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In distant countries I have been ;
And yet I have not often seen
A healthy Man, a Man full grown,
Weep in the public roads alone.
But such a one, on English ground,
And in the broad high-way, I met ;
Along the broad high-way he came,
His cheeks with tears were wet.
Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad;
And in his arms a Lamb he had.
He saw me, and he turned aside,
As if he wished himself to hide :
Then with his coat he made essay
To wipe those briny tears away.
I followed him, and said, “My Friend
“What ails you ? wherefore weep you so ?"
-"Shame on me, Sir! this lusty Lamb,
He makes my tears to flow.
To-day I fetched him from the rock;
He is the last of all my flock.
When I was young, a single Man,
And after youthful follies ran,
Though little given to care and thought,
Yet, so it was, a Ewe I bought ;
And other sheep from her I raised,
As healthy shcep as you might see s
And then I married, and was rich
As I could wish to be;
Of sheep I numbered a full score,
And every year increas'd my
• Year after year my stock it grew,
And from this one, this single Ewe,
Full fifty comely sheep I raised,
As sweet a flock as ever grazed!
Upon the mountain did they feed,
They throve, and we at home did thrive,
-This lusty Lamb of all my store
Is all that is alive ;
And now I care not if we die,
And perish all of poverty.
Six Children, Sir ! had I to feed,
Hard labour in a time of need !
My pride was tamed, and in our grief,
I of the Parish ask'd relief.
They said I was a wealthy man ;
My sheep upon the mountain fed,
And it was fit that thence I took
Whereof to buy us bread :"
" Do this
how can we give to you," They cried, “ what to the poor is due ?"
I sold a sheep,' as they had said,
And bought my little children bread,
And they were healthy with their food;
For me it never did me good.
A woeful time it was for me,
To see the end of all my gains,
The pretty flock which I had reared
With all my care and pains,
To see it melt like snow away!
For me it was a woeful day,
Another still ! and still another !
A little lamb, and then its mother !
It was a vein that never stopp'd
Like blood-drops from my heart they dropp'd.
Till thirty were not left alive
They dwindled, dwindled, one by one,
many, a time I wished they all were gone :: They dwindled one by one away ; For me it was a woeful day.
To wicked deeds I was inclined,
And wicked fancies cross'd my mind;
And every man I chanc'd to see,
I thought he knew some ill of me.
No peace po comfort could I find,
No ease, within doors or without,
And crazily, and wearily,
I went my work about.
Oft-times I thought to run away;
For me it was a woeful day.
Sir ! 'twas a precious flock to me,
As dear as my own Children be ;
For daily with my growing store
I loved my Children more and more,
Alas! it was an evil time;
God cursed me in my sore distress ;
I prayed, yet every day I thought
I loved my children less ;
And every week, and every day,
My flock, it seemed to melt away.