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"But what's the Thorn? and what's the Pond?
And what's the Hill of moss to her?
And what's the creeping breeze that comes
The little Pond to stir?"
"I cannot tell; but some will
She hanged her baby on the tree;
Some say she drowned it in the pond,
Which is a little step beyond:
But all and each agree,
The little babe was buried there,
Beneath that Hill of moss so fair.
I've heard, the moss is spotted red
But kill a new-born infant thus,
I do not think she could!
And fix on it a steady view,
The shadow of a babe you trace,
A baby and a baby's face,
And that it looks at you;
Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain
The baby looks at you again.
And some had sworn an oath that she
With spades they would have sought.
And for full fifty yards around,
The grass, it shook upon the ground;
But all do still aver
The little Babe is buried there,
I cannot tell how this may be :
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,
"Oh misery! oh misery!
Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
Hart-Leap Well is a small spring of water, about five miles from Richmond in Yorkshire, and near the side of the road which leads from Richmond to Askrigg. Its name is derived from a remarkable Chase, the memory of which is preserved by the monuments spoken of in the second Part of the following Poem, which monuments do now exist as I have there described them.
THE Knight had ridden down from Wensley moor
He turned aside towards a Vassal's door,
"Another Horse!"-That shout the Vassal heard,
Joy sparkled in the praucing Courser's eyes;
A rout this morning left Sir Walter's Hall,
Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind,
The Knight hallooed, he chid and cheered them on
Where is the throng, the tumult of the race?
The bugles that so joyfully were blown?
Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.
The poor Hart toils along the mountain side;
Dismounting then, he leaned against a thorn;
Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter leaned,
Upon his side the Hart was lying stretched:
And now, too happy for repose or rest,
(Was never man in such a joyful case!)
Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west,
And gazed and gazed upon that darling place.