There was grief within our household
by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Because of a vacant chair.
Our mother, so loved and precious,
No longer was sitting there.
Our hearts grew heavy with sorrow,
Our eyes with tears were blind,
And little Jamie was wondering,
Why we were left behind.
We had told our little darling,
Of the land of love and light,
Of the saints all crowned with glory,
And enrobed in spotless white.
We said that our precious mother,
Had gone to that land so fair,
To dwell with beautiful angels,
And to be forever there.
But the child was sorely puzzled,
Why dear grandmamma should go
To dwell in a stranger city,
When her children loved her so.
But again the mystic angel
Came with swift and silent tread,
And our sister, Jamie's mother,
Was enrolled among the dead.
To us the mystery deepened,
To Jamie it seemed more clear;
Grandma, he said, must be lonesome,
And mamma has gone to her.
But the question lies unanswered
In our little Jamie's mind,
Why she should go to our mother,
And leave her children behind;
To dwell in that lovely city,
From all that was dear to part,
From children who loved to nestle
So closely around her heart.
Dear child, like you, we are puzzled,
With problems that still remain;
But think in the great hereafter
Their meaning will all be plain.