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 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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