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RUTH AND I, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: It was not day, and was not night
Last Line: Unloving and unloved?
Subject(s): Love Loss Of

IT was not day, and was not night;
The eve had just begun to light,
Along the lovely west,
His golden candles, one by one,
And girded up with clouds, the sun
Was sunken to his rest.

Between the furrows, brown and dry,
We walked in silence -- Ruth and I;
We two had been, since morn
Began her tender tunes to beat
Upon the May-leaves young and sweet,
Together, planting corn.

Homeward the evening cattle went
In patient, slow, full-fed content,
Led by a rough, strong steer,
His forehead all with burs thick set,
His horns of silver tipt with jet,
And shapeless shadow, near.

With timid, half-reluctant grace,
Like lovers in some favored place,
The light and darkness met,
And the air trembled, near and far,
With many a little tuneful jar
Of milk-pans being set.

We heard the house-maids at their cares,
Pouring their hearts out unawares
In some sad poet's ditty,
And heard the fluttering echoes round
Reply like souls all softly drowned
In heavenly love and pity.

All sights, all sounds in earth and air
Were of the sweetest; everywhere
Ear, eye, and heart were fed;
The grass with one small burning flower
Blushed bright, as if the elves that hour
Their coats thereon had spread.

One moment, where we crossed the brook
Two little sunburnt hands I took, --
Why did I let them go?
I've been since then in many a land,
Touched, held, kissed many a fairer hand,
But none that thrilled me so.

Why, when the bliss Heaven for us made
Is in our very bosoms laid,
Should we be all unmoved,
And walk, as now do Ruth and I,
'Twixt th' world's furrows, brown and dry,
Unloving and unloved?

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