[Part of a week-long series about Cyrus Hubbard Wheelock and the poetry of Hannah Last Cornaby. See index here.]
“To Elder Geo. W Wilkins”
by Hannah Last Cornaby
On his departure to England on a mission to preach the Gospel.
You’re going to visit the land of my birth,
That spot once the dearest to me on the earth,
Dear still, through the friends that behind have been left,
Still loved, as my dead, there for ages have slept.
To that now distant land, my mind often turns,
For her people, my spirit in anguish yearns,
For full well I know how her poor are oppressed,
How sad is their lot, and how sorely distressed.
You will go to the poor, the honest, the meek,
To those who for truth and for righteousness seek,
You’ll preach them the Gospel, yourself love so well,
Of the freedom and peace of this land you’ll tell.
‘Tis a noble mission, on which you now go,
A labor the angels might envy you too;
You go in your Master’s great name to declare
Salvation’s glad tidings to all who will hear.
And oh! may you gain many sheaves for your hire,
And accomplish the good we all most desire,
Enjoy the good spirit, where’er you may be,
Be guarded from danger, by land and by sea.
Then farewell, dear brother, ‘tis needless to say,
Please think of us sometimes, while you are away,
Though absent in body, your thoughts oft will roam
To the friends you’ve left in your lov’d mountain home.
As saints, we must not have a parting regret,
But friends of long standing we cannot forget,
We’ll think of the good time that yet is to come,
When again in our midst we welcome you home.