Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Tales of the Chesapeake   By: (1841-1914)

Book cover

First Page:

TALES OF THE CHESAPEAKE

by

GEO. ALFRED TOWNSEND

"GATH."

A fruity smell is in the school house lane; The clover bees are sick with evening heats; A few old houses from the window pane Fling back the flame of sunset, and there beats The throb of oars from basking oyster fleets, And clangorous music of the oyster tongs Plunged down in deep bivalvulous retreats, And sound of seine drawn home with negro songs.

New York: American News Company, 39 and 41 Chambers Street. 1880. Copyright, 1880, Geo. Alfred Townsend.

TO MY FATHER,

REV. STEPHEN TOWNSEND, M.D., PH.D.,

WHOSE ANCESTORS EXPLORED THE CHESAPEAKE BAY IN 1623, AND WERE SETTLED ON THE POCOMOKE RIVER ALMOST TWO HUNDRED YEARS, NEAR HIS BIRTHPLACE;

WITH

THE AFFECTION OF

HIS ONLY SURVIVING SON.

Of the following pieces, two, "Kidnapped," and "Dominion over the Fish," have been published in Chambers's Journal , London. The poem "Herman of Bohemia Manor" is new. All the compositions illustrate the same general locality.

INTRODUCTION.

MOTHERNOOK.

THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND.

One day, worn out with head and pen, And the debate of public men, I said aloud, "Oh! if there were Some place to make me young awhile, I would go there, I would go there, And if it were a many a mile!" Then something cried perhaps my map, That not in vain I oft invoke "Go seek again your mother's lap, The dear old soil that gave you sap, And see the land of Pocomoke!"

A sense of shame that never yet My foot on that old shore was set, Though prodigal in wandering, Arose; and with a tingled cheek, Like some late wild duck on the wing, I started down the Chesapeake. The morning sunlight, silvery calm, From basking shores of woodland broke, And capes and inlets breathing balm, And lovely islands clothed in palm, Closed round the sound of Pocomoke.

The pungy boats at anchor swing, The long canoes were oystering, And moving barges played the seine Along the beaches of Tangiers; I heard the British drums again As in their predatory years, When Kedge's Straits the Tories swept, And Ross's camp fires hid in smoke. They plundered all the coasts except The camp the Island Parson kept For praying men of Pocomoke.

And when we thread in quaint intrigue Onancock Creek and Pungoteague, The world and wars behind us stop. On God's frontiers we seem to be As at Rehoboth wharf we drop, And see the Kirk of Mackemie: The first he was to teach the creed The rugged Scotch will ne'er revoke; His slaves he made to work and read, Nor powers Episcopal to heed, That held the glebes on Pocomoke.

But quiet nooks like these unman The grim predestinarian, Whose soul expands to mountain views; And Wesley's tenets, like a tide, These level shores with love suffuse, Where'er his patient preachers ride. The landscape quivered with the swells And felt the steamer's paddle stroke, That tossed the hollow gum tree shells, As if some puffing craft of hell's The fisher chased in Pocomoke.

Anon the river spreads to coves, And in the tides grow giant groves. The water shines like ebony, And odors resinous ascend From many an old balsamic tree, Whose roots the terrapin befriend; The great ball cypress, fringed with beard, Presides above the water oak, As doth its shingles, well revered, O'er many a happy home endeared To thousands far from Pocomoke.

And solemn hemlocks drink the dew, Like that old Socrates they slew; The piny forests moan and moan, And in the marshy splutter docks, As if they grazed on sky alone, Rove airily the herds of ox... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books