FAREWELL TO THE CUMBERLANDS
By: WALTER TIPTON

WITH AN EFFORT I RETURNED TO THE CUIMBERLANDS ONCE MORE
AND PASSED THROUGH THE BREAKS ALONG BIG SANDY SHORE
THEN CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN TO LOOK FAR BELOW.
I STOOD THERE ON A CLIFF WHERE I STOOD LONG AGO.

AND I VIEWED POTTER'S FLATS FROM UP THERE ON HIGH.
BUT, OH! WHAT A CHANGE FOR THE YEARS HAD PASSED BY.
THE FIELDS WHERE ONCE STOOD THE WAVING CORN,
LIKE THE FIELD OF THE SLUGGARD WERE COVERED WITH THORNS.

AND THE LITTLE WHITE HOUSE THAT ONCE STOOD OUT ALONE,
BUT TO MY SURPRISE, THEY HAD VANISHED AND GONE.
AND WHERE WERE MY FRIENDS, ONCE SO HAPPY AND GAY,
HAD THE DEATH ANGEL CALLED AND TAKEN THEM AWAY.

I GAZED AT THE CHIMNEY WHILE STANDING UP THERE,
WITH IT IT'S  HEAD SLIGHTLY BENT, AS IF IN SILENT PRAYER.
IT STOOD LIKE A SOLDIER WITHOUT ANY FEAR,
GUARDING THE BREAKS FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS.

THEN TURNING I WALKED OVER TO SKAGGS GAP.
WHERE AN OLD FRIEND OF MINE WAS TAKING A NAP.
I PLACED FLOWERS ON HIS GRAVE, AS SO OFTEN BEFORE.
BUT THE CUMBERLAND OWL WOULD COME BACK NO MORE.

THEN WANDERING DOWN TO THE OLD HOMETOWN,
BUT ALL WERE STRANGE FACES THAT WERE STANDING AROUND.
I STOPPED AT THE CORNER AND STOOD THERE ALONE.
BUT NO ONE CAME FORWARD TO WELCOME ME HOME.

THEN TURNING MY BACK ON THE OLD HOME OF MINE,
I CROSSED THE RIVER TO THAT TOP OF PINE.
AND WALKED SLOWLY UPWARD AND PASSED THROUGH THE GATE,
WHERE MY FRIENDS DO NOTHING BUT SLEEP AND WAIT.

I WALKED TO THE TOP AND STOPPED BY A MOUND.
WITH MY HAND ON A MARKER, I KNELT ON THE GROUND,
I WHISPERED OLD FRIEND I WILL SEE YOU SOME DAY.
WHEN YOU COME FROM UNDER THAT BLANKET OF CLAY.

WITH MY EYES TURNED TO HEAVEN I THEN SAID A PRAYER
FOR ALL OF MY FRIENDS WHO WERE SLEEPING UP THERE.
THAT WE ALL MEET ONCE MORE, NOT AS IN DAYS OF OLD
BUT MEET IN THAT CITY WITH STREETS OF PURE GOLD.

NOW THE SHADOWS WERE SPOOKY I STARTED TO GO.
D0WN TO THE VALLEY WHERE THE SWIFT WATER'S FLOW.
I STOOD ON THE SHORE BENEATH THE STAR SPANGLED SKY.
AND BADE FAREWELL TO THE OLD HEARTLANDS, TO BIG SANDY GOODBYE.


                                      THE CUMBERLAND OWL
                                        WALTER TIPTON

Poem submitted by Sadie (Ramey) Bove.



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