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The pair had but one inmate in their Of day grew dim the housewife hung a house,

lamp; An only child, who had been born to them An aged utensil, which had performed 115 When Michael, telling o'er his years, Service beyond all others of its kind. began

Early at evening did it burn — and late, To deem that he was old — in shepherd's Surviving comrade of uncounted hours, phrase,

Which, going by from year to year, had With one foot in the grave.

This only found, son,

And left, the couple neither gay perWith two brave sheep-dogs tried in many haps a storm,

Nor cheerful, yet with objects and with The one of an inestimable worth,

Made all their household. I may truly Living a life of eager industry.


when Luke had reached his That they were as a proverb in the vale eighteenth year, For endless industry. When day was There by the light of this old lamp they gone,


sate, And from their occupations out of doors Father and son, while far into the The son and father were come home, night even then,

The housewife plied her own peculiar Their labor did not cease; unless when work, all

Making the cottage through the silent Turned to the cleanly supper-board, and hours there,

Murmur as with the sound of summer Each with a mess of pottage and skimmed flies. milk,

This light was famous in its neighborhood, Sat round the basket piled with oaten And was a public symbol of the life cakes,

That thrifty pair had lived. For, as it And their plain home-made cheese. Yet chanced, when the meal

Their cottage on a plot of rising ground Was ended, Luke (for so the son Stood single, with large prospect, north named)

and south, And his old father both betook them High into Easedale, up to Dunmail-Raise, selves

And westward to the village near the To such convenient work as might em lake; ploy

And from this constant light, so regular Their hands by the fireside; perhaps to And so far seen, the house itself, by all card

Who dwelt within the limits of the vale, Wool for the housewife's spindle, or re Both old and young, was named The pair

EVENING STAR. Some injury done to sickle, fail, or scythe, Or other implement of house or field. Thus living on through such a length of

years, Down from the ceiling, by the chimney's The shepherd, if he loved himself, must edge,

needs That in our ancient uncouth country style Have loved his helpmate; but to Michael's With huge and black projection over heart browed

This son of his old age was yet more Large space beneath, as duly as the light


















Less from instinctive tenderness, the same By catching at their legs, or with his Fond spirit that blindly works in the blood shouts of all —

Scared them, while they lay still beneath Than that a child, more than all other the shears.

gifts That earth can offer to declining man, And when by Heaven's good grace the Brings hope with it, and forward-looking boy grew up thoughts,

A healthy lad, and carried in his cheek And stirrings of inquietude, when they Two steady roses that were five years old; By tendency of nature needs must fail. 150 Then Michael from a winter coppice Exceeding was the love he bare to him, His heart and his heart's joy! For often With his own hand a sapling, which he times

hooped Old Michael, while he was

a babe in

With iron, making it throughout in all arms,

Due requisities a perfect shepherd's staff, Had done him female service, not alone And gave it to the boy; wherewith equipt For pastime and delight, as is the use He

watchman oftentimes Of fathers, but with patient mind en placed forced

At gate or gap, to stem or turn the flock; To acts of tenderness; and he had rocked And, to his office prematurely called, His cradle, as with a woman's gentle hand. There stood the urchin, as you will divine,

Something between a hindrance and a And, in a later time, ere yet the boy

help; Had put on boy's attire, did Michael And for this cause not always, I believe, 190 love,

Receiving from his father hire of praise; Albeit of a stern unbending mind,

Though ‘nought was left undone which To have the young-one in his sight, when staff, or voice, he

Or looks, or threatening gestures, could Wrought in the field, or on his shepherd's perform.

stool Sate with a fettered sheep before him

But soon

as Luke, full ten years old, stretched

could stand Under the large old oak, that near his Against the mountain blasts; and to the door

heights, Stood single, and, from matchless depth of Not fearing toil, nor length of weary ways, shade,

He with his father daily went, and they Chosen for the shearer's covert from the Were as companions, why should I relate sun,

That objects which the shepherd loved Thence in our rustic dialect was called

before The CLIPPING TREE, a name which yet Were dearer now? that from the boy there

it bears. There, while they two were sitting in the Feelings and emanations things which

shade, With others round them, earnest all and Light to the sun and music to the wind; blithe,

And that the old man's heart seemed born Would Michael exercise his heart with again?

looks Of fond correction and reproof bestowed Thus in his father's sight the boy grew Upon the child, if he disturbed the sheep









And now, when he had reached his eight

205 He was his comfort and his daily hope.

eenth year,

There are

ten thousand to whom loss like this Had been no sorrow. I forgive him;

but 'Twere better to be dumb than to talk



While in this sort the simple household

lived From day to day, to Michael's ear there



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"When I began, my purpose was

speak Of remedies and of a cheerful hope. Our Luke shall leave us, Isabel; the land Shall not go from us, and it shall be

free; He shall possess it, free as is the wind That passes over it. We have, thou

know'st, Another kinsman - he will be our friend In this distress. He is a prosperous man, Thriving in trade and Luke to him shall

go, And with his kinsman's help and his own

thrift He quickly will repair this loss, and then He may return to us.

