Although she died more than 120 years ago, celebrated Mormon poet Eliza R. Snow continues to capture the heart of Mormon believers. Born in Massachusetts in 1805, she joined the church in 1835 and moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Eliza was devoted to the gospel and used her literary talent to teach, testify and record important events. The poems reproduced here are from her first published book, Poems: Religious, Political, Historical, printed in 1856.View all articles by Eliza R. Snow
O tell me not of ease or fame,
Or all that mammon's votries claim;
I know their paultry worth:
But let me hear the voice of home,
Whether a palace, hut, or dome—
There’s naught so dear on earth.
Talk not to me of splendid halls,
Of sumptuous feasts where folly calls
For fashion’s ample fee:
But talk of home’s most scanty treat,
Where love and pure affection meet
In plain simplicity.
Talk not of princely crowns to me,
Or proud imperial dignity,
replete with tedious care:
But talk of home’s unblazon’d things,
Where virtue smiles and wisdom sings
Sweet sonnets rich and fair.
O, yes, describe that parlor fire
Where often sat my aged sire,
And mother by his side;
My brothers, full of native glee,
My loving sisters, coy and free
From ostentatious pride.
Such bonny scenes I value high;
coxcombs and belles may pass them by
As things of no repute;
But these are what I love to hear—
‘Tis sweeter music to my ear
Than Tasso’s melting lute.
Home, charming sound unknown to fame—
Has more kind feelings in the name,
Than all the studied lore
That stoic brains have ever thought,
Or stoic genius ever taught
To all the world before.
But yet, the home, the heavenly prize,
Which far beyond this scenery lies,
Is the rich boon I crave;
And though in exile here I roam,
My heart is fix’d—I have a home,
Secure, beyond the grave.