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With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,

The board-nails snapping in the frost ; 620 And on us, through the unplastered wall,

Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;

Faint and more faint the murmurs grew, 625 Till in the summer-land of dreams

They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.

Next morn we wakened with the shout 630 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,
635 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, 640 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, 645 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,

650 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-ball's compliments, 655 And reading in each missive tost

The charm with Eden never lost.

We heard once more the sleigh-bells' sound;

And, following where the teamsters led,

The wise old Doctor went his round, 660 Just pausing at our door to say,

In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty's call,
Was free to urge lier claim on all,

That some poor neighbor sick abed 665 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? 670 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!

So days went on: a week had passed
675 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 680 From younger eyes, a book forbid, 659. The wise old Doctor was Dr. Weld of Haverhill, an able man, who died at the age of ninety-six.

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,
685 Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,

The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the foundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.

Lo! broadening outward as we read, 690 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 695 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, 700 Its corner for the rustic Muse,

683. Thomas Ellwood, one of the Society of Friends, a conlemporary 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, has recently been issued in Howells's series of Chşice Autobiography.

693. Referring to the removal of the Creek Indians from Geor. gia to beyond the Mississippi.

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

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

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, 705 The latest culprit sent to jail;

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, 710 The pulse of life that round us beat;

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

715 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, 720 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, 725

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 730

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; 735 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!

740 Yet, haply, in some lull of life,

Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The wordling's eyes shall gather dew,

Dreaming in throngful city ways

Of winter joys his boyhood knew; 745 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 750 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,
755 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.

741. The name is drawn from a historic compact in 1040. when the Church forbade the barons to make any attack on each other between sunset on Wednesday and sunrise on the follow. ing 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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