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ours

came

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And gave it to the boy; wherewith That

any

old man ever could have lost. 220 equipped

As soon as he had armed himself with He as a watchman oftentimes was placed strength At gate or gap, to stem or turn the flock; To look his trouble in the face, it seemed And, to his office prematurely called, 187 The Shepherd's sole resource to sell at There stood the urchin, as you will divine, Something between a hindrance and a A portion of his patrimonial fields. help;

Such was his first resolve; he thought And for this course not always, I be- again,

225 lieve,

190

And his heart failed him. "Isabel," said Receiving from his father hire of praise; he, Though nought was left undone which Two evenings after he had heard the news, staff or voice,

"I have been toiling more than seventy Or looks, or threatening gestures, could years, perform.

And in the open sunshine of God's love But soon as Luke, full ten years old, Have we all lived; yet if these fields of could stand

230 Against the mountain blasts; and to the Should pass into a stranger's hand, I think heights,

195

That I could not lie quiet in my grave. Not fearing toil, nor length of weary ways, Our lot is a hard lot; the sun himself He with his father daily went, and they Has scarcely been more diligent than I; Were as companions, why should I relate And I have lived to be a fool at last

235 That objects which the Shepherd loved To my own family. An evil man before

That was, and made an evil choice, if he Were dearer now? that from the boy there Were false to us; and if he were not false,

There are ten thousand to whom loss like Feelings and emanations—things which this

Had been no sorrow. I forgive him—but Light to the sun and music to the wind; 'T were better to be dumb, than to talk And that the old man's heart seemed born thus.

241 again?

When I began, my purpose was to speak Thus in his father's sight the boy grew up;

Of remedies and of a cheerful hope. And now when he had reached his eight- Our Luke shall leave us, Isabel; the land

205 Shall not go from us, and it shall be free; He was his comfort and his daily hope. He shall possess it free as is the wind 246 While in this sort the simple household That passes over it. We have, thou lived

know'st, From day to day, to Michael's ear there Another kinsman-he will be our friend

In this distress. He is a prosperous man, Distressful tidings. Long before the time Thriving in trade and Luke to him shall Of which I speak, the Shepherd had been go,

250 bound

And with his kinsman's help and his own In surety for his brother's son, a man

thrift Of an industrious life, and ample means; He quickly will repair this loss, and then But unforeseen misfortunes suddenly He may return to us. If here he stay, Had pressed upon him; and old Michael What can be done? Where every one is

poor, Was summoned to discharge the forfei- What can be gained?”

255 ture,

215

At this the old man paused, A grievous penalty, but little less

And Isabel sat silent, for her mind Than half his substance. This unlooked Was busy, looking back into past times. for claim

There's Richard Bateman, thought she to At the first hearing, for a moment took herself, More hope out of his life than he supposed He was a parish-boy-at the church-door

were

eenth year,

came

210

now

They made a gathering for him, shillings, That all his hopes were gone. That day pence,

260

at noon And halfpennies, wherewith the neighbors She said to Luke, while they two by thembought

selves A basket, which they filled with pedlar's Were sitting at the door, “Thou must not wares;

go:

295 And with this basket on his arm, the lad We have no other child but thee to lose, Went up to London, found a master there, None to remember-do not go away, Who out of many chose the trusty boy 265 For if thou leave thy father he will die." To go and overlook his merchandise The youth made answer with a jocund Beyond the seas: where he grew wondrous voice; rich,

And Isabel, when she had told her And left estates and monies to the poor, fears,

300 And at his birthplace built a chapel floored Recovered heart. That evening her best With marble which he sent from foreign fare lands.

270

Did she bring forth, and all together sat These thoughts, and many others of like Like happy people round a Christmas fire. sort,

With daylight Isabel resumed her work; Passed quickly through the mind of Isabel, And all the ensuing week the house apAnd her face brightened. The old man peared

305 was glad,

As cheerful as a grove in spring: at length And thus resumed:-"Well, Isabel! this The expected letter from their kinsman scheme

came, These two days has been meat and drink With kind assurances that he would do to me.

