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The Town & the City: Lowell before and after The Civil War

Originally created to be a digital archive for Lowell documents from 1826 to 1861, this website has grown to cover many periods and events in Lowell's history.

Jane Ermina Locke and Her “Requiem for Edgar A. Poe” By Frederick W. Coburn

The following is a transcription of a paper titled Jane Ermina Locke and her “Requiem for Edgar A. Poe”  wriiten and read by Frederick W. Coburn at a meeting of the Lowell Historical Society on the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, January 19, 1940.

The original manuscript, which is typed with hand-written edits, and a photocopy of it are in the collection of the Lowell Historical Society and archived at The Center for Lowell History. A pdf of the photocopy is available in the References section below. The original manuscript was not digitized.

In this transcription, I have inserted the text from published versions of the poems with links, replacing Coburn's transcriptions. When a published version of a poem was not available, I took a screen shot of the photocopy and inserted it in the transcription.

My notes are in brackets.

Brad MacGowan

Jane Ermina Locke and her “Requiem for Edgar A. Poe”

By Frederick W. Coburn

Read before the Lowell Historical Society on the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, January 19, 1940

            It was Mrs. John G. Locke who in induced Poe to come to Lowell to lecture in July, 1848. She was known to him as a gifted poet whose verses had appeared in periodicals of national circulation. He was known to her as the American bard who has smitten “a harp of mightiest tone.” She was proud, probably through the good offices of her kinsman and sister poet, Francis Osgood, to be privileged to make the arrangements which would present him to her friends and neighbors at Lowell of which her husband and she were fairly conspicuous residents. She was chagrined to find him, when he arrived here, difficult and indifferent to her efforts to make his visit pleasant. She saw him attracted by, and it can fairly be said infatuated by, another woman. It was “To Annie” [Poe's poem was titled “For Annie”] and not “To Jane Ermina” that Poe wrote his pathetic last poem. There are unkind things in his correspondence with Mrs. Richmond regarding Mr. and Mrs. Locke. Yet the latter after his death wrote the quite personal Requiem which is on pages 29 – 31 of her second volume of poems, published in 1854. She herself died five years later. As a poet and person she is so nearly forgotten that she is sometimes referred to in print as the “Miss” Locke who brought Poe to Lowell, as if this were her one claim to remembrance.

            Whether in her own right Mrs. Locke is at this date worthy of other than local commemoration may be considered on the basis of her to publish books of verse and the many fugitive pieces of hers that are initialed “J. E. L.” In local newspapers of the 1830s and 1840s it is the latter, a few specimens called from the files at the Lowell City library, which give this present paper any slight value it may have as a contribution. A fairly satisfactory biographical sketch of Mrs. Locke was written by her daughter, Mrs. Grace LeBaron Upham, of Boston, and printed among the Contributions of the Old Residents Historical Association vol. IV, no. 3, September, 1890. The story of that paper of nearly 50 years ago is probably unfamiliar to most of us here present. It can be appropriately be retold in abbreviated form on this occasion, Poe’s birthday, and references can be added to several of Mrs. Locke's poems which were accepted and printed by local editors in days when every well edited newspaper had its poets’ corner.

            Ermina Starkweather was born on April 25, 1805 at Worthington, Hampshire County, and the Berkshire hills, this state. Her father, Deacon Charles Starkweather, was a leading citizen of the town. Her mother, Deborah Starkweather, is described as a gentlewoman of the olden school, who gave birth to nine children, of these are Ermina was the youngest. The future poet at birth is said to have been so small that she was exhibited in a quart pewter mug. Throughout life she was never robust.

            Ermina's only scholastic education was in the schools at Worthington, apparently, but she was an avid reader who is a young girl made herself familiar with the great literatures of the world. Like so many of her generation she was especially affected by the German poets. At 15 she began contributing poems to the Hampshire Gazette. This became her regular habit – – to make verse of current happenings, seasonal celebrations and observances and all of episodes of her own family life.

