The Solitary Reaper

- by William Wordsworth
    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;
    O listen! for the Vale profound
    Is overflowing with the sound.

    No Nightingale did ever chaunt
    More welcome notes to weary bands
    Of travellers 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
    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.