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The haunt of the Fallow Deer,
By the lonely woodland spring, Where the Bullrush lifts its spear,
And the Honeysuckles cling; Where waves the feathery Fern,
And the sunshine falls in gleams, That ever shift, and change, and turn,
Like the shapes that people dreams.
The haunt of the Fallow Deer,
Of the creature wild and free, By the waters flowing clear,
And the stately forest tree,
And all is calm and still,
Sits throned, and fears no ill.
Amid the bosky dells,
To the Foxglove's purple bells;
The bracken tall amid, And the Valley Lily holds her court,
By grasses tall half hid.
The haunt of the Fallow Deer,
By the moorland spreading wide, Amid whose herbage sere
The red Grouse loves to hide, Where the Fox barks from the hill,
And the Owl hoots through the night, And the glossy Blackcock croweth shrill
To hail the morning light.
The haunt of the Fallow Deer,
Beneath the giant Oak,
Nor echoes woodman's stroke;
And the azure Heath-bell swings, And twinkling feet in the moonlight pale
Dance round the fairy rings.
The haunt of the Fallow Deer,
From cities far away, Where twining roots appear,
Like serpents in their play; Whereby are leafy nooks,
And mossy beds for rest; Oh, throbbing brows and troubled looks,
Here cease your weary quest.
A RELIGIOUS procession was proceeding through the “ Ask pardon for your crime in the name of holy forests in the neighborhood of Nismes, when it suddenly Mother Church, or it shall go hard with you.” caine to an open space occupied by a cottage of humble She gained courage to murmur, appearance, but bearing about it evidences of taste in its “I have been taught to pray only in the name of occupants. The walls were covered with vines so Christ.” thickly matted together as to resemble a solid mass of “And is not He, then, the head and founder of our verdure, and the yard in front was surrounded by a Church? Pooh! child, who has taught you such absurd hedge of evergreens, while within the inclosure bloomed distinctions? Do as I bid you, or I will find means to a few late flowers.
make your heretical parents suffer for having so badly On a rustic portico in front of the cottage sat a girl trained you." of tender years, singing a psalm in a voice of clear, bird- This threat destroyed the little courage the girl had like melody. She wore the common dress of the pea- been able to summon. She faintly said, santry in that portion of the country; and the scarlet “Oh no—on me let your anger fall. Spare my good bodice, cut low in the neck, with short sleeves, showed father and mother. They have often admonished me the symmetry of a neatly-rounded form, though the not to sing the psalms, but I love them so much, I forsmooth skin was browned to the hue of the berry. The got. Oh! Father Antoine, it was only my own heedsoft black eyes and raven hair harmonized, however, lessness; it was no fault of my parents.” with this complexion, and as she leaned against the dark " Then expiate your sin as I shall command, or take background, made by the shining leaves of the ivy that the consequences. Repeat after me a solemn recantacovered the walls, she looked, in the gathering twilight, tion of the errors in which you have been reared; only like a vivid picture of youthful joy, over whom the sad on this condition will I pardon the breach of the laws condition of her native land had not yet possessed the of which you have been guilty. Refuse, and before the power to cast a shadow,
night has waned your whole family shall be cast into a She held a piece of work in her busy fingers, and dungeon, there to perish in their heresy, ruined in this as she bent her head over it, she was so intensely world, and lost in the next.” occupied that she heeded not the approach of the holy His words were addressed to a child of fourteen years, procession, until, at a sign from the abbot, it stopped in in mortal terror of his power, and he well calculated the front of the cottage. The sweet melody continued to effect they would produce. She glanced down the footring out clear and full until the voice of the priest, path leading to the cottage, but no form was approachspeaking in tones of stern anger, startled her from her ing to sustain her sinking courage. She faltered, unconsciousness.
“ And shall my parents be safe from your anger if I "Girl, are you not the daughter of Laval, the do this ?” forester ?”
