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Aside from having a beard for the ages, Littleton Purnell Bowen was a lawyer, historian, preacher, and poet. Born in Worcester County, Md. in 1833, he did his early schooling at the Berlin (Md.) Academy, graduating in 1851. He later earned a law degree, but abandoned that career to become a Presbyterian minister.

Early on, Bowen served as a pastor in Lewes, Del. and Pocomoke City, Md. His most famous work as a writer is The Days of Makemie, a biography of Francis Makemie, the founder of U.S. Presbyterianism. Later in life, Bowen did pastoral stints in Missouri and Louisiana. He wrote a lot of poems, including this one, which aims to capture the homesick longing endured by Eastern Shore natives transplanted to faraway places.

I found it in the book, Makemieland Memorials, published in 1910. Bowen died in 1933 at the ripe old age of 99. He is buried in Missouri.

THE EXILE’S SONG

Old Eastern Shore, dear Eastern Shore,
An exiled son of thine
Sends loyal greetings from afar
And loves to call thee mine
Land of the laurels and the pine,
Land of the spicy fox-grape vine,
Land where the water-lilies twine,
‘Mid maiden’s heart as pure
Fair Eastern Shore, rare Eastern Shore,
My fatherland, my Maryland,
My dreamland and my fairyland,
Delightsome Eastern Shore!

LIttleton Purnell Bowen in Berlin Maryland

L.P. Bowen is in the middle here, sitting with friends on the porch of the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin.

Old Eastern Shore, dear Eastern Shore,
The heart is sometimes sad,
And oft leans back to days of yore
A little barefoot lad;
Land of the oyster-banks and shad,
Land of the terrapin and crab,
Land where the welcomes make all glad—
With larders brimming o’er;
Fair Eastern Shore, rare Eastern Shore,
My fatherland, my Maryland,
My dreamland and my fairyland,
Delightsome Eastern Shore

Old Eastern Shore, dear Eastern Shore,
Thy glories I will speak
The Ocean’s sweetheart evermore
The bride of Chesapeake
The beaches and the smiling creek,
The curlew’s song, the osprey’s shriek,
I listen—teardrops course my cheek,
And recollections soar
Fair Eastern Shore, rare Eastern Shore,
My fatherland, my Maryland,
My dreamland and my fairyland,
Delightsome Eastern Shore!

Old Eastern Shore, dear Eastern Shore,
Loved by no feeble race
Ancestral blood distilling pure
From far Colonial days
Old Churches where our kinsmen praise,
Old graveyards where tradition strays,
Old homes where in life’s twilight haze
Skies smile with open door;
Fair Eastern Shore, rare Eastern Shore,
My fatherland, my Maryland,
My dreamland and my fairyland,
Delightsome Eastern Shore

–posted by Jim Duffy on March 31, 2020

NOTES:
• The sunset photo up top here was taken at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge by Jill Jasuta Photography. It’s available (along with lots more gorgeous stuff) at the Shore Store.

• The photo of Rev. Bowen with friends on the porch of the Atlantic Hotel comes from a book in the Images of America series titled Berlin. You can find more info on it here.

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