Part 3 out of 3
Has in it but one tiny opening made,
And yet the many thousand inmates there,
Have better, purer, more refreshing air,
Than men and women, in close bedrooms pent
For seven or eight long hours, without a vent
To carry off empoisoned loathsome air,
That they are stupidly content to share.
If we could look within the hive we'd see,
Full two score bees holding tenaciously,
With firm grasp to the floor, unceasingly
Flapping their tiny wings with energy,
And as they fall off wearied, others come
To take their place, with merry hum,
And thus they work, without a moment's pause,
Exemplifying ventilation's laws,
By forcing good air to supplant the bad,
And so escape the consequences sad
Of poisonous vapours and contracted homes,
For which their heaven-taught wisdom thus atones;
Proving they are indeed, inspired to be
Exponents of the laws of Deity.
And if still further witness is required,
To prove what nature teaches be desired,
Let us in fancy's aerial chariot fly
To Bengal's capital, and once more try
To demonstrate from just another side,
The evils which infected air provide;
For it is just a century ago,
Calcutta furnished such a tale of woe,
As surely seldom has been found before
In any other country's saddest lore.
The Great Mogul of India had allowed,
The English to have factories endowed,
In certain parts of his dominion wide,
Which soon became a source of wealth and pride,
To those who laboured in them, and it chanced
That a barbarian Nabob on them glanced
With envious eyes, Suragah Dowlah named.
The tributary king Bengal then claimed,
And this barbarian monster, one fine day
Led a large army to the factory
Built at Calcutta, and so suddenly
Did he attack the place that the small band
Of a few hundred English could not stand
A moment 'gainst his several thousand men,
As they at most but numbered one to ten;
Defence was useless, so they wildly fled
To ships within the harbour, by hope led
To find a refuge there; several of whom
Thereby escaped a most disastrous doom,
But others were pursued and brought to bay,
Which formed th' appalling history of the day,
For in the wild confusion of the fight,
Above six score were captured in their flight;
These the victorious Nabob, had immured
Within the fortress prison, well secured,
Too well, alas! for the contracted den,
Known as the "Black Hole of Calcutta" then,
But eighteen feet in length by fourteen wide.
Could air for twenty men at most provide;
And there were four score odd strong, stalwart men,
Thrust into that abominable den;
Having but two small holes for windows there
For the admission of Heaven's blessed air,
Crushed in with violent brutality,
Shoulder to shoulder they stood gaspingly.
No room to stir in that accursed place,
They pressed in ghastly horror, face to face;
The anguish of the captives soon became
Greater than any pen or word could name;
The neighbourhood resounded with their cries,
Which all description utterly defies,
But as the night wore on, these ravings ceased,
As most of the poor victims got released,
From their most agonising pain, by death;
Whilst the remainder scarce had gasping breath.
Thus when the morrow's blessed sun arose,
It did a most revolting sight disclose,
A ghastly spectacle of horror, where
Were six score loathsome corpses upright there,
Whilst jammed between them, in the filthy den,
Were twenty-three more miserable men,
Who hardly could be said to be alive,
So fearfully did death among them strive
To make them all his own, leaving no trace
Of aught but spectre life in that vile place.
This dreadful history cannot fail to show,
How fatal consequences surely flow,
From disregard of the Creator's laws,
For these foul poisonous vapours were the cause
Of five score agonising deaths, within
The space of a few hours, from wilful sin.
Many such instances of equal weight,
I might from various other sources state,
To show what misery and direful woe,
From breaking nature's laws is sure to flow;
Whilst in the keeping of them, blessings pure
Flow in rewards continual and sure.
Then, seeing we have so much in our power,
Let us like the wise bees improve each hour,
Learn of so-called barbarians, to set free
The vital organs, to act easily,
And to defy dogmatic customs, when
They would enslave the intellect of men,
No longer nature's holy precepts break;
So shall sound bodies sounder minds soon make,
As such a course rich blessings surely brings
From the All Wise, All Mighty King of Kings.
* * * * *
Ingratitude! gaunt spectre of the mind,
That is to every generous impulse blind,
Offspring of nature's callous, cold and stern,
Where selfishness and censure reign by turn.
Hideous these spectres to the mental sight,
Black as the sable pall of darkest night,
As they await the summons of the mind,
That sends them forth to sting and wound mankind.
