I CANNOT COUNT MY LIFE A LOSS
I cannot count my life a loss,
With all its length of evil days.
I hold them only as the dross
About its gold, whose worth outweighs:
For each and all I give Him praise.
For, drawing nearer to the brink
That leadeth down to final rest,
I see with clearer eyes, I think,
And much that vexed me and oppressed,
Have learned was right, and just, and best.
So though I may but dimly guess
Its far intent, this gift of His
I honor; nor would know the less
One sorrow, or in pain or bliss
Have other than it was and is.
- Ina Coolbrith
"Ina Coolbrith was born Josephine Anna Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, the last of three daughters of Agnes Moulton Coolbrith and Don Carlos Smith, brother to Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. Coolbrith's father died of malarial fever four months after her birth... Coolbrith's mother then married Joseph Smith, Jr., in 1842, becoming his sixth or seventh wife... In June 1844, Smith was killed at the hands of and anti-Mormon, anti-polygamist mob. Losing her faith and fearful of her life, Coolbrith's mother left the Latter-day Saint community and moved to Saint Lous, Missouri, where she married a printer and lawyer named William Pickett... In 1851 Pickett traveled overland with his new family to California in a wagon train. On the long trek, Coolbrith read from a book of Shakespeare's works and from a collection of Byron's poems." - Wikipedia
Ina socialized with Alfred Lord Tennyson, John Muir, and Ambrose Bierce to name a few, later becoming "frienamies" to all of them. She mentored a young Jack London while working as a librarian. She led a fascinating life. Read more about her here.