Yet one of them, more hard of heart,

Did vow to do his charge, Because the wretch that hired him

Had paid him very large.

The other would not agree thereto,

So here they fell at strife; With one another they did fight, About the children's life; And he that was of mildest mood

Did slay the other there, Within an unfrequented wood;

While babes did quake for fear.

He took the children by the hand

When tears stood in their eye, And bade them come and go with him,

And look they did not cry;

And two long miles he led them on,

While they for food complain :

"Stay here," quoth he, "I'll bring you bread When I do come again."

These pretty babes, with hand in hand,

Went wandering up and down,

But nevermore they saw the man
Approaching from the town.
Their pretty lips with blackberries
Were all besmeared and dyed,
And when they saw the darksome night
They sate them down and cried.

Thus wandered these two pretty babes
Till death did end their grief;
In one another's arms they died,
As babes wanting relief.

No burial this pretty pair

Of any man receives,

Till robin redbreast, painfully,

Did cover them with leaves.

And now the heavy wrath of God
Upon their uncle fell;

Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt an hell.

His barns were fired, his goods consumed,
His lands were barren made;

His cattle died within the field,
And nothing with him stayed.

And, in the voyage of Portugal,

Two of his sons did die;

And, to conclude, himself was brought
To extreme misery.

He pawned and mortgaged all his land
Ere seven years came about ;
And now, at length, this wicked act
Did by this means come out :

The fellow that did take in hand

These children for to kill Was for a robber judged to die,

As was God's blessed will; Who did confess the very truth,

The which is here expressed; Their uncle died while he, for debt, In prison long did rest.

You that executors be made,

And overseers eke,

Of children that be fatherless,
And infants mild and meek,
Take you example by this thing,
And yield to each his right,
Lest God with such-like misery
Your wicked minds requite.



A LITTLE in the doorway sitting,
The mother plied her busy knitting;
And her cheek so softly smiled,
You might be sure, although her gaze
Was on the meshes of the lace,
Yet her thoughts were with her child.


But when the boy had heard her voice,
As o'er her work she did rejoice,
His became silent altogether;
And slyly creeping by the wall,
He seized a single plume, let fall
By some wild bird of longest feather
And, all a-tremble with his freak,
He touched her lightly on the cheek.
O, what a loveliness her eyes
Gather in that one moment's space,
While peeping round the post she spies
Her darling's laughing face!

O, mother's love is glorifying,
On the cheek like sunset lying;

In the eyes a moistened light,
Softer than the moon at night!



Down the dimpled greensward dancing
Bursts a flaxen-headed bevy,
Bud-lipt boys and girls advancing,
Love's irregular little levy.

Rows of liquid eyes in laughter,

How they glimmer, how they quiver! Sparkling one another after,

Like bright ripples on a river.

Tipsy band of rubious faces,

Flushed with Joy's ethereal spirit, Make your mocks and sly grimaces At Love's self, and do not fear it.



UNDER my window, under my window,
All in the Midsummer weather,
Three little girls with fluttering curls
Flit to and fro together:-

There's Bell with her bonnet of satin sheen,
And Maud with her mantle of silver-green,
And Kate with her scarlet feather.

Under my window, under my window,
Leaning stealthily over,

Merry and clear, the voice I hear,

Of each glad-hearted rover.

Ah! sly little Kate, she steals my roses;
And Maud and Bell twine wreaths and posies,
As merry as bees in clover.

Under my window, under my window,
In the blue Midsummer weather,
Stealing slow, on a hushed tiptoe,

I catch them all together:

Bell with her bonnet of satin sheen,
And Maud with her mantle of silver-green,
And Kate with the scarlet feather.

Under my window, under my window,

And off through the orchard closes ; While Maud she flouts, and Bell she pouts, They scamper and drop their posies; But dear little Kate takes naught amiss, And leaps in my arms with a loving kiss, And I give her all my roses.



WHEN first thou camest, gentle, shy, and fond, My eldest born, first hope, and dearest treasure, My heart received thee with a joy beyond

All that it yet had felt of earthly pleasure; Nor thought that any love again might be So deep and strong as that I felt for thee. Faithful and true, with sense beyond thy years, And natural piety that leaned to heaven ; Wrung by a harsh word suddenly to tears,

Yet patient to rebuke when justly given; Obedient, easy to be reconciled,

And meekly cheerful; such wert thou, my


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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,


THERE's no dew left on the daisies and clover,
There's no rain left in heaven.
I've said my "seven times" over and over,
Seven times one are seven.

I am old, - so old I can write a letter; My birthday lessons are done.

Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little maid The lambs play always, they know no better ;

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?

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

thee in this can

They are only one times one.

O Moon! in the night I have seen you sailing And shining so round and low.

You were bright—ah, bright - but your light is failing;

You are nothing now but a bow.

You Moon! have you done something wrong in heaven,

That God has hidden your face?

Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven, And twice in the day, when the ground is wet And shine again in your place.

with dew,

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"Sisters and brothers, little maid, How many may you be?" "How many? Seven in all," she said, And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we ;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea;

"Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I

Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven ! I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be."

Then did the little maid reply,

"Seven boys and girls are we; Two of us in the churchyard lie Beneath the churchyard tree."

"You run about, my little maid; Your limbs they are alive;

If two are in the churchyard laid, Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen," The little maid replied:

"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit;

My kerchief there I hem;

And there upon the ground I sit, And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was Sister Jane; In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the churchyard she was laid; And, when the grass was dry, Together round her grave we played, My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,

And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side."

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SLEEP breathes at last from out thee,
My little patient boy;

And balmy rest about thee
Smooths off the day's annoy.

I sit me down, and think
Of all thy winning ways;

Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink,
That I had less to praise.

Thy sidelong pillowed meekness;
Thy thanks to all that aid;
Thy heart, in pain and weakness,
Of fancied faults afraid;

The little trembling hand
That wipes thy quiet tears, -

These, these are things that may demand
Dread memories for years.

Sorrows I've had, severe ones,

I will not think of now;
And calmly, midst my dear ones,
Have wasted with dry brow;

But when thy fingers press
And pat my stooping head,
I cannot bear the gentleness,
The tears are in their bed.

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