Alice Cary

April 26, 1820 - 1871


Growing Rich

by Alice Cary

And why are you pale, my Nora?
And why do you sigh and fret?
The black ewe had twin lambs to-day,
And we shall be rich folk yet.

Do you mind the clover-ridge, Nora,
That slopes to the crooked stream?
The brown cow pastured there this week,
And her milk is sweet as cream.

The old gray mare that last year fell
As thin as any ghost,
Is getting a new white coat, and looks
As young as her colt, almost.

And if the corn-land should do well,
And so, please God, it may,
I'll buy the white-faced bull a bell,
To make the meadows gay.

I know we are growing rich, Johnny,
And that is why I fret,
For my little brother Phil is down
In the dismal coal-pit yet.

And when the sunshine sets in th' corn,
The tassels green and gay,
It will not touch my father's eyes,
That are going blind, they say.

But if I were not sad for him,
Nor yet for little Phil,
Why, darling Molly's hand, last year,
Was cut off in the mill.

And so, nor mare nor brown milch-cow,
Nor lambs can joy impart,
For the blind old man and th' mill and mine
Are all upon my heart.


Ballads, Lyrics, And Hymns
Copyright 1874
New York: Hurd And Houghton