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I cannot tell; but some will say
She hanged her baby on the tree,
Some say she drowned it in the pond,
Which is a little step beyond,
But all and each agree,
The little babe was buried there,
Beneath that hill of moss so fair..
I've heard the scarlet moss is red
With drops of that poor infant's blood;
But kill a new-born infant thus!
I do not think she could.
if to the pond you go,
And fix on it a steady view,
The shadow of a babe
A baby and a baby's face,
And that it looks at you;
Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain
The baby looks at you again.
XXII. And some had sworn an oath that she Should be to public justice brought; And for the little infant's bones With spades they would have sought:
But then the beauteous hill of moss
Before their eyes began to stir;
And for full fifty yards around;
The grass it shook upon the ground;
But all do still aver
The little babe is buried there,
Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
I cannot tell how this may be,
But plain it is, the Thorn is bound
With heavy tufts of moss, that strive
To drag it to the ground.
And this I know, full many a time,
When she was on the mountain high,
By day, and in the silent night,
When all the stars shone clear and bright,
That I have heard her
“ Oh misery! oh misery!
“O woe is me! oh misery!"
IN distant countries I have been,
And yet I have not often seen
A healthy man, a man full
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 turn'd aside,
As if he wish'd himself to hide.
Then with his coat he made 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 fetched him from the rock;
He is the last of all
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 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 encreas'd my store,
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.
Ten 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?”
A woeful time did me good.
I sold a sheep as they had said,
And bought my little children bread,
And they were healthy with their food;
For me it neyer,
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 droppid: