Born: April 17, 1812, Wysox, Pennsylvania.
Died: November 4, 1889, Kenyon, Minnesota.
Buried: Kenyon Cemetery, Kenyon, Minnesota.
Marguerite was the daughter of Dr. Seth T. Barstow and Clarissa Woodruff, and wife of John Loud, a Philadelphia piano maker (married 1842).
She spent most of her adult life in Philadelphia.
I stood within a lighted hall,
And heard the words of gladness fall
From many lips; the young and fair,
A kindred group, held revel there:
The future cast no gloomy hue
O’er hearts, the trusting and the true;
Before them life unclouded lay,
And hope led on, with cheering ray,
In the by-gone Christmas time.
And where is now that happy band?
Oh! two are in a distant land—
They breathe the balmy southern air,
Where flowers are blooming, sweet and rare;
Yet are their spirits sad and lone—
They hear not now each voice well known
Of home, loved home—they ne’er shall see
That home as it was wont to be,
In the social Christmas time.
And two are resting in the grave;
The winds of winter o’er them rave;
Unheard the wild storm rushes past,
Unfelt is sorrow’s piercing blast;
Cold is each once warm, faithful heart,
Which could so much of joy impart
To those who met around the hearth,
Where all was happiness and mirth,
In the cheerful Christmas time.
One in the high career of fame
Hath vowed to die, or win a name;
The light of hope is in his eye,
His spirit whispers triumph high;
Yet though ambition’s goal be won,
And pleasure’s brightest circle run,
In after years he will regret
His early home—the friends he met
In the joyous Christmas time.
And one—whene’er I think of him,
My eyes with burning tears are dim;
He was the youngest, favorite child,
And many a lonely hour beguiled
With laugh and jest—yet now he stands
Upon his own ancestral lands,
Alone—alone—for gone are all
Who met within that festive hall,
In the merry Christmas time!
Alas! alas! that this should be
Of loving hearts the history;
Hearts bound by ties of early years,
By mutual hopes, and joys, and fears!
The cords are sundered which have bound
Their feet upon the enchanted ground
home, sweet home—and naught again
Can reunite that broken chain,
In the coming Christmas time.
Marguerite St. Leon Barstow Loud
Wayside Flowers, 1851