Favorite Prayer of Eli A. Day, Sr.

 

Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for preserving our lives and blessing us with  health and strength through the night that is past and gone, and we pray Thee to continue Thy blessings unto us and to assist us to live so that we may always be worthy of receiving Thy blessings.  Heal the maladies that rest upon our mortal bodies, and give us health and strength and wisdom to serve and keep thy commandment in righteousness.  Forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Assist us to do unto others as we wish to be done by, and to love Thee and serve with all our might, mind, and strength and to do unto others as we wish to be done by and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

 

Bless us with faith, hope, love, charity, and every gift of the Gospel Thou seest will be a benefit unto us in serving Thee, and assist us to live so that we may always be worthy of Thy blessings.

 

Bless all whom we love and for whom we should pray, Thy people and the honest in

heart throughout the earth with like blessings as we ask for our lives.  And inasmuch as Thou seest that any of Thy servants or handmaidens are in need or worthy of receiving greater blessings, wilt Thou abundantly bestow the same upon them.

 

Bless the poor, the needy, the sick, and the afflicted and all who have cause to mourn.

Heal up their wounds, provide for their wants, comfort their hearts, and cause them to

acknowledge Thy hand in all things.  Bless Thine Israel in all of her abidings and hasten the days when the promises Thou hast made unto them, both ancient and modern shall be fulfilled upon their heads, and when the blood of all the holy men and women that has been shed for the Gospel's sake shall be avenged.

 

Bless our enemies and the wicked.  Show them the error of their ways and turn them

therefrom unto the ways of truth and righteousness, but if any of them will not turn from the error of their ways, may they not have power to molest those who are serving Thee.

 

We dedicate ourselves now unto Thee in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

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THANKSGIVING DAY IN UTAH PENITENTIARY

November 29, 1888

 

"Thanksgiving Day's coming," was heard in the Pen.,

"The Saints are preparing a feast for the men."

Who stands at the head?  Who'll carry it through?

Brother Cannon's the man, with charity true!

But others are helping, and these we will name:

Brother Arnold, and Wilkins, and Clawson, and Kane.

 

Donations of money the turkeys to buy,

The spices, cranberries, for sauce and for pie;

And rice for the pudding, an egg for each man.

Oh!  None need go hungry; eat all that you can! 

Subscriptions came freely from charitable folks,

Until it was said: "Stop, for we have enough."

 

The turkeys were bought, the eggs and cranberries,

The cooks went to work, and all were quite busy,

By day and by night, the turkeys to stuff,

Make pies and make puddings, worked Cohab and Tough.

29th of November at length did come in,

No dinner at twelve!  But that was no sin.

 

At three was put on the "grub" by the waiters

The things before mentioned, with chocolate and fritters.

"All right!"  in good time rang out Patterson's voice and

Three bells rang out briskly, then all did rejoice;

Fell in line by their cells, all ready to start,

And when the door opened, right briskly did march,

Single file to the dining room each found his place,

Stood up till the bell rang: Oh!  Then 'gan the race!

Then stuffed turkeys suffered, cakes, puddings, and pies

Disappeared as by magic!  Yes, 'twould you surprise!

Each man had sufficient for the meal, at least.

How it vanished before them, this "donation feast!"

 

It was truly a day to those in the Pen.

To give thanks; some gave it to God; some to men.

When finished the feast, 'twas then put to motion,

Vote of thanks and to those who made the donation.

 

When "Aye" was called for, such a hearty "Aye" rang

As scarcely before had been heard in the Pen;

And e'en little Peggy*, the pet of the Toughs

Rang out her shrill bark, which raised a great laugh,

And a clapping of them!  That day in the Pen

Will e'er be remembered by each of the men!

 

-- Eli A. Day

February 1889

 

*A little dog

 

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December 22, 1888

 

Excellent to us is the word of the Lord,

As to us 'tis given, the blessed "Iron Rod!"

Derive from it wisdom, patience, and truths,

Ever the aged, and also the youth.

Joy this will bring to you and to me,

Strive to be faithful, upright, and free.

Down with all error, shun evil things,

Earnest in lifting up truth, as on wings.

Each be a pillar as firm as a rock;

Courage, and shake not, tho great is the shock.

Dry every tear from your eye, tho the strife

Ever be hard throughout this short life.

Emulate ever the example to you:

"Dear Father forgive them; they know not what they do."

Considering this, for you and for me,

Jesus has died that we might be free.

Down tho we fell with Adam in Eden,

Surely He'll save us, if faithful, in Heaven.

Each for himself, tho must salvation win,

Don't lean on others, but keep from all sin.

Most surely from others you counsel may seek,

Gratefully accept it; be faithful and meek.

Do not ask counsel unless it you'll keep.

Oh, joyful, God's counsel you ever should greet!

