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HELEN MARR HURD.
The aureole of good deeds, touched by one ray
From Source Divine, Transformed, becomes a glorious crown, which shall
There are those who grow prosaic
‘Mid this fleeting life of ours, As they trace a dull mosaic
Unrelieved by glint of flowers.
I, mayhap, some gleesome spirit,
Dowered with a brighter range, Do but pass their path, or near it;
From without the fret and change
Of the bounding life around them,
They will stop to snear and frown, And from favored heights beyond them
Seek to drag the blest one down.
ELEN MARR HURD was born in Harmony,
Me., February 2nd, 1839. Her father, Isaiah Hurd, was the son of Jeremiah and Nancy Hurd, who went from New Hampshire, and settled in Harmony at the time of its incorporation. When Isaiah grew to manhood, he married Mary, daughter of John and Hannah Page, and settled in that town. Helen Marr was their fifth child. As soon as she could read she manifested a love for poetry and when eleven years of age, had written many disconnected bits of rhyme. On her thirteenth birthday she wrote a little poem, which was soon followed by others. Between the age of thirteen and eighteen years she composed two stories in verse and several other short poems, which are not in print. A great impediment to her studies was severe myopia. Her father died when she was sixteen years old, leaving her mother, who was in feeble health, with the care of a large family, and threw Helen upon her own resources for further advancement in her studies beyond the common school. Her perserverance overcame her difficulties to such an extent as to make her studies and readings quite ample, and in the normal class she prepared for teaching. The trouble with her eyes had made teaching impossible, and thus poem after poem followed in quick succession. Miss Hurd had hoarded her rhymes, making no effort to appear before the public, until one plan after another of her life having failed, she began to believe that she could not bury her talent. Once when asked why she had not put her works before the world sooner, she answered, “There are two reasons; the one, dread of the public; the other, hope of producing something more worthy." She has published a volume, “Poetical Works” (Boston, 1887) illustrated by Miss Allie Collins, and has ready for publication another volume of poems, a novel, and a history of Hallowell.
Miss Hurd has taken an active interest in the temperance cause and other movements in the interests of humanity. Her home is now in Athens, Maine.
G. A. B.
But we thank our God devoutly,
There are others in the race Who will wield the cudgel stoutly
For the higher-up in place.
Those who will promote the welfare
Of the neighbor living by, Tho' it be no prime advantage
To the potentate called I.
Then just let the gruesome shadows,
Journey on abreast the day, But we'll join the nobler army,
Those who brighten up the way.
IN THE COTTON FIELDS.
A SHROUDED Fear came to my gate and knocked;
The long and heavy hours of cloudless, sultry
day Succeed the sultry hours of cloudless, starlit
night; And tawny sunlight pours amain its molten ray
Upon the cotton fields ripened to snowy white.
Sometimes, wearied, and worn, and burdened to
the dust, The longings of their hearts to see their native
shore, Make them forget their tasks and servitude unjust, And happy visions bring, -and they are free once
Is heard the clashing of the ferns,
Jostling each other in the breeze; The sharp tongue of the locust breaks
Monotony of whispering trees.