The Confederation Poets
13th Jun 2014Posted in: The Confederation Poets 0
Leisure Moments

Leisure Moments:

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[handwritten: pseud S. C. Bagg]


ONE afternoon, when wearied
   With the dull routine of life,
My spirit rose in fancy
   Above this world of strife.

I was wearied with the beauty
   Of the having restless sea;
I was weary of the meadows
   And the fine old Priory.

So in spirit, as I said before,
   I gently soared away,
And rested in the regions
   Where there is eternal day.

The first thing I saw on entering 
   This land so pure and bright,
Was a Being all surrounded
   With dazzling rays of light. [unnumbered page]

He took me gently by the hand
   And in loving accents said:
Come with me and I will show you
   Those now live, who once were dead.

I follow’d him in ecstacy,
   For every time I gazed
Bright angels in my path appear’d 
   And jewels round them blazed.

Still, with trembling footsteps, on I walked,
And followed my Bright Guide,
‘Till he led me to a chamber
   Where the ransomed ones abide.

He turned, “Now look around,” said he,
   And when I had done so,
I saw bright faces with gold crowns
   That I had known below.

At first I saw a baby girl
   With cherub face so bright,
And tiny harp and little crown,
   And robes of sunny white.

And then I saw a youthful form,
   Clad in dazzling robes of light,
With golden harp and brilliant crown,
   Set with jewels rare and bright.

He was called away in boyhood’s bloom,
   To the blest land above,
Where now he joined the angel’s choir
   And sang of Jesus’ love. [page 4]

For taking him so early
   From all sorrows and all pains,
To the glorious land where angels are
   And where our saviour reigns.

And then I now an aged pair,
   With laurels on their brow
For they had triumphed over sin
   And were rewarded now.

And then methought when in the midst 
  Of that angelic throng,
My spirit wander’d back to earth—
   I woke and was alone. 

For no bright angel was by me,
   ‘Twas only a sunbeam
That greeted my unclosing eyes
   To find it all a dream.

                                                    C. S. B.

Tynemouth, August 1, 1868.


THE loved and lost!  how sad these words
   When we look at those in despair;
What memories dark rise in our thoughts,
   What griefs so difficult to bear! [page 5]

The loved!  ah yes!  that tender word
   From which all joy and passions spring:
The light of life, the sense of which
   Makes us to our dear idols cling.

Yes, notwithstanding God’s strict law,
   We, His commandments disobey;
We set up earthly idols here,
   And worship being made of clay.

The lost! we say when mourning o’er
   The death of some poor mortal here;
He is not lost, but gone before,
   Is whispered sweetly in our ear.

Not lost! but gone before, the strain
   Falls on the ears of those who weep;
Comforting with its soothing balm,
   “Asleep in Jesus,” blessed sleep.

No cares, no sorrows, now on earth,
   No woes, but joys for evermore,
And heavenly music greets our ears,
   As angels with him upwards soar.

No sorrow in that laid of bliss.
   But peace for ever and for ever;
No griefs, no pain, no partings more,
   No time with dearest ones to sever.

So with these thoughts, dry up these tears,
   And for the loved one weep no more:
The angels whisper in sweet tones,
   He is not lost but gone before.
                                                         C. S. B.

Philadelphia, June 12, 1869. [page 6] 


OH! how I love the country,
   In the pleasant days of spring!
When all nature seems so joyous
   And the birds begin to sing.

When the grass throws off its winter garb
   Of dry and russet brown,
And changes to a brilliant green,
   With a freshman all its own.

When the golden buttercups appear,
   And groups of daisies white;
And open wide their pretty eyes,
   Nodding their heads so bright.

And when with there the grass is strewn,
   And diamond dew drops cling
Tenderly to their petals soft,
   And added beauties spring.

And when I see the little stream,
   Singing its song of praise;
And babbling o’er its stony bed
   Through all the bright spring days.

Then—then how sweet the country is, 
   All nature seems so glad,
With the wild flowers and trees and fields,
   In radiant verdure clad. [page 7] 

And then how sweet the country is
   In bright midsummer time,
When o’er the rustic cottages
   Low trails the graceful vine.

When the fair flowers are in bloom,
   And all around is still,
Save the sweet voices of the birds
   And the pretty murmuring rill.

Ah yes! all nature is so bright
   And beautiful and gay;
It teaches us to think of God
   And praise Him every day.

                                                      C. S. B.

Cape Elizabeth, August 19, 1869.


How sad it is to think and dream
   With feelings mixed of joy and pain;
Of bright, dear faces we have loved.
   And feel that we have lov’d in vain.

When memory brings before the mind
   The joyous scenes now passed away;
A halo bright surrounds them all
   And breaks the sadness of to-day. [page 8] 

When looking down the weary vale,
   And vista of the long past years;
And seeing all the changes wrought,
   It almost moves the heart to tears.

The years that now have passed away,
   Since first I saw thy form and face,
Have added to the beauty rare
   And heighten’d all thy charms and grace.

I think of days, of bright sunshine, 
   When thou wer’t with me, by my side;
These pleasures are but phantoms now,
   And all into dark shadows glide.

So now no more of ill thought,
   It only recalls the pain, 
And makes the pleasures fade away
   To think that I have lov’d in vain. 

                                                   C. S. B.

London, March, 1869.


FORGET-ME-NOT, that pretty flower
   That thou has sent so far for me;
Suggestive of some happy hours,
   And more than one bright memory. [page 9] 

The sentiment expressed by it,
   To “love in absence,” as you say,
Oh!  happy language of the flowers
   That can so well our thoughts convey.

For even tho’ so far away,
   Divided by the deep blue sea:
Absence but makes the heart more fond
   If it but true and constant be.

So pretty flow’r, with the blue eyes.
   You bring such pleasant thoughts to me,
If only for the giver’s sake,
   I’ll love and keep thee carefully.

                                                        C. S. B.


I LOVE him! But how fondly,
   Nought buy my loving heart can tell:
Which beats and throbs so wildly
   At the sound of footsteps known so well,

I love him! and with mounting blush
   And flattering voice I greet
Him whom my heart so longs for,
   Yet I tremble when we meet. [page 10] 

‘Tis not fear of anger,
   That I shrink from the bright rays
Of those dark eyes which thrill me
   With their burning love gaze.

Although with tender care my heart,
   This cherish’d love conceals; 
The burning blush, that at his name,
   Mounts to my cheek reveals.

I fear the deep impassion’d love
   Which in my bosom grows,
May shine out from my shrinking glance
   And my sweet hopes disclose.

For I know not if he loves me,
   Tho’ me thinks his glances speak
More love than words can utter
   To my heart so fond and weak.

Oh!  if I knew he lov’d me,
   If I knew that in his breast,
His heart beat answering love to mine,
   My fears would be at rest.

                                                    C. S. B.

Montreal, 1871. [page 11] 


I am sitting on a high bold cliff,
   Jutting out into the sea;
And watching the great angry waves
   Come rolling in to me.

The day is dull and dreary,
   The sky is leaden grey,
The breakers dash in fury
   ‘Gainst the rocks with their white spray.

They chase each other in mad sport,
   With fast increasing speed;
And break with never ceasing roar
   In music wild and dread.

And as I gaze far, far away,
   A ship noble and brave
Appears in sight, with flowing sail,
   Struggling against the wave.

‘Tis tossed about with fury wild,
   By the great roaring sea;
But rides the waves with grace untold,
   And bears up gloriously.

But soon a change comes o’er the scene,
   Which was no dark and drear;
The sun with rays of beautious light,
   Breaks through the clouds to cheer. [page 12] 

The wind has changed, the sea is calm,
   And sparkles in the light; 
The ship I see has braved the storm,
   And passes out of sight.

Oh surging sea, what beauties lie
   Under thy billows white;
What gems, what caves of coral reef,
   Too dazzling for the sight.

And more than these, the treasures dear,
   Lost in thy storms most dread,
And never to be found again,
   ‘Till thou givest up thy dead.

                                                   C. S. B.

Cape Elizabeth, July 11, 1869.


OH!  go not loved one,—stay—
   Go not away from me;
The night may come, the day may dawn,
   But I’ll be true to thee.

