William Bradford

Of boston in new england

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Oh Boston, though thou now art grown
To be a great and wealthy town,
Yet I have seen thee a void place,
Shrubs and bushes covering thy face.
No houses then in thee there were,
Nor such as gold and silk did wear.
No drunkenness was then in thee,
Nor such excess as now we see.
We then drunk freely of thy spring,
Without paying of anything.
We lodged freely, where we would.
All things were free, and nothing sold.
And they that did thee first begin
Had hearts as free, and as willing,
Their poor friends for to entertain,
And never looked at sordid gain.
Some thou hast had, whom I did know,
Who spent themselves to make thee grow.
Thy foundations they did lay,
Which do remain unto this day.
When thou wast weak, they did thee nurse;
Or else with thee it had been worse.
They left thee not, but did defend
And succor thee, unto their end.
Thou now art grown in wealth and store.
Do not forget that thou wast poor,
And lift not up thyself in pride.
From truth and justice turn not aside.
Remember thou a Cotton had,
Who made the hearts of many glad.
What he thee taught bear thou in mind;
It's hard another such to find.
A Winthrop once in thee was known,
Who unto thee was as a crown.
Such ornaments are very rare,
Yet thou enjoyed this blessed pair.
But these are gone; their work is done.
Their day is past; set is their sun.
Yet faithful Wilson still remains,
And learned Norton doth take pains.
Live thee in peace; I could say more.
Oppress not the weak and poor.
The trade is all in your own hand;
Take heed thee do not wrong the land.
Lest He that hath lift you on high,
When as the poor to him to cry,
Do throw you down from your high state,
And make you low, and desolate.

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William Bradford