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This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines
and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct
in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and pro
phetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on
their bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neigh
bouring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail
of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the
hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland
the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch -roofed village, the home of
Acadian farmers,— Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the
woodlands, Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an
image of heaven? Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for
ever departed! Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty
blasts of October Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them
far o'er the ocean. Nought but tradition remains of the beautiful village
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and en
dures, and is patient, Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's
devotion, List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines
of the forest; List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.
PART THE FIRST.
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of
Minas, Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand
Pré Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched
to the eastward, Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks
without number. Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with
labour incessant, Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons
the flood-gates Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er
the meadows. West and south there were fields of flax, and or
chards, and cornfields, Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and
away to the northward