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On me the chance-discovered sight
Gleamed like a vision of delight.—
I started-seeming to espy
The home and sheltered bed,-

The Sparrow's dwelling, which, hard by
My father's house, in wet or dry,
My sister Emmeline and I

Together visited.

She looked at it as if she feared it;
Still wishing, dreading to be near it:
Such heart was in her, being then
A little prattler among men.
The blessing of my later years
Was with me when a boy:

She gave me eyes, she gave me ears;
And humble cares, and delicate fears;
A heart, the fountain of sweet tears;
And love, and thought, and joy.



THAT is work of waste and ruin-
Do as Charles and I are doing!
Strawberry-blossoms, one and all,

We must spare them-here are many:
Look at it the flower is small,

Small and low, though fair as any:

Do not touch it! summers two

I am older, Anne, than you.

Pull the primrose, sister Anne!

Pull as many as you can.

-Here are daisies, take your fill;
Pansies, and the cuckow-flower:
Of the lofty daffodil

Make your bed, and make your bower;
Fill your lap, and fill your bosom ;
Only spare the Strawberry-blossom

Primroses, the Spring may love them--
Summer knows but little of them;

Violets, a barren kind,

Withered on the ground must lie

Daisies leave no fruit behind

When the pretty flowrets die;
Pluck them, and another year
As many will be blowing here.

God has given a kindlier power
To the favoured Strawberry-flower.
When the months of spring are fled
Hither let us bend our walk;

Lurking berries, ripe and red,
Then will hang on every stalk,
Each within its leafy bower;

And for that promise spare the flower!


LOVING she is, and tractable, though wiid;
And innocence hath privilege in her

To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes;

And feats of cunning; and the pretty round
Of trespasses, affected to provoke

Mock-chastisement and partnership in play.
And, as a faggot sparkles on the hearth,

Not less if unattended and alone

Than when both young and old sit gathered round
And take delight in its activity,

Even so this happy creature of herself

Is all-sufficient: solitude to her

Is blithe society, who fills the air

With gladness and involuntary songs.

Light are her sallies as the tripping fawn's

Forth-startled from the fern where she lay couched ;
Unthought-of, unexpected as the stir

Of the soft breeze ruffling the meadow flowers;
Or from before it chasing wantonly
The many-coloured images impressed

Upon the bosom of a placid lake.



WHAT way does the wind come? What way does he go? He rides over the water, and over the snow,

Through wood, and through vale; and o'er rocky height Which the goat cannot climb takes his sounding flight. He tosses about in every bare tree,

As, if you look up, you plainly may see;

But how he will come, and whether he goes
There's never a scholar in England knows.

He will suddenly stop in a cunning nook,

And rings a sharp larum ;-but if you should look
There's nothing to see but a cushion of snow
Round as a pillow, and whiter than milk,
And softer than if it were covered with silk.
Sometimes he'll hide in the cave of a rock,
Then whistle as shrill as the buzzard cock

-Yet seek him-and what shall you find in the place? Nothing but silence and empty space,

Save, in a corner, a heap of dry leaves,

That he's left for a bed for beggars or thieves!

As soon as 'tis daylight, to-morrow, with me
You shall go to the orchard, and then you will see
That he has been there, and made a great rout,
And cracked the branches, and strewn them about;
Heaven grant that he spare but that one upright twig
That looked up at the sky so proud and big

All last summer, as well you know,
Studded with apples, a beautiful show!

Hark! over the roof he makes a pause,

And growls as if he would fix his claws
Right in the slates, and with a huge rattle

Drive them down, like men in a battle:

-But let him range round; he does us no harm,
We build up the fire, we're snug and warm;

Untouch'd by his breath see the candle shines bright,
And burns with a clear and steady light;

Books have we to read,-hush! that half-stified knell,
Methinks 'tis the sound of the eight o'clock bell.
-Come, now we'll to bed! and when we are there
He may work his own will, and what shall we care,
He may knock at the door,-we'll not let him in,
May drive at the windows,-we'll laugh at his din;
Let him seek his own home wherever it be ;
Here's a cozie warm house for Edward and me.



A MONTH, Sweet little ones, is passed
Since your dear mother went away,-
And she to-morrow will return;
To-morrow is the happy day.

O blessed tidings! thought of joy!
The eldest heard with steady glee;
Silent he stood; then laughed amain,-
And shouted, "Mother come to me!"

Louder and louder did he shout
With witless hope to bring her near;
"Nay, patience! patience, little boy!
Your tender mother cannot hear."

I told of hills, and far-off towns,

And long, long vales to travel through ;-
He listens, puzzled, sore perplexed,
But he submits? what can he do?

No strife disturbs his sister's breast;
She wars not with the mystery
Of time and distance, night and day,
The bonds of our humanity.

Her joy is like an instinct, joy
Of kitten, bird, or summer fly;
She dances, runs without an aim,
She chatters in her ecstacy.

Her brother now takes up the note,
And echoes back his sister's glee;
They hug the infant in my arms,
As if to force his sympathy.

Then, settling into fond discourse,
We rested in the garden bower!
While sweetly shone the evening sun
In his departing hour.

We told o'er all that we had done,-
Our rambles by the swift brook's side
Far as the willow-skirted pool
Where two fair swans together glide.
We talked of change, of winter gone,
Of green leaves on the hawthorn spray
Of birds that build their nests and sing
And "all since Mother went away!"
To her these tales they will repeat,
To her our new-born tribes will show,
The goslings green, the ass's colt,
The lambs that in the meadow go.

But, see, the evening star comes forth!
To bed the children must depart;

A moment's heaviness they feel,
A sadness at the heart:

"Tis gone-and in a merry fit

They run up stairs in gamesome race;
I too, infected by their mood,

I could have joined the wanton chase.

Five minutes past-and Oh the change!
Asleep upon their beds they lie;
Their busy limbs in perfect rest,
And closed the sparkling eye.


THE post-boy drove with fierce career,
For threat'ning clouds the moon had drown'd

When suddenly I seem'd to hear

A moan, a lamentable sound.

As if the wind blew many ways

I heard the sound, and more and more:
It seem'd to follow with the chaise,
And still I heard it as before.

At length I to the boy call'd out,
He stopp'd his horses at the word;
But neither cry, nor voice, nor shout.
Nor aught else like it could be heard.
The boy then smack'd his whip, and fast
The horses scamper'd 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 the chaise she leapt.

"What ails you, child?" she sobb'd, "Look here!” I saw it in the wheel entangled,

A weather-beaten rag as e'er

From any garden scare-crow dangled.

"Twas twisted betwixt 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," answer'd 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.

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'My child, in Durham do you dwell?"

She check'd 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 tatter'd cloak.

The chaise drove on; our journey's end
Was nigh; and, sitting by my side,
As if she'd lost her only friend
She wept, nor would be pacified.

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