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Roll thyself up like a fist, to threaten and daunt me; I heed

not Either your warning or menace, or any omen of evil! There is no land so sacred, no air so pure and so whole

some, As is the air she breathes, and the soil that is pressed by her

footsteps. Here for her sake will I stay, and like an invisible presence

585 Hover around her forever, protecting, supporting her weak

ness; Yes! as my foot was the first that stepped on this rock at

the landing, So, with the blessing of God, shall it be the last at the leav

ing!”

Meanwhile the Master alert, but with dignified air and

important, Scanning with watchful eye the tide and the wind and the weather,

590 Walked about on the sands, and the people crowded around

him Saying a few last words, and enforcing his careful remem

brance. Then, taking each by the hand, as if he were grasping a

tiller, Into the boat he sprang, and in haste shoved off to his

vessel, Glad in his heart to get rid of all this worry and flurry, 595 Glad to be gone from a land of sand and sickness and

sorrow, Short allowance of victual, and plenty of nothing but Gospel! Lost in the sound of the oars was the last farewell of the

Pilgrims.

O strong hearts and true! not one went back in the May

flower! No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to this ploughing!1

600

Soon were heard on board the shouts and songs of the

sailors Heaving the windlass round, and hoisting the ponderous

anchor. Then the yards were braced, and all sails set to the west

wind, Blowing steady and strong; and the Mayflower sailed from

the harbor, Rounded the point of the Gurnet, and leaving far to the

southward Island and cape of sand, and the Field of the First En

counter, Took the wind on her quarter, and stood for the open

Atlantic, Borne on the send of the sea, and the swelling hearts of the

Pilgrims.

605

Long in silence they watched the receding sail of the

vessel, Much endeared to them all, as something living and hu

man; Then, as if filled with the spirit, and wrapt in a vision pro

phetic,

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1 Compare Luke, ix. 62.

3 Before making their final landing the Pilgrims anchored off Cape Cod until they could find a suitable place to start the settlement. While on this search, a party of men had their first skirmish with the Indians.

Baring his hoary head, the excellent Elder of Plymouth Said, “Let us pray!” and they prayed, and thanked the

Lord and took courage." Mournfully sobbed the waves at the base of the rock, and

above them Bowed and whispered the wheat on the hill of death, and their kindred

615 Seemed to awake in their graves, and to join in the prayer

that they uttered. Sun-illumined and white, on the eastern verge of the ocean Gleamed the departing sail, like a marble slab in a grave

yard; Buried beneath it lay forever all hope of escaping. Lo! as they turned to depart, they saw the form of an Indian,

620 Watching them from the hill; but while they spake with

each other, Pointing with outstretched hands, and saying, “Look!"

he had vanished. So they returned to their homes; but Alden lingered a little, Musing alone on the shore, and watching the wash of the

billows Round the base of the rock, and the sparkle and flash of the sunshine,

625 Like the spirit of God, moving visibly over the waters.?

VI

PRISCILLA

Thus for a while he stood, and mused by the shore of the

ocean, Thinking of many things, and most of all of Priscilla ; i Compare Acts, xxviii. 15.

• Compare Genesis, i. 2.

And as if thought had the power to draw to itself, like the

loadstone, Whatsoever it touches, by subtile laws of its nature, 630 Lo! as he turned to depart, Priscilla was standing beside him.

“Are you so much offended, you will not speak to me?"

said she. “Am I so much to blame, that yesterday, when you were

pleading Warmly the cause of another, my heart, impulsive and

wayward, Pleaded your own, and spake out, forgetful perhaps of decorum?

635 Certainly you can forgive me for speaking so frankly, for

saying What I ought not to have said, yet now I can never unsay

it; For there are moments in life, when the heart is so full of

emotion, That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, 640 Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered to

gether. Yesterday I was shocked, when I heard you speak of Miles

Standish, Praising his virtues, transforming his very defects into

virtues, Praising his courage and strength, and even his fighting in

Flanders, As if by fighting alone you could win the heart of a

woman, Quite overlooking yourself and the rest, in exalting your

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hero.

Therefore I spake as I did, by an irresistible impulse.

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You will forgive me, I hope, for the sake of the friendship

between us, Which is too true and too sacred to be so easily broken!” Thereupon answered John Alden, the scholar, the friend of

Miles Standish : “I was not angry with you, with myself alone I was

angry, Seeing how badly I managed the matter I had in my keep

ing.“No!” interrupted the maiden, with answer prompt and

decisive; “No; you were angry with me, for speaking so frankly and

freely. It was wrong, I acknowledge; for it is the fate of a woman

655 Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that is

speechless, Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its silence. Hence is the inner life of so many suffering women Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean rivers Running through caverns of darkness, unheard, unseen, and unfruitful,

660 Chafing their channels of stone, with endless and profitless

murmurs.”. Thereupon answered John Alden, the young man, the lover

of women: “Heaven forbid it, Priscilla; and truly they seem to me

always More like the beautiful rivers that watered the garden of

Eden, More like the river Euphrates, through deserts of Havilah flowing,

665 Filling the land with delight, and memories sweet of the

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