Canton Dale

Paul Revere's Poem About Life in Canton

My good friend.

I am yet among the living, thanks to the first Cause. I have enjoyed as much health since I last saw you as most people; I have not lost four days at any time by sickness since. I have spent the last three years most of my time in the country, where I have mills for rolling sheets and bolts, making spikes & every kind of copper fastening for ships. It has got to be a tolerable advantageous business. I have my son in partnership with me. He takes care of the business in Boston. I take care of Canton about 16 miles from Boston.

Paul Revere

From 1801 through 1818 Paul Revere called Canton his home. Paul Revere's own words best describe what his life in Canton was like. The idyllic life in the country inspired our patriot to write a poem about Canton entitled "Canton Dale".

    Not distant far from Taunton road 

In Canton Dale is my abode.

My Cot ‘tho small, my mind’s at ease,

My Better Half, takes pains to please,

Content sitts lolling in her chair,

And all my friends find welcome there

When they git home they never fail,

To praise the charms of Canton Dale.

     There’s Business with his chearing face,

And Labours-Arm, by nerves well brac’d,

The Interest seek, of all concern’d;

They strive to have their wages earn’d.

Labour, and Health go hand in hand;

Industry, claims the cheif comand;

Prudence, attends with early care;

And Discontent’s but seldom there.

     In my last Stage, how blest am I,

To find Content, and Plenty by?

Just work enough to keep in health

I exercise prefer to wealth

    Within my Cot, I sit reclin’d;

I sooth to Peace my thoughtfull mind,

Receive my Friends with kind embrace

Give them the best with Chearfull face.

     The double dealing Hyprocite,

I try to shun, with all my might,

The Knave, I hate; the Cheat dispise;

The Flatterer fly; but court the Wise,

The poor Man’s hope, the Widow’s friend;

The Orphan’s guide; who often lend,

    Within my Cot, I’m pleas’d to find;

Such men congenial to my mind.

Around my Cot, at break of day,

The robin pipe’s his artless lay;

The yellow-Bird, with pleasing note,

Sings sweet, and trills his little throat.

Near to my Couch, congenial guest,

The  Wren has wove Her mosey Nest,

Her hopes in safe repose to dwell,

Nor ought suspects the silvian dell.

     At early morn I take my round,

Invited first by hammer’s sound;

The Furnace next;  then Roleing-Mill;

‘Till Breakfast’s call’d, my time doth fill;

Then round the Acres (few) I trot,

To see what’s done and what is not.

Give orders what ought to be done.

Then sometimes take my Dog and Gun.

     Under an aged spreading Oak.

At noon I take a favorite Book

To shun the heat and feed the Mind,

In elbow chair I sit reclined.

    When dinner’s call’d, I feel prepar’d

For to refresh from fruagal board;

When Table’s cleared, and dinner ends

With Chearfull Glass drink absent Friends.

     In afternoon, when weather’s fair;

And business suits, on Horse or Chair;

For exercise, or see a Friend,

My Better Half, and I attend,

Or ere the Sun sinks in the West

Or tunefull birds skim to their Nests

To walk thro Groves, and  grass’y Fields

Contemplating what Nature yealds.

At eve’ within my peacefull Cot,

Sometimes I meet, and sometimes not,

The Parson, Docter; or some Friend,

Or neighbour kind, one hour to spend;

In social chat, our time we pass;

Drink all our Friends, in parting Glass

The Parson, Docter; neighbour gone,

We prepare for Bed, and so trudge on.

  

Paul Revere's Gravesite
Granary Burying Ground,  Boston, MA