A CHEQUERED LIFE.
In this book I have scribbled some innocent rhymes, In various moods, and at different times; Some grave and some cheerful, some merry, some sad, Though none may be good, there are none very bad.
KINDNESS WRITTEN AT THE DELAWARE WATER GAP WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM ON READING "GIBBON'S ROME" WRITTEN IN A FRIEND'S ALBUM WRITTEN AFTER A VISIT TO THE INSTITUTION FOR THE DEAF AND DUMB OH! TIME, AS IT FLEETS, DOOMS A JOY TO DECAY ON LEAVING PINE COTTAGE THE MORN AND EVE OF LIFE THE EVENING STAR RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN WRITTEN IN L. J.'S ALBUM THE ALPINE HORN THE GATHERING ROUND THE OAK TREE J. H. ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE THOU GREAT FIRST CAUSE IN A SEASON OF BEREAVEMENT ON A PACKET OF LETTERS REPLY OF THE MESSENGER BIRD HEAVEN AND EARTH HUSH, HUSH! MY THOUGHTS ARE RESTING CONSOLATION IN BEREAVEMENT SUGGESTED BY THE CONVERSATION OF A BROTHER AND SISTER ON THE DEATH OF MY UNCLE, JOSEPH PAUL SPRING OH, FOR A HOME OF REST! LIFE'S STAGES THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL WOODBURN J. & H. C. BACKHOUSE THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT THE LAST LOOK IS TAKEN TO A FRIEND FAREWELL THE LAST DAY THE REUNION ON THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH FRY AND SIR T. F. BUXTON EPHESIANS 4:32 AT A TIME OF DEEP PROVING AS AN EAGLE STIRRETH UP HER NEST WILLIAM FORSTER ALL ALONE
FIRST ATTEMPT AT RHYME.
Kindness soothes the bitter anguish, Kindness wipes the falling tear, Kindness cheers us when we languish, Kindness makes a friend more dear.
Kindness turns a pain to pleasure, Kindness softens every woe, Kindness is the greatest treasure, That frail man enjoys below.
Then how can I, so frail a being, Hope thy kindness to repay, My great weakness plainly seeing, Seeing plainer every day.
Oh, I never can repay thee! That I but too plainly see; But I trust thou wilt forgive me, For the love I bear to thee.
1811. E. P. K.
WRITTEN AT THE DELAWARE WATER GAP.
Great and omnipotent that Power must be, That wings the whirlwind and directs the storm, That, by a strong convulsion, severed thee, And wrought this wondrous chasm in thy form.
Man is a dweller, where, in some past day, Thy rock-ribbed frame majestically rose; The river rushes on its new-made way, And all is life where all was once repose.
Pleased, as I gazed upon thy lofty brow Where Nature seems her loveliest robes to wear, I felt that Pride at such a scene must bow, And own its insignificancy there.
Oh Thou, to whom directing worlds is play, Thy condescension without bounds must be, If man, the frail ephemera of a day, Be graciously regarded still by Thee.
Here, as I ponder on Thy mighty deeds, And marvel at Thy bounteousness to me, While wrapt in solemn awe, my bosom bleeds, Lest recklessly I may have wounded Thee,—
Wounded that Being who is fain to call The heavy-laden and the wearied home; The dear Redeemer! He who died that all Might to his glorious in-gathering come.
1818. E. P. K.
WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM.
Judge we of coming, by the by-past, years, And still can Hope, the siren, soothe our fears? Cheated, deceived, our cherished day-dreams o'er, We cling the closer, and we trust the more. Oh, who can say there's bliss in the review Of hours, when Hope with fairy fingers drew A magic sketch of "rapture yet to be," A rainbow horizon, a life of glee! The world all bright before us—vivid scene Of cloudless sunshine and of fadeless green; A treacherous picture of our coming years, Bright in prospective—welcomed but with tears.
How false the view, a backward glance will tell! A tale of visions wrecked, of broken spell, Of valued hearts estranged or careless grown, Affection's links dissevered or unknown; Of joys, deemed fadeless, gone to swift decay, And love's broad circle dwindled half away; Of early graves of friends who, one by one, Leave us at last to journey on alone.
Turn to the home of childhood—hallowed spot, Through life's vicissitudes still unforgot; The sacred hearth deserted now is found, Or unloved stranger-forms are circling round. In the dear hall, whose sounds were all our own, Are other voices, other accents known; And where our early friends? A starting tear And the rude headstone promptly answer, "Here."
Thus will compare Hope's sketch of bliss to be With the undreamed of, sad reality; Yet this and more the afflicted heart may bear, If Faith, celestial visitant, be there, Whispering of greener shores, of purer skies, Of flowers unfading, love that never dies, A glimpse of joy to come in mercy given, The eternal sunshine of approving Heaven.
1818. E. P. K.
ON READING "GIBBON'S ROME."
And this man was "an infidel!" Ah, no! The tale's incredible—it was not so. The untutored savage through the world may plod, Reckless of Heaven and ignorant of his God; But that a mind that's culled improvement's flowers From all her brightest amaranthine bowers, A mind whose keen and comprehensive glance Comprised at once a world—should worship chance, Is strangely inconsistent—seems to me The very essence of absurdity; Who, from the exhaustless granary of Heaven, Receives the blessings so profusely given, Looks with a curious eye on Nature's face, Forever beaming with a new-born grace, And dares with impious voice aloud proclaim He knows no Heaven but this—no God but Fame. Lord, in refusing to acknowledge Thee, Vain man denies his own reality; But tho' the boon of life he may receive From God, and still affect to disbelieve, What are his views at death's resounding knell? Just Heaven! Sure, man ne'er died an infidel. Stretched on the agonizing couch of pain, All human aid inefficacious, vain, Where shall his tortured spirit rest? Ah, where? The past, all gloom! the future, all despair! 'Tis then, O Lord, the skeptic turns to Thee, Then the proud scoffer humbly bends the knee; Feels in this darksome hour there's much to do— Earth fading fast, Heaven's portals far from view. Oh, what a hopeless wretch this man must be! His very soul weeps tears of agony. Dying he owns there is a God above, A God of Justice, tho' a Prince of Love.
1820. E. P. K.
WRITTEN IN A FRIEND'S ALBUM.
Trust not Hope's illusive ray, Trust not Joy's deceitful smiles; Oft they reckless youth betray With their bland, seductive wiles.
I have proved them all, alas! Transient as the hues of eve; Meteor-like, they quickly pass Through the bosoms they deceive.
Let not Love thy prospects gild; Soon they will be clouded o'er, And the budding heart once chilled, It can brightly bloom no more.
Slumber not in Pleasure's beam; It may sparkle for a while, But 'tis transient as a dream, Faithless as a foeman's smile.
There's a light that's brighter far, Soothes the soul by anguish riven, 'Tis Religion's guiding star Glittering on the verge of Heaven.
Oh! this beam divine is worth All the charm that life can give; 'Tis not false as things of earth, Trust it then, 'twill ne'er deceive.
1821. E. P. K.
WRITTEN AFTER A VISIT TO THE INSTITUTION FOR THE DEAF AND DUMB.
I thought those youthful hearts were bleak and bare, That not a germ had ever flourished there, Unless perchance the night-shade of despair, Which blooms amid the sunless wilderness.
But I was told that flowers of fairest kind Graced what I deemed a desert of the mind, That for these hapless beings man had twined A fadeless wreath to make their sorrows less.
And then I feared, like sunbeams of the morn Which spoil the frost-work they awhile adorn, That rays of light might render more forlorn The expanding bosoms they were meant to cheer.
