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Maud Muller Illustrated


Maud Miller 1867 Illustrated poetry book / SeacoastNH.comSEACOAST POETRY

Perhaps you read the classic poem of unrequited love set along the road to York, Maine? Now you also see the original illustrations from the 1867 hardcover edition. Maud wants the Judge and the judge wants her..You can’t always get what you want, but you can live to regret it. 






Unrequited Love at Maud Muller’s Spring
on the road from South Berwick to York Maine


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892) knew a thing or two about unrequited love. The Quaker poet of Amesbury. MA died a bachelor while vacationing in Seacoast NH. This romantic poem, legend, says, was inspired by one of Whittier’s visits to this region. Today a marker indicates the spot where Whittier reportedly stopped for drink. In this classic poem, Maud meets the love of her life, but neither she nor the Judge reacts to their meeting, and both grow old separately.


Whittier himself did not think much of the poem which he once said was not worth analysis. It is fictional, and when readers asked the correct pronunciation of the heroines's name, Whittier said he probably should have used the name "Miller" instead. Written and first published in 1854, it grew in popularity after the Civil War when Whittier's fame peaked after another long nostalgic poem called 'Snow-Bound". The story, legend says, was inspired by a summer trip to coastal Maine.  

Although the poem appears widely on the Web, our version includes the illustrations by Irish-born W J Hennessy (1839-1917) from the 1867 gift book. We have spaced the illustrations just as they appear on the pages of the original green cloth-covered volume. The edition was published by Whittier’s friend James T. Fields, who was born and raised in Portsmouth, NH. The poem was adapted in a 1912 silent film by the same name starring Vivian Rich as Maud and Donald MacDonald as the Judge. -- JDR


Maude Muller 1/

By John Greenleaf Whittier

MAUD Muller, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.


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