Consecrate ever your life to His work;

Do not be careless, your duties not shirk.

Devoted to each other, let us ever be,

Pure in our loves pure as the wee

Darling children, now lisping to Ma,

Asking how soon will come home dear Pa.

Endeared be they ever to each steadfast heart!

Do let us live so from them we'll ne'er part!

 

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The Holy Ghost doth joys impart

Which none but saints may know.

A balm it has for every smart,

A bliss for every woe.

Its joy ends not with mortal life,

Its love can never die,

The righteous still that gift possess

In realms beyond the sky.

 

A Prisoner's Thoughts of His Sunday School

 

Dear Sunday School, I think of thee

Each day I am away,

And though confined in prison walls,

To you I long to stray.

To hear the Choir I used to lead

A singing music sweet,

To me the sweetest sound on earth,

Save my children's pattering feet.

I long to take the sacrament

With the children innocent,

Who Sunday morn do come to school

On gaining wisdom bent.

I long to read with class so dear

Instructions them to give,

How Christ, our Savior for us died

That we through Him might live.

I wish to hear the questions asked

By teachers from the stand,

And answered in sweet innocence

By that dear loving band.

The talks by teachers to the school

To me would be most grand

Not least of all in early morn

To grasp a brother's hand.

In that dear place, the Sunday School,

Dear Friends remember me,

Prisoner for the gospel's sake,

For I do pray for thee.

           Eli A. Day

 

 

Answer To "A Prisoner's Thoughts"

          January 6, 1889

 

In Sunday School, both old and young

Have met this Sabbath day;

And, after exercises o'er,

We heard your mournful lay.

It caused us to reflect on those

Pent up in prison walls,

For keeping God's commandment, all

That the nation doth oppose.

 

The Choir gathers in their place,

Still proud of duty done,

Making music, as of yore,

The same old songs are sung.

The Sacrament we all observe,

The bread and water too,

That from duty we may never swerve,

The Savior keep in view.

 

The class still gathers in their place,

Instructions to receive,

Though changes now with them keep pace,

We yet may learn to live.

We read of Ancient Worthies and

Our blessed Savior, too

How they by faith and works were tried

These Ancient records show.

 

The questions asked are just the same

By teachers from the stand,

And answered by the children all,

That they may understand

The plan of life laid down by Him,

To all is freely given;

To shield us from the paths of sin,

And turn our course to Heaven.

 

The talks by teachers to the school

To all of us is grand;

And the blessed freedom we enjoy

To shake each other's hand.

Yet in our inmost soul we feel

For those who are bereft

Of home, Society and friends

And to nature's ties made deaf.

 

In Sunday School and other places,

We all do bear in mind

Our teachers that from us are thrust

The prison walls behind.

We pray that God will ever bless

The truest and the best,

And open wide the prison doors

That they at home may rest

 

To mingle with their families dear,

Their associates and their friends,

The prattling of their children hear,

The joys and sorrows tend.

Our Father!  Listen to our prayers,

Grant them life and liberty;

Our leaders, too, we pray for them,

Oh, may they all be free!

 

      F. G. Williams, in behalf of the Sabbath School

     Accepted by the School, January 13, 1889

     (Frederick G. Williams evidently wrote this poem in reply to the previous one by Eli A.)

         

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Righteousness and upright, your course let it be

As you've proved it to be in the past.

Never forgetting your duty to God.

Do right even unto the last.

Observing to keep the commandments of God,

Let others' course be what it may.

Put your trust in the Lord; He will not you forsake,

Hard trials though on you He lay.

How blessed of the Lord in your family you are!

Such blessings will ever rebound

To your glory and exaltation; in Heaven

Eternal your Kingdom and crown!

Wicked men may deprive you of liberty now,

As sure as you're faithful and true.

Righteousness will at last you exalt,

Truth surely will carry you through.

         

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Life at the Pen

 

When at the Pen you do arrive

Our prison life I will now describe:

The guard outside, you may think is rough,

Invites you in to "hold you up."

Your pockets are rifled with a willing hand

And everything is taken that is contraband.

To the unsuspecting this may seem funny,

But they never fail for your knife and money.

You then sit down on a long settee

While Mr. Jenney takes your pedigree.

Eyes blue, complexion fair,

A wart on nose, light sandy hair,

The crime committed is noted, too,

And the number of years you have to do.

In prison garb you then are dressed

Consisting of a coat, cap, pants, and vest.

A striped suit that is all the go,

But then "it's prison style, you know."

The pearly gates are opened wide

And you bid adieu to the world outside.

While yet you ponder o'er some fond wish

You're startled by the cry of another fresh fish.

The men inside your hand they grab

And friendly ask are you a "tough" or "cohab."

Your liberty gone, you don't feel proud

And soon disappear in the motley crowd.

To the tonsorial artist you then repair

Who shaves you clean and mows your hair.

