Others
The Holly Branch
11th Nov 2013Posted in: Others, The Confederation Poets 0

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THE
HOLLY BRANCH.

BY
HARRIETT ANNIE.
HAMILTON, C. W.
PRINTED AT THE SPECTATOR OFFICE, JAMES STREET.
1851.
[unnumbered page]

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EPISTLE DEDICATORY.


To SIR ALLAN NAPIER MACNAB, KNIGHT, M.P.P.,

AND THE FRATERNITY OF FREEMASONS.

“I have written unto you, Brethren, because ye have known that which was from the beginning.”

   BRETHREN!—Accept our thanks for the permission so courteously granted, to lay at your feet the little volume containing our feeble efforts of composition, and to request for the tender “HOLLY BRANCH” your favorable regard and patronage. And allow us at the same moment to assign some reasons why we have consigned our Offering to the altar of Unity and Love.

The world wonders, Brethren, why we have chosen for our protection a Society whose science is as deep and mysterious as it is ancient and glorious. This same world has of old stood by, not only idle spectators but, in many instances, loud revilers, of your institutes and ceremonies. But these have yet to learn how “the stone which the builders rejected” is becoming, even in our day, “the head stone of the corner.”

From childhood, we have entertained feelings of interest for your Order; and as years have increased, our sympathies have deepened toward your Society; for the presence of your brethren in various lands and climes has ever “been as the shade of a rock in a weary land.” Yes; be it on the wide ocean—in the stately mansion—in the crowded city—or ‘neath the cloud-covered tents of the wilderness—one band ye are, and one influence, even of that “charity which faileth not, do you diffuse on those whom ye love.” [unnumbered page]

The reasons why we have been called to share the expressions of fraternal feelings from your mystic Association are veiled in a secrecy which the throngers of the outer courts may not penetrate. It may be because, that in years past, high and honorable men of our kindred have proved themselves temple worshippers. It may be,—but why should we enumerate conjectures, when we recollect that the magical zone of Free Masonry binds the earth from sea to sea, and from shore to shore.

Freemasons! It is not the splendour of your Lodge-rooms, it is not the honors of your institution; it is not the thrilling sounds of your beautiful music, nor the sight of your gathering numbers when ye are “with one accord in one place;” it is none of these which have dazzled our vision on your behalf; for is it now, as in the days of old, “while the house is in building, there is no sound of axe or hammer heard in the temple?” No; ours is the simple offering of a heart that has often turned away stricken with the cold glance of an unfeeling world, and lacerated by those who should have been firm and affectionate friends; thus stricken, it has turned with joy and rejoicing, to the kind voices and generous hearts of the “friends who love at all times the brothers born for adversity.”

The “HOLLY BRANCH,” is in itself a type of your Institution. How often, amid the delicate flowers of Spring, the glorious rose of Summer, or the dazzling splendour of Autumnal beauty, is the Holly—the evergreen Holly—forgotten. But when the Winter storms gather around, then are its crimson berries and verdant leaves cherished; and in our native land, from the poorest peasant on England’s soil, to the royal chambers of England’s Queen, the Holly Branch droops its fadeless clusters. Forgive us, then, if we have desecrated a type of Masonry by linking it with our feeble efforts. Forgive—for we ask that those who build with King Solomon, and with him speak of all the trees, from the Cedar of Lebanon to the bitter Hyssop—we ask if these will remember the “HOLLY BRANCH.” We have no band to come forward, (as had the Centurion of old) and say that “they are worthy for whom ye should do this;” for we have built you no synagogue; [page iv] neither can we approach you as did the Queen of the South to Solomon, with precious jewels and royal gifts; for although we can truly say with the ancient poet—

          “We can number it in years,
             “Since our grandsire was a King;”

Yet, we can also add the remainder of the stanza:

          “But no crown is on our head,
             “No minstrels to us sing;
           “For the exiled and the sorrowing,
             “No sceptre do they bring.”

Freemasons! May Jehovah, the only and acknowledged head of true Love—the centre of all Unity—guide you, bless you, defend you, one and all, till at length not only in the mountain of this world shall we see the stones made ready for the Upper Temple, but ascend to that City, “whose walls are all manner of precious stones;” whose gates transcend the gold of Solomon’s glorious edifice; where, blessed by the voice of your heavenly Grand Master, and welcomed by the love of your Elder Brother, you shall pass unnumbered ages in the eternal Lodges of Heaven, and meet there—

HARRIET ANNIE.
HAMILTON, 1851. [page v]

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THE HOLLY BRANCH.


DEDICATION POEM.
“And all ye are Brethren.”

BRETHREN around Love’s altar stood,	
   All one in heart and hand,
Before the Architect of Heaven,
   Sworn one unsevered band:
A vow lies heavy on ye all—
   A solemn, mystic, tie—	
A three-fold cord is round each heart—
   Might, Mercy, Mystery!

Might! For the earth hath onward rolled,
   And ever borne with pride
The builders, as she bears them now,
A throng on Time’s rough tide.
The foe hath mocked, harsh words have been
   Told of the structure fair:
Build on, the walls abide in Strength,
Wisdom, and Beauty rare.

Ask for Palmyra, Babylon,
   And for the walls of Tyre—
The altars of Jerusalem—
   Behold the thorn, the brier!
Ask for the ancient lands of old,
   Their throngers, where are they?
And winds that wander through the sky
   Will answer—far away! [unnumbered page]

But since this union was the same,
   Five thousand years have notched
Their scores in the archives of time.
   This by Heaven’s Guardian watched,
Hath flourished on uncloudedly,
   A bark upon the sea,
That still her unmarked path shall trace
   Five thousand years to be.

Who build to Mercy? Far off woods
   Have echoed to the call;
Responsive echoes answer back
   From many a stately hall—
The captive from his chain is free,
   Loosed by a brother’s hand;
The far off wanderer of the sea
Welcomed a kindred band.

By warm and ardent sympathy,
   By the sweet word, Forgive;
By holy love and holy deeds
   Is it by these ye live.
Changed is the orphan’s mournful cry,
   In weary loneliness;
A host of blessings on ye rise
From these, the fatherless.

To rule each action by the square,
   ‘Neath the All-Seeing eye;
To walk throughout life’s chequered path,
   In Faith, Hope, Charity;
To soothe the mourner, grief to quell,
   Brotherly love to spread:
These are your emblems, these your vows,
Onward and upward led. [page 8]

Behold the Hour-glass and the Scythe,
   Time ever flitting fast;
Behold the Anchor and the Ark,
   Your guides through danger’s blast;
Of Innocence and Purity,
   Doth that white Lambskin tell;
Reminding you that near God’s throne
   The pure in heart shall dwell.

May joy and peace bless they who dwell
   In lasting unity;
Boundless success each effort crown,
   Of sweetest amity;—
And Heaven’s best blessing rest on those
   Who rear their column high
To God, and to beloved Saint John,
   And ancient Masonry!

These teach you ever to prepare,
   And wait a solemn scene,
Till o’er each brother’s bier be thrown
The fadeless evergreen.
Death claims you, and the dark foe calls,
   Behold the strong arms fail:
Build on; the Lion of the Tribe
   Of Judah shall prevail.

And ye who by the lamp of Truth,
   Though life’s dark vale have trod,
Shall gain bright temples in the heaven,
   Pure with the light of God;
Where the Grand Architect shall give
   To each calm peace and rest;
Here, spiritually built in Him,
   There, with him ever blest. [page 9]

 

THE VOICE OF THE SUN.

The orient skies with my beams are red,
As morning peeps out when night is fled;
And the Western hills are lit by me,
The dew-hung rose and the stately tree;
Ye may track my beam in the forest bower,
My silvery ray in the chestnut flower,
By the bud when in Spring my rays are borne,
In Autumn, when waveth the burnished corn.

I am in the climes of the frozen North,
Where icebergs from the shore sail forth;
As their anchor is weighed by my solar gleams,
And they hasten down to the ocean streams;
The Russian assailed by the king of frost—
The Greenlander benumbed when his path he crossed—
The Laplander bound by his icy sigh—
Breathe life in the light of my summer eye.

In the Southern tracks is seen my glow,
Where citrons bloom and the olives blow;
While the breath of the myrtle floats sadly fair,
With the shout of idolatrous worship there;—
Where the cocoa branches wave high and tall,
And its clustering leaves are its capitol,
And the aerial fig waves its hidden stem,
And streams purl soft o’er the diadem.

Where the Northern foreigner starts to behold,
The purple vine bound with my ray of gold;
While the fly-birds wing as the rainbow’s bloom,
Waves in the light of my burning plume;
The larch rejoices in my bright form,
With cedar groves and my rays are warm,
From the mullet’s fin, ‘neath the Southern breeze,
To the hacc-moren of Norwegian seas. [page 10]

On the tempest-torn and writhing wave,
Where, ‘mid cloistered caverns the mermaids lave,
My light o’er the sleeping billow is spread,
Or when ocean’s pedestal heaves its head;
And my bright glance on the azure tide,
Playfully romps where the mariners glide;
While on the unshaded and heaving sea,
I ride over the billow, so bold, so free.

I give to the woods and rocks a beam,
And the warblers awake from their drowsy dream,
Then at the touch of my silvery ray,
Melody pours from each blossomed spray;
From the jewel-lit isles of the Southern main,
Where tropical birds in their glory reign;
These rise to me mingling sweetly wild,
With the note of the aulk to the North exiled.

I am in the kraal of the Hottentot,
The Indian wigwam and Hindoo cot;
In the Sultan’s pavilion, my ray doth dance,
And the monarch’s robe is gilt with my glance;
My beams are spread o’er the rolling world,
As showers of spar from volcanoes hurl’d,
As bright falling leaves ‘neath autumnal rain,
As drops of dew from a lion’s mane.

I traverse the shore and I sail o’er the deep,
For ages I’ve shone nor seek I for sleep,—
If you love my light as I softly beam,
From the valleys fresh to the mountain stream:
O! then strike the lyre to my Maker’s praise,
Who giveth me glory, splendour, and rays—
Ever think of me as a sacred sign,
Of him who bids me unwearied shine. [page 11]

 

THE BOW IN THE CLOUD.

The rising waters drenched the earth,
   Green trees were bending low,
And lovely flowers of Eastern birth,
   Died at the wave’s high flow;
But when the storm had ceased its wrath,
   And vanished from the sod,
The dwellers of the ark came forth,
   To offer to their God;—
To see the waste of cities crushed,
The forms o’er which cold streams had rushed,
To view as on their knees they bowed,
The bow of promise in the cloud.

That bow is there with every hue,
   And wreath of colours rare,
And fresh its smiling face we view,
As when God placed it there.
‘Tis set to say while earth remains,
   The Summer sun shall shine,
Autumn’s rich fruit shall clothe the boughs,
   And rich shall be the vine.
Why should we fear to bear the cross,
And pine with dread of suffering loss,
Or mourn when storms beat high and proud,
The bow shines only through the cloud.

Not only in the worlds of air,
   Have rainbows bright been set,
There was an hour when dark clouds rare,
   Around man’s pathway met;
And Eden’s beauties vanished soon,
   And man was lost for ever,
Veiled in dark night was glorious noon,
   Noon to return, aye, never! [page 12] 
But lo! a voice of gentle sound,
Spake “I am a random sure have found,
Fear not the storm of vengeance loud;”
I’ve set my bow high in the cloud.

That bow was set, and dark the hour
   It hung o’er Calvary;
Look up each weak and weary form,
   On to the upper sky;
Love and eternal mercy blent,
   Their colours in that bow,
The arch which spans the worlds above,
And earth’s mean realm below.
Let us not fear then e’en to die,
And rest at last beyond the sky;
Nor dread the grave, the pall, the shroud,
While that blest bow is in the cloud.

 


THE SONG OF THE WARRIOR.

Ours is the turf in its crimson dye,
And the flag unfurled to the sun on high;
The bayonet’s gleam—the untiring arm,
The inspiring song, and the music’s charm;
The hearts of the bold, as we onward sweep,
Like leaves of the tree, or sands of the deep.
The hurrying of men on the trampled clay;
The clangour of arms and the war steed’s neigh;
The victorious shout when the war is done—
When the victor is crowned, and the wreaths are won.
The signal of joy—the warrior’s crest,
And the light of home for the last and best. [page 13]

 

FUNERAL AT SEA.

We buried at sunset,
   The loving and brave,
While the robe of eve met
   On the dark tossing wave;
We gave him the deep
   And the rock for his pillow,
They soothed him to sleep,
With the tempest-nursed billow.

And fair was the sky,
   That was round us that even:
The sunset’s rich dye,
   And the azure of Heaven,
Together beamed soft,
   And mellowed the fold,
Of the sun-light which streamed aft,
In purple and gold.

We asked for the fresh turf
   For him who had died,
And there answered the surf,
   And the white foam replied;
So we chanted our hymn,
   And the wave sung the chorus,
And evening grew dim,
As the breakers rolled o’er us.

We placed him to rest,
   ‘Mid the dance of night’s daughters,
Our organ—the wave crest,
His vault—the dark waters.
‘Mid the sun’s dying fire,
   We laid down his head,
Till “the sea shall” retire,
   And “give up her dead.” [page 14]

 

THE LOVELY BRIDE.

The breeze blew free, the sun was bright,
   Upon that dewy morn,
And gossamers had slept all night,
   In leaf, and bush, and thorn;
Till warm noon came, the sun’s full tide,
   On the broad earth was thrown,
He sent his rays all far and wide,
As vassals from his throne.
Lo! one bright streak had found a hall,
Wherein its light might softly fall.

It gleamed as if it stole its leave,
   Soft as the fountains glide,
And gazed on one who that bright eve,
Would stand a lovely bride.
The rose-bud and the choicest flowers,
   Adorned the festal room—
Rich crimson hues from chosen bowers,
   With leaves of snowy bloom;
The buds that live by crystal founts,
The heaths that grow on rugged mounts.

In that loved room where all was calm,
   Was a form kneeling there:
She came to seek a heavenly balm,
And bent her knee in prayer.
The flowers raised their fingers free,
   Sweetly as breath of even,
And delicately smiled to see,
   That man might reach to Heaven;
And breathed as fresh as spring’s first sod,
At woman pleading with her God. [page 15]

And gentle tears stole down the face
   Of that young girl so fair,
As yet she sought a richer grace,
   To tread her path with care;
She thought how that dark radiant eye,
   In coming years may dim,—
Each fond one seek a sunnier sky,
   And go above to him.
Faith flung a hope o’er that dark sea,
That as her days, her strength should be.

Kneel on, fair girl—dark days may come,
   And suffering years be thine,
Yet storms diminish not the bloom,
That from the pure stars shine:
The ocean floods will sweep the lands,
   And all their vengeance hurl,
They do but wash away the sands,
   Brighter to leave the pearl;
And they who plant the tender vine,
May eat the fruit and drink the wine.

 


THE LAST PLAGUE OF EGYPT.

‘Twas sunset, and many had gathered to see,
The gold and the purple that pencilled each tree,
And sweet was the sound of the timbrel and song,
As night threw its shade o’er the revelling throng.

And fairer than ever the eve to that band,
For darkness had sceptre the face of the land;
And bright was the sun and rich was his smile,
On the country of Egypt and land of the Nile. [page 16]

But at midnight, that midnight, O! sad was its tale,
Lo! the face of the kinsman grew terribly pale,
And the song died away on the lips of the bold,
And the kiss of affection came sadly and cold.

Clear fell the moonbeam, and pallid its light,
On the face that at star-rising laughed in delight;
And the brow that frowned wrath on the Israelite slave,
At midnight grew cold as the bright fountain wave.

The delicate forms of the daughters of men,
Escaped not the wrath of the Messenger then;
The blush from the soft cheek had taken its leave,
And long tresses were left where the spoiler could weave:

And the hand that was pressed in true friendship’s warm grasp,
Grew like marble and ice in the strength of the clasp;
And hushed was the coming of many known feet,
The red veins stood still in their noiseless beat.

Chill in his cradle the baby slept now,
Chill was the tomb, for tears poured on his brow;
Ere the watch of that midnight had hurried and fled,
The first-born of Egypt lay helpless and dead.

And the daughters of Mizriam are sad for that train,
And the dwellers in Rahab weep over the slain,
And sorrow reigned then from the dungeon alone,
To the gleaming of turrets, and pride of the throne.

And the chains of the Hebrews fell down from their hands,
For they who had graven and molten their bands,
Lo the power became as the might of the reed,
At the word of Jehovah, and strength of his deed. [page 17]

 

ON A TABLET,

IN THE LODGE-ROOM OF THE ODD FELLOWS IN HAMILTON, C.W., ON WHICH IS INSCRIBED THE NAMES OF THE DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ORDER IN THAT LODGE.

Brethren behold this magic thing,
   That speaks of those—the fled,
And gives the throbbing human heart,
   A token of the dead
Yes, comrades, pass on, and behold
   Upon that marble fair,
A link with other worlds than this—
   Our brothers’ names are there.
We bear no coffin, hearse, nor pall,
To cause affection’s tear to fall,
Yet doth this symbol—ah, too well,
Call those who no more with us dwell.

We have not given it to the earth,
   Or to the mouldering sod,
Where every brother calmly waits,
The coming of our God.
We place it not where winter storms,
   Or tempests wild shall smite,
The token of those absent forms,
   Who dwell in Death’s dark night.
We bring it where our eyes will fall,
And every well known voice recall;
We place it where their forms once stood,
The brothers of our brotherhood.

Is not our love-bound army now,
   Like a green spreading tree,
Those, who the spoiler’s wrath hath spared,
Shall not forgotten be. [page 18] 
The leaves have fallen—yet are fresh
   In memory’s hallowed fold,
The silver cords have long been loosed,
   But we the links yet hold.
One’s here to show the archer’s dart,
The feelings of each brother’s heart;
To shew upon life’s restless sea,
That some are now—what shall we be.

Behold with art is here engraved,
   Each name we called them by,
Who next among our band enrolled
   Upon that stone shall lie?
Before another year is come,
   How many shall have fled?
Oh, brothers! Who of us shall go
To slumber with the dead?
Yet if we pass—the rest will keep
Our names within their bosom deep;
Friendship is purer than the wave,
And love is stronger than the grave. 

Lo! brethren, are we not all men?
   And shall we not all fail?
Bow meekly ‘fore the tablet then,
Before the cheek grows pale.
Death’s waves beat hard upon the shore,
   And blast it as they flow;
Time’s suns come hot upon the sods,
   And blanch them as they go.
The flower is fair—up comes the main;
That youthful flower smiles not again;
The Spring gives more—but yields not up,
The buds which decked the ocean’s cup. [page 19] 

‘Tis so with them;—no longer they
   Can mingle with our throng;
No more shall those gone be with us,
In vow,—in pledge,—in song.
Then brethren let us cast our eyes,
   Oft on this marble true,
For each beneath the green earth goes,
For us no more to view.
Each hand is still—each form is hid,
‘Neath his name on the coffin lid;
And more must go:—well may we stand,
And sorrow for a better land.

 


 

CHRISTMAS SONNET.

The glory floated off, the beautiful, the grand,
Again the waves of Heaven’s blue curtain slept,
Again Judea’s stars peeped from its folds—bright band,
When the pinions of the heaven decked host had swept
Back into Heaven. What breathings had been heard
‘Mid the moon’s brightness, on the rock at rest.
No mortal ear e’er listened to those words
With which the circlers of the Throne had blest
The mountain watchers. They told a Son was given;
They marked his couch;—shepherds heard Angels say
The Child slept not ‘mid shades of velvet riven;
Not in a terraced mansion, lit with ruby’s ray;
No crimson pall of Egypt’s art was spread,
But the rude manger was his cradle bed. [page 20]

ALAY OF AFFECTION.

Forget thee! No: I think of thee from the dawning of the day,
To the holy and the hallow’d hour when sun-light fades away.
Can the sea-gull e’er forget over ocean’s wave to spring—
Can the eagle bird forget the shade of its mothers soaring wing—
Can the sun’s bright beam neglect to shine when daylight’s ray is strewn;
Can the river ever cease to swell beneath the brilliant moon—
Can the panting hart forget the spot where summer waters flow—
Can the sun-struck traveller forget where gentle breezes blow?

These may forget, yet cannot I forget thy love and cares,
Thy watchful eye, thy gentle words, and thy love-breathing prayers;
And oft I seem to hear thy voice as in childhood’s early hour,
And I weep for days when thou shalt view with me each chosen bower:
When I dream of thee, there comes a voice like to the rushing main,
Which soothes my heart, and says that I shall meet thee yet again.

