May 15, 1865, Goffstown, New Hampshire.

July, 1916, Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Shirley Hill Cemetery, Goffstown, New Hampshire.


Moses’ parents were William & Margarett Ann Shirley.

Mr. Shirley is very proud of the fact that he was born and lived in the house built by a soldier of the [American] Revolution—John Dinsmore. Probably it is the oldest and only house in town that has always been owned and occupied by one family. Mr. Shirley is the fourth generation of his family to occupy it.

John Dinsmore was one of the first settlers in [Goffstown]. He gave the homestead to Mr. Shirley’s grandfather, who in turn gave it to his son, the father of the subject of this sketch, who now occupies it.

The poet is also proud of the fact that he is a descendant of Lieutenant William Shirley, who served on General John Stark’s staff at the battle of Bunker Hill, [Boston, Mas­sa­chu­setts] and throughout the stormy days of the Revolution. Like his illustrious ancestor the poems of Moses Gage Shirley breathe the spirit of truth, justice, and righteousness, combined with a sweet beauty of rhyme and rhythm. They are all on high moral ground and appeal to better living and a more exalted life.

Charles H. Gab­ri­el
The Singers and Their Songs, 1916

  1. When I Shall Fall Asleep