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And there they built up, without mortar or lime, A Man on the peak of the crag.

They built him of stones gathered up as they lay:

"Drink, pretty creature, drink," she said in such

a tone

That I almost received her heart into my own.

They built him and christened him all in one day, 'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty An urchin both vigorous and hale;

And so without scruple they called him Ralph Jones. Now Ralph is renowned for the length of his bones; The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.

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I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair. Now with her empty can the maiden turned away: But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked; and from a shady place

I unobserved could see the workings of her face : If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers bring,

Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might sing:

"What ails thee, young One? what? Why pull so at thy cord?

Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board? Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be ; Rest, little young One, rest; what is 't that aileth thee?

What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting to thy heart?

Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful

thou art :

This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have no peers;

THE dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears!

I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature,


And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side.

Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all alone,

And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,

If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen


This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain ; For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou need'st not fear,

The rain and storm are things that scarcely can come here.

Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day When my father found thee first in places far away; While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned

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A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee


Upon the mountain tops no kinder could have been.

Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee

in this can

Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew,

I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and


Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they

are now,

Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the plough;

My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is cold

Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.

It will not, will not rest!--Poor creature, can it be That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee?

Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear, And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.

Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair! I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;

The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play, When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.

Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky; Night and day thou art safe, our cottage is hard by. Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain? Sleep and at break of day I will come to thee again!"

-As homeward through the lane I went with lazy feet,

This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song ; "Nay," said I, "more than half to the damsel

must belong,


TO H. C.


O THOU! whose fancies from afar are brought;
Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel,
And fittest to unutterable thought

The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
Thou faery voyager! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem

To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;
O blessed vision! happy child!
Thou art so exquisitely wild,

I think of thee with many fears

For what may be thy lot in future years.

I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest, Lord of thy house and hospitality;

And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest

But when she sate within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly!

O vain and causeless melancholy!
Nature will either end thee quite;

Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
Preserve for thee, by individual right,

A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.
What hast thou to do with sorrow,

Or the injuries of to-morrow?

Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,

A gem that glitters while it lives,
And no forewarning gives;

But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
Slips in a moment out of life.






[This extract is reprinted from "THE FRIEND."]

WISDOM and Spirit of the universe!

For she looked with such a look, and she spake Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!

with such a tone,

That I almost received her heart into my own."


And giv'st to forms and images a breath

And everlasting motion! not in vain,

By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn

Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,-until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.

Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
With stinted kindness. In November days,
When vapours rolling down the valleys made
A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods
At noon; and mid the calm of summer nights,
When, by the margin of the trembling lake,
Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went
In solitude, such intercourse was mine:
Mine was it in the fields both day and night,
And by the waters, all the summer long.
And in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,

The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed,

I heeded not the summons: happy time

It was indeed for all of us; for me

It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
The village-clock tolled six-I wheeled about,
Proud and exulting like an untired horse
That cares not for his home.-All shod with steel
We hissed along the polished ice, in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase

And woodland pleasures,-the resounding horn,
The pack loud-chiming, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle: with the din
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron; while far-distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound

Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars,
Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.

Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Into a silent bay, or sportively

Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
To cut across the reflex of a star;
Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed
Upon the glassy plain: and oftentimes,
When we had given our bodies to the wind,
And all the shadowy banks on either side

Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still
The rapid line of motion, then at once

Have I, reclining back upon my heels,

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That Cross belike he also raised as a standard for the true

And faithful service of his heart in the worst that might ensue

Of hardship and distressful fear, amid the houseless waste

Where he, in his poor self so weak, by Providence was placed.

-Here, Lady! might I cease; but nay, let us before we part

It came with sleep and showed the Boy, no cherub, not transformed,

But the poor ragged Thing whose ways my human heart had warmed.

Me had the dream equipped with wings, so I took him in my arms,

And lifted from the grassy floor, stilling his faint alarms,

And bore him high through yielding air my debt of love to pay,

With this dear holy shepherd-boy breathe a prayer By giving him, for both our sakes, an hour of

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