1865–1916

Introduction

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 19, 1865, Eng­land.

Died: June 24, 1916.

Buried: Clin­ton Grove Ce­me­te­ry, Mal­colm Coun­ty, Mi­chi­gan.

portrait

Biography

Within sight of the town where John Bun­yan, in the sol­i­tude of his pri­son cell, dreamed The Pil­grim’s Pro­gress, Mir­i­am E. Ar­nold was born about 200 years af­ter that won­de­rful al­le­go­ry was wri­tten, of which it is said no book, ex­cept the Bi­ble, has gone through as ma­ny edi­tions.

At five years of age she, with her par­ents, came to Am­er­i­ca and set­tled at Mount Cle­mens, [Mi­chi­gan], where she yet re­sides. Her par­ents were deep­ly re­li­gious, bi­ble stu­dents and lov­ers of the old church hymns. The Sab­bath meant, to them, a ho­ly day, a day of rest, wor­ship and me­di­ta­tion, and when the ev­en­ing came, the fa­mi­ly al­ways as­sem­bled for pra­yer, bi­ble read­ing and songs.

Christmas, the Hea­ven­ly Babe, Ma­ry, the ox­en, the shep­herds, the sleep­ing flocks, the an­gel, the mul­ti­tude of the hea­ven­ly host, all seemed won­der­ful­ly real to the imag­in­a­tive mind of the child, and made im­press­ions ne­ver to be erased. She has read the bi­ble through ma­ny times, and has re­cited whole chap­ters from me­mo­ry.

Converted at 15 years of age, she is a con­sist­ent mem­ber of the [Me­thod­ist Epis­co­pal] church. Her first po­em was pub­lished in 1895, and has been suc­ceed­ed by prob­ab­ly 100 oth­ers, al­most all of which have been set to mu­sic and found their way into dif­fer­ent song books.

The works of some au­thors seem to be caught up by the hand of pe­cul­iar cir­cum­stanc­es and car­ried in­to view of the world, while those of oth­er writ­ers, equal­ly as cle­ver and com­mend­a­ble, fail to re­ceive, through some ir­re­con­cil­a­ble des­ti­ny, due con­si­de­ra­tion.

Many an au­thor has lived, la­bored, hoped, wrought and died with­out re­cog­ni­tion or hon­or, and the flow­ers that should have been his in life are laid on his grave to wi­ther un­ap­pre­ci­at­ed, yet there is a sec­ret charm, an in­ex­pres­si­ble joy, a sub­tile in­fa­tu­a­tion in the work of the true po­et, com­pos­er or lit­ter­a­teur that dis­pos­ses­ses the sting of with­held com­fort, plea­sure, rich­es, hon­or, or fame.

Charles Ga­br­iel, The Sing­ers and Their Songs, 1916

Sources

Lyrics

Help Needed

If you can help with any of these items, would you send us an e-mail?