April 7

The Witch’s Daughter: Review

P3021947Creative Commons License Stanisław.k via Compfight

The Witch’s Daughter

John Greenleaf Whittier

 

It was the pleasant harvest time,
When cellar-bins are closely stowed,
And garrets bend beneath their load,

And the old swallow-haunted barns –
Brown-gabled, long, and full of seams
Through which the moted sunlight streams,

And winds blow freshly in, to shake
The red plumes of the roosted cocks,
And the loose hay-mow’s scented locks –

Are filled with summer’s ripened stores,
Its odorous grass and barley sheaves,
From their low scaffolds to their eaves.

On Esek Harden’s oaken floor,
With many an autmn threshing worn,
Lay the heaped ears of unhusked corn.

And thither came young men and maids,
Beneath a moon that, large and low,
Lit that sweet eve of long ago.

They took their places; some by chance,
And others by a merry voice
Or sweet smile guided to their choice.

How pleasantly the rising moon,
Between the shadow of the mows,
Looked on them through the great elm-boughs! –

On sturdy boyhood sun-embrowned,
On girlhood with its solid curves
Of healthful strength and painless nerves!

And jests went round, and laughs that made
The house-dog answer with his howl,
And kept astir the barn-yard fowl;

And quaint old songs their fathers sung
In Derby dales and Yorkshire moors,
Ere Norman William trod their shores;

And tales, whose merry license shook
The fat sides of the Saxon thane,
Forgetful of the hovering Dane,—­

Rude plays to Celt and Cimbri known,
The charms and riddles that beguiled
On Oxus’ banks the young world’s child,—­

That primal picture-speech wherein
Have youth and maid the story told,
So new in each, so dateless old,

Recalling pastoral Ruth in her
Who waited, blushing and demure,
The red-ear’s kiss of forfeiture.

But still the sweetest voice was mute
That river-valley ever heard
From lips of maid or throat of bird;

For Mabel Martin sat apart,
And let the hay-mow’s shadow fall
Upon the loveliest face of all.

She sat apart, as one forbid,
Who knew that none would condescend
To own the Witch-wife’s child a friend.

The seasons scarce had gone their round,
Since curious thousands thronged to see
Her mother at the gallows-tree;

And mocked the prison-palsied limbs
That faltered on the fatal stairs,
And wan lip trembling with its prayers!

Few questioned of the sorrowing child,
Or, when they saw the mother die;
Dreamed of the daughter’s agony.

They went up to their homes that day,
As men and Christians justified
God willed it, and the wretch had died!

Dear God and Father of us all,
Forgive our faith in cruel lies,—­
Forgive the blindness that denies!

Forgive thy creature when he takes,
For the all-perfect love Thou art,
Some grim creation of his heart.

Cast down our idols, overturn
Our bloody altars; let us see
Thyself in Thy humanity!

Poor Mabel from her mother’s grave
Crept to her desolate hearth-stone,
And wrestled with her fate alone;

With love, and anger, and despair,
The phantoms of disordered sense,
The awful doubts of Providence!

The school-boys jeered her as they passed,
And, when she sought the house of prayer,
Her mother’s curse pursued her there.

And still o’er many a neighboring door
She saw the horseshoe’s curved charm,
To guard against her mother’s harm; –

That mother, poor, and sick, and lame,
Who daily, by the old arm-chair,
Folded her withered hands in prayer; –

Who turned, in Salem’s dreary jail,
Her worn old Bible o’er and o’er,
When her dim eyes could read no more!

Sore tried and pained, the poor girl kept
Her faith, and trusted that her way,
So dark, would somewhere meet the day.

And still her weary wheel went round
Day after day, with no relief
Small leisure have the poor for grief.

So in the shadow Mabel sits;
Untouched by mirth she sees and hears,
Her smile is sadder than her tears.

But cruel eyes have found her out,
And cruel lips repeat her name,
And taunt her with her mother’s shame.

She answered not with railing words,
But drew her apron o’er her face,
And, sobbing, glided from the place.

And only pausing at the door,
Her sad eyes met the troubled gaze
Of one who, in her better days,

Had been her warm and steady friend,
Ere yet her mother’s doom had made
Even Esek Harden half afraid.

He felt that mute appeal of tears,
And, starting, with an angry frown,
Hushed all the wicked murmurs down.

‘Good neighbors mine,’ he sternly said,
‘This passes harmless mirth or jest;
I brook no insult to my guest.

‘She is indeed her mother’s child;
But God’s sweet pity ministers
Unto no whiter soul than hers.

‘Let Goody Martin rest in peace;
I never knew her harm a fly,
And witch or not, God knows – not I.

‘I know who swore her life away;
And as God lives, I’d not condemn
An Indian dog on word of them.’

The broadest lands in all the town,
The skill to guide, the power to awe,
Were Harden’s; and his word was law.

None dared withstand him to his face,
But one sly maiden spake aside
‘The little witch is evil-eyed!

‘Her mother only killed a cow,
Or witched a churn or dairy-pan;
But she, forsooth, must charm a man!’

Poor Mabel, in her lonely home,
Sat by the window’s narrow pane,
White in the moonlight’s silver rain.

