Brown hardcover book with a lovely gold frame pattern on the front, measuring 8 x 9.5”. Contains handwritten poems by Emily C. Davis, or Emily C. Swann and friends from 1824 to the 1840s. The hand-numbered 304 pages of the book are almost all filled, although a couple of pages appear to have been ripped out. Some of the poems are likely original, but some are clearly copied from other authors, and Emily seems to have been fond of having her friends copy down poems into the book, as there are several different handwritten throughout. Emily’s handwriting is very distinctive. There are also color lithographs of flowers with scrolls that contain poems related to those flowers, and inserted color illustrations of flowers and butterflies. At the very back of the book there is an index with a list of embellishments. Emily frequently includes code numbers at the end of poems, and in a couple of cases it almost looks as if Emily is writing whole passages in code. Locations noted include Gallatin, Tennessee, Jackson, Louisiana, and Wyoming. The outer part of the spine is detached, but within the cover. The spine is cracked and a couple of pages are loose and there is some damp staining to some of the pages.
Examples of some of the writing:
A Religious Life. ~
“The beauty of a religious life is one of its greatest recommendations—What does it profess? Peace to all mankind - it teaches us those arts which will render us belov’d and respected, which will contribute to our present comfort as well as to our future happiness. Its greatest ornament is charity - it [illegible] nothing but love and simplicity, of affection; it breathes nothing but the purest spirit of delight - in short, it is a system perfectly calculated to benefit the heart, improve the mind, and enlighten the understanding.”~
Poem by B. Barton
The sculptor, painter, while they trace
On canvass, or in stone,
Another’s figure, form, or face,
Our motto’s spirit own;
Each thus would like to leave behind
His semblance—and for what?
But that the thought which fills his mind
Is this—”Forget me not!”
The poet too, who, borne along
In thought to distant time,
Pours forth his inmost soul in song,
Holds fast this hope sublime!
He wou’d a glorious name bequeath,
Oblivion shall not blot,
And round that name his thoughts enwreath
The words—”Forget me not!”
Our motto is, in truth, the voice
Of nature in the heart;
For who from mortal life, by choice,
Forgotten wou’d depart?
Nor is the wish by grace abhor’d
Or counted as a shot;
Even the language of our Lord
Is still—”Forget me not!”
Within the heart His Spirit speaks
The words of truth divine,
And by its heavenly teaching seeks
To make that heart His shrine.
This is “The still small voice” which all,
In city or in grot,
May hear and live: its gentle call
Is—”Forget me not!”~~
Go—you may call it madness, folly;
You shall not chase my gloom away.
There’s such a charm in melancholy,
I wou’d not, if I could, be gay.
Oh, if you knew the pensive pleasure
That fills my bosom when I sigh,
You wou’d not rob me of a treasure
Monarchs are to poor to buy.~
By Emily C. D.~ (1st Jany: 1827)
With thee, the varied ills of life to share,
Cheerful a part in all thy woes to bear;
By thy example dayly to improve,
Her first ambition to deserve thy love!
Be this her constant aim—to her be given
This joy—to be approved by thee & Heaven—.
Status: On Hold