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He saw me, and he turn'd aside,
As if he wish'd himself to hide :
And with his coat did then essay
To wipe those briny tears away.
I follow'd 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 fetch'd 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, an ewe I bought;
And other sheep from her I raised,
As healthy sheep as you might see;
And then I married, and was rich
As I could wish to be;

Of sheep I number'd a full score,
And every year increased my store.

"Year after year my stock it grew;
And from this one, this single ewe,
Full fifty comely sheep I raised,
As fine a flock as ever grazed!
Upon the Quantock Hills they fed;
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 labor, 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 uplands 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 rear'd
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;
And I may say that many a time
I wish'd they all were gone;

Reckless of what might come at last,
Were but the bitter struggle past.

"To wicked deeds I was inclined,
And wicked fancies cross'd my mind;
And every man I chanced to see,
I thought he knew some ill of me.·
No peace, no comfort could I find,
No ease within doors or without;
And crazily and wearily

I went my work about;

And oft was moved to flee from home
And hide my head where wild beasts roam.

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A lamb, a wether, and a ewe,
And then at last from three to two;
And, of my fifty, yesterday

I had but only one :

And here it lies upon my arm.
Alas, and I have none;

To-day I fetch'd it from the rock

It is the last of all my flock."

W. Wordsworth.


LITTLE Ellie sits alone,

'Mid the beeches of a meadow,

By the stream-side on the grass;
And the trees are showering down
Doubles of their leaves in shadow
On her shining hair and face.

She has thrown her bonnet by;
And her feet she has been dipping
In the shallow waters' flow-
Now she holds them nakedly
In her hands, all sleek and dripping,
While she rocketh to and fro.

Little Ellie sits alone,

And the smile she softly useth

Fills the silence like a speech:
While she thinks what shall be done,
And the sweetest pleasure chooseth
For her future, within reach.

Little Ellie in her smile
Chooseth-"I will have a lover,
Riding on a steed of steeds!
He shall love me without guile;
And to him I will discover

That swan's nest among the reeds.

"And the steed it shall be red-roan,
And the lover shall be noble,

With an eye that takes the breath,
And the lute he plays upon

Shall strike ladies into trouble,

As his sword strikes men to death.

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