October Vagabonds eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about October Vagabonds.

“I have wandered far, O my mother, but here I return at the last,
  Never again to stray in pilgrimage wanton and wild;
A broken heart and a contrite here at thy feet I cast,
  O take me back to thy bosom ...”  And the mother answered, “Child!"_

It was a wonderful reconciliation, a wonderful home-coming, and how I luxuriated in the great green forgiveness!  Yes! the giant maples had forgiven me, and the multitudinous beeches had taken me to their arms.  The flowers and I were friends again, the grass was my brother, and the shy nymph-like stream, dropping silver vowels into the silence, was my sweetheart.

CHAPTER III

Trespassers will be...”

For those who value it, there is no form of property that inspires a sense of ownership so jealous as solitude.  Rob my orchard if you will, but beware how you despoil me of my silence.  The average noisy person can have no conception what a brutal form of trespass his coarsely cheerful voice may be in the exquisite spiritual hush of the woods, or what shattering discomfort his irrelevant presence in the landscape.

One day, to my horror, a picnic ruthlessly invaded my sanctuary.  With a roar of Boeotian hilarity, it tore up the hillside as if it were a storming party, and half a day the sacred woods were vocal with silly catcalls and snatches of profane song.  I locked up my hermitage, and, taking my stick, sought refuge in flight, like the other woodland creatures; only coming back at evening with cautious step and peering glance, half afraid lest it should still be there.  No!  It was gone, but its voices seemed to have left gaping wounds across the violated air, and the trees to wear a look of desecration.  But presently the moon arose and washed the solitude clean again, and the wounds of silence were healed in the still night.

Next morning I amused myself by writing the following notice, which I nailed up on a great elm-tree standing guard at the beginning of the woods: 

Silence!

Speaking above a whisper in these woods
         is forbidden by law
.

This notice seems to have had its effect, for from this time on no more hands of marauders invaded my peace.  But I had one other case of trespass, of which it is now time to speak.

Some short distance from the shack was a clearing in the woods, a thriving wilderness of bramble-bushes, poke-berries, myrtle-berries, mandrakes, milkweed, mullein, daisies and what not—­a paradise of every sauntering vine and splendid, saucy weed.  In the centre stood a sycamore-tree, beneath which it was my custom to smoke a morning pipe and revolve my profound after-breakfast thoughts.

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Project Gutenberg
October Vagabonds from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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