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Full text of "Thorn cottage, or The poet's home. A memorial of Frederick Knight, esq., of Rowley, Mass"

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THORN COTTAGE, 



THE POET'S HOME. 



MEMORIAL 



FREDERICK KNIGHT, ESQ., 



ROWLEY, MASS. 



BOSTON: 

press' of CROCKER AND BREWSTER, 

47, Washingtoa Street. 

1855. 



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Al *>>7H. Cic^ 



HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY 
BY EXCHANGE 



h) 



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INTRODUCTION. 



It is not the man of biisiness, surrounded from 
morning to night with its ceaseless din, who can 
hardly stay to notice the flowers which adorn the 
pathway of life,-and perhaps tramples them under 
foot, in his hasty course — nor yet the youthful as- 
pirant for litercury fame^ flushed with past success, 
and looking forward - with triumphant confidence 
to a long and brilliant career, whose eye will be 
attracted by these simple memorials of an unfor- 
^nate son of genius. 

But will not the Christian, who professes to be 
a follower of Him who would not "break the 
bruised reed,'' recognise in the subject of this 
sketch a silent and humble but as we trust a sin- 
cere disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus ? And 
will not he, who has known what it is to shrink 
with the sensitiveness peculiar to genius from too 



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rough contact with an unfeeling world, pay the 
tribute of sympathy to the memory of one who 
was only prevented by such sensitiveness, unhap- 
pily fostered by the influences of early education, 
from becoming well-known and appreciated in the 
world of letters ; who, like Scott's Wilfrid, 

'^ docilo; soft and mild, 
Was Fancy's wild and wayward child. 



She, in some distant lone retreat, 
Flung her high spells around his seat, 
Bathed in her dews his languid head, 
Her fairy mantle o'er him spread — 
For him her opiates gave to flow. 
Which he who tastes can ne'er forego ; 
And placed him in her circle free 
From every stem reality- 
Till, to thfe visionary seem. 
Her day-dreams Truth — and Truth a dream." 

And may we not be permitted to borrow from 
the touching and truthful melodies of the " Harp 
of the North," the following warning to those 
who are entrusted with the fearful responsibility 
of training such minds : 

" teach him while your lessons last. 
To judge the present by the past — 
Remind him of each wish pursued, 



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How rich it glowed with promised good ; 
Remind him of each wish enjoyed, 
How soon his hopes possession cloyed— 
Tell him we play unequal game, 
Whene'er we shoot by Fancy's aim ; 
And e'er he strip him for her race, 
Show the conditions of the chase."* 

Nothing could have been more repugnant to the 
unfeigned humility for which the subject of this 
sketch was so remarkable, than to associate his 
name with that of the gifted bard who, on the 
banks of the Ouse, in chosen retirement from a 
busy world, poured forth strains which have, for 
more than half a century, animated the faith of 
the Christian, kindled the aspirations of genius, 
and soothed with their touching harmonies the 
agonies of the broken heart. Yet who can fail to 
be reminded, by the untiring devotion of our poet 
to the comfort of the aged widow, with whom for 
the last ten years of his life he found a home, of 
the close friendship which subsisted between Cow- 
per and Mrs. Unwin. Enduring with uncomplain- 
ing patience the trials with which such a life must 
necessarily be attended, to one of his temperament 
and education, he continued to fulfil the duties 

*Rokeby, Canto 1st. 



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assigned him by providence, until death released 
him, leaving his aged friend desolate and solitary. 
The many regrets expressed during his illness, 
on account of his misimproved time and talents, 
induced the wish, on the part of some of his 
friends, to select, ifrom the numerous manuscripts 
which he left, some few memorials of his genius 
and taste, together with some extracts from his 
miscellaneous writings. 



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CHAPTER I. 



Frederick Knight, Esq., the subject of this 
sketch, was born in Hampton, N. H., Oct 9, 1791. 
His mother dying when he was very young, he 
was taken, with his elder brother, to the residence 
of his maternal grandfather,* in Rowley, Mass., 
where they had for many years a delightful home. 
In reverting to that period, he thus expresses him- 
self: 

^ How happy was my childhood's home, 
The days before I learned to roam — 
The friends and kindred there who came, 
All dear to worth and some to fame — 
Their smiles were like the beams of day, 
Their voices, like the birds at play- 
There stands the tree, and there the grove. 
So dear to friendship and to love— 
But home, and friends and grove and tree 
Live but in memory now to me." 

The love of nature was early developed in both 
the brothers. ^The house of my grandfather,'' 
says the elder, ^^ was embosomed in trees of his 

*Dr, Nathaniel Cogswell. 



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own planting, with long avenues on each side^ 
where the singing birds, waked by the dawn, 
filled the whole air with life and melody. It was 
delightful to sit and watch the spreading button- 
wood-trec; through whose tall branches, swaying 
and shadowing down into the window above, 
the annual goldfinch, darting like a ball of fire, 
would drop into his hanging nest, or sit high-hid 
amid the broad green leaves, pouring out his rich 
and prolonged descant over his brooding mate ;— 
or at decline of sun, to walk out back of the gar- 
den, to the Gilead Grove, there to sit upon the 
sylvan seats built, like the temple of old, without 
the noise of hammer, grooved and deep-grown into 
the trunks of the many-lettered trees, and mor- 
alize upon the various fates of those whose names 
were briefly immortalized in the smooth rind 
around; or to watch the beauteous birds flitting 
and chirping over their unmolested nests; the 
droning bee, poised in the red honeysuckle, and 
the freckled butterfly, wafting her light body 
across the clear soft sunshine, here and there 
touching and balancing her broad thin vans upon 
the top of a tall tremulous spire of grass." 

In the family of Dr. Cogswell were happily 
united the embellishments of polished life and the 
simplicity of rural occupation. Here were to be 
found stores of intellectual wealth, and much to 
charm the imagination and delight the eye, in the 
profusion of gifts, coming from time to time across 



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the waters-r— tokens of the love of a devoted son 
residing in a foreign land. 

' A taste for natural scenery seems to have been 
inherent in the two brothers — their earliest asso- 
ciations with their father being connected with a 
little meandering stream in Rowley woods, where 
"we amused ourselves," says the elder, "in pick- 
ing up the long strings of evergreens which were 
half concealed amid the tangled reeds and brake 
I remember being taken by my father, when we 
were very little boys, to his own Wicomb Spring, 
there to slumber all night upon the yellow leaves 
of Autumn." Of the vividness of these impres- 
sions upon their youthful minds, as they walked 
hand in hand, in these romantic solitudes, we may 
form some idea from the lines that follow, which 
were composed by the elder brother.* 

" Low murmuring gales brush through the leafless trees, 

Acquiring compass like the distant seas, 

Folding gay draperies o'er the cherish'd spot, 

While echo's voice responds within the grot. 

For Windsor's forest, nor sweet Auburn's bowers, 

Nor Cooper's hill, nor Clifton grove in flowers, 

Can boast more tufted knolls, more mossy glens, 

More wild deep-warbling nooks, more chiming fens, 

Or more to feast the ear or taste can bring, 

Than thou — old Rowley Woods — lov'd Wicomb Spring /" 

The death of their father, which took place 
while they were yet in their boyhood, greatly en- 

*Rev. H. C. Knight. 



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deared this spot in their after-life. It fcnrmed a 
part of their patrimonial inheritance, and they 
were often seen with the arm of each around the 
neck of the other, bending their steps toward this 
woodland retreat* Even the rustling of the forest 
leares fell upon the ear of our poet like sweet 
melody, and the little streamlet in the midst of 
the surrounding forest beeame a source of high 
enjoyment, and received firom him the name of 
** Paradise Spring.'' ^tting upon its bank, new 
charms presented themselves, as portrayed in a 
little poem, entitled 

"song to paradise 5i^ook" 

" Say, what is this unwearied waste, 
This ever bright, exhaustless tide 1 
By reproduction still replaced, 
By other drops its bed supplied ? 

'Tis of Thyself— thou givest all, 
All in thy service thus employed ; 
Thou see'st them ceaseless rise and fall. 
But not returning vain or void. 

These water wreaths within thee strown, 
Made by the naiads going down, 
The floating pharos sinking low, 
Lighting the way with lamps below. 

The lily-stem, whose flower, with grace, 
Floats gently on the water's face ; 
How fine those little particles, 
So nicely balanced in their bells ; 



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That quiver one their pointed ends, 
Ai^ tremble as the lily bends. 
These gems, if gathered as they greet, 
And but inserted as they meet, 
How rich the page, how £M the sheet !' 

The following brief iribute to the memory of 
the father, is given by the elder son : 

** I mourn a Friend to guide my erring youth 
To honest fame in his own path of truth. 
Thine was a soul not narrowed to a span. 
Which scorned to do the thing beneath a man. 
Wert thou ambitious or by fortune wooed ? 
Not to be great but only to be good. 

Sweet peace, my Father ! loved by all and blest, 
But most by those who knew thy virtues best." 

He regarded education as of greater value than 
any pecuniary advantage, and the patrimony ao- 
eroing to his three sons, (the younger of them, a 
half brother, who is still living,) was, at his earnest 
request, devoted to this object 

The fraternal affection, which subsisted between 
the two brothers after the decease of their father, 
is thus delineated by the same pen : 

^ how I joy to muse on, arm in arm, 

While throbbing love and awed devotion warm y-^ 

Awe to my God — affection to another. 

Frederick, to thee, my own congenial brother I 

For thou alone my venturous strains wilt hear, 

And while all scorn or pity, thou wilt cheer. 

Thou art the favored rival of my lays, 

Who sing'st unenvied and deserv^st my praise ; — 



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Thou know'st the frenzies of the sons of song ; 
Their pride of right, their jealousy of wrong ; 
The throbbing temple and the burning eye, 
The sinking of the heart, the wasting sigh ; 
The starts in bed, the peaceful sleep denied. 
The nervous hand and twinges in the side. 
Thou know'st them seldom bom to get or save ; 
Perchance their shattered Harp is all they have ! 
Oft from the busy world they turn in pain. 
To sing their fluttered spirits calm again. 
Titles, wealth, power, they are content to lose, 
For one kind answer of the maiden muse. 
Once, such thy brother ! ere all-sobering truth 
Broke through the gay- wove visions of his youth— 
Once his vain wish, when to his burial gone. 
That his fond Harp were graven on his stone. 
But, if redeemed and raised where seraphs glow, 
And twin-like spirits may each other know ; 
Then loftier breathings must engage the ear. 
Tuned to the hymnings of a holier sphere." 

In the years 1808 and 1809, after the usual pre- 
paratory course, they entered Harvard University, 
but the same want of decision which characterized 
their after-life, prevented them from receiving the 
honors of their Alma Mater. " I could not find,** 
says the elder, "the right branch of the tree of 
knowledge by which to climb up. I seemed, as 
Burns says of himself, ' unfitted with an aim.' " I 
began to find out, that both my brother and my- 
self had too much sensibility and too little sense. 
I was ever in my study, but gave myself too much 
to general reading, and instead of diagrams of 



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geometry, was found pondering a heavy quarto of 
Pliny. I was prompt at each college exercise, but 
poetry was my easily besetting sin. I sent some 
translations to the Anthology, amid whose balmy 
•leaves my brcrther had often warbled — and at the 
•end of . my freshman year, I had written a volume 
for the press; I began to write before I had 
learned to think, and began to publish before I 
had learned to write. I wished I could stray into 
the wilderness, where there was no breeze of Par- 
nassus nor any rill of Helicon. 

"I was among" the students but hot of them. 
In college we find as wide a difference of mental 
and moral as of corporeal physiognomies. There 
are some who seem to possess knowledge by intu- 
ition, there are others to whose nature nurture will 
not adhere. The germs of some miinds, like the 
voilet, blossom spontaneously with beautiful but 
transient productions; those of others, slow and 
almost hopeless in their budding, at last yield 
nothing of consequence ; while the few, Hke the 
cedar in the cliff, gradually rise in the mightiness 
of their strength. While some at midnight have 
their spirits awake, holding deep communion with 
the sages of other years, others, of more sensation 
than reflection, lounge off at early eve to their 
slumbers, with no spirit warring against the flesh. 
While some are preparing to hold even the scales 
of justice on the bench or to thunder conviction in 

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the Senate chamber, there are others in some hid- 
den conclave of blasphemous dissipation. 

" Sometimes, when I mused on myself and on 
others of my own age, the comparison was so im- 
perceptibly wide that I was lost in the intevval. 
Obstacles to literary ambition multiplied upon me. 
Few authors succeed in this country except com- 
pilers, and yet an author who draws ten pages of 
rich matter from his own brain has more merit 
than one who extracts ten hundred from another. 
One has modified, the other has created ; one has 
^ven a new body, the other a new soul. I do 
wish that authors had more confidence in their 
own individual tastes, and were not so easily 
frightened by a dissecting review. This yielding 
up to one standard and modeling to another's 
fancy, destroys all the freshness of originality. 
No mocking birds for me ; give me to listen to the 
wood-notes wild. There are a hundred that are 
thus made to write verse, who can never write 
poetry. Confidence is necessary in a young author. 
Nothing will so damp the fervour of enterprise as 
a self-distrust of ability; at the same time this 
distrust is often a pleasing evidence of sufficiency. 

" But, after all, what is literary ambition ? It is 
like trying to take hold of a slippery ball. It is a 
melancholy idea, that not only one's own works 
may not survive his present existence, but that 
even the most immortal. Homer and Virgil and 
Pindar, Shakespeare and Milton and Spencer, 



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must perish with this earth — ^that their writings 
are limited to time. Some wish to get upon the 
top-round of ambition's ladder without the knowl- 
edge of others. They must not be startled at the 
approach of Fame, knowing her to be a shadow. 
Alas, I am sorrowful concerning them. The high 
road to fame is exceedingly thronged and the by- 
paths are not easily found — if found by those who 
press through the crowd, why, what then ? 

"Fame is a bitter blast — a head wind, that 
blows directly in one' face, chilly and cold. To 
be famous is like stirring up the dust and travel- 
ling in the midst of it. An ambitious life is a life 
of perpetual perplexity and unsparing anxiety. 
How many are out of breath in their course and 
fall by the way-side, and how many adventitious 
attacks arrest us in our progress. With such 
thoughts^ I now renounced poetry. When one 
writes, he should be sure to touch the heart, or the 
head at least. The touchstone of one's own heart 
is perhaps generally true, when its native influ- 
ence is permitted, not controlled. Let imagina- 
tion originate and complicate, and let fancy delin- 
eate and decorate. 

" My favorite study was criticism ; now I loved 
to turn the pages of heathen mythology, and now 
to bend over the pure spring of nature ; now to 
llJbricate a marvellous tale, and now to delineate 
a natural one. I never liked mere description. 



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were it ever so picturesque — ^it called up no emo- 
tiqns. To describe still life, is marking the pro- 
perties and beauties of a bird on the perch ; but to 
investigate the mutable customs and passions of 
men, one must possess the happy dexterity and 
native acumen of discerning the peculiarities of 
the bird on the wing. 

" At college attachmente are formed which last 
through life, but my habits were too much like 
those of a recluse." 

But notwithstanding these peculiarities, which 
in a degree marked the characters of the two 
brothers, they were much esteemed and respected 
by their classmates. The warm and faithful friend- 
ship which subsisted between Mr. Frederick Knight 
and one of his fellow-students in the Law School, 
does honor to the hearts of both. We shall have 
occasion hereafter to advert to this unusual in- 
stance of personal attachment, which was un- 
broken by the lapse of time and unimpaired by 
change of circumstances. This gentleman, on re- 
ceiving intelligence of his death, thus writes : — 
" I feel sensibly the loss of my friend Knight, than 
whom a more guileless man never lived. 1 was 
on the most intimate terms with him for two 
years in Litchfield, Con., where we attended the 
law lectures of Judges Reeve and Gould, and I 
never knew any one so entirely free from all the 
follies of youth — so perfectly correct in his deport- 



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St and in all the social relations of life. There 
^re then more than one hundred students— some 
from every state in the Union — many of whom 
were talented young men ; some have since filled 
distinguished positions in public life ; and he was 
regarded as inferior to none. The principal de- 
fect in his character, if indeed it may correctly be 
so called, was the want of a proper degree of self- 
confidence and self-reliance. He was too timid,^ 
too retiring a man, to attract the attention of the 
superficial observer. Those alone with whom he 
was intimate could discern his mental capacity 
and the qualities of his heart." 

Mr. Knight's consciousness of his own defic- 
iencies, led him to shrink with nervous timidity 
from the society of those who had begun life with 
the same advantages as himself, but had far out- 
stripped him in its busy race, and was led to 
imagine himself more harshly judged by others, 
than was really the case. 

His retiring and sensitive habits led him, at one 
period of his life, to construct for himself a rude 
hermitage, where he spent much time in solitude, 
devoting himself with ardor to his favorite literary 
pursuits. He seldom received visitors and rarely 
left his beloved retreat, except as necessity requir- 
ed. The following is his own description of his 
rural abode : 



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COTTAOX OF THATCH, IN ROWLET WOODS. 

In a thicket of pines, on the brow of a knoll, 
On the side of a hill, by the Indian com patch. 
Where you just see the road and hear the wheels roll, 
Kot far from the spring, is my Cottage of Thatch. 

From my little table, whose foot was a tree, 
To you, my dear Uncle, a line I despatch. 
To tell you how happy I am and how free. 
And how Pm contriying my Cottage of Thatch.^ 

With the edge of my saw I dissevered the stock, 
And in it inserted a leaf with a catch ; 
Before it I builded a chimney of rock. 
And round it erected my Cottage of Thatch. 

Through the rafters above the green tassels hang down, 
From the boughs that are spread and the trees that attach^ 
'Tis as pretty a ceiling as any in town } 
Will you come, Sir, and dine in my Cottage of Thatch? i 

The flowers are my pictures, the trees are my* books ; 
The spring is my mirror, the sun is my watch ; 
My musicians the breezes, the birds and the brooks, 
My tapers the stars, o'er my Cottage of Thatch. 

Here with pleasure I rise, in my green grassy cove, 
And the fragrance I breathe and the music I catch, 
With the velvet below and the verdure above. 
The well-spring of joy, is my Cottage of Thatch. 

'Tis the harbor of ease, in tiie isle of content,— 
Now look through the lattice, now lift up the latch ; 
The good may come in and the wise here may rest, 
'Tis for such I have builded this Cottage of Thatch. 



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It is drinking the wave — ^not digging the well ; 
Not beating the bush— but the warbler to catch ; 
^Tis eating the kernel, not cracking the shell ; 
The skill that is leam'd in my Cottage of Thatch. 

Where embowered like a dove in these precincts of love, 
From the bleak wild around me my branch I detach, 
By its breath undisturbed, like the blue arch above 
By the billows below, in my Cottage of Thatch. 

As faint through the tre^-tops t^e sun shoots his ray, 
My casement seems glad the bright glimpses to catch, 
And fond is the minstrel to pour forth his lay. 
As he sits or reclines in his Cottage of Thatch. 

Where the trees and the fields, like crystallized glass. 
Reflecting more hues than my vision could catch, 
To the sun and the breeze did they twinkle and dance, 
• And smiled as they fell round my Cottage of Thatch. 

And it seemed, as they glistened and rose to my view, 
In all colors and figures that fancy could match. 
That the gems of Brazil and the plates of Peru 
Were all gathered to garnish my Cottage of Thatch. 

And large ancient andirons used for the fire. 
How well— oh how long recollections attach ; 
By the father once owned, of my grandfather's sire. 
And now last by me, in this Cottage of Tkatch, 



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CHAPTER II. 



For some particulars of the life of our poet, 
from the time of his leaving college till within ten 
years of his death, we are indebted to one of his 
early friends, who often made Bowley and its 
beautiful vicinity the scene of his boyish rambles. 

" I remember him," says this gentleman, " as a 
promising and intelligent youth, having just 
emerged from the shades of Harvard and looking 
forward to many happy and useful days. He was 
a man of genius, but his tastes were too versatile 
to permit the concentration of his powers, and 
that which of itself was noble and excellent was 
distributed among too. many objects to be success- 
ful in any. He was mechanical, but had no per- 
severance; a scholar, but his rambling mind expa^ 
tiated too much in the fields of literature to excel in 
any single depeurtment of science. He was a poet, 
but the full beauties of the gems he scatters are 
only visible to the keen-eyed beholder. He was 



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qever vicious, seldom indolenti ftlways sfeeking^ 
yet never attaining, always diaappoiuted yet for- 
ever starting afresh under the impulse of new 
hopes. He possessed qualities of mind arid heart 
which were of a high order. We have gaid that 
we knew him in his brighter days at the home og 
his maternal grandfather, a most estimable gentle-^ 
man of the old school — ^a liberally educated bufr 
then retired physician, who was by nature social: 
and of dignified manners. But we give Mr. 
Knight's own delineation: < Hospitality opened 
his doors and politeness welcomed his guests ; 
temperance presided over his meals, never taking 
so much as one glass of wine at once till in very 
advanced age, when it served as a cordial; with a 
mild dignity of brow, cautious in speech, prudent 
in counsel, of scrupulous integrity and decorum in 
conduct. He lived greatly respected, and few die 
at so great an age more deeply lamented.' " 

The green and fresh willows planted by his 
band on the margin of a clear brook, the tall pop» 
lars, in the re€uf of his venerable: mansion, the 
arbor iu the flower-garden inscribed With Latin 
mottoes or perchance some line from tlie rising^ 
genius of l^ron or Moore, were the poetical ele? 
ments among which the tWo brothers erected their, 
many imaginary casties. 

. The first adventured of Mr. Frederick Knight 
were in a schoql^room, in the then secluded regions 
of the Penobscot, where his clownish scholctirs weret 



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not able to appreciate the fine images of the poet, 
nor could be perceive that aptitude for study 
which is one of the few rays of light that fall upon 
the hapless teacher of a district school in a remote 
forest. He seems not to have accepted this invi- 
tation very readily, urging the small and uncertain 
compensation, together with the difficulties at- 
tending a journey over those rough roads. in the 
month of April, In replying to the letter address- 
ed to him he says : " I should like to go down into 
those dewy regions of the east and see the sun 
come forth from his < hiding place ' and bathe his 
beams in the golden waters of the Penobscot." 

But very different were these poetic imaginings 
from the sober realities which he was soon to en- 
counter. His character being rudely assailed, al- 
most at the commencement of his arduous labors, 
he finds himself impelled by unjust imputation to ' 
make the following communication, which seems 
to have been well understood by those who had 
the general superintendence of the school. In pre- 
mising he says : " Should I sometimes enliven the 
drama with a comic expression and then overcloud 
its gaity by some heavy stroke or alarming truth, 
you will not, I trust, be surprised, having seen 
such a torrent of scandal poured upon my head. 

" By one person, himself in a paroxysm of rage, I 
am accused of violent passion ; by parental preju- 
dice, I am charged with favoritism ; by the guard- 
ian and guide of sluggard children, of sloth ; by the 



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governor of unbridled boys, of incapacity to gov- 
ern ; by an unlettered ^hool master, of being an 
illiterate teacher ; by my executioners, while stretch- 
ing me on the rack, of unheard of cruelty ; by an 
unhappy man, involved in clouds and chagrin, of 
a bewildered intellect ; by another, who does not 
divide the Sunday from the week, of indevotion 
during public worship. Whether is worst, he that 
is consumed of wrath, or he that, 

' When most enforced, shows a hasty spark 
And straight is cold again ;' 

he that is stark blind with prejudice, who dis- 
cerns no good, or he that discerns much through 
aversion and disgust, and can chastise justly with 
the hand of kindness as well as impartiality; the 
father who has spoiled his children, or the master 
who can reclaim them ; he who would mercilessly 
tear up a thrifty vine, or he who would sometimes 
bruise the bark in pruning it or lopping oft* its ex- 
crescences." 

To one of his friends he afterward writes : " My^ 
scholars have heretofore been governors, and it is 
singular to see the pell-mell as I approach, the 
scuffling and running, the overturning of benches 
to find their seats, as far as I am able to compel 
them to stay." Mr. Knight now felt it to be in- 
deed true that the schoolmaster is game for every 
one. Although his enemies still sought to injure 
him by various aspersions wholly unfounded and 



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xinwarrantable, be continued in the faithful dis- 
charge of his duties for some length of time, when 
be gladly availed himself of the refuge afforded by 
bis maternal home in Rowley. 

After an interval of many months he was pre- 
vailed upon to accept the offer of a school at Mar- 
blehead, where the society of intellectual minds 
proved to him a source of high enjoyment, as we 
judge from some , poetical effusions bearing date at 
that place. His muse, which had slept under the 
uncongenial influences with which he had been sur- 
rounded, now seems to have awaked to fresh life. 
He thus prefaces one. of his fragmentary poems : 

If the following lines are not: equal to Catullus' 
Sparrow or Auacreon's Dove, those celebrated 
pieces of antiquity, it is not that the subject is not 
superior to both, but because the writer is neither 
Anacreon nor Catullus. 

TO, THE aOLD BOBBIN THAT BUILDS ANNUALLT ON A 
FAVORITE ELM. 

Beauteous bird of golden breast, 
Waving in thy pendent nest, 
Every season thou art seen, 
Visiting thy vernal green. 
Soon as zephyrs melt the snow 
And the softer breezes blow, 
Sweet musician of the spring 
Thou dost stretch thy toiling wing, 
Till thou gain'st the social shade 
That embowers my peerless maid. 



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Tenant of a favored spot, 
Chanting in a charming grot, 
Warbling in the blissful bower. 
Where is seen the damask flower ; 
Early at the window be. 
There the dewy dawn to see ; 
Ere she ope her azure eye. 
Wake her with thy melody. 

If the maiden then arise, 
Fly, but do not fly away ; 
Let her view thee in the skies, 
Let her see thy pinions play : 
If she slumber late and long. 
Thou shalt wake her with a song ; 
If she early seek repose, 
Give her music as she goes. 

Be she sorrowful or gay. 

Correspondent be thy lay, — 

From dawning to the drowsy hour. 

Obey the lady of the bower : 

And if, when thou hast wooed awhile, 

If she raise the sash and smile, 

If she reach her waxen arm. 

And expand her open palm, 

Enter on thy golden plume. 

Go and carrol round the room, — 

Go and fan her flowing curls. 
View the tortoises and pearls ; 
See if all a beam supply 
Equal to her diamond eye ; 
Hear her speak and see her smile, — 
But I envy thee the while, — 
Prithee, leave the beauteous maid, 
Go and seek thy sylvan shade. 



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Go— betake thee to ihy tree; 

Go, attend thy progeny. 

Yearly rear a chosen brood 

For her blissful servitude. 

A sparrow was Catullus' lore, 

Anacreon's a turtle-dove ; 

A gold repeater for his dear 

Is chosen by the chevalier ; 

A lovelier bower for his delight 

Is cherished by the Classic Knight J' 

A yonng lady leaving a thornless rose with the 
author, he wrote as follows : 

The presence is indeed withdrawn, 
But has not left me quite forlorn; 
This lovely rose without a thorn 
Becomes a glorious company: 

I did not ask her where it grew, 
For by its odor and its hue, 
And by its thornless bud, I knew 
The peerless rose of Paradise. 

And by the freshness of its leaf. 
Whose day like beauty's bloom is brief, 
. I knew it fed a recent grief, 
And sighed for one far distant. 

The mom for thee distilled the dew, 
For thee exhumed its odorous hue. 
And in the vale of Eden grew, 
And blushed in beauteous buoyancy. 

Around this fair defenceless rose 
There's not a thorn or bramble grows. 
And yet secure it sweetly blows, 
To awe the eye of errantry. 



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For though without a hostile spear, 
To see its little flag so near 
At once alarms the chevalier, 
And breathes a deep despondency. 

Sweet emblem of the beauteous maid 
That smiles and cheers thy hallowed shade, 
In virtue's vestal robe arrayed, 
To bless the bower of innocence. 

This rose without a point or lance. 
With no defence and no advance, 
Is death to my enamored glance — 
The fatal flower of chivalry. 
Marhlehead, 1824. 

But we may not trace farther his early history. 
Suffice it to say, that it was a succession of bright 
but blasted hopes, of earnest but ineflectual strug- 
gles. After the decease of his grandfather he ac- 
cepted a kind invitation from his uncle, Nathaniel 
Cogswell, Esq., to accompany him to his distant 
home in one of the Western Islands. It was the 
desire of Mr. Cogswell to place his nephew in cir- 
cumstances of honorable and lucrative employ- 
ment, provided he could discover in him the neces- 
sary skill and tact. During this visit Mr. Knight 
enjoyed greater opportunities than had been hith- 
erto afforded him, of becoming acquainted with the 
character of this truly noble and excellent man. 
From the many tributes of affection and gratitude 
which he paid to his memory, we select the follow- 
ing from a letter addressed to another uncle, who 
also shared in the warm affections of his heart : 



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" His attentive ear I can no more approach and 
whisper how much I love him, how highly I de- 
light to honor him, and how deeply I feel indebted 
to him. Have I not, by a strange act of kindness 
and condescension on his part, been abroad with 
him on the deep, trod the shore of a distant clime, 
and breathed the air of a foreign sky ? Have I 
not reposed sweetly under his roof, been clothed 
elegantly from his wardrobe, and fared sump- 
tuously every day at his table ? Have I not been 
cheered by his smiles when despondent, and com- 
forted by him in the hour of danger and distress? 
has he not sought out and proposed to me honor- 
able and lucrative employment, offering liberally 
his aid — and all this to one of opposite cast and 
habits from himself, feeble, irresolute, and dila- 
tory? 

