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    <strong>THE THORN.</strong>

    I.

    There is a thorn; it looks so old,

    In truth youd ?nd it hard to say,

    How it could ever have been young,

    It looks so old and grey.

    Not higher than a two-years child,

    It sta this aged thorn;

    No leaves it has, no thorny points;

    It is a mass of knotted joints,

    A wretched thing forlorn.

    It sta, and like a stone

    With lis it is rown.

    II.

    Like rock or sto is rown

    With lis to the very top,

    And hung with heavy tufts of moss,

    A melancholy crop:

    Up from the earth these mosses creep,

    And this poor thorn they clasp it round

    So close, youd say that they were bent

    With plain and ma inte<bdo>..</bdo>nt,

    T it to the ground;

    And all had joined in one endeavour

    To bury this poor thorn for ever.

    III.

    High on a mountains highest ridge,

    Where oft the stormy winter gale

    Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds

    It sweeps from vale to vale;

    Not ?ve yards from the mountain-path,

    This thorn you on your left espy;

    And to the left, three yards beyond,

    You see a little muddy pond

    Of water, never dry;

    Ive measured it from side to side:

    Tis three feet long, and two feet wide.

    IV.

    And close beside this aged thorn,

    There is a fresh and lovely sight,

    A beauteous heap, a hill of moss,

    Just half a foot i.

    All lovely colours there you see,

    All colours that were ever seen,

    And mossy work too is there,

    As if by hand of lady fair

    The work had woven been,

    And cups, the darlings of the eye,

    So deep is their vermilion dye.

    V.

    Ah me! what lovely tints are there!

    Of olive-green and scarlet bright,

    In spikes, in branches, and in stars,

    Green, red, and pearly white.

    This heap of earth rown with moss

    Which close beside the thorn you see,

    So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,

    Is like an infants grave in size

    As like as like  be:

    But never, never any where,

    An infants grave was half so fair.

    VI.

    Now would you see this aged thorn,

    This pond aeous hill of moss,

    You must take care and chuse your time

    The mountaio cross.

    For oft there sits, between the heap

    Thats like an infants grave in size,

    And that same pond of which I spoke,

    A woman in a scarlet ?cloak,

    And to herself she cries,

    &quot;Oh misery! oh misery!

    &quot;Oh woe is me! oh misery!&quot;

    VII.

    At all times of the day and night

    This wretched woman thither goes,

    And she is known to every star,

    And every wind that blows;

    And there beside the thors

    When the blue day-lights in the skies,

    And when the whirlwinds on the hill,

    Or frosty air is keen and still,

    And to herself she cries,

    &quot;Oh misery! oh misery!

    &quot;Oh woe is me! oh misery!&quot;

    VIII.

    &quot;Now wherefore thus, by day and night,

    &quot;In rain, in tempest, and in snow,

    &quot;Thus to the dreary mountain-top

    &quot;Does this poor woman go?

    &quot;And why sits she beside the thorn

    &quot;When the blue day-lights in the sky,

    &quot;Or when the whirlwinds on the hill,

    &quot;Or frosty air is keen and still,

    &quot;And wherefore does she cry?--

    &quot;Oh wherefore? wherefore? tell me why

    &quot;Does she repeat that doleful cry?&quot;

    IX.

    I ot tell; I wish I could;

    For the true reason no one knows,

    But if youd gladly view the spot,

    The spot to which she goes;

    The heap thats like an infants grave,

    The pond--and thorn, so old and grey,

    Pass by her door--tis seldom shut--

    And if you see her in her hut,

    Then to t<bdi></bdi>he spot away!--

    I never heard of such as dare

    Approach the spot when she is there.

    X.

    &quot;But wherefore to the mountain-top

    &quot; this unhappy woman go,

    &quot;Whatever star is in the skies,

    &quot;Whatever wind may blow?&quot;

    Nay rack your brain--tis all in vain,

    Ill tell you every thing I know;

    But to the thorn, and to the pond

    Which is a little step beyond,

    I wish that you would go:

    Perhaps when you are at the place

    You something of her tale may trace.

    XI.

    Ill give you the best help I :

    Before you up the mountain go,

    Up to the dreary mountain-top,

    Ill tell you all I know.

    Tis now some two and twenty years,

    Since she (her name is Martha Ray)

    Gave with a maidens true good will

    Her pany to Stephen Hill;

    And she was blithe and gay,

    And she was happy, happy still

    Wheneer she thought of Stephen Hill.

    XII.

