Jane Eyre (Chapter 3, p. 5)

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Chapter 3 : Page 5 of 12

Bessie had now finished dusting and tidying the room, and having
washed her hands, she opened a certain little drawer, full of
splendid shreds of silk and satin, and began making a new bonnet for
Georgiana's doll. Meantime she sang: her song was -

"In the days when we went gipsying,
A long time ago."

 

I had often heard the song before, and always with lively delight;
for Bessie had a sweet voice,--at least, I thought so. But now,
though her voice was still sweet, I found in its melody an
indescribable sadness. Sometimes, preoccupied with her work, she
sang the refrain very low, very lingeringly; "A long time ago" came
out like the saddest cadence of a funeral hymn. She passed into
another ballad, this time a really doleful one.

 

"My feet they are sore, and my limbs they are weary;
Long is the way, and the mountains are wild;
Soon will the twilight close moonless and dreary
Over the path of the poor orphan child.

 

Why did they send me so far and so lonely,
Up where the moors spread and grey rocks are piled?
Men are hard-hearted, and kind angels only
Watch o'er the steps of a poor orphan child.

Yet distant and soft the night breeze is blowing,
Clouds there are none, and clear stars beam mild,
God, in His mercy, protection is showing,
Comfort and hope to the poor orphan child.

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