I feared those glittering beams would vainly show That the best charms of life they ne'er could know, "The feast of reason and the soul's calm flow," The witchery of sound, the bliss to hear.
But when I saw those eyes mirthful and bright, And beaming soft with intellectual light, My groundless fears that moment winged their flight, I felt that joy would on their path attend.
May Heaven this favored Institution bless, Man's "high endeavor" crown with "glad success," And on each patron's noble brow impress The glorious title of "The dumb man's friend."
1822. E. P. K.
Oh! Time, as it fleets, dooms a joy to decay, From the chaplet of hope steals a blossom away, Throws a cloud o'er the lustre of life's fairy scene, And leaves but a thorn where the rosebud had been. It sullies a link in affection's young chain, That, once slightly tarnished, ne'er sparkles again, Spoils the sheaves that the heart in its summer would bind, To guard 'gainst a bleak, leafless autumn of mind.
But a region there is where the buds never die, Where the sun meets no cloud in his path through the sky, Where the rose-wreath of joy is immortal in bloom, And pours on the gale a celestial perfume; Where ethereal melodies steal through the soul, And the full tide of rapture is free from control. Oh, we've nothing to do in a bleak world like this, But to toil for a home in that haven of bliss.
1822. E. P. K.
(Added in 11th mo., 1861.)
"Nay, toil not," saith Jesus, "but come unto Me;" There's rest for the weary, rest even for thee— I have toiled, and have suffered, and died for thy sin; Then only believe, and the crown thou shalt win, The crown of Eternal Life, fadeless and bright, Prepared for all nations who walk in the light.
E. P. G.
ON LEAVING PINE COTTAGE.
When our bosoms were lightest, And day-dreams were brightest, The gay vision melted away; By sorrow 'twas shaded, Too quickly it faded; How transient its halcyon sway!
From my heart would you sever, (Harsh fate!) and forever, The friends who to life gave a charm, What oblivion effaces Fond mem'ry retraces, And pictures each well-beloved form.
Some accent well known, Some melodious tone, Through my bosom like witchery shed, Shall awake the sad sigh, To the hours gone by, And the friends, like a fairy dream, fled.
Long remembrance shall treasure Those moments of pleasure, When time flew unheeded away; Joy's light skiff was near us, Hope ventured to steer us, And brighten our path with her ray.
We sailed down the stream 'Neath her luminous beam, Our spirits were closely entwined; What are joys of the bowl To this calm flow of soul, This heavenly mingling of mind?
Pure Friendship was there With celestial air, Her cestus around us she threw; "Be united," she cried, "Ne'er may discord divide A union so blissful and true."
But those hours are past, They were too bright to last; Joyous moments but seldom are given, That man may be taught, Worldly pleasures are naught,— True happiness dwells but in Heaven.
1822. E. P. K.
THE MORN AND EVE OF LIFE.
So soft Time's plumage in life's budding spring, We rarely note the flutter of his wing. The untutored heart, from pain and sadness free, Beats high with hope and joy and ecstasy; And the fond bosoms of confiding youth Believe their fairy world a world of truth. The thorn is young upon the rose's stem; They heed it not, it has no wound for them.
While yet the heart is new to misery, There is a gloss on everything we see; There is a freshness, which returns no more When fades the morn of life that soon is o'er; A warmth of feeling, ardency of joy, Delight almost exempt from an alloy, A zest for pleasure, fearlessness of pain, That we are destined ne'er to know again.
And what succeeds this era joyous, bright? Is it a cloudless eve or starless night? To those who're busied in life's brilliant dawn With gathering flowers that bloom when spring is gone, And, ere their morning sun begins to wane, Add many a link to fond affection's chain, To Heaven's supreme behest have meekly bowed— 'Twill prove indeed an eve without a cloud.
What though the brilliancy and sheen of day With youthful hours have faded all away; What though the fresh and roseate bloom of spring A fragrance in our path no more shall fling; Yet there's a foretaste pure of joys divine, A quiet, holy calm in life's decline, A moonlight of the soul in mercy given To light the pilgrim to the gates of Heaven.
1824. E. P. K.
THE EVENING STAR.
Hail, pensile gem, that thus can softly gild The starry coronal of quiet eve! What frost-work fabrics man shall vainly build Ere thou art doomed thy heavenly post to leave!
Bright star! thou seem'st to me a blest retreat, The wearied pilgrim's paradise of rest; I love to think long-parted friends shall meet, Blissful reunion! in thy tranquil breast.
I saw thee shine when life with me was young, And fresh as fleet-winged time's infantile hour, When Hope her treacherous chaplet 'round me flung, And daily twined a new-created flower.
I saw thee shine while yet the sacred smile Of home and kindred round my path would play, But Time, who loves our fairest joys to spoil, Destined this hour of bloom to swift decay.
The buds, that then were wreathed around my heart, Now breathe their hallowed sweetness there no more; 'Twas thine to see them one by one depart, And yet thou shinest brightly as before.
So, when this bosom, that 'mid all its woes Has longed thy little port of rest to win, In the calm grave shall find at last repose, Thou'lt beam as fair as though I ne'er had been.
1824. E. P. K.
RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN.
Oh! say, shall those ties, now so sacred and dear, That with rainbow hues tint all our wanderings here, Be regarded no more in that heavenly sphere Whose portal's the grave?
When, "washed and forgiven," our spirits ascend To the home of the blest where all sorrowings end, O, will not a parent, a sister, a friend, Haste to welcome us there?
Shall we see no loved form we have gazed on before, To commune with of times that are faded and o'er? Will the "dear chosen few" be remembered no more In that haven of bliss?
O my heart must believe, 'mid ethereal chimes A gloom would steal over my spirit sometimes, If the friends I have loved, in these heavenly climes, Seemed to know me no more.
But hope fondly whispers it shall not be so; Each purified spirit my bosom shall know, And all unremembered the 'plaining of woe, We'll joy in the Lord.
1824. E. P. K.
WRITTEN IN L. J.'S ALBUM.
Gay visions for thee 'neath hope's pencil have glowed, Peace dwells in thy bosom, a guileless abode; Thou hast seen the bright side of existence alone, And believ'st every spirit as pure as thine own. May'st thou never awake from these rapturous dreams, To find that the world is not fair as it seems, To feel that the few thou hast loved have deceived, Have forsaken the heart that confided, believed, And left it as leafless, as bloomless, and waste As the rose-tree that's stript by the merciless blast.
When the warm sky of childhood was beaming for me, My days were all joyous, my heart was all glee; Affection's best ties round my bosom were spun; No cloud dimmed the lustre of life's morning sun. If I watched o'er my favorite rose-bud's decay, And mourned that its bright tints were fading away, I knew not an anguish more poignant than this, And the morrow's young brow wore a halo of bliss. May'st thou long be a novice to feelings like mine, When the shades of joy's noonday proclaimed their decline, When death has doomed hearts warm as thine to decay, Or frigid estrangement has torn them away.
Oh, I sometimes have questioned, when lingering near The home of the dead, of the friends who were dear, If the brightest enchantments of earth could repair The sad devastation that time has made there; If the joys of the world had a balm to impart, That would act as a charm to the woes of the heart. Yes, there is such a balm, but it comes from above, It is wafted to earth on the pinions of love; 'Tis the spirit of piety, spotless and pure, That teaches us calmly life's ills to endure; When it reigns in the heart, every error's forgiven, It resigns us to earth, and prepares us for Heaven.
1825. E. P. K.
THE ALPINE HORN.
