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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Solitary Reaper
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
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,        5
And sings a melancholy strain;
Oh, listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
 
No nightingale did ever chaunt
  More welcome notes to weary bands        10
Of travelers 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        15
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:        20
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        25
  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,        30
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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