Mary E. Smith, wife of Hon. J.J. Monell, of Newburgh. She represented in large degree the beauty and genius of her mother, Mary Ann Wolcott Goodrich Smith. Her early death removed a star from a brilliant, social constellation. No portrait has ever done justice to those large, dark eyes of velvet softness which led captive friends and strangers. Her poetic gift was most delicate, and responded whenever her taste was pleased, or her heart touched. In the widely circulated volume called "The Changed Cross," I find an anonymous waif, which I recognize as written by her son on the death of her aunt, Mrs. A.G. Whittlesey. I give it, not as her best, but as her last, having been written a short time before her own death:
Gone home! Gone home! She lingers here no longer
A restless pilgrim, walking painfully,
With home-sick longing, daily growing stronger,
And yearning visions of the joys to be.
Gone home! Gone home! Her earnest active spirit,
Her very playfulness, her heart of love!
The heavenly mansion now she doth inherit,
Which Christ made ready ere she went above.
Gone home! Gone home! The door through which she vanished
Closed with a jar, and left us here alone,
We stand without, in tears, forlorn and banished,
Longing to follow where one loved has gone.
Gone home! Gone home! Oh! shall we ever reach her,
See her again, and know her for our own?
Will she conduct us to the heavenly Teacher,
And bow beside us low before His throne?
Gone home! Gone home! O human hearted Saviour!
Give us a balm to soothe our heavenly woe;
And if thou wilt, in tender, pitying favor,
Hasten the time when we may rise and go!
The tributes of song that begin and will conclude our programme to-day, are my best testimony that our harp neither moulders nor is muffled, but when daughters of Ely strike its strings it still vibrates as sweetly as in other generations. Can we believe that all these shining ones owe nothing to ancestral inheritance?
Forty years after Col. Ely's death, Congress allowed to his heirs (when they no longer needed it) five thousand dollars, in faint recognition of his services and losses.
I would that such tardy and inadequate justice had been declined, or that with it, some enduring monument had been erected to his memory.
Perhaps the time will come when, either on this spot where he was born, or at Fort Trumbull where he commanded, or at Long Island where he was a prisoner, or at Westport where he lies buried, there shall rise a shaft on whose granite sides shall be graven the romance of this chivalrous life.
Here, to-day, after the lapse of seventy-eight years, his kindred, collateral and descendant, all the members of this re-union
And gather up his ashes
To place in History's Golden Urn."
[History of the Ely re-union, held at Lyme, Conn., July 10th, 1878. Salem, Mass. : Higginson Book Co., reprint, pg. 59-64]