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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.

SEARCH FOR MAUD PAROD by Bret Harte

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
(c) SeacoastNH.com


BEGIN THE POEM HERE 

Maude Muller 1/ SeacoastNH.com


MAUD MULLER
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.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -2
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 


But when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast,—

Maud Muller 2 / SeacoastNH.com

 

A wish that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -3
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees to greet the maid,

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow across the road.

Maud Muller 3 / SeacoastNH.com

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -4
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

Maud Muller 4 / SeacoastNH.com

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -5
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!

Maud Muller 5 / SeacoastNH.com

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
My brother should sail a painted boat.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -6
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,
And all should bless me who left our door."

Maud Muller 6 / SeacoastNh.com

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet,
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -7
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

"Would she were mine, and I to-day,
Like her, a harvester of hay:

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle and song of birds,
And health and quiet and loving words."

Maud Muller 7


But he thought of his sisters proud and cold,
And his mother vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -8
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell. 

He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go;

Maud Muller 8 / SeacoastNH.com

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain,
"Ah, that I were free again!

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -9
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 


"Free as when I rode that day,
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay." 

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

Maud Muller 9 / SeacoastNH.com

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -10
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

And, gazing down with timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face. 

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

Maude Miller 10/ SeacoastNH.com

The weary wheel to a spinet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -11
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

 

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been."

Maude Muller 11 / SeacoastNH.com

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

CONTINUE MAUD MULLER




Maud Muller's Spring -11
by John Greeneleaf Whittier

 

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!" 

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

Maud Muller 12 by John Greenleaf Whittier / SeacoastNH.com

By John Greenelaf Whittier
chnor & Fields Edition, BOSTON, 1867
On SeacoastNH.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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