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   a martyr to glory
by:  Carol C. Schwartz

 

 

Born in Kentucky, of Virginia parents, he stayed until eight,

Removed to Indiana growing up and not knowing his fate.

 

Struggling for a living and learning, he accomplished every one,

Splitting rails, reading, writing and ciphering until he was done.

 

Black Hawk War Captain, and Illinois lawmaker for eight years,

Created a fantastic leader and person in charge without fears.

 

With his lawyer knowledge the circuit courts for years he rode,

 Imparting wisdom to others he bestowed in his greatest mode.

 

After the win, I was one who traveled to the White House,

Me, Robert, Willie and Tad, with him and Mary, his spouse.

 

It was sad, having to leave little Eddie, the second born,

In Springfield, Illinois where after death he was mourned.

 

We all went by train wondering about our new home,

I was hoping for a big place where I could just roam.

 

Extremely proud of my owner, the 16th President of our nation,

Gave me superior feelings of a warm and wonderful sensation.

 

All previous cats at the White House were to control pests,

Me, I was not only the pet, but was considered the guest.

 

Often he called me, “Tabby,” as this was my special name,

I ran every time, very proud he made me a part of fame.

 

The White House, a symbol of American Leadership to the land,

To look respectable, inside out got repainted and made it grand.

 

Secession is illegal, he had to preserve, protect and defend,

He called on the states for volunteers, difficult to comprehend. 

 

The House was always open, he got a soldiered guard,

Everyone was ordered to keep it in the highest regard.

 

Reverence, admiration and high opinion was the order of the day,

Any other behavior was unacceptable and they would not stay.

 

The importance and unity in our land forever,

We cannot let our magnificent country to sever.

 

During my years, the South Lawn, a parade ground it was,

Sometimes so regal and beautiful we had to take pause.

 

In my tree, I watched the Great Emancipator from above,

He, making vital decisions, and Me, Meowing my love.

 

Many times to Brady’s shop we walked, where photos were taken,

Down the street we went, so the future could not be mistaken.

 

Being there a year or so and after a nice day of play,

Willie got very sick, died and for this we prayed.

 

And while Mr. President sat alone in his chair and mourned,

I curled on his lap, tried to care for and keep his spirit warm.

 

Thereafter, I spent many an hour with him by my side,

In order to give solace and comfort while he cried.

 

Lots of times I accompanied him across Avenue Pennsylvania,

The Civil War he sensed the only method, became his mania.

 

And, no more than to be able to get the news and check on the war,

To save the beloved Union, and to keep abreast we did this chore.

 

I was a very special pet known as the country’s First Cat,

Purring and rubbing against his long legs, I loved his pat.

 

He whispered State secrets in my ear with a grin,

While I rubbed my head against the hair on his chin. 

 

Slaves were eager to get rid of their chains and fight for the North,

He created United States Colored Troops and put them forth.

 

Not all welcomed the Colored Troops with arms open wide,

In country’s uniform, determined, they fought with pride.

 

Freedom and to keep the Union as one was their plea,

Struggling, dying for liberty of all, was their glee. 

 

Napping on the rosewood bed in the room Prince of Wales,

Never done by Mr. President, but my favorite thing prevailed.

 

A transcontinental railroad in our country became a charter,

Giving us a means to get goods to and fro made us even smarter.

 

Homestead Act, domestic policy legislation he did sign,

Poor people of the East to obtain land in the West was divine.

 

Issuance finally of the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves,

Our Country forever changed, many thought him to be so very brave.

 

He signed the National Banking Act to establish and provide,

Creating currency as well as a network of banks to guide.

 

In his stovepipe hat, Lincoln kept legal papers of the day,

Many times, when necessary, he had to check his cache.

 

Declaring Thanksgiving with praise a national holiday,

His desire:  Heal our wounds and restore us never to stray.

 

 At the Gettysburg cemetery dedication, his greatest speech he gave,

Short, sad and moving, freedom’s new birth shall always be grave.

 

Kansas, West Virginia, and Nevada, these three with him,

Became Statehood members; thus, giving us another limb.

 

Abe’s foreign policy was always geared to ignore,

Thus preventing intervention in our Civil War.

 

Tariff laws signed, American Industry protected,

Safe-guarding, defending is now expected.

 

Building a strong national Republican Party he was also able,

To gather the northern Democrats to the union becoming stable. 

 

Winning re-election, he already was planning the peace,

He felt God wanted him to terminate his work and cease.

 

He encouraged all Southerners to lay their arms down,

With speed we all need to reunite without a frown.

 

On a visit to General Grant’s camp, he nursed three kittens,

Healthy again through his care, all could see he was smitten.

 

Addressing a crowd  April 11 outside the White House,

Supporting voting rights for blacks stirred up a rotten louse.

 

My buddy, assassinated at the theater of Ford’s,

The man who the family and I totally adored.

 

It was April 15, 1865, the worse day of my life,

The ache in my belly was like a carving knife.

 

At the White House East Room, he lay in state,

I stood by as the guard for one so great.

 

Many times I rode in Abe’s pocket as a kitten,

And because of our love, this must be written.

 

Sleep tight dear friend by the light of the moon,

I certainly do expect to be with you soon.

 

The people of my country and I shall never again find,

A majestic man, of vast intelligence and one so very kind.

 

For you alone the bells will chime.

Purrs. . . . . ‘till the end of time.

 

Tabby

 

copyright Carol C. Schwartz
 

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