Ballad: The Sun Had Grown on Lessening Day

Sun had grown on lessening day,
A table large and round,
And in the distant vapours grey
Seemed leaning on the ground;
When Mary, like a lingering flower,
Did tenderly agree
To stay beyond her milking hour,
And talk awhile with me.

We wandered till the distant town
Was silenced nearly dumb,
And lessened on the quiet ear,
Small as a beetle's hum.
She turned her buckets upside down,
And made us each a seat,
And there we talked the evening brown,
Beneath the rustling wheat.

And while she milked her breathing cows
I sat beside the streams,
In musing o'er our evening joys,
Like one in pleasant dreams:
The bats and owls, to meet the night,
From hollow trees had gone,
And e'en the flowers had shut for sleep,
And still she lingered on.

We mused in rapture side by side,
Our wishes seemed as one;
We talked of time's retreating tide,
And sighed to find it gone.
And we had sighed more deeply still
O'er all our pleasures past,
If we had known what now we know,
That we had met the last.
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