The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals

Chincoteague. [Scribners monthly, an illustrated magazine for the people. / Volume 13, Issue 6, April 1877]

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VOL. XIII. APRIL, 1877. No. 6.



 OFF the north-eastern shore of Virginia,
and about five miles from the main-land,
lies a small island known as Chincoteague
an island possessed of peculiarities shared
by no other portion of the eastern United
States; for here roams, in an entirely un-
tamed state, a breed of horses, or rather
ponies, as wild as the mustangs of Texas or
the Pampas.
 How these ponies first came upon the
island is not known except through vague
tradition, for when the first ~ettlers came
there, early in the eighteenth century, they
found the animals already roaming wild
about its piney meadows. The tradition
received from the Indians of the main-land
was that a vessel loaded with horses, sailing
to one of the Elizabethan settlements of
Virginia, was wrecked upon the southern
point of the island, where the horses escaped,
while the whites were rescued by the then
friendly Indians and carried to the main-
land, whence they found their way to some
of the early settlements. The horses, left
to themselves upon their new territory, be-
came entirely wild, and, probably through
hardships endured, degenerated into a pe-
culiar breed of ponies.
 In 1670 the island was first prospected;
it was subsequently granted by King
James II. to a person by whom it was
sold in minor sections to various others.
At present it is greatly subdivided, though
one land-owner, Kendall Jester by name,
holds over six hundred acres of marsh and
pine land, and there are other holdings
scarcely less in extent. Among the earliest
settlers were the Thurstones, Taylors, and
[copyfight, Scribner & co., 1877.]

View page 738


Muffins; the head of the last-named family
was a well-known Quaker, who, upon the in-
troduction of slavery to the island, removed
thence to the town of Camden, in the upper
part of the province of Maryland, near
 It was long before Chincoteague was
fairly settled, and even as late as 1838 there
were but twenty-six houses there; now, how-
ever, many strangers, tempted by the excep-
tionally good fishing and oyster-dredging of
the place, are pouring in from the main-land
to settle there. To mere visitors the ponies
are still a great, if not the main, attraction,
and during the periods of penning
driving them into corralnumerous guests
arrive daily from the coast.
 When one puts foot aboard the puffing,
wheezing little steamboat Alice, it is as
though the narrow channel, across which he
is ferried in about an hour, separates him
from modern civilization, its rattling, dusty
cars, its hurly-burly of business, its clatter
and smoke of mills and factories, and lands
him upon an enchanted island, cut loose
from modern progress and left drifting some
seventy-five years backward in the ocean of
time. No smoke of manufactories pollutes
the air of Chincoteague; no hissing steam-
escape is heard except that of the Alice;
no troublesome thought of politics, no relig-
ious dissension, no jealousy of other places,
disturbs the minds of the Chincoteaguers,
engrossed with whisky, their ponies and
 Chincoteague is land-locked. Assateague
Beacha narrow strip of land, composed
of pine woods, salt marshes and sand flats
lies between it and the ocean, sepa-
rated from it by a channel about half a
mile in width. Midway upon this beach
stands Assateague light-housea first-class
light, and one of the finest on the coast.
Between this beach or island upon the one
side and the main-land on the other, in a
calm, sleepy bay, lies lazy Chincoteague.
There is but little agriculture; the inhabit-
ants depend upon the sale of ponies and
upon fishing for the necessaries of life, and
mere necessaries suffice them. A little pork
and bread, rank tobacco and whisky, in the
proportion of Falstaffs sack, and the acme
of the Chincoteaguers happiness is attained.
 Thick pine woods cover the island, in
virgin growth, here and there opening into a
glade of marshy flat, stretching off for a mile
or more, called the meadows, where one
occasionally catches a glimpse of a herd of
ponies, peacefully browsing at a distance.
 Tramping through the island, which is
barely a mile in width, one emerges sud-
denly from the pine woods upon the western
shore, where broad extended salt marshes,
rank in growth, lie weltering in the hot sun-
light the whole length of the island. A fence
protects this marsh from the encroa,chment~
of the ponies, which are turned out here in
the winter, and find a plentiful supply of fod-
der in the dead sedge underneath the snow.
 There are two distinct classes of inhabit-
ants upon Chincoteague: the pony-owners
lords of the landand the fishermen. Your
pony-owner is a tough, bulbous, rough fel-
fellow, with a sponge-like capacity for ab-
sorbing liquor; bad or good, whisky, gin, or
brandy, so that it have the titillating alco-
holic twang, it is much the same to him.
Coarse, heavy army shoes, a tattered felt
hat, or a broad-brimmed straw that looks as
if it had never been new; rough homespun or
linen trowsers, innocent of soap and water,
and patched with as many colors as Josephs
coat; a blue or checked shirt, open at the
throat, and disclosing a hairy chest,these
complete his costume. Your fisherman, now,
though his costume is nearly similar, with the
exception of shoes (which he does not wear),
is in appearance quite different.. A lank
body, shoulders round as the bowl of a spoon,
far up which clamber his tightly strapped
trowsers; a thin crane-like neck, poking out
at right angles from somewhere immediately
between the shoulder-blades; and, finally, a
leathery, expressionless, peaked face, and
wiry hair and beard complete his present-
ment. Hospitable in the extreme are these
rough people. Any one visiting them at
the time of their noonday meal will find
some ingenuity necessary to parry their
pressing solicitations to share those nodules
of fat pork fried and floating in a dead sea
of black molasses, fried potatoes, and chunks
of breadthe last to he dipped in the mo-
lasses, and eaten with the pork. If sickness
is pleaded in excuse, equal difficulty will be
found in avoiding the administration of a
dose of villainous whisky.
 In visiting their houses, you pick your
way with some trouble through a flock of
geese, over ,a pig, a dog, and probably a
nearly naked baby rollii~g over the floor, and
find yourself at last safely ensconced in a
rickety chair. The good-woman of the
house, who is smoking a very dirty pipe
with a short stem, is profuse in the offices
of hospitality,spanking the rolling baby
with one hand and handing a tin cup
of water with the other. She may then, if

