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confronted him, and wresting the new sceptre
from the Pretender's hand gave it to the
Dean and Chapter.


DAME MARTHA bode in Sonderland,
    A good and gentle dame;
When the winter was long and the rich man hard,
    To her the poor folk came.

The hungry ate out of her hand,
    The sickly took her bed,
And to the sinful wrongdoer
    Sweet words of peace she said.

She was not rich in gold nor gear,
    But all might share her best;
Silver nor gold she could not give,
    But the crust she gave was blest.

There came fierce foemen from afar,
    Over the salt sea tide:
With fire and sword they laid full low
    The hamlets far and wide.

From east to west in Sonderland
    A fire ran bloody red:
Dame Martha's house was burnt full low,
    And its gentle lady fled.

She fled unto a lonely tower,
    To the sad kirkyard nigh,
Only the owl from his dark lair
    Looked down with round bright eye.

Hungry and thirsty she abode
    Unseen, apart from men;
Not a drop of all that she had given
    Was given to her again.

But when the dark and bloody band
    Again forsook that shore,
Dame Martha found her ruined house,
    And built it up once more.

The hungry ate out of her hand,
    The sickly took her bed,
And to the sinful wrongdoer
    Sweet words of peace she said.

For many a day unto her door
    They came from far and wide;
But many a human wanderer wept
    The day Dame Martha died.

The kirk bell sounded sad and low,
    Man, child, and woman, wept;
Wearily to the sad kirkyard
    They bare her as she slept.

And when they passed the lonely tower
    Where she in need had fled,
The bearers sat the black bier down,
    And prayed, and blessed the dead.

And as they prayed with tearful eyes,
    There sprang beneath the bier,
Out of the ground, a little well
    Of water, crystal clear.

And still in rocky Sonderland
    The village gossips tell,
The sick may drink and straight be healed
    Out of Dame Martha's well.

God's blessing on the gentle soul,
    Not rich in gold and gear,
That in the midst of evil days
    Gleams up like water clear.

Like crystal clear, the gentle soul
     Doth from the cold ground burst.
God bless the little wayside well
     Refreshing all that thirst!


SUNDAY morning by the sea. The early
church bells going. A close sea-mist hanging
heavily over the sands, and a baffled
sun trying to make light of it, and failing.
My window wide open, though sere
October is growing old, and one long
melancholy ripple of smooth sea wailing slowly
along the shore. I have had a good breakfast,
a fine romp with my children, and my
wife is dressing for church. Everything
with me is very calm and very happy;
but only an hour ago I was in mortal peril
of my life, and, instead of being in this
pleasant room, with the voices of my little
children outside breaking on my ear, and
with the wash of the wave on the beach
below my window setting a bass to their
sweet treble, I might have been at this
moment floating white and stiff on the still
sea, with the thick mist hanging around
me, and this world's loves and cares over
with me for ever.

It was such a simple affair, such an
easy way in which to meet one's death,
that it is only the thought of what might
have been, that gives warmth and colour to
the contrast with what is: and I am filled
with that feelingwhich all men must
have felt when they have learned how to
feelof respite, and escape, and of a longer
trial allowed, another chance permitted.
I am sure no one who has ever been
consciously and calmly face to face with death
will fail to understand what I mean.

One hour ago, only an hour, I went out,
as usual, to bathe. The sands run up to
my very windows, and the high tides
sometimes touch the little wall that stands
in front, so that I can often walk from my
own hall-door into the water at a few
yards' distance. But this morning the
tide was dead out, and a heavy sea-fog
was lying all over the sands, so that I
could not see where the water and the
land joined. I had not gone twenty yards
until, looking back, I saw my house
looming through the fog, quite altered in
appearance, and, though much larger, still
much more distant than usual. In a few
more steps I lost it altogether. I soon
came to the water's edge, took off my
overall, and laid it on a flat stone: the only
stone I could see, for there are no rocks.