1890 · Shepherdstown, WV
The range of poetry and prose included in this gathering reflect both Dandridge's pursuit of and struggle to gain peace. Her published and unpublished works reveal a woman identifying and embracing disability as part of her personhood, and they show her process of locating and clinging to beauty where she can find it physically and spiritually.
Night. 3 page Autograph Manuscript Signed by Dandridge on first and last pages. Shepherdstown, N.D.
Unpublished poem. A working copy, Dandridge makes small edits and larger revisions throughout. While some marks add punctuation, at other times she changes words or cuts stanzas in ways that change rhythm or tone. Here, she turns to Night and the stars to find "all the meaning of man's woe" because these ancient components of nature heard "his earliest wail." The poet knows that she should find truth in scripture; nevertheless, she finds tranquility and wishes to remain "brooding o'er earth's slumber...in a gentle, child-like mood, holding sweet converse with thee, Night." By the poem's end, God and his chorus make an appearance. Though this triumphant arrival promises joy, both the poet and the reader lose the intimacy and secret-sharing existent in the previous lines.
A Lament to Sidney Lanier. 3 page Autograph Manuscript Unsigned. N.P., N.D.
Poem later published in her volume Rose Brake Poems (New York: Putnam, 1890), but revised and expanded by one stanza. Dandridge mourns the loss of contemporary Southern poet Sidney Lanier, who was "most noted for his experimental musical renderings of Georgia's fields, rivers, and shores" (Georgia Encyclopedia). The manuscript contains 4 stanzas, plus an additional jotting to the final page (potentially an idea for a new and unrelated poem).
Bird Song and Other Poems by Danske Dandridge. Being the Recreations of an Invalid. 4 page Autograph Manuscript Signed by Dandridge on the front page. N.P., N.D.
Handwritten title page and table of contents for an unpublished collection of poetry. Potential titles focus on nature and natural occurrences, such as the shift in seasons, putting this in line with her oeuvre.
Arise, Shine, For Thy Light is Come. 3 page Autograph Manuscript Signed by Dandridge on the front page. Shepherdstown, N.D.
Unpublished prose essay, with language and rhythm that connects to her lyric style and voice. A religious meditation, it both praises the grace and light that God provides as well as recognizing the individual struggle in "the work of cleansing, renovating, purifying" the self. "The windows of the soul must be washed in holiness e'er the lights that is within can be seen of men."
Long Suffering. In The Invalid's Visitor (VI; 6) Williamson, NY, June 1888. 83-84. Published essay unsigned.
Original printed wraps stapled at spine. Overall soiled and chipped, with handwritten notation to upper front wrap. Closed tear to final leaf with no loss to text; some paper loss to rear wrap affecting a few words of advertisements. OCLC reports no institutional copies of this 1888 issue. It is logical for Dandridge to appear in a publication designed to bring comfort and companionship to people with illness or disabilities, who may be confined to home and desirous of intellectual or emotional engagement. A member of this community herself, she contributes a two-page essay dedicated to her "Dear Invalid Friends. (Inventory #: 4634)