Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Appendix II. Poems Printed in the ‘Life of Whittier’
Album Verses
 
          [Written in the album of May Pillsbury of West Newbury, in the fall of 1838, when Whittier was at home on a visit from Philadelphia, where he was engaged in editorial work.]

PARDON a stranger hand that gives
Its impress to these gilded leaves.
As one who graves in idle mood
An idler’s name on rock or wood,
So in a careless hour I claim        5
A page to leave my humble name.
Accept it; and when o’er my head
A Pennyslvanian sky is spread,
And but in dreams my eye looks back
On broad and lovely Merrimac,        10
And on my ear no longer breaks
The murmuring music which it makes,
When but in dreams I look again
On Salisbury beach—Grasshopper plain—
Or Powow stream—or Amesbury mills,        15
Or old Crane neck, or Pipestave hills,
Think of me then as one who keeps,
Where Delaware’s broad current sweeps,
And down its rugged limestone-bed
The Schuylkill’s arrowy flight is sped,        20
Deep in his heart the scenes which grace
And glorify his “native place;”
Loves every spot to childhood dear,
And leaves his heart “untravelled” here;
Longs, midst the Dutchman’s kraut and greens,        25
For pumpkin-pie and pork and beans,
And sighs to think when, sweetly near,
The soft piano greets his ear,
That the fair hands which, small and white,
Glance on its ivory polished light,        30
Have ne’er an Indian pudding made,
Nor fashioned rye and Indian bread.
And oh! where’er his footsteps turn,
Whatever stars above him burn,
Though dwelling where a Yankee’s name        35
Is coupled with reproach or shame,
Still true to his New England birth,
Still faithful to his home and hearth,
Even ’midst the scornful stranger band
His boast shall be of YANKEE LAND.        40
 
 
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