" How have I witnessed the nice curiosity with 
which he surveyed the field of valuable knowl- 
edge—his untaught, intuitive discernment of the 
useful in science, refined in sentiment, and ele- 
gant in social life — the versatility and accuracy of 
his conceptions in business — his energy and celer- 
ity of execution — his minute attention to each 
particular department, without disconcerting his 
comprehensive view of the whole — his fertility of 
resources in trying emergencies, and his calm sub- 
mission to the will of providence. 

" How often have I seen him studiously devis- 
ing how he might best promote the welfare of his 



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friends at home — his distributions to the poor,* 
who at set seasons came in crowds about his 
door? — But who can measure the depths of an 
overflowing fountain, trace out the streams that 
meander from it, or number the desolate places 
made glad by its waters ?" 

" That noble spirit, here no more, 
Has reached a blest elysian shore, 
A brighter clime— and shares the while 
A Father's house — a Father's smile." 

IN MEMORY OF NATHANIEL COGSWELL, ESQ., 

Who died, much lamented, in the City of New York, Nov. 13th, 1832— for many 
years a distinguished merchant at Palmas, Grand Canary. 

Pressed with the waves of undissembled grief 
We ask no fountain to augment their force. 

While flowing forth in search of sweet relief, 
The ready pen shall but conduct their course. 

Now is the strength receding from our side. 
That quenched our rising tumults or subdued ; 

Which, like a barrier that withstood the tide. 
Lets in new torrents to the rising flood. 

Brightly he rose and opened wide the day : 
We saw the splendor of his noon begin. 

But ere attained, the clouds concealed his way. 
And shut the glories of his brightness in. 

'Tis spring-time sweet, and music wakes the mom. 
The notes are soft and fields are gaily drest. 

But balmy breath and flow'rets newly bom 
And rustic strains move not his placid breast. 

*His munificence to the poor, who at appointed seasons came around his 
door, obtained for him the appellation, '* King of the Island." 

4* 



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Vain are our hopes ; and all the sweets they yield 
Are as the morning cloud and early dew — 

Our glory gpne like blossoms of the field, 
Cut down and withered in their fairest hue. 

But the hopes which were indulged by this 
kind relative were disappointed. Nothing could 
be more uncongenial to the habits of a poet than 
close attention to the details of business. He pre- 
ferred to ramble over the vine-clad hills of those 
beautiful islands, in search of something which 
would feed his poetical fancy or regale his ear 
with the voice of melody. 

His return to Rowley was soon succeeded by 
the deatii of his venerated grandmother, to whom 
he was tenderly attached. " By her example," he 
says, " she reproved the indolence, and by her de- 
vout life the levity of others ; ever and anon, to 
quote from Shakespeare, as house affairs would 
call her hence she would ^ with haste dispatch and 
come again, and with a greedy eye devour the 
gracious Book.'" 

His attachment to the scenes of his early life 
was unconquerable ; the bright and beautiful of 
the world, its riches and honors, were eclipsed by 
the sunshine that fell within the circle of his 
early home, and he could not consent to any 
plans of life that would withdraw him from 
them. Under these circumstances and after the 
death of his brother, being left without any 
pecuniary resources, he was induced to accept 



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the invitation of Mrs. Sawyer, a destitute and 
aged widow in the neighborhood, to occupy her 
little cottage, with the promise of its reversion to 
him when she should no longer need it. 

This low and time-worn dwelling had no archi- 
tectural beauty to attract the eye, and, if noticed 
at all by the passing stranger, would have been 
regarded only as the abode of unlettered poverty. 
There Were no beauties of natural scenery around 
it to indicate cultivation or taste in its occupants. 
A small apple-tree at one corner and a rose-bush 
slightly trained under one of its windows, consti- 
tuted its only external ornaments. Its interior, 
consisting of two rooms and an attic, will be 
fotmd partially drawn in one of his fragmentary 
poems. 

He was happy for a time in the freedom of his 
new home and in the companionship of his aged 
friend.! Her increasing infirmities, however, ren- 
dered his situation peculiarly trying. Still he 
watched over her both by day and night with all 
the tenderness of a son, and no inducement of per- 
sonal advantage or emolument would have pre- 
vailed with him to desert his charge. 

His relatives living at a distance knew compar- 
atively little of his situation at this period. The 
grateful sense of past favors conferred upon him, 
together with a native independence of mind, 
probably operated in preventing a free communi- 
cation on the subject of his labors and privations. 



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He continued, notwithstanding, to receive from 
them occasionally gratuitous aid, and during his 
last illness their ready sympathy, together with 
many substantial proofs of kindness, which he 
warmly appreciated. 

Mr. Knight was much distinguished for upright- 
ness of mind — never swerving from the strictest 
integrity even under circumstances of peculiar 
embarrassment. Humility was also another fea- 
ture which marked his character — ^it was indeed 
his crowning grace — and but for this he might 
have passed from us as one less entitled to our 
notice. We believe that all who knew him inti- 
mately will bear testimony that they have seldom 
seen this virtue more truly exemplified. He con- 
descended to all of every rank, and was in fact 
on an equality with the meanest in outward con- 
dition. But although in circumstances of such 
comparative obscurity there was perhaps not an 
individual in the town more highly esteemed or 
more universally respected. While wholly un- 
conscious of meriting respect, his superior knowl- 
edge claimed it for him. It is a frequent remark, 
that in country towns and villages there is a more 
just appreciation of character than in our larger 
cities. Whether this be true in the general or 
otherwise, it reflects much credit upon those with 
whom Mr. Knight was associated. 

It has been said of him, that " he had gifts and 
graces which bloomed in the desert." In the 



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midst of solitude he was never alone, for every 
object in nature conveyed a lesson from which he 
drew some religious reflection or some useful 
moral. His want of resolution and energy of pur- 
pose was a painful source of reflection in after 
life, as we find from frequent allusions to his 
habits of mind. In expressing to his uncle some 
regrets of this nature he says : While you have 
been invigorating and expanding your ample 
mind, I have been rambling a field or sitting under 
a tree, meditating upon a leaf. 

I spent in play my morning prime, 
In airy dreams life's middle stage ; 
May Sharon's rose, though out of time. 
And Eschcoi's clusters crown my age ? 
'Tis this which pains my spirit now. 
That blest with life's meridian rays, 
Thus far I've been a fruitless bough, ^ 
Nor borne one blossom to his praise." 



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CHAPTER III 



We have made allusion to a highly esteemed 
classmate with whom Mr. Knight was associated 
in the study of the Law. This gentleman, for a 
period of years, had occupied an official station 
abroad, and, on revisiting his native country, 
sought perseveringly his early friend, notwith- 
standing a rumor of his death had reached him. 
Mr. Knight had lived in such seclusion as to be 
little known, especially in the world of letters. 
Being visited by Mr. B., in his retirement, all the 
warmth of youthful attachment seemed to burst 
forth spontaneously, and the memories of the past, 
like an unsealed fountain, now flowed in a per- 
petual stream. We introduce the following lines 
as descriptive of the interview : 

He came from far, to ferret out and see 

If I were yet among the things that be. 

Some dying wave had whispered in his ear 

An Ilium fuit — Frederick is not here. 

And right o'erjoyed was he again to find 

Time's sweeping stream had left his friend behind. 



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Though many a tree had toppled from its banks, 
And as he went still thinner grew their ranks ; 
Though many a taller from its brink was torn, 
And brighter flower along its current borne — 
Was not yet broken from its margin quite 
His blooming cereus — ^lone flower of night — 
That opes as fair beneath her darkling sway 
As flowers unfolded by the orb of day, 
And blooms as lovely for her sightless lids 
As those that blazon when bright Phoebus bids ; 
Yea, looks more lovely through the shades alone 
Than with gay thousands, if by day it shone. 

The occasion of a distinguished guest at Thorn 
C!ottage, was not without its interest in the imme- 
diate neighborhood. The hasty meal being made 
ready by the hands of the poet, the evening hour 
glided rapidly away, and Mr. B. returned to his 
lodgings. On the landlord's inquiry, at what hour 
breakfast should be served, the ready response, 
'* I shall breakfast with my friend Knight," occa- 
sioned him no little surprise, as he well knew that 
the hospitalities of the Cottage were far from be- 
ing attractive even to an ordinary guest. But the 
two friends, thus re-united after a separation of 
more than twenty years, were alike forgetful of 
changes of fortune, and, seated at the table of the 
poor widow, enjoyed a repast of intellect which 
more than compensated for the absence of that 
which merely pleases the taste or gratifies the ap- 
petite. 

The spring-time of life seemed now to have re- 



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turned with our poet, so happy was he in this re- 
newed friendship. Mr. B. was desirous to meet 
his classmates at a social gathering, and feeling 
that the presence of his friend Knight would give 
importance to the occasion, he was solicitous to 
remove every obstacle which a sensitive mind 
would be ready to interpose. His full consent, 
however, was not readily obtained, even under the 
most propitious circumstances. 

But the hour of separation was drawing nigh, 
and the little apartment which had been cheered 
by the presence of a friend became still more deso- 
late and lonely. Mr. Knight appears to have felt 
for a moment that the sun-beams had vanished 
from his threshold, and thus pours forth the utter- 
ances of his heart : 

When some are severed from the breast, 

'Tis tedious tarrying with the rest. 

In memory of superior joys, 

The present seem insipid toys ; 

As when the sun, sunk a. the west, 

Sometimes so bright wev td, 

He seems more glorious in his rest 

Than all the stars he leaves behind. 

It was the sun, though it is gone — 

They are but stars that follow on. 

That pierce the clouds they can't dispel, 

Like pris'ners looking through their cell. 

Or feeble tapers that illume 

But just enough to show the gloom. 



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The warm invitation, so kindly presented, to 
make one of the guests on the approaching fes- 
tivity could not be resisted, and, placing his aged 
companion in charge of another for a short period, 
he set forward on his journey, full of joyous an- 
ticipation. In the warmth of that enthusiasm 
which had been kindled anew on the altar of 
friendship, he thought little of his rustic garb until 
recognised by some of his early associates who 
were proceeding to the same friendly meeting. 
When nearly at the termination of the journey 
some misgivings arose and he declined proceeding 
with his companions. Although he had previously 
signified that he should appear in his old costume, 
he now regarded himself as behind the age in a 
more literal sense than he had imagined. But the 
kindness of his friend, who met him in his own 
carriage, soon reassured him, and he no longer 
hesitated. Still his reluctance to meet such an 
assemblage could not be concealed, as appears 
from the following : 

0, Sir, I cannot mec /Our gala-guests, 
My rustic garb but ill becomes such feasts : 
O'erfraught with friends the greatest and the best^ 
ni be an irksome and inglorious guest ; 
And ladies too, of beauty and of birth, 
V\l only be a damper to their mirth. 

But the pleasant scenes which surrounded him 
on the banks of the Hudson soon dissipated his 
fears, and we next find him attempting a short 
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sketch of bis reception and entertainment at the 
conntry-seat of his friend : 

This spacioas roansion aad piazza round, 
* With woodbines wreathed and honeysuckle crowned— 
These winding walks, these seats and banks and bowers^ 
And budding shrubs and trees and opening flQwers; 
And youthful loves and graces smiling round^ 
Assure the bard he's on the muse's ground. 
Alire with voices speak the very trees^ 
And neighboring thickets hum with nestling bees. 
I heard — ^unheard before that sweet moonlight— 
Their strange, outlandish banjou, with delight. 
But most that charmed me was the group 
Of children, with their wain and hoop, 
So happy, smiling, innocent, and sweet. 
So unlike earth and all for heaven so meet 

My friend — I cannot as I would portray 
Your entertainment, in my rustic lay ; 
Your Helicon's too high for me to stride. 
Your Pegasus' too gay for me to ride, 
And I should founder ere I well set out. 
Or at the least should lose my whereabout. 

He was attended by Mr. B. on his homeward 
journey ; and, in the recollection of the ms^ny kind 
attentions bestowed upon him^ breaks forth in 
strains of grateful affection : 

Why did I suflfer thus your wings to play. 
And scatter fragrance all my lengthened way, 
Through yielding air? For ne'er did carrier-dove 
More softly bear her billet-doux of love. 
Than I was carried by thy skill and care. 



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Rolled o'er the wave and wafted through the air. 
Where'er I went thou didst prepare me room, 
Borne on thy wings and covered by thy plume. 
But when, alas ! I know hot -when 
Or where I e'er shall see again, 
The first of friends and best of men. 

Wishing to reciprocate the hospitalities of Pier- 
mont, he presents in a pilayful manner the attrac- 
tions of Thorn Cottage — thus conveying some 
idea of this charms of rural scenery to a poetic 
mind: 

We have a humble roof and homely fare, 
And wholesome water aiid a healthful air : 
Fresh fallen leaves shall form your frugal bed, 
And verdant tapestry o'er-arch your head. 
Where woodbines wave and honeysuckle twines^ 
And nature vies with your ei^otic vines. 
I'll show you fruit-trees that count centuries old, 
With pears depending like ingots of gold. 
And balmy groves and moss all overstrown. 
And lofty names these trees have overgrown. 
No katadids here serenade at night, 
Or swarming locusts waken with' the light. 

On the return of this gentleman to his foreign 
home a correspondence commences, of much inter- 
est on both sides. We select a passage in reply 
to a letter which communicated the birth of a son 
in Florence: 

Arise, my Tuscan star, arise, 
Italian sun, ascend the skies*— 
Lift up those, lids, sweet Florentine, 
And let thine azure orbs be seen. 



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Blue as the skies in Arno's vale, 

Soft as the clouds that through them sail. 

Come, let me hear thy tuneful tongue 

That sounds as when a tabret's rung ; 

Begin to know a father's smile, 

And with thine own his cares beguile. 

My child, to Amo bid adieu. 

And what is Florence, boy, to you ? 

Here Hudson rolls a noble tide, 

Invites thee to her palaced side. 

Here friends and kindred long to greet, 

And hearts, in truer bosoms beat 

Than those in foreign climes you meet 

Fair infant Florentine ! 'tis thine 
To gild a bright ancestral line ; 
To add a lustre of thine own 
Surpassing all that has been shown. 
Let Tuscany not long detain. 
Nor let the Eternal City gain 
Thy best affections. Hasten home- 
Farewell to Florence and to Rome. 



You'll send your friend a bust, by Powers, 

Of that young Florentine of ours, 

In token of his just regard. 

Who will be pleased to please the bard ; 

The sculptor is the poet's brother, 

And we must work for one another. 

If he refuse, show this to Greene ; 

The poet's notes are " ready rein "— 

Which is the way, and all the way. 

That real poets have to pay. 

Who ever thought, that had his senses, 

Of putting poets to expenses ? 