In cold response to acts of kindness born,
Ingratitude replies with scathing scorn,
Inflicting through these imps uncalled for pain,
And treating sympathy with cold disdain.
Not only torturing others, they invent
New tortures for the one by whom they're sent,
Inflicting most excruciating pain,
During their diabolical black reign.
Like you the picture, callous, selfish man!
If not, then shun its likeness, while you can;
Let truth and justice triumph over hate,
And rise triumphant to a happier state.
Displace the imps ingratitude convokes,
By love-winged sprites that gratitude evokes;
Open thy mind to kindnesses received,
And be no longer blindly self-deceived.
For gratitude has angels at command,
Which form an ever ready willing band,
To fly on missions of all-conquering grace,
As from their path those hideous imps they chase.
For darkness cannot live where there is light,
And so these imps detested take their flight,
Before the glories of this angel band,
They could not for a single moment stand.
And the sweet balm these love-winged sprites convey,
Strengthens and cheers recipients on their way;
Blessing the sender no less than the one
Who thus receives the grateful tribute won.
Besides, one good and self-denying deed,
To many others must in order lead,
And the sweet gratitude that they evoke,
Will other loving kindnesses provoke.
Oh, why should we refuse Heaven's proffered chance
To universal happiness enhance,
By doing unto others as we, too,
Would wish that they to our own selves should do.
If we could only make this law our care,
What untold blessings might we daily share,
For every effort through this guidance made,
Would be by heaven most graciously repaid.
One firm step forward in the right path makes
The next more easy, and fresh courage wakes,
While the sweet power of conquering bestows
Accumulating interest as it grows.
And so the proudest warrior is he
Who governs self with strict fidelity,
While the bright laurels which he gams will last,
When all earth's bloody victories are past.
* * * * *
We sing the praise of flowers, and justly so,
For from their beauteous petals blessings flow;
But there are other countless beauties yield
Blessings unnumbered in fair nature's field,
Suggesting happy thoughts and pure desire,
Inspiring us to string our heart's best lyre,
Constraining to contentment in life's race,
By making earth seem an enchanted place.
Nature of human pleasures is the Queen,
Robed in her own unrivalled peerless green,
Wed to the sun's all-glorious majesty,
Eternal witnesses of Deity.
Friendship with her makes one sensation full
Of calm delight, that heart and spirit lull.
Such meditative hours I dearly love,
They seem a benediction from above;
The beautiful, eternal as the true,
Affords through nature inspiration new,
Making each varying season of the year
A revelation fresh from heaven appear.
A lawn in gentle undulations seen,
Coated in verdure bright of emerald green,
Margined with belts of foliage 'neath heaven's blue,
With distant mingling woods of varied hue.
And mountains where the coloured _genii_ play
In azure purple at the close of day,
Is a grand spectacle of beauty rare,
Which is a loving, lasting joy to share
Whilst we remain unconscious the time's flight
Steals like sweet music on the ear of night;
So full of quiet rapture nature seems,
We feel suffused in peace as in sweet dreams.
Observe how graceful form and symmetry
Are blent in trees with kind utility,
Showing the Father's scientific care,
Is testified to nature every where.
The "Taliput" of fair Ceylon supplies
The shade required 'neath tropic orient skies;
Its leaf, impervious to sun and rain,
Affords refreshing shelter for ten men.
It also forms a tent for soldiers, and
A parasol for travellers through the land.
A book for scholars, a rich joy to all,
Both young and aged, and dear children small,
The cocoa-nut tree gracing Ceylon's fields,
Materials for daily uses yields,
Makes bread, wine, sugar, vinegar and yeast,
Cloth, paper, ships and tents for man and beast.
See the strong oak with boldly branching arms,
The delicate, light birch of airy charms;
The graceful, drooping elms like fountains play;
The stately poplar and rich chestnuts gay,
The sugar maples towering to the sky,
Like antique vases elevated high,
All charged with telegrams from God above,
In blessed token of His ceaseless love.
Yonder an avenue of graceful elms,
Fully a mile across the landscape swells,
Whose over-hanging branches form an aisle,
Grander than any in Cathedral pile;
Then the historic tree that was the pride
Of Israel's wisest monarch, that defied
The elemental strife that ages feared
To build the Temple Solomon upreared.
Cedars of Lebanon! how proudly they
In tens of thousands clothed the mountain way,
In age-timed friendship with each throbbing star,
A miracle of beauty near and far.
