- Maud Muller, on a summer's day, Raked the meadows sweet with hay. Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth Of simple beauty and rustic health.
- 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
- 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: And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes Looked out in their innocent surprise.
- 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.'
- 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; For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'
- The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.
john greenleaf whittier