Working draft to Howe’s ‘In the Cologne Cathedral’
Autograph draft of a poem, signed "Julia Ward Howe," two pages (7.75 x 10.25 and 7.75 x 5), no date. The poem, titled "In Cologne Cathedral," reads in full: "I felt the glories of the ancient shrine / Wrap me about with harmonies divine / The childlike faith, the earnest sacrifice, / The inspiration of the truly wise. / Here missing souls for centuries have prayed, / Here hath man's bleeding heart atonement made, / What throngs devout, what aspirations vast / People the dreamy regions of the Past! / But now, the splendors of the later thought / Break on my dream, deliverance dearly bought / By martyr spirits that could waste and burn / With pangs enforced, our liberties to earn. / Above the mass-bell the clear sentence rings, / Above the incense soar the angel's wings / And for the mystic sentence hid in light, / I see uprise the prophet's brow of might / Chiding us human children from our toys, / Meeting our tasks out with unflinching voice / Oh! Holy Past-oh Future, dear to me; / I stand between in God's eternity." There are corrections over several words, indicating that this was a draft of the final poem and not a commemorative copy. In very good condition, with trimming to second page, partial separations along horizontal folds, light toning, a few smudges, wrinkles, and pinholes, and a faint pencil stroke through signature.