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And near them they beheld a child,
Upon a crag he stood,
Was spread the rising flood.
The boatman plied the oar, the boat
Approach'd his resting place ;
And show'd how pale his face.
“ Now reach thine hand !" the boatman cried,
« Lord William reach and save !" The child stretch'd forth his little hands
To grasp the hand he gave.
Then William shriek’d; the hand he touch'd
Was cold and damp and dead ! He felt young Edmund in his arms
A heavier weight than lead.
The boat sunk down, the murderer sunk
Beneath the avenging stream;
THE CROSS ROADS.
The circumstance related in the following Ballad happened about the year 1760, in a village adjacent to BRISTOL. A person who was present at the funeral told me the story and the particulars of the interment, as I have versified them.
THERE was an old man breaking stones
To mend the turnpike way;
For now it was mid-day.
He leant his back against a post,
His feet the brook ran by ;
For he was hot and dry.
A soldier with his knapsack on
Came travelling o'er the down ; The sun was strong and he was tired; And he of the old man enquired
“ How far to Bristol town ?"
“ Half an hour's walk for a young man,
By lanes and fields and stiles ; But you the foot-path do not know, And if along the road you go
Why then 'tis three good miles.”
The soldier took his knapsack off,
For he was hot and dry; And out his bread and cheese he took, And he sat down beside the brook
To dine in company.
« Old friend! in faith," the soldier says,
“ I envy you almost ; My shoulders have been sorely prest, And I should like to sit and rest
My back against that post.
“ In such a sweltering day as this
A knapsack is the devil !
But make me seem uncivil."
The old man laugh’d and moved ...“ I wish
It were a great-arm'd chair!
That ever brought it there.