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60 THE PET LAMB.
A faithful nurse thou hast, the dam that did thee yean Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have been.
"Thou knowest that twice a day I have brought thee in this can Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew, I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is, and new.
"Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now; Then I '11 yoke thee to my cart, like a pony in the plough;My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is
cold x Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.
"Alas! the mountain-tops that look so green and fair, I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play, When they are angry roar like lions for their prey.
"Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky; Night and day thou art safe — our cottage is hard by. Why*bleat so after me? why pull so at thy chain? Sleep — and at break of day I will come to thee again."
As homeward through the lane 1 went, with lazy feet, This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line, That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was mine.
Again, and once again, did I repeat the song:"Nay," said I, "more than half to the damsel must belong, For she looked with such a look, and she spoke with
such a tone, That I almost received her heart into my own."
THE LITTLE BLACK BOY.— Blake.
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
"Look on the rising sun, — there God does live,
"And we are put on earth a little space,
62 THE SPAETAN BOY.
"For when our souls have learnt the heat to bear,
Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;
I 'II shade him from the heat till he can bear
THE SPARTAN BOY. — Miss Lamb.
When I the memory repeat Of the heroic actions great, Which, in contempt of pain and death, Were done by men who drew their breath In ages past, I find no deed That can in fortitude exceed The noble boy, in Sparta bred, Who in the temple ministered. By the sacrifice he stands, The lighted incense in his hands;Through the smoking censer's lid Dropped a burning coal, which slid Into his sleeve, and passed in Between the folds, e'en to the skin. Dire was the pain which then he proved, But not for this his sleeve he moved,
Or would the scorching ember shake Out from the folds, lest it should make Any confusion, or excite Disturbance at the sacred rite;
But close he kept the burning coal, Till it eat itself a hole In his flesh. The standers-by Saw no sign, and heard no cry. All this he did in noble scorn, And for he was a Spartan born. Young student who this story readest, And with the same thy thoughts now feedest,
Thy weaker nerves might thee forbid To do the thing the Spartan did;Thy feebler heart could not sustain Such dire extremity of pain. But in this story thou mayst see That may useful prove to thee. By this example thou wilt find,
That to the ingenuous mind Shame can greater anguish bring Than the body's suffering;That pain is not the worst of ills, — Not when it the body kills;That in fair religion's cause For thy country, or the laws, When occasion dire shall offer,
VT is reproachful not to suffer.
MY BIRTHDAY. — Miss Lamb.
A dozen years since, in this house what commotion,
64 HT BIRTHDAY.
I Ve been told by my friends (if they do not be
But vain are the hopes which are formed by a
On a sick-bed I lay, through the flesh my bones started,
Life and soul were kept in by a mother's assistance,
By her care I'm alive now;—but what retribution Can I for a life twice bestowed thus confer? Were I to be silent, each year's revolution Proclaims each new birthday is owing to her.
The chance-rooted tree that by way-sides is planted, Where no friendly hand will watch o'er its young shoots, Has less blame if, in autumn, when produce is wanted, Enriched by small culture, it put forth small fruits.
But that which with labor in hotbeds is reared, Secured by nice art from the dews and the rains, Unsound at the root may with justice be feared, If it pay not with interest the tiller his pains.