New England's Annoyances

New England's annoyances you that would know them,
Pray ponder these verses which briefly do show them.
The place where we live is a wilderness wood,
Where grass is much wanting that's fruitful and good.

From the end of November till three months are gone,
The ground is all frozen as hard as a stone.
Our mountains and hills and our valleys below
Being commonly covered with ice and with snow.

And when the northwest wind with violence blows,
Then every man pulls his cap over his nose:
But if any's so hardy and will it withstand,
He forfeits a finger, a foot, or a hand.

But when the spring opens, we then take the hoe
And make the ground ready to plant and to sow;
Our corn being planted and seed being sown,
The worms destroy much before it is grown.

And while it is growing some spoil there is made
By birds and by squirrels that pluck up the blade.
And when it is come to full corn in the ear,
It is often destroyed by racoon and by deer.

And now our apparel begins to grow thin,
And wool is much wanted to card and to spin.
If we get a garment to cover without,
Our other ingarments are clout upon clout.

Our clothes we brought with us are apt to be torn,
They need to be clouted before they are worn.
But clouting our garments doth injure us nothing:
Clouts double are warmer than single whole clothing.

If fresh meat be wanting to fill up our dish,
We have carrots and pumpkins and turnips and fish;
And if there's a mind for a delicate dish,
We haste to the clam banks and take what we wish.

Stead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies,
Our turnips and parsnips are common supplies.
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it was not for pumpkins, we should be undone.

[If barley be wanting to make into malt,
We must be contented and think it no fault;
For we can make liquor to sweeten our lips
Of pumpkins and parsnips and walnut tree chips.]

And of our green cornstalks we make our best beer,
We put it in barrels to drink all the year.
Yet I am as healthy, I verily think,
Who make the spring water my commonest drink.

Our money's soon counted, for we have just none,
All that we brought with us is wasted and gone.
We buy and sell nothing but upon exchange,
Which makes all our dealings uncertain and strange.

And we have a cov'nant one with another
Which makes a division 'twixt brother and brother:
For some are rejected and others made saints,
Of those that are equal in virtues and wants.

For such like annoyances we've many mad fellows
Find fault with our apples before they are mellow,
And they are for England, they will not stay here,
But meet with a lion in shunning a bear.

Now while such are going, let others be coming,
Whilst liquor is boiling, it must have a scumming.
And I will not blame them, for birds of a feather
Are choosing their fellows by flocking together.

But you whom the Lord intends hither to bring
Forsake not the honey for fear of a sting:
But bring both a quiet and contented mind,
And all needful blessings you surely shall find.
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