Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
W. Wordsworth
CCL. The 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,         5
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  10
Of travellers in some shady haunt 
Among Arabian sands; 
No sweeter voice was ever heard 
In springtime 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 listen'd till I had my fill; 
And, as I mounted up the hill,  30
The music in my heart I bore 
Long after it was heard no more. 

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