Helen Hunt Jackson 4-1-8 transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 4, Ms 0348, Box 1, Folder 8, miscellaneous items
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2002
Clipping of poem by Richard Watson Gilder titled "H.H." (August 16, 1885)
Manuscript of HHJ's poem "The Little Kings and Queens," undated
Three identical copies of HHJ's letter to President Grover Cleveland, August 8, 1885
1. Clipping from an unknown publication. Headed: Literary Note.
Two tributes to "H.H." appear in THE CRITIC of August 29-one a sonnet by R.W. Gilder, the other a report by Julia C. R. Dorr of Emerson's high opinion of the lamented poet and novelist. The leading article in the number is an essay called "Two Views of Shelley," from the acute and graceful pen of Prof. James A. Harrison.
I would that in the verse she loved some word
Not all unfit I to her praise might frame:
Some word wherein the memory of her name
Should through long years its incense still afford.
But no; her spirit smote with its own sword;
Herself has lit the fire whose blood-red flame
Shall not be quenched; --this is her living fame
Who struck so well the sonnet's subtle chord.
None who e'er knew her can believe her dead;
Though should she die they deem it well might be
Her spirit took its everlasting flight!
In summer's glory, by the sunset sea:
That onward through the Golden Gate it fled.
--Ah, where that bright soul is cannot be night!
August 16, 1885 Richard Watson Gilder
2. Handwritten poem by HHJ:
The Little Kings and Queens
Monarchs whose kingdom no man bounds,
No leagues uphold, no conquest spreads,
Where the ones are any mossy mounds
Whose crowns are curls on sunny heads.
The only sovereigns on the earth
Whose sway is certain to endure,
No line of kings of kingliest birth
Is of its reigning half so true
No fortress built in all the land
So strong they cannot storm it free,
No palace made too rich too grand
For them to roam triumphantly.
No tyrant so hardhearted known
Can their diplomacy resist,
They can usurp his very throne,
He abdicates whom he is kissed.
No hovel in the world so small
So meanly built, so squalid, bare,
They will not go within its wall
And set their reign of splendor there
No beggar too forlorn and poor
To give them all they need to thrive,
They frolic in his yard and door
The happiness kings and queens alive
Oh blessed little kings and queens
The only sovereigns in the earth!
Their sovereignty nor rests nor leans
On pomp of riches or of birth,
Nor ends when cruel death lays low
In dust each little curly head
All other sovereigns crownless go
And are forgotten when they're dead-
But there - hold changeless empire past,
Triumphant past all earthly scenes
We worship truest to the last
Our buried "little kings and queens."
3. 3 identical copies of a letter to Grover Cleveland
To Grover Cleveland
President of the United States
From my death bed I send you message of heart-felt thanks for what you have already done for the Indians.
I ask you to read my Century of Dishonor. I am dying happier for the belief I have that it
Is your hand that is destined to strike the first steady blow towards lifting this burden of infamy from our country, and righting the wrongs of the Indian rule.
With respect and gratitude
Aug. 8, 1885
Helen Hunt Jackson
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