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RELIGIOUS AND ELEGIAC.
RELIGIOUS AND ELEGIAC.
MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY.
" If we listen to David s harp, we shall hear as many hearse-like har
monies as carols ; and the pencil of inspiration hath more laboured to
describe the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon."
ROBERT TYAS, 8, PATERNOSTER ROW.
CLARKE, PRINTERS, SILVER STREET, FALCON SQUARE.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL ...... 1
THE LOST DARLING ..... 3
FA1TH ..... 5
THE LAST SUPPER . . . . . . . . 7
THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD ...... 10
JOY IN BELIEVING ...... 12
A MOTHER S COUNSELS ..... 14
THE TIME TO DIE ..... J6
"THIS is NOT YOUR REST" ..... 18
ON READING THE MEMOIRS OF MRS. JUDSON . 20
BARZILLAI THE GILEADITE
TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG LADY ... 25
DEATH OF AN AGED CHRISTIAN .... 30
NEW ZEALAND MISSIONARY .... 32
DEATH OF A SISTER, AT SCHOOL ... 34
ON THE LOSS OF A BEAUTIFUL CHILD AT TRENTON FALLS . . 36
RECOLLECTIONS OF AN AGED PASTOR . . 33
THE HOPIA TREE .....
SILENT DEVOTION ....
DEATH OF A YOUNG WIFE
THE SICK CHILD ....
THE BITTERNESS OF DEATH
PASSING AWAY ... re
BURMANS AND THEIR MISSIONARY . . 57
APPEAL OF THE BLIND .... 59
BENEVOLENCE ... . - . 61
A FATHER TO HIS MOTHERLESS CHILDREN . . 63
THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH .... 65
DIVINE GOODNESS .... gg
THE CONSUMPTIVE GIBL ... 71
TO A DYING INFANT .... 74
THE TOMB ...... 7 g
DEATH OF THE EMIGRANT . 70
CHRISTIAN SETTLEMENTS IN AFRICA
WAITING UPON THE LORD
THE MOHEGAN CHURCH
FUNERAL OF A PHYSICIAN
BIRTH-DAY OF THE F1RST-EORN
ON THE DEATH OF DR. ADAM CLARKE
MARRIAGE HYMN .
PARTING OF THE MISSIONARY S BRIDE . ..
ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF A FATHER . . . 94
THE CHRISTIAN MOURNER
BAPTISM OF AN INFANT AT ITS MOTHER S FUNERAL . . . 103
SABBATH MORNING .
CONTENTMENT . . . 110
TWAS BUT A BABE . . . . Ill
THE ANGELS SONG .
THE MOTHER .
DREAM OF THE DEAD .....
ONLY THIS ONCE". .....- 122
THE HALF-CENTURY SERMON .
TRIBUTE TO THE REV. DR. CORNELIUS . .131
DEATH OF THE WIFE OF A CLERGYMAN . . . 134
LOVE NOT THE WORLD . 1 3C
THE COMMUNION l3 ?
CHRISTMAS HYMN ... .139
BURIAL OF TWO YOUNG SISTERS HO
THOUGHTS AMONG THE TREES H(5
MISSIONS TO AFRICA l48
THE ORDINATION 1</5
THE CHRISTIAN GOING HOME
HEAVEN S LESSON
THE BUBBLE .
ATTENDING A FORMER PUPIL TO THE GRAVE
MISTAKEN GRIEF .......
DEATH OF MRS. H. W. L. WINSLOW, MISSIONARY IN CEYLON . . 163
"SHOW us THE FATHER" .... .165
THE LOST SISTER .... ... 167
THE DEPARTED NEIGHBOUR .... . . 169
THE CONVENIENT SEASON . .... 1 72
THE AMERICAN BISHOP . . 175
POWER OF THE ALMIGHTY . . . . . . . 178
IS IT WELL WITH THE CHILD* ..... 180
MONODY TO MRS. SARAH L. SMITH . . . . . . 182
"DEPART, CHRISTIAN SOUL" ...... 185
DEATH OF A CLERGYMAN . . . . . . 186
A MOTHER S TEACHING . . . 188
"TO DIE is GAIN" . . . . . . . 190
UZZIAH ......... 192
OUR TEACHERS ......... 194
THE FIRST MORNING OF SPRING ...... 197
DEATH OF THE PRINCIPAL OF A RETREAT FOR THE INSANE . . 199
THE REV. LEGH RICHMOND AMONG THE RUINS OF IONA . . 202
TRUE WISDOM ......... 204
ON MEETING SEVERAL FORMER PUPILS AT THE COMMUNION TABLE 205
DEATH OF A YOUNG MUSICIAN ...... 207
JOTHAM S PARABLE . . . . . . . . 209
THE DYING BOY "........ 213
WIFE OF A MISSIONARY AT THE GRAVE OF HER HUSBAND . . 216
PRAYER ......... 219
PEACE .......... 221
TOMB OF A YOUNG FRIEND AT MOUNT AUBURN . . . 222
MIDNIGHT MUSIC . . . . . . . 224
EVENING BY THE SEA-SHORE ...... 227
AFRAID TO DIE ......... 229
DEPARTURE OF MISSIONARIES FOR CEYLON .... 231
CRY OF THE CORANNAS ....... 232
GIFT OF A BIBLE ........ 234
ON THE DEATH OF A FRIEND . . . . . . 236
THE OLD MAN ........ 238
DEATH OF A DISTINGUISHED MAN . . . . . . 242
" NOT DEAD, BUT SLEEPETH " . . . . 245
PRAISE . . 247
FOLL? ....! 248
THE AGED CLERGYMAN 250
PARTING HYMN OF MISSIONARIES TO BURMAH . .252
"WHITHER SHALL i FLEE FROM THY PRESENCE . . . 254
DEATH OF A BEAUTIFUL BOY . . 256
EVENING THOUGHTS . . . 258
AFRICAN MOTHER AT HER DAUGHTER S GRAVE . 260
DEATH-BED OF THE REV. DR. PAYSON . ... 263
MISSION HYMN . .... 265
" BLESSED ARE THE DEAD " . . ... 267
TO MOURNING PARENTS ....... 269
SAILOR S FUNERAL ..... . 270
THE DYING MOTHER S PRAYER . .... 273
DEATH OF A MISSIONARY IN AFRICA . . . 275
DIRGE ..... . 276
BOY S LAST BEQUEST ... . . 278
THE PILGRIM . . 280
TO THE MEMORi OF MISS HANNAH ADAMS . . 282
THE DEPARTED FRIEND . . . 284
CONSECRATION OF A CHURCH . 287
THE SACRED MINSTREL . . 289
"CHARITY BEARETH ALL THINGS" . . 292
THE RUINS OF HEROD S PALACE ... . 294
THE TOMB OF ABSALOM . . . 297
THE WIDOW S PRAYER . . . . . . .300
DEATH OF A MISSIONARY AT THE WEST . . . 302
" KEEP SILENCE " . . 304
THE LIBRARY ......... 306
SABBATH MEDITATIONS . ... 308
DEATH OP A POET . . ... 310
LIFE S EVENING ... ... .311
A DOOR OPENED IN HEAVEN . . . . . 313
THOUGHTS AT THE FUNERAL OF A FRIEND .... 315
MONODY TO MRS. HEMANS . . . . . . 318
FAREWELL OF THE SOUL TO THE BODY ..... 321
ZINZENDORFF .... .... 325
NOTES ..... . 349
RELIGIOUS AND ELEGIAC.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
GROUP after group are gathering, such as prest
Once to their Saviour s arms, and gently laid
Their cherub heads upon his shielding breast,
Though sterner souls the fond approach forbade ;
Group after group glide on with noiseless tread,
And round Jehovah s sacred altar meet,
Where holy thoughts in infant hearts are bred,
And holy words their ruby lips repeat,
Oft with a chasten VI glance, in modulation sweet.
Yet some there are, upon whose childish brows
Wan poverty hath done the work of care ;
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
Look up, ye sad ones ! tis your Father s house,
Beneath whose consecrated dome you are ;
More gorgeous robes ye see, and trappings rare,
And watch the gaudier forms that gaily rove,
And deem, perchance, mistaken as you are,
The " coat of many colours " proves His love,
Whose sign is in the heart, and whose reward above.
And ye, blest labourers in this humble sphere,
To deeds of saint-like charity inclined,
Who, from your cells of meditation dear,
Go forth to guide the weak, untutor d mind
Yet ask no payment, save one smile refined
Of grateful love, one tear of contrite pain.
Meekly ye forfeit to your mission kind
The rest of earthly sabbaths. Be your gain
A sabbath without end, mid yon celestial plain.
THE LOST DARLING.
SHE was rny idol. Night and day, to scan
The fine expansion of her form, and mark
The unfolding mind, like vernal rose-bud, start
To sudden beauty, was my chief delight.
To find her fairy footsteps following mine,
Her hand upon my garments, or her lip
Long sealed to mine, and in the watch of night
The quiet breath of innocence to feel
Soft on my cheek, was such a full content
Of happiness, as none but mothers know.
Her voice was like some tiny harp that yields
To the slight fingered breeze, and as it held
Brief converse with her doll, or playful soothed
The moaning kitten, or with patient care
Conned o er the alphabet but most of all,
Its tender cadence in her evening prayer
Thrilled on the ear like some ethereal tone
Heard in sweet dreams.
But now alone I sit,
Musing of her, and dew with mournful tears
4 THE LOST DARLING.
Her little robes, that once with woman s pride
I wrought, as if there were a need to deck
What God had made so beautiful. I start,
Half fancying from her empty crib there comes
A restless sound, and breathe the accustomed words,
" Hush ! Hush thee, dearest." Then I bend and weep
As though it were a sin to speak to one
Whose home is with the angels.
Gone to God !
And yet I wish I had not seen the pang
That wrung her features, nor the ghastly white
Settling around her lips. I would that heaven
Had taken its own, like some transplanted flower,
Blooming in all its freshness.
Gone to God !
Be still, my heart ! what could a mother s prayer,
In all the wildest ecstacies of hope,
Ask for its darling like the bliss of heaven.
WRAPT in the robe of Faith,
Come to the place of prayer,
And seal thy deathless vows to Him
Who makes thy life his care.
Doth he thy sunny skies
O ercloud with tempest gloom ?
Or take the idol of thy breast,
And hide it in the tomb ?
Or bid thy treasur d joys
In hopeless ruin lie ?
Search not his reasons, wait his will ;
The record is on high.
For should he strip thy heart
Of all it boasts on earth,
And set thee naked and alone,
As at thy day of birth,
He cannot do thee wrong,
Those gifts were his at first,
Draw nearer to his changeless throne,
Bow deeper in the dust.
Calls he thy parting soul
Unbodied from the throng ?
Cling closer to thy Saviour s cross,
And raise the victor song.
THE LAST SUPPER,
A PICTURE BY LEONARDI DA VINCI.
BEHOLD that countenance, where grief and love
Blend with ineffable benignity,
And deep, un uttered majesty divine.
Whose is that eye which seems to read the heart,
And yet to have shed the tear of mortal woe ?
Redeemer ! is it thine ? And is this feast
Thy last on earth ? Why do the chosen few,
Admitted to thy parting banquet, stand
As men transfix d with horror ?
Ah ! I hear
The appalling answer, from those lips divine,
" One of you shall betray me."
One of these ?
Who by thy hand was nurtured, heard thy prayers,
Received thy teachings, as the thirsty plant
Turns to the rain of summer ? One of these !
Therefore, with deep and deadly paleness droops
The loved disciple, as if life s warm spring
Chilled to the ice of death, at such strange shock
THE LAST SUPPER.
Of unimagined guilt. See, his whole soul
Concentred in his eye, the man who walked
The waves with Jesus, all impetuous prompts
The horror-struck inquiry " Is it I ?
Lord ! is it I ? " while earnest pressing near,
His brother s lip, in ardent echo seems
Doubling the fearful thought. With brow upraised,
Andrew absolves his soul of charge so foul ;
And springing eager from the table s foot,
Bartholomew bends forward, full of hope,
That by his ear, the Master s awful words
Had been misconstrued. To the side of Christ,
James, in the warmth of cherished friendship clings,
Still trembling as the traitor s image steals
Into his throbbing heart; while he, whose hand
In sceptic doubt was soon to probe the wounds
Of Him he loved, points upward to invoke
The avenging God. Philip, with startled gaze,
Stands in his crystal singleness of soul,
Attesting innocence and Matthew s voice,
Repeating fervently the Master s words,
Rouses to agony the listening group,
Who, half incredulous, with terror, seem
To shudder at his accents.
All the twelve
With strong emotion strive, save one false breast
By Mammon seared, which, brooding o er its gain,
THE LAST SUPPER.
Weighs thirty pieces with the Saviour s blood.
Son of perdition ! dost thou freely breathe
In such pure atmosphere ? And canst thou hide,
Neath the cold calmness of that settled brow,
The burden of a deed whose very name
Strikes all thy brethren pale ?
But can it be
That the strange power of this soul-harrowing scene
Is the slight pencil s witchery ? I would speak
Of him who pour d such bold conception forth
O er the dead canvass. But I dare not now
Muse of a mortal s praise. Subdued I stand
In thy sole, sorrowing presence, Son of God
I feel the breathing of those holy men,
From whom thy Gospel, as on angel s wing,
Went out through all the earth. I see how deep
Sin in the soul may lurk, and fain would kneel
Low at thy blessed feet, and trembling ask
" Lord! is it I."
For who may tell, what dregs
Do slumber in his breast. Thou, who didst taste
Of man s infirmities, yet bar his sins
From thine unspotted soul, forsake us not
In our temptations ; but so guide our feet,
That our last supper in this world may lead
To that immortal banquet by thy side,
Where there is no betrayer.
THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD.
YON pilgrim see, in vestments grey,
Whose bleeding feet bedew his way,
O er arid sands, with want opprest,
Who, toiling, knows no place of rest :
Mourn ye, because the long-sought shrine,
He clasps in ecstacy divine,
And lays his load of sin and gloom
Repentant on a Saviour s tomb ?
Behold yon ship, with wrecking form,
That bows her proud mast to the storm,
Rude winds and waves, with headlong force,
Impel her on her dangerous course ;
The pallid crew their hope resign,
And powerless view the surging brine :
Mourn ye, because the tempest dies,
And in the haven moor d she lies ?
Emerging from the field of strife
Where slaughter d thousands waste their life,
Yon warrior see, with gushing veins,
Who scarce his frantic steed restrains ;
THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD. I 1
The death-mist swims before his eyes
As toward the well-known spot he flies,
Where every fond affection lies.
Mourn ye, because to home restor d,
Woman s white arms enwrap her lord,
And tears and smiles, with varying grace,
Fleet o er his cherub children s face ?
Yet on his path of toil and woe,
The pilgrim from the shrine must go,
The ship amid the billows strain,
The warrior seek the field again,
But he, whose form to death has bow d,
Whose spirit cleaves the ethereal cloud,
From him hath change and sorrow fled,
Why mourn ye, then, the righteous dead ?
JOY IN BELIEVING.
God desireth to have no slaves in his family."
REV. DR. HAWES.
MAN asketh homage. When his foot doth stand
On earth s high places, he exacteth fear
From those who serve him. His proud spirit loves
The quick observance of an abject eye
And cowering brow. His dignity, he deems,
Demands such aliment and he doth show
Its evanescence, by the food he seeks
To give it nutriment. Yea, more than this
He o er his brother rules, with scourge and chain,
Treading out Nature s charities, till life
To madness tortur d, or in misery crush d,
Goes, an accusing spirit, back to God.
But He, the Eternal Ruler, willeth not
The slavery of the soul. His claim is love,
A filial spirit, and a song of praise.
It doth not please Him, that his servants wear
The livery of mourning. Peace is sown
Along their pilgrim path and holy hopes
JOY IN BELIEVING. 13
Like birds of Paradise, do sweetly pour
Melodious measures and a glorious faith
Springs up o er Jordan s wave.
Say, is it meet
For those who wear a Saviour s badge, to sigh
In heathen heaviness, when earthly joys
Quench their brief taper ? or go shrinking down
As to a dungeon, when the gate of Death
Opes its low valve, to show the shining track
Up to an angel s heritage of bliss ?
A MOTHER S COUNSELS.
DAUGHTER, the Book Divine,
To which we turn for aid,
When prosperous skies unclouded shine,
Or dark-wing d storms invade,
Is ever open to thine eye,
Imprint it on thy soul,
And wisdom that can never die
Shall thy young thoughts control.
Sweetest, the cheek of bloom,
Alas ! how soon twill wear
The clay-cold colouring of the tomb :
Then while thine own is fair,
Low at His feet imploring fall,
Who loves the humble mind,
And whose high promise is, that all
Who early seek shall find.
Come, ere thy hand hath wove
The first, fresh wreaths of Spring,
A MOTHER S COUNSELS. 15
Come, ere a worn and wither d love
Is all thou hast to bring,
Remember thy Creator s power,
While life from care is free,
That, when the days of darkness lower,
He may remember thee.
Yes, give thy heart to Him,
While budding Hope is green,
And when thy mother s eye is dim
To every earthly scene,
When this fond arm that circles thee
Must chill and powerless lie,
Our parting tear, the pledge shall be
Of union in the sky.
THE TIME TO DIE.
There is a time to die."
I HEARD a stranger s hearse move heavily
Along the pavement. Its deep gloomy pall
No hand of kindred or of friend upbore.
But from the cloud that veiled his western couch,
The lingering sun shed forth one transient ray,
Like sad and tender farewell to some plant
Which he had nourished. On the giddy crowd
Went dancing in their own enchanted maze,
Drowning the echo of those tardy wheels
Which hoarsely warn d them of a time to die.
I saw a sable train in sorrow bend
Around a tomb. There was a stifled sob,
And now and then a pearly tear fell down
Upon the tangled grass. Bat then there came
The damp clod harshly on the coffin lid,
Curdling the life-blood at the mourner s heart,
While audibly it spake to every ear,
" There is a time to die."
THE TIME TO DIE. 17
And then it seemed
As if from every mound and sepulchre
In that lone cemetery from the sward
Where slept the span-long infant to the grave
Of him who dandled on his wearied knee
Three generations from the turf that veil d
The wreck of mouldering beauty, to the bed
Where shrank the loathed beggar rose a cry
From all those habitants of silence tf Yea !
There is a time to die."
Methought that truth,
In every tongue, and dialect, and tone,
Peal d o er each region of the rolling globe ;
The simoon breathed it, and the earthquake groan d
A hollow, deep response ; the avalanche
Wrote it in terror on a snowy scroll ;
The red volcano belch d it forth in flames ;
Old Ocean bore it on his whelming surge ;
And yon, pure, broad, cerulean arch grew dark
With death s eternal darts. But joyous man,
To whom kind heaven the ceaseless warning sent,
Turn d to his phantom pleasures, and deferr d,
To some convenient hour, the time to die.
"THIS IS NOT YOUR REST."
THE PROPHET MICAH.
THE vines are wither d, O, my love,
That erst we taught to tower,
And in a mesh of fragrance wove,
Around our summer-bower.
The ivy on the ancient wall
Doth in its budding fade ;
The stream is dry, whose gentle fall
A lulling murmur made.
The tangled weeds have chok d the flowers;
The trees, so lately bright,
In all the pomp of vernal hours
Reveal a blackening blight ;
There is a sigh upon the gale
That doth the willow sway,
A murmur from the blossoms pale,
" Arise, and come away."
"THIS IS NOT YOUR REST." 19
So, when this life in clouds shall hide
Its garland fair and brief,
And every promise of its pride
Must wear the frosted leaf;
Then may the undying soul attain
That heritage sublime,
Where comes no pang of parting pain,
Nor change of hoary time.
ON READING THE MEMOIRS OF
I SA.W her on the strand. Beside her smil d
The land of birth, and the beloved home,
With all their pageantry of tint and shade,
Streamlet and vale.
There stood her childhood s friends,
Sweet sisters, who her inmost thoughts had shar d,
And saint-like parents, whose example rais d
Those thoughts to heaven. It was a strong array,
And the fond heart clung to its rooted loves.
But Christ had given a panoply, which earth
Might never take away. And so she turn d
To boisterous ocean, and with cheerful step,
Though moisten d eye, forsook the cherish d clime
Whose halcyon bowers had rear d her joyous youth.
I look d again. It was a foreign shore.
The tropic sun had laid his burning brow
On twilight s lap. A gorgeous palace caught
His last red ray. Hoarsely the idol-song
To Boodh mingled with the breeze that cuvl d
Broad Irrawaddy s tide. Why do ye point
To yon low prison ? Who is he that gropes
Amid its darkness, with those fetter d limbs ?
ON READING THE MEMOIRS OF MRS. JUDSON. 21
Mad Pagans ! do ye thus requite the man
Who toils for your salvation ?
See that form
Bending in tenderest sympathy to sooth
The victim s sorrow. Tardy months pass by,
And find her still intrepid at the post
Of danger and of disappointed hope.
Stem sickness smote her, yet, with tireless zeal,
She hore the hoarded morsel to her love,
Dar d the rude arrogance of savage power,
To plead for him, and bade his dungeon glow,
With her fair brow, as erst the angel s smile
Arous d imprison d Peter, when his hands,
From fetters loos d, were lifted high in praise.
There was another scene, drawn by his hand
Whose icy pencil blotteth out the grace
And loveliness of man. The keenest shaft
Of anguish quivers in that martyr s breast,
Who is about to wash her garments white
In a Redeemer s blood, and glorious rise
From earthly sorrows to a clime of rest.
Dark Burman faces are around her bed,
And one pale babe is there, for whom she checks
The death-groan, clasping it in close embrace,
Even till the heart-strings break.
Behold he comes !
The wearied man of God from distant toil.
22 ON READING THE MEMOIRS OF MRS. JUDSON.
His borne, while yet a misty speck it seems,
His straining eye detects, but marks no form
Of his most lov d one, hasting down the vale,
As wont, to meet him.
Say, what heathen lip
In its strange accents told him, that on earth
Nought now remain d to heal his wounded heart,
Save that lone famish d infant ? Days of care
Were meted to him, and long nights of grief
Weigh d out, and then that little, wailing one,
Went to her mother s bosom, and slept sweet
Neath the cool branches of the hopia-tree.
Twas bitterness to think that bird-like voice,
Which sang sweet hymns to please a father s ear,
Must breathe no more.
This is to be alone,
Alone in this wide world.
Yet not without
A comforter. For the true heart that trusts
Its all to Heaven, and sees its treasur d things
Unfold their hidden wing, and thither soar,
Doth find itself drawn upward in their flight.
I HAD a little tender flower,
I nurs d it in my summer bower,
No storm disturbed the guest ;
And even if the pearly dew
Hung heavy on its head, I flew
To warm it in my breast.
To this fond toil my days were given,
For this, my nightly prayer to heaven
Its tearful ardour spent;
A nameless pleasure soothed my care,
I lov d the plant, I saw twas fair,
And knew by God twas lent.
Yet, while I watch d its balmy rest,
And warmly clasp d it to my breast
With rapture s thrilling tone,
Stern Death, whose form I did not see,
Still nearer sat and watch d with me,
And claim d it for his own.
24 THE BABE.
He bore it to his dreary home,
That narrow house where all must come ;
Its cheek how deadly pale !
On me, its eye imploring roll d
To save it from a grasp so cold,
Ah ! what could that avail ?
Yet though he tore it from my arms,
And blanch d its bloom, and crush d its charms,
And o er it heap d the clods,
And dimm d the clear eyes violet ray,
And gave the form to worms a prey,
It was not his, but God s.
TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG LADY-
BRILLIANT and beautiful ! And can it be
That in thy radiant eye there dwells no light
Upon thy cheek no smile ? I little deemed
At our last parting, when thy cheering voice
Breathed the soul s harmony, what shadowy form
Then rose between us, and with icy dart
Wrote, " Ye shall meet no more." I little deemed
That thy elastic step, Death s darkened vale
Would tread before me.
Friend, I shrink to say
Farewell to thee. In youth s unclouded morn,
We gaze on friendship as a graceful flower,
And win it for our pleasure, or our pride.
But when the stern realities of life
Do clip the wings of fancy, and cold storms
Rack the worn cordage of the heart, it breathes
A healing essence, and a strengthening charm,
Next to the hope of heaven. Such was thy love,
Departed and deplored. Talents were thine,
Lofty and bright, the subtle shaft of wit,
And that keen glance of intellect which reads,
26 TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG L.ADY.
Intuitive, the deep and mazy springs
Of human action. Yet such meek regard
For other s feelings, such a simple grace
And singleness of purpose, such respect
To woman s noiseless duties, sweetly bow d
And tempered those high gifts, that every heart,
Which feared their splendour, loved their goodness too,
I see thy home of birth. Its pleasant halls
Put on the garb of mourning. Sad and lone
Are they who nursed thy virtues, and beheld
Their bright expansion through each ripening year.
To them the sacred name of daughter blent
All images of comforter and friend,
The fire-side charmer and the nurse of pain,
Eyes to the blind, and, to the weary, wings.
What shall console their sorrow, when young morn
Upriseth in its beauty, yet no smile
Of filial love to mark it ? when slow eve
Sinks down in silence, and that tuneful tone,
So long the treasure of their listening heart,
Uttereth no music ?
Ah ! so frail are we
So like the brief ephemeron that wheels
Its momentary round, we scarce can weep
Our own bereavements, ere we haste to share
The clay with those we mourn. A narrow point
Divides our grief-sob from our pang of death.
TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG LADY. 27
Down to the mouldering multitude we go,
And all our anxious thoughts, our fevered hopes
The sorrowing burdens of our pilgrimage
In deep oblivion rest.
Then let the woes
And joys of earth be to the deathless soul
Like the swept dew-drop from the eagle s wing,
When, waking in his strength, he sunward soars.
BARZILLAI THE GILEADITE.
" Let me be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother.
2 SAMUEL, xix., 87.
SON of Jesse ! let me go,
Why should princely honours stay me ?
Where the streams of Gilead flow,
Where the light first met mine eye,
Thither would I turn and die ;
Where my parents ashes lie,
King of Israel ! bid them lay me.
Bury me near my sire revered,
Whose feet in righteous paths so firmly trod,
Who early taught my soul with awe
To heed the Prophets and the Law,
And to my infant heart appeared
Majestic as a God :
Oh ! when his sacred dust
The cerements of the tomh shall burst,
Might I be worthy at his feet to rise,
To yonder blissful skies,
Where angel-hosts resplendent shine,
Jehovah ! Lord of Hosts, the glory shall be thine.
BARZILLAI THE GILEADITE. 29
Cold age upon my breast
Hath shed a frost like death,
The wine-cup hath no zest,
The rose no fragrant breath ;
Music from my ear hath fled,
Yet still one sweet tone lingereth there,
The blessing that my mother shed
Upon my evening prayer.
Dim is my wasted eye
To all that beauty brings,
The brow of grace the form of symmetry
Are half-forgotten things ;
Yet one bright hue is vivid still,
A mother s holy smile, that soothed my sharpest ill.
Memory, with traitor- tread,
Methinks, doth steal away
Treasures that the mind had laid
Up for a wintry day.
Images of sacred power,
Cherished deep in passion s hour,
Faintly now my bosom stir,
Good and evil like a dream
Half obscured and shadowy seem,
et with a changeless love my soul remembereth her,
Yea it remembereth her :
Close by her blessed side, make ye my sepulchre.
DEATH OF AN AGED CHRISTIAN.
I THOUGHT that death was terrible. I ve seen
His ministry in the distorted brow,
The glazing eye, the struggle and the groan,
With which the heart-strings break. Yet here was one
Whose summoned breath went forth as peacefully
As folds the spent rose when the day is done.
Still life to her was dear ; for, with strong root
That charity, whose fruit is happiness,
Did grow and blossom in her ; and the light
Of her own cheerful spirit flowing out,
Tinged earth s brief rain-drops with the bow of heaven.
Time had respected her, had spared her brow
Its beauty, and her heart the unchilled warmth
Of those affections, gentle and sublime,
Which make the fire-side holy. Hand in hand
With those her care had nurtured, and who joyed
To pay their debt of gratitude, she past,
Benign and graceful, down the vale of age,
Wrapped up in tender love. Without a sigh,
A change of feature, or a shaded smile,
She gave her hand to the stern messenger,
DEATH OF AN AGED CHRISTIAN. 31
And, as a glad child seeks its father s house,
Went home. She in her Saviour s ranks had done
A veteran s service, and, with Polycarp,
Might say to death, " For more than fourscore years
He was my Lord shall I deny him now ? "
No ! No ! Thou could st not turn away from him
Who was thy hope from youth, and on whose arm
Thy feebleness of hoary hairs was staid.
Before his Father and the angel host
He will adjudge thee faithful. So, farewell,
Blessed, and full of days. No more thy prayer
Up through the solitude of night shall rise
To bless thy children s children nor thy soul
Yearn for re-union with those kindred ones
Who went to rest before thee. Twas not meet
That thou should st longer tarry from that bliss
Which God reserveth for the pure in heart.
NEW ZEALAND MISSIONARY.
"We cannot let him go. He says he is going to return to England
the ship is here to take him away. But no we will keep him and make
him our slave not our slave to fetch wood and draw water, but our talking-
slave. Yes he shall be our slave, to talk to and to teach us. Keep him
we will." Speech of Rev. Mr. Yeates, at the Anniversary of the Church
Missionary Society, London, May, 1835.
TWAS night, and in his tent he lay,
Upon a heathen shore,
While wildly on his wakeful ear
The ocean s billows roar ;
Twas midnight, and the war-club rang
Upon his threshold stone,
And heavy feet of savage men
Came fiercely tramping on.
Loud were their tones in fierce debate :
The chieftain and his clan,
" He shall not go he shall not go,
That missionary man ;
For him the swelling sail doth spread,
The tall ship rides the wave,
But we will chain him to our coast,
Yes, he shall be our slave :
THE NEW-ZEALAND MISSIONARY.
" Not from the groves our wood to bear,
Nor water from the vale,
Nor in the battle-front to stand,
Where proudest foe-men quail,
Not the great war-canoe to guide,
Where crystal streams turn red :
But he shall be our slave to break
The soul its living bread."
Then slowly peer d the rising moon,
Above the forest-height,
And bathed each cocoa s leafy crown
In tides of living light ;
To every cabin s grassy thatch
A gift of beauty gave,
And with a crest of silver cheer d
Pacific s sullen wave.
But o er that gentle scene a shout
In sudden clangour came,
" Come forth, come forth, thou man of God,
And answer to our claim : "
So down to those dark island-men,
He bow d him as he spake,
" Behold, your servant will I be,
For Christ, my master s sake."
DEATH OF A SISTER, AT SCHOOL.
SWEET sister! is it so ? And shall I see
Thy face on earth no more ? And didst thou breathe
The last sad pang of agonizing life
Upon a stranger s pillow ? No kind hand,
Of parent or of sister near, to press
Thy throbbing temples, when the shuddering dew
Stood thick upon them ?
And they say my name
Hung on thy lips mid the chill, parting strife.
Ah ! those were hallowed memories that could stir
Thy bosom thus in death. The tender song
Of cradle-nurture the low, lisping prayer,
Learned at our mother s knee the childish sport,
The gift divided, and the parted cake
Our walk to school amid the dewy grass
Our sweet flower-gatherings all those cloudless hours
Together shared, did wake a love so strong
That time must yield it to eternity
For its full crown. Would it had been my lot
But with one weeping prayer to gird thy heart
For its last conflict. Would that I had seen
DEATH OF A SISTER, AT SCHOOL. 35
That peaceful smile which death did leave the clay
After his conquest o er it. But the turf
On thy lone grave was trodden, while I deemed
Thee meekly musing o er the classic page,
Loving and loved, amid the studious band
As erst I left thee.
Sister ! toils and ills
Henceforth are past for knowledge without pain,
A free translucent, everlasting tide,
O erflows thy spirit. Thou no more hast need
Of man s protecting arm, for thou may st lean
On His unchanging throne who was thy trust,
Even from thine early days.
Tis well ! tis well !
Saviour of souls ! I thank thee for her bliss.
ON THE LOSS OF A BEAUTIFUL
CHILD AT TRENTON FALLS.
No cloud upon the summer air,
The forest-houghs are green and fair,
And Trenton s foaming waters throw
Their freshness on the vales below,
And joyous spirits tread
The slippery margin of the tide
That on from plunge to plunge doth glide,
So beautiful and dread ;
Hark ! to a cry of wild despair
Echoing from yon guarded dell,
Where the imprison d flood doth to fierce madness swell.
