Never went up truer invocation, from sweeter spot.
"Sing not so loud, my Majel," whispered Alessandro, as her voice went carolling like a lark's in the pure ether. "There might be hunters near who would hear;" and he joined in with low and muffled tones.
As she dropped her voice at this caution, it seemed even sweeter than before: --
"'Come, O sinners, Come, and we will sing Tender hymns To our refuge,'"
"Ah, Majella, there is no sinner here, except me!" said Alessandro. "My Majella is like one of the Virgin's own saints." And indeed he might have been forgiven the thought. as he gazed at Ramona, sitting there in the shimmering light, her face thrown out into relief by the gray wall of fern-draped rock behind her; her splendid hair, unbound, falling in tangled masses to her waist; her cheeks flushed, her face radiant with devout and fervent supplication, her eyes uplifted to the narrow belt of sky overhead, where filmy vapors were turning to gold, touched by a sun she could not see.
"Hush, my love," she breathed rather than said. "That would be a sin, if you really thought it.
'O beautiful Queen, Princess of Heaven,'"
she continued, repeating the first lines of the song; and then, sinking on her knees, reached out one hand for Alessandro's, and glided, almost without a break in the melodious sound, into a low recitative of the morning-prayers. Her rosary was of fine-chased gold beads, with an ivory crucifix; a rare and precious relic of the Missions' olden times. It had belonged to Father Peyri himself, was given by him to Father Salvierderra, and by Father Salvierderra to the "blessed child," Ramona, at her confirmation. A warmer token of his love and trust he could not have bestowed upon her, and to Ramona's religious and affectionate heart it had always seemed a bond and an assurance, not only of Father Salvierderra's love, but of the love and protection of the now sainted Peyri.
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