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[268] On either hand we saw the signs
     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:
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
     Was in her voice of sweetness.

Not fair alone in curve and line,
     But something more and better,
The secret charm eluding art,
     Its spirit, not its letter;—

An inborn grace that nothing lacked
     Of culture or appliance,—
The warmth of genial courtesy,
     The calm of self-reliance.

Before her queenly womanhood
     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,
Full tenderly the golden balls
     With practised hands disposing.

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