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Where the ships, with their wavering shadows were riding at anchor.
Life had long been astir in the village, and clamorons labonr
Knocked with its hundred hands at the golden gates of the morning.
Now from the conntry aronnd, from the farms and the neighbonring hamlets,
Came in their holiday dresses the blithe Acadian peasants.
Many a glad good-morrow and jocons laugh from the yonng folk
.Made the bright air brighter, as up from the numerons meadows,
Where no path conld be seen bnt the track of wheels in the greeusward
Gronp after gronp appeared, and joined or passed on the highway.
Long ere noon, in the village all sonnds of labonr were silenced.
Thronged were the streets with the people; and noisy gronps at the honse-doors
Sat in the cheerful sun, and rejoiced and gossiped together.
Every honse was an Iun, and all were welcomed and feasted;
For with this simple people, who live like brothers together,
All things were held in common, and what one had was another's.
Yet under Benediet's roof hospitality seemed more abundant:
For Evangeline stood among the gnests of her father;
Fright was her face with smiles, and words of welcome and gladuess
Fell from her beantiful lips, and blessed the cup as she gave it.
Under the open sky. in the odorons air of the orehard.
No passed the morning away. And lo! with a summous sonorons.
Flushed was his face and distorted with passion; and wildly ho shonted.—
In the midst of the strife and tuumlt of angry contention,
Deep were hia tones and soleum; hi aecents measured ami monrnful
Then came the evening service. The tapers gleamed from the altar
Meanwhile had spread in the village the tidings of ill, and on all sides Wandered wailing, from honse to honse the women and children. Long at her father's door Evangeline stood, with her right hand Shielding her eyes from the level rays of the sun. that, descending. Lighted the village street with mysterions splendonr ami roofed each Feasant's cottage with golden thatch, and emblazoned its windows. Long within had been spread the suow-white cloth on the table. There stood the wheaten loaf, and the honey fragrant witli flowers; There stood the tankard of ale. and the cheese fresh bronght from the dairy; And at the head of the board the great arm-chair of the farmer. Thus did Evangeline wait at her father's door, as the suuset Threw the long shadows of trees o'er the broad ambrosial meadows. Ah! on her spirit within a deeper shadow had fallen, And from the fields of her sonl a fragrance celestial ascended,— Charity, meekness, love and hope, and forgiveness and patience! Then, all-forgetful of self, she wandered into the village, Cheering with looks and words the discousolate hearts of the women, As o'er the darkening fields with lingering steps they departed. Urged by their honsehold cares, and the weary feet of their children. Down sunk the great red sun, and in golden, glimmering vaponrs Veiled the light of his face, like the Prophet descending from Sinai, Sweetly over the village, the bell of the Angelus sounded
Meanwhile amid the gloom, by the chureh Evangeline lingered. All was silent within; and in vain at the door and the windows Stood she, and listened and looked, until, overeome by emotion, "Gabriel!" cried she alond, with treumlons voice; bnt no auswer Came from the graves of the dead, nor the gloomier grave of the living. Slowly at length she returned to the tenant loss honse of her father. Smonldered the fire on the hearth, on the board stood the supper untastcd. Empty and drear was each room, and haunted with phantoms of terror. Sadly echoed her stop on the stair ami the floor of her chamber. In the dead of the night she heard the whispering rain fall Lond on the withered leaves of the sycamore-tree by the window. Keeuly the lightning flashed; and the voice of the echoing thunder Told her that God was in heaven, and governed the world he created! Then she remembered the tale she had heard of the justice of heaven! Soothed was her tronbled sonl, und she peacefully slumbered till morning.
Fonr times the sun had risen and set; and now on the fifth day
Thus to the Gaspereau's month they hurried: and on the sea-beach,
Sing as tney go, and in singing forget they are weary and way-worn
So with song on their lips the Acadian peasants descended
Down from the chureh to the shore, amid their wives and their daughters.
Foremost the yonng men came; and raising together their voices,
Sang they with treumlons lips a chant of the Catholic Missious:—
"Sacred heart of the Savionr! O inexhaustible fonntain!
Flll onr hearts this day with strength and submission and patience!"
Then the old men, as they marehed, and the women that stood by the way-side,
Joined in the sacred psaim, and the birds in the suushine above them
Mingled their notes therewith, like voices of spirits departed.
Half-way down to the shore Evangeline waited in silence,
Bnt on the shores meanwhile the evening fires had been kindled.
