A Holiday Gift
BY MISS SARAH S. MOWER.
The Authoress of "THE SNOW-DROP" has been misfortune's child. Disease laid its relentless hand upon her in early childhood. It deprived her of a common school education and the world's sweet intercourse. Such has been its nature, that, except on one occasion, she has not been able to leave home for more than six years.
"THE SNOW-DROP" would never have appeared had not life's wintry hour given it birth! It was written to beguile tedious time. Winds, as they played through groves that surround her aged father's retired and humble dwelling, sweet songsters, as they caroled from spray to spray, and the ripple of the Androscoggin, as it glided past, to her ear, were nature's sweet minstrels, that cheered her heart in solitude and inspired her, too, to attempt the artless strains of nature.
This little work, at the suggestion of her friends, is presented and dedicated to the benevolent public, humbly hoping and trusting that it may give pastime to the leisure hour, impress more fully moral and religious sentiment, and afford some little return for the thought she has bestowed upon it.
Sweet little unassuming flower, It stays not for an April shower, But dares to rear its tiny head, While threat'ning clouds the skies o'erspread.
It ne'er displays the vain desire To dress in flaunting gay attire; No purple, scarlet, blue, or gold, Deck its fair leaves when they unfold.
Born on a cold and wintry night, Its flowing robes were snowy white; No vernal zephyrs fan its form— It often battles with the storm.
It never drank mild summer's dew, But chilling winds around it blew; And hoary frost his mantle spread Upon the little snow-drop's bed.
I love this modest little flower;— It comes in desolation's hour The barren landscape's face to cheer, When none beside it dares appear.
Just like the friend, whose brightest smile Is spared, our sorrows to beguile; Who like some angel from the sky, When needed most, is ever nigh—
To pluck vile slander's envious dart From out the wounded, bleeding heart, And raise from earth the drooping head When all our summer friends are fled.
And shall these humble pages dare Presume to ask, if they compare With that fair, fragrant, precious gem, Plucked from cold winter's diadem?
'Tis true both struggled into life, Through scenes of sorrow, care and strife; This poor, frail, intellectual flower Was reared in no elysian bower.
No ray of fortune on it shone,— It forced its weary way alone; Up-springing from the barren sod, Untilled, save by affliction's rod.
[Footnote 1: A white, fragrant flower, the earliest that appears.—Language.—"I am not a summer friend."]
MY BIRTH PLACE
Where "old Blue" mountain's healthful breeze Swept o'er the green hill-side, My little fragile bark was launched On life's uncertain tide.
There verdant fields and murm'ring brooks Invited me to roam; Old towering trees their heads upreared Around my quiet home.
When morn unveiled her blushing face, The sun came peeping in; His quiv'ring beams upon the wall, Checked by the leafy screen.
Oft in some sweet sequestered dell, The blushing flow'ret smiled; And threw around a pleasing spell, For me, an artless child.
The fragrant blossom peeping up, From out the mossy sod, Caused my young thoughts from earth to rise And soar to nature's God.
In summer, when I wandered forth, Beneath the deep green shade, Or when mild autumn walked the rounds, In gorgeous robes arrayed—
Music, in nature's softest strains, Stole through my little breast;— 'Twas something I could not define, Nor could it be expressed.
While some admire the pompous pile, Or glitt'ring, costly dome, I'd gaze upon those ancient trees, Round that sweet rural home.
THE OAK AND THE RILL:
OR, INDOLENT WEALTH AND HONEST LABOR.
COMPOSED FOR THE FRANKLIN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
To find employment for my pen, I wandered from the haunts of men, And sought a little rising ground, With lofty oaks and elm trees crowned, Where I might court the friendly muse, Who ever thinks herself abused When woo'd 'midst tumult, noise and strife, And all the busy cares of life. With senses quite absorbed in thought, While all beside seemed half forgot, I wandered on till I had strayed Beneath an oak tree's ample shade, Whose lofty top towered up so high, It seemed aspiring for the sky. Just at the basement of the hill, A modest little purling rill Shone like a mirror in the sun,— Flashing and sparkling as it run. The lofty oak scarce deigned to look Upon the little murm'ring brook, But tossed his head in proud disdain, And thus began his boasting strain:— "I've lived almost since time began, The friend and favorite of man; Since I became a stately tree, Cradled within my branches, lay The young pappoose, who gayly smiled, And listened to the music wild That floated round his tiny head, While through my top the breezes played. In after years to me he came, When wearied in pursuit of game; He from my branches plucked his bow, To slay the deer and buffalo; Here, with his friends, he'd often meet To sing the war-song, dance, and eat. 'Twas here he woo'd the dark-eyed maid, And built his wigwam in my shade; To me he brought his youthful bride, And dwelt here till with age he died. His children thought no place more meet To make his grave than at my feet; They said 'twould greatly soothe their woes If I would let him here repose; Then begged that I would deign to wave My verdant branches o'er his grave. And since the polished white man came, He's loved and honored me the same; Though all the neighboring trees around Were slain, as cumberers of the ground, Yet here I tower in grandeur still,— The pride and glory of the hill. My dauntless spirits never quail At earthquakes, hurricanes, or hail; The rolling thunder's fiery car Has never dared my form to mar; I've heard its rumbling undismayed, While forked lightnings round me played; But O, thou little murm'ring brook, How mean and meager is thy look;— Babbling, babbling, all day long,— How I detest thy simple song. I would not have thee in my sight, Did not all nobles claim a right To keep some menial servant near, And therefore 'tis that thou art here. As I am always very neat. I'll deign to let thee wash my feet;— Such work becomes one in thy place,— To drudge for me is no disgrace." The spirit of the brook was stirred, But still her voice had not been heard, Had not a zephyr, ling'ring round, In friendly mood, caught up the sound, And flying round the monarch's head, Breathed in his ear the words she said. The streamlet, with a deep drawn sigh, In silv'ry tones, made this reply: "Illustrious oak, pray deign to hear, 'Twill not disgrace thee—none are near, And I this once a word would say, As I am wending on my way;— Behold that path wind through the grass, Where many by thee daily pass; See, where it ends, just on my brink, Then frankly tell what thou dost think. Both man and beast, when they are dry, Come here and find a rich supply; And many come for pleasure too, When they have nothing else to do. Bright pebbles in my waters lie, Which have a charm in childhood's eye; And little children stray from home, Upon my sunny shores to roam;— With me they play their artless pranks, And gather flowers along my banks;— Sweet flowers that shun thy gloomy shade, And hither come to ask my aid. The poet loves my 'simple song'— With me he often tarries long; He tells me that he wanders here, To catch some new and bright idea, Which makes his tuneful numbers roll, In music that enchants the soul. And people too of every class, Come here their leisure hours to pass; I often feel the warm embrace Of ruby lips upon my face, For those who never bend the knee To haughty monarchs, just like thee, Will fall down prostrate at my side. And kiss the face thou dost deride. Thou sayest, thou art very neat, And I, the slave to wash thy feet! Should all the streamlets cease to flow, Not one on earth could e'er be so. Our strength propels the busy mills, And all the land with plenty fills,— They bring, some silver—others gold— And shield the poor from winter's cold. The vapors, which from us ascend, To vegetation are a friend;— In dew they soon descend again, Or fall in fruitful showers of rain. Were there no brooks, there'd be no bread— Then tell me, how could man be fed? No man, nor beast, or plant, or flower, Without us could survive an hour;— The feathered songsters of the grove. Would cease to chant their notes of love. Earth would become a scene of gloom— One vast extended direful tomb.— And I must tell thee, ere I go, That thy proud head would soon lie low,— Thou 'dst fade and wither, droop and die, And in the dust neglected lie. Yet still no praise belongs to me— I do not sympathize with thee; I never can be proud and vain, And imitate thy boasting strain; But humbly on my way I'll plod, For I receive my strength from God."
These farmers and mechanics, here, Much like the little brook appear; Reared 'midst fair Franklin's hills and dells, Where proud ambition seldom dwells; They view their hands for labor made, And think that God should be obeyed; Then grasp the plough and till the soil— It yields rich fruit, and corn, and oil, By which the multitude are fed. And blessings o'er the land are spread. Mechanics next should take a stand Beside the yeoman of our land; Where'er enlightened men are found, They're showering blessings all around. Yet time would fail should I rehearse Their brave exploits, in simple verse; But there's a class, (I hope not here,) Who, like the boasting oak, appear; They think their hands were never made To wield the distaff, plough, or spade;— Their taper fingers, soft and fair, Are made to twine their silken hair, Or place upon a brow of snow, Their gold and diamond rings, to show. Their dainty lips can sip ice-cream, Or open with convulsive scream, Whene'er they meet the farmer's cow, The ox, or steer, which draws the plough. Should the mechanic's labor cease, 'Twould wound their pride—destroy their peace; Their flaunting garments, light and frail, Would quickly fade, wear out and fail. Soon, soon, they'd come with humbled pride, To him whom they could once deride, To ask a shelter from the storm, And clothes to keep their bodies warm. Should farmers their rich stores withhold, Their lily hands would soon grow cold;— No more their lips would curl with scorn, At him who grows and brings them corn;—- You'd see them kneeling at his feet, To beg for something more to eat; And plead with him their lives to save, And snatch them from an opening grave.
Now let us, like the little brook We've heard of in the fable, Employ our hearts, our heads and hands, In doing what we're able; Till all Columbia praise our deeds, And nations, o'er the waters, Will tune their harps and chant their song, For Franklin's sons and daughters.
COMPOSED FOR A DONATION GATHERING.
The armies of Isr'el round Mount Sinai stood, And heard, 'midst its thunders, the voice of their God; All silent and awe-struck they heard the command— "Bring unto the Lord the first fruits of your land."
These words are as sacred, their import the same— As when they came pealing through Sinai's dread flame,— The banner of Jesus should soon be unfurled, And waving in triumph all over the world.
Salvation's glad tidings! Oh send them abroad! And tell the poor pagan that there is a God! Let those who are toiling in dark heathen lands, Find Christians all ready to strengthen their hands.
Yet let not your gifts and your offerings all roam;— Remember the servant of Jesus at home; He's spending his strength and his life in the cause,— From wells of salvation pure water he draws.
The wells are our Father's, but still they're so deep, That shepherds are needed to water the sheep; And shall they thus labor and toil for our good, And we not supply them with clothing and food?
How can we still hope that our souls are new born, And muzzle the oxen which tread out the corn!— Did God care for oxen, or did he say thus, Designing to give some instruction to us?
St. Paul has explained it and told what to do— "Who preaches the gospel must live of it too;" Some say, were we able we'd give with delight; But think of the widow who cast in her mite!
What though we've no money to pamper our pride, She kept not a penny for wants unsupplied; Yet Jesus beheld her and sanction'd the deed, And promis'd in future to shield her from need.
