In Memoriam. - Madam Hannah Lathrop,

A poem by Lydia Howard Sigourney

Died in Norwich, Connecticut, January 18th, 1862, aged 92.


Had I an artist's pencil, I might sketch
Her as she was, in her young matronhood
Graceful and dignified, serene and fair.

--I well remember, when at Sabbath-morn,
With pious zeal, the rural church she sought,
Our rural church,--by rocks o'er-canopied,--
Where with her stately husband and their group
Of younglings bright, each in the accustom'd seat,
How many a glance was toward her beauty bent
Admiringly.
In those primeval days
The aristocracy that won respect,
Sprang not from wealth alone, but laid its base
In goodness and in virtue. Thus she held
Her healthful influence in society
Without gainsaying voice.
The polity
Of woman's realm,--sweet home,--those inner cares
And countless details that promote its peace,
Prosperity and order, were not deem'd
Beneath the highest then, nor wholly left
To hireling hands. This science she upheld,
And with her circle of accomplishments
And charms so mingled it, that all combined
Harmoniously.
That energy and grace
So often deem'd the exclusive property
Of youth's fresh season, or of vigorous prime,
She brought to Age, an unencumbered dower,
Making the gift of being beautiful,
Even beyond ninety years.
And though the change
Of mortal life, dispers'd her cherish'd band,
And some had gone their own fair nests to build
And some arisen to mansions in the skies
Alone, yet undismay'd, her post she kept,
Guiding a household in the same good ways
Of order and of hospitality.

So, when with mild decline, the sunset came,
Her powers still unimpair'd, all willingly
As a confiding and obedient child
Goes to its father's house, she went above.

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