Hezekiah Hamilton from way down Hastings way
always wore a soft-brim hat; he drove a horse and dray.
Born out in the country, raised up on the farm,
right handy with the animals, and strong in back and arm,
he lived a simple country life, working on the land.
He grew a family of eight; he thought his life was grand.
He lived life by the Bible, he took his Sabbath rest.
Family travelling in the dray, dressed in Sunday best,
frequented Hastings' little church down where the two roads meet,
filing in and filling up the front and second seat.
Hezekiah sang the hymns with voice both loud and clear;
for keeping perfect time and pitch none other was his peer.
He loved to linger afterwards to chat and catch the news,
to talk of work and weather, to share his home-grown views.
He always dropped his Hs, but he spoke right from his heart:
“My crop of 'ay was 'arvested by 'alf ten yesterday.
My 'orses made the 'eavy work as light as simple play.
With my 'eifer's looking 'ealthy, and the grasses growing well,
should be a bumper 'arvest year, but only time will tell.
Been looking at our 'istory, 'ow this old town began,
'ow 'Astings got its start, you know, and 'ow it got its plan.
'Enry 'Astings staked a claim 'ere, back in eighty-nine,
thought that there was gold about, 'oped to start a mine.
Though 'e dug and panned the soil, 'e never found a bit.
Not to be deterred, instead, this man of sturdy grit,
changed 'is tack and built a shack and opened up a store,
selling food and clothing goods, as well as plenty more.
Now 'Astings was my great grandpa, of that I'm rather proud.
'E got this township on its feet - though boasting's not allowed -
'E built this church and 'elped it grow; 'e preached 'ere now and then.
'Is influence was powerful, on children,women, men.
The motto that 'e lived by - 'e told me once, you see -
'as helped me and my family. It's godly you'll agree.
It's 'Lend a 'and to 'elp someone and lift your 'eart to 'ope'
I have it on my mantelpiece; it 'elps me live and cope.
Wherever I am going, be it east, west, north or south.
My motto is the one I heard straight from the horse's mouth.
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