Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/186

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THE COTTAGE MAIDEN. 1G1

Into a mellower hue. Fast by its side

Nestled the wheat-stock, firmly bound and shaped

Even like another roof-tree, witnessing

Fair harvest and good husbandry. Some sheep

Roamed eastward o er the common, nibbling close

The scanty blade, while toward the setting sun

A hillock stretched, o crshadowed by a growth

Of newly planted trees. T would seem the abode

Of rural plenty and content. Yet here

A desolate sorrow dwelt ; such as doth wring

Plain honest hearts, when what had long been twined

AVith every fibre is dissected out.

Beneath the shelter of those lowly eaves An only daughter made the parents glad "With her unfolding beauties. Day by day She gathered sweetness on her lonely stem, The lily of the moorlands. They, with thoughts Upon their humble tasks, how best to save Their little gains, or make that little more, Scarce knew that she was beautiful ; yet felt Strange thrall upon their spirits when she spoke So musical, or from some storied page Beguiled their evening hour.

And when the sire

Descanted long, as farmers often will, Upon the promise of his crops, and how The neighbors envied that his corn should be Higher than theirs, and how the man who hoped Surely to thrive, must leave his bed betimes, 11

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