Billeder på siden

O’er his face of moody sadness

For an instant shone
Something like a gleam of gladness,

As he stooped him down
To the fountain's grassy side
And his eager thirst supplied.
With the oak its shadow throwing

O'er his mossy seat,
And the cool, sweet waters flowing

Softly at his feet,
Closely by the fountain's rim
That lone Indian seated him.

Autumn's earliest frost had given

To the woods below
Hues of beauty, such as heaven

Lendeth to its bow;
And the soft breeze from the west
Scarcely broke their dreamy rest.

Far behind was Ocean striving

With his chains of sand;
Southward, sunny glimpses giving,

'Twixt the swells of land,
Of its calm and silvery track,
Rolled the tranquil Merrimack.
Over village, wood and meadow,

Gazed that stranger man
Sadly, till the twilight shadow

Over all things ran, Save where spire and westward pane Flashed the sunset back again. Gazing thus

upon the dwelling Of his warrior sires, Where no lingering trace was telling

Of their wigwam fires,

Who the gloomy thoughts might know Of that wandering child of woe ? Naked lay, in sunshine glowing,

Hills that once had stood
Down their sides the shadows throwing

Of a mighty wood,
Where the deer his covert kept,
And the eagle's pinion swept !
Where the birch canoe had glided

Down the swift Powow,
Dark and gloomy bridges strided

Those clear waters now;
And where once the beaver swam,
Jarred the wheel and frowned the dam.

For the wood-bird's merry singing,

And the hunter's cheer,
Iron clang and hammer's ringing

Smote upon his ear;
And the thick and sullen smoke
From the blackened forges broke.

Could it be, his fathers ever,

Loved to linger here? These bare hills—this conquer'd river

Could they hold them dear, With their native loveliness Tamed and tortured into this?

Sadly, as the shades of even

Gathered o'er the hill,
While the western half of heaven

Blushed with sunset still,
From the fountain's mossy

seat Turned the Indian's



Year on year hath flown forever,

But he came no more

To the hill-side or the river

Where he came before.
But the villager can tell
Of that strange man's visit well.
And the merry children, laden

With their fruits or flowers
Roving boy and laughing maiden,

In their school-day hours,
Love the simple tale to tell
Of the Indian and his well.



THE goodman sat beside his door

One sultry afternoon,
With his young wife singing at his side

An old and goodly tune.
A glimmer of heat was in the air,

The dark green woods were still;. And the skirts of a heavy thunder-cloud

Hung over the western hill.
Black, thick, and vast, arose that cloud

Above the wilderness,
As some dark world from upper air

Were stooping over this.
At times, the solemn thunder pealed,

And all was still again,
Save a low murmur in the air

Of coming wind and rain.

Just as the first big rain-drop fell,

A weary stranger came,
And stood before the farmer's door,

With travel soiled and lame.

Sad seemed he, yet sustaining hope

Was in his quiet glance, And

peace, like autumn's moonlight, clothed His tranquil countenance.

A look, like that his Master wore

In Pilate's council-ball :
It told of wrongs--but of a love

Meekly forgiving all. “ Friend ! wilt thou give me shelter here ?"

The stranger meekly said ; And, leaning on his oaken staff,

The goodman's features read.

“My life is hunted-evil men

Are following in my track ; The traces of the torturer's whip

Are on my aged back.
“ And much, I fear, 'twill peril thee

Within thy doors to take
A hunted seeker of the Truth,

Oppressed for conscience sake.”
Oh, kindly spoke the goodman's wife-

- Come in, old man!” quoth she,“ We will not leave thee to the storm

Whoever thou may'st be.”

Then came the aged wanderer in,

And silent sat him down;
While all within grew dark as night

Beneath the storm-cloud's frown.

But while the sudden lightning's blaze

Filled every cottage nook,
And with the jarring thunder-roll

The loosened casements shook,
A heavy tramp of horses' feet

Came sounding up the lane, And half a score of horse, or more,

Came plunging through the rain. “ Now, Goodman Macey, ope thy door,

We would not be house-breakers; A rueful deed thou'st done this day,

In harboring banished Quakers.” Out looked the cautious goodman then,

With much of fear and awe,
For there, with broad wig drenched with rain,

The parish priest he saw.
Open thy door, thou wicked man,

And let thy pastor in,
And give God thanks, if forty stripes

Repay thy deadly sin.”
“ What seek ye?” quoth the goodman, -

“ The stranger is my guest; He is worn with toil and grievous wrong,

Pray let the old man rest.” “ Now, out upon thee, canting knave:*

And strong hands shook the door, “ Believe me, Macey," quoth the priest,

“ Thou'lt rue thy conduct sore. Then kindled Macey's eye of fire:

“No priest who walks the earth, Shall pluck away the stranger-guest

Made welcome to my hearth."

« ForrigeFortsæt »