This poem is from the book Salt of the Earth by Ella Kingsbury Whitmore on the occasion of her parents’ 50th Wedding anniversary. It was written by one of their granddaughters.
Just fifty years ago today,
‘Mongst Vermont hills so far away,
In a little quiet eastern town,
Occurred the things I’ve written down.
Perhaps you’ve heard the tale before –
Perhaps you’ve heard it o’er and o’er;
But it ne’er before was writ in verse
So listen, please, it might be worse.
October four, in fifty-two,
The sky was not a lovely blue,
At early morn the rain came down,
On the wedding day of Hannah Brown.
The stalwart youth who won her heart,
And Hannah, lived some miles apart,
But he was young, and strong, and full of life
And went through the rain to take his wife.
Up the big long hills he drove along –
His heart was full of joyful song,
For today he and the young school teacher
Had planned to go and see the preacher.
So what cared he for mud or rain?
He soon would see her face again
And side by side, through life, from now,
He’d always have a smiling “frau.”
And she was young, and fair, and sweet,
As any girl you’d chance to meet,
If you would travel far and wide,
Up many a mountain’s rugged side.
From her country home to Londonderry,
Where lived the young man Joe Kingsbury,
Over the mountains she had come,
To teach the youngsters near his home.
As long as the old world turns around,
Just such cases will be found.
He learned to love, and wooed and won,
The shy and pretty Hannah Brown.
So now he planned to take his wife,
And go out west, begin a life,
In far away big Illinois,
Of which he dreamed, since but a boy.
The wedding gown was fine and new,
It was light gray-it was not blue
There’s a joke about the bridegroom’s hat-
Maybe he will tell you that.
No wedding grand was in their plans-
A quiet marriage, by a man
They both knew well was kind and good,
Jamaica’s preacher, Elder Wood.
As eve drew on, the sky did lighten,
And stars came out, their way to brighten,
As on they went, these loving two,
With sister and her husband true.
The knot was tied, and good and strong-
Has not come loose through all the long
And busy years passed through since then,
Through years now counting five times ten.
Some days perchance were dark and dreary,
And oftentimes they both were weary;
But through hard times they came at length,
Each strengthened by the other’s strength.
And now around them in their home,
Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren come;
Each one’s heart is full of love,
Each one trusting God above
Will send his blessings, rich in store,
For long years prolonged many more.
So here are congratulations hearty!
At this anniversary party.
Three cheers for Grandpa and Grandma Kingsbury,
For Jamaica Town, and Londonderry!