Born: De­cem­ber 16, 1838, Rome, Ohio.

Died: Oc­to­ber 12, 1920, Io­wa.

Buried: Rose Hill Ce­me­te­ry, Mount Ayr, Io­wa.


Helen was the daugh­ter of Hen­ry and So­phia (or Ser­vi­ah) Brown, and wife of George Wash­ing­ton Rains.

A po­et and jour­nal­ist, she con­tribut­ed to Pe­ter­son’s Ma­ga­zine, the Cin­cin­na­ti Week­ly, the La­dies Re­po­si­to­ry, and the Chris­tian Stan­dard.

She was liv­ing in Mount Ayr, Io­wa, by 1870.



Tho’ gone the charm that rendered days so fair
And night a marvel of bewitching grace,
A hunting spirit still controls the air,
And weaves its festoons in November’s face.
From tree to tree the golden links prevail,
And swing their leafy pendants in mid-air,
While scattering flocks with one incessant tale,
Bemoan the fates that make their feasts so rare.

Soft, filmy lace upon the shrubs abound,
Upheld to catch the early morning mist.
So fine a texture cannot well be found
Whose braided gems the first sun-rays have kissed.
So still the day, so free from sound of strife,
I hear within the vale the ripples flow
Like low pulse-beats measuring out a life,
Anigh its close, so soft they come and go.

The leaves with varied-color hue
Drift lazily about us here and there
Like skiffs without an anchorage in view.
Some hidden fairy launched on the air,
It seems to me the year has dropped asleep
Within the arms of plenty, crowned with days
Of endless speech whose open records keep
The stamp of Him to whom be all the praise.

Helen A. Brown Rains
In Poets and Poetry of Iowa, by
Thomas William Herringshaw, 1894