My Neighbors Dear (The Falling Tree)
DESCRIPTION: "My neighbors dear I pray draw near, In mourning our sad fate." "We to the forest did repair... Began the cutting down a tree Which on our father fell." "Then watch and pray... At such an hour as we think not, The Son of Man will come."
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1800 (Beck-Maine)
KEYWORDS: death father family warning
1800 - Death of Beriah Randall, the subject of this piece, according to Beck-Maine
FOUND IN: US(NE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Beck-Maine, pp. 259-260, "Poetry (On the Sudden Death of Mr. Beriah Randall, of Easton...." (1 excerpt from a 36 stanza poem)
cf. "Harry Dunn (The Hanging Limb)" [Laws C14] (plot) and references there
NOTES: Beck-Maine declares this to be the earliest poem of a lumbering tragedy, half a century earlier than the next known instance. It is included on that basis, although there is little evidence that it was in circulation (or was even a song).
The reference in the final verse to the coming of the Son of Man is probably an allusion to Matthew 24:44 or something similar, although there are many Biblical mentions of the coming of the end and of sudden death (e.g. the Wise Fool, Luke 12:13-21; the Little Apocalypse of Mark 13, especially 13:37; also the warning against idleness in 1 Thes. 5:6). - RBW
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