Yesterday I found a copy of Fretz Family History in the St. Louis Public Library. It was published in 1890 by Rev AJ Fretz, who published several family histories centered around families that settled originally in the Bucks County Pennsylvania area. I knew that my great-great grandfather, the Confederate soldier, would be mentioned in the book, but I was interested in finding information about his siblings. Little did I expect to find a poem written by Ida Green (nee Denyer), his niece, and the first cousin of my great-grandmother. The text of the family history is fully within the public domain, so I have no issues with reprinting it here.
I might take a few issues with meter, and modern political correctness, but I feel it’s wonderful a poem that clearly came from her heart has survived the generations through Rev AJ Fretz’s genealogical work, and encourages me on my own research and story gathering. (All the family history referenced in the poem are given dates and details in the bio that accompanies it.)
Mother! Ah, how oft that name
Our loving hearts have thrilled,
It soothes to rest in hours of pain,
Though death her pulse has stilled.
In life we were her constant care;
And often while we slept,
She o’er bent in silent prayer,
While Indians through our barley crept.
They had her loved companion slain,
Disguised in white-men’s clothes.
Whom he mistook for neighboring friends,
Till they had strung their bows.
And then upon that April morn,
When death his frame had chilled,
She stood beside that lifeless form,
Her heart with anguish filled.
And when we laid him in the tomb,
And sadly turned away,
Our mother knew that she alone,
Must guard us night and day.
Nor did she through those years of grief
E’er murmur or repine,
But sought in prayer that sweet relief
Which true believers find.
And when consumption seized her child,
The first that God had given,
She closed in death those eyes so mild,
And said, “We’ll meet in heaven.”
One year elapsed, then mother left,
To join the host above,
And four small children were bereft
Of either parents’ love.
And now those loved ones round the throne
Are beckoning us away;
Dear brothers, sisters, kindred ones,
Let us the call obey.
Yes! Let us follow in the path
This noble woman trod;
Perform our duty here on earth,
But lean upon our God.
Santa Maria, Texas, Oct 8, 1889.