Purity, a Sarah Josepha Hale Acrostic

In 1837 Sarah Josepha Hale began working as editor of the expanded Godey’s Lady’s Book based in Philadelphia, but insisted she edit from Boston while her youngest son, William, attended Harvard College.

She remained editor at Godey’s for forty years, retiring in 1877 when she was almost 90. During this time, she became one of the most important and influential arbiters of American taste. In its day, Godey’s, with no significant competitors, had an influence unimaginable for any single publication in the 21st century. The magazine is credited with an ability to influence fashions not only for women’s clothes, but also in domestic architecture. Godey’s published house plans that were copied by home builders nationwide.


Sing, my muse, in worthy lays;
A noble theme demands thy praise,
Radiant with love’s brilliant rays
As zephyrs mid spring’s foliage play,
Hallowing the influence of mild May,
Joy and peace around diffusing,
O‘er each spirit lonely musing,
So is thy charming minstrelsy
E‘en as the gentle zephyr free;
Pure as the light of stars of heaven,
Hallowed by power to Truth given,
And calm as is the breath of even:
Hope beckons to a brighter clime,
And Fancy wings her flight sublime
Long may thy gifted muse rehearse
Each grateful theme in glowing verse.

By Robert G. Allison.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Purity, An Acrostic

Purity, An Acrostic

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book, January 1850

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