To My Infant Annie
Motherless babe, I can't forbear to make
Some rhyme to thee for thy dear mother's sake.
Thy pleasant looks, thy smiles, thy temper mild
Do much surprise me in so young a child.
In thy sweet face I view in embryo
My lost wife's charms; it is, it must be so.
Quiet thy ways, and smiling oft through tears,
An earnest surely this for future years,
That the same lovely conduct may be shown
Which marked thy mother's life, as is well known.
Then as thou dost advance to womanhood,
May God's own Word by thee be understood.
Can I look forward to the time
When thou shalt reach a woman's prime?
When youth and beauty, linked with grace
May beam forth from thy smiling face?
Alas, the future, hid from sight
Of all but Him who dwells in light,
May see us numbered with the dead.
And knowing this may I be led
To train my children in the way
That leads to Heaven's eternal day.
My Love Is No Gay, Dashing Maid (Song)
My love is no gay, dashing maid,
With rosy cheeks and golden curls,
Nor high-born lady well arrayed
In glittering diamonds and pearls.
Yet she is a lovely, loving wife,
Who can blithely sing while working well;
And so happy is our married life,
That I on its pleasures fondly dwell.
O my love is no gay, dashing maid,
But a wife in matronly worth, arrayed.
I've seen young girls of beauty rare,
With ruby lips and sparkling eyes,
Use all their charms to form a snare
By which to carry off a prize.
I've noted the wedded life of such,
Oft finding them slatterns void of love;
And none need wonder so very much
If I value high my turtle dove.
For she is no vain, dashing maid,
But a wife in matronly worth arrayed.
Through years of matrimonial care,
And constant toil from day to day,
To me her face has still been fair,
As if her charms would ne'er decay.
And our house is full of girls and boys,
The pledges sweet of a sacred love,
Sent to keep young and bright the joys
Which many with wealth oft fail to prove.
O my love is no gay, dashing maid,
But a wife in matronly worth arrayed.
To A Violet (Found Blooming In My Garden)
Beauteous, variegated flower,
That with courageous mien,
Not heeding much stern Winter's power,
Hast let thy face be seen
At such a season, and amid such dearth
Of vernal beauty, I would bid thee hail;
For charms like thine to me have wond'rous worth,
When Summer's comforts fail.
I had not thought to see a gem
Like thee, as fresh and fair
As ever graced a diadem,
Bloom in the open air
After such killing frost as we have had;
And when grim Winter had his ice bolts hurled
With double vengeance, prematurely mad
As though to chill the world.
Still thou art here in loveliness,
But lacking Spring-time's scent,
And seeming in thy charming dress,
With thy lone lot content.
The while that other plants are dead to sight,
And waiting patiently for Spring's approach,
When King Frost's forces shall have ta'en their flight,
Chased by Sol's glorious torch.
But now I bid a warm adieu,
And place this in a book
Where I can bring thee fresh to view.
When'er I choose to look.
Regretting only that I tore away
Thee from my garden bed, where thy sweet face
Lit up with smiles that nook, and made it gay,
As by a sunbeam's trace.
The Charms Of June; Inscribed To My Wife
The lilacs are now in the full flush of beauty,
The fruit trees have blossomed, the tulips are gay,
And birds' gushing melody points out our duty
To God who doth bless us so vastly each day.
Brilliant verbenas in rich robes are glowing,
And spireas their fair silver glories maintain,
While violets and lilies their charms are bestowing
To add to the splendors of sweet Flora's reign.
O, soon will the odors of bright blushing roses
Unite with the woodbines in fragrance complete;
For hoards of their incense this fine month discloses,
To all who are fond of a garden retreat.
Viburnum Opulus its snowballs is forming,
The peonies are ready to burst into bloom,
Rude Boreas has ceased for awhile his dread storming,
And Nature at last has got rid of her gloom.
[Footnote: Guelder Rose.]
In flower-bedecked fields or vast woods at this season
I would 'twere my privilege to frequently roam;
But fear such indulgence might well be termed treason
Against the sweet duties and pleasures of Home.
Then since this solacement by God is denied me,
I'll joy that in fancy it still is my lot
To rove with my own lovely Ellen beside me,
Through scenes that can never by us be forgot.
Stanzas In Memory Of Annie
Thou'rt gone, thou lovely gem, I trust
To grace the crown of Zion's King;
And we thy body to the dust
Commit with faith unwavering.
Thou wast just long enough with us
To charm our hearts and claim our low;
And now thou'rt gone. Why is it thus?
Did Jesus need thy soul above?
For twenty weeks thy lovely face,
Thy pleasing smiles, thy temper mild,
Have made thy father hope to trace
The mother in her darling child.
And yet thou hast for some time seemed
Too fair a flower to bloom below.
Thy death but proves our Father deemed
It best that thou in Heaven should'st grow.
And knowing, as I well may know
That this vain world is full of trial,
I would not say against the blow,
Though it may cause me self-denial.
Now, while I write, my thoughts ascend
More fleetly than the lightning's flame
To that blest place where lowly bend
God's saints, In worship of his name.
And there methinks I see thee join
With mother and a numerous throng.
In praise of Him who is Divine,
To whom all honor does belong.
Why should we grudge to part with thee?
Thou went our Heavenly father's own;
And he far better knows than we
What's best to do, as will be shown.
And yet it seems so hard to part-,
To part with those we love so dearly,
That, though the keenness of the smart
Is gone through Jesus' death most clearly,
We cannot help but mourn and weep
At losing for a time such treasure.
But we'll, rejoice that those who sleep
In Christ, shall, in unbounded measure,
Enjoy true happiness and peace
In yon fair World, where pain not tears.
Are either felt or seen; where cease
All sorrow and perplexing fears,
To My Daughter Ida, When Three Months Old
Ida, it is a burning shame
That thy short, sweet poetic name
Has not a single lay called forth
From my cranium since thy birth!
Thy pale-face, brown-eyed style of beauty
Every day points out my duty.
Conscience, too, whispers 'tis not right
That I this task should longer slight.
So now I take thee on my knee
And woo the Muse right eagerly,
In earnest hope she'll lend her aid
Until this tribute be well paid.
Ida, thou art of babes the best;
This much at least must be confessed,
Unless thy mother's words are wrong-
Words shadowing forth Affection strong.
Thou art indeed, sweet tempered pet,
As good a child as I have met.
And oh, my heart for thee' has bled,
When thou wert forced to be spoon-fed,
Because of Mamma's trying weakness.
Yet this thou didst still bear with meekness,
And ever from the first thy cries
Had for companions tearful eyes,
And such a mournful, piteous mien
As is not in bad temper seen.
When I saw this thou may'st be sure,
I felt quite ready to endure
Thy tediousness by night or day,
While mother on a sick-bed lay.
Now, as reward for all my toil,
Thou cheerest me by many a smile.
And while I gaze on thy sweet face
Bedecked with every infant grace,
My soul's best feelings are called Forth-
I see in thee increasing worth.
Say, sweetly smiling, pretty creature,
So perfect in each limb and feature,
What means that dreamy sort of look
Thou wear'st at times? Art thou then struck
With wonder at our household ways?
At brother's, sister's childish plays?
I would give something just to know
How thoughts within the mind can grow.
I fancy sometimes thou art thinking
On what's around thee or else drinking
Thou fill of heavenly visions sweet,
Such as would prove to me a treat:
Art silent still? Ah, then, young Miss,
Thou must eve'n give a parting kiss!
Farewell, my dear, my lovely child,
Fair Ida, with the look so mild!
The Young Mother's Vision
I saw a fair young mother sitting,
With a babe upon her knee;
Fast through 'er mind sweet thoughts were flitting-
So it did appeal to me.
Her eyes with fondest smiles were beaming
On that infant's lovely face;
She seemed upon the future dreaming,
And I tried her dream to trace.
While her face with love was glowing,
As her babe looked up and smiled;
Thus I sketched her numbers flowing
Freely forth unto her child:
'Charming boy, in beauty vieing
With the fairest rose I see;
This I need not be denying,
That thou dearer art to me.
'Whilst thou slept, I fell to musing
On thy present happy lot;
And thy future for thee choosing,
Soon all other thoughts forgot.
'Thus I chose at first to paint thee-
Growing up toward thy teens;
No corruption near to taint thee
Passing through thy boyish scenes.
'Then I traced out all the labor
Which I would bestow on thee,
That thou mightest grow in favor
With the Lord, as well as me.
'Next I viewed thy mind expanding,
With the best of knowledge stored:
Light divine, and understanding
Gained from God's most holy Word.
'Years flew by; thou wert approaching
Very near to man's estate,
And, to those, around, wert broaching
Thy deep thoughts, with soul elate!
'Again I saw thee; thou wert coming
To the heights of world-wide fame;
My fears arose, I saw ills looming,
And bid thee guard thy spotless name.
'I looked again, and found thee wooing
Damsel modest, rich and fair;
And wicked men sought thy undoing,
Ere thou wert the least aware.
'But, thanks to God! He did preserve thee-
Gave thee, too, a lovely wife;
For duty this afresh did nerve thee,
Struggling with the ills of life.
'Again the vision passed before me,
But some years had fled away;
Thou hadst been sick, the Lord restored thee-
Children were around at play.
'I saw thy wife and thee were growing
In sweetest chaste conjugal love;
To things of God attention showing,
Fitting you for bliss above.
'The curtain drops: thy smiles recall me
To discharge my duties right;
Rich mercies I enjoy console me
For the loss of Vision bright.'
The Inebriate's Daughter's Appeal To Her Father
One frosty night in bright moonlight,
I left my cheerful home;
My thoughts were such I cared not much
Which way I chanced to roam.
With firmest tread my way I thread
Through many a winding street
When drunkard's voice in tones not choice,
My startled ear did meet.
He cursed a girl whose hair in curl
Bespoke a tidy mother;
Whose clothes, though plain, wore not a stain,
Yet grief her words did smother
Her beauteous eyes told then no lies
While she looked at the man.
As nature brought the words she sought,
She this appeal began:
'Oh, father, leave this wretched place,
And hasten home with me;
For mother and the darling babe
Are in sad misery!
They have not tasted any food
Since morn of yesterday.
Yet you should hear that mother dear
For blessings on you pray.
'For when she prays aloud for you,
Her tears they flow apace,
And deepest crimson doth suffuse
Her ever lovely face.
She says that she must leave us all
Before 'tis very long,
To go to yonder Heaven above,
And join in Angel's song.
'And when she looks at our dear babe
Her tears flow forth again;
Yet never does she, father dear,
In words of you complain,
But says that she will try to make
A happy home for you.
Come ill, come well, whate'er betide,
She'll loving be and true.
'O, father, hasten with me, then,
Before my mother die!
When I left home, your charming boy
Most piteously did cry;
It would have moved a heart of stone
To see the tears he shed;
His shrieks make worse the dreadful pain
In mother's throbbing head!'
The drunkard stood in solemn mood,
In riveted attention.
This strong appeal did make him feel
Most serious apprehension.
He took the hand of maiden bland,
And hastened fast away;
Nor turned his face on that dread place
Which had made him its prey.
They reached the house where that dear spouse
Was breathing out her soul.
From sense of sin he rushes in,
Nor could himself control.
Upon his knees in agonies
He cries aloud, 'My wife,
Do speak to me, for I will be
A husband, dear, through life!'
No voice there came; the vital flame
Had fled, of child and mother.
He could not stay, so turned away,
With look that made me shudder.
That little girl with hair in curl
At last to him doth speak:
'My father dear, your heart I'll cheer,
And blessings for you seek.
'How We must pray, she taught the way
Who now has gone to bliss.
Nor would I be the least degree
In duty found remiss.'
Her artless strain made him refrain
From purposes most foul.
In after years she calmed his fears,
And saved at last his soul.
I have a little garden plot,
'Tis very small indeed;
But yet it is a pleasant spot,
And plenty large enough, I wot,
When out-door work I need.
Two woodbines flourish at my door,
And climb above its porch;
One yields of grateful scent a store,
One flowers till all the summer's o'er
And winter days approach.
And o'er the walls grape vines are spread,
Which bring delicious fruit;
These also sweetest odors shed,
And please my senses till I'm led
To hold them in repute.
And then I have of peach trees three,
Which have begun to bear,
And 'tis a pleasing sight to see
My somewhat numerous family
All eager for a share.
Three apple trees I next would name,
Though fruit they ne'er gave me;
For this their tender age I blame,
And other cause I cannot name,
And so I wait to see.
Some berry trees I also boast,
And these of different kinds.
Of flowering shrubs I have a host,
Which did in cash and labor cost
What might affright some minds.
Four kinds of lilac here are grown,
One double flowering cherry,
And weeping ditto, not much known;
Eight different sorts of rose I own,
And shrub that yields snowberry.
Of lily yea, and crocus, too,
I've some varieties,
And monkshood, pinks, and violets blue,
Of double almonds not a few,
With two kinds of peonies.
Some polyanthus and foxglove,
Sea-pinks, and columbine,
Sweet-scented tulips, which I love,
Whose beauty has e'en power to move
A heart less fond than mine.
The daisy and sunflower tall,
Present a contrast great;
One like to him who, proud in soul,
Expects his fellow men to fall
Submissive at his feet.
The other, like true modesty,
Scarce lifts its lovely head
Lest you its secret charms should see-
Just like a lovely maid, when she
Is to vain-glory dead.
Sweet-briar and sweet-william claim
A notice from my pen,
For each of these can boast of fame;-
Are better known than my poor name
Among the race of men.
My hollyhocks and lichens fine,
Spread out their charms to view,
And other pretty flowers are mine-
To speak whose praises I incline,
If but their names I knew.
Of annuals I have but few,
That fact I fully grant;
Yet I have larkspur, pink and blue,
And double poppies of rich hue.
To serve me while the summer's new
I've beds of rhubarb plant.
Some household herbs and fragrant thyme,
With lettuce, sage, and mint,
Complete my stock; but had I time
A lingering lesson swells my rhyme
With many a moral hint.
That as we rear in summer's glow.
Herbs, fruits and flowerets fair,
So may we in our natures grow
Sweet flowers that may hereafter blow
In Heaven's serener air.
An Address To Brantford, 1853
Hail, truly pleasant, fast increasing Town!
Thee I address, in rude but earnest strains.
My own adopted place! Some sixteen years
Have rolled fast o'er my head since first my eyes
Got sight of thee, from off yon Eastern hill.
How welcome was the sight! O, how cheering,
Grand and beautiful, to a mind like mine!
I oft had heard of thee before I came-
Had heard the name thy beauteous river bears;
As oft had wondered if I e'er should live
To cross the broad Atlantic's deep blue waves,
And reach the shores of that vast Continent,
Whose many wonders, in my boyish days,
I tried to sing, and still longed much to see.
As often tried to picture, in my mind,
The appearance thou presented to the view;
I fancied thee much less than what thou wert-
Consisting of a few small, straggling huts,
Both rude in shape, and ruder far in things
Which make home, what it always ought to be,
The dearest place that men possess on earth!
I next would paint thy river deep and broad
As great 'Saint Lawrence,' or the giant streams
That everywhere abound throughout this land!
In this I was deceived; its name misled
My loving fancy; for I surely thought
It must be great, indeed, beyond compare,
In such a country to receive such name.
[Footnote: The 'Grand River.']
This great mistake corrected; I have found
Some wonders rare, though of a different kind;
And often have I wandered on the banks
Of thee, sweet River! where maple, elm or oak
Have spread their boughs and verdant foliage,
And have felt the cool, refreshing breezes
Which blew from off thy stream in Summer's heat.
There I would indulge, awhile, my fancy;
Give her the reins, and let her soar aloft
Into the vast infinitude of space,
Or try to tie her down to earthly things;
Make her portray what now the prospects were,
That this fair Town had placed before her view.
Would she soon rise to eminent estate?
Or would she struggle vainly, for a while,
To reach to greatness, and so just remain-
A monument of ruin and decay?
As I have stood upon the pleasant hills
By which thou art encircled, I have cast
My eye from East to West, from North to South,
And often marked the vast extent of ground
Which thou may'st fill; laid out by God's own hand
To be a glorious city-and that soon!
Then 'put thy shoulder to the wheel!' Arise,
In all thy might, and let thy hardy sons
Put forth united efforts in the work.
Deepen thy Canal; let thy Railroads make
Both quick and certain progress; and neglect
No proper means to push the town ahead!
But, while thou strivest thus in temporal things,
Oh, forget not things of greater moment!
Strive to purge away all that's offensive
To true Virtue. Let the groggeries cease
To deal out liquid fire to kill thy sons!
Strengthen the hands of those who would maintain
Good wholesome laws. Give adequate support
To those who minister in holy things,
That they, unfettered, may aloud proclaim
Christ's great Salvation to a ruined World!
Let all true Christians in thy midst unite,
In holy efforts and God's strength, to stem
The torrent great of foul Iniquity.
Yes, fellow Christians, let our lives be such
As many commend the Truth which we believe,
Unto the consciences of all around.
Let those of us, especially, who claim
A parent's honored name, now boldly stand,
And show in bonds conjugal, faithfulness;
Still manifesting love and tenderness
Unto our partners; always aim to make
Our homes the scenes of happiness and peace!
Then will our children rise and call us blessed;
And generations yet unborn will tell-
That Brantford was determined to be great
In every thing which is both wise and good!
Emma, The Tinker's Daughter; Or, The Benefits Of Sabbath School Instruction
In a wretched, narrow street of an old English town,
A roving tinker lived; one who would often drown
Of Virtue every trace, by drinking much strong beer;
Oft mixing in a fight, a stranger to all fear.
Right before his door-step, mud did the gutter fill;
And once to cleanse it out he never had the will.
The windows of his house with patch-work were supplied,
And all within the door by coal-smoke well was dyed.
In such a place as this, we would not hope to find
One of the human race with pure and noble mind;
Yet one indeed there was, whom we shall Emma call-
Most beautiful her face, most lovely in her soul.
She was the only child of that sin-hardened man-
Her sainted mother died as her tenth year began;
The father brutal seemed to all the World around,
Yet never with his girl was he in anger found.'
And much his kindness told upon her gentle heart;
It soothed her childish grief, and made her act her part.
The lessons she had learned before her mother died,
Were now of greatest use, for she was sorely tried.
And when her father went to stay a week away,
She read her Bible oft, and cared not much for play;
But, feeling ill at ease, with dirt within and out
She whitewashed all the rooms; of this you need not doubt.
The gutter still remained, just in its former state;
That she could not mend, so left it to its fate.
But now she scrubbed the floors, and waited patiently,
Till came her father home, who smiled the change to see.
His feelings were roused up when he viewed the comforts round,
And wondered where the child could so much skill have found?
Then clasped her in his arms-felt now inclined to be
More worthy of his girl, and work right steadily.
About this time there came a Sabbath visitor,
Who had got youths to school, but wanted many more.
The tinker angry sat, nor asked the man within;
Said, 'Emma read her Book, and did not live in sin.'
But she, quite conscience-struck, said, 'Father, you're not right,
We all great sinners are, in God's most holy sight;
My Bible tells me this-I'm sure it speaks the truth;
Please let me go to school, while I am yet a youth!'
This unexpected thrust went to his parent-heart;
Yet still he did not like with his dear girl to part;
But bid the man sit down, and tell him what was taught
In these same Sabbath Schools, of which he had not thought.
This friend was nothing loath; he sought the good of souls-
Had tasted Jesus' love, which selfishness controls;
So told how many folks, by best of motives led,
Gave their own pleasure up, and taught the young instead.
'Mongst these were often found some great in rank and wealth,
Who loved the cause so well, they did it not by stealth;
But honor counted it to teach in Sunday School,
And thus to square their lives by their dear Savior's Rule.
The tinker was surprised to hear such news as this;
He thought that all fine folks were full of selfishness;
But, if it all was true, the girl at once might go-
Whatever good she got, she soon that good would show.
Then Emma threw her arms around his neck, and said,
'Dear father, for your love you shall be well repaid;
When I come home from school, I'll tell you all I learn,
Then the good of Sabbath Schools you may soon discern.'
She asked the man to tell where she would have to go;
Who said, 'My little girl, 'tis there, in Union Row;
In that large, lofty house; the time is half-past two.'
This heard, forth Emma went, and made no more ado.
The father, when alone, sat long time lost in thought,
Then took the Bible up, and through its pages sought;
He wished to see himself if all they said was true;
But little progress made-such work to him was new.
Soon came his bright-eyed girl, with face like rose in June,
Who told of hymns they sung, and of each pretty tune;
What chapters there were read-the questions asked she told-
What prayers were offered up, both for the young and old.
She said her teacher was a lady very grand,
Who, when she first went in, most kindly took her hand,
And led her to a seat where she herself sat down,
Nor seemed afraid to crush her beautiful silk gown.
The tinker heard it all, and wondered in his mind
How gentlefolks could be so very good and kind;
And promised her she should next Sabbath go again,
But wished that she would now her former words explain.
His conscience told him oft that he was far from right,
That he had wicked been, in sinning against light;
Oh, was there then no hope that he should yet be saved?
This thought was hard to bear, and could not well be braved.
Then Emma meekly spoke, and told him all she knew;
And searched the Bible's page, to prove her words were true.
This was an easy task, for there 'twas clearly seen
How men, because of sin, by God condemned had been.
He found this prove as gall, and felt so much distressed,
By day he could not work, at night obtained no rest.
Before the week was gone he, almost in despair,
Went forth into the woods, and wandered here and there.
When Sunday came at last, he hailed it with more joy
Than he had done before, and did its hours employ
In poring o'er that Book which had so roused his fears-
When Emma went to school his eyes were full of tears.
So strongly on her mind was his sad state impressed,
She to her teacher flew, and thus herself expressed:
'O, Madam, please to tell what sinners great must do,
When they, because of sin, feel quite pierced through and through?
'My father, all the week, not worked, nor ate, nor slept;
But seemed much like a man who was of sense bereft.
Oh, speak, dear lady, speak! for surely he will die
Unless he soon can learn which way he is to fly!'
With pity in her eyes, the lady kindly took
The humble, loving girl, whose frame with terror shook,
And placed her in a seat, and whispered in her ear
That Jesus came to save poor sinners filled with fear.
She told her how He was both God and Man in one-
The Lord of Heaven and Earth, yet God's beloved Son;
That He for sinners died, just out of purest love,
And on the third day rose, and went again above;
But sent His Spirit down to work upon our hearts,
Through His blest Word of Truth, sent to our inward parts;
And says in that same word-the Bible you have read-
That all who do believe are saved, because he bled!
She further kindly said, 'Wait now till school is done,
And I will go with you-so much my love you've won.'
Then Emma dried her tears, and with a pleasant face,
Amongst the other girls she quickly took her place.
Again, from portions read, the teachers questions ask;
They strove to work from love, and felt it was no task;
Once more sweet hymns were sung which suited Emma's case,
And prayer from all arose up to the Throne of Grace.
The truth that Emma heard went home into her soul,
And joyful feelings rose which she could scarce control.
The pleasant service o'er, the teacher with her went
Into that filthy street, nor thought her time misspent.
They entered soon the house; the wretched man was found
Nigh overwhelmed with grief, and waiting for the sound
Of news, which, as he thought, his darling girl would bring;
But at this proof of love his tears afresh did spring.
He truly felt ashamed that one like she should come,
To try to do him good, in his most wretched home;
The lady told him soon what she might do for such
Was done for Jesus' sake, which did his feelings touch.
She then sat meekly down, and in a heavenly frame,
Told him how Jesus Christ a Sacrifice became;
How sinners of all ranks, by Faith, might be forgiven-
Be saved from sin and hell, and go, at last, to Heaven!
The Lord her labors blessed-they both believed the Word-
And thus it did appear the prayer of Faith was heard.
For such a state of things had Emma's mother prayed,
And she had her request, though for a time delayed.
The tinker, now reclaimed by God's almighty power,
His business still pursued, nor lost a single hour;
On Sabbath went to Church, with his neat, pretty maid,
And in temptations strong received the Savior's aid.
Then, feeling that the place where they were living now,
Was not the place at all for Faith and Love to grow,
He took a small, neat house, just outside of the town,
And, for a proper life, gained from the good, renown.
In time dear Emma came to be a teacher, too,
And God did her employ much lasting good to do.
Her father, in due time, was taken to his rest,
And she, with loving man, as a wife was truly blest.
I might prolong my tale, but quite enough is told,
To show that Christian Love is better far than gold;
That those who wish to be most happy here below,
Must strive with all their might the Savior well to know.
William And Amelia
Near the side of Windermere,
Down a gentle rising hill,
Flowed a murmuring brook so clear
Every portion of the year,
And no doubt is flowing still.
Hard by stood a small, neat house,
Tenanted by peasants poor.
The mother was a loving spouse,
One who never was a blowze,
But most tidy evermore.
The husband was an honest man
Working hard on working days,
Deeming it the wisest plan.
Each day's labor he began
By pure prayer to God always.
We shall call them HUMBLEWORTH;
They such name deserved quite well.
In that country of the north
All would speak their praises forth,
With delight their worth would tell.
Three dear children graced their home,
Lovely were they in their youth.
When they chanced in woods to roam,
Fairies seemed they to become;
Full their hearts of love and truth.
AMIE, BESS and little ANN
We their names at present call;
AMIE'S bloom was richer than
Any rose which zephyrs fan.
She had, too, a lovely soul.
BESS was as a lily pale,
Graceful as a fawn could be.
She was never very hale,
Parents' eyes could see her fail,
And they felt anxiety.
Little ANN, a chubby lass,
Was the youngest and the pet;
Friends all thought naught could surpass
That sweet child in loveliness
Which they in their lives had met.
I have said that they were poor.
This was true of worldly things;
Yet they had an ample store,
They were skilled in Bible lore;
And from this sweet comfort springs.
Very close observers might
Deem them once of higher rank,
They defrauded of their right,
But still blest with gospel light,
Of rich consolation drank.
Near them lived a proud, rich man,
Wide his lands, but small his heart.
Of him a report there ran
That he to be rich began
Practicing a knavish part.
'GRIPEY' was the name he bore
'Mongst the country people round;
They could reckon up a score
Of vile actions, if not more,
And from these this name they found.
Call I him 'SIR FINGERNEED,'
Such a name is more genteel;
Had he done one worthy deed
I would not withold the meed
Of sweet praise I truly feel.
He had but an only son,
WILLIAM was his given name;
He to love had not begun,
Yet at times he liked to run
In the woods when AMIE came.
There for her he'd try to find
Hazel nuts and berries, too.
Thus he showed his heart was kind-
That he had no churlish mind
When such actions he could do.
Time flew past; poor BESSIE lay-
On her humble dying bed.
Parents now beside her pray,
AMIE watches her by day-
Moving round with softest tread.
WILLIAM oft some dainty brought
To her by his mother sent,
And returned with sober thought,
Musing as each mortal ought
On a death-bed scene intent.
He had heard fair AMIE speak
Of a place above the sky,
Where dear BESS with spirit meek
Would be taken, though so weak,
If at present she should die.
Now he reaches that fine place
Where he and his parents live.
Marks of sadness on his face
Make his father wish to trace
What could him such trouble give.
WILLIAM, not inclined to guile,
Did the truth at once disclose.
This creates a scornful smile
On that rich man's face the while,
Then unto his wife he goes,
And in stern and angry mood
Asks her why she sent the boy;
Did she call that doing good
Sending one of gentler blood,
Just to watch a cottar die?
He no reasons deigns to hear,
Bids the boy not go again.
WILLIAM drops a silent tear
While his parent still is near,
Yet strict silence does maintain.
BESS has left this earthly scene,
Sorrow therefore fills that home.
They have to the churchyard been,
And its clods are now between
Them and charming BESSIE'S form.
They were not alone in grief,
WILLIAM sorrowed much at heart,
Knew not yet the saint's belief,
And most slowly came relief
To remove from him his smart.
Those who seek to curb the mind
Of their offspring in their youth,
Should show reason why they bind,
Clothed in language very kind,
Lest they tempt them from the truth.
Soon the youth began to feel
Galled by most unjust restraint,
And did oft in secret steal
To enquire of AMIE'S weal,
And to her would make complaint.
Then she told her father all.
Calm but firm was his reply:-
'WILLIAM shall no longer call;
Some great ill might him befall,
And he must himself deny.'
This AMELIA saw was right
And informed the gentle boy.
Tears bedimmed his eyes that night
For the loss of his delight,
Which would all his peace destroy.
Said he now, 'I will refrain
From my visits, AMIE dear,
If you'll true to me remain
Till I can consent obtain
From my father, whom I fear.'
AMIE blushed, her word did pledge.
WILLIAM snatched a parting kiss
As he swiftly climbs the hedge,
Fairest dreams his mind engage
For he tastes of lovers' bliss.
Pass we o'er five tedious years.
Years which saw great changes come
To some thousands in all spheres,
Raised by hopes or sunk by fears,
Now alive, or in the tomb
WILLIAM had just come from school
Summoned to his father's bed
On an Autumn evening cool.
Now dread thoughts began to rule
Him who lay just like the dead.
Why that start, that vacant stare?
Does he know his son is by?
Guilty conscience who can bear?
Hope shut out or blank Despair,
When one's latter end is nigh?
Stood the youth with tearful eyes
Fixed upon the dying man.
He would speak, but when he tries
His young soul within him dies
As he views that face so wan.
Speaks the father now at last,
'WILLIAM, listen to my tale.
I through dreadful crime have passed,
But while life is ebbing fast
Now to you I would unveil
'My base heart, if yet I may
In some measure crime atone.
It is thirty years this day
Since a Will I made away,
To gain riches not my own.
'Him I wronged is HUMBLEWORTH,
Long a neighbor near this house:
His my wealth by right of birth;
All I own upon this earth
Is my family-and disgrace.
'I would make amends to him,
But grim death now shakes his dart;
Breathing fails me, eyes grow dim,
Spectres 'fore my vision skim,
And with terrors fill my heart.
'List, my son, your's be the task,
When I'm past this earthly scene,
Pardon for my sin to ask,
My vile conduct to unmask,
And make known what I have been.
'But, my boy, in pity spare,
Spare your mother's feelings dear.
Warning take, from me, nor dare
Sport with sin; of that beware,
For great danger lurketh near.
'I more would say, but now again
Death's strong fetters bind my tongue.'
Soon his struggles are in vain;
WILLIAM'S heart is wrung with pain,
And his nerves are all unstrung.
Startling groans break on his ear
Now that ill-spent life has fled.
WILLIAM sees his mother near
And attempts her heart to cheer,
As she sinks upon the bed.
Seems this stroke too hard to bear.
In the lack of Christian hope,
Her weak heart from grief and care
Droops too soon to dire despair;
With such foe she cannot cope.
Now the youth feels greatest need
To curb well his ardent grief,
Calls he loud for help with speed.
His commands the servants heed,
They obey his mandates brief.
First the mistress they convey
To her room and lay her down.
There would WILLIAM with her stay,
But he could not brook delay
Till his father's crime he own.
Goes he to the house once more
Where his dear AMELIA lives.
With a heart most truly sore,
Reaches he the cottage door,
Knocks; no one admittance gives.
Why is all so still around?
This place they did occupy!
'Where can HUMBLEWORTHS be found?'
Asks he loud, nor heeds the sound
Of man's footsteps passing by.
Turns the man in haste his head
And the youth does recognize,
Tells him, 'In the lake's clean bed
Some one found poor AMIE dead!'
And that thitherward he hies.
This like thrust of dagger came,
Near depriving him of sense.
In his breast's a raging flame,
Calls he AMIE'S lovely name
As he rushes o'er the fence.
Down toward the deep lake's side
Flies he now with greatest speed.
Forms among the bushes glide,
Sorely is the lover tried
In this saddest hour of need.
Who can paint his grief of mind
As the lifeless form he views?
Vainly strives he peace to find,
This stroke seems the most unkind;
He all comfort does refuse.
AMIE'S face has lost its bloom,
Though her countenance is fair.
Little ANN within the room
Deeply shares the general gloom,
In a dim lit corner there.
Some make efforts to restore
That sweet girl they loved so well.
Too long time elapsed before
Her dear form was drawn to shore.
Death has cast o'er her his spell.
Women kind now lay her out,
In pure white her corpse invest.
WILLIAM then, by nature taught,
With poetic feeling fraught,
This warm song to her addressed:
SONG TO AMELIA.
Still like to Luna wading,
Beneath yon silvery cloud,
Thy beauties are unfading,
Though mantled in a shroud.
