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His hunting feats have him bereft
Of his right eye, as you may see:
To poor old Simon Lee!
He has no son, he has no child,
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
And he is lean and he is sick,
His little body's half awry
His ancles they are swoln and thick;
His legs are thin and dry.
When he was young he little knew
Of husbandry or tillage;
And now he's forced to work, though weak, —The weakest in the village.
He all the country could outrun,
Could leave both man and horse behind; And often, ere the race was done,
He reeled and was stone-blind.
And still there's something in the world At which his heart rejoices;
For when the chiming hounds are out, He dearly loves their voices!
Old Ruth works out of doors with him, And does what Simon cannot do ;
For she, not over stout of limb,
Is stouter of the two.
And though you with your utmost skill From labour could not wean them,
Alas! 'tis very little, all
Which they can do between them.
Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
This scrap of land he from the heath
Few months of life has he in store,
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Some tale will be related.
O reader! had you in your mind
What more I have to say is short,
I hope you'll kindly take it ;
It is no tale; but should you think,
One summer-day I chanced to see
The mattock totter'd in his hand ;
"You're overtasked, good Simon Lee,
I struck, and with a single blow
The tears into his eyes were brought,
They never would have done.
—I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
With coldness still returning.
Alas! the gratitude of men