Julia A. Moore

The Sweet Singer of Michigan



I WONDER WHERE MY PAPA IS?

I wonder where my papa is,
      Oh, where could he have gone,
I wonder why he does not come
      And see his Lilly Long.
He would come and sit by me
      When the fever burnt my brow,
I wonder where my papa is,
      For he comes not near me now.

I hear no more the foot pace
      In the hall by my door,
Where he would gently, gently tread
      Upon the oaken floor.
His place is vacant by the hearth,
      There stands his easy chair;
I hear no more his loving voice
      Raising the evening prayer.

The last time I saw my papa dear
      Was just five days ago,
He took me in his arms and said,
      "You are getting better slow,
Thank God, my little Lilly pet
      Will soon be well again,
And run about the house and play
      With little Nettie Lane."

I wonder where my papa is,
      Oh, where could he have gone,
It cannot be he has forgotten
      His little Lilly Long.
No, he never would have left me
      And mamma without aid;
I fear my papa has fallen
      A victim of the "plague."

The mother listened to her child,
      Her heart filled with pain
To hear her loved one mourn for him
      Who would never come again.
Tears were falling from her eyes,
      From her bossom heaved a sigh;
Little Lilly asked in wonder,
      "Mamma dear, what makes you cry?"

"Dearest Lilly must I tell you
      That your papa is no more,
That he cannot come and see you
      And caress you as of yore.
He has gone to live with Jesus,
      In the heavenly home above,
Where are dwelling the blessed
      In God's everlasting love."

Lilly listened to her mother,
      She uttered not a sound,
O'er her little pale cheeks softly
      Tears began to trinkle down;
At last she sweetly murmured,
      "Mamma dear, you and I
Must live so we can meet papa
      In Heaven, by and by."

"Yes, my child," the mother answered,
      "Your words are very true,
While we live on earth we should keep
      The heavenly land in view;
Then bright on earth will be our future,
      Bright as a shining star;
We will live in love together,
      Till we reach that home afar."


Reprinted from The Sweet Singer of Michigan: Poems by Mrs. Julia A. Moore ,
ed. Walter Blair (Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1928).
Note: The charming "trinkle" in the second last stanza is as Blair has it.
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