Lost on the Ill-fated Erie: A Tribute

Image from the GenDisasters website, which also has transcribed  newspaper articles about the Erie disaster.

POETRY
For the Southport American.

The following Tribute to the Memory of Mrs. Smith and her Infant daughter, lost on board of the Erie, will no doubt be acceptable to her friends.

Mrs. Smith was the daughter of Mrs. Storms of Rochester, N.Y. She left Schenectady on her way th this place, with her mother and sister who accompanied her as far as Rochester. Arriving in Buffalo she took passage on board the ill-fated Erie, and amid the sufferers of that awful occasion she with her infant were lost.

Mrs. Smith was a sincere and devout member of the Methodist Church, and as such, we doubt not, felt even in the anguish of that trying hour, the support and consolation of those heavenward hopes, which it is the privilege of the Gospel alone to inspire. The public have sympathised with her afflicted partner, and although he feels like one from whose heart the tenderest vine has been torn, and is called to look upon the young object of his hopes as some

“Sweet flower no sooner blown than blasted.”

Like some

“Pale primrose fading timelessly,”

he is supported and sustained by the assurance that, although removed from the earth, they are transplanted to the Paradise above, to bloom and flourish in memorial vigor — that freed from the pains and fra???s of humanity, they have entered

“Upon that state
Of pure imperishable blessedness,
Which Reason promises, and Holy Writ
Ensures to all Believers.”

To her partner, as an offering of respect, the following lines are inscribed:

—–
This is the hour of gloom and mortal sadness,
To thy troubled breast;
— The hours, when in joy and gladness,
Thou thought’st to have pressed,
Anew, once more, to thy lone heart,
Thy wife and her blest counterpart; —
Those lovely forms, so oft by thee caressed.

Thou stands like one deserted and forsaken,
And all thy hopes are fled —
For they, thy sole delight, are taken,
And thou art numbered
With those who all too early mourn
Life’s dearest objects quickly torn
From their embrace, and numbered with the dead.

While from thee affection’s tendrils thus are torn,
And thou art called to be
Like one most wretched, most forlorn;
Lift up thine eyes and see
The source of that sustaining Power,
Which, in affliction’s sternest hour,
Cheers the frail spirit of humanity.

Think of those lost ones with a chastened love,
And, though thy heart be riven
With more than human sorrow; look above,
From whence alone is given
To feel how blest their present state,
With all the good, the wise, the great,
Amid the life, the light, and joy of Heaven.

Soul of our souls! Source and sustaining Power!
Look on the bow’d one,
And in this his sorrowing hour,
Cause that for him may run
Streams in the desert: — that he may,
Even in affliction wisely say,
Father! thy will, as ever, now be done.

N.P.D.

South Port American (South Port, Wisconsin) Sep 30, 1841

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