Old Richard Grimes
People of all degrees and trades stopped at the Baldwin Tavern. One evening old Richard Grimes, who had not neglected the bars of other taverns on the way, on drawing rein at this hospitable door, forgot to leave his horse outside, and forthwith into the barroom came horse and rider for a most unneeded drink.
This is the Grimes immortalized in the familiar song, written by Albert G. Green, who lived in the latter part of the last century and the first of the present.
Old Grimes is dead, that good old man
We ne'er shall see him more;
He used to wear a long blue coat
All buttoned down before.
His heart was open as the day,
His feelings all were true;
His hair was some inclined to grey
He wore it in a queue.
Whene'er he heard the voice of pain,
His heart with pity burned;
The large round head upon his cane
From ivory was turned.
Kind words he ever had for all,
He knew no fell design;
His eyes were dark and rather small,
His nose was aquiline.
He lived at peace with all mankind,
In friendship he was true;
His coat had pocket-holes behind,
His pantaloons were blue.
Unharmed, the sin which earth pollutes.
He passed serenely o'er;
And never wore a pair of boots,
For thirty years or more.
But good Old Grimes is now at rest,
Nor fears misfortune's frown;
He wore a double-breasted vest,
The stripes ran up and down.
He modest merit sought to find,
And pay it its desert;
He had no malice in his mind,
No ruffles on his shirt.
His worldly goods he never threw
In trust to Fortune's dances,
But lived (as all his brothers do)
In easy circumstances.
His neighbors he did not abuse,
Was sociable and gay;
He wore large buckles on his shoes
And changed them every day.
His knowledge, hid from public gaze.
He did not bring to view;
Nor make a noise town-meeting days,
As many people do.
Thus undisturbed by anxious cares,
His peaceful moments ran;
And everybody said he was
A fine old gentleman.
Excerpt from Old Times in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts: Gleanings from History and Tradition
by Elizabeth Ward