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A Holiday Gift
BY MISS SARAH S. MOWER.
The Authoress of “THE SNOW-DROP” has been misfortune’s child. Disease laid its relentless hand upon her in early childhood. It deprived her of a common school education and the world’s sweet intercourse. Such has been its nature, that, except on one occasion, she has not been able to leave home for more than six years.
“THE SNOW-DROP” would never have appeared had not life’s wintry hour given it birth! It was written to beguile tedious time. Winds, as they played through groves that surround her aged father’s retired and humble dwelling, sweet songsters, as they caroled from spray to spray, and the ripple of the Androscoggin, as it glided past, to her ear, were nature’s sweet minstrels, that cheered her heart in solitude and inspired _her, too,_ to attempt the artless strains of nature.
This little work, at the suggestion of her friends, is presented and dedicated to the benevolent public, humbly hoping and trusting that it may give pastime to the leisure hour, impress more fully moral and religious sentiment, and afford some little return for the thought she has bestowed upon it.
Sweet little unassuming flower,
It stays not for an April shower, But dares to rear its tiny head,
While threat’ning clouds the skies o’erspread.
It ne’er displays the vain desire
To dress in flaunting gay attire; No purple, scarlet, blue, or gold,
Deck its fair leaves when they unfold.
Born on a cold and wintry night,
Its flowing robes were snowy white; No vernal zephyrs fan its form–
It often battles with the storm.
It never drank mild summer’s dew,
But chilling winds around it blew; And hoary frost his mantle spread
Upon the little snow-drop’s bed.
I love this modest little flower;– It comes in desolation’s hour
The barren landscape’s face to cheer, When none beside it dares appear.
Just like the friend, whose brightest smile Is spared, our sorrows to beguile;
Who like some angel from the sky, When needed most, is ever nigh–
To pluck vile slander’s envious dart From out the wounded, bleeding heart,
And raise from earth the drooping head When all our summer friends are fled.
And shall these humble pages dare
Presume to ask, if they compare
With that fair, fragrant, precious gem, Plucked from cold winter’s diadem?
‘Tis true both struggled into life, Through scenes of sorrow, care and strife; This poor, frail, intellectual flower
Was reared in no elysian bower.
No ray of fortune on it shone,–
It forced its weary way alone;
Up-springing from the barren sod, Untilled, save by affliction’s rod.
[Footnote 1: A white, fragrant flower, the earliest that appears.–_Language_.–“I am not a summer friend.”]
MY BIRTH PLACE
Where “old Blue” mountain’s healthful breeze Swept o’er the green hill-side,
My little fragile bark was launched On life’s uncertain tide.
There verdant fields and murm’ring brooks Invited me to roam;
Old towering trees their heads upreared Around my quiet home.
When morn unveiled her blushing face, The sun came peeping in;
His quiv’ring beams upon the wall, Checked by the leafy screen.
Oft in some sweet sequestered dell, The blushing flow’ret smiled;
And threw around a pleasing spell, For me, an artless child.
The fragrant blossom peeping up,
From out the mossy sod,
Caused my young thoughts from earth to rise And soar to nature’s God.
In summer, when I wandered forth,
Beneath the deep green shade,
Or when mild autumn walked the rounds, In gorgeous robes arrayed–
Music, in nature’s softest strains, Stole through my little breast;–
‘Twas something I could not define, Nor could it be expressed.
While some admire the pompous pile, Or glitt’ring, costly dome,
I’d gaze upon those ancient trees, Round that sweet rural home.
THE OAK AND THE RILL:
OR, INDOLENT WEALTH AND HONEST LABOR.
COMPOSED FOR THE FRANKLIN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
To find employment for my pen,
I wandered from the haunts of men, And sought a little rising ground,
With lofty oaks and elm trees crowned, Where I might court the friendly muse, Who ever thinks herself abused
When woo’d ‘midst tumult, noise and strife, And all the busy cares of life.
With senses quite absorbed in thought, While all beside seemed half forgot,
I wandered on till I had strayed
Beneath an oak tree’s ample shade, Whose lofty top towered up so high,
It seemed aspiring for the sky.
Just at the basement of the hill, A modest little purling rill
Shone like a mirror in the sun,– Flashing and sparkling as it run.
The lofty oak scarce deigned to look Upon the little murm’ring brook,
But tossed his head in proud disdain, And thus began his boasting strain:–
“I’ve lived almost since time began, The friend and favorite of man;
Since I became a stately tree,
Cradled within my branches, lay
The young pappoose, who gayly smiled, And listened to the music wild
That floated round his tiny head, While through my top the breezes played. In after years to me he came,
When wearied in pursuit of game;
He from my branches plucked his bow, To slay the deer and buffalo;
Here, with his friends, he’d often meet To sing the war-song, dance, and eat.
‘Twas here he woo’d the dark-eyed maid, And built his wigwam in my shade;
To me he brought his youthful bride, And dwelt here till with age he died.
His children thought no place more meet To make his grave than at my feet;
They said ‘twould greatly soothe their woes If I would let him here repose;
Then begged that I would deign to wave My verdant branches o’er his grave.
And since the polished white man came, He’s loved and honored me the same;
Though all the neighboring trees around Were slain, as cumberers of the ground, Yet here I tower in grandeur still,–
The pride and glory of the hill.
My dauntless spirits never quail
At earthquakes, hurricanes, or hail; The rolling thunder’s fiery car
Has never dared my form to mar;
I’ve heard its rumbling undismayed, While forked lightnings round me played; But O, thou little murm’ring brook,
How mean and meager is thy look;– Babbling, babbling, all day long,–
How I detest thy simple song.
I would not have thee in my sight, Did not all nobles claim a right
To keep some menial servant near, And therefore ’tis that thou art here. As I am always very neat.
I’ll deign to let thee wash my feet;– Such work becomes one in thy place,–
To drudge for me is no disgrace.” The spirit of the brook was stirred,
But still her voice had not been heard, Had not a zephyr, ling’ring round,
In friendly mood, caught up the sound, And flying round the monarch’s head,
Breathed in his ear the words she said. The streamlet, with a deep drawn sigh, In silv’ry tones, made this reply:
“Illustrious oak, pray deign to hear, ‘Twill not disgrace thee–none are near, And I this once a word would say,
As I am wending on my way;–
Behold that path wind through the grass, Where many by thee daily pass;
See, where it ends, just on my brink, Then frankly tell what thou dost think. Both man and beast, when they are dry, Come here and find a rich supply;
And many come for pleasure too,
When they have nothing else to do. Bright pebbles in my waters lie,
Which have a charm in childhood’s eye; And little children stray from home,
Upon my sunny shores to roam;–
With me they play their artless pranks, And gather flowers along my banks;–
Sweet flowers that shun thy gloomy shade, And hither come to ask my aid.
