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On nothing we could call our own. 50 Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
The old familiar sights of ours 55 Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
A fenceless drift what once was road; 60 The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
In its slant splendor, seemed to tell 65 Of Pisa's leaning miracle.
A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Count such a summons less than joy ?) 70 Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened liands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow, We cut the solid whiteness through. 65. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, in Italy, which inclines from the perpendicular a little more than six feet in eighty, is a campanile, or bell-tower, built of white marble, very beautiful, but so famous for its singular deflection from perpendicularity as to be known almost wholly as a curiosity. Opinions differ as to the leaning being the result of accident or design, but the better judgment makes it an effect of the character of the soil on which it is built. The Cathedral to which it belongs has suffered so much from a similar cause that there is not a vertical lige in it.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
With dazzling crystal: we had read
With many a wish the luck were ours
We reached the barn with merry din,
And grave with wonder gazed about ; 85 The cock his lusty greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The hornéd patriarch of the sheep,
head with gesture mute, And emphasized with stamp of foot.
All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak. 100 A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicéd elements,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat 105 Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet. 90. Amun, or Ammon, was an Egyptian being, representing an attribute of Deity under the form of a ram.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
Of human life and thought outside. 110 We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
And, in our lonely life, had grown 115 To have an almost human tone.
As night drew on, and, from the crest
From sight beneath the smothering bank, 120 We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, –
The knotty forestick laid apart,
The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam, 130 Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree 135 Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,