Now only seven of these trees remain,
Grand landmarks to the Arabs of the plain,
Who in their shade their altars consecrate,
And their umbrageous shelter venerate.
London has full six thousand acres laid
In parks, for public recreation made;
Paris its Tuileries, with Fontainebleau,
St. Cloud, Versailles, where lovely fountains flow,
Vienna its great Prater, Frankfort too,
New York its Central Park in verdure new;
Whilst other towns and cities everywhere,
Are vieing each with each such joys to share
All exercise important sway supreme,
On public health and morals felt and seen.
By their community of pleasures pure,
Which rich and poor can equally insure,
These public gardens with their lakes and flowers
Preach better temperance lectures than the showers
Of eloquence their advocates display,
On thirsting toilers of the working day.
They form a sweet oasis from the care
And dissipations of the city's glare,
Where families of young and old may meet,
And friends on equal terms each other greet.
A people must its pleasures have, and so,
Whether they're virtuous, poisonous, fast or slow,
Depend on the directing minds that lead
The city's councils met for public need;
So it should be our great concern to see
Our rulers men of whole-souled charity.
Let national be rational delight,
Made profitable to each class by right,
That public parks may be a joy to all,
Men, women, rich and poor, and children small.
That, as in Germany, the people may
Find healthful pleasures in them day by day.
Thus the class social barriers which the pride
Of Anglo-Saxon nations still provide,
May yield beneath more kindly pressure lent,
To make all classes happily content.
What worthier monument could nations raise,
To merit from its masses grateful praise,
Than such attractive parks to educate,
And morals, minds and manners elevate?
For lectures on home subjects, not too long,
Might be delivered freely to the throng,
Exemplifying the Creator's laws,
Which yield their just effects to every cause,
Whilst music in sweet tones of band and voice,
Might lead the congregation to rejoice,
As well to educate as charm the ear,
And many a saddened heart uplift and cheer.
* * * * *
TO A FAITHFUL DOG.
Dear Vixey! quadruped of noble type,
I fain would chant the praises of thy life,
Though words of mine are powerless and weak,
To sketch thy character, so brave yet meek.
Full of sincere devotion, without bound,
Art thou to thy dear master, faithful hound!
Thy love for him refreshing is to see,
For in him centres thy felicity.
When he is saddened or beset with fears
I've seen thy lovely eyes suffused with tears.
And thou hast nestled by him to express
Thy sympathy in eloquent caress.
But when in happier mood, and accents bright
He speaks to thee, what transports of delight
Beam from thine eye where joy and peace prevail,
Upraise thy ears and elevate thy tail.
Those solemn, full, expressive eyes of thine,
With fond affection and emotion shine,
As he permits thee to curl round and lie
Upon the sofa near him cozily.
Nothing will tempt thee to forsake his side,
Where thou reclinest, with delighted pride.
Vain are all efforts to divert thy choice,
Unless o'er-ruled by his beloved voice.
And whilst in Mrs. Mount's well-ordered room,
Where thou with him art dining after noon,
How knowingly thou dost inspect each face,
Where thou, instinctively, kind feelings trace.
If thou could'st only speak, what tones of love
Would pass 'twixt thee and him, thy joy to prove,
For surely never could affection be
Stronger than thine in warmth and constancy.
Serving each member of the family,
With true allegiance and fidelity,
Though chiefly to thy youngest mistress thou
Dost with affectionate submission bow.
Albeit, thou wouldst forsake them all to win
One quiet word or coaxing look from him;
Thy first obedient loyalty is shown
To him who thou so proudly count'st thine own.
No wonder, then, that he so prizes thee,
For such devotion and fidelity,
Which, even from a dog, can joy impart
To a despairing or a troubled heart.
Thy great, round eyes with eloquence express
Unselfish love and fullest confidence,
Almost beyond the power of words to tell,
When gazing on the one thou lov'st so well.
Dear Vixey, I conclude by sending thee,
Over the boundless, intervening sea,
Many kind words and pats by the loved one
Who thy fond, ardent, faithful love has won.
* * * * *
Self discipline and perseverance strong,
Effort on effort, with endurance long,
Make kings of men, who subjugate and sway
Stern empire over self each hour of day.
They, like skilled generals, lead on the van
Of thoughts progressive in the inner man,
And marshal well their forces, so to fight
That truth and justice be diffused as light.
