Page 78 - An Elegy by Andrew Dunphy
ISSUE : Issue 44
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1
For they were all I'd ever ask And all on earth I'd crave My love has gone with those dear girls Down in their silent grave. In silence I have always mourned I'll mourn in silence still Although we're parted for a while It's God's most holy will. At night when I'd lay down to sleep With my sweet Flora May Her loving arms around my neck Slept calmly and peacefull}!' Till early morning sun would rise Send forth its glittering ray Then she'd awake and sweetly smile My darling Flora May. In fancy I can see her yet And feel her hand on me As when she'd come and stand beside Or climb upon my knee. Now they are in Heaven full well I know Both angels bright up above Some day or night I too will go To meet each child I love. Dear Aggie died, the last of three And buried with the rest Her little soul in glory crowned And mingling with the blessed. Many a time I walked those fields When the glorious sun did shine And many a time they met me there When the day was warm and fine. Each fair young brow and flowing hair Fanned by the balmy breeze With them I sat and talked for hours Beneath the shady trees. The little birds high overhead Sang sweetly on every bough Those children now alas have fled-- Where are those children now? Now every moment seems an hour Each day is like a year No loving smile to greet me now Or fond young face to cheer. Great God how wretched do I feel Here in this loneliness Is there no sunshine left for me Or am I doomed to this? Oh how I long to meet them there Dressed in their robes of white A sunny smile upon each face And eyes of glittering bright Those eyes that fondly gazed on me When round their own sweet home Those eyes no more on earth I'll see I feel I'm much alone. Those children's work on earth were done Their mission ended here Now they have left us all alone Gone to a brighter sphere But I'll be kind to those that's left As long as I will stay We do not know the day or hour They may be called away. Think how sad we then would feel If we used them unkind For grief and sorrow is the lot Of those that's left behind. Now fifteen days have passed away Yet cruel death was"here And called another flower away They we had loved so dear. It was Agnes dear was called this time A child of beauty rare With sparkling eyes and ruby lips And long and flowing hair She passed away that fair young child No earthly skill could save Now her poor little lisping tongue Lies silent in the grave. Her little pure and stainless soul To Heaven above did soar To join her other sisters there On that bright and happy shore. Now sad and lonely is this home That once was filled with glee Each little smiling face no more Within those walls we'll see. Oh no dear Lord in thee I trust Turn darkness into day And give me some companion dear For those you took away. For barren now is nature's face Stripped of its once bright charms This so wide I can never replace Those children in my arms. But they are not dead, they are only gone Beyond that misty vail Now there is none left but Martha dear And the little baby Neil. So let us pray these may be spared To live for many a year To take the place of those that's gone And their parents' hearts to cheer. Before I will conclude those lines That I have poorly penned A word or two more I will say Because I'm still their friend. If I will live to see the spring Their graves with flowers I'll strew. In life I loved them very much In death I'll still be true. Near where the river rolls along Their graves are newly made In those lonely narrow beds Those children dear are laid To sleep near those of kindred dear Long mingled with the dust Whose souls long since have gone to Him Who was their hope and trust. The day may not be distant then When I shall leave this place To travel o'er the path of death To meet their fond embrace, To live with you in endless bliss Crowned by our last reward Our love and j oy forevermore There with almighty God. Our thanks to Bob Fitzgerald, Dingwall, for his version of this poem. A version is also on display at the North Highlands Community Museum, Cape North. The poem was composed at Dingwall in 1901. Andrew Dunphy died around 1935. Although we know the cemetery, the grave is unmarked, and there is no one today who can point to the spot where he is buried. His poetry is thus his marker, his stone.
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