" They shall be ; I promise it." She started, looked up, and at the sight of those Again she wavered, and in great anguish exclaimed, before her, grew pallid as death; for, young as she was, Oh, Father Antoine, if you force me to do this, my she had learned to dread the appearance of the so-called father will cast me from him as unworthy! He can vicegerents of Heaven as the prelude to bitter suffering never trust me again. I shall become an outcast from to those that were dear to her.
his heart. As you have mercy exact not this from me!” “Why do you not answer ?" he harshly asked, as she The priest grimly smiled, for he enjoyed her terror. stood mute and trembling before him.
“ Weigh your fears of their anger against the cer“I-I was so startled. Pardon me, father! Yes, I tainty of the punishment I have threatened, and then am the daughter of the forester. My parents are away, decide. What seems hard in my conduct to you now, and while I watched for them I sang. Oh, Father will in the future be regarded by you as a signal interAntoine, pardon me! I had forgotten that we are for- position of Heaven in your favor.” bidden to sing the psalms; and indeed-indeed, I did The girl scarcely understood him, so bewildered were not see the holy emblems coming!"
her faculties. Her parents, like all the Huguenots, had "Why do you not now kneel before them, wretched suffered deeply for their stedfast adherence to the relilittle heretic?” he thundered. “You know it is not per- gion they espoused, and threats of violence had often mitted to your people to sing at all when this holy pro- been used toward them. They lived in hourly dread cession passes by, and yet you dared run such a risk! that their humble position might not be able to protect Do you know that severe punishment is decreed against them from the pitiless wrath that swept as a whirlwind those who are guilty of such irreverent conduct ?" over the land, levelling alike the lordly tree and the
The girl, trembling in every limb, sunk upon her humble flower that found shelter beneath its shaknees, and raised her clasped hand deprecatingly toward dow. him. A sudden thought struck the priest. He said, in “ Are you not the same girl to whom the Sisters of the same commanding tone,
Mercy lately offered the advantages of a superior edu you must
cation if you would abandon the errors inculcated by "O Lord, in whom I have trusted, thou hast not per. your parents ?”
mitted this evil to fall on me! My own one, that I “ The Sisters did make me such an offer, but I could trained so carefully, to fall from grace in the first monot leave my home. Oh! Father Antoine, if you are ment of temptation.” really a good man, you will see that it is right to honor The girl clung to his knees and piteously begged formy father and mother as the Bible commands."
giveness; but he loosened her clasp as he said, “And even to such as you the mysteries of that holy “No, no; you have chosen your path, and volume are laid bare by these sacrilegious heretics,” said walk in it. Henceforth I have no claim on you. Take the priest, severely. “Girl, you have been badly trained her, priest; the renegade daughter will make a fitting by your parents, and it becomes my duty to remove you follower of the great Moloch, into which you and such from their evil influence. Recant your errors as I com- as you have turned the Church of the Most High God.” mand, or the strong arm of authority shall deal with Laval and his wife had approached the cottage by a those who have sinned against their duty toward you pathway leading to the rear of the building, and until by risking the salvation of your immortal soul." they entered its walls they were not aware of the scene
By this time the child was so exhausted by fright that acting in front. The mother, pallid and nearly sinking she was ready to obey any command he might give her. with agitation, stood in the doorway, holding in her Of a highly nervous temperament, and easily excited; arms an infant a few months old. impressed from infancy with a deep dread of the power Repulsed by her father, Lucille turned toward her, of the priesthood ; a witness, as years advanced, of the and she looked up imploringly in her face as her white ruthless use made of that power, poor little Lucille had lips muttered, not one spark of courage left in her palpitating heart “Mother, it was to save you all from the punishment to give life to a spirit of resistance. She could only due to my fault that I abjured. I forgot your warnfalter,
ings—I sang the psalms, as the procession came by, and “Holy Father, what shall I do to avert your anger ?" incurred the penalty of imprisonment to us all. It was
"Repeat after me a renunciation of the errors in better to bear the punishment myself than have it fall which you have been reared, and I promise you pro- on all alike. My baby brother would have died in the tection and advancement, such as your parents never dungeon, shut out from the liglit of heaven. My dreamed of for a child of theirs."
father's strong arm would have become palsied, you “Tell me, then, what I must say."
would have perished, and my heedlessness the cause of The priest slowly repeated the form of words often all. Was it not better to avert these dire calamities, at dictated to children, and made by the laws binding upon any cost to myself ?" them, even from the tender age of eight years. This “If your eternal welfare had not also been at stake," recantation once uttered, the parents had no further replied the agonized mother; “but with that, you had power over them. They passed under the rule of the no right to tamper. One soul is of more worth than Church, and were trained in her dogmas, in defiance of the earthly existence of many bodies. I would sooner all the opposition that could be offered by those to have seen you perish, true to your faith, than thus whom nature had alone given the right to control their weakly to have resigned it.” opinions and form their characters.
