Tusket Poem


MARCH 30, 1938


How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood
As often in memory I view o'er and o'er
The brooks, fields, and meadows and woodland so fragrant,
And that old Tusket river that flowed by the door.
How lazily it lapped o'er the rocks on the beaches
Of all the small islands that dotted the shore
Where often we played while the soft breeze of summer
Made happy the days which we fain would live o'er.

I often recall how as children we'd gather
And watch the small boats drift along with the tide
Then gather quaint shells - to childhood so precious
We found on the beach, that old river beside.
I remember the ships in those days lumber-laden,
Their white sails set proudly to catch the light breeze;
We'd follow their course, till in distance they'd vanish
By a bend in the river, or hidden by trees.

In fancy I see the ship-yard by that river
Its activity then like a bee-hive did hum,
And many a ship, on its ways there was cradled
None knowing the changes in the years yet to come.
I remember the mill by that same dear old river
Its lone stack long standing all else in decay,
Like a ghost of the past, or a sentinel stationed
As guard over ruins of hopes passed away.

The ship-yard and mill are now but a memory
But life and the river flow on as of yore;
The years have brought changes, some sweeter, some sadder
And those of our childhood we love more and more.
I've seen many rivers from here to the "Fraser,"
Of "Swanee" and "Shannon" have sung o'er and o'er,
But none of them ever has tugged at my heart-strings
Like that old Tusket river that flowed by the door.

(Note. - Both ship-yard and mill were in Tusket village on the river.)

Yarmouth, N. S.

(The foregoing poem is written as a tribute to Mr. W. L. Hatfield, Editor of
The Register, whose former home was in Tusket, Yarmouth County, on the
Tusket River, while the writer of the poem was born at Plymouth, Yarmouth
County, on the opposite side.)