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So these lives that had run thus far in separate channels,
THE WEDDING-DAY, FORTH from the curtain of clouds, from the tent of purple and
scarlet, Issued the sun, the great High-Priest, in his garments resplendent, Holiness unto the Lord, in letters of light, on his forehead, Round the hem of his robe the golden bells and pomegranates. Blessing the world he came, and the bars of vapour beneath him Gleamed like a grate of brass, and the sea at his feet was a laver!
This was the wedding-morn of Priscilla the Puritan maiden, Friends were assembled together; the Elder and Magistrate also Graced the scene with their presence, and stood like the Law and
the Gospel, One with the sanction of earth, and one with the blessing of
heaven. Simple and brief was the wedding, as that of Ruth and of Boaz. Softly the youth and the maiden repeated the words of betrothal, Taking each other for husband and wife in the Magistrate's pre
sence, After the Puritan way, and the laudable custom of Holland. Fervently then, and devoutly, the excellent Elder of Plymouth Prayed for the hearth and the home, that were founded that day in
affection, Speaking of life and of death, and imploring divine benedictions, Lol when the service was ended, a form appeared on the thres
bold, Clad in armour of steel, a sombre and sorrowful figure! Why does the bridegroom start and stare at the strange apparition ? Why does the bride turn pale, and hide her face upon his shoulder ? Is it a phantom of air,-a bodiless, spectral illusion ? Is it a ghost from the grave, that has come to forbid the betrothal? Long had it stood there unseen, a guest uninvited, unwelcomed; Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times an expression, Softening the gloom and revealing the warm heart hidden beneath
them, As when across the sky the driving rack of the rain-cloud Grows for a moment thin, and betrays the sun by its brightness. Once it had lifted its hand, and moved its lips, but was silent, As if an iron will had mastered the fleeting intention. But when were ended the troth and the prayer and the last benedic
tion, Into the room it strode, and the people beheld with amazement Bodily there in his armour Miles Standish the Captain of Plymouth! Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with emotion," Forgive me!
I have been angry and hurt,—too long have I cherished the feeling:
ish, Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error. Never so much as now was Miles Standish the friend of John
Alden." Thereupon answered the bridegroom :“Let all be fogotten between
us,All save the dear, old frienship, and that shall grow older and
dearer!" Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted Priscilla, Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry in England. Something of camp and of court, of town and of country, commin
gled, Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly landing her husband. Then he said with a smile : “I should have remembered the adage.If you would be well served, you must serve yourself; and moreover
, No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of Christmas!"
Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet their rejoicing Thus to behold once more the sun-burnt face of their Captain, Whom they had mourned as dead; and they gathered and crowded
about him, Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride and of bridegroom. Questioning, answering, laughing, and each interrupting the other, Till the good Captain declared, being quite overpowered and be.
wildered, He had rather by far break into an Indian encampment, Than come again to a wedding to which he had not been invited. Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and stood with the bride at
the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and beautiful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and sad in the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and privation ; There were the graves of the dead, and the barren waste of the sea.
shore, There the familiar fields, the groves of pine, and the meadows; But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the Garden of Eden, Filled with the presence of God, whose voice was the sound of the
Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise and stir of depar
ture, Friends coming forth from the house, and impatient of longer de
laying, Each with his plan for the day, and the work that was left uncom
pleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclamations of wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy, so proud of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white steer, obeying the hand of its master, Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring in its nostrils,
Covered with crimson cloth, and a cnshion placed for a saddle.
Onward the bridal procession now moved to their new habitation;
BIRDS OF PASSAGE.
come i gru van cantando lor lai Facendo in aer di sè lunga riga.
OR THE POET'S FORETHOUGHT.
OF Prometheus, how undaunted
On Olympus' shining bastions
Full of promptings and suggestions.
Of that flight through heavenly portals,
Of the fire of the Immortals!
Born of heavenward aspiration, Then the fire with mortals sharing, Then the vulture,-the despairing
Cry of pain on crags Caucasian.
Of the Poet, Prophet, Seer ;
Making nations nobler, freer.
In their triumph and their yearning,
The Promethean fire is burning.
All this toil for human culture ? Through the cloud-rack, dark and trailing, Must they see above them sailing O'er life's barren crags the vulture ?
Such a fate as this was Dante's,
By defeat and exile maddened ;
By affliction touched and saddened.
That around their memories cluster,
With such gleams of inward lustre!
Through the dreary darkness chaunted ;
Words that whispered, songs that haunted !
All the quivering, palpitating
With the rapture of creating!
In such hours of exultation
Round the cloudy crags Caucasian!
Strength for such sublime endeavour,
All the hearts of men for ever ;
Honour and believe the pressage,
As they onward bear the message!
THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
SAINT AUGUSTINE! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can frame
Beneath our feet each deed of shame!
That with the hour begin and end,
Are rounds by which we may ascend.