The Emigrant Mechanic and Other Tales In Verse
by Thomas Cowherd
THE EMIGRANT MECHANIC
AND OTHER TALES
Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects
By Thomas Cowherd
The Author of this volume does not feel much apology necessary for
publication, though the world is already flooded with Rhyme, upon
almost every conceivable subject, and most of it of a very mediocre
Though living but a short time upon a Bush farm, my experiences
such a practical nature as to entitle me to speak with confidence
many rural matters. The religious opinions so frequently and
expressed are the result of a careful study of God's Word, and I
that for them no apology is necessary.
To learning I make but the most slender pretentions. Born in one of
humblest ranks in life, and going to my trade at the commencement
teens, and working long weary hours for seven years at that
trade, I found little opportunity of attaining anything like
proficiency in literary composition. Many of my minor pieces have
already seen the light in local and other newspapers, etc., and
on the advice of several literary friends I have at last gathered
principal poems together in a permanent form. Should this effort
meet with public favor, the offense—if such it be—is not likely
repeated, as I am now over sixty-five years of age. Many of the
productions of my humble Muse were conceived, and in a great
composed, while working at the bench—to which I am still confined,
order to provide for my family's needs.
If the advice of Pope to some of the Rhymers of his day was
viz., “to keep their effusions for seven years,” I can say
most of mine have been kept that period nearly four times over. I
not have the reader imagine that they have necessarily grown better
being on the shelf; still this has afforded an opportunity for
polishing them up in some measure.
I may further say my “Emigrant Mechanic” was nearly or quite
before Mr. McLachlan's “Emigrant” was published, and before I had
heard of “The U. E.,” a beautiful and very interesting Emigrant
Mr. Kerby, of Niagara.
My warmest thanks are due the Rev. W. W. Smith, of Newmarket, Ont.,
his kindness in undertaking the preparation of these pages for the
press. Also for many valuable emendations.
Such as they are I send forth my unlearned rhymes, with the earnest
prayer that they may benefit the reader as much as they have
me, for I can say in the words of Coleridge, “Poetry has been to me
own exceeding great reward.”
Brantford, Ontario, January, 1884.
THE EMIGRANT MECHANIC:
Introduction. Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family.
Death of Mother and two Sisters. Father's second marriage. Family
tradition. Youth's thoughts and feelings in regard to it. Places
visited. Crossthwaite, Underbarrow, Lake Windermere, Esthwaite.
Incidents. Poetic Tastes. Conclusion.
Address to Domestic Bliss. Its influence on Society. Principal
from which it springs, viz., conjugal union, faithfully cherished.
appeal to Parents and Lawgivers on the subject. WILLIAM'S training
under its influence. Difficulties in procuring trade. Success at
Reflections on, and encouragements to, such trades. Temptations and
trials. Anecdotes. Appeal to Masters and others. Narrow escape from
cut-throat. Courtship and its consequences. Conclusion.
Holidays. The Schoolboy's anticipations in regard to them. Improper
made of such times by some apprentices. Evil consequence of their
conduct. An Appeal to them on the subject. The sad tale of young
Daycourt. Address to Liquor. Its evils. WILLIAM'S holiday rambles.
Father's Birthplace. Tragic scene there. Farleton Knot. Glance back
Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement. Visit of a man from
Canada. His account of the country. Its consequences. WILLIAM'S
in books. Rural rambles on business. Reflections on cruelty to
Retrospective glance. Conclusion.
Address to the Sacred Scriptures, glancing briefly at their various
excellencies. WILLIAM becomes a Christian. His reception into a.
church. Different views of things after conversion. Voice of Nature
heard in God's praise. Wonders why Man is so backward in this.
Discovers reasons in Man's inbred corruption, temptations, etc.
Salvation all of Grace. The humbling nature of this truth to Man's
pride, but the security it affords believers. Its effects on him.
Love-trials. Consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk. Church
bells. Visit to Farm-house. Family worship. Glance at what England
to prayer. Sunday-School teaching. Other exercises on that day.
influence on him. Prepares to emigrate. Parting scenes, etc. Embark
Address to Commerce. Emigrants reach the sea. Farewell to England.
WILLIAM'S employments on board. Storm described. Reach Banks of
Newfoundland. Foggy weather. Icebergs seen. Land seen. Emigrant's
Ship spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enter River. Scenery, Etc.
Arrive before Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to Kingston.
to Hamilton. Settle near Brantford on a Bush-farm. Shifts for
furniture. WILLIAM'S narrow escape from death in logging. His
Bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion. Resolutions formed and
Remarks incident to it. Conclusion.
Address to Rural Life. Logging Bee described. The feast. Loggers'
and other incidents. Burning log heaps. Loggers' Song. WILLIAM'S
thoughts, and employments in Autumn. The Autumnal garb of trees.
Reflections connected therewith. The family's Sabbath-day
Beginning of their hardships. WILLIAM leaves the bush for village
but soon returns. Father's narrow escape from being crushed. Winter
employments. Preparations for sugar making. Process described.
Sugarers' Song. Conclusion.
Address to Memory. Spring time described. Thoughts and fancies
connected with it. Build a log barn. Spring employments. Increase
trials. WILLIAM'S sickness. His song on Christian Warfare. Good to
himself from its composition. Leaves Bush for village again.
the country. Thoughts and feelings in connection with it. Preaches
public under peculiar circumstances. Introduced to his future
in-law's family. Visits their house. Reception. Description of his
future wife and sisters. Anecdote. Commences business. Visits the
States to buy tools. Takes Niagara in his way. Scenery above
First sight of Rapids. Of the Falls. Song to them. Conclusion.
Address to Hope. Its benefits to WILLIAM. Commences business.
conducting it. Thinks again of Matrimony. Shop described.
Inconveniences in it. An incident. Discouragements in trade.
Compensation for them in visits to his intended. A further glance
her. The home provided her. Marriage. A peep at their home
Forced to leave it. A second move. A Love's pledge. Imminent peril
the wife. Unhappy condition of first-born. Church matters.
trials from Temper, etc. Continued success in business. Tinsmith's
Song. His long sickness and support under it. Dutiful conduct of
Apprentice. Wife's self-sacrifices and matronly management.
gratitude to her for it. Continued Poetical predilictions. Visits
his wife the Falls of Niagara. Family increase. Troubles in church
affairs. Excommunication. Fresh church connection. Troubles arise
afresh. Death of wife. WILLIAM'S lament. Conclusion.
William and Amelia
The Inebriate's Daughter's Appeal to her Father
To the Children in Mrs. Day's School
Song to Brantford
To Elihu Burritt
To a Violet
Emma, the Tinker's Daughter
To my Father, supposed to be dying
Ode to Peace
Stanzas suggested by a Funeral
I. To Mr. J. P——n, Missouri
II. To my Eldest Son, in severe sickness
III. A Tribute to the Memory of John Dent
Impromptu: To J. W——t
An Address to Brantford
Stanzas, on Seeing the “Huron” Locomotive
The Young Mother's Vision
Stanzas to the Author of “Little Ragged Ned"
“I Saw a Youthful Mother Lie"
To my Beloved Wife
To my Daughter Mary Ann, Asleep
To Ellen and Willie
To Mr. and Mrs. C. Batty
To my Infant Annie
Stanzas in Memory of Annie
To Mrs. H. Battson
To Mr. and Mrs. W. Batty
Fireside Thoughts of Ann
To my Brother James
To my Daughter Ellen
Murder Will Out, or the Power of Conscience
THE FAITHFUL PASTOR:
Jenny and her Pet Lamb
To a Very Tall Sunflower
Birthday Thoughts and Aspirations
Song to the Lily of the Valley
“Daisy, I Have Sought for Thee"
The Charms of June
To Dr. Laycock
To Mr. Cowherd, from Dr. Laycock
To Mr. James C——t
To the Christians of Brantford
To the Same
Verses Written Immediately after Reading Horace Smith's
Stanzas on the Fearful Struggle in Europe, 1854
Lines Written on the Morning, of the Dreadful Fire, March 9, 1854
To the Rev. J. W. and his Bride
Stanzas on hearing an Auctioneer quote Scripture
Winter's Ravages; An Appeal
A Canadian National Song
A Call to the Soiree
An Address by the Members of the Institute at the Soiree
Alcohol's Arraignment and Doom
To Mr. James Woodyatt
On hearing of Dr. O'Carr's Death
Stanzas suggested by the Railway Accident at Desjardin's Canal
To the Memory of Dr. Laycock
Song of the Canadian Cradler
Stanzas to Rev. J. B. Howard and Family
Verses on the Railroad Accident near Copetown
A Tribute to the Memory of Rev. Thomas Fawcett
A Tribute to the Memory of Mr. Richard Folds
To the Humming Bird
To the Same
The Fire Alarm
My Old Arm Chair
A Tribute to the Bravery of my Cousin, Mrs. T. A. Cowherd
Canadians' Welcome to the Prince of Wales
Brantford's Welcome to the Prince of Wales, 1860
A Call for Help to Garibaldi
Lines suggested by New York Tribune's Account of Lincoln's
Departure from Springfield for Washington
“Sumter has Fallen, but Freedom is Saved!”
Song, “My Love is no Gay, Dashing Maid"
The Sewing Machine
Tabby and Tibby
Lines Composed at Mr. McLarty's, West Missouri
Lines to my Mother
To my Wife
To the Same
To my dear little Boys, James, Christopher and Alfred
To my Daughter Ida
To my Wife on the Thirteenth Anniversary of our Wedding Day
To the Same (Twenty-fifth Anniversary)
To the Same (Thirtieth Anniversary)
FAREWELL TO MY HARP
THE EMIGRANT MECHANIC
A TALE OF HUMBLE LIFE.
“Let not Ambition mock their useful toil.”—
THE ARGUMENT.—Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the
Death of mother and two sisters. The father's second marriage.
tradition. Youth's thoughts and feelings in regard to it. Places
visited: Crossthwaite, Underbarrow, Lake Windermere, Esthwaite.
Incidents, poetic tastes, etc. Conclusion.
My harp awakes! And as I touch each string,
The poor Mechanic Emigrant I sing.
Eighteen eventful years, or rather more,
Have fled since first he left his native shore—
That much-loved shore! that dear old English home!
So oft regretted since first led to roam.
My Muse, 'tis thine to give in artless lays,
A genuine history of his early days;
Make known the place where first he saw the light,
Portray the scenes which pleased his boyish sight,
Unfold his parentage, and backward trace
Their line, descended from no common race;
Speak of his eagerness to learn a trade,
Mark what proficiency in that he made,
Glance at his love scenes, and a lesson show,
Which youths in general would do well to know.
Fail not to tell how, in his eighteenth year,
He did, as Christian, publicly appear.
Make known the cause that led him first to feel
A strong desire to seek his future weal,
In emigration to that distant shore
Where flow great rivers, and loud cataracts roar;
Where mighty lakes afford the fullest scope
For future commerce, and the settler's hope.
Go with him to his home in the wild woods—
That rude log cottage where he stored his goods;
Paint faithfully the scenes through which he passed,
And how he settled in a town at last;
What then befel him in successive years,
Or aught which to thee suitable appears,
To make his history such as may be read
By high-born race, or those more lowly bred.
Let usefulness be still thy constant aim,
Nor care a jot for merely worldly fame.
Help me to seek, by constant, earnest prayer
That God's approval be my chiefest care.
And if a Poet thou would'st wish to make
Thy guide and pattern, gentle COWPER take.
Thus, O my Muse! may we together spend
Some happy hours, until my task shall end.
And when 'tis finished, may it ne'er be said
That we a useless memoir have displayed.
In the northwest of England's verdant isle,
Where beauteous scenery meets one with a smile,
Where lakes and rivers burst upon the sight
And fill the mind with transports of delight,
Where lofty hills unite with lowly dales
To furnish matter for instructive tales,
There is a town, a very ancient town,
Which, should enjoy a share of high renown.
My native place! I need not sink the name—
Such act, sweet KENDAL! thou might'st justly blame,
A place so dear, I trust I still shall love,
Where'er I am, or wheresoe'er I rove!
It has its site fast by a pleasant stream,
Beside whose banks our hero learned to dream.
Though quiet, it gave birth to many a name,
Which for good deeds obtained a moderate fame.
Some few there were well skilled in Science deep,
Who now within its several graveyards sleep.
Its once-proud Castle that in ruin lies,
The birthplace was of one who lived to rise
To queenly state, and sit upon a throne
And the eighth HENRY as her lord to own.
Within this town some very rich men live;
But many more who poverty receive
As their low birthright, with the fullest share
Of its attendants, constant toil and care!
These oft, though poor, in honesty may vie
With most of those who hold their heads so high.
Of this large class young COOPER'S parents were;
To peace inclined, they heeded not the stir
Which proud Ambition's votaries create
To gain such objects as their pride may sate.
E'er since this father was a little boy,
Hard out-door labor did his hands employ.
The mother, too, to work was early taught,
And take delight in what her hands had wrought.
This hardy training proved of use to them,
A blessing they did never once contemn;
For 'twas the means of gaining honest bread—
And on no other would they e'er be fed!
In course of time four children needed care,
And claimed from them of food and clothes a share.
Nor did they grudge them what they could afford—
For they had learned to live and serve the Lord!
But soon Affliction, with her visage dire,
Called them to pass through purifying fire!
And first a smiling girl was snatched away—
The mother next, to Death became a prey.
The father, too, was sick, and laid aside
For many weeks; thus sorely was he tried.
Anon their pet, a lovely infant, died,
And she was laid by her dear mother's side.
Such fearful strokes, to one in poverty,
Were hard to bear, as all may clearly see.
But this poor man, all strong in holy faith,
Was led to take a proper view of death—
E'en to regard him as an enemy
Conquered by Him who died on Calvary—
And view his loved ones but as gone before.
To Canaan's blest and truly happy shore!
Ere long the Lord a partner did prepare
To aid this Christian, and his sorrow share.
She had for many years in service been;
Of careful habits, in good pay I ween.
And this enabled her to lay aside
A goodly sum, and keep her needs supplied.
This virtuous woman thus became “a crown"
To that poor man, by trials well bowed down.
And by her cleverness in housewif'ry,
With constant practice of economy,
The family soon enjoyed a greater share
Of household comforts, and had much less care.
Thus early schooled, our WILLIAM grew apace,
And though still young, wore oft a thoughtful face.
By nature studious, and of ready turn,
He needful tasks most eagerly did learn.
And being inquisitive, 'twas his desire
On winter nights, and by their frugal fire,
That his dear father should to him make known
What kind of ancestry they chanced to own.
To this the father, with a smiling face,
Soon made reply, “We spring from noble race!
Long, long ago, I can in truth declare,
A wandering Minstrel visited a fair,
And there saw one of very noble blood,
Who liked him well and deemed his music good.
They soon contrived each others' minds to learn,
And felt Love's flame within their bosoms burn;
But knowing well this would not be allowed,
Disguised, away they fled amongst a crowd.
Soon they were fast in honest wedlock tied;
And thus the Minstrel gained a lovely bride!
Yet were they destined not to live in peace—
For ELLEN'S brother vowed he would not cease
To search for them through all the country wide,
And quick return with ELLEN at his side!
Long time he searched, then gave them up for lost,
And proved his boasting vain, unto his cost.
But on one night he, weary, sad and faint,
Espied a house, and to that house he went—
Just reached the threshold, and sank down quite spent.
The fair young mistress, with a piteous eye,
Beheld the man, and feared that he would die.
She loosed his vest, then laid his bosom bare,
And spied a mark which well might make her stare.
It was her brother! and her gentle heart
With love o'erflowed to act a sister's part.
Most earnest efforts quick the man restored,
And ELLEN felt most grateful to the Lord.
She, fully conscious of strict rectitude,
Confessed her kindred, and for pardon sued.
The astonished brother clasped her in his arms;
Their early love afresh their spirit warms,
And all his hatred very soon disarms.
This Minstrel, with his lovely ELLEN, were
Our ancestors, as you may well infer.”
[Footnote: In proof that the above legend has some foundation in
I may state that one of my hero's cousins in England has a gold
cane, and another a splendid jasper snuff-box, both said to have
left by the party who came to seek the runaway lady.]
Young COOPER heard, and could not well conceal
Some stirring thoughts that he began to feel.
He still was of a very tender age;
Far, far too young to feel Ambition's rage.
But he had heard of Dukes, and Earls, and Lords,
And all the splendor which their rank affords;
Had seen in prints their castles and their halls;
Had heard of servants who obeyed their calls;
Of their vast parks, well filled with noble deer,
Their tables loaded with the best of cheer;
Of horses, carriages, and fleetest hounds,
And cattle feeding over all their grounds;
Of gardens filled with precious fruits and flowers,
And of sweet music to beguile their hours;
Fancied their mansions full of lovely girls,
With beauteous eyes, and richly flowing curls;
In short, conceived that these men were no less
Than mighty lords whom every eye should bless.
And 'twas no wonder if in reverie
This boy indulged with greatest frequency.
But years flew by, with all their constant care,
New hopes, new scenes, and feelings of despair.
He owning still a constitution weak,
Would better health in change of air oft seek.
At times like these, his second mother's care
Did send him forth with relatives to fare.
And then sweet Crossthwaite, with its paper mill,
Its pretty brooks, and many a trickling rill,
With dearest pleasure would his bosom fill.
Deep gratitude impels him now to pay
A tribute due to relatives, and say
That purer kindness could not be displayed
To any one who needed friendly aid,
Than they still showed to him while living there,
As their own child, he did their goodness share.
Dear, aged friends! grim Death has laid you low,
And you no more to him can kindness show!
Often thy scenery, fair Underbarrow,
Has cheered his spirit and dispelled his sorrow!
Thy hazel copses, and thy rugged Scaur,
With yellow-blooming whins have banished far
All thoughts of his poor, weak and sickly frame,
And raised his love of Nature to a flame!
Yes, often now, though living o'er the sea,
And many years have fled since he saw thee,
Dear Memory brings thy early charms to view,
And all their pleasures to his mind seem new!
Again, fresh scenes would his attention crave,
Ev'n noble Windermere with rippling wave;
And frequently he crossed o'er its short ferry,
In huge flat-boats, or pleasant sailing wherry,
And viewed, well pleased, its many lovely isles,
Clothed with rich verdure and sweet Summer's smiles;
Or watched the fishes, darting to and fro,
As o'er its crystal waves the boat would go;
And still remembers those rich wooded hills,
While deep emotion all his spirit thrills.
Sometimes tired Nature would assert her sway,
Then gloomy thoughts rose up in dark array;
He thus would wander, weary and alone,
Listening the breezes in their fitful moan,
As in their anger they swept through the woods,
While thunder-clouds sent down their copious floods,
And ask himself, in bitterness of soul,
Why he his destiny could not control?
Why some were wealthy, and could take their ease,
And ride about wherever they should please?
While he, poor lad, on foot his weary way
Kept plodding still, till nearly close of day!
At other times a pleasant lodge was seen,
Where life seemed spent in happiness serene;
Its graceful lawn, its gardens and its fields,
Spoke loudly of the comfort money yields;
And oft he vainly dreamed that he possessed
Just such a home, and with such comforts blest.
Sweet day-dreams these, quite frequently indulged;
Too oft, alas! were all his thoughts divulged.
Before him soon more charming views arise,
Enchanting scenes meet everywhere his eyes.
See Low Wood Inn, a sweet, secluded spot,
Most lovely sight, not soon to be forgot!
It stands upon the margin of the lake—
And of it all things round conspire to make
A mansion such as poets well might choose—
Fit habitation for the heaven-born Muse!
Well might he linger with entranced delight,
Though Sol gave warning of approaching night.
Aroused by this, ere long he forward hied
To that small village still called Ambleside.
We now again will cross with him the lake,
And thence the road that leads to Hawkshead take;
There Esthwaite water on a smaller scale
Unfolds her beauties, to adorn my tale.
She, like a mirror, on her silvery face
Reflects the mansions that her margins grace.
Those mansions fair are seen on every hand,
(What may not wealth, in such a place, command?)
And mark their owners men of wealth and taste;
Not miserly, nor yet inclined to waste.
Near this small lake does a rude hamlet stand,
In which there dwelt a poor, hard-working band.
The parents, both, were well advanced in age,
And yet, from kindness, they at once engage
To give this youth a welcome to their board,
And all the comforts that their means afford.
To see him happy was their chief desire,
Which did his soul with gratitude inspire.
They now are dead! Oh, may their ashes rest
In peace, and still their memories be bless'd!
WILLIAM oft thinks of all the pleasant scenes
He there enjoyed before he reached his teens;
And well remembers how he loved to stray
By that pure lake, soon after break of day.
'Twas at such time, that once he chanced to spy
A splendid pike upon the beach quite dry
He viewed the prize; it had not long been dead,
As he well knew by looking at its head.
Surprised, he gazed about, on every hand,
But saw no soul upon the lake or land;
Then thought, since no one came the fish to claim,
Take it he might, and yet incur no blame.
This settled in his mind, without delay
He seized the fish, and carried it away.
When he reached home, friends thought it would be best
'Gainst noon-tide hour to have it nicely dressed.
But candor now obliges me to say,
That the right owner soon appeared next day;
Who said he lately caught a noble pike,
And laid it carefully beside a dyke;
But, while he went still farther up the lake,
To draw some lines, and other fishes take,
A dog, or person, had purloined that one:
A cousin told him WILL the deed had done!
Told how he brought to them, with boyish glee,
As fine a pike as ever one could see!
This heard, the loser took it in good part,
Enjoyed the joke, and showed a kindly heart.
Hail, human kindness! Often have I been
Indebted to thee for same pleasing scene;
Although our race have sadly fallen low,
Thou still appearest like the heavenly bow,
Amidst the storms of human passion now;
And where, dear Angel, thou art to be found,
Sweet peace and comfort flow to all around!
An incident I now would introduce
Which may, perchance, be now and then of use
In leading youths to greater carefulness,
When to sweet pleasure they themselves address.
Near Esthwaite's foot exists a lonely spot,
Named by the country people “The Priest's Pot”;
A strange, deep hole, with crystal water filled,
By land surrounded which was never tilled;
Of spongy texture, yielding to the foot—
Quite full of danger is this marshy spot.
To this place WILLIAM once a fishing went,
And, ere his patience was completely spent,
Took up a fresh position; but, alas!
His foothold proved but little else than grass.
While sinking fast he, with a fluttering heart,
Gave one quick spring and reached a firmer part.
This proved a lesson which he ne'er forgot—
He visited no more that dreaded spot.
Before this time, for years, he went to school,
And caught some learning by the common rule;
In parsing showed a fair amount of skill,
Wrote a plain hand, and read with right good will;
Almost a “book-worm,” seemed he to devour
What books he got, and read from hour to hour.
And, oh! how pleased and gratified was he,
To hear the Master read sweet poetry!
Once he read well a very touching tale,
In which the Poet does the lot bewail
Of orphan “Lubin,” who, while tending sheep
For a hard master, oft was seen to weep.
While this pathetic tale was read aloud,
The tears to WILLIAM'S eyes would quickly crowd;
And from that time a Poet he became—
In joy or sorrow felt a glowing flame.
Though still so young he, at this very time,
Oft framed rude numbers, and poured forth his rhyme;
And 'twas no wonder if, by Nature taught,
He wrapped himself in sweet poetic thought.
He, to this day, is pleased to recollect
What few, who knew him then, would e'er suspect—
How much he loved to wander in the woods,
And watch the trees put forth their opening buds;
Or list the sound created by the wind,
Which sought a passage through the leaves to find.
He also loved, with wonder and delight,
To gaze on flowers bedecked with glory bright;
On polyanthus and auriculas,
In pleasing contrast with the ribbon-grass;
On wall-flower, too, with richest odor filled,
Like sweet frankincense daintily distilled;
On roses fair, in great variety
Of scent and color; and the peony,
Or scented violet, which scarce shows its head,
Yet does its odor o'er the garden shed;
On prince's feather, wearing stately plume,
With much of show, but nothing of perfume;
Loved tulips, lilies, pinks and gilliflowers,
With woodbines trained o'er lovely garden bowers,
That give forth sweetness and their charms display,
While, in rich robes, they stand in full array;
The foxglove, daisy, and demure monk's-hood,
With lilacs, and the scented southern wood;
The guelder-rose, with its fair, whited balls,
And creeping plants, high climbing up the walls,
These at all times our hero warmly loved,
And showed it, too, when he in gardens roved.
While, to himself, he had a patch of ground,
Where, at his leisure, he was mostly found.
Thus passed, most pleasantly, his youthful days,
All intermingled with his boyish plays,
And sometimes meriting a need of praise.
THE ARGUMENT.—Address to domestic bliss. Its influence on society.
Principal source from whence it springs, viz: conjugal union
cherished. An appeal to parents and law-givers on the subject.
WILLIAM'S training under its influence. Difficulties in procuring a
trade. Success at last. Reflections on, and encouragements to, such
trades. Temptations and trials. Anecdotes. Appeal to masters and
others. Narrow escape from a cut-throat. Courtship and its
Domestic bliss! what tongue can speak thy praise!
What poet give, even in his noblest lays,
An eulogy that shall thy charms express,
Clothed in Truth's language, thy own native dress?
To thy sweet influence do we owe the choice
Of all mankind, whoever raised their voice
In Freedom's cause, or stood on battle-ground,
While Liberty her banner waved around.
To thee, when governed by God's holy book,
Must we in future for true heroes look.
For if thou dwellest in each family,
Then long may wave the flag of Liberty!
To keep thee shining brightly round each hearth,
Is worth the wealth contained in all the earth!
It does become us then to study well
(Who knows the secret? Would some Angel tell?)
The best of means by which to foster this
Great earthly blessing, pure domestic bliss!
Hail sweet conjugal union! Hail to thee!
May I thy humble votary ever be!
Take thee away, and each dear earthly home
Would soon a scene of dreadful strife become;
And from this source would spring a thousand woes
Which to imagine has my heart's blood froze!
Dear fellow countrymen! Stand forward now,
And faithful prove unto your marriage vow.
I conjure you by all the sacred ties
By which you're bound unto your families,
Whatever faults, through weakness, you display,
In this be faithful to your dying day!
Why will you leave the wife you swore to love,
Who should to you be as a precious dove,
To wanton with a harlot void of shame,
And bring disgrace upon a father's name?
Why will you pierce yourselves with sorrow through,
And ruin bring upon your children, too?
Oh! let a broken-hearted wife's deep sighs,
And children's woes, bring tears into your eyes!
Give to yourselves no rest, by day or night,
Till you have made their saddened faces bright.
Oh! there is One above who sees you now,
If you repent not he will bring you low!
Regard this warning, flee to God for peace,
From loving your dear families never cease.
And ye, whose task it is to make our laws,
Lend your strong influence to aid this cause;
See that your hands are clean—or make them so—
You've much to answer for, of weal or woe.
Young COOPER'S parents did on him impress
The way to gain domestic happiness:
More by example than by precepts strong
They their dear children sought to lead along
Their constant conduct to each other told
What they preferred before the richest gold.
And one who knows them well can testify
That they themselves would evermore deny,
Ere they would risk their own or family's peace,
As some have done, who scarce from jarring cease.
In such a family, as we might expect,
True discipline met not with long neglect.
And this, employed aright, the Lord will bless,
In spite of childhood's frequent waywardness.
Trained in this manner, WILLIAM soon arrived
Just to the time when means should he contrived
To get for him at once a proper trade,
And he to this not one objection made.
It was his choice that he might he employed
In marble works, and had the thought enjoyed
That some good master would his service need;
But disappointment was for him decreed.
Some other places then the father tried,
But all with boys appeared to be supplied.
The youth more anxious grew from day to day,
Nor could well brook what seemed such sad delay.
He oft retired at night unto his bed,
With various plans contrived in his young head;
But vanished soon were all these well-formed schemes,
As though they were so many empty dreams;
Until, by “hope deferred,” he was made sad,
And even home scenes failed to make him glad.
He now had nearly reached his thirteenth year,
And did a small, weak youth, indeed, appear;
Yet though so very young and small, this boy
Had felt deep sorrow, and no little joy.
Good news at last he heard, with much delight,
When his dear father came from work one night;
He said a tradesman an apprentice wanted,
And told what wages would to him be granted.
WILLIAM at once accepted of the place,
And met the man next morn with smiling face.
'Twas soon agreed that he a month should try
The work, and his new master satisfy.
This soon flew past, and he was strongly bound
Till seven long years should, in their course, move round.
To mention all his trials and mishaps
Would please no reader of this tale, perhaps;
Suffice to say, he did himself exert
In his new business, and was soon expert
In making up their wares of shining metal—
A teapot, can, or otherwise a kettle.
Let none despise him for his occupation,
For God has stamped it with His approbation.
'Tis therefore lawful, and should always be
Approved of men, though e'en of high degree.
God's holy book commands that saints engage
In honest callings, throughout every age;
That they may lead a just and holy life,
Nor needlessly be found in worldly strife;
That they themselves and households may maintain,
From the just proceeds of a righteous gain.
Let none be found so foolish or so base,
As to regard mechanics as a race
Devoid of intellect and common sense,
Who to true honor have no just pretence.
Our ranks can boast of one far higher name
Than e'er was found in other paths of fame.
This, my assertion, may to many prove
A puzzle great, while puzzles they do love.
Cheer up, ye poor mechanics! and pursue
Your lowly trades, and Heaven keep still in view.
Ye who have naught to boast save rank and wealth,
Look round you openly—or look by stealth;
See what our factories have done for you—
And for the world—whichever side you view!
Without them, Ocean ne'er would bear a sail
To catch the breeze, or fly before the gale;
Without them, where could we obtain the Press—
That mightiest engine in the universe?
Take it away, and we should back be thrown
Into dark ages, which would Science drown.
While all the household comforts that we boast
Would disappear, and be forever lost!
Such thoughts as these would ramble through the brain
Of our apprentice, while he did maintain
A due respect for those above him placed,
And kept these things within his mind encased.
Let none suppose that he his trade pursued
Without exposure to temptations rude.
In that small shop he found a vicious youth,
Who feared not God, nor yet regarded truth:
One who deep drank, who gambled, swore and lied
Most awfully; nor can it be denied,
Some other practices he did pursue
Which, I would hope, he long has learned to rue.
'Twas well for WILLIAM that this vicious youth
Was, undisguisedly, averse to truth;
That, in attempting to sow evil seeds,
He made no secret of his foulest deeds.
Howe'er it was, our hero stood his ground,
In such sad vices never was he found.
He now acknowledges 'twas God's rich grace
Kept him from falling in that dangerous place.
And, from his heart, that goodness would adore
Which did preserve him 'midst such trials sore.
“Evil communications,” God declares,
“Corrupt good manners.” Who then boldly dares
To say their influence will not be seen
In those who long exposed to them have been?
For, well we know, the unregenerate mind
Is proper soil wherein to seek and find
The seeds of latent evil, which may spring—
And springing, grow, till they destruction bring.
Even so it was with WILLIAM'S carnal heart,
Some mischief settled in its fleshy part.
Nor was this all; he oft became the butt
Of journeymen or 'prentice, who would glut
Their hardened hearts by showing greatest spite
'Gainst him for following what he thought was right.
Often that wicked youth, in wantonness,
Would try all means to give him sore distress.
And once, with all a dreadful demon's rage—
In such acts none but demons would engage—
He threw him down, and held him; then applied
A lighted candle to his throat and tried
To make him think it merely was a joke!
Which was as true as most of what he spoke.
The sore thus made gave him most cruel pain,
And left a scar that does even now remain.
Bad as this was, it was not half so bad
As what was done unto another lad.
I heard the story, and believe it true—
And shudder while I have it in my view.
The town in which this shocking act was done
I have passed through—it was an English one.
The scene, a Tinsmith's shop, where several men
Were wont to work, and all were present then.
A monster man two solder-irons took,
Made them quite hot, and, with a fiendish look,
Went right behind the boy, and on each side
The heated irons to his face applied!
The youth saw one, his head aside he threw,
Received a burn, before his fate he knew;
He quickly turned it then the other way,
And had two scars unto his dying day!
Methinks I hear the thoughtful reader ask,
“Why was the man, at once, not ta'en to task?
Why did the other men not take a part
With that poor boy, and show a feeling heart?”
I am informed they all enjoyed the joke!
Not one reproachful word they ever spoke.
I blush to think that any of my trade
Should of such monsters ever be afraid.
The very thought still makes my blood to boil—
And shuddering, from such thoughts I back recoil!
I would have dragged the fiend unto a jail,
Or had him fastened to a wagon's tail,
Laid bare his back, and let the lash descend—
And, doing this, would still my act defend!
Ye masters, foremen, journeymen, and all
Who view such scenes, on each of you I call
To try your utmost now to do away
Such shocking deeds, enacted day by day!
If this you do not, you deserve the blame,
And richly merit good men's scorn and shame.
Our WILLIAM'S trials led him oft to think
That, while from duty he would never shrink,
It would be better far to leave his trade,
Than the sad object of such sport be made.
And to his father spoke to this effect—
Not in ill humor, but with much respect.
The father's counsel was, that he should stay.
As soon the other youth would go away.
I here may mention he had one good friend,
And one on whom he always could depend;
This was his dear young master, who oft took
Much pains in reading o'er the Christian's Book—
Received its lessons in his gentle heart,
And showed by this he chose the better part.
He would encourage and defend the youth,
Who saw it right to let him know the truth.
Alas! this master soon was seized by Death,
And died rejoicing in our “common faith.”
COOPER with grief beheld the sorrowing scene,
And called to mind how kind that friend had been;
And often wished more like to him were found
In all the workshops through the country round.
Still time moved on; the elder youth took leave,
And those he left had no just cause to grieve.
'Twas WILLIAM'S turn to take the other's place,
And do his best to bring it no disgrace.
He now had under him a younger boy,
While better work did his own hands employ.
The workshop was a cellar, close to th' street,
And passers-by would oft the workmen greet.
The light came through an iron-grated space,
Making a prison-like and dismal place.
One day a stir was made that street within,
And each felt anxious to behold the scene.
The errand-boy was busy cleaning knives,
As others have done often in their lives.
He in a moment climbed upon the bench,
And the huge carver in his hand did clench.
WILLIAM was looking up, with outstretched throat,
Quite unobservant, being lost in thought.
“I'll cut! I'll cut!” fell quickly on his ear;
He felt sharp pain, and thus had cause to fear!
The boy, for fun, across WILL'S neck had drawn
The carving-knife, and stood still as a stone;
Quite terrified at sight of blood, he said,
“I thought it was th' back!” it proved the edge instead.
The wound was slight, but might have been far worse—
And he might ne'er have figured in my verse.
One thing the serious reader would expect—
To give God thanks he could not well neglect.
Ah, me! his passion drove such thought away—
Strong Passion's call he hastened to obey;
And feeling in a dreadful angry mood,
He beat the boy that it might do him good!
Yes, beat him without mercy, and declared
'Twas well, indeed, the lad no worse had fared!
God dealt not thus with thee, my hero fine,
He long forbore with all those sins of thine;
And 'twas but just thou should'st some mercy show,
To that poor boy, who did no better know.
My Muse, most willingly, would quit these themes—
Which are not seemly in a poet's dreams.
More pleasing topics now demand my pen,
Though often sung by many wiser men.
The subject of my verse had early felt
That sensibility within him dwelt.
So constituted was he, that at school,
When he should have been conning grammar's rule—
In deep arithmetic—or other task—
His eye would wander to a distant desk,
Which, having reached, itself it stationed there,
Fixed on some beauty-bud of promise rare!
'Twill not seem strange, then, if in after years
This thing called Sensibility appears.
Strange, or not strange, our hero's heart was warm,
Which made him seek the other sex's charm;
And when his mind was brought to fix on one
Who, in his eyes, all others far outshone—
He loved to ramble, on a moonlight night,
With that dear girl—so charming in his sight—
And listen to the murmuring of Kent's stream,
Whose face reflected full each pale moonbeam;
Or wander by the side of some lone wood,
In sweet discourse, which both considered good.
Or else they clomb, delighted, up that hill,
Upon whose top the Castle's ruins still
Invite the mind, in pensiveness, to know
The end of all things in this world below.
Yes, these have stood within that gloomy place,
Which now exhibits many a striking trace
Of the rude ravages of Man and Time,
As seen upon that edifice sublime.
And, as he stood upon that green hill's brow,
Has felt inclined abiding love to vow
To her, who fondly on his arm was leaning
With upturned eyes, which well bespoke their meaning.
That place is sacred to such lovers' vows—
As could be witnessed by each tree that grows
Around those ruins; which have also seen
Some sad, strange sights within their day, I ween!
Sometimes they chose to see a mutual friend,
And in sweet singing would the evening spend.
At other times through beauteous Gillingrove,
[Footnote: A well-known lovers' retreat.]
They, arm in arm, and rapt in love, would rove.
This walk they mostly took on Sunday nights,
As most in keeping with that day's delights.
For both had long quite strict attendants been
At a small Chapel, thought to be too mean
To be oft visited by wealthy men;
Though some would wander to it now and then.
As yet nor WILLIAM, nor his girl, professed
To be by saving Gospel Truth most bless'd;
Yet both went there three times each Sabbath day,
To join in singing, if they did not pray.
And 'tis but right that Christian parents should
To church take children, for the children's good.
To lead them to regard the Lord's own day—
Nor spend its hours in idleness or play.
These two young people might be quite sincere,
For all their friends could ever see or hear;
But though their love was warm, and pure as day,
Time spent in this wise runs to waste away.
Of leisure he had never much to boast,
For every work-day found him at his post;
From six at morn till eight o'clock at night,
He faithful wrought, as in his Master's sight.
Yet oft he wished—that wish was strongest then—
Improvement in his learning to obtain;
But, such love frolics made that wish in vain.
This grieved him much when, afterwards, desire
He felt to nurture true poetic fire;
And did regret that youthful follies cost
So much in precious time forever lost.
This folly seen, he strove with eager haste
To let his leisure run no more to waste,
And rose each morn at four or five o'clock,
To walk abroad, and gain of health a stock;
Or listen to the lark's sweet morning lay,
As he rose up to greet the King of Day;
Or let the lively, thrilling blackbird's song,
Charm his fond ear as he walked slow along.
Sometimes through well-fenced fields of new-mown hay—
Breathing out fragrance—he was wont to stray;
Or climb a bill with firm, elastic tread,
While Sol his early beams in radiance shed.
The Castle hill he mostly did prefer,
As quite accordant with his character.
Upon its ruins he would musing sit,
Till he was seized with a strong rhyming fit;
Then frame his welling thoughts to some rude verse—
Which friends were anxious he should oft rehearse.
If thus his leisure was not always spent,
He read what books his friends had to him lent.
Of such good things he owned but very few—
And parents needed all the cash he drew.
Thus was his time most constantly employed,
While life passed smoothly on—not unenjoyed.
THE ARGUMENT.—Holidays: the Schoolboy's anticipations in regard to
them. Improper use made of such times by some Apprentices. Evil
consequences of their conduct. An appeal to them on the subject.
sad tale of young DAYCOURT. Address to Liquor: its evils. WILLIAM'S
holiday rambles. Father's birth-place. Tragic scene there. Farleton
Knot. Glance back to Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement.
of a man from Canada. His account of the country. Its consequences.
WILLIAM'S taste in books. Rural rambles on business. Reflections on
cruelty to animals. Retrospective glance. Conclusion.
Hail, Holidays! To you, with great delight,
The schoolboy looks—exulting with his might
At the fair prospect of enjoying play,
Or visiting relations far away.
Ere your propitious dawn he lays his schemes,
And pleased, rejoices in his bright day dreams.
He, in anticipation, views the charm
Of being for days exempt from birchen harm!
When, free from tasks—nor caring much for books—
With some companion he can fish the brooks;
Can ramble through the woods for flowers or nuts,
Play with fair girls who live in sylvan huts,
Mount with agility some green hill top,
And, with a mate, roll full length down the slope;
Or take his fill from loaded bramble bushes,
Or from rich fruit bedecked in Autumn's blushes.
Such is the bliss that's placed before his view,
In all its fulness, Holidays! by you.
And thus, without a single shade of sorrow,
He greets his mates with “Holiday to-morrow!”
These pleasures seem unto his boyish mind
Of the right sort—and for schoolboys designed.
He seldom thinks of all the anxious care
His parents feel, to give their son a share
Of useful learning, that he may discharge
His part to God, to them, and men at large.
Apprentices as well with pleasure hail
Their holidays—O, may they never fail!
These are too often spent in idleness,
Or such sad courses as brings them distress.
This is the case when grog-shops they frequent;
For ruin follows time and means ill spent.
Pause, O, ye youths! before you yet begin
A course that may lead you to every sin!
Restrain your feet from entering those holes
Which prove the ruin of so many souls.
Would ye not pause, if right across your path
There lay a monstrous serpent, full of wrath?
Would we, fool-hardy, rush into his jaws
To certain death? or would ye rather pause?
Youths, ye have cause, yea, weighty cause, to dread
This horrid serpent, on strong liquor fed,
Which lurks in every place where Rum is sold,
Though they may be all covered o'er with gold—
They often are; nor deem it hard of faith—
The way to present and eternal death!
God does by His most holy Book declare,
“Into God's kingdom none shall enter there,
Who liquor drink till drunkards they become!”
Yet, day by day, some meet this awful doom.
Oh, warning take! Flee from this dreadful crime!
Pause and consider, while you yet have time!
Listen the story which to you I tell;
Dwell on its moral—mark the sequel well;
Then look abroad, and see its counterpart
In many a case that shows a broken heart.
DAYCOURT was a youth, possessed of wealth—
Had manly beauty and the best of health;
In learning he excelled—was quite a wit—
And oft indulged in a deep musing fit.
Of very warm and truly tender heart,
He did his best to act a proper part;
Which made him much respected all around—
Against him, filled with envy, none were found.
His widowed mother, then, might well be proud
Of such a son, and speak his praises loud.
He bore for her respect, and strove to prove
In many ways the fulness of his love.
For many years this widow, in her grief,
Looked up to God, and found from him relief.
She knew the Lord, before her husband died,
And found Him one in whom she could confide;
In all her trials meekly bowed her head,
And found sweet peace was o'er her bosom shed.
Her son, to her, was all a son could be—
Yet on one point she felt anxiety:
He had not then experienced the New Birth,
And his best thoughts had all been of the Earth.
Adjoining their estate was living one—
A blithe young lady, who in beauty shone;
With health endowed, and with fair learning graced,
By wealth in easy circumstances placed.
AMELIA DOVE we well may call her name—
Like that sweet bird she seemed exempt from blame.
Her parents loved her—they could do no less—
She was the soul of all their happiness!
Early she rose, and, dressed in neat array,
Assisted her dear mother through the day.
Thus passed her time, beloved by all around—
She was as good a girl as could be found;
And a fair match for DAYCOURT all conceived—
This he himself had for some time believed.
They loved each other, and obtained consent
From their kind parents, and were well content.
And, having leisure, they would often walk,
Or, sitting in some bower, would sing and talk;
Or else they read some book which both admired,
Till their young hearts with ecstacy were fired;
Through hill and dale—through woods—were wont to rove,
Well pleased with all they saw, they drank in love!
The day arrived when DAYCOURT and his bride
Were at the altar in pure wedlock tied.
The day was spent as such like days have been,
And passed away in happiness serene.
At night, a bounteous marriage-feast was spread,
And Love's sweet influence over all seemed shed.
The friends invited strove to show their joy,
In wishing happiness without alloy
To that young couple, who, in youthful bloom,
Were the admired of all in that large room.
But, Oh! I shrink! 'Tis my ungracious task
From bliss like this to tear away the mask!
On such occasions wine's oft made to flow—
As if it were the source of joy below!
The bridegroom felt in a most merry mood,
And drank each health till his young, joyous blood
Coursed through his veins as if quite all on fire,
And his kind thoughts gave place to bad desire.
His brain began to whirl—he boisterous grew—
All eyes on him, observant, quickly drew—
He seized a bottle, which he madly threw.
Sad to relate! it struck his beauteous bride!
And she fell dead, by her dear mother's side.
This dread catastrophe soon sobered him,
And he was sick, and felt his eyes grow dim.
But while all stood in terror and dismay,
He roused himself, and fled from thence away;
Then headlong rushed into a deep, deep, stream—
And thus was ended that bright, youthful dream!
The pious mother tried in God to trust,
But this dire blow soon sank her in the dust.
Her parents, too, felt this most dreadful stroke
Too hard to bear, for both their hearts it broke!
Oh, cruel Liquor! Thou hast millions slain,
And still their death-throes cry to thee in vain!
Ten thousand broken hearts may soon be found
In almost every land the world around.
Millions of orphans' cries thine ears assail,
While parents' early death they loud bewail;
The prisons and asylums which we build,
From thy sad victims' ranks are chiefly filled.
War's dreadful ravages are justly blamed;
But war with thee deserves not to be named!
And still, insatiate monster! thy dread jaws
Are daily filled—being unrestrained by laws!
When will the day, the happy day, arrive,
When thee the injured nations forth shall drive?
Beware, Apprentices! In time beware!
Flee from those places which would you insnare;
Regard that man as your real enemy,
Who, tempting, leads to inebriety!
Now, while you daily toil, I wish you may
Have many a truly happy holiday!
The hero of my tale of such had some,
And felt well pleased whenever they did come.
On such occasions he was wont to go
To visit friends, who did much kindness show.
With ardent joy full beaming in his face,
He more than once revisited the place
Where his dear father spent his youthful days,
In toilsome labor, or in childish plays.
To him 'twas still a sweetly quiet spot,
A picture of content—a small, neat cot—
And just beneath the hill called Farleton Knot.
He had a strange, romantic turn of mind;
To taste adventure ever felt inclined.
This being premised, we may expect to see,
That by slight dangers undeterred was he
From venturing to the edge of precipice,
To have a peep into some dark abyss.
The hill of which I spoke has sometimes been,
As was well known, the site of tragic scene.
It is a solid mass of limestone rock—
And there oft falls some huge misshapen block.
On one occasion a poor quarryman
Saw danger pending, and away he ran;
'Twas all in vain! the lately-riven stone
Came thundering down, and crushed his every bone!
A tale like this might well some minds appal—
But WILLIAM felt, just then, of dauntless soul;
And, with his cousin, hasted up the hill,
With eager steps and most unyielding will;
A scene there met his gaze which him repaid,
And threw the toil required far in the shade.
On every hand a charming prospect lay,
In all the beauty of a bright Spring day.
All Nature smiled, in loveliest green confessed,
Like a fair maiden for her bridal drest.
And songsters of the grove, no longer sad,
Their notes were warbling forth to make her glad.
And need we wonder then, if there he stood,
With glowing heart, and wrapt in musing mood?
As was his wont, he felt a strong desire
From such sweet views to draw poetic fire.
And so it was, for out his numbers flowed,
Which, quickly penned, he on his friends bestowed.
And though these numbers were but very rude,
They were, by rustic friends, with wonder viewed.
While he stood there his thoughts were backward thrown
To days which on Time's fleetest wing had flown—
When his grandfather, in that humble cot,
With sweet contentedness enjoyed his lot;
Wrought quietly at his most lowly trade,
And honest lived—though small the profits made.
In his mind's eye, he saw his father climb
Those rugged cliffs, in youth, or manhood's prime;
Or, with his brothers join in lively play,
On the long evenings of each Summer day.
Anon would view the time when each forsook
That humble cottage, some fresh toil to brook;
Saw them all settled in a wedded life—
In honest work employed, exempt from strife.
Or glanced at some of his own early days—
When he gave up, on Saturdays, his plays,
To go with his dear grandfather, to sell
The neat bee-hives the old man framed so well.
And often wondered what made selfish men
Try at less price those bee-hives to obtain;
And why the tears would oft the eyes bedim
Of that old man, when they thus bantered him?
And then with lightning speed his thoughts would stray,
To when his grandfather was ta'en away,
To meet in church-yard with his kindred clay.
As thus he stood and mused, his cousin's call
Roused him again to consciousness of all
The widespread beauties of that landscape bright
And he, reluctant, left the beauteous sight.
To hint at all he saw my time would fail,
And might too much but lengthen out my tale.
Suffice it, therefore, just for me to say,
That he spent pleasantly each holiday.
Ere this, when he was in his fourteenth year,
Amongst the Temperance ranks he did appear;
Attended meetings, heard the speeches made,
And grew indignant at the liquor trade.
He signed the pledge—the strict “teetotal” pledge—
And felt determined constant war to wage
Against the huge, fierce monster, Drunkenness
Which caused, on every hand, such sore distress.
A drunken parent he had never had—
The Lord preserved him from a fate so sad!
But still his fervent soul was filled with grief,
From which he vainly strove to gain relief,
So long as this dread vice o'erspread the land,
And strong drink's victims died, on every hand.
He thought upon the thing till bold he grew,
And framed a speech to tell of all he knew
Of this vile demon's doings in the world,
And wished that out of it he might be hurled.
Soon after this, from Canada there came
A Christian man; no matter what his name.
He long to WILLIAM'S parents had been known,
And hospitality to him was shown.
On that good country's merits much he dwelt,
And COOPER'S ears being open, soon he felt
A strong desire to reach that distant shore,
And all its giant wonders to explore.
Oft he had heard of its vast, splendid lakes,
Stupendous cataracts, and great cane-brakes;
Of boundless woods, well filled with noble trees
And hugest rivers rolling to the seas.
The man described quite well Niagara's falls,
Its thundering sound as it o'erleaps its walls;
He told the distance they could hear the sound,
And how with ceaseless roar it shook the ground;
Of Summer's heat, of the long Winter's cold,
And at what price the finest lands were sold.
This, and far more, the settler told the youth,
Who did regard it all as sterling truth,
And wished—but wished in vain—that he was free
To cross at once the stormy, deep blue sea.
No way appeared but quietly to wait
Till he was loosed, and grown to man's estate.
Some years must pass before that day arrive,
So to be patient he thought fit to strive.
One-half of his apprenticeship had fled,
And now he fairly earned his daily bread.
Of clothes, his parents' ever constant care
Provided him with quite a decent share.
Of pocket money he ne'er had a store,
His needs supplied, he did not care for more;
And his step-mother oft thought fit to say
That “money burned his pockets all away.”
Howe'er it was, he never had a cent
But found a hole, and out of that it went!
Though still close-worked, he did contrive to spare
Some precious, time to spend in rhyming ware.
He read sweet COWPER'S poems through and through—
And, more he read, the more he liked them, too;
His “Task” the most of all—an ample field—
What heart-felt pleasure it did to him yield!
Then MILTON'S lofty genius fired his soul,
Nor did he tire till he had read the whole.
Again began, and o'er the pages pored,
And drank the sweets with which they are well stored.
Then THOMPSON'S Seasons with delight he read,
And YOUNG'S Night Thoughts in mournful dress arrayed.
Some few sweet pieces he from BYRON drew,
And read poor BURNS with much advantage, too.
But of all poets he loved COWPER most,
For in Miltonic grandeur he was lost;
And THOMSON lacked that great variety
Which in sweet Olney's bard we clearly see.
Afflicted Poet! Thou didst well thy part,
By pouring balm into the wounded heart;
And while the world endures, thy verse will cheer
Poor down-cast souls, and bid them not to fear!
Nor did he read alone the poet's page,
Good books in prose would oft his mind engage:
For he had joined th' Mechanics' Institute—
And in its praises I would not be mute.
Mechanics! It deserves your best support,
And to its rooms you often should resort.
There you may learn from books to act your parts,
While they refine and elevate your hearts.
He with great travelers took delight to roam
In distant countries, far away from home;
And frequently has dropped a silent tear
O'er PARK'S great trials in the desert drear.
Oh! who can read of all his heart-felt woes—
His frequent sufferings, and his dying throes—
And fail to drop a sympathetic tear
For his sad end—without a friend to cheer!
In LANDERS' patient, persevering toil,
Through greatest dangers, on wild Afric's soil,
He felt the deepest interest, and partook
Their joys and sorrows, while he read their book.
And hailed, with pleasure and unfeigned delight,
The happy moment when the welcome sight
Of Niger's junction with the great deep sea
A period put to their sad misery!
Read BRUCE, whose book, received with cold distrust,
Was only prized when he was laid in dust.
And HUMBOLDT, the admired of all mankind,
Of gentle manners and accomplished mind;
Who scaled the lofty Andes' snow-clad towers,
Where danger lurks, and fell destruction lowers.
And COOK, who bravely sailed around the Earth—
A friend to man—ev'n man of lowest birth.
Whose peaceful voyages to each far coast
Were for man's benefit—as we may boast—-
Yet at sad price, since his dear life was lost!
Of warlike heroes' lives he read a few,
And of War's horrors thus obtained a view—
Which made him sick at heart, nor wish to know
More of man's bloody doings here below.
His sober and industrious conduct gained
The Master's confidence—which he retained;
And so, in services requiring trust
He was employed, and still continued just.
Sometimes to distant places he was sent—
And well he did enjoy the time thus spent.
It scope afforded to reflective powers—
And thus he profited by these spare hours.
