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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 16

To the Authoress of “Our Village”

By Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)

  • Mary Russell Mitford, remembered as the author of “Rienzi,” “Our Village,” etc., was born at Alresford, Eng., December 16, 1786.

  • THE SINGLE eye, the daughter of the light;

    Well pleased to recognize in lowliest shade

    Some glimmer of its parent beam, and made

    By daily draughts of brightness, inly bright.

    The taste severe, yet graceful, trained aright

    In classic depth and clearness, and repaid

    By thanks and honour from the wise and staid,

    By pleasant skill to blame, and yet delight,

    And high communion with the eloquent throng

    Of those who purified our speech and song—

    All these are yours. The same examples lure

    You in each woodland, me on breezy moor—

    With kindred aim the same sweet path along,

    To knit in loving knowledge rich and poor.