We’ve had a struggle, wife, through time
Saddened by many a shade,
For warfare in another clime
Has paralysed our trade.
And ‘mong the thousands of our class
So scantly clothed and fed,
We’ve had our share of grief, alas!
Pining for needful bread.
But let us not relax, and fret
As if all hope were gone,
‘Twere sin to murmur and forget
His is the justice, His the power
To chasten and subdue:
But even in the gloomiest hour
His mercy shineth through.
Together let us strive to bear,
With resolute, calm will,
The burden of our daily care,
Hoping and trusting still.
Since we are human, we must feel
Our portion of distress;
But working with a righteous zeal
Should make our trouble less.
Being but human, we must show
Some frailties and some fears,
Blindly creating needless woe,
And shedding needless tears.
But, darling wife, let thee and me
Refrain from foolish strife,
And so curb sin that we may be
Heirs to a holier life.
Of sorrow we must bear our part
While in this lower sphere;
But let us keep a loving heart,
And hold each other dear.
Though poverty may keep us down,
And make us sad the while,
Let us not dare God’s awful frown,
But live to gain his smile.

Title:Domestic Verses

Author:J. C. Prince

Publication:Ashton and Stalybridge Reporter

Published in:Ashton-under-Lyne

Date:August 13th 1864

Keywords:america, domesticity, family, poverty, religion, war


Domestic Verses This poem was written by John Critchley Prince, a prolific writer local to the area. It is in the voice of a husband addressing his wife, and it details the various social and domestic effects of the Cotton Famine. There is a strong religious element to the poem but also a resolution that domestic harmony is capable of sustaining families through the worst of the distress. It is one of a large number of poems specifically about the Cotton Famine which urges people to count their blessings, hunker down, and wait for the end of what this poem describes as ‘warfare in another clime’. – SR