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

Introductory to America

The Old Thirteen

By Charles Timothy Brooks (1813–1883)

THE CURTAIN rises on a hundred years,—

A pageant of the olden time appears.

Let the historic muse her aid supply,

To note and name each form that passes by.

Here come the old original Thirteen!

Sir Walter ushers in the Virgin Queen;

Catholic Mary follows her, whose land

Smiles on soft Chesapeake from either strand;

Then Georgia, with the sisters Caroline,—

One the palmetto wears, and one the pine;

Next, she who ascertained the rights of men

Not by the sword but by the word of Penn,—

The friendly language hers, of “thee” and “thou”;

Then, she whose mother was a thrifty vrouw,—

Mother herself of princely children now;

And, sitting at her feet, the sisters twain,—

Two smaller links in the Atlantic chain,

They, through those long dark winters, drear and dire,

Watched with our Fabius round the bivouac fire;

Comes the free mountain maid, in white and green;

One guards the Charter Oak with lofty mien;

And lo! in the plain beauty once she wore,

The pilgrim mother from the Bay State shore;

And last, not least, is Little Rhody seen,

With face turned heavenward, steadfast and serene,—

She on her anchor, Hope, leans, and will ever lean.