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Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all alone,

And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,

"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


I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair. Now with her empty can the maiden turned away: But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked; and from a shady place

I unobserved could see the workings of her face : If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers bring,

Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might sing:

"What ails thee, young One? what? Why pull so at thy cord?

Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board? Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be ; Rest, little young One, rest; what is 't that aileth thee?

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 that scarcely can come here.

Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day When my father found thee first in places far away; While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned


The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took,

Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure shook.

the beautiful dale of Legberthwaite, along the high road between Keswick and Ambleside.

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?

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TO H. C.


O THOU ! whose fancies from afar are brought;
Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel,
And fittest to unutterable thought

The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
Thou faery voyager! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem

To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;
O blessed vision! happy child!
Thou art so exquisitely wild,

I think of thee with many fears

For what may be thy lot in future years.

I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest, Lord of thy house and hospitality;

And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest

But when she sate within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly!

O vain and causeless melancholy!
Nature will either end thee quite;

Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
Preserve for thee, by individual right,

A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.
What hast thou to do with sorrow,

Or the injuries of to-morrow?

Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
A gem that glitters while it lives,
And no forewarning gives;
But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
Slips in a moment out of life.






[This extract is reprinted from "THE FRIEND."]

WISDOM and Spirit of the universe!

For she looked with such a look, and she spake Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!

with such a tone,

That I almost received her heart into my own."

And giv'st to forms and images a breath

And everlasting motion! not in vain,

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Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,-until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.

Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
With stinted kindness. In November days,
When vapours rolling down the valleys made
A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods
At noon; and mid the calm of summer nights,
When, by the margin of the trembling lake,
Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went
In solitude, such intercourse was mine:
Mine was it in the fields both day and night,
And by the waters, all the summer long.
And in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,

The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed,

I heeded not the summons: happy time

It was indeed for all of us; for me

It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
The village-clock tolled six-I wheeled about,
Proud and exulting like an untired horse
That cares not for his home.-All shod with steel
We hissed along the polished ice, in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase
And woodland pleasures,-the resounding horn,
The pack loud-chiming, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle: with the din
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron; while far-distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound

Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars,
Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.

Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Into a silent bay, or sportively

Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
To cut across the reflex of a star;
Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed
Upon the glassy plain: and oftentimes,
When we had given our bodies to the wind,
And all the shadowy banks on either side

Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still
The rapid line of motion, then at once

Have I, reclining back upon my heels,

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That Cross belike he also raised as a standard for the true

And faithful service of his heart in the worst that might ensue

Of hardship and distressful fear, amid the houseless waste

Where he, in his poor self so weak, by Providence was placed.

-Here, Lady! might I cease; but nay, let us before we part

It came with sleep and showed the Boy, no cherub, not transformed,

But the poor ragged Thing whose ways my human heart had warmed.

Me had the dream equipped with wings, so I took him in my arms,

And lifted from the grassy floor, stilling his faint alarms,

And bore him high through yielding air my debt

of love to pay,

With this dear holy shepherd-boy breathe a prayer By giving him, for both our sakes, an hour of

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