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?