Fido

A poem by Hanford Lennox Gordon

Hark, the storm is raging high;
Beat the breakers on the coast,
And the wintry waters cry
Like the wailing of a ghost.

On the rugged coast of Maine
Stands the frugal farmer's cot:
What if drive the sleet and rain?
John and Hannah heed it not.

On the hills the mad winds roar,
And the tall pines toss and groan;
Round the headland down the shore
Stormy spirits shriek and moan.

Inky darkness wraps the sky;
Not a glimpse of moon or star;
And the stormy-petrels cry
Out along the harbor-bar.

Seated by their blazing hearth
John and Hannah snug and warm
What if darkness wrap the earth?
Drive the sleet and howl the storm!

Let the stormy-petrels fly!
Let the moaning breakers beat!
Hark! I hear an infant cry
And the patter of baby-feet:

And Hannah listened as she spoke,
But only heard the driving rain,
As on the cottage-roof it broke
And pattered on the window-pane.

And she sat knitting by the fire
While pussy frolicked at her feet;
And ever roared the tempest higher,
And ever harder the hailstones beat.

"Hark! the cry it comes again!"
"Nay, it is the winds that wail,
And the patter on the pane
Of the driving sleet and hail"

Replied the farmer as he piled
The crackling hemlock on the coals,
And lit his corn-cob pipe and smiled
The smile of sweet contented souls.

Aye, let the storm rave o'er the earth;
Their kine are snug in barn and byre;
The apples sputter on the hearth,
The cider simmers on the fire.

But once again at midnight high,
She heard in dreams, through wind and sleet,
An infant moan, an infant cry,
And the patter of baby-feet.

Half-waking from her dreams she turned
And heard the driving wind and rain;
Still on the hearth the fagots burned,
And hail beat on the window-pane.

John rose as wont, at dawn of day;
The earth was white with frozen sleet;
And lo his faithful Fido lay
Dead on the door-stone at his feet.

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