« 上一頁繼續 »
its shadow was a protection, and that no harm could come to any
bark which sailed beneath it. And soon, from the port of Palos, in Andalusia, a fleet of little ships, like three cockleshells, went dancing forth upon the open sea, and were quickly hid from view beneath that shadow. A mighty sailor stood within these deckless hulls, whose deep-visioned eyes saw beyond all shadows. (1492, 3d August.)
And when men saw the mighty sailor forth, then from many a port went many a vessel, to sail within his wake, and all the world was filled with wonder of the golden miracles those ships brought back. And
And many a gay, adventuring host went shining underneath that shadow, that its slow glooms would not give up.
At length (Dec. 11th, 1620), the great cloud, which for more than a hundred years had wandered up and down, brooding upon the sea, gathered together, and amidst a mighty anthem of the waves and winds, struck upon a headland rock, at Plymouth, and its voluminous folds, wrapping the snows for a moment, shivered as in a throe, then, thin and dim, commenced to fade upon the icy air.
Now, as the shattered cloud rose up, å strange, frail ship that seemed to have been hidden within its womb of shadow, lay trembling feebly in the offing on subsiding waves. The name of the little ship was “ Mayflower.”
But when the cloud was all gone, there lay stretched upon the snow-covered summit of that headland rock a gigantic form, which seemed most like some helpless and misshapen Titan, which had been thus struck dumb, blind and sprawling out of the thunders of a tempest-birth, and hurled upon the desolation.
The trees yet rocked behind the passing storm when the bright sun came out, glittering keenly from the angles of the frosty rocks, upon this pale, ungainly specter, which, born thus of the thunder, seemed the incarnation of some new and powerful FORCE.
Touched by the sun, its lips moved in inarticulate sounds, that seemed in natural consonance with the groanings of the struggling forest, which bent its trees like grass-spears beneath the heavy head, thus pillowed on them all unconsciously.
The great arms of the monstrous Youngling, cast wildly out in spasms of a troubled awakening, in the involuntary clasp of drowsy fingers, tore the old oaks from rocky fissures, and the mighty stretching of its restless feet made maelstroms with the cliff-fronts, which they tumbled into the sea.
Far away upon the crest of hills, and upon the promontories of that broken shore, the tufted red men gathered, warned by the sounding tremors in the earth and air of some strange advent. And now they thronged and gazed upon this majestic wonder, which seemed to have lain down, as if upon its own couch, within the House-of-Sky, covering with its giant limbs the land of which the pestilence had made them but of late afraid,
Now, with a slow, upward heave, the shoulders of the Youngling arise beneath the sun, and as he sits erect with mute, upturned face and unsealed eyes, the bowed forest trees swing up again with a clangor that would have scared Behemoth, stepping on the mountains.
He spreads with lazy stretch his arms abroad, feeling among the hills — and now, with quick sense, his unused fingers clutch upon the groups of shrinking red men, and thrilled by the touch of struggling life, he lifts them, fumbling, as if with baubles, toward his mouth.
The dangling stoics howl their death-whoop while they swing through mid-air by their scalp-locks, and at the strange sound the Mighty Infant, with loosened grasp, throws up its hands in awe, for now, through eyes dim-opened in the startle,
"On the 16th of March, 1620, the English received a visit from one of the natives, who came boldly into Plymouth, calling out Welcome Englishmen! His name was Samoset, a Sagamore, who had learned a little English from the fishing vessels that had been on the coast. He informed the ad. venturers that the place they occupied, was called by the Indians Patuxet, and that all the people formerly inhabiting the place, died of an extraordi. nary sickness about four years since.--Antiquarian Researches E. Hoyt.
The spot to which Providence had directed the planters had, a few years before, been rendered entirely a desert by a pestilence, which had likewise swept over the neighboring tribes, and desolated almost the whole sea-board of New England. When the Pilgrims landed, there were the traces of & previous population but not one living inhabitant. Smoke from fires in the remote distance alone indicated the vicinity of natives. Miles Standish, “ the best linguist” among the Pilgrims, as well as the best soldier, with an exploring party, was able to discover wigwams, but no tenants. Yet a body of Indians from abroad was soon discovered hovering near the settlements though disappearing when pursued. -- Bancroft's United States.
the power of the sun has overcome him. Reaching, as if to pluck the glittering toy, his upright form has straightway chinned the hills, and with folded arms, now leaning idly on their barriers, he gazes out upon the spreading space.
Some moving specs upon a far-off lake have caught his vacant eye-his outstretched grasp has reached them—and, gathering an Algonquin fleet within his fingers, he eyes, with unmoved stare, the frail canoes of bark that are crushed within unconscious pressure, then snapping the huge pines that grew along the steppes, he piled a mighty ark in play, that launched with a toss on the same waves, displaced in overflow the pent-up waters with its swing.
As children pick in idleness at any dot upon the sheet, he plucked a wigwam village by the roots, and with a stare and stride, as if their funnel-tops had proved offensive, he tore the idle bowlders from the valleys and built a towering House that would not smoke. Now, as the sun went
kneeled to him, the giant Infant took a new mood. While he gazed steadfast on the blazing orb, there seemed a gnat, or some ambitious thing, that fitted before his sight. He swept his great hand down and brought the struggler to his face. It pecked and clawed him with a vicious tare, that first aroused him to the sense of pain, and tossing the warlike insect from him, he watched it cleave with unrumpled plumes, the sunward air again. He took the tameless creature down from the skies, and made its eyrie on the House he built!