July 21, 2012

Birth of Dulcina Mason Jordan

Born in New York on July 21, 1833, Dulcina Mason Jordan moved with her family to Indiana when she was about 10 years old. After her marriage in 1851, she spent the rest of her life in Richmond, Indiana. In addition to her serving as an editorial writer for the town's newspaper, the Richmond Independent, she was also a published poet.

Jordan's poetry collection Rosemary Leaves (1873) includes a preface in verse describing her gathering poems like a harvester gathering his crops. Her poems bear a lighthearted sweetness, often focusing on nature or the language of flora and fauna. Others present stories of sadness over unrequited or lost love. Her poem "Life":

We build our puny works on beds of sand.
   Gilding the roughness with a film of gold;
The winds loosed from the hollow of his hand
   Sweep o'er the temple, and the tale is told.
We climb the rugged steeps of earthly fame,
   Leaving sweet blossoms in the vale below,
And learn too late that on the upper height
   Is the cold glitter of eternal snow.

We watch and wait, we strive and hope in vain,
   For full fruition of our happy dream;
The mirage springs afresh still farther on,
   The golden apples are not what they seem.
We bear our crosses with too loud complaint
   As if He could not hear who bore them first;
And of the paths wherein our feet may tread,
   With stubborn blindness, oft we choose the worst.

Yet, from His human heart He dropped the seed
   That springs eternal in the deathless soul;
And the dim Teachings of our feeble hands
   Are blossoms of the fruit that waits the goal.
And in the tender, erring heart He made.
   With all its faults and burdens of regret.
The imprint of a perfect life is traced,
   The Kingly seal upon its tablet set.

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