Catherine Leigh Salt (née Joynes)

Catherine Leigh Joynes (1857–1919) was born on 8 February 1857 at Eton, Buckingham, the fourth child of the Rev. James Leigh Joynes and Elizabeth Johanne Unger. On the 22 December 1879 she married Henry Salt at the Church of St John Evangelists, Eton. Friends knew her as Kate. Like Henry, and her brothers James Leigh and Herman, she had strong humanitarian beliefs and was active in the Socialist and Labour movement. In his My Days and Dreams Edward Carpenter described Kate Salt as “… tall and long-limbed: dark, raven-haired, with large eyes and sensitive, somewhat sad, Dante-like profile… She was intensely emotional, too emotional, but — as such people often are — highly musical; and her literary gift was certainly one of the most remarkable I have known — though unfortunately, except in her letters, rarely utilized. She died on 16 February 1919, Lyme Regis, Dorsetshire.

To C. L. S.
I send thee, love, this upland flower I found,
While wandering lonely with o’erclouded heart,
Hid in a grey recess of rocky ground
Among the misty mountains far apart;
And there I heard the wild wind’s luring sound,
Which whoso trusts, is healed of earthborn care,
And watched the lofty ridges loom around,
Yet yearned in vain their secret faith to share.
When lo! the sudden sunlight, sparkling keen,
Poured full upon the vales the glorious day,
And bared the abiding mountain-tops serene,
And swept the shifting vapour-wreaths away:—
Then with the hills’ true heart my heart beat true,
Heavens opened, cloud-thoughts vanished, and I knew.

Henry Salt, 1879.
Published: On Cambrian and Cumbrian Hills, 1922

 

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