Long Ago

I found the following poem in The Meridian Semi-Weekly Gazette, June 13, 1867, and the mournful, sad lines spoke to me. The writer, identified only as “E.S.,” was certainly someone that had suffered great loss, and the pain they were suffering was all to common in the post war South.

I am sitting, sitting all alone,

19th Century Depiction of a Woman in Mourning - http://cwciv.tripod.com/mourning.html

19th Century Depiction of a Woman in Mourning – http://cwciv.tripod.com/mourning.html

In the little cottage door;

Where oft I’ve sat with loved ones

In the halcyon days of yore –

Memory reverts in a sadness,

To the time I used to rove

Round about this quiet cottage,

With those I fondly loved –

Unbidden tears are falling,

As a glance I backward throw,

Through the sad and many changes,

Since the times of long ago.

Twas here I spent my childhood,

Neath this cottage roof so low;

Floating on the stream of pleasure,

In the time of long ago;

With those I loved to join me,

In the sports of my delight,

From the early dawn of morning,

Till the reign of dismal night.

Oh! blissful days of childhood,

Why did ye fly so fast?

And leave the weary heart to feel,

Life’s sweetest joys are past.

Twas then, I had a mother dear,

With a voice so sweet and low,

And a father kissed me often,

In times of long ago.

And too, I had a brother dear,

With a heart so manly firm

And a sister to caress me

With a love that’s always true.

But all have gone and left me,

There are none that love me now –

There are none that love me now –

There are none to caress me,

Nor soothe my aching brow.

My mother’s form is mouldering,

Beneath the old Elm tree;

My father’s bones are lying,

‘Neath the deep and far off sea;

The grass and flowers are growing,

On the little mound we made,

In the corner of the garden,

Where my darling sister’s laid.

My brother, oh my brother –

He never had a grave –

He fell, as falls the soldier,

The bravest of the brave.

The world’s a desert now to me,

One field of endless woe,

I ne’er again shall see such days,

As the times of long ago.

But whereso’er I wander,

Over land, or over sea;

My thoughts shall come at evening,

Childhood’s home to thee,

And when my living ceases,

And my body slumbers low,

I’ll join in Heaven my loved ones,

As in the times of long ago.

E.S.

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