|Poem by Josie Kirkpatrick (no date)|
There are many documents preserved from the Kirkpatrick branch of my family - and one of the more unusual is a poem written by my great-great-aunt Josephine Hodge Kirkpatrick Suddarth (1848-1909).
Josephine was the sister of my great-great-grandfather William Henry Harrison Kirkpatrick (1840-1908). The poem seems to be written as a memorial to someone. It is signed simply "Josie K." which may indicate it predates her marriage to William Wallace Suddarth (1828-1914) on June 6, 1870.
I know very little about Josephine's descendants. My grandmother and mother never really mentioned her - though it's possible my grandmother could have met her. Josie and her husband had one child that I know of, Rev. Thomas H. Suddarth (1887-1969) - though William had two children from an earlier marriage to Sarah E. Davis Suddarth (1841-1969). Josie and her husband are buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon, Tennessee.
I'd love to touch base with the Suddarth descendants, but so far I haven' t found any. Here is Josie's poem:
Thou who has taught me all I know
How can I bear to leave thee now.
Oh yes 'tis hard but yes 'tis so
May God protect as we go.
And all throughout the lonely days
Striving to bear any weary lot --
Perhaps tears will 'rise on the way
Enwrapped with troubles of shade.
Remembrance of those happy days
Still bathes its plumes in living light
Oh may it ever 'round me stay
Nothing to disturb I can but say.
We know this world is full of gloom
And yet 'tis but a moment's stay,
(Like that which steals across the heart
Kept off by each and every joy.)
Each year that passes by wilt thou
Remember yes remember me.