Born: Feb­ru­ary 17, 1827, West Hart­ford, Con­nec­ti­cut.

Died: Ju­ly 18, 1892, Pitts­field, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Buried: Vil­lage Ce­me­tery, Col­lins­ville, Con­nec­ti­cut.

Pseudonym: A.W.H. (her mo­ther’s in­i­tials).



Rose was the daugh­ter of Hen­ry Wads­worth Ter­ry and An­na Wright Hul­burt, and wife of Rol­lin Hill­yer Cooke (mar­ried 1873).



It Is More Blessed

Give! as the morning that flows out of heaven;
Give! as the waves when their channel is riven;
Give! as the free air and sunshine are given;
Lavishly, utterly, careless give.
Not the waste drops of thy cup overflowing,
Not the faint sparks of thy hearth ever glowing,
Not a pale bud from June rose’s blowing;
Give as He gave thee, who gave thee to live.

Pour out thy love like the rush of a river
Wasting its waters, forever and ever,
Through the burnt sands that reward not the giver;
Silent or songful, thou nearest the sea.
Scatter thy life as the summer shower’s pouring!
What if no bird through the pearl-rain is soaring?
What if no blossom looks upward adoring!
Look to the life that was lavished for thee!

Give, though thy heart may be wasted and weary,
Laid on an altar all ashen and dreary;
Though from its pulses a faint miserere
Beats to thy soul the sad presage of fate,
Bind it with cords of unshrinking devotion;
Smile at the song of its restless emotion;
’Tis the stern hymn of eternity’s ocean;
Hear! and in silence thy future await.

So the wild wind strews its perfumed caresses,
Evil and thankless the desert it blesses,
Bitter the wave that its soft pinion presses,
Never it ceaseth to whisper and sing.
What if the hard heart give thorns for thy roses?
What if on rocks thy tired bosom reposes?
Sweetest is music with minor-keyed closes,
Fairest the vines that on ruin will cling.

Almost the day of thy giving is over;
Ere the grass dies the bee-haunted clover,
Thou wilt have vanished from friend and from lover.
What shall thy longing avail in the grave?
Give as the heart gives whose fetters are breaking,
Life, love, and hope, all thy dreams and thy waking.
Soon, heaven’s river thy soul-fever slaking,
Thou shalt know God and the gift that He gave.

Rose Terry Cooke
Poems, 1861