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Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.
O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.
ALICE FELL; OR, POVERTY. The post-boy drove with fierce career, For threatening clouds the moon had drowned ; When suddenly I seemed to hear A moan, a lamentable sound.
As if the wind blew many ways,
I heard the sound-and more and more ;
It seemed to follow with the chaise,
And still I heard it as before.
At length I to the boy called out ;
He stopped his horses at the word;
But neither cry, nor voice, nor shout,
Nor aught else like it, could be heard.
The boy then smacked his whip, and fast
The horses scampered through the rain ;
And soon I heard upon the blast
The voice, and bade him halt again.
Said I, alighting on the ground,
“What can it be, this piteous moan?”
And there a little girl I found,
Sitting behind the chaise, alone.
“My cloak!” the word was last and first,
And loud and bitterly she wept,
As if her very heart would burst;
And down from off her seat she leapt.
“ What ails you, child?” She sobbed, “ Look here !"
I saw it in the wheel entangled,
A weather-beaten rag as e'er
From any garden scarecrow dangled.
'Twas twisted between nave and spoke,
Her help she lent, and with good heed
Together we released the cloak;
A wretched, wretched rag indeed !
“And whither are you going, child,
To-night along these lonesome ways?"
"To Durham," answered she, half wild-
“Then come with me into the chaise."
She sate like one past all relief:
Sob after sob she forth did send
In wretchedness, as if her grief
Could never, never have an end.
“My child, in Durham do you dwell ?"
She checked herself in her distress,
And said, “ My name is Alice Fell; .
I'm fatherless and motherless.
“And I to Durham, sir, belong."
And then, 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
Was nigh; and sitting by my side,
As if she had lost her only friend,
She wept, nor would be pacified,
Up to the tavern door we post;
Of Alice and her grief I told ;
And I gave money to the host,
To buy a new cloak for the old.
“And let it be of duffle gray;
As warm a cloak as man can sell ! "
Proud creature was she the next day,
The little orphan, Alice Fell!
WE ARE SEVEN.
- A SIMPLE child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage girl:
She was eight years old, she said ;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad :
Her eyes were fair, and very fair ;
Her beauty made me glad.
“Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be ?"
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.
“And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
“Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother ;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”
“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be,"
Then did the little maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree.”
“You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive ;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five."
“Their graves are green, they may be seen," The little maid replied, “Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side.
“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit-
I sit and sing to them.
"And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
“The first that died was little Jane ;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain ;
And then she went away.
“So in the churchyard she was laid ;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.
“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide.
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."
“How many are you then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?"
The little maiden did reply,
“O master! we are seven."
“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven !"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven!”