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  1. Louisa May

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Louisa May

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Louisa May
Just five months before he would give his Consecration Day address, Joseph Story lost his beautiful daughter, Louisa May, age 10, to scarlet fever. He had lost seven children previous to her, and of his ten children, only two survived to adulthood. It was clear that this man was well acquainted with tragedy and grief. I couldn’t help but wonder what he must have been feeling on that September day in 1831, as he spoke those beautiful words in Consecration Dell.

I knew right away that this was a story I wanted to tell. It contained all of the elements I intended to investigate. Loss, grief, hope, faith, and undying love. Through Joseph Story’s own writings, and the accounts given by his son, William, I was able to gain glimpses into some of what Joseph was feeling and thinking during those months following Louisa May’s passing, and leading up to Consecration Day. I worked hard to stay true to those accounts, and only extrapolate in ways that felt honest and realistic.

The bridge of Louisa May, which begins, “Farewell, farewell, my darling child...”, is inspired by a beautiful and heartbreaking poem written by Joseph Story after Louisa May’s death. The full text of the poem appears in, “Life and Letters of Joseph Story”, Volume 2, by William W. Story.

Lyrics

Louisa May
Music and Lyrics: T.Thibaud

Louisa May, are you with me today
I was sure I felt your hand in mine
You were a rose yet to bloom, taken too soon
And left me a prisoner of time
Louisa May, give me a sign

There’s a void in my heart where your laughter would play
You would dance through this house and I’d be carried away
By the song of your voice; your grace and your light
Oh, what I would give for them now

Louisa May, are you with me today
I was sure I felt your hand in mine
You were a rose yet to bloom, taken too soon
And left me a prisoner of time
Louisa May, give me a sign

There are ways that a man might turn from his grief
I have done what I can, but found little relief
In the hands of my God, I stand on my faith
And pray that I’ll see you again

Louisa May, are you with me today
I was sure I felt your hand in mine
You were a rose yet to bloom, taken too soon
And left me a prisoner of time
Louisa May, give me a sign

Farewell, farewell my darling child
Farewell, farewell to thee
How blessed was I to dream a while
In the light thou shone on me

Yesterday’s rain has finally passed
The sky is as blue as the church’s stained glass
I stand in the Dell with these words in my heart
Waiting to give them away

Louisa May, are you with me today
I was sure I felt your hand in mine
You were a rose yet to bloom, taken too soon
And left me a prisoner of time
Louisa May, give me a sign
Louisa May, give me a sign