“Right, right, wife,” said Laval, gloomily; then turnScarcely conscious of what she was doing, the faint ing to the priest, he added, “And you have wrung from voice of Lucille followed that of the priest, and when the fears of a weak child a recantation of all she has the fatal words were ended she fell forward with her been taught to consider sacred; you will proclaim her face upon the turf, in an agony of emotion that would have enforced conversion as a triumph of the true faith over touched any heart not utterly hardened by fanaticism. heretical doctrines. You have taken a cruel advantage Father Antoine said,
of my absence to obtain from her terror what my “Rise, daughter of the true faith, and follow me to daughter would never voluntarily have acknowledged. an asylum where care and tenderness shall compensate She is yet too young to be responsible for her own you for the separation from those who have trained you acts." only in heresy and rebellion."
“ The law permits even younger children to choose “It is false,” said a loud voice, and a man of tall and the true faith," replied the abbot. “If she is old powerful frame bounded through the open door of the enough to comprehend error, she is also capable of folcottage. His black eyes were blazing with excitement, lowing truth. Her choice is made, and she will not now and his lips were white and trenulous with emotion. be permitted to recoil from it: and learn farther, that He raised his daughter from the ground, and, facing the only through forbearance, purchased by her submission, priest, asked with a sort of subdued desperation, do I refrain from proceeding to extremities against you
“What does this mean? What have you done to and your wife for your irreverent conduct in the presfrighten this child so fearfully ?”
ence of the sacred body of Christ. Come, girl, I have “I have received her renunciation of the errors in wasteď too much time here; follow me, and take heed which she was reared,” he coldly replied, “and you that you stray neither to the right nor to the left. I well know to what measures that must lead."
will place you at once with the Sisters of Mercy, where Laval relaxed his grasp upon the form of Lucille, and you will be well cared for.” staggered back. He muttered in a broken voice,
Lucille arose, and stretched arms imploringly toward her father. As if moved by an uncontrollable impulse, , altar which emulated pagan cruelties in the tortures inLaval rushed toward ber, and pressed her with frantic ficted on its victims. force to his heart. His band sought the handle of a This picture was more than the father could bear; knite he wore in his breast, and his fingers nervously and uttering a fierce cry, with one bound he cleared the clutched it, with the half-formed determination to take yard, as a bend in the pathway shut his daughter from hier life sooner than surrender her to the protection of his sight, and with fleet steps went in pursuit of her. the Church. The glittering blade was partly unsheathed, He did not pause to reflect on the consequences—he only when Lucille comprehended his intention. She faintly felt that he could die sooner than permit his darling said,
child to be thus ruthlessly torn from him. “Kill me, then; it will be better to die in your arms The abbot walked with slow and dignified motion, than to follow that man."
mechanically repeating his Aves, followed by the others, Her eyes were raised to his, and there was some- and the enraged father soon overtook them. The thing in their expression that disarmed him. He acolytes, apparently unmoved by the scene they had groaned.
witnessed, swung their censers as accurately as ever, and “Oh, had this spirit only sustained you until I came, the attendant priest also mumbled scraps of Latin which I could have saved you. I will do it yet, my child, or he dignified with the name of prayers,' when Lucille die in the attempt. You shall not be twice lost to walked after them with tears streaming over her pale you earthly parent, and to your Father in heaven.” features, yet no thought of rebelling against the cruel
He passionately kissed her cheek, lips, and brow, and decision that tore her from her home had entered her then resigned her to her mother.