The poet loves my ‘simple song’– With me he often tarries long;
He tells me that he wanders here, To catch some new and bright idea,
Which makes his tuneful numbers roll, In music that enchants the soul.
And people too of every class,
Come here their leisure hours to pass; I often feel the warm embrace
Of ruby lips upon my face,
For those who never bend the knee To haughty monarchs, just like thee,
Will fall down prostrate at my side. And kiss the face thou dost deride.
Thou sayest, thou art very neat,
And I, the slave to wash thy feet! Should all the streamlets cease to flow, Not one on earth could e’er be so.
Our strength propels the busy mills, And all the land with plenty fills,–
They bring, some silver–others gold– And shield the poor from winter’s cold. The vapors, which from us ascend,
To vegetation are a friend;–
In dew they soon descend again,
Or fall in fruitful showers of rain. Were there no brooks, there’d be no bread– Then tell me, how could man be fed?
No man, nor beast, or plant, or flower, Without us could survive an hour;–
The feathered songsters of the grove. Would cease to chant their notes of love. Earth would become a scene of gloom–
One vast extended direful tomb.– And I must tell thee, ere I go,
That thy proud head would soon lie low,– Thou ‘dst fade and wither, droop and die, And in the dust neglected lie.
Yet still no praise belongs to me– I do not sympathize with thee;
I never can be proud and vain,
And imitate thy boasting strain;
But humbly on my way I’ll plod,
For I receive my strength from God.”
These farmers and mechanics, here,
Much like the little brook appear; Reared ‘midst fair Franklin’s hills and dells, Where proud ambition seldom dwells;
They view their hands for labor made, And think that God should be obeyed;
Then grasp the plough and till the soil– It yields rich fruit, and corn, and oil, By which the multitude are fed.
And blessings o’er the land are spread. Mechanics next should take a stand
Beside the yeoman of our land;
Where’er enlightened men are found, They’re showering blessings all around. Yet time would fail should I rehearse
Their brave exploits, in simple verse; But there’s a class, (I hope not here,) Who, like the boasting oak, appear;
They think their hands were never made To wield the distaff, plough, or spade;– Their taper fingers, soft and fair,
Are made to twine their silken hair, Or place upon a brow of snow,
Their gold and diamond rings, to show. Their dainty lips can sip ice-cream,
Or open with convulsive scream,
Whene’er they meet the farmer’s cow, The ox, or steer, which draws the plough. Should the mechanic’s labor cease,
‘Twould wound their pride–destroy their peace; Their flaunting garments, light and frail, Would quickly fade, wear out and fail. Soon, soon, they’d come with humbled pride, To him whom they could once deride,
To ask a shelter from the storm,
And clothes to keep their bodies warm. Should farmers their rich stores withhold, Their lily hands would soon grow cold;– No more their lips would curl with scorn, At him who grows and brings them corn;— You’d see them kneeling at his feet,
To beg for something more to eat; And plead with him their lives to save, And snatch them from an opening grave.
Now let us, like the little brook
We’ve heard of in the fable,
Employ our hearts, our heads and hands, In doing what we’re able;
Till all Columbia praise our deeds, And nations, o’er the waters,
Will tune their harps and chant their song, For Franklin’s sons and daughters.
COMPOSED FOR A DONATION GATHERING.
The armies of Isr’el round Mount Sinai stood, And heard, ‘midst its thunders, the voice of their God; All silent and awe-struck they heard the command– “Bring unto the Lord the first fruits of your land.”
These words are as sacred, their import the same– As when they came pealing through Sinai’s dread flame,– The banner of Jesus should soon be unfurled, And waving in triumph all over the world.
Salvation’s glad tidings! Oh send them abroad! And tell the poor pagan that there is a God! Let those who are toiling in dark heathen lands, Find Christians all ready to strengthen their hands.
Yet let not your gifts and your offerings all roam;– Remember the servant of Jesus at home; He’s spending his strength and his life in the cause,– From wells of salvation pure water he draws.
The wells are our Father’s, but still they’re so deep, That shepherds are needed to water the sheep; And shall they thus labor and toil for our good, And we not supply them with clothing and food?
How can we still hope that our souls are new born, And muzzle the oxen which tread out the corn!– Did God care for oxen, or did he say thus, Designing to give some instruction to us?
St. Paul has explained it and told what to do– “Who preaches the gospel must live of it too;” Some say, were we able we’d give with delight; But think of the widow who cast in her mite!
What though we’ve no money to pamper our pride, She kept not a penny for wants unsupplied; Yet Jesus beheld her and sanction’d the deed, And promis’d in future to shield her from need.
Cast your bread on the waters; obey the command,– The Lord will restore it; His promise will stand; Who give unto these, in the name of the Lord, A cup of cold water, shall have their reward.
THE MARRIAGE VOWS.
COMPOSED TO BE SUNG ON A WEDDING OCCASION, AUGUST 1ST, 1847
O ’tis an interesting sight,
When youthful hands and hearts unite! The Lord himself was pleas’d to own
That man should never dwell alone.
A rib he took from Adam’s side,
And from it made a blooming bride; In Eden’s bowers he placed the pair,– Then joined their hands in wedlock there.
The nuptial ties by God were bound, While angels chanted anthems ’round;
Then mounting on swift pinions sang, Till heaven’s high arch with music rang.
The Lord is present still to hear,– The words you breathed have reached his ear; And his recording angel, now,
Is writing down the marriage vow.
Wilt thou, the bridegroom, till the end, Still prove the fair one’s faithful friend, Who leaves her childhood’s happy home, With thee through future life to roam?
She trusts her fragile bark with thee,– O steer it well o’er life’s rough sea. And with an undivided heart,
Wilt thou, fair maiden, act thy part?
As pure let thine affections be,
As those white robes now worn by thee; O keep the sacred holy trust,
Till these fair forms turn back to dust.
On seraph wings then may you soar,
Where friends are never parted more; There with the Lord may each reside,
And Jesus own you as his bride.
WRITTEN UPON THE DEATH OF MISS ELLEN N … OF JAY.
ADDRESSED TO HER RELATIVES.
Ye gaze upon that fair young brow,
Where death’s pale shade is resting now;– Well, well may grief suffuse your eyes,– Yet let no murm’ring thought arise,
To stain with guilt affection’s tear, Which falls upon the loved one’s bier. Tears are the antidote of grief,–
Kind nature sends them for relief. While death a prisoner Lazarus kept,
The Son of God stood by and wept;– And, father, here are tears for thee,
The babe that prattled on thy knee, And grew in beauty by thy side,
Till warm affection’s glowing tide Gushed from the fountain in thy breast, To cherish her who made thee blest.
