I wrote recently about Daddy’s first cousin, Kenneth Wayne Head, and sweet things he said about his mama. Yesterday he sent a poem that our Aunt Hattye used to quote. What a joy it was to read it and to learn for the first time that Aunt Hattye quoted poetry. She was the sister-in-law of Daddy’s mother, Mama Sue. I loved thinking about Aunt Hattye again and her husband Uncle Clyde. One of my favorite childhood activities at family gatherings was sitting at Mama Sue’s pink kitchen table, listening to Mama Sue and the other women gathered there.
The poem was encouraging to me. It was interesting to learn about the author, James T. Fields. He was the editor of the Atlantic Monthly from 1861 to 1871 and a friend of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
We Were Crowded in the Cabin
James T. Fields
We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul would dare to sleep,
It was midnight on the waters,
And storm was on the deep.
’Tis a fearful thing in winter,
To be shattered in the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet,
Thunder, Cut away the mast.
So we shuddered there in silence,
For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring,
And the breakers talked with death.
As thus we sat in darkness,
Each one busy in his prayers,
We are lost! the captain shouted,
As he staggered down the stairs.
But his little daughter whispered,
As she took his icy hand,
Isn’t God upon the ocean,
Just the same as on the land?
Then we kissed the little maiden,
And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor,
Where the morn was shining clear.
Whatever is happening in your cabin today—whether it is a stormy day or a morning shining clear, I know that God loves you. Whether our morn shines clear on earth or whether we must wait for that eternal morning when it will shine clear forever, we can trust the One who will one day calm all of our storms.
Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled,
nor let it be fearful.