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Aron Liesveldt Sleyster (1856-1902)
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Poems from: "Howard Gray and Other Poems"  by Aaron L Sleyster


On the breaking up of their family

Three months have scarcely passed away
Since Bess and I did wend our way
Back to the land that gave us birth
And once more gathered round your hearth.

Like birds in the parental nest,
We likewise found you truly blest
With all your children; though full grown
They still adorned the dear old home.

But now it seems a change has come,
We hear they leave you one by one;
Thus two have left you since last fall,
You soon will have no bairns at all.

First, Mary with he roguish eye,
With young McDomald dared to fly,
On wild Dakota's plains to dwell
Far from the home she loved so well.

Next, Agnes changed her maiden name;
She, doubtless, thought it was shame
For Mary to become a wife
While she still led a single life.

But such a life on every side;---
A child grown up, cannot abide
And feel contented and at home
Until he has one of his own.

To marry is the safest way,
For us poor mortals to obey
The laws of nature and of life
In happy wedlock, man and wife.

Of bachelors don't talk to me;
Their happy life, so blithe and free,
Is but a xdry and wretched fate
Compared with men who have a mate.

Nor old maids mention, if you please;
Their life of comfort and of ease
Is but a vacant life at best,
And love a stranger to their breast.

Compare with them a wedded pair
With three, four children, bright and fair,
Who cheer them on from day to day,
And, when they die, weep o'er their clay

Your pleasant home where I have spent
So many an evening of content;
Those parties, when I was a boy,
I oft recall to mind with joy.

'Twas there I recollect full well,
Up to my ears in love I fell
With bonnie Bess; it makes me laugh,
I call her now my "better half."

But, ah! 'tis sad, we all must own
To see the children leave their home,
As one by one their mates they find
And leave the dear old folks behind.

But life is transient: this we know,
Like flowers we come, we bloom and go:
Old blossoms slowly fade away,
While new ones glisten bright and gay.

Brattleboro, VT
Printed by Frank E. Housh and Co. 1888
BY Aaron L Sleyster


on her sixy-third birthday

Since you still lived at Arnhem on the Rhine,
A little orphan girl, scarce five years old
Thrown on the busy world so rude and cold.
A tiny, sickly flower, too weak to bear
The storms of life without parental care.
And yet, as if by magic, you survived,
And see your children's children live and thrive.
We fain to-day would gather round your hearth,
To celebrate the day that gave you birth,
And gather flowers, the sweetest on the lea,
And weave a wreath most beautiful to see,
And crown your brow around your silvery hair,
And pin it with hundred kisses there.
But, mother dear, no blossoms can we find,
There's naught out-doors but snow; the cold, cold wind
Is howling fiercely o'er the frosty main;
It seems that spring will never come again.
And so we bring a jewel, you must take
And wear it daily for your children's sake.
The three small sets, two rubies and a pearl,
For Bess and me, and for our little girl.
Remember that we often wish and pray
That God may comfort you from day to day.
That many, many years may yet be thine,
That beams of hope may ever round you shine,
And may ten thousand blessings be your lot:
And in your prayers, we crave, forget us not.















I received these poems from Beverly Wylie. Thanks! She wrote:

I was trying to figure out which Uncle and Aunt Aaron was referring to.  I think it might be Arend, Roelof's brother as he bought land near Roelof's in WI.  Roelof's sister Johanna married Manus Mensink, but they moved to MN in 1864 near where Aaron lived in MN.  A lot of poems that he wrote seemed to be about family and friends and is fun to try and figure out the family tree through his poems.

More later, Bev