Wanderer's Return

My home is so glad, my heart is so light,
My wandering boy has returned to­p;night.
He is blighted and bruised, I know, by sin,
But I am so glad to welcome him in.

The child of my tenderest love and care
Has broken away from the tempter's snare;
tonight my heart is o'erflowing with joy,
I have found again my wandering boy.

My heart has been wrung with a thousand fears,
Mine eyes have been drenched with the bitterest tears;
Like shadows that fade are my past alarms,
My boy is enclasped in his mother's arms.

The streets were not safe for my darling child;
Where sin with its evil attractions smiled.
But his wandering feet have ceased to roam,
And tonight my wayward boy is at home­.

At home with the mother that loves him best,
With the hearts that have ached with sad unrest,
With the hearts that are thrilling with untold joy
Because we have found our wandering boy.

In that wretched man so haggard and wild
I only behold my returning child,
And the blissful tears from my eyes that start
Are the overflow of a happy heart.

I have trodden the streets in lonely grief,
I have sought in prayer for my sole relief;
But the depths of my heart tonight are stirred,
I know that the mother's prayer has been heard.

If the mother-love be so strong and great
For her child, sin-weary and desolate,
Oh what must the love of the Father be
For souls who have wandered like you and me!

Do Not Cheer, Men Are Dying, Said Capt. Phillips

Do not cheer, for men are dying
From their distant homes in pain;
And the restless sea is darkened
By a flood of crimson rain.

Do not cheer, for anxious mothers
Wait and watch in lonely dread;
Vainly waiting for the footsteps
Never more their paths to tread.

Do not cheer, while little children
Gather round the widowed wife,
Wondering why an unknown people
Sought their own dear father's life.

Do not cheer, for aged fathers
Bend above their staves and weep,
While the ocean sings the requiem
Where their fallen children sleep.

Do not cheer, for lips are paling
On which lay the mother's kiss;
'Mid the dreadful roar of battle
How that mother's hand they miss!

Do not cheer: once joyous maidens,
Who the mazy dance did tread,
Bow their heads in bitter anguish,
Mourning o'er their cherished dead.

Do not cheer while maid and matron
In this strife must bear a part;
While the blow that strikes a soldier
Reaches to some woman's heart.

Do not cheer till arbitration
O'er the nations holds its sway,
And the century now closing
Ushers in a brighter day.

Do not cheer until the nation
Shall more wise and thoughtful grow
Than to staunch a stream of sorrow
By an avalanche of woe.

Do not cheer until each nation
Sheathes the sword and blunts the spear,
And we sing aloud for gladness:
Lo, the reign of Christ is here,

And the banners of destruction
From the battlefield are furled,
And the peace of God descending
Rests upon a restless world.

I had a dream, a varied dream:
Before my ravished sight
The city of my Lord arose,
With all its love and light.

The music of a myriad harps
Flowed out with sweet accord;
And saints were casting down their crowns
In homage to our Lord.

My heart leaped up with untold joy;
Life's toil and pain were o'er;
My weary feet at last had found
The bright and restful shore.

Just as I reached the gates of light,
Ready to enter in,
From earth arose a fearful cry
Of sorrow and of sin.

I turned, and saw behind me surge
A wild and stormy sea;
And drowning men were reaching out
Imploring hands to me.

And ev'ry lip was blanched with dread
And moaning for relief;
The music of the golden harps
Grew fainter for their grief.

Let me return, I quickly said,
Close to the pearly gate;
My work is with these wretched ones,
So wrecked and desolate.

An angel smiled and gently said:
This is the gate of life,
Wilt thou return to earth's sad scenes,
Its weariness and strife,

To comfort hearts that sigh and break,
To dry the falling tear,
Wilt thou forego the music sweet
Entrancing now thy ear?

I must return, I firmly said,
The strugglers in that sea
Shall not reach out beseeching hands
In vain for help to me.

I turned to go; but as I turned
The gloomy sea grew bright,
And from my heart there seemed to flow
Ten thousand cords of light.

And sin-wrecked men, with eager hands,
Did grasp each golden cord;
And with my heart I drew them on
To see my gracious Lord.

