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;O listen! for the Vale profoundIs overflowing with the sound.
No Nightingale did ever chauntMore welcome notes to weary bandsOf travellers in some shady haunt,Among Arabian sands:A voice so thrilling ne’er was heardIn spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,Breaking the silence of the seasAmong the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?—Perhaps the plaintive numbers flowFor 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 sangAs 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.
– William Wordsworth