"Just at the close of day the Alpine Horn is sounded from the highest mountain top, and mountain, rock and cave echo the solemn sound, 'Praised be the Lord.'"
When rainbow hues of closing day O'er evening's portals faintly play, The Alpine horn calls far away, "Praised be the Lord."
And every hill and rock around, As though they loved the grateful sound, Send back, 'mid solitudes profound, "Praised be the Lord."
O God! has man so thankless grown, He brings no anthems to thy throne, When voiceless things have found a tone To praise the Lord?
Ah no! for, see, the shepherds come, Though hardly heard the welcome home; From toil of day they quickly come To worship God.
The look that taught their hearts to bow, And childhood's laugh and sunny brow, All, all by them forgotten now In praise to God.
Kneeling the starry vault beneath, With spirits free as air they breathe, Oh, pure should be their votive wreath Of praise to God.
How glorious such a scene must be, When prayer and praise ascend to Thee In one glad voice of melody, Eternal Lord!
All space thy temple, and the air A viewless messenger, to bear Creation's holy vesper prayer On wings to Heaven.
Oh, that for me some Alpine horn, Both closing eve and wak'ning morn, Would sound, and bid my bosom scorn The world's vain joys;
Its treasured idols all resign, That, when Life's cheating hues decline, The one undying thought be mine, To praise the Lord!
1826. E. P. K.
THE GATHERING ROUND THE OAK TREE.
[Written in commemoration of the exclusion of Friends from their meeting-house at Abington.]
Why should "the little remnant mourn?" Though closed the house of prayer, An aged oak its shelter gave; And surely He was there, Who dwells in house not built with hands, Eternal in the skies; Incense nor costly altar craves, Nor lamb for sacrifice; But who the purest offering still Finds in a willing mind, And oft "through paths they know not of," In safety leads the blind. Yes, He was there! The faithful band, "O'ershadowed by His love," Saw in each bough that gently waved A peace-branch from above. Jesus was in the awful pause; The prayer He prompted too; And softly sighed, "Father, forgive, They know not what they do."
While thus they crucify afresh The Lamb of Calvary, O Lord! be merciful to them, Though they are false to Thee. And many a voiceless prayer was borne Up to the throne of God, That none might question Heaven's decree, But bless the chastening rod; That though our pathway thorny be, We fearless might pursue The track our fathers marked with blood, Unmurmuring marked it too. How freely may the little band Accept the chalice given, Till by the Saviour called to swell The symphonies of Heaven; And when their weary pilgrimage, Their day on earth is done, God hath a coronal for those Who trusted in the Son.
1826. E. P. K.
J. H. ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE.
Oh, when I found that Death had set His awful stamp on thee, Deserted on Life's stormy shore, I thought that Time could have in store Not one more shaft for me.
Long I had watched thy lingering bloom That brightened 'mid decay; And then its eloquent appeal Would ask my heart if death could steal Such loveliness away.
And oh! could pure unsullied worth Or peerless beauty save, We had not stood as mourners here, And shed the unavailing tear O'er thy untimely grave.
But we have seen thee lowly laid, And I am here alone; Each morn I shuddering wake to feel The consciousness around me steal, That all my hopes are flown.
All, did I say? Ingrate indeed! Oh, be the thought forgiven; Has he not hopes and interests here, Whose sacred task it is to rear A family for Heaven?
Rebellious heart! some tendril ties Around thee still are thrown; Oh, while this cherub group is mine, Heaven's dearest gift I can resign, And say, "Thy will be done."
ON HEARING IT SAID "THAT IT WAS UNREASONABLE TO SUPPOSE MAN SHOULD BELIEVE WHAT HE COULD NOT COMPREHEND."
"Thou great First Cause," Creator, King, and Lord, The worm that breathed at Thy commanding word, And dies whene'er Thou wilt, presumptuous man, Has dared the mazes of Thy path to scan; Guided by reason's powerless rays alone, Would pierce the veil of mystery round Thee thrown.
Tell me, proud being!—flutterer of an hour— (Who thus would comprehend creative power), Why worlds were made, why man was formed at all, Or crimeless once, permitted then to fall, The why, the wherefore, boots not us to know, Enough—that God ordained it to be so.
Go thou, and cull the simplest flower that blows, The hillside daisy or the wilding rose, And tell me why so bright their hues appear, Why they return with each revolving year; Or how, when countless worlds are all in bloom, O'er every bud is breathed its own perfume. Yes, solve me this, and I'll believe with thee, 'Twas meant that man should doubt all mystery.
Presumptuous worm! enough to know is given— 'Tis fearful meddling with the things of Heaven; Its sacred mysteries belong alone To Him whose paths are awful and unknown; Who wings the storm, or whispers "Peace, be still;" Cradling to rest the mountain wave at will; Who for our souls his Son a ransom gave, And guards "his fold" from childhood to the grave. Confess, proud man, all his known ways are just, And what thou canst not fathom "learn to trust."
1827. E. P. K.
IN A SEASON OF BEREAVEMENT.
Bright summer comes, all bloom and flowers, To garland o'er her faded bowers; There's balm and sunshine on her wing, But where's the friend she used to bring? One heart is sad 'mid all the glee, And only asks, "Oh, where is he?"
He comes not now, he comes not now, To chase the gloom from off my brow, He comes not with his wonted smile The weary moments to beguile. There's joy in every look I see, But mine is sad, for "Where is he?"
Closed is the book we used to read; There's none to smile, there's none to heed; Our 'customed walk's deserted, too; It charms not as it used to do; The fav'rite path, the well-known tree, All, all are whispering, "Where is he?"
This faithful heart is now a shrine For each dear look and tone of thine, And every scene thou used to prize Forever hallowed in my eyes; But oh! how loved those friends shall be Whose tearful eyes say, "Where is he?"
I would not breathe to stranger's ear A name so sacred and so clear, And, when the reckless crowd are nigh, My bosom checks the rising sigh; But when no human eye can see. It bleeding cries, "Ah, where is he?"
Oh, how I miss thy smile of light, "Welcome" at morn and kind "good night!" But, when the quiet eve comes on, I feel that thou indeed art gone. That herald of delight to me Is joyless now, for "Where is he?"
I have not seen the crimson dye, Which sunset gives the western sky, Since on thy couch of death thou lay And watched its glories fade away. Those hues, so oft admired with thee, Would ask too loudly, "Where is he?"
And oh! that orb, on whose mild rays So fondly, too, we used to gaze, And, though far distant, there unite At the same sacred hour of night, Seems sadly now to whisper me, "Thou art all alone,—where, where is he?"
Life was to us no cloudless day, Blossom and blight still marked our way; But sorrow is not skilled to part, It links more closely heart to heart. Yes! and they ever linked shall be— "Summer, oh! tell me, where is he?"
I hear a voice upon the breeze, It speaks of holier ties than these; Of worlds, where farewell sounds are o'er, And Death a victor never more. It bids me for that clime prepare, And sweetly whispers, "He is there."
1828. E. P. K.
ON A PACKET OF LETTERS.
"To-day"—Oh! not to-day shall sound Thy mild and gentle voice; Nor yet "to-morrow" will it bid My heart rejoice.
But one, one fondly treasured thing Is left me 'mid decay, This record, hallowed with thy thoughts Of yesterday.
Chaste thoughts and holy, such as still To purest hearts are given, Breathing of Earth, yet wafting high The soul to Heaven;
Soaring beyond the bounds of Time, Beyond the blight of Death, To worlds where "parting is no more," "Nor Life a breath."
