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There with his boat was the Master, already a little impatient Lest he should lose the tide, or the wind might shift to the eastward, Square-built, hearty, and strong, with an odor of ocean about him, Speaking with this one and that, and cramming letters and parcels Into his pockets capacious, and messages mingled together Into his narrow brain, till at last he was wholly bewildered. Nearer the boat stood Alden, with one foot placed on the gunwale, One still firm on the rock, and talking at times with the sailors, Seated erect on the thwarts, all ready and eager for starting. He too was eager to go, and thus put an end to his anguish, Thinking to fly from despair, that swifter than keel is or canvas, Thinking to drown in the sea the ghost that would rise and pursue him. But as he gazed on the crowd, he beheld the form of Priscilla Standing dejected among them, unconscious of all that was passing: Fixed were her eyes upon his, as if she divined his intention, Fixed with a look so sad, so reproachful, imploring, and patient, That with a sudden revulsion his heart recoiled from its purpose, As from the verge of a crag, where one step more is destruction. Strange is the heart of man, with its quick mysterious instincts; Strange is the life of man, and fatal or fated are moments, Whereupon turn, as on hinges, the gates of the wall adamantine ! “ Here I remain !” he exclaimed, as he looked at the heavens above

him, Thanking the Lord whose breath had scattered the mist and the madness,

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Wherein, blind and lost, to death he was staggering headlong.
“ Yonder snow-white cloud, that floats in the ether above me,
Seems like a hand that is pointing and beckoning over the ocean.
There is another hand, that is not so spectral and ghost-like,
Holding me, drawing me back, and clasping mine for protection.
Float, О hand of cloud, and vanish away in the ether!

Roll thyself up like a fist, to threaten and daunt me; I heed not
Either your warning or menace, or any omen of evil !
There is no land so sacred, no air so pure and so wholesome,
As is the air she breathes, and the soil that is pressed by her footsteps.
Here for her sake will I stay, and like an invisible presence
Hover around her for ever, protecting, supporting her weakness ;
Yes! as my foot was the first that stepped on this rock at the landing,
So, with the blessing of God, shall it be the last at the leaving !"

Meanwhile the Master alert, but with dignified air and important, Scanning with watchful eye the tide and the wind and the weather, Walked about on the sands; and the people crowded around him Saying a few last words, and enforcing his careful remembrance. Then, taking each by the hand, as if he were grasping a tiller, Into the boat he sprang, and in haste shoved off to his vessel, Glad in his heart to get rid of all this worry and flurry, Glad to be gone from a land of sand and sickness and sorrow, Short allowance of victual, and plenty of nothing but Gospel ! Lost in the sound of the oars was the last farewell of the Pilgrims. O strong hearts and true ! not one went back in the May Flower ! No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to this ploughing!

Soon were heard on board the shouts and songs of the sailors Heaving the windlass round, and hoisting the ponderous anchor.

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Then the yards were braced, and all sails set to the west wind,
Blowing steady and strong; and the May Flower sailed from the harbor,
Rounded the point of the Gurnet, and leaving far to the southward
Island and cape of sand, and the field of the First Encounter,
Took the wind on her quarter, and stood for the open Atlantic,
Borne on the sand of the sea, and the swelling hearts of the Pilgrims.

Long in silence they watched the receding sail of the vessel, Much endeared to them all, as something living and human ; Then, as if filled with the spirit, and wrapt in a vision prophetic, Baring his hoary head, the excellent Elder of Plymouth Said, “ Let us pray!” and they prayed, and thanked the Lord and

took courage. Mournfully sobbed the waves at the base of the rock, and above them Bowed and whispered the wheat on the hill of death, and their kindred Seemed to awake in their graves, and to join in the prayer that they

uttered. Sun-illumined and white, on the eastern verge of the ocean Gleamed the departing sail, like a marble slab in a graveyard ; Buried beneath it lay for ever all hope of escaping Lo! as they turned to depart, they saw the form of an Indian, Watching them from the hill; but while they spake with each other, Pointing with outstretched hands, and saying, “ Look !” he had

vanished. So they returned to their homes; but Alden lingered a little, Musing alone on the shore, and watching the wash of the billows Round the base of the rock, and the sparkle and flash of the sunshine, Like the spirit of God, moving visibly over the waters.

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