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Hillsboro People/Salem Hills to Ellis Island

 
 

SALEM HILLS TO ELLIS ISLAND

I


A single sleighbell, tinkling down
The virgin road that skirts the wood,
Makes poignant to the lonely town
Its silence and its solitude.

A single taper's feeble flare
Makes darker by its lonely light
The cold and empty farmsteads square
That blackly loom to left and right;

And she who sews, by that dim flame,
The patient quilt spread on her knees,
Hears from her heirloom quilting-frame
The frolic of forgotten bees.

Yea, all the dying village thrills
With echoes of its cheerful past,
The golden days of Salem Hills;
Its only golden days? Its last?

 

II


From Salem Hills a voiceless cry
Along the darkened valley rolls.
Hear it, great ship, and forward ply
With thy rich freight of venturous souls.

Hear it, O thronging lower deck,
Brave homestead-seekers come from far;
And crowd the rail, and crane the neck;
In Salem Hills your homesteads are!

Where flourish now the brier and thorn,
The barley and the wheat shall spring,
And valleys standing thick with corn
(Praise God, my heart!), shall laugh and sing.