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Down from its nail she took and lighted the great

tin lantern Pierced with holes, and round, and roofed like the top

of a lighthouse, And went forth to receive the coming guest at the door

way, Casting into the dark a network of glimmer and shadow Over the falling snow, the yellow sleigh, and the horses, And the forms of men, snow-covered, looming gigantic. Then giving Joseph the lantern, she entered the house

with the stranger. Youthful he was and tall, and his cheeks aglow with

the night air; And as he entered, Elizabeth rose, and, going to meet

him, As if an unseen power had announced and preceded his

presence, And he had come as one whose coming had long been

expected, Quietly gave him her hand, and said, “Thou art wel

come, John Estaugh." And the stranger replied, with staid and quiet behavior, “ Dost thou remember me still, Elizabeth ? After so many Years have passed, it seemeth a wonderful thing that I

find thee. Surely the hand of the Lord conducted me here to thy

threshold. For as I journeyed along, and pondered alone and in

silence On his ways, that are past finding out, I saw in the

snow-mist, Seemingly weary with travel, a wayfarer, who by the

wayside

Paused and waited. Forthwith I remembered Queen

Candace's eunuch,
How on the

way
that
goes

down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, Reading Esaias the Prophet, he journeyed, and spake

unto Philip, Praying him to come up and sit in his chariot with him. So I greeted the man, and he mounted the sledge be

side me,

And as we talked on the way he told me of thee and

thy homestead, How, being led by the light of the Spirit, that never

deceiveth, Full of zeal for the work of the Lord, thou hadst come

to this country. And I remembered thy name, and thy father and mother

in England, And on my journey have stopped to see thee, Elizabeth

Haddon, Wishing to strengthen thy hand in the labors of love

thou art doing.”

And Elizabeth answered with confident voice, and

serenely Looking into his face with her innocent eyes as she

answered, Surely the hand of the Lord is in it; his Spirit hath

led thee Out of the darkness and storm to the light and peace

of my fireside.”

Then, with stamping of feet, the door was opened, and

Joseph

Entered, bearing the lantern, and, carefully blowing the

light out, Hung it up on its nail, and all sat down to their sup

per; For underneath that roof was no distinction of persons, But one family only, one heart, one hearth, and one

household.

When the supper was ended they drew their chairs

to the fireplace, Spacious, open-hearted, profuse of flame and of firewood, Lord of forests unfelled, and not a gleaner of fagots, Spreading its arms to embrace with inexhaustible bounty All who fled from the cold, exultant, laughing at winter! Only Hannah the housemaid was busy in clearing the

table, Coming and going, and bustling about in closet and

chamber.

Then Elizabeth told her story again to John Estaugh, Going far back to the past, to the early days of her

childhood; How she had waited and watched, in all her doubts and

besetments Comforted with the extendings and holy, sweet inflow

ings Of the spirit of love, till the voice imperative sounded, And she obeyed the voice, and cast in her lot with her

people here in the desert land, and God would provide for the

issue.

Meanwhile Joseph sat with folded hands, and deListened, or seemed to listen, and in the silence that

murely

followed Nothing was heard for awhile but the step of Hannah

the housemaid Walking the floor overhead, and setting the chambers in

order. And Elizabeth said, with a smile of compassion, “ The

maiden Hath a light heart in her breast, but her feet are heavy

and awkward.” Inwardly Joseph laughed, but governed his tongue, and

was silent.

came

Then

the hour of sleep, death's counterfeit, nightly rehearsal Of the great Silent Assembly, the Meeting of shadows,

where no man Speaketh, but all are still, and the peace and rest are

unbroken! Silently over that house the blessing of slumber de

scended. But when the morning dawned, and the sun uprose in Hannah the housemaid, the homely, was looking out of

his splendor, Breaking his way through clouds that encumbered his

path in the heavens, Joseph was seen with his sled and oxen breaking a path

way Through the drifts of snow; the horses already were

harnessed, And John Estaugh was standing and taking leave at

the threshold, Saying that he should return at the Meeting in May;

while above them

the attic, Laughing aloud at Joseph, then suddenly closing the

casement, As the bird in a cuckoo-clock peeps out of its window, Then disappears again, and closes the shutter behind it.

III.

Now was the winter gone, and the snow; and Robin

the Redbreast, Boasted on bush and tree it was he, it was he and no

other That had covered with leaves the Babes in the Wood,

and blithely All the birds sang with him, and little cared for his

boasting, Or for his Babes in the Wood, or the Cruel Uncle,

and only Sang for the mates they had chosen, and cared for the

nests they were building. With them, but more sedately and meekly, Elizabeth

Haddon Sang in her inmost heart, but her lips were silent and

songless. Thus came the lovely spring with a rush of blossoms

and music, Flooding the earth with flowers, and the air with melo

dies vernal.

Then it came to pass, one pleasant morning, that slowly Up the road there came a cavalcade, as of pilgrims, Men and women, wending their way to the Quarterly

Meeting

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