Thomas Aird

The WoodCutter's Daughter

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The while he dug, his coat she quaintly dress'd
With flowers, aye peeping forth lest he might see
The unfinish'd fancy; then how pleased when he,
Much wondering, donn'd her work, when came his hour of rest!
Down sate she by him; and when hail or rain
Cross'd that high country with its streaming cloud,
She nestled in his bosom o'er her bow'd,
Till through the whitening rack look'd out the sun again.
And when his axe was in the echoing wood,
Down its shy depths, looking behind her oft,
She o'er the rotting ferns and fungi soft
Through boughs and blinding leaves her bursting way pursued.

The dry twig, matted in the spear-like grass,
Where fresh from morning's womb the orb├Ęd dew
Lies cold at noon, crack'd as she stepp'd light through,
Startling the cushat out close by the startled lass.
The ferns were stirr'd, the leaves were shaken, rain
Fell in big drops, and thunder mutter'd low;
Back burst the flush'd dishevell'd girl, and O
How glad was she to hear her father's axe again!

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Thomas Aird