'Tis true they whisper mournfully Of buds too bright to bloom, Of hopes that blossomed but to die Around the tomb.
Still they are sweet remembrances Of life's unclouded day— Sketches of mind, which death alone Can wrench away;
Memorials sad of by-past hours, Gone with the silent dead; Pictured affections, pencilled dreams. Forever fled!
Forever? Are they hushed indeed To wake again no more? Ties dearer far than Life itself With life all o'er?
No! Faith can point to holier climes, And bid the soul prepare For deathless union that awaits The faithful there.
1828. E. P. K.
REPLY OF THE MESSENGER BIRD.
Thou art come from the spirits' land, thou bird! Thou art come from the spirits' land: Through the dark pine grove let thy voice be heard, And tell of the shadowy band!
* * * * *
But tell us, thou bird of the solemn strain, Can those who have loved, forget? We call—and they answer not again— Do they love, do they love us yet?
Yes! yes, I have come from the spirits' land, From the land that is bright and fair, I come with a voice from the shadowy band, To tell that they love you there!
To say, if a wish or a fond regret Could live in Elysian bowers, 'Twould be for the friends they could ne'er forget, The loved of their youthful hours;
To whisper the dear deserted band, Who smiled on their tarriance here, That a faithful guard in the dreamless land Are the friends they have loved so dear.
They have gone to be seen of men no more; But oft on a shadowy hill, Or the crest of a wave where the moonbeams pour, They are watching around you still.
And oft on a fleecy cloud they sail, And oft on the hurrying blast, When slumber her light and magic veil O'er man and his woes has cast.
'Tis true, in the silent night you call, And they answer you not again— For the spirits of bliss are voiceless all; Sound only was made for pain.
That their land is bright and they weep no more, I have warbled from hill to hill, But my plaintive strains should have told before, They love, oh! they love you still.
They bid me say that unfading flowers You'll find in the path they trod, And a welcome true to their deathless bowers Pronounced by the voice of God.
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
Turn from the grave, turn from the grave, There's fearful mystery there; Descend not to the shadowy tomb, If thou wouldst shun despair. It tells a tale of severed ties To break the bleeding heart, And from the "canopy of dust" Would make it death to part. Oh! lift the eye of faith to worlds Where death shall never come, And there behold "the pure in heart" Whom God has gathered home, Beyond the changing things of time, Beyond the reach of care. How sweet to view the ransomed ones In dazzling glory there! They seem to whisper to the loved Who smoothed their path below, "Weep not for us, our tears have all Forever ceased to flow." Take from the grave, take from the grave, Those bright, but withering; flowers, The spirit that had loved them once Is now in fadeless bowers; Undying is the fragrance there, Eternal is the bloom; But the next breeze may waft away This perishing perfume. One fearful stamp, "Doomed to decay," Marks all the joys of earth; Oh! what a resting-place for souls Of an immortal birth! Then linger round the grave no more, Lift, lift the eye to Heaven, Till hues of faith shall gild the gloom, And every sigh's forgiven. Then, when the golden harvest's done, The path of duty trod, Thou with the loved may'st garnered be, And gathered home to God.
1828. E. P. K.
"And the laughter of the young and gay Was far too glad and loud."
Hush, hush! my thoughts are resting on a changeless world of bliss; Oh! come not with the voice of mirth to lure them back to this. 'Tis true, we've much of sadness in our weary sojourn here, That fades, and leaves no deeper trace than childhood's reckless tear; But there are woes which scathe the heart till all its bloom is o'er, A deadly blight we feel but once, that once for evermore.
Oh, then, 'tis sweet on fancy's wing to cleave that bright domain! The loved and the redeemed are there, why lure me back again? The cadences of gladness to your hearts may yet be dear; They have no melody for mine, all, all is desert here. The sunshine still is bright to you, the moonlight and the flowers; To me they tell a harrowing tale of dear departed hours.
I would not cull Hope's blossoms now, they seem of deadly bloom; And can I love the sunshine, when it smiles upon the tomb? When on one little hallowed spot its joyous beams are thrown, That sacred turf—the all of earth—I now may call my own. For there my joys are sepulchred, my hopes are buried there; Yet with that holy earth are linked high thoughts that mock despair; Unfaltering faith, that whispers of a purer world than this, Where spirits that are parted here may "mingle into bliss;" "Deep trust" that all our sinless hopes, which death forbids to bloom, Shall ripen 'neath the cloudless sky that dawns beyond the tomb; Conviction firm that things of time were never yet designed To quench the vast and deathless thirst of an immortal mind.
Then hush! my thoughts are resting on a changeless world of bliss; There is no voice of gladness now can lure them back to this. I look to Thee, Redeemer! Oh! be every crime forgiven, And take the weary captive to Thy paradise in Heaven; Or teach my heart resignedly to say, "Thy will be done," And calmly wait thy summons home, thou just and holy One! Thou mayst have spoiled my cherished schemes, to let my spirit see That happiness is only found, great God, in serving Thee.
1828. E. P. K.
CONSOLATION IN BEREAVEMENT.
'Tis not when we look on the dreamless dead, And feel that the spirit forever has fled; 'Tis not when we're called to the voiceless tomb By the loved who were culled in their brightest bloom; 'Tis not when the grave's last rite is o'er, And we know they are gone to return no more; But, oh! 'tis when Time with oblivious wing A balm to all other hearts may bring; When the dark, dark hours of grief are o'er, And we join the world we can love no more,— That world whose grief for the absent one Passed like a cloud from an April sun; When, amid the mirth that salutes the ear, One tone is gone we had used to hear, One form is missed in that happy train, That will never exult in its sports again; We feel that death has indeed passed o'er, And a blank is left, to be filled no more. But though the world and its witching smile, That cheats the heart of its woes awhile, Would prove in its time of deepest need But the frail support of a broken reed, Religion's beam has the magic power To chase the cloud from its darkest hour, To turn the soul from its idols here, And fix its hopes on a purer sphere; Then land it safe in a port of rest, The haven sure of a Saviour's breast.
1828. E. P. K.
SUGGESTED BY THE CONVERSATION OF A BROTHER AND SISTER IN THE CHAMBER OF A DECEASED AND HIGHLY VALUED PARENT.
My father! Oh! I cannot dwell On hours when we shall meet again; I only feel, I only know That all my prayers for thee were vain.
"Come, brother, take a last farewell; Soon, soon they'll bear him far away."— "No, sister, no,—he is not there, I parted with him yesterday.
"Our father is in Heaven now, Forever free from care and pain; And, if a half-formed wish could bring His sainted spirit back again,
"The selfish wish I would not breathe; 'Twould cloud with woe that placid brow, Round which a seraph seems to wreathe A crown of glory even now.
"How deep the gloom that mantled there! How sweetly, too, 'twas all withdrawn! Thus, ever thus, night's darkest hour Precedes the day's triumphant dawn.
"Oh! while he lingered, struggling still With pain and anguish and despair, The sting of death was felt indeed, And then I wearied Heaven with prayer.
"But when the unfettered spirit fled From earth and earthly cares away, I joyed to think how blest would be Its entrance on eternal day.
"I joyed to think that never more That tranquil breast would throb with pain; Hope pencilled, too, the sheltering port Where parted spirits meet again.
"Oh! I would drain the bitter cup To him in boundless mercy given, A glorious Sabbath-day to win Of never-ending rest in Heaven.
"Come, sister, let us follow him, Though rugged was the path he trod; 'Twill lead us to the 'saints in light,' 'Twill lead us to our father's God."
