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And if, in tales our fathers told, the songs our mothers sung,
Tradition wears a snowy beard, Romance is always young.
O sharp-lined man of traffic, on Saco's banks today!
O mill-girl watching late and long the shuttle's restless play!
Let, for the once, a listening ear the working hand beguile,
And lend my old Provincial tale, as suits, a tear or smile!
The evening gun had sounded from gray Fort Mary's walls;
Through the forest, like a wild beast, roared and plunged the Saco's falls.
And westward on the sea-wind, that damp and gusty grew,
Over cedars darkening inland the smokes of Spur-wink blew.
On the hearth of Farmer Garvin, blazed the crackling walnut log;
Right and left sat dame and goodman, and between them lay the dog,
Head on paws, and tail slow wagging, and beside him on her mat,
Sitting drowsy in the firelight, winked and purred the mottled cat.
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