Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
82. O Fairest of the Rural Maids
 
By William Cullen Bryant
 
 
O FAIREST of the rural maids!
Thy birth was in the forest shades;
Green boughs, and glimpses of the sky,
Were all that met thine infant eye.
 
Thy sports, thy wanderings, when a child,        5
Were ever in the sylvan wild;
And all the beauty of the place
Is in thy heart and on thy face.
 
The twilight of the trees and rocks
Is in the light shade of thy locks;        10
Thy step is as the wind, that weaves
Its playful way among the leaves.
 
Thine eyes are springs, in whose serene
And silent waters heaven is seen;
Their lashes are the herbs that look        15
On their young figures in the brook.
 
The forest depths, by foot unprest,
Are not more sinless than thy breast;
The holy peace, that fills the air
Of those calm solitudes, is there.        20
 

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