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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
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.
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?
TO H. C.
SIX YEARS OLD.
O THOU ! whose fancies from afar are brought;
The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
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 vain and causeless melancholy!
Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.
Or the injuries of to-morrow?
Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
INFLUENCE OF NATURAL OBJECTS
IN CALLING FORTH AND STRENGTHENING THE IMAGINATION IN BOYHOOD AND EARLY YOUTH.
FROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.
[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,
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
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
Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars,
Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still
Have I, reclining back upon my heels,
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