Preface (3)

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Page 19
Selected by Your Affectionate ____
The Bloom of Age.
A good woman never grows
old. Years may pass over her head but if ben–
evolence and virtue dwell in her heart she is
as cheerful as when the spring of life first
opened upon her view. When we look upon a
good woman we never think of her age. She
looks as charming as when the rose of Youth
bloomed on her cheek. That rose has not faded
Yet it will never fade. In her family she is
the life and delight. In her neighborhood
she is the friend and benefactor. In the Church
the devout worshipper and the exemplary Christian.
Who does not respect and love the woman who has
passed her days in acts of kindness and mercy,
who has been the friend of man and God, whose
whole life has been a scene of kindness and love a
devotion to truth and religion? We repeat, such
a woman cannot grow old. She will always be
fresh and beautiful in spirits and active in humble
deeds of mercy and benevolence. If the young lady
wishes to retain the bloom and beauty of youth let her love
truth and virtue and to the close of life she will retain the–
se feelings which now make life appear a garden of sweets. Ever
fresh and new.

This unsigned entry is a rendition of a poem that appeared in variations in numerous antebellum newspapers and journals. The reason the author chose this poem is unclear. Was it written to an older woman intended to bolster her esteem or to a younger woman assuring her of her future? Without a date for the entry, we can only speculate as to Amy Cassey’s age when this was written. Regardless of the motive, the message of the poem is rather equivocal. It does not directly condemn aging, but by insisting that good women do not age, it implies that bad woman do, and by consequence associates aging with negative connotations. It also suggests that only the highest standards of ‘goodness’ are the way a woman can counterbalance the loss of her youthful beauty.

Page 19: Selected from a fugitive poem, which was printed in many places, one of which was The Sailor’s Magazine and Naval Journal (New York: American Seamen’s Friend Society).

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