Page images
[blocks in formation]

No, no, mother! I will hasten

While there's yet a bit of day,
Just along the mountain path-way,

Calling Daisy all the way:
For I could not sleep a minute,

Knowing she was out astray.
I'll be back before my father

Misses me from near his chair:
I have something sweet to tell him,

Something good for him to share ;
But if he keeps asking for me,

Just step to the garden door,
And look up the mountain path-way,

Call my name and nothing more,
And in less than half a minute

I'll be coming in the door.


Daisy! Daisy! are you climbing

O'er the rocks, adown the glen ?
Daisy! Daisy! will you ever

Frolic by my side again ?

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Down the valley ? tell me, HENRIC :

Did you see her venture there? Oh! that my one cherished lambkin

Should so need a mother's care ! Hasten, ALERT! up the mountain,

If you'd see our child again. She has gone adown the valley,

Where her feet have never been, And the night is closing darkly,

And the sky looks black and grim! Hasten, ALERT! for the thunder

Mutters o'er the mountain's peak, And the hemlocks swing their branches,

And dark omens seem to speak.

I will follow after ALERT :

Why need I to fear the storm ?
For my hearth is cold and dreary

When my little one is gone.
If my sun-beam should be stolen,

What could keep my bosom warm ?

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ONLY a year before the events related in preceding chapters, Sir Henry, just returned from a tour on the continent, wearied of old forms of worship and government, had adopted the Puritan faith.

Youth is ever prone to extremes of belief, and the new convert, despite his father's wrath and his king's displeasure, frequented assemblies of Covenanters, even when, driven by Cavaliers from all public haunts, they held their meetings in hollows of the rocks.

Still his religion was only of the head; his heart had never humbled itself to the child-like docility, expressly enjoined upon followers of his sect; neither did he place implicit confidence in the tenets it presented for his acceptance.

While his mind was yet inquiring after truth, the Quakers began to promulgate their sentiments, and, nothing daunted by the opprobrium heaped on them, the youthful heir of Ludlow Castle resolved to judge for himself of their wonderful illuminations.

They were even more despised than the Round-heads, considered out-casts from society, and hunted to the death by reckless troops of Royalists.

Sir Henry, obtaining audience of a chief man among these religionists, gained knowledge of their secret place of worship among remote ledges along the wild coast of Dorsetshire, to be approached by a somewhat painful journey on foot. But in those times, when fires of holy zeal burned high, the arduous access only heaped fuel upon flames already kindled in many hearts; so that within the self-hewn chapel old and young presented themselves — the more aged borne over rocks (thus they averred in their 'out-pourings ') by an invisible power, which enabled them to scale perpendicular heights sans fatigue, and descend into abysses without sense of dizziness.

Thither Sir Henry directed his steps, just as streams and mea. dows were donning night-robes of mist, for these people dared congregate only under cover of darkness. He had but a dim idea of what he sought, nor would have been surprised to hear ravings meaningless as those within the precincts of a mad-house.

He paused on the height above their rendezvous, struck by the picturesque scene, albeit unused to meditate the handiwork of a divine ARCHITECT. Before him spread the British Channel, whose far-away waters kissed the border of the sky and cooled the tired

« PreviousContinue »