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A fire was once within my brain;
And in my head a dull, dull pain;
And fiendish faces, one, two, three,
Hung at my breast, and pulled at me;
But then there came a sight of joy :
It came at once to do me good;
I waked, and saw my little Boy,
My little Boy of flesh and blood;
Oh joy for me that sight to see!
For he was here, and only he.
Suck, little Babe, oh suck again!
It cools my blood; it cools my brain;
Thy lips I feel them, Baby! they
Draw from my heart the pain away.
Oh! press me with thy little hand;
It loosens something at my chest;
About that tight and deadly band
I feel thy little fingers prest.
The breeze I see is in the tree;
It comes to cool my Babe and me.
Oh ! love me, love me, little Boy!
Thou art thy Mother's only joy;
And do not dread the waves below,
When o’er the sea-rock's edge we go ;
The high crag cannot work me harm,
Nor leaping torrents when they howl;
The Babe I carry on my arm,
He saves for me my precious soul;
Then happy lie, for blest am I;
Without me my sweet Babe would die.
Then do not fear, my Boy! for thee
Bold as a lion will I be;
And I will always be thy guide,
Through hollow snows and rivers wide.
I'll build an Indian bower; I know
The leaves that make the softest bed :
And, if from me thou wilt not go,
But still be true till I am dead,
My pretty thing! then thou shalt sing
As merry as the birds in spring.
Thy Father cares not for my breast, 'Tis thine, sweet Baby, there to rest; 'Tis all thine own! — and, if its hue Be changed, that was so fair to view, 'Tis fair enough for thee, my dove! My beauty, little Child, is flown, But thou wilt live with me in love ; And what if my poor cheek be brown? 'Tis well for me, thou canst not see How pale and wan it else would be.
Dread not their taunts, my little Life ;
I am thy Father's wedded Wife;
And underneath the spreading tree
We two will live in honesty.
If his sweet Boy he could forsake,
With me he never would have stayed :
From him no harm my Babe can take,
But he, poor Man! is wretched made ;
And every day we two will pray
For him that's gone and far away.
I'll teach my Boy the sweetest things;
I'll teach him how the owlet sings.
My little Babe! thy lips are still,
And thou hast almost sucked thy fill.
Where art thou gone, my own dear Child ?
What wicked looks are those I see?
Alas! alas! that look so wild,
It never, never came from me:
If thou art mad, my pretty Lad,
Then I must be for ever sad.
“Oh! smile on me, my little lamb!
For I thy own dear Mother am.
My love for thee has well been tried:
I've sought thy Father far and wide.
I know the poisons of the shade,
I know the earth-nuts fit for food;
Then, pretty dear, be not afraid ;
We'll find thy father in the wood.
Now laugh and be gay, to the woods away!
And there, my babe, we'll live for aye.”
RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE.
THERE was a roaring in the wind all night;
The rain came heavily and fell in floods ;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
The birds are singing in the distant woods;
Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods;
The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters;
And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.
All things that love the sun are out of doors;
The sky rejoices in the morning's birth;
The grass is bright with rain-drops; - on the moors
The Hare is running races in her mirth;
And with her feet she from the plashy earth
Raises a mist; that, glittering in the sun,
Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.
I was a Traveller then upon the moor;
I saw the Hare that raced about with joy;
I heard the woods and distant waters roar;
Or heard them not, as happy as a Boy:
The pleasant season did my heart employ:
My old remembrances went from me wholly;
And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy!
But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might
Of joy in minds that no further go,
As high as we have mounted in delight
In our dejection do we sink as low,
To me that morning did it happen so;
And fears and fancies thick upon me came;
Dim sadness and blind thoughts, I knew not, nor
I heard the Sky-lark warbling in the sky;
And I bethought me of the playful Hare:
Even such a happy Child of earth am I;
Even as these blissful Creatures do I fare;
Far from the world I walk, and from all care;
But there may come another day to me
Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty.
My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought,
As if life's business were a summer mood;
As if all needful things would come unsought
To genial faith, still rich in genial good;
But how can He expect that others should
Build for him, sow for him, and at his call
Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all ?
I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,
The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride;
Of Him who walked in glory and in joy
Following his plough, along the mountain-side :
By our own spirits are we deified:
We Poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness.
Now, whether it were by peculiar grace,
A leading from above, a something given,
Yet it befel, that, in this lonely place,
When I with these untoward thoughts had striven,
Beside a Pool bare to the eye of Heaven
I saw a Man before me unawares:
The oldest Man he seemed that ever wore grey hairs.
As a huge Stone is sometimes seen to lie
Couched on the bald top of an eminence;
Wonder to all who do the same espy,
By what means it could thither come, and whence;
So that it seems a thing endued with sense:
Like a Sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf
Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself;