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I was always afraid of Somes's Pond:

Not the little pond, by which the willow stands,

Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands

In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond.

There, where the frost makes all the birches burn

Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines

Like a polished shell between black spruce and pines,

Some strange thing tracks us, turning where we turn.


You'll say I dreamed it, being the true daughter

Of those who in old times endured this dread.

Look! Where the lily-stems are showing red

A silent paddle moves below the water,

A sliding shape has stirred them like a breath;

Tall plumes surmount a painted mask of death.


Elinor Wylie



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