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And yet he with no feigned delight
Had wooed the maiden, day and night
Had loved her, night and morn:
What could he less than love a Maid
Whose heart with so much nature played ?
So kind and so forlorn!

But now the pleasant dream was gone;
No hope, no wish remained, not one,
They stirred him now no more ;
New objects did new pleasure give,
And once again he wished to live
As lawless as before.

Meanwhile, as thus with him it fared;
They for the voyage were prepared,
And went to the sea-shore;
But, when they thither came, the Youth
Deserted his poor Bride, and Ruth
Could never find him more.

“God help thee, Ruth !"-Such pains she had
That she in half a year was mad
And in a prison housed;
And there, exulting in her wrongs,
Among the music of her songs
She fearfully caroused.

Yet sometimes milder hours she knew,
Nor wanted sun, nor rain, nor dew,
Nor pastimes of the May,
- They all were with her in her cell;
And a wild brook with cheerful knell.
Did o'er the pebbles play.

When Ruth three seasons thrus had lain

There came a respite to her pain,
She from her prison fled;
But of the Vagrant none took thought;
And where it liked her best she sought
Her shelter and her bread.

Among the fields she breathed again :

The master-current of her brain

Ran permanent and free;
And, coming to the banks of Tone*,
There did she rest; and dwell alone
Under the greenwood tree.

The engines of her pain, the tools
That shaped her sorrow, rocks and pools,
And airs that gently stir
The vernal leaves, sbe loved them still,
Nor ever taxed them with the ill
Which had been done to her.

* The Tone is a River of Somersetshire at no great distance from the Quantock Hills. These Hills, which are alluded to a few Stanzas below, are extremely beautiful, and in most places richly covered with Coppice woods.

A Barn her winter bed supplies ;

But till the warmth of summer skies

And summer days is gone,
(And all do in this tale agree)
She sleeps beneath the greenwood tree,
And other home hath none.

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An innocent life, yet far astray!
And Ruth will, long before her day,
Be broken down and old.

Sore aches she needs must have! but less
Of mind, than body's wretchedness,
From damp, and rain, and cold.

If she is pressed by want of food,
She from her dwelling in the wood
Repairs to a road-side ;
And there she begs at one steep place,
Where up and down with easy pace
The horsemen-travellers ride.

That oaten Pipe of hers is mute,
Or thrown away; but with a fute
Her loneliness she cheers :
This flute, made of a hemlock stalk,
At evening in his homeward walk
The Quantock Woodman hears.

I, too, have passed her on the hills
Setting her little water-mills
By spouts and fountains wild
Such small machinery as she turned
Ere she had wept, ere she had mourned,
A young and happy Child!

Farewell! and when thy days are told,
Ill-fated Ruth! in hallowed mould
Thy corpse shall buried be;
For thee a funeral bell shall ring,
And all the congregation sing
A Christian psalm for thee.

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