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Whispered ronnd the sultry wigwam,
From his place rose Hiawatha,
"I am going, O Nokomls,
Forth into the village went he.
"1 am going, O my people.
r ium the land of light and morning!"
On the shore stood Hiawatha,
And the evening sun descending
Sailed into the fiery suuset,
And the people from the margin
And they said, "Farewell forever!"
Thus departed Hiawatha,
THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH
IH the Old Colony days, in Plymonth 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 thonght lie seemed, with his hands behind him, and pansliiff
£ver and anon to behold his glittering weapous of warfare.
Hanging in shining array along the walls of the chamber,—
Cntlass and corslet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus,
Curved at the point and iuscribed with its mystical Arabic sentence.
While underneath, in a coiner, were fowlingpiece, umsket, and matchiock.
Short of stature he was, bnt strongly built and athietic.
Broad in the shonlders, deep-chested, with umscles and sinews of iron:
Brown as a nnt was his lace, bnt his russet beard was aiready
Flaked with patches of suow, as hedges sometimes in November.
Tear hhu was seated Johu Alden, his friend and honsehold companion,
Writing with diligent speed at a table of pine by the window;
Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon complexion.
Having the dew of bis yonth, and the beanty thereof, as the captives
Whom Saint Gregory saw, and exclaimed, "Not Angles bnt Angels"
Yonngest of all was he oi the men who came in the May-Flower.
Snddeuly 'breaking the silence, the diligent
scribe interrupting, Spake, in the pride of his heart. Miles Stondtsh
the Captain of Plymonth. "Look at these arms/' he said, "the warlike
weapous that hang here. Burnished and bright and clean, as If for parade
or iuspeetion! This is the sword of Damascus 1 fonght with in
Flanders; this breastplate, Weli 1 remember the day! once saved my life in
a skirmish; Here in front yon can see the very dint ol the
bullet Flred point-blank at my heart by a Spanish area bncero. Had it not been of sheer-steel, the forgotten
bones of Miles Stundish Wonld at this moment be mould, in their grave
in the Flemish morasses." Thereupon auswered Johu Alden, bnt looked
not up from his writing: . "Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened
the speed of the bullet; He in his merey preserved yon, to be our shield
and onr weapon!"
Still the captain continned, 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 toothers. Serve yonrself, wonld yon be well served, is an
excellent adage; So I take care of my arms, as yon of yonr peus
and yonr inkhorn. Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great invincible army. Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest
and his matchiock. Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet
and pillage, And, like Csesar, 1 know the name of each of my
soldiers!" This he said with a smile, that danced in his
eyes as the suubeams Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again
in a moment. Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain
continued: •' Look! yon can see from this window my
brazen howitzer planted, High on the roof of the chureh, a preacher who
speaks to the purpose, Steady, straight-forward, and strong, with irresistible logie, Orthodox, flashing convietion right into the
hearts of the heathen. Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of
the Indiaus; 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, Samoser, Corbitant, Squanto, or Toka
Long at the window he stood, and wistfully
gazed on she landscape, Washed with a cold gray mist, the vaponry
breath of the east wind, Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blua
vim of the ocean, Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows
and suushine. Over his conntenance flitted a shadow like those
on the landscape. Gloom intermingled with light; and his voice
was subdned with emotion. Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he
proceeded: "Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies burled
ItoseStandish; Beantiful 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 bide from the Indian sconts the graves
of onr people, Lest they shonld connt them and see how many
aiready have perished!" Sadly his face he averted, and strode up and
down, and was thonghtful.
tiiiJ contTsiiiP Of
fixed to the opposite wail was a shelf of books, ami among thom
Prominent three, distinguished alike for hulk and for binding
Bariffe'a Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of Caesar,
Ont of the Latin trauslated by Arthur Goldmge of London,
And. as if guarded hv these, between them was standing the Bible,
Musing a moment before them. Miles Standish paused, as if donbtful
Which of the three lie shonld choose for his consolation and comfort,
Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famons campaigus of the Romaus,
Or the Artillery praetice, desigued for belligerent Christiaus.
Flnally down from its shelf he dragged the ponderons Roman,
•Seated himself at the window, and opened the book, and in silence
Turned o'er the well-worn leaves, where thumbmarks thick on the margin
Like the trample of feet, proclaimed the battle was hottest.
