The Project Gutenberg eBook of Poems of American History

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Title: Poems of American History

Editor: Burton Egbert Stevenson

Release date: November 27, 2014 [eBook #47476]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Edwards, JoAnn Greenwood, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)




My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain-side
Let freedom ring.
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break,—
The sound prolong.
Our fathers' God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.
Samuel Francis Smith.





The Riverside Press Cambridge



The Riverside Press




All rights on poems in this volume are reserved by the holders of the copyright. The publishers and others named in the following list are the proprietors, either in their own right or as agents for the authors, of the poems of which the authorship and titles are given, and of which the ownership is thus specifically noted and is hereby acknowledged.

Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., New York.—William Cullen Bryant: "The Green Mountain Boys," "Seventy-Six," "Song of Marion's Men," "Oh Mother of a Mighty Race," "Our Country's Call," "Abraham Lincoln," "Centennial Hymn."

Messrs. Richard D. Badger & Co., Boston.—Edwin Arlington Robinson: "The Klondike."

The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis.—Charles Edward Russell: "The Fleet at Santiago," from "Such Stuff as Dreams."

The Century Company, New York.—Richard Watson Gilder: "At the President's Grave," "Charleston," "The White City," "The Comfort of the Trees"; Robert Underwood Johnson: "Dewey at Manila"; Silas Weir Mitchell: "Herndon," "How the Cumberland went down," "Kearsarge," "Lincoln," "The Song of the Flags." From the Century Magazine.—William Tuckey Meredith: "Farragut"; Helen F. More: "What's in a Name"; Will Henry Thompson: "The High Tide at Gettysburg."

The Robert Clarke Company, Cincinnati.—William Davis Gallagher: "The Mothers of the West"; William Haines Lytle: "The Siege of Chapultepec," "The Volunteers."

Messrs. Henry T. Coates & Co., Philadelphia.—Ethel Lynn Beers: "The Picket-Guard"; Charles Fenno Hoffman: "Rio Bravo," "Monterey."

Messrs. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.—Ernest McGaffey: "Little Big Horn," "Geronimo"; William Henry Venable: "John Filson," "Johnny Appleseed," "The Founders of Ohio," "El Emplazado," "Battle-Cry," "National Song."

The R. R. Donnelly & Sons Company, Chicago.—Francis Brooks: "Down the Little Big Horn."

Messrs. Dana Estes & Co., Boston.—Hezekiah Butterworth: "The Thanksgiving for America," "The Legend of Waukulla," "The Fountain of Youth," "Verazzano," "Ortiz," "Five Kernels of Corn," "The Thanksgiving in Boston Harbor," "Roger Williams," "Whitman's Ride for Oregon," "The Death of Jefferson," "Garfield's Ride at Chickamauga," "The Church of the Revolution."

Messrs. Funk & Wagnalls, New York.—Richard Realf: "The Defence of Lawrence."

Messrs. Harper & Brothers, New York.—Wallace Bruce: "Parson Allen's Ride"; Will Carleton: "The Prize of the Margaretta," "Across the Delaware," "The Little Black-Eyed Rebel," "Cuba to Columbia," "The Victory-Wreck"; William Dean Howells: "The Battle in the Clouds"; Herman Melville: "Malvern Hill," "The Victor of Antietam," "The Cumberland," "Running the Batteries," "A Dirge for McPherson," "Sheridan at Cedar Creek," "The Fall of Richmond," "The Surrender at Appomattox," "At the Cannon's Mouth." From Harper's Magazine and Harper's Weekly.—Guy Wetmore Carryl: "When the Great Gray Ships come in"; Joseph B. Gilder: "The Parting of the Ways"; Thomas A. Janvier: "Santiago"; Thomas Dunn English: "Arnold at Stillwater," "The Charge by the Ford," "The Fall of Maubila," "The Battle of the Cowpens," "The Battle of New Orleans"; John Eliot Bowen: "The Man who rode to Conemaugh."

Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.—Thomas Bailey Aldrich: "Fredericksburg," "By the Potomac," "The Bells at Midnight," "An Ode on the Unveiling of the Shaw Memorial," "Unguarded Gates"; Phœbe Cary: "Ready," "Peace"; John White Chadwick: "Mugford's Victory," "Full Cycle"; Mrs. Florence Earle Coates: "Columbus," "Buffalo," "By the Conemaugh"; Christopher Pearse Cranch: "After the Centennial"; Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Concord Hymn," "Boston Hymn"; Annie Fields: "Cedar Mountain"; Louise Imogen Guiney: "John Brown"; Francis Bret Harte: "Caldwell of Springfield," "The Reveille," "John Burns of Gettysburg," "A Second Review of the Grand Army," "An Arctic Vision," "Chicago"; John Hay: "Miles Keogh's Horse"; Oliver Wendell Holmes: "A Ballad of the Boston Tea-Party," "Lexington," "Grandmother's Story of Bunker-Hill Battle," "Old Ironsides," "Daniel Webster," "Brother Jonathan's Lament for Sister Caroline," "Sherman's in Savannah," "After the Fire," "Welcome to the Nations," "On the Death of President Garfield," "Additional Verses to Hail Columbia"; Mrs. Julia Ward Howe: "Our Country," "Battle-Hymn of the Republic," "Robert E. Lee," "Pardon," "Parricide," "J. A. G."; William Dean Howells: "The Battle in the Clouds"; Lucy Larcom: "Mistress Hale of Beverly," "The Nineteenth of April," "The Sinking of the Merrimack"; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "The Skeleton in Armor," "Sir Humphrey Gilbert," "The War-Token," "The Expedition to Wessagusset," "Prologue," "The Proclamation," "Prologue," "The Trial," "The Battle of Lovell's Pond," "A Ballad of the French Fleet," "The Embarkation," "Paul Revere's Ride," "Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem," "The Wreck of the Hesperus," "Victor Galbraith," "The Cumberland," "The Revenge of Rain-in-the-Face," "President Garfield," "The Republic"; James Russell Lowell: "Flawless his Heart," "The New-Come Chief," "Mr. Hosea Biglow speaks," "What Mr. Robinson thinks," "Jonathan to John," "The Washers of the Shroud," "Ode recited at the Harvard Commemoration"; William Vaughn Moody: "On a Soldier fallen in the Philippines," "An Ode in Time of Hesitation"; Nora Perry: "Running the Blockade"; Edna Dean Proctor: "Columbus Dying," "The Captive's Hymn," "The Lost War-Sloop," "Sa-cá-ga-we-a," "John Brown," "The Brooklyn Bridge"; Margaret Junkin Preston: "The Mystery of Cro-a-tàn," "The Last Meeting of Pocahontas and the Great Captain," "The First Proclamation of Miles Standish," "The First Thanksgiving Day," "Dirge for Ashby," "Under the Shade of the Trees," "Virginia Capta," "Acceptation"; John Godfrey Saxe: "How Cyrus laid the Cable"; Edward Rowland Sill: "The Dead President"; Harriet Prescott Spofford: "How we became a Nation," "Can't"; Edmund Clarence Stedman: "Peter Stuyvesant's New Year's Call," "Salem," "Aaron Burr's Wooing," "How Old Brown took Harper's Ferry," "Sumter," "Wanted—A Man," "Kearny at Seven Pines," "Treason's Last Device," "Gettysburg," "Abraham Lincoln," "Israel Freyer's Bid for Gold," "Custer," "Liberty Enlightening the World," "Cuba," "Hymn of the West"; Bayard Taylor: "Through Baltimore," "Lincoln at Gettysburg," "The National Ode"; Joseph Russell Taylor: "Breath on the Oat"; Edith M. Thomas: "A Christopher of the Shenandoah," "To Spain—A Last Word"; Maurice Thompson: "The Ballad of Chickamauga"; J. T. Trowbridge: "Columbus at the Convent"; Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward: "Conemaugh"; Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney: "Peace"; John G. Whittier: "The Norsemen," "Norembega," "John Underhill," "Cassandra Southwick," "The King's Missive," "St. John," "Pentucket," "Lexington," "The Vow of Washington," "Skipper Ireson's Ride," "Texas," "The Angels of Buena Vista," "The Crisis," "To William Lloyd Garrison," "Ichabod," "The Kansas Emigrants," "Burial of Barber," "Le Marais du Cygne," "Brown of Ossawatomie," "Barbara Frietchie," "The Battle Autumn of 1862," "At Port Royal," "To John C. Frémont," "Astræa at the Capitol," "The Proclamation," "Laus Deo," "To the Thirty-Ninth Congress," "The Cable Hymn," "Chicago," "Centennial Hymn," "On the Big Horn," "The Bartholdi Statue"; Forceythe Willson: "Boy Brittan"; Constance Fenimore Woolson: "Kentucky Belle." From the Atlantic Monthly.—George Houghton: "The Legend of Walbach Tower"; Henry Newbolt: "Craven"; Thomas William Parsons: "Dirge."

Mr. P. J. Kenedy, New York.—Abram J. Ryan: "The Conquered Banner."

The Ladies' Home Journal, Philadelphia.—Virginia Woodward Cloud: "The Ballad of Sweet P."

The J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.—George Henry Boker: "Upon the Hill before Centreville," "Dirge for a Soldier," "Zagonyi," "On Board the Cumberland," "The Cruise of the Monitor," "The Ballad of New Orleans," "The Varuna," "Hooker's Across," "Before Vicksburg," "The Black Regiment," "The Battle of Lookout Mountain"; William C. Elam: "The Mecklenburg Declaration"; Robert Loveman: "Hobson and his Men"; Marion Manville: "The Surrender of New Orleans," "Lee's Parole"; Henry Peterson: "The Death of Lyon"; Thomas Buchanan Read: "The Rising," "Valley Forge," "Blennerhassett's Island," "The Attack," "Sheridan's Ride," "The Eagle and Vulture"; Francis Orrery Ticknor: "The Virginians of the Valley," "A Battle Ballad," "Our Left," "Little Giffen."

The Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, Boston.—Richard Burton: "The Old Santa Fé Trail"; Paul Hamilton Hayne: "Macdonald's Raid," "Beyond the Potomac," "Vicksburg," "The Battle of Charleston Harbor," "Charleston," "The Stricken South to the North," "South Carolina to the States of the North," "Yorktown Centennial Lyric"; William Hamilton Hayne: "The Charge at Santiago."

The McClure Company, New York.—Edwin Markham: "Lincoln."

Messrs. A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago.—Kate Brownlee Sherwood: "Albert Sidney Johnston," "Thomas at Chickamauga."

The Macmillan Company, New York.—Hamlin Garland: "Logan at Peach Tree Creek"; George Edward Woodberry: "Our First Century," "Essex Regiment March," "The Islands of the Sea," "O Land Beloved."

The Mershon Company, New York.—John Boyle O'Reilly: "Crispus Attucks," "At Fredericksburg," "Chicago," "Boston," "Midnight—September 19, 1881," "The Ride of Collins Graves," "Mayflower."

The Oliver Ditson Company, New York.—Kate Brownlee Sherwood: "Molly Pitcher."

Out West, Los Angeles.—Sharlot M. Hall: "Arizona."

Messrs. L. C. Page & Co., Boston.—Charles G. D. Roberts: "Brooklyn Bridge," "In Apia Bay," "A Ballad of Manila Bay."

Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York.—Louis James Block: "The Final Struggle"; Guy Wetmore Carryl: "When the Great Gray Ships come in."

Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.—William Ernest Henley: "Romance"; George Parsons Lathrop: "Keenan's Charge"; Sidney Lanier: "The Story of Vinland," "The Triumph," "Lexington," "Land of the Wilful Gospel," "The Dying Words of Stonewall Jackson," "The Centennial Meditation of Columbia"; Thomas Nelson Page: "The Dragon of the Seas"; James Jeffrey Roche: "Panama"; Richard Henry Stoddard: "Abraham Lincoln," "Men of the North and West," "The Little Drummer."

Messrs. Small, Maynard & Co., Boston.—Richard Hovey: "The Word of the Lord from Havana," "The Battle of Manila"; Walt Whitman: "Ethiopia Saluting the Colors," "O Captain! My Captain!" "The Sobbing of the Bells."

Messrs. Herbert S. Stone & Co., Chicago.—John Williamson Palmer: "The Fight at San Jacinto."

The Whitaker & Ray Company, San Francisco.—Joaquin Miller: "Columbus," "The Defence of the Alamo," "Alaska," "Rejoice," "Cuba Libre," "San Francisco," "Resurge San Francisco." The Youth's Companion, Boston.—Mary A. P. Stansbury: "The Surprise at Ticonderoga"; Thomas Tracy Bouvé: "The Shannon and the Chesapeake."

In addition to the above, the compiler begs to acknowledge express permission from the following authors for the use of such of their poems as appear in this volume:

Joel Benton, Louis James Block, Virginia Fraser Boyle, Robert Bridges, Wallace Bruce, Richard Burton, S. H. M. Byers, Will Carleton, Madison Cawein, Robert W. Chambers, John Vance Cheney, Joseph I. C. Clarke, Virginia Woodward Cloud, Florence Earle Coates, Kinahan Cornwallis, F. Marion Crawford, Mrs. Ernest Crosby (for Ernest Crosby), Caroline Duer, Barrett Eastman, Francis Miles Finch, Hamlin Garland, Joseph D. Gilder, Richard Watson Gilder, Arthur Guiterman, Sharlot M. Hall, Edward Everett Hale, William Hamilton Hayne (for himself and Paul Hamilton Hayne), Caroline Hazard, Rupert Hughes, Minna Irving, Thomas A. Janvier, Tudor Jenks, John Howard Jewett, Robert Underwood Johnson, Walter Learned, Robert Loveman, Charles F. Lummis, Ernest McGaffey, Edwin Markham, John James Meehan, Lloyd Mifflin, William Vaughn Moody, Thomas Nelson Page, Mrs. John W. Palmer (for John Williamson Palmer), John James Piatt, Wallace Rice, Laura E. Richards, Edwin Arlington Robinson, James Jeffrey Roche, John Jerome Rooney, Alfred D. Runyon, Charles Edward Russell, Clinton Scollard, Mrs. Katherine Brownlee Sherwood, Lewis Worthington Smith, Joseph Russell Taylor, Richard H. Titherington, William Henry Venable, Robert Burns Wilson.


The Editor is indebted to the following authors and publishers for permission to use the poems mentioned, all rights in which are reserved:

Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews: "A Call to Arms."

Robert Bridges: "To the United States of America."

Dana Burnet: "Marching Song."

Amelia Josephine Burr: "Pershing at the Tomb of Lafayette."

Witter Bynner (by Anne L. Wellington): "Republic to Republic."

Eleanor Rogers Cox: "The Return."

George H. Doran Company: "The White Ships and the Red," from Main Street, and Other Poems, by Joyce Kilmer, copyright 1917.

John Chipman Farrar: "Brest Left Behind," from Contemporary Verse.

Richard Butler Glaenzer: "A Ballad of Redhead's Day."

Daniel Henderson: "The Road to France."

Houghton Mifflin Company: "Victory Bells," from Wilderness Songs, by Grace Hazard Conkling.

Robert Underwood Johnson: "To the Returning Brave."

Aline Kilmer (for Joyce Kilmer): "The White Ships and the Red," "Rouge Bouquet."

Richard Le Gallienne: "After the War."

Vachel Lindsay: "Abraham Lincoln walks at Midnight."

J. Corson Miller: "Epicedium."

Randall Parrish: "Your Lad and My Lad."

Clinton Scollard: "The First Three," "The Unreturning."

Charles Scribner's Sons: "A Call to Arms," by Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews; "Ode in Memory of the American Volunteers Fallen for France," by Alan Seeger; "Mare Liberum," by Henry van Dyke.

Marion Couthouy Smith: "The Star," "King of the Belgians."

Henry van Dyke: "Mare Liberum."

Willard Wattles: "The Family of Nations."

George Edward Woodberry: "Sonnets written in the Fall of 1914."


E. B. S.



One who underrates the significance of our literature, prose or verse, as both the expression and stimulant of national feeling, as of import in the past and to the future of America, and therefore of the world, is deficient in that critical insight which can judge even of its own day unwarped by personal taste or deference to public impression. He shuts his eyes to the fact that at times, notably throughout the years resulting in the Civil War, this literature has been a "force."—Edmund Clarence Stedman.


The poetry relating to American history falls naturally into two classes: that written, so to speak, from the inside, on the spot, and that written from the outside, long afterwards. Of the first class, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the most famous example, as well as perhaps the best. Even at this distant day, reading it with a knowledge of the circumstances which produced it, it has a power of touching the heart and gripping the imagination which goes far toward proving the genuineness of its art. Of the second class, "Paul Revere's Ride" is probably the most widely known, though Mr. Longfellow's own "Ballad of the French Fleet" is a better poem.

It is evident that, in compiling an anthology such as this, different standards must be used in judging these two classes. The first, aside from any quality as poetry which it may have, is of value because of its historical or political interest, because it is an expression and an interpretation of the hour which gave it birth. With it, poetic merit is not the first consideration, which is, perhaps, as well. Yet, however slight their merit as poetry may be, many of the early ballads possess an admirable energy, directness, and aptness of phrase, and there is about them a childlike simplicity impossible of reproduction in this sophisticated age—as where Stephen Tilden, in his epitaph on Braddock, requests the great commanders who have preceded that unfortunate soldier to the grave to

"Edge close and give him room."

With the retrospective ballad, on the other hand, poetic merit is a sine qua non. It has little value historically, however accurate its facts. It differs from the contemporary ballad in the same way that the "New Canterbury Tales" differ from Froissart; or as the "Idylls of the King" differ from "Le Morte Arthur." It is less authentic, less convincing, less vital. It may have atmosphere, but there is no infallible way of telling whether the atmosphere is right. Unless it is something more, then, than mere metrical history, the modern ballad has little claim to consideration.

These are the two principles which the present compiler has had constantly in mind. Yet the second principle has been violated more than once, since, in a collection such as this, one must cut one's coat according to the cloth; or, rather, one must make sure that one is decently covered, though the covering may here and there be somewhat inferior in quality. So it has been necessary, in order to keep the thread of history unbroken, to admit some strands anything but silken; and if the choice has sometimes been of ills, rather than of goods, the compiler can only hope that he chose wisely.


The most difficult and trying portion of his task has been, not to get his material together, but to compress it into reasonable limits. Especially in the colonial period was the temptation great to include more early American verse. Peter Folger's "A Looking-Glass for the Times," Benjamin Tompson's "New England's Crisis," Michael Wigglesworth's "God's Controversy with New England," the "Sot-Weed Factor," and many others, which it is recalling an old sorrow to name here, were excluded only after long and bitter debate. No doubt other exclusions will be noticed by nearly every reader of the volume—and it may interest him to know that the material gathered together would have made four such books as this.

The thread of narrative upon which the poems have been strung together has been made as slight as possible, just strong enough to carry the reader understandingly from one poem to the next. The notes, too, have been limited to the explanation of such allusions as are not likely to be found in the ordinary works of reference, with here and there an account of the circumstances which caused the lines to be written, or an indication of source, where the source is unusual. Every available source has been drawn upon—the works of all the better known and many of the minor American and English poets, anthologies, newspaper collections, magazines, collections of Americana and especially of broadsides—in a word, American and English poetry generally.

In this connection, the compiler wishes to make grateful acknowledgment of the assistance he has received on every hand, especially from Mr. Herbert Putnam and Miss Margaret McGuffey, of the Library of Congress; Mr. N. D. C. Hodges, librarian of the Cincinnati, Ohio, Public Library; Mr. C. B. Galbreath, librarian of the Ohio State Library; Mr. Charles F. Lummis, librarian of the Los Angeles, California, Public Library; Dr. Edward Everett Hale, Mr. William Henry Venable, Mr. Isaac R. Pennypacker, Mr. Arthur Guiterman, and Mr. Wallace Rice. He might add that it is a matter of deep personal gratification to him that in no instance has any author refused to permit the use of his work in this collection. On the contrary, many of them have been most helpful in suggestions.

A special effort has been made to secure accuracy of text,—no light task, especially with the early ballads. Where the text varied, as was often the case, that has been followed which seemed to have the greater authority, except that obvious misprints have been corrected. In this, the compiler has had the coöperation of The Riverside Press, and has had frequent occasion to admire the care and knowledge of the corrector and his assistants.

B. E. S.

Chillicothe, Ohio, July 23, 1908.



America, Arthur Cleveland Coxe 2
The Discovery of America
The Story of Vinland, Sidney Lanier 3
The Norsemen, John Greenleaf Whittier 4
The Skeleton in Armor, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 6
Prophecy, Luigi Pulci 7
The Inspiration, James Montgomery 8
Columbus, Lydia Huntley Sigourney 9
Columbus to Ferdinand, Philip Freneau 9
Columbus at the Convent, John T. Trowbridge 10
The Final Struggle, Louis James Block 11
Steer, Bold Mariner, On, Friedrich von Schiller 12
The Triumph, Sidney Lanier 12
Columbus, Joaquin Miller 14
The Thanksgiving for America, Hezekiah Butterworth 15
Columbus in Chains, Philip Freneau 17
Columbus Dying, Edna Dean Proctor 18
Columbus, Edward Everett Hale 18
Columbus and the Mayflower, Lord Houghton 18
In the Wake of Columbus
The First Voyage of John Cabot, Unknown 19
The Legend of Waukulla, Hezekiah Butterworth 19
The Fountain of Youth, Hezekiah Butterworth 21
Ponce de Leon, Edith M. Thomas 22
Balboa, Nora Perry 23
With Cortez in Mexico, W. W. Campbell 24
The Lust of Gold, James Montgomery 24
Verazzano, Hezekiah Butterworth 25
Ortiz, Hezekiah Butterworth 26
The Fall of Maubila, Thomas Dunn English 27
Quivíra, Arthur Guiterman 31
Norembega, John Greenleaf Whittier 32
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 34
The First American Sailors, Wallace Rice 34
The Settlement of Virginia
The Mystery of Cro-a-tàn, Margaret Junkin Preston 36
John Smith's Approach to Jamestown, James Barron Hope 38
Pocahontas, William Makepeace Thackeray 38
Pocahontas, George Pope Morris 39[xiv]
Bermudas, Andrew Marvell 39
Newes from Virginia, Richard Rich 40
To the Virginian Voyage, Michael Drayton 42
The Marriage of Pocahontas, Mrs. M. M. Webster 43
The Last Meeting of Pocahontas and the Great Captain, Margaret Junkin Preston 43
The Burning of Jamestown, Thomas Dunn English 44
Bacon's Epitaph, Unknown 45
Ode to Jamestown, James Kirke Paulding 46
The Downfall of Piracy, Benjamin Franklin 48
From Potomac to Merrimac, Edward Everett Hale 49
The Dutch at New Amsterdam
Henry Hudson's Quest, Burton Egbert Stevenson 50
The Death of Colman, Thomas Frost 50
Adrian Block's Song, Edward Everett Hale 51
The Praise of New Netherland, Jacob Steendam 52
The Complaint of New Amsterdam, Jacob Steendam 53
Peter Stuyvesant's New Year's Call, Edmund Clarence Stedman 54
The Settlement of New England
The Word of God to Leyden came, Jeremiah Eames Rankin 56
Song of the Pilgrims, Thomas Cogswell Upham 57
Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, Felicia Hemans 57
The First Proclamation of Miles Standish, Margaret Junkin Preston 58
The Mayflower, Erastus Wolcott Ellsworth 59
The Peace Message, Burton Egbert Stevenson 60
The First Thanksgiving Day, Margaret Junkin Preston 60
The War-Token, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 61
Five Kernels of Corn, Hezekiah Butterworth 62
The Expedition to Wessagusset, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 63
New England's Annoyances, Unknown 65
The Pilgrim Fathers, William Wordsworth 66
The Pilgrim Fathers, John Pierpont 66
The Thanksgiving in Boston Harbor, Hezekiah Butterworth 67
The First Thanksgiving, Clinton Scollard 68
New England's Growth, William Bradford 69
The Assault on the Fortress, Timothy Dwight 70
Death Song, Alonzo Lewis 70
Our Country, Julia Ward Howe 71
Religious Persecutions in New England
Prologue, from "John Endicott," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 71
Roger Williams, Hezekiah Butterworth 72
God makes a Path, Roger Williams 72
Canonicus and Roger Williams, Unknown 73
Anne Hutchinson's Exile, Edward Everett Hale 73
John Underhill, John Greenleaf Whittier 74
The Proclamation, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 76
Cassandra Southwick, John Greenleaf Whittier 77
The King's Missive, John Greenleaf Whittier 80
King Philip's War and the Witchcraft Delusion
The Lamentable Ballad of the Bloody Brook, Edward Everett Hale 82
The Great Swamp Fight, Caroline Hazard 83
On a Fortification at Boston begun by Women, Benjamin Tompson 85
The Sudbury Fight, Wallace Rice 85
King Philip's Last Stand, Clinton Scollard 88
Prologue, from "Giles Corey of the Salem Farms," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 88
Salem, Edmund Clarence Stedman 89
The Death of Goody Nurse, Rose Terry Cooke 90
A Salem Witch, Ednah Proctor Clarke 91
The Trial, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 92
Giles Corey, Unknown 96
Mistress Hale of Beverly, Lucy Larcom 97
The Struggle for the Continent
St. John, John Greenleaf Whittier 99
The Battle of La Prairie, William Douw Schuyler-Lighthall 101
The Sack of Deerfield, Thomas Dunn English 102
Pentucket, John Greenleaf Whittier 105
Lovewell's Fight, Unknown 106
Lovewell's Fight, Unknown 108
The Battle of Lovell's Pond, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 109
Louisburg, Unknown 110
A Ballad of the French Fleet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 110
The British Lyon roused, Stephen Tilden 111
The Song of Braddock's Men, Unknown 112
Braddock's Fate, Stephen Tilden 112
Ned Braddock, John Williamson Palmer 114
Ode to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania, Unknown 114
The Embarkation, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 115
On the Defeat at Ticonderoga or Carilong, Unknown 117
On the Late Successful Expedition against Louisbourg, Francis Hopkinson 118
Fort Duquesne, Florus B. Plimpton 119
Hot stuff, Edward Botwood 121
How Stands the Glass around, James Wolfe 121
Brave Wolfe, Unknown 122
The Death of Wolfe, Unknown 123
The Captive's Hymn, Edna Dean Proctor 123
A Prophecy, Arthur Lee 125
Flawless his Heart, James Russell Lowell 128
The Coming of Discontent
The Virginia Song, Unknown 129
The World turned Upside Down, Unknown 130
A Song, Unknown 130[xvi]
The Liberty Pole, Unknown 131
The British Grenadier, Unknown 132
Crispus Attucks, John Boyle O'Reilly 132
Unhappy Boston, Paul Revere 134
Alamance, Seymour W. Whiting 135
A New Song called the Gaspee, Unknown 135
A Ballad of the Boston Tea-Party, Oliver Wendell Holmes 136
A New Song, Unknown 137
How we became a Nation, Harriet Prescott Spofford 138
A Proclamation, Unknown 138
The Blasted Herb, Mesech Weare 139
Epigram, Unknown 140
The Daughter's Rebellion, Francis Hopkinson 140
On the Snake depicted at the Head of Some American Newspapers, Unknown 140
Free America, Joseph Warren 140
Liberty Tree, Thomas Paine 141
The Mother Country, Benjamin Franklin 142
Pennsylvania Song, Unknown 142
Maryland Resolves, Unknown 142
Massachusetts Song of Liberty, Mercy Warren 143
Epigram, Unknown 144
To the Boston Women, Unknown 144
Prophecy, Gulian Verplanck 144
The Bursting of the Storm
Paul Revere's Ride, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 144
What's in a Name, Helen F. More 146
Lexington, Sidney Lanier 146
Lexington, Oliver Wendell Holmes 147
New England's Chevy Chase, Edward Everett Hale 148
The King's Own Regulars, Unknown 150
Morgan Stanwood, Hiram Rich 151
The Minute-Men of Northboro, Wallace Rice 152
Lexington, John Greenleaf Whittier 153
The Rising, Thomas Buchanan Read 154
The Prize of the Margaretta, Will Carleton 155
The Mecklenburg Declaration, William C. Elam 156
A Song, Unknown 157
The Colonists take the Offensive
The Green Mountain Boys, William Cullen Bryant 157
The Surprise at Ticonderoga, Mary A. P. Stansbury 157
The Yankee's Return from Camp, Edward Bangs 159
Tom Gage's Proclamation, Unknown 160
The Eve of Bunker Hill, Clinton Scollard 161
Warren's Address to the American Soldiers, John Pierpont 161
The Ballad of Bunker Hill, Edward Everett Hale 162
Bunker Hill, George H. Calvert 162
Grandmother's Story of Bunker-Hill Battle, Oliver Wendell Holmes 163
The Death of Warren, Epes Sargent 166
The Battle of Bunker Hill, Unknown 167
The New-Come Chief, James Russell Lowell 168
The Trip to Cambridge, Unknown 169[xvii]
War and Washington, Jonathan Mitchell Sewall 170
The Bombardment of Bristol, Unknown 171
Montgomery at Quebec, Clinton Scollard 171
A Song, Unknown 172
A Poem containing Some Remarks on the Present War, Unknown 173
Mugford's Victory, John White Chadwick 174
Off from Boston, Unknown 176
Emancipation from British Dependence, Philip Freneau 176
Rodney's Ride, Unknown 177
American Independence, Francis Hopkinson 178
The Fourth of July, John Pierpont 179
Independence Day, Royall Tyler 179
On Independence, Jonathan Mitchell Sewall 179
The American Patriot's Prayer, Unknown 180
Columbia, Timothy Dwight 180
The First Campaign
The Boasting of Sir Peter Parker, Clinton Scollard 181
A New War Song by Sir Peter Parker, Unknown 182
The Maryland Battalion, John Williamson Palmer 183
Haarlem Heights, Arthur Guiterman 183
Nathan Hale, Unknown 185
Nathan Hale, Francis Miles Finch 186
The Ballad of Sweet P, Virginia Woodward Cloud 186
Across the Delaware, Will Carleton 188
The Battle of Trenton, Unknown 188
Trenton and Princeton, Unknown 188
Assunpink and Princeton, Thomas Dunn English 189
Seventy-Six, William Cullen Bryant 191
Betsy's Battle Flag, Minna Irving 191
The American Flag, Joseph Rodman Drake 192
"The Fate of Sir Jack Brag"
The Rifleman's Song at Bennington, Unknown 193
The Marching Song of Stark's Men, Edward Everett Hale 193
Parson Allen's Ride, Wallace Bruce 194
The Battle of Bennington, Thomas P. Rodman 195
Bennington, W. H. Babcock 196
The Battle of Oriskany, Charles D. Helmer 198
Saint Leger, Clinton Scollard 199
The Progress of Sir Jack Brag, Unknown 200
Arnold at Stillwater, Thomas Dunn English 200
The Fate of John Burgoyne, Unknown 202
Saratoga's Song, Unknown 202
The Second Stage
Lord North's Recantation, Unknown 204
A New Ballad, Unknown 205[xviii]
General Howe's Letter, Unknown 205
Carmen Bellicosum, Guy Humphreys McMaster 206
Valley Forge, Thomas Buchanan Read 207
British Valor displayed; or, The Battle of the Kegs, Francis Hopkinson 208
The Little Black-Eyed Rebel, Will Carleton 209
The Battle of Monmouth, Unknown 210
The Battle of Monmouth, Thomas Dunn English 211
Molly Pitcher, Kate Brownlee Sherwood 213
Molly Pitcher, Laura E. Richards 213
Yankee Doodle's Expedition to Rhode Island, Unknown 214
Running the Blockade, Nora Perry 215
Betty Zane, Thomas Dunn English 216
The Wyoming Massacre, Uriah Terry 217
The War on the Water
The Cruise of the Fair American, Unknown 219
On the Death of Captain Nicholas Biddle, Philip Freneau 220
The Yankee Privateer, Arthur Hale 221
Paul Jones, Unknown 222
The Yankee Man-of-War, Unknown 223
Paul Jones—A New Song, Unknown 224
Paul Jones, Unknown 224
The Bonhomme Richard and Serapis, Philip Freneau 225
Barney's Invitation, Philip Freneau 226
Song on Captain Barney's Victory, Philip Freneau 227
The South Carolina, Unknown 228
New York and the "Neutral Ground"
Sir Henry Clinton's Invitation to the Refugees, Philip Freneau 229
The Storm of Stony Point, Arthur Guiterman 230
Wayne at Stony Point, Clinton Scollard 230
Aaron Burr's Wooing, Edmund Clarence Stedman 231
The Modern Jonas, Unknown 232
Caldwell of Springfield, Bret Harte 232
The Cow-Chace, John André 233
Brave Paulding and the Spy, Unknown 237
Arnold the Vile Traitor, Unknown 238
Epigram, Unknown 238
André's Request to Washington, Nathaniel Parker Willis 238
André, Charlotte Fiske Bates 239
Sergeant Champe, Unknown 239
A New Song, Joseph Stansbury 240
The Lords of the Main, Joseph Stansbury 241
The Royal Adventurer, Philip Freneau 241
The Descent on Middlesex, Peter St. John 242
The War in the South
Hymns of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 245
About Savannah, Unknown 245
A Song about Charleston, Unknown 246
The Swamp Fox, William Gilmore Simms 247[xix]
Song of Marion's Men, William Cullen Bryant 248
Macdonald's Raid, Paul Hamilton Hayne 248
Sumter's Band, J. W. Simmons 250
The Battle of King's Mountain, Unknown 251
The Battle of the Cowpens, Thomas Dunn English 252
The Battle of Eutaw, William Gilmore Simms 254
Eutaw Springs, Philip Freneau 255
The Dance, Unknown 256
Cornwallis's Surrender, Unknown 256
The Surrender of Cornwallis, Unknown 257
News From Yorktown, Lewis Worthington Smith 257
An Ancient Prophecy, Philip Freneau 258
On Sir Henry Clinton's Recall, Unknown 259
On the Departure of the British from Charleston, Philip Freneau 260
On the British King's Speech, Philip Freneau 261
England and America in 1782, Alfred Tennyson 262
On Disbanding the Army, David Humphreys 262
Evacuation of New York by the British, Unknown 262
Occasioned by General Washington's Arrival in Philadelphia, on his Way to his Residence in Virginia, Philip Freneau 263
The American Soldier's Hymn, Unknown 264
Thanksgiving Hymn, Unknown 264
Land of the Wilful Gospel, Sidney Lanier 265
"Oh Mother of a Mighty Race," William Cullen Bryant 268
The New Nation
A Radical Song of 1786, St. John Honeywood 269
The Federal Convention, Unknown 269
To the Federal Convention, Timothy Dwight 270
The New Roof, Francis Hopkinson 270
Convention Song, Unknown 271
The Federal Constitution, William Milns 272
The First American Congress, Joel Barlow 273
Washington, James Jeffrey Roche 274
The Vow of Washington, John Greenleaf Whittier 274
On the Death of Benjamin Franklin, Philip Freneau 275
George Washington, John Hall Ingham 275
Washington, Lord Byron 276
Adams and Liberty, Robert Treat Paine 276
Hail Columbia, Joseph Hopkinson 277
Ye Sons of Columbia, Thomas Green Fessenden 278
Truxton's Victory, Unknown 279
The Constellation and the Insurgente, Unknown 280
Washington's Monument, Unknown 280[xx]
How we burned the Philadelphia, Barrett Eastman 281
Reuben James, James Jeffrey Roche 282
Skipper Ireson's Ride, John Greenleaf Whittier 283
A Plea for Flood Ireson, Charles Timothy Brooks 284
The Second War with England
The Times, Unknown 285
Reparation or War, Unknown 286
Terrapin War, Unknown 286
Farewell, Peace, Unknown 287
Come, ye Lads, who wish to shine, Unknown 287
Hull's Surrender, Unknown 287
The Constitution and the Guerrière, Unknown 288
Halifax Station, Unknown 289
On the Capture of the Guerrière, Philip Freneau 290
Firstfruits in 1812, Wallace Rice 291
The Battle of Queenstown, William Banker, Jr. 292
The Wasp's Frolic, Unknown 293
The United States and Macedonian, Unknown 293
The United States and Macedonian, Unknown 294
Jack Creamer, James Jeffrey Roche 295
Yankee Thunders, Unknown 296
The General Armstrong, Unknown 296
Capture of Little York, Unknown 298
The Death of General Pike, Laughton Osborn 299
Old Fort Meigs, Unknown 300
The Shannon and the Chesapeake, Thomas Tracy Bouvé 300
Chesapeake and Shannon, Unknown 301
Defeat and Victory, Wallace Rice 302
Enterprise and Boxer, Unknown 302
Perry's Victory, Unknown 303
The Battle of Erie, Unknown 303
Perry's Victory—A Song, Unknown 305
The Fall of Tecumseh, Unknown 305
The Legend of Walbach Tower, George Houghton 306
The Battle of Valparaiso, Unknown 307
The Battle of Bridgewater, Unknown 308
The Hero of Bridgewater, Charles L. S. Jones 309
The Battle of Stonington, Philip Freneau 309
The Ocean-Fight, Unknown 310
The Lost War-Sloop, Edna Dean Proctor 311
On the British Invasion, Philip Freneau 312
The Battle of Lake Champlain, Philip Freneau 312
The Battle of Plattsburg Bay, Clinton Scollard 313
The Battle of Plattsburg, Unknown 314
The Battle of Baltimore, Unknown 315
Fort McHenry, Unknown 316
The Star-Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key 317
Ye Parliament of England, Unknown 318
The Bower of Peace, Robert Southey 318
Reid at Fayal, John Williamson Palmer 319
The Fight of the Armstrong Privateer, James Jeffrey Roche 319
The Armstrong at Fayal, Wallace Rice 321
Fort Bowyer, Charles L. S. Jones 323
The Battle of New Orleans, Thomas Dunn English 323[xxi]
Jackson at New Orleans, Wallace Rice 325
To the Defenders of New Orleans, Joseph Rodman Drake 326
The Hunters of Kentucky, Unknown 326
The Constitution's Last Fight, James Jeffrey Roche 327
Sea and Land Victories, Unknown 328
Ode to Peace, Unknown 329
The West
The Settler, Alfred B. Street 329
The Mothers of the West, William Davis Gallagher 330
On the Emigration to America, Philip Freneau 331
John Filson, William Henry Venable 331
Sainclaire's Defeat, Unknown 332
Johnny Appleseed, William Henry Venable 334
The Founders of Ohio, William Henry Venable 335
Blennerhassett's Island, Thomas Buchanan Read 335
The Battle of Muskingum, William Harrison Safford 337
To Aaron Burr, under Trial for High Treason, Sarah Wentworth Morton 338
The Battle of Tippecanoe, Unknown 339
The Tomb of the Brave, Joseph Hutton 339
Sa-cá-ga-we-a, Edna Dean Proctor 340
On the Discoveries of Captain Lewis, Joel Barlow 341
Whitman's Ride for Oregon, Hezekiah Butterworth 342
Discovery of San Francisco Bay, Richard Edward White 343
John Charles Frémont, Charles F. Lummis 345
"The Days of 'Forty-Nine," Unknown 345
The Old Santa Fé Trail, Richard Burton 346
California, Lydia Huntley Sigourney 346
Through Five Administrations
Theodosia Burr, John Williamson Palmer 346
On the Death of Commodore Oliver H. Perry, John G. C. Brainard 347
On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake, Fitz-Greene Halleck 348
On Laying the Corner-Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, John Pierpont 348
La Fayette, Dolly Madison 349
The Death of Jefferson, Hezekiah Butterworth 349
Old Ironsides, Oliver Wendell Holmes 351
Concord Hymn, Ralph Waldo Emerson 351
The Wreck of the Hesperus, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 351
Old Tippecanoe, Unknown 353
The Death of Harrison, Nathaniel Parker Willis 353
The War with Mexico
The Valor of Ben Milam, Clinton Scollard 354
Ben Milam, William H. Wharton 355
The Men of the Alamo, James Jeffrey Roche 355
The Defence of the Alamo, Joaquin Miller 357
The Fight at San Jacinto, John Williamson Palmer 357
Song of Texas, William Henry Cuyler Hosmer 358
Texas, John Greenleaf Whittier 358[xxii]
Mr. Hosea Biglow speaks, James Russell Lowell 360
The Guns in the Grass, Thomas Frost 361
Rio Bravo—A Mexican Lament, Charles Fenno Hoffman 362
To Arms, Park Benjamin 363
Monterey, Charles Fenno Hoffman 363
Victor Galbraith, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 364
Buena Vista, Albert Pike 364
The Angels of Buena Vista, John Greenleaf Whittier 366
The Bivouac of the Dead, Theodore O'Hara 368
What Mr. Robinson thinks, James Russell Lowell 369
Battle of the King's Mill, Thomas Dunn English 370
The Siege of Chapultepec, William Haines Lytle 371
Illumination for Victories in Mexico, Grace Greenwood 371
The Crisis, John Greenleaf Whittier 372
The Volunteers, William Haines Lytle 374
Fourteen Years of Peace
The Ship Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific, Francis Lieber 374
The War Ship of Peace, Samuel Lover 375
On the Defeat of Henry Clay, William Wilberforce Lord 376
On the Death of M. D'Ossoli and his Wife, Margaret Fuller, Walter Savage Landor 376
The Last Appendix to "Yankee Doodle," Unknown 376
Daniel Webster, Oliver Wendell Holmes 377
The Flag, James Jeffrey Roche 378
Kane, Fitz-James O'Brien 379
Herndon, S. Weir Mitchell 380
Blood is Thicker than Water, Wallace Rice 380
Baron Renfrew's Ball, Charles Graham Halpine 382
Battle-Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe 384
The Slavery Question
To William Lloyd Garrison, John Greenleaf Whittier 385
Clerical Oppressors, John Greenleaf Whittier 385
The Debate in the Sennit, James Russell Lowell 386
Ichabod, John Greenleaf Whittier 388
The Kidnapping of Sims, John Pierpont 388
The Kansas Emigrants, John Greenleaf Whittier 389
Burial of Barber, John Greenleaf Whittier 389
The Defence of Lawrence, Richard Realf 390
The Fight over the Body of Keitt, Unknown 391
Le Marais du Cygne, John Greenleaf Whittier 392
How Old Brown took Harper's Ferry, Edmund Clarence Stedman 393
The Battle of Charlestown, Henry Howard Brownell 395
Brown of Ossawatomie, John Greenleaf Whittier 396
Glory Hallelujah! or John Brown's Body, Charles Sprague Hall 397[xxiii]
John Brown, Edna Dean Proctor 397
John Brown: a Paradox, Louise Imogen Guiney 397
Lecompton's Black Brigade, Charles Graham Halpine 398
Lincoln, the Man of the People, Edwin Markham 399
Brother Jonathan's Lament for Sister Caroline, Oliver Wendell Holmes 400
Jefferson D., H. S. Cornwell 401
The Old Cove, Henry Howard Brownell 401
A Spool of Thread, Sophie E. Eastman 402
God save Our President, Francis DeHaes Janvier 403
The Gauntlet
Bob Anderson, my Beau, Unknown 403
On Fort Sumter, Unknown 403
Sumter, Edmund Clarence Stedman 404
The Battle of Morris' Island, Unknown 404
Sumter—A Ballad of 1861, Unknown 405
The Fight at Sumter, Unknown 407
Sumter, Henry Howard Brownell 408
The Great Bell Roland, Theodore Tilton 408
Men of the North and West, Richard Henry Stoddard 409
Out and Fight, Charles Godfrey Leland 409
No More Words, Franklin Lushington 410
Our Country's Call, William Cullen Bryant 410
Dixie, Albert Pike 411
A Cry to Arms, Henry Timrod 411
"We Conquer or Die," James Pierpont 412
"Call All," Unknown 412
The Bonnie Blue Flag, Annie Chambers Ketchum 413
I give my Soldier Boy a Blade, Unknown 413
The North gets its Lesson
The Nineteenth of April, Lucy Larcom 414
Through Baltimore, Bayard Taylor 414
My Maryland, James Ryder Randall 415
Ellsworth, Unknown 416
Colonel Ellsworth, Richard Henry Stoddard 416
On the Death of "Jackson," Unknown 417
The Virginians of the Valley, Francis Orrery Ticknor 417
Bethel, A. J. H. Duganne 417
Dirge, Thomas William Parsons 419
Wait for the Wagon, Unknown 419
Upon the Hill before Centreville, George Henry Boker 420
Manassas, Catherine M. Warfield 423
A Battle Ballad, Francis Orrery Ticknor 424
The Run from Manassas Junction, Unknown 425
On to Richmond, John R. Thompson 426
Cast Down, but not Destroyed, Unknown 427
Shop and Freedom, Unknown 428
The C. S. A. Commissioners, Unknown 428
Death of the Lincoln Despotism, Unknown 429
Jonathan to John, James Russell Lowell 430
A New Song to an Old Tune, Unknown 432
The Grand Army of the Potomac
Civil War, Charles Dawson Shanly 432
The Picket-Guard, Ethel Lynn Beers 433
Tardy George, Unknown 433
How McClellan took Manassas, Unknown 434
Wanted—A Man, Edmund Clarence Stedman 435
The Gallant Fighting "Joe," James Stevenson 436
Kearny at Seven Pines, Edmund Clarence Stedman 437
The Burial of Latané, John R. Thompson 437
The Charge by the Ford, Thomas Dunn English 438
Dirge for Ashby, Margaret Junkin Preston 439
Malvern Hill, Herman Melville 439
A Message, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps 440
Three Hundred Thousand More, James Sloan Gibbons 440
Cedar Mountain, Annie Fields 441
"Our Left," Francis Orrery Ticknor 441
Dirge for a Soldier, George Henry Boker 442
The Reveille, Bret Harte 442
Beyond the Potomac, Paul Hamilton Hayne 443
Barbara Frietchie, John Greenleaf Whittier 444
Marthy Virginia's Hand, George Parsons Lathrop 445
The Victor of Antietam, Herman Melville 445
The Crossing at Fredericksburg, George Henry Boker 446
At Fredericksburg, John Boyle O'Reilly 447
Fredericksburg, Thomas Bailey Aldrich 449
By the Potomac, Thomas Bailey Aldrich 449
The Washers of the Shroud, James Russell Lowell 450
The War in the West
The Little Drummer, Richard Henry Stoddard 451
The Death of Lyon, Henry Peterson 453
Zagonyi, George Henry Boker 453
Battle of Somerset, Cornelius C. Cullen 454
Zollicoffer, Henry Lynden Flash 454
Boy Brittan, Forceythe Willson 455
Albert Sidney Johnston, Kate Brownlee Sherwood 456
Albert Sidney Johnston, Francis Orrery Ticknor 457
Beauregard, Mrs. C. A. Warfield 457
The Eagle of Corinth, Henry Howard Brownell 458
The Battle of Murfreesboro, Kinahan Cornwallis 459
Little Giffen, Francis Orrery Ticknor 460
The Battle Autumn of 1862, John Greenleaf Whittier 460
The Coast and the River
At Port Royal, John Greenleaf Whittier 461
Ready, Phœbe Cary 461
The Daughter of the Regiment, Clinton Scollard 462
The Turtle, Unknown 462
The Attack, Thomas Buchanan Read 463
The Cumberland, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 464
On Board the Cumberland, George Henry Boker 464[xxv]
The Cumberland, Herman Melville 466
How the Cumberland went down, S. Weir Mitchell 466
The Cruise of the Monitor, George Henry Boker 467
The Sinking of the Merrimack, Lucy Larcom 468
The River Fight, Henry Howard Brownell 468
The Ballad of New Orleans, George Henry Boker 472
The Varuna, George Henry Boker 474
The Surrender of New Orleans, Marion Manville 475
Mumford, Ina M. Porter 476
Butler's Proclamation, Paul Hamilton Hayne 476
To John C. Frémont, John Greenleaf Whittier 477
Astræa at the Capitol, John Greenleaf Whittier 478
Boston Hymn, Ralph Waldo Emerson 478
The Proclamation, John Greenleaf Whittier 480
Treason's Last Device, Edmund Clarence Stedman 480
Laus Deo, John Greenleaf Whittier 481
The "Grand Army's" Second Campaign
Mosby at Hamilton, Madison Cawein 482
John Pelham, James Ryder Randall 482
Hooker's Across, George Henry Boker 483
Stonewall Jackson's Way, John Williamson Palmer 483
Keenan's Charge, George Parsons Lathrop 484
"The Brigade must not know, Sir," Unknown 485
Stonewall Jackson, Henry Lynden Flash 486
The Dying Words of Stonewall Jackson, Sidney Lanier 486
Under the Shade of the Trees, Margaret Junkin Preston 486
The Ballad of Ishmael Day, Unknown 487
Riding with Kilpatrick, Clinton Scollard 488
Gettysburg, Edmund Clarence Stedman 489
The High Tide at Gettysburg, Will Henry Thompson 491
Gettysburg, James Jeffrey Roche 492
The Battle-Field, Lloyd Mifflin 492
John Burns of Gettysburg, Bret Harte 493
Kentucky Belle, Constance Fenimore Woolson 494
The Draft Riot, Charles de Kay 496
Lincoln at Gettysburg, Bayard Taylor 497
With Grant on the Mississippi
Running the Batteries, Herman Melville 498
Before Vicksburg, George Henry Boker 499
Vicksburg, Paul Hamilton Hayne 499
The Battle-Cry of Freedom, George Frederick Root 500
The Black Regiment, George Henry Boker 500
The Ballad of Chickamauga, Maurice Thompson 501
Thomas at Chickamauga, Kate Brownlee Sherwood 502
Garfield's Ride at Chickamauga, Hezekiah Butterworth 503
The Battle of Lookout Mountain, George Henry Boker 505
The Battle in the Clouds, William Dean Howells 506[xxvi]
Charleston, Henry Timrod 507
The Battle of Charleston Harbor, Paul Hamilton Hayne 507
Bury Them, Henry Howard Brownell 508
Twilight on Sumter, Richard Henry Stoddard 509
The Final Struggle
Put it Through, Edward Everett Hale 509
Logan at Peach Tree Creek, Hamlin Garland 510
A Dirge for McPherson, Herman Melville 511
With Corse at Allatoona, Samuel H. M. Byers 511
Allatoona, Unknown 512
Sherman's March to the Sea, Samuel H. M. Byers 512
The Song of Sherman's Army, Charles Graham Halpine 513
Marching through Georgia, Henry Clay Work 513
Ethiopia Saluting the Colors, Walt Whitman 514
Sherman's in Savannah, Oliver Wendell Holmes 514
Savannah, Alethea S. Burroughs 514
Carolina, Henry Timrod 515
Charleston, Paul Hamilton Hayne 515
Romance, William Ernest Henley 516
The Foe at the Gates, John Dickson Bruns 516
Ulric Dahlgren, Kate Brownlee Sherwood 517
Lee to the Rear, John Randolph Thompson 518
Can't, Harriet Prescott Spofford 519
Obsequies of Stuart, John Randolph Thompson 519
A Christopher of the Shenandoah, Edith M. Thomas 520
Sheridan at Cedar Creek, Herman Melville 521
Sheridan's Ride, Thomas Buchanan Read 521
The Year of Jubilee, Henry Clay Work 522
Virginia Capta, Margaret Junkin Preston 523
The Fall of Richmond, Herman Melville 523
The Surrender at Appomattox, Herman Melville 524
Lee's Parole, Marion Manville 524
Robert E. Lee, Julia Ward Howe 524
Winslow and Farragut
The Eagle and Vulture, Thomas Buchanan Read 525
Kearsarge and Alabama, Unknown 526
Kearsarge, S. Weir Mitchell 526
The Alabama, Maurice Bell 527
Craven, Henry Newbolt 527
Farragut, William Tuckey Meredith 528
Through Fire in Mobile Bay, Unknown 529
The Bay Fight, Henry Howard Brownell 530
"Albemarle" Cushing, James Jeffrey Roche 535
At the Cannon's Mouth, Herman Melville 537
The Martyr President
Lincoln, S. Weir Mitchell 537
O Captain! My Captain! Walt Whitman 537[xxvii]
The Dead President, Edward Rowland Sill 538
Abraham Lincoln, Edmund Clarence Stedman 538
Pardon, Julia Ward Howe 539
The Dear President, John James Piatt 539
Abraham Lincoln, William Cullen Bryant 540
Abraham Lincoln, Richard Henry Stoddard 540
Parricide, Julia Ward Howe 542
Abraham Lincoln, Tom Taylor 543
"Stack Arms," Joseph Blynth Alston 545
Jefferson Davis, Walker Meriwether Bell 545
In the Land where we were Dreaming, Daniel B. Lucas 546
Acceptation, Margaret Junkin Preston 547
The Conquered Banner, Abram J. Ryan 547
Peace, Adeline D. T. Whitney 547
Peace, Phœbe Cary 548
A Second Review of the Grand Army, Bret Harte 548
When Johnny comes marching Home, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore 549
Driving Home the Cows, Kate Putnam Osgood 550
Ode recited at the Harvard Commemoration, James Russell Lowell 550
The Eagle's Song, Richard Mansfield 558
Reconstruction and After
To the Thirty-Ninth Congress, John Greenleaf Whittier 559
"Mr. Johnson's Policy of Reconstruction," Charles Graham Halpine 559
Thaddeus Stevens, Phœbe Cary 560
South Carolina to the States of the North, Paul Hamilton Hayne 561
Ku-Klux, Madison Cawein 562
The Rear Guard, Irene Fowler Brown 562
The Blue and the Gray, Francis Miles Finch 563
The Stricken South to the North, Paul Hamilton Hayne 564
How Cyrus laid the Cable, John Godfrey Saxe 565
The Cable Hymn, John Greenleaf Whittier 565
An Arctic Vision, Bret Harte 566
Alaska, Joaquin Miller 567
Israel Freyer's Bid for Gold, Edmund Clarence Stedman 567
Chicago, John Greenleaf Whittier 568
Chicago, Bret Harte 569
Chicago, John Boyle O'Reilly 569
Boston, John Boyle O'Reilly 570
The Church of the Revolution, Hezekiah Butterworth 570
After the Fire, Oliver Wendell Holmes 571
The Ride of Collins Graves, John Boyle O'Reilly 571
The Year of a Hundred Years
Our First Century, George Edward Woodberry 572
Centennial Hymn, John Greenleaf Whittier 573
The Centennial Meditation of Columbia, Sidney Lanier 573
Centennial Hymn, William Cullen Bryant 574
Welcome to the Nations, Oliver Wendell Holmes 574
The National Ode, Bayard Taylor 575
Our National Banner, Dexter Smith 578
After the Centennial, Christopher Pearse Cranch 578
The Conquest of the Plains
The Pacific Railway, C. R. Ballard 579
After the Comanches, Unknown 579
Down the Little Big Horn, Francis Brooks 580
Little Big Horn, Ernest McGaffey 581
Custer's Last Charge, Frederick Whittaker 582
Custer, Edmund Clarence Stedman 583
The Revenge of Rain-in-the-Face, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 583
Miles Keogh's Horse, John Hay 584
On the Big Horn, John Greenleaf Whittier 585
The "Grey Horse Troop," Robert W. Chambers 585
Geronimo, Ernest McGaffey 586
The Last Reservation, Walter Learned 586
Indian Names, Lydia Huntley Sigourney 587
The Second Assassination
Rejoice, Joaquin Miller 587
The Bells at Midnight, Thomas Bailey Aldrich 588
J. A. G., Julia Ward Howe 589
Midnight—September 19, 1881, John Boyle O'Reilly 589
At the President's Grave, Richard Watson Gilder 590
On the Death of President Garfield, Oliver Wendell Holmes 590
President Garfield, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 591
Yorktown Centennial Lyric, Paul Hamilton Hayne 592
The Brooklyn Bridge, Edna Dean Proctor 593
Brooklyn Bridge, Charles George Douglas Roberts 593
Charleston, Richard Watson Gilder 594
Mayflower, John Boyle O'Reilly 594
Fairest of Freedom's Daughters, Jeremiah Eames Rankin 594
Liberty Enlightening the World, Edmund Clarence Stedman 595
The Bartholdi Statue, John Greenleaf Whittier 595
Additional Verses to Hail Columbia, Oliver Wendell Holmes 596
New National Hymn, Francis Marion Crawford 596
In Apia Bay, Charles George Douglas Roberts 597
An International Episode, Caroline T. Duer 598
By the Conemaugh, Florence Earle Coates 599
The Man who rode to Conemaugh, John Eliot Bowen 599
A Ballad of the Conemaugh Flood, Hardwick Drummond Rawnsley 600
Conemaugh, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward 601
"The White City," Richard Watson Gilder 602
The Kearsarge, James Jeffrey Roche 602[xxix]
Tennessee, Virginia Fraser Boyle 603
An Ode on the Unveiling of the Shaw Memorial, Thomas Bailey Aldrich 603
The Klondike, Edwin Arlington Robinson 604
The War with Spain
Apostrophe to the Island of Cuba, James Gates Percival 606
The Gallant Fifty-One, Henry Lynden Flash 606
Cuba, Edmund Clarence Stedman 607
The Gospel of Peace, James Jeffrey Roche 607
Cuba, Harvey Rice 608
Cuba to Columbia, Will Carleton 608
Cuba Libre, Joaquin Miller 609
The Parting of the Ways, Joseph B. Gilder 609
The Men of the Maine, Clinton Scollard 609
The Word of the Lord from Havana, Richard Hovey 610
Half-Mast, Lloyd Mifflin 611
The Fighting Race, Joseph I. C. Clarke 611
On the Eve of War, Danske Dandridge 612
To Spain—A Last Word, Edith M. Thomas 612
The Martyrs of the Maine, Rupert Hughes 612
El Emplazado, William Henry Venable 613
Battle Song, Robert Burns Wilson 613
Greeting from England, Unknown 614
Battle Cry, William Henry Venable 614
Just One Signal, Unknown 614
Dewey at Manila, Robert Underwood Johnson 615
Dewey and his Men, Wallace Rice 617
"Off Manilly," Edmund Vance Cooke 618
Manila Bay, Arthur Hale 618
A Ballad of Manila Bay, Charles George Douglas Roberts 618
The Battle of Manila, Richard Hovey 619
Dewey in Manila Bay, R. V. Risley 620
"Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin," Madison Cawein 620
The Spirit of the Maine, Tudor Jenks 621
The Dragon of the Seas, Thomas Nelson Page 621
The Sailing of the Fleet, Unknown 622
"Cut the Cables," Robert Burns Wilson 622
The Race of the Oregon, John James Meehan 624
Battle-Song of the Oregon, Wallace Rice 624
Strike the Blow, Unknown 625
Eight Volunteers, Lansing C. Bailey 626
The Men of the Merrimac, Clinton Scollard 626
The Victory-Wreck, Will Carleton 627
Hobson and his Men, Robert Loveman 627
The Call to the Colors, Arthur Guiterman 627
Essex Regiment March, George Edward Woodberry 628
The Gathering, Herbert B. Swett 629
Comrades, Henry R. Dorr 629
Wheeler's Brigade at Santiago, Wallace Rice 629
Deeds of Valor at Santiago, Clinton Scollard 630
The Charge at Santiago, William Hamilton Hayne 630
Private Blair of the Regulars, Clinton Scollard 631
Wheeler at Santiago, James Lindsay Gordon 631
Spain's Last Armada, Wallace Rice 632
Santiago, Thomas A. Janvier 633
The Fleet at Santiago, Charles E. Russell 634[xxx]
The Destroyer of Destroyers, Wallace Rice 635
The Brooklyn at Santiago, Wallace Rice 636
The Rush of the Oregon, Arthur Guiterman 637
The Men behind the Guns, John Jerome Rooney 637
Cervera, Bertrand Shadwell 638
McIlrath of Malate, John Jerome Rooney 639
When the Great Gray Ships come in, Guy Wetmore Carryl 640
Full Cycle, John White Chadwick 640
Breath on the Oat, Joseph Russell Taylor 641
The Islands of the Sea, George Edward Woodberry 641
Ballade of Expansion, Hilda Johnson 642
"Rebels," Ernest Crosby 643
On a Soldier fallen in the Philippines, William Vaughn Moody 643
The Ballad of Paco Town, Clinton Scollard 644
The Deed of Lieutenant Miles, Clinton Scollard 644
Aguinaldo, Bertrand Shadwell 645
The Fight at Dajo, Alfred E. Wood 645
An Ode in Time of Hesitation, William Vaughn Moody 646
The New Century
A Toast to Our Native Land, Robert Bridges 649
Buffalo, Florence Earle Coates 649
McKinley, Unknown 649
Faithful unto Death, Richard Handfield Titherington 650
The Comfort of the Trees, Richard Watson Gilder 650
Outward Bound, Edward Sydney Tylee 650
Panama, James Jeffrey Roche 651
Darien, Edwin Arnold 651
Panama, Amanda T. Jones 652
A Song of Panama, Alfred Damon Runyon 652
Hymn of the West, Edmund Clarence Stedman 653
Britannia to Columbia, Alfred Austin 654
Those Rebel Flags, John H. Jewett 654
The Song of the Flags, S. Weir Mitchell 655
Arizona, Sharlot M. Hall 655
San Francisco, Joaquin Miller 657
San Francisco, John Vance Cheney 657
To San Francisco, S. J. Alexander 657
Resurge San Francisco, Joaquin Miller 658
Grover Cleveland, Joel Benton 658
Unguarded Gates, Thomas Bailey Aldrich 659
National Song, William Henry Venable 659
Ad Patriam, Clinton Scollard 660
O Land Beloved, George Edward Woodberry 660
The Republic, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 660
The World War
Sonnets written in the Fall of 1914, George Edward Woodberry 661
Abraham Lincoln walks at Midnight, Vachel Lindsay 661
The "William P. Frye," Jeanne Robert Foster 662
The White Ships and the Red, Joyce Kilmer 663
Mare Liberum, Henry van Dyke 664
Ode in Memory of the American Volunteers fallen for France, Alan Seeger 664
Republic to Republic, Witter Bynner 666[xxxi]
To the United States of America, Robert Bridges 666
The Captive Ships at Manila, Dorothy Paul 666
The Road to France, Daniel Henderson 667
Pershing at the Tomb of Lafayette, Amelia Josephine Burr 667
Your Lad, and my Lad, Randall Parrish 668
A Call to Arms, Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews 668
The First Three, Clinton Scollard 669
To America, on her First Sons fallen in the Great War, E. M. Walker 670
Rouge Bouquet, Joyce Kilmer 670
Marching Song, Dana Burnet 671
Our Modest Doughboys, Charlton Andrews 671
Seicheprey 672
A Ballad of Redhead's Day, Richard Butler Glaenzer 672
Victory Bells, Grace Hazard Conkling 673
Epicedium, J. Corson Miller 673
The Dead, David Morton 674
The Unreturning, Clinton Scollard 674
The Star, Marion Couthouy Smith 674
Brest left behind, John Chipman Farrar 674
To the Returning Brave, Robert Underwood Johnson 675
The Return, Eleanor Rogers Cox 676
King of the Belgians, Marion Couthouy Smith 676
The Family of Nations, Willard Wattles 677
The League of Nations, Mary Siegrist 677
Beyond Wars, David Morton 678
"When there is Peace," Austin Dobson 678
After the War, Richard Le Gallienne 678





Oh, who has not heard of the Northmen of yore,
How flew, like the sea-bird, their sails from the shore;
How westward they stayed not till, breasting the brine,
They hailed Narragansett, the land of the vine?
Then the war-songs of Rollo, his pennon and glaive,
Were heard as they danced by the moon-lighted wave,
And their golden-haired wives bore them sons of the soil,
While raged with the redskins their feud and turmoil.
And who has not seen, mid the summer's gay crowd,
That old pillared tower of their fortalice proud,
How it stands solid proof of the sea chieftains' reign
Ere came with Columbus those galleys of Spain?
'Twas a claim for their kindred: an earnest of sway,—
By the stout-hearted Cabot made good in its day,—
Of the Cross of St. George on the Chesapeake's tide,
Where lovely Virginia arose like a bride.
Came the pilgrims with Winthrop; and, saint of the West,
Came Robert of Jamestown, the brave and the blest;
Came Smith, the bold rover, and Rolfe—with his ring,
To wed sweet Matoäka, child of a king.
Undaunted they came, every peril to dare,
Of tribes fiercer far than the wolf in his lair;
Of the wild irksome woods, where in ambush they lay;
Of their terror by night and their arrow by day.
And so where our capes cleave the ice of the poles,
Where groves of the orange scent sea-coast and shoals,
Where the froward Atlantic uplifts its last crest,
Where the sun, when he sets, seeks the East from the West.
The clime that from ocean to ocean expands,
The fields to the snow-drifts that stretch from the sands,
The wilds they have conquered of mountain and plain,
Those pilgrims have made them fair Freedom's domain.
And the bread of dependence if proudly they spurned,
'Twas the soul of their fathers that kindled and burned,
'Twas the blood of the Saxon within them that ran;
They held—to be free is the birthright of man.
So oft the old lion, majestic of mane,
Sees cubs of his cave breaking loose from his reign;
Unmeet to be his if they braved not his eye,
He gave them the spirit his own to defy.
Arthur Cleveland Coxe.





