Bert Bentley of Catlin
Chemung County NY

Photo by Joyce M. Tice Sept 2000
Poem: The Haunts of Long Ago
Township: Big Flats & Catlin, Chemung County NY
Poem by Bert Bentley 1940s
Submitted by Fran SAUNDERS Adams
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Subj:  Re: Poem
Date:  6/21/2003 8:15:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Fran Adams)

Bert Bently lived on the next farm across the way.  I like to think of him as our poet laureate.  He drove around in an old Model T with a kerosene stove in it to keep warm,  He used to tease my grandmother, said she was" growin teakettles" because she had so many on the old woodstove for hot water.  He would tell stories and recite poetry.

The Haunts of Long Ago ......

.Do you ever stop to ponder,
when your days are getting short.
And  again you start to wander
where you used to go for sport..
Tho your feet have lost most of their pep
and you've grown both old and slow.
When you go back with a brother to the haunts of long ago.

.My brother came to visit me
he seemed most heaven sent,
we went back to the woodlands
where our childhood days were spent.
The friends we knew  there
were like ourselves, feeble old and grey.
A hill where thirteen families lived has neither fence or home.
The houses that we knew so well are rotted burned or gone.
But we still within our memories could see each smiling face
of children that we knew so well.They're scattered every place.

.The woodlands where we used to hunt
are all filled up with brush
and roads we knew are overwhelmed,
 where our hounds would make their rush.
The orchards are but worn out stubs
where the good fruit used to grow.
When I wandered with my brother in the haunts of long ago.

Life is only what we make it
we must take things as they come.
 Tis hard sometimes to take it when some get sugar plums.
 But there's no stand still to anything,
it either hrives or fails
and like ourselves is finished when our supreme master calls.
Then lets go on and live it the way our maker taught.
The things we thought would flourish often go for naught.
Tis too late to start another.
For we find we're much too slow.
When we wander in the haunts of long ago.......

By Bert Bently        during the 1940's

Hi Joyce
    I found this poem above the cut out newspaper article of my great great grandmother Jane Burt Wells obituary.. I wrote it out exactly as it was printed in the paper. I wonder if the Star-Gazette,  got any more poems after reading the article.

Sue Edling

Star-Gazette    Feb. 4, 1918

                     TO THE CITY OF ELMIRA

City, thou whose walls o'ershadow
  The old river, the Chemung
Winding on, through wood and meadow,
  And tobacco lands among.

Thou, old city, historic,
  Famous names thee famous make!
Beautiful ! thy park, Glen Rorick !
  And that park with Eldridge Lake !

Rorick that, illuminated brightly
  When the dews were cool, below
Shed its dazzling luster nightly
  On the waes in song that flow.

O how often ! O how often
  Heard the music in the glen !
Strains so sweet ! that seem to soften
  Hearts, and youth was happy then !

There, when sunset- skies vermillion
  Dyed the stream; or shadows lay
On its bosom, the pavilion
  With the dance was ringing gay !

Youth itself was gay, light-hearted !
  Lad and lass ! I think with pain
They, all of them ! now parted,
  Some to never meet again.

War-the tragic ! its clouds hover
  Above thee, thou city fair !
As they do all cities over
  In this broad land, everywhere.

For the youth that thrill'd with pleasure
  With a patriot's zeal now thrills !
Devotion, with unstinted measure,
  For his country, his heat fills.

Death shall yield its scroll, and grieve
      thee !
  When, Elmira, they are lost,
Glorious names thy martyred leave thee
  Ah ! but at what awful cost !
                     JOHN JAMES ELWOOD.
  Elmira, N. Y.

Thank you, Mr. Elwood, for your poetical lines. This department of The Star-Gazette receives so many effusions that are utterly void of merit from people who are very well meaning, yet who are devoid of the first principles of the essence of poetry, that it is a relief to have something like yours. Were some of the lines that are received to be printed with the name of the writer attached, it would be a positive unkindness, for the person would be covered with ridicule, and therefore if verses that are sent in do not appear, please do not blame the editor, but in all kindness thank the stars that he has done you a lasting favor.
   The editor does not know Mr.. Elwood, which is regretful, but if he does not watch out some of the poets like Gray, or Byron, or Goldsmith, est., will be turning over in their graves in a quest for their long-held laurels.

Chemung County NY
Tri-County Local Poetry

Published On Site On 06/21/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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