Oh! Could I thank thee for the care and kindness thou hast shown,
Then I would trace the world to find treasure thou shouldest own;
Pour eastern riches at thy feet and kingdoms wide and free;—
But a heart of love is the holiest thing, and that I bear to thee;
For when in days of infancy thy hand on me was laid,
There flowed a fountain of pure love which never can be stayed.

The eagle may forget the rock, the ocean-bird the sea;
The flowers, they may cease to bloom—I will remember thee!
And something whispers to my heart, that to thee shalt be given,
To meet those thou hast deeply loved, and welcome them to heaven.
We shall love on when time is past; past each retiring breath;
Eternity affection seals—stronger it is than Death. [page 21]

 

LOST IN THE SIGHT OF LAND.

Light were the hearts of all that band,
   Amid the billow’s foam,
As side by side they nobly stand,
Bound for their far-off home.

Their leader, distant from a throng
   Of brethren brave and free,
Who wait to hear again the song,
   Of him who rides the sea.

Weary with watching ocean’s sweep,
   His anxious glance had viewed
The breaking of the mighty deep,
Upon the sea-beach rude.

Scarce had he breathed the breath of vales,
   Blooming with flowers bright,
When fiercely blew the rushing gales,
Amid the beacon’s light.

That queenly bark went quickly down,
   Her wheels rushed on no more;
Sad was her death mid tempest frown,
And gleamings of the shore.

One glance upon the sunny land;
   Dim grew the watcher’s eye;
And he who hurrying sought that strand,
Smiled on it but to die.

There gleamed the beacon and the bay,
   There shone the glorious sea,
And banners bright, and clear as day
   The sailor, where was he? [page 22] 

Go ask the waves that hovered dark
   Round his last home-bound sigh;
Go ask the waves that stayed his bark,
And dimmed the seaman’s eye.

For all that host, who oft had striven
   With battles’ fearless band,
Sad was their death; to dark seas given;
Lost in the sight of land.

 


 

THE TAUGHT OF GOD.

                                         I knew a boy, a
Fair and gentle boy. Upon his auburn locks had shone
The glory of six summers. And his young mind was cast
In nature’s fairest mould. Holy visions he was blest
With, and as the luscious fruit encased in early dew,
Such were his dreams of Heaven. But he grew as
The rich citron midst the forest trees: a lonely
Flower in the sandy wastes of deserts. Fervently
He loved his mother, with the fondness of a
Cherished son.‘Twas early noon, in accents
Such as these to her he spake:

“Mother, who arched the sky over us thrown,
And set the sun as a burnished stone?
Who gave the bright rivers their joyous song,
And marshalled their pathway the vines among?
Who made the pale flowers of snowy bloom,
Or the forests’ sons so green in their gloom?
The cedars rise the pale moon to meet,
The violets find a sweet home at their feet. [page 23]

“And Mother, who moulded the human mind,
And gave power to thoughts which we cannot bind;
Who speeds them forth as on eagle wings,
Yet bindeth them down from mysterious things;
Who gave power to the never-dying soul,
To live when the billow has ceased to roll;
And gave us those fountains where bright beams dart,
The undying love of the human heart.

“I have heard of a land that they call a rest,
A multitude there that are named the blest;
They seek not the light of the sun-beam fair,
Nor the golden stars—there is no night there.
Mother, oh say are we travelling there too?
Shall not thy first-born that glory view?
Teach me, O! say where the rest is given,
Show me, dear mother, the way to heaven.”

“My beautiful boy thou are yet too young,
To sing the songs that the Fathers sung.
‘Tis more meet for thee to turn away,
And seek ‘neath yon chestnut tree thy play;
Why thus forgetting each scene of mirth,
Dream of treacherous joys away from earth?
Go then, my boy, while the sun is high,
Wave thy bright locks ‘neath the azure sky.”

          And so that fond one turned away,
             Turned to the festal board,
          He heard the lyre’s softest lay,
             He saw the red wine poured.

          And on him proud ones fondly smiled,
             Bent o’er him stately forms,
          Yet grew that fair and gentle child,
          A lily midst the thorns. [page 24]

          And like a lonely bird of song,
             Who wandereth from the nest,
          He stole away from that gay throng,
          And calmly sought his rest.

The stars were bright upon the lea,
   Green leaves waved in their sight,
Calm shadows fell upon the sea,
   Pale was the moon that night;
But calmer still were those blue eyes,
   Paler that face so fair:
The boy had fled above the skies,
For God to teach him there.

 


 

SABBATH BELLS AT SEA.

If holy throbs across us steal,
   Whose charm we may not tell,
As we listen to that music peal,
   A deep-toned Sabbath bell;
How strong the magic fire doth glow,
   When sacred days we see,
Amid the waves’ unceasing flow,
   And Sabbath bells at sea.

No cloistered fane, no marble steep,
   Their booming tale doth hear,
Of treacherous breakings of the deep,
   Of terror, woe, and fear: [page 25]
No mountain doth retain the sound,
   No river, rock, or lea,
But foaming surf the notes resound
Of Sabbath bells at sea.

They call not forth a cottage band
   From o’er the flowery glade,
Nor fair ones of a blooming land,
   Steal from the myrtle’s shade;
No city poureth forth its throng,
   Like Summer streamlets free,
At the deep billow’s echoing song
Of Sabbath bells at sea.

They call the waves adopted child,
   The ocean’s daring son,
To breath with Heaven; while tempest wild,
   And rushing waves, sweep on:
These learn to feel as on they march,
   While yet they bend the knee,
The baptism of the breakers arch,
‘Mid Sabbath bells at sea.

O! ye who cherish shades of love,
   Bright flow’rets of the heart,
Whose tendrils reach from Heaven above,
   To this our mortal part;
Whene’er before God’s throne ye kneel,
   Forget not those, the free,
Who ever listen to the peal
Of Sabbath bells at sea. [page 26]

 

THE STRANGER’S GRAVE.

The Stranger’s Grave, the Stranger’s Grave,
High o’er it lofty branches wave;
Wild flowers shed their rich perfume,
Summer birds chant their sweetest tune;
The sun’s first rays bright glowing fall,
Upon that lowly grave-yard wall;
And zephyr’s leaving their silent cave,
Play softly over the Stranger’s Grave.

The Stranger’s Grave! We gaze and weep,
Musing on her who alone doth sleep,
Far from her home and her native dell,
Far from all those she loved so well;
And calmly here, ‘neath the green grass sod,
Resteth in hope of her Saviour God.
We bend o’er her tomb and silently crave,
The faith that could gild a Stranger’s Grave.

The Stranger’s Grave! No father dear
May weep at this tomb Affection’s tear;
No mother’s love may her last sleep tend,
Or over her death-couch lowly bend;
No brother may watch her eye-lids close
In death, that firm, that long, repose.
No sister’s hand brings flowers to wave
O’er her who sleeps in a Stranger’s Grave.

The Stranger’s Grave! When the dart of death
Struck, did none mourn at the last drawn breath?
Were there none who wept when they laid her low?
Did no tear of sweet compassion flow?
O! yes, there were those who night and day
For her did watch, and weep, and pray;
And grieved when they found no help could save
The friend they loved from a Stranger’s Grave. [page 27]

The Stranger’s Grave! O’er her we stand,
And lay her far from her household band;
But not without hope she rests in peace,
And death to her was a kind release.
Her body rests through Time’s brief night,
While her spirit bathes in realms of light;
And angel bands do their pinions wave,
Watching around the Stranger’s Grave.

 


 

WATCHERS IN HEAVEN.

What are your forms, and whence your rays,
Glorious watchers in Heaven?
Riding the waves of cerulean skies,
As the outspread wing of the fire-flies
On an azure deep; so brightly ye sail
In the depths of heaven, in the moon-lit pale;
When the red bright banner of eve has hung
The rocks and the founts and the woods among;
When the quiet hours of night are night,
And twilight surrounds earth, ocean, and sky;
Then gleam your sweet orbs your pallid light,
For ye spangle the sky the live-long night—
Watchers in Heaven.

What are your forms, and whence your rays,
Glorious watchers in Heaven?
We hear no sound of your mighty reign;
We list not the rush of your sweeping train;
We see no spark of your engine’s force,
We feel no shock from your passing course; [page 28]
O! speak, are your climes in verdure drest?
Do mortal feet pass o’er your jewel breast?
What sun gilds your land with its radiant beam,
Doth immortal light to your mansions stream.
As seraphic beings sweep softly by,
And one glance of their wing lights your dreary sky—
Watchers in Heaven.

What are your forms and whence your rays,
Glorious watchers in Heaven?
O! say are ye golden lyres a throng,
Whom angels strike to an heavenly song?
Then higher swell the musical tide,
Echo it through the sky far and wide;
Till at least one note of the Heaven-born lay,
Borne by the breeze to earth away,
Shall catch the ear of a mortal being,
While chained to the spot by a spell unseen,
We have heard the sound of seraphic choirs,
And breathed the breath of celestial fires—
Watchers in Heaven.

What are your forms and whence your rays,
Glorious watchers in Heaven?
In a holy throng, ‘bove the cloudlet’s tent,
Ye traverse the throne of the firmament.
Oh! What is earth this one sparkling dot,
By the side of thy band, man numbers not;
‘Tis one plashing wave of the ocean dark,
One only note from the rising lark;
One single plume from an eagle’s wing,
One jewel alone in the crown of a king,
One pearl from Ormus’ treasures deep,
By the side of thy band who in grandeur sweep—
Watchers in Heaven. [page 29]

What are your forms, and whence your rays,
Glorious watchers in Heaven?
Are ye thronged with those who know no sin,
Who are like to the Cherub and Seraphim?
Oh! Then, with them may we one day kneel,
Where no waves of sorrow or peace may steal;
But if from amid your unnumbered force,
This earth alone may hold intercourse
With God and Heaven; if your beaming forms
Gleam only as dew when have passed the storms;
Then know that a Power shall one day roll
Your mystic myrmidons as a scroll,
And the throngers of this world shall stand
Brilliant among your retiring band—
Watchers in Heaven.

 


MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES.

                                       Far north of
Ethiopia’s climate, under the shade of palm
And plantain, an Hebrew mother sat.
Her tears fell fast upon the fallen leaves, like
Pearls and emeralds. She knelt awhile: her
Lips moved slowly. She rose and turned away,
Seeking her home.

                                       There was a room
On which the sun was smiling, but the
Broad fig-leaf half hid the radiance. There
Stood that mother as she gently bent over
Her boy—her own well guarded treasure.
Fondly he smiled upon her as she wept, and 
Spake— [page 30] 

                                       Oh! That sweet smile,
That loving smile, which rends my anguished heart;
Thoughts of remembered kindness where love’s pure rays dart,
So making fuller yet my o’erfull cup,
My cherub boy, how can I give thee up
To you rude Nile?

                                       Oh! My fair child,
When I shall sound again the timbrel’s note,
And its loved tone upon the breeze doth float;
It shall not raise the lay I sang to thee,
But one of sadder, sadder melody,
And accents wild.

                                       My lovely one;
I feel that I am giving thee a grave,
But not the calm rest of Macpelah’s cave;
Not with our Father Abraham’s sleeping daughters,
But to the deep and sparkling waters,
Thou must be gone.

                                       God take thee boy;
Thou canst not long remain beside the brink
Of those devouring waves. I do not, dare not, think
How the rushing stream shall thee beguile,
And o’er thy youthful limbs shall dash the Nile,
My bud of joy.

                                       Yet my own love
A something whispers to me, thou wilt come
Ere long back to thy father’s home;
Yet if we meet not in captivity,
My loving boy, I soon shall meet thee
In worlds above.

                                       Strong was that
Mother’s faith; firm in the God of Israel. Day
Wore away, and ere the sun was blushing in
The waters, God gave her back her boy. [page 31]

                                       And she caressed him till he
Laughed to feel his mother’s kiss, and slept
In peace, till his long rest upon the river was
To him as an annoying dream.

 


 

THE BIRD OF THE SEA.

Sea-bird, whence thy onward flight
In the curling ocean’s might?
Not amid the oak’s green branch,
Not where suns the white sands blanch;
But amid the shoreless sea,
Mariner thy home must be.

When the pealing thunders crash,
When the billows softly splash;
In the light of burning noon,
When the soft and mantled moon,
With her sparkling sons and daughters
Shines, thou’rt with them on the waters.

They for whom thou bar’st thy breast,
Fill a distant grass-built nest,
For no rock is nigh at hand,
Far from verdure, far from land;
Farther than the eye can reach,
Is the beacon and the beach.

Sea-bird, not thy bands alone,
Listen to the wave’s deep tone,
Where the sea-weed decks the foam,
Loved ones from their dwelling roam;
In thy trackings of the sea,
All our brethren are with thee. [page 32]

They who strung the gentle lyre,
Tune their souls to tempests dire;
They to whom love’s smiles were given,
Far from home’s soft light are driven,
And their well-nerved hands they train,
To the cable and the chain.

Thou hast seen the sailor die,
And hast viewed his glazing eye;
Thou hast caught his hast’ning breath,
Flitting in the air of death;
‘Mid the tempest and the blast,
Thou wast with him to the last.

Ocean bird, when skies are dark,
And the floods sweep o’er the bark,
And the skill of gathered bands,
With the strength of mighty hands;
And the hopes we’ve loved all fail,
As the crimson cheek grows pale;
Then, bold wanderer of the sea,
May we learn to trust as thee.

When we travel all alone,
In the dreary forests lone,
Or amid the mountain’s steep,
Where the tempests onward creep;
Then we’ll learn where strength is given—
Watch and firmly trust in Heaven.

 


[page 33]

SWIFT DAYS.

How do you pass away?
   Like moisture on the dewy grass at morn,
Gone when the sun’s bright ray,
Smiles on the ruby rose and every thorn.

‘Tis thus they pass along
   In pleasant meetings with the friends we love,
In full melodious song,
   In summer walks amid the favorite grove.

In childhood’s happy hours,
   When gentle blossoms smile in golden bloom;
And many woodland flowers.
   Speak not of manhood’s sorrows or the tomb.

In times when parting comes,
   And friend from loving friend at last must sever,
And go to other homes,
   How fast the days flow ere they part for ever.

When messages must steal
   Upon the captive that his time is o’er,
And prison bells do peal,
   How few the hours which were long before.

Thus our days pass away,
   Like moisture on the dewy grass at morn,
Gone when the sun’s bright ray
Smiles on the glorious rose and every thorn.

But long the hours grow,
   When we are waiting for the accustomed guest,
And silent tear-drops flow,
When he returns not to his place of rest. [page 34]

When the wrecked seaman stand,
   And longing wait to see the tapering mast,
And mourn for distant land,
   And wait for morning and the tempest past.

When we wait for a sign
   Of love and friendship from our brother bands;
Stranger this length is thine,
The length of weary days in foreign lands.

Still if we number years,
   And all are with us that we fondly crave,
At best they are but tears,
   We must lie down as all our fathers have.

Thus our days pass away,
   Like moisture on the dewy grass at morn;
Gone when the sun’s bright ray,
Smiles on the glorious rose and every thorn.

 


THE FREEMASON’S BURIAL.

WRITTEN ON THE DEATH OF BROTHER G. F. BULL.

What means this manly train?
   What means that banner furl’d?
Death gave his steed the rein,
   And a fierce arrow hurl’d.
Hark! For the touching word
   Sounds o’er the open tomb;
Hush, for the thrilling tones are heard,
Sweetly amid the gloom. [page 35]

     Masons! We have laid him now,
     In the grave alone and low;
     Brother Masons, shall we weep
     O’er his calm unbroken sleep?
     Faithful brethren, shall we mourn
     Him whose dust to earth we’ve borne?
“His dust to earth,”—as those sounds went past,
Love’s gentle tear-drops fell free and fast.

     Masons! He hath often stood,
     One amid our brotherhood;
     He, Masonic rites hath tried,
     And a Mason he hath died;
     Far away are regions fair,
     Surely our lost one’s there.
“Our lost one’s there,”—and the brothers blest
The voice which had called him to take his rest.

     Masons! There are honors high,
     On the form which there doth lie;
     These have passed through ancient times,
     Wearing out proud kings and climes;
     And our changeless hopes are seen,
In the fadeless evergreen.
“Our evergreen”—ere that form was hid,
The branches lay on the coffin lid.

     Brother Masons! Onward build,
     Till the lower courts are filled;
     Till the Master Builder calls
     Each one to the upper walls;
     Till the sun and moon shall fade,
     Till the top stone shall be laid;
     Till our holy brethren stand,
In the Eternal’s chosen land.
“The Eternal’s land”—they sighed for the meeting,
All loving brothers, all lasting greeting. [page 36]

     Masons! We are pledged to stand
     Firm in one unbroken band;
     Let us bear each chilling blast,
     Let the scornful look be cast;
     Brethren let us live to love,
     Till we join our throng above.
“Live to love,”—and the loud Amen,
Rose from the lips of those gathering men.

     Masons! Let this warning be,
     Loud and solemn unto ye;
     Brethren let your hopes be sure,
     Of a rest that shall endure.
     Masons! Let your spirits blend,
     While our prayers to heaven ascend;
     Brethren let the clouds now fall,
On the form beloved by all.
“Beloved by all,”—it was sad to view
Those brethren taking their last adieu.

They have left the burial place,
   They have left the solemn scene,
They leave no gaudy trace
   Of where their steps have been;
But in a world above
   That prayer and deed now stand—
O God! Send down thy spirit love,
To bless that Brother band.

[page 37]

THE MOTHER’S PRESENTIMENT.

Methought, as I gazed on thine eye so bright,
My boy thou wert not for our mortal sight;
When I saw how the butterfly passed thee, by,
And thou heeded it not ‘mid the summer sky;
And thy glance was sad on the budding flowers—
I felt thou wert not long for earthly bowers.

When thou cared’st not to sport in the sun-beams track,
Nor summoned Spring’s flitting hours back;
When thou bower’dst thyself in the myrtyle’s shade,
And visions of Heaven were upon thee laid;
As thou spakest of dreams of a world on high,
A dread murmur whispered thou should’st die.

When I saw thy bright glance track the starry sky,
As thou breathed a deep prayer for a rest on high;
And thy pure spirit struggled to break its chain,
As an anchor-bound bark on the heaving main.
I saw thy fair soul from this frail earth was riven:
I knew thou wert nearing thy mansion in Heaven.

When thou told of the angel who beckoned to thee,
Too truly I felt that thou wet not for me;
That the glow of thy face was too bright to last long,
That soon thou must move with an heaven-girded throng:
So I yielded thee up to the arrows of Death,
For Angels rejoiced o’er thy sad parting breath.

 


[page 38]                                                                                 

 

TO SIR ALLAN NAPIER MACNAB, KNIGHT, M.P.P.,

ON HIS RETURN FROM ENGLAND—1846.

O! noble Knight, we welcome thee back,
From the foaming wave and the sea-bird’s track;
Gladly summon the back to the crowded mart,
With a joyous smile and a thankful heart.
We welcome thee home to thy household band,
With thy generous heart and ready hand,
To the verdant mounts and the flowery grove,
To the festal board and the graves you love.

Not with the voices that music calls,
Have we led thee back to thy castle halls;
Nor has the scent of Autumnal flowers,
Led thy steps up to thy chosen bowers;
Nor at thy feet have we laid the gold—
Thine are the hearts of the brave and bold;
The Widow’s thanks and the Orphan’s plea,
The smile of the friendless-one greeteth thee:
These are all dear in thy generous sight—
They lie at thy feet, our gallant Knight.

Thou hast trod the deck of the found’ring bark,
But we prayed for thee when skies grew dark.
Danger hath met thee on many a strand—
We asked thy protection on sea and land.
Thy voice was heard, and thy step hath been
In the stately halls of our fair young Queen.
Thou hast stood for us in the gathering crowd,
In the swelling throng of the high and proud,
Who do not boast in their mansion bright,
Of one heart more true than our gallant Knight.

We know thy voice when the pealing song
Of the martial drum wakes the waiting throng; [page 39]
We have felt the spell of the falling tear,
That fell from thine eye by the loved-one’s bier.
Then from the ocean and swelling foam,
We welcome thee back to thy woodland home.
Though no loved sons for thy coming wait,
No gentle bride by that castle gate;
Yet they may be here in their radiance bright,
And watching thy pathway, our gallant Knight.

