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In sleep I heard the northern gleams;

For once could have thee close to me, The stars, they were among my dreams; With happy heart I then would die, In rustling conflict through the skies,

And my last thought would happy be ; I heard, I saw the flashes drive,

But thou, dear Babe, art far away, And yet they are upon my eyes,

Nor shall I see another day. And yet I am alive ;

1798. Before I see another day, Oh let my body die away!

XXII. 11.

THE LAST OF THE FLOCK, My fire is dead : it knew no pain ;

I. Yet is it dead, and I remain :

In distant countries have I been,
All stiff with ice the ashes lie;

And
yet

I have not often seen
And they are dead, and I will die.

A healthy man, a man full grown, When I was well, I wished to live,

Weep in the public roads, alone. For clothes, for warmth, for food, and fire;

But such a one, on English ground, But they to me no joy can give,

And in the broad highway, I met;
No pleasure now, and no desire.
Then here contented will I lie !

Along the broad highway he came,

His cheeks with tears were wet : Alone, I cannot fear to die.

Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad ; III.

And in his arms a Lambhę had. Alas! ye might have dragged me on

II. Another day, a single one !

He saw me, and he turned aside, Too soon I yielded to despair ;

As if he wished himself to hide : Why did ye listen to my prayer ?

And with his coat did then essay When ye were gone my limbs were stronger;

To wipe those briny tears away.. And oh, how grievously I rue

I followed him, and said, My friend, That, afterwards, a little longer,

What ails you 1 wherefore weep you so ?". My friends, I did not follow you !

-“Shame on me, Sir ! this lusty Lamb, For strong and without pain I lay,

He makes my tears to flow. Dear friends, when ye were gone away. To-day I fetched him from the rock ; iv.

He is the last of all my flock. My Child! they gave thee to another,

III.
A woman who was not thy mother.

When I was young, a single man,
When from my arms my Babe they took, And after youthful follies ran,
On me how strangely did he look!

Though little given to care and thought,
Through his whole body something ran, Yet, so it was, an ewe I bought ;
A most strange working did I see;

And other sheep from her I raised, -As if he strove to be a man,

As healthy sheep as you might see; That he might pull the sledge for me:

And then I married, and was rich
And then he stretched his arms, how wild ! As I could wish to be ;
Oh mercy! like a helpless child.

Of sheep I numbered a full score,
V.

And every year increased my store.
My little joy! my little pride!

IV. In two days more I must have died.

Year after year my stock it grew; Then do not weep and grieve for me ;

And from this one, this single ewe, I feel I must have died with thee.

Full fifty comely sheep I raised, O wind, that o'er my head art flying

As fine á flock as ever grazed ! The way my friends their course did bend,

Upon the Quantock hills they fed ; I should not feel the pain of dying,

They throve, and we at home did thrive: Could I with thee a message send ;

- This lusty Lamb of all my store Too soon, my friends, ye went away;

Is all that is alive ; For I had many things to say.

And now I care not if we die,

And perish all of poverty. I'll follow you across the snow ;

V. Ye travel heavily and slow;

Six Children, Sir! had I to feed; In spite of all my weary pain

Hard labour in a time of need ! I'll look upon your tents again.

My pride was tamed, and in our grief -My fire is dead, and snowy white

I of the Parish asked relief. The water which beside it stood:

They said, I was a wealthy man; The wolf has come to me tó-night,

My sheep upon the uplands fed, And he has stolen away my food.

And it was fit that thence I took For ever left alone am I ;

Whereof to buy us bread. Then wherefore should I fear to die?

*Do this : how can we give to you,' VII.

They cried, what to the poor is due?' Young as I am, my course is run,

VI. I shall not see another sun;

I sold a sheep, as they had said, I cannot lift my limbs to know

And bought my little children bread, If they have any life or no.

And they were healthy with their food; My poor forsaken Child, if I

For me-it never did me good.

VI.

