by Dora Sigerson
O mother, mother, I swept the hearth, I set his chair and the white board spread, I prayed for his coming to our kind Lady when Death's doors would let out the dead; A strange wind rattled the window-pane, and down the lane a dog howled on, I called his name and the candle flame burnt dim, pressed a hand the door-latch upon. Deelish! Deelish! my woe forever that I could not sever coward flesh from fear. I called his name and the pale ghost came; but I was afraid to meet my dear. O mother, mother, in tears I checked the sad hours past of the year that's o'er, Till by God's grace I might see his face and hear the sound of his voice once more; The chair I set from the cold and wet, he took when he came from unknown skies Of the land of the dead, on my bent brown head I felt the reproach of his saddened eyes; I closed my lids on my heart's desire, crouched by the fire, my voice was dumb. At my clean-swept hearth he had no mirth, and at my table he broke no crumb. Deelish! Deelish! my woe forever that I could not sever coward flesh from fear. His chair put aside when the young cock cried, and I was afraid to meet my dear.