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Joseph Lincoln bibliography


Verse by Joe Lincoln

Cape Cod Ballads
was published in 1902, and Rhymes of the Old Cape was published in 1939. The whole Cape Cod Ballads is here.

The Surf Along the Shore
Winter Nights at Home
Clam Chowder
Mr. Santa Claus
The Best Spare Room
Cape Cod Cooking


The Surf Along the Shore

4th verse, from Cape Cod Ballads.

The dear old Cape! I love it! I love its hill of sand,
The sea-wind singing o'er it, the seaweed on its strand;
The bright blue ocean 'round it, the clear blue sky o'erhead;
The fishing boats, the dripping nets, the white sails filled and spread;
For each heart has its picture, and each its own home song,
The sights and sounds which move it when Youth's fair memories throng;
And when, down dreamland pathways, a boy, I stroll once more,
I hear the mighty music of the surf along the shore.

                            in Haeselbarth, 1913 and  Hawthorne, 1921



Winter Nights at Home 

1st verse, of 4, from Cape Cod Ballads

A stretch of hill and valley, swathed thick in robes of white,
The buildings blots of blackness, the windows gems of light,
A moon, now clear, now hidden, as in its headlong race
The north wind drags the cloud wrack in tatters o'er its face; 

Mailed twigs that click and clatter upon the tossing tree,
And, like a giant's chanting, the deep voice of the sea
As 'mid the stranded ice cakes the bursting breakers foam
The old familiar picturea winter night at home.

in Garland, 1921


A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a
dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense
before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought foror
onclam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as
American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national
Anthem. It is "Yankee Doodle in a kettle." Joseph C. Lincoln



Mr. Santa Claus
by Joseph C. Lincoln

He isn't so mysterious-like
as once he used to be;
His doin's ain't so wonderful
as once they were to me;
The stories of his reindeer team
a-whizzin' down the hill
Don't give me, like they used to do,
that lovely, shiv'ry thrill:
Perhaps I know him better now,
or, maybe, not so well,
And p'raps, as in some other things,
the years have broke the spell;
Old Time, I'm 'fraid, has drawn away
the curtains and the qauze,
I see him plain-but love him yet
Old Mr. Santa Claus.

The night that brings the Christmas in
is short as others now,
And doesn't last a million years
as once it did, I vow;
The wind that blows on Christmas Eve
around the chimney flue,
And rattles bits of plaster down,
ain't him a'scramblin' through;
The rustle down along the eaves,
the patter on the roof,
Is just the snow or rain and
not a prancin' little hoof;
That queer small nowise off in the dark
is just a mouse that gnaws,
And not you tuggin' at your pack
Old Mr. Santa Claus.

I know what's in the stockin's now
afore I go to sleep;
And ain't afraid you'll take it back
if I should dare to peep;
The Christmas trees ain't trimmed
no more with silver lace and gold,
It's only tinsel paper now,
and I know where it's sold.
But, all the same, I swear by you,
as does this little chap
That comes to have your story told
and curl up in my lap.
In spite of age, and common-sense,
and books, and facts, and laws,
I know you come 'round every year
Old Mr. Santa Claus.

You come to give this hard old world
one hearty, kindly shove
That wakes it from its dreams of cash
to fairy tales and love.
You come to move the wheels of work
from out their grindin' rut,
And open wide the pocketbooks that,
other times, were shut;
To brighten up the childish hearts,
and lighten old ones, too,
And make the rich and poor, for once,
be brother, thanks to you.
And so when you come on your rounds
I'll lead the glad applause,
And say, "God bless you!" till I die
Old Mr. Santa Claus.


The Best Spare Room

from Cape Cod Ballads.


I remember when a youngster, all the happy hours I spent
When to visit Uncle Hiram in the country oft I went;
And the pleasant recollection still in memory has a charm
Of my boyish romps and rambles round the dear old-fashioned farm.
But at night all boyish fancies from my youthful bosom crept,
For I knew they'd surely put me where the 'comp'ny' always slept,
And my spirit sank within me, as upon it fell the gloom
And the vast and lonely grandeur of the best spare room.

Ah, the weary waste of pillow where I laid my lonely head!
Sinking like a shipwrecked sailor, in a patchwork sea of bed,
While the moonlight through the casement cast a grim and ghastly glare
O'er the stiff and stately presence of each dismal hair-cloth chair;
And it touched the mantle's splendor, where the wax fruit used to be,
And the alabaster image Uncle Josh brought home from sea;
White the breeze that shook the curtains spread a musty, faint perfume
And a subtle scent of camphor through the best spare room.

Round the walls were hung the pictures of the dear ones passed away,
'Uncle Si and A'nt Lurany,' taken on their wedding day;
Cousin Ruth, who died at twenty, in the corner had a place
Near the wreath from Eben's coffin, dipped in wax and in a case;
Ears askew and somewhat cross-eyed, but with fixed and awful frown,
Seeming somehow to be waiting to enjoy the dreadful doom
Of the frightened little sleeper in the best spare room.

Every rustle of the corn-husks in the mattress underneath
Was to me a ghostly whisper muttered through a phantom's teeth,
And the mice behind the wainscot, as they scampered round about,
Filled my soul with speechless horror when I'd put the candle out
So I'm deeply sympathetic with some story I have read
Of a victim buried living by his friends who thought him dead;
And I think I know his feelings in the cold and silent tomb,
For I've slept at Uncle Hiram's in the best spare room.

Printed in the Boston Herald on January 31, 1915.
Reprinted in Joe Lincoln of Cape Cod, 1949.


My thanks to Bonnie Hart for contributing this:


This is the foreword poem to What We Cook on Cape Cod, by Amy Handy.
Originally published in Barnstable, MA  by the Barnstable Village Improvement Society, a revised and enlarged copy was published by The Shawme Press, Inc., Sandwich, MA 1916.

A Cape Cod cook book!  you who stray
Far from the old sand-bordered Bay.
The cranberry bogs, the tossing pines,
The wind-swept beaches' frothing lines,
You city dwellers who, like me,
Were children, playing by the sea,
Whose father manned the varnished ships
Hark! do I hear you smack your lips?
 
A Cape Cod cook book!  My, oh my!
I know that twinkle in your eye,
And why you've been pricking up your ears
You've turn the clock back thirty years.
I know that smile of yours, it tells
Of chowder, luscious as it smells;
And when you laugh aloud, you dream
Of berry dumpling, bathed in cream.
 
A Cape Cod cook book! Why, I'll bet
The doughnut crock could tempt you yet!
Those Cape Cod doughnuts!  Yes, you'll take
A few of those, and then some cake
The frosted kinds and let me see
Some pie, of course, and Mercy me!
You can't go on; it wouldn't do!
One takes on weight at forty two.
 
A Cape Cod cook book!  Here they are!
A breath from every cookie jar,
A whiff from overs spicy sweet
Two hundred secrets good to eat!
Thanksgiving, clambake, picnic grove,
Each lends a taste, a treasure trove;
And here they are for you to buy
What's that?  You've bought one?  So have I.
 
Joseph C. Lincoln
Harwichport, Mass.
August, 1911