heart. " You should have died sooner than recant," said the In this she only practised that submission to the latter; " but since it is so, you must go, and we may higher powers which the Huguenots sedulously inculDever meet you again. A blight has fallen on our humble cated in all things that did not conflict with their duty home, and now a day, an hour may compass the de- to the Supreme Ruler. Suddenly the strong arms of struction of us all."
her father were thrown around her, and she was borne Madame Laval knew that in resigning her daughter away as lightly and as easily as if she had been an to the priest, she lost her as effectually as if death had infant. taken her from her arms; yet she parted from her with Instinctively she clung to him and buried her head in apparent calmness. Lucille pressed the soft cheek of his bosom to shut out the threats and anathemas uttered her infant brother to her lips in a transport of anguish by the priests when they became aware of the daring which was increased by the laughing glee with which act perpetrated by the peasant. Laval was deaf to them the little fellow bounded to meet her caress.
all; he sped backward without one glance toward his Then, with lingering steps, she went out of the little persecutor, who smiled with a malignant consciousness enclosure, and crossing her hands upon her breast, fol- of the power he possessed to bring speedy vengeance lowed the procession with a world of suffering in the upon him, and he quickened his pace that he might young heart lately so full of joyful hope and youthful reach Nismes and send the myrmidons of the law to happiness. She did not dare to give one backward execute his will against the defenceless family. Laval glance to the home she was leaving, lest she should turn reached his own door, and placing his daughter upon and fly again to the beloved ones whose hearts were the floor, he sternly said, riven with anguish at her loss.
“Now, Annette, let us make ready as quickly as we Laval's burning eyes were fixed upon her receding may to go out in the hills, for yon priest will lose no form with feelings no language can portray. Powerless time in sending the dragoons to ferret us out. We must to gain redress for this great outrage against the holiest find a secure hiding-place before they come, or no sun tie of nature, all the fire of his impetuous soul was will ever again rise on earth for you or me." aroused by the very consciousness of his inability to The mother cast a pitiful glance at the helpless infant assert his right to protect his dearly-cherished daughter. she carried in her arms, but she said nothing. Laval Though lowly in station, and dependent on labor for his understood the look, and his voice was slightly husky as support, the forester, in spite of the religions persecu- he replied to it. tion that raged around him, had enjoyed happiness in “He is a young sufferer in the cause of Christ; but his humble home. The bright face, the sweet voice of he had better now perish in his innocence than be his beautiful child, were his solace for every evil; and trained by priestly influence to become a persecutor of now she was torn from him to be placed under the pow- the faithful.” erful intluence of that Church which never scrupled to “Dear father," said Lucille, throwing herself upon her use any means by which the minds of the young could knees before him, “my weakness and disobedience has be influenced. He knew Lucille to imaginative and full brought all this suffering upon you. Let me follow the of enthusiasm : when trained by the subtle intellects priest, and avert his anger from you. I deserve the that would have entire control over her, what might be punishment, and I can bear it." her future career? In imagination he beheld her the Rise, my child, and help your mother to put up our persecutor of the faith in which she had been reared- scanty possessions. No evil to me could be so great as trampling under foot its simple and pure teachings, to suffer you to fall under the rule of that man. Comwhile she bowed in reverence before the blood-stained fort yourself, girl, for some pretext for tearing you from me would soon have been found, even if the innocent, unwarlike aspect was mounted on him, and his mind pastime of singing psalms in praise of our Creator had was evidently occupied with thoughts which had little not afforded one to the wily priest.”
to do with his present “whereabout.” He was crooning Thus comforted, the poor girl, still trembling with a portion of the thirty-third psalm. agitation, followed her mother into the house : it con- Laval stepped forward, laid his hand on the bridle of sisted of two small rooms, divided by a plank partition, the rapt singer, and with his sonorous voice repeated and contained such articles as were barely necessary to another verse from the same psalm. enable them to live; but all were neat and well-kept. A Thus arrested, the rider seemed slightly startled, but bundle of clothing and such food as the cottage con- he instantly resumed his composure as he looked upon tained were hastily collected, and rolled in the blankets the forester. from the beds.
