The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Are The Poets Of Yesterday, Gone?

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

February 9, 2011

The romantic side of our lives may need cultivating and part of the problem is too much work, too much news of all the problems in the world, leaving not enough energy to cultivate romance.

I was taken back when Marlene Harr of Stronghurst came in Monday with a Valentine that her Great grandfather made for her Great grandmother on Valentine's Day February 14, 1855. It had been kept in a scrapbook of her mother's and now in her possession and is still in tac. It was during the reign of our 14th President Franklin Pierce.

One of the neat things is Marlene's great grandfather John Jones of Beardstown's wife's maiden name was Nellie Valentine.

The card obviously was handmade with a very finely written verse inside, propably taken from a book of poems and penned with the light of a kerosene lantern or by candlelight using a quill ink pen.

The poetic sentiments "Forget-Me-Not" of Halleck, were hand-written as follows:

"There flows the fountain silently, There blooms a lovely flower, blue and the beauty of the sky;

It speaks a kind fidelity through fortunes, sin and shower.

Forget Me Not;

Tis like thy starry eyes more bright than evening's proudest star;

Like purity's own halo bright it seems to smile upon thy sight and say to thee,

Forget Me Not."

The poem on the front of the card that he most likely pasted there, reads:

"There's not an hour of day or dreaming night, but I am with thee. There's not a wind but whispers of thy name and not a flower that sleeps beneath the moon, but in its fragrance tells a tale of thee my love to my fond anxious heart."

Marlene Harr was a Siegfried born in Pontoosuc. Her parents Gwelda (Wilcox} Morrison and Ralph Siegfried. Her grandparents are Frieda (Jones) Wilcox Privia and Bill Priva of Niota and Great grandparents are John and Mrs, Nellie (Valentine) Jones of Bushnell.

His thrifty hand-made card was priceless to her to have survived all these 156 years.