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Mr. Knight took — as what poet does not — 
a warm interest in the young. The artless prattle 
of childhood found in him a willing listener. 
A world without children would have been to him 
as a forest without shrubs. The following stanzas 
were addressed to bnef of bis little favorites. The 
parents of the child still live in Rowley. A cot- 
tage, built in the English Style, ta&tefuUy adorned 
with shrubbery^ rhlarks the place of their residence. 

THE LITTLE VILLAGE GIRL, WHO WAS ABOUT TO VISIT 
HER PATERNAL HOME IN THE EAST INDIES. 

Thou lovely littfe viikge ^rl, 

Who -ten shwt yeare hiast seem, 
The breeze will soon the sail unfurl 

That wafts thee from the green 5^ 

Seen only thus to be withdrawn, 

And leave us here to sigh. 
As for a floweret that is gone, 

Or songster in the sky ; 

Or like the perfume from the tree. 

Or dew-drop from the spray; 
Or like the blossom blown to sea, 

That bore them both away. 

The belle of blossoms/ wooed and v^d 

By some enchanting mule, 
Vouchsafes to bless a foreign bed, 

And grace an Indian Isle. 

But go— we claim not all thy worth ; 
A gem of native growth, 
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Whose stem was of exotic birth, 
It must remember both. 

Then go— and us awhile resign, 

And seek another zone : 
Thy father but allures from thine 

To lead thee to his own. 

Thou dost not go deserted, dove. 

Beneath a father's care, 
And mantled in a mother's love. 

And shielded by her prayer. 

But He that rules the air and sky. 

The billows and the land. 
Shall watch thee with a wakeful eye. 

And hold thee in His hand. 

And hear the prayer they breathe behind, 

All suppliant on their knees. 
For one that's wafted by the wind. 

And borne upon the seas. 

That he will charge the winds to keep 
The bark that bears thee o'er. 

To waft it gently o'er the deep. 
And gently to the shore. 

Thou goest to greet thy father's friends,* 

And kindred yet unknown. 
Who for his absence seek amends, ^ 

By making thee their own. 

The farewell here awakes thy fears. 
The greeting there beguiles ; 

*Her father was a native of the Isle of France. 



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Thou'rt one that goes to sleep in tears, 
To wake anon in smiles. 

Thou'rt glad to go— to leave art loath — 

So balanced by extremes ; 
For peace with each at war with both, 

And conquered twice, it seems. 

So when a top is whirled to rest. 

And sleeps to those around, 
It feels the lashes on its breast. 

And whispers of its wound. 

So when a wave, in Eden* seen. 

Two pebbles turns to view, 
It winds a little spool between, 

And murmuring passes through. ' 

Now thou must leave thy little mates. 

Thy sampler and thy school, 
Thou'rt one who on the margin waits— 

A cygnet for the pool. 

Nor by the brook is thy retreat 

To mark its winding way ; 
Nor round the elm, with lightsome feet. 

In paradise to play. 

And Spring, that now renews her reign. 

With charms to me so dear, 
Perchance may touch thy heart with pain. 

Thy parting is so near. 

But, child, what though his reign is nigh. 
And buds and birds appear, 

*The poeOt name for Rowley Woods. 



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Whose bloom may never reacli thine eye 
Nor strains salute thine ear. 

Yet soon beneath a softer sky, 

And in a brighter sphere, 
Will fresher flowerets greet thine eye, 

And sweeter noted thine ear., 

The warblers there afe never mute. 

And orchards rich and rar0^ 
Are bending all the year with fruit. 

Whose fragrance ^lls thia air. 

And gardens there, JM^e ever gay, 
With blossoms ever blowing, 

And brooks are laughing iH the way, 
' And fount^tts ever Aowing^ 

Nor wintry frowns disturb the sky. 
Nor frosts seal up the ground ; 

The seasons hand in hand go by, 
And dance their smiling round. 

Here fields are naked half the year, 
And half the year are dumb. 

And summer seems to disappear 
Almost as soon as come — 

Her hand just beckons and beguiles. 
Her voice just strikes our estrs. 

She bids us welcome with her smiles. 
Then waves adieu in tears. 

Yet for a fruit that ne'er deceives. 
From Nature thou must look. 

Amid the everlasting leaves 
Of Heaven's eternal Book. 



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But go— e'en now the gallant bark 
Stays for her beauteous freight, 

And dwellers in yon island-ark 
As for the dove await. 

Thou goest to tread the dimpled deep, 

To print the liquid plain, 
And see the whitened hillocks leap 

The lambkins of the main. 

Thou'lt find it pathless all before, 

And leave no path behind ; 
Not so with other travellers o'er 

A moral for your mind. 

Then " how find they their way," you ask, 
" Who thread the trackless wild?" 

A question that a man might ask. 
And surely may a child. 

Know, those who walk the wave, my dear. 

Possess a little rod. 
That tells them always where to steer 

And governs like a god. 

A silent little ofiicer. 

That orders o'er the rest ; ' 

A mighty little monitor. 

Like conscience in the breast ; 

While taking islands up like beads. 

Or luring out the prey, 
Like anglers with their trembling reeds. 

From waters where they lay ; 

And ever pointing to its pole, 
Howe'er they move its vase, 



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As doth a trae and living soul, 
Whatever be its place ; 

That like a well-instructed scribe, 

Or sculptor at his stone, 
Although a thousand beauties bribe, 

Like nature knows his own. 

And often on their charts they look, 

And measure time and way, 
To be recorded in a book, 

Against a reckoning day. 

So voyagers on life's changeful sea: 

The Bible is their chart, 
And conscience, ever true, will be 

A needle in the heart. 

They trim the bark and watch the gale, 

And sharply look before. 
And tend the tiller and the sail, 

And let the billows roar. 

The waves that lash the vessel's sides 

Will open to her prow 
Which them in needful time divides— 

A lesson for thee now. 

Though mountains rise before the bark, 

And lions in them roar. 
Yet when you reach the ^nountain's mark, 

The ship goes tilting o'er. 

The hill becomes a liquid plain, 

The liquid plain a slope, 
W^en Faith's the bark that sweeps the main, 

The starry streamer,' Hope; 



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So tiiose who long had rowed the deep, 

Despairing of the oar, 
Received the Savior in the ship, 

And straightway were on shore. 

And thou wilt pass the prison-isle— 

But leave Jt far aside— 
Of one* who rode the world awhile, 

And when it threw him, died ! 

The beast was dumb, though sore bestrode, 

Like fish in halcyon's beak. 
Till one he saw not blocked the road. 

And bade the creature speak. 

So he was caught as in a snare. 

By that which was his pride. 
Like him suspended by his hair ; 

" And of his hobby died. 

There thou may'st touch on thy return, — 

And treasure at his tomb 
A lesson, worth thy while to learn. 

Of fortune and of doom : 

Of one who sallied out in wrath 

And reaped the nations down. 
And cut through earth a gory path. 

For conquest and a crown : 

Until at length his sickle broke, 

The sheaves were set on fire, 
And he was smothered in the smoke, 

The victim of his pyre ! 

*N«poleoa. 



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You would have thought some buzzard flock 

Upon an eagle poured, 
'Till he was pinioned to a rock. 

And slowly there devoured. 

Those little foxes, thick as hail, 

He'd taken but to tame, 
Came forth with fire-brands in their tail 

And whipped him with the flame : 

And fell upon him like a pack 

And plucked him in the breast, 
And tore the feathers from his back 

And cradled in his nest. 

They chased him from his ruby throne, 

And rent his purple robe, 
And locked him in this cliff alone— 

The lion of the globe ! 

Where, part for grief and part for pride. 

Unused to be bereft. 
And part for wrong, he pined and died 

Of kingdoms he had left. 

Napoleon was — a sparkling name 

Yet slow to pass away— 
The world's great sportsman and its game. 

Its hunter and its prey. 

But leave — it was a lurid blaze, 

A meteor from the deep. 
That led admirers but to gaze. 

And followers but to weep. 



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Thou goest to view a holier mound, 

Where dearer relics rest,* 
Whose spirit, haply, hovering round, 

May light upon thy breast. 

Sweet child, upon the sea of life, 
Thy course be smooth and even, 

Or feel no more of tempests' strife 
Than bears thee on to Heaven. 

Thou'lt not forget the lowly fane, 

But duly wilt repair 
To warble in the higher strain 

Of those who worship there. 

And pave thy way with weekly vows. 

His tribute money pay. 
Who brought thee to thy father's house, 

When found so far away. 

Thou wilt not leave him on the land 

That led thee through the seas, 
But ask him to retain thy hand 

And guide thee as he please. 

Like bird for captive one must wound, 

Or sweet but wayward child. 
Who sought his father when he frowned. 

But fled him when he smiled, 

Ah some forget him on the land, 

Who bore them to the shore ; 
As if they only took his hand 

But just to help them o'er. 

*ThU alladet to Airs. Harriet Newell, wko wm baried in the Isle of 
France. 



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Nor seldom to thy breast retire, 

And muse upon his name, 
If thou would^st fan the holy fire, 

And feed the heavenly flame. 

'Tis breathing o'er the vestal coal 

Within that inner shrine, 
That wreaths an incense round the soul. 

Whose essence is divine. 

Thou wilt remember oft the mound 

Where Harriet's relics rest, 
Whose spirit haply hovering round 

May light upon thy breast. 

Thou go'st from near her natal spot, 

Her follower o'er the wave, 
May'st thou partake her blissful lot, 

But not her early grave.* 

Napoleon's was a lurid blaze, 

A lantern on the deep. 
That led admirers but to gaze, 

And followers but to weep. 

But Harriet's was a heavenly ray 
Like Hesper's o'er the wave. 

That rose upon the wanderer's way 
To succor and to save. 

Thou'lt not forget thy friends apart, 
The guest-chamber leave free. 

And, last and least in every heart, 
One little nook for me — 

♦This last desire waa not granted— her's was an early grave. 



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Who, though a fallen leaf I be, 

A bird that cannot fly, 
Yet loves his mates upon the tree, 

His fellows in the sky — 

That only sighs along the heath. 

Or lifts a languid wing ; 
While others flourish, falls beneath. 

And chirps while others sing — 

Now heaven protect the floating flower, 

Conduct it to its bourne, 
And bless the bower with sun and shower, 

And all in time return. 



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CHAPTER IV 



The life of our gifted friend was peculiarly a 
hidden life; while he exemplified in no common 
degree the christian character, he regarded hitnself 
as one afar off. He was a deep student of the 
bible and had formed a proportionably elevated 
standard of religious faith and practice. That he 
was accustomed to seek retirement for devotional 
purposes appears from frequent memorandums. 
He writes thus on^one occasion : " I went to the 
vernal grove — the warbling of the birds among the 
branches cheered my spirits and I found my heart 
much lighter than it would have been had I been 
disobedient to the heavenly monitor. O that men 
would taste and see the loving-kindness of the 
Lord; those who seek even faintly and in the 
smallest things to do his will, find a present re- 
ward." In another memorandum it is written : 

Ere on the ladder I could rise 

I had to tread the lowest round ; 
Just so the songster of the skies, 

He takes his pinions from the ground. 



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His chosen place of resort was a hill in his imme* 
diate neighborhood, and the narrow path by which 
he ascended to its summit was partially visible 
long after his decease. Here, forgetful of his daily 
toils, he could look abroad upon nature and medi- 
tate on her works ; and here he found relief to his 
burdened spirit, as seen in the following record : 

I trod the mount with toil and care, 
And every step was traced with prayer. 
I did not turn aside or stop 

Till I could see the glorious prize 
From Tabor's hill — ^from Pisgah's top ; 

And now the land before me lies. 
As with thy servant, Lord, of old, 

let it not be so with me. 
Him thou suiTered'st to behold. 

May I possess as well as see. 

He makes no allusion to the title which he had 
prefixed to his little domicil, except in a single in- 
stance. In writing to a friend he says : " We do 
not call this Rose Cottage, but Thorn Cottage, 

The thorn our early flower that blows." 

His cares and labors now pressed heavily upon 
him and produced a marked depression of spirits. 
He felt that he was sustaining an unequal burden. 
But there was a wise hand employed in all this. 
He who sits " as a refiner and purifier of silver " 
was intent upon his own work, and would not 
leave it unaccomplished. The germ of religious 
5* 



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sensibility, so apparent in all his writings, had 
been expanding and maturing, and in the absence 
of all human aid he surveys the field of promise, 
and gathers of its fruits, as in the following lines : 

ON FAITH. 

Have faith — and thou shalt know its use ; 

Have faith — and thou wilt feel 
'Tis this that fills the widow's cruise 

And multiplies her meal. 

Have faithr^and breaking from thy bound, 

With eagles thou wilt rise, 
And find thy cottage on the ground 

A castle in the skies. 

Have faith — and thou shalt hear the tread 

Of horses in the air, 
And see the chariot overhead 

That's waiting for thee there. 

Have faith — ^the earth will bloom beneath, 

The sea divide before thee, 
The air with odors round thee breathe. 

And heaven wide open o'er thee. 

Have faith — ^that purifies the heart j 
And, with thy flag unfurled, 
. Go forth without a spear or dart; 
Thou'lt overcome the world. 

Have faith— be on tljy way : 
„ » » Arise and trim thy light, 

And shine, if not the orb of day, 
Yet as a star of night. 



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Have faith — though threading lone and far 
Through Pontine's deepest swamp, 

When night has neither moon nor star, 
Thou^t need no staff nor lamp. 

Have faith — ^go, roam with savage men, 
And sleep with beasts of prey — 

Go, sit with lions in their den. 
And with the leopards play. 

Have faith— on ocean's heaving breast 

Securely thou may'st tread, 
And make the billowy mountain's crest 

Thy cradle and thy bed. 

Have faith — around let thunders roar. 
Let earth beneath thee rend — 

The lightnings play, and deluge pour — 
Thy pass- word is — a friend. 

Have faith — in famine's sorest need. 

When naked lie the fields, 
Go forth and weeping sow the seed. 

Then reap the sheaves it yields. 

Have faith — in earth's most troubled scene. 

In time's most trying hour. 
Thy breast and brow shall be serene — 

So soothing is its power. 

Have faith — and say to yonder tree, 
And mountain where it stands. 

Be ye both buried in the sea — 
They sink beneath its sands ! 

Have faith — upon the battle-field, 
When facing foe to foe. 



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The shaft rebounding from thy shield, 
Shall lay the archer low. 

Have faith — the finest thing that flies, 

On wings of golden ore, 
That shines and melts along the skies. 

Was but a worm before. 

It has been remarked by a friend that a selec- 
tion from these stanzas would form an admirable 
exercise in elocution, and then, when well treas- 
ured in the memory, the student may ever after 
find them a still more admirable help to his faith, 
on earth's pilgrimage, prompting many a success- 
ful encounter which he would else have declined. 

The quiet retirement of Thorn Cottage afforded 
little of incident Mrs. Sawyer, its aged inmate, 
was indebted to the benevolence of a friend in 
Boston, for many comforts which she could not 
otherwise have enjoyed — and towards this indi- 
vidual the warm gratitude of his heart found ex- 
pression in the following touching lines : 



The tree o'ershades the river's banks, 

And bends his boughs in graceful thanks, 

And offers all his fruits and leaves, 

To pay the tribute he receives. 