Such constitute an empire grand within,
Raise fortresses 'gainst known and secret sin,
And thus become brave conquerors, whose deeds
Leave all the monument that goodness needs.
They form a true refining power on earth,
A high nobility of sterling worth,
Who, though oft poor in worldly riches, may
Far nobler thrones than those of earth's kings sway.
Triumphs o'er self-will, selfishness and pride,
Ensure a wealth of consequences wide,
Which gain the victor armour that shall win
Him further victories o'er self and sin.
But 'tis the will of heaven that each should keep
This armour bright, and sow what he would reap,
That industry unflinching, tireless zeal
Should to earth's workers rich results reveal.
Endurance disciplines to sympathy,
Which deals a death blow to cold apathy,
Making its owner ready to risk all,
And smile down obstacles at duty's call.
Kind gentleness comes also in its train,
Constraining men to serve those some would blame.
Patient with erring strayed ones far from home
Sternly severe unto themselves alone.
Then comes the blissful privilege that flows
Through self-denial, of assisting those
Who may through ignorance have lost their way,
Or blindly stumbled in the glare of day.
That charity translated into love,
Is of all graces foremost, all may prove,
Meaning not merely money, which counts naught,
Unless with sympathetic kindness fraught.
Intelligible to the searching mind,
Is the Creator's message to mankind,
If it with fervour study His grand laws,
Which prove that each effect must have a cause.
As naught material is lost in space,
So nothing spiritual can man efface;
Exemplifying thus the axiom sure,
That conquering love, truth, justice must endure.
So let each strive to serve as best he can.
His Father God, himself, and fellow man,
By subjugating self, and shewing forth
That justice, love, truth, peace, should rule on earth.
Then might that brotherhood which Christ ordained,
Be through the wide world practised and proclaimed,
As one grand creed for earth's vast family,
Of loving service to the Deity.
* * * * *
THE CENTENARY OF A HERO.
George Stephenson, the heroic son of Britain's hardy race,
The world this day holds festival, his grand career to trace;
And proudly as compatriots England enshrines his name,
Among her choicest heroes, on her cherished scroll of fame.
This ninth of June commemorates the glad centenary
Of him whom mighty nations hold in grateful memory;
A veritable hero he, worthy immortal praise,
And the most lavish monuments mankind may to him raise.
Out of the humblest ranks of life the Wylam pitman rose,
To a stern, irresponsive world great secrets to disclose;
And through the rare, majestic force of a God-inspiring will,
He forced the world his grand design and purpose to fulfil.
The poor, illiterate youth thus reared in penury extreme,
Could scarcely read or write ere he attained eighteen,
And yet, by the observant force of a self-guided brain,
He lived to benefit a world, and gain immortal fame.
Battered and forged by poverty, his iron spirit rose,
Unbroken and undaunted by the world's derisive blows,
Spurred on by opposition, through the sharp furnace leapt,
Strengthened and sharpened--a great power--this king of railroads stept.
His life work in his vast results will long outlive the fame
Of warrior, statesman, ruler, bard, and make his honoured name
An inspiration for all time to prove what can be done
By observation, force and skill--what deathless laurels won!
Take courage, sons of hardy toil, your iron spirits, too,
By stern, unflinching industry, may some wise forging do,
Which might yourselves ennoble, and benefit your race,
Who would in turn, with gratitude, your names delight to trace.
He sailed a trackless, unknown sea in the vast realms of thought,
Discovered paths to enterprise, with golden issues fraught,
Which lent fair commerce fleetest wings, and spurred the heels of trade,
And throughout Britain's pleasant land his iron highways laid.
Something there is in lives like these that stirs the soul of man,
With irresistible desire to do the best he can;
Like him, through dauntless industry, and noble, firm resolve,
To aid life's wheel of progress more smoothly to revolve.
Thus may his grand career inspire the multitude to-day,
Throughout the nation he has dowered all homage due to pay
To the majestic mind and will of him, whose honoured name
The British nation shrines anew, on the world's proud scroll of fame.
* * * * *
Dreaming before the cheerful fire,
Cushioned in easy chair,
Methought a troupe of fairies bright,
So blithe and debonair,
Trooped gaily in the dim lit hall,
With buzz of tempered joy.
Four little fairy maiden forms
Led by a merry boy,
In robe of ermine, crown of gold,
Dove-eyed Dora as Britain's Queen,
Whose brown hair sprayed o'er shoulders fair,
And wee feet peeped from satin sheen.
