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New England legends with rarest skill. Burroughs says of Snow-Bound, that it is the “most faithful picture of our Northern winter that has yet been put into poetry;“

” and Stedman calls it "a worthy successor to The Deserted Village and The Cotter's Saturday Night.

But our poet was more than a maker of idyls and pastorals. The “cry of the human” never failed to move him, and it is in celebrating deeds of heroism and renunciation that he attains his loftiest fights. The genius of Whittier, so saturated with the moral sentiment, is Hebrew,- is Biblical.

In this respect he affiliates with Wordsworth, and, farther back, with Milton.


[These “Three Family Portraits” are taken from Snow-Bound: they reveal the poet's tender regard for domestic life, and finely portray the simple experiences of the friends of his boyhood days.]


OUR mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Cocheco 1 town.
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,

So rich and picturesque? and free

1 Cocheco town: that is, Dover, toresco, like what is in a picture), N.H.

representing with the clearness ap2 picturesque (from Italian pit- propriate to a picture.

(The common unrhymed poetry Of simple life and country ways), The story of her early days, She made us welcome to her home;2 Old hearths grew wide to give us room; We stole with her a frightened look At the gray wizard's conjuring-book,3 The fame whereof went far and wide Through all the simple country-side; We heard the hawks at twilight play, The boat-horn on Piscataqua, The loon's weird laughter far away; We fished her little trout-brook, knew What flowers in wood and meadow grew, What sunny hillsides autumn-brown She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down, Saw where in sheltered cove and bay The ducks' black squadron anchored lay. And heard the wild-geese calling loud Beneath the gray November cloud.


Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore 8 of fields and brooks, —

1 unrhymed poetry. Explain. 4 Piscataqua. Locate. With what noun is “poetry” in 5 weird laughter. What felicity apposition ?

in the epithet “weird"? 2 welcome to her home: that is, 6 ducks'. .. lay. Show the picthe mother introduced the children turesqueness of this expression. to her own girlhood home.

7 innocent of books. Explain. 8 wizard's conjuring - book. 8 lore (from the same root as Probably a well-thumbed “fortune- learn), learning, knowledge, wisteller."


The ancient teachers, never dumb,
Of Nature's unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,2
By many an occult 3 hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded 4 keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries ;
Himself to Nature's heart so near
That all her voices in his ear,
Of beast or bird, had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius“ of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or. Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilusi said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,

1 lyceum. For rhythm's sake 5 Apollonius: that is, Apollothe poet places the accent on the nius of Tyana, in Cappadocia, who first syllable, but properly it is on lived in the time of Christ, and was the penult.

a follower of the mystical philoso2 divine, foretell.

pher Pythagoras. He was versed 3 occult (from Latin oc for ob, in all Oriental lore, and the people and calere, to hide), hidden, secret. believed him to have the power of

4 warded. A “ward” is a pro- working miracles. jecting ridge of metal in the interior 6 Hermes: that is, Hermes Tris of a lock, to prevent the use of any megistus, celebrated Egyptian key which has not a corresponding priest and philosopher, of the first notch for passing it. Explain the century A.D. pietaphor“cunning-warded keys." 7 Nilus, the Nile.

Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne's? loving view,-
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle's eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies 2 of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover gay,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,

Peered from the doorway of his cell ;3
The muskrat plied the mason's trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead

The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.


As one who held 4 herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart

1 White of Selborne: that is, and beasts of the district in which Gilbert White (1720-1793), the he lived. author of a famous book entitled 2 prodigies, wonderful exploits. Natural History of Selborne, England 3 hermit gray ... cell. Show

- in which are many minute and the felicity of this simile. charming descriptions of the birds 4 held, deemed, considered.

Against the household bosom lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat 2
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,

Now bathed within the fadeless green
And holy peace of Paradise.3
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,

Or silver reach 4 of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago :-
The chill weight of the winter snow

For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow,

And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,5
Yet following me where'er I went,
With dark eyes full of love's content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June's unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye

For something gone which should be nigh, 1 and let ... lean. Explain. 4 reach, a straight portion of a 2 motley-braided mat. Explain. stream, as from one bend to an

3 Now bathed ... Paradise. other. What fact is thus beautifully im 5 too frail... to seek: that is, plied ? See Webster for the deriva “ too frail and weak to seek for the tion of “Paradise.”

hillside flowers which she loved.”

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