REVIEW POTPOURRI: Mother’s Day from Elijah Parish Lovejoy

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

A poem very suited for Mother’s Day from Elijah Parish Lovejoy (written when he was already living in the Mid-West during the 1830s and would be killed on November 7, 1837, by an angry mob for his anti-slavery editorials, two days short of his 35th birthday) taken from the 1854 Native Poets from Maine anthology:

Elijah Parish Lovejoy

To My Mother.
My Mother! I am far away
From home, and love, and thee;
And stranger hands will heap the clay
That soon may cover me;
Yet we shall meet- perhaps not here,
But in yon shining, azure sphere;
And if there’s aught assures me more,
Ere yet my spirit fly,
That heaven has mercy still in store,
For such a wretch as I,
‘Tis that a heart so good as thine,
Must bleed – must burst along with mine.

And life is short at best, and Time
Must soon prepare the tomb;
And there is sure a happier clime,
Beyond this world of gloom-
And should it be my happy lot-
After a life of care and pain,
In sadness spent, or spent in vain-
To go where sighs and sin are not-
‘Twill make the half my heaven to be,
My Mother, evermore with thee!

Owen Lovejoy

His mother, Elizabeth Pattee Lovejoy, outlived him.

Two of Lovejoy’s brothers, Joseph and Owen, published a book about him in 1838.

John Quincy Adams

The sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, wrote an introduction to the volume from which the following two sentences are taken – “Martyrdom was said by Dr. Johnson to be the only test of sincerity in religious belief. It is also the ordeal through which all great improvements in the condition of men are doomed to pass.”

Those who wish to know more about this uniquely great man, born and raised in the then-‘Albion wilderness,’ would find his Wiki piece quite comprehensive on its own terms and a point of departure for further reading.



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1 reply
  1. Avatar
    Charlotte says:

    Beautiful poem from a noble man, Uncle Peter❣️ Fitting for Mother’s Day…though very melancholy, Mr. Lovejoy seems to have had a healthy eternal perspective! I am so thankful for Jesus, that He knows us & cares so deeply about children and parents ❤️ It’s a relationship created to be eternal & unbroken…& can be healed by Jesus. That I know full well! 😉


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