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And he is lean and he is sick;
His body, dwindled and awry,
ankles swoln and thick ;
His legs are thin and dry.
he has, and only one,
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village Common.
Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
A scrap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.
This scrap of land he from the heath
Enclosed when he was stronger ;
The time, alas! is come when he
Can till the land no longer.
Oft, working by her Husband's side,
Ruth does what Simon cannot do ;
For she, with scanty cause for pride,
Is stouter of the two.
And, though you with your utmost skill
From labour could not wean them,
'Tis little, very little all
That they can do between them.
Few months of life has he in store
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ankles swell.
My gentle Reader, I perceive
How patiently you've waited,
And now I fear that you expect
Some tale will be related.
O Reader ! had you in your
mind Such stores as silent thought can bring, O gentle Reader! you would find A tale in every thing. What more I have to say is short, And you must kindly take it : It is no tale; but, should you think, Perhaps a tale you'll make it.
One summer-day I chanced to see
This old Man doing all he could
To unearth the root of an old tree,
A stump of rotten wood.
The mattock tottered in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour,
That at the root of the old tree
He might have worked for ever.
“You're overtasked, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool,” to him I said ;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffered aid.
I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I severed,
At which the poor old Man so long
And vainly had endeavoured.
The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seemed to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done.
-I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
With coldness still returning;
Alas! the gratitude of men
Hath oftener left me mourning.
ON ONE OF THE COLDEST DAYS OF THE CENTURY.
The Reader must be apprised, that the Stoves in North-Germany gene
rally have the impression of a galloping horse upon them, this being part of the Brunswick Arms.
A PLAGUE on your languages, German and Norse !
Let me have the
of the kettle ;
And the tongs and the poker, instead of that horse
That gallops away with such fury and force
On this dreary dull plate of black metal.
See that Fly,--a disconsolate creature ! perhaps
A child of the field or the
And, sorrow for him ! the dull treacherous heat
Has seduced the poor fool from his winter retreat,
And he creeps to the edge of my stove.
Alas! how he fumbles about the domains
Which this comfortless oven environ !
He cannot find out in what track he must crawl,
Now back to the tiles, then in search of the wall,
And now on the brink of the on.
Stock-still there he stands like a traveller beinazed :
The best of his skill he has tried ;
His feelers, methinks, I can see him put forth
To the east and the west, to the south and the north ;
But he finds neither guide-post nor guide.
How his spindles sink under him, foot, leg, and thigh !
His eyesight and hearing are lost;
Between life and death his blood freezes and thaws;
And his two pretty pinions of blue dusky gauze
Are glued to his sides by the frost.
No brother, no mate has he near him—while I
Can draw warmth from the cheek of my Love ;
As blest and as glad, in this desolate gloom,
were the floor of my room, And woodbines were hanging above.
Yet, God is my witness, thou small helpless Thing!
Thy life I would gladly sustain
Till summer come up from the south, and with crowds
Ofthy brethrenamarch thou should’st sound through the clouds,
And back to the forests again!