The Milkmaid

Thomas Hardy 1840 - 1928

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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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was a Scottish Minister, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

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"The Milkmaid" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/36530/the-milkmaid>.

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