275 His utmost for the welfare of the boy: Far more than we have lost is left us yet. To which, requests were added, that forthWe have enough-I wish indeed that I with

310 Were younger,--but this hope is a good He might be sent to him. Ten times or

hope. Make ready Luke's best garments, of the The letter was read over; Isabel best

Went forth to show it to the neighbors Buy for him more, and let us send him round; forth

280 Nor was there at that time on English land To-morrow, or the next day, or to-night: A prouder heart than Luke's. When If he could go, the boy should go to-night.” Isabel

315 Here Michael ceased, and to the fields Had to her house returned, the old man went forth

said With a light heart. The housewife for “He shall depart to-morrow.” To this five days

word Was restless morn and night, and all day | The housewife answered, talking much of long

285 things Wrought on with her best fingers to pre- Which, if at such short notice he should go, pare

Would surely be forgotten. But at length Things needful for the journey of her She gave consent, and Michael was at

ease.

320 But Isabel was glad when Sunday came Near the tumultuous brook of GreenTo stop her in her work: for, when she

head Ghyll, lay

In that deep valley, Michael had designed By Michael's side, she through the last two To build a sheepfold; and, before he heard nights

290 The tidings of his melancholy loss, 325 Heard him, how he was troubled in his For this same purpose he had gathered up sleep:

A heap of stones, which by the streamlet's And when they rose at morning she could edge

Lay thrown together, ready for the work.

more

son.

see

With Luke that evening thitherward he A kind and a good father: and herein walked;

I but repay a gift which I myself And soon as they had reached the place he Received at others' hands; for, though now stopped,

330

old And thus the old man spake to him:- Beyond the common life of man, I still 365 “My son,

Remember them who loved me in my To-morrow thou wilt leave me: with full youth. heart

Both of them sleep together: here they I look upon thee, for thou art the same lived, That wert a promise to me ere thy birth, | As all their forefathers had done; and And all thy life hast been my daily joy. 335 when I will relate to thee some little part At length their time was come, they were Of our two histories; 't will do thee good not loath When thou art from me, even if I should To give their bodies to the family mould. 370 touch

I wished that thou should'st live the life On things thou canst not know of.—After

they lived. thou

But 't is a long time to look back, my son, First cam’st into the world—as oft befalls And see so little gain from threescore To new-born infants—thou didst sleep years. away

341 These fields were burdened when they Two days, and blessings from thy father's came to me; tongue

Till I was forty years of age, not more 375 Then fell upon thee. Day by day passed Than half of my inheritance was mine. on,

I toiled and toiled; God blessed me in my And still I loved thee with increasing love. work, Never to living ear came sweeter sounds And till these three weeks past the land Than when I heard thee by our own fire

was free. side

346 It looks as if it never could endure First uttering, without words, a natural Another master. Heaven forgive me, tune;

Luke,

380 While thou, a feeding babe, didst in thy If I judge ill for thee, but it seems good joy

That thou should'st go." Sing at thy mother's breast. Month fol

At this the old man paused; lowed month,

Then, pointing to the stones near which And in the open fields my life was passed they stood, And on the mountains; else I'think that Thus, after a short silence, he resumed: thou

351

“This was a work for us; and now, my Hadst been brought up upon thy father's son,

385 knees.

It is a work for me. But lay one stoneBut we were playmates, Luke: among Here, lay it for me, Luke, with thine own these hills,

hands. As well thou knowest, in us the old and Nay, boy, be of good hope;—we both may young

live Have played together, nor with me didst To see a better day. At eighty-four thou

355 I still am strong and hale; do thou thy Lack any pleasure which a boy can know." part,

390 Luke had a manly heart; but at these I will do mine. I will begin again words

With many tasks that were resigned to He sobbed aloud. The old man grasped thee; his hand

Up to the heights, and in among the And said, “Nay, do not take it so—I see storms, That these are things of which I need not Will I without thee go again, and do speak.

360 All works which I was wont to do Even to the utmost I have been to thee alone,

395

436

now

Before I knew thy face.—Heaven bless Came forth with wishes and with farewell thee, boy!

prayers, Thy heart these two weeks has been That followed him till he was out of beating fast

sight.

