Page images
PDF

we ARE SEVEN.—Southey

A simple child, dear brother Sim,
That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death *

I met a little cottage girl,
She was eight years old, she said,

Her hair was thick with many a curl
That cluster'd round her head.

She had a rustic woodland air,
And she was wildly clad ;

Her eyes were fair, and very fair,
Her beauty made me glad.

“Sisters and brothers, little maid, .
“How many may you be *
“How many —seven in all,” she said,

And wondering looked at me.

“And where are they, I pray you tell ?”
She answer'd, “ Seven are we, -

“And two of us at Conway dwell,
“And two are gone to sea.

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
“My sister and my brother,

“And in the church-yard cottage, I
“Dwell near them with my mother.”

“You say that two at Conway dwell,
“And two are gone to sea,

“And yet you are seven, I pray you tell,
“Sweet maid how this may be.”

Then did the little maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we,

“ Two of us in the church-yard lie
“Beneath the church-yard tree.”

“You run about my little maid,
“Your limbs are all alive,

“If two are in the church-yard laid,
“Then you are only five.”

“Their graves are green, “They may be seen,” The little maid replied, “Twelve steps or more “From mother's door, “And they are side by side.

“My stockings there I often knit,
“My 'kerchief there I hem,

“And there upon the ground I sit,
“I sit and sing to them;

“And often after supper, sir,
“When it is light and fair,

“I take my little porringer,
“And eat my supper there.

“The first that died was little Jane,
“In bed she moaning lay,

“'Till GoD released her of her pain,
“And then she went away.

“So in the church-yard she was laid,
“And, all the summer day,

“Together round her grave we play'd,
“My brother John and I.

“And when the ground was white with snow,
“And I could run and slide, -

“My brother John was forced to go,
“And he lies by her side.

“How many are you then, said I,
“If they two are in heaven 2"

The little maiden did reply,
“Oh, master, we are seven.”

“But they are dead, those two are dead,
“Their spirits are in heaven.”

‘Twas throwing words away, for still,

The little maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven.”

[ocr errors]

LOUISA.

“O LEND your wings, ye fav'ring gales,
“And gently wave the sea,

“And swell my husband's spreading sails,
“And waft him home to me!

“His toils and dangers all are past,
“And, blest with Fortune's store,

“From distant climes he comes at last,
“To view his native shore.

“And with him comes the faithful youth,
“Who gain'd my daughter's love,

“Whose virtue, constancy, and truth,
“The coldest heart might move.

“May all the graces wait around,
“And heighten all her charms :

“He comes with wealth and glory crown'd,
“To my Louisa's arms.

“Now fancy flies to distant days,
“And views the lovely pair,

“And hears the voice of general praise,
“ Their matchless worth declare.

“How shall thy mother's heart expand,
“With joys unknown before,

“When thousands bless the bounteous hand.

“That gave thee wealth and power

[ocr errors]

“Do I not see a distant sail
“O'er yonder waves appear?

“Our ardent vows at length prevail,
“My heart proclaims them near.

“With us in every joy to share,
“Our much-lov'd heroes come—

“Propitious Heaven, O hear our pray'r,
“And guide them safely home !”

“Propitious Heaven, O hear our pray’r,” Louisa trembling cried,

For ah! the chill blast wav'd her hair, The rising cloud she spied.

Near and more near the tempest drew,
The clouds obscur'd the sky,

The winds in hoarser murmurs blew,
The waves were toss'd on high :

And now they dash against the shore,
And shake the solid ground ;

The thunder rolls, the torrents roar,
The lightnings flash around.—

Ah! who can paint Louisa's fear,
Her agonies impart

The shrieks of death assail her ear,
And horror chills her heart.—

At length, the raging tempest o'er,
She view'd the fatal coast;
A wreck appear'd upon the shore-
She sunk,-in terror lost.
N

« PreviousContinue »