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My Father was a good and pious man,
An honest man by honest parents bred;
And I believe, that, soon as I began
To lisp, he made me kneel beside my bed,
And in his hearing there my prayers I said:
And afterwards, by my good Father taught,
I read, and loved the books in which I read;
For books in every neighbouring house I sought,
And nothing to my mind a sweeter pleasure brought. The suns of twenty summers danced along,—
Ah! little marked how fast they rolled away:
Then rose a stately Hall our woods among,
And cottage after cottage owned its sway.
No joy to see a neighbouring House, or stray
Through pastures not his own, the master took;
My Father dared his greedy wish gainsay;
He loved his old hereditary nook,
And ill could I the thought of such sad parting brook.
But, when he had refused the proffered gold,
To cruel injuries he became a prey,
Sore traversed in whate'er he bought and sold:
His troubles grew upon him day by day,
And all his substance fell into decay.
They dealt most hardly with him, and he tried
To move their hearts—but it was vain—for they
Seized all he had; and, weeping side by side,
We sought a home where we uninjured might abide.