Poem on Second Battle of Nipsachuck wins first place in NSHA art contest

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – The North Smithfield Heritage Association announced this week that Zachary Simpkins, son of Chirs and Deirdre Simpkins, earned first place in the “Historic NS” art contest.

The association recently sponsored the contest at North Smithfield Middle School in conjunction with the town’s Art’s Advisory Committee’s Town Hall Open House. Members of the committee judged the submissions that included poems, posters and essays. 

Simpkins, a 7th grade student at the school, submitted a poem titled, “The Second Battle of Nipsachuck: The Battle of the Swamp,” writing a first-person account from a Native American perspective of the battle fought in the Nipsachuck region of town in 1676 during the last days of King Philip’s War.     

Middle School history teacher Valerie Carnevale helped to organized the contest.

Simpkins’ poem, published in its entirety below, will be published in an upcoming history book by the Heritage Association commemorating the town’s 150th anniversary.  All of the submissions from the () contest will also be sealed in the town’s Sesquicentennial Time Capsule.

Second Battle of Nipsachuck: The Battle of the Swamp

The land that once belonged to us,

The land where we were free,

The swampy land of Rhode Island,

It was for you and me.

The pale men with their cannons,

That chased us Natives out,

They drove us out of our homeland,

For we were not devout.

The summer breeze, facing disease, 

I pushed hard through the swamp,

The Dark brown mud, the chewy cud,

My fellow warrior’s stomps.

Our bravest leader, Sachem Quiapen,

Her hair flowed in the wind,

Mounted on her bold Dragoon,

And fighting to the end.

The pale men with their cannons, 

They began to rain down fire,

And all the people I’d grown to love,

All perished in the mire.

For I was the unlucky one,

As the only survivor,

Escaping through the vast forest,

And standing in the mire.

“Spread the news,” I screamed, I shouted,

“Our bravest leader is gone,

Sachem Quiapen has died in battle,

So listen to this song,”

The land that once belonged to us,

The land where we were free,

The swampy land of Rhode Island,

It was for you and me.

   

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