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Ruth

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She stood breast high amid the corn,
Clasped by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripened;—such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veiled a light,
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim;—
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks:—

Sure, I said, heaven did not mean,
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean,
Lay thy sheaf adown and come,
Share my harvest and my home.


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Ruth

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  • An editor, publisher, poet, and humorist, Thomas Hood was born in London, the son of a bookseller. After his father died in 1811, Hood worked in a countinghouse until an illness forced him to move to Dundee, Scotland, to recover with relatives. In 1818 he returned to London to work as an engraver.
    In 1824 Hood married Jane Reynolds and collaborated on Odes and Addresses with his brother-in-law, J.H. Reynolds. Though he was known for his light verse and puns, Hood also depicted the working conditions of the poor in poems such as “Song of the Shirt,” about a seamstress, and “Song of the Labourer.” His publications include Whims and Oddities (1826 and 1827), National Tales (1827), a collection of stories, and The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies (1827). In the 1830s he traveled to continental Europe and lived with his family in Belgium, which provided inspiration for Up the Rhine...

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