Jenny And Her Pet Lamb Poem by Thomas Cowherd

Jenny And Her Pet Lamb

By the side of lonely moor,
In a humble clay-built cot,
Lived a widow very poor
Who received her daily store
As the Lord's Forget-me-not.

With her lived her little girl,
Blithe and pretty blue eyed Jane;
She wore golden locks in curl,
Which showed Nature was no churl,
If it did not make her vain.

Plain but neatly was she dressed,
With her lot was quite content,
No great cares her mind oppressed,
She with cheerfulness was blessed,
While in work her time was spent.

Came there by the cot one day
Quite a numerous flock of sheep.
Lambs did by their mothers play,
One was in a sickly way,
Which called up Jane's feelings deep.

He who drove them, hard of heart,
Did that sickly lamb abuse;
This increased young Jennie's smart,
It went through her like a dart,
Wondering, 'would the man refuse

'To give her that pretty lamb
Which appeared so like to die?'
Came the thought to her like balm,
Her distress of mind to calm,
As she to the man drew nigh.

When to him she made request
Answered he in surly tones,
'She might have the little pest,
For it was at very best
But a heap of skin and bones!'

Joyfully she took the prize
In with her to that rude cot.
Pleasure filled her sparkling eyes,
For the lamb had ceased its cries
Ere it reached so safe a spot.

Like a foster mother she
Nursed it then with gentle care,
Till it grew in time to be
Large as any sheep you see,
Fed upon such scanty fare.

And its wool in one short year
For some better pasture pays
And assists the heart to cheer
Of that widow, who had fear
The coming Winter days.

Came there soon some troubles great
On this poor, small family.
He who owned the large estate
Where they lived, had sunk of late
Into greatest poverty.

Lost he all his wide domain,
Dragged to jail because of debt.
He would not of fate complain,
If that widow might remain,
But consent he could not get.

He who took their kind friend's place
Acted a most cruel part.
All might see upon his face
There was not a single trace
Of a kind or gentle heart.

And the widow was forbid
To remain another week.
Sternly he her pleadings chid,
'All such tenants he would rid,
And fresh quarters make them seek.'

Threatened if they would not go
He then all would take away.
This was such a heavy blow
Sickness laid the mother low;
The were thus obliged to stay.

Ere the time had quite expired
Down the angry landlord came
With a man whom he had hired;
Liquor strong their courage fired
Till they felt no sense of shame.

Seize they Jenny's pretty pet,
Cut its throat and leave it there;
Then the household goods they get-
Heed not how the dear ones fret
When their cot was made so bare.

Saw the Lord that wicked deed?
Did the widow's prayer avail?
See you further on may read,
What the Lord had just decreed
In the sequel of my tale.

Thunder clouds hung overhead,
While those shocking acts were done;
Forth the lightning's arrow sped,
Guided there it struck them dead,
Ceased to beat their hearts of stone.

All who heard the widow's case,
Those who saw sweet Jenny's tears,
Got for them a better place,
Bade them wear a cheerful face,
Trust in God and calm their fears.

Said the widow to her Jane,
'Saw you how your darling died?
Did it of the act complain?
Jesus as a Lamb was slain,
As a Lamb was crucified.

'This was in the sinner's stead,
This was done for you and me;
For our sins he freely bled,
Bowed to Death his sacred head
On the shameful cursed tree.'

Heard that lovely girl these things?
Yes, and did believe them too.
Faith its blessings to her brings,
And God's goodness oft she sings.
This, dear reader, you may do.

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