My mother's grandmother was senile in her late nineties and couldn't remember her family nor the day of the week. She did, however, remember and often recite a long poem called "Baraboulagall." I am spelling the title phonetically because no one in the family has been able to find it written anywhere. As a child, my mother's cousin tried to write down bits of verse as she heard them, but we're sure we're missing something, and certain words don't seem appropriate. Also, my mother remembered the title being pronounced with an "r" at the end (Baraboulragal) instead of the way I have it spelled, but she defers to her cousin's script. The following verses are what we have. We would love to have any information on this poem. Thanks so much!
A stranger preached last Sunday,
And crowds of people came
To hear a two hour sermon
With a barbarous-sounding name.
‘Twas all about some heathens
who lived in a land afar,
who lived in a land of darkness,
That night there want and sorrow
Lay heavy on my soul,
And deep in meditation,
I took my morning stroll.
A pale and puny creature
In rags and dirt forlorn.
“What can she want?” I questioned,
Impatient to be gone.
With trembling voice she answered,
“We live just down the street,
And mother is to dyin’
And we’ve nothing left to eat.”
Down in the wretched basement
With mold upon the walls
In whose half-hidden windows
God’s sunshine never falls
Where cold and want and hunger
Crouched near her as she lay;
I found a fellow creature
Gasping her life away.
A chair, a broken table,
a bed of dirty straw,
A hearth all dark and cheerless,
But these I scarcely saw.
For the mournful sight before me,
And the sadness and sickness show.
Oh, never had I pictured
A scene so full of woe!
The famished and naked
Babies pining for their bread
The scholared group that huddled
All around the dying bed
All this distress and sorrow
Should be in a land afar
Should be in a land of darkness
The author's name appears to be Orrin Goodrich and the title is given as Borrioboola Gha
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2008 09:48PM by JohnnyBoy.
click "download" on the right and you can get the whole index....way comprehensive for that time
a google search for borrioboola gha reveals a lot
it was first published in 1854
note from a a 1872 newspaper ...
The subjoined verses, which have lately
gone the newspaper rounds, were written
| more than twenty years ago by the wife of
| the Rev. W. II. Corning, of Oswego, N.
Y. Mrs. Corning heard her husband delivering
a sermon on foreign missions one
Sunday, and slipped home to write down
what she thought about it
Dear Johnny Boy and Ilza-Maria,
Thank you both very much for your help. I am so happy you have solved the mystery of my great-great grandmother's fragmented poem, and I know that my mother's family is going to be thrilled, as well. We truly appreciate your efforts...