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And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
No other sheep were near, the lamb was all alone,
The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took, Seem'd to feast with head and ears; and his tail with
pleasure shook. Drink, pretty creature, drink,' she said in such a tone, That I almost received her heart into my own.
'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
Towards the lamb she look’d; and from that shady place
thy cord ?
"What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting to thy
heart? Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful thou art: This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have no
peers ; And that green corn, all day, is rustling in thy ears ! If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen
chain, This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain;
For rain and mountain storms, the like thou need'st not
fear; The rain and storm are things which scarcely can come
'Rest, little young one, rest; thou hast forgot the day When my father found thee first in places far away : Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert own'd by
none; And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.
'He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee
home : A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam? A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee yean Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have been.
'Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee in
this can Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran;' And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew, I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is, and new.
• Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now, Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the plough; My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is cold, Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.
It will not, will not rest!- poor creature, can it be That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee? Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear, And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor
hear. Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair ! I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there; The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play, When they are angry, rvar like lions for their prey. .
"Here thou needs't not dread the raven in the sky; Night and day thou art safe, - our cottage is hard by. Unvisited, where not a broken bough Droop'd with its wither'd leaves, ungracious sign Of devastation, but the hazels rose Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters hung, A virgin scene ! A little while I stood, Breathing with such suppression of the heart As joy delights in ; and, with wise restraint Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed The banquet, -or beneath the trees I sat Among the flowers, and with the flowers I play'd ; A temper known to those, who, after long And weary expectation, have been bless'd With sudden happiness beyond all hope. Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves The violets of five seasons reappear And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on For ever,- and I saw the sparkling foam, And with my cheek on one of those green stones That, fleeced with moss, beneath the shady trees, Lay round me, scatter'd like a flock of sheep, I heard the murmur and the murmuring sound, In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure, The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones, And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, And dragg’d to earth both branch and bough, with crash And merciless ravage ; and the shady nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, Deform'd and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being : and, unless I now Confound my present feelings with the past, Even then, when from the bower I turn'd away Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld The silent trees and the intruding sky. Then, dearest maiden ! move along these shades In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch — for there is a spirit in the woods.
Beneath a rock, upon the grass,
Along the river's stony marge,
Said Walter, leaping from the ground, ‘Down to the stump of yon old yew We'll for our whistles run a race.'
Away the shepherds flew. They leapt- they ran — and when they came Right opposite to Dungeon-Ghyll, Seeing that he should lose the prize, 'Stop!' to his comrade Walter cries James stopp'd with no good will : Said Walter then, 'Your task is here, 'Twill keep you working half a year.
'Now cross where I shall cross — come on,
With staff in hand across the cleft
The lamb had slipp'd 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.