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Another Yule Blog from the Mather Bookshelf

The Poems of Fanny deGroot Hastings

Whoever takes the Christmas Star

To be his chosen guide

Shall come where Heaven’s treasures are

And in content abide.

Christmas is not a day apart

But innocence and love refound;

And these when nourished in the heart

Remain the year around.

This was Fanny deGroot Hastings’ Christmas 1964 poem. In the Homestead are eight cards from the years 1955, 57, 58, 60-64. On the back of the 1963 card, Fanny penned a note to Bertha thanking her for a letter complimenting a recently published poem.

Fanny deGroot Hastings was born in 1893 and died in 1968 in New Canaan. Fanny’s grandfather, Thomas Samuel Hastings, served as President of Union Theological Seminary in New York. His wife was Fanny deGroot. Thomas S. Hastings’ father, also Thomas, was the composer of hymn Rock of Ages.

Fanny published at least two books of poetry which can be found in the Homestead.

On the flyleaf of One Stone Unturned, Fanny inscribed: “For Bertha McPherson in loving appreciation of her friendship. Fanny deGroot Hastings April 12th, 1955”

The other slender volume, published in 1954, was Christmas Poems

By Fanny deGroot Hastings. From that volume…


They took the fodder from the manger

To cradle there an infant stranger.

The hungry ox, the patient ewe

Greatly wondered and little knew

That he who all unheeding lay

In place of straw, in place of hay,

Had food to feed the world and all

His Father’s creatures, great and small.

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