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Homeward serenely she walked with God's benedic tion upon her.
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.
Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer
Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea; and a shady
Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it.
Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath
Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the
Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse,
Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the roadside,
Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of
Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-grown
Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses.
Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the farm-yard;
There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;
There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,
93. The accent is on the first syllable of antique, where it remains in the form antic, which once had the same general mean ing.
Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame
Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent
Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a vil lage. In each one
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase,
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous corn
There too the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates
Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant
Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.
Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré
Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household.
Many a youth, as he knelt in the church and opened
Fixed his eyes upon her as the saint of his deepest devotion;
99. Odorous. The accent here, as well as in line 403, is upon the first syllable, where it is commonly placed; but Milton, who of all poets had the most refined ear, writes
"So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More airy, last the bright consummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes."
Par. Lost, Book V., lines 479-482.
But he also uses the more familiar accent in other passages, as, "An amber scent of odorous perfume," in Samson Agonistes, line 720.
Happy was he who might touch her hand or the hem of her garment!
Many a suitor came to her door, by the darkness befriended,
And, as he knocked and waited to hear the sound of her footsteps,
Knew not which beat the louder, his heart or the knocker of iron;
Or, at the joyous feast of the Patron Saint of the vil
Bolder grew, and pressed her hand in the dance as he whispered
Hurried words of love, that seemed a part of the music.
But among all who came young Gabriel only was welcome;
Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the black
Who was a mighty man in the village, and honored
of all men;
For since the birth of time, throughout all ages and
Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people.
Basil was Benedict's friend. Their children from earliest childhood
Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician,
Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their letters
Out of the selfsame book, with the hymns of the church and the plain-song.
122. The plain-song is a monotonie recitative of the collects.
But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson
Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith.
There at the door they stood, with wondering eyes to
Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a
Nailing the shoe in its place; while near him the tire of the cart-wheel
Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders.
Oft on autumnal eves, when without in the gathering
Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and crevice,
Warm by the forge within they watched the laboring
And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes,
Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel.
Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the swoop of the
Down the hillside bounding, they glided away o'er the
Oft in the barns they climbed to the populous nests on the rafters,
Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone, which the swallow
Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings;
133. The French have another saying similar to this, that they were guests going into the wedding.
Lucky was he who found that stone in the nest of the swallow!
Thus passed a few swift years, and they no longer were children.
He was a valiant youth, and his face, like the face of the morning,
Gladdened the earth with its light, and ripened thought into action.
She was a woman now, with the heart and hopes of a
"Sunshine of Saint Eulalie " was she called; for that was the sunshine
Which, as the farmers believed, would load their orchards with apples;
She too would bring to her husband's house delight and abundance,
Filling it full of love and the ruddy faces of children.
Now had the season returned, when the nights grow colder and longer,
And the retreating sun the sign of the Scorpion en
139. In Pluquet's Contes Populaires we are told that if one of a swallow's young is blind the mother bird seeks on the shore of the ocean a little stone, with which she restores its sight; and he adds, "He who is fortunate enough to find that stone in a swallow's nest holds a wonderful remedy." Pluquet's book treats of Norman superstitions and popular traits. 144. Pluquet also gives this proverbial saying:
"Si le soleil rit le jour Sainte-Eulalie,
Il y aura pommes et cidre à folie."
(If the sun smiles on Saint Eulalie's day, there will be plenty of apples, and cider enough.)
Saint Eulalie's day is the 12th of February.