So spoke a noble ladye,
   As with tearfull eyes she stood,
Her head upon her lover’s bosom,
   In a pretty flowering wood. [page 13] 

Oh!  dearest I will mourn for thee,
   As the swan does for her young,
And always, love, I’ll think of thee
   And of the days when we have sung:—

“We’ll never forget each other,
   We’ll always constant be,”
I’ll never forsake my lover,
   I’ll always think of thee.

He fell on his knees by the side of his love,
   And in accents loving and soft,
By the cross on the hilt of my sword I swear—
   “Never to forsake my ladye faire,
   But to love her and think of her oft.”

Then the knight he left his ladye fair.
   By the side of a murmuring creek,
And he said “I’ll go to distant lands
   Where I my fame may seek.”

To distant lands he therefore went,
   To fight by the king’s own side;
But tho’ many a maiden fair he saw
   He never forgot his promis’d bride.

Through many battles thick and this,
   This noble warrior made his way,
Till he fell by side of his dear king,
   And when on the ground exhausted he lay,
   He remembered the parting day. [page 14] 

And on the ground, amid wounded and dead,
   By the help of his arm, he raised his head,
And a smile on his noble countenance, said
   “Give this to may lady, when I am dead,
And tell her, happy I lived,
   Happy I died,
For no one took the place
   Of my own dear promis’d bride.”

And on one summer evening,
   By the light of the new moon,
In a distant country—England—
   His ladye fair sat down.

“I know my love’s no more,” she said,
   “My heart has told me so;
But he is in another world,
   Where joys eternal flow.”

Then she took a dagger, and plunged it in her breast
   And looking up,—her face all peace and rest,—
Said, “I will not live longer than you my love,
   But share with you the eternal joys
Of beauteous heaven above.” 

                                                         C. S. B.

Montreal, 1863. [page 15] 


THE City lay in silence,
   Perched in the floods of light,
Which stream’d in silvery radiance,
   From the fair Queen of Night.

The earth had donn’d her mantle
   Of pure and spotless white,
Which glistened in the moonbeams,
   Like diamonds so bright.

But hark!  upon the clear still air
   Is borne the sound of bells; 
Which clinging from the old church tow’r,
   The hour of midnight tells.

But ere the last stroke dies away,
   Upon the midnight air,
I see from heaven descending,
   Two angels, bright and fair.

Across the cloudless star gemm’d sky,
   They softly wing their flight,
And step at length above our house,
   On which the moon shines bright.

And as I gaze,—oh what is this
   I see in anguish wild?
They hover o’er the cradle
   Of my lov’d and only child. [page 16] 

Why did I say in anguish,
That I saw angels fair,
Bend smiling o’er my sleeping child,
   While my heart breath’d a prayer?

Ah!  I knew the loves of angels,
   Not long on earth remain,
Therefore my sobs of anguish
   Which I could not restrain.

When I look’d out into the cradle,
   Where my babe in slumber lay;
I saw its poor, frail body.
   But its soul had pass’d away.

And out of my lone window,
   I saw the angels soar,
And between them gently wing’d their flight,
   Far, far above this sphere.

And although I miss my darling,
   In its innocence and glee,
I know that I shall go to it,
Tho’ it cannot come to me.

                                                     C. S. B.

Montreal, February, 7, 1871. [page 17] 


WHEN the first light of early morn,
   Steals o’er the rosy tinted sky;
When the lark carols forth his song of praise
   And soars above the world so high.

When the glorious sun, with his golden rays.
   Sends streams of light o’er land and sea;
When the dew-drop falls on leaf and flow’r,
   Then love—I would I were with thee.

When I see the waves in their heedless sport,
   Dancing upon the shining shore,
Memory recalls the happy hours
   Then love—I would I were with thee.

When I see the barks with their flowing fails,
   Glide softly o’er the deep blue sea,
I oft times wish, I were on the waves,
   That I might be carried away to thee.

And when in the evening, the sun has set,
   And leaves but his glittering train behind;
‘Tis like in my fancy the days I’ve pass’d,
   Which have left but their memories in my mind. 

