72

Why Did She Leave Him?

WHY did she leave him? they grew up together;
In the old church — on the old village green —
Never apart in the sunshiny weather,
Ellen and Edward in childhood were seen.
She had not wealth, but her beauty commanded
Suitors, alas! who could riches secure,
And, when her hand, as his bride, he demanded,
Why did she leave him because he was poor?

He who was once 'mid the young and gay-hearted,
First in the frolic of market and fair;
Wan are his cheeks whence the smile has departed
Others may revel, but he cannot share.
Bright are the eyes that around him are beaming,
Cold is the heart that they strive to allure —
Save when at night on the past he is dreaming, —
Why did she leave him because he was poor.

Now she rides by in her pride and her carriage,
But where is the bloom that once shone on her cheek?
Haughty and cold are the friends of her marriage;
Now she must feel what she dare not to speak!
She perchance, sighs for her earlier hours —
Grieves for the sorrow that he must endure —
Would give up the world for a wreath of wild flowers, —
Why did she leave him because he was poor?