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Blowing o'er fields of dulse, and measureless meadows of sea-grass,
Like an awakened conscience, the sea was moaning and tossing, Beating remorseful and loud the mutable sands of the sea-shore. Fierce in his soul was the struggle and tumult of passions contending; Love triumphant and crowned, and friendship wounded and bleeding, Passionate cries of desire, and importunate pleadings of duty ! “ Is it my fault,” he said, “ that the maiden has chosen between us ? Is it my fault that he failed, -my fault that I am the victor ?” Then within him there thundered a voice, like the voice of the
Prophet: “ It hath displeased the Lord !"—and he thought of David's transgres
sion, Bathsheba's beautiful face, and his friend in the front of the battle ! Shame and confusion of guilt, and abasement and self-condemnation, Overwhelmed him at once; and he cried in the deepest contrition : " It hath displeased the Lord! It is the temptation of Satan!”
Then, uplifting his head, he looked at the sea, and beheld there Dimly the shadowy form of the May Flower riding at anchor, Rocked on the rising tide, and ready to sail on the morrow; Heard the voices of men through the mist, the rattle of cordage Thrown on the deck, the shouts of the mate, and the sailors' “ Ay, ay,
Clear and distinct, but not loud, in the dripping air of the twilight.
may not love, and him whom my heart has offended,
darkness,Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espousal hereaster!”.
Thus as he spake, he turned, in the strength of his strong
Fighting some great campaign in Hainault or Brabant or Flanders. “Long have you been on your errand,” he said, with a cheery
demeanour, Even as one who is waiting an answer, and fears not the issue. “Not far off is the house, although the woods are between us; But you have lingered so long, that while you were going and
coming I have fought ten battles and sacked and demolished a city. Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that has happened.”
Then John Alden spake, and related the wondrous adventure, From beginning to end, minutely, just as it happened; How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had sped in his courtship, Only smoothing a little, and softening down her refusal. But when he came at length to the words Priscilla had spoken, Words so tender and cruel: “Why don't you speak for yourself,
John po Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and stamped on the floor, till his
Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound of sinister omen.
trayed me! One of my ancestors ran his sword through the heart of Wat Tyler ; Who shall prevent me from running my own through the heart of a
Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason to friendship!
brother; You, who have sed at my board, and drunk at my cup, to whose
keeping I have entrusted my honour, my thoughts the most sacred and secret,You too, Brutus ! ah, woe to the name of friendship hereafter ! Brutus was Cæsar's friend, and you were mine, but henceforward Let there be nothing between us save war, and implacable hatred !"
THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH.
So spake the Captain of Plymouth, and strode about in the chamber, Chafing and choking with rage; like cords were the veins on his
temples. But in the midst of his anger a man appeared at the doorway, Bringing in uttermost haste a message of urgent importance, Rumours of danger and war, and hostile incursions of Indians ! Straightway the Captain paused, and, without further question or parley, Took from the nail on the wall his sword with its scabbard of iron, Buckled the belt round his waist, and, frowning fiercely, departed. Alden was left alone. He heard the clank of the scabbard Growing fainter and fainter, and dying away in the distance. Then he arose from his seat, and looked forth into the darkness, Felt the cool air blow on his cheek, that was hot with the insult, Lifted his eyes to the heavens, and, folding his hands as in childhood, Prayed in the silence of night to the Father who seeth in secret.
Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrathful away to the council, Found it already assembled, impatiently waiting his coming ; Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in deportment, Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to heaven, Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder of Plymouth. God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this planting, Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a nation; So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the people! Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern and defiant, Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in aspect; While on the table before them was lying unopened a Bible,