            Ermina Locke was married in 1829, according to her daughter's account, to John G. Locke called an attorney. How they met does not appear. He was of a family famous in the legal history of New England. His father Hon. John Locke, of Fitzwilliam, N. H., was a member of Congress, closely associated with Daniel Webster. His older brother Joseph Locke, born at Fitzwilliam in 1772, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1797, had early in life settled at Billerica where he became one of the most distinguished lawyers of Middlesex County. He had represented the town several times in the legislature. In 1816 was chosen justice of the Court of Common Pleas; in 1819 chief justice of the Middlesex County court of sessions; and in 1833, when the new police court was established in the town of Lowell he became its first judge, being, as says Hazen’s “Billerica,” “a good lawyer, an upright judge and an honest and true man.” One of his sons, Charles Henry Locke, was for a time editor of the Lowell Courier. His son-in-law Albert Locke was clerk of the Lowell Common Council at the time of his death in 1840.

            Into a rather extensive family connection of the Lowell and Billerica came Ermina Starkweather who after her marriage for some unknown reason prefixed “Jane” to her name. They did not settle in the Lowell neighborhood at once, however, for during several years residence at Buffalo, N. Y., Mrs. Lott continued her literary career. Her national reputation is said to of been made by an “Ode to Washington” which was read during the Buffalo observance, February 22, 1831. Without prejudice for or against its grandiloquent manner, let us quote it:


With pride we hail this natal morn,
     The birthday of our sire;
Our hearts with filial feelings burn,

     Our souls with patriot fire.
          Our spirits take a lofty tone,

          And swell the name of Washington.

Let songs of gratitude employ,
     The aged and the young,

And chastened mirth, and hallowed joy,

     Break forth from every tongue.

          Our land is free, our soil is won—

          Our Hero, was our Washington.

His deeds we'll praise in lofty strains,

      His precepts call to mind;

‘Twas he who rent the tyrant's chains,
     And none again shall bind.

          We'll spread our banners to the sun,

          And shout the name of Washington.

Columbia's daughter well may wear,
     Chased gold and diadem;

And sparkling in their drapery, bear

     The jewel and the gem.

          We're children of a noble one,

          The great, immortal Washington.

The vine is clustering o'er our heads,
     The fig its fruitage lends;

The valley its bright verdure spreads,

     The forest graceful bends,

          Untithed, these blessings are our own,

          And purchased by our Washington.

This day let gratitude employ
      The aged, and the young,

And chastened mirth, and hallowed joy,

     Break forth from every tongue.

           We'll spread our banners to the sun,

          And shout the name of Washington.

            In 1833, presumably by invitation of his older brother who had become justice of the court, John Locke moved to Lowell where for 17 years his frail, delicate wife bore and buried children, wrote versus that appeared to her neighbors remarkably fine, interested herself in both domestic and civic affairs, and struggled under the incubus of tuberculosis from which she was destined to perish in early middle age. This tragedy persistent ill health, of suffering from bereavements, doubtless gave its tone to much of Jane Ermina Locke’s writing. Some of it was of its period typical – – of the unhealthful, unbuoyant days when people lived short lives and sad ones; when they thought too much about life after death and knew too little about the ways and means of vital living. The 1840s, nevertheless, saw a beginning of modern reforms, of freeing the spirit of man from superstitions and witch-doctory. In the such movements of the time Mr. and Mrs. Locke, Unitarians in religion, appear to have participated. They were active in the cause of temperance. Yet they were unable, for all their efforts towards right living, to save their children, of whom there were seven and of whom only one grew to maturity.

            The accident of the Locke’s political connections (they were Whigs) and the circumstance that the Democratic newspapers of early Lowell have been much better preserved at the city library than those of their opponents have made it difficult to list exhaustively Jane Ermina Locke’s contributions to the local poets’ corners, even if for any reason it were desirable to do this. Enough that she was writing continually and that her efforts were printed not only in the Courier but in various national publications, as notably in the Unitarian Christian Register. She was frequently in demand as a poet capable of high–sounding lines for patriotic occasions. Typical of such Tyrtaean efforts may have been the one which she prepared for the national holiday in 1837. It follows:

       ODE FOR JULY 4th

Again this hallowed morn we greet,
     As children of the free,

An era for our gladness meet, 

     Columbia's jubilee.

Well may we raise our anthems high,

     And swell our notes of praise:

Our altar fires ascend the sky,

     While Freedom lights the blaze.

Our gallant fleets are fearless borne
     Far o'er the coral sea,

Wafting upon the breath of morn

     The song of liberty:

The fertile South, and prairied West,

     In peace and plenty meet;

While on New England's mountain crest

     The flocks by thousands bleat.

Our starry banner waves untorn
     Above our patriot dead;

While, of our glory yet unshorn,

     We worship where they bled:

Then never let us break the tie

     That gives us " Union " claim,

Or, for a palsied dynasty,

     Barter our dear-bought fame.

Forever hallowed be the soil
     Where erst our fathers stood;

Made precious by their tears and toil,

     And sacred by their blood;

And to the God who. wreathed their brows,
     Low let us bend the knee;
And mingle with our solemn vows

     The anthems of the free.


            This possibly turgid and certainly not very meaningful production of Jane Ermina Locke’s drew forth a few days later after the 1837 celebration a rhymed reply in criticism from “Florence” (her actual name unknown to this compiler) which posits the issue of truth to realities as against poetic sonorousness. That controversy need not be here re-argued. It has its bearing upon Edgar Poe's admiration of, or at least toleration of, such poetry as Mrs. Locke’s. He, too, had little or no use for moral indignation and reformers of ideologies. Poetry to him was an art of imagery and euphony. That Jane E. Locke ever reach perfection is either of these essentials need not be here maintained. What is probably of sufficient historic importance to be noted is that at Lowell another woman poet had the New England connection of poetry as a medium of truthful statement as well as emotional fervor and that from the such viewpoint she censured Mrs. Locke in the following lines:


          To return to Mrs. Locke, a young mother at Lowell, a poem of hers of domestic sort which was first printed in that Courier Sept. 8, 1837, gives perhaps a fair line on her poetic powers of that period. Is here with read into the record:

       TO AN INFANT.

"Her lot is on you, silent tears to weep."

O, WOMAN'S lot is thine, fair one,

            Though joyous, glad, and free, .

And sporting till the day is done,

            In thoughtless infancy;

                        Yet woman's lot is on thee!

Thy smiles will meet a changing hour,

            Thy joys a chastening woe;

And there will come a blighting power,

            To check thy spirit's flow;

                        For woman's lot is on thee.

'T is thine the midnight watch to keep,

            Fast by the bed of pain;

And by the glazing eye to weep,

            And wail thy dead, though vain;

                        For woman's lot is on thee.

And thine to fix thy youthful hope

            On one bright earthly star;

Giving thy life, thy being up,

            An idol worshiper;

                        For woman's lot is on thee.

Thine, too, to hang in fondness there,

            Through wrong, and woe, and ill,

And in thy silent heart to bear

            Griefs that no words may tell;

                        For woman's lot is on thee.

It may be thine, mid earthly strife,

            To meet one fond and true;

A smile to gild thy path in life,

            And light thy journey through;

                        For woman's lot is on thee.

A pillow for thine aching head,

            Assuager to thy woe,

A watcher by thy restless bed,

            When life's weak stream is low;

                        For woman's lot is on thee.

But, O, whate'er on earth thy part,

            Go bow at heaven's pure shrine,

And early give to God thy heart;

            For woman's lot is thine;

                        Ay, woman's lot is on thee.