Clad in America's proud flag,
Comes Liz with eyes of blue,
Personifying with rare grace,
Columbia's goddess true.
The two right heartily shake hands,
By which 'tis understood
That they were pledged, come weal, come woe,
To dwell in brotherhood.
From the assembled groups around
They hearty plaudits won,
All feeling sure these nations could
Brave the whole world as one.
Then as the prince of Eastern lore
With mirthful mischief rife,
Comes Harry pressed by love to kiss
The princess back to life;
The eyes soon ope beneath his touch;
The maids in glad surprise
See the prince break the fairy spell,
And claim his willing prize.
Little Red Ridinghood comes next,
Crying in sad despair:
O grandma, what long teeth you've got!
What eyes! what shaggy hair!
In this case happily the wolf
Ne'er moved or spake a word;
Perhaps he was too much ashamed
To have his gruff voice heard.
Then to my wondering gaze appeared
Old goody in her shoe,
With all her numerous tribe that made
Her not know what to do.
And next a lovely belle who caught
All hearts as in a cage,
And bearing up her graceful train
A quite bewitching page.
Then the scene changed and nothing but
A barrel, labelled "flour,"
Appeared upon the mimic stage
In that glad evening hour;
When lo! from out the wooden tub
A beauteous little sprite,
Emerging kissed her tiny hands,
The household _flower_ that night.
Then 'round a caldron on a grate
To spoil the broth appeared,
Five little dainty fairy cooks
Whom _tout le monde_ now cheered.
Next came the awful family squalls,
Which Granny vainly tried
To stay with Winslow's stuff for which
Full many a babe has cried;
The stuff and rod were all in vain,
The squallers loudly bawled;
Granny, despairing, shrieked aloud,
And all in chorus squalled.
And now "the reign of terror" dire
Was pictured by them all,
Nestling most trustingly beneath
An umbrella tall.
And still once more the scene was changed.
The fairy sprites so bright,
In robes _de nuit_ with tapers lit,
All sweetly sang "good night."
Good night, I cried; why, how is this;
Things are then what they seem,
And these sweet picture-paintings here
Have not been all a dream?
For there's our doctor's pleasant smile,
There the kind brothers Gale,
And there the little happy group
Who tableaw'd each sweet tale.
There Arnold as a southern belle,
Who'd made much fun to-night,
There all the guests of Springbank too,
Applauding with their might.
Better than fiction, I exclaimed,
And crowning all the rest
Glad charity the prceeds had,
Making the pastime blest,
Thanks to ye, little happy ones,
Thanks for the vision bright,
Which with such zest and innocence,
You've given us to-night.
* * * * *
RECOLLECTIONS OF FONTAINEBLEAU.
Well I remember, many years ago,
Deep in the forest shade of Fontainebleau,
With six dear girls in lovely virgin prime,
Partaking of its rural joys sublime.
Sue, Polly, Edith, Amy, Maud,
Dear girls, whom no one could but love and laud;
I like a mother to them tried to be,
We were, in truth, a happy family.
Far from our homes, in foreign lands we strayed;
In Paris for twelve months our quarters made,
Studying most earnestly, serenely gay,
In the good _pension_ of Madame Rey.
We visited the Palace, and roamed through
Its storied chambers and trim gardens, too,
And lingered by the fish pond where, 'twas claimed,
Poor Marie Antoinette the fishes tamed,
And then into the lovely forest sped,
With simple meal of ripe fruit, meat and bread,
Which we discussed with appetites made keen
By games and frolic on the meadow green.
The over-hanging wealth of summer trees
Were swayed by Zephyr's stimulating breeze,
While the sun's ardent glances played between
The joy-tossed leaves and frolicked on the green.
Wearied with a long ramble we reclined
Beneath the waving foliage, glad to find
A spot so lovely for a needful rest,
Feeling by nature there supremely blest.
Reclining 'neath the sun's inspiring kiss,
We felt by nature soothed to peaceful bliss,
Too great for human utterance of word,
Though our whole being was to rapture stirred.
Thus in a dumb delight our thoughts took wing,
In grateful homage to fond nature's king,
With newly waken'd resolutions blest,
During that hour of blessed, peaceful rest;
And when at length we from the sweet trance woke,
What joyful exclamations from us broke!
As all in one rich harmony agreed,
We felt from every earthly burden freed.
