Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
The “Goed Vrow” and the Dutch Pilgrim Fathers, May 4, 1626 (abridged)
By Edward Hopper
 
THE OLD Dutch Pilgrims were a solid race,
  A mixture of good French and Holland blood;
Honest enough to look in any face,
  Fearless to brave all things to serve their God.
Such lineage may good Knickerbockers trace—        5
  To noble men as earth have ever trod;
And yet how few, with ready pen or tongue,
Have writ their virtues or their praises sung.
 
Rich was the freight of virtues stowed aboard
  The old Goed Vrow along with baser stuff—        10
The things to trade with, to increase their hoard,
  And little Holland’s, should the way prove rough;
They brought no bigot’s thongs, nor tyrant’s sword—
  Of these already they had had enough,
And never thought that others might be found        15
To need such helps to keep their conscience sound.
 
They brought the spirit of Van Tromp, the brave
  Dutch Admiral, whose ships once cast such gloom
On English shores, and made the mad bull rave,
  When at mast-head he nailed the symbol broom        20
To show he swept the seas from wave to wave,
  As careful housewife sweeps a dirty room;
Hence New York masts stand thick like forest trees,
And hence our conquering navy sweeps the seas.
 
I would delight to tell if I had time,        25
  How Santa Claus came with them o’er the deep
To mollify the rigours of our clime,
  To teach good Dutchmen how to eat and sleep,
To toast each other without harm or crime,
  Their wagon-wheels in well-worn ruts to keep,        30
And guide them in the good old ways of yore,
In which our fathers’ wagons went before.
 
And how he instituted New-Year’s calls
  To tie the knot of Friendship once a year,
And mend its breaches, rent by windy squalls,        35
  With sweetened pastry and such dainty gear;
To feed true love, until the palate palls,
  With kruller, olekook, and doughnut cheer,
And make the whole town stagger with the joys
Of jocund youth and jolly older boys.        40
 
“Een dracht maakt macht,”—In Union there is might
  Was our Dutch Pilgrims’ motto. Heart and hand
United in the cause of God and right
  Shall bind the nation with a granite band,
Entwined with purest flowers and wreaths of light;——        45
  Divided we shall fall, united stand!
God bless our fathers’ memories forever
For those strong words that bind our States together!
 
 
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