A woeful time it was for me,

There dwelt we, as happy as birds in their To see the end of all my gains,

bowers; The pretty flock which I had reared Unfettered as bees that in gardens abide ; With all my care and pains,

We could do what we liked with the land, it To see it melt Mke snow away

was ours; For me it was a woeful day.

And for us the brook murmured that ran by its

side. VII. Another still ! and still another !

But now we are strangers, go early or late ; A little lamb, and then its mother! And often, like one overburthened with sin, It was a vein that never stopped--, With my hand on the latch of the half-opened Like blood-drops from my heart they

gate, dropped.

I look at the fields, but I cannot go in! Till thirty were not left alive,

When I walk by the hedge on a bright summer's They dwindled, dwindled, one by one ;

day, And I may say that many a time

Or sit in the shade of my grandfather's tree, I wished they all were gone

A stern face it puts on, as if ready to say, Reckless of what might come at last

“What ails you, that you must come creeping Were but the bitter struggle past.

to me!VIII.

With our pastures about us, we could not be To wicked deeds I was inclined,

sad; And wicked fancies crossed my mind; Our comfort was near if we ever were crost; And every man I chanced to see,

But the comfort, the blessings, and wealth that I thought he knew some ill of me:

we had, No peace, no comfort could I find,

We slighted them all, and our birth-right was No ease, within doors or without ;

lost. And, crazily and wearily I went my work about ;

Oh, ill-judging sire of an innocent son And oft was moved to flee from home,

Who must now be a wanderer! but peace And hide my head where wild beasts roam.

that strain !

Think of evening's repose when our labour was IX.

done, Sir! 'twas a precious flock to me,

The sabbath's return, and its leisure's soft As dear as my own children be ;

chain ! For daily with my growing store I loved my children more and more.

And in sickness, if night had been sparing of Alas! it was an evil time;

sleep, God cursed me in my sore distress;

How cheerful, at sunrise, the hill where I stood, I prayed, yet every day I thought

Looking down on the kine, and our treasure of I loved my children less ;

sheep And every week, and every day,

That besprinkled the field ; 'twas like youth in My flock it seemed to melt away.

Now I cleave to the house, and am dull as a X.

snail ; They dwindled, Sir, sad sight to see! From ten to five, from five to three,

And, oftentimes, hear the church-bell with a A lamb, a wether, and a ewe ;

sigh, And then at last from three to two ;

That follows the thought-We've no land in the

vale, And, of my fifty, yesterday

Save six feet of earth where our forefathers lie ! I had but only one : And here it lies upon my arm,

1804. Alas! and I have none; To-day I fetched it from the rock ;

XXIV. It is the last of all my flock.' 7798.

THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET

my blood!

I.

XXIII.

REPENTANCE.

A PASTORAL BALLAD.
The fields which with covetous spirit we sold,
Those beautiful fields, the delight of the day,
Would have brought us more good than a

burthen of gold,
Could we but have been as contented as they.
When the troublesome Tempter beset us, said I,
“Let him come, with his purse proudly grasped

in his hand ; But, Allan, be true to me, Allan,- we'll die Bofore he shall go with an inch of the land !"

WHERE art thou, my beloved Son,
Where art thou, worse to me than dead?
Oh find me, prosperous or undone !
Or, if the grave be now thy bed,
Why am I ignorant of the same
That I may rest ; and neither blame
Nor sorrow may attend thy name?

II.
Seven years, alas! to have received
No tidings of an only child ;
To have despaired, have hoped, believed,
And been for evermore beguiled;
Sometimes with thoughts of very bliss !
I catch at them, and then I miss;
Was ever darkness like to this?

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III.

They pity me, and not my grief. He was among the prime in worth,

Then come to me, my Son, or send An object beauteous to behold ;

Some tidings that my woes may end; Well born, well bred; I sent him forth

I have no other earthly friend!
Ingenuous, innocent, and bold :

1804.
If things ensued that wanted grace,
As hath been said, they were not base ;
And never blush was on my face.

XXV.
IV.

THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT. Ah! little doth the young one dream,

BY MY SISTER. When full of play and childish cares,

The days are cold, the nights are long, What power is in his wildest scream,

The north-wind sings a doleful song; Heard by his mother unawares !

