Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: New London, Conn.

New London

By Frances M. Caulkins (1795–1869)

(From Bride Brook)

WHEN this fair town was Nam-e-aug,

A bleak, rough waste of hill and bog,

In huts of seaweed, thatch, and log,

Our fathers few, but strong and cheery,

Sate down amid these deserts dreary.

’T was all a wild, unchristian wood;

A fearful, boisterous solitude;

A harbor for the wild-fowl’s brood,

Where countless flocks of every pinion

Held o’er the shores a bold dominion.

The sea-hawk hung his cumbrous nest,

Oak-propped, on every highland crest;

Cranes through the seedy marshes prest;

The curlew, by the river lying,

Looked on God’s image, him defying.

The eagle-king soared high and free,

His shadow on the glassy sea

A sudden ripple seemed to be;

The sunlight in his pinions burning

Shrouded him from eyes upturning.

They came; the weary-footed band,

The paths they cleared, the streams they spanned;

The woodland genius grew more bland;

In haste his tangled vines unweaving,

Them and their hopes with joy receiving.


Great hearts were those that hither came,—

A Winthrop of undying fame,

A Brewster of an honored name,—

Great hearts, the growth of three great nations,

Laid deep for us these firm foundations.