~ Mabel Bridges Cargill ~
Daughter of one of the founding families of Cliffside, Mabel was an artist for all seasons: a writer, floral arranger, composer, dramatist, civic leader and an important conservator of the memories of Cliffside. Born in 1908, she died in 1999. Her memoirs are an important history of the town she loved.
Courtesy Hazel Haynes Bridges and Anne Cargill
In memory of Mrs. Ina Fortune Haynes
Who passed from this life Dec. 20, 1963
The winter was here, the Yule Season too,
And the old year beginning to die;
Sweet Spring in its verdance, glad summer’s bright hue
And ripe days of autumn’d passed by.
‘Twas a likeness of her, who had lived in our midst —
For the spring of her life blossomed fair.
Her summer she painted with cheer and good deeds, whilst
In autumn her virtues were harvests so rare.
Her winter continued so happy and bright;
No bare trees, and no dismal rain
Could shut out her spirit of laughter and light,
For the sun shone through her window pane.
But just as her year was approaching its end,
Our Father in Heaven looked down
And said, “Ina Haynes, an angel I’ll send
To bring you to me for your crown.”
The new year begins with us God has left,
In Heaven her crowning takes place —
So, rather than sorrow and feel we’re bereft
We rejoice, as she looks on His face.
‘Mid all of its thorns, the rose sings a song.
‘Tis one of love, and so beautiful too;
The sunflower chants, as its god moves along
On his daily trek cross the heavens blue.
The lily, in purity, trills out its note,
Sending its fragrant mist over the air;
While the stately gladiolus opens its throat,
Rendering harmonies that are ever so rare.
Hark! how the snow-drop chirps in the snow
The mysterious warbles that pierce every heart;
And deep in the dell the violets know
Their modesty hums in the melody part.
Hear how the daffodil pines in its lay
As it blooms ‘neath the jasmine so calm;
Beside these two the red tulips sway
Singing a chorus of spring and its balm.
With kind thoughts the pansy raises its face
And gently a lullaby reaches the ear;
Just then the aster steps forth into place
Lending a voice that’s entranced by a tear.
Marigolds, poppies and holly-hocks too
Sing forth their lilts in accord;
Sweet Williams, columbines and hydrangea blue
Join mignonette, larkspur to honor our Lord.
Just listen now as the glad chorus swells
From the garden, the forest and lea–
All flowers join in an anthem that tells,
“The Great God hath created me.”
Oft times, in the course of life’s events
Our steps to the city must roam,
And we get that nostalgic emotion—
“How good it would be to ‘Be home.”‘
On the street we are nothing but strangers,
And deep in our heart, how we moan,
“Just one friendly face, as I’m walking
Could give me the feeling, ‘I’m home.'”
I go in the stores for groceries,
And rolling my cart all alone
There comes to my mind, “What a difference
There is, when I’m shopping ‘at home.'”
There’s always someone I can chat with
Who speaks in a dear, friendly tone,
Discussing the things that are happening
In far distant climes, and at home.
You ride into town on the buses.
The seats all with people are strewn;
But their faces are almost disdaining,
So I’d rather be walking “Back Home.”
To ride down the streets in the mornings
Or walk, and be by the winds blown,
To meet friends—and each return greetings,
That’s why I am longing ‘For home.”
‘Ere long, I am hoping my footsteps
Will glide with my heart, and be shown
That out of the din of the city,
They’re carrying me safely “Back Home.”
“Back Home” was written by in New Haven, CT, in October 1955 when Mabel was spending time with her daughter Eleanor Strickland, Eleanor’s husband Roy, and her first grandson Ricky. The home she longed for in this poem, of course, was the one in her beloved Cliffside.
“To Liz Smith”
August 29, 1960
As you go from here, remember this:
You leave behind a trail of bliss
And on each side, a hedge of art
Growing, as beauty it doth impart.
The pebbles you leave upon tills trail
Are kindness, thoughtfulness without fail.
You have so inspired from day to day
And spoken your love in many a way.
Continuing on in your gladsome path,
May you have the blessings our Father hath
For all of His children, and surely you
Are one of His treasured through and through and through.
“For Daisy Wilson”
Written for Daisy Wilson in memory of her father, Mr. Charles Keeter, who died on August 16, 1967.
Departing from loved ones just only means
He has entered a larger room;
And viewing with joy the miraculous scenes,
Waiting those who’ve stopped life’s loom.
Just as God opened the golden door
His smile was so brilliantly bright,
Your father knew that forever more
There would be day, and never dark night.
Looking around at the vast singing throng
Your mother he spied; as she sang
He listened, and oh! “twas a lovely song,
The notes were so clear as they rang.
Neighbors and friends were awaiting to greet
In this room, which seemed without end;
How happy he’ll be at his Master’s feet,
And with these he’ll eternity spend.
“Hymn of Dedication”
Written especially for the dedication of the Cliffside Post Office, October 22, 1961.
Our hearts are thrilled, our courage high
As on this spot we stand.
And view with joy this edifice,
So strong and so well-planned.
It is a dream come true for all,
Who through the years have tried
To life the spirits of our town
And give to it much price.
To “Uncle Sam” we owe a debt
Of love and gratitude,
For helping us attain the goals
that gave us fortitude.
We love our country and our land,
and may “Old Glory” wave
O’er all our children yet unborn.
God make them ever brave.
Today, we meet to dedicate,
With song and voices too,
This building on this hallowed ground
And pray that we may do
Our duty to our fellow men
And to the U. S. A.
Fore’er proclaiming freedom’s cause
And praising God always.
“Mundo Vista Fountains”
January 15, 1975
In the lovely Uwharrie Mountains
God has helped women to build
A myriad of sparkling fountains;
They refresh the world as a field.
How they enliven fair, young girlhood,
And women in later years;
Their enchanting mists envelop the wood
Almost speaking to listening ears.
For ’tis here the craving world calls,
“I’m athirst for the water of life,”
And here, this ardent plea falls
In sprays, so abundant and rife.
Mundo Vista, Ah! the gushes that flow;
A ‘world view’ of missions indeed
Emit: the colorful sprays, I trow,
Symbolize our world’s varied need.
Let these fountains eternal be,
Like “Old Faithful,” erupt every hour,
Until world-wide man is free
And blooms like a lovely flower.
Then will our fountains fulfil
The purpose God and women planned;
Their waters will run down, until
God’s love like a rainbow’s spanned.
- Her Year
- Flower Song
- Back Home
- To Liz Smith
- For Daisy Wilson
- Hymn of Dedication
- Mundo Vista Fountains