Cast your bread on the waters; obey the command,— The Lord will restore it; His promise will stand; Who give unto these, in the name of the Lord, A cup of cold water, shall have their reward.
THE MARRIAGE VOWS.
COMPOSED TO BE SUNG ON A WEDDING OCCASION, AUGUST 1ST, 1847
O 'tis an interesting sight, When youthful hands and hearts unite! The Lord himself was pleas'd to own That man should never dwell alone.
A rib he took from Adam's side, And from it made a blooming bride; In Eden's bowers he placed the pair,— Then joined their hands in wedlock there.
The nuptial ties by God were bound, While angels chanted anthems 'round; Then mounting on swift pinions sang, Till heaven's high arch with music rang.
The Lord is present still to hear,— The words you breathed have reached his ear; And his recording angel, now, Is writing down the marriage vow.
Wilt thou, the bridegroom, till the end, Still prove the fair one's faithful friend, Who leaves her childhood's happy home, With thee through future life to roam?
She trusts her fragile bark with thee,— O steer it well o'er life's rough sea. And with an undivided heart, Wilt thou, fair maiden, act thy part?
As pure let thine affections be, As those white robes now worn by thee; O keep the sacred holy trust, Till these fair forms turn back to dust.
On seraph wings then may you soar, Where friends are never parted more; There with the Lord may each reside, And Jesus own you as his bride.
WRITTEN UPON THE DEATH OF MISS ELLEN N ... OF JAY.
ADDRESSED TO HER RELATIVES.
Ye gaze upon that fair young brow, Where death's pale shade is resting now;— Well, well may grief suffuse your eyes,— Yet let no murm'ring thought arise, To stain with guilt affection's tear, Which falls upon the loved one's bier. Tears are the antidote of grief,— Kind nature sends them for relief. While death a prisoner Lazarus kept, The Son of God stood by and wept;— And, father, here are tears for thee, The babe that prattled on thy knee, And grew in beauty by thy side, Till warm affection's glowing tide Gushed from the fountain in thy breast, To cherish her who made thee blest. But now, to thee no more appears This light of thy declining years; No more her smile brings joy to thee, When tempest toss'd on life's rough sea. Fond mother, where's the rosy child Which once upon thy bosom smiled?— In her thou daily didst rejoice,— She caught her language from thy voice; When she had learned to lisp thy name, New love with those sweet accents came. Soon did this bud of promise bloom, But oh, it blossomed for the tomb!— Each art, which thy fond care has tried, The fell destroyer's power defied. And brothers, ye, too, weeping stand— Pale death has robbed your household band Well may stern manhood melt in tears, The playmate of your early years Before you lies in death's cold sleep— 'Tis manly, then, for you to weep. No more will little Walter share Her love, her counsel, and her care; And thou, lone sister, now must feel What simple words can ne'er reveal;— Thou callest many sister yet, In tones which they will ne'er forget; Yet no such love their bosoms fill, As throbbed in that which now lies still. You oft, in love, each other greet, But no such melting glances meet, As ever have been wont to shine, When Ellen's speaking eyes met thine. Those eyes, which such pure love revealed, In death's deep slumbers now are sealed; But I have watched the cloud that fades, While earth was wrapped in twilight shades, And quickly found the loss repaid By beauties which the heavens displayed; Anon, a sweet and pensive light Came stealing o'er the brow of night,— The stars shone out from depths profound, Like bands of angels hov'ring round, Who look from off each lofty seat, To watch lest snares beguile our feet. Though this was airy fancy's dream, Yet still it doth an emblem seem, Of her who lies before us now With such calm beauty on her brow. Death's icy fingers plucked the rose, But could not steal the grand repose Which adds such pure, celestial charms To this pale form, clasped in his arras. Though fancy far from reason strayed, When stars were guardian angels made, Yet she, perchance, is one indeed: The spirit, from its bondage freed, May still be hov'ring, while they sleep, Around those friends who o'er her weep.
Composed For Mrs. M.G.M. of Jay.
"We lay her in the earth, and from her fair And unpolluted flesh may violets spring." Shakspeare.
With flowing tears, dear cherished one, We lay thee with the dead; And flowers, which thou didst love so well, Shall wave above thy head.
Sweet emblems of thy dearer self, They find a wintry tomb; And at the south wind's gentle touch, Spring forth to life and bloom.
Thus, when the sun of righteousness Shall gild thy dark abode, Thy slumb'ring dust shall bloom afresh, And soar to meet thy God.
UPON THE DEATH OF REUBEN, PELEG B. CHARLES, SUSAN AND MARY A. WING,
(Children of Mr. Reuben and Mrs. Lucy Wing of Livermore,) who died within the space of 2 years and 8 mouths, between the ages of 15 and 21 years.
Just like the rainbow in a shower,— Like clouds that vanish in an hour. Or some fair fragile vernal flower. They passed away.
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it.—Scripture.
A peaceful dwelling, once we found, Where dwelt the bright eyed laughing boy; Fair blooming sisters clustered round, Fond parents eyed the group with joy.
But death, who feeds on tears and woe, Beheld this happy youthful hand; Then bade his pale companion go And smite them with his with'ring hand.
The son, just launched on manhood's tide, The doating father's prop and stay,— The tender mother's joy and pride,— Became the fell destroyer's prey;
While tasting bliss without alloy, Thrice happy with his youthful bride. Alas! how frail all mortal joy, When cast on life's tempestuous tide.
Hygenia lends her aid in vain,— No balm can heal his aching breast,— Nor anxious friends relieve one pain, Or give the sinking suff'rer rest.
Patient and uncomplaining still, He smiles and cheers each weeping friend; Faith, love and grief, their bosoms fill, While he draws near his peaceful end.
He calmly bids his friends adieu; My lovely bride, he cries, farewell! By faith fair Canaan's land I view, Oh may we there together dwell.
Do'nt weep for me, dear mourning friends, I'm not afraid to meet my God; The chief of sinners pardon finds, Washed in the Savior's precious blood.
He sleeps in Jesus and is blest; I hear the sacred word proclaim, That all shall find eternal rest, Who trusted in their Savior's name.
Nor has the pale destroyer done, Although one victim is at rest;— He plucks his dagger from the son, And plants it in a daughter's breast.
The blooming Susan feels the blow,— Her ruby lips turn deathly pale,— She cries, Oh! mother, I must go,— This fatal weapon cannot fail.
The blushing rose forsakes her cheek,— The lily now usurps its place;— But still she's patient, mild and meek, She daily grows in ev'ry grace.
Though fading, yet more lovely still. She twines around each kindred heart, While this dread truth their bosoms fill, That they with her must shortly part.
The long feared fatal hour draws near,— Deep silence hushed the mourning throng, Yet still her feeble voice they hear,— Dear mother, falters on her tongue.
That name her infant tongue first learned, It trembled on her latest breath;— Yet a deaf ear the monster turned, And hushed the tender sound in death.
A placid smile is on her brow;— Does filial love still linger there? Or does her convoy angel now Breathe heavenly music in her ear?
Long ere a springing blade appeared Upon that daughter's new made grave,— Consumption cries, Oh! be prepared, Another blooming form I crave.
A youthful son was now his prey,— Whose rising merits win each heart,— A noble mind beams from his eye,— Fair virtue dwells in his young heart.
Yet pale disease now lurks around, His active limbs their vigor lose; But lo! he hears the joyful sound;— The gospel brings him glorious news.
What though his earthly house decays, And swiftly sink life's ebbing sands; He's one eternal in the skies, Not made by dying, mortal hands.
While friends ask, must you go so soon, Oh must we part with you to-day? He, smiling, says, I crave the boon; Joyful I go without delay.
My Savior cheers the lonely vale, His smiles of love dispel the gloom; Oh then how can my courage fail— Why should I dread the peaceful tomb?
The Savior blest this lowly bed, And robbed the monster of his sting; My Lord will raise me from the dead,— Give me a harp and bid me sing.
Behold this lovely, youthful saint, In raptures close his dying eyes; He yields to death without complaint, And soars triumphant to the skies.
Voracious grave! thou ne'er wast cloy'd! Thy constant cry has been for more, Since Abel, thy first victim, died; Yet thou art eager as before.
Once more death bends the fatal bow,— Again he seeks a shining mark; Another blooming son lies low,— Death steals away the vital spark.
Though far from home and those dear friends Which soothe his grief and crown his bliss, His heavenly Father comfort sends,— The Holy Spirit whispers peace.
He seeks the dear paternal hearth, To die by his fond parent's side; To him the dearest friends on earth, Who with a smile each tear would hide.
A few short weeks he lingered there, While heav'nly peace reigned in his breast; He cries, my friends, oh now prepare To meet where sorrows ne'er molest.
Though earthly friends are dear to me, I feel them twining round my heart, A friend in heaven, by faith, I see, Who bids my joyful soul depart.
Dear mourning friends, now dry your tears; Bid ev'ry murm'ring thought be still; My mind is free from doubts and fears,— I sink into my Savior's will.
With smiles of vict'ry on his brow, And heav'nly transport in his breast, Well pleased, he leaves this vale of woe, And like an infant sinks to rest.
Down through the portals of the sky Descend a glorious shining band. Who waft his soul to joys on high, And blissful scenes at God's right hand.
Nor does the monster yet relent,— Four blooming victims he has slain, Yet on another now intent, He bends his fatal bow again.
And must this only daughter go, Ere half her budding graces bloom? Yes, cruel death will take her too, To swell his numbers in the tomb.
See on her cheek the death rose bloom, And smile with a deceitful glow; 'Tis the red banner of the tomb, To warn her friends that she must go.
With bleeding hearts they feel the rod, And weeping, lay her in the grave, Yet with submission yield to God, The precious jewel which he gave.
But when the trump of God shall sound, To call each sainted sleeper home, Should they, with ev'ry child, surround The mighty conq'ror of the tomb—
They'll cry, oh Lord, thou ever just, Behold is and our children here! Thou didst in love give them to us, And we resigned them to thy care.
Now we will chant Redemption's sung, Which Gabriel never learned to sing, Nor one of all th' angelic throng,— To Jesus, prophet, priest and king.
THE ROSE AND LILAC TREE.
No garland, fresh from Eden's bowers, Could be more sweet than these dear flowers To each surviving friend; They'll water them with falling tears, And nurse them through succeeding years, And from each ill defend.
Bloom on, each weeping parent cried,— My daughters planted you and died,— You are most dear to me; Each now in smiling beauty stands, Where placed by these fair youthful hands,— Sweet rose and lilac tree.
Bloom on, bloom on, perfume the air,— I love to see you flourish there, And in bright beauty bloom; Each tiny leaf I hold most dear, Although you oft call forth a tear For loved ones in the tomb.
