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This is the forest primeval. The murmuring
pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indis
tinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and
prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on
their bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced
neighbouring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the
wail of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the
hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the wood
land the voice of the huntsman ? Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of
Acadian farmers,— Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water
the woodlands, Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an
image of heaven? Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers
forever departed! Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty
blasts of October Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful vil.
lage of Grand-Pré.
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and
endures, and is patient, Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of
woman's devotion, List to the mournful tradition still sung by the
pines of the forest; List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the
PART THE FIRST.
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of
Minas, Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand
Pré Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched
to the eastward, Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks
without number. Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised
with labor incessant, Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons
the flood-gates Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will
o'er the meadows. West and south there were fields of flax, and
orchards and cornfields Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain ; and,
away to the northward Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the
mountains Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the
mighty Atlantic Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their
station descended. There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Aca
dian village. Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut,