That Other Maud Muller

by James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley

Maud Muller worked at making hay,
And cleared her forty cents a day.
Her clothes were coarse, but her health was fine,
And so she worked in the sweet sunshine
Singing as glad as a bird in May
"Barbara Allen" the livelong day.
She often glanced at the far-off town,
And wondered if eggs were up or down.
And the sweet song died of a strange disease,
Leaving a phantom taste of cheese,
And an appetite and a nameless ache
For soda-water and ginger cake.
The judge rode slowly into view--
Stopped his horse in the shade and threw
His fine-cut out, while the blushing Maud
Marveled much at the kind he "chawed."
"He was dry as a fish," he said with a wink,
"And kind o' thought that a good square drink
Would brace him up." So the cup was filled
With the crystal wine that old spring spilled;
And she gave it him with a sun-browned hand.
"Thanks," said the judge in accents bland;
"A thousand thanks! for a sweeter draught,
From a fairer hand"--but there he laughed.
And the sweet girl stood in the sun that day,
And raked the judge instead of the hay.

Last updated January 14, 2019