ran wild, and there was no protection, it meant death to

Published on 2023-12-02 23:44:16 source:Spring Breeze and Summer Rain

The daughter of one of our neighbors, who also went to the same church with us, told me of a vacant place in the cloth-room, where she was, which I gladly secured. This was a low brick building next the counting- room, and a little apart from the mills, where the cloth was folded, stamped, and baled for the market.

ran wild, and there was no protection, it meant death to

There were only half a dozen girls of us, who measured the cloth, and kept an account of the pieces baled, and their length in yards. It pleased me much to have something to do which required the use of pen and ink, and I think there must be a good many scraps of verse buried among the blank pages of those old account-books of that found their way there during the frequent half-hours of waiting for the cloth to be brought in from the mills.

ran wild, and there was no protection, it meant death to

The only machinery in the room was a hydraulic arrangement for pressing the cloth into bales, managed by two or three men, one of whom was quite a poet, and a fine singer also. His hymns were frequently in request, on public occasions. He lent me the first volume of Whittier's poems that I ever saw. It was a small book, containing mostly Antislavery pieces. "The Yankee Girl" was one of them, fully to appreciate the spirit of which, it is necessary to have been a workink-girl in slave-labor times. New England Womanhood crowned Whittier as her laureate from the day of his heroine's spirited response to the slaveholder:--

ran wild, and there was no protection, it meant death to

"0, could ye have seen her--that pride of our girls-- Arise and cast back the dark wealth of her curls, With a scorn in her eye that the gazer could feel, And a glance like the sunshine that flashes on steel!

Go back, haughty Southron! Go back! for thy gold Is red with the blood of the hearts thou hast sold!"

There was in this volume another poem which is not in any of the later editions, the impression of which, as it remains to me in broken snatches, is very beautiful. It began with the lines

"Bind up thy tresses, thou beautiful one, Of brown in the shadow, and gold in the sun."

It was a refreshment and an inspiration to look into this book between my long rows of figures, and read such poems as "The Angel of Patience," "Follen," "Raphael," and that wonderfully rendered "Hymn" from Lamartine, that used to whisper itself through me after I had read it, like the echo of a spirit's voice:--

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