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MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day, Widow machree, now the summer is come, Raked the meadow sweet with hay.
Och hone! widow machree,
Of simple beauty and rustic health.
Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.
But, when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,
The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast,
A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.
The Judge rode slowly down the lanc,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.
He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,
And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow, across the road.
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.
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."
He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
of the singing birds and the humming bees;
Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether | And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
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
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
When the noonday woods are ringing,
All the birds of summer singing,
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.
My little love, do you remember,
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?
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
And checks me unaware.
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 :