Then, coming on a lovely forest glade,
By a clear, purling brook refreshing made,
We sat upon some rocks that tempting lay,
Full in the smile of the sun's chastening ray,
And its full glory rested on the hills,
Falling on lonely brooklets, streams and rills,
While the West glowed with blazing, crimson fires,
Kindled to emulate divine desires.
The sun-lit glory streaming from the West
Lulled us once more to tranquil, joyous rest,
When, with a silent wonder, we espied
Most lovely lizards o'er the smooth stones glide.
Doubtless the pretty creatures were lured forth
By the supernal love light flooding earth,
And in rich robes, with gorgeous colours bright,
Were joining nature's transports of delight;
For 'twas the tranquilizing sunset hour,
When the great sun-god concentrates his power,
To spread refining influence and show
His colour painting to the earth below.
And thus refreshed, we bent our homeward way,
Strong in the gladdening influence of the day,
Gathering bright wreaths of wild flowers rare, to be
Mementoes of the day's felicity.
* * * * *
THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS FLOWER SHOW.
What wealth of floral beauty, fresh from bright summer bowers!
What exquisite commingling of lovely fragrant flowers!
What budlets of rich promise, what hope-set leaves are here,
Grouped with rare skill and elegance--the eye and heart to cheer!
Bright flowers of humble beauty, from forest, wood, and glade,
Stand by their wealthier cousins, in innocence arrayed,
And blending with rich blossoms the graceful maidenhair,
Spreads far its fairy frondlets, to woo the joyful air.
And roses, too, sweet roses, gems of dear England's soil,
Welcomed alike in palace as in the cot of toil;
Tender and soft their tintings, as gentle maiden's blush,
Soothing their perfumed breathings, as twilight's mystic hush.
Fruits ripened rich and luscious, sore tempters to each sense.
And vegetables--divers, well cultured, and immense;
All in full life and vigour, delightful to behold
The produce of old England's well cultivated mould.
These fruits so rare and luscious, these gorgeous flowerets gay.
These graceful gems of verdure--delighting us to-day
Are tender loving tokens, fresh from the living sod,
Of the surpassing wisdom and boundless love of God.
* * * * *
* * * * *
_The first volume_ of HOME LYRICS _was published during the life of the
authoress, in 1876, receiving, amongst others, comments from the press
From the _Morning Post_, Jan. 4th, 1877.
The mantle of Mrs. Hemans may be said to have descended on Mrs. H. S.
Battersby. She infuses into her poems the ardour of home affection; her
faith is pure, and her hope unswerving. Many of her verses have
inspiration from the clear, bracing air of Canadian skies. She loves the
grandeur of nature; lofty rocks and waterfalls; forests whitened with
snows, and vast frozen lakes, smooth as polished marble, and solid as
granite. He who delights in the fauna and flora of nature has in every
"Which the eye of Heaven visits."
a library fruitful of study and a pursuit which is innocent and
healthful. Mrs. Battersby deduces a moral lesson in her spirited lines
"To the Chaudiere Falls, Canada"--
"Oh, wild rolling waters; oh, white-crested foam,
I, too, would press onward, right on to my home;
Like thee, with stern purpose, let nothing impede,
Or cause me to falter in courage or speed.
"My mission, like thine, is right onward to go,
Though tempests be raging and dark waters flow,
Oh, might I, like these, with firm, resolute voice,
Through dangers, and even through tempests, rejoice!"
But the author reserves her warmest welcome and her loudest notes of
praise for the charming scenery of her native land. "Beautiful Malvern"
is dearer to her heart than the most romantic regions in Europe. More
beloved than the snow-capped grandeur of the Alps, than the castle
crowned Rhine, enshrined in the stanzas of a hundred poets, Helvetia's
dark gorges, and the silvery cascade of Giessbach, calm Chamounix, and
the gloomy dungeons and stake of the Castle of Chilon.
"All these wonders of nature and wonders of mind,
With their thousand attractions of beauty combined,
Have served but to strengthen my fond love for thee,
And make thee, dear Malvern, still dearer to me."
This supports the quaint remark of a tourist that one of the great
delights of travelling is the thought and anticipated pleasure of coming
home again. From the subjects chosen for many of her poems the author
has evidently made appeal rather to the narrow circle of her own near
relations and friends than to that ever-increasing one which is
expressed by the phrase of the "reading public." She writes thus in her
preface, the brevity of which is much to be commended:--"They are
published chiefly for the author's dear children, relations, and valued
friends, to whose hearths and hearts it is hoped that they will,
as HOME LYRICS, readily find their way."
