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And waves on the outer rocks afoam
Shout to its waters, ‘Welcome home!’
And fair are the sunny isles in view
East of the grisly Head of the Boar,
And Agamenticus lifts its blue
Disk of a cloud the woodlands o'er;
And southerly, when the tide is down,
'Twixt white sea-waves and sand-hills brown,
The beach-birds dance and the gray gulls wheel
Over a floor of burnished steel.
Once, in the old Colonial days,
Two hundred years ago and more,
A boat sailed down through the winding ways
Of Hampton River to that low shore,
Full of a goodly company
Sailing out on the summer sea,
Veering to catch the land-breeze light,
With the Boar to left and the Rocks to right.
In Hampton meadows, where mowers laid
Their scythes to the swaths of salted grass,
‘Ah, well-a-day! our hay must be made!’
A young man sighed, who saw them pass.
Loud laughed his fellows to see him stand
Whetting his scythe with a listless hand,
Hearing a voice in a far-off song,
Watching a white hand beckoning long.
‘Fie on the witch!’ cried a merry girl,
As they rounded the point where Goody Cole
Sat by her door with her wheel atwirl,1
A bent and blear-eyed poor old soul.
1 Goody Cole was brought before the Quarter Sessions in 1680 to answer to the charge of being a witch. The court could not find satisfactory evidence of witchcraft, but so strong was the feeling against her that Major Waldron, the presiding magistrate, ordered her to be imprisoned, with ‘a lock kept on her leg’ at the pleasure of the Court. In such judicial action one can read the fear and vindictive spirit of the community at large.
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