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Beyond participation lie

My troubles, and beyond relief:
If any chance to heave a sigh
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end;
I have no other earthly friend.

THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT

BY A FEMALE FRIEND.*

THE days are cold, the nights are long,
The north wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,

Save thee, my pretty love!

The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth;
There's nothing stirring in the house
Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse,
Then why so busy thou?

Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
'Tis but the moon that shines so bright
On the window-pane bedropped with rain:
Then, little darling! sleep again,

And wake when it is day.

THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.

ONE morning (raw it was and wet,
A foggy day in winter time)

A woman on the road I met,

Not old, though something past her prime:
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;

And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

The ancient spirit is not dead;

Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
Proud was I that my country bred

Such strength, a dignity so fair:

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;

I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
With the first word I had to spare

I said to her, "Beneath your cloak
What's that which on your arms you bear?"
She answered, soon as she the question heard,
"A simple burthen, Sir, a little singing-bird."

* See p. 257.

And thus continuing, she said,

"I had a son, who many a day

Sailed on the seas; but he is dead;

In Denmark he was cast away;

And I have travelled far as Hull, to see

What clothes he might have left, or other property.

"The bird and cage they both were his;
'Twas my son's bird; and neat and trim

He kept it: many voyages

His singing-bird hath gone with him;

When last he sailed he left the bird behind;

As it might be, perhaps, from bodings of his mind.

"He to a fellow-lodger's care

Had left it, to be watched and fed,
Till he came back again; and there

I found it when my son was dead;

And now, God help me for my little wit!

I trail it with me, Sir! he took so much delight in it."

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THE CHILDLESS FATHER.

UP, Timothy, up with your staff and away!
Not a soul in the village this morning will stay;
The hare has just started from Hamilton's grounds,
And Skiddaw is glad with the cry of the hounds."
-Of coats and of jackets gray, scarlet, and green,
On the slopes of the pastures all colours were seen;
With their comely blue aprons, and caps white as snow,
The girls on the hills made a holiday show.

The bason of boxwood, just six months before,
Had stood on the table at Timothy's door;
A coffin through Timothy's threshold had past;
One child did it bear, and that child was his last.

Now fast up the dell came the noise and the fray,
The horse and the horn, and the hark! hark away!
Old Timothy took up his staff, and he shut
With a leisurely motion the door of his hut.

Perhaps to himself at that moment he said,
"The key I must take, for my Helen is dead."
But of this in my ears not a word did he speak,
And he went to the chase with a tear on his cheek.

ONCE in a lonely hamlet I sojourned

In which a lady driven from France did dwell;

In several parts of the north of England, when a funeral takes place, a bason full of sprigs of boxwood is placed at the door of the house from which the coffin is taken up, and each person who attends the funeral ordinarly takes a sprig of this boxwood, and throws it into the grave of the decased.

Beyond participation lie

My troubles, and beyond relief:
If any chance to heave a sigh
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end;
I have no other earthly friend.

THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT

BY A FEMALE FRIEND. *

THE days are cold, the nights are long,
The north wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,

Save thee, my pretty love!

The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth;
There's nothing stirring in the house
Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse,
Then why so busy thou?

Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
"Tis but the moon that shines so bright
On the window-pane bedropped with rain:
Then, little darling! sleep again,

And wake when it is day.

THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.

ONE morning (raw it was and wet,
A foggy day in winter time)

A woman on the road I met,

Not old, though something past her prime:
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;

And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

The ancient spirit is not dead;

Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
Proud was I that my country bred

Such strength, a dignity so fair:

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;

I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.
When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
With the first word I had to spare

I said to her, "Beneath your cloak
What's that which on your arms you bear?"
She answered, soon as she the question heard,
"A simple burthen, Sir, a little singing-bird."

* See p. 257.

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In Denmark he was cast away;

And I have travelled far as Hull, to see

What clothes he might have left, or other property.

"The bird and cage they both were his;

"Twas my son's bird; and neat and trim
He kept it: many voyages

His singing-bird hath gone with him;

When last he sailed he left the bird behind;

As it might be, perhaps, from bodings of his mind.

"He to a fellow-lodger's care

Had left it, to be watched and fed,
Till he came back again; and there

I found it when my son was dead;

And now, God help me for my little wit!

I trail it with me, Sir! he took so much delight in it."

THE CHILDLESS FATHER.

"UP, Timothy, up with your staff and away!
Not a soul in the village this morning will stay;
The hare has just started from Hamilton's grounds,
And Skiddaw is glad with the cry of the hounds."
-Of coats and of jackets gray, scarlet, and green,
On the slopes of the pastures all colours were seen;
With their comely blue aprons, and caps white as snow,
The girls on the hills made a holiday show.

The bason of boxwood,* just six months before,
Had stood on the table at Timothy's door;
A coffin through Timothy's threshold had past;
One child did it bear, and that child was his last.

Now fast up the dell came the noise and the fray,
The horse and the horn, and the hark! hark away!
Old Timothy took up his staff, and he shut
With a leisurely motion the door of his hut.

Perhaps to himself at that moment he said,
"The key I must take, for my Helen is dead."
But of this in my ears not a word did he speak,
And he went to the chase with a tear on his cheek.

ONCE in a lonely hamlet I sojourned

In which a lady driven from France did dwell;

In several parts of the north of England, when a funeral takes place, a bason full of sprigs of boxwood is placed at the door of the house from which the coffin is taken up, and each person who attends the funeral ordinarly takes a sprig of this boxwood, and throws it into the grave of the decased.

Beyond participation lie
My troubles, and beyond relief:
If any chance to heave a sigh
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end;
I have no other earthly friend.

THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT

BY A FEMALE FRIEND.*

THE days are cold, the nights are long,
The north wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,

Save thee, my pretty love!

The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth;
There's nothing stirring in the house
Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse,
Then why so busy thou?

Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
"Tis but the moon that shines so bright
On the window-pane bedropped with rain:
Then, little darling! sleep again,

And wake when it is day.

THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.

ONE morning (raw it was and wet,
A foggy day in winter time)

A woman on the road I met,

Not old, though something past her prime:
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;

And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

The ancient spirit is not dead;

Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
Proud was I that my country bred

Such strength, a dignity so fair:

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;
I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.
When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
With the first word I had to spare

I said to her, "Beneath your cloak
What's that which on your arms you bear?"
She answered, soon as she the question heard,
"A simple burthen, Sir, a little singing-bird."

* See p. 257.

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