In "A Painful History," Mrs. Battersby speaks boldly out against one of
our social inequalities, which she sensibly and very justly denounces.
All men of true honour must accept and endorse her verdict. Hood treats
the same theme with all the tenderness of his fine sensitive nature, and
with all that exquisite harmony which his refined muse had at ready
command. HOME LYRICS is a charming little volume of poems, full of
sincerity, grace, and devotional feeling.
* * * * *
From the _Tunbridge Wells Gazette_.
"One of the prettiest collections of poems we know of. It is very nicely
printed, and the poems will be found to have a large amount of poetry in
them. A more suitable present to a young friend we do not think could be
found than this volume."
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From the _Western Times_, Jan. 2nd, 1877.
Poetry will never die while there are Hearts and Homes. The poetical
spirit of this accomplished lady has hovered over that sacred spot,
Home, sweet Home, and there sung, like the Bethlehem angels, those sweet
melodies of love. They are published, she tells us "chiefly for the
author's dear children, relatives and valued friends, to whose hearths
and hearts it is hoped that they will, as Home Lyrics, readily find
their way." It is a fortune all its readers will wish it, where the gems
under the gold-lettered, crimson covers will be often inspected, and the
neat volume often made a Christmas or a New Year's gift.
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From the _Tunbridge Wells Gazette_, July, 7th, 1876.
Under this title will shortly be published a volume of poems.
We have seen the author's proofs and can testify to the depth
of feeling and mature thought, together with the telling language
brought to bear in working out many of those homely scenes
upon which the heart delights to dwell, as well as others of a
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From the _Tunbridge Wells Gazette_, Sept. 1st, 1876.
This book, by H. S. Battersby, the issue of which we announced a short
time ago, has been published, and forms a very handsome volume. We have
before referred to the diversified character of the poems thus collated,
in fact several of them have appeared in our columns; suffice it now to
say that the general topics selected are of a pleasing character, simple
rather than striking, yet effectively thought out in excellent
composition. As its name denotes, it is chiefly the mirror of home
attributes, and thoughts, and feelings, and what is more calculated to
engross the attention of a thoughtful mind than such irresistible
appeals, all the more attractive from their natural bearing and
ingenious meaning! To the lover of poetical thought the volume will be
welcome, while the general reader will find much that cannot fail to
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From the _Worcestershire Chronicle_, Sept. 9th, 1876.
The above is an appropriate title for a volume of poems in which events
occurring within the domestic circle are largely, but by no means
exclusively, dealt with by the authoress, who explains, in a modest and
brief preface, that the poems are published chiefly for "dear children,
relatives, and valued friends." To many of these, no doubt, most of the
effusions contained in this volume will have a personal interest,
especially as the verses are written with much feeling and natural
truth, which will be sure to elicit sympathy. But there are other poems
which will interest the general reader, especially if he or she has
travelled much, as the authoress has jotted down in verse her thoughts
upon many of the numerous places she has visited. Amongst these is
Malvern, with which town and the hills Mrs. Battersby seems particularly
pleased, if not quite enthusiastic. There is "A Welcome to Malvern,"
after years of absence, which clearly demonstrates this; then the
delightful prospect from the "Beacon" is discoursed upon; and, later on
appear a few verses on "St. Ann's Well," followed by "Farewell to
Malvern," in which, after references to the pleasant locality, the Abbey
Church, and the Promenade Gardens, there occurs the following verse:
And then, 'tis the home of a man of rare fame,
Rare talents, rare worth, Dr. G----y, by name,
Whose wonderful skill and refinement combined
Administers (_sic_) balm to the body and mind.
This, we apprehend, was written and published prior to the disclosures
in the Bravo case, in which Dr. G----y cut such a very sorry figure.
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From the _Western Daily Mercury_, August 24th, 1876.
