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Next morn we wakened with the shout

Of merry voices high and clear ;

And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,

Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes

From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade

O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,

And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature's subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of

merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-balls' compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.

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We heard once more the sleigh-bells' sound;

And, following where the teamsters led, The wise old Doctor went his round, 659. The wise old Doctor was Dr. Weld of Haverhill, an able nan, who died at the age of ninety-siz.

680

085

Just pausing at our door to say
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty's call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,

That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother's aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,

What mattered in the sufferer's sight

The Quaker matron's inward light, The Doctor's mail of Calvin's creed ? All hearts confess the saints elect

Who, twain in faith, in love agree, And melt not in an acid sect

The Christian pearl of charity!

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So days went on : a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o'er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood's meek, drab-skirted Muse,

A stranger to the heathen Nine,

Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine, 683. Thomas Ellwood, one of the Society of Friends, a contemporary and friend of Milton, and the suggestor of Paradise Regained, wrote an epic poem in five books, called Davideis, the life of King David of Israel. He wrote the book, we are told, for his own diversion, so it was not necessary that others should be diverted by it. Ellwood's autobiography, a quaint and delightful book, is included in Howells's series of Choice Autobian graphies.

683 690

695

The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lol broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread;
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,

And daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica's everglades.

And up Taygetus winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti's Mainote Greeks,

A Turk's head at each saddle bow !
Welcome to us its week old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,

706
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding knell and dirge of death;
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail ;

106 Its hue and cry of stolen and lost, Its vendue sales and goods at cost,

And traffic calling loud for gain. We felt the stir of hall and street, The pulse of life that round us beat;

710 The chill embargo of the snow 693. Referring to the removal of the Creek Indians from Georgia to beyond the Mississippi.

694. In 1822 Sir Gregor McGregor, a Scotchman, began ala ineffectual attempt to establish a colony in Costa Rica.

697. Taygetus is a mountain on the Gulf of Messenia ile Greece, and near by is the district of Maina, noted for its robe bers and pirates. It was from these mountaineers that Ypsilanti, a Greek patriot, drew his cavalry in the struggle with Turkey which resulted in the independence of Greece.

Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

715

720

733

Clasp, Angel of the backward look

And folded wings of ashen gray

And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid'st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,

,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that slope to death,

And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees

Shade off to mournful cypresses With the white amaranths underneath. Even while I look, I can but heed

The restless sands' incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,

And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp the heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway

For larger hopes and graver fears :

Life greatens in these later years, The century's aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,

740 Some Truce of God which breaks its strife, 741. The name is drawn from a historic compact in 1040, when the Church forbade barons to make any attack on each

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The worldling's eyes shall gather dew,

Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view

These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth

To warm them at the wood-fire's blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Or lilies floating in some pond,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond ;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

1866.

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THE SHIP-BUILDERS.

THE sky is ruddy in the east,

The earth is gray below,
And, spectral in the river-mist,

The ship’s white timbers show.
Then let the sounds of measured stroke

And grating saw begin;
other between sunset on Wednesday and sunrise on the following
Monday, or upon any ecclesiastical fast or feast day. It also
provided that no man was to molest a laborer working in the
fields, or to lay hands on any implement of husbandry, on pain
of excommunication.

747. The Flemish school of painting was chiefly occupied with homely interiors.

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