The Great Witch of Weare

What lively places these NH towns must have been, back in the early days with the witches and ghosts!



The little quatrain Little quotes comes from the poem “A Long Story” by Thomas Gray:

“…Fame in the shape of Mr. P—t
(By this time all the Parish know it)
Had told, that thereabouts there lurk’d
A wicked Imp they called a Poet,

Who prowl’d the country far and near,
Bewitch’d the children of the peasants,
Dried up the cows, and lam’d the deer,
And suck’d the eggs, and kill’d the pheasants.

My Lady heard their joint petition,
Swore by her coronet and ermine,
She’d issue out her high commission
To rid the manour of such vermin.

The Heroines undertook the task,
Thro’ lanes unknown, they ventur’d,
Rap’d at the door, nor stay’d to ask,
But bounce into the parlour enter’d.

The trembling family they daunt,
They flirt, they laugh, they tattle,
Rummage his Mother, pinch his Aunt,
And up stairs in a whirlwind rattle.

Each hole and cupboard they explore,
Each creek and cranny of his chamber,
Run hurry-skurry round the floor,
And o’er the bed and tester clamber,

Into the Drawers and China pry,
Papers and books, a huge Imbroglio!
Under a tea-cup he might lie,
Or creased, like dogs-ears, in a folio.

On the first marching of the troops
The Muses, hopeless of his pardon,
Convey’d him underneath their hoops
To a small closet in the garden.

…” &c. &c.

And by the way, we should note that Lieut. William Dustin was a relative of the Dustons of Haverhill, MA, of which family perhaps the most famous (or infamous) member was Hannah (Emerson) Duston, who once killed and scalped her native captors on an island in the Merrimack a century before the above events transpired.

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