The Handcart Song

A Folk Song

Ye saints who dwell on Europe's shore
Prepare yourselves for many more,
To leave behind your native land,
For sure God's judgments are at hand.
For you must cross the raging main
Before the promised land you gain
And with the faithful make a start
To cross the plains with your handcart.

The lands that boast of modern light
We know are all as dark as night
Where poor men toil and want for bread,
Where peasant folks are blindly led.
These lands that boast of liberty
You ne'er again will wish to see
When you from Europe make a start
To cross the plains with your handcart.

As on the road the carts are pulled
'Twould very much surprise the world
To see the old and feeble dame
Thus lend a hand to pull the same.
And maidens fair will dance and sing,
Young men more happy than a king,
And children will laugh and play
Their strength increasing day by day.

And long before the Valley's gained,
We will be met upon the plain
With music sweet and friends so dear
And fresh supplies our hearts to cheer.
And then with music and with song
How cheerfully we'll march along
And thank the day we made a start
To cross the plains in our handcart.

When you get there among the rest,
Obedient be and you'll be blessed
And in God's chambers be shut in
While judgments cleanse the earth from sin,
For we do know it will be so,
God's servants spoke it long ago,
We say it is high time to start
To cross the plains with your handcart.


For some must push and some must pull
As we go marching up the hill;
So merrily on our way we go
Until we reach the Valley-o.

Other 19th-century Mormon poetry

Mormon Literature

[Sampler | Bibliography | Criticism | Who's Who | What's Where | AML-List]

Please send your updates, corrections, or comments to Gideon Burton: