1842–1909

Introduction

Born: Ap­ril 9, 1842, Il­li­nois.

Died: May 16, 1909, Io­wa.

Buried: Wal­nut Hill Ce­me­te­ry, Coun­cil Bluffs, Io­wa.

portrait

Biography

Crofts was the hus­band of Nel­lie Pot­ter.

He served in Com­pa­ny B, 143rd Il­li­nois In­fan­try, dur­ing the Am­er­i­can ci­vil war.

At one time he was pas­tor of the Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church in Bea­trice, Ne­bras­ka.

Publications

Poem

Via Lucis Via Crucis

Beyond a doubt the way of light is by the cross;
The path of glory and of gain is by the loss
Of much we mortals love and seek most firm to hold,
E’en as the miser counts and hides his shining gold.

God knoweth what is best for us; He marks our way
Far up the rugged hill where sweet and dawning day
More quickly comes, and gladdens our enraptured sight.
And darkness dies and all the world is filled with light.

He makes us weary; for the weary there is rest;
He bitter sorrow gives; the eyes that weep are blest;
He plants the piercing thorn: but by the thorn the rose
Puts forth its mossy bud, and then in beauty glows.

He wounds, and yet His gentle hand doth make us whole;
He grieves, and yet His comforts lift the drooping soul
Close to His side until His warm and loving kiss
Makes us forget our woe in ecstasies of bliss.

Out of our seeming ill some good will surely come;
It was a homeless one who sang of Home Sweet Home;
The torn and bruisèd grape sheds forth the purple wine,
And wounds create white pearls beneath the ocean’s brine.

Were there no race to run, no battle fierce to fight,
Were there no pains to rack, no fears, no death, no night,
Then there would be no crown to win, no laurel green
No endless life to gain beyond this transient scene.

Then let us prize it well, this life that God has given.
For if its path be rough, ’tis but the way to heaven;
Amid its sorest trials may each one learn to know
That from its seeming ills our choicest blessings flow.

George W. Crofts
Golden Rod, 1889

Sources

Lyrics