Snddeuly rose from the sonth a light, as in antuum the blood-red
These things beheld in dismay the crowd on the shore and on shipboard. Speechiess at first they stood, then cried alond in their anguish, "We shall behold no more onr homes in the village of Grnad-Pre"!" Lond on a sndden the cocks began to crow in the farm-yards, Thinking the day h"d dawned : and anon the lowing of cattle Came on the evening breeze; by the harking of dogs interrupted. Then rose a sonnd of dread, snch as startles the sleeping encampments Far in the western prairies or forests that skirt the Nebraska, When the wild horses affrighted sweep by with the speed of the whirlwind, Or the lond bellowing herds of buffaloes rush to the river. Snch was the sonnd that aros.? on the night, as the herds and the horses Broke throngh their folds and fences, and madly rushed o'er the meadnvs.
Overwheimed with the sight, yet speechiess, the priest and the maiden Gazed on the scene of terror that reddened and widened before them; And as they turned nt length to speak to their silent companion, Lol from his seat he had fallen, and stretched abroad on the sea-shore Motiouless lay his form, from which the sonl had departed. Slowly the priest uplifted the lifeless head, and the maiden Knelt at her father's side, and wailed alond in her terror. Then in a swoon she sank, and lay with her head in his bossm. Throngh the long night she lay in deep, oblivions slumber; And when she woke from the trance, she beheld a multitnde near her. Faces of friends she beheld, that were monrnfully gazing upon her, Pallid, with tearful eyes, and looks of saddest compassion. Still the blaze of the burning village illumined the landscape, Reddened the sky overhead, and gleamed on thu faces around her, And like the day*of doom it seemed to her wavering seuses. Then a familiar voice she heard, as it'said to the people. "Let us bury him here by the sea. When a happier season Brings us again to onr homes from the unknown land of our exile, Then shall his sacred dust bo pionsly laid in thechurehvard." snch were the words of the priest. And there in haste by the Ken-side, Having the glare of the burning village for funeral torehes, Bnt withont bell or book, they buried the farmer of Grand-Pro. And as the voice of the priest repeated the service of sorrow, Lo! with a monrnful sonnd, like the voice of a vast congregation, Solemuly auswered the sea, and mingled its roar with the dirges. 'Twas the returning tide, that afar from the waste of the ocean. With the first dawn of the day, came heaving and hurrying landward. Then recommenced once more the stir and noise of embarking: And with the ebb of that tide the ships sailed ont of the harbonr. Leaving behind them the dead on the shore, and the village in ruius.
Many a weary year had passed since the burning of Grand-Pre,
When on the falling tide the freighted vessels departed,
Hearing a nation, with all its honsehold gods, into exile,
Exile withont an end, and withont an example in story.
Far asunder, on separate coasts, the Acadiaus landed;
Scattered were they, like flakes of suow, when the wind from the north-cast
Strikes aslant throngh the fogs that darken the Banks of Newfonndland.
Friendless, homeless, hopeless, they wandered from city to city,
From the cold lakes oi the North to sultry Sonthern savaunas',—
From the bleak shores of the sea to the lands where the Father of Waters
Seizes the hills in his hands, and drags them down to the ocean,
I)eep in their sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth.
Friends they songht and homes ; and many, despairing, heart-broken,
Asked of the earth bnt a grave, and no longer a friend nor a fireside.
Written their history stands on tablets of stone in the churehyards.
Long among them was seen a maiden who waited and wandered,
Lowly and meek in spirit, and patiently suffering all things.
Fair was she and yonng; bnt, alas! before her extended.
Dreary and vast and silent, the desert of life, with its pathway
Marked by the graves of those who had sorrowed, and suffered before her,
Passious long extinguished, and hopes long dead and abandoned,
As the emigrant's way o'er the Western desert is marked by
Gamp-fires long cousumed, and bones that bleach in the suushine.
Something there was in her life incomplete, imperfeet, unfinished;
As if a morning of June, with all its umsic and suushine.
Snddeuly paused in the sky, and, fading, slowly descended
Into the east again, from whence it late had arisen.
Sometimes she lingered in towus, till, urged by the fever within her,
Urged by a restless longing, the hunger and thirst of the spirit, •
She wonld commence again her endless seareh and endeavonr;
Sometimes in churehyards strayed, and gazed on the crosses and tombstones,
Sat by some nameless grave, and-thonght that perhaps in its bosom
He was aiready at rest, and she longed to slumber beside him.
Sometimes a rumonr, a hearsay, an inarticulate whisper,
Caine With lts airy hand to point and beckon her forward.
