Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

II.

III.

MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day, Widow machree, now the summer is come, Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Och hone! widow machree,
When everything siniles, should a beauty look Ber her torn hat glowed the wealth
glum?

Of simple beauty and rustic health.
Och hone! widow machree!
See the birds go in pairs,

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
And the rabbits and hares;

The mock-bird echoed from his tree.
Why, even the bears
Now in couples agree ;

But, when she glanced to the far-off town,

White from its hill-slope looking down,
And the mute little fish,
Though they can't spake, they wish, –

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
Och hone! widow machree.

And a nameless longing filled her breast,

A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
Widow machree, and when winter comes in, -

For something better than she had known.
Och hone! widow machree,
To be poking the fire all alone is a sin,

The Judge rode slowly down the lanc,
Och hone! widow machree.

Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.
Sure the shovel and tongs
To each other belongs,

He drew his bridle in the shade
And the kettle sings songs

Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,
Full of family glee;
While alone with your cup

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Like a hermit you sup,

Through the meadow, across the road.
Och hone! widow nachree.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up.

And filled for him her small tin cup, And how do you know, with the comforts I've

And blushed as she gave it, looking down towld,

On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.
Och hone! widow machree,
But you're keeping some poor fellow out in the “Thanks !" said the Judge, a sweeter draught
cowld,

From a fairer hand was never quaffed."
Och hone! widow machree!
With such sins on your head,

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Sure your peace would be fled ;

of the singing birds and the humming bees;

IV.

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether | And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather. Looked out in their innocent surprise.
And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown,

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
And her graceful ankles, bare and brown, He longed for the wayside well instead,
And listened, while a pleased surprise

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms, Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes. To dream of meadows and clover blooms; At last, like one who for delay

And the proud man sighed with a secret pain, Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

“Ah, that I were free again ! Maud Muller looked and sighed : “Ah me! “ Free as when I rode that day That I the Judge's bride might be !

Where the barefoot maiden raked the hay." “He would dress me up in silks so fine,

She wedded a man unlearned and poor, And praise and toast me at his wine.

And many children played round her door. “My father should wear a broadcloth coat, But care and sorrow, and child birth pain, My brother should sail a painted boat.

Left their traces on heart and brain. “I'd dress my mother so grand and gay, And oft, when the summer sun shone hot And the baby should have a new toy each day. On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, “And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor, And she heard the little spring brook fall And all should bless me who left our door." Over the roadside, through the wall, The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill, In the shade of the apple-tree again And saw Maud Muller standing still :

She saw a rider draw his rein, A form more fair, a face more sweet,

And, gazing down with a timid grace, Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

She felt his pleased eyes read her face. And her modest answer and graceful air

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls Show her wise and good as she is fair.

Stretched away into stately halls ; “Would she were mine, and I to-day,

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned, Like her, a harvester of hay.

The tallow candle an astral burned ; “No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,

Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug, Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues, “ But low of cattle, and song of birds,

A manly form at her side she saw,

And joy was duty and love was law. And health, and quiet, and loving words.”

Then she took up her burden of life again, But he thought of his sister, proud and cold, And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

Saying only, “ It might have been."

Alas for maiden, alas for judge, So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,

For rich repiner and household drudge ! And Maud was left in the field alone.

God pity them both ! and pity us all, But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,

Who vainly the dreams of youth recall ; When he hummed in court an old love tune ;

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, And the young girl mused beside the well,

The saddest are these : It might have been ! Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

Ah, well ! for us all some sweet hope lies
He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Deeply buried from human eyes ;

And, in the hereafter, angels may Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow, Roll the stone from its grave away! He watched a picture come and go;

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

THE FORMAL CALL.

CHARLES G. HALPINE

QUAKERDOM.

When the noonday woods are ringing,

All the birds of summer singing,
Suddenly there falls a silence, and we know a

serpent nigh : Through her forced, abnormal quiet

So upon the door a rattle Flashed the soul of frolie riot,

Stopped our animated tattle, And a most malicious laughter lighted up her And the stately mother found us prim enough to downcast eyes ;

suit her eye. All in vain I tried each topic,

Ranged from polar climes to tropic, Every commonplace I started met with yes-orno replies.

THE CHESS-BOARD.

My little love, do you remember,
For her mother — stiff and stately,
As if starched and ironed lately

Ere we were grown so sadly wise,

Those evenings in the bleak December, bat erect, with rigid elbows bedded thus in cury

Curtained warm from the snowy weather, ing palms ; There she sat on guard before us,

When you and I played chess together,

Checkmated by each other's eyes?
And in words precise, decorous,
And most calm, reviewed the weather, and recited

Ah ! still I see your soft white hand several psalms.

Hovering warm o'er Queen and Knight;

Brave Pawns in valiant battle stand; How without abruptly ending

The double Castles guard the wings; This my visit, and offending

The Bishop, bent on distant things, Wealthy neighbors, was the problem which em Moves, sidling, through the fight.

ployed my mental care ; When the butler, bowing lowly,

Our fingers touch ; our glances meet, Cttered clearly, stiffly, slowly,

And falter; falls your golden hair “Madam, please, the gardener wants you,

Against my cheek; your bosom sweet Heaven, I thought, has heard my prayer.

Is heaving. Down the field, your Queen
Rides slow, her soldiery all between,

And checks me unaware.
“Pardon me !" she grandly uttered ;
Bowing low, I gladly muttered,

Ah me! the little battle's done : “Surely, madam !” and, relieved, I turned to Disperst is all its chivalry. scan the daughter's face :

Full many a move since then have we Ha ! whai pent-up mirth outflashes

Mid life's perplexing checkers made, From beneath those pencilled lashes !

And many a game with fortune played ; How the drill of Quaker custom yields to Na. What is it we have won ? ture's brilliant grace.

This, this at least, — if this alone :

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« VorigeDoorgaan »