Pepperell Historical Society was given a copy which our vice president, John Matley, kindly transcribed. The original printing was not copyrighted that I have found and printed in pamphlet form by H.S. Turner, Printer, Ayer, Mass. The poem was probably published at the time in the local newspaper. I found the poem to be an amazingly accurate assessment of the town's personality, even though it was written over one hundred years ago. -- Susan J Smith, Pepperell Historical Society
Lorenzo Prentice Blood, a well-known educator and the historian of Pepperell, was born in this town July 25, 1824, son of Noah Blood and his wife, Hannah Prentice (Chase) Blood. (Ancestry.com)
By Lorenzo Prentice Blood
Kind friends and kindred, neighbors, all,
Who've answered to our Home-Week call,
We welcome you with cordial cheer
To this our love feast of the year.
Of all the Jewetts, Bloods and Shattucks,
Who took up here their Yankee paddocks,
But few are left who bear the names
By which their fathers held their claims.
Fortune has not, the fickle dame,
Given us many men of fame.
In the ministerial profession
We have not made so great progression
Along the course as was expected
At the time the goal was first erected.
In medicine, as well as law,
We have few names of great eclat;
In music, literature, and art,
We've mostly played a minor part.
Even Prescott, the historian,
Cannot be claimed a Pepperell man;
By strictest rule of orthodoxy
The claim is good only by proxy.
Of statesman, we have never furnished
A governor, nor even burnished
"The knocker of his big front door."
Nor ever had on Congress' floor,
A single member, we have sent
Our principles to represent.
That we've never had an average poet,
You may have guessed, perhaps you'll know it.
Yet we're not wholly second-raters,
We've had some astute legislators,
And also some smart politicians,
Who'd gladly served in high positions,
But were content in humbler way,
To "roll the logs" for lesser pay.
And we have one who surely can
Beat th' record as a selectman.
But not alone does wealth or fame
Insure the greatness of a name.
The honest man of moderate means,
Who always recognizes beans,
Has good horse-sense, knows how to use it,
Can hold a trust, and not abuse it,
Who always greets you with a smile,
In which there is no latent guile,
Is shrewd and thrifty without greed,
Such are the men that we most need.
To bring true credit and renown
Unto the people of a town.
A name that's built on sham and shoddy
Is of little worth to any body.
With holidays we seem supplied,
What can we hanker for beside.
Thanksgiving in its early days
Was meant for worship, prayer and praise,
To thank the Lord for all His mercies,
And pray exemption from reverses.
Tho' now it mainly seems to be
Reunion 'round the family tree.
Christmas in its original
Was once a pagan festival,
Which Christians in their pious way
Transformed into a holy-day
In mem'ry of their risen Lord,
To whom all praise they did accord.
But now by course of slow decay
It's changed into a holiday,
And celebrated in some sections
With punch, egg-nog, and rich confections,
Our New Years dawn with happy wishes
For life and love, for luck and riches,
With many a gift and friendship token,
And new resolves for old ones broken.
Of February days we must claim one
For due respect to Washington,
Whose name's enrolled on history's pages
As a great hero of the ages.
On Memorial Day we honor those,
Who saved our country from her foes.
We tell again the thrilling story
Of all their sufferings and their glory,
And place upon each soldier's grave
Our floral offering to the brave.
June 17th was long the day
When Pepperell made her grand display,
And serves to keep in memory still
The hero of Old Bunker Hill;
For Prescott is our greatest name
That's writ upon the scroll of fame.
Our July 4th with all its noise
Is ushered in by obstreperous boys,
Who fain in red the town would paint
With racket that would vex a saint;
Who ring the bells, who tin horns toot,
And all day long fire crackers shoot,
And close at night, the noisy vandals,
With rockets and with Roman candles;
Which serves to give us their idée
Of freedom, law, and liberty.
Now this does not complete the list,
For several minor ones I've missed.
There's Patriots' and Arbor day
And Labor day, which meant for play,
Seems by a queer metonomy
To be from labor wholly free.
There's the Cattle Show, which yearly strives
To show the Farmers' Club survives,
And which for cattle, crops and stuff
Proposes premiums' most enough
To compensate the trustful swain
For the getting of them home again.
Tho' latterly it's had recourse
To th' crowd-compelling trotting horse,
And thus has kept within the traces
The people that are fond of races.
To be continued next week.