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ear,

And all these years had Martha Hilton And then the feast went on, as others do, served

But ended as none other I e'er knew. In the Great House, not wholly unobserved :

When they had drunk the King, with By day, by night, the silver crescent

many a cheer, grew,

The Governor whispered in a servant's Though hidden by clouds, her light still shining through ;

Who disappeared, and presently there A maid of all work, whether coarse or stood fine,

Within the room, in perfect womanhood, A servant who made service seem divine ! A maiden, modest and yet self-possessed, Through her each room was fair to look Youthful and beautiful, and simply upon;

dressed. The mirrors glistened, and the brasses Can this be Martha Hilton? It must shone,

be ! The very knocker on the outer door, Yes, Martha Hilton, and no other she ! If she but passed, was brighter than be- Dowered with the beauty of her twenty fore.

years,

How ladylike, how queenlike she apAnd now the ceaseless turning of the

pears ; mill

The pale, thin crescent of the days gone Of Time, that never for an hour stands by still,

Is Dian now in all her majesty ! Ground out the Governor's sixtieth Yet scarce a guest perceived that she birthday,

was there, And powdered his brown hair with sil. Until the Governor, rising from his ver-gray.

chair, The robin, the forerunner of the spring, Played slightly with his ruffles, then The bluebird with his jocund carolling,

looked down, The restless swallows building in the And said unto the Reverend Arthur eaves,

Brown: The golden buttercups, the grass, the “This is my birthday : it shall likewise leaves,

be The lilacs tossing in the winds of May, My wedding-day; and you shall marry All welcomed this majestic holiday !

me !! He gave a splendid banquet, served on plate,

The listening guests were greatly mystiSuch as became the Governor of the fied, State,

None more so than the rector, who reWho represented England and the King, plied : And was magnificent in everything. • Marry you? Yes, that were a pleasHe had invited all his friends and ant task, peers,

Your Excellency ; but to whom? I The Pepperels, the Langdons, and the ask.” Lears,

The Governor answered : “ To this lady The Sparhawks, the Penhallows, and the

here"; rest;

And beckoned Martha Hilton to draw For why repeat the name of every near. guest ?

She came and stood, all blushes, at his But I must mention one, in bands and side. gown,

The rector paused. The impatient GovThe rector there, the Reverend Arthur ernor cried : Brown

“This is the lady; do you hesitate ? Of the Established Church ; with smil. Then I command you as Chief Magising face

trate.” He sat beside the Governor and said The rector read the service loud and

grace ;

clear :

66

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here,” | Prayed the Monk in deep contrition And so on to the end. At his command For his sins of indecision, On the fourth finger of her fair left hand Prayed for greater self-denial The Governor placed the ring ; and that In temptation and in trial ; was all :

It was noonday by the dial, Martha was Lady Wentworth of the And the Monk was all alone. Hall !

Suddenly, as if it lightened,

An unwonted splendor brightened
INTERLUDE.

All within him and without him

In that narrow cell of stone ; WELL pleased the andience heard the And he saw the Blessed Vision tale.

Of our Lord, with light Elysian The Theologian said : Indeed,

Like a vesture wrapped about him,
To praise you there is little need ;

Like a garment round him thrown.
One almost hears the farmer's flail
Thresh out your wheat, nor does there fail
A certain freshness, as you said,

Not as crucified and slain,
And sweetness as of home-made bread.

Not in agonies of pain, But not less sweet and not less fresh

Not with bleeding hands and feet,

Did the Monk his Master see ;
Are many legends that I know,
Writ by the monks of long-ago,

But as in the village street,
Who loved to mortify the flesh,

In the house or harvest-field So that the soul might purer grow,

Halt and lame and blind he healed, And rise to a diviner state ;

When he walked in Galilee.
And one of these – perhaps of all
Most beautiful — I now recall,

In an attitude imploring,
And with permission will narrate ;

Hands upon his bosom crossed, Hoping thereby to make amends

Wondering, worshipping, adoring, For that grim tragedy of mine,

Knelt the Monk in rapture lost. As strong and black as Spanish wine,

Lord, he thought, in heaven that reignI told last night, and wish almost

est, It had remained untold, my friends ;

Who am I, that thus thou deignest For Torquemada's awful ghost

To reveal thyself to me ? Came to me in the dreams I dreamed,

Who am I, that from the centre
And in the darkness glared and gleamed of thy glory thou shouldst enter
Like a great lighthouse on the coast.”

This poor cell, my guest to be ?
The Student laughing said : “Far more Then amid his exaltation,
Like to some dismal fire of bale

Loud the convent bell appalling,
Flaring portentous on a hill ;

From its belfry calling, calling,
Or torches lighted on a shore

Rang through court and corridor
By wreckers in a midnight gale. With persistent iteration
No matter ; be it as you will,

He had never heard before.
Only go forward with your tale.” It was now the appointed hour

When alike in shine or shower,

Winter's cold or summer's heat,
THE THEOLOGIAN'S TALE. To the convent portals came

All the blind and halt and lame,
THE LEGEND BEAUTIFUL.

