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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 churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And in the churchyard cottage
Dwell near them with my mother."
"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea;
Yet ye 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 churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree."
"You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then are ye only five."
"Their graves are green, they may be seen," The little maid replied;
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side.
WE ARE SEVEN.
My stockings there I often knit,
My 'kerchief there I hem ;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sit and sing to them.
And often after sunset, 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 releas'd her of her pain,
And then she went away.
So in the churchyard she was laid;
And when the grass was dry,
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?"
The little maiden did reply,
"O 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 !"
ADDRESS TO CERTAIN GOLD FISHES.
RESTLESS forms of living light,
Quiv'ring on your lucid wings,
Cheating still the curious sight
With a thousand shadowings;
Various as the tints of even,
Gorgeous as the hues of heaven
Reflected on your native streams
In flittering, flashing, billowy gleams!
Harmless warriors, clad in mail
Of silver breastplate, golden scale,-
Mail of nature's own bestowing,
With peaceful radiance mildly glowing.
Fleet are ye as fleetest galley,
Or pirate rover sent from Sallee;
Keener than the Tartar's arrow,
Sport ye in your sea so narrow.
Was the sun himself your sire?
Were ye born of vital fire?
Or of the shade of golden flowers,
Such as we fetch from eastern bowers,
To mock this murky clime of ours?
Upwards, downwards, now ye glance,
Weaving many a mystic dance:
ADDRESS TO GOLD FISHES.
Seeming still to grow in size
When ye would elude our eyes :
Pretty creatures! we might deem
Ye were happy as ye seem,-
As gay, as gamesome, and as blithe,
As light, as loving, and as lithe,
As gladly earnest in your play,
As when ye gleam'd in far Cathay.
And yet, since on this hapless earth
There's small sincerity in mirth,
And laughter oft is but an art
To drown the outcry of the heart;
It may be that your ceaseless gambols,
Your wheelings, dartings, divings, rambles,
Your restless roving round and round
The circuit of your crystal bound—
Is but the task of weary pain,
An endless labour dull and vain ;
And while your forms are gaily shining,
Your little lives are inly pining!
Nay, but still I fain would dream
That ye are happy as ye seem,
Deck'd in Oriental pride
By homely British fireside.
THE NEW FOREST.
THERE moves a sad procession
Across the silent vale,
With backward-glancing eyes of grief,
And tearful cheeks all pale.
Scatter'd and slow, without array,
With wavering feet they go;
Yet with a kind of solemn pace,
The measur'd tread of woe.
There women pause and tremble,
And weep with breaking heart;
While men, with deeply knitted brows,
Stride mutely on apart.
There infants cling upon the breast,
Their own accustom'd place,
And children look up askingly
Into each darken'd face.
For the king has sent his soldiers,
Who strike, and pity not:
They have razed to the earth each smiling home,
They have burnt each lowly cot.
It was the ruthless Conqueror
By whom this deed was done;
And yet more fierce and hard of heart
Was Rufus, his stern son.
So they leave each humble cottage
Where they so long have dwelt,