Arabella Eugenia Smith (1844 - July 1916 / Lichefield, Ohio)
Biography of Arabella Eugenia Smith
Arabella Eugenia Smith was born in 1844 in Lichfield, Ohio, and resided from 1850 to 1874 in Percival, Iowa. She graduated from Tabor College in Tabor, Iowa.
After graduation, she became an instructor there. She published If I Should Die To-night in The Christian Union on June 18, 1873, and in only a few years it swept America as one of the county's favorite poems and hymns. Her authorship of the poem was quickly obscured though; It was presented under anonymous in Slason Thompson's, The Humbler Poets: A Collection of Newspaper and Periodical Verse 1870 to 1885.
Very little is known about Smith, She died in July, 1916, in Santa Barbara, California.
Arabella Eugenia Smith's Works:
If I should Die To-night (1873)
If I Should Die Tonight
If I should die to-night,
My friends would look upon my quiet face
Before they laid it in its resting-place,
And deem that death had left it almost fair;
And, laying snow-white flowers against my hair,
Would smooth it down with tearful tenderness,
And fold my hands with lingering caress, --
Poor hands, so empty and so cold to-night!