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 By day the sunlight through the leaves
Falls on its moist, green sod,
And wakes the violet bloom of spring
And autumn's golden-rod.
Its birches whisper to the wind,
The swallow dips her wings
In the cool spray, and on its banks
The gray song-sparrow sings.
But from it, when the dark night falls,
The school-girl shrinks with dread;
The farmer, home-bound from his fields,
Goes by with quickened tread.
They dare not pause to hear the grind
Of shadowy stone on stone;
The plashing of a water-wheel
Where wheel there now is none.
Has not a cry of pain been heard
Above the clattering mill?
The pawing of an unseen horse,
Who waits his mistress still?
Yet never to the listener's eye
Has sight confirmed the sound;
A wavering birch line marks alone
The vacant pasture ground.
No ghostly arms fling up to heaven
The agony of prayer;
No spectral steed impatient shakes
His white mane on the air.
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