The Maiden From Afar

Within a vale, each infant year,
When earliest larks first carol free,
To humble shepherds cloth appear
A wondrous maiden, fair to see.
Not born within that lowly place--
From whence she wandered, none could tell;
Her parting footsteps left no trace,
When once the maiden sighed farewell.

And blessed was her presence there--
Each heart, expanding, grew more gay;
Yet something loftier still than fair
Kept man's familiar looks away.
From fairy gardens, known to none,
She brought mysterious fruits and flowers--
The things of some serener sun--
Some Nature more benign than ours.

With each her gifts the maiden shared--
To some the fruits, the flowers to some;
Alike the young, the aged fared;
Each bore a blessing back to home.
Though every guest was welcome there,
Yet some the maiden held more dear,
And culled her rarest sweets whene'er
She saw two hearts that loved draw near.

by Friedrich Schiller

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