As thou in death art lying,
Thy lovely form I view,
And ask if aught in dying
Has made thy charms seem new.
Say, wert thou conscious ever
That I to thee was true?
That naught but death could sever
The bond 'twixt me and you?
I came with heart nigh bursting
From thee to get relief.
My very soul was thirsting
To let thee share its grief.
And now this stroke has fallen
Like thunderbolt on me,
And my poor heart is swollen
With saddest misery.
Oh, where can I be flying
For strength and succor now?
If there were hope in dying,
I soon to death would bow.
But now my duty strongly
Bids me my task fulfil;
Thy family suffered wrongly,
To right them I've the will.
And then I would be leaving
Each bitter scene of woe,
Haply my loss retrieving,
If that can be below.
Thou wert to me oft speaking
Of God's sweet place of Rest,
I would that place be seeking,
To be with thee most blest.
Farewell, my young life's charmer,
A long, a last farewell;
I feel my heart grow warmer
As on thy love I dwell.
Calls he HUMBLEWORTH aside,
Speaks to him with faltering tongue:
'Father's sin I dare not hide;
Me he bade before he died,
Soon redress your grievous wrong.
'He destroyed your uncle's will,
When you were a little boy,
And did not his part fulfil
As your proper guardian still,
Losing peace of mind and joy.
'I'm prepared to give a deed
To you of that large estate,
But I strongly intercede
For my mother in her need,
In her sad affliction great.'
'My dear friend,' the good man said,
'Let some time now pass away.
I am not of you afraid,
His command you have obeyed,
Let us talk some other day.
'Go, my boy, and cheer the heart
Of your mother, still my friend;
See, I bid you now depart,
Lest delay increase her smart;
I will soon to it attend.
'Learn to place in Christ your trust;
Seek for pardon through His blood.
God alone can keep you just,
For we are at best but dust;
Naught have we ourselves of good.'
WILLIAM hastens to the Hall
With a somewhat easier mind.
Fearing that it might appal
Mother's heart, he tells not all
That befel their friends so kind.
Now an inquest has been held
O'er AMELIA'S corpse so fair,
Tears have from their fountains welled,
Grief immoderate has been quelled,
Which has brought of peace a share.
Now arrangements have been made
Suiting all who are concerned.
HUMBLEWORTHS such love displayed,
As proved all that I have said,
Showing in whose school they learned.
To the Hall, as theirs of right,
All the family removed;
And they strove with all their might
To make the widow's burden light,
For she was by them, beloved.
As assistant on the farm
WILLIAM proved of greatest use.
With a heart both young and warm,
He soon found that ANNIE'S charm
For lost time was some excuse.
Why should I prolong this tale?
All my object may divine.
Christian love will still prevail
O'er its foes when they assail,
And it will forever shine.
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 2
Domestic bliss! what tongue can speak thy praise!
What poet give, even in his noblest lays,
An eulogy that shall thy charms express,
Clothed in Truth's language, thy own native dress?
To thy sweet influence do we owe the choice
Of all mankind, whoever raised their voice
In Freedom's cause, or stood on battle-ground,
While Liberty her banner waved around.
To thee, when governed by God's holy book,
Must we in future for true heroes look.
For if thou dwellest in each family,
Then long may wave the flag of Liberty!
To keep thee shining brightly round each hearth,
Is worth the wealth contained in all the earth!
It does become us then to study well
(Who knows the secret? Would some Angel tell?)
The best of means by which to foster this
Great earthly blessing, pure domestic bliss!
Hail sweet conjugal union! Hail to thee!
May I thy humble votary ever be!
Take thee away, and each dear earthly home
Would soon a scene of dreadful strife become;
And from this source would spring a thousand woes
Which to imagine has my heart's blood froze!
Dear fellow countrymen! Stand forward now,
And faithful prove unto your marriage vow.
I conjure you by all the sacred ties
By which you're bound unto your families,
Whatever faults, through weakness, you display,
In this be faithful to your dying day!
Why will you leave the wife you swore to love,
Who should to you be as a precious dove,
To wanton with a harlot void of shame,
And bring disgrace upon a father's name?
Why will you pierce yourselves with sorrow through,
And ruin bring upon your children, too?
Oh! let a broken-hearted wife's deep sighs,
And children's woes, bring tears into your eyes!
Give to yourselves no rest, by day or night,
Till you have made their saddened faces bright.
Oh! there is One above who sees you now,
If you repent not he will bring you low!
Regard this warning, flee to God for peace,
From loving your dear families never cease.
And ye, whose task it is to make our laws,
Lend your strong influence to aid this cause;
See that your hands are clean-or make them so-
You've much to answer for, of weal or woe.
Young COOPER'S parents did on him impress
The way to gain domestic happiness:
More by example than by precepts strong
They their dear children sought to lead along
Their constant conduct to each other told
What they preferred before the richest gold.
And one who knows them well can testify
That they themselves would evermore deny,
Ere they would risk their own or family's peace,
As some have done, who scarce from jarring cease.
In such a family, as we might expect,
True discipline met not with long neglect.
And this, employed aright, the Lord will bless,
In spite of childhood's frequent waywardness.
Trained in this manner, WILLIAM soon arrived
Just to the time when means should he contrived
To get for him at once a proper trade,
And he to this not one objection made.
It was his choice that he might he employed
In marble works, and had the thought enjoyed
That some good master would his service need;
But disappointment was for him decreed.
Some other places then the father tried,
But all with boys appeared to be supplied.
The youth more anxious grew from day to day,
Nor could well brook what seemed such sad delay.
He oft retired at night unto his bed,
With various plans contrived in his young head;
But vanished soon were all these well-formed schemes,
As though they were so many empty dreams;
Until, by 'hope deferred,' he was made sad,
And even home scenes failed to make him glad.
He now had nearly reached his thirteenth year,
And did a small, weak youth, indeed, appear;
Yet though so very young and small, this boy
Had felt deep sorrow, and no little joy.
Good news at last he heard, with much delight,
When his dear father came from work one night;
He said a tradesman an apprentice wanted,
And told what wages would to him be granted.
WILLIAM at once accepted of the place,
And met the man next morn with smiling face.
'Twas soon agreed that he a month should try
The work, and his new master satisfy.
This soon flew past, and he was strongly bound
Till seven long years should, in their course, move round.
To mention all his trials and mishaps
Would please no reader of this tale, perhaps;
Suffice to say, he did himself exert
In his new business, and was soon expert
In making up their wares of shining metal-
A teapot, can, or otherwise a kettle.
Let none despise him for his occupation,
For God has stamped it with His approbation.
'Tis therefore lawful, and should always be
Approved of men, though e'en of high degree.
God's holy book commands that saints engage
In honest callings, throughout every age;
That they may lead a just and holy life,
Nor needlessly be found in worldly strife;
That they themselves and households may maintain,
From the just proceeds of a righteous gain.
Let none be found so foolish or so base,
As to regard mechanics as a race
Devoid of intellect and common sense,
Who to true honor have no just pretence.
Our ranks can boast of one far higher name
Than e'er was found in other paths of fame.
This, my assertion, may to many prove
A puzzle great, while puzzles they do love.
Cheer up, ye poor mechanics! and pursue
Your lowly trades, and Heaven keep still in view.
Ye who have naught to boast save rank and wealth,
Look round you openly-or look by stealth;
See what our factories have done for you-
And for the world-whichever side you view!
Without them, Ocean ne'er would bear a sail
To catch the breeze, or fly before the gale;
Without them, where could we obtain the Press-
That mightiest engine in the universe?
Take it away, and we should back be thrown
Into dark ages, which would Science drown.
While all the household comforts that we boast
Would disappear, and be forever lost!
Such thoughts as these would ramble through the brain
Of our apprentice, while he did maintain
A due respect for those above him placed,
And kept these things within his mind encased.
Let none suppose that he his trade pursued
Without exposure to temptations rude.
In that small shop he found a vicious youth,
Who feared not God, nor yet regarded truth:
One who deep drank, who gambled, swore and lied
Most awfully; nor can it be denied,
Some other practices he did pursue
Which, I would hope, he long has learned to rue.
'Twas well for WILLIAM that this vicious youth
Was, undisguisedly, averse to truth;
That, in attempting to sow evil seeds,
He made no secret of his foulest deeds.
Howe'er it was, our hero stood his ground,
In such sad vices never was he found.
He now acknowledges 'twas God's rich grace
Kept him from falling in that dangerous place.
And, from his heart, that goodness would adore
Which did preserve him 'midst such trials sore.
'Evil communications,' God declares,
'Corrupt good manners.' Who then boldly dares
To say their influence will not be seen
In those who long exposed to them have been?
For, well we know, the unregenerate mind
Is proper soil wherein to seek and find
The seeds of latent evil, which may spring-
And springing, grow, till they destruction bring.
Even so it was with WILLIAM'S carnal heart,
Some mischief settled in its fleshy part.
Nor was this all; he oft became the butt
Of journeymen or 'prentice, who would glut
Their hardened hearts by showing greatest spite
'Gainst him for following what he thought was right.
Often that wicked youth, in wantonness,
Would try all means to give him sore distress.
And once, with all a dreadful demon's rage-
In such acts none but demons would engage-
He threw him down, and held him; then applied
A lighted candle to his throat and tried
To make him think it merely was a joke!
Which was as true as most of what he spoke.
The sore thus made gave him most cruel pain,
And left a scar that does even now remain.
Bad as this was, it was not half so bad
As what was done unto another lad.
I heard the story, and believe it true-
And shudder while I have it in my view.
The town in which this shocking act was done
I have passed through-it was an English one.
The scene, a Tinsmith's shop, where several men
Were wont to work, and all were present then.
A monster man two solder-irons took,
Made them quite hot, and, with a fiendish look,
Went right behind the boy, and on each side
The heated irons to his face applied!
The youth saw one, his head aside he threw,
Received a burn, before his fate he knew;
He quickly turned it then the other way,
And had two scars unto his dying day!
Methinks I hear the thoughtful reader ask,
'Why was the man, at once, not ta'en to task?
Why did the other men not take a part
With that poor boy, and show a feeling heart?'
I am informed they all enjoyed the joke!
Not one reproachful word they ever spoke.
I blush to think that any of my trade
Should of such monsters ever be afraid.
The very thought still makes my blood to boil-
And shuddering, from such thoughts I back recoil!
I would have dragged the fiend unto a jail,
Or had him fastened to a wagon's tail,
Laid bare his back, and let the lash descend-
And, doing this, would still my act defend!
Ye masters, foremen, journeymen, and all
Who view such scenes, on each of you I call
To try your utmost now to do away
Such shocking deeds, enacted day by day!
If this you do not, you deserve the blame,
And richly merit good men's scorn and shame.
Our WILLIAM'S trials led him oft to think
That, while from duty he would never shrink,
It would be better far to leave his trade,
Than the sad object of such sport be made.
And to his father spoke to this effect-
Not in ill humor, but with much respect.
The father's counsel was, that he should stay.
As soon the other youth would go away.
I here may mention he had one good friend,
And one on whom he always could depend;
This was his dear young master, who oft took
Much pains in reading o'er the Christian's Book-
Received its lessons in his gentle heart,
And showed by this he chose the better part.
He would encourage and defend the youth,
Who saw it right to let him know the truth.
Alas! this master soon was seized by Death,
And died rejoicing in our 'common faith.'
COOPER with grief beheld the sorrowing scene,
And called to mind how kind that friend had been;
And often wished more like to him were found
In all the workshops through the country round.
Still time moved on; the elder youth took leave,
And those he left had no just cause to grieve.
'Twas WILLIAM'S turn to take the other's place,
And do his best to bring it no disgrace.
He now had under him a younger boy,
While better work did his own hands employ.
The workshop was a cellar, close to th' street,
And passers-by would oft the workmen greet.
The light came through an iron-grated space,
Making a prison-like and dismal place.
One day a stir was made that street within,
And each felt anxious to behold the scene.
The errand-boy was busy cleaning knives,
As others have done often in their lives.
He in a moment climbed upon the bench,
And the huge carver in his hand did clench.
WILLIAM was looking up, with outstretched throat,
Quite unobservant, being lost in thought.
'I'll cut! I'll cut!' fell quickly on his ear;
He felt sharp pain, and thus had cause to fear!
The boy, for fun, across WILL'S neck had drawn
The carving-knife, and stood still as a stone;
Quite terrified at sight of blood, he said,
'I thought it was th' back!' it proved the edge instead.
The wound was slight, but might have been far worse-
And he might ne'er have figured in my verse.
One thing the serious reader would expect-
To give God thanks he could not well neglect.
Ah, me! his passion drove such thought away-
Strong Passion's call he hastened to obey;
And feeling in a dreadful angry mood,
He beat the boy that it might do him good!
Yes, beat him without mercy, and declared
'Twas well, indeed, the lad no worse had fared!
God dealt not thus with thee, my hero fine,
He long forbore with all those sins of thine;
And 'twas but just thou should'st some mercy show,
To that poor boy, who did no better know.
My Muse, most willingly, would quit these themes-
Which are not seemly in a poet's dreams.
More pleasing topics now demand my pen,
Though often sung by many wiser men.
The subject of my verse had early felt
That sensibility within him dwelt.
So constituted was he, that at school,
When he should have been conning grammar's rule-
In deep arithmetic-or other task-
His eye would wander to a distant desk,
Which, having reached, itself it stationed there,
Fixed on some beauty-bud of promise rare!
'Twill not seem strange, then, if in after years
This thing called Sensibility appears.
Strange, or not strange, our hero's heart was warm,
Which made him seek the other sex's charm;
And when his mind was brought to fix on one
Who, in his eyes, all others far outshone-
He loved to ramble, on a moonlight night,
With that dear girl-so charming in his sight-
And listen to the murmuring of Kent's stream,
Whose face reflected full each pale moonbeam;
Or wander by the side of some lone wood,
In sweet discourse, which both considered good.
Or else they clomb, delighted, up that hill,
Upon whose top the Castle's ruins still
Invite the mind, in pensiveness, to know
The end of all things in this world below.
Yes, these have stood within that gloomy place,
Which now exhibits many a striking trace
Of the rude ravages of Man and Time,
As seen upon that edifice sublime.
And, as he stood upon that green hill's brow,
Has felt inclined abiding love to vow
To her, who fondly on his arm was leaning
With upturned eyes, which well bespoke their meaning.
That place is sacred to such lovers' vows-
As could be witnessed by each tree that grows
Around those ruins; which have also seen
Some sad, strange sights within their day, I ween!
Sometimes they chose to see a mutual friend,
And in sweet singing would the evening spend.
At other times through beauteous Gillingrove,
[Footnote: A well-known lovers' retreat.]
They, arm in arm, and rapt in love, would rove.
This walk they mostly took on Sunday nights,
As most in keeping with that day's delights.
For both had long quite strict attendants been
At a small Chapel, thought to be too mean
To be oft visited by wealthy men;
Though some would wander to it now and then.
As yet nor WILLIAM, nor his girl, professed
To be by saving Gospel Truth most bless'd;
Yet both went there three times each Sabbath day,
To join in singing, if they did not pray.
And 'tis but right that Christian parents should
To church take children, for the children's good.
To lead them to regard the Lord's own day-
Nor spend its hours in idleness or play.
These two young people might be quite sincere,
For all their friends could ever see or hear;
But though their love was warm, and pure as day,
Time spent in this wise runs to waste away.
Of leisure he had never much to boast,
For every work-day found him at his post;
From six at morn till eight o'clock at night,
He faithful wrought, as in his Master's sight.
Yet oft he wished-that wish was strongest then-
Improvement in his learning to obtain;
But, such love frolics made that wish in vain.
This grieved him much when, afterwards, desire
He felt to nurture true poetic fire;
And did regret that youthful follies cost
So much in precious time forever lost.
This folly seen, he strove with eager haste
To let his leisure run no more to waste,
And rose each morn at four or five o'clock,
To walk abroad, and gain of health a stock;
Or listen to the lark's sweet morning lay,
As he rose up to greet the King of Day;
Or let the lively, thrilling blackbird's song,
Charm his fond ear as he walked slow along.
Sometimes through well-fenced fields of new-mown hay-
Breathing out fragrance-he was wont to stray;
Or climb a bill with firm, elastic tread,
While Sol his early beams in radiance shed.
The Castle hill he mostly did prefer,
As quite accordant with his character.
Upon its ruins he would musing sit,
Till he was seized with a strong rhyming fit;
Then frame his welling thoughts to some rude verse-
Which friends were anxious he should oft rehearse.
If thus his leisure was not always spent,
He read what books his friends had to him lent.
Of such good things he owned but very few-
And parents needed all the cash he drew.
Thus was his time most constantly employed,
While life passed smoothly on-not unenjoyed.
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 1
My harp awakes! And as I touch each string,
The poor Mechanic Emigrant I sing.
Eighteen eventful years, or rather more,
Have fled since first he left his native shore-
That much-loved shore! that dear old English home!
So oft regretted since first led to roam.
My Muse, 'tis thine to give in artless lays,
A genuine history of his early days;
Make known the place where first he saw the light,
Portray the scenes which pleased his boyish sight,
Unfold his parentage, and backward trace
Their line, descended from no common race;
Speak of his eagerness to learn a trade,
Mark what proficiency in that he made,
Glance at his love scenes, and a lesson show,
Which youths in general would do well to know.
Fail not to tell how, in his eighteenth year,
He did, as Christian, publicly appear.
Make known the cause that led him first to feel
A strong desire to seek his future weal,
In emigration to that distant shore
Where flow great rivers, and loud cataracts roar;
Where mighty lakes afford the fullest scope
For future commerce, and the settler's hope.
Go with him to his home in the wild woods-
That rude log cottage where he stored his goods;
Paint faithfully the scenes through which he passed,
And how he settled in a town at last;
What then befel him in successive years,
Or aught which to thee suitable appears,
To make his history such as may be read
By high-born race, or those more lowly bred.
Let usefulness be still thy constant aim,
Nor care a jot for merely worldly fame.
Help me to seek, by constant, earnest prayer
That God's approval be my chiefest care.
And if a Poet thou would'st wish to make
Thy guide and pattern, gentle COWPER take.
Thus, O my Muse! may we together spend
Some happy hours, until my task shall end.
And when 'tis finished, may it ne'er be said
That we a useless memoir have displayed.
In the northwest of England's verdant isle,
Where beauteous scenery meets one with a smile,
Where lakes and rivers burst upon the sight
And fill the mind with transports of delight,
Where lofty hills unite with lowly dales
To furnish matter for instructive tales,
There is a town, a very ancient town,
Which, should enjoy a share of high renown.
My native place! I need not sink the name-
Such act, sweet KENDAL! thou might'st justly blame,
A place so dear, I trust I still shall love,
Where'er I am, or wheresoe'er I rove!
It has its site fast by a pleasant stream,
Beside whose banks our hero learned to dream.
Though quiet, it gave birth to many a name,
Which for good deeds obtained a moderate fame.
Some few there were well skilled in Science deep,
Who now within its several graveyards sleep.
Its once-proud Castle that in ruin lies,
The birthplace was of one who lived to rise
To queenly state, and sit upon a throne
And the eighth HENRY as her lord to own.
Within this town some very rich men live;
But many more who poverty receive
As their low birthright, with the fullest share
Of its attendants, constant toil and care!
These oft, though poor, in honesty may vie
With most of those who hold their heads so high.
Of this large class young COOPER'S parents were;
To peace inclined, they heeded not the stir
Which proud Ambition's votaries create
To gain such objects as their pride may sate.
E'er since this father was a little boy,
Hard out-door labor did his hands employ.
The mother, too, to work was early taught,
And take delight in what her hands had wrought.
This hardy training proved of use to them,
A blessing they did never once contemn;
For 'twas the means of gaining honest bread-
And on no other would they e'er be fed!
In course of time four children needed care,
And claimed from them of food and clothes a share.
Nor did they grudge them what they could afford-
For they had learned to live and serve the Lord!
But soon Affliction, with her visage dire,
Called them to pass through purifying fire!
And first a smiling girl was snatched away-
The mother next, to Death became a prey.
The father, too, was sick, and laid aside
For many weeks; thus sorely was he tried.
Anon their pet, a lovely infant, died,
And she was laid by her dear mother's side.
Such fearful strokes, to one in poverty,
Were hard to bear, as all may clearly see.
But this poor man, all strong in holy faith,
Was led to take a proper view of death-
E'en to regard him as an enemy
Conquered by Him who died on Calvary-
And view his loved ones but as gone before.
To Canaan's blest and truly happy shore!
Ere long the Lord a partner did prepare
To aid this Christian, and his sorrow share.
She had for many years in service been;
Of careful habits, in good pay I ween.
And this enabled her to lay aside
A goodly sum, and keep her needs supplied.
This virtuous woman thus became 'a crown'
To that poor man, by trials well bowed down.
And by her cleverness in housewif'ry,
With constant practice of economy,
The family soon enjoyed a greater share
Of household comforts, and had much less care.
Thus early schooled, our WILLIAM grew apace,
And though still young, wore oft a thoughtful face.
By nature studious, and of ready turn,
He needful tasks most eagerly did learn.
And being inquisitive, 'twas his desire
On winter nights, and by their frugal fire,
That his dear father should to him make known
What kind of ancestry they chanced to own.
To this the father, with a smiling face,
Soon made reply, 'We spring from noble race!
Long, long ago, I can in truth declare,
A wandering Minstrel visited a fair,
And there saw one of very noble blood,
Who liked him well and deemed his music good.
They soon contrived each others' minds to learn,
And felt Love's flame within their bosoms burn;
But knowing well this would not be allowed,
Disguised, away they fled amongst a crowd.
Soon they were fast in honest wedlock tied;
And thus the Minstrel gained a lovely bride!
Yet were they destined not to live in peace-
For ELLEN'S brother vowed he would not cease
To search for them through all the country wide,
And quick return with ELLEN at his side!
Long time he searched, then gave them up for lost,
And proved his boasting vain, unto his cost.
But on one night he, weary, sad and faint,
Espied a house, and to that house he went-
Just reached the threshold, and sank down quite spent.
The fair young mistress, with a piteous eye,
Beheld the man, and feared that he would die.
She loosed his vest, then laid his bosom bare,
And spied a mark which well might make her stare.
It was her brother! and her gentle heart
With love o'erflowed to act a sister's part.
Most earnest efforts quick the man restored,
And ELLEN felt most grateful to the Lord.
She, fully conscious of strict rectitude,
Confessed her kindred, and for pardon sued.
The astonished brother clasped her in his arms;
Their early love afresh their spirit warms,
And all his hatred very soon disarms.
This Minstrel, with his lovely ELLEN, were
Our ancestors, as you may well infer.'
[Footnote: In proof that the above legend has some foundation in fact,
I may state that one of my hero's cousins in England has a gold headed
cane, and another a splendid jasper snuff-box, both said to have been
left by the party who came to seek the runaway lady.]
Young COOPER heard, and could not well conceal
Some stirring thoughts that he began to feel.
He still was of a very tender age;
Far, far too young to feel Ambition's rage.
But he had heard of Dukes, and Earls, and Lords,
And all the splendor which their rank affords;
Had seen in prints their castles and their halls;
Had heard of servants who obeyed their calls;
Of their vast parks, well filled with noble deer,
Their tables loaded with the best of cheer;
Of horses, carriages, and fleetest hounds,
And cattle feeding over all their grounds;
Of gardens filled with precious fruits and flowers,
And of sweet music to beguile their hours;
Fancied their mansions full of lovely girls,
With beauteous eyes, and richly flowing curls;
In short, conceived that these men were no less
Than mighty lords whom every eye should bless.
And 'twas no wonder if in reverie
This boy indulged with greatest frequency.
But years flew by, with all their constant care,
New hopes, new scenes, and feelings of despair.
He owning still a constitution weak,
Would better health in change of air oft seek.
At times like these, his second mother's care
Did send him forth with relatives to fare.
And then sweet Crossthwaite, with its paper mill,
Its pretty brooks, and many a trickling rill,
With dearest pleasure would his bosom fill.
Deep gratitude impels him now to pay
A tribute due to relatives, and say
That purer kindness could not be displayed
To any one who needed friendly aid,
Than they still showed to him while living there,
As their own child, he did their goodness share.
Dear, aged friends! grim Death has laid you low,
And you no more to him can kindness show!
Often thy scenery, fair Underbarrow,
Has cheered his spirit and dispelled his sorrow!
Thy hazel copses, and thy rugged Scaur,
With yellow-blooming whins have banished far
All thoughts of his poor, weak and sickly frame,
And raised his love of Nature to a flame!
Yes, often now, though living o'er the sea,
And many years have fled since he saw thee,
Dear Memory brings thy early charms to view,
And all their pleasures to his mind seem new!
Again, fresh scenes would his attention crave,
Ev'n noble Windermere with rippling wave;
And frequently he crossed o'er its short ferry,
In huge flat-boats, or pleasant sailing wherry,
And viewed, well pleased, its many lovely isles,
Clothed with rich verdure and sweet Summer's smiles;
Or watched the fishes, darting to and fro,
As o'er its crystal waves the boat would go;
And still remembers those rich wooded hills,
While deep emotion all his spirit thrills.
Sometimes tired Nature would assert her sway,
Then gloomy thoughts rose up in dark array;
He thus would wander, weary and alone,
Listening the breezes in their fitful moan,
As in their anger they swept through the woods,
While thunder-clouds sent down their copious floods,
And ask himself, in bitterness of soul,
Why he his destiny could not control?
Why some were wealthy, and could take their ease,
And ride about wherever they should please?
While he, poor lad, on foot his weary way
Kept plodding still, till nearly close of day!
At other times a pleasant lodge was seen,
Where life seemed spent in happiness serene;
Its graceful lawn, its gardens and its fields,
Spoke loudly of the comfort money yields;
And oft he vainly dreamed that he possessed
Just such a home, and with such comforts blest.
Sweet day-dreams these, quite frequently indulged;
Too oft, alas! were all his thoughts divulged.
Before him soon more charming views arise,
Enchanting scenes meet everywhere his eyes.
See Low Wood Inn, a sweet, secluded spot,
Most lovely sight, not soon to be forgot!
It stands upon the margin of the lake-
And of it all things round conspire to make
A mansion such as poets well might choose-
Fit habitation for the heaven-born Muse!
Well might he linger with entranced delight,
Though Sol gave warning of approaching night.
Aroused by this, ere long he forward hied
To that small village still called Ambleside.
We now again will cross with him the lake,
And thence the road that leads to Hawkshead take;
There Esthwaite water on a smaller scale
Unfolds her beauties, to adorn my tale.
She, like a mirror, on her silvery face
Reflects the mansions that her margins grace.
Those mansions fair are seen on every hand,
(What may not wealth, in such a place, command?)
And mark their owners men of wealth and taste;
Not miserly, nor yet inclined to waste.
Near this small lake does a rude hamlet stand,
In which there dwelt a poor, hard-working band.
The parents, both, were well advanced in age,
And yet, from kindness, they at once engage
To give this youth a welcome to their board,
And all the comforts that their means afford.
To see him happy was their chief desire,
Which did his soul with gratitude inspire.
They now are dead! Oh, may their ashes rest
In peace, and still their memories be bless'd!
WILLIAM oft thinks of all the pleasant scenes
He there enjoyed before he reached his teens;
And well remembers how he loved to stray
By that pure lake, soon after break of day.
'Twas at such time, that once he chanced to spy
A splendid pike upon the beach quite dry
He viewed the prize; it had not long been dead,
As he well knew by looking at its head.
Surprised, he gazed about, on every hand,
But saw no soul upon the lake or land;
Then thought, since no one came the fish to claim,
Take it he might, and yet incur no blame.
This settled in his mind, without delay
He seized the fish, and carried it away.
When he reached home, friends thought it would be best
'Gainst noon-tide hour to have it nicely dressed.
But candor now obliges me to say,
That the right owner soon appeared next day;
Who said he lately caught a noble pike,
And laid it carefully beside a dyke;
But, while he went still farther up the lake,
To draw some lines, and other fishes take,
A dog, or person, had purloined that one:
A cousin told him WILL the deed had done!
Told how he brought to them, with boyish glee,
As fine a pike as ever one could see!
This heard, the loser took it in good part,
Enjoyed the joke, and showed a kindly heart.
Hail, human kindness! Often have I been
Indebted to thee for same pleasing scene;
Although our race have sadly fallen low,
Thou still appearest like the heavenly bow,
Amidst the storms of human passion now;
And where, dear Angel, thou art to be found,
Sweet peace and comfort flow to all around!
An incident I now would introduce
Which may, perchance, be now and then of use
In leading youths to greater carefulness,
When to sweet pleasure they themselves address.
Near Esthwaite's foot exists a lonely spot,
Named by the country people 'The Priest's Pot';
A strange, deep hole, with crystal water filled,
By land surrounded which was never tilled;
Of spongy texture, yielding to the foot-
Quite full of danger is this marshy spot.
To this place WILLIAM once a fishing went,
And, ere his patience was completely spent,
Took up a fresh position; but, alas!
His foothold proved but little else than grass.
While sinking fast he, with a fluttering heart,
Gave one quick spring and reached a firmer part.
This proved a lesson which he ne'er forgot-
He visited no more that dreaded spot.
Before this time, for years, he went to school,
And caught some learning by the common rule;
In parsing showed a fair amount of skill,
Wrote a plain hand, and read with right good will;
Almost a 'book-worm,' seemed he to devour
What books he got, and read from hour to hour.
And, oh! how pleased and gratified was he,
To hear the Master read sweet poetry!
Once he read well a very touching tale,
In which the Poet does the lot bewail
Of orphan 'Lubin,' who, while tending sheep
For a hard master, oft was seen to weep.
While this pathetic tale was read aloud,
The tears to WILLIAM'S eyes would quickly crowd;
And from that time a Poet he became-
In joy or sorrow felt a glowing flame.
Though still so young he, at this very time,
Oft framed rude numbers, and poured forth his rhyme;
And 'twas no wonder if, by Nature taught,
He wrapped himself in sweet poetic thought.
He, to this day, is pleased to recollect
What few, who knew him then, would e'er suspect-
How much he loved to wander in the woods,
And watch the trees put forth their opening buds;
Or list the sound created by the wind,
Which sought a passage through the leaves to find.
He also loved, with wonder and delight,
To gaze on flowers bedecked with glory bright;
On polyanthus and auriculas,
In pleasing contrast with the ribbon-grass;
On wall-flower, too, with richest odor filled,
Like sweet frankincense daintily distilled;
On roses fair, in great variety
Of scent and color; and the peony,
Or scented violet, which scarce shows its head,
Yet does its odor o'er the garden shed;
On prince's feather, wearing stately plume,
With much of show, but nothing of perfume;
Loved tulips, lilies, pinks and gilliflowers,
With woodbines trained o'er lovely garden bowers,
That give forth sweetness and their charms display,
While, in rich robes, they stand in full array;
The foxglove, daisy, and demure monk's-hood,
With lilacs, and the scented southern wood;
The guelder-rose, with its fair, whited balls,
And creeping plants, high climbing up the walls,
These at all times our hero warmly loved,
And showed it, too, when he in gardens roved.
While, to himself, he had a patch of ground,
Where, at his leisure, he was mostly found.
Thus passed, most pleasantly, his youthful days,
All intermingled with his boyish plays,
And sometimes meriting a need of praise.
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 3
Hail, Holidays! To you, with great delight,
The schoolboy looks-exulting with his might
At the fair prospect of enjoying play,
Or visiting relations far away.
Ere your propitious dawn he lays his schemes,
And pleased, rejoices in his bright day dreams.
He, in anticipation, views the charm
Of being for days exempt from birchen harm!
When, free from tasks-nor caring much for books-
With some companion he can fish the brooks;
Can ramble through the woods for flowers or nuts,
Play with fair girls who live in sylvan huts,
Mount with agility some green hill top,
And, with a mate, roll full length down the slope;
Or take his fill from loaded bramble bushes,
Or from rich fruit bedecked in Autumn's blushes.
Such is the bliss that's placed before his view,
In all its fulness, Holidays! by you.
And thus, without a single shade of sorrow,
He greets his mates with 'Holiday to-morrow!'
These pleasures seem unto his boyish mind
Of the right sort-and for schoolboys designed.
He seldom thinks of all the anxious care
His parents feel, to give their son a share
Of useful learning, that he may discharge
His part to God, to them, and men at large.
Apprentices as well with pleasure hail
Their holidays-O, may they never fail!
