Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 28: Publications
PUBLICATOINS PMSS How Beautiful are the Feet of Youth Upon the Mountain
How beautiful are the feet of youth upon the mountain—
The feet of youth coming forth from remote valleys and hollows,
Coming forth from dingy coal camps and rugged hills,
Coming forth from distant farms and nearby hamlets.
All feet are moving steadily—
All in time—marching—marching,
Marching into a beautiful and bountiful valley,
Marching not to the tune of bugles and trumpets,
But to the mighty harmony of youth —shouted throughout the land.
Girls that are willowy and quiet,
Walking slowly in paths well-trodden;
Boys that stop— half affrighted—
Survey the trail —then forge ahead,
Some feet miss a beat,
Some get out of step,
Some falter by the way and need another’s help;
Others turn aside to take a lone trail
Because of some strange and sudden impulse,
But with spirit again uprising, and feet that yearn for the old path,
Down they come those young and quickened feet —into the
wonderland of the Mountain of the Pine.
All the beauty of the world is here,
All the world seems filled with splendor,
All the world is theirs to love—
Their eyes rise to the distant blue horizon– and beyond—
They dream of an abundant life —long and well-lived.
Those are our feet.
It is we whom you hear marching.
We who tread from atop the ancient Pine Mountain
Into this valley— the valley of Isaac’s Run—
In the year 1940,
In the autumn of September.
We, with all our high hopes and young ideals, come into a new realm
Where our dreams may come true.
Within each is the song familiar,
The Song of Youth.
Within each is a fire unquenchable,
Kindled brighter by the desire for learning.
Pine Mountain School welcomes us as new children into its family,
And we become a part of the school.
We learn that work
That fair play is the part of
That respect for our fellow-beings makes lasting friends.
We learn that our school is not conducted like others we have known;
We appreciate and love its customs and traditions.
In the first days at Pine Mountain we perform many simple tasks:
Washing dishes to the slam of plates, cups, and saucers,
Gaining satisfaction in the gleam of shining silver and polished table tops;
Cleaning windows until every muscle in our arms aches,
But feeling joy in seeing their sparkling cleanness;
Laying a fire in a big open fire-place,
Sweeping and scrubbing floors until they shine,
Ironing piece after piece of laundry until the laundry box is empty—
We come to feel a surge of pride in a long day’s work.
What excitement when a new work list goes up,
And how proud we are at a more responsible job!
Two of us getting up at four-thirty each morning,
Cutting fruit and making coffee,
Standing over a hot stove turning out pancakes
Or making pans and pans of hot biscuit—
All part of the work of getting breakfast for over one hundred people.
Another responsible task eagerly looked forward to
Each morning five girls climbing gaily up the narrow path,
Entering the little brown building to a cheery good-morning,
The familiar smell of medicine and cleanliness filling our nostrils;
Stepping briskly but softly as we go about our tasks—
Bathing babies, taking temperatures, sterilizing instruments,
And caring for patients.
We shall remember with pride in our hearts the many things we have learned to do at Pine Mountain.
We girls have enjoyed our work and made tasks seem like play.
We have striven each year to improve and make ourselves worthy of the life given us.
Work makes men
And men make the nation.
Farmer, printer, and carpenter,
Each has its place in the nation—
Each has its place at Pine Mountain.
Seventeen and one-half hours a week,
On the farm plowing and planting;
In so doing, gain a new feeling of self-respect.
The ring of the
And the echoing thunder of the falling tree;
The rhythmic song of the saw
And the boom of the hammer on
Hewing out foundation stones for our buildings;
Girls in their youth, new and unlearned,
Entering a new field — Home Economics.
Sewing and cooking, living and learning.
A course in food preparation,
To aid in the building of future
Making a receipt [sic] file,
Studying different foods and their uses,
Working together to serve dinners,
Each girl doing her part thoroughly and willingly.
Acquainting ourselves with the use of patterns,
Making an evening dress for the Thanksgiving Ball —
For some of us our first one.
Basting and checking, sewing and rechecking,
Hours of delicate needle work
before the dress was completed,
A dress we were proud to own, and proud to wear.
Time added a new blouse or skirt to our wardrobe.
May Day— girls wearing new dresses
Made from gay materials,
With pleats, tucks, frills and gathers,
Each adding to the beauty of a new garment.
