Frances Sargent Osgood
N 42° 22.216 W 071° 08.727
The poet Frances Sargent Osgood, née Frances Sargent Locke, was one of the most well-known women writers of the mid-19th century. Her grave is located along Orange Path in Mount Auburn Cemetery.
The grave of Frances Sargent Osgood, and her three children, is located within a low fenced-in rectangular area. A 6' tall stone base is topped by a lyre shaped bronze sculpture supporting a bronze wreath that was inspired by her poem "The Hand That Swept the Sounding Lyre". The stone base is inscribed:
FRANCES SARGENT OSGOOD
died May 12, 1850
AEt. 38 yrs. 11 mos.
ELLEN FRANCES OSGOOD
died Aug. 31, 1851
AEt. 15 yrs. 11 mos.
MAY VINCENT OSGOOD
died June 26, 1851
AEt. 11 yrs. 11 mos.
FANNY FAY OSGOOD
died Oct. 25, 1847
AEt. 16 mos.
Frances Sargent Locke married the artist Samuel Stillman Osgood on October 7, 1835. Together they had three children. They moved to England where she published her collection of poems A Wreath of Flowers from New England and The Casket of Fate. She returned to Boston in 1839 and then the family moved to New York City where she sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms "Kate Carol" or "Violet Vane". In 1841 she published The Poetry of Flowers and the Flowers of Poetry in 1845 she began a public relationship with Edgar Allen Poe. Together they published several valentine poems they wrote to one another.
Frances Sargent Osgood reconciled with her husband and they and moved to Philadelphia where she became ill. She died of tuberculosis on May 12, 1850 at the age of aged 38.
Writings of Frances Sargent Osgood include:
THE HAND that swept the sounding lyre
With more than mortal skill,
The lightning eye, the heart of fire,
The fervent lip are still!
No more, in rapture or in woe,
With melody to thrill,
But angel hands shall bring him balm
For every grief he knew,
And Heaven’s soft harps his soul shall calm
With music sweet and true,
And teach to him the holy charm
Of Israfel anew,
Love’s silver lyre he played so well
Lies shattered on his tomb,
But still in air its music-spell
Floats on through light and gloom;
And in the hearts where soft they fell,
His words of beauty bloom
A Wreath of Flowers from New England (collection)
"To My Book"
Elfrida, a dramatic poem in five acts
The Casket of Fate (collection)
"So Let It Be"
"Forgive and Forget"
"The Hand That Swept the Sounding Lyre"
"Little Red Riding-Hood"
"To S. S. Osgood"
"Why Will A Rose-Bud Blow?"
"The Violet's Love"
The Poetry of Flowers and the Flowers of Poetry
The Snowdrop: A New Year Gift for Children
Rose, Sketches in Verse
Puss in Boots
The Marquis of Carabas
Cries in New York