             Also of this era of the Lockes’ residence at Lowell was a fairly long poem “Summer Twilight,” which was reprinted from the Christian Register by the Lowell Courier Dec. 10, 1839. Files, incidentally, of the Courier the 1837 and for six months of 1839 are all that are available of this Whig newspaper until the early 1840’s when it became a daily and when Hapgood Wright began to send his copies of it regularly to Concord, Massachusetts, whose library has a complete file from that time to now. As the Lockes had a family interest in the old Courier it can be fancied that in the missing files of the paper are several of Mrs. Locke's poems, perhaps lost to the world forever. Her fame, meantime, through such publications as those in the Register, was spreading. Her daughter speaks of the appreciation which they had in her “large circle of literary friends, bright stars in the literary world,” amongst who were especially mentioned “William Cullen Bryant, Edgar A. Poe, H. P. Willis, Rufus Choate, Daniel Webster, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Francis Sargent Osgood.”

            This national celebrity truly enhanced the poet's local reputation. At the fourth of July celebration of 1840, the exercises held in the then newly dedicated John Street Congregational church, Jane Ermina Locke was chosen to present with an accompaniment of verses a military standard, probably designed by George Hedrick, to the Mechanic Phalanx. At the banquet which followed the ceremony in Captain Benjamin P. Barnum, substantiating the poet’s literary celebrity, offered the following toast: “the lady who presented the standard – – she has shown herself this day well worthy of the literary reputation she has long enjoyed.”

            Mrs. Locke's poems of the 1840s were signed as of Wamesit Cottage. This signified the residence which Mr. Locke and she had established in what was then a good residential part of the city, on Lawrence Street, probably near the corner of Wamesit Street. Near neighbors, in Ames Street, in the stone house still standing, were Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Richmond. The Concord river was close at hand and according to a tradition which Miss Mabel Hill revived in a little publication of some years ago the Lockes entertained their distinguished guest by taking him for a ride – – not in the modern sense of the word – – upon the placid stretch of the stream below Massic Falls. In the vicinity of Wamesit Cottage began to be laid out in the summer of 1840 the Lowell Cemetery, to be formally dedicated in 1841.

                    A musical publication of the early ‘40’s credited to a local composer, which there is a copy in that Evert Wendell collection at the Harvard library, is titled “The Cemetery Quickstep.” It gave expression to the lively departure from the burying ground which sometimes followed solemn and slow-moving obsequies. From the vantage of Wamesit Cottage Mrs. Locke must seemingly have witnessed with a strong disapproval the cemetery quick steps passing her door. This was revealed in lines which she contributed to the Courier of Nov. 2, 1843, as follows:


            The feeling of the solemnity of death was natural, it can be reiterated, for a woman who followed all but one of her seven children to the grave and whose own life hung by a thread for years. She also gives expression to it in her lines on “Wamesit Cottage,” written presumably after she had moved away from the banks of the Concord, among the most poignant of them being these:


            Whatever the rural seclusion of Wamesit Cottage may have been this did not prevent Mrs. John G. Locke from being a person with active civic interests. Her daughter, years later, was able to refer to a scrapbook in which were evidences of the mother’s participation in important occasions, viz;

“On another page is the circular issued by her as President of the Female Total Abstinence Society of Lowell, [***showing her to be in fullest sympathy with all good work. While] interspersed between the time-dimmed pages, are recorded her ‘original hymn at the ordination of the evangelist, Mr. Edwin J. Gerry’; another, sung at the dedication of the Colburn Grammar School; an ode for a fourth of July celebration ; a song for the Harrison Glee Club ; still another for the Beethoven Club; hymns and odes respectively for the eleventh anniversary of the South Congregational Sunday School; the Cold Water Army celebration in 1841; a spirited ode for a supper given at the Temperance Hotel, by its host, to those in sympathy with him. While to the Unitarian interests of Lowell she was ever ready to respond with hymns and songs as requested for their sacred services or their jubilees.” [*** this phrase was left out of Coburn's paper and replaced with an elipsis]


