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Saying, in thundering tones : “Here, take it! this is

your answer!" Silently out of the room then glided the glistening

savage, Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like a

serpent, Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of

the forest.

480

V

THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER

Just in the gray of the dawn, as the mists uprose

from the meadows, There was a stir and a sound in the slumbering village

of Plymouth; Clanging and clicking of arms, and the order impera

tive, “Forward ! " Given in tone suppressed, a tramp of feet, and then silence.

485 Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out of the

village. Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his valor

ous army, 487 Eight: there were twelve drilled men. Why did he not take the remaining four?

Led by their Indian guide, by Hobomok, friend of the

white men,

490

Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt of the

savage. Giants they seemed in the mist, or the mighty men of

King David; Giants in heart they were, who believed in God and

the Bible, Ay, who believed in the smiting of Midianites and

Philistines. Over them gleamed far off the crimson banners of

morning; Under them loud on the sands, the serried billows,

advancing, Fired along the line, and in regular order retreated.

495

Many a mile had they marched, when at length the

village of Plymouth

490 Who was King David ? Had he any other reputation than that of a warrior ?

492 Midianites: look up Exodus ii. 15. From the Bible text, what is the probable location of this country?

Philistines: look up Exodus xiii. 17. What is the probable location of Philistia ? Why did the Israelites smite the Midianites and Philistines?

498-495 Of what is this a description?

Woke from its sleep, and arose, intent on its manifold

labors. Sweet was the air and soft; and slowly the smoke

from the chimneys Rose over roofs of thatch, and pointed steadily east

ward;

Men came forth from the doors, and paused and talked of the weather,

500 Said that the wind had changed, and was blowing fair

for the Mayflower; Talked of their Captain's departure, and all the dan

gers that menaced, He being gone, the town, and what should be done in

his absence. Merrily sang the birds, and the tender voices of

women

Consecrated with hymns the common cares of the household.

505 Out of the sea rose the sun, and the billows rejoiced

at his coming; Beautiful were his feet on the purple tops of the

mountains; Beautiful on the sails of the Mayflower riding at

anchor, 501 Why is the wind said to be “blowing fair for the Mayflower"? 507 Look up Isaiah lii. 7.

her canvas,

Battered and blackened and worn by all the storms of

the winter. Loosely against her masts was hanging and flapping

510 Rent by so many gales, and patched by the hands of

the sailors. Suddenly from her side, as the sun rose

over the ocean, Darted a puff of smoke, and floated seaward ; anon

rang Loud over field and forest the cannon's roar, and the

echoes Heard and repeated the sound, the signal-gun of departure!

515 Ah! but with louder echoes replied the hearts of the

people! Meekly, in voices subdued, the chapter was read from

the Bible, Meekly the prayer was begun, but ended in fervent

entreaty ! Then from their houses in haste came forth the Pil

grims of Plymouth, Men and women and children, all hurrying down to the sea-shore,

520 Eager, with tearful eyes, to say farewell to the May

flower,

B

Homeward bound o’er the sea, and leaving them here

in the desert.

Foremost among them was Alden. All night he

had lain without slumber, Turning and tossing about in the heat and unrest of

his fever. He had beheld Miles Standish, who came back late from the council,

525 Stalking into the room, and heard him mutter and

murmur, Sometimes it seemed a prayer, and sometimes it sounded

like swearing. Once he had come to the bed, and stood there a mo

ment in silence; Then he had turned away, and said: “I will not

awake him; Let him sleep on, it is best; for what is the use of more talking !”

530 Then he extinguished the light, and threw himself

down on his pallet, Dressed as he was, and ready to start at the break of

the morning,

522 Desert: is Plymouth county a desert? What would be a better word? See if it will fit into the line.

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