When the silvery moon and the diamond stars,
   Appear in the soft azure sky,
Tho’ thou ‘rt absent my love, I still dream of thee,
   And in fancy, at least, thou art night. [page 18] 

When behind the soft clouds, the fair moon has hid,
   And the twinkling stars close their eyes;
I think of thee still, through all the long night,
   And I dream of thee ‘till the sun rise.

And through the long days, when I am weary and dull,
   This thought borne by angels of love,
Comes stealing o’er me tho’ we parted on earth,
   We’ll meet in the bright land above. 
                                                             C. S. B.

July, 1869.


‘TWAS a sweet still eve in the summer,
   When fair Luna’s beams were bright,
And silver stars were twinkling
   In the firmament, so light.

I was standing in a reverie,
   On the borders of a brook,
When I spied out in the distance
   A sweet sequestered nook.

‘Twas at the far end of the stream.
   And where wild flowrets grew 
In all shades of the rainbow,
   Red, velvet, white and blue. [page 19] 

When I reach’d this little corner,
   And had sat me down to think,
Lo!  beauteous music seem’d to come,
   Just from the water’s brink.

I rose up gently from my seat
   Of moss and flowers blue;
When just before me there appear’d 
   A beauteous charming view.

‘Twas just before me, as I’ve said,
   And by the silvery light,
I saw a group of fairies clad
   In gosamer so bright.

Soon from my stand behind the trees,
   I saw them flitting round,
And soon again when all was still,
   I heard a silvery sound.

‘Twas the voice of Titania,
   Their truly royal queen,
Who told her subjects they could have
   A revel on the green.

With graceful steps they all began,
   And soon before my gaze,
Brownies and fairies all are lost,
   In the enchanting maze. [page 20] 

For ‘twas no dance like mortals have,
   Of prim steps to and fro;
And ‘twas beneath the moonlit sky,
   With the green grass below.

They danced under the waving trees,
   Entwined with wreaths of flowers;
With light elastic airy steps,
   Through those enchanting bowers.

I watched them from my hiding place,
And heard their merry revelry,
As in the mazes of the dance
   I saw their bright forms flitting by.

But soon the air, which balmy was,
   Began to feel so chill; 
The silvery moon now waned away,
   And all again was still.

The music suddenly had ceased,
   And no trace could be seen
Of all the faces or still more strange,
   Their midnight revel on the green.

                                                         C. S. B.

Nice, 1868. [page 21] 


I am dreaming, sweetly dreaming,
   Gazing on the dark blue sea,
With its ever heaving bosom,
   Full of deep and wild beauty.

As the tiny waves in sunlight,
   Dance along the foaming spray,
Many thoughts unbidden come to me
   Of friends now passed away.

In their depths, I see reflected,
   Many pictures fresh and bright,
Shall I tell you one which memory
   Brings undimmed before my sight?

I saw at first a happy home, 
   Of worth and beauty rare,
For it was bles’t as loves above,
   And hallow’d by love’s care.

I see a little prattling child
   With infant grace and glee,
Tripping along to her papa
   And climbing on his knee.

I see the mother’s happy glance 
   Of joy and beaming pride,
As down the little darling jumps,
   And hastens to her side. [page 22] 

The years pass on with ceaseless march
   And still I look and dream:
I see reflected on the waves
   A pure and bright sunbeam.

‘Tis the little child of year’s gone by,
   We see in the maiden fair,
A flower to brighten the garden here,
   Of beauty and sweetness rare.

Spared to her parents, through trials sore,
   She smooths their rough pathway here;
With her winning smile and gentle words,
   She strives their old age to cheer.

I see the first years of her maidenhood spent,
   Blessing all by her patience and love;
And then I see her taken away,
   Transplanted to the garden above. 

I see her waiting on heaven’s bright shore,
   To welcome her parents so dear;
I see them crossing the river of death,
   With nothing from evil to fear.

For beyond the dark river their Saviour stands,
   Saying “Come unto me all ye blest,
Ye have fought the good fight, and have conquered the foe,
   And with joy enter into your rest.” 

                                                                 C. S. B.

Montreal, July, 1869. [page 23] 

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