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OT birds that build their nests and sing, “My child, in Durham do you dwell ?” And all “since Mother went away!
She checked herself in her distress, To her these tales they will repeat,
And said, “My name is Alice Fell;
I'm fatherless and motherless.
And I to Durham, Sir, belong.".
Again, as if the thought would choke
Her very heart, her grief grew strong :
And all was for her tattered cloak !
The chaise drove on; our journey's end A sadness at the heart :
Was nigh; and, sitting by my side, 'Tis gone—and in a merry fit
As if she had lost her only friend They run up stairs in gamesome race ;
She wept, nor would be pacified.
Up to the tavern-door we post;
of Alice and her grief I told; Five minutes past-and, the change !
And I gave money to the host, Asleep upon their beds they lie ;
To buy a new cloak for the old. Their busy limbs in perfect rest,
“And let it be of duffil grey, And closed the sparkling eye.
As warm a cloak as man can sell !" 1807
Proud creature was she the next day,
And whither are you going, child,
They wept-and, turning homeward, cried “Their graves are green, they may be seen," In heaven we all shall meet;
The little Maid replied, -When in the snow the mother spied
"Twelve steps or more from mother's door, The print of Lucy's feet.
And they are side by side.
My kerchief there I hem;
And sing a song to them.
And often after sun-set, Sir, The marks were still the same;
When it is light and fair, They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
I take my little porringer, And to the bridge they came.
And eat my supper there. They followed from the snowy bank
The first that died was sister Jane; Those footmarks, one by one,
In bed she moaning lay, Into the middle of the plank;
Till God released her of her pain ; And further there were none !
And then she went away. - Yet some maintain that to this da
So in the church-yard she was laid ; She is a living child ;
And, when the grass was dry, That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Together round her grave we played, Upon the lonesome wild.
My brother John and I. O'er rough and smooth she trips along, And when the ground was white with snow, And never looks behind ;
And I could run and slide, And sings a solitary song,
My brother John was forced to go That whistles in the wind.
And he lies by her side.' 1799.
“How many are you, then," said I,
O Master! we are seven."
“But they are dead; those two are dead ! WE ARE SEVEN.
Their spirits are in heaven!”
'Twas throwing words away: for still That lightly draws its breath,
The little Maid would have her will, And feels its life in every limb,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!” What should it know of death?
1798. I met a little cottage Girl :
THE IDLE SHEPHERD-BOYS ;
OR, DUNGEON-GHYLL FORCE."
The valley rings with mirth and joy ;
Among the hills the echoes play “Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
A never never ending song,
To welcome in the May.
The magpie chatters with delight;
The mountain raven's youngling brood
Have left the mother and the nest; “And where are they? I pray you
And they go rambling east and west She answered, Seven are we;
In search of their own food; And two of us at Conway dwell,
Or through the glittering vapours dart And two are gone to sea.
In very wantonness of heart. Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath a rock, upon the grass, My sister and my brother ;
Two boys are sitting in the sun; And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Their work, if any work they have,' Dwell near them with my mother."
Is out of mind-or done. "You say that two at Conway dwell,
On pipes of sycamore they play And two are gone to sea,
The fragments of a Christmas hymn; Yet ye are seven !- I pray you tell,
Or with that plant which in our dale Sweet Maid, how this may be."
We call stag-horn, or fox's tail, Then did the little Maid reply,
Their rusty hats they trim : “Seven boys and girls are we :
And thus, as happy as the day, Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Those shepherds wear the time away. Beneath the churchyard tree."
* Ghyll, in the dialect of Cumberland and "You run about, my little Maid,
Westmoreland, is a short and, for the most Your limbs they are alive ;
part, a steep narrow valley, with a stream If two are in the church-yard laid,
running through it. Force is the word univerThen ye are only five."
sally employed in these dialects for waterfall
An unexpected sight!
And bade them better mind their trade. 1800.
