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So these lives that had run thus far in separate channels,
Coming in sight of each other, then swerving and flowing asunder,
Parted by barriers strong, but drawing nearer and nearer
Rushed together at last, and one was lost in the other.

IX.

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:
I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God! it is ended.
Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of Hugh Stand-

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

ocean,

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,

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Covered with crimson cloth, and a cnshion placed for a saddle.
She should not walk, he said, through the dust and heat of the

noonday;
Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod along like a peasant.
Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by the others,
Placing her hand on the cushion, her foot in the hand of her hus-

band,
Gaily, with joyous laugh, Priscilla mounted her palfrey.
“Nothing is wanted now," he said, with a smile, “ but the distaff;
Then you would be in truth my queen, my beautiful Bertha!”.

Onward the bridal procession now moved to their new habitation;
Happy husband and wife, and friends conversing together.
Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the ford in the

forest,
Pleased with the image that passed, like a dream of love through

its bosom,
Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depths of the azure abysses.
Down through the golden leaves the sun was pouring his splen-

dours,
Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches above them sus-

pended,
Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine and the fir-

tree,
Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley of Eshcol.
Like a picture it seemed of the primative, pastoral ages,
Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling Rebecca and Isaac,
Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always,
Love immortal and young in the endless succession of lovers,
So through the Plymouth woods passed onward the bridal proces-

sion

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BIRDS OF PASSAGE.

come i gru van cantando lor lai Facendo in aer di sè lunga riga.

DANTE,

PROMETHEUS,

OR THE POET'S FORETHOUGHT.

OF Prometheus, how undaunted

On Olympus' shining bastions
His audacious foot he planted,
Myths are told and songs are chaunted,

Full of promptings and suggestions.
Beautiful is the tradition

Of that flight through heavenly portals,
The old classic superstition
Of the theft and the transmission

Of the fire of the Immortals!
First the deed of noble daring.

Born of heavenward aspiration, Then the fire with mortals sharing, Then the vulture,-the despairing

Cry of pain on crags Caucasian.
All is but a symbol painted

Of the Poet, Prophet, Seer ;
Only those are crowned and sainted
Who with grief have been acquainted,

Making nations nobler, freer.
In their feverish exultations,

In their triumph and their yearning,
In their passionate pulsations,
In their words among the nations,

The Promethean fire is burning.
Shall it, then, be unavailing,

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 ?

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Such a fate as this was Dante's,

By defeat and exile maddened ;
Thus were Milton and Cervantes,
Nature's priests and Corybantes,

By affliction touched and saddened.
But the glories so transcendent

That around their memories cluster,
And, on all their steps attendant,
Make their darkened lives resplendent

With such gleams of inward lustre!
All the melodies mysterious,

Through the dreary darkness chaunted ;
Thoughts in attitudes imperious,
Voices soft, and deep, and serious,

Words that whispered, songs that haunted !
All the soul in rapt suspension,

All the quivering, palpitating
Chords of life in utmost tension,
With the fervour of invention,

With the rapture of creating!
Ah, Prometheus; heaven-scaling!

In such hours of exultation
Even in the faintest heart, unquailing,
Might behold the vulture sailing

Round the cloudy crags Caucasian!
Though to all there is not given

Strength for such sublime endeavour,
Thus to scale the walls of heaven,
And to leaven with fiery leaven

All the hearts of men for ever ;
Yet all bards, whose hearts unblighted

Honour and believe the pressage,
Hold aloft their torches lighted,
Gleaming through the realms benighted,

As they onward bear the message!

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THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

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SAINT AUGUSTINE! well hast thou said,

That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, 75 if we will but tread

Beneath our feet each deed of shame!
All common things each day's events,

That with the hour begin and end,
Our pleasures and our discontents,

Are rounds by which we may ascend.

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