Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Album of the Heart ~ February 27, 1871

To Sister Flora
 
We may write our names in albums,
We may trace them in the sand,
Or may chisel them in marble,
With a firm and skillful hand;
But the pages soon are sullied,
Soon each name will fade away,
Every monument will crumble,
And like earthly hopes decay.
 
But my friend there is an album,
Full of leaves of snowy white,
Where no name is ever tarnished,
But forever pure and light.
In that Book of Life ~ God's album
May your name be penned with care;
And may all who here have written,
Write their names forever there.
 
Sister _______

Research on the poem itself proved to be quite perplexing. I found it referenced in a number of (published on line) autograph books: Alice Rebecca Williamson from Bedias, TX 1890, Lizzie deBevoise from Jamaica, LI 1874, and Ida Jane Briggs Seely from Briggsville, PA 1885 to name a few.

Next I came upon a publication entitled "Poetical Selections for Autograph Albums" compiled by Marie Tomisetta for Sharps Publishing, Copyright 1881. The inside cover page states "Poetical Selections from Celebrated Authors, suitable for inscription in Autograph Albums". However, none of the poems were credited to their celebrated author.

Sgt. Andrew Boyd, Co.H. (Washburn)
Andrew Boyd
 
A new day dawns. Digging a little deeper I found "A Complete Military History and Record of 108th Regiment N.Y. Volunteers". The regiment fought many battles in the Civil War: including Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. The untitled poem is attributed to Captain Andrew H. Boyd, from Company H, and was written in his Civil War Diary on March 15, 1863.

I can't explain the signature "Sister ______". I recently found out that Great Grandmother Flora had two sisters, but Sarah (Sadie) and Lillian, were too young at the time, so the writer of this entry remains a mystery for now.