Frances Ellen Watkins

Here you will find the Poem Going East of poet Frances Ellen Watkins

Going East

She came from the East a fair, young bride, 
With a light and a bounding heart, 
To find in the distant West a home 
With her husband to make a start. 

He builded his cabin far away, 
Where the prairie flower bloomed wild; 
Her love made lighter all his toil, 
And joy and hope around him smiled. 

She plied her hands to life's homely tasks, 
And helped to build his fortunes up; 
While joy and grief, like bitter and sweet, 
Were mingled and mixed in her cup. 

He sowed in his fields of golden grain, 
All the strength of his manly prime; 
Nor music of birds, nor brooks, nor bees, 
Was as sweet as the dollar's chime. 

She toiled and waited through weary years 
For the fortune that came at length; 
But toil and care and hope deferred, 
Had stolen and wasted her strength. 

The cabin changed to a stately home, 
Rich carpets were hushing her tread; 
But light was fading from her eye, 
And the bloom from her cheek had fled. 

Slower and heavier grew her step, 
While his gold and his gains increased; 
But his proud domain had not the charm 
Of her humble home in the East. 

Within her eye was a restless light, 
And a yearning that never ceased, 
A longing to see the dear old home 
She had left in the distant East. 

A longing to clasp her mother's hand, 
And nestle close to her heart, 
And to feel the heavy cares of life 
Like the sun-kissed shadows depart. 

Her husband was adding field to field, 
And new wealth to his golden store; 
And little thought the shadow of death 
Was entering in at his door. 

He had no line to sound the depths 
Of her tears repressed and unshed; 
Nor dreamed 'mid plenty a human heart 
Could be starving, but not for bread. 

The hungry heart was stilled at last; 
Its restless, baffled yearning ceased. 
A lonely man sat by the bier 
Of a corpse that was going East.