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BOSTON, 1631

The curse of Cain was on the earth;
The leaden heavens frowned;
The Winter closed with cruel dearth
And gripped the fruitless ground.


Behind us rose the somber wood,
Before us stretched the foam--
A thousand leagues of briny flood
That sundered us from Home.


The meager mussel was our meat;
We robbed the squirrel's hoard;
Our barren glebe beneath our feet,
We cried upon the Lord.


"Arouse your souls against despair,"
The godly Winthrop said,
"And choose a day of fast and prayer;
For surely, He who led


"Our wanderings across the wave
Shall hear us when we plead,
And stretch a mighty arm to save
His people in their need."


Behold! when all is bleak and drear
And want assails the land,
How God delighteth to appear
To work with wondrous hand!


For, even as we made to deal
To one that hungered sore
The utmost handful of our meal,
A shout arose from shore.


An hundred watching eyes descried
Through Winter's misty pall
The good ship Lion breast the tide
With provender for all.


Then joined the voice of first and least
A hymn of thanks to raise;
Our day of Fasting changed to Feast
And Prayer gave way to Praise.


So, once in every year we throng,
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart.