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MAYFLOWER

Meanwhile the Master alert, but with dignified air and important,

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

Walked about on the sands; and the people crowded around him

Saying a few last words, and enforcing his careful remembrance.
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,

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 Mayflower!

No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to this plowing!

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 Encounter,
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.

MAYFLOWER

Long in silence they watched the receding sail of the vessel, Much endeared to them all, as something living and human;

Then, as if filled with the spirit, and rapt in a vision prophetic,
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
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 graveyard;

Buried beneath it lay for ever all hope of escaping.

Lo! as they turned to depart, they saw the form of an Indian,

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

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