1828. E. P. K.
ON THE DEATH OF MY UNCLE, JOSEPH PAUL.
Fare thee well, fare thee well, for thy journey is o'er, And the place that has known thee, shall know thee no more; The eye that has seen thee, shall seek thee in vain, And thy kindness will soothe us, oh, never again! Yet we cannot forget thee, for, shrined in the heart, Is the memory of virtues that will not depart,— Generosity, candor, integrity, worth, An assemblage of all that is lovely on earth. Thou wert guardian, guide, and instructor to me, And I lose, with thy children, a father in thee. Thy children, alas! they are orphans indeed. Who now shall direct them in seasons of need? The smile that has blest them will bless them no more, And approval and counsel forever are o'er. But the angel of mercy recorded thy prayers, And in gloom and in sunshine thy God will be theirs.
1828. E. P. K.
Oh! the world looks glad, for the spring has smiled, And the birds are come with their "wood-notes wild," And the waters leap with a joyous sound, Like freedom's voice when a chain's unbound.
And soon with its bloom will the earth be gay, For the air is bland as the breath of May; Sunshine and buds and all glorious things Will give to the hours their downiest wings.
Nature has burst from her wintry tomb, Wreathed with the glory of brightening bloom; Fetters of frost-work are gently unbound, Blossoms and flowers are clustering round.
Bosoms that know not the blighting of care, Sunshine and gladness may smilingly wear; But for the broken and desolate heart Springtime, alas! has no balm to impart.
Tones that are hushed it awakens no more; "Friends that are gone" it can never restore; Yet e'en to the mourner one hope it may bring, 'Tis the type of Eternity's glorious spring.
1829. E. P. K.
OH, FOR A HOME OF REST!
Oh, for a home of rest! Time lags alone so slow, so wearily; Couldst thou but smile on me, I should be blest. Alas, alas! that never more may be. Oh, for the sky-lark's wing to soar to thee!
This earth I would forsake For starry realms whose sky's forever fair; There, tears are shed not, hearts will cease to ache, And sorrow's plaintive voice shall never break The heavenly stillness that is reigning there.
Life's every charm has fled, The world is all a wilderness to me; "For thou art numbered with the silent dead." Oh, how my heart o'er this dark thought has bled! How I have longed for wings to follow thee!
In visions of the night With angel smile thou beckon'st me away, Pointing to worlds where hope is free from blight; And then a cloud comes o'er that brow of light, Seeming to chide me for my long delay.
1829. E. P. K.
To the heart of trusting childhood life is all a gilded way, Wherein a beam of sunny bliss forever seems to play; It roams about delightedly through pleasure's roseate bower, And gaily makes a playmate, too, of every bird and flower; Holds with the rushing of the winds companionship awhile, And, on the tempest's darkest brow, discerns a brightening smile, Converses with the babbling waves, as on their way they wend, And sees, in everything it meets, the features of a friend. "To-day" is full of rosy joy, "to-morrow" is not here: When, for an uncreated hour, was childhood known to fear? Not until hopes, warm hopes, its heart a treasure-house have made, Like summer flowers to bloom awhile, like them, alas, to fade; Cherished too fondly and too long, for ah! the rich parterre, Crushed in its brightest blossoming, leaves but a desert there.
This is life's second stage; the gloss of springtime has passed o'er, The trusting bosom is deceived, but still it trusts the more; Its young affections are bound up within a mother's love, And oh! if blessings ever yet descended from above And rested on an earthly tie to mark approval given, A mother's love, assuredly, is sanctioned thus by Heaven. But soon the ruthless spoiler comes, and all its trust is vain: The eye that beamed so kindly once, will ne'er unclose again; The voice of love that still could soothe when all its hopes were o'er, Alas! those sweetly sacred tones are hushed forever-more; The smile that lingered round its path when other lights had fled, Oh! can it be that blessed smile is buried with the dead? Then what is left the orphan heart thus mournfully bereft? To call its crushed affections home and count the treasures left, With trembling fear to count them o'er, and bitterly to sigh, Remembering they are earthly too,—they, too, alas, must die.
Perchance of its remaining joys, its fondly garnered things, One may be dearer than the rest—to that it fondly clings; And, resting thus confidingly, it half forgets the woe Which changed the orphan's joyous tones to cadence sad and low. And can the stern destroyer find naught else to call his own That he has stamped his fearful mark upon this chosen one? It boots not to inquire the cause, the why it must be so; "It is his victim," this alone is pain enough to know. What's left thee now, poor orphan heart, that entered life so gay, And fondly dreamed 'twould all have proved a bright and cloudless way? Where are the joys that wreathed thee round in childhood's reckless hours? 'Twas thine to watch them droop and fall, like pale, decaying flowers. Where is thy home of love? Ah! well, that thought may cloud thy brow— The dear loved home that sheltered thee is claimed by strangers now; And does that echoing hall repeat no well-remembered tone? The stranger's voice, the stranger's step have there familiar grown.
And where the joyous faces now that circled round the hearth? Gone. Are all gone? Then changed indeed, fearfully changed, is earth! Alas! poor desolated heart, what more remains for thee? (A sad and solitary wreck on life's tempestuous sea)— What but to feel, destroying Time, indeed, has roughly past And blighted fairest dreams of bliss, oh! too, too fair to last; What but to muse on perished joys to which sad memory clings, While pleasure's wrecked and ruined hopes, a mournful band, she brings, Death's trophies, which proclaim his shaft at treasured bliss he threw, And oh! which mournfully disclose his fearful victory too.
Yes, this is life! but life it is without that heavenly ray Which ever throws its purest light upon the stormiest way; Which sweetly gilds the darkest sky and comes like angel voice, (E'en 'mid the wreck of dearest hopes), to bid the heart rejoice; Which flings a smile on sorrow's brow, and sunshine on the tomb, And scatters o'er the bed of death bright buds of deathless bloom. 'Tis true the parting hour will come, "the loved" it cannot save; But it can teach us with a smile to yield them to the grave; To watch with chastened sober bliss the spirit's calm release, Trusting, though life have storms for us, all with the dead is peace. And even while the bosom aches, aches to its inmost core, This heavenly beam can bid it joy that earthly ties are o'er. For oh! our covenant Lord, who ne'er his sacred promise breaks, Has sweetly said, when all the world, the changing world, forsakes, He will be all the world to us; then freely may the heart Resign the fondly coffered bliss that clogs the immortal part, (In holy trust 'twill all be ours when earth has passed away,) And calmly wait the unclouded dawn of an eternal day, Conscious while God is near, earth's best and purest joy is given, For 'tis His holy presence makes the perfect bliss of Heaven.
1829. E. P. K.
SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL.
Shepherd of Israel! o'er Thy fold How sweet Thy guardian care, To them invisible indeed, Yet present everywhere.
Thy crook still points to "pastures green," When rugged paths they see, Beside "still waters" bids them rest, And cast their care on Thee.
The "stranger's voice" thou, Lord, canst teach Their watchful ears to know, And make their "peace," their heavenly peace, Like boundless waters flow.
When round this thorny world we stray And find no place of rest, Then come like "doves unto the ark," Faint, wearied, and oppressed,
Thy gentle hand is soon put forth Each wanderer to receive; Thou bindest up the broken heart, And bidd'st the sinner live.
Why should we fear the storms of time? Thy word their force can stay; Enough, be still! the high behest, Which winds and waves obey.
"Thy will be done" can calm the soul By fearful tempests driven, The holiest anthem sung on earth, The highest heard in Heaven.
