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Along the river's stony marge
The Sand-lark chants a joyous song;
The Thrush is busy in the wood,
And carols loud and strong.
A thousand Lambs are on the rocks,
All newly born ! both earth and sky
Keep jubilee ; and more than all,
Those Boys with their green Coronal;
They never hear the cry,
That plaintive cry! which up the hill
Comes from the depth of Dungeon-Gill.
Said Walter, leaping from the ground,
“ Down to the stump of yon
We'll for our Whistles run a race.”
Away the Shepherds flew.
They leapt--they ran-and when they came
Right opposite to Dungeon-Gill,
Seeing that he should lose the prize,
“Stop!” to his comrade Walter cries
James stopped with no good will :
Said Walter then, “ Your task is here,
'Twill keep you working half a year.
« Now cross where I shall cross--come on,
And follow me where I shall lead”.
The other took him at his word,
But did not like the deed.
It was a spot, which you may see
If ever you to Langdale go:
Into a chasm a mighty Block
Hath fallen, and made a Bridge of rock :
The gulph is deep below;
And in a bason black and small
Receives a lofty Waterfall.
With staff in hand across the cleft
The Challenger began his march;
And now, all eyes and feet, hath gained
The middle of the arch.
When list! he hears a piteous moan-
Again !-his heart within him dies-
His pulse is stopped, his breath is lost,
He totters, pale as any ghost,
And, looking down, he spies
A Lamb, that in the pool is pent
Within that black and frightful Rent,
The Lamb had slipped into the stream, And safe without a bruise or wound
The Cataract had borne him down
Into the gulph profound.
His Dam had seen him when he fell,
She saw him down the torrent borne;
And, while with all a mother's love
She from the lofty rocks above
Sent forth a cry forlorn,
The Lamb, still swimming round and round,
Made answer to that plaintive sound.
When he had learnt what thing it was,
That sent this rueful cry; I ween,
The Boy recovered heart, and told
The sight which he had seen.
Both gladly now deferred their task;
Nor was there wanting other aid-
A Poet, one who loves the brooks
Far better than the sages' books,
By chance had thither strayed;
And there the helpless Lamb he found
By those huge rocks encompassed round,
He drew it gently from the pool,
And brought it forth into the light:
The Shepherds met him with his Charge;
An unexpected sight!
Into their arms the Lamb they took,
Said they, “He's neither maimed nor scarred."
the steep ascent they hied,
And placed him at his Mother's side ;
And gently did the Bard
Those idle Shepherd-boys upbraid,
And bade them better mind their trade,