Again I stood beside the gate.
My heart was glad and free;
For with me stood a rescued throng
The Lord had given me.

Dedication Poem

Outcast from her home in Syria
In the lonely, dreary wild;
Heavy hearted, sorrow stricken,
Sat a mother and her child.

There was not a voice to cheer her
Not a soul to share her fate;
She was weary, he was fainting,
And life seemed so desolate.

Far away in sunny Egypt
Was lone Hagar's native land;
Where the Nile in kingly bounty
Scatters bread with gracious hand.

In the tents of princely Abram
She for years had found a home;
Till the stern decree of Sarah
Sent her forth the wild to roam.

Hour by hour she journeyed onward
From the shelter of their tent,
Till her footsteps slowly faltered
And the water all was spent;

Then she veiled her face in sorrow,
Feared her child would die of thirst
Till her eyes with tears so holden
Saw a sparkling fountain burst.

Oh! how happy was that mother,
What a soothing of her pain;

When she saw her child reviving,
Life rejoicing through each vein

Does not life repeat this story,
Tell it over day by day ?
Of the fountains of refreshment
Ever springing by our way.

Here is one by which we gather,
On this bright and happy day,
Just to bask beside a fountain
Making gladder life's highway.

Bringing unto hearts now aged
Who have borne life's burdens long,
Such a gift of love and mercy
As deserves our sweetest song.

Such a gift that even heaven
May rejoice with us below,
If the pure and holy angels
Join us in our joy and woe.

May the memory of the giver
In this home where age may rest,
Float like fragrance through the ages,
Ever blessing, ever blest. .

When the gates of pearl are opened
May we there this friend behold,
Drink with him from living fountains,
Walk with him the streets of gold.

When life's shattered cords of music
Shall again be sweetly sung;
Then our hearts with life immortal,
Shall be young, forever young.

Signing The Pledge

Do you see this cup­, this tempting cup­,
Its sparkle and its glow?
I tell you this cup has brought to me
A world of shame and woe.

Do you see that woman sad and wan?
One day with joy and pride,
With orange blossoms in her hair,
I claimed her as my bride.

And vowed that I would faithful prove
Till death our lives should part;
I've drenched her soul with floods of grief,
And almost crushed her heart.

Do you see that gray­p;haired mother bend
Beneath her weight of years?
I've filled that aged mother's eyes
With many bitter tears.

Year after year for me she prays,
And tries her child to save;
I've almost brought her gray hairs down
In sorrow to the grave.

Do you see that boy whose wistful eyes
Are gazing on my face?
I've overshadowed his young life
With sorrow and disgrace.

He used to greet me with a smile,
His heart was light and glad;
I've seen him tremble at my voice,
I've made that heart so sad.

Do you see this pledge I've signed to­-night?
My mother, wife, and boy
Shall read my purpose on that pledge
And smile through tears of joy.

To know this night, this very night,
I cast the wine­p;cup down,
And from the dust of a sinful life
Lift up my manhood's crown.

The faded face of my young wife
With roses yet shall bloom,
And joy shall light my mother's eyes
On the margin of the tomb.

I have vowed to­p;night my only boy,
With brow so fair and mile,
Shall not be taunted on the streets,
And called a drunkard's child.

Never again shall that young face
Whiten with grief and dread,
Because I've madly staggered home
And sold for drink his bread.

This strong right arm unnerved by rum
Shall battle with my fate;
And peace and comfort crown the home
By drink made desolate.

Like a drowning man, tempest­p;tossed,
Clings to a rocky ledge,
With trembling hands I've learned to grasp
The gospel and the pledge.

A captive bounding from my chain,
I've rent each hateful band,
And by the help of grace divine
A victor hope to stand.

Maceo dead! a thrill of sorrow
Through our hearts in sadness ran
When we felt in one sad hour
That the world had lost a man.

He had clasped unto his bosom
The sad fortunes of his land --
Held the cause for which he perished
With a firm, unfaltering hand.

On his lips the name of freedom
Fainted with his latest breath.
Cuba Libre was his watchword
Passing through the gates of death.

With the light of God around us,
Why this agony and strife?
With the cross of Christ before us,
Why this fearful waste of life?