Along the river's stony marge
-Away the shepherds flew ;
in a basin black and small, Receives a lofty waterfall. With staff in hand across the cleft The challenger pursued his march; And now, all eyes and feet, hath gained The middle of the arch. When list! he hears a piteous moanAgain !-his heart within him diesHis pulse is stopped, his breath is lost, He totters, pallid as a ghost, And, looking down, espies A lamb, that in the pool is pent Within that black and frightful rent The lamb had slipped into the stream, And safe without a bruise or wound The cataract had borne him down Into the gulf profound. His dam had seen him when he fell, She saw him down the torrent borne ; And, while with all a mother's love She from the lofty rocks above Sent forth a cry forlorn, The lamb, still swimming round and round, Made answer to that plaintive sound. When he had learnt what thing it was, That sent this rueful cry ; 1 ween The Boy recovered heart, and told The sight which he had seen. Both gladly now deferred their task ; Nor was there wanting other aidA Poet, one who loves the brooks Far better than the sages' books, By chance had thither strayed; And there the helpless lamb he found By those huge rocks encompassed round. He drew it from the troubled pool, And brought it forth into the light: The Shepherds met him with his charge,
XII. ANECDOTE FOR FATHERS. “Retine vim istam, falsa enim dicam, si coges."
EUSEBIUS. I HAVE a boy of five years old ; His face is fair and fresh to see ; His limbs are cast in beauty's mould, And dearly he loves me. One morn we strolled on our dry walk, Our quiet home all full in view, And held such intermitted talk As we are wont to do. My thoughts on former pleasures ran; I thought of Kilve's delightful shore, Our pleasant home when spring began, A long, long year before. A day it was when I could bear Some fond regrets to entertain ; With so much happiness to spare, I could not feel a pain. The green earth echoed to the feet Oflambs that bounded through the glade, From shade to sunshinc, and as fleet From sunshine back to shade. Birds warbled round me-and each trace Of inward sadness had its charm ; Kilve, thought I, was a favoured place, And so is Liswyn farm. My boy beside me tripped, so slim And graceful in his rustic dress! And, as we talked, I questioned him, In very idleness. “Now tell me, had you rather be,” I said, and took him by the arm, “On Kilve's smooth shore, by the green sea, Or here at Liswyn farm?" In careless mood he looked at me, While still I held him by the arm, And said, "At Kilve I'd rather be Than here at Liswyn farm.” “Now, little Edward, say why so: My little Edward, tell me why.' “ I cannot tell, I do not know." “Why, this is strange,” said I; "For, here are woods, hiils smooth and warm: There surely must some reason be Why you would change sweet Liswyn farm For Kilve by the green sea. At this, my boy hung down his head, He blushed with shame, nor made reply: And three times to the child I said, “Why, Edward, tell me why?" His head he raised- there was in sight, It caught his eye, he saw it plain Upon the house-top, glittering bright, A broad and gilded vane.
Then did the boy his tongue unlock, The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supAnd cased his mind with this reply:
per took, “At Kilve there was no weather-cock;
Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his And that's the reason why."
tail with pleasure shook. O dearest, dearest boy! my heart
“Drink, pretty creature, drink,” she said in
such tone For better lore would seldom yearn,
That I almost received her heart into my own. Could I but teach the hundredth part Of what from thee I learn.
'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of 2798.
beauty rare ! I watched them with delight, they were a lovely
Now with her empty can the maiden turned RURAL ARCHITECTURE.
away : THERE'S George Fisher, Charles Fleming, and But ere ten yards ere gone her footsteps did
Reginald Shore, Three rosy-checked school-boys, the highest Right towards the lamb she looked ; and from a not more
shady place Than the height of a counsellor's bag :
I unobserved could see the workings of her face: To the top of Great How * did it please them If Nature to her tongue could measured numto climb:
bers bring, And there they built up, without mortar or lime, | Thus, thought i, to her lamb that little Maid A Man on the peak of the crag.
might sing : They built him of stones gathered up as they lay: “What ails thee, young One! what? Why puli They built him and christened himall in one day, An urchin both vigorous and hale ;
so at thy cord ? And so without scruple they called him Ralph Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and Now Kalph is renowned for the length of his Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can
; bones ;
Rest, little young One, rest; what is't that aileth The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.
thee? Just half a week after, the wind sallied forth, And, in anger or merriment, out of the north,
What is it thou wouldst seek? what is wantComing on with a terrible pother,
ing to thy heart? From the peak of the crag blew the giant away. Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful And what did these school-boys ?—The very This grass is tender grass ; these flowers they
next day They went and they built up another.
have no peers ; -Some little I've seen of blind boisterous works And that green corn all day'is rustling in thy
ears 1 By Christian disturbers more savage than Turks, Spirits busy to do and undo:
If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy At remembrance whereof my blood sometimes woollen chain, will flag ;
This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst Then, light-hearted Boys, to the top of the crag; gain ; And I'll build up a giant with you.
