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Thus Enoch in his heart determined all: Then moving homeward came on Annie

pale, Nursing the sickly babe, her latest-born. Forward she started with a happy cry, And laid the feeble infant in his arms ; Whom Enoch took, and handled all his

limbs, Appraised his weight and fondled father

like, But had no heart to break his purposes To Annie, till the morrow, when he spoke.

Then first since Enoch's golden ring

had girt Her finger, Annie fought against his will : Yet not with brawling opposition she, But manifold entreaties, many a tear, Many a sad kiss by day by night renew'd (Sure that all evil would come out of it) Besought him, supplicating, if he cared For her or his dear children, not to go. He not for his own self caring but her, Her and her children, let her plead in vain; So grieving held his will, and bore it thro'.

And Enoch faced this morning of fare

well Brightly and boldly. All his Annie's fears, Save, as his Annie's, were a laughter to

him. Yet Enoch as a brave God-fearing man Bow'd himself down, and in that mystery Where God-in-man is one with man-in

God, Pray'd for a blessing on his wife and babes Whatever came to him : and then he said • Annie, this voyage by the grace of God Will bring fair weather yet to all of us. Keep a clean hearth and a clear fire for me, For I'll be back, my girl, before you

know it.' Then lightly rocking baby's cradle and

he,

This pretty, puny, weakly little one,

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Expectant of that news which never came, Gain'd for her own a scanty sustenance, And lived a life of silent melancholy.

Now the third child was sickly-born

and grew Yet sicklier, tho' the mother cared for it With all a mother's care : nevertheless, Whether her business often call’d her from

Or thro' the want of what it needed most, Or means to pay the voice who best could

tell What most it needed-howsoe'er it was, After a lingering,--ere she was aware,Like the caged bird escaping suddenly, The little innocent soul fitted away.

I came to speak to you of what he

wish'a, Enoch, your husband : I have ever said You chose the best among us-a strong

man : For where he fixt his heart he set his hand To do the thing he will’d, and bore it thro'. And wherefore did he go this weary way, And leave you lonely? not to see the

worldFor pleasure ?-nay, but for the where

withal To give his babes a better bringing-up Than his had been, or yours : that was

his wish. And if he come again, vext will he be To find the precious morning hours were

lost. And it would vex him even in his grave, If he could know his babes were running

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wild

Philip's true heart, which hunger'd for her

peace (Since Enoch left he had not look'd upon

her), Smote him, as having kept aloof so long. *Surely,' said Philip, 'I may see her now, May be some little comfort;' therefore

went, Past thro' the solitary room in front, Paused for a moment at an inner door, Then struck it thrice, and, no one opening, Enter'd; but Annie, seated with her grief, Fresh from the burial of her little one, Cared not to look on any human face,

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Then Philip put the boy and girl to

school, And bought them needful books, and

everyway, Like one who does his duty by his own, Made himself theirs; and tho’ for Annie's

sake, Fearing the lazy gossip of the port, He oft denied his heart his dearest wish, And seldom crost her threshold, yet he sent Gists by the children, garden-herbs and

fruit, The late and early roses from his wall, Or conies from the down, and now and

It chanced one evening Annie's children

long'd To go with others, nutting to the wood, And Annie would go with them ; then

they begg'd For Father Philip (as they call’d him) too: Him, like the working bee in blossom

dust, Blanch'd with his mill, they found ; and

saying to him "Come with us Father Philip'he denied ; But when the children pluck'dat him to go, He laugh’d, and yielded readily to their But after scaling half the weary down, Just where the prone edge of the wood

then,
With some pretext of fineness in the meal
To save the oftence of charitable, flour
From his tall mill that whistled on the

wish,
For was not Annie with them? and they

waste.

went.

began To feather toward the hollow, all her force Fail'd her; and sighing, 'Let me rest she

said : So Philip rested with her well-content ; While all the younger ones with jubilant

cries Broke from their elders, and tumultuously Down thro' the whitening hazels made a

plunge To the bottom, and dispersed, and bent

or broke The lithe reluctant boughs to tear away Their tawny clusters, crying to each other And calling, here and there, about the

wood.

Then Philip coming somewhat closer

spoke. • Annie, there is a thing upon my mind, And it has been upon my mind so long, That tho' I know not when it first came

there, I know that it will out at last. O Annie, It is beyond all hope, against all chance, That he who left you ten long years ago Should still be living; well then-let me

speak : I grieve to see you poor and wanting help: I cannot help you as I wish to do Unless—they say that women are so

quickPerhaps you know what I would have

you knowI wish you for my wife. I fain would

prove A father to your children : I do think They love me as a father : I am sure That I love them as if they were mine

own; And I believe, if you were fast my wife, That after all these sad uncertain years, We might be still as happy as God grants To any of His creatures. Think upon it : For I am well-to-do-no kin, no care, No burthen, save my care for you and

yours : And we have known each other all our

lives, And I have loved you longer than you

know.'

But Philip sitting at her side forgot Her presence, and remember'd one dark

hour

Here in this wood, when like a wounded

life He crept into the shadow: at last he said, Lifting his honest forehead, ‘Listen,

Annie, How merry they are down yonder in the

wood. Tired, Annie?' for she did not speak a

word. 'Tired?' but her face had falln upon her

hands; At which, as with a kind of anger in him, "The ship was lost,' he said, 'the ship

was lost ! No more of that! why should you kill

yourself And make them orphans quite ?' And

Annie said 'I thought not of it: but-I know not

whyTheir voices make me feel so solitary.'

Then answer'd Annie; tenderly she

spoke : * You have been as God's good angel in

our house. God bless you for it, God reward you for

it, Philip, with something happier than my. self.

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