April 25, 2013

Death of Jordan: my heart o'erflowed

Though born in New York, Dulcina Mason Jordan was much longer associated with the state of Indiana, where her family moved when she was 10. She was educated in a log cabin schoolhouse as a child in the town of Mexico before settling in Richmond, Indiana. It was there that she died on April 25, 1895. She was a published poet, columnist, one-time vice president of the Western Writers Association, and earned the admiration of, among others, fellow Hoosier James Whitcomb Riley (who wrote a tribute poem on her death).

Many of Jordan's poems focus on nature and flowers in particular. Her poem "April" might make the best tribute on the anniversary of her own death:

The tearful sky wept all day long
   In token of the April weather,
And something in my heart o'erflowed—
   The clouds and I were sad together.
But when the day was near its close,
   The sun set all the earth a-shining,
And in my heart the heavy cloud
   Unfolded all its silver lining.

The rain had brightened all the slopes,
   Where tender leaves of green were springing,
And from each jewel-spangled bough
   The happy troops of birds were singing;
And arching o'er the shining earth,
   The radiant bow unveiled its glory,
Repeating to the world below,
   The promise, and the wondrous story.

The day that wept in rain and tears,
   Went smiling thro' the gate of even,
And on the bridge that spanned the sky
   My heart went to the door of heaven—
Went up in songs of happy praise,
   For all the beauty and the sweetness
That crowned the changeful April day,
   And filled my soul with such completeness.

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