Bjarni, son of Herjulf, speeding westward from Iceland in 986, to spend the Yuletide in Greenland with his father, encountered foggy weather and steered by guesswork for many days. At last he sighted land, but a land covered with dense woods,—not at all the land of fiords and glaciers he was seeking. So, without stopping, he turned his prow to the north, and ten days later was telling his story to the listening circle before the blazing logs in his father's house at Brattahlid. The tale came, in time, to the ears of Leif, the famous son of Red Eric, and in the year 1000 he set out from Greenland, with a crew of thirty-five, in search of the strange land to the south. He reached the barren coast of Labrador and named it Helluland, or "slate-land;" south of it was a coast so densely wooded that he named it Markland, or "woodland." At last he ran his ship ashore at a spot where "a river, issuing from a lake, fell into the sea." Wild grapes abounded, and he named the country Vinland.


From "Psalm of the West"

Far spread, below,
The sea that fast hath locked in his loose flow
All secrets of Atlantis' drownèd woe
Lay bound about with night on every hand,
Save down the eastern brink a shining band
Of day made out a little way from land.
Then from that shore the wind upbore a cry:
Thou Sea, thou Sea of Darkness! why, oh why
Dost waste thy West in unthrift mystery?
But ever the idiot sea-mouths foam and fill,
And never a wave doth good for man, or ill,
And Blank is king, and Nothing hath his will;
And like as grim-beaked pelicans level file
Across the sunset toward their nightly isle
On solemn wings that wave but seldom while,
So leanly sails the day behind the day
To where the Past's lone Rock o'erglooms the spray,
And down its mortal fissures sinks away.
Master, Master, break this ban:
The wave lacks Thee.
Oh, is it not to widen man
Stretches the sea?
Oh, must the sea-bird's idle van
Alone be free?
Into the Sea of the Dark doth creep
Björne's pallid sail,
As the face of a walker in his sleep,
Set rigid and most pale,
About the night doth peer and peep
In a dream of an ancient tale.
Lo, here is made a hasty cry:
Land, land, upon the west!—
God save such land! Go by, go by:
Here may no mortal rest,
Where this waste hell of slate doth lie
And grind the glacier's breast.
The sail goeth limp: hey, flap and strain!
Round eastward slanteth the mast;
As the sleep-walker waked with pain,
White-clothed in the midnight blast,
Doth stare and quake, and stride again
To houseward all aghast.
Yet as—A ghost! his household cry:
He hath followed a ghost in flight.
Let us see the ghost—his household fly
With lamps to search the night—
So Norsemen's sails run out and try
The Sea of the Dark with light.
Stout Are Marson, southward whirled
From out the tempest's hand,
Doth skip the sloping of the world
To Huitramannaland,
Where Georgia's oaks with moss-beards curled
Wave by the shining strand,
And sway in sighs from Florida's Spring
Or Carolina's Palm—
[4] What time the mocking-bird doth bring
The woods his artist's-balm,
Singing the Song of Everything
Consummate-sweet and calm—
Land of large merciful-hearted skies,
Big bounties, rich increase,
Green rests for Trade's blood-shotten eyes,
For o'er-beat brains surcease,
For Love the dear woods' sympathies,
For Grief the wise woods' peace.
For Need rich givings of hid powers
In hills and vales quick-won,
For Greed large exemplary flowers
That ne'er have toiled nor spun,
For Heat fair-tempered winds and showers,
For Cold the neighbor sun.
* * * * *
Then Leif, bold son of Eric the Red,
To the South of the West doth flee—
Past slaty Helluland is sped,
Past Markland's woody lea,
Till round about fair Vinland's head,
Where Taunton helps the sea,
The Norseman calls, the anchor falls,
The mariners hurry a-strand:
They wassail with fore-drunken skals
Where prophet wild grapes stand;
They lift the Leifsbooth's hasty walls,
They stride about the land—
New England, thee! whose ne'er-spent wine
As blood doth stretch each vein,
And urge thee, sinewed like thy vine,
Through peril and all pain
To grasp Endeavor's towering Pine,
And, once ahold, remain—
Land where the strenuous-handed Wind
With sarcasm of a friend
Doth smite the man would lag behind
To frontward of his end;
Yea, where the taunting fall and grind
Of Nature's Ill doth send
Such mortal challenge of a clown
Rude-thrust upon the soul,
That men but smile where mountains frown
Or scowling waters roll,
And Nature's front of battle down
Do hurl from pole to pole.
Now long the Sea of Darkness glimmers low
With sails from Northland flickering to and fro—
Thorwald, Karlsefne, and those twin heirs of woe,
Hellboge and Finnge, in treasonable bed
Slain by the ill-born child of Eric Red,
Freydisa false. Till, as much time is fled,
Once more the vacant airs with darkness fill,
Once more the wave doth never good nor ill,
And Blank is king, and Nothing works his will;
And leanly sails the day behind the day
To where the Past's lone Rock o'erglooms the spray,
And down its mortal fissures sinks away,
As when the grim-beaked pelicans level file
Across the sunset to their seaward isle
On solemn wings that wave but seldomwhile.
Sidney Lanier.

Leif and his crew spent the winter in Vinland, and in the following spring took back to Greenland news of the pleasant country they had discovered. Other voyages followed, but the newcomers became embroiled with the natives, who attacked them in such numbers that all projects of colonization were abandoned; and finally, in 1012, the Norsemen sailed away forever from this land of promise.


[On a fragment of statue found at Bradford.]

Gift from the cold and silent Past!
A relic to the present cast;
Left on the ever-changing strand
Of shifting and unstable sand,
Which wastes beneath the steady chime
And beating of the waves of Time!
Who from its bed of primal rock
First wrenched thy dark, unshapely block?
Whose hand, of curious skill untaught,
Thy rude and savage outline wrought?
The waters of my native stream
Are glancing in the sun's warm beam;
From sail-urged keel and flashing oar
The circles widen to its shore;
And cultured field and peopled town
Slope to its willowed margin down.
Yet, while this morning breeze is bringing
The home-life sound of school-bells ringing,
And rolling wheel, and rapid jar
Of the fire-winged and steedless car,
[5] And voices from the wayside near
Come quick and blended on my ear,—
A spell is in this old gray stone,
My thoughts are with the Past alone!
A change!—The steepled town no more
Stretches along the sail-thronged shore;
Like palace-domes in sunset's cloud,
Fade sun-gilt spire and mansion proud:
Spectrally rising where they stood,
I see the old, primeval wood;
Dark, shadow-like, on either hand
I see its solemn waste expand;
It climbs the green and cultured hill,
It arches o'er the valley's rill,
And leans from cliff and crag to throw
Its wild arms o'er the stream below.
Unchanged, alone, the same bright river
Flows on, as it will flow forever!
I listen, and I hear the low
Soft ripple where its waters go;
I hear behind the panther's cry,
The wild-bird's scream goes thrilling by,
And shyly on the river's brink
The deer is stooping down to drink.
But hark!—from wood and rock flung back,
What sound comes up the Merrimac?
What sea-worn barks are those which throw
The light spray from each rushing prow?
Have they not in the North Sea's blast
Bowed to the waves the straining mast?
Their frozen sails the low, pale sun
Of Thulë's night has shone upon;
Flapped by the sea-wind's gusty sweep
Round icy drift, and headland steep.
Wild Jutland's wives and Lochlin's daughters
Have watched them fading o'er the waters,
Lessening through driving mist and spray,
Like white-winged sea-birds on their way!
Onward they glide,—and now I view
Their iron-armed and stalwart crew;
Joy glistens in each wild blue eye,
Turned to green earth and summer sky.
Each broad, seamed breast has cast aside
Its cumbering vest of shaggy hide;
Bared to the sun and soft warm air,
Streams back the Northmen's yellow hair.
I see the gleam of axe and spear,
A sound of smitten shields I hear,
Keeping a harsh and fitting time
To Saga's chant, and Runic rhyme;
Such lays as Zetland's Scald has sung,
His gray and naked isles among;
Or muttered low at midnight hour
Round Odin's mossy stone of power.
The wolf beneath the Arctic moon
Has answered to that startling rune;
The Gael has heard its stormy swell,
The light Frank knows its summons well;
Iona's sable-stoled Culdee
Has heard it sounding o'er the sea,
And swept, with hoary beard and hair,
His altar's foot in trembling prayer!
'Tis past,—the 'wildering vision dies
In darkness on my dreaming eyes!
The forest vanishes in air,
Hill-slope and vale lie starkly bare;
I hear the common tread of men,
And hum of work-day life again;
The mystic relic seems alone
A broken mass of common stone;
And if it be the chiselled limb
Of Berserker or idol grim,
A fragment of Valhalla's Thor,
The stormy Viking's god of War,
Or Praga of the Runic lay,
Or love-awakening Siona,
I know not,—for no graven line,
Nor Druid mark, nor Runic sign,
Is left me here, by which to trace
Its name, or origin, or place.
Yet, for this vision of the Past,
This glance upon its darkness cast,
My spirit bows in gratitude
Before the Giver of all good,
Who fashioned so the human mind,
That, from the waste of Time behind,
A simple stone, or mound of earth,
Can summon the departed forth;
Quicken the Past to life again,
The Present lose in what hath been,
And in their primal freshness show
The buried forms of long ago.
As if a portion of that Thought
By which the Eternal will is wrought,
Whose impulse fills anew with breath
The frozen solitude of Death,
To mortal mind were sometimes lent,
To mortal musings sometimes sent,
To whisper—even when it seems
But Memory's fantasy of dreams—
Through the mind's waste of woe and sin,
Of an immortal origin!
John Greenleaf Whittier.


This, in mere outline, is the story of Vinland, as told in the Icelandic Chronicle. Of its substantial accuracy there can be little doubt. Many proofs of Norse occupation have been found on the shores of Massachusetts Bay. The "skeleton in armor," however, which was unearthed in 1835 near Fall River, Mass., was probably that of an Indian.


"Speak! speak! thou fearful guest!
Who, with thy hollow breast
Still in rude armor drest,
Comest to daunt me!
Wrapt not in Eastern balms,
But with thy fleshless palms
Stretched, as if asking alms,
Why dost thou haunt me?"
Then, from those cavernous eyes
Pale flashes seemed to rise,
As when the Northern skies
Gleam in December;
And, like the water's flow
Under December's snow,
Came a dull voice of woe
From the heart's chamber.
"I was a Viking old!
My deeds, though manifold,
No Skald in song has told,
No Saga taught thee!
Take heed, that in thy verse
Thou dost the tale rehearse,
Else dread a dead man's curse;
For this I sought thee.
"Far in the Northern Land,
By the wild Baltic's strand,
I, with my childish hand,
Tamed the gerfalcon;
And, with my skates fast-bound,
Skimmed the half-frozen Sound,
That the poor whimpering hound
Trembled to walk on.
"Oft to his frozen lair
Tracked I the grisly bear,
While from my path the hare
Fled like a shadow;
Oft through the forest dark
Followed the were-wolf's bark,
Until the soaring lark
Sang from the meadow.
"But when I older grew,
Joining a corsair's crew,
O'er the dark sea I flew
With the marauders.
Wild was the life we led;
Many the souls that sped,
Many the hearts that bled,
By our stern orders.
"Many a wassail-bout
Wore the long winter out;
Often our midnight shout
Set the cocks crowing,
As we the Berserk's tale
Measured in cups of ale,
Draining the oaken pail,
Filled to o'erflowing.
"Once as I told in glee
Tales of the stormy sea,
Soft eyes did gaze on me,
Burning yet tender;
And as the white stars shine
On the dark Norway pine,
On that dark heart of mine
Fell their soft splendor.
"I wooed the blue-eyed maid,
Yielding, yet half afraid,
And in the forest's shade
Our vows were plighted.
Under its loosened vest
Fluttered her little breast,
Like birds within their nest
By the hawk frighted.
"Bright in her father's hall
Shields gleamed upon the wall,
Loud sang the minstrels all,
Chanting his glory;
When of old Hildebrand
I asked his daughter's hand,
Mute did the minstrels stand
To hear my story.
"While the brown ale he quaffed,
Loud then the champion laughed,
And as the wind-gusts waft
The sea-foam brightly,
So the loud laugh of scorn,
Out of those lips unshorn,
From the deep drinking-horn
Blew the foam lightly.
"She was a Prince's child,
I but a Viking wild,
And though she blushed and smiled,
I was discarded!
Should not the dove so white
Follow the sea-mew's flight,
Why did they leave that night
Her nest unguarded?
"Scarce had I put to sea,
Bearing the maid with me,
Fairest of all was she
Among the Norsemen!
When on the white sea-strand,
Waving his armèd hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,
With twenty horsemen.
"Then launched they to the blast,
Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,
When the wind failed us;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw,
So that our foe we saw
Laugh as he hailed us.
"And as to catch the gale
Round veered the flapping sail,
'Death!' was the helmsman's hail,
'Death without quarter!'
Mid-ships with iron keel
Struck we her ribs of steel!
Down her black hulk did reel
Through the black water!
"As with his wings aslant,
Sails the fierce cormorant,
Seeking some rocky haunt,
With his prey laden.—
So toward the open main,
Beating to sea again,
Through the wild hurricane,
Bore I the maiden.
"Three weeks we westward bore,
And when the storm was o'er,
Cloud-like we saw the shore
Stretching to leeward;
There for my lady's bower
Built I the lofty tower,
Which, to this very hour,
Stands looking seaward.
"There lived we many years;
Time dried the maiden's tears;
She had forgot her fears,
She was a mother;
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne'er shall the sun arise
On such another!
"Still grew my bosom then,
Still as a stagnant fen!
Hateful to me were men,
The sunlight hateful!
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,
Oh, death was grateful!
"Thus, seamed with many scars,
Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars
My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior's soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!"
Thus the tale ended.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The centuries passed, and no more of the white-skinned race came to the New World. But a new era was at hand; the day drew near when a little fleet was to put out from Spain and turn its prows westward on the grandest voyage the world has ever known.


From "Il Morgante Maggiore"


His bark
The daring mariner shall urge far o'er
The Western wave, a smooth and level plain.
Albeit the earth is fashioned like a wheel.
Man was in ancient days of grosser mould,
And Hercules might blush to learn how far
Beyond the limits he had vainly set
The dullest sea-boat soon shall wing her way.
Man shall descry another hemisphere,
Since to one common centre all things tend.
So earth, by curious mystery divine
Well balanced, hangs amid the starry spheres.
At our antipodes are cities, states,
And throngèd empires, ne'er divined of yore.
[8] But see, the sun speeds on his western path
To glad the nations with expected light.
Luigi Pulci.

About 1436 a son was born to Dominico Colombo, wool-comber, of Genoa, and in due time christened Cristoforo. Of his boyhood little is known save that he early went to sea. About 1470 he followed his brother Bartholomew to Lisbon, and in 1474 he was given a map by Toscanelli, the Florentine astronomer, showing Japan and the Indies directly west of Portugal, together with a long letter in which Toscanelli explained his reasons for believing that by sailing west one could reach the East. Columbus, studying the problem month by month, became convinced of the feasibility of such a route to the Indies, and determined himself to traverse it.


From "The West Indies"

Long lay the ocean-paths from man conceal'd;
Light came from heaven,—the magnet was reveal'd,
A surer star to guide the seaman's eye
Than the pale glory of the northern sky;
Alike ordain'd to shine by night and day,
Through calm and tempest, with unsetting ray;
Where'er the mountains rise, the billows roll,
Still with strong impulse turning to the pole,
True as the sun is to the morning true,
Though light as film, and trembling as the dew.
Then man no longer plied with timid oar,
And failing heart, along the windward shore;
Broad to the sky he turn'd his fearless sail,
Defied the adverse, woo'd the favoring gale,
Bared to the storm his adamantine breast,
Or soft on ocean's lap lay down to rest;
While free, as clouds the liquid ether sweep,
His white-wing'd vessels coursed the unbounded deep;
From clime to clime the wanderer loved to roam,
The waves his heritage, the world his home.
Then first Columbus, with the mighty hand
Of grasping genius, weigh'd the sea and land;
The floods o'erbalanced:—where the tide of light,
Day after day, roll'd down the gulf of night,
There seem'd one waste of waters:—long in vain
His spirit brooded o'er the Atlantic main;
When sudden, as creation burst from nought,
Sprang a new world through his stupendous thought,
Light, order, beauty!—While his mind explored
The unveiling mystery, his heart adored;
Where'er sublime imagination trod,
He heard the voice, he saw the face of God.
Far from the western cliffs he cast his eye,
O'er the wide ocean stretching to the sky:
In calm magnificence the sun declined,
And left a paradise of clouds behind:
Proud at his feet, with pomp of pearl and gold,
The billows in a sea of glory roll'd.
"—Ah! on this sea of glory might I sail,
Track the bright sun, and pierce the eternal veil
That hides those lands, beneath Hesperian skies,
Where daylight sojourns till our morrow rise!"
Thoughtful he wander'd on the beach alone;
Mild o'er the deep the vesper planet shone,
The eye of evening, brightening through the west
Till the sweet moment when it shut to rest:
"Whither, O golden Venus! art thou fled?
Not in the ocean-chambers lies thy bed;
Round the dim world thy glittering chariot drawn
Pursues the twilight, or precedes the dawn;
Thy beauty noon and midnight never see,
The morn and eve divide the year with thee."
Soft fell the shades, till Cynthia's slender bow
Crested the furthest wave, then sunk below:
"Tell me, resplendent guardian of the night,
Circling the sphere in thy perennial flight,
What secret path of heaven thy smiles adorn,
What nameless sea reflects thy gleaming horn?"
Now earth and ocean vanish'd, all serene
The starry firmament alone was seen;
Through the slow, silent hours, he watch'd the host
[9] Of midnight suns in western darkness lost,
Till Night himself, on shadowy pinions borne,
Fled o'er the mighty waters, and the morn
Danced on the mountains:—"Lights of heaven!" he cried,
"Lead on;—I go to win a glorious bride;
Fearless o'er gulfs unknown I urge my way,
Where peril prowls, and shipwreck lurks for prey:
Hope swells my sail;—in spirit I behold
That maiden-world, twin-sister of the old,
By nature nursed beyond the jealous sea,
Denied to ages, but betroth'd to me."
James Montgomery.

In 1484 Columbus laid his plan before King John II, of Portugal, but became so disgusted with his treachery and double-dealing, that he left Portugal and entered the service of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Spanish monarchs listened to him with attention, and ordered that the greatest astronomers and cosmographers of the kingdom should assemble at Salamanca and pass upon the feasibility of the project.


[January, 1487]

St. Stephen's cloistered hall was proud
In learning's pomp that day,
For there a robed and stately crowd
Pressed on in long array.
A mariner with simple chart
Confronts that conclave high,
While strong ambition stirs his heart,
And burning thoughts of wonder part
From lip and sparkling eye.
What hath he said? With frowning face,
In whispered tones they speak,
And lines upon their tablets trace,
Which flush each ashen cheek;
The Inquisition's mystic doom
Sits on their brows severe,
And bursting forth in visioned gloom,
Sad heresy from burning tomb
Groans on the startled ear.
Courage, thou Genoese! Old Time
Thy splendid dream shall crown;
Yon Western Hemisphere sublime,
Where unshorn forests frown,
The awful Andes' cloud-wrapt brow,
The Indian hunter's bow,
Bold streams untamed by helm or prow,
And rocks of gold and diamonds, thou
To thankless Spain shalt show.
Courage, World-finder! Thou hast need!
In Fate's unfolding scroll,
Dark woes and ingrate wrongs I read,
That rack the noble soul.
On! on! Creation's secrets probe,
Then drink thy cup of scorn,
And wrapped in fallen Cæsar's robe,
Sleep like that master of the globe,
All glorious,—yet forlorn.
Lydia Huntley Sigourney.

The council convened at Salamanca and examined Columbus; but it presented to him an almost impenetrable wall of bigotry and prejudice. Long delays and adjournments followed; and for three years the suppliant was put off with excuses and evasions. At last, worn out with waiting and anxiety, he appealed to Ferdinand to give him a definite answer.


[January, 1491]

Illustrious monarch of Iberia's soil,
Too long I wait permission to depart;
Sick of delays, I beg thy list'ning ear—
Shine forth the patron and the prince of art.
While yet Columbus breathes the vital air,
Grant his request to pass the western main:
Reserve this glory for thy native soil,
And what must please thee more—for thy own reign.
Of this huge globe, how small a part we know—
Does heaven their worlds to western suns deny?—
How disproportion'd to the mighty deep
The lands that yet in human prospect lie!
Does Cynthia, when to western skies arriv'd,
Spend her sweet beam upon the barren main,
And ne'er illume with midnight splendor, she,
The natives dancing on the lightsome green?—
Should the vast circuit of the world contain
Such wastes of ocean, and such scanty land?—
[10] 'Tis reason's voice that bids me think not so,
I think more nobly of the Almighty hand.
Does yon fair lamp trace half the circle round
To light the waves and monsters of the seas?—
No—be there must beyond the billowy waste
Islands, and men, and animals, and trees.
An unremitting flame my breast inspires
To seek new lands amidst the barren waves,
Where falling low, the source of day descends,
And the blue sea his evening visage laves.
Hear, in his tragic lay, Cordova's sage:
"The time shall come, when numerous years are past,
The ocean shall dissolve the bonds of things,
And an extended region rise at last;
"And Typhis shall disclose the mighty land
Far, far away, where none have rov'd before;
Nor shall the world's remotest region be
Gibraltar's rock, or Thule's savage shore."
Fir'd at the theme, I languish to depart,
Supply the barque, and bid Columbus sail;
He fears no storms upon the untravell'd deep;
Reason shall steer, and skill disarm the gale.
Nor does he dread to lose the intended course,
Though far from land the reeling galley stray,
And skies above and gulphy seas below
Be the sole objects seen for many a day.
Think not that Nature has unveil'd in vain
The mystic magnet to the mortal eye:
So late have we the guiding needle plann'd
Only to sail beneath our native sky?
Ere this was found, the ruling power of all
Found for our use an ocean in the land,
Its breadth so small we could not wander long,
Nor long be absent from the neighboring strand.
Short was the course, and guided by the stars,
But stars no more shall point our daring way;
The Bear shall sink, and every guard be drown'd,
And great Arcturus scarce escape the sea,
When southward we shall steer—O grant my wish,
Supply the barque, and bid Columbus sail,
He dreads no tempests on the untravell'd deep,
Reason shall steer, and skill disarm the gale.
Philip Freneau.

Early in 1491 the council of Salamanca reported that the proposed enterprise was vain and impossible of execution, and Ferdinand accepted the decision. Indignant at thought of the years he had wasted, Columbus started for Paris, to lay his plan before the King of France. He was accompanied by his son, Diego, and stopped one night at the convent of La Rabida, near Palos, to ask for food and shelter. The prior, Juan Perez de Marchena, became interested in his project, detained him, and finally secured for him another audience of Isabella.


[July, 1491]

Dreary and brown the night comes down,
Gloomy, without a star.
On Palos town the night comes down;
The day departs with a stormy frown;
The sad sea moans afar.
A convent-gate is near; 'tis late;
Ting-ling! the bell they ring.
They ring the bell, they ask for bread—
"Just for my child," the father said.
Kind hands the bread will bring.
White was his hair, his mien was fair,
His look was calm and great.
The porter ran and called a friar;
The friar made haste and told the prior;
The prior came to the gate.
He took them in, he gave them food;
The traveller's dreams he heard;
And fast the midnight moments flew,
And fast the good man's wonder grew,
And all his heart was stirred.
The child the while, with soft, sweet smile
Forgetful of all sorrow,
Lay soundly sleeping in his bed.
The good man kissed him then, and said:
"You leave us not to-morrow!
"I pray you rest the convent's guest;
The child shall be our own—
A precious care, while you prepare
Your business with the court, and bear
Your message to the throne."
And so his guest he comforted.
O wise, good prior! to you,
Who cheered the stranger's darkest days,
And helped him on his way, what praise
And gratitude are due!
John T. Trowbridge.

Isabella and Ferdinand were with their army before Granada, and received Columbus well; but his demands for emoluments and honors in the event of success were pronounced absurd; the negotiations were broken off, and again Columbus started for France. The few converts to his theories were in despair, and one of them, Luis de Santangel, receiver of the ecclesiastical revenues of Aragon, obtained an audience of the Queen, and enkindled her patriotic spirit. When Ferdinand still hesitated, she exclaimed, "I undertake the enterprise for my own crown of Castile. I will pledge my jewels to raise the money that is needed!" Santangel assured her that he himself was ready to provide the money, and advanced seventeen thousand florins from the coffers of Aragon, so that Ferdinand really paid for the expedition, after all.


From "The New World"

[January 6—April 17, 1492]

Yet had his sun not risen; from his lips
Fell in swift fervid accents his desire,
And Talavera's eyes of smouldering fire
Shone with a myriad doubts, a dark eclipse
Of faith hung round him, and the longed-for ships
Ploughed but the ocean of his star-lit dreams;
Time had not tried his soul enough with whips
And scorns, for so the rigid Master deems
He makes his servants fit
For the hard toils which knit
The perfect garment, firm and without seams,
The world shall wear at last; his hurt brain teems
With indignation and he turns away
Undaunted, and he girds him for the fray
Once more; but first he hears the words of his good friend,
Marchena, strong with trust in the far-shining end.
His wanderings reached at last the lonely door
Of calm La Rabida; there the silence came
Grateful upon his grief's consuming flame;
The simple cloisters gave him peace once more,
And the live ocean rolled up to the shore
In ceaseless voice of promise; through the pines
The sun looked down benignant, and the roar
Of the far world of rivalries declines
Into an inward murmur
With each day growing firmer,
Whose sense is conquest at the last; as shines
A lamp across a rocky path's confines,
Making the outlet clear, Juan Perez' faith
Who heard him and conceived his words no wraith
Of fevered fancy but the very truth, was light
To bring the Queen to know his purposes aright.
O noble priest and friend! you reached the court
And turned the Queen from conquest's mid career
To hearken; other triumphs glittered clear
Before her, and again from Huelva's port
The seeker came; he saw Granada's fort
Open its gates reluctant, and the King,
El Zogoibi, bewail his bitter sort
And loss which made the rich Te Deums ring
When on La Vela's tower
The cross bloomed like a flower
Of heaven's own growing; but the sudden spring,
Loud with birds silent long that strove to sing,
After the winter's weary voiceless reign,
Was overcast with storms of cold disdain;
Haughtily forth he fared and reached Granada's gates
When the clouds lifted and the persecuting fates
Relented from their fury; for the Queen
Listened unto the urgings manifold
Of Santangel, and counsel, wise and bold,
[12] Of the far-seeing Marchioness, whose keen
Divinings pierced the misty ocean's screen
And felt the deed must surely come to pass;
So they recalled him, and his life's changed scene
Grew bright with blooms and smile of thickening grass;
O royal woman then
Your hand received again
The keys of a great realm; in the clear glass
Of actions yet to be whose fires amass
Infinite stores of impulse toward the good,
Your image permanent lies; forth from the wood
Of beasts malicious and the unrelenting dread
You showed the way, but sought not from the gloom to tread.
The wind was fair, the ships lay in the bay,
And the blue sky looked down upon the earth;
Prophetic time laughed toward the nearing birth
Of the strong child with whom should come a day
That dulled all earlier hours. Forth on the way
With holy blessings said, and bellied sails,
And mounting joy that knows not let nor stay!
Lo! the undaunted purpose never fails!
O patient master, seer,
For whom the far is near,
The vision true, and the mere present pales
Its lustre, what mild seas and blossomed vales
Awaited you? haply a paradise
But not the one which drew your swerveless eyes;
Could you have known what lands were there beyond the main,
You surelier would have turned to gladsomeness from pain.
Louis James Block.

With the greatest difficulty, Columbus managed to secure three little vessels, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Niña, and to enlist about a hundred and twenty men for the enterprise. Early in the morning of Friday, August 3, 1492, this tiny fleet sailed out from Palos and turned their prows to the west.


[August 3, 1492]

Steer, bold mariner, on! albeit witlings deride thee,
And the steersman drop idly his hand at the helm.
Ever and ever to westward! there must the coast be discovered,
If it but lie distinct, luminous lie in thy mind.
Trust to the God that leads thee, and follow the sea that is silent;
Did it not yet exist, now would it rise from the flood.
Nature with Genius stands united in league everlasting;
What is promised by one, surely the other performs.
Friedrich von Schiller.

The fleet reached the Canaries without misadventure, but when the shores of Ferro sank from sight, the sailors gave themselves up for lost. Their terror increased day by day; the compass behaved strangely, the boats became entangled in vast meadows of floating seaweed; and finally the trade-winds wafted them so steadily westward that they became convinced they could never return. By October 4 there were ominous signs of mutiny, and finally, on the 11th, affairs reached a crisis.


From "Psalm of the West"

[Dawn, October 12, 1492]

Santa Maria, well thou tremblest down the wave,
Thy Pinta far abow, thy Niña nigh astern:
Columbus stands in the night alone, and, passing grave,
Yearns o'er the sea as tones o'er under-silence yearn.
Heartens his heart as friend befriends his friend less brave,
Makes burn the faiths that cool, and cools the doubts that burn:—
"'Twixt this and dawn, three hours my soul will smite
[13] With prickly seconds, or less tolerably
With dull-blade minutes flatwise slapping me.
Wait, Heart! Time moves.—Thou lithe young Western Night,
Just-crownèd king, slow riding to thy right,
Would God that I might straddle mutiny
Calm as thou sitt'st yon never-managed sea,
Balk'st with his balking, fliest with his flight,
Giv'st supple to his rearings and his falls,
Nor dropp'st one coronal star above thy brow
Whilst ever dayward thou art steadfast drawn!
Yea, would I rode these mad contentious brawls
No damage taking from their If and How,
Nor no result save galloping to my Dawn!
"My Dawn? my Dawn? How if it never break?
How if this West by other Wests is pieced,
And these by vacant Wests on Wests increased—
One Pain of Space, with hollow ache on ache
Throbbing and ceasing not for Christ's own sake?—
Big perilous theorem, hard for king and priest:
Pursue the West but long enough, 'tis East!
Oh, if this watery world no turning take!
Oh, if for all my logic, all my dreams,
Provings of that which is by that which seems,
Fears, hopes, chills, heats, hastes, patiences, droughts, tears,
Wife-grievings, slights on love, embezzled years,
Hates, treaties, scorns, upliftings, loss and gain,—
This earth, no sphere, be all one sickening plane!
"Or, haply, how if this contrarious West,
That me by turns hath starved, by turns hath fed,
Embraced, disgraced, beat back, solicited,
Have no fixed heart of Law within his breast,
Or with some different rhythm doth e'er contest
Nature in the East? Why, 'tis but three weeks fled
I saw my Judas needle shake his head
And flout the Pole that, East, he Lord confessed!
God! if this West should own some other Pole,
And with his tangled ways perplex my soul
Until the maze grow mortal, and I die
Where distraught Nature clean hath gone astray,
On earth some other wit than Time's at play,
Some other God than mine above the sky!
"Now speaks mine other heart with cheerier seeming:
Ho, Admiral! o'er-defalking to thy crew
Against thyself, thyself far overfew
To front yon multitudes of rebel scheming?
Come, ye wild twenty years of heavenly dreaming!
Come, ye wild weeks since first this canvas drew
Out of vexed Palos ere the dawn was blue,
O'er milky waves about the bows full-creaming!
Come set me round with many faithful spears
Of confident remembrance—how I crushed
Cat-lived rebellions, pitfalled treasons, hushed
Scared husbands' heart-break cries on distant wives,
Made cowards blush at whining for their lives,
Watered my parching souls, and dried their tears.
"Ere we Gomera cleared, a coward cried,
Turn, turn: here be three caravels ahead,
From Portugal, to take us: we are dead!
Hold Westward, pilot, calmly I replied.
So when the last land down the horizon died,
Go back, go back! they prayed: our hearts are lead.—
Friends, we are bound into the West, I said.
Then passed the wreck of a mast upon our side.
See (so they wept) God's Warning! Admiral, turn!
Steersman, I said, hold straight into the West.
Then down the night we saw the meteor burn.
So do the very heavens in fire protest:
Good Admiral, put about! O Spain, dear Spain!
Hold straight into the West, I said again.
"Next drive we o'er the slimy-weeded sea.
Lo! here beneath (another coward cries)
The cursèd land of sunk Atlantis lies!
This slime will suck us down—turn while thou'rt free!
But no! I said, Freedom bears West for me!
Yet when the long-time stagnant winds arise,
And day by day the keel to westward flies,
My Good my people's Ill doth come to be:
Ever the winds into the West do blow;
Never a ship, once turned, might homeward go;
Meanwhile we speed into the lonesome main.
For Christ's sake, parley, Admiral! Turn, before
We sail outside all bounds of help from pain!
Our help is in the West, I said once more.
"So when there came a mighty cry of Land!
And we clomb up and saw, and shouted strong
Salve Regina! all the ropes along,
But knew at morn how that a counterfeit band
Of level clouds had aped a silver strand;
So when we heard the orchard-bird's small song,
And all the people cried, A hellish throng
To tempt us onward by the Devil planned,
Yea, all from hell—keen heron, fresh green weeds,
Pelican, tunny-fish, fair tapering reeds,
Lie-telling lands that ever shine and die
In clouds of nothing round the empty sky.
Tired Admiral, get thee from this hell, and rest!
Steersman, I said, hold straight into the West.
"I marvel how mine eye, ranging the Night,
From its big circling ever absently
Returns, thou large low Star, to fix on thee.
Maria! Star? No star: a Light, a Light!
Wouldst leap ashore, Heart? Yonder burns—a Light.
Pedro Gutierrez, wake! come up to me.
I prithee stand and gaze about the sea:
What seest? Admiral, like as land—a Light!
Well! Sanchez of Segovia, come and try:
What seest? Admiral, naught but sea and sky!
Well! but I saw It. Wait! the Pinta's gun!
Why, look, 'tis dawn, the land is clear: 'tis done!
Two dawns do break at once from Time's full hand—
God's, East—mine, West: good friends, behold my Land!"
Sidney Lanier.

At daybreak of Friday, October 12 (N. S. October 22), the boats were lowered and Columbus, with a large part of his company, went ashore, wild with exultation. They found that they were on a small island, and Columbus named it San Salvador. It was one of the Bahamas, but which one is not certainly known.


Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: "Now must we pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?"
"Why, say 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"
"My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan, and weak."
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?"
"Why, you shall say at break of day,
'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'"
They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
"Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dread seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say"—
He said: "Sail on! sail on! and on!"
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
"This mad sea shows his teeth to-night.
He lifts his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?"
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
[15] Of all dark nights! And then a speck—
A light! a light! a light! a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"
Joaquin Miller.

Columbus reached Spain again on March 15, 1493, and at once sent word of his arrival to Ferdinand and Isabella, who were at Barcelona. He was summoned to appear before them and was received with triumphal honors. The King and Queen arose at his approach, directed him to seat himself in their presence, and listened with intense interest to his story of the voyage. When he had finished, they sank to their knees, as did all present, and thanked God for this mark of his favor.


[Barcelona, April, 1493]

'Twas night upon the Darro.
The risen moon above the silvery tower
Of Comares shone, the silver sun of night,
And poured its lustrous splendors through the halls
Of the Alhambra.
The air was breathless,
Yet filled with ceaseless songs of nightingales,
And odors sweet of falling orange blooms;
The misty lamps were burning odorous oil;
The uncurtained balconies were full of life,
And laugh and song, and airy castanets
And gay guitars.
Afar Sierras rose,
Domes, towers, and pinnacles, over royal heights,
Whose crowns were gemmed with stars.
The Generaliffe,
The summer palace of old Moorish kings
In vanished years, stood sentinel afar,
A pile of shade, as brighter grew the moon,
Impearling fountain sprays, and shimmering
On seas of citron orchards cool and green,
And terraces embowered with vernal vines
And breathing flowers.
In shadowy arcades
Were loitering priests, and here and there
A water-carrier passed with tinkling bells.
There came a peal of horns
That woke Granada, city of delights,
From its long moonlight reverie. Again:—
The suave lute ceased to play, the castanet;
The water-bearer stopped, and ceased his song
The wandering troubadour.
Then rent the air
Another joyous peal, and oped the gates
And entered there a train of cavaliers,
Their helmets glittering in the low red moon,
The streets and balconies
All danced with wondering life. The train moved on,
And filled the air again the horns melodious,
And loud the heralds shouted:—
"Thy name, O Fernando, through all earth shall be sounded,
Columbus has triumphed, his foes are confounded!"
A silence followed.
Could such tidings be? Men heard and whispered,
Eyes glanced to eyes, feet uncertain moved,
Never on mortal ears had fallen words
Like these. And was the earth a star?
On marched the cavaliers,
And pealed again the horns, and again cried
The heralds:—
"Thy name, Isabella, through all earth shall be sounded,
Columbus has triumphed, his foes are confounded!"
All hearts were thrilled.
"Isabella!" That name breathed faith and hope
And lofty aim. Emotion swayed the crowds:
Tears flowed, and acclamations rose, and rushed
The wondering multitudes toward the plaza.
"Isabella! Isabella!" it filled
The air—that one word "Isabella!"
And now
'Tis noon of night. The moon hangs near the earth—
A golden moon in golden air; the peaks
Like silver tents of shadowy sentinels
Glint 'gainst the sky. The plaza gleams and surges
Like a sea. The joyful horns peal forth again,
And falls a hush, and cry the heralds:—
"Thy name, Isabella, shall be praised by all the living;
Haste, haste to Barcelona, and join the Great Thanksgiving!"
What nights had seen Granada!
Yet never one like this! The moon went down
And fell the wings of shadow, yet the streets
Still swarmed with people hurrying on and on.
Morn came,
With bursts of nightingales and quivering fires.
The cavaliers rode forth toward Barcelona.
The city followed, throbbing with delight.
The happy troubadour, the muleteer,
The craftsmen all, the boy and girl, and e'en
The mother—'twas a soft spring morn;
The fairest skies of earth those April morns
In Andalusia. Long was the journey,
But the land was flowers and the nights were not,
And birds sang all the hours, and breezes cool
Fanned all the ways along the sea.
The roads were filled
With hurrying multitudes. For well 'twas known
That he, the conqueror, viceroy of the isles,
Was riding from Seville to meet the king.
And what were conquerors before to him whose eye
Had seen the world a star, and found the star a world?
Once he had walked
The self-same ways, roofless and poor and sad,
A beggar at old convent doors, and heard
The very children jeer him in the streets,
And ate his crust and made his roofless bed
Upon the flowers beside his boy, and prayed,
And found in trust a pillow radiant
With dreams immortal. Now?
That was a glorious day
That dawned on Barcelona. Banners filled
The thronging towers, the old bells rung, and blasts
Of lordly trumpets seemed to reach the sky
Cerulean. All Spain had gathered there,
And waited there his coming; Castilian knights,
Gay cavaliers, hidalgos young, and e'en the old
Puissant grandees of far Aragon,
With glittering mail, and waving plumes, and all
The peasant multitude with bannerets
And charms and flowers.
Beneath pavilions
Of brocades of gold, the Court had met.
The dual crowns of Leon old and proud Castile
There waited him, the peasant mariner.
The trumpets waited
Near the open gates; the minstrels young and fair
Upon the tapestried and arrased walls,
And everywhere from all the happy provinces
The wandering troubadours.
Afar was heard
A cry, a long acclaim. Afar was seen
A proud and stately steed with nodding plumes,
Bridled with gold, whose rider stately rode,
And still afar a long and sinuous train
Of silvery cavaliers. A shout arose,
And all the city, all the vales and hills,
With silver trumpets rung.
He came, the Genoese,
With reverent look and calm and lofty mien,
And saw the wondering eyes and heard the cries
And trumpet peals, as one who followed still
Some Guide unseen.
Before his steed
Crowned Indians marched with lowly faces,
And wondered at the new world that they saw;
Gay parrots shouted from their gold-bound arms,
And from their crests swept airy plumes.
The sun
Shone full in splendor on the scene, and here
The old and new world met. But—
Hark! the heralds!
How they thrill all hearts and fill all eyes with tears!
The very air seems throbbing with delight;
Hark! hark! they cry, in chorus all they cry:—
Every heart now beats with his,
The stately rider on whose calm face shines
[17] A heaven-born inspiration. Still the shout:
"Nuevo mundo dio Colon!" how it rings!
From wall to wall, from knights and cavaliers,
And from the multitudinous throngs,
A mighty chorus of the vales and hills!
"Á Castilla y á Leon!"
And now the golden steed
Draws near the throne; the crowds move back, and rise
The reverent crowns of Leon and Castile;
And stands before the tear-filled eyes of all
The multitudes the form of Isabella.
Semiramis? Zenobia? What were they
To her, as met her eyes again the eyes of him
Into whose hands her love a year before
Emptied its jewels!
He told his tale:
The untried deep, the green Sargasso Sea,
The varying compass, the affrighted crews,
The hymn they sung on every doubtful eve,
The sweet hymn to the Virgin. How there came
The land birds singing, and the drifting weeds,
How broke the morn on fair San Salvador,
How the Te Deum on that isle was sung,
And how the cross was lifted in the name
Of Leon and Castile. And then he turned
His face towards Heaven, "O Queen! O Queen!
There kingdoms wait the triumphs of the cross!"
Then Isabella rose,
With face illumined: then overcome with joy
She sank upon her knees, and king and court
And nobles rose and knelt beside her,
And followed them the sobbing multitude;
Then came a burst of joy, a chorus grand,
And mighty antiphon—
"We praise thee, Lord, and, Lord, acknowledge thee,
And give thee glory!—Holy, Holy, Holy!"
Loud and long it swelled and thrilled the air,
That first Thanksgiving for the new-found world!
The twilight roses bloomed
In the far skies o'er Barcelona.
The gentle Indians came and stood before
The throne, and smiled the queen, and said:
"I see my gems again." The shadow fell,
And trilled all night beneath the moon and stars
The happy nightingales.
Hezekiah Butterworth.

Royal favor is capricious and Columbus had his full share of enemies at court. These, in the end, succeeded in gaining the King's ear; Columbus was arrested in San Domingo and sent back to Spain in chains. Isabella ordered them struck off, and promised him that he should be reimbursed for his losses and restored to all his dignities; but the promise was never kept.


[August, 1500]

Are these the honors they reserve for me,
Chains for the man who gave new worlds to Spain!
Rest here, my swelling heart!—O kings, O queens,
Patrons of monsters, and their progeny,
Authors of wrong, and slaves to fortune merely!
Why was I seated by my prince's side,
Honor'd, caress'd like some first peer of Spain?
Was it that I might fall most suddenly
From honor's summit to the sink of scandal?
'Tis done, 'tis done!—what madness is ambition!
What is there in that little breath of men,
Which they call Fame, that should induce the brave
To forfeit ease and that domestic bliss
Which is the lot of happy ignorance,
Less glorious aims, and dull humility?—
Whoe'er thou art that shalt aspire to honor,
And on the strength and vigor of the mind
Vainly depending, court a monarch's favor,
Pointing the way to vast extended empire;
First count your pay to be ingratitude,
Then chains and prisons, and disgrace like mine!
Each wretched pilot now shall spread his sails,
And treading in my footsteps, hail new worlds,
Which, but for me, had still been empty visions.
Philip Freneau.


On November 7, 1504, Columbus landed in Spain after a fourth voyage to America, during which he had endured sufferings and privations almost beyond description. He was a broken man, and the last blow was the death of Isabella, nineteen days after he reached Seville. Her death left him without patron or protector, and the last eighteen months of his life were spent in sickness and poverty. He died at Valladolid, May 20, 1506.


[May 20, 1506]

Hark! do I hear again the roar
Of the tides by the Indies sweeping down?
Or is it the surge from the viewless shore
That swells to bear me to my crown?
Life is hollow and cold and drear
With smiles that darken and hopes that flee;
And, far from its winds that faint and veer,
I am ready to sail the vaster sea!
Lord, Thou knowest I love Thee best;
And that scorning peril and toil and pain,
I held my way to the mystic West,
Glory for Thee and Thy Church to gain.
And Thou didst lead me, only Thou,
Cheering my heart in cloud and calm,
Till the dawn my glad, victorious prow
Greeted Thine isles of bloom and balm.
And then, O gracious, glorious Lord,
I saw Thy face, and all heaven came nigh
And my soul was lost in that rich reward,
And ravished with hope of the bliss on high,
So, I can meet the sovereign's frown—
My dear Queen gone—with a large disdain;
For the time will come when his chief renown
Will be that I sailed from his realm of Spain.
I have found new Lands—a World, maybe,
Whose splendor will yet the Old outshine;
And life and death are alike to me,
For earth will honor, and heaven is mine
Is mine!—What songs of sweet accord!
What billows that nearer, gentler roll!
Is mine!—Into Thy hands, O Lord,
Into Thy hands I give my soul!
Edna Dean Proctor.


Give me white paper!
This which you use is black and rough with smears
Of sweat and grime and fraud and blood and tears,
Crossed with the story of men's sins and fears,
Of battle and of famine all these years,
When all God's children had forgot their birth,
And drudged and fought and died like beasts of earth.
"Give me white paper!"
One storm-trained seaman listened to the word;
What no man saw he saw; he heard what no man heard.
In answer he compelled the sea
To eager man to tell
The secret she had kept so well!
Left blood and guilt and tyranny behind,—
Sailing still West the hidden shore to find;
For all mankind that unstained scroll unfurled,
Where God might write anew the story of the World.
Edward Everett Hale.


O little fleet! that on thy quest divine
Sailedst from Palos one bright autumn morn,
Say, has old Ocean's bosom ever borne
A freight of faith and hope to match with thine?
Say, too, has Heaven's high favor given again
Such consummation of desire as shone
About Columbus when he rested on
The new-found world and married it to Spain?
Answer,—thou refuge of the freeman's need,—
Thou for whose destinies no kings looked out,
Nor sages to resolve some mighty doubt,—
Thou simple Mayflower of the salt-sea mead!
When thou wert wafted to that distant shore,
Gay flowers, bright birds, rich odors met thee not,
Stern Nature hailed thee to a sterner lot,—
God gave free earth and air, and gave no more.
Thus to men cast in that heroic mould
Came empire such as Spaniard never knew,
Such empire as beseems the just and true;
And at the last, almost unsought, came gold.
But He who rules both calm and stormy days,
Can guard that people's heart, that nation's health,
Safe on the perilous heights of power and wealth,
As in the straitness of the ancient ways.
Lord Houghton.



The news of Columbus's discoveries soon spread through western Europe, and in May, 1497, John Cabot sailed from Bristol, England, in the Matthew, and discovered what he supposed to be the Chinese coast on June 24. The thrifty Henry VII gave him the sum of £10 as a reward for this achievement. Cabot was the first European since the vikings to set foot on the North American continent.



"He chases shadows," sneered the British tars.
"As well fling nets to catch the golden stars
As climb the surges of earth's utmost sea."
But for the Venice pilot, meagre, wan,
His swarthy sons beside him, life began
With that slipt cable, when his dream rode free.
And Henry, on his battle-wrested throne,
The Councils done, would speak in musing tone
Of Cabot, not the cargo he might bring.
"Man's heart, though morsel scant for hungry crow,
Is greater than a world can fill, and so
Fair fall the shadow-seekers!" quoth the king.

Colonies were planted by the Spaniards in Cuba and Hispaniola, but the New World continued to be for them a land of wonder and mystery. They were quite ready to believe any marvel,—among others, that somewhere to the north lay an island named Bimini, on which was a fountain whose waters gave perpetual youth to all who bathed therein.



Through darkening pines the cavaliers marched on their sunset way,
While crimson in the trade-winds rolled far Appalachee Bay,
Above the water-levels rose palmetto crowns like ghosts
Of kings primeval; them, behind, the shadowy pines in hosts.
"O cacique, brave and trusty guide,
Are we not near the spring,
The fountain of eternal youth that health to age doth bring?"
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The fount is fair,
"But vainly to the blossomed flower will come the autumn rain,
And never youth's departed days come back to age again;
The future in the spirit lies, the earthly life is brief,
'Tis you that say the fount hath life," so said the Indian chief.
"Nay, Indian king; nay, Indian king,
Thou knowest well the spring,
And thou shalt die if thou dost fail our feet to it to bring."
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The spring is bright,
Then said the guide, "O men of Spain, a wondrous fountain flows
From deep abodes of gods below, and health on men bestows.
Blue are its deeps and green its walls, and from its waters gleam
The water-stars, and from it runs the pure Waukulla's stream.
But men of Spain, but men of Spain,
'Tis you who say that spring
Eternal youth and happiness to men again will bring."
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The fount is clear,
"March on, the land enchanted is; march on, ye men of Spain;
Who would not taste the bliss of youth and all its hopes again.
Enchanted is the land; behold! enchanted is the air;
The very heaven is domed with gold; there's beauty everywhere!"
So said De Leon. "Cavaliers,
We're marching to the spring,
The fountain of eternal youth that health to age will bring!"
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The fount is pure,
Beneath the pines, beneath the yews, the deep magnolia shades,
The clear Waukulla swift pursues its way through floral glades;
Beneath the pines, beneath the yews, beneath night's falling shade,
Beneath the low and dusky moon still marched the cavalcade.
"The river widens," said the men;
"Are we not near the spring,
The fountain of eternal youth that health to age doth bring?"
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The spring is near,
"The fount is fair and bright and clear, and pure its waters run;
Waukulla, lovely in the moon and beauteous in the sun.
But vainly to the blossomed flower will come the autumn rain,
And never youth's departed days come back to man again.
O men of Spain! O men of Spain!
'Tis you that say the spring
Eternal youth and happiness to withered years will bring!"
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The fount is deep,
The river to a grotto led, as to a god's abode;
There lay the fountain bright with stars; stars in its waters flowed;
The mighty live-oaks round it rose, in ancient mosses clad;
De Leon's heart beat high for joy; the cavaliers were glad,
"O men of Spain! O men of Spain!
This surely is the spring,
The fountain fair that health and joy to faces old doth bring!"
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The spring is old,
"Avalla, O my trusty friend that we this day should see!
Strip off thy doublet and descend the glowing fount with me!"
"The saints! I will," Avalla said. "Already young I feel,
And younger than my sons shall I return to old Castile."
Then plunged De Leon in the spring
And then Avalla old,
Then slowly rose each wrinkled face above the waters cold.
The cacique sighed,
And Indian guide,
"The fount is false,
O vainly to the blossomed flower will come the autumn rain,
And never youth's departed days come back to man again;
The crowns Castilian could not bring the withered stalk a leaf,
But came a sabre flash that morn, and fell the Indian chief.
[21] Another sabre flash, and then
The guide beside him lay,
And red the clear Waukulla ran toward Appalachee Bay.
Then from the dead
The Spaniards fled,
And cursed the spring,
"Like comrades life was left behind, the years shall o'er me roll,
For all the hopes that man can find lies hidden in the soul.
Ye white sails lift, and drift again across the southern main;
There wait for me, there wait us all, the hollow tombs of Spain!"
Beneath the liquid stars the sails
Arose and went their way,
And bore the gray-haired cavaliers from Appalachee Bay.
The young chief slept,
The maiden wept,
Beside the bright
Hezekiah Butterworth.

