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,
There is music in the woodlands When the birds their carols sing, As they flit about the old oaks Where the ivy tendrils cling. Warblers, orioles and linnets, Blue-birds with their brilliant hue; While the sky-lark sings his sonnet In the sky's ethereal blue. Oh! is any of the music That the listening ear has heard Half so pure and sweet and lovely As the singing of a bird? There is music in the meadows At the closing of the day, When the gentle cows are coming Slowly, on their homeward way. Drinking from the singing brooklet, Cropping clover in the dells; Listen! is not this sweet music, Murmuring stream and tinkling bells? There is music in the forest, In the rustling of the trees, In the chattering of the squirrels, In the humming of the bees. Hark! the tall pine-trees are singing, Wailing forth their requiem, low; While the chipmunks clamber briskly O'er the mossy logs below. There is music on the sea shore, Of the little waves at play; While the stately ships are sailing O'er the waters far away. Wavelets o'er the rocks are dashing. Say, can any music be Sweeter than the waves' commotion Or the singing of the sea? There is music in the rain-drops Pattering forth their soft refrain, Dancing, spattering on the shingles, Coursing down the window-pane. Strange, weird music, what could better The fond dreamer's thought inspire, Listening to the tiny voices Of the storm-king's raindrop choir? There is music in the chiming Of the solemn Sabbath bells, Ringing forth to all a welcome Over hills and vales and dells, Calling to the house of worship, Telling us the worth of time, Praising God for all His goodness; Hear the distant church bells chime! There is music in the voices Of the children at their play, Bird-like songs and rippling laughter From the dawn 'till twilight gray. Is there any earthly music That is half so pure and sweet, As the children's merry voices Or the pattering of their feet? There is music in the voices Of the loved ones at our side, Those who tread life's pathway with us And who in our homes abide. Sweetest music, yet how often In life's busy bustling day, We forget to prize the singers 'Till their songs have died away. Let us gather up earth's glories, Let us not refuse to hear The sweet sounds that cheer our pathway, Without which, earth would be drear. Let us listen to the music, Treasure it within the soul; It will make us wiser, better, While the months and years roll. Let us notice Heaven's blessings, Thanking God for what we share; If we will but pause to listen There is music everywhere.
'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,
Lines To The Ocean
Old Ocean, none knoweth thy story;
Man cannot thy secrets unfold,
Thy blue waves sing songs of thy glory
But where are thy treasures untold?
Are they hidden away in the mosses
And sea-weed that covers thy bed?
O tell us, where are all our losses,
Our gold and our gems and our dead?