Where is that lovely one,
Of fawn-like step, and cherub air,
And brow that knew no care ?
Fearful torrent ! tell me where !
She mark d thee with admiring eye,
LOSS OF A CHILD AT TRENTON PALLS. 37
Thy fringed shore, thy craggy steep,
Thy boiling eddies, bold and deep,
Thy white inists curtaining to the sky ;
Where is she now ? with sorrow wild,
I hear a mother s voice lamenting for her child.
Thou terrible in beauty ! hold thy way,
Foaming and full of wrath. Thy deeds shall be
Grav d on yon altar-piece of rugged rock,
And every worshipper who bows to thee
Shall read the record, and, indignant, mock
Thy siren charms. And, henceforth, she who guides
Some darling child along thy treacherous tides,
Marking this trophy thou hast torn
From the fond parents heart, shall haste away and mourn.
RECOLLECTIONS OF AN AGED PASTOR.
I DO remember him. His saintly voice,
So duly lifted in the house of God,
Comes, with the far-off wing of infant years,
Like solemn music. Often have we hush d
The shrillest echo of our holiday,
Turning our mirth to reverence as he pass d,
And eager to record one favouring smile,
Or word paternal.
At the bed of death
I do remember him ; when one, who bore
For me a tender love, sustain d that pang
Which makes the features rigid and the eye
Like a fix d glassy orb. Her head was white
With many winters but her furrow d brow
To me was beautiful for she had cheer d
My lonely childhood with a changeless stream
Of pure benevolence. His earnest tone,
Girding her from the armory of God
To foil the terrors of that shadowy vale
Through which she walk d, doth linger round me still ;
And by that gush of bitter tears, when first
RECOLLECTIONS OF AN AGED PASTOR.
Grief came into my bosom by that thrill
Of agony, which from the opened grave
Rush d wildly forth I do remember him,
The comforter and friend.
When fancy s smile
Gilding youth s scenes, arid promising to bring
The curtain d morrow fairer than to-day,
Enkindled wilder gaiety than fits
Beings so frail how oft his funeral prayer
Over some shrouded sleeper made a pause
In folly s song, or warn d her roving thought
That all man s glory was the flower of grass
Beneath the mower s scythe.
His fourscore years
Sat lightly on him for his heart was glad,
Even to its latest pulse, with that fond love,
Home-nurtur d and reciprocal, which girds
And garners up, in sorrow and in joy.
I was not with the weepers when the hearse
Stood all expectant at his pleasant door,
And other voices from his pulpit said
That he was not : but yet the requiem sigh
Of that sad organ, in its sable robe,
Made melancholy music in my dreams.
And so, farewell, thou who didst shed the dew
Baptismal on mine infancy, and lead
40 RECOLLECTIONS OF AN AGED PASTOR.
To the Redeemer s sacred board, a guest
Timid and unassur d yet gathering strength
From the blest promise of Jehovah s aid
Unto the early seeker.
My native spot unfolds that pictur d chart
Unto mine eye, which in my heart I hold,
Rocks, woods, and waters, exquisitely blent,
Thy cordial welcome I no more shall hear
Father and guide nor can I hope to win
Thy glance from glory s mansion while I lay
This wild-flower garland on thine honour d tomb.
THE HOPIA TREE,
PLANTED OVER THE GRAVE OF MRS. ANN H JUDSON.
" REST ! Rest ! the hopia tree is green,
And proudly waves its leafy screen
Thy lowly bed above,
Arid by thy side, no more to weep,
Thine infant shares the gentle sleep,
Thy youngest bud of love.
" How oft its feeble wailing cry
Detain d unseal d thy watchful eye,
And pain d that parting hour
When pallid Death, with stealthy tread,
Descried thee on thy fever-bed,
And proved his fatal power.
" Ah ! do I see with faded charm,
Thy head reclining on thine arm,
The Teacher * far away ?
* " The last day or two of her life she lay almost motionless, on one
side, her head reclining on her arm. Sometimes she said, The teacher is
long in coming, and the new missionaries are long in coming. I must die
alone." Knotvles s Memoir.
42 THE HOPIA TREE.
But now, thy mission-labours o er,
Rest, weary clay, to wake no more,
Till the Great Rising-Day."
Thus spake the traveller, as he staid
His step within that sacred shade :
A man of God was he,
Who his Redeemer s glory sought,
And paused to woo the holy thought
Beneath that hopia tree.
The Solwen s tide went rushing by,
And Burmah s cloudless moon was high,
With many a solemn star ;
And while he mus d, methought there stole
An angel s whisper o er his soul,
From that pure clime afar,
Where swells no more the heathen sigh,
Nor neath the idol s stony eye
Dark sacrifice is done,
And where no more, by prayers and tears,
And toils of agonizing years,
The martyr s crown is won.
Then visions of the faith that blest
The dying saint s rejoicing breast,
And sets the pagan free,
THE HOPIA TREE. 43
Caine thronging on, serenely bright,
And cheer d the traveller s heart that night,
Beneath the hopia tree.
"Every thing that is high is not holy; nor every desire pure; nor all
that is sweet, good; nor every thing that is dear to man, pleasing to
THOMAS A KEMPIS.
MIGHT we but view the shore
Of this dim world, as from heaven s hill it gleams,
How should we blame the tear unduly shed,
And tax the truant joy ! How should we see,
Amaz d, our own mistakes : the lowly tomb
Of our lost idols blooming thick with flowers
Such as the seraph s bosom wears above ;
The slippery cliff where we have madly blown
Ambition s victor-trump, with storm-clouds crownM
To wreck the unwary soul ; wealth s hoarded gold,
Eternal poverty ; and the meek prayer
Of Him who knew not where to lay his head,
An heritage of glory.
Fed to fruition, till the satiate heart
Is gorg d with richness, sows it not the seeds
Of sickness there ? while He whose only rest
Was on a spear-point, who might ask for bread
Only to find a stone, gain d He not thus
A mansion in the amaranthine bowers
Of love divine ?
Prosperity, alas !
Is often but another name for pride,
And selfishness, which scorns another s woe,
While our keen disappointments are the food
Of that humility which entereth heaven,
Finding itself at home. The things we mourn
Work our eternal gain. Then let our joys
Be tremulous as the mimosa s leaf,
And each affliction with a serious smile
Be welcom d in at the heart s open door,
As the good patriarch met his muffled guests,
And found them angels.
" The Lord is in his holy temple ; let all the earth keep silence before
THE Lord is on his holy throne,
He sits in kingly state ;
Let those who for his favour seek,
In humble silence wait.
Your sorrows to his eyes are known,
Your secret motives clear ;
It needeth not the pomp of words,
To pour them on his ear.
Doth Death thy bosom s cell invade ?
Yield up thy flower of grass ;
Swells the world s wrathful billow high ?
Bow down, and let it pass.
Press not thy purpose on thy God,
Urge not thine erring will,
SILENT DEVOTION. 47
Nor dictate to the Eternal inind,
Nor doubt thy Maker s skill :
True prayer is not the noisy sound
That clamorous lips repeat,
But the deep silence of a soul
That clasps Jehovah s feet.
DEATH OF A YOUNG WIFE.
WHY is the green earth broken ? Yon tall grass,
Which in its ripeness woo d the mower s hand,
And the wild rose, whose young buds faintly bloom d
Why are their roots uptorn ? Why swells a mound
Of new-made turf among them ?
Ask of him
Who in his lonely chamber weeps so long
At morning s dawn, and evening s pensive hour,
Whose bosom s planted hopes might scarcely boast
More firmness than yon riven flower of grass.
Yet hath not memory stores whereon to feed,
When joy s young harvest fails ? as clings the bee
To the sweet calyx of some smitten flower ?
Still is remembrance grief. The tender smile
Of young, confiding love, its winning tones,
Its self-devotion, its delight to seek
Another s good, its ministry to sooth
The hour of pain, come o er the hermit heart.
To claim its bitterest tear.
But that meek Faith,
Which, all distrustful of its holiest deeds,
DEATH OF A YOUNG "WIFE. 49
So strongly clasp d a Saviour s feet, when Death
Rang the crush d heart-strings like a broken harp,
That hope which shed its seraph-benisori
On all who wept around, that smile which left
Heaven s stainless semblance on the breathless clay,
These are the tokens to the soul bereav d,
To gird itself invincibly, and seek
A deathless union with the parted bride.
THE SICK CHILD.
THY fever d arms around me,
My little, suffering boy
Tis better thus with thee to watch,
Than share in fashion s joy.
The pale nurse-lamp is waning
Upon the shaded hearth,
And dearer is its light to me
Than the gay flambeau s mirth.
I ve lov d the merry viol
That spurs the dancer s heel,
And those soft tremblings of the lute
O er summer s eve that steal,
But when hath richest music
Been to my soul so dear
As that half-broken sob of thine,
Which tells that sleep is near ?
I knew not half how precious
The cup of life might be,
THE SICK CHILD. 51
Till o er thy cradle-bed I knelt,
And learn d to dream of thee ;
Till at the midnight hour I found
Thy head upon my arm,
And saw thy full eye fix d on mine,
A strong, mysterious charm ;
Till, at thy first faint lisping,
That tear of rapture stole,
Which ever as a pearl had slept
Deep in the secret soul.
A coffin small, and funeral,
With all their sad array,
Gleam, as my broken slumbers fleet
On sable wing away ;
I see those dark-rob d visions
The heated brain that sear,
And still a baby s heavy knell
Comes booming o er my ear.
Cling closer, round my bosom
Thy feeble arms entwine,
And, while the life-throb stirs thy heart,
Be as a part of mine.
THE SICK CHILD.
That start, that cry, that struggle !
My God, I am but clay !
Have pity on a bruised reed,
Give thy compassions way ;
Or send thy strength to gird me ;
Impart a power divine,
To wring out sorrow s dregs, and say,
" Lord ! not my will, but thine."
THE BITTERNESS OF DEATH.
" death ! how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that is at ease
in his possessions." Ecclesiasticus, iv., 1.
THE rich man moved in pomp. His soul was gorged
With the gross fulness of material things,
So that it spread no pinion forth to seek
A better world than this. There was a change,
And in the sleepless chamber of disease,
Curtained and nursed, and ill-content he lay.
He had a wasted and an eager look,
And on the healer s brow he fixed a glance,
Keen yet imploring.
What he greatly feared
Had come upon him. So he went his way
The way of all the earth and his lands took
Another s name.
Why dost thou come, Death !
To print the bridal chamber with thy foot,
And leave the ruin of thy ministry,
Where love, and joy, and hope, so late had hung
Their diamond cressets ?
To the cradle side
Why need st thou steal, changing, to thine own hue
54 THE BITTERNESS OF DEATH.
Of ghastly pale, the youthful mother s hrow ;
And, for her nightly watching, leaving nought
In payment but a piece of marble clay,
And the torn heart-strings in her bleeding breast ?
Come to the aged, he hath sorely trod
Time s rugged road, until his staff is broke,
And his feet palsied, and his friends all gone ;
Put thy cold finger on life s last faint spark,
And scarcely gasping he shall follow thee.
Come to the saint, for he will meekly take
Thy message to his soul, and welcome thee
In Jesus name, and bless the shadowy gate
Which thou dost open.
Wait awhile, O Death
For those who love this fleeting world too well ;
Wait, till it force their hearts to turn away
From all its empty promises, and loathe
Its deep hypocrisy. 0, wait for those
Who have not tasted yet of Heaven s high grace,
Nor bring them to their audit, all unclothed
With a Redeemer s righteousness.
The fashion of this world passeth away." 1 Corinthians, vii., 81.
A ROSE upon her mossy stem,
Fair Queen of Flora s gay domain,
All graceful wore her diadem,
The brightest mid the brilliant train ;
But evening came, with frosty breath,
And, ere the quick return of day,
Her beauties, in the blight of death,
Had pass d away.
I saw, when morning gemmed the sky,
A fair young creature gladly rove,
Her moving lip was melody,
Her varying smile the charm of love ;
At eve I came but on her bed
She drooped, with forehead pale as clay -
" What dost thou here ? " she faintly said,
lt Passing away."
I looked on manhood s towering form
Like some tall oak when tempests blow,
That scorns the fury of the storm
And strongly strikes its root below.
Again I looked with idiot cower
His vacant eye s unmeaning ray
Told how the mind of godlike power
O earth ! no better wealth hast thou ?
No balsam for the heart that bleeds ?
Fade all thy brightest things away ?
Fail all thy props like bruised reeds P
The soul made answer " Hopes are mine
To dwell in realms of changeless day,
Where lips have never breathed the sound,
" Passing away. "
BURMANS AND THEIR MISSIONARY.
"Are you Jesus Christ s man? Give us a writing that tells about Jesus-
Christ." Letter of Rev. Dr. Judson.
THERE is a cry in Burmah, and a rush
Of thousand footsteps from the distant bound
Of watery Siam, and the rich Cathay.
From the far northern frontier, pilgrims meet
The central dwellers in the forest-shades,
And on they press together. Eager hope
Sits in their eye, and on their lips the warmth
Of strong request. Is it for bread they seek,
Like the dense multitude, which, fainting, hung
Upon the Saviour s words, till the third day
Closed in, and left them hungering ?
Not for food
Or raiment ask they. Simply girding on
The scanty garment o er the weary limb,
They pass unmarked, the lofty domes of wealth
Inquiring for a stranger. There he stands ;
The mark of foreign climes is on his brow ;
He hath no power, no costly gifts to deal
Among the people, and his lore perchance
58 BURMANS AND THEIR MISSIONARY.
The earth-bowed worldling with his scales of gold,
Accounteth folly. Yet to him is raised
Each straining eye-ball, "Tell us of the Christ! "
And like the far-off murmur of the sea
Lashed by the tempest, swelled their blended tone,
" Yea. Tell us of the Christ. Give us a scroll
Bearing his name."
And there that teacher stood,
Far from his native land amid the graves
Of his lost infants, and of her he loved
More than his life, yes, there he stood alone,
And with a simple, saint-like eloquence,
Spake his Redeemer s word. Forgot were all
Home, boyhood, Christian-fellowship the tone
Of his sweet babes his partner s dying strife
Chains, perils, Burman dungeons, all forgot,
Save the deep danger of the heathen s soul,
And God s salvation. And methought that earth
In all she vaunts of majesty, or tricks
With silk and purple, or the baubled pride
Of throne and sceptre, or the blood-red pomp
Of the stem hero, had not aught to boast
So truly great, so touching, so sublime,
As that lone missionary, shaking off
All links and films and trappings of the world,
And in his chastened nakedness of soul
Rising to bear the embassy of heaven.
APPEAL OP THE BLIND,
Sung at an Exhibition of Blind Boys.
YE see the glorious sun
The varied landscape light,
The moon, with all her starry train,
Illume the arch of night,
Bright tree, and hird, and flower,
That deck your joyous way,
The face of kindred and of friend,
More fair, more dear than they.
For us there glows no sun,
No green and flowery lawn ;
Our rayless darkness hath no moon,
Our midnight knows no dawn ;
The parent s pitying eye,
To all our sorrows true,
The brother s brow, the sister s smile,
Have never met our view.
60 APPEAL OF THE BLIND.
We have a lamp within,
That knowledge fain would light,
And pure Religion s radiance touch
With beams for ever bright ;
Say, shall it rise to share
Such radiance full and free ?
And will ye keep a Saviour s charge,
And cause the blind to see ?
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts."
THE PROPHET HAGGAI.
WHOSE is the gold that glitters in -he mine ?
And whose the silver ? Are they not the Lord s ?
And, lo ! the cattle on a thousand hills,
And the broad earth with all her gushing springs,
Are they not His who made them ?
Ye who hold
Slight tenantry therein, and call your lands
By your own names, and lock your gathered gold
From him who in his bleeding Saviour s name
Doth ask a part, whose shall those riches be
When, like the grass-blade from the autumn-frost,
You fall away ?
Point out to me the forms
That in your treasure-chambers shall enact
Glad mastership, and revel where you toiled
Sleepless and stern. Strange faces are they all.
O man ! whose wrinkling labour is for heirs,
Thou knowest not who, thou in thy mouldering bed,
Unkenned, unchronicled of them, shall sleep ;
Nor will they thank thee that thou didst bereave
Thy soul of good for them.
Now, thou mayest give
The famished food, the prisoner liberty,
Light to the darkened mind, to the lost soul
A place in heaven. Take thou the privilege
With solemn gratitude. Speck as thou art
Upon earth s surface, gloriously exult
To be co-worker with the King of Kings.
A FATHER TO HIS MOTHERLESS
COME, gather closer to my side,
My little smitten flock,
And I will tell of him who brought
Pure water from the rock
Who boldly led God s people forth
From Egypt s wrath and guile,
And once a cradled babe did float,
All helpless on the Nile.
You re weary, precious ones, your eyes
Are wandering far and wide
Think ye of her who knew so well
Your tender thought to guide ?
Who could to wisdom s sacred lore
Your fixed attention claim ?
Ah ! never from your hearts erase
That blessed mother s name.
Tis time to sing your evening hymn,
My youngest infant dove,
64 A FATHER TO HIS MOTHERLESS CHILDREN.
Come, press your velvet cheek to mine,
And learn the lay of love ;
My sheltering arms can clasp you all,
My poor deserted throng,
Cling as you used to cling to her
Who sings the angel s song.
Begin, sweet birds, the accustomed strain,
Come, warble loud and clear ;
Alas ! alas ! you re weeping all,
You re sobbing in my ear ;
Good-night go, say the prayer she taught,
Beside your little bed,
The lips that used to bless you there
Are silent with the dead.
A father s hand your course may guide
Amid the thorns of life,
His care protect those shrinking plants
That dread the storms of strife ;
But who, upon your infant hearts,
Shall like that mother write ?
Who touch the strings that rule the soul ?
Dear, smitten flock, good-night !
THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH.
THERE fell no rain on Israel. The sad trees,
Reft of their coronets, and the crisp vines,
Aud flo\yers, whose dewless bosoms sought the dust,
Mourned the long drought. The miserable herds
Pined on, and perished mid the scorching fields ;
And, near the vanished fountains where they used
Freely to slake their thirst, the moaning flocks
Laid their parched mouths and died.
A holy man,
Who saw high visions of unuttered things,
Dwelt, in deep musing solitude, apart
Upon the banks of Cherith. Dark winged birds,
Intractable and fierce, were strangely moved
To shun the hoarse cries of their callow brood,
And night and morning lay their gathered spoils
Down at his feet. So, of the brook he drank,
Till pitiless suns exhaled that slender rill
Which, singing, used to glide to Jordan s breast.
Then, warned of God, he rose and went his way
Unto the coast of Zidon. Near the gates
Of Zarephath he marked a lowly cell,
Where a pale, drooping widow, in the depth
Of desolate and hopeless poverty,
Prepared the last scant morsel for her son,
That he might eat and die.
66 THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH.
The man of God,
Entering, requested food. Whether that germ
Of self-denying fortitude, which stirs
Sometimes in woman s soul, and nerves it strong
For life s severe and unapplauded tasks,
Sprang up at his appeal or whether He
Who ruled the ravens wrought within her heart,
I cannot say ; but to the stranger s hand
She gave the bread. Then, round the famished boy
Clasping her widowed arms, she strained him close
To her wan bosom, while his hollow eye
Wondering and wistfully regarded her,
With ill-subdued reproach.
But blessings fell
From the majestic guest, and every morn
The empty store which she had wept at eve,
Mysteriously replenished, woke such joy
As ancient Israel felt when round their camp
The manna lay like dew. Thus many days
They fed, and the poor famine-stricken boy
Looked up with a clear eye, while vigorous health
Flushed with unwonted crimson his pure cheek,
And bade the fair flesh o er his wasted limbs
Come like a garment. The lone widow mused
On her changed lot, yet to Jehovah s name
Gave not the praise ; but when the silent moon
Moved forth all radiant, on her star-girt throne,
Uttered a heathen s gratitude, and hailed,
THE WIDOW Of ZAREPHATH. 67
In the deep chorus of Zidonian song,
" Astarte, Queen of Heaven ! "
But then there came
A day of woe. That gentle boy, in whom
His mother lived, for whom alone she deemed
Time s weary heritage a blessing, died.
Wildly the tides of passionate grief broke forth,
And on the prophet of the Lord her lip
Called with indignant frenzy. So he came,
And from her bosom took the breathless clay
And bore it to his chamber. There he knelt
In supplication that the dead might live.
He looked upon the child. Unchang d that cheek
Of marble meekly on the pillow lay,
While round the polished forehead, sunny curls
Clustered redundantly. So sweetly slept
Beauty and innocence in death s embrace.
It seemed a mournful thing to waken them.
Another prayer arose and he whose faith
Had power o er nature s elements, to seal
The dripping cloud, to wield the lightning s dart,
And soon, from death escaping, was to soar
On car of flame up to the throne of God,
Long, long, with labouring breast, and lifted eyes,
Solicited in anguish. On the dead
Once more the prophet gazed. A rigour seemed
68 THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH.
To settle on those features, and the hand,
In its immoveable coldness, told how firm
Was the dire grasp of the insatiate grave.
The awful seer laid down his humbled lip
Low in the dust, and his whole being seemed
With concentrated agony to pour
Forth in one agonizing, voiceless strife
Look upon the boy !
There was a trembling of the parted lip,
A sob a shiver from the half-sealed eye
A flash like morning and the soul came back
To its frail tenement.
Ah, who shall set
Limits to prayer, if it hath entered heave
And won a spirit down to its dense robe
Of earth again.
The holy prophet raised
The renovated child, and on that breast
Which gave the life-stream of its infancy
Laid the fair head once more.
If ye would know
Aught of that wildering trance of ecstacy,
Go, ask a mother s heart, but question not
So poor a thing as language. Yet the soul
Of her of Zarephath, in that blest hour,
Believed and with the kindling glow of faith
Turned from vain idols to the living God.
: Thy mercies are new every morning and fresh every moment."
OH Thou, who, bounteous to their need,
Dost all earth s thronging pilgrims feed,
Dost bid for them, in every clime,
The pregnant harvest know its time,
The flocks in verdant pastures dwell,
The corn aspire, the olive swell,
Fain would we bless that sleepless eye
That doth our hourly wants descry.
Thou pour st us, from the nested grove,
The minstrel melody of love,
Thou giv st us of the fruitage fair
That summer s ardent sons prepare,
Of honey from the rock that flows,
And of the perfume of the rose,
And of the breeze whose balm repairs
The sick ning waste of toil and cares.
70 DIVINE GOODNESS.
And though, perchance, the ingrate knee
Bends not in praise or prayer to Thee,
Though sin that stole, with traitor-sway,
E ven Peter s loyalty away,
May strongly weave its seven-fold snare,
And bring dejection and despair ;
Yet not the morn with cheering eye
More duly lights the expecting sky,
Nor surer speeds on pinion light
Each measur d moment s trackless flight,
Than comes thy mercy s kind embrace
To feeble man s forgetful race.
THE CONSUMPTIVE C-IRL.
From a Picture.
THOU may st not raise her from that couch, kind nurse,
To bind those clustering tresses, or to press
The accustomed cordial. Thou no more shalt feel
Her slight arms twining faintly round thy neck
To prop her weakness. That low whispered tone
No more can thank thee, but the earnest eye
Speaks, with its tender glance, of all thy care
By night and day. Henceforth thy mournful task
Is brief: to wipe the cold and starting dew
From that pure brow, to touch the parching lip
With the cool water-drop and guide the breeze
That, fragrant, through her flowers, comes travelling on
Freshly to lift the poor heart s broken valve,
Which, gasping, waits its doom.
Mother ! thy lot
Hath been a holy one ; upon thy breast
To cherish that fair bud, to share its bloom,
Refresh its langour with the rain of Heaven,
And give it back to God. The hour is come ;
Thy sleepless night-watch o er her infancy
72 THE CONSUMPTIVE GIRL.
Bore its own payment. Thou hast never known
For her, thy child, burden, or toil, or pang,
But what the full fount of maternal love
Did wash away, leaving those diamond sands
Which memory from her precious casket strews.
Behold, her darkening eye doth search for thee
As the bowed violet through some chilling screen
Turns toward the sun that cheered it. Well, thine heart
Hath read its language from her cradle-hour ;
What saith it to thee ?
" Blessed one, farewell !
I go to Jesus. Early didst thou teach
My soul the way, from yonder Book of Heaven.
Come soon to me, sweet guide."
Ah, gather up
The glimmering radiance of that parting smile
Prolong the final kiss hang fondly o er
The quivering pressure of that marble hand,
Those last, deep tokens of a daughter s love.
Weep, but not murmur. She no more shall pine
Before thine eyes in smothered agony,
And waste away, and wear the hectic flush
That cheats so long, to wake a keener pain.
Beside thy hearth she is a guest no more ;
But in heaven s beauty shalt thou visit her,
In heaven s high health.
Call her no longer thine,
Thou could st not keep Consumption s moth away
THE CONSUMPTIVE GIRL. 73
From her frail web of life. Thou could st not guard
Thy darling from the lion. All thy love,
In the best armour of its sleepless might,
The spoiler trampled as a reed. Give thanks
That she is safe with Him who hath the power
O er pain, and sin, and death. Mourner, give thanks.
TO A DYING INFANT.
Go to thy rest, my child !
Go to thy dreamless bed,
Gentle and undefiled,
With blessings on thy head ;
Fresh roses in thy hand,
Buds on thy pillow laid,
Haste from this fearful land,
Where flowers so quickly fade.
Before thy heart might learn
In waywardness to stray,
Before thy foot could turn
The dark and downward way ;
Ere sin might wound the breast,
Or sorrow wake the tear,
Rise to thy home of rest,
In yon celestial sphere.
Because thy smile was fair,
Thy lip and eye so bright,
TO A DYING INFANT. 75
Because thy cradle-care
Was such a fond delight,
Shall Love, with weak embrace,
Thy heavenward flight detain ?
No ! Angel, seek thy place
Amid yon cherub-train.
So parted they ; the angel up to heaven,
And Adam to his bower." MILTON.
THIS is the parting place ; this narrow house,
With its turf roof and marble door, where none
Have entered and returned. If earth s poor gold
E er clave unto thee, here unlade thyself;
For thou didst bring none with thee to this world,
Nor may st thou bear it hence. Honours hast thou,-
Ambition s shadowy gatherings ? Shred them loose
To the four winds, their natural element.
Yea, more, thou must unclasp the living ties
Of strong affection. Hast thou nurtured babes ?
And was each wailing from their feeble lip
A thorn to pierce thee ? every infant smile,
And budding hope, a spring of ecstacy ?
Turn, turn away, for thou henceforth to them
A parent art no more ! Wert thou a wife ?
And was the arm on which thy spirit leaned
Faithful in all thy need ? Yet must thou leave
This fond protection, and pursue alone
Thy shuddering pathway down the vale of death.
THE TOMB. 77
Friendship s free intercourse the promised joys
Of soul-implanted, soul-confiding love,
The cherished sympathies which every year
Struck some new root within thy yielding breast,
Stand loose from all, thou lonely voyager
Unto the land of spirits.
Yea, even more !
Lay down thy body ! Hast thou worshipped it
With vanity s sweet incense, and wild waste
Of precious time ? Did beauty bring it gifts,
The lily brow, the full resplendent eye,
The tress, the bloom, the grace, whose magic power
Woke man s idolatry ? lay it down,
Earth s reptile banqueters have need of it.
Still may st thou bear, o er Jordan s stormy wave,
One blessed trophy, if thy life hath striven
By penitence and faith such boon to gain,
The victor palm of Christ s atoning love :
And this shall win thee entrance when thou stand st
A pilgrim at heaven s gate.
DEATH OF THE EMIGRANT.
" THE way is long," the father said,
While through the western wild he sped,
With eager, searching eye ;
" Cheer ye, my babes," the mother cried,
And drew them closer to her side,
As frown d the evening sky.
Just then, within the thicket rude,
A log-rear d cabin s roof they view d,
And its low shelter bless d,
On the rough floor, their simple bed,
In weariness and haste they spread,
And laid them down to rest.
On leathern hinge the doors were hung,
Undeck d with glass the casement swung,
The smoke-wreath stain d the wall ;
And here they found their only home,
Who once had rul d the spacious dome,
And pac d the pictur d hall.
DEATH OF THE EMIGRANT. 79
But hearts with pure affections warm,
Unmurmuring at the adverse storm,
Did in that cell ahide,
And there the wife her hushand cheer d,
And there her little ones she rear d,
And there in hope she died.
Still the lone man his toil pursued,
While neath his roof so low and rude,
A gentle daughter rose,
As peering through some rifted rock,
Or blooming on a broken stock,
The blushing sweet-briar grows.
With tireless hand, the board she spread,
The Holy Book at evening read,
And when, with serious air,
He saw her bend so sweetly mild,
And lull to sleep the moaning child,
He bless d her in his prayer.
But stern disease his footsteps staid,
And down the woodman s axe he laid,
The fever-flame was high ;
No more the forest fear d his stroke,
He fell, as falls the rugged oak,
Beneath the whirlwind s eye.
80 DEATH OF THE EMIGRANT.
His youngest girl, his fondest pride,
His baby, when the mother died,
How desolate she stands !
While, gazing on his death-struck eye,
His kneeling sons with anguish cry,
And clasp his stiffen d hands.
Who hastes his throbbing head to hold ?
Who bows to chafe his temples cold,
In beauty s opening prime ?
That blessed daughter, meek of heart,
Who for his sake a matron s part
Had borne before her time.
That gasp, that groan, tis o er, tis o er,
The manly breast must heave no more,
The heart no longer pine :
Oh, Thou who feed st the raven s nest,
Confirm once more thy promise blest,
" The fatherless are mine."
"And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine
years and he died. Genesis.
AND was this all ? He died ! He who did wait
The slow unfolding of centurial years,
And shake that burden from his heart which turns
Our temples white, and in his freshness stand
Till cedars mouldered and firm rocks grew grey
Left he no trace upon the page inspired,
Save this one line He died !
Perchance he stood
Till all who in his early shadow rose
Faded away, and he was left alone,
A sad, long-living, weary-hearted man,
To fear that Death, remembering all beside,
Had sure forgotten him.
Perchance he roved
Exulting o er the ever- verdant vales,
While Asia s sun burned fervid on his brow ;
Or neath some waving palm-tree sate him down,
And in his mantling bosom nursed the pride
That mocks the pale destroyer, and doth think
To live for ever.
What majestic plans,
What mighty Babels, what sublime resolves,
Might in that time-defying bosom spring,
Mature, and ripen, and cast off their fruits
For younger generations of bold thought
To wear their harvest diadem, while we,
In the poor hour-glass of our seventy years,
Scarce see the buds of some few plants of hopes,
Ere we are laid beside them, dust to dust.
Yet whatsoe er his lot, in that dim age
Of mystery, when the un wrinkled world had drank
No deluge-cup of bitterness, whate er
Were earth s illusions to his dazzled eye,
Death found him out at last, and coldly wrote,
With icy-pen on life s protracted scroll,
Nought but this brief unflattering line He died.
Ye gay flower- gatherers on time s crumbling brink
This shall be said of you, howe er ye vaunt
Your long to-morrows in an endless line
Howe er amid the gardens of your joy
Ye hide yourselves, and bid the pale king pass,
This shall be said of you at last He died ;
Oh, add one sentence more He lived to God.
CHRISTIAN SETTLEMENTS IN AFRICA,
WINDS ! what have ye gather d from Afric s strand,
As ye swept the breadth of that fragrant land ?
The breath of the spice-bud, the rich perfume
Of balm, and of gum, and of floweret s bloom ?
" We have gather d nought, save a pagan prayer,
And the stifling sigh of the heart s despair."
Waves ! what have ye heard on that ancient coast
Where Egypt the might of her fame did boast,
Where the statue of Memnon saluted the morn,
And the pyramids tower in their giant scorn ?
" We have heard the curse of the slave-ship s crew,
And the shriek of the chain d as the shores withdrew.
Stars ! what have ye seen with the glancing eye,
From your burning thrones in the sapphire-sky ?
" We have mark d young hope as it brightly glow d
On Afric s breast, whence the blood-drop flow d,
And we chanted the hymn which we sang at first.
When the sun from the midnight of chaos burst."
ON THE DEATH OF DR. ADAM CLARKE,
KNOW ye a prince hath fallen ? They who sit
On gilded throne, with rubied diadem,
Caparisoned and guarded round, till death
Doth stretch them neath some gorgeous canopy,
Yet leave no foot-prints in the realm of mind
Call them not kings they are hut crowned men.
