The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

“Those Twinkling Stars” by Ella Moore


From A Handbook of Descriptive Astronomy by George Frederick Chambers, pg. 510

Those Twinkling Stars
Ella Moore
From Godey’s Lady’s Book, September, 1849, pg. 214

Those twinkling, twinkling, trembling stars,
How pure and bright they shine!
Now one is falling!—’tis a car,
Sped by a hand divine,
To bear some guardian angel near
Some suffering saint, still lingering here.
And those which yet retain their place
Are angel watch-towers still;
Some guardian angel’s smiling face
Still looks through each at will;
And, ever and anon, a tear
Becomes a trembling dew-drop here.


“What is Life?” by Thomas Buchanan Read

What is Life?
Thomas Buchanan Read
From Godey’s Lady’s Book, August, 1849, pg. 149

And what is life? ‘Tis but a debt
That all are doomed to pay;
‘Tis but a path with thorns besest—
A dark and winding way.

‘Tis but a field to labor in,
Where work is never through—
Where every task accomplished makes
A double task to do.

It is a dark and dreary day,
And clouds of sorrow rise,
While pleasure’s evanescent ray
Scarce flickers in the skies.

It is a strangely mingled scene
Of tumult, toil, and strife;
And yet, poor human nature clings
Tenaciously to life.