In 1512 Juan Ponce de Leon received a grant to discover and settle this fabulous island. He sailed from Porto Rico in search of it in March, 1513, and found an island but no fountain. Pushing on, he discovered the mainland March 27, and, on April 2, landed and took possession of the country for the King of Spain, calling it Florida.




A story of Ponce de Leon,
A voyager, withered and old,
Who came to the sunny Antilles,
In quest of a country of gold.
He was wafted past islands of spices,
As bright as the Emerald seas,
Where all the forests seem singing,
So thick were the birds on the trees;
The sea was as clear as the azure,
And so deep and so pure was the sky
That the jasper-walled city seemed shining
Just out of the reach of the eye.
By day his light canvas he shifted,
And rounded strange harbors and bars;
By night, on the full tides he drifted,
'Neath the low-hanging lamps of the stars.
Near the glimmering gates of the sunset,
In the twilight empurpled and dim,
The sailors uplifted their voices,
And sang to the Virgin a hymn.
"Thank the Lord!" said De Leon, the sailor,
At the close of the rounded refrain;
"Thank the Lord, the Almighty, who blesses
The ocean-swept banner of Spain!
The shadowy world is behind us,
The shining Cèpango, before;
Each morning the sun rises brighter
On ocean, and island, and shore.
And still shall our spirits grow lighter,
As prospects more glowing enfold;
Then on, merry men! to Cèpango,
To the west, and the regions of gold!"
There came to De Leon, the sailor,
Some Indian sages, who told
Of a region so bright that the waters
Were sprinkled with islands of gold.
And they added: "The leafy Bimini,
A fair land of grottos and bowers,
Is there; and a wonderful fountain
Upsprings from its gardens of flowers.
That fountain gives life to the dying,
And youth to the aged restores;
They flourish in beauty eternal,
Who set but their foot on its shores!"
Then answered De Leon, the sailor:
"I am withered, and wrinkled, and old;
I would rather discover that fountain
Than a country of diamonds and gold."
Away sailed De Leon, the sailor;
Away with a wonderful glee,
Till the birds were more rare in the azure,
The dolphins more rare in the sea.
Away from the shady Bahamas,
Over waters no sailor had seen,
Till again on his wondering vision,
Rose clustering islands of green.
Still onward he sped till the breezes
Were laden with odors, and lo!
A country embedded with flowers,
A country with rivers aglow!
More bright than the sunny Antilles,
More fair than the shady Azores.
[22] "Thank the Lord!" said De Leon, the sailor
As feasted his eye on the shores,
"We have come to a region, my brothers,
More lovely than earth, of a truth;
And here is the life-giving fountain,—
The beautiful Fountain of Youth."
Then landed De Leon, the sailor,
Unfurled his old banner, and sung;
But he felt very wrinkled and withered,
All around was so fresh and so young.
The palms, ever-verdant, were blooming,
Their blossoms e'en margined the seas;
O'er the streams of the forests bright flowers
Hung deep from the branches of trees.
"Praise the Lord!" sung De Leon, the sailor;
His heart was with rapture aflame;
And he said: "Be the name of this region
By Florida given to fame.
'Tis a fair, a delectable country.
More lovely than earth, of a truth;
I soon shall partake of the fountain,—
The beautiful Fountain of Youth!"
But wandered De Leon, the sailor,
In search of that fountain in vain;
No waters were there to restore him
To freshness and beauty again.
And his anchor he lifted, and murmured,
As the tears gathered fast in his eye,
"I must leave this fair land of the flowers,
Go back o'er the ocean, and die."
Then back by the dreary Tortugas,
And back by the shady Azores,
He was borne on the storm-smitten waters
To the calm of his own native shores.
And that he grew older and older,
His footsteps enfeebled gave proof,
Still he thirsted in dreams for the fountain,
The beautiful Fountain of Youth.
* * * * *
One day the old sailor lay dying
On the shores of a tropical isle,
And his heart was enkindled with rapture,
And his face lighted up with a smile.
He thought of the sunny Antilles,
He thought of the shady Azores,
He thought of the dreamy Bahamas,
He thought of fair Florida's shores.
And, when in his mind he passed over
His wonderful travels of old,
He thought of the heavenly country,
Of the city of jasper and gold.
"Thank the Lord!" said De Leon, the sailor,
"Thank the Lord for the light of the truth,
I now am approaching the fountain,
The beautiful Fountain of Youth."
The cabin was silent: at twilight
They heard the birds singing a psalm,
And the wind of the ocean low sighing
Through groves of the orange and palm.
The sailor still lay on his pallet,
'Neath the low-hanging vines of the roof;
His soul had gone forth to discover
The beautiful Fountain of Youth.
Hezekiah Butterworth.

In March, 1521, De Leon led a large party to Florida and attempted to plant a colony there, but they were driven away by the Indians. De Leon himself was wounded in the thigh by an arrow. The wound was unskillfully treated, and the old adventurer died of it in Cuba shortly afterwards.



You that crossed the ocean old,
Not from greed of Inca's gold,
But to search by vale and mount,
Wood and rock, the wizard fount
Where Time's harm is well undone,—
Here's to Ponce de Leon,
And your liegemen every one!
Surely, still beneath the sun,
In some region further west,
You live on and have your rest,
While the world goes spinning round,
And the sky hears the resound
Of a thousand shrill new fames,
Which your jovial silence shames!
Strength and joy your days endow,
Youth's eyes glow beneath your brow;
Wars and vigils are forgot,
And the Scytheman threats you not.
Tell us, of your knightly grace,
Tell us, left you not some trace
Leading to that wellspring true
Where old souls their age renew?
Edith M. Thomas.


The Spaniards, meanwhile, had pushed on across the Caribbean Sea and founded Darien, whither, in 1510, came one Vasco Nuñez Balboa. He made numerous explorations, and, learning from the Indians that there was a great sea to the south, determined to search for it. He started from Darien September 1, 1513, and on the 25th reached the top of a mountain from which he first saw the Pacific. He gained the shore four days later, and, wading into the water, took possession of it for the King of Spain.


[September 25, 1513]

With restless step of discontent,
Day after day he fretting went
Along the old accustomed ways
That led to easeful length of days.
But far beyond the fragrant shade
Of orange groves his glances strayed
To where the white horizon line
Caught from the sea its silvery shine.
He knew the taste of that salt spray,
He knew the wind that blew that way;
Ah, once again to mount and ride
Upon that pulsing ocean tide,—
To find new lands of virgin gold,
To wrest them from the savage hold,
To conquer with the sword and brain
Fresh fields and fair for royal Spain!
This was the dream of wild desire
That set his gallant heart on fire,
And stirred with feverish discontent
That soul for nobler issues meant.
Sometimes his children's laughter brought
A thrill that checked his restless thought;
Sometimes a voice more tender yet
Would soothe the fever and the fret.
Thus day by day, until one day
Came news that in the harbor lay
A ship bound outward to explore
The treasures of that western shore,
Which bold adventurers as yet
Had failed to conquer or forget;
"Yet where they failed, and failing died,
My will shall conquer!" Balboa cried.
But when on Darien's shore he stept,
And fast and far his vision swept,
He saw before him, white and still,
The Andes mocking at his will.
Then like a flint he set his face;
Let others falter from their place,
His hand and foot, his sturdy soul
Should seek and gain that distant goal!
With speech like this he fired the land,
And gathered to his bold command
A troop of twenty score or more,
To follow where he led before.
They followed him day after day
O'er burning lands where ambushed lay
The waiting savage in his lair,
And fever poisoned all the air.
But like a sweeping wind of flame
A conqueror through all he came;
The savage fell beneath his hand,
Or led him on to seek the land
That richer yet for golden gain
Stretched out beyond the mountain chain.
Steep after steep of rough ascent
They followed, followed, worn and spent,
Until at length they came to where
The last peak lifted near and fair;
Then Balboa turned and waved aside
His panting troops. "Rest here," he cried,
"And wait for me." And with a tread
Of trembling haste, he quickly sped
Along the trackless height, alone
To seek, to reach, his mountain throne.
Step after step he mounted swift;
The wind blew down a cloudy drift;
From some strange source he seemed to hear
The music of another sphere.
Step after step; the cloud-winds blew
Their blinding mists, then through and through
Sun-cleft, they broke, and all alone
He stood upon his mountain throne.
Before him spread no paltry lands,
To wrest with spoils from savage hands;
But, fresh and fair, an unknown world
Of mighty sea and shore unfurled
Its wondrous scroll beneath the skies.
Ah, what to this the flimsy prize
Of gold and lands for which he came
With hot ambition's sordid aim!
Silent he stood with streaming eyes
In that first moment of surprise,
Then on the mountain-top he bent,
This conqueror of a continent,
In wordless ecstasy of prayer,—
Forgetting in that moment there,
With Nature's God brought face to face,
All vainer dreams of pomp and place.
Thus to the world a world was given.
Where lesser men had vainly striven,
And striving died,—this gallant soul,
Divinely guided, reached the goal.
Nora Perry.

In 1518 a great expedition, under Hernando Cortez, sailed from Cuba in search of a land of marvellous wealth which was said to exist somewhere north of Darien. The result was the discovery of Mexico, which the Spaniards subdued with indescribable cruelties.



"Mater á Dios, preserve us
And give us the Mexican gold,
Viva España forever!"
Light-hearted, treacherous, bold,
With clashing of drums and of cymbals,
With clatter of hoofs and of arms,
Into the Tezcucan city,
Over the Tezcucan farms;
In through the hordes of Aztecs,
Past glitter of city and lake,
Brave for death or for conquest,
And the Mother of God's sweet sake.
Perchance from distant Granada,
Perchance from the Danube's far blue,
He had fought with Moor and Saracen,
Where the death hail of battle-fields flew.
Down through the smoke and the battle,
Trolling an old Moorish song,
Chanting an Ave or Pater,
To whiten the red of his wrong,
Dreaming of Seville, Toledo,
And dark, soft catholic eyes,
Light-hearted, reckless, and daring,
He rides under Mexican skies.
Child of valor and fortune,
Nurtured to ride and to strike,
Fearless in defeat or in conquest,
Of man and of devil alike;
Out through the clamor of battle,
Up through rivers of blood,
"Viva España forever!
God and the bold Brotherhood!
Strike for the memories left us,
Strike for the lives that we keep,
Strike for the present and future,
In the name of our comrades who sleep;
Strike! for Jesus' sweet Mother,
For the arms and the vows that we hold;
Strike for fortune and lover,
God, and the Mexican gold!"
* * * * *
At morning gay, careless in battle,
With love on his lips, in his eyes;
At even stretched pallid and silent,
Out under Mexican skies.
And far in some old Spanish city,
Two dark eyes wait patient and long
For a lover who sailed to the westward,
Trolling an old Moorish song.
W. W. Campbell.

Shortly afterwards, Pizarro completed the conquest of Peru. Heavily-laden treasure-ships were sent homeward across the Atlantic, and at last the Spanish lust of gold seemed in a fair way to be satisfied.


From "The West Indies"

Rapacious Spain
Follow'd her hero's triumphs o'er the main,
Her hardy sons in fields of battle tried,
Where Moor and Christian desperately died.
A rabid race, fanatically bold,
And steel'd to cruelty by lust of gold,
Traversed the waves, the unknown world explored,
The cross their standard, but their faith the sword;
Their steps were graves; o'er prostrate realms they trod;
They worshipp'd Mammon while they vow'd to God.
Let nobler bards in loftier numbers tell
How Cortez conquer'd, Montezuma fell;
How fierce Pizarro's ruffian arm o'erthrew
The sun's resplendent empire in Peru;
How, like a prophet, old Las Casas stood,
And raised his voice against a sea of blood,
Whose chilling waves recoil'd while he foretold
His country's ruin by avenging gold.
—That gold, for which unpitied Indians fell,
That gold, at once the snare and scourge of hell,
Thenceforth by righteous Heaven was doom'd to shed
Unmingled curses on the spoiler's head;
For gold the Spaniard cast his soul away,—
His gold and he were every nation's prey.
But themes like these would ask an angel-lyre,
Language of light and sentiment of fire;
Give me to sing, in melancholy strains,
Of Charib martyrdoms and Negro chains;
One race by tyrants rooted from the earth,
One doom'd to slavery by the taint of birth!
* * * * *
Dreadful as hurricanes, athwart the main
Rush'd the fell legions of invading Spain;
With fraud and force, with false and fatal breath
(Submission bondage, and resistance death),
They swept the isles. In vain the simple race
Kneel'd to the iron sceptre of their grace,
Or with weak arms their fiery vengeance braved;
They came, they saw, they conquer'd, they enslaved,
And they destroy'd;—the generous heart they broke,
They crush'd the timid neck beneath the yoke;
Where'er to battle march'd their fell array,
The sword of conquest plough'd resistless way;
Where'er from cruel toil they sought repose,
Around the fires of devastation rose.
The Indian, as he turn'd his head in flight,
Beheld his cottage flaming through the night,
And, midst the shrieks of murder on the wind,
Heard the mute bloodhound's death-step close behind.
The conflict o'er, the valiant in their graves,
The wretched remnant dwindled into slaves;
Condemn'd in pestilential cells to pine,
Delving for gold amidst the gloomy mine.
The sufferer, sick of life-protracting breath,
Inhaled with joy the fire-damp blast of death:
—Condemn'd to fell the mountain palm on high,
That cast its shadow from the evening sky,
Ere the tree trembled to his feeble stroke,
The woodman languish'd, and his heart-strings broke;
—Condemn'd in torrid noon, with palsied hand,
To urge the slow plough o'er the obdurate land,
The laborer, smitten by the sun's quick ray,
A corpse along the unfinish'd furrow lay.
O'erwhelm'd at length with ignominious toil,
Mingling their barren ashes with the soil,
Down to the dust the Charib people pass'd,
Like autumn foliage withering in the blast:
The whole race sunk beneath the oppressor's rod,
And left a blank among the works of God.
James Montgomery.

Although Pope Alexander VI had, in 1493, issued a bull dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal, neither France nor England paid any heed to it. One of France's most active corsairs was Giovanni da Verazzano. In 1524 he crossed the Atlantic, and, sighting the coast at Cape Fear, turned northward, discovered the Hudson, landed at Rhode Island, and kept on, perhaps, as far as Newfoundland.




In the tides of the warm south wind it lay,
And its grapes turned wine in the fires of noon,
And its roses blossomed from May to May,
And their fragrance lingered from June to June.
There dwelt old heroes at Ilium famed,
There, bards reclusive, of olden odes;
And so fair were the fields of roses, they named
The bright sea-garden the Isle of Rhodes.
Fair temples graced each blossoming field,
And columned halls in gems arrayed;
Night shaded the sea with her jewelled shield,
And sweet the lyres of Orpheus played.
The Helios spanned the sea: its flame
Drew hither the ships of Pelion's pines,
And twice a thousand statues of fame
Stood mute in twice a thousand shrines.
And her mariners went, and her mariners came,
And sang on the seas the olden odes,
And at night they remembered the Helios' flame,
And at morn the sweet fields of the roses of Rhodes.
From the palm land's shade to the land of pines,
A Florentine crossed the Western Sea;
He sought new lands and golden mines,
And he sailed 'neath the flag of the Fleur-de-lis.
He saw at last in the sunset's gold,
A wonderful island so fair to view
That it seemed like the Island of Roses old
That his eyes in his wondering boyhood knew.
'Twas summer time, and the glad birds sung
In the hush of noon in the solitudes;
From the oak's broad arms the green vines hung;
Sweet odors blew from the resinous woods.
He rounded the shores of the summer sea,
And he said as his feet the white sands pressed,
And he planted the flag of the Fleur-de-lis:
"I have come to the Island of Rhodes in the West.
"While the mariners go, and the mariners come,
And sing on lone waters the olden odes
Of the Grecian seas and the ports of Rome,
They will ever think of the roses of Rhodes."
To the isle of the West he gave the name
Of the isle he had loved in the Grecian sea;
And the Florentine went away as he came,
'Neath the silver flag of the Fleur-de-lis.
O fair Rhode Island, thy guest was true,
He felt the spirit of beauteous things;
The sea-wet roses were faint and few,
But memory made them the gardens of kings.
The Florentine corsair sailed once more,
Out into the West o'er a rainy sea,
In search of another wonderful shore
For the crown of France and the Fleur-de-lis.
But returned no more the Florentine brave
To the courtly knights of fair Rochelle;
'Neath the lilies of France he found a grave,
And not 'neath the roses he loved so well.
But the lessons of beauty his fond heart bore
From the gardens of God were never lost;
And the fairest name of the Eastern shore
Bears the fairest isle of the Western coast.
Hezekiah Butterworth.

The Spaniards still dreamed of a great empire somewhere in Florida, and in 1528 Pánfilo de Narvaez set out with an expedition in search of it. Only four members of the party got back to Cuba alive, the others having been killed or captured by the Indians. Among those captured and enslaved was Juan Ortiz. He was rescued by De Soto nearly ten years later.



"Go bring the captive, he shall die,"
He said, with faltering breath;
"Him stretch upon a scaffold high,
And light the fire of death!"
The young Creeks danced the captive round,
And sang the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
They brought the fagots for the flame,
The braves and maids together,
When came the princess—sweet her name:
The Red Flamingo Feather.
Then danced the Creeks the scaffold round,
And sang the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
In shaded plumes of silver gray,
The young Creeks danced together,
But she danced not with them that day,
The Red Flamingo Feather.
Wild sped the feet the scaffold round,
Wild rose the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
They stretched the stranger from the sea,
Above the fagots lighted,—
Ortiz,—a courtly man was he,
With deeds heroic knighted.
And sped the feet the scaffold round,
And rose the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
The white smoke rose, the braves were gay,
The war drums beat together,
But sad in heart and face that day
Was Red Flamingo Feather.
They streaked with flames the dusky air,
They streaked the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
"Dance, dance, my girl, the torches gleam,
Dance, dance, the gray plumes gather,
Dance, dance, my girl, the war-hawks scream,
Dance, Red Flamingo Feather!"
More swiftly now the torches sped,
Amid the Dance of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
She knelt upon the green moss there,
And clasped her father's knees:
"My heart is weak, O father, spare
The wanderer from the seas!"
Like madness now swept on the dance,
And rose the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Ye wings of the warrior's plume!"
"Grand were the men who sailed away,
And he is young and brave;
'Tis small in heart the weak to slay,
'Tis great in heart to save."
He saw the torches sweep the air,
He heard the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
"My girl, I know thy heart would spare
The wanderer from the sea."
"The man is fair, and I am fair,
And thou art great," said she.
The dance of fire went on and on,
And on the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Fly, wings of the warrior's plume!"
The dark chief felt his pride abate:
"I will the wanderer spare,
My Bird of Peace, since I am great,
And he, like thee, is fair!"
They dropped the torches, stopped the dance,
And died the Song of Doom,—
"Fly, fly, ye hawks, in the open sky,
Away with the warrior's plume!"
Hezekiah Butterworth.

In 1538 Hernando de Soto was appointed governor of Cuba and Florida, with orders to explore and settle the latter country. He landed at Tampa Bay with nearly a thousand men and started into the interior. He was forced to fight his way across the country against the tribes of the Creek confederacy, and in October, 1540, had a desperate battle with them at a palisaded village called Maubila, at the mouth of the Alabama River.


[October 18, 1540]

Hearken the stirring story
The soldier has to tell,
Of fierce and bloody battle,
Contested long and well.
Ere walled Maubila, stoutly held,
Before our forces fell.
Now many years have circled
Since that October day,
When proudly to Maubila
De Soto took his way,
With men-at-arms and cavaliers
In terrible array.
Oh, never sight more goodly
In any land was seen;
And never better soldiers
Than those he led have been,
More prompt to handle arquebus,
Or wield their sabres keen.
The sun was at meridian,
His hottest rays fell down
Alike on soldier's corselet
And on the friar's gown;
The breeze was hushed as on we rode
Right proudly to the town.
First came the bold De Soto,
In all his manly pride,
The gallant Don Diego,
His nephew, by his side;
[28] A yard behind Juan Ortiz rode,
Interpreter and guide.
Baltasar de Gallegos,
Impetuous, fierce and hot;
Francisco de Figarro,
Since by an arrow shot;
And slender Juan de Guzman, who
In battle faltered not.
Luis Bravo de Xeres,
That gallant cavalier;
Alonzo de Carmono,
Whose spirit knew no fear;
The marquis of Astorga, and
Vasquez, the cannoneer.
Andres de Vasconcellos,
Juan Cales, young and fair,
Roma de Cardenoso,
Him of the yellow hair—
Rode gallant in their bravery,
Straight to the public square.
And there, in sombre garments,
Were monks of Cuba four,
Fray Juan de Gallegos,
And other priests a score,
Who sacramental bread and wine
And holy relics bore.
And next eight hundred soldiers
In closest order come,
Some with Biscayan lances,
With arquebuses some,
Timing their tread to martial notes
Of trump and fife and drum.
Loud sang the gay Mobilians,
Light danced their daughters brown;
Sweet sounded pleasant music
Through all the swarming town;
But 'mid the joy one sullen brow
Was lowering with a frown.
The haughty Tuscaloosa,
The sovereign of the land,
With moody face, and thoughtful,
Rode at our chief's right hand,
And cast from time to time a glance
Of hatred at the band.
And when that gay procession
Made halt to take a rest,
And eagerly the people
To see the strangers prest,
The frowning King, in wrathful tones,
De Soto thus addressed:
"To bonds and to dishonor
By faithless friends trepanned,
For days beside you, Spaniard,
The ruler of the land
Has ridden as a prisoner,
Subject to your command.
"He was not born the fetters
Of baser men to wear,
And tells you this, De Soto,
Hard though it be to bear—
Let those beware the panther's rage
Who follow to his lair.
"Back to your isle of Cuba!
Slink to your den again,
And tell your robber sovereign,
The mighty lord of Spain,
Whoso would strive this land to win
Shall find his efforts vain.
"And, save it be your purpose
Within my realm to die,
Let not your forces linger
Our deadly anger nigh,
Lest food for vultures and for wolves
Your mangled forms should lie."
Then, spurning courtly offers
He left our chieftain's side,
And crossing the enclosure
With quick and lengthened stride,
He passed within his palace gates,
And there our wrath defied.
Now came up Charamilla,
Who led our troop of spies,
And said unto our captain,
With tones that showed surprise,
"A mighty force within the town,
In wait to crush us, lies.
"The babes and elder women
Were sent at break of day
Into the forest yonder,
Five leagues or more away:
Within yon huts ten thousand men
Wait eager for the fray."
"What say ye now, my comrades?"
De Soto asked his men;
"Shall we, before these traitors,
Go backward, baffled, then;
Or, sword in hand, attack the foe
Who crouches in his den?"
Before their loud responses
Had died upon the ear,
A savage stood before them,
Who said, in accents clear,
"Ho! robbers base and coward thieves!
Assassin Spaniards, hear!
"No longer shall our sovereign,
Born noble, great, and free,
Be led beside your master,
A shameful sight to see,
While weapons here to strike you down
Or hands to grasp them be."
As spoke the brawny savage,
Full wroth our comrades grew—
Baltasar de Gallegos
His heavy weapon drew,
And dealt the boaster such a stroke
As clove his body through.
Then rushed the swart Mobilians
Like hornets from their nest;
Against our bristling lances
Was bared each savage breast;
With arrow-head and club and stone,
Upon our band they prest.
"Retreat in steady order!
But slay them as ye go!"
Exclaimed the brave De Soto,
And with each word a blow
That sent a savage soul to doom
He dealt upon the foe.
"Strike well who would our honor
From spot or tarnish save!
Strike down the haughty Pagan,
The infidel and slave!
Saint Mary Mother sits above,
And smiles upon the brave.
"Strike! all my gallant comrades!
Strike! gentlemen of Spain!
Upon the traitor wretches
Your deadly anger rain,
Or never to your native land
Return in pride again!"
Then hosts of angry foemen
We fiercely held at bay,
Through living walls of Pagans
We cut our bloody way;
And though by thousands round they swarmed,
We kept our firm array.
At length they feared to follow;
We stood upon the plain,
And dressed our shattered column;
When, slacking bridle rein,
De Soto, wounded as he was,
Led to the charge again.
For now our gallant horsemen
Their steeds again had found,
That had been fastly tethered
Unto the trees around,
Though some of these, by arrows slain,
Lay stretched upon the ground.
And as the riders mounted,
The foe, in joyous tones,
Gave vent to shouts of triumph,
And hurled a shower of stones;
But soon the shouts were changed to wails,
The cries of joy to moans.
Down on the scared Mobilians
The furious rush was led;
Down fell the howling victims
Beneath the horses' tread;
The angered chargers trod alike
On dying and on dead.
Back to the wooden ramparts,
With cut and thrust and blow,
We drove the panting savage,
The very walls below,
Till those above upon our heads
Huge rocks began to throw.
Whenever we retreated
The swarming foemen came—
Their wild and matchless courage
Put even ours to shame—
Rushing upon our lances' points,
And arquebuses' flame.
Three weary hours we fought them,
And often each gave way;
Three weary hours, uncertain
The fortune of the day;
And ever where they fiercest fought
De Soto led the fray.
Baltasar de Gallegos
Right well displayed his might;
His sword fell ever fatal,
Death rode its flash of light;
And where his horse's head was turned
The foe gave way in fright.
At length before our daring
The Pagans had to yield,
And in their stout enclosure
They sought to find a shield,
And left us, wearied with our toil,
The masters of the field.
Now worn and spent and weary,
Our force was scattered round,
Some seeking for their comrades,
Some seated on the ground,
When sudden fell upon our ears
A single trumpet's sound.
"Up! ready make for storming!"
That speaks Moscoso near;
He comes with stainless sabre,
He comes with spotless spear;
But stains of blood and spots of gore
Await his weapons here.
Soon, formed in four divisions,
Around the order goes—
"To front with battle-axes!
No moment for repose.
At signal of an arquebus,
Rain on the gates your blows."
Not long that fearful crashing,
The gates in splinters fall;
And some, though sorely wounded,
Climb o'er the crowded wall:
No rampart's height can keep them back,
No danger can appall.
Then redly rained the carnage—
None asked for quarter there;
Men fought with all the fury
Born of a wild despair;
And shrieks and groans and yells of hate
Were mingled in the air.
Four times they backward beat us,
Four times our force returned;
We quenched in bloody torrents
The fire that in us burned;
We slew who fought, and those who knelt
With stroke of sword we spurned.
And what are these new forces,
With long, black, streaming hair?
They are the singing maidens
Who met us in the square;
And now they spring upon our ranks
Like she-wolves from their lair.
Their sex no shield to save them,
Their youth no weapon stayed;
De Soto with his falchion
A lane amid them made,
And in the skulls of blooming girls
Sank battle-axe and blade.
Forth came a wingèd arrow,
And struck our leader's thigh;
The man who sent it shouted,
And looked to see him die;
The wound but made the tide of rage
Run twice as fierce and high.
Then came our stout camp-master,
"The night is coming down;
Already twilight darkness
Is casting shadows brown;
We would not lack for light on strife
If once we burned the town."
With that we fired the houses;
The ranks before us broke;
The fugitives we followed,
And dealt them many a stroke,
While round us rose the crackling flame,
And o'er us hung the smoke.
And what with flames around them,
And what with smoke o'erhead,
And what with cuts of sabre,
And what with horses' tread,
And what with lance and arquebus,
The town was filled with dead.
Six thousand of the foemen
Upon that day were slain,
Including those who fought us
Outside upon the plain—
Six thousand of the foemen fell,
And eighty-two of Spain.
Not one of us unwounded
Came from the fearful fray;
And when the fight was over
And scattered round we lay,
Some sixteen hundred wounds we bore
As tokens of the day.
And through that weary darkness,
And all that dreary night,
We lay in bitter anguish,
But never mourned our plight,
Although we watched with eagerness
To see the morning light.
And when the early dawning
Had marked the sky with red,
We saw the Moloch incense
Rise slowly overhead
From smoking ruins and the heaps
Of charred and mangled dead.
I knew the slain were Pagans,
While we in Christ were free,
And yet it seemed that moment
A spirit said to me:
"Henceforth be doomed while life remains
This sight of fear to see."
And ever since that dawning
Which chased the night away,
I wake to see the corses
That thus before me lay:
And this is why in cloistered cell
I wait my latter day.
Thomas Dunn English.

Early in 1540 a great expedition under Francisco de Coronado started northward from Mexico in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola, of whose glories and riches many stories had been told. The cities were really the pueblos of the Zuñis, and the ballad tells the story of the march.



Francisco Coronado rode forth with all his train,
Eight hundred savage bowmen, three hundred spears of Spain,
To seek the rumored glory that pathless deserts hold—
The city of Quivíra whose walls are rich with gold.
Oh, gay they rode with plume on crest and gilded spur at heel,
With gonfalon of Aragon and banner of Castile!
While High Emprise and Joyous Youth, twin marshals of the throng,
Awoke Sonora's mountain peaks with trumpet-note and song.
Beside that brilliant army, beloved of serf and lord,
There walked as brave a soldier as ever smote with sword,
Though nought of knightly harness his russet gown revealed—
The cross he bore as weapon, the missal was his shield.
But rugged oaths were changed to prayers, and angry hearts grew tame,
And fainting spirits waxed in faith where Fray Padilla came;
And brawny spearmen bowed their heads to kiss the helpful hand
Of him who spake the simple truth that brave men understand.
What pen may paint their daring—those doughty cavaliers!
The cities of the Zuñi were humbled by their spears.
Wild Arizona's barrens grew pallid in the glow
Of blades that won Granada and conquered Mexico.
They fared by lofty Acoma; their rally-call was blown
Where Colorado rushes down through God-hewn walls of stone;
Still, North and East, where deserts spread, and treeless prairies rolled,
A Fairy City lured them on with pinnacles of gold.
Through all their weary marches toward that flitting goal
They turned to Fray Padilla for aid of heart and soul.
He bound the wounds that lance-thrust and flinty arrow made;
He cheered the sick and failing; above the dead he prayed.
Two thousand miles of war and woe behind their banners lay:
And sadly fever, drought and toil had lessened their array,
[32] When came a message fraught with hope to all the steadfast band:
"Good tidings from the northward, friends! Quivíra lies at hand!"
How joyously they spurred them! How sadly drew the rein!
There shone no golden palace, there blazed no jewelled fane.
Rude tents of hide of bison, dog-guarded, met their view—
A squalid Indian village; the lodges of the Sioux!
Then Coronado bowed his head. He spake unto his men:
"Our quest is vain, true hearts of Spain! Now ride we home again.
And would to God that I might give that phantom city's pride
In ransom for the gallant souls that here have sunk and died!"
Back, back to Compostela the wayworn handful bore;
But sturdy Fray Padilla took up the quest once more.
His soul still longed for conquest, though not by lance and sword;
He burned to show the Heathen the pathway to the Lord.
Again he trudged the flinty hills and dazzling desert sands,
And few were they that walked with him, and weaponless their hands—
But and the trusty man-at-arms, Docampo, rode him near
Like Great Heart, guarding Christian's way through wastes of Doubt and Fear.
Where still in silken harvests the prairie-lilies toss,
Among the dark Quivíras Padilla reared his cross.
Within its sacred shadow the warriors of the Kaw
In wonder heard the Gospel of Love and Peace and Law.
They gloried in their Brown-robed Priest; and oft in twilight's gold
The warriors grouped, a silent ring, to hear the tale he told,
While round the gentle man-at-arms their lithe-limbed children played
And shot their arrows at his shield and rode his guarded blade.
When thrice the silver crescent had filled its curving shell,
The Friar rose at dawning and spake his flock farewell:
"—And if your Brothers northward be cruel, as ye say,
My Master bids me seek them—and dare I answer 'Nay'?"
Again he strode the path of thorns; but ere the evening star
A savage cohort swept the plain in paint and plumes of war.
Then Fray Padilla spake to them whose hearts were most his own:
"My children, bear the tidings home—let me die here alone."
He knelt upon the prairie, begirt by yelling Sioux.—
"Forgive them, oh, my Father! they know not what they do!"
The twanging bow-strings answered. Before his eyes, unrolled
The City of Quivíra whose streets are paved with gold.
Arthur Guiterman.

The Spaniards were not the only people who searched in vain for fabulous cities. South of Cape Breton lay a country which the early French explorers named Norembega, and there was supposed to exist, somewhere within its boundaries, a magnificent city of the same name. Roberval and Jacques Cartier spent a number of years after 1541 seeking it, and in 1604 Champlain explored the Penobscot River, on whose banks it was supposed to be situated, but found no trace of it, nor any evidence of civilization except a cross, very old and mossy, in the woods.


[c. 1543]

The winding way the serpent takes
The mystic water took,
From where, to count its beaded lakes,
The forest sped its brook.
A narrow space 'twixt shore and shore,
For sun or stars to fall,
[33] While evermore, behind, before,
Closed in the forest wall.
The dim wood hiding underneath
Wan flowers without a name;
Life tangled with decay and death,
League after league the same.
Unbroken over swamp and hill
The rounding shadow lay,
Save where the river cut at will
A pathway to the day.
Beside that track of air and light,
Weak as a child unweaned,
At shut of day a Christian knight
Upon his henchman leaned.
The embers of the sunset's fires
Along the clouds burned down;
"I see," he said, "the domes and spires
Of Norembega town."
"Alack! the domes, O master mine,
Are golden clouds on high;
Yon spire is but the branchless pine
That cuts the evening sky."
"Oh, hush and hark! What sounds are these
But chants and holy hymns?"
"Thou hear'st the breeze that stirs the trees
Through all their leafy limbs."
"Is it a chapel bell that fills
The air with its low tone?"
"Thou hear'st the tinkle of the rills,
The insect's vesper drone."
"The Christ be praised!—He sets for me
A blessed cross in sight!"
"Now, nay, 'tis but yon blasted tree
With two gaunt arms outright!"
"Be it wind so sad or tree so stark,
It mattereth not, my knave;
Methinks to funeral hymns I hark,
The cross is for my grave!
"My life is sped; I shall not see
My home-set sails again;
The sweetest eyes of Normandie
Shall watch for me in vain.
"Yet onward still to ear and eye
The baffling marvel calls;
I fain would look before I die
On Norembega's walls.
"So, haply, it shall be thy part
At Christian feet to lay
The mystery of the desert's heart
My dead hand plucked away.
"Leave me an hour of rest; go thou
And look from yonder heights;
Perchance the valley even now
Is starred with city lights."
The henchman climbed the nearest hill,
He saw nor tower nor town,
But, through the drear woods, lone and still,
The river rolling down.
He heard the stealthy feet of things
Whose shapes he could not see,
A flutter as of evil wings,
The fall of a dead tree.
The pines stood black against the moon,
A sword of fire beyond;
He heard the wolf howl, and the loon
Laugh from his reedy pond.
He turned him back; "O master dear,
We are but men misled;
And thou hast sought a city here
To find a grave instead."
"As God shall will! what matters where
A true man's cross may stand,
So Heaven be o'er it here as there
In pleasant Norman land?
"These woods, perchance, no secret hide
Of lordly tower and hall;
Yon river in its wanderings wide
Has washed no city wall;
"Yet mirrored in the sullen stream
The holy stars are given:
Is Norembega, then, a dream
Whose waking is in Heaven?
"No builded wonder of these lands
My weary eyes shall see;
A city never made with hands
Alone awaiteth me—
"'Urbs Syon mystica;' I see
Its mansions passing fair,
[34] 'Condita cœlo;' let me be,
Dear Lord, a dweller there!"
Above the dying exile hung
The vision of the bard,
As faltered on his failing tongue
The song of good Bernard.
The henchman dug at dawn a grave
Beneath the hemlocks brown,
And to the desert's keeping gave
The lord of fief and town.
Years after, when the Sieur Champlain
Sailed up the unknown stream,
And Norembega proved again
A shadow and a dream,
He found the Norman's nameless grave
Within the hemlock's shade,
And, stretching wide its arms to save,
The sign that God had made,
The cross-boughed tree that marked the spot
And made it holy ground:
He needs the earthly city not
Who hath the heavenly found.
John Greenleaf Whittier.

Until the middle of the sixteenth century, Spain was the only nation which had succeeded in establishing colonies in the New World. In 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert secured permission from Queen Elizabeth to set out on a voyage of discovery and colonization, for the glory of England. He landed at St. John's, Newfoundland, August 5, and established there the first English colony in North America. Then he sailed away to explore further, and met the fate described in the poem. The colony proved a failure.



Southward with fleet of ice
Sailed the corsair Death;
Wild and fast blew the blast,
And the east-wind was his breath.
His lordly ships of ice
Glisten in the sun;
On each side, like pennons wide,
Flashing crystal streamlets run.
His sails of white sea-mist
Dripped with silver rain;
But where he passed there were cast
Leaden shadows o'er the main.
Eastward from Campobello
Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed;
Three days or more seaward he bore,
Then, alas! the land-wind failed.
Alas! the land-wind failed,
And ice-cold grew the night;
And nevermore, on sea or shore,
Should Sir Humphrey see the light.
He sat upon the deck,
The Book was in his hand;
"Do not fear! Heaven is as near,"
He said, "by water as by land!"
In the first watch of the night,
Without a signal's sound,
Out of the sea, mysteriously,
The fleet of Death rose all around.
The moon and the evening star
Were hanging in the shrouds;
Every mast, as it passed,
Seemed to rake the passing clouds.
They grappled with their prize,
At midnight black and cold!
As of a rock was the shock;
Heavily the ground-swell rolled.
Southward through day and dark,
They drift in close embrace,
With mist and rain, o'er the open main;
Yet there seems no change of place.
Southward, forever southward,
They drift through dark and day;
And like a dream, in the Gulf-Stream
Sinking, vanish all away.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

With the destruction of the Armada in 1588, Spain's sea power was so shattered that the Atlantic ceased to be a battleground. English sailors could come and go with a fair degree of safety, and before long the American coast was alive with these daring and adventurous voyagers.


Five fearless knights of the first renown
In Elizabeth's great array,
[35] From Plymouth in Devon sailed up and down—
American sailors they;
Who went to the West,
For they all knew best
Where the silver was gray
As a moonlit night,
And the gold as bright
As a midsummer day—
A-sailing away
Through the salt sea spray,
The first American sailors.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, he was ONE
And Devon was heaven to him,
He loved the sea as he loved the sun
And hated the Don as the Devil's limb—
Hated him up to the brim:
In Holland the Spanish hide he tanned,
He roughed and routed their braggart band,
And God was with him on sea and land;
Newfoundland knew him, and all that coast
For he was one of America's host—
And now there is nothing but English speech
For leagues and leagues, and reach on reach,
From near the Equator away to the Pole;
While the billows beat and the oceans roll
On the Three Americas.
Sir Francis Drake, and he was TWO
And Devon was heaven to him,
He loved in his heart the waters blue
And hated the Don as the Devil's limb—
Hated him up to the brim!
At Cadiz he singed the King's black beard,
The Armada met him and fled afeard,
Great Philip's golden fleece he sheared;
Oregon knew him, and all that coast,
For he was one of America's host—
And now there is nothing but English speech
For leagues and leagues, and reach on reach,
From California away to the Pole;
While the billows beat and the oceans roll
On the Three Americas.
Sir Walter Raleigh, he was THREE
And Devon was heaven to him,
There was nothing he loved so well as the sea—
He hated the Don as the Devil's limb—
Hated him up to the brim!
He settled full many a Spanish score,
Full many's the banner his bullets tore
On English, American, Spanish shore;
Guiana knew him, and all that coast,
For he was one of America's host—
And now there is nothing but English speech
For leagues and leagues, and reach on reach,
From Guiana northward to the Pole;
While the billows beat and the oceans roll
On the Three Americas.
Sir Richard Grenville, he was FOUR
And Devon was heaven to him,
He loved the waves and their windy roar
And hated the Don as the Devil's limb—
Hated him up to the brim!
He whipped him on land and mocked him at sea,
He laughed to scorn his sovereignty,
And with the Revenge beat his fifty-three;
Virginia knew him, and all that coast,
For he was one of America's host—
And now there is nothing but English speech
For leagues and leagues, and reach on reach,
From the Old Dominion away to the Pole;
While the billows beat and the oceans roll
On the Three Americas.
And Sir John Hawkins, he was FIVE
And Devon was heaven to him,
He worshipped the water while he was alive
And hated the Don as the Devil's limb—
Hated him up to the brim!
He chased him over the Spanish Main,
He scoffed and defied the navies of Spain—
His cities he ravished again and again;
The Gulf it knew him, and all that coast,
For he was one of America's host—
And now there is nothing but English speech
For leagues and leagues, and reach on reach,
From the Rio Grandè away to the Pole;
While the billows beat and the oceans roll
On the Three Americas.
Five fearless knights have filled gallant gravesbr /> This many and many a day,
Some under the willows, some under the waves—
American sailors they;
And still in the West
Is their valor blest,
Where a banner bright
With the ocean's blue
And the red wrack's hue
And the spoondrift's white
Is smiling to-day
Through the salt sea spray
Upon American sailors.
Wallace Rice.




England laid claim to the continent of North America by virtue of the discoveries of John Cabot in 1497, but little effort was made toward colonization until 1584, when an expedition sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh explored Albemarle Sound and the adjacent coast, and brought back so glowing a description of the country that Elizabeth named the whole region Virginia, in honor of her maidenhood. An abortive attempt to settle Roanoke Island was made in 1585, and in 1587 another expedition under John White landed there. White returned to England in the fall to represent the needs of the settlement, leaving behind him his daughter and little granddaughter,—Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America. He promised to return within a year, but was intercepted by Spaniards, and it was not until August, 1590, that he again dropped anchor off the island. When he went ashore next day, not a trace of the colonists could be found, nor was their fate ever certainly discovered.


[August 27, 1587]
The home-bound ship stood out to sea,
And on the island's marge,
Sir Richard waited restlessly
To step into the barge.
"The Governor tarrieth long," he chode,
"As he were loth to go:
With food before, and want behind,
There should be haste, I trow."
Even as he spake, the Governor came:—
"Nay, fret not, for the men
Have held me back with frantic let,
To have them home again.
"The women weep;—'Ay, ay, the ship
Will come again' (he saith),
'Before the May;—Before the May
We shall have starved to death!'
"I've sworn return by God's dear leave,
I've vowed by court and crown,
Nor yet appeased them. Comrade, thou,
Mayhap, canst soothe them down."
Sir Richard loosed his helm, and stretched
Impatient hands abroad:—
"Have ye no trust in man?" he cried,
"Have ye no faith in God?
"Your Governor goes, as needs he must,
To bear through royal grace,
Hither, such food-supply, that want
May never blench a face.
"Of freest choice ye willed to leave
What so ye had of ease;
For neither stress of liege nor law
Hath forced you over seas.
"Your Governor leaves fair hostages
As costliest pledge of care,—
His daughter yonder, and her child,
The child Virginia Dare!
"Come hither, little sweetheart! Lo!
Thou'lt be the first, I ween,
To bend the knee, and send through me
Thy birthland's virgin fealty
Unto its Virgin Queen.
"And now, good folk, for my commands:
If ye are fain to roam
Beyond this island's narrow bounds,
To seek elsewhere a home,—
"Upon some pine-tree's smoothen trunk
Score deep the Indian name
Of tribe or village where ye haunt,
That we may read the same.
"And if ye leave your haven here
Through dire distress or loss,
Cut deep within the wood above
The symbol of the cross.
"And now on my good blade, I swear,
And seal it with this sign,
That if the fleet that sails to-day
Return not hither by the May,
The fault shall not be mine!"


[August 15, 1590]
The breath of spring was on the sea;
Anon the Governor stepped
His good ship's deck right merrily,—
His promise had been kept.
"See, see! the coast-line comes in view!"
He heard the mariners shout,—
"We'll drop our anchors in the Sound
Before a star is out!"
"Now God be praised!" he inly breathed,
"Who saves from all that harms;
The morrow morn my pretty ones
Will rest within my arms."
At dawn of day they moored their ship,
And dared the breakers' roar:
What meant it? not a man was there
To welcome them ashore!
They sprang to find the cabins rude;
The quick green sedge had thrown
Its knotted web o'er every door,
And climbed the chimney-stone.
The spring was choked with winter's leaves,
And feebly gurgled on;
And from the pathway, strewn with wrack,
All trace of feet was gone.
Their fingers thrid the matted grass,
If there, perchance, a mound
Unseen might heave the broken turf;
But not a grave was found.
They beat the tangled cypress swamp,
If haply in despair
They might have strayed into its glade:
But found no vestige there.
"The pine! the pine!" the Governor groaned;
And there each staring man
Read in a maze, one single word,
Deep carven,—Cro-a-tàn!
But cut above, no cross, no sign,
No symbol of distress;
Naught else beside that mystic line
Within the wilderness!
And where and what was "Cro-a-tàn"?
But not an answer came;
And none of all who read it there
Had ever heard the name.
The Governor drew his jerkin sleeve
Across his misty eyes;
"Some land, maybe, of savagery
Beyond the coast that lies;
"And skulking there the wily foe
In ambush may have lain:
God's mercy! Could such sweetest heads
Lie scalped among the slain?
"O daughter! daughter! with the thought
My harrowed brain is wild!
Up with the anchors! I must find
The mother and the child!"
They scoured the mainland near and far:
The search no tidings brought;
Till mid a forest's dusky tribe
They heard the name they sought.
The kindly natives came with gifts
Of corn and slaughtered deer;
What room for savage treachery
Or foul suspicion here?
Unhindered of a chief or brave,
They searched the wigwam through;
But neither lance nor helm nor spear,
Nor shred of child's nor woman's gear,
Could furnish forth a clue.
How could a hundred souls be caught
Straight out of life, nor find
Device through which to mark their fate,
Or leave some hint behind?
Had winter's ocean inland rolled
An eagre's deadly spray,
That overwhelmed the island's breadth
And swept them all away?
In vain, in vain, their heart-sick search!
No tidings reached them more;
No record save that silent word
Upon that silent shore.
The mystery rests a mystery still,
Unsolved of mortal man:
Sphinx-like untold, the ages hold
The tale of Cro-a-tàn!
Margaret Junkin Preston.


In April, 1606, James I sanctioned the formation of two Virginia colonies, and the first colony set sail on the following New Year's day—three vessels, with one hundred and five men, under command of Christopher Newport. Twelve weeks later, they landed at a place they named "Point Comfort," and proceeded up a great river which they named the King's and afterwards the James. On May 13, 1607, the colonists landed on a low peninsula fifty miles up the river, and Captain Newport selected this, against many protests, as the site for the settlement. They christened the place Jamestown. Captains Newport, Gosnold, Smith, and Sickelmore were named as the resident council for the colony, but time soon proved Smith the ablest man in the company, and the leadership fell to him.


[May 13, 1607]

I pause not now to speak of Raleigh's dreams,
Though they might give a loftier bard fit themes:
I pause not now to tell of Ocracock,
Where Saxon spray broke on the red-brown rock;
Nor of my native river which glides down
Through scenes where rose a happy Indian town;
But, leaving these and Chesapeake's broad bay,
Resume my story in the month of May,
Where England's cross—St. George's ensign—flowed
Where ne'er before emblazoned banner glowed;
Where English breasts throbbed fast as English eyes
Looked o'er the waters with a glad surprise,—
Looked gladly out upon the varied scene
Where stretched the woods in all their pomp of green;
Flinging great shadows, beautiful and vast
As e'er upon Arcadian lake were cast.
Turn where they would, in what direction rove,
They found some bay, or wild, romantic cove,
On which they coasted through those forests dim,
Wherein they heard the never-ceasing hymn
That swelled from all the tall, majestic pines,—
Fit choristers of Nature's sylvan shrines.
For though no priest their solitudes had trod,
The trees were vocal in their praise of God.
And then, when, capes and jutting headlands past,
The sails were furled against each idle mast,
They saw the sunset in its pomp descend,
And sky and water gloriously contend
For gorgeousness of colors, red and gold,
And tints of amethyst together rolled,
Making a scene of splendor and of rest
As vanquished day lit camp-fires in the West.
And when the light grew faint on wave and strand,
New beauties woke in this enchanted land,
For through heaven's lattice-work of crimson bars
Like angels looked the bright eternal stars,
And then, when gathered tints of purplish brown,
A golden sickle, reaping darkness down,
The new moon shone above the lofty trees,
Which made low music in the evening breeze,—
The breeze which floating blandly from the shore
The perfumed breath of flowering jasmine bore;
For smiling Spring had kissed its clustering vines,
And breathed her fragrance on the lofty pines.
James Barron Hope.

Captain Smith proved himself an energetic and effective leader, and led numerous expeditions into the country in search of food. On one of these, in December, 1607, he was taken prisoner and was conducted to the camp of Powhatan, over-king of the tribes from the Atlantic coast to the "falls of the river." According to the story he sent to England a few months later, he was well treated, and was sent back to Jamestown with an escort. Eight years afterwards, when writing an account of Powhatan's younger daughter, Pocahontas, who was then in England, for the entertainment of Queen Anne, he embellished this plain and probably truthful tale with the romantic incidents so long received as history.


[January 5, 1608]

Wearied arm and broken sword
Wage in vain the desperate fight;
Round him press a countless horde,
He is but a single knight.
Hark! a cry of triumph shrill
Through the wilderness resounds,
As, with twenty bleeding wounds,
Sinks the warrior, fighting still.
Now they heap the funeral pyre,
And the torch of death they light;
Ah! 'tis hard to die by fire!
Who will shield the captive knight?
Round the stake with fiendish cry
Wheel and dance the savage crowd,
Cold the victim's mien and proud,
And his breast is bared to die.
Who will shield the fearless heart?
Who avert the murderous blade?
From the throng with sudden start
See, there springs an Indian maid.
Quick she stands before the knight:
"Loose the chain, unbind the ring!
I am daughter of the king,
And I claim the Indian right!"
Dauntlessly aside she flings
Lifted axe and thirsty knife,
Fondly to his heart she clings,
And her bosom guards his life!
In the woods of Powhatan,
Still 'tis told by Indian fires
How a daughter of their sires
Saved a captive Englishman.
William Makepeace Thackeray.

The way in which the Pocahontas incident has been handled by the poets is an interesting and joyous study. These stanzas of Morris's are too delicious to be omitted.


Upon the barren sand
A single captive stood;
Around him came, with bow and brand,
The red men of the wood.
Like him of old, his doom he hears,
Rock-bound on ocean's brim—
The chieftain's daughter knelt in tears,
And breathed a prayer for him.
Above his head in air
The savage war-club swung:
The frantic girl, in wild despair,
Her arms about him flung.
Then shook the warriors of the shade,
Like leaves on aspen limb,
Subdued by that heroic maid
Who breathed a prayer for him!
"Unbind him!" gasped the chief:
"It is your king's decree!"
He kiss'd away the tears of grief,
And set the captive free!
'Tis ever thus, when in life's storm
Hope's star to man grows dim,
An angel kneels, in woman's form,
And breathes a prayer for him.
George Pope Morris.

The colony did not flourish as had been hoped, and in May, 1609, the King granted a new charter with larger powers and privileges, and a new company was formed, of which Sir Thomas Gates, Lord De La Warr, and Sir George Somers were made the officers. A large expedition sailed from England June 2, 1609, in charge of Gates, Somers, and Captain Newport, who were on the Sea Venture. During a violent hurricane, their ship was separated from the rest of the fleet and cast ashore upon the Bermudas, whose beauties were so eloquently sung by Andrew Marvell.


Where the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean's bosom unespied,
From a small boat, that rowed along,
The listening winds received this song:
"What should we do but sing His praise,
That led us through the watery maze,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms, and prelates' rage.
He gave us this eternal Spring
Which here enamels every thing,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air;
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows;
He makes the figs our mouths to meet,
And throws the melons at our feet;
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars chosen by His hand
From Lebanon He stores the land,
And makes the hollow seas that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore;
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast,
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
[40] Oh! let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at Heaven's vault,
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique Bay."
Thus sung they, in the English boat,
A holy and a cheerful note:
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.
Andrew Marvell.

The passengers and crew of the Sea Venture managed to get to land, and finally built two pinnaces, in which they reached Virginia May 24, 1610. They found the colonists in a desolate and miserable condition, and only the timely arrival of Lord De La Warr in the following month (June 9, 1610), with fresh supplies and colonists, prevented them from burning the town and sailing back to England. Among the passengers on the Sea Venture was one Richard Rich. He shared in all the adventures and hardships of the voyage, and finally got back to England in the fall of 1610. On October 1 he published an account of the voyage, called "Newes from Virginia," the first poem written by a visitor to America.


[September, 1610]

It is no idle fabulous tale, nor is it fayned newes:
For Truth herself is heere arriv'd, because you should not muse.
With her both Gates and Newport come, to tell Report doth lye,
Which did divulge unto the world, that they at sea did dye.
Tis true that eleaven months and more, these gallant worthy wights
War in the shippe Sea-venture nam'd depriv'd Virginia's sight.
And bravely did they glyde the maine, till Neptune gan to frowne,
As if a courser proudly backt would throwe his ryder downe.
The seas did rage, the windes did blowe, distressèd were they then;
Their ship did leake, her tacklings breake, in daunger were her men.
But heaven was pylotte in this storme, and to an iland nere,
Bermoothawes call'd, conducted then, which did abate their feare.
But yet these worthies forcèd were, opprest with weather againe,
To runne their ship betweene two rockes, where she doth still remaine.
And then on shoare the iland came, inhabited by hogges,
Some foule and tortoyses there were, they only had one dogge.
To kill these swyne, to yeild them foode that little had to eate,
Their store was spent, and all things scant, alas! they wanted meate.
A thousand hogges that dogge did kill, their hunger to sustaine,
And with such foode did in that ile two and forty weekes remaine.
And there two gallant pynases did build of seader-tree;
The brave Deliverance one was call'd; of seaventy tonne was shee.
The other Patience had to name, her burthen thirty tonne;
Two only of their men which there pale death did overcome.
And for the losse of these two soules, which were accounted deere,
A son and daughter then was borne, and were baptizèd there.
The two and forty weekes being past, they hoyst sayle and away;
Their ships with hogges well freighted were, their harts with mickle joy.
And so unto Virginia came, where these brave soldiers finde
The English-men opprest with greife and discontent in minde.
They seem'd distracted and forlorne, for those two worthyes losse,
Yet at their home returne they joy'd, among'st them some were crosse.
And in the mid'st of discontent came noble Delaware;
He heard the greifes on either part, and sett them free from care.
He comforts them and cheeres their hearts, that they abound with joy;
He feedes them full and feedes their souls with Gods word every day.
A discreet counsell he creates of men of worthy fame,
That noble Gates leiftenant was the admirall had to name.
The worthy Sir George Somers knight, and others of commaund;
Maister Georg Pearcy, which is brother unto Northumberland.
Sir Fardinando Wayneman Knight, and others of good fame,
That noble lord his company, which to Virginia came,
And landed there; his number was one hundred seaventy; then
Ad to the rest, and they make full foure hundred able men.
Where they unto their labour fall, as men that meane to thrive;
Let's pray that heaven may blesse them all, and keep them long alive.
Those men that vagrants liv'd with us, have there deserved well;
Their governour writes in their praise, as divers letters tel.
And to th' adventurers thus he writes be not dismayed at all,
For scandall cannot doe us wrong, God will not let us fall.
Let England knowe our willingnesse, for that our worke is goode;
Wee hope to plant a nation, where none before hath stood.
To glorifie the lord tis done; and to no other end;
He that would crosse so good a work, to God can be no friend.
There is no feare of hunger here for corne much store here growes,
Much fish the gallant rivers yeild, tis truth without suppose.
Great store of fowle, of venison, of grapes and mulberries,
Of chestnuts, walnuts, and such like, of fruits and strawberries,
There is indeed no want at all, but some, condiciond ill,
That wish the worke should not goe on with words doe seeme to kill.
And for an instance of their store, the noble Delaware
Hath for the present hither sent, to testify his care
In mannaging so good a worke, to gallant ships, by name,
The Blessing and the Hercules, well fraught, and in the same
Two ships, as these commodities, furres, sturgeon, caviare,
Black walnut-tree, and some deale boards, with such they laden are;
Some pearle, some wainscot and clapboards, with some sassafras wood,
And iron promist, for tis true their mynes are very good.
Then maugre scandall, false report, or any opposition,
Th' adventurers doe thus devulge to men of good condition,
That he that wants shall have reliefe, be he of honest minde,
Apparel, coyne, or any thing, to such they will be kinde.
To such as to Virginia do purpose to repaire;
And when that they shall hither come, each man shall have his share.
Day wages for the laborer, and for his more content,
A house and garden plot shall have; besides, tis further ment
That every man shall have a part, and not thereof denaid,
Of generall profit, as if that he twelve pounds ten shillings paid;
And he that in Virginia shall copper coyne receive,
For hyer or commodities, and will the country leave
Upon delivery of such coyne unto the Governour,
Shall by exchange at his returne be by their treasurer
Paid him in London at first sight, no man shall cause to grieve,
For tis their generall will and wish that every man should live.
The number of adventurers, that are for this plantation,
Are full eight hundred worthy men, some noble, all of fashion.
Good, discreete, their worke is good, and as they have begun,
May Heaven assist them in their worke, and thus our newes is done.
Richard Rich.

Lord Delaware's stay in Virginia marked the turning-point in the fortunes of the colony. New settlements were made, tobacco culture was begun, and Virginia seemed at last fairly started on the road to prosperity.



