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THE BALLAD OF JONATHANAN
© 1996 Ernest J. Richards, Jr.


Hearken, Friend, and hear my tale
Of hope and sun and wind and sail.
A tale of doubts and frights galore,
As we were cast on Spanish Shore.
We ventured forth 'neath skies of gray,
It was a dickens of a day!

From Kingston's bay our barque did sail
With Friends and kin, our spirits frail.
To Penn's great town, our ship was aimed,
On Spanish Shore her hulk was claimed.
The crew, ourselves, were wont to pray,
It was a dickens of a day!

The winds did howl with frightful roar,
The giant waves our canvas tore.
Friends, and kin, and crew as well,
Pray'd God to save our souls from hell.
Our sturdy timbers soon gave way,
It was a dickens of a day!

When sun shone through the dark and damp,
We waded shoreward, made a camp.
Some red men came from nearby woods,
And to the beach they brought our goods.
Who looked more strange, Friend, we or they?
It was a dickens of a day!

When white met red, no blood was spilled.
Though at crossed tongues, no one was killed.
They called us names which sounded dire,
Yet fed us all and shared their fire.
We bluffed each other, guile held sway.
It was a dickens of a day!

The natives marched us to their village,
Our goods the curious did pillage.
Their chief, Casseekey, was not as wild,
His wife, Praise God, suckled our child.
The others shouted names our way,
It was a dickens of a day!

Some weeks passed by, and fears grew strong
That all of us would die ere long.
Though faith in Providence was tested,
Our trust in God was well invested.
When red men sent us north, away!
It was a dickens of a day!

Eighty leagues, our northward trek,
With scant we salvaged from our wreck.
Arrive we did, though gaunt and lean,
By hand of God, St. Augustine!
Five Souls were lost along the way,
It was a dickens of a day!

Fed and clothed with Spanish grace,
Our dearths soon vanished, not a trace.
To Charles Town Fort the Spanish led
One score castaways without dread.
Thence to Philadelph-i-a.
It was a dickens of a day!

Hearken, Friend, and spread my tale
Of life and death and tattered sail.
This Journal's message, loud and clear
Is destined for the world to hear.
Through Faith in God and Man's good way,
We're here to celebrate this day!

Created especially for the Dickinson Tercentennial
by EN RADA Publications


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