The old man's eye grows fixed and wild —
Oh God ! 'tis not — 'tis not his child !
Fainting he sinks with murmur low,
" My heart foretold the coming blow ;
Grant patience, Thou who seest my woe !"
Around the stricken sire they group.
O'er him with pitying look they stoop,
They lift his head upon their knees,
They bare his bosom to the breeze,
Chafe the stiff hand, and still anew
Wipe from his brow the chilling dew
Cold as the gathering damps of death,
Then listen for the silent breath.
Ah, hapless stranger ! still alone
Dost stand, unwelcomed and unknown ?
Is this the hour to which for years
Thy soul hath looked through toil and tears ?
Is this the hope that made thee strong
To bear the shame, the burning wrong ?