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[172] Or, mid the tangling cumber
     And pack of mountain lumber
That spring floods downward force,
     Over sunken snag, and bar
Where the grating shallows are,
     The good boat held her course.

Under the pine-dark highlands,
     Around the vine-hung islands,
She ploughed her crooked furrow;
     And her rippling and her lurches
Scared the river eels and perches,
     And the musk-rat in his burrow.

Every sober clam below her,
     Every sage and grave pearl-grower,
Shut his rusty valves the tighter;
     Crow called to crow complaining,
And old tortoises sat craning
     Their leathern necks to sight her.

So, to where the still lake glasses
     The misty mountain masses
Rising dim and distant northward,
     And, with faint-drawn shadow pictures,
Low shores, and dead pine spectres,
     Blends the skyward and the earthward,

On she glided, overladen,
     With merry man and maiden
Sending back their song and laughter,—
     While, perchance, a phantom crew,
In a ghostly birch canoe,
     Paddled dumb and swiftly after!

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