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Her form, so slender, was yielding
To its mountain of sorrow and care.
The biting storm that chilled his frame,
The fleecy snow that filled the air, They did not check his onward course, Nor drive his thoughts from that room so
bare. For well he knew that want was feeding
Upon her vital part; That strengthened hope and every nerve,
And that lone and anxious heart.
He'll brave the cold and driving storm,
And try what love will do
To share their grief and woe.
Unmindful of the street-lamps' light, Until he reached that vile abode
Where virtue sickens at the sight.
He grasped his father's nervous hand,
And saw his sunken, blood-shot eye,
Then begged him come, for mother's sake,
With bread ere she should die. He went with a slow and staggering tread
By the street-lamps' flickering light; As reeling, he opened a well-known door And said: “Will you trust me for bread
Again through the dimly lighted streets
That father went trudging home, As the night winds howled their dismal
sounds O'er stately trees and towering dome.
When they reached that dismal room,
Where no brilliant light was streaming, There that famished mother lay:
She was not dead, nor sweetly dreaming. But waiting, waiting, wearily waiting,
While the moments passed away, Shivering by the dying embers,
As on her couch of straw she lay.
As she gazed on the dying embers,
She loved each day to roam.
That with ivy was o'er grown,
With its pure white crested foam.
And the odor of the roses,
And the bed of violets rare,
Through all the summer air.
Since she vowed to love but one;
A generous, kind and loving son
But woe unto the maddening drink
That wildly racks the brain; 'Twill crush the mother's fondest hope,
And bind her with a chain!
That father reeled and clasped her hand,
Her face was deathly pale and fair, But on his brow was remorse and shame,
And in that vague unmeaning stare. Something had reached his callous heart,
And its hardened fountains stirred; He tried to speak, but on his tongue
Faltered and died each word.
Then burning tears, like drops of rain,
Rolled down that father's face, Where rum and the lowest haunts of vice
Had scathed and left their trace. Her vital part was hunger-bitten;
That father knew her end was near. Just as the midnight chime pealed forth,
That mother died with the old, old year!
Ghe Stolen Ghild,
H! take me to my home once more,
To friends and kindred, take me back; I long to leave these savage haunts,
You took me from my mother's arms,
Those arms would gladly clasp me now; I feel the kiss she gave me last,
The hand that pressed my childish brow.
Long have I been within your tribe,
And marched o'er Indian trails so long; I hate the bow and scalping-knife,
I hate the savage warrior's song!