This undated poem was written by Sarah Elizabeth Plowman, known to her family as “Sate.” The poem was written to her neice Luna May Plowman, daughter of Charles Nelson Plowman. Charles and Sate were both children of William Tuthill Plowman. The last stanza of the poem refers to a “souvenir.” The Plowmans often wrote poetry to accompany gifts at Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions. We do not know what the souvenir was.
Memories of the Old Stove
by Sate Plowman
Way back in old Westphalia
When we were young and gay,
When brothers too and sisters
Wore the common home-spun gray,
Our happy brother Charlie
So strong in hand and arm
Had left the dear old homestead
Moved on his Riley farm.
To us other numerous children
It always seemed a treat
To visit this dear brother
And around his board to eat.
They always set a table
Good enough for any king,
For what ever there was needed,
He would always gladly bring.
His wife was kind and thrifty
And of pies, baked not a few,
For of fruit he furnished plenty,
Both to bake and also stew.
Now soon they found their oven
Quite too small for their demand,
And they planned to buy another
Either new or second-hand.
So now this happy brother
To an auction found his way;
I think he will remember
For it was his lucky day.
It was there he found the creature
They always called, “Old Dutch,”
Of milk she gave a plenty
And of butter they made much.
There too, a fine large stove he found,
‘Twas just as good as new,
The oven large and roomy
The fire-box ample too.
But as the years went fleeting by
They made another change,
This stove now old, was set aside,
For the bright and modern range.
Our brother’s oldest daughter
With a voice quite sad and low,
While looking at the old stove, said,
“I am sorry to see it go.”
When a very little maiden
With her round and dimpled cheek,
By it’s side she sat and prattled,
In the oven warmed her feet;
By it sat in early childhood,
When the time so quickly flies,
By it rocked her little sister,
With the bright and laughing eyes.
Many pleasant recollections
‘Round the old stove seemed to twine,
And she loved it very dearly
For that bright and sunny time.
And now for happy memories
For which we all have sought,
We bought this little souvenir
For what the old stove brought.