View page 739


you are a good listener and quiet enough,
recount in much detail the ins and outs
of her last attack of fever-n-ager, or how
our Mariar married Jim Strand; in the
meantime you can be making your own
observations of an interior well calculated to
repay the trouble. A rusty stove, a broken
pitcher, a griddle, a skillet, two tin cups, a
coffee-pot, and a dirty bucket, the smaller
properties deposited in a rickety wash-tub in
one corner of the room, which is mounted
upon a crippled chair with a broken back;
walls highLy ornamented with cheap prints,
labeled respectively Ellen or Maggie,
circus bills and advertisements of patent
soap; and, to crown all, a dozen or more
bottles with little bits of red flannel in
them hung here and there, enlivening the
monotony like Turners daub of red in his
gray sea picture. Then, lastly, the bed!
We of the North have no conception of
such bedsrising, a voluminous mountain of
feathers, five feet in height, and bedecked
with a gorgeous patch-work quilt, the
valance slats a~ the top of the narrow
spindle posts hung here and there with
parti-colored worsted bobs. Let the family
be ever so poor, the bed is the glory, the soul
of their cottage. It is the pride of the good-
womans heart, and in it she will swelter
and suffocate in the hottest day of summer.
Visiting, one day, a house where the woman
was sick with bilious fever (quite a common
complaint in Chincoteague), we saw nothing
of her upon first entering, but a smell of
tobacco-smoke stung our nostrils like vapor
of oil of vitriol. Looking toward the bed,
we saw a thin column of smoke ascending,
and, approaching, saw the patient peacefully
reposing and smoking in the midst of a
feathery Yosemite.
 Quaint and unique are the characters one
meets. Kendal Jester, more popularly known
as Uncle Ken, the beau-ideal of a Chin-
coteague pony-penner: one need have no
fear of failing to make his acquaintance. An
old fellow approaches, his face good-humored
and redolent of innumerable potations of the
favorite beverage. His daily life is com-
prised in three stages of existence: morning,
when he is sober; noon, when if his thoughts
are steady, his tongue is thick; night, when
his thoughts are wool-gathering, and his
stumbling tongue in vain tries to overtake
them,like a man pursuing one of his own
ponies in the dark. He approaches with,
My names Kenneljester (pronounced all
in one word), s no harm in me.
 We assure him we know that.
 I drink a little whisky now an then.
 We know that too.
 Doctor says gots drink quart er whisky
daykeep away bilious. Drink quart an
pintnever have bilious.
 To do Uncle Ken justice, he implicitly
follows the advice of his physician.
Should you imagine that when Uncle
Ken is drunk he no longer has his wits
about him, you will be vastly mistaken. A
man who came over from the main-land to
buy ponies from him thought that by mak-

ing him drunk he could skin him out of
a bargain, but his horror was unbounded
when upon every drink that Uncle Ken took
he increased his original price by ten dol-
 Here, too, is old Dan Tucker, boot-black
and white-washer, with his pock-marked face
and rich guttural ki-he! of a laugh. The
artist wanted to make a sketch of this worthy,
and ten cents were offered as an inducement
for him to stand.
 See yeh, mars! Guess Jse ugly nough
out puttin on me on paper.
 But we only want you as aahme-
mento,a remembrance of our trip to Chin-
 Ke-he! Cant fool me, wawat yo
want me fo ? (A sudden burst of righteous
indignation.) Go long, sketch some o de
gals, deys heap puttier n me. Black yo
boots fo ten cents. An I wants money, too.

