The poem that begins “Beloved! amid the earnest woes . . . ” was published by the Broadway Journal twice in 1845 - once in the April issue then cut down to four lines in the September 6 issue with the more revealing title “To Frances.” Referring to Frances S. Osgood, the speaker discusses the chaos and woes of his life, and how they are calmed by dreams of this woman he is addressing.
It was actually a re-working of “To Mary,” first published in the Southern Literary Messenger’s July 1835 issue. It was also revised into “To One Departed,” printed in Graham’s Magazine, March 1842, before it was ever addressed to Frances Osgood.
Beloved! amid the earnest woes
That crowd around my earthly path —
(Drear path, alas! where grows
Not even one lonely rose)—
My soul at least a solace hath
In dreams of thee, and therein knows
An Eden of bland repose.
And thus thy memory is to me
Like some enchanted far-off isle
In some tumultuous sea —
Some ocean throbbing far and free
With storms — but where meanwhile
Serenest skies continually
Just o’er that one bright island smile.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53