Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COMFORTERS, by ABBIE FARWELL BROWN



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First Line: Raw april came. The snow was melting fast
Last Line: In the old english fashion.
Subject(s): Pilgrimages & Pilgrims


RAW April came. The snow was melting fast
From the bleak Plymouth hills. The Mayflower,
Who had been fretting at her anchor-chains
Through the unfriendly weeks of rain and snow,
Flew like a homing pigeon out to sea,
With treacherous captain and a sulky crew.
But not one of the Faithful was returning.
Iron of purpose, worn but undismayed
By the fell winter, on a little hill
That bedded half the flock in a long sleep,
Pale Pilgrims watched the shining sails grow dim,
With straining vision. So, the final link
With home was severed now! The happy ship
Was homeward bound to the beloved land,
Where soon the may would blossom in the hedges
Of Kent and Suffolk; while in Lincolnshire
The friendly robin sang by flooding tides.
"Never again to see the green of England
Or hear that song!" they murmured. "Never again!
For us sad exiles on a barren shore,
Sorrow and toil till death, uncomforted.
Yet the Lord's will be done!"
Running there came
A little maid with treasure-trove in hand,
A flushed and furry blossom. "Look!" she cried,
"The first pink posy peeping through the snow
Upon a sunny hillside in the wood!
Is it not like the precious English may,
But sweeter still?" "Behold, the mayflower!"
The Pilgrims whispered. "God has sent to us
A messenger of homeland and the spring!"
The wistful shadow faded from their eyes,
Their set lips softened.
Came a little lad,
Leaping and laughing. "I have heard a song!
A redbreast bubbling in the willow-tree
Caroled 'Cheer up! Cheer up!' See where he flies
With his bright feathers!" Eagerly they peered,
Elder and Captain, man and weary wife,
Orphans with little faces pinched and pale.
Forgetting now the vanished ship, they cried --
"The robin and the mayflower are here!
Now in New England shall we be at home,
God wills it so." Thereon they shyly smiled,
Straightened bent shoulders, and with lifted hearts
Slowly departed; thinking more than speaking
In the old English fashion.





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