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Profound Verses by Revered Latter-day Saint Poets

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In the realm of Latter-day Saint poetry, the voices and contributes of faithful women shine. Within their verses lie profound insights and enduring wisdom. Join us as we explore their literary legacy and the spiritual depth embedded within their words.

The Poetry of Eliza R. Snow

Eliza Roxy Snow was a prolific poet, hymn writer, and influential figure in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Born in 1804 in Massachusetts, she embraced the Latter-day Saint faith in her early twenties and became one of its most prominent female voices. Here are just two poems from her vast collection of over 500. 

Funeral Hymn

How calm and beautiful the morn
That gilds the sacred tomb
Where once the Crucified was borne
And vail’d in midnight gloom.
O weep no more a Savior slain:
The Lord is ris’n—he lives again!

Enthron’d in everlasting day,
He lives no more to die:
He stoop’d to death, to lead the way
To happiness on high:
O’er death triumphant and the grave,
He lives above, with power to save.

Beyond this earthly vale of tears,
Of sorrow, toil, and pain;
Beyond this pilgrimage of years
A glorious rest remains:
Then weep no more, but follow on
Where our departed friends are gone;

Where pure and noble spirits are,
That taste of heavenly rest;
To join the great assemblies there,
And mingle with the best;
Where health and youth and beauty bloom
In endless triumph o’er the tomb.

To raise a wretched fallen race
To sceptred crowns on high,
The Savior left his Father’s face,
And came to bleed and die!
Shout, shout! O shout the highest strain;
He conquer’d death and rose again.

And now with joy, salvation treads
Through death’s forbidding gloom—
The light of life eternal spreads
A halo round the tomb.
Then weep no more—the Saints that die
Are hail’d with joy in worlds on high.

The Poetry of Augusta Joyce Crocheron

Augusta Branum Joyce | Church History Biographical Database

Augusta Joyce Crocheron, born in 1844, was a toddler when her parents joined the Church and journeyed to join Saints settling in California. Years later, they would permanently move to Utah where Augusta would become a plural wife, mother, and writer.

According to one biography, “In 1880 she accepted the advice and aid of friends such as Emmeline B. Wells and published her collection of verse, Wild Flowers of Deseret. Ten years later she penned a volume of moral stories and poems for children called The Children’s Book. Church history enthusiasts may be most familiar with her collection of biographical sketches, Representative Women of Deseret (1884), an early attempt to recognize the contributions of Mormon women and a valuable resource for historians.”

Thoughts Within

As some poor laborer’s sightless babe
Wakes from its pallet on the floor
In fear, to find itself alone,
And gropes the open door to find;
Reaching anon the empty air
To clutch; seeking something to grasp
To aid it in its search; and then,
Wearying in its efforts vain,
It lifts its plaintive, grieving wail;
Then pauses, listening softly for
Its mother’s answering voice; so I
Kneel down before Thine unseen throne–
So I call to Thee in my prayer
Earnest and deep, yet humble too;
And listen with that inner ear
Far in the soul’s remotest depth.
Not for Thy voice to sweep to earth
Answering to my human cry,
As angels in the old times did,
When men were truly, purely Thine;
But for an influence, sweet and still,
To lead my groping soul aright.

As though I, clinging to some hand,
Across a torrent spanned but by
A slender tree’s decaying trunk,
Looking not to the shore beyond,
Nor turning, though the pine tree shriek
And wave her arms, and writhe in the grasp
Of the dark storm-fiend, strong in his wrath–
Nor on the current swift beneath,
Lest I should, swooning, fall and sink;
But only where my steps should be.
So will I, clinging, follow Thee
Across life’s deep, unmindful of
The strife below. 

The Poetry of Josephine Spencer

Josephine Spencer, born in 1861, lived an unusual life for women of her time. She never married, enjoyed a career in journalism, and wrote over 100 poems as a popular Latter-day Saint writer, though her poems didn’t always have a religious theme. In fact, she wrote quite frequently about nature. 

Though she suffered a nervous breakdown in her early 60s from which she would never fully recover, she continued to write until her death in 1928 at the age of 67. 

Autumn

Gone are the forms that the Seasons fashioned
Of rare spun garments and rainbow dyes,
Delicate blossoms, and blooms impassioned
With Springtime’s breath and Summer’s sighs.

Fled is their radiant life—and drifting
In purple films of the Autumn’s veil,
The restless souls of the flowers are lifting
The aching sounds of ceaseless wails.

O, passionate blooms of the Summer’s wearing!
O, plate, sweet blossoms of tender Spring!
What are the sorrows your souls are bearing
In the dim, fair realm of their vanishing?

We now they are filled with some tearful longing,
For sighs are sounding on every hand
In mournful surges of color, thronging
The shores of the Autumn’s shining land.

For the dawn is a pensive thought—and a dreaming
Of purple eves in the afternoon:
And the sunset’s glow is a red flood streaming
To quench the light of a white-faced moon.

And that wistful breeze on the far off mountain,
And the throbbing on the hillside near,
And the leaves that are dying their life’s fresh fountains
With flame of their red and ash of their sere,

Are sad with the pain of the sweet soul’s filling
The Autumn world with their whispered woe;
And their minor chords of color are thrilling
In touch of a spell which their spirits know.

But in that sleep which their souls are nearing,
When the snow-tomb creaks on its icy hinge,
They will drift to a land beyond our hearing,
And take from the landscape its mournful tinge.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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