The Hidden Key.

by Sarah Ward Benedict

I relied on myself in my search for the key
That would unlock the gate for a sinner like me.
I searched all around, but the search seemed in vain,
And my heart was so full of an undefined pain.
Oh, my heart was so heavy! the night had grown late,
And I had not found the key to the gate.

I went back to childhood, my life I lived o’er,
And searched all along from shore to shore;
But no key could I find, not even a trace,
And the tears seemed to deluge my poor wrinkled face.
Oh, how hard it was, when it was so late,
That I could not find the key to the gate!

Oh, I must have hope, for I must have the key!
And then I asked Jesus to come and help me.
He came, and it seemed a miracle wrought,
For there, in my heart, was the key that I sought.
My heart had been crusted quite over with care.
And I never once thought that the key could be there.

A warm wave of love, when the Savior drew near,
Soon thawed out my heart that was frozen with fear.
My heart has grown warm, for the Lord on me smile,
And I have become as an innocent child;
Am loving, and trusting, clasp firmly each hand,
For love brings us close, like a family band.

Oh, the beautiful key! the love-burnished key!
That can unlock the kingdom of Heaven for me,
It never can tarnish, its prisms so bright
Will sparkle and glow in a glorified light.
A new life came to me when dear Jesus came
To show me the key when I called on His name.

Published in ‘Local and National Poets of America” edited and compiled by Thomas W. Herringshaw in 1892


What the birdie said to me

by Sarah Ward Benedict

A bright little birdie sang to me to-day
While it sat all alone on a sweet leafy spray.
It seemed to be saying when life would be o’er
There still would, for me, be a sunshiny shore:
That I would find roses most sweetly abloom,
Surpassing the blossoms on this side the tomb;
That I had my garlands awhile here to braid
Ere I could see blossoms that never would fade;
That though I was pining for love that was mine,
They were waiting to fold me where love was divine.
Was the birdie a messenger sent from above
To speak to a heart that had buried its love?

Published in ‘Local and National Poets of America” edited and compiled by Thomas W. Herringshaw in 1892



by Sarah Ward Benedict

Grander, grander notes are swelling
From the valleys and the hills;
Tears of thankfulness are welling
As my soul with music fills.
Christian workers, we’ll be voicing
All the notes we’ve learned to-day,
And together go rejoicing
That we’ve found the better way.

Published in ‘Local and National Poets of America” edited and compiled by Thomas W. Herringshaw in 1892

“Gone Home” poetry by Sarah Ward Benedict, August 1872

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In Memory of Harley N. Leete (her brother), who died
in Verona Village, June 1872

Gone! gone! gone to his rest;
Home! home! home with the blest;

But oh, how we miss him! how sad is the day!
The husband, the father, by Death called away.
The neighbors will miss him–he’s been here since youth;
His motto in business has ever been “truth.”
They know he was good, was upright and just,
His word was a bond they ever could trust.
A bright link has fallen from our family band;
We cannot but weep,–grief-robed we stand.
Oh, hearts ! why this anguish? The loved one’s above,
Has met kindred spirits in the City of Love,
Has laid down life’s burden, and gone on before,
To await our arrival on that restful shore.
The dear one stepped through–the gates were ajar–
Among the celestials there’s another bright star.
Oh, we must look up! let our thoughts calmly rise
To that blissful abode where there’s no severed ties.
The way is not far–just above the blue dome;
We seem nearer Heaven since he has gone home.

Home! home! home with the just!
Gone! gone from the casket of dust!

We feel he’s gone home; our loss is his gain;
But still we are weeping, we cannot refrain,
For here our thoughts tary in the home grown so dear;
Our hears will keep crying, “I wish he was here.”
He made home so sunny, was loving and kind,
Sweet poetic beauties ever filling his mind,
The songs he has written a solace will bring.
They tell of salvation; of Christ as our King;
Even now I’m repeating his inspiring verse,
And the rhythms I feel while the songs I rehearse.
The words are so hopeful they bear me along
To that homewhere no sorrow will tincture my song.
He bade me write hopeful; how short is the time
Since he pointed to shadows I’d woven in rhyme;
He said, “bring more sunshine, to bright pages turn;”
He knew what was best, and his lesson I’ll learn.
He’s only gone home, there no shadows can come,
The kind, loving brother has only gone home.



Click here to learn more about Sarah

Cummings/Benedict Wedding

Wedding Annoucement (pdf file, click names to the right): Lucy Benedict and Albert Cummings

The announcement is in the 1st column about 1/3rd of the way down; zoom in to read it. The page headline is not dated, but other records report that their wedding date was in November 1853.

Also note that it references that they were married on the, “3d inst.”. Initial Google searching defines the abbreviation of “inst.” as meaning “in or of the same month”.

Incidentally, this pdf file came from a very handy website: which has millions of scanned newspaper pages from New York.

Return to their page