Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

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 es

caping 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,

66 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.

VI.

PRISCILLA.

Thus for a while he stood, and mused by the

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

Priscilla; 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.

“ 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

perhaps of decorum ? 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 ex

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

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

the friendship between us, Which 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."

“No!” interrupted the maiden, with answer

prompt and decisive; “No; you were angry with me, for speaking

so frankly and freely. It was wrong, I acknowledge ; for it is the fate

of a woman Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a

ghost that is speechless, Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell

of its silence.

Hence is the inner life of so many suffering

women

Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean

rivers

Running through caverns of darkness, unheard,

unseen, and unfruitful, Chafing their channels of stone, with endless

and profitless murmurs.” Thereupon answered John Alden, the young

man, the lover of women:

« ПредишнаНапред »