Know ye a prince hath fallen ? Nature gave
The signet of her royalty, and years
Of mighty labour won that sceptred power
Of knowledge, which from unborn ages claims
Homage and empire, such as time s keen tooth
May never waste. And the high grace of God
So witnessed with his spirit, so impelled
To deeds of Christian love, that there is reared
A monument for him, which hath no dread
Of that fierce flame which wrecks the solid earth.
I see him mid the Shetlands, spreading forth
The riches of the Gospel kneeling low
To light its lamp in every darkened hut :
Not in the armour of proud learning braced,
ON THE DEATH OF DR. ADAM CLARKE. 85
But with a towel girded as to wash
The feet of those whom earthly princes scorn.
I see him lead the rugged islander
Even as a brother, to the Lamb of God,
Counting his untaught soul more precious far
Than all the lore of all the lettered world.
I hear his eloquence but deeper still,
And far more eloquent, there comes a dirge
O er the hoarse wave : " All that we boast of man
Is as the flower of grass."
Farewell Farewell !
Pass on with Wesley, and with all the great
And good of every nation. Yea ! pass on
Where the cold name of sect, which sometimes throws
Unholy shadow o er the heaven-wanned breast.
Doth melt to nothingness and every surge
Of warring doctrine, in whose eddying depths,
Earth s charity was drowned, is sweetly lost
In the broad ocean of eternal love.
NOT for the summer-hour alone,
When skies resplendent shine,
And youth and pleasure fill the throne,
Our hearts and hands we join ;
But for those stern and wintry days
Of peril, pain, and fear,
When Heaven s wise discipline doth make
This earthly journey drear.
Not for this span of life alone,
Which as a blast doth fly,
And, like the transient flower of grass,
Just blossom, droop, and die ;
But for a being without end,
This vow of love we take :
Grant us, God ! one home at last,
For our Redeemer s sake.
PARTING OF THE MISSIONARY S BRIDE.
THE time had come. The stern clock struck the hour,
Each long-lov d haunt had drank her mute farewell.
The vine-wrapp d walk, the hillock s tufted crown,
The nurtur d plants, that in the casement sinil d,
Had taken a blessing from her loving eye
For the last time. But now the climax came.
And so she rose, and with a fond emhrace
Folded her gentle sister, who had been
A second self, up from the cradle dream,
And hung upon her brother s neck as one
Who neath the weight of love s remembrances
Doth look on language as a powerless thing.
Methought she linger d long, as if to gain
Respite from some more dreaded pang, that frown d
Appalling, though unfelt. For, near her side,
With eye close following where her darling mov d,
The widow d mother stood. And so she laid
Her head on that dear breast where "every pain
Of infancy was sooth d. And there arose
88 PARTING OF THE MISSIONARY S BRIDK,
A wild, deep sob of weeping such as breaks
Upon tbe ear of death, when he doth rend
The nerve, fast rooted in the fount of life.
Tis o er. That bitterness is past. Young bride,
No keener dreg shall quiver on thy lip,
Till the last ice-cup cometh.
Then she tum d
To him who was to be sole shelterer now,
And plac d her hand in his, and raised her eye
One moment upward, whence her strength did come,
And with a steadfast step passed forth to take
Her life-long portion in a heathen clime.
O Love and Faith ! twin-sentinels, who guard,
One this drear earth, and one the gate of heaven,
How glorious are ye, when in woman s heart
Ye make that trembling hold invincible !
Ye both were there and so she went her way
A tearful victor.
Yet to me it seem d
Thus, in the flush of youth and health, to taste
Death s parting, was a strange, unnatural thing ;
And that the lofty martyr, who doth yield
His body to the fire s fierce alchymy
But one brief hour, hath lighter claim on heaven,
For high endurance, than the tender bride
Who from her mother s bosom lifts her head
To bide the buffet of a pagan clime ;
PARTING OF THE MISSIONARY S BRIDE. 89
And nurse her frail babes neath the bamboo thatch,
Bearing the sorrow of her woman s lot
Perchance for many years.
Thus must it seem
To the trim worldling, in the broad green way
Loitering, and reckless where that way may lead.
Heart, is it thus with thee ?
Go, pour thyself
In penitence to Him who heeded not
The cross on Calvary, so the lost might live :
Look to thine own slack service, meted out
And fashion d to thine ease, and let the zeal
That nerv d the parting of that pale young bride
Be as a probe, to search thy cold content.
" If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are from above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on
things above ; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Chiist in God."
IF with the Lord your hope doth rest,
With Christ who reigns above,
Loose from its bonds your captive breast.
And heavenward point its love.
Yes, heavenward. Ye re of holy birth,
Bid your affections soar
Above the vain delights of earth,
Which, fading, bloom no more.
Seek ye some pure and thornless rose ?
Some friend with changeless eye ?
Some fount whence living water flows ?
Go, seek those things on high.
Thither bid Hope a pilgrim go,
And Faith her mansion rear,
CHRISTIAN HOPE. 91
Even while amid this world of woe
Ye shed the stranger s tear.
If Folly tempts, or sin allures,
Be dead to all their art,
So shall eternal life be yours
When time s brief years depart.
I HEARD loud praise of heroes. But I saw
The blood-stain on their tablet. Then I marked
A torrent rushing from its mountain height,
Bearing the uptorn laurel, while its strength
Among the arid sands of Vanity
Did spend itself, and, lo ! a warning voice
Sighed o er the ocean of Eternity,
" Behold the warrior s glory."
Sublimely soaring on her wing of light,
And many a name of palatine and peer,
Monarch and prince, on her proud scroll she bore,
Blazoned by fame. But mid the sea of time,
Helmet and coronet and diadem
Rose boastful up, and shone, and disappeared,
Like the white foam-crest on the tossing wave,
Forgotten, while beheld.
I heard a knell
Toll slow amid the consecrated isles
Where slumber England s dead. A solemn dirge
Broke forth amid the tomb of kings, and said
That man was dust. And then a nation s tears
Fell down like rain, for it was meet to mourn.
But from the land of palm-trees, where doth flow
Sweet incense forth from grove, and gum, and flower,
Came richer tribute, breathing o er that tomb
A prostrate nation s thanks.
Yes, Afric knelt,
That mourning mother, and throughout the earth
Taught her unletter d children to repeat
The name of Wilberforce, and bless the spot
Made sacred by his ashes. Yea, the World
Arose upon her crumbling throne, to praise
The lofty mind that never knew to swerve
Though holy truth should summon it to meet
The frown of the embattled universe.
Arid so I bowed me down in this far nook
Of the far West, and proudly traced the name
Of Wilberforce upon my country s scroll,
To be her guide, as she unchained the slave,
And the bright model of her sons who seek
True glory. And from every village-haunt
And school, where rustic science quaintly reigns,
I called the little ones, and forth they came
To hear of Afric s champion, and to bless
The firm in purpose and the full of days.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF A
SHALL we not render thanks for him
Whose sorrows all are o er ?
Whose footsteps leave the storm-wash d sands
Of this terrestrial shore ?
Who to the garner of the blest,
In yon immortal land,
Was gather d, as the ripen d sheaf
Doth meet the reaper s hand ?
Yet precious was that reverend man,
And to his arm I clung,
Till more than fourscore weary years
Their shadows o er him flung ;
Not lonely or unlov d he dwelt,
Though earliest friends had fled,
For sweet affections sprang anew
When older roots were dead.
There lies the Holy Book of God,
His oracle and guide,
ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF A FATHER. 95
Where last my children read to him,
The page still open wide,
Yet where he bent to hear their voice
Is but a vacant chair,
A lone staff standing by its side.
They call he is not there !
He is not there, my little ones !
So suddenly he fled,
They cannot bring it to their minds
That he is of the dead.
Yet oft the hymns he sang with them,
So tunefully and slow,
Shall wake sad echo in their souls,
Like^parting tones of woe.
There was his favourite noon-day seat,
Beneath yon trellis d vine,
To mark the embryo clusters swell,
The aspiring tendrils twine ;
Or, lightly leaning on his staff,
With vigorous step he went
A little way among the flowers,
With morning dews besprent.
How dear was every rising sun
That cloudless met his eye ;
And, nightly, how his grateful prayer
Rose upward, warm and high,
96 ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF A FATHER.
For freely to his God he gave
The blossom of his prime,
So He forgot him not amid
The water-floods of time.
The cherish d memories of the past,
How strong they burri d, and clear,
Prompting the tale the listening boy
Still held his breath to hear,
How a young cradled nation woke
To grasp the glittering brand,
And strangely raise the half-knit arm,
To brave the mother-land.
Those stormy days ! those stormy days !
When, with a fearful cry,
The blood-stain d earth at Lexington
Invok d the avenging sky,
When in the scarce-drawn furrow
The farmer s plough was staid,
And for the gardener s pruning-hook
Sprang forth the warrior s blade.
The glorious deeds of Washington,
The chiefs of other days !
Another lip is silent now,
That us d to speak their praise ;
Another link is stricken
From the living chain that bound
ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF A FATHER. 97
The legends of an ancient race
Our thrilling hearts around.
We gaze on where the patriarchs stood,
In ripen d virtue strong,
How shall we dare to fill the place
That they have fill d so long ?
How on the bosoms of our race
Enforce the truths they breath d,
Or wear that mantle of the skies
They to our souls bequeath d ?
But ah ! to think that breast is cold,
Whose sympathetic tone
Responded to my joys and woes,
As though they were its own,
To know the prayer that was my guard,
My pilot o er the sea,
Must never, in this vale of tears,
Be lifted more for me.
There was no frost upon his hair,
No anguish on his brow,
Those bright, brown locks, my pride and care,
Methinks I see them now,
Methinks that beaming smile I see,
In love and patience sweet,
father ! must that smile no more
My entering footsteps greet ?
98 ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF A FATHER.
Yet wrong we not that messenger
Who gathered back the breath,
Calling him ruthless spoiler, stern,
And fell destroyer, death ?
His touch was like the angel s
Who comes at close of day
To lull the willing flowers asleep
Until the morning ray.
And so they laid the righteous man
Neath the green turf to rest,
And blessed were the words of prayer
That fell upon his breast,
For sure it were an ingrate s deed
To murmur or repine,
That such a life, my sire, was clos d
By such as death as thine.
But thou, our God, who know st our frame,
Whose shield is o er us spread,
When every idol of our love
Is desolate and dead ;
Father and mother may forsake,
Yet be Thou still our trust, -
And let thy chastenings cleanse the soul
From vanity and dust.
THE CHRISTIAN MOURNER.
I SAW a dark procession slowly wind
Mid funeral shades, and a lone mourner stand
Fast by the yawning of the pit that whelm d
His bosom s idol.
Then the sable scene
Faded away, and to his alter d home
Sad fancy follow d him, and saw him fold
His one, lone babe, in agoniz d embrace,
And kiss the brow of trusting innocence,
That in its blessed ignorance wail d not
A mother lost. Yet she who would have watch d
Each germ of intellect, each bud of truth,
Each fair unfolding of the fruit of Heaven,
With thrilling joy, was like the marble cold.
There were the flowers she planted, blooming fair,
As if in mockery, there the varied stores
That in the beauty of their order charm d
At once the tasteful and the studious hour,
Pictures, and tinted shells, and treasur d tomes ;
But the presiding mind, the cheerful voice,
100 THE CHRISTIAN MOURNER.
The greeting glance, the spirit-stirring smile,
Fled, fled for ever.
And he knoweth all !
Hath felt it all, deep in his tortur d soul,
Till reason and philosophy grew faint,
Beneath a grief like his. Whence hath he then
The power to comfort others, and to speak
Thus of the resurrection ?
He hath found
That hope which is an anchor to the soul,
And with a martyr-courage holds him up
To bear the will of God.
Say, ye who tempt
The sea of life, by summer-gales impell d,
Have ye this anchor ? Sure a time will come
For storms to try you, and strong blasts to rend
Your painted sails, and shred your gold like chaff
O er the wild wave ; and what a wreck is man
If sorrow find him unsustain d by God.
WAITING UPON THE LORD.
" I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face."
WHERE ER thine earthly lot is cast,
Whate er its duties prove,
To toil neath penury s piercing blast,
Or share the cell of love,
Or raid the pomp of wealth to live,
Or wield of power the rod,
Still as a faithfirt servant strive
To wait alone on God.
Should disappointment s blighting sway
Destroy of joy the bloom,
Till one by one thy hopes decay
In darkness and the tomb,
Should Heaven its cheering smile withhold
From thy disastrous fate,
And foes arise like billows bold,
Still, on Jehovah wait.
When timid dawn her couch forsakes,
Or noon-day splendours glide,
102 WAITING UPON THE LORD.
Or eve her curtain d pillow takes,
While watchful stars preside,
Or midnight drives the throngs of care
Far from her ebon throne,
Unwearied in thy fervent prayer
Wait thou on God alone.
But should He still conceal his face
Till flesh and spirit fail,
And bid thee darkly run the race
Of Time s receding vale,
With what a doubly glorious ray
His smile will light that sky
Where ransom d souls rejoicing lay
Their robes of mourning by.
BAPTISM OF AN INFANT AT ITS
MOTHER S FUNERAL.
WHENCE is that trembling of a father s hand,
Who to the man of God doth bring his babe,
Asking the seal of Christ ? Why doth the voice
That uttereth o er its brow the Triune Name
Falter with sympathy ? And, most of all,
Why is yon coffin-lid a pedestal
For the baptismal font ?
Again I asked.
But all the answer was those gushing tears
Which stricken hearts do weep.
For there she lay,
The fair, young mother in that coffin-bed,
Mourned by the funeral train. The heart that beat
With trembling tenderness, at every touch
Of love or pity, flushed the cheek no more.
Tears were thy baptism, thou unconscious one,
And Sorrow took thee at the gate of life
Into her cradle. Thou may st never know
The welcome of a nursing mother s smile,
When, in her wondering ecstacy, she marks
104 BAPTISM OF AN INFANT.
A thrilling growth of new affections spread
Fresh greenness o er the soul.
Thou may st not share
Her hallowed teaching, nor suffuse her eye
With joy, as the first germs of infant thought
Unfold, in lisping sound.
Yet wilt thou walk
Even as she walked ? breathing on all around
The warmth of high affections purified,
And sublimated by that Spirit s power
Which makes the soul fit temple for its God ?
Then may st thou, in a brighter world, behold
That countenance which the cold grave did veil
Too early from thy sight, and the first tone
That bears a mother s greeting to thine ear
Shall be Heaven s minstrelsy.
THE MOHEGAN CHURCH.
A remnant of the once-powerful tribe of Mohegan Indians have their
residence in the vicinity of the city of Norwich, Connecticut ; and, on the
ruins of an ancient fort in their territory, a small church has been erected
principally through the influence of benevolent females.
ONCE o er those hills, with verdure spread,
The red-browed hunter s arrow sped,
And on those waters, sheen and blue,
He freely launch d his light canoe,
While through the forests glanced like light
The flying wild deer s antler bright.
Ask ye for hamlet s peopled bound,
With cone-roofed cabins circled round ?
For chieftain grave for warrior proud,
In nature s majesty unbowed ?
You ve seen the fleeting shadow fly,
The foam upon the billows die,
The floating vapour leave no trace
Such was their path that fated race.
Say ye that kings, with lofty port,
Here held their stern and simple court ?
106 THE MOHEGAN CHURCH.
That here, with gestures rudely bold,
Stern orators the throng controlled ?
Methinks, even now, on tempest wings,
The thunder of their war-shout rings,
While upward floats, in dazzling spire,
The redness of their council fire.
No ! no ! in darkness rest the throng,
Despair hath checked the tide of song,
Dust dimmed their glory s ray.
But can these stanch their bleeding wrong ?
Or quell remembrance, fierce and strong ?
Recording angel say !
I marked where once a fortress frowned,
High o er the blood-cemented ground,
And many a deed that savage tower
Might tell to chill the midnight hour.
But now, its ruins strangely bear
Fruits that the gentlest hand might share ;
For there a hallowed dome imparts
The lore of heaven to list ning hearts ;
And forms like those which lingering staid
Latest neath Calvary s awful shade,
And earliest pierced the gathered gloom
To watch a Saviour s lowly tomb,
Such forms have soothed the Indian s ire,
And bade for him that dome aspire.
THE MOHEGAX CHURCH. 107
Now, where tradition, ghostly pale,
With ancient horrors loads the vale,
And, shuddering, weaves, in crimson loom,
Ambush, and snare, and torture-doom,
There shall the peaceful prayer arise,
And tuneful hymns invoke the skies.
Crush d race ! so long condemned to moan,
Scorn d rifled spiritless and lone,
From pagan rites, from sorrow s maze,
Turn to these temple-gates with praise ;
Yes, turn, and bless the usurping band
That rent away your fathers land ;
Forgive the wrong suppress the blame,
And view, with Faith s fraternal claim,
Your God your hope your heaven the same.
SEE ! heaven wakes earth. There is an answering sigh
From the soft winds, as they unfurl their wings
Impalpable, and touch the dimpling streams
Which the lithe willows kiss, and through the groves
Make whispering melody. Methinks the sea
Murmureth in tone subdued, and nature smiles
As if within her raptured breast she caught
The breath of Deity.
Hail ! hallowed morn,
That binds a yoke on vice. Drooping her head,
She by her quaint hypocrisy doth show
How beautiful is virtue. Eve will light
Her orgies up again but at this hour
She trembleth and is still. Humility,
From the cleft rock where she hath hid, doth mark
The girded Majesty of God go by,
And, kneeling, wins a blessing. Grief foregoes
Her bitterness and round the tear-wet urn
Twines sweet and simple flowers. But, most, firm faith
SABBATH MORNING. 109
Enjoys this holy season. She doth lift
Her brow, and talk with seraphs, till the soul
That by the thraldom of the week was bowed,
And crushed, and spent, like the enfranchised slave,
Doth leap to put its glorious garments on.
THINK ST thou the steed that restless roves
O er rocks and mountains, fields and groves,
With wild, unbridled bound,
Finds fresher pasture than the bee
On thymy bank, or vernal tree,
Intent to store her industry
Within her waxen round ?
Think st thou the fountain, forc d to turn
Through marble vase, or sculptur d urn,
Affords a sweeter draught
Than that which, in its native sphere,
Perennial, undisturb d, and clear,
Flows, the lone traveller s thirst to cheer,
And wake his grateful thought ?
Think st thou the man whose mansions hold
The worldling s pomp, and miser s gold,
Obtains a richer prize
Than he who in his cot, at rest,
Finds heavenly peace a willing guest,
And bears the promise in his breast
Of treasure in the skies ?
TWAS BUT A BABE.
I ASKED them why the verdant turf was riven
From its young rooting ; and with silent lip
They pointed to a new-made chasm among
The marble-pillared mansions of the dead.
Who goeth to his rest in yon damp couch ?
The tearless crowd pass d on " Twas but a babe.
A babe ! and poise ye, in the rigid scales
Of calculation, the fond bosom s wealth ?
Rating its priceless idols as ye weigh
Such merchandise as moth and rust corrupt,
Or the rude robber steals ? Ye mete out grief,
Perchance, when youth, maturity, or age,
Sink in the thronging tomb ; but when the breath
Grows icy on the lip of innocence
Repress your measured sympathies, and say
" Twas but a babe."
What know ye of her love
Who patient watcheth, till the stars grow dim
Over her drooping infant, with an eye
Bright as unchanging hope, if his repose ?
What know ye of her woe who sought no joy
112 TWAS BUT A BABE.
More exquisite than on his placid brow
To trace the glow of health, and drink at dawn
The thrilling lustre of his waking smile ?
Go, ask that musing father, why yon grave,
So narrow, and so noteless, might not close
Without a tear ?
And though his lip be mute,
Feeling the poverty of speech to give
Fit answer to thee, still his pallid brow,
And the deep agonizing prayer that loads
Midnight s dark wing to Him, the God of strength,
May satisfy thy question.
Ye, who mourn
Whene er yon vacant cradle, or the robes
That decked the lost one s form, call back a tide
Of alienated joy, can ye not trust
Your treasure to His arms, whose changeless care
Passeth a mother s love ? Can ye not hope,
When a few hasting years their course have run,
To go to him, though he no more on earth
Returns to you ?
And when glad faith doth catch
Some echo of celestial harmonies,
Archangels praises, with the high response
Of cherubim and seraphim, think
Think that your babe is there.
THE ANGELS SONG.
They heard a voice from heaven, saying, Come up hither.
" YE have a land of mist and shade,
Where spectres roam at will,
Dense clouds your mountain-cliffs pervade,
And damps your valleys chill,
But ne er has midnight s wing of woe
Eclipsed our changeless ray ;
Come hither, if ye seek to know
The bliss of perfect day.
" Doubt, like the bohan-upas, spreads
A blight where er ye tread,
And hope, a wailing mourner, sheds
The tear o er harvests dead ;
With us no traitorous foe assails
Where love her home would make ;
In heaven the welcome never fails,
Come, and that warmth partake.
1 14 THE ANGELS SONG.
"Time revels mid your boasted joys,
Death dims your brightest rose,
And sin your bower of peace destroys
Where will ye find repose ?
Ye re wearied in your pilgrim-race,
Sharp thorns your path infest,
Come hither, rise to our embrace,
And Christ shall give you rest."
Twas thus, methought, at twilight hour,
The angels lay came down,
Like dews upon the drooping flower,
When droughts of summer frown ;
How richly o er the ambient air
Swelled out that music free !
Oh ! when the pangs of death I bear,
Sing ye that song to me.
A SILVER sound was on the summer air,
And yet it was not music. The sweet birds
Went warbling wildly forth, from grove and dell,
Their thrilling harmonies ; yet this low tone
Chimed not with them. But in the secret soul
There was a deep response, troubling the fount
Where bitter tears are born. Too well I knew
The tomb s prelusive melody. I turned,
And sought the house of mourning.
Ah, pale friend,
Who speak st not look st not dost not give the
Hath love so perished in that pulseless breast,
Once its own throne ?
Thou silent, changeless one,
The seal is on thy virtues now no more
Like ours to tremble in temptation s hour,
Perchance to fall. Fear hath no longer power
To chill thy life-stream, and frail hope doth fold
Her rainbow wing, and sink to rest with thee.
How good to be unclothed, and sleep in peace !
116 THE KNELL.
Friend ! Friend ! I grieve to lose thee. Thou hast
The sharer of my sympathies, the soul
That prompted me to good, the hand that shed
Dew on my drooping virtues. In all scenes
Where we have dwelt together walking on
In friendship s holy concord, I am now
But a divided being. Who is left
To love as thou hast loved ?
Yet still, to share
A few more welcomes from thy soft blue eye,
A few more pressures of thy snowy hand,
And ruby lip, could I enchain thee here
To all that change and plenitude of ill
Which we inherit ? Hence, thou selfish grief !
Thy root is in the earth, and all thy fruits
Bitter and baneful. Holy joy should spring
When pure hearts take their portion.
Go, beloved !
First, for thou wert most worthy. I will strive,
As best such frail one may, to follow thee.
" It may be autumn, yea, winter with the woman but with the
mother, as a mother, it is always spring."
Sermon of the Rev. Thomas Cobbett, at Lynn, 1665.
I SAW an aged woman bow
To weariness and care,
Time wrote his sorrows on her brow,
And mid her frosted hair.
Hope from her breast had torn away
Its rooting, scathed and dry ;
And on the pleasures of the gay
She turned a joyless eye.
What was it that like sunbeam clear
O er her wan features run,
As, pressing towards her deafened ear,
I named her absent son ?
What was it ? Ask a mother s breast,
Through which a fountain flows
118 THE MOTHER.
Perennial, undisturb d, and blest,
By winter never froze.
What was it ? Ask the King of kings,
Who hath decreed, above,
That change should mark all earthly things,
Except a mother s love.
DREAM OF THE DEAD.
SLEEP brought the dead to me. Their brows were kind,
And their tones tender, and, as erst, they blent
Their sympathies with each familiar scene.
It was my earthliness that robed them still
In their material vestments ; for they seemed
Not yet to have put their glorious garments on.
Methonght, twere better thus to dwell with them
Than with the living.
Twas a chosen friend,
Beloved in school-day s happiness, who came,
And put her arm through mine, and meekly walked,
As she was wont, where er I willed to lead,
To shady grove, or river s sounding shore,
Or dizzy cliff, to gaze enthralled, below,
On wide-spread landscape and diminished throng.
One, too, was there, o er whose departing steps
Night s cloud hung heavy ere she found the tomb ;
One, to whose ear no infant lip, save mine,
E er breathed the name of mother.
In her hour
Of conflict with the spoiler, that fond word
120 DREAM OF THE DEAD.
Fell with my tears upon her brow in vain
She heard not, heeded not. But now she flew,
Upon the wing of dreams, to my embrace,
Full of fresh life, and in that beauty clad
Which charmed my earliest love. Speak, silent shade !
Speak to thy child ! But with capricious haste
Sleep turned the tablet, and another came,
A stranger-matron, sicklied o er and pale,
And mournful for my vanished guide I sought.
Then, many a group in earnest converse flocked,
Upon whose lips I knew the burial clay
Lay thick; for I had heard its hollow sound,
In hoarse reverberation, " Dust to dust ! "
They put a fair, young infant in my arms,
And that was of the dead. Yet still it seemed
Like other infants. First, with fear it shrank,
And then in changeful gladness smiled, and spread
Its little hands in sportive laughter forth.
So I awoke, and then those gentle forms
Of faithful friendship and maternal love
Did flit away, and life, with all its cares,
Stood forth in strong reality.
And solemn ! let me bear thee in my soul
Throughout the live-long day, to subjugate
My earth-born hope. I bow me at your names,
DREAM OF THE DEAD. 121
Sinless, and passionless, and pallid train !
The seal of truth is on your breasts, ye dead !
Ye may not swerve, nor from your vows recede,
Nor of your faith make shipwreck. Scarce a point
Divides you from us, though we fondly look
Through a long vista of imagined years,
And, in the dimness of far distance, seek
To hide that tomb whose crumbling verge we tread.
"ONLY THIS ONCE.
EXODUS, x., 17.
" ONLY this once." The wine-cup glowed
All sparkling with its ruby ray,
The bacchanalian welcome flowed,
And folly made the revel gay.
Then he, so long, so deeply warned,
The sway of conscience rashly spurned,
His promise of repentance scorned,
And, coward-like, to vice returned.
" Only this once." The tale is told
He wildly quaffed the poisonous tide ;
With more than Esau s madness, sold
The birth-right of his soul and died.
I do riot say that breath forsook
The clay, and left its pulses dead,
But reason in her empire shook,
And all the life of life was fled.
"ONLY THIS ONCE." 123
Again his eyes the landscape viewed,
His limbs again their burden bore,
And years their wonted course renewed,
But hope and peace returned no more,
Then angel-eyes with pity wept
When he whom virtue fain would save,
His sacred vow so falsely kept,
And strangely sought a drunkard s grave.
" Only this once." Beware beware !
Gaze not upon the blushing wine,
Repel temptation s siren snare,
And, prayerful, seek for strength divine.
FUNERAL OF A PHYSICIAN.
THERE was a throng within the temple-gates,
And more of sorrow on each thoughtful brow
Than seem d to fit the sacred day of praise.
Neighbour on neighbour gaz d, and friend on friend,
Yet few saluted ; for the sense of loss
Weigh d heavy in each bosom. Aged men
Bowed down their reverend heads in wondering woe,.
That he who so retain d the ardent smile
And step elastic of life s morning prime,
Should fall before them. Stricken at his side
Were friendships of no common fervency
Or brief endurance ; for his cheering tone
And the warm pressure of his hand, restor d
Young recollections, scenes of boyh ood s bliss,
And the unwounded trust of guileless years.
The men of skill, who cope with stern disease,
And wear Hygeia s mantle, offering still
Fresh incense at her shrine, with sighs deplore
A brother and a guide. But can ye tell
How many now amid this gather d throng
FUNERAL OF A PHYSICIAN. 125
In tender meditations deeply muse,
Coupling his image with their gratitude ?
He had stood with them at the gate of death,
And pluck d them from the spoiler s threatening grasp,
Or, when the roses from their pilgrimage
Were shorn, walk d humbly with them neath the cloud
Of God s displeasure. Such remembrances
Rush o er their spirits with a whelming tide,
Till in the heart s deep casket tribute tears
Lie thick, like pearls. And doubt not there are those
Mid this assembly, in the scanty robes
Of penury half wrapt, who well might tell
Of ministrations at their couch of woe,
Of toil-spent nights, and timely charities,
Uncounted, save in heaven.
Tis well ! Tis well !
The parted benefactor justly claims
Such obsequies. Yet let the Gospel breathe
Its strain sublime. A hallow d hand hath cull d
From the deep melodies of David s lyre,
And from the burning eloquence of Paul,
Balm from the mourner s wound. But there s a group
Within whose sacred home yon lifeless form
Had been the centre of each tender hope,
The soul of every joy. Affections pure
And patriarchal hospitality,
Like household deities, presiding, spread
Their wings around, making the favour d cell
126 FUNERAL OF A PHYSICIAN.
As bright a transcript of lost Eden s bliss,
As beams below. Now round that shaded hearth
The polish d brow of radiant beauty droops,
Like the pale lily-flower, by pitiless storms
Press d and surcharg d. There too are sadden d eyes
More eloquent than words, and bursting hearts ;
Earth may not heal such grief. Tis heard in heaven.
BIRTH-DAY OF THE FIRST-BORN
THY first-born s birth-day, Mothei !
That well-remember d time
Returneth, when thy heart s deep jo v
Swell d to its highest prime.
Thou hast another treasure,
There in the cradle-shrine,
And she who near its pillow plays ;
With cheek so fair, is thine.
But still, thy brow is shaded,
The fresh tear trickleth free,
Where is that first-born darling ?
Young Mother, where is she ?
And, if she be in heaven,
She, who with goodness fraught,
So early on her Father-God
Repos d her trusting thought,
And, if she be in heaven,
The honour how divine,
To yield an angel to His amis
Who gave a babe to thine.
THE HALF-CENTURY SERMON.
LOOK back, look back, ye grey-hair d worshippers,
Who to this hill-top fifty years ago
Came up with solemn joy. Withdraw the folds
Which curtaining time hath gather d o er the scene,
And show its colouring. The dark cloud of war
Faded to fitful sun-light, on the ear,
The rumour of red battle died away,
And there was peace in Zion. So a throng
O er a faint carpet of the spring s first green
Were seen in glad procession hasting on,
To set a watchman on these sacred walls.
Each eye upon his consecrated brow
Was fondly fix d, for in its pallid hue,
In its deep, thought-worn, spiritual lines,
They trac d the mission of the crucified,
The hope of Israel. High the anthem swell d,
Ascribing glory to the Lord of Hosts,
Who in his bounteous goodness thus vouchsafd
To beautify his temple.
The same strain
Riseth once more ; but where are they who pour d
THE HALF-CENTURY SERMON. 129
Its tones melodious, on that festal day ?
Young men and maidens of the tuneful lip,
The bright in beauty, and the proud in strength,
With bosoms fluttering to illusive hope,
Where are they ? Can ye tell, ye hoary ones,
Who, few, and feebly leaning on the staff,
Bow down, where erst with manhood s lofty port
Ye tower d as columns ? They have sunk away,
Brethren and sisters, from your empty grasp,
Like bubbles on the pool, and ye are left,
With life s long lessons furrow d on your brow.
Change worketh all around you. The lithe twig
That in your boyhood ye did idly bend
Maketh broad shadow, and the forest-king,
Arching majestic o er your school-day sports,
Mouldereth, to sprout no more. The little babe
Ye as a plaything dandled, of whose frame
Perchance ye spake as most exceeding frail
And prone to perish like the flower of grass,
Doth nurse his children s children on his knee.
But still your ancient shepherd s voice ye hear,
Tho age hath quell d its power, and well those tones
Of serious, saintly tenderness do stir
The springs of love and reverence. As your guide
He in the heavenward path hath firmly walk d,
Bearing your joys and sorrows in his breast,
130 THE HALF-CENTURY SERMON.
And on his prayers. He at your household hearths
Hath spoke his Master s message, while your babes,
Listening, imbibed as blossoms drink the dew ;
And when your dead were buried from your sight,
Was he not there ?
