Best Lincoln Stories Tersely Told
by J. E. Gallaher
Pub. in 1898

 

One of Lincoln's Songs.
 

As will be learned elsewhere in this book Annie Rutledge was Lincolnís first love. Mrs. William Prewitt, of Fairfield, Iowa, is a sister of Annie Rutledge. She is a widow in comfortable circumstances and lives with one of her sons. This is what she says of her dead sister and Lincoln:

"Her death made a great impression upon him I could see. We never knew him to jolly or laugh afterward. Annie was next to the oldest girl in our family, and she had a great deal of the housework to do. I remember seeing her washing I the old-fashioned way. She would sweep and bake, and was a good cook and took pride in her housework. She and Abe were very jolly together sometimes. They used to sing together. There was one song I didnít like to hear, and he would sing it to tease me. He would tip back his chair and roar it out at the top of his voice, over and over again, just for fun. I have the book they used to sing out of yet with that song in it"

The book is an old-fashioned "Missouri Harmony," and the song is as follows:

When in death I shall calmly recline,
O, bear my heart to my mistress dear;
Tell her it lived on smiles and wine
Of brightest hue while it lingered here;
Bid her not shed one tear of sorrow
To sully a heart so brilliant and bright,
But healing drops of red grape borrow
To bathe the relick from morn till night.

When informed that the song was a queer one to sing for fun, Mrs. Prewitt replied that "it is a queer song anyhow."

Page 19-20

 

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