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The Manor Farm

by
 THE rock-like mud unfroze a little, and rills 
Ran and sparkled down each side of the road 
Under the catkins wagging in the hedge.
But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun; Nor did I value that thin gliding beam More than a pretty February thing Till I came down to the old manor farm, And church and yew-tree opposite, in age Its equals and in size.
The church and yew And farmhouse slept in a Sunday silentness.
The air raised not a straw.
The steep farm roof, With tiles duskily glowing, entertained The mid-day sun; and up and down the roof White pigeons nestled.
There was no sound but one.
Three cart horses were looking over a gate Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails Against a fly, a solitary fly.
The winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained Spring, summer, and autumn at a draught And smiled quietly.
But 'twas not winter-- Rather a season of bliss unchangeable, Awakened from farm and church where it had lain Safe under tile and latch for ages since This England, Old already, was called Merry.

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