- Maud Muller Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier - Poem Hunter Comments
- John Greenleaf Whittier and the Real Maud Muller
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Oft when the wine in his glass was red, He longed for the wayside well instead; And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms, To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.
Maud Muller Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier - Poem Hunter Comments
But care and sorrow, and child-birth pain, Left their traces on heart and brain. And oft, when the summer sun shone hot On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, And she heard the little spring brook fall Over the roadside, through the wall, In the shade of the apple-tree again She saw a rider draw his rein, And, gazing down with timid grace, She felt his pleased eyes read her face. God pity them both!
Note: The filming of this subject was completed the week of January 17, The original poem is a well-known work of John Greenleaf Whittier , who was born to Quaker parentage in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and grew up on a farm. Supporting himself through his school days, he attended a local academy.
John Greenleaf Whittier and the Real Maud Muller
Inspired by the poetry of Robert Burns, Whittier soon became a prolific writer and editor of numerous periodicals. He was the secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society, a position which brought him attacks for his views. His poems expressed the sincerity and nobility of the author and have been popular ever since their initial publication.
The inspiration for this burlesque, Whittier's poem, Maud Muller, tells of a sweet, innocent country maiden who becomes enamored of a judge who stops by her farm to water his horse.
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The attraction is mutual, and as he rides away he wistfully contemplates her beauty and charm. As her memory lingers he realizes that his world of society and wealth is too different from hers to be reconciled with it. He weds a lady of fashion and power, and Maud takes a poor, unlearned man for a husband.
As the years go by, Maud and the judge separately contemplate: "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been. Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth Of simple beauty and rustic health. Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee The mock-bird echoed from his tree.
- Maud Muller.
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But, when she glanced to the far-off town, White from its hill-slope looking down, The sweet song died, and a vague unrest And a nameless longing filled her breast-- A wish, that she hardly dared to own, For something better than she had known. The Judge rode slowly down the lane, Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane. He drew his bridle in the shade Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid, And ask a draught from the spring that flowed Through the meadow across the road.
She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up, And filled for him her small tin cup, And blushed as she gave it, looking down On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown. And Maud forgot her briar-torn gown, And her graceful ankles bare and brown; And listened, while a pleasant surprise Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.
At last, like one who for delay Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away, Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah, me! That I the Judge's bride might be! So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on, And Maud was left in the field alone. But the lawyers smiled that afternoon, When he hummed in court an old love-tune; And the young girl mused beside the well, Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.