Must the pathway unto freedom
Ever mark a crimson line,
And the eyes of wayward mortals
Always close to light divine?

Must the hearts of fearless valor
Fail 'mid crime and cruel wrong,
When the world has read of heroes
Brave and earnest, true and strong?

Men to stay the floods of sorrow
Sweeping round each war-crushed heart;
Men to say to strife and carnage --
From our world henceforth depart.

God of peace and God of nations,
Haste! oh, haste the glorious day

When the reign of our Redeemer
O'er the world shall have its sway.

When the swords now blood encrusted,
Spears that reap the battle field,
Shall be changed to higher service,
Helping earth rich harvests yield.

Where the widow weeps in anguish,
And the orphan bows his head,
Grant that peace and joy and gladness
May like holy angels tread.

Pity, oh, our God the sorrow
Of thy world from thee astray,
Lead us from the paths of madness
Unto Christ the living way.

Year by year the world grows weary
'Neath its weight of sin and strife,
Though the hands once pierced and bleeding
Offer more abundant life.

May the choral song of angels
Heard upon Judea's plain
Sound throughout the earth the tidings
Of that old and sweet refrain.

Till our world, so sad and weary,
Finds the balmy rest of peace --
Peace to silence all her discords --
Peace till war and crime shall cease.

Peace to fall like gentle showers,
Or on parchéd flowers dew,
Till our hearts proclaim with gladness:
Lo, He maketh all things new.

.
I remember, well remember,
.
That dark and dreadful day,
.
When they whispered to me, "Chloe,
.
Your children's sold away!" 1.
It seemed as if a bullet
.
Had shot me through and through,
.
And I felt as if my heart-strings
.
Was breaking right in two. 1.
And I says to cousin Milly,
.

"There must be some mistake;
.

Where's Mistus?" "In the great house crying --
.

Crying like her heart would break. 1.

"And the lawyer's there with Mistus;
.

Says he's come to 'ministrate,
.

'Cause when master died he just left
.

Heap of debt on the estate. 1.

"And I thought 'twould do you good
.

To bid your boys good-bye --
.

To kiss them both and shake their hands,
.

And have a hearty cry. 1.

"Oh! Chloe, I knows how you feel,
.

'Cause I'se been through it all;
.

I thought my poor old heart would break,
.

When master sold my Saul." 1.

Just then I heard the footsteps
.

Of my children at the door,
.

And then I rose right up to meet them,
.

But I fell upon the floor. 1.

And I heard poor Jakey saying,
.

"Oh, mammy, don't you cry!"
.

And I felt my children kiss me
.

And bid me, both, good-bye. 1.

Then I had a mighty sorrow,
.

Though I nursed it all alone;
.

But I wasted to a shadow,
.

And turned to skin and bone. 1.

But one day dear uncle Jacob
.

(In heaven he's now a saint)
.

Said, "Your poor heart is in the fire,
.

But child you must not faint." 1.

Then I said to uncle Jacob,
.

If I was good like you,
.

When the heavy trouble dashed me
.

I'd know just what to do. 1.

Then he said to me, "Poor Chloe,
.

The way is open wide:"
.

And he told me of the Saviour,
.

And the fountain in His side. 1.

Then he said "Just take your burden
.

To the blessed Master's feet;
.

I takes all my troubles, Chloe,
.

Right unto the mercy-seat." 1.

His words waked up my courage,
.

And I began to pray,
.

And I felt my heavy burden
.

Rolling like a stone away. 1.

And a something seemed to tell me,
.

You will see your boys again --
.

And that hope was like a poultice
.

Spread upon a dreadful pain. 1.

And it often seemed to whisper,
.

Chloe, trust and never fear;
.

You'll get justice in the kingdom,
.

If you do not get it here. [2] The Deliverance 2.
Master only left old Mistus
.
One bright and handsome boy;
.
But she fairly doted on him,
.
He was her pride and joy. 2.
We all liked Mister Thomas,
.
He was so kind at heart;
.
And when the young folkes got in scrapes,
.
He always took their part. 2.
He kept right on that very way
.

Till he got big and tall,
.

And old Mistus used to chide him
.

And say he'd spile us all. 2.

But somehow the farm did prosper
.

