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Saying a few last words, and enforcing his careful remembrance.
Then, taking each by the hand, as if he were grasping a tiller,
Into the boat he sprang, and in haste shoved off to his vessel, 594
Glad in his heart to get rid of all this worry and flurry,
Glad to be gone from a land of sand and sickness and sorrow,
Short allowance of victual, and plenty of nothing but Gospel!
Lost in the sound of the oars was the last farewell of the Pilgrims.
0 strong hearts and true! not one went back in the
Mayflower! No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to this ploughing ! 600
Soon were heard on board the shouts and songs of the sailors Heaving the windlass round, and hoisting the ponderous anchor. Then the yards were braced, and all sails set to the west-wind, Blowing steady and strong; and the Mayflower sailed from the harbor,
Rounded the point of the Gurnet, and leaving far to the southward 605
Island and cape of sand, and the Field of the First Encounter,
Took the wind on her quarter, and stood for the open Atlantic,
Borne on the send of the sea, and the swelling hearts of the Pilgrims.
Long in silence they watched the receding sail of the vessel, Much endeared to them all, as something living and human; ' 610 Then, as if filled with the spirit, and wrapt in a vision prophetic, Baring his hoary head, the excellent Elder of Plym
outh Said, “Let us pray l ” and they prayed, and thanked the Lord and took courage. .
6“ Gurnet: asandy spit of land enclosing the northern part of Plymouth Bay. It was named from a similar cape in England.
605 Island: Clark Island in Plymouth Bay.
Cape of sand: it probably means Cape Cod.
Field of the First Encounter: the place on Cape Cod where they had their first strife with the Indians. See the sketch of the Pilgrims in the preface.
511 Filled with the spirit: look up Ephesians v. 18.
Mournfully sobbed the waves at the base of the rock, and above them
Bowed and whispered the wheat on the hill of death, and their kindred 615
Seemed to awake in their graves, and to join in the prayer that they uttered.
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 forever all hope of escaping.
L0! as they turned to depart, they saw the form of an Indian, 620
Watching them from the hill; but while they spake with each other,
Pointing with outstretched hands, and saying, “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, 625 Like the spirit of God, moving visibly over the waters.
5% Spirit of God: look up Genesis i. 2.
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, 630
L0! 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
629 Loadstone: sometimes spelled lodestone, and also called a magnet. It is a piece of iron ore which is capable of attracting other pieces of iron. It was put to its most famous use after it was learned that a needle made of it and suspended so that it could move freely, pointed steadily to the north. From this was constructed the mariner’s compass, by the use of which sailors may direct the course of their ship out of sight of land. Thus the modern art of navigation was made possible.
Warmly the cause of another, my heart, impulsive and wayward,
Pleaded your own, and spake out, forgetful perhaps of decorum ? 63 5
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 se
cret, 64o 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 defects 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, 64;
641 Spilt on the ground like water: look up II Samuel xiv. 14.