“Thou liest, Nick, my
For Hager’s bells I hear
Like the bells of olden travel,
Forgot upon mine ear.
In a wonderful thing once asked him
Thy dear old daddy is sunk—
I have sot here a year and wondered
Who the devil was Mr. Funk!”
“A year ago I was smoking,
When a strange young fellow came by.
He was taking notes on paper,
And the rum in his’n was rye.
Says he: ‘I’m a writin’ a hist’ry’—
’Twas then I thought he was drunk—
’And I want to see your graveyard,
And the tomb of your founder, Funk!’
“I think if he’d
sot there, sonny,
I’d looked at him a week;
But he wanished tow’rd the graveyard,
Before your daddy could speak.
Directly back he tumbled,
Before I had quit my stare,
And he says: ’I’m disappinted!
No Funk is buried in there.’
“’The Funks is
That’s all I could think to say,
’There never was Funks in Funkstown,
And there ain’t any Funks to-day.’
‘Why man,’ he says, ’the city
That stands on Potomac’s shores
Was settled by Funk, the elder,
Who afterward settled yours!
they bust him yonder;
Old Hager, he bust him here;
But my heart will bust till I find him,
And make a sketch of his bier.
Oh shame on the Funkstown spirit
That in Maryland does dwell!
He wouldn’t consent to be buried
Where you can keep a hotel.’”
Said young Nick, thinking much;
“A hundred years he’s settled
Amongst the mountain Dutch.
Ask him!” “Nay, young Nick Hammer,
You young fellows run too fast:
I shall set out here a thinking,
And maybe Funk’ll go past!”
He drank and smoked and pondered,
And deep in the mystery sunk;
And the more Nick Hammer wondered
The duller he grew about Funk.
The wagoners talked it over,
And a new idea to trace
Enlivened the dead old village
Like a new house built in the place.
One day in June two wagons
Came over Antietam bridge
And a tall old man behind them
Strode up the turnpike ridge.
His beard was long and grizzled,
His face was gnarled and long,
His voice was keen and nasal,
And his mouth and eye were strong.