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And that's the very pony too!
Where is she, where is Betty Foy?
She hardly can sustain her fears;
The roaring waterfall she hears,
And cannot find her Idiot Boy.
Your pony's worth his weight in gold:
Then calm your terrors, Betty Foy:
She's coming from among the trees,
And now all full in view she sees
Him whom she loves, her Idiot Boy.
And Betty sees the pony too:
Why stand you thus, good Betty Foy?
It is no goblin, 'tis no ghost,
'Tis he whom you so long have lost,
He whom you love, your Idiot Boy.
She looks again-her arms are up-
She screams-she cannot move for joy;
She darts, as with a torrent's force,
She almost has o’erturned the horse,
And fast she holds her Idiot Boy.
And Johnny burrs, and laughs aloud,
Whether in cunning or in joy
I cannot tell; but while he laughs,
Betty a drunken pleasure quaffs
To hear again her Idiot Boy.
And now she's at the pony's tail,
And now is at the pony's head-
On that side now, and now on this;
And, almost stified with her bliss,
A few sad tears does Betty shed.
She kisses o'er and o'er again
Him whom she loves, her Idiot Boy;
She's happy here, is happy there,
She is uneasy everywhere ;
Her limbs are all alive with joy.
She pats the pony, where or when
She knows not, happy Betty Foy!
The little pony glad may be,
But he is milder far than she,
You hardly can perceive his joy.
“Oh, Johnny, never mind the doctor!
You've done your best, and that is all."
She took the reins when this was said,
And gently turned the pony's head
From the loud waterfall.
By this the stars were almost gone,
The moon was setting on the hill,
So pale you scarcely looked at her:
The little birds began to stir,
Though yet their tongues were still.
The pony, Betty, and her boy,
Wind slowly through the woody dale ;
And who is she, betimes abroad,
That hobbles up the steep rough road?
Who is it, but old Susan Gale?
Long time lay Susan lost in thought,
And many dreadful fears beset her,
Both for her messenger and nurse;
And as her mind grew worse and worse,
Her body it grew better.
She turned, she tossed herself in bed,
On all sides doubts and terrors met her ;
Point after point did she discuss ;
And while her mind was fighting thus,
Her body still grew better.
“Alas ! what is become of them?
These fears can never be endured,
I'll to the wood.” The word scarce said,
Did Susan rise up from her bed,
As if by magic cured.
Away she posts up hill and down,
And to the wood at length is come ;
She spies her friends, she shouts a greeting;
Oh me! it is a merry meeting
As ever was in Christendom.
The owls have hardly sung their last,
While our four travellers homeward wend;
The owls have hooted all night long,
And with the owls began my song,
And with the owls must end.
For while they all were travelling home,
Cried Betty, “Tell us, Johnny, do,
Where all this long night you have been,
What you have heard, what you have seen,
And, Johnny, mind you tell us true.”
Now Johnny all night long had heard
The owls in tuneful concert strive;
No doubt too he the moon had seen;
For in the moonlight he had been
From eight o'clock till five.
And thus, to Betty's question, he Made answer, like a traveller bold (His very words I give to you), “The cocks did crow to-whoo, to-whoo, And the sun did shine so cold.” Thus answered Johnny in his glory, And that was all his travel's story.
THE SPARROW'S NEST. BEHOLD, within the leafy shade, Those bright blue eggs together laid ! On me the chance-discovered sight Gleamed like a vision of delight. I started-seeming to espy The home and sheltered bed,The sparrow's dwelling, which, hard by My father's house, in wet or dry, My sister Emmeline and I
She looked at it as if she feared it;
Still wishing, dreading to be near it :
Such heart was in her, being then
A little prattler among men.
The blessing of my later years
Was with me when a boy:
She gave me eyes, she gave me ears;
And humble cares, and delicate fears;
A heart, the fountain of sweet tears;
And love, and thought, and joy.
A PASTORAL POEM. If from the public way you turn your steps Up the tumultuous brook of Greenhead Ghyll, You will suppose that with an upright path Your feet must struggle; in such bold ascent The pastoral mountains front you, face to face. But, courage! for around that boisterous brook The mountains have all opened out themselves, And made a hidden valley of their own. No habitation can be seen : but they Who journey thither find themselves alone . With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, and kite That overhead are sailing in the sky. It is in truth an utter solitude; Nor should I have made mention of this dell But for one object which you might pass by, Might see and notice not. Beside the brook Appears a straggling heap of unhewn stones ! And to that place a story appertains, Which, though it be ungarnished with events, Is not unfit, I deem, for the fireside, Or for the summer shade. It was the first Of those domestic tales that spake to me Of shepherds, dwellers in the valleys, men Whom I already loved ; not verily For their own sakes, but for the fields and hills Where was their occupation and abode. And hence this tale, while I was yet a boy Careless of books, yet having felt the power Of nature, by the gentle agency Of natural objects led me on to feel For passions that were not my own, and think