May length of years to thy life be given,
And clouds of care from thy path be driven;
And then at last when thy life is fled,
And we lay thee low in a narrow bed,
May Angels guide thee to dwellings bright,
While we think on thee, our noble knight,
As the crimson sun on the clouds of even,
Fades from the sight, but is safe in Heaven.

 


 

A FLOWER FOR A GRAVE.

Many a form was gathered there
   Around an open tomb,
And those, the joyous and the fair,
   Were sad amid the gloom;
Beneath that grave-yard’s solitude,
   Hushed was each anxious breath,
And silent stood the multitude
Around the shrine of death.

Pure fell the sunbeam’s radiance bright
   Upon the sleeper there,
And mournfully its holy light
   Touched the brow, polished rare; [page 40]
For Death’s pale charger onward went,
   He passed our chosen bower,
Over the lily’s form he bent,
   And languid grew the flower.

That throng stole softly, one by one,
   To where Death’s seal was spread;
The eye’s deep language spoke alone
   The love they bore the dead;
And thoughts came hurrying onward still,
   Visions that swept earth past,
Dreams of that land, where no more ill,
   Or wintry storm, is cast.

Those mourners, sadly did they weep,
   For her whom Time had stole;
Brethren and sister’s love grew deep
   In fountains of the soul;
Yet, ‘mid the grief that flowing streamed
   From each fond weeping eye,
Sweet were the hopes that brightly beamed
Of immortality.

There was a beauteous infant pair,
   And round each fond young heart,
The dreamless sleepers’ faithful love
Had ever borne its part.
Now, mournful stood those children by,
   Gazing half fearful on
The work of sad mortality—
   The boon the grave had won.

We laid the fair crushed casket down,
   Knowing its jewel bright
Was beaming in Immanuel’s crown,
Enrobed in heavenly light. [page 41]
We could not tell what raiment glorious
   Over her form was thrown:
We knew she swelled the song melodious,
Around her Saviour’s throne.

And when our feet shall press no more
   This frail earth sorrowful;
O! may we meet on that blest shore
Where all is beautiful.
Then shall we see her, not with hearts
   Sad at the tie fresh riven;
But dwell with those we love, nor part
Beneath the bloom of Heaven.

 


 

PRAYER.

Prayer is acceptable to Him, who earth’s foundations laid;
To Him that set the bands of rock where ocean’s waves are stay’d;
Though his own dwelling has no bound, and none can stay his hand,
He loves to hear the voice of Prayer from his own children band.

Whether from they whose sightless eyes see not sweetsummer things,
Or they whose ears may never list the gush of water springs;
From children by the cottage door, lisping their evening plea,
Or they whose dashing wave-washed barks are out upon the sea.

From those ambassadors of Heaven, who, on each holy day,
Lead as a shepherd each his flock toward one God to pray,
With him whose habitation drear is in the forest wild,
With him who throws the idol block back to the heathen child.

The king who bendeth on his knee, and all his wealth doth spurn,
The prodigal, who, wand’ring now, doth to his God return;
All, all the supplicating words that man, frail man, doth raise,
Will each the Eternal’s ear who dwells ‘mid peons of endless praise. [page 42]

 

THE EXILE’S DREAM OF HOME.

I stand upon the surf-beat beach, and hear the boatsman’s oar,
And view thy columns rising swift, proud ocean to the shore;
Upon my forehead thou dost dash thy briny drops, canst thou
Ere whisper love and kindness with thy deep treacherous flow?
Chant on, chant on, thy solemn lay, thy untranslated hymn,
From the time of morning’s rosy dawn, to midnight’s hour dim;
For thou dost wear away the shore, with billows sporting wild,
But oh it is not fretted like earth’s lonely time-worn child.

I see thy gorgeous banner now, thou glorious eventide,
The hue of garments that have been steeped in the battle tide;
Thy golden rays are soft and sweet as on thy balmy ear
Thou bearest off the light of day behind the forest bar.
Earth is arousing now from sleep, waked by the breath O! Spring,
I track thy chariot on the turf, I seethly glancing wing;
This day I heard thy choristers breathe in their glorious prime,
Their melody was rich and full as vesper’s holy chime.

The vesper’s holy chime, what thoughts those thrilling words awake
Of wand’rings taken ‘mid the graves when the light of morn did break?
Then often I would mark the spot where I at last would sleep,
What flow’rs o’er my head would wave, what tree their watch she’d keep.
Scene of my boyhood distant far, where the green myrtle twines,
And blooming with the purple hue of ripened clustering vines;
I scarce may trust my treacherous heart, again to think on thee,
Or drink the spirit of the breeze, that floats across the free.

I may not trust that tide with brings each dark wave higher still,
To grieve my soul with thoughts of home beside the rose-crowned hill,
For then my mournful exiled lot should sadder, lonelier grow,
As memory’s warm streamlets rushed on with a deeper flow;
And bear me visions which I fain would sink in endless night,
And the dungeon of my soul grow dark mid dreams of early light;
Ere yet I learnt that mother’s love could grow like marble cold,
And one amid her infant band no joyous spot might hold. [page 43]

I, though unloved, a mother had, and yet I ever passed
Amid the fountains of her soul-like flowers on the blast;
Yet sweet amid the opening dawn of childhood’s mirthful years,
Bright dreams shone beautiful through scenes of sunshine and of tears,
Ere yet I found that brethren’s hearts might pass upon the trace
Of words spoke foudly ‘neath the seal of passionate embrace,
And stay those hidden founts of love which scarcely yet had streamed,
And quench the light of that pure flame whose ray so brightly beam’d;
But soon I learnt that years of love were not a boon for me,
And back upon my stricken soul fast rushed affection’s sea.

I could not kneel before that shrine so beautiful and fair,
I dared not trust my eyes to rest on the almost heavenly sight,
Of that sweet face which gleamed so soft with crimson waves of light:
So I grew strong to leave our halls, enwrapt in Papal beams,
Yet folding up the inmost soul in robes of dreary dreams.
That chancel and that terraced choeur were not my resting place,
So the lone one turned away from them a stranger land to trace.

It is a sad and biter things for the loved and cherished child,
To leave the light of bowered homes, for ocean’s tempest wild;
And sad to think of household groups of once united bands,
To scatter far and wide away ‘mid other stranger lands.
But my lone heart a sadder tale of heavier woe doth tell,
For when I left my early home, no fond one sighed farewell;
Yet one there was who would have given a tender thought for me,
But she veiled her face ‘neath convent walls, at altars bent the knee.

Bright the blue evening shone that hour with the glorious set of sun,
When the wringed eaglet turned to gaze where his last work was done;
When ‘mid the fair flushed face of even upon the woods I gazed,
And breathed a fond adieu to those, toward whom my eyes were rais’d.
I knew that now no flowers are watched because I loved their bloom,
No forest lonely shade is sought because I’ve paced its gloom;
The echo of that cloistered dome where vesper’s notes do steal,
Swells loud, yet is my voice forgot amid its tuneful peal. [page 44]

But my brow grows fevered with the thoughts of home and distant climes
O, might I lave my anguished soul even in coming times;
In billows of affection’s sea, and view those ancient walls,
In all their imag’d pride and pace again those marble halls!
With those who would have loved had I once bowed to stately fanes,
But my free-born soul preferred to scan Italia’s blooming plains;
So I no more those lime tree shade or myrtle bowers may see,
For home and friends and kindred kind are but a dream to me. 

For soon the hour will when I must sleep my lasting sleep,
And the grave, gloomy grave, alone the record sad shall keep;
Thou alone will mark my tears, thou over-heaving tide,
For mingling with thy wave, my tears shall flow by thy rough side.
My country’s flag may not be made my last burial shroud,
Thou canst fling thy pall o’er me, soft fleecy evening cloud;
Nor bell toll loud enough from ancient church like music wild and free,
The sombre wave shall beat the shore, and that may toll for me.

And vesper breeze bear in thy arms, some flower thou lovest well,
From garden or mount side, from forest, bower, or dell;
That they alone may mark the spot where the lone wanderer rests.
Let them be watered by the spray of ocean’s heaving breast.
I give to ye my grief, my tears, my pain for death is nigh,
And ye must keep them firm and fast, ocean, and wind, and sky;
Should ye travel to my native land, and they ask of ye to tell
The exile’s death, deliver them, oh stranger land, farewell! [page 45]

 

A THOUGHT OF OCEAN.

                                        Ocean, unresting and
Unconquered. Thou dost rear thy head and wave thy
Stormy plume, and myriads tremble. Who everruled
The kingdom? In vain did Canute’s courtiers bid
Their Monarch roll thy waves and fold thy massive
Billows. In vain did Xerxes order his bold followers to laser thee to obedience.

                                        Thou dost peal thy deep-toned organ and
The mariner one moment deems it as his choir—the next
His funeral chant.

                                        And thy dead, Ocean! Thy dead
We give to thee the sailor and the brave; but thou dost
Grant to us no record of their tomb. Earth keeps the
Record of her sleeping sons, the lowly mound, the
Tablet and the churchyard stone, they mark her
Dead. And even on the field of battle we behold
The grass grow deeply darkly, green, and we know it has
Been planted in the blood of mortals. But thou throw’st
Back no tidings of the lost. Where is the catalogue, the 
Weary catalogue of evils thou hast brought upon the
Sons of men? Still thy wave is bright and azure as
When first thy bounds were fixed. And in thy beaming
Tide there is no stain of blood. Thou art not dyed
Crimson with the streams which flow from rock
Torn veins. Nor doth the wealth of all whom thou
Hast captive led add to thy beauty.

                                        Thou dost rear no monumental
Fabric over thy conquered! Monarch and slave
Together sleep, low in thy breast. Thy salt crisp
Weeds are made the pall of king and courtier. [page 46]

                                        But, Ocean, with thy
Dread destruction, thou art beautiful. O! the
Heart will bound with joy and rapturous
Delight, as men bound on over thy bosom, and the
Breeze wafts them far onward. And we delight
To think upon thee as a type of Him whose love
Has ever been unbounded as thy wave. Mysterious
Type of Him whose glory no mortal eye
May see and live. Type dear of Him who sways
Thy tide, and pours sweet consolation to the mourning
Heart, and said: “Thou shalt one day retire and
Give up thy dead!”

 


THE EMIGRANT’S DYING BOY.

He lay in that shelter, lonely and wild,
The mother wept loud for her dying child;
For far from the land of his cradle dreams,
Far from the mountain, the vale, the streams,
Far from the spot where he viewed the fold,
Of the flowers come forth, as the sun-beams roll’d,
And watched the red eve on the brow of night,
Till it melted to gold in the ocean’s sight;
Now distant far from his infant sky,
‘Mid Illinois’ forests he lay down to die.

The wild chaunt of waters was swoll’n and rare,
The wind passed on in its brotherhood there,
While the meek sufferer spake, “I’ve been dreaming long
Of our eastern home and the billow’s song;
Methought while I watched by the waving sea,
An eaglet passed by on its pinion free; [page 47]
He laved his wing where the breaker foamed,
And pleased with the baptism onward he roamed;
But the hunter’s shaft came o’er the waters sped,
And the wounded bird from the billow fled.

And I saw his eye was bright on the sun,
Thus he gathered fresh strength his race to run,
And thus though his plumage was thrown to the sea,
He rose to his home majestic and free;
He spread his broad wing to the sunny sky,
And the eaglet returned to his nest on high.
Like that bold one I go, no longer with ye
Shall I track the path of life’s stormy sea,
For the shaft of death hath wounded thy child,
And I hasted away from the forests wild.

But rejoice like that the young eaglet I go,
Not for the prey of the archer’s bow,
And as that bird looked to the sun as he rose,
So strengthened from heaven I vanquish my foes;
For angels around this wilderness fly,
They wait to convey their brother on high;
‘Tis but the weary one of seeking his rest,
‘Tis but the eagle going up to his nest.
He ceased and turned on his rough couch to sleep,
His kindred turned from him to sorrow and weep.

And morning came with no sound of joy,
The tempest blew still round the emigrant’s boy,
And the mother sighed for a cradling cot,
But her angel first-born needed it not:
For a rushing had been as of Jorden swelling,
And a pure spirit passed to where angels are dwelling;
For the eagle home to his nest had fled,
And the boy lay down with the early dead. [page 48]

 

AN APOSTROPHE OVER THE GRAVE OF BRANT,

SUPPOSED TO BE SPOKEN BY SIR A. N. MACNAB, P. G. MASTER OF THE FRATERNITY OF FREEMASONS.

On to the burial, brethren,
   Follow your Master’s call,
And to the mausoleum,
   Gather ye one and all;
Gird on your emblems, brethren,
   Emblems of truth that will fail us never,
Might that will fail us never,
   And truth that knows no night.

On to the burial, brethren,
   A Mason resteth there,
But not your loudest footsteps,
   The lifeless form shall stir;
On with the brave dead, brethren,
   Calmly the ashes rest;
But the spirit is with us, brethren,
And with the holy blest.
On with the brave dead, brethren,
   Peace! Let no sound be heard,
Pause! Minute gun and sounding bell,
   Let our farewell be heard.

Brother, our Indian Brother, we’re bending o’er thee low,
But thou can’st not hear our murmurs, nor mark our heart’s throb now;
Yet thy spirit may be hov’ring near, for we know our father sends
His messengers as mercy from the glory which transcends;
But we’re thinking now of what thou wert when thy feet with ours trod,
Ere yet thy time worn spirit pass’d to the presence of its God.

And, Brother, what wert thou in strife when the trumpet peal’d from far,
And the Pale Horse for his legions came who fell in fearful war? [page 49]
Some false hearts quailed and turned away to hear a coward’s name,
Too timid to abide the storm or share a warrior’s fame;
But some were true—I fought with thee through many a hostile crowd,
Lo! we’ve met again to-day, brother, but thou art in thy shroud.

And, Brother, what wer’t thou in peace, ah! Let that sounding bell,
That strikes through every brother’s heart its thrilling answer tell;
‘Twas thou who rear’d yon hallowed dome, whose voice in prayerful tone
Reached to the high Eternal One, and circled round the throne.
When human eyes beheld thee not as in earnest accents mild,
Thou wer’t pleading for thy kindred of the unshorn forest wild.

And, Brother, Brother, what wer’t thou in the wondrous history
That wraps thee from the world at large in solemn mystery?
Let us who spanned the arch with thee, who at one altar bent,
Who saw the holy light from far to dark pathway lent;
Let us repeat thy generous deeds, tell of thy truth and love,
Till we greet thee blest and perfect in a better land above.

A change has come upon thy land since we spake together chief,
And tall domes rise and firm walls stand where waved the maple leaf;
And the waters of the bay, Chief, where shot thine own canoe,
Are torn with splashing iron wheels and bear rich treasure through;
But the hearts of they who love thee, oh! Have they likewise changed,
And from Britain’s glorious banner have they become estranged?
Oh! Nom but some have met thee, Brant, though a few yet track life’s sea,
And one must say this requiem o’er thy noble son and thee.

But farewell, Indian brother, we must bid thee one adieu,
I here are yet more woes for us to bear, more sorrows to go through;
But we’ve taught the world to-day, Chief, that the red man of the wild
And the white man of the palace, are alike Heaven’s favored child;
And we’ve taught them that there is a spell which is not broke bydeath,
A meek yet mighty influence that passes not as breath;
The stars may fail, the moon may die, the sun be veiled above,
But still remains as o’er thee now, brother, the chain of love. [page 50]

Back the crowd retires,
   Hushed is the minute gun,
And the dead remain in silence,
   The Father and the Son;
But Canada will chronicle,
   Among her deeds of right,
The acts of justice done this day,
   Beneath the sun’s pure light:
And when her loyal spirits,
   Some traitor’s plea to grant,
Then send her sons to kneel beside
The burial place of Brant.

 


 

ON THE DEPARTURE

OF THE LORD BISHOP OF TORONTO FOR ENGLAND, APRIL, 1850.

     The gathering of a host:
What means this murmur like the distant sea,
Why gazing on the waters dashing free?
Ontario’s coast.

     No trumpet sound is there,
No echoing to the war-steed’s dashing by;
No armies with their lances flashing high,
The foe to dare.

     A throng upon the shore!
Are these thy Tyrian bands of olden time,
Breathing farewell in this far Western clime,
     All met once more?

     Ah! No, but such as these,
The Tyrian spirit from earth has not gled,
That sleeps not with the records of the dead,
In Time’s dark seas. [page 51]

     One with years on his brow,
The aged prelate comes amongst his flock,
For them he goes to dare the wave, the rock,—
     He speaketh now:

“I go, my people, from you all,
   Yet go I not alone,
Your prayers, your blessings, are with me,
   And still we must be one;
One in our Saviour and our God,
   Distance may not us part,
And in the cause I go to plead—
   Are we not one heart.

“I go, my people, there’s a voice
   Bids me this voyage take,
Not for bright honor, not for fame,
‘Tis for the children’s sake;
I’ve seen the wolf essay to snatch
   The young ones of the fold,—
Ere I forget to ‘feed the lambs,’
   May this warm heart grow cold.

“I go my people, deep dark waves
   Must soon between us roll,
But pure and holy beams of faith,
   Shine on your Bishop’s soul:
I know a thousand kindred hearts
   Upon our mother land,
Will aid us to rebuild our walls,
   And shield our infant band.

“I go, my people, it may be
   I’m going to meet my grave;
Beloved ones, my best home’s with those
   Immanuel died to save; [page 52]
Should I be gathered to that throng,
   And blissful regions fair,
Ere I behold your forms again,
   Oh! Meet your bishop there.”

     The sailless ship has raised
Her throbbing pulses for the dark blue lake,
And many a cheer and blessing did she take,
From they who gazed.

     Up rose the silent prayer
From many a lip, that each may turn the feet,
Of the loved young toward Heaven, and then all meet
Their Bishop there.

 


 

THE OMNIPRESENCE OF THE DEITY.

     What atom of this space,
Or spot of this material world, where God is not?
What land where shineth not his glorious face?
What sky or water, or what shore, what air?
No dwelling high or low no distant spot,
     But God is there?

     What time is he not near?
What night that he doth rest in sleeping?
What noon that he is not in sun-beams clear,
In winter hours or in summer fair?
What eve do we behold soft night-dews weeping,
And God not there?

     What climate but he breathes?
In blessings on the things his hand hath made?
Where Southern flowers with all the rich fruit weaves? [page 53]
Or where the mariner the ice-bergs dare?
Lo! every blossom in the forest shade
     Says God is there!

     Are there high mounts that rise
To deck themselves with coronals of clouds,
And raised their unstained lips to meet the skies?
Do they in solitude fill up the vacant air,
Wrap up themselves in the blue dome of shrouds?
     No! God is there.

     Is there the spreading bough,
And soft green turf, and emerald leaves,
Where streams leap up to hear the ring-dove’s vow,
And in their merriment make music fair.
With winds that whisper through the harvest sheaves,
And God not there?

     When day its banner furls,
Come forth our sister planets in their gold,
Peeping from ‘neath the cloudlets fleecy curls;
Come they from unknown space, regions untrod, and rare?
No, not a void waste chasm do they fill,
     For God is there!

     Are there sad scenes of death,
And farewell partings, by the broad sea shore?
Fever and famine’s pestilential breath,
True hearts o’erwhelmed with sorrows care,
Fears that he loved may meet on earth no more,
And God not there?

     Are there dark scenes of crime,
And haunts of wickedness and erring deeds?
The murderer’s rest place?The robber’s time?
For every wild beast hath its secret lair;
Is not He there from whom all good proceeds?
     Is not the just God there? [page 54]

     Are there assembling men,
Who mingle in the temple congregations;
Sweet hymns of praise and anthems swelling then,
While one voice human leads the bands to prayer,
To look on Him, the Saviour of the nations,
And God not there?

     Are there broad seas that swell
Without his mandate who first called their waves?
Are there lone captives in their dreary cell,
And men imprisoned from the sunbeam fair,
With they whose armies fill but soldier’s graves?
     With each one God is there!

     Is there the place of those
Who with their sins unwashed have pass’d away—
Who, banished far from realms where glory flows,
Dwell in the darkness and his wrath they bear;
Whom they despised through life’s fast ebbing day?
     Their God frowns there.

