Stops of Various Quills/Labor and Capital

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Labor and Capital by William Dean Howells
illustrations by Howard Pyle

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 079 large a.jpg




LABOR AND CAPITAL

Impression

A SPITEFUL snow spit through the bitter day
In little stinging pellets gray,
And crackling on the frozen street
About the iron feet,
Broad stamped in massy shoes
Sharpened and corked for winter use,
Of the huge Norman horses plump and round,
In burnished brass and shining leather bound,
Dragging each heavy fetlock like a mane,
And shaking as they pull the ponderous wain
With wheels that jar the ground
In a small earthquake, where they jolt and grind,
And leave a span-wide track behind:
And hunched upon the load
Above the Company's horses like a toad,
All hugged together
Against the pitiless weather,
In an old cardigan jacket and a cap
Of mangy fur,
And a frayed comforter
Around his stiffened chin, too scant to wrap
His purple ears,
And in his blinking eyes what had been tears,
But that they seemed to have frozen there ere they ran,
The Company's man.




Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 081 large a.jpg