Greatly did it delight him to behold
Fair Nature glittering in green and gold:
And the pure melody in different groves
Reminded him of his own early loves;
Or led him to break out, with tuneful voice,
In some sweet hymn, which made his heart rejoice.
For he had now begun to feel the worth
Of Heavenly things, and pour God's praises forth.
In this way, once he passed through Dallam Park,
To see its deer, and other objects mark.
These lovely creatures to his mind did seem
Most unfit objects of man's sporting dream.
He greatly wondered how some men could be
E'er guilty of, such wanton cruelty,
As to pursue, with horses and with hounds,
Such harmless creature over all their grounds;
Hunt him o'er swamps and fields, and mountain slopes,
Through pebbly streams, or shady hazel copse,
Till they have driven him at last to bay,
Toward the close of some most sultry day.
Wondered how any one, with tearless eye,
Could mark his sufferings, and then watch him die.
Oh, cruel man! when will thy thirst for blood
Be turned to energy in doing good?
When will Creation's groans come to an end,
And men delight in love their days to spend?
While such reflections occupied his mind,
The place he went to seek he strives to find,
And is successful; gets his business done,
Then back pursues his homeward way alone.
Now Fancy wings her flight; I view again
Scenes which my memory will long retain;
See Kent—unsung—flow on in winding course
Through woods and fields, with very gentle force;
Or where, by Sedgwick's side, its waters pour
O'er jagged rocks, with never-ceasing roar;
Or where they smoothly glide past Leven's hall,
Sweet landscapes forming, which can never pall
The minds of those who love a beauteous scene,
And wish to spend a day in bliss serene.
For there this stream just flows as if by stealth
Through splendid parks—past gardens formed by wealth!
I oft look back to those most gladsome hours
Spent, while a schoolboy, in those garden bowers;
Where tall box-trees are trimmed to various shapes—
Old women—pitchers—or, it may be—apes!
Where plants and beauteous flowers are ever found,
To breathe out fragrance all the garden round.
'Tis time for me to curb my vagrant Muse;
A subject waits my pen she well may choose.
Now aid me, O my God! who dwell'st above,
While I attempt to sing Redeeming Love!
Nor let one line, or word, be writ by me
Not in accordance with that Mystery!
May I, to profit fellow-sinners, strive,
And good from this for my own soul derive.
THE ARGUMENT.—Address to the Sacred Scriptures, glancing briefly
their various excellencies. WILLIAM becomes a Christian. His
into a Church. Different view of things after Conversion. Voice of
Nature heard in God's praise. Wonders why Man is so backward
this. Discovers reasons in Man's inbred corruption, temptations,
Salvation all of Grace. The humbling nature of this truth to Man's
pride; but the security it affords Believers. Its effects on him.
love trials—consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk—Church
Visit to farm-house; family worship. Glance at what England owes to
Prayer. Sunday school teaching. Other exercises on that day. Their
influence on him. Prepares to emigrate. Parting scenes, etc.
Hail, Sacred Scriptures! Blessed volume, hail!
Thy worth I fain would sing to grace my tale.
Thou very best of Books, whose truths like balm
Can heal the broken heart, the conscience calm;
Give peace unto the sin-stained, troubled mind,
And, by God's grace, can save a lost mankind!
Thou precious casket of the rarest gems!
Whose priceless value a vain world contemns;
Thou great revealer of that Savior's birth,
Who came from Heaven to bless a guilty Earth!
Thy pages do unfold the wondrous plan
By which that Savior has redeemed lost man!
How He, who was in form of God above,
Laid by his glory out of purest love
To wretched sinners, who his goodness prove!
Thou makest known the amazing fact to Faith,
That Jesus conquered hell and sin by death!
And show'st how all who do believe this truth—
Or rich, or poor, or old, or in-their youth—
Forever shall be saved from death and sin,
And feel “Eternal Life,” while here, begin;
And safe, at last, in bliss be brought to dwell,
Whose fulness never mortal tongue can tell!
Thou the Repository of just laws—
True civilization's first and greatest cause!
A code of morals on thy page is writ
To regulate men's lives, and conscience fit.
There we may read the best biographies,
And dwell on many truthful histories;
Find grandest Poetry that e'er was penned,
Which to devotion pure its aid doth lend;
There pore on grand yet awful prophecies
That do reveal great nations' destinies.
There we pay learn what yet awaits this Earth—
Soon to be burned, and spring again to birth!
If we chaste Fancy wish to gratify,
What pleasant fields for this before us lie!
Pathetic love tales charm the sober mind
Of young or old, of vulgar or refined.
In short, thou formest quite a perfect Whole,
Of what we need to please, direct, control.
And—wonder great! O, Blessed Book divine—
With all thy vast rich treasures-thou art mine!
So felt our hero, when pure Gospel truth,
Came home to him, while yet in days of youth.
He was brought up beneath the “joyful sound,”
And from great snares by this was fenced around;
Yet, Oh! what grief and sorrow filled his soul,
When he first saw his heart and conduct foul—
Was led to view God's holy law aright,
And know he was condemned in His just sight.
Then, what true joy did Jesus' love inspire!
It kindled in his heart sincere desire
To leave, at once, the World's wild, giddy throng,
Whose joy and pleasures all to Earth belong,
To join with those whose joys are from Above,
And who have tasted of a Savior's love.
He, with a choice companion, then applied
For Christian fellowship; nor was denied.
All those kind brethren hearty welcome gave,
For each was glad a sinner's soul to save.
And joyful praises straight to God ascend,
To whom the new-made members they commend.
An Elder, grave, gave each an exhortation,
To which their hearts respond in approbation.
Soon COOPER felt new life, new aims, new themes—
Which gave fresh turns to all his youthful dreams.
The Bible then became his choicest friend;
At home, abroad, did all his steps attend,
And its blest influence was known to lend.
Now what a different aspect things assume;
What once was darkness, Gospel truths illume!
In the sweet services of Sabbath days
He takes delight—in spirit sings and prays.
Views Family Worship as an altar raised
To the true God, who should be always praised.
And now, whene'er he takes his walks abroad,
Hears Nature's voice well tuned in praise of God.
Each blade of grass that springs beneath his feet,
The new-made hay, in Summer's fragrance sweet,
The flowers that to his eyes their charms disclose,
The waving grain, and every tree that grows,
Each insect fluttering in the bright sunbeams,
Or fishes sporting in pure crystal streams,
Or birds that raise their songs by morning light,
At High mid day, or through the moonlit night;
Each storm that rises, or pure breeze that blows,
The copious rains, or Winter's drifting snows,
Vast mountains rearing their hoar heads on high,
Each gem-like star set in the fair blue sky;
The herds wide feeding in the fields around,
All living things in every country found,
All these in their peculiar ways give forth
Praises to God, the Author of their birth!
“Then, why are Men so silent?” he'd exclaim;
“And, those especially, who know His name:
Who, through His grace, enjoy a heavenly birth,
Why rise they not above the things of Earth?”
The “why” to WILLIAM, in his warm first love,
Did truly seem most difficult to prove.
He by experience knew but little then
Of the sad trials of his fellow men;
Nor e'er suspected that the flesh remains
In each poor sinner who true faith obtains.
This bitter truth he soon was made to feel,
Which greatly damped his young and ardent zeal.
How humbling was the thought that human pride
Within God's children must be mortified!
“Salvation all of Grace” first cuts the roots,
Then the huge blanches, and the smallest shoots,
Lays bare the fact, that all of Adam's race
Are but vile sinners, and in woful case.
That the most moral among human kind,
As the most vicious, are to sin inclined.
And if not saved by Grace, not saved at all,
But are hell-doomed, and held in Satan's thrall!
While endless ruin stands before their view,
And does with slavish fear their minds imbue.
This Scripture truth was soon by WILLIAM seen,
For he had from his very childhood been
Used to the teachings of God's holy word,
So that with it his mind was early stored.
However strange indeed it may appear
To some men's minds, he felt no cause to fear:
For though this truth had stripped him of all worth
In sight of God, it called his praises forth,
By showing him Salvation full and free
To sinners, whatsoe'er their age, sex or degree,
Who credit the account that God has given
Of Jesus Christ—the precious gift of Heaven!
Now, feeling truly happy in his soul,
He felt most free to speak the Truth to all;
That, if by any means, he might succeed
In saving souls, of whatsoever creed.
His shop-mates saw the difference with surprise,
And at his cost indulged in foul surmise.
He heeded not, but placed in God his trust—
To his employer still continued just—
And strove with all his might to rectify
Each thing improper which he chanced to spy;
That his old master might have no complaint
Against his servant for thus turning Saint.
He plied his trade from better motives now,
As God with wisdom did his mind endow,
And to his just commands led him to bow.
By such a course pursued he did enjoy
True peace of mind—though not without alloy.
And Time, who past him flew on fleetest wing,
New joys, new sorrows, to his mind did bring.
At times he still was caught in Love's sweet snare,
Which of fresh trials brought no little share.
He was by nature very apt to fall
So deep in love, it did his mind enthral.
Yet clothed in purity was his desire,
Nor e'er to rank unequal did aspire.
One thing to this time had his thoughts possessed—
“To have the girl that pleased his fancy best.”
He had not noticed what the Word declares
On this great matter, so that in his prayers
He ne'er had asked the Lord to him direct,
And disappointment came for this neglect.
'Midst doubts and fears he therefore put away
All thoughts of marriage to a future day.
When we regard the record of God's will,
A duty to ourselves we best fulfil!
From past experience, I would now advise
That all young men, in this respect, be wise.
Few weightier matters can attention claim,
If at pure peace and happiness we aim,
Than the selection of a proper wife—
One that may be a true help-mate for life.
“A prudent wife from God alone can come,”
And only such can make a happy home.
What dreadful strife, what wretchedness and woe,
From error here is almost sure to flow!
'Tis Sabbath morn, a pleasant, one, in Spring,
And Nature's varied voice is tuned to sing.
The swallows twitter underneath the eaves,
And zephyrs stir the newly-opened leaves;
The cock's loud crowing sounds on every hand,
Each bird is warbling praises through the land.
Young COOPER thinks it were indeed a sin
If he to tune his harp did not begin.
He rises from his bed, pours forth his praise
To his Preserver in some artless lays;
Then quickly dresses, and, though humbly born,
With mind elate he tastes the sweets of morn.
And such a morn! Ah, who would he abed,
That has the power to taste these sweets instead.
Most grateful odors greet the well-charmed sense,
From blooming fruit-trees o'er yon garden fence;
The sweet wild-flowers amid the new-sprung grass
Make it seem carpeted in Fancy's glass.
And it a carpet proves to those blithe lambs
Which play around their several watchful dams.
All Nature smiles in loveliest green attire,
And seems to manifest a strong desire
To speak the praise of All-Creating Power,
In striking language, at this early hour.
She, bursting forth from Winter's cold embrace,
Exulting leaves behind his every trace.
So, on the morning of this hallowed day,
The Savior tore the bars of Death away.
He Resurrection-truth brought forth to light,
And we with rapture hail the glorious sight.
Now hark! that sound fast floating on the breeze,
And streaming forth from 'midst those dark yew trees
'Tis church-bell music! and peal follows peal,
Till strong emotions we begin to feel.
Now it pours full on the delighted ear;
Soon, changing with the wind, the strains we hear
As if the bells were many miles away,
And some few tones had merely chanced to stay!
Again, it comes in full harmonious swell,
With thrilling power—as I remember well.
Thus pleased in mind, WILLIAM his way now wends
Toward a hill, which he at once ascends;
And thence pursues the road to Birkland's farm,
Where from kind friends he meets reception warm.
The aged matron—since in grave-yard laid—
Was wont to render him her friendly aid
In shape of counsel—or delicious fare—
Of which good things he needed then a share.
The breakfast over, straight the Bible's brought,
A proper chapter found as soon as sought;
Remarks are made, or they some question ask:
To gain instruction proves a pleasing task.
This done, sweet hymns of praise to God arise.
From well tuned hearts—a joyful sacrifice!
Then, on their knees, in fervent prayer they join
To Him, their Savior and their Friend benign.
Give thanks for care extended through the night,
And blessings they enjoy at morning light.
Not only Sabbath days they thus began;
On, week-days, too, it was their constant plan
To join in worship every night and morn,
That the Religion ever might adorn.
By this made fit to meet the ills of life,
They were preserved from much of worldly strife:
“Surely,” thought WILLIAM, “God will deign to bless
This worthy family with rich happiness!”
Ev'n so he did; all seven knew the Lord,
And took, to guide them, His most holy Word.
England! whate'er thy foes may do or say,
Thousands of families for thee will pray,
By love and duty led. They will not cease
To seek that God would bless thy shores with peace!
Know thou, my Country! thy great naval store,
Thy numerous armies, and thy cannon's roar,
Are Impotence itself compared with prayer,
Poured forth from hearts which in thy blessings share!
Refreshed in mind and body, to the road,
With good companions from that dear abode,
WILLIAM returns; and in most pleasing talk
Time swiftly flies, while each enjoys the walk.
They reach the School before the time begin,
When each prepares some precious soul to win.
They, having tasted God's forgiving love,
Their gratitude for that rich blessing prove,
By teaching children placed beneath their care
How they may best escape from every snare,
Be saved from hell, and reach heaven's mansions bright,
To dwell forever in the Savior's sight.
In Sunday School engaged twice each Lord's day,
And hearing three discourses, some would say
No time could then remain for aught beside;
But this, my friends, has only to be tried.
For COOPER, in reserve, two hours still kept
An Elder's invitation to accept,
Him to accompany to his home, and there
Join in sweet conversation, hymn or prayer.
Thus mostly passed his Sabbaths for two years,
Which kept him free from many doubts and fears;
Enabled him to work at business still
With easy mind, and with right hearty will,
And find that Wisdom's ways are pleasantness,
While all her paths are peace and heart-felt bliss.
But little now remains for us to note,
Of grief endured, or of true pleasure sought,
While he remained in his dear native place,
The pain of leaving which he had to face.
Except Religion, he had but one theme,
That much engaged his mind in each day-dream.
This one was Emigration, which increased
In strength till his apprenticeship had ceased.
Accounts from different Colonies he read—
Their capabilities, and state of trade;
The various climates next he pondered o'er,
And Canada preferred still more and more.
He learned, indeed, the heat and cold were great;
But thought that Nature's works would compensate
For what one suffered from her climate's rigor;
So preparation soon was made with vigor.
His father's family no objection raised,
As they had friends there who the country praised.
Yet all thought well to seek the Lord's direction;
Secure His aid and fatherly protection.
This done, they did no longer hesitate
To take the steps required in change so great.
The kind employers of both man and son
Showed plainly that their confidence was won;
Each made them offers if they would remain—
Of which they had no reason to complain.
The sire, at that one place, employed had been
For something over twenty years, I ween.
There he wrought hard—but for a decent wage—
And was approaching fast toward old age;
So, dare not longer such a place engage.
While William's natural romantic turn
Led him all offers, good and ill, to spurn.
He thought of little but Canadian farms,
And heeded not Rebellion's loud alarms,
[Footnote: The Rebellion of 1837.]
Which his old master pointed out to him,
To put a stop to such a foolish whim.
Yet it caused them sincerest grief of heart
From all kind friends and relatives to part,
Without a prospect of beholding more
Each much-loved face, on dear Old England's shore.
At last arrived that most important day,
When they from all must tear themselves away,
And feel, what Emigrants had felt before,
That parting scenes to tender hearts are sore.
Their Christian brethren did them all commend
To their kind Father, Savior, Guide and Friend,
And gave to them, as pledge of their regard,
A Bagster's Bible—God's own precious Word.
Their kind, deep feelings, other friends displayed
By various gifts, till parting time delayed.
And these love-tokens sensibly affect
The Emigrants, as proof of their respect;
And often, when they view them even now,
A shade might seem to cross each thoughtful brow.
Association, most mysterious thing!
What striking wonders thou hast power to bring!
Aided by thee, we can review each day
A hundred scenes, though thousand miles away,
A single thought, amidst much happiness,
May call up others which give sore distress.
At other times, reverse of this is true,
Most pleasing things are placed before our view.
But to return; the first of May appears—
A day for fond embrace and shedding tears!
Some few go with the friends to see them off,
Nor seek to hide their tears, though fools may scoff.
They take the boat; the signal's made to start;
The “Water-Witch” shoots forward like a dart;
Some lingering looks, some tokens of adieu—
Sweet town, dear friends, and all, is lost to view!
Why felt not COOPER then in rhyming mood?
Why did he slight the Muse, who should be wooed?
Why did he not pour forth a parting song
Expressive of his feelings—always strong?
His loving heart was painfully oppressed,
As for some nights he had but little rest;
Most weighty cares, too, seemed his mind to fill,
Or he might then have sung with right good will.
They onward sail, and PRESTON reach at noon;
Then take the coach and travel further on.
At night they gain the port of LIVERPOOL,
All greatly chilled, because the night was cool.
Dear relatives who live there, welcome give,
And take them to the house in which they live.
Next day they visit many different docks,
Or wondering view the buildings huge, in blocks.
Then seek a proper ship without delay,
And, having found one, passage money pay;
Secure their berths, and place their goods on board,
Commend themselves and friends unto the Lord,
And buy such comforts as their means afford.
Mistakes about the charges, and delays,
Gave them uneasiness for several days.
At last the vessel's towed toward the sea;
And, Reader, for the present, rest with me;
Or wait a moment while I briefly add
That they, to leave this port, were truly glad!
THE ARGUMENT.-Address to Commerce. Emigrants reach the Sea.
England. WILLIAM'S employments on board. Storm described. Reach
of Newfoundland. Foggy weather. Icebergs seen. Land seen.
joy. Ship spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enter River. Scenery,
etc. Arrive before Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to
Thence to Hamilton. Settle near Brantford, on a bush farm. Shifts
furniture. WILLIAM'S narrow escape from Death in logging. His
bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion. Resolution formed and
Remarks incident to it. Conclusion.
Hail, peaceful Commerce! in thy glorious train
Rich blessings come to those who thee maintain.
England by thee for centuries has been blest;
Thy worth to her can scarcely be express'd.
By thy facilities the Scriptures spread
From shore to shore, on God's own errands sped!
Impelled by thee our ships proud Ocean bears,
While each fair port a thriving aspect wears.
Millions of gold by thee are well employed,
And the rich profits by each class enjoyed.
Through thee great Nature's overflowing stores
From distant lands are brought unto our doors;
Increasing much our comfort and delight,
Without abating any civil right.
Nay, more; producing, by thy sway, sweet bands
To bind us to give Peace our hearts and hands;
And thus to strike a death-blow to all war,
Whose brutal spirit keeps our minds ajar.
Through thee our mammoth manufacturing places
Send forth their wares to Earth's remotest races:
By which means many thousand poor are fed,
And trained to Industry—by Virtue led—
Use right the skill with which they are endowed;
Of such like men may England long be proud,
And ever foster, by good wholesome laws,
Those trades which help so mightily her cause!
O, may that day be distant that shall bring
Neglect of thee, from whom such good doth spring!
Hail, peaceful Commerce! still a hearty hail!
As I proceed with my unvarnished tale.
Our ship had not been long at Mersey's mouth
Before a breeze sprung up from east by south;
And then the welcome sound fell on the ear
Of “Square the main yards! Sailors, do you hear?”
A hearty “Aye, Sir!” was the loud response,
And she had glided into sea at once!
With haste they for the Northern passage make,
But that good breeze did them too soon forsake.
Awhile they lay becalmed, and then return,
And reach the Southern passage just at morn.
Soon, soon they lose the truly precious sight
Of English shores, bathed in the morning light!
A few more hours, and land has disappeared;
They see no more Old Albion's cliffs upreared.
Let us suppose that then this poor young man,
In plaintive strains his Farewell thus began:
“Adieu, my native Land! a long Adieu!
Years, years must pass before again I view
Thy much-loved shores, fast fading from my sight,
Or scenes preserved in fondest memory bright!
Should I be spared to reach yon distant coast,
Remembrances of thee will not be lost.
Should I be prospered in Canadian woods,
With a sufficiency of this world's goods,
I still with pleasure will look back to thee,
And hail thy tokens of prosperity!
Will still remember, with a joyful heart,
Each much-loved face—each interesting part.
O, may thy peaceful Arts still flourish round,
And happiness in every nook be found!
May thy great Rulers feel an interest still
In all thy weal—and duty thus fulfil!
Adieu, my Country! may'st thou ever be
A Friend to Truth, and Mistress of the Sea!”
Now on the dark blue Ocean's bosom cast,
Naught but the sea and sky are seen, at last,
Save finny tribes, which, sporting in the deep,
Seem swiftly past the noble ship to sweep;
Or flights of birds returning from abroad,
By instinct led, to charm each English wood.
With sails well filled, the vessel plows her way
In gallant trim, nor heeds the dashing spray.
Yet WILLIAM'S time ne'er seemed to hang on hand;
His days flew swiftly by, on sea or land.
Sometimes a book his close attention craves—
At times, for hours, he watches the dark waves,
Or sits and gazes on that liquid blue,
And calls up phantoms of strange shape and hue;
Or tries to realize a shipwreck scene,
Till he scarce knows but he through one has been;
Or, having found a worthy Christian friend,
In sweetest converse many hours would spend.
One storm they had—it was the only one—
Which lasted but a day, and then was gone.
He oft had longed most eagerly to see
The foaming billows in their majesty;
And now they came, with desperate fury fraught,
As if they set all human skill at naught!
Strong and more strongly blows the mighty wind,
Till the tall masts like merest saplings bend!
Anon, the vessel ships a weighty sea,
Then all below is dread and misery;
While the salt water pours in torrents down,
As if inclined the Emigrants to drown!
Some women shriek, and children cry aloud,
While men toward the hatchways quickly crowd,
Not now inclined to utter oaths profane,
Or break a jest a meed of praise to gain.
Some, on their knees, implore the “Virgin's” aid;
And some true prayer is to the Savior made.
The wind abates, but still the surges roar,
Hearts fearful beat, and consciences feel sore.
Ere long, the calm begins to be perceived
And many feel as speedily relieved!
Some hasten to the deck to look abroad,
But few are found returning thanks to God!
Yet some there were who truly grateful felt,
And spake God's praise as they before Him knelt.
Then WILLIAM saw, more clearly than before,
His wondrous wisdom and His mighty power!
He felt God's goodness in both storm and calm,
And sense of this was to his soul like balm.
Now they approach the Banks of Newfoundland,
And densest fog prevails on every hand.
More danger does beset them than before,
For they might be by larger ships run o'er.
Strict watch is kept, and lights hung out with care,
That they may not be taken unaware.
Small sail is carried till the sky be clear;
Yet onward, in their proper course, they steer.
Icebergs are seen; and now the welcome cry
Of “Land O's” heard from off the top-mast high!
All eyes are strained to catch the joyful sight,
And Newfoundland is hailed with true delight!
Now soon a smart-built ship is near at hand—
A splendid craft! just come from Yankee land.
How gracefully she bounces o'er the wave,
Which seems desirous her fair form to have!
A speaking distance very soon she gains,
And “Ship-a-hoy!” is heard in loudest strains.
Salute thus courteous is by each addressed,
And questions put—in seaman's phrase expressed.
This done, away the gallant ship has sped,
Like some fair phantom which we do not dread!
Saint Lawrence Gulf they very swiftly cross,
And reach the River without harm or loss;
Then enter south of Anticosti's Isle,
While each glad face is beaming with a smile.
COOPER had read of this majestic stream;
Of half its beauties he could never dream!
A pilot taken, blest with proper breeze,
They soon are carried past fine groves of trees.
Sweet islands spring, like fairy scenes, to view,
And each fresh turn presents them something new.
The pure green water tempts their thirsty souls,
As forward in its course the river rolls!
Neat, painted houses on each hand are seen,
And tin-clad spires say, “Here Religion's been!”
The Emigrants conceived that Nature wore
A lovelier green upon Canadian shore
Than they had ever seen in Spring before!
But this was all delusion, and the effect
Of shipboard life, which they did not suspect.
Now they soon mark a ledge of rugged rock,
Stretching near half across the river deep—
Fit place to give unwary ships a shock,
And cause their crews in sad despair to weep.
Quite high and dry upon that rude Rock's crest
A ship they spy; a total wreck it seems!
This vessel had old Ocean's billows pressed,
And neared the Port—oft seen in sailor's dreams.
How came it there? Had they no Pilot ta'en?
Was he unskillful? No one could explain!
Then felt the Emigrants most truly glad
That they a safe and pleasant voyage had.
At last they reach that well-known place, Gros Isle,
And are obliged to anchor for a while.
For “Quarantine inspection” they prepare;
The berths are cleansed, and decks are scrubbed with care.
And human beings who had lost all traces
Of cleanliness, were made to scrub their faces!
This done; they muster in clean garments dressed,
To meet the Doctor, at the Mate's behest.
No serious sickness to his eye appeared;
Yet some for want of decency are jeered.
Permission to proceed they then obtain;
The He-ho-heave!'s sung out in jovial strain,
And rests the anchor in its place again.
Ere this, some strange maneuvers on high land
Gain our friends' notice, and they gazing stand.
Some men, at mast-like pole, to work are seen
With different balls, and what can it all mean?
WILLIAM inquires, and learns with much surprise,
In this way they send news and get replies!
That now they're telegraphing to Quebec—
The fine old city, seen just like a speck—
Of their good ship's arrival, safe and sound—
Her name—the people's number in her found.
Men dreamt not then how soon it would transpire
That news, by lightning, could be sent through wire!
The fame of this, O Morse! to thee belongs,
And thy great name does honor to my songs.
Long may'st thou live, and reap the just reward
Of thy great labor, in good men's regard!
They reach Quebec, and anchor in due time
Before its heights—so towering and sublime!
What views now meet their truly raptured sight—
All Nature's smiling in the evening light!
The falls of Montmorency, just below—
With all her foam, most like to driven snow,
And ever-rising mist—proclaim aloud
The Being and the Presence of her God!
What glorious Craft is that which now appears
With graceful movement, as the ship she nears?
“Canadian Eagle” steamship she is called;
Like that great bird she seemed both proud and bald!
The Emigrants behold her with surprise,
Quite sure such splendid sight ne'er met their eyes.
Ere long our eager friends are made to know
That to the steamer they will have to go.
This pleases them, for the have prisoners been
For six long weeks, and want a change of scene.
The sailors now are heard to swear and scold,
As each one's luggage is drawn from the hold;
The bustle great makes passengers look round,
Lest aught belonging them be missing found.
Our WILLIAM soon had need enough of this,
As he their best large box just chanced to miss,
And to the sailors spoke, who quick replied
They had just sent it o'er the vessel's side.
To this their statement he denial gave,
Which made the men with strongest anger rave.
He then, most speedily, went down below,
And found the box quite safe enough, I trow!
He dragged it forth before their very eyes,
And they thought best to feign complete surprise.
The box secured, they bid the ship Adieu,
Then with great joy their journey soon renew.
By that conveyance they reach Montreal,
Leave that by barges which had comfort small,
And take the Ottawa, whose waters dark
In pure St. Lawrence leave their dingy mark.
Up this dark river, and canal Rideau,
They journey on, with speed at best but slow;
Sometimes through swamps, of dread mosquitoes full;
Now towed by Steamers, now by horses dull;
In this way come to Kingston, on the Lake—
The great Ontario—and a Steamer take.
Upon their journey quickly they proceed,
With much more comfort, and far greater speed.
Safely and soon they reach their destined place,
To meet with friends and friendship's warm embrace.
Thankful to God for journeying mercies granted,
They settle in a Village newly planted.
The friends they met with their warm love displayed
By good advice and necessary aid,
In trying to procure for them a farm,
Where they might live, and have some comforts warm.
These with our friends were joined in Church connection,
And none were backward to evince affection.
Young COOPER soon was pleased, as man could be,
That three of them, whom we shall name as “C——,”
Would leave their homes and business cares awhile,
To trudge with him, on foot, for many a mile,
Through Summer's heat, and with most kind intention,
For purposes of which I have made mention.
He at such times would gaze upon the trees,
Whose lofty heads were bowing to the breeze,
Till he could fancy them a band devout
Engaged in worship, beyond any doubt.
Now he first heard those “soft and soul-like sounds"
From vast “pine groves,” which seemed to have no bounds,
Thrill his pure soul with their sweet melody,
Till it awoke his own rude minstrelsy,
And made him long near by to settle down
In some small hut which he could call his own.
This wish, in part, ere long was gratified—
The father bought a farm, to which they hied.
'Twas six miles from the village, and a place
Where much hard labor stared them in the face;
And there they found that, having spent their money,
It would not soon yield them much “milk and honey.”
But yet it promised, from its rich, black soil,
A full reward, in time, for cash and toil.
So, in good heart, without one “if,” or “but,”
They set to work to fix a roofless hut.
This done, they placed their goods in ship-board style,
With furniture dispensing for awhile.
Their boxes served quite well for chairs and table,
And on the floor they slept—if they were able—
For dread mosquitoes, and the heat intense,
Made good sound sleep be often banished thence.
Yet God's kind care kept all in health and spirits,
And they found Industry had still its merits.
From day to day they did their axes seize,
And labor hard in cutting down fine trees,
Or cleaning up a Fallow 'gainst the Fall—
For which their skill was truly very small.
Ere long they purchased a young, wild ox-team,
Which had for months been wandering in the woods,
Where they did not but eat, and drink, and dream,
Like lords of all in those deep solitudes.
Our WILLIAM acted as the Teamster still,
And did his test to train them to his will;
Yet for a time they would not brook restraint,
But ran to th' woods, on dangerous frolic bent.
Once, while at logging, our raw teamster fell,
And the nigh ox trod on his foot as well;
He tried to rise, but found it was in vain,
And thoughts of their mad tricks shot through his brain.
He gently touched them with his sapling goad,
When they sprang sideways with their heavy load.
Quick as a lightning's flash the log they drew
O'er WILLIAM'S prostrate form—O, sad to view!
When—wonder great—the cattle stood quite still
(In strict obedience to their Maker's will)!
His head was on a log, his neck was bared,
As if for some dread ax-stroke quite prepared.
The log they drew upon his shoulder rested—
And thus his courage was severely tested.
One more slight move would surely crush his head;
In one short moment more he might be dead!
Still they move not!—Was this not Providence?
Come, Sceptics, answer; here is no pretence;
What I relate are only simple facts.
Given with that faithfulness which truth exacts.
The father forward ran, in dreadful fear;
“O, WILLIAM, thou art hurt!” fell on his ear.
The log was raised, when up at once he rose,
Though feeling much as if his blood was froze.
To parent's kind inquiries he replied,
“I feel no hurt except a bruised side.”
But faintness o'er him soon began to come,
When he was glad to reach his rude log home;
And from that hour has ever thankful been
For God's deliverance—so clearly seen.
A few short hours sufficed to bring him round,
And he at logging speedily was found.
There still was something in this wild bush-life
To suit a mind ne'er formed for worldly strife.
The chopper's quick reverberating stroke—
The well-trained oxen, toiling in the yoke—
The distant cow-bell's ever-changing sound—
The new-chopped tree's deep thundering on the ground;
The patter of the rain on forest leaves,
The tree-frog's pipe, which oft the ear deceives,
The blazing log-heaps, and the rude rail fence—
The wild-bee's hum of gratitude intense
For hoards of honey, which our woods still yield;
The plenteous crops contained in each small field;
The Summer evening's song of “Whip-poor-will,”
Near, or remote, while all beside is still;
The clamorous crow's most harsh discordant note;
The blue jay, prone to steal—by nature taught;
The beauteous woodpecker—the pigeon's flight;
The snake, innoxious, gliding out of sight—
These sights and sounds brought pleasure to his mind,
Most heart-felt pleasure, leaving peace behind.
And though he toiled with all the eagerness
Which youths Of ardent temperaments possess,
Till his poor body every night was tired,
He evermore these sounds and sights admired.
And naught but broken health could e'er have drove
Him from those woods, in which he loved to rove.
Meanwhile, he took the first convenient time
To get some cherry logs, in soundness prime,
From which rude bedsteads he contrived to make,
That they their rest might with more comfort take.
He made a table, too, and felt quite glad
That they, at last so good a table had.
These things were spoken of not boastingly,
But with a view to let new-comers see
How, in the Bush, strange shifts and turns are made,
By those who, rightly, are of debt afraid.
The COOPERS, simple minded, could not brook
To stand as debtors in a tradesman's book;
And even to this day—through eighteen years—
'Twould grieve them sore should they be in arrears.
And I am sure it would be better far,
That families should themselves from debt debar,
Than blast their prospects, as too many do,
By what they have so often cause to rue!
From this digression let us now return,
To note what WILLIAM found with deep concern;
That “'Tis not good for Man to be alone,”
As said by God, in Wisdom's solemn tone.
This now appeared to him a serious truth,
Far more than it had done in days of youth.
The birds still paired, and had their separate nest,
From love responsive in each songster's breast;
But, though he loved on Nature's face to gaze,
And mark the beauties which each day displays,
He felt a vacancy in his young breast,
For he no lov'd companion then possessed.
Far different was it in his native land—
There, such an one might always be at hand.
Where was he now to look? Religious views
Left him small space from which a mate to choose.
God's word came to his aid, and then in prayer
He threw himself upon his Father's care.
That word declares, that “He who had not spared
His well-beloved Son, was not prepared
For once withholding from his children dear
Aught which they need, while still sojourning here!”
This precious promise proved to be as balm,
To keep his troubled heart at present calm;
And he resolved in patience still to wait,
Till God should find for him a true “help-mate.”
This resolution formed, was kept intact,
Nor was the strength his own, for that he lacked.
He, though so young, had very clearly seen
That Man, in every age, is prone to lean
Upon an arm of flesh—most frail support!
Which often fails us, oft makes us its sport.
And yet, O strange perversity! we cling
To that which never can us comfort bring.
He knew 'twas better to feel flesh so weak
As to be forced his strength from God to seek;
To feel, like Paul, “However weak we be,
We may still glory in Infirmity.”
From day to day, from week to week mav prove
The prcciousness of trusting in God's love!
Should we do this, our joy will never cease—
Dark things will all look bright! Our end be peace!
THE ARGUMENT—Address to Rural Life. An average sample of a
described. The Feast. The Logger's jests, and other incidents.
Log-heaps. The Loggers' Song. WILLIAM'S thoughts and employments in
Autumn. The Autumnal garb of trees. Reflections connected
The family's Sabbath-day employments. Beginning of their hardships.
WILLIAM leaves the Bush for Village life, but soon returns.
narrow escape from being crushed by tree falling. Winter
Preparations for Sugar-making. Process described. Sugarer's
Hail, Rural Life! from whom such pleasures spring,
That I invoke my Muse thy charms to sing.
Whether I view thee in my native land,
Where Science lends to Industry her hand,
To make her cornfields yield a double store,
Or beautify her landscapes more and more—
Where wealth immense is very freely spent,
By those who on thy weal are still intent;
Or here, in Canada, thy face I view
On well-cleared farms, or those which are quite new;
However rude thy features, or despised—
Though in Town-life, thy charms by me are prized.
A sense of these still urges me along,
As I proceed with my unlettered song;
And every line which I may write on thee,
I trust will evidence sincerity.
The new-come settlers now with speed prepare
To log the fallow they have cleared with care.
For Summer, with her heat intense, has fled,
And fruit-crowned Autumn has come in her stead.
The brush, well dried, is burnt; and all around
Logs, black and charred, are lying on the ground.
These into heaps must every one be drawn,
By means which to all Bush-men are well known.
Have they not strength or time the work to do?
They ask their neighbor's help, and oxen, too.
And fellow-feeling, sprung from their own need,
Leads these the summons to obey with speed.
Should the set day be fine, they start from home
Without regret, and to the fallow come.
One looks so pale, he seems not fit for work;
Has had the Ague, and it still doth lurk
In his poor frame, and may again appear
A dozen times before he's closed the year!
Some others, also, wear quite sickly looks,
As though they had run deep in Doctors' books;
Or are reduced, by heat and toil intense,
Till work, with them, would seem, but mere pretence.
But let us not pre-judge them; they have hearts
Brave as a lion, and will act their parts.
The “fixings” ready, some experienced hand
A “Come, boys! Let's to work!” gives as command.
This said, their strength and numbers they divide;
“Haw, Buck!” “Gee, Bright!” is heard on every side.
“Boys, bring your handspikes; raise this monster log
Till I can hitch the chain—Buck! lazy dog!
Stand o'er, I say! What ails the stupid beast?
Ah! now I see; you think you have a feast!”
Buck snatches at a clump of herbage near,
And deems it is, to him, most savory cheer;
But thwack, thwack, thwack, comes from the blue-beech goad;
He takes the strokes upon his forehead broad
With due submission; moves a little piece,
That those unwelcome blows may sooner cease.
The chain is hitched; “Haw, now!” is loudly heard,
And the half-buried log is disinterred.
“Get up! Go 'long?” vociferously shouts
Every ox-teamster, at these logging bouts.
The heap is reached; now list the loud “Whoa-ay!”
Louder and louder, till the oxen stay.
The chain's unhitched; “Now, boys! your handspikes seize;
Lift! Altogether! Rest it on your knees;
There; roll him over. Ah! 'twas nobly done!
The fire will dry his coat, as sure's a gun!”
And thus, to lighten toil, they pass the joke,
Or stand a moment to have serious talk.
One of some accidents his neighbors tells,
Till each warm bosom with emotion swells;
How Jack Maguin was logging at a “Bee,”
And got his right leg broke beneath the knee;
How he, through careless treatment, was laid up
For full two months, and had scarce bite or sup.
Or how Will Sims was chopping near his house,
And his best ox was feeding on the “browse,”
When all at once the quivering tree descended
Upon the beast, and thus his life was ended!
Anon we notice that each smutty face
Beams with good humor, and the cause we trace
To the supply of whisky just parta'en—
A thing which often proves the settler's bane.
Again they work with stimulated strength,
And, 'midst more noise, the log-heaps rise at length.
The dinner hour arrives; the horn is blown
To make the fact to all the loggers known.
The teams to some near pasture now are led,
Or with new hay most plentifully fed.
The men make for the house with decent haste—
None are inclined to let time run to waste.
But this does not prevent the laugh and jest,
At the black face by every one possessed.
To wash is needful, and refreshing, too,
So all go at it without more ado.
This task performed, which all should take delight in,
They to the feast prepared need no inviting.
Their heavy labor gives an appetite,
And they can eat with relish and delight.
But first their host, if he's a Christian man,
Gives thanks to God with all the warmth he can.
Then all the workmen ample justice do
To those good things so tempting to the view.
Dear Reader, have you seen a logging feast?
No? Wait a while, and I will place at least
The chief ingredients before your eyes;
Here's a huge prime ham; there are pumpkin pies;
Mealy potatoes next our notice claim—
The bread and butter we need never name,
They must be there of course; and here's a dish
Of no mean size, well filled with splendid fish.
That's boiled, fresh mutton; those are nice green
This huckleberry pie is sure to please!
And now I'll cease—no, three things yet remain;
Tea, cream and sugar, might of slight complain!
There, will this do? Or is there something more
Which you would think it right to set before
Such worthy eaters? I am satisfied
It can't be bettered in our Bush-land wide!
Good as it is, and hungry as they are,
They cannot from good jests themselves debar.
One sees his neighbor cast a longing glance
Toward that berry pie; and, rare good chance!
'Tis nearest him, he chuckles with delight,
And is about to whip it out of sight;
But Fortune, still capricious, gives the No;
His nearest neighbor does an interest show
In this proceeding, and the pie has snatched,
Quite in good humor, ere the scheme's well hatched!
The disappointed couple sympathise,
And signal to each other, with their eyes.
The third one, quite unselfish, deems the jest
Gone far enough, and now resolves 'tis best
To help himself, and hand round to the rest.
Another to the fishes takes a notion,
With more of selfishness than wise precaution.
His work-mate spies this, and removes the prize
A leetle further from his longing eyes.
Such jokes pass free; and no great wrong is done
To real good-fellowship by harmless fun.
'Tis o'er at last, when most of them partake
The pipe delicious, for its own dear sake.
They rest and smoke, and smoke and rest again,
Until the “Come, boys!” sounds in loudest strain.
Once more to work, with fresh alacrity,
They reach the fallow, pleased as men can be.
The teamsters call their cattle, not far strayed,
But chewing cud beneath some green tree's shade.
“Co' Buck! Co' Bright!” throughout the woods resound,
And each trained ox moves forward at the sound.
Again the work goes forward, as before.
Till nearly night-fall, when their task is o'er.
Naught now remains but scattered chips and sticks,
Which their host's hopeful son at leisure picks,
And lays upon the heaps—some here, some there—
The burning to assist, which needs due care.
'Tis supper time; again the horn is heard,
And its deep tones has woodland echoes stirred.
Most charming sound to my poetic ear;
And every time 'tis heard still far more dear!
They hear the sound, but yet seem loath to go;
And when they do, their steps are very slow.
They are well tired; no wonder; such a day
Of work laborious would some tire for aye!
Once more they wash; once more they freely eat;
Then light their pipes; and now each other greet
With warm “Good night!” but, ere they have departed,
Their host thanks them, from gratitude warm-hearted.
Now all are gone, save two, who skulk behind,
Of the younger son; and, if I am not blind,
A couple of bright girls I failed to mention,
Are not quite unaware of their intention.
But this is not my business, so I'll pass
To other things, and let each court his lass.
Should next day prove a fine one with a breeze
So strong as just to move surrounding trees,
The Settler may his new-raised log-heaps fire,
And see them burn to suit his heart's desire.
The fire is placed; where, think you? Not below,
But on the top, and burns at first but slow.
See, now, the wind has blown it to a flame;
And soon the log-heap fire's no longer tame!
Dry sticks and chips, in all the openings placed,
Will prove the time spent on them was not waste.
The embers, falling, make these soon ignite;
And now the heap, from end to end, is bright!
With pale or ruddy flame; the smoke ascends
Thick, black and curling, as its way it wends
Toward the sky. Now twenty heaps are fired
And form a sight I often have admired.
The heat becomes intense; for Sol's warm rays
Uniting with the wood-fire's fiercest blaze,
Make it past bearing; yet the Settler bears
The heat and toil, and smiling aspect wears,
Because the work progresses to his mind.
Let us draw nearer, then—'twill seem more kind—
And watch him with the handspike thrust the brands
Closer together. He a moment stands
To wipe the perspiration from his face,
Which streams fast forth again, and leaves its trace
In his pale looks and daily shrinking frame.
Now, every pile's a mass of glowing flame!
The wind, increasing, whirls the fire about,
And makes the workman, if he's wise, look out
For stacks and fences—dangerously near.
He knows the risk; he deems there's cause for fear;
So keeps his eyes still wandering all around,
To mark the rising smoke where'er 'tis found.
Neglect might very soon cause damage great,
In that which should, his labor compensate.
Hence his wise caution as the wind grows stronger,
Until the “burning” needs his care no longer.
This o'er he drags the ground, and sows his grain,
And of the toil required does not complain.
He “sows in hope;” and, if he take due care,
A splendid crop sill soon be growing there.
In view of this, let us suppose him singing
The LOGGER'S SONG, while peaceful thoughts are springing.
THE LOGGER'S SONG.
Come, Boys, to the Logging be cheerfully jogging,
A day's work's before us, I trow;
The Fall is advancing, Sol's mild beams are dancing
On the brook, in the Fallow below.
Cheerily, cheerily, cheerily, O!
Let's log in the Fallow below.
The oxen are waiting, they need no fresh baiting,
Till dinner-time come for us all;
Now, while we are pushing, our work the new Bush in,
Let none into carelessness fall.
Steadily, steadily, steadily, O!
Let's work in the Fallow below.
The logs, thickly lying, our strength seem defying;
But forward, Boys! true courage show!
With hand-spikes unbending, this day we will spend in
The capture of each charred foe.
Speedily, speedily, speedily, O!
We'll capture each black, charred foe.
Now, lads, in your teaming, let's have no blaspheming!
Your oxen are patient and strong;
Our logging laborious need not be uproarious,
Nor lead us to anything wrong.
Decently, decently, decently, O!
Let's act, as the huge log-heaps grow.
When dinner-horn sounding, calls all that are found in
The Fallow to come to the Feast,
Let's guard 'gainst satiety—eat with sobriety—
So shall our joys be increased.
Soberly, soberly, soberly, O!
We'll eat what our friends may bestow.
When day is departing, and we are all starting
For Home, with its sweet earthly bliss,
May thoughts of wives smiling be still reconciling
Our minds to hard labor, like this.
Then freely, most freely, still freely, O!
To all neighbors' loggings we'll go.
Such work as that I have described above,
And holding plow, kept WILLIAM on the move.
Of active turn, he worked beyond his strength—
And felt the sad effects, in full, at length.
Yet at this season, in Canadian woods,
He could not well refrain from musing moods.
Nor was it any wonder, when each day
Added fresh charms to Nature's grand display.
The once-green leaves, struck by the early frost,
Made up in gorgeous tints what they had lost!
He felt that never in his life before
Had he e'er seen such hues as those trees wore.
Some that were shaded still preserved their green,
While others near were decked in golden sheen.
Some in deep crimson robes were gaily drest,
Others in shades of brown, as seemed them best;
While not a few, of pride in dress were fuller,
And had their robes of every splendid color!
The weather, too, was of that balmy kind,
So suited to a dreamy state of mind;
For mighty Sol felt his yet powerful rays
Subdued, being wrapped in a thin, blue haze.
'Tis true, there came the oft-recurring thought,
That all these beauties were too dearly bought;
That soon, too soon, tempestuous winds would rise,
And murky clouds veil those bewitching skies!
That Winter but delayed his coming now
To gather blackness on his cold, knit brow,
That he might rush with tenfold furious rage,
And all the elements in war engage,
To strip the trees of all their splendors bare
And make sweet Nature a stern aspect wear!
Such thoughts at times filled him with melancholy,
Which then, shook off, were looked upon as folly
And after-thoughts brought in their joyous train
Pleasures prospective, during Winter's reign.
The fleecy snow's wild dancing through the air;
The clean, white sheet, wove for the soil to wear,
To guard the plants designed for next year's food
From Frost's attacks, when in a vengeful mood.
The sleighing, too, in prospect, had delights
For one like he—so used to Fancy's flights.
He heard already, in imagination,
The jingling bells, producing sweet sensation.
And 'midst such dreaming Time flew swiftly by,
While he, to stay its course, wished not to try.
His Sabbath days met with observance due,
For he to Christian ways continued true.
The family with loving Brethren met,
Some miles from home, as oft as they could get.
With them “broke bread,” and joined in praise and prayer,
Or heard Christ's doctrine read, or preached, with care.
This they continued every Sabbath day,
And found much benefit from it always.
Meanwhile their worldly means grew less and less,
And fear of debt led them through some distress.
At last their circumstances were made known
To a dear friend, who did a kind heart own.
He WILLIAM took, to help him in his store,
And gave good wages—which endeared him more
To those, thus favored, who by this perceived
He carried out, in practice, truths believed.
In this employment WILLIAM staid not long,
His sensitiveness soon made things go wrong.
He therefore back returned into the Bush,
Where Want stood ready his fond hopes to crush.
Ere this, dread Winter had set in with rigor,
Yet he his bright axe took again with vigor.
Throughout the woods the snow lay very deep,
And Nature's face betokened death-like sleep.
Few sounds were heard to break the stillness round,
Yet in those few our hero pleasure found.
The loud report of Indian hunter's gun,
Which sometimes made the cattle homeward run;
The beauteous woodpecker's quick rap-tapping
At girdled trees, that long since had no sap in;
Besides, the chopper's almost constant stroke
Rang through pure air, and louder echoes woke;
While ever and anon a tree would fall
With thundering crash, which might some minds appal.
These all were sounds which he loved well to hear,
For they, 'mid hard employ, his heart did cheer.
Severe the Bush-man's life, and full of danger,
While, to most scanty fare he is no stranger.
It needs good eyes, strong arms, and courage, too,
To live the life which most new settlers do.
The elder COOPER'S sight was very bad,
Which came nigh bringing him a fate most sad.
They were both chopping at a basswood tree—
Stroke followed after stroke most rapidly—
When, lo! a sudden blast of wind arose,
WILLIAM perceived it, and withheld his blows;
Looked up, saw danger, bade his father fly!
Reached a safe place himself, which was near by;
The tree came down; he quickly then returned,
And stood amazed as soon as he discerned
His father's near escape from tree-crushed fate;
He quite unconscious of his danger great.
There rested, just a foot above his head,
A huge crook'd branch, that might have struck him dead,
Had it not been for God's most watchful care,
So plainly manifested to him there.
This wondrous mercy called forth gratitude,
And Love's warm glow fresh in their hearts renewed.
In cutting logs for barn, and drawing lumber,
Our hero spent of days a goodly number.
Amongst deep snow, and with a slow ox-team,
One thinks 'twould prove a damper to his dream.
Not so, however; though his food was scant,
Of liking for the Bush he felt no want.
He and his brother scoured the woods around,
Where'er 'twas likely straight logs could be found.
These cut, were left till snow had “settled down,”
When to the barn-site they with speed were drawn.
Thus passed the hardest months of that hard season,
And Sol's increasing warmth was hailed with reason.
The more, because that Sugar-time drew near,
With its romantic scenes, to WILLIAM dear
From what he heard the older Settlers say,
So, for it he prepared without delay.
South of their home there grew a splendid lot
Of noble maples, in a sheltered spot.
Convenient to this place, there also grew
Some good black-ash, of which he chose a few
From these he made small troughs to catch the sap,
Whene'er the time should come the trees to tap.
A good pine tree he sought, with eager eyes,
To form a store-trough, of most ample size.
Obtained a gouge, and next his spiles prepared;
For all the toil required he little cared.
“Good axe-men fifty small troughs make per day;"
So said old Woods-men, in a boasting way.
This roused ambition in his youthful breast,
And he worked hard, scarce taking time for rest.
His pride was somewhat humbled when he found
That he could make but thirty each day round.
Yet courage took from this, that their's were made
Of soft pine wood, which did their smartness aid.
'Tis March, and now the snow has settled down
To half its former depth; Sol's beams have grown
Sufficiently direct to make clear days
Feel warm enough to raise the sap, which plays
With life-renewing power, through all the trees;
And yet, at night, 'tis cold enough to freeze.
The Sugarer knows no time must now be lost
To be successful; so he takes his post
About the centre of the “Sugar-Bush,”
Whence he his labors can most freely push.
If wise, in lieu of gash he bores a hole
With auger, at right height, in each tree's bole;
Drives in his gouge a-slant, inserts his spile,
Places a trough—fast lessening thus his pile.
At first, perhaps, the sap will scarcely flow;
He heeds this not, but onward still doth go,
Till every tree that he intends to tap
Is quite prepared to yield its share of sap.
This done, without delay he now will fix
His boiling place, and get two strong, forked sticks;
These, well secured, with pole to reach across,
For hanging kettles he is at no loss.
By this time, if the day continue warm,
His work assumes a more than common charm.
The huge store-trough conveniently is placed,
And he, to gather sap, begins in haste.
With pail upon each arm he moves along,
O'er the soft snow, the noble trees among.
If tunable, perhaps a song he sings
Of “Auld lang syne,” or some more serious things,
Which tends to make his work more easy seem,
Or drive away some foolish, waking dream.
The Bush, if large, will need another band
To tend the fire; and this one must command
Sufficient knowledge of the Sugaring feat
To guard the syrup from too great a heat.
He must mind, too, to fill the boilers up;
And if he choose, he may ev'n take a sup
Of maple-honey, whose delicious flavor
More than repays their outlay and hard labor.
It now has reached that point when constant watch
Must be kept o'er it, lest they spoil the batch.
New milk, or eggs, are used to clarify
The saccharine juice, that it may truly vie
For purity, with any sugar made,
By those who have been brought up to the trade.
'Tis read now for straining; and as Eve
Draws her dark curtains, we the Bush may leave,
And follow him who bears his precious load,
Well pleased, but tired, to his rude log abode.
Let's enter, unperceived, that we may see
The Sugar take its next and last degree.
Through flannel bag the syrup now they strain,
And the close texture does the dregs retain.
Now it is placed o'er quite a gentle fire,
Till it assume that state which they require.
This, b repeated trial, they discover;
When cool, it will “grain” well, and boiling's over.
I've now gone through this sugar-making process
In business form; not giving, more or less,
A hint of frolics which the young folks play,
In sugaring-time, and after close of day.
My readers may imagine, if they choose,
The fun that from such gatherings ensues;
While I proceed to frame a harmless Song,
Expressive of the Sugarer's feelings strong,
As he his most delightful work pursued,
Midst leafless trees, in deepest solitude.
THE SUGAR-MAKER'S SONG.
Sol's warmth is increasing, the Frost-King is ceasing
His hold on the sap of the trees;
And having wrought steady, my troughs are all ready,
So now I will eagerly seize
My few rude tools, ere ardor cools,
Nor heed the melting snow.
Some days of toil will never spoil
The pleasure before me, I know.
