The Founding of New Hampshire

A slender plank above a waterhole,
planted on end to meet my wants,
I hear its whisper in the stock.
It does not sway a hair’s breadth.
Another stake driven in and well shaved
points against the light from the layout,
                                                   poor pointing.
The maple fits upon the joist like a flower,
                                                    a picked beam,
a great wood to plane and saw.
I tell my wife the walls are up,
the strips nailed at snug right angles,
                                 the floors are oiled.
The Yankee poles are almost columns.

Braced against a gloomy magnitude,
I loiter civil on my soles and buffeted,
killing time in these traditions.
Are the woodsmells getting sweeter,
or the broker working at my back,
so that all the concord in my timber
can not warm this house.