Mystery Lady’s Poems in an old Bible

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I had in my possession an old family Bible, given to me for safekeeping almost twenty years ago. On the flyleaf is an inscription in almost fading black ink, its flowing cursive lines are testimony to an age when penmanship was considered of great importance. It is a simple dedication made out to my maternal grandmother from her aunt and dated June 26th 1913.

To be honest I had never really looked at the Bible much – I have one of my own of more recent vintage – and what’s more it was tied in an old handkerchief that has grown a pale yellow although it has retained its resilience. I thought it was time to pass it on to a family member who still carries my mother’s family name.

However, before I sent the Bible on to the next generation, I decided to look inside and within its secret pages I found some sheets from an old exercise book on which were written nine – I CORRECT MYSELF THERE WERE TEN – perfect little poems. Two of the pages have been eaten by time and so some of the words are lost. The handwriting is not familiar, it doesn’t belong to my mother and nor do I believe the pages are old enough to belong to my grandmother. Inside the Bible was also an Easter card addressed to my mother from my paternal grandaunt, who had never married. However, the handwriting in the poems doesn’t look as though it’s my grandaunt’s either.

So who wrote these poems? Are they verses written by some other poets and merely copied by the writer onto the exercise book sheets? Or were they written by some unsung unheard of poet in my family’s past, on either my mother’s or my father’s side.

I plan to list some of these poems here, so if anyone in the world – who visits this site and recognises the lines as belonging to another poet – do please leave a comment. If not, I think it’s time the Anonymous Poet of the 1913 Bible gets some appreciation.

 The Poems found in an old family Bible

The little things

Be careful of the little things you do

For often times they echo back to you

Across the years

The tiny note you sent one sorry day

The coin that helped the beggar on his way

Ah, always take the time to stop and say

The word that cheers.

Perhaps some little deed may bring you fame

Perhaps the world may learn to love your name

Because of tears

You dried for others. And when life is through

Perhaps the little deeds you thoughtless do

Will be a glowing monument to you

For countless years.

Anonymous from 1913 Bible

The Cost

For the joy set before thee – the Cross

For the gain that comes after – the Loss

For the morning that smileth – the Night

For the peace of the victor – the Fight

For the white rose of goodness – the Thorn

For the spirit’s deep wisdom – men’s Scorn

For the sunshine of gladness – the Rain

For the fruit of God’s pruning – the Pain

For the clear bells of triumph – the Knell

For the sweet kiss of meeting – Farewell

For the height of the mountain – the Steep

For the waking in heaven – Death’s sleep.

The dream

There was sunshine in your hair

And wind kisses on your cheek

Smiles were on your lips and there

They were playing hide-and-seek.

There was gladness in your face

When I took you by surprise

And a warmth in your embrace

There was laughter in your eyes

In my dreams of you today

That was how I pictured you

That I might see you straight away

Just to see if dreams come true.

Lovely Things

Oh! Lovely things are quiet things

Shadows on the hill,

The last glow of daylight

Moonbeams white and still

The green dusk in the garden

The white rose petal tall

The memory of your kindness

The loveliest thing of all.

Moonlight on the water

There is moonlight on the waters

And the skies are darkest blue

And a silver beam of moonlight

Comes dancing upon you.

It shimmers on your forehead

And your hair so silken fine

My heart is filled with happiness

For I know that you are mine.

The moonlight on the waters

With silver breaks the blue

And little lisping wavelets

All tell my love for you –

The silver summer moonlight

The waves upon the shore

Just fill my heart with happiness

And I love you more and more.

Smiling

Shorten someone’s thorny way

By smiling

Sunshine shed on some dark day

By smiling

Help to ease a sad one’s care

Sorrow’s burden help to bear

Scatter roses everywhere

By smiling.

Some Night

Some night of starlit beauty

When stealthy shadows play

And bells ring out a welcome

My feet shall turn your way.

Into your quiet haven

Of refuge I shall come

My weary heart awakening

With joy the years held dumb

The past years dark and stormy

Shall not have been in vain

When, with the new day’s dawning

Love shall be born again.

The end of the way

My life is a wearisome journey

I’m sick of the dust and the heat,

The rays of the sun beat upon me

The briars are wounding my feet.

But the city to which I am journeying

Will more than my trials repay;

And the toils of the road will seem nothing

When I get to the end of the way.

There are so many hills to climb upwards,

I am often longing to rest;

But He who appoints me my pathway,

Knows just what is needful and best.

I know in His Word He has promised

That my strength will be as my day

And the toils of the road will seem nothing

When I get to the end of my way.

When the last feeble steps have been taken

And the gates of the City appear;

And the beautiful songs of the saved ones

Float out to my listening ear;

When all that seems now so mysterious

Will be plain and clear as the day

All the toils of the road will seem nothing

When I get to the end of my way.

John 20:15

“…and she supposing him to be the gardener…”

Then the fast-fading flowers made sudden stir

The lone narcissus raised its drooping head

The throbbing poppy blushed a deeper red

And all the woodland thrilled in love’s pleasure… (?)

Even the roses of Gethsemane

Lifted their soul-sad eyes and smiled anew

The lilies by the lake of Galilee

The glades of Olivet where daisies blew

Shook with silent ecstasy

Knowing the (Easter) surmise to be true.

No gilded crown

No gilded crown I ask for thee, Beloved

No jewels rich and rare;

I only circle thee around more firmly

With Golden links of prayer

Beseeching Him, who blessed thee, still to bless

Keeping thee safe in His divine caress.

Before thee all the great unknown is lying

Its secrets lost to view

I claim for thee fresh wisdom

Undreamt of hitherto

Beseeching Him, who led thee (through this way?)

Giving thee grace sufficient (for the day?)

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