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Poem by Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham


Boston in Lincolnshire


IT is not for what you are or do,
  Or for any treasures rare,
That I turn my steps and heart to you,
  But for the name you bear.

Ancestral name! that must cross the sea
  Its farthest fame to know,
And to other soil transplanted be,
  That its proudest branch might grow.

It is not that your minster-pile
  Looks proudly toward the deep,
The loftiest tower of Britains isle
  In valley or on steep,

But that beneath that lordly tower
  A simple chapel stands,
Which binds with an atoning power
  Two great and kindred lands.

In days long gone it caught the sound
  Of Cottons earnest tongue;
Now freshly is his memory found
  His wonted haunts among.

Prelatic England drove him forth
  Beyond the Western main;
Free-thoughted England owns his worth,
  And bids him back again.

Back in the name the chapel wears,
  Proscribed and then forgot.
That tablets face more than repairs
  The honors of the spot.

For here from afar the inscription came
  By our statesman-scholar sent,
Reading, Lest longer such a name
  Should stay in banishment.

The brazen plate, so simply grand,
  Is framed in Norman stone;
The characters from English land,
  The writer from our own.

Stand of forgotten feuds a sign,
  And the worlds brighter age!
Read on, long hence, thy filial line,
  Thou quaintly graven page.

Say, that henceforth the souls full thought
  Need not in silence die;
Nor one true man, all conscience-fraught,
  Must suffer or must fly.

Say, that two sovereign powers unite,
  Each on her ocean shore,
To keep Faith, Friendship, Freedom bright,
  From this time evermore.

Hail and farewell, St. Butolphs fane,
  Seen in my thoughts so long!
They failed to span your broad domain,
  And did your grandeur wrong.

Hail and farewell, St. Butolphs town!
  How dear that parent name!
And no ill-favored brow I crown	
  With that auspicious claim.



Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham

Poem Theme: Cities of England

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