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FOSTER- MOTHER'S TALE,
A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT.
FOSTER-MOTHER. I never saw the man whom
'Tis strange! he spake of you familiarly
Now blessings on the man, whoe'er he be,
two little ones would stand at eve On each side of my chair, and make me learn AU
you had learnt in the day; and how to talk
In gentle phrase, then bid me sing to you'Tis more like heaven to come than what has been.
O my dear Mother! this strange man has left me
Can no one hear? It is a perilous tale !
My husband's father told it me, Poor old Leoni !--Angels rest his soul ! He was a woodman, and could fell and saw With lusty arm. You know that huge round beam Which props the hanging wall of the old chapel ? Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree
He found a baby wrapt in mosses,
lined With thistle-beards, and such small locks of wool As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home, And reared him at the then Lord Velez' cost. And so the babe grew up a pretty boy, A pretty boy, but most unteachableAnd never learnt a prayer, nor told a bead, But knew the names of birds, and mocked their notes, And whistled, as he were a bird himself: And all the autumn 'twas his only play To get the seeds of wild flowers, and to plant them With earth and water, on the stumps of trees. A Friar, who gathered simples in the wood, A grey-haired man—he loved this little boy, The boy loved him—and, when the Friar taught him, He soon could write with the pen : and from that time, Lived chiefly at the Convent or the Castle. So he became a very learned youth. But Oh! poor wretch he read, and read, and read, 'Till his brain turned and ere his twentieth year,
He had unlawful thoughts of many things: