Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/170

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164 TRACKS IN THE SNOW.

Nearer the town, see pussy s mark, Silently made while it was dark, Telling of some soft-footed raid Among the bright-eyed rodents made.

Tracks, as of tardy or busy feet, Tangle themselves on the village street Here a schoolboy s tread, there a woman s shoe, By a crunching boot-heel cut in two.

Where did they go, those feet gone by? Whence did they come, and when and why ? Who watched for them, or cared to know Whose footfall stirred the threshold snow?

Made with a careless tramp they lie, Telling their tale to you and I, But cunning hand nor guiding brain Could fill each snow-white grave again,

And leave it as it laid last night, Unstirred, and innocent, and white ; Nay, though we sift snow-crystals in, It will not be what it has been.

We cannot fill the tracks we make ; Our clumsy touch would mar and break ; Only the downfall from above Can do that wondrous work of love.

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