And these dresses we wear today,
Made with our own hands,
Hands so much more skillful than before,
Skill acquired through patience
and long hours of work.
A hand slow and clumsy,
Works hard over a small block of wood,
With tools new to the user.
Although what he first makes shows his lack of skill,
He is proud of his work,
But his ambitions and desires burn stronger.
Times goes on.
The small coping saw becomes a steady machine tool.
The dust from the sander fills the air,
Coating the lips with bitter particles.
The boy at the lathe, covered with shavings from head to foot,
Bends over his work,
Watching every turn of his tools,
Shaping the rough block into a beautiful bowl.
The dingy wood takes on a lustrous sheen,
That reflects the smile of the worker
And, he gives it the final polishing.
To the boy who once labored helplessly, almost hopelessly,
With the growing skill of the hand,
And the increasing ability of deft fingers,
Comes the satisfaction and joy of creating a thing of beauty and use.
Beautiful designs challenged the beginner,
Awakening and stimulating his creative desires.
He has now produced something he can be proud of—
A bowl, well shaped and polished,
A chair, strong and well proportioned,
A thing of beauty—
Something not fashioned by the growling machines of mass production,
But by his own careful hands.
With the training of the hand here at Pine Mountain,
Go the training and discipline of the mind.
We delved into our past to discover
Where we came from, what we are, why we are here,
And slowly we learned.
We saw our European forebears
Develop from savage blonde nomads,
Seeking shelter in caves while wild north winds
Howled through bare forests outside.
This sparsely-clad roamer of the wilds
Learned to find comfort and safety in numbers.
Then a civilization from the south advanced upon him
And brushed aside his primitive defenses.
This intruder built roads, trained soldiers,
And brought with him a new religion called Christianity.
In time the intruder became weak;
His yoke was broken.
Strong leaders of their own came forward
And welded weak, scattered peoples into strong wholes.
Nations were formed.
We watched and studied their beginnings
Through the eyes of Rugg.
Then a new land full of promise beckoned from the West.
Some were lured to it by tales of immense riches;
Others came to worship according to the dictates of their hearts;
On they came, in an increasing tide of humanity.
Here they settled and here they built,
Slowly molding this rough continent into
Through Valley Forge, Bull Run, and Gettysburg they toiled,
With great leaders at the helm to steer
The young country away from dangerous reefs,
These men —George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln—
Nurtured a plant that had been slowly growing
For hundreds of years.
The plant? A government by the people,
Where all men are brothers
And no man knows poverty.
The plant had blossomed before,
But the roots had not grown deep enough.
It met drou[ght] and died.
But in this new western world the plant found fertile soil,
Its roots dug deep, and it blossomed forth into—
The Constitution of the United States.
The names of the men who gave us
This great charter of human rights mean more
Than mere words on a page in our history book.
We owe these leaders a debt
One that must be paid in kind.
They laid the foundations upon which we have grown
The foundations upon which we must build.
We untangled the masses of twisted wire
And emerged with a crude electric motor.
We experimented with magnetism, light, and sound,
And spent many hours over the microscope
Studying the darting, translucent creatures,
Learning to identify man’s friends and enemies
In this queer sub-visible world.
We dissected the bodies of small animals
And were amazed to discover that they were much like our own bodies.
And we turned to nature to study her trees and animals.
Within a month we learned much of their habits—
From the humble field mouse to the giant carnivorous eagle.
Our spare moments we spend cultivating a small biology garden,
Getting low yields in crops, but gaining invaluable experience.
Then came our hardest and most interesting subject, — chemistry.
We dug deeper and with more interest
We were astounded to learn that in seemingly lifeless rock
Are billions of small, fast-moving electrical charges.
We went to sleep with chemical formulae racing through our heads
Familiar equations kept slipping out during our work and play.
Each experiment served to push us onward.
Each new invention and discovery revealed a new and better world.
And maybe our chests swell a little to know we are the ones to shape this world.
And maybe we grow overconfident in thinking of ourselves as future Pasteurs and Curies,
Wondering how many of us will continue the work,
And give ourselves, as they did,
To the good of man.
In literature we find the challenge to heart and mind.
