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There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village. Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut, Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the

Henries. Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables projecting Over the basement below protected and shaded the door-way. There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys, Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps, and in kirtles Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the

maidens. Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them. Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens, Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome. Then came the labourers home from the field, and serenely the sun

sank Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending, Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment. Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers, Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics. Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows;

But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners ; There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.

Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas, Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré, Dwelt on his goodly acres; and with him, directing his household, Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village. Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters; Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes; White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the oak

leaves.

Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the wayside,
Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her

tresses!

Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows.

When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide
Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden.
Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret
Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop
Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them,
Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her

missal,
Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings,
Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom,
Handed down from mother to child, through long generations.
But a celestial brightness--a more ethereal beauty-

Shone on her face and encirled her form, when, after confession, Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon

her.

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When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.
Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer
Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea ; and a shady
Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it.
Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath ; and a footpath

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Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow.
Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse,
Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the road-side,
Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary.
Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-grown
Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses.
Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the

farm-yard.

There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and

the harrows; There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio, Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.

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Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch ; and a staircase,
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous corn-loft.
There too the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates
Murmuring ever of love ; while above in the variant breezes
Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.

Thus, at

peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household.

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