1895-1896

11. Rockton Fair | 12. For the last meeting of the C.E.
13. New Year | 14. Bruce Coucil for 1896
15. Time’s passing | 16 Mary’s birthday
17. Seed time | 18. On finding an empty bird’s nest
19. The harvest moon 20. Christmas

11. ROCKTON FAIR – Antrim Farm -Nov 1,1895
Thoughts in rhyme on receiving a copy of the Galt reporter containing a prize list of Rockton Fair, 1895

I am sitting to-night by my fireside
And watching the embers glow
While I think of the days that have long gone past
Of the sunny long ago…
And I think once more of my boyhood days
So free from care and woe…
They bring back the scenes I had nearly forgotten
When we went to Rockton Show…
The way was long and not very smooth
The way that we used to go
But with lightsome step and gladsome heart
We started for Rockton Show…
Sometimes the morn was fair and clear
With autumn flowers in full glow
And with laugh and shout we tripped along
On our way to Rockton Show…
Sometimes the morn was dull and cold
And wet with sleet and snow
But we took our way, by the old Guelph road
And made straight for Rockton Show…
We passed through Embry and Henderson farms
The way that we liked to go
Till we caught a sight of the flag that waved
So proudly at Rockton Show
We loved that flag in our boyhood days
For what reason we hardly know
And we love it still tho’ the years have fled
That have brought us joy and woe…
The morning sun shines clear and fair
On its folds where’er you go
And I hope the day will never come
When it’s not at Rockton Show…
They hurry and rush with din and noise
And with driving to and fro
And all the sights that our young eyes saw
Just kept us on the go…
And when the day was nearly done
Then homeward we did go
But how heavy our feet and slow our steps
As we turned from Rockton Show…
But they’ve changed its name from what it was then
It’s now called ‘The Great World’s Fair’
And I often think, Would I know the place?
Would I miss old faces there?…
Some are there that oft in the past
Their joyful mirth I’d share
Now sober and quiet they take their way
To see the Great World’s Fair…
And some whose faces were young and bright
Are now seamed with grief and care
While some have around them that hallowed peace
Which the Master loves to share…
And some now lie where the daisies grow
And have left a vacant chair
But we hope and pray that we all may be
Ready for the Last World’s Fair.

12. FOR THE LAST MEETING OF THE C.E. – Antrim Farm-December, 1895

Another leaf in the book of Time
Is nearly filled to the bottom line
With words and deeds by the sons of men
Records of joy, or records of pain~
With words of love to the lonely and sad
Kind deeds to the poor to make them glad
With words of counsel for erring feet
And wipe sad tears from off the cheek~
That helps the fallen to rise again
And strengthen the captive to break his chain
That see the Hand that smites with the rod
To bring the prodigal back to God~
To our Father’s home where peace and joy
Is forever free from this world’s alloy
Where our weary heads shall rest from pain
And our tongues shall sing a glad refrain~
To Him who walked on the stormy sea
And hushed the mad waves of Galilee
Who said to the bounding waves “Be still”
And the waters quickly obeyed his will~
While thus we endeavor day by day
Our lives to live in a humble way
That in His name, and for His sake
These mottos we may ever take

13. NEW YEAR – Antrim Farm-Jan 1,1896

Good-morning New Year
Now you start on your race
Come in and sit down
While we look in your face
Will you look like your brother
Who has bid us good-bye?
He came in with a shout
And went out with a sigh
You are very young-looking
To take up the strife
The burdens and cares
Of a wonderful life
Quite a family I’m sure
Has old Father Time
Six thousand have passed us
Just all in a line
How many more’s coming?
You say you can’t tell
The number in our family
I know very well
Of course you are young
That must be the reason
Well, you’ll learn a good lot
Ere the end of the season
Now take out your note-book
And mark to December
All the things that we want
You’ll be sure to remember
Just give us good sleighing
Without too much snow
So we’ll turn out so handy
Wherever we go
Now don’t give us war
Only just raise the price
Of the things that we sell
Why, that will be nice
Don’t have a long winter
For the feed is so short
How the critters do eat
They must know that it’s bought
Send a good early Spring
And no frost send to blight
The crops that are growing
‘Twill be a fair sight
A good bouncing harvest
With strength left to gather
Whatever you send us
And save from bad weather…
We want just to thresh when the prices are best
With the wheat good and plump, to give a good test
With lots of good flour to bake into bread
To make your teeth water, and fair turn your head
That the amount of our taxes will be very small
You surely can fix it, so we’ll not pay at all
On Thanksgiving Day we’ll remember the poor
Nor turn the tramps out if he comes to our door
The Christmas, glad Christmas the time of the year
When everyone vies with each other to cheer…
Now you know what we want
Then you surely can fix
All the things that we need
Now say “Yes” ninety-six.