Bloom on, sweet flow'rs, while yet you may; Your fading leaves will soon portray The lovely, fragile form, Which passed from earth while skies seemed fair, Like vapors quiv'ring in the air, Before a coming storm.
I gaze upon these opening flowers— They bring a dream of blissful hours, When brighter germs were mine; Once on my throbbing bosom lay Sweet budding blossoms, fair as they, Fraught with immortal minds.
'Neath summer skies these flow'rs will fade— Fair emblems of the youthful dead, But spring restores their bloom. Just so the saints that droop and die, When Gabriel's trump shall rend the sky, Will leave the mould'ring tomb.
They'll leave this dull, this earthly sod, And, in the garden of our God, Bloom with celestial grace, Where frost and mildew ne'er can blight; There, all enraptured with delight, God's wondrous works they'll trace.
[Footnote 2: The Rose and Lilac trees, referred to above, were planted by two youthful sisters a short time before their death.]
Composed on the death of Mrs. Mary M. West, of Jay.
Dear Mary, while thou art in heaven, at rest, We're mourning thy absence, bereft and depressed; For thou wert so faithful, so winning and kind, That our hearts' ev'ry fibre around thee entwined.
How oft have we listened, unwilling to part, While sweet heavenly music gushed forth from thy heart, Till angels in glory, well pleased with the strain, Re-echoed it over the heavenly plain.
The sound of thy voice we can never forget, Thy last parting smile sweetly lingers here yet; And since thy freed spirit to heaven was borne, Our hearts crave the boon o'er thy mem'ry to mourn.
Adieu, dearest Mary, thy spirit has flown To those blissful regions where tears are unknown; No trials assail thee, no troubles or fears,— The smile of thy Savior has dried up thy tears.
No more shalt thou weep o'er thy dear Henry, dead— For now by his side thou art resting thy head; Thou now dost behold him in glory above. But Jesus, thy Savior, outvies him in love.
Transported with joy, with thy Savior at rest, Though angels are singing, you'll praise him the best. Bright glories, unfolding, still burst on thy view— The song thou art chanting will ever be new.
Thy sun at its zenith on earth ceased to shine, But beams with new lustre in regions divine; For ages eternal 't will ever shine on— Still gath'ring new splendor from God's dazzling throne.
[Footnote 3: Husband of Mrs. W.]
Occasioned by the sudden death of J.W.N.
The short lived, fragrant, vernal flower, Which blooms and withers in an hour, With him may well compare; His life was like the meteor's light, Which shone and vanished from the sight— Dissolving in the air.
Not so the thrilling ties that bind The loved one's image to the mind— It lives and brightens there; Engraved upon each bleeding heart, Which cannot, will not, deign to part With such a jewel rare.
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF S. WHITE, OF LIVERMORE, WHO DIED DEC. 25TH, 1842, AGED 26.
Why do these tears bedew our eyes? Why heaves the breast with bursting sighs? We've seen a friend depart; In vain we tune our harp and sing, We cannot touch that thrilling string, Which vibrates in the heart.
Engaging, graceful and refined, Frank, open, generous and kind, Was our departed friend; His mental powers were deep and clear,— His ardent friendship, most sincere, With life alone could end.
His heart could feel for others' woe— How oft his footsteps, soft and low, Fell on the suff'rer's ear! Each word he spake, their grief to quell, Seemed waters gushing from a well, Whose fount was deep and clear.
In early years he mourned for sin, And prayed for garments white and clean, Washed in the Savior's blood. He journeyed on for many years, Amidst temptations, doubts, and fears, But found a pard'ning God.
His lustrous eyes are dim in death, His voice passed like the zephyr's breath, That heart has lost its lone; But while we weep around his dust, That soul its prison doors hath burst, And worships 'round the throne.
But shall we murmur and complain? Shall our warm tears descend like rain Around his early grave? While kindred dear must weep and mourn, More sacred tears bedew his urn Than ever friendship gave.
That brother, who with him has played Beside the brook, or in the shade Where feathered warblers sang, And sported by the river side, Or o'er the ice taught him to glide, While merry laughter rang—
His love increased with growing years, One were their hopes, their joys, their fears, Their Savior, too, was one. That brother's grief must be severe, Yet from his lips we hope to hear, "My Father's will be done."
Like ivy, round some youthful pine, Did Julia's warm affections twine Round his fraternal heart; Through adverse scenes they struggled long, Which rendered nature's ties more strong, But they, alas! must part.
Should fell disease assail her now, Place his pale signet on her brow, And chill her heart with fear; No more he'd stand beside her bed,— Bathe her parched lips, and aching head, And strive her mind to cheer.
She'll range the paths where they have strayed, And wander through the silent shade, And ask, "is brother here?" She'll view the grave, and that will say There's naught within but mould'ring clay, No more will he appear.
That sister, who hath sought a friend To share her grief till time shall end, Must still in tears be drowned; Although a partner soothes her grief, And kindly strives to give relief, And children cluster round;—
She sees their glossy ringlets flow, In clusters o'er each little brow; They speak of days gone by, When she with brother often strayed, O'er hill and dale and flow'ry glade, Where golden sunbeams lie.
A fair young friend, whose aching heart Now feels affliction's keenest dart, Must long in sadness weep; Her brightest hopes are fled away, Alas! her sweetest joys decay, They in the grave must sleep.
Her heart still bleeds at every pore, That much loved form she'll see no more, Till Gabriel's trump shall sound; We trust they'll then in raptures rise, To that blight world above the skies, Where tears no more are found.
His aged parents feel the blow; Long since they gazed upon his brow, And blessed their infant boy; Trembling with age, we hear them say, "This dear support is torn away, What now can yield us joy?
"Long years we watched our lovely plant, With care supplied its every want, And hoped it long might bloom; But fierce disease has laid it low, Reckless of tears that 'round it flow. And laid it in the tomb.
"Long, long we nursed his fading form, And strove to shun the gath'ring storm, Which threaten'd in the sky; Yet from our bleeding bosoms torn, Our darling son leaves us to mourn; Who can his place supply?"
But could their vision now extend To those bright realms where dwells their friend, Their tears would cease to flow; They'd long to leave this dusky sphere, And from their lips we soon should hear, "Dear Savior, let me go."
No more they'd wish the seraph here, To wander in this vale so drear, And lay his glory by; To suffer years of grief and pain, And cross cold Jordan's stream again, To reach the joys on high.
THE SISTER'S LAMENT
LINES SUGGESTED BY THE DEATH OF E. TORRY, OF PORTLAND
Oh, Edward, dear Edward! how precious that sound, I seek for an equal—it cannot be found; In tones soft and pensive it visits my ear,— I fain would believe thou art hovering near.
Since thy happy spirit to heaven has fled, Art thou with me by day, by night round my bed? I visit thy grave and bedew it with tears, To share in my sorrow, no Edward appears.
On earth 't was thy pleasure to soothe all my grief, To wipe off my tears and to bring me relief; Thy heart's warm affections were lavished on me, I've spent happy moments conversing with thee.
My counselor, playmate, my guide, and my friend, On whom I might always in safety depend, In paths of fair virtue my feet thou hast led, Where vice, that foul monster, dares not show his head.
Nor was all thy kindness bestowed upon one; Thou wast an affectionate, dutiful son; Thy dear honored parents drank deep of thy love, None ever shared more but thy Father above.
Thy father now sinks 'neath a burden of woe, His once brilliant eyes now with tears overflow; Thy mother sits weeping, thy fond brothers sigh, The dear little children cease playing and cry.
Fair nature is wearing a mantle of gloom, Deep sorrow sits brooding all round our sweet home; The soft venial zephyrs come sighing along, The streamlets are murm'ring a sad, mournful song.
The gray twilight shades come attended with gloom, While like a dark pall they encircle thy tomb; When soft showers descend, something whispers to me, That tears from the clouds are descending for thee.
No star spangled heavens nor cool shady bowers, No deep ancient forest or fair fragrant flowers Can fill up the void that I feel in my breast, Although thou art tuning thy harp with the blest.
In dreams I behold thee when I am asleep, It cheers up my spirits and I cease to weep; Enshrined in my heart thy fair image shall dwell, I'll keep it there always, I love it so well.
LINES UPON A LOCK OF HAIR.
I'll weave a bracelet of this hair,— Although these locks so hallowed are, It seems like sacrilege to wear Such relics of the dead.
I've seen them clust'ring 'round a brow Which drooped beneath affliction's blow, And slumbers in the church-yard now, With all its beauty flown.
The hand that dressed these locks with care, And 'ranged them 'round that brow so fair, And oft clasped mine with friendly air, Is turning back to dust.
And closed those eyes, whose radiant beams Surpass'd imagination's dreams, Yet whisp'ring still, were but faint gleams Emerging from the soul.
Farewell, dear friend, these locks I'll keep, Till in the grave with thee I sleep; There, like thee, may I cease to weep, And, with thee, wake to sing.
SUGGESTED BY READING AN ACCOUNT OF THE LAST HOURS OF MRS. SARAH JUDSON, SECOND WIFE OF THE LATE LAMENTED DR. JUDSON, OF BURMAN.
"I am in a strait betwixt two, let the will of the Lord be done."—Judson's Offering, 231st page. These were the words of Mrs. Judson a few days previous to her death, when questioned as to her desires respecting the issue of the affliction under which she was suffering.
Life's trials and dangers will all soon be o'er, I feel myself nearing the heavenly shore, I'm weary of wand'ring, oh! fain would I rest With Jesus, my Savior, and sleep on his breast.
I'm weary and thirsty, my spirit has flown Almost to that river which bursts from the throne;— I'd range its fair borders, and plunge in its flood, And join with the angels in praising my God.
I'd rest in the shade of that tree, growing near, Which yields its rich fruit every month in the year; Its leaves are so healing, no sickness comes there, To mar the new song as it floats through the air.
I think of the rest in those regions above,— My soul spreads her pinions and soars like a dove,— Yet I'm drawn back to earth by one tender tie, Which oft clogs my wings;—then, oh! how can I fly!
I think of New England, my fair native land, The friends of my childhood, that dear faithful band, Who're waiting to greet me with hearts full of love, Not knowing my bark will cast anchor above.