His scatter d locks are white
With the hoar-frost of time, but in his soul
There is no winter. He, the uncounted gold
Of many a year s experience richly spreads
To a new generation, and methinks
With high prophetic brow doth stand sublime
Like Moses tween the living and the dead,
To make atonement. God s unclouded smile
Sustain thee, patriarch ! like a flood of light
Still brightening, till, with those whom thou hast taught
And warri d in wisdom, and with weeping love
Led to the brink of Calvary s cleansing stream,
Thou strike the victor-harp o er sin and death.
TRIBUTE TO THE KEY. DR. CORNELIUS.
" All ye that were about him, bemoan him, and all ye that know his
name, say, how is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod?"
THE PROPHET JEREMIAH.
AND can it be, and can it be, that thou art on thy bier ?
But yesterday in all the prime of life s unspent career !
I ve seen the forest s noblest tree laid low, when lightnings
The column in its majesty torn from the temple-shrine,
Yet little deem d that ice so soon would check thy vital
Or the sun that soar d without a cloud, thus veil its noon
I ve seen thee in thy glory stand, while all around was
And seraph-wisdom from thy lips in tones of music gush d,
For thou with willing hand didst lay, at morning s dewy
Upon the altar of thy G od thy beauty and thy power ;
Thou, for the helpless sons of woe, didst plead with
words of flame,
And boldly strike the rocky heart in thy Redeemer s name.
132 TRIBUTE TO THE REV. DR. CORNELIUS.
And, lo ! that withering race who fade as dew neath
summer s ray,
Who, like uprooted weeds, are cast from their own earth
Who trusted to a nation s vow, yet found that faith was vain,
And to their fathers sepulchres return no more again ;
They need thy blended eloquence of lip, and eye, and brow,
They need the righteous for a shield ; why art thou ab
sent now ?
Long shall thine image- freshly dwell beside their native
And, mid their wanderings far and wide, illume their
For Heaven to their sequester d haunts thine early steps
And the Cherokee hath heard thy prayer his cabin-hearth
The Osage orphan sadly breath d her sorrows to thine ear,
And the stern warrior knelt him down with strange.
I see a consecrated throng of youthful watchmen rise,
Each girding on for Zion s sake their heaven-wrought
These, in their solitudes obscure, thy generous ardour
And gathering with a tireless hand, up to the temple
TRIBUTE TO THE REV. DR. CORNELIUS. 133
These, while the altar of their God they serve with
hallow d zeal,
Shall wear thy memory on their heart, an everlasting seal.
I hear a voice of wailing from the islands of the sea,
Salvation s distant heralds mourn on heathen shores for
Thy constant love, like Gilead s balm, refresh d their
And with the blessed Evart s name thine own was strongly
But thou, from this illusive scene, hast like a vision fled,
Just wrapp d his mantle o er thy breast, then join d him
with the dead.
Farewell ! we yield thee to the tomb, with many a bitter
Tho twas not meet a soul like thine should longer tarry
Fond, clustering hopes have sunk with thee, that earth
can ne er restore,
Love casts a garland on thy turf, that may not blossom
But thou art where each dream of hope shall in fruition
And love, immortal and refin d, glow on without a shade.
DEATH OF THE WIFE OF A CLERGYMAN
DURING THK SICKNESS OF HER HUSBAND.
DARK sorrow brooded o er the pastor s home,
The prayer was silent, and the loving group
That sang their hymn of praise at even and morn
Now droop d in pain, or with a noiseless step
Tended the sick. It was a time of woe :
Days measur d out in anguish, and drear nights
Mocking the eye that waited for the dawn.
They who from youth, by hallow d vows conjoin d.
Had borne life s burdens with united arm,
And, side by side, its adverse fortunes foil d,
Apart, an agonizing warfare wag d
With nature s stern destroyer. Tidings pass d
From couch to couch, how stood the doubtful strife
Twixt life and death. They might not lay their hand
Upon each other s throbbing brow, or breathe
The words of comfort, for disease had set
A gulf between them.
Hark ! what sound appall d
The suffering husband ? Twas a mourner s sob
Beside his bed.
DEATH OF THE WIFE OF A CLERGYMAN. 135
" My mother will not speak,
They say she s dead."
Art thou the messenger,
Poor pallid boy ! that the dear love which sooth d
The cradle moan, and on thro all thy life
Would still have clung to thee untired, unchang d,
Is blotted out for ever ? Thou dost tell
A loss thou canst not measure.
She, the friend,
The mother, imag d in those daughters hearts,
First, dearest, best beloved, who joy d to walk
The meek companion of a man of God,
Hath given her hand to that destroyer s grasp
Who rifleth the clay cottage, sending forth
The immortal habitant. Fearless she laid
Earth s vestments by.
And thou, whose tenderest trust
With an unwounded confidence was seal d
In that cold breast so long, lift up thy soul,
" She is not here, but risen." Show the faith
Which thou hast preach d to others, by its power
In the dark night of trouble. Take the cross,
And from thy stricken heart pour freshly forth
The spirit of thy Lord, teaching thy flock
To learn Jehovah s lessons, and be still.
LOVE NOT THE WORLD.
To gain the friendship of the world,
How vain the ceaseless strife ;
We sow the sand, we grasp the wind,
We waste the life of life.
Perchance some giddy height we gain,
Some gilded treasure show,
The footing fails, the shadow scapes,
We sink in deeper woe.
Yet, baffled, still the toil we try,
The eager chase renew,
Even though the portals of the grave
Yawn on our startled view.
But Thou whose pitying mercy s tide
Is like the unfathom d sea,
Thy love was waiting for our souls,
That would not turn to Thee ;
Thy hand was stretch d, Thy voice was heard,
Thy fold was open wide,
Ah ! who the straying sheep can save
That shuns the Eternal Guide ?
" Master ! it is good to be here."
MARK, is., 5.
THEY knelt them side by side ; the hoary man
Whose memory was an age, and she whose cheek
Gleam d like that velvet which the young moss-rose
Puts blushing forth from its scarce sever d sheath.
There was the sage, whose eye of science spans
The comet in his path of fire, and she
Whose household duty was her sole delight
And highest study. On the chancel clasp d,
In meek devotion, were those bounteous hands
Which pour forth charities, unask d, untir d,
And his which roughly win the scanty bread
For his young children. There the man of might
On bended knee, fast by his servant s side,
Sought the same Master, brethren in one faith,
See yon wrinkled brow,
Where care and grief for many a year have trac d
Alternate furrows, bow d so near those lips,
Which but the honey and the dew of love
138 THE COMMUNION.
Have nourish d. And, for each, eternal health
Look ! look ! as yon deep veil
Is swept aside, what an o erwhelming page
Disease hath written with its pen of pain.
Ah, suffering sister, thou art hasting where
No treacherous hectic plants its funeral rose :
Drink thou the wine-cup of thy risen Lord,
And it shall nerve thee for thy toilsome path
Through the dark valley of the shade of death.
- Tis o er. A holy silence reigns around.
The organ slumbers. The sweet, solemn voice
Of him who dealt the soul its heavenly food
Turns inward, like a wearied sentinel,
Pillowing on thought profound.
Then every head
Bends low in parting worship, mute, and deep,
The whisper of the soul. And who may tell
In that brief, silent space, how many a hope
Is born that hath a life beyond the tomb.
So hear us, Father ! in our voiceless prayer,
That at thy better banquet all may meet,
And take the cup of bliss, and thirst no more.
THOU who, once an infant stranger,
Honour d this auspicious morn,
Thou who, in Judea s manger,
Wert this day of woman born,
Thou whom wondering sages offer d
Costly gifts, and incense sweet,
Take our homage, humbly proffer d,
Grateful kneeling at thy feet.
Thou whose path a star of glory
Gladly hasted to reveal,
Herald of salvation s story,
Touch our hearts with equal zeal :
Thou at whose approach was given
Welcome from the angels lyre,
Teach our souls the song of heaven,
Ere we join their tuneful choir.
BURIAL OF TWO YOUNG SISTERS,
THK ONLY CHILDREN OF THEIR PARENTS
THEY RE here, in this turf-hed those tender forms,
So kindly cherish d, and so fondly loved,
They re here.
Sweet sisters ! pleasant in their lives,
And not in death divided. Sure tis meet
That blooming ones should linger here and learn
How quick the transit to the silent tomb.
I do remember them, their pleasant brows
So mark d with pure affections, and the glance
Of their mild eyes, when, in the house of God,
They gathered up the manna that did fall,
Like dew, around.
The eldest parted first,
And it was touching, even to tears, to see
The perfect meekness of that child-like soul,
Turning, mid sorrow s chastening, to its God,
And loosening every link of earthly hope,
To gird an angel s glorious garments on.
The younger lingered for a little while,
BURIAL OF TWO YOUNG SISTERS.
Drooping and beautiful. Strongly the nerve
Of that lone spirit clasped its parent-prop,
Yet still in timid tenderness embraced
The Rock of Ages while the Saviour s voice
Confirmed its trust : " Suffer the little ones
To come to me."
And then her sister s couch
Undrew its narrow covering and those forms
Which, side by side, on the same cradle-bed
So oft had shared the sleep of infancy,
Were laid on that clay pillow, cheek to cheek
And hand to hand, until the morning break
Which hath no night.
And ye are left alone,
Who nurtured those fair buds, and often said
Unto each other, in the hour of care,
" These same shall comfort us for all our toil."
Yes, ye are left alone. It is not ours
To heal such wound. Man hath too weak a hand,
All he can give is tears.
But He who took
Your treasures to His keeping, He hath power
To bear you onward to that better land,
Where none are written childless, and torn hearts
Blend in a full eternity of bliss.
TWAS near the close of that blest day, when, with me
To crowded mart and lonely vale, had spoke the sabbath
While on a broad, unruffled stream, with fringed verdure
The westering sunbeam richly shed a tinge of crimson
When, lo ! a solemn train appeared, by their loved
And sweetly rose the holy hymn, as toward that stream
they sped ;
And he its cleaving, crystal breast, with graceful move
His steadfast eye upraised, to seek communion with its
Then, bending o er his staff, approached that willow-
A man of many weary years, with furrowed temples hoar;
THE BAPTISM. 143
And faintly breathed his trembling lip " Behold, I fain
Buried in baptism with my Lord, ere death shall summon
With brow benign, like Him whose hand did wavering
The pastor bore his tottering frame through that trans
And plunged him neath the shrouding wave, and spake
the Triune name,
And joy upon that withered face, in wondering radiance
And then advanced a lordly form, in manhood s towering
Who from the gilded snares of earth had wisely turned
And, following in His steps who bowed to Jordan s startled
In deep humility of soul, this faithful witness gave.
Who next ? A fair and fragile form, in snowy robe doth
That tender beauty in her eye that wakes the vow of
144 THE BAPTISM.
Yea, come, thou gentle one, and arm thy soul with
This stern world hath a thousand darts to vex a breast
Beneath its smile a traitor s kiss is oft in darkness bound
Cling to that Comforter who holds a balm for every
Propitiate that Protector s care who never will forsake,
And thou shalt strike the harp of praise, even when thy
Then, with a firm, unshrinking step, the watery path she
And gave, with woman s deathless trust, her being to her
And when all drooping from the flood she rose, like lily-
Methought that spotless brow might wear an angel s
Yet more ! Yet more ! How meek they bow to their
Redeemer s rite,
Then pass with music on their way, like joyous sons of
THE BAPTISM. 145
Yet lingering on those shores I staid, till every sound was
For hallowed musings o er my soul, like spring-swollen
Tis better, said the voice within, to bear a Christian s
Than sell this fleeting life for gold, which death shall
prove but dross
Far better, when yon shrivelled skies are like a banner
To share in Christ s reproach, than gain the glory of the
THOUGHTS AMONG THE TREES.
"The retiring of the mind into itself is the state most susceptible of
How beautiful you are, green trees ! green trees !
How nobly beautiful ! Fain would I rest
Neath the broad shadow of your mantling arms,
And lose the world s unquiet imagery
In the soft mist of dreams. Your curtaining veil
Shuts out the revelry, and toil, that chafe
The city s denizens. Man wars with man,
And brethren forage on each other s hearts,
Throwing their life-blood in that crucible
Which brings forth gold.
Unceasingly we strive,
And gaze at gaudes, and cling to wind-swept reeds,
Then darkly sink, and die.
But here ye stand,
Your moss-grown roots by hidden moisture fed,
And on your towering heads the dews that fall
THOUGHTS AMONG THE TREES. 147
From God s right hand. I love your sacred lore,
And to the silence you have learn d of Him
Bow down my spirit. Not a whispering leaf
Uplifts itself, to mar the holy pause
Doth not wisdom dwell
With silence and with nature ? From the throng
Of fierce communings, or of feverish joys.
So the sweet mother of the Lord of life
Turn d to the manger, and its lowly train,
And, mid their quiet ruminations, found
Refuge and room.
Methinks, an angel s wing
Floats o er your arch of verdure, glorious trees !
Luring the soul above. O, ere we part,
For soon I leave your blessed company,
And seek the dusty paths of life again,
Give me some gift, some token of your love,
One holy thought, in heavenly silence born,
That I may nurse it till we meet again.
MISSIONS TO AFRICA.
O AFRIC ! famed in story,
The nurse of Egypt s might,
A stain is on thy glory,
And quenched thine ancient light
Stern Carthage made the pinion
Of Rome s strong eagle cower,
But brief was her dominion,
And lost her trace of power.
And thou, the stricken-hearted,
The scorned of every land,
The diadem departed,
Dost stretch thy fettered hand ;
How long shall misery wring thee,
And none arise to save ?
And every billow bring thee
Sad tidings from the slave P
Is not thy night of weeping,
Thy time of darkness, o er ?
Is not Heaven s justice keeping-
Its vigil round thy shore ?
MISSIONS TO AFRICA. 149
I see a watch-light hurning
High on yon wave-girt tower,
To guide thy sons, returning
In freedom s glorious power.
Thy pyramids, aspiring,
Unceasing wonder claim,
And still the world, admiring,
Demands their founder s name ;
But more enduring glory
Shall settle on his head
Who blest Salvation s story
Shall o er thy desert spread.
UP to thy Master s work ! for thoti art sworn
To do his bidding, till the hand of death
Strike off thine armour. Thy deep vow denies
To hoard earth s gold, or truckle for its smile,
Or bind its blood-stain d laurel on thy brow.
A nobler field is thine. The soul ! the soul !
That is thy province, that mysterious thing,
Which hath no limit from the walls of sense,
No chill from hoary time, with pale decay
No fellowship, but shall stand forth unchanged,
Unscath d amid the resurrection fires,
To bear its boundless lot of good or ill.
And dost thou take authority to aid
This pilgrim-essence to a throne in heaven
Among the glorious harpers, and the ranks
Of radiant seraphim and cherubim ?
Thy business is with that which cannot die,
Whose subtle thought the untravell d universe
THE ORDINATION. 151
Spans on swift wing, from slumbering ages sweeps
Their buried treasures, scans the vault of heaven,
Poises the orbs of light, points boldly out
Their trackless pathway through the blue expanse,
Foils the red comet in its flaming speed,
And aims to read the secrets of its God,
- Yet thou, a son of clay, art privileg d
To make thy Saviour s image brighter still
In this majestic soul !
Give God the praise
That thou art counted worthy, and lay down
Thy lip in dust. Bethink thee of its loss,
For He whose sighs on Olivet, whose pangs
On Calvary, best speak its priceless worth,
Saith that it may be lost. Should it sin on
Till the last hour of grace and penitence
Is meted out, ah ! what would it avail
Though the whole world, with all its pomp, and power,
And plumage, were its own ? What were its gain
If the brief hour-glass of this life should fail,
And leave remorse no grave, despair, no hope ?
- Up, blow thy trumpet, sound the loud alarm
To those who sleep in Zion. Boldly warn
To scape their condemnation, o er whose head
Age after age of misery hath roll d,
Who from their prison-house look up and see
Heaven s golden gate, and to its watchmen cry,
152 THE ORDINATION.
" What of the night ? " while the dread answer falls
With fearful echo down the unfathom d depths :
" Eternity ! "
Should one of those lost souls
Amid its tossings utter forth thy name,
As one who might have pluck d it from the pit,
Thou man of God ! would there not be a burst
Of tears in heaven ?
0, live the life of prayer,
The life of faith in the meek Son of God,
The life of tireless labour for His sake :
So may the Angel of the covenant bring
Thee to thy home in bliss, with many a gem
To glow for ever in thy Master s crown.
THE CHRISTIAN GOING HOME.
Occasioned by the words of a dying friend, " Before morning I shall
be at home.
HOME ! home ! its glorious threshold
Through parted clouds I see,
Those mansions by a Saviour bought,
Where I have long d to be,
And, lo ! a bright unnumbered host
O erspread the heavenly plain,
Not one is silent every harp
Doth swell the adoring strain.
Fain would my soul be praising
Amid that sinless throng,
Fain would my voice be raising
Their everlasting song,
Hark ! hark ! they bid me hasten
To leave the fainting clay,
Friends ! hear ye riot the welcome sound P
" Arise, and come away."
154 THE CHRISTIAN GOING HOME.
Before the dawn of morning
These lower skies shall light,
I shall have joined their company
Above this realm of night,
Give thanks, my mourning dear ones,
Thanks to the Eternal King,
Who crowns my soul with victory
And plucks from Death the sting.
HEAVEN S LESSON.
HEAVEN teacheth thee to mourn, thou fair, young bride.
Thou art its pupil now. The lowest class,
The first beginners in its school, may learn
How to rejoice. The sycamore s broad leaf,
Thrill d by the breeze, the humblest grass-bird s nest,
Murmur of gladness, and the wondering babe,
Borne by its nurse out in the open fields,
Leameth that lesson. The wild mountain-stream
That throws by fits its gushing music forth,
The careless sparrow, happy, tho the frosts
Nip his light foot, have learn d the simple lore,
How to rejoice. Mild Nature teacheth it
To all her innocent works.
But God alone
Instructed! how to mourn. He doth not trust
This highest lesson to a voice, or hand,
Subordinate. Behold ! He cometh forth !
sweet disciple, bow thyself to learn
The alphabet of tears. Receive the lore,
Sharp though it be, to an unanswering breast,
156 HEAVEN S LESSON.
A will subdued. And may such wisdom spring
From these rough rudiments, that thou shall gain
A class more noble, and, advancing, soar
Where the sole lesson is a seraph s praise.
Ah, be a docile scholar, and so rise
Where mourning hath no place.
OUT springs the bubble, dazzling bright,
With ever-changing hues of light,
And so amid the flowery grass
Our gilded years of childhood pass.
Yet bears not each with traitor sway,
Beneath its robe, some gem away ?
Some bud of hope, at morning born,
Without the memory of the thorn ?
Some fruit that ripen d, free from care ?
Where are those vanish d treasures ? where ?
Then knowledge, with her letter d lore,
Demands us at the nursery-door,
Reproves our love of vain delights,
And on the brow, "sub jugum," writes.
But the sweet joys of earliest days,
The buoyant spirits, wing d for praise,
Escape, exhale. We thought them seal d,
For wintry days, their charm to yield.
Where have they fled ? Go, ask the sky,
Where fleet the dews, when suns are high.
158 THE BUBBLE.
Upborne by history s arm, we tread
The crumbling soil, o er nations dead.
The buried king, the mouldering sage,
The relics of a nameless age,
We summon forth, with vain regret ;
And in that toil our heart forget,
Till, warn d, perchance, by wayward deeds,
How much that realm a regent needs,
Renew, with pangs of contrite pain,
The study of ourselves again.
While thus we roam, the silver hair
Steals o er our temples here and there,
And beauty starts, amaz d to see
The ploughshare of an enemy.
What is that haunt, \vhere willows wave
That yawning pit ? The grave ! the grave !
The turf is set, the violets grow,
The throngs rush on, where we lie low.
Our name is lost, amid their strife,
The bubble bursts, and this is life !
ATTENDING A FORMER PUPIL TO THE
DAUGHTER. I will not leave thee.
Thou vvert wont
To sit so close beside me with thy task,
And lift thy little book, and scan my face,
Timing thy question wisely to my cares,
And thou would st gently put thy hand in mine
When summer-school was o er, and strive to lead
To thine own pleasant home, bespeaking still
For me such things as unto thee were dear,
Thy white-hair d grandsire s kindness, or the walk
In the sweet plat of flowers, until I felt
That, of a pupil, I had made a friend.
I will not leave thee, now that thou must take
Thy journey to thy sepulchre. I know
How timid thou wert ever, and would st cling
Unto my arm, when childhood s little fears
Or troubles daunted thee. But now, behold,
160 ATTENDING A FORMER PUPIL TO THE GRAVE
Thou on thy low and sable carriage lead st
And marshall st us the way where we must go,
Each for himself.
Stranger and friend sweep on
In long procession.
Daughter, I am near
In this most solemn hour. I ll stay and hear
The, " Dust to dust" that turns the cheek so pale
Of mourning love. Till the green turf is laid,
The last sad office of affection o er,
I will not leave thee, sweetest. No, I ll wait
Till every lingerer hasteth to his home,
And then I ll breathe a prayer beside thy bed,
Thou, who so oft hast pour d thy prayer with me.
I ll be the last to leave thee. 0, be first
To welcome me above, if, thro the trust
In my Redeemer s strength, I thither rise from dust.
There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
WE mourn for those who toil,
The wretch who ploughs the main,
The slave who hopeless tills the soil
Beneath the stripe and chain ;
For those who in the world s hard race,
O erwearied and unblest,
A host of gliding phantoms chase;
Why mourn for those who rest ?
We mourn for those who sin,
Bound in the tempter s snare,
Whom syren pleasure beckoneth in
To prisons of despair,
Whose hearts, by whirlwind passions torn
Are wreck d on folly s shore,
But why in anguish should we mourn
For those who sin no more ?
162 MISTAKEN GRIEF.
We mourn for those who weep,
Whom stern afflictions bend,
Despairing o er the lowly sleep
Of lover or of friend ;
But they who Jordan s swelling tide
No more are call d to stem,
Whose tears the hand of God hath dried,
Why should we mourn for them ?
DEATH OF MRS. H. W. L. WINSLOW,
MISSIONARY IN CEYLON.
THY name hath power like magic. Back it brings
The earliest pictures hung in memory s halls,
Tinting them freshly o er : the rugged cliff,
The towering trees, the wintry walk to school,
The page so often conn d, the hour of sport
Well earn d and dearly priz d, the sparkling brook
Making its slight cascade, the darker rush
Of the pent river through its rocky pass,
The violet-gatherings mid the vernal banks,
When our young hearts did ope their crystal gates
To every simple joy.
I little deem d,
Mid all that gay and gentle fellowship,
That Asia s sun would beam upon thy grave,
Tho , even then, from thy dark, serious eye
There was a glancing forth of glorious thought,
That scorn d earth s vanities. I saw thee stand
With but a few brief summers o er thy head,
164 DEATH OP MRS. H. W. L. WINSLOW.
And in the consecrated courts of God
Confess thy Saviour s name. And they who mark d
The promise of that opening bud did ask
What its full bloom must be.
But now thy couch
Is where the Ceylon mother tells her child
Of all thy prayers and labours. Yes, thy rest
Is in the bosom of that fragrant isle
Where heathen man with lavish Nature strives
To blot the lesson she would teach of God.
Thy pensive sisters pause upon thy tomb
To catch the spirit that did bear thee through
All tribulation, till thy robes were white,
To join the angelic train. And so farewell,
My childhood s playmate, and my sainted friend,
Whose bright example, not without rebuke,
Admonisheth, that home, and ease, and wealth,
And native land, are well exchanged for heaven.
"SHOW US THE FATHER."
JOHN, iv., 8.
HAVE ye not seen Him, when through parted snows
Wake the first kindlings of the vernal green ?
When neath its modest veil the arbutus blows,
And the pure snow-drop bursts its folded screen ?
When the wild rose, that asks no florist s care,
Unfoldeth its rich leaves, have ye not seen Him there ?
Have ye not seen Him, when the infant s eye,
Through its bright sapphire -windows shows the mind ?
When, in the trembling of the tear or sigh,
Floats forth that essence, trembling and refined ?
Saw ye not Him the author of our trust,
Who breathed the breath of life into a frame of dust ?
Have ye not heard Him, when the tuneful rill
Casts off its icy chains, and leaps away ?
In thunders echoing loud from hill to hill ?
In songs of birds, at break of summer s day ?
Or, in the ocean s everlasting roar,
Battling the old grey rocks, that sternly guard his shore ?
166 " SHOW US THE FATHER."
Amid the stillness of the sabbath-morn,
When vexing cares in tranquil slumber rest,
When in the heart the holy thought is born,
And Heaven s high impulse warms the waiting breast,
Have ye not felt Him, while your kindling prayer
Swelled out in tones of praise, announcing God was there P
Show us the Father ! If ye fail to trace
His chariot, where the stars majestic roll,
His pencil mid earth s loveliness and grace,
His presence in the sabbath of the soul,
How can you see Him till the day of dread,
When to assembled worlds the book of doom is read ?
THE LOST SISTER.
THEY wak d me from my sleep, I knew not why,
And bade me hasten where a midnight lamp
Glearn d from an inner chamber. There she lay,
With brow so pale, who yester-morn breath d forth
Through joyous smiles her superflux of bliss
Into the hearts of others. By her side
Her hoary sire, with speechless sorrow, gazed
Upon the stricken idol, all dismay d
Beneath his God s rebuke. And she who nurs d
That fair young creature at her gentle breast,
And oft those sunny locks had deck d with buds
Of rose and jasmine, shuddering, wip d the dews
Which death distils.
The sufferer just had given
Her long farewell, and for the last, last time
Touch d with cold lips his cheek who led so late
Her footsteps to the altar, and receiv d
In the deep transport of an ardent heart
Her vow of love. And she had striven to press
That golden circlet with her bloodless hand
Back on his finger, which he kneeling gave
168 THE LOST SISTER.
At the bright, bridal morn. So, there she lay
In calm endurance, like the smitten lamb
Wounded in flowery pastures, from whose breast
The dreaded bitterness of death had pass d.
But a faint wail disturb d the silent scene,
And, in its nurse s arms a new-born babe
Was borne in utter helplessness along,
Before that dying eye.
Its gather d film
Kindled one moment with a sudden glow
Of tearless agony, and fearful pangs,
Racking the rigid features, told how strong
A mother s love doth root itself. One cry
Of bitter anguish, blent with fervent prayer,
Went up to Heaven, and, as its cadence sank,
Her spirit enter d there.
Morn after morn
Rose and retir d ; yet still as in a dream
I seem d to move. The certainty of loss
Fell not at once upon me. Then I wept
As weep the sisterless. For thou wert fled,
My only, my belov d, my sainted one,
Twin of my spirit ! and my n umber d days
Must wear the sable of that midnight hour
Which rent thee from me.
THE DEPARTED NEIGHBOUR.
AH ! can that funeral knell be thine,
Thou, at whose image kind
So many long-remembered scenes
Come rushing o er my mind ?
Thy rural home, behind the trees,
Thy bovvers, with roses drest,
And the bright eye, and beaming smile,
That cheer d each entering guest.
There, when our children, hand in hand,
Pursued their earnest play,
It drew our hearts more closely still,
To see their own so gay,
And hear their merry laughter ring
Around the evening hearth,
While the loud threat of winter s storm
Broke not their hour of mirth.
Tis strange, that I should seek in vain
That mansion, once so fair,
170 THE DEPARTED NEIGHBOUR.
And find the spot where erst it stood
All desolate and bare,
Its smooth green bank, on which so thick
The dappled daisies grew,
How passing strange, that from its place
Even that has vanish d too.
But thou, whatever change or cloud
Deform d this lower sky,
Hadst still a fountain in thy heart
Whose streams were never dry,
A fountain of perennial hope,
That never ceased to flow,
And give its sky-fed crystals forth
To every child of woe.
Thy frequent visits to my couch,
If sickness paled my cheek,
And all thy sympathetic love,
Which language cannot speak,
How strong those recollections rise
To wake the grateful tear,
For deeds like these more precious grow
With every waning year.
I cannot think that bitter grief
Would please thy happy soul,
THE DEPARTED NEIGHBOUR. 171
Rais d, as thou art, to that blest world
Where tempests never roll ;
But may thy dearest, and thy best,
The children of thy care,
Walk steadfast in thy chosen path,
And joyful meet thee there.
THE CONVENIENT SEASON.
" Go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season I will call
ALONE he sat, and wept. That very night
The ambassador of God, with earnest zeal
Of eloquence, had warn d him to repent,
And, like the Roman at Drusilla s side,
Hearing the truth, he trembled. Conscience wrought
And sin allur d. The struggle shook him sore.
The dim lamp wan d, the hour of midnight toll d ;
Prayer sought for entrance, but the heart had clos d
Its diamond valve. He threw him on his couch,
And bade the spirit of his God depart.
But there was war within him, and he sigh d,
" Depart not utterly, thou Blessed One !
Return when youth is past, and make my soul
For ever thine."
With kindling brow he trod
The haunts of pleasure, while the viol s voice
THE CONVENIENT SEASON. 173
And beauty s smile his fluttering pulses woke.
To love he knelt, and on his brow she hung
Her freshest myrtle-wreath. For gold he sought,
And winged wealth indulg d him, till the world
Pronounc d him happy.
Manhood s vigorous prime
Swell d to its climax, and his busy days
And restless nights swept like a tide away,
When, lo ! a message from the crucified,
" Look unto me, and live." But care had twin d
Strong tendrils round him, and its countless shoots
Still striking earthward, like the Indian tree,
Barr d out, with woven shades, the eye of Heaven.
Twice warn d, he ponder d : then impatient spake
Of weariness, and haste, and want of time,
And duty to his children, and besought
A longer space to do the work of Heaven.
God spake again, when age had shed its snows
Upon his temples, and his weary hand
Shrank from gold-gathering. But the rigid chain
Of habit bound him and he still implor d
A more convenient season.
" See, my step
Is firm and free, my unquench d eye delights
To view this pleasant world, and life with me
May last for many years. In the calm hour
174 THE CONVENIENT SEASON.
Of lingering sickness, I can better fit
For long eternity."
Disease came on.
And reason fled. The maniac strove with death,
Till darkness smote his eye-balls, and thick ice
Settled around his heart-strings. The poor clay
Lay vanquish d and distorted. But the soul,
The soul, whose promis d season never came,
Where was it?
THE AMERICAN BISHOP.
A scene at the closing of a Convention in Virginia, by the venerable
THEY cluster d round, that listening throng,
The parting hour drew nigh,
And heighten d feeling, deep and strong,
Spoke forth, from eye to eye,
For reverend in his hoary years,
A white-rob d prelate hent,
And trembling pathos wing d his words,,
As to the heart they went.
With saintly love, he urg d the crowd
Salvation s hope to gain,
While, gathering o er his furrow d cheek,
The tears fell down like rain ;
He wav d his hand, and music woke
A warm and solemn strain,
His favourite hymn swell d high, and fill d
The consecrated fane.
176 THE AMERICAN BISHOP.
Then from the hallovv d chancel forth,
With faltering step, he sped,
And fervent laid a father s hand
On every priestly head,
And breath d the blessing of his God,
And, full of meekness, said,
" Be faithful in your Master s work,
When your old bishop s dead.
" For more than fifty years, my sons,
A Saviour s love supreme,
Unto a sinful world, hath been
My unexhausted theme ;
" Now, see, the blossoms of the grave
Are o er my temples spread,
Oh ! lead the seeking soul to Him,
When your old bishop s dead."
Far wan d the holy sabbath-eve
On toward the midnight hour,
Before that spell-bound throng retir d
To slumber s soothing power,
Yet many a sleeper, mid his dream,
Beheld, in snowy stole,
That patriarch-prelate s bending form,
Whose accents stirr d the soul.
THE AMERICAN BISHOP. 177
In smiles the summer-morn arose,
And many a grateful guest,
Forth from those hospitable domes,
With tender memories, press d.
While o er the broad and branching bay,
Which like a heart doth pour
A living tide, in countless streams,
Through fair Virginia s shore -
O er Rappahannock s fringed breast,
O er rich Potomac s tide,
Or where the bold, resistless James
Rolls on, with monarch-pride,
The boats that ask nor sail, nor oar,
With speed majestic glide,
And many a thoughtful pastor leans
In silence o er their side ,
And, while he seems to scan the flood
In silver neath him spread,
Revolves the charge " Be strong for God,
When your old bishop s dead."
POWER OP THE ALMIGHTY.
