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Then a homestead among farms,
And a woman with bare arms
Drawing water from a well;
As at some magician's spell.
Then an old man in a tower,
While the rope coils round and round
Nearly lifts him from the ground.
Then within a prison-yard,
Laughter and indecent mirth;
Blow, and sweep it from the earth!
Then a school-boy, with his kite
And an eager, upward look ;
And an angler by a brook.
Ships rejoicing in the breeze,
Anchors dragged through faithless sand;
Sailors feeling for the land.
All these scenes do I behold,
In that building long and low;
And the spinners backward go.
THE GOLDEN MILE-STONE.
LEAFless are the trees; their purple branches Spread themselves abroad, like reefs of coral,
In the Red Sea of the Winter sunset.
From the hundred chimneys of the village,
At the window winks the flickering fire-light; Here and there the lamps of evening glimmer,
Social watch-fires Answering one another through the darkness.
On the hearth the lighted logs are glowing,
For its freedom
Groans and sighs the air imprisoned in them.
By the fireside there are old men seated,
By the fireside there are youthful dreamers,
By the fireside tragedies are acted
Wife and husband,
By the fireside there are peace and comfort,
Each man's chimney is his Golden Mile-stone; Is the central point, from which he measures
Every distance Through the gateways of the world around him.
In his farthest wanderings still he sees it; Hears the talking Aame, the answering night
As he heard them
When he sat with those who were, but are not.