Nellie Lost and Found

Henry Clay Work

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Ten o'clock! the rain begins to fall,
And Nellie still from home!
Vainly now, her loving name we call,
Oh whither does she roam!
Can it be she wanders from the street,
Thro' the wood to find her lonely way,
Bless the child! I fear her little feet
Have carried her astray.

Wake the boys to search for Nellie!
Stay not for the dawn;
Who shall sleep when from the mother's fold
One little lamb is gone.

Eleven of o'clock! the little brothers wait,
Still hoping her return;
Peeping through the lattice of the gate,
Their darling to discern.
Weary now they turn them to the door,
While their tears, for lips that now are dumb,
Ask the question often asked before,
Oh mother will she come!

Twelve o'clock! and in the forest wild,
What terrors rule the hour!
Who can tell what foe surround the child,
Or shield her from their power.
Storm face and torrents to be cross'd,
Beasts of prey that in the darkness roam;
Would to God that only I were lost,
And Nellie safe at home!

One o'clock! methinks I hear a voice,
With tidings in its tone!
Does it bid this trembling heart rejoice,
Or sorrow makes it known.
Still I heard that midnight echo stirr'd,
Surely too, it bears a joyful sound;
Praise the Lord! a mother's pray'r is heard,
The darling one is found!

Through the wood the midnight echoes
Bear a joyful sound;
Praise the Lord! a mother's pray'r is heard,
The darling one is found.

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