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[p. 55]

Story of Songs from the Medford Woods.

by Maria W. Wait.
AS many of Medford's old-time landmarks and people have interested its citizens of today, it seems as though another memory may well hold our attention, and we may be glad to listen to this lay of Medford woodlands, ‘Jack-in-the-pulpit.’

These enchanting verses of nature's beauty were written by one of our own townspeople, Caroline Smith, a daughter of Horatio Austin and Elizabeth (Learoyd) Smith, who was born November 12, 1840, at Symmes' Corner, Winchester, said corner at that time being a part of Medford. Always a quiet and thoughtful girl, it was not surprising that some of her thoughts should seek expression even at sixteen years, at which age this poem was written.

The verses were read one day by a friend, Mrs. E. P. Marvin, the wife of the Orthodox minister in Medford, who asked the privilege of showing them to her husband. He also admired them, and after some persuasion Miss Smith allowed him to publish the poem anonymously in the Boston Recorder. This was in 1856. Later they were printed in Gleason's Monthly Companion, a magazine published during the years between 1850 and the ‘60s. As Carrie Smith was very retiring in nature, the poem appeared always without her signature.

Other papers copied the verses, and the poem became almost a household friend.

Some years after, the poem, greatly changed, appeared in the little volume named ‘Child Life,’ edited by the poet, John G. Whittier. Friends immediately recognized it, however, as the thoughts of ‘CarrieSmith, as she was familiarly known, and wrote Whittier concerning it. Some correspondence followed, and the poet wrote Miss Smith, saying the poem had been sent in manuscript form to him by a friend, and at the end of the letter presented this respects and assurances of regret in not having

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