A Memorial Day Poem

Carrie MasonI am sharing a poem with you this week written by Mrs. Carrie Mason which appeared in the Marblehead Messenger in 1872.  It was read by Miss Mary Barrett at the G.A.R. fair that was held  at Allerton Hall in Marblehead. 

Caroline Atherton Briggs was the youngest daughter of Dr. Calvin Briggs who was a prominent physician in Marblehead.  Caroline was born July 27, 1823 in Marblehead where she lived until her father died in 1852.  The family moved to Fitchburg, MA  where she met and married Charles Mason, a lawyer.  They were married on August 9, 1853 and had one son Atherton Perry Mason who was born in 1856.  Caroline graduated from Bradford Academy in MA in 1844.  She began writing poems at a young age and for several years she was a regular contributor to the Salem Register under the pen name “Caro.” One of her more well known poems was “Do They Miss Me At Home.”  Many of her poems became hymns in the Unitarian Church.  Caroline died from melancholia  on June 13, 1890 at what was the Worcester Insane Asylum and is buried at the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Fitchburg, MA.

Here is her poem on Marblehead:

Marblehead Forever

 

Old Marblehead Forever, of course she was the first

To rally, when the cry, “to arms!” through all the nation burst,

She never yet has been behind, deny or prove it still;

For Marblehead is Marblehead, has been and always will.

 

A queer old place, but every stone that trips you in her streets,

Is instinct with the loyal pulse that in its bosom beats.

This may be a metaphor, it is, but true as gospel still;

For Marblehead is Marblehead, has been and always will.

 

The dear old town, it rises now before me, quaint and gray;

I see the hurried ranks go forth, as in the olden day;

First in the fight, to help the right; impetuous, headstrong still;

For Marblehead is Marblehead, has been and always will.

 

So Marblehead Forever, God Bless the dear old town,

She’ll never shame her goodly name, her name of old renown,

And, shirk who may, she’ll have her say, in spite of treason still;

For Marblehead is Marblehead, has been and always will.

 

Her daughters rise and bless her, her sons go forth to save,

Their country’s honor and her cause, or find a martyr’s grave,

For though the heaven should fall, they’d keep this old flag waving still;

For Marblehead is Marblehead, has been and always will.

 

Then Marblehead Forever, and give her three time three,

First in the fight, to help the right, and first she’ll always be,

Come life, come death, she’ll keep, unstained her ancient honor still;

For Marblehead is Marblehead, has been and always will.

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2 thoughts on “A Memorial Day Poem

  1. I enjoyed this. I do wonder, though, about the similarities to The Rev’d Marcia Selman’s lyrics to the Town Anthem. Not just the title, but phrases like, “So Marblehead Forever, God Bless the dear old town,” compared to Selman’s first two lines of her second stanza, “Then Marblehead forever!
    God bless the good old town.” Selman’s lyrics were written to advance temperance, but one wonders whether she’d seen or known Carrie Mason’s poem. Someone else may have noticed this previously, of course, and maybe I’m last at the party.

    Liked by 1 person

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