I need no inviting, to work I delight in;
Of such I have plenty to-day;
The soft blush of Morning the scene is adorning,
Then why should I longer delay?
The Maple tree will give to me
Its bounty most profuse;
One huge sweet cake I hope to make
Each day, from the saccharine juice!
Last night's splendid freezing as truly most pleasing
To those who the Sugar-Bush love;
This morn's indications' need no explanations,
As the day will abundantly prove!
Then haste, comrade, and bring your spade;
To clear away the snow,
That our wood-fire may soon acquire
A beautiful, bright, ruddy glow.
Now, whilst I am tapping the trees with sweet sap in,
Prepare you a good stock of wood;
Be watchful in boiling, run no risk of spoiling
By carelessness, prospects so good!
O, as I tap, out flows the sap
In a small crystal stream!
I feel as gay, on this fine day,
As I have in some youthful dream!
Now, comrade, each kettle of cast-iron metal
Is full enough quite for a start;
Pray keep the fire going, but yet not too glowing,
For thus you will best act your part.
While I am off, guard the store-trough
From cattle browsing near;
This splendid “run” may soon be done—
The north wind is coming, I fear!
The syrup needs skimming. “Leave it to the women?”
Ah, comrade, it never will do!
They may mind the straining without much complaining,
Yet think it is quite enough, too.
Now eventide, and frost beside,
Bid us our labor cease;
For home we'll make, and syrup take
To them, as an offering of Peace!
The lively strain which I have just indulged,
Must change full soon, if facts were all divulged.
For darker shades come o'er my hero's dream;
But we must pause, ere we resume the theme.
And trust this sketch of rude Bush-life may prove
Acceptable to those who Nature love.
Such retrospect has charms for one like me,
Who has passed through such scenes most happily.
Pardon me, Reader, if my unlearned song
Should seem to you quite dull, and much too long;
The good of all I would most gladly seek,
From purest motives, and with spirit meek—
Not counting Fame, so dazzling to men's eyes,
But God's approval, as my wished-for prize.
Should this be mine, I shall be quite content,
And deem my time and labor wisely spent.
THE ARGUMENT.—Address to Memory. Spring-time described. Thoughts
fancies connected with it. Builds a log barn. Spring employments.
Increase of trials. WILLIAM'S sickness. His Song on Christian
Good to himself from its composition. Leaves Bush for Village
Tinkers in the country. Thoughts and feelings in connection
it. Preaches in public under peculiar circumstances. Introduced to
future Father-in-law's family. Visits their house. Reception.
Description of his future Wife, and Sisters. Anecdote. Commences
business. Visits the States to bin tools. Takes Niagara in his way.
Scenery above Lewiston. First sight of Rapids; of the Falls. Song
O, Memory! What art thou? Whence thy power?
Thy wonders are displayed from hour to hour
Of my existence. By thy powerful aid
Sweet Childhood's scenes most truthfully are made
To pass before me in such vividness,
I stand amazed, and thy great skill confess!
By thy assistance, things long lost to view
Spring forth surprisingly—both fresh and new.
I travel back through more than thirty years,
With all their toils and pleasures, griefs and fears.
Go where I may, thou ever art with me,
As Counsellor and Friend, dear Memory!
Thy secret depths I would again explore,
And must draw largely ere my task be o'er.
Be thou no ignis fatuus to allure
Me from the paths of truth, nor it obscure,
While I attempt to paint the coming scenes,
Which COOPER passed through with such slender means,
'Tis early Spring-time, and the opening buds
Bestud the boughs of trees through all the woods.
The snow and frost remain till rather late;
But Sol's great power for this will compensate.
He, aided by soft winds and copious rain,
Will melt the snow, and break stern Winter's chain.
The Frost-King, thus so suddenly dethroned,
May vent his rage, as if a giant groaned;
Or muster scattered forces and come back
Once and again, to the repulsed attack!
And when he finds his efforts all in vain,
May hurl defiance on Spring's beauteous train;
And, from his region of eternal snow,
Send rude North winds to strike a deadly blow;
To nip the fairest blossoms in the bud,
And blast, in spite, the gardener's prospects good.
Yet One, Almighty, will his rage control;
His fiat has gone forth, “Let Seasons roll
In quick succession, while the Earth endures!”
And this, great benefits to us secures.
The birds begin to pair; the grass to spring;
And Maple sap is scarce worth gathering;
Yet, when it won't make sugar, some prepare
Syrup, and vinegar, of flavor rare.
On every hand the brightly green-robed trees
May hear their finery rustling in the breeze;
And pleased, like mortals, with their gay attire,
May feel a strong, vain-glorious desire
To have a glass in which to view their charms,
Or mark the effect of each rude blast's alarms.
Some, far more highly favored than the rest,
Have such a mirror as may suit them best.
Of these are they which grow beside a stream,
And, all day long, of their own beautv dream;
Or those that grace the margins of a lake,
Whose face reflects the grand display they make.
Ah, these imaginings are far from just;
Fair Nature would much rather sink to dust
Than thus dishonor her great Maker's name!
And we, vain sinners, should be filled with shame,
To be so far behind in praises meet—
Neglecting duty that should still be sweet.
Up to this time our Emigrants contrived
To keep from debt, though they themselves deprived
Far, far too often, of substantial food—
Which, in the end, did them but little good.
Yet day by day they toiled with eagerness,
In hope that God would their joint efforts bless.
To build a barn of logs they now prepare;
This gives them much hard labor, and some care.
To put it up they call a “Raising Bee;"
And, wishful to prevent ebriety,
They buy no whisky; but, instead of it,
Have cakes and coffee, which are far more fit.
The work was gone through in true Bush-man style,
Although a few assumed a scornful smile,
And would, no doubt, have been well satisfied
To have the liquor-jug still by their side.
This job completed, Spring work next came on,
And, truly, there was plenty to be done!
The man from whom they bought their “Indian lease"
Had made brush fences, and there was no peace
From “breachy” cattle, breaking through with ease,
To eat the crops as often as they please!
To cut down trees, and split them into rails
For laying fence, is work which seldom fails
The new Bush farmer, who must ever be
Upon the move, and used to industry.
Such was their case; and. Oh! the aching limb,
And sinking heart, as prospects grew more dim!
Anon, the sun shoots down such powerful rays,
As seems to set the air almost a-blaze!
They felt the previous Summer very hot;
But that, through Winter's cold, was quite forgot.
Besides, as yet 'twas Spring; then why this heat?
Their strength was small from lack of proper meat.
'Tis true, they did not want for daily bread;
But Bush-life should with stronger food be fed.
In lieu of tea, they used root sassafras
So much and often, that they all, alas!
Not only cleansed their moderate share of blood,
But thinned it far too much to do them good!
WILLIAM, especially, became so weak
He could scarce bear to work, or e'en to speak.
When he essayed to stoop, his back seemed broke;
And courage failed beneath the heavy stroke.
The different remedies which friends advised,
All failed to bring the health he so much prized.
His fond hopes crushed, he tried to bow his head,
Submissive to the will of Him who bled
For such poor sinners, on the “cursed tree;"
And found some comfort in his misery.
One day his spirits sank extremely low—
And Faith, herself, fled from him in his woe;
When, like a flash of lightning, to his mind
A passage came, sent by his FATHER kind!
“Fight the good fight of Faith,” with magic worth
Rang through his soul, and very soon gave birth
To a most lively, energetic Song,
On Christian Warfare—in which he was long.
I give the verses, with an earnest prayer
That all my Readers may their spirit share,
And seek for grace to help them still to fight
The “Fight of Faith,” as in their Maker's sight!
THE CHRISTIAN'S BATTLE-SONG.
“Fight the Good Fight of Faith.”
Soldiers of Jesus! say—Where is your armor?
The word has gone forth; you are called on to fight!
Still doth the conflict grow warmer and warmer;
Then trust in your Captain for wisdom and might!
Soldiers of Jesus! mind well your behavior;
See those proud foes, how undaunted they stand!
Hark well to the words of your loving Savior:
“Be ye also ready!” Regard this command.
Soldiers of Jesus! O, be not alarmed!
Your glorious Captain has conquered them all!
Rouse, then, your courage! Be never disarmed!
Your enemies seek to accomplish your fall.
Soldiers of Jesus! Immanuel's banner—
Most glorious of Ensigns—is reared up on high;
Fight ye! O, fight ye! in soldier-like manner;
Jehovah, to help you, forever is nigh!
Soldiers of Jesus! the foes you contend with
Are subtle, expert, they are many and great;
Your armor's so tempered, that it will ne'er bend with
Being used well against them; nor early, nor late.
Take Breastplate of Righteousness—take Shield of Faith!
By which you are able to quench all the darts
Of your great Antagonist! For, so He saith
Who styles Himself “Faithful,” and who strength imparts.
To these be there added “Salvation's bright Helmet,
And Sword of the Spirit—the Word of your God.”
That God who your Foes with destruction o'erwhelmeth,
And rules both the Heavens and Earth with his nod.
Still praying “with prayer and great supplication,
In the spirit of Truth, and watching thereto,
With all perseverence, for the edification
Of Brethren—the Saints,” who are Soldiers like you.
Soldiers of Jesus! now fight with all ardor
Beneath that bright Banner now high and unfurled!
O, doubt not but Jesus will be your Rewarder,
When from their proud standing your foes He has hurled!
Soldiers of Jesus! your Captain is waiting
To give you a Crown—a most glorious reward!
Forward! press forward! success contemplating;
He'll give you the Victory; this promise regard.
Soldiers of Jesus! behold Him descending
Upon a White Throne, His bright Angels around!
The “glorified throng” are upon Him attending;
Before Him all Nations and Kindreds are found.
Hear those glad words, “Come, ye bless'd of my Father!
Inherit the Kingdom prepared long for you!”
Then glory to Him and the Father together;
With the blest Holy Spirit, to whom it is due!
The composition of these lively verses,
Was made to him one of his greatest mercies;
They roused his courage by their warlike tone,
And made him feel he was not left alone
To fight against a host of watchful foes:
For One was with him who felt all his woes;
Who had Himself through every trial been,
And still is with his people, though unseen!
Such sweet reflections had this good effect
Upon his mind: they led him to respect,
More than he yet had done, pure Bible truth;
And thus he learned to bear Christ's yoke in youth.
His soul—so sensitive—was led, at last,
Her every grief, her every fear to cast
Upon her God, with simple faith—unfeigned;
And found His promise true; she was sustained.
His body still was weak; and on the farm
He could not work without receiving harm.
To be a clerk he was not now inclined—
'Twas not a life congenial to his mind;
To work at his own trade he thought was best,
Which thought to several friends he then expressed.
These all agreed it would be right to try
To find employment in the Village nigh.
In it was one who carried on the trade,
Who, to appearance, had a fortune made.
To him he then applied, with some success,
To get a job, and wrought with eagerness.
Alas! it only lasted for a week,
And he was thus compelled fresh work to seek.
That Brother, who before had stood his friend,
Now kindly offered ample means to lend
To start in business on his own account;
But COOPER dreamt he never could surmount
The difficulties which beset him round,
So inexperienced as he should be found.
The work required, to him, was mostly new,
And made up by machines, as well he knew.
To work with these must be his chief concern;
But where was he to go such work to learn,
Unless he made too great a sacrifice
Of Christian privilege? This, in his eyes,
Was of such moment, that he rather chose
To struggle with chill Want, and other woes,
Until such time as God saw fit to show
To him the path in which he ought to go.
Meanwhile, as tinker, he two irons took,
With solder, rosin, and the Christian's Book!
Equipped in this way 'mongst his friends he went,
And happy hours in work and trav'ling spent.
Of mending tins he had enough to do;
And got good board, and decent wages, too.
Ere long he visited more distant farms,
And found his calling not devoid of charms.
On Nature's varied face he still could gaze,
And each new scene presented fresh displays
Of God's Omnipotence and boundless love,
Which raised his thoughts from Earth to things above.
While, ever and anon, he found a friend
To give him work, and press on him to spend
The night, in comfort, 'neath his friendly roof;
And thus afford the most substantial proof,
That Human-kindness in its warmest glow
Wants but Occasion, its full worth to show!
Sometimes a Settler viewed him with suspicion,
And paused ere he would give the least permission
For him to enter his small, rude, log dwelling,
While WILLIAM'S heart was with keen feelings swelling.
Anon, a gentle word would turn the scale—
The man would list the youthful tinker's tale;
Would give a hearty welcome to his house,
And introduce him to his thrifty spouse;
Would bid her bring; that leaky pail, or pan,
Which had been tinkered by “that other man,”
Who got from her the pewter spoons, and lead,
His supper, breakfast, and a nice clean bed;
Then took the metal every bit away,
Saying he got not half enough for pay!
When WILLIAM heard such things he did not wonder
That farmers, sometimes, looked as black as thunder
When he applied for work, or lodging sought
With earnestness, which fear of want had taught.
All he now earned went to the family store,
And thus he kept 'as poor as heretofore.
About this time, an invitation came
To their small Church, to spread Christ's glorious name.
Two Brethren were deputed each Lord's Day
To do the work, but not for worldly pay.
They tried to carry out the Lord's command,
Which few, in this our day, can understand:
“Freely ye have received—so freely give;
More blessed 'tis to give than to receive.”
On one of these occasions COOPER went
With a dear Brother, who to preach was sent.
That Brother was ta'en sick, and could not preach;
WILLIAM, in public, was not wont to teach.
But He, whose sacred name they bore, was there;
On Him the youth now strove to cast his care.
The school-room—such it was—was crowded quite,
Yet he felt nothing daunted at the sight.
'Twas well, perhaps, that every face was new
To him, and all the future hid from view;
For in that very room two maidens sate,
Both destined to be his in marriage state.
And greatly influence his future fate!
Had he known this—so sensitive was he—
It might have him unmanned to such degree,
As to prevent completely the discharge
Of duties which, to him, looked very large.
But as it was, he saw before him there
The old and young, whose looks bespoke some care
For their salvation. That most precious theme,
Of whose great worth the worldly-wise ne'er dream,
He with strong feelings urged upon them all;
And there were hearts responding to the call!
Such deep attention never had he seen
In any Meeting, in his life, I ween!
It thrilled his very soul, and made him speak,
In glowing language, of the Savior meek—
Whose love to sinners moved him to lay by
His own great Glory, and come here to die!
The good accomplished on that Sabbath day,
Ten thousand fold his labor did repay.
His unpremeditated preaching went
Home to some hearts—a Heavenly message, sent
By God's good Spirit, as a proof to be
Of Grace most wondrous to Eternity!
The simple service reached at last its close;
When the sick Brother to some hearers goes
To learn their welfare, and his own impart,
With strongest tokens of a friendly heart.
Those persons were both English—man and wife—
Who knew, for years, the toils of Bush-farm life.
To them was introduced the new-made preacher,
Just then mistaken for an older teacher.
Due explanations made, they him invite
To call and see them, and stay over night.
He, nothing loath, the invitation kind
At once accepted, with delighted mind.
The two return, and with their Brethren meet
To join in worship—simple, pure and sweet.
The incidents of that blest Sabbath day
Haunted his mind, till he could not delay
A visit to his new-made, kindly friends,
In hopes that it might tend to make amends
For great privations, every day endured,
Whilst but a mere subsistence was secured.
He therefore took his bag and tools once more,
To call at places never seen before.
He, in his wanderings, to a Village came,
Which had, for water-power, acquired some fame;
There he found work that did a day employ,
And learned what gave to him much greater joy—
How some five miles would bring him to the farm,
Where he might hope to meet a welcome warm.
Fatigued, he reached the house in strangest plight—
For sweat and dust made him a sorry sight.
The mother was engaged in converse there
With her first-born—a daughter blithe and fair.
These knew him not—so different his array
From What it was upon that Sabbath day.
And though he gave to each a friendly greeting,
It might have proved a rather chilly meeting,
Had not the youngest daughter whispered thus;
“'Tis the young preacher come to visit us.”
This was enough; apologies were made,
And perfect welcome speedily displayed.
In sweet discourse they sat a little while,
When tea was served, in most superior style,
Cooper of such a meal had never tasted,
Since he from his dear native land had hasted.
This o'er, the conversation they resume,
While truth's clear rays afresh their minds illume.
This was to him a most important day;
For gloomy clouds then broke and fled away.
His future, once so dark, now brighter grew,
And filled his soul with gratitude anew.
That mother's care assigned him the “best bed,”
On which to lay his weary limbs and head.
Most sweetly did the Wanderer sleep and rest,
As though by grief he ne'er had been oppressed,
He rose, refreshed, soon after break of day,
And thankfully his “Orisons did pay.”
While these dear folks the breakfast were preparing,
He to mend leaky tins no pains was sparing.
For what he did he would not make a charge—
His Independence was a trait too large;
But that kind mother would not be repaid
In work or money for her love displayed.
She fixed the price—a very liberal one—
And paid the cash for all that he had done.
Perhaps my readers think this matron's eyes
Saw, in the tinker, a most likely prize
To win, as husband, for her daughter fair;
But surely they must be mistaken there!
This family's standing was considered good;
WILLIAM, amongst the very poorest stood:
And, in his tinkering garb, was not a match
For that fair girl, whom many strove to catch.
Let this be as it might; he left the house
Without proposing to make her his spouse.
Yet not without the strongest inclination
To make short intervals of separation.
Their daughter, Jane, was in her twentieth year,
And did to him a lovely maid appeal.
He knew her soon as skilled in house affairs,
But ever lacking vain, coquettish airs.
Her form was graceful, and of medium size,
And sweet good nature beamed in her bright eyes.
Her face, for most part, wore a pleasant smile,
While her dear heart ne'er harbored aught of guile.
Her charms were such that COOPER'S heart, ere long,
Could not resist their influence so strong.
Nor need we wonder much, for soon he learned
She had good offers, in great plenty, spurned,
Before she knew the Tinsmith—so forlorn—
Whose poor appearance ne'er drew forth her scorn.
Phebe, the youngest girl, was quite a lass,
Who might not yet have used a looking-glass.
Possessed of bright brown eyes and cheerful face,
On which, of sorrow, none could find a trace—
Unless her paleness might be viewed as such;
Yet all who read her eyes would doubt it much.
Of lively spirits, and most active turn,
Still fond of work, she could not fail to learn
Such household duties as her mother thought
Best that her girls should, in their youth, be taught.
To be a favorite, Phebe scarce could fail;
And parents rightly named her, “Nightingale!”
For, while asleep, she oft would sing at night
Some lively tune, and always sing it right.
Between these two, in age and temperament,
Another girl was to that couple lent.
She, than her sisters, always seemed more shy,
At least, if strangers happened to be nigh.
All three grew up good-looking, and became
As faithful wives as e'er were known to fame.
One chubby babe, and three more sprightly boys,
Ranked 'mongst the number of this family's joys.
Meanwhile a curious incident occurred,
To mention which may harmless mirth afford.
Our hero long had wished to take a tour
Still further North, 'mongst farmers far from poor;
And when returning—say on Friday night—
To hold a meeting, if his friends thought right.
The place agreed upon was their “large room”—
One large enough, if neighbors all should come.
This, settled, off he went for several days,
Toiling and sweating under Sol's strong rays.
Sometimes with Christians of most generous souls;
Anon, with those whose conduct him appals,
Till the important day at last came round;
When at a house, hard by, he tinkering found.
The work all done, they ask him to partake
Refreshment with them, for pure kindness' sake.
He thankfully complied with their request,
And found their cheer was of the very best.
The meal was served beneath a pleasant shade,
And he, to each good thing was welcome made.
Soon there rode by a gentleman well dressed,
And the host's daughter thus herself expressed:
“Most likely that's the Preacher just gone by;
He's dressed in black, and wears a white neck-tie.”
“Perhaps so,” said the father; “'tis the night
The Meeting's held, and they did us invite.”
WILLIAM, meanwhile, beheld the mother's eyes
Cast oft upon him; and, with some surprise,
She asked, “Did you not preach a month ago
At the Plains School House?” He replied, “'Twas so.”
“And is it you that's going to preach ere long
At our near neighbors?” He asked, “Is it wrong?”
“No; only—” There's the rub! O contrast great,
Betwixt the well-dressed man, and tinker's state!
To do them justice, 'tis but right to add—
They went to hear him, and for it were glad.
Ere many weeks he is prevailed upon
To take that kind friend's offer, and has gone
To Buffalo for tools; and on his way
Makes for Niagara, without delay.
Years he had longed to see that splendid sight,
And now this journey took with great delight.
'Twas in the month of August; when, he found
Himself for Lewiston, by steamer, bound.
The night he reached that was a sultry one—
And such excitement he had never known.
The room in which he tried to get some sleep
Had six poor drunkards in it! [Footnote: Fact] 'So, at peep
Of early dawn, he rose; then washed his face;
Paid off his bill, and strove his nerves to brace
By walking o'er the seen remaining miles,
With glowing feelings, and face clad in smiles.
O, what a morn was that! A cooling breeze
Blew from Ontario, and just moved the trees.
Around, no clouds obscured the bright, blue sky;
Yet o'er the Falls a mist was rising high!
He clomb the “Mountain's” rugged, stony height,
And often turned to gaze with fond delight
Upon the scene before him. The blue Lake
One sheet of golden splendor! Sol, awake,
Had sent his rays athwart that inland Sea,
Ere He rose high, in glorious majesty!
On either hand lay woods, and fields of grain,
Stretched out, for miles, in one vast fertile plain.
Upon his left rose BROCK'S plain Monument;
By “sympathy”—false named—now sadly rent!
The genuine fruit of murderous Civil war,
Whose dogs—let loose—stop not at Virtue's bar;
But oft, by their vile deeds, dare to pollute
What men most sacred deem as worth repute.
May thou, my dear, my own Adopted Land!
Ne'er hear again the tramp of hostile band;
Whether poured forth from neighboring foreign shore,
Or fruit of thy own sons' deep thirst for gore!
WILLIAM, arrived upon the mountain top,
Pauses not long; he had scarce time to stop.
He took the River bank, and there, below,
The wondrous rapids for the first time saw.
His thoughts and feelings would be hard to tell,
While he stood there—bound as by magic spell.
Ere long he felt a very strange desire
To brave that Water-Spirit's foaming ire!
And once or twice essay'd e'en to descend
The precipice's front, to gain his end!
“O for a bathe”—thought he—“in that pure stream!
Is it reality? or do I dream?
Am I now standing on Niagara's brink?
O that I could of its pure waters drink!”
Soliloquizing thus, a thundering sound
Broke on his ear, and noise of Rapids drowned!
Aroused by this, he hurried faster on—
The veil of mist his guide—until, anon,
He reached a bend, which brought before his view
The mighty Cataract's wonders, ever new;
Yet at such distance he could not well trace
The varied beauties of that matchless place!
Most eagerly he took the road again;
Nor paused to seek the company of men,
Who, reared amid these wonders, seldom feel
The deep emotions, or the fervid zeal
Which he then felt, as nearer still he drew,
And found his dreams of the Great Falls all true.
At last he stood there; and, in earnest, gazed
As though he could not weary: quite amazed
At the vast grandeur of the beauteous scene,
And half inclined to look on all as mean
That he had viewed before! Musing, he stood
Still as a statue, while the mighty flood
Dashed madly onward, as if eager still
To take the leap, obedient to God's will!
Again he's roused by shout, away below,
'Twas from a Boatman, anxious now to know
If he would cross to the Canadian side?
COOPER obeyed, with Fancy for his guide;
And soon was bouncing o'er the heaving deep,
Whose current forced the boat to take a sweep;
While, ever and anon, a dash of spray
Made wet his clothes, as would a rainy day.
They reached the landing; and he now has gone
To Table-Rock, and muses still alone.
The song which follows does express in part
The strong, warm feelings of his raptured heart:
SONG TO NIAGARA.
Niagara! I hail thy magnificent wonders,
The work of my Father—the maker of All!
His voice 'tis I hear, in thy earth-shaking thunders,
As “Deep unto Deep” every moment “doth call!”
Waters rushing, always pushing
Over the ledge of crumbling rocks;
Ever leaping, never sleeping,
Sound His praise in ceaseless shocks.
Thy mist to my mind seems a Pillar enshrining
His All-glorious Presence, by day and by night!
Thy rainbows bespeak Him to Mercy inclining—
Though none who gaze on thee are clean in His sight!
Colors blending, mist ascending;
All are displaying His great power!
Rapids roaring, are adoring
Him—their Maker—every hour!
The myriads of pearls, and bright emerald glories,
Encircling thy brow, 'midst the foam and the spray,
Unite in presenting the most vivid stories
Of splendor and riches which He can display!
Pearls descending, without ending,
Down that giddy precipice,
Seem deriding our vain pride in
Works which can't compare with this.
The trees on thy banks look like worshippers standing,
To pay at Thy shrine their just tribute of praise;
And loudly, indeed, are their voices demanding,
That man unto God his sweet anthems should raise!
Each tree growing, oft is bowing,
Lowly its tall majestic head;
Man, still scheming, 's seldom dreaming
Of this feast before him spread!
My soul, quite enraptured, could stay here forever,
And drink in thy beauties with constant delight;
But something within me is whispering, “Never
Be so taken up with sublunary sight!”
Paths of Duty should have beauty
More than what I find in thee;
For thy glories tell no stories
Of some things worth much to me.
But yet I can gaze on thy dazzling brightness—
Thy rainbows, thy pearls, thy clear emerald green;
On rapids still toss'd into foam of pure whiteness;
On falls the most glorious that Earth has e'er seen!
Strength acquiring, in admiring
All as the matchless work of God;
Can, with pleasure, leave such treasure,
And my journey onward plod.
Around the Falls he lingered till past noon,
And still felt grieved to have to leave thus soon.
So loath was he a single charm to miss,
He oft went down and up the precipice,
By means of spiral stairs which constant shook,
As if by palsy-fit they had been struck.
The engine's whistle warns him now to go,
And take the cars for rising Buffalo.
In that new City he arrived ere night,
Which gave to him but very small delight.
Tools soon he found—sold only by the set;
And with his funds, the price could not be met.
Here was a fix! Naught for him now remained
But to return, with just his pleasure gained!
This, as an offset, stood against the debt
He had incurred, and kept him from a fret.
Once more I pause, but with a hope quite strong,
That I may soon resume my simple song.
THE ARGUMENT.-Address to Hope. Its benefits to William. Commences
business. Manner of conducting it. Thinks again of Matrimony. Shop
described. Inconveniences in it. An incident. Discouragement in
Compensation for them in visits to his intended. A further glance
her. The home provided her. Marriage. A peep at their home
Forced to leave it. A second move. A Love's-pledge. Imminent peril
the wife. Unhappy condition of first-born. Church matters.
trials from temper, etc. Continued success in business. Tinsmith's
Song. His long sickness, and support under it. Dutiful conduct of
Apprentice. Wife's self-sacrifices and matronly management.
gratitude to her for it. Continued Poetical predelictions. Visits
his Wife the Falls of Niagara. Family increase. Troubles in Church
affairs. Excommunication. Fresh Church connection. Troubles arise
afresh. Death of Wife. WILLIAM'S lament. Conclusion.
Hail, Hope! thou gem-decked Maid, with features fair!
Fairer than fabled goddesses of air.
I still regarded thee as sprung from God;
As sent to us from his divine abode,
With the sweet sisters, holy Faith and Love,
That favored mortals might your virtues prove.
Led on by thee, we pass through heavy trial,
Requiring ever constant self-denial,
Unscathed, yet ridded of defiling dross,
To find ourselves the better for its loss.
Prompted by thee, we scale vast mountain heights;
Or take to Earth's far bounds most rapid flights;
Face dreadful storms; yea, greatest dangers brave,
And, unappalled, view the deep, yawning grave!
In every age thy praise have Poets sung;
Throughout the world thy praise has loudly rung
So much and often, that I need not dwell
Upon thy worth: for it were hard to tell
The millionth part of good thou hast achieved;
By finite man it cannot be conceived!
Thy sovereign virtues WILLIAM deeply felt,
Howe'er engaged, and wheresoe'er he dwelt.
In constant toil, and chilled by Penury,
He knew 'twas blessed to be cheered by thee.
Thou madest him content in low estate,
And for Prosperity to patient wait;
Till some, who thought his course deserved much blame,
Were led to full approval of the same.
More weeks went past, and his kind patron bought
Both tools and stock; when he with vigor wrought
In a small shop, and did his best to give
Due satisfaction, and made out to live.
Throughout the country nothing now was heard
Save talk of Civil war; yet undeterred
Was he, by what was going on around,
From his employment; and kept gaining ground.
The village of brave Soldier's was quite full,
And they, alone, made business far from dull.
When he at first commended, he made a rule
For which some folks then deemed him quite a fool
To make good work and cheap, and have his pay
For all he sold; and this he did always.
He had been taught to look Honesty
As the best part of Business policy;
And his experience fully proved the truth
Of that old maxim learned in early youth.
Meanwhile, as worldly prospects brighter grew,
To marriage state he turned his thoughts anew,
And made proposals for that lovely maid;
Nor was disapprobation once displayed
By either parent, who gave full consent,
As she, to marry him, was quite content.
Though not a “first love,” their's remained still true,
And smoothly ran-was ever fresh and new!
His humble home, and shop, were all in one,
And looked, to others' eyes, most woe-begone!
It was for business truly quite unfit;
Yet customers still found their way to it.
Back from the street—up some half dozen stairs—
Two boards, on barrels, held his shining wares!
On one side high—the other very low—
And all unplastered; it was quite a show!
At one end stood his bench, and close beside it
Lay his rude couch; let not the rich deride it!
At times, he rose from off that humble bed
With a fair snow-wreath close about his head!
One bitter night, some loyal Volunteers
Were quartered on him; and he told his fears,
That much of comfort could not there be found,
In such a room, with all his fixtures round.
One made reply which went to WILLIAM'S heart,
And proved that man had “chosen the good part”—
“'Tis better,” said he, “than our Savior had;
Of such a lodging He would have been glad!”
Our hero, with his hand-tools got along,
At best, but slowly; and sometimes went wrong.
It was no easy thing to ascertain
What kind of goods a ready sale would gain.
His brother Tinsmith showed no friendly spirit;
He deemed him far too low in workman-merit!
And threatened vauntingly to drive him out:
But God's rich blessing compassed him about!
His patterns he contrived, as best he could;
And every month, as tradesman, firmer stood.
His constant visits to his future bride,
Much of sweet pleasure every time supplied.
Rare worth and beauty did the maid possess;
To see her was to taste of happiness!
She was too lovely, and too gentle, far,
For one whose mind was very oft ajar;
So humble, that she left her father's house,
With all its comforts, to become his spouse.
The home which he for that fair girl provided,
By most young lasses would have been derided.
'Twas just the farthest half of his rude shop,
Lined with planed boards on all sides, and the top;
Quite small in size, 'twas amply furnished,
With stove, three chairs, a table, box and bed!
In March, his natal month, through sleet and rain,
He bore his wife, who did not once complain.
No wedding jaunt could their small means afford,
Yet they had pleasure in true love's accord;'
And what they lacked in way of outward show,
Was quite made up by warm affection's glow.
They were a happy couple, with warm hearts:
Both striving eagerly to act their parts.
If ever twain were blended into one,
'Twas in their case, as all who knew them own.
He, working soon and late to rid his debt;
She taking care of all he chanced to get.
And, with sweet smiles upon her face,
Dispelling of despondency each trace.
Too soon, the place in which their bliss begun.
Was made too hot by our Canadian sun.
A Bakery below, Sol's rays above,
With heat from stove made them most glad to move.
They next obtained a shop which answered well;
For all he made, they could most freely sell.
This place, however, they were forced to quit
In three months after they had entered it.
More than one person had on it a claim,
And each law-suit fanned their litigious flame,
Until at length it went to Chancery,
And that sage Court could on this thing agree—
To have it closed forthwith! And thus our friends
Were forced to move, once more, to gain their ends.
Each move brought double rent; but this became
A thing remembered only by its name.
Trade still increased, as did Experience, too,
And WILLIAM now had more than he could do.
But by this time he had assistance found
In his wife's brother, as apprentice bound;
A youth most active, and good-natured, too,
Who took delight in what he had to do.
The shop to which they went—last on the street—
Was, as a residence, to them most sweet.
Almost in front, a river calmly flowed;
Close by, a plain wood bridge the stream bestrode.
There, he could stand at his shop door and view
A scene which called up feelings ever new.
Above the bridge, for nearly half a mile,
It is most lovely, clad in Summer's smile.
Tall trees, of various kinds, its margins grace,
While it flows on, with ever gentle pace,
Past two small islands; each one like a gem
Set in the stream so softly passing them.
There, often has he sat, on summer's eve,
With his fair bride, both loath the scene to leave.
Lit up by Luna's beams, 'twould larger seem,
And scope afford for sweet poetic dream.
One island he would picture as the site
Of a neat mansion, where he might, at night,
Retire from business cares to take a boat.
And on the surface of the river float
With his most charming—his most loving wife;
Content to leave behind all worldly strife.
Such freaks would Fancy play, when he inclined
To let her reign sole Monarch of his mind!
Yet, when the spell was broke, the sweets of home
Were such, that from them he ne'er wished to roam.
And thus days, weeks and months most smoothly passed,
Till Winter came, each beauteous scene to blast.
Now, with new hopes, alas! came fears as well,
The strength of which it is not mine to tell.
But those who once have fond, young husbands been,
May well conceive what hopes and fears I mean.
Scarce bad December sealed the Frost-King's reign,
Ere these true hearts a Love's-pledge did obtain.
Protracted labor, bringing sore distress,
Came nigh extinguishing their happiness!
This oft led WILLIAM to the Mercy Seat;
And, oh, his visits there were truly sweet!
Nor was it vain; two precious lives were spared,
And the young parents were, afresh, prepared
To grapple with their duties—growing large—
Conscious of weakness in their full discharge.
The babe proved cross and fretful; and, for years,
Frequent convulsive fits filled them with fears;
And quite unfitted her, in after life,
For bearing a just share of toil and strife.
This proved an exercise for faith and prayer,
Until the fully felt that God's kind care
Would be extended o'er their suffering child;
And this thought made their souls more reconciled,
To bear with patience this great, frequent trial,
Which called on them so much for self-denial.
A growing interest now in Church affairs
Filled that young father's mind with weighty cares.
At this my readers need not be surprised;
Nor should my notice of it be despised.
That Church on Scripture truth had ta'en its stand,
And wished to bend alone to God's command—
To copy, in their government, the plan
Marked out by Christ, when first His Church began.
Now they sought one well qualified to take
The Elder's office—not for lucre's, sake,
Nor “as a lord o'er God's own heritage”—
But one who humbly would, with warmth, engage
To do His bidding, and bear peaceful rule
O'er that small Church-that it might prove a school
For Saints to grow in strict conformity
To God's just will-as they that will may see.
One soon they found, who had for years been tried:
Who by Paul's test was willing to abide;
Well knowing the advice which he had given
To Ephesian Elders; and how he had striven
To labor with his hands for the support
Of self and friends, oft made the worldling's sport.
Let none imagine that this flock obtained
Another's labor for some selfish end;
Large sums they raise to help the suffering poor,
And freely give of their superfluous store
To send the Bible into heathen lands—
And that while all are laboring with their hands.
This testimony I would bear of them;
'Tis strictly true, whoever may contemn.
As deacons they chose WILLIAM and another,
Who was regarded as a worthy brother.
In God's pure sight they viewed themselves unfit
For such high office; yet accepted it
In deference to their brethren, who made choice
Of them at once, without dissenting voice.
'Twas thus it came that he had many cares,
Beside his family's and trade's affairs.
In preaching now he took his regular turn,
And, though but weakly, did with ardor burn
To tell poor sinners of a Savior's love,
Or Saints instruct in lessons from Above.
He 'midst those labors found, with sore distress,
A constant warfare mar his happiness.
Dyspepsia-fell disease-his stomach seized,
And, like a demon, would not be appeased;
But made his temper, far too quick and warm,
By frequent outbursts often work him harm.
This grieved the heart of his beloved wife,
And might have led to constant family strife,
Had not the Lord to him his folly shown,
By greater chastisement than he had known.
And now our friends possessed sufficient means
To pay their debt, or purchase those machines
Which tinsmiths use; and WILLIAM asked his friend
If he, conveniently, could longer lend
What they were owing him? His kind reply
Led COOPER soon the needful tools to buy.
This was an era in their history,
And they most gladly work more actively
In manufacturing their humble wares,
Or giving to old things their due repairs.
While freely pushing their close labor through,
They still found plenty for the two to do;
Which called on them for greater thankfulness
To their kind God, who did their business bless.
While thus engaged, pray tell me where's the wrong,
If they should sing the following “Tinsmith's Song?”
What though our bench labor rob us of the favor
Enjoyed by the farmer, 'midst fair Country scenes;
What though 'tis confining to make up tins shining,
There's naught in the trade which our conduct demeans,
Then ply the shears, since it appears
That our calling is honest and fair;
Yet take good heed, lest, in our speed,
We should send from our hands leaky ware!
In using the folder we then may grow bolder,
And form and groove pans with our consciences clear;
Drive each of the turners with skill beyond learners,
And put in stout wire with our hearts full of cheer.
Then take a burr and make it whirr,
As the bottoms spin round like a “top;"
And fit these tight, which is but right
If we wish a good name for the shop.
In this case the setter will do the work better,
And strong double seams will repay all our pains;
But slight not the soldering, or customers ordering
Their work at our hands will begrudge us our gains.
This we can do and yet push through
Quite a good share of labor each day,
And in our sales of pans or pails
Boldly ask those who buy for our pay.
We thus may be working, no selfishness lurking
Within, though the weather be cloudy or cold;
And lawfully striving our trade still be driving
From far better motives than mere thirst for gold.
Then we may serve and never swerve
From strict duty's plain, straightforward path,
Our country's weal with fervid zeal
By skill which each artisan hath.
O! then our bench labor may bring us the favor
Of a jaunt now and then midst the forests and fields,
Which pleasure so joyous can never annoy us,
If health and contentment it constantly yields.
Then ply the shears, since it appears
That our calling is honest and fair;
Yet take good heed lest in our speed.
We should send from our hands leaky ware.
And now these parents' hearts were rendered glad
By a sweet babe as ever parents had;
A lovely boy, a precious first-born son,
An April flower ere Spring had well begun.
Thus were their family and cares increased
While pleasure was not lessened in the least.
But a few months were destined to disclose
A lengthy list of what some think are woes.
Three serious accidents that year befel
His aged father, and 'twere hard to tell
The weary months of suffering he endured
Ere loss of limb to him relief procured.
Their patron, too, was by sore sickness brought
Down to death's door, as all who saw him thought
WILLIAM at last was on a sick-bed thrown
For many weeks, and then was fully shown
The fervent love and patience of his wife
Increasing still through years of after life.
Bereft of reason, as his friends declared,
Rich consolation he at all times shared.
Death—man's “last foe”—for him no terrors had,
His blighted prospects did not make him sad.
To leave his wife and babes he was resigned,
And this while all deemed him of unsound mind.
The tempter, true, his faith and feelings tried,
But his suggestions met “God will provide.”
This simple text was strong enough to stay
Each wavering thought that rose from day to day.
The time when he fell sick was in the Fall,
When lively business made most pressing call.
And yet he was enabled to abide
Content with this, “Jehovah will provide,”
Ev'n so he did, and that in wondrous way,
For his wife's brother worked both night and day,
A striking instance of unselfishness
But rarely seen in youths of such a class.
Though outward things looked dark, this chastisement
Was plainly from a loving father sent;
And they saw constant reason to rejoice
That what is painful might be made their choice.
For, while it weaned their thoughts from things of earth
It made them prize the more their heavenly birth.
And ev'n their fond affection for each other
Was purified from that which tends to smother
The noblest energies of Christian souls,
And far too often their best thoughts controls.
This sickness showed, and that most strikingly,
How good a nurse this faithful wife could be.
Through all her trials she was quite resigned,
And not one murmuring thought rose in her mind.
A more attentive or enduring nurse
I'm very sure ne'er shone in poet's verse.
When his recovery was manifested
Her love and patience were severely tested.
For calomel caused him such great distress
He was oft found in fits of fretfulness.
But yet she meekly bore with his caprice
And her self-sacrifice did never cease.
He, when restored again to perfect health,
Grew far more conscious of the store of wealth
By him possessed in having such a wife
To act as helpmate through the storms of life.
And not long after, when their lovely boy
Was very sick, he did his skill employ
To soothe her sorrows by an artless lay
Exhorting her to make God's love her stay;
And holding up to view Heaven's perfect bliss,
He aimed to show that naught can come amiss
To those who all their hopes on Jesus rest,
And “seek through His Atonement to be bless'd.”
Their child restored, their joys again increase,
For God's sweet service yields them constant peace.
He, constantly employed in hard bench work,
Let not a thirst for wealth within him lurk,
And was enabled to preserve his mind
So free from care that, when he felt inclined,
He could with ease bring all his thoughts to bear
On Scripture truths, and each with each compare,
Or let his fancy take her random flight
To bring from Dreamland some new-coined delight.
At other times would raise his tuneful voice
And sing sweet hymns which long had been his choice,
Or else recite some charming poetry
With touch of skill and much of energy.
At times his spouse, too, did her sewing bring,
And joined harmoniously God's praise to sing.
Thus mostly passed their time for months and years
In bliss too great to last, as it appears.
Meanwhile their debt most honestly was paid,
By which then prospects were much brighter made.
Yet gratitude glowed brightly in each heart,
To him who acted such a friendly part
As to lend money and then wait for years
In patience for the payment of arrears.
About this time they visited “The Falls,”
As business was not urgent in its calls.
WILLIAM felt joyful in no trifling measure
With such a wife to share so great a pleasure,
And gladly spent his money and his time
To view with her that scenery sublime.
This jaunt gave both the most heartfelt delight,
And furnished her the first and only sight
She ever had of wonders there displayed,
Which were in Spring's fresh beauty then arrayed.
They stood and gazed, or sat in shady place,
With glowing feelings pictured in each face.
He greatly longed to have a dwelling near,
That he might oftener view scenes grown so dear.
But family needs would force themselves on him,
And those bright visions very soon grew dim.
Yet he inquiry made of settlers round
To learn what prospects then might there be found
Of earning a just living at his trade;
But this quite threw the project in the shade.
Then he thought fit to let “well be” alone
Till clearer light should on the scheme be thrown.
Hopes next arose that he might yet revisit
Once every year, with pleasure more exquisite,
Those grand, unrivalled Falls with her he loved,
More lovely still now that her love was proved.
The sequel shows how little we foresee
Of good or evil in our destiny.
'Tis right; and this should make us place our trust
In God, our Father, ever wise and just.
Since naught can happen without His permission
Who orders our affairs with wise precision.
At the appointed time they home returned,
While love for it more strongly in them burned.
One Winter and two Summers now had passed
Since a fine boy upon their care was cast.
Again stern winter came, with cloudy skies
And howling blasts like some fell demon cries.
Dark, chill November had been ushered in,
With much of elemental strife and din,
When came another daughter, bright and fair,
To charm the hearts of that still loving pair.
The new come love pledge, as time swiftly flew,
In sweetest bands their souls more closely drew.
Increasing means more household comforts brought,
Not greatly coveted if they were sought.
They asked God day by day for such supplies
Of worldly blessings as He deemed most wise,
Took those most thankfully He kindly sent,
And with their lot, for most part, were content.
'Tis true that COOPER wished to spend more time
For the improvement of himself in rhyme,
But greater duties had a higher claim,
Neglect of which would bring upon him blame.
He therefore kept his muse in close subjection,
And gained God's blessing and most kind protection.
Yet now and then his pent up feelings broke
Through all restraint, and his rude harp awoke
To pour forth numbers with intent to cheer
Parents or friends, who lent a willing ear
To his effusions, void of learning's grace,
But full of feeling, which supplied its place.
Another Spring and Summer passed away,
Then Autumn, too, and Winter held the sway;
While January, when half its course was run,
Brought to our friends a second infant son.
Two of each kind parental love now claim,
As sharers of their destiny and name;
While years of happiness might seem in store
For, prosperous still, they loved each other more.
That season was their best in way of trade,
And thus their prospects wore no darkening shade.
Satan—arch enemy of all mankind—
Beheld with envy their true peace of mind,
And most maliciously employed his skill
To work them woe—defiant of God's will.
Their worldly property he did not touch,
For loss of this would not be felt so much
As trouble with their brethren in the church,
Severed from whom they might be left in lurch.
His plan succeeded, as I know too well,
For some deemed wise were held as by a spell
In hands of strongest preconceived opinion,
While Ignorance held them in his dominion.
WILLIAM had seen this long, and mourned in soul,
With such emotion as scarce brooked control,
And, knowing that they held it just and right
For all to seek increasing Scripture light,
He, in the search for truth, gave up his mind,
And was well pleased some few choice pearls to find.
These lustrous gems he had no wish to hide,
So held them up to view, and earnest tried
To lead his brethren to approve their worth;
But such a course gave to contention birth.
Nor was it long before occasion came
For those opposed to lay upon him blame,
The end of which was that they did him sever
From sweet communion with their church forever!
Under this blow he tried to bear up well,
But all he suffered 'twould be hard to tell.
His spouse and parents with him sympathised
And broke the bands which each so long had prized.
Naught now remained for them but to unite
In holy fellowship with purer light.
Soon some few other friends who knew their case
Their humble cause did with much warmth embrace.
One with our hero labored in the Word
With what small skill and time he could afford.
Things went on smoothly for about a year,
And some success did much their hearts to cheer.
Ere long, however, troubles unforeseen
Burst on the little band with shafts so keen
That WILLIAM'S faith and strength were sorely tried,
And with his lot he was dissatisfied.
One of the flock was easily led astray,
And self-indulgence held him in its sway.
Two others left because a change of view
Made several seek to be baptized anew.
Slow passed another very trying year,
And thick gloom gathered, filling them with fear.
Our friend was sick from an unquiet mind,
While Comfort—wonted guest—he failed to find.
At last his loved, his idolized wife
In her accouchment left this mortal life.
Schooled long, he firmly bore this heavy stroke,
And bowed his head submissive 'neath God's yoke.
This brought him peace, and his sad muse ere long
Found utterance in the following mournful song:
WILLIAM'S LAMENT ON THE DEATH OF HIS
Awake, my harp! give forth in solemn time
Thy sweetest numbers in harmonious rhyme.
'Tis time to bid my dormant powers arise,
Yet I would first dry up my weeping eyes.
My full charged bosom heaves, and oh, how slow
Conflicting thoughts in well timed numbers flow.
Cease, rebel feelings, cease your dreadful strife;
The theme's my love, the partner of my life.
Her portrait is before me, and that smile
Upon her features playing, shows no guile.
What were thy thoughts, my loved one, on that day
The artist's skill did our joint forms portray?
Thou wast not then so foolish as to deem
An early death a vain or idle dream.
We oft had converse on that mournful theme,
As oft looked forward to the solemn day
When death, grim monster! should tear one away.
I thought my time most surely first would come,
And thou, expected'st, first to reach thy home!
Thus were we apt to number out our days,
And oft together led to seek God's ways.
Most unfeigned pleasure did we take in this,
And gained as fruit sweet tastes of heavenly bliss.
Now, my belov'd one, thou art gone from me
And our dear little ones! Oh! can it be?
The sad reality comes o'er my mind.
Thou'rt gone indeed, and we are left behind.
Oh for that faith of which thou wast possessed,
As thy pure spirit strove to gain her rest.
Oh for that patience which thou didst display
Beneath our Father's hand to thy last day.
Methinks that thou art whispering in my ear:
“Let God's sure promises thy spirit cheer;
“Remember that our Jesus is the same
“To all whose trust is in His precious name.
“A few short days, perchance, or months, or years,
“May flee away; yet he will still thy fears
“And bear thee up as if on 'eagle's wings,'
“Far, far above the reach of earthly things.
“Remember what thou didst to comfort me;
“Thou hast God's word, the same it is to thee.
“Let fervent prayer ascend to God above;
“He'll deign to listen for He still is love.
“Rouse then, thy courage, let thy faith be strong,
“Let Hope, 'an anchor sure,' to thee belong.
“The time's not distant we again shall meet
“To part no more. This is a thought most sweet.
“But yet in patience do thy soul possess,
“And wait God's time, and then He will thee bless.”
Enough my loved one, I will haste away
To do my duties without more delay.
And trust in God who can fresh strength impart
To me to serve him with a perfect heart.
Here, then, kind reader, I must close my lay,
As other duties call me now away.
If you've had patience to go with me through
My lengthened tale, I bid you warm adieu.
If my small learning has called forth a sneer,
Know you from such things I have naught to fear.
For what is written I have this defense:
My song at least lacks not for common-sense.
WILLIAM AND AMELIA
[Footnote: For the benefit of such readers as are not acquainted
the locality of Lake Windermere, I may say it is the largest lake
England, and lies to the north.]
Near the side of Windermere,
Down a gentle rising hill,
Flowed a murmuring brook so clear
Every portion of the year,
And no doubt is flowing still.
Hard by stood a small, neat house,
Tenanted by peasants poor.
The mother was a loving spouse,
One who never was a blowze,
But most tidy evermore.
The husband was an honest man
Working hard on working days,
Deeming it the wisest plan.
Each day's labor he began
By pure prayer to God always.
We shall call them HUMBLEWORTH;
They such name deserved quite well.
In that country of the north
All would speak their praises forth,
With delight their worth would tell.
Three dear children graced their home,
Lovely were they in their youth.
When they chanced in woods to roam,
Fairies seemed they to become;
Full their hearts of love and truth.
AMIE, BESS and little ANN
We their names at present call;
AMIE'S bloom was richer than
Any rose which zephyrs fan.
She had, too, a lovely soul.
BESS was as a lily pale,
Graceful as a fawn could be.
She was never very hale,
Parents' eyes could see her fail,
And they felt anxiety.
Little ANN, a chubby lass,
Was the youngest and the pet;
Friends all thought naught could surpass
That sweet child in loveliness
Which they in their lives had met.
I have said that they were poor.
This was true of worldly things;
Yet they had an ample store,
They were skilled in Bible lore;
And from this sweet comfort springs.
Very close observers might
Deem them once of higher rank,
They defrauded of their right,
But still blest with gospel light,
Of rich consolation drank.
Near them lived a proud, rich man,
Wide his lands, but small his heart.
Of him a report there ran
That he to be rich began
Practicing a knavish part.
“GRIPEY” was the name he bore
'Mongst the country people round;
They could reckon up a score
Of vile actions, if not more,
And from these this name they found.
Call I him “SIR FINGERNEED,”
Such a name is more genteel;
Had he done one worthy deed
I would not withold the meed
Of sweet praise I truly feel.
He had but an only son,
WILLIAM was his given name;
He to love had not begun,
Yet at times he liked to run
In the woods when AMIE came.
There for her he'd try to find
Hazel nuts and berries, too.
Thus he showed his heart was kind—
That he had no churlish mind
When such actions he could do.
Time flew past; poor BESSIE lay—
On her humble dying bed.
Parents now beside her pray,
AMIE watches her by day—
Moving round with softest tread.
WILLIAM oft some dainty brought
To her by his mother sent,
And returned with sober thought,
Musing as each mortal ought
On a death-bed scene intent.
He had heard fair AMIE speak
Of a place above the sky,
Where dear BESS with spirit meek
Would be taken, though so weak,
If at present she should die.
Now he reaches that fine place
Where he and his parents live.
Marks of sadness on his face
Make his father wish to trace
What could him such trouble give.
WILLIAM, not inclined to guile,
Did the truth at once disclose.
This creates a scornful smile
On that rich man's face the while,
Then unto his wife he goes,
And in stern and angry mood
Asks her why she sent the boy;
Did she call that doing good
Sending one of gentler blood,
Just to watch a cottar die?
He no reasons deigns to hear,
Bids the boy not go again.
WILLIAM drops a silent tear
While his parent still is near,
Yet strict silence does maintain.
BESS has left this earthly scene,
Sorrow therefore fills that home.
They have to the churchyard been,
And its clods are now between
Them and charming BESSIE'S form.
They were not alone in grief,
WILLIAM sorrowed much at heart,
Knew not yet the saint's belief,
And most slowly came relief
To remove from him his smart.
Those who seek to curb the mind
Of their offspring in their youth,
Should show reason why they bind,
Clothed in language very kind,
Lest they tempt them from the truth.
Soon the youth began to feel
Galled by most unjust restraint,
And did oft in secret steal
To enquire of AMIE'S weal,
And to her would make complaint.
Then she told her father all.
Calm but firm was his reply:—
“WILLIAM shall no longer call;
Some great ill might him befall,
And he must himself deny.”
This AMELIA saw was right
And informed the gentle boy.
Tears bedimmed his eyes that night
For the loss of his delight,
Which would all his peace destroy.
Said he now, “I will refrain
From my visits, AMIE dear,
If you'll true to me remain
Till I can consent obtain
From my father, whom I fear.”
AMIE blushed, her word did pledge.
WILLIAM snatched a parting kiss
As he swiftly climbs the hedge,
Fairest dreams his mind engage
For he tastes of lovers' bliss.
