Listen, I’ve got to tell you—
Cannot keep it longer or be still—
Walked down the street one day last week
And got a job in the Cliffside Mill.
I am so eager to begin it,
to my strength there is no limit,
Plan my housework with a heart that thrills,
For I know the satisfaction,
of a willing mind in action,
When you’ve got a steady job in Cliffside Mills.
There’ll be fun and laughter in it,
Enough of zest to fill each minute,
As you work beside your comrade with good will!
You'll be wise to save the nickels,
Shining dimes that almost trickle
Through your fingers when payday comes in Cliffside Mills.
There are overseers to guide you,
Second hands who will provide you
With the work that they want done with a will.
You should be on time to start,
conscientious do your part,
And you’ll sure enjoy your job in Cliffside Mill.
I shall plan and work and wonder,
When the days grow dark and somber,
As I slowly trudge the upgrade of the hills;
Oh, the good day that is coming,
I shall look so sweet and stunning
With the money that I make in Cliffside Mills.
So I’ll labor ever faithful,
for my job I am so grateful,
And I hope it’s not against my hubby’s will;
For to get a job and keep it,
count the bills and keep a secret,
Is a married woman’s joy in Cliffside Mills.
The majesty of God in the mountains,
Is glorious to behold!
The water flowing down like fountains I see,
Reminds me of His Promise to the thirsty soul.
How great is Thy power, O Lord, we exclaim!
Thou wast, and forever shall be,
We bow in solemn adoration
And give praise, O praise to thee.
As we view the panorama of beauty
We are lifted in exaltation and praise.
The marvelous foliage of thy handiwork
Cause our voices in rapture to raise.
The petty vexations and trials of life
How often overwhelmingly roll;
But the radiant grandeur of thy rocks and hills,
Give courage and strength to my soul.
We are made to be stronger by the trials we bear,
Life’s lessons are our spiritual growth
The Master is ready our burdens to share,
But we reap, whatsoever we soweth.
I will lift my eyes unto Thy hills, O Lord,
For my help cometh only from thee;
I will love and honor and teach thy word,
For I know that Thou lovest and carest for me.
I’m so lonely since you have gone,
I miss you more each day;
I cannot even sing a song
Since you have gone away.
The house seems empty, so does my heart,
The hours drag slowly by;
Even the flowers have lost their art
Of brilliancy to mine eye.
I miss the confidential talks
That bound our hearts together,
The pleasant and encouraging words
You always had for mother.
The pressure of your loving hands,
Your shining eyes with laughter,
The memory of each loving deed
Are mine forever after.
Your childhood days are over now,
For you have gone to college,
To broaden out that mind of yours
In wisdom and in knowledge.
If you do as well as you did at home
In all your duties ever,
The Lord will bless you precious child,
And crown your every effort.
I know you are in the hills with God,
Lift up your eyes in wonder;
He is the keeper day and night,
He neither sleeps nor slumbers.
I think of you at Mars Hill
With teachers kind and true;
I pray God’s blessing on you, son,
In all you say and do.
I pray that you will live the man
That I have in my heart,
A life of service to our King,
From which we’ll never part.
It has been said of Ed Carpenter that he doesn’t do what he says – and he doesn’t say what he means – and is it any wonder? When dozens of women are looking, watching, and waiting to ask him these daily routine questions:
“I want a rock wall around the yard,
A couple of shade trees too.
I want a different paint on this one room,
This one torn down and made new.
I want a door cut here, a door cut there;
And three steps added to the winding stairs,
I want the stove flue moved, the porch enlarged,
If you don’t have it done I will get you discharged.”
While old Ed stands and puffs his pipe,
And wonders how he will get through life.
A woman can never be satisfied,
When all is done and said,
But they will like you just the same, dear Ed,
And they will prove it when you are dead,
The flowers they should give you now,
Will be placed upon your grave,
Tears will fall and kind words said,
When dear old Ed is dead.
You know, Ed, I want no flowers left on my grave; I want the kind words of cheer and comfort now to help me on life’s way and if I “keep the golden rule” given in the Bible, ever seeking the good qualities of my friends, I will be sure to get them. Don’t you agree with me?
For many years Mrs. R. B. Watkins (1872-1964) contributed essays, poems and columns to the county newspapers. These poems were found in a scrap book of her writings (and other memoriabilia) made in 1930 for her by a friend, Mrs. Allhands. In later years, Ida added other items to the book.
Courtesy Dena Watkins Chandler