"O maiden, peerless, come dwell with me,
And bright shall I render thy destiny:
Thou shalt leave thy cot by the green hillside,
To dwell in a palace home of pride,
Where crowding menials, with lowly mien,
Shall attend each wish of their lovely queen."
"Ah! stranger my cot by the green hillside
Hath more charms for me than thy halls of pride;
If the roof be lowly, the moss rose there
Rich fragrance sheds on the summer air;
And the birds and insects, with joyous song,
Are more welcome far than a menial throng."
"Child, tell me not so! too fair art thou,
With thy starry eyes and thy queenlike brow,
To dwell in this spot, sequestered and lone,
Thy marvelous beauty to all unknown;
And that form, which might grace a throne, arrayed
In the lowly garb of a peasant maid."
"Nay, a few short days since didst thou not say
That I in my rustic kirtle gray
In thine eyes looked lovelier fairer far
Than robed in rich state as court ladies are;
And the wreath of violets in my hair
Pleased thee more than diamond or ruby rare."
"Beloved! if thus coldly thou turn'st aside
From the tempting lures of wealth and pride,
Sure thy woman's heart must some pity own
For one who breathes for thy self alone,
And who would brave suffering, grief and toil
To win from thy rose lips one shy, sweet smile."
"Ah! enough of this - thy love may be true,
But I have tried friends who love me too;
And in proud homes governed by fashion's voice,
Thou would'st learn to blush for thy lowly choice.
Go, seek thee a noble, a high born bride,
And leave me my cot by the green hillside!"