We are pleased to find that a second edition of Mrs. Battersby's poems
has been called for; they really contain some very excellent verse, the
offspring of a mind far superior to that of the ordinary rhymester. We
have always had a good deal of sympathy for the Moon and the Sea,
because they are generally the first victims of every "poet's" misguided
pen; it was, therefore, an intense relief to find that Mrs. Battersby's
lyrics on these subjects are quite readable; indeed, the lines to the
Sea are exceedingly pretty and full of original ideas. The volume
contains a few weak pieces, which might have been omitted with
advantage. Of these is a "Farewell to Malvern," from which we extract
the following verse, as being somewhat interesting at the present time:--
And then, 'tis the home of a man of rare fame,
Rare talents, rare worth, Dr. G----y by name,
Whose wonderful skill and refinement combined
Administers balm to the body and mind.
Mrs. Battersby says she prints this book for her relatives and friends,
and of the latter we are sure it will make a great number.
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From the _East Sussex News_, September 1st, 1876.
HOME LYRICS, by H. S. Battersby, is a small but neat volume of
miscellaneous poems, published by Messrs. Ward, Lock and Tyler, Warwick
House, Paternoster Row. The authoress states that the poems have been
written at various times and under various circumstances, and several of
them have already appeared separately in the columns of journals as
occasional contributions. The versification is good and the true spirit
of poetry runs through the volume. Mrs. Battersby's descriptions of
scenery in Canada as well as in this country are very pleasing, and the
language employed is evidently that of a devout Christian. These HOME
LYRICS should find their way to many hearths and hearts.
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From the _Hampshire Advertiser_, August 26th, 1876.
This is a pretty volume of poems, written, as the preface informs us,
at various times and under different circumstances. They also vary in
merit, but the same kindly sentiment runs through the whole, and they
will be welcome at many a fireside on account of the sympathy they
manifest with home life. In the descriptions of scenery a warm
admiration is manifested for the beauties of nature, but the chief
attraction of these LYRICS lies in the interest they impart to the
ordinary incidents of life.
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From the _Broad Arrow_, August 26th, 1876.
There is a homely look about friend Hannah's photographic frontispiece
which bids us look beyond the title page. Anything that appeals to
_home_ sympathies must ever find a welcome from the soldier and
sailor, too often thought to be the light and airy citizen of the world,
but ever in his inmost heart yearning, amidst duty and glory, for
_home_. Our poetess shadows out a great and grand home sentiment in
"O vast, mysterious, solemn sea,
Great reflex of the Deity;
Safe in the hollow of His hand
Doth all thy waste of waters stand."
Indian Indra and Teutonic Thurmor alike bow in acknowledgment of the
truth of this conception.
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Extract from the _Tunbridge Wells Gazette_, 7th July, 1876.
Under this title has been published a volume of original poems. We can
testify to the depth of feeling and mature thought, together with the
telling language brought to bear in working out many of those homely
scenes upon which the heart delights to dwell, as well as others of a
* * * * *
Extract from _Pioneer_, Allahabad, 9th June, 1877.
HOME LYRICS.--_London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, Warwick House,
It is not surprising that this handsomely got-up book of poetry, gilt
edged, and printed on toned paper, should have passed into a second
edition. It would be difficult to find a work more adapted for a
"present" than Mrs. Battersby's HOME LYRICS; for, while far removed from
those hateful goody-goody collections of "poetry," which perplex and
distress the unfortunate reader, her verses are tinged with a deep,
religious earnestness which may find an echo in any well balanced mind.
This very earnestness, in fact, is the most noticeable point in the
whole of the detached pieces which go to make up the volume. Apart from
the mechanism of the verses, which might readily be made to work more
smoothly, there is found a rare amount of originality in the pieces and
an enthusiastic admiration for Nature and Nature's wonders which finds
expression in various outbursts, more or less poetical. Whether singing
of the "proud hills of Malvern" or inditing blank verse in face of the
Horse Shoe Falls at Niagara, the author is equally at home, inasmuch as
she is always under the influence of a keen appreciation of the
sublimity and beauty of natural objects. The following "Hymn to Nature"
will give an exact idea of the merits and defects of her style:--
"Dear Nature, how I love thee,
In all thy varied forms,
Through which the God of beauty
Thy loveliness adorns.
Pure fount of gushing gladness,
From spring of heavenly birth,
Whose living Waters flow for
The children of the earth.
"Crowned by soft, beauteous moonbeams
Of holy, silver light,
Types of that ancient pillar
That led the hosts by night--
Kissed by fond golden sunbeams
Of love-streams from on high,
Well may thy glad song ever
Fill the wide earth and sky."
To those who can enjoy the quiet and peaceful side of life with only an
occasional glimpse of its stern realities, these LYRICS will be very
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