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[367] She forced the oaken scuttle back;
     A whisper reached her ear:
‘Slide down the roof to me,’ it said,
     ‘So softly none may hear.’

She slid along the sloping roof
     Till from its eaves she hung,
And felt the loosened shingles yield
     To which her fingers clung.

Below, her lover stretched his hands
     And touched her feet so small;
“Drop down to me, dear heart,” he said,
     ‘My arms shall break the fall.’

He set her on his pillion soft,
     Her arms about him twined;
And, noiseless as if velvet-shod,
     They left the house behind.

But when they reached the open way,
     Full free the rein he cast;
Oh, never through the mirk midnight
     Rode man and maid more fast.

Along the wild wood-paths they sped,
     The bridgeless streams they swam;
At set of moon they passed the Bass,
     At sunrise Agawam.

At high noon on the Merrimac
     The ancient ferryman
Forgot, at times, his idle oars,
     So fair a freight to scan.

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Agawam (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

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