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Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the ford in

the forest, Pleased with the image that passed, like a dream of love

through its bosom, Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depths of the azure

abysses. Down through the golden leaves the sun was pouring his

splendors, Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches above them

suspended, Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine

and the fir-tree, Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley of

Eshcol.1 Like a picture it seemed of the primitive, pastoral ages, Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling Rebecca and Isaac,

1015 Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always, Love immortal and young in the endless succession of

lovers. So through the Plymouth woods passed onward the bridal

procession. 1 Compare Numbers, xiii. 23 and 24. According to the Bible story, Moses sent spies to view the Promised Land (Canaan) and bring back an account of it. From a grapevine near a brook, they cut off a branch bearing a cluster of grapes so enormous that two men carried it on a staff. They named the brook Eshcol, a Hebrew word meaning cluster of grapes.

2 In early times, people lived more in the open. Their flocks and herds were their livelihood, and many used tents instead of houses.

3 The story of Rebecca and Isaac is related in the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis.



Historical information — Quotations from Historical Sources Comments— Words to be Defined - Phrases to be Explained Excerpts for Scansion — Figures of Speech to be Interpreted — Questions forming a Study of the Poem - Excerpts to be





The Courtship of Miles Standish was published in 1858. Longfellow was then fifty-one years of age, and at the best of his literary power.

A pilgrim is one who travels, usually on a religious errand. The Pilgrims in our story were the one hundred and two religious pioneers who came to America in the Mayflower.

Topics for Conversation 1. Longfellow — his life and works. 2. The poem – in what year written — at what part of

the poet's career. 3. Form of the poem — dramatic, lyric, or narrative. See

if you can still further classify it. How many forms of narrative poem do you know? Name two cele

brated narrative poems and give the author of each. 4. What constitutes a plot? Is there a plot in The Court

ship? 5. The climax of a story is usually the turning-point of the

plot. In which chapter of The Courtship is the climax

reached? 6. The dénouement is the unraveling of the plot. What is

the dénouement in The Courtship? 7. What do we call the ending of a tragedy? Is it a happy


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