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 [chant]
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers 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 or 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

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