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And still her weary wheel went round,
So in the shadow Mabel sits;
Untouched by mirth she sees and hears.
Her smile is sadder than her tears. But cruel eyes have found her out,
And cruel lips repeat her name,
And taunt her with her mother's shame.
vm. She answered not with railing words,
But drew her apron o'er her face,
And, sobbing, glided from the place. And only pausing at the door,
Her sad eyes met the troubled gaze
Of one who, in her better days,
Ere yet her mother's doom had made
Even Esek Harden half afraid.
He felt that mute appeal of tears,
And, starting, with an angry frown
Hushed all the wicked murmurs down. "Good neighbors mine," he sternly said,
"This passes harmless mirth or jest;
I brook no insult to my guest.
x. "She is indeed her mother's child;
But God's sweet pity ministers
Unto no whiter soul than hers. Let Goody Martin rest in peace;
I never knew her harm a fly,
And witch or not, God knows,—not L I know who swore her life away;
And, as God lives, I 'd not condemn
An Indian dog on word of them."
The broadest lands in all the town,
None dared withstand him to his face,
Her mother only killed a cow,
Poor Mabel, in her lonely home,
She strove to drown her sense of wrong,
Poor child! the prayer, begun in faith,
Grew to a low, despairing cry
Of utter misery: "Let me die!
And hide me where the cruel speech
And mocking finger may not reach!
"I dare not breathe my mother's name:
Let me not live until my heart,
O God! have mercy on thy child,
Had then God heard her? Had he sent
He laid his hand upon her arm:
You know rough Esek Harden well;
The maiden grown shall never find
His heart less warm than when she smiled Upon his knees, a little child!"
Her tears of grief were tears of joy,
"O truest friend of all!" she said,
He led her through his dewy fields,'
"Good friends and neighbors!" Esek said,
"She greets you kindly, one and all;
Henceforth she stands no more alone;
Now let the merriest tales be told,
For now the lost has found a home;
O, pleasantly the harvest moon,
Between the shadow of the mows,
Looked on them through the great elm-boughs! On Mabel's curls of golden hair,
On Esek's shaggy strength, it fell,
And the wind whispered, "It is well!"
J. G. Whittier.
LXXVL—AN ALPINE STREAM.
THERE is no feature in the Alpine scenery more beautiful than the wells and streamlets which make every hill-side bright with their sunny sparkle and musical with their liquid murmurs; and there are no spots so rich in mountain plants as their banks. Trace them to their source, high up above the common things of the world, and they form a crown of joy to the bare granite rocks, diffusing around them beauty and V3rdure like stars brightening their own rays.
'2. A fringe of deeply-green moss clusters round their edges, not creeping and leaning on the rock, but growing erect in thick tufts of fragile and slender stems. Clouds of golden confervse. like the most delicate floss-silk, float in the open centre of clear water, the ripple of which gives motion and quick play of light and shade to their graceful filaments. The Alpine willow-herb bends its tiny head from the brink, to add its rosy reflection to the exquisite harmony of coloring in the depths; the rock-veronica forms an outer fringe of the deepest blue; while the little mosscampion enlivens the decomposing rocks in the vicinity with a' continuous velvet carpeting of the brightest rose-red and the most brilliant green.
3. The indescribable loveliness of this glowing little flower strikes every one who sees it for the first time on the mountains speechless with admiration. Imagine cushions of tufted moss, with all the delicate grace of its foliage miraculously blossoming into myriads of flowers, rosier than the vermeil hue on beauty's cheek, or the cloudlet that lies nearest the setting sun, crowding upon each other so closely that the whole seems an intense floral blush, and you will have some faint idea of its marvelous beauty. We have nothing to compare with it among lowland flowers.
4. Following the course of the sparkling stream from this enchanted land, it conducts us down the slope of the hill to beds of the mountain-avens, decking the dry and stony knolls on either side with its downy procumbent leaves and large white flowers, more adapted, one would suppose, to the shelter of the woods than the bleak exposure of the mountain-side.
5. Farther down the declivity, where the stream, now increased in size, scooped out for itself a deep rocky channel, which it fills from side to side in its hours of flood and fury—hours when it is all too terrible to be approached by mortal footsteps—we find the mountain-sorrel hanging its clusters of kidney-shaped leaves and greenish rose-tipped blossoms—a grateful salad—from the beetling brows of the rocks; while, on the drier parts, we observe immense masses of the rose-root stonecrop growing where no other vegetation save lichens could exist.
6. This cactus-like plant is furnished with thick fleshy leaves, with few or no evaporating pores; which enables it to retain the moisture collected by its large, woody, penetrating root, and thus endure the long-continued drought of summer, when the stream below is shrunk down to the