These are too often spent in idleness,
Or such sad courses as brings them distress.
This is the case when grog-shops they frequent;
For ruin follows time and means ill spent.
Pause, O, ye youths! before you yet begin
A course that may lead you to every sin!
Restrain your feet from entering those holes
Which prove the ruin of so many souls.
Would ye not pause, if right across your path
There lay a monstrous serpent, full of wrath?
Would we, fool-hardy, rush into his jaws
To certain death? or would ye rather pause?
Youths, ye have cause, yea, weighty cause, to dread
This horrid serpent, on strong liquor fed,
Which lurks in every place where Rum is sold,
Though they may be all covered o'er with gold-
They often are; nor deem it hard of faith-
The way to present and eternal death!
God does by His most holy Book declare,
'Into God's kingdom none shall enter there,
Who liquor drink till drunkards they become!'
Yet, day by day, some meet this awful doom.
Oh, warning take! Flee from this dreadful crime!
Pause and consider, while you yet have time!
Listen the story which to you I tell;
Dwell on its moral-mark the sequel well;
Then look abroad, and see its counterpart
In many a case that shows a broken heart.
DAYCOURT was a youth, possessed of wealth-
Had manly beauty and the best of health;
In learning he excelled-was quite a wit-
And oft indulged in a deep musing fit.
Of very warm and truly tender heart,
He did his best to act a proper part;
Which made him much respected all around-
Against him, filled with envy, none were found.
His widowed mother, then, might well be proud
Of such a son, and speak his praises loud.
He bore for her respect, and strove to prove
In many ways the fulness of his love.
For many years this widow, in her grief,
Looked up to God, and found from him relief.
She knew the Lord, before her husband died,
And found Him one in whom she could confide;
In all her trials meekly bowed her head,
And found sweet peace was o'er her bosom shed.
Her son, to her, was all a son could be-
Yet on one point she felt anxiety:
He had not then experienced the New Birth,
And his best thoughts had all been of the Earth.
Adjoining their estate was living one-
A blithe young lady, who in beauty shone;
With health endowed, and with fair learning graced,
By wealth in easy circumstances placed.
AMELIA DOVE we well may call her name-
Like that sweet bird she seemed exempt from blame.
Her parents loved her-they could do no less-
She was the soul of all their happiness!
Early she rose, and, dressed in neat array,
Assisted her dear mother through the day.
Thus passed her time, beloved by all around-
She was as good a girl as could be found;
And a fair match for DAYCOURT all conceived-
This he himself had for some time believed.
They loved each other, and obtained consent
From their kind parents, and were well content.
And, having leisure, they would often walk,
Or, sitting in some bower, would sing and talk;
Or else they read some book which both admired,
Till their young hearts with ecstacy were fired;
Through hill and dale-through woods-were wont to rove,
Well pleased with all they saw, they drank in love!
The day arrived when DAYCOURT and his bride
Were at the altar in pure wedlock tied.
The day was spent as such like days have been,
And passed away in happiness serene.
At night, a bounteous marriage-feast was spread,
And Love's sweet influence over all seemed shed.
The friends invited strove to show their joy,
In wishing happiness without alloy
To that young couple, who, in youthful bloom,
Were the admired of all in that large room.
But, Oh! I shrink! 'Tis my ungracious task
From bliss like this to tear away the mask!
On such occasions wine's oft made to flow-
As if it were the source of joy below!
The bridegroom felt in a most merry mood,
And drank each health till his young, joyous blood
Coursed through his veins as if quite all on fire,
And his kind thoughts gave place to bad desire.
His brain began to whirl-he boisterous grew-
All eyes on him, observant, quickly drew-
He seized a bottle, which he madly threw.
Sad to relate! it struck his beauteous bride!
And she fell dead, by her dear mother's side.
This dread catastrophe soon sobered him,
And he was sick, and felt his eyes grow dim.
But while all stood in terror and dismay,
He roused himself, and fled from thence away;
Then headlong rushed into a deep, deep, stream-
And thus was ended that bright, youthful dream!
The pious mother tried in God to trust,
But this dire blow soon sank her in the dust.
Her parents, too, felt this most dreadful stroke
Too hard to bear, for both their hearts it broke!
Oh, cruel Liquor! Thou hast millions slain,
And still their death-throes cry to thee in vain!
Ten thousand broken hearts may soon be found
In almost every land the world around.
Millions of orphans' cries thine ears assail,
While parents' early death they loud bewail;
The prisons and asylums which we build,
From thy sad victims' ranks are chiefly filled.
War's dreadful ravages are justly blamed;
But war with thee deserves not to be named!
And still, insatiate monster! thy dread jaws
Are daily filled-being unrestrained by laws!
When will the day, the happy day, arrive,
When thee the injured nations forth shall drive?
Beware, Apprentices! In time beware!
Flee from those places which would you insnare;
Regard that man as your real enemy,
Who, tempting, leads to inebriety!
Now, while you daily toil, I wish you may
Have many a truly happy holiday!
The hero of my tale of such had some,
And felt well pleased whenever they did come.
On such occasions he was wont to go
To visit friends, who did much kindness show.
With ardent joy full beaming in his face,
He more than once revisited the place
Where his dear father spent his youthful days,
In toilsome labor, or in childish plays.
To him 'twas still a sweetly quiet spot,
A picture of content-a small, neat cot-
And just beneath the hill called Farleton Knot.
He had a strange, romantic turn of mind;
To taste adventure ever felt inclined.
This being premised, we may expect to see,
That by slight dangers undeterred was he
From venturing to the edge of precipice,
To have a peep into some dark abyss.
The hill of which I spoke has sometimes been,
As was well known, the site of tragic scene.
It is a solid mass of limestone rock-
And there oft falls some huge misshapen block.
On one occasion a poor quarryman
Saw danger pending, and away he ran;
'Twas all in vain! the lately-riven stone
Came thundering down, and crushed his every bone!
A tale like this might well some minds appal-
But WILLIAM felt, just then, of dauntless soul;
And, with his cousin, hasted up the hill,
With eager steps and most unyielding will;
A scene there met his gaze which him repaid,
And threw the toil required far in the shade.
On every hand a charming prospect lay,
In all the beauty of a bright Spring day.
All Nature smiled, in loveliest green confessed,
Like a fair maiden for her bridal drest.
And songsters of the grove, no longer sad,
Their notes were warbling forth to make her glad.
And need we wonder then, if there he stood,
With glowing heart, and wrapt in musing mood?
As was his wont, he felt a strong desire
From such sweet views to draw poetic fire.
And so it was, for out his numbers flowed,
Which, quickly penned, he on his friends bestowed.
And though these numbers were but very rude,
They were, by rustic friends, with wonder viewed.
While he stood there his thoughts were backward thrown
To days which on Time's fleetest wing had flown-
When his grandfather, in that humble cot,
With sweet contentedness enjoyed his lot;
Wrought quietly at his most lowly trade,
And honest lived-though small the profits made.
In his mind's eye, he saw his father climb
Those rugged cliffs, in youth, or manhood's prime;
Or, with his brothers join in lively play,
On the long evenings of each Summer day.
Anon would view the time when each forsook
That humble cottage, some fresh toil to brook;
Saw them all settled in a wedded life-
In honest work employed, exempt from strife.
Or glanced at some of his own early days-
When he gave up, on Saturdays, his plays,
To go with his dear grandfather, to sell
The neat bee-hives the old man framed so well.
And often wondered what made selfish men
Try at less price those bee-hives to obtain;
And why the tears would oft the eyes bedim
Of that old man, when they thus bantered him?
And then with lightning speed his thoughts would stray,
To when his grandfather was ta'en away,
To meet in church-yard with his kindred clay.
As thus he stood and mused, his cousin's call
Roused him again to consciousness of all
The widespread beauties of that landscape bright
And he, reluctant, left the beauteous sight.
To hint at all he saw my time would fail,
And might too much but lengthen out my tale.
Suffice it, therefore, just for me to say,
That he spent pleasantly each holiday.
Ere this, when he was in his fourteenth year,
Amongst the Temperance ranks he did appear;
Attended meetings, heard the speeches made,
And grew indignant at the liquor trade.
He signed the pledge-the strict 'teetotal' pledge-
And felt determined constant war to wage
Against the huge, fierce monster, Drunkenness
Which caused, on every hand, such sore distress.
A drunken parent he had never had-
The Lord preserved him from a fate so sad!
But still his fervent soul was filled with grief,
From which he vainly strove to gain relief,
So long as this dread vice o'erspread the land,
And strong drink's victims died, on every hand.
He thought upon the thing till bold he grew,
And framed a speech to tell of all he knew
Of this vile demon's doings in the world,
And wished that out of it he might be hurled.
Soon after this, from Canada there came
A Christian man; no matter what his name.
He long to WILLIAM'S parents had been known,
And hospitality to him was shown.
On that good country's merits much he dwelt,
And COOPER'S ears being open, soon he felt
A strong desire to reach that distant shore,
And all its giant wonders to explore.
Oft he had heard of its vast, splendid lakes,
Stupendous cataracts, and great cane-brakes;
Of boundless woods, well filled with noble trees
And hugest rivers rolling to the seas.
The man described quite well Niagara's falls,
Its thundering sound as it o'erleaps its walls;
He told the distance they could hear the sound,
And how with ceaseless roar it shook the ground;
Of Summer's heat, of the long Winter's cold,
And at what price the finest lands were sold.
This, and far more, the settler told the youth,
Who did regard it all as sterling truth,
And wished-but wished in vain-that he was free
To cross at once the stormy, deep blue sea.
No way appeared but quietly to wait
Till he was loosed, and grown to man's estate.
Some years must pass before that day arrive,
So to be patient he thought fit to strive.
One-half of his apprenticeship had fled,
And now he fairly earned his daily bread.
Of clothes, his parents' ever constant care
Provided him with quite a decent share.
Of pocket money he ne'er had a store,
His needs supplied, he did not care for more;
And his step-mother oft thought fit to say
That 'money burned his pockets all away.'
Howe'er it was, he never had a cent
But found a hole, and out of that it went!
Though still close-worked, he did contrive to spare
Some precious, time to spend in rhyming ware.
He read sweet COWPER'S poems through and through-
And, more he read, the more he liked them, too;
His 'Task' the most of all-an ample field-
What heart-felt pleasure it did to him yield!
Then MILTON'S lofty genius fired his soul,
Nor did he tire till he had read the whole.
Again began, and o'er the pages pored,
And drank the sweets with which they are well stored.
Then THOMPSON'S Seasons with delight he read,
And YOUNG'S Night Thoughts in mournful dress arrayed.
Some few sweet pieces he from BYRON drew,
And read poor BURNS with much advantage, too.
But of all poets he loved COWPER most,
For in Miltonic grandeur he was lost;
And THOMSON lacked that great variety
Which in sweet Olney's bard we clearly see.
Afflicted Poet! Thou didst well thy part,
By pouring balm into the wounded heart;
And while the world endures, thy verse will cheer
Poor down-cast souls, and bid them not to fear!
Nor did he read alone the poet's page,
Good books in prose would oft his mind engage:
For he had joined th' Mechanics' Institute-
And in its praises I would not be mute.
Mechanics! It deserves your best support,
And to its rooms you often should resort.
There you may learn from books to act your parts,
While they refine and elevate your hearts.
He with great travelers took delight to roam
In distant countries, far away from home;
And frequently has dropped a silent tear
O'er PARK'S great trials in the desert drear.
Oh! who can read of all his heart-felt woes-
His frequent sufferings, and his dying throes-
And fail to dropp a sympathetic tear
For his sad end-without a friend to cheer!
In LANDERS' patient, persevering toil,
Through greatest dangers, on wild Afric's soil,
He felt the deepest interest, and partook
Their joys and sorrows, while he read their book.
And hailed, with pleasure and unfeigned delight,
The happy moment when the welcome sight
Of Niger's junction with the great deep sea
A period put to their sad misery!
Read BRUCE, whose book, received with cold distrust,
Was only prized when he was laid in dust.
And HUMBOLDT, the admired of all mankind,
Of gentle manners and accomplished mind;
Who scaled the lofty Andes' snow-clad towers,
Where danger lurks, and fell destruction lowers.
And COOK, who bravely sailed around the Earth-
A friend to man-ev'n man of lowest birth.
Whose peaceful voyages to each far coast
Were for man's benefit-as we may boast--
Yet at sad price, since his dear life was lost!
Of warlike heroes' lives he read a few,
And of War's horrors thus obtained a view-
Which made him sick at heart, nor wish to know
More of man's bloody doings here below.
His sober and industrious conduct gained
The Master's confidence-which he retained;
And so, in services requiring trust
He was employed, and still continued just.
Sometimes to distant places he was sent-
And well he did enjoy the time thus spent.
It scope afforded to reflective powers-
And thus he profited by these spare hours.
Greatly did it delight him to behold
Fair Nature glittering in green and gold:
And the pure melody in different groves
Reminded him of his own early loves;
Or led him to break out, with tuneful voice,
In some sweet hymn, which made his heart rejoice.
For he had now begun to feel the worth
Of Heavenly things, and pour God's praises forth.
In this way, once he passed through Dallam Park,
To see its deer, and other objects mark.
These lovely creatures to his mind did seem
Most unfit objects of man's sporting dream.
He greatly wondered how some men could be
E'er guilty of, such wanton cruelty,
As to pursue, with horses and with hounds,
Such harmless creature over all their grounds;
Hunt him o'er swamps and fields, and mountain slopes,
Through pebbly streams, or shady hazel copse,
Till they have driven him at last to bay,
Toward the close of some most sultry day.
Wondered how any one, with tearless eye,
Could mark his sufferings, and then watch him die.
Oh, cruel man! when will thy thirst for blood
Be turned to energy in doing good?
When will Creation's groans come to an end,
And men delight in love their days to spend?
While such reflections occupied his mind,
The place he went to seek he strives to find,
And is successful; gets his business done,
Then back pursues his homeward way alone.
Now Fancy wings her flight; I view again
Scenes which my memory will long retain;
See Kent-unsung-flow on in winding course
Through woods and fields, with very gentle force;
Or where, by Sedgwick's side, its waters pour
O'er jagged rocks, with never-ceasing roar;
Or where they smoothly glide past Leven's hall,
Sweet landscapes forming, which can never pall
The minds of those who love a beauteous scene,
And wish to spend a day in bliss serene.
For there this stream just flows as if by stealth
Through splendid parks-past gardens formed by wealth!
I oft look back to those most gladsome hours
Spent, while a schoolboy, in those garden bowers;
Where tall box-trees are trimmed to various shapes-
Old women-pitchers-or, it may be-apes!
Where plants and beauteous flowers are ever found,
To breathe out fragrance all the garden round.
'Tis time for me to curb my vagrant Muse;
A subject waits my pen she well may choose.
Now aid me, O my God! who dwell'st above,
While I attempt to sing Redeeming Love!
Nor let one line, or word, be writ by me
Not in accordance with that Mystery!
May I, to profit fellow-sinners, strive,
And good from this for my own soul derive.
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 5
Hail, peaceful Commerce! in thy glorious train
Rich blessings come to those who thee maintain.
England by thee for centuries has been blest;
Thy worth to her can scarcely be express'd.
By thy facilities the Scriptures spread
From shore to shore, on God's own errands sped!
Impelled by thee our ships proud Ocean bears,
While each fair port a thriving aspect wears.
Millions of gold by thee are well employed,
And the rich profits by each class enjoyed.
Through thee great Nature's overflowing stores
From distant lands are brought unto our doors;
Increasing much our comfort and delight,
Without abating any civil right.
Nay, more; producing, by thy sway, sweet bands
To bind us to give Peace our hearts and hands;
And thus to strike a death-blow to all war,
Whose brutal spirit keeps our minds ajar.
Through thee our mammoth manufacturing places
Send forth their wares to Earth's remotest races:
By which means many thousand poor are fed,
And trained to Industry-by Virtue led-
Use right the skill with which they are endowed;
Of such like men may England long be proud,
And ever foster, by good wholesome laws,
Those trades which help so mightily her cause!
O, may that day be distant that shall bring
Neglect of thee, from whom such good doth spring!
Hail, peaceful Commerce! still a hearty hail!
As I proceed with my unvarnished tale.
Our ship had not been long at Mersey's mouth
Before a breeze sprung up from east by south;
And then the welcome sound fell on the ear
Of 'Square the main yards! Sailors, do you hear?'
A hearty 'Aye, Sir!' was the loud response,
And she had glided into sea at once!
With haste they for the Northern passage make,
But that good breeze did them too soon forsake.
Awhile they lay becalmed, and then return,
And reach the Southern passage just at morn.
Soon, soon they lose the truly precious sight
Of English shores, bathed in the morning light!
A few more hours, and land has disappeared;
They see no more Old Albion's cliffs upreared.
Let us suppose that then this poor young man,
In plaintive strains his Farewell thus began:
'Adieu, my native Land! a long Adieu!
Years, years must pass before again I view
Thy much-loved shores, fast fading from my sight,
Or scenes preserved in fondest memory bright!
Should I be spared to reach yon distant coast,
Remembrances of thee will not be lost.
Should I be prospered in Canadian woods,
With a sufficiency of this world's goods,
I still with pleasure will look back to thee,
And hail thy tokens of prosperity!
Will still remember, with a joyful heart,
Each much-loved face-each interesting part.
O, may thy peaceful Arts still flourish round,
And happiness in every nook be found!
May thy great Rulers feel an interest still
In all thy weal-and duty thus fulfil!
Adieu, my Country! may'st thou ever be
A Friend to Truth, and Mistress of the Sea!'
Now on the dark blue Ocean's bosom cast,
Naught but the sea and sky are seen, at last,
Save finny tribes, which, sporting in the deep,
Seem swiftly past the noble ship to sweep;
Or flights of birds returning from abroad,
By instinct led, to charm each English wood.
With sails well filled, the vessel plows her way
In gallant trim, nor heeds the dashing spray.
Yet WILLIAM'S time ne'er seemed to hang on hand;
His days flew swiftly by, on sea or land.
Sometimes a book his close attention craves-
At times, for hours, he watches the dark waves,
Or sits and gazes on that liquid blue,
And calls up phantoms of strange shape and hue;
Or tries to realize a shipwreck scene,
Till he scarce knows but he through one has been;
Or, having found a worthy Christian friend,
In sweetest converse many hours would spend.
One storm they had-it was the only one-
Which lasted but a day, and then was gone.
He oft had longed most eagerly to see
The foaming billows in their majesty;
And now they came, with desperate fury fraught,
As if they set all human skill at naught!
Strong and more strongly blows the mighty wind,
Till the tall masts like merest saplings bend!
Anon, the vessel ships a weighty sea,
Then all below is dread and misery;
While the salt water pours in torrents down,
As if inclined the Emigrants to drown!
Some women shriek, and children cry aloud,
While men toward the hatchways quickly crowd,
Not now inclined to utter oaths profane,
Or break a jest a meed of praise to gain.
Some, on their knees, implore the 'Virgin's' aid;
And some true prayer is to the Savior made.
The wind abates, but still the surges roar,
Hearts fearful beat, and consciences feel sore.
Ere long, the calm begins to be perceived
And many feel as speedily relieved!
Some hasten to the deck to look abroad,
But few are found returning thanks to God!
Yet some there were who truly grateful felt,
And spake God's praise as they before Him knelt.
Then WILLIAM saw, more clearly than before,
His wondrous wisdom and His mighty power!
He felt God's goodness in both storm and calm,
And sense of this was to his soul like balm.
Now they approach the Banks of Newfoundland,
And densest fog prevails on every hand.
More danger does beset them than before,
For they might be by larger ships run o'er.
Strict watch is kept, and lights hung out with care,
That they may not be taken unaware.
Small sail is carried till the sky be clear;
Yet onward, in their proper course, they steer.
Icebergs are seen; and now the welcome cry
Of 'Land O's' heard from off the top-mast high!
All eyes are strained to catch the joyful sight,
And Newfoundland is hailed with true delight!
Now soon a smart-built ship is near at hand-
A splendid craft! just come from Yankee land.
How gracefully she bounces o'er the wave,
Which seems desirous her fair form to have!
A speaking distance very soon she gains,
And 'Ship-a-hoy!' is heard in loudest strains.
Salute thus courteous is by each addressed,
And questions put-in seaman's phrase expressed.
This done, away the gallant ship has sped,
Like some fair phantom which we do not dread!
Saint Lawrence Gulf they very swiftly cross,
And reach the River without harm or loss;
Then enter south of Anticosti's Isle,
While each glad face is beaming with a smile.
COOPER had read of this majestic stream;
Of half its beauties he could never dream!
A pilot taken, blest with proper breeze,
They soon are carried past fine groves of trees.
Sweet islands spring, like fairy scenes, to view,
And each fresh turn presents them something new.
The pure green water tempts their thirsty souls,
As forward in its course the river rolls!
Neat, painted houses on each hand are seen,
And tin-clad spires say, 'Here Religion's been!'
The Emigrants conceived that Nature wore
A lovelier green upon Canadian shore
Than they had ever seen in Spring before!
But this was all delusion, and the effect
Of shipboard life, which they did not suspect.
Now they soon mark a ledge of rugged rock,
Stretching near half across the river deep-
Fit place to give unwary ships a shock,
And cause their crews in sad despair to weep.
Quite high and dry upon that rude Rock's crest
A ship they spy; a total wreck it seems!
This vessel had old Ocean's billows pressed,
And neared the Port-oft seen in sailor's dreams.
How came it there? Had they no Pilot ta'en?
Was he unskillful? No one could explain!
Then felt the Emigrants most truly glad
That they a safe and pleasant voyage had.
At last they reach that well-known place, Gros Isle,
And are obliged to anchor for a while.
For 'Quarantine inspection' they prepare;
The berths are cleansed, and decks are scrubbed with care.
And human beings who had lost all traces
Of cleanliness, were made to scrub their faces!
This done; they muster in clean garments dressed,
To meet the Doctor, at the Mate's behest.
No serious sickness to his eye appeared;
Yet some for want of decency are jeered.
Permission to proceed they then obtain;
The He-ho-heave!'s sung out in jovial strain,
And rests the anchor in its place again.
Ere this, some strange maneuvers on high land
Gain our friends' notice, and they gazing stand.
Some men, at mast-like pole, to work are seen
With different balls, and what can it all mean?
WILLIAM inquires, and learns with much surprise,
In this way they send news and get replies!
That now they're telegraphing to Quebec-
The fine old city, seen just like a speck-
Of their good ship's arrival, safe and sound-
Her name-the people's number in her found.
Men dreamt not then how soon it would transpire
That news, by lightning, could be sent through wire!
The fame of this, O Morse! to thee belongs,
And thy great name does honor to my songs.
Long may'st thou live, and reap the just reward
Of thy great labor, in good men's regard!
They reach Quebec, and anchor in due time
Before its heights-so towering and sublime!
What views now meet their truly raptured sight-
All Nature's smiling in the evening light!
The falls of Montmorency, just below-
With all her foam, most like to driven snow,
And ever-rising mist-proclaim aloud
The Being and the Presence of her God!
What glorious Craft is that which now appears
With graceful movement, as the ship she nears?
'Canadian Eagle' steamship she is called;
Like that great bird she seemed both proud and bald!
The Emigrants behold her with surprise,
Quite sure such splendid sight ne'er met their eyes.
Ere long our eager friends are made to know
That to the steamer they will have to go.
This pleases them, for the have prisoners been
For six long weeks, and want a change of scene.
The sailors now are heard to swear and scold,
As each one's luggage is drawn from the hold;
The bustle great makes passengers look round,
Lest aught belonging them be missing found.
Our WILLIAM soon had need enough of this,
As he their best large box just chanced to miss,
And to the sailors spoke, who quick replied
They had just sent it o'er the vessel's side.
To this their statement he denial gave,
Which made the men with strongest anger rave.
He then, most speedily, went down below,
And found the box quite safe enough, I trow!
He dragged it forth before their very eyes,
And they thought best to feign complete surprise.
The box secured, they bid the ship Adieu,
Then with great joy their journey soon renew.
By that conveyance they reach Montreal,
Leave that by barges which had comfort small,
And take the Ottawa, whose waters dark
In pure St. Lawrence leave their dingy mark.
Up this dark river, and canal Rideau,
They journey on, with speed at best but slow;
Sometimes through swamps, of dread mosquitoes full;
Now towed by Steamers, now by horses dull;
In this way come to Kingston, on the Lake-
The great Ontario-and a Steamer take.
Upon their journey quickly they proceed,
With much more comfort, and far greater speed.
Safely and soon they reach their destined place,
To meet with friends and friendship's warm embrace.
Thankful to God for journeying mercies granted,
They settle in a Village newly planted.
The friends they met with their warm love displayed
By good advice and necessary aid,
In trying to procure for them a farm,
Where they might live, and have some comforts warm.
These with our friends were joined in Church connection,
And none were backward to evince affection.
Young COOPER soon was pleased, as man could be,
That three of them, whom we shall name as 'C--,'
Would leave their homes and business cares awhile,
To trudge with him, on foot, for many a mile,
Through Summer's heat, and with most kind intention,
For purposes of which I have made mention.
He at such times would gaze upon the trees,
Whose lofty heads were bowing to the breeze,
Till he could fancy them a band devout
Engaged in worship, beyond any doubt.
Now he first heard those 'soft and soul-like sounds'
From vast 'pine groves,' which seemed to have no bounds,
Thrill his pure soul with their sweet melody,
Till it awoke his own rude minstrelsy,
And made him long near by to settle down
In some small hut which he could call his own.
This wish, in part, ere long was gratified-
The father bought a farm, to which they hied.
'Twas six miles from the village, and a place
Where much hard labor stared them in the face;
And there they found that, having spent their money,
It would not soon yield them much 'milk and honey.'
But yet it promised, from its rich, black soil,
A full reward, in time, for cash and toil.
So, in good heart, without one 'if,' or 'but,'
They set to work to fix a roofless hut.
This done, they placed their goods in ship-board style,
With furniture dispensing for awhile.
Their boxes served quite well for chairs and table,
And on the floor they slept-if they were able-
For dread mosquitoes, and the heat intense,
Made good sound sleep be often banished thence.
Yet God's kind care kept all in health and spirits,
And they found Industry had still its merits.
From day to day they did their axes seize,
And labor hard in cutting down fine trees,
Or cleaning up a Fallow 'gainst the Fall-
For which their skill was truly very small.
Ere long they purchased a young, wild ox-team,
Which had for months been wandering in the woods,
Where they did not but eat, and drink, and dream,
Like lords of all in those deep solitudes.
Our WILLIAM acted as the Teamster still,
And did his test to train them to his will;
Yet for a time they would not brook restraint,
But ran to th' woods, on dangerous frolic bent.
Once, while at logging, our raw teamster fell,
And the nigh ox trod on his foot as well;
He tried to rise, but found it was in vain,
And thoughts of their mad tricks shot through his brain.
He gently touched them with his sapling goad,
When they sprang sideways with their heavy load.
Quick as a lightning's flash the log they drew
O'er WILLIAM'S prostrate form-O, sad to view!
When-wonder great-the cattle stood quite still
(In strict obedience to their Maker's will)!
His head was on a log, his neck was bared,
As if for some dread ax-stroke quite prepared.
The log they drew upon his shoulder rested-
And thus his courage was severely tested.
One more slight move would surely crush his head;
In one short moment more he might be dead!
Still they move not!-Was this not Providence?
Come, Sceptics, answer; here is no pretence;
What I relate are only simple facts.
Given with that faithfulness which truth exacts.
The father forward ran, in dreadful fear;
'O, WILLIAM, thou art hurt!' fell on his ear.
The log was raised, when up at once he rose,
Though feeling much as if his blood was froze.
To parent's kind inquiries he replied,
'I feel no hurt except a bruised side.'
But faintness o'er him soon began to come,
When he was glad to reach his rude log home;
And from that hour has ever thankful been
For God's deliverance-so clearly seen.
A few short hours sufficed to bring him round,
And he at logging speedily was found.
There still was something in this wild bush-life
To suit a mind ne'er formed for worldly strife.
The chopper's quick reverberating stroke-
The well-trained oxen, toiling in the yoke-
The distant cow-bell's ever-changing sound-
The new-chopped tree's deep thundering on the ground;
The patter of the rain on forest leaves,
The tree-frog's pipe, which oft the ear deceives,
The blazing log-heaps, and the rude rail fence-
The wild-bee's hum of gratitude intense
For hoards of honey, which our woods still yield;
The plenteous crops contained in each small field;
The Summer evening's song of 'Whip-poor-will,'
Near, or remote, while all beside is still;
The clamorous crow's most harsh discordant note;
The blue jay, prone to steal-by nature taught;
The beauteous woodpecker-the pigeon's flight;
The snake, innoxious, gliding out of sight-
These sights and sounds brought pleasure to his mind,
Most heart-felt pleasure, leaving peace behind.
And though he toiled with all the eagerness
Which youths Of ardent temperaments possess,
Till his poor body every night was tired,
He evermore these sounds and sights admired.
And naught but broken health could e'er have drove
Him from those woods, in which he loved to rove.
Meanwhile, he took the first convenient time
To get some cherry logs, in soundness prime,
From which rude bedsteads he contrived to make,
That they their rest might with more comfort take.
He made a table, too, and felt quite glad
That they, at last so good a table had.
These things were spoken of not boastingly,
But with a view to let new-comers see
How, in the Bush, strange shifts and turns are made,
By those who, rightly, are of debt afraid.
The COOPERS, simple minded, could not brook
To stand as debtors in a tradesman's book;
And even to this day-through eighteen years-
'Twould grieve them sore should they be in arrears.
And I am sure it would be better far,
That families should themselves from debt debar,
Than blast their prospects, as too many do,
By what they have so often cause to rue!
From this digression let us now return,
To note what WILLIAM found with deep concern;
That ''Tis not good for Man to be alone,'
As said by God, in Wisdom's solemn tone.
This now appeared to him a serious truth,
Far more than it had done in days of youth.
The birds still paired, and had their separate nest,
From love responsive in each songster's breast;
But, though he loved on Nature's face to gaze,
And mark the beauties which each day displays,
He felt a vacancy in his young breast,
For he no lov'd companion then possessed.
Far different was it in his native land-
There, such an one might always be at hand.
Where was he now to look? Religious views
Left him small space from which a mate to choose.
God's word came to his aid, and then in prayer
He threw himself upon his Father's care.
That word declares, that 'He who had not spared
His well-beloved Son, was not prepared
For once withholding from his children dear
Aught which they need, while still sojourning here!'
This precious promise proved to be as balm,
To keep his troubled heart at present calm;
And he resolved in patience still to wait,
Till God should find for him a true 'help-mate.'
This resolution formed, was kept intact,
Nor was the strength his own, for that he lacked.
He, though so young, had very clearly seen
That Man, in every age, is prone to lean
Upon an arm of flesh-most frail support!
Which often fails us, oft makes us its sport.
And yet, O strange perversity! we cling
To that which never can us comfort bring.
He knew 'twas better to feel flesh so weak
As to be forced his strength from God to seek;
To feel, like Paul, 'However weak we be,
We may still glory in Infirmity.'
From day to day, from week to week mav prove
The prcciousness of trusting in God's love!
Should we do this, our joy will never cease-
Dark things will all look bright! Our end be peace!
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 6
Hail, Rural Life! from whom such pleasures spring,
That I invoke my Muse thy charms to sing.
Whether I view thee in my native land,
Where Science lends to Industry her hand,
To make her cornfields yield a double store,
Or beautify her landscapes more and more-
Where wealth immense is very freely spent,
By those who on thy weal are still intent;
Or here, in Canada, thy face I view
On well-cleared farms, or those which are quite new;
However rude thy features, or despised-
Though in Town-life, thy charms by me are prized.
A sense of these still urges me along,
As I proceed with my unlettered song;
And every line which I may write on thee,
I trust will evidence sincerity.
The new-come settlers now with speed prepare
To log the fallow they have cleared with care.
For Summer, with her heat intense, has fled,
And fruit-crowned Autumn has come in her stead.
The brush, well dried, is burnt; and all around
Logs, black and charred, are lying on the ground.
These into heaps must every one be drawn,
By means which to all Bush-men are well known.
Have they not strength or time the work to do?
They ask their neighbor's help, and oxen, too.
And fellow-feeling, sprung from their own need,
Leads these the summons to obey with speed.
Should the set day be fine, they start from home
Without regret, and to the fallow come.
