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OF

And good Aunt Mary, busy as she is,

Lays down her knitting. 15 Uncle John. Listen to me, then.

'T was in the olden time, long, long ago, And long before the great oak at our door Was yet an acorn, on a mountain's side

Lived, with his wife, a cottager. They dwelt 20 Beside a glen and near a dashing brook,

A pleasant spot in spring, where first the wren
Was heard to chatter, and, among

the grass, Flowers opened earliest ; but, when winter came,

That little brook was fringed with other flowers, 25 White flowers, with crystal leaf and stem, that

grew
In clear November nights. And, later still,
That mountain glen was filled with drifted snows
From side to side, that one might walk across,

While, many a fathom deep, below, the brook
30 Sang to itself, and leapt and trotted on
Unfrozen, o'er its pebbles, toward the vale.
Alice. A mountain's side, you said ; the Alps,

perhaps,
Or our own Alleghanies.
Uncle John.

Not so fast,
My young geographer, for then the Alps,
35 With their broad pastures, haply were untrod

Of herdsman's foot, and never human voice
Had sounded in the woods that overhang
Our Alleghany's streams. I think it was

Upon the slopes of the great Caucasus, 40 Or where the rivulets of Ararat

Seek the Armenian vales. That mountain rose
So high, that, on its top, the winter snow
Was never melted, and the coʻtagers

Among the summer blossoms, far below, 45 Saw its white peaks in August from their door.

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