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But she abideth silent, fair,

All shaded by her flaxen hair

The blushes come and go;

I look, and I no more can speak
Than the red sun that on her cheek
Smiles as he lieth low.

Sometimes the roses by the latch
Or scarlet vine-leaves from her thatch
Come sailing down like birds;

When from their drifts her board I clear,
She thanks me, but I scarce can hear
The shyly uttered words.

Oft have I wooed sweet Lettice White
By daylight and by candlelight

When we two were apart.
Some better day come on apace,
And let me tell her face to face,
"Maiden, thou hast my heart."

How gently rock yon poplars high
Against the reach of primrose sky

With heaven's pale candles stored!
She sees them all, sweet Lettice White;
I'll e'en go sit again to-night

Beside her ironing-board!

F. Ingelow.

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"COME out and hear the waters shoot, the owlet hoot, the owlet hoot;

Yon crescent moon, a golden boat, hangs dim behind the

tree, O!

The dropping thorn makes white the grass, O sweetest lass, and sweetest lass;

Come out and smell the ricks of hay adown the croft with

me, O!"

"My granny nods before her wheel, and drops her reel, and drops her reel;

My father with his crony talks as gay as gay can be, O! But all the milk is yet to skim, ere light wax dim, ere light

wax dim;

How can I step adown the croft, my 'prentice lad, with

thee, O?"

"And must ye bide, yet waiting's long, and love is strong, and love is strong;

And O! had I but served the time that takes so long to

flee, O!

And thou, my lass, by morning's light, wast all in white, wast all in white;

And parson stood within the rails, a-marrying me and

thee, O!"

J. Ingelow.


As I came round the harbour buoy,
The lights began to gleam,

No wave the land-locked harbour stirred,
The crags were white as cream;
And I marked my love by candlelight
Sewing her long white seam.

It's aye sewing ashore, my dear,
Watch and steer at sea,

It's reef and furl, and haul the line,
Set sail and think of thee.

I climbed to reach her cottage door;
O sweetly my love sings;

Like a shaft of light her voice breaks forth,
My soul to meet it springs,

As the shining water leaped of old
When stirred by angel wings.

Aye longing to list anew,

Awake and in my dream,

But never a song she sang like this,
Sewing her long white seam,

Fair fall the lights, the harbour lights,
That brought me in to thee,

And peace drop down on that low roof,
For the sight that I did see,

And the voice, my dear, that rang so clear,

All for the love of me.

For O, for O, with brows bent low,
By the flickering candle's gleam,
Her wedding gown it was she wrought,
Sewing the long white seam.

F. Ingelow.




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;
O listen! for the Vale 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 ne'er was 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?-
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 to-day?

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And 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,

W. Wordsworth.


ARIEL to Miranda:-Take

This slave of music, for the sake
Of him, who is the slave of thee;
And teach it all the harmony
In which thou canst, and only thou,
Make the delighted spirit glow,
Till joy denies itself again,
And, too intense, is turned to pain.
For, by permission and command
Of thine own Prince Ferdinand,
Poor Ariel sends this silent token
Of more than ever can be spoken;
Your guardian spirit Ariel, who
From life to life must still pursue
Your happiness, for thus alone
Can Ariel ever find his own.
From Prospero's enchanted cell,
As the mighty verses tell,
To the throne of Naples he
Lit you o'er the trackless sea,
Flitting on, your prow before,
Like a living meteor.

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