     Is there a pleasant land
Whose city hath foundations in the heavens?
Whence are the joys of all that happy band,
Who the palm branches of their victory bear?
Why are they blest to whom this clime is given?
     Their God smiles there.

THE PATRIARCH’S BLESSING ON THE ALIENS.

‘Twas drawing nigh the dreary hour,
When they should leave their chosen bower,
And changed the home they loved so long,
For western shores and dark wave’s song; [page 55]
Soon would those fingers cease to twine
The rose, the jessamine, and the vine, 
And one friend came to bid adieu,
To those he never more may view.
On him had fallen Time’s pure snow,
Hoar age was on the Patriarch’s brow.

Day wore away with sunset’s flame,
The dreary hour of parting came,
He spoke in accents of deep love,
Of joyful scenes in Heaven above;
“My son, when in thy priestly dress,
Thou break’st the bread of righteousness,
Look up to him whose gracious hand,
Stays not with home or household band.

“May she who all thy woe hath shared,
Long to the household band be spared;
Remember this, forget not God,
Bow meekly at afflictions rod,
And when ye’re on another shore,
Do, loved ones, as ye have before.
May His own presence with ye dwell,
Whom best ye love, one last farewell!”

He turned, and each young form he blessed,
And every little one caressed;
So through the mourning group he passed,
Till one before him was the last:
Upon her head his hand he laid,
And looking up to heaven he said:
“The God which hath redeemed me,
And led me o’er life’s stormy sea,
And saved me midst temptation wild,
The Covenant Angel bless this child.” [page 56]

‘Twasover, and the sailor’s bark
Soon bore them through the waters dark;
And then they marked the stranger’s word,
Long ere a kindred voice was heard;
Yet on their wild and woodland lot,
Came happy days in that rude spot,
And summer hours and soft skies fair,
The Covenant Angel blessed them there.

When came afflictions dreary day,
And dark clouds overspread their way,
And lovely forms were withering fast,
And days of joy and mirth were passed;
They bowed beneath the heavy rod,
They leant upon their maker, God,
They fainted not when waves rose high,
The Covenant Angel still stood by.

And now amid another throng,
Away from woods and wood-dove’s song,
They dwell with those of other lands,
Who wander from their household bands,
And ‘mid each scene of joy or fear
The Covenant Angel still stands near.

The blessings that the Patriarch gave
Followed them o’er the crested wave;
They parted—he and those young girls,
His words float yet among their curls;
And shall it not to those be given,
Who parted thus to meet in Heaven?
To see the God their sins once nailed,
The Covenant Angel’s face unveiled? [page 57]

A MOTHER’S INFLUENCE.

‘Twas noontide! Lo
The sun travelled in might; the flowers,
Sleeping, closed their downy eyelids. The flittering
Foliage of the unshorn forests rose rejoicing
In the brightness. And the sunbeams stooped
To drink the fountain’s treasure, and mark
The violet.

                              There was a home round which
The rose-bud had been taught to climb, and
The delicate fingers of the vine had clasped
The casements. The gentle flowers found a temple
There to worship, and the myrtle breathed
Its offering to its Maker.

                              There was one of gentle
Human mould, who gave her precious gift to
God that hour. A mother knelt to watch her
Sleeping boy; he had returned at noon bringing
Wild flowers. With love he strewed them at 
His mother’s feet, and being weary, laid him
Down to rest. Then prayed that mother that
He whose hand tinted those buds, should guard
Her boy; that as they looked up and gathered
Bloom from Heaven, so her loved one, trusting
On his God, may pass through time, and then
Become a saint in glory.

                              Long years rolled
By. The boy went forth amid the city’s throng;
The cup of what the world calls happiness was
Shown him. He dashed it from his vision,
For his mother’s strength was his. One brought
A wreath of game to crown him; he deemed
It nothing, for his mother’s hand rested upon [page 58]
His brow. Crimson robes and velvet raiment
Were prepared for him; but he threw over them
The snowy mantle of a pilgrim’s garb.

                              Bright halls were lit for him; he saw
Earth’s fairest daughters moving in the dance;
He saw the red wine poured, the banquet spread;
He passed ‘mid fashion’s sweeping throng,
And asked for one, Jesus of Nazareth.

                              And so the boy passed over Time’s
Broad sea, then at last he came to port, not with
Sail riven, not clinging by the crashing masts, or
Bearing scraps of broken wreck, but lo! heglideth
Down Death’s dark river, and with joy unspeakable
Went forth to heaven.

                              O! ye who toil unresting for your
Sons and daughters, who mark each billow in
Their pathway strewn, who pray unceasingly
For those ye love, believe, that God is faithful,
And though ye sow with tears of sorrow, trust
That ye shall come again laden with rich clusters;
And their fruit shall shake like Lebanon.

 


 

ON THE STRANDING OF THE “GREAT BRITAIN.”

The sun went down among the clouds
   That hovered round the bark,
The cold wind whistled through the shrouds,
   As eve came dim and dark;
No moon with her soft tread kept pace,
   With the tall ship that night;
Each silver star had veiled its face,
   And hid its censor bright, [page 59]

And ploughing through the waters’ strife,
   Still through the heaving spray,
That ship like one that fought for life,
   Held on her rushing way;
When through the deck’s vast length there pour’d,
   A wail from many a lip,
The breakers in their might had roared,
Their fury on the ship.

The bark that on that morning bright,
   Left Albion’s cherished shore,
Lay on Rathmullin’s beach at night,
   The chained bird ceased to soar;
At morn the power of music broke,
   Upon the noble deck,
At night each to his comrade spoke,
Of terror, woe, and wreck.

And there her brave commander stood,
   ‘Mid ragings of the sea;
Who watches ‘mid the stormy flood,
   So bold, so calm as he?
Who stood undaunted in the blast
   And lulled each rising fear,
‘Till the storm-spirit’s wrath had passed,
   And Hope’s bright star drew near.

No fisher’s boat ploughed vales and steeps,
   Amid the yawning graves;
The iron empress of the deeps,
   Had struggled with the waves;
Her metal walls bore brave-loved forms,
   And fair, from many a home;
Yet each have learnt the wrath of storms,
The rock, the wave, the foam. [page 60]

O! waves, that dash your spray above
   The bosom of the sea,
The work of skill, the warmth of love,
   Are all alike to ye;
What slumbers ‘neath your seas of fame?
   No captives do ye give:
Your richest treasure we may claim,
When ye have ceased to live.

For there is an arm of power on high,
   The same untiring hand,
That wove the meshes of the sky,
   Curbs in your restless band;
Go, breakers, to your deep blue hold,
   By thund’ring tempest driven;
Ye can but roll when ye are told,
   So do the will of heaven.

 


 

THE CLOUDED STAR.

                                                            Pale evening star,
Peeping forth from thy dark cloud covered
Canopy; like sparkling gem in the deep darkened
Mine. Now thy bright form is hid: now it
Bursteth forth like primrose blossom in the
Early Spring. Thou dost light the weary traveller
Ere yet the queen of night hath risen on	
Her dreary path. Who hath nerved thee to fret the
Broad deep firmament for ages, while those who
Gaze upon thy light, are soon encircled in the night
Of death? Who lit thy lamp on high? He who feeds
The raven’s nest; who giveth garments to the lilies,
Petals to the flowers, down to the butterfly, wisdom
Unto kings, and favour to rebellious man. [page 61]

 

THE DESOLATE FUNERAL.

Storm clouds are telling
   Their dreary complaint,
Come to thy dwelling,
   Come little infant;
No sunshine is thrown,
   Over thy burial,
The pale snow alone,
Lights up thy funeral.
In the sad dreary loneliness,
   Cold winds are scoffing,
Rude gleams the wilderness,
Rude as thy coffin.

No father, no mother,
Followeth thee;
No sister, no brother,
Of mourners but three.
They bear thee, sweet innocent,
   Not to the sleeping:
Thine is a banishment,
   Wintry winds sweeping
Who by thee sleepeth?
   The beasts of the woodlands,
The sons of the rudelands.

Who o’er thee weepeth?
   The drops of the rivulet,
   And ice seals the cabinet;
Yet, when the summer comes
   O’er ye, the sorrowful;
Flowers in joy shall bloom,
   Shining the beautiful; [page 62]
The buds of the grove,
   The leaf of the violet,
The green grass that men love,
Shall be thy soft coverlet.

How shall we speak of thee?
   Kindly and tenderly,
Of winds that were bleak o’er thee,
A bud that grew slenderly.
Ah! For this mournful eve,
   What is the prey?
Nought did the spoiler leave,
Nought but pale clay.
Dishonour thy path cursed,
   Death taught thee farewell,
And when he had done his worst,
Made thee an angel.

Thou hast no pathway dim,
   Dark and bewildering,
Gone up to Him,
   Who hath loved little children;
Nor heeding the shame,
   Sin had wreathed on thy brow,
How blessed the name
   That he giveth thee now.
Music is swelling,
   Haste little infant;
Haste to thy dwelling,
Angel triumphant.

 


THE SABBATH HOUR.

Ye who dwell where Sabbath days
Are deemed as dear as morning rays,
Hasten to the house of prayer,
Join the seared worship there; [page 63]
Come across the hill and dale,
Midst the cool refreshing gale;
Softly press the meadow flower,
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

Soldier, with thy colours wound
O’er thy head, on battle mound,
Ere doth gleam the falchion’s fire,
Bright as stars in forest dire;
Ere the hostile cry is heard,
Ere is given the signal word,
Kneel! Ere sounds the cannon’s power,
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

Ye who dwell where rich fruits grow,
With the sunbeam’s warmest glow,
While with spicy gales you’re fanned,
Bow the knee and lift the hand;
If no sanctuary nigh,
Greet your vainly searching eye,
Kneel amid your myrtle bower,
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

Sailor, while thy noble ship
Dares the curl of ocean’s lip,
While the billows splashing hand
Gives its baptism to thy band,
Though from toiling helm not free,
Traversing the boundless sea,
Yet ere skies and tempests lour,
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

Though your organ be the wave,
As it beats the pearly cave,
And ye hear the billows steep
Calling to the valleys deep, [page 64]
And the bright the clear blue sea,
Echoeth your Litany—
Call from sail and high mast tower,
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

Stranger, distant from the land,
Where doth bow thy household band?
Though your loved ones are not there,
Nor your own sky soft and fair;
If ye cannot view the place,
Nor the well known aisle retrace,
Nor the bright and sunlit flower,—
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

All on whom the morning streams,
Laden with bright Sabbath beams;
Ploughman of the fretted wave,
Captive, conqueror, or slave:
Stranger, all your throng may bow
At the altar, bending low,
Blessings rich shall on ye shower—
Kneel! It is the Sabbath Hour.

 


HAMILTON, THE CITY OF STRANGERS.

How many a land do we call our own,
The countries which over the depths are thrown?
But few many stand on the well known spot
Where fell the first smiles of their childhood’s lot;
We come to throng where of old there stood,
The spreading maple and tangled wood;
We have seen the cliffs of the spreading shore,
Fade ‘mid the rush of the water’s roar;
And voices that rose to sad farewell strains,
Were lost ‘mid the grating of cable chains. [page 65]

Some from our beautiful Albion isles,
From the lofty fanes, from the flower’s smiles;
These—from the glittering of olden spires;
Those—from the light of their household fires;
Some from the midst of the City throng,
Some, are fresh from the wood-dove’s song,
Where the holly bush, and the broad oak grows;
Many are we from the land of the Rose.

And many a son of the Thistle green,
Hath said farewell to each boyishscene;
And dwelleth still with the stranger’s child,
Far from the heather and mountain wild.
And others from Erin’s emerald sod,
The shore of a western clime have trod;
Still their cherish dreams of their place of birth,
Of the shamrock leaf, and the verdant earth.

And some have come o’er the rolling sea,
From the gurgling waves of the Chiamsea;
They have left the forests of lofty pine,
And bid adieu to the rolling Rhine;
And looked their last on the ancient strand,
As it died in the distance—their fatherland.

And a few from the vine-clothed hills of France,
Where the sun is warm in his noontide glance;
A few have come from the mountain’s brow,
Some have sighed for the orange bough;
A few, from the fields of growing rice,
And the luscious fruits of the groves of spice.
Some are called in from the ocean ales,
They have cast their anchor and furled their sails;
And changed the dash of the foaming spray,
For the calm broad waters of Burlington Bay. [page 66]

Thus are we gathered—a stranger band,
From the homes of many a distant land;
O! would that at last, when from every coast,
Man shall come forth like a thronging host.
That we who have dwelt as a foreign throng,
May together hear the seraphim’s song
In a land where the strangers sadness is o’er,
And the dwellers in glory go out no more.

 


THE BURIAL OF AN INFANT.

   Sweet babe, the strife is past,
   And now we lay thee low;
For thou shrank’st away ‘mid the wrath of the blast,
   And the dart of the archer’s bow;
But the war of the spoiler has ceased at last,
   Thou art the wreck of the foe.
O! thou wert too fair for this dark winter sky,
And the smiles of the angelsspake love in thine eye;
And thou watched’st the bright forms of cherubim’s bright,
Till thy rose cheek grew pale amid earthly light.

Thine was a dreary way,
   To the grave’s lonely gloom
But a radiance beamed through the feeble clay,
   And lit up the charnel tomb;
And it marshalled thee on to a land of day,
And climes of fadeless bloom.
Thongs on that shore were waiting to greet thee,
The form of a sister came onward to meet thee;
And they welcomed thee in with a chorusof songs,
And thou mingled with cherub and seraphim throngs. [page 67]

   Time dares to breathe no more
   On that angelic band,
And the frown of the grave is forever o’er,
   In the light of that holy land:
Death may not glance on that happy shore,
And the children of its strand.
So we lay thy once aching and throbbing head,
Far from the light of thy cradle bed—
Yet bright was the dream that gilded thy rest,
And sweet is thy sleep on the Saviour’s breast.

 


THE RE-UNION.

“Our first meeting was in the groves of C——.“

   O! banished ones and free,
Ye’ve gathered all once more,
From the roaring waves of the splashing sea,
To a fair and distant shore.

   Yet met when the moon’s soft light,
   Bent down and kissed the wave,
The stars of the firmament saw ye stand,
The faithful and the brave.

   Ye sang and the tall trees heard,
   And the bending boughs kept time,
And the night-bird’s lay was your symphony,
In your Island’s sunny clime.

   Voices that blent together,
   Beneath that dome so fair,
Have mingled oft ‘neath other skies,
   Where the songs we love sang there. [page 68]

   Ye prayed, and known forms swept then
   O’er the memories of the past,
And thoughts of the gone, the absent ones,
   Came round ye thick and fast.

   Of men of stately mien,
   Of children loved and fair,
O! kindred wanderers from our land,
   Were our names whispered there?

   And ye parted as we have,
   In olden days long sped,
Tears dimmed your eyes, our brethren then,
For the living and the fled.

   Meet as ye have before
   In God’s wide temple fair;
The orange branch of stranger climes,
   Tell not the traveller prayer.

   We, too, have learnt to leave
   The land of our fathers free,
As we think of you will ye think of us,
From the islands of the sea?

 


 

THE TYRIAN’S FAREWELL TO PAUL.

“And they and kneeled down on the shore and prayed.”

They had met, and to the sea
Still they passed, to billows free;
And from Tyria’s ancient halls,
Where the soft vine’s tendril falls,
Woman—with her heaving sigh;
Children—with their tearful eye; [page 69]
Men—with bold, and ardent heart,
Thronged, from that loved one to part.
They had gathered on that shore,
‘Mid the waves’ dark rushing roar,
On the beach, and by the bay,
There that full band knelt to pray.

“Lord of Hosts,” the prayer was said,
And each wanderer bowed his head:
“Lord of Hosts, thy dwellings rare,
Are above your sky so fair;
Yet no water, sky, or land,
Bar thee from this kneeling band.
Be thou with us at this hour,
‘Tis a parting—come with power;
Help the men who plough the main—
Those who wear the galling chain.
Chiefly for our stranger friend,
With him be till time shall end.

“Yonder lies his noble bark,
Help him, Lord, when skies grow dark;
We have heard his voice in prayer,
Saviour, ‘thou wet with us there.’
We have marked its tone in song.
Jesus, ‘thou wert in our throng,’
He hath twined around each heart,
Thou hast beckoned—now we part.
Should the Roman tyrant call
This one to his judgment hall,
Let thy angels take his breath.”

And the supplication ceased;
And the weeping still increased; [page 70]
And the parting gifts were given,
As a pledge to meet in Heaven.
Lo! each loving hand was pressed,
And each little one caressed;
Then the tender cord was broken,
As the parting word was spoken.
Quickly on the heaving deeps,
Lo! the gallant vessel sweeps.
And the filling sail is spread,
For the last farewell is said.

 


THE LITTLE CHILD.

There was a spot on nature’s breast,
Deck’d with rich fruits and summer flowers;
The gentle dove built there her nest,
   Among the blooming rose-hung bowers;
Around the household plenty smiled,
   Love wreathed her fairest diadem,
And Jesus took a little child,
   And set him in the midst of them.

There was a graveyard, tombs were there,
   And forms were waiting in the clay,
Until the break of day-awn fair,
   Until the shadows flee away;
There lay the loved to gloom exiled,
   There lay the shells of many a gem,
And Jesus took the little child,
   And set him in the midst of them.

There is a land which Death ne’er gloomed,
   From thence the king to earth had come, [page 71] 
To see how vines and olives bloomed,
   He found a rose-bud—took it home,
Where trees of live had ever smiled;
   Founts wreath a sparkling diadem,
The Saviour loved the little child,
   And set him in the midst of them.

There hosts of glory ever wait
   ‘Round dwellings undefiled by sin,
And guard each everlasting gate
Which lets the king of glory in;
The singers stayed their music mild,
Which soundeth ne’er a requiem—
They stayed to hear the little child
   Jesus set in the midst of them.

For ever shall that angel band
   Rest in the country paved with love,
The turtle’s voice is in the land,
   In cliffs of rock there dwells the dove;
Harps, crowns, and palm-branches are piled
   For daughters of Jerusalem—
Bless’d each inhabitant, each child,
   Jesus sets in the midst of them.

 


 

THE EMIGRANT BIRD.

Why art thou leaving us,
Beautiful one?
Why like a captive,
Haste to be gone?
Thou hast known no chain;
But thy feathered wing
Hath ever been free
As the breath of Spring. [page 72] 

I am one that is bound for the southern sea,
Over the waters my home must be;
I’ve a lay prepared for another land,
And a song to sing on the golden sand;
I’m away to the rush of Marmora’s founts,
I’ve a home on the steep of Plamina’s mounts;
I go to be saved from the blasting air,
I shall rest secure in the branches there;
When the cold winds of winter are chill and lone,
If you love me well, you’ll be glad I’m gone.

          But knowest thou not
             There are waves and foam,
          Thou wilt have to brave
          Ere thou seest thy home?
          I taught thee to fly,
             In the sunbeam’s track,
          I have loved thee, well,
             Songster, come back.

Lady, I dared not the curling deep,
A love that is stronger than thine doth keep;
A hand that is firmer than thine doth mark
My pathway wide ‘mid the waters dark;
And shall guide me safe where the mountain flowers,
Their incense breathe from the leafy bowers;
I go, to come back when the star-flower waves,
When the grass is green on your household graves;
When the bursting fountains rush to the shore,
In yon lovely grove we’ll meet once more.

If ye have loved ones who sigh like me,
To burst life’s rough chain, to soar, and be free;
If their hearts have been seared by the breakers dread,
And the hopes they’ve cherished are crushed and dead;
Hinder them not, the tempest is high,
Call them not back, they’ve a fairer sky; [page 73]
Like me, they will brave each billowy crest,
Like me, they’ll inherit a lovelier rest;
Like me, they go to escape the blast;
Like me, they’ll come back to your heart at last.

 


THE GATHERED THRONG.

                                                  All shall meet
There. The scattered dust of an innumerable
Multitude shall have been gathered by his breath,
Who gave lift first. Ah! In that solemn day
All nations, and all worlds, must pass
The test. There will stand all those, the just,
The loved of God, and with that holy band shall
Be all people who rejected the blest
Saviour in this lower world.

                              There will be each one whose
Memory has passed away, and by mankind have
Been forgotten. All that unnumbered throng
Who ever have, or ever shall fall dead upon the
Field of battle. The ocean waves shall not be
Able to retain their treasure; for, before that
Just tribunal, there shall be the sailor, though
Once lost at sea, and all the wrecked.