Then hush again upon my breast; He knows it not, he cannot guess :

All merry things are now at rest, Years to a mother bring distress;

Save thee, my pretty Love!
But do not make her love the less.

The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
V.

The crickets long have ceased their mirth;
Neglect me! no, I suffered long
From that ill thought; and, being blind,

There's nothing stirring in the house Said, “Pride shall help me in my wrong,

Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse,

Then why so busy thou?
Kind mother have I been, as kind
As ever breathed :" and that is true ;

Nay! start not at that sparkling light: I've wet my path with tears like dew,

'Tis but the moon that shines so bright Weeping for him when no one knew.

On the window pane bedropped with rain:

Then, little Darling ! sleep again,
VI.

And wake when it is day.
My Son, if thou be humbled, poor,

1805.
Hopeless of honour and of gain,
Oh! do not dread thy mother's door;
Think not of me with grief and pain :

XXVI.
I now can see with better eyes;
And worldly grandeur I despise,

MATERNAL GRIEF.
And fortune with her gifts and lies. DEPARTED Child! I could forget thee once
VII.

Though at my bosom nursed; this woeful gain
Alas! the fowls of heaven have wings, Thy dissolution brings, that in my soul
And blasts of heaven will aid their flight; Is present and perpetually abides
They mount-how short a voyage brings A shadow, never, never to be displaced
The wanderers back to their delight ! By the returning substance, seen or touched,
Chains tie us down by land and sea ; Seen by mine eyes, or clasped in my embrace.
And wishes, vain as mine, may be Absence and death how differ they! and how
All that is left to comfort thee.

Shall I admit that nothing can restore
VIII.

What one short sigh so easily removed ?Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan,

Death, life, and sleep, reality and thought Maimed, mangled by inhuman men ;

Assist me, God, their boundaries to know, Or thou upon a desert thrown

O teach me calm submission to thy Will ! Inheritest the lion's den ;

The Child she mourned had overstepped the Or hast been summoned to the deep,

pale
Thou, thou and all thy mates, to keep Of Infancy, but still did breathe the air
An incommunicable sleep.

That sanctifies its confines, and partook
IX.

Reflected beams of that celestial light
I look for ghosts; but none will force

To all the Little-ones on sinful earth Their way to me: 'tis falsely said

Not unvouchsafed -a light that warmed and That there was ever intercourse

cheered Between the living and the dead :

Those several qualities of heart and mind For, surely, then I should have sight

Which, in her own blest nature, rooted deep, Of him I wait for day and night,

Daily before the Mother's watchful eye, With love and longings infinite.

And not hers only, their peculiar charms

Unfolded, -beauty, for its present self,
X.

And for its promises to future years,
My apprehensions come in crowds; With not unfrequent rapture fondly hailed.
I dread the rustling of the grass ;
The very shadows of the clouds

Have you espied upon a dewy lawn Have power to shake me as they pass :

A pair of Leverets each provoking each

To a continuance of their fearless sport,
I question things and do not find
One that will answer to my mind;

Two separate Creatures in their several gifts And all the world appears unkind.

Abounding, but so fashioned that, in all

That Nature prompts them to display, their XI.

looks, Beyond participation lie

Their starts of motion and their fits of rest, My troubles, and beyond relief:

An undistinguishable style appears If any chance to heave a sigh,

And character of gladness, as if Spring

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Lodged in their innocent bosoms, and the spirit When from these lofty thoughts I woke, Of the rejoicing morning were their own? “What is it,” said I, "that you bear, Such union, in the lovely Girl maintained

Beneath the covert of your Cloak, And her twin Brother, had the parent seen

Protected from this cold damp air?” Ere, pouncing like a ravenous bird of prey,

She answered, soon as she the question heard, Death in a moment parted them, and left

