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The Old Manse

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The Concord River mirrors bare branches

that ring with muted songs of

winter birds.

Nearby, the old house,

its gambrel roof and

clapboard sides exposed

to a biting wind,

overlooks a narrow road

marked with walls

built stone by stone in time

with the seasons.

Within, andirons asleep

in the hearth

listen to receding echoes,

Hawthorne

calling to his young bride

to walk with him,

Emerson, adrift in

his thoughts, his pen

at rest in a realm of soft

candlelight,

and the children, buoyed

by swirling laughter,

mimicked by shadows

dancing on dark walls.

The house is still now,

no visitors call,

winter is a time

for remembering.


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