One looks so pale, he seems not fit for work;
Has had the Ague, and it still doth lurk
In his poor frame, and may again appear
A dozen times before he's closed the year!
Some others, also, wear quite sickly looks,
As though they had run deep in Doctors' books;
Or are reduced, by heat and toil intense,
Till work, with them, would seem, but mere pretence.
But let us not pre-judge them; they have hearts
Brave as a lion, and will act their parts.
The 'fixings' ready, some experienced hand
A 'Come, boys! Let's to work!' gives as command.
This said, their strength and numbers they divide;
'Haw, Buck!' 'Gee, Bright!' is heard on every side.
'Boys, bring your handspikes; raise this monster log
Till I can hitch the chain-Buck! lazy dog!
Stand o'er, I say! What ails the stupid beast?
Ah! now I see; you think you have a feast!'
Buck snatches at a clump of herbage near,
And deems it is, to him, most savory cheer;
But thwack, thwack, thwack, comes from the blue-beech goad;
He takes the strokes upon his forehead broad
With due submission; moves a little piece,
That those unwelcome blows may sooner cease.
The chain is hitched; 'Haw, now!' is loudly heard,
And the half-buried log is disinterred.
'Get up! Go 'long?' vociferously shouts
Every ox-teamster, at these logging bouts.
The heap is reached; now list the loud 'Whoa-ay!'
Louder and louder, till the oxen stay.
The chain's unhitched; 'Now, boys! your handspikes seize;
Lift! Altogether! Rest it on your knees;
There; roll him over. Ah! 'twas nobly done!
The fire will dry his coat, as sure's a gun!'
And thus, to lighten toil, they pass the joke,
Or stand a moment to have serious talk.
One of some accidents his neighbors tells,
Till each warm bosom with emotion swells;
How Jack Maguin was logging at a 'Bee,'
And got his right leg broke beneath the knee;
How he, through careless treatment, was laid up
For full two months, and had scarce bite or sup.
Or how Will Sims was chopping near his house,
And his best ox was feeding on the 'browse,'
When all at once the quivering tree descended
Upon the beast, and thus his life was ended!
Anon we notice that each smutty face
Beams with good humor, and the cause we trace
To the supply of whisky just parta'en-
A thing which often proves the settler's bane.
Again they work with stimulated strength,
And, 'midst more noise, the log-heaps rise at length.
The dinner hour arrives; the horn is blown
To make the fact to all the loggers known.
The teams to some near pasture now are led,
Or with new hay most plentifully fed.
The men make for the house with decent haste-
None are inclined to let time run to waste.
But this does not prevent the laugh and jest,
At the black face by every one possessed.
To wash is needful, and refreshing, too,
So all go at it without more ado.
This task performed, which all should take delight in,
They to the feast prepared need no inviting.
Their heavy labor gives an appetite,
And they can eat with relish and delight.
But first their host, if he's a Christian man,
Gives thanks to God with all the warmth he can.
Then all the workmen ample justice do
To those good things so tempting to the view.
Dear Reader, have you seen a logging feast?
No? Wait a while, and I will place at least
The chief ingredients before your eyes;
Here's a huge prime ham; there are pumpkin pies;
Mealy potatoes next our notice claim-
The bread and butter we need never name,
They must be there of course; and here's a dish
Of no mean size, well filled with splendid fish.
That's boiled, fresh mutton; those are nice green peas;
This huckleberry pie is sure to please!
And now I'll cease-no, three things yet remain;
Tea, cream and sugar, might of slight complain!
There, will this do? Or is there something more
Which you would think it right to set before
Such worthy eaters? I am satisfied
It can't be bettered in our Bush-land wide!
Good as it is, and hungry as they are,
They cannot from good jests themselves debar.
One sees his neighbor cast a longing glance
Toward that berry pie; and, rare good chance!
'Tis nearest him, he chuckles with delight,
And is about to whip it out of sight;
But Fortune, still capricious, gives the No;
His nearest neighbor does an interest show
In this proceeding, and the pie has snatched,
Quite in good humor, ere the scheme's well hatched!
The disappointed couple sympathise,
And signal to each other, with their eyes.
The third one, quite unselfish, deems the jest
Gone far enough, and now resolves 'tis best
To help himself, and hand round to the rest.
Another to the fishes takes a notion,
With more of selfishness than wise precaution.
His work-mate spies this, and removes the prize
A leetle further from his longing eyes.
Such jokes pass free; and no great wrong is done
To real good-fellowship by harmless fun.
'Tis o'er at last, when most of them partake
The pipe delicious, for its own dear sake.
They rest and smoke, and smoke and rest again,
Until the 'Come, boys!' sounds in loudest strain.
Once more to work, with fresh alacrity,
They reach the fallow, pleased as men can be.
The teamsters call their cattle, not far strayed,
But chewing cud beneath some green tree's shade.
'Co' Buck! Co' Bright!' throughout the woods resound,
And each trained ox moves forward at the sound.
Again the work goes forward, as before.
Till nearly night-fall, when their task is o'er.
Naught now remains but scattered chips and sticks,
Which their host's hopeful son at leisure picks,
And lays upon the heaps-some here, some there-
The burning to assist, which needs due care.
'Tis supper time; again the horn is heard,
And its deep tones has woodland echoes stirred.
Most charming sound to my poetic ear;
And every time 'tis heard still far more dear!
They hear the sound, but yet seem loath to go;
And when they do, their steps are very slow.
They are well tired; no wonder; such a day
Of work laborious would some tire for aye!
Once more they wash; once more they freely eat;
Then light their pipes; and now each other greet
With warm 'Good night!' but, ere they have departed,
Their host thanks them, from gratitude warm-hearted.
Now all are gone, save two, who skulk behind,
Of the younger son; and, if I am not blind,
A couple of bright girls I failed to mention,
Are not quite unaware of their intention.
But this is not my business, so I'll pass
To other things, and let each court his lass.
Should next day prove a fine one with a breeze
So strong as just to move surrounding trees,
The Settler may his new-raised log-heaps fire,
And see them burn to suit his heart's desire.
The fire is placed; where, think you? Not below,
But on the top, and burns at first but slow.
See, now, the wind has blown it to a flame;
And soon the log-heap fire's no longer tame!
Dry sticks and chips, in all the openings placed,
Will prove the time spent on them was not waste.
The embers, falling, make these soon ignite;
And now the heap, from end to end, is bright!
With pale or ruddy flame; the smoke ascends
Thick, black and curling, as its way it wends
Toward the sky. Now twenty heaps are fired
And form a sight I often have admired.
The heat becomes intense; for Sol's warm rays
Uniting with the wood-fire's fiercest blaze,
Make it past bearing; yet the Settler bears
The heat and toil, and smiling aspect wears,
Because the work progresses to his mind.
Let us draw nearer, then-'twill seem more kind-
And watch him with the handspike thrust the brands
Closer together. He a moment stands
To wipe the perspiration from his face,
Which streams fast forth again, and leaves its trace
In his pale looks and daily shrinking frame.
Now, every pile's a mass of glowing flame!
The wind, increasing, whirls the fire about,
And makes the workman, if he's wise, look out
For stacks and fences-dangerously near.
He knows the risk; he deems there's cause for fear;
So keeps his eyes still wandering all around,
To mark the rising smoke where'er 'tis found.
Neglect might very soon cause damage great,
In that which should, his labor compensate.
Hence his wise caution as the wind grows stronger,
Until the 'burning' needs his care no longer.
This o'er he drags the ground, and sows his grain,
And of the toil required does not complain.
He 'sows in hope;' and, if he take due care,
A splendid crop sill soon be growing there.
In view of this, let us suppose him singing
The LOGGER'S SONG, while peaceful thoughts are springing.
THE LOGGER'S SONG.
Come, Boys, to the Logging be cheerfully jogging,
A day's work's before us, I trow;
The Fall is advancing, Sol's mild beams are dancing
On the brook, in the Fallow below.
Cheerily, cheerily, cheerily, O!
Let's log in the Fallow below.
The oxen are waiting, they need no fresh baiting,
Till dinner-time come for us all;
Now, while we are pushing, our work the new Bush in,
Let none into carelessness fall.
Steadily, steadily, steadily, O!
Let's work in the Fallow below.
The logs, thickly lying, our strength seem defying;
But forward, Boys! true courage show!
With hand-spikes unbending, this day we will spend in
The capture of each charred foe.
Speedily, speedily, speedily, O!
We'll capture each black, charred foe.
Now, lads, in your teaming, let's have no blaspheming!
Your oxen are patient and strong;
Our logging laborious need not be uproarious,
Nor lead us to anything wrong.
Decently, decently, decently, O!
Let's act, as the huge log-heaps grow.
When dinner-horn sounding, calls all that are found in
The Fallow to come to the Feast,
Let's guard 'gainst satiety-eat with sobriety-
So shall our joys be increased.
Soberly, soberly, soberly, O!
We'll eat what our friends may bestow.
When day is departing, and we are all starting
For Home, with its sweet earthly bliss,
May thoughts of wives smiling be still reconciling
Our minds to hard labor, like this.
Then freely, most freely, still freely, O!
To all neighbors' loggings we'll go.
Such work as that I have described above,
And holding plow, kept WILLIAM on the move.
Of active turn, he worked beyond his strength-
And felt the sad effects, in full, at length.
Yet at this season, in Canadian woods,
He could not well refrain from musing moods.
Nor was it any wonder, when each day
Added fresh charms to Nature's grand display.
The once-green leaves, struck by the early frost,
Made up in gorgeous tints what they had lost!
He felt that never in his life before
Had he e'er seen such hues as those trees wore.
Some that were shaded still preserved their green,
While others near were decked in golden sheen.
Some in deep crimson robes were gaily drest,
Others in shades of brown, as seemed them best;
While not a few, of pride in dress were fuller,
And had their robes of every splendid color!
The weather, too, was of that balmy kind,
So suited to a dreamy state of mind;
For mighty Sol felt his yet powerful rays
Subdued, being wrapped in a thin, blue haze.
'Tis true, there came the oft-recurring thought,
That all these beauties were too dearly bought;
That soon, too soon, tempestuous winds would rise,
And murky clouds veil those bewitching skies!
That Winter but delayed his coming now
To gather blackness on his cold, knit brow,
That he might rush with tenfold furious rage,
And all the elements in war engage,
To strip the trees of all their splendors bare
And make sweet Nature a stern aspect wear!
Such thoughts at times filled him with melancholy,
Which then, shook off, were looked upon as folly
And after-thoughts brought in their joyous train
Pleasures prospective, during Winter's reign.
The fleecy snow's wild dancing through the air;
The clean, white sheet, wove for the soil to wear,
To guard the plants designed for next year's food
From Frost's attacks, when in a vengeful mood.
The sleighing, too, in prospect, had delights
For one like he-so used to Fancy's flights.
He heard already, in imagination,
The jingling bells, producing sweet sensation.
And 'midst such dreaming Time flew swiftly by,
While he, to stay its course, wished not to try.
His Sabbath days met with observance due,
For he to Christian ways continued true.
The family with loving Brethren met,
Some miles from home, as oft as they could get.
With them 'broke bread,' and joined in praise and prayer,
Or heard Christ's doctrine read, or preached, with care.
This they continued every Sabbath day,
And found much benefit from it always.
Meanwhile their worldly means grew less and less,
And fear of debt led them through some distress.
At last their circumstances were made known
To a dear friend, who did a kind heart own.
He WILLIAM took, to help him in his store,
And gave good wages-which endeared him more
To those, thus favored, who by this perceived
He carried out, in practice, truths believed.
In this employment WILLIAM staid not long,
His sensitiveness soon made things go wrong.
He therefore back returned into the Bush,
Where Want stood ready his fond hopes to crush.
Ere this, dread Winter had set in with rigor,
Yet he his bright axe took again with vigor.
Throughout the woods the snow lay very deep,
And Nature's face betokened death-like sleep.
Few sounds were heard to break the stillness round,
Yet in those few our hero pleasure found.
The loud report of Indian hunter's gun,
Which sometimes made the cattle homeward run;
The beauteous woodpecker's quick rap-tapping
At girdled trees, that long since had no sap in;
Besides, the chopper's almost constant stroke
Rang through pure air, and louder echoes woke;
While ever and anon a tree would fall
With thundering crash, which might some minds appal.
These all were sounds which he loved well to hear,
For they, 'mid hard employ, his heart did cheer.
Severe the Bush-man's life, and full of danger,
While, to most scanty fare he is no stranger.
It needs good eyes, strong arms, and courage, too,
To live the life which most new settlers do.
The elder COOPER'S sight was very bad,
Which came nigh bringing him a fate most sad.
They were both chopping at a basswood tree-
Stroke followed after stroke most rapidly-
When, lo! a sudden blast of wind arose,
WILLIAM perceived it, and withheld his blows;
Looked up, saw danger, bade his father fly!
Reached a safe place himself, which was near by;
The tree came down; he quickly then returned,
And stood amazed as soon as he discerned
His father's near escape from tree-crushed fate;
He quite unconscious of his danger great.
There rested, just a foot above his head,
A huge crook'd branch, that might have struck him dead,
Had it not been for God's most watchful care,
So plainly manifested to him there.
This wondrous mercy called forth gratitude,
And Love's warm glow fresh in their hearts renewed.
In cutting logs for barn, and drawing lumber,
Our hero spent of days a goodly number.
Amongst deep snow, and with a slow ox-team,
One thinks 'twould prove a damper to his dream.
Not so, however; though his food was scant,
Of liking for the Bush he felt no want.
He and his brother scoured the woods around,
Where'er 'twas likely straight logs could be found.
These cut, were left till snow had 'settled down,'
When to the barn-site they with speed were drawn.
Thus passed the hardest months of that hard season,
And Sol's increasing warmth was hailed with reason.
The more, because that Sugar-time drew near,
With its romantic scenes, to WILLIAM dear
From what he heard the older Settlers say,
So, for it he prepared without delay.
South of their home there grew a splendid lot
Of noble maples, in a sheltered spot.
Convenient to this place, there also grew
Some good black-ash, of which he chose a few
From these he made small troughs to catch the sap,
Whene'er the time should come the trees to tap.
A good pine tree he sought, with eager eyes,
To form a store-trough, of most ample size.
Obtained a gouge, and next his spiles prepared;
For all the toil required he little cared.
'Good axe-men fifty small troughs make per day;'
So said old Woods-men, in a boasting way.
This roused ambition in his youthful breast,
And he worked hard, scarce taking time for rest.
His pride was somewhat humbled when he found
That he could make but thirty each day round.
Yet courage took from this, that their's were made
Of soft pine wood, which did their smartness aid.
'Tis March, and now the snow has settled down
To half its former depth; Sol's beams have grown
Sufficiently direct to make clear days
Feel warm enough to raise the sap, which plays
With life-renewing power, through all the trees;
And yet, at night, 'tis cold enough to freeze.
The Sugarer knows no time must now be lost
To be successful; so he takes his post
About the centre of the 'Sugar-Bush,'
Whence he his labors can most freely push.
If wise, in lieu of gash he bores a hole
With auger, at right height, in each tree's bole;
Drives in his gouge a-slant, inserts his spile,
Places a trough-fast lessening thus his pile.
At first, perhaps, the sap will scarcely flow;
He heeds this not, but onward still doth go,
Till every tree that he intends to tap
Is quite prepared to yield its share of sap.
This done, without delay he now will fix
His boiling place, and get two strong, forked sticks;
These, well secured, with pole to reach across,
For hanging kettles he is at no loss.
By this time, if the day continue warm,
His work assumes a more than common charm.
The huge store-trough conveniently is placed,
And he, to gather sap, begins in haste.
With pail upon each arm he moves along,
O'er the soft snow, the noble trees among.
If tunable, perhaps a song he sings
Of 'Auld lang syne,' or some more serious things,
Which tends to make his work more easy seem,
Or drive away some foolish, waking dream.
The Bush, if large, will need another band
To tend the fire; and this one must command
Sufficient knowledge of the Sugaring feat
To guard the syrup from too great a heat.
He must mind, too, to fill the boilers up;
And if he choose, he may ev'n take a sup
Of maple-honey, whose delicious flavor
More than repays their outlay and hard labor.
It now has reached that point when constant watch
Must be kept o'er it, lest they spoil the batch.
New milk, or eggs, are used to clarify
The saccharine juice, that it may truly vie
For purity, with any sugar made,
By those who have been brought up to the trade.
'Tis read now for straining; and as Eve
Draws her dark curtains, we the Bush may leave,
And follow him who bears his precious load,
Well pleased, but tired, to his rude log abode.
Let's enter, unperceived, that we may see
The Sugar take its next and last degree.
Through flannel bag the syrup now they strain,
And the close texture does the dregs retain.
Now it is placed o'er quite a gentle fire,
Till it assume that state which they require.
This, b repeated trial, they discover;
When cool, it will 'grain' well, and boiling's over.
I've now gone through this sugar-making process
In business form; not giving, more or less,
A hint of frolics which the young folks play,
In sugaring-time, and after close of day.
My readers may imagine, if they choose,
The fun that from such gatherings ensues;
While I proceed to frame a harmless Song,
Expressive of the Sugarer's feelings strong,
As he his most delightful work pursued,
Midst leafless trees, in deepest solitude.
THE SUGAR-MAKER'S SONG.
Sol's warmth is increasing, the Frost-King is ceasing
His hold on the sap of the trees;
And having wrought steady, my troughs are all ready,
So now I will eagerly seize
My few rude tools, ere ardor cools,
Nor heed the melting snow.
Some days of toil will never spoil
The pleasure before me, I know.
I need no inviting, to work I delight in;
Of such I have plenty to-day;
The soft blush of Morning the scene is adorning,
Then why should I longer delay?
The Maple tree will give to me
Its bounty most profuse;
One huge sweet cake I hope to make
Each day, from the saccharine juice!
Last night's splendid freezing as truly most pleasing
To those who the Sugar-Bush love;
This morn's indications' need no explanations,
As the day will abundantly prove!
Then haste, comrade, and bring your spade;
To clear away the snow,
That our wood-fire may soon acquire
A beautiful, bright, ruddy glow.
Now, whilst I am tapping the trees with sweet sap in,
Prepare you a good stock of wood;
Be watchful in boiling, run no risk of spoiling
By carelessness, prospects so good!
O, as I tap, out flows the sap
In a small crystal stream!
I feel as gay, on this fine day,
As I have in some youthful dream!
Now, comrade, each kettle of cast-iron metal
Is full enough quite for a start;
Pray keep the fire going, but yet not too glowing,
For thus you will best act your part.
While I am off, guard the store-trough
From cattle browsing near;
This splendid 'run' may soon be done-
The north wind is coming, I fear!
The syrup needs skimming. 'Leave it to the women?'
Ah, comrade, it never will do!
They may mind the straining without much complaining,
Yet think it is quite enough, too.
Now eventide, and frost beside,
Bid us our labor cease;
For home we'll make, and syrup take
To them, as an offering of Peace!
The lively strain which I have just indulged,
Must change full soon, if facts were all divulged.
For darker shades come o'er my hero's dream;
But we must pause, ere we resume the theme.
And trust this sketch of rude Bush-life may prove
Acceptable to those who Nature love.
Such retrospect has charms for one like me,
Who has passed through such scenes most happily.
Pardon me, Reader, if my unlearned song
Should seem to you quite dull, and much too long;
The good of all I would most gladly seek,
From purest motives, and with spirit meek-
Not counting Fame, so dazzling to men's eyes,
But God's approval, as my wished-for prize.
Should this be mine, I shall be quite content,
And deem my time and labor wisely spent.
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 8
Hail, Hope! thou gem-decked Maid, with features fair!
Fairer than fabled goddesses of air.
I still regarded thee as sprung from God;
As sent to us from his divine abode,
With the sweet sisters, holy Faith and Love,
That favored mortals might your virtues prove.
Led on by thee, we pass through heavy trial,
Requiring ever constant self-denial,
Unscathed, yet ridded of defiling dross,
To find ourselves the better for its loss.
Prompted by thee, we scale vast mountain heights;
Or take to Earth's far bounds most rapid flights;
Face dreadful storms; yea, greatest dangers brave,
And, unappalled, view the deep, yawning grave!
In every age thy praise have Poets sung;
Throughout the world thy praise has loudly rung
So much and often, that I need not dwell
Upon thy worth: for it were hard to tell
The millionth part of good thou hast achieved;
By finite man it cannot be conceived!
Thy sovereign virtues WILLIAM deeply felt,
Howe'er engaged, and wheresoe'er he dwelt.
In constant toil, and chilled by Penury,
He knew 'twas blessed to be cheered by thee.
Thou madest him content in low estate,
And for Prosperity to patient wait;
Till some, who thought his course deserved much blame,
Were led to full approval of the same.
More weeks went past, and his kind patron bought
Both tools and stock; when he with vigor wrought
In a small shop, and did his best to give
Due satisfaction, and made out to live.
Throughout the country nothing now was heard
Save talk of Civil war; yet undeterred
Was he, by what was going on around,
From his employment; and kept gaining ground.
The village of brave Soldier's was quite full,
And they, alone, made business far from dull.
When he at first commended, he made a rule
For which some folks then deemed him quite a fool
To make good work and cheap, and have his pay
For all he sold; and this he did always.
He had been taught to look Honesty
As the best part of Business policy;
And his experience fully proved the truth
Of that old maxim learned in early youth.
Meanwhile, as worldly prospects brighter grew,
To marriage state he turned his thoughts anew,
And made proposals for that lovely maid;
Nor was disapprobation once displayed
By either parent, who gave full consent,
As she, to marry him, was quite content.
Though not a 'first love,' their's remained still true,
And smoothly ran-was ever fresh and new!
His humble home, and shop, were all in one,
And looked, to others' eyes, most woe-begone!
It was for business truly quite unfit;
Yet customers still found their way to it.
Back from the street-up some half dozen stairs-
Two boards, on barrels, held his shining wares!
On one side high-the other very low-
And all unplastered; it was quite a show!
At one end stood his bench, and close beside it
Lay his rude couch; let not the rich deride it!
At times, he rose from off that humble bed
With a fair snow-wreath close about his head!
One bitter night, some loyal Volunteers
Were quartered on him; and he told his fears,
That much of comfort could not there be found,
In such a room, with all his fixtures round.
One made reply which went to WILLIAM'S heart,
And proved that man had 'chosen the good part'-
''Tis better,' said he, 'than our Savior had;
Of such a lodging He would have been glad!'
Our hero, with his hand-tools got along,
At best, but slowly; and sometimes went wrong.
It was no easy thing to ascertain
What kind of goods a ready sale would gain.
His brother Tinsmith showed no friendly spirit;
He deemed him far too low in workman-merit!
And threatened vauntingly to drive him out:
But God's rich blessing compassed him about!
His patterns he contrived, as best he could;
And every month, as tradesman, firmer stood.
His constant visits to his future bride,
Much of sweet pleasure every time supplied.
Rare worth and beauty did the maid possess;
To see her was to taste of happiness!
She was too lovely, and too gentle, far,
For one whose mind was very oft ajar;
So humble, that she left her father's house,
With all its comforts, to become his spouse.
The home which he for that fair girl provided,
By most young lasses would have been derided.
'Twas just the farthest half of his rude shop,
Lined with planed boards on all sides, and the top;
Quite small in size, 'twas amply furnished,
With stove, three chairs, a table, box and bed!
In March, his natal month, through sleet and rain,
He bore his wife, who did not once complain.
No wedding jaunt could their small means afford,
Yet they had pleasure in true love's accord;'
And what they lacked in way of outward show,
Was quite made up by warm affection's glow.
They were a happy couple, with warm hearts:
Both striving eagerly to act their parts.
If ever twain were blended into one,
'Twas in their case, as all who knew them own.
He, working soon and late to rid his debt;
She taking care of all he chanced to get.
And, with sweet smiles upon her face,
Dispelling of despondency each trace.
Too soon, the place in which their bliss begun.
Was made too hot by our Canadian sun.
A Bakery below, Sol's rays above,
With heat from stove made them most glad to move.
They next obtained a shop which answered well;
For all he made, they could most freely sell.
This place, however, they were forced to quit
In three months after they had entered it.
More than one person had on it a claim,
And each law-suit fanned their litigious flame,
Until at length it went to Chancery,
And that sage Court could on this thing agree-
To have it closed forthwith! And thus our friends
Were forced to move, once more, to gain their ends.
Each move brought double rent; but this became
A thing remembered only by its name.
Trade still increased, as did Experience, too,
And WILLIAM now had more than he could do.
But by this time he had assistance found
In his wife's brother, as apprentice bound;
A youth most active, and good-natured, too,
Who took delight in what he had to do.
The shop to which they went-last on the street-
Was, as a residence, to them most sweet.
Almost in front, a river calmly flowed;
Close by, a plain wood bridge the stream bestrode.
There, he could stand at his shop door and view
A scene which called up feelings ever new.
Above the bridge, for nearly half a mile,
It is most lovely, clad in Summer's smile.
Tall trees, of various kinds, its margins grace,
While it flows on, with ever gentle pace,
Past two small islands; each one like a gem
Set in the stream so softly passing them.
There, often has he sat, on summer's eve,
With his fair bride, both loath the scene to leave.
Lit up by Luna's beams, 'twould larger seem,
And scope afford for sweet poetic dream.
One island he would picture as the site
Of a neat mansion, where he might, at night,
Retire from business cares to take a boat.
And on the surface of the river float
With his most charming-his most loving wife;
Content to leave behind all worldly strife.
Such freaks would Fancy play, when he inclined
To let her reign sole Monarch of his mind!
Yet, when the spell was broke, the sweets of home
Were such, that from them he ne'er wished to roam.
And thus days, weeks and months most smoothly passed,
Till Winter came, each beauteous scene to blast.
Now, with new hopes, alas! came fears as well,
The strength of which it is not mine to tell.
But those who once have fond, young husbands been,
May well conceive what hopes and fears I mean.
Scarce bad December sealed the Frost-King's reign,
Ere these true hearts a Love's-pledge did obtain.
Protracted labor, bringing sore distress,
Came nigh extinguishing their happiness!
This oft led WILLIAM to the Mercy Seat;
And, oh, his visits there were truly sweet!
Nor was it vain; two precious lives were spared,
And the young parents were, afresh, prepared
To grapple with their duties-growing large-
Conscious of weakness in their full discharge.
The babe proved cross and fretful; and, for years,
Frequent convulsive fits filled them with fears;
And quite unfitted her, in after life,
For bearing a just share of toil and strife.
This proved an exercise for faith and prayer,
Until the fully felt that God's kind care
Would be extended o'er their suffering child;
And this thought made their souls more reconciled,
To bear with patience this great, frequent trial,
Which called on them so much for self-denial.
A growing interest now in Church affairs
Filled that young father's mind with weighty cares.
At this my readers need not be surprised;
Nor should my notice of it be despised.
That Church on Scripture truth had ta'en its stand,
And wished to bend alone to God's command-
To copy, in their government, the plan
Marked out by Christ, when first His Church began.
Now they sought one well qualified to take
The Elder's office-not for lucre's, sake,
Nor 'as a lord o'er God's own heritage'-
But one who humbly would, with warmth, engage
To do His bidding, and bear peaceful rule
O'er that small Church-that it might prove a school
For Saints to grow in strict conformity
To God's just will-as they that will may see.
One soon they found, who had for years been tried:
Who by Paul's test was willing to abide;
Well knowing the advice which he had given
To Ephesian Elders; and how he had striven
To labor with his hands for the support
Of self and friends, oft made the worldling's sport.
Let none imagine that this flock obtained
Another's labor for some selfish end;
Large sums they raise to help the suffering poor,
And freely give of their superfluous store
To send the Bible into heathen lands-
And that while all are laboring with their hands.
This testimony I would bear of them;
'Tis strictly true, whoever may contemn.
As deacons they chose WILLIAM and another,
Who was regarded as a worthy brother.
In God's pure sight they viewed themselves unfit
For such high office; yet accepted it
In deference to their brethren, who made choice
Of them at once, without dissenting voice.
'Twas thus it came that he had many cares,
Beside his family's and trade's affairs.
In preaching now he took his regular turn,
And, though but weakly, did with ardor burn
To tell poor sinners of a Savior's love,
Or Saints instruct in lessons from Above.
He 'midst those labors found, with sore distress,
A constant warfare mar his happiness.
Dyspepsia-fell disease-his stomach seized,
And, like a demon, would not be appeased;
But made his temper, far too quick and warm,
By frequent outbursts often work him harm.
This grieved the heart of his beloved wife,
And might have led to constant family strife,
Had not the Lord to him his folly shown,
By greater chastisement than he had known.
And now our friends possessed sufficient means
To pay their debt, or purchase those machines
Which tinsmiths use; and WILLIAM asked his friend
If he, conveniently, could longer lend
What they were owing him? His kind reply
Led COOPER soon the needful tools to buy.
This was an era in their history,
And they most gladly work more actively
In manufacturing their humble wares,
Or giving to old things their due repairs.
While freely pushing their close labor through,
They still found plenty for the two to do;
Which called on them for greater thankfulness
To their kind God, who did their business bless.
While thus engaged, pray tell me where's the wrong,
If they should sing the following 'Tinsmith's Song?'
What though our bench labor rob us of the favor
Enjoyed by the farmer, 'midst fair Country scenes;
What though 'tis confining to make up tins shining,
There's naught in the trade which our conduct demeans,
Then ply the shears, since it appears
That our calling is honest and fair;
Yet take good heed, lest, in our speed,
We should send from our hands leaky ware!
In using the folder we then may grow bolder,
And form and groove pans with our consciences clear;
Drive each of the turners with skill beyond learners,
And put in stout wire with our hearts full of cheer.
Then take a burr and make it whirr,
As the bottoms spin round like a 'top;'
And fit these tight, which is but right
If we wish a good name for the shop.
In this case the setter will do the work better,
And strong double seams will repay all our pains;
But slight not the soldering, or customers ordering
Their work at our hands will begrudge us our gains.
This we can do and yet push through
Quite a good share of labor each day,
And in our sales of pans or pails
Boldly ask those who buy for our pay.
We thus may be working, no selfishness lurking
Within, though the weather be cloudy or cold;
And lawfully striving our trade still be driving
From far better motives than mere thirst for gold.
Then we may serve and never swerve
From strict duty's plain, straightforward path,
Our country's weal with fervid zeal
By skill which each artisan hath.
O! then our bench labor may bring us the favor
Of a jaunt now and then midst the forests and fields,
Which pleasure so joyous can never annoy us,
If health and contentment it constantly yields.
Then ply the shears, since it appears
That our calling is honest and fair;
Yet take good heed lest in our speed.
We should send from our hands leaky ware.
And now these parents' hearts were rendered glad
By a sweet babe as ever parents had;
A lovely boy, a precious first-born son,
An April flower ere Spring had well begun.
Thus were their family and cares increased
While pleasure was not lessened in the least.
But a few months were destined to disclose
A lengthy list of what some think are woes.
Three serious accidents that year befel
His aged father, and 'twere hard to tell
The weary months of suffering he endured
Ere loss of limb to him relief procured.
Their patron, too, was by sore sickness brought
Down to death's door, as all who saw him thought
WILLIAM at last was on a sick-bed thrown
For many weeks, and then was fully shown
The fervent love and patience of his wife
Increasing still through years of after life.
Bereft of reason, as his friends declared,
Rich consolation he at all times shared.
Death-man's 'last foe'-for him no terrors had,
His blighted prospects did not make him sad.
To leave his wife and babes he was resigned,
And this while all deemed him of unsound mind.
The tempter, true, his faith and feelings tried,
But his suggestions met 'God will provide.'
This simple text was strong enough to stay
Each wavering thought that rose from day to day.
The time when he fell sick was in the Fall,
When lively business made most pressing call.
And yet he was enabled to abide
Content with this, 'Jehovah will provide,'
Ev'n so he did, and that in wondrous way,
For his wife's brother worked both night and day,
A striking instance of unselfishness
But rarely seen in youths of such a class.
Though outward things looked dark, this chastisement
Was plainly from a loving father sent;
And they saw constant reason to rejoice
That what is painful might be made their choice.
For, while it weaned their thoughts from things of earth
It made them prize the more their heavenly birth.
And ev'n their fond affection for each other
Was purified from that which tends to smother
The noblest energies of Christian souls,
And far too often their best thoughts controls.
This sickness showed, and that most strikingly,
How good a nurse this faithful wife could be.
