Smiles and Tears
To the reader:
I trust the poems this book contains will be favorably received, not only by my personal friends, but by the public in general. The poems are from the heart, as the title which I have given my book will show. There is a view of sadness tingeing many of my poems, for there has been a great sorrow come into my life, and I cannot always gild my work with sunshine; but in this work I have sometimes, through the love of a Saviour, triumphed over the weight of sorrow that has bound me to the earth.
I have no human aid in my work. I am also in my home; widowed and childless, and have outlived my three-score and ten years. God has given me a beautiful gift, and when those soul songs are coming so sweet to me it seems as if the angels must be very near. Jesus is my helper, and Him will I praise in my song.
Sarah refers to living beyond three-score and ten years which is 70 years. She lived to be 82 years old and died in 1895. Her husband Elias died in 1881 and her daughter Lucy died in 1882, so the intro to these poems was written sometime between 1882 and 1895.