Friday, June 4, 2010

Poems by William Marshall Howard

This slim volume in the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society was published in 1900 by Marshall Everts Howard, father of the author, William, who died at age 19. 

The introduction reads:
"If any be inclined to smile that this little volume is given to the public, let them remember it is the work of a youth not yet passed out of his teens ere death's cold hand was laid upon him; or, if any incline to pass the poems along with the remark that they are "sweet and simple," yet is it not the sweet and simple that we love to remember?
William Marshall Howard was born June 4, 1880, in Malone, N.Y., where he spent his life in a loving home, except a short period at the Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mass.  He also received instruction in sketching and painting.  In each department many proofs of his ability remain in the adornment of his home.  
His poetical effusions seemed a natural gift, of which no one was aware till they begain to appear in the poets' corner of the local papers. 
Of frail constitution from childhood, his health was undermined by la grippe about Christmas time of 1898, and still farther drawn upon by the death of his mother the following March.  A little later a sea trip to the South was taken, resulting somewhat beneficially, so that the summer was passed very pleasantly. 
But when school commenced it soon became apparent that his health had not rallied sufficiently to bear the strain, and "God touched him and he slept," passing softly away October 6, 1899, as he sat in his armchair quietly reading." 

This poem was written to his mother, Louise Aurilla Howard, who died seven months before him:

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