View page 740


Money takes a man anywayscept to
 Nothing could induce him to be sketched,
though we suhseouently caught him on the
fly, so to speal in front of the hotel.
 Here, too is old Uncle Benny, ex-slave and
now boot-black, freighted with glorious rem-
iniscences of by-gone plantation days, possum
and coon hunts, pumpkin pie and turkeys.
 Thankye, Mars; sarvent: says the
poor old cripple, as he takes our ten cents,
little knowing that we had made a hasty
sketch of him as he bent over our shoes
putting on the old-fashioned gloss he had
acquired as a boy on the plantation.
 Many more rise to memory: old Aunt
Sally Jones, with her great scoop bonnet,
her blue yarn stockings and her manifold
complaints; old Mrs. Grant, who charms
away cancers; and scores of others, the
enumeration of whom would tire the pa-
tience of the reader.
 Once or twice in a year the ponies of the
island are driven together in a pen or corral
for the purpose of branding the foals or for
sale. Then is there excitement in Chinco-
teague. The natives are all agog. Rose and
Hannah in the hotel kitchen are hard at
work broiling, baking and stewing, preparing
a brisk campaign against the appetites of
the guests that assemble at such periods.
Every now and then, above the frizzling of
mutton-chops and frying of potatoes, arises
a sudden burst of that rich minor hymn
music heard only at its best among the
southern plantation negroesthe wild music
holding something half savage in its ca-
dencesa music one might imagine their
barbaric ancestors sang at some secret sac-
rificial feast.
E~3i4zzzFI !4AUjiZ~
 p ~7z~ii{~
 And so on ad infinitum, now rising full
and lusty, now sinking into the sputtering
of the frying-pan.
 It is a still morning and the broad white
sand beach stretches far up the island.
Here and there lies a pool of salt water
glassily reflecting the clear sky.
 Suddenly some one cries, Here they
come. Down the beach come the ponies,
pattering over the moist sand and dashing
the placid salt pools into a myriad spark-
ling drops. Close behind ride the drivers,
men and boys, gesticulating wildly. For sad-
dles most of them have tanned sheep-skins,
the woolly side out, strapped around the bod-
ies of their ponies. Now a driver, bending
almost level with his ponys back, dashes on
to head off some fractious animal. At length
they approach the pen into which, after some
trouble, they are headed, a tumultuous crowd,
kicking, biting and squealing; then a rush
and they are in! Now comes the tug of war,
the lassoing and haltering; but that is left
till the afternoon. It is well; for there goes
the dinner-bell and we are ready for the
 Merciful Providence! What a crowd of
hungry excursionists are coming from the
main-land in the little steamer to attend the
sales! From upper deck to lower the vessel
is crowded with passengers. Can even Rose
and Hannahs labors suffice to stay the ap-
petites 6f all these hungry wights? But to
look at the face of Mr. English, the hotel-
keeper, re-assures one. He is as calm and
courageous as Napoleon at Austerlitz, or
Nelson at Trafalgar. But we hasten into
the dining-room and are seated by the time
the boat touches the wharf and then the
rush begins. Meal tickets are given, and
Captain Caulk (pronounced Cork) stands at
the door and collects them.
 Sir, cries he to one old man, as the
crowd pushes tumultuously against him,
for the love of Heaven do not tread on
my cork foot!
 Have you a cork foot, sir?