1830. E. P. K.
Oh, the brow that has never been shaded by care The rosewreath of pleasure may smilingly wear, And the heart that is wholly a stranger to gloom, 'Mid the din of existence may fearlessly bloom; But the one that is blighted by sadness and pain, And blighted too rudely to blossom again, When its hold on a reed-like support is resigned. Nor peace, nor composure, nor solace can find, Nor strength to submit to the chastening rod, Save only in stillness—alone with its God!
And oh! if a blissful communion with Heaven To earth-wearied spirits has ever been given, If the loved and the distant, the lost and the dead, Who smiled on our pathway a moment, and fled, Who darkened our sunshine and saddened our mirth, To prove that the soul has no home upon earth, Are sent in the night-time of gloom and distress, As heralds of mercy to comfort and bless, To place, while the tempest is fearfully loud, The bright bow of peace on the dark thundercloud, To whisper of purer and holier ties, Of a land where the blossom of joy never dies— Such tidings to welcome, oh! where shall we flee, If not, dearest Woodburn, to silence and thee?
For ah! did the angel of peace over roam, On an errand of love, from her own hallowed home, To gladden a sin-blighted world for awhile, Make the desert rejoice and the wilderness smile, She has certainly paused in her holy career, And closed up her pinions delightfully here. Dear to me are thy shades, when no sound may be heard Save the soul-soothing strains of thy harmonist bird, For they seem on the soft wing of quiet to come, Like celestial melodies luring us home, Faint breathings from Heaven, to bid us prepare For peals of ethereal minstrelsy there.
But oh! when day rests on the portals of eve, As though loath the bright scene of enchantment to leave, While its drapery of gold, hurried carelessly on, Fades away, tint by tint, till at last all are gone, I feel 'tis an emblem of life's little hour, (Thus perish the hues of hope's loveliest flower), And I sigh for repose on that heavenly shore Where the day is eternal, and change is no more.
1830. E. P. K.
SUGGESTED BY THE PRESENCE OF THE ENGLISH FRIENDS, J. AND H. C. BACKHOUSE, IN AMERICA—1831.
... "They that turn many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars forever and ever." ...
They have left their homes and kindred, they are in the strangers' land, The voice of God revealed his will; His will was their command. They crossed the pathless main, nor feared the sadly treacherous wave, For is not He in whom they trust omnipotent to save?
But did no dark forebodings come? Was all at peace within? Did prompt obedience' sure reward e'en with the toil begin? Ah no! for nature's fond appeal would in that hour be heard; Maternity's deep spring of love within the heart was stirred. Perhaps some little cherub form, that it was joy to see, Would climb no more, with sunny smile, its happy parent's knee; Perhaps some gentle household voice, that sighed "farewell" with pain, Might never welcome their return to that loved home again; Then came the thought of glistening eyes, which long had done with tears, Eyes that had kept an anxious watch o'er childhood's reckless years; While mem'ry dwelt upon that last and earnest gaze of love, Which shows the heart withholds its seal from what the lips approve. They feared those silvery locks, that told 'twas almost "close of day," Would to the grave go down, and they, their children, far away! A moment nature shrank—the thought was too, too full of pain— But ah! their Master's strength was made in weakness perfect then; The voice that lulls the billowy deep soon bade the storm be still, Bade them rejoice that they were called to do his perfect will; To execute with fearless trust the holy high command,— "Go, and glad gospel tidings spread, over a distant land, And beams of heavenly peace around your guarded path shall play, Peace that the world can never give, nor ever take away." But has the fearful sacrifice at last been made in vain? And shall no trace within our hearts, no deathless trace remain? Bright record, that with us awhile their dwelling place has been, Preparing temples for their Lord's high service to begin. Oh yes, I trust, a fount of light and life they have unsealed To many a thirsting, fainting soul, a Saviour's love revealed; Have taught "that in his service there is perfect freedom" still, That 'tis the highest bliss of Heaven to do his sovereign will, And if a humble suppliant may bow before Thy throne, My Father! and a blessing ask on hearts to her unknown, Oh! grant for them "the lines may fall in pleasant places" here, "Beside still waters" bid them rest, and feel that Thou art near. Thou hast Thyself declared, that great their recompense shall be, Who have "forsaken all" to love and follow only Thee; And they have left the "near and dear," the parent, child, and friend; Then in Thy holy name may all these sweet affections blend! And should the world desert them, Lord, oh, be the world to them, The song of their rejoicing here, in Heaven the crowning gem; Thy sacred guidance grant, I pray, o'er life's tempestuous sea, Awhile a gentle course, and then,—a sheltering port in Thee.
3d mo., 1831. E. P. K.
THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT;
OR, GOD'S PROVIDENCE MAGNIFIED IN THE CARE OF HIS CHOSEN.
When darkness over Egypt reigned, A darkness to be felt, Light sweetly shone round Goshen still, The tents where Israel dwelt.
Awestruck, the Egyptians silent lay, They rose not from their place; God's finger had been o'er their land, And left a fearful trace.
The very idols which they served A gloom around them threw, The stream they worshipped turned to blood, The sun his light withdrew.
But Pharaoh's heart was hardened still, He let not Israel go Until Jehovah, King of kings, Struck the last fearful blow.
The first-born on the kingly throne, The first-born in the hall,— God sent his awful mandate forth, And death passed over all.
No house remained in this proud land Which mourned not for its dead, And every street was filled with gloom, And every heart with dread.
At midnight was the message sent— It was an awful hour, Proclaiming man's impotency And God's eternal power.
The mighty monarch, struck with awe, Dismissed the people then; Contending with Omnipotence He felt indeed was vain.
And how were Israel employed When light around them shone? They then prepared the paschal lamb, And stood with sandals on;
Staves in their hands, loins girded too, They waited the command To throw their loosened shackles off, And seek the promised land.
But first they ate the passover, And freely sprinkled round The blood of an unblemished lamb, In whom no spot was found.
And the destroying angel passed Harmless o'er every door Whose side-posts and whose lintels, too, Faith's striking symbol bore.
Now let us pause and ask our hearts If we have aught to learn, If very many teaching things We cannot here discern?
Is there not "darkness to be felt" In Egypt at this hour? And does she not refuse to bow Before Jehovah's power?
And oh! when God's own Israel Would break the oppressor's chain, Does she approach His sacred throne And supplicate in vain?
Ah, no! upon the captive still Is poured a flood of light, While he prepares for better worlds To take his joyous flight.
His bonds are burst, he only waits The omnipotent command To journey forth,—his armor's on, His staff within his hand.
Not settled down in carnal ease, This world is not his home, A pilgrim and a stranger here, He seeks for one to come.
Christ is his holy passover, He has a part in Him; For he applies his blood, in faith, To purify from sin.
But oh! with very bitter herbs It must be eaten still; Suffering is yet the lot of those Who do their Master's will.
And let the Christian not forget, Israel was bid to stay Within the shelter of the tent Until the opening day.
And God is now his people's tent, In Him may we abide; Then though the faith will oft be proved, The patience oft be tried,
An hour of sweet release will come, And all the pilgrim band, By flame and cloud alternate led, Attain the promised land;
And wearing there the crown of joy, And carrying, too, the palm, Eternally ascribe the praise To God and to the Lamb.
6th mo., 1836. E. P. K.