The river, on its pebbled rim,
Made music such as childhood knew;
The door-yard tree was whispered through

By voices such as childhood’s ear
Had heard in moonlights long ago;
And through the willow-boughs below.

She saw the rippled waters shine;
Beyond, in waves of shade and light,
The hills rolled off into the night.

She saw and heard, but over all
A sense of some transforming spell,
The shadow of her sick heart fell.

And still across the wooded space
The harvest lights of Harden shone,
And song and jest and laugh went on.

And he, so gentle, true, and strong,
Of men the bravest and the best,
Had he, too, scorned her with the rest?

She strove to drown her sense of wrong,
And, in her old and simple way,
To teach her bitter heart to pray.

Poor child! the prayer, begun in faith,
Grew to a low, despairing cry
Of utter misery: ‘Let me die!

‘Oh! take me from the scornful eyes,
And hide me where the cruel speech
And mocking finger may not reach!

‘I dare not breathe my mother’s name
A daughter’s right I dare not crave
To weep above her unblest grave!

‘Let me not live until my heart,
With few to pity, and with none
To love me, hardens into stone.

‘O God! have mercy on Thy child,
Whose faith in Thee grows weak and small,
And take me ere I lose it all!’

A shadow on the moonlight fell,
And murmuring wind and wave became
A voice whose burden was her name.

Had then God heard her? Had He sent
His angel down? In flesh and blood,
Before her Esek Harden stood!

He laid his hand upon her arm
‘Dear Mabel, this no more shall be;
Who scoffs at you must scoff at me.

‘You know rough Esek Harden well;
And if he seems no suitor gay,
And if his hair is touched with gray,

‘The maiden grown shall never find
His heart less warm than when she smiled,
Upon his knees, a little child!’

Her tears of grief were tears of joy,
As, folded in his strong embrace,
She looked in Esek Harden’s face.

‘O truest friend of all” she said,
‘God bless you for your kindly thought,
And make me worthy of my lot!’

He led her through his dewy fields,
To where the swinging lanterns glowed,
And through the doors the huskers showed.

‘Good friends and neighbors!’ Esek said,
‘I’m weary of this lonely life;
In Mabel see my chosen wife!

‘She greets you kindly, one and all;
The past is past, and all offence
Falls harmless from her innocence.

‘Henceforth she stands no more alone;
You know what Esek Harden is: –
He brooks no wrong to him or his.’

Now let the merriest tales be told,
And let the sweetest songs be sung
That ever made the old heart young!

For now the lost has found a home;
And a lone hearth shall brighter burn,
As all the household joys return!

Oh, pleasantly the harvest-moon,
Between the shadow of the mows,
Looked on them through the great elm-boughs!

On Mabel’s curls of golden hair,
On Esek’s shaggy strength it fell;
And the wind whispered, ‘It is well!’

 

This was a very long, but well written poem. I really liked this one, and honestly it made me choke up a bit. The poem shows how fast society is willing to judge you, and it wasn’t even her they were judging! Because her mother was a witch they automatically didn’t like her. I absolutely loved this poem and I would love to check out more of his work. I hope you enjoyed it too!

 

 

November 12

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

So as most of you know the new Star Wars movie is coming out, and I am so excited! Me and my dad are both HUGE fans of Star Wars (I saw Episode 4 when I was 5). So to lead up to it we are watching all of the Star Wars movies; from Episode 1 to the very last one ever made. 

 

So, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, arguably one of George Lucas’ worst movie ever made. There was just too much comedy shoved into the movie that was uncalled for. I understand that Jar Jar Binks was supposed to be funny and bring some light into the movie, but the other jokes were not necessary.

 

I am not the only one who thinks this before you start judging me, or whatever. Rotten Tomatoes rated it 57%; not the best score you could hope for. The biggest problem it had (according to Rotten Tomatoes) was “Lucas needs to improve on the plot and character development.” I completely agree with this, it was quite boring at parts. Almost the entire movie was people standing and talking, which you had to sit through just for 10 minutes of AMAZING lightsaber action.

 

Please don’t yell at me for bashing on this movie, but these are my true opinions! Let me know if you guys are excited for the new Star Wars movie!

September 15

Blue and Silver

 

Image via Pixapay CC0

Image via Pixapay CC0

Meeting the teachers is meant to be simple, saying hello and driving home, blah, blah, blah. That is true, if you look like everyone else.

My blue hair and silver nose piercing tends to throw people off a bit. Everyone thinks I’m some hardcore chick who doesn’t care about anything. So when I met my teachers and students who I would have classes with everyone watches me like a hawk in class. If I accidentally drop something I get sent to the principal’s office.

The reason I don’t just go back to my natural blonde hair is because I don’t want to be the preppy zombie like everyone has become. It’s like a plague out there and the only way to hide from it is to be different. My friend gets it too, her hair is green and she has a lip piercing and people treat her the same way they treat me, like a loner.

I look different, I act different, that’s because I am different.

 

This is my little authors note: I wrote “Blue and Silver” to show that it is okay to be different. I really don’t think people realize that this happens everyday in life. Just because your hair is dyed and you have a perceiving, that suddenly means that your some monster who will kill you with just one look. It’s not true, I’m hoping this story will open peoples eyes and show them that this actually happens to everyone, even if their hair is not a different color or if they have a piercing. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this, bye!