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Seemed to assume once more the forms of its earlier manhood; So are wont to be changed the faces of those who are dying. Hot and red on his lips still burned the flush of the fever, As if life, like the Hebrew, with blood had besprinkled its portals, That the angel of death might see the sign, and pass over. Motionless, senseless, dying he lay, and his spirit exhausted Seemed to be sinking down through infinite depths in the darkness, Darkness of slumber and death, for ever sinking and sinking. Then through those realms of shade, in multiplied reverberations, Heard he that cry of pain, and through the bush that succeeded Whispered a gentle voice, in accents tender and Saintlike, “Gabriel ! O my beloved 1" and died away into silence. Then he beheld, in a dream, once more the home of his childhood; Green Acadian meadows, with sylvan rivers among them, Village, and mountain, and woodlands; and, walking under their shadow, As in the days of her youth, Evangeline rose in his Vision. Tears, came into his eyes; and as slowly he lifted his eyelids, Wanished the vision away, but Evangeline knelt by his bedside. Vainly he strove to whisper her name, for the ... accents unuttered Died on his lips, and their motion-revealed what his tongue would have spoken.
Wainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him,
Kissed his dying lips, and laid his head on her bosom.
Sweet was the light of his eyes; but it suddenly sank into darkness,
As when a lamp is blown out by a gust of wind at a casement.
All was ended now, the hope, and the fear, and the sorrow, All the aching of heart, the restless, unsatisfied longing, All the dull, deep pain, and constant anguish of patience 1 And, as she pressed once more the lifeless head to her bosom, Meekly she bowed her own, and murmured, “Father, I thank thee!”
Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow, Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping. Under the humble walls of the little Catholic churchyard, In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed. Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside
them, Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at
rest and for ever, Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer
are busy, Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have
ceased from their labours, Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have com
pleted their journey !
Still stands the forest primeval ; but under the shade of its branches Dwells another race, with other customs and language. Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from
exile Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom. In the fisherman's cot the wheel and the loom are still busy; Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of homespun, And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story; While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighbouring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
PENTEcost, day of rejoicing, had come. The church of the village Stood gleaming white in the morning's sheen. On the spire of the belfry Tipped with a vane of metal, the friendly flames of the Spring-sun Glanced like the tongues of fire beheld by Apostles aforetime. Clear was the heaven and blue; and May, with her cap crowned with roses, Stood in her holiday dress in the fields; and the wind and the brooklet Murmured gladness and peace, God's peace! With lips rosy-tinted Whispered the race of the flowers; and merry, on balancing branches, Birds were singing their carol, a jubilant hymn to the Highest. Swept and clean was the churchyard. Adorned like a leaf-woven arbour
Stood its old-fashioned gate; and within, upon each cross of iron, Hung was a sweet-scented garland, new-twined by the hands of affection. Even the dial, that stood on a fountain among the departed, (There full a hundred years had it stood,) was embellished with blossoms Like to the patriarch hoary, the sage of his kith and the hamlet, Who on his birthday is crowned by children and children's children; So stood the ancient prophet, and mute with his pencil of iron Marked on the tablet of stone, and measured the swift-changing moment, While all around at his feet an eternity slumbered in quiet. Also the church within was adorned, for this was the season In which the young, their parents' hope, and the loved ones of Heaven, Should at the foot of the altar renew the vows of their baptism. Therefore each nook and corner was swept and cleaned, and the dust was Blown from the walls and ceiling, and from the oilpainted benches. There stood the church like a garden; the Feast of the Leafy Pavilions * Saw we in living presentment. From noble arms on the church wall Grew forth a cluster of leaves, and the preacher's pulpit of oak-wood Budded once more anew, as aforetime the rod before Aaron. Wreathed thereon was the Bible with leaves, and the dove, washed with silver, Under its canopy fastened, a necklace had on of wind-flowers.