Through all her trials she was quite resigned,
And not one murmuring thought rose in her mind.
A more attentive or enduring nurse
I'm very sure ne'er shone in poet's verse.
When his recovery was manifested
Her love and patience were severely tested.
For calomel caused him such great distress
He was oft found in fits of fretfulness.
But yet she meekly bore with his caprice
And her self-sacrifice did never cease.
He, when restored again to perfect health,
Grew far more conscious of the store of wealth
By him possessed in having such a wife
To act as helpmate through the storms of life.
And not long after, when their lovely boy
Was very sick, he did his skill employ
To soothe her sorrows by an artless lay
Exhorting her to make God's love her stay;
And holding up to view Heaven's perfect bliss,
He aimed to show that naught can come amiss
To those who all their hopes on Jesus rest,
And 'seek through His Atonement to be bless'd.'
Their child restored, their joys again increase,
For God's sweet service yields them constant peace.
He, constantly employed in hard bench work,
Let not a thirst for wealth within him lurk,
And was enabled to preserve his mind
So free from care that, when he felt inclined,
He could with ease bring all his thoughts to bear
On Scripture truths, and each with each compare,
Or let his fancy take her random flight
To bring from Dreamland some new-coined delight.
At other times would raise his tuneful voice
And sing sweet hymns which long had been his choice,
Or else recite some charming poetry
With touch of skill and much of energy.
At times his spouse, too, did her sewing bring,
And joined harmoniously God's praise to sing.
Thus mostly passed their time for months and years
In bliss too great to last, as it appears.
Meanwhile their debt most honestly was paid,
By which then prospects were much brighter made.
Yet gratitude glowed brightly in each heart,
To him who acted such a friendly part
As to lend money and then wait for years
In patience for the payment of arrears.
About this time they visited 'The Falls,'
As business was not urgent in its calls.
WILLIAM felt joyful in no trifling measure
With such a wife to share so great a pleasure,
And gladly spent his money and his time
To view with her that scenery sublime.
This jaunt gave both the most heartfelt delight,
And furnished her the first and only sight
She ever had of wonders there displayed,
Which were in Spring's fresh beauty then arrayed.
They stood and gazed, or sat in shady place,
With glowing feelings pictured in each face.
He greatly longed to have a dwelling near,
That he might oftener view scenes grown so dear.
But family needs would force themselves on him,
And those bright visions very soon grew dim.
Yet he inquiry made of settlers round
To learn what prospects then might there be found
Of earning a just living at his trade;
But this quite threw the project in the shade.
Then he thought fit to let 'well be' alone
Till clearer light should on the scheme be thrown.
Hopes next arose that he might yet revisit
Once every year, with pleasure more exquisite,
Those grand, unrivalled Falls with her he loved,
More lovely still now that her love was proved.
The sequel shows how little we foresee
Of good or evil in our destiny.
'Tis right; and this should make us place our trust
In God, our Father, ever wise and just.
Since naught can happen without His permission
Who orders our affairs with wise precision.
At the appointed time they home returned,
While love for it more strongly in them burned.
One Winter and two Summers now had passed
Since a fine boy upon their care was cast.
Again stern winter came, with cloudy skies
And howling blasts like some fell demon cries.
Dark, chill November had been ushered in,
With much of elemental strife and din,
When came another daughter, bright and fair,
To charm the hearts of that still loving pair.
The new come love pledge, as time swiftly flew,
In sweetest bands their souls more closely drew.
Increasing means more household comforts brought,
Not greatly coveted if they were sought.
They asked God day by day for such supplies
Of worldly blessings as He deemed most wise,
Took those most thankfully He kindly sent,
And with their lot, for most part, were content.
'Tis true that COOPER wished to spend more time
For the improvement of himself in rhyme,
But greater duties had a higher claim,
Neglect of which would bring upon him blame.
He therefore kept his muse in close subjection,
And gained God's blessing and most kind protection.
Yet now and then his pent up feelings broke
Through all restraint, and his rude harp awoke
To pour forth numbers with intent to cheer
Parents or friends, who lent a willing ear
To his effusions, void of learning's grace,
But full of feeling, which supplied its place.
Another Spring and Summer passed away,
Then Autumn, too, and Winter held the sway;
While January, when half its course was run,
Brought to our friends a second infant son.
Two of each kind parental love now claim,
As sharers of their destiny and name;
While years of happiness might seem in store
For, prosperous still, they loved each other more.
That season was their best in way of trade,
And thus their prospects wore no darkening shade.
Satan-arch enemy of all mankind-
Beheld with envy their true peace of mind,
And most maliciously employed his skill
To work them woe-defiant of God's will.
Their worldly property he did not touch,
For loss of this would not be felt so much
As trouble with their brethren in the church,
Severed from whom they might be left in lurch.
His plan succeeded, as I know too well,
For some deemed wise were held as by a spell
In hands of strongest preconceived opinion,
While Ignorance held them in his dominion.
WILLIAM had seen this long, and mourned in soul,
With such emotion as scarce brooked control,
And, knowing that they held it just and right
For all to seek increasing Scripture light,
He, in the search for truth, gave up his mind,
And was well pleased some few choice pearls to find.
These lustrous gems he had no wish to hide,
So held them up to view, and earnest tried
To lead his brethren to approve their worth;
But such a course gave to contention birth.
Nor was it long before occasion came
For those opposed to lay upon him blame,
The end of which was that they did him sever
From sweet communion with their church forever!
Under this blow he tried to bear up well,
But all he suffered 'twould be hard to tell.
His spouse and parents with him sympathised
And broke the bands which each so long had prized.
Naught now remained for them but to unite
In holy fellowship with purer light.
Soon some few other friends who knew their case
Their humble cause did with much warmth embrace.
One with our hero labored in the Word
With what small skill and time he could afford.
Things went on smoothly for about a year,
And some success did much their hearts to cheer.
Ere long, however, troubles unforeseen
Burst on the little band with shafts so keen
That WILLIAM'S faith and strength were sorely tried,
And with his lot he was dissatisfied.
One of the flock was easily led astray,
And self-indulgence held him in its sway.
Two others left because a change of view
Made several seek to be baptized anew.
Slow passed another very trying year,
And thick gloom gathered, filling them with fear.
Our friend was sick from an unquiet mind,
While Comfort-wonted guest-he failed to find.
At last his loved, his idolized wife
In her accouchment left this mortal life.
Schooled long, he firmly bore this heavy stroke,
And bowed his head submissive 'neath God's yoke.
This brought him peace, and his sad muse ere long
Found utterance in the following mournful song:
WILLIAM'S LAMENT ON THE DEATH OF HIS BELOVED WIFE.
Awake, my harp! give forth in solemn time
Thy sweetest numbers in harmonious rhyme.
'Tis time to bid my dormant powers arise,
Yet I would first dry up my weeping eyes.
My full charged bosom heaves, and oh, how slow
Conflicting thoughts in well timed numbers flow.
Cease, rebel feelings, cease your dreadful strife;
The theme's my love, the partner of my life.
Her portrait is before me, and that smile
Upon her features playing, shows no guile.
What were thy thoughts, my loved one, on that day
The artist's skill did our joint forms portray?
Thou wast not then so foolish as to deem
An early death a vain or idle dream.
We oft had converse on that mournful theme,
As oft looked forward to the solemn day
When death, grim monster! should tear one away.
I thought my time most surely first would come,
And thou, expected'st, first to reach thy home!
Thus were we apt to number out our days,
And oft together led to seek God's ways.
Most unfeigned pleasure did we take in this,
And gained as fruit sweet tastes of heavenly bliss.
Now, my belov'd one, thou art gone from me
And our dear little ones! Oh! can it be?
The sad reality comes o'er my mind.
Thou'rt gone indeed, and we are left behind.
Oh for that faith of which thou wast possessed,
As thy pure spirit strove to gain her rest.
Oh for that patience which thou didst display
Beneath our Father's hand to thy last day.
Methinks that thou art whispering in my ear:
'Let God's sure promises thy spirit cheer;
'Remember that our Jesus is the same
'To all whose trust is in His precious name.
'A few short days, perchance, or months, or years,
'May flee away; yet he will still thy fears
'And bear thee up as if on 'eagle's wings,'
'Far, far above the reach of earthly things.
'Remember what thou didst to comfort me;
'Thou hast God's word, the same it is to thee.
'Let fervent prayer ascend to God above;
'He'll deign to listen for He still is love.
'Rouse then, thy courage, let thy faith be strong,
'Let Hope, 'an anchor sure,' to thee belong.
'The time's not distant we again shall meet
'To part no more. This is a thought most sweet.
'But yet in patience do thy soul possess,
'And wait God's time, and then He will thee bless.'
Enough my loved one, I will haste away
To do my duties without more delay.
And trust in God who can fresh strength impart
To me to serve him with a perfect heart.
Here, then, kind reader, I must close my lay,
As other duties call me now away.
If you've had patience to go with me through
My lengthened tale, I bid you warm adieu.
If my small learning has called forth a sneer,
Know you from such things I have naught to fear.
For what is written I have this defense:
My song at least lacks not for common-sense.
The Emigrant Mechanic: A Tale Of Humble Life Book 7
O, Memory! What art thou? Whence thy power?
Thy wonders are displayed from hour to hour
Of my existence. By thy powerful aid
Sweet Childhood's scenes most truthfully are made
To pass before me in such vividness,
I stand amazed, and thy great skill confess!
By thy assistance, things long lost to view
Spring forth surprisingly-both fresh and new.
I travel back through more than thirty years,
With all their toils and pleasures, griefs and fears.
Go where I may, thou ever art with me,
As Counsellor and Friend, dear Memory!
Thy secret depths I would again explore,
And must draw largely ere my task be o'er.
Be thou no ignis fatuus to allure
Me from the paths of truth, nor it obscure,
While I attempt to paint the coming scenes,
Which COOPER passed through with such slender means,
'Tis early Spring-time, and the opening buds
Bestud the boughs of trees through all the woods.
The snow and frost remain till rather late;
But Sol's great power for this will compensate.
He, aided by soft winds and copious rain,
Will melt the snow, and break stern Winter's chain.
The Frost-King, thus so suddenly dethroned,
May vent his rage, as if a giant groaned;
Or muster scattered forces and come back
Once and again, to the repulsed attack!
And when he finds his efforts all in vain,
May hurl defiance on Spring's beauteous train;
And, from his region of eternal snow,
Send rude North winds to strike a deadly blow;
To nip the fairest blossoms in the bud,
And blast, in spite, the gardener's prospects good.
Yet One, Almighty, will his rage control;
His fiat has gone forth, 'Let Seasons roll
In quick succession, while the Earth endures!'
And this, great benefits to us secures.
The birds begin to pair; the grass to spring;
And Maple sap is scarce worth gathering;
Yet, when it won't make sugar, some prepare
Syrup, and vinegar, of flavor rare.
On every hand the brightly green-robed trees
May hear their finery rustling in the breeze;
And pleased, like mortals, with their gay attire,
May feel a strong, vain-glorious desire
To have a glass in which to view their charms,
Or mark the effect of each rude blast's alarms.
Some, far more highly favored than the rest,
Have such a mirror as may suit them best.
Of these are they which grow beside a stream,
And, all day long, of their own beautv dream;
Or those that grace the margins of a lake,
Whose face reflects the grand display they make.
Ah, these imaginings are far from just;
Fair Nature would much rather sink to dust
Than thus dishonor her great Maker's name!
And we, vain sinners, should be filled with shame,
To be so far behind in praises meet-
Neglecting duty that should still be sweet.
Up to this time our Emigrants contrived
To keep from debt, though they themselves deprived
Far, far too often, of substantial food-
Which, in the end, did them but little good.
Yet day by day they toiled with eagerness,
In hope that God would their joint efforts bless.
To build a barn of logs they now prepare;
This gives them much hard labor, and some care.
To put it up they call a 'Raising Bee;'
And, wishful to prevent ebriety,
They buy no whisky; but, instead of it,
Have cakes and coffee, which are far more fit.
The work was gone through in true Bush-man style,
Although a few assumed a scornful smile,
And would, no doubt, have been well satisfied
To have the liquor-jug still by their side.
This job completed, Spring work next came on,
And, truly, there was plenty to be done!
The man from whom they bought their 'Indian lease'
Had made brush fences, and there was no peace
From 'breachy' cattle, breaking through with ease,
To eat the crops as often as they please!
To cut down trees, and split them into rails
For laying fence, is work which seldom fails
The new Bush farmer, who must ever be
Upon the move, and used to industry.
Such was their case; and. Oh! the aching limb,
And sinking heart, as prospects grew more dim!
Anon, the sun shoots down such powerful rays,
As seems to set the air almost a-blaze!
They felt the previous Summer very hot;
But that, through Winter's cold, was quite forgot.
Besides, as yet 'twas Spring; then why this heat?
Their strength was small from lack of proper meat.
'Tis true, they did not want for daily bread;
But Bush-life should with stronger food be fed.
In lieu of tea, they used root sassafras
So much and often, that they all, alas!
Not only cleansed their moderate share of blood,
But thinned it far too much to do them good!
WILLIAM, especially, became so weak
He could scarce bear to work, or e'en to speak.
When he essayed to stoop, his back seemed broke;
And courage failed beneath the heavy stroke.
The different remedies which friends advised,
All failed to bring the health he so much prized.
His fond hopes crushed, he tried to bow his head,
Submissive to the will of Him who bled
For such poor sinners, on the 'cursed tree;'
And found some comfort in his misery.
One day his spirits sank extremely low-
And Faith, herself, fled from him in his woe;
When, like a flash of lightning, to his mind
A passage came, sent by his FATHER kind!
'Fight the good fight of Faith,' with magic worth
Rang through his soul, and very soon gave birth
To a most lively, energetic Song,
On Christian Warfare-in which he was long.
I give the verses, with an earnest prayer
That all my Readers may their spirit share,
And seek for grace to help them still to fight
The 'Fight of Faith,' as in their Maker's sight!
THE CHRISTIAN'S BATTLE-SONG.
'Fight the Good Fight of Faith.'
Soldiers of Jesus! say-Where is your armor?
The word has gone forth; you are called on to fight!
Still doth the conflict grow warmer and warmer;
Then trust in your Captain for wisdom and might!
Soldiers of Jesus! mind well your behavior;
See those proud foes, how undaunted they stand!
Hark well to the words of your loving Savior:
'Be ye also ready!' Regard this command.
Soldiers of Jesus! O, be not alarmed!
Your glorious Captain has conquered them all!
Rouse, then, your courage! Be never disarmed!
Your enemies seek to accomplish your fall.
Soldiers of Jesus! Immanuel's banner-
Most glorious of Ensigns-is reared up on high;
Fight ye! O, fight ye! in soldier-like manner;
Jehovah, to help you, forever is nigh!
Soldiers of Jesus! the foes you contend with
Are subtle, expert, they are many and great;
Your armor's so tempered, that it will ne'er bend with
Being used well against them; nor early, nor late.
Take Breastplate of Righteousness-take Shield of Faith!
By which you are able to quench all the darts
Of your great Antagonist! For, so He saith
Who styles Himself 'Faithful,' and who strength imparts.
To these be there added 'Salvation's bright Helmet,
And Sword of the Spirit-the Word of your God.'
That God who your Foes with destruction o'erwhelmeth,
And rules both the Heavens and Earth with his nod.
Still praying 'with prayer and great supplication,
In the spirit of Truth, and watching thereto,
With all perseverence, for the edification
Of Brethren-the Saints,' who are Soldiers like you.
Soldiers of Jesus! now fight with all ardor
Beneath that bright Banner now high and unfurled!
O, doubt not but Jesus will be your Rewarder,
When from their proud standing your foes He has hurled!
Soldiers of Jesus! your Captain is waiting
To give you a Crown-a most glorious reward!
Forward! press forward! success contemplating;
He'll give you the Victory; this promise regard.
Soldiers of Jesus! behold Him descending
Upon a White Throne, His bright Angels around!
The 'glorified throng' are upon Him attending;
Before Him all Nations and Kindreds are found.
Hear those glad words, 'Come, ye bless'd of my Father!
Inherit the Kingdom prepared long for you!'
Then glory to Him and the Father together;
With the blest Holy Spirit, to whom it is due!
The composition of these lively verses,
Was made to him one of his greatest mercies;
They roused his courage by their warlike tone,
And made him feel he was not left alone
To fight against a host of watchful foes:
For One was with him who felt all his woes;
Who had Himself through every trial been,
And still is with his people, though unseen!
Such sweet reflections had this good effect
Upon his mind: they led him to respect,
More than he yet had done, pure Bible truth;
And thus he learned to bear Christ's yoke in youth.
His soul-so sensitive-was led, at last,
Her every grief, her every fear to cast
Upon her God, with simple faith-unfeigned;
And found His promise true; she was sustained.
His body still was weak; and on the farm
He could not work without receiving harm.
To be a clerk he was not now inclined-
'Twas not a life congenial to his mind;
To work at his own trade he thought was best,
Which thought to several friends he then expressed.
These all agreed it would be right to try
To find employment in the Village nigh.
In it was one who carried on the trade,
Who, to appearance, had a fortune made.
To him he then applied, with some success,
To get a job, and wrought with eagerness.
Alas! it only lasted for a week,
And he was thus compelled fresh work to seek.
That Brother, who before had stood his friend,
Now kindly offered ample means to lend
To start in business on his own account;
But COOPER dreamt he never could surmount
The difficulties which beset him round,
So inexperienced as he should be found.
The work required, to him, was mostly new,
And made up by machines, as well he knew.
To work with these must be his chief concern;
But where was he to go such work to learn,
Unless he made too great a sacrifice
Of Christian privilege? This, in his eyes,
Was of such moment, that he rather chose
To struggle with chill Want, and other woes,
Until such time as God saw fit to show
To him the path in which he ought to go.
Meanwhile, as tinker, he two irons took,
With solder, rosin, and the Christian's Book!
Equipped in this way 'mongst his friends he went,
And happy hours in work and trav'ling spent.
Of mending tins he had enough to do;
And got good board, and decent wages, too.
Ere long he visited more distant farms,
And found his calling not devoid of charms.
On Nature's varied face he still could gaze,
And each new scene presented fresh displays
Of God's Omnipotence and boundless love,
Which raised his thoughts from Earth to things above.
While, ever and anon, he found a friend
To give him work, and press on him to spend
The night, in comfort, 'neath his friendly roof;
And thus afford the most substantial proof,
That Human-kindness in its warmest glow
Wants but Occasion, its full worth to show!
Sometimes a Settler viewed him with suspicion,
And paused ere he would give the least permission
For him to enter his small, rude, log dwelling,
While WILLIAM'S heart was with keen feelings swelling.
Anon, a gentle word would turn the scale-
The man would list the youthful tinker's tale;
Would give a hearty welcome to his house,
And introduce him to his thrifty spouse;
Would bid her bring; that leaky pail, or pan,
Which had been tinkered by 'that other man,'
Who got from her the pewter spoons, and lead,
His supper, breakfast, and a nice clean bed;
Then took the metal every bit away,
Saying he got not half enough for pay!
When WILLIAM heard such things he did not wonder
That farmers, sometimes, looked as black as thunder
When he applied for work, or lodging sought
With earnestness, which fear of want had taught.
All he now earned went to the family store,
And thus he kept 'as poor as heretofore.
About this time, an invitation came
To their small Church, to spread Christ's glorious name.
Two Brethren were deputed each Lord's Day
To do the work, but not for worldly pay.
They tried to carry out the Lord's command,
Which few, in this our day, can understand:
'Freely ye have received-so freely give;
More blessed 'tis to give than to receive.'
On one of these occasions COOPER went
With a dear Brother, who to preach was sent.
That Brother was ta'en sick, and could not preach;
WILLIAM, in public, was not wont to teach.
But He, whose sacred name they bore, was there;
On Him the youth now strove to cast his care.
The school-room-such it was-was crowded quite,
Yet he felt nothing daunted at the sight.
'Twas well, perhaps, that every face was new
To him, and all the future hid from view;
For in that very room two maidens sate,
Both destined to be his in marriage state.
And greatly influence his future fate!
Had he known this-so sensitive was he-
It might have him unmanned to such degree,
As to prevent completely the discharge
Of duties which, to him, looked very large.
But as it was, he saw before him there
The old and young, whose looks bespoke some care
For their salvation. That most precious theme,
Of whose great worth the worldly-wise ne'er dream,
He with strong feelings urged upon them all;
And there were hearts responding to the call!
Such deep attention never had he seen
In any Meeting, in his life, I ween!
It thrilled his very soul, and made him speak,
In glowing language, of the Savior meek-
Whose love to sinners moved him to lay by
His own great Glory, and come here to die!
The good accomplished on that Sabbath day,
Ten thousand fold his labor did repay.
His unpremeditated preaching went
Home to some hearts-a Heavenly message, sent
By God's good Spirit, as a proof to be
Of Grace most wondrous to Eternity!
The simple service reached at last its close;
When the sick Brother to some hearers goes
To learn their welfare, and his own impart,
With strongest tokens of a friendly heart.
Those persons were both English-man and wife-
Who knew, for years, the toils of Bush-farm life.
To them was introduced the new-made preacher,
Just then mistaken for an older teacher.
Due explanations made, they him invite
To call and see them, and stay over night.
He, nothing loath, the invitation kind
At once accepted, with delighted mind.
The two return, and with their Brethren meet
To join in worship-simple, pure and sweet.
The incidents of that blest Sabbath day
Haunted his mind, till he could not delay
A visit to his new-made, kindly friends,
In hopes that it might tend to make amends
For great privations, every day endured,
Whilst but a mere subsistence was secured.
He therefore took his bag and tools once more,
To call at places never seen before.
He, in his wanderings, to a Village came,
Which had, for water-power, acquired some fame;
There he found work that did a day employ,
And learned what gave to him much greater joy-
How some five miles would bring him to the farm,
Where he might hope to meet a welcome warm.
Fatigued, he reached the house in strangest plight-
For sweat and dust made him a sorry sight.
The mother was engaged in converse there
With her first-born-a daughter blithe and fair.
These knew him not-so different his array
From What it was upon that Sabbath day.
And though he gave to each a friendly greeting,
It might have proved a rather chilly meeting,
Had not the youngest daughter whispered thus;
''Tis the young preacher come to visit us.'
This was enough; apologies were made,
And perfect welcome speedily displayed.
In sweet discourse they sat a little while,
When tea was served, in most superior style,
Cooper of such a meal had never tasted,
Since he from his dear native land had hasted.
This o'er, the conversation they resume,
While truth's clear rays afresh their minds illume.
This was to him a most important day;
For gloomy clouds then broke and fled away.
His future, once so dark, now brighter grew,
And filled his soul with gratitude anew.
That mother's care assigned him the 'best bed,'
On which to lay his weary limbs and head.
Most sweetly did the Wanderer sleep and rest,
As though by grief he ne'er had been oppressed,
He rose, refreshed, soon after break of day,
And thankfully his 'Orisons did pay.'
While these dear folks the breakfast were preparing,
He to mend leaky tins no pains was sparing.
For what he did he would not make a charge-
His Independence was a trait too large;
But that kind mother would not be repaid
In work or money for her love displayed.
She fixed the price-a very liberal one-
And paid the cash for all that he had done.
Perhaps my readers think this matron's eyes
Saw, in the tinker, a most likely prize
To win, as husband, for her daughter fair;
But surely they must be mistaken there!
This family's standing was considered good;
WILLIAM, amongst the very poorest stood:
And, in his tinkering garb, was not a match
For that fair girl, whom many strove to catch.
Let this be as it might; he left the house
Without proposing to make her his spouse.
Yet not without the strongest inclination
To make short intervals of separation.
Their daughter, Jane, was in her twentieth year,
And did to him a lovely maid appeal.
He knew her soon as skilled in house affairs,
But ever lacking vain, coquettish airs.
Her form was graceful, and of medium size,
And sweet good nature beamed in her bright eyes.
Her face, for most part, wore a pleasant smile,
While her dear heart ne'er harbored aught of guile.
Her charms were such that COOPER'S heart, ere long,
Could not resist their influence so strong.
Nor need we wonder much, for soon he learned
She had good offers, in great plenty, spurned,
Before she knew the Tinsmith-so forlorn-
Whose poor appearance ne'er drew forth her scorn.
Phebe, the youngest girl, was quite a lass,
Who might not yet have used a looking-glass.
Possessed of bright brown eyes and cheerful face,
On which, of sorrow, none could find a trace-
Unless her paleness might be viewed as such;
Yet all who read her eyes would doubt it much.
Of lively spirits, and most active turn,
Still fond of work, she could not fail to learn
Such household duties as her mother thought
Best that her girls should, in their youth, be taught.
To be a favorite, Phebe scarce could fail;
And parents rightly named her, 'Nightingale!'
For, while asleep, she oft would sing at night
Some lively tune, and always sing it right.
Between these two, in age and temperament,
Another girl was to that couple lent.
She, than her sisters, always seemed more shy,
At least, if strangers happened to be nigh.
All three grew up good-looking, and became
As faithful wives as e'er were known to fame.
One chubby babe, and three more sprightly boys,
Ranked 'mongst the number of this family's joys.
Meanwhile a curious incident occurred,
To mention which may harmless mirth afford.
Our hero long had wished to take a tour
Still further North, 'mongst farmers far from poor;
And when returning-say on Friday night-
To hold a meeting, if his friends thought right.
The place agreed upon was their 'large room'-
One large enough, if neighbors all should come.
This, settled, off he went for several days,
Toiling and sweating under Sol's strong rays.
Sometimes with Christians of most generous souls;
Anon, with those whose conduct him appals,
Till the important day at last came round;
When at a house, hard by, he tinkering found.
The work all done, they ask him to partake
Refreshment with them, for pure kindness' sake.
He thankfully complied with their request,
And found their cheer was of the very best.
The meal was served beneath a pleasant shade,
And he, to each good thing was welcome made.
Soon there rode by a gentleman well dressed,
And the host's daughter thus herself expressed:
'Most likely that's the Preacher just gone by;
He's dressed in black, and wears a white neck-tie.'
'Perhaps so,' said the father; ''tis the night
The Meeting's held, and they did us invite.'
WILLIAM, meanwhile, beheld the mother's eyes
Cast oft upon him; and, with some surprise,
She asked, 'Did you not preach a month ago
At the Plains School House?' He replied, ''Twas so.'
'And is it you that's going to preach ere long
At our near neighbors?' He asked, 'Is it wrong?'
'No; only-' There's the rub! O contrast great,
Betwixt the well-dressed man, and tinker's state!
To do them justice, 'tis but right to add-
They went to hear him, and for it were glad.
Ere many weeks he is prevailed upon
To take that kind friend's offer, and has gone
To Buffalo for tools; and on his way
Makes for Niagara, without delay.
Years he had longed to see that splendid sight,
And now this journey took with great delight.
'Twas in the month of August; when, he found
Himself for Lewiston, by steamer, bound.
The night he reached that was a sultry one-
And such excitement he had never known.
The room in which he tried to get some sleep
Had six poor drunkards in it! [Footnote: Fact] 'So, at peep
Of early dawn, he rose; then washed his face;
Paid off his bill, and strove his nerves to brace
By walking o'er the seen remaining miles,
With glowing feelings, and face clad in smiles.
O, what a morn was that! A cooling breeze
Blew from Ontario, and just moved the trees.
Around, no clouds obscured the bright, blue sky;
Yet o'er the Falls a mist was rising high!
He clomb the 'Mountain's' rugged, stony height,
And often turned to gaze with fond delight
Upon the scene before him. The blue Lake
One sheet of golden splendor! Sol, awake,
Had sent his rays athwart that inland Sea,
Ere He rose high, in glorious majesty!
On either hand lay woods, and fields of grain,
Stretched out, for miles, in one vast fertile plain.
Upon his left rose BROCK'S plain Monument;
By 'sympathy'-false named-now sadly rent!
The genuine fruit of murderous Civil war,
Whose dogs-let loose-stop not at Virtue's bar;
But oft, by their vile deeds, dare to pollute
What men most sacred deem as worth repute.
May thou, my dear, my own Adopted Land!
Ne'er hear again the tramp of hostile band;
Whether poured forth from neighboring foreign shore,
Or fruit of thy own sons' deep thirst for gore!
WILLIAM, arrived upon the mountain top,
Pauses not long; he had scarce time to stop.
He took the River bank, and there, below,
The wondrous rapids for the first time saw.
His thoughts and feelings would be hard to tell,
While he stood there-bound as by magic spell.
Ere long he felt a very strange desire
To brave that Water-Spirit's foaming ire!
And once or twice essay'd e'en to descend
The precipice's front, to gain his end!
'O for a bathe'-thought he-'in that pure stream!
Is it reality? or do I dream?
Am I now standing on Niagara's brink?
O that I could of its pure waters drink!'
Soliloquizing thus, a thundering sound
Broke on his ear, and noise of Rapids drowned!
Aroused by this, he hurried faster on-
The veil of mist his guide-until, anon,
He reached a bend, which brought before his view
The mighty Cataract's wonders, ever new;
Yet at such distance he could not well trace
The varied beauties of that matchless place!
Most eagerly he took the road again;
Nor paused to seek the company of men,
Who, reared amid these wonders, seldom feel
The deep emotions, or the fervid zeal
Which he then felt, as nearer still he drew,
And found his dreams of the Great Falls all true.
At last he stood there; and, in earnest, gazed
As though he could not weary: quite amazed
At the vast grandeur of the beauteous scene,
And half inclined to look on all as mean
That he had viewed before! Musing, he stood
Still as a statue, while the mighty flood
Dashed madly onward, as if eager still
To take the leap, obedient to God's will!
Again he's roused by shout, away below,
'Twas from a Boatman, anxious now to know
If he would cross to the Canadian side?
COOPER obeyed, with Fancy for his guide;
And soon was bouncing o'er the heaving deep,
Whose current forced the boat to take a sweep;
While, ever and anon, a dash of spray
Made wet his clothes, as would a rainy day.
They reached the landing; and he now has gone
To Table-Rock, and muses still alone.
The song which follows does express in part
The strong, warm feelings of his raptured heart:
SONG TO NIAGARA.
Niagara! I hail thy magnificent wonders,
The work of my Father-the maker of All!
His voice 'tis I hear, in thy earth-shaking thunders,
As 'Deep unto Deep' every moment 'doth call!'
Waters rushing, always pushing
Over the ledge of crumbling rocks;
Ever leaping, never sleeping,
Sound His praise in ceaseless shocks.
Thy mist to my mind seems a Pillar enshrining
His All-glorious Presence, by day and by night!
Thy rainbows bespeak Him to Mercy inclining-
Though none who gaze on thee are clean in His sight!
Colors blending, mist ascending;
All are displaying His great power!
Rapids roaring, are adoring
Him-their Maker-every hour!
The myriads of pearls, and bright emerald glories,
Encircling thy brow, 'midst the foam and the spray,
Unite in presenting the most vivid stories
Of splendor and riches which He can display!
Pearls descending, without ending,
Down that giddy precipice,
Seem deriding our vain pride in
Works which can't compare with this.
The trees on thy banks look like worshippers standing,
To pay at Thy shrine their just tribute of praise;
And loudly, indeed, are their voices demanding,
That man unto God his sweet anthems should raise!
Each tree growing, oft is bowing,
Lowly its tall majestic head;
Man, still scheming, 's seldom dreaming
Of this feast before him spread!
My soul, quite enraptured, could stay here forever,
And drink in thy beauties with constant delight;
But something within me is whispering, 'Never
Be so taken up with sublunary sight!'
Paths of Duty should have beauty
More than what I find in thee;
For thy glories tell no stories
Of some things worth much to me.
But yet I can gaze on thy dazzling brightness-
Thy rainbows, thy pearls, thy clear emerald green;
On rapids still toss'd into foam of pure whiteness;
On falls the most glorious that Earth has e'er seen!
Strength acquiring, in admiring
All as the matchless work of God;
Can, with pleasure, leave such treasure,
And my journey onward plod.
Around the Falls he lingered till past noon,
And still felt grieved to have to leave thus soon.
So loath was he a single charm to miss,
He oft went down and up the precipice,
By means of spiral stairs which constant shook,
As if by palsy-fit they had been struck.
The engine's whistle warns him now to go,
And take the cars for rising Buffalo.
In that new City he arrived ere night,
Which gave to him but very small delight.
Tools soon he found-sold only by the set;
And with his funds, the price could not be met.
Here was a fix! Naught for him now remained
But to return, with just his pleasure gained!
This, as an offset, stood against the debt
He had incurred, and kept him from a fret.
Once more I pause, but with a hope quite strong,
That I may soon resume my simple song.
The Faithful Pastor
To the deep umbrage of our North back woods,
And near to Huron's wild romantic shore-
Where Winter's storms are seen in angry moods,
To make the Lake's waves dash with loudest roar-
Came GOODWORTH, twelve years since, and brought a store
Of Christian wisdom to those lonely parts:
To try if he could find an open door
By which to reach the settlers' sinful hearts,
And them inform of what would heal their inward smarts.
Firm in his mind, robust was he in frame,
Of human learning having ample share;
With fervent zeal, love-prompted, there he came,
Pure Gospel Truth in meekness to declare,
And backwoods hardships with his hearers share;
He brought his loving wife and children four,
Who for their own convenience showed small care;
Who had with Christian heroism bore
A heavy share of trial several years before.
These four dear children had been early trained
To take their part in every day's employ;
Nor were their youthful hearts by this estranged
From the kind parents, who did show their joy
In manifesting no wish to annoy
Their dearest offspring by undue restraint;
Aware that this might very soon destroy
Their influence; and who has power to paint
The ills which flow from this too prevalent complaint?
Think not, kind reader, I would overdraw
My pictures of sweet, chaste, conjugal bliss;
All I describe I've seen, and, therefore, know
I err not far-though some may doubt of this-
And deem my sketches very far amiss.
It matters not; those who have faithful been
In wedlock pure have often found, I was,
That a fair share of happiness serene
Upon this earth in Christian families still is seen.
And such were those of whom I speak above,
For of God's grace they every one partook.
Their actions sprang from the great Law of Love,
So plainly laid down in his Holy Book.
All might discover from each kind, sweet look,
That they had been unto the Savior's School;
That they had seldom Wisdom's paths forsook,
But made the Word their only Guide and Rule.
This kept their love alive, nor let their ardor cool.
Yet they did not to this at once attain;
Poor human nature in its best estate
Has much about it that is truly vain,
And these were not exempt from common fate.
Some fourteen years before my story's date
They had been in the purifying fire
Of great affliction; had been led to wait
Upon their God who knew their soul's desire,
And brought them through, clothed in Humility's attire.
And gave them for their loved ones taken away,
What was more needful for their growth in grace,
And led them thus to make His Arm their stay.
In all their trials His kind hand to trace.
'Twas this that fitted them for such a place
As in these woods the were designed to fill;
And hence they always wore a cheerful face,
And bowed their own unto their Savior's will,
While with the Spirit's sword the showed the greatest skill.
And such were needed in that settlement
But just reclaimed from the wild wilderness,
For its inhabitants appeared content
With worldly things, which did good thoughts repress,
And cause the Pastor much of sore distress.
In truth it seemed a most forbidding field
For pastoral labor, and it was no less.
But God could make it precious fruit to yield,
And be unto his servants constant Strength and Shield.
Now they had sought the mind of God to know
Ere they concluded there to settle down;
And this determined they resolved to go
To that rough place-quite far from any town,
Where rude log huts were very thinly strown,
And where hard labor stared them in the face,
While gloomy woods appeared on them to frown,
To find earth's comforts were but very scarce.
For such a step I'm sure they needed special grace.
This they obtained, and providentially
Were led to find a very splendid lot,
Which fronted on that mighty inland Sea,
And is in Summer a most lovely spot;
A barren piece of land it sure is not.
This might be known from its fine stock of trees.
Now their good fortune gratitude begot,
Which was poured forth to God upon their knees,
While green leaves waved above, fanned by a warm, soft breeze.
A shabby shanty stood upon the ground,
Perhaps erected by a poor red man;
Fire-weeds and brushwood thickly grew around,
To clear off which they now at once began.
Near by the place a charming spring-creek ran;
This had its source in a high tree-clad hill,
From top of which the country they could scan.
The father and two sons with right good will
That shanty soon prepare, and they its small space till.
This proved a wretched shelter at the best,
For rain came through the worn-out roof of bark,
And for hard laborers was no place of rest,
While its small window left it very dark.
They speak together of a house, when, hark!
A noise they hear-a sound as of great glee-
The settlers in their breasts possessed a spark
Of sweet good nature, and now came to see
If they could not be useful to the family.
This as an omen soon was understood,
And pressing wants were to each friend made known.
With axes armed these quick obtained some wood,
Which by strong oxen speedily was drawn
To the selected spot that had been shown.
The Pastor's wife and daughters then prepare
A good, substantial meal, and with kind tone
Invite the friends to come and taste their fare,
Which they in gratitude had made with nicest care.
With this good offer all at once complied;
They came to work and therefore needs must eat.
The day was fine and beech tree shade supplied
A place for table, and each took a seat,
Admiring much the dinner spread so neat.
And GOODWORTH then gave thanks most rev'rently
For such sweet comforts in their wood's retreat,
And prayed that each warm-hearted friend might be
Rewarded for his kindness in Eternity.
The dinner o'er, awhile in friendly chat
They sat and rested till the cattle fed.
Then GOODWORTH freely spoke to them of what
He and his family to that place had led,
And sweetly mentioned Him that once had bled-
The great God-man, who, sinners came to save.
These men in silence heard all he had said,
And some shed tears, and all looked very grave,
Though each rude breast possessed a heart most truly brave.
Once more bright axes, wielded by strong arms
Make chips fly fast, as they the logs prepare;
Such willing work the Pastor's family charms,
For they this kindness had not thought to share.
A strong foundation now is laid with care;
Of ample size, the fabric upward grows;
The men take pains to have the corners square,
Which to effect the spare nor strength nor blows;
And thus, as if by magic, that neat structure rose.
Meanwhile, there came some shingles, nails and boards,
Brought by two teams, which only now were seen;
And this fresh kindness fullest proof affords
That GOODWORTH'S object was approved, I ween.
Now some for rafters a long way had been;
And, as the sun had sunk into the West,
The women had prepared their table clean,
Well laden, as before, with food; the best
Which they had power to furnish in that wild wood-nest.
Warm thanks are given: the workers fall to work
To do full justice to that savory meal.
No wicked feelings in their bosoms lurk
Against the family; but they strongly feel
They have an interest in all their weal,
And freely speak of coming back next day
The house to finish; kindly thus they deal
With those dear folks-who wish them still to stay-
And they will sing awhile, to cheer them on their way.
To this they all consented; then arose
Song after song, in praise of Jesus' name!
Such songs can lighten e'en our saddest woes,
And raise in human hearts a heavenly flame.
Six men there were who, from that night, became
Quite altered characters-as all might see.
For Gospel Truth can e'en a savage tame;
Though this to some men seems a mystery-
Such have not seen themselves sunk in depravity.
The singing o'er, the good man said, 'Let's pray.'
All down beside him reverently knelt;
It was a proper close for such a day-
As all engaged must then have deeply felt.
And oh, the language of that prayer did melt
Some stony hearts, as I in truth would tell:
For GOODWORTH on God's love and mercy dwelt-
On coming judgment-and on Heaven and Hell-
Till every one seemed bound as by the strongest spell.
This done, those neighbors-though reluctantly-
Took leave of that most happy household there:
And were as pleased as any men could be
They were allowed such company to share.
'Twas Spring time, and the still and balmy air
Was most refreshing to the wearied frame;
And Luna's brightness, though quite free from glare,
Enabled them to see which way they came-
For staying rather late they would incur no blame.
The morning came, and with alacrity
Came settlers also, ready as before
To help the welcome new-come family
Whose strange, deep news had made their hearts so sore.
And now the labor of the day each bore
As if his own advantage he would seek.
Some went to roofing, some to fix the door
And windows, and with hearts and arms not weak,
They make the work fly fast, scarce leaving time to speak.
The muster, greater this day than the last,
Left some hands free to clear a piece of ground;
And these, with brush-hooks, o'er two acres passed,
Making good riddance of what brush they found.
They then cut down some poles and fenced it round.
The family, too, were busy all this while,
For they were moved with gratitude profound
To show their thankfulness in many a smile.
Their happy faces do the laborers' hearts beguile.
The meal-times passed with pleasure and some profit;
Naught did occur to mar the harmony.
If there were whisky every one kept off it,
And all confessed they worked more easily.
Too often liquor in the woods we see,
And much vile mischief is it apt to do
When neighbors come to help at Logging-bee,
Or to assist each other at the plow.
It pleases me to see this practice broken through.
The Country would have reason to rejoice
If not a dropp were as a beverage used,
And I would not be slow to raise my voice
Till Temperance principles are more diffused.
For this by some folks I may be abused,
But where's the harm? I seek alone their good,
And cannot be by conscience well excused
If I refuse my aid to stem the flood
Which drowns its thousands of our common brotherhood.
But to return: The work had so well sped,
And the new house was so far on the way
Toward completion, that the family's head
Thought they might safely move that very day,
But first enquired what there would be to pay?
The neighbors smiled and kept the secret close,
And what the bill was none thought fit to say.
For satisfaction 'he must ask the Boss.'
To tell who that was every one felt quite at loss.
Is this exaggeration? Witness now,
Ye far backwoodsmen-much too oft belied,
Are ye inclined these things to disavow?
Or will my statements be by you denied?
If not they stand for truth both far and wide,
And your example may be found of use
In leading others quickly to decide
That they for ignorance have no excuse
In this enlightened age, when Knowledge is diffuse.
I need not mention every little thing
That was required to make the house complete.
My humble Muse would now attempt to sing
Of subjects which to her are far more sweet.
The Pastor happy lived in his retreat,
Preaching on Sabbath, in a school-house near.
There many came who could not get a seat,
And such large audience did the Pastor cheer,
Who spoke to them with zeal-for they to him were dear.
I may be asked, 'What was this man's persuasion?
Was he a Churchman or a Methodist?'
I answer make without the least evasion,
He owned no 'ism,' nor yet 'ite,' nor 'ist.'
But if on further knowledge you insist,
I only say that he was glad to own
The 'Blood-bought Throng' wherever they exist.
Nor did he scruple to let this be known,
The BIBLE still the Source from which his creed was drawn.
From it he gathered that ev'n two or three
Met in Christ's name a Church of God do make;
That, when so met, they have full liberty
On each Lord's Day the Bread and Wine to take.
All vain traditions they in this forsake,
But get rich blessing from the King of Kings.
And in that lonely house near Huron's Lake,
The family enjoyed the bliss which springs
From means well used, and these afresh each Sabbath brings.
The six of whom I spoke some pages back,
Sought early fellowship with that small band.
These of great sorrow had displayed no lack,
And now as Christians publicly they stand,
Unto Christ's work they give each heart and hand,
And one of them called Luth, possessed of means,
Resolved at once to give a piece of land
On which to build a chapel, midst sweet scenes;
A very central place, and near two deep ravines.
Nor was this all; he gave some good pine trees
And other requisites to build the place;
The work he knew would all be done by 'Bees.'
The friends the opportunity embrace
To make the matter fully known all round.
Strong opposition they had now to face
From those who rather would in sin be found,
And such cared nothing for the glorious Gospel sound.
The Minister proposed to wait awhile,
Till this grave subject could be well discussed.
He wished that none would act from motives vile,
For popularity he did not lust,
And in his Father he could always trust;
Advised to seek God's mind by earnest prayer,
In generosity to be still just;
By such means only could they hope to share
God's constant approbation and His guardian care.
This prudent course ensured the object sought.
Some who opposed did, of their own accord
Propose assistance, and with vigor wrought
To raise the humble Chapel to the Lord.
Dear GOODWORTH wielded skilfully the sword,
Which by God's blessing pierced into the souls
Of those who came to hear the plain-taught Word,
Whose rich Truth, for Sin's pleasures lost, consoles,
And cheers and strengthens those whose lust it still controls.
Truly it was a lovely sight to see
The opening of that place of worship pure.
There was displayed no animosity,
All seemed at home in perfect peace secure.
Sweet gospel sermons fitted to allure
The erring sons and daughters of mankind
Were preached that day, and I feel very sure
It was no 'blind man's leading of the blind,'
But preaching of that sort which is for good designed.
The music was by voices rich and clear,
The words the language of most grateful hearts,
All forming worship void of slavish fear;
Most orderly besides in all its parts,
Though the performers knew not much of arts
On which some pride themselves in this our day;
Nor was the singing done by fits and starts,
As if God's service were but childish play.
They knew His Eye was on their secret thoughts alway.
I must not fail to mention the chief thing
For which all saints should meet on Sabbath day;
But first my Muse would boldly spread her wing,
For she could always on this subject stay.
Your kind indulgence, reader, I would pray,
As this sweet topic is most dear to me.
Most gracious Savior, who for me didst pay
Thy precious blood upon the cursed tree,
That I might be redeemed from sin and misery.
Grant me Thy Spirit's aid while I attempt
A true description of thy 'Feast of Love'
May I from evil motives be exempt,
Nor mention aught but what Thou wilt approve.
That small, dear family 'born, from above,'
Just numbering twelve, around the table meet.
Each one displays the meekness of the dove,
And hopes to share a most delicious treat
In joining thus with Jesus in Communion sweet.
And now the Pastor thought it right to tell
What were the principles on which they met;
For great misapprehension he knew well
Prevailed abroad, and some men's minds beset.
He trusted no one present would forget
That the pure Bible was their only guide.
They had no human system to abet,
Nor would they by man's arguments be tried.
What say the Scriptures? these alone the case decide.
He said, 'We meet, dear friends, in Jesus' name;
By his command who, says, 'Remember me?'
As He for us Sin-offering became,
It is but right we should obedient be,
And O, what wondrous love we here do see!
To think we are invited all to feast
With Jesus in His glorious majesty.
This is a marvel, and 'tis much increased
When we reflect we are not worthy in the least.
'Here at this table I now humbly stand
Upon a perfect level with the rest.
We take the Bread and Wine at Jesus' hand,
He hath these simple Emblems truly blest.
Our love to him by this act is expressed,
And though we are indeed a small, weak flock,
The Lord makes each a highly honored guest.
On His Atonement as our holy rock,
We stand secure midst danger, nor fear any shock.
'We do this every First Day of the Week,
Because of old God's people did the same;
This all may learn who will take pains to seek
The Word of Truth. All arguments are lame.
Men use against it, and not free from blame.
Can we, dear friends, remember Christ too often?
Ah, no indeed! To save our souls he came!
And his vast Love to us our hearts should soften,
And plume the, wings, of Faith, which we may soar aloft on.
'We do not wish to hold the servile views
To which too many of God's children cling.
Oh, why should Christians in this way refuse
What to their souls would sweetest comfort bring?
'Remember Me' should make our love to spring
Like water gushing from a fountain clear,
And tune our hearts each time afresh to sing
The praise of Jesus, and should make us rear
Our Ebenezer high as we to heaven draw near.
'Some ask us if we have the Lord's command
For breaking bread upon each Sabbath day.
We ask them in return, have they at hand
A plain behest for acting in their way?
If such they have let them without delay
Spread wide the fact and let the truth be known.
I should have nothing further then to say,
Except my error thankfully to own.
But friends, as yet none ever have such precept shown.
'Suppose there were near by a flock of sheep
Whose sad, gaunt looks bespoke the pasture bare,
While they have left scarce strength enough to creep,
From having lacked too long good food and care.
Suppose that these were brought to pasture fair,
The gate of which was opened wide to them.
Would they wait for command to enter there?
In truth I think not, and can rightly claim
That we in doing this incur not any blame.'
This said, he read aloud the Savior's words,
Uttered that solemn night before he died.
Deep, soul-toned language which quite well accords
With his great sufferings for his blood-bought bride.
O, let not any this plain feast deride;
There ne'er was Ordinance appointed yet
That has more comfort to the Saints supplied.
'Tis calculated to make them forget
Their sorrows when they view Christ's death and bloody sweat.
And now most grateful thanks are offered up,
The Bread is broke, and all in silence eat.
Then in like manner they partake the Cup,
In fellowship they sit at Jesus' feet,
And take from his dear hands refreshment sweet.
This done, collection for the Saints is made,
And next praise rises to the 'Mercy Seat.'
From right glad hearts and unfeigned lips 'tis paid:
The meeting closes and each kind farewell is said.
Yet this day's joyous service was not o'er;
Some met at night with GOODWORTH'S family,
And there together searched the hidden store
Of Bible truth, the prayer of Faith the key
That did unlock each wondrous mystery.
All were invited, nay were pressed to speak,
And show the light which God gave them to see.
This course served well to strengthen what was weak,
And all learned much who meekly were inclined to seek.
Nor was pure praise neglected at this time:
All were well pleased with that day's exercise.
And freely joined in Zion's songs sublime,
Thus pouring forth their evening sacrifice.
This did but strengthen pre-existing ties,
While warmer grew their hearts in Love's soft bands.
At nine o'clock reluctantly they rise,
To part at last with cordial shake of hands,
More fitted for the coming day, with its demands.
I offer the above as a fair sample
Of this small Church's worship on First Days,
And should be highly pleased if their example
Had on our minds an influence always.
Their love and zeal are worthy of all praise,
Though all they have or are is of God's grace.
His love to them they view with deep amaze,
And trust ere long to see him face to face
In heavenly Regions-His own happy Dwelling Place.
To spare the Reader risk of long digression,
And keep within just bounds my humble tale,
I now in order give GOODWORTH'S profession
That none to understand his views may fail.
Against these views some men no doubt will rail,
But let such take the Bible in their hands,
And with Truth's weapons only them assail.
This the importance of the thing demands,
For by the Truth alone his doctrine falls or stands.
On Scriptural grounds of every Sinner's hope
He held no wavering views, for Truth shone clear
Into his soul, and gave him power to cope
With Error's darkest forms. He had no fear
Of man before his eyes. The spiteful sneer
Of Antinomians and proud Pharisees
Disturbed him not, save to call forth a tear
From heartfelt pity for the vagaries
Of their perverted judgments touching God's decrees.
He held, then, that the Lord, who sees the end
From the beginning, did of his own pure grace
Choose some with him Eternity to spend,
From 'mongst the millions of our fallen race,
Determined all such should behold his face
In peace at last, in spite of Hell and sin.
These would in time his Gospel Truth embrace,
Or die incapable for Faith within.
Thus did he view the triumphs of God's Grace begin.
He saw God's Love-Superlative, Eternal,
Gradually unfold the mystery
To Man, who by Satanic schemes infernal,
Had fall'n from happiness to misery.
And he by Faith's keen eye could clearly see
Its full development when Jesus came
The sinner's Surety and best Friend to be;
Who 'bore the Cross and still despised the Shame,'
Nor shrank from God's just wrath-a fiercely burning flame.
Christ's glorious Resurrection too, he saw
To be God's stamp of approbation great
On that vicarious work which his just Law
Fulfilled-a ground of hope commensurate
To man's great needs in every age and state.
These truths so filled his warm and generous soul
That he on them would oft expatiate
Until his feelings seemed beyond control;
And this secured attention from his hearers all.
Of man's free will he had not any doubt;
Yet he as much believed the declaration
Of God's own Word-which some men dare to flout-
That man's heart is, in every rank and station,
'Always deceitful,' filled with profanation,
'And desparately wicked.' This none know
But God, who has provided expiation,
And sent his Holy Spirit down to show
These facts to sinners dead, and on them Life bestow.
On final perseverance of all Saints
He took the highest stand which man can take,
And found in it a balm for most complaints
Of Christian souls, to sense of sin awake.
This glorious truth to him would often make
Light shine in darkness and dispel his fear;
Oft led him to endure for Jesus' sake
Loss of beloved objects, and appear
An ever happy man, 'midst prospects dark and drear.
Besides the views I have already given
He held it right that Christians all should use
The talents they possess as gifts from heaven.
Neglect of this admits of no excuse,
Though there are times when men their gifts abuse.
As members of the Church all have their place,
And none well taught of God should e'er refuse
To aid His cause according to the Grace
Received since they were led Salvation to embrace.
For peaceful rule and needful discipline,
He held that churches should call two or more
Of members, who well qualified had been,
As Elders, by God's Spirit to watch o'er
The flock of Christ; men skilled in Bible lore,
And 'apt to teach; not novices, but such
As have seen service in the Truth, and bore
Good characters becoming Christians much,'
For only men like these should that high office touch.
Two or more Deacons they should also call,
Who by the Scripture rule are qualified
To keep the Church's funds, and still help all
Who may by poverty be sorely tried.
By such arrangements Churches should abide,
If they would faithful prove unto the Lord.
We have no right to set His Laws aside;
Such conduct is by our Great Head abhorred,
And does with our profession very ill accord.
As this Church was but young it was deemed best
That they should, as their pastor, him retain.
He thanked them much for confidence expressed,
And hoped it would not tend to make him vain.
He thought it right his views thus to explain,
And trusted they would give them due attention.
Should his poor life be spared he would remain
And labor hard to keep them from declension,
Though of their falling off he had no apprehension.
The Salary question next came on the board.
What should the amount be, how or whence obtained?
The Church itself could not the means afford;
Perhaps some others might assistance lend-
But would the pastor such a course commend?
Had they consulted him at first they would
Have found they had no cause to apprehend
A lack of means to serve intentions good;
He wished to labor freely for Christ's brotherhood.
He and his family needed then no aid
Except what new-come Settlers might require.
And obligation was upon him laid
To seek the good of souls from motives higher
Than worldly gain. He trusted his desire
Was that the Gospel might be free to all.
What Christ had done for him his zeal would fire,
And make him earnest in the sinner's call;
Thus gladly would he forward press toward the goal.
Now let not Christians who from him may differ
Suppose this man could no forbearance show.
It was his wish to be in nothing stiffer
Than Truth required, which God led him to know.
From human creeds his conscience said 'withdraw!'
To stand by such advice he was content.
To Pharisaic pride he was a foe,
And to ungodliness where'er he went,
While to promote true Love his gifts and time were spent.
My Muse again of temporal-things would sing,
And I her mandate hasten to obey.
Upon all farms there's work enough in Spring,
And GOODWORTH'S people were not used to play.
'Tis true their farm was small, yet day by day
They plenty found to occupy their time;
That patch of ground the labor would repay.
As for good crops, 'twas in condition prime:
Such they all hoped to raise in that fine fruitful clime.
Six acres still lay right behind the two;
Doubtless it had an Indian clearance been.
This needs not much to fit it for the plow,
So they of brush and rubbish rid it clean,
And broke it up. Then a rail fence was seen
Most speedily to compass it around.
Soon spring wheat sown was looking brightly green,
While in the garden useful plants were found,
And these good prospects made the family's joys abound.
Their live stock was not large, yet they possessed
Two milking cows, and yoke of oxen strong,
Some turkeys, hogs, and poultry of the best.
These all were bought ere they had been there long.
For finest fish they could not well go wrong;
The lake supplied all that they wished to get.
In small canoe they often sailed along
The side of lovely isles and cast their net,
Or fished with line till glorious Sol had nearly set.
Sometimes a deer would venture near enough
To run the risk of catching lumps of lead,
And this well dressed was no unsavory stuff
With which to help a meal of wheaten bread.
Of bears and wolves they were at first in dread,
But soon found out there was no cause for fear;
For if such came and mortal showed his head,
They soon ran off with a true coward's leer,
Which made it seem surprising they should come so near.
To clear against the Fall, the sons marked out
Ten acres of the woods well filled with trees.
Such work required strong arms and courage stout,
And those young men could rightly boast of these.
They now with willing hands their axes seize
And push the work from early morn till night.
Loud sound the strokes, till each brave woodman sees
The trees begin to tremble in their sight,
And soon with thundering sound upon the ground alight.
The chopper's life is not a life of ease-
And yet to those who understand it well
There's much about it that doth tend to please
Their warm, strong minds, as they such monsters fell.
I have oft stood as if bound by a spell,
When some huge giant swayed awhile in air,
And then with crash tremendous shook the dell,
While cows from fright would scamper here and there,
But soon return to browse its top for lack of fare.
While those in woods were busily employed
Swinging their axes in true workman style,
Their sisters neatly dressed as much enjoyed
The garden work, quite cheered by Nature's smile.
Lightening their labor with sweet songs the while,
They trained the different plants with skillful hands;
A pleasing task well fitted to beguile
Such modest, gentle girls, who in Love's bands
Were bound together, thus obeying God's commands.
Their gardener skill was not alone confined
To what was wanted for their bodily needs.
By nature taught, each had a tasteful mind,
And this was shown by planting flower seeds.
These by some folks are looked upon as weeds,
And therefore useless-not e'en worth a straw!
From such coarse souls I do not look for deeds
Which, in sweet aspect, do our nature show;
I envy not their taste nor all they chance to know.
I love to look on flowers. They to my soul
Sincerest pleasure and sweet peace still bring;
Their varied charms can wondrously control
My troubled spirit-smarting from the sting
Of cold neglect and sad, crushed hopes, whence spring
Many sore trials to the sons of men.
I, midst my flowers, can feel myself a king,
Nor envy much the rich and mighty then,
With all their pomp and pride, or gorgeous trappings vain.
And those fair damsels always loved to view
Sweet tulips, pinks, and daisies' charms unfold,
The peony's blush, the lovely rose's hue,
And woodbine's blossoms-lilies like pure gold.
All these, and more, were pleasant to behold,
And well repaid them for their frequent toil.
Their plants throve well in that rich, deep, black mold,
And though the work did their nice fingers soil,
It kept them ever free from this poor world's turmoil.
The settlers round beheld with much surprise
The neat-kept garden in such beauty seen,
And oft they looked with rather longing eyes
Upon the flowers bedecked in glorious sheen.
Sometimes a youth upon the fence would lean
And Watch with due respect the sisters fair;
Then anxious ask what this and that could mean,
Or names of plants which seemed to him so rare.
Doubtless it was to see the maidens he came there.
Of this I could not speak with certainty;
But mutual blushes, looks significant,
Are very apt to tell strange tales to me.
I once was young, so you will therefore grant
I should know something of what youths still want
When they to such sweet girls quite bashful come,
And utter words as if their stock was scant.
Well, 'tis but natural, and I would be mum;
Of bliss thus sought and gained 'twere hard to tell the sum.
Often the parents, in their Master's spirit,
Would link-armed take a pleasant walk at eve
To visit neighbors, and thus seek to merit
That just reward which faithful Saints receive
From Jesus Christ, who never will deceive
Those working well for him. They therefore went
Gladly each burdened conscience to relieve,
And those assist who were by sickness spent,
Or tell to all, the message which their God had sent.
On one of these occasions they became
Acquainted with a youth to bed confined.
From early childhood he was always lame,
And for a year or two had been quite blind.
His manners were most gentle, and his mind
With human knowledge seemed to be well stored.
Now these dear people made enquiry kind,
If he had in affliction sought the Lord,
Or ever gained true comfort from his Sacred Word.
To them at first he no reply would give,
Yet seemed absorbed in thought, and heaved a sigh.
At last he said, 'I always aimed to live
So that I need not fear when brought to die.
I feel at present that my end is nigh
And should not care ev'n now, if I were dead.
Upon my blameless life I can rely,
Nor look for harm to fall on guiltless head.
A purer life than mine no mortal ever led.'
'My dear young friend,' the Pastor sweetly said,
'Did your own conscience never whisper you
That hope like this to ruin always led?
If not, let me now tell you it is true!
For none may hope the face of God to view
In peace unless their sins are washed away
By Jesus' blood. Our dearest Savior flew
On wings of Mercy man's worst foes to slay,
And open wide the gates, to everlasting day!'
He asked him then if he might read aloud
A portion of God's Word, and offer prayer.
The youth consented, feeling much less proud
Than when these Christians first had entered there.
GOODWORTH three chapters read with greatest care,
Three which at length dwell on the sinner's state,
And then by plainest speech made him aware
How he might best escape a sin-cursed fate,
Be reconciled to God, and coming Glory wait.
[Footnote: The 3d, 4th, and 5th chapters of Romans]
The poor blind lad had never heard before
The wonders which those chapters do reveal,
Self-righteousness he ne'er could think of more,
For sense of guilt he now began to feel.
This roused up fears he could not well conceal,
And made him anxious those two friends should pray.
The Pastor made to him one more appeal,
Then supplicated God without delay
That Grace might be shed forth to lead him in the way.
Now bitter tears flow from those sightless orbs,
As light breaks in upon his darker soul,
Prospect of death his wretched thoughts absorbs,
And makes him wish that he could back recall,
Those early years which did so fleetly roll,
Before he lost his health and precious sight;
For no dread visions then did him appal,
Nor was he wont to tremble from affright.
Oh, that he had but sought Salvation with his might!
Our two friends told him plain 'twas not too late;
Such burdened souls the Savior had invited,
However black their crimes, however great
Their mad rebellion; even if they had slighted
This Means of Grace-without which man is benighted-
He bids them come to him and find sweet rest.
Those who have thus obeyed have been delighted
With his light yoke, and often have expressed
Their sense of such great goodness, feeling truly blest.
This good instruction had the best effect,
And as he seemed composed the friends prepare
To start for home, nor in the least suspect
How quick the time had fled whilst they were there.
They bade 'good night' and left him in the care
Of their Kind Father, who had bid them go;
And in their journey through the woods they share
Sweet converse and true joy in constant flow,
And reach their neat log house Content afresh to know.
The sons and daughters greeted their return
With pleasant smiles, then with respect enquired
What led to their detention, and now burn
To know the cause they look so sad and tired.
The parents, nothing both, gave as desired
A brief account how they had been employed;
And this once more full confidence inspired
While each the truly pleasing thought enjoyed,
That one soul less would be by Satan's power destroyed.
Around the family Altar next they meet
To worship God by reading, prayer and praise,
Which all ascend like richest incense sweet
Before the throne of Him who guides their ways.
Surely bright Angels might delight to gaze
Upon this happy family at such time,
And feel those Christians fit to join in lays
That they are wont to sing in heavenly clime;
In rapturous devotion to their King sublime.
If e'er a glimpse of heaven is had below,
If there is aught of Bliss upon this Earth,
A family like this it best can show,
For they need not the worldling's boisterous mirth;
And yet of social feeling there's no dearth.
Each does enjoy true peace and happiness,
Which, rightly valued, in their turn give birth
To noble deeds designed mankind to bless,
To strengthen what is right, and what is wrong redress.
I would not undervalue Church connection,
For 'tis of God's appointment, and should show
True Christian principles in much perfection,
And be the sweetest bond of all below.
But oh, it happens, I too truly know,
There is mixed with it so much worldliness,
So man members to vile Mammon bow,
That my poor soul is filled with sore distress,
And scarce dare hope the Lord will such connection bless.
Under these circumstances I with others
Await most anxiously that day's appearing,
When Jesus Christ will with his chosen brothers
Dwell in sweet fellowship and love endearing.
The hope of this should always be most cheering
To every Christian of each state and name;
And make them patient hear with the rude jeering
Of those who love to glory in their shame;
Who for their soul's perdition are alone to blame.
This hope was dear indeed to GOODWORTH'S heart,
And made him feel a very strong desire
Right Knowledge on all subjects to impart,
And use but proper means true zeal to fire.
He wished not that his hearers should admire
His humble teaching, but the truths he taught,
And tried to show them how they could acquire
The power to judge all subjects which were brought
Before their minds, as they with good or ill were fraught.
Under such teaching this small Church became
An humble, cheerful, happy, loving Band.
While they by industry their wild lands tame,
They did not oft neglect to lend a hand
To him who thus on Scripture took his stand.
Their conduct and profession both agree,
And every instance of God's goodness fanned
Love's flame, and made it burn more steadily;
For which they praised the Lord with great sincerity.
Amongst their number there was poor McKan,
Weakly in body but yet firm in mind.
His means were small when he at first began
To clear as wild a bush farm as you'll find.
The neighbors round had all to him been kind,
Feeling much pity for his family;
For he, though toiling hard, had run behind
In payment for his lot and soon might be
With those dependant on him brought to misery.
While certain ruin stared him in the face,
He felt he'd rather die than beg from friends;
And so prepared to sacrifice his place-
Persuaded that the Lord would make amends.
The Pastor hears his case and straight attends
Upon him at his house with wish to know
The full particulars, and gladly lends
An ear attentive to his tale of woe;
How the stern creditor would no more mercy show.
His case was not a solitary one.
Too many find when they have toiled for years,
That sweet Hope leaves them when their strength is gone;
Which fills their future with alarming fears,
And nothing for them but despair appears!
O, why is this? Have they imprudent been?
Or has great sickness sunk them in arrears?
