1797.-----PROXIMITY OF THE BELOVED ONE.
O'er my destiny.
I. THE PARIAH S PRAYER.
In life I linger thereAnd when my heart is breaking nigh,"Forget-me-not!" is all I cry,
During many a beauteous yearI have seen ships 'neath me steer,As they seek the shelt'ring bay;
"Thus she spake, and wearily raised herself the pale patientUp from the straw and gazed upon me, while thus I made answer'Oft doth a heavenly spirit whisper to kind-hearted people,So that they feel the distress o'er their poorer brethren impending;For my mother, your troubles foreboding, gave me a bundleReady prepared for relieving the wants of those who were naked.'Then I loosen'd the knots of the cord, and the dressing-gown gave herWhich belong'd to my father, and gave her some shirts and some linen,And she thank'd me with joy and said:--'The fortunate know notHow 'tis that miracles happen; we only discover in sorrowGod's protecting finger and hand, extended to beckonGood men to good. May your kindness to us by Him be requited.'And I saw the poor patient joyfully handling the linen,Valuing most of all the soft flannel, the dressing-gown lining.Then the maid thus address'd her:--'Now let us haste to the villageWhere our friends are resting, to-night intending to sleep thereThere I will straightway attend to what e'er for the infant is needed.'Then she saluted me too, her thanks most heartily giving,Drove the oxen, the waggon went on. I lingerd behind them,Holding my horses rein'd back, divided between two opinions,Whether to hasten ahead, reach the village, the viands distribute'Mongst the rest of the people, or give them forthwith to the maiden,So that she might herself divide them amongst them with prudenceSoon I made up my mind, and follow'd after her softly,Overtook her without delay, and said to her quickly'Maiden, it was not linen alone that my mother providedAnd in the carriage placed, as clothing to give to the naked,But she added meat, and many an excellent drink too;And I have got quite a stock stow'd away in the boot of the carriage.Well, I have taken a fancy the rest of the gifts to depositIn your hands, and thus fulfil to the best my commission;You will divide them with prudence, whilst I my fate am obeying.'Then the maiden replied:--'With faithfulness I will distributeAll your gifts, and the needy shall surely rejoice at your bounty.'Thus she spake, and I hastily open'd the boot of the carriage,Took out the hams (full heavy they were) and took out the bread-stuffs,Flasks of wine and beer, and handed the whole of them over.Gladly would I have given her more, but empty the boot was.Straightway she pack'd them away at the feet of the patient, and forthwithStarted again, whilst I hasten'd back to the town with my horses."
And I gather all thy rays,And my look I sharpen too.Round her unveil'd limbs I see
Their banquets were laden.Then thought they: "The maid to the tomb is now borne;We too from our dwellings ere long must be torn,And he that is left our departure to mourn,