View page 741


 Two of em.
 Tut, tut, tut! Veil, Im sorry! cries
the sympathetic old gentleman from Snow
 At length dinner is completed, and we
start once more for the pony pen. The
momentous time arrives for casting the
lasso; not as they do in the West, but by
hanging it on the end of a long pole, and
then dropping it skillfully over the ponys
head. Uncle Ken takes the pole. Holding
the noose well aloft on the top of it, so as
not to frighten the intended prey upon
which he has fixed hi~ eye, he cautiously
approaches the herd, around which the
crowd has gathered. One of the ponies
takes a sudden fright and a stampede fol-
lows, the spectators scattering right and
left. For a moment the intended captive is
wedged in the midst of the rest of the herd.
Uncle Ken sees his advantage. He rushes
forward, the noose is dropped and settles
around the ponys neck. Immediately six
lusty negroes, with glistening teeth, perspir-
ing faces and glittering eyes, are at the
other end of the rope. The animal makes
a gallant fight. This way and that he
hauls his assailants, rearing and squealing.
Now he makes a sudden side dash and
sends them rolling over and over, plowing
their heads through the shifting sand till
their wool is fairly powdered; still, however,
the boys hold on to the rope. At length
the choking halter commences to tell; the
pony, with rolling eyes and quivering flanks,
wheezes audibly. Now is the moment! In
rush the negroes, clutching the animal by
legs and tail. A wrestle and a heave, a
struggle on the ponys part, a kick that sends
Ned hopping with a barked shin like a crazy
turkey, and Sambo plowing through the
sand and stinkweed in among the spectators,
and then over goes the pony with four or
five lusty shouting negroes sprawling around
him. The work is done: a running noose
is slipped around the ponys nose, his fore-
lock is tied to this by a bit of string, and
soon his tantrums cease as he realizes that
he is indeed a captive.
 Many of the ponies are taken over the
narrow channel that separates Chincoteague
from Assateague, to run wild upon the latter
island, which is largely unclaimed land. We
were so fortunate ns to witness the lively
scene of the swimming of a number of ponies
across this channel or inlet. For a mile we
tramped through salt meadows rank with
sedge, while everywhere from _beneath our
feet scattered innumerable ridiculous little
fiddler-crabs about the size of a silver quar-
ter of a dollar, one claw of enormous mag-
nitude and conspicuousness and the other
preposterously small and insignificant, like
the candidates for President and Vice-
President. At length we arrived at the
edge of the channel, the ponies whickering
as their nostrils fill with the salt air. One
man enters the boat and poles it along,
the channel being very shallow, while an-
other with a rope in his hand drags at a
pony. The pony is stubborn and will not
enter. Kicks and blows rain freely upon
him, the negroes running up to give him a
kick and then rushing frantically away in
mortal terror of the returning kick of the

animal. Presently, with a splash the pony
is in, and then all goes smoothly until his
feet touch the sheltering bank on the other
side, when the plunging recommences, and
one poor wretch who has hold of the halter,
and whose thoughts are wandering, awakes
to find himself where he has not been for a
long timein cold water.
 Among the visitors to the island we made
some pleasant acquaintances, chief among
whom was a learned naturalist from the
Baltimore Academy of Natural Science. The
professor was puzzling the natives greatly by
his strange proceedings, his butterfly nets
and insect-collecting, his seines, dredges,
and deep-sea fishing. During a trip we took
together through brake and thicket,the pro-
fessor wide-awake for specimens~we made,

