Slike strani


R original

OSA VERTNER JEFFREY is a native of

Found on the shore where death's impatient deep Hems in the narrow continent of life.

- Karagwe.

LOVE. Her love welled up like water in a spring, From which the more she gave the more was left, And purer for the gift.

- Ibid.
Sorrow, drunken on the wine of tears,
Sobbed, desperate, and, sighing, drank again.

- Ralph.
Most men are prisoners at best,
Who some strong habit ever drag about
Like chain and ball.

The Galley Slave.


[blocks in formation]

Griffith, but at the age of nine months her mother died, leaving her to the care of her maternal aunt, whose child she became by adoption, and whose name she received with a mother's love and nurture. Mr. Griffith, the father of Mrs. Jeffrey, was a gentleman of cultivated literary tastes and a practiced and graceful writer in both prose and

He died in 1853, just as the sure gifts of his daughter were winning recognition.

Rosa Vertner's early childhood was passed at Burlington, a beautiful country-seat near Port Gibson, Mississippi, and the home of her adopted parents. When she was ten years of age her parents removed to Kentucky for the purpose of superintending her education, which was obtained principally at a seminary in Lexington. At the age of seventeen she married Mr. Claude M. Johnson, and has since resided mostly in Lexington. Being blessed far beyond most women with both beauty of face and mind, and having an ample fortune at her command, her position in the social world has been a continued triumph, not only in her own immediate circle but in Washington and other cities she has been recognized as a leader. Mrs. Ellet considered her one of the “ Queens of American Society." Mrs. Johnson was left a widow just as the war broke out, and about two years after was married to Alexander Jeffrey. She lived in Rochester, N. Y., during the war, and there wrote her first novel entitled Woodburn." She has since written several dramas, and published another novel.

As a poet Mrs. Jeffrey was the first Southern woman (after Amelia Welby) whose writings attracted attention or approval throughout the United States. She commenced composing before she could write. At the early age of seven her mother copied the lines for her. At fifteen she wrote“ The Legend of the Opal.” Mrs. Jeffrey's first literary friend was George D. Prentice, who encouraged her in many ways. Other friends were George P. Morris, N. P. Willis, Washington Irving, Edward Everett, John G. Saxe and George Bancroft. Upon the publication of her poems in 1857, Northern and Southern critics alike awarded her such high praise that her position among the leading poets of this country was seemingly established, but the Civil War came and with it that prejudice against all things Southern which time has only recently effaced. The reputation was indeed won, but new writers and a new school have taken their place in the literature of the day, and like Rip Van Winkle a one time popular author finds herself almost forgotten. How unjust this verdict has been the accompanying study will show. N. L. M.

On desert sands a crust is more than gold, In peril arms, and on the sea a plank; The moment gives the value to a thing.

The Giant Spider.


Humility is the excess of love
We have for others.

The Host's Humility.


Envy is the coward side of Hate,
And all her ways are bleak and desolate.

- lbid. GRANT. When black the sky and dire with war,

When every heart was wrung with fear, He rose serene, and took his place,

The great occasion's mighty peer. He smote armed opposition down,

And bade the storm and darkness cease, Till o'er the long-distracted land Shone out the smiling sun of peace.

- Verses in Memory of General Grant.

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« PrejšnjaNaprej »