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But never merrily beat Annie's heart.
The moving whisper of huge trees that branch'd
And where was Enoch ! Prosperously sail'd
There, often as he watch'd or seem'd to watch,
There Enoch traded for himself, and bought Quaint monsters for the market of those times, A gilded dragon, also, for the babes.
Less lucky her home-voyage : at first indeed Once likewise, in the ringing of his ears,
Tho' faintly, merrily-far and far away-
He heard the pealing of his parish bells ; Stared o'er the ripple feathering from her bows : Then, tho' he knew not wherefore, started up Then follow'd calms, and then winds variable, Shuddering, and when the beauteous hateful isle Then bafiling, a long course of them; and last Return'd upon him, had not his poor heart Storm, such as drove her under moonless heavens Spoken with That, which being everywhere Till hard upon the cry of " breakers came
Lets none, who speaks with Him, seem all alone, The crash of ruin, and the loss of all
Surely the man had died of solitude.
The sunny and rainy seasons came and went
Year after year. His hopes to see his own,
And pace the sacred old familiar fields, No want was there of human sustenance,
Not yet had perish'd, when his lonely doom Soft fruitage, mighty nuts and nourishing roots; Came suddenly to an end. Another ship Nor save for pity was it hard to take
(She wanted water) blown by baffling winds The helpless life so wild that it was tame.
Like the Good Fortune, from her destined course, There in a seaward-gazing mountain-gorge
Stay'd by this isle, not knowing where she lay ; They built, and thatch'd with leaves of palm, a hut, For since the mate had seen at early dawn Half hut, half native cavern. So the three,
Across a break on the mist-wreathen isle Set in this Eden of all plenteousness,
The silent water slipping from the hills, Dwelt with eternal summer, ill-content.
They sent a crew that landing burst away
In search of stream or fount, and fillid the shores For one, the youngest, hardly more than boy, With clamor. Downward from his mountain gorge Hurt in that night of sudden ruin and wreck, Stept the long-haired long-bearded solitary, Lay lingering out a three-years' death-in-life. Brown, looking hardly human, strangely clad, They could not leave him. After he was gone, Muttering and mumbling, idiotlike it seem'd, The two remaining found a fallen stem ;
With inarticulate rage, and making signs And Enoch's comrade, careless of himself,
They knew not what: and yet he led the way Fire-hollowing this in Indian fashion, fell
To where the rivulets of sweet water ran; Snn-stricken, and that other lived alone.
And ever as he mingled with the crew, In those two deaths he read God's warning "wait.” And heard them talking, his long-bounden tongue
Was loosen'd, till he made them understand ; The mountain wooded to the peak, the lawns Whom, when their casks were fill'd they took aboard And winding glades high up like ways to Heaven, And there the tale he utter'd brokenly, The slender coco's drooping crown of plumes, Scarce credited at first but more and more, The lightning flash of insect and of bird,
Amazed and melted all who listen'd to it: The lustre of the long convolvuluses
And clothes they gave him and free passage bome: That coil'd around the stately stems, and ran But oft he work'd among the rest and shook Ev'n to the limit of the land, the glows
His isolation from him. None of these And glories of the broad belt of the world,
Came from his county, or could answer him, All these he saw; but what he fain had seen If question'd, aught of what he cared to know. He could not see, the kindly human face,
And dull the voyage was with long delays, Nor ever hear a kindly voice, but heard
The vessel scarce sea-worthy; bnt evermore The myriad shriek of wheeling ocean-fowl,
His fancy fled before the lazy wind The league-long roller thundering on the reef, Returning, till beneath a clouded moon
He like a lover down thro' all his blood
For Philip's dwelling fronted on the street, Drew in the dewy meadowy morning-breath The latest house to landward; but behind, of England, blown across her ghostly wall:
With one small gate that open'd on the waste, And that same morning officers and men
Flourish'd a little garden square and wall’d: Levied a kindly tax upon themselves,
And in it throve an ancient evergreen,
A yewtree, and all round it ran a walk
But Enoch shunnid the middle walk and stole
Up by the wall, behind the yew; and thence There Enoch spoke no word to any one,
That which he better might have shunn'd, if giiefs But homeward,-home,—what home? had he a home? Like his bave worse or better, Enoch saw. His home he walk'd. Bright was that afternoon, Sunny but chill; till drawn thro' either chasm, For cnps and silver on the burnish'd board Where either haven open'd on the deeps,
Sparkled and shone ; so genial was the hearth; Roll'd a sea-haze and whelm'd the world in gray:
And on the right hand of the hearth he saw
Philip, the slighted suitor of old times,
And o'er her second father stoopt a girl,
A later but a loftier Aunie Lee, Disconsolate, and thro' the dripping haze
Fair-hair'd and tall, and from her lifted hand The dead weight of the dead leaf bore it down: Dangled a length of ribbon and a ring Thicker the drizzle grew, deeper the gloom;
To tempt the babe, who rear'd his creasy arms, Last, as it seem'd, a great mist-blotted light Caught at and ever miss'd it, and they laugh'd : Flared on him, and he came upon the place.