            The 1840s found Mrs. Locke actively extending the range of her reputation. A volume of her "miscellaneous poems," published in 1842 by Otis, Brodus & Co. had a favorable press of the same year was her Sunday school book “Rachel, or the Little Mourner.” Its front piece a portrait of one of the author’s own little girls. In 1846 she brought out a long poem titled “Boston.” This according to Mrs. Upham, went into several additions. Among others noticing it was the distinguished critic N. P. Willis: he said: “the name of Jane E. Locke is familiar to the readers of periodical literature as the author of many interesting prose articles in magazines. The little book before us is something quite new in American literature. It is a map of the mind of the Athens of America. The value of the work of this kind both to those who know and love Boston is very great. Mrs. Locke's little gem of a book ought to be in the hands of every patriotic American as a faithful guidebook and intellectual record, in which useful information is embellished with the graces of poetic art.” The Courier on Feb, 9 1847 reprinted from the New York Evening Post considerable poem called “The True Poet.” It presumably had been adopted by William Cullen Bryant, editor, who should have been a judge of poetry. The Lowell Advertiser towards the end of the decade was also printing Jane Ermina Locke. Three of her contributions, of which only the second seems to have appeared later in her 1854 book of poems, were: “The Hearth Cricket,” Jan 1 1848; “That Picture,” Jan 25; “The Planet Jupiter,” March 2.

            Reference has been made at one of these observances in Miss Okington’s hospitable home to the furor caused in 1845 and thereafter by the publication of Poe’s “Raven.” This reached Lowell as in such an era of mill girls magazines it naturally would. Lucy Larcom made an interesting note of it in her “New England girlhood,” saying: “One day, towards the last of my stay at Lowell [(I never changed my work-room again)], this same friendly fellow-toiler handed me a poem to read, which some one had sent in to us from the counting-room, with the penciled comment, ‘Singularly beautiful.’ It was Poe's “Raven,” which had just made its first appearance in some magazine. It seemed like an apparition in literature, indeed; the sensation it created among the staid, measured lyrics of that day, with its flit of spectral wings, and its ghostly refrain of “Nevermore!” was very noticeable. Poe came to Lowell to live awhile, but it was after I had gone away.”

            Poe, of course, never actually was a resident of Lowell, Miss Larcom, to the contrary, but he quite certain, in the summer and autumn of 1848 was entertained at the Locke’s home "Wamesit Cottage" at the Richmond's stone house in Ames street and at the Heywood's comfortable farmhouse in Westford.

            Whether Wamesit Cottage, which the local directories of several years indicate as on Lawrence Street, and not on Wamesit street as stated by her daughter, still stands and is the large house with granite sloping to the Concord River on what is now Rogers Street, a continuation of the Wamesit, at the Taylor Street bridge, is a question to be raised this evening, and possibly answered by some one familiar with the Lawrence Street neighborhood. Although this house sits well back from Lawrence street its frontage towards that street and at an angle set symmetrical with the direction of Rogers street suggests that originally may have had extensive grounds in front just as it still has terraces to the rear. In her home the poet speaks of the beauty of the “rock and the stream,” which she saw from her window. That accords with the picturesque rock formation at Massic Falls just above the bridge. Miss Hill in a paper has revived the tradition of the Locke’s having taken Poe out on the river in a boat. While the stretch between the two falls is not long enough for any ambitious boating it is not been altogether devoid of craft in recent years. The grounds of this house were evidently landscaped a long while ago. With its considerable setback from Lawrence street it should have had the seclusion stressed in Mrs. Locke's poem. Its location precisely corresponds with her footnote, page 246, in the 1854 edition [pages 245 and 246], “the author's former residence, an ancient cottage which stood but a few rods from these falls, and immediately upon the brink of this beautiful river, which perfected a scenery the most picturesque and poetic imaginable.” The building now standing, however, is not a cottage but a sizable house in the style of the 1820s – – it would have been large enough for Mr. and Mrs. Locke and their several children.

