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PAGE 3

The Pennsylvania Pilgrim
by [?]

J. G. W.

AMESBURY, 5th mo., 1872.

HAIL to posterity!
Hail, future men of Germanopolis!
Let the young generations yet to be
Look kindly upon this.
Think how your fathers left their native land,–
Dear German-land! O sacred hearths and homes!–

And, where the wild beast roams,
In patience planned
New forest-homes beyond the mighty sea,
There undisturbed and free
To live as brothers of one family.
What pains and cares befell,
What trials and what fears,
Remember, and wherein we have done well
Follow our footsteps, men of coming years!
Where we have failed to do
Aright, or wisely live,
Be warned by us, the better way pursue,
And, knowing we were human, even as you,
Pity us and forgive!
Farewell, Posterity!
Farewell, dear Germany
Forevermore farewell!

[From the Latin of Francis DANIEL PASTORIUS in
the Germantown Records. 1688.]

PRELUDE.
I SING the Pilgrim of a softer clime
And milder speech than those brave men’s who brought
To the ice and iron of our winter time
A will as firm, a creed as stern, and wrought
With one mailed hand, and with the other fought.
Simply, as fits my theme, in homely rhyme
I sing the blue-eyed German Spener taught,
Through whose veiled, mystic faith the Inward Light,
Steady and still, an easy brightness, shone,
Transfiguring all things in its radiance white.
The garland which his meekness never sought
I bring him; over fields of harvest sown
With seeds of blessing, now to ripeness grown,
I bid the sower pass before the reapers’ sight.

. . . . . . . . . .

Never in tenderer quiet lapsed the day
From Pennsylvania’s vales of spring away,
Where, forest-walled, the scattered hamlets lay

Along the wedded rivers. One long bar
Of purple cloud, on which the evening star
Shone like a jewel on a scimitar,

Held the sky’s golden gateway. Through the deep
Hush of the woods a murmur seemed to creep,
The Schuylkill whispering in a voice of sleep.

All else was still. The oxen from their ploughs
Rested at last, and from their long day’s browse
Came the dun files of Krisheim’s home-bound cows.

And the young city, round whose virgin zone
The rivers like two mighty arms were thrown,
Marked by the smoke of evening fires alone,

Lay in the distance, lovely even then
With its fair women and its stately men
Gracing the forest court of William Penn,

Urban yet sylvan; in its rough-hewn frames
Of oak and pine the dryads held their claims,
And lent its streets their pleasant woodland names.

Anna Pastorius down the leafy lane
Looked city-ward, then stooped to prune again
Her vines and simples, with a sigh of pain.

For fast the streaks of ruddy sunset paled
In the oak clearing, and, as daylight failed,
Slow, overhead, the dusky night-birds sailed.

Again she looked: between green walls of shade,
With low-bent head as if with sorrow weighed,
Daniel Pastorius slowly came and said,

“God’s peace be with thee, Anna!” Then he stood
Silent before her, wrestling with the mood
Of one who sees the evil and not good.

“What is it, my Pastorius?” As she spoke,
A slow, faint smile across his features broke,
Sadder than tears. “Dear heart,” he said, “our folk

“Are even as others. Yea, our goodliest Friends
Are frail; our elders have their selfish ends,
And few dare trust the Lord to make amends

“For duty’s loss. So even our feeble word
For the dumb slaves the startled meeting heard
As if a stone its quiet waters stirred;

“And, as the clerk ceased reading, there began
A ripple of dissent which downward ran
In widening circles, as from man to man.