Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
New England: Ipswich, Mass.
Ipswich Town
James Appleton Morgan (1845–1928)
 
I LOVE to think of old Ipswich town,
  Old Ipswich town in the East countree,
Whence, on the tide, you can float down
  Through the long salt grass to the wailing sea,
Where the Mayflower drifted off the bar,        5
  Sea-worn and weary, long years ago,
And dared not enter, but sailed away
Till she landed her boats in Plymouth Bay.
 
I love to think of old Ipswich town;
  Where Whitfield preached in the church on the hill,        10
Driving out the devil till he leaped down
  From the steeple’s top, where they show you still,
Imbedded deep in the solid rock,
  The indelible print of his cloven hoof,
And tell you the devil has never shown        15
Face or hoof since that day in the honest town.
 
I love to think of old Ipswich town;
  Where they shut up the witches until the day
When they should be roasted so thoroughly brown,
  In Salem village, twelve miles away;        20
They ’ve moved it off for a stable now;
  But there are the holes where the stout jail stood,
And at night, they say, that over the holes
You can see the ghost of Goody Coles.
 
I love to think of old Ipswich town;        25
  That house to your right, a rod or more,
Where the stern old elm-trees seem to frown
  If you peer too hard through the open door,
Sheltered the regicide judges three
  When the royal sheriffs were after them,        30
And a queer old villager once I met,
Who says in the cellar they ’re living yet.
 
I love to think of old Ipswich town;
  Harry Main—you have heard the tale—lived there:
He blasphemed God, so they put him down        35
  With an iron shovel, at Ipswich Bar;
They chained him there for a thousand years,
  As the sea rolls up to shovel it back;
So, when the sea cries, the good wives say
“Harry Main growls at his work to-day.”        40
 
I love to think of old Ipswich town;
  There ’s a graveyard up on the old High Street,
Where ten generations are looking down
  On the one that is toiling at their feet:
Where the stones stand shoulder to shoulder, like troops        45
  Drawn up to receive a cavalry charge,
And graves have been dug in graves, till the sod
Is the mould of good men gone to God.
 
I love to think of old Ipswich town,
  Old Ipswich town in the East countree,        50
Whence, on the tide, you can float down
  Through the long salt grass to the wailing sea,
And lie all day on the glassy beach,
  And learn the lesson the green waves teach,
Till at sunset, from surf and seaweed brown,        55
You are pulling back to Ipswich town.
 
 
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