Perhaps it may be these; and yet I ween
Another cause of trouble may be clearly seen.
That cause is this: Our Government thought fit
To sell their land at far too high a rate,
And those who bought thought they could pay for it
Within the time, which would be something great.
If common-sense had chanced to bid them wait,
They mostly had an answer close at hand:
'Men whom they knew had bettered much their state
By buying on long time that wild bush land,
Ami now as able farmers 'mongst their fellows stand.'
By pinching work they raise the first installment
For lot on which the claim pre-emption right,
And from that time they find complete enthralment,
As with Adversity they constant fight.
Where's now the prospect which was once so bright?
'Not quite all gone,' may some poor settler say.
But health is broken, and no more delight
Fills their parental hearts from day to day,
While each succeeding month adds something more to pay,
Until at last the time allowed has fled.
More time is granted, but alas, in vain!
With aches and pains they now are nearly dead.
Such help as they require they can't obtain;
And yet perhaps of fortune they complain,
Or blame the friends whose 'luck' led them out there.
But from such course 'tis better to refrain;
For, had they been still servants, with due care
They might have bought good farms and had some cash to spare.
Just so it was with that poor Christian brother,
And this at once the Pastor clearly saw;
Yet had no wish in haste to judge another,
But felt inclined pure Charity to show.
Then, having learned all he now wished to know,
Home he returned and sought his Father's ear.
From his full heart strong supplications flow,
Which cease not till he sees his duty clear,
And gains fresh help from God his brethren's hearts to cheer.
He next the matter told to his dear wife,
For she was wise and often could suggest
What was most useful in affairs of life,
Which made her counsel be in much request.
Her mind to him she freely then expressed,
And mentioned what she heard the day before-
How brother Luth, who was of friends the best,
Would take the farm and willingly give more
Than would the Creditor, if they the land restore.
GOODWORTH heard this, then spoke to Luth alone-
Told him quite plainly how the matter stood,
Yet not in harsh, authoritative tone,
But meekly, as more likely to do good.
By this he showed regard for brotherhood,
And led Luth candidly to speak his mind.
Then, as both felt in very kindly mood,
They deemed it best to try McKan to find
And let him know what they in Christian love designed.
They found him soon and Luth made his proposal,
Which filled the humble family with delight.
The whole affair appeared as the disposal
Of their kind God, who always acted right.
Most thankful were they that in His pure sight
They found such favor in their hour of need.
That brother's kindness they could ne'er requite;
His was a noble-a most generous deed,
Which could alone from love at any time proceed.
Luth took the place, and for improvements paid
Beside what to the Creditor was due;
'And if the family chose, they might,' he said,
'Remain his tenants for a year or two,
And daily labor he would take in lieu
Of money payments for a moderate rent.'
This plan aroused their gratitude anew,
While with the bargain all appeared content,
And deemed the time employed most profitably spent.
The two on their return called in to see
The sick blind youth, who now was sinking fast.
He was no longer in despondency,
Though he of late had through great suffering passed.
On the Atonement all his hopes were cast,
And now enjoyed a happy frame of mind.
The work of Jesus did appear so vast,
He could not doubt but it had been designed
By Him whose name is Love, to save poor lost mankind.
The parents had beheld the change thus wrought
By Gospel Truth in their afflicted boy,
And called to mind how often they had thought
Religion was invented to destroy
Whatever mortals have of peace and joy.
'But now,' they said, 'we think it something worth.
For our son's happiness has no alloy,
Although about to leave the joys of Earth,
And all those pleasant things which used to yield him mirth.'
The Pastor now gave each an exhortation,
And kind friend Luth engaged awhile in prayer,
Which met, at present, no disapprobation.
Much death bed comfort does the sick one share,
But soon his eyes assume a brighter glare,
The rattle in his throat bespeaks death near.
Anon they raise the dying youth with care,
Whose smiling face shows plain he has no fear,
For Jesus in the valley does his servant cheer.
A strong, brief struggle, and now all is o'er!
No more the heart will in his bosom beat.
His soul triumphant gains Heaven's peaceful shore,
And raptured stands to view each scene so sweet;
Then joins the thousands tasting Bliss complete,
In all the Hallelujahs which they raise
Unto the Lamb of God, while at His feet
They cast their crowns and ever wondering gaze
On Him who sits enthroned as worthy of all praise.
Our friends strove now to cheer the drooping hearts
Of that lone couple in their deep distress;
For they knew well each promise which imparts
To mourners hope and heartfelt happiness.
These on their minds they forcibly impress;
And their kind efforts are not used in vain,
For the bereaved ones readily confess
That faith in Jesus brought substantial gain
To their dear boy who now is free from grief and pain.
The neighbors, apprehending such event,
dropp silent in and heartily engage
With solemn mien and truly kind intent,
The old folks' ardent sorrow to assuage.
Some one prepares the needful shroud to wage,
While others wash and lay the body out,
And in soft tones make observations sage,
The truth of which none are inclined to doubt,
For all at such a time seem serious and devout.
Meanwhile the Pastor and his friend take leave,
And reach their homes before 'tis very late.
The news they take their families receive
As fresh inducement on their God to wait,
And ever watch by Wisdom's sacred gate.
Two days elapse and bring the Sabbath round,
And settlers join the humble funeral state,
Which reaches soon the new-made burial ground,
Where all list to the service with respect profound.
Those simple, mournful rites do much impress
The minds of all assembling on this day;
And now the Preacher lays the greatest stress
On danger consequent upon delay
In matters of Salvation, when the Way
To Everlasting Life, himself stands ready
To welcome those who make His blood then stay,
However weak their faith, howe'er unsteady
Their trembling souls become when tossed in Life's rough eddy.
The text [Footnote: The three last verses of Matthew XI.] was one
that wonderfully stated
The sinner groaning under loads of guilt,
And mourning souls have found weak faith recreated,
As on its consolations they have built
Their stable hopes, against which Hell full tilt
Has often run, determined to prevail-
And might have done if Jesus, who has spilt
His precious blood for them, had chanced to fail.
But that can never be, whatever foes assail.
Has any mortal skill to estimate
The solid good that such a text has done?
Ah, no! the task's so wonderfully great,
By finite man it need not be begun.
Fit for the work, of Angels there is none.
God can alone the glorious secret tell,
Or mark the value of the mighty boon
To all the souls whom it hath saved from hell,
And landed safe in Glory, ever there to dwell?
And at this time the mourners dried their tears,
As the Departed's state they realize.
Raised were their hopes, abated were their fears,
On each new view of Christ's great Sacrifice.
Now might be seen joy beaming in their eyes,
As they learned acquiescence in God's will.
Most precious promises the word supplies,
To cheer their hearts and every murmur still,
While they together walk adown Life's slippery hill.
Others, who long had boon companions been
Of that young man in his most joyous days,
With tearful eyes are in that Chapel seen,
And seem desirous to amend their ways.
They never had before beheld Truth's blaze,
But, like too many, boasted of their state,
Not dreaming that their light was lost in haze
Of stupid ignorance and folly great;
God grant such may repent before it is too late.
'Tis thus the Lord oft makes most lasting good
To flow from what we mortals view as ill;
And we pass through each strange vicissitude
To find that peace again our souls can fill;
While Mercy's shed, not like a trickling rill,
But in full streams, with never ceasing flow-
Softening our hearts obdurate, and our will
Conforming unto God's; until we know
It was all needful to keep us from sin and woe.
We now will pass from sad to lively scenes,
And bask awhile in July's warmth and smiles;
For settlers,' homes can furnish ample means
To have a Picnic 'mongst the beauteous isles
Bestudding Huron's face for many miles.
Why should not those, who live on such wild farms,
Enjoy a pleasant pastime, which beguiles
The jaded mind: affording many charms
To those who wish to flee from anti-social harms?
The subject some weeks previous had been broached,
And this enabled farmers to have care
Lest the event on needful work encroached-
A thing of which they all should be aware;
As they, through Summer, have scarce time to spare
For needful recreation in this way.
Now, by contrivance, they enjoy a share
Of sweet delight, on this auspicious day:
When several families make for a most pleasant Bay.
Fine was the day, and settlers' boats were ready
To bear their precious cargoes from the shore.
The Pastor's presence kept the young folks steady,
Though blandest smiles the happy party wore.
Strong, manly arms plied well each sturdy oar,
To make the boats fly swift o'er sparkling waves.
These seemed quite conscious of the freight they bore,
And kissed the water which their trim forms laved;
While all enjoyed a scene that ne'er the heart depraved.
And thus they reach a lovely Isle, tree-clad-
At no great distance from their starting place-
From whose high front most splendid views are had
Of other isles, all clothed in Summer's grace.
With rapture they now gaze on Nature's face;
See trees bedecked in brightest green attire,
Which look well pleased with July's warm embrace-
Their forms view in the Lake, and much admire
Their fine proportions; and more stateliness acquire.
For camping-ground they had not long to look;
A sheltered place, from underbrush quite free,
Was known to all as a most charming nook,
Where they might rest and eat in privacy.
On choice of this they every one agree;
Then place the baskets-laden with good things-
And now their voices, in sweet melody,
Present pure praises to the King of Kings:
A truly pleasant service that much blessing brings.
Young GOODWORTH'S then good poetry recited;
'Hymn to Mont Blanc,' and GRAVES' sweet 'Elegy;'
While MILTON'S lofty strains each one delighted,
And COWPER'S sketches-full of harmony.
CAMPBELL and WORDSWORTH yield variety,
And BURNS his quota furnished with the rest.
WILSON'S good Dramas, too, were deemed to be,
By all the company, among the best:
And I would find no fault with what was then expressed.
For lengthening out the pleasure thus obtained,
The Pastor undertook to criticise
Those pieces heard, and what was dark explained.
Next, needful illustration he supplies,
Or shows defects not seen by common eyes.
Comparing the best with sacred poetry,
He unfolds beauties in the Prophecies
Of great Isaiah, and quite readily
Paints in most glowing terms the Psalmist's minstrelsy!
Then speaks of Jeremiah's plaintive strain-
The 'Weeping Prophet' and true Patriot,
Who often wept for Zion, and felt pain
For her great sins; who, when God's wrath waxed hot
Against his country, ne'er her weal forgot,
But prayed and wrestled with the Lord of Hosts,
If, peradventure, he her crimes would blot
From out his Book; and yet he never boasts
Of love to country, as some do who seek high posts.
The book of Job-great in poetic lore-
He dwells upon, till wonder and delight
Seize all his hearers; most of whom before
Had not enjoyed a very clear insight
Into that Book, which tells of God's great might,
His wisdom, goodness and forbearance long
With his poor servant, brought to saddest plight
Through Satan's eagerness to drive him wrong;
When he poured forth his woes in deep impassioned song.
Next glanced at Moses' song on Red Sea shore-
When Pharaoh and his mighty host were drowned-
In which the Tribes most gratefully adore
Their great Deliverer, who on Egypt frowned.
No mortal uninspired could e'er have found
Such fitting language for that great event,
Those strains sublime, with glorious grandeur crowned,
Came forth from heaven, and back were thither sent
As worship to the Lord, from hearts, on praise intent.
'Twas now full time that they should all partake
Of the refreshment thither brought with care.
While thirst was quenched with water from the lake,
They each with each their choicest viands share.
But ere they eat of that most ample fate,
Due thanks are given in a proper song.
Such happy lot with any can compare,
So none need marvel if they tarried long,
For everything conspired to make Love's bonds quite strong.
The dinner o'er the older ones retired
To give the Island a complete survey.
In doing this they very much admired
Sweet scenes thus visited on that fine day.
The younger part had no desire to stray,
So they remained in that nice shady nook,
And joined together in a harmless play,
Or read awhile in some delightful book,
And thus of purest pleasure old and young partook.
The sun, quite fast into the West descending,
Now warned them all it was full time to go
To their dear homes, where sweetest comforts blending,
Gave no just cause neglect of them to show.
But yet their hearts, with gratitude aglow,
Prompt them once more to join in praise each voice
And now the Pastor sought from them to know
If they of proper hymn have made their choice,
As he had one composed, and truly would rejoice
If his attempt to speak the mind of all
For this day's pleasure and substantial joy
Should meet, with approbation and recall
The hours so sweetly spent without alloy.
He spoke of this to them with manners coy,
Like one not used to boast what he had done.
'Perhaps,' he said, 'They might their time employ
To more advantage if he ne'er begun
To give to them the Song which he in haste had spun.'
PASTOR'S SONG ON LEAVING THE ISLAND.
Soon Sol will sink into the West
And Luna shed her silvery beams;
Each songster seeks its wild-wood nest
To spend the night in love's sweet dreams.
And we, dear friends, prepare to leave
This Isle and each delightful scene,
And feel we have no cause to grieve
That we upon its shores have been.
For all, throughout this lovely day,
Have had much pleasure free from pain.
Then let us, ere we go away,
Lift up our hearts in praise again.
'O Thou who from thy bounteous hand
Dost give thy children all they need,
Behold us now-a loving band,
And all our boats in safety speed
'To yonder bay; then guide us home.
Accept our thanks for mercies great
We have enjoyed beneath thy dome,
In humble, yet contented state.'
Farewell, sweet Isle; may thy fair scenes
Ne'er witness orgies, vile, profane;
For this man's character demeans,
And never yields him solid gain.
With this short song they all were satisfied,
And soon agreed that it forthwith be sung.
In strong, warm feelyngs then each singer vied,
And some gave proof they had no lack of lung.
To Duke Street tune were their fine voices strung,
And thus verses went off charmingly,
While through the distant woods their loud notes rung.
The party now, with great alacrity
Regain the boats, and push into that deep, blue sea.
And what a beauteous scene was there presented
To their admiring gaze on that fine lake.
'Twas such that they could all have been contented
To stay forever; but a something spake
And bid them hasten, as life was at stake!
This may seem, strange, but they with dread behold
Heaven's face grow black, while mighty winds awake.
And now 'tis well that men both strong and bold
Have charge of those frail boats well filled with young and old.
In this their trouble they look up to God,
Who bids the angry elements be still;
And thus suspends o'er them his chastening Rod,
While deepest gratitude their bosoms fill,
Inspiring them afresh to do His will.
It nerves each heart and arm to ply the oar
With ceaseless efforts; working hard until
In safety every boat has reached the shore.
When the curbed storm at last does all its vengeance pour.
The rain comes down in torrents, and the flash
Of vivid lightning penetrates the gloom!
Loud roars the mighty thunder, and the dash
Of angry waves upon the ear doth boom!
The friends, escaped as from a watery tomb,
All stand together 'neath o'erhanging rock.
Somewhat appalled and rather pinched for room,
They list in silence each tremendous shock;
Yet Christ, their Shepherd, watches o'er his feeble flock.
The storm subsides, and they not much the worse,
Cheered by the bright moon beams haste on their way.
God's special mercies warmly they rehearse,
Which yields fresh comfort, as so well it may.
Upon the whole they had a pleasant day,
And ere each separate party leaves the track,
The Pastor says, 'Dear friends, now let us pray.'
All gave consent, and forth there rose no lack
Of earnest prayer to Him who safely brought them back.
Now while they separate and thence pursue
The several paths that lead them to their farms,
I seize occasion to bid warm adieu
To my poor Muse, who lent to me her charms
In my adventurous flight; and free from harms
Will live in hope the subject to resume
As leisure serves me and the topic warms
My height and fancy, which may truth illume,
That what I have to sing may live beyond the tomb.
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine, and all besides,
Through learned with labor, and though much admired
By curious eyes and judgments ill informed
To me is odious
Such should still be affectionate in look
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of Grace to guilty man
How strange the various scenes through which we pass
In our life's journey-onward to the grave!
Sometimes all smiles and sunshine; then alas,
Dark clouds hang o'er us, and God's help we crave.
Weak in adversity-when prosperous brave,
We often act a very foolish part;
Forsaking Mercies which our Father gave.
To follow our devices, till we smart
With self-inflicted pangs sent through our inmost heart.
So I, who many times have sung; of duty,
Too oft am led to slight my own, and feel
God's chastening hand, until I see the beauty
Of all His dealings with me for my weal.
And yet the hand that wounds is sure
The injured part; designing all in love;
And in such manner that He can't conceal
The Father's kindly heart. 'Tis thus we prove
His earnest wish to have us always look Above.
Some months have fled since I this task began,
Bringing to neat completion its first part.
Awhile my thoughts in easy measure ran,
Which much beguiled an often saddened heart.
And made me lay my pleasing task aside.
Now, as I write not for an earthly mart,
I have a wish that my poor rhymes may bide
The test of Scripture Truth by whomsoe'er applied.
I feel a sacred pleasure warm my breast
As I resume my simple tale of love:
A tale which is not in rich language dressed,
I fain would look for help from God above,
To leave a record of my principles;
And seek the guidance of the Heavenly Dove,
Whose influence the darkest doubt dispels,
And fills with purest peace the heart wherein he dwells.
This glorious truth was never more displayed
Than in dear GOODWORTH'S every day's employ;
Or in the fields or in the woodland shade,
His love of duty yielded constant joy;
Sweet Heaven-born Peace naught could in him destroy.
For why? He had in God most steadfast trust,
And things which do so many minds annoy
Led him to curb all anger, pride and lust,
While in each fresh distress he knew that God was just.
He also knew that he is merciful
And wish in all he does unto mankind.
If this we see not we are very dull,
And to our soul's best interests truly blind.
This to perceive some minds are too refined
By false philosophy and learning vain.
No wonder then if they are left behind
The humble child of God who with disdain
Views all these worldly pleasures that he might obtain.
Just so with GOODWORTH; though he had in schools
Learned much of what is termed deep classic lore,
He quite preferred to train his life by rules
Contained in Scripture; and it grieved him sore
To see some Christians-this all should deplore-
Neglect Christ's precepts to procure their ends.
But seeing this, he never once forbore
To speak plain truth and reap what oft attends
An upright course-ev'n scorn; but this his walk commends.
In his snug home he evermore obtained
What flowed from love-a holy reverence.
Of harsh commands his children ne'er complained;
Wrangling and discord both were banished thence.
His much loved wife possessed some rare good sense,
And seconded his efforts for their good.
She never sought in earnest or pretence
To lower him before his flesh and blood;
While to increase their comforts she did all she could.
Nor was it strange if such a home as this
Made him content his leisure time to spend
Within his family circle; for such bliss
Comes not to all, who seek to make an end
Of troubles that a single life attend,
By entering soon into the marriage state.
If such folks would but strict attention lend
To Bible teaching, they might share the fate
Of these, our friends, on whom true pleasure seemed to wait.
Their constant mutual love became the theme
With all who knew them in that Settlement;
Domestic bliss was proved no idle dream,
For in true happiness their lives were spent.
To labor hard they always were content,
Regarding Paul's advice and his example:
It was their thought they were but thither sent
To furnish proof which all might own was ample
That they loved Jesus' laws, on which too many trample.
Let none imagine they e'er built on this
A hope of endless happiness in heaven.
They deemed it right all men should bow submiss
To His Authority, whose life was given
For sinners vile; that they might not be driven
Away from Him to dwell in endless woe.
This oft has cheered them on as they have striven
To lead their fellow men God's truth to know;
And every day its power did their behavior show.
The Spring is past and Summer's heat has fled.
United diligence hath well supplied
A plenteous store of more than needful bread,
For they have some choice luxuries beside,
By which means different tastes were gratified.
The snug ten acre field with wheat is sown,
And looks most promising. Should naught betide
To hurt their present prospects this alone
Will well repay them for the hardships they have known.
And now the necessary steps are taken
To shield the cattle from dread Winter's rage.
Necessity-stern master-does awaken
Their full inventive powers, and they engage
With ready ardor pens and sheds to wage;
And in the absence of commodious barn,
They stack with care their straw, and thus are sage
Compared with many whom no dangers warn,
And who, though often suffering, will not stoop to learn.
A good supply of hard wood they obtain,
To serve them through the season drawing near,
When rude King Frost will hold tyrranic reign,
Making the country desolate and drear.
But in those woods they have small cause for fear
From Winter's howling, fearful, bitter blasts,
For they have fuel in abundance near,
And the huge wood file constant comfort casts
Into the snug log house long as the season lasts.
All these arrangements made, the Pastor felt
He had more leisure now to walk abroad;
And in the gorgeous woods he often knelt
In fervent prayer before his Father, God.
For miles around his feet have pressed the sod
Which ne'er was turned by plow up to the sun-
Wilds that the foot of white man seldom trod,
And where no clearance had as yet begun:
Where he could sit and watch some charming brooklet run.
Or now and then would wander near the side
Of that majestic Lake, whose isles, tree clad
And decked in Autumn's tints, appeared to ride
With all their splendors quite elate and glad
On Huron's silvery surface. Such scenes had
A powerful charm to one of GOODWORTH'S mind.
They would indeed, if aught had made him sad,
Often dispel his gloom and leave behind
Precious remembrances of an enduring kind.
This was no marvel for his soul was filled
With true poetic fire; and oft sweet song
Of purest praise spontaneously has welled
From his enraptured heart. Then he would long
To leave a world where misery and wrong
So much prevail, but yet content to stay
And sere his master, his poor saints among;
Would try to save those led from God astray,
That he might aid Christ's cause while it is called 'To-day.'
Amidst such scenery he would sometimes take
In haste his pencil, that he might note down
Such thought as gushing from their fountain make
The truest poetry that man has known.
A specimen or two will now be shown
Ere I proceed with my unlettered tale.
If I mistake not they have all been drawn
From Nature's store, and if so should not fail
To claim our deep respect while they our minds regale.
PASTOR'S AUTUMNAL SONG.
Sweet Nature in grandeur Autumnal lies still,
And I stand all entranced mid the gorgeous display,
While the sun brightly sets o'er yon westermost hill,
And soft twilight succeeds to a most balmy day.
It is sweet in our woods a free ranger to wander,
And view the bright tints the frost makes on the leaves;
To watch day by day, as the colors grow grander,
And its garb evanescent each tall tree receives.
'Tis here that I feel my breast heave with emotion,
While reflections arise in its deepest recess;
And these in their turn fill my soul with devotion,
As I trace the Kind Hand for my aid in distress.
These all are thy works, O, Thou glorious Being!
Thou art the great Limner with whom none can vie;
Yet dim are the splendors as night comes, fast fleeing,
Compared with the glories around Thee on high.
Amidst this array comes the solemn thought stealing,
That these glowing colors will soon pass away.
Each rude blast of wind seems a passing bell pealing,
And loudly is calling all Christians to pray.
For full preparation, ere Death comes to call them
To lay all earth's cares and sweet pleasures aside;
That they may be happy whatever befall them,
Still trusting in Jesus, the Lamb who hath died.
HIS SONG TO A RILL.
Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,
Murm'ring softly down this hill,
Oft I list thy charming voice,
At the bright and early morn,
As the Sun comes from the East,
While his beams these scenes adorn,
To furnish minds like mine a feast.
Sweetly musical, pure Rill,
Thou dost me with pleasure fill.
As I note thy varied charms
Dulcet sounds fall on my ear,
Soothing much a saddened heart;
Easing me of grief and fear,
Till I grieve from thee to part.
Modest, unassuming Rill,
Thou art formed by matchless skill.
Grace and beauty are displayed
In thy ever-smiling face
And the objects which surround
This thy home; where I can trace
Traits to make this hallowed ground.
Lively, joyous, trickling Rill!
As I gaze upon thee still,
Wanders back my mind afar
To those haunts of boyish days,
When my young and ardent soul
Warbled forth its earnest lays,
Gladly following Nature's call.
Glittering, dancing, pearly Rill!
Thou dost well thy Maker's will
In regarding his behest.
Teaching Christians all the way
They must take to please their God;
Lest in dangerous paths they stray,
And bring upon themselves his Rod.
Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,
Murm'ring softly down this hill,
I must bid thee now farewell;
Other scenes my presence claim.
My dear Master's work demands
What will bring no earthly fame-
The labor of my heart and hands.
Upon these songs no farther I comment;
They speak a language dear unto my soul;
And I could dwell through all my life content
To gaze on Nature, who doth never pall
A mind well tuned to listen to the call
Of her pure minstrelsy, which yields delight
Unmixed, enduring, as the seasons roll
In quick succession, hymning forth the Might
Of their All-wise Creator, who doth all things right.
'Tis 'Indian Summer,' and the sun looks down
As if afraid to show his blazing face.
And now the woods assume a darker brown,
While in the weather there is not a trace
Of Summer's ardent heat that doth unbrace
The nerves of most, and makes one long to feel
The cooling breeze as Winter comes apace
To scatter forest leaves with savage zeal,
Which do the narrow wood-paths by their fall conceal.
And now the copious rains come pouring down,
Filling the creeks and swamps and rivers full;
Or in the woods or in the growing town,
Things wear an aspect truly dark and dull.
Through deep, stiff mud the stoutest oxen pull
With much ado the very smallest load;
While many a blow across his patient skull
Urges the meek ox slowly on the road,
Tiring the settler out ere he reach his abode.
Anon the angry northwest winds arise,
Bringing dark scowling clouds full fraught with snow.
This all discharged, perhaps for months there lies
One vast white sheet which screens the plants below
From biting frosts, while easier to and fro
The settlers move in their convenient sleighs.
These heed not cold if they have hearts aglow
With friendly feelings, but will speed for days
Along the snow-paved roads and on some strange highways.
At such a time Goodworth and eldest son
Left home and all its inmates in God's care;
But ere they had their first day's journey done
A circumstance occurred by no means rare.
An English emigrant had settled where
The woods were heavy and no neighbors near.
He had partaken of the morning's fare
And armed with axe dreamt not of cause for fear-
Thought he'd be back at noon to wife and children dear.
But noontide came and brought no father fond
To take his place and share the frugal meal.
They little knew that his loved form beyond
In that dark wood could no emotion feel.
The loving wife could very ill conceal
Dread thoughts which rose within her faithful breast.
Should he be dead her own and children's weal
Were fled forever. So, with mind distressed
She went to search the woods and gave herself no rest.
At last she came to where a huge tree lay
Athwart the body of the hapless man.
By grief distracted there she could not stay,
But up the road with frightful speed she ran.
Soon she met Goodworths and forthwith began
To tell her tale most incoherently.
Few words were needful at such a time to fan
Love's flame in them or make them prove to be
Both Good Samaritans to that poor family.
They took her up and tried to calm her mind
Until they came to that soul-harrowing scene.
Now all alight; ere long the axe they find,
Which had so late the man's companion been.
His stiffened corpse was wedged quite fast between
The tree and frozen earth, and naught remained
But first the widow with sleigh-robes to screen
From bitter cold; and this point having gained
They soon cut through the tree, so well had they been trained.
It then became their melancholy duty
To take the lifeless form from the sad spot.
And now the widow in sweet, mournful beauty
Directs the new-found friends to her log cot.
A tearless eye within that home was not-
All felt the dreadful nature of the loss
Which had that day occurred, for naught could blot
His great worth from their minds. He ne'er was cross
To those who clung to him as to the tree the moss.
To leave this family in such piteous state
Was out of question, so young GOODWORTH took
The horses out-for now 'twas growing late-
To quench their thirst at a clear purling brook,
And gave them food within a sheltered nook;
Then found some boards and made a coffin rude.
Meanwhile the father took God's holy Book
And read such portions as teach fortitude
To us, that all immoderate grief may be subdued.
'Twas well that mother long had known the Lord,
For wondrous strength is now to her imparted;
And each clear promise in the Holy Word
Proved balm unto her soul, though much she smarted.
In both the GOODWORTHS she found friends warm hearted,
Friends who could give their love and sympathy;
And ere they from her humble home departed
They showed such proofs of generosity
As did with their profession very well agree.
For such a work by sad experience trained,
They soon proceeded to lay out the dead;
And though fatigued they ne'er of it complained.
Nor would they let the widow spread a bed
For their joint use, but sat and watched instead.
She, much refreshed by prayer and conversation
Retired to rest her weaned heart and head.
They spent the night in solemn contemplation
Or read that precious Book which does unfold Salvation.
When morning came their plans were well matured,
And each went off to tell the mournful news.
Ere noon appeared assistance they secured,
For help at such time who can well refuse?
Some brought their tools which they knew how to use,
And dug a grave in the selected spot.
There round it grew no stately, somber yews,
But these and other things it needed not
To be fit resting-place for one not soon forgot.
When all was ready GOODWORTH lent support
To the bereaved one following the bier.
In sweet-toned language he did her exhort
To look to Him who 'bottles up each tear'
His children shed while in deep sorrow here.
They reached the grave, where she with firmness stood
And felt such comfort as dispelled her fear.
Such fruits spring from true Christian Brotherhood
To all who rest their hopes on Christ's atoning blood.
Due rites performed, the settlers flock around
The widowed mother and warm offers make
Of humble service, with respect profound.
This wished the boy and that the girl to take,
And treat them well for their dear parents' sake.
She heard these offers with much thankfulness,
But said to part with them her heart would break-
Would miss them, too, in this her sad distress,
And they could get along if God their efforts bless.
That night the Pastor ventured to enquire
What were her prospects? Did she money need?
The answer made he could not but admire:
'Her God had ever proved a friend indeed;
Cheered by His promises which she could plead,
She doubted not He would them still protect,
And, make their labors on the farm succeed;
Her boy was strong, and had such great respect
For what was right that he his work would not neglect.'
Next day the friends prepared again to start
On their cold journey soon as it was light.
Both urged their hostess freely to impart
To them from time to time her prospects bright
Or the reverse, as she might deem it right.
In fervent prayer they her to God commend,
Then bade Farewell and soon were out of sight
They reached that day their lengthy journey's end,
And gained a hearty welcome from their loving friend.
That friend lived in a village destined soon
To show few traces of the times gone past
When its fair site was woods where the racoon,
The bear, and wolf had munched their stolen repast.
In wealth and people 'twas increasing fast,
But not in morals-these were very low;
Yet some there lived who roused themselves at last
And with great vigor met the monster foe-
Ev'n vile Intemperance-to give him his death blow.
This end they hoped for by the simple means
Of total abstinence from liquors strong.
The frequent use of these gives rise to scenes
Which all good men would scorn to be among.
Vile oaths, the boisterous mirth, the wanton song,
Were constant heard within each horrid den
Where these vile drinks were retailed all day long.
'Twas sad indeed to view such filthy pen
Filled with poor ruined wretches who once had been men.
Throughout the village there were many such,
And as a consequence great mischief done.
It is surprising and has grieved me much
To think our Magistrates have laurels won
By doing what all devils view as fun!
Why grant a license to each Groggery
When it is evident men only run
To those low places for iniquity,
Till they become as vile as wicked men can be?
Our Pastor's friend was one among the number
That first came forward openly to stand
On 'total Abstinence,' nor did he slumber,
But to the work lent willing heart and hand.
GOODWORTH knew this, and having at command
A little leisure held a meeting there.
He spoke with warmth in language bold yet bland,
Using such arguments as made men stare
Who went for sake of fun, but got some better fare.
With ready tact he showed the means insidious
Used oft by those who sold the drunkard drink.
To lure him on by stimulants oblivious,
Till he lost self-command, and ceased to think.
Then showed him tottering on the fearful brink
Of the wide-opening grave and drunkard's hell,
And truthfully described how link by link
Of sacred ties were severed, as the spell
Grew daily stronger, and a sot confirmed he fell.
And now he drew as with a master's hand,
A vivid picture of sad family woes;
The broken-hearted wife oft forced to stand
Betwixt her children and their father's blows-
He mad with rum, thus trampling Nature's laws;
Or gave a life-like sketch where parents vie
In drunken riot, every day the cause
Of strife and discord, the poor home a sty
Where filth and rags surround them, till like beasts they die.
And then he gave with most consummate skill
A true description of Sobriety,
Where man and wife walk up and down Life's hill
In sweet conjugal peace and piety;
Their love increasing as more years they see,
Their children growing up like olive plants
To love and cherish much their memory,
And if need be in Age supply their wants,
Then meet with that reward which God to such still grants.
While he was speaking there was some excitement,
And at the meeting's close a number came
To sign the Pledge, expressing much delightment.
Yet some were there who slunk away in shame,
Muttering that they were not a whit to blame
For the poor drunkard's fate, although they had
Used every means to keep alive the flame
Which burned their vitals and made them quite mad.
That these escape due punishment is far too bad.
I here would try to speak my mind in brief
Upon the Temperance movement ere I pass
To other scenes, either of joy or grief,
In which our Pastor figures-for alas,
'Man's best laid schemes are only like to grass
Which springs up for a season and then dies.'
