THE EMIGRANT MECHANIC AND OTHER TALES IN VERSE,
TOGETHER WITH Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects
By Thomas Cowherd
The Author of this volume does not feel much apology necessary for its publication, though the world is already flooded with Rhyme, upon almost every conceivable subject, and most of it of a very mediocre character.
Though living but a short time upon a Bush farm, my experiences were of such a practical nature as to entitle me to speak with confidence on many rural matters. The religious opinions so frequently and strongly expressed are the result of a careful study of God's Word, and I feel that for them no apology is necessary.
To learning I make but the most slender pretentions. Born in one of the humblest ranks in life, and going to my trade at the commencement of my 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 acting on the advice of several literary friends I have at last gathered my principal poems together in a permanent form. Should this effort not meet with public favor, the offense—if such it be—is not likely to be 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 measure composed, while working at the bench—to which I am still confined, in order to provide for my family's needs.
If the advice of Pope to some of the Rhymers of his day was needful, viz., "to keep their effusions for seven years," I can say truly most of mine have been kept that period nearly four times over. I would not have the reader imagine that they have necessarily grown better by 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 finished before Mr. McLachlan's "Emigrant" was published, and before I had ever heard of "The U. E.," a beautiful and very interesting Emigrant poem by Mr. Kerby, of Niagara.
My warmest thanks are due the Rev. W. W. Smith, of Newmarket, Ont., for 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 benefitted me, for I can say in the words of Coleridge, "Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward."
THOMAS COWHERD. 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 source from which it springs, viz., conjugal union, faithfully cherished. An appeal to Parents and Lawgivers on the subject. WILLIAM'S training under its influence. Difficulties in procuring 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 consequences. Conclusion.
Holidays. The Schoolboy's anticipations in regard to them. Improper use 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 to Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement. Visit 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.
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. Fresh Love-trials. Consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk. Church bells. 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. Embark at Liverpool.
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 joy. Ship spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enter River. Scenery, Etc. Arrive before Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to Kingston. Thence to Hamilton. Settle near Brantford on a Bush-farm. Shifts for furniture. WILLIAM'S narrow escape from death in logging. His relish of Bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion. Resolutions formed and kept. Remarks incident to it. Conclusion.
Address to Rural Life. Logging Bee described. The feast. Loggers' jests 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 employments. Beginning of their hardships. WILLIAM leaves the bush for village life, 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 of trials. WILLIAM'S sickness. His song on Christian Warfare. Good to himself from its composition. Leaves Bush for village again. Tinkers in the country. Thoughts and feelings in connection with it. Preaches in public under peculiar circumstances. Introduced to his future father- 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 Lewiston. First sight of Rapids. Of the Falls. Song to them. Conclusion.
Address to Hope. Its benefits to WILLIAM. Commences business. Manner of 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 of her. The home provided her. Marriage. A peep at their home afterward. Forced to leave it. A second move. A Love's pledge. Imminent peril of the wife. Unhappy condition of first-born. Church matters. WILLIAM'S 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. COOPER'S gratitude to her for it. Continued Poetical predilictions. Visits with 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 My Garden 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
ACROSTICS: 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"
FAMILY PIECES: 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: Book I Book II
MISCELLANEOUS POEMS: 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 "Bachelor's Fare!" 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 Grumblings 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 Fire Song 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 Alfred To Amelia To Frederic 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."— Gray.
THE ARGUMENT.—Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family. Death of mother and two sisters. The 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, 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 fact, I may state that one of my hero's cousins in England has a gold headed cane, and another a splendid jasper snuff-box, both said to have been 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 faithfully 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 consequences. Conclusion.
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. The 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. Visit 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 at their various excellencies. WILLIAM becomes a Christian. His reception into a Church. Different view 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. Fresh love trials—consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk—Church bells. 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. Embarks at Liverpool.
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. Farewell to England. WILLIAM'S employments on board. Storm described. Reach Banks of Newfoundland. Foggy weather. Icebergs seen. Land seen. Emigrant's joy. Ship spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enter River. Scenery, etc. Arrive before Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to Kingston. Thence to Hamilton. Settle near Brantford, on a bush farm. Shifts for furniture. WILLIAM'S narrow escape from Death in logging. His relish of bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion. Resolution formed and kept. 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.