You brave heroic minds,
Worthy your country's name,
That honor still pursue,
Go and subdue,
Whilst loitering hinds
Lurk here at home, with shame.
Britons, you stay too long:
Quickly aboard bestow you,
And with a merry gale
Swell your stretch'd sail,
With vows as strong
As the winds that blow you.
Your course securely steer,
West and by south forth keep!
Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals,
When Eolus scowls,
You need not fear,
So absolute the deep.
And cheerfully at sea,
Success you still entice,
To get the pearl and gold,
And ours to hold
Earth's only paradise.
Where nature hath in store
Fowl, venison, and fish,
And the fruitful'st soil,
Without your toil,
Three harvests more,
All greater than your wish.
And the ambitious vine
Crowns with his purple mass
The cedar reaching high
To kiss the sky,
The cypress, pine,
And useful sassafras.
To whom the Golden Age
Still nature's laws doth give,
No other cares attend,
But them to defend
From winter's rage,
That long there doth not live.
When as the luscious smell
Of that delicious land,
Above the seas that flows,
The clear wind throws,
Your hearts to swell
Approaching the dear strand;
In kenning of the shore
(Thanks to God first given)
O you the happiest men,
Be frolic then!
Let cannons roar,
Frighting the wide heaven;
And in regions far
Such heroes bring ye forth
As those from whom we came,
And plant our name
Under that star
Not known unto our North;
And as there plenty grows
Of laurel everywhere,—
Apollo's sacred tree,—
You it may see,
A poet's brows
To crown, that may sing there.
Thy Voyages attend
Industrious Hackluit,
Whose reading shall inflame
Men to seek fame,
And much commend
To after-times thy wit.
Michael Drayton.

Among the planters at Jamestown was John Rolfe, a zealous Christian, who became interested in Pocahontas. Finally, either captivated by her grace and beauty as the romancists believe, or in spite of personal scruples and "for the good[43] of the colony," as Hamor wrote, he proposed marriage. The Princess was willing, her father consented, though he refused to be present at the ceremony (April 5, 1614), and the bride was given away by her uncle Opachisco. They had one son, Thomas Rolfe, whose descendants are still living in Virginia.


[April 5, 1614]

That balmy eve, within a trellised bower,
Rudely constructed on the sounding shore,
Her plighted troth the forest maiden gave
Ere sought the skiff that bore them o'er the wave
To the dark home-bound ship, whose restless sway
Rocked to the winds and waves, impatient of delay.
* * * * *
Short was the word that pledged triumphant love;
That vow, that claims its registry above.
And low the cadence of that hymn of praise
Whose hallowed incense rose, as rose its lays;
And few the worshippers 'neath that pure cope
Which emblems to the soul eternal hope.
One native maiden waited the command
Of the young Princess of Virginia's strand;
And that dark youth, the Page of Cedar Isle,
Who wept her woes, and shared her sad exile,
With his loved bride, who owned the royal blood,
And near the forest Queen majestically stood.
Some others bent beside the rural shrine
In adoration to the Power divine;
When at the altar knelt, with minds serene,
The gallant Soldier and the dark-browed Queen.
These, for the love they bore her guileless youth,
Paid the high fealty of the warm heart's truth;
And with its homage satisfied, gone o'er
Each vision bright that graced their natal shore.
Those, with forebodings dread and brimful eyes,
Bade holy angels guard the destinies
Of one on whom had fallen the chrism of light
With unction pure; the youthful neophyte
Of that fair clime where millions yet unborn
Shall raise the choral hymn from eve till morn.
Mrs. M. M. Webster.

In 1616 Pocahontas was taken to England, where she was received with marked attention by the Queen and court. She renewed her acquaintance with Captain John Smith, who was busy weaving fairy tales about her, had her portrait painted and led a fashionable life generally. It did not agree with her, she developed consumption, and died at Gravesend, March 27, 1617.


[June, 1616]

In a stately hall at Brentford, when the English June was green,
Sat the Indian Princess, summoned that her graces might be seen,
For the rumor of her beauty filled the ear of court and Queen.
There for audience as she waited, with half-scornful, silent air
All undazzled by the splendor gleaming round her everywhere,
Dight in broidered hose and doublet, came a courtier down the stair.
As with striding step he hasted, burdened with the Queen's command,
Loud he cried, in tones that tingled, "Welcome, welcome, to my land!"
But a tremor seized the Princess, and she drooped upon her hand.
"What! no word, my Sparkling-Water? must I come on bended knee?
I were slain within the forest, I were dead beyond the sea;
On the banks of wild Pamunkey, I had perished but for thee.
"Ah, I keep a heart right loyal, that can never more forget!
I can hear the rush, the breathing; I can see the eyelids wet;
I can feel the sudden tightening of thine arms about me yet.
"Nay, look up. Thy father's daughter never feared the face of man,
Shrank not from the forest darkness when her doe-like footsteps ran
To my cabin, bringing tidings of the craft of Powhatan."
With extended arms, entreating, stood the stalwart Captain there,
While the courtiers press around her, and the passing pages stare;
But no sign gave Pocahontas underneath her veil of hair.
All her lithe and willowy figure quivered like an aspen-leaf,
And she crouched as if she shrivelled, frost-touched by some sudden grief,
Turning only on her husband, Rolfe, one glance, sharp, searching, brief.
At the Captain's haughty gesture, back the curious courtiers fell,
And with soothest word and accent he besought that she would tell
Why she turned away, nor greeted him whom she had served so well.
But for two long hours the Princess dumbly sate and bowed her head,
Moveless as the statue near her. When at last she spake, she said:
"White man's tongue is false. It told me—told me—that my brave was dead.
"And I lay upon my deer-skins all one moon of falling leaves
(Who hath care for song or corn-dance, when the voice within her grieves?),
Looking westward where the souls go, up the path the sunset weaves.
"Call me 'child' now. It is over. On my husband's arm I lean;
Never shadow, Nenemoosa, our twain hearts shall come between;
Take my hand, and let us follow the great Captain to his Queen."
Margaret Junkin Preston.

In 1676 the colony was shaken by a struggle which presaged that other one which was to occur just a century later. An Indian war had broken out along the frontier, but Governor Berkeley disbanded the forces gathered to repress it. Whereupon a young man named Nathaniel Bacon gathered a force of his own, marched against the Indians, and was proclaimed a rebel and traitor by the royal governor, who had collected at Jamestown a force of nearly a thousand men. Bacon, after a campaign in which the hostile Indians were practically wiped out of existence, marched back to Jamestown and besieged the place. After a sally in which he was repulsed, Berkeley sailed away and left the town to its fate. Bacon entered it next morning (September 19, 1676), and, deciding that he could not hold it, set fire to it that evening. It was totally destroyed.


[September 19, 1676]

Mad Berkeley believed, with his gay cavaliers,
And the ruffians he brought from the Accomac shore,
He could ruffle our spirit by rousing our fears,
And lord it again as he lorded before:
It was—"Traitors, be dumb!"
And—"Surrender, ye scum!"
And that Bacon, our leader, was rebel, he swore.
A rebel? Not he! He was true to the throne;
For the King, at a word, he would lay down his life;
But to listen unmoved to the piteous moan
When the redskin was plying the hatchet and knife,
And shrink from the fray,
Was not the man's way—
It was Berkeley, not Bacon, who stirred up the strife.
On the outer plantations the savages burst,
And scattered around desolation and woe;
And Berkeley, possessed by some spirit accurst,
Forbade us to deal for our kinsfolk a blow;
Though when, weapons in hand,
We made our demand,
He sullenly suffered our forces to go.
Then while we were doing our work for the crown,
And risking our lives in the perilous fight,
He sent lying messengers out, up and down,
To denounce us as outlaws—mere malice and spite;
Then from Accomac's shore
Brought a thousand or more,
Who swaggered the country around, day and night.
Returning in triumph, instead of reward
For the marches we made and the battles we won,
There were threats of the fetters or bullet or sword—
Were these a fair guerdon for what we had done?
When this madman abhorred
Appealed to the sword,
And our leader said "fight!" did he think we would run?
Battle-scarred, and a handful of men as we were,
We feared not to combat with lord or with lown,
So we took the old wretch at his word—that was fair;
But he dared not come out from his hold in the town
Where he lay with his men,
Like a wolf in his den;
And in siege of the place we sat steadily down.
He made a fierce sally,—his force was so strong
He thought the mere numbers would put us to flight,—
But we met in close column his ruffianly throng,
And smote it so sore that we filled him with fright;
Then while ready we lay
For the storming next day,
He embarked in his ships, and escaped in the night.
The place was our own; could we hold it? why, no!
Not if Berkeley should gather more force and return;
But one course was left us to baffle the foe—
The birds would not come if the nest we should burn;
So the red, crackling fire
Climbed to roof-top and spire,
A lesson for black-hearted Berkeley to learn.
That our torches destroyed what our fathers had raised
On that beautiful isle, is it matter of blame?
That the houses we dwelt in, the church where they praised
The God of our Fathers, we gave to the flame?
That we smiled when there lay
Smoking ruins next day,
And nothing was left of the town but its name?
We won; but we lost when brave Nicholas died;
The spirit that nerved us was gone from us then;
And Berkeley came back in his arrogant pride
To give to the gallows the best of our men;
But while the grass grows
And the clear water flows,
The town shall not rise from its ashes again.
So, you come for your victim! I'm ready; but, pray,
Ere I go, some good fellow a full goblet bring.
Thanks, comrade! Now hear the last words I shall say
With the last drink I take. Here's a health to the King,
Who reigns o'er a land
Where, against his command,
The rogues rule and ruin, while honest men swing.
Thomas Dunn English.

Jamestown soon avenged itself. Before Bacon left the place he was ill with fever, and on the first day of October, at the house of a friend in Gloucester County, he "surrendered up that fort he was no longer able to keep, into the hands of the grim and all-conquering Captain, Death." His death was celebrated in a poem which is perhaps the most brilliant example of sustained poetic art produced in Colonial America. It was written "by his man," of whom absolutely nothing is known.


[October 1, 1676]

Death, why so cruel? What! no other way
To manifest thy spleen, but thus to slay
Our hopes of safety, liberty, our all,
Which, through thy tyranny, with him must fall
To its late chaos? Had thy rigid force
Been dealt by retail, and not thus in gross,
Grief had been silent. Now we must complain,
[46] Since thou, in him, hast more than thousands slain,
Whose lives and safeties did so much depend
On him their life, with him their lives must end.
If 't be a sin to think Death brib'd can be
We must be guilty; say 'twas bribery
Guided the fatal shaft. Virginia's foes,
To whom for secret crimes just vengeance owes
Deservèd plagues, dreading their just desert,
Corrupted Death by Paracelsian art
Him to destroy; whose well-tried courage such,
Their heartless hearts, nor arms, nor strength could touch.
Who now must heal those wounds, or stop that blood
The Heathen made, and drew into a flood?
Who is't must plead our cause? nor trump, nor drum,
Nor Deputation; these, alas! are dumb
And cannot speak. Our arms (though ne'er so strong)
Will want the aid of his commanding tongue,
Which conquer'd more than Cæsar. He o'erthrew
Only the outward frame; this could subdue
The rugged works of nature. Souls replete
With dull chill cold, he'd animate with heat
Drawn forth of reason's limbec. In a word,
Mars and Minerva both in him concurred
For arts, for arms, whose pen and sword alike
As Cato's did, may admiration strike
Into his foes; while they confess withal
It was their guilt styl'd him a criminal.
Only this difference does from truth proceed:
They in the guilt, he in the name must bleed.
While none shall dare his obsequies to sing
In deserv'd measures; until time shall bring
Truth crown'd with freedom, and from danger free
To sound his praises to posterity.
Here let him rest; while we this truth report,
He's gone from hence unto a higher Court
To plead his cause, where he by this doth know
Whether to Cæsar he was friend or foe.

Jamestown never recovered from the blow which Bacon dealt it. The location was so unhealthy that it could not attract new settlers, and though some of the houses which had been burned were subsequently rebuilt, the town's day of greatness was past. The seat of government was removed to Williamsburg, and the old settlement dropped gradually to decay.


Old cradle of an infant world,
In which a nestling empire lay,
Struggling awhile, ere she unfurled
Her gallant wing and soared away;
All hail! thou birthplace of the glowing west,
Thou seem'st the towering eagle's ruined nest!
What solemn recollections throng,
What touching visions rise,
As, wandering these old stones among,
I backward turn mine eyes,
And see the shadows of the dead flit round,
Like spirits, when the last dread trump shall sound.
The wonders of an age combined
In one short moment memory supplies;
They throng upon my wakened mind,
As time's dark curtains rise.
The volume of a hundred buried years,
Condensed in one bright sheet, appears.
I hear the angry ocean rave,
I see the lonely little bark
Scudding along the crested wave,
Freighted like old Noah's ark,
As o'er the drownèd earth 'twas hurled,
With the forefathers of another world.
I see the train of exiles stand,
Amid the desert, desolate,
The fathers of my native land,
The daring pioneers of fate,
Who braved the perils of the sea and earth,
And gave a boundless empire birth.
I see the sovereign Indian range
His woodland empire, free as air;
I see the gloomy forest change,
The shadowy earth laid bare;
And where the red man chased the bounding deer,
The smiling labors of the white appear.
I see the haughty warrior gaze
In wonder or in scorn,
[47] As the pale faces sweat to raise
Their scanty fields of corn,
While he, the monarch of the boundless wood,
By sport, or hair-brained rapine, wins his food.
A moment, and the pageant's gone;
The red men are no more;
The pale-faced strangers stand alone
Upon the river's shore;
And the proud wood-king, who their arts disdained,
Finds but a bloody grave where once he reigned.
The forest reels beneath the stroke
Of sturdy woodman's axe;
The earth receives the white man's yoke,
And pays her willing tax
Of fruits, and flowers, and golden harvest fields,
And all that nature to blithe labor yields.
Then growing hamlets rear their heads,
And gathering crowds expand,
Far as my fancy's vision spreads,
O'er many a boundless land,
Till what was once a world of savage strife
Teems with the richest gifts of social life.
Empire to empire swift succeeds,
Each happy, great, and free;
One empire still another breeds,
A giant progeny,
Destined their daring race to run,
Each to the regions of yon setting sun.
Then, as I turn my thoughts to trace
The fount whence these rich waters sprung,
I glance towards this lonely place,
And find it these rude stones among.
Here rest the sires of millions, sleeping round,
The Argonauts, the golden fleece that found.
Their names have been forgotten long;
The stone, but not a word, remains;
They cannot live in deathless song,
Nor breathe in pious strains.
Yet this sublime obscurity to me
More touching is than poet's rhapsody.
They live in millions that now breathe;
They live in millions yet unborn,
And pious gratitude shall wreathe
As bright a crown as e'er was worn,
And hang it on the green-leaved bough,
That whispers to the nameless dead below.
No one that inspiration drinks,
No one that loves his native land,
No one that reasons, feels, or thinks,
Can mid these lonely ruins stand
Without a moistened eye, a grateful tear
Of reverent gratitude to those that moulder here.
The mighty shade now hovers round,
Of him whose strange, yet bright career
Is written on this sacred ground
In letters that no time shall sere;
Who in the Old World smote the turbaned crew,
And founded Christian empires in the New.
And she! the glorious Indian maid,
The tutelary of this land,
The angel of the woodland shade,
The miracle of God's own hand,
Who joined man's heart to woman's softest grace,
And thrice redeemed the scourges of her race.
Sister of charity and love,
Whose life-blood was soft Pity's tide,
Dear goddess of the sylvan grove,
Flower of the forest, nature's pride,
He is no man who does not bend the knee,
And she no woman who is not like thee!
Jamestown, and Plymouth's hallowed rock
To me shall ever sacred be,—
I care not who my themes may mock,
Or sneer at them and me.
I envy not the brute who here can stand
Without a thrill for his own native land.
And if the recreant crawl her earth,
Or breathe Virginia's air,
Or in New England claim his birth,
From the old pilgrims there,
He is a bastard if he dare to mock
Old Jamestown's shrine or Plymouth's famous rock.
James Kirke Paulding.

In the early part of the eighteenth century, pirates did a thriving trade along the American[48] coast. One of the most redoubtable of these was Captain Teach, better known as "Blackbeard." After a long career of variegated villainy, he was cornered in Pamlico Inlet, in 1718, and killed, together with most of his crew, by a force sent after him by Governor Spottiswood of Virginia. His death was celebrated in a ballad said to have been written by Benjamin Franklin.


[November 22, 1718]

Will you hear of a bloody Battle,
Lately fought upon the Seas?
It will make your Ears to rattle,
And your Admiration cease;
Have you heard of Teach the Rover,
And his Knavery on the Main;
How of Gold he was a Lover,
How he lov'd all ill-got Gain?
When the Act of Grace appeared,
Captain Teach, with all his Men,
Unto Carolina steered,
Where they kindly us'd him then;
There he marry'd to a Lady,
And gave her five hundred Pound,
But to her he prov'd unsteady,
For he soon march'd off the Ground.
And returned, as I tell you,
To his Robbery as before,
Burning, sinking Ships of value,
Filling them with Purple Gore;
When he was at Carolina,
There the Governor did send
To the Governor of Virginia,
That he might assistance lend.
Then the Man-of-War's Commander,
Two small Sloops he fitted out,
Fifty Men he put on board, Sir,
Who resolv'd to stand it out;
The Lieutenant he commanded
Both the Sloops, and you shall hear
How, before he landed,
He suppress'd them without fear.
Valiant Maynard as he sailed,
Soon the Pirate did espy,
With his Trumpet he then hailed,
And to him they did reply:
Captain Teach is our Commander,
Maynard said, he is the Man
Whom I am resolv'd to hang, Sir,
Let him do the best he can.
Teach replyed unto Maynard,
You no Quarter here shall see,
But be hang'd on the Mainyard,
You and all your Company;
Maynard said, I none desire
Of such Knaves as thee and thine,
None I'll give, Teach then replyed,
My Boys, give me a Glass of Wine.
He took the Glass, and drank Damnation
Unto Maynard and his Crew;
To himself and Generation,
Then the Glass away he threw;
Brave Maynard was resolv'd to have him,
Tho' he'd Cannons nine or ten;
Teach a broadside quickly gave him,
Killing sixteen valiant Men.
Maynard boarded him, and to it
They fell with Sword and Pistol too;
They had Courage, and did show it,
Killing of the Pirate's Crew.
Teach and Maynard on the Quarter,
Fought it out most manfully,
Maynard's Sword did cut him shorter,
Losing his head, he there did die.
Every Sailor fought while he, Sir,
Power had to wield the Sword,
Not a Coward could you see, Sir,
Fear was driven from aboard;
Wounded Men on both Sides fell, Sir,
'Twas a doleful Sight to see,
Nothing could their Courage quell, Sir,
O, they fought courageously.
When the bloody Fight was over,
We're informed by a Letter writ,
Teach's Head was made a Cover,
To the Jack Staff of the Ship;
Thus they sailed to Virginia,
And when they the Story told,
How they kill'd the Pirates many,
They'd Applause from young and old.
Benjamin Franklin. (?)

On the twenty-second day of February, 1732 (February 12, O. S.), there was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, a son to Augustine and Mary (Ball) Washington. The baby was[49] christened George, and lived to become the most famous personage in American history.


[February 11, 1732]


Do you know how the people of all the land
Knew at last that the time was at hand
When He should be sent to give command
To armies and people, to father and son!
How the glad tidings of joy should run
Which tell of the birth of Washington?
Three women keep watch of the midnight sky
Where Potomac ripples below;
They watch till the light in the window hard by
The birth of the child shall show.
Is it peace? Is it strife?
Is it death? Is it life?
The light in the window shall show!
Weal or woe!
We shall know!
The women have builded a signal pile
For the birthday's welcome flame,
That the light may show for many a mile
To tell when the baby came!
And south and north
The word go forth
That the boy is born
On that blessèd morn;
The boy of deathless fame!


The watchmen have waited on Capitol Hill
And they light the signal flame;
And at Baltimore Bay they waited till
The welcome tidings came;
And then across the starlit night,
At the head of Elk the joyful light
Told to the Quaker town the story
Of new-born life and coming glory!
To Trenton Ferry and Brooklyn Height
They sent the signal clear and bright,
And far away,
Before the day,
To Kaatskill and Greylock the joyful flame
And everywhere the message came,
As the signal flew
The people knew
That the man of men was born!


So it is, they say, that the men in the bay,
In winter's ice and snow,
See the welcome light on Wachusett Height
While the Merrimac rolls below.
The cheery fire
Rose higher and higher,
Monadnock and Carrigain catch the flame,
And on and on, and on it came,
And as men look
Far away in the north
The word goes forth,
To Agiochook.
The welcome fire
Flashed higher and higher
To our mountain ways,
And the dome, and Moat and Pequawket blaze!
So the farmers in the Intervale
See the light that shall never fail,
The beacon light which shines to tell
To all the world to say
That the boy has been born
On that winter's morn
By Potomac far away.
Whose great command
Shall bless that land
Whom the land shall bless
In joy and distress
Forever and a day!
Edward Everett Hale.




On the fourth day of April, 1609, there put out from the port of Amsterdam a little craft of about eighty tons, called the Half Moon. It had been chartered by the Dutch East India Company to search for the Northwest Passage. Its captain was Henry Hudson, and on September 3 he cast anchor inside Sandy Hook.



Out from the harbor of Amsterdam
The Half Moon turned her prow to sea;
The coast of Norway dropped behind,
Yet Northward still kept she
Through the drifting fog and the driving snow,
Where never before man dared to go:
"O Pilot, shall we find the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?"
"A waste of ice before us lies—we must turn back," said he.
Westward they steered their tiny bark,
Westward through weary weeks they sped,
Till the cold gray strand of a stranger-land
Loomed through the mist ahead.
League after league they hugged the coast,
And their Captain never left his post:
"O Pilot, see you yet the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?"
"I see but the rocks and the barren shore; no strait is there," quoth he.
They sailed to the North—they sailed to the South—
And at last they rounded an arm of sand
Which held the sea from a harbor's mouth—
The loveliest in the land;
They kept their course across the bay,
And the shore before them fell away:
"O Pilot, see you not the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?"
"Hold the rudder true! Praise Christ Jesu! the strait is here," said he.
Onward they glide with wind and tide,
Past marshes gray and crags sun-kist;
They skirt the sills of green-clad hills,
And meadows white with mist—
But alas! the hope and the brave, brave dream!
For rock and shallow bar the stream:
"O Pilot, can this be the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?"
"Nay, Captain, nay; 'tis not this way; turn back we must," said he.
Full sad was Hudson's heart as he turned
The Half Moon's prow to the South once more;
He saw no beauty in crag or hill,
No beauty in curving shore;
For they shut him away from that fabled main
He sought his whole life long, in vain:
"O Pilot, say, can there be a strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?"
"God's crypt is sealed! 'Twill stand revealed in His own good time," quoth he.
Burton Egbert Stevenson.

A few days were spent in exploring the bay, and on September 6 occurred the only fatality that marked the voyage. A seaman named John Colman, with four sailors, was sent out in a small boat to sound the Narrows, and encountered some Indians, who sent a flight of arrows toward the strangers. One of the arrows pierced Colman's throat, killing him.


[September 6, 1609]

'Twas Juet spoke—the Half Moon's mate
And they who Holland's ship of state
Compass'd with wisdom, listening sate:
Discovery's near-extinguished spark
Flared up into a blaze,
When Man-na-hat-ta's virgin hills,
Enriched by Autumn's days,
First fell on our impatient sight,
And soothed us with a strange delight.
Bidden by fevered trade, our keel
Had ploughed unbeaten deeps;
[51] From many a perfume-laden isle
To the dark land that sleeps
Forever in its winter robe,
Th' unsocial hermit of the globe.
But we, who sought for China's strand
By ocean ways untried,
Forgot our mission when we cast
Our anchor in a tide
That kissed a gem too wondrous fair
For any eastern sea to wear!
Entranced, we saw the golden woods
Slope gently to the sands;
The grassy meads, the oaks that dwarfed
Their kin of other lands;
And from the shore the balmy wind
Blew sweeter than the spice of Ind.
As he whose eyes, though opened wide,
Are fixed upon a dream,
So Colman—one who long had held
Our Hudson's warm esteem—
Gazed on the gorgeous scene, and said,
"Ere even's shades are overspread,
"Proudly our flag on yonder height
Shall tell of Holland's gain;
Proclaiming her to all the earth
The sovereign of the main."
And quickly from the Half Moon's bow
We turned the longboat's yielding prow.
The measured flashing of the oars
Broke harshly on the ear;
And eye asked eye—for lips were mute—
What Holland hearts should fear;
For true it is our hearts were soft,
Save his, who held the flag aloft.
And suddenly our unshaped dread
Took direful form and sound.
For from a near nook's rocky shade,
Swift as pursuing hound,
A savage shallop sped, to hold
From stranger feet that strand of gold.
And rageful cries disturbed the peace
That on the waters slept;
And Echo whispered on the hills,
As though an army crept,
With flinty axe and brutal blade,
Through the imperforate forest shade.
"What! are ye cravens?" Colman said;
For each had shipped his oar.
He waved the flag: "For Netherland,
Pull for yon jutting shore!"
Then prone he fell within the boat,
A flinthead arrow through his throat!
And now full many a stealthy skiff
Shot out into the bay;
And swiftly, sadly, pulled we back
To where the Half Moon lay;
But he was dead—our master wept—
He smiled, brave heart, as though he slept.
Then to the seaward breeze our sail
With woful hearts we threw;
And anchored near a sandy strip
That looks o'er ocean blue:
And there we kissed and buried him,
While surges sang his funeral hymn.
And many a pitying glance we gave,
And many a prayer we said,
As from that grave we turned, and left
The dark sea with her dead;
For—God of Waves!—none could repress
One choking thought—the loneliness!
Thomas Frost.

Hudson ascended the river to a point a little above the present town of Albany, then turned back and returned to Holland. His report of the rich country he had discovered was received with enthusiasm there, and preparations were begun on an extensive scale to colonize the new country. Dutch voyagers explored all the adjacent coasts, among the most active being Adrian Block.


[July, 1615]

Hard aport! Now close to shore sail!
Starboard now, and drop your foresail!
See, boys, what yon bay discloses,
What yon open bay discloses!
Where the breeze so gently blows is
Heaven's own land of ruddy roses.
Past the Cormorant we sail,
Past the rippling Beaver Tail,
Green with summer, red with flowers,
Green with summer, fresh with showers,
Sweet with song and red with flowers,
Is this new-found land of ours!
Roses close above the sand,
Roses on the trees on land,
I shall take this land for my land,
Rosy beach and rosy highland,
And I name it Roses Island.
Edward Everett Hale.

But troubles at home prevented any extensive effort at colonization until 1621, when the States-General chartered the Dutch West India Company, which in 1623 sent Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, with thirty families, to start the colony.


With sharpened pen and wit, one tunes his lays,
To sing the vanity of fame and praise;
His moping thoughts, bewildered in a maze,
In darkness wander.
What brings disgrace, what constitutes a wrong,
These form the burden of the tuneful song:
And honor saved, his senses then among
The dark holes ponder.
For me, it is a nobler thing I sing.
New Netherland springs forth my heroine;
Where Amstel's folk did erst their people bring,
And still they flourish.
New Netherland, thou noblest spot of earth,
Where Bounteous Heaven ever poureth forth
The fulness of His gifts, of greatest worth,
Mankind to nourish.
Whoe'er to you a judgment fair applies,
And knowing, comprehends your qualities,
Will justify the man who, to the skies,
Extols your glories.
Who studies well your natural elements,
And with the plumb of science, gains a sense
Of all the four: fails not in their defence,
Before free juries.
Your Air, so clear, so sharp to penetrate,
The western breezes softly moderate;
And, tempering the heat, they separate
It from all moisture.
From damp, and mist, and fog, they set it free;
From smells of pools, they give it liberty:
The struggling stenches made to mount on high,
And be at peace there.
No deadly pest its purity assails,
To spread infection o'er your hills and vales,
Save when a guilty race, great sins bewails
In expiating.
Your Sun, th' original of Fire and heat,
The common nutriment of both to eat,
Is warm and pure; in plants most delicate,
Much sap creating.
Nor turf, nor dried manure,—within your doors,
Nor coal, extracted from earth's secret stores,
Nor sods, uplifted from the barren moors,
For fuel given;
Which, with foul stench the brain intoxicate,
And thus, by the foul gas which they create.
The intellects of many, wise and great,
Men are out-driven.
The forests do, with better means, supply
The hearth and house; the stately hickory,
Not planted, does the winter fell defy,—
A valiant warden;
So closely grained, so rich with fragrant oil,
Before its blaze both wet and cold recoil;
And sweetest perfumes float around the while,
Like 'n Eden's garden.
The Water clear and fresh, and pure and sweet,
Springs up continually beneath the feet,
And everywhere the gushing fountains meet,
In brooks o'erflowing,
Which animals refresh, both tame and wild;
And plants conduce to grow on hill and field;
And these to man unnumbered comforts yield,
And quickly growing.
The Earth in soils of different shades appears,
Black, blue and white, and red; its bosom bears
Abundant harvests; and, what pleases, spares
Not to surrender.
No bounds exist to their variety.
They nourishment afford most plenteously
To creatures which, in turn, man's wants supply
And health engender.
O fruitful land! heaped up with blessings kind,
Whoe'er your several virtues brings to mind,—
Its proper value to each gift assigned,
Will soon discover,
If ever land perfection have attained,
That you in all things have that glory gained;
Ungrateful mortal, who, your worth disdained,
Would pass you over.
[53] In North America, behold your Seat,
Where all that heart can wish you satiate,
And where oppressed with wealth inordinate,
You have the power
To bless the people with whate'er they need,
The melancholy, from their sorrows lead,
The light of heart, exulting pleasures cede,
Who never cower.
The Ocean laves secure the outer shore,
Which, like a dyke, is raised your fields before;
And streams, like arteries, all veinèd o'er,
The woods refreshing;
And rolling down from mountains and the hills,
Afford, upon their banks, fit sites for mills;
And furnish, what the heart with transport fills,
The finest fishing.
Jacob Steendam.

Other expeditions followed, but though the colony prospered, the mother country could provide little means of defence, and it was practically at the mercy of the English—the "swine" of Steendam's verses.



I'm a grandchild of the gods
Who on th' Amstel have abodes;
Whence their orders forth are sent,
Swift for aid and punishment.
I, of Amsterdam, was born,
Early of her breasts forlorn;
From her care so quickly weaned
Oft have I my fate bemoaned.
From my youth up left alone,
Naught save hardship have I known;
Dangers have beset my way
From the first I saw the day.
Think you this a cause for marvel?
This will then the thread unravel,
And the circumstances trace,
Which upon my birth took place.
Would you ask for my descent?
Long the time was it I spent
In the loins of warlike Mars.
'T seems my mother, seized with fears,
Prematurely brought me forth.
But I now am very loth
To inform how this befel;
Though 'twas thus, I know full well,
Bacchus, too,—it is no dream,—
First beheld the daylight's beam
From the thigh of Jupiter.
But my reasons go too far.
My own matter must I say,
And not loiter by the way,
E'en though Bacchus oft has proven
Friend to me in my misfortune.
Now the midwife who received me,
Was Bellona; in suspense, she
Long did sit in trembling fear,
For the travail was severe.
From the moment I was born,
Indian neighbors made me mourn.
They pursued me night and day,
While my mother kept away.
But my sponsors did supply
Better my necessity;
They sustained my feeble life;
They procured a bounteous wife
As my nurse, who did not spare
To my lips her paps to bear.
This was Ceres; freely she
Rendered what has nurtured me.
Her most dearly I will prize;
She has made my horns to rise;
Trained my growth through tender years,
'Midst my burdens and my cares.
True both simple 'twas and scant,
What I had to feed my want.
Oft 'twas naught except Sapawn
And the flesh of buck or fawn.
When I thus began to grow,
No more care did they bestow,
Yet my breasts are full and neat,
And my hips are firmly set.
Neptune shows me his good will;
Merc'ry, quick, exerts his skill
Me t' adorn with silk and gold;
Whence I'm sought by suitors bold.
Stricken by my cheek's fresh bloom,
By my beauteous youthful form,
They attempt to seize the treasure
To enjoy their wanton pleasure.
They, my orchards too, would plunder,
Truly 'tis a special wonder,
That a maid with such a portion
Does not suffer more misfortune:
For, I venture to proclaim,
No one can a maiden name
Who with richer land is blessed
Than th' estate by me possessed.
See: two streams my garden bind,
From the East and North they wind,—
Rivers pouring in the sea,
Rich in fish, beyond degree.
[54] Milk and butter: fruits to eat
No one can enumerate;
Ev'ry vegetable known;
Grain the best that e'er was grown.
All the blessings man e'er knew,
Here does Our Great Giver strew
(And a climate ne'er more pure),
But for me,—yet immature,
Fraught with danger, for the swine
Trample down these crops of mine;
Up-root, too, my choicest land;
Still and dumb, the while, I stand,
In the hope, my mother's arm
Will protect me from the harm.
She can succor my distress.
Now my wish, my sole request,—
Is for men to till my land;
So I'll not in silence stand.
I have lab'rors almost none;
Let my household large become;
I'll my mother's kitchen furnish
With my knick-knacks, with my surplus;
With tobacco, furs and grain;
So that Prussia she'll disdain.
Jacob Steendam,

In spite of this neglect, the new town thrived apace. Friendly relations were established with the settlers at Plymouth, and the colony seemed to be moving steadily toward a golden future. In May, 1647, there arrived from Holland the new director, Peter Stuyvesant. He ruled supreme until 1664, when New Amsterdam surrendered to an English fleet.


[I. Jan. A. C. 1661]

Where nowadays the Battery lies,
New York had just begun,
A new-born babe, to rub its eyes,
In Sixteen Sixty-One.
They christened it Nieuw Amsterdam,
Those burghers grave and stately,
And so, with schnapps and smoke and psalm,
Lived out their lives sedately.
Two windmills topped their wooden wall,
On Stadthuys gazing down,
On fort, and cabbage-plots, and all
The quaintly gabled town;
These flapped their wings and shifted backs,
As ancient scrolls determine,
To scare the savage Hackensacks,
Paumanks, and other vermin.
At night the loyal settlers lay
Betwixt their feather-beds;
In hose and breeches walked by day,
And smoked, and wagged their heads.
No changeful fashions came from France,
The freulen to bewilder,
And cost the burgher's purse, perchance,
Its every other guilder.
In petticoats of linsey-red,
And jackets neatly kept,
The vrouws their knitting-needles sped
And deftly spun and swept.
Few modern-school flirtations there
Set wheels of scandal trundling,
But youths and maidens did their share
Of staid, old-fashioned bundling.
—The New Year opened clear and cold;
The snow, a Flemish ell
In depth, lay over Beeckman's Wold
And Wolfert's frozen well.
Each burgher shook his kitchen-doors,
Drew on his Holland leather,
Then stamped through drifts to do the chores,
Beshrewing all such weather.
But—after herring, ham, and kraut—
To all the gathered town
The Dominie preached the morning out,
In Calvinistic gown;
While tough old Peter Stuyvesant
Sat pewed in foremost station,—
The potent, sage, and valiant
Third Governor of the nation.
Prayer over, at his mansion hall,
With cake and courtly smile,
He met the people, one and all,
In gubernatorial style;
Yet missed, though now the day was old,
An ancient fellow-feaster,—
Heer Govert Loockermans, that bold
Brewer and burgomeester;
Who, in his farmhouse, close without
The picket's eastern end,
Sat growling at the twinge of gout
That kept him from his friend.
[55] But Peter strapped his wooden peg,
When tea and cake were ended
(Meanwhile the sound remaining leg
Its high jack-boot defended),
A woolsey cloak about him threw,
And swore, by wind and limb,
Since Govert kept from Peter's view,
Peter would visit him;
Then sallied forth, through snow and blast,
While many a humbler greeter
Stood wondering whereaway so fast
Strode bluff Hardkoppig Pieter.
Past quay and cowpath, through a lane
Of vats and mounded tans,
He puffed along, with might and main,
To Govert Loockermans;
Once there, his right of entry took,
And hailed his ancient crony:
"Myn Gód! in dese Manhattoes, Loock,
Ve gets more snow as money!"
To which, and after whiffs profound,
With doubtful wink and nod,
There came at last responsive sound:
"Yah, Peter; yah, Myn Gód!"
Then goedevrouw Marie sat her guest
Beneath the chimney-gable,
And courtesied, bustling at her best
To spread the New Year's table.
She brought the pure and genial schnapps,
That years before had come—
In the "Nieuw Nederlandts," perhaps—
To cheer the settlers' home;
The long-stemmed pipes; the fragrant roll
Of pressed and crispy Spanish;
Then placed the earthen mugs and bowl,
Nor long delayed to vanish.
Thereat, with cheery nod and wink,
And honors of the day,
The trader mixed the Governor's drink
As evening sped away.
That ancient room! I see it now:
The carven nutwood dresser;
The drawers, that many a burgher's vrouw
Begrudged their rich possessor;
The brace of high-backed leathern chairs,
Brass-nailed at every seam;
Six others, ranged in equal pairs;
The bacon hung abeam;
The chimney-front, with porcelain shelft;
The hearty wooden fire;
The picture, on the steaming delft,
Of David and Goliah.
I see the two old Dutchmen sit
Like Magog and his mate,
And hear them, when their pipes are lit,
Discuss affairs of state:
The clique that would their sway demean;
The pestilent importation
Of wooden nutmegs, from the lean
And losel Yankee nation.
But when the subtle juniper
Assumed its sure command,
They drank the buxom loves that were,—
They drank the Motherland;
They drank the famous Swedish wars,
Stout Peter's special glory,
While Govert proudly showed the scars
Of Indian contests gory.
Erelong, the berry's power awoke
Some music in their brains,
And, trumpet-like, through rolling smoke,
Rang long-forgotten strains,—
Old Flemish snatches, full of blood,
Of phantom ships and battle;
And Peter, with his leg of wood,
Made floor and casement rattle.
Then round and round the dresser pranced,
The chairs began to wheel,
And on the board the punch-bowl danced
A Netherlandish reel;
Till midnight o'er the farmhouse spread
Her New Year's skirts of sable,
And inch by inch, each puzzled head
Dropt down upon the table.
But still to Peter, as he dreamed,
The table spread and turned;
The chimney-log blazed high, and seemed
To circle as it burned;
The town into the vision grew
From ending to beginning;
Fort, wall, and windmill met his view,
All widening and spinning.
The cowpaths, leading to the docks,
Grew broader, whirling past,
And checkered into shining blocks,—
A city fair and vast;
[56] Stores, churches, mansions, overspread
The metamorphosed island,
While not a beaver showed his head
From Swamp to Kalchook highland.
Eftsoons the picture passed away;
Hours after, Peter woke
To see a spectral streak of day
Gleam in through fading smoke;
Still slept old Govert, snoring on
In most melodious numbers;
No dreams of Eighteen Sixty-One
Commingled with his slumbers.
But Peter, from the farmhouse door,
Gazed doubtfully around,
Rejoiced to find himself once more
On sure and solid ground.
The sky was somewhat dark ahead,
Wind east, the morning lowery;
And on he pushed, a two-miles' tread,
To breakfast at his Bouwery.
Edmund Clarence Stedman.



The Northern or Plymouth Branch of the Virginia Company, which had been chartered by James I in 1606, did, to some extent, for the north what the sister company did for the south. Sir Ferdinando Gorges was its Raleigh, and sent out a number of exploring ships, one of which made what is now reckoned the first permanent settlement in New England. Captain George Popham was in command, and in August, 1607, three months after the planting of Jamestown, built Fort Popham, or Fort St. George, at the mouth of the Kennebec. But it is not this settlement which has been celebrated in song and story. It is that made at New Plymouth in the winter of 1620 by a shipload of Separatists from the Church of England, who have come down through history as the "Pilgrim Fathers."

Driven from England by religious persecution, the Separatist congregation from the little town of Scrooby, about a hundred in number, had fled to Amsterdam, and finally, in 1609, to Leyden. But they were not in sympathy with the Dutch, and their thoughts turned to America. The Plymouth company was approached, but could not guarantee religious freedom. It gave the suppliants to understand, however, that there was little likelihood they would be interfered with, and after long debate and hesitation, they decided to take the risk.


[August 15 (N. S.), 1620]

The word of God to Leyden came,
Dutch town by Zuyder Zee:
Rise up, my children of no name,
My kings and priests to be.
There is an empire in the West,
Which I will soon unfold;
A thousand harvests in her breast,
Rocks ribbed with iron and gold.
Rise up, my children, time is ripe!
Old things are passed away.
Bishops and kings from earth I wipe;
Too long they've had their day.
A little ship have I prepared
To bear you o'er the seas;
And in your souls my will declared
Shall grow by slow degrees.
Beneath my throne the martyrs cry;
I hear their voice, How long?
It mingles with their praises high,
And with their victor song.
The thing they longed and waited for,
But died without the sight;
So, this shall be! I wrong abhor,
The world I'll now set right.
Leave, then, the hammer and the loom,
You've other work to do;
For Freedom's commonwealth there's room,
And you shall build it too.
I'm tired of bishops and their pride,
I'm tired of kings as well;
Henceforth I take the people's side,
And with the people dwell.
Tear off the mitre from the priest,
And from the king, his crown;
Let all my captives be released;
Lift up, whom men cast down.
Their pastors let the people choose,
And choose their rulers too;
[57] Whom they select, I'll not refuse,
But bless the work they do.
The Pilgrims rose, at this, God's word,
And sailed the wintry seas:
With their own flesh nor blood conferred,
Nor thought of wealth or ease.
They left the towers of Leyden town,
They left the Zuyder Zee;
And where they cast their anchor down,
Rose Freedom's realm to be.
Jeremiah Eames Rankin.

A vessel of one hundred and eighty tons, named the Mayflower, was fitted out, and, on August 5 (N. S. 15), 1620, the emigrants sailed from Southampton, whither they had gone to join the ship. There were ninety persons aboard the Mayflower and thirty aboard a smaller vessel, the Speedwell. But the Speedwell proved unseaworthy, and after twice putting back for repairs, twelve of her passengers were crowded into the Mayflower, which finally, on September 6 (N. S. 16), turned her prow to the west, and began the most famous voyage in American history, after that of Columbus.


[September 16 (N. S.), 1620]

The breeze has swelled the whitening sail,
The blue waves curl beneath the gale,
And, bounding with the wave and wind,
We leave Old England's shores behind—
Leave behind our native shore,
Homes, and all we loved before.
The deep may dash, the winds may blow,
The storm spread out its wings of woe,
Till sailors' eyes can see a shroud
Hung in the folds of every cloud;
Still, as long as life shall last,
From that shore we'll speed us fast.
For we would rather never be,
Than dwell where mind cannot be free,
But bows beneath a despot's rod
Even where it seeks to worship God.
Blasts of heaven, onward sweep!
Bear us o'er the troubled deep!
O see what wonders meet our eyes!
Another land, and other skies!
Columbian hills have met our view!
Adieu! Old England's shores, adieu!
Here, at length, our feet shall rest,
Hearts be free, and homes be blessed.
As long as yonder firs shall spread
Their green arms o'er the mountain's head,—
As long as yonder cliffs shall stand,
Where join the ocean and the land,—
Shall those cliffs and mountains be
Proud retreats for liberty.
Now to the King of kings we'll raise
The pæan loud of sacred praise;
More loud than sounds the swelling breeze,
More loud than speak the rolling seas!
Happier lands have met our view!
England's shores, adieu! adieu!
Thomas Cogswell Upham.

On November 19 (N. S.), nine weeks after leaving Plymouth, land was sighted, and in the evening of that day, the "band of exiles moored their bark" in Cape Cod harbor.


[November 19 (N. S.), 1620]

The breaking waves dashed high
On the stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods, against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches tossed;
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came:
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear,—
They shook the depths of the desert's gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free!
The ocean-eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam,
[58] And the rocking pines of the forest roared:
This was their welcome home!
There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim band;
Why have they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?
There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow, serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.
What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—
They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Aye, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstained what there they found—
Freedom to worship God!
Felicia Hemans.

Two days later, on Saturday, November 21, the Mayflower dropped her anchor in what is now the harbor of Provincetown, and a force of sixteen, "every one his Musket, Sword and Corslet, under the command of Captaine Myles Standish," went ashore to explore. The next day, being Sunday, praise service was held on board, and on the following Monday occurred the first washing-day.


[November 23 (N. S.), 1620]

"Ho, Rose!" quoth the stout Miles Standish,
As he stood on the Mayflower's deck,
And gazed on the sandy coast-line
That loomed as a misty speck
On the edge of the distant offing,—
"See! yonder we have in view
Bartholomew Gosnold's 'headlands.'
'Twas in sixteen hundred and two
"That the Concord of Dartmouth anchored
Just there where the beach is broad,
And the merry old captain named it
(Half swamped by the fish)—Cape Cod.
"And so as his mighty 'headlands'
Are scarcely a league away,
What say you to landing, sweetheart,
And having a washing-day?
"For did not the mighty Leader
Who guided the chosen band
Pause under the peaks of Sinai,
And issue his strict command—
"(For even the least assoilment
Of Egypt the spirit loathes)—
Or ever they entered Canaan,
The people should wash their clothes?
"The land we have left is noisome,—
And rank with the smirch of sin;
The land that we seek should find us
Clean-vestured without and within."
"Dear heart"—and the sweet Rose Standish
Looked up with a tear in her eye;
She was back in the flag-stoned kitchen
Where she watched, in the days gone by,
Her mother among her maidens
(She should watch them no more, alas!),
And saw as they stretched the linen
To bleach on the Suffolk grass.
In a moment her brow was cloudless,
As she leaned on the vessel's rail,
And thought of the sea-stained garments,
Of coif and of farthingale;
And the doublets of fine Welsh flannel,
The tuckers and homespun gowns,
And the piles of the hosen knitted
From the wool of the Devon downs.
So the matrons aboard the Mayflower
Made ready with eager hand
To drop from the deck their baskets
As soon as the prow touched land.
And there did the Pilgrim Mothers,
"On a Monday," the record says,
Ordain for their new-found England
The first of her washing-days.
And there did the Pilgrim Fathers,
With matchlock and axe well slung,
Keep guard o'er the smoking kettles
That propt on the crotches hung.
For the trail of the startled savage
Was over the marshy grass,
And the glint of his eyes kept peering
Through cedar and sassafras.
And the children were mad with pleasure
As they gathered the twigs in sheaves,
And piled on the fire the fagots,
And heaped up the autumn leaves.
"Do the thing that is next," saith the proverb,
And a nobler shall yet succeed:—
'Tis the motive exalts the action;
'Tis the doing, and not the deed;
For the earliest act of the heroes
Whose fame has a world-wide sway
Was—to fashion a crane for a kettle,
And order a washing-day!
Margaret Junkin Preston.

A shallop which the Pilgrims had brought with them in the Mayflower was put together, and in it a party explored the neighboring shores, in search of a suitable place for the settlement. They finally selected Plymouth Harbor, and on Monday, December 21 (O. S. 11), they "marched into the land and found divers corn-fields and little running brooks,—a place (as they supposed) fit for situation; at least it was the best they could find."


Down in the bleak December bay
The ghostly vessel stands away;
Her spars and halyards white with ice,
Under the dark December skies.
A hundred souls, in company,
Have left the vessel pensively,—
Have reached the frosty desert there,
And touched it with the knees of prayer.
And now the day begins to dip,
The night begins to lower
Over the bay, and over the ship
Neither the desert nor the sea
Imposes rites: their prayers are free;
Danger and toil the wild imposes,
And thorns must grow before the roses.
And who are these?—and what distress
The savage-acred wilderness
On mother, maid, and child may bring,
Beseems them for a fearful thing;
For now the day begins to dip,
The night begins to lower
Over the bay, and over the ship
But Carver leads (in heart and health
A hero of the commonwealth)
The axes that the camp requires,
To build the lodge and heap the fires,
And Standish from his warlike store
Arrays his men along the shore,
Distributes weapons resonant,
And dons his harness militant;
For now the day begins to dip,
The night begins to lower
Over the bay, and over the ship
And Rose, his wife, unlocks a chest—
She sees a Book, in vellum drest,
She drops a tear and kisses the tome,
Thinking of England and of home:
Might they—the Pilgrims, there and then
Ordained to do the work of men—
Have seen, in visions of the air,
While pillowed on the breast of prayer
(When now the day began to dip,
The night began to lower
Over the bay, and over the ship
The Canaan of their wilderness
A boundless empire of success;
And seen the years of future nights
Jewelled with myriad household lights;
And seen the honey fill the hive;
And seen a thousand ships arrive;
And heard the wheels of travel go;
It would have cheered a thought of woe,
When now the day began to dip,
The night began to lower
Over the bay, and over the ship
Erastus Wolcott Ellsworth.

On March 16 an Indian came into the hamlet, and in broken English bade the strangers "Welcome." He said his name was Samoset, that he came from Monhegan, distant five days' journey toward the southeast, where he had learned something of the language from the crews of fishing-boats, and that he was an envoy from "the greatest commander in the country," a sachem named Massasoit. Massasoit himself appeared a few days later (March 21), and a[60] treaty offensive and defensive was entered into, which remained in force for fifty-four years.


[March 16, 1621]

At the door of his hut sat Massasoit,
And his face was lined with care,
For the Yellow Pest had stalked from the West
And swept his wigwams bare;
Mother and child had it stricken down,
And the warrior in his pride,
Till for one that lived when the plague was past,
A full half-score had died.
Now from the Eastern Shore there came
Word of a white-skinned race
Who had risen from out the mighty deep
In search of a dwelling-place.
Houses they fashioned of tree and stone,
Turkey and deer they slew
With a breath of flame like the lightning-flash
Of the great God, Manitu.
Was it war or peace? The Chief looked round
On the wreck of his mighty band.
His heart was sad as he rose from the ground
And held on high his hand.
"We must treat with the stranger, my children," he said,
And he called to him Samoset:
"You will go to the men on the Eastern Shore
With wampum and calumet."
Warm was the welcome he received,
For the Pilgrims' hearts did thrill
At the message he brought from Massasoit,
With its earnest of good-will.
They bade him eat and they bade him drink,
Gave bracelet, knife, and ring,
And sent him again to Monhegan
To lay them before his king.
So the treaty was made, and the treaty was kept
For fifty years and four;
The white men wrought, and waked, and slept
Secure on the Eastern Shore;
From the door of his hut, old Massasoit
Noted their swift increase,
And blessed the day he had sent that way
His messenger of peace.
Burton Egbert Stevenson.

The colonists set about the work of planting their fields as soon as spring opened. The harvest proved a good one; "there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison," the fowlers having been sent out by the governor, "that so they might, after a special manner, rejoice together after they had gathered the fruit of their labors." This festival was New England's "First Thanksgiving Day." For three days a great feast was spread not only for the colonists, but for Massasoit and some ninety of his people, who had contributed five deer to the larder.


[November, 1621]

"And now," said the Governor, gazing abroad on the piled-up store
Of the sheaves that dotted the clearings and covered the meadows o'er,
"'Tis meet that we render praises because of this yield of grain;
'Tis meet that the Lord of the harvest be thanked for His sun and rain.
"And therefore, I, William Bradford (by the grace of God to-day,
And the franchise of this good people), Governor of Plymouth, say,
Through virtue of vested power—ye shall gather with one accord,
And hold, in the month November, thanksgiving unto the Lord.
"He hath granted us peace and plenty, and the quiet we've sought so long;
He hath thwarted the wily savage, and kept him from wrack and wrong;
And unto our feast the Sachem shall be bidden, that he may know
We worship his own Great Spirit who maketh the harvests grow.
"So shoulder your matchlocks, masters: there is hunting of all degrees;
And fishermen, take your tackle, and scour for spoil the seas;
[61] And maidens and dames of Plymouth, your delicate crafts employ
To honor our First Thanksgiving, and make it a feast of joy!
"We fail of the fruits and dainties—we fail of the old home cheer;
Ah, these are the lightest losses, mayhap, that befall us here;
But see, in our open clearings, how golden the melons lie;
Enrich them with sweets and spices, and give us the pumpkin-pie!"
So, bravely the preparations went on for the autumn feast;
The deer and the bear were slaughtered; wild game from the greatest to least
Was heaped in the colony cabins; brown home-brew served for wine,
And the plum and the grape of the forest, for orange and peach and pine.
At length came the day appointed: the snow had begun to fall,
But the clang from the meeting-house belfry rang merrily over all,
And summoned the folk of Plymouth, who hastened with glad accord
To listen to Elder Brewster as he fervently thanked the Lord.
In his seat sate Governor Bradford; men, matrons, and maidens fair;
Miles Standish and all his soldiers, with corselet and sword, were there;
And sobbing and tears and gladness had each in its turn the sway,
For the grave of the sweet Rose Standish o'ershadowed Thanksgiving Day.
And when Massasoit, the Sachem, sate down with his hundred braves,
And ate of the varied riches of gardens and woods and waves,
And looked on the granaried harvest,—with a blow on his brawny chest,
He muttered, "The good Great Spirit loves His white children best!"
Margaret Junkin Preston.

The colonists, through the friendship of Massasoit, had had little trouble with the Indians, but in April, 1622, a messenger from the Narragansetts brought to Plymouth a sheaf of arrows tied round with a rattlesnake skin, which the Indians there interpreted as a declaration of war. Governor Bradford, at the advice of the doughty Standish, stuffed the skin with powder and ball, and sent it back to the Narragansetts. Their chief, Canonicus, was so alarmed at the look of this missive that he refused to receive it, and it finally found its way back to Plymouth.


From "The Courtship of Miles Standish"

[April 1, 1622]

Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrathful away to the council,
Found it already assembled, impatiently waiting his coming;
Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in deportment,
Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to heaven,
Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder of Plymouth.
God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this planting,
Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a nation;
So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the people!
Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern and defiant,
Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in aspect;
While on the table before them was lying unopened a Bible,
Ponderous, bound in leather, brass-studded, printed in Holland,
And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattlesnake glittered,
Filled, like a quiver, with arrows; a signal and challenge of warfare,
Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy tongues of defiance.
This Miles Standish beheld, as he entered, and heard them debating
What were an answer befitting the hostile message and menace,
Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggesting, objecting;
One voice only for peace, and that the voice of the Elder,
Judging it wise and well that some at least were converted,
Rather than any were slain, for this was but Christian behavior!
[62] Then out spake Miles Standish, the stalwart Captain of Plymouth,
Muttering deep in his throat, for his voice was husky with anger,
"What! do you mean to make war with milk and the water of roses?
Is it to shoot red squirrels you have your howitzer planted
There on the roof of the church, or is it to shoot red devils?
Truly the only tongue that is understood by a savage
Must be the tongue of fire that speaks from the mouth of the cannon!"
Thereupon answered and said the excellent Elder of Plymouth,
Somewhat amazed and alarmed at this irreverent language:
"Not so thought St. Paul, nor yet the other Apostles;
Not from the cannon's mouth were the tongues of fire they spake with!"
But unheeded fell this mild rebuke on the Captain,
Who had advanced to the table, and thus continued discoursing:
"Leave this matter to me, for to me by right it pertaineth.
War is a terrible trade; but in the cause that is righteous,
Sweet is the smell of powder; and thus I answer the challenge!"
Then from the rattlesnake's skin, with a sudden, contemptuous gesture,
Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with powder and bullets
Full to the very jaws, and handed it back to the savage,
Saying, in thundering tones: "Here, take it! this is your answer!"
Silently out of the room then glided the glistening savage,
Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like a serpent,
Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of the forest.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The period of prosperity, which had been marked by the first Thanksgiving, was short-lived. Through nearly the whole of the next two years, the colony was pinched with famine. A crisis was reached in the month of April, 1622, when, so tradition says, the daily ration for each person was reduced to five kernels of corn.


[April, 1622]

'Twas the year of the famine in Plymouth of old,
The ice and the snow from the thatched roofs had rolled;
Through the warm purple skies steered the geese o'er the seas,
And the woodpeckers tapped in the clocks of the trees;
And the boughs on the slopes to the south winds lay bare,
And dreaming of summer, the buds swelled in the air.
The pale Pilgrims welcomed each reddening morn;
There were left but for rations Five Kernels of Corn.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
But to Bradford a feast were Five Kernels of Corn!
"Five Kernels of Corn! Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye people, be glad for Five Kernels of Corn!"
So Bradford cried out on bleak Burial Hill,
And the thin women stood in their doors, white and still.
"Lo, the harbor of Plymouth rolls bright in the Spring,
The maples grow red, and the wood robins sing,
The west wind is blowing, and fading the snow,
And the pleasant pines sing, and the arbutuses blow.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
To each one be given Five Kernels of Corn!"
O Bradford of Austerfield haste on thy way.
The west winds are blowing o'er Provincetown Bay,
The white avens bloom, but the pine domes are chill,
And new graves have furrowed Precisioners' Hill!
"Give thanks, all ye people, the warm skies have come,
The hilltops are sunny, and green grows the holm,
[63] And the trumpets of winds, and the white March is gone,
And ye still have left you Five Kernels of Corn.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye have for Thanksgiving Five Kernels of Corn!"
"The raven's gift eat and be humble and pray,
A new light is breaking, and Truth leads your way;
One taper a thousand shall kindle: rejoice
That to you has been given the wilderness voice!"
O Bradford of Austerfield, daring the wave,
And safe through the sounding blasts leading the brave,
Of deeds such as thine was the free nation born,
And the festal world sings the "Five Kernels of Corn."
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
The nation gives thanks for Five Kernels of Corn!
To the Thanksgiving Feast bring Five Kernels of Corn!
Hezekiah Butterworth.

In June, 1622, a colony of adventurers from England settled at Wessagusset, now Weymouth, and when their supplies ran short, the following winter, broke open and robbed some of the Indian granaries. The Indians were naturally enraged, and formed a plot for the extirpation of the whites. Warned by Massasoit, the Plymouth settlers determined to strike the first blow, and on March 23, 1623, Standish and eight men were dispatched to Wessagusset. The poem tells the story of the events which followed.