Pass we o'er five tedious years.
Years which saw great changes come
To some thousands in all spheres,
Raised by hopes or sunk by fears,
Now alive, or in the tomb
WILLIAM had just come from school
Summoned to his father's bed
On an Autumn evening cool.
Now dread thoughts began to rule
Him who lay just like the dead.
Why that start, that vacant stare?
Does he know his son is by?
Guilty conscience who can bear?
Hope shut out or blank Despair,
When one's latter end is nigh?
Stood the youth with tearful eyes
Fixed upon the dying man.
He would speak, but when he tries
His young soul within him dies
As he views that face so wan.
Speaks the father now at last,
“WILLIAM, listen to my tale.
I through dreadful crime have passed,
But while life is ebbing fast
Now to you I would unveil
“My base heart, if yet I may
In some measure crime atone.
It is thirty years this day
Since a Will I made away,
To gain riches not my own.
“Him I wronged is HUMBLEWORTH,
Long a neighbor near this house:
His my wealth by right of birth;
All I own upon this earth
Is my family—and disgrace.
“I would make amends to him,
But grim death now shakes his dart;
Breathing fails me, eyes grow dim,
Spectres 'fore my vision skim,
And with terrors fill my heart.
“List, my son, your's be the task,
When I'm past this earthly scene,
Pardon for my sin to ask,
My vile conduct to unmask,
And make known what I have been.
“But, my boy, in pity spare,
Spare your mother's feelings dear.
Warning take, from me, nor dare
Sport with sin; of that beware,
For great danger lurketh near.
“I more would say, but now again
Death's strong fetters bind my tongue.”
Soon his struggles are in vain;
WILLIAM'S heart is wrung with pain,
And his nerves are all unstrung.
Startling groans break on his ear
Now that ill-spent life has fled.
WILLIAM sees his mother near
And attempts her heart to cheer,
As she sinks upon the bed.
Seems this stroke too hard to bear.
In the lack of Christian hope,
Her weak heart from grief and care
Droops too soon to dire despair;
With such foe she cannot cope.
Now the youth feels greatest need
To curb well his ardent grief,
Calls he loud for help with speed.
His commands the servants heed,
They obey his mandates brief.
First the mistress they convey
To her room and lay her down.
There would WILLIAM with her stay,
But he could not brook delay
Till his father's crime he own.
Goes he to the house once more
Where his dear AMELIA lives.
With a heart most truly sore,
Reaches he the cottage door,
Knocks; no one admittance gives.
Why is all so still around?
This place they did occupy!
“Where can HUMBLEWORTHS be found?”
Asks he loud, nor heeds the sound
Of man's footsteps passing by.
Turns the man in haste his head
And the youth does recognize,
Tells him, “In the lake's clean bed
Some one found poor AMIE dead!”
And that thitherward he hies.
This like thrust of dagger came,
Near depriving him of sense.
In his breast's a raging flame,
Calls he AMIE'S lovely name
As he rushes o'er the fence.
Down toward the deep lake's side
Flies he now with greatest speed.
Forms among the bushes glide,
Sorely is the lover tried
In this saddest hour of need.
Who can paint his grief of mind
As the lifeless form he views?
Vainly strives he peace to find,
This stroke seems the most unkind;
He all comfort does refuse.
AMIE'S face has lost its bloom,
Though her countenance is fair.
Little ANN within the room
Deeply shares the general gloom,
In a dim lit corner there.
Some make efforts to restore
That sweet girl they loved so well.
Too long time elapsed before
Her dear form was drawn to shore.
Death has cast o'er her his spell.
Women kind now lay her out,
In pure white her corpse invest.
WILLIAM then, by nature taught,
With poetic feeling fraught,
This warm song to her addressed:
SONG TO AMELIA.
Still like to Luna wading,
Beneath yon silvery cloud,
Thy beauties are unfading,
Though mantled in a shroud.
As thou in death art lying,
Thy lovely form I view,
And ask if aught in dying
Has made thy charms seem new.
Say, wert thou conscious ever
That I to thee was true?
That naught but death could sever
The bond 'twixt me and you?
I came with heart nigh bursting
From thee to get relief.
My very soul was thirsting
To let thee share its grief.
And now this stroke has fallen
Like thunderbolt on me,
And my poor heart is swollen
With saddest misery.
Oh, where can I be flying
For strength and succor now?
If there were hope in dying,
I soon to death would bow.
But now my duty strongly
Bids me my task fulfil;
Thy family suffered wrongly,
To right them I've the will.
And then I would be leaving
Each bitter scene of woe,
Haply my loss retrieving,
If that can be below.
Thou wert to me oft speaking
Of God's sweet place of Rest,
I would that place be seeking,
To be with thee most blest.
Farewell, my young life's charmer,
A long, a last farewell;
I feel my heart grow warmer
As on thy love I dwell.
Calls he HUMBLEWORTH aside,
Speaks to him with faltering tongue:
“Father's sin I dare not hide;
Me he bade before he died,
Soon redress your grievous wrong.
“He destroyed your uncle's will,
When you were a little boy,
And did not his part fulfil
As your proper guardian still,
Losing peace of mind and joy.
“I'm prepared to give a deed
To you of that large estate,
But I strongly intercede
For my mother in her need,
In her sad affliction great.”
“My dear friend,” the good man said,
“Let some time now pass away.
I am not of you afraid,
His command you have obeyed,
Let us talk some other day.
“Go, my boy, and cheer the heart
Of your mother, still my friend;
See, I bid you now depart,
Lest delay increase her smart;
I will soon to it attend.
“Learn to place in Christ your trust;
Seek for pardon through His blood.
God alone can keep you just,
For we are at best but dust;
Naught have we ourselves of good.”
WILLIAM hastens to the Hall
With a somewhat easier mind.
Fearing that it might appal
Mother's heart, he tells not all
That befel their friends so kind.
Now an inquest has been held
O'er AMELIA'S corpse so fair,
Tears have from their fountains welled,
Grief immoderate has been quelled,
Which has brought of peace a share.
Now arrangements have been made
Suiting all who are concerned.
HUMBLEWORTHS such love displayed,
As proved all that I have said,
Showing in whose school they learned.
To the Hall, as theirs of right,
All the family removed;
And they strove with all their might
To make the widow's burden light,
For she was by them, beloved.
As assistant on the farm
WILLIAM proved of greatest use.
With a heart both young and warm,
He soon found that ANNIE'S charm
For lost time was some excuse.
Why should I prolong this tale?
All my object may divine.
Christian love will still prevail
O'er its foes when they assail,
And it will forever shine.
I have a little garden plot,
'Tis very small indeed;
But yet it is a pleasant spot,
And plenty large enough, I wot,
When out-door work I need.
Two woodbines flourish at my door,
And climb above its porch;
One yields of grateful scent a store,
One flowers till all the summer's o'er
And winter days approach.
And o'er the walls grape vines are spread,
Which bring delicious fruit;
These also sweetest odors shed,
And please my senses till I'm led
To hold them in repute.
And then I have of peach trees three,
Which have begun to bear,
And 'tis a pleasing sight to see
My somewhat numerous family
All eager for a share.
Three apple trees I next would name,
Though fruit they ne'er gave me;
For this their tender age I blame,
And other cause I cannot name,
And so I wait to see.
Some berry trees I also boast,
And these of different kinds.
Of flowering shrubs I have a host,
Which did in cash and labor cost
What might affright some minds.
Four kinds of lilac here are grown,
One double flowering cherry,
And weeping ditto, not much known;
Eight different sorts of rose I own,
And shrub that yields snowberry.
Of lily yea, and crocus, too,
I've some varieties,
And monkshood, pinks, and violets blue,
Of double almonds not a few,
With two kinds of peonies.
Some polyanthus and foxglove,
Sea-pinks, and columbine,
Sweet-scented tulips, which I love,
Whose beauty has e'en power to move
A heart less fond than mine.
The daisy and sunflower tall,
Present a contrast great;
One like to him who, proud in soul,
Expects his fellow men to fall
Submissive at his feet.
The other, like true modesty,
Scarce lifts its lovely head
Lest you its secret charms should see—
Just like a lovely maid, when she
Is to vain-glory dead.
Sweet-briar and sweet-william claim
A notice from my pen,
For each of these can boast of fame;—
Are better known than my poor name
Among the race of men.
My hollyhocks and lichens fine,
Spread out their charms to view,
And other pretty flowers are mine—
To speak whose praises I incline,
If but their names I knew.
Of annuals I have but few,
That fact I fully grant;
Yet I have larkspur, pink and blue,
And double poppies of rich hue.
To serve me while the summer's new
I've beds of rhubarb plant.
Some household herbs and fragrant thyme,
With lettuce, sage, and mint,
Complete my stock; but had I time
A lingering lesson swells my rhyme
With many a moral hint.
That as we rear in summer's glow.
Herbs, fruits and flowerets fair,
So may we in our natures grow
Sweet flowers that may hereafter blow
In Heaven's serener air.
The Inebriate's Daughter's Appeal to
One frosty night in bright moonlight,
I left my cheerful home;
My thoughts were such I cared not much
Which way I chanced to roam.
With firmest tread my way I thread
Through many a winding street
When drunkard's voice in tones not choice,
My startled ear did meet.
He cursed a girl whose hair in curl
Bespoke a tidy mother;
Whose clothes, though plain, wore not a stain,
Yet grief her words did smother
Her beauteous eyes told then no lies
While she looked at the man.
As nature brought the words she sought,
She this appeal began:
“Oh, father, leave this wretched place,
And hasten home with me;
For mother and the darling babe
Are in sad misery!
They have not tasted any food
Since morn of yesterday.
Yet you should hear that mother dear
For blessings on you pray.
“For when she prays aloud for you,
Her tears they flow apace,
And deepest crimson doth suffuse
Her ever lovely face.
She says that she must leave us all
Before 'tis very long,
To go to yonder Heaven above,
And join in Angel's song.
“And when she looks at our dear babe
Her tears flow forth again;
Yet never does she, father dear,
In words of you complain,
But says that she will try to make
A happy home for you.
Come ill, come well, whate'er betide,
She'll loving be and true.
“O, father, hasten with me, then,
Before my mother die!
When I left home, your charming boy
Most piteously did cry;
It would have moved a heart of stone
To see the tears he shed;
His shrieks make worse the dreadful pain
In mother's throbbing head!”
The drunkard stood in solemn mood,
In riveted attention.
This strong appeal did make him feel
Most serious apprehension.
He took the hand of maiden bland,
And hastened fast away;
Nor turned his face on that dread place
Which had made him its prey.
They reached the house where that dear spouse
Was breathing out her soul.
From sense of sin he rushes in,
Nor could himself control.
Upon his knees in agonies
He cries aloud, “My wife,
Do speak to me, for I will be
A husband, dear, through life!”
No voice there came; the vital flame
Had fled, of child and mother.
He could not stay, so turned away,
With look that made me shudder.
That little girl with hair in curl
At last to him doth speak:
“My father dear, your heart I'll cheer,
And blessings for you seek.
“How We must pray, she taught the way
Who now has gone to bliss.
Nor would I be the least degree
In duty found remiss.”
Her artless strain made him refrain
From purposes most foul.
In after years she calmed his fears,
And saved at last his soul.
To the Children in Mrs. Day's School.
My dearest children, do you know
That best of all things here below,
And knowing, you should always show
To one another
Which when received doth warm the breast,
To troubled souls imparts sweet rest,
And makes each near connection blest—
Of friend or brother.
This precious thing has power to melt
Man's stubborn heart, as I have felt,
Subdue all sins that ever dwelt
In men benighted.
If o'er this world 'twere shed abroad,
The soldier soon might sheathe his sword,
And God alone would be adored,
And all things righted.
What is this thing of which I speak?
It can be found by those who seek,
With willing mind and spirit meek,
Intent on finding.
It has its origin above,
More beauteous is than any dove;
Those who have felt it know 'tis Love,
And well worth minding.
Where was this love most clearly seen
My children you can tell, I ween.
The truth both old and young may glean
From Scripture's pages.
For there we read that Jesus came
To suffer death, endure the shame,
That he might free us from all blame,
Throughout all ages.
SONG TO BRANTFORD.
Air—“AULD LANG SYNE.”
Thou lovely town in which I dwell,
My own adopted place,
In verse I would most gladly tell
The pleasures which I trace,
As back I look through all the years
Which o'er my head have passed,
Since I began, with many fears,
My hopes on thee to cast.
For that support which, under God,
I have from thee obtained.
Now through life's journey I would plod,
With gratitude unfeigned.
When I at first began my trade,
I was not worth a cent.
That small commencement then I made
With money to me lent
By one whose name I fain would tell,
If he would give consent.
On love like this I'll fondly dwell,
Till my poor life be spent.
His kindness set me first afloat
In business and its cares,
And thy inhabitants have bought
My humble, shining wares.
So that my needs have been supplied,
And a most ample share
Of true home sweets I have enjoyed,
Such as are far too rare.
But yet I have had sorrows too,
Sent by my Father kind,
To make me think, and say and do
All he in love designed.
And now I candidly declare,
I would not if I could,
Have altered my sweet bill of fare,
It has been all so good.
Our eight dear children growing up,
My wife and I behold,
And quaff such, pleasures from life's cup
As none can get from gold.
And whence does such pure pleasure come?
I answer, from the Lord.
His presence cheers our humble home,
And we can well afford
To praise and glorify His name,
While we do here remain;
And be content to suffer shame,
If but the Crown we gain.
TO ELIHU BURRITT AFTER LISTENING TO
HIS LECTURE ON
DEC. 26, 1857.
[Footnote: It affords me much pleasure to be able to say that after
presenting these verses to Mr. Burritt he was kind enough to call
at my house, and expressed himself pleased with them.]
Pray deem it not presumptious in me
To give expression thus to what I felt
Last night, while listening to the poetry
In your discourse, as you on Commerce dwelt.
I know not if you ever wrote a rhyme,
Or framed your thoughts in a well measured line;
But sure I am your language so sublime,
Shows you possess a deep, poetic mine.
I listened with attention most profound,
As did the audience that before you sat,
Feeling as if I was on holy ground;
Which in my mind deep reverence begat.
And O, when you led us in spirit back
To Eden's God-formed, most delightful bowers.
Ere our great parents had endured the rack
Of sin-struck consciences among her flowers,
I almost fancied that I heard the birds
Warbling melodiously the praise of God;
While sinless man in soul-enraptured words,
Responded as he pressed the flowery sod.
And when Sin came, as with hot furnace-breath,
To blast the loveliness of all around,
And our progenitors first tasted death
With consciousness that they were naked found,
You did portray the scene so vividly,
Of their rude efforts at an uncouth dress,
That tears of pity from strong sympathy
Bedimmed my eyes to see their great distress.
And when you showed how God with skillful hand
Employed Himself to make them coats of skin,
I saw mechanic skill take higher stand
From this divine and early origin.
And O, I thought this fact should ever lead
Artificers to strive and manage well
Their several crafts; and show by word and deed
Their love to him who does in glory dwell.
Then, as I watched the progress made by Art,
And peaceful Commerce coming by degrees,
I felt it was your mission to impart
To this war-ravaged world such views as these.
My gladsome soul did to such views respond,
And utterance found before my God in prayer.
Hence caught fresh glimpses of the time beyond
The present age, which shall such glory share.
Go on, great champion of the Good and True,
Spread wide the messages of dove-eyed Peace,
And may God's richest blessing flow to you
Where'er you are, until your labors cease!
TO A VIOLET. FOUND BLOOMING IN MY
GARDEN IN DECEMBER,
Beauteous, variegated flower,
That with courageous mien,
Not heeding much stern Winter's power,
Hast let thy face be seen
At such a season, and amid such dearth
Of vernal beauty, I would bid thee hail;
For charms like thine to me have wond'rous worth,
When Summer's comforts fail.
I had not thought to see a gem
Like thee, as fresh and fair
As ever graced a diadem,
Bloom in the open air
After such killing frost as we have had;
And when grim Winter had his ice bolts hurled
With double vengeance, prematurely mad
As though to chill the world.
Still thou art here in loveliness,
But lacking Spring-time's scent,
And seeming in thy charming dress,
With thy lone lot content.
The while that other plants are dead to sight,
And waiting patiently for Spring's approach,
When King Frost's forces shall have ta'en their flight,
Chased by Sol's glorious torch.
But now I bid a warm adieu,
And place this in a book
Where I can bring thee fresh to view.
When'er I choose to look.
Regretting only that I tore away
Thee from my garden bed, where thy sweet face
Lit up with smiles that nook, and made it gay,
As by a sunbeam's trace.
EMMA, THE TINKER'S DAUGHTER;
OR, THE BENEFITS OF SABBATH SCHOOL INSTRUCTION.
In a wretched, narrow street of an old English town,
A roving tinker lived; one who would often drown
Of Virtue every trace, by drinking much strong beer;
Oft mixing in a fight, a stranger to all fear.
Right before his door-step, mud did the gutter fill;
And once to cleanse it out he never had the will.
The windows of his house with patch-work were supplied,
And all within the door by coal-smoke well was dyed.
In such a place as this, we would not hope to find
One of the human race with pure and noble mind;
Yet one indeed there was, whom we shall Emma call—
Most beautiful her face, most lovely in her soul.
She was the only child of that sin-hardened man—
Her sainted mother died as her tenth year began;
The father brutal seemed to all the World around,
Yet never with his girl was he in anger found.'
And much his kindness told upon her gentle heart;
It soothed her childish grief, and made her act her part.
The lessons she had learned before her mother died,
Were now of greatest use, for she was sorely tried.
And when her father went to stay a week away,
She read her Bible oft, and cared not much for play;
But, feeling ill at ease, with dirt within and out
She whitewashed all the rooms; of this you need not doubt.
The gutter still remained, just in its former state;
That she could not mend, so left it to its fate.
But now she scrubbed the floors, and waited patiently,
Till came her father home, who smiled the change to see.
His feelings were roused up when he viewed the comforts round,
And wondered where the child could so much skill have found?
Then clasped her in his arms—felt now inclined to be
More worthy of his girl, and work right steadily.
About this time there came a Sabbath visitor,
Who had got youths to school, but wanted many more.
The tinker angry sat, nor asked the man within;
Said, “Emma read her Book, and did not live in sin.”
But she, quite conscience-struck, said, “Father, you're not right,
We all great sinners are, in God's most holy sight;
My Bible tells me this—I'm sure it speaks the truth;
Please let me go to school, while I am yet a youth!”
This unexpected thrust went to his parent-heart;
Yet still he did not like with his dear girl to part;
But bid the man sit down, and tell him what was taught
In these same Sabbath Schools, of which he had not thought.
This friend was nothing loath; he sought the good of souls—
Had tasted Jesus' love, which selfishness controls;
So told how many folks, by best of motives led,
Gave their own pleasure up, and taught the young instead.
'Mongst these were often found some great in rank and wealth,
Who loved the cause so well, they did it not by stealth;
But honor counted it to teach in Sunday School,
And thus to square their lives by their dear Savior's Rule.
The tinker was surprised to hear such news as this;
He thought that all fine folks were full of selfishness;
But, if it all was true, the girl at once might go—
Whatever good she got, she soon that good would show.
Then Emma threw her arms around his neck, and said,
“Dear father, for your love you shall be well repaid;
When I come home from school, I'll tell you all I learn,
Then the good of Sabbath Schools you may soon discern.”
She asked the man to tell where she would have to go;
Who said, “My little girl, 'tis there, in Union Row;
In that large, lofty house; the time is half-past two.”
This heard, forth Emma went, and made no more ado.
The father, when alone, sat long time lost in thought,
Then took the Bible up, and through its pages sought;
He wished to see himself if all they said was true;
But little progress made—such work to him was new.
Soon came his bright-eyed girl, with face like rose in June,
Who told of hymns they sung, and of each pretty tune;
What chapters there were read—the questions asked she told—
What prayers were offered up, both for the young and old.
She said her teacher was a lady very grand,
Who, when she first went in, most kindly took her hand,
And led her to a seat where she herself sat down,
Nor seemed afraid to crush her beautiful silk gown.
The tinker heard it all, and wondered in his mind
How gentlefolks could be so very good and kind;
And promised her she should next Sabbath go again,
But wished that she would now her former words explain.
His conscience told him oft that he was far from right,
That he had wicked been, in sinning against light;
Oh, was there then no hope that he should yet be saved?
This thought was hard to bear, and could not well be braved.
Then Emma meekly spoke, and told him all she knew;
And searched the Bible's page, to prove her words were true.
This was an easy task, for there 'twas clearly seen
How men, because of sin, by God condemned had been.
He found this prove as gall, and felt so much distressed,
By day he could not work, at night obtained no rest.
Before the week was gone he, almost in despair,
Went forth into the woods, and wandered here and there.
When Sunday came at last, he hailed it with more joy
Than he had done before, and did its hours employ
In poring o'er that Book which had so roused his fears—
When Emma went to school his eyes were full of tears.
So strongly on her mind was his sad state impressed,
She to her teacher flew, and thus herself expressed:
“O, Madam, please to tell what sinners great must do,
When they, because of sin, feel quite pierced through and through?
“My father, all the week, not worked, nor ate, nor slept;
But seemed much like a man who was of sense bereft.
Oh, speak, dear lady, speak! for surely he will die
Unless he soon can learn which way he is to fly!”
With pity in her eyes, the lady kindly took
The humble, loving girl, whose frame with terror shook,
And placed her in a seat, and whispered in her ear
That Jesus came to save poor sinners filled with fear.
She told her how He was both God and Man in one—
The Lord of Heaven and Earth, yet God's beloved Son;
That He for sinners died, just out of purest love,
And on the third day rose, and went again above;
But sent His Spirit down to work upon our hearts,
Through His blest Word of Truth, sent to our inward parts;
And says in that same word—the Bible you have read—
That all who do believe are saved, because he bled!
She further kindly said, “Wait now till school is done,
And I will go with you—so much my love you've won.”
Then Emma dried her tears, and with a pleasant face,
Amongst the other girls she quickly took her place.
Again, from portions read, the teachers questions ask;
They strove to work from love, and felt it was no task;
Once more sweet hymns were sung which suited Emma's case,
And prayer from all arose up to the Throne of Grace.
The truth that Emma heard went home into her soul,
And joyful feelings rose which she could scarce control.
The pleasant service o'er, the teacher with her went
Into that filthy street, nor thought her time misspent.
They entered soon the house; the wretched man was found
Nigh overwhelmed with grief, and waiting for the sound
Of news, which, as he thought, his darling girl would bring;
But at this proof of love his tears afresh did spring.
He truly felt ashamed that one like she should come,
To try to do him good, in his most wretched home;
The lady told him soon what she might do for such
Was done for Jesus' sake, which did his feelings touch.
She then sat meekly down, and in a heavenly frame,
Told him how Jesus Christ a Sacrifice became;
How sinners of all ranks, by Faith, might be forgiven—
Be saved from sin and hell, and go, at last, to Heaven!
The Lord her labors blessed—they both believed the Word—
And thus it did appear the prayer of Faith was heard.
For such a state of things had Emma's mother prayed,
And she had her request, though for a time delayed.
The tinker, now reclaimed by God's almighty power,
His business still pursued, nor lost a single hour;
On Sabbath went to Church, with his neat, pretty maid,
And in temptations strong received the Savior's aid.
Then, feeling that the place where they were living now,
Was not the place at all for Faith and Love to grow,
He took a small, neat house, just outside of the town,
And, for a proper life, gained from the good, renown.
In time dear Emma came to be a teacher, too,
And God did her employ much lasting good to do.
Her father, in due time, was taken to his rest,
And she, with loving man, as a wife was truly blest.
I might prolong my tale, but quite enough is told,
To show that Christian Love is better far than gold;
That those who wish to be most happy here below,
Must strive with all their might the Savior well to know.
TO MY FATHER
SUPPOSED TO BE DYING—SEPTEMBER, 1841.
My dear, afflicted parent! Ere thine eyes
Are closed in death, accept this tribute due
From one who is allied by Nature's ties,
And ties which firmer bind both me and you.
My strain is humble, and my muse is rude,
Yet you my lay will now be pleased to hear.
Deem it not vain in me thus to intrude
My unlearned warblings on your dying ear.
'Tis not a thirst for fame that bids me wake
My youthful harp, and strike its solemn chords;
But 'tis the strong desire, for your dear sake,
I feel to treasure up your dying words.
Then come, my Muse; O, condescend to aid
My feeble efforts, while I touch this theme;
Ev'n thou who hoverest now o'er COWPER'S, shade—
Thou Source of Truth! and, with enlightening beam,
Remove the film that does becloud the eye
Of my dark understanding while I sing;
O, guide my trembling fingers, for I'll try
To tune my harp, and touch its every string.
Say now, what was that sound which caught my ear,
While I sat mute upon my father's bed
A sound so sweet it did my spirit cheer,
And made me muse, by contemplation led.
It was the triumph of that holy man—
His deathbed song, in view of yonder heaven
And as he spoke—till then his face was wan—
A brightened countenance was to him given.
“I have a glorious prospect now in sight!”
He said, then raised his voice—“'Tis through the blood
Of Jesus Christ; it fills me with delight,
And makes me long to cross dark Jordan's flood!”
But then, as if his words might be construed
To be impatient, he serenely said,
“Let not my language now be wrongly viewed;
I wait God's will—on Him my soul is stayed.”
He still continued, “Though my suffering's great,
My strength has been quite equal to my day;
God's love to me indeed is very great,
Nor will I murmur though He still delay.
“I reckon all the sufferings of this time
As nothing, when compared with heavenly things!”
He ceased, and left me this to pen in rhyme,
And ponder o'er, when he in Glory sings.
I stood; my eyes were fixed upon that face
Which oft had worn a smile for me, his son;
In retrospect, I then began to trace
The many acts of kindness he had done.
Well I remember—though he was but poor—
How ardently he wished to have me taught
At least to read and write, if nothing more;
My interest to advance was what he sought.
And, aided by a frugal partner's care,
He furnished was with means to gain his end;
Most careful still, they always had to spare
To purchase books which might assistance lend.
Great pleasure then they took to hear me read
The Bible's sacred page; though I, averse
To what was good, would rather have been freed;
And they were grieved to have me to coerce.
I then knew not the value of that Book
Which, since that time, I have so precious found;
And my perverse young temper would not brook
Restraint, though it did much their feelings, wound.
They persevered in pointing out to me
The dangerous path that I was treading in;
At last, it pleased the Lord to let me see
How dreadful was the nature of my sin.
What joy then filled thy bosom, father dear
Thou, too, my mother, didst express delight,
That I was brought to lend a listening ear
To Jesus' voice, and with his soldiers fight.
But ere that time, what pleasure it did give
To hear the warbling of my youthful Muse;
It made you wish that you might only live
To see the day when I would not refuse
To sing of Love omnipotent, Divine!
Such love as Jesus bore to wretched man!
And, aided by the truth which clean doth shine
Shout forth aloud Redemption's finished plan.
For seven long years we have united been
Within a Church, in fellowship and love;
And in that time how often have we seen
Afflictions sent, dire evils to remove.
Let all now left, in gratitude to God—
In meek submission to His sacred will—
Both praise and bless His name! then kiss the rod:
This will our souls with consolation fill!
ODE TO PEACE
Come, dove-eyed peace-offspring of heaven, descend;
Thy calm, sweet influence do thou me lend;
Dispel the gloom that broods upon my mind;
Bid melancholy flee; make me resigned
To bear with patience and submission due
The will of God; and still my mind imbue
With reverential awe and just regard
For all his ways, as taught in his blest word.
Yes, thou sweet Peace, whom, when the Savior great
Had nearly closed sojourn in earthly state,
He gave as his last legacy to those
His dearest friends, who from mankind he chose,
In those dear words, “Peace now I leave with you,
My peace I give; you soon shall prove it true.
Not as the world its boasted treasure gives,
'Tis of my grace to each one who believes.
Let not your hearts be troubled, then, nor fear,
The Comforter—the Holy Ghost—is near.
And, when I shall to yonder heaven ascend,
Him, with His vast, rich blessings, I will send.”
Not only these this gracious boon enjoyed,
But Saints before that time, pure, unalloyed,
And blissful peace within their breasts possessed,
Both in dread dangers and when much oppressed.
Adam, our great progenitor, received
With Eve, his wife, this gift, which much relieved
Their guilty minds. It was the promise great
Made to them while in their most abject state,
“That their illustrious Seed should bruise the head
Of the Arch Tempter, in their room and stead,”
Which wrought the change produced in their sad minds,
And soon bid flee that slavish fear which blinds
The eyes of mortals; gave them soon to see,
“Though the offense was great the gift was free,”
And would extend unto their progeny.
O blissful change! from dark foreboding fear,
A wounded conscience, and Hell's prospects drear,
To joy unspeakable and purest peace,
Which once received were never more to cease.
A prophet said—the prophet was a man
Who did enjoy that peace which only can
Flow from one source—God's own redemption plan—
“Mark well the perfect man; behold the upright,
Whose death so precious is in Jesus' sight;
His end is peace.” He goes down to the shade
Of death's dark valley, and is not afraid
To come within the precincts of the grave,
Well knowing Christ is ever near to save.
Deluded Balaam also sweetly sung,
In words of solemn grandeur, bold and strong,
The happiness which Israel through his tribes
Enjoyed beneath God's care. Not Balak's bribes
Nor vain enchantments, with their altars reared,
Nor bleeding victims sacrificed, appeared
To move their God from blessing them to curse
His chosen people, oft to God averse.
Well Balaam knew that if he were to die
“Their God was not a man that he should lie.”
He bated Truth, but was constrained to sing
Of their blest state beneath God's fostering wing.
And when he sang the latter end of such
His harp gave tones as though from Seraph's touch
He sang aloud their bliss, not did he cease
Till all the hills re-echoed sweetly “Peace.”
Nor could refrain from envy when he viewed
Jehovah's covenant of Peace renewed;
But breaking forth in rapture loud did cry
“O let me die the death the Righteous die!
Let my last end be only like to his
Whom God dost bless with thee, delightful Peace!”
Even I, who write this simple Ode to thee,
Have felt thy thrice bless'd influence on me;
And feeling fresh the vigor thou dost give,
Would gladly trace thy merits while I live;
Would fain enumerate the mighty host
Of those who've had pure peace of mind to boast;
But ah, how great the sum! even time would fail
Or if to gain its aid I could prevail,
My powers of mind would fail to set them forth
As they appear in Scripture; yet 'tis worth
The little time which I can freely spare
To choose a few from many that are there.
The pleasure it affords would well repay
The labor needed, if I spent the day.
Behold that holy man who, strong in faith,
Lends an obedient ear to what God saith.
See, when the Lord his strength of faith would test,
How quickly he obeys the high behest.
The task indeed was great, but he, possessed
Of peace of mind, was always quite at rest.
Yes, though his Isaac dear was doomed to die,
No murmuring escaped his lips, and why?
He knew that God had promised him to bless
With numerous progeny, and nothing less.
He felt assured that from this very seed—
His darling son—ere long was to proceed
So vast a host that if the stars but could
By man be numbered, then his offspring would.
And forth from them was Christ the Lord to come,
The Refuge of his Saints, to lead them home.
And Abraham knowing this ne'er sought release
From God's sweet service, and his end was peace.
Now mark his son. He in the shining track
His father trode, sincerely walked; no lack
Had he of the great blessings which from thee
Flow in such rich profusion, but did see
By eye of Inspiration what God said
Was soon to be fulfilled. Then he was laid
Beside his father, and his end was peace.
Jacob, his youngest son, Supplanter named,
Parent of Patriarchs so greatly famed,
Found too that peace of mind was always sweet
When he sojourned with Laban in retreat.
What was it, I would ask, which made him bear
The heat by day and midnight's frosty air?
The loss of cattle stolen from his hands?
Such churlish conduct, and such harsh commands?
With loss of sleep, and wages changed ten times,
And twenty rigorous years in wasting climes?
What was it then, I ask, but peace of mind
Arising from the thought that God was kind
And ever faithful, and would soon fulfill
His promise made, to be his Guardian still!
He had sore trials, yet with great avail
He wrestled with his God and did prevail.
Joseph, his son, beloved above the rest,
Felt soothing peace within his youthful breast.
His is an history that as a child
I loved to ponder, and to mark how mild
And affable his conduct, yet how great.
The bitterest envy joined, with fiercest hate,
The brethren hare toward the godly youth
Who trode the path of rectitude and truth,
That they in spite of his prophetic dreams,
Disposed of him, and, as they thought, the themes
His soul dwelt much upon, by banishment.
Straitway to distant Egypt he was sent,
While they, with strange feigned tale, now homeward came,
And vainly thought to clear themselves from blame
By falsehood foul and black hypocricy
Before their unsuspecting father. He
Their lies believed and mourned his much-loved son
In tears of anguish, whom he though undone.
Meanwhile the youth, directed by his God,
In journey with the Ishmaelites did plod
His weary way to Egypt. He arrived
Possessed of peace of mind, nor could be bribed
To part with this, his only treasure left
Save sweet reflection, when he was bereft
By his hard brethren of the sweets of home,
And banished forth a wanderer to roam.
Say now, O Muse, what was the cause why he
Enjoyed a state of mind completely free
From all the sad effects which freely flow
In tasting long accumulated woe?
'Twas having peace, that best of all reward
To those—and none beside—who Truth regard.
And long as Joseph did in Egypt live,
The record of his life this truth did give.
Behold him when in his first master's house,
Who placed beneath his care all but his spouse,
How nobly he withstood temptation great,
How suitable his conduct to his state.
Behold him when his mistress tried so hard
To tempt him into sin. Did he regard
Her strong entreaties or her flowing tears?
Those fell like emptiness upon his ears,
And these but more impressed his tender mind
With wish to better serve his master kind.
He gave this answer: “Oh, how can I do
This wickedness so great and sin with you
Against that God who hath my feet preserved
In holy paths from which I never swerved?”
But oh, what poor return did he receive!
A dungeon followed next, nor did he grieve,
But cheerfully endured the heavy cross,
And found his gain where others saw but loss.
And he who was his trust did not forsake
His much loved child when Truth seemed all at stake,
But brought him through these trials manifold,
And, still preserved that peace of mind which gold
Could ne'er have purchased, and much less secured;
But having which, he patiently endured.
Now mark the steps by which he did ascend
To that high pitch of honor, when did bend
The knees of Egypt's sons at King's command
As he went forth in state to view the land.
It was not flatt'ry, nor vain compromise
With Egypt's many gods no, he was wise
With wisdom from above, and well he knew
That the predictions he had given were true,
And that ere long both heaven and earth would see
His youthful dreams fulfilled were sure to be.
Even so they were. His brethren did bow down
Their faces to the earth 'fore him unknown,
When they were sent by Jacob to obtain
For him and his the necessary grain.
It was a time of famine, and the dearth
Had then extended over all the earth
But Joseph was raised up by gracious heaven,
And unto him for this was wisdom given.
Now when his feelings he could not restrain,
He formed a scheme by which he might detain
The brethren, who a second time had come
To purchase food, for those they left at home.
The scheme was tried and it succeeded well;
But O, how Joseph burned to break the spell
Which hitherto had bound them! He made known
That he was Joseph to whom they had shown
Such cruel usage, but their deed forgave,
And told how God had raised him up to save
Them with their offspring and great Pharoah's land.
The news now reached the King, who gave command,
“Joseph, let all thy relatives appear
Before my face; they nothing have to fear.
Lade all their beasts and bid them haste away;
Take wagons from my hand, make no delay.
Inform your father and let him come down;
The best of my dominions is his own.
Bring all your progeny, not once regard
Your household goods, if they your speed retard.”
I'll now take leave of all that passed between,
And come at once to that affecting scene—
The meeting of the father with the son.
Poor Jacob saw what glory he had won
By perseverance in the “narrow path,”
And having seen it, wished to meet his death.
Mark now the truth of what I wish to sing,
This interview to Jacob peace did bring.
He said: “In bitterness I will descend
Into my grave and meet my latter end.”
But God in mercy and rich love decreed
That he should see both Joseph and his seed.
Ere long the time arrived when Jacob's age
Gave proof he too must soon leave this world's stage.
Therefore he gathered round him, near his bed,
His twelve dear children, unto whom he said,
“List now, ye sons of Jacob, hearken well
To Israel your father. I foretell
What shall befall you in your latter days.
O then, my sons, take heed unto your ways.”
He ended not till all received the share
Which God allotted them, when with due care
The Prophet drew his feet into the bed,
And in sweet Peace his spirit softly fled.
Now, when the last sad rites had been performed
O'er Israel's corse, the brethren, now reformed
By God's just dealings, soon began to fear
That Joseph would their enemy appear;
So sent a message, fell before his face,
Confessed their sin, and wished he would erase
Out from his mind remembrance of their deed.
He gave soft answers, hence they all were freed
From ills expected, and were now agreed.
A few short years saw each of them removed
By peaceful death, and so my point is proved.
SUGGESTED BY A FUNERAL, ON SEEING ONE PASS WITH MANY
ATTENDANTS, WHEN JUST RECOVERING FROM A LONG SICKNESS, 1841.
For me there'll be no great display,
No turning out of people,
When I do quit my house of clay,
Nor tolling from the steeple
Of yon tower with its tin capped dome,
Whose bell the time is telling,
When some lone wanderer reaches home—
His narrow churchyard dwelling.
Nor yet will pompous equipage,
Or such like things sublun'ral,
Nor music sweet with charms engage
Those who attend my funeral.
Nor will I care if but my death
Take place while friends are tending;
And I can see with eye of faith
My blessed Saviour bending
Down upon me a gracious eye,
And bid my spirit enter
Into her rest. O, then I'd fly
And cleave to Him—-the Center
Of those sweet joys which do abound
In yon bright world of Glory,
Where I shall hear the blissful sound
Of that delightful Story,
How Jesus did our cause engage,
When he left Heaven's portal,
And stooped to conquer hellish rage,
In weakness like a mortal.
How he fulfilled in its demands
The Law that we had broken;
How God exacted at his hands
The strongest, clearest token
Of matchless Love, so that He gave
His life's blood for transgression,
And left the confines of the grave
In glorious Resurrection.
I.——TO MR. J. P——N, IN THE STATE
The dolorous cry, from far was heard
How groaned poor Afric's sable sons.
Our hearts with pity moved, we feared
Much evil by the monster done.
Ask ye his name? 'Tis slavery dire,
So big with crime, so red with gore.
Could Christians feel his dreadful ire
Oh how they'd wish he was no more.
Would they not send to Heaven this prayer?
Hear thou on high, O God of love;
Ere time be long thine arm make bare.
Rend him with judgment from above;
Down from his seat hurl him to dwell.
Built round with walls of fire in hell.
Raise thy strong arm and fix him deep.
Add this: in anguish make him weep.
Now hell, make room in thy domains,
This dreadful foe will soon no more
Firm bind poor slaves in galling chains,
Or lash their backs till flows their gore.
Remorseless still, he cares not for their fate,
Doom speedy, therefore, should on him await.
II.—TO MY ELDEST SON, IN SEVERE
Thou sweetest, loveliest babe—my first born son;
I low great has been thy sufferings from disease!
Oh, my poor soul doth, ever and anon,
Make prayer to God, that he would give thee ease.
Ah, dearest babe! from this thy case, I read
Sad, yet true lessons of imputed sin.
Can we conceive that thou indeed art freed—
O, thought most strange—from guilt by man brought in?
Would we but read, mark, learn, and still digest
His word, who gave at first to man his being,
Error would vanish, and His will expressed,
Respecting this, we could not fail from seeing.
Doubt would remove, and so would murmur, too;
Justice would still be seen most clearly such;
Unquestionable, this fact would stand to view,
No one is free from Sin's defiling touch!
I see thy pale, emaciated face,
Once decked with bloom of health's most ruddy glow!
Regard for man would lead me still to trace—
Bent on the truth—whence all these evils flow.
Rich in possession of the Book Divine,
All I desire is that the Lord would give
Needful instruction, while I scan the line—
The line of truth, on which my soul must live.
For there I read—though Death hath ever reigned
O'er every one of Adam's sinful race—
Righteousness of Christ, by Faith unfeigned,
Delivers from its sting: all of free Grace!
Cease then, my soul, to murmur or complain,
And place thy trust upon the God of Love.
Now look to him who lose from th' grave again,
And reascended to the realms above.
Dread not the stroke, though great may be the pain,
And hard to bear, for it will work thy gain!
III.—A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN
[Who lost his life by an accident in raising a barn.]
A task so painful, yet so justly due
To thee, my dear, my much respected Brother,
Rightly devolves on me whose heart beats true
In Zion's cause; yet, would it were another!
But as it is, my Muse, though rude, shall sing—
Used as she is to such a mournful strain—
That I may cause true sympathy to spring
Ere long, for those who feel for thee most pain.
'Tis scarce a week since thou, in manhood's prime,
Of things quite dear to both hadst spoke with me!
'Tis now my lot to tell, in mournful rhyme,
How short a space there was 'twixt Death and thee.
Ere thou wert well aware the fatal dart
Met thee amongst thy fellows, shot by Death;
Ev'n now I feel that dread from friends to part
Methinks thou felt, though thou wast strong in faith.
O, that I could but paint in language strong,
Regarding truth, thy sufferings so severe;
Yes, then I'd sing, in pure and holy song,
Of Him whose presence cheered thee much while here.
“Fear not,” saith God, to all his people dear;
Just then thy heart responded, “Fear ye not!”
O, what a precious truth our hearts to cheer!
How sure to reconcile us to our lot.
Now is the time to glorify our God,
Depending on His gracious arm to keep
Each footstep treading in the narrow road.
Nor let us murmur, though constrained to weep
The while o'er those who now in Jesus sleep.
TO MY FRIEND, J. W——T.
When troubles arise, my friend, lift thine eyes
To that Being who died on the cross!—
Rest assured of this: the Mansions of Bliss
Ne'er were reached without some seeming loss!
AN ADDRESS TO BRANTFORD.
Hail, truly pleasant, fast increasing Town!
Thee I address, in rude but earnest strains.
My own adopted place! Some sixteen years
Have rolled fast o'er my head since first my eyes
Got sight of thee, from off yon Eastern hill.
How welcome was the sight! O, how cheering,
Grand and beautiful, to a mind like mine!
I oft had heard of thee before I came—
Had heard the name thy beauteous river bears;
As oft had wondered if I e'er should live
To cross the broad Atlantic's deep blue waves,
And reach the shores of that vast Continent,
Whose many wonders, in my boyish days,
I tried to sing, and still longed much to see.
As often tried to picture, in my mind,
The appearance thou presented to the view;
I fancied thee much less than what thou wert—
Consisting of a few small, straggling huts,
Both rude in shape, and ruder far in things
Which make home, what it always ought to be,
The dearest place that men possess on earth!
I next would paint thy river deep and broad
As great “Saint Lawrence,” or the giant streams
That everywhere abound throughout this land!
In this I was deceived; its name misled
My loving fancy; for I surely thought
It must be great, indeed, beyond compare,
In such a country to receive such name.
[Footnote: The “Grand River.”]
This great mistake corrected; I have found
Some wonders rare, though of a different kind;
And often have I wandered on the banks
Of thee, sweet River! where maple, elm or oak
Have spread their boughs and verdant foliage,
And have felt the cool, refreshing breezes
Which blew from off thy stream in Summer's heat.
There I would indulge, awhile, my fancy;
Give her the reins, and let her soar aloft
Into the vast infinitude of space,
Or try to tie her down to earthly things;
Make her portray what now the prospects were,
That this fair Town had placed before her view.
Would she soon rise to eminent estate?
Or would she struggle vainly, for a while,
To reach to greatness, and so just remain—
A monument of ruin and decay?
As I have stood upon the pleasant hills
By which thou art encircled, I have cast
My eye from East to West, from North to South,
And often marked the vast extent of ground
Which thou may'st fill; laid out by God's own hand
To be a glorious city—and that soon!
Then “put thy shoulder to the wheel!” Arise,
In all thy might, and let thy hardy sons
Put forth united efforts in the work.
Deepen thy Canal; let thy Railroads make
Both quick and certain progress; and neglect
No proper means to push the town ahead!
But, while thou strivest thus in temporal things,
Oh, forget not things of greater moment!
Strive to purge away all that's offensive
To true Virtue. Let the groggeries cease
To deal out liquid fire to kill thy sons!
Strengthen the hands of those who would maintain
Good wholesome laws. Give adequate support
To those who minister in holy things,
That they, unfettered, may aloud proclaim
Christ's great Salvation to a ruined World!
Let all true Christians in thy midst unite,
In holy efforts and God's strength, to stem
The torrent great of foul Iniquity.
Yes, fellow Christians, let our lives be such
As many commend the Truth which we believe,
Unto the consciences of all around.
Let those of us, especially, who claim
A parent's honored name, now boldly stand,
And show in bonds conjugal, faithfulness;
Still manifesting love and tenderness
Unto our partners; always aim to make
Our homes the scenes of happiness and peace!
Then will our children rise and call us blessed;
And generations yet unborn will tell—
That Brantford was determined to be great
In every thing which is both wise and good!
WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER SEEING THE “HURON” LOCOMOTIVE, FOR THE
TIME, AT CAINSVILLE, JANUARY 6, 1854.
[Footnote: This piece was the second that was printed in a
paper, I would here take the opportunity to say that Henry Lemmon,
Esq., of the Courier, though differing from me in politics,
exceedingly courteous in giving my rhymes free admission into his
journal. The same testimony I also willingly hear to the late
Herald, and the Expositor, still flourishing.]
The Iron Horse has reached at last Cayuga's heights so near;
Look out, ye men of Brantford, now, for soon he will be here!
He brings with him a weighty load, his way before him feels,
As slowly o'er the new-laid track he moves his ponderous wheels.
Mechanics, use your utmost skill, and ply each brawny arm,
Let sight of yon huge iron steed your very heart's-blood warm;
Nor let cold Winter's raging storms your progress now retard,
But quickly get the bridges built; nor doubt a rich reward.
Be steady, men! the hammers lift, send home the sturdy nails;
Make every fixture quite secure, and solid lay the rails;
'Tis done right well! and now, again, the Monster moves along,
But cautiously, for fear the work should not prove very strong.
He does resemble very much the mighty Elephant,
That let our new-made wooden bridge his courage sadly daunt;
Who, when he came to cross the stream which flows right through our
Did fancy his great clumsy foot would break the fabric down.
So slowly moves this horse along, but soon his speed he'll
Nor care a straw though Winter's snow right in his track may
For when the works are finished well, he'll seem to snuff the
And fly at such a rapid rate as may his masters please.
Look out, ye men of Brantford, now! See, he has reached your doors;
He heaves and pants, he snorts and looks to sweat through all his
And yet he stands in harness trim, not cares a fig for rest,
But is quite ready still to move, and waits but your behest.
And now, above his whistle shrill, is heard a deafening noise—
The people all, in loud hurrahs, give vent to heartfelt joys;
The cannon roars, while all around is vigorous effort made
To make this Celebration throw all others in the shade!
Processions form, the banners wave; now mark those hardy Bands—
The Fire Brigade—who well deserve much honor at our hands;
For they in war-like deeds excel, yet not in bloody fight—
The battle with destroying fire, by day as well as night!
These form, with others in their rear, a very numerous host;
The Marshal gives command, and now each company takes its post;
The drums are beat, sweet music fills the ear with much delight,
And splendid Fireworks are prepared to grace the coming night.
O, ye who have the management of this most glorious fete,
My Muse would your attention crave, and earnestly entreat,
That you would not forget the poor, but give to them a share
Of all your choicest eatables, as much as you can spare.
And let them have a good supply of tea and coffee, too;
They well deserve as rich a treat as either I or you;
For do they not, with constant toil, such works as this complete?
Then welcome them unto the board, and bid them freely eat.
Now I will close my hasty rhyme, with earnest wish expressed,
That all our town would well behave to each and every guest;
Let all our conduct on that day be orderly and quiet,
And none lay out a single cent in drunkenness and riot.
THE YOUNG MOTHER'S VISION
I saw a fair young mother sitting,
With a babe upon her knee;
Fast through 'er mind sweet thoughts were flitting—
So it did appeal to me.
Her eyes with fondest smiles were beaming
On that infant's lovely face;
She seemed upon the future dreaming,
And I tried her dream to trace.
While her face with love was glowing,
As her babe looked up and smiled;
Thus I sketched her numbers flowing
Freely forth unto her child:
“Charming boy, in beauty vieing
With the fairest rose I see;
This I need not be denying,
That thou dearer art to me.
“Whilst thou slept, I fell to musing
On thy present happy lot;
And thy future for thee choosing,
Soon all other thoughts forgot.
“Thus I chose at first to paint thee—
Growing up toward thy teens;
No corruption near to taint thee
Passing through thy boyish scenes.
“Then I traced out all the labor
Which I would bestow on thee,
That thou mightest grow in favor
With the Lord, as well as me.
“Next I viewed thy mind expanding,
With the best of knowledge stored:
Light divine, and understanding
Gained from God's most holy Word.
“Years flew by; thou wert approaching
Very near to man's estate,
And, to those, around, wert broaching
Thy deep thoughts, with soul elate!
“Again I saw thee; thou wert coming
To the heights of world-wide fame;
My fears arose, I saw ills looming,
And bid thee guard thy spotless name.
“I looked again, and found thee wooing
Damsel modest, rich and fair;
And wicked men sought thy undoing,
Ere thou wert the least aware.
“But, thanks to God! He did preserve thee—
Gave thee, too, a lovely wife;
For duty this afresh did nerve thee,
Struggling with the ills of life.
“Again the vision passed before me,
But some years had fled away;
Thou hadst been sick, the Lord restored thee—
Children were around at play.
“I saw thy wife and thee were growing
In sweetest chaste conjugal love;
To things of God attention showing,
Fitting you for bliss above.
“The curtain drops: thy smiles recall me
To discharge my duties right;
Rich mercies I enjoy console me
For the loss of Vision bright.”
TO THE AUTHOR OF “LITTLE RAGGED NED, AN ORPHAN.”
Friend, I've read thy touching verses
Poured from gentle, loving heart,
Glad that sense of thy own mercies
Gives thee-zeal to act thy part
In bringing sweet, poetic art
To bear upon the orphan's case,
And show as by a sunbeam's trace
How such as he are made to smart.
Would I had thy skill in writing;
I would give thee tribute meet,
Showing those too fond of slighting
Th' orphan's cause, that it is sweet,
Pure modest worth with love to greet,
Though that worth may not appear
In form bedecked in gorgeous gear,
But one in tattered garb complete.
Well indeed hast thou depicted
What the ragged boy endured;
How his soul with grief afflicted
Could alone by One be cured.
O, would that such could be allured
At once to fly to Jesus' arms—
To prove how great are all his charms;
And thus have peace of mind ensured.
Poor dear ragged orphan, weep not;
There is one thy Friend above.
Know then that this Friend will sleep not
But watch over thee in love.
He will thy foes in wrath reprove.
For this he strongly pledged his word,
Which should true comfort thee afford
Till death all thy sad woes remove.
Did thy mother die confiding
In the Saviour's precious blood?
'Neath that covert be thou hiding,
If thy soul would seek its good.
Yes, dearest child, have faith in God,
Then the rich blessings he can give
Will all be thine while thou dost live;
As from the Word is understood.
I would join this friend and others.
Who have hearts and feelings right,
To acknowledge for our brothers
Such as thou; though foulest spite
May be displayed in earnest quite,
By those who are so fond of self
That they cant spare a little pelf
To make your saddened faces bright.
I SAW A YOUTHFUL MOTHER LIE
I saw a youthful mother lie
Upon the bed of death.
No bitter tears bedimmed her eye
Though parents, spouse, and friends were nigh,
Expecting her last breath.
And when a little daughter came
To see her mother dear,
She did not call her child by name,
But, quite composed, appeared the same
As if she were not near.
I asked myself what made her act
In this way to her kin?
Was her poor frame with torture racked,
Or was it consciousness she lacked,
Or dreadful fears within?
I well divine 'twas none of these
Concerned this mother's mind.
'Tis true her cough gave her no ease,
That she was sinking from disease,
And was to all resigned.
O, was it the dear Saviour's call
That she was listening to?
It was, and rapture filled her soul,
Feeling content to leave them all,
With heaven in her view.
And then, by some strong impulse led,
She wished us next to sing.
We sang the praise of him who bled
On Calvary in the sinner's stead,
That he to us might bring
Salvation from both sin and hell,
A song she much admitted,
And one on which she loved to dwell;
One suited to her case so well
That of true joy inspired.
And oh, methought were she but strong,
She would have raised her voice
To join us in that pleasing song,
And let it waft her soul along
To Him who was her choice.
Yet doubtless then her spirit sung,
Yea joined us too in prayer;
And now her golden harp is strung
Which will ne'er be “on willows hung,”
In weakness or despair.
TO MY BELOVED WIFE, DURING
Ann, we have lived in peace for three long years.
Much pleasure we have had, some crosses too;
Enough to show that in this Vale of Tears
Affliction's needed still to bring us through.
