Did Mary Baker Eddy write it? “They that seek me early shall find me”
Image of “They that seek me early shall find me”
from Mary Baker Eddy’s copybook, undated, A09002.
In the first volume of his trilogy Mary Baker Eddy, biographer Robert Peel noted a sonnet attributed to Mary Baker Eddy (then Mary M. Glover). It was titled “They that seek me early shall find me.”
Peel particularly admired this verse. “If written by Mrs. Glover herself,” he observed, “it is … one of the finest poems she ever wrote, but the authorship is not quite clear.”1
Subsequent research has confirmed that the poem is signed, in Eddy’s hand, and appears to be unique. In other words, it is not a handwritten copy of a poem by another author. Undated, it appears in a copybook that contains material dating from the 1830s through the 1850s.
Here is a transcription of the sonnet:
They that seek me early shall find me
Oh, lovely sight to see the flowers of youth
In all the flush and pride of beauty tending
(Like the young sunflower to the Day God bending)
Push towards the Sun of Righteousness and Truth.
A heart unsullied by the stains of Time,
Unburdened by the sins of many years,
An offering far more meet [?] to God appears-
Than one that hath grown hoar with guilt and crime:
O! deem not that the Holy One and pure,
Loves most the homage of the darkest heart!
Mercy to aged penitents is sure,
For all shall live who from their sins depart:
But fairest of the offerings made to Heaven
Are hearts the purest and the earliest given.2