Ordained Servant Online



When Bradford and Company Landed: Thanksgiving, Cape Cod, 2011

G. E. Reynolds (1949–    )

When Bradford and company landed
it was like today: not frigid, but not warm.
The century of souls banded
together against the native swarm.

The gray beauty persists to remind me
they found liberty in Leiden
having been chased from Scrooby,
but soon were on the run again.

Slowed by the Speedwell’s leak
they sailed their isolated odyssey,
tossed by westerlies and tempest’s peak,
missed Manhattan’s Hudson mouth at sea.

Halted by the Pollack Rip, and trapped
between Nantucket and the Cape,
their feet touched sand with a Compact
in a place for food to scrape.

From P-town they saw the Mayflower leave
a shallop behind to explore the coast,
slid Indian corn from a grave up their sleeve
and almost died themselves to roast.

To Plymouth Bay they retreated
in the graveyard of abandoned Patuxet,
with cannon on Fort Hill undefeated,
building on Cole’s Hill without debt.

The grim land took half a century of souls away
before that first thanksgiving day.

Psalm 136
KJV

1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Ordained Servant Online, November, 2012.

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