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And parted thus they rest who play'd

Beneath the same green tree;
Whose voices mingled as they pray'd

Around one parent knee;

They that with smiles lit up the hall,

And cheer'd with song the hearth!-
Alas for love ! if thou wert all,
And naught beyond, O, Earth!

F. Hemans

CLIX

THE THRUSH'S NEST

Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush,

That overhung a mole-hill large and round, I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush

Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the sounä With joy; and oft, an unintruding guest,

I watch'd her secret toils from day to day, How true she warp'd the moss to form her nest,

And modell’d it within with wool and clay. And bye and bye, like heath-bells gilt with dew,

There lay her shining eggs as bright as flowers, Ink-spotted over, shells of green and blue ;

And there I witness'd, in the summer hours, A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly, Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky.

7. Clare

CLX

THE LAST OF THE FLOCK

I

In distant countries have I been,
And yet I have not often seen
A healthy man, a man full grown,
Weep in the public roads alone;
But such a one, on English ground,
And in the broad highway I met ;
Along the broad highway he came,
His cheeks with tears were wet ;
Sturdy he seem'd, though he was sad ;
And in his arms a lamb he had.

2

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.

3 “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 increas'd my store.

4 "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.

5 'Six 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 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?'

6 “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 woful 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 woful day.

7

Another still ! and still another!
A little lamb, and then its mother !
It was a vein that never stoppd-
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.

8

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.

9
“Sir, 'twas a precious flock to me,
As dear as my own children be ;
For daily with my growing store
I loved my children more and more.
Alas! it was an evil time ;
God cursed me in my sore distress;
I pray'd, yet every day I thought
I loved my children less;
And every week, and every day,
My flock it seem'd to melt away ;
They dwindled, sir, sad sight to see !
From ten to five, from five to three,
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

CLXI

THE ROMANCE OF THE SWAN'S NEST

Little Ellie sits alone
'Mid the beeches of a meadow,

By a stream-side on the grass ;

And the trees are showering down
Doubles of their leaves in shadow

On her shining hair and face.

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