Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Great-Great-Great Grandmother's Thoughts

I came across a poem written by my grandmother's great-grandmother, in her own handwriting. It was definitely written after 1855 and before 1872 which was the year when she passed away. It is likely it was written around 1871. She was married to Robert Richardson born in 1805 to 1889. He was the son of Robert Fletcher Richardson - "the two Richards."

Her children:
Rosina Jane Richardson Stevens 1835-1912
Mary Elizabeth Richardson Welch and later Dexter 1839-1879
Robert Fletcher Richardson 1832-1922
Nathaniel Healy Richardson 1837-1908
Henry Carlton Richardson 1838-1910
Evalina (Nellie) Irene Richardson Thompson 1847-1926
Cornelius Warren Richardson 1834-1835
Coraline Lorane Richardson 1845-1846

A Mother’s Thoughts

Silent and lone, Silent and lone
Where, tell me where, are my little ones gone
Who used to be playing about my knee
With their noisy mirth and boisterous glee
Who littered the carpet and misplaced the chairs
And scattered their playthings all unawares?
Who called for their supper with eager shout
And while it was getting, ran in and out
Who kept all the apples and nuts from spoiling
And never saved jackets and pants from soiling
Had ever a want and ever a will
That added a care to my heart – until
I sometimes signed for the time to come
When they’d be big and go out from home.
Silent and lone, silent and lone
Where, tell me where, are my little ones gone?
There’s no little faces to wash to night
No little trouble for mother to right
No little black eyes to be rocked to sleep
No little playthings to put up to keep
No little garments to hang on the rack
No little tales to tell, no nuts to crack
No little trundle bed brimful of rollick
Calling for mother to settle the frolic
No little soft lips to press me with kisses
Oh! Such a sad, lonely evening as this is!
No little voices to shout with delight
“Good night, dear mama, good night, good night!”
Silent the house is, no little ones here
To startle a smile, or chase back a tear.
Silent and lone, silent and lone
Where, tell me where, are my little ones gone.
It seemeth but yesterday since they were young
Now they’re scattered the world’s paths among
Little ones, loving ones, playful ones, all
Who went when I bade, and came at my call.
Have you deserted me? Will ye not come
Back to your mother’s arms, back to your home.
Silent and lone, silent and lone
Where tell me where are my little ones gone.
Useless my cry is! Why do I complain?
They’ll be my little ones never again!
Can the great oaks to the acorns return

The broad rolling stream flow back to the byrne?
The mother call childhood back to her knee
That in manhood went forth the strong and the free?
Nay, Nay no true mother would ask for them back
Her work nobly done, their firm tramp on life’s track
Will come like an organ note lofty and clear
To lift up her soul and her spirit to cheer
And though the times fall when silent and lone
She’ll know it is best they are scattered and gone
Silent and lone, silent and lone
Thy will, O my Father, not my will be done.

Rosina Healy Richardson