Sarah Chauncey Woolsey
Biography of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey
Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (January 29, 1835 – April 9, 1905) was an American children's author who wrote under the pen name Susan Coolidge.
Woolsey was born January 29, 1835 into the wealthy, influential New England Dwight family, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father was John Mumford Woolsey (1796–1870) and her mother Jane Andrews, and author and poet Gamel Woolsey was her niece. She spent much of her childhood in New Haven Connecticut after her family moved there in 1852.
Woolsey worked as a nurse during the American Civil War (1861–1865), after which she started to write. She never married, and resided at her family home in Newport, Rhode Island, until her death. She edited The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mrs. Delaney (1879) and The Diary and Letters of Frances Burney (1880).
She is best known for her classic children's novel What Katy Did (1872). The fictional Carr family was modeled after her own, with Katy Carr inspired by Woolsey herself. The brothers and sisters were modeled on her four younger siblings: Jane Andrews Woolsey, born October 25, 1836, who married Reverend Henry Albert Yardley; Elizabeth Dwight Woolsey, born April 24, 1838, who married Daniel Coit Gilman and died in 1910.;Theodora Walton Woolsey, born September 7, 1840; and William Walton Woolsey, born July 18, 1842, who married Catherine Buckingham Convers, daughter of Charles Cleveland Convers.
Sarah Chauncey Woolsey Poems
How The Leaves Came Down
'I'll tell you how the leaves came down,' The great Tree to his children said: 'You're getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown,
What is a home? A guarded space, Wherein a few, unfairly blest, Shall sit together, face to face, And bask and purr and be at rest? Where cushioned walls rise up between Its inmates and the common air, The common pain, and pad and screen From blows of fate or winds of care? Where Art may blossom strong and free, And Pleasure furl her silken wing, And every laden moment be A precious and peculiar thing? And Past and Future, softly veiled In hiding mists, shall float and lie Forgotten half, and unassailed By either hope or memory? While the luxurious Present weaves Her perfumed spells untried, untrue, Broiders her garments, heaps her sheaves, All for the pleasure of a few? Can it be this, the longed-for thing Which wanderers on the restless foam, Unsheltered beggars, birds on wing, Aspire to, dream of, christen ‘Home'? No. Art may bloom, and peace and bliss; Grief may refrain and Death forget; But if there be no more than this, The soul of home is wanting yet. Dim image from far glory caught, Fair type of fairer things to be, The true home rises in our thought, A beacon set for men to see. Its lamps burn freely in the night, Its fire-glows unchidden shed Their cheering and abounding light On homeless folk uncomforted. Each sweet and secret thing within Gives out a fragrance on the air,— A thankful breath, sent forth to win A little smile from others' care. The few, they bask in closer heat; The many catch the further ray. Life higher seems, the world more sweet, And hope and Heaven less far away. So the old miracle anew Is wrought on earth and provéd good, And crumbs apportioned for a few, God-Blessed, suffice a multitude.
How The Leaves Came Down
'I'll tell you how the leaves came down,'
The great Tree to his children said:
'You're getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown,
Yes, very sleepy, little Red.
It is quite time to go to bed.'
'Ah!' begged each silly, pouting leaf,
'Let us a little longer stay;
Dear Father Tree, behold our grief!
'Tis such a very pleasant day,