Thomas Cowherd

(March 20, 1817 – April 4, 1907 / England)

A Tribute To The Bravery Of My Cousin, Mrs. T. A. Cowherd


Dear cousin, I hail you as Mother most brave,
Who crossed in mid-winter Atlantic's broad wave!
What you had to suffer in part I conceive,
Though no gloomy story you made me believe.

Assisted by Fancy I see your sad plight,
Before busy Liverpool passed from your sight;
On shipboard I view you with three little babes,
While the vessel rides proudly o'er blue ocean waves.

One small, year-old infant then hangs at your breast,
And one child much older disturbs your night's rest
By her frequent wailings from sickness most sore.
The third is but young and yet needs watching o'er.

I still look and wonder how you could bear up,
When drinking so deeply of this bitter cup.
I picture you gazing, with tears in your eyes,
Upon the poor sufferer and hushing her cries.

The vessel by dread winter tempests is tossed,
And many more favored give all up for lost.
But Hope-that sweet Angel! your courage supports,
And in these great trials to trust God exhorts.

I fancy I see you while nearing the land,
On the ship's crowded deck in sorrow now stand,
Still watching your babe as she gives her last sigh;
Yet Thomas, your husband, to help is not nigh.

And then is most vividly brought to my view
That Coroner's Inquest so trying to you;
The bearing your loved one away to the grave,
Though you, quite dejected, are still on the wave.

Oh, then I can paint, it is true but in part,
The anguish and grief of your warm loving heart,
Expecting at lodgings your partner to see,
As anxious as any fond mother can be.

Your painful suspense as day passed after day,
And trifle of money was melting away;
The pleasure which beamed in your calm, patient face,
When that friend was able your sojourn to trace.

Your journey so cold and so cheerless at last,
Till you and the two tender children were cast
On kindness of strangers in reaching our town,
While Winter put on his most terrible frown.

My own keen emotions I need not express
When you first came here and I saw your distress.
Once more I would hail you as Mother most brave,
Who crossed in mid-winter Atlantic's broad wave.

Submitted: Thursday, April 26, 2012

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