            The local directories, incidentally, leave one with an impression that Mrs. Upham's account of her parents residence at Lowell may have been more impressionistic than factual. She calls her father a lawyer. He perhaps was; but he was listed from 1834 through 1840 as an accountant at O. M. Whipple's powder works. In 1841 and through 1846 he was an auction and commission merchant. In 1847 and 1848 he was the city auditor, with office at City hall. In 1849 his name appears without occupation, indicating, it may be that he was unemployed and was using political influence for the appointment, which according to his daughter's reminiscences, took him to Boston customs house in 1850. If, as had been stated, he was for a time clerk of the court under his brother, Judge Joseph Locke, this fact is not to be discovered in the city directories.

            The John G. Locke residence from 1834 through 1839 was on Moore street; in 1840, on High street: from 1841 through 1849 on Lawrence street, doubtless at Wamesit cottage, as stated.

            From somewhere we have the story that correspondence between Poe and Jane Ermina Locke had given the former a supposition that she was a young unmarried woman: that he arrived at Lowell to find her middle-aged, sickly and the mother of seven children; that he met during this first visit the useful and beautiful Annie Richmond, 28 years old, with whom he promptly fell in love, and picked a quarrel with his plainly jealous hostess, Mrs. Locke. How much truth there is in this account of the poet's infatuation with “Annie,” then living only a stone’s throw away in the stone house still standing and name street is for some Poe biographer to evaluate.

            The account, at all events, which Mrs. Upham gives of her mother's contacts with Poe is significant mainly because of its evidence that there somewhere should be, if it has not been destroyed, rather important correspondence that passed between the author of “The Raven” and the literary woman at Lowell. The Upham story as published in 1890 follows:

            “Through her wide-spread literary acquaintance of the day, she [Jane Ermina Locke] became interested in the unfortunate poet, Edgar A. Poe, and, in 1848, introduced and entertained him, in Lowell, when he came to deliver his lecture on “Poetic Principle” [Poe's Lowell lecture was titled “Poets and Poetry of America”]; and in his hours of misfortune, she was forward in the movement for his relief, although the fact that she did not always approve his spasmodic hallucinations of love, for his still more susceptible inamorata, in the closing years of his life, has served to fill up the pages for an over-zealous biographer of Poe, who, in misrepresenting her, has added one more to the over-crowded list of those, who, in their literary career, have suffered from ill-deserved criticism. When confronted by one of Mrs. Locke's family this same biographer magnanimously offered to erase the objectionable lines from all following editions, adding that he supposed Mrs. Locke left no descendants! What Christian charity! What professional courtesy! What a fate awaits those poor mortals who shall leave no posterity! Their unsullied reputation left to the mercies of critics, whose reverence ceases with the death of their innocent victims, and the force of whose malicious shafts is deadened only by the fear of some living champion to avert their poisonous thrusts! That Poe died in appreciation of Mrs. Locke's generous interest, and with a “brotherly affection, and highest esteem” for his kind friend, who, while acknowledging his masterly poetic talent, could not remain ignorant of his weaknesses, the evidence of letters held by her family, goes far to show.”

              “The Requiem for her unfortunate but talented friend, Mr. Poe, is a most beautiful and tender tribute to the great poet, whose harp strings can, alas, be only stirred by the breezes of memory, attuned to that plaintive rhythm of his most weird and wonderful poem, "Nevermore, ah! nevermore – – nameless here forevermore!" Mrs. Locke's poem is filled with that sentiment of Christian charity, so marked her private in public life, as well.”    

           Whether Poe called at Wamesit Cottage during his second visit to Lowell, in October, 1848, is not here known. It is established by the printed correspondence that he spent pleasant days with the Heywood's on Tadmuck Hill, Westford. From there he went on one of his sprees, and his course in the next few months led naturally and logically to his being picked up as a deliriously drunken bum in a Baltimore Street [the circumstances leading up to and the cause of Poe's death iare uncertain], his death following at a hospital. The friend who first induced him to come to wall was not long for this life, either. Mr. Locke in 1850 obtained an appointment at the Boston Custom house, and the lares and penates were transferred to that neighborhood from Wamesit Cottage. Mrs. Locke continue to write poetry for the Boston Journal and the Daily Atlas. She was also employed by the Boston publishers, James Munroe & Co., to make suitable preferences for English books which they reprinted. This firm in 1854 brought out her best-known volume of verse, titled “The Recalled and Other Poems.” Its most remarkable piece, 24 pages long, was the rhymed eulogy of Daniel Webster. This grew naturally out of Whig woman's admiration of the great expositor. Her husband's father had been closely associated with Webster in the early years in New Hampshire and at Washington. The praise which this production had from eminent is comprehensible, even though at present the poem may be found hard reading.

