The Forty Steps
Once Forty Steps; now thirty nine –
And they in doubtful state,
Like ravished riches in decline,
The blasting of the great.
Yet God has blessed the sacred spot,
Now touched by time and war,
While echoing the cannon’s shot
Beyond the ocean’s roar.
Once peopled by a stately throng,
That bathed upon the shore,
Now to the poet still belong
Their annals and their lore.
O footprints of an age outworn
By fickle time and tide,
Your hallowed dust lies all but gone,
Its grandeur and its pride.
Today a soldier’s martial tread
Guards what is now no more,
The gaiety from laughter bred,
The peace – that led to war.
Although my tourees might note that I'm often fairly harsh when I talk about Charlie's poetry, I think this poem really captures a part of his personality. Here we find him remembering the Nahant of his childhood, and comparing it to what seems to be a desolate and laughless place during the war. Charlie had a hard time accepting that we live in an ever changing world- and for someone who lived through two world wars, can we really blame him?
by: Katie Schinabeck, Former Museum Guide