Transcription Tuesday X: Happiness

Ariana Malthaner

Although we will be continuing with the copied poems from Isabella Woods’ autograph book, this week we will be looking at an original piece from the autograph book of Jennie (sometimes Jeanie) Dyke.

This piece is marked as original, which is somewhat unusual for these books, as authorship is not often indicated – with the exception of Isabella who fairly consistently gave proper attribution.

This particular piece is written in a large, loping script and for the most part does not contain many markers that would otherwise give away its originality. There is only the slight, last-minute insertion of the word “some” in the final line, and an inserted ‘ah’ at the beginning of a few lines earlier, though on its own this could be attributed to misremembering the line.

Although every line begins with a capital, which at first glance would appear to indicate this is a poem, there is no discernible metrics or rhymes. While it is possible this is intended as a free-style poem, the lack of rhythm to the words themselves makes that suggestion somewhat unfavourable. This is better read as a piece of prose.

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Happiness (Original)

Ah whither in the round of time

Whither shall I find thee, Earth and

Her ten thousand beating hearts resolved

Her stead round. And setting moons and

Rising Suns with myriad more of twinkling

World echo whither oh whither shall we

Find thee. Virtue alone is happiness say

Some while childhood sees it but in

Youth. And youth in manhood riper

Years. And riper years beholds it in

The still of repose of hoary age and long

To wander there. On distance shores far on

The sea. In memory still how near how dear

I know her well a tender child loved by a

Mother loved by all who knew, who dreamed

Ah dreamed that happiness was not in

Childhood messy sports was not in youth

Ah Still day of glee nor other else beneath

The sun. Save the daily sound of

Kitchen duty and please the

Shifting taste of some fastidious creations

Aloud.