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Out of the old house, Nancy—moved up into the new;
All the hurry and worry is just as good as through.
Only a bounden duty remains for you and I—
And that ’s to stand on the doorstep here, and bid the old house good-bye.
What a shell we ’ve lived in, these nineteen or twenty years!        
Wonder it hadn’t smashed in, and tumbled about our ears;
Wonder it ’s stuck together, and answered till to-day;
But every individual log was put up here to stay.
Things looked rather new, though, when this old house was built;
And things that blossomed you would ’ve made some women wilt;         
And every other day, then, as sure as day would break,
My neighbor Ager come this way, invitin’ me to “shake.”
And you, for want of neighbors, was sometimes blue and sad,
For wolves and bears and wildcats was the nearest ones you had;
But, lookin’ ahead to the clearin’, we worked with all our might,        
Until we was fairly out of the woods, and things was goin’ right.

Will Carleton (1845–1912)

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