GOD of the chainless winds, that wildly wreck
The moaning forest, and the ancient oak
Rend like a sapling spray, and sweep the sand
O er the lost caravan, that trod with pride
Of tinkling bells, and camel s arching neck,
The burning desert, a dense host at morn,
At eve, a bubble, on the trackless waste :
God of the winds ! can st thou not rule the heart,
And gather back its passions, when thou wilt,
Bidding them, " Peace be still ! "
God of the waves,
That toss and mock the mightiest argosy,
As the gay zephyr frets the thistle-down,
Until the sternest leader s heart doth melt
Because of trouble, Thou who call st them back
From their rough challenge to the muffled sky,
And bidd st them harmless lave an infant s feet
That seeketh silver shells, canst Thou not curb
The tumult of the nations, the hot wrath
Of warring kings, who, like the babe, must die ;
POWER OF THE ALMIGHTY. 179
Vaunting this day in armour, and the next,
Unshrouded, slumbering on the battle-field ?
God of the unfathom d, unresisted deep !
We trust in Thee, and know in whom we trust.
God of the solemn stars, that tread so true
The path by thee appointed, every one,
From the slight asteroid to the vast orb
That lists the watch-word, or the music-march
Of farthest planets round their monarch suns,
Marshall d in glorious order, lead our souls
From system unto system up to Thee;
That when, unbodied from this lower world,
Trembling, they launch, they may not lose the clue
That guides from sun to sun, thro boundless space,
The stranger-atom to a home with Thee.
"IS IT WELL WITH THE CHILD/
" Is it well with the child ? And she answered, It is well. "
2 KINGS, iv., 26.
"Is it well with the child?" And she answer d, " Tis
But I gaz d on the mother who spake,
For the tremulous tear, as it sprang from its cell,
Bade a doubt in my bosom awake ;
And I mark d that the bloom from her features had fled,
So late in their loveliness rare,
And the hue of the watcher that bends o er the dead
Was gathering all languidly there.
" Is it well with the child ?" And she answer d, " Tis
But I thought of its beauty and grace,
When the tones of its laughter would merrily swell
At affection s delighted embrace :
And thro their long fringe, as it rose from its sleep,
Its eyes beam d a rapturous ray,
And I wonder d that silence should settle so deep
O er the home of a being so gay.
"IS IT WELL WITH THE CHILD." 181
" Is it well with the child ? " And she answer d, " Tis
No more will it shudder with pain,
Of the pang and the groan, and the gasp it might tell,
It never will suffer again.
In my dreams, as an angel, it stands by my side,
In the garments of beauty and love ;
And I hear its glad lays to the Saviour who died,
Mid the choir of the blessed above."
MONODY TO MRS. SARAH L. SMITH.
So, Asia hath thy dust, thou, who wert born
Amid my own wild hillocks, where the voice
Of falling waters, and of gentle gales,
Mingle their music. How thy soft dark eye,
Thy graceful form thy soul-illumin d smile,
Gleam forth upon me, as I muse at eve,
Mid the bright imagery of earliest years.
Hear I the murmur d echo of thy name,
From yon poor forest race ? Tis meet for them
To hoard thy memory, as a blessed star,
For thou didst seek their lowly homes, and tell
Their sad-brow d children of a Saviour s love,
And of a clime where no oppressor comes.
Cold winter found thee there, and summer s heat,
With zeal unblenching. Tho , perchance, the sneer
Might curl some worldling s lip, twas not for thee
To note its language, or to scorn the soul
Of the neglected Indian, or to tread
Upon the ashes of his buried kings
As on a loathsome weed.
Thine own fair halls
Lur d thee in vain, until the hallow d church
MONODY TO MRS. SARAH L. SMITH. 183
Rear d its light dome among them, and the voice
Of a devoted shepherd, day by day,
Call d back those wanderers to the sheltering fold
Of a Redeemer s righteousness.
Thy path was on the waters, and thy hand
Close clasp d in his who bore so fearless forth
The glorious Gospel to those ancient dimes
Which in the darkness, and the shade of death,
Strong ties detain d thee here,
Home father sightless mother sister dear,
Brothers and tender friends, a full array
Of hope and bliss. But what were those to thee,
Who on God s altar laid the thought of self ?
What were such joys to thee, if duty bade
Their crucifixion ?
Oh ! Jerusalem !
Jerusalem ! Methinks I see thee there,
Pondering the flinty path thy Saviour trod,
And fervent kneeling where his prayer arose,
All night on Olivet, or with meek hand
Culling from pure Siloam s marge a flower,
Whose tender leaflets drink as fresh a dew
As when unhumbled Judah wore the crown
Of queenly beauty ; or with earnest eye
Exploring where the shepherd-minstrel kept
His father s flock, before the cares that lodge
184 MONODY TO MRS. SARAH L. SMITH.
Within the thorn-wreath d circlet of a king
Had turn d his temples grey ; or with sweet smile
Reposing, wearied, in thy simple tent
By turbid Jordan, or the bitter wave
Of the Asphaltites.
Back to thy place,
Amid the Syrian vales, to thy lov d toils
For the forsaken Druses, and the throng
Of heathen babes, who on thine accents hang
As on a mother s. Lo ! the time is short.
Perils upon the waters wait for thee,
And then another Jordan, from whose flood
Is no return.
But thou, with lip so pale,
Didst take the song of triumph, and go down
Alone, and fearless, thro its depths profound.
Snatches of heavenly harpings made thee glad,
Even to thy latest gasp.
Therefore, the grief
Born at thy grave is not like other grief.
Tears mix with joy. We praise our God for thee.
DEPART, CHRISTIAN SOUL/
DEPART ! depart ! the silver cord is breaking,
The sun-ray fades before thy darken d sight,
The subtle essence from the clod is taking,
Mid groans and pangs, its everlasting flight ;
Lingerest thou fearful ? Christ the grave hath bless d,
He in that lowly couch did deign to take his rest.
Depart ! thy sojourn here hath been in sorrow,
Tears were thy meat along the thorn- clad path,
The hope of eve was but a clouded morrow,
And sin appall d thee with thy Maker s wrath,
Earth gave her lessons in a tempest- voice.
Thy discipline is ended. Chasten d one, rejoice !
Thou wert a stranger here, and all thy trouble
To bind a wreath upon the brow of pain,
To build a bower upon the watery bubble,
Or strike an anchor neath its depths, was vain ;
Depart ! depart ! all tears are wiped away,
Thy seraph -in arshall d road is toward the realm of day.
DEATH OF A CLERGYMAN.
So, from the field of labour thou art gone
To thy reward, like him who putteth off
His outer garment, at the noontide hour,
To take a quiet sleep. Thy zeal hath run
Its course untiring, and thy quicken d love,
Where er thy Master pointed, joy d to go.
Amid thy faithful toil, His summons came,
Warning thee home, and thou didst loose thy heart
From thy fond flock, and from affection s bonds,
And from thy blessed children s warm embrace,
With smiles and songs of praise.
Death smote thee sore,
And plung d his keen shaft in the quivering nerve,
Making the breath that stirr d life s broken valve
A torturing gasp, but with thy martyrdom
Were smiles and songs of praise.
And thou didst rise
Above the pealing of these sabbath bells
Up to that glorious and unspotted church
Whose worship is eternal.
Would that all
Who love our Lord might with thy welcome look
DEATH OF A CLERGYMAN.
On the last foe, not as a spoiler sent
To wreck their treasures, and to blast their joys,
But as a friend who wraps the weary clay
With earth, its mother, and doth raise the soul
To that blest consummation which its prayers
Unceasingly besought, tho its blest hopes
But faintly shadow d forth.
So, tho we hear
Thy voice on earth no more, the holy hymn
With which thou down to Jordan s shore didst pass,
To take thy last cold baptism, still shall waft,
As from some cloud, its echoed sweetness back,
To teach us of the melody of heaven.
A MOTHER S TEACHING.
THE boy sat listening to the words
That from his mother fell,
Pure lessons, wrapp d in gentle tones,
Like music s softest swell.
And oft he mark d her musing brow,
With holy silence bright,
And bless d its placid smile, and deem d
That angels lov d the sight
Yet when that mother laid her down
To rest in mouldering clay,
The world s temptations o er him roll d,
And swept his faith away.
Like bird that scorns the fowler s snare,
He trifled with his fate,
Forgot to seek the Spirit s aid,
Or for its teachings wait.
A MOTHER S TEACHING. 189
Yet once, as in his midnight watch,
The lonely deck he pac d,
With nought hut solemn stars above,
And, round, old Ocean s waste,
Methought her warning voice, who long
Neath the cold sods had slept,
Spake forth from every rushing wave
That on resistless swept ;
Methought a tear-drop, like her own,
Fell from the gathering cloud,
That round the slowly-rising moon
Had wreath d its silver shroud ;
Methought the searching eye of God
Flam d in his secret soul ;
Arid down the proud man how d, with tears,
To own its strong control;
The Saviour s lowly yoke he took ;
His flinty heart was riven,
And so the seed his mother sow d
Brought forth rich fruit for Heaven.
TO DIE IS GAIN/
SAY ST thou, tis gain to die ? And may I ask
How thou hast weigh d, and by what process brought
The apostle s answer to thy sum of life ?
Where are thy balances, and whose firm hand
Did poise therein thy talents and their use
To show such blest result ? Time s capital
Needs well be husbanded, to leave the amount
Of gain behind, when at a moment s call
The spirit fleets, and the dissolving flesh
Yields to the earth-worm s fang.
Say, hath thy lip,
Too often satiate, loath d the mingled cup
So madly fill d at Pleasure s turbid stream ?
Or hath thine ear, the promises of hope
Drank on in giddy sickness, till the touch
Of grave philosophy their emptiness
Detected, and to their thin element
Of air reduc d ? Or doth thy cheated heart,
Sowing its warm affections on the wind,
And reaping but the whirlwind, turn with scorn
" TO DIE IS GAIN." 191
From every harvest which these changeful skies
Can ripen or destroy ? Then hast thou prov d
The loss of life, but not the gain of death.
But hast thou by thy ceaseless prayers obtain d
Such token of acceptance with thy Lord,
So fill d each post of duty, so sustain d
All needful discipline, so deeply mourn d
Each burden of iniquity, that death
Comes as a favour d messenger to lead,
To its bright heritage, the willing soul ?
Searcher of hearts, thou knowest ! Thou alone
The hidden thought dost read, the daily act
Note unforgetful. Take away the dross
Of earthly principle, the gather d film
Of self-deluding hope, the love and hate
Which have their root in dust, until the soul,
Regarding life and death with equal eye,
Absorbs its will in thine.
2 CHRON., xxvi.
THE star of Judah s king rode high in plenitude of power,
And lauded was his sceptre s sway, in palace and in bower,
Fresh fountains in the desert waste, up at his bidding
And clustering vines o er Camel s breast, a broader
He hied him to the battle-field, in all his young renown,
And wild Arabia s swarthy host like blighted grass fell
Yet, when within his lifted heart the seeds of pride grew
And unacknowledg d blessings led to arrogance and wrong,
Even to the temple s holy place, with impious step, he
And with a kindling censer stood fast by the altar s side ;
But he whose high and priestly brow the anointing oil
had bless d
Stood forth majestic to rebuke the sacrilegious guest.
" Tis not for thee," he sternly said, "to tread this
hallow d nave,
And take that honour to thyself which God to Aaron
Tis not for thee, thou mighty king, o er Judah s realm
To trample on Jehovah s law, hy whom thy fathers reign d.
Go hence ! " And from his awful eye there seein d such
ire to flame
As mingled with the thunder-blast when God to Sinai
Then loud the reckless monarch storm d, and with a
He swung the sacred censer high above the trembling
But, where the burning sign of wrath did in his forehead
Behold I the avenging doom of heaven, the livid plague-
spot came ;
And low his princely head declin d, in bitterness of woe,
While from the temple-gate he sped, a leper, white as
" I feel that the dead have conferred a blessing on me, by helping me to
think of the world rightly."
REV. ORVILLE DEWEY.
SAY ST thou the dead are teachers ?
Must we come,
And sit among the clods, and lay our ear
To the damp crannies of the loathsome tomb,
And listen for their lore ?
There comes no sound
From all those stern and stone-bound sepulchres.
Grass-blades are here, and flowers, and now and then
A mother-bird doth cheer her callow young
With chirping strain, while the low winds that sweep
The shivering harp-strings of yon ancient pines
Make sullen undulation.
Still thou say st
The silent dead are teachers.
Stretch your hands,
And on our tablets write one pencil-trace,
That we may hoard it in our heart of hearts.
All motionless ! All passionless ! All mute !
OUR TEACHERS. 195
O silence ! twin with wisdom ! I would press
My lip upon yon cradled infant s grave,
And drink the murmur of its smitten bloom.
A mother s young pride in her beautiful,
Her darling ministries from eve to morn,
Laid low ! Laid low ! How slight the aspen stem
Round which her heart s joys twin d. Yet all are frail,
All like the crisp stalk in the reaper s path.
Read I thy lesson right, my little one ? -
See, by thy side, the strong man sleepeth well.
The tall, proud man, who tower d, like Israel s king,
With head above the people. Yet his wail,
Was it not weak as thine, when death launch d home
The fatal dart ? Humility befits
The born of earth, the crush d before the moth;
And the deep teaching of such lowly creed
Best cometh from the dead.
Ah ! let me kneel
Here on this mound, where sleeps my early friend,
And wait her words in lowliness of soul.
Thou speak st not to me ! thou whose silver tone
Did lead the way, in all our sweet discourse,
When, lost in lonely haunts, we wander d long,
Shunning the crowd. Twin-soul, thou wert with mine.
Yet still I think I lov d thee not enough
When thou wert with me.
Thy clear, welcome voice.,
Thy soft caress at meeting, it would seem
196 OUR TEACHERS.
That sometimes clouds around my spirit hung,
Checking the fond response. Beloved one,
Was it not so ? And there were tender words
I might have said to thee, and said them not.
And there were higher flights of glorious thought,
And nobler trophies on life s rugged steep,
To which I might have urg d thee. Was it so P
Make answer from thy pillow. Blind and weak !
I thought to have thee ever by my side.
And so the hours swept by, till thou didst spread
A sudden wing, and prove thine angel-birth.
O, by the keen regret of those lost hours,
Pure spirit, teach me, with firm grasp to seize
The passing moment, not with duty s deed,
Or the defrauded sympathies of love,
To load the uncertain future ; but with prayer
Turn unto Him who metes our fleeting days,
And teacheth wisdom from the voiceless tomb.
THE FIRST MORNING OF SPRING.
BREAK from your chains, ye lingering streams;
Rise, blossoms, from your wintry dreams ;
Drear fields, your robes of verdure take ;
Birds, from your trance of silence wake ;
Glad trees, resume your leafy crown ;
Shrubs, o er the mirror-brooks bend down ;
Bland zephyrs, wheresoe er ye stray,
The Spring doth call you, come away.
Thou too, my soul, with quicken d force
Pursue thy brief, thy measur d course ;
With grateful zeal each power employ ;
Catch vigour from Creation s joy;
And deeply on thy shortening span
Stamp love to God and love to man.
But Spring, with tardy step, appears,
Chill is her eye, and dim with tears;
Still are the founts in fetters bound,
The flower-germs shrink within the ground.
Where are the warblers of the sky ?
I ask, and angry blasts reply.
198 THE FIRST MORNING OF SPRING.
It is not thus in heavenly howers :
Nor ice-bound rill, nor drooping flowers,
Nor silent harp, nor folded wing,
Invade that everlasting Spring
Toward which we look with wishful tear,
While pilgrims in this wintry sphere.
DEATH OP THE PRINCIPAL OE A
RETREAT FOR THE INSANE.
FEW have been mourned like thee. The wise and good
Do gather many weepers round their tomb,
And true affection makes her heart an urn
For the departed idol, till that heart
Is ashes. With such sorrow art thou mourned,
And more than this. There is a cry of woe
Within the halls of yon majestic dome
A tide of grief, which reason may not check,
Nor faith s deep anchor fathom.
That gaze on vacancy, do search for thee,
Whose wand could put to flight the fancied ills
Of sick imagination. The wrecked heart
Keepeth the echo of thy soothing voice
An everlasting sigh within its cells,
And morbidly upon that music feeds.
Mind s broken column mid its ruins bears
Thy chiselled features. Thy dark eye looks forth
200 DEATH OF THE PRINCIPAL OF
From memory s watch-tower on the phrenzy-dream,
Ruling its imagery, or with strange power
Controlling madness, as the shepherd s harp
Subdued the moody wrath of Israel s king.
Even where the links of thought and speech are broke,
Mid that most absolute and perfect wreck,
When throneless reason flies her idiot-foe,
Thou hast a place. The fragments of the soul
Do bear thine impress shadowy, yet endeared,
And multiplied by countless miseries.
Beside some happy hearth, where fire-side joys
And renovated health, and heaven-born hope,
Swell high in contrast with the maniac s cell,
Thou art remembered by some grateful heart,
With the deep rapture of that lunatic
Whom Jesus healed.
But there s a wail for thee
From throngs whom this unpitying world doth cast
Out of her company, the scorned, the banned,
The excommunicate. Thou wert their friend
Thy wasting midnight vigil was for them :
The toil, the watching, and the stifled pang
That stamped thee as a martyr, were for them.
They could not thank thee, save with that strange shriek
Which wounds the gentle ear. Yet thou didst walk
In thy high ministry of love and power,
As a magician mid their spectre-foes
And maniac visions.
A RETREAT TOR THE INSANE. 201
Thou didst mark sublime
Death s angel sweeping o er thy studious page,
And, at his chill monition, laying down
The boasted treasures of philosophy,
Didst clothe thyself in meekness as a child
Waiting the father s will.
And so farewell,
Thou full of love to all whom God hath made,
Thou tuned to melody, go home ! go home !
Where music hath no dissonance, and love
Doth poise for ever on her perfect wing.
THE REV. LEGH RICHMOND AMONG
THE RUINS OF IONA.
WHERE old lona s ruins spread
In shapeless fragments round,
And where the crovvn d and mighty dead
Repose in cells profound ;
Where o er Columba s buried towers
The shrouding ivy steals,
And moans the owl from cloister d bowers,
A holy teacher kneels.
Rocks spring terrific to the sky,
Rude seas in madness storm ;
And grimly frowns on Fancy s eye
The Druid s awful form,
With multer d curse, and reeking blade,
And visage stern with ire ;
Yet mid that darkly-blended shade
Still bends the stranger sire.
He prays, the father for his child,
The distant and the dear ;
THE REV. LEGH RICHMOND. 203
And when yon abbey o er the wild
Upraised its arches drear,
When at high-mass, or vesper-strain,
Rich voices fill d the air,
From all that cowl d and mitred train
Rose there a purer prayer ?
His name is on a simple scroll
With Christian ardour penn d,
Which, thrilling, warns the sinner s soul
To make his God a friend ;
But, when the strong archangel s breath
Yon ancient vaults shall rend,
And, starting from the dust of death,
These waken d throngs ascend,
Meek saint ! the boldest of the bold
That sword or falchion drew,
Barons, whose feudal glance controll d
Vassal and monarch too,
Proud heroes of the tented field,
Kings of a vaunted line,
May wish their blood-bought fame to yield
For honours won like thine.
" So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unU
WHY break the limits of permitted thought,
To revel in Elysium ? thou who bear st
Still the stern yoke of this unresting life,
Its toils, its hazards, and its fears of change ?
Why hang thy frost-work wreath on fancy s brow,
When labour warns thee to thy daily task,
And faith doth bid thee gird thyself to run
A faithful journey to the gate of heaven ?
Up, tis no dreaming-time ! awake ! awake !
For He who sits on the High Judge s seat,
Doth in his record note each wasted hour,
Each idle word. Take heed, thy shrinking soul
Find not their weight too heavy, when it stands
At that dread bar from whence is no appeal.
Lo, while we trifle, the light sand steals on,
Leaving the hour-glass empty ; so thy life
Glideth away, stamp wisdom on its hours.
ON MEETING SEVERAL FORMER PUPILS
AT THE COMMUNION TABLE.
" I have no greater joy than to see my children Tvalk in the truth."
WHEN kneeling round a Saviour s board
Fair forms, and brows belov d, I see,
Who once the paths of peace explor d,
And trac d the studious page with me,
Who from my side with pain would part ;
My entering step with gladness greet,
And pour complacent, o er my heart,
Affection s dew-drops, pure and sweet,
When now, from each remember d face
Beam tranquil hope and trust benign,
When in each eye Heaven s smile I trace,
The tear of joy suffuses mine.
Father ! I bless thy ceaseless care,
Which thus its holiest gifts hath shed ;
206 MEETING AT THE COMMUNION TABLE.
Guide Thou their steps through every snare,
From every danger shield their head.
From treacherous error s dire control,
From pride, from change, from darkness free,
Preserve each timorous, trusting soul,
That, like the ark-dove, flies to Thee.
And may the wreath that cloudless days
Around our hearts so fondly wove
Still bind us till we speak Thy praise,
As sister spirits, one in love ;
One, where no lingering ill can harm ;
One, where no stroke of fate can sever ;
Where nought hut holiness doth charm,
And all that charms shall live for ever.
DEATH OF A YOUNG MUSICIAN.
Music was in thy heart, and fast entwin d,
And closely knotted with its infant strings,
Were the rich chords of melody. When youth
And science led thee to their classic bower,
A pale and patient student, the lone lamp
Of midnight vigil found thee pouring out
Thy soul in dulcet sound. In memory s cell
Still live those thrilling tones, as erst they broke,
Beguiling with sweet choral symphonies
The festal hour.
But, lo ! while thou didst wake
The solemn organ to entrancing power,
Tracing the secret spells of harmony,
On through deep rapture s labyrinthine maze
Devotion came, and breath d upon thy bro\v ;
And made her temple in thy tuneful breast.
So, music led thee to thy Saviour s feet,
Serene and true disciple, and their harps
Who fondly hold untiring guardianship
O er frail man s pilgrim-path were tremulous
With joy for thee.
208 DEATH OF A YOUNG MUSICIAN.
Nor vainly to thy soul
Came Heaven s high message wrapp d in minstrelsy ;
For to its service, with unshrinking zeal,
The blossom of thy life was dedicate.
Thy hand was on God s altar, when a touch,
Sudden and strange and icy cold, unloos d
Its fervent grasp. Thy gentle heart was glad
With the soft promise of a hallow d love.
But stern death dash d it out. Now there are tears
In tenderest eyes for thee.
Yet we who know-
That earth hath many discords for a soul
Fine ton d and seraph-strung, and that the feet
Which fain would follow Christ are sometimes held
In the dark meshes of a downward course,
Till strong repentance urge them back with tears,
Do feel thy gain.
Tis well thou art at home,
Spirit of melody and peace and love.
JOTHAM S PARABLE.
THE trees of Israel once conven d
In conclave, strange and bold,
To choose a ruler, though the Lord
Had been their king of old.
And, first., the homage of their vow
They to the Olive paid,
But she the nattering suit repelFd,
And lov d the peaceful glade.
Next, to the fruitful Fig they turn d,
On Shechem s shadowy height,
And spread the gilded lures of power
Before her dazzled sight ;
But shivering low, in every leaf,
As the light breeze swept by,
Ambition s sinful thought she spurn d,
And rais d to Heaven her eye.
So then the lowly Vine they sought,
That, round her trellis bound,
210 JOTHAM S PARABLE.
In sweet contentment humbly dwelt,
Belov d by all around ;
Yet, hiding neath her clusters broad,
With unobtrusive smile,
And, clinging closer to her prop,
She scap d th insidious wile.
Then up the thorny Bramble spake
To every lofty tree,
11 Come, put your trust beneath my shade,
And I ll your ruler be."
" The Bramble-shade ! the Bramble-shade !
Have ye forgot the day
When Midian s old, oppressive yoke
Was nobly rent away.
" My glorious sire ! Have ye forgot
How in God s strength he rose ?
And took his dear life in his hand,
And triumph d o er your foes ?
So now, if with my father s house
Ye have dealt well and true,
Rejoice ye in your new-made lord,
While he exults in you.
" But, if my slaughter d brethren s blood
Still from the dust doth cry,
JOTHAM S PARABLE. 211
And echo in that Judge s ear,
Who rules both earth and sky,
Then from the bramble, where ye trust,
Break forth, at midnight hour,
The o ervvhelming and vindictive flame,
And all your host devour."
That voice the ingrate people heard
With deep remorse and dread,
And deem d some spirit, strong in wrath,
Had risen from the dead ;
For there, on Gerizzim, he stood,
Amid its cedars bright,
And frown d one moment on the throng,
Then vanish d from their sight.
But fearful was the fiery doom
On Shechem s leaguer d tower,
When fierce Abimelech arose,
With war s disastrous power.
Each soldier bore a sever d bough,
And rear d a mighty pile,
From whence the wild, unpitying flame
Consum d the men of guile.
And on that tyrant s head there fell
A weight of wrath and pain,
212 JOTHAM S PARABLE.
Dire judgment for usurping guilt,
And for his brethren slain.
The mill-stone, by a woman thrown,
A servant s deadly thrust,
Aveng d the usurper s ruthless deed,
Arid crush d him to the dust.
THE DYING BOY.
His pure cheek pressed the pillow, and its hue,
So late like the fresh rose s heart, was pale,
While mid the clustering curls those chill dews hung
Which fall but once.
Still o er that beauteous brow
Where fatal languor settled, flashed the light
Of intellect, as a faint cry burst forth,
" Oh ! mother ! mother ! "
Then there was a pause,
A pang too deep for words.
" Your mother sleeps
In IIQT cold grave, my son. You stood with me
Beside its brink. Your little hand clasped mine
Convulsively, at those sad, solemn words,
* Ashes to ashes ! when the clods fell down
Upon the coffin-lid. Long months have pass d,
And every night your cheek was wet with tears
For that dear mother. Say, have you forgot ?
Or roves your mind in dreams ? Speak, dearest one."
And then the father rais d that drooping head,
214 THE DYING BOY.
And laid it on his bosom, and bovv d down
A listening ear close to those murmuring lips.
But, till their last faint whisper died away,
There was no sound of answer to his voice,
Save, " Mother ! mother ! "
Deem ye not he err d !
For she who at his cradle caught the flame
Of that deep love which time may never quench,
Perchance, was nearer to her son than you
Who smooth d the pillow for his fever d head,
Calling yourselves the living.
Have laid her in the grave, but can ye say
That her seraphic, soul-sustaining smile
Beam d not upon him ? Can ye tell how warm,
How early was her welcome to that clime
Which hath no death-pang ?
If celestial bands
Feel for the unknown habitants of clay
A hallowed train of guardian sympathies,
And fold their wings around them as they run
Time s slippery course, with what a flood of joy,
At Heav n s bright threshold, when all ills are past,
A mother greets her child !
Tis o er! Tis o er!
All earthly strife in that soft sigh doth end.
Wrap the white grave-robe o er the stainless form.
And lay it by her side whose breast so long
THE DYING BOY. 215
Was the fond pillow for his golden hair.
Write o er his narrow tomb, " Tis well I tis well ! "
Then turn away and weep : for weep we must,
When our most beautiful and treasur d things
Fleet from this shaded earth.
How can we see
Our rifled bowers of rest in ruin laid
Without a tear ? Yet He who wills the wound
Can shed such balm -drops o er the riven heart
That its most poignant and deep-rooted grief
Shall bear blest fruit in heaven.
WIFE OF A MISSIONARY AT THE GRAVE
OF HER HUSBAND.
THERE was a new-made grave,
On a far heathen shore,
Where lonely slept a man of God,
His mission-service o er ;
There, when the setting sun
Had tinged the west with flame,
A tender infant in her arms,
A mournful woman came.
Her youthful cheek was pale,
Her fair form bending low,
As thus upon the fitful gale
She poured her plaint of woe,
" Friend of my inmost soul,
The turf is on thy breast,
And here amid the stranger s land
Thy precious dust must rest.
" Our helpless babe I bring,
Who knew no father s love,
WIFE OF A MISSIONARY, ETC. 217
Who looked not on this world of pain,
Till thou had st risen above ;
I lay him on thy bed,
Unconscious tears to weep,
Before our last farewell we take,
And dare the faithless deep.
" Oh, when the mountain wave
Shall be our venturous path,
And the loud midnight tempest howls
In terror and in wrath,
Thy manly arm no more
My dearest prop must be,
Nor thy strong counsel nerve my soul
To brave the raging sea.
" But, if our native coast
Once more these feet should tread,
And thou, the life of all my joys,
Be absent with the dead,
While each remembered scene
Shall with thine image glow,
And friend and parent name thy name,
How shall I bear the woe ?
" Is it thy voice, my love,
That bids me bear the rod,
And stay my desolated heart
Upon the widow s God ?
218 WIFE OF A MISSIONARY, ETC.
Say st thou, when every ray
Of hope is quench d and dim,
The widow and the fatherless
Should put their trust in Him ?
" How blest that Word Divine,
On which my soul relies,
The resurrection of the just,
The union in the skies ! "
Faith came with heavenly light,
Her struggling grief to quell,
And in the holy words of prayer
She spake her last farewell.
" Pctur, therefore, was kept in prison, but prayer was made, without
ceasing, of the church unto God for him." Acts, xii., 5,
He slept between two soldiers, bound with chains,
Waiting the hour when wily Herod s hand
Should point his martyr-doom. Yet still, he slept,
Peaceful as the young babe. And, lo ! a light
Gleam d o er the dungeon-darkness, and a voice,
Not of this earth, poured forth the high command,
" Peter, arise."
Then the investing chains
Melted from off his limbs, and he arose
And rob d himself, and girt his sandals on,
And follow d where the wondering messenger
Guided, with shining track. The iron gate,
That guarded portal of the city s wall,
As if it knew Heaven s high ambassador,
Turn d on its massy hinge. So, on they pass d,
Free and unquestion d, till the seraph s wing
Outspread, in parting flight. With snowy trace
Awhile it hover d, then, like radiant star
From its bright orbit loos d, went soaring up
High o er the arch of night.
Then Peter knew
The angel of the Lord, for he had deem d
Some blessed vision he]d his tranced sight
In strange illusion.
With the voice of praise,
His joyous steps a well-known threshold sought,
The home of Mary. Midnight reign d around,
And heavy sleep hung o er Jerusalem.
Yet here they slumber d not A sigh arose
Of ardent supplication, for the friend
In durance and in chains. But can ye paint
The astonish d gaze with which those tearful eyes
Fix d on his well-known features, as he stood,
Sudden, amid the group ?
High Heaven had heard
The prayer of faith. And heard it not the breath
Of gratitude, from every trembling lip,
Ascribing glory to the Lord of Hosts,
Whose holy angel had his servant freed
From the high-handed malice of the Jews,
And from the wrath of Herod ?
Ye, who hold
The key of prayer, that key which entereth heaven,
How long will ye be doubtful of its power ?
And choose earth s broken cisterns ? Say! how long
Peace I leave with you.
JOHN, siv., 27.
" Peace," was the song the angels sang,
When Jesus sought this vale of tears,
And sweet that heavenly prelude rang,
To calm the wondering shepherds fears.
" War" is the word that man hath spoke,
Convuls d by passions dark and dread,
And vengeance bound a lawless yoke
Even where the Gospel s banner spread.
" Peace," was the prayer the Saviour breathed
When from our world his steps withdrew,
The gift He to his friends bequeathed
With Calvary and the cross in view :
And ye whose souls have felt his love,
Guard day and night this rich bequest,
The watch-word of the host above,
The passport to their realm of rest.
TOMB OF A YOUNG FRIEND AT MOUNT
I DO remember thee.
There was a strain
Of thrilling music, a soft breath of flowers
Telling of summer to a festive throng,
That fill d the lighted halls. And the sweet smile
That spoke their welcome, the high warbled lay
Swelling with rapture through a parent s heart,
Time wav d his noiseless wand awhile,
And in thy cherish d home once more I stood,
Amid those twin d and cluster d sympathies
Where the rich blossoms of thy heart sprang forth,
Like the moss rose. Where was the voice of song
Pouring out glad and glorious melody ?
But when I ask d for thee, they took me where
A hallow d mountain wrapt its verdant head
In changeful drapery of woods, and flowers,
And silver streams, and where thou erst didst love,
Musing, to walk, and lend a serious ear
TOMB OF A YOUNG FRIEND. 223
To the wild melody of birds that hung
Their unhann d dwellings mid its woven bowers.
Yet here and there, involv d in curtaining shades
Uprose those sculptur d monuments that bear
The ponderous warnings of eternity.