View page 742


unknown to ourselves, some very unpleasant
acquaintances. As we returned to the
shore and seated ourselves leisurely upon a
stranded boat to smoke and chat, we sud-
denly discovered that we were literally
covered with seed-ticks, minute insects that
burrow beneath the skin, causing a madden-
ing irritation. After vain endeavors to pick
them off; we started in haste for the hotel,
there to scrub, in the secrecy of ones
chamber, in a tub of salt water.
 Everything at Chincoteague seems con-
ducted in unique and unconventional fash-
ion. The only butcher-shop is no shop
at all, but only a spot in th~ woods, where
from two cross-pieces between the trees
cattle are strung up by a block and tackle
and slaughtered, after which their skins
are stretched and dyed. It is a wild,
gloomy place, surrounded by towering pines
of a centurys growth, straight as arrows.
The piney needles have sung to the wind
many a dirge of slaughtered cattle.
 The chief restaurant of Chincoteague
is a piece of sail elegantly draped over a
few upright posts, with a canvas streamer
above it bearing conspicuously the sign,
Stewed Oysters.
 Upon the western side of the island is a
bluff that overlooks the Atlantic toward the
south. It is a barren, sandy spot; here and
there a cactus crawls along half hidden in
the shifting sand, or a clump of coarse grass
shivers and whispers in the breeze. It is
called the Old Grave-yard, and in this lonely,
desolate, silent spot a few rounded stones
and pieces of carved wood without letter or
sign mark the last resting-places. There
is something touching in the sentiment that
impelled those rough, uncultured people to
lay the weary, fever-burnt bones of their com-
panions here in this lonely spot, facing the
ocean they knew so well. Every year, as
from the south the tumultuous waves of the
Atantic roll up the Thore, the bluff washes
away, and the bones of the departed are
brought to a premature resurrection. The
burial-ground now in use is farther up the
island and in the interior; a ridge dotted
with head-stones runs up beneath the shel-
ter of aged pines, with branches crooked
as the cedars of Lebanon and draped with
pall-like festoons of gray Florida moss.
 Upon Uncle Kens estate of six hundred
and sixty-five acres, valued at about four
thousand dollars and called Wild-Cat Marsh.
numerous flocks of domesticated wild geese
are feeding. Every year numbers of those
birds are shot in their passage south. The
natives sink a barrel into the ground close
to the beach in which they hide, and when
the geese swimming far out at sea approach
the beach to gravel they fall an easy
prey to the gunners. Those that are only
winged are saved and subsequently domes-
ticated. One frequently hears the peculiar
resonant hank of the xvild geese, and,
looking in the direction from which it came,
sees the black head and neck of a bird
stretching above the surrounding sedge.
These birds cross freely with the ordinary
domesticated geese, producing a hybrid
which is called a mule goose.
 The fishing and gunning of Chincoteague
are excellent. Innumerable snipe are shot
and sea-trout caught, some of the latter
weighing as much as two pounds. The
bathing would be excellent were it not for
numerous neighboring sharks, some of them
twenty or twenty-five feet long. When one
sees a triangular fin cutting the glassy sur-
face of the water near at hand, much of the
pleasure of bathing is taken away.
 Sharing the interest with the pony
penning is an occasional camp-meeting
in the woods, occurring once in a year
or so. In among the great pines of Chin-
coteague is a noble place for such a gath-
ering, when at night their huge trunks
are illuminated by the light of the pine

View page 743


chunk bonfires, in the gleam of which
the distant trees flash forth for a moment
and then vanish into obscurity again,and
when the solemn meas-
ured chant of the Metho-
dist hymns is heard and
the congregation sways
with the mighty religious
passion that stirs them,
while over all hang lurid
wreathings of resinous
 So far as one sees, geese,
dogs, children and pigs
compose the chief popu-
lation of Chincoteague.
The last thing to be heard
in the evening and at in-
tervals during the night is
the cackling of geese, and
when one wakes in the
morning the geese are
cackling still. Pigs are
almost as much a feature
of the place. The natural born Chinco-
teague porker is a thin, scrawny animal like
his owner, the fisherman. He has a medita-
tive air of curiosity and will watch a stranger
askance, at the same time grunting in a
low tone to himself, as though making his
own observations. Quite a different char-
acter is the porcine nobleman from the
main-land. He is regarded with affectionate
reverence by his owner and grows fat upon
fish and succulent mollusks, taking his siesta
in undisturbed possession of the softest
 It is difficult to say to what extent the
law may be exercised in Chincoteague,
for certainly there is not a place of confine-
ment upon the whole island. We witnessed,
however, what we imagine must have been
a sample of the enforcement of the law.
Two negro boys were fighting, rolling
over the ground and biting at each other,
when up rushed the magistrate of the island,
seized a heavy barrel stave and delivered
such blows right and left upon the heads of
the belligerent blacks as would have stunned
any ordinary white man.
 Many traditions of the island are handed
down from mouth to mouth by the natives,
but few of them being able to read or write.
It is thus we receive a full account of the
great storm and accompanying tidal wave
of the year 1821; telling how the black wrack
gathered all one dreadful day to the south-
east; how all night
the breathless air,
inky black, was full
of strange moan-
ing sounds, and
pine needles quiv-
ered at the fore-
casting hurricane
that lay in wait in
the southward off-
ing; how sea-mews
and gulls hurtled
screaming through
the midnight air;
how in the early
moming the ter-
rified inhabitants,
looking from their
windows facing
the ocean, saw an

