The Journey West

By Mabel Jones Gabbott

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    We walked far,

    And the ice was thick on the river.

    The lights of Nauvoo seemed dim and blurred.

    We were cold, and we cried a little.

    “We’ll go so far,”

    Said Brother Brigham, “they’ll never hurt us again.”

    The wagons faced the mighty West,

    With its miles and miles of mountains and plain.

    We walked barefoot,

    And the world was green and cool as a meadow.

    We waded the brooks and gathered flowers

    And snatched at joy like a shadow.

    One day we stopped

    To bury Melissa with silent prayer.

    The wagon wheels rolled over her grave

    So wild wolves would not find her there.

    The trail grew steep.

    We walked around boulders and down a ravine.

    The air was clear and clean and high

    And our campfires smelled of piñon pine.

    We walked far,

    And there was our valley—a lonely place.

    We had found our home—a desert to conquer

    With courage, with love, and with God’s grace.

    Illustrated by Dick Brown