Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Should You Go First" by Albert Kennedy "Rosey" Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain,
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In Spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain,
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain,
To finish with the scroll,
No length 'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.
a) This poem is about a woman who is telling her love what she will do, and what he should do, if he goes first.  She says that she will remember their good and bad times, his face, smile, and voice.  If he goes to war, she will keep every place he has been in her mind, and use it to fuel her hope of his return.  She also tells him that, if he dies first, she will not be sad for she will soon be with him.
b) The theme of this peom is that even if someone is gone, memory and love keep them alive until you see them on "that lonely road".
Personal Connection:
    This poem means a lot to me because it was the poem that my grandmother wanted read at my grandfather's memorial.  I had read the poem before the memorial (because my mom made the copies), and I thought it was very sad and dreary.  When my aunt was reading it at the memorial, I realized why my grandmother chose it.  She chose it because of the message that death cannot seperate anyone who truely loved and knew that person.


  1. I've never heard this poem until I saw the Gaither Homecoming video with George Younce quoting it as the choir sang "Beyond the Sunset." Brought tears to my eyes.

    1. Me too, a great song and George Younce is one of my favorite singers. I once did his version of "Beyond the Sunset" at a karaoke bar without any background music.

  2. I am singing this at a vigil for my aunt tomorrow evening after her long, 10-year run of dialysis. She unhooked for the last time on Monday, May 23 and passed away peacefully the following Monday morning, May 30, Memorial Day, 2016 with my mom and myself in the living room. She waited until we were both awake and heard us laughing and I am convinced that is when she crossed over knowing it was the right time that morning. God bless you, Shirley...

  3. My parents have been married for 74 years at this current 10th day of December 2016. Daddy is 94 and mom is 92. Dad started slurring words as if having a stroke. He went from the ER to the ICU to Hospice in 48 hours. His children surround him and his wife is by his side. Out of the blue she starts saying this little poem...quoting the next to the last stanza. Keep in mind she has Alzheimer's and this totally blew us away.
    After a Google search we now know why she knows this. They have lived in Pittsburgh their whole life!! God Bless you Rosey for using your God given talents in such a wonderful way.
    Gerry, Allen, Darlene, Debbie and mother Mary

  4. 16 august 2018, was holding my friend his hand in the lounge, the words from this poem were there in my mind. The song on the background, beyond the sunset. 25 august he left this world.

    Hoping to see him on the resurrection morning, but for the mean time I hold to the gift of memories from God.