Peggy Band

A poem by John Clare

O it was a lorn and a dismal night,
And the storm beat loud and high;
Not a friendly light to guide me right
Was there shining in the sky,
When a lonely hut my wanderings met,
Lost in a foreign land,
And I found the dearest friend as yet
In my lovely Peggy Band.

"O, father, here's a soldier lad,
And weary he seems to be."
"Then welcome in," the old man said,
And she gave her seat to me.
The fire she trimmed, and my clothes she dried
With her own sweet lily hand,
And o'er the soldier's lot she sighed,
While I blest my Peggy Band.

When I told the tale of my wandering years,
And the nights unknown to sleep,
She made excuse to hide her tears,
And she stole away to weep.
A pilgrim's blessing I seemed to share,
As saints of the Holy Land,
And I thought her a guardian angel there,
Though he called her his Peggy Band.

The night it passed, and the hour to part
With the morning winged away,
And I felt an anguish at my heart
That vainly bid to stay.
I thanked the old man for all he did,
And I took his daughter's hand,
But my heart was full, and I could not bid
Farewell to my Peggy Band.

A blessing on that friendly cot,
Where the soldier found repose,
And a blessing be her constant lot
Who soothed the stranger's woes.
I turned a last look at the door,
As she held it in her hand,
And my heart ached sore, as I crossed the moor,
For to leave my Peggy Band.

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