Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

“He is a little chimney, and heated hot in a moment!”

But as he gently rebuked her, and told her how much he had suffered, –

How he had even determined to sail that day in the May Flower,

And had remained for her sake, on hearing the dangers that threatened, –

All her manner was changed, and she said with a faltering accent,

“Truly I thank you for this: how good you

have been to me always!”

Thus, as a pilgrim devout, who toward Jerusalem journeys, Taking three steps in advance, and one reluctantly backward, Urged by importunate zeal, and withheld by pangs of contrition; Slowly but steadily onward, receding yet ever

advancing,

Journeyed this Puritan youth to the Holy Land of his longings, Urged by the fervor of love, and withheld by

remorseful misgivings.

VII.

THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH.

MEANWHILE the stalwart Miles Standish was marching steadily northward, Winding through forest and swamp, and along the trend of the sea-shore, All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his anger Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous odor of powder Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than all the scents of the forest. Silent and moody he went, and much he re

volved his discomfort;

He who was used to success, and to easy victories always, Thus to be flouted, rejected, and laughed to scorn by a maiden, Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend whom most he had trusted Ah! 'twas too much to be borne, and he fret

ted and chafed in his armor'

“I alone am to blame,” he muttered, “for mine was the folly. What has a rough old soldier, grown grim and gray in the harness, Used to the camp and its ways, to do with the wooing of maidens 2. 'Twas but a dream, - let it pass, – let it vanish like so many others! What I thought was a flower, is only a weed, and is worthless ; Out of my heart will I pluck it, and throw it

away, and henceforward

Be but a fighter of battles, a lover and wooer of dangers!” Thus he revolved in his mind his sorry defeat and discomfort, While he was marching by day or lying at night in the forest, Looking up at the trees, and the constellations

beyond them.

After a three days' march he came to an Indian encampment Pitched on the edge of a meadow, between the sea and the forest; Women at work by the tents, and the warriors, horrid with war-paint, Seated about a fire, and Smoking and talking together ; Who, when they saw from afar the sudden approach of the white men, Saw the flash of the sun on breastplate and

sabre and musket,

« ПредишнаНапред »