Bethlehem

    There they gathered, where the Monacacy flowed into the Lehigh:
    First, the Delawares in their longhouses, families together;
    Then the Moravians in their German dormitories,
      segregated by age and sex,
      determined to save the Indians
    Then the Austrians and the Irish
      and the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers,
      looking for work on the south side of the river;
    And the English entreprenuers,
      establishing railroads and iron mills and an Episcopalian church,
      providing work for the needy;
    Finally the gates opened wide, and in rushed the peasants
      of Eastern and Southern Europe, leaving behind their plowshares
      in the hurry to make steel.
    The furnaces burned twenty-four hours a day, the ingots glowed in the night,
      odes to the open hearth were recited at the Roosevelt Grill;
    Wars were fought, and after the second big one everybody got a car,
      even the Hunkies got a piece of the action.
    And then it was over.
    The mills closed, and the children slipped away, and there was peace.
    Just as the Moravians promised the Indians there would be.

    -Jospeh E. Illick