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But many good and pious thoughts
Had she; and, in the kirk to pray,

Two long Scotch miles, through rain or snow,
To kirk she had been used to go,
Twice every Sabbath-day.

And, when she followed Peter Bell,
It was to lead an honest life;

For he, with tongue not used to falter,
Had pledged his troth before the altar
To love her as his wedded wife.

A mother's hope is hers;

but soon

She drooped and pined like one forlorn;
From Scripture she a name did borrow;
Benoni, or the child of sorrow,

She called her babe unborn.

For she had learned how Peter lived,
And took it in most grievous part;
She to the very bone was worn,
And, ere that little child was born,
Died of a broken heart.

And now the Spirits of the Mind
Are busy with poor Peter Bell;
Upon the rights of visual sense
Usurping, with a prevalence
More terrible than magic spell.

Close by a brake of flowering furze
(Above it shivering aspens play)
He sees an unsubstantial creature,
His very self in form and feature,
Not four yards from the broad highway:

And stretched beneath the furze he sees
The Highland girl - it is no other;

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And hears her crying as she cried,
The very moment that she died,

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The sweat pours down from Peter's face,
So grievous is his heart's contrition;
With agony his eye-balls ache

While he beholds by the furze-brake
This miserable vision!

Calm is the well-deserving brute,

His peace, hath no offence betrayed;
But now, while down that slope he wends,
A voice to Peter's ear ascends,
Resounding from the woody glade:

The voice, though clamorous as a horn
Re-echoed by a naked rock,

Is from that tabernacle List!

Within, a fervent Methodist
Is preaching to no heedless flock!

66 Repent! repent!" he cries aloud, "While yet ye may find mercy; - strive "To love the Lord with all your might; "Turn to him, seek him day and night, "And save your souls alive!

"Repent! repent! though ye have gone, "Through paths of wickedness and woe, "After the Babylonian harlot,

"And, though your sins be red as scarlet,

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Even as he passed the door, these words
Did plainly come to Peter's ears;
And they such joyful tidings were,
The joy was more than he could bear!
He melted into tears.

Sweet tears of hope and tenderness!
And fast they fell, a plenteous shower!
His nerves, his sinews seemed to melt;
Through all his iron frame was felt
A gentle, a relaxing power!

Each fibre of his frame was weak;
Weak all the animal within;
But, in its helplessness, grew mild
And gentle as an infant child,
An infant that has known no sin.

'Tis said, that, through prevailing grace,
He, not unmoved, did notice now
The cross upon thy shoulders scored,
Meek Beast! in memory of the Lord
To whom all human-kind shall bow;

In memory of that solemn day
When Jesus humbly deigned to ride,
Entering the proud Jerusalem,
By an immeasurable stream
Of shouting people deified!

Meanwhile the persevering Ass,
Towards a gate in open view,
Turns up a narrow lane; his chest
Against the yielding gate he pressed,
And quietly passed through.

And up the stony lane he goes;
No ghost more softly ever trod;
Among the stones and pebbles, he
Sets down his hoofs inaudibly,

As if with felt his hoofs were shod.

Along the lane the trusty Ass

Had gone two hundred yards, not more;
When to a lonely house he came;
He turned aside towards the same,
And stopped before the door.

Thought Peter, 'tis the poor man's home! not a sound is heard

He listens

Save from the trickling household rill;
But, stepping o'er the cottage-sill,
Forthwith a little Girl appeared.

She to the Meeting-house was bound
In hope some tidings there to gather;
No glimpse it is no doubtful gleam -
She saw
and uttered with a scream,
"My father! here's my father!"

The very word was plainly heard,
Heard plainly by the wretched Mother-
Her joy was like a deep affright:
And forth she rushed into the light,
And saw it was another!

And, instantly, upon the earth,
Beneath the full moon shining bright,
Close to the Ass's feet she fell;
At the same moment Peter Bell
Dismounts in most unhappy plight.

As he beheld the Woman lie
Breathless and motionless, the mind
Of Peter sadly was confused;

But, though to such demands unused
And helpless almost as the blind,

He raised her up; and, while he held
Her body propped against his knee,
The Woman waked - and when she spied
The poor Ass standing by her side,
She moaned most bitterly.

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"For he is dead - I know it well!"

·At this she wept a bitter flood;

And, in the best way that he could,
His tale did Peter tell.

He trembles

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he is pale as death
His voice is weak with perturbation
He turns aside his head he pauses;
Poor Peter from a thousand causes;
Is crippled sore in his narration.

At length she learned how he espied
The Ass in that small meadow ground;
And that her Husband now lay dead,
Beside that luckless river's bed
In which he had been drowned.

A piercing look the Sufferer cast
Upon the Beast that near her stands;
She sees 'tis he, that 'tis the same;
She calls the poor Ass by his name,
And wrings, and wrings her hands.

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