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Then, as she mounted the stairs to the corridors, cooled by 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 her 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 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 hush that succeeded Whispered a gentle voice, in accents tender and saint-like, “ Gabriel! O my beloved!” 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, 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
i have spoken.
Vainly he strove to rise ; and Evangeline, kneeling beside hin,
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! 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,
Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shades 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.
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
Alternate come and go;
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 ;-
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 chronicles of eld.
Even in the city's throng
The holy land of song.
The Spring, clothed like a bride,
I sought the woodlands wide.
It was a sound of joy!
As if I were a boy;
And ever whispered, mild and low,
“ Come, be a child once more !"
Into the woodlands hoar;
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; Abroad their fan-like branches grew, And, where the sunshine darted through, Spread a vapour soft and blue,
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!
Watered by living springs;
Its clouds are angels' wings.
“Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,
Not mountains capped with snow,
The bending heavens below.
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 !
We can return no more!'
“Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
Yes, into Life's deep stream! All forms of sorrow and delight, All solemn Voices of the Night, That can soothe thee, or affright,
Be these henceforth thy theme.”
HYMN TO THE NIGHT.
'Aoraoin, tplacotos. 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 !