The waters, not to be outdone, 

Wave back the homage as they run, 

And show, depicted in their tide, 

A fairer tree than stands beside. 

The flowers adorn the fountain's brink, 



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And scent the sparkling drops they drink, 

And cast a thousand diamonds more, 

Of finer water than before. 

The thankless rush makes no reply, 

But grows, forever drinking, dry, 

Or only answers with a sigh. 

But born to drain its source and die. 

That flowing river, full and free, 
That fragrant flower, that fruitful tree, 
Phillips, while I view in thee. 
Behold the thankless rush in me. 

Mr. Knight was not permitted to continue tili 
the close of her life those kind attentions which 
had thus far smoothed the passage of his aged 
friend in her pilgrimage to the grave. A slight 
cold, too long neglected, resulted in a fever, 
which, 

" Not tardy to perform 
Its destined oflice, yet with gentle stroke, 
Dismissed him weary to a safe retreat 
Beneath the turf which he had often trod." 

Those who had been the witnesses of his patient 
endurance were ready to indulge the apprehension 
that he might be trusting to these virtues for ac- 
ceptance with God. But being interrogated on 
this point, toward the closing scene of his life, 
every such fear was at once put to rest. 

One of the friends who kindly attended him, 
foreseeing the probable termination of his illness, 
ventured to say to him : " You expect to go to 
heaven, should you be called to leave this world, 



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but how do you fexpect to go there 1^ " By the 
door," was his ready reply, alluding to the words 
of our Savior — a reply which sufficiently proved 
the clearness of his views. His spiritual vision 
had hitherto been intercepted, but now the cloud 
was in some measure dispelled* ** As the secret 
door in the ark could not be seen when the waters 
prevailed," so had the swelling tide of despondency 
and doubt prevented a fuller participation in the 
promises of the covenant Being little accustomed 
to communicate his thoughts, it was difficult to 
obtain access to the deeper feelings of the heart; 
but the index of the mind, in some cases, furnishes 
more conclusive evidence of spiritual discernment 
than the language of the lips. His frequent repe- 
tition of the penitential psalm, (Watts' para- 
phrase,) together with the short and comprehen- 
sive petitions which he was heard to utter, con- 
veyed a meaning that could not be misunderstood. 
The concern which he evinced respecting the 
spiritual interests of his aged companion, the ap- 
propriate hymn that he taught her, after she bad 
attained the age of ninety, and which she was 
heard to repeat on her death-bed— these and many 
other evidences might be adduced as corroberative 
of what has been already said. 

Mr. Knight was not a member of any christian 
communion, nor did we ever hear him contend for 
any particular form of worship, or for denomina- 
tional opinions or preferences. He was accus- 



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tomed to attend the village church where the fam- 
ily of his grandfather had worshipped. He seems 
to have had a settled conviction of the truth of the 
Scriptures, which led him to embrace them as a 
whole, leaving no room for speculation. Inter- 
spersed among his meditations are frequently 
found ejaculatory petitions, showing that he con- 
stantly felt his dependance upon divine aid. We 
give one or two specimens : 

^ In my weakness, perfect thy strength ; in my 
vileness, thy worthiness ; my lowness, thy exalta- 
tion." 

** Save me from myself, by thyself. Save me 
from all errors, all that is irrelevant, and make me 
such as thou wouldst have me to be." 

" Wilt Thou, who canst teach with such infinite 
ease and show with such admirable simplicity the 
roost difficult and complex principles, teach and 
show me, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen." 

" Grant me a right faith — a faith which will 
have a salutary influence upon my mind, heart, 
and life." 

The poor widow, now at the age of ninety-five, 
to whom he had long supplied the place of a son, 
and who had ere this fallen into the helplessness 
of second childhood, sincerely mourned for him. 
The day preceding his death she begged, with 
such childlike earnestness, to be permitted to see 
him once more, that her friends could not refuse 
the request She was supported to his bed-side. 



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and as she gazed upon bim, murmured, iu broken 
accents, ^^ Frederick, you have been very kind to 
we." And this simple tribute of gratitude was all 
that was paid to the memory of a man whose 
heart once beat with as high anticipations of liter- 
ary fame as that of any youthful student whose 
eye may fall on this slight sketch of bis history. 
And yet in the sight of him who has promised 
a reward to those who give a cup of cold water 
to a disciple of his, those few words were of 
higher value than the most unfading laurels of 
earth. 

His death took place on the twentieth of No- 
vember, 1849. The funeral services were attended 
from the village church, where many friends who 
loved and honored him while living united in 
showing their respect for one who, though among 
the last of his kindred there, bad found a home in 
many hearts. 

The few stanzas which here follow, written in 
a young lady's Album the year previous, seem 
almost prophetic of the event which awaited him ; 
while the serenity of his countenance, as the 
shadows of death gathered around, indicated the 
same confiding trust which he sought to inspire in 
the heart of his youthful friend. 

When the dark clouds of sorrow overshadow thy scene, 
And blot from thy vision the earth and the sky, 
As the day-star that breaks through the darkness serene, 
May the Savior salute thee, Fear notj it is L 



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When darker, when deeper, the waters come round, 
And thou see'st that the swellings of Jordan are nigh, 
May'st thou hear, o'er the surges, that ravishing sound, 
The voice of the Savior, Fear notj itis L 

For, sometime, the shadow of sorrow will come. 
One day in the slumbers of death thou must lie. 
And when the loud trumpet shall summon thee home, 
May'st thou hear this sweet whisper, Fear notj it is L 



FOR WE MUST ALL LIE DOWN IN DEATH. 

Well, let our leaf be green or sere. 
In beams above or shades beneath, 

Our severed lines are very near. 
For we must all lie down in death. 

Our pathway where it will may wind, 
By flowery dale or arid heath. 

Our several ways will soon be joined, 
For we must all lie down in death. 

Howe'er we move upon life's scene, 
With step composed or panting breath, 

There can be no great space between, 
For we must all lie down in death. 



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SELECTED POEMS. 



Mr. Knight addresses Ex-President Adams under 
the assumed name of " Simon Ides," desiring an 
explanation of some terms in his Eulogy on La 
Fayette, and adding, " Though perhaps the ob- 
scurest individual in an obscure village, yet in the 
benignity of your nature I trust you will send out 
a ray to lead me," — 

For I remember once, in Boston street, 

The younger Chathani I did chance to meet, 

Received, responsive to my rustic bow. 

The declination of your laurelled brow. 

So once, while piping on his oaten reed, 

The swain was answered by the golden-keyed 

Cathedral organ. And who knows but I, 

The least of all that lift a wing to fly 

Or voice to chirp, may wake on eagle's wing, 

Or, hoarse myself, incite a swan to sing. 

This little missive, sent with so much zeal, 
May draw an arrow from a bow of steel : 
My little gauntlet, cast upon the ground. 
May rouse a giant girt with armor round. 
The seed I scatter-— changing martial phrase 
To rural figure — ^after many days. 



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Though thrown at venture round my cottage eaves, 
May grow a harvest of your shining sheaves ; 
And Simon's sickle, sharp as Andrew's shears, 
Shall load his shoulders with the lordly ears, 
Return rejoicing from the wealthy plain, 
And fill his garners with your golden grain. 
If barely nodding Simon thought so fine. 
How would it cheer him to receive a line ; 
'Twould come in winter like a second spring, 
The trees would blossom and the birds would sing : 
'Twould break like morning on benighted eyes, 
And make midsummer in our frozen skies; 
The highest noon at which our planet rides. 
The cutoination of the star of Ides j 
A sort of epoch in our village dealings, 
Its flowery age and era of good feelings. 

And now, with high, sincere consideration, 
Too lofty language for a humble station. 
Your most obedient servant, 

Simon Ides. 
Rowley, Sept 27, 1835. 



Mr. Knight was tenderly alive to the sufTerings 
of others, from whatever cause they proceeded, 
whether from common infirmity or from self-indul- 
gence in any of its forms. A scene like that pre- 
sented in the following stanzas, attracting as it 
did the rude gaze of the multitude, could not fail 
to enlist his warmest sensibilities. 

LINES WRITTEN ON SEEING A BROTHER BARD ALIGHT AT 
A COUNTRT INN WHERE HE SHORTLT AFTER DIED. 

Pale and powerless, slow descending 
From the carriage to the door, 



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On his pilgrim staff depending, 
And his helpers leaning o'er. — 

Whose that sunken face and figure ? 

Stranger, dost thou love the lyre 1 
Look not with an eye of rigor 

On the victim of its fire. 

His the hand that's wont to wander 
Freely o'er the charming strings, 

And his spirit yet doth ponder 
'Midst their dear bewilderings. 

Come, approach him ; free from danger 
Ye may draw around his bed, 

Where a minstrel and a stranger 
Asks to lean his laurelled head. 

Come, behold him, youth and maiden, 
One of bright and early bloom, 

Weary, worn, and heavy laden. 
Blighted with untimely doom — 

Ye that deck the roseate bowers. 
Ye that dress the golden plains. 

Ye have loved the rural powers. 
And they loved his rural strains. 

Twin'd within his country's temple, 
Lies a garland fresh and fair : 

Let not foul detraction trample 
On the youth who cast it there. 

Ye who trust a gracious Savior, 
Come and bathe a brother's brow. 

Would ye know his past behavior. 
Ask — but do not ask it now. 



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To name a sufferer's misdemeanor, 
And the contrite to condemn, 

Is unkinder wrong and keener, 
Than the faults we see in them. 

Such as slight a brother's wailings, 
Whom the storm hath brought to bow, 

Whatso'er have been his failings, 
Sure your oton are greater now. 

When the clouds of sorrow thicken,' 

Oh, avert the coming dart. 
See the breast already stricken ; 

O, bind up the broken heart 



On the late tempest at Tenerlffe, by which the 
rock on the peak was overthrown and whole vil- 
lages inundated, and their flocks and herds, to- 
gether with several hundreds of the inhabitants, 
swept into the sea in one night. 

^^ Surely the mountain falling cometh to nought 
and the rock is removed out of his place. The 
waters wear the stones. Thou washest away the 
things which grow out of the dust of the earth, 
and thou destroyest the hope of man." 

Behold what sorrow in the very seat of smiles, 
And desolation in the elysian isles. 
This lovely valley, this enchanting clime. 
How could'st thou enter it a second time ? 
How could'st thou seize upon this halcyon breast. 
And stir up tumult in this isle of rest ? 
Where sat these youths enamored, and these maids, 
'Mid bowers of orange and the olive shades. 
6* 



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And thou below, sweet vale of Oratava, 

With trees of citron and with plants of guava ! 

Where the birds were singing 'mid the boughs in bloom, 

'Tis vain to look. Thou hast met thy doom, 

Hast bow'd in the blast, 

And stooped full low where his wing hath past 

O'er the waving wheat and the harvest hopes, 

And, ripe for the vintage, the vine-clad slopes. 

And, mixed with thj wild wailings, hark ! 

'Tis the crash — the cry of Columbia's bark, 

That safe arrived with her gallant crew. 

And came to lie down in the wave with you. 

Deserted village ! how could'st thou smile, 

Fast by the foot of that frowning pile, 

And trust again that traitorous spot ! 

Thy former ruin, had'st thou forgot ? 

Ill-fated people, deserted town. 

By the fire to bum or the flood to drown. 

And the rock that towered on thy snow-clad cone. 

That sat like a king on his azure throne. 

From his cold, cold height will look no more. 

Or with Atlas talk on the distant shore. 



To a friend sending foir some scions from the 
Cogswell place the accompanying lines were 
written : 

Strangers have stopped to praise and view 
The gilliflower of crimson hue 
Which sometimes tints the apple through. 
Could I like these young branches grow. 
And like them bud and blossom too. 
How would I fill with fruit and flowers 
This waste and weedy world of ours. 



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THE DISJUNCTION OF JUPITER AND VENUS, AUG. 2, 1826. 

Now far away with sunken ray, 
With feeble crest and saddened way, 
See Jove hasi left the star of day, 
And bids a long, a long adieu. 

While she, the queen of love, is seen, 
With pensive eye and placid mein, 
With silent glance she sets serene. 
And looks her last at Jupiter. 

Now without darts the queen of hearts 
Must win her way with wily arts, 
Increasing as her power departs. 
And vainly looks for wonder. 

And he forlorn, of glory shorn. 
His diamond dropped at eve and morn. 
Must go to meet the eye of scorn. 
And war without his thunder. 



THE CONJUNCTION OF JUPITER AND VENUS. 

Behold how fair, how passing sweet, 
When day's obtrusive light is gone. 

To see these lovely planets meet, 
And thus together sailing on. ^ 

She drops her darts and sits in charms. 
And he lays down his bolts and smiles ; 

He's no occasion more for arms, 
And she no farther need of wiles. 



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ON HEARING FROM HIS FRIEND OF THE BIRTH OF A SON 
IN FLORENCE, ON THE 17TH OF JUNE, 1846. 

How sweet to see such beams combine, 
As in that gem of June we find, 
And by the union more refined ; 

And virtues in this vale of woes 
New. beauties every day disclose, 
The only real thomless rose — 

That's fair at eve and fresh at noon, 
Sparkling with diamonds ere the dawn ] 
0, that's the rose without a thorn ; 

The only gold without alloy, 

The father's pride, the mother's joy. 

The beamy, bright Brunouian boy — 

All in my little Tuscan seen, 

Their form and countenance and mein, 

The fair and buoyant Florentine. 



Her gracious smile and graceful bow, 
His ample breast and placid brow, 
I can see them in him now. 

Sweet flower of Arno's lovely vale, 
Thy bloom, like Arno's roses, fair. 
Thy father's friend salutes thee there. 



SWEET SYMPATHIES AWAKEN. 
Addressed to Miss , of Marblehead. 

In this false scene of shadowy things, 
Each floweret still mistaken, 



• 



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What charm shall draw its poisoned stings 
Or sooth the spirit but the strings 
Sweet sympathies awaken. 

When musing deep o'er sorrow's stream^ 

Afflicted and forsaken, 
Oh, what can break the troubled dream, 
What but the bright celestial beam 

Sweet sympathies awaken. 

When sinking in the shades of woe, 

And joys and hopes are shaken. 
And every chord is faint and low, 
And deeper yet our numbers, flow, 
How sad to be forsaken. 

When dark above and deep below, 

And every star is taken, 
And wilder yet the tempests blow, 
And louder still the waters flow, 

The bark it is forsaken. 

But softer skies and beams prevail, 

And happier scenes awaken : 
The ship, though laboring long in vain^ 
May yet her destined port attain, 

Because she's not forsaken. 



'TIS SWEET TO SLEEP IN THE ARMS OF JESUS. 

