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She sat like one past all relief ;
Sob after sob she forth did send In wretchedness, as if her grief
Could never, never have an end.
“ My child, in Durham do you dwell ?"
She checked herself in her distress, And said, “My name is Alice Fell;
I'm fatherless and motherless.
“And I to Durham, sir, belong :"
Again, as if the thought would choke Her very heart, her grief grew strong :
And all was for her tattered cloak!
The chaise drove on, our journey's end
Was nigh ; and sitting by my side, As if she had lost her only friend,
She wept, nor would be pacified.
Up to the tavern-door we post;
Of Alice and her grief I told, And I gave money to the host,
To buy a new cloak for the old.
“ And let it be of duffil gray,
As warm a cloak as man can sell!” Proud creature was she the next day, The little orphan, Alice Fell !
THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET.
Where art thou, my beloved son,
Where art thou, worse to me than dead ? Oh, find me, prosperous or undone!
Or, if the grave be now thy bed, Why am I ignorant of the same, That I may rest : and neither blame Nor sorrow may attend thy name?
Seven years, alas ! to have received
No tidings of an only child ;
And been for evermore beguiled ;
He was among the prime in worth,
An object beauteous to behold;
Ingenuous, innocent, and bold:
Ah ! little doth the young one dream,
When full of play and childish cares, What power is in his wildest scream,
Heard by his mother unawares ! He knows it not, he cannot guess; Years to a mother bring distress; But do not make her love the less,
Neglect me! no, I suffered long
From that ill thought; and, being blind, Said, “Pride shall help me in my wrong;
Kind mother have I been, as kind As ever breathed :' and that is true; I've wet my path with tears like dew, Weeping for him when no one knew.
My son, if thou be humbled, poor,
Hopeless of honour and of gain,
Think not of me with grief and pain ;
Alas! the fowls of heaven have wings,
And blasts of heaven will aid their flight; They mount-how short a voyage brings
The wanderers back to their delight !
Chains tie me down by land and sea ;
Perhaps some dungeon hears the groan,
Maimed, mangled by inhuman men ;
Inheritest the lion's den ;
I look for ghosts; but none will force
Their way to me ;—'tis falsely said
Between the living and the dead;
My apprehensions come in crowds ;
I dread the rustling of the grass :
Have power to shake me as they pass ;
Beyond participation lie
My troubles, and beyond relief : If any chance to heave a sigh,
They pity me, and not my grief. Then come to me, my son, or send Some tidings that my woes may end : I have no other earthly friend !
THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT.
Save thee, my pretty Love !
The kitten sleeps upon the hearth;
Then why so busy thou ?
Nay!.start not at that sparkling light;
By a female friend of Wordsworth.