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Some maintain to this day that she is a living child, that you may see sweet Lucy Gray, upon the lonesome Wild. The poem "Lucy Gray" was written by William Wordsworth in 1799. The poem is attributed to Wordsworth sister's memory of an incident in Halifax. A little girl was lost in a snowstorm. Her footsteps were traced by her parents to the middle of the lock on a canal (where they disappeared). The child was never found.
Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray, And, when I crossed the Wild, I chanced to see at break of day The solitary Child.
No mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wide Moor, The sweetest Thing that ever grew Beside a human door!
You yet may spy the Fawn at play, The Hare upon the Green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen.
To-night will be a stormy night, You to the Town must go, And take the lantern, Child, to light Your Mother through the snow.”
That, Father! Will I gladly do; ‘This scarcely afternoon-The Minster-clock had just struck two, And yonder is the moon.”
At this the Father raised his hook And snapp'd a faggot-band; He plied his work – and Lucy look The lantern in her hand.
Not blither is the mountain roe; With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse the powdery snow, That rises up like smoke.
The storm came on before its time, She wander'd up and down, And many a hill did Lucy climb But never reach'd the Town.
The wrecked Parents all that night Went shouting far and wide; But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide.
At day-break on a hill they stood That overlooked the Moor; And thence they saw the Bridge of Wood A furlong from their door.
And now they homeward turned, and cried "In Heaven we all shall meet!" When in the snow the Mother spied the print of Lucy's feet.
Then downward from the steep hill's edge They tracked the footmarks small; And through the broken hawthorn-hedge, And by the long stone-wall; And then an open field they crossed, The marks were still the same; They tracked them on, nor ever lost, And to the Bridge they came.
They followed from the snowy bank The footmarks, one by one, Into the middle of the plank, And further there were none.
Yet some maintain that to this day She is a living Child, That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome Wild. Over rough and smooth she trips along, And never looks behind; And sings a solitary song That whistles in the wind.