All mourn'd for their friend Towser's fate,
And all in fun'ral silence sate,
Or sobbing cried aloud.
At length between two shepherds bound,
Towser was led upon the ground,
And thus address'd the crowd:
"Oh, you whom I no longer dare
To call my friends as formerly,
Of my example all beware,
And take this warning word from me.
A virtuous course of fifteen years
Is now to close in blood and tears.
"My crimes are these:—at early day
As I near by a forest lay,
Guarding the flock, a wolf sprang out,
And bore a bleeding lamb away.
We fought—I put him to the rout.
So far so good. But when I saw
The mangled lambkin near me lie,
And felt the tempting morsel draw,
I could not help one taste to try.
The sight and smell of blood
Had made me ravenous for food.
'Tis true I hesitated long,
But yet my appetite was strong;
And so I yielded, and at last,
Of the slain lamb made a repast;
Such was the source of all my woe.
The mother sheep I fear'd might go