Графични страници
PDF файл

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.

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 wrapt 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 lin

gered 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




THUS for a while he stood, and mused by the

shore of the ocean, Thinking of many things, and most of all of Pris

cilla; And as if thought had the power to draw to itself,

like the loadstone, Whatsoever it touches, by subtile laws of its

nature, Lo! as he turned to depart, Priscilla was standing

beside him.

[ocr errors]

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, impul

sive and wayward, Pleaded your own, and spake out, forgetful per

haps of decorum?

[ocr errors]

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, Spilt on the ground like water, can

never be gathered together. Yesterday I was shocked, when I heard you

speak of Miles Standish, Praising his virtues, transforming his very de

fects 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 exalt

ing your hero. Therefore I spake as I did, by an irresistible im

pulse. You will forgive me, I hope, for the sake of the

friendship between us,

\Vhich 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 keeping.”

« ПредишнаНапред »