52 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
ered the elders of the church, gray-headed men, who led the psalmody,and in whom it would be difficult to recognize the hard-riding lads of yore, who scoured the debatable land in the time of the Revolution.
The drowsy influence of Sleepy Hollow was apt to breathe into this sacred edifice ; and now and then an elder might be seen with his handkerchief over his face to keep off the flies, and apparently listening to the dominie ; but really sunk into a summer slumber,
lulled by the sultry notes of the locust from the neighboring trees.
And now a word or two about Sleepy Hollow, which many have rashly deemed a fanciful creation, like the Lubberland of mariners. It was probably the mystic and dreamy sound of the name which first
tempted the historian of the Manhattoes into its spellbound mazes. As he entered, all nature seemed for the moment to awake from its slumbers and break forth in gratulations. The quail whistled a welcome from the cornfield ; the loquacious cat-bird flew from bush to
bush with restless wing, proclaiming his approach, or perked inquisitively into his face as if to get a knowledge of his physiognomy. The woodpecker tapped a tattoo on the hollow apple-tree, and then peered round the trunk, as if asking how he relished the salutation ;
while the squirrel scampered along the fence, whisking his tail over his head by way of a huzza.
Here reigned the golden mean extolled by poets, in which no gold was to be found and very little silver. The inhabitants of the Hollow were of the primitive stock, and had intermarried and bred in
and in, from the earliest times of the province, never swarming far from the parent hive, but dividing and subdividing their paternal acres as they swarmed.
Here were small farms, each having its little portion of meadow and cornfield ; its orchard of gnarled and sprawling apple-trees ; its garden, in which the rose, the marigold, and hollyhock grew sociably
with the cabbage, the pea, and the pumpkin ; each had its low-eaved mansion redundant with white-headed children ; with an old hat nailed against the wall for the housekeeping wren ; the coop on the
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