Bessie Emery died at the age of seventeen. At the age of thirteen, she was working as a Housemaid at the vicarage in East Brent
It would seem it was this period in her short life that inspired Bessie to write her thoughts down in prose.
Her poems reflect her love of her family, her home, the countryside, and her faith.
The poems give an insight into the way people lived and thought a hundred or so years ago.
Here are some of the poems Bessie left in an old exercise book found among the family papers.
Had she lived longer, who knows where her talent may have led.
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The Book of Poems of Bessie Emery
Composed by Bessie Emery (Rooksbridge Somerset)
1878 - 1895
When nature has donned her green apparel in the beautiful spring.
Then let us be mirthful and gay.
Bright as the flowers in the sweet days of May.
Vexations and cares fling them aside
And bask in the sun of the lovely springtide.
We are Twelve.
We are a very large family,
There's twelve of us in all.
Francis is the youngest one,
and he's only five weeks old.
There's Annie, she's the oldest one,
She's very quiet you see.
No sign of her getting married,
An old maid she'll sure to be.
And Bill he is a fine young man
But he is such a jolly caution.
He plays tricks on the maidens
Too numerous to mention.
Dear Fred has joined the soldier band,
and he has sailed for foreign parts.
But when he does come home again,
He will cheer up all our hearts.
Ted and Charlie are two fine lads.
They both work on a farm.
But Ted a soldier would like to be,
When he starts away from home.
Jesse he's only about twelve years old.
He's more of a gent you see.
I hope I can go too visit him,
When he rides in his carriage so free.
Maggie and Edie are dear little girls,
Their eyes are a lovely brown.
Maggie lives with her uncle in town.
And Edie stays at home.
Alfie and Georgie are bonny boys,
Their mothers pride are they.
And I think this is all I can tell you,
about our large family.
Spring is come with its blithe and cheery ways.
And the fields are lit up with the sunlight rays'
The trees and the hedges are budded with green.
And the apple trees are decked with glorious sheen.
The dull dead winter is past and gone.
And the cuckoo soars high with its cheeriest song.
Telling us of brighter days to come.
And the birds are singing merrily as the fly along.
The May trees are covered with snowy white.
Whilst the violets and primroses peep into sight.
The fields are decked with cowslips so yellow.
And the cows are grazing peacefully in the meadow.
Hearts that are sad now grow brighter.
Burdens seem a great deal lighter.
When the warmth of the springtime sun appears.
The gladdest of all times in the year.
All things tell of our creator.
For tis he who made all things nature.
Therefore give to him the praises.
Now and ever through the ages.
Our Little Brother
We have a little brother.
He's a bonny little wee.
He is nearly three years old.
And his name is Georgie.
He's very fond of swinging.
And I swing him oh so high.
Till he calls out "Oh stop it Bess,
or my toots will touch the sky".
He is very fond of fun,
and he rambles far away.
Right up to the village,
with the boys and girls to play.
Sometimes he comes in the house,
His clothes all dripping wet.
He's been playing with the water pump,
and mother gives him such a whack.
We are very fond of him.
He's the youngest of us all.
And I think that when I've said that.
Then I've said it all.
The Bells of my Home
Sweet are the bells of my home.
Sweet were their sounds to me.
When in happy childhood days I roamed,
beneath the shadow of the church, and the old Yew tree.
How joyfully they used to be ringing,
on all the great feasts of joy.
When carols and hymns we were singing.
On Christmas and New Years day.
Sometimes I think I can hear them still.
Echoing from far away.
But tis only a dream. Their music will fill,
my ears till I go home in the bright summer days.
Ring out the old year, ringing in the new.
As each year passes by.
Wedding Bells and the Death knell too.
Still for the dear old bells will I sigh.
Memories are sweet when I think of them.
When I think of the days that are gone.
So I'll cherish them till my life is at an end.
The days spent in my dear old home.
In Loving memory of of Francis David Emery
who died May 15th 1896
Aged 16 months.
Our dear little Francis has passed away,
from all who loved him below.
He is gone to join the Angels above,
Clothed in a robe as white as snow.
He is free from all his suffering now,
He will never feel anymore pain.
Happy in the beautiful heavenly land,
Where we hope to meet him again.
He was only given to us for a little while,
Our dear little baby boy.
God thought it best to take him to rest,
Where all is love and joy.
Suffer the little children to come unto me.
That is what our Saviour said,
When he blessed little children in olden times,
and laid his hands upon their heads.
And so it is the same today,
He still calls them unto him.
With his loving words and his gentle smile,
For such is the kingdom of heaven.
So then we must not grieve for him,
for we know he is safe at rest.
We must strive to meet him again.
Gods will is always the best.
Oh the fields the beautiful fields,
coming in all their splendour.
What longs awake within my heart,
when I see the young blades tender.
Oh the tree the beautiful trees,
with their green leaves budding forth.
They seem to say, "Cast care away,
and fill thy heart with mirth".
Oh the flowers the beautiful flowers,
In various colours blending.
Forming earths most sunny bowers,
Gladness to the heart they are sending.
Oh the birds the pretty birds,
how sweetly they chirp an sing.....
Many happy returns of your birthday,
I send you across the sea.
May every hour be bright and gay,
and from all care and sorrow be free.
May every birthday as it passes by,
be brighter and sweeter than the last.
And hours go by without a sigh,
For thee my brother wherever thou art cast.
May it be your lot to have a happy home,
and a wife you can call a treasure.
And nice little boys and girls around.
That will be to you a lasting pleasure.
And better than I wish for you,
that all your sisters and brothers.
May be to you all your life through,
Trusting and faithful ever.
Now my brother I bid you adieu.
Wishing you every pleasure.
I hope we all shall meet you again,
When from a soldiers life you have leisure.
Our soldiers had many a weary march.
O'er rocks and desert sand.
To free the oppressed and imprisoned ones,
from the oppressors hand.
But duty helped them as it ever has.
All England's greatest men.
Who has made England what she is.
The fame of every land.
Three cheers for England's glory now.
For Army and Navy brave and true.
And god bless the queen, the queen who has lived long to reign.
And made England what she is, a happy Christian land.