Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LADY, by CAROLINE CLIVE

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THE LADY, by            
First Line: There was an ancient dwelling place
Last Line: Of her old name and race.
Alternate Author Name(s): V; Meysey-wigley, Caroline
Subject(s): Childlessness

THERE was an ancient dwelling-place,
The home of English Squires;
An ancient Lady dwelt therein, --
She had it from her Sires.

Her purse was fill'd with gold I trow,
Her house with household store;
And when the neighbours' pelf wax'd low,
They came to her for more.

She gave her gold -- she sought the sick,
And ask'd them of their harm;
Forth walking with her Bible-book,
Her basket on her arm.

She lov'd them all, and they lov'd her
With good old loyalty;
And when she wax'd so faint and old,
They griev'd that she must die.

"Alack!" they cried, "we'll pray for her,
That she may come about;
She's been a friend for fifty years,
We cannot do without."

But yet the good old Lady died,
And woe was all her land;
They put the shroud about her face,
And rosemary in her hand.

They plac'd her in her own old hall,
The Servants stood around;
The Church-bells, as they bore her forth,
Toll'd out a heavy sound.

Old folks and young were come to see, --
Of tears there was no lack;
The Tenants walk'd behind in pairs,
Each in a suit of black.

They laid her in her father's vault,
'Mid coffins many a one;
The Parson said his holy words,
And they made fast the stone.

That stone will never more be rais'd,
Now she has got her place;
That childless Lady was the last
Of her old name and race.

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