(Tune: Oxford. To be sung off stage by the Puritan maidens before they enter to take part in the episode.)
Gone is now the sullen winter,
Gone the famine and the snow;
In the forest, like a promise,
See the first white mayflowers blow.
Fresh hope thrills us with their coming,
They, too, braved the winter long;
Then at Springtime took new leafage,
Frail yet steadfast, small but strong.
Cling we thus to our new country,
Let us struggle and endure;
We have found a land of Freedom,
And our heritage is sure.
Lads of Plymouth Town
Youthful Pilgrim Maidens
STAR-OF-SPRING, an Indian maiden
NATIQUA, a squaw, her mother
FOREST FLOWER, another Indian maiden
HERON’S WING, a young Indian brave
SCENE: A grassy glade at Plymouth in the Spring of 1621, Trees right, left, and background. At the beginning of the scene the grassy stage is deserted. There presently enters from background Anne, a young Pilgrim maid of about fourteen, whose somber garb shows out darkly against the green background. She looks quickly about her, right and left, shielding her eyes with her hand. Then she calls back over her shoulder to her companions, Diantha and Lettice.
ANNE (calling). Come quickly, Diantha. Here is a fair spot for our corn-shelling, and not a prowling Indian in sight.
[Diantha, slender, dark, and somewhat older than Anne, enters with Lettice. They carry between them an Indian basket of capacious size, in which are dried ears of corn.
DIANTHA (clearly). Nay, we need have no fear; for on one side Captain Miles Standish keeps watch, and on the other John Alden; so as for Indians——
LETTICE (as they come to center). One Indian only have I seen this day, and to see him is ever a sign of good omen.
DIANTHA. That means that Squanto is in Plymouth Town, our good, true Indian friend. He it was who taught us how to shell the corn, so many months agone; he it was who taught us, this Spring, the manner of sowing it.
LETTICE (holding up Indian basket). And here is one of the Indian corn-baskets that Captain Standish found buried in a strange wilderness spot when he first explored these forests.
ANNE (drawing near to Lettice). These forests—! Oh, my heart! As night draws on how dark and fearsome they appear! And now that Spring is in the land it sets me longing for English hedgerows.
[Sits on ground, left, and begins to shell corn.
(joining Anne in her work).
Do you remember the Spring in Leyden, Diantha?