“A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singing-bird." The Mother, in her turns of anguish, worse And, thus continuing, she said, Than desolate ; for oft-times from the sound “I had a Son, who many a day Of the survivor's sweetest voice (dear child, Sailed on the seas, but he is dead; He knew it not) and from his happiest looks

In Denmark he was cast away: Did she extract the food of self-reproach,

And I have travelled weary miles to see As one that lived ungrateful for the

If aught which he had owned might still remain By Heaven afforded to uphold her maimed

for me.
And tottering spirit. And full oft the Boy, The bird and cage they both were his:
Now first acquainted with distress and grief,
Shrunk from his Mother's presence, shunned

'Twas my Son's bird ; and neat and trim

He kept it: many voyages with fear

The singing-bird had gone with him ; Her sad approach, and stole away to find, When last he sailed, he left the bird behind, In his known haunts of joy where'er he might, From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his A more congenial object. But, as time

mind. Softened her pangs and reconciled the child

He to a fellow-lodger's care
To what he saw, he gradually returned,

Had left it, to be watched and fed,
Like a scared Bird encouraged to renew
A broken intercourse ; and,

while his eyes

And pipe its song in safety ;-there

I found it when my Son was dead; Were yet with pensive fear and gentle awe

And now, God help me for my little wit! Turned upon her who bore him, she would stoop I bear it with me, Sir ;-he took so much deTo imprint a kiss that lacked not power to

light in it.' spread

1800. Faint colour over both their pallid cheeks, And stilled his tremulous lip. Thus they were calmed

XXVIIT. And cheered ; and now together breathe fresh

THE CHILDLESS FATHER. air In open fields; and when the glare of day “Up, Timothy, up with your staff and away! Is gone, and twilight to the Mother's wish

Not a soul in the village this morning will stay ; Befriends the observance, readily they join

The hare has just started from Hamilton's In walks whose boundary is the lost One's

grounds, grave,

Anu Skiddaw is glad with the cry of the hounds." Which he with flowers hath planted, finding -Ofcoats and ofjackets grey, scarlet, and green, there

On the slopes of the pastures all colours were Amusement, where the Mother does not miss Dear consolation, kneeling on the turf

With their comely blue aprons,

and
caps

white In prayer, yet blending with that solemn rite

as snow, Of pious faith the vanities of grief;

The girls on the hills made a holiday show. For such, by pitying Angels and by Spirits Fresh sprigs of green box-wood, not six months Transferred to regions upon which the clouds before, Of our weak nature rest not, must be deemed Filled the funeral basin* at Timothy's door;

Those willing tears, and unforbidden sighs, A coffin through Timothy's threshold had past; And all those tokens of a cherished sorrow,

One Child did it bear, and that Child was his Which, soothed and sweetened by the grace of last.

Heaven
As now it is, seems to her own fond heart,

Now fast up the dell came the noise and the Immortal as the love that gave it being.

fray, The horse and the horn, and the hark ! hark

away!

Old Timothy took up his staff, and he shut THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.

With a leisurely motion the door of his hut.

Perhaps to himself at that moment he said ; ONE morning (raw it was and wetA foggy day in winter time)

“The key I must take, for my Ellen is dead. A Woman on the road I met,

But of this in my ears not a word did he speak;

And he went to the chase with a tear on his Not old, though something past her prime:

cheek. Majestic in her person, tall and straight;

1800. And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

* In several parts of the North of England, The ancient spirit is not dead;

when a funeral takes place, a basin full of sprigs Old times, thought I, are breathing there; of box-wood is placed at the door of the house Proud was I that my country bred

from which the coffin is taken up, and each Such strength, a dignity so fair :

person who attends the funeral ordinarily takes She begged an alms, like one in poor estate ; a sprig of this box-wood, and throws it into the I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate., grave of the deceased.

seen ;

XXVII.

XXIX.

Dear Baby! I must lay thee down;

Thou troublest me with strange alarms; THE EMIGRANT MOTHER.

