« ПретходнаНастави »
“Whc knocks?” cried Goodman Garvin. The door was open
thrown; On two strangers, man and maiden, cloaked and furred, tha
fire-light shone. One with courteous gesture lifted the bear-skin from his
head: “Lives here Elkanah Garvin ?'! “I am he," the Goodman
said. “Sit ye down, and dry and warm ye, for the night is chill
with rain. And the Goodwife drew the settle, and stirred the fire amain. The maid unclasped her cloak-hood, the fire-light glistened
fair In her large, moist eyes, and over soft folds of dark brown
Dame Garvin looked upon her: “It is Mary's self I see! Dear heart!" she cried, “now tell me, has my child come
back to me?"
“My name indeed is Mary,” said the stranger, sobbing wild; “Will you be to me a mother? I am Mary Garvin's child !
"She sleeps by wooded Simcoe, but on her dying day She bade my father take me to her kinsfolk far away.
“And when the priest besought her to do me no such wrong, She said, “May God forgive me! I have closed my heart too
When I hid me from my father, and shut out my mother's
call, I sinned against those dear ones, and the Father of us all.
“Christ's love rebukes no home-love, breaks no tie of kin
apart; Better heresy in doctrine, than heresy of heart.
"Tell me not the Church must censure: she who wept the
Cross beside Never made her own flesh strangers, nor the claims of blood
“And if she who wronged her parents, with her child atones
to them, Earthly daughter, Heavenly mother! thou at least wilt not
“Lo, upon her death-bed lying, my blessed mother spake; As we come to do her bidding, so receive us for her sake."
"God be praised!” said Goodwife Garvin, “He taketh, and he
gives; He woundeth, but he healeth; in her child our daughter
“Anien!" the old man answered, as he brushed a tear away, And, kneeling by his hearth-stone, said, with reverence, “Let
All its Oriental symbols, and its Hebrew paraphrase,
But he started at beholding, as he rose from off his knee, The stranger cross his forehead with the sign of Papistrie.
"What is this?” cried Farmer Garvin. “Is an English Chiis
tian's home A chapel or a mass-house, that you make the sign of
Then the young girl knelt beside him, kissed his trembling
hand, and cried : “O, forbear to chide my father; in that faith my mother died !
On her wooden cross at Simcoe the dew's and sunshine fall, As they fall on Spurwink’s graveyard; and the dear God
The old man stroked the fair head that rested on his knee; " Your words, dear child,” he answered, “are God's rebuke to
"Creed and rite perchance may differ, yet our faith and hope
be one: Let me he your father's father, let him be to me a son.”
When the horn, on Sabbath morning, through the still and
frosty air, From Spurwink, Pool, and Black Point, called to sermon and
to prayer, To the goodly house of worship, where, in order due and fit, As by public vote directed, classed and ranked the people sit;
Mistress first and goodwife after, clerkly squire before the
clown, From the brave coat, lace-embroidered, to the gray frock,
From the pulpit read the preacher: “Goodman Garvin and
his wife Fain would thank the Lord, whose kindness has followed
them through life, For the great and crowning mercy, that their daughter, from
the wild, Where she rests (they hope in God's peace), has sent to them
her child :
And the prayers of all God's people they ask that they may
prove Not unworthy, through their weakness, of such special proof
As the preacher prayed, uprising, the aged couple stood,
Thought the elders, grave and doubting, “She is Papist born
and bred;" Thought the young men, “ 'Tis an angel in Mary Garvin's
In War Time-a little volume of thirteen patriotic poems, written at intervals during the Rebellion—was the next of Whittier's publications. Of one of these poems it may be truly said that the late War produced no lyric superior to it in terse and graphic description, and in intense patriotic fervor; and surely none have been received into a wider or inore cherished favor. We allude to
Round about them orchards sweep,
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Quick as it fell, from the broken staff,
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
Snow-Bound was produced in 1865. As might well be inferred from the name, this is a winter idyl. "What Goldsmith's Deserted Village has long been to Old England, Whittier's Snow-Bound will always be to New England. Both poems have the flavor of native soil in them. Every page has beauties on it so easy to discern, that the common as well as the cultured mind will at once feel them without an effort."* /
The scene is laid in the country; its features being an old farm-house, with its usual surroundings. A snow-storm comes on at early morn, and rages
* Atlantic Monthly, for March, 1866.