The last look is taken, the last word is said— Haste away o'er the waves, then, glad tidings to spread; Thy Master has called thee, no longer delay, His work it is glorious, haste, haste thee away. Come, set the sails, mariner, now we're off shore, Then weep for the loved ones thou leavest no more; He is faithful who promised, thou heard'st Him declare That all thou intrusts to his fatherly care He will keep in the sheltering fold of his love, Where nothing shall harm them and nothing shall move. He will suffer no plague nigh thy dwelling to come, And His angels shall guard thee wherever thou roam; No weapon shall prosper that's formed against thee, For the truth thou hast loved, shield and buckler shall be. This the heritage is of the child of the Lord, Of him who confides in his covenant word, And freely forsakes, when his Saviour commands, His brethren, and sisters, and children, and lands. Though the ocean may roar, and earth shake with the swell, His home is in Jesus, and all will be well; Though the mountains depart, and the hills may remove, He quietly rests 'neath the wing of His love. He knows that the work of the righteous is peace, That the blessed effect thereof never shall cease; A gracious assurance of quietude here, And bliss without end in a holier sphere. So, Christian, God speed thee, and should the storm lower, Cast firmly thine anchor, and trust in His power. His voice than the billows is mightier far, And His mercy is o'er thee a safe guiding star. But oh! when the clouds have all vanished away, And life smiles around thee, a bright summer's day, When the breeze wafts thee onward, and no rocks appear, Then, Christian, thine hour of peril is near; The world may frown on thee, but oh! should it smile, Come apart to the desert, and rest thee awhile.
1837. E. P. K.
TO A FRIEND.
Ah! be not sad, though adverse winds may blow, Thy patience and thy fortitude to prove; Thy Saviour wears no frown upon his brow,— "'Tis but the graver countenance of love."
Though clouds and darkness round about him roll, In righteousness and truth He sits enthroned; And precious in His sight the immortal soul, For whose deep stain of guilt His love atoned.
He makes our dearest earthly comforts flee, Or, e'en when clustering round us, bids them pall, That thus the "altogether lovely,"—He,— "Chief of ten thousand," may be all in all.
And hast thou not some blissful moments known, Even while bowed beneath the chast'ning rod, When to thy humble spirit it was shown That glorious is the "City of thy God?"
Hast thou not seen the King in beauty there, And has He not assured thy fainting heart, That from His reconciled, His child and heir, The covenant of His peace would ne'er depart?
Has He not fully satisfied thy soul With the pure river of His joy and love, Subdued each murmuring thought to his control, And stayed thy mind on changeless things above?
When He, thou callest "Abba, Father," placed The earnest of adoption in thine heart, Thou wast engraven, ne'er to be effaced,[A] Upon His holy hands, and His thou art.
Then doubt no more, for the omniscient God, All whose mysterious ways are just and true, In life will comfort with his staff and rod, Be near in death, and guide thee safely through.
And when the race is run, the victory given, How sweet with the redeemed to bear the palm, Ten thousand times ten thousand saints in Heaven, Who hymn eternal praises to the Lamb!
1837. E. P. K.
[A] John 10:28.
Fare thee well, we've no wish to detain thee, For the loved ones are bidding thee come, And, we know, a bright welcome awaits thee In the smiles and the sunshine of home, Thou art safe on the crest of the billow, And safe in the depths of the sea; For the God we have worshipped together Is Almighty, and careth for thee.
And when, in the home of thy fathers, Thy fervent petition shall rise For the loved who are circling around thee, The joy and delight of thine eyes, Oh, then, for the weak and the faltering, Should a prayer, as sweet incense, ascend To the God we have worshipped together, Remember thy far-distant friend.
We miss the calm light of thy spirit, We miss thy encouraging smile; But we bless the unslumbering Shepherd Who sent thee to cheer us awhile. The light, which burned brightly among us, We rejoiced for a season to see, For the God we have worshipped together Gave a halo of glory to thee.
But didst thou not point to another, A brighter, an unsetting sun? For thou preached not thyself to us, brother, But Jesus, the Crucified One. May He be thy rock and thy refuge, In Him thy "strong confidence" be; For the God we have worshipped together Still loveth and careth for thee.
Oh! mayst thou abide 'neath the shadow Of Immanuel's sheltering wing, And continue proclaiming the goodness Of Zion's all-glorious King, Till the sun shall be turned into darkness, The moon in obscurity be; And the God we have worshipped together, Be a "light everlasting" to thee.
9th mo. 10th, 1840. E. P. K.
THE LAST DAY.
The God of glory thundereth! who hath not heard His voice, Bidding the sinner tremble, and the pure in heart rejoice?
Yes, yes, the sinner trembleth, for the Judge is on His throne, Rendering to all a recompense for the deeds which they have done, For the mercies they have slighted, and the time they have destroyed, For the idols they have worshipped, and the talents misemployed.
But the pure in heart rejoiceth, because for him doth blend, In the Judge of all the universe, a Saviour and a Friend; He looketh up confidingly, with unpresumptuous eye, And smiling says, "My Father, on Thy mercy I rely!"
The God of glory thundereth! How awful is His voice, Bidding the sinner tremble, and the pure in heart rejoice?
Yes, yes, the sinner trembleth, for his robes are still defiled, To the God of love and purity he is not reconciled; Yet He is seated on His throne in fearful, dread array, Before whose face both heaven and earth shall swiftly flee away.
But the pure in heart rejoiceth, for his robes are free from stain, And not one dark, defiling spot shall cleave to them again; Made white beneath the fountain which flowed from Jesus' side, So as "no fuller on the earth could whiten them" beside.
The God of glory thundereth! still louder is His voice, Bidding the sinner tremble, and the pure in heart rejoice.
Yes, yes, the sinner trembleth, for his day of grace is o'er, The Bridegroom hath arisen, and closed is mercy's door; That grace he long resisted, how did it plead in vain! And now its sweet persuasive strains will ne'er be heard again.
But the pure in heart rejoiceth, his lamp is burning bright, And welcome is the cry to him, though heard at dead of night, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!" Oh, what joy to enter in Where the nations that are saved, their Sabbath shall begin.
The God of glory thundereth! yet louder is His voice, Bidding the sinner tremble, and the pure in heart rejoice.
Well may the sinner tremble, and quake with fear and dread, For the last trump is sounding and the sea gives up her dead. The Books, the Books are opened! awestruck his eyes behold That in the unfolded Book of Life his name is not enrolled.
But the pure in heart rejoiceth, he hath heard a welcome home; With songs of joy and gladness unto Zion he is come; "Well done, thou faithful servant! to thee it shall be given To see thy Saviour as He is, and reign with Him in Heaven."
But the great men and the captains and the chief men, where are they? And the sellers of the souls of men upon this fearful day? They are calling on the mountains and on the rocks to fall, And hide them from the wrath of Him who died to save them all.
1845. E. P. G.
THE REUNION OF SIR T. F. BUXTON AND ELIZABETH FRY.
They have met, they have met! now their pinions unfurl In that city whose pavement is gold, Whose every gate is of one liquid pearl, And her beauty and glory untold;
That city, which needeth no light from the sun, Where the moon sheds her lustre no more, But where, in the smile of the Crucified One, Countless myriads bow down and adore.
One by one are the loved ones all gathering there, In white robes they encircle the throne; Oh! what bliss to unite where sin cannot blight, And where parting and death are unknown.
They are come to Mount Zion, the city of God; They are joined to the glorified throng; One pathway of sorrow by all has been trod, All sing one harmonious song.
Omnipotent Lord, just and true are Thy ways! Thy works great and marvellous are! Oh! who shall not fear Thee and echo Thy praise, And Thy glory and honor declare.
1845. E. P. G.
ON THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH FRY AND SIR T. F. BUXTON.