To see me, my kindred impatiently wait,— I think of those dear ones,—my soul's in a strait,— My father, my mother, my dear orphan son,— Oh Lord, decide for me, let thy will be done'
Dear shepherd of the Burman sheep, Where have they laid thee down to sleep? Beside thy long lamented Ann, Or 'midst thy charge at Aracan? Or does that palm tree o'er thee wave, Which shadows thy dear Sarah's grave? I pause, and drop the silent tear,— In mournful tones, a voice I hear, Exclaiming, "Earth affords no space For Judson's last calm resting place." Ye spicy groves, perfume each breeze That steals along the Indian seas,— For we have felt a pang of woe, Since, plunged in awful depths below, Our much lamented Judson's clay, Must 'neath its rolling billows lay, Where monsters of the ocean creep, 'Round him o'er whom the nations weep. No stone directs the stranger's eye To where his sacred relics lie, Nor can the weeping Burmans come To shed their tears around his tomb. And when their work on earth is done, No mourning daughter, wife, or son Can rest from toil the weary head, Beside him in his ocean bed. But while we shrink from such a grave, He rests as sweetly 'neath the wave As though in Auburn's bowers he lay, Where sunbeams through green branches play, And roses, wet with tear drops, bloom Around th' unconscious sleeper's tomb. Let no rude wind, no angry storm, The ocean's heaving breast deform,— 'Tis hallowed as dear Judson's bed, Until the sea gives up its dead. Though mortals weep with fond regret, The Lord that spot will ne'er forget; He will a faithful record keep,— He knows where all his children sleep. Though monsters should that form devour, 'Twill rise in beauty, strength and power; That voice, which rends the tombs and graves, Will sound through all the ocean caves; Then 'roused by heaven's eternal King, He'll tune his golden harp and sing; While, quick as thought, to join the song, Will Burman converts round him throng, And on that bright auspicious morn, Like jewels his rich crown adorn.
SUGGESTED BY A REMARK MADE BY THE REV. WINTHROP MORSE, WHILE ADDRESSING A CONGREGATION ASSEMBLED ON THE BANKS OF THE SANDY RIVER, UPON A BAPTISMAL OCCASION.
The writer of the following, though but a child, was present, and, for the first time, witnessed the administration of that solemn ordinance.
"We're trav'ling to eternity," God's faithful servant cried, As he addressed the multitude That thronged the water's side.
"We're trav'ling to eternity," He said with tearful eye,— Then come, dear friends, and choose the path That leads to joys on high.
"We're trav'ling to eternity," The convert seemed to say,— I'll trace the path my Savior marked, Though through these waves it lay.
"We're trav'ling to eternity," Was echoed from the stream, Like me your days will swiftly glide, Or like a fleeting dream.
"We're trav'ling to eternity," The Holy Spirit said,— And sweetly whispered to the soul, "I'll be thy heavenly guide."
"We're trav'ling to eternity," That sentence reached my heart, I trembled lest I there should hear That awful word, "depart."
Yes, trav'ling to eternity, While overwhelmed with guilt,— Afraid that Jesus' pard'ning love, By me would ne'er be felt.
"We're trav'ling to eternity,"— It rings upon my ear; The hills which echoed back that sound, Still to my heart are dear.
"We're traveling to eternity," Said that dear faithful friend, Whose image in my mem'ry lives, And will, till life shall end.
"We're traveling to eternity," Soon, soon we there shall meet, And is my deathless soul prepared, That friend in heaven to greet?
Am I a Christian far astray, And slumb'ring on enchanted ground; Or did my feet ne'er find the way, Which Bunyan's humble pilgrim found?
Whence was that strange delight I felt? Why did the gospel charm my ear? What caused this stubborn heart to melt? Why was the Savior's name so dear?
Why was the fountain of his blood, So precious in my mental eye? Why did such deep sensations crowd Around the scene on Calvary?
Why did the Godhead shine so bright? Why did I love the garb he wore, Alike, when justice claimed his right, And when sweet mercy's name he bore?
Did airy phantoms fill my brain?— Did vain delusions cheat my soul?— Must those bright hopes prove false and vain? And must I miss the heavenly goal?
* * * * *
"There is joy in Heaven, in the presence of the angels, over one sinner that repenteth."—Scripture.
What's this that breaks upon my ear? Music sweet; From golden harps, methinks I hear Glorious strains! "There's joy in Heaven," the angels sing, "A soul repents and owns our King;" From Heaven to earth the echoes ring, Pard'ning love!
The warrior left the battle field,— Jehovah there had been his shield,— He heard his solemn vow. The foe had in confusion fled, While thousands on the field lay dead, All, all were vanquish'd now.
Though that brave heart was cased in steel. Which flashed forth wrath that all might feel, Who Israel's right oppressed; Yet, in its sacred chambers rose As pure a flame as ever glows Within a parent's breast.
He turned him to that sacred spot, Where one loved being shared his lot,— (It was an only child;) Though long she'd wept and quaked with fear, When "victory," fell upon her ear, She wiped her eyes and smiled.
Like as the lark outspreads her wings, And, while she's soaring, sweetly sings To charm the listener's ears, The maiden, springing from her seat, Flew forth, her coming friend to greet. Her father now appears.
As her light footsteps pressed the ground, Melodious music floated round, Forth gushing from her heart. "Alas! my child," the father sighed, "What sent thee here, my love?" he cried, "To tell that we must part?"
"Thy father made a solemn vow,— He sees, he feels his error now, Yes, made a vow to God; And he will claim my darling now, He bids me pay that awful vow, And pay it with thy blood."
"But how can I thy life destroy? Thou art my solace, hope, and joy, My cherished only child." The lustre beaming from her eye, Seemed caught from radiant orbs on high, So brilliant, yet so mild.
"Pay to the Lord thy vow," she said, "God's altar is a pleasant bed, From thence to heaven I'll rise. The Lord has answered thy request, Israel is free, our land at rest, I'll be thy sacrifice."
* * * * *
"Like a lost sheep I have gone astray."—Psalms.
Like sheep that wander far astray, Nor ask the shepherd's care, Did I forsake the narrow way, Nor seek my God in prayer.
I wandered in a desert wild. Where snares beset me 'round; Trifles and toys my feet beguiled, And all my senses drowned.
Though clouds encompassed me around, In darkness on I sped, Still wand'ring on enchanted ground, Till hope seemed almost fled.
I murmured, at the righteous hand That held the chast'ning rod, Like one that could not understand The precepts of his God.
Well might the Father's smile depart, The Savior hide his face, And God, the spirit, shun my heart, That foul polluted place.
We never find the heavenly dove Perched on an idol throne; Those, who would share Jehovah's love, Must worship him alone.
* * * * *
"And the vail of the temple was rent in twain."—Scripture.
Come, with your guilt and sin oppressed, In Christ there's pardon, peace and rest; Come, humbly bow before his feet, No vail conceals the mercy seat.
Come, boldly to a throne of grace, The vilest here may find a place,— For that dark vail was rent in twain, When Christ, the heavenly lamb, was slain.
Come, rear no altar, slay no beast, Our Savior now is great high priest, He rent the vail, to make it plain, That free access should hence remain.
TO A LONG ABSENT RELATIVE.
Is Thy native land forgotten? Wilt thou still a wand'rer be? Have New England's hills and valleys Lost their every charm for thee?
Is thy native land forgotten? Tell me, dost thou feel content, Far from that loved rural dwelling Where thine infant days were spent?
Is thy native land forgotten, Where glad parents, filled with joy, Prayed for heaven's richest blessings To attend their infant boy?
Is thy native land forgotten, Laud where thou first drew thy breath, Where those sainted parents watched thee, Where they closed their eyes in death?
Is thy native land forgotten? Or dost thou revere the sod Where thy heart for sin was broken, Where thy soul found peace with God?
Is that sacred stream forgotten, Where, immersed beneath the flood, Saying, "I with Christ am buried, And henceforth will live to God?"
Is that hallowed spot forgotten? Or does fancy paint it now, With bright angels hov'ring o'er it Waiting to record that vow?
Are thy brothers all forgotten, Playmates 'neath New England's skies? When thy sisters' names are mentioned, Do no warm emotions rise?
Is that wasted form forgotten, Ling'ring 'round cold Jordan's shore, Praying death to stay his arrow Till she hears thy voice once more?
Can that sister be forgotten? Thou art twining 'round her heart: Come, and let her eyes behold thee, Let her soul in peace depart.
Is that river's shore forgotten, Where in childhood, oft we strayed; Where the grape in purple clusters, Ripen'd 'neath the elm tree's shade?
Tell, dear friend, hast thou forgotten, When beneath the apple tree, That fair group of young companions, Joined in merry sport with thee?
That old apple tree has withered, And has vanished from the plain; But that group are all still living,— Come, and meet with us again.
TO THE WIFE OF THE ABOVE.
Fair daughter of a sunny clime, And bride of him we love, The grief of those who mourn his loss, Hath power thy heart to move.
E'en now we love thee for his sake, But not for his alone, For in thy heart, a chord we find, That vibrates with our own.
We love thee, while thy feet still roam Far on a southern shore; But lead that wand'ring brother home, And we will love thee more.
Come, range New England's verdant hills, And breathe our healthful air, 'Twill tinge thy cheeks with brighter bloom, And make thee still more fair.
Come, while the vernal zephyrs blow, And wake to life the flowers; Come, while the feathered warblers sing Through all our woodland bowers.
What though our leaves will fade and fall. And chilling north winds blow, And all New England's hills and vales, Lie buried deep in snow!
Snug dwellings and warm clothing still Have power to keep us warm,— We sit around the fireside then, And smile to hear the storm.
Come, with thy partner, to that home Which once he called his own, Which his long absence oft has made Most desolate and lone.
Welcome, twice welcome thou shalt be, Yes, welcome as his bride; Welcome, I trust, for virtues too, Which in thy heart abide.
Come, see the grateful tears of joy Stand trembling in the eye Of those, who never can forget The lost one, till they die.
Come, feel the deep impassioned grasp Of each extended hand, Which welcomes that lost wanderer back To his dear native land.
[Footnote 4: The lady addressed is a native of the south.]
COME HOME TO NEW ENGLAND.
TO E.E.W. OF TEXAS.
Come home to New England, the land of thy birth, All nations still call her the queen of the earth. Oh! come with thy partner and sweet rosy child, Where friends in life's morning, around you have smiled.
Come, gather wild flowers, from the brookside and dell, And fruit from the orchard you once loved so well, And feast on the sugar, fresh made from the grove, Where you and your brothers delighted to rove.
Come, sit in the shade of the clustering vine, Whose tendrils around the old elm tree entwine. Come, range o'er the intervale, island and plain, And live o'er the days of thy boyhood again.
Thy Father in heaven seems acting his part, He keeps those alive, once so dear to thy heart. Thy brothers and sisters, and nieces a score, And nephews, are waiting to greet thee once more.
Our Susan, the baby that clung to thy knee, And prattled around thee in infantine glee, Has grown up, she's married and two blooming boys Have stirred in her bosom a fountain of joys.
You start and exclaim, can the story be true! I fear that you'll stay till she's grandmother, too. You've staid for our infants to grow up and wed, Our young men are old, our old ones are dead.
Yes, white hairs are clustering round many a crown, Which wore, when you left them, rich tresses of brown. One dear faithful sister has faded-and died, Don't stay till the others both lie by her side.