For rain and mountain-storms ! the like thou 1801.
need'st not fear, The rain and storm are things that scarcely can
come here. THE PET-LAMB,
Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot A PASTORAL.
the day The dew was falling fast, the stars began to
When my father found thee first in places far blink;
away ; I heard a voice ; it said, “ Drink, pretty crea- Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert ture, drink!”
owned by none, And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
And thy mother from thy side for evermore was A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at
gone. its side.
He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was thee home : all alone,
A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; thou roam ? With one knec on the grass did the little Maiden A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee kneel,
yean While to that mountain-lamb she gave its even- Upon the mountain tops no kinder could have ing meal.
been. * GREAT How is a single and conspicuous Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought bill, which rises towards the foot of Thirlmere, thee in this can on the western side of the beautiful dale of Fresh water from the brook, as clear as cver Legberthwaite.
And twice in the day, when the ground is wet I thought of times when Pain might be thy with dew,
guest, I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is Lord of thy house and hospitality; and new.
And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they But when she sate within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly! are now, Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in vain and causeless melancholy! the plough;
Nature will either end thee quite ; My playmate thou shalt be; and when the Or, lengthening out thy season of delight, wind is cold
Preserve for thee, by individual right, Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be A young lamb's heart among the full-grown
flacks. thy fold.
What hast thou to do with sorrow, It will not, will not rest!-- Poor creature, can it Or the injuries of tomorrow? be
Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working
forth, so in thee?
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks, Things that I know not of belike to thee are
Or to be trailed along the soiling carth ; dear, And dreams of things which thou canst neither And no forewarning gives;
A gem that glitters while it lives, see nor hear.
But, at the touch of
without a strise Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and Slips in a monient out of life. fair!
1802. I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that
come there : The little brooks that seem all pastime and all
INFLUENCE OF NATURAL OBJECTS When they are angry, roar like lions for their
IN CALLING FORTH AND STRENGTHENING THE prey.
IMAGINATION IN BOYHOOD AND Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky:
FROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM, Night and day thou art safe,- ,-our cottage is hard by:
[This extract is reprinted from “The FRIEND."] Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy Wisdom and Spirit of the universe ! chain?
Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought! Sleep-and at break of day I will come to thee And giy'st to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion! not in vain, -As homeward through the lane I went with By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn lazy feet,
of childhood didst thou intertwine for me This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat; The passions that build up our human soul, And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by Not with the mean and vulgar works of Mani line,
But with high objects, with enduring things, That but half of it was hers, and one half of it With life and nature ; purifying thus was mine.
The elements of feeling and of thought, Again, and once again, did I repeat the song ;
And sanctifying by such discipline Nay,” said I, "more than half to the damsel Both pain and fear,- until we recognise must belong,
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart. For she looked with such a look, and she spake Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me with such a tone,
With stinted kindness. In November days, That I alınost received her heart into my own.' When vapours rolling down the valleys made 1800.
A lonely scene more lonesome : among woods
At noon; and mid the calm of summer nights, xv,
When, by the margin of the trembling lake, TO H. C.
Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went
In solitude, such intercourse was mine:
Mine was it in the fields both day and night,
Was set, and, visible for many a mile, The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol ; The cottage - windows through the twilight Thou faery voyager ! that dost float
blazed, In such clear water, that thy boat
I heeded not the summons: happy time May rather seem
It was indeed for all of us; for me To brood on air than on an earthly stream; It was a time of rapture !
Clear and loud Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
The village-clock tolled six-I wheeled about, Where earth and heaven do make one imagery; Proud and exulting like an untired horse O blessed vision ! happy child !
That cares not for his home.-All shod with Thou art so exquisitely wild,
steel I think of thee with many fears
We hissed along the polished ice, in games For what may be thy lot in future years. Confederate, imitative of the chase