14. BRUCE COUNCIL FOR 1896 – Underwood, Antrim Farm – Jan 25,1896

Who wants to see the champions
Just come along this way
And visit at the Township Hall
Upon a council day…
When half a ton of wisdom
Just sits around the table
To make the by-laws for this place
Who’ll say they are not able?…
To see the laws are carried out
That they now plan and make
I am sure a look from them
Will make one fear and quake…
Saugeen may boast of Hutchison
Kincardine of its Bland
But Bruce I’m sure will take the cake
With its noble five in hand…
Now for a pull upon a rope
They’d make a dandy lot
And where’s the man who dares to say
That he believes it not…
Should any other council try
To claim the Championship
I’ll bet my bottom dollar
Bruce will win it, if they sit.

15. TIME’S PASSING – Antrim Farm – March 17, 1896

Our lives are passing on
From youth to age
Each year a written page
Of good or evil done…
As down the stream
Of Time we glide
No moment to abide
But like in one long dream…
As thought on thought
Each crowd along
Or as a singer in a song
Whose lesson is well taught…
Years seemed in youth
So slow to pass
Nor could we think all flesh is grass
Though this is Gospel truth…
But still the tramp of Time
Forever moves the same
And brings us joy or pain
From the Great hand divine…
But may the lesson learned
By the passing of the years
That life is made of smiles and tears
Though often not discerned…
That we as in a foreign land
Are far removed from home
But may our feet no longer roam
In better mansions stand
Where life is not of years, and eyes are dried of tears.

16. MARY’S BIRTHDAY – Antrim Farm – April 16, 1896

Now Job of old did curse the day
That he first saw the light
And wished that day its brightest ray
Might be covered up in night…
While I do bless the day in spring
A little girl was born
And joy and hope which she did bring
Upon that April morn…
And o’er that little baby bent
A loving mother’s form
And watched her babe with sweet content
To keep it snug and warm…
And time passed on, until that babe
Grew up to maidenhood…
Then her hand in mine she laid
When at the altar stood…
I feel the firm clasp of her hand
Her warm breath on my cheek
As hand in hand we there did stand
And there the words did speak…
That made her mine till death should part
And be my joy and care
And twenty years that faithful heart
Has nobly borne her part…
Whate’er of joy or good is mine
I got it by her side
I bless the eve that she did deign
To say she’d be my bride…
My “Easter Lily” she is still
Though roses may decay
She’s just as precious to her Will
So don’t stay long away.

17. SEED TIME

The balmy air of spring has come
The birds sing loud and clear
The cold of winter now is done
The springing grass appears…
Long did the cold of winter last
And long did hold his reign
But now no more the biting blast
For Spring has come again…
And Nature from her long cold sleep
Is waked to life once more
And hardy flowers their heads may peep
Where snow-drifts were before…
The promise that God gave to man
“Seed Time” shall ever be
Part of His all providing plan
All men can once more see…
Though men forget Gods wondrous love
And blessings He hath sent
All that we have come from above
His bounty hath no end…
Though nations rage, and fight, and kill
Man and his brother man
Thirst for each other’s blood to spill
And dye both sea and land…
God ne’er forgets to cause His sun
To rise on good and bad
Both Life and Light to everyone
That makes His creatures glad…
With faith that’s firm and steadfast
Let us upon God’s soil
As “Sower like” our seed to cast
God will reward our toil.

