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A Kentucky Cardinal by James Lane Allen
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by James Lane Allen


This to her from one who in childhood used to stand at the windows
of her room and watch for the Cardinal among the snow-buried cedars.


All this New-year's Day of 1850 the sun shone cloudless but wrought
no thaw. Even the landscapes of frost on the window-panes did not
melt a flower, and the little trees still keep their silvery boughs
arched high above the jeweled avenues. During the afternoon a lean
hare limped twice across the lawn, and there was not a creature
stirring to chase it. Now the night is bitter cold, with no sounds
outside but the cracking of the porches as they freeze tighter.
Even the north wind seems grown too numb to move. I had determined
to convert its coarse, big noise into something sweet--as may
often be done by a little art with the things of this life--and so
stretched a horse-hair above the opening between the window sashes;
but the soul of my harp has departed. I hear but the comfortable
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