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Lancashire Idylls (1898) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about Lancashire Idylls (1898).

As Matt looked at these hills, there rolled along their summits snowy cumuli—­billowy masses swept from distant cloud tempests, and now spending their force in flecks of white across the blue sky-sea that lay peaceful over awakening Rehoboth.  A fresh wind travelled from the gates of the sun, laden with upland sweets, and mellowing moment by moment under the directer rays of the eastern king; while the sycamores in the garden, as if in playful protest, bent before the touch of its caress, only to rise and rustle as, for the moment, they escaped the haunting and besetting breeze, lending to their protest the dreamy play of light and shade from newly-unsheathed leaves.  There was a strange silence, too—­a silence that made mystic music in Matt’s heart—­a silence all the more profound because of the distant low of oxen, and the strain of an old Puritan hymn sung by a shepherd in a neighbouring field.  Matt’s heart was full, and, though he knew it not, he was a worshipper—­he was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day.

‘Is that thee, Matt?’

‘Yi, lass, for sure it is.  Who else should it be, thinksto?’

’Nay, I knew it were noabry but thee; but one mun say summat, thaa knows.  What arto doin’ at th’ winder?  Has th’ hens getten in th’ garden agen?’

‘Nowe, not as aw con see.’

‘Then what arto lookin’ at?  Thaa seems fair gloppened (surprised).’

‘I’m nobbud lookin’ aat a bit.  It’s a bonny seet and o’, I can tell thee.’

‘Thaa’s sin’ it mony a time afore, lad, hesn’t ta?  Is there aught fresh abaat it?’

‘There’s summat fresh i’ mi een, awm thinkin’.  Like as I never seed th’ owd country look as grand as it looks this morn.’

‘Aw’ll hev a look wi’ thee, Matt; ther’ll happen be summat fresh for my een and o’.’

And so saying, Miriam crept to his side and, in unblushing innocence, took her stand at the window with Matt.

It was a comely picture which the little birds saw as they twittered round and peeped through the ivy-covered casement where Matt and Miriam stood framed in the morning radiance and in the glow of domestic love—­she with loose tresses lying over her bare shoulders, all glossy in the sunshine, her head resting on the strong arm of him who owned her, and drew her in gentle pride to his beating heart—­the two together looking out in all the joy of purity and all the unconscious ease of nature on the sun-flooded moors.

‘It’s grand, lass, isn’t it?’

‘Yi, Matt, it is forsure.’

‘And them hills—­they’re awlus slumberin’, am’t they?  Doesto know, I sometimes wish I could be as quiet as they are.  They fret noan; weet or fine, it’s all th’ same to them.’

’They’re a bit o’er quiet for me, lad.  I’d rather hev a tree misel.  It tosses, thaa knows, and tews i’ th’ tempest, and laughs i’ th’ sunleet, and fades i’ autumn.  It’s some like a human bein’ is a tree.’

‘An’ aw sometimes think there’s summat very like th’ Almeety i’ th’ hills.’

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