These words, as repeated by a dying friend, in- 
cidentally coming to his knowledge, he wrote as 
follows ; 

I see — I see my Savior's charms, 

'Mid blissful forms and waving palms — 



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And long to sleep in Jesus' arms. 

what is this that thus becahns 

My halcyon soul — ^that sooths— embalms? 

1 sink to sleep in Jesus' arms ; 

No care disturbs — ^no weapon harms — 
How sweet to sleep in Jesus' arms. 

Thus sang the calm, departing soul 
While treading Jordan^s gentle roll, 
While balmy breezes, fresh and bland, 
The peaceful spirit sweetly fann'd, 
Where silvery ripples kiss the strand 
She grasps a smiling sister's hand, 
And leaps upon her father land. 
Thence borne to Eden's blissful charms. 
Her Lord's pavilion 'midst the palms, 
She wakes within her Savior's arms* 

So sinks to rest the dying swan. 
And sings the sweeter till she's gone — 
So that bright star, eve's golden eye, 
Lets down its lid as night draws nigh, 
To lift it in the morning sky. 
If sleep is sweet, when morn shall break, 
In Jesus' arms what bliss to wake ! 



THE BIBLE. 

To what shall I compare this book, 

Or where to find its likeness look ? 

To leaves that shine within a brook ; 

To golden sands beneath the stream } 

To stars, that through the darkness gleam ; 

The sun's o'ercast and clouded beam ; 

To voices heard 'mid ocean's roar. 



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To pearls that tempests cast ashore ; 
To earth's profound and precious ore, 
Or to the radiant gems that shine, 
And sparkle in the Indian mine ? 
No treasures of the earth or air, 
Can with this blessed book compare. 



TRIBUTE OF GRATITUDE^ 

AddrosMd to Hca. J. PhUUpi. 

While shallow brooks and slender rills, 

Derived from rains and little hills, 

Go tinkling on their way, 

As if they thought their noisy thanks. 

Would please the springs along their banks. 

As shallow things as they ; 

Detf rivers^ by the mountains fed, 

Exhaustless as their fountain-head, 

Roll silent to the i 



ON THE DEATH OF MISS JEWETT, OF ROWLET. 

In the noon-tide of love, at the mid-day of reason, 
With her hand on her harp, and its strings all in tune. 

She fell, 'midst the flowers and the songs of the season. 
To sleep, as was meet, in the sweet month of June. 

She has folded her wings, as a bird for her slumber, 
Being weary but wakeful, that watches the while \ 

So her spirit, still poising, looks down on our number. 
To cheer us, as wont, with her cherub-like smiie. 



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TO TEACH US TO BE BROTHERS. 

Mid dawning smiles and drowning tears. 
With budding hopes and blighting fears. 
Heaven opes her roll of mortal years, 
To teach us to be brothers. 

First sweetly breaks the vemal smile, 
And love and beauty charm the while. 
And social joys the heart beguile, 
To win us to be brothers. 

Then comes the gloomy winter's wail ; 
Drear sounds and chilling skies prevail, 
And common wants and woes assail. 
To force us to be brothers. 



A STEAM-SHIP AT SEA« 

how rapid its passage like things that have wings, 
'Tis a great iron bird, with its pinions and springs ; 
Now sweeping the ground as if learning to fly, 
Hereafter to mount and to traverse the sky. 

They are water-birds sure, when unfledged they so seem, 
And cut their bright paths through the crystallized gleam ; 
Napoleon-like now, with his horses and oars. 
Like Jupiter thundering, and flaming like Mars. 

A SHIP APPROACHING THE SHORE. 

That noble bark with swelling sides, 
That through the dashing surges rides. 
With silver masts and silken shrouds, 
And banners bathing in the clouds ; 
It's sure a castle in the air, 
Qr sopne gre^t monarch walking there. 



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The following is a description of the room and 
its furniture where the poet and his aged charge 
resided : 

Four windows — ^two in front to face the sun, 
And in the south and western end, but one ; 
The fourth, overshadowed by a shed too near, 
Lets in no golden beams to warm and cheer : 
With crimson wainscots, dull and faded grown, 
And time-worn curtains, deeply tinged with brown — 
Thence to the ceiling, all the space between, 
A hanging, traced with flowers and berries green. 
Not quite like vernal bloom or autumn, we, 
A sort of ice-plant and a snow-ball tree. 

A cherry desk — a kind of cottage shop. 
With cups and mugs and candlestick on top : 
A looking-glass ; a dumb old-fashioned clock, 
Like pale-faced nun, drest in her vesper frock : 
Two ancient pictures, clouded by the smoke, 
One, lifting Joseph, for the word he spoke. 
From out the pit intended for his grave. 
Whom God designed his chosen tribes to save : 
The after-Joseph and his wondrous wife. 
Between them leading the young Lord of Life : 
Two smaller portraits, looking younger rather. 
Good Flavel one — and one, good Cotton Mather. 



DYING FOREST. 

The foliage changes to a thousand dyes. 
The autumn makes its exit 
Like a graceful glorious actor. 
The maples stand like trees on fire, 
Their branches blazing, burning. 
And in flames expire. 
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MEDITATIONS AND APHORISMS. 



The following meditations and aphorisms, 
written by Mr. Knight at different periods, will 
serve to illustrate the devotional character of his 
mind. Those most intimately acquainted with 
him cannot fail to discover in them the emblems 
of his life. 

GOOD SEED ON GOOD GROUND. 

As the natural seed, cast into the earth, seems 
as nothing and to have no effect, but, in its time^ 
springeth up and beareth a beautiful flower or 
fruit, and these pregnant with innumerable seeds, 
which, being again sown, will spring and do like- 
wise — sols it with the word of God, the seed of 
all truth, cast and received into good and honest 
hearts where it may live and thrive. The natural 
seed, if thrown in the crevice of a rock where there 
is little earth or left on the open surface, cannot 
expand and grow ; so the spiritual seed, if it fall 
on the flinty rock of avarice, or amid the thorns 



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and briars of ambition, of sensuality, jealousy, 
envy ; on the precipice of pride, the sandy soil of 
vanity, or the barren heath of indolence; or in the 
wilderness of entangling cares, its growth is pre- 
vented, and it is thus defrauded of its heavenly 
fruit 



ON MIRACLES, 

What greater miracle than casting a few grains 
of wheat or kernels of corn into the loose earth, 
and seeing it in a few days covered with a green 
carpet or pierced and set over with sharp and yel- 
low points, coming out at the surface, and soon 
headed and bearded — ^then changing from a bright 
green to a golden hue. If it be corn, we observe 
it surmounted with a forked spindle and girded 
with golden rolls larger and stronger than its own 
stalk — ^tough, sheathed with many folds. And 
marshalled in ranks within, around a white and 
light rod or cylinder, are scores of apparently the 
same kernels as those cast into the ground. 

Does not the whole face of nature present one 
vast theatre of universal miracle — ^the surface of 
the earth changing its forms and colors, with 
scarcely less rapidity than the clouds in the can- 
opy above. And shall we exclaim against a re- 
corded miracle involving no more difficulty and 
wrapped in nd greater mystery ? 



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THE SOUL ELASTIC. 



Is not the spirit in man elastic like the natural 
air ? The more it is pressed the more it will sus- 
tain. We wonder that such and such a man can 
bear this or that. We do not consider its nature. 



BE CONTENT WITH LITTLE. 

Is it not wisely ordered as a powerful dissua- 
sive to inordinate desire, that we really -need but 
little^ and that it is so uncertain how long we 
shall need even that. How nature and the con- 
stitution of things accord with Scripture, and 
with the Lord's prayer, •' Give us this day our 
daily bread." 



A GOOSE GETTING OUT OF TROUBLE. 

I saw, on returning from my work, a flock of 
geese driven over a wall. One was left behind 
and could not get over. Meanwhile the flock 
were stopping in the road, with heads one way, 
all looking at their lost companion ; and he was 
trying to find a gap in the wall. At length he 
succeeded and over he toppled. Even Napoleon, 
returning from exile in Elba, sat not in his superb 
barouch with more grace and majesty ; nor did 
the assembly who came to salute him better wel- 
come his approach, than did this silfy bird, on the 



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one handj lift his wings and voice of gratulation, 
as he strode towards them, while the flock, on 
their part, with simultaneous step, marched for- 
ward to welcome him ; and with outstretched 
necks laid their bills across his head, in exulta- 
tion, as if to say, 

Though man oppress thee in his hard domain, 
We^re glad to take thee to our ranks again, 
We^l leave the pigmy to his sheep-shorn care, 
While our's the land, the water, and the air. 

With this lesson of affection and politeness, I 
went on my way. 

WORDS. 

What are words? No matter whose words — 
are they true? Words are powerful things — 
words are weapons ; are health and strength or 
life and death to the body and the soul. A man 
about to step into a deep pit, hears the word, 
beware^ from some one above or beneath ; he stops 
and is safe. " The simple pass on and are pun- 
ished." 

LABOR BLESSED. 

He that cuts his own wood is twice warmed, he 
that earns his own bread is twice blest. The labor 
procures and sweetens the food. Let him try every 
other method — send to the Indies for condiments, 
and he will fail. 



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LINES WRITTEN FOR A LITTLE 



This little sampler here I show, 
To prove the care my friends bestow ; 
So be my life when I am gone, 
A pattern worthy to be shown. 



ALL THINGS BELONG TO GOD. 

It is a great evil to look on things as our own 
and not to use them as stewards. It becomes 
harder for us to follow the principle of justice, 
owing to the predominance of self-love over that 
which we owe to him who made us stewards. If 
we only had a single eye to his interest and orders, 
we should not find it so hard to decide and to act 
in accordance with truth and justice. 



To suppose that the Almighty does not know 
our particular case, even our minutest wants and 
desires, is to suppose that we have gained gome 
talents which he did not confer, or gathered iii 
some vineyard which his band had not planted, 
or discovered some treasure which he had not 
hidden. 

CHRIST CALLING DISCIPLES. 

It was while mending their nets that the two 
first disciples were called. What a commenda- 



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tion of lowly industry and economy, and what a 
proof that men may hope to be found of Christ 
when engaged in their proper vocations. 

OUR PROPER SPHERE OF RELIGIOUS SCRUTINY, 

Without controversy, " great is the mystery of 
godliness," said the apostle who had been caught 
up into the third heavens. And shall we, who 
have not had these discoveries, waste the energies 
of mind and heart, given us to glorify God on the 
earth, by irreverently seeking out those secret 
things which belong to him, instead of seeking 
those things which are revealed and which belong 
to us ? Great men are not always wise. They 
may look far and in straight lines and yet be sur- 
prised by something unseen behind. 

INVERTED ZEAL. 

An active zeal abroad that is lifeless at home, 
is like the flame which we sometimes see issuing 
from the end of a stick of wood on the fire, which 
blazes at some distance from the wood, while all 
between is vapor and smoke. 

ABSURDITY OF RELIGIOUS SCEPTICISM. 

Controversies on the inspiration of the Scriptures^ 
are as if plants should dispute about the being and 
mode of subsistence of the sun^ instead of growing 
thereby. 



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TEMPERANCE IN ALL THINGS. 

I desire to thank God for two things among other 
innumerable mercies ; that I can walk with plea- 
sure while others ride, can fare pleasantly on bread 
and water, and wear clothing for warmth and com- 
fort, while others every day must fare daintily and 
dress delicately, to satisfy (which even then they 
scarcely do) a depraved appetite and a false and 
troublesome taste. Such persons have departed 
from the simplicity and health of nature, and have 
so infected it with artificial aliments, that they 
hardly know the felicity of its perfect state, the 
admirable harmony of its healthful operation, in 
either body or spirit. 

ON GIVING. 

If one feels liberally disposed towards a certain 
object and is sure that he would give freely, then 
perhaps he may give less — ^but if he finds himself 
disposed to give grudgingly, then he should give 
more, for there is danger of the current freezing up 
and he must keep it open. 



SWEET VISIONS ON A HARD PILLOW. 

Though we may have a hard pillow it is only 
sin that can plant a thorn in it. And though it be 
hard and lonely we may have sweet sleep and glo- 



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rious visions upon it. It was when Jacob was 
lying on a stone that he saw the angels ascending 
and descending, and glorious promises were made 
to him, 

THE CHRISTIAN ALWAYS AT HOME. 

The Christian is at home everywhere— always 
at his father's house and homestead. It matters 
not much whether he is in the hall or kitqhen, the 
cellar or garret, so it by his father's home and do- 
main ; he is the same son and heir, has the same 
associations within, the same sky over his head, 
the same ground under his feet. 

€ 

THE VISIONARY. 

Who is the visionary ? Not he who sees truth 
which others do not see, but he who seems to see 
what is not. Who is the credulous ? Not he who 
believes the truth, but he who believes lies. 

REVIVALS OP RELIGION A BLESSING. 

Revivals of religion are precious things. But 
some say, what are the fruits ? and where are they 
now ? I ask, where are the blossoms of the last 
spring ? Some are fallen fruitless to the ground — 
some have yielded fruit that is gone with the 
warmth of summer or the cold of winter. But 
shall we say they were not good in their time, and 



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that there are no good effects of them remaining, 
though we cannot follow and trace them in all 
their changes? If the thing is good then it is 
good to have it revive and flourish. 

PRAYER HEARD THOUGH NOT GRANTED. 

Is not God's hearing prayer, like a kind father 
or prince, saying, I cannot hear you in this, my 
son, but I hear you and shall remember you when 
there is some gift more suitable for you and which 
will better advance the interest of my kingdom. 
Does he not lay it up and regard him as a dear 
child and as one to be provided for. 

t 

THE BEE AND THE BUTTERFLY. 

As I sat by the spring whose waters run down 
in the valley, on Prospect Hill, a bee and a but- 
terfly came and passed before me. As I looked 
upon them, I considered their motions — how the 
bee, that is all body, flew much faster than the 
butterfly, that is all wings. I understood that it 
was the rapidity of the wings of the bee, which 
I could not see, and not of the butterfly which I 
could perceive. 

Moral — It is not the greatness of our posses- 
sions, but the diligent use of such as we have, 
that will best sustain and carry us forward in the 
buisness of life. 



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THE CLOCK AN EMBLEM OF THE MIND. 

As a clock dissected will be of no use, but put 
together, wound up, and set aright, will number 
the hours — so the mind, its faculties all dispersed 
and prostrate, is useless ; but collected and girded 
up and directed aright, it will accomplish its object 
and fulfil its high destinies. 

SERMONIZING. 

Composing sermons with the head and not 
with the heart, is like working at a dry pump. 

THE MOST PROSPEROUS NOT THE BEST. 

It is not the most prosperous, among mankind, 
who are the greatest and best. They that wear 
soft clothing are in kings' houses; but sages and 
prophets, saints, heroic hearts and gigantic intel- 
lects, have been in prisons, dungeons, and caves of 
the earth — in the depths of vallies — the solitude of 
mountains. Prosperity (says Bacon) is the bless- 
ing of the Old Testament, adversity of the New. 
Nor has it been in honorable stations that men 
have been most richly gifted with strength or wis- 
dom, or that they have been commissioned with 
the most important business, or have had the 
brightest visions of glory. It was when Moses had 
led his father's flock to the back side of the desert, 
that the angel appeared to him. 