Ye have met, ye have met, disencumbered of pain, Of sorrow, and sickness, and care; And the slave and the prisoner, now freed from their chain, Have rejoicingly welcomed you there.
The true light now shines and the darkness is past, For that which is perfect is come, And your pure loving spirits are gathered at last, In their only congenial home.
May the balm of your memory steal through the soul, Like a gale from Arabia the blest, Exert o'er the feelings a sacred control, And hush every murmur to rest!
In the world we shall seek your resemblance in vain, Your places shall know you no more; Yet who by a wish would recall you again? For the days of your mourning are o'er.
The King in His beauty your eyes now behold, He has sweetly dispelled all your fears; To the well-spring of waters the Lamb leads His fold, And God wipes away all their tears.
Great grace was upon you, and oh! unto us May a manifold portion be given, That through pardoning love we may mingle above. A circle unbroken in Heaven!
1845. E. P. G.
"The accuser of the brethren!" How fitting is the name! Since the creation of the world His business is the same;
Bringing false accusations, Sowing the seeds of strife, Watching the halting of the saints, And striking at the life.
If with the aspersed one he should fail, The asperser's sure to fall; For, losing Christian charity, Have we not lost our all?
Ye know not, vain contenders, What spirit ye are of; Alas! ye are weak "defenders" Of "the faith that works by love,"
Which purifies the feelings, And makes all sweet within, Tenders the heart before the Lord, And keeps the spirit clean.
Go and adorn the doctrine Ye are feigning to approve, And seek for strength to follow Him Whose first, best name is Love.
But cease from defamation; The poet says 'tis worse To steal his reputation Than rob him of his purse.
Look home, look home, defamers, There's business there for you; Weed well your own deceitful hearts, You'll find enough to do.
Perhaps that God, before whose glance Each soul unveiled appears, Sees that thy brother's work is done, While thine is in arrears.
Then leave, ah! leave the little mote Which thou, and thou alone, Mark'st in his eye, and take away The beam that blinds thine own.
Thou hast had much, yea much forgiven; Then is it just and right, From him, who is thy fellow worm, To exact the utmost mite?
"Judge not," the blessed Jesus said, "Judgment is mine alone; He only who has never sinned Should dare to cast a stone.
"But love thy neighbor as thyself, His friend, his helper be, And show that mercy unto him Which God has shown to thee."
1845. E. P. G.
AT A TIME OF DEEP PROVING.
Poor throbbing heart! the battle wave of life Beats strong against thee, yet thou strugglest on, Breasting the mighty billows, though no kind, well-known voice, When the great mountain wave threatens to o'erwhelm, Whispers the soul-reviving words, "Be of good cheer, The port is nearing fast!" Instead of this Is heard the mournful moan of the discourager, Portending peril, shipwreck, loss of all. But ah! poor struggling heart! An eye is over thee, a Father's eye, Of tender love and pity. There is ONE Whose voice is mightier than the noise Of many waters, who sitteth on the flood And reigneth King forever. He sees thee breast the wave, upheld alone By childlike trust and confidence in Him, And through the storm is heard His gentle tone, "Daughter, be comforted,—thy faith hath saved thee."
12th mo., 1850. E. P. G.
The Lord's portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness. He led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.—DEUT. 32: 9-12.
T. E.'s Sermon.
When the eagle finds her brood is fledged, She stirreth up the nest; Gently she fluttereth over it, And breaketh up their rest.
She taketh them, she beareth them, She spreadeth abroad her wings, Then soars aloft to a purer air Above terrestrial things.
Thus, when the heart with the cares of time Is burdened and oppressed, 'Tis only the parent hand of love That is stirring up the nest.
He found us in the wilderness When no strange god was nigh, He instructed us, He kept us As "the apple of His eye."
Now His wing is fluttering over us And stirring up the nest, For the Lord alone is leading us To His bright and glorious rest.
The shining host of ransomed ones There worship and adore; Fulness of joy their portion is, Pleasure forever more.
Then be glad when the Father teaches us That this is not our rest, And bless the hand of sparing love That stirreth up the nest.
For those who know no chastisement Are not the sons of God; He chooseth His adopted ones Beneath the chastening rod.
Thus, when the fond heart reareth up A little ark of rest, How soon the fluttering wing is heard That stirreth up the nest!
But ah! He spreadeth it abroad, And teacheth us to soar To the realms of cloudless blessedness, Where change is known no more.
1850. E. P. G.
Ah! know ye not in Israel A prince is fallen to-day, A just man, from the ills to come, In mercy called away!
The Church is clothed in mourning, Who shall supply her loss? A standard bearer's quit the field, A soldier of the cross.
On mission high and holy He braved the watery main, And many a faithful heart rejoiced To welcome him again.
Thrice had the veteran warrior Nobly forsaken all, And trod our western wilderness Obedient to His call,
Whose voice he knew from childhood, And followed where it led, For perfect love reigned over him, And banished fear and dread.
Meekly he journeyed onward, Unmoved by praise or blame; The mark was always kept in view, And steady was his aim.
Unfaltering trust in Jesus Had ever nerved his arm; He knew His shield of love was near, Protecting him from harm.
Like Paul, he "went from house to house," And boldly preached the word, And many souls, accepting it, Were gathered to the Lord;
While from his heart and from his lips, As onward he would pass, Fell gentle benedictions, As showers upon the grass.
Nor from the galling chains of sin Alone he sought to free; However named, the bondsman claimed His whole-souled sympathy.
Bending beneath a weight of care, A pilgrimage of years, Before the rulers of the land Behold him plead with tears!
For poor down-trodden Africa He lifts his latest breath, And, with her name upon his lips, Sinks in the arms of death.
Thoughts of the distant and the loved Came thronging to his heart; He felt 'twere sweet to be with them, Yet sweeter to depart.
"Better to go and be with Christ," Were the blest words he said; Then, in the midst of bonds and chains, The enfranchised spirit fled;
And in a far-off stranger land, Near Holston's billowy wave, A voice is calling silently From that lone martyr's grave.
Oppressor, list its meaning! It is to thee it calls; Ah! heed the solemn warning voice Before the judgment falls.
It tells thee that a martyr's prayers Are heard in highest Heaven, That soon the shackles of the slave In mercy shall be riven.
God will avenge his own elect Who are groaning to be free; His promises are sure: "He will Avenge them speedily."
But where will be the oppressor In that soul-searching day, When perfect truth and equity Have undivided sway?
Quailing before the majesty Of the Omniscient One, Dealers in slaves and souls of men Will feel their work is done;
And, bowed beneath that word of God Which pierces like a sword, Call on the rocks to hide them From the presence of the Lord.
But Mercy's voice is whispering, Immanuel died to save, And he designs rich fruit shall spring From that lone martyr's grave.
1854. E. P. G.
Alas! they have left me all alone By the receding tide; But oh! the countless multitudes Upon the other side!
The loved, the lost, the cherished ones, Who dwelt with us awhile, To scatter sunbeams on our path, And make the desert smile.
The other side! how fair it is! Its loveliness untold, Its "every several gate a pearl," Its streets are paved with gold.
Its sun shall never more go down, For there is no night there! And oh! what heavenly melodies Are floating through the air!
How sweet to join the ransomed ones On the other side the flood, And sing a song of praise to Him Who washed us in His blood.
Ten thousand times ten thousand Are hymning the new song! O Father, join Thy weary child To that triumphant throng!
But oh! I would be patient, "My times are in Thy hand," "And glory, glory dwelleth In Immanuel's land."
1875. E. P. G.