Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Stern as a soldier might be, but hearty, and placable always, Not to be laughed at and scorned, because he was little of stature ; For he was great of heart, magnanimous, courtly, courageous; Any woman in Plymouth, nay, any woman in England, Might be happy and proud to be called the wife of Miles Standish

But as he warmed and glowed, in his simple and eloquent language, Quite forgetful of self, and full of the praise of his rival, Archly the maiden smiled, and, with eyes overrunning with laughter, Said, in a tremulous voice, “Why don’t you

speak for yourself, John 7”

[ocr errors][merged small]

INTO the open air John Alden, perplexed and bewildered,

Rushed like a man insane, and wandered alone by the sea-side;

Paced up and down the sands, and bared his head to the east-wind,

Cooling his heated brow, and the fire and fever within him.

Slowly as out of the heavens, with apocalyptical splendors,

Sank the City of God, in the vision of John the Apostle,

So, with its cloudy walls of chrysolite, jasper, and Sapphire,

Sank the broad red sun, and over its turrets uplifted

Glimmered the golden reed of the angel who

measured the city.

“Welcome, O wind of the East !” he exclaimed in his wild exultation, “Welcome, O wind of the East, from the caves of the misty Atlantic | Blowing o'er fields of dulse, and measureless meadows of sea-grass, Blowing o'er rocky wastes, and the grottos and gardens of ocean' Lay thy cold, moist hand on my burning forehead, and wrap me Close in thy garments of mist, to allay the Like an awakened conscience, the sea was moaning and tossing, Beating remorseful and loud the mutable sands of the sea-shore. Fierce in his soul was the struggle and tumult of passions contending; Love triumphant and crowned, and friendship wounded and bleeding, Passionate cries of desire, and importunate pleadings of duty “Is it my fault,” he said, “that the maiden has chosen between us? Is it my fault that he failed, - my fault that I am the victor 7° Then within him there thundered a voice, like the voice of the Prophet: “It hath displeased the Lord!” — and he thought of David’s transgression, Bathsheba's beautiful face, and his friend in the front of the battle !

fever within me !”

Shame and confusion of guilt, and abasement and self-condemnation,

Overwhelmed him at once ; and he cried in the deepest contrition:

“It hath displeased the Lord! It is the temp

tation of Satan l’”

Then, uplifting his head, he looked at the sea, and beheld there Dimly the shadowy form of the May Flower riding at anchor, Rocked on the rising tide, and ready to sail on the morrow ; Heard the voices of men through the mist, the rattle of cordage Thrown on the deck, the shouts of the mate, and the sailors’ “Ay, ay, Sir ” Clear and distinct, but not loud, in the dripping air of the twilight. Still for a moment he stood, and listened, and

stared at the vessel,

« ПредишнаНапред »