Born: November 4, 1839, Albion, Pennsylvania.
Died: January 15, 1900, Graysville, Tennessee, of pneumonia.
Buried: Pecatonica Cemetery, Pecatonica, Illinois.
Pseudonym: Dina Linwood.
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.
The first message transmitted across the Atlantic telegraph was, Sarepta Henry.
Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good-will to men!
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,
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,
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,
Glory to God! on the harp of the sea.
Sarepta M. I. Henry
Victoria: with Other Poems, 1865