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[270] Beside her, from the summer heat
     To share her grateful screening,
With forehead bared, the farmer stood,
     Upon his pitchfork leaning.

Framed ill its damp, dark locks, his face
     Had nothing mean or common,—
Strong, manly, true, the tenderness
     And pride beloved of woman.

She looked up, glowing with the health
     The country air had brought her,
And, laughing, said: “You lack a wife,
     Your mother lacks a daughter.

To mend your frock and bake your bread
     You do not need a lady:
Be sure among these brown old homes
     Is some one waiting ready,—

Some fair, sweet girl with skilful hand
     And cheerful heart for treasure,
Who never played with ivory keys,
     Or danced the polka's measure.”

He bent his black brows to a frown,
     He set-his white teeth tightly.
“ Tis well,” he said, “for one like you
     To choose for me so lightly.

“You think, because my life is rude
     I take no note of sweetness:
I tell you love has naught to do

With meetness or unmeetness.

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