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We are Seven

William Wordsworth


--- A simple child,

That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death ?

I met a little cottage girl:

She was eight years old, she said;

Her hair was thick with many a curl

That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad:

Her eyes were fair, and very fair,

---Her beauty made me glad.

" Sisters and brothers, little maid,

How many may you be ? "

" How many ?   Seven in all, "  she said,

And wondering looked at me.

" And who are they ?  I pray you, tell. "

She answered, " Seven are we:

And two of us at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea.

" Two of us in the churchyard lie,

My sister and my brother;

And, in the churchyard cottage,  I

Dwell near them with my mother. "

" You say that two at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea,

Yet ye are seven !  --- I pray you tell,

Sweet maid, how this may be. "

Then did the little maid reply,

"  Seven boys and girls are we;

Two of us in the churchyard lie,

Beneath the churchyard tree. "

" You run about, my little maid,

Your limbs they are alive;

If two are in the churchyard laid,

Then ye are only five. "

" Their graves are green, they may be seen, "

The little maid replied,

" Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,

And they are side by side.

" My stockings there I often knit,

My kerchief there I hem;

And there upon the ground I sit,

And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, sir,

When it is light and fair,

I take my little porringer,

And eat my supper there.

" The first that died was sister Jane:

In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain;

And then she went away.

" So, in the churchyard she was laid;

And, when the grass was dry,

Together round her grave we played,

My brother John and I.

" And when the ground was white with snow,

And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side. "

" How many are you, then," said I,

" If they two are in heaven ? "

Quick was the little maid's reply,

" O master !    we are seven. "

" But they are dead; those two are dead !

Their spirits are in heaven ! "

'T was throwing words away: for still

The little maid would have her will,

And said, " Nay, we are seven ! "


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