Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grandmother recalls our dear cousin Kate

How often, in the cool of the morning,
when serene gold was upon the world,
I saw you out on the wild heathlands
which seemed for you alone unfurled.

With bright and youthful eyes you gazed
across that endless range of fells -
endless, at least, they had seemed to you -
and bethought to yourself so many tales.

But no words you wrote while on the moors,
too rapt, no doubt, to wield the pen -
but returning into the house at noon,
your furious writing would then begin.

All through dinnertime, hardly partaking
of the fine victuals cook had prepared,
you filled the pages over with words,
but with none of us would these be shared.

And closing the papers, you then would smile
and full brighten up as if all the skies
inside your mind were swept of clouds
by warm and fragrant springtime sighs.

Oh! what delightful talks we had
once your tongue was then set free;
your brown eyes sparkled with lovely fire,
your laughter brought such joy to me.

But alas! your liveliness would not live long;
it was a decade ago this past September
when consumption robbed poor Rushton Manse,
and took away its fairest member.

You were nearly fifteen, my dear sweet Kate -
you'd have been twenty-five this coming year -
and yet, on some mornings, through yonder window,
upon the moors I see your form appear.

I know ‘tis but a trick of shadow and sun,
and the habits of these weary eyes,
still used to seeing you wandering there,
under the bright and boundless skies.

But we have the memories, and portraits made,
and especially the stories you wrote down then,
so filled with joy, which we often read
and, in reading, see your smiling face again.

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