                              There will stand the savage and
The forest child, and those now fettered by
The hand of man, many then wearing crowns
Triumphant. And little seraph infants, too,
Shall join that train. And with the then
Delivered prisoners of the sea, the plain, the
Grove, shall be those once immured in Papal
Dungeons, bound by the hand of those who
Then must recognise each just accuser. [page 74]

                              And secrets, dark, mysterious,
Strange and wonderful, shall then be brought
To light. And things, the threads of which have
Dropped and part kept back, shall be received
And finished. And wonderful discoveries, and
Sudden disappearances, shall then be account ted
For. And all the dead, both small
And great, shall bow ‘fore Him, who only was
Found worthy to take the book and
Loose the seals. And whosoever’s name is
Not enrolled in that blest volume, Death,
Eternal Death, must be their portion.

                              O! Saviour, grant that when
We bow among that multitude, we may
Stand secure, and through thy efficacious
Blood, share peace and joy for ever.

 


 

SONG AT SUNSET.

                              Bright and lovely art
Thou cloudless setting sun. Sweet folds of glory
Hover o’er thy azure couch, and zephyr whispers
Sing thy res. Rapturous and holy thoughts
Steal o’er us, when we view thee in thy golden
Cradle sleeping. It would seem as if some
Angel minister had dipped the fingers
Of his curtaining wing in a fount of pearly
Beauty; and, passing o’er thy form, had
Left the impress of the radiance which
Surrounds thy land where suns and moons
Are sought no longer. [page 75] 

                              That land where all the blest
Ever listen to the melody of that voice whose
Faintest sound exceedeth all the music of
Many and deep waters. And ever view the
Beaming of that heavenly countenance, whose
Single glance enshrouded in thy form, no human
Being may look upon, and gaze again on
Mortal scenes.

                              Oh! If the base of
Earth’s fair canopy is thus so beautified; if
We may not glance upon the bright sun’s
Chariot wheels; if we cannot look on night’s
Star-spangled banner, and count its golden
Threads; if we know not how the pearls
Of glory have weaved themselves among the
Meshes of the firmament; if we cannot
Join that mystic force which looseneth
The canvass of the queen of night, and
Biddeth her sail onward through her
Azure sea. Oh! If the strong man’s reason
Faileth at the task. If our mortal senses
Shudder at the footstool of Jehovah.
How shall we bear the radiance of His
Throne? We will look up to Calvary, and
The crimson streams which flow from there,
Shading softly with the hues of heaven, shall
Aid our vision.

                              And know, cloud-mantled
Orb, when thou art shuddering with the gasping
Of creation, we shall, through the mercy of our
God, gaze on thee, not as now, not with thrills
Of awe, but look upon thee as the sudden
Disappearance of a meteor; and we shall [page 76]
Heed no more the folding of thy eye-lids, or
The crashing of thy vast machinery, than
Now we tremble at the wafting of a feather,
Or falling of a leaflet.

 


CHURCH-YARD ROSES.

     We bring ye, each sweet flower,
     Not from an ancient bower;
Not from the home where soft-haired children play;
   But from a gathered group of quiet ones,
Where the sad mourner bendeth down to pray,
   From the last boon which earth can give her sons,
     And from a dwelling dread,
Among the dead.

     Yet balmy is your breath;
     Ye do not speak of death,
With your soft and crimson cheek still prest;
   Where the bier rested, your sweet leaves are bright;
Ye do not look as if ye made your rest
   With dread corruption, and the gloom of night;
     Sweet and refined the bloom
From off the tomb.

     Roses, the red, and sweet,
     For bridal garlands meet,
Ye warm the soul with your bright hues all glowing,
   Your tender branches we with joy throw o’er us,
Ye meet with streams of love in pure hearts glowing:
   Ye speak of hopes—the bright and glorious.
     Your rich and crimson leaf
Tells not of grief. [page 77]

     Roses, the pale and white,
     Do not ye say this  night,
That though death’s paleness settle on your brow,
   There is a beauty no man’s hand hath made;
And despite the archer’s fatal blow,
   Yet still shall bloom the glory on ye laid?
     Ye are all fresh and glad,
‘Mid dwellings sad.

     Are ye not all tongues
     Telling of lonely ones?
Would that all those your fresh boughs cover
Were resting in the glorious hope to come;
That when the world shall its last end discover,
   Their dust shall join the soul in Heaven, its home,—
     Ye would be dearer then,
     Ye loved of men.

     But surely there are those
     ‘Neath many a rose,
Whose skin the worm destroyeth in its rage;
   Yet faith with hope the promise giveth,
That now the warfare they have ceased to wage,
   Knowing that their Redeemer liveth;
     Fairer than ye they bloom
Beyond the tomb.

 


 

THE MARTYR IN PRISON.

When the vine-dresser gathers his clusters sweet,
And the sunbeam shall drop in the fount at his feet;
When the reaper shall bind up the russet grain,
And the dark doth return from the dancing main;
While the stars of Autumn are bright on the sea,
The lot of the captive’s the lot for me. [page 78]

When the snow shall descend in its fleecy white,
And the frost king breathes on the breeze of night;
When the sound of loves voices sweep merrily past,
As the traveller heedeth not tempest or blast;
And earth’s children are gathering round hear this warm and free,
The cold cell of a prison is still for me.

When the bounding Spring in its joy is nigh,
And spotless the robe of the summer sky;
And the soft and delicate flowers shall bloom,
As of old they were wont round my mother’s home
And the flowing of waters is fast and free,
This dreary spot is the dwelling for me.

Shall it ever be so, must I always lie,
The darling forsaken, and left to die;
M casement the grate of a prison wall,
And the dungeon stone for the first-born’s hall;
The bed of straw for the couch of the free,
Shall this be the last lot prepared for me?

When the friend that men call their fell-foe, Death,
Shall waft from this prison my last drawn breath;
When my pulse shall be calm as the frozen rill,
The pale cheek of the prisoner grow paler still;
While the world rolls on, and heedeth me not,
The lot of the angel shall then be my lot.
I would fain look out where the sea has rolled,
And feel the cool splash of the waters cold;
I should like to lie ‘neath the green tree’s shade,
And gaze on the flowers before they fade;
But the dawn of that day I never may see,
For the captive’s death is the death for me. [page 79] 

But my dwelling is far in another clime,
I shall go to my rest in no distant time;
The sun that beams there is ever bright,
The land has no shade of cheerless night;
Blest is the land where the captives are free,
‘Tis the home of the holy—the home for me.

 


 

NO MORE SEA.

The sails were rent, the ship went down,
   And brave hearts failed that hour;
They lie beneath the tempest’s frown,
   Or in the coral bower;
For heavily bowed down the mast,
   As falls he stately tree:
Rest, ye that to the winds are cast,
   There shall be no more sea.

A mother watched her sleeping child,
   Calm in its cradle dreams,
He woke to hear the tempest wild,
   And list the rushing streams;
Yet that fair babe shall come again,
   A gentle flower free,
A rosebud moistened with bright rain,
   When there is no more sea.

Brethren and sisters, side by side,
   Together viewed the storm,
Till fiercer rose the heaving tide,
   And bore away each form;
Those severed loving ones have flown,
   To glory full and free,
Where dwelling round their Saviour’s throne,
   There shall be no more sea. [page 80]

Ye who beneath the jewelled tombs
   Of coral rocks sleep sweetly,
And long have made your hidden graves
   Where the bright surf curls deeply;
Not always shall we mourn your doom,
   Or sadly think on ye,
The winds that cross a land of bloom,
   Whisper “there’s no more sea.”

Your sepulchres may not be made
   Upon the emerald turf,
Where in your early hours ye played,
   But in the rolling surf;
Yet may not lie on hill or lawn,
   Or on the sunlit lea,
Bu, lo! a glorious morn shall dawn,
   There shall be no more sea.

When mountains vast shall quake with dread,
   And far the hills be sent,
And the proud billow bow its head,
   And the blue wave be rent;
Ye that unmoved can bear these hours,
   How bright ye then shall be,
Where in a fairer land than ours,
   There shall be no more sea. [page 81]

 


 

“THY WILL BE DONE.”

Our Father who in heaven art encircled by the light
Of thine own glory beautiful, so gorgeously bright;
The angel and archangel hosts continually do cry,
Glory to thee our mighty God, who reigneth gloriously!
By these whose voices swelled in song when earth her toil begun,
Winged worshippers who keep thy gates, by these thy will be done. [page 81]

By golden lamps that hang on high, a girdle for the moon,
By scorching rays of summer suns that clearly beam at noon,
By gentle hours, when the light earth’s busy children waken,
By thund’ring tempest hurrying past when the tall cliffs are shaken;
In frost or snow by things which move beneath the glittering sun,
By gushing waters, verdant lands, by all, “Thy will be done.”

By spots of this cloud-covered earth, where’er man’s voice is heard,
By dear affection’s gentle power, by many a soothing word;
Whether by loved ones going forth to their dark coffin home,
Whether by cherished beings met across the ocean’s foam;
Whether by nations coming forth to see the red field won,
By captives in captivity; by all, “Thy will be done.”

By scorching fever’s sickening blast, or pestilential breath,
By joyful meetings round the hearth, or sad and woeful death;
By unrequited loves and thoughts, words that true heart’s heave broken,
By joyful words to mourning hearts, softly and kindly spoken;
By lonely watchings of the wave, when night-veiled is the sun,
By mountain dwellers, forest bands, by all, “Thy will be done.”

Our Father who in heaven art, encircled by the light
Of thine own glory beautiful, so gorgeously bright;
Help us with them in worlds of bliss continually to cry,
“Glory to thee our mighty God, who reigneth gloriously.”
Wherever be our pathway marked, help us our race to run,
In full reliance on thy word, saying, “Thy will be done.”

THE LONELY ONE’S REMEMBRANCES.

And this must be my country—this my home,
   For the sons of this fair island freedom love;
O! my own birth-place o’er the ocean foam,
   How distant now from thee do I remove? [page 82]
How deep the struggle which rent us apart?
It broke each tender tie that bound my heart;
To home and country heaven’s own message came
   That home should not be mine, yet I looked not
Upon the message bearer, for there was a name
   Of honor that I loved too well to yield my lot.

   Then, O! there came a darker messenger,
      And on his forehead there was written Death,
  He grasped my only boy, my one so fair,
      And heavily the child drew his last breath;
   His brow grew cold as ice upon the mountain,
   For the golden pitcher perished at the fountain.
   Again the fearful messenger drew nigh,
   Till all I loved were in their graves; then I
Turned for awhile to weep among my blooming flowers,
For stranger still I clung to my untrodden bowers.

   I knew I had given principles for fame,
      I knew that wrongly I had bent the knee
   Before that altar fair; though of gentle frame,
      One bid me look alone on Calvary;
   Now she was gone, ‘twas just and I would go,
   To distant lands where other streamlets flow;
Me thought the perhaps my bleeding heart at last may stay
In peace, if now I followed where Heaven marked my way.

Yet these were but phantoms, I could not go
   And leave that castle, turret, tower, and hall,
I would not leave the chestnut’s spreading shade,
   And list no more the fountain’s cheerful fall,
And rose-charged breathings of the citron glade,
   I said I would not leave it—but lo!
While yet I spake, a fearful earthquake came,
   I saw the olive bending low, I viewed
The trembling cedars, ‘mid the sunbeam’s flame,
   And the woods were folded to the sea-branch rude. [page 83] 

I grew passionate amid the whirlwind’s sigh,
It had no words of calmness, loud was its cry;
And deep dark was the struggle of my soul,
As I watched the rivers onward roll;
Then I turned from the scene unto my rest,
Not as I was wont to do—there came
No sound of voices calling on my name,
No glance of gentle faces toward my anguished breast;
So I wrapped my mantle round me, and I passed the arch,
As a prisoner to his dreary cell, sorrowing, would march.

But I went forth again, there was no storm,
   It was the sunset of a summer’s bloom,
I passed and breathed upon the myrtle’s form,
   My tears fell hot upon it; ‘twas a tomb;
Rich for them, for one hand chill in death,
Had rested on that blossom. I passed by
That garden. I felt the lime trees’ breath,
   And saw the river, and the crimson sky.

And I saw the glorious sweep of sunbeams
Circling that river; gliding all its streams
With rays of glory; and I knelt on its bank
Watching the scenery, till my lone heart sank
Far, far, within me; I would have slept to death,
For sorrow’s chain was drawn round me, it left
Such wounds, that it defied the balmy breath
Of lovely nature to restore my peace, and I,
Wearied with life, would have lain down to die.

It was my boyhood’s scene, my home, my all,
   Upon that river I had sailed when young,
And called the climbing vines my banquet hall,
   My light the golden sunshine on the bright leaves hung;
And by those waters I had watched the moon
   Rise in its glory, in its light of gold. [page 84] 
He was with me then, whose bones there lay strewn
   Amid the ruthless Inquisition’s hold;
And often I had watched the smile of night,
With her whose form had glided from my sight.

And long I looked upon the setting sun,
   And felt the breathing of the gentle myrrh;
The warblers rested, for their task was done,
   And sweetly chaunted ‘mid the emerald fir;
So my soul rose with the thin air to heaven,
And to my heart was hope and comfort given;
   For I searched the glorious pages of my hidden guide:
I saw that Holy One, who died to save,
Spake joy to the mourner, freedom to the slave,
   The sweet truth flashed o’er me, Hope I espied.

I grasped the meteor; I bathed in its soft light;
   I had drank these founts before, my cell
Grew lighter, and amid the radiance bright
   Of that strange evening, I could bid farewell
To that loved spot, my hearth, my home, my hall,
   My clustring vines, my blooming cherished flowers,
My loved one’s graves, the rock, the river’s fall,
   Thus rent the chain, that bound me to those bowers;
But dire was the severing; my cheek grew pale,
And well I weened life’s gushing founts would fail.

But I was yet to live, and though bright seas,
   Roll in their splendour ‘twixt that land and me,
Yet still the quiet grandeur of the mighty trees,
   Forest and sunlight, towers, and beaming sea;
These now steal o’er me with such rush of woe,
No eye of mortality may see or know;
And I wait calmly ‘mid Earth’s busy train,
Waiting for Death, dark messenger, to come again;
For oft the unyielding oak would give its breath,
E’en to a zephyr’s care might it but bring its death. [page 85] 

Thou, gracious Providence! I bless thy hand,
Which cast my lot upon this better land;
And soothed my soul, knowing, when time is o’er,
I shall meet those I’ve loved upon a brighter shore:
Weariness shall come no more in happy heaven,
And to its dwelling fair is pure bliss given.

 


 

ON PICKING UP A WRECK AT SEA.

                                                            It was a
Sabbath morn, and we were on the ocean’s breast;
The sea was clam; the sea-weed floated on the
Dark blue billow, which, with gentle rippling, passed
On farther than human eye could penetrate.
The sun was bright, and gleamed sweetly o’er
Our bark; the wind was soft, and not enough
To fill the drooping sails, or agitate the sea.

          We on the deck were stood; when
Some dark object ‘mid the waste of waters
Met our gaze. The boats were lowered.
          It was a portion of some gallant bark,
Once sailing on the mighty sea as we were
Then. We looked upon the stricken msat,
We thought of those who once had travelled
In the ship, of which the shattered wreck
Before us formed a part. Doubtless they slept
Beneath the wave.

          Again we thought were they prepared
To die; how many of that vessel’s crew, with
Holy calmness, met their God, their Judge; their
Saviour and Redeemer; if they loved his name, [page 86]
And did his will? O! who of these when Death
Was near, and vast eternity was nigh, could
Look unmoved upon the blast, and though
Affection’s tear was dropped for friends on
Either distant shore, could calmly say,
“E’en so, O! Father,” and have nought to
Do but wait for death. Again, our
Thoughts turned home.

We thought how we perhaps soon may lie
   In an ocean bed,
With the billow splashing mournfully
   Above each head;
And some rock be made our lowly graves,
Our requiem sang by the roaring waves,
And thus sleep on till the ocean caves
   Give up their dead.

We prayed, if it should be our doom,
   ‘Neath the wave to rest,
Our spirits might soar beyond the tomb
   Of ocean’s breast;
Might join that bright angelic choir,
With golden harp and tuneful lyre,
And to angelic notes aspire,
Among the blest.

 


 

REST.

Slave, away in the darkened mine,
Trampling the earth where gold rays shine;
Decking the form of the Torquinese,
Resting awhile ‘neath the mulberry trees;
Thine eye hath the glance of one oppressed,
Thou hast found the gold, hath it given thee rest? [page 87]

Sovereign, who speaks, and thy will is done,
With thy raiment the hue of the sinking sun;
At thy footstool the proud of earth’s children bow,
But the smile is transient that lights thy brow;
The canker worm feeds at thy troubled breast,
Thou hast worn the crown, hath it given thee rest?

Conqueror bold, of the battle field,
Firm in the strength of thy well-wrought shield;
Thou hast wandered far from thy native land,
And come back, but where is thy household band;
Silent and still thou hast gained the crest,
And a bleeding heart, hath it given thee rest?

Student, alone with the hours untold,
Freely conversing with sages old;
Travelling far amid forest and camp,
Thou art pale by the light of thy midnight lamp;
And thy hand to that throbbing head is press’d,
Thou hast gained the prize, hath it given thee rest?

Ye who oft in this world of strife,
Slake your thirst in the streams of life;
Who with One, to Golgotha’s gloom hath strayed,
With One in Olivet’s mount hath prayed;
Leaning in peace on your Saviour’s breast,
Ye have borne the cross, it has given ye rest.

Ye who have triumphed o’er sin and death,
Unshrinkingly yielded your stricken breath;
Unfainting ye in the land of graves,
Undismayed in the swelling of Jordan waves;
Ye whom we mortals call the blest,
Ye have gained the crown, it hath given ye rest.

Angels, whom trouble can ne’er annoy,
Sons of the morning, and heirs of joy; [page 88]
Hastening away in your heaven-sent duty,
Staying to glance at the King in his beauty;
Yours is the noontide made manifest,
And the smile of God, it hath given ye rest.

 


TO THE BIRDS.

Onward pass on in your boundless flight,
‘Neath the shadowy sky, and the sunbeam bright;
Kissing the cloud as it drops the rain,
Touching the wall of the rainbow’s fane;
With your sails unfurled, and lyres strung,
Ye’re away where stars in their light are hung;
Or for lands that are strange, where flowers spring,
Ye have plumed the down, and spread the wing.

We lay the strength of the forest down,
We wear the robe and the glittering crown;
We tread down kings in our stormy path,
And voices fail at our gathered wrath;
We touch and the humming ceases to pour,
From the serpent’s hiss, to the lion’s tread;
But we may not tread in the paths ye trod,
Though children of men and sons of God.

Ye haste, ye haste, but ye bring notback, 
To our waiting spirits the world we lack;
Ye cannot say what it is to feel,
The snow-capped home of the thunder peal;
Ye do not speak of the worlds above,
Ye tell us not of the things we love;
Of the measureless height of the sunbeam’s roof,
Which ye touch in your travels—terror proof. [page 89]

Ye are strange in your radiance—wonderful,
Ye are soft in your plumage—beautiful;
Ye are bold to bask in the clouds of even,
Ye are free in your flight to the floor of Heaven;
To deck ye, the form of the green trees bend,
And the delicate hues of the violets blend:
While, like golden stars in the roses’ wreath,
Ye are seen where the machinesoweth death.

And ye who thus soar to the moonbeam’s breast,
On this shadowy earth still find a rest;
Like the manna gone when the sun was seen,
Like the dew that over the flowers spring,
Like the billow rolled over Egypt’s King;
Ye leave no track in the misty air,
But your pleasures, your dwelling, your all is there.

 


THE UNCEASING SONGS.

Mother, the songs of the birds are dear
   In the scented bough;
Their tones are full, each lay is clear
   As the summer’s brow;
Yet soon no more the sweet song saileth,
Soon the sound of the harp-string faileth;
Soon is the warbler hushed in the field,
Soon is the note of their music sealed,
   And to Death they bow.

And, mother, the sound of waters are sweet,
   As they onward rush;
They for the spring-time are coronals meet
   In day’s last flush; [page 90]
Yet ere long the winter king husheth each tone,
With the ice-wrought chain of the frozen zone;
They sleep in peace all the dreary day,
And they give us no more the sparkling spray
Of their joyous gush.