“ Laval, are you too in hiding, my good man? You These Laval tied with a cord and slung them over his do not recognize me, though it is scarcely a year since I shoulder, while his wife took the infant in her arms and administered the rites of baptism to your infant son, at prepared to follow him. With stern and bitter hearts the imminent risk of being seized and imprisoned.” they bade adieu to the home which had sheltered them “My pastor! God be thanked that I meet you thus, so many years; and as Lucille passed out, she plucked a for we are both in greater danger than you are aware spray from the ivy that clustered over the poor walls, to of. Pardon my forgetfulness, but to-night I have had be kept as a momento of her childhood's home.
much to bewilder me. What brings you here, in the They made their escape in time; for when they had very lion's mouth in such perilous times as these?” cscended above the valley, the little party turned and “My duty to my poor, suffering people. I must come looked back toward the spot occupied by their late at stated periods to see after their welfare, to give them Lome. Night by this time had fallen, and the red glare such consolations as they sorely need, to keep stedfast from a fire was thrown upon the darkened air. Laval the wavering, and show them how insignificant is all pointed toward it and said,
worldly suffering in comparison with the reward pre“ Behold, the priest has lost no time-our cottage is pared for those who are faithful to the end." in flanes !”
Some strong emotion seemed to shake the soul of The pathway chosen by Laval, by which to escape Laval, and he knelt upon the road, and reverently placing from his enemies, was a narrow defile leading into the the thin hand of the pastor upon his own head, be said, heart of the Black Mountains.' Walls of rock hemmed “Give me your blessing, father; and ask the Holy it in on either side, and the road was encumbered with One, whose true evangelist you are, to give me a porfragments which had fallen from the cliffs above, and tion of your meek and long-suffering spirit. Oh! I obstructed their progress at every step. Laval well need it—I need it this night, above all others of my life!" knew that they would be pursued; but he trusted for With solemn earnestness, the blessing was given. deliverance to the difficulty of mounted horsemen fol- A few hundred yards from the spot on which they lowing the precipitous path he had preferred. He also had met there was a narrow ravine, the entrance to knew many secret places in these mountain solitudes, in which was nearly concealed by a low undergrowth of which a small party could conceal themselves, and elude vines and bushes. Through this Laval led the way, any search that was not systematically and minutely holding back the matted branches that the mule might made.
pass through without trampling down the natural They had nearly reached a spur in the mountain road screen, which served to conceal it from observation. which jutted across the pathway, when the clatter of After scrambling through this, a few paces beyond the approaching hoofs was heard. The three paused, and ravine terminated in an abrupt precipice. The party Laval bent bis head and listened attentively; he then paused, and the forester again parted the underwood on spoke to the tremblers beside him in a calm tone, the right side, and revealed a pathway winding around
" It is only one horseman who approaches. He comes the face of the hill that overhung an apparently interslowly, as if weary or uncertain of his locality. Take minable depth, from which vapors of darkness seemed the boy, Lucille, and you and your mother stand behind to rise. the projection of the hill there, while I watch the “Come, my good wife, I will help you on. The mule approach of this person, and see if he is to be feared.” is sure-footed, and can be trusted to go on alone. Hark!
They obeyed him in silence, and Laval stood erect, there come the soldiers, by Heaven !" with his muscular form against the dark background Each one of the little party stified their very breathafforded by a clump of cedars which grew from the cre- ing to listen to the clatter of horses' feet, as a party of vices in the rocky wall. The road here had widened mounted men swept over the road they had so lately into a gap, and the starlit sky shone peacefully over it; left. They came to a sudden halt. they were above the region of night vapors, and the In another instant they dashed on, and Laval drew atmosphere was perfectly clear.
a long breath. A pathway opened from the gap on the left hand, and “There is no alternative now, Antoinette ; you must from that side came the uneven sound of stumbling steps, go on or perish. Lucille, walk in your mother's steps evidently from a tired animal. Presently the head of a while I sustain her.” mule was seen, and soon his whole body appeared, pant- His wife staggered up, nerved as much by the coning with the fatigue of the ascent. A small man of very sciousness that her child must be followed at all bazards,