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THE OAK AND THE BROOM.
His fimple truths did Andrew glean
Beside the babbling rills;
Among the woods and hills.
His youngest born did Andrew hold: And while the rest, a ruddy quire, Were seated round their blazing fire,
This tale the shepherd told :
“I saw a crag, a lofty stone
As ever tempest beat!
A Broom out of its feet.
Breathed gently from the warm south-west :
“ Eight weary weeks through rock and clay,
Along this mountain's edge,
Wedge driving after wedge.
Last night I heard a crash-—'tis true,
For such a thing as you !
“ You are preparing, as before,
To deck your slender shape ;
You had a strange escape.
And hitherward it bent its way :
’T is hanging to this day !
“The thing had better been asleep,
Whatever thing it were,
That first did plant you there.
For you and your green twigs decoy
To come and flumber in your bower ;
Will perish in one hour. “ From me this friendly warning take'
The Broom began to doze, And thus, to keep herself awake,
Did gently interpose : "My thanks for your discourse are due ; That it is true, and more than true,
I know, and I have known it long; Frail is the bond by which we hold Our being, be we young or old,
Wise, foolish, weak, or strong. “ Disasters, do the best we can,
Will reach both great and small ;
Who is not wise at all.
It is my pleasant heritage ;
Attained a good old age.
“ Even such as his may be my lot :
What cause have I to haunt
In truth a favoured plant !
And, when the frost is in the sky,
This plant can never die.
“ The butterfly, all green and gold,
To me hath often flown,
Wings lovely as his own.
Lies with her infant lamb; I see
It is a joy to me.' “ Her voice was blithe, her heart was light;
The Broom might have pursued Her speech, until the stars of night
Their journey had renewed : But in the branches of the Oak Two ravens now began to croak
Their nuptial song, a gladsome air : And to her own green bower the breeze That instant brought two stripling bees
To rest and murmur there.
“ One night, my children ! from the North
There came a furious blast;
And near the cliff I passed.
And whirled, and whirled him far away ;
To live for many a day.”