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On nothing we could call our own. 50 Around the glistening wonder bent

The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, -
A universe of sky and snow!

The old familiar sights of ours 55 Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers

Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,

A fenceless drift what once was road; 60 The bridle-post an old man sat

With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,

In its slant splendor, seemed to tell 65 Of Pisa's leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “ Boys, a path!"
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy

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
75 A tunnel walled and overlaid

With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin's wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,

With many a wish the luck were ours
80 To test his lamp's supernal powers.

We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse thrust his long head out,

And grave with wonder gazed about ; 85 The cock his lusty greeting said,

And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;

The hornéd patriarch of the sheep,
90 Like Egypt's Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his


head with gesture mute, And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore

The loosening drift its breath before;
95 Low circling round its southern zone,

The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke

Curled over woods of snow-hung oak. 100 A solitude made more intense

By dreary-voicéd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,

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
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified

Of human life and thought outside. 110 We minded that the sharpest ear

The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,

And, in our lonely life, had grown 115 To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank

From sight beneath the smothering bank, 120 We piled, with care, our nightly stack

Of wood against the chimney-back, –
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;

The knotty forestick laid apart,
125 And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam

On whitewashed wall and sagging beam, 130 Until the old, rude-furnished room

Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,

And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree 135 Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.

The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turk's heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,

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