The Solitary Reaper

 …from the quills of the dead white poets

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!

Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass!

Alone she cuts and bind the grain,

And sings a melancholy strain;

O listen! for the vale profound

Is overflowing with the sound.

The_Solitary_ReaperNo 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 listen’d, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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