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Bewrinkled in shingle and lichened in board,
With sills settling down to the sward,
My old barn it leaneth awry;
It sags, and the wags wag their heads going by.
In March winds it creaks,
Each gaunt timber shrieks
Like ribs of a craft off Cape Horn;
And in midst of the din
The foul weather beats in;
And the grain-chest—'twould mould any corn!
Pull it down, says a neighbor.
Never mine be that labor!
For a Spirit inhabits, a fellowly one,
The like of which never responded to me
From the long hills and hollows that make up the sea,
Hills and hollows where Echo is none.
The site should I clear, and rebuild,
Would that Voice reinhabit?—Self-willed,
Says each pleasing thing
Never Dives can buy,
Let me keep where I cling!
I am touchy as tinder
Yea, quick to take wing,
Nor return if I fly.