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And, surely betweene my friends of the Bay and Plimouth, I was sorely
tost for fourteen weeks, in a bitter cold winter season, not knowing what
bread or bed did meane.--Roger Williams' Letter to Mason.




JULY 10. 1940

Entered according to an Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by Job Durfee, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, within and for the Rhode-Island District.



- Job


I sing the trials and the sufferings great,

Which Father Williams in his exile bore,
That he the conscience-bound might liberate,

And her religious rights the soul restore ;
How, after flying persecution's hate,

And roving long by Narraganset's shore,
In lone Mooshausick's vale at last he sate,
And on Religious Freedom based our State.


He was a man of spirit true and bold;

Feared not to speak his thoughts whate'er they were ;
His frame, though light, was of an iron mould,

And fitted well fatigue and change to bear;
For God ordained that he should breast the cold

Of howling wilderness, in winter drear,
And of red Savages protection pray
From Christians, but—more savage far than they.


Mid winter reigned; and Salem's infant town,

Where late were cleft the forest's skirts away, Showed its low roofs, and from the thatching brown, . The sheeted ice sent back the sun's last ray ;-


The school-boys left the village slippery down,

So keen the blast came o'er the eastern bay,
And the pale sun in vapors thick went down,
And the glassed forest cast a sombre frown.

The busy house-wife guarded well the door,

That night, against the gathering winter storm-
Did the rude walls of all the cot explore

Where'er the snow-gust might a passage form ;
And to the couch of age and childhood bore

With anxious care the mantle thick and warm ;
And then of fuel gathered ample store,
And bade the blaze up the rude chimney roar.

On this drear night was Williams seated by

His blazing hearth, his family beside, And from his consort often burst the sigh,

As still her task of needle-work she plied ;
And, from the lashes of her azure eye,

She often brushed the starting tear aside-
At spring's approach they savage wilds must try;
Such was the sentence of stern bigotry!


Beside the good man lay his Bible fair,

With open page upon the accustomed stand,
And many a passage had he noted there,

Of Israel wandering in the desert sand;
And each assurance had he marked with care,

Made by Jehovah of the promised land;
And from the sacred page he learned to dare
The exile's fate in wilderness afar.

Whilst pondered he the sacred volume o'er,

And often told to cheer his consort's breast,
How, for their faith, the blest apostles bore

The exile's wanderings and the dungeon's pest,

A heavy foot approached his humble door,

And open wide abrupt an entrance prest; And lowered a deacon he had known before, Strong in a church allied with civil power.

VIII. I come,” he said in accents hard and stern,

“The Governor and Council's word to bear, They have assembled, and with deep concern, · Hear thou abusest their indulgence fair ; Thy damned creed with horror do they learn,

Still thou to teach thy visiters dost dare, Who smitten with thy sanctity, discern Some Godliness in thee, and from us turn.


“Till spring we gave; and thou wast not to teach

Thy sentenced faith to erring men the while; But to depart, or with submissive speech,

Regain the church and leave thy doctrines vile,
Of this injunction thou committest breach,

And Salem's church dost of her saints despoil :
Plan too, 'tis rumored by the mouth of each,
A State, where Antichrist himself may preach.

“From such a State our blessed elders see

Christ's church, e'en here, may the infection share ; 'Tis therefore that the Council now decree,

That to the wilderness thou shalt not fare ;
But 'tis their mandate hither sent by me,

That thou to Boston presently repair-
A ship there waits, now ready for the sea,
Homeward to bear thy heresy and thee.


Williams replied, “ Thy message is unkind;

I e'en perchance may think it something rude, The snow falls fast and searching is the wind,

And wild the blast howls through the darkened wood.

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