Though we live in our little valley of the earth,
We have traveled around the world and back again,
Through the thoughts of others expressed in poem or story.
We have lived in every age of Time
And surged through life and met death face to face.
We have seen the trouble of this wicked world,
And felt the urge to rid it of its evil.
We have witnessed great deeds performed in every age,
And been driven ourselves to achieve higher goals.
We have reached the peak of life in warmth and love,
Spoken from the hearts of others.
We are enlightened with the noble thoughts of others,
We have felt height of passion, depth of pain,
Tremors of excitement, agony of desperation,
Anguish of death, fury, confusing turmoil of mind.
We have often been awakened to beauty,
Through the magic words of a poet,
Making us aware of the wonders of nature.
Their words have poured the beauty of the world into our souls,
And washed away the turbulence and poison in our minds.
They have shown us spring— sweet spring to cool the anger,
The infinite shining heavens of stars at night,
Frost to change the world into shimmering radiance,
A wild west wind that brings an exciting announcement of winter,
White flakes of snow drifting perpetually down to earth
All these we see in brighter light,
And cherish them with deepened feeling.
New thoughts take the place of old,
Imagination goes on in her unceasing wander.
We see the work of God with more
We have our own songs, ballads we call them,
Handed down from day to day, from year to year,
From generation to generation—
Gay ballads sung to lively mountain tunes,
Sad ballads sung slowly and mournfully,
Flute-like, melancholy notes, that could come
Only from these wooded hills and narrow valleys;
Aunt Sal’s Song taught us by Aunt Sal Creech,
She who was a “pert little woman”,
The Ground Hog, Lady Gay, The Nightengale, and O! No, John
These our heritage —a picture of the past.
Folk dancing, another heritage from merry England.
We dance as one big family on Saturday evenings,
Lightly tripping to the graceful, slow movements of Hunsdon House,
Swing gaily through Lady Walpole’s Reel,
Sometimes fast and sometimes slow,
But always with a lift of the body and a soft light step,
All moving together, linked in chains of friendship and gaiety.
On May Day our great festival of dancing—
The processional couples leading around the May pole,
With hands raising high, green branches:
Class dances, and Circassian Circle for all:
The Princess Royal— girls’ feet moving to the quick light Morris step,
The tinkling of bells, the swish of white handkerchiefs, floating high, then low;
The boys’ Sword and Morris dances—
Clap of swords and rap of sticks;
Then all circling around the May pole for the last dance.
Lightness, freedom, rhythm, melody, Feet in step and hearts in tune,
Gay times to be cherished ever,
And something of ourselves remains forever here.
And we have learned the wise ways of co-operation,
Working together, in our classroom and in our store;
Becoming a part owner; sharing in the financial ups and downs.
A turn as Co-op shopper; checking and itemizing each.
And we have learned the wise ways of co-operation,
Working together, in our classroom and in our store;
Becoming a part owner; sharing in the financial ups and downs.
A turn as Co-op shopper; checking and itemizing each.
The proud, triumphant feeling when no mistakes have been made.
Ready! Action! Camera! Our experiences with the Garners in the filming of Let’s Co-operate—
Learning to be an intelligent consumer; to discriminate between the good and the bad, to choose intelligently.
Finding that co-operation pays dividends, not only in dollars and cents, but in human satisfactions—
Knowing that united efforts toward mutually desired ends make possible a richer, better way of life.
Then, our year of community service:
Home visitors cheerfully hiking miles through mud and snow,
Or riding horseback over hills in pouring rain;
Stopping at some tiny house on the road,
by a worn mother who greets us with “Come in and set a spell.”
We gladly lend a hand with the daily chores—
washing, cooking, ironing, or hoeing in the garden.
A little time is given to the children: a ride in the wheelbarrow, a push in the swing, a game in the yard, or a story by the fire. Or perhaps we find a cut toe on a little barefoot boy —out comes the first-aid kit; or maybe a child is ill —we promise to have the doctor call.
We pass on, dividing our time from house to house,
Finally trudging back to the school, tired but happy.
Others of us sometimes walk and sometimes ride
Creech, Little Laurel, Big Laurel, Divide, and Incline.