Why should it not be so? Our God is good;
He also wise, and better far doth know
What's best for us, and if we understood
Our interest well we should confess it so.
A man both wise and good did once aver—
“At th' hands of God we have received good;
And shall not we, who are so prone to err,
Receive our evil too, as best we should?”
My dearest Ann, let not your spirits down,
But with me kiss the rod that God hath sent
His promise is that he will not disown
Those dear to him, though by sore troubles bent.
O, that the sacred influence of truth
Which we profess may ever dwell within;
That we may bear the yoke now in our youth,
And always flee the devious paths of sin.
O, that the Holy Book which does contain
The greatest charter our kind God can grant,
May prove to be like precious heavenly rain
To nourish, strengthen, and keep us from want.
Then, hand in hand in unity and love,
In holiness we'll walk before our God,
And have affections fixed on things above,
Our feet with “gospel preparation shod.”
And thus may we hold on Life's journey through;
Nor e'er forsake pure Wisdom's sacred path.
Still as we journey always keep in view
Those glorious things “the righteous nation” hath.
In sure and certain prospect, far beyond
In point of worth this world and all its toys,
Treasure in heaven, beside the blissful sound
Of Jesus' voice, with sweetest heavenly joys.
And may our children all likewise receive
The richest dews of heavenly blessing now.
O, may the Lord make each of them believe
The gospel pure, and to its teachings bow.
And then indeed should we be called to part
While in this world, we all shall meet above,
Where we with every power and all our heart
Will praise the Saviour's name and sing his love.
O, blest, blest thought! through vast Eternity
In purest bliss and holiness to dwell.
There our glad eyes shall Jesus ever see,
And hear the Saints his greatest wonders tell.
TO MY DAUGHTER MARY ANN, ASLEEP.
Sweetly asleep is Mary Ann,
In calmest infantile repose
Her lovely face no longer wan,
Seems lovelier still when in a doze.
Sleep on, my babe, I'll not disturb,
Thy silent rest I love to view;
For now thou needest not the curb
I use in trying to subdue
Thy peevish temper, which, I ween
Needs constant care from me, thy site,
While through thy childish ways are seen
Thy passions strong in wildest fire.
Sleep on, my child, some future day
May see thee walking in God's ways.
For this great blessing will I pray
Still guided by the Truth's clear rays.
Sleep on, my little girl, till morn,
And when awake pursue thy play;
Yet, when grown up, may'st thou adorn
The sphere in which thou mov'st by day.
Sleep on, my daughter, sleep in peace.
Thou has been toiling through the day.
Thy little tongue doth seldom cease
From talking much in thy own way.
Sleep on, sweet prattler, and may bright
Angelic Spirits guard thee round,
Till Sol with his resplendent light
Doth break thy slumbers quite profound.
Yes, sleep, my child, through every night,
As fast revolving years proceed.
By day enjoy the heavenly light,
Of which we in the Bible read.
But oh, sleep not when duties bid
My girl awake to run the race
Which Christians run, when thorns amid
May make her see her need of Grace.
And oh, sleep not in ways of sin,
For dangers lurk with serpent wiles;
And false security within,
Each unsuspecting mind beguiles.
And when the solemn time arrives
For thee to sleep in death at peace,
And thy pure spirit strongly strives
To gain her longed-for wished release,
O, may she mount to yon abode
Where God's blest Saints and Angels dwell;
And there rejoice in him who trode
The path to death to save from hell.
TO ELLEN AND WILLIE.
Ellen, my prattler dear,
Willie, my darling boy,
My children need not fear,
They shall my gift employ.
To you, by great neglect,
I have no rhyme addressed.
This you would scarce expect,
So much you've been caressed.
For it I now will try
To make amends quite ample,
And trust the time is nigh
When you can read this sample.
Ellen, I think I see
That thou resemblest mother;
Thou'rt not so much like me
As Willie, thy young brother.
One thing I wish you both,
That you in your behaviour
Like her, may not be loath
To follow Christ, the Saviour.
For never have I seen
One of a lovelier spirit;
No mortals do, I ween,
Such loveliness inherit.
She was of temper mild,
Was often smiling sweetly,
In malice was a child,
As a Christian walked discreetly.
To have this said of you
Would give your father pleasure.
It would be worth, if true,
To me a world of treasure.
So Ellen, prattler dear,
Willie, my darling boy,
While father's stay is here,
O, fill his heart with joy.
As soon as you can read,
Peruse the Bible's page,
And to your ways take heed
As you advance in age.
Then to the Savior fly,
Who, only, you can save
From woes that never die,
In death beyond the grave.
That we may meet at last
In Heaven, that happy place,
When every storm is past,
To view our Jesus' face.
TO MR. AND MRS. C. BATTY.
Parents-in-law, a Rhymer much in debt
Deems it full time to try his debts to pay;
And as some large arrears are standing yet,
To give this mite I will no more delay.
And if I cannot make a full discharge,
Perhaps I may induce you to forbear,
For though this portion is not very large,
'Tis quite as much as I can freely spare.
Preliminaries settled, I proceed
To seek the assistance of my humble Muse;
Well knowing that she will in time of need
Give forth such numbers as you'll not refuse.
Impelled by gratitute for kindness shown,
I bless my God I now so long have known
That sweet connection in which I have stood
With you and yours. Thoughts of it make the blood
Run freely through my veins; they cheer my mind,
Revive my spirits, make me leave behind
Vile carking cares, dispel my melancholy,
Fire my devotion with desires most holy,
Fill my sad soul! Thus am I drawn away,
And in imagination soar to-day
To those blest regions where my Ann has gone,
And feel that even now I'm not alone.
For her pure spirit is with mine
Holding fellowship divine.
Hark! she whispers in the skies,
“Let thy prayers to Heaven arise;
Let thy songs ascend above;
Sing evermore Redeeming Love;
For all those who here do enter
Cleave to Jesus as their Centre,
And we now on holy ground
Join in one unceasing round
Of purest pleasure, and do raise
Our voices in the Saviour's praise
And thus throughout Eternity
Dwell in sweetest harmony.
To all my kindred I would say.
Work while 'tis called 'to-day.'
Always listen to the voice
Of Jesus, and in him rejoice.
Make his righteousness your boast,
For without it you are lost.
Listen now, he calls to-day;
Flee, Oh, flee to him away!”
She ceased to speak, and back her spirit fled
To yon bright Mansions where her Saviour led;
And we are left confined in tents of clay,
To “groan, being burdened,” for Redemption's day.
Oh, then, dear parents, let us not forget
The “still small voice” of Mercy's speaking yet.
Let us put on afresh our heavenly armor,
The Christian warfare is but growing warmer.
Should our weak courage fail, let us in meekness
Look still to him who gives us strength in weakness.
And thus supported, may our lives declare
How blest the portion which through grace we share.
TO MY INFANT ANNIE.
Motherless babe, I can't forbear to make
Some rhyme to thee for thy dear mother's sake.
Thy pleasant looks, thy smiles, thy temper mild
Do much surprise me in so young a child.
In thy sweet face I view in embryo
My lost wife's charms; it is, it must be so.
Quiet thy ways, and smiling oft through tears,
An earnest surely this for future years,
That the same lovely conduct may be shown
Which marked thy mother's life, as is well known.
Then as thou dost advance to womanhood,
May God's own Word by thee be understood.
Can I look forward to the time
When thou shalt reach a woman's prime?
When youth and beauty, linked with grace
May beam forth from thy smiling face?
Alas, the future, hid from sight
Of all but Him who dwells in light,
May see us numbered with the dead.
And knowing this may I be led
To train my children in the way
That leads to Heaven's eternal day.
IN MEMORY OF ANNIE, DIED JULY 11, 1847.
Thou'rt gone, thou lovely gem, I trust
To grace the crown of Zion's King;
And we thy body to the dust
Commit with faith unwavering.
Thou wast just long enough with us
To charm our hearts and claim our low;
And now thou'rt gone. Why is it thus?
Did Jesus need thy soul above?
For twenty weeks thy lovely face,
Thy pleasing smiles, thy temper mild,
Have made thy father hope to trace
The mother in her darling child.
And yet thou hast for some time seemed
Too fair a flower to bloom below.
Thy death but proves our Father deemed
It best that thou in Heaven should'st grow.
And knowing, as I well may know
That this vain world is full of trial,
I would not say against the blow,
Though it may cause me self-denial.
Now, while I write, my thoughts ascend
More fleetly than the lightning's flame
To that blest place where lowly bend
God's saints, In worship of his name.
And there methinks I see thee join
With mother and a numerous throng.
In praise of Him who is Divine,
To whom all honor does belong.
Why should we grudge to part with thee?
Thou went our Heavenly father's own;
And he far better knows than we
What's best to do, as will be shown.
And yet it seems so hard to part—,
To part with those we love so dearly,
That, though the keenness of the smart
Is gone through Jesus' death most clearly,
We cannot help but mourn and weep
At losing for a time such treasure.
But we'll, rejoice that those who sleep
In Christ, shall, in unbounded measure,
Enjoy true happiness and peace
In yon fair World, where pain not tears.
Are either felt or seen; where cease
All sorrow and perplexing fears,
TO MRS. H. BATTSON.
To you, dear sister, I would now address
A rude production of my rhyming brain;
And if it does increase your happiness,
Of this intrusion you will not complain.
Margaret, nine years have nearly rolled away,
Since I first met on at your father's place.
Well I remember, to the very day,
My first glad glimpse of your young smiling face.
More, I remember for, almost forlorn,
I was received well 'neath that friendly roof,
And such pure kindness unto me was shown
As put my gratitude to strongest proof.
May I not hope that our dear Saviour took
As done to him what then was done for me?
If so, your names are written in his book,
As an assembled universe may see.
'Tis now, when one not only dear to me,
But to you all, has reached the World of Bliss,
That I am led more clearly still to see
The grandeur which in our Religion is.
May I not hope that in some small degree,
The exercise of my poor gifts did tend
To lead the youthful, loving sisters three
Beneath Christ's yoke their willing necks to bend?
And now what shall I say? You are a wife;
A mother's joys, I trust, will soon be ours.
O, may you still in blest conjugal life
Find that true grace which evermore endues.
And may you live for many years to come
That life which none but Christians true can live.
Press forward now to reach your heavenly home;
A sacrifice to God your being give.
And may the Lord give Grace to one and all,
That we may serve him while we stay below;
Then, in due time He will our spirits call
To share that bliss he can alone bestow.
TO MR. AND MRS. W. BATTY, OF PARIS.
Brother and sister dear, my stay I prolong here,
While an effusion can flow from my pen.
May it you gratify, your minds now satisfy,
That I may have courage to try it again.
Do thou, my dear brother—for there is no other
Has a claim upon me if thou be denied—
Accept from me the lay I in gratitude pay
For services rendered when I was so tried.
When by great sickness low, I was some years ago,
Thy interest with mine was clearly as one.
For me thou wast striving, thyself wast depriving
Of needful repose when thy day's work was done.
In view then of thy strong affection
As shown to me, my feelings flow;
And, while I enjoy reflection,
I'll strive my gratitude to show.
I saw thy conduct with emotion,
Prayed my God to own and bless
What thou didst through love's devotion,
To increase my happiness.
'Twas then I sought thy soul's Salvation;
In prayer besought the Lord to make
What proved to me severe probation
A blessing to thee for Christ's' sake.
And now I see thee with thy wife,
Ranked amongst the heirs of Glory,
Partakers of Eternal Life
Through faith in sweet Redemption's Story.
A blessing this, which fleeting Time
Can not unfold in all its brightness,
As 'twill be seen when in Heaven's prime
We walk its streets in robes of whiteness.
Hail happy day! thy near approach
Inspires our hearts with joy and gladness,
Enables us to bear reproach,
Takes from our hearts much of their sadness.
Brother and sister dear, let us while we are here
Cling unto Jesus, our very best friend;
That when Death shall come we may soon reach our home,
And gain Felicity never to end.
FIRESIDE THOUGHTS OF ANN, MY FORMER
Wrapt of late in solemn musing
On the checkered scenes of life,
Peace was o'er my mind diffusing
As I thought of Ann, my wife.
Pure in life and conversation,
Full of smiles and modest worth,
Showing calmest resignation
When sad trials called it forth.
Sweet and softly o'er me stealing,
Like a pleasant zephyr's breath,
Came pure faith, my sore heart healing
As I thought of Ann in death.
In her prime and beauty dying,
Full of love and heavenly joy,
Safe in Christ, stern Death, defying
Nothing could her peace destroy.
Faith and fancy both combining,
Blessings to me freely given,
Keep my soul from e'er repining,
As I think of Ann in Heaven.
TO MY BROTHER JAMES.
James, 'tis full time for me to write
Some rhymes to you in earnest quite.
I've promised long, and now I'll try
My promise to fulfill, and why?
Because you have a claim on me
Which, when paid off, will set me free,
To run awhile again in debt,
Which in its turn shall sure be met.
But this is trifling, you may say.
Perhaps it is, but trifles may
Effect some good; they often do,
And quite as often please us, too.
Who's free from trifling? I would ask.
To find out one would prove a task.
But then I candidly confess
That we should surely trifle less.
Well, let me see; can any theme
Be started? Yes, I had a dream [FOOTNOTE: Fact.]
The other night. Both you and I
Were standing on a hill so high,
And soon there came a mighty stream
Which did not leave of hope a gleam.
But suddenly a plank we found,
That brought us safely to dry ground.
Then I awoke devoid of fear,
And you the Moral true shall hear.
All mortals now are sailing down
The stream of time, as you must own;
And waters roar, and dash, and foam.
Then say—how shall we reach our home?
There is a plank, as we have seen,
And it is safe, most safe, I ween.
'Tis in the Gospel clearly shown,
'Tis by all Christians fully known.
We have its merits long since tried,
And glory in the Lamb who died.
Then let us prize it as we ought,
And serve him who our souls has bought.
For surely this our duty is
If we would reach eternal bliss.
TO MY DAUGHTER ELLEN, ON HER
WEDDING DAY, MARCH 20,
Ellen, on this glad occasion
I address to you a rhyme,
And in tones of sweet persuasion
Would advise you at this time.
If full measure of enjoyment
You would seek in married life,
Make it daily your employment
To avoid what leads to strife.
Prize, O prize, both now and ever,
Joseph's confidence of love.
See that fits of temper never
Drive him forth from home to rove.
Should he show unlooked for weakness,
Hide the secret in your breast,
And expostulate with meekness
When you have God's Throne addressed.
Always aim to dress with neatness,
Though your clothes be e'er so plain;
Add to this your mother's sweetness,
If you would love's sway maintain.
Should yours prove a life of trial,
May you both still look above.
Exercise in self-denial
Strengthens pre-existing love.
I have found that constant blessing
Springs from troubles sanctified,
And when needs have been most pressing,
God himself those needs supplied.
To His care I therefore leave you,
Bid you lean upon his arm;
May naught soon arise to grieve you,
Naught to damp affection warm.
MURDER WILL OUT;
OR, THE POWER OF CONSCIENCE.
A tale of Jealousy and Revenge, by Bernard Gray.
Turned into a Ballad and some new Scenes added.
[Footnote: I would not wish exactly to be held responsible for what
reader may deem unchristian-like language or statements in this
as I have copied the original in such matters.]
Sullen sat in jealous mood,
A most brutal-looking man;
Purpose foul served him for food.
Against a maid he lately wooed
His dreadful purpose ran.
Long he sat with vacant stare,
Large his eyes, quite gray and full;
Fell in tangled locks his hair,
O'er his dirty forehead there,
Fit covering for such skull.
Stands in the room a crazy bed
And two wretched, worn-out chairs.
That had rested limbs and head,
These now served for that instead;
Thus ill the villain fares.
Heard he on that gloomy night
Demon foul to urge the deed?
Would he tremble at the sight
If some horrid goblin sprite
Came his strong wrath to feed?
He would welcome as his friend
Ev'n proud Satan, prince of Hell,
If he would assistance lend
So that he could gain his end
In crime—so very fell.
She who thus had roused his ire,
Lived a little distance off.
With his jealous soul on fire
Cudgel stout suits his desire;
He has one stout and tough.
Soon he reached her shabby home,
Rapped aloud upon the door.
“Yes, John Bristol, you may come,”
Said a voice within that room
So high on the third floor.
Near the window, very sad,
Sat she, deeply wrapped in thought
And appeared but thinly clad.
Brown her hair, blue eyes she had
As e'en with love were fraught!
She asked the man to take a seat.
He “preferred to stand awhile,
Had been sitting much of late.”
Now, as if impelled by fate,
He has recourse to guile.
Says she, “Glad I am you've come
For I thought you took offense.”
Little dreams she of the doom
Hanging o'er her in that room,
Or she would flee from thence.
He her conduct now reproves,
She replies in innocence.
Softly he behind her moves,
Right behind the girl he loves,
In cowardly pretence.
Ere suspicion could arise
In the hapless victim's mind,
Up the sturdy cudgel flies,
Downward on its aim it flies,
And strikes her as designed.
Right upon her temples fair,
Murder foul has done its part.
Eyes assume a strange, fixed stare,
Flows the blood among her hair,
No longer throbs the heart.
Now the villain lifts her arm,
Now he finds the pulse has fled;
He can do no further harm;
Conscience sounds a loud alarm,
For surely she is dead.
Now he flees in haste away;
Shifts the scene again to her:
She is found by friends next day
Stiff and gory as she lay,
And they create a stir.
Quickly gathers round a mob,
Fleetly flies the horrid news,
Making hearts more strongly throb;
Women shriek, and cry, and sob
As each the body views.
Come the officers of law;
Cries are heard to let them pass.
Through, the crowd they forward go,
To behold the scene of woe;
Suspense now holds the mass.
Shifts the scene unto the sea,
Nears a port a stately sail;
Joyful seems the crew to be,
Dream they not of misery
From an approaching gale.
Swiftly comes—a dreadful storm;
Fast the rigging's torn away;
Broken masts the ship deform,
All is terror and alarm
Amidst the dashing spray.
Angry roars the foaming deep;
Death now stares them in the face;
There is found no time to sleep,
Nor would it avail to weep
In such a woeful case.
Lift they up a prayer to God;
Does He heat them in distress?
See, He waves his righteous Rod,
For they've on his precepts trod;
His might they now confess.
Two alone survive the rest,
These are clinging to a spar.
One with secret in his breast
Is by sense of guilt oppressed,
Which keeps his mind ajar.
Can the reader guess his name?
“Bristol?” yes, he was the one;
He a sailor soon became,
Nor felt any sense of shame
Till life had nearly gone.
Now Hell's terrors seize his soul;
Now he sees the murdered maid
In her blood before him fall;
Hears her for God's vengeance call,
And ask why it's delayed.
Feels the elements at war
Nothing to the strife within,
Therefore to his brother tar
His locked heart he does unbar,
To ease him of his sin.
Tells him how some months ago
He a harmless maiden slew.
Jealousy had wrought his woe,
Made him give the fatal blow;
'Twas very wrong he knew.
“Speak her name!” the other cries;
“Mary Markham,” Bristol screams.
Rage gleams from that other's eyes,
As he at John Bristol flies,
To end his mortal dreams.
Soon he's by the murderer's side,
Now he fiercely drags him down.
“Here thou shalt no longer bide;
Sink, fiend! sink into the tide,
And all thy baseness drown!”
Loud and louder roars the wind;
The new murderer is alone
And has lost his peace of mind.
Will he seek a port to find
And there his sin atone?
Fellow sinner, think not hard
Of the poor remaining one.
He from proper light debarred,
Thought it duty to reward
Bristol for that deed done.
Why? He to the murdered maid
Was a brother by his birth.
His love for her did not fade,
And this journey home he made
In hopes to yield her mirth.
Shifts the gloomy scene once more,
To a narrow, crooked street;
In a wretched liquor store
Sits a man we've seen before,
Musing on things not sweet.
He might seem to view intent
Watered spirits in a glass,
For his eyes on that are bent,
But his thoughts are wandering sent
Alter that murdered lass.
In this street—the very same,
That most shocking act was done;
It had nearly lost its fame,
Yet remembered was the name
Of that pool maiden lone.
When her name was spoke 'tis said
Chilling honor seized the soul
Of both high and lowly bred;
All who heard were filled with dread
Which they could scarce control.
Seems the man irresolute
About the drink before him placed.
Now, his gestures are not mute,
Showing feelings most acute,
And such as might be traced.
Bodingly he shakes his head,
Deep-drawn lengthy sigh then heaves
His broad chest, for her now dead!
Bitter tears are freely shed
As he for sister grieves.
In plain sailor's clothes he's dressed,
Anchor blue is on his hand.
A woman's eyes now on him rest,
Who, with babe upon her breast,
Speaks him in accents bland.
“Does the liquor suit your taste?
Is there nothing else you need?”
From his seat he rose with haste,
On the floor his feet he braced;
“I'm thinking of that deed!”
Quickly swallows he the drink,
Then asks, “Is not this the street?”
“What street? Come, yourself bethink!”
“I will; yet from it I shrink.
Sweet girl, we ne'er shall meet!”
“Tell, good woman, if you can,
Where she ”—Once again a pause.
Turns she now afresh to scan
The face of that most wretched man.
So very full of woes.
Anxious to relieve his mind,
Stays she still within the room;
Then says, “Man, what would you find?
I to serve you am inclined.”
“Where met that girl her doom?”
Now she needs no other clue;
Says, “You'll see the place from here.
Fouler deed I never knew;
Was she anything to you?
Come, tell me without fear.”
“Was my sister, that was all;"
Soft he said, then paid his bill.
Something seemed on him to call;
Speedily away he stole,
But not with ready will.
Radiant Sol is sinking low,
And Night coming on apace;
Roofs in the setting sunbeams glow,
And his purple tints they show,
Till he has run his race.
At this time does Markham sit
In that lonely, dirty room;
Heeds not how the shadows flit,
Asks not if such place be fit
To drive away his gloom.
Felt he quite constrained to see
That house, where his sister dwelt,
And refresh his memory,
Thinking what she used to be,
When he so happy felt.
Now he tries to realize
Scenes that harrow up his soul.
While, successfully, he tries,
Fancies he can hear her cries!
This does his heart appal.
Thus engaged, he quickly hears
Soft steps coming to the door!
This does not arouse his fears;
Strong his nerves, it now appears,
As ere they were before.
Timid hand has lift the latch;
One more man is now within.
Very soon he strikes a match;
Candle's lit! Can Markham catch
Those features—dark with sin?
Soon. But what a sight to see;
Eyeballs from their sockets start!
Trembles he convulsively;
Should he try he could not flee;
He's struck, as by a dart!
Bristol locks the door inside,
And scans well the room around;
His grey eyes are opened wide—
Who's that on the other side?
Too soon the truth he found!
Markham springs now on his feet,
While his eyes with passion glow;
Bristol's these defying meet!
Firm they stand, nor seek retreat;
They well each other know!
First the brother silence broke;
“Villain! Come you here again?
Who did your light doom revoke?
Died on not from my just stroke
Upon the stormy Main?
“You've the impudence to come
To the place she occupied!
Your foul presence taints the room
Which to her was as a home,
Till, by your hands, she died!
“You hardened wretch! Take, quickly take
Your polluted soul from here!
Who, for you, Death's fetters brake?
Satan his own child forsake!
He'll have you, never fear!
“Monster! you're not fit to live,
Neither yet to die, at all?”
Bristol does no answer give;
The torments no one can conceive,
Endured by his vile soul!
Again the brother spoke in rage:
“Think you to escape your doom?
Other story, I engage
To read, ere you quit this stage.
Stern Vengeance now doth loom!
“If there be no other way,
Law I'll take in my own hands.”
“This you've done”—did Bristol say—
“At the shipwreck yesterday;"
Now Markham shuddering stands.
Said he, “Yes, I did it then,
And you are sent back to me;
You will ne'er escape again;
Trial will be but in vain—
You're doomed to misery!
“Mary, my own sister dear!
When I last time saw your face,
Dreamt you not of cause to fear
Murderer's hand upon you here,
Within this very place!
“No stain was upon your name;
Lively, modest girl you were;
Would you ne'er had felt love's flame!
Yet you had no cause to shame,
But bore good character.
“If I live, your murderer's neck
Pays the forfeit of his crime!
Loss of time I will not reck—
Nothing shall my ardor check,
Should he seek other clime!”
Speaking thus, he placed his back
Firm against the outer door;
As he had of voice no lack,
Shouted, till his face grew black,
And stamped upon the floor!
Presently the neighbors come,
While poor Bristol trembling stands.
Now they are within the room,
And proceed to seal his doom
By binding fast his hands.
Shifts the scene into a Court,
Near to suffocation full;
Counsel unto lies resort,
And the jury loud exhort
To make proceedings null.
Bristol's friends had paid them gold,
And they do their best to show
Black is white: as, when of old,
Satan, without fee, lies told,
To work our Parents' woe.
Let them do their very best,
There's a witness all must hear!
It is in John Bristol's breast,
And it cannot, will not rest,
Till all the truth appear!
All his quivering lips observe,
While he now attempts to speak.
Conscience cries, “Come, muster nerve.
You must not from duty swerve;
You shall proceedings check!”
He speaks; all eyes quickly turn
On the wretched culprit's face.
“I my crime most deeply mourn!
Thoughts of it my vitals burn;
I dare not hope for grace!”
Verdict found, and sentence passed.
In three days condemned to die;
Thus he's caught by Law at last;
Fetters bind his limbs quite fast.
As he, in cell, doth lie.
Now the Devil steels his heart
To refuse religion's aid;
“In that thing he'll have no part,
It would but increase his smart—
Of death he's not afraid!”
Vainly strive God's messengers
To lead him to Jesus' blood;
“There's no need,” he still avers,
And good victuals much prefers,
So asks, again, for food.
'Tis the night before he die;
Swiftly speed the hours away;
They, like seconds, seem to fly
To a Record, kept on high,
Against the Judgment Day!
Two—three—four—five! from the clock,
Sound like guns fired in distress.
Yet appear to give no shock
To that man, with heart of rock,
Though full of wretchedness!
Six! More dismal sounds are heard
Than the striking of the hour;
Workmen's blows loud echoes stirred,
Fixing scaffold—we inferred,
To rouse him has this power?
Not the least; it scarcely went
To the chambers of his brain;
Others thought it cried, “Repent,
Bristol, ere your life be spent!”
But yet the cry was vain!
Still he hardens his vile heart,
And hangs sullenly his head,
Seven—eight—nine—ten! Did he start?
No; but fiends from him depart,
And he will soon be dead.
Comes the Sheriff to his cell;
Puts the cord around his neck;
Now his feelings, who can tell?
Still he careth not for Hell—
But wait the Sheriff's beck.
Slow the dull procession moves
To the fatal gallows-tree;
There he sees no face he loves,
Though the people come in droves
His dying throes to see.
Now he hears the warrant read,
Bids adieu to all around;
Solemn prayer again is made,
And the cap's drawn o'er his head;
Signal's given; his soul has fled!
The body sinks to th' ground.
“I've followed him unto the end!”
Said a voice among the crowd.
Warning take! Young men, attend!
See the murderer's dreadful end!
It speaks like thunder loud.
THE FAITHFUL PASTOR.
WRITTEN IN 1854.
“Would I describe a Preacher such as Paul
Were he on earth, would hear, approve and own,
Paul should himself direct me.”
To the deep umbrage of our North back woods,
And near to Huron's wild romantic shore—
Where Winter's storms are seen in angry moods,
To make the Lake's waves dash with loudest roar—
Came GOODWORTH, twelve years since, and brought a store
Of Christian wisdom to those lonely parts:
To try if he could find an open door
By which to reach the settlers' sinful hearts,
And them inform of what would heal their inward smarts.
Firm in his mind, robust was he in frame,
Of human learning having ample share;
With fervent zeal, love-prompted, there he came,
Pure Gospel Truth in meekness to declare,
And backwoods hardships with his hearers share;
He brought his loving wife and children four,
Who for their own convenience showed small care;
Who had with Christian heroism bore
A heavy share of trial several years before.
These four dear children had been early trained
To take their part in every day's employ;
Nor were their youthful hearts by this estranged
From the kind parents, who did show their joy
In manifesting no wish to annoy
Their dearest offspring by undue restraint;
Aware that this might very soon destroy
Their influence; and who has power to paint
The ills which flow from this too prevalent complaint?
Think not, kind reader, I would overdraw
My pictures of sweet, chaste, conjugal bliss;
All I describe I've seen, and, therefore, know
I err not far—though some may doubt of this—
And deem my sketches very far amiss.
It matters not; those who have faithful been
In wedlock pure have often found, I was,
That a fair share of happiness serene
Upon this earth in Christian families still is seen.
And such were those of whom I speak above,
For of God's grace they every one partook.
Their actions sprang from the great Law of Love,
So plainly laid down in his Holy Book.
All might discover from each kind, sweet look,
That they had been unto the Savior's School;
That they had seldom Wisdom's paths forsook,
But made the Word their only Guide and Rule.
This kept their love alive, nor let their ardor cool.
Yet they did not to this at once attain;
Poor human nature in its best estate
Has much about it that is truly vain,
And these were not exempt from common fate.
Some fourteen years before my story's date
They had been in the purifying fire
Of great affliction; had been led to wait
Upon their God who knew their soul's desire,
And brought them through, clothed in Humility's attire.
And gave them for their loved ones taken away,
What was more needful for their growth in grace,
And led them thus to make His Arm their stay.
In all their trials His kind hand to trace.
'Twas this that fitted them for such a place
As in these woods the were designed to fill;
And hence they always wore a cheerful face,
And bowed their own unto their Savior's will,
While with the Spirit's sword the showed the greatest skill.
And such were needed in that settlement
But just reclaimed from the wild wilderness,
For its inhabitants appeared content
With worldly things, which did good thoughts repress,
And cause the Pastor much of sore distress.
In truth it seemed a most forbidding field
For pastoral labor, and it was no less.
But God could make it precious fruit to yield,
And be unto his servants constant Strength and Shield.
Now they had sought the mind of God to know
Ere they concluded there to settle down;
And this determined they resolved to go
To that rough place—quite far from any town,
Where rude log huts were very thinly strown,
And where hard labor stared them in the face,
While gloomy woods appeared on them to frown,
To find earth's comforts were but very scarce.
For such a step I'm sure they needed special grace.
This they obtained, and providentially
Were led to find a very splendid lot,
Which fronted on that mighty inland Sea,
And is in Summer a most lovely spot;
A barren piece of land it sure is not.
This might be known from its fine stock of trees.
Now their good fortune gratitude begot,
Which was poured forth to God upon their knees,
While green leaves waved above, fanned by a warm, soft breeze.
A shabby shanty stood upon the ground,
Perhaps erected by a poor red man;
Fire-weeds and brushwood thickly grew around,
To clear off which they now at once began.
Near by the place a charming spring-creek ran;
This had its source in a high tree-clad hill,
From top of which the country they could scan.
The father and two sons with right good will
That shanty soon prepare, and they its small space till.
This proved a wretched shelter at the best,
For rain came through the worn-out roof of bark,
And for hard laborers was no place of rest,
While its small window left it very dark.
They speak together of a house, when, hark!
A noise they hear—a sound as of great glee—
The settlers in their breasts possessed a spark
Of sweet good nature, and now came to see
If they could not be useful to the family.
This as an omen soon was understood,
And pressing wants were to each friend made known.
With axes armed these quick obtained some wood,
Which by strong oxen speedily was drawn
To the selected spot that had been shown.
The Pastor's wife and daughters then prepare
A good, substantial meal, and with kind tone
Invite the friends to come and taste their fare,
Which they in gratitude had made with nicest care.
With this good offer all at once complied;
They came to work and therefore needs must eat.
The day was fine and beech tree shade supplied
A place for table, and each took a seat,
Admiring much the dinner spread so neat.
And GOODWORTH then gave thanks most rev'rently
For such sweet comforts in their wood's retreat,
And prayed that each warm-hearted friend might be
Rewarded for his kindness in Eternity.
The dinner o'er, awhile in friendly chat
They sat and rested till the cattle fed.
Then GOODWORTH freely spoke to them of what
He and his family to that place had led,
And sweetly mentioned Him that once had bled—
The great God-man, who, sinners came to save.
These men in silence heard all he had said,
And some shed tears, and all looked very grave,
Though each rude breast possessed a heart most truly brave.
Once more bright axes, wielded by strong arms
Make chips fly fast, as they the logs prepare;
Such willing work the Pastor's family charms,
For they this kindness had not thought to share.
A strong foundation now is laid with care;
Of ample size, the fabric upward grows;
The men take pains to have the corners square,
Which to effect the spare nor strength nor blows;
And thus, as if by magic, that neat structure rose.
Meanwhile, there came some shingles, nails and boards,
Brought by two teams, which only now were seen;
And this fresh kindness fullest proof affords
That GOODWORTH'S object was approved, I ween.
Now some for rafters a long way had been;
And, as the sun had sunk into the West,
The women had prepared their table clean,
Well laden, as before, with food; the best
Which they had power to furnish in that wild wood-nest.
Warm thanks are given: the workers fall to work
To do full justice to that savory meal.
No wicked feelings in their bosoms lurk
Against the family; but they strongly feel
They have an interest in all their weal,
And freely speak of coming back next day
The house to finish; kindly thus they deal
With those dear folks—who wish them still to stay—
And they will sing awhile, to cheer them on their way.
To this they all consented; then arose
Song after song, in praise of Jesus' name!
Such songs can lighten e'en our saddest woes,
And raise in human hearts a heavenly flame.
Six men there were who, from that night, became
Quite altered characters—as all might see.
For Gospel Truth can e'en a savage tame;
Though this to some men seems a mystery—
Such have not seen themselves sunk in depravity.
The singing o'er, the good man said, “Let's pray.”
All down beside him reverently knelt;
It was a proper close for such a day—
As all engaged must then have deeply felt.
And oh, the language of that prayer did melt
Some stony hearts, as I in truth would tell:
For GOODWORTH on God's love and mercy dwelt—
On coming judgment—and on Heaven and Hell—
Till every one seemed bound as by the strongest spell.
This done, those neighbors—though reluctantly—
Took leave of that most happy household there:
And were as pleased as any men could be
They were allowed such company to share.
'Twas Spring time, and the still and balmy air
Was most refreshing to the wearied frame;
And Luna's brightness, though quite free from glare,
Enabled them to see which way they came—
For staying rather late they would incur no blame.
The morning came, and with alacrity
Came settlers also, ready as before
To help the welcome new-come family
Whose strange, deep news had made their hearts so sore.
And now the labor of the day each bore
As if his own advantage he would seek.
Some went to roofing, some to fix the door
And windows, and with hearts and arms not weak,
They make the work fly fast, scarce leaving time to speak.
The muster, greater this day than the last,
Left some hands free to clear a piece of ground;
And these, with brush-hooks, o'er two acres passed,
Making good riddance of what brush they found.
They then cut down some poles and fenced it round.
The family, too, were busy all this while,
For they were moved with gratitude profound
To show their thankfulness in many a smile.
Their happy faces do the laborers' hearts beguile.
The meal-times passed with pleasure and some profit;
Naught did occur to mar the harmony.
If there were whisky every one kept off it,
And all confessed they worked more easily.
Too often liquor in the woods we see,
And much vile mischief is it apt to do
When neighbors come to help at Logging-bee,
Or to assist each other at the plow.
It pleases me to see this practice broken through.
The Country would have reason to rejoice
If not a drop were as a beverage used,
And I would not be slow to raise my voice
Till Temperance principles are more diffused.
For this by some folks I may be abused,
But where's the harm? I seek alone their good,
And cannot be by conscience well excused
If I refuse my aid to stem the flood
Which drowns its thousands of our common brotherhood.
But to return: The work had so well sped,
And the new house was so far on the way
Toward completion, that the family's head
Thought they might safely move that very day,
But first enquired what there would be to pay?
The neighbors smiled and kept the secret close,
And what the bill was none thought fit to say.
For satisfaction “he must ask the Boss.”
To tell who that was every one felt quite at loss.
Is this exaggeration? Witness now,
Ye far backwoodsmen—much too oft belied,
Are ye inclined these things to disavow?
Or will my statements be by you denied?
If not they stand for truth both far and wide,
And your example may be found of use
In leading others quickly to decide
That they for ignorance have no excuse
In this enlightened age, when Knowledge is diffuse.
I need not mention every little thing
That was required to make the house complete.
My humble Muse would now attempt to sing
Of subjects which to her are far more sweet.
The Pastor happy lived in his retreat,
Preaching on Sabbath, in a school-house near.
There many came who could not get a seat,
And such large audience did the Pastor cheer,
Who spoke to them with zeal—for they to him were dear.
I may be asked, “What was this man's persuasion?
Was he a Churchman or a Methodist?”
I answer make without the least evasion,
He owned no “ism,” nor yet “ite,” nor “ist.”
But if on further knowledge you insist,
I only say that he was glad to own
The “Blood-bought Throng” wherever they exist.
Nor did he scruple to let this be known,
The BIBLE still the Source from which his creed was drawn.
From it he gathered that ev'n two or three
Met in Christ's name a Church of God do make;
That, when so met, they have full liberty
On each Lord's Day the Bread and Wine to take.
All vain traditions they in this forsake,
But get rich blessing from the King of Kings.
And in that lonely house near Huron's Lake,
The family enjoyed the bliss which springs
From means well used, and these afresh each Sabbath brings.
The six of whom I spoke some pages back,
Sought early fellowship with that small band.
These of great sorrow had displayed no lack,
And now as Christians publicly they stand,
Unto Christ's work they give each heart and hand,
And one of them called Luth, possessed of means,
Resolved at once to give a piece of land
On which to build a chapel, midst sweet scenes;
A very central place, and near two deep ravines.
Nor was this all; he gave some good pine trees
And other requisites to build the place;
The work he knew would all be done by “Bees.”
The friends the opportunity embrace
To make the matter fully known all round.
Strong opposition they had now to face
From those who rather would in sin be found,
And such cared nothing for the glorious Gospel sound.
The Minister proposed to wait awhile,
Till this grave subject could be well discussed.
He wished that none would act from motives vile,
For popularity he did not lust,
And in his Father he could always trust;
Advised to seek God's mind by earnest prayer,
In generosity to be still just;
By such means only could they hope to share
God's constant approbation and His guardian care.
This prudent course ensured the object sought.
Some who opposed did, of their own accord
Propose assistance, and with vigor wrought
To raise the humble Chapel to the Lord.
Dear GOODWORTH wielded skilfully the sword,
Which by God's blessing pierced into the souls
Of those who came to hear the plain-taught Word,
Whose rich Truth, for Sin's pleasures lost, consoles,
And cheers and strengthens those whose lust it still controls.
Truly it was a lovely sight to see
The opening of that place of worship pure.
There was displayed no animosity,
All seemed at home in perfect peace secure.
Sweet gospel sermons fitted to allure
The erring sons and daughters of mankind
Were preached that day, and I feel very sure
It was no “blind man's leading of the blind,”
But preaching of that sort which is for good designed.
The music was by voices rich and clear,
The words the language of most grateful hearts,
All forming worship void of slavish fear;
Most orderly besides in all its parts,
Though the performers knew not much of arts
On which some pride themselves in this our day;
Nor was the singing done by fits and starts,
As if God's service were but childish play.
They knew His Eye was on their secret thoughts alway.
I must not fail to mention the chief thing
For which all saints should meet on Sabbath day;
But first my Muse would boldly spread her wing,
For she could always on this subject stay.
Your kind indulgence, reader, I would pray,
As this sweet topic is most dear to me.
Most gracious Savior, who for me didst pay
Thy precious blood upon the cursed tree,
That I might be redeemed from sin and misery.
Grant me Thy Spirit's aid while I attempt
A true description of thy “Feast of Love"
May I from evil motives be exempt,
Nor mention aught but what Thou wilt approve.
That small, dear family “born, from above,”
Just numbering twelve, around the table meet.
Each one displays the meekness of the dove,
And hopes to share a most delicious treat
In joining thus with Jesus in Communion sweet.
And now the Pastor thought it right to tell
What were the principles on which they met;
For great misapprehension he knew well
Prevailed abroad, and some men's minds beset.
He trusted no one present would forget
That the pure Bible was their only guide.
They had no human system to abet,
Nor would they by man's arguments be tried.
What say the Scriptures? these alone the case decide.
He said, “We meet, dear friends, in Jesus' name;
By his command who, says, 'Remember me?'
As He for us Sin-offering became,
It is but right we should obedient be,
And O, what wondrous love we here do see!
To think we are invited all to feast
With Jesus in His glorious majesty.
This is a marvel, and 'tis much increased
When we reflect we are not worthy in the least.
“Here at this table I now humbly stand
Upon a perfect level with the rest.
We take the Bread and Wine at Jesus' hand,
He hath these simple Emblems truly blest.
Our love to him by this act is expressed,
And though we are indeed a small, weak flock,
The Lord makes each a highly honored guest.
On His Atonement as our holy rock,
We stand secure midst danger, nor fear any shock.
“We do this every First Day of the Week,
Because of old God's people did the same;
This all may learn who will take pains to seek
The Word of Truth. All arguments are lame.
Men use against it, and not free from blame.
Can we, dear friends, remember Christ too often?
Ah, no indeed! To save our souls he came!
And his vast Love to us our hearts should soften,
And plume the, wings, of Faith, which we may soar aloft on.
“We do not wish to hold the servile views
To which too many of God's children cling.
Oh, why should Christians in this way refuse
What to their souls would sweetest comfort bring?
'Remember Me' should make our love to spring
Like water gushing from a fountain clear,
And tune our hearts each time afresh to sing
The praise of Jesus, and should make us rear
Our Ebenezer high as we to heaven draw near.
“Some ask us if we have the Lord's command
For breaking bread upon each Sabbath day.
We ask them in return, have they at hand
A plain behest for acting in their way?
If such they have let them without delay
Spread wide the fact and let the truth be known.
I should have nothing further then to say,
Except my error thankfully to own.
But friends, as yet none ever have such precept shown.
“Suppose there were near by a flock of sheep
Whose sad, gaunt looks bespoke the pasture bare,
While they have left scarce strength enough to creep,
From having lacked too long good food and care.
Suppose that these were brought to pasture fair,
The gate of which was opened wide to them.
Would they wait for command to enter there?
In truth I think not, and can rightly claim
That we in doing this incur not any blame.”
This said, he read aloud the Savior's words,
Uttered that solemn night before he died.
Deep, soul-toned language which quite well accords
With his great sufferings for his blood-bought bride.
O, let not any this plain feast deride;
There ne'er was Ordinance appointed yet
That has more comfort to the Saints supplied.
'Tis calculated to make them forget
Their sorrows when they view Christ's death and bloody sweat.
And now most grateful thanks are offered up,
The Bread is broke, and all in silence eat.
Then in like manner they partake the Cup,
In fellowship they sit at Jesus' feet,
And take from his dear hands refreshment sweet.
This done, collection for the Saints is made,
And next praise rises to the “Mercy Seat.”
From right glad hearts and unfeigned lips 'tis paid:
The meeting closes and each kind farewell is said.
Yet this day's joyous service was not o'er;
Some met at night with GOODWORTH'S family,
And there together searched the hidden store
Of Bible truth, the prayer of Faith the key
That did unlock each wondrous mystery.
All were invited, nay were pressed to speak,
And show the light which God gave them to see.
This course served well to strengthen what was weak,
And all learned much who meekly were inclined to seek.
Nor was pure praise neglected at this time:
All were well pleased with that day's exercise.
And freely joined in Zion's songs sublime,
Thus pouring forth their evening sacrifice.
This did but strengthen pre-existing ties,
While warmer grew their hearts in Love's soft bands.
At nine o'clock reluctantly they rise,
To part at last with cordial shake of hands,
More fitted for the coming day, with its demands.
I offer the above as a fair sample
Of this small Church's worship on First Days,
And should be highly pleased if their example
Had on our minds an influence always.
Their love and zeal are worthy of all praise,
Though all they have or are is of God's grace.
His love to them they view with deep amaze,
And trust ere long to see him face to face
In heavenly Regions—His own happy Dwelling Place.
To spare the Reader risk of long digression,
And keep within just bounds my humble tale,
I now in order give GOODWORTH'S profession
That none to understand his views may fail.
Against these views some men no doubt will rail,
But let such take the Bible in their hands,
And with Truth's weapons only them assail.
This the importance of the thing demands,
For by the Truth alone his doctrine falls or stands.
On Scriptural grounds of every Sinner's hope
He held no wavering views, for Truth shone clear
Into his soul, and gave him power to cope
With Error's darkest forms. He had no fear
Of man before his eyes. The spiteful sneer
Of Antinomians and proud Pharisees
Disturbed him not, save to call forth a tear
From heartfelt pity for the vagaries
Of their perverted judgments touching God's decrees.
He held, then, that the Lord, who sees the end
From the beginning, did of his own pure grace
Choose some with him Eternity to spend,
From 'mongst the millions of our fallen race,
Determined all such should behold his face
In peace at last, in spite of Hell and sin.
These would in time his Gospel Truth embrace,
Or die incapable for Faith within.
Thus did he view the triumphs of God's Grace begin.
He saw God's Love—Superlative, Eternal,
Gradually unfold the mystery
To Man, who by Satanic schemes infernal,
Had fall'n from happiness to misery.
And he by Faith's keen eye could clearly see
Its full development when Jesus came
The sinner's Surety and best Friend to be;
Who “bore the Cross and still despised the Shame,”
Nor shrank from God's just wrath—a fiercely burning flame.
Christ's glorious Resurrection too, he saw
To be God's stamp of approbation great
On that vicarious work which his just Law
Fulfilled—a ground of hope commensurate
To man's great needs in every age and state.
These truths so filled his warm and generous soul
That he on them would oft expatiate
Until his feelings seemed beyond control;
And this secured attention from his hearers all.
Of man's free will he had not any doubt;
Yet he as much believed the declaration
Of God's own Word—which some men dare to flout—
That man's heart is, in every rank and station,
“Always deceitful,” filled with profanation,
“And desparately wicked.” This none know
But God, who has provided expiation,
And sent his Holy Spirit down to show
These facts to sinners dead, and on them Life bestow.
On final perseverance of all Saints
He took the highest stand which man can take,
And found in it a balm for most complaints
Of Christian souls, to sense of sin awake.
This glorious truth to him would often make
Light shine in darkness and dispel his fear;
Oft led him to endure for Jesus' sake
Loss of beloved objects, and appear
An ever happy man, 'midst prospects dark and drear.
Besides the views I have already given
He held it right that Christians all should use
The talents they possess as gifts from heaven.
Neglect of this admits of no excuse,
Though there are times when men their gifts abuse.
As members of the Church all have their place,
And none well taught of God should e'er refuse
To aid His cause according to the Grace
Received since they were led Salvation to embrace.
For peaceful rule and needful discipline,
He held that churches should call two or more
Of members, who well qualified had been,
As Elders, by God's Spirit to watch o'er
The flock of Christ; men skilled in Bible lore,
And “apt to teach; not novices, but such
As have seen service in the Truth, and bore
Good characters becoming Christians much,”
For only men like these should that high office touch.
Two or more Deacons they should also call,
Who by the Scripture rule are qualified
To keep the Church's funds, and still help all
Who may by poverty be sorely tried.
By such arrangements Churches should abide,
If they would faithful prove unto the Lord.
We have no right to set His Laws aside;
Such conduct is by our Great Head abhorred,
And does with our profession very ill accord.
As this Church was but young it was deemed best
That they should, as their pastor, him retain.
He thanked them much for confidence expressed,
And hoped it would not tend to make him vain.
He thought it right his views thus to explain,
And trusted they would give them due attention.
Should his poor life be spared he would remain
And labor hard to keep them from declension,
Though of their falling off he had no apprehension.
The Salary question next came on the board.
What should the amount be, how or whence obtained?
The Church itself could not the means afford;
Perhaps some others might assistance lend—
But would the pastor such a course commend?
Had they consulted him at first they would
Have found they had no cause to apprehend
A lack of means to serve intentions good;
He wished to labor freely for Christ's brotherhood.
He and his family needed then no aid
Except what new-come Settlers might require.
And obligation was upon him laid
To seek the good of souls from motives higher
Than worldly gain. He trusted his desire
Was that the Gospel might be free to all.
What Christ had done for him his zeal would fire,
And make him earnest in the sinner's call;
Thus gladly would he forward press toward the goal.
Now let not Christians who from him may differ
Suppose this man could no forbearance show.
It was his wish to be in nothing stiffer
Than Truth required, which God led him to know.
From human creeds his conscience said “withdraw!”
To stand by such advice he was content.
To Pharisaic pride he was a foe,
And to ungodliness where'er he went,
While to promote true Love his gifts and time were spent.
My Muse again of temporal-things would sing,
And I her mandate hasten to obey.
Upon all farms there's work enough in Spring,
And GOODWORTH'S people were not used to play.
'Tis true their farm was small, yet day by day
They plenty found to occupy their time;
That patch of ground the labor would repay.
As for good crops, 'twas in condition prime:
Such they all hoped to raise in that fine fruitful clime.
Six acres still lay right behind the two;
Doubtless it had an Indian clearance been.
This needs not much to fit it for the plow,
So they of brush and rubbish rid it clean,
And broke it up. Then a rail fence was seen
Most speedily to compass it around.
Soon spring wheat sown was looking brightly green,
While in the garden useful plants were found,
And these good prospects made the family's joys abound.
Their live stock was not large, yet they possessed
Two milking cows, and yoke of oxen strong,
Some turkeys, hogs, and poultry of the best.
These all were bought ere they had been there long.
For finest fish they could not well go wrong;
The lake supplied all that they wished to get.
In small canoe they often sailed along
The side of lovely isles and cast their net,
Or fished with line till glorious Sol had nearly set.
Sometimes a deer would venture near enough
To run the risk of catching lumps of lead,
And this well dressed was no unsavory stuff
With which to help a meal of wheaten bread.
Of bears and wolves they were at first in dread,
But soon found out there was no cause for fear;
For if such came and mortal showed his head,
They soon ran off with a true coward's leer,
Which made it seem surprising they should come so near.
To clear against the Fall, the sons marked out
Ten acres of the woods well filled with trees.
Such work required strong arms and courage stout,
And those young men could rightly boast of these.
They now with willing hands their axes seize
And push the work from early morn till night.
Loud sound the strokes, till each brave woodman sees
The trees begin to tremble in their sight,
And soon with thundering sound upon the ground alight.
The chopper's life is not a life of ease—
And yet to those who understand it well
There's much about it that doth tend to please
Their warm, strong minds, as they such monsters fell.
I have oft stood as if bound by a spell,
When some huge giant swayed awhile in air,
And then with crash tremendous shook the dell,
While cows from fright would scamper here and there,
But soon return to browse its top for lack of fare.
While those in woods were busily employed
Swinging their axes in true workman style,
Their sisters neatly dressed as much enjoyed
The garden work, quite cheered by Nature's smile.
Lightening their labor with sweet songs the while,
They trained the different plants with skillful hands;
A pleasing task well fitted to beguile
Such modest, gentle girls, who in Love's bands
Were bound together, thus obeying God's commands.
Their gardener skill was not alone confined
To what was wanted for their bodily needs.
By nature taught, each had a tasteful mind,
And this was shown by planting flower seeds.
These by some folks are looked upon as weeds,
And therefore useless—not e'en worth a straw!
From such coarse souls I do not look for deeds
Which, in sweet aspect, do our nature show;
I envy not their taste nor all they chance to know.
I love to look on flowers. They to my soul
Sincerest pleasure and sweet peace still bring;
Their varied charms can wondrously control
My troubled spirit—smarting from the sting
Of cold neglect and sad, crushed hopes, whence spring
Many sore trials to the sons of men.
I, midst my flowers, can feel myself a king,
Nor envy much the rich and mighty then,
With all their pomp and pride, or gorgeous trappings vain.
And those fair damsels always loved to view
Sweet tulips, pinks, and daisies' charms unfold,
The peony's blush, the lovely rose's hue,
And woodbine's blossoms—lilies like pure gold.
All these, and more, were pleasant to behold,
And well repaid them for their frequent toil.
Their plants throve well in that rich, deep, black mold,
And though the work did their nice fingers soil,
It kept them ever free from this poor world's turmoil.
The settlers round beheld with much surprise
The neat-kept garden in such beauty seen,
And oft they looked with rather longing eyes
Upon the flowers bedecked in glorious sheen.
Sometimes a youth upon the fence would lean
And Watch with due respect the sisters fair;
Then anxious ask what this and that could mean,
Or names of plants which seemed to him so rare.
Doubtless it was to see the maidens he came there.
Of this I could not speak with certainty;
But mutual blushes, looks significant,
Are very apt to tell strange tales to me.
I once was young, so you will therefore grant
I should know something of what youths still want
When they to such sweet girls quite bashful come,
And utter words as if their stock was scant.
Well, 'tis but natural, and I would be mum;
Of bliss thus sought and gained 'twere hard to tell the sum.
