Rose Hartwick Thorpe Picture

Rose Hartwick Thorpe

July 18, 1850 - July 19, 1939


In The Mining Town

by Rose Hartwick Thorpe

"'Tis the last time, darling," he gently said,
As he kissed her lips like the cherries red,
While a fond look shone in his eyes of brown:
My own is the prettiest girl in town.
To-morrow the bell from the tower will ring
A joyful peal. Was there ever a king
So truly blest, on his royal throne,
As I shall be when I claim my own!

'T was a fond farewell; 't was a sweet good-by;
But she watched him go with a troubled sigh,
As into the basket, that swayed and swung
O'er the yawning abyss, he lightly sprung;
And the joy of her heart seemed turned to woe
As they lowered him into the depths below.
Her sweet young face, with its tresses brown,
Was the fairest face in the mining town.

Lo the morning came! but the marriage-bell
High up in the tower rang a mournful knell
For the true heart buried 'neath earth and stone,
Far down in the heart of the mine alone, --
A sorrowful peal on their wedding-day
For the breaking heart and the heart of clay;
And the face that looked from her tresses brown
Was the saddest face in the mining town.

Thus time rolled along on its weary way,
Until fifty years with their shadows gray
Had darkened the light of her sweet eyes' glow
And had turned the brown of her hair to snow
Oh! never a kiss from a husband's lips,
Or the clasp of a child's sweet finger-tips,
Had lifted one moment the shadows brown
From the saddest heart in the mining town!

Far down in the depths of the mine, one day
In the loosened earth they were digging away,
They discovered a face, so young, so fair;
From the smiling lip to the bright brown hair
Untouched by the finger of Time's decay.
When they drew him up to the light of day
The wondering people gathered round
To gaze at the man thus strangely found.

Then a woman came from among the crowd,
With her long white hair, and her slight form bowed.
She silently knelt by the form of clay,
And kissed the lips that were cold and gray.
Then the sad old face, with its snowy hair
On his youthful bosom lay pillowed there.
He had found her at last his waiting bride,
And the people buried them side by side.


Ringing Ballads
Copyright 1887
D Lothrop Company,Franklin And Hawley Streets,Boston