And on the left band of the hearth he saw
The mother glancing often toward her babe, Then down the long street having slowly stolen,
But turning now and then to speak with him, His heart foreshadowing all calamity,
Her son, who stood beside her tall and strong, His eyes upon the stones, he reach'd the home
And saying that which pleased him, for he smiled. Where Annie lived and loved him, and his babes In those far-off seven happy years were born;
Now when the dead man come to life beheld But finding neither light nor murmur there
His wife his wife no more, and saw the babe (A bill of sale gleam'd thro' the drizzle) crept
Hers, yet not his, upon the father's knee, Still downward thinking “dead or dead to me !"
And all the warmth, the peace, the happiness,
And his own children tall and beautiful, Down to the pool and narrow wharf he went,
And him, that other, reigning in his place,
Lord of his rights and of his children's love,Seeking a tavern which of old he knew, A front of timber-crost antiquity,
Then he, tho' Miriam Lane had told him all,
Because things seen are mightier than things heard, So propt, worm-eaten, ruinously old. He thought it must have gone; but he was gone
Stagger'd and shook, holding the branch, and fear'd
To send abroad a shrill and terrible cry, Who kept it: and his widow, Miriam Lane,
Which in one moment, like the blast of doom, With daily-dwindling profits held the house ; A haunt of brawling seamen once, but now
Would shatter all the happiness of the hearth. Stiller, with yet a bed for wandering men.
He therefore turning softly like a thief, There Enoch rested silent many days.
Lest the harsh shingle should grate underfoot,
And feeling all along the garden-wall, But Miriam Lane was good and garrulous,
Lest he should swoon and tumble and be found, Nor let him be, but often breaking in,
Crept to the gate, and open'd it, and closed, Told him, with other annals of the port,
As lightly as a sick man's chamber-door,
Behind him, and came out upon the waste.
And there he would have knelt, but that his knees How Philip put her little ones to school,
Were feeble, so that falling prone he dug
His fingers into the wet earth, and pray'd.
"Too hard to bear! why did they take me thence ? No shadow past, nor motion; any one,
O God Almighty, blessed Saviour, Thou Regarding, well had deem'd he felt the tale
That didst uphold me on my lonely isle, Less than the teller: only when she closed,
Uphold me, Father, in my loneliness “Enoch, poor man, was cast away and lost,"
A little longer! aid me, give me strength He, shaking his gray head pathetically,
Not to tell her, never to let her know. Repeated muttering “Cast away and lost;"
Help me not to break in upon her peace. Again in deeper inward whispers “Lost !"
My children too! must I not speak to these ?
They know me not. I should betray myself. But Enoch yearn’d to see her face again ;
Never: no father's kiss for me,-the girl “If I might look on her sweet face again
So like her mother, and the boy, my son." And know that she is happy.” So the thought Haunted and harass'd him, and drove him forth There speech and thought and nature fail'd a little, At evening when the dull November day
And he lay tranced: but when he rose and paced Was growing duller twilight, to the hill.
Back toward his solitary home again, There he sat down gazing on all below:
All down the long and narrow street he went There did a thousand memories roll upon him, Beating it in upon his weary brain, Unspeakable for sadness. By and by
As tho' it were the burthen of a song, The ruddy square of comfortable light,
“Not to tell her, never to let her know." Far-blazing from the rear of Philip's house, Allured him, as beacon-blaze allures
He was not all unhappy. His resolve The bird of passage, till he madly strikes
Upbore him, and firm faith, and evermore Against it, and beats out his weary life.
