I'm looking for a classical epic love poem (on unrealized love), in the same style as many of Tennyson's works. Unfortunately, I don't remember a single line, so I hope someone out there will know this one by description:
Title: possibly a one-word name
Setting: 1700-1850 countryside, involving an upper class judge or attorney and a lower class peasant maid
Storyline: Man notices woman while he is riding (or walking) along a path. She is sweeping or raking or some other household chore. He greets her; they exchange pleasantries. I'm pretty sure he asks her for (or is given) water at some point. He likes her, she likes him. Neither one is able to voice their attraction because of society's constraints on who can marry whom. They exchange kind words, and he departs. TIME LAPSE She is old and he is old. They are living separate lives in separate places, and have never seen one another again. But both are unhappy with their spouses and kids, and constantly dream of the one day that they met their true soulmate. Moral of the story is to say what's on your mind and live a happy life as a result.
Sincerest thanks for any help that is provided.
Maud Muller by John Greenleaf Whittier fits the bill!
Much appreciation for solving this one for me. I read it several years ago, and haven't been able to find it since. I was over and under and through the net and poetry books trying to find it again. Many many thanks.
You're very welcome - this site introduced me to the poem a long time ago and I like it a lot.