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Hewn from the cypress-tree, and carefully fitted together.
“ Just where the woodlands met the flowery surf of the prairie, Mounted upon his horse, with Spanish saddle and stirrups, Sat a herdsman, arrayed in gaiters and doublet of deerskin. Broad and brown was the face that from under the Spanish sombrero Gazed on the peaceful scene, with the lordly look of its master. Round about him were numberless herds of kine, that were grazing Quietly in the meadows, and breathing the vapoury freshness That uprose from the river, and spread itself over the landscape. Slowly lifting the horn that hung at his side, and expanding Fully his broad, deep chest, he blew a blast, that resounded Wildly and sweet and far, through the still damp air of the evening. Suddenly out of the grass the long white horns of the cattle Rose like flakes of foam on the adverse currents of ocean. Silent a moment they grazed, then bellowing rushed o'er the prairie, And the whole mass became a cloud, a shade in the distance. Then, as the herdsman turned to the house, through the gate of
the garden Saw he the forms of the priest and the maiden advancing to meet him. Suddenly down from his horse he sprang in amazement, and forward Rushed with extended arms and exclamations of wonder; When they beheld his face, they recognized Basil the blacksmith. Hearty his welcome was, as he led his guests to the garden. There in an arbour of roses with endless question and answer Gave they vent to their hearts, and renewed their friendly embraces, Laughing and weeping by turns, or sitting silent and thoughtful. Thoughtful, for Gabriel came not; and now dark doubts and mis
givings Stole o'er the maiden's heart; and Basil, somewhat embarrassed, Broke the silence and said, “If you came by the Atchafalaya, How have you nowhere encountered my Gabriel's boat on the baOver Evangeline's face at the words of Basil a shade passed.
Tears came into her eyes, and she said, with a tremulous accent,-
him. Up and away to-morrow, and through the red dew of the morning We will follow him fast, and bring him back to his prison.”-pp.
81–86. Accordingly, the search was again begun. Gabriel was in a land thus truthfully described
“Far in the West there lies a desert land, where the mountains Lift, through perpetual snows, their lofty and luminous summits. Down from their desolate, deep ravines, where the gorge, like a gate
way, Opens a passage rude to the wheels of the emigrant's wagon, Westward the Oregon flows and the Walleway and Owhy hee. Eastward, with devious course, among the Wind-river Mountains, Through the Sweet-water Valley precipitate leaps the Nebraska; And to the south, from Fontaine-qui-bout and the Spanish sierras, Fretted with sands and rocks, and swept by the wind of the desert, Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound, descend to the ocean, Like the great chords of a harp, in loud and solemn vibrations. Spreading between these streams are the wondrous, beautiful prairies, Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine, Bright with luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas. Over them wander the buffalo herds, and the elk and the roebuck; Over them wander the wolves, and herds of riderless horses ; Fires that blast and blight, and winds that are weary with travel ; Over them wander the scattered tribes of Ishmael's children, Staining the desert with blood, and above their terrible war-trails Circles and sails aloft, on pinions majestic, the vulture, Like the implacable soul of a chieftain slaughtered in battle, By invisible stairs ascending and scaling the heavens. Here and there rise smokes from the camps of these savage marau
ders; Here and there rise groves from the margins of swift-running rivers ;
And the grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the desert,
Here they followed him, but without success. Basil returned home, but Evangeline stayed, trusting yet, Gabriel might return.
Slowly, slowly, slowly the days succeeded each other, Days and weeks and months; and the fields of maize that were
springing Green from the ground when a stranger she came, now waving above
her, Lifted their slender shafts, with leaves interlacing, and forming Cloisters for mendicant crows, and granaries pillaged by squirrels. Then in the golden weather the maize was husked, and the maidens Blushed at each blood-red ear, for that betokened a lover, But at the crooked laughed, and called it a thief in the corn-field. Even the blood-red ear to Evangeline brought not her lover. “ Patience !” the priest would say ; "have faith, and thy prayer will
be answered ! Look at this delicate flower that lifts its head from the meadow, See how its leaves all point to the north, as true as the magnet; It is the compass-flower, that the finger of God has suspended Here on its fragile stalk, to direct the traveller's journey Over the sea-like, pathless, limitless waste of the desert. Such in the soul of man is faith. The blossoms of passion, Gay and luxuriant flowers, are brighter and fuller of fragrance, But they beguile us, and lead us astray, and their odour is deadly. Only this humble plant can guide us here, and hereafter Crown us with asphodel flowers, that are wet with the dews of ne
penthe.” So came the autumn, and passed, and the winter,-yet Gabriel
came not; Blossomed the opening spring, and the notes of the robin and blue
bird Sounded sweet upon wold and in wood, yet Gabriel came not. But on the breath of the summer winds a rumour was wafted Sweeter than song of bird, or hue or odour of blossom. Far to the north and east, it said, in the Michigan forests, Gabriel had his lodge by the banks of the Saginaw river. And, with returning guides, that sought the lakes of St. Lawrence, Saying a sad farewell, Evangeline went from the Mission. When over weary ways, by long and perilous marches, She had attained at length the depths of the Michigan forests, Found she the hunter's
lodge deserted and fallen to ruin ! Thus did the long sad years glide on, and in seasons and places Divers and distant far was seen the wandering maiden ;
Now in the tents of grace of the meek Moravian Missions,
At length Evangeline found her way to the city of the apostolic Penn. There, as a Sister of Mercy, her life became rich in deeds of charity and love. During a severe pestilence with which the city was visited, her exertions were continuous; and in one of her visits to the dying, she meets her Gabriel. The conclusion of the story is beautifully and pathetically told :
Thus, on a Sabbath morn, through the streets, deserted and
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
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 be strove to whisper her name, for the accents unuttered Died on his lips, and their motion revealed what his tongue would
have spoken. Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him, Kissed his dying lips, and laid his head on her bosom. Sweet was the light of his eyes; but it suddenly sank into darkness, As when a lamp is blown out by a gust of wind at a casement.
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 !"
Criticism on “Evangeline" is unnecessary. It speaks, undeniably, the genuine language of poetry. It is a tale to be read and felt and remembered : full of purity, and love, and holy thought. The public are indebted to the publishers for this elegant and cheap edition.