By Alice Guerin Crist (1927)
Last night, when I was listenin’
Alone, to wind and rain,
He took the chair beside me,
Himself - come home again.
His kind blue eyes were smilin’
Beneath his thatch of grey,
He laid his hand on my hand,
The ould sweetheartin’ way.
I pressed my cheek upon it,
The times he faced his daily toil
Without one smile from me.
And yet, his meals were always good,
His clothes well kept and clean,
The neighbours, sure, will tell you,
The splendid wife I’ve been.
But in Life’s stress and struggle,
We somehow, grew apart,
You know these Irish mothers,
'Tis “the childer” has their heart.
And he grew grim, and close-lipped,
And harder, day by day,
Poor man - too tired for laughter,
Too worried to be gay.
But - how his care enclosed us,
For all he was so grim,
The very rafters of our home
Were cut and laid by him.
And I, that might have cheered him,
The bitter words I said,
Oh! God, that we remember,
Only when they are dead.
But now - my arms were round him,
The room seemed full of flowers,
And Youth came back and sunshine,
That glorious time was ours.
The firelight flamed and flickered,
The embers fell apart,
I woke to empty silence,
With sorrow at my heart.
In the graveyard on the hill!