As we teach the children new songs and games,
As we help them to make valentines or Christmas cards for mother and dad,
As we find and coach a play,
As we treat the children to refreshments on the last day of school,
In all this we are happy—
Because of the many new friends we have made,
Because we have learned to work with others—
To think first, not of ourselves, but of our neighbor;
To feel that it is better to give than to receive.
State or school
In later life, the civil courts,
At Pine Mountain, the Citizenship Committee.
Empowered to administer justice,
And to create better understanding among all,
And promote the general welfare—
These words are known well.
Our Committee does those things,
On a small scale, perhaps,
But it does them.
The practice we get in living together
While in school here,
Will serve us in good stead,
When the time comes
For us to take our place in the world,
Living under laws based on the equality of man
A bat cracks. A tiny object makes a wide arc over the baseball diamond;
A small figure races madly across the field,
Shielding his eyes from the sun, watching the flying ball;
With one last desperate lunge he jumps;
His glove slaps as leather meets leather, and the crowd cheers wildly.
He victoriously takes his place once more.
Such moments of excitement hold the spectators in suspense,
Making them shout and jump as if they were playing themselves.
A long pass down center—
Hands clutch for the ball as it sails low over their heads;
Suddenly, out of the mad scramble flashes a figure—
Dodging, twisting, side-stepping, sliding—
He battles forward.
Will he make it?
A million thoughts and questions race through the sidelines.
Then, with a sudden burst of speed, he overtakes the last defense,
And falls heavily across the goal line.
Night on the playground—
Under the broad beam of the floodlights people swarm like bees—,
Laughing, playing, fighting—
Learning sportsmanship and cooperation.
Body against body.
Testing endurance, stamina, and training.
Developing muscles and minds—
Making men out of weaklings.
Varied are the experiences Pine Mountain has given us.
One of the most meaningful was a play
We gave in our second year,
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.
Hard and long we worked, well guided.
And then came the day.
Each one, heart in his throat,
Made his entrance and breathed more easily
As the sea of faces below the foot lights were forgotten.
Tears were in our own eyes and lumps in our throats
As the last touching scenes unfolded.
Curtain! And then encore followed encore.
Proud we were with the pride that comes
From work well done.
Other work has left us proud
Long hours spent on Pine Cone—
Writing, editing, proofing, printing—
All were joys when one could point to printed word
And say “There, that’s mine.”
Our joyous festal days.
A perfect day—a clear blue sky and soft wind blowing;
Trees and branches swaying in the sun,
Leaves of every color drifting through the air,
Covering the soft earth beneath our feet.
Youth trudging up the mountain side,
Happy, carefree, full of the joy of life.
A picnic lunch,
A wide vista from the tower of the surrounding beauty,
Colors blending together, forming a beautiful
Tapestry of our hills and valleys.
Ghosts, goblins, and spooky creatures,
Black cats and weird witches,
Awaiting in every corner,
Scaring the wits out of some,
Amusing others. Dancing and games—
Blowing out the candles—
Dashing for the last potato,
Laughter, fun, and a grand time for everyone.
Dim lights, beautiful decorations,
Girls in their gay dresses,
Boys in their white pants,
Gathering at Laurel House for the event of the year.
The orchestra striking up familiar tunes,
Couples forming sets for
Nonesuch, Portland Fancy, and
Jenny Pluck Pears,
Gliding gracefully over the floor, Enjoying the vigorous swing
Of old English and American folk dances
Open House Day—
Cheery living rooms and open hearth fires aglow in every house
And a warm welcome for all.
Everywhere, glossy green holly studded with red berries
And evergreens brought in from the woods,
Giving a real Christmas setting.
At Laurel House—
Girls dressed in white, lighting candles and singing Silent Night;
Others draping the garland from the balcony
Or hanging wreaths at the windows and doors;
A small boy astride the Yule log;
The dancing of the stately minuet;
Mummer’s play, symbolizing old England—
All these filling our hearts with the spirit of Christmas.
The dining-room all decked with red, white, and blue trimmings,
A huge V for Victory hanging over our head,
Everyone wearing stamp and bond corsages—
All in celebration of our War Loan Drive—
Enough money raised to buy almost four jeeps,
A special citation from the Secretary of Treasury!
No wonder light-hearted couples swing on the floor
In step with the lively dance music.
Voices ring out in harmony—
The Marseillaise of France,
The Chinese Song of the Hoe,
The Pedlar from Russia,
And Hey Ho! from merry England.
Patriotism in our hearts.
The spirit of unity among all.
Uncle William Aunt Sal
Aunt Sal’s Day
April— spring in the air,
Flowers and trees putting forth bud and blossom,
Dogwood and redbud in full glory,
Anemone, trillium, and violets dotting the woods and edging the paths.
Uncle William’s family gathering with us
Around the little old weather-beaten cabin,
In commemoration of Aunt Sal,
Devoted wife of Uncle William,
Pioneer in the founding of our school.
Aunt Sal’s Song resounding in the valley,
Words of love, kindness, and gratitude
Pine Mountain’s oldest friend.
All share alike in our little world,
Engulfed in this narrow valley,
Ours is the life of a family, large yet knit so closely.
Laughter, tears, smiles, and chatter,
Classmates and comrades, warm companionship.
Boys becoming men after four years of Pine Mountain.
Fun in our swimming pool fed by
A clear, cold, tumbling mountain stream;
And on the playground—
Football, softball, boxing, wrestling,
Muscles growing stronger.
Overnight Scout trips to Line Fork Woods;
Burrowing deep into a mountain cave;
Daydreaming over the top of a school book;
Flying rides down a snow covered hill
Many times ending in a cold, wet tumble.
For the girls— early years spent at Big Log—
Six and eight students to a room,
Feasts and packages from home shared with all;
Junior and senior years spent in West Wind—
Rooms for two, the joy of adding some little touch
To make the rooms our own.
Early morning quietness, twittering birds the only sound,
Then the steady ring of the rising bell;
Going to breakfast in the cool morning air,
When tiny dew drops sparkle like diamonds on the grass;
Anxiously waiting for mail at noon;
Quiet hour on Sunday and letter writing;
Gathering for a feast or hot strong coffee;
Students linked arm in arm, pouring in steady streams
From the school house and Industrial Buildings,
Laurel House bell calling them to lunch;
Living, working, and playing together,
Each day binding us closer
In friendship that lasts through life.
American Gothic— tall gables reaching skyward
— symbol of our aspirations toward all good, toward God;
This, our chapel, built of stone and timbers,
Hewn from the strong mountain at its back.
Throughout our lives, we may close our eyes
and see it through the changing seasons:
In spring, bare dark branches burst alive—
and behold! a picture framed in the pearl of dogwood and rose redbud.
Climbing ivy, balm of hemlock,
In fall, the miracle of Nature’s final fling in riotous color,
mellowing to soft earth tones.
In winter, the purity, peace,
and blessing of white on
Now the clear rhythmic call of the bell pulses throughout the valley.
We ascend the winding pathway; silently the heavy, oaken doors swing open and close.
We are filled with a sense of warmth, protection, at-homeness
A wave of thankfulness for all that is ours, for all that our chapel has meant, and will mean to us and others, wells up in our silent prayer.
The stone altar, simple and beautiful in moss, foliage, and flower of Nature’s constant offering;
The cross, illumined in
A vesper hour with the masters—Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, on organ, or piano;
Or with the poets— Coffin, Whitman, Bryant, Shelley, Keats.
Ardent young voices raised in song;
Prayer for the millions of God’s own who are deprived of
On Thanksgiving: The altar laden with the rich golden harvest of our fields,
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing, we hasten His will to obey;
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies.
Lord of Hosts to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.
The Nativity Play:
Darkened chapel, filled and fragrant with hemlocks;
The seven blessings of Mary; I wonder as I wander; the voice of the prophets; the star in the East;
Glory in the highest glory, peace on earth, good will to men; the hush as Mary broods over the Infant— Lullaby, thou little tiny child.
Our Easter service:
The altar in Easter lilies, daffodils, and delicate fern.
The processional; Christ the Lord has risen today, Alleluia.
Choruses from the Messiah; oratorios, the Easter sermon.
The thrill of attuning ourselves in harmonious portrayal of compassion for suffering, and in praise of wondrous works.
The memories crowd; organ music, soft or swelling, or majestic;
Earnest faces of our classmates occupying the pulpit, reaching out valiantly, sometimes hesitantly because of inexperience, toward ideas high and holy.
