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WILLIAM THOM, THE WEAVER POET. 175
to the family, who had crept closer together, and were all asleep except the mother.
" Oh, Willie, Willie, what keepit ye. I 'm doot-fu' o' Jeanie; is na she waesome like ? Let's in frae the cauld."
" We 've nae wae to gang, lass, whate'er come o' us. Yon folk winnae hae us."
After cowering under a wet mantle in despair for a time, another effort was made. The husband wrote a note by the fast fading light, asking for shelter, and endeavored to have it taken in at a gentleman's mansion near by. It was refused, but a farm laborer was touched by the spectacle of the forlorn family, crouching shelterless in the cold and rain, and took them to a neighboring farmhouse, where they were warmed and fed in the servants' quarters, and put to rest in beds of straw and bagging in an outhouse. Between three and four o'clock the father was wakened by the deadly scream of the mother, who had wakened to find her infant dead by her side, its little life having been worn out by the cold, hunger, and fatigue of the previous day. Amid the wailing of the children, and in the benumbing anguish of the blow, the most vivid remembrance of that moment to the father was the watching of the wheeling and fluttering of a colony of swallows, their fellow-lodgers, who had been awakened by the outcries.