They were possibly Maria Frances Page (1846-1906) and Henrietta Prince Nealley (1844-1926), "Nettie", of Bath, Maine. Maria, daughter of Albert G. page and Louisa (Drummond) Page, presumably never married. Nettie, daughter of Edward St. John Nealley and Lucy Colfax (Prince) Nealley, married Rev. John Gregson in 1875.
If these two, they must have been very literate for their ages.
The book measures approximately 5" by 3-1/4" and has 288 pages, with the poems and an essay on Heman's genius by H. T. Tuckerman. The book was edited by Rufus W. Griswold and printed by Leavitt & Allen in New York. There's an engraving by Illman & Sons on the page facing the title page.
I riffled through quickly and didn't notice any missing pages, but did not go through page by page. However, I did notice a reader's notations, perhaps those of Maria herself, on the poem Ivan the Czar.
Interestingly, the lines about the firstborn child apparently applied to Maria Frances Page herself; the firstborn of her parents, Albert G. Page and Mary Louise (Drummond) Page.
If you have a theory as to the identities of Mary F. Page and "Netie" P. Nealley, especially if other than the Maria and Henrietta posited above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.
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