Poetry by Edwin Randall


(March 14, 1855 – May 19, 1873)

Edwin Randall was probably the collector and author of the items in the Summitville Ghost Town ledger. He was only 18 years old when he died, and I am not sure of the reason for his early death. He was the grandson of Samuel G. Randall and son of Austin Randall. Most of the poetry is signed by him, and also the drawings in the ledger are signed by him. Here is the complete collection:


His poem about the Trail of Tears is called The Indian’s Adieu and I find this full of emotion, hope and sadness.


Adieu to the grave where my fathers do rest

For I must be going alas to the west

I’ve sold my possessions my heart’s filled with woe

Alas I must leave all, Alas I must go

Adieu to the tall Oak, that pleasant green shade

Where I spent my childhood in innocent play

My dog and my hatchet, my arrow and bow

Alas I must leave all, alas I must go

Adieu to the scenes which do bind me like chains

As on my gray pony I pranced o’er the plains

The deer and the turkey will trace through the snow

Alas I must leave all, Alas I must go

Adieu to Rynogrally(?) That low broken stream

No more shall I visit the except in a dream

Likewise, to green bushes where cranberries grow

Alas I must leave all, Alas I must go

Adieu to the road which for many a year

I’ve traveled each Sabbath the gospel to hear

The news was so charming, it please me so

O’er the great Mississippi Alas I must go

Adieu to the white friends who taught me to pray

And worship my maker from day unto day

Oh, pray for poor native whose eyes overflow

With tears at our parting, it grieves me to go

Adieu, I have severed my last earthly tie

I am bound for the west with my Savior to die

A white marble pillar will point out my tomb

But Jesus will guide and take me up home

Edward Randall

DREAMLAND Poem Drawing

Come sit by my side in the twilight

O girl with the violet eyes

And we’ll dream while far on the hill tops

The sunset splendor dies

Come lay your head on my shoulder

Your little hand in my own

And dream that the world is an Eden

That holds us two alone

Let us build us an airy Castle

In the Summerland of dreams

We will cover its lofty turrets

With the gold of the sun’s last beams

We will have there the brightest blossoms

And the sweetest singing birds

And their songs shall be just the echo

Of our softly spoken words

We will walk by the shores of the ocean

That girts our dreamland in

With the thought of the world’s commotion

Its bustle and busy din

But all that shall be calm and quite

In that Dreamland home of ours

With never a care or sorrow

To mar the peaceful hours


As you march about the town

On any winter day

You see the lads and ladies dressed up

In fashions gay

Some are short and some are stout

While others are lean and tall

But the one that always takes any eye

Is the gal with the waterfall

The other day I chanced to stroll

In Payboro for ice cream

I never shall forget it

I thought how it was a dream

This dashing belle came in

For leaving with a loudly bawl

I thought it was a vulgar sin

For the gal with the waterfall

(This is my best guess, the original is barely legible in places)


The sun in all his state appeared

And woke the glories of the day

And with his bright effulgence cheered

A thousand realms beneath his sway

I looked and to my ravished eyes

Arose a landscape spreading fair;

All blending with the misty skies

It faded from the vision there

Those forest lands and sunbright bowers

On that October’s dreamy day

Seemed one voluptuous sea of flowers

Stretching itself away – away

And far along a beauteous vale

A sunny river opened wide

While here and there a swelling sail

Was born upon the silvery tide

It minded me of that brigt land

And that divine immortal river

Along whose banks on either hand

The the tree of life blooms on forever

And nearer by – neath ancient trees –

A flock is resting on the green

Fanned by the fragrant morning breeze

That plays athwart the rural scene

Thus, after long tumultuous strive

By many a care and grief opprest

Perchance amid the groves of life

The worn and weary are at rest



Only one look of grieved surprise,

Yet I know that all is o’er

She never will lift her trustful eyes

To mine, confidingly, more,

I am shut by fate from mine Eden out

And may never enter again:

She has learned to view me with eyes of doubt

And my pleading is worse that vain.

But how can I bear this bitter grief

This dreadful weight of woe

The thought that she doubts of my truthfulness

The most cruel thought I know.

Edwin Randall


We yet may meet again

Though sorrow’s cloud is o’er us now

And I must soon depart

Perhaps for years in foreign lands

To roam with aching heart

We still may hope that happier days

In store for us remains

And, though we part in anguish now,

We yet may meet again.

Ah! Well I know, when far away,

You will think of us,

The truth is in thy gentle voice,

And breath: I live for thee!

Then faithful still in every cline

We’ll wake the chasing strain:

Though distance may divide us now,

We yet may meet again!


I am lonely since my Mother died

Though friends and kindred gather near

I cannot check the rising sigh

Nor stay, stay the silent heartfelt tear

Of earthly friends she was the best

My youthful erring steps to guide

Oh! Do not smile because I wail

I am lonely since my Mother died

You may not deem me brave or strong

To let these tears so often flow

But you who have lost a mother’s love

Or tell the pain of my sad woe

Could but call her back again

And kneel once more down by her side

I would lover her better than before

I am lonely since my mother died

Oh, you who have a Mother dear

Yet not one word or ad give pain

But cherish, love her with your life

You ne’er can have her like again

Then when from earth she is called away

Across death’s dark and troubled tide

With me and pain you need not say

I am lonely since my mother died

Summitville, Summitville, Lake Co.

Edwin Randall Commercial Business

Jay Bronson 126 Michigan Avenue, Detroit Mich.

Detroit, New York City


Tis said with sorrow time can cope

But this I feel can ne’er be true

For by the death blow of my hope

My memory immortal grew

By day or night, In weal or woe

That heart, no longer flee

Must bear the love it dare not show

And silent ache for thee

Ah! Love was never yet without

The pang, the agony, the doubt

Which rends my heart with ceaseless sign

While day and night roll darkly by

May the Ruler of Heaven look down

And my darling, from evil defend!

May she ne’er know adversity’s frown!

May her happiness ne’er have an end

Sunbeam Rosebud

My Darling! If ever fondest prayer

For their weal availed on high

Mine will not all be lost in air

But give you peace until you die

There is a form on which these eyes

Have often gazed with fond delight

By day that form their joy supplies

And dreams restore it through the night



Oh Memory! Torture me no more

The present is all o’ercast

My hopes of future bliss are o’er

In mercy, veil the past

Why bring those images to view

I henceforth must resign!

Ah! Why those happy hours renew

That never can be mine?

Past pleasures double present pain

To sorrow adds regret

Regret and hope are both in vain;

I ask but to – Forget!


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