But now, to thee no more appears
This light of thy declining years; No more her smile brings joy to thee,
When tempest toss’d on life’s rough sea. Fond mother, where’s the rosy child
Which once upon thy bosom smiled?– In her thou daily didst rejoice,–
She caught her language from thy voice; When she had learned to lisp thy name, New love with those sweet accents came. Soon did this bud of promise bloom,
But oh, it blossomed for the tomb!– Each art, which thy fond care has tried, The fell destroyer’s power defied.
And brothers, ye, too, weeping stand– Pale death has robbed your household band Well may stern manhood melt in tears,
The playmate of your early years
Before you lies in death’s cold sleep– ‘Tis manly, then, for you to weep.
No more will little Walter share
Her love, her counsel, and her care; And thou, lone sister, now must feel
What simple words can ne’er reveal;– Thou callest many sister yet,
In tones which they will ne’er forget; Yet no such love their bosoms fill,
As throbbed in that which now lies still. You oft, in love, each other greet,
But no such melting glances meet, As ever have been wont to shine,
When Ellen’s speaking eyes met thine. Those eyes, which such pure love revealed, In death’s deep slumbers now are sealed; But I have watched the cloud that fades, While earth was wrapped in twilight shades, And quickly found the loss repaid
By beauties which the heavens displayed; Anon, a sweet and pensive light
Came stealing o’er the brow of night,– The stars shone out from depths profound, Like bands of angels hov’ring round,
Who look from off each lofty seat, To watch lest snares beguile our feet. Though this was airy fancy’s dream,
Yet still it doth an emblem seem, Of her who lies before us now
With such calm beauty on her brow. Death’s icy fingers plucked the rose,
But could not steal the grand repose Which adds such pure, celestial charms To this pale form, clasped in his arras. Though fancy far from reason strayed,
When stars were guardian angels made, Yet she, perchance, is one indeed:
The spirit, from its bondage freed, May still be hov’ring, while they sleep, Around those friends who o’er her weep.
Composed For Mrs. M.G.M. of Jay.
“We lay her in the earth, and from her fair And unpolluted flesh may violets spring.” _Shakspeare_.
With flowing tears, dear cherished one, We lay thee with the dead;
And flowers, which thou didst love so well, Shall wave above thy head.
Sweet emblems of thy dearer self,
They find a wintry tomb;
And at the south wind’s gentle touch, Spring forth to life and bloom.
Thus, when the sun of righteousness Shall gild thy dark abode,
Thy slumb’ring dust shall bloom afresh, And soar to meet thy God.
UPON THE DEATH OF REUBEN, PELEG B. CHARLES, SUSAN AND MARY A. WING,
(Children of Mr. Reuben and Mrs. Lucy Wing of Livermore,) who died within the space of 2 years and 8 mouths, between the ages of 15 and 21 years.
Just like the rainbow in a shower,– Like clouds that vanish in an hour.
Or some fair fragile vernal flower. They passed away.
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it.–_Scripture_.
A peaceful dwelling, once we found, Where dwelt the bright eyed laughing boy; Fair blooming sisters clustered round, Fond parents eyed the group with joy.
But death, who feeds on tears and woe, Beheld this happy youthful hand;
Then bade his pale companion go
And smite them with his with’ring hand.
The son, just launched on manhood’s tide, The doating father’s prop and stay,–
The tender mother’s joy and pride,– Became the fell destroyer’s prey;
While tasting bliss without alloy, Thrice happy with his youthful bride.
Alas! how frail all mortal joy,
When cast on life’s tempestuous tide.
Hygenia lends her aid in vain,–
No balm can heal his aching breast,– Nor anxious friends relieve one pain, Or give the sinking suff’rer rest.
Patient and uncomplaining still,
He smiles and cheers each weeping friend; Faith, love and grief, their bosoms fill, While he draws near his peaceful end.
He calmly bids his friends adieu;
My lovely bride, he cries, farewell! By faith fair Canaan’s land I view,
Oh may we there together dwell.
Do’nt weep for me, dear mourning friends, I’m not afraid to meet my God;
The chief of sinners pardon finds, Washed in the Savior’s precious blood.
He sleeps in Jesus and is blest;
I hear the sacred word proclaim,
That all shall find eternal rest, Who trusted in their Savior’s name.
Nor has the pale destroyer done,
Although one victim is at rest;– He plucks his dagger from the son,
And plants it in a daughter’s breast.
The blooming Susan feels the blow,– Her ruby lips turn deathly pale,–
She cries, Oh! mother, I must go,– This fatal weapon cannot fail.
The blushing rose forsakes her cheek,– The lily now usurps its place;–
But still she’s patient, mild and meek, She daily grows in ev’ry grace.
Though fading, yet more lovely still. She twines around each kindred heart,
While this dread truth their bosoms fill, That they with her must shortly part.
The long feared fatal hour draws near,– Deep silence hushed the mourning throng, Yet still her feeble voice they hear,– Dear mother, falters on her tongue.
That name her infant tongue first learned, It trembled on her latest breath;–
Yet a deaf ear the monster turned, And hushed the tender sound in death.
A placid smile is on her brow;–
Does filial love still linger there? Or does her convoy angel now
Breathe heavenly music in her ear?
Long ere a springing blade appeared Upon that daughter’s new made grave,– Consumption cries, Oh! be prepared,
Another blooming form I crave.
A youthful son was now his prey,– Whose rising merits win each heart,–
A noble mind beams from his eye,– Fair virtue dwells in his young heart.
Yet pale disease now lurks around, His active limbs their vigor lose;
But lo! he hears the joyful sound;– The gospel brings him glorious news.
What though his earthly house decays, And swiftly sink life’s ebbing sands;
He’s one eternal in the skies,
Not made by dying, mortal hands.
While friends ask, must you go so soon, Oh must we part with you to-day?
He, smiling, says, I crave the boon; Joyful I go without delay.
My Savior cheers the lonely vale,
His smiles of love dispel the gloom; Oh then how can my courage fail–
Why should I dread the peaceful tomb?
The Savior blest this lowly bed,
And robbed the monster of his sting; My Lord will raise me from the dead,– Give me a harp and bid me sing.
Behold this lovely, youthful saint, In raptures close his dying eyes;
He yields to death without complaint, And soars triumphant to the skies.
Voracious grave! thou ne’er wast cloy’d! Thy constant cry has been for more,
Since Abel, thy first victim, died; Yet thou art eager as before.
Once more death bends the fatal bow,– Again he seeks a shining mark;
Another blooming son lies low,– Death steals away the vital spark.
Though far from home and those dear friends Which soothe his grief and crown his bliss, His heavenly Father comfort sends,–
The Holy Spirit whispers peace.
He seeks the dear paternal hearth, To die by his fond parent’s side;
To him the dearest friends on earth, Who with a smile each tear would hide.
A few short weeks he lingered there, While heav’nly peace reigned in his breast; He cries, my friends, oh now prepare
To meet where sorrows ne’er molest.
Though earthly friends are dear to me, I feel them twining round my heart,
A friend in heaven, by faith, I see, Who bids my joyful soul depart.
Dear mourning friends, now dry your tears; Bid ev’ry murm’ring thought be still;
My mind is free from doubts and fears,– I sink into my Savior’s will.
With smiles of vict’ry on his brow, And heav’nly transport in his breast,
Well pleased, he leaves this vale of woe, And like an infant sinks to rest.
Down through the portals of the sky Descend a glorious shining band.
Who waft his soul to joys on high, And blissful scenes at God’s right hand.
Nor does the monster yet relent,– Four blooming victims he has slain,
Yet on another now intent,
He bends his fatal bow again.
And must this only daughter go,
Ere half her budding graces bloom? Yes, cruel death will take her too,
To swell his numbers in the tomb.
See on her cheek the death rose bloom, And smile with a deceitful glow;
‘Tis the red banner of the tomb, To warn her friends that she must go.
With bleeding hearts they feel the rod, And weeping, lay her in the grave,
Yet with submission yield to God, The precious jewel which he gave.
But when the trump of God shall sound, To call each sainted sleeper home,
Should they, with ev’ry child, surround The mighty conq’ror of the tomb–
They’ll cry, oh Lord, thou ever just, Behold is and our children here!
Thou didst in love give them to us, And we resigned them to thy care.
Now we will chant Redemption’s sung, Which Gabriel never learned to sing,
Nor one of all th’ angelic throng,– To Jesus, prophet, priest and king.
THE ROSE AND LILAC TREE.
No garland, fresh from Eden’s bowers, Could be more sweet than these dear flowers To each surviving friend;
They’ll water them with falling tears, And nurse them through succeeding years, And from each ill defend.
Bloom on, each weeping parent cried,– My daughters planted you and died,–
You are most dear to me;
Each now in smiling beauty stands, Where placed by these fair youthful hands,– Sweet rose and lilac tree.
Bloom on, bloom on, perfume the air,– I love to see you flourish there,
And in bright beauty bloom;
Each tiny leaf I hold most dear,
Although you oft call forth a tear For loved ones in the tomb.
Bloom on, sweet flow’rs, while yet you may; Your fading leaves will soon portray
The lovely, fragile form,
Which passed from earth while skies seemed fair, Like vapors quiv’ring in the air,
Before a coming storm.
I gaze upon these opening flowers– They bring a dream of blissful hours,
When brighter germs were mine;
Once on my throbbing bosom lay
Sweet budding blossoms, fair as they, Fraught with immortal minds.
‘Neath summer skies these flow’rs will fade– Fair emblems of the youthful dead,
But spring restores their bloom. Just so the saints that droop and die, When Gabriel’s trump shall rend the sky, Will leave the mould’ring tomb.
They’ll leave this dull, this earthly sod, And, in the garden of our God,
Bloom with celestial grace,
Where frost and mildew ne’er can blight; There, all enraptured with delight,
God’s wondrous works they’ll trace.
[Footnote 2: The Rose and Lilac trees, referred to above, were planted by two youthful sisters a short time before their death.]
Composed on the death of Mrs. Mary M. West, of Jay.
Dear Mary, while thou art in heaven, at rest, We’re mourning thy absence, bereft and depressed; For thou wert so faithful, so winning and kind, That our hearts’ ev’ry fibre around thee entwined.
How oft have we listened, unwilling to part, While sweet heavenly music gushed forth from thy heart, Till angels in glory, well pleased with the strain, Re-echoed it over the heavenly plain.
The sound of thy voice we can never forget, Thy last parting smile sweetly lingers here yet; And since thy freed spirit to heaven was borne, Our hearts crave the boon o’er thy mem’ry to mourn.
Adieu, dearest Mary, thy spirit has flown To those blissful regions where tears are unknown; No trials assail thee, no troubles or fears,– The smile of thy Savior has dried up thy tears.
No more shalt thou weep o’er thy dear Henry, dead– For now by his side thou art resting thy head; Thou now dost behold him in glory above. But Jesus, thy Savior, outvies him in love.
Transported with joy, with thy Savior at rest, Though angels are singing, you’ll praise him the best. Bright glories, unfolding, still burst on thy view– The song thou art chanting will ever be new.
Thy sun at its zenith on earth ceased to shine, But beams with new lustre in regions divine; For ages eternal ‘t will ever shine on– Still gath’ring new splendor from God’s dazzling throne.
[Footnote 3: Husband of Mrs. W.]
Occasioned by the sudden death of J.W.N.
The short lived, fragrant, vernal flower, Which blooms and withers in an hour,
With him may well compare;
His life was like the meteor’s light, Which shone and vanished from the sight– Dissolving in the air.
Not so the thrilling ties that bind The loved one’s image to the mind–
It lives and brightens there;
Engraved upon each bleeding heart, Which cannot, will not, deign to part
With such a jewel rare.
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF S. WHITE, OF LIVERMORE, WHO DIED DEC. 25TH, 1842, AGED 26.
Why do these tears bedew our eyes?
Why heaves the breast with bursting sighs? We’ve seen a friend depart;
In vain we tune our harp and sing, We cannot touch that thrilling string, Which vibrates in the heart.
Engaging, graceful and refined,
Frank, open, generous and kind,
Was our departed friend;
His mental powers were deep and clear,– His ardent friendship, most sincere,
With life alone could end.
His heart could feel for others’ woe– How oft his footsteps, soft and low,
Fell on the suff’rer’s ear!
Each word he spake, their grief to quell, Seemed waters gushing from a well,
Whose fount was deep and clear.
In early years he mourned for sin,
And prayed for garments white and clean, Washed in the Savior’s blood.
He journeyed on for many years,
Amidst temptations, doubts, and fears, But found a pard’ning God.
His lustrous eyes are dim in death, His voice passed like the zephyr’s breath, That heart has lost its lone;
But while we weep around his dust, That soul its prison doors hath burst, And worships ’round the throne.
But shall we murmur and complain?
Shall our warm tears descend like rain Around his early grave?
While kindred dear must weep and mourn, More sacred tears bedew his urn
Than ever friendship gave.
That brother, who with him has played Beside the brook, or in the shade
Where feathered warblers sang,
And sported by the river side,
Or o’er the ice taught him to glide, While merry laughter rang–
His love increased with growing years, One were their hopes, their joys, their fears, Their Savior, too, was one.
That brother’s grief must be severe, Yet from his lips we hope to hear,
“My Father’s will be done.”
