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James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

That Other Maud Muller


Maud Muller worked at making hay,
And cleared her forty cents a day.

Her clothes were coarse, but her health was fine,
And so she worked in the sweet sunshine

Singing as glad as a bird in May
'Barbara Allen' the livelong day.

She often glanced at the far-off town,
And wondered if eggs were up or down.

And the sweet song died of a strange disease,
Leaving a phantom taste of cheese,

And an appetite and a nameless ache
For soda-water and ginger cake.

The judge rode slowly into view--
Stopped his horse in the shade and threw

His fine-cut out, while the blushing Maud
Marveled much at the kind he 'chawed.'

'He was dry as a fish,' he said with a wink,
'And kind o' thought that a good square drink

Would brace him up.' So the cup was filled
With the crystal wine that old spring spilled;

And she gave it him with a sun-browned hand.
'Thanks,' said the judge in accents bland;

'A thousand thanks! for a sweeter draught,
From a fairer hand'--but there he laughed.

And the sweet girl stood in the sun that day,
And raked the judge instead of the hay.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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