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Dame Craigie.

[Lines read at the Longfellow Memorial Reading, Cambridge,

Feb. 27, 1888.]
in childish Cambridge days, now long ago,
When pacing schoolward in the morning hours,
I passed the stately homes of Tory Row
And paused to see Dame Craigie tend her flowers.

Framed in the elm-tree boughs before her door
The old escutcheon of our town was seen,--
Canker-worms pendent, yellowing leaves in or,
School-boys regardant, on a field grass-green.

Dame Craigie, with Spinoza in her hand,
Was once heard murmuring to the insect crew,
“I will not harm you, little restless band!
For what are mortal men but worms, like you?” [45]

The trees are gone; Dame Craigie too is gone,
Her tongue long silent, and her turban furled;
Yet 'neath her roof thought's silk-worms still spun on,
Whose sumptuous fabric clothed a barren world.

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