THE LANDING OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS IN NEW ENGLAND





Felicia Browne Hemans





Look now abroad! Another race has fill'd

Those populous borders--wide the wood recedes,

And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are till'd;

The land is full of harvests and green meads.

--_Bryant_



The breaking waves dash'd high

On a stern and rockbound coast,

And the woods against a stormy sky

Their giant branches toss'd.



And the heavy night hung dark

The hills and waters o'er,

When a band of exiles moor'd 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 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 soar'd

From his nest by the white wave's foam;

And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd,--

This was their welcome home!



There were men with hoary hair

Amidst that pilgrim band;--

Why had _they_ come to wither here,

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!



Ay, call it holy ground,

The soil where first they trod.

They have left unstained, what there they found--

Freedom to worship God.





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