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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Jean Ingelow

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"A shady freshness, chafers whirring,
A little piping of leaf-hid birds;
A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,
A cloud to the eastward, snowy as curds.

"Bare, glassy slopes, where kids are tethered;
Round valleys like nests all ferny lined;
Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,
Swell high in their freckled robes behind.

* * * * *

"Glitters the dew and shines the river,
Up comes the lily and dries her bell;
But two are walking apart forever,
And wave their hands for a mute farewell.

* * * * *

"And yet I know past all doubting, truly--
And knowledge greater than grief can dim--
I know, as he loved, he will love me duly--
Yea, better--e'en better than I love him.

"And as I walk by the vast calm river,
The awful river so dread to see,
I say, 'Thy breadth and thy depth forever
Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me.'"

In what choice but simple language we are thus told that two loving hearts cannot be divided.

Years went by, and I was at last to see the author of the poems I had loved in girlhood. I had wondered how she looked, what was her manner, and what were her surroundings.

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In Kensington, a suburb of London, in a two-story-and-a-half stone house, cream-colored, lives Jean Ingelow. Tasteful grounds are in front of the home, and in the rear a large lawn bordered with many flowers, and conservatories; a real English garden, soft as velvet, and fragrant as new-mown hay. The house is fit for a poet; roomy, cheerful, and filled with flowers. One end of the large, double parlors seemed a bank of azalias and honeysuckles, while great bunches of yellow primrose and blue forget-me-not were on the tables and in the bay-windows.

But most interesting of all was the poet herself, in middle life, with fine, womanly face, friendly manner, and cultivated mind. For an hour we talked of many things in both countries. Miss Ingelow showed great familiarity with American literature and with our national questions.

While everything about her indicated deep love for poetry, and a keen sense of the beautiful, her conversation, fluent and admirable, showed her to be eminently practical and sensible, without a touch of sentimentality. Her first work in life seems to be the making of her two brothers happy in the home. She usually spends her forenoons in writing. She does her literary work thoroughly, keeping her productions a long time before they are put into print. As she is never in robust health, she gives little time to society, and passes her winters in the South of France or Italy. A letter dated Feb. 25, from the Alps Maritime, at Cannes, says, "This lovely spot is full of flowers, birds, and butterflies." Who that recalls her Songs on the Voices of Birds, the blackbird, and the nightingale, will not appreciate her happiness with such surroundings?

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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