book of poems and essays and Very committed himself as a relative recluse with family in Salem.
Most of the last four decades of Jones Very's life are unclear or entirely unrecorded. He died May 8, 1880 and was buried at the Old South Cemetery in what is now Peabody (pictured). Bronson Alcott wrote of him as "spectral" with a "ghostly air," but someone he was fortunate to have known.
Very's poems were mostly sonnets, including this one, "The New Birth":
'Tis a new life; — thoughts move not as they did,
With slow uncertain steps across my mind,
In thronging haste fast pressing on they bid
The portals open to the viewless wind
That comes not save when in the dust is laid
The crown of pride that gilds each mortal brow,
And from before man's vision melting fade
The heavens and earth; — their walls are falling now. —
Fast crowding on, each thought asks utterance strong;
Storm-lifted waves swift rushing to the shore,
On from the sea they send their shouts along,
Back through the cave-worn rocks their thunders roar;
And I a child of God by Christ made free
Start from death's slumbers to Eternity.