1834–1917

Introduction

portrait

Born: No­vem­ber 2, 1834, Ports­mouth, New Hamp­shire.

Died: Sep­tem­ber 3, 1917, Ports­mouth, New Hamp­shire, at her home on Aus­tin Street.

Buried: Har­mo­ny Grove Ce­me­te­ry, Ports­mouth, New Hamp­shire.

Biography

Harriet was the daugh­ter of Da­vid Kim­ball and Ca­ro­line Re­bec­ca Swett.

A Ro­man Ca­tho­lic, she wrote both sac­red and se­cu­lar verse. In 1890, she won the first prize of $100 from the Hos­pi­tal Sa­tur­day and Hos­pi­tal Sun­day As­so­ci­a­tion for writ­ing the best hymn suit­a­ble to be sung in church­es and syn­a­gogues (New York Times, Oc­to­ber 21, 1890).

She was the chief found­er of the Cot­tage Hos­pi­tal in Ports­mouth, where she was liv­ing as of 1915.

Publications

Poem

The Guest

Speechless Sorrow sat with me;
I was sighing wearily;
Lamp and fire were out; the rain
Wildly beat the window-pane.
In the dark I heard a knock,
And a hand was on the lock.
One in waiting spake to me,
Saying sweetly,
I am come to sup with thee.

All my room was dark and damp;
Sorrow, said I, trim the lamp,
Light the fire, and cheer thy face,
Set the guest-chair in its place.

And again I heard the knock;
In the dark I found the lock:
Enter, I have turned the key—
Enter, Stranger,
Who art come to sup with me.

Opening wide the door he came,
But I could not speak his name;
In the guest-chair took his place,
But I could not see his face.
When my cheerful fire was beaming,
When my little lamp was gleaming,
And the feast was spread for three,
Lo, my Master
Was the Guest that supped with me!

Harriet McEwen Kimball
Poems, 1889

Sources

Lyrics