GEO. ALFRED TOWNSEND
A fruity smell is in the school-house
The clover bees are sick with evening heats;
A few old houses from the window-pane
Fling back the flame of sunset, and there beats
The throb of oars from basking oyster fleets,
And clangorous music of the oyster tongs
Plunged down in deep bivalvulous retreats,
And sound of seine drawn home with negro songs.
American News Company,
39 and 41 Chambers Street.
Geo. Alfred Townsend.
TO MY FATHER,
Rev. Stephen Townsend, M.D., Ph.D.,
Whose ancestors explored the Chesapeake
bay in 1623,
and were settled on the Pocomoke river almost
two hundred years, near his birthplace;
THE AFFECTION OF
HIS ONLY SURVIVING SON.
Of the following pieces, two, “Kidnapped,” and “Dominion over the Fish,” have been published in Chambers’s Journal, London. The poem “Herman of Bohemia Manor” is new. All the compositions illustrate the same general locality.
The Eastern shore of Maryland.
One day, worn out with head
And the debate of public men,
I said aloud, “Oh! if there were
Some place to make me young awhile,
I would go there, I would go there,
And if it were a many a mile!”
Then something cried—perhaps my map,
That not in vain I oft invoke—
“Go seek again your mother’s lap,
The dear old soil that gave you sap,
And see the land of Pocomoke!”
A sense of shame that never
My foot on that old shore was set,
Though prodigal in wandering,
Arose; and with a tingled cheek,
Like some late wild duck on the wing,
I started down the Chesapeake.
The morning sunlight, silvery calm,
From basking shores of woodland broke,
And capes and inlets breathing balm,
And lovely islands clothed in palm,
Closed round the sound of Pocomoke.
The pungy boats at anchor
The long canoes were oystering,
And moving barges played the seine
Along the beaches of Tangiers;
I heard the British drums again
As in their predatory years,
When Kedge’s Straits the Tories swept,
And Ross’s camp-fires hid in smoke.
They plundered all the coasts except
The camp the Island Parson kept
For praying men of Pocomoke.