18. ON FINDING AN EMPTY BIRD’S NEST – Antrim Farm – May 1, 1896

I take into my hands this little bird’s nest
It is empty, and torn, deserted and still
But when it was building, the birds did their best
And rounded it out with breast and with bill…
And when it was finished how proud of their dwelling
As they looked at this nest that united they made
And sweet were the songs that to heaven rose swelling
As they looked on the four little eggs newly laid…
When the nest was quite full of the bright little birdies
How the old birds did work carrying food with their might
And at dark they both sat near the nest on their hurdies
To keep off the cold and the wet thro’ the night…
When the summer was gone, and the cold of Barokes
Was scattering the leaves off the trees on the hill
The birds with their offspring long since had flown o’er us
And left us the nest all so lonely and still…
How sweet to the heart is the home of our childhood
As memory brings up all the scenes of the past
And though that old home was a cot in the wildwood
It remains a green spot while memory shall last…
Though rough were the logs in the walls of our dwelling
And small were the windows that let in the light
The fun that we had, I’m sure there’s no telling
And sweet was our sleep and our dreams thro’ the night…
And though, that in autumn, the rain it could spatter
Through the seams in the roof, or the chinks at our head
We slept through the storm, how it raged (why no matter)
While often the snow lay quite thick on our bed…
When the spring-time came round, how we shouted with gladness
To see the snow melt, and the flowers come in sight
Though often were told that we acted with madness
At bedtime we still got our kiss and good-night…
And as we grew older, the work was our portion
To drive our black oxen in wagon or sled
They would just run away when themselves took the notion
Though we used the gad freely and slashed o’er the head…
When the day’s work was done, and the yoke taken off them
And old Tom and Jerry were free once again
Not often we found them where we had left them
More likely were found in a field of the grain…
I think of our school days, those days full of gladness
Those bright happy days that long since have fled
And I look in my memory o’er the benches with sadness
When I see such a number now lie with the dead…
So we as the birdies leave the home of our childhood
To make for ourselves both a home and a rest
And if it should be in the city or wildwood
If often turns out like and empty bird’s nest

19. THE HARVEST MOON – Antrim Farm – August, 1896

When the golden orb of day
Has sunk from out our sight
The moon then casts her mellow ray
Far through the Harvest night…
Throughout the day, the sweltering heat
By man and beast was borne
The evening cool is rest complete
Then “Hail” the moon’s return…
To weary ones it is a boon
When toil of day is o’er
To watch the rising of the moon
From round the kitchen door…
How oft has each one watched that light
Which seemed past clouds to glide
And have often wished on a summer’s night
For a look at the other side…
A wondrous story the moon could tell
In spite of its calm cold face
So we try to guess if any there dwell
That belong to the human race…
Some can see great mountain rocks
With gorges deep between
Without a vestige of a flock
Or anything that’s green…
While some can see a lion bold
Has raised his lordly crest
And by his looks is quickly told
Something disturbed his rest…
Then others see the man who sinned
By gathering sticks on Sunday
The burden on his back still pinned
He’ll wait next time till Monday…
But when the harvest moon has come
We’re sure there’s no deceit
The man, it’s clear to every one
Once stole a sheaf of wheat.

20. CHRISTMAS – Antrim Farm – December 20, 1896

Sweet day of joy and gladness
The brightest of the year
Come! Cast off care and sadness
For Christmas now is here…
The day that speaks of Joy and Peace
Through Christ our mighty King
That love to man shall never cease
Each coming year shall bring…
But Joy and Peace shall ever be
The blessing Christ doth send
And Christmas day from sea to sea
Shall last to the world’s end…
From distant isles and foreign shores
Shall songs of gladness rise
When from all hearts shall homage pour
Like incense to the skies…
To Him who did to earth descend
In human form was born
Who proved Himself the sinner’s friend
Nor did the meanest scorn…
But “Glory Be to God on High”
Each Christmas day shall bring
For year by year the time draws nigh
When Christ shall reign as King.

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