Once I was a child,
Full of frolic wild;
All the stars for glancing,
- the earth for dancing; Oimè! Oimè!
When I ran about,
All the flowers came out,
Here and there like stray things, Just to be my playthings. Oimè! Oimè!
Mother's eyes were deep, Oimè!
Never needing sleep.
Morning--they're above me! Eventide--they love me! Oimè! Oimè!
Father was so tall!
Stronger he than all!
On his arm he bore me,
Queen of all before me. Oimè! Oimè!
Mother is asleep;
- her eyes so deep,
Grew so tired and aching, They could not keep waking. Oimè! Oimè!
Father, though so strong, Oimè!
Laid him down along--
By my mother sleeping;
- they left me weeping, Oimè! Oimè!
- nor bird, nor bee,
Ever sings to me!
Since they left me crying,
- things have been dying. Oimè! Oimè!
[LILY looks long in her mother's face, as if wondering what the song could be about; then turns away to the closet. After a little she comes running with a box in her hand.]
O mother, mother! there's the old box I had So long ago, and all my cups and saucers, And the farm-house and cows.--Oh! some are broken. Father will mend them for me, I am sure. I'll ask him when he comes to-night--I will: He can do everything, you know, dear mother.