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1. Mary-Ann was alone with her baby in arms,
In her house with the trees overhead,
In his business a-toiling for bread;
2. And her kinsfolk and neighbours did say of her child
(Under the lofty elm-tree),
Up a-top of a proud mother's knee;
(Under the gloomy elm-tree),
Of a truth what his ailing could be ;
4. And she found him grow worse in the dead of the night
(Under the gloomy elm-tree), And she pressed him against her warm bosom so tight,
And she rocked him so sorrowfully;
poem is written in the Dorsetshire dialect.
5. And the moon was a-shining down into the place
(Under the gloomy elm-tree), And his mother could see that his lips and his face
Were as white as clean ashes could be ; And her tongue was a-tied, and her still heart did swell Till her senses came back with the first tear that fell.
6. Never more can she feel his warm face in her breast
(Under the leafy elm-tree),
And he's now from his pain a-set free;
A TRUE STORY.
[Spell and write]
Little Gertrude was the daughter of a German peasant, who had a cottage and a few acres of land of his own. She was the eldest of five children, and ten years of age. The little cottage stood in the midst of a village, that was surrounded by fine large meadows on one side, and on the other by high hills, covered with vineyards to the very summit. Her father had but little money, but when the harvest was good, and the weather favourable, they had not only plenty for themselves, but something for the poor as well. It was a regular festival when the time for gathering the fruit arrived; they all went then to the large meadow, and helped to gather the beautiful red apples and yellow pears, for the large plain was covered with fruit-trees of every kind. More delightful still it was, when in autumn they climbed the hills to gather in the grapes. The men had a kind of pannier slung on their backs, and when the children had filled their little baskets, they threw the beautiful white and purple bunches into them.
Little Gertrude was a bright, merry little girl, and she had been obliged to help her mother so much in nursing her brothers and sisters, that she had become a very steady child. In the morning she rose very early, and lit the fire in the stove, while her mother was milking the cow : often, when the others came in, the industrious little girl had the kitchen swept nice and clean, and on the table stood a large dish of porridge ready for breakfast. The little children would all eat out of the same dish, but there was a second one for the older people. If it was not a busy time of the year, little Gertrude was allowed to go to the village school; but she could not often be spared. Sometimes her mother had to wash, and Gertrude had to hold the baby; at other times she had to help in the field, or perhaps her father would go to the market and take her with him, so that she could not learn very much. She was very fond of going to school, perhaps more so than she would have been, had she been able to go every day, because people don't care so much about blessings they have never felt the want of. What she liked best of all she was taught at school was the singing, and it made her very happy to join in the pretty hymns and sweet songs of the village children. Often when she was coming back from the market on her father's cart, she would sing so heartily with her clear voice, that the people looked with pleasure at her bright face, and said : 'What a happy child !'
One day she had just returned with her father, who had desired her to carry the market-baskets into an outhouse behind the yard.
A strange man was looking across the low wall, and as soon as he saw her, he called her by name. «Gertrude, he said, come here for a moment.'
Gertrude was not in the least afraid, and ran over to him at once, to ask what he wanted.
“There is one of your father's lambs caught in a hedge,' said the man ; come down, and I will get it out for you.'
Gertrude dreamed of no harm, and ran off at once. For a considerable distance she followed the man, until at last they had reached the extreme end of the hedge; but no lamb was to be seen.
'It must have strayed away,' said the man ; come down the lane a little, we shall find it there.'
But Gertrude had by this time become a little alarmed ; and saying that she was afraid her mother would want her, she was turning back, when the man caught her up in his arms, and stuffing something into her mouth, to prevent her from screaming, he ran down the lane with her, where a small cart was standing. Into this he threw her, loosened the pony that was tied to a tree, and sitting up in front, he drove away as fast as possible.
Poor Gertrude tried several times to free her mouth to cry for help, but it was of no use. For
hours they drove along the lonely road, until the pony seemed almost too weary to move on. Then only was poor Gertrude delivered from the gag, and her companion told her that he would not harm her, if she would remain perfectly quiet. After this, he drew out a knife that was concealed under his coat, and shewing it to the terrified girl, he said : ‘But if you dare say a word to anybody about the way I took you away, I shall be obliged to kill you.'
They had stopped near a barn, into which they now went. The man brought a basket of provisions out of the cart, and pressed Gertrude to eat; but the poor girl was too miserable to do that, and soon afterwards cried herself to sleep. Her companion was a German by birth; but he had been in almost every country in the world. He had spent all his life in wandering from place to place ; at present, he had a small stock of goods, that he had offered for sale in the neighbouring town, where he had several times observed little Gertrude, and heard her sing.
Such a child,' thought he would be the very thing for me; if I took her to England, her voice would be a little fortune to me.' He was glad when he saw the poor little thing asleep, for though he was a bad man, he was not without feeling.
For several days they travelled from place to Place : poor Gertrude became more unhappy every day, though her companion really tried to amuse her.
At last, they reached a large seaport town, where Müller —for that was the name he went by—sold his pony and cart, and took little Gertrude on board a large vessel to sail for England. She soon became so ill that she could think of nothing. In a few days they arrived in London, where Müller shewed Gertrude many curious and strange sights. One evening he called her to him, and said : "You see, my little woman, I have now nearly spent all my money, and we must do something to earn our living. You have behaved very well, and if you do so still, I