Tales of the Chesapeake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 336 pages of information about Tales of the Chesapeake.

“Wonderful Nanking!” he cried, “thy faith was all the wisdom we had.  God protects the simple!  Thou art our treasure.”

The great Hinoyossa condignly fled to Maryland.  Uncle Van Swearingen was exported to Holland, and in the dwelling of Peter Alrichs the family of Ffob Oothout made their abode.

“Nanking,” asked the houseless Alrichs, “is not Elsje pretty yet?”

“Not as pretty,” answered Nanking, “as my little baby sister.  I will carry nobody’s doll but hers.”

“Humph!” said Peter Alrichs, “you are not the big idiot I took you for!”


    Basking on the Choptank pleasant Cambridge lies
    In the humid atmosphere under fluttered skies,
    And the oaks and willows their protection fling
    Round the court-house cluster and the public spring.

    There the streets are cleanly and they meet oblique,
    Forced upon each other by the village creek
    Winding round the ancient lawns, till the site appears
    Like a moated fortress crumbling down with years.

    Round the town the oysters grow within the coves,
    And the fertile cornfields bearing yellow loaves;
    And the wild duck flying o’er the parish spire
    Fall into the graveyard when the fowlers fire?

    There the old armorial stones dwellers seldom read;
    There the ivy clambers like the rankest weed;
    There the Cambridge lawyers sometimes scale the wall
    To the grave of Helen, loveliest of all.

    Even here the fairest of the little band
    Strangers call the fairest girls in Maryland,
    Like the peach her color ere its dyes are fast,
    And her form as slender as the virgin mast.

    Like a vessel gliding with a net in tow,
    Up the street of evenings Helen seemed to flow,
    Leaving light behind her and a nameless spell
    Murmured in the young men, like an ocean shell.

    Made too early conscious of her power to charm,
    Still unconscious ever love of men could harm,
    Voices whispered to her:  “Beauty rare as thine
    Princes in the city never drank in wine!

    “Hide it not in Cambridge!  Cross the bay and see
    How a world delighted hastes to honor thee. 
    Seek the fortune-teller and thy future hear;
    There is empire yonder; there is thy career!”

    Oh, the sad ambition and the speedy dart! 
    He, the fortune-reader, read poor Helen’s heart;
    And a face created for the hearthstone’s light—­
    Fishers tell its ruin as they scud by night.

    Whisper, whisper, whisper! leaf and wave and grass;
    Look not sidewise, maiden, as the place you pass. 
    If you hear a restless spirit when you pray,
    ’Tis the voice that tempted Helen o’er the bay.


Project Gutenberg
Tales of the Chesapeake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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