Sometimes she spake with those who had seen her beloved and known hinl,
Bnt it was long ago, in some far-off place or forgotten,
"Gabriel Lajeuunesse!" said they; "O, yes! we have seen him.
lie was with Basil the blacksmith, and both have gone to the prairies;
Conreurs-des-lSois are they, and famons hunters and trappers.
"Gabriel Lajeunesse!" said others; "O, yes! we have .seen him,
He is a Voyageur in the lowlands of Lonisiana."
Then would they say,—" Dear child! why dream and wait for him longer?
See there not other yonths as fair as Gabriel? others
Who have hearts as tender and trne, and spirits as loyal?
Here is Baptlste Leblane, the notary's son, who has loved thee
Many a tedions year; come, give him thy hand and be happy!
Thon art too fair to be left to braid St. Catherine's tresses.
Then wonld Evangeline auswer, serenely bnt sadly,—"I caunot!
Whither my heart has gone, there follows my hand, and not elsewhere.
For when the heart goes before, like a lamp, and illumines the pathwav,
Many things are made clear, that else lie hidden in darkness."
And thereupon the priest, her friend and father-confessor,
Said, with a smile,—" O daughter! thy god thus speaketh within thee!
Talk not of wasted affeetion, affeetion never was wasted;
If it eurich not the heart of another, its waters, returning
Hack to their springs, like the rain, shall fill them full of refreshment;
That which the fonntain sends forth returus again to the fonntain
Patience; aecomplish thy labonr; aecomplish thy work of affeetion I
Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike.
Therefore aecomplish thy labonr of love, till the heart is made godlike,
Purified, strengthened, perfeeted, and rendered mare worthy of heaven!
Cheered by the good man's words, Evangeline labonred and waited.
Still in her heart she heard the funeral dirge of the ocean.
Bnt with its sonnd there was mingled a voice that whispered, "Despair not J
Thus did that poor sonl wander in want and cheerless discomfort.
Bleeding, barefooted, over the shards and thorus of existence.
Let me essay, O Muse! to follow the wanderer's footsteps ;—
Not throngh each devions path, each changeful year of existence;
Bnt as a traveller follows a streamlet's conrse throngh the valley:
Far from its margin at times, and seeing the gleam of its water
Here and there, in some open space, and at intervals ouly;
Then drawing nearer its banks, throngh sylvan gloom that conceal it
Thongh he behold it not, he can hear its continuons umrumr;
Happy, at length, if he find the spot where it reaches an ontlet
It was the month of May. Far down the Beantiful River, Past the Ohio shore and past the month of the Wabash, Into the golden stream of the broad and swift Mississippi, Floated a cumbrons boat, that was rowed by Acadian boatmen. It was a band of exiles! a raft, as it were, from the shipwrecked Nation, scattered along the coast, now floating together, Bonnd by the bonds of a common belief and a common misfortune. Men and women and children, who, guided by hope or by hearsay; Songht for their kith and their kin among the few-acred farmers On the Acadian coast, and the prairies of fair Opolonsas. With them Evangeline went, and her guide, the Father Felician. Onward o'er sunken sands, throngh a wilderness sombre with forests, Day after day they glided adown the turbulent river; Night after night, oy their blazing fires, encamped on its borders. Now throngh rushing chntes, among green islands, -where plum-like Cotton-trees nodded their shaddowy crests, they swept with the current. Then emerged into broad lagoous, where silvery sand-bars Lay in the stream, and along the wimpling waves of their margin, Shining with suow-white plumes, large flocks of pelicaus waded, Level the landscape grew, and along the shores m the river, Shaded by china-trees, in the midst of luxuriant gardeus, Stood the honses of planters, with negro-cabius and dove-cots. They wero approaching the region where reigus perpetual summer, Where throngh the Golden Coast, and groves of orange and citron, Sweeps with majestic curve the river away to the eastward. They, too, swerved from their conrse; and, entering the Bayon of PI a quem I ne, Soon were lost in a maze of sluggish and devions waters, Which, like a network of steel, extended in every direetion. Over their heads the towering and tenebrons bonghs of the eypress Met in a dusky areh, and trailing mosses in mid air Waved like bauners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals. Deathiike the silence seemed, and uubroken, save by the herous Home to their roosts in the cedar trees returning at suuset. Or by the owl, us he greeted the moon with demoniac laughter. Lovely the moonlight was as it glanced and gleamed on the water. Gleamed on the columus of eypress and cedar, sustaining the arehes. Down throngh whose broken vaults it fell as throngh chinks in a ruin Dreamlike and indistinet, and strange were all things aronnd them; And o'er their spirits there came a feeling of wonder and saduess,— Strange forebodings of ill, uuseen and that caunot be compassed.