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Closing the sightless eyes of the dead, and concealing their
faces Where on their,pallets they lay, like drifts of snow by the road-side. \
Many a languid head, upraised as Evangeline entered,
Fell on their hearts like a ray of the sun on the walls of a ' prison. _
And, as she looked around, she saw how Death, the consoler,
Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it for ever.
Suddenly, as if arrested by fear 6r a feeling of wonder,
Still she stood, with her colorless lips apart, while a shudder
Ran through her frame, and, forgotten, the fiowerets dropped from her fingers ,
And from her eyes and cheeks the light and bloom of the morning.
Then there escaped from -her lips a cry of such terrible anguish,
That the dying heard it, and started up from their pillows.
On the pallet before her was stretched the form of an old man.
Long, and thin, and gray were the locks that shaded his temples;
But, as he lay in the morning light, his face for a moment
Seemed to assume once more the forms of its earlier manhood;
So are wont to be changed the faces of those who are dying.
Hot and red on his lips still burned the flush of the fever,
As if life, like the Hebrew, with blood had besprinkled its portals,
That the Angel of Death might see the sign, and pass over.
Motionless, senseless, dying, he lay, and his spirit ex
Seemed to be sinking down through infinite depths in the darkness,
Darkness of slumber and death, for ever sinking and sinking.
Then through those realms of shade, in multiplied reverberations,
Heard he that cry of pain, and through the hush that succeeded
\Vhispered a gentle voice , in accents tender and saint-like,
“ Gabriel! 0 my beloved!" and died away into silence.
Then he beheld, in a dream, once more the home of his childhood;
Green Acadian meadows, with sylvan rivers among them,
Village, and mountain, and woodlands; and, walking under their shadow, ’
As in the days of her youth, Evangeline rose in his vision.
Tears came into his eyes; and as slowly he lifted his eyelids ,'
Vanished the vision away, but Evangeline knelt by his bedside.
Vainly he strove to whisper her name, for the accents unuttered I
Died on his lips, and their motion revealed what his tongue would have spoken.
Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him,
Kissed his dying lips, and laid his head on her bosom.
Sweet was the light of his eyes; but it suddenly sank into darkness,
As whena lamp is blown out by a gust of wind at a casement.
All was ended now, the hope, and the fear, and the sorrow, All the aching of heart, the restless, unsatisfied longing, All the dull, deep pain, and constant anguish of patience!
And , as she pressed once more the lifeless head to her bosom , Meekly she bowed her own, and murmured, “Father, I thank thee ! "
STILL stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow,
Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping.
Under the humble walls of the little Catholic church-yard ,
In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed.
Daily the tides of life g0 ebbing and flowing beside them ,
Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and for ever,
Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy,
Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labors ,
Thousands of weary feet , where theirs have completed their journey!
Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its
Dwells another race, with other customs and language.
Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic
Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile
Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom.
In the fisherman’s cot the wheel and the loom are still busy;
Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of homespun ,
And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline’ story,
While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighbouring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers‘ the wail of the forest.
THE SEASIDE AND THE FIRESIDE. 1 8 5 O.
As one who , walking in the twilight gloom,
And seeing not the forms from which they come,
So walking here in twilight, O my friends!
If any thought of mine, or sung or told,
Ye have repaid me back a thousand fold,
Thanks for the sympathies that ye have shown!
Kind messages , that pass from land to land; Kind letters, that betray the heart’s deep history, In which we feel the pressure of a hand , — One touch of fire, — and all the rest is mystery! Longfellow. I. 22
The pleasant books, that silently among
Our household treasures take familiar places , And are to us as if a living tongue
Spake from the printed leaves or pictured faces!
Perhaps on earth I never shall behold ,
With eye of sense, your outward form and semblance; Therefore to me ye never will grow old,
But live for ever young in my remembrance.
Never grow old, nor change, nor pass away!
When life grows bare and tarnished with decay,
Not chance of birth or place has made us friends,
Therefore I hope to join your seaside walk,
Therefore I hope , as no unwelcome guest,
At your warm fireside , when the lamps are lighted, To have my place reserved among the rest,
Nor stand as one unsought and uninvited!