From "The Courtship of Miles Standish"

[March, 1623]

Just in the gray of the dawn, as the mists uprose from the meadows,
There was a stir and a sound in the slumbering village of Plymouth;
Clanging and clicking of arms, and the order imperative, "Forward!"
Given in tone suppressed, a tramp of feet, and then silence.
Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out of the village.
Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his valorous army,
Led by their Indian guide, by Hobomok, friend of the white men,
Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt of the savage.
Giants they seemed in the mist, or the mighty men of King David;
Giants in heart they were, who believed in God and the Bible,—
Ay, who believed in the smiting of Midianites and Philistines.
Over them gleamed far off the crimson banners of morning;
Under them loud on the sands, the serried billows, advancing,
Fired along the line, and in regular order retreated.
* * * * *
Meanwhile the stalwart Miles Standish was marching steadily northward,
Winding through forest and swamp, and along the trend of the sea-shore.
* * * * *
After a three days' march he came to an Indian encampment
Pitched on the edge of a meadow, between the sea and the forest;
Women at work by the tents, and warriors, horrid with war-paint,
Seated about a fire, and smoking and talking together;
Who, when they saw from afar the sudden approach of the white men,
Saw the flash of the sun on breastplate and sabre and musket,
Straightway leaped to their feet, and two, from among them advancing,
Came to parley with Standish, and offer him furs as a present;
Friendship was in their looks, but in their hearts there was hatred.
Braves of the tribe were these, and brothers, gigantic in stature,
Huge as Goliath of Gath, or the terrible Og, king of Bashan;
One was Pecksuot named, and the other was called Wattawamat.
Round their necks were suspended their knives in scabbards of wampum,
[64] Two-edged, trenchant knives, with points as sharp as a needle.
Other arms had they none, for they were cunning and crafty.
"Welcome, English!" they said,—these words they had learned from the traders
Touching at times on the coast, to barter and chaffer for peltries.
Then in their native tongue they began to parley with Standish,
Through his guide and interpreter, Hobomok, friend of the white man,
Begging for blankets and knives, but mostly for muskets and powder,
Kept by the white man, they said, concealed, with the plague, in his cellars,
Ready to be let loose, and destroy his brother the red man!
But when Standish refused, and said he would give them the Bible,
Suddenly changing their tone, they began to boast and to bluster.
Then Wattawamat advanced with a stride in front of the other,
And, with a lofty demeanor, thus vauntingly spake to the Captain:
"Now Wattawamat can see, by the fiery eyes of the Captain,
Angry is he in his heart; but the heart of the brave Wattawamat
Is not afraid of the sight. He was not born of a woman,
But on a mountain at night, from an oak-tree riven by lightning,
Forth he sprang at a bound, with all his weapons about him,
Shouting, 'Who is there here to fight with the brave Wattawamat?'"
Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting the blade on his left hand,
Held it aloft and displayed a woman's face on the handle;
Saying, with bitter expression and look of sinister meaning:
"I have another at home, with the face of a man on the handle;
By and by they shall marry; and there will be plenty of children!"
Then stood Pecksuot forth, self-vaunting, insulting Miles Standish:
While with his fingers he patted the knife that hung at his bosom,
Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging it back, as he muttered,
"By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha! but shall speak not!
This is the mighty Captain the white men have sent to destroy us!
He is a little man; let him go and work with the women!"
Meanwhile Standish had noted the faces and figures of Indians
Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree in the forest,
Feigning to look for game, with arrows set on their bow-strings,
Drawing about him still closer and closer the net of their ambush.
But undaunted he stood, and dissembled and treated them smoothly;
So the old chronicles say, that were writ in the days of the fathers.
But when he heard their defiance, the boast, the taunt, and the insult,
All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and of Thurston de Standish,
Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in the veins of his temples.
Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and, snatching his knife from its scabbard,
Plunged it into his heart, and, reeling backward, the savage
Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiendlike fierceness upon it.
Straight there arose from the forest the awful sound of the war-whoop.
And, like a flurry of snow on the whistling wind of December,
Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of feathery arrows.
Then came a cloud of smoke, and out of the cloud came the lightning,
Out of the lightning thunder; and death unseen ran before it.
Frightened the savages fled for shelter in swamp and in thicket,
Hotly pursued and beset; but their sachem, the brave Wattawamat,
Fled not; he was dead. Unswerving and swift had a bullet
Passed through his brain, and he fell with both hands clutching the greensward,
Seeming in death to hold back from his foe the land of his fathers.
There on the flowers of the meadow the warriors lay, and above them,
Silent, with folded arms, stood Hobomok, friend of the white man.
Smiling at length he exclaimed to the stalwart Captain of Plymouth:—
"Pecksuot bragged very loud, of his courage, his strength, and his stature,—
Mocked the great Captain, and called him a little man; but I see now
Big enough have you been to lay him speechless before you!"
Thus the first battle was fought and won by the stalwart Miles Standish.
When the tidings thereof were brought to the village of Plymouth,
And as a trophy of war the head of the brave Wattawamat
Scowled from the roof of the fort, which at once was a church and a fortress,
All who beheld it rejoiced, and praised the Lord, and took courage.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

By the end of 1624 Plymouth was in a thriving condition. Its inhabitants numbered nearly two hundred, and it boasted thirty-two dwelling-houses. Other colonies soon sprang up about the Bay—Piscataqua (Portsmouth), Naumkeag (Salem), Nantasket (Hull), and Winnisimmet (Chelsea). The trials and pleasures of life in New England at about this time are humorously described in what are perhaps the first verses written by an American colonist.



New England's annoyances, you that would know them,
Pray ponder these verses which briefly doth shew them.
The Place where we live is a wilderness Wood,
Where Grass is much wanting that's fruitful and good:
Our Mountains and Hills and our Vallies below
Being commonly cover'd with Ice and with Snow;
And when the North-west Wind with violence blows,
Then every Man pulls his Cap over his Nose:
But if any's so hardy and will it withstand,
He forfeits a Finger, a Foot, or a Hand.
But when the Spring opens, we then take the Hoe,
And make the Ground ready to plant and to sow;
Our Corn being planted and Seed being sown,
The Worms destroy much before it is grown;
And when it is growing, some spoil there is made
By Birds and by Squirrels that pluck up the Blade;
And when it is come to full Corn in the Ear,
It is often destroy'd by Raccoon and by Deer.
And now do our Garments begin to grow thin,
And Wool is much wanted to card and to spin;
If we can get a Garment to cover without,
Our other In-Garments are Clout upon Clout:
Our Clothes we brought with us are apt to be torn,
They need to be clouted soon after they're worn;
But clouting our Garments they hinder us nothing:
Clouts double are warmer than single whole Clothing.
If fresh Meat be wanting, to fill up our Dish,
We have Carrots and Turnips as much as we wish;
And is there a mind for a delicate Dish,
We repair to the Clam-banks, and there we catch Fish.
For Pottage and Puddings, and Custards and Pies,
Our Pumpkins and Parsnips are common supplies;
We have Pumpkins at morning, and Pumpkins at noon;
If it was not for Pumpkins we should be undone.
If Barley be wanting to make into Malt,
We must be contented, and think it no fault;
For we can make Liquor to sweeten our Lips
Of Pumpkins and Parsnips and Walnut-Tree Chips.
* * * * *
Now while some are going let others be coming,
For while Liquor's boiling it must have a scumming;
But I will not blame them, for Birds of a Feather,
By seeking their Fellows, are flocking together.
But you whom the Lord intends hither to bring,
Forsake not the Honey for fear of the Sting;
But bring both a quiet and contented Mind,
And all needful Blessings you surely will find.

The Old Colony's palmy days were of short duration, for it was soon overshadowed by a more wealthy and vigorous neighbor, founded by the powerful Puritan party.


Well worthy to be magnified are they
Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took
A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,
And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay;
Then to the new-found World explored their way,
That so a Church, unforced, uncalled to brook
Ritual restraints, within some sheltering nook
Her Lord might worship and his word obey
In freedom. Men they were who could not bend;
Blest Pilgrims, surely, as they took for guide
A will by sovereign Conscience sanctified;
Blest while their Spirits from the woods ascend
Along a Galaxy that knows no end,
But in His glory who for Sinners died.
From Rite and Ordinance abused they fled
To Wilds where both were utterly unknown;
But not to them had Providence foreshown
What benefits are missed, what evils bred,
In worship neither raised nor limited
Save by Self-will. Lo! from that distant shore,
For Rite and Ordinance, Piety is led
Back to the Land those Pilgrims left of yore,
Led by her own free choice. So Truth and Love
By Conscience governed do their steps retrace.—
Fathers! your Virtues, such the power of grace,
Their spirit, in your Children, thus approve.
Transcendent over time, unbound by place,
Concord and Charity in circles move.
William Wordsworth.

When Charles I came to the throne, in 1625, with the expressed determination to harry the Puritans out of England, the latter decided to seek an asylum in the New World. In 1628 John Endicott and a few others secured a patent from the New England Council for a trading-company, the grant including a strip of land across the continent from a line three miles north of the Merrimac to another three miles south of the Charles. It was into this colony, known as Massachusetts, that the older colony of Plymouth was finally absorbed.


The Pilgrim Fathers,—where are they?
The waves that brought them o'er
Still roll in the bay, and throw their spray
As they break along the shore;
Still roll in the bay, as they rolled that day
When the Mayflower moored below;
When the sea around was black with storms,
And white the shore with snow.
The mists that wrapped the Pilgrim's sleep
Still brood upon the tide;
And his rocks yet keep their watch by the deep
To stay its waves of pride.
But the snow-white sail that he gave to the gale,
When the heavens looked dark, is gone,—
As an angel's wing through an opening cloud
Is seen, and then withdrawn.
The pilgrim exile,—sainted name!
The hill whose icy brow
Rejoiced, when he came, in the morning's flame,
In the morning's flame burns now.
And the moon's cold light, as it lay that night
On the hillside and the sea,
Still lies where he laid his houseless head,—
But the Pilgrim! where is he?
The Pilgrim Fathers are at rest:
When summer's throned on high,
And the world's warm breast is in verdure drest,
Go, stand on the hill where they lie.
The earliest ray of the golden day
On that hallowed spot is cast;
And the evening sun, as he leaves the world,
Looks kindly on that spot last.
The Pilgrim spirit has not fled:
It walks in noon's broad light;
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead,
With the holy stars by night.
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,
And still guard this ice-bound shore,
Till the waves of the bay, where the Mayflower lay,
Shall foam and freeze no more.
John Pierpont.

King Charles, little suspecting that he was providing an asylum for the Puritans, confirmed the patent by a royal charter to "The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." No place for the meetings of the company had been named in the charter, and the audacious plan was formed to remove it, patents, charter, and all, to New England. Secret meetings were held, the old officers were finally got rid of, and John Winthrop was elected governor. Winthrop sailed for America on April 7, 1630, and arrived at Salem June 12. It was the beginning of a great emigration, for, in the four months that followed, seventeen ships arrived, with nearly a thousand passengers.


[June 12, 1630]

"Praise ye the Lord!" The psalm to-day
Still rises on our ears,
Borne from the hills of Boston Bay
Through five times fifty years,
When Winthrop's fleet from Yarmouth crept
Out to the open main,
And through the widening waters swept,
In April sun and rain.
"Pray to the Lord with fervent lips,"
The leader shouted, "pray;"
And prayer arose from all the ships
As faded Yarmouth Bay.
They passed the Scilly Isles that day,
And May-days came, and June,
And thrice upon the ocean lay
The full orb of the moon.
And as that day, on Yarmouth Bay,
Ere England sunk from view,
While yet the rippling Solent lay
In April skies of blue,
"Pray to the Lord with fervent lips,"
Each morn was shouted, "pray;"
And prayer arose from all the ships,
As first in Yarmouth Bay;
Blew warm the breeze o'er Western seas,
Through Maytime morns, and June,
Till hailed these souls the Isles of Shoals,
Low 'neath the summer moon;
And as Cape Ann arose to view,
And Norman's Woe they passed,
The wood-doves came the white mists through,
And circled round each mast.
"Pray to the Lord with fervent lips,"
Then called the leader, "pray;"
And prayer arose from all the ships,
As first in Yarmouth Bay.
Above the sea the hill-tops fair—
God's towers—began to rise,
And odors rare breathe through the air,
Like balms of Paradise.
Through burning skies the ospreys flew,
And near the pine-cooled shores
Danced airy boat and thin canoe,
To flash of sunlit oars.
"Pray to the Lord with fervent lips,"
The leader shouted, "pray!"
Then prayer arose, and all the ships
Sailed into Boston Bay.
The white wings folded, anchors down,
The sea-worn fleet in line,
Fair rose the hills where Boston town
Should rise from clouds of pine;
Fair was the harbor, summit-walled,
And placid lay the sea.
"Praise ye the Lord," the leader called;
"Praise ye the Lord," spake he.
"Give thanks to God with fervent lips,
Give thanks to God to-day,"
The anthem rose from all the ships,
Safe moored in Boston Bay.
"Praise ye the Lord!" Primeval woods
First heard the ancient song,
And summer hills and solitudes
The echoes rolled along.
[68] The Red Cross flag of England blew
Above the fleet that day,
While Shawmut's triple peaks in view
In amber hazes lay.
"Praise ye the Lord with fervent lips,
Praise ye the Lord to-day,"
The anthem rose from all the ships
Safe moored in Boston Bay.
The Arabella leads the song—
The Mayflower sings below,
That erst the Pilgrims bore along
The Plymouth reefs of snow.
Oh! never be that psalm forgot
That rose o'er Boston Bay,
When Winthrop sang, and Endicott,
And Saltonstall, that day:
"Praise ye the Lord with fervent lips,
Praise ye the Lord to-day;"
And praise arose from all the ships,
Like prayers in Yarmouth Bay.
That psalm our fathers sang we sing,
That psalm of peace and wars,
While o'er our heads unfolds its wing
The flag of forty stars.
And while the nation finds a tongue
For nobler gifts to pray,
'Twill ever sing the song they sung
That first Thanksgiving Day:
"Praise ye the Lord with fervent lips,
Praise ye the Lord to-day;"
So rose the song from all the ships,
Safe moored in Boston Bay.
Our fathers' prayers have changed to psalms,
As David's treasures old
Turned, on the Temple's giant arms,
To lily-work of gold.
Ho! vanished ships from Yarmouth's tide,
Ho! ships of Boston Bay,
Your prayers have crossed the centuries wide
To this Thanksgiving Day!
We pray to God with fervent lips,
We praise the Lord to-day,
As prayers arose from Yarmouth ships,
But psalms from Boston Bay.
Hezekiah Butterworth.

But the condition of the colonists was for the most part pitiful, and food was so scarce that shell-fish served for meat and acorns for bread. Winthrop had foreseen this and had engaged Captain William Pierce, of the ship Lion, to go in all haste to the nearest port in Ireland for provisions. Food-stuffs were nearly as scarce there as in America, and Pierce was forced to go on to London, where he was again delayed. A fast was appointed throughout the settlements for February 22, 1631, to implore divine succor. On the 21st, as Winthrop "was distributing the last handful of meal in the barrel unto a poor man distressed by the wolf at the door, at that instant they spied a ship arrived at the harbour's mouth, laden with provisions for them all." The ship was the Lion, and the fast day was changed into a day of feasting and thanksgiving.


[February 22, 1631]

It was Captain Pierce of the Lion who strode the streets of London,
Who stalked the streets in the blear of morn and growled in his grisly beard;
By Neptune! quoth this grim sea-dog, I fear that my master's undone!
'Tis a bitter thing if all for naught through the drench of the deep I've steered!
He had come from out of the ultimate West through the spinning drift and the smother,
Come for a guerdon of golden grain for a hungry land afar;
And he thought of many a wasting maid, and of many a sad-eyed mother,
And how their gaze would turn and turn for a sail at the harbor bar.
But famine lay on the English isle, and grain was a hoarded treasure,
So ruddy the coin must gleam to loose the lock of the store-house door;
And under his breath the Captain groaned because of his meagre measure,
And the grasping souls of those that held the keys to the precious store.
But he flung a laugh and a fleer at doubt, and braving the roaring city
He faced them out—those moiling men whose greed had grown to a curse—
Till at last he found in the strenuous press a heart that was moved to pity,
And he gave the Governor's bond and word for what he lacked in his purse.
So the Lion put her prow to the West in the wild and windy weather,
Her sails all set, though her decks were wet with the driving scud and the foam;
[69] Never an hour would the Captain hold his staunch little craft in tether,
For the haunting thought of hungry eyes was the lure that called him home.
Sooth, in the streets of Boston-town was the heavy sound of sorrow,
For an iron frost had bound the wold, and the sky hung bleak and dread;
Despair sat dark on the face of him who dared to think of the morrow,
When not a crust could the goodwife give if the children moaned for bread.
But hark, from the wintry waterside a loud and lusty cheering,
That sweeps the sullen streets of the town as a wave the level strand!
A sail! a sail! upswelled the cry, speeding the vessel steering
Out of the vast of the misty sea in to the waiting land.
Turn the dimming page of the past that the dust of the years is dry on.
And see the tears in the eyes of Joy as the ship draws in to the shore,
And see the genial glow on the face of Captain Pierce of the Lion,
As the Governor grips his faithful hand and blesses him o'er and o'er!
Oh, the rapture of that release! Feasting instead of fasting!
Happiness in the heart of the home, and hope with its silver ray!
Oh, the songs of prayer and praise to the Lord God everlasting
That mounted morn and noon and eve on that first Thanksgiving Day!
Clinton Scollard.

In the four years that followed, the worst hardships of the new plantation were outlived, and between three and four thousand Englishmen were distributed among the twenty hamlets along and near the sea-shore. The fight for a foothold had been won.


From a fragmentary poem on "New England"

Famine once we had,
But other things God gave us in full store,
As fish and ground-nuts to supply our strait,
That we might learn on Providence to wait;
And know, by bread man lives not in his need.
But by each word that doth from God proceed.
But a while after plenty did come in,
From His hand only who doth pardon sin,
And all did flourish like the pleasant green,
Which in the joyful spring is to be seen.
Almost ten years we lived here alone,
In other places there were few or none;
For Salem was the next of any fame,
That began to augment New England's name;
But after multitudes began to flow,
More than well knew themselves where to bestow;
Boston then began her roots to spread,
And quickly soon she grew to be the head,
Not only of the Massachusetts Bay,
But all trade and commerce fell in her way.
And truly it was admirable to know,
How greatly all things here began to grow.
New plantations were in each place begun,
And with inhabitants were filled soon.
All sorts of grain which our own land doth yield,
Was hither brought and sown in every field:
As wheat and rye, barley, oats, beans and pease,
Here all thrive, and they profit from them raise.
All sorts of roots and herbs in gardens grow,
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, or what you'll sow.
Onions, melons, cucumbers, radishes,
Skirets, beets, coleworts, and fair cabbages.
Here grow fine flowers many, and 'mongst those,
The fair white lily and sweet fragrant rose.
Many good wholesome berries here you'll find,
Fit for man's use, almost of every kind,
Pears, apples, cherries, plumbs, quinces, and peach,
Are now no dainties; you may have of each.
Nuts and grapes of several sorts are here,
If you will take the pains them to seek for.
William Bradford.

There remained but one danger, the Indians; and most feared of all were the Pequots, who dwelt just west of what is now Rhode Island, and in 1637 began open hostilities. A force of about a hundred men marched against the principal Pequot stronghold, a palisaded village which stood on a hilltop near the Mystic. The attack was made on the night of May 25, 1637, the Indians were taken by surprise, their thatched houses[70] were set on fire, and of the six or seven hundred persons in the village, scarcely one escaped.


From "The Destruction of the Pequods"

[May 25, 1637]

Through verdant banks where Thames's branches glide,
Long held the Pequods an extensive sway;
Bold, savage, fierce, of arms the glorious pride,
And bidding all the circling realms obey.
Jealous, they saw the tribes, beyond the sea,
Plant in their climes; and towns, and cities, rise;
Ascending castles foreign flags display;
Mysterious art new scenes of life devise;
And steeds insult the plains, and cannon rend the skies.
The rising clouds the savage chief descried,
And, round the forest, bade his heroes arm;
To arms the painted warriors proudly hied,
And through surrounding nations rung the alarm.
The nations heard; but smiled, to see the storm,
With ruin fraught, o'er Pequod mountains driven
And felt infernal joy the bosom warm,
To see their light hang o'er the skirts of even,
And other suns arise, to gild a kinder heaven.
Swift to the Pequod fortress Mason sped,
Far in the wildering wood's impervious gloom;
A lonely castle, brown with twilight dread;
Where oft the embowelled captive met his doom,
And frequent heaved, around the hollow tomb,
Scalps hung in rows, and whitening bones were strew'd;
Where, round the broiling babe, fresh from the womb,
With howls the Powow fill'd the dark abode,
And screams and midnight prayers invoked the evil god.
But now no awful rites, nor potent spell,
To silence charm'd the peals of coming war;
Or told the dread recesses of the dell,
Where glowing Mason led his bands from far;
No spirit, buoyant on his airy car,
Controll'd the whirlwind of invading fight:
Deep died in blood, dun evening's falling star
Sent sad o'er western hills its parting light,
And no returning morn dispersed the long, dark night.
On the drear walls a sudden splendor glow'd,
There Mason shone, and there his veterans pour'd.
Anew the hero claim'd the fiends of blood,
While answering storms of arrows round him shower'd,
And the war-scream the ear with anguish gored.
Alone, he burst the gate; the forest round
Reëchoed death; the peal of onset roar'd,
In rush'd the squadrons; earth in blood was drown'd;
And gloomy spirits fled, and corses hid the ground.
Not long in dubious fight the host had striven,
When, kindled by the musket's potent flame,
In clouds, and fire, the castle rose to heaven,
And gloom'd the world, with melancholy beam.
Then hoarser groans, with deeper anguish, came;
And fiercer fight the keen assault repell'd:
Nor e'en these ills the savage breast could tame;
Like hell's deep caves, the hideous region yell'd,
Till death, and sweeping fire, laid waste the hostile field.
Timothy Dwight.

Sassacus, the Pequot chief, escaped and sought refuge with the Mohawks, but was slain by them.



Great Sassacus fled from the eastern shores,
Where the sun first shines, and the great sea roars,
For the white men came from the world afar,
And their fury burnt like the bison star.
His sannops were slain by their thunder's power,
And his children fell like the star-eyed flower;
[71] His wigwams were burnt by the white man's flame,
And the home of his youth has a stranger name—
His ancestor once was our countryman's foe,
And the arrow was plac'd in the new-strung bow,
The wild deer ranged through the forest free,
While we fought with his tribe by the distant sea.
But the foe never came to the Mohawk's tent,
With his hair untied, and his bow unbent,
And found not the blood of the wild deer shed,
And the calumet lit and the bear-skin bed.
But sing ye the Death Song, and kindle the pine,
And bid its broad light like his valor to shine;
Then raise high his pile by our warriors' heaps,
And tell to his tribe that his murderer sleeps.
Alonzo Lewis.


On primal rocks she wrote her name;
Her towers were reared on holy graves;
The golden seed that bore her came
Swift-winged with prayer o'er ocean waves.
The Forest bowed his solemn crest,
And open flung his sylvan doors;
Meek Rivers led the appointed guest
To clasp the wide-embracing shores;
Till, fold by fold, the broidered land
To swell her virgin vestments grew,
While sages, strong in heart and hand,
Her virtue's fiery girdle drew.
O Exile of the wrath of kings!
O Pilgrim Ark of Liberty!
The refuge of divinest things,
Their record must abide in thee!
First in the glories of thy front
Let the crown-jewel, Truth, be found;
Thy right hand fling, with generous wont,
Love's happy chain to farthest bound!
Let Justice, with the faultless scales,
Hold fast the worship of thy sons;
Thy Commerce spread her shining sails
Where no dark tide of rapine runs!
So link thy ways to those of God,
So follow firm the heavenly laws,
That stars may greet thee, warrior-browed,
And storm-sped angels hail thy cause!
O Lord, the measure of our prayers,
Hope of the world in grief and wrong,
Be thine the tribute of the years,
The gift of Faith, the crown of Song!
Julia Ward Howe.



The Puritans, who had come to New England to escape a religious despotism, lost no time in establishing one of their own. At the first meeting of the General Council, in the autumn of 1630, it was agreed that no one should be admitted to membership in the company who was not a member of some church approved by it, and a religious oligarchy was thus established which kept itself in power for over thirty years.


From "John Endicott"

To-night we strive to read, as we may best,
This city, like an ancient palimpsest;
And bring to light, upon the blotted page,
The mournful record of an earlier age,
That, pale and half effaced, lies hidden away
Beneath the fresher writing of to-day.
Rise, then, O buried city that hast been;
Rise up, rebuilded in the painted scene,
And let our curious eyes behold once more
The pointed gable and the pent-house door,
The meeting-house with leaden-latticed panes,
The narrow thoroughfares, the crooked lanes!
Rise, too, ye shapes and shadows of the Past,
Rise from your long-forgotten graves at last;
[72] Let us behold your faces, let us hear
The words ye uttered in those days of fear!
Revisit your familiar haunts again,—
The scenes of triumph, and the scenes of pain,
And leave the footprints of your bleeding feet
Once more upon the pavement of the street!
Nor let the Historian blame the Poet here,
If he perchance misdate the day or year,
And group events together, by his art,
That in the Chronicles lie far apart;
For as the double stars, though sundered far,
Seem to the naked eye a single star,
So facts of history, at a distance seen,
Into one common point of light convene.
"Why touch upon such themes?" perhaps some friend
May ask, incredulous; "and to what good end?
Why drag again into the light of day
The errors of an age long passed away?"
I answer: "For the lesson that they teach:
The tolerance of opinion and of speech.
Hope, Faith, and Charity remain,—these three;
And greatest of them all is Charity."
Let us remember, if these words be true,
That unto all men Charity is due;
Give what we ask; and pity, while we blame,
Lest we become copartners in the shame,
Lest we condemn, and yet ourselves partake,
And persecute the dead for conscience' sake.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

One of the earliest to feel the displeasure of the ruling powers of the Colony was Roger Williams, who came to Boston in 1631. He made himself obnoxious to the government by denying the right of the magistrates to punish Sabbath breaking; and continued to occasion so much excitement that it was decided to send him back to England. Williams got wind of this, and took to the woods in January, 1636.


[January, 1636]

Why do I sleep amid the snows,
Why do the pine boughs cover me,
While dark the wind of winter blows
Across the Narragansett's sea?
O sense of right! O sense of right,
Whate'er my lot in life may be,
Thou art to me God's inner light,
And these tired feet must follow thee.
Yes, still my feet must onward go,
With nothing for my hope but prayer,
Amid the winds, amid the snow,
And trust the ravens of the air.
But though alone, and grieved at heart,
Bereft of human brotherhood,
I trust the whole and not the part,
And know that Providence is good.
Self-sacrifice is never lost,
But bears the seed of its reward;
They who for others leave the most,
For others gain the most from God.
O sense of right! I must obey,
And hope and trust, whate'er betide;
I cannot always know my way,
But I can always know my Guide.
And so for me the winter blows
Across the Narragansett's sea.
And so I sleep beneath the snows,
And so the pine boughs cover me.
Hezekiah Butterworth.

Williams had a hard time of it. Thirty years later, he related how he was "sorely tossed for fourteen weeks in a bitter winter season, not knowing what bread or bed did mean."


God makes a path, provides a guide,
And feeds in wilderness!
His glorious name while breath remains,
O that I may confess.
Lost many a time, I have had no guide,
No house, but hollow tree!
In stormy winter night no fire,
No food, no company:
In him I found a house, a bed,
A table, company:
No cup so bitter, but's made sweet,
When God shall sweetning be.
Roger Williams.


Williams went to Narragansett Bay, where he bargained with Canonicus for the land he wanted, and laid the foundations of the present city of Providence.



Content within his wigwam warm,
Canonicus sate by the fire;
Without, the voices of the storm
Shrieked ever high and higher.
Eager and wild, the spiteful wind
Tore at the thatch with fingers strong;
The Sachem fed the fire within
And hummed a hunting-song.
Sudden upon the crusted snow
He caught a sound not of the storm—
A sound of footsteps dragging slow
Towards his shelter warm.
He drew aside the flap of skin;
A stranger at the threshold stood;
Canonicus bade him enter in,
And gave him drink and food.
His hand he gave in friendship true,
Land for a home gave he;
And he learned of the love of Christ Jesu,
Who died upon the tree.
To the stranger guest sweet life he gave;
For a State he saved its Sire;
Yea, and his own soul did he save
From burning in hell-fire.

Scarcely were the Massachusetts magistrates rid of Williams, when they found themselves engaged in a much more threatening controversy with Mrs. Anne Hutchinson and her adherents, who believed in various "dangerous errors," and carried their contempt for the constituted ministry to the point of rising and marching out of the Boston church when its respected pastor, John Wilson, arose to speak. The other ministers of the colony rallied to Wilson's support, the General Court summoned Mrs. Hutchinson before it in November, 1637, and pronounced sentence of banishment, which was put into effect March 28, 1638.


[March 28, 1638]

"Home, home—where's my baby's home?
Here we seek, there we seek, my baby's home to find.
Come, come, come, my baby, come!
We found her home, we lost her home, and home is far behind.
Come, my baby, come!
Find my baby's home!"
The baby clings; the mother sings; the pony stumbles on;
The father leads the beast along the tangled, muddy way;
The boys and girls trail on behind; the sun will soon be gone,
And starlight bright will take again the place of sunny day.
"Home, home—where's my baby's home?
Here we seek, there we seek, my baby's home to find.
Come, come, come, my baby, come!
We found her home, we lost her home, and home is far behind.
Come, my baby, come!
Find my baby's home!"
The sun goes down behind the lake; the night fogs gather chill,
The children's clothes are torn; and the children's feet are sore.
"Keep on, my boys, keep on, my girls, till all have passed the hill;
Then ho, my girls, and ho, my boys, for fire and sleep once more!"
And all the time she sings to the baby on her breast,
"Home, my darling, sleep, my darling, find a place for rest;
Who gives the fox his burrow will give my bird a nest.
Come, my baby, come!
Find my baby's home!"
He lifts the mother from the beast; the hemlock boughs they spread,
And make the baby's cradle sweet with fern-leaves and with bays.
The baby and her mother are resting on their bed;
He strikes the flint, he blows the spark, and sets the twigs ablaze.
"Sleep, my child; sleep, my child!
Baby, find her rest,
Here beneath the gracious skies, upon her father's breast;
Who gives the fox his burrow will give my bird her nest.
[74] Come, come, with her mother, come!
Home, home, find my baby's home!"
The guardian stars above the trees their loving vigil keep;
The cricket sings her lullaby, the whippoorwill his cheer.
The father knows his Father's arms are round them as they sleep;
The mother knows that in His arms her darling need not fear.
"Home, home, my baby's home is here;
With God we seek, with God we find the place for baby's rest.
Hist, my child, list, my child; angels guard us here.
The God of heaven is here to make and keep my birdie's nest.
Home, home, here's my baby's home!"
Edward Everett Hale.

Among the converts made by Mrs. Hutchinson during her stay in Boston was John Underhill, commander of the colony's troops. He became involved in the controversy that followed, and as a result was disarmed, disfranchised, and finally banished. In September, 1638, he betook himself to Cocheco (Dover), on the Piscataqua, where some of Mrs. Hutchinson's adherents had started a settlement, and where he afterwards held various offices.


[September, 1638]

A score of years had come and gone
Since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth stone,
When Captain Underhill, bearing scars
From Indian ambush and Flemish wars,
Left three-hilled Boston and wandered down,
East by north, to Cocheco town.
With Vane the younger, in council sweet,
He had sat at Anna Hutchinson's feet,
And, when the bolt of banishment fell
On the head of his saintly oracle,
He had shared her ill as her good report,
And braved the wrath of the General Court.
He shook from his feet as he rode away
The dust of the Massachusetts Bay.
The world might bless and the world might ban,
What did it matter the perfect man,
To whom the freedom of earth was given,
Proof against sin, and sure of heaven?
He cheered his heart as he rode along
With screed of Scripture and holy song,
Or thought how he rode with his lances free
By the Lower Rhine and the Zuyder-Zee,
Till his wood-path grew to a trodden road,
And Hilton Point in the distance showed.
He saw the church with the block-house nigh,
The two fair rivers, the flakes thereby,
And, tacking to windward, low and crank,
The little shallop from Strawberry Bank;
And he rose in his stirrups and looked abroad
Over land and water, and praised the Lord.
Goodly and stately and grave to see,
Into the clearing's space rode he,
With the sun on the hilt of his sword in sheath,
And his silver buckles and spurs beneath,
And the settlers welcomed him, one and all,
From swift Quampeagan to Gonic Fall.
And he said to the elders: "Lo, I come
As the way seemed open to seek a home.
Somewhat the Lord hath wrought by my hands
In the Narragansett and Netherlands,
And if here ye have work for a Christian man,
I will tarry, and serve ye as best I can.
"I boast not of gifts, but fain would own
The wonderful favor God hath shown,
The special mercy vouchsafed one day
On the shore of Narragansett Bay,
As I sat, with my pipe, from the camp aside,
And mused like Isaac at eventide.
"A sudden sweetness of peace I found,
A garment of gladness wrapped me round;
I felt from the law of works released,
The strife of the flesh and spirit ceased,
My faith to a full assurance grew,
And all I had hoped for myself I knew.
"Now, as God appointeth, I keep my way,
I shall not stumble, I shall not stray;
He hath taken away my fig-leaf dress,
I wear the robe of His righteousness;
And the shafts of Satan no more avail
Than Pequot arrows on Christian mail."
"Tarry with us," the settlers cried,
"Thou man of God, as our ruler and guide."
And Captain Underhill bowed his head,
"The will of the Lord be done!" he said.
[75] And the morrow beheld him sitting down
In the ruler's seat in Cocheco town.
And he judged therein as a just man should;
His words were wise and his rule was good;
He coveted not his neighbor's land,
From the holding of bribes he shook his hand;
And through the camps of the heathen ran
A wholesome fear of the valiant man.
But the heart is deceitful, the good Book saith,
And life hath ever a savor of death.
Through hymns of triumph the tempter calls,
And whoso thinketh he standeth falls.
Alas! ere their round the seasons ran,
There was grief in the soul of the saintly man.
The tempter's arrows that rarely fail
Had found the joints of his spiritual mail;
And men took note of his gloomy air,
The shame in his eye, the halt in his prayer,
The signs of a battle lost within,
The pain of a soul in the coils of sin.
Then a whisper of scandal linked his name
With broken vows and a life of blame;
And the people looked askance on him
As he walked among them sullen and grim,
Ill at ease, and bitter of word,
And prompt of quarrel with hand or sword.
None knew how, with prayer and fasting still,
He strove in the bonds of his evil will;
But he shook himself like Samson at length,
And girded anew his loins of strength,
And bade the crier go up and down
And call together the wondering town.
Jeer and murmur and shaking of head
Ceased as he rose in his place and said:
"Men, brethren, and fathers, well ye know
How I came among you a year ago,
Strong in the faith that my soul was freed
From sin of feeling, or thought, or deed.
"I have sinned, I own it with grief and shame,
But not with a lie on my lips I came.
In my blindness I verily thought my heart
Swept and garnished in every part.
He chargeth His angels with folly; He sees
The heavens unclean. Was I more than these?
"I urge no plea. At your feet I lay
The trust you gave me, and go my way.
Hate me or pity me, as you will,
The Lord will have mercy on sinners still;
And I, who am chiefest, say to all,
Watch and pray, lest ye also fall."
No voice made answer: a sob so low
That only his quickened ear could know
Smote his heart with a bitter pain,
As into the forest he rode again,
And the veil of its oaken leaves shut down
On his latest glimpse of Cocheco town.
Crystal-clear on the man of sin
The streams flashed up, and the sky shone in;
On his cheek of fever the cool wind blew,
The leaves dropped on him their tears of dew,
And angels of God, in the pure, sweet guise
Of flowers, looked on him with sad surprise.
Was his ear at fault that brook and breeze
Sang in their saddest of minor keys?
What was it the mournful wood-thrush said?
What whispered the pine-trees overhead?
Did he hear the Voice on his lonely way
That Adam heard in the cool of day?
Into the desert alone rode he,
Alone with the Infinite Purity;
And, bowing his soul to its tender rebuke,
As Peter did to the Master's look,
He measured his path with prayers of pain
For peace with God and nature again.
And in after years to Cocheco came
The bruit of a once familiar name;
How among the Dutch of New Netherlands,
From wild Danskamer to Haarlem sands,
A penitent soldier preached the Word,
And smote the heathen with Gideon's sword!
And the heart of Boston was glad to hear
How he harried the foe on the long frontier.
And heaped on the land against him barred
The coals of his generous watch and ward.
Frailest and bravest! the Bay State still
Counts with her worthies John Underhill.
John Greenleaf Whittier.

In 1656 a new danger threatened, for in July the first Quakers landed in New England. The preachers of this sect were generally believed to be either Franciscan monks in disguise, or publishers of irreligious fancies, and in an evil hour[76] the authorities resolved to keep them out of Massachusetts. When the General Court met in October, it passed the law of which Mr. Longfellow gives an accurate résumé. This law was "forthwith published, in several places of Boston, by beat of drum," October 21, 1656.


From "John Endicott"

[October 21, 1656]

Here comes the Marshal.
MERRY (within)
Make room for the Marshal.
How pompous and imposing he appears!
His great buff doublet bellying like a mainsail,
And all his streamers fluttering in the wind.
What holds he in his hand?
A proclamation.
Enter the Marshal, with a proclamation; and Merry,
with a halberd. They are preceded by a drummer,
and followed by the hangman, with an armful of books,
and a crowd of people, among whom areUpsall and
John Endicott.A pile is made of the books.
Silence, the drum! Good citizens, attend
To the new laws enacted by the Court.
MARSHAL (reads)
"Whereas a cursed sect of Heretics
Has lately risen, commonly called Quakers,
Who take upon themselves to be commissioned
Immediately of God, and furthermore
Infallibly assisted by the Spirit
To write and utter blasphemous opinions,
Despising Government and the order of God
In Church and Commonwealth, and speaking evil
Of Dignities, reproaching and reviling
The Magistrates and Ministers, and seeking
To turn the people from their faith, and thus
Gain proselytes to their pernicious ways;—
This Court, considering the premises,
And to prevent like mischief as is wrought
By their means in our land, doth hereby order,
That whatsoever master or commander
Of any ship, bark, pink, or catch shall bring
To any roadstead, harbor, creek, or cove
Within this Jurisdiction any Quakers,
Or other blasphemous Heretics, shall pay
Unto the Treasurer of the Commonwealth
One hundred pounds, and for default thereof
Be put in prison, and continue there
Till the said sum be satisfied and paid."
Now, Simon Kempthorn, what say you to that?
I pray you, Cole, lend me a hundred pounds!
MARSHAL (reads)
"If any one within this Jurisdiction
Shall henceforth entertain, or shall conceal
Quakers, or other blasphemous Heretics,
Knowing them so to be, every such person
Shall forfeit to the country forty shillings
For each hour's entertainment or concealment,
And shall be sent to prison, as aforesaid,
Until the forfeiture be wholly paid."
Murmurs in the crowd.
Now, Goodman Cole, I think your turn has come!
Knowing them so to be!
At forty shillings
The hour, your fine will be some forty pounds!
Knowing them so to be! That is the law.
MARSHAL (reads)
"And it is further ordered and enacted,
If any Quaker or Quakers shall presume
To come henceforth into this Jurisdiction,
Every male Quaker for the first offence
Shall have one ear cut off; and shall be kept
At labor in the Workhouse, till such time
As he be sent away at his own charge.
And for the repetition of the offence
[77] Shall have his other ear cut off, and then
Be branded in the palm of his right hand.
And every woman Quaker shall be whipt
Severely in three towns; and every Quaker,
Or he or she, that shall for a third time
Herein again offend, shall have their tongues
Bored through with a hot iron, and shall be
Sentenced to Banishment on pain of Death."
Loud murmurs. The voice of Christison in the crowd
O patience of the Lord! How long, how long,
Ere thou avenge the blood of Thine Elect?
Silence, there, silence! Do not break the peace!
MARSHAL (reads)
"Every inhabitant of this Jurisdiction
Who shall defend the horrible opinions
Of Quakers, by denying due respect
To equals and superiors, and withdrawing
From Church Assemblies, and thereby approving
The abusive and destructive practices
Of this accursed sect, in opposition
To all the orthodox received opinions
Of godly men, shall be forthwith committed
Unto close prison for one month; and then
Refusing to retract and to reform
The opinions as aforesaid, he shall be
Sentenced to Banishment on pain of Death.
By the Court. Edward Rawson, Secretary."
Now, hangman, do your duty. Burn those books.
Loud murmurs in the crowd. The pile of books is lighted.
I testify against these cruel laws!
Forerunners are they of some judgment on us;
And, in the love and tenderness I bear
Unto this town and people, I beseech you,
O Magistrates, take heed, lest ye be found
As fighters against God!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The law was soon to be enforced, and among the earliest to endure its penalties were Christopher Holden and John Copeland, who were whipped and imprisoned, while Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, of Salem, were also imprisoned for having harbored them. The Southwicks were in advanced years, and had three grown children—Provided, Josiah, and Daniel. The whole family had united with the Society of Friends, and the parents were banished from the colony upon pain of death. While they and one son, Josiah, were in prison, Provided and Daniel were fined ten pounds for not attending public worship at Salem. They refused to pay, and were ordered to be sold into slavery in Virginia or Barbadoes, but no master of a vessel could be found to carry out the sentence.



To the God of all sure mercies let my blessing rise to-day,
From the scoffer and the cruel He hath plucked the spoil away;
Yea, He who cooled the furnace around the faithful three,
And tamed the Chaldean lions, hath set His handmaid free!
Last night I saw the sunset melt through my prison bars,
Last night across my damp earth-floor fell the pale gleam of stars;
In the coldness and the darkness all through the long night-time,
My grated casement whitened with autumn's early rime.
Alone, in that dark sorrow, hour after hour crept by;
Star after star looked palely in and sank adown the sky;
No sound amid night's stillness, save that which seemed to be
The dull and heavy beating of the pulses of the sea;
All night I sat unsleeping, for I knew that on the morrow
The ruler and the cruel priest would mock me in my sorrow,
Dragged to their place of market, and bargained for and sold,
Like a lamb before the shambles, like a heifer from the fold!
Oh, the weakness of the flesh was there,—the shrinking and the shame;
And the low voice of the Tempter like whispers to me came:
"Why sit'st thou thus forlornly," the wicked murmur said,
"Damp walls thy bower of beauty, cold earth thy maiden bed?
"Where be the smiling faces, and voices soft and sweet,
Seen in thy father's dwelling, heard in the pleasant street?
Where be the youths whose glances, the summer Sabbath through,
Turned tenderly and timidly unto thy father's pew?
"Why sit'st thou here, Cassandra?—Bethink thee with what mirth
Thy happy schoolmates gather around the warm, bright hearth;
How the crimson shadows tremble on foreheads white and fair,
On eyes of merry girlhood, half hid in golden hair.
"Not for thee the hearth-fire brightens, not for thee kind words are spoken,
Not for thee the nuts of Wenham woods by laughing boys are broken;
No first-fruits of the orchard within thy lap are laid,
For thee no flowers of autumn the youthful hunters braid.
"O weak, deluded maiden!—by crazy fancies led,
With wild and raving railers an evil path to tread;
To leave a wholesome worship, and teaching pure and sound,
And mate with maniac women, loose-haired and sackcloth bound,—
"Mad scoffers of the priesthood, who mock at things divine,
Who rail against the pulpit, and holy bread and wine;
Sore from their cart-tail scourgings, and from the pillory lame,
Rejoicing in their wretchedness, and glorying in their shame.
"And what a fate awaits thee!—a sadly toiling slave,
Dragging the slowly lengthening chain of bondage to the grave!
Think of thy woman's nature, subdued in hopeless thrall,
The easy prey of any, the scoff and scorn of all!"
Oh, ever as the Tempter spoke, and feeble Nature's fears
Wrung drop by drop the scalding flow of unavailing tears,
I wrestled down the evil thoughts, and strove in silent prayer,
To feel, O Helper of the weak! that Thou indeed wert there!
I thought of Paul and Silas, within Philippi's cell,
And how from Peter's sleeping limbs the prison shackles fell,
Till I seemed to hear the trailing of an angel's robe of white,
And to feel a blessed presence invisible to sight.
Bless the Lord for all his mercies!—for the peace and love I felt,
Like dew of Hermon's holy hill, upon my spirit melt;
When "Get behind me, Satan!" was the language of my heart,
And I felt the Evil Tempter with all his doubts depart.
Slow broke the gray cold morning; again the sunshine fell,
Flecked with the shade of bar and grate within my lonely cell;
The hoar-frost melted on the wall, and upward from the street
Came careless laugh and idle word, and tread of passing feet.
At length the heavy bolts fell back, my door was open cast,
And slowly at the sheriff's side, up the long street I passed;
I heard the murmur round me, and felt, but dared not see,
How, from every door and window, the people gazed on me.
And doubt and fear fell on me, shame burned upon my cheek,
Swam earth and sky around me, my trembling limbs grew weak:
"O Lord! support thy handmaid; and from her soul cast out
The fear of man, which brings a snare, the weakness and the doubt."
Then the dreary shadows scattered, like a cloud in morning's breeze,
And a low deep voice within me seemed whispering words like these:
"Though thy earth be as the iron, and thy heaven a brazen wall,
Trust still His loving-kindness whose power is over all."
We paused at length, where at my feet the sunlit waters broke
On glaring reach of shining beach, and shingly wall of rock;
The merchant-ships lay idly there, in hard clear lines on high,
Tracing with rope and slender spar their network on the sky.
And there were ancient citizens, cloak-wrapped and grave and cold,
And grim and stout sea-captains with faces bronzed and old,
And on his horse, with Rawson, his cruel clerk at hand,
Sat dark and haughty Endicott, the ruler of the land.
And poisoning with his evil words the ruler's ready ear,
The priest leaned o'er his saddle, with laugh and scoff and jeer;
It stirred my soul, and from my lips the seal of silence broke,
As if through woman's weakness a warning spirit spoke.
I cried, "The Lord rebuke thee, thou smiter of the meek,
Thou robber of the righteous, thou trampler of the weak!
Go light the dark, cold hearth-stones,—go turn the prison lock
Of the poor hearts thou hast hunted, thou wolf amid the flock!"
Dark lowered the brows of Endicott, and with a deeper red
O'er Rawson's wine-empurpled cheek the flush of anger spread;
"Good people," quoth the white-lipped priest, "heed not her words so wild,
Her Master speaks within her,—the Devil owns his child!"
But gray heads shook, and young brows knit, the while the sheriff read
That law the wicked rulers against the poor have made,
Who to their house of Rimmon and idol priesthood bring
No bended knee of worship, nor gainful offering.
Then to the stout sea-captains the sheriff, turning, said,—
"Which of ye, worthy seamen, will take this Quaker maid?
In the Isle of fair Barbadoes, or on Virginia's shore,
You may hold her at a higher price than Indian girl or Moor."
Grim and silent stood the captains; and when again he cried,
"Speak out, my worthy seamen!"—no voice, no sign replied;
But I felt a hard hand press my own, and kind words met my ear,—
"God bless thee, and preserve thee, my gentle girl and dear!"
A weight seemed lifted from my heart, a pitying friend was nigh,—
I felt it in his hard, rough hand, and saw it in his eye;
And when again the sheriff spoke, that voice, so kind to me,
Growled back its stormy answer like the roaring of the sea,—
"Pile my ship with bars of silver, pack with coins of Spanish gold,
From keel-piece up to deck-plank, the roomage of her hold,
By the living God who made me!—I would sooner in your bay
Sink ship and crew and cargo, than bear this child away!"
"Well answered, worthy captain, shame on their cruel laws!"
Ran through the crowd in murmurs loud the people's just applause.
"Like the herdsman of Tekoa, in Israel of old,
Shall we see the poor and righteous again for silver sold?"
I looked on haughty Endicott; with weapon half-way drawn,
Swept round the throng his lion glare of bitter hate and scorn;
Fiercely he drew his bridle-rein, and turned in silence back,
And sneering priest and baffled clerk rode murmuring in his track.
Hard after them the sheriff looked, in bitterness of soul;
Thrice smote his staff upon the ground, and crushed his parchment roll.
"Good friends," he said, "since both have fled, the ruler and the priest,
Judge ye, if from their further work I be not well released."
Loud was the cheer which, full and clear, swept round the silent bay,
As, with kind words and kinder looks, he bade me go my way;
For He who turns the courses of the streamlet of the glen,
And the river of great waters, had turned the hearts of men.
Oh, at that hour the very earth seemed changed beneath my eye,
A holier wonder round me rose the blue walls of the sky,
A lovelier light on rock and hill and stream and woodland lay,
And softer lapsed on sunnier sands the waters of the bay.
Thanksgiving to the Lord of life! to Him all praises be,
Who from the hands of evil men hath set his handmaid free;
All praise to Him before whose power the mighty are afraid,
Who takes the crafty in the snare which for the poor is laid!
Sing, O my soul, rejoicingly, on evening's twilight calm
Uplift the loud thanksgiving, pour forth the grateful psalm;
Let all dear hearts with me rejoice, as did the saints of old,
When of the Lord's good angel the rescued Peter told.
And weep and howl, ye evil priests and mighty men of wrong,
The Lord shall smite the proud, and lay His hand upon the strong.
Woe to the wicked rulers in His avenging hour!
Woe to the wolves who seek the flocks to raven and devour!
But let the humble ones arise, the poor in heart be glad,
And let the mourning ones again with robes of praise be clad.
For He who cooled the furnace, and smoothed the stormy wave,
And tamed the Chaldean lions, is mighty still to save!
John Greenleaf Whittier.

In September, 1661, Edward Burrough, a prominent Quaker of England, obtained an audience of King Charles II and laid the grievances of the New England Quakers before him. That careless King, who always found it more easy to grant a request than to refuse it, so long as it cost him nothing, directed that a letter be written to Endicott and the governors of the other New England colonies, commanding that "if there were any of those people called Quakers amongst them, now already condemned to suffer death, or other corporal punishment, or that were imprisoned, and obnoxious to the like condemnation, they were to forbear to proceed any further therein," and to send such persons to England for trial. This letter was given in charge to Samuel Shattuck, a Quaker of Salem, then in England under sentence of banishment, with the usual condition of being hanged should he return. He reached Boston in November, 1661, and presented himself with all haste at the governor's door. The ballad very accurately describes the interview which followed.


[November, 1661]

Under the great hill sloping bare
To cove and meadow and Common lot,
In his council chamber and oaken chair,
Sat the worshipful Governor Endicott.
A grave, strong man, who knew no peer
In the pilgrim land, where he ruled in fear
Of God, not man, and for good or ill
Held his trust with an iron will.
He had shorn with his sword the cross from out
The flag, and cloven the May-pole down,
[81] Harried the heathen round about,
And whipped the Quakers from town to town.
Earnest and honest, a man at need
To burn like a torch for his own harsh creed,
He kept with the flaming brand of his zeal
The gate of the holy common weal.
His brow was clouded, his eye was stern,
With a look of mingled sorrow and wrath;
"Woe's me!" he murmured: "at every turn
The pestilent Quakers are in my path!
Some we have scourged, and banished some,
Some hanged, more doomed, and still they come,
Fast as the tide of yon bay sets in,
Sowing their heresy's seed of sin.
"Did we count on this? Did we leave behind
The graves of our kin, the comfort and ease
Of our English hearths and homes, to find
Troublers of Israel such as these?
Shall I spare? Shall I pity them? God forbid!
I will do as the prophet to Agag did:
They come to poison the wells of the Word,
I will hew them in pieces before the Lord!"
The door swung open, and Rawson the clerk
Entered, and whispered under breath,
"There waits below for the hangman's work
A fellow banished on pain of death—
Shattuck, of Salem, unhealed of the whip,
Brought over in Master Goldsmith's ship
At anchor here in a Christian port,
With freight of the devil and all his sort!"
Twice and thrice on the chamber floor
Striding fiercely from wall to wall,
"The Lord do so to me and more,"
The Governor cried, "if I hang not all!
Bring hither the Quaker." Calm, sedate,
With the look of a man at ease with fate,
Into that presence grim and dread
Came Samuel Shattuck, with hat on head.
"Off with the knave's hat!" An angry hand
Smote down the offence; but the wearer said,
With a quiet smile, "By the king's command
I bear his message and stand in his stead."
In the Governor's hand a missive he laid
With the royal arms on its seal displayed,
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat,
Uncovering, "Give Mr. Shattuck his hat."
He turned to the Quaker, bowing low,—
"The king commandeth your friends' release;
Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although
To his subjects' sorrow and sin's increase.
What he here enjoineth, John Endicott,
His loyal servant, questioneth not.
You are free! God grant the spirit you own
May take you from us to parts unknown."
So the door of the jail was open cast,
And, like Daniel, out of the lion's den
Tender youth and girlhood passed,
With age-bowed women and gray-locked men.
And the voice of one appointed to die
Was lifted in praise and thanks on high,
And the little maid from New Netherlands
Kissed, in her joy, the doomed man's hands
And one, whose call was to minister
To the souls in prison, beside him went,
An ancient woman, bearing with her
The linen shroud for his burial meant.
For she, not counting her own life dear,
In the strength of a love that cast out fear,
Had watched and served where her brethren died,
Like those who waited the cross beside.
One moment they paused on their way to look
On the martyr graves by the Common side.
And much scourged Wharton of Salem took
His burden of prophecy up and cried:
"Rest, souls of the valiant! Not in vain
Have ye borne the Master's cross of pain;
Ye have fought the fight, ye are victors crowned,
With a fourfold chain ye have Satan bound!"
The autumn haze lay soft and still
On wood and meadow and upland farms;
On the brow of Snow Hill the great windmill
Slowly and lazily swung its arms;
Broad in the sunshine stretched away,
With its capes and islands, the turquoise bay;
And over water and dusk of pines
Blue hills lifted their faint outlines.
The topaz leaves of the walnut glowed,
The sumach added its crimson fleck,
And double in air and water showed
The tinted maples along the Neck;
[82] Through frost flower clusters of pale star-mist,
And gentian fringes of amethyst,
And royal plumes of golden-rod,
The grazing cattle on Centry trod.
But as they who see not, the Quakers saw
The world about them; they only thought
With deep thanksgiving and pious awe
On the great deliverance God had wrought.
Through lane and alley the gazing town
Noisily followed them up and down;
Some with scoffing and brutal jeer,
Some with pity and words of cheer.
One brave voice rose above the din.
Upsall, gray with his length of days,
Cried from the door of his Red Lion Inn:
"Men of Boston, give God the praise!
No more shall innocent blood call down
The bolts of wrath on your guilty town.
The freedom of worship, dear to you,
Is dear to all, and to all is due.
"I see the vision of days to come,
When your beautiful City of the Bay
Shall be Christian liberty's chosen home,
And none shall his neighbor's rights gainsay.
The varying notes of worship shall blend
And as one great prayer to God ascend,
And hands of mutual charity raise
Walls of salvation and gates of praise."
So passed the Quakers through Boston town,
Whose painful ministers sighed to see
The walls of their sheep-fold falling down,
And wolves of heresy prowling free.
But the years went on, and brought no wrong;
With milder counsels the State grew strong,
As outward Letter and inward Light
Kept the balance of truth aright.
The Puritan spirit perishing not,
To Concord's yeomen the signal sent,
And spake in the voice of the cannon-shot
That severed the chains of a continent.
With its gentler mission of peace and good-will
The thought of the Quaker is living still,
And the freedom of soul he prophesied
Is gospel and law where the martyrs died.
John Greenleaf Whittier.



Metacomet, or Philip, had succeeded his father, Massasoit, as chief of the Wampanoags, and endeavored to maintain friendly relations with the English, but in June, 1675, some of his young men attacked the village of Swansea, and started the desperate struggle known as King Philip's War. For months the Indians ravaged the frontier, and on September 18 all but annihilated a picked force of eighty men, the "Flower of Essex," under Captain Thomas Lathrop, which had been sent to Deerfield to save a quantity of grain which had been abandoned there. Only nine of the eighty survived.


[September 18, 1675]

Come listen to the Story of brave Lathrop and his Men,—
How they fought, how they died,
When they marched against the Red Skins in the Autumn Days, and then
How they fell, in their pride,
By Pocumtuck Side.
"Who will go to Deerfield Meadows and bring the ripened Grain?"
Said old Mosely to his men in Array.
"Take the Wagons and the Horses, and bring it back again;
But be sure that no Man stray
All the Day, on the Way."
Then the Flower of Essex started, with Lathrop at their head,
Wise and brave, bold and true.
He had fought the Pequots long ago, and now to Mosely said,
"Be there Many, be there Few,
I will bring the Grain to you."
They gathered all the Harvest, and marched back on their Way
Through the Woods which blazed like Fire.
[83] No Soldier left the Line of march to wander or to stray,
Till the Wagons were stalled in the Mire,
And the Beasts began to tire.
The Wagons have all forded the Brook as it flows,
And then the Rear-Guard stays
To pick the Purple Grapes that are hanging from the Boughs,
When, crack!—to their Amaze,
A hundred Fire-locks blaze!
Brave Lathrop, he lay dying; but as he fell he cried,
"Each Man to his Tree," said he,
"Let no one yield an Inch;" and so the Soldier died;
And not a Man of all can see
Where the Foe can be.
And Philip and his Devils pour in their Shot so fast,
From behind and before,
That Man after Man is shot down and breathes his last.
Every Man lies dead in his Gore
To fight no more,—no more!
Oh, weep, ye Maids of Essex, for the Lads who have died,—
The Flower of Essex they!
The Bloody Brook still ripples by the black Mountain-side,
But never shall they come again to see the ocean-tide,
And never shall the Bridegroom return to his Bride,
From that dark and cruel Day,—cruel Day!
Edward Everett Hale.

At the approach of winter, the Indians withdrew to the Narragansett country, and the colonists decided to strike a decisive blow. An army of a thousand men was raised and on the morning of Sunday, December 19, approached the Narragansett stronghold, a well-fortified position on an island in the midst of a swamp. A murderous fire greeted the assailants, but they forced an entrance into the fort, set fire to the wigwams, and after a terrific struggle, in which they lost nearly three hundred killed and wounded, drove the Indians out and destroyed their store of winter provisions.


[December 19, 1675]

Oh, rouse you, rouse you, men at arms,
And hear the tale I tell,
From Pettaquamscut town I come,
Now hear what there befell.
The houses stand upon the hill,
Not large, each house is full,
But largest of them all there stood
The house of Justice Bull.
'Twas there the court sat every year,
The governor came in state,
From there the couriers through the town
Served summons soon and late.
And there, 'tis but three years agone,
George Fox preached, you remember;
That was in May when he preached peace,
And now it is December.
Peace, peace, he cried, but righteous God,
How can there be true peace,
When war and tumult stalk at night,
And deeds of blood increase?
Revenge, revenge, good captains bold,
Revenge, my people cry;
Where stood the house of Justice Bull
But piled-up ashes lie.
How fared it then, who may dare tell?
The shutters barred the light,
As one by one the windows closed,
And all was black as night.
Strong was the house, and strong brave men
All armed lay down to sleep,
And women fair, and children, too,
They were to guard and keep.
And then a horror in the night,
And shouts, and fire, and knives,
And demons yelling in delight,
As men fought for their lives.
And where there stood that goodly house
And lived those goodly men,
Full seven goodly souls are gone.
Revenge, we cry again!


