Rev. George S. Delano

Poetry can reveal personal histories, providing much about authors and their lives, and at times, events surrounding certain poems and recipient(s). These intriguing histories often involve searching family genealogies, tracing places of residence, dates of birth and death.

One noteworthy Maine-poet books (in my modest collection) is signed first edition by Rev. George Stutson Delano, Sasanoa and the Wool Witch, published in 1911. According to January, 1928 issue of “Maine Library Bulletin,” “Sasanoa” was an Indian Princess; Wool Witch, prophetess, seer and priestess; Arrowsic, the young Indian, was the Wool Witch’s visible power among the Indians.”

According to on-line search, Delano was born 1851 in Lincoln, Maine and pastor by vocation. He was a long-time resident of Medford, Maine, involved in library collections, historical societies, genealogy, and heraldry.  Delano describes his relationship with Maine in the dedication of his “Sasanoa” book:

Maine! The home of my fathers since 1785: Maine the land of forests and mountains, of big rivers, of mighty cascades: The home of a race of Men and Women whose characters have woven into the Nation for its strength and upbuilding; to Maine I dedicate my work.

On inside cover of Sasanoa, Delano wrote an inscription for or about Mrs. A. B. Leighton of Lubec, Maine:

Inscription inside front cover.

Inside Front Cover
When this writer was, like the man who journeyed from Jerusalem to Jericho, is sore need of friends, Mrs. A. B. Leighton of Lebec Maine, came into his life with all the wealth of true Christianity, and brought to him new hope, new strength, new joy. Geo. S. Delano Lebec, ME, July 1911.

Underlined word(s) indicate that I was not able to read the distinctive handwriting of Rev. Delano. If you can decipher these entries, particularly his handwritten poem, please let me know. (See photos.)

An original handwritten poem was found in the back of the “Sasanoa” book. (See photos.)  Upper half of “City of the Clouds” poem, written for Mrs. A. B. Leighton, June 30, 1911 Geo S. Delano:

Upper half of “City of the Clouds” poem.

I spent a summer afternoon,
In the City of the Clouds;
I had laid dead hopes away,
Quiet and silent in their shrouds:
When I heard the harpers play
In the City of the Clouds.
Golden skies of Endless June
Roofed the City of the Clouds;
Underneath the past’s black pall
Lay my dead hopes in their shrouds,
Silent and forgot by all,
In the City of the Clouds.

Lower half of “City of Clouds” poem.

Lower half of “City of Clouds” poem:
How they pressed me by the hand,
In the City of the Clouds;
How they kissed my lips and brow,
As those used who sleep in shrouds
How they pledged me with a vow
In this City of the Clouds.
Suddenly the air grew black,
Round the City of the Clouds.
As I looked each guest grew pale
Like the dead who lay in shrouds.
Lightning-pierced, it fell to mist,
All my City of the Clouds.
But my city gleaming there
In the Circle of the Lord;
Gates which opened wide to prayer,
Wall sure-builded on God’s word;
Where my Soul with Him finds rest
In the home by Jesus blest.

This poem may have been written on death of Mr. (or Mrs.) Albert Burford Leighton, who was born March 16, 1875 in Massachusetts and was a resident of Lubec, Maine.  Here, on-line research came to an end; however, it provided insight about this intriguing Maine poet and his writing. Delano’s “Sasanoa” book of poetry is available as a modern-day reprint from Amazon. 

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