Like ivy, round some youthful pine, Did Julia’s warm affections twine
Round his fraternal heart;
Through adverse scenes they struggled long, Which rendered nature’s ties more strong, But they, alas! must part.
Should fell disease assail her now, Place his pale signet on her brow,
And chill her heart with fear;
No more he’d stand beside her bed,– Bathe her parched lips, and aching head, And strive her mind to cheer.
She’ll range the paths where they have strayed, And wander through the silent shade,
And ask, “is brother here?”
She’ll view the grave, and that will say There’s naught within but mould’ring clay, No more will he appear.
That sister, who hath sought a friend To share her grief till time shall end, Must still in tears be drowned;
Although a partner soothes her grief, And kindly strives to give relief,
And children cluster round;–
She sees their glossy ringlets flow, In clusters o’er each little brow;
They speak of days gone by,
When she with brother often strayed, O’er hill and dale and flow’ry glade,
Where golden sunbeams lie.
A fair young friend, whose aching heart Now feels affliction’s keenest dart,
Must long in sadness weep;
Her brightest hopes are fled away, Alas! her sweetest joys decay,
They in the grave must sleep.
Her heart still bleeds at every pore, That much loved form she’ll see no more, Till Gabriel’s trump shall sound;
We trust they’ll then in raptures rise, To that blight world above the skies,
Where tears no more are found.
His aged parents feel the blow;
Long since they gazed upon his brow, And blessed their infant boy;
Trembling with age, we hear them say, “This dear support is torn away,
What now can yield us joy?
“Long years we watched our lovely plant, With care supplied its every want,
And hoped it long might bloom;
But fierce disease has laid it low, Reckless of tears that ’round it flow. And laid it in the tomb.
“Long, long we nursed his fading form, And strove to shun the gath’ring storm, Which threaten’d in the sky;
Yet from our bleeding bosoms torn, Our darling son leaves us to mourn;
Who can his place supply?”
But could their vision now extend
To those bright realms where dwells their friend, Their tears would cease to flow;
They’d long to leave this dusky sphere, And from their lips we soon should hear, “Dear Savior, let me go.”
No more they’d wish the seraph here, To wander in this vale so drear,
And lay his glory by;
To suffer years of grief and pain, And cross cold Jordan’s stream again,
To reach the joys on high.
THE SISTER’S LAMENT
LINES SUGGESTED BY THE DEATH OF E. TORRY, OF PORTLAND
Oh, Edward, dear Edward! how precious that sound, I seek for an equal–it cannot be found; In tones soft and pensive it visits my ear,– I fain would believe thou art hovering near.
Since thy happy spirit to heaven has fled, Art thou with me by day, by night round my bed? I visit thy grave and bedew it with tears, To share in my sorrow, no Edward appears.
On earth ‘t was thy pleasure to soothe all my grief, To wipe off my tears and to bring me relief; Thy heart’s warm affections were lavished on me, I’ve spent happy moments conversing with thee.
My counselor, playmate, my guide, and my friend, On whom I might always in safety depend, In paths of fair virtue my feet thou hast led, Where vice, that foul monster, dares not show his head.
Nor was all thy kindness bestowed upon one; Thou wast an affectionate, dutiful son; Thy dear honored parents drank deep of thy love, None ever shared more but thy Father above.
Thy father now sinks ‘neath a burden of woe, His once brilliant eyes now with tears overflow; Thy mother sits weeping, thy fond brothers sigh, The dear little children cease playing and cry.
Fair nature is wearing a mantle of gloom, Deep sorrow sits brooding all round our sweet home; The soft venial zephyrs come sighing along, The streamlets are murm’ring a sad, mournful song.
The gray twilight shades come attended with gloom, While like a dark pall they encircle thy tomb; When soft showers descend, something whispers to me, That tears from the clouds are descending for thee.
No star spangled heavens nor cool shady bowers, No deep ancient forest or fair fragrant flowers Can fill up the void that I feel in my breast, Although thou art tuning thy harp with the blest.
In dreams I behold thee when I am asleep, It cheers up my spirits and I cease to weep; Enshrined in my heart thy fair image shall dwell, I’ll keep it there always, I love it so well.
LINES UPON A LOCK OF HAIR.
I’ll weave a bracelet of this hair,– Although these locks so hallowed are,
It seems like sacrilege to wear
Such relics of the dead.
I’ve seen them clust’ring ’round a brow Which drooped beneath affliction’s blow, And slumbers in the church-yard now,
With all its beauty flown.
The hand that dressed these locks with care, And ‘ranged them ’round that brow so fair, And oft clasped mine with friendly air, Is turning back to dust.
And closed those eyes, whose radiant beams Surpass’d imagination’s dreams,
Yet whisp’ring still, were but faint gleams Emerging from the soul.
Farewell, dear friend, these locks I’ll keep, Till in the grave with thee I sleep;
There, like thee, may I cease to weep, And, with thee, wake to sing.
SUGGESTED BY READING AN ACCOUNT OF THE LAST HOURS OF MRS. SARAH JUDSON, SECOND WIFE OF THE LATE LAMENTED DR. JUDSON, OF BURMAN.
“I am in a strait betwixt two, let the will of the Lord be done.”–_Judson’s Offering_, 231_st page_. These were the words of Mrs. Judson a few days previous to her death, when questioned as to her desires respecting the issue of the affliction under which she was suffering.
Life’s trials and dangers will all soon be o’er, I feel myself nearing the heavenly shore, I’m weary of wand’ring, oh! fain would I rest With Jesus, my Savior, and sleep on his breast.
I’m weary and thirsty, my spirit has flown Almost to that river which bursts from the throne;– I’d range its fair borders, and plunge in its flood, And join with the angels in praising my God.
I’d rest in the shade of that tree, growing near, Which yields its rich fruit every month in the year; Its leaves are so healing, no sickness comes there, To mar the new song as it floats through the air.
I think of the rest in those regions above,– My soul spreads her pinions and soars like a dove,– Yet I’m drawn back to earth by one tender tie, Which oft clogs my wings;–then, oh! how can I fly!
I think of New England, my fair native land, The friends of my childhood, that dear faithful band, Who’re waiting to greet me with hearts full of love, Not knowing my bark will cast anchor above.
To see me, my kindred impatiently wait,– I think of those dear ones,–my soul’s in a strait,– My father, my mother, my dear orphan son,– Oh Lord, decide for me, let thy will be done’
Dear shepherd of the Burman sheep,
Where have they laid thee down to sleep? Beside thy long lamented Ann,
Or ‘midst thy charge at Aracan?
Or does that palm tree o’er thee wave, Which shadows thy dear Sarah’s grave?
