"Martha Lavinia Hoffman was born in Jackson Valley, Amador County, California, July 21, 1865. When three years of age her parents moved to Ukiah, California, where her girlhood and young womanhood were spent, and where she received inspiration from the beauties of nature in that, and adjacent valleys, for many of her poems.
From childhood she evinced an unusual love for the true and the beautiful.
When fourteen years of age she was stricken with a severe case of inflammatory rheumatism which left her in frail health and terminated in her death, from consumption, at the age of thirty-five; but her spirit rose above the sufferings of the frail body and made her the joy and the life of the family.
To her mother she was devoted and the two were the closest companions and intimate friends.
Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
Do you dine today with the regal rose
Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing
The tropical islands of Tonga
In the Southern Pacific sea lie
Like fragments of cool rainbow color
Dropped down from the melting blue sky.
Sublime and wonderful art thou, O deep,
Illustrious ocean, vast unmeasured waste!
Lost in thy contemplation, I do seem
Old Ocean, none knoweth thy story;
Man cannot thy secrets unfold,
Thy blue waves sing songs of thy glory