Often the parents, in their Master's spirit,
Would link-armed take a pleasant walk at eve
To visit neighbors, and thus seek to merit
That just reward which faithful Saints receive
From Jesus Christ, who never will deceive
Those working well for him. They therefore went
Gladly each burdened conscience to relieve,
And those assist who were by sickness spent,
Or tell to all, the message which their God had sent.
On one of these occasions they became
Acquainted with a youth to bed confined.
From early childhood he was always lame,
And for a year or two had been quite blind.
His manners were most gentle, and his mind
With human knowledge seemed to be well stored.
Now these dear people made enquiry kind,
If he had in affliction sought the Lord,
Or ever gained true comfort from his Sacred Word.
To them at first he no reply would give,
Yet seemed absorbed in thought, and heaved a sigh.
At last he said, “I always aimed to live
So that I need not fear when brought to die.
I feel at present that my end is nigh
And should not care ev'n now, if I were dead.
Upon my blameless life I can rely,
Nor look for harm to fall on guiltless head.
A purer life than mine no mortal ever led.”
“My dear young friend,” the Pastor sweetly said,
“Did your own conscience never whisper you
That hope like this to ruin always led?
If not, let me now tell you it is true!
For none may hope the face of God to view
In peace unless their sins are washed away
By Jesus' blood. Our dearest Savior flew
On wings of Mercy man's worst foes to slay,
And open wide the gates, to everlasting day!”
He asked him then if he might read aloud
A portion of God's Word, and offer prayer.
The youth consented, feeling much less proud
Than when these Christians first had entered there.
GOODWORTH three chapters read with greatest care,
Three which at length dwell on the sinner's state,
And then by plainest speech made him aware
How he might best escape a sin-cursed fate,
Be reconciled to God, and coming Glory wait.
[Footnote: The 3d, 4th, and 5th chapters of Romans]
The poor blind lad had never heard before
The wonders which those chapters do reveal,
Self-righteousness he ne'er could think of more,
For sense of guilt he now began to feel.
This roused up fears he could not well conceal,
And made him anxious those two friends should pray.
The Pastor made to him one more appeal,
Then supplicated God without delay
That Grace might be shed forth to lead him in the way.
Now bitter tears flow from those sightless orbs,
As light breaks in upon his darker soul,
Prospect of death his wretched thoughts absorbs,
And makes him wish that he could back recall,
Those early years which did so fleetly roll,
Before he lost his health and precious sight;
For no dread visions then did him appal,
Nor was he wont to tremble from affright.
Oh, that he had but sought Salvation with his might!
Our two friends told him plain 'twas not too late;
Such burdened souls the Savior had invited,
However black their crimes, however great
Their mad rebellion; even if they had slighted
This Means of Grace—without which man is benighted—
He bids them come to him and find sweet rest.
Those who have thus obeyed have been delighted
With his light yoke, and often have expressed
Their sense of such great goodness, feeling truly blest.
This good instruction had the best effect,
And as he seemed composed the friends prepare
To start for home, nor in the least suspect
How quick the time had fled whilst they were there.
They bade “good night” and left him in the care
Of their Kind Father, who had bid them go;
And in their journey through the woods they share
Sweet converse and true joy in constant flow,
And reach their neat log house Content afresh to know.
The sons and daughters greeted their return
With pleasant smiles, then with respect enquired
What led to their detention, and now burn
To know the cause they look so sad and tired.
The parents, nothing both, gave as desired
A brief account how they had been employed;
And this once more full confidence inspired
While each the truly pleasing thought enjoyed,
That one soul less would be by Satan's power destroyed.
Around the family Altar next they meet
To worship God by reading, prayer and praise,
Which all ascend like richest incense sweet
Before the throne of Him who guides their ways.
Surely bright Angels might delight to gaze
Upon this happy family at such time,
And feel those Christians fit to join in lays
That they are wont to sing in heavenly clime;
In rapturous devotion to their King sublime.
If e'er a glimpse of heaven is had below,
If there is aught of Bliss upon this Earth,
A family like this it best can show,
For they need not the worldling's boisterous mirth;
And yet of social feeling there's no dearth.
Each does enjoy true peace and happiness,
Which, rightly valued, in their turn give birth
To noble deeds designed mankind to bless,
To strengthen what is right, and what is wrong redress.
I would not undervalue Church connection,
For 'tis of God's appointment, and should show
True Christian principles in much perfection,
And be the sweetest bond of all below.
But oh, it happens, I too truly know,
There is mixed with it so much worldliness,
So man members to vile Mammon bow,
That my poor soul is filled with sore distress,
And scarce dare hope the Lord will such connection bless.
Under these circumstances I with others
Await most anxiously that day's appearing,
When Jesus Christ will with his chosen brothers
Dwell in sweet fellowship and love endearing.
The hope of this should always be most cheering
To every Christian of each state and name;
And make them patient hear with the rude jeering
Of those who love to glory in their shame;
Who for their soul's perdition are alone to blame.
This hope was dear indeed to GOODWORTH'S heart,
And made him feel a very strong desire
Right Knowledge on all subjects to impart,
And use but proper means true zeal to fire.
He wished not that his hearers should admire
His humble teaching, but the truths he taught,
And tried to show them how they could acquire
The power to judge all subjects which were brought
Before their minds, as they with good or ill were fraught.
Under such teaching this small Church became
An humble, cheerful, happy, loving Band.
While they by industry their wild lands tame,
They did not oft neglect to lend a hand
To him who thus on Scripture took his stand.
Their conduct and profession both agree,
And every instance of God's goodness fanned
Love's flame, and made it burn more steadily;
For which they praised the Lord with great sincerity.
Amongst their number there was poor McKan,
Weakly in body but yet firm in mind.
His means were small when he at first began
To clear as wild a bush farm as you'll find.
The neighbors round had all to him been kind,
Feeling much pity for his family;
For he, though toiling hard, had run behind
In payment for his lot and soon might be
With those dependant on him brought to misery.
While certain ruin stared him in the face,
He felt he'd rather die than beg from friends;
And so prepared to sacrifice his place—
Persuaded that the Lord would make amends.
The Pastor hears his case and straight attends
Upon him at his house with wish to know
The full particulars, and gladly lends
An ear attentive to his tale of woe;
How the stern creditor would no more mercy show.
His case was not a solitary one.
Too many find when they have toiled for years,
That sweet Hope leaves them when their strength is gone;
Which fills their future with alarming fears,
And nothing for them but despair appears!
O, why is this? Have they imprudent been?
Or has great sickness sunk them in arrears?
Perhaps it may be these; and yet I ween
Another cause of trouble may be clearly seen.
That cause is this: Our Government thought fit
To sell their land at far too high a rate,
And those who bought thought they could pay for it
Within the time, which would be something great.
If common-sense had chanced to bid them wait,
They mostly had an answer close at hand:
“Men whom they knew had bettered much their state
By buying on long time that wild bush land,
Ami now as able farmers 'mongst their fellows stand.”
By pinching work they raise the first installment
For lot on which the claim pre-emption right,
And from that time they find complete enthralment,
As with Adversity they constant fight.
Where's now the prospect which was once so bright?
“Not quite all gone,” may some poor settler say.
But health is broken, and no more delight
Fills their parental hearts from day to day,
While each succeeding month adds something more to pay,
Until at last the time allowed has fled.
More time is granted, but alas, in vain!
With aches and pains they now are nearly dead.
Such help as they require they can't obtain;
And yet perhaps of fortune they complain,
Or blame the friends whose “luck” led them out there.
But from such course 'tis better to refrain;
For, had they been still servants, with due care
They might have bought good farms and had some cash to spare.
Just so it was with that poor Christian brother,
And this at once the Pastor clearly saw;
Yet had no wish in haste to judge another,
But felt inclined pure Charity to show.
Then, having learned all he now wished to know,
Home he returned and sought his Father's ear.
From his full heart strong supplications flow,
Which cease not till he sees his duty clear,
And gains fresh help from God his brethren's hearts to cheer.
He next the matter told to his dear wife,
For she was wise and often could suggest
What was most useful in affairs of life,
Which made her counsel be in much request.
Her mind to him she freely then expressed,
And mentioned what she heard the day before—
How brother Luth, who was of friends the best,
Would take the farm and willingly give more
Than would the Creditor, if they the land restore.
GOODWORTH heard this, then spoke to Luth alone—
Told him quite plainly how the matter stood,
Yet not in harsh, authoritative tone,
But meekly, as more likely to do good.
By this he showed regard for brotherhood,
And led Luth candidly to speak his mind.
Then, as both felt in very kindly mood,
They deemed it best to try McKan to find
And let him know what they in Christian love designed.
They found him soon and Luth made his proposal,
Which filled the humble family with delight.
The whole affair appeared as the disposal
Of their kind God, who always acted right.
Most thankful were they that in His pure sight
They found such favor in their hour of need.
That brother's kindness they could ne'er requite;
His was a noble—a most generous deed,
Which could alone from love at any time proceed.
Luth took the place, and for improvements paid
Beside what to the Creditor was due;
“And if the family chose, they might,” he said,
“Remain his tenants for a year or two,
And daily labor he would take in lieu
Of money payments for a moderate rent.”
This plan aroused their gratitude anew,
While with the bargain all appeared content,
And deemed the time employed most profitably spent.
The two on their return called in to see
The sick blind youth, who now was sinking fast.
He was no longer in despondency,
Though he of late had through great suffering passed.
On the Atonement all his hopes were cast,
And now enjoyed a happy frame of mind.
The work of Jesus did appear so vast,
He could not doubt but it had been designed
By Him whose name is Love, to save poor lost mankind.
The parents had beheld the change thus wrought
By Gospel Truth in their afflicted boy,
And called to mind how often they had thought
Religion was invented to destroy
Whatever mortals have of peace and joy.
“But now,” they said, “we think it something worth.
For our son's happiness has no alloy,
Although about to leave the joys of Earth,
And all those pleasant things which used to yield him mirth.”
The Pastor now gave each an exhortation,
And kind friend Luth engaged awhile in prayer,
Which met, at present, no disapprobation.
Much death bed comfort does the sick one share,
But soon his eyes assume a brighter glare,
The rattle in his throat bespeaks death near.
Anon they raise the dying youth with care,
Whose smiling face shows plain he has no fear,
For Jesus in the valley does his servant cheer.
A strong, brief struggle, and now all is o'er!
No more the heart will in his bosom beat.
His soul triumphant gains Heaven's peaceful shore,
And raptured stands to view each scene so sweet;
Then joins the thousands tasting Bliss complete,
In all the Hallelujahs which they raise
Unto the Lamb of God, while at His feet
They cast their crowns and ever wondering gaze
On Him who sits enthroned as worthy of all praise.
Our friends strove now to cheer the drooping hearts
Of that lone couple in their deep distress;
For they knew well each promise which imparts
To mourners hope and heartfelt happiness.
These on their minds they forcibly impress;
And their kind efforts are not used in vain,
For the bereaved ones readily confess
That faith in Jesus brought substantial gain
To their dear boy who now is free from grief and pain.
The neighbors, apprehending such event,
Drop silent in and heartily engage
With solemn mien and truly kind intent,
The old folks' ardent sorrow to assuage.
Some one prepares the needful shroud to wage,
While others wash and lay the body out,
And in soft tones make observations sage,
The truth of which none are inclined to doubt,
For all at such a time seem serious and devout.
Meanwhile the Pastor and his friend take leave,
And reach their homes before 'tis very late.
The news they take their families receive
As fresh inducement on their God to wait,
And ever watch by Wisdom's sacred gate.
Two days elapse and bring the Sabbath round,
And settlers join the humble funeral state,
Which reaches soon the new-made burial ground,
Where all list to the service with respect profound.
Those simple, mournful rites do much impress
The minds of all assembling on this day;
And now the Preacher lays the greatest stress
On danger consequent upon delay
In matters of Salvation, when the Way
To Everlasting Life, himself stands ready
To welcome those who make His blood then stay,
However weak their faith, howe'er unsteady
Their trembling souls become when tossed in Life's rough eddy.
The text [Footnote: The three last verses of Matthew XI.] was one
that wonderfully stated
The sinner groaning under loads of guilt,
And mourning souls have found weak faith recreated,
As on its consolations they have built
Their stable hopes, against which Hell full tilt
Has often run, determined to prevail—
And might have done if Jesus, who has spilt
His precious blood for them, had chanced to fail.
But that can never be, whatever foes assail.
Has any mortal skill to estimate
The solid good that such a text has done?
Ah, no! the task's so wonderfully great,
By finite man it need not be begun.
Fit for the work, of Angels there is none.
God can alone the glorious secret tell,
Or mark the value of the mighty boon
To all the souls whom it hath saved from hell,
And landed safe in Glory, ever there to dwell?
And at this time the mourners dried their tears,
As the Departed's state they realize.
Raised were their hopes, abated were their fears,
On each new view of Christ's great Sacrifice.
Now might be seen joy beaming in their eyes,
As they learned acquiescence in God's will.
Most precious promises the word supplies,
To cheer their hearts and every murmur still,
While they together walk adown Life's slippery hill.
Others, who long had boon companions been
Of that young man in his most joyous days,
With tearful eyes are in that Chapel seen,
And seem desirous to amend their ways.
They never had before beheld Truth's blaze,
But, like too many, boasted of their state,
Not dreaming that their light was lost in haze
Of stupid ignorance and folly great;
God grant such may repent before it is too late.
'Tis thus the Lord oft makes most lasting good
To flow from what we mortals view as ill;
And we pass through each strange vicissitude
To find that peace again our souls can fill;
While Mercy's shed, not like a trickling rill,
But in full streams, with never ceasing flow—
Softening our hearts obdurate, and our will
Conforming unto God's; until we know
It was all needful to keep us from sin and woe.
We now will pass from sad to lively scenes,
And bask awhile in July's warmth and smiles;
For settlers,' homes can furnish ample means
To have a Picnic 'mongst the beauteous isles
Bestudding Huron's face for many miles.
Why should not those, who live on such wild farms,
Enjoy a pleasant pastime, which beguiles
The jaded mind: affording many charms
To those who wish to flee from anti-social harms?
The subject some weeks previous had been broached,
And this enabled farmers to have care
Lest the event on needful work encroached—
A thing of which they all should be aware;
As they, through Summer, have scarce time to spare
For needful recreation in this way.
Now, by contrivance, they enjoy a share
Of sweet delight, on this auspicious day:
When several families make for a most pleasant Bay.
Fine was the day, and settlers' boats were ready
To bear their precious cargoes from the shore.
The Pastor's presence kept the young folks steady,
Though blandest smiles the happy party wore.
Strong, manly arms plied well each sturdy oar,
To make the boats fly swift o'er sparkling waves.
These seemed quite conscious of the freight they bore,
And kissed the water which their trim forms laved;
While all enjoyed a scene that ne'er the heart depraved.
And thus they reach a lovely Isle, tree-clad—
At no great distance from their starting place—
From whose high front most splendid views are had
Of other isles, all clothed in Summer's grace.
With rapture they now gaze on Nature's face;
See trees bedecked in brightest green attire,
Which look well pleased with July's warm embrace—
Their forms view in the Lake, and much admire
Their fine proportions; and more stateliness acquire.
For camping-ground they had not long to look;
A sheltered place, from underbrush quite free,
Was known to all as a most charming nook,
Where they might rest and eat in privacy.
On choice of this they every one agree;
Then place the baskets-laden with good things—
And now their voices, in sweet melody,
Present pure praises to the King of Kings:
A truly pleasant service that much blessing brings.
Young GOODWORTH'S then good poetry recited;
“Hymn to Mont Blanc,” and GRAVES' sweet “Elegy;"
While MILTON'S lofty strains each one delighted,
And COWPER'S sketches-full of harmony.
CAMPBELL and WORDSWORTH yield variety,
And BURNS his quota furnished with the rest.
WILSON'S good Dramas, too, were deemed to be,
By all the company, among the best:
And I would find no fault with what was then expressed.
For lengthening out the pleasure thus obtained,
The Pastor undertook to criticise
Those pieces heard, and what was dark explained.
Next, needful illustration he supplies,
Or shows defects not seen by common eyes.
Comparing the best with sacred poetry,
He unfolds beauties in the Prophecies
Of great Isaiah, and quite readily
Paints in most glowing terms the Psalmist's minstrelsy!
Then speaks of Jeremiah's plaintive strain—
The “Weeping Prophet” and true Patriot,
Who often wept for Zion, and felt pain
For her great sins; who, when God's wrath waxed hot
Against his country, ne'er her weal forgot,
But prayed and wrestled with the Lord of Hosts,
If, peradventure, he her crimes would blot
From out his Book; and yet he never boasts
Of love to country, as some do who seek high posts.
The book of Job—great in poetic lore—
He dwells upon, till wonder and delight
Seize all his hearers; most of whom before
Had not enjoyed a very clear insight
Into that Book, which tells of God's great might,
His wisdom, goodness and forbearance long
With his poor servant, brought to saddest plight
Through Satan's eagerness to drive him wrong;
When he poured forth his woes in deep impassioned song.
Next glanced at Moses' song on Red Sea shore—
When Pharaoh and his mighty host were drowned—
In which the Tribes most gratefully adore
Their great Deliverer, who on Egypt frowned.
No mortal uninspired could e'er have found
Such fitting language for that great event,
Those strains sublime, with glorious grandeur crowned,
Came forth from heaven, and back were thither sent
As worship to the Lord, from hearts, on praise intent.
'Twas now full time that they should all partake
Of the refreshment thither brought with care.
While thirst was quenched with water from the lake,
They each with each their choicest viands share.
But ere they eat of that most ample fate,
Due thanks are given in a proper song.
Such happy lot with any can compare,
So none need marvel if they tarried long,
For everything conspired to make Love's bonds quite strong.
The dinner o'er the older ones retired
To give the Island a complete survey.
In doing this they very much admired
Sweet scenes thus visited on that fine day.
The younger part had no desire to stray,
So they remained in that nice shady nook,
And joined together in a harmless play,
Or read awhile in some delightful book,
And thus of purest pleasure old and young partook.
The sun, quite fast into the West descending,
Now warned them all it was full time to go
To their dear homes, where sweetest comforts blending,
Gave no just cause neglect of them to show.
But yet their hearts, with gratitude aglow,
Prompt them once more to join in praise each voice
And now the Pastor sought from them to know
If they of proper hymn have made their choice,
As he had one composed, and truly would rejoice
If his attempt to speak the mind of all
For this day's pleasure and substantial joy
Should meet, with approbation and recall
The hours so sweetly spent without alloy.
He spoke of this to them with manners coy,
Like one not used to boast what he had done.
“Perhaps,” he said, “They might their time employ
To more advantage if he ne'er begun
To give to them the Song which he in haste had spun.”
PASTOR'S SONG ON LEAVING THE ISLAND.
Soon Sol will sink into the West
And Luna shed her silvery beams;
Each songster seeks its wild-wood nest
To spend the night in love's sweet dreams.
And we, dear friends, prepare to leave
This Isle and each delightful scene,
And feel we have no cause to grieve
That we upon its shores have been.
For all, throughout this lovely day,
Have had much pleasure free from pain.
Then let us, ere we go away,
Lift up our hearts in praise again.
“O Thou who from thy bounteous hand
Dost give thy children all they need,
Behold us now—a loving band,
And all our boats in safety speed
“To yonder bay; then guide us home.
Accept our thanks for mercies great
We have enjoyed beneath thy dome,
In humble, yet contented state.”
Farewell, sweet Isle; may thy fair scenes
Ne'er witness orgies, vile, profane;
For this man's character demeans,
And never yields him solid gain.
With this short song they all were satisfied,
And soon agreed that it forthwith be sung.
In strong, warm feelyngs then each singer vied,
And some gave proof they had no lack of lung.
To Duke Street tune were their fine voices strung,
And thus verses went off charmingly,
While through the distant woods their loud notes rung.
The party now, with great alacrity
Regain the boats, and push into that deep, blue sea.
And what a beauteous scene was there presented
To their admiring gaze on that fine lake.
'Twas such that they could all have been contented
To stay forever; but a something spake
And bid them hasten, as life was at stake!
This may seem, strange, but they with dread behold
Heaven's face grow black, while mighty winds awake.
And now 'tis well that men both strong and bold
Have charge of those frail boats well filled with young and old.
In this their trouble they look up to God,
Who bids the angry elements be still;
And thus suspends o'er them his chastening Rod,
While deepest gratitude their bosoms fill,
Inspiring them afresh to do His will.
It nerves each heart and arm to ply the oar
With ceaseless efforts; working hard until
In safety every boat has reached the shore.
When the curbed storm at last does all its vengeance pour.
The rain comes down in torrents, and the flash
Of vivid lightning penetrates the gloom!
Loud roars the mighty thunder, and the dash
Of angry waves upon the ear doth boom!
The friends, escaped as from a watery tomb,
All stand together 'neath o'erhanging rock.
Somewhat appalled and rather pinched for room,
They list in silence each tremendous shock;
Yet Christ, their Shepherd, watches o'er his feeble flock.
The storm subsides, and they not much the worse,
Cheered by the bright moon beams haste on their way.
God's special mercies warmly they rehearse,
Which yields fresh comfort, as so well it may.
Upon the whole they had a pleasant day,
And ere each separate party leaves the track,
The Pastor says, “Dear friends, now let us pray.”
All gave consent, and forth there rose no lack
Of earnest prayer to Him who safely brought them back.
Now while they separate and thence pursue
The several paths that lead them to their farms,
I seize occasion to bid warm adieu
To my poor Muse, who lent to me her charms
In my adventurous flight; and free from harms
Will live in hope the subject to resume
As leisure serves me and the topic warms
My height and fancy, which may truth illume,
That what I have to sing may live beyond the tomb.
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine, and all besides,
Through learned with labor, and though much admired
By curious eyes and judgments ill informed
To me is odious
Such should still be affectionate in look
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of Grace to guilty man
How strange the various scenes through which we pass
In our life's journey—onward to the grave!
Sometimes all smiles and sunshine; then alas,
Dark clouds hang o'er us, and God's help we crave.
Weak in adversity—when prosperous brave,
We often act a very foolish part;
Forsaking Mercies which our Father gave.
To follow our devices, till we smart
With self-inflicted pangs sent through our inmost heart.
So I, who many times have sung; of duty,
Too oft am led to slight my own, and feel
God's chastening hand, until I see the beauty
Of all His dealings with me for my weal.
And yet the hand that wounds is sure
The injured part; designing all in love;
And in such manner that He can't conceal
The Father's kindly heart. 'Tis thus we prove
His earnest wish to have us always look Above.
Some months have fled since I this task began,
Bringing to neat completion its first part.
Awhile my thoughts in easy measure ran,
Which much beguiled an often saddened heart.
And made me lay my pleasing task aside.
Now, as I write not for an earthly mart,
I have a wish that my poor rhymes may bide
The test of Scripture Truth by whomsoe'er applied.
I feel a sacred pleasure warm my breast
As I resume my simple tale of love:
A tale which is not in rich language dressed,
I fain would look for help from God above,
To leave a record of my principles;
And seek the guidance of the Heavenly Dove,
Whose influence the darkest doubt dispels,
And fills with purest peace the heart wherein he dwells.
This glorious truth was never more displayed
Than in dear GOODWORTH'S every day's employ;
Or in the fields or in the woodland shade,
His love of duty yielded constant joy;
Sweet Heaven-born Peace naught could in him destroy.
For why? He had in God most steadfast trust,
And things which do so many minds annoy
Led him to curb all anger, pride and lust,
While in each fresh distress he knew that God was just.
He also knew that he is merciful
And wish in all he does unto mankind.
If this we see not we are very dull,
And to our soul's best interests truly blind.
This to perceive some minds are too refined
By false philosophy and learning vain.
No wonder then if they are left behind
The humble child of God who with disdain
Views all these worldly pleasures that he might obtain.
Just so with GOODWORTH; though he had in schools
Learned much of what is termed deep classic lore,
He quite preferred to train his life by rules
Contained in Scripture; and it grieved him sore
To see some Christians—this all should deplore—
Neglect Christ's precepts to procure their ends.
But seeing this, he never once forbore
To speak plain truth and reap what oft attends
An upright course—ev'n scorn; but this his walk commends.
In his snug home he evermore obtained
What flowed from love—a holy reverence.
Of harsh commands his children ne'er complained;
Wrangling and discord both were banished thence.
His much loved wife possessed some rare good sense,
And seconded his efforts for their good.
She never sought in earnest or pretence
To lower him before his flesh and blood;
While to increase their comforts she did all she could.
Nor was it strange if such a home as this
Made him content his leisure time to spend
Within his family circle; for such bliss
Comes not to all, who seek to make an end
Of troubles that a single life attend,
By entering soon into the marriage state.
If such folks would but strict attention lend
To Bible teaching, they might share the fate
Of these, our friends, on whom true pleasure seemed to wait.
Their constant mutual love became the theme
With all who knew them in that Settlement;
Domestic bliss was proved no idle dream,
For in true happiness their lives were spent.
To labor hard they always were content,
Regarding Paul's advice and his example:
It was their thought they were but thither sent
To furnish proof which all might own was ample
That they loved Jesus' laws, on which too many trample.
Let none imagine they e'er built on this
A hope of endless happiness in heaven.
They deemed it right all men should bow submiss
To His Authority, whose life was given
For sinners vile; that they might not be driven
Away from Him to dwell in endless woe.
This oft has cheered them on as they have striven
To lead their fellow men God's truth to know;
And every day its power did their behavior show.
The Spring is past and Summer's heat has fled.
United diligence hath well supplied
A plenteous store of more than needful bread,
For they have some choice luxuries beside,
By which means different tastes were gratified.
The snug ten acre field with wheat is sown,
And looks most promising. Should naught betide
To hurt their present prospects this alone
Will well repay them for the hardships they have known.
And now the necessary steps are taken
To shield the cattle from dread Winter's rage.
Necessity—stern master—does awaken
Their full inventive powers, and they engage
With ready ardor pens and sheds to wage;
And in the absence of commodious barn,
They stack with care their straw, and thus are sage
Compared with many whom no dangers warn,
And who, though often suffering, will not stoop to learn.
A good supply of hard wood they obtain,
To serve them through the season drawing near,
When rude King Frost will hold tyrranic reign,
Making the country desolate and drear.
But in those woods they have small cause for fear
From Winter's howling, fearful, bitter blasts,
For they have fuel in abundance near,
And the huge wood file constant comfort casts
Into the snug log house long as the season lasts.
All these arrangements made, the Pastor felt
He had more leisure now to walk abroad;
And in the gorgeous woods he often knelt
In fervent prayer before his Father, God.
For miles around his feet have pressed the sod
Which ne'er was turned by plow up to the sun—
Wilds that the foot of white man seldom trod,
And where no clearance had as yet begun:
Where he could sit and watch some charming brooklet run.
Or now and then would wander near the side
Of that majestic Lake, whose isles, tree clad
And decked in Autumn's tints, appeared to ride
With all their splendors quite elate and glad
On Huron's silvery surface. Such scenes had
A powerful charm to one of GOODWORTH'S mind.
They would indeed, if aught had made him sad,
Often dispel his gloom and leave behind
Precious remembrances of an enduring kind.
This was no marvel for his soul was filled
With true poetic fire; and oft sweet song
Of purest praise spontaneously has welled
From his enraptured heart. Then he would long
To leave a world where misery and wrong
So much prevail, but yet content to stay
And sere his master, his poor saints among;
Would try to save those led from God astray,
That he might aid Christ's cause while it is called “To-day.”
Amidst such scenery he would sometimes take
In haste his pencil, that he might note down
Such thought as gushing from their fountain make
The truest poetry that man has known.
A specimen or two will now be shown
Ere I proceed with my unlettered tale.
If I mistake not they have all been drawn
From Nature's store, and if so should not fail
To claim our deep respect while they our minds regale.
PASTOR'S AUTUMNAL SONG.
Sweet Nature in grandeur Autumnal lies still,
And I stand all entranced mid the gorgeous display,
While the sun brightly sets o'er yon westermost hill,
And soft twilight succeeds to a most balmy day.
It is sweet in our woods a free ranger to wander,
And view the bright tints the frost makes on the leaves;
To watch day by day, as the colors grow grander,
And its garb evanescent each tall tree receives.
'Tis here that I feel my breast heave with emotion,
While reflections arise in its deepest recess;
And these in their turn fill my soul with devotion,
As I trace the Kind Hand for my aid in distress.
These all are thy works, O, Thou glorious Being!
Thou art the great Limner with whom none can vie;
Yet dim are the splendors as night comes, fast fleeing,
Compared with the glories around Thee on high.
Amidst this array comes the solemn thought stealing,
That these glowing colors will soon pass away.
Each rude blast of wind seems a passing bell pealing,
And loudly is calling all Christians to pray.
For full preparation, ere Death comes to call them
To lay all earth's cares and sweet pleasures aside;
That they may be happy whatever befall them,
Still trusting in Jesus, the Lamb who hath died.
HIS SONG TO A RILL.
Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,
Murm'ring softly down this hill,
Oft I list thy charming voice,
At the bright and early morn,
As the Sun comes from the East,
While his beams these scenes adorn,
To furnish minds like mine a feast.
Sweetly musical, pure Rill,
Thou dost me with pleasure fill.
As I note thy varied charms
Dulcet sounds fall on my ear,
Soothing much a saddened heart;
Easing me of grief and fear,
Till I grieve from thee to part.
Modest, unassuming Rill,
Thou art formed by matchless skill.
Grace and beauty are displayed
In thy ever-smiling face
And the objects which surround
This thy home; where I can trace
Traits to make this hallowed ground.
Lively, joyous, trickling Rill!
As I gaze upon thee still,
Wanders back my mind afar
To those haunts of boyish days,
When my young and ardent soul
Warbled forth its earnest lays,
Gladly following Nature's call.
Glittering, dancing, pearly Rill!
Thou dost well thy Maker's will
In regarding his behest.
Teaching Christians all the way
They must take to please their God;
Lest in dangerous paths they stray,
And bring upon themselves his Rod.
Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,
Murm'ring softly down this hill,
I must bid thee now farewell;
Other scenes my presence claim.
My dear Master's work demands
What will bring no earthly fame—
The labor of my heart and hands.
Upon these songs no farther I comment;
They speak a language dear unto my soul;
And I could dwell through all my life content
To gaze on Nature, who doth never pall
A mind well tuned to listen to the call
Of her pure minstrelsy, which yields delight
Unmixed, enduring, as the seasons roll
In quick succession, hymning forth the Might
Of their All-wise Creator, who doth all things right.
'Tis “Indian Summer,” and the sun looks down
As if afraid to show his blazing face.
And now the woods assume a darker brown,
While in the weather there is not a trace
Of Summer's ardent heat that doth unbrace
The nerves of most, and makes one long to feel
The cooling breeze as Winter comes apace
To scatter forest leaves with savage zeal,
Which do the narrow wood-paths by their fall conceal.
And now the copious rains come pouring down,
Filling the creeks and swamps and rivers full;
Or in the woods or in the growing town,
Things wear an aspect truly dark and dull.
Through deep, stiff mud the stoutest oxen pull
With much ado the very smallest load;
While many a blow across his patient skull
Urges the meek ox slowly on the road,
Tiring the settler out ere he reach his abode.
Anon the angry northwest winds arise,
Bringing dark scowling clouds full fraught with snow.
This all discharged, perhaps for months there lies
One vast white sheet which screens the plants below
From biting frosts, while easier to and fro
The settlers move in their convenient sleighs.
These heed not cold if they have hearts aglow
With friendly feelings, but will speed for days
Along the snow-paved roads and on some strange highways.
At such a time Goodworth and eldest son
Left home and all its inmates in God's care;
But ere they had their first day's journey done
A circumstance occurred by no means rare.
An English emigrant had settled where
The woods were heavy and no neighbors near.
He had partaken of the morning's fare
And armed with axe dreamt not of cause for fear—
Thought he'd be back at noon to wife and children dear.
But noontide came and brought no father fond
To take his place and share the frugal meal.
They little knew that his loved form beyond
In that dark wood could no emotion feel.
The loving wife could very ill conceal
Dread thoughts which rose within her faithful breast.
Should he be dead her own and children's weal
Were fled forever. So, with mind distressed
She went to search the woods and gave herself no rest.
At last she came to where a huge tree lay
Athwart the body of the hapless man.
By grief distracted there she could not stay,
But up the road with frightful speed she ran.
Soon she met Goodworths and forthwith began
To tell her tale most incoherently.
Few words were needful at such a time to fan
Love's flame in them or make them prove to be
Both Good Samaritans to that poor family.
They took her up and tried to calm her mind
Until they came to that soul-harrowing scene.
Now all alight; ere long the axe they find,
Which had so late the man's companion been.
His stiffened corpse was wedged quite fast between
The tree and frozen earth, and naught remained
But first the widow with sleigh-robes to screen
From bitter cold; and this point having gained
They soon cut through the tree, so well had they been trained.
It then became their melancholy duty
To take the lifeless form from the sad spot.
And now the widow in sweet, mournful beauty
Directs the new-found friends to her log cot.
A tearless eye within that home was not—
All felt the dreadful nature of the loss
Which had that day occurred, for naught could blot
His great worth from their minds. He ne'er was cross
To those who clung to him as to the tree the moss.
To leave this family in such piteous state
Was out of question, so young GOODWORTH took
The horses out—for now 'twas growing late—
To quench their thirst at a clear purling brook,
And gave them food within a sheltered nook;
Then found some boards and made a coffin rude.
Meanwhile the father took God's holy Book
And read such portions as teach fortitude
To us, that all immoderate grief may be subdued.
'Twas well that mother long had known the Lord,
For wondrous strength is now to her imparted;
And each clear promise in the Holy Word
Proved balm unto her soul, though much she smarted.
In both the GOODWORTHS she found friends warm hearted,
Friends who could give their love and sympathy;
And ere they from her humble home departed
They showed such proofs of generosity
As did with their profession very well agree.
For such a work by sad experience trained,
They soon proceeded to lay out the dead;
And though fatigued they ne'er of it complained.
Nor would they let the widow spread a bed
For their joint use, but sat and watched instead.
She, much refreshed by prayer and conversation
Retired to rest her weaned heart and head.
They spent the night in solemn contemplation
Or read that precious Book which does unfold Salvation.
When morning came their plans were well matured,
And each went off to tell the mournful news.
Ere noon appeared assistance they secured,
For help at such time who can well refuse?
Some brought their tools which they knew how to use,
And dug a grave in the selected spot.
There round it grew no stately, somber yews,
But these and other things it needed not
To be fit resting-place for one not soon forgot.
When all was ready GOODWORTH lent support
To the bereaved one following the bier.
In sweet-toned language he did her exhort
To look to Him who “bottles up each tear"
His children shed while in deep sorrow here.
They reached the grave, where she with firmness stood
And felt such comfort as dispelled her fear.
Such fruits spring from true Christian Brotherhood
To all who rest their hopes on Christ's atoning blood.
Due rites performed, the settlers flock around
The widowed mother and warm offers make
Of humble service, with respect profound.
This wished the boy and that the girl to take,
And treat them well for their dear parents' sake.
She heard these offers with much thankfulness,
But said to part with them her heart would break—
Would miss them, too, in this her sad distress,
And they could get along if God their efforts bless.
That night the Pastor ventured to enquire
What were her prospects? Did she money need?
The answer made he could not but admire:
“Her God had ever proved a friend indeed;
Cheered by His promises which she could plead,
She doubted not He would them still protect,
And, make their labors on the farm succeed;
Her boy was strong, and had such great respect
For what was right that he his work would not neglect.”
Next day the friends prepared again to start
On their cold journey soon as it was light.
Both urged their hostess freely to impart
To them from time to time her prospects bright
Or the reverse, as she might deem it right.
In fervent prayer they her to God commend,
Then bade Farewell and soon were out of sight
They reached that day their lengthy journey's end,
And gained a hearty welcome from their loving friend.
That friend lived in a village destined soon
To show few traces of the times gone past
When its fair site was woods where the racoon,
The bear, and wolf had munched their stolen repast.
In wealth and people 'twas increasing fast,
But not in morals—these were very low;
Yet some there lived who roused themselves at last
And with great vigor met the monster foe—
Ev'n vile Intemperance—to give him his death blow.
This end they hoped for by the simple means
Of total abstinence from liquors strong.
The frequent use of these gives rise to scenes
Which all good men would scorn to be among.
Vile oaths, the boisterous mirth, the wanton song,
Were constant heard within each horrid den
Where these vile drinks were retailed all day long.
'Twas sad indeed to view such filthy pen
Filled with poor ruined wretches who once had been men.
Throughout the village there were many such,
And as a consequence great mischief done.
It is surprising and has grieved me much
To think our Magistrates have laurels won
By doing what all devils view as fun!
Why grant a license to each Groggery
When it is evident men only run
To those low places for iniquity,
Till they become as vile as wicked men can be?
Our Pastor's friend was one among the number
That first came forward openly to stand
On “total Abstinence,” nor did he slumber,
But to the work lent willing heart and hand.
GOODWORTH knew this, and having at command
A little leisure held a meeting there.
He spoke with warmth in language bold yet bland,
Using such arguments as made men stare
Who went for sake of fun, but got some better fare.
With ready tact he showed the means insidious
Used oft by those who sold the drunkard drink.
To lure him on by stimulants oblivious,
Till he lost self-command, and ceased to think.
Then showed him tottering on the fearful brink
Of the wide-opening grave and drunkard's hell,
And truthfully described how link by link
Of sacred ties were severed, as the spell
Grew daily stronger, and a sot confirmed he fell.
And now he drew as with a master's hand,
A vivid picture of sad family woes;
The broken-hearted wife oft forced to stand
Betwixt her children and their father's blows—
He mad with rum, thus trampling Nature's laws;
Or gave a life-like sketch where parents vie
In drunken riot, every day the cause
Of strife and discord, the poor home a sty
Where filth and rags surround them, till like beasts they die.
And then he gave with most consummate skill
A true description of Sobriety,
Where man and wife walk up and down Life's hill
In sweet conjugal peace and piety;
Their love increasing as more years they see,
Their children growing up like olive plants
To love and cherish much their memory,
And if need be in Age supply their wants,
Then meet with that reward which God to such still grants.
While he was speaking there was some excitement,
And at the meeting's close a number came
To sign the Pledge, expressing much delightment.
Yet some were there who slunk away in shame,
Muttering that they were not a whit to blame
For the poor drunkard's fate, although they had
Used every means to keep alive the flame
Which burned their vitals and made them quite mad.
That these escape due punishment is far too bad.
I here would try to speak my mind in brief
Upon the Temperance movement ere I pass
To other scenes, either of joy or grief,
In which our Pastor figures—for alas,
“Man's best laid schemes are only like to grass
Which springs up for a season and then dies.”
Just so this question 'mongst the world's great mass
Sometimes seems gaining ground, but the Foe plies
His sly ensnaring waits and all reform defies.
Now why is this? Can any tell me why?
Some feel quite sure all we now want's a law
To stop the godless traffic. These rely
Perhaps too much on man to strike the blow
Which is to bring the fell Destroyer low.
Others are sure that it is useless quite
To curb the monster. These ne'er felt the glow
Of pure Philanthropy move them aright
Or they would rise and aim to crush this demon's might.
Try this scheme, friends: Let all true Christians stand
Fast in one body, and use fervent prayer
And self-denial, that the Lord's right hand
May be stretched out to break each chain and snare
Which binds mankind. Then let it be our care
To act consistently in all we do.
Of resting on an arm of flesh beware!
For in this case our plans will all fall through;
We shall be put to shame and feel deep anguish too.
May we no opportunity neglect
Of spreading wide the Gospel's joyful sound
For those who never do indeed expect
That God's rich blessing will their steps surround.
Thrice happy shall we be if we are found
Engaged still thus when Jesus calls us hence.
Rise, Christians, then, and let your zeal abound!
The Savior calls! In earnest now commence
This Godlike work, and let his name be our defence.
I now resume my simple narrative,
To tell how GOODWORTHS reached their home again.
More striking views of them I yet must give,
If I may strike my harp and use my pen.
To me who rank not 'mongst well learned men
'Twill prove a task of no small magnitude;
Yet after hard bench-labor, now and then
It gives relief from much solicitude
To sit in my arm chair and form my verses rude.
Once more our friends are gliding o'er the road,
While their clear bells most lively music make.
The sleighing good, and past each log abode
They swiftly fly and soon a side-line take
To gain an Indian village near the Lake.
Here they intend to spend a little time
The poor Red Men from sin and death to wake
By speaking to them of those Truths sublime,
Which can renew the souls of men sunk low in crime.
The Indian Chiefs received them with much pleasure;
They saw in GOODWORTH what did suit them well.
Of outward charms he had an ample measure,
And his fine voice was like a deep-toned bell.
These all combined cast as it were a spell
Over those haughty rangers of the wood,
And made them ponder what he had to tell.
It was a sight to see those natives rude
List to God's Gospel-message in a serious mood.
They listened, and the Holy Ghost with power
Sent home the word to some of savage heart.
These since have seen great cause to bless the hour
In which our Pastor visited that part.
A few, deep-skilled in blackest “heathen art"
Were full of rage and would have done him harm,
But lacked the power, which but increased their smart.
Meanwhile the others with fresh feelings warm,
Pressed hospitable rites and quelled the fierce alarm.
With these he had some very earnest talk
Of that obedience which the Lord requires
From his Disciples, to ensure a walk
Such as may tend to curb our vain desires
And nurture that which to all good aspires.
He deemed it proper not to press at first
The rite Baptismal; and while one admires
His views on this, another seems to thirst
For full initiation lest he die accursed.
This from an Indian did excite surprise;
But soon 'twas known this man had heard before
A hint of it from some one he thought wise—
One truly skilled in strong Sectarian lore.
To try to set him right Goodworth forbore,
At least at that time, as too well he knew
Men oft in controversy feel more sore
On things of which they have but partial view;
That they will argue most for what to them is new.
Upon the morrow ere they took their leave,
It was arranged—God willing—to return
Within a week or two those to receive
Into strict Fellowship who wished to learn
God's will, which all in Scripture may discern,
That in Church standing they a light might be
To their poor friends whose state required concern.
This settled, GOODWORTHS then most cheerfully
Resumed their journey home to join their family.
The first few miles in safety soon they passed,
And reach the edge of a most dismal swamp
Stretched out before them in dimensions vast;
A huge receptacle of gloom and damp.
There savage wolves and beasts of such a stamp
Might lodge secure and plan most daring deeds.
Gloomy the prospect, though the solar Lamp
Was full two hours from setting, and the steeds
Restive become and faster fly as instinct leads.
The men knew well what they had to expect,
And sent a prayer into their Father's ear.
This done, they did no proper means neglect
To meet what danger might be hovering near,
And also strove each others' hearts to cheer.
Swifter the horses speed o'er the rough logs
That form the road, and now some wolves appear
Hungry and fierce and fresh from noisome bogs,
To pounce upon our friends who lack their faithful dogs.
The murderous gang now spring but miss their prey,
And plunging in deep snow vent forth their rage
In horrid yells, then strive to reach the sleigh.
Again they fail; again afresh engage
With double fury bloody war to wage!
Vain their attempts. A Mighty Hand unseen
Aids those two men. This does their fears assuage,
And nerves their arms, and keeps their minds serene,
Or they had failed to tell how good the Lord had been.
The swamp is cleared, yet on the smoother road
Their speed they slack not till they reach the house
Of a poor drunken settler then abroad
On his nocturnal revels, while the spouse
Was left to mourn his oft-indulged carouse,
And tremble for his safety from the cold.
No sense of danger e'er could him arouse
From his sad sunken state. Drink had such hold
On his gross appetite he seemed to Satan sold.
And yet the wife, the mother of his babes,
Ne'er breathed reproach against her low-sunk mate.
Such love as her's it is which sometimes saves
A wretched husband from a drunkard's fate.
'Tis true such love is oft repaid with hate,
And driven to distraction wives may say
Hard things of men who bring them to a state
Of heartfelt woe, and drive their feet astray
From Virtue's paths, until they shun the light of day.
But here and there a character shines forth,
As in this case, most worthy of all praise.
For this sweet wife was one of matchless worth,
And her dear name should grace my artless lays,
If I by that means could her triumphs raise.
She was in truth a noble heroine,
Whose brow might well have been bedecked with bays;
For deeds like hers through every age should shine
To show the strength of Love and prove it is divine.
O, woman! who has skill of mind or pen
Those feelings to portray that fill thy breast?
All we yet see are glimpses, now and then,
Which make us long the more to know the rest.
Self-sacrificing woman! thou'rt possessed
Of that which does enable thee to bear
A load of misery on thy heart impressed
By wrongs from him who should thy sorrows share,
And make the daily weal his ever constant care.
His home in that far North wild wilderness,
Had naught about it which could tell the tale
Of what that mother suffered of distress,
For hope—fond hope had kept her strong and hale.
It was still whispering she would soon prevail
Upon her husband to renounce his sin.
This cheered her heart although her face grew pale
With anxious care how best she could begin
And what means to employ that she might victory win.
So GOODWORTH found her on that bitter night
With house quite trim and table neatly laid,
And hopeful still though in a serious plight,
As we have hinted, very much afraid
Lest her dear man should freeze. “He is,” she said,
“As good a husband as I could desire
But lot his fault. He always has displayed
Such love for me that I will never tire
Of loving him, though none my conduct may admire.”
And saying this she would have gone alone
The absent one upon the road to seek.
Her ardent love conspicuously shown
On that occasion, and I fain would speak
Her praise with trumpet tongue, though she so meek
Might blush to hear it and feel half offended.
Now GOODWORTHS thought that one whom they deemed
Was best at home, yet they her love commended,
And volunteered to go, by trusty dog attended.
'Twas not in vain. Behind a Huge pine tree
The man, o'ercome, was lying fast asleep;
Nor could they rouse him, so far gone was he,
Or from the cold or from potations deep.
An unseen Eye did faithful vigils keep
O'er that poor sinner though he knew it not;
And thoughts of this has since oft made him weep
Tears of true penitence in that lone spot,
Which gave to him a lesson that he ne'er forgot.
This spot was very near to where he lived,
And the kind friends Drink's hapless victim bore
To his own home, both feeling truly grieved
That his sad state would make his wife's heart sore.
And now the faithful dog trots on before,
Most clearly glad because his master's found.
Anon he whines and scratches at the door,
Which makes his mistress' heart within her bound
As she peers through the dark and tries to catch some sound.
Each moment seemed an hour as thus she stood
In doubt, expecting some great evil near;
And when they came the sight nigh froze her blood.
She fainting fell, through mingled grief and fear.
Meanwhile the children in the chamber hear
A noise below, and leave their snug, warm bed,
Then in deep sorrow view their parents dear,
And big, warm tears each youngling freely shed,
For their idea was that both were lying dead.
Our friends knew better and strove eagerly
To still their cries and consciousness restore
Unto the sufferers. Soon with joy they see
The mother fast recovering; her they bore
Into her bed-room that they might give more
Attention to the drunken father's case.
He in deep stupor did most loudly snore
And looked quite frightful with frost-bitten face,
Which kept him long in mind of that—his great disgrace.
Next they rub hard with snow the frozen parts,
Until the flesh displays a ruddy glow.
This task accomplished they with lighter hearts
Deeper concernment for the mistress show.
She, quite awake, most anxious was to know
Their full opinion of her partner's state.
The favorable answer made her bow
Her heart to God for this his mercy great,
In having kept her man from such an awful fate.
From bed she rose and pressed on them to eat,
But GOODWORTH asked if he might go to prayer.
She gave consent, and 'fore the Mercy Seat
They poured forth thanks for all their Father's care,
And prayed that all within the house might share
God's rich forgiving love, and ever be
Devoted to his service: so prepare
By constant practice of true piety
To join the heavenly ranks a happy family.
And now they eat with keenest appetite
Of the good things so temptingly displayed—
Prime venison with bread both sweet and light;
And charming butter as e'er housewife made
Were with tea, cream, and rich preserves arrayed
In plentiful supply upon the table.
These, backed by welcome, all their toil repaid,
And they found backwoods cheer indeed no fable;
Yet to partake thereof their hostess was not able.
Their noble team they came so near forgetting,
Had been provided for with care by one
Who gave his parents no just cause for fretting—
A rather small but very hopeful son.
Around the blazing hearth-fire they begun
To draw their chairs to dwell in converse pure
Another hour on what the Lord had done;
How he had kept them all from death secure
And caused their love and faith through trials to endure.
The guests both slept in peace and early rose,
And found their host already stirring round,
And suffering much from being badly froze,
And strangely nervous at the slightest sound.
The elder GOODWORTH spoke to him and found
That Conscience was at work within his breast.
She made him hear with reverence profound
Truths suited to the case of one distressed
By sense of heinous guilt, which drives away all rest.
He also brought most forcibly to view
The need there was of “total abstinence"
For such as he; and step by step he drew
The man along till an o'erwhelming sense
Of his great crime made him wish to commence
At once a life of strict Sobriety.
He signed a pledge and straightway banished thence
The fiery fluid, his great enemy,—
And did thenceforward keep his pledge most sacredly.
The breakfast o'er, our two friends bade adieu
To parents, children, in their kindly way.
'Twas now their wish to push the journey through
Before the close of that short Winter day.
The Sun was up and made a grand display
Upon the trees and shrubs on every hand;
These all were clad in silvery array,
As if transformed by some Magician's wand,
But 'twas the work of Him who counts the grains of sand.
For through the night a change had taken place—
Such as we frequent view without surprise.
Rain falls and freezes—this is oft the case—,
And trees look pretty to our outward eyes,
But is this all that such a view supplies?
Can we not trace a Mighty Artist's skill,
Which competition from mankind defies?
Then let us learn to reverence Him still,
Who forms these beauteous scenes according to His will.
Dear GOODWORTH gazed upon the glittering scene
Until his soul was filled with ecstacy.
Here he perceived that God indeed had been
To clothe dull Winter in great majesty.
To him it was so full of poetry
That he was led to frame another lay,
Which seems to me to breathe such melody
I must ev'n give it without more delay,
And rest in hope 'twill live far, far beyond my day.
PASTOR'S SONG ON THE FROST-WORK OF A
Last night's air was keen and the snow lay around;
All the trees, stript of leaves, were quite naked and black,
And naught broke the stillness so very profound
Save the jingle of bells as we passed o'er the track.
And little we thought of the sorrowful state
Of that fond, loving, wife by whose bountiful cheer
Our needs were supplied, nor yet dreamt of the fate
Impending o'er one—to her heart ever dear.
As little expected the clouds of despair
Hanging terribly pregnant with evils so dire
Would all quickly vanish in answer to prayer,
And sweet comfort spring forth from the midst of the fire.
As little we thought that the rude rising blast
Would bring rain to transform every dark forest scene
To richness of splendor by nothing surpassed
That we mortals have witnessed of wonders' terrene.
Yon maple trees bend with their silvery load
Like the frail sons of earth under ponderous wealth.
These feel keen affliction their consciences goad,
Yet they heed not the warning till Death comes by stealth.
And those, though they look on this calm, sunny day,
To be robed in pure beauty so strikingly grand,
Should Boreas arise his least might to display,
Would be stript of their charms by his merciless hand.
And yonder dark pines that seem still to aspire
To pre-eminence over their comrades below,
Which shine in Sol's rays like huge masses of fire,
To the earth their proud heads may be soon made to bow.
Yon oaks, which, like kings of the forest appear,
With their thick, crooked branches all coated with ice,
Never dream that the loss of their splendor is near,
That each branch may be broke by the wind in a trice.
Just so we vain mortals indulge foolish pride,
When we deck our poor bodies in splendid attire;
And oft has the Tempter successfully tried
With such means us to lead to most sinful desire.
How seldom we think that the primitive use
Of the first suit of clothing by Adam and Eve
Was not for adornment with trappings profuse,
But as cover for nakedness—guilt to relieve.
This lesson more frequently brought to our view
Might preserve all our souls from much sorrow and sin,
And make us more anxious each day to renew
Those adornings which Christians should all have within.
With reflections like these in true pleasure I gaze
On this landscape so fair—so transcendently bright,
And utter my heart's feeble tones of sweet praise
To my Father who formed it by Wisdom and Might.
Thus to a mind by sacred Truth impressed
Nature at all times is an open book,
And he who reads aright is truly blest.
But ah, how much her teachings we overlook!
One who his Scripture Guide has quite forsook
Makes her an idol, and her praises sings
In warmest strains; he hears in every nook
Of her domain a thousand different things
Proclaim her Godship, which to him much pleasure brings.
Another, dreaming he is taught of God,
Will hardly deign to look on her sweet face.
His feet may press the flower-bespangled sod,
But to admire the carpet would disgrace
A mind so holy, and perhaps displace
Far better thoughts which rise within his breast!
In such a one 'twere difficult to trace
The influence of Truths sublime expressed
By our Great Master in discourse to us addressed.
As on most questions, mine's the middle view,
And looks on all creation as the work
Of God All-wise, most kind and mighty too.
