Famous Narrative Poem

"The Sod House on the Prairie" by Ellen P. Allerton (1835-1893) paints a vivid picture of life on the vast prairie, where a low sod house stands as a symbol of love, hope, and heartache. Through evocative imagery and a shifting emotional tone, the poem captures the beauty and transience of joy, as well as the deep sorrow that can accompany it. The poem's exploration of the connection between place and emotion, along with its use of contrast and imagery, conveys a poignant narrative of love, loss, and the passage of time.

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Famous Poem

The Sod House On The Prairie


A low sod house, a broad green prairie,
    And stately ranks of bannered corn;—
'Twas there I took my dark-eyed Mary,
    And there our darling boy was born.

The walls were low, the place was homely,
    But Mary sang from morn till night.
The place beneath her touch grew comely;
    Her cheerful presence made it bright.

Oh, life was sweet beyond all measure!
    No hour was dull, no day was long;
Each task was easy, toil was pleasure,
    For love and hope were fresh and strong.

How oft we sat at eve, foretelling
    The glories of that wide, new land!
And gayly planned our future dwelling—
    For low sod house, a mansion grand.

Alas! we little know how fleeting
    The joy that falls to human lot.
While unseen hands were dirges beating,
    We smiled secure and heard them not.

One day Death came and took my Mary;
    Another, and the baby died.
And near the sod house on the prairie
    I laid my darlings, side by side.

I could not stay. My heart was weary,
    And life a load too hard to bear.
That low sod house was dreary, dreary,
    For love and hope lay buried there.


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