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All day she spun in her poor dwelling ;
And then her three hours' work at night !
Alas ! 'twas hardly worth the telling,
It would not pay for candle light.
This woman dwelt in Dorsetshire, -
Her hut was on a cold hill-side,
And in that country coals are dear,
For they come far by wind and tide,
By the same fire to boil their pottage,
Two poor old dames, as I have known,
Will often live in one small cottage :
But she, poor woman ! dwelt alone.
'Twas well enough when summer came,
The long warm, lightsome summer day,
Then at her door the canty dame
Would sit, as any linnet gay.
But when the ice our streams did fetter,
Oh then how her old bones would shake !
You would have said, if you had met her,
'Twas a hard time for Goody Blake.
Her evenings then were dull and dead !
Sad case it was, as you may think,
So very cold to go to bed ;
And not for cold to sleep a wink.
Oh, joy for her! whene'er in winter
The winds at night had made a rout ;
And scattered many a lusty splinter
And many a rotten bough about.
Yet never had she, well or sick,
As every man who knew her says,
A pile beforehand, wood or stick,
Enough to warm her for three days.
Now, when the frost was past enduring,
And made her poor old bones to ache,
Could anything be more alluring
Than an old hedge to Goody Blake ?
And now and then, it must be said
When her old bones were cold and chill,
She left her fire, or left her bed.
To seek the hedge of Harry Gill.
Now Harry he had long suspected
This trespass of old Goody Blake;
And vowed that she should be detected,
And he on her would vengeance take ;
And oft from his warm fire he'd go,
And to the fields his road would take ;
And there, at night, in frost and snow,
He watched to seize old Goody Blake.
And once, behind a rick of barley,
Thus looking out did Harry stand :
The moon was full and shining clearly,
And crisp with frost the stubble land.
He hears a noise--he's all awake-
Again ! on tip-toe down the hill
He softly creeps——tis Goody Blake;
She's at the hedge of Harry Gill.
Right glad was he when he beheld her ;
Stick after stick did Goody pull :
He stood behind a bush of elder,
Till she had filled her apron full.
When with her load she turned about,
The by-road back again to take,
He started forward with a shout,
And sprung upon poor Goody Blake.
And fiercely by the arm he took her,
And by the arm he held her fast,
And fiercely by the arm he shook her,
And cried, “ I've caught you, then, at last !”
Then Goody, who had nothing said,
Her bundle from her lap let fall ;
And kneeling on the sticks, she prayed
To God, that is the Judge of all.
She prayed, her withered hand uprearing,
While Harry held her by the arm-
“God! who art never out of hearing,
O may he never more be warm !"
The cold, cold moon above her head,
Thus on her knees did Goody pray,
Young Harry heard what she had said :
And icy cold he turned away.
He went complaining all the morrow
That he was cold and very chill :
His face was gloom, his heart was sorrow ;--
Alas, that day, for Harry Gill !
That day he wore a riding-coat,
But not a whit the warmer he :
Another was on Thursday bought,
And ere the Sabbath he had three.
'Twas all in vain, a useless matter,
And blankets were about him pinned ;
Yet still his jaws and teeth they clatter,
Like a loose casement in the wind.
And Harry's flesh it fell away ;
And all who see him say, 'tis plain,
That, live as long as live he may,
He never will be warm again.
No word to any man he utters,
A-bed or up, to young or old ;
But ever to himself he mutters,
“Poor Harry Gill is very cold."
A-bed or up, by night or day,
His teeth they chatter, chatter still.
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray.
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill.
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay :
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee ;-
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company !
I gazed-and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to 'me had brought !
For oft when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils,