She breathed her sad farewell.

But Ruth stood up, on her brow

There lay a heavenly calm;

And from her lips came, soft and low

Words like a holy charm.

" I will not leave thee, on thy brow

Are lines of sorrow, age and care;

They form is bent, thy step is slow,

They bosom stricken, lone and sear.

" Oh! when thy heart and home were glad,

I freely shared thy joyous lot;

And now that heart is lone and sad,

Cease to entreat — I'll leave thee not.

" Oh! if a lofty palace proud

Thy future home shall be;

Where sycophants around thee crowd,

I'll share that home with thee.

" And if on earth the humblest spot,

Thy future home shall prove;

I'll bring into thy lonely lot

The wealth of woman's love.

" Go where thou wilt, my steps are there,

Our path in life is one;

Thou hast no lot I will not share,

'Till life itself be done.

" My country and my home for thee,

I freely, willingly resign,

Thy people shall my people be,

Thy God he shall be mine.

" Then, mother dear, entreat me not

To turn from following thee;

My heart is nerved to share thy lot,

Whatever that may be. "

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