“Before Columbus ever thought
Of Western World, with glory fraught;
Before the Northmen had been known
To wander from their native zone;
Before war raised a single mound,
The antiquarians to confound;
Indeed, so very long ago,
The time one can’t exactly know,—
A giant Sachem, good as great,
Reigned in and over our Bay State.
So huge was he, his realm so small,
He could not exercise at all,
Except by taking to the sea.
[For which he had a ticket free,
Granted by Neptune, with the seal,
A salient clam, and couchant eel].
His pipe was many a mile in length,
His lungs proportionable in strength;
And his rich moccasins,—with the pair,
The seven-league boots would not compare.
Whene’er siestas he would take,
Cape Cod must help his couch to make;
And, being lowly, it was meet
He should prefer it for his feet.
Well, one day, after quite a doze,
A month or two in length, suppose,
He waked, and, as he’d often done,
Strolled forth to see the mid-day sun;
But while unconsciously he slept,
The sand within his moccasins crept;
At every step some pain he’d feel,
’Twas now the toe, now near the heel;
At length his Sachemship grew cross,
The pebbles to the sea he’d toss,
And with a moccasin in each hand,
He threw on either side the sand;
Then in an instant there appear
Two little isles, the Sachem near!
One as the Vineyard now is known,
The other we may call our own.
At ease, he freely breathed awhile,
Which sent the fogs to bless our isle;
And turning East, with quickened motion,
The chill, bleak winds came o’er the ocean.
Ill-judging Sachem! would that you
Had never shaken here that shoe.
Or, having done so, would again,
And join Nantucket to the main!”
Having had a peep within the nest, you sigh for the return of the bird, and we will on.
THE VOICE OF CHILDHOOD.
“Ah! Well may sages bow to
Dear, loving, guileless Infancy!
And sigh beside their lofty lore
For one untaught delight of thine;
And feel they’d give their learning’s store,
To know again thy truth divine.”