Transcribed from:
Gray's Doniphan County history: A record of the happenings of half a hundred years. By P. L. (Patrick Leopoldo) Gray. Bendena, Kan.: The Roycroft Press, 1905. 3p. l. [11]-84, 166, [2] p. front., plates, ports. 24 cm.




The old home stands upon the hill,
And lo, behold, I see it still,
And there, beneath the sunny sky,
I sat and watched the birds go by,
And wondered if I e'er would be
A man, some day - it troubled me.
Where there was sorrow now is joy,
For I'm no more to be a boy.

My father was poor neighbor Bill,
Who lives across on the other hill;
He always was willing to do his part,
And that's the way he got his start.
He laborered and toiled from morn till night,
In summer days, when the sun shone bright;
And so he kept me in his employ,
To drive the cows up, when a boy.

When a boy I worked my father's farm -
Some days hauled hay into his barn;
And from our brows streams would flow -
Even when I had to mow.
But how the time has quickly past;
I'm getting old, I can not last;
My boyhood days will soon be o'er,
My work days then will be no more.

I often wandered down the hill,
To watch the weary water-mill
Grind the wheat up into flour -
I sat and watched it hour by hour.
When turning 'round, to my surprise,
I caught a sight Lefore my eyes,
My mother's heart then filled with joy,
Again she found me, when a boy.

Long months and years have come and gone,
Since first the day that I was born;
But now the time is growing late,
'Twill not be long for me to wait.
The time will come and soon will we
Be launched into eternity,
And now my heart is all but joy -
I only wish I was a boy.


We will forget - ah, forget at last,
   Though heart be sad and eye with teardrop wet;
The sunshine and shadow of the past
         We will forget.

Our happy hours together, all too fleet;
   You words of love, that stir me stangely yet:
The clinging arms; the kisses, tender, sweet,
         We will forget.

In future years the day may dawn at last
   When we may meet as ere we loved we met;
When, lost in Lethe's wave, the happy past
         We will forget.

And yet, oh heart of mine, that throbs amiss
   With all this weight of sorrow and regret,
All earth - all heaven - is changed because of this -
         We will forget.


He stood beside the open door,
   His form bent 'neath the weight of years;
A man whose life held trials sore,
   And sorrow far to deep for tears.
His pale, sad face was pinched with cold,
   His feeble, trembling hands were bare,
While through his garments, thin and old,
   Unhindered swept the wintry air.

"A crust of bread in Pity's name:
   A few hours' shelter from the cold."
Oh, God, we see with bitter shame
   The fate in store for poor and old.
We boast of progress all in vain;
   Life's lessons all are read amiss;
A bitter life of toil and pain,
   E'er hoping, ne'er getting but this.

In hopeful youth no boding fears
   Shadowed the happy hours with gloom
But now he finds life's closing years
   Embittered by the pauper's doom.
He gave his talent, strength and time
   To add unto the nation's store,
And now, long past his manhood's prime,
   His bread he begs from door to door.

Too long have we been blinded by
   The specious lies of greed and sin;
We give the poor in charity
   What they themselves have helped to win.
No peaceful home for old and poor,
   No rest for weary, aching feet;
Behind them clangs the almshouse door.
   Or death at last, upon the street.


O Custer, valiant Custer,
   Can this dread news be true?
(The bravest band in all the land
   That wore their Country's blue.)
Dishonor never stained his name,
   Defeat he never knew.

O Custer of the golden locks,
   The heart that knew no fear,
The land that honors heroes dead
   Shall hold thy memory dear.
Nor lack of praise from bearded lips,
   Nor dearth of woman's tears.

On all the Southern battle-fields,
   Where fell our Nation's pride,
No truer soldiers ever fought,
   No braver ever died,
Than rest within those deep ravines,
   Or by the river's side.

Be scorned, the envious voice from the East,
   Reproach upon the brave,
To blast the laurels on the brows
   Asleep in honored graves,
Who died from worse than carnage red,
   Our Western homes to save.

No lions in the jungle thick,
   Or wild beasts in their lair,
Were half so cruel as the foes
   Who lay in ambush in there;
Not all their savage lives were worth
   Brave Custer's golden hair.

The story of that fierce attack,
   Not one was left to tell,
Of all the brave three hundred
   Who perished where they fell,
When warriors from wild ravine
   Swarmed up like fiends from hell.

