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What more he said I cannot tell.
The stream came thundering down the dell,
And galloped loud and fast;
I listened, nor aught else could hear,
The Briar quaked--and much I fear,
Those accents were his last.
His simple truths did Andrew glean
Beside the babbling rills;
A careful student he had been
Among the woods and bills.
One winter's night, when through the Trees
The wind was thundering, on his knees
His youngest born did Andrew hold:
And while the rest, a ruddy quire,
Were seated round their blazing fire,
This Tale the Shepherd told.
I saw a crag, a lofty stone
As ever tempest beat!
Out of its head an Oak had grown,
A Broom out of its feet.
The time was March, a cheerful noon-
The thaw-wind with the breath of June
Breathed gently frem the warm South-west;
When, in a voice sedate with age,
This Oak, half giant and half sage,
His neighbour thus addressed :
“Eight weary weeks, through rock and clay,
Along this mountain's edge
The Frost hath wrought both night and day,
Wedge driving after wedge.
Look up! and think, above your head
What trouble surely will be bred;
Last night I heard a crash—'tis true,
The splinters took another road
I see them yonder what a load
For such a Thing as you!
“ You are preparing as before
To deck your slender shape ;
And yet, just three years back-no more
You had a strange escape.
Down from yon Cliff a fragment broke,
It came, you know, with fire and smoke
And hitherward it bent its
This pond'rous Block was caught by me,
And o'er your head, as you may see,
'Tis hanging to this day!
“ The Thing had better been asleep,
Whatever thing it were,
Or Breeze, or Bird, or Dog, or Sheep,
That first did plant you there.
For you and your green twigs decoy
The little witless Shepherd-boy
To come and slumber in your bower;
And, trust me, on some sultry noon,
and he, Heaven knows how soon! Will perish in one hour,
" From me this friendly warning take" The Broom began to doze, And thus to keep herself awake Did gently interpose : “ My thanks for your
discourse are due ; That it is true, and more than true, I know, and I have known it long; Frail is the bond, by which we hold Our being, be we young or old, Wise, foolish, weak or strong.
“ Disasters, do the best we can, Will reach both great and small; And he is oft the wisest man,
For me, why should I wish to roam ?
This spot is my paternal home,
It is my pleasant Heritage ;
My Father many a happy year
Here spread his careless blossoms, here
Attained a good old age.