Mother, do loved voices always fail,
   And songs grow low?
For man’s voice is still, and the babe is pale,
   And cold its brow;
Will the dance of the streamlet ever cease?
Must the chant of the singer be hushed in peace?
Shall the eye of the infant be always dim?
Can man’s voice sound no more in a joyful hymn?
   Is it always so?

My boy, there’s a land of eternal Spring
   Above the sky;
Where songs are unbroken and angels sing
   But never die;
From that land whose glory in rapture burneth,
No one who hath left us ever returneth;
For our eye would wane at the glory beams,
Our heart would fail at the glowing dreams,
Of that world on high.

Death may gnaw at his galling chain,
   And pace his lair;
Time may foam at the iron rein,
   But he breathes not there;
The sepulchre may yell o’er the earthly sod,
Whence the soul went forth in the prayer of God;
The tomb may seek for his stolen prey,
But he entereth not on those climes of day,
Where all is fair. [page 91]

And that land is made for us, my boy,
   That realm is given,
That from it with glory, song, light, and joy,
   We may ne’er be driven;
For all that defileth, our dread-foe, Sin,
Entereth not those bright walls within;
And the harps of the angels are glorious and bright,
While the songs of the throngers know no night
In the land of Heaven.

 


LOVE.

Oh, what is friendship pure and true, but the first strong links of Love?
And what is Love, but that bright chain which binds us from above?
A beautiful and cloudless sky, with no horizon found;
A sea without a rocky shore, a space without a bound.
Man gives no limit to its power, nor stays it in its roll;
For its billows gush unceasingly in the caverns of the soul.
To the bright regions of the heart, the radiant stream is given,
O’er which bright beams of glory dart, whose fountain is in heaven.

Not only o’er the human heart, is the glowing radiance strewn,
‘Tis thrown round Nature’s ample field, from the river to the moon.
I saw the bright and gorgeous sun in crimson garments dress’d,
As the weary monarch laid asleep on the bosom of the west;
And the summer breeze played tenderly over the quiet grave,
And the glorious sweep of sunbeams then, encircled the blue wave;
I asked of Nature in her joy, who, with such radiant bloom,
Lit up her glowing features, banishing for all gloom?
And the wind that murmur’d through the grove, fanning the stately fir,
With all the tones of melody, that sweetly mingled there,
The voices of the singing birds—the soft tones of the dove—
The rushing stream—the evening breeze—all softly whisper’d “Love.” [page 92] 

The splendor of once glorious Rome, the might of classic Greece,
The power of Chaldea’s plain—are all in death-like peace—
The ringing shouts of victory have long passed far away;
And the laurel wreaths of heroes lie mouldering with the clay;
And gazing on the ruined walls, we mourn for those who were,
But we smile to see that Love has wove her wild flowers even there.

But Love is purest when it gives its power to the heart,
And in that strange mysterious thing bears an unrivalled part.
‘Tis no light thing to know we claim a mother’s earnest though,
And know a father’s every prayed with our memory is fraught,
And feel that from a sister’s heart our names have never fled;
(Who knows a brother’s love, but they who long have mourned one dead?)
With many another tender tie, that to our hearts is given
To comfort us in earthly woe, with pleasing dreams of heaven.

Love lights the rude torch, whose bright gleam shines in the forest gloom;
Love lights the shining lamps, that burn in many a quiet room,
Where brethren meet but to renew “the covenant of love,”
‘Till the “God of love” shall call them home, to a temple far above.
How can we forget the charge given by our elder Brother?
“A new command I give to you, that ye love one another.”

Love for the dead will stay the smile that beams upon the brow;
Love will peace dreary mountains o’er, and dare dark ocean’s rush;
Danger and doubt each melt away at its all-powerful touch.
Deeper than mortal thought can grasp where ends its mighty flow—
‘Higher than heaven’—‘stronger than death—what of it can we know;
Gentle as breath of balmy eve, ‘twill soothe the troubled breast,
And calm the wildest passions’ powers, and call them to their rest—
Enduring more than mighty rocks that guard the treacherous flood—
More than the patriarchal woods, which ages long have stood. [page 93]
It watched by affliction’s couch, night following dreary night,
And asks not for the rest that comes with the vanishing of light;
And bearing all unnumbered griefs, still beautiful and pure—
‘Tis Love’s prerogative to weep, and still endure, endure.

Love is the brightest, richest gem, with which the world is stored—
It welcomes in the lonely one to the kinsman’s joyous board;
It cheers the widow’s suffering heart, and quell’s the organ’s grief;
For Love is to the sorrowing one, what rain is to the leaf.
To it we owe the blessings pure of social glee and mirth;
‘Tis Love that gives the light of joy to each domestic hearth;
Fresh as the bloom of coming spring, it fades not, grows not old;
‘Tis heaven’s own alcemy that turns the flinty stone to gold.

What brought the world’s Redeemer down from glitt’ring thrones on high,
Why came He as a sojourner, and laid His honors by?
No wreathing flowers of smiling peace came round His head to twine;
None of the people staid by Him—lone “treader of the vine;”
Not slackening Orion’s hands; not gilt with many a star;
But a stranger low and sorrowing, so came he from afar;
One motive only brought Him down from holy worlds above,
And for the battle made him strong—that principle was Love.
Now, in the glorious land of Heaven, the loving Son is there,
And often, as His Father’s throne, breathes forth this pleading prayer—
“Father, I will that those I love, in glory soon may be,
And one in our Unity, as I am One with Thee.”
Then do resounding shouts pour forth, from those celestial wardens,
While heavenly harmony is heard through the eternal gardens.

We shall not always gather here, as we are gather’d now,
All in one bond of amity—one in affection’s vow.
The day of separation comes—the night of death draws nigh—
Hush’d must be every beating pulse, closed every beaming eye; [page 94] 
And solemn though the thought may be; yet who among his train
Shall re-assemble here? O! God, when shall we meet again?
If we greet each other not on earth, yet, in a world above,
May all who are with us this night meet in that land of Love.

We speak of glorious worlds of light, and blissful regions fair,
And bright winged worshippers that now are chanting music there;
But ‘twixt us and that better land, a dreary sea doth gleam—
What shall support us when our feet touch its dark rolling stream?
Fame starts away from those strange shapes, that by those waves have stood,
And Science and her classic sons, shrink from that brotherhood;
“His rod and staff shall comfort us,” who came from worlds above,
“To save us in His pity, and redeem us in His Love.”

“Love never faileth”—are there tongues? Yet shall their language cease,
And every strange discordant sound be changed to notes of peace—
Music shall reach its blissful height, in thrilling joyous strains;
Hope, sure and steadfast, shall rejoice, when a calm rest she gains,
Faith, clear and beautiful, shall then “be lost in perfect sight;”
The moon and stars shall shine no more, “there shall be no more night.”
But Love will still continue bright, aye, brighter than before,
For we shall not know how to love until we reach that shore.
When we have seen the broad earth shake, the high cliff bow his head,
And felt the ocean’s last told pulse, and “seen him give his dead;”
When the deep blue firmament of heaven, shall far away be roll’d,
And the morning stars grow pale and dim, amid their curtain fold—
Where shall we be?—let us live, so that we may meet again,
Beneath the cloudless sky of bliss, where all is Love.—Amen.

 


[page 95]

 

THE FREEMASON’S BURIAL AT SEA.

We buried the sailor brave,
   But his brothers stood not there,
For the roaring ocean wild
Heard the dying mason’s prayer.
No flowers of radiant hue
   Were there for the sleeping form;
No evergreen fresh and bright
Shone there ‘mid the ocean storm.

‘Twas the hour of sunset bright,
   When the words came heavy and dread—
“Ere comes o’er us the darkness of night,
   Every hand to bury the dead;”
And soon with a heaving sigh,
   And love’s fast falling tear,
Every sorrowing messmate drew
To their comrade’s lonely bier.

The waves in their might may dash,
   And the sea roll heavily on;
Or the evening breeze play lightly
   The curling waves upon;
But calmly that one sleeps.
   Peacefully he reposes,
As though his quiet grave
Was made with summer roses.

The lamps in the lodgeroom may gleam,
   And kind be the friendly greeting;
But when will that absent sleeper,
   Be one in that evening meeting?
True hearts may greet each other,
   The pass-word be softly spoken,
But when shall that distant brother
   Awake from a sleep unbroken? [page 96]

O ye, of his brotherhood cheer,
   Ye shall meet that brother again,
But not as ye saw him last,
   Ere he went to the rolling main;
In a land where rest is given,
   In a country far above,
On the glorious shore of Heaven,
That clime of Eternal Love.

 


THE LAST HYMN.

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went forth to the Mount of Olives.”

There was a sound of melody,
   And voices raised a holy song;
They were not of the revelry,
They were not of the world’s gay throng;
No; sadness from their eyelids spring,
Each  countenance was wreathed with gloom:
It was the last song they would sing
Together, in that upper room.

Who sang those notes? The lowly band
   That spread their nets among the waves,
Where are they? In a distant land,
Where Death, the spoiler, no more craves.
Who sang those notes? He was not there,
   Whose eyes had marked the scraps of gold;
He left them to their evening prayer,
   He dared not stay the sinner bold. [page 97]

And He was there, who onward came,
   A root from dry and parching ground,
The Prince of Peace, the One blest name,
   In that sequestered room was found;
He led each sweet seraphic strain,
   He turned each voice to accents mild:
When shall we hear such sounds again?
   O! Calvary’s sufferer—Bethlehem’s child?

Thou who cam’st down with garments white,
   With heaven-wove robes of purest ray,
Who bore thee through dark sorrow’s night,
   When God’s just wrath upon thee lay;
For us on thee sad trials blent,
   Was ever sorrow like to thine,
When thou thy head in anguish bent,
   O! lonelytreader of the vine?

Yet thy own voice was heard again,
   When thou hadst burst the sealed stone,
And rent the hard and massive chain
   Of rock that o’er thee had been thrown;
And thou wilt visit earth’s lone graves,
   Not toiling with the fisher’s net,
Not by soft Kedron’s flowing waves,
   Not weeping on Mount Olivet.

Thy voice will lead thy tribes to sing,
   To Zion shall thy loved return,
They with angelic notes shall ring,
   The songs which angels may not learn;
Thou didst redeem us when we stood,
   In worlds of sin and countries wild,
And cleansed us in thy own pure blood,
   O! Calvary’s sufferer—Bethlehem’s child. [page 98]

ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT.

                    And thou art fled from
Earth, fair child, and thy young spirit dwells in climes
Of bliss unknown, bliss inaccessible to flesh-clad mortality.

     Thou hast dwelt long enough on earth to
Leave a vacancy with those who love thee. The glorious
Architect of Heaven looked forth on thee, and saw
That thou wert ready for the upper Temple. So
Death came and gathered up the rose leaves from
Thy cheek and lip. And suddenly earth seemed
To thee so desolate, that thou sickened at the
Sight and turned away. Thou art gone from us
Now, and thy soul uis fled back to the God who
Gave it. Thy voyage soon was ended; brief but
Rough. When thy last sad breath was drawn,
And thy languid eye closed up for ever; then,
Sweet cherub child, thou fled’st to Heaven, and
Swelled the song of those who daily cry
“Allelulia”! for the Lord our God doth reign
Omnipotent.

          Thy infant notes blend sweetly
With those of Cherubim and Seraphim,
And spirits of the just made perfect.

          The fever’s slow and wasting
Fire, shall never blight thy fair angelic form,
Nor sickness take her station at thy couch;
For where thou dwellest sickness cannot enter,
Pain and death are feared no longer.

 


[page 99]

 

“THERE IS A PATH WHICH NO FOWL KNOWETH, AND THE VULTURES EYE HATH NOT SEEN.”

Beneath the soundings of the sea,
   Are caverns sparkling bright,
And sea-weed branches gracefully,
   Soften the crystal light;
Where treasures in the deep are hid,
   And ocean floweth,
Are paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

Far distant from the haunts of men,
   Where sunbeams never rolled,
Unmarked in quiet cells they lie,
   The diamond and the gold;
The ruby gem in radiant bright,
   Like bright eyes gloweth,
O’er paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

Are there not tracks of science rare
   In their meanderings strange,
As field on field of mysteries,
   Greet those who o’er them range?
Enlightened minds of human mould,
   Rich knowledge soweth,
O’er paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

We joy that there are gentle ones,
   With whom Love’s voice is heard,
Who cherish human sympathy,
   And give the kindly word; [page 100]
These find, as life’s drear path they trace,
   That pure joy floweth
O’er paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

Are there not hours when we who love
   The bright and Morning Star,
Hear, as it were, his gentle voice
   Calling us from afar?
The world and its rough strife grows dim,
   Peace gently floweth,
O’er paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

There is a country, who shall tell
   The radiance of that clime;
A temple whose fair form remains
   Undimmed by woes of time?
The good are there, the beautiful,
   The cherub goeth
O’er paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

There, love in one, undying flame,
   Onward and onward flieth;
There blight and grief shall never mar
   The bloom which never dieth,
The holy calm of trust well placed,
   For ever floweth,
O’er paths the vulture hath not seen,
   And no fowl knoweth.

 


[page 101]

 

THE MOTHER’S REQUEST.

                    There they had met,	
That group of mothers. They had set their
Faces toward Zion, and ‘mid the balmy
Ether, wrestled with the Angel of the Covenant.

                    Long time they sought Heaven’s richest
Blessings; they, those gentle ones, drew near God’s 
Throne, pleading His promises.

                    Then yet more earnestly they
Sought protection rich, and full, for him
Whose roaming footstep trod the billow;
For that loved one was an alien from his Country and from his God.

                    There was his mother. Oft
When darkness hovered over her boy’s cradle,
She had knelt beside him then to pray; but
Now the watcher bowed her head, beseeching
That the bitter cup might, yet undrained,
Pass onward. Sad was her loneliness. She
Thought of him who, in past days, had
Been her son’s companion. Now his gentle
Bride was numbered with their holy
Throng, as they with one accord, and
Hallowed feelings, brought the wanderer
On the unlingering arms of faith
Before the mercy seat.

                    There
Was an hallowed dome, and many
A heart rose up to Heaven that hour. [page 102]

                    There knelt that band of mothers,
And with them many another one who
Bore the name of Jesus. They met
Around the sacramental table; they
Took the bread and wine ‘mid thoughts 
Of blest Gethsamene.

                    And there was one with
Them; the hoodless wanderer had been gathered
To that fold. He had found shelter in the 
Rock of Ages; and set his face toward Zion.
For there had been a whirlwind—but the
Mariner let us pass unheeded. There had
Been a tempest—but his dauntless heart shrank
Not before it—he smiled upon its horrors,
And scorned its glaring. But there
Came a still small voice which whispered,
“Lovest thou still my son?”—and lo! the
Sailor bowed before that glorious speaker

                    And now, while those bright
Eyes were humbly bent ‘fore that communion,
Did not the thankful breathings of those
Kneeling mothers then return to Heaven,
Bearing one golden shead in blest and
Hallowed triumph? And did not then
The angelic host look down, and louder
Swell their anthem to the untold love
Of Him who died to save the ruined?

 


[page 103]

 

THE JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED.

“These shall go away into everlasting punishment.”

Lo! the Archangel’s trumpet hath swept o’er the sea,
   To give up its dead retires the dark wave;
They are called from the mountain, the plain, and the lea,
   The sinner hath passed from his cold earthly grave.

Affrighted the nation; who hung on the tree,
   The Saviour of peace who with anguish did bow;
With a throb new and strange they beheld it is He,
By the print in the hand, by the scar on the brow.

Warm in their hearts the life-blood is flowing,
   The glance of their eyes is dark and bewildering;
On their hearts the word like a fire is glowing,
“His blood rest on us—its weight on our children.”

From the dark holds of Rome—from the dungeons of Spain,
   The inquisitors stand malicious and fierce;
The prisoner, the martyr, hath met once again,
And woke to remembrance the gag and the pierce.

With deep scorn on his brow the murderer is there,
   He crouches behind at the sight of his prey;
The body he mangled hath risen all fair,
As the dawn of the morning or farewell of day.

The reveller kneels—but no mercy yet gleams,
   Dark myrmidons bear him along their dark way;
Where the fruit of the wine-press and soft gushing stream
Are vanished as snow at the summer sun’s ray.

Not last in the train stands the holder of slave,
   The whip and the chain are now torn from his hand;
They bear him, but not where the soft plantain waves,
   He sees not the sky of his sweet myrtle land. [page 104] 

In vain do they call on the mountain and rock
   To fall, and to hide from the face on the throne;
They are answered alone by the earth’s bursting shock,
   Like a bird that is freed—lo! the waters are flown.

The earth that was green, and the sky that was blue,
   Backward the wheels of their chariot have rolled;
The bright flame hath withered each glittering hue,
   And chaos hath swallowed the bright and the bold.

And all the rejectors are then gathered there,
   From the wave of the sea, from the thronged city bright;
Their last, irrevocable, sad doomto bear,
The frown of Jehovah; the darkness of night.

 


THE PRIESTLESS BAND.

The priestless band went up to pray,
   The balmy breeze blew by,
Charged with sweet odours from each spray,
   Under the sunbeam’s eye;
They passed beneath the chestnut tree,
   And through the orange bower,
They saw the beaming of the sea,
The budding of the flower.

They reached the temple’s lofty spire,
   And long and deeply prayed,
They had seen their champion expire,
   And in his glory fade;
He found them offering incensed wine,
   To deep carved idols there;
He left them kneeling at the shrine
Of Calvary, in prayer. [page 105]

An ardent glow was in his eye,
   Mankind he sought to save,
He wasted ‘neath the cloudless sky,
   And he was in the grave;
The little flock were left as sheep,
   Without a shepherd’s voice;
Like sail upon the raging deep,
When the storm-birds rejoice.

And now, no shrieking rent the air,
   They grazed upon his sod,
A solemn stillness brooded where
   Man pleaded with his God;
The sweeping wave rolled hoarsely past,
   And beat the jewel stand,
Upon its boon no look they cast,
   To Heaven they lift their hand.

They sought not wealth nor fairer realm,
   Nor kingly robe nor crown;
They did not wish to rule the helm
   Of nations in renown;
They asked alone if Heaven would grant,
   Over the waters sped,
A bark upon their shore should plant,
A teacher like the dead.

O! ye who dwell where gospel light
   Is scattered far and wide,
Give to the kingdoms of the night,
   The gift, the blessed guide;
Grant to those bound by ocean’s foam,
   The blessing to ye given,
Till peace in each heart finds a home,
   And guide its boon to Heaven. [page 106]

 

 

DEATH’S DESTROYER.

“The last enemy to be destroyed is Death.”

                    Death shall be slain: how
Many foes hath man? Beneath the verdant turf
The viper lurks; the forest’s wild beast hath
His lair; the breeze breathes pestilence.

                    Hark! Loud and boisterous is the
Roll of waters! Were ye not listening? ‘Twas the
Sailor’s cry. Save him, oh save him! Deep unto deep
Doth answer, wave to wave calleth: Look
Upwards, from afar there streams a ray of glorious
Hope, the rolling “sea shall give her dead.”

                    Look o’er the earth, take now
The scroll, and chronicle the spot where no
Man sleeps. Touch mountain, den and cave.
Haste from Siberia’s wastes to Ceylon groves,
Mark Abyssinia’s climate and Kamschatska’s
Snows. Is thy parchment filled? Fold, fold it
By. The ice and turf alike are dreary
Sepulchres. Where is the rainbow promise? Earth
Shall be ‘reft a home.

                    Watch! O’er all the world one dread
Foe reigns; trouble and anguish follow in its
Train.A brooding pestilence. All the sons of 
Men are thus polluted. Lo! far away there is a 
Fountain opened! Cleanseth it the Leper? It is for
Deep, dark sin, and foul transgression. He that
Thirsts drinks freely of the hallowed streams. [page 107]

                    And when
The sea is dead, Heaven’s silver cords all loosed,
And the golden bowls all perished; when earth’s
Revolving wheel is broken at the cistern: Is this
The multitude of slain? The last enemy to be
Destroyed is Death.

                    Oh! Death! When thy elder brother,
Time, shall be no more, and thy twin brother,
Sin, be cast away in darkness; then comes thy death;
For Death to die. What shrouded mystery hangs
O’er thy doom, Monster insatiable?E’en from thy
Birth the vision haunted thee, that Eden’s children
Should not dwell with thee, and thou hast ever felt
The strong hand of Omnipotence staying the
Bridle rein of thy pale charger. Thou art to Die

                    And when our Death is dead; then we, in full
Perfection, shall live again. Immortality shall
Drop on mortality; Incorruption then shall rest
On this corruptible.

