The Little People of the Snow

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excerpt from the beginning: Alice.-One of your old-world stories, Uncle John,Such as you tell us by the winter fire,Till we all wonder it has grown so late.Uncle John.-The story of the witch that ground to deathTwo children in her mill, or will you haveThe tale of Goody Cutpurse? Alice.---------------- Nay, now, nay;Those stories are too childish, Uncle John,Too childish even for little Willy here,And I am older, two good years, than he;No, let us have a tale of elves that ride,By night, with jingling reins, or gnomes of the mine,Or water-fairies, such as you know howTo spin, till Willy's eyes forget to wink,And good Aunt Mary, busy as she is,Lays down her knitting. Uncle John.- - - Listen to me, then.'Twas in the olden time, long, long ago,And long before the great oak at our doorWas yet an acorn, on a mountain's sideLived, with his wife, a cottager. They dweltBeside a glen and near a dashing brook,A pleasant spot in spring, where first the wrenWas heard to chatter, and, among the grass,Flowers opened earliest; but, when winter came,That little brook was fringed with other flowers,-White flowers, with crystal leaf and stem, that grewIn clear November nights. And, later still,That mountain glen was filled with drifted snowsFrom side to side, that one might walk across,While, many a fathom deep, below, the brookSang to itself, and leaped and trotted onUnfrozen, o'er its pebbles, toward the vale. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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