So, then hast pass d the unreturning gate,
Where dust with dust doth linger, and gone down
In all the beauty of thy blooming years
To this most sacred city of the dead.
The granite obelisk and the pale flower
Reveal thy couch. Fit emblems of the frail
And the immortal.
But that bitter grief
Which holds stern vigil o er the mouldering clay,
Keeping long night-watch with its sullen lamp,
Had fled thy tomb, and faith did lift its eye
Full of sweet tears : for when warm tear-drops gush
From the pure memories of a love that wrought
For others happiness, and rose to take
Its own full share of happiness above,
Are they not sweet ?
WHAT maketh music, when the bird
Doth hush its merry lay ?
And the sweet spirit of the flowers
Hath sigh d itself away ?
* " The Rev. Mr. George Herbert, in one of his walks to Salisbury to join
a musical society, saw a poor man, with a poorer horse, which had fallen
under its load. Putting off his canonical coat, he helped the poor man to
unload, and raise the horse, and afterwards to load him again. The poor
man blessed him for it, and he blessed the poor man. And so like was he
to the good Samaritan, that he gave him money to refresh both himself
and his horse, admonishing him also, if he loved himself, to be merciful to
his beast Then, coming to his musical friends at Salisbury, they began
to wonder that Mr. George Herbert, who used to be always so trim and
neat, should come into that company so soiled and discomposed. Yet,
when he told them the reason, one of them said that he had disparaged
himself by so mean an employment. But his answer was that, the thought
of what he had done would prove music to him at midnight, and that the
omission of it would have made discord in his conscience, whenever he
should pass that place. For if, said he, I am bound to pray for all that
are in distress, I am surely bound, so far as is in my power, to practise
what I pray for. And though I do not wish for the like occasion every
day, yet would I not willingly pass one day of my life without comforting
a sad soul, or showing mercy, and I praise God for this opportunity. So
now let us tune our instruments. "
MIDNIGHT MUSIC. 225
What maketh music when the frost
Enchains the murmuring rill,
And every song that summer woke
In winter s trance is still ?
What maketh music when the winds
In strong encounter rise,
When ocean strikes his thunder-gong,
And the rent cloud replies ?
While no adventurous planet dares
The midnight arch to deck,
And, in its startled dream, the babe
Doth clasp its mother s neck ?
And when the fiercer storms of fate
Wild o er the pilgrim sweep,
And earthquake-voices claim the hopes
He treasur d long and deep,
When loud the threatening passions roar
Like lions in their den,
And vengeful tempests lash the shore,
What maketh music then ?
The deed to humble virtue born,
Which nursing memory taught
To shun a boastful world s applause,
And love the lowly thought,
226 MIDNIGHT MUSIC.
This builds a cell within the heart,
Amid the blasts of care,
And timing high its heaven-struck harp,
Makes midnight music there.
EVENING BY THE SEA-SHORE.
WHEN fervid summer crisps the shrinking nerve,
And every prisrned rock doth catch the ray
As in a burning glass, tis wise to seek
This city of the wave. For here the dews
With which Hygeia feeds the flower of life
Are ever freshening in their secret founts.
Here may st thou talk with the ocean, and no ear
Of gossip islet on thy words shall feed.
Send thy free thought upon the winged winds,
That sweep the castles of an older world,
And what shall bar it from their ivied heights ?
- Tis well to talk with Ocean. Man may cast
His pearl of language on unstable hearts,
And, thriftless sower ! reap the winds again.
But thou, all-conquering element, dost grave
Strong characters upon the eternal rock,
Furrowing the brow that holdeth speech with thee.
Musing beneath yon awful cliffs, the soul,
That brief shell-gatherer on the shores of time,
Feels as a brother to the drop that hangs
One moment trembling on thy crest, and sinks
Into the bosom of the boundless wave.
EVENING BY THE SEA-SHORE.
- And see, outspreading her broad, silver scroll.
Forth comes the moon, that meek ambassador,
Bearing Heaven s message to the mighty surge.
Yet he, who listeneth to its hoarse reply,
Echoing in anger through the channel d depths,
Will deem its language all too arrogant,
And earth s best dialect too poor to claim
Benignant notice from the star-pav d skies,
And man too pitiful to lift himself
In the frail armour of his moth-crush d pride,
Amid o ershadowing nature s majesty.
AFRAID TO DIE.
4i And deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime
subject to bondage." Hebrews, ii., xv.
AFRAID to die ! afraid to sleep
In earth, our mother s tranquil breast,
Where snares and troubles vex no more,
And all the weary are at rest ?
Afraid to die ! afraid to take
His hand who trod the shadowy vale,
And leads us on to pastures green,
And living streams that never fail ?
Afraid to die ! afraid to bear
The pang that but a moment tries,
And, o er the sway of pain and care,
Ascend to mansions in the skies P
Afraid to die ! afraid to leave
The cradle, and the worthless toy,
230 AFRAID TO DIE.
And take our ripen d being s crown,
And soar to consummated joy ?
Afraid to die ! afraid to trust
His promise who shall burst the tomb,
And raise the renovated dust
More glorious from its transient gloom ?
Afraid to die ! afraid to meet
The guardian bands who watchful wait,
And spread their radiant pinions wide
To bear us through salvation s gate ?
Afraid to die ! prefer to be
A stranger in these courts below,
A pilgrim, when the lights of home
Bright through our Father s windows glow ?
Afraid to die ! ah ! what avails,
Whether by sickness, storm, or fire ;
The ethereal essence finds its place,
And rises to the Eternal Sire ?
Afraid to die ? grant us grace,
Thou who didst dare the spoiler s strife.
Calmly to meet his cold embrace,
And soar to everlasting life.
DEPARTURE OF MISSIONARIES FOR
WAVE, wide Ceylon, your foliage fair,
Your spicy fragrance freely strew,
See, ocean s threatening surge we dare,
To bear salvation s gift to you.
And, ye who long with faithful hand
Have fondly till d that favour d soil,
We come, we come, a hrother-band
To share the burden of your toil.
Land of our birth ! we may not stay
The ardour of our hearts to tell,
Friends of our youth ! we dare not say
How deep within our souls ye dwell.
But when the dead, both small and great,
Shall stand before the Judge s seat,
When sea, and sky, and earthly state,
All like a baseless vision fleet,
The hope that then some heathen eye
Thro us, an angel s glance may raise,
Bids us to vanquish nature s tie,
And turn her parting tear to praise.
CRT OF THE CORANNAS.
"Missionaries are going far beyond us, but they come not to us.
We have been promised a missionary, but can get none. God has given
us plenty of corn, but we are perishing for want of instruction. Our
people are dying every day. We have heard there is another life after
death, but we know nothing of it."
WE see our infants fade. The mother clasps -
The enfeebled form, and watches night and day
Its speechless agony, with tears and cries,
But there s a hand more strong than her despair,
That rends it from her bosom. Our young men
Are bold and full of strength, but something comes,
We know not what, and so they droop and die.
Those whom we lovM so much, our gentler friends,
Who bless our homes, we gaze, and they are gone.
Our mighty chiefs, who in the battle s rage
Tower d up like Gods, so fearless, and return d
So loftily, behold ! they pine away
Like a pale girl, and so, we lay them down
With the forgotten throng who dwell in dust.
They call it death, and we have faintly heard
By a far echo o er the distant sea
CRY OF THE CORANNAS. 233
There was a life beyond it. Is it so ?
If there be aught above this mouldering mound
Where we do leave our friends, if there be hope,
So passing strange, that they should rise again
And we should see them, we who mourn them now,
We pray you speak such glorious tidings forth
In our benighted clime. Ye heaven-spread sails
Pass us not by ! Men of the living God !
Upon our mountain-heights we stand and shout
To you in our distress. Fain would we hear
Your wondrous message fully, that our hearts
May hail its certainty before we go
Ourselves to those dark caverns of the dead
Where everlasting silence seems to reign.
GIFT OF A BIBLE.
BEHOLD the book, o er which, from ancient time,
Sad penitence hath poured the prayerful breath,
And meek devotion bowed with joy sublime,
And nature armed her for the strife of death,
And trembling hope renewed her wreath divine,
And faith an anchor gained : that holy book is thine.
Behold the book, whose sacred truths to spread
Christ s heralds toil beneath a foreign sky,
Pouring its blessings o er the heathen s head,
A martyr-courage kindling in their eye.
Wide o er the globe its glorious light must shine,
As glows the arch of heaven : that holy book is thine.
Here search with humble heart, and ardent eye,
Where plants of peace in bloom celestial grow ;
Here breathe to mercy s ear the contrite sigh,
And bid the soul s unsullied fragrance flow
To Him who shuts the rose at even-tide,
And opes its dewy eye when earliest sunbeams glide.
GIFT OF A BIBLE. 235
May Heaven s pure Spirit touch thy soften d heart,
And guide thy feet through life s eventful lot ;
That when from this illusive scene I part,
And in the grave lie mouldering and forgot,
This, my first gift, like golden link, may join
Thee to that angel-band around the Throne Divine.
ON THE DEATH OF A FRIEND.
SHE passeth hence, a friend from loving friends,
A mother from her children. Time hath shed
No frost upon her, and the tree of life
Glows in the freshness of its summer prime.
Yet still she passeth hence : her work on earth
Soon done, and well. Hers was the unwavering mind,
The untiring hand in duty. Firm of soul
And pure in purpose, on the Eternal Rock
Of Christian trust, her energies reposed,
And sought no tribute from a shadowy world.
Her early hope and homage clave to God,
When the bright skies, the untroubled founts of youth,
With all their song-birds, all their flowers, rose up
To tempt her spirit. So, in hours of pain,
He did remember her, and on her brow
And in her breast, the dove-like messenger
Found peaceful home.
O thou, whom grieving love
Would blindly pinion in this vale of tears,
ON THE DEATH OF A YRIEND. 237
Farewell ! It is a glorious flight for faith
To trace thy upward path, above this clime
Of change and storm. We will remember thee
At thy turf-bed, and, mid the twilight hour
Of solemn music, when the buried friend
Comes back so visibly, and seems to fill
The vacant chair, our speech shall be of thee.
THE OLD MAN.
WHY gaze ye on my hoary hairs,
Ye children, young and gay ?
Your locks, beneath the blast of cares,
Will bleach as white as they.
1 had a mother once, like you,
Who o er my pillow hung ;
Kiss d from my cheek the briny dew,
And taught my faltering tongue.
She, when the nightly couch was spread,
Would bow my infant knee,
And lay her soft hand on my head,
And, bending, pray for me.
But then there came a fearful day,
I sought my mother s bed ;
Harsh voices warn d me thence away,
And told me she was dead.
THE OLD MAN. 239
I pluck d a fair white rose, and stole
To lay it by her side,
And found strange sleep enchain d her soul,
For no fond voice replied.
That eve I knelt me down in woe,
And said a lonely prayer ;
Yet still niy temples seem d to glow,
As if that hand was there.
Years fled, and left me childhood s joy,
Gay sports, and pastimes dear ;
I rose a wild and wayward boy,
Who scorn d the curb of fear.
Fierce passions shook me like a reed ;
But ere, at night, I slept,
That soft hand made my bosom bleed,
And down I fell, and wept.
Youth came, the props of virtue reel d,
Yet still, at day s decline,
A marble touch my brow congeal d,
Blest mother, was it thine ?
In foreign lands I travell d wide,
My full pulse bounding high ;
240 THE OLD MAN.
Vice spread her meshes at my side,
And pleasure lur d my eye ;
Yet still that hand, so soft and cold,
Maintain d a mystic sway,
As when amid my curls of gold
With gentle force it lay ;
And with it sigh d a voice of care,
As from the lowly sod,
" My son, my only one, beware !
Sin not against thy God."
Ye think, perchance, that age hath stole
My kindly warmth away,
And dimm d the tablet of the soul ;
Yet when, with lordly sway,
This brow the plumed helm display d,
That awes the warrior throng ;
Or beauty s thrilling fingers stray d
These manly locks among.
That hallow d touch was ne er forgot ;
And now, though Time hath set
That seal of frost which melteth not,
My temples feel it yet.
THE OLD MAN. 241
And, if I e er in heaven appear,
A mother s holy prayer,
A mother s hand, and tender tear,
Still pointing to a Saviour dear,
Have led the wanderer there.
DEATH OF A DISTINGUISHED MAN,
DEATH S shafts are ever busy. The fair haunts
Where least we dread him, and where most the soul
Doth lull itself to fond security,
Reveal his ministry ; and, were not man
Blind to the future, he might see the sky,
Even in the glory of its cloudless prime,
Dark with that arrow-flight.
They deemed it so
Who marked thee like a stately column fall,
And in the twinkling of an eye yield back
Thy breath to Him who gave it. Yes, they felt,
Who saw thy vigorous footstep strangely chained
Upon the turf it traversed, and the cheek,
Flushed high with health, to mortal paleness turn d,
How awful such a rush from time must be.
Thy brow was calm, yet deep within thy breast
Were ranklings of a recent grief for her,
The idol of thy tenderness, with whom
Life had been one long scene of changeless love.
Yea, them didst watch the winged messenger
In sleepless agony that bore her hence,
DEATH OF A DISTINGUISHED MAN. 24
And, when that bright eye darken d from whose beams
Thine own had drank from youth its dearest joy,
Upraised thine hands and gave her back to God.
The bleeding of thy heart-strings was not stanched,,
Nor scarce the tear-gush dried, ere death s dire frost
Congeal d thy fount of life.
Thy toil had been,
In that brief interval, to bear fresh plants
From the sweet garden which she loved to tend,
And bid them on her burial-pillow bloom.
But, ere the young rose, or the willow-tree,
Had taken their simplest rooting, thou wert laid
Low by her side. It was a pleasant place
Methought to rest, earth s weary labour done,
Fanned by the waving of those drooping boughs,
And in her company whom thou didst choose,
From all the world, to travel by thy side,
Confidingly, by deep affection cheer d,
And in thy faith a sharer.
From the haunts
Of living men, thine image may not fleet
Noteless away. They will remember thee,
By many a word of witness for the truth,
And many a deed of bounty. In the sphere
Of those subliiner charities that gird
The mind the soul thine was the ready hand :
And for the hasting of that day of peace
Which sheathes the sword, thine was the earnest prayer
244 DEATH OF A DISTINGUISHED MAN.
In thine own house and in the church of God
There will be weeping for thee. Thou no more
Around thine altar shalt delight to see
Thy children, and thy children s children, come
To take thy patriarch blessing, and no more
Bring duly to yon consecrated courts
Thy sabbath offering. Thou hast gained the rest
Which earthly sabbaths dimly shadow forth,
And to that ransomed family art risen
Which have no need of prayer.
But thou, O man !
Whose hold on life is like the spider s web,
Who hast thy footing mid so many snares,
So many pitfalls, yet perceivest them not,
Seek peace with Him who made thee, bind the shield
Of faith in Christ more firmly o er thy breast,
That, when its pulse stands still, thy soul may pass,
Unshrinking, unreluctant, unamazed,
Into the fulness of the light of Heaven.
NOT DEAD, BUT SLEEPETH. :
Not dead? A marble seal is prest,
Where her bright glance did part,
A weight is on the pulseless breast,
And ice around the heart ;
No more she wakes with greeting smile,
Gay voice, and buoyant tread,
But yet ye calmly say the while,
She sleeps, she is not dead.
" Mourn st than for clay alone ? " Behold
A voice from heaven replied,
" Then be thine anguish uncontroll d,
Thy tears a heathen tide ;
Thine idol was that vestment fair
Which wraps the spirit free,
Earth, air, and water, claim their share,
Say ! which shall comfort thee ?
But the strong mind whose heaven-born thought
No earthly chain could bind,
246 " NOT DEAD, BUT SLEEPETH."
The holy heart divinely fraught
With love to all mankind,
The humble soul whose early trust
Was with its God on high,
These were thy sister, who in dust
May sleep, but cannot die"
PUT forth your leafy lutes, ye wind swept trees !
For well the sighing summer gales do love
To play upon them. Often have I heard,
When in fresh sweetness came the gentle shower,
That pensive music at the fall of eve,
And bless d it in my loneliness of soul.
Call forth, thou peopled grass, the weak- voiced tribes
That dwell beneath thy lowly canopy,
To wake their chirping chorus, while thy sigh,
Waving in the soft breeze, the cadence fills.
Utter your oral melody, ye streams,
As, swift of foot, your mazy course you run,
To the cool pillow of some mightier tide.
And thou, old ocean ! robed in solemn state,
Yield thy deep organ to the tempest s will,
And, with the surges and the sweeping blasts,
Pour such bold voluntary that the stars,
Stooping to listen to thy thunder-hymn,
Shall tremble in their spheres.
Heart ! strike thy harp,
Join the full anthem of creation s praise,
Ere thou shall pour thy life-breath on the winds,
And sleep the sleep of silence and the grave.
The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God "
" No God f no God ! " The simplest flower
That on the wild is found
Shrinks as it drinks its cup of dew,
And trembles at the sound.
" No God ! " Astonished echo cries
From out her cavern hoar,
And every wandering bird that flies
Reproves the atheist-lore.
The solemn forest lifts its head,
The Almighty to proclaim,
The brooklet, on its crystal urn,
Doth leap to grave his name,
High swells the deep and vengeful sea,
Along his billowy track,
And red Vesuvius opes his mouth,
To hurl the falsehood back.
The palm-tree, with its princely crest,
The cocoa s leafy shade,
The bread-fruit, bending to its lord,
In yon far island-glade ;
The winged seeds that, borne by winds,
The roving sparrows feed,
The melon on the desert- sands,
Confute the scorner s creed.
" No God ! " With indignation high
The fervent sun is stirr d,
And the pale moon turns paler still
At such an impious word ;
And, from their burning thrones, the stars
Look down with angry eye,
That thus a worm of dust should mock
THE AGED CLERGYMAN.
You will not see him more. You whose young thoughts
Blent with his image, who to manhood grew
Beneath the shelter of his saintly shade,
Bringing your tender infants to his hand
For the baptismal water, who liv d on
Amid his teachings, till the silver hairs
Came all unlook d for, stealing o er your brow,
You will not see him more.
There was a place
Where, duly as the day of God returned,
His solemn voice held converse with the skies
For you and yours, till more than fourscore years
Swept in deep billows o er him. You will hear
That voice no more.
There stands his ancient house,
Where, with the partner of his heart, he shar d
Affection s joys so long, and fondly mark d
His children and his children s children rise
Clustering around his board.
His cordial welcome ? how he freely dealt
THE AGED CLERGYMAN. 251
A patriarch s wisdom, in monitions kind
To all who sought him ? how, with hallow d grace
Of bounteous hospitality, he gave
Example of those virtues, pure and sweet,
Which, round the hearth-stone rooting, have their fruit
Where men are judg d ?
He linger d with you late,
Till all the lov d companions of his youth
Had gone to rest. Yet so he lov d your souls,
That, for their sakes, he willingly sustain d
Life s toil and cumbrance, and stood forth alone,
An aged oak, amid the fallen grove.
His Master call d.
It was the sabbath morn :
And he had girded up his loins to speak
A message in the temple. Time had strown
The almond -blossom, and his head was white
As snows of winter, yet within his heart
Glow d the same temperate and unwavering zeal
That nerv d his youth.
But, lo ! the Master call d.
So, laying down the Bible that he lov d,
That single weapon he so meek had borne
Thro all life s tribulation, he gave back
The spirit to its Giver, and went home,
Yes, full of honours as of days, went home.
PARTING HYMN OF MISSIONARIES TO
NATIVE land ! in summer smiling,
Hill and valley, grove and stream,
Home ! whose nameless charms, beguiling,
Peaceful lull d our infant dream,
Haunts ! through which our childhood hasted,
Where the earliest wild-flowers grew,
Church ! where God s free grace we tasted,
Gems of memory s wealth, adieu !
Mother ! who hast watched our pillow
In thy tender, sleepless love,
Lo, we dare the crested billow,
Mother ! put thy trust above !
Father ! from thy guidance turning,
O er the deep our way we take,
Keep the prayerful incense burning
On thine altar, for our sake.
PARTING HYMN OF MISSIONARIES. 253
Brothers ! sisters ! more than ever
Seem our clinging heart-strings twin d,
As that hallow d bond we sever
Which the hand of nature join d :
But the cry of pagan anguish
Thro our inmost hearts doth sound,
Countless souls in misery languish,
We would haste to heal their wound.
Burmah ! we would sooth thy weeping,
Take us to thy sultry hreast,
Where the sainted few are sleeping,
Let us share a kindred rest :
Friends ! our span of life is fleeting,
Hark ! the harps of angels swell,
Think of that eternal meeting
Where no voice shall say farewell.
WHITHER SHALL I FLEE FROM
THY PRESENCE. 55
TAKE morning s wing, and fly from zone to zone,
To Earth s remotest pole, and, ere old Time
Can shift one figure on his dial-plate,
Haste to the frigid Thule of mankind,
Where the scant life-drop freezes. Or go down
To Ocean s secret caverns, mid the throng
Of monsters without number, which no foot
Of man hath visited, and yet returned
To walk among the living. Or the shroud
Of midnight wrap around thee, dense and deep,
Bidding thy spirit slumber.
Hop st thou thus
To scape the Almighty, to whose piercing eye
Morn s robe and midnight s vestment are the same ?
Spirit of truth ! why should w^e seek to hide
Motive or deed from thee ? why strive to walk
In a vain show before our fellow-men ?
Since at the same dread audit each must stand,
"WHITHER SHALL i FLEE FROM THY PRESENCE." 255
And with a sun-ray read his brother s breast
While his own thoughts are weighed ?
Search thou my soul !
And, if aught evil lurk securely there
Like Achan s stolen hoard, command it thence,
And hold me up in singleness of heart,
And simple, child-like confidence in Thee,
Till time shall close his labyrinth, and ope
Eternity s broad srate.
DEATH OF A BEAUTIFUL BOY.
I SAW thee at thy mother s side, when she was marble cold,
And thou wert like some cherub form, cast in ethereal
But, when the sudden pang of grief oppressed thine infant
And mid thy clear and radiant eye a liquid crystal
I thought how strong that faith must be that breaks a
mother s tie,
And bids her leave her darling s tears for other hands
I saw thee in thine hour of sport, beside thy father s bower,
Amid his broad and bright parterre, thyself the fairest
I heard thy tuneful voice ring out upon the summer air,
As though some bird of Eden poured its joyous carol there,
And lingered with delighted gaze on happy childhood s
Which once the blest Redeemer loved, and folded in his
DEATH OF A BEAUTIFUL BOY. 257
I saw thee scan the classic page, with high and glad
And saw the sun of science beam, as on an eaglet s eyes,
And marked thy strong and brilliant mind arouse to bold
And from the tree of knowledge pluck its richest, rarest
Yet still from such precocious power I shrank with secret
A shuddering presage that thy race must soon be ended
I saw thee in the house of God, and loved the reverent air
With which thy beauteous head was bowed low in thy
Yet little deemed how soon thy place would be with that
Who ever near the Eternal Throne, in sinless worship,
Ah, little deemed how soon the tomb must lock thy glo
And wing thine ardent soul to find a sainted mother s
COME to thy lonely bower, thou who dost love
The hour of musing. Come, before the brow
Of twilight darkens, or the solemn stars
Look from their casement. Mid that hush of soul.
Music from viewless harps shall visit thee,
Such as thou never heard st amid the din
Of earth s coarse enginery, by toil and care
Urged on, without reprieve. Ah ! kneel and catch
That tuneful cadence. It shall wing thy thought
Above the j airings of this time-worn world,
And give the key-tone of that victor-song
Which plucks the sting from death.
How closely wrapt
In quiet slumber are all things around !
The vine-leaf and the -willow-fringe stir not,
Nor doth the chirping of the feeblest bird,
Nor even the cold glance of the vestal moon,
Disturb thy reverie. Yet dost thou think
To be alone ? In fellowship more close
EVENING THOUGHTS. 259
Than man with man, pure spirits hover near,
Prompting to high communion with the Source
Of every perfect gift. Lift up the soul,
For tis a holy pleasure thus to find
Its melody of musing so allied
To pure devotion. Give thy prayer a voice,
Claiming Heaven s blessing on these sacred hours,
Which, in the world s warped balance weighed, might
But sharp derision. Sure they help to weave
Such robes as angels wear ; and thou shalt taste
In their dear, deep, entrancing solitude
Such sweet society, that thou shalt leave
" Signet and staff," as pledges of return.
AFRICAN MOTHER AT HER DAUGHTER S
Some of the pagan Africans visit the burial-places of their departed
relatives, bearing food and drink ; and mothers have been known, for a
long course of years, to bring, in an agony of grief, their annual oblation
to the tombs of their children.
" DAUGHTER ! I bring thee food ;
The rice-cake, pure and white,
The cocoa, with its milky blood,
Dates, and pomegranates bright,
The orange, in its gold,
Fresh from thy favourite tree,
Nuts, in their ripe and husky fold,
Dearest ! I spread for thee.
" Year after year, I tread
Thus to thy low retreat,
But now the snow-hairs mark my head,
And age enchains my feet.
O ! many a change of woe
Hath dimmed thy spot of birth,
AFRICAN MOTHER AT HER DAUGHTER S GRAVE. 261
Since first my gushing tears did flow
O er this thy hed of earth.
" There came a midnight cry ;
Flames from our hamlet rose ;
A race of pale-browed men were nigh,
They were our country s foes:
Thy wounded sire was home
By tyrant force away,
Thy brothers from our cabin torn,
While in my hlood I lay.
" I watched for their return,
Upon the rocky shore,
Till night s red planets ceased to bum,
And the long rains were o er.
Till seeds, their hands had sown,
A ripened fruitage bore,
The billows echoed to my moan,
Yet they returned no more.
" But thou art slumbering deep,
And to my wildest cry,
When, pierced with agony, I weep,
Dost render no reply.
Daughter! my youthful pride,
The idol of my eye ;
Why didst thou leave thy mother s side,
Beneath these sands to lie ? "
262 AFRICAN MOTHER AT HER DAUGHTERS GRAVE.
Long o er the hopeless grave
Where her lost darling slept,
Invoking gods that could not save,
That pagan mourner wept.
O ! for some voice of power,
To sooth her bursting sighs :
" There is a resurrection hour ;
Thy daughter s dust shall rise ! "
Christians ! ye hear the cry
From heathen Afric s strand,
Haste ! lift salvation s banner high
O er that benighted land :
With faith that claims the skies,
Her misery control,
And plant the hope that never dies
Deep in her tear- wet soul.
DEATH-BED OF THE REY. DR. PAYSON.
" The eye spoke after the tongue became motionless. Looking on his
wife, and glancing over the others who surrounded his bed, it rested on
his eldest son, with an expression which was interpreted by all present to
say, as plainly as if he had uttered the words of the beloved disciple,
Behold thy mother ! "
Memoir of the REV. EDWARD PAYSOX.
WHAT said the eye ? The marble lip spake not,
Save in that quivering sob with which stern death
Crusheth life s harp-strings. Lo ! again it pours
A tide of more than uttered eloquence
" Son ! look upon thy mother," and retires
Beneath the curtain of the drooping lids
To hide itself for ever. Tis the last,
Last glance ! and, ah ! how tenderly it fell
Upon that loved companion, and the groups
Who wept around. Full well the dying knew
The value of those holy charities
Which purge the dross of selfishness away ;
And deep he felt that woman s trusting heart,
Rent from the cherished prop which, next to Christ,
Had been her stay in all adversities,
Would take the balm-cup best from that dear hand
264 DEATH-BED OF THE REV. DR. PAYSON.
Which woke the sources of maternal love ;
That smile whose winning paid for sleepless nights
Of cradle-care that voice whose murmured tones
Her own had moulded to the words of prayer.
How soothing to a widowed mother s breast,
Her first-born s sympathy.
Be strong, young man !
Lift the protector s arm, the healer s prayer
Be tender in thine every word and deed.
A spirit watcheth thee ! Yes, he who pass d
From shaded earth up to the full-orbed day,
Will be thy witness in the court of Heaven,
How thou dost bear his mantle. So, farewell,
Leader in Israel ! Thou, whose radiant path
Was like the angel s standing* in the sun,
Undazzled and unswerving. It was meet
That thou should st rise to light without a cloud.
* Revelations, xix., 17.
ONWARD ! onward ! men of heaven,
Rear the Gospel s banner high ;
Rest not, till its light is given,
Star of every pagan sky.
Bear it where the pilgrim-stranger
Faints neath Asia s vertic ray ;
Bid the red-brewed forest-ranger
Hail it, ere he fades away.
Where the arctic ocean thunders,
Where the tropics fiercely glow,
Broadly spread its page of wonders,
Brightly bid its radiance flow.
India marks its lustre, stealing,
Shivering Greenland loves its rays,
Afric, mid her deserts kneeling,
Lifts the untaught strain of praise.
Rude in speech, or grim in feature,
Dark in spirit though they be,
266 MISSION HYMN.
Show that light to every creature,
Prince or vassal, bond or free.
Lo ! they haste to every nation ;
Host on host the ranks supply ;
Onward ! Christ is your salvation,
And your death is victory !
"BLESSED ARE THE DEAD."
COME, gather to this burial-place, ye gay !
Ye, of the sparkling eye, and frolic brow,
I bid ye hither. She, who makes her bed
This day neath yon damp turf, with spring-flowers sown,
Was one of you. Time had not laid his hand
On tress or feature, stamping the drear lines
Of chill decay, till death had nought to do,
Save that slight office which the passing gale
Doth to the wasted taper. No, her cheek
Shamed the young rose-bud ; in her eye was light
By gladness kindled ; in her footsteps grace ;
Song on her lips ; affections in her breast,
Like soft doves nesting. Yet, from all she turned,
All she forsook, unclasping her warm hand
From friendship s ardent pressure, with such smile
As if she were the gainer. To lie down
In this dark pit she cometh, dust to dust,
Ashes to ashes, till the glorious mom
Of resurrection. Wondering do you ask,
268 " BLESSED ARE THE DEAD."
Where is her blessedness ? Go home, ye gay,
Go to your secret chambers, and kneel down,
And ask of God. Urge your request like him
Who, on the slight raft, mid the ocean s foam,
Toileth for life. And when ye win a hope
That the world gives not, and a faith divine,
Ye will no longer marvel how the friend,
So beautiful, so lov d, so lured by all
The pageantry of earth could meekly find
A blessedness in death.
TO MOURNING PARENTS.
TENDER guides, in sorrow weeping,
O er your first-born s smitten bloom,
Or fond memory s vigil keeping
Where the fresh turf marks her tomb,
Ye no more shall see her bearing
Pangs that woke the dove-like moan,
Still for your affliction caring,
Though forgetful of her own.
Ere the bitter cup she tasted, :
Which the hand of care doth bring,
Ere the glittering pearls were wasted,
From glad childhood s fairy string,
Ere one chain of hope had rusted,
Ere one wreath of joy was dead,
To the Saviour, whom she trusted,
Strong in faith, her spirit fled.
Gone where no dark sin is cherished,
Where nor woes nor fears invade,
Gone ere youth s first flower had perished,
To a youth that n er can fade.
SAILOR S FUNERAL.
THE ship s bell tolled, and slowly o er the deck
Came forth the summoned crew. Bold, hardy men.,
Far from their native skies, stood silent there,
With melancholy brows. From a low cloud
That o er the horizon hovered, came the threa
Of distant, muttered thunder. Broken waves
Heaved up their sharp white helmets o er the expanse
Of ocean, which in brooding stillness lay,
Like some vindictive king who meditates
On hoarded wrongs, or wakes the wrathful war.
The ship s bell tolled ! And, lo, a youthful form
Which oft had boldly dred the slippery shrouds
At midnight watch, was as a burden laid
Down at his comrades feet. Mournful they gazed
Upon his hollow cheek ; and some there were
Who in that bitter hour remembered well
The parting blessing of his hoary sire,
And the fond tears that o er his mother s cheek
SAILOR S FUNERAL. 27 \
Went coursing down, when his gay, happy voice
Left its farewell. But one who nearest stood
To that pale shrouded corse remembered more ;
Of a white cottage with its shaven lawn,
And blossomed hedge, and of a fair-haired girl
Who, at a lattice veiled with woodbine, watched
His last far step, and then turned back to weep.
And close that comrade in his faithful breast
Hid a bright chesriut lock, which the dead youth
Had severed with a cold and trembling hand
In life s extremity, and bade him bear
With broken words of love s last eloquence
To his blest Mary. Now that chosen friend,
Bowed low his sun-burnt face, and like a child
Sobbed in deep sorrow.
