The Author's Early Life

Original Text: 
Mortal refrains: the Complete Collected Poetry, Prose, and Songs of Julia A. Moore, the Sweet Singer of Michigan, ed. Thomas J. Riedlinger (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1998): 76-79. PS 2430 .M3 1998 Robarts Library. The Sentimental Song Book (Grand Rapids, Michigan: C. M. Loomis, 1876).
1I will write a sketch of my early life,
2    It will be of childhood day,
3And all who chance to read it,
4    No criticism, pray.
5My childhood days were happy,
6    And it fills my heart with woe,
7To muse o'er the days that have passed by
8    And the scenes of long ago.
9In the days of my early childhood,
10    Kent county was quite wild,
11Especially the towns I lived in
12    When I was a little child.
14    For if you will only look
15O'er the little poem, My Childhood Days,
16    That is in this little book.
17I am not ashamed of my birthright,
18    Though it was of poor estate,
19Many a poor person in our land
20    Has risen to be great.
21My parents were poor, I know, kind friends,
22    But that is no disgrace;
23They were honorable and respected
24    Throughout my native place.
25My mother was an invalid,
26    And was for many a year,
27And I being the eldest daughter
28    Her life I had to cheer.
29I had two little sisters,
30    And a brother which made three,
31And dear mother being sickly,
32    Their care it fell on me.
33My parents moved to Algoma
34    Near twenty-three years ago,
35And bought one hundred acres of land,
36    That's a good sized farm you know.
37It was then a wilderness,
38    With tall forest trees abound,
39And it was four miles from a village,
40    Or any other town.
41And it was two miles from a schoolhouse,
42    That's the distance I had to go,
43And how many times I traveled
44    Through summer suns and winter snow.
45How well do I remember
46    Going to school many a morn,
47Both in summer and in winter,
48    Through many a heavy storm.
49My heart was gay and happy,
50    This was ever in my mind,
51There is better times a coming,
52    And I hope some day to find
53Myself capable of composing.
54    It was by heart's delight,
55To compose on a sentimental subject
56    If it came in my mind just right.
57If I went to school half the time,
58    It was all that I could do;
59It seems very strange to me sometimes,
60    And it may seem strange to you.
61It was natural for me to compose,
62    And put words into rhyme,
63And the success of my first work
64    Is this little song book of mine.
65My childhood days have passed and gone,
66    And it fills my heart with pain
67To think that youth will nevermore
68    Return to me again.
69And now kind friends, what I have wrote,
70    I hope you will pass o'er,
71And not criticise as some have done,

Notes

13] my birthplace: Rockford, Michigan. Back to Line
72] A choice quatrain celebrated by D. B. W. Lewis, editor of The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse (Dent, 1930). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1876
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004