All the beggars of the street,

For their daily dole of food “Hadst thou stayed, I must have Dealt them by the brotherhood ; fled !”

And their almoner was he That is what the Vision said.

Who upon his bended knee,

Rapt in silent ecstasy In his chamber all alone,

Of divinest self-surrender, Kneeling on the floor of stone,

Saw the Vision and the Splendor.

Deep distress and hesitation
Mingled with his adoration ;
Should he go, or should he stay ?
Should he leave the poor to wait
Hungry at the convent gate,
Till the Vision passed away?
Should he slight his radiant guest,
Slight this visitant celestial,
For a crowd of ragged, bestial
Beggars at the convent gate ?
Would the Vision there remain ?
Would the Vision come again ?
Then a voice within his breast
Whispered, audible and clear
As if to the outward ear :
“Do thy duty; that is best ;
Leave unto thy Lord the rest !'
Straightway to his feet he started,
And with longing look intent
On the Blessed Vision bent,
Slowly from his cell departed,
Slowly on his errand went.

As at length, with hurried pace,
Towards his cell he turned his face,
And beheld the convent bright
With a supernatural light,
Like a luminous cloud expanding
Over floor and wall and ceiling.
But he paused with awe-struck feeling
At the threshold of his door,
For the Vision still was standing
As he left it there before,
When the convent bell appalling,
From its belfry calling, calling,
Summoned him to feed the poor.
Through the long hour intervening
It had waited his return,
And he felt his bosom burn,
Comprehending all the meaning,
When the Blessed Vision said,
“Hadst thou stayed, I must have

fled!”

INTERLUDE.

At the gate the poor were waiting,
Looking through the iron grating,
With that terror in the eye
That is only seen in those
Who amid their wants and woes
Hear the sound of doors that close,
And of feet that pass them by ;
Grown familiar with disfavor,
Grown familiar with the savor
of the breaid by which men die !
But to-day, they knew not why,
Like the gate of Paradise
Seemed the convent gate to rise,
Like a sacrament divine
Seemed to them the bread and wine.
In his heart the Monk was praying,
Thinking of the homeless poor,
What they suffer and endure;
What we see not, what we see ;
And the inward voice was saying :
“ Whatsoever thing thou doest
To the least of mine and lowest,
That thou doest unto me!”

All praised the Legend more or less ;
Some liked the moral, some the verse ;
Some thought it better, and some worse
Than other legends of the past ;
Until, with ill-concealed distress
At all their cavilling, at last
The Theologian gravely said :
“ The Spanish proverb, then, is right ;
Consult your friends on what you do,
And one will say that it is white,
And others say that it is red.”
And " Amen !'” quoth the Spanish Jew.
6. Six stories told ! We must have

seven,
A cluster like the Pleiades,
And lo ! it happens, as with these,
That one is missing from our heaven.
Where is the Landlord ? Bring him

here ; Let the Lost Pleiad reappear.” Thus the Sicilian cried, and went Forthwith to seek his missing star, But did not find him in the bar, A place that landlords most frequent, Nor yet beside the kitchen fire, Nor up the stairs, nor in the hall; It was in vain to ask or call, There were no tidings of the Squire. So he came back with downcast head, Exclaiming : “Well, our bashful host

Unto me! but had the Vision
Come to him in beggar's clothing,
Come a mendicant imploring,
Would he then have knelt adoring,
Or have listened with derision,
And have turned away with loathing?

Thus his conscience put the question, Full of troublesome suggestion,

dark,

Hath surely given up the ghost. Into the room of his absent son.
Another proverb says the dead

There is the bed on which he lay,
Can tell no tales; and that is true. There are the pictures bright and gay,
It follows, then, that one of you Horses and hounds and sun-lit seas;
Must tell a story in his stead.

There are his powder-Hask and gun, You must,” he to the Student said, And his hunting-knives in shape of a fan ; “Who know so many of the best, The chair by the window where he sat, And tell them better than the rest.” With the clouded tiger-skin for a mat,"

Looking out on the Pyrenees, Straight, by these flattering words be- Looking out on Mount Marboré guiled,

And the Seven Valleys of Lavedan. The Student, happy as a child

Ah me! he turns away and sighs ;
When he is called a little man,

There is a mist before his eyes.
Assumed the double task imposed,
And without more ado unclosed

At night, whatever the weather be,
His smiling lips, and thus began. Wind or rain or starry heaven,

Just as the clock is striking seven,

Those who look from the windows see THE STUDENT'S SECOND TALE. The village Curate, with lantern and

maid, THE BARON OF ST. CASTINE.

