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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Beverly, Mass.

Hannah Binding Shoes

By Lucy Larcom (1826–1893)

POOR lone Hannah,

Sitting at the window, binding shoes.

Faded, wrinkled,

Sitting, stitching, in a mournful muse.

Bright-eyed beauty once was she,

When the bloom was on the tree:

Spring and winter,

Hannah ’s at the window, binding shoes.

Not a neighbor

Passing nod or answer will refuse

To her whisper,

“Is there from the fishers any news?”

Oh, her heart ’s adrift, with one

On an endless voyage gone!

Night and morning,

Hannah ’s at the window, binding shoes.

Fair young Hannah,

Ben, the sunburnt fisher, gayly wooes:

Hale and clever,

For a willing heart and hand he sues.

May-day skies are all aglow,

And the waves are laughing so!

For her wedding

Hannah leaves her window and her shoes.

May is passing:

Mid the apple boughs a pigeon cooes.

Hannah shudders,

For the mild southwester mischief brews,

Round the rocks of Marblehead,

Outward bound, a schooner sped:

Silent, lonesome,

Hannah ’s at the window, binding shoes.

’T is November,

Now no tear her wasted cheek bedews.

From Newfoundland

Not a sail returning will she lose,

Whispering hoarsely, “Fishermen,

Have you, have you heard of Ben?”

Old with watching,

Hannah ’s at the window, binding shoes.

Twenty winters

Bleach and tear the ragged shore she views.

Twenty seasons:—

Never one has brought her any news.

Still her dim eyes silently

Chase the white sails o’er the sea:

Hopeless, faithful,

Hannah ’s at the window, binding shoes.