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THE beaver cut his timber

With patient teeth that day, The minks were fish-wards, and the crows

Surveyors of highway,

When Keezar sat on the hillside

Upon his cobbler's form,
With a pan of coals on either hand

To keep his waxed-ends warm.

* This ballad was written on the occasion of a Horticultural Festival. Cobbler Keezar was a noted character among the first settlers in the valley of the Merrimack.

And there, in the golden weather,

He stitched and hammered and sung ; In the brook he moistened his leather,

In the pewter mug his tongue.

Well knew the tough old Teuton

Who brewed the stoutest ale, And he paid the good-wife's reckoning

In the coin of song and tale.

The songs they still are singing

Who dress the hills of vine, The tales that haunt the Brocken

And whisper down the Rhine.

Woodsy and wild and lonesome,

The swift stream wound away, Through birches and scarlet maples

Flashing in foam and spray,

Down on the sharp-horned ledges

Plunging in steep cascade, Tossing its white-maned waters

Against the hemlock's shade.

Woodsy and wild and lonesome,

East and west and north and south; Only the village of fishers

Down at the river's mouth;

Only here and there a clearing,

With its farm-house rude and new, And tree-stumps, swart as Indians,

Where the scanty harvest grew.

No shout of home-bound reapers,

No vintage-song he heard,
And on the green no dancing feet

The merry violin stirred.

“ Why should folk be glum,” said Keezar, . “When Nature herself is glad, And the painted woods are laughing

At the faces so sour and sad?”

Small heed had the careless cobbler

What sorrow of heart was theirs Who travailed in pain with the births of God,

And planted a state with prayers,

Hunting of witches and warlocks,

Smiting the heathen horde, One hand on the mason’s trowel,

And one on the soldier's sword !

But give him his ale and cider,

Give him his pipe and song, Little he cared for church or state,

Or the balance of right and wrong.

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