In “At Grandma’s Bedside” Edgar Fawcett discusses old age and the approach of death. The engraving by Mary Ann Hallock was one of two by her in the May 1870 issue of Our Young Folks.
“At Grandma’s Bedside,” by Edgar Fawcett (from Our Young Folks, May 1870; p. 298)

Grandmother’s bedside

Drawn by Miss M. A. Hallock.]     [See the Poem.
[Engraving after p. 296]

Is Grandma asleep? Never fear I shall wake her;

I ’ll sit by the bedside and speak very low,

And out of my lapful of buttercups make her

A bright little nosegay: ’t will gladden her so!

The days, since her sickness, are duller and longer,—

But then what a blessing she suffers no pain!

Every night I ask God, “Please to let her grow stronger,

And be my dear wide-awake Grandma again!”

How queer it would seem if I slept through the daytime,

And never rose up when the birds had begun,

And cared not at all for this beautiful May-time,

So scented with blossoms and merry with sun!

Heigh-ho! I suppose as we all become older

We are wearier, feebler, more willing to die.

Nurse says it ’s the way of the world, and I told her

I hoped that the world’s way would mend by and by.

Nurse shook her head sadly; perhaps she was thinking

How I would be resting as Grandma rests there,

Nor know if the red sun were rising or sinking,

But darken by tired old eyes, and not care.

And perhaps nurse is right. Well, I think in those hours

Of slumber, that pleasanter dreams would appear,

If a child whom I loved brought a lapful of flowers,

And watched by my bedside as I ’m watching here.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
To “Nineteenth-Century American Children & What They Read
Some of the children | Some of their books | Some of their magazines
To “Voices from 19th-Century America
Some works for adults, 1800-1872
To Titles at this site | Authors at this site | Subjects at this site | Works by date | Map of the site

Talk to me.