William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

My Fore-Elders


When from the child, that still is led
By hand, a father's hand is gone, ---
Or when a few-year'd mother dead
Has left her children growing on, ---
When men have left their children staid,
And they again have boy and maid, ---
O, can they know, as years may roll,
Their children's children, soul by soul?
If this with souls in heaven can be,
Do my fore-elders know of me?

My elders' elders, man and wife,
Were borne full early to the tomb,
With children still in childhood life
To play with butterfly or bloom.
And did they see the seasons mould
Their faces on, from young to old,
As years might bring them, turn by turn,
A time to laugh or time to mourn?
If this with souls in heaven can be,
Do my fore-elders know of me?

How fain I now would walk the floor
Within their mossy porch's bow,
Or linger by their church's door,
Or road that bore them to and fro,
Or nook where once they build their mow,
Or gateway open to their plough
(Though now indeed no gate is swung
That their live hands had ever hung ), ---
If I could know that they would see
Their child's late child, and know of me.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (My Fore-Elders by William Barnes )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Poet, Keith Waldrop
  2. Hidden, Keith Waldrop
  3. OUR CURRENT SITUATION, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  4. A Candid Portrait Of War, Dilantha Gunawardana
  5. An Apparatus, Keith Waldrop
  6. Advances, Keith Waldrop
  7. Majesty, Keith Waldrop
  8. In a Spring Still Not Written Of, Robert Wallace
  9. Giacometti's Dog, Robert Wallace
  10. Dearest Sister, Kaila George

Poem of the Day

poet Wilfred Owen

All sounds have been as music to my listening:
Pacific lamentations of slow bells,
The crunch of boots on blue snow rosy-glistening,
Shuffle of autumn leaves; and all farewells:

...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]