The Old Fire-Place.
When parents and children in a circle at home
Around the Old Fire-place would cheerfully gather,
Away from the cold and inclemency of weather.
Around the Old Fire-place mother, all the day long,
Was toiling, and toiling with cheer and with song
For father and children preparing them food,
While nourishing and rearing her innocent brood.
At evening with treadle she was humming the wheel
While father was wrapping the yarn from the reel;
And brothers and sisters were reading their books,
Or merrily playing in their innocent sports.
As the embers on the hearth were dying away,
Our father more fuel would carefully lay,
Till the Old Fire-place blazed again in a roar,
Which caused us to widen our circle still more.
When the toils and the pleasures of evening were o'er,
We knelt 'round the Fire-place, God's mercy to implore,
From harm and from evil us safely would keep,
As defenseless we lay in the silence of sleep.
As the cold wintery winds were passing away,
And the gentle breeze sighed through the long summer
And the embers had died on the once blazing hearth,
Now vocal at evening with the cricket's soft chirp,
The Old Fire-place scenes, alas, I see them no more,
For its circle is scattered to far distant shores:
the wheel and the reel are covered with rust,
And parents and children are moldering to dust.
The hearth that once glowed with warmth and with
Is forsaken and desolate, cold and drear;
No prattling of children's sweet voices are there,
No songs of devotion, thanksgiving, or prayer.
Just a few broken links of the beautiful chain,
That bound us together on earth, yet remain;
But that circle complete I hope I shall view
In the day when the Lord maketh all things new.
__Rev. John S. Mohler
Poets and Poetry of Kansas
Edited by Thomas W. Herringshaw
(Chicago: American Publishers' Association. 1894)