Collected Poems
" Now, Archibald, " said Isaac, when we stood
Outside again, " I have it in my mind
That I shall take a sort of little walk
To stretch my legs and see what you are doing.
You stay and rest your back and tell the boy
A story: Tell him all about the time
In Stafford ' s cabin forty years ago,
When four of us were snowed up for ten days
With only one dried haddock. Tell him all
About it, and be wary of your back.
Now I will go along. " I looked up then
At Archibald, and as I looked I saw
Just how his nostrils widened once or twice
And then grew narrow. I can hear to-day
The way the old man chuckled to himself
Not wJliO-Lesomely, not wholly^to-canvince
Ann+Jior n-f TijgQmvrfh pg T Ca n hear
The Jone^ly sigh thatfollpjsved. But at length
He said :^*The~75fcEardiiow ' s the place for us;
We may find something like an apple there,
And we shall have the shade, at any rate. "
So there we went and there we laid ourselves
Where the sun could not reach us; and I champed
A dozen of worm-blighted astrakhans
While Archibald said nothing merely told
The tale of Stafford ' s cabin, which was good,
Though " master chilly " after his own phrase
Even for a day like that. But other thoughts
Were moving in his mind, imperative,
And writhing to be spoken : I could see
The glimmer of them in a glance or two,
Cautious, or else unconscious, that he gave
Over his shoulder: . . . " Stafford and the rest
But that ' s an old song now, and Archibald
And Isaac are old men. Remember, boy,