This frees my mind from all vain thoughts which lurk
In its recesses, dissipates the murk
Of idol worship and religious pride,
And makes me proof 'gainst each insidious quirk
Thrown out by those who do my views deride;
Whose judgment seems to me from truth and reason wide.
In musings deep or Lively conversation,
The time flies quickly as our friends draw near
Their woodland home, which, after separation
So long from those it holds, is still more dear.
Anon, friends' farms successively appear,
And at Luth's house they stop to rest awhile
Themselves and team. There they lack not good cheer
Nor kindly welcome, shown by many a smile
From man and wife, a loving pair quite free from guile.
From Luth they learned all their dear folks were well,
And this relieved them from anxiety;
So now with grateful hearts awhile they dwell
Upon those themes which dear to Saints should be—
Spoke of the love displayed so lavishly
In journeying mercies, wheresoe'er they went;
Of good accomplished—though with modesty—
By them as instruments most timely sent;
And thus an hour or two was profitably spent.
Ere very long they reached their own abode—
That Nest well lined with Love, Content and Peace,
Where true home feelings in each bosom glowed,
And solid comforts day by day increase,
Bidding quite fair to last till life shall cease.
This their return the trusty dogs first hear,
And they by joyous barking rouse the geese,
The ducks and poultry, which in chorus clear
At once their voices raise, dreaming that harm is near.
The household listen to the noise outside
A few short moments, when the youngest son
Struck by a pleasant thought could not abide
Longer suspense, but in a trice begun
To don his hat and gloves, both quickly done.
He hurries forth and by fair Luna's gleam
His eyes beheld what made him faster run
To bid the loved ones welcome, and the team
To house, and give such food as he may fittest deem.
The two well loaded with their traveling gear,
Make for the cottage fast as they can go.
There the three females cheerfully appear
Determined they a welcome will bestow
Such as most virtuous minds alone can show.
Sweet smiles bedeck the mother's comely face,
The daughters too with joy are all aglow,
Quite pleased to have a kiss or warm embrace
From those they love so well at such a time and place.
Reader, dost thou possess imagination?
If so, just use that precious faculty
And join with me in making observation
On love scenes drawn from this dear family.
Thou art no eavesdropper, but yet I see
An interest sparkling in thy earnest face
Which shows thy heart doth go along with me
As I such secrets do my best to trace
And hold them up to view to benefit my race.
Imagine then the cordial reception
That I above have feebly tried to paint.
My picture has the charm of no deception—
A thing of which there's oft not much complaint.
Behold this loving band without restraint
Gathered mound the evening's social board,
Each in such frame of mind as seems a Saint,
Even in their eating honoring the Lord,
As they with temperance use whate'er their means afford.
The father in most truly Pastoral style
Spoke of the dangers they had just passed through;
Dwelt on the English settler's death awhile.
And the sweet conduct of the widow, too,
Until the listeners had enough to do
To calm their feelings and restrain their fears.
Their sympathy was pure, to nature true,
Which made them deeply feel the griefs and fears
Of fellow mortals; and their father's heart it cheers.
He next informed them of the low sunk state
Of that new village where he meetings held.
How some few men were snatched from drunkard's fate,
How drink's most worthless traffic had been quelled,
And prejudice by force of Truth dispelled.
Next of their visit to the Indian tribe;
Told who received the Truth and who repelled
Its influx to their souls and Satan's bribe
Received, which did of Life Eternal them deprive.
The wolf adventure and Inebriate's case
Received due notice and called loud for praise
To Him whose hand they could-so clearly trace,
Who had most kindly cared for them always.
Then the Doxology at once they raise
To the “Old Hundred,” the immortal air,
The clear, full harmony of which displays
Such skill that mortals now may well despair
Of making better tune though they have talents rare.
This done once more they read God's holy Word,
Choosing such portion as their minds may suit.
Then in great reverence kneel with full accord,
And fervent pray, though all save one are mute.
Are there who deem such acts of no repute?
Sad is their state, for they have nothing learned
As well worth learning. Will they this dispute?
Alas, poor sinners, you are not concerned
That you have Christ refused and thus your soul's good spurned.
We'll draw the curtain while the family sleep—
Such sleep as pure contentment ever brings;
And while good Angels, o'er them vigils keep,
Let's pause a little that my rude harp's strings
May be drawn tighter, that my Muse her wings
Afresh may plume, ere she completes her song
For she has yet to sing of pleasant things
And the reverse, so she must needs be strong
To execute her task as time fast flies along.
The occasion I will take to introduce
More fully to my patient reader's view
This worthy household; which will be of use
In after scenes, as I my tale renew.
Joseph, the eldest, we have seen was true
To God and Nature in some trials great:
Much like his father year by year he grew
Until he reached to manhood's full estate;
In manners humble, and in preaching gifts first rate.
William, the younger, was not quite so grave;
As kind in heart, but still more blithe and free;
Quite serious on occasions and most brave,
There were few youths more loveable than he.
In Sunday school 'twas his delight to be,
There he still led the singing and took part
In teaching children the “great Mystery"
Of gospel truth, and many a childish heart
Felt that the loss of him would yield unceasing smart.
The sisters, younger still, I must compare
To two fair roses very lately blown;
Who, though they lived in the woods, were debonair
As any town's girls I have ever known.
Their skill in housewifery was clearly shown
In the discharge of all their household duties.
They both had voices of the sweetest tone—
Not shrill nor harsh, but more like what the flute is,
And were by all who saw them looked upon as beauties.
But those were naught compared with Faith and Love
Possessed by both, evinced by all their acts;
And nothing pleased them better than to prove
That pure Religion never aught subtracts
From real enjoyment, as is shown by facts
Which all who can may read if so inclined.
'Tis true our Father evermore exacts
Complete obedience, but our hearts refined
By the Spirit through the Truth know all's in love designed.
Clarissa and Louisa were the names
Bestowed upon these daughters at their birth,
And 'twas foretold by some attendant dames
That each when grown would have uncommon worth.
This prophecy gave rise to harmless mirth
In after years, and led the girls to say
That in their conduct there should be no dearth
Of loveliness, for fear it should betray
The fame of those good dames still living in their day.
“Surely those parents must have been well off!”
Some reader may exclaim in scorn or jest;
But if 'twere not so there's no need to scoff,
And if it were I have the truth expressed.
Mine eyes have seen some parents quite as blest
In all their offspring, and I hope to see
My own dear children in their day attest
That what I write is true, and ever be
A loving, happy band and useful family.
I have an aim in making this digression,
Can anyone divine what it may be?
Though not a Papist I will make confession
And clear at once the seeming mystery.
Luth had a son now grown to man's degree,
Who made proposals for Clarissa's hand,
And GOODWORTH thought for aught that he could see
It was not well their wishes to withstand,
So let things take the way they were already planned.
And Joseph, wishing not to be behind
His darling sister, cast about his eyes
And soon found one possessing generous mind,
Whose fund of worth proved his selection wise.
Her name methinks the reader may surmise,
For it was Ruth and also Luth, a maid
Who did prepare for matrimonial ties
In prayerful spirit, and who ne'er betrayed
That love of coquetry by many girls displayed.
Both these young folks had followed the example
Of worthy parents, and as Christians stood
In that young Church. Their worldly means were ample
At least for such as wed from motives good.
Besides if needful they could earn their food,
Which made their marriage prospects bright and cheering,
Things thus far settled they did all they could
To haste the nuptials, and grew more endearing
As the auspicious day drew nearer its appearing.
Again the Sabbath day came duly round,
And Goodworth met his flock with heartfelt joy.
Once more he faithful preached “the joyful sound,”
Or taught the Saints sin's fetters to destroy,
And how their time and talents to employ.
Then just before the “Breaking of the Bread"
He of his journey spoke in manner coy,
And deep attention by the Church was paid
As he recounted mercies sent by Christ their Head.
Upon the work especial stress he laid,
Begun by God amongst the poor Red Men,
And moved by sacred zeal he boldly said
That something must be done; but how or when
Was for the Church to say. As he stood then
Chosen of God and them to oversee,
His little flock, he could not go again
Without depriving some of Ministry
Most needful at that time if he would faithful be.
He further said it was a settled thing
With him that if the Holy Spirit call
One to the Pastorship, no good could spring
From frequent absence, for the Church needs all
His time and talents; and should ill befall
A flock so left God might the question ask,
“Why didst thou leave my sheep and lambs at all?
I placed thee there; attend thou to the task
If in my smiles approving thou wouldst wish to bask!”
He cited many texts to prove his view,
[Footnote: See at least one amongst many in I Peter, V, 1-4]
And felt much grieved some Churches in our day
Should to their interest be seldom true,
And Pastors for slight causes turn away.
From personal observation he would say
That many men who make a great profession
Begrudge the mite so needful as the pay
Of those whose Pastoral worth's their sole possession;
Who could not wink at sin nor make undue concession.
“Some folks, again,” he said, “quite overlook
The nature of the office as laid down
For Churches' guidance in the holy Book,
And substitute opinions of their own.
Such meet their fellow Christians with a frown
If they insist upon the Scripture plan,
And deem him little better than a clown
Who has the courage their false views to scan:
And should he not desist might place him under ban.”
“Thus saith the Lord, in all religious matters,
As the thing; needful should our minds impress.
We've naught to do with the unseemly tatters
Of creeds and ceremonials on which stress
Is laid by many who the Truth profess.
The Scriptures teach that Pastors should take heed
To all their flock, that faith and holiness
May grow apace; that they the sheep should feed
With Heaven-inspired food according to their need.”
“But Churches for most part make choice of him
Who does a splendid preaching talent show;
Or else they seek to gratify some whim
Lest hearers should their purse strings tighter draw.
'Tis easy for one taught of God to show
That those so chosen cannot well fulfill
True Pastoral duty, which consists, we know,
In oversight according to God's will—
Not Lords o'er his inheritance, but humble still.”
[Footnote: The author would not like to be misunderstood. All he
intends to say is that a talent for preaching, however good, is not
only qualification for Elder or Pastor. See I Tim. iii and Tit. i.]
The Church agreed in what the Pastor said
And Luth suggested that young GOODWORTH might
Act as Evangelist in his father's stead,
Should he 'fore God consider it quite right.
Joseph assured them it was his delight
To aid in any way his Master's cause,
But thought that all should seek for further light
By fervent prayer, and therefore Would propose
To leave it unto Him from whom all wisdom flows.
This as determined on and they attended
Unto the “Supper of the Lord” in love.
Once more their Sacrifice of Praise ascended
From grateful hearts unto their God above,
Who heard it all and did such acts approve.
Refreshed in soul once more they separate
In friendly manner, as it does behove
The joint possessors of such blessings great
As heirs of bliss and glory in a future state.
Throughout the week the members freely gave
Unto this subject due consideration;
And Joseph looked, to anxious friends, more grave,
Was oft in prayer or wrapped in contemplation.
The father, who of this made observation,
Encouraged him to frankly speak his mind.
This led them soon to mutual explanation
And fuller confidence, which all combined
To lead them both to be unto God's will resigned.
It caused a struggle in that parent's breast
To part with one grown dearer every day;
And Joseph at the first felt quite distressed
At leaving friends so very far away.
As was but natural, thoughts of wedding day
Would also cross his mind and make him sigh;
But yet he felt determined to display
True Christian courage and himself deny,
If to his fellow men 'twould bring Redemption nigh.
The father; saw no very great occasion
For much of self-denial in the case.
The Bride-expectant would with small persuasion
Share any trials he might have to face.
Besides the Indians would prepare a place
With needful comforts, should he there remain.
'Twas therefore his advice to seek for Grace,
Such as the work demanded, and thus gain
The glorious Reward which faithful ones obtain.
To this the son made not the least objection,
And so the matter stood till next Lord's Day,
When, as the Church approved of the selection,
Much unfeigned love the all to him display;
Rejoicing to see one so young obey
Duty's strong impulse, and to God commend
Their much loved brother, who without delay
Made preparation that ere the week's end
He might the Indians reach and to his work attend.
At the reformed Inebriate's house he called
In passing, and was truly glad to find
The man his vice inveterate had controlled,
And was improving daily in his mind.
He owned that had his wife not proved most kind
He might have been again to drinking drove.
This Joseph hears, but hopes the pledge he signed
Would be some safeguard if he should lack love;
Yet urged him much to seek for help from God above.
To miss the swamp he took another road
Not so direct, but pleasanter by far.
Most holy feelings in his bosom glowed
As he gazed on the glittering Evening Star.
The sleighing good, such traveling was no bar
To his sweet musings as he nearer drew
Unto the village where he had to war
With heathen darkness, and for aught he knew,
Where trials great and many might his steps pursue.
On his arrival joy sincere was felt
By those who had the Gospel's sound regarded.
These in full council passed the Wampum Belt,
And by their confidence his zeal rewarded.
None had the influence of Truth discarded
Who first professed by it to be made free,
And 'twas their wish, since nothing now retarded,
To be baptized with due solemnity,
That those who disbelieved might their obedience see.
The Preacher this performed by full immersion
Of the whole body in the deep blue lake,
And none but those who evidenced conversion
Did of that holy ordinance partake.
I state not this from a desire to wake
Any contention in a Christian's breast;
I rather “strive for things which peace do make,”
That I my love for all saints may attest.
This course I long have deemed the wisest and the best.
Those thus baptized in fellowship then stood,
And as instructed, to Christ's laws attended.
Their souls reposed on His atoning blood
For full salvation, and their lives commended
The saving Truth to those who were offended
At the first preaching of the Joyful News.
What these beheld their outward rage suspended,
And now no longer dared they to accuse
The Preacher of vile motives and his work abuse.
For some few weeks he labored there with pleasure,
And his Red brethren urged on him to take
The Pastor's office, but so grave a measure
Demanded time for its importance's sake.
“Should I be spared,” he said, “I wish to make
My life a useful one where'er I live;
To Duty's call to keep my ear awake,
And as I have received to freely give,
Aiming to show I wish for no alternative.”
With this resolve so very freely spoken
We bid the Red Man for the time Adieu,
For other scenes most clearly do betoken
That genial pleasure is not lost to view.
The lovers to their vows continued true,
And fixed upon the following New Year's day
As best for entering on their duties new,
When it was planned a Wedding jaunt to pay
In visit to Niagara, many miles away.
The day arrived—a bright and cheering one,
With which came Settlers on kind thoughts intent.
Then gratitude for what the Lord had done
They wished to show by love and substance spent
Upon their Pastor, whom they viewed as bent
On seeking their advantage since he came.
One, by a neighbor, had two turkeys sent,
Both fine young birds, well fed and very tame—
A gift which well might put some richer men to shame.
This neighbor brought upon his own account
An ewe and ram of most superior breed.
Another had a very fair amount
Of splendid timothy and clover seed.
A fourth good maple sugar as his meed
Bestowed with blandest smiles and modest mien.
A fifth had apples, of which all agreed
They were the best they in that part had seen;
While a sixth brought savory sausages quite fresh and clean.
These as an average sample of the gifts,
I mention merely with a view to show
That Gratitude is put to no mean shifts
In kindly hearts whose love keeps them aglow.
Those who have naught but water to bestow
Upon a thirsty Saint, reward will gain
From Heaven's high King, who loves to have it so.
We must from sneering at small gifts refrain.
For the poor widow's mite did great reward obtain.
Surprise and joy that Christian family felt
At this display of love and gratitude;
While with their friends they reverently knelt
To give God thanks, they for rich blessings sued
For the kind donors, now more strongly viewed
As brethren in the very strongest bond.
Each at the Mercy Seat their love renewed,
And heart to heart did fervently respond.
All merely worldly pleasure this is far beyond.
This past, the marriage knot was quickly tied
For those young well matched couples, who appeared
In all respects well pleased and satisfied
This tended much to keep the parents cheered,
And to the friends around them more endeared
The wedding feast parta'en, they soon prepare
For their long journey, as a change they feared
In the fine weather, which might make roads bare
And the good sleighing spoil—a thing by no means rare.
On that delightful jaunt I need not dwell,
Only to say that all the drive enjoyed.
When safe returned each had a tale to tell
Of the great Cataract's wonders, never void
Of thrilling interest to minds employed
In viewing Nature right. I now would haste
Lest my dear readers feel themselves annoyed,
To finish what has brought me no small taste
Of Poet's joy, and often has my heart solaced.
That earthly pleasure's not without alloy
Poets have sung and sages oft have said,
And none did e'er such pleasure long enjoy
Without being to the same conclusion led.
Our Pastor's dear Louisa took to bed
Soon after New Year's visit to the Falls;
Ere Spring came round she bowed her lovely head
To Death's stern summons! Yet sweet hope consoles
The friends for loss of her, and undue grief controls.
Her death-bed was a scene I love to view
With chastened pleasure, for her faith was strong.
She to her Savior had for years been true.
And then to be with Him did daily long,
Yet not impatiently, for 'twould be wrong;
But with strong fortitude—so calm and pure
That one who saw her left the World's gay throng,
And since has had great trials to endure,
But found the Savior's aid was ever near and sure.
But little now remains for me to sing,
Not that I matter lack—a large supply
Exists where I got this from, and may spring
Into poetic joy if I should try
Again to tune my harp, this time laid by
At Duty's call. Our friend and spouse live where
We found them first. William and wife are nigh,
And with their children choicest comforts share.
While Joseph of the Red Men's Church takes Pastoral care.
Luth and Clarissa own a good sized farm,
Well tilled, well stocked and fronting to the Lake.
Around their hearthstone boys and girls do swarm,
So that they soon a larger house must make.
Some members of the Church now sometimes take
Their turns in preaching, and the elder Luth
Shares Pastoral duty for his Master's sake.
As Deacons they have men who love the Truth,
All proving that the Church is in a state most sooth.
The Lord's Forget-me-nots grow everywhere
Along the Christian's path as he pursues
His Heavenward journey. And a Father's care
Gives each sweet odors and most lovely hues.
And they throughout the darkest days diffuse
A balmy fragrance strikingly delicious!
Yet we, vain mortals, oft these sweets refuse
And choose instead that which is most pernicious,—
Thus wandering far from God, who always is propitious.
JENNY AND HER PET LAMB.
By the side of lonely moor,
In a humble clay-built cot,
Lived a widow very poor
Who received her daily store
As the Lord's Forget-me-not.
With her lived her little girl,
Blithe and pretty blue eyed Jane;
She wore golden locks in curl,
Which showed Nature was no churl,
If it did not make her vain.
Plain but neatly was she dressed,
With her lot was quite content,
No great cares her mind oppressed,
She with cheerfulness was blessed,
While in work her time was spent.
Came there by the cot one day
Quite a numerous flock of sheep.
Lambs did by their mothers play,
One was in a sickly way,
Which called up Jane's feelings deep.
He who drove them, hard of heart,
Did that sickly lamb abuse;
This increased young Jennie's smart,
It went through her like a dart,
Wondering, “would the man refuse
“To give her that pretty lamb
Which appeared so like to die?”
Came the thought to her like balm,
Her distress of mind to calm,
As she to the man drew nigh.
When to him she made request
Answered he in surly tones,
“She might have the little pest,
For it was at very best
But a heap of skin and bones!”
Joyfully she took the prize
In with her to that rude cot.
Pleasure filled her sparkling eyes,
For the lamb had ceased its cries
Ere it reached so safe a spot.
Like a foster mother she
Nursed it then with gentle care,
Till it grew in time to be
Large as any sheep you see,
Fed upon such scanty fare.
And its wool in one short year
For some better pasture pays
And assists the heart to cheer
Of that widow, who had fear
The coming Winter days.
Came there soon some troubles great
On this poor, small family.
He who owned the large estate
Where they lived, had sunk of late
Into greatest poverty.
Lost he all his wide domain,
Dragged to jail because of debt.
He would not of fate complain,
If that widow might remain,
But consent he could not get.
He who took their kind friend's place
Acted a most cruel part.
All might see upon his face
There was not a single trace
Of a kind or gentle heart.
And the widow was forbid
To remain another week.
Sternly he her pleadings chid,
“All such tenants he would rid,
And fresh quarters make them seek.”
Threatened if they would not go
He then all would take away.
This was such a heavy blow
Sickness laid the mother low;
The were thus obliged to stay.
Ere the time had quite expired
Down the angry landlord came
With a man whom he had hired;
Liquor strong their courage fired
Till they felt no sense of shame.
Seize they Jenny's pretty pet,
Cut its throat and leave it there;
Then the household goods they get—
Heed not how the dear ones fret
When their cot was made so bare.
Saw the Lord that wicked deed?
Did the widow's prayer avail?
See you further on may read,
What the Lord had just decreed
In the sequel of my tale.
Thunder clouds hung overhead,
While those shocking acts were done;
Forth the lightning's arrow sped,
Guided there it struck them dead,
Ceased to beat their hearts of stone.
All who heard the widow's case,
Those who saw sweet Jenny's tears,
Got for them a better place,
Bade them wear a cheerful face,
Trust in God and calm their fears.
Said the widow to her Jane,
“Saw you how your darling died?
Did it of the act complain?
Jesus as a Lamb was slain,
As a Lamb was crucified.
“This was in the sinner's stead,
This was done for you and me;
For our sins he freely bled,
Bowed to Death his sacred head
On the shameful cursed tree.”
Heard that lovely girl these things?
Yes, and did believe them too.
Faith its blessings to her brings,
And God's goodness oft she sings.
This, dear reader, you may do.
TO A VERY TALL SUNFLOWER.
Gigantic flower with many golden faces,
Why climbest thou so very high in air?
Art loth to show the very smallest traces
Of sweet Humility with aspect fair?
Well, even 'mongst men they are by far too rare!
I oft have heard how thou in deep devotion
Dost follow Sol, the glorious king of Day.
If this be true, perhaps thou seek'st promotion
To his high courts, thy splendors to display,
And dazzle all who view thy bright array.
Poets we know are strangely given to dreaming,
And thus it came—they all thought this of thee.
'Tis true, sometimes thy yellow flowers do seem in
Just such a mood, and this they chanced to see;
But those who watch thee closely will agree
That yet these flowers at times face all the quarters,
East, West, and North as well as sunny South,
And I have seen them like most patient martyrs
Hang thus for days in time of Summer's drouth,
Although such weather did not stop their growth.
Thou tallest of the tall amongst thy fellows
Look'st like a king. So full of majesty
Art thou, that this alone the truth may tell us
Why we no humble mien in thee can see.
Thou only bow'st to God who fashioned thee.
If this be so thou art a lesson teaching
To all who view thy many golden charms;
And all this time a sermon hast been preaching
To me, and now my heart toward thee warms;
Till I would gladly save thee from Frost's harms.
This may not be; already thou art drooping:
A few more days will strip thy splendors off,
And when Frost comes to find thy tall form stooping
He at thy nakedness perhaps may scoff,
But heed not, 'twas not his thy charms to doff.
Sunflower, I leave thee now, and this truth ponder,
Thou hast fulfilled the task allotted thee.
Have I discharged the obligations under
Which I lay to God? the world? Ah me!
A host of imperfections I can see.
Then let me now, before I cease my rhyming
Take thy strong lesson very much to heart,
That while I am up Life's rough ladder climbing
I still may seek to act a proper part,
And strive to fearless meet Death with his dart.
BIRTHDAY THOUGHTS AND ASPIRATIONS.
WRITTEN ON MY THIRTY-SEVENTH BIRTHDAY, MARCH 20, 1854.
What solemn thoughts crowd o'er my mind
As this eventful day moves on.
I feel most forcibly inclined
To strive some proper words to find,
In praise of God for what he's done.
And why? For seven and thirty years:
He who at first my being gave
Has still upheld me, calmed my fears,
While passing through this Vale of Tears,
And on my journey to the grave.
'Tis then but right that I should take
A retrospect of my past days.
This done in faithfulness will make
My humble lyre aloud to wake
Its every string in God's pure praise.
Then let my memory recall
Each striking scene through which I've passed.
What strong emotion fills my soul,
As they in quick succession roll
Before my wondering gaze at last!
I feel my childhood's joys once more,
Again I pass its sorrows through.
Of richest mercies what a store,
In health or else in sickness sore,
As if by magic spring to view.
With all my sins upon my head
I see two near escapes from death;
Then is a feast before me spread,
And I on heavenly food am fed,
The precious gift of God through faith.
Lo, there I see Him guard me round,
Lest strong temptations me o'ercome;
Here I am in his favor found,
While others in perdition drowned
Were long since hurried to the tomb!
O, what a miracle is this,
That I am saved from hell and sin!
Predestined by pure Grace to Bliss,
My soul in transport bows submiss
To God, and hopes a crown to win.
Then may I mourn my past neglect
Of all thy goodness, O, my God!
Henceforward may I more respect
Thy just commands and still detect
Those lurking sins that bring thy rod.
Should I be spared another year,
May one great thought my bosom fill;
To let it to mankind appear
That I am but a pilgrim here,
Just left awhile to do Thy will.
But Lord, thou know'st I am but weak;
Impart fresh strength that I may be
More and more anxious still to seek
The good of souls with spirit meek,
And thus prove my sincerity.
And here I would once more record
The fervent breathings of my soul,
That thou would'st richest Grace afford
To all my children through the Word,
And still our every act control.
SONG TO THE LILY OF THE VALLEY.
Lily of the valley, this brief poetic sally
At the very least is due unto thee.
Thy fragrant wax-like flowers all freshened by Spring showers
Seem purity embodied unto me.
Lily of the valley blooming near the alley
Of the little garden close to my home!
Lily of the valley, I fain would gladly rally
All the powers of sweet Fancy to my aid
To describe thy form retiring, which I cannot help admiring
As it peeps from its broad, leafy shade.
Lily of the valley, etc.
Lily of the valley, thou very well dost tally
With my notion of a modest, gentle maid.
Thy delicate bell-cluster may lack in grandeur's lustre,
Yet thou in true beauty art arrayed.
Lily of the valley, etc.
Lily of the valley, Sol scarce with thee dare dally;
He plants no rose-blushes on thy cheek,
Yet indebted to his power art thou from hour to hour,
And his beams play with thee hide and seek.
Lily of the valley, etc.
Lily of the valley, deem not my rhyming folly,
For I love both thy form and thy scent;
And this is chiefly true as thou kissest in the dew,
While thy head in pure modesty is bent.
Lily of the valley, etc.
Lily of the valley, bloom near my garden alley,
And shed forth thy fragrancy around;
I'll think as thou art growing of the lessons thou art showing
To me when in musing I am found.
Lily of the valley blooming near the alley
Of the little garden close to my home.
DAISY, I HAVE SOUGHT FOR THEE.
Daisy, I have sought for thee
In the garden, on the lea,
Ever since I learned to roam
From my much loved English home.
Once I owned a little thing
Called a daisy here about,
And it bloomed awhile in Spring,
But the Winter froze it out.
'Twas a pigmy flower at best,
Though in red robe it was dressed.
English daisy's lively mien
Never in its face was seen.
When it died I did not fret,
Nor a dirge sung o'er its bier.
Some few plants that I have met
Claimed at least from me a tear.
Now what is it that I see?
Daisies growing on a tree!
White and double—white as snow,
Hundreds of them in full blow.
Let me look awhile at them,
Even through sweet fancy's eyes.
Every flower's a perfect gem.
And as such I will it prize.
But let Fancy stand aside,
Common folks might me deride.
Thinking something ailed my brain,
Should I such a thing maintain.
Well, 'tis all as one to me,
Fancy still shall have the sway.
That Daisies here grow on a tree
I mean to insist alway!
[Footnote: The blossoms of the double flowering cherry tree. They
a great resemblance to the white double daisy of English gardens,
in fact were pronounced to be the same by a lady friend of mine. I
the hint and wrote the above.]
THE CHARMS OF JUNE.
INSCRIBED TO MY WIFE.
The lilacs are now in the full flush of beauty,
The fruit trees have blossomed, the tulips are gay,
And birds' gushing melody points out our duty
To God who doth bless us so vastly each day.
Brilliant verbenas in rich robes are glowing,
And spireas their fair silver glories maintain,
While violets and lilies their charms are bestowing
To add to the splendors of sweet Flora's reign.
O, soon will the odors of bright blushing roses
Unite with the woodbines in fragrance complete;
For hoards of their incense this fine month discloses,
To all who are fond of a garden retreat.
Viburnum Opulus its snowballs is forming,
The peonies are ready to burst into bloom,
Rude Boreas has ceased for awhile his dread storming,
And Nature at last has got rid of her gloom.
[Footnote: Guelder Rose.]
In flower-bedecked fields or vast woods at this season
I would 'twere my privilege to frequently roam;
But fear such indulgence might well be termed treason
Against the sweet duties and pleasures of Home.
Then since this solacement by God is denied me,
I'll joy that in fancy it still is my lot
To rove with my own lovely Ellen beside me,
Through scenes that can never by us be forgot.
TO DR. LAYCOCK, ON HIS LEAVING
BRANTFORD ON ACCOUNT Of
Doctor, you must not hence depart
Ere I address a parting lay
Fresh gushing from an honest heart,
Which grieves because you cannot stay.
To Rhyme I make but small pretence,
Yet what I write is what I feel;
And should it prove but common-sense,
Many defects this will conceal.
I have oft wished since you came here,
That we might years together spend;
And now I hang 'twixt hope and fear,
In strange uncertainty, my friend.
Right glad, dear Doctor, would I be
If you left here in perfect health;
I know 'tis prized by you and me
As far before the greatest wealth.
And well it may! For that is wealth
In most men's hands but splendid dross
To purchase friends who leave by stealth
Their friend, when he has found its loss.
Yet 'tis I own, when rightly used,
A goodly thing for you and me,
Who can't of hoarding be accused
At least from all that I can see.
Then take what I most freely give—
A wish sincere that you may yet
Return in health near us to live,
An honest livelihood to get.
And may your partner live to share
With you for years fresh joy and peace.
For this I urge an earnest prayer
To God who makes my joys increase.
TO MR. COWHERD, FROM HIS FRIEND, H.
[Perhaps my readers will have the goodness to pardon me if I here
present them with an exact copy of a Rhyming Letter which I
answer to the poem above from my much respected and greatly
friend, the late Dr. Laycock, of Woodstock, Ont. I place it here
because of the compliment he was kind enough to pay me on my
abilities, and chiefly in relation to those Pieces to my Children.
candidly acknowledge that it was his opinion, so freely and perhaps
flatteringly expressed, which weighed with me greatly as an
for giving so many of them in these pages.]
Dear friend, though a poor hand at rhymes, I'll try
In kind to your kind verses to reply.
Together we have passed some happy hours,
Pleasantly loitering in the Muses' bower;
Not with the Bards who sing of Wine and Love,
But those who can the nobler Passions move
To finer sympathies, and by their art
Instruct, amend as well as cheer the heart!
Such Bard our COWPER. Oft his pleasing strains
Have won us to forget the cares and pains
The world lays on us all; WORDSWORTH the same;
And other bards besides less known to fame;
Thyself, dear friend, amongst the rest. Thy rhymes
Flow from a heart in tune with Nature's chimes,
And breathings of Sweet Home, Domestic joys,
The opening graces of thy girls and boys,
And themes like these to Nature dear please all
Whose souls like ours respond to Nature's call.
Nature, to whom proud Art can lend a grace,
But whom if absent Art can not replace!
Take these poor lines in haste and sickness penned,
As tribute from a warm and grateful friend,
Who, though thy kindness he can not repay,
Will ne'er forget thee, Cowherd, nor thy lay.
BRANTFORD, Nov. 16, 1854
TO MR. JAMES C——T
“A friend in need's a friend indeed.”
My friend much respected, 'tis hardly the thing
That I on some subjects so often should sing,
And yet never manage a rhyme to bestow
On one whose great kindness I'd gratefully show.
It oft has been spoken, as oft has been penned
That “It cannot be ever too late to amend.”
And as I'm unconscious of lacking respect,
Will do what I can to repair my neglect.
O, can I look back to the time of my need,
When thou, under God, prov'dst a kind friend indeed,
And feel no emotion my bosom to swell?
'Twere baseness of conduct too shocking to tell.
Time was when chill penury stared in my face,
And I was made feel it almost a disgrace.
As a fruit of thy kindness that time has gone by,
So I to be thankful would constantly try.
O, well I remember how often I thought
My business endeavors would all come to naught;
That I, 'midst my toiling should surely stick fast,
And most sad disappointment meet me at last.
The Lord sent thee to me at such time of trial,
When exercised well with the grace Self-denial.
Thy kind way of speaking took from me my sadness,
And left in its place a rich increase of gladness.
And oft since that time though a much chequered life
Amidst this world's bustle, its turmoil and strife
My mind has been solaced with thoughts of thy love,
Which does thy relation to Christ clearly prove.
Under the weakness of age thou art bending,
Yet no doubt have I that the Lord is still sending
The joy of His presence thy spirit to cheer,
By doing thy duty while thou stayest here.
And Oh, may it please our kind Father and God
Thy steps to support with his “Staff and his Rod;"
Then cause his bright Angels thy way to attend,
And thus bring thee safely to Life-journey's end.
May thy good example to those that remain,
Be useful in showing Religion is gain,
That they may still follow the path that Christ trod,
And join thee in singing the praises of God.
TO THE CHRISTIANS OF BRANTFORD.
Christians of Brantford, list awhile,
An humble Rhymer speaks to you.
Perhaps the fact may cause a smile,
Though I speak not from motives vile,
But with your interest full in view.
You are engaged in warfare great
With that great sin which oft has made
A loving husband full of hate,
A young wife's beauty quickly fade,
And early death become her fate.
You have to grapple with that fiend
That oft has made poor children weep,
Bereft them too of every friend,
Who would unto their wants attend—
When they were sick afford relief.
You are engaged in mortal strife
With that huge serpent which ere now
Has poisoned all the joys of life,
Made many homes with discord rife,
And sunk poor human nature low.
With him that oft has torn away
The laurel from the Sons of Fame,
Caused them from Wisdom's paths to stray,
Has turned to darkness their bright day,
And covered them all o'er with shame.
Young as some are, all must have seen
His potent arm stretched forth to strike
As victims those who long had been
Striving on human aid to lean.
Mind friends you never do the like!
Oh, have you thought upon his power,
And learned how weak are mortal men
When brought into temptation's hour,
And “storms arise and tempests lower?”
The strong may even falter then.
And feeling weak have you been led
To put your trust in God alone,
Who with his bounteous hand hath fed
You all your lives, and in the stead
Of guilty man did sin atone?
If you have not done this before
O flee, my dear young friends, away
To Jesus Christ, the friend who bore
Our sins, that he might us restore
To God and Bliss and Endless Day.
TO THE SAME.
Christians, arouse you! Quick, up and be doing!
The monster Intemperance stalks through our land!
Unfurl wide your banners, and good still pursuing,
On “No Truce with Tyrants!” let each take his stand.
Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!
The might of this evil but few can withstand!
Shrieks and groans from the dying are heard all around you,
And heartrending sights every day are displayed;
While blasphemous curses may well nigh astound you,
And dangers fast thicken; yet be not dismayed.
Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!
If these things appal you your help they demand.
Thousands of widows and orphans call on you
Who lost their support from this tyrant's attacks,
And he with his legions may soon fall upon you,
If you now shrink from duty or show him your backs.
Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!
Your own peace and safety your efforts demand.
Our Jails and Asylums are full to o'erflowing
With victimized wretches struck by this fiend's hand,
And many poor youths unsuspicious are going
To destruction, led on by his magical wand.
Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!
The doom which hangs o'er them gives forth the command.
Then muster your forces and stand forth unyielding,
In the name of Humanity heed not his rage.
Mind not his blandishments—evil still gilding—
But ever determine to war with him wage.
Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!
In this monster's overthrow firmly now stand.
Christians, arouse you! Quick, up and be doing!
For help look to God's own Omnipotent Arm!
Let no Tempter charm with the soft voice of wooing,
Or frighten your hearts by the sounds of alarm.
Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!
'Midst trials and dangers like true heroes stand.
VERSES WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER
READING HORACE SMITH'S
He who wrote these lively verses
Hath his talents misemployed,
While he marriage ills rehearses—
The conjugal life asperses
Which so many have enjoyed.
And each brown or blue eyed charmer,
Let her rank be high or low,
Must have felt such verses harm her—
Must have felt her cheek grow warmer
With just indignation's glow.
Were he then as bachelor living
He might speak of bachelor life.
But such men need not be giving
Crabbed views of man and wife.
If he were to fair one married
Greater still would be the shame;
It would prove love had miscarried,
He alone perhaps to blame.
Were it shown that he was jesting,
Jests like this with ills are rife;
Poets should be still attesting
This plain truth—Mankind are blest in
Chaste and sweet Conjugal Life.
Marriage is of God's ordaining,
Serving purpose wise and good.
Those who are from it abstaining,
Should be found always refraining
From treating it in jesting mood.
From experience I am speaking,
In protesting I prefer
A wedded life. If you are seeking
To have pockets with no leak in,
From it let naught you deter.
But this thing make up your mind in,
Choice should fall on one of worth.
Love of wealth some men are blind in;
For a wife may be worth finding,
Though she be of humble birth.
If you are a true wife blest in,
Mind you well fulfill your part,
That you may, all cares distressed in,
Prove the warmth of woman's heart.
I have proved it in rich measure,
And with honest brow declare,
Married life for sweetest pleasure
Can with any life compare!
STANZAS ON THE PEACEFUL STRUGGLE IN
England's real strength is in the Lord of Hosts
Slumbereth now the British Lion,
In his sweet green Island lair?
No! He rushes forth to die on
Europe's plains, or crush the Bear.
Now he may well hope for glory,
Warring in defense of Right.
Will he soon be faint and gory
From the Czar's most lawless fight?
Oh, forbid it, God of Battles—
In whom we would place our trust!
Ere is heard his cannon's rattles
Quench the Bear's most savage lust!
Turn him back to his own regions,
Though a wild and bitter clime;
Wide disperse his barbarous legions
In Thy own good way and time.
If in Wisdom thou ordainest
This dread war shall still proceed—
Let us feel thou ever reignest
Through the saddest hours of need;
That thou still as Sovereign rulest
O'er the Nations of this world;
That thou yet mad Despots schoolest,
Ere they to the dust are hurled.
O preserve our generous Lion,
And his partners in the War;
Bid their hosts thy arm rely on;
Guard each soldier, shield each tar.
Let we see them soon returning
To their now deserted domes;
Let pure joy instead of mourning
Fill their fondly cherished homes.
May we profit by the lesson
Which events like this should teach—
Seek to put away transgression,
Act as healers of each breach.
Then we long may share God's favor—
From the Queen upon her throne
To the lowly son of labor
Toiling his poor crust to own.
LINES WRITTEN ON THE MORNING OF THE
DREADFUL FIRE WHICH
CONSUMED THE B. B. &G. R. R. DEPOT BUILDINGS.
Oh! there has come on us a dreadful calamity,
Our fine Depot Buildings in ruin lie low.
And works which for months were in earnest activity,
To Fire's fearful ravage have been made to bow.
If the watchmen were both in the right path of duty,
How came it we every one heard with amaze,
That they saw not the fire till it fiercely was bursting
Right through the gable in one perfect blaze.
I would not indulge in ungrounded suspicion,
But truly the matter looks dark to my mind.
And I trust before long a most strict inquisition
Will be instituted, the faulty to find.
But should this be done would it rear up the buildings
That now form a rubbish heap blackened and hot?
Ah, no! and the Muse peering into the Future
Fears never such structures shall rise on that spot!
Then mourn, Brantford, mourn! for thy sad, sad misfortune
May well make thy sons to remember this day;
And all may well sigh and feel strongest emotion,
For troubles now thicken in blackest array.
And oh, it would tend to thy weal in the future,
If thou such events as a warning would take
To cleanse from thy dwellings Sin's dreadful pollution,
Lest God's greater judgments against thee awake.
TO THE REV. J. W AND HIS BRIDE
A MARRIAGE DAY
October 4, 1853
An humble poet—save the mark!
Wishes to give to you a lay
In honor of your wedding day,
But somehow labors in the dark,
And fears from etiquette to stray.
And why? No invitation came
To bid me tune my simple lyre—
To fan my low poetic fire,
Nor yet a hope of deathless fame
Which might for risk, serve me for hire.
I'll run the risk and fearless strike
A lyre too apt to slumber long,
And pour my thoughts in artless song.
Many there are who do the like,
And yet in this may do no wrong.
Now, I would hope sweet blessings may
Flow to you from our Father kind:
The rich gift of a happy mind,
In Wisdom's paths content to stay,
And purest peace in that to find.
I trust you will be filled with love,
Such love as God alone can give;
That you may still before Him live.
Placing your hopes always above,
May you his Spirit never grieve.
O, may you still, as man and wife,
Mutual confidence possess;
For this will free from much distress
Your family in after life,
And make your care and sorrow less.
May both such lovely patterns be
Of what your character requires,
That if brought through Affliction's fires
Mankind your purity may see;
And which to see God most desires.
And may you ever useful prove
In making known Christ's saving Name;
Your minds not swayed by worldly fame—
In urging souls to taste that Love
Which cheers our hearts through scorn and shame.
And should you by His Grace become
A numerous, holy, happy band,
Still he'll uphold you by His Hand,
Till all at last come safely home
Unto that glorious Spirit Land.
STANZAS ON HEARING AN AUCTIONEER
QUOTE THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE OF
SCRIPTURE: “THERE WAS SILENCE IN HEAVEN ABOUT THE SPACE OF HALF AN
REV. VIII, I.
Yes, vain Scoffer! so the Scriptures tell us,
But awful was the silence at that time;
A prelude of the wrath of God most jealous,
Expressed in dreadful thunderbolts sublime.
Oh! hast thou ever marked the scene that follows,
When the first Angel did his trumpet take
And blow a blast heard through all Earth's vast hollows,
Which did the mountains to their bases shake?
Or realize “the hail and fire commingling
With blood, and all cast down upon the Earth?”
To mention this should set thine ears a-tingling,
And check at times thy loud uproarious mirth.
But read thou on with most profound attention:
Dire woes stand forth in gloomy vividness!
Ah! would'st thou shrink from some vague apprehension
That the perusal might cause thee distress?
Know thou, what follows is but the beginning
Of plagues more fearful than we can conceive.
This thou must see, and yet thou keep'st on sinning,
As if such madness Conscience could relieve.
Stop, then, at once, lest in Eternal ruin
Thy soul engulfed shall see her folly great.
Flee now to Christ; become a suppliant suing
For pardon from Him ere it be too late.
AN APPEAL TO THE RICH ON BEHALF OF THE POOR.
Stern Winter on foul mischief bent
Left his cold region of the North;
As his Advance-guard early sent
Loud howling blasts and snow storms forth.
These warriors hastened to obey
The mandate of their frost-robed King,
And as they came the Orb of Day
Withdrew his rays which gladness bring.
They, gathering strength as nigh the drew
Unto our homes, spread ruin round,
And thus transformed each beauteous view,
And in white mantle clad the ground.
Before their track lay pastures green,
While root crops in abundance told
How fruitful had the Summer been
Ere she away from us had rolled.
Behind them was a widespread waste
Of leafless trees and drifting snows,
And still with most malicious haste
They dealt around their chilling blows.
Anon their King in ice-car rode
With furious speed, and placed his seal
Upon the devastation broad,—
Exulting in his savage zeal.
This done, fair Nature at his feet
Lay prostrate in the arms of death!
And now the poor lack food and heat,
Benumbed by his dread icy breath.
For in our great Commercial World
Loud storms have rung their changes round,
While some are from high station hurled
And in chill Penury are found.
Our Workshops, erst with men well filled,
The scenes of Trade's most busy strife,
Are almost silent now, and skilled
Mechanics want the means of life.
And shall it e'er be said of those
Who have of means a full supply,
That avarice has their heart's blood froze,—
That they can see their brethren die?
Forbid it, O Thou gracious One,
From whom we every good obtain;
O, melt the hardest heart of stone,
And quell its cruel thirst for gain!
That those who have may freely give
Of food and clothes a plenteous store
To help the needy now to live:
“Those tend to God who help the poor.”
A CANADIAN NATIONAL SONG.
Tune, “Auld Lang Syne.”
O, no; I'm not an Englishman,
Though it is something great
To have for birthplace English soil,
And live in such a State;
Yet I'm not now an Englishman,
For why? I crossed the sea
And live in dear Canadian clime,
The Land of Liberty
I am not now a leal Scotchman,
Though born 'midst Scotia's hills,
And recollections of her scenes
My bosom ever thrills,
For I have sailed o'er ocean vast,
And to this land have come,
Where Freedom waves her banner o'er
My new, adopted home.
O, no, I'm not an Irishman,
Though sprung from Erin's bowers,
And Memory often takes me back
To those most happy hours
When, roaming o'er her fair green Isle,
With warmth I pressed her sod,
And felt my own, my native Land,
The best that foot e'er trod.
[Footnote: The writer's main object in writing this song was to do
he could toward breaking down all remains of clannish feeling in
highly important country. Should a company, consisting of one or
persons from each of the countries mentioned, desire to sing it,
one might take the part applicable to him, and when the several
sections have been gone through all join as full chorus in the last
stanza, or slight verbal alterations may be so made that any single
individual may sing it.]
For I have come to Canada
To settle on her land,
And to all her inhabitants
Give Friendship's honored hand.
I am no longer German now
Though “Fatherland” I loved,
And vowed remembrance to take
Of her, where'er I roved.
For here on this prolific soil
I own a splendid farm,
And lovely children growing up
Call forth my feelings warm.
I would not be a Frenchman deemed,
Though sprung of Gaulish race,
And their pure blood I freely can
In my forefathers trace.
For I would feel as much at home
As ever man can be
Back in our woods or in our towns,
Whilst I have liberty.
O, yes; we are Canadians now,
Wherever we were born;
And we will strive in time to come
To heal a land so torn
By party strife, by clannish fire,
And aim to live in peace.
Then put united efforts forth,
Till life itself shall cease,
To make her what she ought to be—
Acknowledged on each hand
A noble, free, and powerful State,
A great and glorious Land!
A CALL TO THE SOIREE* OF THE
MECHANIC'S INSTITUTE, DECEMBER 23,
“Endeavor always to combine real good with pleasurable enjoyment.”
Come, friends, to the Soiree; O why will you tarry
When good things are waiting you there?
For, after the eating, our friends, for this, meeting
Have speeches prepared with due care.
Let all upper classes give ladies cash passes,
'Twill cost but a very small price;
And what they may spend in a way that will end in
Real good, is a blow unto vice.
Come, merchants and doctors; come lawyers and proctors,
And treat all your clerks to the feast.
Fear not that your kindness will make them more mindless
Of what is your interest, the least.
Come, all ye mechanics, for no dreadful panics
Will meet you with grim spectre-faces.
Bring also your spouses, nor leave in your houses
Those charmers who wear childhood's graces.
Come, each son of labor, and do us the favor
Of tasting the good things provided.
A truce to your moiling! for hard daily toiling
Gives Rank that must ne'er be derided.
Haste all to the Soiree; none need to be sorry
For giving our Institute aid.
The good you may do us'll diffuse itself through us
To the townsfolks of every grade.
* Pronounced as nearly as possible, swarry.
AN ADDRESS BY THE MEMBERS OF THE
“INSTITUTE” TO THEIR FRIENDS
AT THE SOIREE.
Dear friends, to this our social feast,
We bid you welcome gladly,
And trust you will not in the least
Spend moments with us sadly.
For though we've no great Bardling's strain
Joined to rich organ's pealing,
Yet none the less may Pleasure's train
Be softly near us stealing.
And should she deign to show her face,
To smile on us benignly,
Let's give to her a chaste embrace,
By no means most supinely.
What though we lack exciting cause
For loud, uproarious laughter?
Our temperate fare will not dispose
To heart-upbraidings after.
Yet we may well of mirth-enjoy
A reasonable measure;
And even skill and time employ
To gain so bright a treasure.
Avoiding still too great extremes,
Enjoy in moderation
The blessings which our Father deems
Best for us in each station.
Then we need have no vain regrets,
No consciences unruly,—
For sense of doing right begets
A sense of peace most truly.
ALCOHOL'S ARRAIGNMENT AND DOOM.
Alcohol! Alcohol! who are thy victims?
Come, answer me quickly; stand forth to the bar!
That frown most defiant
Will not make me pliant,
I've pledged myself firmly to wage with thee war.
For years thy dread shock
I have borne like a rock,
Still leaning for help on God's mighty aim.
Say, Alcohol, truly, who are thy victims?
“Of the rich and the poor, the good and the fair,
Mankind of each standing,
Know well I've a hand in
The havoc and ruin they see everywhere!
Daily with fury
From Still and from Brewery
I'm dealing out death without much alarm.
“Princes and Statesmen I count 'mongst my victims,
With painters and poets, philosophers sage,
Rich merchants, skilled doctors,
Cute lawyers, keen proctors,
Mechanics and laborers of each sex and age
Are found in my ranks,
And lured on by my pranks,
While I care not a pin what comes to them.”
Then, Alcohol, tell me what do thy victims
In such vile standing while here in this world?
“They're spending their money
Not for milk and honey,
But for what will cause them to be quickly hurled
To that dreadful place
Where there is not a trace
Of richest mercy they here do contemn.”
Alcohol, tell me what more are thy victims
As fruits of their orgies accomplishing here?
Asylums they're filling,
While jails by their swilling
Are constantly crowded, or far off or near;
And orphans are made
By this great liquor trade,
In thousands as all may very soon see!
Alcohol, listen the doom which awaits thee:
More than half of thy doings thou'st kept out of sight.
Every good man and true
Deems it is but thy due
That thou should'st be banished to Regions of Night.
And heart-broken mates,
With all orphans' sad fates,
Compel us to give forth this doom on thee.
TO MY BELOVED FRIEND MR. JAMES
A CHRISTMAS LAY.
Woodyatt, this Christmas I devote
Some portion of my time to tell
In humble verse what God hath wrought
For us who're snatched as brands from hell.
The best of all my coaxing powers
To lure the Muse I'll freely spend,
Nor heed a whit the fleeting hours
Until my pleasing task shall end.
For I have found a friend in thee,
Such as I strove in vain to find
For twenty years; and this may be
A wonder to thy generous mind.
But so it is; and I would prize
The gift my God has kindly sent,
Nor quell the feelings which arise
Within my breast, till life be spent.
So, while my unlearned lyre I take,
Most gracious Muse, thy aid impart!
Thou canst not at such time forsake
Thy humble friend in this his Art.
No paltry theme shall form my lay
To such a friend at such a time.
Then let my thoughts in rich array
Come forth in gently flowing rhyme.
Nor wealth nor earthly pleasures make
The sum and substance of my song;
Such themes let grovelling rhymsters take,
Who write to please a worldly throng.
For him and me a better way
Remains, and I will freely sing
Of pleasures with most lustrous ray,—
Of those which from religion spring.
And well indeed may'st thou, dear friend,
Rejoice with me that God hath brought
Such sinful creatures to attend
Unto His voice who pardon brought.
I more than twice ten years have been
Within the Way to Endless Life.
Thou in the last few months hast seen
That Way with richest blessings rife.
And now, when seated round our fires,
Or when we take our walks abroad,
We seem as one in strong desires
To speak the praises of our God.
Big thoughts our kindred bosoms swell,
Deep gratitude our ardor fires,
Until we long for words to tell
The fervency that Love acquires;
And ponder as so well we may
Upon our present happy state
Compared with that in which we lay—
Objects of wrath at hell's dread gate.
We ask each other, Why is this?
Why are we favored thus of God?
Why are we made joint heirs of Bliss,
Destined to dwell in His abode?
Quickly the answer comes to hand:
Simply because of God's pure Grace.
And does not Love like God's demand
That we all seasons should embrace—
To speak to others of Christ's worth,
That they with us may fully share
The glories of our heavenly birth,
The riches He can freely spare?
Then let us, brother, with our might,
Work for Him while 'tis called To-day;
Looking above for strength, for light,
Press forward in this thrice-blest way.
Let us dig deep into that mine
Of hidden wealth stored in the Word,
And with strong faith all else resign
Just clinging solely to the Lord.
O, should our lives for years be spared,
May not one word or thought or deed
Unworthy God, be by us shared,
Who are from Satan's bondage freed.
WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY ON HEARING OF DR. O'CARR'S DEATH.
APRIL 18, 1854.
Sorrow stealeth o'er my spirit,
For I hear O'Carr is dead.
Once I tried to sing his merit,
After health began to fade.
Then I thought his end was nigh,
That he very soon would die,
When I saw that he was leaving
His sweet home for distant Isle,
Oft the thought my soul was grieving
“He might linger for a while
And then leave his wife and babe,
Far away o'er Ocean's wave.”
Yet I know our loving Father
Often hears his children's prayers;
That he would at all times rather
Ease them of their ills and cares,
Than lay on a single stroke,
If not needful 'neath his yoke.
And I thought he then would listen
To our supplications strong;
That each countenance might glisten
With sweet joy ere very long:
Joy from seeing him come back,
Having of good health no lack.
When I heard of his returning,
And how he was sinking fast,
Soon my soul was strongly yearning
To be with him ere he passed
From these earthly scenes away
To enjoy Eternal Day.
