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Blowing o'er fields of dulse, and measureless meadows of sea-grass,
Blowing o'er rocky wastes, and the grottos and gardens of ocean!
Lay thy cold, moist hand on my burning forehead, and wrap me
Close in thy garments of mist, to allay the fever within me!"

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,

Sir!"

Clear and distinct, but not loud, in the dripping air of the twilight.
Still for a moment he stood, and listened, and stared at the vessel,
Then went hurriedly on, as one who, seeing a phantom,
Stops, then quickens his pace, and follows the beckoning shadow.
“Yes, it is plain to me now,” he murmured; “the hand of the Lord is
Leading me out of the land of darkness, the bondage of error,
Through the sea, that shall lift the walls of its waters around me,
Hiding me, cutting me off, from the cruel thoughts that pursue ine.
Back will I go o'er the ocean, this dreary land will abandon,
Her whom I

may not love, and him whom my heart has offended,
Better to be in my grave in the green old churchyard in England,
Close by my mother's side, and among the dust of my kindred;
Better be dead and forgotten, than living in shame and dishonour !
Sacred and safe, and unseen, in the dark of the narrow chamber
With me my secret shall lie, like a buried jewel that glimmers
Bright on the hand that is dust, in the chambers of silence and

darkness,Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espousal hereaster!”.

Thus as he spake, he turned, in the strength of his strong

resolution,
Leaving behind him the shore, and hurried along in the twilight,
Through the congenial gloom of the forest silent and sombre,
Till he beheld the lights in the seven houses of Plymouth,
Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist of the evening.
Soon he entered his door, and found the redoubtable Captain
Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pages of Cæsar,

[graphic]

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.”

E

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

armour

Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound of sinister omen.
All his pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden explosion,
Even as a hand-grenade, that scatters destruction around it.
Wildly he shouted, and loud: “John Alden! you have betrayed me!
Me, Miles Standish, your friend ! have supplanted, defrauded, be-

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

traitor ?

Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason to friendship!
You, who lived under my roof, whom I cherished and loved as a

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.

27

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,

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