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TWENTY YEARS.

Down on the ancient wharf, the sand, I sit, with a new-comer
chatting:
He shipp'd as green-hand boy, and sail'd away, (took some sud-
den, vehement notion;)
Since, twenty years and more have circled round and round,
While he the globe was circling round and round,—and now
returns:
How changed the place—all the old land-marks gone—the
parents dead;
(Yes, he comes back to lay in port for good—to settle— has a well-
fill'd purse—no spot will do but this;)
The little boat that scull'd him from the sloop, now held in
leash I see,
I hear the slapping waves, the restless keel, the rocking in the
sand,
I see the sailor kit, the canvas bag, the great box bound with
brass,
I scan the face all berry-brown and bearded—the stout-strong
frame,
Dress'd in its russet suit of good Scotch cloth:
(Then what the told-out story of those twenty years? What of
the future?)

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