HE stopped at the wayside well, 

Where the water was cool and deep; 

There were feathery ferns 'twist the mossy stones, 

And gray was the old well-sweep; 

He left his carriage alone; 

Nor could coachman nth' footman tell 

Why the master stopped in the dusty road 

To drink at the wayside well. 

He swayed with his gloved hands 

The well-sweep, creaking and slow, 

While from seam and scar in the bucket's side 

The water splashed back below. 

He lifted it to the curb, 

And bent down to the bucket's brim; 

No furrows of time or care had marked 

The face that looked back at him. 

He saw but a farmer's boy 

As he stooped over the brim to drink, 

And ruddy and tanned was the laughing face 

That met his over the brink. 

The eyes were sunny and clear, 

And the brow undimmed with care, 

While from under the brim of the old straw hat, 

Strayed curls of chestnut hair, 

He turned away with a sigh; 

Nor could coachman or footman tell 

Why the master stopped in his ride that day 

To drink at the wayside well.