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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:
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