St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, May 05, 2008

We May Be Happy Yet

The attic can be a great place to find old family treasures. The old
family Bible can be another source of great finds. Such is the case
of the Bible of my great-great grandparents. Tucked away between the
pages are several letters. Also tucked in the pages is some hair.
By the length of it, I suspect it to be female. It is also a light
brown, so it is most likely not of an elderly lady.

During the mid to late 1800s in history, it was not uncommon to keep
hair samples of the dearly departed. By keeping the hair and making
mourning jewelry, the dearly departed was never far from your heart.

I wonder if it is the hair of Margaret Emma (1851-1872) who died from
complications of childbirth. Margaret Emma was the daughter of my
great great grandparents. A picture I have of her reveals the marked
similarity between her facial features and mine. Is that why her
life story beats so strongly in my heart?

She was known to be a poet as she wrote a beautiful poem upon the
death of her newborn daughter, which was a couple of days before
Maggie departed this earth. The poem is so heartfelt and touching
that I still shed tears every time I read it.

One of the letters we found in the Bible was written as a song. The
author signed as Emma. Which Emma? I suspect it is the other Emma
in the family in the latter 1800s as Margaret Emma was called
Maggie. The other Emma is Margaret Emma's first cousin, Emma Elmira
HENRY (1859-1935).

The handwriting is difficult to read so I will only provide a few of
the lines. Enjoy.

We May Be Happy Yet
by Emma (Henry?)

Oh Smile as thou were want to smile
Before the right of care
Had crushed thy heart and for awhile
Let only sorrow there.

Some thoughts perchance twere best to guell
Some impulse to forget-
Oer which should memory cease to dwell
We may be happy yet- yes
We may be happy yet

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