I pause, and drop the silent tear,– In mournful tones, a voice I hear,
Exclaiming, “Earth affords no space For Judson’s last calm resting place.” Ye spicy groves, perfume each breeze
That steals along the Indian seas,– For we have felt a pang of woe,
Since, plunged in awful depths below, Our much lamented Judson’s clay,
Must ‘neath its rolling billows lay, Where monsters of the ocean creep,
‘Round him o’er whom the nations weep. No stone directs the stranger’s eye
To where his sacred relics lie,
Nor can the weeping Burmans come
To shed their tears around his tomb. And when their work on earth is done,
No mourning daughter, wife, or son Can rest from toil the weary head,
Beside him in his ocean bed.
But while we shrink from such a grave, He rests as sweetly ‘neath the wave
As though in Auburn’s bowers he lay, Where sunbeams through green branches play, And roses, wet with tear drops, bloom
Around th’ unconscious sleeper’s tomb. Let no rude wind, no angry storm,
The ocean’s heaving breast deform,– ‘Tis hallowed as dear Judson’s bed,
Until the sea gives up its dead.
Though mortals weep with fond regret, The Lord that spot will ne’er forget;
He will a faithful record keep,– He knows where all his children sleep. Though monsters should that form devour, ‘Twill rise in beauty, strength and power; That voice, which rends the tombs and graves, Will sound through all the ocean caves; Then ‘roused by heaven’s eternal King, He’ll tune his golden harp and sing;
While, quick as thought, to join the song, Will Burman converts round him throng, And on that bright auspicious morn,
Like jewels his rich crown adorn.
SUGGESTED BY A REMARK MADE BY THE REV. WINTHROP MORSE, WHILE ADDRESSING A CONGREGATION ASSEMBLED ON THE BANKS OF THE SANDY RIVER, UPON A BAPTISMAL OCCASION.
The writer of the following, though but a child, was present, and, for the first time, witnessed the administration of that solemn ordinance.
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”
God’s faithful servant cried,
As he addressed the multitude
That thronged the water’s side.
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”
He said with tearful eye,–
Then come, dear friends, and choose the path That leads to joys on high.
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”
The convert seemed to say,–
I’ll trace the path my Savior marked, Though through these waves it lay.
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”
Was echoed from the stream,
Like me your days will swiftly glide, Or like a fleeting dream.
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”
The Holy Spirit said,–
And sweetly whispered to the soul, “I’ll be thy heavenly guide.”
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”
That sentence reached my heart,
I trembled lest I there should hear That awful word, “depart.”
Yes, trav’ling to eternity,
While overwhelmed with guilt,–
Afraid that Jesus’ pard’ning love, By me would ne’er be felt.
“We’re trav’ling to eternity,”–
It rings upon my ear;
The hills which echoed back that sound, Still to my heart are dear.
“We’re traveling to eternity,”
Said that dear faithful friend,
Whose image in my mem’ry lives,
And will, till life shall end.
“We’re traveling to eternity,”
Soon, soon we there shall meet,
And is my deathless soul prepared, That friend in heaven to greet?
Am I a Christian far astray,
And slumb’ring on enchanted ground; Or did my feet ne’er find the way,
Which Bunyan’s humble pilgrim found?
Whence was that strange delight I felt? Why did the gospel charm my ear?
What caused this stubborn heart to melt? Why was the Savior’s name so dear?
Why was the fountain of his blood,
So precious in my mental eye?
Why did such deep sensations crowd Around the scene on Calvary?
Why did the Godhead shine so bright? Why did I love the garb he wore,
Alike, when justice claimed his right, And when sweet mercy’s name he bore?
Did airy phantoms fill my brain?–
Did vain delusions cheat my soul?– Must those bright hopes prove false and vain? And must I miss the heavenly goal?
* * * * *
“There is joy in Heaven, in the presence of the angels, over one sinner that repenteth.”–_Scripture_.
What’s this that breaks upon my ear? Music sweet;
From golden harps, methinks I hear Glorious strains!
“There’s joy in Heaven,” the angels sing, “A soul repents and owns our King;”
From Heaven to earth the echoes ring, Pard’ning love!
The warrior left the battle field,– Jehovah there had been his shield,–
He heard his solemn vow.
The foe had in confusion fled,
While thousands on the field lay dead, All, all were vanquish’d now.
Though that brave heart was cased in steel. Which flashed forth wrath that all might feel, Who Israel’s right oppressed;
Yet, in its sacred chambers rose
As pure a flame as ever glows
Within a parent’s breast.
He turned him to that sacred spot,
Where one loved being shared his lot,– (It was an only child;)
Though long she’d wept and quaked with fear, When “victory,” fell upon her ear,
She wiped her eyes and smiled.
Like as the lark outspreads her wings, And, while she’s soaring, sweetly sings To charm the listener’s ears,
The maiden, springing from her seat, Flew forth, her coming friend to greet. Her father now appears.
As her light footsteps pressed the ground, Melodious music floated round,
Forth gushing from her heart.
“Alas! my child,” the father sighed, “What sent thee here, my love?” he cried, “To tell that we must part?”
“Thy father made a solemn vow,–
He sees, he feels his error now,
Yes, made a vow to God;
And he will claim my darling now, He bids me pay that awful vow,
And pay it with thy blood.”
“But how can I thy life destroy?
Thou art my solace, hope, and joy, My cherished only child.”
The lustre beaming from her eye,
Seemed caught from radiant orbs on high, So brilliant, yet so mild.
“Pay to the Lord thy vow,” she said, “God’s altar is a pleasant bed,
From thence to heaven I’ll rise. The Lord has answered thy request,
Israel is free, our land at rest, I’ll be thy sacrifice.”
* * * * *
“Like a lost sheep I have gone astray.”–_Psalms_.
Like sheep that wander far astray,
Nor ask the shepherd’s care,
Did I forsake the narrow way,
Nor seek my God in prayer.
I wandered in a desert wild.
Where snares beset me ’round;
Trifles and toys my feet beguiled, And all my senses drowned.
Though clouds encompassed me around, In darkness on I sped,
Still wand’ring on enchanted ground, Till hope seemed almost fled.
I murmured, at the righteous hand
That held the chast’ning rod,
Like one that could not understand The precepts of his God.
Well might the Father’s smile depart, The Savior hide his face,
And God, the spirit, shun my heart, That foul polluted place.
We never find the heavenly dove
Perched on an idol throne;
Those, who would share Jehovah’s love, Must worship him alone.
* * * * *
“And the vail of the temple was rent in twain.”–_Scripture_.
Come, with your guilt and sin oppressed, In Christ there’s pardon, peace and rest; Come, humbly bow before his feet,
No vail conceals the mercy seat.
Come, boldly to a throne of grace,
The vilest here may find a place,– For that dark vail was rent in twain,
When Christ, the heavenly lamb, was slain.