When he took things in hand;
.

And though all the servants liked him,
.

He made them understand. 2.

One evening Mister Thomas said,
.

"Just bring my easy shoes;
.

I am going to sit by mother,
.

And read her up the news." 2.

Soon I heard him tell old Mistus
.

We're bound to have a fight;
.

But we'll whip the Yankees, mother,
.

We'll whip them sure as night!" 2.

Then I saw old Mistus tremble;
.

She gasped and held her breath;
.

And she looked on Mister Thomas
.

With a face as pale as death. 2.

"They are firing on Fort Sumpter;
.

Oh! I wish that I was there! --
.

Why, dear mother! what's the matter?
.

You're the picture of despair." 2.

"I was thinking, dearest Thomas,
.

'Twould break my very heart
.

If a fierce and dreadful battle
.

Should tear our lives apart." 2.

"None but cowards, dearest mother,
.

Would skulk unto the rear,
.

When the tyrant's hand is shaking
.

All the heart is holding dear." 2.

I felt sorry for old Mistus;
.

She got too full to speak;
.

But I saw the great big tear-drops
.

A running down her cheek. 2.

Mister Thomas too was troubled
.

With choosing on that night,
.

Betwixt staying with his mother
.

And joining in the fight. 2.

Soon down into the village came
.

A call for volunteers;
.

Mistus gave up Mister Thomas,
.

With many sighs and tears. 2.

His uniform was real handsome;
.

He looked so brave and strong;
.

But somehow I could'nt help thinking
.

His fighting must be wrong. 2.

Though the house was very lonesome,
.

I thought 'twould all come right,
.

For I felt somehow or other
.

We was mixed up in that fight. 2.

And I said to Uncle Jacob,
.

"How old Mistus feels the sting,
.

For this parting with your children
.

Is a mighty dreadful thing." 2.

"Never mind," said Uncle Jacob,
.

"Just wait and watch and pray,
.

For I feel right sure and certain,
.

Slavery's bound to pass away; 2.

"Because I asked the Spirit,
.

If God is good and just,
.

How it happened that the masters
.

Did grind us to the dust. 2.

"And something reasoned right inside,
.

Such should not always be;
.

And you could not beat it out my head,
.

The Spirit spoke to me." 2.

And his dear old eyes would brighten,
.

And his lips put on a smile,
.

Saying, "Pick up faith and courage,
.

And just wait a little while." 2.

Mistus prayed up in the parlor,
.

That the Secesh all might win;
.

We were praying in the cabins,
.

Wanting freedom to begin. 2.

Mister Thomas wrote to Mistus,
.

Telling 'bout the Bull's Run fight,
.

That his troops had whipped the Yankees
.

And put them all to flight. 2.

Mistus' eyes did fairly glisten;
.

She laughed and praised the South,
.

But I thought some day she'd laugh
.

On tother side her mouth. 2.

I used to watch old Mistus' face,
.

And when it looked quite long
.

I would say to Cousin Milly,
.

The battle's going wrong; 2.

Not for us, but for the Rebels. --
.

My heart would fairly skip,
.

When Uncle Jacob used to say,
.


"The North is bound to whip." 2.


And let the fight go as it would --
.


Let North or South prevail --
.


He always kept his courage up,
.


And never let it fail. 2.


And he often used to tell us,
.


"Children, don't forget to pray;
.


For the darkest time of morning
.


Is just 'fore the break of day." 2.


Well, one morning bright and early
.


We heard the fife and drum,
.


And the booming of the cannon --
.


The Yankee troops had come. 2.


When the word ran through the village,
.


The colored folks are free --
.


In the kitchens and the cabins
.


We held a jubilee. 2.


When they told us Mister Lincoln
.


Said that slavery was dead,
.


We just poured our prayers and blessings
.


Upon his precious head. 2.


We just laughed, and danced, and shouted
.


And prayed, and sang, and cried,
.


And we thought dear Uncle Jacob
.


Would fairly crack his side. 2.


But when old Mistus heard it,
.


She groaned and hardly spoke;
.


When she had to lose her servants,
.


Her heart was almost broke. 2.


'Twas a sight to see our people
.


