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Te who Celieva iu affection that hopes, and endures, and is
patient, Ve 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 bapez'
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of Minas,
eastward, Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number. Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labour
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 corn
fields 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 Acadian village, Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut, Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries. Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables
projecting Over the basement below protected and shaded the door-way. There in the tranquil evenings of sunimer, when brightly the sunset
Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
of the maidens.
maidens. Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome. Then came the labourers home from the field, and serenely the
sun sank Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending, Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment. Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics, Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows. But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners; There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.
Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of
Minas, Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré, Dwelt on his goodly acres ; and with him, directing his household, Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village. Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters; Hearty aud hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes ; White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the
Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
way-side, Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of
her tresses ! Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the
meadows. When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden. Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its
turret Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them, Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and
her missal, Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings, Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom, Handed down from mother to child, through long generations. But a celestial brightness-a more ethereal beautyShone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession, Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction 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 meadow. Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse, Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the road-side, Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary. Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss
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, Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the self-same Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter. Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch ; and a staircase,
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, aş hc knelt in the church and opened his missal, Fixed his eyes upon her, as the saint of his deepest devotion ; Harry 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 village, 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 blacksmith, Who was a mighty man in the villago, and honoured of all men ; For since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations,