WHEN A BOY.
The old home stands upon the hill,
And lo, behold, I see it still,
And there, beneath the sunny sky,
I sat and watched the birds go by,
And wondered if I e'er would be
A man, some day - it troubled me.
Where there was sorrow now is joy,
For I'm no more to be a boy.
My father was poor neighbor Bill,
When a boy I worked my father's farm -
I often wandered down the hill,
Long months and years have come and gone,
WE WILL FORGET.
We will forget - ah, forget at last,
Though heart be sad and eye with teardrop wet;
The sunshine and shadow of the past
We will forget.
Our happy hours together, all too fleet;
In future years the day may dawn at last
And yet, oh heart of mine, that throbs amiss
OLD AND POOR.
He stood beside the open door,
His form bent 'neath the weight of years;
A man whose life held trials sore,
And sorrow far to deep for tears.
His pale, sad face was pinched with cold,
His feeble, trembling hands were bare,
While through his garments, thin and old,
Unhindered swept the wintry air.
"A crust of bread in Pity's name:
In hopeful youth no boding fears
Too long have we been blinded by
DEATH OF GENERAL CUSTER.
O Custer, valiant Custer,
Can this dread news be true?
(The bravest band in all the land
That wore their Country's blue.)
Dishonor never stained his name,
Defeat he never knew.
O Custer of the golden locks,
On all the Southern battle-fields,
Be scorned, the envious voice from the East,
No lions in the jungle thick,
The story of that fierce attack,
Let vengeance swift their track pursue,
There's a burden of grief on the autumn breeze,
That blows o'er the land and deep blue seas.
A song of regret from the birds of the air,
A shadow of sorrow spreading everywhere;
On the land where joy has ranged for years,
But now whose fields are damp with tears.
The stars and stripes droop in mournful state,
Deeds of the man so noble and great,
Yet the nation's heart aches with pain,
And when he offered his hand to greet,
We ask in sorrow why was lie taken that way?
His spirit rests neath a golden wall,
On earth his name and memory shall never die,
Our beautiful Maggie was married to-day,
Beautiful Maggie with soft brown hair,
Whose shadows fall over a face as fair
As the snowy bloom of the early May;
We have kissed her lips and sent her away,
The sunshine is gone from the old south room,
I thought that the song of the robin this eve
The pictures seem dim where they hang on the wall;
I lounge thro' the garden, I stand by the gate -
She loved us and left us - she loves and is gone
March 23, 1882.
ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI.
Oh, fair, proud city, at whose feet
The dark Missouri sweeps along,
These summer days it were most meet
Some poet greet thee with a song.
But how shall I such tribute bring.
Whose voice hath silent been so long?
I gaze upon the from afar,
They cannot hide the sunny slopes
I see afar thy glittering domes,
On yonder hills once smooth and green,
See, far adown yon crowded street,
All changed as by some magic wand,
Above yon hill so brown and bare,
I cannot calmly meet thy hills,
Alas, beside some grassy mound,
Beneah some pillar fair and white,
Could I recall the years now fled,
Beautiful Kansas sits in the sun,
Smiling and happy, her work well done -
Well done, too, for in sun and rain
Toiled she nobly, nor toiled in vain.
Plentiful showers and warm sunshine
Breathing glad life in each plant and vine;
Plentiful harvests her labors have blest,
Now from her labors she finds welcome rest;
Under the light of the Autumn sun,
Smiling and happy her work all done.
What are the visions that flit to and fro,
How changed is the prospect before her glad eyes!
Beautiful Kansas, fair and serene!
Beautiful mansions now dotting her plain.
Oh, memory is so sweet to me Lizzie,
Busy with the past to-night;
Your blue eyes are shining upon me
Still, in their beautiful light.
Have you ever once guessed at the secret
For never before have I whispered
No blossoms of hope had then perished,
Ah, Lizzie, the shadows and sunshine
For soon, ere the snows of winter
You kissed my pale brow in your sadness,
But the sorrow was beautiful, darling,
Good-bye, for to-morrow has claimed you,
But ever the love of my darling
Yes, I meet her bare-back riding,
Using neither strap nor rein;
Blind her horse, but she was guiding
With her fingers in the mane, -
Girl on the gray old mare.
"Morning, Sis," with nod I greeted;
In a simple gown and airy,
But the mare was very lazy,
As I passed the little ranger,
On she rode, this happy hearted,
For her name I vainly plotted;
WHEN I WAS A BOY AT HOME.
There is one place upon the earth a boy will not forget;
Though other thoughts and places fade, this place is vivid yet;
It is the brightest spot on earth, or ought to be at least;
And not a place to crush out life, but for the heart to feast.
It is the home of our kindest friends, and where our lives begin,
Where we obtain our early thoughts, which rush along like sin.
O, what a pleasant time in life without a care to mar,
It is the place (the very place) that make boys what they are.
Oh, no, I never can forget, no matter where I roam
I often think of those old days when I was a boy at home.
We have such pleasant memories, our thoughts run back to when
We told each other what we thought we'd do when we were men,
But not a thing took place by chance as we agreed it should;
Our aspirations were to high - perhaps that's for our good.
Our time was spent at school when young, from morn till close of day;
At night our stories we'd relate; we'd lay our cares away.
Our father and our mother too, would give us good advice
About the downward easy road that we might think was nice.
There'd always be a sacred place, no matter where we roam -
We never can forget the days when we were boys at home.
I care not whether large or small, a house has little part,
In making home what it should be - there's home where there's a heart.
O, is there such a place on earth (though Eve and Adam fell.)
Where life and light and love are crushed - a place where demons dwell?
Our words and actions all should be reflections of a soul,
That had a right regard for all upon the family roll;
And after I am old and gray I know that I shall mourn,
If I cannot return and see the place where I was born,
Those memories will still remain though round the earth I roam.
I never can forget the days when I was a boy at home.
Transcribed from Gray's Doniphan County history: A record of the happenings of half a hundred years. By P. L. (Patrick Leopoldo) Gray. Bendena, Kan.: The Roycroft Press, 1905. 3p. l. -84, 166,  p. front., plates, ports. 24 cm.
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