As Fair a Little Village as You’ll Find on the Coast of Maine

Edith Clay’s house

Two doors from Emilie Loring in Blue Hill lived the Clays. Edith Clay belonged to the Blue Hill Garden Club and the League of Women Voters. She and her second husband, George, were Emilie’s Blue Hill neighbors for over thirty years.

Edith’s first husband was Francis Candage, with whom she had two children. While yet a young mother, Edith wrote a poem about “Bluehill,” as it was called then.

This was 1911, Emilie’s second full summer at Stone House, and the poetic images then were as true to life as they remain today.

Bluehill
by
Edith Candage
Blue Hill, Maine
At the foot of a rugged mountain
   Near the head of a winding bay,
Is nestled a little village,
   And here, at the dawn of day,
As the sun rises over Long Island 
   And sheds its glad beams all around,
The light is caught and reflected
   From many a window in town.
It is quiet and unpretentious
   When the winter winds hold sway,
When the earth is robed in ermine,
   And ice locks up the bay.
Two plain, white, modest churches,
   Whose spires point toward the sky,
Seem ever a gentle reminder 
   Of a better house on high.

And when the Sabbath quiet
   Steals over each heart and home,
Their bells ring a glad invitation
   Come, worship the Saviour alone.
For all through the week He has given
   To teach His love and tenderest care;
This is my day, saith the Lord, 
   I only claim that which is fair.
Here, too, is a temple of learning,
   Which by many a precept and rule
Gives a better education 
   Than that of the common school.
And when in the streets of the village,
   My footsteps happen to stray,
When the sun, just sinking in the west,
   Proclaims the close of the day,

I meet a band of children,
   Then, unmindful of time and of place
I try to read a future
   in each bright and smiling face.
And, Oh! that the hearts of the teachers
   Be lifted to God in prayer,
For wisdom, for strength and guidance
   For the sake of the boys and girls there.
“The waters once more dance and sparkle”
But when the winter is over 
   And the sun shines warm and bright,
Then the trees have brand-new coats,
   And the frogs are heard at night.
The ice drifts down by the lighthouse
   On its way to the open sea,
The waters once more dance and sparkle,
   As if fairly glad to be free.
“Blossoms, rich and rare”
The robin returns and builds his nest,
   As he trills a song to his mate,
And here she sits on her pretty blue eggs
   For she knows it's getting late.
Now June has come, with its warm, bright days,
   And its blossoms, rich and rare,
When the trees afford a friendly shade,
   And fragrance fills the air.
It is now we welcome the summer guests,
   For our hearts are filled with good cheer,
We are always glad to have them back
   As the time comes 'round each year.
Just a little way down from the village,
   On the shores of the little bay
Many people have built them summer houses,
   And here they come to stay.
“For there’s always a salt sea breeze”
Through the long, hot days of summer,
   Far away from the din and the strife,
From the hearts of the busy cities 
   With their throngs of human life.
When the roads are hot and dusty,
   And not a leaf stirs on the trees,
Just take a drive to South Bluehill,
   For there's always a salt sea breeze.
“You have to cross the Iron Bridge”
Which is wafted to us from the ocean,
   Down below where it joins the bay,
You'll find it cool and refreshing
   On a long, hot, summer day.
You have to cross the Iron Bridge
   Just down at the foot of a hill,
Where the rocks are covered with salt sea weed,
   And the water is never still.
“And the water is never still”
Here millions of tons of water
   Flow in and out each day
Up to the head of the Salt Pond,
   Then back again to the bay.
'Tis a natural bit of scenery,
   A part of His great plan,
For it speaks of the infinite wisdom of God, 
   And the littleness of man.
If you're here in the golden autumn,
   When the grain is garnered with care,
When the leaves are changing to crimson and gold,
   You'd better go to the fair.
For perhaps you would like the races,
   If not, there's a game of ball,
You may have a ride on the merry-go-round,
   And look at the things in the hall.

Then there are always the fakirs,
   With the latest new things to sell,
Perhaps you can earn yourself a cane,
   If you handle the rings quite well.
The hours pass by so swiftly,
   The night comes all too soon,
Now, don't forget the baby,
   You'd better get him a balloon.
“With the mountain to form a background”
With the mountain to form a background,
   No matter, in sun or in rain,
It's as fair a little village
   As you'll find on the coast of Maine.
We may see through rose-colored glasses,
   For it's Home, Sweet Home, you know,
And that is always dearest,
   No matter wherever you go.
“It’s as fair a little village as you’ll find on the coast of Maine.”

I hope you’re all enjoying these first weeks of fall.

Happy landings!


5 thoughts on “As Fair a Little Village as You’ll Find on the Coast of Maine

    1. I’m pleased that you enjoyed the poem, Mildred. As far as I can tell, it was never published except in the very local paper, one time. I hope Blue Hill folks rediscover it. This is my effort to encourage that.

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