Going out, the troops to meet,
.


Almost dancing to the music,
.


And marching down the street. 2.


After years of pain and parting,
.


Our chains was broke in two,
.


And we was so mighty happy,
.


We didn't know what to do. 2.


But we soon got used to freedom,
.


Though the way at first was rough;
.


But we weathered through the tempest,
.


For slavery made us tough. 2.


But we had one awful sorrow,
.


It almost turned my head,
.


When a mean and wicked cretur
.


Shot Mister Lincoln dead. 2.


'Twas a dreadful solemn morning,
.


I just staggered on my feet;
.


And the women they were crying
.


And screaming in the street. 2.


But if many prayers and blessings
.


Could bear him to the throne,
.


I should think when Mister Lincoln died,
.


That heaven just got its own. 2.


Then we had another President, --
.


What do you call his name?
.


Well, if the colored folks forget him
.


They would'nt be much to blame. 2.


We thought he'd be the Moses
.


Of all the colored race;
.


But when the Rebels pressed us hard
.


He never showed his face. 2.


But something must have happened him,
.


Right curi's I'll be bound,
.


'Cause I heard 'em talking 'bout a circle
.


That he was swinging round. 2.


But everything will pass away --
.


He went like time and tide --
.


And when the next election came
.


They let poor Andy slide. 2.


But now we have a President,
.


And if I was a man
.


I'd vote for him for breaking up
.


The wicked Ku-Klux Klan. 2.


And if any man should ask me
.


If I would sell my vote,
.


I'd tell him I was not the one
.


To change and turn my coat; 2.


If freedom seem'd a little rough
.


I'd weather through the gale;
.


And as to buying up my vote,
.


I hadn't it for sale. 2.


I do not think I'd ever be
.


As slack as Jonas Handy;
.


Because I heard he sold his vote
.


For just three sticks of candy. 2.


But when John Thomas Reeder brought
.


His wife some flour and meat,
.


And told he had sold his vote
.


For something good to eat, 2.


You ought to seen Aunt Kitty raise,
.


And heard her blaze away;
.


She gave the meat and flour a toss,
.


And said they should not stay. 2.


And I should think he felt quite cheap
.


For voting the wrong side;
.


And when Aunt Kitty scolded him,
.


He just stood up and cried. 2.


But the worst fooled man I ever saw,
.


Was when poor David Rand
.


Sold out for flour and sugar;
.


The sugar was mixed with sand. 2.


I'll tell you how the thing got out;
.


His wife had company,
.


And she thought the sand was sugar,
.


And served it up for tea. 2.


When David sipped and sipped the tea,
.


Somehow it didn't taste right;
.


I guess when he found he was sipping sand
.


He was mad enough to fight. 2.


The sugar looked so nice and white --
.


It was spread some inches deep --
.


But underneath was a lot of sand;
.


Such sugar is mighty cheap. 2.


You'd laughed to seen Lucinda Grange
.


Upon her husband's track;
.


When he sold his vote for rations
.


She made him take 'em back. 2.


Day after day did Milly Green
.


Just follow after Joe,
.


And told him if he voted wrong
.


To take his rags and go. 2.


I think that Samuel Johnson said
.


His side had won the day,
.


Had not we women radicals
.


Just got right in the way. 2.


And yet I would not have you think
.


That all our men are shabby;
.


But 'tis said in every flock of sheep
.


There will be one that's scabby. 2.


I've heard, before election came
.


They tried to buy John Slade;
.


But he gave them all to understand
.


That he wasn't in that trade. 2.


And we've got lots of other men
.


Who rally round the cause,
.


And go for holding up the hands
.


That gave us equal laws, 2.


Who know their freedom cost too much
.


Of blood and pain and treasure,
.


For them to fool away their votes
.


For profit or for pleasure. [3] Aunt Chloe's Politics 3.
Of course, I don't know very much
.
About these politics,
.
But I think that some who run 'em,
.
Do mighty ugly tricks. 3.
I've seen 'em honey-fugle round,
.
And talk so awful sweet,
.
That you'd think them full of kindness
.
As an egg is full of meat. 3.
Now I don't believe in looking
.

Honest people in the face,
.

