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“ High on a mountain's highest ridge,
Where oft the stormy winter gale
Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds
It sweeps from vale to vale,
Not five yards from the mountain path,
This Thorn you on your left espy ;
And to the left, three yards beyond,
You see a little muddy pond
Of water, — never dry,
Though but of compass small, and bare
To thirsty suns and parching air.

“And, close beside this aged Thorn,
There is a fresh and lovely sight,
A beauteous heap, a hill of moss,
Just half a foot in height.
All lovely colors there you see,
All colors that were ever seen;
And mossy network too is there,
As if by hand of lady fair
The work had woven been;
And cups, the darlings of the eye,
So deep is their vermilion dye.

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“Ah me! what lovely tints are there
Of olive-green and scarlet bright,
In spikes, in branches, and in stars,

Green, red, and pearly white !
This heap of earth o’crgrown with moss,
Which close beside the Thorn you see,
So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,
Is like an infant's grave in size,
As like as like can be :
But never, never anywhere,
An infants grave was half so fair.

“ Now would you see this aged Thorn, .
This pond, and beauteous hill of moss,
You must take care and choose your time
The mountain when to cross.
For oft there sits between the heap
So like an infant's grave in size,
And that same pond of which I spoke,
A Woman in a scarlet cloak,
And to herself she cries,

O misery! O misery!
O woe is me! O misery!'


“At all times of the day and night
This wretched Woman thither goes ;
And she is known to every star,
And every wind that blows;
And there, beside the Thorn, she sits
When the blue daylight 's in the skies,
And when the whirlwind 's on the hill,

Or frosty air is keen and still,
And to herself she cries,
• O misery! O misery!
O woe is me! O misery !""


“ Now wherefore thus, by day and nighty
In rain, in tempest, and in snow,
Thus to the dreary mountain-top
Does this poor Woman go?
And why sits she beside the Thorn
When the blue daylight 's in the sky,
Or when the whirlwind 's on the hill,
Or frosty air is keen and still,
And wherefore does she cry? –
O wherefore? wherefore? tell me why
Does she repeat that doleful cry?"

“ I cannot tell; I wish I could;
For the true reason no one knows :
But would you gladly view the spot,
The spot to which she goes,
The hillock like an infant's grave,
The pond, and Thorn so old and gray,
Pass by her door, — 't is seldom shut, —
And if you see her in her hut,
Then to the spot away!
I never heard of such as dare
Approach the spot when she is there."

“ But wherefore to the mountain-top
Can this unhappy Woman go,
Whatever star is in the skies,
Whatever wind may blow ?”.
6 Full twenty years are past and gone
Since she (her name is Martha Ray)
Gave with a maiden's true good-will
Her company to Stephen Hill;
And she was blithe and gay,
While friends and kindred all approved
Of him whom tenderly she loved.

“ And they had fixed the wedding day,
The morning that must wed them both;
But Stephen to another Maid
Had sworn another oath ;
And, with this other Maid, to church
Unthinking Stephen went. —
Poor Martha ! on that woful day
A pang of pitiless dismay
Into her soul was sent;
A fire was kindled in her breast,
Which might not burn itself to rest.


“ They say, full six months after this, While yet the summer leaves were green, She to the mountain-top would go,

And there was often seen.
What could she seek? — or wish to hide ?
Her state to any eye was plain ;
She was with child, and she was mad :
Yet often was she sober sad
From her exceeding pain.
O guilty Father! — would that death
Had saved him from that breach of faith!


“Sad case for such a brain to hold
Communion with a stirring child !
Sad case, as you may think, for one
Who had a brain so wild !
Last Christmas-eve we talked of this,
And gray-haired Wilfred of the glen
Held that the unborn infant wrought
About its mother's heart, and brought
Her senses back again :
And when at last her time drew near,
Her looks were calm, her senses clear.

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“More know I not, I wish I did,
And it should all be told to you ;
For what became of this poor child
No mortal ever knew;
Nay, if a child to her was born
No earthly tongue could ever tell;
And if ’t was born alive or dead,

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