Prayer from a living source within the will,
And beating up thro' all the bitter world,
Sit, listen." Then he told her of his voyage,
His wreck, his lonely life, his coming back,
And how he kept it. As the woman heard,
Ay, ay, poor soul," said Miriam, “fear enow! While in her heart she yearn'd incessantly
Saying only, “See your bairns before you go !
Eh, let me fetch 'em, Arden," and arose
A moment on her words, but then replied:
“Woman, disturb me not now at the last,
Sit down again; mark me and understand, Yet since he did but labor for himself,
While I have power to speak. I charge you now, Work without hope, there was not life in it
When you shall see her, tell her that I died Whereby the man could live; and as the
year Blessing her, praying for her, loving her ; Roll'd itself round again to meet the day
Save for the bar between us, loving her When Enoch had return'd, a languor came
As when she laid her head beside my own. Upon him, gentle sickness, gradually
And tell my daughter Annie, whom I saw Weakening the man, till he could do no more, So like her mother, that my latest breath But kept the house, his chair, and last his bed. Was spent in blessing her and praying for her. And Enoch bore his weakness cheerfully.
And tell my son that I died blessing him. For sure no gladlier does the stranded wreck And say to Philip that I blest him too; See thro' the gray skirts of a lifting squall
He never meant us anything but good. The boat that bears the hope of life approach But if my children care to see me dead, To save the life despair'd of, than he saw
Who hardly knew me living, let them come, Death dawning on him, and the close of all. I am their father; but she must not come,
For my dead face would vex her after-life. For thro' that dawning gleam'd a kindlier hope And now there is but one of all my blood, On Enoch thinking, “After I am gone,
Who will embrace me in the world-to-be : Then may she learn I loved her to the last." This hair is his: she cut it off and gave it, He call'd aloud for Miriam Lane and said,
And I have borne it with me all these years, “Woman, I have a secret-only swear,
And thought to bear it with me to my grave; Before I tell you—swear upon the book
But now my mind is changed, for I shall see him, Not to reveal it, till you see me dead."
My babe in bliss: wherefore when I am gone, "Dead," clamor'd the good woman, "hear him talk! Take, give her this, for it may comfort her; I warrant, man, that we shall bring you round." It will moreover be a token to her, “Swear," added Enoch sternly, “on the book." That I am he." And on the book, half-frighted, Miriam swore. Then Enoch rolling his gray eyes upon her,
He ceased ; and Miriam Lane “Did you know Enoch Arden of this town ?" Made such a voluble answer promising all, “Know him ?" she said, “I knew him far away. That once again he roll'd his eyes upon her Ay, ay, I mind him coming down the street; Repeating all he wish'd, and once again Held his head high, and cared for no man, he.”
She promised. Slowly and sadly Enoch answer'd her; “ His head is low, and no man cares for him.
Then the third night after this, I think I have not three days more to live;
While Enoch slumber'd motionless and pale, I am the man." At which the woman gave
And Miriam watch'd and dozed at intervals, A half-incredulous, half-hysterical cry.
There came so loud a calling of the sea, "You Arden, you! nay,—sure he was a foot
That all the houses in the haven rang. Higher than you be.” Enoch said again,
He woke, he rose, he spread his arms abroad “My God has bow'd me down to what I am; Crying with a loud voice "A sail! a sail ! My grief and solitude have broken me;
I am saved ;" and so fell back and spoke no more. Nevertheless, know you that I am he Who married - but that name has twice been So past the strong heroic soul away. changed
And when they buried him the little port I married her who married Philip Ray.
Had seldom seen a costlier funeral.
With Averill, and a year or two before
Call'd to the bar, but ever call'd away
By one low voice to one dear neighborhood,
That shook the heart of Edith hearing him.