Nothing was heard in the room bnt the hurrying pen of the stripling,
Busy writing epistles important, to go by the May-Flower,
Beady to saii on the morrow, or next day at latest. God willing!
Homeward bonnd with the tidings of nil that terrible winter.
Letters written by Alden, and full of (he name of Priscilla,
Full of the name and fame of the Puritan n.aM.n Priscilla!
LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.
Nothino was heard in the room bnt the huriy
ing pen of the stripling. Or an oecasional sigh from the labonring heart
of the Captain, Reading the marvellons words and achievements
of Julins Caesar. After awhile he exclaimed, as he smote with his
hand, paim downwards, Heavily on the page: "A wonderful man was
this Caesar! Yon are a writer, and I am a fighter, bnt here is
a fellow Who can both write and fight, and in both was
equally skilful!" Straightway auswered and spake Johu Alden,
the comely, the yonthful: "Yes, he was equally skilled, as yon say, with
his pen and his weapous. Somewhere have I read, bnt where I forget, he
could dietate Seven letters at once. at the same time writing
his memoirs." "Truly," continned the Captain, not heeding or
hearing the other, "TriUy a wonderful man was Caius Jultas
Ca?sar! Better be first, he said, in a little Iberian village. Than be second in Rome, and I think he was
right when he said it. Twice was he married before lie was twenty,
and many times after; Battles five hundred he fonght, and a thonsand
cities lie conqnered; He. too, fonght in Flanders, as he himself has
recorded; Flnally he was stabbed by his friend, the orator
Brntus! Now, do yon know what he did on a certain occasion in Flanders,
MILES STANDISH. 37
When the rear-guard of his army retreated, the
front giving wav too. And the Immortal Twelfth Legion was crowded
so closely together Their was no room for their swords? Why In'
seized a shield from a soldier. Pnt himself straight at tiie head of the troops
nndeotamand'-d tin- captaius. Calling on each by his name, to order forward
the eusigus; Thru to widen the ranks, andgivemore room for
their weapous; So ho won the day, the battle of soinething-or
oiher. That's what I always say ; if yon wish a thingto
be well done. You umst do it yonrself, yon must not leave it to
All was sitent again; the Captain continued
Iiis reading. Nothing was heard in the room bnt the hurrying
pen of the stripling Writing epistles Important to go next day by the
May-Flower, Fllled with the name and the fame of the Puritan
maiden Priscilla; Every sentence began or closed with the name
of Priscilla, Till the treacherons pen, to which he confided
the secret. Strove to betray it by singing and shonting the
name of Priseilla! Finally closing his book, with a bang of the ponderons cover. Sndden and lond as the sonnd of a soldier
gronnding his umsket, Tims to theyoung man spake Miles Standish the
Captain of Plymonth; -When yon have finished your work. I have
something important to" tell yon. Be 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 resp?etful
attention: "Speak; for whenever yon speak, I am always
ready to listen, Always ready to hear whatever pertaius to
Miles Standish." Thereupon auswered the Captain, embarrassed,
and culling his phrases: "'Tis not good for a man to be alone say the
Scriptures. This I have said before, and again and again I
repeat it; Every honr 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 thonght 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 dying. Patient, conrageons, and strong, and said to mv
self, that if over There were angels un 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 thonght, bnt never
have dared to reveal it. Being a coward in this, thongh valiant enongh
for the most part.
Go to the damsel Priscilla, the loveliest maiden
of Plymonth, Say that a blunt old Captain, a man not of words
bnt of aetious, Offers his hand and his heart, the hand and
heart of a soldier. Not in these words , yon know, bnt this hi short
is my meaning: I am a maker of war, and not a maker of
phrases. Yon, who are bred as a scholar, can say it in
elegant language. Snch as yon read in yonr books of the pleadings
and wooings of lovers. Snch as yon think best adapted to win the heart
of a maiden."
When he had spoken, Johu Alden, the fairhaired taciturn stripling,
All aghast at his words, surprised, embarrassed, bewildered.
