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Then, as she mounted the stairs to the corridors, cooled hy the east wind, Distant and soft on her ear fell the chimes from the belfry of Christ
Church, While, intermingled with these, across the meadows were wafted Sounds of psalms, that were sung by the Swedes in their church at
Wicaco. Soft as descending wings fell the calm of the hour on her spirit; Something within her said,—" At length thy trials are ended;" And, with light in her looks, she entered the chambers of sickness. Noiselessly moved about the assiduous, careful attendants. Moistening the feverish lip and the aching brow, and in silence Closing the sightless eyes of the dead, and concealing their faces, Where on their pallets they lay, like drifts of snow by the road-side. Many a languid head, upraised as Evangeline entered. Turned on its pillow of pain to gaze while she passed, for her presence Fell on their hearts like a ray of the sun on the walls of a prison. And, as she looked around, she saw how Death, the consoler, Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it for ever. Many familiar forms had disappeared in the night-time; Vacant their places were, or filled already by strangers.
Suddenly, as if arrested by fear or a feeling of wonder, Still she stood, with her colourless lips apart, while a shudder, Ran through ner frame, and, forgotten, the flowerets dropped from
her fingers, And from her eyes and cheeks the light and bloom of the morning. Then there escaped from her lips a cry of such terrible anguish, That the dying heard it, and started up from their pillows. On the pallet before her was stretched the form of an old man. Long and thin and gray were the locks that shaded his temples; But, as he lay in the morning light, his face for a moment 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 HeVew, 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 hush that succeeded Whispered a gentle voice, in accents tender and saint-like, "Gabriel! O my beloved!" and died away into silence. Then be 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. Vanished 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. ..
Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him,
All was ended now, the hope, and the fear, and the sorrow,
Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow,
Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shades of its branches
VOICES OF THE NIGHT.
Pleasant it was, when woods were green, And winds were soft and low,
To lie amid some sylvan scene,
Where, the long drooping boughs between,
Shadows dark and sunlight sheen
Or where the denser grove receives
No sunlight from above,
The shadows hardly move.
Beneath some patriarchal tree
I lay upon the ground;
With one continuous sound;—
A slumberous sound,—a sound that brings
The feelings of a dream,—
O'er meadow, lake, and stream.
And dreams of that which cannot die,
Bright visions, came to me,
Like ships upon the sea;
Dreams that the soul of youth engage
Ere Fancy has been quelled; Old legends of the monkish page,
Traditions of the saint and sage,
And, loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng
The holy land of song.
Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings
When nestling buds unfold their wings,
And bishop's-caps have golden rings,
Musing upon many things,
The green trees whispered low and mild;
It was a sound of joy!
As if I were a boy;
And ever whispered, mild and low, "Come, be a child once more!"
And waved their long arms to and fro,
And beckoned solemnly and slow:
Oh, I could not choose but go
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood,
Like one in prayer I stood.
Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
In long and sloping lines.
And, falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood! Stay, oh, stay!
Ye were so sweet and wild!
Thou art no more a child!
"The land of Song within thee lies,
Watered by living springs;
The lids of fancy's sleepless eyes
Are gates unto that Paradise,
Holy thoughts, like stars, arise,
Its clouds are angels' wings.
"Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,
"There is a forest where the din
Of iron branches sounds!
Sees not its depths nor bounds.
"Athwart the swinging branches cast, Soft rays of sunshine pour;
Then comes the fearful wintry blast;
Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast;
Pallid lips say, ' It is past!
"Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
Yes, into Life's deep stream!
Be these henceforth thy theme."
HYMN TO THE NIGHT.
I Heard the trailing garments of the Night Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light From the celestial walls!