Martha Lavinia Hoffman
Biography of Martha Lavinia Hoffman
"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.
Martha Lavinia Hoffman Poems
Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going? Do you dine today with the regal rose Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing
The Cavern By The Sea
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
Lines To The Ocean
Old Ocean, none knoweth thy story; Man cannot thy secrets unfold, Thy blue waves sing songs of thy glory
Home, Sweet Home
Backward across the lapse of years, With its ebbing tide of smiles and tears, Memory turns her wistful gaze And sighs for the pleasures of by-gone days,
I watched the clouds at evening When the Summer day neared its close, As above the sentinal mountain peaks Their pinnacled temples rose. Mistily blending together The faint, fleecy curtains unfold; In the sky's magic mirror revealing, Linings of silver and gold. And here and there in the fluffy foam, A twinkling star shines through; Mingling a golden radiance With the filmy tints of blue. 'Till they seem like the pearly gateway, With the city towers just behind; O'er whose walls of glittering jasper Eternal day has dawned. Oh! I almost catch the melody That the angels sing in Heaven; As I watch the faint, fair Summer clouds, O'er the sky's blue curtain driven. And my soul mounts up on eagle's wings, To explore the realms unknown, While life and death in a new, strange light, Seem but a part to the throne. When I think of the joy awaiting, Beyond the bier and the shroud, Death seems but a transient shadow, A passing Summer cloud.
One Little Glimpse Of Heaven
One thought of holy ecstasy Breaks on my spirit's sight Like a bright, flashing meteor
O, Can I Be Happy In Heaven?
O, can I be happy in Heaven, Though free from earth's trouble and care; Though glories undreamed of be given,
Be Sure Sin Will Find You Out
Do you think, oh shrewd deceiver, Because your well-laid plan, For the death of a fellow-being, Or the wreck of a fellow-man,
'Tis morn in Joseph's garden now Where death and night and darkness were, The lilies still in sadness bow
The happiest day of all the year is this By song and sunshine ushered in, Only the tyranny of sin
The Invalid to the Caged Bird
What are you singing my beautiful bird? What are the words of your song? How can you carol when always denied The freedom for which you must long?
Had I But Wings Like Thine
Had I but wings like thine, Free bird of flight, To scale the heights that only wings can reach, Or steer my passage o'er yon seas of light,
Rocked on many a bending bough Empty nests are swaying now In the Autumn wind, Hanging o'er the cool cascade,
Sublime and wonderful art thou, O deep,
Illustrious ocean, vast unmeasured waste!
Lost in thy contemplation, I do seem
Even as a grain of sand upon thy beach,
That shouldst thou reach thy giant arms to grasp
Would melt away in thy dissolving foam,
Nor yet be missed among the myriads left;
Yet in thy calms and tempests, I can read
The moods and passions of the human soul;