Heard (Henderson), Josephine D.
|TO CLEMENTS' FERRY.|
ONE lovely summer afternoon when balmy breezes blew,
A charming little buggy, scarce large enough for two,
Dashed down the narrow little street and stopped beside
Where a charming little woman dwelt whom he had met
Out stepped a little body, looking like a happy bride;
He gently stood and placed her in a safe seat at his side:
"I'm going to show you now," said he, (with eyes that
"The very prettiest of drives, it leads to Clements'
If you have never heard of it, my darling little treasure,
I'll tell you all about the place, it will afford me pleasure."
And on they sped, mile after mile, with chat and laughter
He watched her dimpled, roguish smile and drove toward
Through lovely groves, where birds sang sweet their notes
of joy so merry,
Or partridge, hid in ripened wheat, whistled his "Bob
Up the shell road and o'er the fields and by the moss
Where marshy land its rich grain yields or sad-voiced
Then turning off the highway and past the gate of toll,
Then up into a by-way which led straight to the knoll,
"'Tis here, said he "the loveliest spot in all the world so
Swept by the breezes from the sea, and kissed by every
Come down beside the river's brink, where the water ripples
A lovely place to rest and think, down here beside the
So taking his uplifted hands she gave a little bound,
And very soon they sat them down upon the grassy ground.
In days that are forever fled, when slavery cursed this
This land was owned by "Clements" and on his great
Were many slaves who daily tilled this soil, tho' oft in
Their master's coffers must be filled from the fields of
They knew no rest who labored there, but worked from
They ploughed and hoed and reaped, and sowed, till the
sun went down at night;
Then to the river they would come all foot-sore, worn
Hungry and faint to reach their home they crossed here
at the ferry.
One day they heard a strange sweet voice, not such as
won't to lead them;
It made their burdened hearts rejoice, for 'twas the voice
that freed them.
And when the sun went down that night their shouts rose
loud and merry--
They crossed with footsteps swift and light the last time
o'er this ferry.
"So here besides this river we have found a rustic seat,
And still the water rippled on and winds blew soft and
"I've something else to tell you," and his laughing eye
He whispered something in her ear, but not about the
The sun was shining in the west and back toward home
Soft twilight had its shadows cast o'er field and "knoll"
The "ferry has another name, which lovers oft repeat,
Instead of "Clements' Ferry," it is now "Sunset Retreat."