Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NEW ENGLAND'S GROWTH, by WILLIAM BRADFORD



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NEW ENGLAND'S GROWTH, by            
First Line: Famine once we had
Last Line: If you will take the pains them to seek for.
Subject(s): New England; United States - Colonial Period


FAMINE once we had,
But other things God gave us in full store,
As fish and ground-nuts to supply our strait,
That we might learn on Providence to wait;
And know, by bread man lives not in his need.
But by each word that doth from God proceed.
But a while after plenty did come in,
From His hand only who doth pardon sin,
And all did flourish like the pleasant green,
Which in the joyful spring is to be seen.

Almost ten years we lived here alone,
In other places there were few or none;
For Salem was the next of any fame,
That began to augment New England's name;
But after multitudes began to flow,
More than well knew themselves where to bestow;
Boston then began her roots to spread,
And quickly soon she grew to be the head,
Not only of the Massachusetts Bay,
But all trade and commerce fell in her way.
And truly it was admirable to know,
How greatly all things here began to grow.
New plantations were in each place begun,
And with inhabitants were filled soon.
All sorts of grain which our own land doth yield,
Was hither brought and sown in every field:
As wheat and rye, barley, oats, beans and pease,
Here all thrive, and they profit from them raise.
All sorts of roots and herbs in gardens grow,
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, or what you'll sow.
Onions, melons, cucumbers, radishes,
Skirets, beets, coleworts, and fair cabbages.
Here grow fine flowers many, and 'mongst those,
The fair white lily and sweet fragrant rose.
Many good wholesome berries here you'll find,
Fit for man's use, almost of every kind,
Pears, apples, cherries, plumbs, quinces, and peach,
Are now no dainties; you may have of each.
Nuts and grapes of several sorts are here,
If you will take the pains them to seek for.





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