[Bulletin of Friend's Historical Society of Philadelphia, Vol. II, No. 2 (Sixth Month, 1908),
[The following verses give a vivid, probably an exaggerated, view of the return home from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in the olden days. The Bulletin is indebted to a friend for a copy. -Ed.]
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At length the dreaded day has come, When country-friends must all go home And leave their feasting here; Must quit the richly loaded board, With luscious pies and puddings stor'd, And sparkling wine or beer. Farewell, dear hearts; they moan- ing cry, Still thinking on the dearer pie Or sav'ry joint of meat; Indeed 'tis very hard to part From you - --cranberry pie or tart, Our homely fare to eat. To leave your coffee, amber clear, To drink skim'd milk, or homely beer And bread not worth a rush; To leave your beds of softest down, Exchange for linsey frock the gown, And lie on beds of straw; To rise to milking with the light And go to rest before 'tis night, Or wash our fingers raw; Indeed we think it nation queer That city folks should have such cheer And not a thing to do. But yet it's wicked to complain, For your excess is still our gain, And you're so very kind, You give us any price we ask Whilst we put on the humble mask And say, "we have not dined." But now the much lov'd week is o'er. We from the town in numbers pour And seek our vacant farms; Reflecting all the way we go, On the dear place where pleasres flow And every object charms. When Hodge tho' clad in russet grey, And gaping round has lost his way, Soon finds a kind friend's home, Who asks him in, takes off his coat, And feeds him well without a groat: He need no further roam. Now Hodge cleans off his thrice- fill'd plate, And fixing on his beaver, strait Pursues the way to meeting. And marching in with vacant stare Secures a corner bench or chair, His country brothers greeting. And when the Clerk proclaims "adjourn," The brother clods together turn, Says, "Josey where's he dine?" "Why I don't know - but this here friend "Has ax'd me home, the day to spend-- "But thy wife's gone with mine." "Let's go to Jesse Kersey's lodg- ing, "There many friends are always dodging, "But Tommy keeps the table." He came from Lunnun people say "And dines on roast-beef every day; "Indeed he's very able." This most important subject known The meeting business all is flown, They briskly walk the street; At length arrived at Tommy's door, Where drabs and sages inward pour, The gazing throng they greet. But Tommy's table is too small To hold his guests - --so some, not all, Must wait a second course; But now such sauces, so much meat, Each bounding to the nearest seat Secures't by friendly force. Well now suppose the meal is o'er; Each bids farewell; then seeks the door, Where horses ready gear'd Await their master's well known voice, And take him home against his choice, Who this great change had fear'd. First lumbers on, a waggon strong; And next a sulkey creaks along, And then a well worn chair; The waggon's number is but ten, Eight bounding girls, and two young men, Their horses black and fair. The sulkey carries only two; The driver is obscur'd from view, With trunks and boxes hid, And bags and bundles pil'd so high You scarcely can the whip descry Slow moving as it did. And next a chair comes rattling on With nearly all the harness gone, But Dapple moves sedate. Three rosy nymphs fill up the seat, With each a band-box at her feet, In Yearly Meeting state. And now to guard these maidens fair, Three country beaux keep near the chair, On plowing coursers sitting, Each has an oil cloth o'er his hat, And folded up his white cravat, To keep for First--day meeting. And while they move to'ards Schuylkill's banks, They meet the Jersey going ranks, Those noted money makers, Where boats perfum'd await the tide With glittering scales on either side First fill'd with fish -- then Qua- kers.