1829–1867
portrait

De­cem­ber 8, 1829, Charles­ton, South Ca­ro­li­na.

Oc­to­ber 6, 1867, Co­lum­bia, South Ca­ro­li­na.

Tri­ni­ty Epis­co­pal Ca­thed­ral Ce­me­te­ry, Co­lum­bia, South Ca­ro­li­na.

Timrod at­tend­ed Frank­lin Col­lege in Ath­ens, Geor­gia (later the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Georg­ia), though he did not com­plete his studies due to lack of funds and bad health.

Instead, he be­came a tu­tor, stay­ing on a Ca­ro­li­na plan­ta­tion 10 years. How­ev­er, he stayed in touch with the li­ter­a­ry com­mu­ni­ty in Charles­ton, and con­trib­ute­d to Rus­sell’s Ma­ga­zine (1837–61).

A col­lect­ion of his po­et­ry was pub­lished in 1860, but with the ad­vent of the Am­er­i­can ci­vil war, Tim­rod en­list­ed in the Con­fed­er­ate ar­my.

For a while he re­port­ed for the Charles­ton Mer­cu­ry, but was dis­charged af­ter de­vel­op­ing tu­ber­cu­lo­sis.

He moved to Co­lum­bia in 1864, and ed­it­ed the South Ca­ro­lin­i­an. Paul Ha­mil­ton Hayne pub­lished The Po­ems of Hen­ry Tim­rod post­hu­mous­ly in 1873.

Sung at an Anniversary of the Asylum
of Orphans at Charleston [South Carolina]

We scarce, O God, could lisp Thy name,
When those who loved us passed away,
And left us but Thy love to claim,
With but an infant’s strength to pray.

Thou gav’st that Refuge and that Shrine,
At which we learn to know Thy ways;
Father! the fatherless are Thine!
Thou wilt not spurn the orphan’s praise.

Yet hear a single cry of pain!
Lord! while we dream in quiet beds,
The summer sun and winter rain
Beat still on many homeless heads.

And o’er this weary earth, we know,
Young outcasts roam the waste and wave;
And little hands are clasped in woe
Above some tender mother’s grave.

Ye winds, keep every storm aloof,
And kiss away the tears they weep!
Ye skies, that make their only roof,
Look gently on their houseless sleep!

And Thou, O Friend and Father! find
A home to shield their helpless youth!
Dear hearts to love—sweet ties to bind—
And guide and guard them in truth!

Henry Timrod (1829–1867)

  1. Faint Falls the Gen­tle Voice of Pray­er
  2. Sleep Sweet­ly in Your Hum­ble Graves