The outburst of the stout Basil
, in the church of Grand Pre, was, we are fain to acknowledge, a great relief to us. But, before reaching the close of the volume, we were quite reconciled to the author's forbearance.
The design of the poem is manifestly incompatible with stern ‘rhadamanthine justice’ and indignant denunciation of wrong.
It is a simple story of quiet pastoral happiness, of great sorrow and painful bereavement, and of the endurance of a love which, hoping and seeking always, wanders evermore up and down the wilderness of the world, baffled at every turn, yet still retaining faith in God and in the object of its lifelong quest.
It was no part of the writer's object to investigate the merits of the question at issue between the poor Acadians
and their Puritan
Looking at the materials before him with the eye of an artist simply, he has arranged them to suit his idea of the beautiful and pathetic, leaving to some future historian the duty of sitting in judgment upon the actors in the atrocious outrage which furnished them.
With this we are content.
The poem now has unity and sweetness which might have been destroyed by attempting to avenge the wrongs it so vividly depicts.
It is a psalm of love and forgiveness: the gentleness and peace of Christian meekness and forbearance breathe through it. Not a word of censure is directly applied to the marauding workers of the mighty sorrow which it describes just as it would a calamity from the elements,—a visitation of God.
The reader, however, cannot fail to award