Let vengeance swift their track pursue,
   Till not a lodge remains,
To shelter in its hostile folds
   The terror of the plains.
Then Custer and his gallant band
   Shall not have died in vain.


There's a burden of grief on the autumn breeze,
That blows o'er the land and deep blue seas.
A song of regret from the birds of the air,
A shadow of sorrow spreading everywhere;
On the land where joy has ranged for years,
But now whose fields are damp with tears.

The stars and stripes droop in mournful state,
The eagle cries, "Too late, too late!"
Too late to rescue and protect the hand
Which once guarded our glorious land,
But not too late to give homage due,
While o'er us shines the sky of blue.

Deeds of the man so noble and great,
Who rode at the helm of the ship of state;
Who so gallantly steered o'er the war tossed wave,
Who bore it back to the home of the brave,
Shall stand as a monument true and grand,
In the hearts on the people of the land.

Yet the nation's heart aches with pain,
And the tears fall as the drops of rain,
For this loyal form of noble lift,
Enjoying peace after struggle and strife;
Enjoying pleasures, honor and health,
Mingled with the nation's joy and wealth.

And when he offered his hand to greet,
The hand of another he chanced to meet,
Was slain by this atrocious hand,
Which had been given liberty in our land.
Thrice this nation has borne this pain,
Thrice our leader has thus been slain;
Leaders who thus dispelld the clouds of war,
But now have entered the gates ajar.

We ask in sorrow why was lie taken that way?
And not permitted longer to stay;
But he so true and noble-hearted said,
As friends gathered around his bed,
And there remained a few sad hours,
"Good bye to all; God's way, not ours."

His spirit rests neath a golden wall,
Where angels answer to its call,
Where war clouds are never seen;
Where mountains of joy reign supreme;
Where drums and bugles pervade not the air,
But angel's harps are playing there.

On earth his name and memory shall never die,
But grow dearer and dearer as years roll by;
And the pIace will ever be guarded and blest,
Where our loved noe[sic] is laid to rest.
And love's monument towering to the skies,
Shall mark the spot where McKinley lies.


Our beautiful Maggie was married to-day,
Beautiful Maggie with soft brown hair,
Whose shadows fall over a face as fair
As the snowy bloom of the early May;

We have kissed her lips and sent her away,
With many a blessing and many a prayer;
The pet of our home who was married to-day.

The sunshine is gone from the old south room,
Where she sat through the long bright summer hours;
And the odor has gone from the window flowers,
And the shadow creeps o'er the house with a gloom;
A shadow that over our paradise lowers,
For we see her no more in the old south room.

I thought that the song of the robin this eve
As he sang to his mate on the sycamore tree,
Had minors of sadness to temper his glee,
As if he the loss of our darling did grieve,
And ask "Where is Maggie?" and "Why did she leave -
The maiden who carolled sweet duets to me?
For she mocked not the song of the robin this eve.

The pictures seem dim where they hang on the wall;
Though they cost but a trifle they appeared very fair,
Whether lamplight or sunlight illumined them there;
I think 'twas her presence that brightened them all,
Since Maggie no longer can come to our call,
With her eyes full of laughter unshadowed by care,
The pictures seem dim where they hang on the wall.

I lounge thro' the garden, I stand by the gate -
She stood there to greet me last eve at this hour
Each eve thro' the summer, in sunshine and shower,
She stood by the postern my coming to wait,
Dear Maggie, her heart with its welcome elate,
To give me a smile, a kiss, and a flower -
Oh, when will she meet me again by the gate?

She loved us and left us - she loves and is gone
With the one she loves best, as his beautiful bride;
How fondly he calls her his joy and his pride,
Our joy and our pride whom he claims for his own.
But can he, as we do, prize what he has won -
The heart that trustingly throbs by his side?
God knows, and we know that she loves - and is gone.

      March 23, 1882.

Respectfully inscribed to Mrs. M. Patee Russell.
Suggested while viewing the city from the bluffs near Wathena.

Oh, fair, proud city, at whose feet
    The dark Missouri sweeps along,
These summer days it were most meet
    Some poet greet thee with a song.
But how shall I such tribute bring.
    Whose voice hath silent been so long?

I gaze upon the from afar,
    (Where the broad river rolls between)
Past trees that toss their branches far,
    To hide thee with their lofty screen;
'Twould take a firmer barrier far,
    To shut thee from my heart, I ween.

They cannot hide the sunny slopes
    O'er which I rambled long ago;
When youthful hearts beat high with hopes,
    And panted more of life to know.
They cannot hide thy soft blue sky,
    Or drifting clouds of purest snow.

I see afar thy glittering domes,
    Flash softly back the broken light,
That falls on many a pleasant home
    Filled with fair forms and faces bright.
And rising silent and alone
    The slender church spires gleaming white.

On yonder hills once smooth and green,
    Or covered but with tangled trees,
Where many a wild flower grew between
    And drew the honey laden bees,
A hundred happy homes are seen
    Whose roses woo the summer breeze.

See, far adown yon crowded street,
    I've gathered sweet spring violets there,
'Tis trampled now by busy feet,
    Where clustered once their blossoms rare.
No more the dear young friends I meet,
    That twined them in their glossy hair.

All changed as by some magic wand,
    Yet still the pleasant spot I know,
Where once the silver willows spread
    Their soft green branches drooping low;
But where are now those busy hands,
    And hearts with youthful hopes aglow?

Above yon hill so brown and bare,
    That overlooks the restless flood,
How many friends remember where
    Upon its brow the cross once stood?
Where o'er some stranger's lonely grave
    Once rose the slender cross of wood.

I cannot calmly meet thy hills,
    Or bid their sloping curves adieu,
Along whose path my steps once trod,
    With dear kind friends, the tried and true;
How light our footsteps pressed the sod
    When life and love alike were new.

Alas, beside some grassy mound,
    Where many a bitter tear is shed,
I only find their graven names,
    In the quiet city of the dead;
Ah, better to have perished young,
    Than live till hope and joy are fled.

Beneah some pillar fair and white,
    Their weary forms have sunk to rest;
But far away their spirits bright
    Dwell in the mansions of the blest;
And still we drop the silent tear,
    Above their quiet place of rest.

Could I recall the years now fled,
    I might a fitting tribute bring,
But ah, my heart is with the dead,
    Fair city, while thy praise sing;
The early loved, the long lost dead,
    Around whose graves will sorrow cling.


Beautiful Kansas sits in the sun,
Smiling and happy, her work well done -
Well done, too, for in sun and rain
Toiled she nobly, nor toiled in vain.
Plentiful showers and warm sunshine
Breathing glad life in each plant and vine;
Plentiful harvests her labors have blest,
Now from her labors she finds welcome rest;
Under the light of the Autumn sun,
Smiling and happy her work all done.

What are the visions that flit to and fro,
As backward she looks o'er the long, I long ago?
Visions of battle, of blood, and of strife;
Of dark fearsome days which with carnage were rife;
Of drouth-stricken fields and of pestilent dread;
Of days when her children were hungry for bread;
Oftempests' fierce wrath which could not be stayed.
Of piteous cries to her sisters for aid -
These are the visions which flit to and fro
Through her mind, as she thinks of the long, long ago.

How changed is the prospect before her glad eyes!
Fertile plains smiling 'neath radiant skies,
Golden with corn and emerald with wheat;
Orchards all laden with fruits luscious and sweet;
Granaries once empty, now bursting with store;
Food for the hungry and wealth for the poor;
Homes for the homeless, a welcome to all,
Comfort and aid to those who may call -
This is the recompense Kansas has won,
Smiling and happy, her work well done.

Beautiful Kansas, fair and serene!
Up to the stars she has risen a queen;
Scepter and robe she rightly doth hold;
Her garments are fashioned of gay cloth of gold,
Woven by sunshine, by showers and by dew,
Bright as the rainbow in color and hue.
Aid she can now to the needy extend,
Help from her bounty to others can lend,
Beautiful Kansas, fair and serene.
Up to the stars she has risen a queen!

Beautiful mansions now dotting her plain.
Prove that her children have not toiled in vain;
Nestling in beauty by each rippling stream,
Showing her pledges she well can redeem.
Pledged to give to all that shall come.
To her bosom for shelter and safety a home;
Joy and contentment, comfort and peace,
Health in each breath of her life-giving breeze -
These are the blessings that Kansas has won;
Gives she them freely to each worthy son.


