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All day she spun in her poor dwelling :
And then her three hours' work at night!
Alas! 'twas hardly worth the telling,
It would not pay for candle-light.
-This woman dwelt in Dorsetshire,
Her hut was on a cold hill side,
And in that country coals are dear,
For they come far by wind and tide.
By the same fire to boil their pottage,
old Dames, as I have known, Will often live in one small cottage ; But she, poor Woman! dwelt alone. 'Twas well enough when summer came, The long, warm, lightsome summer-day, Then at her door the canty Dame Would sit, as any linnet gay.
But when the ice our streams did fetter,
Oh! then how her old bones would shake!
You would have said, if you had met her,
'Twas a hard time for Goody Blake.
Her evenings then were dull and dead;
Sad case it was, as you may think,
For very cold to go to bed ;
And then for cold not sleep a wink.
Oh joy for her! whene'er in winter
The winds at night had made a rout,
And scatter'd many a lusty splinter
And many a rotten bough about.
Yet never had she, well or sick,
As every man who knew her says,
A pile before hand, wood or stick,
Enough to warm her for three days.
Now, when the frost was past enduring,
And made her poor old bones to ache,
Could any thing be more alluring
Than an old hedge to Goody Blake?
And, now and then, it must be said,
When her old bones were cold and chill,
She left her fire, or left her bed,
To seek the bedge of Harry Gill,
Now Harry he had long suspected
This trespass of old Goody Blake;
And vow'd that she should be detected,
And he on her would vengeance take.
And oft from his warm fire he'd go,
And to the fields his road would take;
And there, at night, in frost and snow,
He watch'd to seize old Goody Blake.
And once, behind a rick of barley,
Thus looking out did Harry stand:
The moon was full and shining clearly,
And crisp with frost the stubble land.
He hears a noise-he's all awake
Again?-on tip-toe down the hill
He softly creeps-'Tis Goody Blake,
She's at the hedge of Harry Gill.
Right glad was he when he beheld her:
Stick after stick did Goody pull :
He stood behind a bush of elder,
Till she had filled her
And fiercely by the arm he took her,
And by the arm he held her fast,
And fiercely by the arm he shook her,
And cried, “ I've caught you then at last!"
Then Goody, who had nothing said,
Her bundle from her lap let fall ;
And, kneeling on the sticks, she pray'd
To God that is the judge of all.
She pray'd, her wither'd hand uprearing,
While Harry held her by the arm-
“ God! who art never out of hearing,
O may he never more be warm !"
The cold, cold moon above her head,
Thus on her knees did Goody pray.
Young Harry heard what she had said,
And icy cold he turned away.