Sarah died young (in 1848) and so did not live long enough to hear her poem become famous when performed to music by Lowell Mason. How very sad!
Later, other composers - including Sir Arthur Sullivan - produced yet more tunes to which this poem could be sung.
They are also often called on to play What a Friend We Have in Jesus - another hymn that appeared first as a poem. It was written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven, an Irishman who had settled in Canada. Fate dealt him severe blows: twice in his life he was engaged to be married and both fiancées died before the marriage could take place.
He wrote the poem as a present to comfort his mother, back in Ireland, with no idea that it would ever be published.
It wasn't until 1868 that Charles Crozat Converse set it to music. Crozat was an American lawyer and composer, who had studied in Leipzig, Germany, and at the Albany Law School in the USA.