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The Milkmaid

 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.

Poem by Thomas Hardy
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