Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the author
April is National Poetry Month. I thought my April post should reflect the importance of poetry. For many in the 1800s, poetry was something they enjoyed. For many, the cadence helped them to remember the words. There was a reason many lessons were taught via the rhyme and rhythm. 

Below are four poets of that era and a poem for your reading enjoyment. There would have been times when characters would reference some of these poems or some of the lines when courting.  Perhaps a schoolteacher would assign one of these to a student to recite in class. Whatever the reason, poetry was popular and widely used by many during this time. So imagine yourself sitting by the hearth and listening to the wind, and someone reading or reciting one of the following works.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls

The tide rises, the tide falls, The twilight darkens, the curlew calls; Along the sea-sands damp and brown The traveller hastens toward the town, And the tide rises, the tide falls. Darkness settles on roofs and walls, But the sea, the sea in darkness calls; The little waves, with their soft, white hands, Efface the footprints in the sands, And the tide rises, the tide falls. The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls; The day returns, but nevermore Returns the traveller to the shore, And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Christine Rosetti (1830-1894)


Remember me when I am gone away,
         Gone far away into the silent land;
         When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
         You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad.

Photo property of the author
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnet 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885


Mysterious shapes, with wands of joy and pain,
Which seize us unaware in helpless sleep,
And lead us to the houses where we keep
Our secrets hid, well barred by every chain
That we can forge and bind: the crime whose stain
Is slowly fading ’neath the tears we weep;
Dead bliss which, dead, can make our pulses leap—
Oh, cruelty! To make these live again!
They say that death is sleep, and heaven’s rest
Ends earth’s short day, as, on the last faint gleam
Of sun, our nights shut down, and we are blest.
Let this, then, be of heaven’s joy the test,
The proof if heaven be, or only seem,
That we forever choose what we will dream!

     In my last novel "The Outlaw's Letter", my heroine, Harriet (Hetty) Osgood loved Homer and his story The Odyssey. She was a school teacher who went off on an adventure that started with her agreeing to deliver a letter to an outlaw. But was he really? 

     Here is a brief excerpt from the story:

  “Well, we made it Odysseus,” Harriet, ‘Hetty’ Osgood, remarked as she rode up to the Bucket of Blood on South Union Street in Pueblo, Colorado. The sun was slipping away behind the mountains to the west, painting the sky with blues, grays, and oranges.
Tying off Odysseus, the horse she’d raised from a young cold, Hetty stepped into the shadow, adjusting the bindings on her chest and torso. As she worked to make sure they were secure, she felt her locket press against the area around her collar bone. She’s fallen in love with it the moment her grandmother gave it to her.
Grandmams had bought it in St. Joe, at The Bavarian Jewelry and Watch Repair shop, for her twelfth birthday. “Harriett,” Grandmams told her after she opened the gift, “there are going to be people who say you are homely. Others who will tease you, make you try to fit in. You hold true to who you are and don’t settle. It’s better to be spinster than settle just to be married.,” Grandmams had given her a huge hug, adding, “you follow those words written in there, they will guide you through life.” Engraved inside the locket ‘I Corinthians 13:13’
Hetty had taken Grandmams words to heart. As a spinster, she knew she’d never have the love others claimed, so she’d made a place for herself in the world where she could do the most good. Now, she hoped she was doing the right thing. She admitted it felt right, but she also was thrilled to have taken this short adventure. 


Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

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