Up, up, ye men of English blood!
The gallant governor cried,
And we shall dare to find their lair,
Where'er it be they hide.
For never men of English blood
Could brook so foul a deed,
For all these sins the fierce redskins
Shall reap their lawful meed.
Up rose the little army then,
All armed as best they could,
With pike and sword and axes broad,
Flint-locks and staves of wood.
And motley was the company,
Recruits from wood and field,
But strong young men were with them then,
Who'd sooner die than yield.
Connecticut had sent her men
With Major Robert Treat;
Each colony in its degree
Sent in its quota meet.
And Massachusetts led the way,
And Plymouth had next post,
Winslow commands the gathered bands,
A thousand men they boast.
The winter sun hung in the sky
And frost bound all things fast;
As they set forth, from out the north,
There blew a bitter blast.
The meadow grass was stiff with rime,
The frozen brook lay dead;
Like stone did sound the frozen ground
Beneath the martial tread.
All day they marched in bitter cold,
And when, as fell the night,
They reached the hill and gazed their fill
Upon the piteous sight,
No need to urge the rapid chase,
The cinders did that well,
And in the air a woman's hair
Told more than words could tell.
In stern resolve they lay them down,
For rest they needed sore,
But long ere dawn the swords were drawn
And open stood the door.
Out to the gloom of morning passed
Full silently those men,
And what 'twixt light and fall of night
Should come, no soul might ken.
They turned their faces toward the west,
The morning air was cold,
And softly stepped, while still men slept,
With courage high and bold.
An Indian they met ere long,
'Twas Peter, whom they knew;
They asked their way, naught would he say,
To his own comrades true.
In anger cried the governor:
Then let the man be hung,
For he can tell, he knows full well,
So let him find his tongue.
To save his life that wretched man
Agreed to be their guide,
As they marched on, the Indian
Marched onward by their side.
And soon they reached a dreadful swamp,
With cedar trees o'ergrown,
And thick and dark with dead trees stark
And great trunks lying prone.
'Twas frozen hard, and Indians there!
They fired as they ran,
And with a bound that spurned the ground,
The fierce assault began.
And then a wonder in the wood,—
A little rising ground,
With palisade for shelter made
Of timber planted round.
And but one place of entrance there
Across a watery way,
A tall felled tree gave access free,
From shore to shore it lay.
Full many a gallant man that day
His life left at that tree,
The bravest men pressed forward then,
And there fell captains three.
A dreadful day, and of our men
Short work would have been made,
But that by grace they found a place
Weak in the palisade.
Then they poured in, within the fort
Soon filled with Indians dead,
And many a one great deeds had done
Within that place of dread.
Then with a torch the whole was fired,
The wigwams caught the blaze,
The fire roared and spread abroad
And fed on tubs of maize.
The night came on, the governor called,
The soldiers gathered round;
The fort was theirs, and dying prayers
Were rising from the ground.
With care they gathered up their dead,
The few who had been spared,
All through the cold, in pain untold,
To Warwick they repaired.
So was the Indians' power gone,
Avenged were Englishmen,
For from the night of that Swamp fight
They never rose again.
In Narragansett there was peace,
The soldiers went their way,
All that remains are some few grains
Of corn parched on that day.
Gone is the wrong, the toil, the pain,
The Indians, they are gone.
Please God we use, and not abuse
The land so hardly won!
Caroline Hazard.

This assault by the colonists drove the Narragansetts, who had hitherto taken no active part in the war, into alliance with Philip, and two months later, on February 21, 1676, Medfield, less than twenty miles from Boston, was attacked and partially burned. Groton soon suffered a similar fate, and the leaders of the savages boasted that they would march on Cambridge, Concord, Roxbury, and Boston itself. It was at this juncture that the "Amazonian Dames" mentioned in the poem became so frightened at the prospect that they resolved to fortify Boston neck.



[March, 1676]

A grand attempt some Amazonian Dames
Contrive whereby to glorify their names,
A ruff for Boston Neck of mud and turfe,
Reaching from side to side, from surf to surf,
Their nimble hands spin up like Christmas pyes,
Their pastry by degrees on high doth rise.
The wheel at home counts it an holiday,
Since while the mistress worketh it may play.
A tribe of female hands, but manly hearts,
Forsake at home their pasty crust and tarts,
To knead the dirt, the samplers down they hurl,
Their undulating silks they closely furl.
The pick-axe one as a commandress holds,
While t'other at her awk'ness gently scolds.
One puffs and sweats, the other mutters why
Can't you promove your work so fast as I?
Some dig, some delve, and others' hands do feel
The little waggon's weight with single wheel.
And least some fainting-fits the weak surprize,
They want no sack nor cakes, they are more wise.
These brave essays draw forth male, stronger hands,
More like to dawbers than to marshal bands;
These do the work, the sturdy bulwarks raise,
But the beginners well deserve the praise.
Benjamin Tompson.

On April 21 an attack was made on Sudbury; a portion of the town was burned, and a relief party of over fifty which hurried up was lured into an ambush and all but annihilated. The Indians in this battle were bolder than they had ever been before, and their strategy was unusually effective.


[April 21, 1676]

Ye sons of Massachusetts, all who love that honored name,
Ye children of New England, holding dear your fathers' fame,
Hear tell of Sudbury's battle through a day of death and flame!
The painted Wampanoags, Philip's hateful warriors, creep
Upon the town at springtide while the skies deny us rain;
We see their shadows lurking in the forest's whispering deep,
And speed the sorry tidings past dry field and rustling lane:
[86] Come hastily or never when the wild beast lusts for gore,
And send your best and bravest if you wish to see us more!
The Commonwealth is quiet now, and peace her measure fills,
Content in homes and farmsteads, busy marts and buzzing mills
From the Atlantic's roaring to the tranquil Berkshire hills.
But through that day our fathers, speaking low their breathless words,
Their wives and babes in safety, toil to save their little all;
They fetch their slender food-stores, drive indoors their scanty herds,
They clean the bell-mouthed musket, melt the lead and mould the ball;
Please God they'll keep their battle till their countrymen shall haste
With succor from the eastward, iron-hearted, flinty-faced.
A hundred dragging twelvemonths ere the welcome joy-bells ring
The dawn of Independence did King Philip's devils spring
Through April on the little spot, like wolves a-ravening.
The morning lifts in fury as they come with torch in hand,
And howl about the houses in the shrunken frontier town;
Our garrisons hold steady while the flames by breezes fanned
Disclose the painted demons, fierce and cunning, lithe and brown;
At every loophole firing, women close at hand to load,
The children bringing bullets, thus the Sudbury men abode.
By night, through generations, have the eager children come
Beside their grandsire's settle, listening to the droning hum
Of this old tale, with backward glances, open-mouthed and dumb.
The burning hours stretch slowly—then a welcome sight appears!
Along the tawny upland where stout Haynes keeps faithful guard
From Watertown speeds Mason, young in everything but years;
Our men rush down to meet him; then, together, swift and hard,
They force the Indians backward to the Musketaquid's side,
And slaying, ever slaying, drive them o'er the reddened tide.
There stand stout Haynes and Mason by the bridge upon the flood;
In vain the braves attack them, thick as saplings in the wood:
Praise God for men so valiant, who have such a foe withstood!
But Green Hill looks with anguish down upon the painted horde
Their stealthy ambush keeping as the Concord men draw near,
To dart with hideous noises as they reach the lower ford,
A thousand 'gainst a dozen; but their every life costs dear
As, sinking 'neath such numbers, one by one our neighbors fail:
One sole survivor in his blood brings on the dreadful tale.
Through sun and evening shadow, through the night till weary morn,
Speeds Wadsworth with his soldiers, forth from Boston, spent and worn,
And Brocklebank at Marlboro' joins that little hope forlorn.
They hear the muskets snap afar, they hear the savage whoop—
All weariness forgotten, on they hasten in relief;
They see the braves before them—with a cheer the little group
Bends down and charges forward; from above the cunning Chief,
His wild-cat eyes dilating, sees his bushes bloom with fire,
The tree-trunks at his bidding blaze with fiendish lust and ire.
A thousand warriors lurk there, and a thousand warriors shout,
Exulting, aiming, flaming, happy in our coming rout;
But Wadsworth never pauses, every musket ringing out.
He gains the lifting hillside, and his sixscore win their way
Defiant through the coppice till upon the summit placed;
With every bullet counting, there they load and aim and slay,
Against all comers warring, iron-hearted, flinty-faced;
Hold Philip as for scorning, drive him down the bloodstained slope,
And stand there, firm and dauntless, steadfast in their faith and hope.
With Mason at the river, Wadsworth staunch upon the hill,
The certain reinforcements, and black night the foe to chill,
An hour or less and hideous Death might have been baffled still.
But in that droughty woodland Philip fires the leaves and grass:
The flames dance up the hillside, in their rear less savage foes.
No courage can avail us, down the slope the English pass—
A day in flame beginning lights with hell its awful close,
As swifter, louder, fiercer, o'er the crest the reek runs past
And headlong hurls bold Wadsworth, conquered by the cruel blast.
Ye men of Massachusetts, weep the awful slaughter there!
The panther heart of Philip drives the English to despair,
As scalping-knife and tomahawk gleam in th' affrighted glare.
There Wadsworth yields his spirit, Brocklebank must meet his doom;
Within the stone mill's shelter fights the remnant of their force;
When swift upon the foemen, rushing through the gathering gloom,
Cheer Cowell's men from Brookfield, gallant Prentice with his horse!
And Mason from the river, and Haynes join in the fight,
Till Philip's host is routed, hurled on shrieking through the night.
Defeated, cursing, weeping, flees King Philip to his den,
Our speedy vengeance glutted on the flower of his men;
In pomp and pride the Wampanoags ne'er shall march again.
We mourn our stricken Captains, but not vainly did they fall:
The King of Pocanoket has received their stern command;
Their lives were laid down gladly at their country's trumpet-call,
And on their savage foemen have they set the heavier hand;
Against our day-long valor was the red man's fortune spent
And that one day at Sudbury has saved a continent.
In graves adown the hemisphere, in graves across the seas,
The sons of Massachusetts sleep, as here beneath her trees,
Nor Brocklebank nor Wadsworth is the first or last of these.
Oh, blue hills of New England, slanting to the morning beams
Where suns and clouds of April have their balmy power sped;
Oh, greening woods and meadows, pleasant ponds and babbling streams,
And clematis soft-blooming where War once his banners led;
How hungers many an exile for that homeland far away,
And all the happy dreaming of a bygone April day!
Wherever speaks New England, wheresoever spreads her shade,
We praise our fathers' valor, and our fathers' prayer is said,
That, fearing God's Wrath only, firm may stand the State they made.
Wallace Rice.

The victory at Sudbury was the last considerable success the Indians gained in the war. Jealousies broke out among them, many deserted to the whites, and the final blow was struck when, at daybreak of August 12, 1676, Captain Church surprised Philip's camp at Mt. Hope, and Philip himself was shot by an Indian while trying to escape. His head was cut off, sent to Plymouth, and fixed upon a pole, where it remained for twenty years. His wife and son, a boy of nine, were taken[88] prisoners and sold into slavery. With them, the race of Massasoit, that true and tried friend of the early settlers, vanishes from the pages of history.


[August 12, 1676]

'Twas Captain Church, bescarred and brown,
And armèd cap-a-pie.
Came ambling into Plymouth-town;
And from far riding up and down
A weary man was he.
Now, where is my good wife? he quoth
Before the goodmen all;
And they replied, What of thine oath?
And he looked on them lorn and loath,
As he were like to fall.
What of thine oath? to him they cried,
And wilt thou let him slip
Who harrieth fair New England-side
Till every path is slaughter-dyed,—
The murderous King Philip!
His cheek went flush and swelled his girth;
Upon him be God's ban!
His voice ran loud in grisly mirth:
Now, who with me will run to earth
This bloody Indiàn?
Then I! and I! the lusty peal
Made thrill the Plymouth air;
And forth with him for woe or weal,
Their hands agrip on musket-steel,
Hied many a godly pair.
They sped them through the summer-land
By ferry and by ford,
Until they saw before them stand
A redman of that cursèd band,
His features ochre-scored.
Would the pale-faces find, he said,
Where lurks their fiercest foe?
Now, by the spirit of the dead,—
My brother, whose heart's blood he shed,—
Follow, and they shall know!
This Indian brave, they followed him;
In caution crawled and crept;
Till in a marish deep and dim
They came to where the Sachem grim
In leafy hiding slept.
(The quiet August morn's at bud,
King Philip, woe's the day!
And woe that one of thine own blood,
Now that ill-fortune roars to flood,
Should be the man to slay!)
Around him spread a girdling line;
The fatal snare was laid;
And when down aisles of birch and pine
They saw the first slant sun-rays shine,
They sprang their ambuscade.
And did he slink, or did he shrink
From that relentless ring?
Nay, not a coward did he sink,
But leaped across Death's darkling brink
A savage, yet a king!
Then unto him whose bolt of lead
Had struck King Philip down,
They gave the Sachem's hand and head;
Then back they marched, with triumph tread,
To joyful Plymouth-town.
On Philip's name a bloody blot
The white man's writ has thrown,—
The ruthless raid, the inhuman plot;
And yet what one of us would not
Do battle for his own!
Clinton Scollard.

The Indians conquered, the people of Massachusetts set themselves resolutely to fight the devil. They were firm believers in the actual presence of the powers of darkness, and almost from the beginning of the colony there had been prosecutions for witchcraft. But it was not until 1692 that the great outbreak of superstition, vindictiveness, and fear occurred, which forms the darkest blot on New England's history.


From "Giles Corey of the Salem Farms"

Delusions of the days that once have been,
Witchcraft and wonders of the world unseen,
Phantoms of air, and necromantic arts
That crushed the weak and awed the stoutest hearts,—
These are our theme to-night; and vaguely here,
Through the dim mists that crowd the atmosphere,
[89] We draw the outlines of weird figures cast
In shadow on the background of the Past.
Who would believe that in the quiet town
Of Salem, and amid the woods that crown
The neighboring hillsides, and the sunny farms
That fold it safe in their paternal arms,—
Who would believe that in those peaceful streets,
Where the great elms shut out the summer heats,
Where quiet reigns, and breathes through brain and breast
The benediction of unbroken rest,—
Who would believe such deeds could find a place
As these whose tragic history we retrace?
'Twas but a village then: the goodman ploughed
His ample acres under sun or cloud;
The goodwife at her doorstep sat and spun,
And gossiped with her neighbors in the sun;
The only men of dignity and state
Were then the Minister and the Magistrate,
Who ruled their little realm with iron rod,
Less in the love than in the fear of God;
And who believed devoutly in the Powers
Of Darkness, working in this world of ours,
In spells of Witchcraft, incantations dread,
And shrouded apparitions of the dead.
Upon this simple folk "with fire and flame,"
Saith the old Chronicle, "the Devil came;
Scattering his firebrands and his poisonous darts,
To set on fire of Hell all tongues and hearts!
And 'tis no wonder; for, with all his host,
There most he rages where he hateth most,
And is most hated; so on us he brings
All these stupendous and portentous things!"
Something of this our scene to-night will show;
And ye who listen to the Tale of Woe,
Be not too swift in casting the first stone,
Nor think New England bears the guilt alone.
This sudden burst of wickedness and crime
Was but the common madness of the time,
When in all lands, that lie within the sound
Of Sabbath bells, a Witch was burned or drowned.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The outbreak occurred in that part of Salem then called Salem Village, now the separate town of Danvers, and was brought about by three or four children who pretended to be bewitched and who "cried out" against various persons. They were countenanced, not to say encouraged, by Samuel Parris, the minister of the place, and there is evidence to show that he used them to gratify his private enmities.


[A.D. 1692]

Soe, Mistress Anne, faire neighboure myne,
How rides a witch when night-winds blowe?
Folk say that you are none too goode
To joyne the crewe in Salem woode,
When one you wot of gives the signe:
Righte well, methinks, the pathe you knowe.
In meetinge-time I watched you well,
Whiles godly Master Parris prayed:
Your folded hands laye on your booke;
But Richard answered to a looke
That fain would tempt him unto hell,
Where, Mistress Anne, your place is made.
You looke into my Richard's eyes
With evill glances shamelesse growne;
I found about his wriste a hair,
And guesse what fingers tyed it there!
He shall not lightly be your prize—
Your Master first shall take his owne.
'Tis not in nature he should be
(Who loved me soe when Springe was greene)
A childe, to hange upon your gowne!
He loved me well in Salem towne
Until this wanton witcherie
His heart and myne crept dark betweene.
Last Sabbath nighte, the gossips saye,
Your goodman missed you from his side.
He had no strength to move, until
Agen, as if in slumber still,
Beside him at the dawne you laye.
Tell, nowe, what meanwhile did betide.
Dame Anne, mye hate goe with you fleete
As drifts the Bay fogg overhead—
Or over yonder hill-topp, where
There is a tree ripe fruit shall bear
When, neighbour myne, your wicked feet
The stones of Gallows Hill shall tread.
Edmund Clarence Stedman.


A special jury, instituted to try the suspects, went to work without delay. On June 2, 1692, Bridget Bishop was tried and condemned and was hanged a week later. On June 30 the court sentenced five persons to death, and all of them were executed soon afterwards. Among those condemned was Rebecca Nourse, seventy-one years of age, universally beloved and of excellent character. The jury was with great difficulty persuaded to convict her; the governor granted a reprieve, but Parris, who had an ancient grudge against her, finally got it repealed, and on July 19, 1692, she was carted to the summit of Gallows Hill and hanged.


[July 19, 1692]

The chill New England sunshine
Lay on the kitchen floor;
The wild New England north wind
Came rattling at the door.
And by the wide old fire-place,
Deep in her cushioned chair,
Lay back an ancient woman,
With shining snow-white hair.
The peace of God was on her face,
Her eyes were sweet and calm,
And when you heard her earnest voice
It sounded like a psalm.
In all the land they loved her well;
From country and from town
Came many a heart for counsel,
And many a soul cast down.
Her hands had fed the hungry poor
With blessing and with bread;
Her face was like a comforting
From out the Gospel read.
So weak and silent as she lay,
Her warm hands clasped in prayer,
A sudden knocking at the door
Came on her unaware.
And as she turned her hoary head,
Beside her chair there stood
Four grim and grisly Puritans—
No visitants for good.
They came upon her like a host,
And bade her speak and tell
Why she had sworn a wicked oath
To serve the powers of hell;
To work the works of darkness
On children of the light,
A witch they might not suffer here
Who read the Word aright.
Like one who sees her fireside yawn,
A pit of black despair,
Or one who wakes from quiet dreams
Within a lion's lair,
She glared at them with starting eyes,
Her voice essayed no sound;
She gasped like any hunted deer
The eager dogs surround.
"Answer us!" hoarse and loud they cry;
She looked from side to side—
No human help—"Oh, gracious God!"
In agony she cried.
Then, calling back her feeble life,
The white lips uttered slow,
"I am as pure as babe unborn
From this foul thing, ye know.
"If God doth visit me for sin,
Beneath His rod I bend,"
But pitiless and wroth were they,
And bent upon their end.
They tortured her with taunt and jeer,
They vexed her night and day—
No husband's arm nor sister's tears
Availed their rage to stay.
Before the church they haled her then;
The minister arose
And poured upon her patient head
The worst of all its woes:
He bade her be accursed of God
Forever here and there;
He cursed her with a heavy curse
No mortal man may bear.
She stood among the cowering crowd
As calm as saints in heaven,
Her eyes as sweet as summer skies,
Her face like summer's even.
The devils wrought their wicked will
On matron and on maid.
"Thou hast bewitched us!" cried they all,
But not a word she said.
They fastened chains about her feet,
And carried her away;
For many days in Salem jail
Alone and ill she lay
She heard the scythe along the field
Ring through the fragrant air,
She smelt the wild-rose on the wind
That bloweth everywhere.
Reviled and hated and bereft,
The soul had plenteous rest,
Though sorrow like a frantic flood
Beat sore upon her breast.
At last the prison door stood wide,
They led the saint abroad;
By many an old familiar place
Her trembling footsteps trod.
Till faint with weakness and distress,
She climbed a hillside bleak,
And faced the gallows built thereon,
Still undisturbed and meek.
They hanged this weary woman there,
Like any felon stout;
Her white hairs on the cruel rope
Were scattered all about.
The body swung upon the tree
In every flitting wind,
Reviled and mocked by passengers
And folk of evil mind.
A woman old and innocent,
To die a death of shame,
With kindred, neighbors, friends thereby,
And none to utter blame.
Oh, God, that such a thing should be
On earth which Thou hast made!
A voice from heaven answered me,
"Father forgive," He said.
Rose Terry Cooke.

At the August session, six persons were tried and, of course, condemned, among them Elizabeth and John Proctor. The former had been arrested April 11, and when her husband came to her defence, he was also arrested. They were tried together August 5, and both were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Proctor was executed August 19. His wife escaped by pleading pregnancy. Some months later she gave birth to a child, and her execution was again ordered early in 1693, but Governor Phips granted a reprieve, and she ultimately escaped.


[August 19, 1692]

The wind blows east,—the wind blows west,—
It blows upon the gallows tree:
Oh, little babe beneath my breast,
He died for thee!—he died for me!
The judges came,—the children came
(Some mother's heart o'er each had yearned),
They set their black lies on my name:—
"A God-accursèd witch who learned
"Each night (they said) the Devil's art,
Through Salem wood by devils drawn."—
I, whose heart beat against his heart
From dark till dawn!—from dark till dawn!
He faced them in his fearless scorn
(The sun was on him as he stood):
"No purer is her babe unborn;
I prove her sinless with my blood."
They spared the babe beneath my breast,—
They bound his hands,—they set me free,—
Hush, hush, my babe! hush, hush and rest;
He died for thee!—he died for me!
They dragged him, bound, to Gallows Hill
(I saw the flowers among the grass);
The women came,—I hear them still,—
They held their babes to see him pass.
God curse them!—Nay,—Oh God forgive!
He said it while their lips reviled;
He kissed my lips,—he whispered: "Live!
The father loves thee in the child."
Then earth and sky grew black,—I fell—
I lay as stone beside their stone.
They did their work. They earned their Hell.
I woke on Gallows Hill, alone.
Oh Christ who suffered, Christ who blessed,
Shield him upon the gallows tree!
O babe, his babe, beneath my breast,
He died for thee!—he died for me!
Ednah Proctor Clarke.


The case of Giles Corey is one of the most tragic in all this hideous drama. When arrested and brought before the court, he refused to plead—"stood mute," as the law termed it. The penalty for "standing mute," according to the English law of the time, was that the prisoner "be remanded to prison ... and there be laid on his back on the bare floor...; that there be placed upon his body as great a weight of iron as he can bear, and more," until death should ensue. This was the penalty Giles Corey suffered.


From "Giles Corey of the Salem Farms"

[September 7, 1692]

Scene II.Interior of the Meeting-house.
Mather and the Magistrates seated in front of the pulpit.
Before them a raised platform. Martha in chains. Corey near her.
Mary Walcot in a chair. A crowd of spectators, among them Gloyd.
Confusion and murmurs during the scene.
Call Martha Corey.
I am here.
Come forward.
She ascends the platform.
The Jurors of our Sovereign Lord and Lady
The King and Queen, here present, do accuse you
Of having on the tenth of June last past,
And divers other times before and after,
Wickedly used and practised certain arts
Called Witchcrafts, Sorceries, and Incantations,
Against one Mary Walcot, single woman,
Of Salem Village: by which wicked arts
The aforesaid Mary Walcot was tormented,
Tortured, afflicted, pined, consumed, and wasted,
Against the peace of our Sovereign Lord and Lady
The King and Queen, as well as of the Statute
Made and provided in that case. What say you?
Before I answer, give me leave to pray.
We have not sent for you, nor are we here,
To hear you pray, but to examine you
In whatsoever is alleged against you
Why do you hurt this person?
I do not.
I am not guilty of the charge against me.
Avoid, she-devil! You may torment me now!
Avoid, avoid, Witch!
I am innocent.
I never had to do with any Witchcraft
Since I was born. I am a gospel woman.
You are a gospel Witch!
MARTHA (clasping her hands)
Ah me! ah me!
Oh, give me leave to pray!
MARY (stretching out her hands)
She hurts me now.
See, she has pinched my hands!
Who made these marks
Upon her hands?
I do not know. I stand
Apart from her. I did not touch her hands.
Who hurt her then?
I know not.
Do you think
She is bewitched?
Indeed I do not think so.
I am no Witch, and have no faith in Witches.
Then answer me: When certain persons came
[93] To see you yesterday, how did you know
Beforehand why they came?
I had had speech;
The children said I hurt them, and I thought
These people came to question me about it.
How did you know the children had been told
To note the clothes you wore?
My husband told me
What others said about it.
Goodman Corey,
Say, did you tell her?
I must speak the truth;
I did not tell her. It was some one else.
Did you not say your husband told you so?
How dare you tell a lie in this assembly?
Who told you of the clothes? Confess the truth.
MARTHA bites her lips, and is silent.
You bite your lips, but do not answer me!
Ah, she is biting me! Avoid, avoid!
You said your husband told you.
Yes, he told me
The children said I troubled them.
Then tell me,
Why do you trouble them?
I have denied it.
She threatened me; stabbed at me with her spindle;
And, when my brother thrust her with his sword,
He tore her gown, and cut a piece away.
Here are they both, the spindle and the cloth.
Shows them.
And there are persons here who know the truth
Of what has now been said. What answer make you?
I make no answer. Give me leave to pray.
Whom would you pray to?
To my God and Father.
Who is your God and Father?
The Almighty!
Doth he you pray to say that he is God?
It is the Prince of Darkness, and not God.
There is a dark shape whispering in her ear.
What does it say to you?
I see no shape.
Did you not hear it whisper?
I heard nothing.
What torture! Ah, what agony I suffer!
Falls into a swoon.
You see this woman cannot stand before you.
If you would look for mercy, you must look
In God's way, by confession of your guilt.
Why does your spectre haunt and hurt this person?
I do not know. He who appeared of old
In Samuel's shape, a saint and glorified,
May come in whatsoever shape he chooses.
I cannot help it. I am sick at heart!
O Martha, Martha! let me hold your hand.
No; stand aside, old man.
MARY (starting up)
Look there! Look there!
I see a little bird, a yellow bird,
Perched on her finger; and it pecks at me.
Ah, it will tear mine eyes out!
I see nothing.
'Tis the Familiar Spirit that attends her.
Now it has flown away. It sits up there
Upon the rafters. It is gone; is vanished.
Giles, wipe these tears of anger from mine eyes.
Wipe the sweat from my forehead. I am faint.
She leans against the railing.
Oh, she is crushing me with all her weight!
Did you not carry once the Devil's Book
To this young woman?
Have you signed it,
Or touched it?
No; I never saw it.
Did you not scourge her with an iron rod?
No, I did not. If any Evil Spirit
Has taken my shape to do these evil deeds,
I cannot help it. I am innocent.
Did you not say the Magistrates were blind?
That you would open their eyes?
MARTHA (with a scornful laugh)
Yes, I said that;
If you call me a sorceress, you are blind!
If you accuse the innocent, you are blind!
Can the innocent be guilty?
Did you not
On one occasion hide your husband's saddle
To hinder him from coming to the Sessions?
I thought it was a folly in a farmer
To waste his time pursuing such illusions.
What was the bird that this young woman saw
Just now upon your hand?
I know no bird.
Have you not dealt with a Familiar Spirit?
No, never, never!
What then was the Book
You showed to this young woman, and besought her
To write in it?
Where should I have a book?
I showed her none, nor have none.
The next Sabbath
Is the Communion Day, but Martha Corey
Will not be there!
Ah, you are all against me.
What can I do or say?
You can confess.
No, I cannot, for I am innocent.
We have the proof of many witnesses
That you are guilty.
Give me leave to speak.
Will you condemn me on such evidence,—
You who have known me for so many years?
Will you condemn me in this house of God,
Where I so long have worshipped with you all?
Where I have eaten the bread and drunk the wine
So many times at our Lord's Table with you?
Bear witness, you that hear me; you all know
That I have led a blameless life among you,
That never any whisper of suspicion
Was breathed against me till this accusation.
And shall this count for nothing? Will you take
My life away from me, because this girl,
Who is distraught, and not in her right mind,
Accuses me of things I blush to name?
What! is it not enough? Would you hear more?
Giles Corey!
I am here.
Come forward, then.
COREY ascends the platform.
Is it not true, that on a certain night
You were impeded strangely in your prayers?
That something hindered you? and that you left
This woman here, your wife, kneeling alone
Upon the hearth?
Yes; I cannot deny it.
Did you not say the Devil hindered you?
I think I said some words to that effect.
Is it not true, that fourteen head of cattle,
To you belonging, broke from their enclosure
And leaped into the river, and were drowned?
It is most true.
And did you not then say
That they were overlooked?
So much I said.
I see; they're drawing round me closer, closer,
A net I cannot break, cannot escape from!
Who did these things?
I do not know who did them.
Then I will tell you. It is some one near you;
You see her now; this woman, your own wife.
I call the heavens to witness, it is false!
She never harmed me, never hindered me
In anything but what I should not do.
And I bear witness in the sight of heaven,
And in God's house here, that I never knew her
As otherwise than patient, brave, and true,
Faithful, forgiving, full of charity,
A virtuous and industrious and good wife!
Tut, tut, man; do not rant so in your speech;
You are a witness, not an advocate!
Here, Sheriff, take this woman back to prison.
O Giles, this day you've sworn away my life!
Go, go and join the Witches at the door.
Do you not hear the drum? Do you not see them?
Go quick. They're waiting for you. You are late!
[Exit Martha; Corey following.
The dream! the dream! the dream!
What does he say?
Giles Corey, go not hence. You are yourself
Accused of Witchcraft and of Sorcery
By many witnesses. Say, are you guilty?
I know my death is foreordained by you,—
Mine and my wife's. Therefore I will not answer.
During the rest of the scene he remains silent.
Do you refuse to plead?—'Twere better for you
To make confession, or to plead Not Guilty.—
Do you not hear me?—Answer, are you guilty?
Do you not know a heavier doom awaits you,
If you refuse to plead, than if found guilty?
Where is John Gloyd?
GLOYD (coming forward)
Here am I.
Tell the Court;
Have you not seen the supernatural power
Of this old man? Have you not seen him do
Strange feats of strength?
I've seen him lead the field,
On a hot day, in mowing, and against
Us younger men; and I have wrestled with him.
He threw me like a feather. I have seen him
Lift up a barrel with his single hands,
Which two strong men could hardly lift together,
And, holding it above his head, drink from it.
That is enough; we need not question further.
What answer do you make to this, Giles Corey?
See there! See there!
What is it? I see nothing.
Look! Look! It is the ghost of Robert Goodell,
Whom fifteen years ago this man did murder
By stamping on his body! In his shroud
He comes here to bear witness to the crime!
The crowd shrinks back from Corey in horror.
Ghosts of the dead and voices of the living
Bear witness to your guilt, and you must die!
It might have been an easier death. Your doom
Will be on your own head, and not on ours.
Twice more will you be questioned of these things;
Twice more have room to plead or to confess.
If you are contumacious to the Court,
And if, when questioned, you refuse to answer,
Then by the Statute you will be condemned
To the peine forte et dure! To have your body
Pressed by great weights until you shall be dead!
And may the Lord have mercy on your soul!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


[September 19, 1692]

Giles Corey was a Wizzard strong,
A stubborn wretch was he;
And fitt was he to hang on high
Upon the Locust-tree.
So when before the magistrates
For triall he did come,
He would no true confession make,
But was compleatlie dumbe.
"Giles Corey," said the Magistrate,
"What hast thou heare to pleade
To these that now accuse thy soule
Of crimes and horrid deed?"
Giles Corey, he said not a worde,
No single worde spoke he.
"Giles Corey," saith the Magistrate,
"We'll press it out of thee."
They got them then a heavy beam,
They laid it on his breast;
They loaded it with heavy stones,
And hard upon him prest.
"More weight!" now said this wretched man;
"More weight!" again he cried;
And he did no confession make,
But wickedly he dyed.

One of the most assiduous of the prosecutors had been John Hale, minister of the First Church at Beverly. In October the accusers "cried out" against his wife, who was widely known for generous and disinterested virtues. Hale knew the "innocence and piety of his wife, and stood between her and the storm he had helped to raise. The whole community became convinced that the accusers in crying out upon Mrs. Hale had perjured themselves, and from that moment their power was destroyed."


[October, 1692]

The roadside forests here and there were touched with tawny gold;
The days were shortening, and at dusk the sea looked blue and cold;
Through his long fields the minister paced, restless, up and down;
Before, the land-locked harbor lay; behind, the little town.
No careless chant of harvester or fisherman awoke
The silent air; no clanging hoof, no curling weft of smoke,
Where late the blacksmith's anvil rang; all dumb as death,—and why?
Why? echoed back the minister's chilled heart, for sole reply.
His wife was watching from the door; she came to meet him now
A weary sadness in her voice, a care upon her brow.
A vague, oppressive mystery, a hint of unknown fear,
Hung hovering over every roof: it was the witchcraft year.
She laid her hand upon his arm, and looked into his face,
And as he turned away she turned, beside him keeping pace:
And, "Oh, my husband, let me speak!" said gentle Mistress Hale,
"For truth is fallen in the street, and falsehoods vile prevail.
"The very air we breathe is thick with whisperings of hell;
The foolish trust the quaking bog, where wise men sink as well,
Who follow them: O husband mine, for love of me, beware
Of touching slime that from the pit is oozing everywhere!
"The rulers and the ministers, tell me, what have they done,
Through all the dreadful weeks since this dark inquest was begun,
Save to encourage thoughtless girls in their unhallowed ways,
And bring to an untimely end many a good woman's days?
"Think of our neighbor, Goodwife Hoar; because she would not say
She was in league with evil powers, she pines in jail to-day.
Think of our trusty field-hand, Job,—a swaggerer, it is true,—
Boasting he feared no Devil, they have condemned him, too.
"And Bridget Bishop, when she lived yonder at Ryal-side,
What if she kept a shovel-board, and trimmed with laces wide
Her scarlet bodice: grant she was too frivolous and vain;
How dared they take away the life they could not give again?
"Nor soberness availeth aught; for who hath suffered worse,
Through persecutions undeserved, than good Rebecca Nurse?
Forsaken of her kith and kin, alone in her despair,
It almost seemed as if God's ear were closed against her prayer.
"They spare not even infancy: poor little Dorcas Good,
The vagrant's child—but four years old!—who says that baby could
To Satan sign her soul away condemns this business blind,
As but the senseless babbling of a weak and wicked mind.
"Is it not like the ancient tale they tell of Phaeton,
Whose ignorant hands were trusted with the horses of the sun?
Our teachers now by witless youths are led on and beguiled:
Woe to the land, the Scripture saith, whose ruler is a child!
"God grant this dismal day be short! Except help soon arrive,
To ruin these deluded ones will our fair country drive.
If I to-morrow were accused, what further could I plead
Than those who died, whom neither judge nor minister would heed?
"I pray thee, husband, enter not their councils any more!
My heart aches with forebodings! Do not leave me, I implore!
Yet if to turn this curse aside my life might but avail,
In Christ's name would I yield it up," said gentle Mistress Hale.
The minister of Beverly dreamed a strange dream that night:
He dreamed the tide came up, blood-red, through inlet, cove, and bight,
Till Salem village was submerged; until Bass River rose,
A threatening crimson gulf, that yawned the hamlet to inclose.
It rushed in at the cottage-doors whence women fled and wept;
Close to the little meeting-house with serpent curves it crept;
The grave-mounds in the burying-ground were sunk beneath its flood;
The doorstone of the parsonage was dashed with spray of blood.
And on the threshold, praying, knelt his dear and honored wife,
As one who would that deluge stay at cost of her own life.—
"Oh, save her! save us, Christ!" the cry unlocked him from his dream,
And at his casement in the east he saw the day-star gleam.
The minister that morning said, "Only this once I go,
Beloved wife; I cannot tell if witches be or no.
We on the judgment-throne have sat in place of God too long;
I fear me much lest we have done His flock a grievous wrong:
"And this before my brethren will I testify to-day."
Around him quiet wooded isles and placid waters lay,
As unto Salem-Side he crossed. He reached the court-room small,
Just as a shrill, unearthly shriek echoed from wall to wall.
"Woe! Mistress Hale tormenteth me! She came in like a bird,
Perched on her husband's shoulder!" Then silence fell; no word
Spake either judge or minister, while with profound amaze
Each fixed upon the other's face his horror-stricken gaze.
But, while the accuser writhed in wild contortions on the floor,
One rose and said, "Let all withdraw! the court is closed!" no more:
For well the land knew Mistress Hale's rare loveliness and worth;
Her virtues bloomed like flowers of heaven along the paths of earth.
The minister of Beverly went homeward riding fast;
His wife shrank back from his strange look, affrighted and aghast.
"Dear wife thou ailest! Shut thyself into thy room!" said he;
"Whoever comes, the latch-string keep drawn in from all save me!"
Nor his life's treasure from close guard did he one moment lose,
Until across the ferry came a messenger with news
That the bewitched ones acted now vain mummeries of woe;
The judges looked and wondered still, but all the accused let go.
The dark cloud rolled from off the land; the golden leaves dropped down
Along the winding wood-paths of the little sea-side town:
In Salem Village there was peace; with witchcraft-trials passed
The nightmare-terror from the vexed New England air at last.
Again in natural tones men dared to laugh aloud and speak;
From Naugus Head the fisher's shout rang back to Jeffrey's Creek;
The phantom-soldiery withdrew, that haunted Gloucester shore;
The teamster's voice through Wenham Woods broke into psalms once more.
The minister of Beverly thereafter sorely grieved
That he had inquisition held with counsellors deceived;
Forsaking love's unerring light and duty's solid ground,
And groping in the shadowy void, where truth is never found.
Errors are almost trespasses; rarely indeed we know
How our mistakes hurt other hearts, until some random blow
Has well-nigh broken our own. Alas! regret could not restore
To lonely hearths the presences that gladdened them before.
As with the grain our fathers sowed sprang up Old England's weeds,
So to their lofty piety clung superstition's seeds.
Though tares grow with it, wheat is wheat: by food from heaven we live:
Yet whoso asks for daily bread must add, "Our sins forgive!"
Truth made transparent in a life, tried gold of character,
Were Mistress Hale's, and this is all that history says of her;
Their simple force, like sunlight, broke the hideous midnight spell,
And sight restored again to eyes obscured by films of hell.
The minister's long fields are still with dews of summer wet;
The roof that sheltered Mistress Hale tradition points to yet.
Green be her memory ever kept all over Cape-Ann-Side,
Whose unobtrusive excellence awed back delusion's tide!
Lucy Larcom.



While England was colonizing the Atlantic seaboard, France was firmly establishing herself to the north along the St. Lawrence. It was inevitable that war should follow; and as early as 1613 the English had destroyed the French settlements in Nova Scotia. The country had scarcely rallied from the blow, when it was torn asunder by the contest between Charles la Tour and the Chevalier D'Aulnay—a contest which, after twelve years, resulted in victory for the latter.


[April, 1647]

"To the winds give our banner!
Bear homeward again!"
Cried the Lord of Acadia,
Cried Charles of Estienne!
From the prow of his shallop
He gazed, as the sun
From its bed in the ocean,
Streamed up the St. John.
O'er the blue western waters
That shallop had passed,
Where the mists of Penobscot
Clung damp on her mast.
St. Saviour had looked
On the heretic sail,
As the songs of the Huguenot
Rose on the gale.
The pale, ghostly fathers
Remembered her well,
And had cursed her while passing,
With taper and bell;
[100] But the men of Monhegan,
Of Papists abhorred,
Had welcomed and feasted
The heretic Lord.
They had loaded his shallop
With dun-fish and ball,
With stores for his larder,
And steel for his wall.
Pemaquid, from her bastions
And turrets of stone,
Had welcomed his coming
With banner and gun.
And the prayers of the elders
Had followed his way,
As homeward he glided,
Down Pentecost Bay.
Oh, well sped La Tour!
For, in peril and pain,
His lady kept watch,
For his coming again.
O'er the Isle of the Pheasant
The morning sun shone,
On the plane-trees which shaded
The shores of St. John.
"Now, why from yon battlements
Speaks not my love!
Why waves there no banner
My fortress above?"
Dark and wild, from his deck
St. Estienne gazed about,
On fire-wasted dwellings,
And silent redoubt;
From the low, shattered walls
Which the flame had o'errun,
There floated no banner,
There thundered no gun!
But beneath the low arch
Of its doorway there stood
A pale priest of Rome,
In his cloak and his hood.
With the bound of a lion,
La Tour sprang to land,
On the throat of the Papist
He fastened his hand.
"Speak, son of the Woman
Of scarlet and sin!
What wolf has been prowling
My castle within?"
From the grasp of the soldier
The Jesuit broke,
Half in scorn, half in sorrow,
He smiled as he spoke:
"No wolf, Lord of Estienne,
Has ravaged thy hall,
But thy red-handed rival,
With fire, steel, and ball!
On an errand of mercy
I hitherward came,
While the walls of thy castle
Yet spouted with flame.
"Pentagoet's dark vessels
Were moored in the bay,
Grim sea-lions, roaring
Aloud for their prey."
"But what of my lady?"
Cried Charles of Estienne.
"On the shot-crumbled turret
Thy lady was seen:
"Half-veiled in the smoke-cloud,
Her hand grasped thy pennon,
While her dark tresses swayed
In the hot breath of cannon!
But woe to the heretic,
Evermore woe!
When the son of the church
And the cross is his foe!
"In the track of the shell,
In the path of the ball,
Pentagoet swept over
The breach of the wall!
Steel to steel, gun to gun,
One moment,—and then
Alone stood the victor,
Alone with his men!
"Of its sturdy defenders,
Thy lady alone
Saw the cross-blazoned banner
Float over St. John."
"Let the dastard look to it!"
Cried fiery Estienne,
"Were D'Aulnay King Louis,
I'd free her again!"
"Alas for thy lady!
No service from thee
Is needed by her
Whom the Lord hath set free;
[101] Nine days, in stern silence,
Her thraldom she bore,
But the tenth morning came,
And Death opened her door!"
As if suddenly smitten
La Tour staggered back;
His hand grasped his sword-hilt,
His forehead grew black.
He sprang on the deck
Of his shallop again.
"We cruise now for vengeance!
Give away!" cried Estienne.
"Massachusetts shall hear
Of the Huguenot's wrong,
And from island and creekside
Her fishers shall throng!
Pentagoet shall rue
What his Papists have done,
When his palisades echo
The Puritan's gun!"
Oh, the loveliest of heavens
Hung tenderly o'er him,
There were waves in the sunshine,
And green isles before him;
But a pale hand was beckoning
The Huguenot on;
And in blackness and ashes
Behind was St. John!
John Greenleaf Whittier.

The rivalry between the colonists for the fur trade grew steadily more bitter, and in 1690 (King William's War) Canada undertook the conquest of New York and destroyed a number of frontier towns. The English made some reprisals; Sir William Phips capturing Acadia and Major Peter Schuyler leading a raid into the country south of Montreal, where he defeated a considerable body of French and Indians under Valrennes, in a spirited fight at La Prairie.



That was a brave old epoch,
Our age of chivalry,
When the Briton met the Frenchman
At the fight of La Prairie;
And the manhood of New England,
And the Netherlanders true
And Mohawks sworn, gave battle
To the Bourbon's lilied blue.
That was a brave old governor
Who gathered his array,
And stood to meet, he knew not what,
On that alarming day.
Eight hundred, amid rumors vast
That filled the wild wood's gloom,
With all New England's flower of youth,
Fierce for New France's doom.
And the brave old half five hundred!
Theirs should in truth be fame;
Borne down the savage Richelieu,
On what emprise they came!
Your hearts are great enough, O few:
Only your numbers fail,—
New France asks more for conquerors,
All glorious though your tale.
It was a brave old battle
That surged around the fort,
When D'Hosta fell in charging,
And 'twas deadly strife and short;
When in the very quarters
They contested face and hand,
And many a goodly fellow
Crimsoned yon La Prairie sand.
And those were brave old orders
The colonel gave to meet
That forest force with trees entrenched
Opposing the retreat:
"De Callière's strength's behind us,
And in front your Richelieu;
We must go straightforth at them;
There is nothing else to do."
And then the brave old story comes,
Of Schuyler and Valrennes,
When "Fight" the British colonel called,
Encouraging his men,
"For the Protestant Religion
And the honor of our King!"—
"Sir, I am here to answer you!"
Valrennes cried, forthstepping.
Were not those brave old races?
Well, here they still abide;
And yours is one or other,
And the second's at your side;
So when you hear your brother say,
"Some loyal deed I'll do,"
Like old Valrennes, be ready with
"I'm here to answer you!"
William Douw Schuyler-Lighthall.


Peace was declared in 1697, but hostilities began again five years later, and early in 1704 Vaudreuil, governor of Canada, dispatched a force of three hundred, under Hertel de Rouville, against Deerfield, on the northwestern frontier of Massachusetts. They reached their destination a little before daylight of February 29, and, finding the sentinels asleep and the snow drifted over the palisades, rushed the place, and carried it, with the exception of one block-house, which held out successfully.


[February 29, 1704]

Of the onset, fear-inspiring, and the firing and the pillage
Of our village, when De Rouville with his forces on us fell,
When, ere dawning of the morning, with no death-portending warning,
With no token shown or spoken, came the foeman, hear me tell.
High against the palisadoes, on the meadows, banks, and hill-sides,
At the rill-sides, over fences, lay the lingering winter snow;
And so high by tempest rifted, at our pickets it was drifted,
That its frozen crust was chosen as a bridge to bear the foe.
We had set at night a sentry, lest an entry, while the sombre
Heavy slumber was upon us, by the Frenchman should be made;
But the faithless knave we posted, though of wakefulness he boasted,
'Stead of keeping watch was sleeping, and his solemn trust betrayed.
Than our slumber none profounder; never sounder fell on sleeper,
Never deeper sleep its shadow cast on dull and listless frames;
But it fled before the crashing of the portals, and the flashing,
And the soaring, and the roaring, and the crackling of the flames.
Fell the shining hatchets quickly 'mid the thickly crowded women,
Growing dim in crimson currents from the pulses of the brain;
Rained the balls from firelocks deadly, till the melted snow ran redly
With the glowing torrent flowing from the bodies of the slain.
I, from pleasant dreams awaking at the breaking of my casement,
With amazement saw the foemen enter quickly where I lay;
Heard my wife and children's screaming, as the hatchets woke their dreaming,
Heard their groaning and their moaning as their spirits passed away.
'Twas in vain I struggled madly as the sadly sounding pleading
Of my bleeding, dying darlings fell upon my tortured ears;
'Twas in vain I wrestled, raging, fight against their numbers waging,
Crowding round me there they bound me, while my manhood sank in tears.
At the spot to which they bore me, no one o'er me watched or warded;
There unguarded, bound and shivering, on the snow I lay alone;
Watching by the firelight ruddy, as the butchers dark and bloody,
Slew the nearest friends and dearest to my memory ever known.
And it seemed, as rose the roaring blaze, up soaring, redly streaming
O'er the gleaming snow around me through the shadows of the night,
That the figures flitting fastly were the fiends at revels ghastly,
Madly urging on the surging, seething billows of the fight.
Suddenly my gloom was lightened, hope was heightened, though the shrieking,
Malice-wreaking, ruthless wretches death were scattering to and fro;
For a knife lay there—I spied it, and a tomahawk beside it
Glittering brightly, buried lightly, keen edge upward, in the snow.
Naught knew I how came they thither, nor from whither; naught to me then
If the heathen dark, my captors, dropped those weapons there or no;
[103] Quickly drawn o'er axe-edge lightly, cords were cut that held me tightly,
Then, with engines of my vengeance in my hands, I sought the foe.
Oh, what anger dark, consuming, fearful, glooming, looming horrid,
Lit my forehead, draped my figure, leapt with fury from my glance;
'Midst the foemen rushing frantic, to their sight I seemed gigantic,
Like the motion of the ocean, like a tempest my advance.
Stoutest of them all, one savage left the ravage round and faced me;
Fury braced me, for I knew him—he my pleading wife had slain.
Huge he was, and brave and brawny, but I met the slayer tawny,
And with rigorous blow, and vigorous, clove his tufted skull in twain—
Madly dashing down the crashing bloody hatchet in his brain.
As I brained him rose their calling, "Lo! appalling from yon meadow
The Monedo of the white man comes with vengeance in his train!"
As they fled, my blows Titanic falling fast increased their panic,
Till their shattered forces scattered widely o'er the snowy plain.
Stern De Rouville then their error, born of terror, soon dispersing,
Loudly cursing them for folly, roused their pride with words of scorn;
Peering cautiously they knew me, then by numbers overthrew me;
Fettered surely, bound securely, there again I lay forlorn.
Well I knew their purpose horrid, on each forehead it was written—
Pride was smitten that their bravest had retreated at my ire;
For the rest the captive's durance, but for me there was assurance
Of the tortures known to martyrs—of the terrible death by fire.
Then I felt, though horror-stricken, pulses quicken as the swarthy
Savage, or the savage Frenchman, fiercest of the cruel band,
Darted in and out the shadows, through the shivered palisadoes,
Death-blows dealing with unfeeling heart and never-sparing hand.
Soon the sense of horror left me, and bereft me of all feeling;
Soon, revealing all my early golden moments, memory came;
Showing how, when young and sprightly, with a footstep falling lightly,
I had pondered as I wandered on the maid I loved to name.
Her, so young, so pure, so dove-like, that the love-like angels whom a
Sweet aroma circles ever wheresoe'er they move their wings,
Felt with her the air grow sweeter, felt with her their joy completer,
Felt their gladness swell to madness, silent grow their silver strings.
Then I heard her voice's murmur breathing summer, while my spirit
Leaned to hear it and to drink it like a draught of pleasant wine;
Felt her head upon my shoulder drooping as my love I told her;
Felt the utterly pleased flutter of her heart respond to mine.
Then I saw our darlings clearly that more nearly linked our gladness;
Saw our sadness as a lost one sank from pain to happy rest;
Mingled tears with hers and chid her, bade her by our love consider
How our dearest now was nearest to the blessed Master's breast.
I had lost that wife so cherished, who had perished, passed from being,
In my seeing—I, unable to protect her or defend;
At that thought dispersed those fancies, born of woe-begotten trances,
While unto me came the gloomy present hour my heart to rend.
For I heard the firelocks ringing fiercely flinging forth the whirring,
Blood-preferring leaden bullets from a garrisoned abode;
[104] There it stood so grim and lonely, speaking of its tenants only,
When the furious leaden couriers from its loopholes fastly rode.
And the seven who kept it stoutly, though devoutly triumph praying,
Ceased not slaying, trusting somewhat to their firelocks and their wives;
For while they the house were holding, balls the wives were quickly moulding—
Neither fearful, wild, nor tearful, toiling earnest for their lives.
Onward rushed each dusky leaguer, hot and eager, but the seven
Rained the levin from their firelocks as the Pagans forward pressed;
Melting at that murderous firing, back that baffled foe retiring,
Left there lying, dead or dying, ten, their bravest and their best.
Rose the red sun, straightly throwing from his glowing disk his brightness
On the whiteness of the snowdrifts and the ruins of the town—
On those houses well defended, where the foe in vain expended
Ball and powder, standing prouder, smoke-begrimed and scarred and brown.
Not for us those rays shone fairly, tinting rarely dawning early
With the pearly light and glistering of the March's snowy morn;
Some were wounded, some were weary, some were sullen, all were dreary,
As the sorrow of that morrow shed its cloud of woe forlorn.
Then we heard De Rouville's orders, "To the borders!" and the dismal,
Dark abysmal fate before us opened widely as he spoke;
But we heard a shout in distance—into fluttering existence,
Brief but splendid, quickly ended, at the sound our hopes awoke.
'Twas our kinsmen armed and ready, sweeping steady to the nor'ward,
Pressing forward fleet and fearless, though in scanty force they came—
Cried De Rouville, grimly speaking, "Is't our captives you are seeking?
Well, with iron we environ them, and wall them round with flame.
"With the toil of blood we won them, we've undone them with our bravery;
Off to slavery, then, we carry them or leave them lifeless here.
Foul my shame so far to wander, and my soldiers' blood to squander
'Mid the slaughter free as water, should our prey escape us clear.
"Off, ye scum of peasants Saxon, and your backs on Frenchmen turning,
To our burning, dauntless courage proper tribute promptly pay;
Do you come to seize and beat us? Are you here to slay and eat us?
If your meat be Gaul and Mohawk, we will starve you out to-day."
How my spirit raged to hear him, standing near him bound and helpless!
Never whelpless tigress fiercer howled at slayer of her young,
When secure behind his engines, he has baffled her of vengeance,
Than did I there, forced to lie there while his bitter taunts he flung.
For I heard each leaden missile whirr and whistle from the trusty
Firelock rusty, brought there after long-time absence from the strife,
And was forced to stand in quiet, with my warm blood running riot,
When for power to give an hour to battle I had bartered life.
All in vain they thus had striven; backward driven, beat and broken,
Leaving token of their coming in the dead around the dell,
They retreated—well it served us! their retreat from death preserved us,
Though the order for our murder from the dark De Rouville fell.
As we left our homes in ashes, through the lashes of the sternest
Welled the earnest tears of anguish for the dear ones passed away;
[105] Sick at heart and heavily loaded, though with cruel blows they goaded,
Sorely cumbered, miles we numbered four alone that weary day.
They were tired themselves of tramping, for encamping they were ready,
Ere the steady twilight newer pallor threw upon the snow;
So they built them huts of branches, in the snow they scooped out trenches,
Heaped up firing, then, retiring, let us sleep our sleep of woe.
By the wrist—and by no light hand—to the right hand of a painted,
Murder-tainted, loathsome Pagan, with a jeer, I soon was tied;
And the one to whom they bound me, 'mid the scoffs of those around me,
Bowing to me, mocking, drew me down to slumber at his side.
As for me, be sure I slept not: slumber crept not on my senses;
Less intense is lover's musing than a captive's bent on ways
To escape from fearful thralling, and a death by fire appalling;
So, unsleeping, I was keeping on the Northern Star my gaze.
There I lay—no muscle stirring, mind unerring, thought unswerving,
Body nerving, till a death-like, breathless slumber fell around;
Then my right hand cautious stealing, o'er my bed-mate's person feeling,
Till each finger stooped to linger on the belt his waist that bound.
'Twas his knife—the handle clasping, firmly grasping, forth I drew it,
Clinging to it firm, but softly, with a more than robber's art;
As I drove it to its utter length of blade, I heard the flutter
Of a snow-bird—ah! 'twas no bird! 'twas the flutter of my heart.
Then I cut the cord that bound me, peered around me, rose uprightly,
Stepped as lightly as a lover on his blessed bridal day;
Swiftly as my need inclined me, kept the bright North Star behind me,
And, ere dawning of the morning, I was twenty miles away.
Thomas Dunn English.

Under French officers and priests, the war continued to be conducted with a cruelty as aimless as it was brutal. Isolated hamlets were burned, and their inhabitants tortured or taken prisoners, only, for the most part, to be butchered on the way to Canada. On August 29, 1708, a party of French and Indians, under De Chaillons and the infamous De Rouville, surprised the town of Haverhill. Rushing upon it, as their custom was, just before daylight, they fired several houses, plundered others, and killed some thirty or forty of the inhabitants. The townspeople rallied, and after an hour's fighting drove away the assailants, killing nearly thirty, among them De Rouville himself.


[August 29, 1708]

How sweetly on the wood-girt town
The mellow light of sunset shone!
Each small, bright lake, whose waters still
Mirror the forest and the hill,
Reflected from its waveless breast
The beauty of a cloudless west,
Glorious as if a glimpse were given
Within the western gates of heaven,
Left, by the spirit of the star
Of sunset's holy hour, ajar!
Beside the river's tranquil flood
The dark and low-walled dwellings stood,
Where many a rood of open land
Stretched up and down on either hand,
With corn-leaves waving freshly green
The thick and blackened stumps between
Behind, unbroken, deep and dread,
The wild, untravelled forest spread,
Back to those mountains, white and cold,
Of which the Indian trapper told,
Upon whose summits never yet
Was mortal foot in safety set.
Quiet and calm without a fear
Of danger darkly lurking near,
The weary laborer left his plough,
The milkmaid carolled by her cow;
From cottage door and household hearth
Rose songs of praise, or tones of mirth.
At length the murmur died away,
And silence on that village lay.
[106] —So slept Pompeii, tower and hall,
Ere the quick earthquake swallowed all,
Undreaming of the fiery fate
Which made its dwellings desolate!
Hours passed away. By moonlight sped
The Merrimac along his bed.
Bathed in the pallid lustre, stood
Dark cottage-wall and rock and wood,
Silent, beneath that tranquil beam,
As the hushed grouping of a dream.
Yet on the still air crept a sound,
No bark of fox, nor rabbit's bound,
No stir of wings, nor waters flowing,
Nor leaves in midnight breezes blowing.
Was that the tread of many feet,
Which downward from the hillside beat?
What forms were those which darkly stood
Just on the margin of the wood?
Charred tree-stumps in the moonlight dim,
Or paling rude, or leafless limb?
No,—through the trees fierce eyeballs glowed,
Dark human forms in moonshine showed,
Wild from their native wilderness,
With painted limbs and battle-dress!
A yell the dead might wake to hear
Swelled on the night air, far and clear;
Then smote the Indian tomahawk
On crashing door and shattering lock;
Then rang the rifle-shot, and then
The shrill death-scream of stricken men,—
Sank the red axe in woman's brain,
And childhood's cry arose in vain.
Bursting through roof and window came,
Red, fast, and fierce, the kindled flame,
And blended fire and moonlight glared
On still dead men and scalp-knives bared.
The morning sun looked brightly through
The river willows, wet with dew.
No sound of combat filled the air,
No shout was heard, nor gunshot there;
Yet still the thick and sullen smoke
From smouldering ruins slowly broke;
And on the greensward many a stain,
And, here and there, the mangled slain,
Told how that midnight bolt had sped,
Pentucket, on thy fated head!
Even now the villager can tell
Where Rolfe beside his hearthstone fell,
Still show the door of wasting oak,
Through which the fatal death-stroke broke,
And point the curious stranger where
De Rouville's corse lay grim and bare;
Whose hideous head, in death still feared,
Bore not a trace of hair or beard;
And still, within the churchyard ground,
Heaves darkly up the ancient mound,
Whose grass-grown surface overlies
The victims of that sacrifice.
John Greenleaf Whittier.

Though the Peace of Utrecht (1714) closed the war, desultory raids continued. In April, 1725, John Lovewell, of Dunstable, with forty-six men, marched against the Indian town of Pigwacket, or Pequawket (now Fryeburg). On the morning of May 8 they were suddenly attacked by a large force of Indians who had formed an ambuscade. Twelve men fell at the first fire, among them Lovewell himself. The survivors fought against heavy odds until sunset, when the Indians drew off without having been able to scalp the dead. It was this battle, in its day "as famous in New England as was Chevy Chase on the Scottish border," which inspired the earliest military ballad, still extant, composed in America. Its author is unknown, but it was for many years "the best beloved song in all New England."


[May 8, 1725]

Of worthy Captain Lovewell I purpose now to sing,
How valiantly he served his country and his King;
He and his valiant soldiers did range the woods full wide,
And hardships they endured to quell the Indian's pride.
'Twas nigh unto Pigwacket, on the eighth day of May,
They spied a rebel Indian soon after break of day;
He on a bank was walking, upon a neck of land,
Which leads into a pond as we're made to understand.
Our men resolv'd to have him, and travell'd two miles round,
Until they met the Indian, who boldly stood his ground;
Then spake up Captain Lovewell, "Take you good heed," says he,
"This rogue is to decoy us, I very plainly see.
"The Indians lie in ambush, in some place nigh at hand,
In order to surround us upon this neck of land;
Therefore we'll march in order, and each man leave his pack
That we may briskly fight them, when they make their attack."
They came unto this Indian, who did them thus defy,
As soon as they came nigh him, two guns he did let fly,
Which wounded Captain Lovewell, and likewise one man more,
But when this rogue was running, they laid him in his gore.
Then having scalp'd the Indian, they went back to the spot
Where they had laid their packs down, but there they found them not,
For the Indians having spy'd them, when they them down did lay,
Did seize them for their plunder, and carry them away.
These rebels lay in ambush, this very place hard by,
So that an English soldier did one of them espy,
And cried out, "Here's an Indian," with that they started out,
As fiercely as old lions, and hideously did shout.
With that our valiant English all gave a loud huzza,
To show the rebel Indians they fear'd them not a straw:
So now the fight began, and as fiercely as could be,
The Indians ran up to them, but soon were forced to flee.
Then spake up Captain Lovewell, when first the fight began:
"Fight on, my valiant heroes! you see they fall like rain."
For as we are inform'd, the Indians were so thick
A man could scarcely fire a gun and not some of them hit.
Then did the rebels try their best our soldiers to surround,
But they could not accomplish it, because there was a pond,
To which our men retreated, and covered all the rear,
The rogues were forc'd to face them, altho' they skulked for fear.
Two logs there were behind them that close together lay,
Without being discovered, they could not get away;
Therefore our valiant English they travell'd in a row,
And at a handsome distance, as they were wont to go.
'Twas ten o'clock in the morning when first the fight begun,
And fiercely did continue until the setting sun;
Excepting that the Indians some hours before 'twas night
Drew off into the bushes and ceas'd awhile to fight,
But soon again returned, in fierce and furious mood,
Shouting as in the morning, but yet not half so loud;
For as we are informed, so thick and fast they fell,
Scarce twenty of their number at night did get home well.
And that our valiant English till midnight there did stay,
To see whether the rebels would have another fray;
But they no more returning, they made off towards their home,
And brought away their wounded as far as they could come.
Of all our valiant English there were but thirty-four,
And of the rebel Indians there were about fourscore.
And sixteen of our English did safely home return,
The rest were kill'd and wounded, for which we all must mourn.
Our worthy Captain Lovewell among them there did die,
They killed Lieutenant Robbins, and wounded good young Frye,
Who was our English Chaplain; he many Indians slew,
And some of them he scalp'd when bullets round him flew.
Young Fullam, too, I'll mention, because he fought so well,
Endeavoring to save a man, a sacrifice he fell:
But yet our valiant Englishmen in fight were ne'er dismay'd,
But still they kept their motion, and Wymans Captain made,
Who shot the old chief Paugus, which did the foe defeat,
Then set his men in order, and brought off the retreat;
And braving many dangers and hardships in the way,
They safe arriv'd at Dunstable, the thirteenth day of May.

The story of Lovewell's fight is told in another ballad printed in Farmer and Moore's Historical Collections in 1824. It is an excellent example of ballad literature, describing the struggle in great detail and with unusual accuracy.


[May 8, 1725]

What time the noble Lovewell came,
With fifty men from Dunstable,
The cruel Pequa'tt tribe to tame,
With arms and bloodshed terrible,
Then did the crimson streams, that flowed,
Seem like the waters of the brook,
That brightly shine, that loudly dash
Far down the cliffs of Agiochook.
With Lovewell brave, John Harwood came;
From wife and babes 'twas hard to part,
Young Harwood took her by the hand,
And bound the weeper to his heart.
Repress that tear, my Mary, dear,
Said Harwood to his loving wife,
It tries me hard to leave thee here,
And seek in distant woods the strife.
When gone, my Mary, think of me,
And pray to God, that I may be,
Such as one ought that lives for thee,
And come at last in victory.
Thus left young Harwood babe and wife,
With accent wild she bade adieu;
It grieved those lovers much to part,
So fond and fair, so kind and true.
Seth Wyman, who in Woburn lived
(A marksman he of courage true),
Shot the first Indian whom they saw,
Sheer through his heart the bullet flew.
The savage had been seeking game,
Two guns and eke a knife he bore,
And two black ducks were in his hand,
He shrieked, and fell, to rise no more.
Anon, there eighty Indians rose,
Who'd hid themselves in ambush dread;
Their knives they shook, their guns they aimed,
The famous Paugus at their head.
Good heavens! they dance the Powow dance,
What horrid yells the forest fill?
The grim bear crouches in his den,
The eagle seeks the distant hill.
What means this dance, this Powow dance?
Stern Wyman said; with wonderous art,
He crept full near, his rifle aimed,
And shot the leader through the heart.
John Lovewell, captain of the band,
His sword he waved, that glittered bright,
For the last time he cheered his men,
And led them onward to the fight.
Fight on, fight on, brave Lovewell said,
Fight on, while heaven shall give you breath
An Indian ball then pierced him through,
And Lovewell closed his eyes in death.
John Harwood died all bathed in blood,
When he had fought, till set of day;
And many more we may not name,
Fell in that bloody battle fray.
When news did come to Harwood's wife,
That he with Lovewell fought and died,
Far in the wilds had given his life,
Nor more would in their home abide,
Such grief did seize upon her mind,
Such sorrow filled her faithful breast;
On earth, she ne'er found peace again,
But followed Harwood to his rest.
'Twas Paugus led the Pequa'tt tribe;—
As runs the Fox, would Paugus run;
As howls the wild wolf, would he howl,
A large bear skin had Paugus on.
But Chamberlain, of Dunstable
(One whom a savage ne'er shall slay),
Met Paugus by the water side,
And shot him dead upon that day.
Good heavens! Is this a time for pray'r?
Is this a time to worship God?
When Lovewell's men are dying fast,
And Paugus' tribe hath felt the rod?
The Chaplain's name was Jonathan Frye;
In Andover his father dwelt,
And oft with Lovewell's men he'd prayed,
Before the mortal wound he felt.
A man was he of comely form,
Polished and brave, well learnt and kind;
Old Harvard's learned halls he left,
Far in the wilds a grave to find.
Ah! now his blood-red arm he lifts,
His closing lids he tries to raise;
And speak once more before he dies,
In supplication and in praise.
He prays kind heaven to grant success,
Brave Lovewell's men to guide and bless,
And when they've shed their heart blood true,
To raise them all to happiness.
Come hither, Farwell, said young Frye,
You see that I'm about to die;
Now for the love I bear to you,
When cold in death my bones shall lie;
Go thou and see my parents dear,
And tell them you stood by me here;
Console them when they cry, Alas!
And wipe away the falling tear.
Lieutenant Farwell took his hand,
His arm around his neck he threw,
And said, brave Chaplain, I could wish,
That heaven had made me die for you.
The Chaplain on kind Farwell's breast,
Bloody and languishing he fell;
Nor after this said more, but this,
"I love thee, soldier, fare thee well."
Ah! many a wife shall rend her hair,
And many a child cry, "Wo is me!"
When messengers the news shall bear,
Of Lovewell's dear bought victory.
With footsteps slow shall travellers go,
Where Lovewell's pond shines clear and bright,
And mark the place, where those are laid,
Who fell in Lovewell's bloody fight.
Old men shall shake their heads, and say,
Sad was the hour and terrible,
When Lovewell brave 'gainst Paugus went,
With fifty men from Dunstable.

The fight near Lovewell's Pond was the ground of still another case of literary priority. Nearly a hundred years after its occurrence, on November 17, 1820, the Portland Gazette printed the first poetical venture of a lad of thirteen years. It bore the title of "The Battle of Lovell's Pond." Its author was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


[May 8, 1725]

Cold, cold is the north wind and rude is the blast
That sweeps like a hurricane loudly and fast,
As it moans through the tall waving pines lone and drear,
Sighs a requiem sad o'er the warrior's bier.
The war-whoop is still, and the savage's yell
Has sunk into silence along the wild dell;
The din of the battle, the tumult, is o'er,
And the war-clarion's voice is now heard no more.
The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,
Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed;
No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,
Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.
They died in their glory, surrounded by fame,
And Victory's loud trump their death did proclaim;
They are dead; but they live in each Patriot's breast,
And their names are engraven on honor's bright crest.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The English gained a notable victory in the summer of 1745 when they captured the formidable fortress of Louisburg, which had been built by the French on the eastern coast of Cape Breton Island. News of the victory created the greatest joy throughout the colonies.


[June 17, 1745]

Neptune and Mars in Council sate
To humble France's pride,
Whose vain unbridled insolence
All other Powers defied.
The gods having sat in deep debate
Upon the puzzling theme,
Broke up perplexed and both agreed
Shirley should form the scheme.
Shirley, with Britain's glory fired,
Heaven's favoring smile implored:
"Let Louisburg return,"—he said,
"Unto its ancient Lord."
At once the Camp and Fleet were filled
With Britain's loyal sons,
Whose hearts are filled with generous strife
T' avenge their Country's wrongs.
With Liberty their breasts are filled,
Fair Liberty's their shield;
'Tis Liberty their banner waves
And hovers o'er their field.
Louis!—behold the unequal strife,
Thy slaves in walls immured!
While George's sons laugh at those walls—
Of victory assured.
One key to your oppressive pride
Your Western Dunkirk's gone;
So Pepperell and Warren bade
And what they bade was done!
Forbear, proud Prince, your gasconades,
Te Deums cease to sing,—
When Britains fight the Grand Monarque
Must yield to Britain's King.
Boston, December, 1745.

Louis XV felt the loss of Louisburg keenly, and in 1746, to avenge its fall, sent a strong fleet, under Admiral D'Anville, against Boston. The town was terror-stricken; but after many mishaps the fleet was finally dispersed by a great storm off Cape Sable, on October 15, 1746, and such of the ships as lived through it were forced to make their way back to France.


[October 15, 1746]

Mr. Thomas Prince, loquitur

A fleet with flags arrayed
Sailed from the port of Brest,
And the Admiral's ship displayed
The signal: "Steer southwest."
For this Admiral D'Anville
Had sworn by cross and crown
To ravage with fire and steel
Our helpless Boston Town.
There were rumors in the street,
In the houses there was fear
Of the coming of the fleet,
And the danger hovering near.
And while from mouth to mouth
Spread the tidings of dismay,
I stood in the Old South,
Saying humbly: "Let us pray!
"O Lord! we would not advise;
But if in thy Providence
A tempest should arise
To drive the French Fleet hence,
And scatter it far and wide,
Or sink it in the sea,
We should be satisfied,
And thine the glory be."
This was the prayer I made,
For my soul was all on flame,
And even as I prayed
The answering tempest came;
It came with a mighty power,
Shaking the windows and walls,
And tolling the bell in the tower,
As it tolls at funerals.
The lightning suddenly
Unsheathed its flaming sword,
And I cried: "Stand still, and see
The salvation of the Lord!"
The heavens were black with cloud,
The sea was white with hail,
And ever more fierce and loud
Blew the October gale.
The fleet it overtook,
And the broad sails in the van
Like the tents of Cushan shook,
Or the curtains of Midian.
Down on the reeling decks
Crashed the o'erwhelming seas;
Ah, never were there wrecks
So pitiful as these!
Like a potter's vessel broke
The great ships of the line;
They were carried away as a smoke,
Or sank like lead in the brine.
O Lord! before thy path
They vanished and ceased to be,
When thou didst walk in wrath
With thine horses through the sea!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Peace was made at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, but it was really only a truce. England and France could not be permanently at peace until one or the other was undisputed master of the North American continent. The French claimed all the country west of the Alleghanies and enforced their claims by building a string of forts, among them Fort Duquesne at the head of the Ohio. At last, in 1755, was "the British Lyon roused."



Hail, great Apollo! guide my feeble pen,
To rouse the august lion from his den,
Exciting vengeance on the worst of men.
Rouse, British Lion, from thy soft repose,
And take revenge upon the worst of foes,
Who try to ring and hawl you by the nose.
They always did thy quiet breast annoy,
Raising rebellion with the Rival boy,
Seeking thy faith and interest to destroy.
Treaties and oaths they always did break thro',
They never did nor would keep faith with you
By popes and priests indulged so to do.
All neighboring powers and neutral standers by
Look on our cause with an impartial eye,
And see their falseness and their perfidy.
Their grand encroachments on us ne'er did cease.
But by indulgence mightily increase,
Killing and scalping us in times of peace.
They buy our scalps exciting savage clans,
In children's blood for to imbue their hands,
Assisted by their cruel Gallic bands.
Britains, strike home, strike home decisive blows
Upon the heads of your perfidious foes,
Who always truth and justice did oppose.
Go brave the ocean with your war-like ships,
And speak your terror o'er the western deeps,
And crush the squadrons of the Gallic fleets.
Cleave liquid mountains of the foaming flood,
And tinge the billows with the Gallic blood,
A faithful drubbing to their future good.
Bury their squadrons ill in watery tombs;
And when the news unto Versailles it comes,
Let Lewis swear by Gar and gnaw his thumbs.
Oh! ride triumphant o'er the Gallic powers,
And conquer all these cursed foes of ours,
And sweep the ocean with your iron showers.
While all the tribes in Neptune's spacious hall,
Shall stand astonish'd at the cannon ball;
To see such hail-stones down among them fall.
Some of their tribes perhaps are killed dead,
And others in a vast amazement fled,
While Neptune stands aghast and scratch's his head.
My roving muse the surface reach again,
Search every part of the Atlantic plain,
And see if any Gallics yet remain;
And if they do, let British cannon roar;
And let thy thunders reach the western shore.
While I shall strive to rouse her sons once more.
Stephen Tilden.

Active hostilities began early in 1755. On February 20 General Edward Braddock landed at Hampton, Va., and proceeded at once to organize an expedition to march against Fort Duquesne. George Washington, who had already had some bitter experience with the French, was made one of his aides-de-camp. On May 29 the army, with an immense wagon train, began its long journey across the mountains.


[May 29, 1755]

To arms, to arms! my jolly grenadiers!
Hark, how the drums do roll it along!
To horse, to horse, with valiant good cheer;
We'll meet our proud foe before it is long.
Let not your courage fail you;
Be valiant, stout and bold;
And it will soon avail you,
My loyal hearts of gold.
Huzzah, my valiant countrymen! again I say huzzah!
'Tis nobly done,—the day's our own,—huzzah, huzzah!
March on, march on, brave Braddock leads the foremost;
The battle is begun as you may fairly see.
Stand firm, be bold, and it will soon be over;
We'll soon gain the field from our proud enemy.
A squadron now appears, my boys;
If that they do but stand!
Boys, never fear, be sure you mind
The word of command!
Huzzah, my valiant countrymen! again I say huzzah!
'Tis nobly done,—the day's our own,—huzzah, huzzah!
See how, see how, they break and fly before us!
See how they are scattered all over the plain!
Now, now—now, now our country will adore us!
In peace and in triumph, boys, when we return again!
Then laurels shall our glory crown
For all our actions told:
The hills shall echo all around,
My loyal hearts of gold.
Huzzah, my valiant countrymen! again I say huzzah!
'Tis nobly done,—the day's our own,—huzzah, huzzah!

Braddock, with a picked force of about twelve hundred men, reached the Monongahela July 8 in excellent order, and, on the following morning, with colors flying and drums beating, marched against the fort. The French garrison, under Contrecœur, was in a panic, and ready for flight, but a young captain of regulars named Beaujeu with difficulty obtained permission to take out a small party, mostly Indians, to harass the advancing column. They encountered the English about seven miles from the fort, marching in close order along a narrow road which the pioneers had made. The Indians opened fire, spreading along either flank, and protected by the underbrush. The English, crowded together in the open road, could not see their enemies, and were thrown into confusion. Braddock, wild with rage, refused to permit them to fight in Indian fashion, but beat them back into line with his sword. At last a bullet struck him down, and his troops fled in panic from the field.


[July 9, 1755]

Come all ye sons of Brittany,
Assist my muse in tragedy,
And mourn brave Braddock's destiny,
And spend a mournful day,
Upon Monongahela fields,
The mighty're fallen o'er their shields;
And British blood bedews the hills
Of western Gilboa.
July the ninth, oh! Fatal Day,
They had a bold and bloody fray,
Our host was smote with a dismay;
Some basely did retire,
And left brave Braddock in the field,
Who had much rather die than yield,
A while his sword he bravely wield
In clouds of smoke and fire.
Some time he bravely stood his ground,
A thousand foes did him surround,
Till he received a mortal wound,
Which forc'd him to retreat.
He dy'd upon the thirteenth day,
As he was home-ward on his way;
[113] Alas! alas! we all must say,
A sore and sad defeat.
Now to his grave this hero's borne,
While savage foes triumph and scorn,
And drooping banners dress his urn,
And guard him to his tomb.
Heralds and monarchs of the dead,
You that so many worms have fed,
He's coming to your chilly bed,
Edge close and give him room.


Beneath this stone brave Braddock lies,
Who always hated cowardice,
But fell a savage sacrifice
Amidst his Indian foes.
I charge you, heroes, of the ground,
To guard his dark pavilion round,
And keep off all obtruding sound,
And cherish his repose.
Sleep, sleep, I say, brave valiant man,
Bold death, at last, has bid thee stand
And to resign thy great command,
And cancel thy commission.
Altho' thou didst not much incline
Thy post and honors to resign;
Now iron slumber doth confine;
None envy's thy condition.


Return my muse unto the field,
See what a prospect it doth yield;
Ingrateful to the eyes and smell
A carnage bath'd in gore,
Lies scalp'd and mangled o'er the hills,
While sanguine rivers fill the dales,
And pale-fac'd horror spreads the fields,
The like ne'er here before.
And must these sons of Brittany
Be clouded, set in western skies,
And fall a savage sacrifice?
Oh! 'tis a gloomy hour!
My blood boils high in every vein,
To climb the mountains of the slain,
And break the iron jaws in twain,
Of savage Gallic power.
Our children with their mothers die,
While they aloud for mercy cry;
They kill, and scalp them instantly,
Then fly into the woods,
And make a mock of all their cries,
And bring their scalps a sacrifice
To their infernal deities,
And praise their demon gods.
Revenge, revenge the harmless blood
Which their inhuman dogs have shed
In every frontier neighborhood,
For near these hundred years.
Their murdering clan in ambush lies,
To kill and scalp them by surprize,
And free from tender parents' eyes
Ten hundred thousand tears.
Their sculking, scalping, murdering tricks
Have so enraged old sixty-six,
With legs and arms like withered sticks,
And youthful vigor gone;
That if he lives another year,
Complete in armor he'll appear,
And laugh at death and scoff at fear,
To right his country's wrong.
Let young and old, both high and low,
Arm well against this savage foe,
Who all around inviron us so,
The sons of black delusion.
New England's sons you know their way,
And how to cross them in their play,
And drive these murdering dogs away,
Unto their last confusion.
One bold effort, oh, let us make,
And at one blow behead the snake,
And then these savage powers will break,
Which long have us oppress'd.
And this, brave soldiers, will we do
If Heaven and George shall say so too;
And if we drive the matter thro',
The land will be at rest.
Come every soldier charge your gun,
And let your task be killing one;
Take aim until the work is done;
Don't throw away your fire,
For he that fires without an aim,
May kill his friend and be to blame,
And in the end come off with shame,
When forced to retire.
O mother land, we think we're sure,
Sufficient is thy marine powers
To dissipate all eastern showers:
And if our arms be blest,
[114] Thy sons in North America
Will drive these hell-born dogs away
As far beyond the realms of day,
As east is from the west.
Forbear my muse thy barbarous song,
Upon this theme thou'st dwelt too long,
It is too high and much too strong,
The learned won't allow.
Much honor should accrue to him
Who ne'er was at their Academ
Come blot out every telesem;
Get home unto thy plow.
Stephen Tilden.
Composed August 20, 1755.


[July 9, 1755]

Said the Sword to the Ax, 'twixt the whacks and the hacks,
"Who's your bold Berserker, cleaving of tracks?
Hewing a highway through greenwood and glen,
Foot-free for cattle and heart-free for men?"
—"Braddock of Fontenoy, stubborn and grim,
Carving a cross on the wilderness rim;
In his own doom building large for the Lord,
Steeple and State!" said the Ax to the Sword.
Said the Blade to the Ax, "And shall none say him Nay?
Never a broadsword to bar him the way?
Never a bush where a Huron may hide,
Or the shot of a Shawnee spit red on his side?"
—Down the long trail from the Fort to the ford,
Naked and streaked, plunge a moccasin'd horde:
Huron and Wyandot, hot for the bout;
Shawnee and Ottawa, barring him out!
Red'ning the ridge, 'twixt a gorge and a gorge,
Bold to the sky, loom the ranks of St. George;
Braddock of Fontenoy, belted and horsed,
For a foe to be struck and a pass to be forced.
—'Twixt the pit and the crest, 'twixt the rocks and the grass,
Where the bush hides the foe, and the foe holds the pass,
Beaujeu and Pontiac, striving amain;
Huron and Wyandot, jeering the slain!
Beaujeu, bon camarade! Beaujeu the Gay!
Beaujeu and Death cast their blades in the fray.
Never a rifle that spared when they spoke,
Never a scalp-knife that balked in its stroke.
Till the red hillocks marked where the standards had danced,
And the Grenadiers gasped where their sabres had glanced.
—But Braddock raged fierce in that storm by the ford,
And railed at his "curs" with the flat of his sword!
Said the Sword to the Ax, "Where's your Berserker now?
Lo! his bones mark a path for a countryman's cow.
And Beaujeu the Gay? Give him place, right or wrong,
In your tale of a camp, or your stave of a song."
—"But Braddock of Fontenoy, stubborn and grim,
Who but he carved a cross on the wilderness rim?
In his own doom building large for the Lord,
Steeple and State!" said the Ax to the Sword.
John Williamson Palmer.

After Braddock's defeat, the Pennsylvania and Virginia frontiers were left, for a time, to the ravages of the Indians. The colonies were slow to defend themselves, and could get no aid whatever from England, who had her hands full elsewhere.


[September 30, 1756]

Still shall the tyrant scourge of Gaul
With wasteful rage resistless fall
On Britain's slumbering race?
Still shall she wave her bloody hand
And threatening banners o'er this land,
To Britain's fell disgrace?
And not one generous chieftain rise
(Who dares the frown of war despise,
And treacherous fear disclaim)
[115] His country's ruin to oppose,
To hurl destruction on her foes,
And blast their rising fame?
In Britain's cause, with valor fired,
Braddock, unhappy chief! expired,
And claim'd a nation's tear;
Nor could Oswego's bulwarks stand
The fury of a savage band,
Though Schuyler's arm was there.
Still shall this motley, murderous crew
Their deep, destructive arts pursue,
And general horror spread?
No—see Britannia's genius rise!
Swift o'er the Atlantic foam she flies
And lifts her laurell'd head!
Lo! streaming through the dear blue sky,
Great Loudon's awful banners fly,
In British pomp display'd!
Soon shall the gallant chief advance;
Before him shrink the sons of France,
Confounded and dismay'd.
Then rise, illustrious Britons, rise!
Great Freedom calls, pursue her voice,
And save your country's shame!
Let every hand for Britain arm'd,
And every breast with virtue warm'd,
Aspire at deathless fame!
But chief, let Pennsylvania wake,
And on her foes let terrors shake,
Their gloomy troops defy;
For, lo! her smoking farms and plains,
Her captured youths, and murder'd swains,
For vengeance louder cry.
Why should we seek inglorious rest,
Or sink, with thoughtless ease oppress'd,
While war insults so near?
While ruthless, fierce, athirst for blood,
Bellona's sons, a desperate brood!
In furious bands appear!
Rouse, rouse at once, and boldly chase
From their deep haunts, the savage race,
Till they confess you men.
Let other Armstrongs grace the field!
Let other slaves before them yield,
And tremble round Duquesne.
And thou, our chief, and martial guide,
Of worth approved, of valor tried
In many a hard campaign,
O Denny, warmed with British fire,
Our inexperienced troops inspire,
And conquest's laurels gain!
Pennsylvania Gazette, September 30, 1756.

Meanwhile things were in a troubled condition in Acadia, where the so-called "French neutrals" were discovered to be in arms against England. "Every resource of patience and persuasion" had been used to secure their loyalty to Great Britain, but in vain. At last it was decided to disperse them among the southern provinces, and the deportation began in October. At the end of two months, about six thousand of the Acadians had been sent away, and their homes destroyed.


From "Evangeline"

[October 8, 1755]

Four times the sun had risen and set; and now on the fifth day
Cheerily called the cock to the sleeping maids of the farm-house.
Soon o'er the yellow fields, in silent and mournful procession,
Came from the neighboring hamlets and farms the Acadian women,
Driving in ponderous wains their household goods to the sea-shore,
Pausing and looking back to gaze once more on their dwellings,
Ere they were shut from sight by the winding road and the woodland.
Close at their sides their children ran, and urged on the oxen,
While in their little hands they clasped some fragments of playthings.
Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth they hurried; and there on the sea-beach
Piled in confusion lay the household goods of the peasants.
All day long between the shore and the ships did the boats ply;
All day long the wains came laboring down from the village.
Late in the afternoon, when the sun was near to his setting,
Echoed far o'er the fields came the roll of drums from the churchyard.
Thither the women and children thronged. On a sudden the church-doors
[116] Opened, and forth came the guard, and marching in gloomy procession
Followed the long-imprisoned, but patient, Acadian farmers.
Even as pilgrims, who journey afar from their homes and their country,
Sing as they go, and in singing forget they are weary and wayworn,
So with songs on their lips the Acadian peasants descended
Down from the church to the shore, amid their wives and their daughters.
Foremost the young men came; and, raising together their voices,
Sang with tremulous lips a chant of the Catholic Missions:—
"Sacred heart of the Saviour! O inexhaustible fountain!
Fill our hearts this day with strength and submission and patience!"
Then the old men, as they marched, and the women that stood by the wayside
Joined in the sacred psalm, and the birds in the sunshine above them
Mingled their notes therewith, like voices of spirits departed.
* * * * *
Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth moved on that mournful procession.
There disorder prevailed, and the tumult and stir of embarking.
Busily plied the freighted boats; and in the confusion
Wives were torn from their husbands, and mothers, too late, saw their children
Left on the land, extending their arms, with wildest entreaties.
So unto separate ships were Basil and Gabriel carried,
While in despair on the shore Evangeline stood with her father.
Half the task was not done when the sun went down, and the twilight
Deepened and darkened around; and in haste the refluent ocean
Fled away from the shore, and left the line of the sand-beach
Covered with waifs of the tide, with kelp and the slippery sea-weed.
Farther back in the midst of the household goods and the wagons,
Like to a gypsy camp, or a leaguer after a battle,
All escape cut off by the sea, and the sentinels near them,
Lay encamped for the night the houseless Acadian farmers.
Back to its nethermost caves retreated the bellowing ocean,
Dragging adown the beach the rattling pebbles, and leaving
Inland and far up the shore the stranded boats of the sailors.
Then, as the night descended, the herds returned from their pastures;
Sweet was the moist still air with the odor of milk from their udders;
Lowing they waited, and long, at the well-known bars of the farm-yard,—
Waited and looked in vain for the voice and the hand of the milk-maid.
Silence reigned in the streets; from the church no Angelus sounded,
Rose no smoke from the roofs, and gleamed no lights from the windows.
* * * * *
Suddenly rose from the south a light, as in autumn the blood-red
Moon climbs the crystal walls of heaven, and o'er the horizon
Titan-like stretches its hundred hands upon the mountain and meadow,
Seizing the rocks and the rivers and piling huge shadows together.
Broader and ever broader it gleamed on the roofs of the village,
Gleamed on the sky and sea, and the ships that lay in the roadstead.
Columns of shining smoke uprose, and flashes of flame were
Thrust through their folds and withdrawn, like the quivering hands of a martyr.
Then as the wind seized the gleeds and the burning thatch, and, uplifting,
Whirled them aloft through the air, at once from a hundred house-tops
Started the sheeted smoke with flashes of flame intermingled.
These things beheld in dismay the crowd on the shore and on shipboard.
Speechless at first they stood, then cried aloud in their anguish,
"We shall behold no more our homes in the village of Grand-Pré!"
Loud on a sudden the cocks began to crow in the farm-yards,
[117] Thinking the day had dawned; and anon the lowing of cattle
Came on the evening breeze, by the barking of dogs interrupted.
Then rose a sound of dread, such as startles the sleeping encampments
Far in the western prairies or forests that skirt the Nebraska,
When the wild horses affrighted sweep by with the speed of the whirlwind,
Or the loud bellowing herds of buffaloes rush to the river.
Such was the sound that arose on the night, as the herds and the horses
Broke through their folds and fences, and madly rushed o'er the meadows.
* * * * *
Lo! with a mournful sound, like the voice of a vast congregation,
Solemnly answered the sea, and mingled its roar with the dirges.
'Twas the returning tide, that afar from the waste of the ocean,
With the first dawn of the day, came heaving and hurrying landward.
Then recommenced once more the stir and noise of embarking;
And with the ebb of the tide the ships sailed out of the harbor,
Leaving behind them the dead on the shore, and the village in ruins.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In July, 1758, an army of fifteen thousand, under General James Abercromby and Brigadier Lord Howe, attempted to take Ticonderoga, where Montcalm was stationed at the head of about three thousand men. Lord Howe, the very life of the army, was killed in the first skirmish, and Abercromby handled the army so badly that it was repulsed with a loss of nearly two thousand, and fled in a panic. The French loss was less than four hundred, and the victory was hailed as one of the greatest ever achieved by French arms in America.


[July 8, 1758]

Neglected long had been my useless lyre,
And heartfelt grief represt the poet's fire;
But rous'd by dire alarms of wasting war,
Again, O muse, the solemn dirge prepare,
And join the widow's, orphan's, parent's tear.
Unwept, unsung shall Britain's chiefs remain;
Doomed in this stranger clime to bleed in vain:
Here a last refuge hapless Braddock found,
When the grim savage gave the deadly wound:
Ah! hide Monongahel thy hateful head
(Still as thy waves roll near the injur'd dead)
On whose gore-moistened banks the num'rous slain,
Now spring in vegetative life again,
Whilst their wan ghosts as night's dark gloom prevail
Murmur to whistling winds the mournful tale;
Cease, cease, ye grisly forms, nor wail the past.
Lo! a new scene of death exceeds the last;
Th' empurpled fields of Carilong survey
Rich with the spoils of one disastrous day!
Bold to the charge the ready vet'ran stood
And thrice repell'd, as oft the fight renewed,
Till (life's warm current drain'd) they sunk in blood,
Uncheck'd their ardor, unallay'd their fire,
See Beaver, Proby, Rutherford, expire;
Silent Britannia's tardy thunder lay
While clouds of Gallick smoke obscur'd the day.
Th' intrepid race nursed on the mountain's brow
O'er-leap the mound, and dare th' astonish'd foe;
Whilst Albion's sons (mow'd down in ranks) bemoan
Their much lov'd country's wrongs nor feel their own;
Cheerless they hear the drum discordant beat—
And with slow motion sullenly retreat.
But where wert thou, oh! first in martial fame,
Whose early cares distinguish'd praises claim,
Who ev'ry welcome toil didst gladly share
And taught th' enervate warrior want to bear?
Illustrious Howe! whose ev'ry deed confest
The patriot wish that fill'd thy generous breast:
Alas! too swift t' explore the hostile land,
Thou dy'dst sad victim to an ambush band,
Nor e'er this hour of wild confusion view'd
Like Braddock, falling in the pathless wood;
Still near the spot where thy pale corse is laid,
May the fresh laurel spread its amplest shade;
[118] Still may thy name be utter'd with a sigh,
And the big drops swell ev'ry grateful eye;
Oh! would each leader who deplores thy fate
Thy zeal and active virtues emulate,
Soon should proud Carilong be humbled low
Nor Montcalm's self, prevent th' avenging blow.
London Magazine, 1759.

But at last the tide turned. In 1757 William Pitt forced his way to the leadership of the government in England, and at once formed a comprehensive plan for a combined attack on the French forts in America. The first point of attack was Louisburg, which had been ceded back to France in 1748, and in the spring of 1758 a strong expedition under Lord Amherst was dispatched against it. The siege commenced June 8—the very day of the disaster at Ticonderoga—and after a tremendous bombardment which destroyed the town and badly breached the fortress, the garrison, numbering nearly six thousand, surrendered July 26, 1758.


[July 26, 1758]

At length 'tis done, the glorious conflict's done,
And British valor hath the conquest won:
Success our arms, our heroes, honor crowns,
And Louisbourg an English monarch owns!
Swift, to the scene where late the valiant fought,
Waft me, ye muses, on the wings of thought—
That awful scene where the dread god of war
O'er field of death roll'd his triumphant car:
There yet, with fancy's eye, methinks I view
The pressing throng, the fierce assault renew:
With dauntless front advance, and boldly brave
The cannon's thunder and th' expecting grave.
On yonder cliff, high hanging o'er the deep,
Where trembling joy climbs the darksome steep;
Britannia lonely sitting, from afar
Waits the event, and overlooks the war;
Thence, rolls her eager wand'ring eyes about
In all the dread anxiety of doubt;
Sees her fierce sons, her foes with vengeance smite,
Grasp deathless honors, and maintain the fight.
Whilst thus her breast alternate passions sway,
And hope and fear wear the slow hours away.
See! from the realms of everlasting light,
A radiant form wings her aerial flight.
The palm she carries, and the crown she wears,
Plainly denote 'tis Victory appears;
Her crimson vestment loosely flows behind,
The clouds her chariot, and the wings her wind:
Trumpets shrill sounding all around her play,
And laurell'd honors gild her azure way—
Now she alights—the trumpets cease to sound,
Her presence spreads expecting silence round:—
And thus she speaks; whilst from her heav'nly face
Effulgent glories brighten all the place—
"Britannia, hail! thine is at length the day,
And lasting triumphs shall thy cares repay;
Thy godlike sons, by this, their names shall raise,
And tongues remote shall joy to swell their praise.
I to the list'ning world shall soon proclaim
Of Wolfe's brave deeds, the never-dying fame,
And swell with glory Amherst's patriot name.
Such are the heroes that shall ever bring
Wealth to their country, honor to their king:
Opposing foes, in vain attempt to quell
The native fires that in such bosoms dwell.
To thee, with joy, this laurel I resign,
Smile, smile, Britannia! victory is thine.
Long may it flourish on thy sacred brow!
Long may thy foes a forc'd subjection know!
See, see their pow'r, their boasted pow'r decline!
Rejoice, Britannia! victory is thine."
Give your loose canvas to the breezes free,
Ye floating thund'rers, bulwarks of the sea:
Go, bear the joyful tidings to your king,
And, in the voice of war, declare 'tis victory you bring:
Let the wild crowd that catch the breath of fame,
In mad huzzas their ruder joy proclaim:
Let their loud thanks to heav'n in flames ascend,
[119] While mingling shouts the azure concave rend.
But let the few, whom reason makes more wise,
With glowing gratitude uplift their eyes:
Oh! let their breasts dilate with sober joy.
Let pious praise their hearts and tongues employ;
To bless our God with me let all unite,
He guides the conq'ring sword, he governs in the fight.
Francis Hopkinson.

The fall of Louisburg was followed a few months later by the capture of Fort Duquesne (November 25, 1758), by General John Forbes. Forbes, at the head of an excellent army, had proceeded slowly and carefully. As the English approached, the French realized that to remain was simply to be captured, so they deserted the hopeless post, and Forbes marched in unmolested. He named his conquest Fort Pitt, after the great minister.



[November 25, 1758-1858]

Come, fill the beaker, while we chaunt a pean of old days:
By Mars! no men shall live again more worthy of our praise,
Than they who stormed at Louisburg and Frontenac amain,
And shook the English standard out o'er the ruins of Duquesne.
For glorious were the days they came, the soldiers strong and true,
And glorious were the days, they came for Pennsylvania, too;
When marched the troopers sternly on through forest's autumn brown,
And where St. George's cross was raised, the oriflame went down.
Virginia sent her chivalry and Maryland her brave,
And Pennsylvania to the cause her noblest yeomen gave:
Oh, and proud were they who wore the garb of Indian hunters then,
For every sturdy youth was worth a score of common men!
They came from Carolina's pines, from fruitful Delaware—
The staunchest and the stoutest of the chivalrous were there;
And calm and tall above them all, i' the red November sun,
Like Saul above his brethren, rode Colonel Washington.
O'er leagues of wild and waste they passed, they forded stream and fen,
Where danger lurked in every glade, and death in every glen;
They heard the Indian ranger's cry, the Frenchman's far-off hail,
From purple distance echoed back through the hollows of the vale.
And ever and anon they came, along their dangerous way,
Where, ghastly, 'mid the yellow leaves, their slaughtered comrades lay;
The tartans of Grant's Highlanders were sodden yet and red,
As routed in the rash assault, they perished as they fled.
—Ah! many a lass ayont the Tweed shall rue the fatal fray,
And high Virginian dames shall mourn the ruin of that day,
When gallant lad and cavalier i' the wilderness were slain,
'Twixt laurelled Loyalhanna and the outposts of Duquesne.
And there before them was the field of massacre and blood,
Of panic, rout and shameful flight, in that disastrous wood
Where Halket fell and Braddock died, with many a noble one
Whose white bones glistened through the leaves i' the pale November sun.
Then spoke the men of Braddock's Field, and hung their heads in shame,
For England's tarnished honor and for England's sullied fame;
"And, by St. George!" the soldiers swore, "we'll wipe away the stain
Before to-morrow's sunset, at the trenches of Duquesne."


'Twas night along the autumn hills, the sun's November gleam
Had left its crimson on the leaves, its tinge upon the stream;
And Hermit Silence kept his watch 'mid ancient rocks and trees,
And placed his finger on the lip of babbling brook and breeze.
The bivouac's set by Turtle Creek; and while the soldiers sleep,
The swarthy chiefs around the fires an anxious council keep;
Some spoke of murmurs in the camp, scarce whispered to the air,
But tokens of discouragement, the presage of despair.
Some a retreat advised; 'twas late; the winter drawing on;
The forage and provision, too,—so Ormsby said,—were gone.
Men could not feed on air and fight; whatever Pitt might say;
In praise or censure, still, they thought, 'twere wiser to delay.
Then up spoke iron-headed Forbes, and through his feeble frame
There ran the lightning of a will that put them all to shame!
"I'll hear no more," he roundly swore; "we'll storm the fort amain!
I'll sleep in hell to-morrow night, or sleep in Fort Duquesne!"
So said: and each to sleep addressed his wearied limbs and mind,
And all was hushed i' the forest, save the sobbing of the wind,
And the tramp, tramp, tramp of the sentinel, who started oft in fright
At the shadows wrought 'mid the giant trees by the fitful camp-fire light.
Good Lord! what sudden glare is that that reddens all the sky,
As though hell's legions rode the air and tossed their torches high!
Up, men! the alarm drum beats to arms! and the solid ground seems riven
By the shock of warring thunderbolts in the lurid depth of heaven!
O there was clattering of steel, and mustering in array,
And shouts and wild huzzas of men, impatient of delay,
As came the scouts swift-footed in—"They fly! the foe! they fly!
They've fired the powder magazine and blown it to the sky!"
Now morning o'er the frosty hills in autumn splendor came,
And touched the rolling mists with gold, and flecked the clouds with flame;
And through the brown woods on the hills—those altars of the world—
The blue smoke from the settler's hut and Indian's wigwam curled.
Yet never, here, had morning dawned on such a glorious din
Of twanging trump, and rattling drum, and clanging culverin,
And glittering arms and sabre gleams and serried ranks of men,
Who marched with banners high advanced along the river glen.
Oh, and royally they bore themselves who knew that o'er the seas
Would speed the glorious tidings from the loyal colonies,
Of the fall of French dominion with the fall of Fort Duquesne,
And the triumph of the English arms from Erie to Champlain.
Before high noon they halted; and while they stood at rest,
They saw, unfolded gloriously, the "Gateway of the West,"
There flashed the Allegheny, like a scimetar of gold,
And king-like in its majesty, Monongahela rolled.
Beyond, the River Beautiful swept down the woody vales,
Where Commerce, ere a century passed, should spread her thousand sails;
Between the hazy hills they saw Contrecœur's armed batteaux,
And the flying, flashing, feathery oars of the Ottawa's canoes.
Then, on from rank to rank of men, a shout of triumph ran,
And while the cannon thundered, the leader of the van,
The tall Virginian, mounted on the walls that smouldered yet,
And shook the English standard out, and named the place Fort Pitt.
Again with wild huzzas the hills and river valleys ring,
And they swing their loyal caps in air, and shout—"Long live the King!
Long life unto King George!" they cry, "and glorious be the reign
That adds to English statesmen Pitt, to English arms Duquesne!"
Florus B. Plimpton.

Pitt determined to strike a blow at the very centre of French power, and on June 26, 1759, an English fleet of twenty-two ships of the line, with frigates, sloops-of-war, and transports carrying nine thousand regulars, appeared before Quebec. In command of this great expedition was Major-General James Wolfe, who had played so dashing a part in the capture of Louisburg the year before, and was soon to win immortal glory.


[June, 1759]

Come, each death-doing dog who dares venture his neck,
Come, follow the hero that goes to Quebec;
Jump aboard of the transports, and loose every sail,
Pay your debts at the tavern by giving leg-bail;
And ye that love fighting shall soon have enough:
Wolfe commands us, my boys; we shall give them Hot Stuff.
Up the River St. Lawrence our troops shall advance,
To the Grenadiers' March we will teach them to dance.
Cape Breton we have taken, and next we will try
At their capital to give them another black eye.
Vaudreuil, 'tis in vain you pretend to look gruff,—
Those are coming who know how to give you Hot Stuff.
With powder in his periwig, and snuff in his nose,
Monsieur will run down our descent to oppose;
And the Indians will come: but the light infantry
Will soon oblige them to betake to a tree.
From such rascals as these may we fear a rebuff?
Advance, grenadiers, and let fly your Hot Stuff!
When the forty-seventh regiment is dashing ashore,
While bullets are whistling and cannon do roar,
Says Montcalm: "Those are Shirley's—I know the lappels."
"You lie," says Ned Botwood, "we belong to Lascelles'!
Tho' our clothing is changed, yet we scorn a powder-puff;
So at you, ye bitches, here's give you Hot Stuff."
Edward Botwood.

About the end of August a place was found where the heights might be scaled, and an assault was ordered for the night of Wednesday, September 12. The night arrived; every preparation had been made and every order given; it only remained to wait the turning of the tide. Wolfe was on board the flagship Sutherland, and to while away the hours of waiting he is said to have written the little song, "How Stands the Glass Around?"


[September 12, 1759]

How stands the glass around?
For shame ye take no care, my boys,
How stands the glass around?
Let mirth and wine abound,
The trumpets sound,
The colors they are flying, boys,
To fight, kill, or wound,
May we still be found
Content with our hard fate, my boys,
On the cold ground.
Why, soldiers, why,
Should we be melancholy, boys?
Why, soldiers, why?
Whose business 'tis to die!
What, sighing? fie!
[122] Don't fear, drink on, be jolly, boys!
'Tis he, you or I!
Cold, hot, wet or dry,
We're always bound to follow, boys,
And scorn to fly!
'Tis but in vain,—
I mean not to upbraid you, boys,—
'Tis but in vain,
For soldiers to complain:
Should next campaign
Send us to him who made us, boys,
We're free from pain!
But if we remain,
A bottle and a kind landlady
Cure all again.
James Wolfe.

Montcalm, riding out from Quebec early in the morning of Thursday, September 13, 1759, found the English drawn up in line of battle on the Plains of Abraham—they had scaled the cliffs in safety. He attacked about ten o'clock, but his troops were repulsed at the second volley and fled in confusion back to the fort. Wolfe was killed in the charge which followed, and Montcalm was fatally wounded and died that night. The French were demoralized; a council was called and the incredible resolution reached to abandon the fort without further resistance. The retreat commenced at once, and Quebec was left to its fate. It was never again to pass into the hands of France.


[September 13, 1759]

Cheer up, my young men all,
Let nothing fright you;
Though oft objections rise,
Let it delight you.
Let not your fancy move
Whene'er it comes to trial;
Nor let your courage fail
At the first denial.
I sat down by my love,
Thinking that I woo'd her;
I sat down by my love,
But sure not to delude her.
But when I got to speak,
My tongue it doth so quiver,
I dare not speak my mind,
Whenever I am with her.
Love, here's a ring of gold,
'Tis long that I have kept it,
My dear, now for my sake,
I pray you to accept it.
When you the posy read,
Pray think upon the giver,
My dear, remember me,
Or I'm undone forever.
Then Wolfe he took his leave,
Of his most lovely jewel;
Although it seemed to be
To him, an act most cruel.
Although it's for a space
I'm forced to leave my love,
My dear, where'er I rove,
I'll ne'er forget my dove.
So then this valiant youth
Embarked on the ocean,
To free America
From faction's dire commotion.
He landed at Quebec,
Being all brave and hearty;
The city to attack,
With his most gallant party.
Then Wolfe drew up his men,
In rank and file so pretty,
On Abraham's lofty heights,
Before this noble city.
A distance from the town
The noble French did meet them,
In double numbers there,
Resolved for to beat them.
A Parley: Wolfe and Montcalm together
Montcalm and this brave youth,
Together they are walking;
So well they do agree,
Like brothers they are talking.
Then each one to his post,
As they do now retire;
Oh, then their numerous hosts
Began their dreadful fire.
Then instant from his horse,
Fell this most noble hero,
May we lament his loss
In words of deepest sorrow.
The French are seen to break,
Their columns all are flying;
Then Wolfe he seems to wake,
Though in the act of dying.
And lifting up his head
(The drums and trumpets rattle),
And to his army said,
"I pray how goes the battle?"
His aide-de-camp replied,
"Brave general, 'tis in our favor,
Quebec and all her pride,
'Tis nothing now can save her.
"She falls into our hands,
With all her wealth and treasure."
"O then," brave Wolfe replied,
"I quit the world with pleasure."

Wolfe's death almost overshadowed the victory. Major Knox, in his diary, writes, "our joy at this success is inexpressibly damped by the loss we sustained of one of the greatest heroes which this or any other age can boast of."


[September 13, 1759]

Thy merits, Wolfe, transcend all human praise,
The breathing marble or the muses' lays.
Art is but vain—the force of language weak,
To paint thy virtues, or thy actions speak.
Had I Duché's or Godfrey's magic skill,
Each line to raise, and animate at will—
To rouse each passion dormant in the soul,
Point out its object, or its rage control—
Then, Wolfe, some faint resemblance should we find
Of those great virtues that adorned thy mind.
Like Britain's genius shouldst thou then appear,
Hurling destruction on the Gallic rear—
While France, astonished, trembled at thy sight,
And placed her safety in ignoble flight.
Thy last great scene should melt each Briton's heart,
And rage and grief alternately impart.
With foes surrounded, midst the shades of death,
These were the words that closed the warrior's breath—
"My eyesight fails!—but does the foe retreat?
If they retire, I'm happy in my fate!"
A generous chief, to whom the hero spoke,
Cried, "Sir, they fly!—their ranks entirely broke:
Whilst thy bold troops o'er slaughtered heaps advance,
And deal due vengeance on the sons of France."
The pleasing truth recalls his parting soul,
And from his lips these dying accents stole:—
"I'm satisfied!" he said, then wing'd his way,
Guarded by angels to celestial day.
An awful band!—Britannia's mighty dead,
Receives to glory his immortal shade.
Marlborough and Talbot hail the warlike chief—
Halket and Howe, late objects of our grief,
With joyful song conduct their welcome guest
To the bright mansions of eternal rest—
For those prepared who merit just applause
By bravely dying in their country's cause.
Pennsylvania Gazette, November 8, 1759.

The fall of Quebec settled the fate of Canada. On September 8, 1760, Vaudreuil surrendered Montreal to a great besieging force under Amherst. By the terms of the capitulation, Canada and all its dependencies passed to the British crown. The fight for the continent was ended. Indian hostilities continued for some years, and it was not until October, 1764, that peace was made with them. One of its conditions was the return of all captives taken by the Indians, and they were assembled at Carlisle, Pa., December 31, 1764. It was there the incident took place which is related in the following verses.


(Carlisle, Pa., December 31, 1764)

The Indian war was over,
And Pennsylvania's towns
Welcomed the blessed calm that comes
When peace a conflict crowns.
Bitter and long had been the strife,
But gallant Colonel Bouquet
Had forced the foe to sue for grace,
And named the joyful day
When Shawnees, Tuscarawas,
Miamis, Delawares,
And every band that roved the land
And called a captive theirs—
From the pathless depths of the forest,
By stream and dark defile,
[124] Should bring their prisoners, on their lives,
In safety to Carlisle;
Carlisle in the Cumberland valley,
Where Conodogwinnet flows,
And the guardian ranges, north and south,
In mountain pride repose.
Like the wind the Colonel's order
To hamlet and clearing flew;
And mourning mothers and wives and sons
From banks where Delaware seaward runs,
From Erie's wave, and Ohio's tide,
And the vales where the southern hills divide,
Flocked to the town, perchance to view,
At last, 'mid the crowds by the startled square,
The faces lost, but in memory fair.
How strange the scene on the village green
That morning cold and gray!
To right the Indian tents were set,
And in groups the dusky warriors met,
While their captives clung to the captors yet,
As wild and bronzed as they—
In rags and skins, with moccasined feet,
Some loath to part, some fain to greet
The friends of a vanished day;
And, eagerly watching the tents, to left
Stood mothers and sons and wives bereft,
While, beyond, were the throngs from hill and valley,
And, waiting the keen-eyed Colonel's rally,
The troops in their brave array.
Now friends and captives mingle,
And cries of joy or woe
Thrill the broad street as loved ones meet,
Or in vain the tale of the past repeat,
And back in anguish go.
Among them lingered a widow—
From the Suabian land was she—
And one fell morning she had lost
Husband and children three,
All slain save the young Regina,
A captive spared to be.
Nine weary years had followed,
But the wilderness was dumb,
And never a word to her aching heart
Through friend or foe had come,
And now, from Tulpehocken,
Full seventy miles away,
She had walked to seek her daughter,
The Lord her only stay.
She scanned the sun-browned maidens;
But the tunic's rough disguise,
The savage tongue, the forest ways,
Baffled and mocked her yearning gaze,
And with sobs and streaming eyes
She turned to the Colonel and told him
How hopeless was her quest—
Moaning, "Alas, Regina!
The grave for me is best!"
"Nay, Madam," gently he replied,
"Don't be disheartened yet, but bide,
And try some other test.
What pleasant song or story
Did she love from your lips to hear?"
"O Sir, I taught her 'Our Father;'
And the 'Creed' we hold so dear,
And she said them over and over
While I was spinning near;
And every eve, by her little bed,
When the light was growing dim,
I sung her to sleep, my darling!
With Schmolke's beautiful hymn."
"Then sing it now," said the Colonel,
And close to the captive band
He brought the mother with her hymn
From the far Suabian land;
And with faltering voice and quivering lips,
While all was hushed, she sung
The strain of lofty faith and cheer
In her rich German tongue:
"Allein, und doch nicht ganz allein"
(How near the listeners press!),
Alone, yet not alone am I,
Though all may deem my days go by
In utter dreariness;
The Lord is still my company,
I am with Him, and He with me,
The solitude to bless.
He speaks to me within His word
As if His very voice I heard,
And when I pray, apart,
He meets me in the quiet there
With counsel for each cross and care,
And comfort for my heart.
The world may say my life is lone,
With every joy and blessing flown
Its vision can descry;
I shall not sorrow nor repine,
For glorious company is mine
With God and angels nigh.
As she sung, a maid of the captives
Threw back her tangled hair,
[125] And forward leaned as if to list
The lightest murmur there;
Her breath came fast, her brown cheek flushed,
Her eyes grew bright and wide
As if some spell the song had cast,
And, ere the low notes died,
With a bound like a deer in the forest
She sprang to the singer's side,
And, "Liebe, kleine Mutter!"
Enfolding her, she cried—
"My dear, dear, little Mother!"—
Then swift before her knelt
As in the long, long buried days
When by the wood they dwelt;
And, "Vater unser, der du bist
Im Himmel," chanted she,
The sweet "Our Father" she had learned
Beside that mother's knee;
And then the grand "Apostles' Creed"
That in her heart had lain:
"Ich glaube an Gott den Vater,"
Like a child she said again—
"I believe in God the Father"—
Down to the blest "Amen."
Stooping and clasping the maiden
Whose soul the song had freed,
"Now God be praised!" said the mother,
"This is my child indeed!—
My own, my darling Regina,
Come back in my sorest need,
For she knows the Hymn, and 'Our Father,'
And the holy 'Apostles' Creed'!"
Then, while the throng was silent,
And the Colonel bowed his head,
With tears and glad thanksgivings
Her daughter forth she led;
And the sky was lit with sunshine,
And the cold earth caught its smile
For the mother and ransomed maiden,
That morning in Carlisle.
Edna Dean Proctor.



Ere five score years have run their tedious rounds,—
If yet Oppression breaks o'er human bounds,
As it has done the last sad passing year,
Made the New World in anger shed the tear,—
Unmindful of their native, once-loved isle,
They'll bid Allegiance cease her peaceful smile,
While from their arms they tear Oppression's chain,
And make lost Liberty once more to reign.
But let them live, as they would choose to be,
Loyal to King, and as true Britons free,
They'll ne'er by fell revolt oppose that crown
Which first has raised them, though now pulls them down;
If but the rights of subjects they receive,
'Tis all they ask—or all a crown can give.
Arthur Lee (?).





Flawless his heart and tempered to the core
Who, beckoned by the forward-leaning wave,
First left behind him the firm-footed shore,
And, urged by every nerve of sail and oar,
Steered for the Unknown which gods to mortals gave,
Of thought and action the mysterious door,
Bugbear of fools, a summons to the brave:
Strength found he in the unsympathizing sun,
And strange stars from beneath the horizon won,
And the dumb ocean pitilessly grave:
High-hearted surely he;
But bolder they who first off-cast
Their moorings from the habitable Past
And ventured chartless on the sea
Of storm-engendering Liberty:
For all earth's width of waters is a span,
And their convulsed existence mere repose,
Matched with the unstable heart of man,
Shoreless in wants, mist-girt in all it knows,
Open to every wind of sect or clan,
And sudden-passionate in ebbs and flows.
James Russell Lowell.




The close of the struggle with the French for the possession of the continent may be fairly said to mark the beginning of that series of aggressions on the part of England which ended in the revolt of her colonies. True there had been before that arbitrary and tyrannical royal governors, and absurdly perverse enactments on the part of the Lords of Trade; but not until the French troubles had been disposed of did the British government bend its energies seriously to regulating the affairs of a people which it considered fractious and turbulent. In the Virginia Gazette for May 2, 1766, appeared one of the first of those songs, afterwards so numerous, which expressed the discontent of the colonies under this régime.


[May 2, 1766]

Sure never was picture drawn more to the life,
Or affectionate husband more fond of his wife,
Than America copies and loves Britain's sons,
Who, conscious of Freedom, are bold as great guns,
"Hearts of Oak are we still, for we're sons of those men
Who always are ready, steady, boys, steady,
To fight for their freedom again and again."
Tho' we feast and grow fat on America's soil,
Yet we own ourselves subjects of Britain's fair isle;
And who's so absurd to deny us the name,
Since true British blood flows in every vein?
"Hearts of Oak," etc.
Then cheer up, my lads, to your country be firm,
Like kings of the ocean, we'll weather each storm;
Integrity calls out, fair liberty, see,
Waves her Flag o'er our heads and her words are be free!
"Hearts of Oak," etc.
To King George, as true subjects, we loyal bow down,
But hope we may call Magna Charta our own.
Let the rest of the world slavish worship decree,
Great Britain has ordered her sons to be free.
"Hearts of Oak," etc.
Poor Esau his birthright gave up for a bribe,
Americans scorn th' mean soul-selling tribe;
Beyond life our freedom we chuse to possess,
Which thro' life we'll defend, and abjure a broad S.
"Hearts of Oak are we still, and we're sons of those men
Who fear not the ocean, brave roarings of cannon,
To stop all oppression, again and again."
On our brow while we laurel-crown'd Liberty wear,
What Englishmen ought we Americans dare;
Though tempests and terrors around us we see,
Bribes nor fears can prevail o'er the hearts that are free.
"Hearts of Oak," etc.
With Loyalty, Liberty let us entwine,
Our blood shall for both flow as free as our wine;
Let us set an example, what all men should be,
And a Toast give the World, "Here's to those dare be free."
"Hearts of Oak," etc.