Come, rear no altar, slay no beast, Our Savior now is great high priest,
He rent the vail, to make it plain, That free access should hence remain.
TO A LONG ABSENT RELATIVE.
Is Thy native land forgotten?
Wilt thou still a wand’rer be?
Have New England’s hills and valleys Lost their every charm for thee?
Is thy native land forgotten?
Tell me, dost thou feel content, Far from that loved rural dwelling
Where thine infant days were spent?
Is thy native land forgotten,
Where glad parents, filled with joy, Prayed for heaven’s richest blessings
To attend their infant boy?
Is thy native land forgotten,
Laud where thou first drew thy breath, Where those sainted parents watched thee, Where they closed their eyes in death?
Is thy native land forgotten?
Or dost thou revere the sod
Where thy heart for sin was broken, Where thy soul found peace with God?
Is that sacred stream forgotten,
Where, immersed beneath the flood, Saying, “I with Christ am buried,
And henceforth will live to God?”
Is that hallowed spot forgotten?
Or does fancy paint it now,
With bright angels hov’ring o’er it Waiting to record that vow?
Are thy brothers all forgotten,
Playmates ‘neath New England’s skies? When thy sisters’ names are mentioned, Do no warm emotions rise?
Is that wasted form forgotten,
Ling’ring ’round cold Jordan’s shore, Praying death to stay his arrow
Till she hears thy voice once more?
Can that sister be forgotten?
Thou art twining ’round her heart: Come, and let her eyes behold thee,
Let her soul in peace depart.
Is that river’s shore forgotten,
Where in childhood, oft we strayed; Where the grape in purple clusters,
Ripen’d ‘neath the elm tree’s shade?
Tell, dear friend, hast thou forgotten, When beneath the apple tree,
That fair group of young companions, Joined in merry sport with thee?
That old apple tree has withered,
And has vanished from the plain; But that group are all still living,– Come, and meet with us again.
TO THE WIFE OF THE ABOVE.
Fair daughter of a sunny clime,
And bride of him we love,
The grief of those who mourn his loss, Hath power thy heart to move.
E’en now we love thee for his sake, But not for his alone,
For in thy heart, a chord we find, That vibrates with our own.
We love thee, while thy feet still roam Far on a southern shore;
But lead that wand’ring brother home, And we will love thee more.
Come, range New England’s verdant hills, And breathe our healthful air,
‘Twill tinge thy cheeks with brighter bloom, And make thee still more fair.
Come, while the vernal zephyrs blow, And wake to life the flowers;
Come, while the feathered warblers sing Through all our woodland bowers.
What though our leaves will fade and fall. And chilling north winds blow,
And all New England’s hills and vales, Lie buried deep in snow!
Snug dwellings and warm clothing still Have power to keep us warm,–
We sit around the fireside then,
And smile to hear the storm.
Come, with thy partner, to that home Which once he called his own,
Which his long absence oft has made Most desolate and lone.
Welcome, twice welcome thou shalt be, Yes, welcome as his bride;
Welcome, I trust, for virtues too, Which in thy heart abide.
Come, see the grateful tears of joy Stand trembling in the eye
Of those, who never can forget
The lost one, till they die.
Come, feel the deep impassioned grasp Of each extended hand,
Which welcomes that lost wanderer back To his dear native land.
[Footnote 4: The lady addressed is a native of the south.]
COME HOME TO NEW ENGLAND.
TO E.E.W. OF TEXAS.
Come home to New England, the land of thy birth, All nations still call her the queen of the earth. Oh! come with thy partner and sweet rosy child, Where friends in life’s morning, around you have smiled.
Come, gather wild flowers, from the brookside and dell, And fruit from the orchard you once loved so well, And feast on the sugar, fresh made from the grove, Where you and your brothers delighted to rove.
Come, sit in the shade of the clustering vine, Whose tendrils around the old elm tree entwine. Come, range o’er the intervale, island and plain, And live o’er the days of thy boyhood again.
Thy Father in heaven seems acting his part, He keeps those alive, once so dear to thy heart. Thy brothers and sisters, and nieces a score, And nephews, are waiting to greet thee once more.
Our Susan, the baby that clung to thy knee, And prattled around thee in infantine glee, Has grown up, she’s married and two blooming boys Have stirred in her bosom a fountain of joys.
You start and exclaim, can the story be true! I fear that you’ll stay till she’s _grandmother_, too. You’ve staid for our infants to grow up and wed, Our young men are old, our old ones are dead.
Yes, white hairs are clustering round many a crown, Which wore, when you left them, rich tresses of brown. One dear faithful sister has faded-and died, Don’t stay till the others both lie by her side.
At night I behold thee, I laugh and I weep, Alas! I awake, ’tis the vision of sleep; Disheartened with pleading, and pleading in vain, Perhaps I may never entreat you again.
A SISTER’S DEPARTURE.
I saw the tear trembling in sister’s blue eye, In bright smiles she vailed it, full well I knew why. That moment stern duty had called us to part, Emotion was struggling for vent in her heart.
She asked, “will some angel in mercy descend, And from all afflictions each loved one defend? Or must pain and sickness make sweet home forlorn? Will death send an arrow, ere I shall return?”
Dear sister, my thoughts did in unison flow, My heart will be with you wherever you go; By day, in my fancy, thy image I see,
And sleep brings refreshment when dreaming of thee.
A SISTER’S COUNSEL.
“Be cheerful,” thou saidst; that sweet sentence I heard, Though filled with emotion, I spake not a word; ‘Twas music, more soothing than steals through the trees With green tresses waving in twilight’s cool breeze.
“Be cheerful,” thou saidst, when about to depart. In tones that said plainly, we come from the heart. We think of thee sister, when absent or here, And wish not thine eye to be dimmed by a tear.
“Be cheerful,” thou saidst, but, O how can I be, When thou, my dear sister, art absent from me? Sweet home looks so vacant, so lonely and drear, I cannot be cheerful as when thou art here.
“Be cheerful,” thou saidst, when about to depart, And conscious that grief was oppressing my heart. I thank thee, my sister, thy counsel was good, I fain would obey thee, I wish that I could.
TO A FRIEND ON PARTING.
Julia, let fond remembrance cling
Around the parting hour;
Unfading let that garland be,
Late plucked from friendship’s bower.
Lurid and dark our path would be,
Uncheered by friendship’s rays;
Incense divine, thy hallowed flame Lights up our darkest days.
Absence and time can ne’er destroy
Pure friendship’s chrystal streams; Near us the loved one lingers round,
And greets us in our dreams.
No brighter chain this earth can boast, Than twines ’round kindred hearts;
Brilliant and fair the links remain, Though fate rends them apart.
Alas! that we so soon must part.
