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Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and

stood with the bride at the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and

beautiful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and

sad in the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and

privation; There were the graves of the dead, and the

barren waste of the sea-shore, There the familiar fields, the groves of pine,

and the meadows; But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the

Garden of Eden, Filled with the presence of God, whose voice

was the sound of the ocean.

Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise

and stir of departure, Friends coming forth from the house, and im

patient of longer delaying,

Each with his plan for the day, and the work

that was left uncompleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclama

tions of wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy,

so proud of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white steer, obeying the

hand of its master, Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring

in its nostrils, Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion

placed for a saddle. She should not walk, he said, through the dust

and heat of the noonday ; Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod

along like a peasant. Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by

the others, Placing her hand on the cushion, her foot in

the hand of her husband,

Gayly, with joyous laugh, Priscilla mounted

her palfrey. “ Nothing is wanting now," he said with a

smile, “but the distaff; Then you would be in truth my queen, my

beautiful Bertha !”

Onward the bridal procession now moved to

their new habitation, Happy husband and wife, and friends convers

ing together. 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. Like a picture it seemed of the primitive, pas

toral ages,

Fresh with the youth of the world, and recall

ing Rebecca and Isaac, Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful

always, Love immortal and young in the endless suc

cession of lovers. So through the Plymouth woods passed onward

the bridal procession.

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