Sanguine he was: a but less vivid hue
Than of that islet in the chestnut-bloom
Flamed in his cheek; and eager eyes, that still Here is a story which in rougher shape
Took joyful note of all things joyful, beam'd Came from a grizzled cripple, whom I saw
Beneath a manelike mass of rolling gold, Sunning himself in a waste field alone
Their best and brightest, when they dwelt on hers, Old, and a mine of memories-who had served, Edith, whose pensive beauty, perfect else, Long since, a bygone Rector of the place,
But subject to the season or the mood, And been himself a part of what he told.
Shone like a mystic star between the less
And greater glory varying to and fro, Sır AYLMER AYLMER, that almighty man,
We know not wherefore ; bounteously made, The county God-in whose capacious hall,
And yet so finely, that a troublous touch Hung with a hundred shields, the family tree Thinn'd, or would seem to thin her in a day, Sprang from the midriff of a prostrate king- A joyous to dilate, as toward the light.
Those blazing wyvern weathercock'd the spire, And these had been together from the first. Stood from his walls and wing'd his entry-gates Leolin's first nurse was, five years after, hers: And swang besides on many a windy sign
So much the boy foreran ; but when his date Whose eyes from under a pyramidal head
Doubled her own, for want of playmates, he Saw from his windows nothing save his own- (Since Averill was a decade and a half What lovelier of his own had he than her,
His elder, and their parents underground) His only child, his Edith, whom he loved
Had tost his ball and flown his kite, and rollid As heiress and not heir regretfully?
His hoop to pleasure Edith, with her dipt But "he that marries her marries her name
Against the rush of the air in the prone swing, This fiat somewhat soothed himself and wife, Made blossom-ball or daisy-chain, arranged His wife a faded beauty of the Baths,
Her garden, sow'd her name and kept it green Insipid as the queen upon a card ;
In living letters, told her fairy-tales,
The little dells of cowslip, fairy palms,
The petty marestail forest, fairy pines, A land of hops and poppy-mingled corn,
Or from the tiny pitted target blew Little about it stirring save a brook!
What look'd a flight of fairy arrows aim'd A sleepy land where under the same wheel
All at one mark, all hitting: make-believes The same old rut would deepen year by year; For Edith and himself: or else he forged, Where almost all the village had one name;
But that was later, boyish histories Where Aylmer follow'd Aylmer at the Hall
of battle, bold adventure, dungeon, wreck, And Averill Averill at the Rectory
Flights, terrors, sudden rescues, and true love Thrice over; so that Rectory and Hall,
Crown'd after trial; sketches rude and faint, Bound in an immemorial intimacy,
But where a passion yet unborn perhaps
Lay hidden as the music of the moon
And thus together, save for college-times
As ever painter painted, poet sang, Daughters of God; so sleepy was the land.
Or Heav'n in lavish bounty moulded, grew.
And more and more, the maiden woman-grown, And might not Averill, had he will'd it so, He wasted hours with Averill ; there, when first Somewhere beneath his own low range of roofs, The tented winter-field was broken up Have also set his many-shielded tree?
Into that phalanx of the summer spears There was an Aylmer-Averill marriage once, That soon should wear the garland; there again When the red rose was redder than itself,
When burr and bine were gather'd; lastly there And York's white rose as red as Lancaster's, At Christmas; ever welcome at the Hall, With wounded peace which each had prick'd to On whose dull sameness his full tide of youth death.
Broke with a phosphorescence cheering even "Not proven," Averill said, or laughingly,
My lady; and the Baronet yet had laid "Some other race of Averills"-prov'n or no, No bar between them: dull and self-involved, What cared he? what, if other or the same? Tall and erect, but bending from his height He lean'd not on his fathers but himself.
With half-allowing smiles for all the world, But Leolin, his brother, living oft
And mighty courteous in the main-his pride
Lay deeper than to wear it as his ring
Sir Aylmer half forgot his lazy smile He, like an Aylmer in his Aylmerism,
Of patron “Good ! my lady's kinsman! good !" Would care no more for Leolin's walking with her My lady with her fingers interlock'd, Than for his old Newfoundland's, when they ran And rotatory thumbs on silken knees, To loose him at the stables, for he rose
Call'd all her vital spirits into each ear
To listen : unawares they flitted off,
The meteor of a splendid season, she,
Once with this kinsman, ah so long ago, Seldom, but when he does, Master of all.
