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“ And so, in grateful interchange 450

Of teacher and of hearer,
Their lives their true distinctness keep

While daily drawing nearer.

“ And if the husband or the wife

In home's strong light discovers 455 Such slight defaults as failed to meet

The blinded eyes of lovers,

Why need we care to ask ? — who dreams

Without their thorns of roses,

Or wonders that the truest steel 460 The readiest spark discloses?

“ For still in mutual sufferance lies

The secret of true living :
Love scarce is love that never knows

The sweetness of forgiving.


“ We send the Squire to General Court,

He takes his young wife thither;
No prouder man election day

Rides through the sweet June weather.


“ He sees with eyes of manly trust

All hearts to her inclining;
Not less for him his household light

That others share its shining."

Thus, while my hostess spake, there grew

Before me, warmer tinted 475 And outlined with a tenderer grace,

The picture that she hinted.


The sunset smouldered as we drove

Beneath the deep hill-shadows.
Below us wreaths of white fog walked

Like ghosts the haunted meadows.


Sounding the summer night, the stars

Dropped down their golden plummets ; The pale arc of the Northern lights

Rose o'er the mountain summits,

485 Until, at last, beneath its bridge,

We heard the Bearcamp flowing,
And saw across the mapled lawn

The welcome home-lights glowing;

And, musing on the tale I heard, 490 ’T were well, thought I, if often

To rugged farm-life came the gift

To harmonize and soften;

If more and more we found the troth

Of fact and fancy plighted, 495 And culture's charm and labor's strength

In rural homes united,

The simple life, the homely hearth,

With beauty's sphere surrounding,

And blessing toil where toil abounds 500 With graces more abounding.

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[This poem was published in 1875, but it had already appeared in an earlier version in 1860 under the title of The Witch's Daughter, in Home Ballads and other Poems. Mabel Martin is in the same measure as The Witch's Daughter, and many of the verses are the same, but the poet has taken the first draft as a sketch, filled it out, adding verses here and there, altering lines and making an introduction, so that the new version is a third longer than the old. The reader will find it interesting to compare the two poems. The scene is laid on the Merrimack, as Deer Island and Hawkswood near Newburyport intimate. A fruitful comparison might be drawn between the treatment of such sub jects by Whittier and by Hawthorne.]



Across the level tableland,

A grassy, rarely trodden way,
With thinnest skirt of birchen spray


And stunted growth of cedar, leads

To where you see the dull plain fall
Sheer off, steep-slanted, ploughed by all

The seasons' rainfalls. On its brink

The over-leaning harebells swing;
With roots half bare the pine-trees cling;

10 And, through the shadow looking west,

You see the wavering river flow
Along a vale, that far below

Holds to the sun, the sheltering hills,

And glimmering water-line between,
Broad fields of corn and meadows green,


And fruit-bent orchards grouped around

The low brown roofs and pairted eaves,
And chimney-tops half hid in leaves.


No warmer valley hides behind

Yon wind-scourged sand-dunes, cold and bleak
No fairer river comes to seek

The wave-sung welcome of the sea,

Or mark the northmost border line
Of sun-loved growths of nut and vine.

25 Here, ground-fast in their native fields,

Untempted by the city's gain,
The quiet farmer folk remain

Who bear the pleasant name of Friends,

And keep their fathers' gentle ways 30 And simple speech of Bible days;

In whose neat homesteads woman holds

With modest ease her equal place,
And wears upon her tranquil face

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