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The New Zealand Evangelist

Poetry — The Wife to Her Husband


The Wife to Her Husband

You took me, William, when a girl, unto your home and heart,
To bear in all your after-fate a fond and faithful part
And tell me have I ever tried that duty to forego.
Or pined there was not joy for me, when you were sunk in woe?
No, I would rather share your tear than any other's glee—
For though you're nothing to the world, you're all the world to me.
You make a palace of my shed, this rough hewn bench a throne;
There's sunlight for me in your smiles, and music in your tone.
I look upon you when you sleep—my eyes with tears grow dim,
I cry, O Parent of the poor! look down from heaven on him;
Behold him toil from day to day, exhausting strength, and soul;
Oh! look with mercy on him, Lord for thou can'st make him whole;
And when at last relieving sleep has on my eyelids smiled,
How oft are they forbade to close in slumbers by our child?
I take the little murmurer that spoils my span of rest,
And feel it is a part of thee I lull upon my breast.
There's only one return I crave, I may not need it long,
And it may soothe thee when I'm where the wretched feel no wrong.
I ask not for & kinder tone, for thou wert ever kind;
I ask not for less frugal fare, my fare I do not mind;
I ask not for attire more gay, if such as I have got
Suffice to make me fair to thee, for more I murmur not.
But, I would ask some share of hours which you on clubs bestow;
Of knowledge which you prize so much, might I not something know?
Subtract from meetings amongst men, each eve, an hour for me,
Make me companion of your soul, as I may safely be;
If you will read, I'll sit and work; then think when you're away;
Less tedious I shall find the time, dear William, of your stay,
A meet companion soon I'll be, e'en of your studious hours,
And teacher of those little ones you call our cottage flowers;
And if we be not rich and great, we may be wise and good.