                    The northern blast sweeps onward
The forest falls before it; Lebanon’s cedars die; the
Eagle drops before the thunder-bolt; but the
Meek violet sleeps in peace, the dove rests
Safely beneath the Rock of Ages!

 


[page 108]

 

BURIAL OF THE UNKNOWN.

The weary traveller turned aside for repose and rest; the fever of a burning climate had wasted his form, and the dying stranger came among us but to die. He met with all the commiseration and sympathy such circumstances demanded, and was buried by the Brethren of that Society of which he proved himself a free and accepted Member.

 

          Sleep, stranger, sleep
          In your burial alone;
Strange are the forms round your lonely bier clinging:
          Sleep, stranger, sleep;
Strange are the voices your requiem singing:
          They over thee weep;
One of an household, who stayeth for thee?
One of a bright band, who prayeth for thee?
Sleep, stranger, sleep.

          Comrades, ye know not
          The form that ye bear;
A brother whom fair girls wait for this hour.
          With heart’s love breaking;
A lover who sees not the gathered flower,
          Nor place of meeting;
A father whose children are watching for him,
From the morning light to the midnight dim,
          Oh! Weep for his lot!

          Last home of the brave,
          We bring ‘neath your pale,
One whom we name not he died with this train,
          And lonely his grave;
But we trust in our Saviour to see him again,
          Where bright angels wave;
For he spake of his home in a realm away,
Of the king in his beauty and mansions of day,
Growing bright for him. [page 109]

          So we give him thee:
          Now, sisters, sing
The lay that the sleeper sang in his sleep;
          Ah! Ye may weep;
For sad was the sound of that home, sent breath,
          And prayer for sleep;
But we’ve closed the bright eye and laid the dark lock,
On the brow which grew cold as the wave-stricken rock;
          Now bend the knee.

          Brothers! We leave him
          In peace and rest;
Calm be his sleep, till the dawn of the morning,
          When we shall meet;
And the lone stranger’s form the bright cloud adorning,
          His kindred shall greet.
Stranger we’ve given thee a place with the band,
Of the hallowed dead who have left our land,
          Sleep! Stranger, sleep!

 


 

COLERAINE.

‘Twas the evening ere the battle of famous Waterloo,
And two warriors side by side looked on the water blue;
The youngest spake, “I summoned you from our comrade’s merry jest,
There’s a heavy weight lies here, brother, a trouble in my breast;
And I’ve much to say to you that must be said to-night,
For God has told me I shall fall to-morrow at the fight;
And I know that you will ever be the soother of each pain,
Are we not both from Erin, and both from dear Coleraine. [page 110]

“Nay, start not, Bryan, look not sad, I am not dying now,
The breezes yet play freely round my warm and flushing brow;
And my soul is strong and vigorous to bear the soldier’s part,
And the streams of life gush easily throughout my beating heart;
And I’m a Christian Brother and not afraid of death,
But there are loving ones who’ll weep over my dying breath;
Though they will not see me fall among yon princely train,
For they are in Ireland, in distant, fair, Coleraine.

“I’ve a gentle wife, dear Bryan, you may remember her,
When we three in happy childhood so oft together were;
When you return in honour convey this to her hand,
Say they are letters come from one in a far and happy land;
There’s a lock of hair, a portrait, they are tokens sad and true,
And she will weep o’er those with tear-drops not a few;
But tell her also how I died, tell her that every vein
Thrilled to the last for Ellen, young Ellen, of Coleraine.

“I’ve and infant, Bryan, not a boy, I should not fear for him,
For his would be bright honour’s path till wearying life grew dim,
And the world would call him brave in his daring bold career;
‘Tis for a gentle daughter, dear brother, that I fear;
With her mother’s winning loveliness, her father’s spirit free,
O! God in mercy guide her bark safe o’er life’s rolling sea.
O! Bryan she may deeply love one of the warrior train,
And be left as I have left one, one in far-off Coleraine.

Oh! Bryan, we are brethren by a strong and mystic tie,
Say will you keep and nourish these till you lie down to die?
You have often sighed o’er faithless ones, you know the heart will take,
A blemish from the blight of Love, and bear it till it break;
But now you’ll have another charge, a young and joyous thing,
Oh! Friend, dear friend, no scalding tear, thus from your eye should spring,
You may see me never more, for among the crowded slain,
You’ll scarce remember Dermot, poor Dermot, of Coleraine.” [page 111]

He had finished.—In the morning the sounding trumpet pealed,
And these true ones fought like brave men on battle’s glory field;
And many hours rolled swiftly by ere pressing foes gave way
Before Britannia’s banners and her troops of mighty sway;
But it ended at the last, and the noble young and brave,
The coward and the loving, lay in one fearful grave;
And Bryan with one bleeding wound traversed the cover’d plain
To search for gallant Dermot, brave Dermot, of Coleraine.

He searched among the living till hope’s bright star had fled,
And a tear was on his cheek when he turned among the dead;
But his sad task was not fruitless, he found his friend at length,
The young and stately warrior struck down in manly strength;
And Bryan wept o’er him, who lay a corpse upon the earth,
Far from his gentle kindred and the clime that gave him birth;
He started—not in loneliness lay the soldier on the plain,
For Ellen was with Dermot, fair Ellen, of Coleraine.

Ah! She had journeyed wearily to gain the scene of strife,
And she reached it to behold the soldier’s ebbing life;
And the arrows of Death met her as she knelt upon the sod,
And Bryan looked upon them, as they slept together there,
Life’s streams gushed all around them, the gallant and the fair;
And the watcher moved the mantle and saw life among the slain,
‘Twas Dermot’s infant daughter, good Dermot, of Coleraine.

They were buried with the honors which crown a soldier’s tomb,
And tear-drops not a few fell for their early doom;
And many an aged warrior sighed and turned away his face,
As Bryan bore the daughter to her parent’s resting place;
And days rolled by, a ship of war bore the victorious home,
And a fair girl with a warrior together crossed the foam;
They reached their native land in peace, from the battle and the main,
But two were left in Waterloo, two wanderers from Coleraine. [page 112]

 

“WHATSOEVER YE SHALL BIND ON EARTH, SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN, AND WHATSOEVER YE SHALL LOOSE ON EARTH, SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN.”

They stood together, and a child
   Was standing with them there;
And Jesus passed His gentle hand
   Through the boy’s curling hair;
And waiting were a noble few,—
   In listening attitude,—
To hear their Saviour’s loved command,
And sweet beatitude.

“Go forth—the iron bands of sin
   Shall loosen at your touch,
And where the hardened fierce ones dwell,
   Pure light from Heaven shall gush;
Ye are my minions—haste away;—
Woe shall from earth be driven,
And whatso’er ye loose on earth
Shall still be loosed in Heaven.

“Go forth—bind up the stranger’s wound,
   Forsaken and bereft,
Go heal his sad and sorrowing heart,
   From home and kindred reft;
His blessing shall with you remain
   A new, bright chain, unriven,
And whatso’er ye bind on earth
   On you is bound in Heaven.

“Go forth—and guard these little ones,
   The gentle children take,
And turn them from destruction’s paths,
E’en for their Master’s sake; [page 113]
A fadeless circlet is their love,
   Such is to angels given;
Bind it around your brows on earth,
   And wear it bright in Heaven.

“Go,—weave the threads of Love’s pure cord
   Around each other’s heart;
Forge strong your bands, make firm your vows
   Together—though apart;
And evermore shall you be one—
   I have the promise given,
That whatsoe’er ye bind on earth,
Shall still be bound in Heaven.”

The voice that spake, the throng that heard,
   Are vanished from our sight;
And woe, and grief, and shame, and crime,
Shade man with darkest night.
O! who shall bear the lamp of Truth?
   To us may grace be given,
To loose the bands of sin on earth,
   Then find them loosed in Heaven.

But that sweet voice shall sound again,
  Not as ‘twas heard before,
Oft mingling with the murmuring wave
   On Kedron’s peaceful shore,
O! when He cometh may we hear
   Him say, “Behold, what ye
In charity did unto these
   Ye did it unto me;
Now take your rest;—my faithful pledge
   Hath ever been unriven:
Lo! what ye firmly bound on earth
E’en now is bound in Heaven.” [page 114]

 

MIRIAM.

 

 

She looked on the host, by the Red Sea’s bank,
They were free from the king, ‘neath the wave who sank;
And the sounds of their songs were like tunes from the wave,
Where the dark billow chants o’er the mariner’s grave.

And there stood her brother’s unshrinking, but worn,
Miriam joyed in the words through the full camp borne;
And thoughts returned back, of one dear brother’s smile,
And her lonely watch by the banks of the Nile.

And another was there whose full voice was heard,
As the breezes of even his bright locks stirred;
The sound of that song was enchanting to her,
From the grandson of Hezron, the powerful Hur.

And Miriam then summoned a beautiful train,
To re-echo the sound of the cherished strain;
And the voice of the lyre and timbrel woke,
And the thrilling power of music broke.

There woman passed with her faithful love,
And her pure hopes reaching to heaven above;
They were one with the strong, by that holy hymn,
To suffer with them, till each eye grew dim.

And delicate creatures went softly by,
As the brilliant stars of a summer sky;
And the glowing light lit the waving curls
Of Israel’s beautiful dark-eyed girls.

That bright throng, where are they whose pulses beat,
To the music, the lay, and the dancer’s feet?
On the Yamsuph’s bank, do they still dwell there,
Even Moses and Aaron, fair Miriam, and Hur?

They are gone from the sea, ‘neath the sheltering wing
Of an elder brother, they sweetly sing;
But not on the sands of Arabia’s coast,
They dwell in His presence, “the Lord of Hosts.” [page 115]

THE GRIEF OF THE LAST ONE.

They bid me, ‘midst their flowers roam,
   When the light of summer shines;
They did not know my childhood home,
Embowered with the vines.

They speak the pleasures of the free,
   The billow high and proud;
They do not deem the lone blue sea,
Is made a sister’s shroud.

They name the honours of the train,
   Whose crimson banners wave,
They think not that the blood-stained plain,
   Is my own fond brother’s grave.

They talk of balmy myrtle flowers,
   Tears to my eyelids flow,
For far away in Southern bowers,
   A fond one is laid low.

They weep for the sad captive lone,
   Thoughts of my friends draw nigh;
They do not know the dungeon stone
   Saw that caged eagle die.

Sweet cherubs at the fall of night,
   Kneel at their mother’s knee;
I cannot bear the pleasing sight—
   Mother! I think on thee!

They speak of broken bands; they mourn
   For those whose house has fled;
They think not I am all alone,
My household with the dead.

They breathe the name of a better clime,
   Balm to my heart is given;
I know, though scorched by the breath of Time,
   We shall meet again in Heaven. [page 116]

 

ON THE BURIAL OF A MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF ODD-FELLOWS.

There gathered a throng of the bold, the brave,
They stood round a Brother’s open grave;
Such were the words their leader said,
As they sadly bent o’er the sleeping dead:
   “Brother! Round thy home, thy hearth,
   Desolation spreads its dearth;
   When the evening birds rejoice,
   They thou lov’st will miss thy voice;
   Wife, and sisters, bright-eyed sons,
   They, the lone, and weeping ones;
   They, the loving, and the fair,
   Brother, they will miss thee there!

   Brother! When yon manly throng
   Raise the hymn and swell the song;
   When they strike each full-toned string,
   To the lay they’re wont to sing;
   Will they miss one swelling tone?
   Will they think of one that’s gone?
   In the hallowed house of prayer,
   Brother, they will miss thee there.

   Brother! We have laid this night
   Thee beneath the mountain’s height;
   We have stood beside thy grave,
   We have wept, who could not save;
   Shall the world mark us with scorn?
   Brother, it is thee we have borne;
   Shall the stranger mock the tear,
   Brother, we have touched thy bier? [page 117]

   By the vows that passed the night
   Of thy new inaugural rite;
   By our own, our hallowed sign,
   By the love that still is thine;
   By the heart and by the hand,
   Of our own beloved band;
   By the tears which bright eyes shower,
   Brother, we are here this hour.

   Shall we wait thy coming feet,
   When our noble Lodge shall meet?
   Shall we stay to hear them fall,
   Shall we wait our Brother’s call?
   No! for thou art far away,
   From the world, and with the clay;
   Sad on thee the mould to cast,
   Thy first meeting was thy last.

   And may we who still remain,
   Stand prepared for Death’s last pain;
   When the sun and moon are fled,
   And the graves shall yield their dead;
   When the mystic spell is broken,
   Of the secret softly spoken;
   When the chariots fill the air,
   Brother, may we meet thee there;
   When the earth’s firm walls are riven,
   Brother, may we meet in Heaven.”

And the voice was hushed on the zephyr’s breath,
That band stole away from the vault of Death;
For the clods fell heavily on his breast,
And they left their Brother to take his rest. [page 118]

 

“EVEN SO, OH! FATHER.”

Why was it that the storm grew wild,
   Where the fierce billows race,
Till that lone widow’s only child
   Was cast upon the wave?
Why was it that no beacon beamed
On that dark night?
“E’en so, O Father! For it seemed
   Good in Thy sight.”

Why is it there are those who sigh
   For the calm rest of home,
Yet wandering from their childhood sky,
   In stranger climes still roam?
And they on whom the light hath streamed
   Deem it not bright?
“E’en so, O Father! It hath seemed
   Good in Thy sight.”

Why is it that to-day we mark
   The sportive infant fair;
Yet ere the evening skies are dark
   The spoiler hath been there?
And hopes that friendship fondly dreamed
   Have lost their might?
“e’en so, O Father! It hath seemed
   Good in Thy sight.”

The exile, in his sickening hour,
   When voices from the streams,
Around his home with magic power,
   Steal through his fevered dreams;
No friendly skill the power hath deemed
Of that strange blight?
“E’en so, O Father! It hath seemed
   Good in Thy sight.” [page 119] 

Why is it there are gentle ones
   Who see not sky, or flowers,
Who cannot view the forest’s sons,
   Or mark the rose leaf bowers?
They know not where the sun hath gleaned
In radiance bright?
“E’en so, O Fahter! It hath seemed
   Good in Thy sight.”

When troubles in their power shall rise,
   And dreary hours come,
May we look up beyond the skies,
   To that bright rest, our home;
And though the tempest darkly gleams,
   Say in Thy might,
“E’en so, O Father! For it seems
   Good in Thy sight.”

 


 

THE SONG OF THE MERMAIDS.

FIRST VOICE.

There’s a bark after on the tossing wave,
She’s of gallant form, and her crew are brave;
One being is there we must summon here,
To the coral caves and the ocean cheer;
Methought the eyes of such sparkling hue,
May contrast well with the waves’ calm blue;
And the silken fold of each shining lock,
Will weave with the sea-weed on this dark rock.

 

SECOND VOICE.

Last night the voice of his melody,
Vied with the surf in its revelry;
As softly the sweet music’s gentle strain,
Like the notes of an angel, swept o’er the main; [page 120] 
As he sang to the bright and gushing foam,
His thoughts turned back to his own sweet home;
To old oak trees and sweet woodland flowers,
Shall he go free, or shall he be ours?

And bolder then grew the sailor’s lay,
He feared not the wrath of the breaker’s spray;
He told the winds in their midnight song,
When the strength of the tempest sweeps along;
And the thunder above its car unlocks,
“His defence is sure a munition of rocks.”
He sang as the moonlit deck he trod,
Of a mother’s love, and a mother’s God;
A being so brave and so bold as he,
Must be one with us, brave son of the sea.

 

THIRD VOICE.

He may not be ours, we do not dare
To gather him here though so brave and fair;
He will not come as we see him now,
With the ruby lip and unclouded brow;
Those hands will be icy when we shall need
Their force to retard the fierce billow’s speed.

 

FOURTH VOICE.

We may not touch till the spoiler’s doom,
Hath passed from Heaven and marred the bloom;
We may not breathe till the spoiler’s dart,
Hath stayed the red veins of the gushing heart;
We shall claim but clay when the soul is riven,
And hath hastened back to its kindred heaven.

So they finished the strain of the sailor’s dirge,
The song died away in the hissing surge;
The breaker rolled in its pomp and pride,
The wave in its play dashed the ship’s smooth side;
But save through the laughing and stormy spray,
The bark to the sea-beach held fast its way. [page 121]

 

LIGHT.

“In the beginning God made Heaven and earth,”
When time now hoar with age first had his birth.
Then first evolved the vital atmosphere,
   And free from blight of sin were skies ethereal.
Then first revolving wheels bore round this sphere,
   And immaterial hands made the material.
Then the creator fixed the hours for night—
His loud command went forth, “Let there be light.”
And what is light, and how near doth it come
To purest spirit? For its radiance beamed
Ere yet the sun had found its earliest home;
   Ere yet our sister planets’ bright lamps gleamed;
Ere yet the ocean bars were molted;
Ere yet the breaker’s voice had spoken.

O! purest source of light, while feebly we
   Pursue our pleasing path; we ask, oh! When
Shall these poor eyes of ours behold e’en thee?
   In whom is light, that light the life of men?
Earth, like those plants whose course we love to trace,
Has no young rootlets to support its frame;
Yet stays upheld amid the worlds of space,
   By His wise hand who calls the stars by name,
And gave this sphere undeviating laws,
That we may worship Him, the one great cause;
And shall we know the texture of those bands
   With which he bound the garments of the clouds?
And shall we learn the laws of other lands,
   Whose radiance beams when night our sun-light shrouds,
And not bow down to worship and adore
The God who is to be when time shall be no more?

And what is matter, what strange compounds make
Our aerial sphere? Mountain and rock and deep, [page 122] 
Jewels and clay, bright sand, where billows break,
   Firmland and ocean wave, where dark storms sweep;
All that in one grand hour shall pass away,
Like clouds upon the bosom of the day.

And what are we? To turn to crumbling dust,
   The grave and dark corruption doth refine,
And these material forms shall rest in trust,
   Till at God’s call each its own soul shall join.

 


THE KING’S LAMENT FOR HIS INFANT.

                    King David was laid down
Uncomforted and sorrowing. Sad visions came to him
Through his seven days of watching. Morn followed
Night, night followed morn, as ever. The
Turrets of the royal palaces shone with much 
Splendour at the set of sun. Jerusalem, bright
City, stood with all its loveliness unshrouded.
Why was the Monarch sad? The Lord had
Struck the darling of his heart with sickness, and
The father mourned his suffering son:—

          “O! beautiful baby;
I had planned that when I returned from fight,
   For Israel’s hosts thy tiny feet should come
And welcome back thy father to his turrets bright,
   And eyes and smiles yet dearer in that home;
‘Tis hard to see thee go,
          Down to the grave so low—
In gloom to lay thee. [page 123]

          O! beautiful infant;
Methought how I would train thy gentle voice
   To each sweet sound of music, and the power
Of thrilling anthems, when our tribes rejoice
Before God’s holy throne at holy hour.
          Ah! Thou wilt learn to swell
          Notes where the angels dwell;
Thyself triumphant.	

          O! beautiful flower;
Fair as the rose that in yon fountain dips,
   Why wert thou more to me than others were,
When I would press thy soft cheek to my lips,
   And see the brightness of thy silken hair?
          Why did thy beaming eyes,
          Soft as the summer skies,
          Charm with such power?

          O! beautiful being;
Thou wilt not learn to err, and take
   The one pet lamb into thy gathered fold,
Nor make such payments as I have learnt to make,
      Not with the treasured heaps of shininggold.
          But give another’s life
Tol battle’s bloody strife,
And God—all-seeing.

          O! beautiful creature;
Thou never now wilt feel the pangs I feel,
   Deep pangs of burning thought—I see them all—
My troops of valiant men, now while I kneel
      The Hittie’s dying form, ‘neath Thebe’s wall,
          Comes up before my sight,
          Fresh from the dreadful fight,
Death on each feature. [page 124]

          “O! beautiful baby;
I have stood undaunted in the valley
   When the great champion to the war has come;
I’ve called my troops round their own chief to rally,
   I’ve fought and then returned a conqueror home:
          My founts of sorrow slept
          When I, a shepherd, wept,
          For griefs that may be.