And saying when you're doing wrong,
.

That 'I haven't sold my race.' 3.

When we want to school our children,
.

If the money isn't there,
.

Whether black or white have took it,
.

The loss we all must share. 3.

And this buying up each other
.

Is something worse than mean,
.

Though I thinks a heap of voting,
.

I go for voting clean. [4] Learning to Read 4.
Very soon the Yankee teachers
.
Came down and set up school;
.
But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it, --
.
It was agin' their rule. 4.
Our masters always tried to hide
.
Book learning from our eyes;
.
Knowledge did'nt agree with slavery --
.
'Twould make us all too wise. 4.
But some of us would try to steal
.

A little from the book,
.

And put the words together,
.

And learn by hook or crook. 4.

I remember Uncle Caldwell,
.

Who took pot liquor fat
.

And greased the pages of his book,
.

And hid it in his hat. 4.

And had his master ever seen
.

The leaves upon his head,
.

He'd have thought them greasy papers,
.

But nothing to be read. 4.

And there was Mr. Turner's Ben,
.

Who heard the children spell,
.

And picked the words right up by heart,
.

And learned to read 'em well. 4.

Well, the Northern folks kept sending
.

The Yankee teachers down;
.

And they stood right up and helped us,
.

Though Rebs did sneer and frown. 4.

And I longed to read my Bible,
.

For precious words it said;
.

But when I begun to learn it,
.

Folks just shook their heads, 4.

And said there is no use trying,
.

Oh! Chloe, you're too late;
.

But as I was rising sixty,
.

I had no time to wait. 4.

So I got a pair of glasses,
.

And straight to work I went,
.

And never stopped till I could read
.

The hymns and Testament. 4.

Then I got a little cabin
.

A place to call my own --
.

And I felt as independent
.

As the queen upon her throne. [5] Church Building 5.
Uncle Jacob often told us,
.
Since freedom blessed our race
.
We ought all to come together
.
And build a meeting place. 5.
So we pinched, and scraped, and spared,
.
A little here and there:
.
Though our wages was but scanty,
.
The church did get a share. 5.
And, when the house was finished,
.

Uncle Jacob came to pray;
.

He was looking mighty feeble,
.

And his head was awful gray. 5.

But his voice rang like a trumpet;
.

His eyes looked bright and young;
.

And it seemed a mighty power
.

Was resting on his tongue. 5.

And he gave us all his blessing --
.

'Twas parting words he said,
.

For soon we got the message
.

The dear old man was dead. 5.

But I believe he's in the kingdom,
.

For when we shook his hand
.

He said, "Children, you must meet me
.

Right in the promised land; 5.

"For when I done a moiling
.

And toiling here below,
.

Through the gate into the city
.

Straightway I hope to go." [6] The Reunion 6.
Well, one morning real early
.
I was going down the street,
.
And I heard a stranger asking
.
For Missis Chloe Fleet. 6.
There was something in his voice
.
That made me feel quite shaky.
.
And when I looked right in his face,
.
Who should it be but Jakey! 6.
I grasped him tight, and took him home --
.

What gladness filled my cup!
.

And I laughed, and just rolled over,
.

And laughed, and just give up. 6.

"Where have you been? O Jakey, dear!
.

Why didn't you come before?
.

Oh! when you children went away
.

My heart was awful sore." 6.

"Why, mammy, I've been on your hunt
.

Since ever I've been free,
.

And I have heard from brother Ben, --
.

He's down in Tennessee. 6.

"He wrote me that he had a wife,"
.

"And children?" "Yes, he's three."
.

"You married, too?" "Oh, no, indeed,
.

I thought I'd first get free." 6.

"Then, Jakey, you will stay with me,
.

And comfort my poor heart;
.

Old Mistus got no power now
.

To tear us both apart. 6.

"I'm richer now than Mistus,
.

Because I have got my son;
.

And Mister Thomas he is dead,
.

And she's nary one. 6.

"You must write to brother Benny
.

That he must come this fall,
.

And we'll make the cabin bigger,
.

And that will hold us all. 6.

"Tell him I want to see 'em all
.

Before my life do cease:
.

And then, like good old Simeon,
.

I hope to die in peace."

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