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THE SOLITARY REAPER.
Behold her, single in the field,
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
So sweetly to reposing bands
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?
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 stream is flowing, The small birds twitter, The lake doth glitter,
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;
Yet are they here?—the same unbroken knot
Men, Women, Children, yea the frame
Of the whole Spectacle the same! 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!