          “O! beautiful child;
Thou art the second idol of my soul;
   How wilt thy gentle mother for thee weep?
From her entrancing eyes grief’s floods must roll,
   When thou art taking thy unbroken sleep;
          Yet I for thee have prayed,
          That thou mayst not yet fade,
          Like spring’s bud mild.

          “O! beautiful creature!
Ah! My elders speak among themselves,
   What, art thou gone my fairest darling boy?
Going to the place where the cold earthworm delves;
   Gone to be blessed in realms of endless joy?
          And glorious babes are there,
          And smiles of glory fair
Lighting each feature.

          “O! beautiful infant;
It is in vain to ask thee here once more;
   Why should I sorrow now, loved one, for thee?
Thy trials and thy woe for ever o’er,
   I’ll meet thee; thou wilt not return to me.
          I’ll meet thee in bright lands,
          With many holy bands,
Myself triumphant.” [page 125]

 

RUTH AND NAOMI.

                    A stately hall of
Bethlehem. Into the chamber where Ruth
And Obed, and Naomi sat, the
Sunbeam entered softly, and on the forehead
Of the sportive child reflected like pure
Silver.Obed was very lovely; his eyes, his 
Beautiful eyes, spoke love and majesty; the
Same fond glance that ever shone through
The glittering orbs of David and King Solomon.

                    His hair, his long fair hair; Oh! That was
Like his mother’s, and the smile, the ready
Smile, that gleamed as sunshine on the
Waves; this told he was the son of Ruth
The Moabitess. And when the light wind
Passed through his ringlets, and the breath
Of Heaven gave to his cheeks a deeper
Crimson, Obed seemed a thing too Heavenly
To reach manhood’s stature.

                    Naomi spoke—
          “My daughter; God hath given
Thee thy reward of fervent faithfulness,
Rememberest thou two years from this same day,
When thou wouldst leave me not in loneliness
   To travel on along my dreary way,
My sad heart riven?

          “My people have been thine—
First Mahlon, strangely beautiful and meek,
   Like a pale floweret; for the light tint of rose,
Ever so feeble on his delicate cheek,
Spake of short sojourn where Time’s tempest blows,
          And earth’s suns shine. [page 126]

          “My people have been thine—
He who became thy brother, my first born,
   The dark and stately Chillon; in his might
Struck down like blooming tree by lightning torn,
   Who went to rest awhile in the grave’s night
Before his time.

          “MY people have been thine—
Behold the son of Salmon, wise and good,
   God hath restored my two sons back in him,
And eased me for the ten sad years I stood
   A stranger in the vale of sorrows dim,
‘Mid Moab’s prime.

          “Thou more than any other,
Fairest and dearest of all earthly treasure,
   And thy young infant, dear indeed to me,
His beaming eyes glowing with purest pleasure,
   Fair as the early blossom of the tree,
          And thou his mother.”

                    She ceased, and the beautiful
Ruth wept on her mother’s bosom, and
Old remembrances awoke of Moab’s
Fruitful country, and the vine that climbed
Round her first dwelling, and the corn that
Waved in her first pastures; these rose up 
In the clear light of memory—but a known
Voice banished the vision—the menial,
In his flowing garments passed the door
With low salutation, ushering in the
Judge of Ephratah.

                    And then his darling son awoke
As from a reverie, and springing to his father’s
Arm, laid his soft dimpled hand upon the glittering
Robes of Boaz, [page 127]

                    Peace brooded like a dove upon the
Family; and as they gazed upon the plains
Of Bethlehem, Hope, Faith, and Love, pure Love,
God’s fairest gift, dwelt with them.

                    Oh! Had they looked upon
The lowly stable and the manger bed, and seen
The glorious infant that was there to be—He
The blessed son of David of the root of Jesse.
Had they seen this, longer they would have
Clasped the gentle Obed; more fervently
Would the wise magistrate of Bethlehem
Have blest, as he did that night, his son,
His wife, his Mother, and his God.

 


 

THE HIGHLANDER AND HIS SON.

‘Twas even. On the low roof
Of the emigrant’s hut, warm came the
Sunbeam, the peach was blushing in its ripened
Gold, where the rich fruits make contrast with
The maple. Up shot the verdant pines, and the
Uncultivated lands smiled in their greenness.

          In these dark forests, where the voice of
Man is seldomrecognized, the cool calm river
Of the mohoning passed, sweeping Ohio’s lovely
Verdure. The branches of the tulip trees bent
Toward the flowing waters, and the wood-
Roses raised their crimson cheeks to the blue
Dome of Heaven. [page 128]

          Softly the light of evening
Fell on the pale faces of the emigrants;
Within the untrimmed hut of logs a lowly
Couch was spread. There lay a boy on whose bright
Cheek had flushed the withering fever. He
Slept uneasily. There was but one with him, his
Father. He had come away from far-off Scotland.

          And now the Highlander bowed
Down, and in his anguish prayed that this
Last cup of sorrow might not be given to
Him in its full measurement. But what
Sweet voice aroused him from his pleading?

   “Father, I’m going home.”
“Ah! Sayst thou so, my son; wouldst thou
Always again to thy green valleys. Hath
The fever, in its blighting course, led thy
Bewildered senses to imagine thou
Should’stsee that home again?”

   “Father, I spake not of Loch Lineheart; I
Thought not of the mountain where I used
To play with sister.”

“What saw’st thou then, my son?”
“Father, I have heard the harpers
Harping with their harps, and her sweet voice
Was there, who taught me first to pray
In our own dwelling. Father, they beckon me,
Shall I not go?

   “My child, that I have lived to see this
Day of anguish; thou, my last of earth, must
Thou go from me? ‘tis more than I can bear.
Hath not God said, that he will ne’er forsake
Who trust in Him, and will He leave me all
Alone?” [page 129]

   “Father, that voice said also, ‘From your
Idols I will cleanse you clean.’ When sister died,
You told us not to weep for her, and if we
Sorrowed not for her, the beautiful, weep not
O’er me, dear father. If our God sees fit, can
Not be bring you soon where moth and rust
Corrupt not, e’en to your own in Heaven? The
Worm is at your heart, my parent; we shall
Not be parted long. Is not to-day the
Sabbath?”

“Even so, my darling. At hours like these, the
Bell of our own kirk doth sound and summon
Up the tribes to worship.”

   “I think of that, dear father, do
We not know those who have sang this day, and
Lifted up their hearts in prayer to our God. Ah!
I shall soon inhabit that fair city, where the
Blessed dwell.”

   “My boy, I’ve wept among
Thy curling locks, to think that thou wilt
Not possess my father’s rank of chieftain. I’ve 
Wept that those proud trophies of our ancestral
Line lie mouldering, or are borne by other
Hands; the prancing steed,, and the loved
Heather, are not for thee, the son of the thistle.”

   “Father, I have a name far worthier than
These. I have a robe of glory waiting for me
In the Heavens.”

   “Beloved, these are the brightest
Hopes I ever had for thee; but now, at this sad
Time of loneliness, ‘tis hard to part. Speak,
Dearest, hath thou no dread of Death’s dark
Valley?” [page 130]

   “Father, dost thou remember those sweet
Words my Mother used to sing in our own
Dwelling? Hear them, dear Father:

          ‘Before me, I the Lord have set,
          Sith it is so that he,
          Doth ever stand at my right hand,
             I shall not moved be;
          He will me show the path of life,
             Of joys there is full store,
          Before his face, at his right hand
             Are pleasures evermore;
          And as for me, God’s own face
             In righteousness shall see,
          And with His likeness when I wake,
             I satisfied shall be.’”

There was a pause; and that lone Scotchman’s
Thoughts had wandered back to his
Forgotten boyhood; had heard again
The last told breathings of his sainted
Wife; had heard the billow splashing
Over his young girl’s head. He spake:

   “Go then, my boy, go, and be satisfied
With thy own Saviour’s likeness; I have no
More to lose, but all to gain.”

          “Father, I’m going now, one
Last farewell; we soon shall meet again.”

                    Midnight drew
Nigh upon the cabin, and the brilliant
Moon poured down upon the unlit walls
Thereof. The stars were twinkling in their
Noiseless watch, but at their glittering,
The Highlander rose not from the [page 131]
Death couch of his fair darling. Morn
Came. And at its rosy beckon, up
Flew the bluebird, and the pure drops
Of dew vanished away. But all within
The hut was still; moved not the son,
Or father; no, the severing of that last
Cord, which had bound the man to earth,
Was more than he could bear, and in that
Lonely midnight, he had viewed his treasures
Bright and safe in heaven, and joined their song of triumph.
The boy had slept in death, and in his waking up
Was satisfied with God’s own likeness.

 


 

LINES WRITTEN ON BOARD THE “MAGNET.”

Away we haste like a flitting bird,
No sound of cable or chains are heard,
But rapid and still as a spirit’s flight,
We are passing over the waters bright;
A few years ago and the Indian’s bark
Shot like a deer o’er the waters dark,
Where now, through splashing and silvery spray,
The iron “Magnet” is ploughing her way.

Hamilton’s far-bound and queenly boat,
May success be yours when your banners float;
You are born to bear, ah! who?—what  forms
Shall tread on your decks ‘midst smiles and storms?
The known—the stranger—the mean—the brave
All may commingle—all but the slave—
All but the fettered; they cannot breathe
Where Britamia’s banner its folds unwreathe. [page 132]

To thee, kind Commander, thanks we pour,
For the peaceful joy of this festive hour;
For the glorious rush of dividing waves;
For the thrilling bound over hidden caves.
May your Magnet attract Concordia’s smile,
As you traverse many a dreary mile;
Attract the Sun in his smiling dance,
Attract the Moon in her nightly glance;
Attract the light of the gold-bearing cars,
So, through tedious watching, be watched by stars.

When Time hath marred this beautiful bark,
And the light of her glory is dim and dark;
Where shall we be who have trod her deck,
When Burlington’s pride is a lonely wreck?
We would not be cast on a desolate shore,
Like a broken toy to be gilt no more;
But drawn by a Magnet, whose power is blest,
To the harbour of peace, and haven of rest.

 


 

THE MORNING SINGER.

‘Twas early dawn, and
I sat beside the open casement, drinking in the
Morning breezes. The city, unawakened, lay before
Me, and its glittering spires bathed in day’s
First sunbeam. Scattered trees and gardens
Woke afresh to life, and the broad swelling
Bay rippled in beauty, and green boughs
Bent forward by the water courses. But
A sweet voice caught my ear. A bright
Young bird had just commenced a morning [page 133]
Lay. He seemed as gladsome in his being, as
If he saw the last retiring wing of the
Guardian angels melt in sunlight.
His close-built nest he had forsaken, that
He may warble his fresh songs, ere yet the
Airy dome was tainted with the breath of Man.

                    Then, methought how many of that
City would, like that musician, rise and
Speak with God, ere the warm sun melted
The manna. I looked around me, and no
Sign of life could meet my gaze, for yet
The sounding bell called men not forth
To labour. I knew how they would go; some
To the war of engines and the busy mart;
Some of the swelling lake; some to the tables
Of the money changers; some to pay the
Bridal vows; some to the wine and dance;
Some to the captive’s cell; some to the
Grave. And I mourned within me, for
Man gave not to God the glory. Then methought
Of him to whom God spake on Horeb,
And had bade him in a still small voice
Come forth, and told him of the hidden
Gems, seven thousand that had stood among
The prophets, and had not bowed to Baal.

          Then I thought the Lion of the tribe
Of Judah must prevail. I looked around,
And my eye rested here, and there, one
Of a household, of a city two, would
Fill the unfettered air with sounds of
Prayer and praise. And I sighed deeply
For the hour, when the peaceful kingdom
Of the Lord shall come. Thousands of hosts [page 134]
Shall fall before the Lamb in God’s
Throne’s midst. When the seventh angel soundeth,
Then great voices shall re-echo it, “The kingdom
Of our Lord hath come.”

          I thought that day would be far purer
Than the summer morning, with its sun-star
Unsetting; the host more numerous with
The spirits of the just; the waves more clear,
For there the flowing riverhath no blemish;
The trees more verdant, for the tree of life is
Everlasting; the city brighter, for it hath
Foundations in the Heaven; its throngers purer,
For the dwellers are forgiven all their
Iniquity; the hearts less sad, for the Lamb
Leads to pure streams, and wipes away all
Tear-drops. The King in all his beauty shall
Shine forth, for his vesture beareth ancient
Names most high. Jehovah, who once was,
And is, and is to be for ever!

 


 

THE CITIES OF OLD.

Cities and men, and nations, have pass’d by,
Like leaves upon an Autumn’s dreary sky;
Like chaff upon the ocean billow proud,
Like drops of rain on summer’s fleecy cloud;
Like flowers of a wilderness,
Vanished into forgetfulness.

O! Nineveh, thou city of young Ashur’s pride,
With thy strong towers, and thy bulwarks wide;
Ah! while upon thee splashed the Tigris’ waters,
How little though thy wealth-stored sons and daughters, [page 135]
That Cyaxerses and his troops should wait,
For three long years before the massive gate;
Then Medes and Persians by the torches’ light,
Should ride triumphantly thy streets by night;
And from creation banish thee,
O! Nineveh. O! Nineveh.

And country of the pride of Mizriam’s heart,
With pyramids that spoke thy wealth and art;
Why is it that no minstrel comes, who sings
Of all the glory of thy shepherd kings?
Tyre, why are thy walls in ruins thus;
Why is thy name so seldom spoke by us?
Sidon, among the nations thou art fled,
Thy joy departed and thy glory dead;
Far gone are all thy generations,
Fallen nations! Fallen nations!

And Babylon, with all thy thronging bands,
The glory of Chaldea’s ancient lands;
Thy temple, where a numerous host was seen,
Thy gardens hung to please the Midian queen;
Where beauteous flowers smiled on their terrace beds,
Proud kings have passed through thee, and crowned heads;
And grandeur and magnificence could view,
In thee a restingplace thy stores not few;
Why is it thou art all alone?
O! Babylon. O! Babylon!

And Greece, who shone in literature and might,
When Marathon’s broad plains saw sword and fight;
Thy monumental ruins stand alone,
Decay has breathed upon thy sculptured stone;
And Desolation walks thy princely halls,
The green branch twines around thy olden walls. [page 136]
And ye who stood the ten years’ siege of Troy,
Time’s fingers now your battlements annoy;
Why is it that thy glories cease?
O! Classic Greece! O! Classic Greece!

And thou, best city of all olden time,
O! we might weep for thee and chosen clime.
City, where Solomon his temple reared,
City, where gold and silver stores appeared;
City, where priest and prophet lowly knelt,
City, where God in mortal flesh once dwelt.
Titus, and Roman soldiers, laid thee low,
The music in thy streets has ceased to flow;
Yet wilt thou not return in joy once more,
And Lebanon give up her cedar store?
And vines and olives smile as now they smile,
Yet not upon the ruin of a holy pile?
Wilt thou Destruction’s flood not stem?
Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

Cities and men, and nations, have gone by,
Like leaves upon an Autumn’s dreary sky;
Like chaff upon the ocean billow proud,
Like drops upon the summer’s passing cloud;
Like flowers of a wilderness,
Vanished into forgetfulness.

 


[page 137]

 

THE BRITISH MAIL.

It has been again, and many a tear
Will fall for the dead on a distant bier,
And many a lip will grow bright with smiles,
At treasures that came from their native isles;
And there will pass over many a day,
Before its message has died away.

To the Statesman, with thrilling and startling tones,
It is telling of deeds that must soon be done;
And marking his course as the sun to shine,
And still to bear up and be true to the line.
O! what shall temper the restless strife,
And unceasing care of the Statesman’s life?

And many whose pathways around us lie,
The loving and brave with no kindred nigh;
O! the tidings of good from the household band,
Is the shade of a rock in this weary land;
But hope and fear will their bright cheeks pale—
Was there ought for these by the British Mail?

To the throng of the hearth and groups of home,
How does the sound of thy known voice come?
From the beautiful dwelling of England’s might,
From the cheviot border and mountain height;
From the Emerald Isle, from beloved Wales,
Is it wafting them fearful or pleasant tales?

Perchance, it was charged with the mystic word,
Which only the faithful and few have heard; [page 138]
Perchance, it told tales of the gory fight,
Of the ghastly plain and conqueror’s might.
Had it gifts for all at its shrine who kneel,
From the peasant’s scrawl to the Royal Seal?

And how did the messenger come to me,
From the sparkling waves of the roaring sea?
With Hope’s fair colours the wreath was wrought,
And tokens of love o’er the deep was brought;
For by mountain and valley, by rock and rill,
The hearts that once loved are fall faithful still.

Faithful, though change with its blight hath been,
O’er the light of the spirit’s early dream;
Faithful, though strangers now take their seat,
Where of old was the echo of children’s feet;
And holy words of Heaven’s country blest,
Flew over the waves of the distant West.

How various, how changing, our lot on earth,
Where each has his sorrow and each his mirth;
Yet soon shall we meet altogether where,
The traveller hath been nor come back from there;
Yet soon shall we stand at the judgment throne—
How many then shall one Father own?

 


[page 139]

 

PARTING STANZAS.

     How sad the tones—farewell,
     Fall on our stricken heart,
When from each form that loves us well,
‘Tis ours in grief to part;
     The sun in raiment bright,
     Sinks near the forest bough,
To-morrow’s skies shall give its light,
     But we are parting now.

     We may not meet on earth,
     Our tales of love are told,
We may not meet round friendship’s hearth
     As in the time of old;
     The last adieu is said,
     ‘Mid feelings warm and deep;
The parting tear is now being shed—
     Well may we sadly weep.

     Yet must our sorrows fly,
     As clouds by sunlight riven;
If far apart our pathways lie—
     May we not meet in Heaven,
     Where brilliant angels dwell
     In their bright home above—
The land where none can say farewell,
The glorious rest of love? [page 140]

 

 

CONTENTS.


 

PAGE

A Law of Affection

21

A Flower for a Grave

40

A Thought of Ocean

46

An Apostrophe over the Grave of Brant

49

A Mother’s Influence

58

Burial of the Unknown

109

Christmas Sonnet

20

Churchyard Roses

77

Coleraine

110

Dedication Poem

7

Death’s Destroyer

107

Epistle Dedicatory

3

“Even so, Oh! Father”

119

Funeral at Sea

14

Hamilton, the City of Strangers

65

Lost in the Sight of Land

22

Love

92

Light

122

Lines Written on Board the “Magnet”

132

Moses in the Bulrushes

30

Miriam

115

No more Sea

80

On a Tablet, &c.

18

On the Departure of the Lord Bishop of Toronto for England, 1856

51

On the Stranding of the “Great Britain”

59

On Picking up a Wreck at Sea

86

[unnumbered page]
On the Death of an Infant

99

On the Burial of a Member of the Order of Odd-Fellows

117

Prayer

42

Parting Stanzas

140

Rest

87

Ruth and Naomi

126

Sabbath Bells at Sea

25

Swift Days

34

Song at Sunset

75

The Voice of the Sun

10

The Bow in the Clouds

12

The Song of the Warrior

13

The Lovely Bride

15

The Last Plague of Egypt

16

The Taught of God

23

The Stranger’s Grave

27

The Bird of the Sea

22

The Freemason’s Burial

35

The Mother’s Presentiment

38

To Sir Allan N. McNab, on his return from England, 1846

39

The Exile’s Dream of Home

43

The Emigrant’s Dying Boy

47

The Omnipresence of the Deity

53

The Patriarch’s Blessing on the Aliens

55

The Clouded Star

61

The Desolate Funeral

62

The Sabbath Hour

63

The Burial of an Infant

67

The Re-Union

68

The Tyrian’s Farewell to Paul

69

The Little Child

71

The Emigrant Bird

72

The Gathered Throng

74

The Martyr in Prison

78

“Thy Will Be  Done,”

81

The Lonely One’s Remembrances

82

To the Birds

89

The Unceasing Songs

90

The Freemason’s Burial at Sea

96

[page ii]
The Last Hymn

97

“There is a Path which no Fowl knoweth, &c

100

The Mother’s Request

102

The Judgment of the Wicked

104

The Priestless Band

105

The Grief of the Last One

116

The Song of the Mermaids

120

The King’s Lament

123

The Highlander and His Son

128

The Morning Singer

133

The Cities of Old

135

The British Mail

138

Watchers in Heaven

28

“Whatsoever ye shall Bind on Earth,” &c.

113

[page iii]
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