February 19, 1865, England.
June 24, 1916.
Clinton Grove Cemetery, Malcolm County, Michigan.
Within sight of the town where John Bunyan, in the solitude of his prison cell,dreamedThe Pilgrim’s Progress,Miriam E. Arnold was born about 200 years after that wonderful allegory was written, of which it is said no book, except the Bible, has gone through as many editions.
At five years of age she, with her parents, came to America, and settled at Mount Clemens, [Michigan], where she yet resides. Her parents were deeply religious, bible students and lovers of the old church hymns. The Sabbath meant, to them, a holy day, a day of rest, worship and meditation, and when the evening came, the family always assembled for prayer, bible reading and songs. Christmas, the Heavenly Babe, Mary, the oxen, the shepherds, the sleeping flocks, the angel, themultitude of the heavenly host,all seemed wonderfully real to the imaginative mind of the child, and made impressions never to be erased. She has read the bible through many times, and has recited whole chapters from memory. Converted at 15 years of age, she is a consistent member of the [Methodist Episcopal] church. Her first poem was published in 1895, and has been succeeded by probably 100 others, almost all of which have been set to music and found their way into different song books.
The works of some authors seem to be caught up by the hand of peculiar circumstances and carried into view of the world, while those of other writers, equally as clever and commendable, fail to receive, through some irreconcilable destiny, due consideration. Many an author has lived, labored, hoped, wrought and died without recognition or honor, and the flowers that should have been his in life are laid on his grave to wither unappreciated, yet there is a secret charm, an inexpressible joy, a subtile infatuation in the work of the true poet, composer or litterateur that dispossesses the sting of withheld comfort, pleasure, riches, honor, or fame.
The Singers and Their Songs, 1916