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ENGLAND, 1770-1850

The Solitary 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,
And sings a melancholy strain;
Oh, listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.


No nightingale did ever chant

So sweetly to reposing bands
Of travelers in some shady haunt

Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In springtime 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.



Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802


Earth has not anything to show more fair :

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty:
This city now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples lie

Open unto the fields and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep

In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:


Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;

And all that mighty heart is lying still !


SCOTLAND, 1771-1832

“Soldier, Rest!"


Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,

Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking;
Dream of battle-fields no more,

Days of danger, nights of waking,
In our isle's enchanted hall,

Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
Fairy strains of music fall,

Every sense in slumber dewing.
Soldier, rest ! thy warfare o'er,

Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking;
Dream of battle-fields no more,

Morn of toil, nor night of waking.



No rude sound shall reach thine ear,

Armor's clang, or war-steed champing, Trump nor pibroch summon here,

Mustering clan, or squadron tramping. Yet the lark's shrill fife may come,

At the daybreak from the fallow,




And the bittern sound his drum,

Booming from the sedgy shallow.
Ruder sounds shall none be near,
Guards nor warders challenge here;
Here's no war-steed's neigh and champing,
Shouting clans or squadrons stamping.



Huntsman, rest.! thy chase is done;

While our slumb'rous spells assail ye,
Dream not with the rising sun,

Bugles here shall sound reveille.
Sleep! the deer is in his den;

Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying;
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen,

How thy gallant steed lay dying.
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
Think not of the rising sun,
For at dawning to assail ye,
Here no bugle sounds reveille.



Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west;
Through all the wide border his steed was the best; 20
And save his good broad-sword he weapon had none;
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

He stayed not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone, He swam the Eske River where ford there was none; But ere he alighted at Netherby gate, The bride had consented, the gallant came late; 5 For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar,

So boldly he enter'd the Netherby Hall,
Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword, 10 (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,)

“O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, ,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?”

“I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied;

Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide 15 And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,

To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

The bride kiss'd the goblet : the knight took it up, 20 He quaff'd off the wine, and he threw down the cup.

She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, --
“Now tread we a measure!” said young Lochinvar.

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