Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Old Step Stone

This lady was my great grandmother. I don't know very much about her and, what's worse, I waited too late to ask. I know she had six children, all of whom lived relatively long lives and all of whom have been gone for many years. From U.S. Census records, I know she was born in Missouri about 1856 and was still living in 1930. And I know one more thing: At least once in her life, she used poetry to express her emotions.

She wrote this poem when she was 41 years old, three years before her husband died. She lived at least 33 more years after she wrote these words:

The Old Stepstone

As the south wind sighs thro. the leafy boughs
And the whipporwill calls to her mate
And the moonlight silvers the sleeping scene
I lift the latch of the gate.

I go thro. the shadowy path of the house
That once was my dear old home
And as the redbird stirs in her leafy nest
I pause at the old step stone.

But what means this silence the house is all dark
No dear familiar form
Comes with a smile to greet me now
Oh, where can they all have gone.

I enter & go from room to room
I call, and call again
But the echo is all that comes back to me now
For I listen and call in vain.

Loves instinct leads me further on
Where marble slabs gleam in the night.
And I wander about midst the tall green grass
Beneath the moons pale light.

Till at length I pause by a sod grown mound
Bedecked with the midnight dew
Ah! this solves the mystery for me at last.
This tells a tale so true.

Tells why I'm left here all alone
Adrift on the ocean of time.
The death angel beckoned, he answered the call
The call of the master divine.

And thats why the old homes dark tonight
Why Mother and all are gone.
Ah! the birds sing sweetly & the sun shines bright
But I'm left sad and alone.

Ah well! in that haven of infinite rest
We are gathering one by one.
May the family circle be all complete
When earths trials & troubles are done.

By Lida N. Saunders

Nov. 12th 1897 God Knows Best
Otterville, MO


  1. I've just been clicking "next blog" and came to Velvet Sacks. I'm glad I did, just so I could read such a beautiful poem, written by your very own great-grandmother. What a talent she had for verse! Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into the past.

  2. The poem by your grandmother is so fine,can't tell you how I appreciated it.


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