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As if to summon from his sleep the Warden
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
No drum-beat from the wall,
Awaken with its call !
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast,
Be seen upon his post !
In sombre harness mailed,
The rampart wall had scaled.
The dark and silent room,
The silence and the gloom.
But smote the Warden hoar;
And groan from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited,
The sun rose bright o'erhead; Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead.
A TALE OF ACADIE.
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines
and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct
in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their
bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neigh- 5
boring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail
of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the
hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland
the voice of the huntsman ? Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Aca
dian farmers, – Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the 10
woodlands, Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for
ever departed ! Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts
of October Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them
far o'er the ocean. Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village 15
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures,
and is patient, Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's
devotion, List to the mournful tradition, still sung by the pines
of the forest; List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.
PART THE FIRST.
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of 20
Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pré
Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks
without number. Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with
labor incessant, Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons 25
the flood-gates Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er
the meadows. West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards
and cornfields Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and away
to the northward Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the
mountains Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty 30
Atlantic Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their
station descended. There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian
village. Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and
of hemlock, Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign
of the Henries. Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and 35
gables projecting Over the basement below protected and shaded the
There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when
brightly the sunset Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on
the chimneys, Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in
kirtles Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the 40
golden Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles
within doors Mingled their sounds with the whir of the wheels
and the songs of the maidens.. Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and
the children Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended
to bless them. Reverend walked he among them; and up rose 45
matrons and maidens, Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate
welcome. Then came the laborers home from the field, and
serenely the sun sank Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from
the belfry Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of
the village Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense 50