Love’s Garden

Isabella was an avid reader, and often read aloud to her family. She enjoyed biographies, histories, and fiction; but she particularly enjoyed reading poetry. In fact, her husband Ross and her son Raymond were both published poets.

Isabella often shared poems she enjoyed with readers of The Pansy magazine. In an 1893 issue she printed this lovely poem:

Love’s Garden

There is a quiet garden
From the rude world set apart,
Where seeds for Christ are growing;
This is the loving heart.
The tiny roots are loving thoughts,
Sweet words, the fragrant flowers
Which blossom into loving deeds—
Ripe fruit for harvest hours.
Thus in our hearts the seeds of love
Are growing, year by year;
And we show our love for the Saviour,
By loving his children here.

Author Unknown

Hello, April!

Few people know that Isabella’s husband, the Reverend G. R. Alden, was an accomplished poet. He wrote several poems for The Pansy magazine, including this one that celebrates the coming of spring:

April

O, Spring is coming now, don’t you see?

The birds will be followed by the humble bee.

The frogs are singing their evening song,

The lambs are skipping with their dams along,

The buds are out on the pussy-willow tree,

On the bough of the birch sings the chickadee.

Drawing of a little girl and boy barefoot, standing on the bank of a pond. He is fishing while she watches.

The cows come lowing along the lane,

With suppers all ready for us again;

Old Speckle scratches for her chickens ten,

New piggies are squealing in their pen.

Drawing of a birth feeding her chicks in their nest.

From the top of the tree the robin calls,

From the top of the dam the water falls,

And everything to the eye or ear,

Tells to old and young that April is here.

G. R. Alden

Welcome, April!

Isabella was surrounded by writers. Her sister, niece, son, and friends all wrote stories, articles and lessons for publication.

Her husband, the Reverend Gustavus Rossenberg Alden—“Ross” for short—was no exception. In addition to writing his Sunday sermons, he wrote many short stories for The Pansy magazine, authored a memoir of stories about his boyhood while growing up in Maine, and (with his brother-in-law Charles Livingston) wrote a series of weekly Bible study lessons.

Ross was also an accomplished poet. He created lovely rhymes about a wide variety of subjects.

Here’s Ross’s poem “April” to help us welcome a new month:

APRIL

O Spring is coming now, don’t you see?
The birds will be followed by the humble bee.

The frogs are singing their evening song,
The lambs are skipping with their dams along,

The buds are out on the pussy-willow tree,
On the bough of the birch sings the chickadee.

The cows come lowing along the lane,
With suppers all ready for us again.

Old Speckle scratches for her chickens ten,
New piggies are squealing in their pen,
From the top of the tree the robin calls,
From the top of the dam the water falls,
And everything to the eye or ear,
Tells to old and young that April is here.