Smiles hast thou, bright ones of thy own; Once in a lonely hamlet I sojourned

I cannot keep thee in my arms; In which a Lady driven from France did dwell; For they confound me ;-where-where is The big and lesser griefs with which she

That last, that sweetest smile of his? mourned,

VI. In friendship she to me would often tell.

Oh! how I love thee !--we will stay This Lady, dwelling upon British ground,

Together here this one half day. Where she was childless, daily would repair

My sister's child, who bears my name, To a poor neighbouring cottage; as I found, From France to sheltering England came; For sake of a young child whose home was

She with her mother crossed the sea ; there.

The babe and mother near me dwell : Once having seen her clasp with fond embrace Yet does my yearning heart to thee This Child, I chanted to myself a lay,

Turn rather, though I love her well: Endeavouring, in our English tongue, to trace Rest, little Stranger, rest thee here ! Such things as she unto the Babe might say: Never was any child more dear! And thus, from what I heard and knew, or

VII. guessed,

-I cannot help it ; ill intent My song the workings of her heart expressed.

I've none, my pretty Innocent! 1.

I weep, I know they do thee wrong, Dear Babe, thou daughter of another, These tears-and my poor idle tongue. One moment let me be thy mother!

Oh, what a kiss was that! my cheek An infant's face and looks are thine,

How cold it is ! but thou art good; And sure a mother's heart is mine:

Thine eyes are on me--they would speak, Thy own dear mother's far away,

I think, to help me if they could. At labour in the harvest field:

Blessings upon that soft, warm face, Thy little sister is at play ;

My heart again is in its place! What warmth, what comfort would it yield

VIII. To my poor heart, if thou wouldst be

While thou art mine, my little Love,
One little hour a child to me!

This cannot be a sorrowful grove;
II.

Contentment, hope, and mother's glee, Across the waters I am come,

I seem to find them all in thee: And I have left a babe at home :

Here's grass to play with, here are flowers; A long, long way of land and sea!

I'll call thee by my darling's name; Come to me- I'm no enemy:

Thou hast, I think, a look of ours, I am the same who at thy side

Thy features seein to me the same; Sate yesterday, and made a nest

His little sister thou shalt be ; For thee, sweet Baby !-thou hast tried, And, when once more my home I see, Thou know'st the pillow of my breast;

I'll tell him many tales of Thee." Good, good art thou :-alas ! 'to me

1802.
Far more than I can be to thee.
III.

XXX.
Here, little Darling, dost thou lie;
An infant thou, a mother I !

VAUDRACOUR AND JULIA.
Mine wilt thou be, thou hast no fears ; The following tale was written as an Episode,
Mine art thou-spite of these my tears. in a work from which its length may perhaps
Alas! before I left the spot,

exclude it. The facts are true ; no invention My baby and its dwelling-place,

as to these has been exercised, as none was The nurse said to me, 'Tears should not needed. Be shed upon an infant's face, It was unlucky'-no, no, no;

O. HAPPY time of youthful lovers (thus No truth is in them who say so!

My story may begin) O balmy time,

In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
IV.

Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven!
My own dear Little-one will sigh,

To such inheritance of blessed fancy Sweet Babe! and they will let him die.

(Fancy that sports more desperately with minds He pines,' they'll say, 'it is his doom,

Than ever fortune hath been known to do) And you may see his hour is come.' Oh! had hc but thy cheerful smiles,

The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by

years
Limbs stout as thine, and lips as gay, Whose progress had a little overstepped
Thy looks, thy cunning, and thy wiles,
And countenance like a summer's day,

His stripling prime. A town of small repute, They would have hopes of him ;-and then Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed

Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne, I should behold his face again!

a Maid

Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit Tis gone-like dreams that we forget; With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock, There was a smile or two-yet-yet Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock, I can remember them, I see

From which her graces and her honours sprung : The smiles, worth all the world to me. And hence the father of the enamoured Youth,

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