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“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,

How many may you be?” 15 " How many ? Seven in all,” she said,

And wondering looked at me.

“And where are they? I pray you tell." She answered, “Seven are we;

And two of us at Conway dwell, 20 And two are gone to sea.

“ Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother ;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with

my

mother.”

25 “ You say that two at Conway dwell, And two are gone

to

sea, Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell, Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

Then did the little Maid reply,
30 “ Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree."

“You run about, my little Maid,

Your limbs they are alive; 35 If two are in the churchyard laid

Then ye are only five.”

“ Their graves are green, they may be seen," The little Maid replied,

“ Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, 40 And they are side by side.

“ My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem ;
And there upon the ground I sit
And sing a song to them.

45 “ And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there. .

“ The first that died was sister Jane; 50 In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain ;
And then she went away.

“So in the churchyard she was laid ;

And, when the grass was dry, 55 Together round her grave we played,

My brother John and I.

“ And when the ground was white with snow And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go, 60 And he lies by her side."

“How many are you, then,” said I,
“ If they two are in heaven ? ”
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
66 O Master! we are seven.

65

“ But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven ! ”
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “ Nay, we are sever

ven!”

THE PET LAMB.

A PASTORAL.

Barbara Lewthwaite, now residing at Ambleside (1843) though much changed as to beauty, was one of two most lovely sisters, [but she] was not in fact the child whom I had seen and overheard as engaged in the poem.

The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; I heard a voice ; it said, “ Drink, pretty creature,

drink!” And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain-lamb with a maiden at its

side.

5 Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all

alone, And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little maiden

kneel, While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening

ineal.

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper

took, 10 Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail

with pleasure shook. “ Drink, pretty creature, drink!” she said, in such

a tone That I almost received her heart into my own.

’T was little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty

rare !

I watched them with delight, they were a lovely

pair.

15 Now with her empty can the maiden turned away, But ere ten yards were gone, her footsteps did she

stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked ; and from a

shady place I unobserved could see the workings of her face: If nature to her tongue could measured numbers

bring, 20 Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little maid might

sing:

“What ails thee, young one? what? Why pull so

at thy cord ? Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and

board ? Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can

be; Rest, little young one, rest; what is 't that aileth

thee?

25 * What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting

to thy heart ? Thy limbs, are they not strong ? And beautiful

thou art: This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have

no peers; And that green cord all day is rustling in thy ears !

“ If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy wool

len chain, 30 This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst

gain;

For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou need'st

not fear, The rain and storm are things that scarcely can

come here.

“Rest, little young one, rest; thou hast forgot the

day When my father found thee first in places far

away ; 35 Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned

by none, And thy mother from thy side for evermore was

gone.

“ He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought

thee home: A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou

roam ?

A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee

yean 40 Upon the mountain - tops no kinder could have

been.

“ Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought

thee in this can Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with

dew, I bring thee draughts of milk, — warm milk it is

and new.

45 “ Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they

are now, Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the

plough;

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