430 With many hopes; it should be so-yes- A good report did from their kinsman yes

come, I knew that thou could'st never have a Of Luke and his well doing: and the boy wish

Wrote loving letters, full of wondrous To leave me, Luke: thou hast been bound

news, to me

400

Which, as the housewife phrased it, were Only by links of love: when thou art throughout gone,

“The prettiest letters that were ever seen. What will be left to us! But I forget Both parents read them with rejoicing My purposes. Lay now the corner-stone, hearts. As I requested; and hereafter, Luke, So, many months passed on: and once When thou art gone away, should evil again men

405 The Shepherd went about his daily work Be thy companions, think of me, my son, With confident and cheerful thoughts; and And of this moment; hither turn thy thoughts,

Sometimes when he could find a leisure And God will strengthen thee: amid all hour

440 fear

He to that valley took his way, and there And all temptation, Luke, I pray that thou Wrought at the sheepfold. Meantime May'st bear in mind the life thy fathers Luke began lived,

410 To slacken in his duty; and at length Who, being innocent, did for that cause He in the dissolute city gave himself Bestir them in good deeds. Now, fare To evil courses: ignominy and shame 445 thee well

Fell on him, so that he was driven at last When thou return'st, thou in this place To seek a hiding-place beyond the seas. wilt see

There is a comfort in the strength of A work which is not here: a covenant

love; 'T will be between us; but, whatever fate 'T will make a thing endurable, which else Befall thee, I shall love thee to the last, 416 Would overset the brain, or break the And bear thy memory with me to the

heart:

450 grave.”

I have conversed with more than one who The Shepherd ended here; and Luke well stooped down,

Remember the old man, and what he was And, as his father had requested, laid Years after he had heard this heavy news. The first stone of the sheepfold. At the His bodily frame had been from youth to sight 420 age

454 The old man's grief broke from him; to Of an unusual strength. Among the rocks his heart

He went, and still looked up to sun and He pressed his son, he kissed him and cloud wept;

And listened to the wind; and as before And to the house together they returned. Performed all kinds of labor for his sheep, Hushed was that house in peace, or seem- And for the land his small inheritance. ing peace,

And to that hollow dell from time to time Ere the night fell;—with morrow's dawn Did he repair, to build the fold of which 461 the boy

425

His flock had need. 'T is not forgotten yet Began his journey, and when he had The pity which was then in every heart reached

For the old man-and 't is believed by all The public way, he put on a bold face; That many and many a day he thither And all the neighbors, as he passed their

465 doors,

And never lifted up a single stone.

went,

he seen

IO

There, by the sheepfold, sometimes was The jay makes answer as the magpie

chatters; Sitting alone, or with his faithful dog, And all the air is filled with pleasant noise Then old, beside him, lying at his feet.

of waters. The length of full seven years, from time to time,

470

All things that love the sun are out of He at the building of this sheepfold doors; wrought,

The sky rejoices in the morning's birth; And left the work unfinished when he died. The grass is bright with rain-drops;

-on Three years, or little more, did Isabel

the moors Survive her husband: at her death the The hare is running races in her mirth; estate

And with her feet she from the plashy Was sold, and went into a stranger's hand. earth The cottage which was named The Evening Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun, Star

476 Runs with her all the way wherever she Is gonethe ploughshare has been through

doth run. the ground On which it stood; great changes have been I was a traveller then upon the moor; 15 wrought

I saw the hare that raced about with In all the neighborhood:yet the oak is joy; left

I heard the woods and distant waters That grew beside their door; and the re- roar, mains

Or heard them not, as happy as a boy: Of the unfinished sheepfold may be seen The pleasant season did my heart employ: Beside the boisterous brook of Greenhead My old remembrances went from me Ghyll.

wholly; And all the ways of men so vain and mel

ancholy.

480

20

MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the BEHOLD

might

Of joy in minds that can no further go, My heart leaps up when I behold As high as we have mounted in delight A rainbow in the sky:

In our dejection do we sink as low, 25 So was it when my life began;

To me that morning did it happen so; So is it now I am a man;

And fears, and fancies, thick upon me So be it when I shall grow old, 5

came; Or let me die!

Dim sadness-and blind thoughts, I knew The child is father of the man;

not, nor could name. And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety. I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky;

And I bethought me of the playful hare: 30
Even such a happy child of earth am I;

Even as these blissful creatures do I RESOLUTION AND INDEPEND

fare; ENCE

Far from the world I walk, and from all

care; There was a roaring in the wind all night; But there may come another day to me. The rain came heavily and fell in floods; Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and But now the sun is rising calm and bright; poverty.

35 The birds are singing in the distant woods:

My whole life I have lived in pleasant Over his own sweet voice the stock-dove thought, broods;

5

As if life's business were a summer mood;

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