Dreaming of a Promised Land
On a cattle boat, of poorest means/Two brothers, two sisters crossed the sea./Germany was the home they left—/America, their home to be.
Bravely hoping, with heads held high;/Dreaming dreams of a promised land;/Sisters, brothers, but of different molds—/A pot-pourri—This CORNELIUS band.
No taste had they for the ocean shore,/So into the rich green heartland came/These four with spouses at side,/And chose Iowa as their rightful claim.
So much was theirs, the fields, the sky—/The new world's freedom—brave and raw,/The woods had deer and wild birds, too,/And beauty that only the Indian saw.
Their farms expanded—their families too;/For children were meant to work, and they/Taught them to work as the years went by—/Taught them to work as well as pray.
They soon grew up, as children do,/Gleaned woods and built cabins of their own./More farms were now where few had stood—/Wild wood had to farm-land grown.
The children's children now grow wings/And bit by bit their interests spread—/The land once rich is all worn out, so/Not farming now—the world instead.
The CORNELIUS name fills many states. And north—Canada as well, we know. Many have traveled and many have stayed/While the "clan explosion" continues to grow.
- Olivia Koehlert Cornelius (contributed 1965, reprinted 1975, 1991)