Clorinda met me on the way
As I came from the train;
Her face was anything but gay,
In fact, suggested pain.
'Oh hubby, hubby dear!' she cried,
'I've awful news to tell. . . .'
'What is it, darling?' I replied;
'Your mother -- is she well?'
'Oh no! oh no! it is not that,
It's something else,' she wailed,
My heart was beating pit-a-pat,
My ruddy visage paled.
Like lightning flash in heaven's dome
The fear within me woke:
'Don't say,' I cried, 'our little home
Has all gone up in smoke!'
She shook her head. Oh, swift I clasped
And held her to my breast;
'The children! Tell me quick,' I gasped,
'Believe me, it is best.'
Then, then she spoke; 'mid sobs I caught
These words of woe divine:
'It's coo-coo-cook has gone and bought
A new hat just like mine.'