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And the moon was a-shining down into the place

(Under the gloomy elm-tree), And his mother could see that his lips and his

face Were as white as clean ashes could be ; And her tongue was a-tied, and her still heart did

swell Till her senses came back with the first tear that

fell.

Never more can she feel his warm face in her

breast (Under the leafy elm-tree), For his eyes are a-shut, and his hands are at

rest, And he's now from his pain a-set free; For his soul we do know is to heaven a-fled, Where no pain is a-known, and no tears are a-shed.

W. Barnes

XXII

THE USEFUL PLOUGH

A country life is sweet!
In moderate cold and heat,

To walk in the air, how pleasant and fair,
In every field of wheat,

The fairest of flowers adorning the bowers, And every meadow's brow;

So that I say, no courtier may

Compare with them who clothe in grey, And follow the useful plough.

They rise with the morning lark,
And labour till almost dark;

Then folding their sheep, they hasten to sleep;
While every pleasant park
Next morning is ringing with birds that are

singing,
On each green, tender bough.

With what content and merriment,
Their days are spent, whose minds are bent

To follow the useful plough !

Old Song

XXIII

A WREN’S NEST
Among the dwellings framed by birds

In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little wren's

In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,

And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun

Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,

In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind, by special grace,

Their instinct surely came.
And when for their abodes they seek

An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye

For shadowy quietness.

These find, 'mid ivied abbey walls,

A canopy in some still nook ; Others are pent-housed by a brae

That overhangs a brook.

There to the brooding bird her mate

Warbles by fits his low clear song ; And by the busy streamlet both

Are sung to all day long.

Or in sequestered lanes they build,

Where, till the Aitting bird's return, Her eggs within the nest repose,

Like relics in an urn.

But still, where general choice is good,

There is a better and a best ; And, among fairest objects, some

Are fairer than the rest.

This, one of those small builders proved

In a green covert, where from out The forehead of a pollard oak

The leafy antlers sprout;

For she who planned the mossy lodge,

Mistrusting her evasive skill, Had to a primrose looked for aid,

Her wishes to fulfil.

High on the trunk's projecting brow,

And fixed an infant's span above The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest,

The prettiest of the grove!

D

The treasure proudly did I show

To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things ; but once

Looked up for it in vain : 'Tis gone—a ruthless spoiler's prey,

Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, 'Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved,

Indignant at the wrong.

Just three days after, passing by

In clearer light, the moss-built cell I saw, espied its shaded mouth ;

And felt that all was well.

The primrose for a veil had spread

The largest of her upright leaves; And thus, for purposes benign,

A simple flower deceives.

Concealed from friends who might disturb

Thy quiet with no ill intent, Secure from evil eyes and hands

On barbarous plunder bent, Rest, mother-bird ! and when thy young

Take flight, and thou art free to roam, When withered is the guardian flower,

And empty thy late home,
Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,

Amid the unviolated grove,
Housed near the growing primrose tuft
In foresight, or in love.

W. Wordsworth

XXIV

A FINE DAY

Clear had the day been from the dawn,
All chequer'd was the sky,
Thin clouds like scarfs of cobweb lawn
Veild heaven's most glorious eye.
The wind had no more strength than this,
That leisurely it blew,
To make one leaf the next to kiss
That closely by it grew.

M. Drayton

XXV

CASABIANCA

A True Story
The boy stood on the burning deck

Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck

Shone round him o'er the dead.

The flames rolld on. He would not go

Without his father's word; That father faint in death below,

His voice no longer heard.

He called aloud: 'Say, father, say

If yet my task is done !'
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.

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