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Seated them on skins of bison,
Water brought in birchen dippers,
All the old men of the village,
In a circle round the doorway,
Then the Black-Robe chief, the
How he rose from where they laid him,
And the chiefs made answer, saying:
Then they rose up and departed Each one homeward to his wigwam, To the young men and the women Told the story of the strangers Whom the Master of Life bad sent them From the shining land of Wabun.
Heavy with the heat and silence Grew the afternoon of Summer; With adrowsy sound the forest Whispered round the sultry wigwam,
With a sound of sleep the water
Rippled on the beach below it;
From the cornfields shrill and ceaseless
Sang the grasshopper, Pah-pnk-keena
And the guests of Hiawatha,
Weary with the heat of Summer,'
Slumbered in the sultry wigwam.
Slowly o'er the simmering landscape Fell the evening's dusk and coolness, And the long and level sunbeams Shot their spears into the forest, Breaking through its shields of shadow Rushed into each secret ambush, Searched each thicket, dingle, hollow; Still the guests of Hiawatha Slumbered in the silent wigwam.
From his place rose Hiawatha, Bade farewell to old Nokomis, Spake in whispers, spake in this wise, Did notwakethe guests, that slumbered
"I am going, O Nokomis, On a long and distant journey, To the portals of the Sunset, To the regions of the home-wind, Of the Northwest wind, Keewaydin. But these guests I leave behind me, In your watch and waid l leave them; See that never harm comes near them, See that never fear molests them, Never danger nor suspicion, Never want of food or shelter, In the lodge of Hiawatha I"
Forth into the village went he, Bade farewell to all the warriors, Bade farewell to all the young men, Spake persuading, spake in this wise:
"I am going, 0 my people, On a long and distant journey; Many moons and many winters Will have eome, and will have vanished, Ere I come again to see you. But my guests I leave behind me; Listen to their words of wisdom, Listen to the truth they tell you, For the Master of Life has sent them From the land of light and morning!"
On the shore stood Hiawatha, Turned and waved his hand at parting; On the clear and luminous water Launched his birch canoe for sailing, From the pebbles of the margin Shoved it forth into the water; Whis ered to it, "Westward! westward I"
And with speed it darted forward.
And the evening sun descending Set the clouds on fire with redness,
inrned the broad sky, like a prairie,
And the people from the margin
And they said, "Farewell forever!" Said, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!" knd the forests, dark aud lonely,
Moved through all their depths of dark
Sighed, '' Farewell, O Hiawatha!"
Thus departed Hiawatha,
THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH,
In the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of the Pilgrims,
To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling,
Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan leather,
Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan Captain.
Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind him, and pausing
Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of warfare,
Hanging in shining array along the walls of the chamber, —
Cutlass and corselet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus,
Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical Arabic sentence,
While underneath, in a corner, were fowling-piece, musket, and matchlock.
Short of stature he was, but strongly built and athletic,
Broad in the shoulders, deep-chested, with muscles and sinews of iron;
Brown as a nut was his face, but his russet beard was already
Flaked with patches of snow, as hedges sometimes in November.
Near him was seated John Alden, his friend, and household companion,
Writing with diligent speed at a table of pine by the W't'^w;
Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon eo. ''• '. _
Having the dew of his youth, and the beauty the.. ., as the captives
Whom Saint Gregory saw, and exclaimed, "Not Angles, but Angels."
Youngest of all was he of the men who came in the May Flower.
Suddenly breaking the silence, the diligent scribe interrupting,
Here in front yon can see the very dint of the bullet
Fired point-blank at my heart by a Sp»nish arcabucero.
Had it not been of sheer steel, the forgotten bones of Miles Standish
Would at this moment be mould, in their grave in the Flemish morasses."
Thereupon answered John Alden, but looked not up from his writing:
"Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened the speed of the bullet;
He in his mercy preserved you, to be our shield and our weapon!"
Still the Captain continued, unheeding the words of the stripling:
"See, how bright they are burnished, as if in an arsenal hanging;
That is because I have done it myself, and not left it to others.
Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent adage;
So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your inkhorn.
Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible army,
Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock,
Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pillage,
And, like Ceesar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!"
This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams
Dance on the waves of the sea. and vanish again in a moment.
Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued:
"Look ! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted
High on the roof of the church, a preacher who speaks to the purpose,
Steady, straightforward, and strong, with irresistible logic,
Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the hearts of the heathen.
Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of the Indiana;
Let them come, if they like, and the sooner they try it. the better, —
Let them come if they like, be it sagamore, sachem, or pow-wow,
Aspinet, Samoset, Corbitant, Squanto, or Tokamahamon!"
Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed on the landscape, Washed with a cold gray mist, the vapory breath of the east-wind, Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blue rim of the ocean, Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows and sunshine. Over his countenance flitted a shadow like those on the landscape, Gloom intermingled with light; and his voice was subdued with emotion, Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he proceeded: "Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies buried Rose Standish; Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by the wayside! She was the first to die of all who came in the May Flower! Green above her is growing the field of wheat we have sown there, Better to hide from the Indian scouts the graves of our people, Lest they should count them and see how many already have perished I" Sadly his face he averted, and strode up and down, and was thoughtful.
