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THE THORN.

I.

There is a thorn; it looks so old,

In truth you'd find 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 stands erect this aged thorn;

No leaves it has, no thorny points;

It is a mass of knotted joints,

A wretched thing forlorn.

It stands erect, and like a stone

With lichens it is overgrown.

II.

Like rock or stone, it is o'ergrown

With lichens to the very top,

And hung with heavy tufts of moss,

A melancholy crop :'

Up front the earth these mosses creep,

And this poor thorn they clasp it round

So close, you'd say that they were bent

With plain and manifest intent,

To drag it to the ground;

And all had join'd in one endeavour

To bury this poor thorn for ever.

III.

High on a mountain's highest ridge,

Where oft the stormy winter gale

Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds

It sweeps from vale to vale;

Not five 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;

I've 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 in height.
All lovely colours there you see,
All colours that were ever seen,
And mossy network 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 vermillion 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 o'ergrown with moss,

Which close beside the thorn you see,

So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,

Is like an infant's grave in size

As like as like can be:

But never, never any where,

An infant's grave was half so fair.

VI.

Now would you see this aged thorn,
This pond and beauteous hill of moss,
You must take care and chuse your time
The mountain when to cross.
For oft there sits, between the heap

That's like an infant's grave in size And that same pond of which I spoke, A woman in a scarlet cloak, And to herself she cries, ** Oh misery! oh misery! "Oh woe is mei! oh misery!"

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 thorn she sits

When the blue day-light's in the skies.

And when the whirlwind's on the hitt,

Or frosty air is keen and still,

And to herself she cries,

"Oh misery! oh misery!

"Oh woe is me! oh misery;"

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