Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

eye, and the merry tones of his laughter. These were the first four: —

"The jay, he came with his blue back,
And his long forked bill,
And to a granary he hied,
All for to get his fill."

The blunt observations of the Philosopher often won his applause. Sometimes this man of Socratic plainness made a single verb solve a matter not yet explained. For example, when asked to account for the fact that the days of summer are longer than the days of winter, in agreement with the theory that the earth revolves around the sun, he promptly answered, "Fool, don't you know that the earth wabbles?" At another time, describing the eloquence of Rufus Choate, and with what ease for effect this pleader could use the muscles of his face, he said, "The" cant of his countenance drew tears from everybody's eyes." Encounters with this sage, who was in no degree bound by the conventionalities of polite society, but who withal had a kind heart, and was often benevolent in deed, frequently to the witty and brilliant young clergyman was something more and better than a pleasant pastime. The latter engaged in talk with the self-taught Philosopher with unusual zest, liking him because he was kin to Bryant's " genial optimist," —the " white-haired ancient," who was not only "pithy of speech," but "merry when he would."

Another image, — the venerable Dr. Gannett, strong, positive, earnest, often vehement, but in the drift of his life sweet and winning. However severe he may have seemed to some when he was called to do the grave and honest work of preaching God's uncompromising word, he was one of the wisest, gentlest, and kindest of the many who came summer after summer to sojourn here, — the presiding joy-evoking, mirth-inspiring genius of social gatherings and simple pastimes.

Others, still of the living on the earth, are not forgotten; nor are the occasions on which they were prominent actors. Rev. J. F. Clarke, on a fine Sunday morning, beneath the broad canopy of an ancient oak, preaching, in the most eloquent because in the most simple and natural manner, to a circle of attentive and deeply moved men and women seated around him on the sward; and Dr. E. H. Chapin and Rev. J. G. Adams, one after the other, addressing a gathering of hundreds at even-tide on the rocks bordering the sea. These living shapes stay near our woods and on our shores. Their voices for ever blend with the breathings of the forest and with the utterances of the sea.

The following lines, entitled "Sabbath Evening by the Sea," were written at the closing hour of the "day of days," on one of the great rocks of our shore, in July, 1851, by Rev. J. G. Adams.

"Alone, my God, alone with thee,

At this bright Sabbath evening hour, Where the strong voices of the sea

Declare thy greatness and thy power! I have been in thy courts to-day,

Where mortals meet, thy name to bless, And where with one accord they pay

Their homage to thy holiness. Now to these outer courts I come,

Alone at this rock-altar, Lord, Beneath this ample evening dome,

To hear thee speak thy wondrous word. That word the waves are uttering clear,

In their full accents at my feet, While notes of woodland warblers near

Are with thy glorious name replete. On sunlit spire, and roof, and shore,

And sail that stains the dark, blue sea,
And red horizon spread out o'er

That emblem of eternity, —
I read thy brightness, God of love,

And in this matchless temple raise
Anew my feeble thought above,

In silent evening prayer and praise:

Thy mercies to my soul extend,

Whose strength is nought without thy power; Loved ones and dear from ill defend,

And draw to thee, at this blest hour. To friend and foe thy peace be given;

The weak make strong, the simple wise,
Be to the poorest wealth of heaven,

To lameness strength, to blindness eyes.
As sheds the sun its rays divine
- O'er hill and shore and widening sea,
So may thy truth in mercy shine,

Wherever man on earth may be.
As flow these everlasting waves,

Bearers of life from shore to shore,

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

THE "FARM" HOUSE.

The large division of our Cape east of Squam River being an island, "the ride round the Cape," as the fifteen mile circuit of the high-road here is called, whether by the way of Folly Cove, Lanesville, Bay View, and Annisquam, or, in the opposite direction, by the way of Rockport, Great Hill, and Beaver Dam, commands water-views almost the whole distance. If the choice be to ride in the latter direction, the water-views are on the left hand, and, till the top of Great Hill is reached are mainly those which are within sight of every home at Pigeon Cove. From the top of Great Hill the blue line of Massachusetts Bay is seen stretching southward beyond where the forest-covered ridges, toward Little Good Harbor Beach, seem to meet the horizon. On the right of this hill-top point of observation are the steeps and hollows near, and the valley and elevations beyond, thickly strewn with the boulders which occasioned the conversation manjr years ago between the astonished visitor from the country, and the stage-driver then on the road. "Where did they get the stones of which these walls were built?" asked the stranger. "Why, don't you see stones enough everywhere about here?" responded the awakened native. "Yes," rejoined the stranger, "but who has ever missed any?" Descending the steep southern slope of the hill, and passing the farm buildings and the fields of Beaver Dam, encircled by stony and woody ridges, and the old road to Dogtown on the southern border of the cultivated acres, the meadow where the beavers in the olden time built their dam, and lived unmolested in their curious habitations, is seen as the site of new industrial works erected by the hands of man. Continuing southward in the shade of trees over the line between Rockport and Gloucester, and then over a little ascent, farm-houses toward the coast appear; and down a narrow carriage-way, leading from the main road and these scattered dwellings to

\

« AnteriorContinuar »