letter excerpt The Dix Family Archive
The Sullivans
ChronologyOld Letters


Chronology: 1778 to 1952

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That Anne Sullivan must have been a very sweet child endeared to all her friends, held in high esteem by the Ursuline Nuns and seemingly a soul predestined for heaven is apparent from the tribute to her by her classmates, copy of which is as follows:

On the Death of One of Our Companions
Requiem of the Departed One

The soft wind fanned her gentle brow,
And breathed among the veil's soft fall,
The Nuns' sweet chapel chants were low,
And the light rays shone o'er all
Enveloped in a robe like snow,
And kneeling near the altar stones,
A crown of roses on her brow,
Our lost one's features shone.
I saw her there, Oh! fair young heart,
I thought not, then, so soon to part,
With thee, our sainted one.

Again I saw that marble brow,
But oh! convulsed with suffering now,
A sudden joy had thrilled,
The long lost mother, whom she thought
Deep in her grave, but not forgot,
Was midst the living still.
The deep, the sudden, thrilling joy,
More than her slender life could bear,
Oh! sooner joy can life destroy,
Than might of grief, than deep despair.

Once more, I saw that smiling face,
So peaceful, still and white,
Death could take life, but not erase
Those features living light.
The taper light shone soft and clear,
Upon her sainted brow,
I knelt to pray beside her bier,
But cannot mourn her now.
Again the rose wreath on her head,
Again there fell that veil's soft fall,
Again that robe, but on the dead,
Again shone the light, but o'er the pall.

Our angel was indeed a spirit,
Upon the bier she lay,
She fled from earth, but to inherit,
The land of everlasting day.
They told when the eve drew nigh,
"Thou wilt not die, life will be given,"
"Oh! no," she cried, "I want to die,
I want to go to Heaven!"
God heard that prayer, she hath gained the eternal goal,
Loosed is the silver cord, broken the golden bowl.

Oh! Mother, where are all thy hopes of joy?
Where are those love bright dreams?
The past hath borne them to destroy,
And drown them in Phlegethon's streams,
Oh, Mother, what is now thy heart?
What is thy life to thee?
God willed it thus, Oh! bear thy part,
For thy angel's spirit is free!
Yes, free to soar in eternal flight,
Free, to scorn this sod,
Free, to live in eternal light,
Free, to worship God!

Oh! Mother, 'ere you met ye parted,
Never, never on earth,
Shall see that mother brokenhearted,
The child of her love and mirth.
To part, 'ere ye have met,
To weep, 'ere ye have smiled,
To lose, when life seems brightest yet
To mourn, an unknown child.

Oh! sunshine, beam in deeper cast,
Oh! shadows, shade your eyes,
Oh! tears withheld, now fall ye fast,
Bruised heart, Oh! seek the skies,
That grief, should touch thee in thy joy,
That Death, should steal thy new found one,
Oh! raise thy heart where all is joy,
And weep, God's Will be Done!

From one of Annie's friends

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Copyright 2002 Gabriel Brooke, (website). Transcription and editing: John Thomas, (website). Design and production: Marc Kundmann, (website).