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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

On the Women Fortifying Boston Neck

By Benjamin Tompson (1642–1714)

[Born in Braintree, Mass., 1642. Our first native Poet. Died at Roxbury, Mass., 1714. From New England’s Crisis. About 1675.]

A GRAND attempt some Amazonian Dames

Contrive whereby to glorify their names,

A ruff for Boston Neck of mud and turfe,

Reaching from side to side, from surf to surf,

Their nimble hands spin up like Christmas pyes,

Their pastry by degrees on high doth rise.

The wheel at home counts in an holiday,

Since while the mistress worketh it may play.

A tribe of female hands, but manly hearts,

Forsake at home their pastry crust and tarts,

To kneed the dirt, the samplers down they hurl,

Their undulating silks they closely furl.

The pick-axe one as a commandress holds,

While t’other at her awk’ness gently scolds.

One puffs and sweats, the other mutters why

Cant you promove your work so fast as I?

Some dig, some delve, and others’ hands do feel

The little wagon’s weight with single wheel.

And least some fainting-fits the weak surprize,

They want no sack nor cakes, they are more wise.

These brave essays draw forth male, stronger hands,

More like to dawbers than to marshal bands;

These do the work, and sturdy bulwarks raise,

But the beginners well deserve the praise.