Born: September 2, 1809, Petersburg, New York.
Died: June 22, 1874, New York City.
Buried: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.
Lydia and her sister came to Christ with the help of Baptist missionary Eben Tucker. After their conversion, they helped found the local Baptist church.
After Lydia married John C. Baxter, she moved to New York City. She was an invalid most of her adult life, but that didn’t stop her active mind from studying the Bible and writing. In addition, she often hosted meetings of religious leaders at her home.
I love, I love this world so bright,
Its pleasant things my heart delight.
I love to breathe the balmy air
Of spring, perfumed with odors rare.
I love to hear the wild birds sing,
And see them rise on downy wing;
Or hop and pick the scattered food,
To bear in triumph to their brood.
I love to see the opening flowers
Of early spring in woodland bowers;
And trace the little winding brook,
That warbles through the grassy nook.
I love to watch the finny tribe
Darting athwart from side to side:
Or leap to catch each gnat and fly
That on its glassy surface lie.
I love to hear the children shout,
When first the peeping frogs are out;
Or slowly steal the pond beside,
To list their song at even-tide.
The early snow—the summer shower—
The fragrant breeze—the shady bower
The towering oak—the leaflet small—
I love them each, I love them all.
I love—but O ! what love I not
That God has made on this bright spot—
I love to wipe the grateful tear,
And thank that God who placed me here.
But if this world on which I gaze
Inspires my heart with love and praise,
What must have been its grandeur, when
It stood unscathed by blighting sin?
When first the broad, expansive blue
Beamed with rich gems of golden hue;
And each in adoration stood,
When He who made it called it
Before the tempter’s lying breath
Brought sorrows, tears, or fearful death;
When man as angels did rejoice,
To hear his blessed Maker’s voice?
Though earth much loveliness retains,
It has its woes, its tears, and pains;
And joys of perfect love have found
A brighter clime on holy ground.
Then shall this love within my soul
Cease, when the sea forgets to roll?
No—I shall mount where seraphs shine,
And strike the harp to love divine.
Lydia Odell Baxter
New York, January 24, 1849