At night I behold thee, I laugh and I weep, Alas! I awake, 'tis the vision of sleep; Disheartened with pleading, and pleading in vain, Perhaps I may never entreat you again.
A SISTER'S DEPARTURE.
I saw the tear trembling in sister's blue eye, In bright smiles she vailed it, full well I knew why. That moment stern duty had called us to part, Emotion was struggling for vent in her heart.
She asked, "will some angel in mercy descend, And from all afflictions each loved one defend? Or must pain and sickness make sweet home forlorn? Will death send an arrow, ere I shall return?"
Dear sister, my thoughts did in unison flow, My heart will be with you wherever you go; By day, in my fancy, thy image I see, And sleep brings refreshment when dreaming of thee.
A SISTER'S COUNSEL.
"Be cheerful," thou saidst; that sweet sentence I heard, Though filled with emotion, I spake not a word; 'Twas music, more soothing than steals through the trees With green tresses waving in twilight's cool breeze.
"Be cheerful," thou saidst, when about to depart. In tones that said plainly, we come from the heart. We think of thee sister, when absent or here, And wish not thine eye to be dimmed by a tear.
"Be cheerful," thou saidst, but, O how can I be, When thou, my dear sister, art absent from me? Sweet home looks so vacant, so lonely and drear, I cannot be cheerful as when thou art here.
"Be cheerful," thou saidst, when about to depart, And conscious that grief was oppressing my heart. I thank thee, my sister, thy counsel was good, I fain would obey thee, I wish that I could.
TO A FRIEND ON PARTING.
Julia, let fond remembrance cling Around the parting hour; Unfading let that garland be, Late plucked from friendship's bower.
Lurid and dark our path would be, Uncheered by friendship's rays; Incense divine, thy hallowed flame Lights up our darkest days.
Absence and time can ne'er destroy Pure friendship's chrystal streams; Near us the loved one lingers round, And greets us in our dreams.
No brighter chain this earth can boast, Than twines 'round kindred hearts; Brilliant and fair the links remain, Though fate rends them apart.
Alas! that we so soon must part. Ere budding friendship's bloom; Remain, sweet germ, within each heart, And thrive beyond the tomb.
Receive, dear friend, these parting lines, Though humble they appear; Earth, with its joys, are fading fast, With all that love us here.
Then may we be prepared to soar Where ransomed spirits blend; There may our souls in love unite, Where friendship fears no end.
FAREWELL TO A BROTHER.
Farewell, farewell, my dearest brother, Thou must be absent for awhile, May no dark clouds around thee gather, May health and fortune on thee smile.
In fancy's dreams, I'll oft be with thee, On thy fond heart my image bear, And while I hope again to meet thee, The pleasing thought my heart shall cheer.
AN ADOPTED BROTHER.
The home of thy childhood thou didst not forget, The friends which dwelt with thee are dear to thee yet, Thy warm friendly greeting betokens it now, The smile of pure friendship still beams from thy brow.
I knew that thy heart was so faithful and true, Thou wouldst not forget, though thou bad'st us adieu; For thou didst rejoice with us when we were blest, And sympathize with us, however distressed.
Say, wilt thou remember us, while thou dost live, And cherish our virtues, our frailties forgive? O think of us always, where'er thou dost roam, For thy living image dwells ever at home.
But there is a home which is better than this, The inmates all drink at the fountain of bliss; A friend, than a father or mother more dear, More close than a brother, this friend will adhere.
Wouldst find that blest home? go, and follow the road, Which Christ and the prophets have marked out, to God; The Spirit will teach you, and guide, lest you stray, While legions of angels shall throng round your way.
TO A FRIEND IN AFFLICTION. AN ACROSTIC.
D ark frowning clouds obscure thy sky, E ach future prospect fades; B ut there's a kind protector nigh, O n him rely for aid. R ich treasures are locked up in store, A ffliction turns the key; H ow oft when dreadful thunders roar, M ay showers bid famine flee. O sister, never yield to fears W hen tempests roar aloud, E 'en then, the bow of hope appears, R ich hues bedeck yon cloud.
LINES TO A SISTER.
Susan, I long again to greet thee, Fain would I clasp thee in my arms, While that bland smile o'erspread thy features, Which to thy brow adds nameless charms.
Dear sister, I can still remember When first I clasped thee to my breast; I viewed thee as a priceless treasure, Bestowed to make life's pathway blest.
Although a little tiny creature, Devoid of friendship, love, or care, Yet, I highly prized the casket, I knew a sister's heart throbbed there.
And when I heard, in lisping accents, Affection flowing from thy tongue, With strange delight, I listened to it, As though some little cherub sung.
When in the garden thou wast straying, To play among thy fragrant flowers, I thought that Flora's fairest blossoms Would vainly strive to vie with ours.
Dear sister, canst not thou remember, When I'd been absent for awhile, With what a boyant step thou'dst meet me, And greet me with thy sunny smile?
And, when fatigued, I sought retirement, Or left thee for a few short hours, Oft them wouldst steal into my chamber And strew my couch with fragrant flowers.
I trust that flame is not extinguished, Although our duty bade us part; I trust it still is burning brightly Upon the altar of thy heart.
O come, and join the fireside circle Around the old paternal hearth; Come, let thy smiles and songs delight us, They are like sunlight to the earth.
The little birds are singing sweetly; The verdant fields perfume the air; Our garden walks would be most pleasant, If Susan's voice was ringing there.
Adieu, dear sister, for the present, But tell me, wilt thou not be here Ere the wintry winds are sighing Requiems o'er a dying year?
TO MY BROTHER.
THE SCENES OF OUR CHILDHOOD.
Far back, through the vista of long buried years, I look through this valley of sorrow and tears; Like pictures, in bright glowing colors displayed, The scenes of my life's rosy morn are portrayed.
An image, the foreground presents to my sight, Which shed o'er my pathway its radiant light; An image of him who first held my soft hand, And shouted with joy when his sister could stand;
From him, I first caught the sweet magical art Of turning to language, the thoughts of my heart; When first to the school-house he went as my guide. His heart swelled with pleasure, affection and pride.
Delighted, we ranged o'er the hillside, in spring, And listened with rapture to hear the birds sing; Then stopped in the pasture to see the lambs play, As frolicsome, cheerful, and happy as they.
We ranged o'er the meadow, the forest, and bowers, Picked berries for mother, and gathered wild flowers, Dear brother, how oft by the rosebush we sat, While you caught the butterflies under your hat.
With gay happy hearts to the woodland we strayed, When autumn its rich pensive beauty displayed; The robin was chanting her sweet farewell song, While blithe little squirrels went skipping along.
Those bright little rogues which the husbandmen scorn, Sly'd into their holes with their cheeks full of corn; The clear mellow sunlight, in quivering streams, Sent through the tall tree tops its roseate beams.
Jack Frost and October, when evenings grew cold, Had drest up the forest in crimson and gold; The bright leaves were borne on the wings of the breeze, While we picked up beach-nuts from under the trees.
When trees were all leafless, and snow-clad the ground, Sweet pleasures at home in our cottage we found; 'Round our bright blazing fire, we'd work, read, or play, And find sweet employment to fill up each day.
And when evening came, the old hearth we'd surround, While you cracked the nuts, which in autumn we found, I tended my kittens, and made up their bed, You made them a yoke and a nice little sled.
We heard the hens cackle, and thought we were blest, You flew to the hayloft, and found a full nest, Then caught up the treasure, and smiled as you run, With a hat full of eggs, and a head full of fun.
We ran on the snow-crust like fleet nimble deer, Until our fair cheeks would like rosebuds appear. I never was lonesome, and never afraid, If Hiram, my brother, for company stayed.
O, then we were happy in winter or spring, Yes, happier far than the happiest king. You grew up to manhood, and left your old home, But may you he happy wherever you roam.
I ne'er can forget how it made my heart grieve, When you of the precious old homestead took leave; I feared that with business and cares overrun, You'd soon cease to love me as once you had done;
And earth would be shrouded in sadness and gloom, If I, in your heart, could not always find room. Though care leaves a shadow on thy manly brow, Thy heart's warm affections are mirrored there now.
But when you are with me a brief space to stay, I'm all the while thinking you'll soon go away; Yet we shall soon meet in a far distant land, God grant it may be at the Savior's right hand.
MY BROTHER IN THE TEMPEST.
'Twas summer, and a sultry day Was drawing to a close, One cloud, along the northwest lay, Which tardily arose.
Along a winding path we strayed, Which through the forest led, While not one gentle zephyr swayed The branches overhead.
Deep mutt'ring thunders soon were heard, Dark shadows gathered round; The trees, at intervals, were stirred By gusts of threat'ning sound.
The hurricane arose in wrath, The rain in torrents poured; Huge trees were flung across our path, Loud crashing thunders roared.
When vivid lightnings round us blazed, He told me not to fear; My little trembling hand he seized, And checked the rising tear.
Loud thunders through the forest pealed; He smiled, and cheered me on, Exclaiming, "we'll soon reach the field, Then all the danger's gone."
But soon, in hurried tones he said, "Run, sister, run with me, Look! look! directly o'er your head, Behold that falling tree!"
But, while I heard the warning sound Rise o'er the raging storm, Its double trunk had clasped around My little trembling form.
Why did my brother linger there, Nor strive to gain the field? Torn branches filled the darkened air, Huge trees above us reeled.
Like some stern warrior on the field, 'Midst danger, death, and strife, He stood, determined not to yield, Until he saved my life.
That awful tempest, and thy care, My mem'ry still retains, Engraved upon those tablets fair, 'Twill live while life remains.
ADDRESSED TO AN ABSENT SISTER.
Dear sister, though absent, your image is bright, It dwells in my heart and prompts me to write; Your health, is it blooming, your spirits in cheer? You know 'twould rejoice me, such tidings to hear.
The din of the village, and hum of the mill, Can they charm my sister like our quiet vale? Does our little cottage seem humble and mean, Embosomed with trees, and surrounded with green?
Like father and mother, are those where you dwell? Like brothers and sisters who love you so well? Or do you look forward and sigh for that hour, When we shall all meet in your jessamine bower?
Where vines that you planted, will wave o'er your head, And nature's green carpet sweet odors will shed; Each cool breeze is playing with flowers growing near, Which sister has planted, our spirits to cheer.
Your roses and lilacs, among the pine trees, Are swarming with butterflies, humbirds, and bees; I view them each morning, all spark'ling with dew, And fancy they're emblems of sisters like you.
Come home and do housework, tend poultry and flowers, At noontide recline in our cool shady bowers; Could not such employment still yield you delight, Where birds are all singing from morning till night?
Soon summer is coming, your flow'rets will bloom, And spread new enchantments around your old home; Our grove by the river in beauty is drest, The Whippowil's notes sweetly soothe us to rest.
