« AnteriorContinuar »
Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with emotion, “ Forgive me!
Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet their rejoicing, Thus to behold once more the sun-burnt face of their Captain, Whom they had mourned as dead; and they gathered and crowded
about him, 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 doorway, 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; But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the Garden of Eden, Filled with the presence of God, whose voice was the sound of the ocean.
Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise and stir of departure, Friends coming forth from the house, and impatient of longer delaying, Each with his plan for the day, and the work that was left uncompleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclamations of wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy, so proud of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white bull, obeying the hand of its master, Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring in its nostrils, Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion placed for a saddle. She should not walk, he said, through the dust and heat of the noon
day; . Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod along like a peasant.
Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by the others,
Onward the bridal procession now moved to their new habitation, Happy husband and wife, and friends conversing together. Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the ford in the forest, Pleased with the image that passed, like a dream of love through its
bosom, Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depths of the azure abysses. Down through the golden leaves the sun was pouring his splendours, Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches above them suspended, Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine and the fir-tree, Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley of Eschol. Like a picture it seemed of the primitive, pastoral ages, Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling Rebecca and Isaac, Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always, Love immortal and young in the endless succession of lovers. So through the Plymouth woods passed onward the bridal procession.
Tales of a Wayside Inn.
DAY THE FIRST.
THE WAYSIDE INN.
ONE Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the road the barns display Across the meadows bare and brown, Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, The windows of the wayside inn
Through the wide doors the breezes blow, Gleamed red with fire-light through the The wattled cocks strut to and fro, leaves
And, half effaced by rain and shine, Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Their crimson curtains rent and thin. As ancient is this hostelry
Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode As any in the land may be,
Deep silence reigned, save wben a gust Built in the old Colonial day,
Went rushing down the county road, When men lived in a grander way,
And skeletons of leaves, and dust, With ampler hospitality;
A moment quickened by its breath, A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall,
Shuddered and danced their dance of
death, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall,
And through the ancient oaks o'erhead And stairways worn, and crazy doors,
Mysterious voices moaned and fled.
A pleasant murmur smote the ear,
Like water rushing through a weir ; A place of slumber and of dreams, Oft interrupted by the din Remote among the wooded hills ! Of laughter and of loud applause, For there no noisy railway speeds, | And, in each intervening pause, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; The music of a violin. But noon and night, the panting teams. The fire-light, shedding over all Stop under the great oaks, that throw The splendour of its ruddy glow, Tangles of light and shade below, Filled the whole parlour large and low; On roofs and doors and window-sills. It gleamed on wainscot and on wall,
It touched with more than wonted His coat-of-arms, well framed and glazed, grace
Upon the wall in colours blazed ; Fair Princess Mary's pictured face ; He beareth gules upon his shield, It bronzed the rafters overhead,
A chevron argent in the field, On the old spinet's ivory keys
With three wolves' heads, and for the crest It played inaudible melodies,
A Wyvern part-per-pale addressed It crowned the sombre clock with flame, Upon a helmet barred; below The hands, the hours, the maker's name, The scroll reads, “ By the name of Howe.” And painted with a livelier red
And over this, no longer bright, The Landlord's coat-of-arms again; Though glimmering with a latent light, And, flashing on the window-pane, Was hung the sword his grandsire bore, Emblazoned with its light and shade
In the rebellious days of yore, The jovial rhymes, that still remain, Down there at Concord in the fight. Writ near a century ago, By the great Major Molineaux,
A youth was there, of quiet ways, Whom Hawthorne has immortal made. A Student of old books and days,
To whom all tongues and lands were known, Before the blazing fire of wood
And yet a lover of his own ;
And yet a friend of solitude ;
A man of such a genial mood, And seemed to listen, till he caught The beart of all things he embraced, Confessions of its secret thought,
And yet of such fastidious taste, The joy, the triumph, the lament, He never found the best too good. The exultation and the pain ;
Books were his passion and delight, Then, by the magic of his art,
And in his upper room at home He soothed the throbbings of its heart, Stood many a rare and sumptuous tome, And lulled it into peace again.
In velluin bound, with gold bedight,
Great volumes garmented in white, Around the fireside, at their ease, Recalling Florence, Pisa, Rome. There sat a group of friends, entranced He loved the twilight that surrounds With the delicious melodies;
The border land of old romance ; Who from the far-off noisy town
Where glitter hauberk, helm, and lance, Had to the wayside inn come down, And banner waves, and trumpet sounds, To rest beneath its old oak-trees. And ladies ride with hawk on wrist, The fire-light on their faces glanced, And mighty warriors sweep along, Their shadows on the wainscot danced, Magnified by the purple mist, And, though of different lands and speech, The dusk of centuries and of song. Each had his tale to tell, and each The chronicles of Charlemagne, Was anxious to be pleased and please. Of Merlin and the Mort d'Arthure, And while the sweet musician plays, Mingled together in his brain Let me in outline sketch them all, With tales of Flores and Blanchefieur, Perchance uncouthly as the blaze Sir Ferumbras, Sir Eglamour, With its uncertain touch portrays Sir Launcelot, Sir Morgadour, Their shadowy semblance on the wall. | Sir Guy, Sir Bevis, Sir Gawain.
But first the Landlord will I trace; A young Sicilian, too, was there;-
In sight of Etna born and bred,
Some breath of its volcanic air
Was glowing in his heart and brain,
His face was like a summer night, | And all the Fables of Pilpay,
Or if not all, the greater part, His hands were small; his teeth shone Well versed was he in Hebrew books, wbite
| Talmud and Targum, and the lore
His eyes seemed gazing far away,
He heard the solemn sack but play,
Of Cambridge on the Charles, was there; And most of all the Immortal Four Skilful alike with tongue and pen, Of Italy; and next to those
He preached to all men everywhere The story-telling bard of prose,
The Gospel of the Golden Rule, Who wrote the joyous Tuscan tale
The New Commandment given to men, Of the Decameron, that make
Thinking the deed, and not the creed, Fiesole's green hills and vales
Would help us in our utmost need. Remembered for Boccaccio's sake.
With reverend feet the earth he trod, Much too of music was bis thought; Nor banished nature from his plan, The melodies and measures fraught But studied still with deep research With sunshine and the open air,
To build the Universal Church, Of vineyards and the singing sea
Lofty as is the love of God, Of his beloved Sicily;
And ample as the wants of man. And much it pleased him to peruse The songs of the Sicilian muse, - A Poét, too, was there, whose verse Bucolic songs by Meli sung
Was tender, musical, and terse; In the familiar peasant tongue,
The inspiration, the delight, That made men say, “Behold! once The gleam, the glory, the swift flight, more
Of thoughts so sudden, that they seem The pitying gods to earth restore The revelations of a dream, Theocritus of Syracuse !”
All these were his; but with them came
No envy of another's fame; A Spanish Jew from Alicant,
He did not find his sleep less sweet With aspect grand and grave, was there; For music in some neighbouring street, Vender of silks and fabrics rare,
Nor rustling hear in every breeze
While living, good report when dead,
Fair-baired, blue-eyed, his aspect blithe Like the soft aromatic gales
His figure tall and straight and lithe, That meet the mariner, who sails And every feature of his face Through the Moluccas, and the seas Revealing his Norwegian race ; That wash the shores of Celebes. A radiance, streaming from within, All stories that recorded are
Around his eyes and forehead beamed, By Pierre Alphonse he knew by heart, The Angel with the violin, And it was rumoured he could say Painted by Raphael, he seemed. The Parables of Sandabar,
He lived in that ideal world