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 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.