Quiet Sunday morning talks by our campus workers,
Scripture coming alive and homely bits of wisdom striking deep into our understanding.
Dynamic visiting speakers— Ambrose, Bailey, McClellan, Weeks, Hutchins, others —strong, good men with messages that plant themselves and must bear fruit.
Who will forget—The End of the Exploration is the Beginning of the Enterprise; The Order of the Burning Heart;
The Miracle in Thy Hand?
Names to us inseparable: Pettit, Zande, Morris, Dodd, Smith— these and many more.
Source of never-ending inspiration, our chapel, For this we thank Thee, Lord.
Here we have loved, and love:
The beauty of the sunset,
The mystery of the mountains,
The quietness of the Chapel,
The graciousness of the dining-hall,
The singing of the ballads— melancholy and sad, bright or lonely,
Bodies that moved, graceful and lovely, to the folk music of their ancestor,
Picnics at the Lean-to,
White snow on loft dark pine,
The west wind screaming up the valley,
The hoot of an owl at midnight,
Foretelling the coming weather.
So to each of us has come the unusual,
the ordinary, the beautiful, the common, the gay, the sad,
the forgotten, and the memorable things that
Pine Mountain holds for all who seek its guidance.
Each has learned in his or her own way.
Some have gained, where
But to each of us has been given some of the gifts
That Pine Mountain has for all.
In our going from this valley these we shall take with us,
In the hope of passing to another what Pine Mountain
has given so freely to us.
PINE MOUNTAIN SONG
Found this land and here did see
That man might live and love and dream
The words by time have made dear to us,
Humanity and sturdy truth,
Deep sprung from honesty, self-control,
These are their challenge to our youth.
For greater skill of hand and mind,
Joy of heart and friendship free,
For quickened feeling, truer alms–
For these our lives will richer be.
O guarding mountain, staunch and strong.
Our hopes and spirits oft renew,
Help us and guide in all our ways,
O keep thy children straight and true.
Ours is a
Bombers thundering over the Alps,
Bombs whistling down in a rain of steel and death,
Anti-tank gun, the new bazooka,
Barking a defiant answer
To the roaring challenge of the tanks,
Leaving them masses of twisted and melted steel
And the mangled remains of what once had been men.
Fighter planes, screaming and diving,
Leaving troop trains jumbles of broken rails and shattered coaches.
Ships, steaming slowly into position
And blazing away with sixteen inchers—
Fortifications reduced to dust,
And men to splinters of flesh and bone.
Flame-throwers, attacking a dug-out,
Artillery barrages, bayonet charges,
The staccato blasting of machine guns,
Cutting men down like a scythe.
A sub stealthily slipping into an enemy harbor,
A few moments maneuvering— left, right, steady, fire!
Messengers of death cutting through the water,
A troop ship quietly at anchor,
Then the “tin fish” strike home!
A boom as they strike and another as the boilers blow up.
Men, screaming and swimming through fire,
And dying— always dying.
Boys from Pine Mountain have shared these deeds of horror.
From the rocky mountains of Italy
To the remote islands of the South Pacific—
Tarawa, the Marshalls, Guadalcanal—
Our boys have fought through them all.
Former members of our class
Are today defending the things they love—
The things we love.
We pause to pay tribute to them.
To Blair in the Army Air Corps,
And Bryant of the Marines,
Combs, Couch, Cornett, all in the Navy,
To Engle in the Marine Air Corps,
And to Halcomb with the Marines in the South Pacific,
Hamilton in the Infantry,
And Irick who fought in North Africa,
Langford with the Navy off the coast of Italy,
Martin in Hawaii, wearing the Navy blue,
And Mclntyre, Nolan, Smith, and Wilder,
All in the Navy.
Familiar names, they strike responsive chords
The world will not always be at war,
The ideal of peace still lives in the hearts of men.
But before this dream comes true,
Men must learn to love again,
And cease the race for money and power.
Treachery and brutality must be uprooted
From the hearts of men,
To be replaced by the seeds of truth and kindness.
Ours must not be the feeling of revenge,
But one of understanding and tolerance.
Honesty, Self-control, Humanity, Truth—
Inscribed in blocks of stone
And printed in undying letters on our hearts—
These words remind us of the task at hand–