If here he stay, What can be done? Where every one is

poor, What can be gained ?".

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He was

A portion of his patrimonial fields.
Such was his first resolve; he thought

again, And his heart failed him. “Isabel," said

he, Two evenings after he had heard the news, “I have been toiling more than seventy

years, And in the open sunshine of God's love Have we all lived; yet if these fields of


At this the old man paused, 255 And Isabel sat silent, for her mind Was busy, looking back into past times. There's Richard Bateman, thought she to herself,

a parish-boy — at the churchdoor They made a gathering for him, shillings,

pence And halfpennies, wherewith the neighbors

bought A basket, which they filled with pedlar's

wares; And, with this basket on his arm, the lad

to London, found a there, Who, out of many, chose the trusty

boy To go and overlook his merchandise Beyond the seas; where he grew wondrous

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Went up


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With daylight Isabel resumed her

work; And all the ensuing week the house ap

peared As cheerful as a grove in Spring: at

length The expected letter from their kinsman

came, With kind assurances that he would do His utmost for the welfare of the boy ; To which, requests were added, that forth

with He might be sent to him. Ten times or





Here Michael ceased, and to the fields

went forth With a light heart. The housewife for

five days Was restless morn and night, and all day

long Wrought on with her best fingers to pre

pare Things needful for the journey of her

son. But Isabel was glad when Sunday came To stop her in her work: for, when she

lay By Michael's side, she through the last

two nights Heard him, how he was troubled in his

sleep: And when they rose at morning she could


The letter was read over; Isabel
Went forth to show it to the neighbors

round; Nor was there at that time on English

land A prouder heart than Luke's. When

Isabel Had to her house returned, the old man

said, “He shall depart tomorrow.” To his

word The housewife answered, talking much of

things Which, if at such short notice he should

go, Would surely be forgotten. But

length She gave consent, and Michael was



That all his hopes were gone. That day


at noon



She said to Luke, while they two by them



But we




I see


Near the tumultuous brook of Green

head Ghyll, In that deep valley, Michael had designed To build a sheepfold; and, before he heard The tidings of his melancholy loss, For this same purpose he had gathered up A heap of stones, which by the streamlet's

edge Lay thrown together, ready for the work. With Luke that evening thitherward he

walked: And soon as they had reached the place he

stopped, And thus the old man spake to him:

“My son, Tomorrow thou wilt leave me: with full

heart I look upon thee, for thou art the same That wert a promise to me ere thy birth, And all thy life hast been my daily joy. 335 I will relate to thee some little part Of our two histories; 'twill do thee good When thou art from me, even if I should

On things thou canst not know of.

After thou
First cam'st into the world

as oft befalls To new-born infants thou didst sleep

away Two days, and blessings from thy father's

tongue Then fell upon thee. Day by day passed

on, And still I loved thee with increasing love. Never to living

sounds Than when I heard thee by our own fire

side First uttering, without words, a natural

tune; While thou, a feeding babe, didst in thy

joy Sing at thy mother's breast. Month fol

lowed month, And in the open fields my life

passed And on the mountains; else I think that


Hadst been brought up upon thy father's knees.

were playmates, Luke: among these hills, As well thou knowest, in us the old and

young Have played together, nor with me didst

thou Lack any pleasure which a boy can know.” Luke had a manly heart; but at these

words He sobbed aloud. The old man grasped

his hand, And said, “Nay, do not take it so That these are things of which I need not

speak. - Even to the utmost I have been to thee A kind and a good father: and herein I but repay a gift which I myself Received at others' hands; for, though now

old Beyond the common life of man, I still 365 Remember them who loved me in my

youth. Both of them sleep together: here they

lived, As all their forefathers had done; and

when At length their time was come, they were

not loth To give their bodies to the family

mould. I wished that thou should'st live the life

they lived: But, 'tis a long tịme to look back, my son,

so little gain from threescore years. These fields were burthened when they

came to me; Till I was forty years of age, not

375 Than half of my inheritance was mine. I toiled and toiled; God blessed me in my.

work, And till these three weeks past the land

was free. It looks as if it never could endure Another master. Heaven forgive me, Luke,







And see





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