The sun, in mild splendor, sinks down in the west, Encircling with glory the old mountain's crest; The clouds o'er his head glow with purple and gold, The river is catching the tinge of each fold.
The scene would be lovely, if sister was here, But now I'm so lonely, it looks sad and drear; The beauties of nature are losing their charms, No more to divert me, till clasped in your arms.
But I'm growing weary, I'll draw to a close, And seek for refreshment in needful repose; If this, from a sister can give you delight, Retire to your chamber, this evening, and write.
Adieu, my dear sister, until your return Sweet home will be dreary, and almost forlorn; May God be your guide, your supporter and stay, Directing your footsteps, wherever you stray.
A MORNING SCENE
ON A SISTER'S WEDDING DAY.
Dear sister, when they called thee bride, That sound, my spirits deeply tried; My heart, at that one little word, Through every trembling fibre stirred.
I'd still a place within thy heart, But oh, I felt it hard to part; And that long dreaded hour had come, When thou must leave thy childhood's home.
But that sad morn; a pleasant sight Cast o'er the future gleams of light; I listened, and the voice of prayer Ascended on the morning air.
'Twas then, I thought the heavenly dove Gave us a token of his love, For, in the western heavens, now Appeared a bright resplendent bow.
'Twas lovely as that arch displayed When Noah by the altar prayed; That sacred scene could but impart A gleam of sunshine to my heart.
O, 'twas a consecrated hour, When, through that sweet refreshing shower The morning sunbeams brightly smiled, And whispered, trust thy Father, child.
TO THE WHIPPOWIL.
Vernal songster, thou art here, With the flowers thou dost appear; Yes, sweet little Whippowil, Thou art singing by the rill; Where the silver moonbeam plays Thou dost chant thy hymn of praise; Thy shrill voice I love to hear, And I'd have thee warble near. Come, sweet bird, the moonlight shines Through the verdant row of pines, Standing by our cottage door, Come, where thou hast sang before, When I heard thy thrilling note On the twilight breezes float, Ming'ling with the cheerful song Of our happy fireside throng. Loved ones, that to me are dear, No more tune their voices here; Some have sought a distant home, Gone, 'midst other scenes to roam; One is racked with wasting pain, And may never sing again; While I hear thy feeble moan, I can never sing alone; Still, we welcome blooming spring, But there's no one here to sing. Come then, little singing bird, Let thy cheerful voice be heard; Come, and pour thy melting lays Where thou didst in better days; Strive each drooping heart to cheer, Strive to dry the falling tear, Strive to soothe each throbbing breast, Hushing troubled minds to rest.
"My harp is on the willows hung. And the strings all out of tune,"
And dost thou listen for a song, From this frail harp, neglected long? My harp, alas! is drenched in tears, Rent by contending hopes and fears. Pale trembling fingers sweep the strings Whene'er my muse, in sadness, sings; For, prostrate now, before me lays The playmate of bright joyous days; She was my early childhood's pet, Nor can my bleeding heart forget That love, which has, in later years Shared all my pastimes, hopes, and fears. Long has pale death beside her stood, And poured his arrows like a flood, Whilst I have tried, with beating heart, To steal the poison from each dart; But oft I fear, lest these dread showers Will baffle all our feeble powers, And death's cold hand, will rend apart The tie that binds her to my heart. Long I've refused to leave her side, Lest there should aught remain untried, Which might her wasting form restore, And tinge her cheek with bloom once more. Oft by her couch, the livelong night, I've watched, till morn's unwelcome light, Like some vain babbler, must reveal The tears, which I would fain conceal; Then softly stole, in silence, where No sigh could reach the sufferer's ear. But, shall I thus forever weep, And let my harp forgotten sleep, When there's one sweet melodious strain, Whose power can wake its string again? Come, let us chant one grateful song To Him, whose patience waited long,— "God ruleth, let the earth rejoice!" Yes, let us make a joyful noise. We're chastened by a hand divine, Let us be dumb, nor dare repine; Thou didst it. O, our Father, God, Then let us humbly kiss the rod. Though from our eyes the tear-drop starts, When those who twine around our hearts Are suffering with exquisite pain, Yet, we may weep, and not complain. Lord, thou didst weep, and so may we, And bow submissive still to Thee; Grant us thy grace in sorrow's hour, To flee for refuge to thy power.
TO A SISTER WHILE DANGEROUSLY ILL.
O Sister! Sister! can it be That thou must droop, and die? Still blending on thy fair young cheek, The rose and lily vie.
But burning fever is the root From whence those roses spring; While pain and suffering, on thy brow, Those snowy lilies fling.
THE INVALID'S DREAM
The sick girl sat with downcast eye, Her bosom heaved the deep drawn sigh, She felt that all complaint was vain, For health would ne'er return again.
With pain and weariness oppressed, She sought her pillow, there to rest, While sleep a welcome visit paid, Bright scenes were to her view displayed.
In fancy's magic glass, she sees Her cheek, long faded by disease, The rose of health blooms there again, 'Tis no deceitful hectic stain.
Lightly and firm her footsteps fell; In rapture, she exclaimed, "I'm well! I bear no suff'ring, feel no pain, My long lost treasure I regain."
Her blooming form now stands erect, In fair and comely robes bedecked; Her limbs, so long with pain oppressed. Can nimbly move or sweetly rest.
Rejoicing friends their praises sing, To Hezekiah's bounteous king; Well pleased, she hears their grateful songs, And her glad voice the strain prolongs.
But sleep his downy pinions spread, Her slumbers broke, the vision fled; Her burning temples throbbed with pain,— She was an invalid again.
TO A BUTTERFLY IN MY CHAMBER.
Whence art thou, frail, wand'ring stranger, Softly flitting round my bed? Is thy life exposed to danger? Are thy friends and kindred dead?
Does the cold rude breath of autumn, Chill thy little fragile form? Hast thou come to seek a shelter From the dreaded gath'ring storm?
Art thou now our friendship trying? Wouldst thou test the vows we made, When thou was so gaily flying 'Round us, 'neath the fragrant shade?
Or, wouldst thou our hearts be cheering, Through this pensive lonely eve, While the chilly winds are bearing On their wings the faded leaf?
Would thou wast the Father's token, That the sweet celestial dove, When the golden bowl is broken, Will support us by his love,—
Will, in that dread painful conflict, Flit around our dying bed, And, to fill the soul with comfort, Whisper, "blessed are the dead."
TO THE "WILD FLOWER."
I've ranged the bright streamlet in childhood's blest hour, And culled from its borders spring's loveliest flowers, Then bound up my bouquet, all glitt'ring with dew, And smiled on my treasure as homeward I flew.
I've seen the sweet violet deck the green sod, All fresh from the hand of a bountiful God, While soft whisp'ring zephyrs breathed this in my ear, "The wisdom of God in these blossoms appear."
I've looked on the mayflower, spring's earliest child,— It peeped from the snowdrift and modestly smiled; I've plucked the fair lily, arrayed in fair white, And drank in its fragrance with heartfelt delight.
Yet blossoms that smile in the green woodland bower, Ne'er rival this sweet intellectual flower; This blossom sprang up from the depths of the mind,— The heart's thrilling fibres its tendrils entwine,
Affection's pure fountain has watered the germ, The bright sun of intellect cherished its form, It's petals were colored in fancy's rich dye, Till they, with the hues of the rainbow may vie; I'll pluck thee, sweet blossom, pure fragrance I find, When the rich perfumes are inhaled by the mind.
[Footnote 5: A volume of poems.]
AT THE FAMILY ALTAR. COMPOSED FOR THE REV. W. FOSS, OF LEEDS.
The father, still in manhood's prime, Was bowed in humble prayer; His partner, fair as when a bride, Was kneeling by him there.
Reclining on a sister's arm, The babe found sweet repose; While from the heart, in accents warm, The father's prayer arose.
And, fair as rosebuds bathed in dew; By morning zephyrs fanned, A blooming group of loved ones, too, Was ranged on either hand.
As many children God had given, As good old Jacob had; That he might meet them all in heaven, How fervently he prayed.
What deep emotions filled my breast, That scene my spirit stirred; Will not that family be blessed, That prayer in heaven be heard?
Though oft his duty calls abroad, Salvation's news to bear, The father leaves his charge with God, Confiding in his care.
AN APPEAL FOR IRELAND.
"Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shall find it after many days."—Ecel. xi; 1.
Hark! hear the cry of Erin's sons, By plague and famine frantic; The wail of wives and little ones Comes o'er the broad Atlantic.
O, heed the bitter piercing cry, That's pealing o'er the ocean; To us, to us, for aid they fly, As Israel fled to Goshen.
List! hear that sad and mournful sound, It is the parent sighing; Beside him, on the damp cold ground. His darling ones are lying.
A nation sinking to the grave; How thick death's shafts are flying! The loved, the lovely, and the brave, From want are daily dying.
They're calling to Columbia's sons, And to her happy daughters; Take of your bread, ye favor'd ones, And cast it on the waters.
THE LITTLE CLOUD.
All day the rain has patter'd down, In dense dark folds, clouds hang around, The humid air is dead and still, Thick vapors veil the distant hill.
But now, a little crimson cloud Beams from an opening in the shroud, Which, like a dusky pall, o'erspreads The azure vault above our heads.
Our fancy, while we gaze, takes wings And flits around earth's brighter things, Then whispers in our list'ning ears, "This earth is not all sighs and tears."
This cloud is like the robin's song, Whose notes were hushed all winter long, But comes to usher in the hours, Whose genial warmth revives the flowers.
Or like the south wind's gentle voice, Bidding all nature's works rejoice, Teaching the little birds, to sing A serenade to blooming spring.
Like budding flowers where thorns once grew, And beauty bursting into view Where all was dark, and drear, and wild, Nor pleasures in prospective smiled.
'Tis like the smile that beams through tears, When hope usurps the place of fears; Like health, new sparkling in the eye Of him, whom friends gave up to die.
Faint emblem of the glory shed Around the dying christian's bed, That prelude to the dazzling light Which bursts on his enraptured sight, When the freed spirit soars above, And faith is swallowed up in love.
AS IT WAS, AND AS IT IS.
