The Three Maidens

George Meredith 1828 (Portsmouth, Hampshire) – 1909 (Box Hill, Surrey)

There were three maidens met on the highway;
The sun was down, the night was late:
And two sang loud with the birds of May,
O the nightingale is merry with its mate.

Said they to the youngest, Why walk you there so still?
The land is dark, the night is late:
O, but the heart in my side is ill,
And the nightingale will languish for its mate.

Said they to the youngest, Of lovers there is store;
The moon mounts up, the night is late:
O, I shall look on man no more,
And the nightingale is dumb without its mate.

Said they to the youngest, Uncross your arms and sing;
The moon mounts high, the night is late:
O my dear lover can hear no thing,
And the nightingale sings only to its mate.

They slew him in revenge, and his true-love was his lure;
The moon is pale, the night is late:
His grave is shallow on the moor;
O the nightingale is dying for its mate.

His blood is on his breast, and the moss-roots at his hair;
The moon is chill, the night is late:
But I will lie beside him there:
O the nightingale is dying for its mate.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


George Meredith

George Meredith was an English novelist and poet of the Victorian era. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times. more…

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"The Three Maidens" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 12 Aug. 2020. <>.

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