Saturday, March 25, 2017

Working For the Fair

Pennsylvania Women showing a large flag at the 
Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts,
Lloyd Ostendorf Collection
National Archives

Below is an unsigned poem that appears to be unique to this particular newspaper about children doing needlework (and keeping rabbits?) for the Sanitary Fair.

Interesting that it appeared a month after the end of the Civil War.

"Working for the Fair" from the Elgin (Illinois) Weekly Gazette, May 24, 1865

There's a hum of merry voices
  In the house and in the street---
There are busy consultations
  And a rain of little feet;
There are scores of cunning cushions
  Of the dear red, white and blue;
There's a host of snowy rabbits
  That will xx fly from you
Should you look on these
  With the puzzle in your air.
You'll be told that they are waiting
For the Sanitary Fair.

There's a quilt of one-inch pieces,
  For a little fairy's bed.
There's a gorgeous worsted afghan,
  And a white embroidered spread.
There are dresses for xxx yearlings
  With a rank and file of tucks;
There's a bag and on it, swimming
  A whole family of ducks.
There are elephants-great moguls---
  Lest some knob the xx should wear
They are made to stand behind it
  And are waiting for the Fair.

Oh, the little hands are busy
  And 'tis time the children learned
That the pleasure of industry
  Is a pleasure to be earned.
That to succor those in sorrow,
  Was the work of Christ below---
Is the work of his disciples
  Be the object friend or foe.
But our sick and wounded soldiers
  Should have toil, and love, and care
We will work, and never weary,
  For the Sanitary Fair.

See the newspaper here:

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