1839–1900

Introduction

portrait

Born: No­vem­ber 4, 1839, Al­bi­on, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Died: Jan­u­a­ry 15, 1900, Grays­ville, Ten­nes­see, of pneu­mo­nia.

Buried: Pe­ca­to­ni­ca Ce­me­te­ry, Pe­ca­to­ni­ca, Il­li­nois.

Pseudonym: Di­na Lin­wood.

portrait

Biography

Sarepta was the daugh­ter of Ho­ra­tio Nel­son Ir­ish and Ma­ry Al­lis Clark, and wife of teach­er James W. Hen­ry (mar­ried 1861).

An ear­ly lead­er in the Wo­man’s Chris­tian Tem­per­ance Un­ion, she joined the Se­venth-day Ad­vent­ist de­no­mi­na­tion in 1896.

Publications

The first mes­sage trans­mit­ted across the At­lan­tic tel­e­graph was, Glo­ry to God in the high­est, on earth peace, good-will to men! Sarepta Henry.

Poem

The Harp of the Sea

Wild, harsh, and discordant, the song earth was singing—
The drum-beat of hatred swelled loud on the air;
Red hands to the breeze the red banner was flinging,
’Mid curses, that froze on her lips, Mercy’s prayer.
From nation to nation the challenge was sounding,
It wakened an echo from fettered and free;
But while with the war-cry the earth was resounding,
The angel of Peace hung his harp in the sea.

Far, far ’neath the waves from the tempests controlling,
Where the sea-weed is growing the white bones among,
Though above it the waves are incessantly rolling,
In stillness it singeth its beautiful song.
And list! comes a whisper, Peace, peace through the ocean—
How like to the voice that once stilled Galilee!
And the earth, charmed to rest from its tempest commotion,
Is singing Peace, peace! on the harp of the sea.

The drum-beat is silent; the love-notes of blessing
Are swelling, like Sabbath bells, sweet on the air;
A flag, the good-will of the nations expressing,
Pure hands have unfurled, ’mid the anthem and prayer.
From nation to nation the glad song is sounding,
It waketh an echo from fettered and free,
All glory to God! through the earth is resounding,
And Good-will to men! sings the harp of the sea.

Peace! good-will to men! ’tis the hand of an angel
That wakes from the harp-string that beautiful strain:
All glory to God! is the blessèd evangel—
To God in the highest, who cometh to reign!
And hark! from the land of the dark and benighted
There crieth a voice, holy watchman, to thee;
O, weary not, rest not till all lands, united,
Sing Glory to God! on the harp of the sea.

Sarepta M. I. Henry
Victoria: with Other Poems, 1865

Sources

Lyrics