Текст оригинала на английском языке
Dorothy in the Garret
In the low-raftered garret, stooping Carefully over the creaking boards, Old Maid Dorothy goes a-groping Among its dusty and cobwebbed hoards; Seeking some bundle of patches, hid Far under the eaves, or bunch of sage, Or satchel hung on its nail, amid The heirlooms of a bygone age. There is the ancient family chest, There the ancestral cards and hatchel; Dorothy, sighing, sinks down to rest, Forgetful of patches, sage, and satchel. Ghosts of faces peer from the gloom Of the chimney, where with swifts and reel, And the long-disused, dismantled loom, Stands the old-fashioned spinning-wheel. She sees it back in the clean-swept kitchen, A part of her girlhood's little world; Her mother is there by the window, stitching; Spindle buzzes, and reel is whirled With many a click: on her little stool She sits, a child, by the open door, Watching, and dabbling her feet in the pool Of sunshine spilled on the gilded floor Her sisters are spinning all day long; To her wakening sense the first sweet warning Of daylight come is the cheerful song To the hum of the wheel in the early morning. Benjie, the gentle, red-cheeked boy. On his way to school, peeps in at the gate; In neat white pinafore, pleased and coy, She reaches a hand to her bashful mate; And under the elms, a prattling pair. Together they go, through glimmer and gloom:-- It all comes back to her, dreaming there In the low-raftered garret room; The hum of the wheel, and the summer weather. The heart's first trouble, and love's beginning, Are all in her memory linked together; And now it is she herself that is spinning. With the bloom of youth on cheek and lip. Turning the spokes with the flashing pin, Twisting the thread from the spindle-tip, Stretching it out and winding it in. To and fro, with a blithesome tread, Singing she goes, and her heart is full, And many a long-drawn golden thread Of fancy is spun with the shining wool. Her father sits in his favorite place, Puffing his pipe by the chimney-side; Through curling clouds his kindly face Glows upon her with love and pride. Lulled by the wheel, in the old arm-chair Her mother is musing, cat in lap, With beautiful drooping head, and hair Whitening under her snow-white cap. One by one, to the grave, to the bridal, They have followed her sisters from the door; Now they are old, and she is their idol:-- It all comes back on her heart once more. In the autumn dusk the hearth gleams brightly, The wheel is set by the shadowy wall,-- A hand at the latch,--'tis lifted lightly, And in walks Benjie, manly and tall. His chair is placed; the old man tips The pitcher, and brings his choicest fruit; Benjie basks in the blaze, and sips, And tells his story, and joints his flute: O, sweet the tunes, the talk, the laughter! They fill the hour with a glowing tide; But sweeter the still, deep moments after, When she is alone by Benjie's side. But once with angry words they part: O, then the weary, weary days! Ever with restless, wretched heart, Plying her task, she turns to gaze Far up the road; and early and late She harks for a footstep at the door, And starts at the gust that swings the gate, And prays for Benjie, who comes no more. Her fault? O Benjie, and could you steel Your thoughts towards one who loved you so?-- Solace she seeks in the whirling wheel, In duty and love that lighten woe; Striving with labor, not in vain, To drive away the dull day's dreariness,-- Blessing the toil that blunts the pain Of a deeper grief in the body's weariness. Proud and petted and spoiled was she: A word, and all her life is changed! His wavering love too easily In the great, gay city grows estranged: One year: she sits in the old church pew; A rustle, a murmur,--O Dorothy! hide Your face and shut from your soul the view-- 'Tis Benjie leading a white-veiled bride! Now father and mother have long been dead, And the bride sleeps under a churchyard stone, And a bent old man with a grizzled head Walks up the long dim aisle alone. Years blur to a mist; and Dorothy Sits doubting betwixt the ghost she seems, And the phantom of youth, more real than she, That meets her there in that haunt of dreams. Bright young Dorothy, idolized daughter, Sought by many a youthful adorer, Life, like a new-risen dawn on the water, Shining an endless vista before her! Old Maid Dorothy, wrinkled and gray, Groping under the farm-house eaves,-- And life was a brief November day That sets on a world of withered leaves! Yet faithfulness in the humblest part Is better at last than proud success, And patience and love in a chastened heart Are pearls more precious than happiness; And in that morning when she shall wake To the spring-time freshness of youth again, All trouble will seem but a flying flake, And lifelong sorrow a breath on the pane.
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