Love, Discovered

January 10, 2014 | By | Comments (15)

0214-editors-letter-xRecently, while i was cleaning out a cupboard, I found a mysterious (and badly tarnished) silver tray. Polishing it, I discovered that the surface was engraved with a love poem, and it was signed and dated 1884. Mine is a house that seems to be a magnet for objects like these, left behind by relatives of relatives who have long since left us. So I was not terribly surprised to come across it, but I was curious.

With a soft cloth, I carefully began to uncover the beautifully scripted words. At first they were hard to read, but then the words began to shyly show themselves: “My heart has found a treasure / as priceless as ’tis rare / May I tell you then with pleasure / it has no rival there …”

I do not know the object of the writer’s affections, but his sincerity could not be doubted. Four lines later, my cleaning efforts revealed a riddle. The poem ended: “Right loyally I love this treasure / of course it has a name / You will find it partly written / on every line quite plain.” This gave me pause, but I reviewed the words and letters without much success.

I haven’t managed to decode the mystery woman’s name yet, but I love the time and attention that went into creating this very unique and personalized note, which has now lasted close to 150 years. What a perfect Valentine’s Day message! It made me feel rather sentimental.

Can you solve the mystery? Here is the poem in its entirety:

My heart has found a treasure
As priceless as tis rare
May I tell you then with pleasure
It has no rival there
Each day was quite ambitious
Planting seed that soon took root
Enough of whose ripened riches
Reveal to me the truth
Right loyally I love this treasure of course it has a name
You will find it partly written on every line quite plain


  1. Ellen Zamorano

    Regarding the poem mystery. What a special find.
    Although, not as romantic, it may not be a person, as “it has a name” is referenced in the second to last line. All but one line has the word “tea” in it. The 7th line has the word “sucrose” in it.
    The mystery could be “tea and sugar”. It is a tea tray afterall….


    Ellen Zamorano
    Seagrove Beach, Florida

    January 11, 2014 at 7:27 am
  2. Mary Jo Pedicone Tolliver

    Mamie Perry? First letter in each line.

    January 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm
  3. Deb Grosner

    First letter of each line spells out Mamie Perry…

    January 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm
  4. Becky Knight

    “Right loyally I love this treasure, Of course it has a name, will find it partly written” To me that means for example Jen+Jennifer or Samuel=Sam. Every line actually has the letters
    E A R T. My guess the name is Art. I would check if you have some one in the family line with the name Arthur.

    January 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm
  5. Valjean Merkel

    Mary Jo and Deb are correct: Mamie Perry.

    January 11, 2014 at 11:39 pm
  6. Glenn Goltz

    I think this poem is talking about God. “…partly written on every line quite plain” means to me that God is in everything. For instance, God lives in our heart if we let Him, He’s priceless and rare and there is no rival for Him; He provides for us much pleasure. Each day being ambitious to find Him and He plants seeds in our heart to root and grow in HIm. He is Truth and when you love God, you find treasure in Him. See, God is written quite plain in every line.

    January 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm
  7. somersjoy

    Looks like Mamie Perry ‘ s husband was associated with the silver screen. Bernstein Studios. That silver tray might really be worth something monetarily as well as sentiment.

    January 15, 2014 at 2:31 am
    • somersjoy

      1884 the mansion was a lumber yard (maybe planted the seed) and later became the studio

      January 15, 2014 at 2:34 am
  8. Regina Schmidt

    I agree with the others “Mamie Perry”.

    January 18, 2014 at 3:21 am
  9. Veronica Berounsky

    I also agree with “Mamie Perry”. She was an accomplished singer according to “Boyle Heights History Blog” so the poem could have been written by one of her admirers or by her first husband, Charles Davis, who she married in 1883. What an interesting story!

    January 18, 2014 at 6:04 am
  10. Tully Taylor

    Wow this is facsinating ! I like the Mamie Perry, The God, and the Arthur guesses.

    January 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm
  11. diane given

    The first letter of each line is Mamie Perry This is a most common cypher code. Does the author of the article have a relative named Mamie Perry?

    January 21, 2014 at 11:33 pm
  12. Deborah Waldrop Syms

    I agree with several of the women above – First letter of each line spells “Mamie Perry”

    February 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm
  13. Sharon Kay Payne

    I believe it is “Mamie Perry” as well. Upon researching the web, Mamie Perry was born Mary Barker Perry (Mamie) in Los Angeles, CA in 1861. She was known as one of the public’s favorite soprano singers. In 1888 she married Charles Modini (“Carlo”) Wood in Los Angeles, also a leading singer and music teacher. Both had studied music in Italy prior to their marriage; Mamie training under Anton Sangiovanni and Carlo under Lamperti, the most noted vocal teacher of the nineteenth century. Their daughter, Elizabeth Marie was the mother of the famous American actor, Robert Stack (Charles Langford Modini Stack).

    Antonia, if the answer to this mystery poem is Mamie Perry, the message revealed within those heartfelt lines not only reflects the beauty of a newly polished shining tray, but that of a shining American star of long ago as well… the memory of an American treasure rediscovered, and revisited. This is better than the movie “Message In A Bottle”! Thanks for sharing with your audience. Blessings.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:22 am
  14. Kris Walter

    The one thing I noticed is that almost every line spells out the name Teresa. There is only a few lines that don’t spell out the name completely. But it does state that it is “partly written on every line” Does the name Teresa mean anything? It could even be a variation of that name ex. theresa, therase etc.

    March 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

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