It was a wild, sequestered spot, With here and there a humble cot; Yet, nature's richest robes were thrown Around those hills and valleys lone. 'Twas quiet, fair, and lovely, then, Though beasts of prey and savage men Roamed o'er those hills of graceful form, Whose trees for ages braved the storm, Yet, humbly stooping to behold The broad majestic stream, that rolled Through smiling mead and woody plain, Fast speeding onward to the main, Or, dashing from its rocky height, Proclaims the great Creator's might, Its deep toned music, strangely meet To mingle with the anthem sweet, That floated on each whisp'ring breeze, Which came, soft stealing through the trees That grew upon the winding shore, In giant ranks, in days of yore. When genial spring her magic spell, Cast 'round each lovely woodland dell, And woke to life the warbling throng, While streamlets gaily danced along; If such a spot on earth be found, Those hills and vallies all around Smiled, like the paradise of God, When first by sinless beings trod. Thus, rude, romantic, grand, sublime, Was Lewiston, in olden time. But Art and Genius, passing by, Saw this fair spot neglected lie, Then said, in deep emotion's tone, "Shall these bright waves go dancing on, Just like a thoughtless child at play, Who throws his strength and skill away?" Anon, they raised the useful mills, The sparkling waters moved the wheels, And industry, with cheerful air, Was pleased to take her station there. The proud old forest bowed, his head, With sullen frowns the savage fled, The timid beaver left the shore, The deer and moose were seen no more. Rich cultivated fields appeared. Neat tasteful dwellings soon were reared, In graceful ranks we see them stand, With spacious streets on either hand. Where once the Indian's wigwam stood, The factory, with its busy crowd, Dispenses blessings far and near, While rich and poor its products share. Here merchandise, with eagle eyes, His own and others' wants supplies; And science, like a swelling tide, Diffuses knowledge far and wide. The sweetly pealing sabbath bells, Now echo round those hills and dells, And call the villagers to meet Where they enjoy communion sweet, With Him who answers ev'ry prayer That humble faith can utter there. There's music in those sabbath bells, This pleasing truth methinks they tell, That God is held in rev'rence there, And worshiped in His house of prayer. In the fair background now are seen Sweet hills and dales, all robed in green, With here and there a pleasant grove Where every class delights to rove; There, age sits down beneath the shade, Where he has oft in childhood strayed; There, youths and maidens often walk, To spend an hour in friendly talk; There, little children, too, are seen, Like lambs they gambol o'er the green; They wander there in summer hours In quest of birds' nests, fruit, and flowers. The scholar loves this solitude, Where tumult never dares intrude; And here the stranger likes to roam, And think of loved ones left at home. The saint, at twilight's pensive hour, Here seeks the sweet secluded bower; While whisp'ring zephyrs linger near, And waft to heaven the humble prayer. And all who study nature's book, On this fair page delight to look; They'll range those hills and vallies o'er, And trace the river's winding shore. Nor can they e'er forget to look Upon the little murm'ring brook, Which, like a silver belt, winds round The hill, with oak and elm trees crowned. But that majestic waterfall, In grandeur still surpasses all.
Should Art and Genius there assemble, With solemn awe they'd stand and tremble; Than all their works, they'd own this greater, And bow before the great Creator.
I wandered out one summer night, 'Twas when my years were few, The wind was singing in the light, And I was singing too.
One fleecy cloud upon the air, Was all that met my eyes, It floated like an angel there, Between me and the skies.
I clapped my hands and warbled wild, As here and there I flew, For I was but a careless child, And did as children do.
I heard the laughing wind behind, 'Twas playing with my hair; The breezy fingers of the wind, How cool and moist they were.
The twilight hours came stealing by, And still I wandered free; Ten thousand stars were in the sky, Ten thousand on the sea.
For ev'ry wave with dimpled face, That leaped upon the air, Had caught a star in its embrace, And held it trembling there.
But wherefore weave such strains as these, And sing them day by day, When every bird upon the breeze Can sing a sweeter lay.
I'd give the world for their sweet art. The simple, the divine; I'd give the world to melt one heart, As they have melted mine.
And wouldst thou, sweet minstrel, if earth should unfold To thee all her treasures of silver and gold, Resign all thy riches, thy wealth, fame and power, To sing like the birds in the green woodland bower?
Like thee, dear Amelia, I love the wild bird, Their soft melting strains, at grey twilight, I've heard; The whippowils, then, on the cool zephyr's wing, Their clear pensive notes in rich harmony fling.
I listen each morning with heartfelt delight, While birds bid adieu to the shadows of night. And greet in sweet anthems the bright king of day, As they through the forest are soaring away.
Yet thy flowing numbers, when breathing around, Awaken such echoes as these never found; A chord in my bosom, thy sonnet has stirred, Which never was touched by the notes of a bird.
But meekness in woman to me is so dear, I love thee the more when such language I hear; True greatness and modesty, when they combine, Like stars of the firmament sparkle and shine.
The birds of the forest thy spirits can cheer, Their songs fill with music thy sensitive ear, But has that fair dove in thy heart found a nest, Whose singing can make thee eternally blest?
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY VIEWING A ROW OF FINE TREES NEAR MY DWELLING.
These youthful pines, a verdant row, Cast their dark shadows on the snow; Just like a picture, or a dream, Or tale of fairy lands, they seem. I hear a soft melodious lay, The winds are with their tops at play; While moonbeams through their branches stealing, Wake up a wild romantic feeling.
The forest birds in spring will come, 'Neath these green boughs to make their home, To cheer us with their sweet wild song, To build their nests and rear their young. Child of the wood, in infancy, I learned to love the forest tree; I'm still the same romantic creature, Admiring all the works of nature.
The rocks, the fields, the groves and flowers, Are fraught with some mysterious powers, That bind me with a pleasing spell, Which naught can break while here I dwell. The wild bird's note, the woodland dell, Have charms beyond my power to tell; While winds are through the forest roaring, My spirit with the sound seems soaring.
The rosy morn, the sunset sky, The glitt'ring retinue on high, The sun's broad blaze, the moon's mild beams, Reflected from the lakes and streams, The lightning's flash, the thunder's roar, The ocean dashing on the shore, And meteors streaming through the air, Proclaim that God is everywhere.
SUGGESTED BY VIEWING A PETUNIA.
Fair plant, well pleased on thee I look, Thou art a page in nature's book, Which I delight to read; Though stoics set thee quite at naught, And say that none but children ought On such vain trifles spend a thought, Their words I little heed.
A child I'd ever wish to be, With an instructer just like thee, And listen to her voice; Fain wouldst thou our best passions move, And lead our wandering thoughts above, Where, at the fount of boundless love, We ever might rejoice.
Our tender care thou dost repay, Though watched and guarded night and day, Thus teaching thoughtless man; When thou art nursed and watered well, Thy bursting buds with fragrance swell, And thus the grateful story tell, That we do all we can.
Thy blooming petals love the light. The sun smiles on them, they grow bright, Withdraws his beams, they faint; Yet, when beneath his radiant gaze, The modest blush that o'er them plays, To every thinking mind, portrays The contrite, humble saint.
Sweet plant, I love thee, yes, I do, And all thy blooming kindred too, (More than the works of art,) For in them, I can ever find Such beauty, skill and power combined, As captivate and soothe the mind, And cheer the drooping heart.
Fair gift, by royal donor given, dipped in the radiant dyes of heaven, And strown o'er every land, Ye shed your fragrance o'er the tomb, Steal from deep solitude its gloom, And when the gardener gives you room, You bless his fostering hand.
Not Newton, though he soared so high, And traced the planets through the sky, With such amazing power, Nor Franklin, whom we praise so loud, Though lightnings in their misty shroud, Obeyed his voice and left the cloud, Could make the simplest flower.
Nor could the chemist's skill suffice To mingle such exquisite dyes, As in the flowers appear; And were all human powers combined, And centred in one single mind, Its best productions, we should find, Stand halting in the rear.
When, veiled in flesh, God dwelt below, He deigned his watchful care to show, For man's ungrateful race; When sin their drowsy eyes had sealed, He took the lily of the field, And bade them think what that revealed, And learn to trust his grace.
The garden which Jehovah planned, And planted with his own right hand, Was decked with fragrant flowers; And shall we boast that we now slight What God designed to give delight, Ere sin had cast its with'ring blight O'er all our mental powers?
TO A WHITE HOLLYHOCK.
Sweet plant, so fair, so pure thy blossoms look, I almost fancy that some angel, from His wing the feathers plucked, and of them, at The twilight hour, thy snowy petals made. But fancy leads astray. Not one of all That shining throng, which worship 'round the throne, Could e'er such work perform. None but the hand Divine, these curious fabrics wrought.
SUGGESTED BY VIEWING THE MINIATURE OF A PAIR OF LOVELY TWIN BOYS, WHO WERE DEPRIVED OF THEIR MOTHER AT THE AGE OF TWO MONTHS, AND WERE THE ONLY REMAINING CHILDREN OF THEIR FATHER.
I gaze upon this picture fair, And find strange beauty mirrored there; Its magic spell with power is fraught, To ope the fount of hidden thought. Sweet childhood's opening blossoms here, In all their loveliness appear; Pure innocence, with touching grace, Smiles in each feature of the face, Like rosy morning's cheerful rays, O'er childhood's artless brow, it plays. The lips, half open, almost speak, While on the fresh, young, dimpled cheek, The bloom is like those vernal flowers, Whose fragrance fills our woodland bowers. Those speaking eyes the power have caught, To mirror forth the germs of thought; Their silent language, deep and strong, Can touch the hidden springs of song; Their melting beams can reach the mind, Where they our best affections find. Why did these twin-born, smiling boys, Come here to wake maternal joys, In that fond, faithful mother's breast, Where they could but a moment rest? With love too deep for words to speak, She pressed each tender infant cheek, With quivering lips and falt'ring breath, Before the opening gates of death, While faintly burned the vital spark, Within life's frail and shattered bark, Just mooring in the port of bliss, She paused to steal one last, fond kiss. In death's embrace those lips were cold, Ere half their thrilling tale was told; The mother and her babes must part, Before the tender infant heart, By her soft winning tones, had learned What love within her bosom burned Before her counsels, blessed and wise, Could train her offspring to the skies. Sweet babes! so helpless, frail and fair, Why here, without her watchful care? Your sainted brother never wept Beside the grave, where loved ones slept, While clouds were gathering round his head, He to the Savior's bosom fled. Then why not plume your tiny wings, And soar to where your mother sings? Why tarry on this barren shore; Till waves of trouble round you roar?
Ah! now I know; you linger here, Your father's lonely hours to cheer. Death would not pluck the last fair flower, That bloomed in his connubial bower; He fondly loves his orphan boys, They half restore his withered joys. Sweet rosebuds, springing from the tomb, Long round his hearthstone may you bloom, With smiles of love your father greet, And fill your mother's vacant seat.
THE CULTIVATION OF FLOWERS.
Where can we find a more healthy and delightful employment, than the cultivation of flowers? Though of less importance than those plants which are necessary for the support of animal life, yet, rightly considered, they yield a pleasant and instructive entertainment for the intellectual powers, and may justly be termed food for the mind.
"Nonsense" some of our readers exclaim, "Nonsense, to talk of feeding the immortal mind, with flowers! For one, I think people may find some more useful employment than that of persuading their fellow beings to spend the precious hours of this short life upon these useless playthings."
