I journeyed , on a winter's day,
Across the lonely wold;
No bird did sing upon the spray,
And it was very cold.
I had a coach with horses four,
Three white (though one was black),
And on they went the common o'er,
Nor swiftness did they lack.
A little girl ran by the side,
And she was pinched and thin.
' Oh, please, sir, do give me a ride!
I'm fetching mother's gin.'
'Enter my coach, sweet child,' said I;
'For you shall ride with me,
And I will get you your supply
Of mother's eau-de-vie.'
The publican was stem and cold,
And said:'Her mother's score
Is writ, as you shall soon behold,
Behind the bar-room door!'
I blotted out the score with tears,
And paid the money down,
And took the maid of thirteen years
Back to her mother's town;
And though the past with surges wild
Fond memories may sever,
The vision of that happy child
Will leave my spirit never!