Mary Eliza Tucker Lambert


How slowly glide the hours by, the minutes hours seem;
Ah! can such misery be real, or is it but a dream?
'Tis passing strange that such as this should be my lot in life-
The curse I've always dreaded most,-to be an unloved wife.
The lark sung blithely as he left, quite early in the day;
The noon-time came, and then the night, and still he stays away;
Alas! I am too lonely now, for the children are asleep,
And I have nothing else to do, but watch, and wait, and weep.
The moon is shining brightly, and her calm and chilly beams
Would woo me if they could to seek the fairy land of dreams;
And the stars look down with pity from their lofty thrones above,
And tell me of the many things I have on earth to love.
Ah! earth is very beautiful: its sunshine and its flowers
Can truly heal the broken heart, and cheer its lonely hours;
But, ah! when night comes-lonely night, with all its starry train,-
The new-healed wound, the broken heart, begins to bleed again.
How endless seems this dreary night! and yet, 'tis only ten;
I ask aloud, "when will he come?" Echo repeats the "when?"
I fancy in each leaf that falls, 'tis his footsteps I hear;
But I will learn to school myself, nor deign to shed a tear.
Eleven, now! the night wears on, and still I am alone,-
How favored are the mortals who are blessed with hearts of stone!
My Father, on thy daughters look with pitying eye, I pray;
Ere such a lot in life be theirs, take them from life away.
Ah! oft, too oft, such lives of woe merge into lives of sin;
Poor woman's heart must bow before some image loved within;
Man's lvoe must guide her footsteps, and her daily pathway cheer-
Then can it be a sin to love the one who holds her dear?
'Tis twelve o'clock! How can I still this throbbing of my brain?
I wonder how much life like this makes loving wives insane!
Each passing sound-the gentle breeze falls on my ear like fire,
And yet I dread to hear his voice-I dread the drunkard's ire!
The ceaseless ticking of the clock, with hollow, vocal sound,
Smites on my heart with boding voice, that leaves a bleeding wound:
And now, 'tis on the stroke of one! Will this night never end?
The watch-dog's bark, the mock-bird's note, and cock's shrill clarion blend.
Another hour rolls slowly on, and in the distant west
The pale moon hides her pearly beams, by sinking down to rest;
And now adown the distant road his horse I surely hear-
Ah, yes! ah yes! his maudlin tones fall on my listening ear.
"Down, Flora, down! here, Pup, come here! Why, puppies, are you glad
To see your master home again? I believe the dogs are mad!"
And now he comes with ottering steps, and fury in his eye-
Ah! if I could, right gladly would I lay me down and die.
How can I bear this heavy load-for months, perhaps for years;
Wear out my life of misery with sorrow, sin, and tears?
How long! how long! how long! oh, Lord, will last this life of strife?
And shall I always-always be a drunkard's wretched wife?