The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Edward Harvey Flower

Grave Number 182

A poignant child-orientated epitaph

Edward Harvey Flower 22nd April 1861 aged 6.

Gone of God be still my heart what could a mother’s prayer in all the wildest ecstacy of hope ask for her darling like the bliss of heaven

This is from ‘The Lost Darling’ by Mrs Lydia Huntley Sigourney (September 1, 1791 – June 10, 1865), née Lydia Howard Huntley, an American poet during the early and mid 19th century. She was commonly known as the “Sweet Singer of Hartford“. Most of her works were published with just her married name Mrs. Sigourney.

The Lost Darling

 She was my idol – Night and day to scan

The fine expansion of her form, and mark

The unfolding mind like vernal rose-bud start

To sudden beauty, was my chief delight.

T0 find her fairy footsteps following me –

Her hand upon m garments – or her lip

Long sealed to mine – and in the watch of night

The quiet breath of innocence to feel

Soft on my cheek – was such a full content

Of happiness, as none but mothers know.

Her voice was like some tiny harp that yields

To the slight-finger’d breeze – and as it held

Long converse with her doll, kindly or soothed

Her moaning kitten, or with patient care

Conn’d over the alphabet – but most of all

Its tender cadence in her evening prayer,

Thrill’d on the ear like some ethereal tone

Heard in sweet dreams.

But now I sit alone,

Musing of her – and dew with mournful tears

The little robes that once with woman’s pride

I wrought, as if there was a need to deck

What God has made so beautiful. I start –

Half fancying from her empty crib there comes

A restless sound, and breathe the accustom’d words,

“Hush, hush, Louisa, dearest – Then I weep,

As though it were a sin to speak to one

Whose home is with the angels –

Gone to God!

And yet I wish I had not seen the pang

That wrung her features, nor the ghastly white

Settling around her lips. I would that Heaven

Had taken its own like some transplanted flower,

Blooming in all its freshness.

Gone to God!

Be still my heart! – what could a mother’s prayer

In all its wildest ecstacy of hope,

Ask for its darling like the bliss of heaven?


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