View page 744



awful sight: the waters had receded toward
the southward, and where the Atlantic
had rolled the night before, miles of sand-
bars lay bare to the gloomy light, as the
bottom of the Red Sea to the Israelites;
then how a dull roar came near and nearer,
and suddenly a solid mass of wind and rain
and salt spray leaped upon the devoted
island with a scream. Great pines bent for
a moment, and then, groaning and shriek-
ing, were torn from their centuried growth
like wisps of straw and hurled one against
another; houses were cut from their founda-
tions and thrown headlong, and then a
deeper roar swelled the noise of the tempest,
and a monstrous wall of inky waters rushed
with the speed of lightning toward the island.
It struck Assateague, and in a moment half
the land was a waste of seething foam and
tossing pine trunks; the next instant it
struck Chincoteague, and in an unbroken
mass swept across the low south marsh flats,
carrying away men and ponies like insects;
rushing up the island, tearing its way through
the stricken pine woods.
 Many a time by the side of his bright
crackling fire, the aged Chincoteaguer, remov-
ing his pipe from the toothless gums where
he has heen sucking its bitter sweetness, will
tell, as the winter wind roars up from the
ocean, how Hickman, with his little grand-
son clinging to his neck, was swept by the
great wave to Kings Bush marsh, far up on
the main-land six miles away, and caught in
the tough branches of its bushes; or how
Andrews, with wife and family swept away
in his sight, was borne up the island on the
waters, and the next morning was discov-
ered hanging in a pine-tree, by his waistband
twenty feet from the ground.
 Chincotengue, united by no ties of inter-
est to the rest of East Virginia, and depend-
ent for its necessaries, its flour, tobacco,
whisky, and calicoes, upon Philadelphia and
New York, claims to have been during the
war the only loyal portion of the eastern
coast of Virginia. When the ratification of
secession was returned to the votes of the
people, only one man in Chincoteague,

View page 745


Joseph Hill by name, cast his vote for it
and then died. An immense Bell and Everett
flag-pole, one hundred and twenty feet in
height, was erected,chiefly through the
instrumentality of Mr. J. A. M. Whealton,
one of the most prominent of the present
inhabitants of Chincoteague,and to the top
of the pole were raised a great bell and a
United States flag. It was distinctly seen
from the main-land, and a deputation soon
visited Mr. Whealton, demanding its removal.
 Gentlemen, said the gallant little Union-
ist, I erected that flag and bell, and when
they go down, I go down with them; but
so long as I have a dram of powder and an
ounce of lead, and am able to use tbem,
there they stay. And there they staid.
 But when the northern ports were closed to
southern trade, Chincoteague suffered much.
No flour, calico, or tobacco, and, what
was worse, no whisky, could be obtained
from the North. As to the South, it was
more bitter against the so-called renegades
than against the Yankees proper. A boat
was loaded with oysters and sent to Phila-
delphia, only to be immediately captured.
Another was started, and met with a similar
fate. Then Mr. Whealton went himself,
and, after much difficulty, secured the desired
articles and conveyed them in triumph to
Chincoteague. He then employed Dr. Snow
of Snow Hill to plead the cause of the loyal-
ists in Washington, and so well did the
Doctor fulfill his mission, tbat the gun-boat
Louisiana was sent to lie in Chincoteague
Bay for the protection of the inhabitants.
For two or three days the Secessionists,
some two or three hundred in number, stood
upon the main-land, about half a mile from
the Louisiana, upon which they kept up
a running fire, without, however, doing any
damage. Soon General Lockwood was sta-
tidned upon the eastern shore, and then,
with the protecting arm of the Federal Gov-
ernment around her, Chincoteague enjoyed
her hominy-pots and whisky in unbroken

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wNeath tall oerarching trees we rode,

And watched the mists the mountains
Below the singing river flowed,
Above us rang the herd-hells chime;
The distant mountains dimly blue
Leaned soft against the bending skies,
While towering oer the homes we knew,
We saw the spires of Frederick rise.

The flock went bleating to the fold;
The songbird fluttered to her nest,
And purple waves of twilight rolled
Oer all the crimson-flooded west
As fast we rode oer hill and deli,
The river rambling on before;
While night and silence softly fell
Upon the hills of Linganore.

Then, musing as we homeward went,
Oh! friend, I said, how fair would
A life in some low cottage spent
Beside yon softly flowing stream!
My robins there should build and sing,
My roses bloom, my ivies climb,
And every golden moment ring
Some note in joys bewildering chime.

Ah! well, if these things might be so ;
But who shall ask, and who can tell,
How smooth the stream of life may flow,
By mountain crag, or dreamy dell?
Far back among the peaceful years
A maiden roamed these pathways oer,
And trilled her songs for happy ears
Among the hills of Linganore;
rHE evening wind blew sweet and cool
Oer hills and vales of Maryland,
And swept the dimpling stream and pool
Aglow with sunset splendors grand;
While leaves of crimson, gold and brown,
And silvery tufts that float and soar,
Along our path came fluttering down
Among the hills of Linganore.