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And the soul of the maiden, between the stars and the fire-flies,
Wandered alone, and she cried,-"O Gabriel! O my beloved!
Art thou so near unto me, and yet I cannot behold thee?

Art thou so near unto me, and yet thy voice does not reach me?
Ah! how often thy feet have trod this path to the prairie !
Ah! how often thine eyes have looked on the woodlands around me!
Ah! how often beneath this oak, returning from labour,

Thou hast lain down to rest, and to dream of me in thy slumbers.
When shall these eyes behold, these arms be folded about thee?"
Loud and sudden and near the note of a whippoorwill sounded
Like a flute in the woods; and anon, through the neighbouring
thickets,

Farther and farther away it floated and dropped into silence. "Patience!" whispered the oaks from oracular caverns of dark

ness;

And, from the moonlit meadow, a sigh responded, "To-morrow!"

Bright rose the sun next day; and all the flowers of the garden Bathed his shining feet with their tears, and anointed his tresses With the delicious balm that they bore in their vases of crystal. "Farewell!" said the priest, as he stood at the shadowy threshold; "See that you bring us the Prodigal Son from his fasting and famine,

And, too, the Foolish Virgin, who slept when the bridegroom was coming."

"Farewell!" answered the maiden, and, smiling, with Basil descended

Down to the river's brink, where the boatmen already were

waiting.

Thus beginning their journey with morning, and sunshine, and gladness,

Swiftly they followed the flight of him who was speeding before them.

Blown by the blast of fate like a dead leaf over the desert.
Not that day, nor the next, nor yet the day that succeeded,
Found they trace of his course, in lake or forest or river,

Nor, after many days, had they found him; but vague and uncertain

Rumours alone were their guides through a wild and desolate

country;

Till, at the little inn of the Spanish town of Adayes,

Weary and worn, they alighted, and learned from the garrulous

landlord,

That on the day before, with horses and guides and companions, Gabriel left the village, and took the road of the prairies.

IV.

Far in the West there lies a desert land, where the mountains Lift, through perpetual snows, their lofty and luminous summits, Down from their jagged, deep ravines, where the gorge, like a gateway,

Opens a passage rude to the wheels of the emigrant's waggon, Westward the Oregon flows and the Walleway and Owyhee. Eastward, with devious course, among the Wind-river Mountains, Through the Sweet-water Valley precipitate leaps the Nebraska ; And to the south, from Fontaine-qui-bout and the Spanish sierras, Fretted with sands and rocks, and swept by the wind of the desert. Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound, descend to the ocean, Like the great chords of a harp, in loud and solemn vibrations. Spreading between these streams are the wondrous, beautiful prairies,

Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine,

Bright with luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas

Over them wander the buffalo herds, and the elk and the roebuck;
Over them wander the wolves, and herds of riderless horses;
Fires that blast and blight, and winds that are weary with travel;
Over them wander the scattered tribes of Ishmael's children,
Staining the desert with blood; and above their terrible war-trails
Circles and sails aloft, on pinions majestic, the vulture,
Like the implacable soul of a chieftain slaughtered in battle,
By invisible stairs ascending and scaling the heavens.

Here and there rise smokes from the camps of these savage marauders;

Here and there rise groves from the margins of swift-running

rivers;

And the grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the desert,
Climbs down their dark ravines to dig for roots by the brook-side,
And over all is the sky, the clear and crystalline heaven,
Like the protecting hand of God inverted above them.

Into this wonderful land, at the base of the Ozark Mountains, Gabriel far had entered, with hunters and trappers behind him. Day after day, with their Indian guides, the maiden and Basil Followed his flying steps, and thought each day to o'ertake him. Sometimes they saw, or thought they saw, the smoke of his camp-fire

Rise in the morning air from the distant plain; but at nightfall, When they had reached the place, they found only embers and

ashes.

And, though their hearts were sad at times and their bodies were

weary,

Hope still guided them on, as the magic Fata Morgana

Showed them her lakes of light, that retreated and vanished before them.

Once, as they sat by their evening fire, there silently entered

E

Into the little camp an Indian woman, whose features
Wore deep traces of sorrow, and patience as great as her sorrow.
She was a Shawnee woman returning home to her people,
From the far-off hunting-grounds of the cruel Camanches,

Where her Canadian husband, a Coureur-des-Bois, had been murdered.

Touched were their hearts at her story, and warmest and friendliest welcome

Gave they, with words of cheer, and she sat and feasted among

them

On the buffalo-meat and the venison cooked on the embers.

But when their meal was done, and Basil and all his companions, Worn with the long day's march and the chase of the deer and the

bison,

Stretched themselves on the ground, and slept where the quivering fire-light

Flashed on their swarthy cheeks, and their forms wrapped up in their blankets,

Then at the door of Evangeline's tent she sat and repeated

Slowly, with soft, low voice, and the charm of her Indian accent,
All the tale of her love, with its pleasures, and pains, and reverses.
Much Evangeline wept at the tale, and to know that another
Hapless heart like her own had loved and had been disappointed.
Moved to the depths of her soul by pity and woman's compassion,
Yet in her sorrow pleased that one who had suffered was near her,
She in turn related her love and all its disasters.

Mute with wonder the Shawnee sat, and when she had ended
Still was mute; but at length, as if a mysterious horror

Passed through her brain, she spake, and repeated the tale of the

Mowis;

Mowis, the bridegroom of snow, who won and wedded a maiden, But, when the morning came, arose and passed from the wigwam, Fading and melting away and dissolving into the sunshine,

Till she beheld him no more, though she followed far into the

forest.

Then, in those sweet, low tones, that seemed like a weird incan

tation,

Told she the tale of the fair Lilinau, who was wooed by a phantom, That, through the pines o'er her father's lodge, in the hush of the twilight,

Breathed like the evening wind, and whispered love to the maiden,
Till she followed his green and waving plume through the forest,
And never more returned, nor was seen again by her people.
Silent with wonder and strange surprise, Evangeline listened
To the soft flow of her magical words, till the region around her
Seemed like enchanted ground, and her swarthy guest the en-

chantress.

Slowly over the tops of the Ozark Mountains the moon rose,

Lighting the little tent, and with a mysterious splendour Touching the sombre leaves, and embracing and filling the woodland.

With a delicious sound the brook rushed by, and the branches
Swayed and sighed overhead in scarcely audible whispers.
Filled with the thoughts of love was Evangeline's heart, but a

secret,

Subtile sense crept in of pain and indefinite terror,

As the cold, poisonous snake creeps into the nest of the swallow. It was no earthly fear. A breath from the region of spirits Seemed to float in the air of night; and she felt for a moment That, like the Indian maid, she, too, was pursuing a phantom. And with this thought she slept, and the fear and the phantom had vanished.'

Early upon the morrow the march was resumed; and the
Shawnee

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