Oh, memory is so sweet to me Lizzie,
    Busy with the past to-night;
Your blue eyes are shining upon me
    Still, in their beautiful light.

Have you ever once guessed at the secret
    That lay hid in that long sunny time
That sang the sweet songs in such silence,
    Which were echoed by your heart and mine?

For never before have I whispered
    The story ever sweet, ever new,
Until, with the holiest feelings
    I hold it, dear Lizzie, to you.

No blossoms of hope had then perished,
    No shadows had passed the first gloom,
And we saw not the key to the future,
    That opened our hearts to the tomb.

Ah, Lizzie, the shadows and sunshine
    Both childhood and womanhood meet,
And the heart often knows all the bitter
    Before it has welcomed the sweet.

For soon, ere the snows of winter
    Fell deep at the death of the year,
Did we meet, and together, my darling,
    Strew the ashes of hope on the bier.

You kissed my pale brow in your sadness,
    When none stood to cheer me but you;
And though you were mute in your sorrow,
    Your heartstrings were breaking then, too.

But the sorrow was beautiful, darling,
    Your feelings for womanhood years,
While I'll not forget, in my bosom,
    The sear furrowed deeper with tears.

Good-bye, for to-morrow has claimed you,
    To deck with bright laurels your brow;
But remember, that out in the "sometime."
    There's a parting that's sadder than now.

But ever the love of my darling
    Will still be the theme of my rhyme,
Though you pass first across the dark river,
    And eternity yours before mine.


Yes, I meet her bare-back riding,
    Using neither strap nor rein;
Blind her horse, but she was guiding
    With her fingers in the mane, -
        Sweet little,
        Neat little,
Girl on the gray old mare.

"Morning, Sis," with nod I greeted;
    She returned a soft "Hello."
"What's your name?" I then entreated,
    "Nell," is all She'd let me know, -
        Dear little,
        Queer little,
Girl on the gray old mare.

In a simple gown and airy,
    Bare and brown her little feet;
Pretty as a garden fairy,
    Ev'ry inch of her was sweet, -
        Prim little,
        Trim little,
Girl on the gray old mare.

But the mare was very lazy,
    And the sun was boiling hot,
"Hurry, bossy, - get up Daisy,
    Coax yourself into a trot." -
        Round little,
        Sound little,
Girl on the gray old mare.

As I passed the little ranger,
    With a glance she seemed to say,
"Don't you mention 'clothes pin , stranger,
    'Cause I'm riding this-a-way." -
        Great little,
        Straight little,
Girl on the gray old mare.

On she rode, this happy hearted,
    Sweet, contented little queen;
Cheeks aglow and red lips parted,
    Showing all the pearls between, -
        Shy little,
        Spry little,
Girl on the gray old mare.

For her name I vainly plotted;
    I could get no further clue.
With a smile away she trotted
    Nellie - yes - but Nellie Who? -
    That little,
    Fat little,
Girl on the gray old mare.


There is one place upon the earth a boy will not forget;
Though other thoughts and places fade, this place is vivid yet;
It is the brightest spot on earth, or ought to be at least;
And not a place to crush out life, but for the heart to feast.
It is the home of our kindest friends, and where our lives begin,
Where we obtain our early thoughts, which rush along like sin.
O, what a pleasant time in life without a care to mar,
It is the place (the very place) that make boys what they are.
Oh, no, I never can forget, no matter where I roam
I often think of those old days when I was a boy at home.
We have such pleasant memories, our thoughts run back to when
We told each other what we thought we'd do when we were men,
But not a thing took place by chance as we agreed it should;
Our aspirations were to high - perhaps that's for our good.
Our time was spent at school when young, from morn till close of day;
At night our stories we'd relate; we'd lay our cares away.
Our father and our mother too, would give us good advice
About the downward easy road that we might think was nice.
There'd always be a sacred place, no matter where we roam -
We never can forget the days when we were boys at home.
I care not whether large or small, a house has little part,
In making home what it should be - there's home where there's a heart.
O, is there such a place on earth (though Eve and Adam fell.)
Where life and light and love are crushed - a place where demons dwell?
Our words and actions all should be reflections of a soul,
That had a right regard for all upon the family roll;
And after I am old and gray I know that I shall mourn,
If I cannot return and see the place where I was born,
Those memories will still remain though round the earth I roam.
I never can forget the days when I was a boy at home.