Come through the gateway from the park BARON CASTINE of St. Castine

And cross the courtyard damp and Has left his château in the Pyrenees, And sailed across the western seas. A ring of light in a ring of shade. When he went away from his fair demesne The birds were building, the woods were And now at the old man's side he stands,

His voice is cheery, his heart expands, green ; And now the winds of winter blow He gossips pleasantly, by the blaze Round the turrets of the old château,

Of the fire of fagots, about old days, The birds are silent and unseen,

And Cardinal Mazarin and the Fronde, The leaves lie dead in the ravine,

And the Cardinal's nieces fair and fond, And the Pyrenees are white with snow.

And what they did, and what they said,

When they heard his Eminence was dead. His father, lonely, old, and gray, Sits by the fireside day by day,

And after a pause the old man says, Thinking ever one thought of care ;

His mind still coming back again Through the southern windows, narrow To the one sad thought that haunts his and tall,

brain, The sun shines into the ancient hall,

Are there any tidings from over sea ? And makes a glory round his hair.

Ah, why has that wild boy gone from The house-dog, stretched beneath his chair,

And the Curate answers, looking down, Groans in his sleep as if in pain,

Harmless and docile as a lamb, Then wakes, and yawns, and sleeps “Young blood ! young blood ! It must

again, So silent is it everywhere,

And draws from the pocket of his gown So silent you can hear the mouse

A handkerchief like an oriflamb, Run and rummage along the beams

And wipes his spectacles, and they play Behind the wainscot of the wall ;

Their little game of lansquenet And the old man rouses from his dreams, In silence for an hour or so, And wanders restless through the house, Till the clock at nine strikes loud and As if he heard strange voices call.

clear

From the village lying asleep below, His footsteps echo along the floor And across the courtyard, into the dark Of a distant passage, and pause awhile; of the winding pathway in the park, He is standing by an open door Curate and lantern disappear, Looking long, with a sad, sweet smile, And darkness reigns in the old château.

me ?”

so be !”

The ship has come back from over And for a moment bows his head ; sea,

Then, as their custom is, they play She has been signalled from below, Their little game of lansquenet, And into the harbor of Bordeaux And another day is with the dead. She sails with her gallant company. But among them is nowhere seen Another day, and many a day The brave young Baron of St. Castine ; And many a week and month depart, He hath tarried behind, I ween, When a fatal letter wings its way In the beautiful land of Acadie !

Across the sea, like a bird of prey,

And strikes and tears the old man's And the father paces to and fro

heart. Through the chambers of the old château, Lo! the young Baron of St. Castine, Waiting, waiting to hear the hum Swift as the wind is, and as wild, Oi wheels on the road that runs below, Has married a dusky Tarratine, Of servants hurrying here and there, Has married Madocawando's child ! The voice in the courtyard, the step on the stair,

The letter drops from the father's hand ; Waiting for someone who doth not Though the sinews of his heart are come!

wrung, But letters there are, which the old man he utters no cry, he breathes no prayer, reads

No malediction falls from his tongue ; To the Curate, when he comes at night, But his stately figure, erect and grand, Word by word, as an acolyte

Bends and sinks like a column of sand Repeats his prayers and tells his beads; In the whirlwin'l of his great despair. Letters full of the rolling sea,

Dying, yes, dying ! His latest breath Full of a young man's joy to be Of parley at the door of death Abroad in the world, alone and free; Is a blessing on his wayward son. Full of adventures and wonderful scenes Lower and lower on his breast Of hunting the deer through forests Sinks his gray head ; he is at rest ; vast

No longer he waits for any one. In the royal grant of Pierre du Gast; Of nights in the tents of the Tarratines; For many a year the old château Of Madocawando the Indian chief, Lies tenantless and desolate ; And his daughters, glorious as queens, Rank grasses in the courtyard grow, And beautiful beyond belief ;

About its gables caws the crow; And so soft the tones of their native Only the porter at the gate tongue,

Is left to guard it, and to wait The words are not spoken, they are sung! The coming of the rightful heir ;

No other life or sound is there ; And the Curate listens, and smiling says: No more the Curate comes at night, “Ah yes, dear friend ! in our young days Yo more is seen the unsteady light, We should have liked to hunt the deer Threading the alleys of the park ; All day amid those forest scenes, The windows of the hall are dark, And to sleep in the tents of the Tarra- The chambers dreary, cold, and bare !

tines ; But now it is better sitting here At length, at last, when the winter is Within four walls, and without the fear past, Of losing our hearts to Indian queens ; And birds are building, and woods are For man is fire and wom i' is tow,

green, And the Somebody comes and begins to With flying skirts is the Curate seen blow."

Speeding along the woodland way, Then a gleam of distrust and vague sur- Humming gayly,“ No day is so long mise

But it comes at last to vesper-song.' Shines in the father's gentle eyes, He stops at the porter's lovige to say As fire-light on a window-pane

That at last the Baron of St. Castine Glimmers and vanishes again ;

Is coming home with his Indian queen, But naught he answers; he only sighs, is coming without a week's delay;

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