James Ephraim McGirt

(1874-1930 / USA)

Memory Of Frances Willard - Poem by James Ephraim McGirt

Around the glowing fireside of the nation
A vacant chair no one can ever fill;
Death came, and stole from it a temperance mother,
But yet in heaven she lives an angel still.
To all she seemed a pure, unfolding lily,
On which no eye had ever found a stain;
She stood till death, the surest reaper,
Came to gather in his choicest grain.

Ah, dearest mother! gone thou art,
And left us with a breaking heart;
To sweet heaven thou art conveyed.
Show us the star that thou hast made,
That thy dear friends at night may see
The silver rays that gleam from thee.

Upon the parlor wall of our nation
There hangs a picture in a sacred place;
She was a tender friend unto the drunkard,
And all admire the beauty of her face;
It is the picture of our mother Willard,
A mother to the drunkard and to all;
And she was gently watching o'er the fallen
When soft she heard the loving Savior call.

Ah, dearest mother! gone thou art,
And left us with a breaking heart;
To sweet heaven thou art conveyed.
Show us the star that thou has made,
That thy dear friends at night may see
The silver rays that gleam from thee.
Within the tender heart of all the nation
There is a place no one can ever fill;
A place for one who's living now in heaven;
For her the lamp of love is burning still.
From the Union there is gone a loving mother;
For her our hearts in sorrow 'll ever pine.
May love and peace go with her dear old comrades;
May joy pour out to them the richest wine.

Ah, dearest mother! gone thou art,
And left us with a breaking heart;
To sweet heaven thou art conveyed.
Show us the star that thou hast made,
That thy dear friends at night may see
The silvery rays that gleam from thee.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 19, 2010



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