breast was pressed upon a thorn, Unknowing that he leant thereon; Then bidding him take heart again, Thou rannest down into the lane To seek the doer of this wrong, Nor under hedgerow hunted long, When, sturdy, rude, and sun-embrowned, A child thy earnest seeking found. To him in sweet and modest tone Thou madest straight thy errand known. With gentle eloquence didst show (Things erst he surely did not know) How great an evil he had done; How, when next year the mild May sun Renewed its warmth, this shady lane No timid birds would haunt again; And how around his mother's door The robins, yearly guests before-- He knew their names--would come no more; But if his prisoners he released, Before their little bosoms ceased To palpitate, each coming year Would find them gladly reappear To sing his praises everywhere-- The sweetest, dearest songs to hear. And afterward, when came the term Of ripened corn, the robber worm Would hunt through every blade and turn, Impatient thus his smile to earn.
At first, flus