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
"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.