230 of 360.
I got this book in the mail today that was published by a Florence Gerald in 1880. She was my great-great-great-great-grandfather’s great-granddaughter. Please don’t ask me to figure out what that means.
She was neither the best nor the worst poet of the 19th century. I can only hope someone will be so kind as to say this much of me in another 130 years.
Here’s an example of her poetry…
The Heart and the Shell
by Florence M Gerald
You wonder why some hearts sing on,
When all life’s coming grace
And all its beauteous tints are gone,
And left but sorrow’s trace.
I pray thee place this pink sea-shell
Close, close unto thine ear;
Now tell me, is the music sweet
Which from its depths you hear?
It sings and sings the livelong day, —
This dainty, coiled shell, —
And yet within its polished halls
No living things doth dwell.
That which did give it life and breath
Is left beside the shore,
Where ever on the sanded beach
The ceaseless waters pour.
Tis empty now, and yet it sings
Ever the same strain on,
Because the heart that once beat there
Is buried now and gone!
And so with human sea-shells borne
Far from their native shore,
With empty hearts they still sing on
And echo ocean’s roar.