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EVIDENCE OF A FUTURE STATE, 

Have we not evidence of an after-state in the 
misapprehensions of this — ^in the fruitless wishes 
and abortive purposes, that seem to perish in the 
breast without ever reaching their object ? 



BE GENEROUS, LIKE THE BROOK. 

A man ought not to restrain the goodness of 
God to himself, but pass it on to others below 
and around him, as the brpok does, which satu- 
rates its own bed and refreshes its grass and 
flowers and the mead contiguous, and passes on 
the surplus to do the like good to others. He 
who, by restraining the whole, defrauds others, 
thus defeats his own ends ; for presently the flow- 
ers and hedges of his mead are saturated, and he 
finds himself offended with its unwholesome va- 
pors and oppressed with a stagnant pond. The 
Lord will take it from him, or him from it, if he 
will not let it go. 



FAVORS IN ANSWER TO PRAYER. 

Of what infinite value is the smallest favor, in 
answer to prayer, as an act of recognition and ap- 
probation from the Almighty, to a worm of earth, 
if we could only believe it such. 



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THE SHADOWY VICTORY, 



Some persons think they have overcome the 
world, but it is only its shadow. So children walk 
in the shade of a tall tree, and putting their feet 
on the shadow of the topmost bough, imagine they 
tread on the bough itself: but it is the shadow, 
only the shadow. 



SELF-CULTURE. 

We may read much of the learning of others 
and hear much of the goodness of others, but after 
all, it is only by much self-reflection and much 
self-discipline, that we become truly wise and 
good ourselves. 

THE SLANDERER. 

It is an old habit of mine, when I hear one 
slandering another, instead of joining with the 
slanderer, to be thinking what sort of a man he is 
himself. I believe it will generally be found, that 
he possesses abundance of the same qualities 
which he is condemning. 

HINDRANCES. 

As trunks and luggage are great hindrances in 
travelling, so large possessions are a great hin- 
drance in advancing in the spiritual life — and so 
of the bed of down. 

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THE HOUSE FLY, 



I hare contemplated the common honse-fly with 
great admiration. Though one of the commonest 
of all insects, yet what an admirable piece of 
work; how fall and substantial, yet how agile. 
Who can touch it with his nimble finger? What 
a perfect piece of machinery. How tuneful -and 
happy. It takes itself up into the ambient air; 
walks up the perpendicular glass and on the under 
side of things, with the s^me apparent facility as 
on the flpor. With its playful feet it wil] tajc^ up 
(its bec^) as it were within its hap^s, i^oU: it; over 
and around, and throw tip its feetra^ a dupk when 
diving with its bill in the mud. 



A MIRROR, 

When I hear profane expressions from any one, 
I am accustomed to say to myselfy "how vile I 
am. As in water face answereth to face, so the 
heart of man to man." 



CHRIST AS MAN, 

I have sometimes thought, that we do not suf- 
ficiently consider the Savior as man — one of our 
fellows, excepting sin, touched with our infirmities, 
and interesting himself in all our little concerns. 
We place him beyond the pale of our sympathies 



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and companionship, on some Iiigher and remote 
sphere whose orbit comes not within the track of 
ours — ^whose influence we cannot feel, but can 
only gaze, and admire its nature and lustre^ Is 
not this an imperfect; view, and of very unsalutary 
tendency? 

MENTAL GRAFTIN0, ! 

Instruction is like grafting. We first see wheth- 
er the stock will take the scion ; and then we do 
not crowd in more than it can bear, and one good 
scion is even better than two in the limb or stock. 
Some minds will not take some particular science, 
and no mind willlkake all, just as no tree will bear 
all kinds of fruit. There must be some congenial-r 
ity, and the closer the better. It is wonderful, that 
a small scion will change the fruit of the whole 
tree, like a small rudder governing the whole ship. 
Hence the importance of the kind of instruction 
we put in, seeing it is to enlist all the forces of 
the mind. 

A DBVOUT ASSEMBLY. 

I should like to see, — and what a fine subject for 
a good painter, — an assembly of true worshippers, 
under the deep and sober impression of the spirit's 
influence, in contrast with one of our modern fash^ 
ionable assemblies ; and what representatiori could 
be more truly sublime ? and how would it shamel 
them and confound us to see the latter. 



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IMITATION PSALM. 

Dejection. 

1. My soul is solitary in the midst of people; 
it is cast down, it is desolate, it is alienated from 
my friends, it is estranged from mine own kin- 
dred : those that were born in my father's house, 
they have not known me, they have lifted up the 
heel against me. 

2. Amidst the branches, among the thick 
leaves, on the topmost boughs, beside the golden 
fruit, there they sit, yea they sing; those whom I 
knew in the hedges, they chirped with me in the 
vale, we tried our wings together. 

3. There they sing, they are borne on the breeze, 
in the clouds ; yea, in the sky their plumes rest — 
they glitter in the dawning light, they shine in the 
roseate dew; — ^like the lark, the lowest of all 
birds, whose nest is in the ground, yet doth it rise 
till it preventeth the dawn. It is the highest of 
all birds that go on wings. 

4. But I sit as a sparrow on the ground; 
I creep into the cold wall ; my dwelling is in the 
naked thorn. 

5. Because we are separated, they are become 
my enemies ; their eyes are bolden from me ; they 
have caused their feet to turn aside that they 
might eschew me ; when they come upon me un- 
awares foolishness is in their face. 



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6. They look with an evil eye ; their lip is the 
door of deceit. 

7. Because his countenance is sad and his 
spirit is bowed low, they say, we will lift up our- 
selves, he is forsaken ; wherefore do we look upon 
him ? it is well with us, it is well with us. 

8. They sweep by me as the water brook; 
they laugh among the reeds ; their voice is among 
the mountains. 

9. They leap over the distant foam and their 
joy is to be joined to the ocean. 

10. But my way is hedged up. The mist 
lighteth on my bosom. They love to hear them- 
selves run on the pebbles ; they love not to glide 
upon the grass, to mark the green meadow, to 
bring out the flowers in the valley. 

11. My voice danceth not in the sea, my song is 
not in the mountains. Shine, O sun ; pierce the va- 
por with thy ray ; scatter it with thy breath : break 
down the barrier — so I may add my whisper to 
thy power, my beam to thy splendor: as thou 
hast gladdened me, that I may gladden the droop- 
ing forests in my way. 

12. They shall pursue my path, shall fling over 
me their fragrance, shall adorn my sides; yea, 
even the flags and rushes shall look green at my 
approach, shall array themselves on my back, shall 
cast their leaves in my way, and be my defence 
and shield. 

8* 



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TRIBUTE TO HIS FRIEND; N. B. 

A man to love and friendship t^ie, 
Of liberal and enlightened view— 
O'erprone and prompt to do his part, 
Which proves his warm and noble heart: 
A frugal guest; but lavish host 
When his the trouble and the cost- 
But when it comes upon his guest. 
The least expense and pains the best 
Not very grave nor very gay, 
He loves a pleasant thing to say ; 
And rather of a sportive vein, 
And partial to the poet's strain. 
A man by nature well endowed. 
The pride of others — ^but not proud- 
And only in their praises loud. 
Of pleasing mein and easy air, 
Of ample forehead full and fair, 
And threads of silver in his hair, 
Like spices spiinkled here and there; 
A little relish of that age, 
"Wien man becomes niature and sage ; 
Perchance of two-score years and ten, 
For wisdom comes, if ever, then. 
Mind that's the harvest-moon of men. 
Precocious that which comes before. 
Or crude or rotten at the core. 



A. FIGURATIVE ALLUSION TO SAILING DOWN THE HUDSON. 

Alas ! the night for me is all too dark 

To see to navigate my little bark ; 

And I should sink — and, with my treasures hid. 

Should draw more divers down than Capt. Kidd ; 



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Still diving after, like those divers vain, 
The more than golden treasures of my strain. 

In writing his poetical epistle he is interrupted 
by the aged matron. 

She calls me, and I must come down, 

" Up stairs," she cries, " are you up stairs V 

Which means neglecting my affairs. 

My little parlor's in the attic. 

Or garret, to be more emphatic. 

From Pindus' top she calls me down. 

When just to bear away my crown ; 

'Tis not Rhonisted's friend,* I ween, 

Inviting to his rural green, 

Not Baldwin,* of the land so blue, 

My gentle Hasbrouch,* kind and true, 

'Tis no such voice that now I hear, 

That strikes my heart more than my ear. 

THE SUN. 

Now the sun lifted up on high. 
Fresh from the wave behind the hill. 

Seems sailing through the azure sky, 
All else how motionless and still. 

Save but the leaves and waters' play, 
How moveless, yet how glowing bright— 

The dew-drops in the morning's ray 
Still sparkling with the joyoas light 

Then through thy downy plume above 
We see them twinkling in thy train ; 

Thou leav'st them, tokens of thy love, 
Till thou dost look on earth again. 

*He refers to his clat smates. 



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THE MOOK. 

How slow, how solemn, is thy sway ; 
Social and lovely is thy ray : 
No^ as an earthly potentate, 
Thou hid'st from all thy robe of state. 

As one entranced I seem to lie 
And live and banquet in the sky, 
Embowered in this my azure bed, 
With diamond mantle o'er my he«d. 



ANDOVER SEMINARY.* 

Ascending once the ragged hill 
Where science holds her fair abode, 

And virtue's heavenly dews distil, 
I asked what handf these gifts bestowed. 

And then, how rich this fruit of gold 
That glows amid these living leaves, 

To each ingenuous breast unrolled. 
Which each aspiring hand receives. 

When afBuence opes her liberal hand. 
And virtue prompts the deed of love. 

With joy our grateful hearts expand. 
And angels strike their lyres above. 

*Wr{tren probably in 1811, wkea the brother of Mr. K. was, for a short time, 
a papil in the Seminary. 

fReference is here made to William Bartlett, Esq., of Newbnryport, one of 
the founders of the Seminary, and its most munificent donor. 



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APPENDIX. 



The following notices of the Cogswell family 
are from the pen of Mr. Henry Cogswell Knight, 
who has been briefly mentioned in the foregoing 
pages, as a brother of our author. Both of them 
published much, especially in the Anthology and 
other periodicals of their day ; and both have left 
much which is still unpublished. Among these 
manuscripts is an autobiography by Henry, from 
which these notices of their grandparents are 
taken. In addition to the interest inspired by 
their connection with the deceased brothers, we 
think this little account possesses an intrinsic value 
which renders it worthy of publication. The en- 
tire autobiography is written with vivacity and 
freedom, and could not fail to interest the curious 
reader as at once a portrait of the man and the 
times. We give only the opening pages. 

My maternal grandfather. Doctor Nathaniel 
Cogswell, of Ipswich, married Sarah Northend, of 
Rowley, and removed thither in early life. The 



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Cogswells were of Welch origin. My grand- 
mother was descended from iwo of the former 
ministers of Rowley, Phillips and Payson; her 
mother and the parson of the parish were the only 
two who owned chaises in town, when my grand- 
father first went to Rowley; hers being studded 
all over with a firmament of brass-headed nails. 
My grandmother was an only child, of landed 
dowry ; she died before my remembrance, leaving 
ten children. After her decease my grandfather 
married Lois Searle, a worthy and pious woman, 
who was the mother of four children ; making in 
all fourteen. Of the latter children, one went 
early abroad to seek his fortune, married in Lon- 
don, and afterwards settled at Cape Palmas, (City 
of Palms,) in the Canary Isles ; and another, after 
being graduated at Harvard University, and being 
two years tutor in Bowdoin College, was an ac- 
ceptable and successful minister, first in the State 
of Maine, and afterwards in Connecticut. 

My grandfather, when a young man — inheriting 
a good estate at Ipswich, where the " Simple cob- 
bler of Agawam" has left the cellar of his house 
in my grandfather's hpraestead — attended his medi- 
cal studies at Boston, for four years, under a Doc- 
tor Perkins, who was at that time intimate with 
Dr. Franklin. Dr. Perkins was a man of minute 
peculiarities, which were oftesn a theme of much 
pleasantry with my grandfather. Dr. P. lived, as 
was common in that day, almost entirely upon 



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broths and milk ; the rule for porridge being fifteen 
watere to one milk ; and to save time, the doctor 
would sometimes stand with his bowl in one hand 
and his book open in the other. He did not drink 
any thing at dinner for above thirty years. He 
would be very angry if any one of his family spoke 
to him whenever he appeared to be meditating ; 
they had broken the chain of his ideas and he 
must begin all over again. When he had perused 
a book, he extracted into a common-place all mat- 
ter that he cared about remembering, and then 
shutting the book, said he never should want to 
see that book again. 

In argument, he would say, tell me what is 
matter of fact ; as to what stands to reason, I can 
judge as well as another man. His " had we not 
better,*' was always to be understood as a com- 
mand. He graduated a pannel of his fire-place, 
so that the contraction or dilatation of his bell- 
cord served him as a barometer. When he han- 
dled the tongs, he would always project his ring- 
finger so as not io rub the ring. If ever there 
happened a discord in the singing at church, he 
would take up his hat and walk out. He would 
never shut his front door when any one was going 
past, lest it might appear as if he meant to shut 
them out. Lest his daughters should sit a mo- 
ment idle, he would have them hem a border of 
their handkerchiefs and then ravel it out again, as 
Penelope did her web. When he had taken cold 



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he would go out and saw wood until his blood 
was in a ferment, and then go in and cool himself 
by a small fire. In the winter, when he firsj en- 
tered a room, he would throw open the windows 
and would walk about his room for some minutes 
undressed before he got into bed. These whimsi- 
calities, together with many skilful operations, 
which he performed by his "secret art," as he 
called it, made Dr. Perkins quite celebrated in his 
day. 

While at Dr. Perkins's, my grandfather saw Dr. 
Franklin kill a pigeon with his new electric bat- 
tery. 

My grandfather, after his settlement in Rowley, 
did not practice physic, for which, by a natural 
distaste and a too great sensibility, he was ill 
fitted, but soon transformed the lancet into the 
sickle, and the drug-shop into the garner ; being 
much better pleased to inoculate a tree than an 
arm, and, instead of the pulses, began to calcu- 
late seed-time and harvest From the loathsome 
features of sickness he turned to contemplate the 
healthful features of nature. He considered agri- 
culture as the most independent and least respon- 
sible occupation, and was delighted not only with 
theoretical but with practical and experimental 
husbandry. 

