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Though the plowshare cut through the flowers of life to its fountains,
Though it pass o'er the graves of the dead and the hearths of the living,
It is the will of the Lord; and His mercy endureth for ever!"
So he entered the house : and the hum of the wheel and the singing
Suddenly ceased; for Priscilla, aroused by his step on the threshold,
Saying, “I knew it was you, when I heard your step in the passage;
For I was thinking of you, as I sat there singing and spinning."
Silent before her he stood, and gave her the flowers for an answer,
Finding no words for his thought. He remembered that day in the winter,
After the first great snow, when he broke a path from the village,
Reeling and plunging along through the drifts that encumbered the doorway,
Now it was all too late; the golden moment had vanished !
So he stood there abashed, and gave her the flowers for an answer.
Then they sat down and talked of the birds and the beautiful springtime,
Talked of their friends at home, and the Mayflower that sailed on the morrow.
“I have been thinking all day,” said gently the Puritan maiden,
“Dreaming all night, and thinking all day, of the hedge-rows of England,
They are in blossom now, and the country is all like a garden ;
And, at the end of the street, the village church, with the ivy
Climbing the old gray tower, and the quiet graves in the churchyard.
Kind are the people I live with, and dear to me my religion;
Still my heart is so sad, that I wish myself back in Old England.
You will say it is wrong, but I can not help it: I almost
Wish myself back in Old England, I feel so lonely and wretched.”
Thereupon answered the youth: “Indeed I do not condemn you ;
Stouter hearts than a woman's have quailed in this terrible winter.