1834–1899

Introduction

Born: Jan­u­ary 15, 1834, Oro­no, Maine. Note: Ju­lian says 1836; her tomb­stone says 1834.

Died: Ju­ly 20, 1899, Ca­li­for­nia.

Buried: Los Ga­tos Mem­or­ial Park, San Jose, Ca­li­for­nia.

Pseudonyms

portrait

Biography

Fran­ces was the wife of law­yer Ben­ja­min H. Mace of Bang­or (mar­ried 1855)

In 1837, her fa­mi­ly moved to Fox­croft (now Do­ver-Fox­croft), Maine, where she grew up.

By age 10, she was stu­dy­ing La­tin, and had vers­es pub­lished by age 12.

The fa­mi­ly lat­er moved to Ban­gor, Maine, where she gra­du­at­ed from high school, and stu­died Ger­man and mu­sic with pri­vate teach­ers.

In 1885, the Mace fa­mi­ly moved to San Jose, Ca­li­for­nia.

Publications

Poem

Only Waiting

Only waiting till the shadows
Are a little longer grown,
Only waiting till the glimmer
Of the day’s last beam is flown;
Till the night of earth is faded
From this heart once full of day,
Till the dawn of Heav’n is breaking
Through the twilight soft and gray.

Only waiting till the reapers
Have the last sheaf gathered home,
For the summer-time hath faded
And the autumn winds are come.
Quickly, reapers, gather quickly
The last ripe hours of my heart—
For the bloom of life is withered,
And I hasten to depart.

Only waiting till the angels
Open wide the mystic gate,
At whose feet I long have lingered,
Weary, poor, and desolate.
Even now I hear their footsteps
And their voices far away:
If they call me I am waiting—
Only waiting to obey.

Only waiting till the shadows
Are a little longer grown,
Only waiting till the glimmer
Of the day’s last beam is flown;
Then from out the folded darkness
Holy, deathless stars shall rise,
By whose light my soul will gladly
Wing her passage to the skies.

Frances Parker Laughton Mace
Legends, Lyrics and Sonnets, 1883

Sources

Lyrics