Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Holy Affection and Undying Love

Holy Affection and Undying Love

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 13, 2011

Holy Affection and Undying Love

By Vilate Kimball
(to her husband, Heber C. Kimball, at Winter Quarters)

No being round the spacious earth
Beneath the vaulted star of heaven,
Divides my love or draws it thence,
From him to whom my heart is given.

Like the frail ivy to the oak,
Drawn closer, by the tempest riven,
Through sorrow’s flood he’ll bear me up
And light with smiles my way to heaven.

The light was on the altar laid;
The plighted vow on earth was given;
The seal eternal has been made,
And by his side I’ll reign in heaven.

(17 January 1847)



  1. Thanks for sharing the date and location of the poem’s composition. Checking the dates, it appears that Vilate Kimball wrote this piece just two weeks before she gave birth to their ninth (ninth!) child. That it was written in mid-winter, and in Winter Quarters, also provides this poem with even more meaning.

    But I have to say, with complete respect, what boggles my mind even more than that, is how she, as Heber’s first wife, writes that “no being” — not even one of his several plural wives — divides her love. I say that because, as the first wife in a plural marriage, I would expect a bit more stiff-lipped rhetoric defending “the principle.” Instead, the allusion to “[t]he seal eternal” is in the context of an expression of love for her husband.

    But I’m curious to see others’ reactions to this poem.

    Still shaking my head . . . wow.

    Comment by David Y. — December 13, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  2. David, I somehow missed this comment when it was posted. Great observations, and a nice bit of putting the poem in historical context. Thanks.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 16, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

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