Fixed to the opposite wall was a shelf of books, and among them Prominent three, distinguished alike for bulk and for binding; Bariffe's Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of Caesar Out of the Latin translated by Arthur Goldinge of London, And, as if guarded by these, between them was standing the Bible. Musing a moment before them, Miles Standish paused, as if doubtful Which of the three he should choose for his consolation and comfort, Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous campaigns of the Romans, Or the Artillery practice, designed for belligerent Christians. Finally down from its shelf he dragged the ponderous Roman, Seated himself at the window, and opened the book, and in silence Turned o'er the well-worn leaves, where thumb-marks thick on the margin, Like the trample of feet, proclaimed the battle was hottest, Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of the stripling,
usily writing epistles important, to go by the May Flower,
LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.
Tothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of the stripling,
Ir an occasional sigh from the laboring heart of the Captain,
leading the marvellous words and achievements of Julius Caesar.
liter a while»he exclaimed, as he smote with his hand, palm downwards,
ieavily on tne page : "A wonderful man was this C«sar!
f ou are a writer, and I am a fighter, but here is a fellow
iVho could both write and fight, and in both was equally skilful!"
Straightway answered and spake John Alden, the comely, the youthful:
'Yes, he was equally skilled, as you say, with his pen and his weapons.
iomewhere have I read, but where l forget, he could dictate
;even letters at once, at the same time writing his memoirs."
'Truly," continued the Captain, not heeding or hearing the other,
'• Truly a wonderful man was Caius Julius Ctesar!
?etter be first, he said, in a little Iberian village,
'han be second in Rome, and I think he was right when he said it.
?wice was he married before he was twenty, and many times after;
Jattles five hundred he fought, and a thousand cities he conquered;
le, too, fought in Flanders, as he himself has recorded;
finally he was stabbed by his friend, the orator Brutus!
flow, do you know what he did on a certain occasion in Flanders,
-Vhen the rear-guard of his army retreated, the front giving way too,
Vnd the immortal Twelfth Legion was crowded so closely together
There was no room for their swords? Why, he seized a shield from a soldier,
5ut himself straight at the head of his troops, and commanded the captains,
falling on each by his name, to order forward the ensigns;
Then to widen the ranks, and give more room for their weapons;
5o he won the day, the battle of something-or-other.
That's what I always say; if you wish a thing to be well done,
iTou must do it yourself, you must not leave it to others!"
All was silent again; the Captain continued his reading. Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of the stripling Writing epistles important to go next day by the May Flower, Filled with the name and the fame of the" Puritan maiden Priseilla; Every sentence began or closed with the name of Priseilla, Till the treacherous pen, to which he confided the secret, Strove to betray it by singing and shouting the name of Priseilla! Finally closing his book, with a bang of the ponderous cover, Sudden and loud as the sound of a soldier grounding his musket, Thus to the young man spake Miles Standish the Captain of Plymouth: "When you have finished your work, I have something important to tell yoa. 3e not however in haste; I can wait; I shall not be impatient!" Straightway Alden replied, as he folded the last of his letters, Pushing his papers aside, and giving respectful attention: 'Speak; for whenever you speak, I am always ready to listen,
Always ready to hear whatever pertains to Miles Standish."
Thereupon answered the Captain, embarrassed, and culling his phrases:
"'T is not good for a man to be alone, say the Scriptures.
This I have said before, and again and again I repeat it;
Every hour in the day, I think it, and feel it, and say it.
Since Rose Standish died, my life has been weary and dreary;
Sick at heart have I been, beyond the healing of friendship.
Oft in my lonely hours have I thought of the maiden Priscilla.
She is alone in the world; her father and mother and brother
Died in the winter together; I saw her going and coming,
Now to the grave of the dead, and now to the bed of the living,
Patient, courageous, and strong, and said to myself, that if ever
There were angels on earth, as there are angels in heaven,
Two have I seen and known ; and the angel whose name is Priscilla
Holds in my desolate life the place which the other abandoned.
Long have I cherished the thought, but never have dared to reveal it,
Being a coward in this, though valiant enough for the most part.
Go to the damsel Priscilla, the loveliest maiden of Plymouth,
Say that a blunt old Captain, a man not of words but of actions,
Offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier.
Not in these words, you know, but this in short is my meaning;
I am a maker of war, and not a maker of phrases.
You, who are bred as a scholar, can say it in elegant language,
Such as you read in your books of the pleadings and wooings of lovers,
Such as you think best adapted to win the heart of a maiden."
When he had spoken, John Alden, the fair-haired, taciturn stripling,
"Though I have spoken thus lightly, yet deep is the feeling that prompts me
kindly, he added: