Saturday, December 6, 2014

"December 26, 1862" by Castella Esperanza Eddy Sherwin (1891)

December 26, 1862.


"Her sun went down while yet 't was day,"

And shadows fell across her way.

Her timid heart beat wild with fears,

Her dark blue eyes were filled with tears,

Her long brown hair was damp with dew,

Her feet were bruised with many a stone,

For she had wandered far from home.

It was so dark for her to roam

"The valley of death"—my child alone.

Then a "still small voice" to her did say:

"O weary child thou canst not see,

But 'my rod and staff shall comfort thee.'"

Her path grows light—from miles afar

Shines forth the blessed Christmas star;

While distant bells their sweet chimes ring,

She hears the herald angels sing,

"Peace on earth, good will toward men."

And then her path grows strangely bright—

For her the day has dawned; no night

Of pain, nor sorrow evermore;

Her feet have reached the blessed shore.

A boatman pale with muffled oars

Stands ready with his boat to sail afar

And guide her safely to "the gates ajar."

The ministering angels meet her there,

And for His courts her soul prepare.

Her feet they dress in pink and white,

To match her robes of heavenly light.

Flowers they give her—roses rare,

And on her head of dark brown hair

They place the Christmas star;

For all who enter in at Christmas-tide

Must wear the emblems of the King,

Whose birth to-might the herald angels sing.

Upon her breast the angels place,

In gems of fadeless lilies, the child-Christ's face.

Her form they veil in airy white,

And then, amid translucent light,

The pearly gates are opened wide.

My child, whom I called dead, did rise

A soul redeemed from Paradise.

Beyond the gates the palace stands,

Built strong and stately, without hands.

The regal splendor of this mansion fair

Is only known to those who dwell within—

"The Prince of Peace" and those redeemed from sin.

Archangels led my child up to the throne,

And Christ, her Saviour, said in mildest tone:

"No more art thou a child of earth.

Thy soul redeemed hath found its birth

In the eternal sunshine of my smile.

Thou art a princess child to those who wait below awhile;

Thou hast my star upon thy forehead fair,

And on thy breast, in lilies, rests my child-face there.

Upon thy finger now I place my signet ring;

Forever more thou art a daughter of the King."

        ELMIRA, N. Y., Dec. 26, 1890.

Troy Daily Times. January 3, 1891: 5 col 4.

Florence Eddy Sherwin died December 26, 1862 in Elmira, NY at the age of one year and two months. She's buried in Waterford Rural Cemetery, though her twin sister who also died in infancy might be buried elsewhere. Information per the listing for Eddy, Florence [sic] at the Saratoga NYGenWeb at . The poem, as it appeared in the newspaper, seems to have the title "December 26, 1882," but is somewhat unclear .

Castella Esperanza Eddy Sherwin was a daughter of Isaac Eddy (1777-1847), a prominent citizen of Waterford and father of a number of notable inventors including George Washington Eddy, the founder of the Eddy Valve Company. His home has a RiverSpark historical marker in front of it:

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