Tales of the Chesapeake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 336 pages of information about Tales of the Chesapeake.

    One wagon was full of boxes
      And the other full of poles,
    As the weaver’s wife discovered
      While the weaver took the tolls. 
    Two young men drove the horses,
      And neither the people knew;
    But young Nick asked a question
      And that old man looked him through.

    A little feed they purchased,
      And their teams drank in the creek,
    And to and fro they travelled
      As silently for a week—­
    Went southward laden heavy,
      And northward always light,
    And the gnarled old man aye with them,
      With the long beard flowing white.

    From Sharpsburg up to Cavetown
      The story slowly rolled—­
    That old man knew the mountains
      Were filled with ore of gold. 
    The boxes held his crucibles;
      ’Twas haunted where he trod;
    And every shafted pole he brought
      Was a divining rod!

    And none knew whence he came there,
      Nor they his course who took,
    Down the road to Harper’s Ferry,
      In a shaggy mountain nook;
    But Nick the Sire grew certain,
      While from his eye he shrunk,
    That old man was none other
      Than the missing Mr. Funk: 

    The famous city-builder
      Who once had pitched upon
    The sunny ledge of Funkstown,
      And the site of Washington. 
    Again he was returning
      To the Potomac side,
    To found a temple in the hills
      Before he failed and died!

    And Nick laughed gently daily
      That he alone had guessed
    The mystery of the elder Funk
      That had puzzled all the rest. 
    And younger Nick thought gently: 
      “Since that chap asked for Funk
    There’s been commotion in this town,
      And daddy’s always drunk.”


    But once the ring of rapid hoofs
      Came sudden in the night,
    And on the Blue Ridge summits flashed
      The camp-fire’s baleful light. 
    Young Nick was in the saddle,
      With half the valley men,
    To find that old man’s fighting sons
      Who kept the ferry glen.

    And like the golden ore that grew
      To his divining rod,
    The shining, armed soldiery
      Swarmed o’er the clover sod;
    O’er Crampton’s gap the columns fought,
      And by Antietam fords,
    Till all the world, Nick Hammer thought,
      At Funkstown had drawn swords.


    Together, as in quiet days
      Before the battle’s roar,
    Nick Hammer and his one-legg’d son
      Smoked by the tavern door. 
    The dead who slept on Sharpsburg Heights
      Were not more still than they;
    They leaned together like the hills,
      But nothing had to say;

Project Gutenberg
Tales of the Chesapeake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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