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Narrative and Legendary Poems: Among the Hills and Others - From Volume I., the Works of Whittier by John Greenleaf Whittier
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This poem, when originally published, was dedicated to Annie Fields,
wife of the distinguished publisher, James T. Fields, of Boston, in
grateful acknowledgment of the strength and inspiration I have found in
her friendship and sympathy. The poem in its first form was entitled The
Wife: an Idyl of Bearcamp Water, and appeared in The Atlantic Monthly
for January, 1868. When I published the volume Among the Hills, in
December of the same year, I expanded the Prelude and filled out also
the outlines of the story.


ALONG the roadside, like the flowers of gold
That tawny Incas for their gardens wrought,
Heavy with sunshine droops the golden-rod,
And the red pennons of the cardinal-flowers
Hang motionless upon their upright staves.
The sky is hot and hazy, and the wind,
Vying-weary with its long flight from the south,
Unfelt; yet, closely scanned, yon maple leaf
With faintest motion, as one stirs in dreams,
Confesses it. The locust by the wall
Stabs the noon-silence with his sharp alarm.
A single hay-cart down the dusty road
Creaks slowly, with its driver fast asleep
On the load's top. Against the neighboring hill,
Huddled along the stone wall's shady side,
The sheep show white, as if a snowdrift still
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