“Last Night I Sat Dreaming” and “Sitting at the Table” by Darius M. Ratcliff


Last night I sat a dreaming

My eyes with tears near streaming;

But now, I’m up and working

My life today not shirking,

For I must.

Earnest has just been here,

He talked of cow and steer;

His farm is on his mind,

And help is hard to find:

Work or bust.

Darius has written me,

That home he wants to see;

He wants to plan it so,

Before the fall of snow,

Here to be.

Warren was home last week

A little rest to seek,

He’s added horse and saw,

To practicing of law:

Gee and Haw.

Ralph o’ver all is crowing,

The joyful news he’s knowing,

A grandpa now is he

To a little tot so wee,

Pat our pet.

Frank is here today,

Till Monday he can stay;

A loyal son and true,

His kind are mighty few:

Fine, you bet.

Margaret comes tonight,

We’ll welcome her all right:

Of home she’s prop and stay,

She must not go away:

Grand, best yet.

God grant my children may

Repent and turn to God,

Receive His blessing daily,

Receive them through His blood.

God grant when time is over

All may be gathered there;

The father and the children

With me my joy to share.

Charles Benton and Louise Mitteer Ratcliff and Family

Back Row, Left to Right –  Darius, Charles Benton, Louise, Warren

Front Row, Left to Right – Ernest, Frank, Margaret, Ralph


I am sitting at the table, but to read I’m hardly able,

And my thoughts they are roaming, in the quiet of the glooming,

All so fast:

And the children come a trooping, and my head now low is drooping,

And my heart too nigh is aching, as my memory now is making

Real the past.

Here is Ernie coming in, with a smile and with a grin:

“It’s an old discarded can, and a portion of a pan,

For a boat.”

“I will solder them together, as a sail and then a rudder,

I will take them to the brook, you may come and have a look,

It will float.”

And Darius now is bringing yellow flowers while the singing

Of the birds in the trees tells to all that winter flees;

It is May:

He has wandered far away, for the posies bright and gay,

And he found them at last as some willow trees he passed,

Late today.

Yes there’s Warren with the paint, at the sight I once could faint;

From the cellar to the light, I bring up the dabbled sight,

Sad to say:

Now comes Ralph, pink and sunny, with his sayings cute and funny,

Over something he has stumbled, for his clothes show he has tumbled

In the hay.

Then comes Frankie, little fellow, with his hair so shining yellow,

And he climbs up in my lap, while his feet they almost tap

On the floor.

And our girlie, little tot, we do cherish her a lot;

With her dolls she can stay, and at visiting she can play,

Till its four.

Photo above – Source: Personal photo collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

2 thoughts on ““Last Night I Sat Dreaming” and “Sitting at the Table” by Darius M. Ratcliff

  1. Marilee says:

    Very interesting! Nice to know that you are a generational blessing , isn’t it?


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