Just so this question 'mongst the world's great mass
Sometimes seems gaining ground, but the Foe plies
His sly ensnaring waits and all reform defies.
Now why is this? Can any tell me why?
Some feel quite sure all we now want's a law
To stop the godless traffic. These rely
Perhaps too much on man to strike the blow
Which is to bring the fell Destroyer low.
Others are sure that it is useless quite
To curb the monster. These ne'er felt the glow
Of pure Philanthropy move them aright
Or they would rise and aim to crush this demon's might.
Try this scheme, friends: Let all true Christians stand
Fast in one body, and use fervent prayer
And self-denial, that the Lord's right hand
May be stretched out to break each chain and snare
Which binds mankind. Then let it be our care
To act consistently in all we do.
Of resting on an arm of flesh beware!
For in this case our plans will all fall through;
We shall be put to shame and feel deep anguish too.
May we no opportunity neglect
Of spreading wide the Gospel's joyful sound
For those who never do indeed expect
That God's rich blessing will their steps surround.
Thrice happy shall we be if we are found
Engaged still thus when Jesus calls us hence.
Rise, Christians, then, and let your zeal abound!
The Savior calls! In earnest now commence
This Godlike work, and let his name be our defence.
I now resume my simple narrative,
To tell how GOODWORTHS reached their home again.
More striking views of them I yet must give,
If I may strike my harp and use my pen.
To me who rank not 'mongst well learned men
'Twill prove a task of no small magnitude;
Yet after hard bench-labor, now and then
It gives relief from much solicitude
To sit in my arm chair and form my verses rude.
Once more our friends are gliding o'er the road,
While their clear bells most lively music make.
The sleighing good, and past each log abode
They swiftly fly and soon a side-line take
To gain an Indian village near the Lake.
Here they intend to spend a little time
The poor Red Men from sin and death to wake
By speaking to them of those Truths sublime,
Which can renew the souls of men sunk low in crime.
The Indian Chiefs received them with much pleasure;
They saw in GOODWORTH what did suit them well.
Of outward charms he had an ample measure,
And his fine voice was like a deep-toned bell.
These all combined cast as it were a spell
Over those haughty rangers of the wood,
And made them ponder what he had to tell.
It was a sight to see those natives rude
List to God's Gospel-message in a serious mood.
They listened, and the Holy Ghost with power
Sent home the word to some of savage heart.
These since have seen great cause to bless the hour
In which our Pastor visited that part.
A few, deep-skilled in blackest 'heathen art'
Were full of rage and would have done him harm,
But lacked the power, which but increased their smart.
Meanwhile the others with fresh feelings warm,
Pressed hospitable rites and quelled the fierce alarm.
With these he had some very earnest talk
Of that obedience which the Lord requires
From his Disciples, to ensure a walk
Such as may tend to curb our vain desires
And nurture that which to all good aspires.
He deemed it proper not to press at first
The rite Baptismal; and while one admires
His views on this, another seems to thirst
For full initiation lest he die accursed.
This from an Indian did excite surprise;
But soon 'twas known this man had heard before
A hint of it from some one he thought wise-
One truly skilled in strong Sectarian lore.
To try to set him right Goodworth forbore,
At least at that time, as too well he knew
Men oft in controversy feel more sore
On things of which they have but partial view;
That they will argue most for what to them is new.
Upon the morrow ere they took their leave,
It was arranged-God willing-to return
Within a week or two those to receive
Into strict Fellowship who wished to learn
God's will, which all in Scripture may discern,
That in Church standing they a light might be
To their poor friends whose state required concern.
This settled, GOODWORTHS then most cheerfully
Resumed their journey home to join their family.
The first few miles in safety soon they passed,
And reach the edge of a most dismal swamp
Stretched out before them in dimensions vast;
A huge receptacle of gloom and damp.
There savage wolves and beasts of such a stamp
Might lodge secure and plan most daring deeds.
Gloomy the prospect, though the solar Lamp
Was full two hours from setting, and the steeds
Restive become and faster fly as instinct leads.
The men knew well what they had to expect,
And sent a prayer into their Father's ear.
This done, they did no proper means neglect
To meet what danger might be hovering near,
And also strove each others' hearts to cheer.
Swifter the horses speed o'er the rough logs
That form the road, and now some wolves appear
Hungry and fierce and fresh from noisome bogs,
To pounce upon our friends who lack their faithful dogs.
The murderous gang now spring but miss their prey,
And plunging in deep snow vent forth their rage
In horrid yells, then strive to reach the sleigh.
Again they fail; again afresh engage
With double fury bloody war to wage!
Vain their attempts. A Mighty Hand unseen
Aids those two men. This does their fears assuage,
And nerves their arms, and keeps their minds serene,
Or they had failed to tell how good the Lord had been.
The swamp is cleared, yet on the smoother road
Their speed they slack not till they reach the house
Of a poor drunken settler then abroad
On his nocturnal revels, while the spouse
Was left to mourn his oft-indulged carouse,
And tremble for his safety from the cold.
No sense of danger e'er could him arouse
From his sad sunken state. Drink had such hold
On his gross appetite he seemed to Satan sold.
And yet the wife, the mother of his babes,
Ne'er breathed reproach against her low-sunk mate.
Such love as her's it is which sometimes saves
A wretched husband from a drunkard's fate.
'Tis true such love is oft repaid with hate,
And driven to distraction wives may say
Hard things of men who bring them to a state
Of heartfelt woe, and drive their feet astray
From Virtue's paths, until they shun the light of day.
But here and there a character shines forth,
As in this case, most worthy of all praise.
For this sweet wife was one of matchless worth,
And her dear name should grace my artless lays,
If I by that means could her triumphs raise.
She was in truth a noble heroine,
Whose brow might well have been bedecked with bays;
For deeds like hers through every age should shine
To show the strength of Love and prove it is divine.
O, woman! who has skill of mind or pen
Those feelings to portray that fill thy breast?
All we yet see are glimpses, now and then,
Which make us long the more to know the rest.
Self-sacrificing woman! thou'rt possessed
Of that which does enable thee to bear
A load of misery on thy heart impressed
By wrongs from him who should thy sorrows share,
And make the daily weal his ever constant care.
His home in that far North wild wilderness,
Had naught about it which could tell the tale
Of what that mother suffered of distress,
For hope-fond hope had kept her strong and hale.
It was still whispering she would soon prevail
Upon her husband to renounce his sin.
This cheered her heart although her face grew pale
With anxious care how best she could begin
And what means to employ that she might victory win.
So GOODWORTH found her on that bitter night
With house quite trim and table neatly laid,
And hopeful still though in a serious plight,
As we have hinted, very much afraid
Lest her dear man should freeze. 'He is,' she said,
'As good a husband as I could desire
But lot his fault. He always has displayed
Such love for me that I will never tire
Of loving him, though none my conduct may admire.'
And saying this she would have gone alone
The absent one upon the road to seek.
Her ardent love conspicuously shown
On that occasion, and I fain would speak
Her praise with trumpet tongue, though she so meek
Might blush to hear it and feel half offended.
Now GOODWORTHS thought that one whom they deemed
Was best at home, yet they her love commended,
And volunteered to go, by trusty dog attended.
'Twas not in vain. Behind a Huge pine tree
The man, o'ercome, was lying fast asleep;
Nor could they rouse him, so far gone was he,
Or from the cold or from potations deep.
An unseen Eye did faithful vigils keep
O'er that poor sinner though he knew it not;
And thoughts of this has since oft made him weep
Tears of true penitence in that lone spot,
Which gave to him a lesson that he ne'er forgot.
This spot was very near to where he lived,
And the kind friends Drink's hapless victim bore
To his own home, both feeling truly grieved
That his sad state would make his wife's heart sore.
And now the faithful dog trots on before,
Most clearly glad because his master's found.
Anon he whines and scratches at the door,
Which makes his mistress' heart within her bound
As she peers through the dark and tries to catch some sound.
Each moment seemed an hour as thus she stood
In doubt, expecting some great evil near;
And when they came the sight nigh froze her blood.
She fainting fell, through mingled grief and fear.
Meanwhile the children in the chamber hear
A noise below, and leave their snug, warm bed,
Then in deep sorrow view their parents dear,
And big, warm tears each youngling freely shed,
For their idea was that both were lying dead.
Our friends knew better and strove eagerly
To still their cries and consciousness restore
Unto the sufferers. Soon with joy they see
The mother fast recovering; her they bore
Into her bed-room that they might give more
Attention to the drunken father's case.
He in deep stupor did most loudly snore
And looked quite frightful with frost-bitten face,
Which kept him long in mind of that-his great disgrace.
Next they rub hard with snow the frozen parts,
Until the flesh displays a ruddy glow.
This task accomplished they with lighter hearts
Deeper concernment for the mistress show.
She, quite awake, most anxious was to know
Their full opinion of her partner's state.
The favorable answer made her bow
Her heart to God for this his mercy great,
In having kept her man from such an awful fate.
From bed she rose and pressed on them to eat,
But GOODWORTH asked if he might go to prayer.
She gave consent, and 'fore the Mercy Seat
They poured forth thanks for all their Father's care,
And prayed that all within the house might share
God's rich forgiving love, and ever be
Devoted to his service: so prepare
By constant practice of true piety
To join the heavenly ranks a happy family.
And now they eat with keenest appetite
Of the good things so temptingly displayed-
Prime venison with bread both sweet and light;
And charming butter as e'er housewife made
Were with tea, cream, and rich preserves arrayed
In plentiful supply upon the table.
These, backed by welcome, all their toil repaid,
And they found backwoods cheer indeed no fable;
Yet to partake thereof their hostess was not able.
Their noble team they came so near forgetting,
Had been provided for with care by one
Who gave his parents no just cause for fretting-
A rather small but very hopeful son.
Around the blazing hearth-fire they begun
To draw their chairs to dwell in converse pure
Another hour on what the Lord had done;
How he had kept them all from death secure
And caused their love and faith through trials to endure.
The guests both slept in peace and early rose,
And found their host already stirring round,
And suffering much from being badly froze,
And strangely nervous at the slightest sound.
The elder GOODWORTH spoke to him and found
That Conscience was at work within his breast.
She made him hear with reverence profound
Truths suited to the case of one distressed
By sense of heinous guilt, which drives away all rest.
He also brought most forcibly to view
The need there was of 'total abstinence'
For such as he; and step by step he drew
The man along till an o'erwhelming sense
Of his great crime made him wish to commence
At once a life of strict Sobriety.
He signed a pledge and straightway banished thence
The fiery fluid, his great enemy,-
And did thenceforward keep his pledge most sacredly.
The breakfast o'er, our two friends bade adieu
To parents, children, in their kindly way.
'Twas now their wish to push the journey through
Before the close of that short Winter day.
The Sun was up and made a grand display
Upon the trees and shrubs on every hand;
These all were clad in silvery array,
As if transformed by some Magician's wand,
But 'twas the work of Him who counts the grains of sand.
For through the night a change had taken place-
Such as we frequent view without surprise.
Rain falls and freezes-this is oft the case-,
And trees look pretty to our outward eyes,
But is this all that such a view supplies?
Can we not trace a Mighty Artist's skill,
Which competition from mankind defies?
Then let us learn to reverence Him still,
Who forms these beauteous scenes according to His will.
Dear GOODWORTH gazed upon the glittering scene
Until his soul was filled with ecstacy.
Here he perceived that God indeed had been
To clothe dull Winter in great majesty.
To him it was so full of poetry
That he was led to frame another lay,
Which seems to me to breathe such melody
I must ev'n give it without more delay,
And rest in hope 'twill live far, far beyond my day.
PASTOR'S SONG ON THE FROST-WORK OF A FOREST SCENE.
Last night's air was keen and the snow lay around;
All the trees, stript of leaves, were quite naked and black,
And naught broke the stillness so very profound
Save the jingle of bells as we passed o'er the track.
And little we thought of the sorrowful state
Of that fond, loving, wife by whose bountiful cheer
Our needs were supplied, nor yet dreamt of the fate
Impending o'er one-to her heart ever dear.
As little expected the clouds of despair
Hanging terribly pregnant with evils so dire
Would all quickly vanish in answer to prayer,
And sweet comfort spring forth from the midst of the fire.
As little we thought that the rude rising blast
Would bring rain to transform every dark forest scene
To richness of splendor by nothing surpassed
That we mortals have witnessed of wonders' terrene.
Yon maple trees bend with their silvery load
Like the frail sons of earth under ponderous wealth.
These feel keen affliction their consciences goad,
Yet they heed not the warning till Death comes by stealth.
And those, though they look on this calm, sunny day,
To be robed in pure beauty so strikingly grand,
Should Boreas arise his least might to display,
Would be stript of their charms by his merciless hand.
And yonder dark pines that seem still to aspire
To pre-eminence over their comrades below,
Which shine in Sol's rays like huge masses of fire,
To the earth their proud heads may be soon made to bow.
Yon oaks, which, like kings of the forest appear,
With their thick, crooked branches all coated with ice,
Never dream that the loss of their splendor is near,
That each branch may be broke by the wind in a trice.
Just so we vain mortals indulge foolish pride,
When we deck our poor bodies in splendid attire;
And oft has the Tempter successfully tried
With such means us to lead to most sinful desire.
How seldom we think that the primitive use
Of the first suit of clothing by Adam and Eve
Was not for adornment with trappings profuse,
But as cover for nakedness-guilt to relieve.
This lesson more frequently brought to our view
Might preserve all our souls from much sorrow and sin,
And make us more anxious each day to renew
Those adornings which Christians should all have within.
With reflections like these in true pleasure I gaze
On this landscape so fair-so transcendently bright,
And utter my heart's feeble tones of sweet praise
To my Father who formed it by Wisdom and Might.
Thus to a mind by sacred Truth impressed
Nature at all times is an open book,
And he who reads aright is truly blest.
But ah, how much her teachings we overlook!
One who his Scripture Guide has quite forsook
Makes her an idol, and her praises sings
In warmest strains; he hears in every nook
Of her domain a thousand different things
Proclaim her Godship, which to him much pleasure brings.
Another, dreaming he is taught of God,
Will hardly deign to look on her sweet face.
His feet may press the flower-bespangled sod,
But to admire the carpet would disgrace
A mind so holy, and perhaps displace
Far better thoughts which rise within his breast!
In such a one 'twere difficult to trace
The influence of Truths sublime expressed
By our Great Master in discourse to us addressed.
As on most questions, mine's the middle view,
And looks on all creation as the work
Of God All-wise, most kind and mighty too.
This frees my mind from all vain thoughts which lurk
In its recesses, dissipates the murk
Of idol worship and religious pride,
And makes me proof 'gainst each insidious quirk
Thrown out by those who do my views deride;
Whose judgment seems to me from truth and reason wide.
In musings deep or Lively conversation,
The time flies quickly as our friends draw near
Their woodland home, which, after separation
So long from those it holds, is still more dear.
Anon, friends' farms successively appear,
And at Luth's house they stop to rest awhile
Themselves and team. There they lack not good cheer
Nor kindly welcome, shown by many a smile
From man and wife, a loving pair quite free from guile.
From Luth they learned all their dear folks were well,
And this relieved them from anxiety;
So now with grateful hearts awhile they dwell
Upon those themes which dear to Saints should be-
Spoke of the love displayed so lavishly
In journeying mercies, wheresoe'er they went;
Of good accomplished-though with modesty-
By them as instruments most timely sent;
And thus an hour or two was profitably spent.
Ere very long they reached their own abode-
That Nest well lined with Love, Content and Peace,
Where true home feelings in each bosom glowed,
And solid comforts day by day increase,
Bidding quite fair to last till life shall cease.
This their return the trusty dogs first hear,
And they by joyous barking rouse the geese,
The ducks and poultry, which in chorus clear
At once their voices raise, dreaming that harm is near.
The household listen to the noise outside
A few short moments, when the youngest son
Struck by a pleasant thought could not abide
Longer suspense, but in a trice begun
To don his hat and gloves, both quickly done.
He hurries forth and by fair Luna's gleam
His eyes beheld what made him faster run
To bid the loved ones welcome, and the team
To house, and give such food as he may fittest deem.
The two well loaded with their traveling gear,
Make for the cottage fast as they can go.
There the three females cheerfully appear
Determined they a welcome will bestow
Such as most virtuous minds alone can show.
Sweet smiles bedeck the mother's comely face,
The daughters too with joy are all aglow,
Quite pleased to have a kiss or warm embrace
From those they love so well at such a time and place.
Reader, dost thou possess imagination?
If so, just use that precious faculty
And join with me in making observation
On love scenes drawn from this dear family.
Thou art no eavesdropper, but yet I see
An interest sparkling in thy earnest face
Which shows thy heart doth go along with me
As I such secrets do my best to trace
And hold them up to view to benefit my race.
Imagine then the cordial reception
That I above have feebly tried to paint.
My picture has the charm of no deception-
A thing of which there's oft not much complaint.
Behold this loving band without restraint
Gathered mound the evening's social board,
Each in such frame of mind as seems a Saint,
Even in their eating honoring the Lord,
As they with temperance use whate'er their means afford.
The father in most truly Pastoral style
Spoke of the dangers they had just passed through;
Dwelt on the English settler's death awhile.
And the sweet conduct of the widow, too,
Until the listeners had enough to do
To calm their feelings and restrain their fears.
Their sympathy was pure, to nature true,
Which made them deeply feel the griefs and fears
Of fellow mortals; and their father's heart it cheers.
He next informed them of the low sunk state
Of that new village where he meetings held.
How some few men were snatched from drunkard's fate,
How drink's most worthless traffic had been quelled,
And prejudice by force of Truth dispelled.
Next of their visit to the Indian tribe;
Told who received the Truth and who repelled
Its influx to their souls and Satan's bribe
Received, which did of Life Eternal them deprive.
The wolf adventure and Inebriate's case
Received due notice and called loud for praise
To Him whose hand they could-so clearly trace,
Who had most kindly cared for them always.
Then the Doxology at once they raise
To the 'Old Hundred,' the immortal air,
The clear, full harmony of which displays
Such skill that mortals now may well despair
Of making better tune though they have talents rare.
This done once more they read God's holy Word,
Choosing such portion as their minds may suit.
Then in great reverence kneel with full accord,
And fervent pray, though all save one are mute.
Are there who deem such acts of no repute?
Sad is their state, for they have nothing learned
As well worth learning. Will they this dispute?
Alas, poor sinners, you are not concerned
That you have Christ refused and thus your soul's good spurned.
We'll draw the curtain while the family sleep-
Such sleep as pure contentment ever brings;
And while good Angels, o'er them vigils keep,
Let's pause a little that my rude harp's strings
May be drawn tighter, that my Muse her wings
Afresh may plume, ere she completes her song
For she has yet to sing of pleasant things
And the reverse, so she must needs be strong
To execute her task as time fast flies along.
The occasion I will take to introduce
More fully to my patient reader's view
This worthy household; which will be of use
In after scenes, as I my tale renew.
Joseph, the eldest, we have seen was true
To God and Nature in some trials great:
Much like his father year by year he grew
Until he reached to manhood's full estate;
In manners humble, and in preaching gifts first rate.
William, the younger, was not quite so grave;
As kind in heart, but still more blithe and free;
Quite serious on occasions and most brave,
There were few youths more loveable than he.
In Sunday school 'twas his delight to be,
There he still led the singing and took part
In teaching children the 'great Mystery'
Of gospel truth, and many a childish heart
Felt that the loss of him would yield unceasing smart.
The sisters, younger still, I must compare
To two fair roses very lately blown;
Who, though they lived in the woods, were debonair
As any town's girls I have ever known.
Their skill in housewifery was clearly shown
In the discharge of all their household duties.
They both had voices of the sweetest tone-
Not shrill nor harsh, but more like what the flute is,
And were by all who saw them looked upon as beauties.
But those were naught compared with Faith and Love
Possessed by both, evinced by all their acts;
And nothing pleased them better than to prove
That pure Religion never aught subtracts
From real enjoyment, as is shown by facts
Which all who can may read if so inclined.
'Tis true our Father evermore exacts
Complete obedience, but our hearts refined
By the Spirit through the Truth know all's in love designed.
Clarissa and Louisa were the names
Bestowed upon these daughters at their birth,
And 'twas foretold by some attendant dames
That each when grown would have uncommon worth.
This prophecy gave rise to harmless mirth
In after years, and led the girls to say
That in their conduct there should be no dearth
Of loveliness, for fear it should betray
The fame of those good dames still living in their day.
'Surely those parents must have been well off!'
Some reader may exclaim in scorn or jest;
But if 'twere not so there's no need to scoff,
And if it were I have the truth expressed.
Mine eyes have seen some parents quite as blest
In all their offspring, and I hope to see
My own dear children in their day attest
That what I write is true, and ever be
A loving, happy band and useful family.
I have an aim in making this digression,
Can anyone divine what it may be?
Though not a Papist I will make confession
And clear at once the seeming mystery.
Luth had a son now grown to man's degree,
Who made proposals for Clarissa's hand,
And GOODWORTH thought for aught that he could see
It was not well their wishes to withstand,
So let things take the way they were already planned.
And Joseph, wishing not to be behind
His darling sister, cast about his eyes
And soon found one possessing generous mind,
Whose fund of worth proved his selection wise.
Her name methinks the reader may surmise,
For it was Ruth and also Luth, a maid
Who did prepare for matrimonial ties
In prayerful spirit, and who ne'er betrayed
That love of coquetry by many girls displayed.
Both these young folks had followed the example
Of worthy parents, and as Christians stood
In that young Church. Their worldly means were ample
At least for such as wed from motives good.
Besides if needful they could earn their food,
Which made their marriage prospects bright and cheering,
Things thus far settled they did all they could
To haste the nuptials, and grew more endearing
As the auspicious day drew nearer its appearing.
Again the Sabbath day came duly round,
And Goodworth met his flock with heartfelt joy.
Once more he faithful preached 'the joyful sound,'
Or taught the Saints sin's fetters to destroy,
And how their time and talents to employ.
Then just before the 'Breaking of the Bread'
He of his journey spoke in manner coy,
And deep attention by the Church was paid
As he recounted mercies sent by Christ their Head.
Upon the work especial stress he laid,
Begun by God amongst the poor Red Men,
And moved by sacred zeal he boldly said
That something must be done; but how or when
Was for the Church to say. As he stood then
Chosen of God and them to oversee,
His little flock, he could not go again
Without depriving some of Ministry
Most needful at that time if he would faithful be.
He further said it was a settled thing
With him that if the Holy Spirit call
One to the Pastorship, no good could spring
From frequent absence, for the Church needs all
His time and talents; and should ill befall
A flock so left God might the question ask,
'Why didst thou leave my sheep and lambs at all?
I placed thee there; attend thou to the task
If in my smiles approving thou wouldst wish to bask!'
He cited many texts to prove his view,
[Footnote: See at least one amongst many in I Peter, V, 1-4]
And felt much grieved some Churches in our day
Should to their interest be seldom true,
And Pastors for slight causes turn away.
From personal observation he would say
That many men who make a great profession
Begrudge the mite so needful as the pay
Of those whose Pastoral worth's their sole possession;
Who could not wink at sin nor make undue concession.
'Some folks, again,' he said, 'quite overlook
The nature of the office as laid down
For Churches' guidance in the holy Book,
And substitute opinions of their own.
Such meet their fellow Christians with a frown
If they insist upon the Scripture plan,
And deem him little better than a clown
Who has the courage their false views to scan:
And should he not desist might place him under ban.'
'Thus saith the Lord, in all religious matters,
As the thing; needful should our minds impress.
We've naught to do with the unseemly tatters
Of creeds and ceremonials on which stress
Is laid by many who the Truth profess.
The Scriptures teach that Pastors should take heed
To all their flock, that faith and holiness
May grow apace; that they the sheep should feed
With Heaven-inspired food according to their need.'
'But Churches for most part make choice of him
Who does a splendid preaching talent show;
Or else they seek to gratify some whim
Lest hearers should their purse strings tighter draw.
'Tis easy for one taught of God to show
That those so chosen cannot well fulfill
True Pastoral duty, which consists, we know,
In oversight according to God's will-
Not Lords o'er his inheritance, but humble still.'
[Footnote: The author would not like to be misunderstood. All he
intends to say is that a talent for preaching, however good, is not the
only qualification for Elder or Pastor. See I Tim. iii and Tit. i.]
The Church agreed in what the Pastor said
And Luth suggested that young GOODWORTH might
Act as Evangelist in his father's stead,
Should he 'fore God consider it quite right.
Joseph assured them it was his delight
To aid in any way his Master's cause,
But thought that all should seek for further light
By fervent prayer, and therefore Would propose
To leave it unto Him from whom all wisdom flows.
This as determined on and they attended
Unto the 'Supper of the Lord' in love.
Once more their Sacrifice of Praise ascended
From grateful hearts unto their God above,
Who heard it all and did such acts approve.
Refreshed in soul once more they separate
In friendly manner, as it does behove
The joint possessors of such blessings great
As heirs of bliss and glory in a future state.
Throughout the week the members freely gave
Unto this subject due consideration;
And Joseph looked, to anxious friends, more grave,
Was oft in prayer or wrapped in contemplation.
The father, who of this made observation,
Encouraged him to frankly speak his mind.
This led them soon to mutual explanation
And fuller confidence, which all combined
To lead them both to be unto God's will resigned.
It caused a struggle in that parent's breast
To part with one grown dearer every day;
And Joseph at the first felt quite distressed
At leaving friends so very far away.
As was but natural, thoughts of wedding day
Would also cross his mind and make him sigh;
But yet he felt determined to display
True Christian courage and himself deny,
If to his fellow men 'twould bring Redemption nigh.
The father; saw no very great occasion
For much of self-denial in the case.
The Bride-expectant would with small persuasion
Share any trials he might have to face.
Besides the Indians would prepare a place
With needful comforts, should he there remain.
'Twas therefore his advice to seek for Grace,
Such as the work demanded, and thus gain
The glorious Reward which faithful ones obtain.
To this the son made not the least objection,
And so the matter stood till next Lord's Day,
When, as the Church approved of the selection,
Much unfeigned love the all to him display;
Rejoicing to see one so young obey
Duty's strong impulse, and to God commend
Their much loved brother, who without delay
Made preparation that ere the week's end
He might the Indians reach and to his work attend.
At the reformed Inebriate's house he called
In passing, and was truly glad to find
The man his vice inveterate had controlled,
And was improving daily in his mind.
He owned that had his wife not proved most kind
He might have been again to drinking drove.
This Joseph hears, but hopes the pledge he signed
Would be some safeguard if he should lack love;
Yet urged him much to seek for help from God above.
To miss the swamp he took another road
Not so direct, but pleasanter by far.
Most holy feelings in his bosom glowed
As he gazed on the glittering Evening Star.
The sleighing good, such traveling was no bar
To his sweet musings as he nearer drew
Unto the village where he had to war
With heathen darkness, and for aught he knew,
Where trials great and many might his steps pursue.
On his arrival joy sincere was felt
By those who had the Gospel's sound regarded.
These in full council passed the Wampum Belt,
And by their confidence his zeal rewarded.
None had the influence of Truth discarded
Who first professed by it to be made free,
And 'twas their wish, since nothing now retarded,
To be baptized with due solemnity,
That those who disbelieved might their obedience see.
The Preacher this performed by full immersion
Of the whole body in the deep blue lake,
And none but those who evidenced conversion
Did of that holy ordinance partake.
I state not this from a desire to wake
Any contention in a Christian's breast;
I rather 'strive for things which peace do make,'
That I my love for all saints may attest.
This course I long have deemed the wisest and the best.
Those thus baptized in fellowship then stood,
And as instructed, to Christ's laws attended.
Their souls reposed on His atoning blood
For full salvation, and their lives commended
The saving Truth to those who were offended
At the first preaching of the Joyful News.
What these beheld their outward rage suspended,
And now no longer dared they to accuse
The Preacher of vile motives and his work abuse.
For some few weeks he labored there with pleasure,
And his Red brethren urged on him to take
The Pastor's office, but so grave a measure
Demanded time for its importance's sake.
'Should I be spared,' he said, 'I wish to make
My life a useful one where'er I live;
To Duty's call to keep my ear awake,
And as I have received to freely give,
Aiming to show I wish for no alternative.'
With this resolve so very freely spoken
We bid the Red Man for the time Adieu,
For other scenes most clearly do betoken
That genial pleasure is not lost to view.
The lovers to their vows continued true,
And fixed upon the following New Year's day
As best for entering on their duties new,
When it was planned a Wedding jaunt to pay
In visit to Niagara, many miles away.
The day arrived-a bright and cheering one,
With which came Settlers on kind thoughts intent.
Then gratitude for what the Lord had done
They wished to show by love and substance spent
Upon their Pastor, whom they viewed as bent
On seeking their advantage since he came.
One, by a neighbor, had two turkeys sent,
Both fine young birds, well fed and very tame-
A gift which well might put some richer men to shame.
This neighbor brought upon his own account
An ewe and ram of most superior breed.
Another had a very fair amount
Of splendid timothy and clover seed.
A fourth good maple sugar as his meed
Bestowed with blandest smiles and modest mien.
A fifth had apples, of which all agreed
They were the best they in that part had seen;
While a sixth brought savory sausages quite fresh and clean.
These as an average sample of the gifts,
I mention merely with a view to show
That Gratitude is put to no mean shifts
In kindly hearts whose love keeps them aglow.
Those who have naught but water to bestow
Upon a thirsty Saint, reward will gain
From Heaven's high King, who loves to have it so.
We must from sneering at small gifts refrain.
For the poor widow's mite did great reward obtain.
Surprise and joy that Christian family felt
At this display of love and gratitude;
While with their friends they reverently knelt
To give God thanks, they for rich blessings sued
For the kind donors, now more strongly viewed
As brethren in the very strongest bond.
Each at the Mercy Seat their love renewed,
And heart to heart did fervently respond.
All merely worldly pleasure this is far beyond.
This past, the marriage knot was quickly tied
For those young well matched couples, who appeared
In all respects well pleased and satisfied
This tended much to keep the parents cheered,
And to the friends around them more endeared
The wedding feast parta'en, they soon prepare
For their long journey, as a change they feared
In the fine weather, which might make roads bare
And the good sleighing spoil-a thing by no means rare.
On that delightful jaunt I need not dwell,
Only to say that all the drive enjoyed.
When safe returned each had a tale to tell
Of the great Cataract's wonders, never void
Of thrilling interest to minds employed
In viewing Nature right. I now would haste
Lest my dear readers feel themselves annoyed,
To finish what has brought me no small taste
Of Poet's joy, and often has my heart solaced.
That earthly pleasure's not without alloy
Poets have sung and sages oft have said,
And none did e'er such pleasure long enjoy
Without being to the same conclusion led.
Our Pastor's dear Louisa took to bed
Soon after New Year's visit to the Falls;
Ere Spring came round she bowed her lovely head
To Death's stern summons! Yet sweet hope consoles
The friends for loss of her, and undue grief controls.
Her death-bed was a scene I love to view
With chastened pleasure, for her faith was strong.
She to her Savior had for years been true.
And then to be with Him did daily long,
Yet not impatiently, for 'twould be wrong;
But with strong fortitude-so calm and pure
That one who saw her left the World's gay throng,
And since has had great trials to endure,
But found the Savior's aid was ever near and sure.
But little now remains for me to sing,
Not that I matter lack-a large supply
Exists where I got this from, and may spring
Into poetic joy if I should try
Again to tune my harp, this time laid by
At Duty's call. Our friend and spouse live where
We found them first. William and wife are nigh,
And with their children choicest comforts share.
While Joseph of the Red Men's Church takes Pastoral care.
Luth and Clarissa own a good sized farm,
Well tilled, well stocked and fronting to the Lake.
Around their hearthstone boys and girls do swarm,
So that they soon a larger house must make.
Some members of the Church now sometimes take
Their turns in preaching, and the elder Luth
Shares Pastoral duty for his Master's sake.
As Deacons they have men who love the Truth,
All proving that the Church is in a state most sooth.
The Lord's Forget-me-nots grow everywhere
Along the Christian's path as he pursues
His Heavenward journey. And a Father's care
Gives each sweet odors and most lovely hues.
And they throughout the darkest days diffuse
A balmy fragrance strikingly delicious!
Yet we, vain mortals, oft these sweets refuse
And choose instead that which is most pernicious,-
Thus wandering far from God, who always is propitious.