In 1766 William Pitt, perhaps the most enlightened friend America had in England, became Prime Minister, and adopted toward the colonies a policy so conciliatory that it occasioned much disgust in England—as is evident from the following verses which appeared originally in the Gentleman's Magazine.





Goody Bull and her daughter together fell out,
Both squabbled, and wrangled, and made a —— rout,
But the cause of the quarrel remains to be told,
Then lend both your ears, and a tale I'll unfold.
The old lady, it seems, took a freak in her head,
That her daughter, grown woman, might earn her own bread:
Self-applauding her scheme, she was ready to dance;
But we're often too sanguine in what we advance.
For mark the event; thus by fortune we're crossed,
Nor should people reckon without their good host;
The daughter was sulky, and wouldn't come to,
And pray, what in this case could the old woman do?
In vain did the matron hold forth in the cause,
That the young one was able; her duty, the laws;
Ingratitude vile, disobedience far worse;
But she might e'en as well sung psalms to a horse.
Young, froward, and sullen, and vain of her beauty,
She tartly replied, that she knew well her duty,
That other folks' children were kept by their friends,
And that some folks loved people but for their own ends.
"Zounds, neighbor!" quoth Pitt, "what the devil's the matter?
A man cannot rest in his house for your clatter;"
"Alas!" cries the daughter, "here's dainty fine work,
The old woman grown harder than Jew or than Turk."
"She be ——," says the farmer, and to her he goes,
First roars in her ears, then tweaks her old nose,
"Hallo, Goody, what ails you? Wake! woman, I say;
I am come to make peace, in this desperate fray.
"Adzooks, ope thine eyes, what a pother is here!
You've no right to compel her, you have not, I swear;
Be ruled by your friends, kneel down and ask pardon,
You'd be sorry, I'm sure, should she walk Covent Garden."
"Alas!" cries the old woman, "and must I comply?
But I'd rather submit than the huzzy should die;"
"Pooh, prithee be quiet, be friends and agree,
You must surely be right, if you're guided by me."
Unwillingly awkward, the mother knelt down,
While the absolute farmer went on with a frown,
"Come, kiss the poor child, there come, kiss and be friends!
There, kiss your poor daughter, and make her amends."
"No thanks to you, mother," the daughter replied:
"But thanks to my friend here, I've humbled your pride."

But Pitt was soon incapacitated by illness from taking any active part in the government, and Charles Townshend, chancellor of the exchequer, was able to pass his "port bills," and other oppressive measures. Many prominent Americans, among them Samuel Adams, decided that the colonies must be independent.


[January 26, 1769]

Come, cheer up, my lads, like a true British band,
In the cause of our country who join heart and hand;
[131] Fair Freedom invites—she cries out, "Agree!
And be steadfast for those that are steadfast for me."
Hearts of oak are we all, hearts of oak we'll remain:
We always are ready—
Steady, boys, steady—
To give them our voices again and again.
With the brave sons of Freedom, of every degree,
Unite all the good—and united are we:
But still be the lot of the villains disgrace,
Whose foul, rotten hearts give the lie to their face.
Hearts of oak, etc.
See! their unblushing chieftain! perverter of laws!
His teeth are the shark's, and a vulture's his claws—
As soon would I venture, howe'er he may talk,
My lambs with a wolf, or my fowls with a hawk.
Hearts of oak, etc.
First—the worth of good Cruger let's crown with applause,
Who has join'd us again in fair Liberty's cause—
Sour Envy, herself, is afraid of his name,
And weeps that she finds not a blot in his fame.
Hearts of oak, etc.
To Jauncey, my souls, let your praises resound!
With health and success may his goodness be crown'd:
May the cup of his joy never cease to run o'er—
For he gave to us all when he gave to the poor!
Hearts of oak, etc.
What Briton, undaunted, that pants to be free,
But warms at the mention of brave De Launcey?
"Happy Freedom!" said Fame, "what a son have you here!
Whose head is approved, and whose heart is sincere."
Hearts of oak, etc.
For worth and for truth, and good nature renown'd,
Let the name and applauses of Walton go round:
His prudence attracts—but his free, honest soul
Gives a grace to the rest, and enlivens the whole.
Hearts of oak, etc.
Huzza! for the patriots whose virtue is tried—
Unbiass'd by faction, untainted by pride:
Who Liberty's welfare undaunted pursue,
With heads ever clear, and hearts ever true.
Hearts of oak, etc.
New York Journal, January 26, 1769.

Associations known as Sons of Liberty were organized in the larger cities, and in February, 1770, the first Liberty Pole in America was raised at New York city, in what is now City Hall Park. A struggle ensued with the British troops, during which the pole was twice cut down, but it was hooped with iron and set up a third time. A Tory versifier celebrated the event in a burlesque cantata, from which the following description of the pole is taken.


[February, 1770]

Come listen, good neighbors of every degree,
Whose hearts, like your purses, are open and free,
Let this pole a monument ever remain,
Of the folly and arts of the time-serving train.
Derry down, down, hey derry down.
Its bottom, so artfully fix'd under ground,
Resembles their scheming, so low and profound;
The dark underminings, and base dirty ends,
On which the success of the faction depends.
Derry down, etc.
The vane, mark'd with freedom, may put us in mind,
As it varies, and flutters, and turns, with the wind,
That no faith can be plac'd in the words of our foes,
Who change as the wind of their interest blows.
Derry down, etc.
The iron clasp'd around it, so firm and so neat,
Resembles too closely their fraud and deceit,
If the outside's but guarded, they care not a pin
How rotten and hollow the heart is within.
Derry down, etc.
Then away, ye pretenders to freedom, away,
Who strive to cajole us in hopes to betray;
Leave the pole for the stroke of the lightning to sever,
And, huzzah for King George and our country forever!
Derry down, etc.

Two regiments of British troops arrived at Boston on March 5, 1768, and annoyed the people in many ways. Brawls were frequent, and by the beginning of 1770 the tension of feeling had reached the snapping point. The "Massachusetts Liberty Song" and "The British Grenadier" did not go well together.


Come, come fill up your glasses,
And drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches,
And wear their looped clothes.
For be you Whig or Tory,
Or any mortal thing,
Be sure that you give glory
To George, our gracious King.
For if you prove rebellious,
He'll thunder in your ears
Huzza! Huzza! Huzza! Huzza!
For the British Grenadiers!
And when the wars are over,
We'll march by beat of drum,
The ladies cry "So, Ho girls,
The Grenadiers have come!
The Grenadiers who always
With love our hearts do cheer.
Then Huzza! Huzza! Huzza! Huzza!
For the British Grenadier!"

On the evening of March 5 a crowd collected near the barracks and some blows were exchanged; a sentinel in King Street knocked down a boy, and was about to be mobbed, when Captain Preston and seven privates came to his assistance. The crowd pressed upon their levelled pieces, which were suddenly discharged, killing four men and wounding seven. Crispus Attucks, a mulatto slave, was the first to fall.


[March 5, 1770]

Where shall we seek for a hero, and where shall we find a story?
Our laurels are wreathed for conquest, our songs for completed glory.
But we honor a shrine unfinished, a column uncapped with pride,
If we sing the deed that was sown like seed when Crispus Attucks died.
Shall we take for a sign this Negro slave with unfamiliar name—
With his poor companions, nameless too, till their lives leaped forth in flame?
Yea, surely, the verdict is not for us, to render or deny;
We can only interpret the symbol; God chose these men to die—
As teachers and types, that to humble lives may chief award be made;
That from lowly ones, and rejected stones, the temple's base is laid!
When the bullets leaped from the British guns, no chance decreed their aim;
Men see what the royal hirelings saw—a multitude and a flame;
But beyond the flame, a mystery; five dying men in the street,
While the streams of severed races in the well of a nation meet!
O blood of the people! changeless tide, through century, creed, and race!
Still one as the sweet salt air is one, though tempered by sun and place;
The same in the ocean currents, and the same in the sheltered seas;
Forever the fountain of common hopes and kindly sympathies;
Indian and Negro, Saxon and Celt, Teuton and Latin and Gaul—
Mere surface shadow and sunshine; while the sounding unifies all!
One love, one hope, one duty theirs! No matter the time or ken,
There never was separate heart-beat in all the races of men!
But alien is one—of class, not race—he has drawn the line for himself;
His roots drink life from inhuman soil, from garbage of pomp and pelf;
[133] His heart beats not with the common beat, he has changed his life-stream's hue;
He deems his flesh to be finer flesh, he boasts that his blood is blue:
Patrician, aristocrat, Tory—whatever his age or name,
To the people's rights and liberties, a traitor ever the same.
The natural crowd is a mob to him, their prayer a vulgar rhyme;
The freeman's speech is sedition, and the patriot's deed a crime.
Wherever the race, the law, the land,—whatever the time or throne,
The Tory is always a traitor to every class but his own.
Thank God for a land where pride is clipped, where arrogance stalks apart;
Where law and song and loathing of wrong are words of the common heart;
Where the masses honor straightforward strength, and know, when veins are bled,
That the bluest blood is putrid blood—that the people's blood is red!
And honor to Crispus Attucks, who was leader and voice that day;
The first to defy and the first to die, with Maverick, Carr, and Gray.
Call it riot or revolution, his hand first clenched at the crown;
His feet were the first in perilous place to pull the king's flag down;
His breast was the first one rent apart that liberty's stream might flow;
For our freedom now and forever, his head was the first laid low.
Call it riot or revolution, or mob or crowd, as you may,
Such deaths have been seed of nations, such lives shall be honored for aye.
They were lawless hinds to the lackeys—but martyrs to Paul Revere;
And Otis and Hancock and Warren read spirit and meaning clear.
Ye teachers, answer: what shall be done when just men stand in the dock;
When the caitiff is robed in ermine, and his sworders keep the lock;
When torture is robbed of clemency, and guilt is without remorse;
When tiger and panther are gentler than the Christian slaver's curse;
When law is a satrap's menace, and order the drill of a horde—
Shall the people kneel to be trampled, and bare their neck to the sword?
Not so! by this Stone of Resistance that Boston raises here!
By the old North Church's lantern, and the watching of Paul Revere!
Not so! by Paris of 'Ninety-Three, and Ulster of 'Ninety-Eight!
By Toussaint in St. Domingo! by the horror of Delhi's gate!
By Adams's word to Hutchinson! by the tea that is brewing still!
By the farmers that met the soldiers at Concord and Bunker Hill!
Not so! not so! Till the world is done, the shadow of wrong is dread;
The crowd that bends to a lord to-day, to-morrow shall strike him dead.
There is only one thing changeless: the earth steals from under our feet,
The times and manners are passing moods, and the laws are incomplete;
There is only one thing changes not, one word that still survives—
The slave is the wretch who wields the lash, and not the man in gyves!
There is only one test of contract: is it willing, is it good?
There is only one guard of equal right: the unity of blood;
There is never a mind unchained and true that class or race allows;
There is never a law to be obeyed that reason disavows;
There is never a legal sin but grows to the law's disaster,
The master shall drop the whip, and the slave shall enslave the master!
Oh, Planter of seed in thought and deed has the year of right revolved,
And brought the Negro patriot's cause with its problem to be solved?
His blood streamed first for the building, and through all the century's years,
Our growth of story and fame of glory are mixed with his blood and tears.
[134] He lived with men like a soul condemned—derided, defamed, and mute;
Debased to the brutal level, and instructed to be a brute.
His virtue was shorn of benefit, his industry of reward;
His love!—O men, it were mercy to have cut affection's cord;
Through the night of his woe, no pity save that of his fellow-slave;
For the wage of his priceless labor, the scourging block and the grave!
And now, is the tree to blossom? Is the bowl of agony filled?
Shall the price be paid and the honor said, and the word of outrage stilled?
And we who have toiled for freedom's law, have we sought for freedom's soul?
Have we learned at last that human right is not a part but the whole?
That nothing is told while the clinging sin remains part unconfessed?
That the health of the nation is perilled if one man be oppressed?
Has he learned—the slave from the rice-swamps, whose children were sold—has he,
With broken chains on his limbs, and the cry in his blood, "I am free!"
Has he learned through affliction's teaching what our Crispus Attucks knew—
When Right is stricken, the white and black are counted as one, not two?
Has he learned that his century of grief was worth a thousand years
In blending his life and blood with ours, and that all his toils and tears
Were heaped and poured on him suddenly, to give him a right to stand
From the gloom of African forests, in the blaze of the freest land?
That his hundred years have earned for him a place in the human van
Which others have fought for and thought for since the world of wrong began?
For this, shall his vengeance change to love, and his retribution burn,
Defending the right, the weak, and the poor, when each shall have his turn;
For this, shall he set his woeful past afloat on the stream of night;
For this, he forgets as we all forget when darkness turns to light;
For this, he forgives as we all forgive when wrong has changed to right.
And so, must we come to the learning of Boston's lesson to-day;
The moral that Crispus Attucks taught in the old heroic way;
God made mankind to be one in blood, as one in spirit and thought;
And so great a boon, by a brave man's death, is never dearly bought!
John Boyle O'Reilly.

This insignificant street riot was the famous "Boston Massacre." It created a great stir, and the victims were buried with military honors on March 8, the bodies being deposited in a single vault. A few days later, Paul Revere engraved and printed a large hand-bill giving a picture of the scene, accompanied by the following lines:


[March 8, 1770]

Unhappy Boston! see thy sons deplore
Thy hallowed walks besmear'd with guiltless gore.
While faithless Preston and his savage bands,
With murderous rancor stretch their bloody hands;
Like fierce barbarians grinning o'er their prey,
Approve the carnage and enjoy the day.
If scalding drops, from rage, from anguish wrung,
If speechless sorrows lab'ring for a tongue,
Or if a weeping world can aught appease
The plaintive ghosts of victims such as these;
The patriot's copious tears for each are shed,
A glorious tribute which embalms the dead.
But know, Fate summons to that awful goal,
Where justice strips the murderer of his soul:
Should venal C——ts, the scandal of the land,
Snatch the relentless villain from her hand,
Keen execrations on this plate inscrib'd
Shall reach a judge who never can be bribed.
Paul Revere.

A conflict of a much more serious nature took place at Alamance, N. C., on May 7, 1771, between a body of colonists, goaded to rebellion by repeated acts of extortion, and a force of British regulars under Governor Tryon. The colonists[135] were totally defeated and left two hundred dead and wounded on the field.


[May 7, 1771]

No stately column marks the hallowed place
Where silent sleeps, un-urned, their sacred dust:
The first free martyrs of a glorious race,
Their fame a people's wealth, a nation's trust.
The rustic ploughman at the early morn
The yielding furrow turns with heedless tread,
Or tends with frugal care the springing corn,
Where tyrants conquered and where heroes bled.
Above their rest the golden harvest waves,
The glorious stars stand sentinels on high,
While in sad requiem, near their turfless graves,
The winding river murmurs, mourning, by.
No stern ambition moved them to the deed:
In Freedom's cause they nobly dared to die.
The first to conquer, or the first to bleed,
"God and their country's right" their battle cry.
But holier watchers here their vigils keep
Than storied urn or monumental stone;
For Law and Justice guard their dreamless sleep,
And Plenty smiles above their bloody home.
Immortal youth shall crown their deathless fame;
And as their country's glories shall advance,
Shall brighter blaze, o'er all the earth, thy name,
Thou first-fought field of Freedom—Alamance.
Seymour W. Whiting.

The first American "victory" occurred on the night of June 9, 1772, when the British eight-gun schooner Gaspee was captured and burned to the water's edge. For some months the crew of the Gaspee, commissioned to enforce the revenue acts in Narragansett Bay, had been stopping vessels, seizing goods, stealing sheep and hogs, and committing other depredations along the shore. On June 9, while pursuing the Providence Packet, the schooner ran aground, and that night was boarded by a party of Rhode Islanders, the crew overpowered, and the boat burned.


[June 9-10, 1772]

'Twas in the reign of George the Third
The public peace was much disturb'd
By ships of war, that came and laid
Within our ports to stop our trade.
In seventeen hundred seventy-two,
In Newport harbor lay a crew
That play'd the parts of pirates there,
The sons of Freedom could not bear.
Sometimes they'd weigh and give them chase—
Such actions, sure, were very base;
No honest coasters could pass by
But what they would let some shot fly.
Which did provoke to high degree
Those true-born sons of Liberty,
So that they could no longer bear
Those sons of Belial staying there.
But 'twas not long 'fore it fell out,
That William Doddington so stout,
Commander of the Gaspee tender,
Which he had reason to remember—
Because, as people do assert,
He almost had his just desert
Here, on the tenth day of last June,
Between the hours of twelve and one—
Did chase the sloop call'd the Hannah,
Of whom one Linsey was commander;
They dogg'd her up to Providence Sound,
And there the rascal got aground.
The news of it flew, that very day,
That they on Nanquit Point did lay,
That night, about half after ten,
Some Narragansett Indian-men—
Being sixty-four, if I remember,
Soon made this stout coxcomb surrender:
And what was best of all their tricks,
They in his breech a ball did fix.
They set the men upon the land,
And burn'd her up, we understand;
Which thing provoked the king so high,
He said, "those men should surely die."
So, if he can but find them out,
The hangman he'll employ, no doubt:
For he has declared, in his passion,
"He'll have them tried in a new fashion."
Now for to find those people out,
King George has offered, very stout,
One thousand pounds to find out one
That wounded William Doddington.
One thousand more he says he'll spare,
For those who say they sheriffs were:
One thousand more there doth remain
For to find out the leader's name.
Likewise, one hundred pounds per man,
For any one of all the clan.
But let him try his utmost skill,
I'm apt to think he never will
Find out any of those hearts of gold,
Though he should offer fifty fold.

The duty on tea, imposed five years before by Townshend, had been retained by the British government as a matter of principle, and in the autumn of 1773 the King determined to assert the obnoxious principle which the tax involved. Several ships loaded with tea were accordingly started for America. On Sunday, November 28, the first of these arrived at Boston, and two others came in a few days later. The town went wild, meeting after meeting was held, and on the night of Tuesday, December 16, 1773, a band of about twenty, disguised as Indians, boarded the ships, cut open the tea-chests and flung the contents into the water.


[December 16, 1773]

No! never such a draught was poured
Since Hebe served with nectar
The bright Olympians and their Lord,
Her over-kind protector,—
Since Father Noah squeezed the grape
And took to such behaving
As would have shamed our grandsire ape
Before the days of shaving,—
No! ne'er was mingled such a draught
In palace, hall, or arbor,
As freemen brewed and tyrants quaffed
That night in Boston Harbor!
It kept King George so long awake
His brain at last got addled,
It made the nerves of Britain shake,
With sevenscore millions saddled;
Before that bitter cup was drained
Amid the roar of cannon,
The Western war-cloud's crimson stained
The Thames, the Clyde, the Shannon;
Full many a six-foot grenadier
The flattened grass had measured,
And many a mother many a year
Her tearful memories treasured;
Fast spread the tempest's darkening pall,
The mighty realms were troubled,
The storm broke loose, but first of all
The Boston teapot bubbled!
An evening party,—only that,
No formal invitation,
No gold-laced coat, no stiff cravat,
No feast in contemplation,
No silk-robed dames, no fiddling band,
No flowers, no songs, no dancing,—
A tribe of red men, axe in hand,—
Behold the guests advancing!
How fast the stragglers join the throng,
From stall and workshop gathered!
The lively barber skips along
And leaves a chin half-lathered;
The smith has flung his hammer down,—
The horseshoe still is glowing;
The truant tapster at the Crown
Has left a beer-cask flowing;
The cooper's boys have dropped the adze,
And trot behind their master;
Up run the tarry ship-yard lads,—
The crowd is hurrying faster,—
Out from the Millpond's purlieus gush
The streams of white-faced millers,
And down their slippery alleys rush
The lusty young Fort-Hillers;
The ropewalk lends its 'prentice crew,—
The tories seize the omen:
"Ay, boys, you'll soon have work to do
For England's rebel foemen,
'King Hancock,' Adams, and their gang,
That fire the mob with treason,—
When these we shoot and those we hang
The town will come to reason."
On—on to where the tea-ships ride!
And now their ranks are forming,—
[137] A rush, and up the Dartmouth's side
The Mohawk band is swarming!
See the fierce natives! What a glimpse
Of paint and fur and feather,
As all at once the full-grown imps
Light on the deck together!
A scarf the pigtail's secret keeps,
A blanket hides the breeches,—
And out the cursèd cargo leaps,
And overboard it pitches!
O woman, at the evening board
So gracious, sweet, and purring,
So happy while the tea is poured,
So blest while spoons are stirring,
What martyr can compare with thee,
The mother, wife, or daughter,
That night, instead of best Bohea,
Condemned to milk and water!
Ah, little dreams the quiet dame
Who plies with rock and spindle
The patient flax, how great a flame
Yon little spark shall kindle!
The lurid morning shall reveal
A fire no king can smother
Where British flint and Boston steel
Have clashed against each other!
Old charters shrivel in its track,
His Worship's bench has crumbled,
It climbs and clasps the union-jack,
Its blazoned pomp is humbled,
The flags go down on land and sea
Like corn before the reapers;
So burned the fire that brewed the tea
That Boston served her keepers!
The waves that wrought a century's wreck
Have rolled o'er whig and tory;
The Mohawks on the Dartmouth's deck
Still live in song and story;
The waters in the rebel bay
Have kept the tea-leaf savor;
Our old North-Enders in their spray
Still taste a Hyson flavor;
And Freedom's teacup still o'erflows
With ever fresh libations,
To cheat of slumber all her foes
And cheer the wakening nations!
Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Next morning, Paul Revere, booted and spurred, started for Philadelphia with the news that Boston had at last thrown down the gauntlet. The following song appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet a few days after Revere reached Philadelphia.


[December 16, 1773]

As near beauteous Boston lying,
On the gently swelling flood,
Without jack or pendant flying,
Three ill-fated tea-ships rode.
Just as glorious Sol was setting,
On the wharf, a numerous crew,
Sons of freedom, fear forgetting,
Suddenly appeared in view.
Armed with hammers, axe, and chisels,
Weapons new for warlike deed,
Towards the herbage-freighted vessels,
They approached with dreadful speed.
O'er their heads aloft in mid-sky,
Three bright angel forms were seen;
This was Hampden, that was Sidney,
With fair Liberty between.
"Soon," they cried, "your foes you'll banish,
Soon the triumph shall be won;
Scarce shall setting Phœbus vanish,
Ere the deathless deed be done."
Quick as thought the ships were boarded,
Hatches burst and chests displayed;
Axes, hammers help afforded;
What a glorious crash they made.
Squash into the deep descended,
Cursed weed of China's coast;
Thus at once our fears were ended;
British rights shall ne'er be lost.
Captains! once more hoist your streamers,
Spread your sails, and plough the wave;
Tell your masters they were dreamers,
When they thought to cheat the brave.

News of the insurrection was received in England with the greatest indignation, and measures of reprisal were at once undertaken. No ships were to be allowed to enter the port of Boston until the rebellious town should have repaid the East India Company for the loss of its tea; the charter of Massachusetts was annulled and her free government destroyed; and General Gage was sent over with four regiments to take possession of the town.



[April 15, 1774]

When George the King would punish folk
Who dared resist his angry will—
Resist him with their hearts of oak
That neither King nor Council broke—
He told Lord North to mend his quill,
And sent his Parliament a Bill.
The Boston Port Bill was the thing
He flourished in his royal hand;
A subtle lash with scorpion sting,
Across the seas he made it swing,
And with its cruel thong he planned
To quell the disobedient land.
His minions heard it sing, and bare
The port of Boston felt his wrath;
They let no ship cast anchor there,
They summoned Hunger and Despair,—
And curses in an aftermath
Followed their desolating path.
No coal might enter there, nor wood,
Nor Holland flax, nor silk from France;
No drugs for dying pangs, no food
For any mother's little brood.
"Now," said the King, "we have our chance,
We'll lead the haughty knaves a dance."
No other flags lit up the bay,
Like full-blown blossoms in the air,
Than where the British war-ships lay;
The wharves were idle; all the day
The idle men, grown gaunt and spare,
Saw trouble, pall-like, everywhere.
Then in across the meadow land,
From lonely farm and hunter's tent,
From fertile field and fallow strand,
Pouring it out with lavish hand,
The neighboring burghs their bounty sent,
And laughed at King and Parliament.
To bring them succor, Marblehead
Joyous her deep-sea fishing sought.
Her trees, with ringing stroke and tread,
Old many-rivered Newbury sped,
And Groton in her granaries wrought,
And generous flocks old Windham brought.
Rice from the Carolinas came,
Iron from Pennsylvania's forge,
And, with a spirit all aflame,
Tobacco-leaf and corn and game
The Midlands sent; and in his gorge
The Colonies defied King George!
And Hartford hung, in black array,
Her town-house, and at half-mast there
The flags flowed, and the bells all day
Tolled heavily; and far away
In great Virginia's solemn air
The House of Burgesses held prayer.
Down long glades of the forest floor
The same thrill ran through every vein,
And down the long Atlantic's shore;
Its heat the tyrant's fetters tore
And welded them through stress and strain
Of long years to a mightier chain.
That mighty chain with links of steel
Bound all the Old Thirteen at last,
Through one electric pulse to feel
The common woe, the common weal.
And that great day the Port Bill passed
Made us a nation hard and fast.
Harriet Prescott Spofford.

Gage arrived at Boston in May, 1774, and at once issued a proclamation calling upon the inhabitants to be loyal, and warning them of his intention to maintain the authority of the King at any cost.


[May, 1774]

America! thou fractious nation,
Attend thy master's proclamation!
Tremble! for know, I, Thomas Gage,
Determin'd come the war to wage.
With the united powers sent forth,
Of Bute, of Mansfield, and of North;
To scourge your insolence, my choice,
While England mourns and Scots rejoice!
Bostonia first shall feel my power,
And gasping midst the dreadful shower
Of ministerial rage, shall cry,
Oh, save me, Bute! I yield! and die.
Then shall my thundering cannons rattle,
My hardy veterans march to battle,
Against Virginia's hostile land,
To humble that rebellious band.
At my approach her trembling swains
Shall quit well-cultivated plains,
To seek the inhospitable wood;
Or try, like swine of old, the flood.
Rejoice! ye happy Scots rejoice!
Your voice lift up, a mighty voice,
The voice of gladness on each tongue,
The mighty praise of Bute be sung.
The praise of Mansfield, and of North,
Let next your hymns of joy set forth,
Nor shall the rapturous strain assuage,
Till sung's your own proclaiming Gage.
Whistle ye pipes! ye drones drone on.
Ye bellows blow! Virginia's won!
Your Gage has won Virginia's shore,
And Scotia's sons shall mourn no more.
Hail, Middlesex! oh happy county!
Thou too shalt share thy master's bounty,
Thy sons obedient, naught shall fear,
Thy wives and widows drop no tear.
Thrice happy people, ne'er shall feel
The force of unrelenting steel;
What brute would give the ox a stroke
Who bends his neck to meet the yoke?
To Murray bend the humble knee;
He shall protect you under me;
His generous pen shall not be mute,
But sound your praise thro' Fox to Bute.
By Scotchmen lov'd, by Scotchmen taught,
By all your country Scotchmen thought;
Fear Bute, fear Mansfield, North and me,
And be as blest as slaves can be.
The Virginia Gazette, 1774.

The colonies rallied nobly to Boston's support; provisions of all sorts were sent over-land to the devoted city; the 1st of June, the day on which the Port Bill went into effect, was observed as a day of fasting and prayer throughout the country, and it became a point of honor with all good patriots to refrain from indulgence in "the blasted herb."



Rouse every generous, thoughtful mind,
The rising danger flee,
If you would lasting freedom find,
Now then abandon tea.
Scorn to be bound with golden chains,
Though they allure the sight;
Bid them defiance, if they claim
Our freedom and birthright.
Shall we our freedom give away,
And all our comfort place,
In drinking of outlandish tea,
Only to please our taste?
Forbid it Heaven, let us be wise,
And seek our country's good;
Nor ever let a thought arise
That tea should be our food.
Since we so great a plenty have,
Of all that's for our health,
Shall we that blasted herb receive,
Impoverishing our wealth?
When we survey the breathless corpse,
With putrid matter filled,
For crawling worms a sweet resort,
By us reputed ill.
Noxious effluvia sending out
From its pernicious store,
Not only from the foaming mouth,
But every lifeless pore.
To view the same enrolled in tea,
Besmeared with such perfumes,
And then the herb sent o'er the sea,
To us it tainted comes—
Some of it tinctured with a filth
Of carcasses embalmed;
Taste of this herb, then, if thou wilt!
Sure me it cannot charm.
Adieu! away, oh tea! begone!
Salute our taste no more;
Though thou art coveted by some,
Who're destined to be poor.
Fowle's Gazette, July 22, 1774.




In spite of Rice, in spite of Wheat,
Sent for the Boston Poor—to eat:
In spite of Brandy, one would think,
Sent for the Boston Poor—to drink:
Poor are the Boston Poor, indeed,
And needy, tho' there is no Need:
They cry for Bread; the mighty Ones
Instead of Bread, give only Stones.
Rivington's New York Gazetteer, September 2, 1774.

It was plain that, in this crisis, the colonies must stick together, and the proposal for a Continental Congress, first made by the Sons of Liberty in New York, was approved by colony after colony, and the Congress was finally called to meet at Philadelphia, September 1.


When fair Columbia was a child,
And mother Britain on her smil'd
With kind regard, and strok'd her head,
And gave her dolls and gingerbread,
And sugar plumbs, and many a toy,
Which prompted gratitude and joy—
Then a more duteous maid, I ween,
Ne'er frisked it o'er the playful green;
Whate'er the mother said, approv'd,
And with sincere affection lov'd—
With reverence listen'd to her dreams,
And bowed obsequious to her schemes—
Barter'd the products of her garden,
For trinkets, worth more than a farthing—
And whensoe'er the mother sigh'd,
She, sympathetic daughter, cri'd,
Fearing the heavy, long-drawn breath,
Betoken'd her approaching death.
But when at puberty arriv'd,
Forgot the power in whom she liv'd,
And 'gan to make preposterous splutter,
'Bout spreading her own bread and butter,
And stubbornly refus'd t' agree,
In form, to drink her bohea-tea,
And like a base, ungrateful daughter,
Hurl'd a whole tea box in the water—
'Bout writing paper made a pother,
And dared to argue with her mother—
Contended pertly, that the nurse,
Should not be keeper of the purse;
But that herself, now older grown,
Would have a pocket of her own,
In which the purse she would deposit,
As safely as in nurse's closet.
Francis Hopkinson.

The Whig papers generally at this time adopted for a headpiece a snake broken into parts representing the several colonies, with the motto, "Unite or Die."



Ye sons of Sedition, how comes it to pass
That America's typ'd by a Snake—in the grass?
Don't you think 'tis a scandalous, saucy reflection,
That merits the soundest, severest correction?
New-England's the Head, too;—New-England's abus'd,
For the Head of the Serpent we know should be bruis'd.
From Rivington's New York Gazetteer, August 25, 1774.

The feeling of the entire country was aptly voiced in "Free America," which appeared at that time, and which was ascribed to Dr. Joseph Warren.



That seat of Science, Athens,
And earth's proud mistress, Rome;
Where now are all their glories?
We scarce can find a tomb.
Then guard your rights, Americans,
Nor stoop to lawless sway;
Oppose, oppose, oppose, oppose,
For North America.
We led fair Freedom hither,
And lo, the desert smiled!
A paradise of pleasure
Was opened in the wild!
Your harvest, bold Americans,
No power shall snatch away!
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza,
For free America.
Torn from a world of tyrants,
Beneath this western sky,
[141] We formed a new dominion,
A land of liberty:
The world shall own we're masters here;
Then hasten on the day:
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza,
For free America.
Proud Albion bowed to Cæsar,
And numerous lords before;
To Picts, to Danes, to Normans,
And many masters more:
But we can boast, Americans,
We've never fallen a prey;
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza,
For free America.
God bless this maiden climate,
And through its vast domain
May hosts of heroes cluster,
Who scorn to wear a chain:
And blast the venal sycophant
That dares our rights betray;
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza,
For free America.
Lift up your hands, ye heroes,
And swear with proud disdain,
The wretch that would ensnare you,
Shall lay his snares in vain:
Should Europe empty all her force,
We'll meet her in array,
And fight and shout, and shout and fight
For North America.
Some future day shall crown us,
The masters of the main,
Our fleets shall speak in thunder
To England, France, and Spain;
And the nations over the ocean spread
Shall tremble and obey
The sons, the sons, the sons, the sons
Of brave America.
Joseph Warren.

The Continental Congress assembled at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774, and, after four weeks' deliberation, agreed upon a declaration of rights, claiming for the American people the right of free legislation and calling for the repeal of eleven acts of Parliament.


In a chariot of light from the regions of day,
The Goddess of Liberty came;
Ten thousand celestials directed the way
And hither conducted the dame.
A fair budding branch from the gardens above,
Where millions with millions agree,
She brought in her hand as a pledge of her love,
And the plant she named Liberty Tree.
The celestial exotic struck deep in the ground,
Like a native it flourished and bore;
The fame of its fruit drew the nations around,
To seek out this peaceable shore.
Unmindful of names or distinction they came,
For freemen like brothers agree;
With one spirit endued, they one friendship pursued,
And their temple was Liberty Tree.
Beneath this fair tree, like the patriarchs of old,
Their bread in contentment they ate,
Unvexed with the troubles of silver and gold,
The cares of the grand and the great.
With timber and tar they Old England supplied,
And supported her power on the sea;
Her battles they fought, without getting a groat,
For the honor of Liberty Tree.
But hear, O ye swains, 'tis a tale most profane,
How all the tyrannical powers,
Kings, Commons, and Lords, are uniting amain,
To cut down this guardian of ours;
From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms
Through the land let the sound of it flee,
Let the far and the near, all unite with a cheer,
In defence of our Liberty Tree.
Thomas Paine.
Pennsylvania Magazine, 1775.

The duty of presenting to the British government the Declaration of Rights prepared by the Congress devolved upon Benjamin Franklin, who was in England at the time. Lord Dartmouth received the document, but permission was refused Franklin to present the case for the Continental Congress, and to defend it, before the House of Commons.




We have an old mother that peevish is grown;
She snubs us like children that scarce walk alone;
She forgets we're grown up and have sense of our own;
Which nobody can deny, deny,
Which nobody can deny.
If we don't obey orders, whatever the case,
She frowns, and she chides, and she loses all pati-
Ence, and sometimes she hits us a slap in the face;
Which nobody, etc.
Her orders so odd are, we often suspect
That age has impaired her sound intellect;
But still an old mother should have due respect;
Which nobody, etc.
Let's bear with her humors as well as we can;
But why should we bear the abuse of her man?
When servants make mischief, they earn the rattan;
Which nobody, etc.
Know, too, ye bad neighbors, who aim to divide
The sons from the mother, that still she's our pride;
And if ye attack her, we're all of her side;
Which nobody, etc.
We'll join in her lawsuits, to baffle all those
Who, to get what she has, will be often her foes;
For we know it must all be our own, when she goes;
Which nobody can deny, deny,
Which nobody can deny.
Benjamin Franklin.

Very few Englishmen believed that the Americans would fight. Lord Sandwich said that they were a lot of undisciplined cowards, who would take to their heels at the first sound of a cannon, and that it would be easy to frighten them into submission. The "Pennsylvania Song" was evidently written to answer this assertion.


We are the troop that ne'er will stoop
To wretched slavery,
Nor shall our seed, by our base deed,
Despisèd vassals be;
Freedom we will bequeath to them,
Or we will bravely die;
Our greatest foe, ere long shall know,
How much did Sandwich lie.
And all the world shall know,
Americans are free;
Nor slaves nor cowards we will prove,
Great Britain soon shall see.
We'll not give up our birthright,
Our foes shall find us men;
As good as they, in any shape,
The British troops shall ken.
Huzza! brave boys, we'll beat them
On any hostile plain;
For Freedom, wives, and children dear,
The battle we'll maintain.
And all the world, etc.
What! can those British tyrants think,
Our fathers cross'd the main,
And savage foes, and dangers met,
To be enslav'd by them?
If so, they are mistaken,
For we will rather die;
And since they have become our foes,
Their forces we defy.
And all the world, etc.
Dunlap's Packet, 1775.

About the middle of December, 1774, deputies appointed by the freemen of Maryland met at Annapolis, and unanimously resolved to resist the attempts of Parliament to tax the colonies and to support the acts of the Continental Congress. They also recommended that every man should provide himself with "a good firelock, with bayonet attached, powder and ball," to be in readiness to act in any emergency.


[December, 1774]

On Calvert's plains new faction reigns,
Great Britain we defy, sir,
True Liberty lies gagg'd in chains,
Though freedom is the cry, sir.
The Congress, and their factious tools,
Most wantonly oppress us,
Hypocrisy triumphant rules,
And sorely does distress us.
The British bands with glory crown'd,
No longer shall withstand us;
Our martial deeds loud fame shall sound
Since mad Lee now commands us.
Triumphant soon a blow he'll strike,
That all the world shall awe, sir,
And General Gage, Sir Perseus like,
Behind his wheels he'll draw, sir.
When Gallic hosts, ungrateful men,
Our race meant to extermine,
Pray did committees save us then,
Or Hancock, or such vermin?
Then faction spurn! think for yourselves!
Your parent state, believe me,
From real griefs, from factious elves,
Will speedily relieve ye.
Rivington's Gazetteer.

Such effusions as the "Massachusetts Liberty Song" became immensely popular, and bands of liberty-loving souls met nightly to sing them.


Come swallow your bumpers, ye Tories, and roar
That the Sons of fair Freedom are hamper'd once more;
But know that no Cut-throats our spirits can tame,
Nor a host of Oppressors shall smother the flame.
In Freedom we're born, and, like Sons of the brave,
Will never surrender,
But swear to defend her,
And scorn to survive, if unable to save.
Our grandsires, bless'd heroes, we'll give them a tear,
Nor sully their honors by stooping to fear;
Through deaths and through dangers their Trophies they won,
We dare be their Rivals, nor will be outdone.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
Let tyrants and minions presume to despise,
Encroach on our Rights, and make Freedom their prize;
The fruits of their rapine they never shall keep,
Though Vengeance may nod, yet how short is her sleep.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
The tree which proud Haman for Mordecai rear'd
Stands recorded, that virtue endanger'd is spared;
That rogues, whom no bounds and no laws can restrain,
Must be stripp'd of their honors and humbled again.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
Our wives and our babes, still protected, shall know
Those who dare to be free shall forever be so;
On these arms and these hearts they may safely rely
For in freedom we'll live, or like Heroes we'll die.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
Ye insolent Tyrants! who wish to enthrall;
Ye Minions, ye Placemen, Pimps, Pensioners, all;
How short is your triumph, how feeble your trust,
Your honor must wither and nod to the dust.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
When oppress'd and approach'd, our King we implore,
Still firmly persuaded our Rights he'll restore;
When our hearts beat to arms to defend a just right,
Our monarch rules there, and forbids us to fight.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
Not the glitter of arms nor the dread of a fray
Could make us submit to their chains for a day;
Withheld by affection, on Britons we call,
Prevent the fierce conflict which threatens your fall.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
All ages should speak with amaze and applause
Of the prudence we show in support of our cause:
Assured of our safety, a Brunswick still reigns,
Whose free loyal subjects are strangers to chains.
In Freedom we're born, etc.
Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
To be free is to live, to be slaves is to fall;
Has the land such a dastard as scorns not a Lord,
Who dreads not a fetter much more than a sword?
In Freedom we're born, etc.
Attributed to Mrs. Mercy Warren.


Rudely forced to drink tea, Massachusetts, in anger,
Spills the tea on John Bull. John falls on to bang her.
Massachusetts, enraged, calls her neighbors to aid
And give Master John a severe bastinade.
Now, good men of the law, who is at fault,
The one who begins or resists the assault?
Anderson's Constitutional Gazette, 1775.


O Boston wives and maids, draw near and see
Our delicate Souchong and Hyson tea,
Buy it, my charming girls, fair, black, or brown,
If not, we'll cut your throats, and burn your town.
St. James Chronicle.

It was evident that, in the excited state of the country, a single incident might turn the balance between peace and war and produce a general explosion. That incident was not long in coming.



Hail, happy Britain, Freedom's blest retreat,
Great is thy power, thy wealth, thy glory great,
But wealth and power have no immortal day,
For all things ripen only to decay.
And when that time arrives, the lot of all,
When Britain's glory, power and wealth shall fall;
Then shall thy sons by Fate's unchanged decree
In other worlds another Britain see,
And what thou art, America shall be.
Gulian Verplanck.



All through the winter of 1774-75, the people of Massachusetts had offered a passive but effective resistance to General Gage. Not a councillor, judge, sheriff, or juryman could be found to serve under the royal commission; and for nine months the ordinary functions of government were suspended. At eventide, on every village-green, a company of yeomen drilled, and a supply of powder and ball was gradually collected at Concord; but every man in the province was given to understand that England must fire the first shot. At the beginning of spring, Gage received peremptory orders to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, and send them to England to be tried for treason. He learned that they would be at a friend's house at Lexington, during the middle of April, and on the night of April 18 dispatched a force of eight hundred men to seize them, and then to proceed to Concord and destroy the military stores collected there. Although the movement was conducted with the greatest secrecy, Joseph Warren divined its purpose, and sent out Paul Revere by way of Charlestown to give the alarm.


[April 18-19, 1775]

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
[145] Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,—
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said, "Good night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
[146] As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

At the same time Warren dispatched William Dawes by way of Roxbury; but though Dawes played an important part in the events of the night, his exploits have been completely overshadowed in the popular imagination by those of the other courier.


I am a wandering, bitter shade;
Never of me was a hero made;
Poets have never sung my praise,
Nobody crowned my brow with bays;
And if you ask me the fatal cause,
I answer only, "My name was Dawes."
'Tis all very well for the children to hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere;
But why should my name be quite forgot,
Who rode as boldly and well, God wot?
Why should I ask? The reason is clear—
My name was Dawes and his Revere.
When the lights from the old North Church flashed out,
Paul Revere was waiting about,
But I was already on my way.
The shadows of night fell cold and gray
As I rode, with never a break or pause;
But what was the use, when my name was Dawes?
History rings with his silvery name;
Closed to me are the portals of fame.
Had he been Dawes and I Revere,
No one had heard of him, I fear.
No one has heard of me because
He was Revere and I was Dawes.
Helen F. More.

Revere galloped at top speed to Lexington, and warned Hancock and Adams, who left the town shortly before daybreak. Meanwhile the minute-men of the village had gathered, and the vanguard of the English column was confronted by about fifty colonials under command of Captain John Parker. The British commander, Major Pitcairn, ordered them to disperse, and as they stood motionless, he gave the order to fire. His men hesitated, but he discharged his own pistol and repeated the order, whereupon a deadly volley killed eight of the minute-men and wounded ten. A moment later, the main body of the British came up, and Parker, seeing the folly of resistance, ordered his men to retire.


[April 19, 1775]

From "Psalm of the West"

O'er Cambridge set the yeoman's mark:
Climb, patriot, through the April dark.
O lanthorn! kindle fast thy light,
Thou budding star in the April night,
For never a star more news hath told,
Or later flame in heaven shall hold.
Ay, lanthorn on the North Church tower,
When that thy church hath had her hour,
Still from the top of Reverence high
Shalt thou illume Fame's ampler sky;
For, statured large o'er town and tree,
[147] Time's tallest Figure stands by thee,
And, dim as now thy wick may shine,
The Future lights his lamp at thine.
Now haste thee while the way is clear,
Paul Revere!
Haste, Dawes! but haste thou not, O Sun!
To Lexington.
Then Devens looked and saw the light:
He got him forth into the night,
And watched alone on the river-shore,
And marked the British ferrying o'er.
John Parker! rub thine eyes and yawn,
But one o'clock and yet 'tis Dawn!
Quick, rub thine eyes and draw thy hose:
The Morning comes ere darkness goes.
Have forth and call the yeomen out,
For somewhere, somewhere close about
Full soon a Thing must come to be
Thine honest eyes shall stare to see—
Full soon before thy patriot eyes
Freedom from out of a Wound shall rise.
Then haste ye, Prescott and Revere!
Bring all the men of Lincoln here;
Let Chelmsford, Littleton, Carlisle,
Let Acton, Bedford, hither file—
Oh hither file, and plainly see
Out of a wound leap Liberty.
Say, Woodman April! all in green,
Say, Robin April! hast thou seen
In all thy travel round the earth
Ever a morn of calmer birth?
But Morning's eye alone serene
Can gaze across yon village-green
To where the trooping British run
Through Lexington.
Good men in fustian, stand ye still;
The men in red come o'er the hill.
Lay down your arms, damned Rebels! cry
The men in red full haughtily.
But never a grounding gun is heard;
The men in fustian stand unstirred;
Dead calm, save maybe a wise bluebird
Puts in his little heavenly word.
O men in red! if ye but knew
The half as much as bluebirds do,
Now in this little tender calm
Each hand would out, and every palm
With patriot palm strike brotherhood's stroke
Or ere these lines of battle broke.
O men in red! if ye but knew
The least of the all that bluebirds do,
Now in this little godly calm
Yon voice might sing the Future's Psalm—
The Psalm of Love with the brotherly eyes
Who pardons and is very wise—
Yon voice that shouts, high-hoarse with ire,
The red-coats fire, the homespuns fall:
The homespuns' anxious voices call,
Brother, art hurt? and Where hit, John?
And, Wipe this blood, and, Men, come on,
And, Neighbor, do but lift my head,
And, Who is wounded? Who is dead?
Seven are killed. My God! my God!
Seven lie dead on the village sod.
Two Harringtons, Parker, Hadley, Brown,
Monroe and Porter,—these are down.
Nay, look! Stout Harrington not yet dead!
He crooks his elbow, lifts his head.
He lies at the step of his own house-door;
He crawls and makes a path of gore.
The wife from the window hath seen, and rushed;
He hath reached the step, but the blood hath gushed;
He hath crawled to the step of his own house-door,
But his head hath dropped: he will crawl no more.
Clasp, Wife, and kiss, and lift the head:
Harrington lies at his doorstep dead.
But, O ye Six that round him lay
And bloodied up that April day!
As Harrington fell, ye likewise fell—
At the door of the House wherein ye dwell;
As Harrington came, ye likewise came
And died at the door of your House of Fame.
Sidney Lanier.


[April 19, 1775]

Slowly the mist o'er the meadow was creeping,
Bright on the dewy buds glistened the sun,
When from his couch, while his children were sleeping,
Rose the bold rebel and shouldered his gun.
Waving her golden veil
Over the silent dale,
[148] Blithe looked the morning on cottage and spire;
Hushed was his parting sigh,
While from his noble eye
Flashed the last sparkle of liberty's fire.
On the smooth green where the fresh leaf is springing
Calmly the first-born of glory have met;
Hark! the death-volley around them is ringing!
Look! with their life-blood the young grass is wet!
Faint is the feeble breath,
Murmuring low in death,
"Tell to our sons how their fathers have died;"
Nerveless the iron hand,
Raised for its native land,
Lies by the weapon that gleams at its side.
Over the hillsides the wild knell is tolling,
From their far hamlets the yeomanry come;
As through the storm-clouds the thunder-burst rolling,
Circles the beat of the mustering drum.
Fast on the soldier's path
Darken the waves of wrath,—
Long have they gathered and loud shall they fall;
Red glares the musket's flash,
Sharp rings the rifle's crash,
Blazing and clanging from thicket and wall.
Gayly the plume of the horseman was dancing,
Never to shadow his cold brow again;
Proudly at morning the war-steed was prancing,
Reeking and panting he droops on the rein;
Pale is the lip of scorn,
Voiceless the trumpet horn,
Torn is the silken-fringed red cross on high;
Many a belted breast
Low on the turf shall rest
Ere the dark hunters the herd have passed by.
Snow-girdled crags where the hoarse wind is raving,
Rocks where the weary floods murmur and wail,
Wilds where the fern by the furrow is waving,
Reeled with the echoes that rode on the gale;
Far as the tempest thrills
Over the darkened hills,
Far as the sunshine streams over the plain,
Roused by the tyrant band,
Woke all the mighty land,
Girdled for battle, from mountain to main.
Green be the graves where her martyrs are lying!
Shroudless and tombless they sunk to their rest,
While o'er their ashes the starry fold flying
Wraps the proud eagle they roused from his nest.
Borne on her Northern pine,
Long o'er the foaming brine
Spread her broad banner to storm and to sun;
Heaven keep her ever free,
Wide as o'er land and sea
Floats the fair emblem her heroes have won!
Oliver Wendell Holmes.

The British pressed on to Concord, but the greater part of the stores had been hidden, and minute-men were gathering from all directions. Colonel Smith, commanding the British, began to realize the dangers of his position and about noon started to retreat to Boston. And none too soon, for the whole country was aroused. Minute-men swarmed in from all directions, and taking advantage of every tree and hillock by the roadside, poured into the British a fire so deadly that the retreat soon became a disorderly flight. The timely arrival of strong reinforcements was all that saved the British from annihilation.


[April 19, 1775]

'Twas the dead of the night. By the pine-knot's red light
Brooks lay, half-asleep, when he heard the alarm,—
Only this, and no more, from a voice at the door:
"The Red-Coats are out, and have passed Phips's farm."
Brooks was booted and spurred; he said never a word;
Took his horn from its peg, and his gun from its rack;
To the cold midnight air he led out his white mare,
Strapped the girths and the bridle, and sprang to her back.
Up the North Country road at her full pace she strode,
Till Brooks reined her up at John Tarbell's to say,
"We have got the alarm,—they have left Phips's farm;
You rouse the East Precinct, and I'll go this way."
John called his hired man, and they harnessed the span;
They roused Abram Garfield, and Abram called me:
"Turn out right away; let no minute-man stay;
The Red-Coats have landed at Phips's," says he.
By the Powder-House Green seven others fell in;
At Nahum's, the men from the Saw-Mill came down;
So that when Jabez Bland gave the word of command,
And said, "Forward, march!" there marched forward the town.
Parson Wilderspin stood by the side of the road,
And he took off his hat, and he said, "Let us pray!
O Lord, God of might, let thine angels of light
Lead thy children to-night to the glories of day!
And let thy stars fight all the foes of the Right
As the stars fought of old against Sisera."
And from heaven's high arch those stars blessed our march,
Till the last of them faded in twilight away;
And with morning's bright beam, by the bank of the stream,
Half the county marched in, and we heard Davis say:
"On the King's own highway I may travel all day,
And no man hath warrant to stop me," says he;
"I've no man that's afraid, and I'll march at their head."
Then he turned to the boys,—"Forward, march! Follow me."
And we marched as he said, and the Fifer he played
The old "White Cockade," and he played it right well.
We saw Davis fall dead, but no man was afraid;
That bridge we'd have had, though a thousand men fell.
This opened the play, and it lasted all day.
We made Concord too hot for the Red-Coats to stay;
Down the Lexington way we stormed, black, white, and gray;
We were first in the feast, and were last in the fray.
They would turn in dismay, as red wolves turn at bay.
They levelled, they fired, they charged up the road.
Cephas Willard fell dead; he was shot in the head
As he knelt by Aunt Prudence's well-sweep to load.
John Danforth was hit just in Lexington Street,
John Bridge at that lane where you cross Beaver Falls,
And Winch and the Snows just above John Munroe's,—
Swept away by one swoop of the big cannon-balls.
I took Bridge on my knee, but he said, "Don't mind me;
Fill your horn from mine,—let me lie where I be.
Our fathers," says he, "that their sons might be free,
Left their king on his throne, and came over the sea;
And that man is a knave or a fool who, to save
His life for a minute, would live like a slave."
Well, all would not do! There were men good as new,—
From Rumford, from Saugus, from towns far away,—
Who filled up quick and well for each soldier that fell;
And we drove them, and drove them, and drove them, all day.
[150] We knew, every one, it was war that begun,
When that morning's marching was only half done.
In the hazy twilight, at the coming of night,
I crowded three buckshot and one bullet down.
'Twas my last charge of lead; and I aimed her and said,
"Good luck to you, lobsters, in old Boston Town."
In a barn at Milk Row, Ephraim Bates and Munroe
And Baker and Abram and I made a bed.
We had mighty sore feet, and we'd nothing to eat;
But we'd driven the Red-Coats, and Amos, he said:
"It's the first time," says he, "that it's happened to me
To march to the sea by this road where we've come;
But confound this whole day, but we'd all of us say
We'd rather have spent it this way than to home."
* * * * *
The hunt had begun with the dawn of the sun,
And night saw the wolf driven back to his den.
And never since then, in the memory of men,
Has the Old Bay State seen such a hunting again.
Edward Everett Hale.
April 19, 1882.



Since you all will have singing, and won't be said nay,
I cannot refuse, when you so beg and pray;
So I'll sing you a song,—as a body may say,
'Tis of the King's Regulars, who ne'er ran away.
Oh! the old soldiers of the King, and the King's own Regulars.
At Prestonpans we met with some rebels one day,
We marshalled ourselves all in comely array;
Our hearts were all stout, and bid our legs stay,
But our feet were wrong-headed and took us away.
At Falkirk we resolved to be braver,
And recover some credit by better behavior:
We wouldn't acknowledge feet had done us a favor,
So feet swore they would stand, but—legs ran however.
No troops perform better than we at reviews,
We march and we wheel, and whatever you choose,
George would see how we fight, and we never refuse,
There we all fight with courage—you may see 't in the news.
To Monongahela, with fifes and with drums,
We marched in fine order, with cannon and bombs;
That great expedition cost infinite sums,
But a few irregulars cut us all into crumbs.
It was not fair to shoot at us from behind trees,
If they had stood open, as they ought, before our great guns, we should have beat them with ease,
They may fight with one another that way if they please,
But it is not regular to stand, and fight with such rascals as these.
At Fort George and Oswego, to our great reputation,
We show'd our vast skill in fortification;
The French fired three guns;—of the fourth they had no occasion;
For we gave up those forts, not through fear, but mere persuasion.
To Ticonderoga we went in a passion,
Swearing to be revenged on the whole French nation;
But we soon turned tail, without hesitation,
Because they fought behind trees, which is not the regular fashion.
Lord Loudon, he was a regular general, they say;
With a great regular army he went on his way,
[151] Against Louisburg, to make it his prey,
But returned—without seeing it,—for he didn't feel bold that day.
Grown proud at reviews, great George had no rest,
Each grandsire, he had heard, a rebellion suppressed,
He wish'd a rebellion, looked round and saw none,
So resolved a rebellion to make—of his own.
The Yankees he bravely pitched on, because he thought they wouldn't fight,
And so he sent us over to take away their right;
But lest they should spoil our review clothes, he cried braver and louder,
For God's sake, brother kings, don't sell the cowards any powder.
Our general with his council of war did advise
How at Lexington we might the Yankees surprise;
We march'd—and re-marched—all surprised—at being beat;
And so our wise general's plan of surprise—was complete.
For fifteen miles, they follow'd and pelted us, we scarce had time to pull a trigger;
But did you ever know a retreat performed with more vigor?
For we did it in two hours, which saved us from perdition;
'Twas not in going out, but in returning, consisted our EXPEDITION.
Says our general, "We were forced to take to our arms in our defence
(For arms read legs, and it will be both truth and sense),
Lord Percy (says he), I must say something of him in civility,
And that is—'I can never enough praise him for his great—agility.'"
Of their firing from behind fences he makes a great pother;
Every fence has two sides, they made use of one, and we only forgot to use the other;
Then we turned our backs and ran away so fast; don't let that disgrace us,
'Twas only to make good what Sandwich said, that the Yankees—could not face us.
As they could not get before us, how could they look us in the face?
We took care they shouldn't, by scampering away apace.
That they had not much to brag of, is a very plain case;
For if they beat us in the fight, we beat them in the race.
Pennsylvania Evening Post, March 30, 1776.

How the alarm of the fight spread through the countryside, how men left the plough, the loom, the anvil, and hastened, musket in hand, to the land's defence that day, has been told and retold in song and story. Here is the story of Morgan Stanwood, one among hundreds such.


CAPE ANN, 1775

Morgan Stanwood, patriot!
Little more is known;
Nothing of his home is left
But the door-step stone.
Morgan Stanwood, to our thought
You return once more;
Once again the meadows lift
Daisies to your door.
Once again the morn is sweet,
Half the hay is down,—
Hark! what means that sudden clang
From the distant town?
Larum bell and rolling drum
Answer sea-borne guns;
Larum bell and rolling drum
Summon Freedom's sons!
And the mower thinks to him
Cry both bell and drum,
"Morgan Stanwood, where art thou?
Here th' invaders come!"
"Morgan Stanwood" need no more
Bell and drum-beat call;
He is one who, hearing once,
Answers once for all.
Ne'er the mower murmured then,
"Half my grass is mown,
Homespun isn't soldier-wear,
Each may save his own."
Fallen scythe and aftermath
Lie forgotten now;
Winter need may come and find
But a barren mow.
Down the musket comes. "Good wife,—
Wife, a quicker flint!"
And the face that questions face
Hath no color in 't.
"Wife, if I am late to-night,
Milk the heifer first;—
Ruth, if I'm not home at all,—
Worse has come to worst."
Morgan Stanwood sped along,
Not the common road;
Over wall and hill-top straight,
Straight to death, he strode;
Leaving her to hear at night
Tread of burdened men,
By the gate and through the gate,
At the door, and then—
Ever after that to hear,
When the grass is sweet,
Through the gate and through the night,
Slowly coming feet.