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Falling back a little, and waiting for Robert Pike and Cousin Broughton to come up, I found them marvelling at the coming of the young gentleman, who it did seem had no special concernment in these parts, other than his acquaintance with Rebecca, and his desire of her company. Robert Pike, as is natural, looks upon him with no great partiality, yet he doth admit him to be well-bred, and of much and varied knowledge, acquired by far travel as well as study. I must say, I like not his confident and bold manner and bearing toward my fair cousin; and he hath more the likeness of a cast-off dangler at the court, than of a modest and seemly country gentleman, of a staid and well-ordered house. Mistress Broughton says he was not at first accredited in Boston, but that her father, and Mr. Atkinson, and the chief people there now, did hold him to be not only what he professeth, as respecteth his gentlemanly lineage, but also learned and ingenious, and well-versed in the Scriptures, and the works of godly writers, both of ancient and modern time. I noted that Robert was very silent during the rest of our journey, and seemed abashed and troubled in the presence of the gay gentleman; for, although a fair and comely youth, and of good family and estate, and accounted solid and judicious beyond his years, he does, nevertheless, much lack the ease and ready wit with which the latter commendeth himself to my sweet kinswoman.
We crossed about noon a broad stream near to the sea, very deep and miry, so that we wetted our hose and skirts somewhat; and soon, to our great joy, beheld the pleasant cleared fields and dwellings of the settlement, stretching along for a goodly distance; while, beyond all, the great ocean rolled, blue and cold, under an high easterly wind. Passing through a broad path, with well-tilled fields on each hand, where men were busy planting corn, and young maids dropping the seed, we came at length to Uncle Rawson's plantation, looking wellnigh as fair and broad as the lands of Hilton Grange, with a good frame house, and large barns thereon. Turning up the lane, we were met by the housekeeper, a respectable kinswoman, who received us with great civility. Sir Thomas, although pressed to stay, excused himself for the time, promising to call on the morrow, and rode on to the ordinary. I was sadly tired with my journey, and was glad to be shown to a chamber and a comfortable bed.
I was awakened this morning by the pleasant voice of my cousin, who shared my bed. She had arisen and thrown open the window looking toward the sunrising, and the air came in soft and warm, and laden with the sweets of flowers and green-growing things. And when I had gotten myself ready, I sat with her at the window, and I think I may say it was with a feeling of praise and thanksgiving that mine eyes wandered up and down over the green meadows, and corn-fields, and orchards of
my new home. Where, thought I, foolish one, be the terrors of the wilderness, which troubled thy daily thoughts and thy nightly dreams! Where be the gloomy shades, and desolate mountains, and the wild beasts, with their dismal howlings and rages! Here all looked peaceful, and bespoke comfort and contentedness. Even the great woods which climbed up the hills in the distance looked thin and soft, with their faint young leaves a yellowish-gray, intermingled with pale, silvery shades, indicating, as my cousin saith, the different kinds of trees, some of which, like the willow, do put on their leaves early, and others late, like the oak, with which the whole region aboundeth. A sweet, quiet picture it was, with a warm sun, very bright and clear, shining over it, and the great sea, glistening with the exceeding light, bounding the view of mine eyes, but bearing my thoughts, like swift ships, to the land of my birth, and so uniting, as it were, the New World with the Old. Oh, thought I, the merciful God, who reneweth the earth and maketh it glad and brave with greenery and flowers of various hues and smells, and causeth his south winds to blow and his rains to fall, that seed-time may not fail, doth even here, in the ends of his creation, prank and beautify the work of his hands, making the desert places to rejoice, and the wilderness to blossom as the rose. Verily his love is over all,—the Indian heathen as well as the English Christian. And what abundant cause for thanks have I, that I have been safely landed on a shore so fair and pleasant, and enabled to open mine eyes in peace and love on so sweet a May morning! And I was minded of a verse which I learned from my dear and honored mother when a child,
"Teach me, my God, thy love to know,
That this new light, which now I see,
When we went below, we found on the window-seat which looketh to the roadway, a great bunch of flowers of many kinds, such as I had never seen in mine own country, very fresh, and glistening with the dew. Now, when Rebecca took them up, her sister said, "Nay, they are not Sir Thomas's gift, for young Pike hath just left them." Whereat, as I thought, she looked vexed, and ill at ease. "They are yours, then, Cousin Margaret," said she, rallying, "for Robert and you did ride aside all the way from Agawam, and he scarce spake to me the day long. I see I have lost mine old lover, and my little cousin hath found a new one. I shall write Cousin Oliver all about it."-"Nay," said I, "old lovers are better than new; but I fear my sweet cousin hath not so considered it." She blushed, and looked aside, and for some space of time I did miss her smile, and she spake little.
THE BAREFOOT BOY.
LESSINGS on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan! With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill; With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace; From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,-the grown-up man Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
O for boyhood's painless play,
And the ground-mole sinks his well;
How the robin feeds her young,
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Hand in hand with her he walks,
O for boyhood's time of June,
When all things I heard or saw,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Still as my horizon grew,
O for festal dainties spread,
Cheerily, then, my little man,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat:
All too soon these feet must hide
She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And blushed as she gave it, looking down
"Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught
He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether