QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 1998-09 > 0905111904
From: Don Cordell <>
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 12:58:24 -0700
I have a poem that was written by my great grandfather Samuel Brown
Huddleston that I'm sure will bring tears as you read it, but also sure
it reflects how our ancestors of any age and someday all to many of us
will deal with the loss of our loved one as we wait for that eventful
day for all of us, except me of course since I refuse to die.
If you feel this is inappropriate please just let me know, no flames
This concerns what must have been Brookville, Franklin Co, IN
written 1889, this included a sketch of the mill and of the burned cabin
with only the stone chimney still standing.
"Down on the Whitewater"
Down Whitewater River betwixt the green hills,
Where once we have heard the deep hum of the mills-
Down where the two rivers join heart unto heart,
How fitly there, love that's enduring should start;
The beautiful hills lift their heads on each side,
Like bashful men hoping to win them a bride;
The paint and they primp, and each day done their best,
In hope, as it seemed, to each might rival the rest.
Betwixt those green hill long the rivers deep way
Were many a log cabins in pioneer day,
And people were happy and peacefully free,
As pioneers always were sure then to be.
One evening in springtime, the loveliest seen,
When hills and deep vallies were clothed in new green,
A youth, proud, appeared on the eastern hill high,
Looked wistfully down on the paper-mill nigh.
He saw the grist mill-wheel turn round and around,
And heard the machinery's deep rumbling sound,
The youth and the mill and the village were new
With deligent purpose their labours to do.
Young Brookville was then in her hustling strife,
The people all active and stiring with life;
The streets with their traders, a jostling throng;
Approaching roads streaming with wagon-trains long.
He saw the canal with it's burden of freight,
That farmers and traders so anxious await,
The valley with cabins, a garden of love,
Where smiles of Jehovah stream down from above.
The young man was happy, his mind well at ease-
Prosperity's sure the industrious to please-
And bird's in the spell their sweet anthems did sing;
They too, were so glad in the welcome of spring.
And preciously sweet was the fragrance of bloom,
Neath lofty green maples that upward did loom;
While nectar's best odor in waves balm the air;
God's storehouse of wealth seemed to open up there.
He saw 'cross the valley half hid in the trees
A curl of warm smoke float away on the breeze.
He knew at the hearth whence came that warm curl,
That evening he'd woo his dear paper-mill girl.
Even now as he stood there above the great mill,
He felt his Bonny was watching the hill;
The close of the day o'er the valley had come,
And he had been waiting to escort her home.
Again in that place, now quite feeble and old,
The very same man stood there shivering, cold
He thought of the joys of that long ago day
When courting his Bonny lass over the way.
But many years flight hath wrought wonderful change;
And things all about him seemed sadly so strange.
He wept as he viewed the old valley below;
So barren and cold and all covered with snow.
He sighing, looked down and there saw the old mill;
The water-wheel mossgrown, decayed and so still.
Great icicles hung where the water dripped down
>From aqueduct leaky so high above the ground.
Across the low valley the clump of bare trees,
But there was no smoke to float on the cold breeze.
The cabin was gone and it's ashes now strowed
To mark the dear spot where his Bonny he wooed.
His eyes turned away to the churchyard now bright
With sparkling, deep snow and carved marble, pure white,
Beneath the cold snow in the lowly cold tomb
Now sleep the dear form of his precious fair bloom.
His bride- His beloved of fifty bright years;
His trustful companion in joy and in fears;
His treasure there sleeping beneath the snow lies;
While he, all alone stood with tear-blinded eyes.
But hush, for he raised his low drooping head;
"Thank God she's not under the snow," glad he said,
And smilingly he dried his dim, tear-clouded eyes
And trustful he turned his bright face to the skies.
And standing alone there above the old mill
He knew that his Bonnie was watching the hill;
For nearly the close of the day had now come,
And she was waiting to escort him home.
|Poem by Don Cordell <>|