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And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown,
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,

And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat; My brother should sail a painted boat.

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay, And the baby should have a new toy each day.

(6 'And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor, And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill, And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet, Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air Show her wise and good as she is fair.

"Would she were mine, and I to-day, Like her, a harvester of hay:

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs, Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle and song of birds, And health and quiet and loving words."

But he thought of his sisters proud and cold, And his mother vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,

When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go;

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms,
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain, "Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day,

Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein,

And, gazing down with timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been."
VOL. VI.-24

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Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies

Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

1856.

SKIPPER IRESON'S RIDE.

Fall the rides since the birth of time,
Told in story or sung in rhyme,—
On Apuleius's Golden Ass,

Or one-eyed Calendar's horse of brass,
Witch astride of a human hack,
Islam's prophet on Al-Borák,—

The strangest ride that ever was sped
Was Ireson's, out from Marblehead!

Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart,
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart
By the women of Marblehead!

Body of turkey, head of owl,

Wings adroop like a rained-on fowl,
Feathered and ruffled in every part,

Skipper Ireson stood in the cart.
Scores of women, old and young,
Strong of muscle, and glib of tongue,
Pushed and pulled up the rocky lane,
Shouting and singing the shrill refrain:
"Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt,
Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt
By the women o' Morble'ead!"

Wrinkled scolds with hands on hips,
Girls in bloom of cheek and lips,
Wild-eyed, free-limbed, such as chase
Bacchus round some antique vase,

Brief of skirt, with ankles bare,

Loose of kerchief and loose of hair,

With conch-shells blowing and fish-horns' twang,

Over and over the Mænads sang:

"Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt, Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt By the women o' Morble'ead!"

Small pity for him!—He sailed away
From a leaking ship, in Chaleur Bay,—
Sailed away from a sinking wreck,
With his own town's-people on her deck!
"Lay by! lay by!" they called to him.
Back he answered, "Sink or swim!
Brag of your catch of fish again!"

And off he sailed through the fog and rain!
Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart,
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart
By the women of Marblehead!

Fathoms deep in dark Chaleur

That wreck shall lie forevermore.

Mother and sister, wife and maid,
Looked from the rocks of Marblehead
Over the moaning and rainy sea,

Looked for the coming that might not be!
What did the winds and the sea-birds say
Of the cruel captain who sailed away ?-
Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart,
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart
By the women of Marblehead!

Through the street, on either side,
Up flew windows, doors swung wide;
Sharp-tongued spinsters, old wives gray,
Treble lent the fish-horn's bray.
Sea-worn grandsires, cripple-bound,
Hulks of old sailors run aground,

Shook head, and fist, and hat, and cane,
And cracked with curses the hoarse refrain:
"Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt,
Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt
By the women o' Morble'ead!"

Sweetly along the Salem road

Bloom of orchard and lilac showed.

Little the wicked skipper knew

Of the fields so green and the sky so blue.

Riding there in his sorry trim,

Like an Indian idol glum and grim,

Scarcely he seemed the sound to hear

Of voices shouting, far and near:

"Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt, Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt

By the women o' Morble'ead!"

1860.

"Hear me, neighbors!" at last he cried,—
"What to me is this noisy ride?

What is the shame that clothes the skin
To the nameless horror that lives within ?
Waking or sleeping, I see a wreck,
And hear a cry from a reeling deck!
Hate me and curse me,-I only dread

The hand of God and the face of the dead!"
Said old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart,
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart
By the women of Marblehead!

Then the wife of the skipper lost at sea

Said, “God has touched him!—why should we ?”
Said an old wife mourning her only son,
"Cut the rogue's tether and let him run!"
So with soft relentings and rude excuse,
Half scorn, half pity, they cut him loose,
And gave him a cloak to hide him in,
And left him alone with his shame and sin.
Poor Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart,
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart
By the women of Marblehead'

TELLING THE BEES.

HERE is the place; right over the hill

Runs the path I took;

You can see the gap in the old wall still,

And the stepping-stones in the shallow brook.

There is the house, with the gate red-barred,

And the poplars tall;

And the barn's brown length, and the cattle-yard,
And the white horns tossing above the wall.

There are the beehives ranged in the sun;

And down by the brink

Of the brook are her poor flowers, weed-o'errun,
Pansy and daffodil, rose and pink.

A year has gone, as the tortoise goes,

Heavy and slow;

And the same rose blows, and the same sun glows,
And the same brook sings of a year ago.

There's the same sweet clover-smell in the breeze;
And the June sun warm

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