But pause, my readers, and consider who gave this finishing touch to the face of nature. Who strewed the fields with flowers? Were they not brought into existence by the same All-wise Being who created the earth upon which we dwell, with its millions of intelligent beings, its vast oceans, its towering mountains, its flaming volcanoes and its majestic rivers with their awe inspiring cataracts; who created the sun, that great fountain of light and heat, and the centre of attraction for those vast globes which revolve around it, and then counterpoised with such precision the different forces which produce and continue their motion, that they continue to perform their appointed revolutions, without the least deviation from that orbit, in which they were placed at creation's dawn; who "made the stars also," that innumerable multitude of fixed stars, or suns with their attending planets which inhabit the boundless regions of space; whose wonderful works are so numerous as to overwhelm the feeble mind of man, and to compel him to conclude at the commencement, by saying that they are infinite? And shall we be so impious as to hush the voice of reason, and disregard the words of holy writ enough to say, that even the little violet was made in vain? I should sooner believe that Washington, the father of our country, while the destiny of our nation was placed, as it were, in his hands, was in the habit of deserting his army while on the battle field, engaged in the most bloody conflict with a mortal foe, for the sole purpose of amusing himself with soap bubbles and firebrand ribbons.
"But," says one, "they were created for a scourge and a snare to fallen man; for while we are compelled to spend much of our time in destroying thorns and thistles from our premises, they are continually tempting the weaker part of our race to spend their strength and time upon that, which at best, can yield no profit." But against this assertion, the scriptures afford us ample proof, for we are there informed, that they were created before the fall, and pronounced very good, while thorns and thistles were brought forth afterwards; for the Lord said, when pronouncing the curse upon Adam, "Cursed be the ground for thy sake, thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee," thus implying that they were not already in existence. And again, flowers are universally spoken of in scripture as blessings, or used as emblems of things valuable or pleasing, while thorns and thistles are always used to represent things hurtful, or afflictive. And if any part of nature's works retain their native purity and remain unchanged, save by the hand of death, is it not flowers? It is true, they neither supply us with food or clothing, and if they possess medical qualities, they might as well be contained in the plant without the appendage of a flower. Nor were they made for the fowls of the air, or the beasts of the field, for they totally disregard them; we never see the ox, the horse, or the sheep, stop to smell their fragrance or gaze upon their beauty. And many of those who are termed the lords of creation, consider them beneath the notice of intellectual beings, and yet they were made for some wise purpose. We will therefore admit the truth of an assertion made by a friend, who remarked that flowers were doubtless created for the sole purpose of gratifying the weak and childish minds of the female sex. Be it so, let us thankfully receive the gift, and think ourselves honored by being thought worthy of the fairest and sweetest part of nature's productions; for which she has reserved her most grateful perfumes, her richest dyes, and the finest strokes of her pencil. Yes, we will cultivate flowers, for we do not profess to be more scrupulous about the manner in which we spend our time than the Lord of the universe was, for he planted flowers in his garden. The scriptures inform us that he planted every tree that was pleasant to the sight. And flowers certainly were pleasant, even to the pure eyes of our Savior; for while speaking of the lilies of the field, he says, "Even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these." And the wisest of men, when searching the world over for comparisons worthy of his beloved, exclaims in the fullness of a heart overflowing with love and gratitude, "He is the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley."
Sweet flowers, there is room enough for you in the female mind. We will take you to our bosoms and cherish you with that affectionate regard, which your lovely qualities deserve. We will admire your spotless purity and innocence. You were thought worthy of a place in the blissful bowers of Eden. And for aught we know, ye were the only part of nature's works which were created solely for the purpose of charming the mind and gratifying the senses of sinless beings. And may we make a profitable use of these lovely relics of paradise! May they continually remind us of the skill, wisdom and goodness of the great Architect of the universe!
Where can we find a more transparent medium through which we may "look through nature up to nature's God," than a veil interwoven with flowers? When fatigued in body, where can we find a more pleasant resting place than beneath the cool shade of an arbor, in the flower garden? When our spirits are depressed or our minds perplexed with distracting care, thither let us repair: it will prove a more effectual remedy than on hour spent in gossipping, or an evening in the ball room. It can but exert a healthful influence over the mind, to inhale such exquisite odors, and gaze upon such beautiful colors and delicate tints, combined with gracefulness and elegance of form. The art of man has long been striving to imitate them, but the simplest flower that blooms still eclipses their best performances. And yet the gorgeous canopy that decks the monarch's throne owes half its splendor to the imperfect miniature of the inhabitants of the flower garden.
And strange as it appears, how often do we see persons, who would blush were they seen contemplating the simple beauties of a delicate flower, pride themselves in embellishing their dwellings and equipage with its coarsely wrought picture. But while they are pleasing themselves with the shadow, we will feast ourselves on the substance.
"I am weary of this lecture upon flowers," the stoical reader exclaims: If so, my friend, you are at liberty to retire to any place of entertainment which your better judgment may suggest; but I will lay aside my pen to walk among the flowers; and see if some of those silent, though eloquent preachers, will not furnish the mind with some new idea, which may serve as a foundation for another discourse.
MUSIC OF THE MIND.
What is music of the mind? Is it the soft harmonious strains of the little minstrel which often steals into some secret nook within the heart, and there tunes her silent harp to notes of sweetest melody? Though we never hear her melting lays, yet persons in every station, from the king upon his throne to the beggar by the wayside, and the rude untutored savage roaming through his native forest, often experience that exquisite pleasure produced by her magic spell.
We are continually surrounded by scenes calculated to produce this music. The variegated scenery of different landscapes; the changing seasons of the year; Spring with her balmy air, soft refreshing showers, green fields, fragrant flowers, and merry cheerful birds; Summer, with her sultry days, her cool inviting shades, her waving fields, and delicious fruits; and Autumn, with his rich golden harvest, bright pensive dreamy days, and clear moonlight evenings, have power to rouse the minstrel from her slumbers; and even rude old Winter, clothed in clouds and storms and drifting snows, can with his icy fingers sweep her silent harp strings and wake their wildest melody.
We retire beneath the sacred shade of some ancient forest, and look upon nature as she stands forth arrayed in all the charms of her primeval beauty; where art has never plucked her native bloom, and tinged her cheek with carmine. We there gaze upon the tall old trees, which have for centuries been towering higher and higher, till they seem ambitious to wave their lofty tops among the very clouds of heaven. We quench our thirst with the sparkling waters of the pure spring, which bubbles up cool and clear from its crystal fountain, washing the roots of the trees, and trickling over the ground in bright streams, like threads of molten silver, till they unite in one of those beautiful streamlets which lend such enchantment to the woodland bowers; here, murmuring melodiously among smooth rocks and bright pebbles, while the dimpling eddies upon its surface reflect the rays of laughing sunshine which quiver through the leafy canopy above; there, dashing over a projecting rock forming a little cascade, and then flowing smoothly along, bearing upon its tranquil bosom the fair images of the flowers which spring up along its banks, upon the sloping hill-side and in every shady nook and dell, smiling in strange beauty among the stern features of the woodland scene. Sweet flowers, so fair and fragile, that they flourish only when sheltered from the rude blast and pelting storm by some friendly shade, and so modest and retiring in their habits, that they shun the open field, where they must encounter the scrutinizing gaze of the noonday sun, and choose this sweet seclusion for their home.
We stand upon the shores of the ocean, while the sun emerges from its bed, lifting his broad shining disk above the blue waters, and tinging the sparkling waves with every hue that decks the rainbow's form. We gaze with rapture upon the scene, till, dazzled by its brilliancy, we turn our eyes upon the white sails, gliding over the bosom of the deep, like some noble bird winging its way through the air, or watch the swelling waves, as they roll in grand procession towards us, and break in thunder on the shore. We sit in a calm summer evening and watch the shadows as they lengthen o'er the ground, till they lose themselves in the deep rich green of the vales from winch the sun has disappeared, to gild the tops of the forest trees and far off hills with more than noonday splendor. The balmy zephyrs hold their breath, nor dare to whisper in the softest tone, while the little forest birds, in sweetly pensive strains, are chanting forth their evening hymn of praise and homage to the sun, who, now all bright with parting smiles, sinks down behind the western hills, tinging the clouds at first with light faint orange streaks, which soon turn to crimson, and touched again by sunset's magic wand, they glow in purple of the richest dyes, then slowly fade to grey, while twilight draws around us her dewy curtains and shuts the scene from our admiring gaze.
We walk abroad in the calm stillness of a moonlight evening, when night, cheered by the presence of her fair queen, withholds her dusky pall and contents herself by drawing a thin silvery veil over the fair-face of nature, which only serves to cast a shade of pensive beauty upon her lovely features. The rocks, the fields, the lakes and streams, the distant hills and mountains, whose lofty peaks are crowned with the white fleecy clouds which skirt the horizon, appear far more lovely when viewed by the pure dreamy light now stealing around us, than when displayed to our sight by the clear light of day. The trees and shrubs lie pictured on the dewy earth, their fair images reposing in motionless beauty, save when the cool breath of evening plays among the verdant branches, disturbing their shadowy outlines. No sound breaks upon the stillness of the scene, except the gentle murmur of the winding stream or the roar of some far off waterfall, softened and subdued by distance, till it mingles in harmony with the clear shrill notes of the whippowils, who never close their waking eyes, but serenade the moon till morning light, while every object upon which we turn our eyes reminds us of the fancy sketch of some fairy land.
We gaze upon the grand array, when Aurora Borealis plays her antic freaks, fights her mimic battles, waves her flaming banner along the northern skies. We look out upon the blue expanse above, when the bright and beautiful stars, with their sparkling eyes, are looking from their distant homes upon our little earth like angels commissioned to watch over its slumbering inhabitants, till the clear light of day arouses them to life and consciousness. In view of objects and scenes like these, a pleasing sensation steals over the mind, till no language can express the emotions which struggle for vent within our bosoms and the full heart flutters like an imprisoned bird against the walls of its cage.
This is what we call music of the mind. Yet when no love to the Creator mingles with our contemplations, it is music of an inferior order. But when an individual is brought to realize and "believe with all his heart" that the author of all the scenes of beauty, grandeur and sublimity, which nature presents to the eye, has condescended to drop the sceptre from his hand, lay by his dazzling crown and leave his throne of glory, while he descended to our earth, and gave his life to ransom guilty rebels against his righteous government, pouring out his blood on Calvary till the fountain is sufficient to cleanse the foulest stains of sin, even from the most polluted soul; then it is that his mind is filled with music, and that too, which is as much superior to any ever experienced by an unregenerate soul, as the full blaze of the noonday sun is to the faint light which glimmers from the burning taper. For every fibre of the heart, now touched by the finger of God, wakes in harmony, and vibrates with the richest music of which earth or heaven can boast. It is the very same which animates the spirits of just men made perfect, and none but blood washed sinners can ever learn the song.