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As if an iron will had mastered the fleeting


But when were ended the troth and the

prayer and the last benediction,

Into the room it strode, and the people beheld with amazement

Bodily there in his armor Miles Standish, the Captain of Plymouth!

Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with emotion, "Forgive me!

I have been angry and hurt, - too long have I cherished the feeling;

I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God! it is ended.

Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of Hugh Standish,

Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error.

Never so much as now was Miles Standish the friend of John Alden."

Thereupon answered the bridegroom: "Let all be forgotten between us, —

All save the dear, old friendship, and that shall grow older and dearer !”

Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted Priscilla,

Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry in England,

Something of camp and of court, of town and of country, commingled,

Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly lauding her husband.

Then he said with a smile: "I should have remembered the adage,


If you would be well served, you must serve yourself; and moreover,

No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of Christmas!"

Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet their rejoicing,

Thus to behold once more the sunburnt face of their Captain,

Whom they had mourned as dead; and they gathered and crowded about


Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride and of bridegroom,

Questioning, answering, laughing, and each interrupting the other,

Till the good Captain declared, being quite overpowered and bewildered,

He had rather by far break into an Indian encampment,

Than come again to a wedding to which he had not been invited.

Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and stood with the bride at the door


Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and beautiful morning.

Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and sad in the sunshine,

Lay extended before them the land of toil and privation;

There were the graves of the dead, and the barren waste of the sea-shore,

There the familiar fields, the groves of pine, and the meadows;

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