Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Lazy, Idle Brook Henry van Dyke

A Casual Introduction

Page 2 of 4

Table Of Contents: Fisherman's Luck

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

It was through this unharvested ice-pond, this fallow field of water, that my lady Graygown and I entered on acquaintance with our lazy, idle brook. We had a house, that summer, a few miles down the bay. But it was a very small house, and the room that we like best was out of doors. So we spent much time in a sailboat,--by name "The Patience,"--making voyages of exploration into watery corners and byways. Sailing past the wooden bridge one day, when a strong east wind had made a very low tide, we observed the water flowing out beneath the road with an eddying current. We were interested to discover where such a stream came from. But the sailboat could not go under the bridge, nor even make a landing on the shore without risk of getting aground. The next day we came back in a rowboat to follow the clue of curiosity. The tide was high now, and we passed with the reversed current under the bridge, almost bumping our heads against the timbers. Emerging upon the pond, we rowed across its shallow, weed-encumbered waters, and were introduced without ceremony to one of the most agreeable brooks that we had ever met.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

It was quite broad where it came into the pond,--a hundred feet from side to side,--bordered with flags and rushes and feathery meadow grasses. The real channel meandered in sweeping curves from bank to bank, and the water, except in the swifter current, was filled with an amazing quantity of some aquatic moss. The woods came straggling down on either shore. There were fallen trees in the stream here and there. On one of the points an old swamp-maple, with its decrepit branches and its leaves already touched with the hectic colours of decay, hung far out over the water which was undermining it, looking and leaning downward, like an aged man who bends, half-sadly and half-willingly, towards the grave.

But for the most part the brook lay wide open to the sky, and the tide, rising and sinking somewhat irregularly in the pond below, made curious alternations in its depth and in the swiftness of its current. For about half a mile we navigated this lazy little river, and then we found that rowing would carry us no farther, for we came to a place where the stream issued with a livelier flood from an archway in a thicket.

This woodland portal was not more than four feet wide, and the branches of the small trees were closely interwoven overhead. We shipped the oars and took one of them for a paddle. Stooping down, we pushed the boat through the archway and found ourselves in the Fairy Dell. It was a long, narrow bower, perhaps four hundred feet from end to end, with the brook dancing through it in a joyous, musical flow over a bed of clean yellow sand and white pebbles. There were deep places in the curves where you could hardly touch bottom with an oar, and shallow places in the straight runs where the boat would barely float. Not a ray of unbroken sunlight leaked through the green roof of this winding corridor; and all along the sides there were delicate mosses and tall ferns and wildwood flowers that love the shade.

Page 2 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004