Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  ’T Was Just before the Hay Was Mown

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Charles Swain 1803–74

’T Was Just before the Hay Was Mown

’T WAS just before the hay was mown,

The season had been wet and cold,

When my good dame began to groan,

And speak of days and years of old:

Ye were a young man then, and gay,

And raven black your handsome hair;

Ah! Time steals many a grace away,

And leaves us many a grief to bear.

Tush! tush! said I, we’ve had our time,

And if ’t were here again ’t would go;

The youngest cannot keep their prime,

The darkest head some gray must show.

We ’ve been together forty years,

And though it seem but like a day,

We ’ve much less cause, dear dame, for tears,

Than many who have trod life’s way.

Goodman, said she, ye ’re always right,

And ’t is a pride to hear your tongue;

And though your fine old head be white,

’T is dear to me as when ’t were young.

So give your hand,—’t was never shown

But in affection unto me;

And I shall be beneath the stone,

And lifeless, when I love not thee.