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« But what's the thorn ? and what's the pond? “ And what's the hill of moss to her? “ And what's the creeping breeze that comes "The little pond to stir ?" I cannot tell ; but some will say She hanged her baby on the tree, Some say she drowned it in the pond, Which is a little step beyond, But all and each agree, The little babe was buried there, Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
I've heard the scarlet moss is red
With drops of that poor infant's blood;
But kill a new-born infant thus !
I do not think she could.
Some say, if to the pond you go,
And fix on it a steady view,
The shadow of a babe you trace,
A baby and a baby's face,
And that it looks at you;
Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain
The baby looks at you again.
And some had sworn an oath that she
Should be to public justice brought;
And for the little infant's bones
With spades they would have sought.
But then the beauteous hill of moss
Before their eyes began to stir ;
And for full fifty yards around,
The grass it shook upon the ground;
But all do still aver
The little babe is buried there,
Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
I cannot tell how this
may But plain it is, the thorn is bound With heavy tufts of moss, that strive To drag it to the ground. And this I know, full many a time, When she was on the mountain high, By day, and in the silent night, When all the stars shone clear and bright, That I have heard her cry, "Oh misery ! oh misery! "O woe is me! oh misery!"
In distant countries I have been,
And yet I have not often seen
A healthy man, a man full grown,
Weep in the public roads alone.
But such a one, on English ground,
And in the broad high-way, I met;
Along the broad high-way he came,
His cheeks with tears were wet.
Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad;
And in his arms a lamb he had.
He saw me, and he turned aside,
As if he wished himself to hide :
Then with his coat he made essay
To wipe those briny tears away.
I follow'd him, and said, “ My friend
“ What ails you? wherefore weep you so?"
-“ Shame on me, Sir! this lusty lamb,
He makes my tears to flow.
To-day I fetched him from the rock;
He is the last of all
When I was young, a single man,
And after youthful follies ran,
Though little given to care and thought,
Yet, so it was, a ewe I bought;
And other sheep from her I raised,
As healthy sheep as you might see,
And then I married, and was rich
As I could wish to be;
Of sheep I number'd a full score,
And every year encreas'd my store.