Up in Ardmuirland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about Up in Ardmuirland.

“I’ve been a great sinner, Father,” he would say.  “I owe a big debt to the justice of the Almighty!”

As he had lived, so he died, I had noticed that my brother had shown no surprise, as I did, at the sight of the dying figure of the old man stretched on the bare earth with a stone for his pillow; Val had become familiar with the idea.

“My Saviour died on a Cross for me, and shall I, a vile sinner, be content to die in my bed?” Thus he would always answer the remonstrances of the priest.

Whenever I read the Gospel narrative of Lazarus—­the wretchedly clothed, ill-fed, diseased mendicant—­who inspired loathing in the eyes and nostrils of the delicately nurtured, sensual men who flocked past his unlovely form to the banquets of the rich glutton at whose palace gate he lay, my thoughts fly at once to my old friend, Archie the penitent, and my prayers rise to Heaven on his behalf in the Church’s touching petition for the departed: 

  “Cum Lazaro, quondam paupere, eternam habeas requiem!”

  “With Lazarus, once poor, now blest
  May’st thou enjoy eternal rest!”



  “All the world is turning golden, turning golden
      In the spring.”
          (Nora Hopper—­“April.")

On a day when May was growing old, everything up at Ardmuirland was green and gold except the sky, and that was mostly blue and gold.  Gorse and broom were in full blossom, so that on all sides the outlook was glorious!

Looking through my field-glasses to discover the meaning of a column of dense smoke, which seemed to be rising from a hill in the distance, I found myself gazing at a forest in flames!  Fire—­a very wall of fire—­seemed to extend for miles along a dense tract of woodland!  So seemingly fierce the blaze that it lighted up with golden gleams the tower of a distant church beyond the wood!  Yet, as I looked steadily, it became evident that the flames neither diminished nor increased; presently I discovered that the column of smoke rose from a spot entirely different—­more to the foreground.  In the end I had to confess with reluctance that my eyes had been deceived; there was no sensational forest fire at all!  What I had seen was but the sunshine on an expanse of yellow bloom on some rising ground beyond the belt of woodland, and on the old church tower, while a rare cloud shaded the nearer prospect.

What a silly goat I called myself!  Looking nearer home I saw the same red-gold glow, which needed but the sunshine to wake it into flame.  The disused quarry, not half a mile away, where the sun was bright, might have been an open gold mine—­so brilliant the shining of its wealth of broom bushes!  The hedge of gorse which bordered the road on both sides had no speck of green to mar its splendor.

  “All the world is turning golden, turning golden. 
    Gold butterflies are light upon the wing;
  Gold is shining through the eyelids that were holden
        Till the spring.”

Project Gutenberg
Up in Ardmuirland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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