Monday, April 24, 2017

The Solitary Reaper

behold her, single in the field,
yon solitary highland lass!
reaping and singing by herself
stop here or gently pass!
alone she cuts and binds the grain
and sings a melancholy strain
listen, for the vales profound
is overflowing with the sound

no nightingale did ever chaunt
more welcome notes to weary bands
of travellers in some shady haunt,
among arabian sands
a voice so thrilling never was heard
in springtime from the way
breaking the silence
among the farthest hebrides

will no one tell me what she sings?
perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
for old, unhappy, far-off things,
and battles long ago?
or is it some more humble lay,
familiar matter of today?
some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
that has been, and may be again?

Whatever the theme, the maiden sang
as if her song could have no ending
I saw her singing at her work,
and listened o'er the sickle bending
I listened motionless and still
and, as I mounted up the hill,
the music in my heart I bore,
long after it was heard no more

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