The Sweet Singer of Michigan

Poems by Mrs. Julia A. Moore



WILLIAM UPSON


      AIR -- "The Major's Only Son"

Come all good people, far and near,
Oh, come and see what you can hear,
It's of a young man, true and brave,
Who is now sleeping in his grave.

Now, William Upson was his name --
If it's not that it's all the same --
He did enlist in the cruel strife,
And it caused him to lose his life.

He was Jesse Upson's eldest son,
His father loved his noble son;
This son was nineteen years of age,
In the rebellion he engaged.

His father said that he might go,
But his dear mother she said no.
"Stay at home, dear Billy," she said,
But oh, she could not turn his head.

For go he would, and go he did --
He would not do as his mother bid,
For he went away down South, there
Where he could not have his mother's care.

He went to Nashville, Tennessee,
There his kind friends he could not see;
He died among strangers, far away,
They knew not where his body lay.

He was taken sick and lived four weeks,
And oh, how his parents weep,
But now they must in sorrow mourn,
Billy has gone to his heaven home.

If his mother could have seen her son,
For she loved him, her darling one,
If she could heard his dying prayer,
It would ease her heart till she met him there.

It would relieved his mother's heart,
To have seen her son from this world depart,
And hear his noble words of love,
As he left this world for that above.

It will relieve his mother's heart,
That her son is laid in our grave yard;
Now she knows that his grave is near,
She will not shed so many tears.

She knows not that it was her son,
His coffin could not be opened --
It might be some one in his place,
For she could not see his noble face.

He enrolled in eighteen sixty-three,
The next day after Christmas eve;
He died in eighteen sixty-four,
Twenty-third of March, as I was told.




Reprinted from The Sweet Singer of Michigan: Poems by Mrs. Julia A.
Moore
, ed. Walter Blair (Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1928).
Note: Stanza 8, "If she could heard" and stanza 9, "It would relieved" are as found in Blair. The omission of "have" is presumably a printer's error, but whether of the first edition or not I don't know.
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