From Those Left Behind

Image from The Adventures of a Forty-Niner: An Historic Description of California
Author:   Daniel Knower
Publisher:   Weed-Parsons printing co., 1894 – (Google book LINK)

***

From the Florence (Ala.) Gazette.

To an Absent Brother.

BY E.S.M.

Brother, thou art far away, in California’s land,
Long years ago, with trembling heart, I clasped they parting hand,
A tear was in thy drooping eye, and sparkled as it fell
Upon the sod beneath us, as you breathed a long farewell.

Oh! sad indeed the parting hour, from childhood’s home that day,
When the language of each tear-gemmed eye, was God be on thy way —
I stood beneath the dim old trees, on that sad parting morn,
Until the cool winds kissed my brow and whispered — he is gone.

The birds sang sweetly as before, their songs were naught to me,
I heard their wild notes o’er and o’er, but only thought of thee —
The wildwood where we loved to roam, the pleasant forest shade,
Looked desolate without the light, affection’s smile had made.

Oh! do you still recall as I, each beauteous moon-light night,
We sat upon the old oak steps, and talked of visions bright?
Those treasured step are not there now, but oh! I love them still,
For there so oft your dulcet flute, you touched with magic skill.

The school house of your early years, stands in the same old grove,
But college boys now ramble through the paths you loved to rove —
The same old trees are standing there, beneath whose pleasant shade,
You rambled with some valued friend, or at some dear game played.

But the playmates of those hours, you ask me where are they?
Oh! some have at the altar stood, and some are far away —
And many dear young friends of thine, sweet dreams that now are not,
Have left us in their bright spring time, and sleep in some green spot.

Oh! leave that El Dorado, the land to all so bright,
And come once more to loved ones, who’ll greet thee with delight —
Our hearts would all be wild with joy, to see thee once more here,
Then come to Woodlawn’s lovely shade, my absent brother, dear.

Woodlawn, February 26, 1855.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) May 19, 1855

Image from The Forty-Niners: A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado
Volume 25 of Chronicles of America series
Author:   Stewart Edward White
Publisher:   Yale University Press, 1921 (Google book LINK)

***

WHERE FRIENDS ARE, IS HOME TO THEE.

BY J.C. OSBURN, TO HIS SON IN CALIFORNIA.

You’ve learn’d, ere this, that home is not
In distant lands, where gold is got;
That it is not, where day by day,
You wear your busy hours away;
Nor yet, indeed, where lonely night
Prepares you for the toils of might;
‘Tis hope, and joy, and mem’ry give
A home in which a heart can live.
‘Tis where friends are, is home to thee,
And home, without them, cannot be.

Look round the room where now you stay,
And think of friends who’re far away;
Those walls no ling’ring hopes endear —
No fond remembrance chains you there —
And though you try, while yet you roam,
To find, in wildest haunts, a home,
You’ll soon behold, though not too soon,
That ‘way from friends, you seem alone —
That where friends are, is home to thee,
And home, without them, cannot be.

And if you strive, in halls of state,
Home joys to find, with heart elate,
Defeated hopes will break the spell,
And cause your heart in gloom to swell,
And then will you the truth behold,
That home is neverr bought with gold —
That stately halls, or valued cot,
Is ne’er a home where friends are not.
But where friends are, is home to thee,
And home, without them, cannot be.

And here a truth we might unfold,
Which poets, yet, have never told;
The wand’rer’s home is ne’er complete —
The exile’s a lone retreat —
The sailor’s on the widened main —
The warrior’s on the tented plain —
The maiden’s in her bower of rest —
The infant’s on its mother’s breast —
Yet, where friends are, is home to thee,
And home, without them, cannot be.

There is no home in halls of pride;
They are too high, and cold, and wide;
No home is by the wand’rer found —
‘Tis not in place — it hath no bound.
True home’s a circling atmosphere,
Investing all the heart holds dear —
A law of strange attractive force,
That holds the feelings in their course;
Hence, where friends are, is home to thee,
And home, without them, cannot be.

Oh! who’ll deny that home’s a place,
Where hope and joy find kind embrace?
Where kindred all, with other friends,
With warmest hearts their love extends?
That ’tis a place quite undefined,
O’ershadowing each conscious mind —
Where love and beauty sweetly blend,
To consecrate the name of friend?
That where friends are, is home to thee,
And home, without the, cannot be.

Wabash, January 1862.

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) Mar 16, 1862

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