            Her tuberculosis took Jane Ermina Locke, March 8, 1859, at Ashburnham where her she had been removed in the hope that the air of the hills would be beneficial. Other literary folk wrote tributes to her artistry and personality, a few of which are quoted in the daughter’s biographical sketch. She was buried, it is said, in “the old graveyard of the city of Lowell.” Awaiting somebody’s discovery and photograph of her grave whether it is in the so-called English cemetery, the Lowell cemetery or where else in this city [Her place of burial is the Lowell Cemetery Lot 345 on Fenlon Ave., near Varnum Path. There is no headstone or marker.] our paper shall appropriately end by reverting to the most famous of Mrs. Locke's homes, and the one which most intimately belongs to the present observance, her – –

               REQUIEM FOR EDGAR A. POE.

STRIKE the anthem, bards and brothers,

            Softly sweep your many lyres;

Let the low and solemn requiem,

            Linger on their silver wires!

One hath
broken from your number­

            Think not of his errors here-

And hath laid him to a slumber,

            Beyond earthly hope or fear!

One hath broken from your number,

            With a harp of mightiest tone;

And hath passed through death's dread slumber

            Onward to the eternal throne!

Let the turf press lightly on him,

            Lay his lyre upon his breast;

And the laurels Fame had won him,

            Hang them o'er his place of rest.

Though they bear full many an earth-stain,

            Death's dark stream should wash away,

All the mildew clinging to them,

            All the soiling of the clay!

Earth-stained laurels hanging heavy,

            With the cold and midnight dew!

Weep ye, brothers, it is mournful,

            Thus to decorate the yew!

Had the prayers of those availed him,

            O'er whose path his shadow fell,

Darkening with its raven pinions

            Life's dim way, it had been well.

But yet strike the anthem, brothers -  

            Think not of his errors now -

Mourn him, mourn his harp-strings broken.

            And the crushed wreath on his brow!

ye - take the scattered fragments,

            Lay them kindly at his breast;

Of the lyre he swept so wildly,

            Let them mark his place of rest!

Strike the anthem low and solemn,

           Let its mournful echo swell

Through the 'haunted woodland' openings,

           Where the 'Ghouls' of ‘Wier’ do dwell.

O'er the 'dank tarn' of the 'Auber'

            Let its mournful numbers swell,

And through 'cypress vales Titanic,'­

            Paths his spirit loved so well!

Nevermore shall strains so mighty

            Wind along that lakelet ' dim;'

Nevermore shall float such music,

            None could sweep the Lyre like him!

Strike the anthem, then, ye brothers -

            Think not of his errors now -

Mourn him - mourn his harp-strings broken,

            And the crushed wreath on his brow!




The recalled; in voices of the past, and poems of the ideal. By Jane Ermina Locke. Boston and Cambridge, J. Munroe and Co., 1854.


Miscellaneous Poems. By Mrs. Jane Ermina Locke. Boston: Otis, Broaders & Co., 1842
XX. A Memoir of Mrs. Jane Ermina Locke, by her daughter, Grace Le Baron (Locke) Upham, read May 7, 1890. In Contributions of the Old Residents Historical Association vol. IV, no. 3, September, 1890.
Rachael, or, The little mourner : a tale of truth, Jane E Locke (Jane Erminia), Lowell [Mass.] : Stearns & Taylor, 1844. UMass Lowell Libraries, Center for Lowell History, Noncirculating.