This, my wish, kept growing stronger,
As each day flew o'er my head,
Till I felt I could no longer
Brook delay, when lo! he's dead.
Now I prize this pleasing thought,
He to Bliss is safely brought.
While hot tears bedim the vision
Of dear friends who mourn his death,
May they manifest decision
By the wondrous power of Faith,
In belief that those who sleep
Safe in Jesus shall not weep.
We are not forbid to sorrow,—
Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb.
Soon will come the glorious Morrow
Which shall chase away our gloom;
If we put our trust in God,
And still seek to kiss His Rod.
SUGGESTED BY THE DREADFUL RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT THE DESJARDINS
CANAL, MARCH 12, 1857.
Deep gloom pervades my spirit, and great sorrow fills my breast
With an overwhelming sense, which leaves me but little rest,
For a dreadful stroke has fallen on the town in which I live,
And sympathy and condolence I would most gladly give.
I have gone through many a street since this event transpired,
Seen the faces of my townsmen in grief sincere attired,
Heard them make sad remarks, seen tears bedim their eyes,
While from every feeling bosom burst forth responsive sighs.
The stranger in our midst might well wonder why we're sad,
For tokens of prosperity can everywhere be had.
The river has not risen to a mighty swelling flood,
Nor raging fire destroyed the homes of the Evil and the Good.
No pestilence like a serpent, with dread envenomed fangs
Has seized the young and beautiful and filled our souls with pangs.
Then why has gloom profound so settled on each face,
And the finger-prints of sorrow left on us so dark a trace?
Ah! loving hearts left homes all filled with family delight.
Full of hope and joyous feelings, never dreaming of a blight
To prospects of enjoyment that awaited their return,
Where the smiles of wives and children make true love the brighter
In such a happy state of mind they to Toronto went,
And accomplished all their objects in the time which had been
Now, with still lighter hearts they make for home again,
And in the cars meet many of their traveling fellow men.
Drawn by the snorting Iron Horse along the track they flew,
What danger might be lurking near was hidden from their view.
On, on, still on they went to a bridged precipice,
When the Bridge gave way and all were hurled into the dread abyss!
The locomotive like a demon took first the fatal leap,
Dragging the human-freighted cars with speed into the deep
One plunged with him beneath the dark and icy wave,
And one stood upright on its end, as if some few to save.
Oh, my soul shrinks back with horror from dwelling on the scene
Which met the gaze of anxious friends who to that place have been.
I'd rather dwell upon the fact that Death to some was Life;
That they have gained by having done so soon with earthly strife.
What thoughts filled all the bosoms of that mixed devoted band
Is only known to God Most High, who, in his mighty hand
Holds all our life and breath as his own most sovereign gift,
And who alone can mortals shield from such destruction swift.
O, I know that some there died who had tasted of his grace,
And sudden death to them was summons to the place
Prepared by Jesus for his Saints in the mansions of the Blest,
And they now are drinking of the sweets of Everlasting Rest.
Amongst these we gladly number the three* whom we have lost,
In sympathy with the bereaved would try to count the cost;
But oh, 'twould prove a fruitless task; then, while we feel so
Let us humbly bow our hearts to God and worship and adore.
*Mr. and Mrs. John Russell and Mr. Secord, who were well known as
consistent Christians by all who had the pleasure of their
acquaintance. All left large families and a numerous circle of
to mourn their shocking and untimely end.
TO THE MEMORY OF DR. LAYCOCK, WHO WAS ACCIDENTALLY KILLED WHILE
ON A PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY, DECEMBER 10, 1857.
Tumultuous feelings like a torrent rush
Athwart my soul and bear my spirit down.
Pent up awhile they from my bosom gush
In such wild measure as I scarce have known.
For one I loved as friend for many years
Has met a shocking end in Manhood's prime!
And this dire stroke prospective pleasure sears,
As grass is scorched by Sol in torrid clime.
Living as neighbors, Friendship's sacred bond
Grew stronger every time we visits paid.
He, undeterred by business would respond
To my desire, and list the songs I made.
Oft at such times he has my Mentor proved,
Doing his best to aid me in my Art,
By prudent counsel which I dearly loved,
Proceeding as it did from kindly heart.
Now with bold hand I strike my rude harp's strings,
And sing a funeral dirge o'er his sad bier.
Up, up, my Muse, and sail aloft on wings
Of tuneful pathos while I shed a tear.
No more shall this kind friend thy efforts guide,
Listening thy mournful or thy joyous strains.
Death suddenly has torn him from the side
Of her he loved, who shared his joys and pains.
And I no more on Earth shall see his face,
Or hear his praise or censure of my songs,
Nor yet will he most critically trace
What of true poesy to them belongs.
No more will he, well pleased, sweet music bring
From our melodeon, while we join in praise.
His soul untrammeled now on high will sing
In God's pure worship and angelic lays.
His frame, too weakly for his ardent soul,
Will feel fatigue no more by night or day.
But then no more he'll take with me a stroll
By our fine stream, soft murmuring on its way.
Nor yet, with pleasure great, hold deep discourse
On many subjects dear alike to both:
Tracing the stream of Truth up to its Source,
To do which fully he was nothing loth.
No more will he to an attentive throng
Give well-timed lectures for his Country's weal;
Yet his remembrances will live among
Those whom his conduct taught his worth to feel.
Ah me! that it should e'er have been my lot
To sing in soul-wrung anguish this sad strain!
For, while his friendship will not be forgot,
I long may wait to find such friend again.
BRANTFORD, December 12, 1857.
SONG OF THE CANADIAN CRADLER.
With my cradle scythe, feeling brisk and blithe,
In the breeze-tempered heat of this fine day;
I'll haste to the field with the wheaten yield,
And there will I manfully cut my way.
Now in all my walks, with broad, rapid strokes;
I bring down the waving grain quite low.
Every sweep I try seems to make it sigh,
But cheerful on, and still on I go.
I heed not the sweat, making my clothes wet,
The toil and care will be well repaid;
For this golden store drives want from my door,
And the surplus is farmers' profit made.
Binder now keep pace, for this hard-run race
Will tell on the field ere night come in;
And rest will be sweet in our plain retreat,
Until a new day with its toil begin.
O, I think I see with exhuberant glee,
The shocks in good order standing round,
And well-laden teams in my bright day-dreams,
Are now trotting briskly over the ground.
Then hasten the day when our grain and hay
Well secured beneath our good barn dome—
Will inspire our hearts to perform their parts
In the cherished joy of Harvest Home.
ADDRESSED TO THE REV. J. B. HOWARD AND HIS FAMILY AS A TRIBUTE
OF RESPECT ON THEIR DEPARTURE FROM BRANTFORD, AUGUST, 1858.
Howard, thy fervid Christian zeal,
Combined with large amount of love,
So blessed to bonny Brantford's weal,
So truly owned by God above,
Lead me, ere from our midst thou move
With those who form thy family,
To seek assistance from that Dove—
Inspirer of true Poesy,
That I may sing a well-timed lay;
One which may thy best feelings suit,
And thou may'st read when far away
With pleasure, as the genuine fruit
Of well-spent years that are not mute,
But which have spoke in loudest tone
To some who have been most astute,
As I in truth would frankly own.
They've told us of a work begun
Amongst thy people, brought quite low
By worldliness, which Saints should shun
If God's pure will they seek to know,
Or wish in safety's path to go.
Thou foundest them in this sad state
And to the yoke thy neck didst bow
With ardor, for thy soul was great.
Satan, no doubt, with jealous eye
Watched keenly for thy halting then;
But thy Redeemer, ever nigh,
Made much of his dread malice vain.
He spake the word and wicked men
Fell down before the high-raised Cross,
And forthwith steadily refrain
From pleasures now viewed but as dross.
Backsliding Christians trembling came
To that blest place—neglected long,
And there rekindled worship's flame,
And freely owned they had been wrong.
Then, feeling sense of pardon strong,
Afresh they family altars raise—
On which to offer sacred Song,
And join sweet prayer to grateful praise.
But 'tis a small, small part indeed
Of what God had for thee to do
Which I can sing; so I proceed
To waft my meed of tribute through.
For I would name, with pleasure too,
The part performed by thy good wife.
O, that I could in measure due
Descant upon her Christian life.
No party motives sway my soul,
Nor thirst for paltry worldly fame;
But feelings I need not control
Prompt me to dwell on her dear name.
Sweet sufferer, deem me not to blame
If I have sacred rapture felt
In noting freely since you came,
The virtues that with you have dwelt.
I frequent heard from one who saw
You lying oft on bed of pain,
How bright in you was love's pure glow,
Meek Patience following in his train.
Now, could we see our loss your gain,
Pleased we would bid you all depart;
And might from vain regrets refrain
Glad still to cherish you at heart.
Man professes to be humble,
Signs himself “your servant, sir!”
But he's very prone to grumble,
Till it forms his character.
Grumbles he about the weather,
Now too hot, anon too cold;
Fancies oft 'tis both together
Ere the day is twelve hours old.
Then the dryness of the season
Rouses up anew his ire;
Next its wetness without reason
Makes him grumbling bolts to fire.
Grumbles he of prospects darkening,
Now, because hard times have come,
And to evil promptings hearkening
By much grumbling spoils his home.
Hard to please in point of dinner,
Flings he grumblings at his wife,
Breaking her dear heart—the sinner!
Inch by inch in daily life.
Nor at night are matters mended;
Grumbles he if supper's late.
She had need to be offended,
Being tied to such a mate.
For a little kind enquiry
Of existing state of things
Might well curb his temper fiery,
As each day her troubles brings.—
Bonny Fred's about his teething,
Jane is sick in bed of mumps,
Chris from croup has labored breathing,
Maid-of-all work has the dumps.
Often thus are grumblings marring
Man's great duties in the world;
Filling it with strife and jarring,
Till God's judgments forth are hurled.
Grumblers sometimes vent their spite in
Gross abuse of those in power,
Promise well to show their might in
Doing right, had they their hour.
Give it them, and still they grumble,
Having not got all they want;
Neither are they longer humble,
Which but proves them full of cant.
Many will not cease their grumbling
Till death puts a stop to it.
May God save all such from tumbling
Into the eternal Pit!
SUGGESTED BY THE FEARFUL ACCIDENT ON THE GREAT WESTERN R. R.
NEAR COPETOWN, ON THE NIGHT OF THE 18TH MARCH, 1859.
March, with his usual terrors armed,
Resolved again to mark his flight
O'er the “Great Western,” which has swarmed
With human freight by day and night.
Leagued closely, with a mischievous crew,
Held by stern winter in reserve,
He up and down the doomed track flew,
But did not from his purpose swerve.
His eye he fixed upon a part—
A deep embankment on a slope,
And joy o'erflowed his chilly heart
While lingering near the town of Cope.
Musing, he to himself thus spoke:
“Here shall my darling scheme be tried;
I and my gang at one bold stroke
Can easily produce a slide.
“Better to serve my purpose foul
I'll fix it for the eighteenth night,
And raise such storm as may appal
The bravest soul that lacks daylight!”
Then, as by some mysterious spell
He called for elemental strife.
Forth came dread clouds as black as hell
That seemed with every mischief rife.
Impelled by many a howling blast,
Uniting in terrific roar,
They down their fearful contents cast,
And quickly a deep chasm tore.
The midnight train came rushing on,
Nor dreamt the passengers of death.
Nor thought perhaps that ere day's dawn
God would call some to yield their breath.
With furious speed the Iron Horse
Plunged headlong in the new-formed deep,
While raging elements their force
Spend as if laughing at the leap.
Dragged swiftly down is every car
Save one, the last of all the train,
And still the storm prolongs the war
With drifting snow or pelting rain.
Imagination scarce conceives
The shrieks, the groans, the heart-wrung wails,
Which rent the air! One yet believes
They did exceed what's told in tales.
And still the wind its keenest darts
Hurls at the living and the dead.
Blest then were those whose fearful hearts
Could cling to Christ who for them bled.
TO THE MEMORY OF THE REV. THOMAS FAWCETT WHO LOST HIS LIFE BY
THE ACCIDENT ABOVE MENTIONED.
Fawcett, twelve years have swiftly fled
Since first we one another knew.
Then mutual sufferings quickly led
To friendship which but stronger grew.
The Angel Death hath ta'en thy wife
From thy loved arms to dwell above;
I the sweet partner of my life
Had lost, and sadly missed her love.
Joy seized our sympathetic souls
As each to each his trials told;
We found that Bible Truth consoles
For loss of wives—worth more than gold.
Left with young families each was soon
Compelled again to seek a mate;
In love Heaven gave once more the boon
Of partners suiting well our state.
Laboring as Gospel Minister,
Thou Brantford left for other place,
Yet did thou not, I can aver,
Neglect to tell of God's rich grace.
Nobly thy work thou did'st pursue,
With a fair share of good success;
Daily grew clearer in thy view
The Scripture plan of Happiness.
At last amongst the poor Red Men,
Who needed much thy pastoral care,
Thy lot was cast, and O how fain
They were such ministry to share.
Of this we had the fullest proofs
When thy sad end to them was known;
Wailings were heard beneath their roofs,
And other signs of grief were shown.
They'll miss thee much, as Sabbath day
Brings fresh thy memory to their mind,
And gratefully a tribute pay
To thee—in thine thus left behind.
Oh! how can I now further sing?
How tell the horrors of that blow
Which caused thy death, when each rude string
Of my poor lyre doth tremble so?
Ah, me! that one on mercy bent,
Hasting to his sick brother's side,
Should be from life thus strangely rent,
And have his faith so greatly tried!
Peace! God All-wise gave this dread shock
And took his soul with Him to dwell.
He to the last stood on that Rock
Which can withstand the rage of Hell.
TO THE MEMORY OF MR. RICHARD FOLDS, WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
APRIL 21, 1859.
“The Righteous are taken away from the evil to come.”
This truth may to Christians in darkness be shrouded,
While mourning for friends in the grave newly laid,
But a time will soon come when the Dayspring unclouded
Of doubt, from our souls shall dispel every shade.
These words to his people by God have been spoken,
To light up their passage on Life's dreary way,
And each day's fresh mercy is from Him a token
That he will prove to them a Comfort and Stay.
This friend, who by conduct to us so endearing
Has drawn from us sympathy, called forth our love,
Is gone—O, the thought is transportingly cheering!
To join the glad throng of Redeemed Ones above.
And we who have witnessed his pure conversation
Have listened to Truths which he uttered so well,
Rejoice that the theme of Christ's glorious Salvation
Was that upon which he delighted to dwell.
His constant infirmities were but refining
A soul well endowed by both choice gifts and rare,
And he through a long course of years has been shining
By light gained from Heaven, which guided him there.
Friends, let these remembrances cheer and delight you,
And patiently wait till your own change shall come.
The death of dear Richard should not now affright you,
Since he through that portal has passed to his home.
TO THE HUMMING BIRD.
Hail to thee, Humming Bird
Beauteous and bright,
That flitt'st like a spirit
Before my rapt sight!
I bid thee a welcome
To sip from my flowers
The rich, honied produce
Of sunshiny hours.
O, be not so easily
Moved to depart!
Thy presence is cheering
To my saddened heart.
Thine shall be the treasures
Of clove-currant trees
And bells of the Columbine
Prized by the Bees.
My odorous tulips
I will with thee share,
Nor grudge thee the blossoms
Of apple or pear.
The sweet-scented woodbine
I shall not withhold,
Nor rare perfumed lilies,
Like pure burnished gold.
O then, pretty Humming Bird,
Stay thou with me,
Midst bright blushing roses
So charming to see.
I'll hail thee at morning
Or woo thee at noon—
Thy presence at all times
Regard as a boon.
Then why be so anxious
My garden to leave?
Know'st thou that I never
Attempt to deceive?
I would not confine thee
In cage if I could:
I glory in Freedom—
The best earthly good.
Then, Humming Bird, listen
My earnest appeal;
The love I have for thee
I cannot conceal.
My children, too, love thee,
My wife does the same,
And I am in transports
At sound of thy name.
TO THE SAME.
Whence, and what art thou? O thou beauteous little thing!
That like a dazzling sprite
Appearest in my sight,
Sipping from sweet flower-cups the honey stores of Spring.
I have sought for many days to find a proper word
As a fitter name for thee
More pleasing unto me,
But cannot find a better than that of Humming Bird.
True, I might thee call A Fluttering Ray of Light
Decked in prismatic hues,
Which a radiance diffuse
Just like a beam of glory straying from a Seraph bright.
Yea, I could picture thee as a new-born infant's soul,
Bidding adieu to Earth
A moment after birth,
But having love for flowers which it scarcely can control.
Or, I might describe thee as a precious, new-coined thought
Illumined by the Truth,
Always enjoying youth,
Till into Wisdom's Temple 'tis by its Builder wrought.
Yet, whatever thou may'st be, or howsoever called,
Thou'rt welcome to remain—
My garden sweets to drain,
And a lonely Vision be evermore enrolled.
TUNE, “AULD LANG SYNE.”
When the wild cry of fire is heard
Borne on the midnight air,
And those who listen soon are stirred
To anxious ask “Where? Where?”
Our Firemen brave, full bent to save,
Rush to their engine room;
And flushed with hope they grasp each rope,
And with the “Rescue” come.
CHO.—Hurrah, then! for the firemen brave!
Who with stout hearts and arms
Are bent our lives and goods to save—
Not fearing fire's alarms.
While still the cry is going round,
And bells peal forth their notes,
The engine comes with rumbling sound,
Dragged by our bold “Red Coats.”
And there too, rush, as if they'd crush
The ground on which they tread,
The band of “Hook and Ladder,” who look
Truly devoid of dread!
CHO.—Hurrah, boys! for the fire brigade—
The men resolved to stand
In danger's front and bear the brunt
Of this foe to our land.
When fire is reached and water got;
In haste the hose they lay;
They fall to work, each brave “red coat,”
By night as well as day.
And now the hook and ladder boys—look!
Have made their “grapples” fast
To that huge frame midst glowing flame,
And down it comes at last.
CHO.—Hurrah, then! for the Fire Brigade,
Who heed not flame and smoke;
They work as though such working made
The zest of some good joke!
THE FIRE ALARM.
Fire—fire—fire! Nigher still and nigher
Seem the tones of the “Alarum bell” borne on the air!
Awaking with a start, what a sinking of the heart
Even the strong are apt to feel, ere they are well aware!
Fire—fire—fire! Higher now and higher
Leaps the madly raging flames as the cry goes round!
In the darkness of the night what a truly awful sight
Is the burning up of homes, while we listen to the sound.
Fire—fire—fire! Behold the havoc dire!
When the black, wreathing smoke a moment clears away—
The flames both hiss and roar as the brave firemen pour
Constantly the crystal streams from Engines in full play.
Fire—fire—fire! Fresh force it does acquire!
The rising wind has sent the blaze unto the other side!
Yet men are standing round in torpor most profound;
Rouse ye up! now fall to work, and let your strength be tried!
Fire—fire—fire! Two blocks seem one vast pyre.
Oh, pity the poor houseless ones—fleeing now away!
Screen them from Winter's blast, for they are on you cast—
That sympathy in measure their losses may repay.
Fire—fire—fire! Thank God, the flames expire!
For a cold, but drenching rain most opportunely comes.
Now honor that Brigade which has such efforts made,
And don't forget your neighbors who have just lost their homes.
MY OLD ARM CHAIR.
My old Arm Chair! The wear and tear
Thou hast endured for me,
Long ere this time deserved a rhyme
Expressly made to thee.
When I thee bought, thy varnished coat
And well proportioned frame
My house adorned, and no one scorned
Thee Rocking Chair to name.
But since that day, my bairns in play,
Have tumbled thee about,
Till thou appears well struck with years,
And truly nigh worn out.
Dear to my heart—I'm loth to part
With such a well tried friend;
Yet even repairs to old arm chairs
Must some time have an end.
I've patched thee oft; and cushions soft
Those patches somewhat screen;
Still, thy poor arms—reft of paint's charms
Are scarce fit to be seen.
The rockers, too, I did renew—
Will hardly yield a rocking.
But out of sight to cast thee quite
Would, to my mind, be shocking.
I therefore say: Thou here shalt stay
As long as I remain;
And no neglect I can detect
Shall cause thee to complain.
Farewell, Arm Chair! thou canst not fare
Much worse than I have done;
For, by my pen, from fellow men
Large share of scorn I've won.
TO THE BRAVERY OF MY COUSIN, MRS. T. A. COWHERD, WHO CROSSED
THE ATLANTIC IN MID-WINTER WITH THREE HELPLESS CHILDREN, AND UNDER
Dear cousin, I hail you as Mother most brave,
Who crossed in mid-winter Atlantic's broad wave!
What you had to suffer in part I conceive,
Though no gloomy story you made me believe.
Assisted by Fancy I see your sad plight,
Before busy Liverpool passed from your sight;
On shipboard I view you with three little babes,
While the vessel rides proudly o'er blue ocean waves.
One small, year-old infant then hangs at your breast,
And one child much older disturbs your night's rest
By her frequent wailings from sickness most sore.
The third is but young and yet needs watching o'er.
I still look and wonder how you could bear up,
When drinking so deeply of this bitter cup.
I picture you gazing, with tears in your eyes,
Upon the poor sufferer and hushing her cries.
The vessel by dread winter tempests is tossed,
And many more favored give all up for lost.
But Hope—that sweet Angel! your courage supports,
And in these great trials to trust God exhorts.
I fancy I see you while nearing the land,
On the ship's crowded deck in sorrow now stand,
Still watching your babe as she gives her last sigh;
Yet Thomas, your husband, to help is not nigh.
And then is most vividly brought to my view
That Coroner's Inquest so trying to you;
The bearing your loved one away to the grave,
Though you, quite dejected, are still on the wave.
Oh, then I can paint, it is true but in part,
The anguish and grief of your warm loving heart,
Expecting at lodgings your partner to see,
As anxious as any fond mother can be.
Your painful suspense as day passed after day,
And trifle of money was melting away;
The pleasure which beamed in your calm, patient face,
When that friend was able your sojourn to trace.
Your journey so cold and so cheerless at last,
Till you and the two tender children were cast
On kindness of strangers in reaching our town,
While Winter put on his most terrible frown.
My own keen emotions I need not express
When you first came here and I saw your distress.
Once more I would hail you as Mother most brave,
Who crossed in mid-winter Atlantic's broad wave.
TO H. R. H. THE PRINCE OF WALES, 1860.
Canadians, welcome now the Prince—
Victoria's noble, first-born son;
Who comes amongst us to evince
How much his Mother's love we've won.
He comes not as, a despot's heir
From serfs their homage to demand.
He comes not with that outward glare
So suited to a slave-cursed land,
But as a freeman to the free,
His errand is of vast concern.
Then let us show our loyalty
By aiming sordidness to spurn.
And thus while he inaugurates
The wondrous triumph of Man's art*,
See that our conduct compensates
For right performance of his part.
*The Victoria bridge at Montreal.
Then shall his stay amongst us here
Fill him with memories so sweet
That he may, at no distant year,
Be led his visit to repeat.
And while he views our country, filled
With wonders of the vastest kind,
May grain fields wide, industrious tilled,
And thriving Arts, please well his mind.
Eager to prove ourselves content
With British rule, and land so fair;
We gladly hail the Prince now sent,
And trust he will our blessings share.
A thousand welcomes then to you,
The Heir to loved Victoria's throne;
Canadians still to Freedom true,
Would warmly make their homage known.
TO THE PRINCE OF WALES, 1860.
Welcome, thrice welcome, to our fair town,
Albert Edward, the heir to Brittania's Crown!
We hail this your visit
With feelings exquisite,
And all party spirit most cheerfully drown
In the joy of the day;
While we earnestly pray
That God's richest blessings may compass your way.
No Niagara's vast glories have we,
No Bridge spanning River as wide as a sea;
Yet we have a county
Whose soil, for its bounty,
Surpassed is by none in this clime of the FREE..
The Garden, 'tis named,
Of all Canada, famed
For choicest of land, though but lately reclaimed.
We have no splendid buildings to show,
No Millionaire's palace that might notice draw,
But yet we may boast of
A very fair host of
Both women and men who their duty well know.
While sweet girls and bright boys
Sympathize in our joys,
As your Highness can see by their truth-speaking eyes.
Nor yet men with great titles have we;
But some meet you here brave as bravest can be.
These have been no strangers
To greatest of great dangers,
When war's horrid front threatened Liberty's tree.
Both Red Men and White
Mingled then in the fight,
And still live together to stand for the RIGHT.
Our good town, as your Highness well knows,
Is called after one long released from life's woes.
His memory we cherish,
And gladly would nourish
The motives that led him to march against foes.
For brave Captain Brant
Did most eagerly pant
The Flag of true Freedom in these parts to plant.
Welcome, thrice welcome to our fair town,
Albert Edward, the heir to Brittania's Crown!
No niggardly measure
Would we yield of pleasure,
To you and your Suite, as you doubtless will own.
For we British rule prize,
And would strengthen the ties
Binding us to VICTORIA, the good and the wise.
A CALL FOR HELP FOR GARIBALDI.
Canadian freemen, one and all,
Respond to Garibaldi's call,
And help him now to speed the fall
Of fair Italia's foes.
Our God this year abundance sends,
Oh, spend it not for selfish ends,
But give to him who RIGHT defends,
And strives to heal her woes.
See him as he unselfish stands,
Surrounded by his patriot bands—
The admiration of all lands—
Wave Freedom's banner high.
He moves—acclaiming thousands wait
To open wide each city gate.
And trust to him their future fate—
Assured redemption's nigh.
Whole-souled and brave as man can be,
He fights alone for Liberty;
Nor will he rest till Italy
Shake off her tyrants' chains.
This done he seeks not high estate;
Success does not his soul elate;
In lowliness he can be great,
For meanness he disdains.
Can we to such a one deny
Assistance? when to do or die
He passes outward splendors by
In singleness of heart?
Forbid it, ye of British blood!
Forbid it all who seek for good.
Rise! show that you have understood
An honest freeman's part!
Let not this noble Patriot's fate
Be such as was Kossuth's the Great.
May their magnific deeds create
A glow of sympathy
Which shall increase till every chain
Enslaving man be snapped in twain,
And universal Freedom reign
In glorious majesty.
SUGGESTED BY THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE'S ACCOUNT OF LINCOLN'S
DEPARTURE FROM SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, FOR WASHINGTON.
He stood—the noble Lincoln—calm, though, sad,
About to part from those with whom he lived
So many years in sweetest amity.
Before him prospects which might well appal
The stoutest heart. His country, fondly cherished,
But erst so great and fair, the humbled victim
Of black traitors' arts, and on the verge
Of fearful ruin's widely yawning gulf.
While recollections of domestic bliss,
Such as but few enjoy, might well indeed
Make him quite loth to leave his much loved home.
With steady eye he views the concourse vast,
Big thoughts fast welling from his inmost soul
Too big for utterance. Yet a few choice words
Steal forth and fall upon attentive ears:
“Here have I lived for many, many years;
Here were my children born, and one beneath
The graveyard sod rests now in death, at peace!
I know not when each dear familiar face
Now left behind may glad my eyes again;
But this I know—a duty greater far
Than ever fell to man since Washington
Held Governmental reins, now falls to me.
Without God's aid he never could have known
Success. Upon that Being placed he still
His firm reliance, and succeeded well.
Succeed I cannot without aid Divine
Imparted to me in this hour of need.
I place in God my trust; and oh, my friends,
Pray you for me that I may have His help!
Then shall success, such as we well may crave,
Be mine for certain in this crisis dread.
I bid you all affectionate farewell.”
This heard with throbbing hearts the gazing throng;
And, deeply moved within their bosom's depths,
Responded soon, “We will all pray for you!”
Upon this scene might Angels fondly gaze,
And place 't on record in high Heaven's archives,
That Lincoln, feeling his own weakness much,
His burden cast upon the Lord of all.
Go thus, thou chosen one, and firmly stand
For Truth and Freedom in the Halls of State!
Let no time-serving policy be thine;
But, placing round thee men of sterling worth,
Grasp tight the reins of Constitutional sway.
If go they will, let dupes of Slavery go,
And reap the baneful fruit they've nurtured long.
In this they'll find a certain, speedy cure,
For madness such as they have always shown.
Go, Lincoln, then, and if Canadians' prayers
May aught avail, thou may'st their prayers command.
“Sumpter has Fallen, but Freedom is
(New York Tribune, April, 1861.)
Thank God 'tis so! for now we know
All compromise is ended.
List Lincoln's call, then freemen, all
Who have from braves descended.
Your Stripes and Stars, ye gallant tars,
Keep proudly o'er you waving;
Strike for the right with all your might,
Stern danger freely braving!
Ye Soldier hosts, stand to your posts
Like Anderson, unflinching.
Those Southern foes need heavy blows
To cure them of their “lynching.”
A traitor's fate may them await,
But yet their monstrous madness
May work you woe for aught ye know,
And fill the world with sadness.
Innocent blood—of this a flood
For vengeance loud is calling!
And God's light hand shall blast that land
With plagues the most appalling,
Which dares to hold from love of gold
Poor slaves in galling fetters!
Rise, East—West—North! Your might put forth,
For you are Freedom's debtors!
MY LOVE IS NO GAY, DASHING MAID.
My love is no gay, dashing maid,
With rosy cheeks and golden curls,
Nor high-born lady well arrayed
In glittering diamonds and pearls.
Yet she is a lovely, loving wife,
Who can blithely sing while working well;
And so happy is our married life,
That I on its pleasures fondly dwell.
O my love is no gay, dashing maid,
But a wife in matronly worth, arrayed.
I've seen young girls of beauty rare,
With ruby lips and sparkling eyes,
Use all their charms to form a snare
By which to carry off a prize.
I've noted the wedded life of such,
Oft finding them slatterns void of love;
And none need wonder so very much
If I value high my turtle dove.
For she is no vain, dashing maid,
But a wife in matronly worth arrayed.
Through years of matrimonial care,
And constant toil from day to day,
To me her face has still been fair,
As if her charms would ne'er decay.
And our house is full of girls and boys,
The pledges sweet of a sacred love,
Sent to keep young and bright the joys
Which many with wealth oft fail to prove.
O my love is no gay, dashing maid,
But a wife in matronly worth arrayed.
THE SEWING MACHINE.
I sing the Sewing Machine,
The blessings it brings to the fair.
Some of those blessings I've seen,
And therefore its praises declare.
'Tis a curious thing
Of which I now sing,
And poets have sung it before me;
But if the theme's good,
'Twill be well understood
I'm right in prolonging the story.
Well finished Sewing Machine!
Whose form is so graceful and neat;
Thou of inventions art Queen,
And to look at thy work is a treat.
Each nice burnished wheel,
With the plate of pure steel,
Thy gold bedecked arms and the gauges,
All speak of the skill
Which the genius at will
Puts forth in the work that he wages.
Wonderful Sewing Machine!
No visions of gloom and despair
Float over my mind serene,
As I thy performance compare
To the old-fashioned stitch,
The dread sorrows which
Accompanied work by the fingers
Of those forced to sew
'Midst a life full of woe.
With pity my soul on it lingers.
Excellent Sewing Machine!
Thy musical click-a-click-click,
Removes far away the spleen
From those who of toiling are sick.
Thy task speeds along,
While the fair ones in song
Give vent to their feelings of gladness.
How diff'rent I ween
From the sight often seen
By HOOD with a heart full of sadness.
[Footnote: See “Song of the Shirt.”]
Dutiful Sewing Machine!
Now cheerfully stitching away,
Neatly and quickly, as seen
In the things by my wife made to-day;
Enraptured am I,
For no heart-bursting sigh
Escapes from the dear operator;
But a smile of delight
Is now alwavs in sight,
Of happiness sweet indicator.
Beautiful Sewing Machine!
How thankful am I to the man
Through many years who has been
Thus carefully forming thy plan!
May smiles from the fair,
Rid of much toil and care—
Shine on him, in moments of anguish.
May their tender hands
To obey his commands
Be ready, should he in life languish.
TABBY AND TIBBY.
As Tabby and Tibby were playing one day,
I, watching their frolicksome mood,
Greatly wondered they never got tired of play,
But the secret I soon understood.
For, listening, I hear on the drum of the ear,
These thoughts in cat language conveyed—
The which I interpret lest it should appear
Of telling the truth I'm afraid.
Said Tabby to Tibby: “Our master's downcast;
Else why are his looks full of gloom?
There's something like spectres in future or past,
Which strangely before his mind loom.
“So, daughter, still further in frolic indulge,
And thus chase his sadness away;
Our motives we need not to mortals divulge;
Then at it in right earnest play.”
This said, she gave Tibby a sly, knowing wink,
And straight on her haunches sat down,
While Tibby, who is of all kittens the pink,
Laid the counsel safe by in her crown.
And now, as if struck by electrical shock,
The young one swift bounded aside,
And then with an air which would true valor mock,
Some strange soldiers' antics she tried.
Advancing, retreating, with rig well upreared,
Her looks testify to her ire;
And every manoeuvre, it is to be feared,
Will bring some calamity dire.
But meantime, the mother in calmest content,
And careless as cat could well be,
Just waited till Tibby's flash-valor was spent,
Yet now and then winking at me.
I judged from this fact that a wrinkle had struck,
To the depths of her sage cat-like brain;
And I thought of my beautiful kitten's ill-luck
In entering on such a campaign.
The thought had scarce flashed through the chambers of mind,
When she pounced like a tiger on prey!
Oh, horror! but stop! with relief I now find
They both were engaged in mere play.
But whether in play or real earnest, it seems
Young Tibby's no match for her mother;
So thus I now end this my first of cat dreams,
Not caring to write such another.
COMPOSED AT MR. M'LARTY'S, WEST MISSOURI, AUGUST 3,
McLarty, I can't leave your house,
Your darling daughter, charming spouse,
Without at least a single rhyme
Commemorating that sweet time
When I, with my beloved wife,
Shared your dear home, with comforts rife.
And now I backward cast my eye
O'er eight-and-twenty years, gone by,
Since first to you the land I sold
Which now you prize far more than gold.
Ah, then with trees 'twas covered o'er
Thousands of which are now no more;
But in their stead rich, waving grain,
On hill and dale and pleasant plain
Abundant grows; and year by year
Adds comforts to your home so dear.
Fair trout creek still flows softly by,
Though not so pleasing to the eye,
As when at first its stream I saw,
So many, many years ago.
For then no logs unshapely, rude,
Did on that beauteous creek intrude;
But o'er its smooth and gravelly bed
It held its course, and murmur shed
Like sweetest music on my ear,
And made me long to live just here.
But urgent duty called me hence,
To scenes less pleasing to the sense
Of one who had a poet's eye
For Nature's works. I bade good bye
To what so quickly had become
To me almost as dear as home.
And now, kind friends, we must return
To that same home, while bosoms burn
With platitude for kindness shown
To those you had so little known.
We linger still: 'tis hard to part
From you, when fondly heart to heart
Beats now, as if for years we'd been
Fast bound in friendship's bands serene.
God bless you all! we fervent pray,
And make you happier every day!
Should we in future meet no more,
O, may we all reach Canaan's shore.
LINES TO MY MOTHER,
WHO DIED WHEN I WAS ABOUT TWO YEARS OLD.
I had a mother once, and her dear name
Has power even now to thrill my very frame,
And call forth feelings which can only rise
When Love doth view its object in the skies.
So would I view thee, Mother, and rejoice
That I have power to raise my feeble voice
And tell what thoughts arise within my breast,
As thus I view thee entered into rest.
O, say, my Mother, canst thou see thy son?
Dost thou behold the poor, erratic one
Who has been tossed on Life's tempestuous wave
Till he has fairly longed to find his grave?
I fain would know if, when I heave a sigh,
Tears e'er bedim thy sympathetic eye?
When I have drunk so deep of heartfelt woe,
And: roved the vanity of all below,
Oh, say, my Mother, hast thou felt a share
Know'st thou what 'tis to be weighed down with care?
Why write I thus? for souls in heavenly bliss
Feel not our woes—know not what sorrow is—
Unless their past experiences they feel,
To aid, by contrast, in producing weal.
For it is written, “God shall wipe away
Tears from all faces,” in Eternal Day!
Then let me rest content, and strive to show
True patience, while I suffer here below,
And follow Christ wherever he may lead:
Thus proving faith sincere by every deed.
O, then, whenever he may call me hence,
I shall be willing to leave time and sense
And mount aloft to dwell with God forever,
To taste that bliss from which naught can me sever.
TO MY WIFE.
Ellen, dear, it is clear
I have not half thy merits told;
Sweet of life, lovely wife,
More precious thou hast been than gold.
Listen now; truth I trow
Will be my guide while I relate
What pure love, sweetest dove,
Thou still hast shown in marriage state.
When I'm ill thou dost fill
The office of a comforter;
Soothing sickness with such quickness
That disease seems banished far.
If low spirits we inherit,
Thou swiftly drivest them away
By sweet song all day long,
Until I feel quite young and gay.
Then our house, tidy spouse,
Is kept by thee so trim and neat,
That from home I'll not roam
To try and find a snug retreat.
Of girls and boys, and many joys,
We have, my dearest, quite our share;
How to use them, not abuse them,
Should always be our constant care.
But alas! how soon pass
All present good desires away.
Feel we weakness? then in meekness
Let us unto our Father pray.
He is strong, and has long
Upheld us by His mighty arm;
O how glorious! Faith victorious
Will us preserve always from harm.
Then let us pray, love, day by day,
That our dear children may be brought
Into His fold, ere they are old:
Even as God himself hath taught.
O, what pleasure in rich measure
We then should feel, my own true love!
For naught ever could us sever,
But all at last would dwell above—
By God's grace in that place
Inhabited by Spirits bright.
This secured, we allured,
Might view by Faith the glorious sight.
TO THE SAME,
WHEN AWAY FROM HOME
Oh, when will my beloved come
To her own home again?
Surely it will not be my doom
To miss her always in each room,
And of her loss complain.
Dear Chris and Jenny wish her home,
And ask why she's not here;
And I in quest of her would roam,
But fear to miss her much-loved form,
Which I would hope is near.
Yet I would not impatient be;
Thou art on Mother tending.
Thy love to her I like to see.
It will not lessen mine to thee,
Until my life is ending.
And should'st thou stay another week,
A month, or even a year—
Thy conduct past would loudly speak
Thy faithfulness, thy spirit meek,
And say I've naught to fear.
Then stay, my dear, till thou hast done
All that thy mother needed;
Yet just remember there is one
Who will be sadly woe-begone,
His loneliness unheeded.
For well I know that such a wife
Is better far than gold;
And all the joys of bachelor life,
However free from care and strife,
On my mind take no hold.
Just now her brother brings me word
That I must go and see her.
For all the joys this will afford
May I be thankful to the Lord,
And go from care to free her.
Within an hour I see her face
Bedecked with smiles to greet me,
But yet she seems in woeful case,
For marks of toothache I can trace
As she comes forth to meet me.
We spend the night with th' dear old folk,
The moments quickly fly,
While we link-armed start on a walk,
But soon return to sing and talk—
The fire all sitting by.
Upon the morrow then return
To home, “sweet home,” again.
Our hearts afresh with love do burn,
As we at hand our house discern,
And all it does contain.
TO MY DEAR LITTLE BOYS,
JAMES, CHRISTOPHER AND ALFRED.
Three lovely boys who bear my name,
Have all upon me equal claim,
And seem to ask a rhyme from me—
A humble poet as you see.
James, Christopher and Alfred, dear,
You often do my spirit cheer,
Each in his own most charming way,
From hour to hour, from day to day.
James by his often tuneful mood,
And other things best understood
By a fond parent, at the time,
To he as sweet as music's chime.
In him, though young, my eye can trace
A something in his pretty face
Which shows strong passion lurks within
That childish breast—the fruit of sin.
I also think I truly see
A trait somewhat too miserly.
I may be wrong—I hope I am,
For 'twould be sad in my sweet lamb.
Then Chris, what must I say of him,
Who shows us many a little whim?
But with it all displays affection
For one so young in much perfection,
And can forget his sorrows all,
Though his young heart he filled with gall.
If but his mother seem to cry
he upward turns his bright brown eye,
And asks so earnestly a kiss
That we're compelled to love our Chris.
Once, dear child, O strange to tell,
From brother Willie's knee he fell
And sadly burned his little arm,
Which greatly filled us with alarm.
He cried, as might have been expected,
And quick relief was not neglected.
But while his heart was fit to burst,
He spied a wound on Mamma's hand,
And though his own w as far the worst,
The sight of Hers he could not stand.
He ceased his crying, gave a sigh,
“Poor Mamma's sore,” [Footnote: A literal fact] became his cry.
My darling child, this act of thine
Makes me right glad to call thee mine.
But I must hasten; one remains
Who well deserves my ablest strains.
This is my Alfred—lovely babe
A smiling cherub sure art thou,
How can I best describe thy charms?
How can I write about thee now?
Nearly four months have passed away
Since thou first saw the light of day;
And in that time we've hardly had
One tedious night with thee, my lad.
By day thy chirruping and smiles
Thy own dear mother's heart beguiles,
And makes me run a dreadful risk
Of falling to idolatry!
But let me tell thee, little Frisk,
This will not do for thee or me!
'Tis time to quit; I cease to write,
And bid my precious babes good night!
JUST LEARNING TO WALK
O, Alfred dear, thou wilt, I fear,
Get burned before 'tis long;
Thy little tricks with fiery sticks
Have called forth this my song.
That roguish eye seems to defy
All I can say or do.
Thy chubby face does not disgrace
The food thou art used to.
Come now, my boy, thy skill employ
In walking to Papa;
Well, now, my child, I own I smiled
To see thee choose thy Ma.
But still I will that thou fulfill
My just commands to thee;
Sometime I shall soon make thee squall
For disobeying me!
And now a walk or else some talk
I do insist upon;
But mind that chair or thou wilt fare
Not cry well, my son!
Thy limbs are strong, so don't be long,
Nor mind that little mountain;
Ah, down he goes! and out there flows
Big tear-drops from their fountain.
Fear not, my son, thou hast well done;
I'll wipe thy tears away,
And lie in hopes on Life's rough slopes
Thou wilt not go astray.
Now come again, I can't refrain
From tuning one more trial;
Don't stagger on so woe-begone,
But use some self-denial.
Thou wilt have need if thou succeed
In life, to use it often,
And I have found in moving round
It does life's trials soften.
Mind thou the stove! nor further rove,
For fear thou get a burning
Let not thine eyes in such surprise
Upon thy Pa be turning.
See, there at last thou hast got past
The dangers which beset thee,
So in my arms, proud of thy charms,
I'll hug thee if thou let me.
I fain would hope that thou wilt cope
With ills besetting mortals,
Depending on God's Arm alone,
And so reach Heaven's portals.
MY LAST INFANT DAUGHTER
On the fifth of chill November
Came my Amie unto me,
Adding one more lovely member
To my numerous family.
Daughter, thou art welcome truly
To the care we can bestow;
May we do our duty duly
While we stay with thee below.
Think not, daughter, we will slight thee,
Since so many claim our love;
Gladly—wish we to delight thee,
As we look for help Above.
Thou art to us, little charmer,
Dear as any child we own;
And our love to each grows warmer
For the sorrows we have known.
Take then, daughter, take our blessing,
It comes forth from loving hearts;
Though we shrink hot from confessing
Oft we fail to act our parts.
Fred, thou art six months old
This very day!
And I no more withold
From thee a lay.
That rosy, smiling face—
Thou need not fear—
Has weeks since claimed a place
'Midst “rhyming gear.”
Thy winning, childish pranks
Make further claim
To set thee in the ranks
Of infant fame.
But when I think what troubles
Thou hast passed through,
The obligation doubles
What I've to do—
In rhyming for thee, Fred,
My dark-eyed boy;
And I have left my bed
To sing the joy.
I feel from day to day
In seeing thee
So full of lively play—
Most sweet to see.
By such most lovely smiles,
Such crowing, too,
Ah, Fred, thy many wiles
Have charmed me through!
'Tis true Ma lost much rest,
By day and night,
Through thee when so distressed.
Which scarce seemed right.
But doubtless 'twill be seen
To be for good,
Since God our Friend has been,
And by us stood.
Then, with this full in view
I 'll close my rhyme,
And hope that it may do
Thee good some time.
TO MY DAUGHTER IDA,
WHEN THREE MONTHS OLD.
Ida, it is a burning shame
That thy short, sweet poetic name
Has not a single lay called forth
From my cranium since thy birth!
Thy pale-face, brown-eyed style of beauty
Every day points out my duty.
Conscience, too, whispers 'tis not right
That I this task should longer slight.
So now I take thee on my knee
And woo the Muse right eagerly,
In earnest hope she'll lend her aid
Until this tribute be well paid.
Ida, thou art of babes the best;
This much at least must be confessed,
Unless thy mother's words are wrong—
Words shadowing forth Affection strong.
Thou art indeed, sweet tempered pet,
As good a child as I have met.
And oh, my heart for thee' has bled,
When thou wert forced to be spoon-fed,
Because of Mamma's trying weakness.
Yet this thou didst still bear with meekness,
And ever from the first thy cries
Had for companions tearful eyes,
And such a mournful, piteous mien
As is not in bad temper seen.
When I saw this thou may'st be sure,
I felt quite ready to endure
Thy tediousness by night or day,
While mother on a sick-bed lay.
Now, as reward for all my toil,
Thou cheerest me by many a smile.
And while I gaze on thy sweet face
Bedecked with every infant grace,
My soul's best feelings are called Forth—
I see in thee increasing worth.
Say, sweetly smiling, pretty creature,
So perfect in each limb and feature,
What means that dreamy sort of look
Thou wear'st at times? Art thou then struck
With wonder at our household ways?
At brother's, sister's childish plays?
I would give something just to know
How thoughts within the mind can grow.
I fancy sometimes thou art thinking
On what's around thee or else drinking
Thou fill of heavenly visions sweet,
Such as would prove to me a treat:
Art silent still? Ah, then, young Miss,
Thou must eve'n give a parting kiss!
Farewell, my dear, my lovely child,
Fair Ida, with the look so mild!
TO MY WIFE,
ON THE THIRTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR WEDDING DAY
SEPT. 26, 1860.
A thousand joys, my darling wife,
Be thine on this our marriage day!
And now I'll sing; for such a life
As we have led deserves a lay
Fresh-gushing from a heart like mine—
By thee well known to be sincere.
O, where are charms compared with thine?
Which, after years of toil appear
More fresh and fair,
Though much of care
Has fallen daily to thy share.
On me old Time has marked his flight—
My outward frame doth tell me this;
But still, sweet dove, my heart's as light
As when at first I found the bliss
Of Ellen's love in silken bands.
And what the future has in store
I know not, but my soul expands
Assured thou lov'st me more and more.
This rapturous thought
With blessings fraught
By gold could never have been bought.
But love—such love as we now feel
Ten thousand ills can face and foil,
And passing years afresh reveal—
We better are for cure and toil!
I would not then my lot exchange
For one where pampered luxury
The hearts of man and wife estrange,
And all is insincerity.
A lot like this,
Devoid of bliss,
Dear wife, may we forever miss!
What though when let but forty-three
I sober Grandpa have become?
With thee, my Ellen, yes, with thee
I can enjoy our humble home;
And the dear children to us given,
With those left by my first loved spouse,
Can by God's blessing make a heaven
For me in yet a poorer house!
The world dreams not
That in our cot
We pure, substantial joys have got.
As thus I sing in gladsome strain
Of my unmatched felicity,
There comes an almost endless train
From the deep founts of Memory,
Of pleasing pictures which retain
Poetic colors lich and rare.
Yet fearing they might make me vain,
I breathe to God this fervent prayer:
Lord, shield me well,
From potent spell
Of syren Pleasures, and Pride quell!
Oh, let us humbly now renew
Our vows to God, my sweetest love!
He then will shed His grace like dew
Upon us all, and bid the Dove
Of steadfast Peace assure our souls.
Thus may we battle on in life,
And as each season forward rolls
Feel stronger for the daily strife
Until at last
Our lot is cast
With those who into heaven have passed.
TO THE SAME,
ON THE TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR MARRIAGE.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1872.
Dear Bride of five-and-twenty years,
I gladly give to thee this song.
That thou wilt spurn it I've no fears,
For love still reigns within thee strong,
And will reign long as life shall last;
For it has stood the fiery test
Of anguished moments in the past—
When out of pain came peaceful rest,
Until our life
Of toil and strife
Is joyful still, my darling wife.
When last I penned a lay to thee
I little dreamt that youthful charms
Would cling to thee at forty-three;
But now the thought my spirit warms
That I can see thee lovelier grown!
While fond affection constant beams
Within thy lovely eyes, light brown,
Thus realizing my young dreams.
For then I thought
The wife I sought
Should bring to me what thou hast brought.
A face lit up with genial smiles,
A heart to love through trials great,
With winning ways, with pleasant wiles,
To cheer me in life's troublous state.
I pictured her both fair and neat,
With voice so soft, with wifely skill,
To make my home a snug retreat
From many kinds of mortal ill.
Such hast thou been,
My own heart's queen,
As good a wife as e'er was seen.
What though we've not attained to wealth?
Have still to toil for daily bread?
So long as God gives precious health,
We have no worldly needs to dread,
For, day by day our table's filled,
Our dearest children constant fed;
With many comforts life to gild,
Our years enjoyably have sped.
Then we'll not care
For larger share
Of riches, which oft prove a snare.
Then, darling, let us battle on,
The future may ev'n brighter prove;
But if it does not we have won
A glorious boon in such true love
As well might smooth a harder life.
And few, I trow, have lived so long
wedded state with joys so rife.
Then fear not, let our hearts be strong
In Christ our Lord,
And let His Word
Yield us the comfort therein stored.
Now, as the ears flow swiftly by,
With crosses manifold to hear,
We still will look to Him on high,
Who has permitted us to share
So much of matrimonial bliss,
And in that bond has kept us true.
Let's deem it best His rod to kiss,
And keep His promises in view.
So, side by side
Our lives may glide
Till death bring us o'er Jordan's tide!
TO THE SAME,
ON THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR MARRIAGE.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1877.
Full thirty years of wedded bliss,
My darling wife, we have enjoyed;
And still I can with rapture kiss
Thy sweet, chaste lips—for I am void
Of every fear that thou wilt fail
To love me till our race is run.
Our mutual love is still as hale
As though we had but just begun
To link our fate
In marriage state,
Where joys for sorrows compensate.
So, filled with sense of God's rich love,
Let us those decades three review;
For though we have with trials strove
To keep our happiness still new,
We've had Religion's holy aid
Still shedding sunshine on our way,
As we pursued our humble trade
And struggled on from day to day.
Our hearts imbued
Call loud for vows to God renewed.
Now looking back through all these years,
'Midst chequered scenes of daily life,
A family of eight appears
For thee to love and serve, my wife!
Thou wert indeed a youthful bride,
But weak in body—not in heart—
As thou my cherished hearth beside
Sat down, content to do thy part.
And well I know
No lot below
Was e'er more free from earthly woe.
In this review I can't forget
How oft in sickness, grief and pain,
Thy loving heart our needs has met,
While solace rich came in thy train.
Nor when thyself on sick bed lay,
Racked with Neuralgia's maddening pangs.
How Patience kept the wolf at bay,
And made him soon withdraw his fangs.
My darling sweet,
'Tis surely meet
I thee with song like this should greet!
Nor yet when by that dreadful fall
Thy limbs were bruised, thy system shook,
How easily I can recall
Each winning smile, each tender look,
As I attempted to alleve
Thy sufferings great for many days.
And while I could not help but grieve,
I saw thy meekness with amaze;
For no dread pain
Could triumph gain
O'er thee, nor did'st thou once complain.
Then, O my darling, join with me
To celebrate our Father's praise!
For he has kept us lovingly
From hankering after worldly ways.
Raise then our Ebenezer high!
Join, children, in my joyful song!
Lay ever disagreement by,
That you in, union may be strong.
Thus let us wait
At Wisdom's gate,
Till Christ in turn shall each translate.
FAREWELL TO MY HARP
Farewell my rude Harp and my still ruder Lyre!
For season your tones may not fall on my ear;
At the bench will hard labor repress rhyming fire,
And Fact over Fancy triumphant appear.
Yet I will remember the exquisite pleasure
For full thirty years freely rendered by you;
How oft in that time you have proved a rich treasure—
Still constant abiding and evermore true.
Again and again bring afresh to my mind.
How in youth your wild minstrelsy ravished my soul
Till I became daily to musings inclined,
And strong, gushing impulse that scarce brooked control.
I oft will recall how you chased away sadness,
As sore family tumbles my heart did affright
When a fond, faithful partner, whose presence was gladness
Was reft from my side—turning day into night!
Nor forget soon the dirges you poured o'er the tomb
Enclosing both her and our infant so dear;
Whose soul-stirring notes dissipated my gloom,
And since have refreshed me through many a year.
Ah, no! those sweet memories, fresh in me springing,
Shall nerve to new efforts in God's holy cause;
And hearing within me your melodies ringing,
I'll steadfastly aim at observing His Laws.