Nancy MacIntyre eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 62 pages of information about Nancy MacIntyre.


One cold morning, old Zach Baxter,
  Riding o’er this snowbound sea
Saw a famished pony standing
  Near a queer and lonely tree. 
From his frost-encrusted nostrils
  Came a plaintive whinny, low,
As the man rode up beside him
  Struggling through the drifted snow. 
When the old man tried to lead him,
  He refused to turn away;
But he pawed the drift beneath him,
  Where his stricken master lay. 
And below the cold, white cover,
  In a deathlike stupor deep,
Old Zach found a sorry stranger
  Shrouded for his last long sleep.


Tearing at the ragged bundle
  Lodged between the horse’s feet,
Clutching at the frozen blanket,
  Brushing back the crusted sleet,
Faithful in his rude endeavors,
  Rousing by his loud commands,
Roughly shaking, turning, rubbing,
  Zach breathed on his face and hands;
Till the stiffened limbs responded
  And the closed eyes opened wide,
Dazed and puzzled at the stranger
  Working fiercely at his side. 
Billy felt the strong arms raise him,
  Felt the Frost King’s stinging breath
As he struggled, half unconscious,
  In the wav’ring fight with death.


In the east, the sun dogs glistened
  Like tall shafts of marble, bright,
O’er the whitened grave of nature,—­
  Ghostly spires of frozen light,
Flying frost flakes snapping, sparkling,
  Dancing in a wild display,
Turned into a mist of diamonds
  As they mocked the newborn day.


Old Zach’s pony bearing double,
  Reeking steam from every pore,
Reached at last the covered pathway
  Leading to the dug-out door. 
With his arms clasped tight round Billy,
  Zach half dragged his helpless load
Through the lowly, mud-walled entrance
  Of his rudely built abode. 
There, upon the narrow bunk bed
  Spread with nondescript attire,
Zach enfolded him in wrappings
  While he started up a fire;
And no nurse, however skillful,
  Whatsoever her degree,
Ever gave more loyal service
  To a patient, than did he.


Poor and meager were the comforts
  Of Zach’s cave-like prairie home,
Permeated with the odor
  Of the fresh-dug virgin loam. 
Pungent wreaths of smoke, slow drifting,
  Floated lazily above,
To the dried grass of the ceiling
  From the cracked and rusty stove. 
Willow poles athwart for rafters
  Sagged beneath the dirt roof’s strain,
And a piece of grease-smeared paper
  Formed the only window-pane. 
In the center, on the dirt floor
  Stood a table-like affair
Fashioned from a wagon end-gate,
  Where Zach spread his scanty fare.


Project Gutenberg
Nancy MacIntyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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