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I sold a sheep as they had said,
Another still! and still another!A little lamb, and then its mother!
It was a vein that never stopp'd,
Like blood-drops from my heart they dropp'd.
Till thirty were not left alive
They dwindled, dwindled, one by one,
And I may say that many a time
I wished they all were gone:
They dwindled one by one away;
For me it was a woeful day.
To wicked deeds I was inclined, And wicked fancies cross'd my mind, And every man I chanc'd to see, I thought he knew some ill of me. No peace, no comfort could I find, No ease, within doors or without, And crazily, and wearily, I went my work about. Oft-times I thought to run away;For me it was a woeful day.
Sir! 'twas a precious flock to me, As dear as my own children be;For daily with my growing store I loved my children more and more. Alas! it was an evil time;God cursed me in my sore distress, I prayed, yet every day I thought I loved my children less;And every week, and every day, My flock, it seemed to melt away.
They dwindled, Sir, sad sight to see!
From ten to five, from five to three,
A lamb, a weather, and a ewe;
And then at last, from three to two;
And of my fifty, yesterday
I had but only one,
And here it lies upon my arm,
Alas! and I have none;
To-day I fetched it from the rock;
It is the last of all my flock."
Left upon a seat in a YEW-TREE, -which standi near the Lake of ESTHWA1TE, on a desolate part of the shore, yet commanding a beautiful prospetl.
—Nay, Traveller! rest. This lonely yew-tree stands
Who he was
I well remember.—He was one who owned
No common soul. In youth by science nursed
And led by nature into a wild scene
Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth,
A favored being, knowing no desire
Which genius did not hallow, 'gainst the taint
Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate
And scorn, against all enemies prepared.
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
Owed him no service: ht was like a plant
Fair to the sun, the darling of the winds,
But hung with fruit which no one, that passed by,
Regarded, and, his spirit damped at once,
With indignation did he turn away
And with the food of pride sustained his soul
In solitude.—Stranger I these gloomy boughs
Had charms for him; and here he loved to sit,
His only visitants a straggling sheep,
The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper j
And on these barren rocks, with juniper,
And heath, and thistle, thinly sprinkled o'er,