But there came a tone,
Clear as the breaking moon o er stormy seas
" I am the resurrection." Every heart
Suppressed its grief, and every eye was raised.
There stood the chaplain, his uncovered brow
Unmarked by earthly passion, while his voice,
Rich as the balm from plants of paradise,
Poured the Eternal s message o er the souls
Of dying men. It was a holy hour !
There was a plunge ! The riven sea complained,
Death from her briny bosom took his own.
272 SAILOR S FUNERAL.
The troubled fountains of the deep lift up
Their subterranean portals, and he went
Down to the floor of ocean, mid the beds
Of brave and beautiful ones. Yet to my soul,
Mid all the funeral pomp with which this earth
Indulgeth her dead sons, was nought so sad,
Sublime, or sorrowful, as the mute sea
Opening her mouth to whelm that sailor youth.
THE DYING MOTHER S PRAYER.
I HEARD the voice of prayer a mother s prayer
A dying mother for her only son.
Young was his brow, and fair.
Her hand was on his head,
Her words of love were said,
Her work was done.
And there were other voices near her bed
Sweet, bird-like voices for their mother dear
Asking, with mournful tear.
Ah, by whose hand shall those sad tears be dried,
When one brief hour is fled,
And hers shall pulseless rest, low with the silent dead ?
Yes, there was death s dark valley, drear and cold 1
And the hoarse dash of an o erwhelming wave
Alone she treads : is there no earthly hold,
No friend no helper no strong arm to save ?
Down to the fearful grave,
274 THE DYING MOTHER S PRATER.
In the firm courage of a faith serene,
Alone she press d
And as she drew the chord
That bound her to her Lord
More closely round her breast,
The white wing of the waiting angel spread
More palpably, and earth s bright things grew pale.
Even fond affection s wail
Seemed like the far-off sigh of spring s forgotten gale,
And so the mother s prayer,
So often breathed above,
In agonizing love,
Rose high in praise of God s protecting care.
Meek on his arm her infant charge she laid,
And, with a trusting eye,
Of Christian constancy,
Confiding in her blest Redeemer s aid,
She taught the weeping band,
Who round her couch of pain did stand,
How a weak woman s hand,
Fettered with sorrow and with sin,
Might from the king of terrors win
DEATH OF A MISSIONARY IN AFRICA,
THERE is a sigh from Niger s sable realm,
A voice of Afric s weeping. One hath fallen,
Who, with the fervour of unresting love,
Allur d her children to a Saviour s arms.
Alone he fell, that heart so richly filled
With all affection s brightest imagery,
In its drear stranger-solitude endured
The long death-struggle, and sank down to rest.
Say ye, alone he fell ? It was not so,
There was a hovering of celestial wings
Around his lowly couch, a solemn sound
Of stricken harps, such as around God s throne
Make music night and day. He might not tell
Of that high music, for his lip was sealed,
And his eye closed. And so, ye say, he died ?
But all the glorious company of heaven
Do say, he lives, and that your brief farewell,
Uttered in tears, was but the prelude-tone
Of the full welcome of eternity.
Mourn for the living, and not for the dead."
I SAW an infant, marble cold,
Borne from the pillowing breast,
And, in the shroud s embracing fold,
Laid down to dreamless rest ;
And, moved with bitterness, I sighed,
Not for the babe that slept,
But for the mother at its side,
Whose soul in anguish wept.
They bore a coffin to its place,
I asked them, " Who was there ? "
And they replied, " A form of grace ;
The fairest of the fair."
But for that blest one do ye moan,
Whose angel-wing is spread ?
No ; for the lover, pale and lone,
His heart is with the dead.
I wandered to a new-made grave,
And there a matron lay,
The love of Him who died to save,
Had been her spirit s stay.
Yet sobs burst forth of torturing pain ;
Wail ye for her who died ?
No ; for that timid, infant train,
Who roam without a guide.
Why should we mourn for those who die,
Who rise to glory s sphere ?
The tenants of that cloudless sky
Need not our mortal tear.
Our woe seems arrogant and vain ;
Perchance it moves their scorn,
As if the slave, beneath his chain,
Deplored the princely born.
We live to meet a thousand foes ;
We shrink with bleeding breast,
Why should we weakly mourn for those
Who dwell in perfect rest ?
Bound, for a few sad, fleeting years,
A thorn-clad path to tread,
! for the living spare those tears
Ye lavish on the dead.
BOY S LAST BEQUEST.
HALF-RAISED upon his dying couch, his head
Drooped o er his mother s bosom, like a bud
Which, broken from its parent stalk, adheres
By some attenuate fibre. His thin hand
From neath the downy pillow drew a book,
And slowly pressed it to his bloodless lip.
" Mother, dear mother, see your birth-day gift,
Fresh and unsoiled. Yet have I kept your word,
And ere I slept each night, and every morn,
Did read its pages, with my humble prayer,
Until this sickness came."
He paused for breath
Came scantily, and with a toilsome strife.
" Brother or sister have I none, or else
I d lay this Bible on their hearts, and say,
Come, read it on my grave, among the flowers :
So you who gave it must take it back again,
And love it for my sake." " My son! my son, "
Murmured the mourner, in that tender tone
BOY S LAST BEQUEST. 279
Which woman in her sternest agony
Commands, to sooth the pang of those she loves
"The soul! the soul! to whose charge yield
you that ? "
" Mother ! to God who gave it." So that soul
With a slight shudder, and a lingering smile,
Left the pale clay for its Creator s arms.
" I am not far from home, therefore I need not make much provision
for the way."
I HEAR the rising tempest moan,
My failing limbs have weary grown,
The flowers are shut, the streams are dried,
The arid sands spread drear and wide,
The night dews fall, the winds are high,
How far from home, O Lord, am I ?
I would not come with hoards of gold,
With glittering gems, or cumhrous mould,
Nor dim my eyes with gather d dust
Of empty fame, or earthly trust,
But hourly ask, as lone I roam
How far from home ? how far from home ?
Not far ! not far ! the way is dark,
Fair hope hath quench d her glow-worm spark,
The trees are dead, beneath whose shade
My youth reclin d, my childhood play d,
THE PILGRIM. 281
Red lightning streaks the troubled sky,
How far from home, my God, am I ?
Oh, find me in that home a place
Beneath the footstool of thy grace;
Tho sometimes mid the husks I fed,
And turn d me from the children s bread ;
Still bid thine an gel -harps resound,
The dead doth live, the lost is found.
Reach forth thy hand, with pitying care,
And guide me through the latest snare ;
Methinks, even now, in bursting beams
The radiance from thy casement streams,
No more I shed the pilgrim s tear ;
I hear thy voice, my home is near.
TO THE MEMORY OF MISS HANNAH
She was the author of a " View of Religious Opinions," " History of
the Jews," and other works. She died, respected and beloved, at the
age of seventy-six ; and was the first who was buried in the Mount Auburn
Cemetery, near Boston.
GENTLE and true of heart ! I see thee still,
Abstractly bending o er the storied tome,
While the deep lines of meditation steal,
Unfrowning, o er thy brow. I see thee still,
Thine eye uprais d at friendship s sacred smile,
Pouring the heart s warm treasures freely forth,
In guileless confidence. Methinks I hear
That eloquence which sometimes bore thy soul
High o er its prison-house of timid thought,
And round the ancient people of thy God,
And on the hill of Zion, joyed to bind
Its choicest wreath. Thy stainless life was laid
A gift on virtue s altar, and thy mind,
Commingling wisdom with humility,
Passed on its sheltered pilgrimage in peace,
Lonely but not forgot. When thou didst mourn
One generation of thy friends laid low,
TO THE MEMORY OF MISS HANNAH ADAMS. 283
Another caine. Most fair and youthful forms,
Such as man worshippeth, in the fond hour
Of love s idolatry, did turn aside
To seat them at thy feet, and strew thy home
With offerings of fresh flowers. Twas sweet to see
Beauty, and grace, and wealth, such tribute pay
At wisdom s lowly shrine. Yes, they who moved
On the high places of the earth came down
To do thee honour, and to comfort thee
With an untiring ardour. Say no more
That humble merit, fashionless and poor,
Hath none to lift it from its upas-shade,
And guard its welfare with unswerving zeal
Through the long vale of helplessness and age.
It is not so. Thy grateful shade responds,
It is not so.
Farewell. Thy rest shall be
In such companionship as thou hast loved
Even from thy being s dawn ; pure-breathing plants,
Soft melodies of waters and of trees,
The brightest, holiest charms of earth and sky :
Nor yet unchronicled, or unbeloved,
Of faithful memory, shall be thy sleep,
Meek worshipper of nature and of God.
THE DEPARTED FRIEND.
O FRIEND ! the light is dead
In thy fair mansion, where in bright array
Love mov d with buoyant tread,
And childhood s merry laughter, day by day,
Made the heart glad, and music lent its zest,
And hospitable smiles allur d the welcome guest.
And in the holy place
A brow of beautiful and earnest thought,
A form of manly grace,
Are missing, and we gaze with sorrow fraught
Upon that vacant seat where beam d for years
That spirit-speaking eye, the pastor s toil that cheers.
And from the couch of pain,
The cell of want, a voice hath pass d away,
Which sooth d the suffering train ;
And warn d the smitten sinful man to pray ;
Which, till the verge of life, with accents clear,
Told how a Christian s faith the hour of death can cheer.
THE DEPARTED FRIEND. 285
O Friend! how great thy gain,
Thus borne in manhood s vigour to the skies,
Ere age, or wasting pain,
Had chill d the full fount of thy sympathies,
Those sympathies that still with ardent glow
Joy d at another s joy, ormourn d for other s woe.
Hast thou embrac d them there,
Thy kindred, tenants of yon world of bliss ?
O, say, do angels share
The sympathies so sweetly sown in this ?
The nurtured neath one roof, one native sky,
Meet they with changeless love where every tear is dry ?
Ah ! hast thou seen his face
Whom thy young hand with tender zeal did lead
To seek a Saviour s grace ?
That brother, who, God s flock ordain d to feed,
Touch d with pure lip, the altar s living fire,
And earlier found his place with Heaven s immortal choir.
Say, at the pearly gate
Hail d she thy coming, with a fond acclaim,
She who, with hope elate,
Taught thy young lisping tongue the Almighty s name
And he, whose life clos d like a hymn of praise,
Thy patriarchal sire, serene, and full of days ?
286 THE DEPARTED FRIEND.
Be silent, ask no more,
Bow in deep reverence to the sacred dead,
No mortal thought may soar
To their high ecstacy, unnam d, and dread;
Wait till the temple s veil is rent for thee,
And let God s will be thine, heir of eternity.
CONSECRATION OF A CHURCH.
" LIFT up your heads, ye hallowed gates, and give
The King of Glory room."
And then a strain
Of solemn, trembling melody inquired,
" Who is the King of Glory."
But a sound
Brake from the echoing temple, like the rush
Of many waters, blent with organ s breath,
And the soul s harp, and the uplifted voice
Of prelate, and of people, and of priest,
Responding joyously " The Lord of Hosts,
He is the King of Glory."
To this his new abode, and with glad heart
Kneel low before his footstool. Supplicate
That favouring presence which doth condescend,
From the pavilion of high heaven, to beam
On earthly temples, and in contrite souls.
Here fade all vain distinctions that the pride
Of man can arrogate. This house of prayer
Doth teach that all are sinners all have strayed
288 CONSECRATION OF A CHURCH.
Like erring sheep. The princely or the poor,
The bright or ebon brow, the pomp of power,
The boast of intellect, what are they here ?
Man sinks to nothing while he deals with God.
Yet, let the grateful hymn of those who share
A boundless tide of blessings those who tread
Their pilgrim path, rejoicing in the hope
Of an ascended Saviour through these walls
For ever flow. Thou dedicated dome !
May st thou in majesty and beauty stand :
Stand, and give praise, until the rock-ribbed earth
In her last throes shall tremble. Then dissolve
Into thy native dust, with one long sigh
Of melody, while the redeemed souls
That, neath thine arch, to endless life were born,
Go up, on wings of glory, to the " house
Not made with hands."
THE SACRED MINSTREL.
THE King of Israel sat in state,
Within his palace fair,
Where falling fountains, pure and cool,
Assuag d the summer air ;
But shrouded was the son of Kish,
Mid all his royal grace ;
The tempest of a troubled soul
Swept flashing o er his face.
In vain were pomp, or regal power,
Or courtier s flattering tone,
For pride and hatred basely sat
Upon his bosom s throne.
He call d upon his minstrel-boy,
With hair as bright as gold,
Reclining in a deep recess,
Where droop d the curtain s fold.
290 THE SACRED MINSTREL.
Upon his minstrel-boy he call d,
And forth the stripling came,
Bright beauty on his ruddy brow,
Like morn s enkindling flame.
" Give music," said the moody king,
Nor rais d his gloomy eye,
" Thou son of Jesse, bring the harp,
And wake its melody."
He thought upon his father s flock,
Which long, in pastures green,
He led, while flow d, with silver sound,
Clear rivulets between.
He thought of Bethlehem s star-lit skies,
Beneath whose liquid rays
He gaz d upon the glorious arch,
And sang its Maker s praise.
Then boldly o er the sacred harp
He pour d, in thrilling strain,
The prompting of a joyous heart,
That knew nor care nor pain.
The monarch, leaning on his hand,
Drank long the wondrous lay ;
And clouds were lifted from his brow,
As when the sunbeams play.
THE SACRED MINSTREL. 291
The purple o er his heaving breast,
That throbb d so wild, grew still,
And Saul s clear eye glanc d out, as when
He did Jehovah s will.
O ye who feel the poison-fumes
Of earth s fermenting care
Steal o er the sky of hope, and dim
What Heaven created fair,
Ask music from a guileless heart,
High tones, with sweetness fraught,
And. by that amulet divine,
Subdue the sinful thought.
"CHARITY BEARETH ALL THINGS.
THE lion loves his own. The desert sands,
High tossed beneath his burning foot, attest
The rage of his bereavement. With hoarse cries,
Vindictive echoing round the rocky shores,
The polar bear her slaughtered cub bewails ;
While, with a softer plaint, where verdant groves
Responsive quiver to the evening breeze,
The mother-bird deplores her ravaged nest.
The savage loves his own. His wind-rocked babe,
So rudely cradled mid the fragrant boughs,
Or on its toiling mother s shoulders bound ;
His forest sports, and fathers graves, are dear.
The heathen loves his own. The faithful friend
Who by his side the stormy battle dares,
The chieftain, at whose nod his life-blood flows,
His native earth, and simple hut, are dear.
The Christian loves his own. But is his God
Content with this, who, full of bounty, pours
His sun-ray on the evil and the good,
And, like a parent, gathereth round his board
"CHARITY BEARETH ALL THINGS." 293
The thankless with the just ? Shall man, who shares
This unrequited banquet, sternly bar
From his heart s brotherhood a fellow-guest ?
Or hide revengeful poison, when the smile
Of Heaven doth win him to the deeds of love ?
Speak ! servants of that Blessed One who gave
The glorious precept, " Love your enemies."
Is it enough that ye should love your friends,
Even as the heathen do ?
God of strength,
Be merciful ! and, when we duly kneel
Beside our pillow of repose, and say,
" Forgive us, Father, even as we forgive,"
Grant that the murmured orison seal not
THE RUINS OF HEROD S PALACE,
THE traveller sat upon a stone,
A broken column s pride,
And o er his head a fig-tree spread
Its grateful umbrage wide,
While round him fruitful valleys sinil d,
And crystal streams ran by,
And the far mountain s forehead, hoar,
Rose up, tween earth and sky.
But on a ruin d pile he gaz d,
Beneath whose mouldering gloom
The roving fox a shelter found,
And noisome bats a tomb.
" Ho, Arab ! " for a ploughman wrought
The grassy sward among,
With marble fragments richly strew d,
And terrac d olives hung.
" Say, canst thou tell what ancient dome
In darkness here declines,
THE RUINS OF HEROD S PALACE. 295
And strangely lifts its spectral form
Among the matted vines? "
He stay d his simple plough, that trac d
Its crooked furrow nigh,
And, while his oxen cross d the turf,
Look d up with vacant eye.
" It was some satrap s palace, sure,
In old time, far away,
Or, else, of some great Christian prince,
I ve heard my father say."
<e Arab ! it was king Herod s dome ;
Twas there he feasted, free,
His captains, and the chief estates,
And lords of Galilee;
" Twas there the impious dancer s heel
Lur d his rash soul astray."
But, ere the earnest tale was told,
The ploughman turn d away.
ruthless king ! thy vaunted pomp
And power avail thee not,
Who here, beside thy palace-gates,
Art by the serf forgot :
But he whose blood in prison -cell
By thy decree was spilt,
296 THE RUINS OF HEROD S PALACE.
Whose head, upon the charger brought,
Appeas d revengeful guilt,
His name, amid a deathless page,
Gleams forth like living gern,
Touch d with those glorious rays that gild
The Star of Bethlehem.
TOMB OF ABSALOM.
Is this thy tomb, amid the mournful shades
Of the deep valley of Jehoshaphat,
Thou son of David ? Kidron s gentle brook
Is murmuring near, as if it fain would tell
Thy varied history. Methinks I see
Thy graceful form, thy smile, thy sparkling eye,
The glorious beauty of thy flowing hair,
And that bright eloquent lip whose cunning stole
The hearts of all the people. Didst thou waste
The untold treasures of integrity,
The gold of conscience, for their light applause,
Thou fair dissembler ?
Say, remeinberest thou
When o er yon flinty steep of Olivet
A sorrowing train went up ? Dark frowning seers,
Denouncing judgment on a rebel prince,
Pass d sadly on ; and next a crownless king,
Walking in sad and humbled majesty,
While hoary statesmen bent upon his brow
298 THE TOMB OF ABSALOM.
Indignant looks of tearful sympathy.
What caused the weeping there ?
Thou heard st it not ;
For thou within the city s walls didst hold
Thy revel, brief and base. And could st thou set
The embattled host against thy father s life,
The king of Israel, and the lov d of God ?
He, mid the evils of his changeful lot,
Saul s inoody hatred, stern Philistia s spear,
His alien wanderings, and his warrior toil,
Found nought so bitter as the rankling thorn
Set, by thy madness of ingratitude,
Deep in his yearning soul.
What were thy thoughts
When in the mesh of thine own tresses snared
Amid the oak, whose quiet verdure mocked
Thy misery ? Wert thou forsook by all
Who shared thy meteor-greatness, and constrained
To learn, in that strange solitude of agony,
A traitor hath no friends ? What were thy thoughts
When death, careering on the triple dart
Of vengeful Joab, found thee ? To thy God
Rose there one cry of penitence, one prayer
For that unmeasured mercy which can cleanse
Unbounded guilt ? Or turned thy stricken heart
Toward him who o er thy infant graces watched
With tender pride, and all thy sins of youth
In blindfold fondness pardoned ?
THE TOMB OF ABSALOM. 299
Hark ! the breeze
That sweeps the palm-groves of Jerusalem
Bears the continuous wail, " O Absalom !
My son ! my son ! "
We turn us from thy tomb,
Usurping prince ! Thy beauty and thy grace
Have perished with thee, but thy fame survives
The ingrate son that pierced a father s heart.
THE WIDOWS PRAYER.
THE youthful maid, the gentle bride,
The happy wife, her husband s pride,
Who meekly kneel, at morning ray,
The incense of their vows to pay,
Or pour, amid their evening train,
From love s full heart, the incense-strain,
What know they of her anguish d cry
Who lonely lifts the tearful eye,
No sympathizing glance to view
Her alter d cheek s unearthly hue,
No soothing tone, to quell the power
Of grief that bursts at midnight hour.
O God ! her heart is pierc d and bare,
Have pity on the widow s prayer.
Not like the mother, by whose side
The partner sits, her guard and guide,
Is hers who, reft of earthly trust,
Hath laid her bosom s lord in dust;
Sleeps her young babe ! but who shall share
Its waking charms, its holy care ?
THE WIDOW S PRAYER. 301
Who shield the daughter s opening bloom,
Whose father moulders in the tomb ?
Her son the treacherous world beguiles,
What voice shall warn him of its wiles ?
What strong hand break the deadly snare ?
O answer, Heaven, the widow s prayer !
For not the breath of prosperous days,
Though warm with joy and wing d with praise,
E er kindled such a living coal
Of deep devotion in the soul
As that wild blast, which bore away
Her idol to returnless clay :
And, for the wreath that crown d the brow,
Left bitter thoughts and hyssop-bough,
A lonely couch, a sever d tie,
A tear that time can never dry,
Unutter d woe, unpitied care :
O God ! regard the widow s prayer.
DEATH OF A MISSIONARY AT THE
DROWNED AT A FORD OF THE KASKASKIA,
IN THE STATE OK ILLINOIS.
COLD sweep the waters o er thee. Thou hast found,
Mid all the ardour of thy youthful zeal,
And self-devotion to thy Master s cause,
An unexpected bed. The ice-swoln tides
Of the Kaskaskia shall no more resound
To the wild struggles of thy failing steed
In that deep plunge which gave thy soul to God.
Say, mid thy journey ings o er the snow-clad waste
Of yon lone prairie, on that fearful day,
When death was by thy side, where dwelt thy thought ?
Upon thy angel mission, or the scenes
Of thy loved home, with all its sheltering trees
And tuneful sound of waters ?
Didst thou hope,
When Heaven s pure seed should blossom in the soil
Of the far Illinois, again to sit
Around that fire-side and recount thy toils,
And mingle prayers with those who fondly nursed
DEATH OF A MISSIONARY. 303
Thy tender infancy ? Now, there are tears
In that abode whene er thy cherished name
Breaks from the trembling lip. ! ye who mourn
With hoary temples o er the smitten son,
Slain in his Saviour s service, know that pain
Shall never vex him more. Peril and change,
And winter s blast, and summer s sultry ray,
And sinful snare, what are they now to him
But dim-remembered names. If t were so sweet
To have a son on earth, where every ill
Might point a sword against his heart, and pierce
Your own through his, are ye not doubly blest
To have a son in Heaven ?
A SABBATH HYMN.
KEEP silence, pride ? What dost thou here,
With the frail sons of clay ?
How dar st thou in God s courts appear,
Where contrite spirits pray !
Keep silence, wild and vexing care !
Six measur d days are thine,
Thy seed to sow, thy chaff to share,
Steal not the day divine.
Keep silence, sorrow ! Faith can tell
With what sublime intent
Thou to the bosom s inmost cell
By Heaven s right hand wert sent.
Keep silence, avarice ! With thy hoard
So boasted, yet so base,
Think st thou the money-changer s board
Hath here a fitting place ?
" KEEP SILENCE." 305
Keep silence, vain and worldly joy,
Foam on, time s tossing wave !
Why lure him with a treacherous toy
Who trembles o er the grave ?
Keep silence, earth ! the Lord is here,
Thy great Creator blest !
His work of wisdom form d thy sphere,
Keep thou His day of rest.
THOU, whom the world with heartless intercourse
Hath wearied, and thy spirit s hoarded gold
Coldly impoverished, and with husks repaid,
Turn hither. Tis a quiet resting-place,
Silent, yet peopled well. Here iriay st thou hold
Communion eloquent, and undismayed,
Even with the greatest of the ancient earth,
Sages, and sires of sciences. These shall gird
And sublimate thy soul, until it soar
Above the elements.
Doth thy heart bleed,
And is there none to heal, no comforter ?
Turn to the mighty dead. They shall unlock
Full springs of sympathy, and with cool hand
Compress thy fevered brow. The poet s sigh
From buried ages on thine ear shall steal,
Like that sweet harp which soothed the wrath of Saul.
The cloistered hero, and the throneless king,
In stately sadness shall admonish thee
How hope hath dealt with man. A map of woe
THE LIBRARY. 307
The martyr shall unfold, till in his pangs
Pity doth merge all memory of thine own.
Perchance unceasing care, or thankless toil
Have vex d thy spirit, and sharp thorns prest deep
Into the naked nerve. Then, hither come,
Great souls shall counsel thee. Old Plato s brow
Blendeth reproof with calm benignity
That trifles thus should move thee Seneca
Spreads to thy mind his richly reasoning page,
While Socrates a cordial, half divine,
Pours o er the drooping spirit.
Bat hath Heaven
Unveiled thy nature s deep infirmity,
And shown the spots that darken all we call
Perfection here ? Then seek the book of God !
Yea, come to Jesus ! Author of our faith,
And Finisher doubt not His word shall be
A tree of life to feed thy fainting soul,
Till thou arise where knowledge hath no bound,
And dwell a tireless student of the skies.
TOSS D on the angry deep, with riven sails,
The bark, long struggling gainst the tempest s wrath,
Meets the rich perfume breath d from land-horn gales,
And skims more lightly o er her billowy path ;
While the glad sailor marks the misty line
Where his lov d native hills, the blue horizon join.
Spent, on his broken raft, the swimmer lies,
A noteless speck mid ocean s stormy spray,
While round his head the shrieking sea-gull flies,
And warns her comrade of the expected prey.
See ! see ! the life-boat ! Lo, its deck he gains,
And mid protecting friends forgets his fearful pains.
The traveller, faint amid the desert sands,
Thinks of his native clime with bitter tear,
Fast by his side his drooping camel stands,
Hark, to the cry of hope ! a fountain near !
A green oasis mid the burning plain,
A nd "neath the palm-tree shade he dreams of home again,
SABBATH MEDITATIONS. 309
And art not thou, O glorious sabbath-morn,
A life-boat to the outcast on the main ?
A sight of home to mariner forlorn ?
A sound of waters mid the burning plain ?
Bear to my soul thy blessing from on high,
That day-spring of our God, whose beams shall never die.
With holy words of psalmist and of seer,
With penitential prayers, in secret born,
With chant and worship of the temple dear,
Come thou to me, O consecrated morn,
Descend and touch devotion s slumbering chord,
And tell to listening faith the rising of her Lord.
Yes, raise me o er the dust and care of life,
A little way toward that celestial seat,
Where, freed for aye from vanity and strife,
The "just made perfect" in communion meet ;
Show me their vestments, gleaming from the sky,
Pour thro heaven s opening gate their echoed minstrelsy,
And I will thank thee, tho to earth I turn,
And all too soon from thy blest precepts stray,
Though in my breast its fever-thirst should burn,
And storm or shipwreck daunt my venturous way,
Still will I grasp thee as a golden chain,
And twine thee round my heart until we meet again.
DEATH OF A POET.
ANOTHER master of the lyre hath swept
His parting strain. Swan-like and sweet it rose,
Yet sank unfinished. And methought I heard
Its melody in heaven, where harp and voice,
For ever hymning the Eternal Name,
Blend without weariness. No more he holds,
Tender and sad, his night-watch o er the dead,
For he is where the spoiler s icy foot
Hath never trod, nor the dark seeds of grief
In baleful harvest sprung. Twere sweet, indeed,
A little longer to have drawn his smile
Into the heart of love, and seen him do,
With all his graceful singleness of soul,
A Saviour s bidding. But be still be still
Ye who did gird him up for heaven, and walk
Even to its gates in his bless d company.
If he hath entered first, what then ? be still !
And let the few brief sands of time roll on,
And keep your armour bright, and waiting stand
For his warm w ; elcoine to a realm of bliss.
LIFE S EVENING.
Abide with us, for it is now evening, and the day of life is far spent.
THE bright and blooming morn of youth
Hath faded from the sky,
And many a cherish d bud of hope
Is wither d, sere, and dry,
Thou, whose being hath no end,
Whose years can ne er decay,
Whose strength and wisdom are our trust,
Abide with us, we pray.
Behold the noon-day sun of life
Doth seek its western bound,
And fast the lengthening shadows cast
A heavier gloom around,
And all the glow-worm lamps are dead,
That, kindling round our way,
Gave fickle promises of joy ;
Abide with us, we pray.
312 LITE S EVENING.
Dim eve draws on, and many a friend
Our early path that bless d,
Wrapp d in the cerements of the tomh,
Have laid them down to rest ;
But Thou, the Everlasting Friend,
Whose Spirit s glorious ray
Can gild the dreary vale of death,
Abide with us, we pray.
A DOOR OPENED IN HEAVEN,
" I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven."
IT seemea _iot as a dream, and yet I stood
Beside Heaven s gate. Its mighty valves were loosed,
And upward, from earth s tribulation, came
A soul, whose passport, signed in Calvary s blood,
Prevailed. Around the golden threshold s verge
I saw the dazzling of celestial wings
Thronging to welcome it. The towering form
Of an archangel bore it company
Up to God s throne. Soft on my ear their tones,
Serenely wafted by ambrosial gales,
Fell like rich music.
" Wherefore didst thou pass
Weeping along thy pilgrimage ? " inquired
The sinless seraph.
" Thorns beset my path.
I sought and found not. I obtained and mourned,
I loved and lost. Ingratitude and hate
Did whet their serpent tooth upon my fame.
314 A DOOR OPENED IN HEAVEN.
My wealth took wing. I planted seeds of bliss,
And sorrow blossomed."
But the risen from earth
Faltered to mark that high archangel s glance
Bent down ward with surprise, as though it asked
" Had thy felicity no deeper root,
Thou sky-born soul, for whom the Son of God
Bowed to be crucified ? "
So when I saw,
Or dreamed I saw, that even in Heaven might dwell
Reproof and penitence, I prayed to look
Ever upon that flood of light which gilds
Each morning with its mercy, and whose beams
Are brightened every moment, and to bear
God s discipline with gladness ; that no tear
For trials lost be shed beyond the grave.
THOUGHTS AT THE EUNERAL OF A
THAT solemn knell, whose mournful call
Strikes on the heart, I heard,
I saw the sable pall
Covering the form revered :
And, lo ! his father s race, the ancient and the hlest,
Unlock the dim sepulchral halls, where silently they rest,
And to the unsaluting tomb,
Curtained round with rayless gloom,
He entereth in, a wearied guest.
To his bereaved abode, the fire-side chair,
The holy, household prayer,
Affections watchful zeal, his life that bless d,
The tuneful lips that soothed his pain,
With the dear name of " Father " thrilling through his
He cometh not again.
Flowers in his home bloom fair,
316 THOUGHTS AT THE FUNERAL OF A FRIEND.
The evening taper sparkles clear,
The intellectual banquet waiteth there,
Which his heart held so dear.
The tenderness and grace
That make religion beautiful, still spread
Their sainted wings to guard the place
Alluring friendship s frequent tread.
Still seeks the stranger s foot that hospitable door,
But he, the husband and the sire, retnrneth never more.
His was the upright deed,
His the unswerving course,
Mid every thwarting current s force,
Unchanged by venal aim, or flattery s hollow reed :
The holy truth walked ever by his side,
And in his bosom dwelt, companion, judge, and guide.
But when disease revealed
To his unclouded eye
The stern destroyer standing nigh,
Where turned he for a shield ?
Wrapt he the robe of stainless rectitude
Around his breast to meet cold Jordan s flood ?
Grasped he the staff of pride,
His steps through death s dark vale to guide ?
Ah, no ! self- righteousness he cast aside,
Clasping, with firm and fearless faith, the cross of Him
THOUGHTS AT THE FUNERAL OF A FRIEND. 317
He pressed the crumbling verge of this terrestrial scene,
Breathed soft, in childlike trust,
The parting groan,
Gave back to dust its dust
To Heaven its own.
MONODY TO MRS. HEMANS.
NATURE doth mourn for thee.
There is no need
For man to strike his plaintive lyre, and fail,
As fail he must, if he attempt thy praise.
The little plant that never sang before,
Save one sad requiem, when its blossoms fell,
Sighs deeply through its drooping leaves for thee,
As for a florist fallen. The ivy wreath d
Round the grey turrets of a buried race,
And the tall palm that like a prince doth rear
Its diadem neath Asia s burning sky,
With their dim legends blend thy hallow d name.
Thy music, like baptismal dew, did make
Whate er it touch d more holy. The pure shell,
Laying its pearly lip on Ocean s floor,
The cloister d chambers, where the sea-gods sleep,
And the unfathom d melancholy main,
Lament for thee, through all their sounding deeps.
Hark ! from snow-breasted Himmaleh, to where
Snowdon doth weave his coronet of cloud,
MONODY TO MRS. HEMANS. 319
From the scath d pine tree, near the red man s hut,
To where the everlasting banian builds
Its vast columnac temple, comes a moan
For thee, whose ritual made each rocky height
An altar, and each cottage home, the haunt
Yea, thou didst find the link
That joins mute Nature to ethereal mind,
And make that link a melody.
