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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

The dead sun sinks beyond the misty hills;
The chill winds whistle in the leafless elms;
The cold rain patters on the fallen leaves. 
Where pipes the silver-fluted whippowil? 
I hear no hum of bees among the bloom;
I hear no robin cherup on the hedge: 
One dumb, lone lark sits shivering in the rain. 
I hear the voices of the Autumn wind;
I hear the cold rain dripping on the leaves;
I hear the moaning of the mournful pines;
I hear the hollow voices of the dead. 
O let me dream the dreams of long ago
And dreaming pass into the dreamless sleep—­
Beyond the voices of the autumn winds,
Beyond the patter of the dreary rain,
Beyond compassion and all vain regret
Beyond all waking and all weariness: 
O let me dream the dreams of long ago.

THE PIONEER

[MINNESOTA—­1860-1875]

When Mollie and I were married from the dear old cottage-home,
  In the vale between the hills of fir and pine,
I parted with a sigh in a stranger-land to roam,
  And to seek a western home for me and mine.

By a grove-encircled lake in the wild and prairied West,
  As the sun was sinking down one summer day,
I laid my knapsack down and my weary limbs to rest,
  And resolved to build a cottage-home and stay.

I staked and marked my “corners,” and I “filed” upon my claim,
  And I built a cottage-home of “logs and shakes;”
And then I wrote a letter, and Mollie and baby came
  Out to bless me and to bake my johnny-cakes.

When Mollie saw my “cottage” and the way that I had “bached”,
  She smiled, but I could see that she was “blue;”
Then she found my “Sunday-clothes” all soiled and torn and patched,
  And she hid her face and shed a tear or two.

But she went to work in earnest and the cabin fairly shone,
  And her dinners were so savory and so nice
That I felt it was “not good that the man should be alone”—­
  Even in this lovely land of Paradise.

Well, the neighbors they were few and were many miles apart,
  And you couldn’t hear the locomotive scream;
But I was young and hardy, and my Mollie gave me heart,
  And my “steers” they made a fast and fancy team.

And the way I broke the sod was a marvel, you can bet,
  For I fed my “steers” before the dawn of day;
And when the sun went under I was plowing prairie yet,
  Till my Mollie blew the old tin horn for tea.

And the lazy, lousy “Injuns” came a-loafing round the lake,
  And a-begging for a bone or bit of bread;
And the sneaking thieves would steal whatever they could take—­
  From the very house where they were kindly fed.

O the eastern preachers preach, and the long-haired poets sing
  Of the “noble braves” and “dusky maidens fair;”
But if they had pioneered ’twould have been another thing
  When the “Injuns” got a-hankering for their “hair.”

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