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But that she goes to this old Thorn,
The Thorn which I've described to you,
And there sits in a scarlet cloak,
I will be sworn is true.
For one day with my telescope,
To view the ocean wide and bright,
When to this country first I came,
Ere I had heard of Martha's name,
I climbed the mountain's height:
A storm came on, and I could see
No object higher than my knee.
"Twas mist and rain, and storm and rain,
No screen, no fence could I discover,
And then the wind! in faith, it was
A wind full ten times over.
I looked around, I thought I saw
A jutting crag, — and off I ran,
Head-foremost, through the driving rain,
The shelter of the crag to gain;
And, as! am a man,
Instead of jutting crag, I found
A Woman seated on the ground.
I did not speak — I saw her face;Her face !— it was enough for me;I turned about and heard her cry,"Oh misery! oh misery !"j And there she sits, until the moon Through half the clear blue sky will go;And, when the little breezes make, The waters of the Pond to shake, As all the country know, She shudders, and you hear her cry,"Oh misery! oh misery!"
"But what's the Thorn? and what's the Pond?
And what's the Hill of moss to her?
And what's the creeping breeze that comes
The little Pond to stir?"
"I cannot tell; but some will say
She hanged her baby on the tree;
Some say she drowned it in the pond,
Which is a little step beyond: ,
But all and each agree,
The little babe was buried there,
Beneath that Hill of moss so fair.
I've heard, the moss is spotted red
With drops of that poor infant's blood:
But kill a new-born infant thus,
I do not think she could!
Some say, if to the Pond you go,
And fix on it a steady view,
The shadow of a babe you trace,
A baby and a baby's face,
And that it looks at you;
Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain
The baby looks at you again.
And some had sworn an oath that she
I cannot tell how this may be:
But plain it is, the Thorn is bound
With heavy tufts of moss, that strive
To drag it to the ground;
And this I know, full many a time,
When she was on the mountain high,
By day, and in the silent night,
When all the stars shone clear and bright,
That I have heard her cry,
"Oh misery! oh misery!
Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
Hart-Leap Well is a small spring of water, about five miles from Richmond in Yorkshire, and near the side of the road tMck lean from Richmond to Askrigg. Its name is derived from a remarkable Chase, the memory of which is preserved by the monuments spoken of in the second Part of the following Poem which monuments do now exist as I have there described them.
The Knight had ridden down from Wensley mooi
"Another Horse!" — That shout the Vassal heard