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Of One who bore it, making it divine
With the ineffable tenderness of God;
Let common need, the brotherhood of prayer,

The heirship of an unknown destiny,
150 The unsolved mystery round about us, make

A man more precious than the gold of Ophir.
Sacred, inviolate, unto whom all things
Should minister, as outward types and signs

Of the eternal beauty which fulfils
155 The one great purpose of creation, Love,

The sole necessity of Earth and Heaven!


For weeks the clouds had raked the hills

And vexed the vales with raining,
And all the woods were sad with mist,

And all the brooks complaining.


At last, a sudden night-storm tore

The mountain veils asunder,
And swept the valleys clean before

The besom of the thunder.

165 Through Sandwich notch the west-wind sang

Good morrow to the cotter;
And once again Chocorua's horn

Of shadow pierced the water.

165. Sandwich Notch, Chocorua Mountain, Ossipee Lake and the Bearcamp River, are all striking features of the scenery in that part of New Hampshire which lies just at the entrance of the White Mountain region. Many of Whittier's most graceful poems are drawn from the suggestions of this country, where he has been wont to spend his summer months of late, and a mount. ain near West Ossipee has received his name.

Above his broad lake Ossipee, 170 Once more the sunshine wearing,

Stooped, tracing on that silver shield

His grim armorial bearing.

Clear drawn against the hard blue sky

The peaks had winter's keenness; 175 And, close on autumn's frost, the vales

Had more than June's fresh greenness.

Again the sodden forest floors

With golden lights were checkered,

Once more rejoicing leaves in wind 180 And sunshine danced and flickered.

It was as if the summer's late

Atoning for its sadness
Had borrowed every season's charm

To end its days in gladness.

185 I call to mind those banded vales

Of shadow and of shining,
Through which, my hostess at my side,

I drove in day's declining.

We held our sideling way above 190 The river's whitening shallows,

By homesteads old, with wide-flung barns

Swept through and through by swallows,

By maple orchards, belts of pine

And larches climbing darkly 195 The mountain slopes, and, over all,

The great peaks rising starkly.

You should have seen that long hill-range

With gaps of brightness riven, —
How through each pass and hollow streamed

The purpling lights of heaven,


Rivers of gold-mist flowing down

From far celestial fountains,
The great sun flaming through the rifts

Beyond the wall of mountains!

205 We paused at last where home-bound cowe

Brought down the pasture's treasure,
And in the barn the rhythmic flails

Beat out a harvest measure.


We heard the night-hawk's sullen plunge,

The crow his tree-mates calling:
The shadows lengthening down the slopes

About our feet were falling,

And through them smote the level sun

In broken lines of splendor, 215 Touched the gray rocks and made the green

Of the shorn grass more tender.

The maples bending o'er the gate,

Their arch of leaves just tinted
With yellow warmth, the golden glow

Of coming autumn hinted.


Keen white between the farm-house showed,

And smiled on porch and trellis,
The fair democracy of flowers

That equals cot and palace.

225 And weaving garlands for her dog,

'Twixt chidings and caresses,
A human flower of childhood shook

The sunshine from her


On either hand we saw the signs 230 Of fancy and of shrewdness,

Where taste had wound its arms of vines

Round thrift's uncomely rudeness.

The sun-brown farmer in his frock

Shook hands, and called to Mary: 235 Bare-armed, as Juno might, she came,

White-aproned from her dairy.

Her air, her smile, her motions, told

Of womanly completeness;

A music as of household songs 240

Was in her voice of sweetness.

Not beautiful in curve and line,

But something more and better,
The secret charm eluding art,

Its spirit, not its letter; –

245 An inborn grace that nothing lacked

Of culture or appliance, –
The warmth of genial courtesy,

The calm of self-reliance.

Before her queenly womanhood 250 How dared our hostess utter

The paltry errand of her need

To buy her fresh-churned butter?

She led the way with housewife pride,

Her goodly store disclosing, 255 Full tenderly the golden balls

With practised hands disposing.

Then, while along the western hills

We watched the changeful glory

Of sunset, on our homeward way, 260 I heard her simple story.

The early crickets sang; the stream

Plashed through my friend's narration :
Her rustic patois of the hills

Lost in my free translation.


265 " More wise," she said, “ than those who swarm

Our hills in middle summer,
She came, when June's first roses blow,

To greet the early comer.

" From school and ball and rout she came, 270 The city's fair, pale daughter,

To drink the wine of mountain air

Beside the Bearcamp Water.

“ Her step grew firmer on the hills

That watch our homesteads over; 275 On cheek and lip, from summer fields,

She caught the bloom of clover.

" For health comes sparkling in the streams

From cool Chocorua stealing:

There's iron in our Northern winds; 280 Our pines are trees of healing.

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