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The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice; it said, “ Drink, pretty creature, drink!”
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 tether'd to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,
While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal.

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took, Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with

pleasure shook. Drink, pretty creature, drink,” she said in such a tone, That I almost received her heart into my own.

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Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare;
I watch'd them with delight, they were a lovely pair!
Now with her empty can the Maiden turn'd away;
But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the Lamb she look’d; and from that 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 ; And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears !

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

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

fearThe 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 ; Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned by

none, And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.

He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee

home: A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam? A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee

yean Upon the mountain tops no kinder could have been.

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

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 new.

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,ếour 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 mine.

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song; “Nay,” said I,“ more than half to the damsel must belong, For she looked with such a look, and she spake with

such a tone, That I almost received her heart into my own.

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