Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

The Milkmaid - Poem by Thomas Hardy

Under a daisied bank
There stands a rich red ruminating cow,
   And hard against her flank
A cotton-hooded milkmaid bends her brow.

   The flowery river-ooze
Upheaves and falls; the milk purrs in the pail;
   Few pilgrims but would choose
The peace of such a life in such a vale.

   The maid breathes words--to vent,
It seems, her sense of Nature's scenery,
   Of whose life, sentiment,
And essence, very part itself is she.

   She bends a glance of pain,
And, at a moment, lets escape a tear;
   Is it that passing train,
Whose alien whirr offends her country ear? -

   Nay! Phyllis does not dwell
On visual and familiar things like these;
   What moves her is the spell
Of inner themes and inner poetries:

   Could but by Sunday morn
Her gay new gown come, meads might dry to dun,
   Trains shriek till ears were torn,
If Fred would not prefer that Other One.


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Read poems about / on: river, nature, peace, red, pain, life



Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003



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