Two Seasonal Poems and a Question

The following handwritten poems were unexpectedly found among the more predictable administrative documents of the Records of Shelburne County Court of General Quarter Sessions (originals held by the Nova Scotia Archives).  They were penned in the town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia in the early 1830s and signed by Olivia Rosamond/ Rosomond Enslow.

Christmas Poem
Nova Scotia, Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Shelburne County), Records: 1784 –1880, Series M, “Miscellaneous Items” RG 34-321 (file 16, M. 75).  Originals held by the Nova Scotia Archives.

“Christmas”

[1830-1831]

[His] words, what voices can we bring

Which way our accents raise,

To welcome [the] mysterious King,

And sing a Saviour’s praise.

O ‘tis too [little] all we can,

For his unbounded love,

All that was ever wrote by man

Or sung in hymns above.

O may I bear some humble part

In that immortal song

Wonder and joy shall tune my heart

And love command my tongue.

Lift up a song to God most high,

For love so free so dear

Exalt his praise above the sky,

And make his angels hear.

And thou most precious [lamb] of peace,

[illegiable] Hallelujah

Olivia Rosamond Enslow

New Years Poem

 “For New Years Day” (1832)

Both slow and solemn sounds the Bell,

As fitting most its sacred call,

It has an awe inspiring knell,

To church or Grave convening all.

When worldly cares absorb thy soul,

And chase thy serious thoughts away,

That Bell does then so loudly sound

Proclaimer of the Sabbath day.

When pain afflicts thy feeble frame

And fell disease is hovering round

That Bell suggests the Saviours name

Those promised aid can heal thy wounds,

When on thy cheek the rose is blowing,

And death will shortly wing his dart,

And health confirms thy mortal part,

That Bell proclaims that time is flowing.

When far away from land you roam,

On seas whose billows loudly roar,

That bell in fancy tolls at home,

That all your cares and fears are o’er

 

Shelburne, 1st January 1831 (top looks like 1833)

Olivia Rosamond Enslow

 

Can you help with our big question? Who was Olivia Rosamond Enslow?

A clue: Isaac Enslow was Clerk of the Peace for Shelburne County, Nova Scotia at the time the records were created, so it is reasonable to assume that she was a relative.

Thanks in advance for your help with this mystery!

 

SUBJECT TERMS: poetry, author, holiday, primary source, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, literature

 

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