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VIII,

THE SPINNING-WHEEL,

Month after month passed away, and in Autumn the ships of the merchants

Came with kindred and friends, with cattle and corn for the Pilgrims.

All in the Tillage was peace; the men were intent on their labors,

Busy with hewing and building, with gardenplot and with merestead,

Busy with breaking the glebe, and mowing the grass in the meadows, .

Searching the sea for its fish, and hunting the deer in the forest.

All in the village was peace; but at times the rumor of warfare

Filled the air with alarm, and the apprehension of danger.

Bravely the stalwart Miles Standish was scouring the land with his forces,

Waxing valiant in light and defeating the alien armies,

Till his name had become a sound of fear to the nations.

Anger was still in his heart, but at times the remorse and contrition

Which in all noble natures succeed the passionate outbreak,

Came like a rising tide, that encounters the rush of a river,

Staying its current awhile, but making it bitter and brackish.

Meanwhile Alden at home had built him a new habitation,

Solid, substantial, of timber rough-hewn from

the firs of the forest. "Wooden-barred was the door, and the roof was

covered with rushes; Latticed the windows were, and the windowpanes were of paper, Oiled to admit the light, while wind and rain

were excluded. There too he dug a well, and around it planted

an orchard: Still may be seen to this day some trace of the

well and the orchard. Close to the house was the stall, where, safe

and secure from annoyance, Raghorn, the snow-white steer, that had fallen

to Alden's allotment In the division of cattle, might ruminate in the

night-time Over the pastures he cropped, made fragrant

by sweet pennyroyal.

Oft when his labor was finished, with eager feet would the dreamer

Follow the pathway that ran through the woods to the house of Priscilla,

Led by illusions romantic and subtile deceptions of fancy,

Pleasure disguised as duty, and love in the semblance of friendship.

Ever of her he thought, when he fashioned the walls of his dwelling;

Ever of her he thought, when he delved in the soil of his garden;

Ever of her he thought, when he read in his Bible on Sunday

Praise of the virtuous woman, as she is described in the Proverbs, —

How the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her always,

How all the days of her life she will do him good, and not evil,

How she seeketh the wool and the flax and

worketh with gladness, How she layeth her hand to the spindle and

holdeth the distaff, How she is not afraid of the snow for herself

or her household, Knowing her household are clothed with the

scarlet cloth of her weaving!

So as she sat at her wheel one afternoon in the Autumn,

Alden, who opposite sat, and was watching her dexterous fingers,

As if the thread she was spinning were that of his life and his fortune,

After a pause in their talk, thus spake to the sound of the spindle.

"Truly, Priscilla," he said, "when I see you spinning and spinning,

Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of others,

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