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THE

LAST OF THE FLOCK.

In distant countries I have been ; And yet I have not often seen A healthy Man, a Man full grown, Weep in the public roads alone. But such a one, on English ground, And in the broad high-way, I met ; Along the broad high-way he came, His cheeks with tears were wet. Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad; And in his arms a Lamb he had.

He saw me, and he turned aside,
As if he wished himself to hide :
Then with his coat he made essay
To wipe those briny tears away.
I followed him, and said, “ My Friend
“ What ails you? wherefore weep you so ?"

-“ Shame on me, Şir! this lusty Lamb,
He makes my tears to flow,
To-day I fetched him from the rock ;
He is the last of all

my

flock.

When I was young, a single Man,
And after youthful follies ran,
Though little given to care and thought,
Yet, so it was, a Ewe I bought ;
And other sheep from her I raised,
As healthy sheep as you might see ;
And then I married, and was rich
As I could wish to be ;
Of sheep I numbered a full score,
And every year increas'd my store.

Year after year my stock it grew,
And from this one, this single Ewe,
Full fifty comely sheep I raised,
As sweet a flock as ever grazed !
Upon the mountain did they feed,
They throve, and we at home did thrive,
--This lusty Lamb of all my store
Is all that is alive ;
And now I care not if we die,
And perish all of poverty.

Six Children, Sir ! had I to feed,
Hard labour in a time of need !
My pride was tamed, and in our grief,
I of the Parish ask'd relief.
They said I was a wealthy 'man ;
My sheep upon the mountain fed,
And it was fit that thence I took
Whereof to buy us bread :"
“ Do this ; how can we give to you,”
They cried, “what to the poor is due ?"
I sold a sheep, as they had said,
And bought my little children bread,
And they were healthy with their food;
For me it never did me good.
A woeful time it was for me,
To see the end of all my gains,
The pretty flock which I had reared
With all my care and pains,
To see it melt like snow away!
For me it was a woeful day.

Another still ! and still another !

A little lamb, and then its mother!
It was a vein that never stoppido
Like blood-drops from my heart they dropp'd.
Till thirty were not left alive
They dwindled, dwindled, one by one,
And I may say, that many a time ·
I wished they all were gone :
They dwindled one by one away ;
For me it was a woeful day.

ز

To wicked deeds I was inclined,
And wicked fancies cross'd

my mind
And every man I chanc'd to see,
I thought he knew some ill of me.
No peace po comfort could I find,
No ease, within doors or without,
And crazily, and wearily,
I went my work about.
Oft-times I thought to run away ;
For me it was a woeful day..

Sir! 'twas a precious flock to me,
As dear as my own Children be ;
For daily with my growing store
I loved my Children more and more.
Alas! it was an evil time;
God cursed me in my sore distress ģ
I prayed, yet every day I thought
I loved

my

children less; And every week, and every day, My flock, it seemed to melt away.

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