14    Mar 20116 comments

140 year old British poem wins title of most romantic love letter

The accolade of the most romantic, undiscovered love letter ever written has been awarded today to the late Charles Baylis Burgess (17 January 1850 - December 8th 1872). Born in Northamptonshire in the UK, Charles penned a heartfelt poem for his beloved wife, Elizabeth Morgan, on August 20th 1872, shortly before dying of tuberculosis (at the tender age of 22). Our love letter competition aimed to celebrate family love and ancestral romances on Valentine’s Day 2011; with one of the UK’s best-selling authors, Wendy Holden (author of Filthy Rich, Beautiful People and Gallery Girl), acting as judge. Ancestral romances, often illustrated in love letters, are a critical point in every family’s history. 

The letter was submitted by his great-great-granddaughter, Paula Green. Over 200 hundred people scoured their attics and family archives to enter this unique competition, and a selection of the best examples that span the centuries can also be read at http://www.myheritage.com/loveletters, while the full transcript of Charles’s romantic effort can be read below.

The letter includes romantic references such as "While on our little babe I gaze, as a fond father ought to do, my heart is filled with inward praise to think that I am loved by you." And "My dear from you I soon must part, and all the friends I love, but joyful thoughts do fill my heart, that we can meet above."

LINES ADDRESSED TO MY WIFE

CHARLES BAYLIS BURGESS

1872

 WHILE GAZING ON MY FEEBLE FRAME,

 MY MIND IS FILLED WITH THOUGHTS OF THEE

 NOT THOUGHTS THAT FILL MY MIND WITH SHAME

 BUT WHAT MY FUTURE LOT WILL BE.

 THOU KNOWEST SOON THAT I MUST DIE,

 THAT YOU MUST PART WITH HIM YOU LOVE;

 AND IN THE TOMB MUST SHORTLY LIE

 THE ONE YOU NOW CALL YOUR DOVE

 WHEN E'ER THAT HAPPY CHANGE DOTH COME

 THAT I'M RELEASED FROM ALL MY PAIN

 I SHALL NOT GRIEVE TO LEAVE THIS HOME

BUT I THINK FOR ME TO DIE IS GAIN.

 FOR IN THIS WORLD THERE IS NOT FOUND

 NOTHING BUT DOUBTS AND TRIALS AND FEARS,

 BUT WHEN I'M LOWERED IN THE GROUND

 YOU'LL SEE IT BUT WITH PAINFULL TEARS.

 MY DARLING WIFE DO NOT REPINE

 THOUGH HARD HATH BEEN OUR EARTHLY LOT,

 LOOK UP TO HIM WHO PROMISED WINE

 FOR THOSE WHO DO, FORSAKE HIM NOT.

 YOUR BREAD AND WATER WILL BE SURE

 AND GOD TO YOU WILL BE A FRIEND,

 THEN WHY MY DEAR LOOK SO DEMURE

 WHILE ON YOUR GOD YOU MAY DEPEND.

 SOMETIMES TO MEMORY, MY LOT SEEMS HARD

 BUT THEN I KNOW IT IS GODS WILL

 THOU KNOWEST MY HAPPINESS IS MARRED

 BY PERSONS WHO DO WISH ME ILL.

 JUST FOURTEEN WEEKS I IN BED

 HAVE BEEN A CONSTANT GUEST,

 AND OH, WHAT THOUGHTS HAVE FILLED MY HEAD

 WHEN I COULD GET NO REST.

 THOU KNOWEST WELL THAT I'M RESIGNED,

 AND GOD HAS PARDONED ALL MY SINS.

 I LOOK TO HIM WHO CURED THE BLIND

 TO HIM WHO LOVES OUR HEART TO WIN.

 TO LEAVE THEE DEAREST, THAT WILL BE MY GRIEF

 WHEN I DO COME TO DIE:

 BUT SOON MY SAVIOUR I SHALL SEE

 AND GOD WHO HEARS THE ORPHANS CRY.

 I KNOW IT'S HARD FOR YOU TO LOOK

 UPON MY FRAME OF BONES;

 WHY HAS MY FLESH, MY BONES FORSOOK,

 AND WHY MY FEEBLE GROANS?

 THOUGH GOD AFFLICTS AND CASTS US DOWN

 WE MUST NOT MOURN OR FRET;

 BUT THINK IN HEAVEN THERE IS A CROWN,

 AND GOD WON'T US FORGET.

 WHILE ON OUR LITTLE BABE I GAZE

 AS A FOND FATHER OUGHT TO DO,

 MY HEART IS FILLED WITH INWARD PRAISE

 TO THINK I AM SO LOVED BY YOU.

 HER PRATTLING WAYS MY SPIRIT CHEER

 WHEN I FEEL WEARY AND DOWNCAST;

 THERE'S NOUGHT BUT TROUBLE FOR US HERE,

 SO ON YOUR GOD YOUR BURDEN CAST.

 MY DARLING WIFE I DO THANK THEE

 AND LOVE YOU WHILE MY BREATH DOTH LAST,

 FOR ALL THE KINDNESS YOU HAVE SHOWN ME

 SINCE ON MY BED I HAVE BEEN CAST.

 LITTLE WE THOUGHT WHEN WE WERE WED

 WHEN ALL WAS BLITHE AND GAY

 THAT GOD WHO OUR BODIES FED,

 WOULD THUS CALL ME AWAY.

 TEACH OUR DEAR CHILD TO LOVE THE LORD

 WHO BLESSES SUCH ONES AS SHE

 TEACH HER TO READ HIS HOLY WORD,

 THEN HAPPY SHE WILL BE.

 MY DEAR FROM YOU I SOON MUST PART,

 AND ALL THE FRIENDS I LOVE,

 BUT JOYFUL THOUGHTS DO FILL MY HEART

 THAT WE CAN MEET ABOVE.

 HOW SWEET FOR US TO KNOW WE MAY

 MEET ALL OUR FRIENDS IN HEAVEN,

 TO KNOW THAT CHRIST, HE IS THE WAY

 BY WHICH FORGIVEN.

AUGUST 20th 1872 

We send thanks all those who took part in this competition and also to Wendy Holden, our competition judge, for her time.  

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Comments (6) Trackbacks (0)
  1. How touching! How much he loves her and what hope he has for their future with our Heavenly Father.
  2. Such wisdom for one so young.
    Wouldn't the world be a better place with people like him in it!!
    We should all encourage our children to read the word of God.
  3. That's True Love! Great poem of its times, true love described in his poem. Its romantic and also very touching, will touch evrey one's heart.
  4. How can I send a short love poem to youy ?
  5. This is a very welcome aspect of Facebook, and makes us truly look at emotions put to pen...well done
  6. really heart touching bought tears in my eyes

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