    And they had ?xd the wedding-day,

    The m that must wed them both;

    But Stephen to another maid

    Had sworn another oath;

    And with this other maid to church

    Unthinking Stephe--

    Poor Martha! on that woful day

    A cruel, cruel ?re, they say,

    Into her bones was sent:

    It dried her body like a der,

    And almost turnd her brain to tinder.

    XIII.

    They say, full six months after this,

    While yet the summer-leaves were green,

    She to the mountain-top would go,

    And there was often seen.

    Tis said, a child was in her womb,

    As now to any eye lain;

    She was with child, and she was mad,

    Yet often she was sober sad

    From her exceeding pain.

    Oh me! ten thousand times Id rather

    That he had died, that cruel father!

    XIV.

    Sad case for such a brain to hold

    union with a stirring child!

    Sad case, as you may think, for one

    Who had a brain so wild!

    Last Christmas whealked of this,

    Old Farmer Simpson did maintain,

    That in her womb the infant wrought

    About its mothers heart, and brought

    Her senses back again:

    And when at last her time drew near,

    Her looks were calm, her senses clear.

    XV.

    No more I know, I wish I did,

    And I would tell it all to you;

    For what became of this poor child

    Theres hat ever knew:

    And if a child was born or no,

    Theres no ohat could ever tell;

    And if twas born alive or dead,

    Theres no one knows, as I have said,

    But some remember well,

    That Martha Ray about this time

    Would up the mountain often climb.

    XVI.

    And all that winter, when at night

    The wind blew from the mountain-peak,

    Twas worth your while, though in the dark,

    The church-yard path to seek:

    For many a time and oft were heard

    Cries ing from the mountain-head,

    Some plainly living voices were,

    And others, Ive heard many swear,

    Were voices of the dead:

    I ot think, whateer they say,

    They had to do with Martha Ray.

    XVII.

    But that she goes to this old thorn,

    The thorn which Ive described to you,

    And there sits in a scarlet cloak,

    I will be sworn is true.

    For one day with my telescope,

    To view the o wide and bright,

    When to this try ?rst I came,

    Ere I had heard of Marthas name,

    I climbed the mountai:

    A storm came on, and I could see

    No object higher than my knee.

    XVIII.

    Twas mist and rain, and storm and rain,

    No s, no fence could I discover,

    And then the wind! in faith, it was

    A wind full ten times over.

    I looked around, I thought I saw

    A jutting crag, and oft I ran,

    Head-foremost, through the driving rain,

    The shelter of the crag to gain,

    And, as I am a man,

    Instead of jutting crag, I found

    A womaed on the ground.

    XIX.

    I did not speak--I saw her face,

    Her face it was enough for me;

    I turned about and heard her cry,

    &quot;O misery! O misery!&quot;

    And there she sits, until the moon

    Through half the clear blue sky will go,

    And whetle breezes make

    The waters of the pond to shake,

    As all the try know,

    She shudders and you hear her cry,

    &quot;Oh misery! oh misery!

    XX.

    &quot;But whats the thorn? and whats the pond?

    &quot;And whats the hill of moss to her?

    &quot;And whats the creeping breeze that es

    &quot;The little pond to stir?&quot;

    I ot tell; but some will say

    She hanged her baby oree,

    Some say she drow in the pond,

    Which is a little step beyond,

    But all and each agree,

    The little babe was buried there,

    Beh that hill of moss so fair.

    XXI.

    Ive heard the scarlet moss is red

    With drops of that poor infants blood;

    But kill a new-born infant thus!

    I do not think she could.

    Som<u>?99lib.</u>e say, if to the pond you go,

    And ?x on it a steady view,

    The shadow of a babe you trace,

    A baby and a babys face,

    And that it looks at you;

    Wheneer you look on it, tis plain

    The baby looks at you again.

    XXII.

    And some had sworn an oath that she

    Should be to public justice brought;

    And for the little infants bones

    With spades they would have sought.

    But then the beauteous hill of moss

    Before their eyes began to stir;

    And for full ?fty yards around,

    The grass it shook upon the ground;

    But all do still aver

    The little babe is buried there,

    Beh that hill of moss so fair.

    XXIII.

    I ot tell how this may be,

    But plain it is, the thorn is bound

    With heavy tufts of moss, that strive

    T it to the ground.

    And this I know, full many a time,

    When she was on the mountain high,

    By day, and in the silent night,

    When all the stars shone clear and bright,

    That I have heard her cry,

    &quot;Oh misery! oh misery!

    &quot;O woe is me! oh misery!&quot;

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