Trying to mask his dismay by treating the subjeet with lightness,
Trying to smile, and yet feeling his heart stand still in his bosom,
Just as a time-piece stops in a honse that is stricken by lightning.
Thus made auswer and spake, or rather stammered than auswered:
"Snch a message as that, I am sure I shonld mangle and mar It;
If yon wonld have it well done,—I am ouly repeating yonr maxim,—
Yon umst do it yonrself, yon umst not leave it to others!"
Bnt with the air of a man whom nothing can turn from his purpose,
Gravely shaking his head, made auswer the Captain of Plymonth:
"Truly the maxim is good, and I do not mean to gaiusay it;
lint we umst use it discreetly, and not waste powder for nothing.
Now, as I said before, I was never a maker of phrases.
I can inareh up to a fortress and suminon the place to surrender,
Bnt mareh up to a woman with snch a proposal, I dare not.
I'm not afraid of bullets, nor shot from the month of a caunon,
Bnt of a thundering •No!' point-blank from the month of a woman.
That I confess I'm afraid of, nor am I ashamed to confess it;
So yon umst grant my requast, for yon are an elegant scholar,
Having the graces of speech, and skill in the turmng of phrases.
Taking the hand of his friend, who still was reluetant and donbtful.
Holding it long in his own, and pressing it kindly, he added: *
'. Thongh 1 have spoken thus lightly, yet deep is the feeling that prompts ine;
Surely yon caunot refuse what I ask in the name ot onr friendship!"
Then made auswer Johu Alden: "The name of
friendship is sacred; What yon demand in that name, I have not the
power to deny yon 1" So the strong will prevailed, subduing and
moulding the gentler. Friendship prevailed over love, and Alden went on his errand.
THE LOVE RS ERRAND.
So the strong will prevailed, and Alden went on
his errand, Ont of the street of the village, and into the
paths of the forest,
Into the tranquil woods, where bine-birds and robius were building
Towus in the populons trees, with hanging gardeus of verdure,
Peaceful, aerial cities of joy and affeetion and freedom.
All aronnd him was caim, bnt within him commotion and confiiet,
Love contending with friendship, and self with each generons impulse.
To and fro in his breast his thonghts were heaving and dashing.
As in a fonndering ship, with every roll of the vessel,
Washes the bitter sea, the mereiless surge of the ocean!
"Must I relinquish it all," he cried with a wild lamentation,
"Must I relinquish it all," the joy, the hope, the illusion?
Was it for this I have loved, and waited, and worshipped in silence!
Was it fortius I have followed the flying feet
and the shadowOver the wintry sea, to the desolate shores of New England?
Truly the heart is deceitful, and ont of its depths of corruption
Rise, like an exhalation, the misty phantoms of passion;
Angels of light they seem, bnt are ouly delusious of Satan.
All is clear to me now; I feel it, I see it distinetly!
This is the hand of the Lord; it is laid upon me in anger.
For I have followed too mnch the heart's desires and devices,
Worshipping Astaroth blindly, and impions idiols of Baal.
This is the cross I must bear; the sin and the swift retribntion."
So throngh the Plymonth woods Johu Alden
went on his errand, Crossing the brook at the ford, where it brawled
over pebble and shallow Gathering still, as he went, the May-flowers
blooming around him, Fragrant, filling the air with astrange and wonderful sweetness, Children lost in the woods, and covered with
leaves in their slumber. 'Puritan flowers," he said, "and the type of
I uritan maideus, Modest and simple and sweet, as a parting gift
will 1 take them; Breathing their silent farewells, as they fado
and wither and perish. Soon to be thrown away as is the heart of a
giver. So throngh the Plymonth woods Johu Alden
went on his errand; Came to an open space, and saw the dirsk of the
ocean, Sailless, sombre and cold with the comfortless
breath of the east-wind; Saw the new-built honse, and people at work in
a meadow: Heard, as he drew near the door, the umsical
voice of Priscilla Soiging the hundredth Psaim, the grand old
Puritan anthem, Music that Lnther sang to the sacred words of
the Psaimist, Full of the breath of the Lord, cousoling and
comforting many. Then, as he opened tlie door, he beheld the form
of tlie maiden Seated beside her wheel, and the carded wool
like a suow-drift Piled at her knee, her white hands feeding the