Stept thro' the stately minuet of those days:
But Edith's eager fancy hurried with him
Till Leolin ever watchful of her eye
Wife-hunting, as the rumor ran, was he: Wander'd at will, but oft accompanied
I know not, for he spoke not, only shower'd
His oriental gifts on every one
And shook the house, and like a storm he went.
He flow'd and ebb'd uncertain, to return
When others had been tested) there was one, A whisper half reveal'd her to herself.
A dagger, in rich sheath with jewels on it For out beyond her lodges, where the brook Sprinkled about in gold that branch'd itself Vocal, with here and there a silence, ran
Fine as ice-ferns on January panes By sallowy rims, arose the laborers' homes,
Made by a breath. I know not whence at first, A frequent haunt of Edith, on low knolls
Nor of what race, the work; but as he told That dimpling died into each other, huts
The story, storming a hill-fort of thieves At random scatter'd, each a nest in bloom.
He got it; for their captain after fight, Her art, her hand, her counsel all had wrought His comrades having fought their last below, About them : here was one that, summer-blanch'd, Was climbing up the valley ; at whom he shot: Was parcel-bearded with the traveller's-joy
Down from the beetling crag to which he chung In Autumn, parcel ivy-clad ; and here
Tumbled the tawny rascal at his feet,
At once the costly Sahib yielded to her.
And Leolin, coming after he was gone,
Tost over all her presents petulantly: Like visions in the Northern dreamer's heavens, And when she show'd the wealthy scabbard, saying A lily-avenue climbing to the doors ;
“Look what a lovely piece of workmanship!" One, almost to the martin-haunted eaves
Slight was his answer “Well-I care not for it :" A summer burial deep in hollyhocks;
Then playing with the blade he prick'd his hand, Each, its own charm; and Edith's everywhere; “A gracious gift to give a lady, this !” And Edith ever visitant with him,
“But would it be more gracious," ask'd the girl, He but less loved than Edith, of her poor:
“Were I to give this gift of his to For she-so lowly-lovely and so loving,
That is no lady?” “Gracious ? No,” said he. Queenly responsive when the loyal hand
“Me?-but I cared not for it. O pardon me, Rose from the clay it work'd in as she past, I seem to be ungraciousness itself." Not sowing hedgerow texts and passing by, “Take it,” she added sweetly, “tho' his gift ; Nor dealing goodly counsel from a height
For I am more ungracious ev'n than you, That makes the lowest hate it, but a voice
I care not for it either;" and he said Of comfort and an open hand of help,
“Why then I love it:" but Sir Aylmer past, A splendid presence flattering the poor roofs And neither loved nor liked the thing he heard. Revered as theirs, but kindlier than themselves To ailing wife or wailing infancy
The next day came a neighbor. Blues and reds Or old bedridden palsy,—was adored ;
They talk'd of: blues were sure of it, he thought: : He, loved for her and for himself. A grasp
Then of the latest fox-where started_kill'd
My Peter, first:" and did Sir Aylmer know
That great pock-pitten fellow had been caught ? Were no false passport to that easy realm,
Then made his pleasure echo, hand to hand, Where once with Leolin at her side the girl, And rolling as it were the substance of it Nursing a child, and turning to the warmth
Between his palms a moment up and downThe tender pink five-beaded baby-soles,
“ The birds were warm, the birds were warm upon Heard the good mother softly whisper “Bless,
him ; God bless 'em; marriages are made in Heaven." We have him now:” and had Sir Aylmer heard-:
Nay, but he must-the land was ringing of itA flash of semi-jealousy clear'd it to her.
This blacksmith-border marriage-one they knewMy Lady's Indian kinsman unannounced
Raw from the nursery-who could trust a child ? With half a score of swarthy faces came.
That corsed France with her egalities ! His own, tho' keen and bold and soldierly,
And did Sir Aylmer (deferentially Sear'1 by the close ecliptic, was not fair ;
With nearing chair and lower'd accent) thinkFairer his talk, a tongue that ruled the hour, For people talk'd-that it was wholly wise Tho' seeming boastful : so when first he dash'd To let that handsome fellow Averill walk Into the chronicle of a deedful day,
So freely with his daughter? people talk'd