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The engraving shown on the previous page was taken from a book called "Montgomery - Illustrated." It was written and published by George Routledge & Sons, New York ca.1870. The picture appeared on page 208 and is a representation of his poem titled "The Grave." This picture, and the poem too, make a good contrast because Fenerty was inspired by the works of James Montgomery (1771 - 1854).

The Sentinel Rose was probably written just after the death of Frederick Fenerty on May 2, 1879. The poem is about a rose that watches over a child’s grave. Frederick Fenerty was four months old when he died. He was Charles Fenerty’s grandnephew. The poem starts off:

Bright little flower of loveliest bloom
O’er this small grave thy vigil keeping,
Sweet be thy lustre and perfume
For here an innocent lies sleeping!

By conveying the importance of the flower and its task, Fenerty invokes the emotions we feel for the loss of a child. The flower is a survivalist; it lies dormant and endures the icy gale of winter, then with spring it blossoms again. The flower becomes the perfect guardian, and a renewed hope:

Yet still in many a future year,
Unscathed by time – oh mayest thou bloom –
Lo, glad the heart that placed thee here,
The guardian of her infant’s tomb!

  Download poem - click here (PDF)