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Around the Hearth

From The Birmingham Age Herald, February 12, 1915. By John Greenleaf Whittier.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean winged hearth about,
Content to let the north wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door
While the red logs before us beat
The frost line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed.

The house dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
A mug of cider simmering slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

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