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Joanna Baillie (Джоанна Бейли)

Female Picture of a Country Life

Even now methinks
Each little cottage of my native vale
Swells out its earthen sides, upheaves its roof,
Like to a hillock moved by labouring mole,
And with green trail-weeds clambering up its walls,
Roses and every gay and fragrant plant
Before my fancy stands, a fairy bower.
Ay, and within it too do fairies dwell,
Peep through its wreathed window, if indeed

The flowers grow not too close; and there within
Thou'lt see some half a dozen rosy brats,
Eating from wooden bowls their dainty milk—
Those are my mountain elves.  Seest thou not
Their very forms distinctly?

                          I'll gather round my board
All that Heaven sends to me of wayworn folks,
And noble travellers, and neighbouring friends,
Both young and old.  Within my ample hall,
The worn-out man of arms shall o' tiptoe tread,
Tossing his gray locks from his wrinkled brow
With cheerful freedom, as he boasts his feats
Of days gone by.  Music we'll have; and oft
The bickering dance upon our oaken floors
Shall, thundering loud, strike on the distant ear
Of 'nighted travellers, who shall gladly blend
Their doubtful footsteps towards the cheering din.
Solemn, and grave, and cloister'd, and demure,
We shall not be.  Will this content ye, damsels?

                          Every season
Shall have its suited pastime: even winter
In its deep noon, when mountains piled with snow
And choked-up valleys from our mansion bar
All entrance, and nor guest nor traveller
Sounds at our gate; the empty hall forsaken,
In some warm chamber, by the crackling fire,
We'll hold our little snug domestic court,
Plying our work with song and tale between.

Joanna Baillie's other poems:
  1. The Maid of Llanwellyn
  2. It Fell on a Morning Whan We Were Thrang
  3. Lines to a Parrot
  4. A Reverie
  5. Verses Written in February, 1827

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