Soon after he came to Rowley the apple and 
pear trees, in broad phalanxes or long rows of 
rank and file, began to rise around the few and 



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failing old continentals,* that had stood sturdily 
so long in their strength. Indeed, although he 
loved to read and to talk of the ways of men, 
farming was his passion. I verily believe that he 
would have gone farther to see an uncommon 
bidlock or an improved plough than to see the 
French Emperor or the Bridge of London. He 
delighted to busy himself in engrafting trees of a 
congenial nature into each other. How often have 
I seen him seat his tall erect frame in his arm 
chair, on an autumn evening, and his mild eye 
beam with self-complacency when he related to 
his little grand-children around him how he once 
had a pair of beautiful twin-steers, so exactly alike 
that be was obliged to saw off the tips of the horns 
of one, to distinguish them; and then, perhaps, 
how he once made twenty-two and a half barrels 
of cider at one pressing ; and then, moreover, how 
he onoe raised eight hundred and thirty-six beans 

*The first planters of Rowley, in 1639, were undoubtedly men of wise fore* 
east, says Thomas Gage, Esq., the historian of the town, in proof of which 
nc^ one of the streets at first laid oat has ever been materially altered. They 
were public-spirited men, and took special care to preserve fire- wood, timb^,. 
and ornamental trees, fi>r the benefit of future generations, as may be seen by 
their various by-laws. Coming, as they did, from the land of John Evelyat 
they brought with them some share of his love for trees, which has descended 
to their posterity. Some of these trees continued standing but a few year» 
since, being protected by said by-laws, which were as follows : For the pie-> 
tervation of trees in the streets, ordered, that no tree in the town streets f halt 
be cut down but with the consent of the selectmen, on penalty of five shillings. 
Ordered : that no person in the town shall fall, lop, or bark or girdle any tree 
on the north or northwest side of any house or house-lot, in the town, within 
eighty rods thereof, upon the penalty of five shillings for every tree so felled, 
lopped or girdled, contrary to this order. Tlie penalty for cutting down trees 
in the town streets, was afterwards increased to fifteen shillings. 

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from one common yellow bean, at one growth ; 
and finally, when past tbB age of man, that he 
connted one hundred and two stalks of bearded 
rye from one single grain, and one hundred and 
seven from another, the same season, the heads 
having an average of fifty-five grains each, making 
five thousand eight hundred and eighty-five grains 
from one. He then would rise and walk to the 
closet and produce the yellow stalks, in all their 
union and identity of root, and I have been pleased 
because he was pleased. 

Although a scheming, my grandfather was not 
an enterprising man, but was fitter io hold and 
improve than to acquire. He was cautious in the 
extreme, always looking at the ground before he 
trod, and was esteemed of more than common 
judgment. Yet I have heard him say that, when 
he first set out in life, he was twice deceived, his 
incredulity being conquered by plausibility. In 
the first instance, one General Glover, as he was 
styled by his coadjutor, of Bakerstown, in Maine, 
ofiered him a lot of land, said to be situated in 
said town. He produced a map and plan of the 
township, pointed to number ten, said a man of- 
fered to lay it down to grass for one half of the 
crops, that there were some trees upon it tall 
enough for a forty-four gun ship's masts, and of- 
fered a regular deed, attested by one of my grand- 
father's own neighbors, who had formerly known 
the man. After so much apparent integrity, my 



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grandfather paid for the land a low price, but, 
upon application to the clerk of the proprietors' 
records, no such lot could be found, and the gen- 
eral appeared to be what he was afterwards proved, 
a general but genteel rogue. 

In the second instance, ray grandfather, in con- 
junction with a neighbor, purchased of one Phelps, 
one quarter of a new township, within the territory 
of New- York state, for which he paid down, how- 
ever, but one hundred dollars, old paper currency, 
with an allowance to the man, for engaging to use 
his endeavors to get it incorporated. He wanted 
money in advance to purchase it of the Indians, 
and to obtain a grant of the legislature for a set- 
tlement This Phelps was a lawyer, and at the 
time deceived many intelligent citizens. I do not 
relate these facts as a credit or discredit to my 
grandfather's sagacity, but as facts in his long life, 
which he would often bring up to his grand- 
children as a warning against trusting too much 
to appearances. 

Unlike his only brother, Colonel Cogswell of 
Ipswich, who had for many years served both in a 
military and legislative capacity, he was ever 
averse to public life. Indeed he was too diffident 
and too much oppressed by responsibility, to covet 
any such elevation. I have heard him say, that if 
he felt himself qualified and the offer were made 
him, he would not accept the presidency of the 
United States ; and I believed him. Yet at the 



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news of Lexington fight, he equipped his horse 
and himself and hurried to Cambridge, where he 
remained until the alarm was over. But his heart 
and cares were all centered in home. I do not 
know that the radius of his travelling circuit ever 
extended above fifty miles from his own house. 
He loved tranquility and hated wars and rumors 
of wars, and thought that only by pride cometh 
contention. Still he was an independent, self- 
thinking man, inflexible in principle and active in 
beneficence. 

My grandfather possessed a mathematical rather 
than a literary mind. So naturally did his genius 
bend that way, that, in his latter years, he was 
unweariedly trying the ingenuity of all his little 
grandchildren and visitors of either sex, by some 
query or other. He would send one to order a 
back-log perfectly cylindrical, and ask another for 
a pin equidistant in every part from a straight 
line. He would tell one to turn the vertical plane 
of the toasting iron from the north to the south, 
and ask another to cut for him a sector of pie of 
so many degrees arc. He would make little girls 
learn to enumerate figures as high up as deccnde- 
cillions, and transform every piece of furniture in 
the hall into some geometrical diagram. 

My grandfather was not a man of taste, had not 
a spark of the etherial ; no imagination, no fancy, 
and but little relish for the belles-lettres. He would 
not go twenty rods out of his course to hear the 



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finest oratorio or to view the most superb painting. 
As for poetry, he neither understood it or eared to 
understand it. " What profit is there in it?" he 
would often ask, "why 1 would rather have it 
prose ; 'tis a flower garden ; pretty enough it may 
be, but of no use. I would rather hear the sur- 
veying-ehain clink than all the gingle in the 
world." One day he asked me what I was read- 
ing? " The Pleasures of Hope," said I. « Hope," 
repeated he, " hope would starve a cat." The 
only poetry that I ever perceived to please him at 
all was Dryden's Georgicks, and those he thought 
would be much plainer in prose, and he did not 
think these equal to " Bradley's Agriculture," or 
the "Gleanings of Husbandry." He had much 
practical sense ; a kind of intuitive perception of 
what is right In argument he would, as we say, 
lay hold of the handle, not of the hot end of a 
thing. His motto was, I wisdom dwell with pru- 
dence. He thought forbearance and charity to be 
the salt of society. He was ever tender of the 
characters of others, admiring the proverb, " If the 
best man's faults were written in his forehead, it 
would make him pull his hat over his eyes." 

He thought a man had better obtain a poor 
living by a reputable though low occupation, than 
a rich one by a disieputable though high profes- 
sion. He regarded the procrastinator as cousin- 
german to the squanderer. His counsel was ever 
to live according to your income not according to 
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your principal. He was economical that he might 
be liberal. He was ever remarkable for extending 
the hand and the smile of hospitality to his nume* 
rous guests. 

Throughout all his years he held fast his integ- 
rity, and was so afraid of wronging any one, that 
whenever obliged to sue a note, he would pay the 
costs himself. He thought we ought always to 
pay a poor man punctually, as we know not how 
much good it may do him, and it can incommode 
us but little. When he made change with a 
neighbor and a trifling advantage occurred, he 
would ever yield it. In a bargain, he was honest 
to scrupulosity. If selling a bushel of corn when 
his neighbor was not by and a few kernels drop- 
ped, he would sooner put in a whole handful than 
not pick up those that fell. This was not from a 
fear of injustice but from a sense of right; The 
following instance in a man past eighty may pro- 
voke a smile. When a student in Boston, he 
passed an apple-cart in the market, and inquiring 
the price the man handed him an apple to taste. 
He bit it and as he did not wish to buy, objected 
to the apple or the price and walked off eating the 
bitten apple. This, I have heard him say, troubled 
his mind for more than fifty years, and at last, as 
he could not know where to find the apple-man, 
if alive, he reckoned up the worth of the apple 
at compound interest, for the intervening years, 
amounting to above three hundred apples, and 



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gave them to a poor woman, telling her to pick 
them out herself and not to thank him for it waa 
a debt. 

He was not a proud man, but although digni- 
fied and in the presence of strangers somewhat re- 
served, he was fond of society and took a great in- 
terest in children who visited at his house, espec- 
ially if they pleased him by answering his ques" 
tions. He liked that young people should be rated 
rather by the embellishments of the mind than by 
the decorations of the body, saying, that new 
fashions originated in some tailor's shop, whose 
policy it was to multiply new coats, or with some 
fop, who strove to hide the poverty of his intellect 
by the richness of his garb. He did not yield to 
any changes of fashion himself unless they seemed 
to him more convenient 

My grandfather was a particular man in most 
matters. He thought it showed a want of respect 
to send one a slovenly written letter, as if a little 
pains were lost, and if he received such an one 
was quite oflended. " What, is not my time as 
valuable as his, that I must spell an hour or two 
to decypher his characters ? He would never leave 
his name on a blank paper or leave a space abpve, 
on signing any bond, lest it should tempt some 
one to forge a note upon him. He erected a large 
granary upon a plan then his own, though not 
now uncommon, to prevent the mice from enter- 
ing. He used to brand his horses' hoofs and his 



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oxen's horns with bis initials. He never borrowed 
any implement of husbandry or edge tools, but 
kept of every kind for himself, and was ever free 
to lend, provided they were punctually brought 
back. K any uncouth neighbor returned his great 
steelyards or his wire trap as large as a bird-cage, 
and forgot to thank him for the use of them, he 
would give him a good-humoyed reproof, by thank- 
ing him for bringing then! back. His garden also 
used to furnish half the parish with garden seeds. 

He was a singularly temperate man. That his 
food might digest nutriciously, his rule was al- 
ways to leave off eating with a good appetite. 
He took no ardent spirits ; he said, that for fifty 
years he did not know that he had taken half a 
dozen glasses of distilled liquors. He had no pa- 
tience to hear that a man could not break off his 
old habits of intemperance if he chose to do it, 
and used to propose various methods to wean a 
toper insensibly. 

My grandfather was a humane master, and with 
his family took untiring pains to ingrain his ser- 
vants into all serviceable handicrafts and christian 
morals. Of his colored servants I shall note but 
two, although he had many in the course of his 
life. Soon after his settlement in Rowley, he 
bought in Boston from a Guinea ship, for one 
hundred dollars, a little black boy about seven 
years old, whose African name was Coquie. 
Having brought him home late in the evening 



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unexpectedly, and there being no pallet in readi- 
ness for him, he was laid down in a blanket before 
the kitchen fire. In the morning he was found 
snqg behind the back-log, in the embers seemingly 
dead. His African name was changed to Peter.* 
He was very faithful and had his freedom granted 
him a little before slaves were freed by law in 
Massachusetts. 

One abiding grief to my grandparents, in the 
decline of life, was the continued absence of their 
son in a foreign land. At the time he left home I 
was a little lad, but I used afterwards to delight 
to contemplate his miniature in the parlor amid 
the encircling evergreen, and to hear that he was 
called by the poor, the king of the Island. Pre- 
vious to his settlement in Grand Canary, he had 
almost traversed the world in his enterprises, and 
during his years of absence had, at various times 
and from different countries, sent home to his 
parents and friends many tokens of remembrance. 
He had acquired a fortune and his noble emulation 
and perseverance deserved great commendation ; 
being the unaided artificer of his own success, he 
might feel a double independence. On his return 
to this country he purchased the fine seat built by 
Perez Morton, in Dorchester, which he afterward 
sold and removed to New York. 

*He lived to very advanced age, and during the latter years of his life re« 
ceived an annuity from Nathaniel Cogswell, Esq. His life was uniformly 
exemplary and his death was peaceful and happy. 



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In a life of domestic retirement few events 
occur in which a stranger would sympathize, to 
interrupt the monotony of years. After my grand- 
father became an octogenarian, he used to read 
Locke, and was able to superintend his twin-fold 
estate, in Rowley and Ipswich. During his last 
years, he was subject to sudden illnesses, and was 
nursed by his youngest daughter with more than 
Grecian constancy. A little before he died, as he 
was one day coming across the road from viewing 
his gillyflower trees, leaning on my arm, he said, 
with a melancholy tone which pierced my heart, 
" How old I am !" I soon saw his countenance 
placid and majestic in death. 

The key-stone that had so long kept the family 
together was fallen. 

He died at the age of eighty-three, having per- 
formed all the varied moral duties of social and 
domestic life with the most scrupulous integrity 
and benevolence. We believe that it may with 
truth be said of him, that he lived not only with- 
out an enemy, but that all his acquaintances felt 
towards him a reverential regard. 

His virtues were of the retiring and conciliatory 
kind ; his affections were centered in home, where 
he was peculiarly endeared to his family. 

He was born from one of the oldest and most 
respectable families in Ipswich, and his memory 
will long be cherished. 

His remains were conveyed to the village bury- 



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ing-ground, and followed by a numerous train, to 
pay the last tribute to their aged relative, coun- 
sellor and friend. 

It has been said, in the preceding pages, that 
the early settlers of Rowley were men of wise 
forecast ; we are induced to add a further passage 
drawn from Gage's History of Rowley. 

The founder of the first church in Rowley, Rev. 
Ezekial Rogers, was a native of Wethersfield, 
England. He received his education at Cam- 
bridge University, and officiated for some years as 
Chaplain in the learned, pious, and accomplished 
family of Sir Francis Barrington, who bestowed 
upon him the benefice of Rowley, in Yorkshire. 
Here he lived and labored with great fidelity and 
usefulness, until compelled, by the penalties of 
ecclesiastical law, to flee to New England. Many 
respectable families of his own flock, some of them 
of good estate, emigrated with him ; and he was 
commissioned by many persons of rank to find for 
them also a location in New England, where they 
could worship the God of their fathers without 
molestation. In the year 1638, he arrived with 
his little company, and selected that part of the 
forest lying between Ipswich and Newbury, as 
more eligible in point of extent and affording 
greater facilities to those who should follow. 
After a few intervening months, being joined by 
others, their settlement was commenced, and they 



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labored together for nearly five years, no one own- 
ing any land separately. It was at first called 
" Rogers' Plantation," but afterward received the 
name of Rowley, accorded to it by the pastor and 
his fiock. 

Thus this venerable man and his band of sixty 
families were soon busily employed in lighting up 
the wilderness, — erecting log houses as a shelter 
from the storm in the midst of the dense forest 
where this pleasant village is now located. 

So eminent were the puritans, and so eminent 
are their genuine descendants, as to make the at- 
tainment of a place of worship the object of their 
first concern. This was probably accomplished 
-in the year 1639, as is implied in an order of the 
Greneral Court. 

" What sought they thus afar ? 

Bright jewels of the mine ? 
The wealth of seas ? the spoils of war ? — 

They sought a Faithh pure shrine." 



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