The Hidden Key.

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

Advertisements

What the birdie said to me

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

 

Extract.

EXTRACT.
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

Son-in-law killed by lightning

Albert & Lucy Cummings‘ son-in-law, James Arthur Rhodes, was struck and killed by lightning in the presence of his family.  James was married to Albert’s daughter Ella for four years before his death.

James and Ella were married December 28, 1888.  He was a successful farmer and they lived three or four miles north of Roscoe, Illinois.  He was listed as a Republican and a Methodist.  He died August 9, 1892.

Book reference #1 with Hathi Trust (page 31):  Genealogy, history and traditions of Thomas Rhodes

Book reference #2 at Library of Congress:  Genealogy, history and traditions of Thomas Rhodes; Page 32

Click here for more about Albert & Lucy Cummings.

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

Click here for more of Sarah’s poems

GONE HOME.

_________
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.

SARAH WARD BENEDICT.

ROSCOE, ILL.

Click here to learn more about Sarah

My Songs are Smiles and Tears

by Sarah Ward Benedict

I pen down the joys a true Christian may know,
I have learned how to write of a widow’s deep pain.
I write of a home that once brightly hath shone,
I write songs of triumph, and songs full of fears.
There’s a mingling together of smiles and of tears.

I write of the beauty of earth, and of sky,
I write of the anguish when cyclones pass by.
I pen down the songs that I learn from the rill,
I write of the floods that have brought so much ill.
I write songs of triumph, and songs full of fears.
There’s a mingling together of smiles and of tears.

I write of the wolf prowling close round our door,
I write of the grain that for us is in store.
I write of the soul trampling down a heart’s love,
I write of a love that is steadfast above.
I write songs of triumph, and songs full of fears.
There’s a mingling together of smiles and of tears.

I write of the sweetness of infantile breath,
I write of the homes that are shrouded by Death.
I write of the forms mold’ring ‘neath the green sod,
I write of the souls that are living with God.
I write songs of triumph, and songs full of fears.
There’s a mingling together of smiles and of tears.

Return to her homepage

© Mark Gove, Curating in Sepia Tones, 2012.  All rights are reserved.

Smiles and Tears – poems by Sarah Ward Benedict

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.

-Author

Return to her homepage


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.

© Mark Gove, Curating in Sepia Tones, 2012.  All rights are reserved.