The Daisy Chain or Aspirations
"Through lawless camp, through ocean wild,
Her prophet eye pursues her child;
Scans mournfully her poet's strain,
Fears for her merchant, loss alike and gain."
Dr. May took the management of himself into his own hands, and paid so
little attention to Mr. Ward's recommendations that his sons and daughters
were in continual dread of his choosing to do something that might cause
However, he did not go further than Margaret's bedroom where he sat hour
after hour his eyes fixed upon her, as she continued in a state bordering on
insensibility. He took little notice of anything else, and hardly spoke. There
were heavy sighs now and then, but Richard and Flora, one or other of whom
were always watching him, could hardly tell whether to ascribe them to the
oppression of sorrow or of suffering. Their great fear was of his insisting on
seeing his wife's face, and it was a great relief that he never alluded to her,
except once, to desire Richard to bring him her ring. Richard silently obeyed,
and, without a word, he placed it on his little finger. Richard used to read the
Psalms to him in the morning, before he was up, and Flora would bring little
Daisy and lay her by his side.
To the last moment they dreaded his choosing to attend the funeral, and
Flora had decided on remaining at home, though trembling at the thought of
what there might be to go through. They tried to let him hear nothing about
it, but he seemed to know everything; and when Flora came into Margaret's
room without her bonnet, he raised his head, and said, "I thought you were
"The others are--but may I not stay with you and her, papa?"
"I had rather be alone, my dears. I will take care of her. I should wish you all
to be there."
They decided that his wishes ought to be followed, and that the patients must
be entrusted to old nurse. Richard told Flora, who looked very pale, that she
would be glad of it afterwards, and she had his arm to lean upon.
The grave was in the cloister attached to the minster, a smooth green square
of turf, marked here and there with small flat lozenges of stone, bearing the
date and initials of those who lay there, and many of them recording former
generations of Mays, to whom their descent from the headmaster had given a
right of burial there. Dr. Hoxton, Mr. Wilmot, and the surgeon, were the only
friends whom Richard had asked to be with them, but the minster was nearly