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THE SOLITARY REAPER.
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Alone she cuts, and binds the grain,
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
Of Travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian Sands:
No sweeter voice was ever heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
Or is it some more humble lay,
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
WRITTEN IN MARCH,
While resting on the Bridge at the Foot of Brother's Water.
THE Cock is crowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!
Like an army defeated
The Snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Plough-boy is whooping-anon—anon :
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing ;
The rain is over and gone!
YET are they here?—the same unbroken knot
Only their fire seems bolder, yielding light,
Now deep and red, the colouring of night;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls,
Their bed of straw and blanket-walls.
-Twelve hours, twelve bounteous hours, are gone while I
Have been a Traveller under open sky,
Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left I find them here!