A cell is assigned you on one of the tiers

Wherein you will sleep for months or years.

Your bed is canvas, swung to the wall,

In the line of furniture, a tin bucket is all.

And thus provided are two hundred men

Serving a sentence in the Utah Pen.

At early dawn the bell it goes

Which means to arise and put on your clothes.

This promptly done without delay

You are then turned loose for another day.

Your lonely cot you do up brown,

Sweep out your cage and dust it down,

Then for breakfast you do prepare

By washing your face and combing your hair.

The bell for breakfast sounds after a while,

We then fall in, in single file.

The door swings open like the silent tomb

And in we march to the dining-room.

We anxiously wait for the bell to sound.

When it does ring out we all sit down.

All is silent, we eat in peace,

Till the guard calls off the pump police.

The bell again commands us to rise.

We retire to commingle our sorrows and joys.

Around in the yard some friendly chat,

Others make bridles, whips, tidies, and mats.

At eleven-thirty we're ordered inside

Where again the inner man is amply supplied.

The pitching of quoits [a game], the enclosure and all

Is viewed by visitors from the adobe wall.

But the greatest hit and the winning card

Is "Ole" serenading our noble guard.

Who in return does a melon obtain

Which quiets his nerves till hungry again.

In the afternoon about the hour of five,

The vender of milk, he does arrive.

His cans are surrounded with a rush

And the fluid reserved for our supper of mush.

After tea we seek the gentle shade

Of the adobe wall for a promenade

Where all enjoy the pleasant walk

And indulge together in a social talk,

And thus we tramp to pass the time

But dare not pass the small dead-line.

The gate is opened and without fail

Two "cons" appear with the "Mormon Mail,"

Which consists of dainties for the well and sick

And is handed out by the genial "Dick."

As the setting sun retires from view,

The bell warns us to retire too.

We rush upstairs with apparent delight

and seek our cage for another night.

Our canvas bed we hitch to the door,

Our coat and cap we hang on the floor.

Then provide a drink in a small tin cup,

When the guard says, "No. 1, South, stand up."

We then are counted and found all in,

We light our candle and to read begin.

Some sing songs while other are

Listening to the strains of a sick guitar.

While from a corner in one of the flats

Someone disturbed cries out "rats!"

Thus employed, we feel content,

Though endurance vile, our time's well spent.

At nine o'clock the bell strikes three,

When the lights are extinguished instantly.

Then all is still as the silent dead.

We quietly disrobe and crawl into bed.

Quiet reigns supreme, the day is o'er

Except some neighbor who's inclined to snore.

We fall to sleep in our swinging cot,

Our troubles of the day are soon forgot.

The above few lines show how and when

Our time is spent in the Utah Pen.

 

           J.M. Dunning.  Utah Penitentiary

         

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When We Meet Again

 

1.  When to the Pen condemned I was

     Sorrow and grief were full.

     With the dear loved ones left at my home,

     Our meeting will this annul.

 

Chorus: Oh, how joyous will our meeting be

     When from prison bars I am set free.

     And I will greet my dear ones again

     In our beloved home.

 

2.  Here in the Pen how often I think

     Of dear ones I left behind,

     Praying to God his blessings to give

     To them thro' this lone time.

 

3.  When from my home I tidings to gain,

     Sweet joy they bring to me.

     Always great blessings they have received

     From the God of bond and free.

 

4.  Yes, when we meet our joy will be full,

     Tears wiped from every eye,

     As round our fireside comfort we sit,

     Thanking our God on High.

                Eli A. Day

          

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Once a Desert, Now a Rose

 

1.  In eighteen-hundred and forty-seven,

     Our dear fathers, led by Heaven,

     Traveling then as pioneers

     Entered this great land so dear.

 

2.  Then it but a desert was,

     Now it blossoms as the rose;

     Then it desolate did lay,

     Now it's the home of saints so free;

     Then the Indian here did roam,

     Now the Saints make it their home.

 

3.  What great progress has it made;

     Not a moment has it delayed;

     Blessed by God, it's forward trod,

     Guided by His mighty rod.

 

4.  Set us still, his blessings court;

     And here upon this twenty-fourth,

     Let us praise His holy name,

     Seek his power, and laud His fame.

         

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1.  Thou shalt have no other God but me.

2.  Before no idol bow thy knee.

3.  Take not the name of God in vain.

4.  Nor dare the Sabbath Day profane.

5.  Give both thy parents honor due.

6.  Take heed that thou no murder do.

7.  Abstain from words and deeds unclean.

8.  Steal not, though thou are poor and mean.

9.  Tell not a wilful lie, nor love it.

10.  What is thy neighbor's do not covet.

 

Day, Eli Azariah. Writings of Eli A. Day (and writings of others, which he kept). Courtesy of freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~larsenbrown.