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Like an army defeated
The Snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Plough-boy is whooping-anon-anon :
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing ;
The rain is over and gone!
YET are they here?—the same unbroken knot
Of the whole Spectacle the same!
Only their fire seems bolder, yielding light,
Now deep and red, the colouring of night;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls,
Their bed of straw and blanket-walls.
-Twelve hours, twelve bounteous hours, are gone while I
Have been a Traveller under open sky,
Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left I find them here!
weary Sun betook himself to rest.
Then issued Vesper from the fulgent West,
Outshining like a visible God
The glorious path in which he trod.
And now, ascending, after one dark hour,
And one night's diminution of her power,
Behold the mighty Moon! this way
She looks as if at them-but they Regard not her:-oh better wrong and strife,
Better vain deeds or evil than such life!
The silent Heavens have goings-on;
The stars have tasks-but these have none !
SHE had a tall Man's height, or more;
No bonnet screened her from the heat;
A long drab-coloured Cloak she wore,
What other dress she had I could not know; Only she wore a Cap that was as white as snow.
In all my walks, through field or town,
Her face was of Egyptian brown:
Fit person was she for a Queen,
To head those ancient Amazonian files:
Or ruling Bandit's Wife, among the Grecian Isles.
Before me begging did she stand,
Pouring out sorrows like a sea;
Such woes I knew could never be;
And yet a boon I gave her; for the Creature Was beautiful to see; "a Weed of glorious feature!"
I left her, and pursued my way;
A pair of little Boys at play,
Chasing a crimson butterfly;
The Taller followed with his hat in hand, Wreathed round with yellow flow'rs, the gayest of the land.
The Other wore a rimless crown,
With leaves of laurel stuck about:
Each whooping with a merry shout;
Two Brothers seemed they, eight and ten years old;
And like that Woman's face as gold is like to gold.