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In distant countries I have been;

And yet I have not often seen

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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, Sir! 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,

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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.

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• 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 stopp'd

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.

To wicked deeds I was inclined,

And wicked fancies cross'd my


And every man I chanc'd to see,
I thought he knew some ill of me.
No peace no 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;
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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