By Fred Silas Wade (1898-1976)
The road of life is short indeed, that road we’re treading on,
For by and by with rapid speed, the joys will soon be gone.
We travel onward day by day, amid the worldly cares,
But soon will end our work and play, when death upon us stares.
How happy now we seem to be, as on through life we go,
But by and by some day we’ll see, and face the dreaded foe.
But is this foe so great indeed, that we should fear him so?
For all this fear we have no need, If we our savior know.
If we are ready for the day, to meet our journey’s end,
A child of God we then may say, You’re welcome, death, my friend.
We need not fear this dreaded foe, if we are free from sin,
For then to heaven we shall go, with friends to enter in.
To view just now a Christian’s death, lets cross just o’er the hill,
And there we see just out of breath, a maiden pale and still.
All still and silent by her side, there sits the mother dear,
To save her child in vain she tried, but now the end is near.
The father stands by her bed, he sees the end is near,
The thought of daughter with the dead, brings trickling forth a tear.
The children stand there looking on, the tears are flowing fast,
They think of days now past and gone, how sister’s played her last.
But one, a lad about sixteen, is not about the place,
Ashamed, this lad avoids the scene, ashamed to show his face.
His conscience now begins to pain, and burn his blackened heart,
He knows his sister he has slain, but whiskey played its part.
A while before he went to run, about with drunken men,
And came back drunk into the home, then came this dreadful sin.
A curse, a blow, by drunken hands, the cruel deed was done,
The lad above the sister stands, his trouble now begun.
His conscience pained, he fled away, beyond the horrid scene,
This lad, this drunkard, now we say, this sinful boy so mean.
They took the sister to her bed, and laid her quietly down,
To soon be numbered with the dead, and then to gain her crown.
While all are gathered round her bed, in sorrow grief and pain,
To weep for daughter with the dead, to mourn for sister slain.
A smile creeps forth upon her face, her eyes she opens now,
And loved ones see about the place, beneath her burning brow.
Oh Mother come and take my hand and hear me now I pray,
And Father here beside me stand, for I must go away.
I see the angels coming now, to carry me back home,
Not once again to sin I’ll bow, but once again I’ll roam.
I’ll live with Jesus and the blest, in peace forever more,
And there in heaven I shall rest, beyond the Golden shore.
No more I’ll play about the place, in joy as days gone by,
No more you’ll see my smiling face, however you may try.
Though you will miss me when I’ve gone, and left you all alone,
Don’t weep for me for I’ll be known, beside my savior’s throne.
I thank you now my mother dear, for what you’ve done for me,
A Christian now, I have no fear, to meet my death, you see.
And tell my brother when I’m gone, I died with love for him,
Though to my death by him I’m thrown, his way was dark and dim.
Though brother took my life from me, he killed his trusted friend,
Though far apart we soon shall be, I’ve loved him to the end.
Now tell him won’t you mother dear, I’ll look for him up there,
An bid him change his way just here, and meet his sister fair.
And father dear come near I pray, don’t grieve when I am gone,
Don’t grieve when I have gone away and left you all alone.
But I must leave you now I see, the angels at the door,
They’re coming here now after me, to bear me safely o’er.
A peaceful smile crept o’er her brow, as home she goes to dwell,
And with her gentle graceful hand, she waves her last farewell.
Note: Most of Fred Wade’s writings were prompted by some happening or event in the valley. If there was anyone still living who would know, they could probably tell us what caused him to write the above. If you noticed he refers to the happening as being “just o’er the hill”.