The Ewe

So artless art thou, gentle ewe!

Thy aspect kindles feeling;

And every bosom doth bedew,

Each true affection stealing.

Thou hast no weapon of aught kind

Against thy foes to combat;

No horn or hoof the dog to wound

That worries thee so steadfast.

No, nought hast thou but feeble flight,

Therein thy only refuge;

And every cur wi
hin thy sight

Is swifter since the deluge.

And when thy lambkin weak doth fail,

Tho' often called to follow,

Thy best protection to the frail

Wilt give through death or sorrow.

Against the ground her foot will beat,

Devoutly pure her purpose;

Full many a time the sight thus meet

Brought tears to me in billows.

But if wise nature did not give

To her sharp tooth or weapon,

She compensation doth receive

From human aid and reason.

She justly has from man support

'Gainst wounds and tribulation;

And has the means without distort

To yield him retribution.

Yea, of more value is her gift

Than priceless mines of silver

Or gold which from the depth they lift

Through India's distant border.

To man she gives protection strong

From winds and tempests howling,

From pelting rain, and snow-drifts long,

When storms above are beating.

The mantle warm o'er us the night

Throughout the dismal shadows;

What makes our hearts so free and light?

What but the sheep so precious!

Then let us not the Ewe forget

When winter bleak doth hover;

When rains descend--and we safe set--

Let us be grateful to her.

Her cloak to us is comfort great

When by the ditch she trembles;

Let us then give her the best beat

For her abode and rambles.