Of thy last sleep was in the native clime
Of song, and eloquence, and ardent soul,
Spot fitly chosen for thee. Perchance, that isle,
So lov d of favouring skies, yet barin d by fate,
Might shadow forth thine own unspoken lot,
Close at whose heart the ever-pointed thorn
Did gird itself. And so thy life-stream ooz d
In gushes of such deep and thrilling song,
That angels, poising on some silver cloud,
Might linger mid the errands of the skies,
And listen, all unblam d.
Doth Nature draw her curtain round thy rest,
And, like a nurse, with finger on her lip,
Watch, lest some step disturb thee, striving still
From other touch, thy sacred harp to guard.
Waits she thy waking, as the mother waits
320 MONODY TO MRS. HEMANS.
For some pale babe, whose spirit sleep hatb stolen.
And laid it dreaming on tbe lap of Heaven ?
We say not thou art dead. We dare not. No.
For every mountain-stream and shadowy dell
Where thy rich harpings linger would hurl back
The falsehood on our souls. Thou spak st alike
The simple language of the freckled flower,
And of the glorious stars. God taught it thee.
And from thy living intercourse with man
Thou shalt not pass away, until this earth
Drops her last gem into the doom s-day flame.
FAREWELL OF THE SOUL TO THE BODY,
COMPANION dear ! the hour draws nigh,
The sentence speeds to die, to die.
So long in mystic union held,
So close with strong embrace compell d,
How canst thou bear the dread decree
That strikes thy clasping nerves from me ?
To Him who on this mortal shore
The same encircling vestment wore,
To Him I look, to Him I bend,
To Him thy shuddering frame commend.
If I have ever caus d thee pain,
The throbbing breast, the burning brain,
With cares and vigils turn d thee pale,
And scorn d thee when thy strength did fail
Forgive ! forgive ! thy task doth cease,
Friend ! Lover ! let us part in peace.
That thou didst sometimes check my force,
Or, trifling, stay mine upward course,
322 FAREWELL OF THE SOUL TO THE BODY.
Or lure from Heaven my wavering trust,
Or bow my drooping wing to dust
I blame tbee not, the strife is done,
I knew thou wert the weaker one,
The vase of earth, the trembling clod,
Constrained to hold the breath of God.
- Well hast thou in my service wrought,
Thy brow hath mirror d forth my thought,
To wear my smile, thy lip hath glow d,
Thy tear, to speak my sorrows, flowed,
Thine ear hath borne me rich supplies
Of sweetly-varied melodies,
Thy hands my prompted deeds have done,
Thy feet upon mine errands run
Yes, thou hast mark d my bidding well,
Faithful and true ! farewell, farewell.
Go to thy rest. A quiet bed
Meek mother earth, with flowers shall spread.
Where I no more thy sleep may break
With lever d dream, nor rudely wake
Thy wearied eye.
Oh, quit thy hold,
For thou art faint, and chill, and cold,
And long thy gasp and groan of pain
Have bound me pitying in thy chain,
Though angels urge me hence to soar
Where I shall share thine ills no more.
FAREWELL OF THE SOUL TO THE BODY. 323
- Yet we shall meet. To sooth thy pain,
Remember we shall meet again.
Quell with this hope the victor s sting,
And keep it as a signet-ring,
When the dire wonn shall pierce thy breast,
And nought but ashes mark thy rest,
When stars shall fall, and skies grow dark,
And proud suns quench their glow-worm spark,
Keep thou that hope, to light thy gloom,
Till the last trumpet rends the tomb.
Then shalt thou glorious rise, and fair,
Nor spot, nor stain, nor wrinkle bear,
And I, with hovering wing elate,
The bursting of thy bonds shall wait,
And breathe the welcome of the sky
" No more to part, no more to die,
Co-heir of immortality."
TWAS summer in Wyoming.
Through the breast
Of that fair vale, the Susquehannah roam d,
Wearing its robe of silver, like a bride.
Now, with a noiseless current, gliding slow
Mid the rich velvet of its curtaining banks,
It seem d to sleep, o erwearied with the toil
By which its roughly -guarded pass was won ;
Then hasting on, refreshing and refresh d.
Vaunting the glories of its sylvan home,
It spread a mirror to the changeful cloud
In crystal beauty.
From the towering hills
That revel in the sunbeam, or retire
Shrouded in mist, the gazing traveller drinks
Such deep delight as only nature gives,
When, in her garb of loveliness, she mocks
Pencil, and power of speech. Yon pictur d chart
Of lawn, and stream, and mountain s shadowy height,
And rocks in quiet verdure meekly bower d,
Rebukes the pomp of cities, and the strife
Of competition, and the lust of gold.
The landscape hath a legend : hurrying steps
Of stately warriors, valour, prompt and proud
To guard its nested loves, the fatal wile
Of Indian ambuscade, the madden d shout
Of massacre, the flight of timid forms,
And moan of sireless orphans.
History s hand,
And minstrel s art, have glean d these glowing tints,
And wrought them deftly, like a crimson thread
Into their tissues. Tis not mine to choose
A theme so bold, though I have trod the turf
Whose greenness told what moisture nourish d it,
And ponder d pensive o er that monument
Where the last relics of the fallen brave
Were gathered by their sons. Yes, I have mus d
Mid that enchanted scenery, while the thrill
From kindred bosoms, and the vision d past
Was strong within my soul. Yet, tis not meet
That I should tell of war, or woo the tones
Of that high harp which, struck in England s halls,
Hath made the name of Gertrude, and the lore
Of sad Wyoming s chivalry, a part
Of classic song.
A wilder scene I seek,
Ancient and barren, where the red man reign d
Sole lord, before the usurping plough had dar d
A trace of subjugation, or the eye
Of science, in its darkling bed, discern d
The slumbering anthracite, which now doth draw
Exploring thousands to its ebon throne,
Like a swarth king of Afric. Then the arch
Of the cloud-sweeping forest proudly cast
A solemn shadow, for no sound of axe
Had taught the monarch oak dire principles
Of revolution, or brought down the pine,
Like haughty baron from his castled height :
Thus dwelt the kings of Europe, ere the voice
Of the crusading monk, with whirlwind tone,
Did root them from their base, with all their hosts,
Tossing the red-cross banner to the sky,
And pouring like a torrent o er the wilds
Of wondering Asia.
The rude native tribes,
Fast by the borders of the gentle stream,
Carv d out their heritage, with rival heart,
And hand uncourteous. There the Shawanese
With surest arrow stay d the flying deer,
And the bold Delaware, with giant arm,
Impell d his swift canoe. In feudal pride
Oft the fierce chieftains led their eager hosts
To savage battle, or with oathless truce
328 ZINZENDORFl .
Drew back, to transient brotherhood, their hordes
Of wrathful warriors. In their cone-roofd homes
Some budding virtues sprung as best they might
Beneath the chill and baleful atmosphere
Of savage life. The dusky mother press d
Her new-born infant with a rapturous thrill
Of unimagin d love, and the glad sire
Saw his young boy with eager skill maintain
Against the opposing stream a venturous path,
Or firmer knit his sinews in the chase.
The lip of woman told the treasur d lore
Of other times, and mid the tasks and toils
Of vassalage kept bright the historic chain,
As erst the vestal nurs d the sacred fire.
The young kept silence, while the old man spake,
And, bowing down before the hoary head,
Rever d the wisdom that doth wait on time.
But still the cloud of paganism did blight
The blossom of their virtues, brooding dark
With raven pinion o er the gloomy soul.
I said that summer glow d.
And with her came
A white-brow d stranger. Open as the day
Was his fair, noble forehead, and his voice
In its sweet intonations, threw a charm
O er rudest spirits. Not with more surprise
Gaz d the stern Druid, mid his mystic rites,
On good Augustine, teaching words of peace,
What time, with hatred fierce and unsubdued,
The woad-stain d Briton in his wattled boat
Quail d neath the glance of Rome.
Thus fixed the eye
Of jealous chieftains and their wandering clans
On Zinzendorff. Sought he to grasp their lands ?
To search for gold ? to found a mystic throne
Of dangerous power ? Where the red council -fire
Disturb d the trance of midnight, long they sate
Weighing his purpose with a cautious tone
In grave debate. For scarce they deem d it true
That from a happy home, o er ocean s wave,
He thus should come to teach a race unknown
Of joys beyond the tomb. Their fetter d minds
Sank at the threshold of such bold belief,
And, dim with ignorance, their sceptic eye
The missionary scann d.
Yet some there were
W~ho listen d spell-bound to his charmed words ;
The sick man drew them as the dew of heaven
Into his bosom, children gathered near,
To learn the name of Jesus, pressing close
To touch his garments, or to feel his hand
Resting upon their heads. Such power hath love
O er sweet simplicity, ere sin hath taught
Suspicion s lesson.
By the bed of death
The teacher stood, where the grim Sachem, fear d
By many tribes, found in his latest foe
The first that conquer d him. That man of might
Stretch d on his couch of skins, supinely lay,
With every nerve unstrung. Around his hut,
The deer s proud antler, and the wampum belt,
Dispos d mid gaudy implements of war,
The well-fill d quiver, and the feathery plume,
Show d that pre-eminence which rank doth claim
Mid penury and pain. One youthful form,
A lonely daughter, last of all his flock,
Tended his dying pillow, with the care
Of native tenderness. The water-gourd
She wept as he rejected, and her eye
Gleam d through its tears so beautiful that none
Who gazed remembered that her cheek was dark.
She was a gentle creature, and uprose,
Parting the raven tresses from her brow,
And bowing down with reverent grace, to meet
The man of God.
He mark d the mortal strife
Draw near its close. Cold dews of suffering stood
Upon the rigid temples, and the breath
Was like that sob with which the swimmer breasts
The surge that whelms him. Then a tone subdued,
And tremulous with pity and with zeal,
Breath d in his ear.
" Chieftain ! the ice of death
Is at thv breast. Doth aught disturb the soul,
Or make its passage fearful ? "
Save one impatient gesture from the hand
That seemed a skeleton s.
" Hast thou not been
A man of blood ? Repent thee ! Speak the name
Of Jesus the Redeemer. Let thy thought
Ascend with mine, brother, while I plead
Acceptance for thee at the gate of Heaven,
Through Him who from the tyrant death can wrest
But then a hollow voice
Brake forth, like smother d thunders.
"Go thy way,
Thou Christian teacher ! I can deal with death
Alone. Hence ! Hence ! I charge thee bring no soul
That thou hast nurtur d to the red man s heaven,
No ! we will drive it thence. My glorious sires 1 " -
And then he murmur d what they could not hear,
But ever and anon he fiercely rais d
His clenching hand as, in the battle strife,
To draw the arrow to its utmost head,
Or sway the cleaving hatchet. All in vain ;
Like Priam s dart the airy weapon fell,
For cold paralysis did work within
The citadel of life.
There was a pause
Of awful stillness. Had the flickering lamp
Fail d in that passion-gust ?
The daughter bent
In agonizing dread, and wiped the dew
That stood like drops of rain, and laid her cheek
Close by the ghastly sleeper, hoping still
To hush him gently to a peaceful dream,
As the meek mother lulls her troubled child.
But, when no more the gasp, or fitful sigh
Stole on her, breathless listening, starting up,
She threw the casement higher, and the breeze
Blew freshly o er his brow. Then first the pang
Of poignant grief that rives the proudest soul
Came over that young creature, and she cried,
With a loud voice of misery, to him
Who pray d the Christian s prayer, that he would lift
The voice of supplication for her sire,
Ere it should be too late. There was a sound
From that low couch, a sudden gush of breath,
As if the hollow grave with prison d winds
Did madly chafe. The eye unsealing, flash d
Strange fires, like frost-bound Hecla. Anger rush d
In furious storm-cloud o er that tortur d brow,
Making death horrible.
" And art thou false,
False to our own Great Spirit ? dost thou turn,
And pluck the wing that shelter d thee ? I would
That he who hurls the lightning ! " But the curse
Froze on his lip, and with a hideous groan
As if in combat with some giant-foe,
Who to his lion heart had found the way,
He wrestled and fell back, to rise no more.
Then rose the sob of weeping, and the prayer
Of earnest faith. It was a fearful scene,
Death, and young sorrow, and unearthly zeal,
Dividing that low mansion. But the space
Was brief for such companionship. The tramp
And heavy tread of many hasting feet
Came echoing o er the threshold ; for the throng
Who held their Sachem as a god did shrink,
To see him die. But, now the deed was done,
And the stern chief lay as the powerless babe,
They who would tremble at his awful glance,
And do his bidding with a spaniel s dread,
Now, casting off their abject terror, stood
Closest beside him. From the weaker sex
Burst forth a tide of sympathy, to sooth
The orphan maid : for pity cannot quit
Her hold on woman ; whatsoe er her garb
Or lineament may be, howe er the sun
Hath burnt dark tints upon her, or the yoke
Of vassalage and scorn have bow d her low,
Still doth her spirit at another s pain
Vibrate, as the swept lyre.
Twas sad to see
Those hoary elders pacing one by one,
So slow and mournful from their fallen chief,
And ranging in mute circle on the lawn
Beside his dwelling. There a towering line
Of warriors gather d, such as ne er had blench d
To follow where he pointed, tho the earth
Were saturate with blood, or the keen lance
Of ambush glitter d thro the quivering leaves.
Now, sad of heart, with heads declin d they stood,
As men who lose the battle. Flocking still,
Came mothers with their sons. A nation mourn d
Like one vast family. No word was spoke,
Even as the friends of desolated Job,
Finding the line of language all too short
To fathom woe like his, sublimely paid
That highest homage at the throne of grief,
Now the infant morning rais d
Her rosy eyelids. But no soft breeze mov d
The forest lords to shake the dews of sleep
From their green coronals.
Close curtaining mist
Hung o er the quiet river, and it seem d
That Nature found the summer-night so sweet,
She shunn d the wakening of the King of Day.
But there, beneath a broad and branching elm,
Stood forth the holy man, in act to speak.
There was a calmness on his pallid brow,
That told of Heaven. His stainless life had flow d
Pure as his creed. Had the whole warring world
With passion quaked, he would have made himself
A green oasis mid the strife of tongues,
And there have dwelt secure.
Strong words, whose power
Can tame the sinful heart, he boldly spake,
And show d, to penitence, the faith which heals
The sting of death. The Gospel s glorious hope,
Its rule of purity, its eye of prayer,
Its foot of firmness on temptation s steep,
Its bark that fails not mid the storm of death,
He spread before them, and with gentlest tone,
Such as a brother to his sister breathes,
His little sister, simple and untaught,
Allur d them to the shelter of that ark
Which rides the wrathful deluge.
Not a breath
Disturb d the tide of eloquence. So fix d
Were that rude auditory, it would seem
Almost as if a nation had become
Bronz d into statues. Now and then a sigh,
The unbidden messenger of thought profound,
Parted the lip ; or some barbarian brow
Contracted closer in a haughty frown,
As scowl d the cynic, mid his idol-fanes,
When on Mars Hill the inspired apostle preach d
Jesus of Nazareth.
The furrow d soil
Was soft with sorrow. So the rain of heaven
Sank deeper in. What seed was sown that hour,
Eternity can tell. Brief human breath,
Pour d on the wind-harp of a hallow d lip,
Or one poor ink-drop on a lonely thought,
May stir the mind of millions.
Where a cliff
Doth beetle rudely from the mountain s breast,
And, dripping with a chilly moisture, make
Perpetual weeping, was a lonely cave
Rock-ribbed and damp. There dwelt an aged man.
Fear d as a prophet by the unletter d race
Who sought his counsel when some work of guilt
Did need a helper. Wondrous tales they told
Of dark communion with the shadowy world,
And of strange power to. rule the demon-shapes
That shriek d and mtitter d in his cell, when storms
At midnight strove. Of his mysterious date
The living held no record. Palsying age
The elastic foot enchain d, which erst would climb
The steep unwearied and the wither d flesh
Clos d round each sinew with a mummy s clasp ;
As if some gaunt and giant shape, embalm d
At Thebes or Memphis, when the world was young,
Should from its stain d sarcophagus protrude
The harden d limb, and send a grating sound
From the cold, lungless breast.
And there he dwelt,
Austere, in such drear hermitage as seem d
Most like a tomb, gleaning from roots and herbs
Scant nutriment. Fierce passions, brooding dark
In solitude and abstinence, had made
A hater of mankind. But when he heard
Of the white stranger, with his creed of love
Seducing red-men s hearts, hot seeds of wrath
Smoulder d within his bosom, like a fire
Fed in some charnel house. Revenge he vovv d,
And every day was one long troubled pause
Of meditation on that dire resolve.
Thus he who taught to earth the taste of blood,
Ere scarce that music of the stars was hush d
Which joyous o er creation s cradle flow d,
Cover d the thought of murder in his heart,
Till his red eye-balls started, and like flame
Glar d on his shepherd-brother, as he led
On, by the living streams, his trusting flock.
So strong in that misanthrope s bosom wrought
A frenzied malice, that his cavern s bound
Oft echoed to hoarse shouts, as fancy drew
The image of his enemy, and rais d
A mimic warfare. Then, uplifting high
The tomahawk, he impotently dream d
To have his will, but, at each foil d attempt,
He curs d the weakness of his blasted arm,
In self-consuming madness. Every night
Was one wild, tossing vision, acting o er
The deed of murder, with a baffled aim,
Yet deeming, at each random stroke, the foe
Did multiply himself.
At length, strong hate
Wrought out its likeness in the savage breast
Of three grim warriors. Listening oft and long
To his dire incantations, forth they went,
Once, when the pall of darkness veil d the scene,
To do his purpose. Keenly were they arm d,
And inly fortified by every spell
Which that dire necromancer could devise
To bind obedience. Eagerly they sought
The abode of Zinzendorff. His lonely tent
Rear d its white bosom thro embowering shades,
As if some remnant of the wintry snow
Did linger there. The earliest cluster d grape
Was in its purple flush, and twilight s breath
Betray d a chill, prelusive of the sway
Of sober autumn.
Through a narrow chasm
In his slight screen, glar d the assassins eyes,
As when the fierce and fell hyena finds
A fleshless carcass. Stern, and hard of heart !
How can ye cleave the breast that thrills for you
With generous sympathy ? But what know they
Of soft compunction ? train d from youth to tear
The scalp fresh bleeding from the tortur d brain,
To mock the victim, writhing at the stake,
Or hurl the mother, with her wailing babe,
Into the wigwam s flame.
Slow midnight came,
In dark companionship with sullen storms,
The red pine blazes in the old man s cave,
And every moment mov d with leaden feet,
To him who traced it on the dial-plate
Of mad impatience and unresting sin.
At length, above the tempest s groan, is heard
The sound of rushing steps. His blood-shot eyes
Look d fiery glad, as when a tiger marks
The unwary traveller near his jungle draw.
And, as the mother of Herodias snatch d
The reeking charger, and the sever d head
Of John the Baptist, so he thought to grasp
The expected trophy of that soft, brown hair,
Sprinkled with early grey. The warriors spake
With troubled tone.
" Father and prophet, hear !
We found him in his tent. Alone he sat,
Like some unwelcom d stranger. Pity came
Into our breasts, so mournful was his brow.
Still was his death-doom deep within our souls,
For so we promis d thee. But then he how d
His knee to earth, and with a tender voice
Did pray for Indians.
To the white man s God
He bore our nation, with a brother s heart :
Yea, even for our little ones besought
A place in heaven. But still we firmly grasp d
The murderous knife, for so we promis d thee.
Then, with a feathery instrument, he trac d
That speaking leaf by which the pale-fac d men
Bewitch and bow the mind. On the white page
He seem d to press his soul, and pour it out,
As the bruis d plant doth give its essence forth
From every leaf and fibre. While we gaz d,
Lo ! the dread king of venemous serpents came,
The fatal rattle-snake. So then we saw
That our Great Spirit sent death s messenger
To punish him. We waited to behold
His swollen visage, and his eye suffus d
With mortal pain.
Prophet ! we speak the truth !
Believe our words. Close coiling at his feet,
With brightening tints, and wrath-enkindled eyes,
The reptile lay ; but then, as if subdued
By the meek magic of his beaming smile,
Drew back the forked tongue, that, quivering, long d
To dart the o erflowing poison, and, with crest
Erect and sparkling, glided slow away.
Doubtless he is a god. We dared not raise
The hand against him. For the power forsook
Our limbs, and scarcely have we totter d here
To bring thee tidings. Prophet ! bid no more
His blood be shed. The deadly snake disarm d,
The might departing from our warrior-hearts
That never blench d in battle, or turned back
From mortal man, bear witness, he is god."
A shriek rose sharply o er the warring winds,
" Hence, base and woman-hearted ! Would this arm
Might but one moment claim its ancient strength,
And lay ye low. Hence ! See my face no more."
And so he drove them forth, tho sounding rains
Did roar like torrents down the rifted rocks,
And lightnings, cleaving wide the trembling cloud,
Blacken d the forest-pines.
Time sped his wing,
And on the Lehigh s solitary banks
The missionary stood. O er that smooth tide
The pensive moon wrote out in pencil d rays,
The same deep language which his boyhood read
Upon the billowy Rhine. Mild evening s breeze,
Stirring the interlacing of the elms,
And the slight reeds that fring d the river s brink,
Pour d the same soul-dissolving sigh that swept
His own Lusatian forests. And the voice
The writing, were of God.
Serene he mus d,
And felt that every spot on earth s wide breast
Was home to him, for there his Father dwelt,
And all men were his brethren. On that hour
Of high devotion, had the Spoiler stole,
His step had been mistaken for the sound
Of the soft rustling of angelic wings ;
And the soul s welcome to the stroke that rends
Its fond, yet strange affinity with clay,
Had been sublime.
To the believer, Death
Is like the lion which the strong man slew,
And the sweet bees did with their waxen robe.
And food ambrosial, cover.
He who found
This blest enthusiasm nerve his weary heart,
Like manna in the wilderness, now toil d
As a colonial sire, and thoughtful plann d
Mid shelter d valleys, and aspiring hills,
Fit refuge for his brethren. Hence arose
Fair Bethlehem, with all its pure retreats
And peaceful hearths ; and still its classic dome,
Where Education with the plastic mind
Of childhood mingleth holiest elements,
Doth venerate his name.
But now the hour
That took the shepherd from his simple flock
Drew swiftly on : for still the cherish d form
Of her whose cheek was pallid for his sake
Blent with his every dream , and thoughts of home,
Sweet household music, long-remember d tones,
The far-off echoes of his stately halls,
Had, like the voice of many waters, been
Strong in his inmost soul, even while he spake
Salvation s message to the forest-child.
His work of mercy done, the white sail spreads
From that broad city s queenly breast which bears
The filial impress of the Man of Peace,
Who on the blended rivers bas d his throne,
And grav d upon his signet-ring her name
Of love fraternal.
But, behold ! a throng
In uncouth garments, and with savage port,
Invade the parting scene. With wondering eye,
But lip immoveable, they scan the domes,
And groves, and gardens. Native pride restrain d
The voice of admiration, but the seal
Of abject wretchedness seem d deeper stamp d
Upon their forehead, as they inark d a pomp
111 understood, and felt in their own realm
Their sceptre broken. Not more wildly gleam d
The tangled elf-locks of the astonish d Gauls,
Who, trampling on the majesty of Rome,
Saw her grave senate in their curule chairs,
And deern d them demi-gods.
The red-brow d sires,
And the sad mothers with their little ones
Fast by their side, and on their shoulders bound
Their helpless infants, throng d to deprecate
The teacher s absence, and with tears implore
A parting blessing. Kneeling on the strand,
His tender supplication, by their sobs
Oft interrupted, sought the ear of Heaven.
Long with despairing eye, they watch d the bark
Cutting its watery path. Methought their brows
By misery furrow d o er, in strongest lines,
Like some deep-trac d phylactery, reveal d
Prophetic sentence of their fated race,
Which unrelenting destiny should waste,
Till, like the mighty mastodon, it leave
Nought save its bones among us.
In the heart
Of ZinzendorfT, their murmur d farewell tones
Dwelt, a perpetual cadence, prompting oft
The interceding prayer. It duly rose
Ere the bright mom sprang up from Ocean s bed,
Or when, amid his garniture of clouds,
Purple and gold, the gorgeous Sun retir d
Into his kingly chamber. Then a voice
As of a father for an outcast son,
O er whom his pity yearns, blent with the sigh
And surging thunder of the sleepless wave,
Bearing the sorrows of the wondering tribes
To Mercy s ear.
Nor were their souls forgot
By their kind shepherd, mid the joys of home,
While neath his own baronial shades, he sought
To spread a banner o er the sect he loved,
That peaceful sect, which like the man who lean d
On Jesus breast at supper, best imbib d
The spirit of his love.
Hail ! ye who went
Untiring teachers to the heathen tribes,
And kneeling with your barbarous pupils, shap d
Their rude articulations into prayer.
Ye fear d nor tropic suns, nor polar ice,
Nor subterranean cell. Ye did not shrink
To plant the Tree of Life mid arctic frosts,
That the poor Greenlander might taste its fruits,
And, mid his rayless night, devoutly bless
The Sun of Righteousness. Ye did not shun
The savage in his ignorance, or loathe
To share his hut.
The passport to your care
Hath been the sign of deepest wretchedness,
The Ethiop forehead, and the name of slave.
Teach us your self-denial, we who strive
To pluck the mote out of our brother s creed,
Till Charity s forgotten plant doth ask
The water-drop, arid die. With zeal we watch
And weigh the doctrine, while the spirit scapes ;
And in the carving of our cummin -seeds,
Our metaphysical hair-splittings, fail
To note the orbit of that star of love
Which never sets.
Yea, even the heathen tribes
Who from our lips, amid their chaos dark,
First heard the, " Fiat lux," and joyous came
Like Lazarus from his tomb, do, wilder d, ask
What guide to follow ; for they see the men
They dream d were angels, warring in their paths
For Paul, and for Apollos, till they lose
The certainty that they are one in Christ,
That simple clue, which thro life s labyrinth
Leads to Heaven s gate.
Each differing sect, whose base
Is on the same blest Word, doth strictly scan
Its neighbour s superstructure, point and arch,
Buttress and turret, till the hymn of praise,
That from each temple should go up to God.
Sinks in the critic s tone. All Christendom
Is one eternal burnishing of shields,
And girding on of armour. So the heat
Of border warfare checks Salvation s way.
The free complexion of another s thought
Doth militate against him, and those shades
Of varying opinion and belief,
Which, sweetly blended with the skill of love,
Would make the picture beautiful, are blam d
As features of deformity.
To controvert, to argue, to defend,
Camping amidst imaginary foes,
And vision d heresies. Even brethren deem
A name of doctrine, or a form of words,
A dense partition- wall, tho Christ hath said,
" See, that ye love each other."
So, come forth,
Ye who have safest kept that Saviour s law
Green as a living germ within your souls,
Followers of Zinzendorff, stand meekly forth,
And, with the gentle panoply of love,
Persuade the sister churches to recall
Their wasted energies, and concentrate
In one bright focal point their quenchless zeal :
Till from each region of the darken d globe
The everlasting Gospel s glorious wing
Shall wake the nations to Jehovah s praise.
NOTES TO ZINZENDORFF.
Page 325, line 8.
Its roughly -guarded pass.
The Susquehannah, after entering Luzerne county, Pennsylvania,
breaks into the valley of Wyoming, near the mouth of the Lacka-
wanna, through a narrow mountain chasm, rendered rugged by
perpendicular rocks, and, after pursuing a serpentine course for
twenty miles, breaks again out of the valley, at a similar pass,
called the " Nanticoke gap."
Page 326, line 5.
The landscape hath a legend.
The battle fought on the 3rd of July, 1778, between the Ameri
cans, under the command of Col. Zebulon Butler, and the British,
led on by Col. John Butler, and a chieftain of mixed blood, named
Brandt, is sometimes styled both in history and poetry, the " Wyo
Page 326, line 18.
Where the last relics of the fallen brave
Were gather d by (heir sons.
" The occasion of our assembling in this spot is one of no com
mon interest : to witness the re-interment of the mutilated bones
of our ancestors, and to perform the grateful duty of laying the
corner-stone of their monument. This work of gratitude is destined,
in the language of the eloquent Webster, to rise till it meet the
sun in his coming, till the earliest light of morning shall gild it,
and the parting day linger and play upon its summit. " Oration
of Chester Butler, Esq., on laying the corner-stone of the IVyominy
Monument, July 3, 1833.
350 NOTES TO ZINZENDORFF.
Page 327, line 6.
The slumbering anthracite.
The beautiful vale of Wyoming is distinguished by the anthracite
coal formation. This valuable mineral, as exhibited in that region,
is unsurpassed in richness and brilliancy, and in quantity apparently
Page 328, line 23.
A. white-brow d stranger.
Count Zinzendorff, a nobleman of Saxony, the restorer of the
ancient church of the United Brethren, or Moravians, performed
a mission to the Indians of Wyoming, in the year 1742. He is
asserted to have been the first white person who had ever visited
that portion of the Shawanese and Delaware tribes, who held domi
nion in the valley.
Page 329, line 3,
The woad-staind Briton, in his wattled boat.
The boats of the ancient Britons were composed of basket-work,
covered with the skins of beasts. So much were these baskets ad
mired in Rome, and such quantities were exported there, that one
of their satirical poets ridicules them as among the luxuries of his
countrymen, more than a hundred years after the conquest of the
Page 340, line 16.
The fatal rattle-snake.
" Zinzendorff was alone in his tent, seated upon a bundle of dry
weeds that composed his bed, and engaged in writing, when the In
dians, who had determined to murder him, approached to execute
their bloody commission. It was night, and the cool air of Sep
tember rendered a small fire necessary to his comfort. A curtain
formed of a blanket, and hung upon pins, was the only guard to the
entrance of his tent. The heat of the fire aroused a large rattle
snake, which crawled slowly into the tent, and passed over his feet
undiscovered. At this moment, the assassins softly approached the
door of his tent, and slightly removing the curtain, contemplated
the venerable man, too deeply absorbed in meditation to notice
either their approach or the venemous snake that lay extended
before him. At this sight, even savage hearts shrank from their
deadly purpose, and, suddenly quitting the spot, they bore tidings
that the white man was in league with the Great Spirit." Chap
man s History of /Wyoming.
NOTES TO ZINZENDORFF. 351
342, line 21.
Zinzendorff, during his second voyage to America, founded the
colony of Bethlehem, a spot celebrated both for its beauty of
scenery, and its school, where the elements of piety are blended
with the whole process of education, and presented to the young
mind, as the source of daily joy, as well as of future felicity.
Page 343, line 1.
Of her whose cheek was pallid for his sake.
His wife, the sister of the Prince of Reuss, was distinguished for
every excellence, and, during his absence, took charge of his estates,
and devoted their surplus income to the works of benevolence in
which he delighted.
Page 343, line 26.
Saiv her grave senate in their curule chairs,
A.nd deemed them demi-gods.
When the victorious Gauls, under Brennus, entered Rome, they
found the ancient senators sitting in their order, in the Forum,
undaunted and unmoved. Their splendid habits, their majestic
gravity, and venerable countenances, awed the barbarians into
reverence, and they offered them adoration, as tutelary deities.
Page 345, line 5.
Neath his own baronial shades, he sought
To spread a banner o er the sect he lov d.
Zinzendorff s estate of Bertholsdorf, in Lusatia, was a refuge for
persecuted Moravians. He, with the countess, continually ex
tended to them patronage and assistance. By them, the settlement
of Hernnhut was protected and cherished, from whence the first
missionaries went forth to the West Indies and to Greenland,
somewhat more than a century since.
Page 345, line 17.
That the poor Greenlander might taste its fruits.
The centennial anniversary of the Moravian missions in Green
land was celebrated on the 20th of January, 1833, with great joy
and gratitude among the different congregations established by
those devoted servants of the cross, in that inclement clime.
352 NOTES TO ZINZENDORFF.
Page 345, line 24.
The Ethiop forehead, and the name of slave.
More than 40,000 of the converts connected with the 214 mis
sion stations maintained by the United Brethren, in different parts
of s the globe, are either dwellers in Africa, or slaves in the West
Page 346, line 3.
And in the caTving of OUT cummin-seeds.
" Antoninus Pius, from his desire to search into the least differ
ences, was called cumini sector, the carver of cummin-seeds."
Fuller s Holy State.
Clarke, Printers, Silver Street, Falcon Square, London.