Ere budding friendship’s bloom;
Remain, sweet germ, within each heart, And thrive beyond the tomb.
Receive, dear friend, these parting lines, Though humble they appear;
Earth, with its joys, are fading fast, With all that love us here.
Then may we be prepared to soar
Where ransomed spirits blend;
There may our souls in love unite, Where friendship fears no end.
FAREWELL TO A BROTHER.
Farewell, farewell, my dearest brother, Thou must be absent for awhile,
May no dark clouds around thee gather, May health and fortune on thee smile.
In fancy’s dreams, I’ll oft be with thee, On thy fond heart my image bear,
And while I hope again to meet thee, The pleasing thought my heart shall cheer.
AN ADOPTED BROTHER.
The home of thy childhood thou didst not forget, The friends which dwelt with thee are dear to thee yet, Thy warm friendly greeting betokens it now, The smile of pure friendship still beams from thy brow.
I knew that thy heart was so faithful and true, Thou wouldst not forget, though thou bad’st us adieu; For thou didst rejoice with us when we were blest, And sympathize with us, however distressed.
Say, wilt thou remember us, while thou dost live, And cherish our virtues, our frailties forgive? O think of us always, where’er thou dost roam, For thy living image dwells ever at home.
But there is a home which is better than this, The inmates all drink at the fountain of bliss; A friend, than a father or mother more dear, More close than a brother, this friend will adhere.
Wouldst find that blest home? go, and follow the road, Which Christ and the prophets have marked out, to God; The Spirit will teach you, and guide, lest you stray, While legions of angels shall throng round your way.
TO A FRIEND IN AFFLICTION.
D ark frowning clouds obscure thy sky, E ach future prospect fades;
B ut there’s a kind protector nigh, O n him rely for aid.
R ich treasures are locked up in store, A ffliction turns the key;
H ow oft when dreadful thunders roar, M ay showers bid famine flee.
O sister, never yield to fears
W hen tempests roar aloud,
E ‘en then, the bow of hope appears, R ich hues bedeck yon cloud.
LINES TO A SISTER.
Susan, I long again to greet thee,
Fain would I clasp thee in my arms, While that bland smile o’erspread thy features, Which to thy brow adds nameless charms.
Dear sister, I can still remember
When first I clasped thee to my breast; I viewed thee as a priceless treasure, Bestowed to make life’s pathway blest.
Although a little tiny creature,
Devoid of friendship, love, or care, Yet, I highly prized the casket,
I knew a sister’s heart throbbed there.
And when I heard, in lisping accents, Affection flowing from thy tongue,
With strange delight, I listened to it, As though some little cherub sung.
When in the garden thou wast straying, To play among thy fragrant flowers,
I thought that Flora’s fairest blossoms Would vainly strive to vie with ours.
Dear sister, canst not thou remember, When I’d been absent for awhile,
With what a boyant step thou’dst meet me, And greet me with thy sunny smile?
And, when fatigued, I sought retirement, Or left thee for a few short hours,
Oft them wouldst steal into my chamber And strew my couch with fragrant flowers.
I trust that flame is not extinguished, Although our duty bade us part;
I trust it still is burning brightly Upon the altar of thy heart.
O come, and join the fireside circle Around the old paternal hearth;
Come, let thy smiles and songs delight us, They are like sunlight to the earth.
The little birds are singing sweetly; The verdant fields perfume the air;
Our garden walks would be most pleasant, If Susan’s voice was ringing there.
Adieu, dear sister, for the present, But tell me, wilt thou not be here
Ere the wintry winds are sighing
Requiems o’er a dying year?
TO MY BROTHER.
THE SCENES OF OUR CHILDHOOD.
Far back, through the vista of long buried years, I look through this valley of sorrow and tears; Like pictures, in bright glowing colors displayed, The scenes of my life’s rosy morn are portrayed.
An image, the foreground presents to my sight, Which shed o’er my pathway its radiant light; An image of him who first held my soft hand, And shouted with joy when his sister could stand;
From him, I first caught the sweet magical art Of turning to language, the thoughts of my heart; When first to the school-house he went as my guide. His heart swelled with pleasure, affection and pride.
Delighted, we ranged o’er the hillside, in spring, And listened with rapture to hear the birds sing; Then stopped in the pasture to see the lambs play, As frolicsome, cheerful, and happy as they.
We ranged o’er the meadow, the forest, and bowers, Picked berries for mother, and gathered wild flowers, Dear brother, how oft by the rosebush we sat, While you caught the butterflies under your hat.
With gay happy hearts to the woodland we strayed, When autumn its rich pensive beauty displayed; The robin was chanting her sweet farewell song, While blithe little squirrels went skipping along.
Those bright little rogues which the husbandmen scorn, Sly’d into their holes with their cheeks full of corn; The clear mellow sunlight, in quivering streams, Sent through the tall tree tops its roseate beams.
Jack Frost and October, when evenings grew cold, Had drest up the forest in crimson and gold; The bright leaves were borne on the wings of the breeze, While we picked up beach-nuts from under the trees.
When trees were all leafless, and snow-clad the ground, Sweet pleasures at home in our cottage we found; ‘Round our bright blazing fire, we’d work, read, or play, And find sweet employment to fill up each day.
And when evening came, the old hearth we’d surround, While you cracked the nuts, which in autumn we found, I tended my kittens, and made up their bed, You made them a yoke and a nice little sled.
We heard the hens cackle, and thought we were blest, You flew to the hayloft, and found a full nest, Then caught up the treasure, and smiled as you run, With a hat full of eggs, and a head full of fun.
We ran on the snow-crust like fleet nimble deer, Until our fair cheeks would like rosebuds appear. I never was lonesome, and never afraid, If Hiram, my brother, for company stayed.
O, then we were happy in winter or spring, Yes, happier far than the happiest king. You grew up to manhood, and left your old home, But may you he happy wherever you roam.
I ne’er can forget how it made my heart grieve, When you of the precious old homestead took leave; I feared that with business and cares overrun, You’d soon cease to love me as once you had done;
And earth would be shrouded in sadness and gloom, If I, in your heart, could not always find room. Though care leaves a shadow on thy manly brow, Thy heart’s warm affections are mirrored there now.
But when you are with me a brief space to stay, I’m all the while thinking you’ll soon go away; Yet we shall soon meet in a far distant land, God grant it may be at the Savior’s right hand.
MY BROTHER IN THE TEMPEST.
‘Twas summer, and a sultry day
Was drawing to a close,
One cloud, along the northwest lay, Which tardily arose.
Along a winding path we strayed,
Which through the forest led,
While not one gentle zephyr swayed The branches overhead.
Deep mutt’ring thunders soon were heard, Dark shadows gathered round;
The trees, at intervals, were stirred