Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
I. Admiration
“O, fairest of rural maids!”
William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)
 
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 impressed,
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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