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[315] Her grandson, playing at marbles, stopped,
     And, cruel in sport as boys will be,
Tossed a stone at the bird, who hopped
     From bough to bough in the apple-tree.

‘Nay!’ said the grandmother; “have you not heard,
     My poor, bad boy! of the fiery pit,
And how, drop by drop, this merciful bird
     Carries the water that quenches it?

“He brings cool dew in his little bill,
     And lets it fall on the souls of sin:
You can see the mark on his red breast still
     Of fires that scorch as he drops it in.

“My poor Bron rhuddyn! my breast-burned bird,
     Singing so sweetly from limb to limb,
Very dear to the heart of Our Lord
     Is he who pities the lost like Him!”

‘Amen!’ I said to the beautiful myth;
     “Sing, bird of God, in my heart as well:
Each good thought is a drop wherewith
     To cool and lessen the fires of hell.

“Prayers of love like rain-drops fall,
     Tears of pity are cooling dew,
And dear to the heart of Our Lord are all
     Who suffer like Him in the good they do!”


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1871 AD (1)
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