Winnacunnet, Beautiful Place of Pines: A Poem by Lucy Marston
'Beautiful Place of Pines'
(Published by Lucy A. Marston for Benefit of the Red Cross - 1938)
Almost three centuries ago, old Hampton was a forest wild.
On yonder pebbly beach, there strayed the dark and untaught Indian child.
A sea-gull shrieked, an Indian brave put back his arrow in its quiver.
And gazed in wonder at the sight he saw afar down Hampton river.
O, fair was Winnacunnet on that warm October day,
When up 'twixt dune and marsh land, a shallop plowed its way;
On board a band of earnest men who came from o'er the sea.
To find within the wildwood a home from tyrants free.
The wild birds twitter softly a welcome as they land.
And a song of praise arises as they gather on the sand.
Then they marched into the forest where no axe had e'er been laid,
And built their rough log cabins 'neath the pine tree's grateful shade.
The wild grapes hung in clusters, with sweet perfume filled the air,
And with fish and game in plenty, they found a generous fare.
The Indians were friendly and oft lent a helping hand;
The papoose and the white child played in the forest grand.
But soon the winds of winter blew cold about their door,
And the snows fell thick and heavy, --their sufferings were sore;
But they lost not faith nor courage, for those men were brave and true,
They said, "In God we've put our trust, He'll bring us safely through."
But so oft you've heard the story that I will not pause to tell
Of the hard and painful struggles, and the sorrows that befell
Our forefathers, as they labored for their dear ones day by day;
Often heart, and cold, and hunger hard beset them by the way.
A most pathetic story in our history is found,
Of how the children ran away from Winnacunnet town;
The British redcoats swarmed the sea and threatened to invade;
Musket in hand the fathers watched beneath the pine tree's shade.
As off to school the children went the anxious mothers said,
"Be sure to run when e'er you see those British coats of red."
One day just as the close of school there came a warning shout, --
"The Redcoats are coming!" and the children turned about.
And quickly ran with one accord as fast as they could run,
Past wigwam row; on, on they went nor paused till set of sun.
Through woodlands decked with fern and flower these foolish children fled,
O'er meadows damp, through leafy bower with weary feet they sped.
The frightened parents missed them and started on their track,
They followed many a weary mile and safely brought them back.
And while they soothed and cheered, with kind fingers bound their hurts,
They assured them that their redcoats were but fishers in red shirts.
By the fireside in the gloaming,
When the day's tasks all are done,
Oft we've listened to the stories,
Handed down from sire to son.
Oh may Hampton's sons and daughters,
Ne'er forget the debt they owe,
To those brave, strong men who settled,
In the wilds so long ago.
"God of our fathers, known of old --
Lord of our far-flung battle line --
Beneath Whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine --
Lord God of Hosts, he with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget."