[unnumbered page, includes illustration: Yours truly
COLLECTION OF RHYMES, &C.,
To all who honor honest endeavor; To lovers of freedom, who are not afraid to work with a little talent, nor ashamed of the smallest worth; And to those who would rather brave adverse criticism than bury a good intention, is this little book respectfully dedicated by the author.
JOHN BLAIR. [unnumbered page]
Printed at the Gazette Printing House,
My objective in having printed the pieces herein contained, in keepable book-form, is that they may be preserved by, and for, my relatives and acquaintances, as I cherish a desire to be remembered by these. I do not know that I am proud of my writings, over-much; but I have an affection for most of them, and many of my more earnest thoughts are therein contained. For the classically educated, this book will, very likely, exhibit little to interest; but should any of this class look through it, they will please remember that there is considerable of alloy in the finest worked gold, and that there is more such worth in the earth than ever was washed out. Still, it is not my wish that any criticism shall be withheld which is accompanied by a real desire to do good.
J. B. [unnumbered page]
In after years some friends may look Into this rhythmic written book, And find things, which, if studied well, Would take a many hour to tell. Those who may choose to ramble through My book, consider what is due To one who spent a deal of time In giving vent to thoughts in rhyme. If one the good does fail to find, For there is good within it, mind, Pass to another one to try, Who may not care to look so high. If, after searching all unite, And say there’s nothing in it right, Cast it away and call it trash, Meat must be cut to make good hash. Of self-conceit, I have my touch, One man’s opinion is not much, So if the book is always wrong It is not worth a common song. But if any wish to wander Through the book and o’er it ponder, I will that they shall have a chance, All persons don’t enjoy to dance. [unnumbered page] It may be treated as a sin The lack of learning shown within; But education, while of worth, Brings in its drain a deal of dearth. Some have been punished in the stocks For slighting rules of orthodox; Now we venture opinions free, All are allowed to read and see. And may the day be not far off When every man shall cease to scoff, Joining hands, one with another, Recognize in each a brother. Many will say this cannot be, To the contrary is not for me; I only know it would be grand If good will reigned throughout our land. There are some that enjoy what will others annoy, Though all may be good in intention; Whoever begrudges will not do for judges, There are what we never should mention. Would all mankind be friends, for the past make amends, Throwing all our faults in together, And virtues acknowledge, in hamlet or college, We could joy in the dreariest weather. [page 2]
Canada! the land of my birth, Scenes of friendship, of love and mirth, Through thee abound. Thy like to me is not defined, Though there will others more refined On earth be found. My pride is centered in thy lakes, I’ve oft sung of the lands o’ cakes, But now to you: I love thy rustic plains and hills, Thy scenes my heart with rapture fills, As them I view. Thy rivers, great murmuring streams, Where lovers linger, commerce steams, Are all adored By me, thy poor and humble bard, Whom fortune deals with sometimes hard, Still can afford To spare an hour or two of time To praise thee in the form of rhyme, And all well-meant; If thou see fit accept the same Though thou may never know his name, He’ll be content. When invaders themselves presented, Thy courage then was represented [page 3] In Gen. Brock, And the brave men then with him found, Who, when outnumbered, stood their ground, Firm as a rock. Like heroes fought, and did prevail, But thou had’st cause then to bewail; The patriot fell. His memory will always last, His name is printed, strong and fast, On Queenstown hill. Later, while memory yet was damp, Traitors were found within the camp, And growing bold. Sons of Honor were soon astir, Proclaimed to them you surely were Not to be sold. Your statesmen bravely stood their post, And drove the traitors from your coast;— Them I respect. If such should happen in my time, I’ll help to drive them ’cross the line, And crush such sect. Not long ago the Fenian pack, With ugly varmints at their back, Thought to intrude; But they were told and understood, That you were not in humor good, Nor trifling mood. [page 4] Canada! may I love thee ever. Should I have cause from thee to sever, I’ll think of thee. I wish, as this verse now I seal, That you may ne’er be made to feel Ashamed of me.
How anxious some folks seem to be To pryingly inquire of me They’d better mind Their own affairs, and not pretend To be anxious about their friend Or so inclined. He has failings, as it would seem, Give him a chance, he’ll them redeem,— Or least will try. O’er others’ sins they seem to gloat; Fools! see they not the beam or mote In their own eye! I wish it distinctly understood, To those who are so dreadful good, Self-estimation, [page 5] They will oblige their humble bard, If they of him, know something is hard, Stop proclamation. And if they still meanly persist To hinder instead of assist Their fellow mortal, They’ll sorrow here, and, peradventure, Find it hard at last to enter Heaven’s portal. Heav’n loves a man can condescend Encourage and aid an erring friend. As I understand. Woman, too, heaven will bless her, That stoops to raise a fallen sister, With a helping hand. Then, fellow neighbours; one and all, Let no one see a brother fall; Or, if he should, Lend him a helping hand to rise, And lead his mind beyond the skies, Among the good.
Hail! thou beautiful Christmas morn; Momentous day, when Christ was born, [page 6] Accept our thanks for day so nice, And such a splendid pond of ice. And, Lord, while we do this day skate, Do thou assist my humble mate; While he is doing his best to learn, Keep him, we pray, from every harm. If he should fall, please help him rise, May oft his mind be in the skies; If thoughts which come are over sweet, May they not cause him lose his feet. And may we not forget the right, And Him who watches us through night, And while we sing, and skate and play, Help us to feel ’tis Christmas Day.
Farewell, old year, thou art gliding away; There are some now lying beneath the clay, Will cause us to mind thee while life dost last; Thou hast swept them away with chilly blast. Throughout the hours of sorrow we have traced, And thy beauties have somewhat been defaced But, thankful as you are drifting away, We are left to welcome the New Year’s Day. [page 7] Then fare thee well, old year, thy die is cast, Thou art counted now as among the past; Farewell, and again, we say to thee, We’ll remember 1873!
FATHER TO CHILD
Come, my daughter, sit you by me, While I unfold you a tale; Brace yourself, for it may try thee, Tender as you are, and frail. But my promise bids me speak it; Promise given long gone by; The task is hard, I do not seek it; Ask me not the reason why. Weary, broken, soon to leave you, For my time is nearing fast; Darling, do not let it grieve you, Time cannot much longer last. The morn was bright in month of May, Over fifteen years between; And yet it seems but yesterday Plainly portrayed is the scene. To a cottage far away, love, Came a baby, little treasure; [page 8] But it pleased the Lord above, Grief as well as joy to measure. He saw proper, my darling child, While He gave me joy in thee, To take a wife and mother mild With Him to eternity. Ere she crossed the mystic water, Kissed her baby often, long; Now weep not, my precious daughter, She’s among the angel throng. Calling to her side she bade me A loving, long, a last good-bye; I wept—man I was—it made me, When she whispered she must die. She knew I would love you ever As I loved her who lay there, Charged me from you not to sever, Protect you with double care. Cherish you in my thought the first, And if God were pleased to spare Your tender life—for fears the worst, Were expressed by neighbors there. To point you out the path of right, Teach your precious mind to soar; So you may wear the robe of white, Join her in that evermore. [page 9] I gave to you your mother’s name, You are like her, gentle, fair, Your features, actions, much the same; You have learned your mother’s prayer. To keep my promise, I have tried; Loved you in my inmost heart; It is His will, be satisfied, Mourn not that we have to part. I have prospered, wealth is left, Earthly want you may not know, When of parents you are bereft, I pray you be blessed below. Now leave me child, but first a kiss, See, this golden locket keep; Two faces there, one you will miss, Good night, dear, for I must sleep.
Dear lady, trust me always, ever; Let not a tear bedim your eye; My promise to you, broken never,— I love, that is the reason why. You think that what the world may say, Will make my love degenerate? [page 10] Only with you, that power can lay, That turns my love for you to hate. Now, have I erred in blaming one So true that she could give Her life, my happiness to have won? But live, dear lady, live,— For know that such a sacrifice,— A fearful one, ’tis true,— Could not my happiness realize, For I would still lack you. Tell, me, madam, must you go, And leave me chained behind? The bitter cup doth overflow,— The world is so unkind. Ever-patient lady! hearken; Tender thoughts will follow thee; Though remorse my pathway darken, Yet thy memory sweet shall be. I’ll peruse your welcome letter, Grasping for an hour of pleasure, Learn to know you always, better Than the world may ever measure. [page 11] I will miss your kindly smile, Less to cheer my rugged way; Still in thought my hours I’ll while; Pondering ever, day to day.
HOW MAN CAME AND FELL.
Creation! mighty work began, By an Almighty hand; ’Twas God himself conceived the plan, Could it be else but grand? At first, the Heavens and the Earth, So motionless and still, Were formed; but darkness, dismal, dearth, Did space and substance fill. God said, let there be light; behold! At once, he was obeyed; Darkness away from light was rolled, And day and night were made. The second day, the firmament Waters great divided; Each to their proper places sent, Earth was then provided. He said,—’twas done,—the earth must need Bring fruit after his kind; [page 12] Trees, herbs must yield, and for its seed, Within itself must find. To give the world its glorious light, God had but to command The sun by day, the moon by night, With countless, starry band. God bade that fowls fill the air, That fishes till the sea. Let every living creature pair, And blessings on you be. Man must in God’s own image shine, The crowning work of all, Superior to all other kind, And finished, good did call. God made man lord o’er all in sea, O’er every living thing, The earth for man must fruitful be, For man its seeds shall bring. God sanctified the seventh day, And on that day did rest From work. So man and woman may Regard the day he blest. Luxurious gardens made to grow, With food they did abound, Beautiful rivers made to flow, And golden stones were found. [page 13] Adam,—the name God chose to give The first and only man,— Was in the garden placed to live, Command: Eat all you can. A Tree of Knowledge was reserved, Of which man must not try, For in the day he did, deserved, And must so surely die. A rib, God took from Adam’s side, And from it woman made. Alone, man never should abide, In plain words, He has said. But now the serpent, subtle beast, Unto the woman came, And tempted, saying: “Why not feast From every tree the same?” The woman answered, “We may eat Of all excepting one.” The serpent, charming at her feet, And dazzling in the sun, Now cunning speaks: “If you would gain Some knowledge to you hidden; If you would learn, then you must fain. Eat of the tree forbidden. The woman saw the tree was good, And pleasant to the eye; [page 14] Disgraced the spot whereon she stood; She took; did eat and die. And not content to bear alone, Her partner she degraded; Their nakedness to both were known,— The earth by Sin was shaded. God cursed the serpent from that hour, And to the reptile said; “Upon thy belly shalt thou cower,— Man’s seed shall bruise thy head.” Then fallen woman he addressed; “Of trouble, more thou’lt see; With sorrows thou shalt be possessed; And man shall rule o’er thee.” To Adam the Almighty spake; “By sweat, thy living earn; Cursed is the ground, for thine own sake, To dust shalt thou return.” He made them coats of skin to wear; Lest man should live forever The Tree of Life was watched with care,— Man must from Eden sever. Yet man, unto this very day Will not regard, but disobey; From Adam will not take a lesson; Accepts a curse, discards a blessing. [page 15] And woman,—cause of all our woe,— Can never tell the tempter go. Enraptured with the serpent’s voice,— More to repent, less to rejoice. While she in turn, like mother Eve, Does now, and ever will deceive; And so our race will ever be, Till time rolls round Eternity.
WHO IS A FRIEND.
There’re those who smile their sweetest smiles, And train to practice treacherous wiles, Only to suit some selfish end; We cannot count one such a friend. Others, a scheming, wakeful kind,— ’Tis gain that occupies their mind. They’d force you your last farthing rend; Yet they delight to call you friend. There’re some above your earthly lot; With proud disdain they pass your cot; At special times they condescend, And for a time may call you friend. Which fortune favors, you will find You’ve friends before, and friends behind; [page 16] Let want assail, who then will send Assistance to a luckless friend? Will it be those who smiled on you? The social, scheming, are they true? Those lofty ones will they now bend, And recognize you as a friend? This selfish world, traverse it round, Few that are true, within are found. A plenty are that will pretend, But seldom you can find a friend. Then how are we to know that best In all the world can be possessed? In this-wise: Right ’gainst wrong defend; Then you may claim at least a friend.
’Twas fate decreed that I Should ever be her slave? How can I else but sigh For love, I madly crave? Is it for this you lured me on, while in your heart, Knew well the end, and yet did play your wretched part; Give me now back my heart as free As ’twas the day I first saw thee, And I’ll adore Thee evermore. [page 17] O! might I not have knew Treachery lurking there? But I believed her true. So false, and yet, so fair! Dost find pleasure despoiling one loves you better Than all the world beside? Seek not me to fetter; Let loose thy wicked, syren’s spell, Nor seek to make for me a hell. Yet I’ll forgive, And hope to live.
THE SELF RIGHTEOUS.
Is it not strange, men will persist In arguing with their clenched fist Almost declares— That only such as they may hope, And they alone are fit to cope With Satan’s snares. To hear them preach and prophecy, There’ll be no hope for you and I, And such nonsense. Except you do as they believe, A blessing you will not receive, Nor recompense. Who bids them speak such an untruth? [page 18] Have we not souls like they, forsooth? Formed by the Same? If we adore Who bids us live, And freely Him our rev’rence give, We’ll find our gain. And not be bound by any form,— As well as they, we’ll stand the storm, And reach the shore As snug as they, though they may taunt For not being just so trim and jaunt, Or others bore. If we should search the world around, Not two alike would there be found: It’s not intended That we should all be of one caste; It is God’s law, and it will last,— We can’t amend it. He knows the struggle in man’s heart, For he himself has taken a part,— Been sorely tempted. The trials of some, he knows are hard; “Verily, they’ll have their reward,” He said, and meant it. It’s not for man, then, to devise A plan by which to reach the skies. Better be content To fight against sins that are our own, [page 19] Than strive to fathom secrets known To Omnipotent. There’re some that even further go, Than to condemn those here below, And often criticise. Loved ones departed, or gone before: They tell you they’re lost for evermore, Or else immortalise. Though some may walk in pleasant ways, Other have trouble all their days, And find it hard To do what conscience tells is right, And with their carnal nature fight; So finds your bard. O mortal man! are you so vain? Had you not better far refrain, For your own sake? Do not condemn a fellow soul; That is for Him who rules the whole, And did us make.
TO A FRIEND.
Dear James, I sit me down, to-night, A promise to fulfill to you, If what I pen is not full bright, I hope it will at least be true. [page 20] ’Tis years since first I knew you, yet I cherish you in thought to-day; It’s not my wish to e’er forget Your kindly deeds and winning way. I have no fear for you, as through This world you travel wide; Only, temptations try subdue, In honor’s path you’ll stride. Though there are some may harshly speak Of things they’ve nought to do. Their efforts will be blindly weak, When you’re to duty true, You may find hard from friends to roam. At first, but you will find That friends are found in every home Where good-will rules the mind. I would not for the world believe That all the human race Are trustless, ready to deceive, Exulting through disgrace. I know there’re some that cannot rest, If scandal’s to be found; There treacherous brain is at its best, When pulling a neighbor down. But there are others, true as steel, Full of honor, humble, kind; [page 21] Sir! I cannot help but feel, Such an one you’ve left behind. Excuse this verse—I must be plain; It’s likely you will not me thank. Do not disturb such love again As there existed. Am I frank? If this do as a lesson fail, I hope it may you some amuse; My thoughts just now are hard to sail,— I pray you me at once excuse. May blessings choice attend you ever, Honour around you hover; The love between us never sever, But cling as to a brother. Dear James, accept this humble rhyme, From one who wishes you God-speed. May you be happy while in time. Happier yet when from it freed.
FALSE AS FAIR.
’Tis not your beauty makes me love, Though you are passing fair; ’Tis kindness finest feelings move,— For such I do and dare. [page 22] You ask why I should love so well, I scorn to lie to you Though I offend, the truth I’ll tell,— I counted you as true. O! have I guessed the truth? forgive For speaking out thus plain; Or have I erred? now, as I live, I would not cause you pain. Is there not hope? Dear lady, speak, For one by fate oppressed. Must I forever after seek In vain a place of rest? Methinks you gave me courage, when I’ve met you heretofore. Could you not see my passion then And left my heart less sore? Or can it be? but no; and yet, The spell I cannot break. Didst win me only to forget? Can you such pleasure take? I judged you far above your kind, Couldst never brook deceit. But, lady, bear me well in mind, You’ll yet your conqueror meet; And when your love is not returned, You’ll feel what now I bear, [page 23] Remembering how a true heart yearned For one as false as fair.
I am sorry to deserve the scorn, From one I’d hoped but to receive Respect at least; but now, forlorn, I find that I am sad, bereaved. Cruelly fall the bitter blows, Ah! if she knew the power it took, Resist attraction she has chose To show in every word and look. If I the truth to her would tell, She would at least, me pity give. Remember how old Adam fell, And chose to die instead of live. Or if to feelings I’d give way, And not my passions try subdue, O’er me, a woman’s charms would sway,— ’Twere not so hard if she were true. Then, fair one, listen while this I say I may be cold, but this I claim,— A woman I can ne’er betray, Nor show her to the world in shame. [page 24] I’d not this cruel world content, By blazing what I may have learned; If what you said was that you meant, You wrong me, for I’ve not it earned.
OUR GROCERY STORE.
Just come alone with me, to-night, And we will do some scouting; I promise you a rustic sight; We’ll hear a plenty spouting. Not very far! you need not fear,— A hundred yards or more. We have some wags I’d like you hear, At D. G.’s Grocery Store. The boys, cold nights, will gather round, May buy some little fixing. The first one there, I will be bound, He will be Alfred Nixon. Travelled? Yes, sir; can spin a yarn; Has visited Baltimore. His father owns that handsome farm Right opposite the store. The store is full of plenty stuff, With the different styles; But wait. You now will hear a puff, [page 25] For here comes Alson Miles. Jinks! he’s chewing tobacco, too; Look out for a juicy floor, There’s fun to-night. You’ll never rue Your trip to Grocery Store. You want to know who that one is, That’s only spoken twice? He waits his turn; you’ll hear him fiz; His name is Solomon Price. He has come to get a supply; You see that jug by the door? Wait a while; you’ll see, bye and bye, He’s home in the Grocer’s Store. Ain’t that a good one Miles has told? Who beats it? chances are fair, Hello! another out of the cold; Come in; stand up, Mr. Blair. That’s the agent over the way. He is known as a blower. Don’t matter who, all have a say, When at the Grocery Store. Look, Nixon with pot-metal knife, Whittling like a trooper; Bet there’s another-lonesome wife,— Yes! here is Sol., the cooper. Him supplies the country and town; Would sell a many more. [page 26] But market is dull and prices down,— Enquire at the Grocer’s Store. That post-hole tale is hard to beat, But Miles is going to try. He’ll get another quite as neat. Good evening, Jonas High. (A farmer has a lot of land. You think he is a boor? O no! a quiet and steady hand, To visit the Grocer’s Store.) Well, let us scoot. What do you think? Did I come up to promise? Pick out a chap will take a drink: That’s right, come on now, Thomas, Just down the road, if we get fooled,— It often happened before,— We’ll step in and see Mr. Goold; Adieu to Grocery Store.
Dear old christmas! welcome here, Merriest day in all the year,— Recollections fondly bringing, Sounds of joy and gladness ringing; Reminding us of love divine, Closer human hearts entwine. [page 27] Friends, relations, neighbors, meet, Fathers, mothers, their children greet, Brothers and sisters, once more mingle, Hearth and home with music jingle, Lovers too, bless thy returning, Sacred feelings dear hearts burning. Thoughts of ages bring to mind, Once a Saviour humble, kind; Peace proclaimed to all the world, Banner of good-will unfurled, Strength on high, and hope above, Memorious day! so full of love.
One more of those we loved has left This world, through higher flights to roam, And many saddened friends bereft, Will miss him in their earthly home. How fruitless all his study here. Where are those hopes that rose so high? His friendship young, to us so dear, But not too young or dear to die. Drowned! did they say? and near the spot, Where we have played and sported too! [page 28] Then when we pass, awakened thought Will remind of a heart ’twas true. His sparkling eyes and merry ways, A generous heart with feelings fine, Will be remembered all our days, We’ll miss and mourn poor Willie Vine.
WILL I BE REMEMBERED THEN.
I have often thought: when I leave this clay, And my spirit shall have winged its way To the unknown world, the eternal sphere, If I will be remembered here. Will any of the many friends I claim, Speak with deserved respect my name; And companions with whom I’ve had kind dealings— Will they think of me with kind feelings? Perchance they may, and I may hope they will, When my eyes are closed, and voice is still, When my body is lain beneath the sod, My soul returned to its giver, God. Will my relations, wherever they roam, Remember me, in my far-off home; Forgive what was wrong, acknowledge the right, When I am removed beyond their sight. [page 29] Will my brothers miss me? The affection Binds together, is beyond conception. As they onward go through this world of cares, May their path be peaceful, void of snares. Will my father, if he is left behind, Let thoughts of his son enter his mind? O! yes; he can’t help; his faults he’ll forgive,— And hope he’s gone with mother to live. Shall I be remembered by my tender wife, Who comforted me so often in life? Will memory be true, after death do us part? Will she cherish thoughts of me in her heart? The answer is given, proved in the past, Thoughts of me in her bosom will last. No other may see, of this I am sure,— Affection will forever endure. My dear little children, will they miss me? And think how they climbed upon my knee, To listen to stories or hear me sing, ’Till merry laughter would make home ring. They’ll remember me, as they grow in years; I hope remembrance will not bring tears; But think of me as to them given, To point them to a Father in heaven. Yes, I’ll be missed by friends here below; Thoughts will occur wherever they go. [page 30] My family will miss me, but not for long, For we will meet in one happy throng. The friends of mine that before me have gone, I think of often, and sometimes long. Is it not cheering, to know we’ll be missed Below, and welcomed among the blest.
Would that I could find power to crush Unhappy unbelief; Making cheering thoughts through spirits rush, Thus giving souls relief. Can anything that springs from Good, E’er die, or be no more? No! through this world its works have stood, And higher it will soar. God is above us all, complete, Uncomprehended; still, At times our natures with him meet, We recognize Good-will. Our very thoughts, when Freedom’s given, Will leave this earth and rise; In seeking for their rest a haven, Are lodged beyond the skies. [page 31] And wondrous happiness they find, Till nature, irksome ever, No longer can allow our mind From earthly things to sever. This proves to me, when nature fails, And Death life’s thread doth sever; Our souls will spread their blood-washed sails, And live, yes, live forever.
QUESTION—Now First of April, since you’re here, How many fools have you this year? That you’re a very foolish day. I’ve heard a many people say. ANSWER—Because they named me April First, Should I of fools be called the worst? I really do not like the name; Still, I’m content, you know my fame. Since information you do ask, Let’s in the sun sit down and bask. A little while I’ll with you tarry, You want to know the fools I carry? Of fools, I many have, ’tis true; I’ll mention, though, but just a few. [page 32] I have not much to spare of time, And I wish to put them into rhyme. Well, to begin: If to be poor Is foolish, you’re a fool, that’s sure. The rich man lives but to possess; Is not that, too, great foolishness? The bravest soldiers are but fools, Made by ambitious nations, tools. ’Tis hard, yet truth I cannot smother. Would wise men murder one another? The greatest statesmen (much the same,) Are really only great in name. If they to higher thoughts ascend, The fools! they cannot comprehend. Philosophers are fools; and few That take a philosophic view, Can understand the things they teach; The moral is beyond their reach. The orators with whom you meet Are wise, upheld by self conceit. They study sophistry, through schools, Create, destroy; they, too, are fools. The wisest fools that I have met, Are those that never stop to fret; Accept this world as they may find, And for a higher train their mind. [page 33] And after I’ve from you departed, Do not be cast down or disheartened If fools you meet; for bear in mind, I’ll leave a lot of fools behind. Well, friend, of time I have no more To spare, for I must onward soar. If my delay gives you a lesson, I hope ’twill prove to you a blessing. Well, April First, since you must go, Adieu; but I’ll remember, though, While earthly wisdom holds its sway, We’ll all be fools, in our own way.
THE MAID O’ER THE WAY.
The toils of the day resigned for rest; The sun’s last rays had sunk in the West, The blissful hour of the gray twilight, And gathering shadows of coming night. Sweet is the voice at the murmuring rill, Sharp is the cry of the whippoorwill, All is unnoticed; the maid o’er the way, Is wooing in thought, her lover so gay. The wind is blowing an eastern gale; Out from Oswego port stands a sail; [page 34] O’er the bulwark leaning, a sailor brave Is watching, as pass him, wave after wave. He needs not the tempest; its gathering might No terror inspires—his heart is right. He smilingly watches the dashing spray. Dreamlike he sees her—the maid o’er the way. It is Saturday night, the week’s work is o’er And ’neath the tree by the kitchen door, She is watching the threatening clouds with care, Inwardly breathing an earnest prayer. She turns to the door with somewhat of sorrow, Dreading a lonesome day to-morrow, Provided it was not permitted that they Should meet—the sailor and the maid o’er the way. Now Sunday eve, and the hour seemed blest, The pure azure sky and sun in the west, Seemed to smile, as looking in silence down, Prouder than wearer of worldly crown. ’Twas a fitting time for lovers to meet. Hark! down the valley, the patter of feet Hurrying onward, the maid o’er the way Springs forward to meet him. I’ll never betray. Near a beautiful river, a cottage is seen, And children are playing out on the green; Oft at night, ere their head’s on the pillow, Stories are told of the bounding billow. [page 35] Two that reside there, we’ve heard of before; One of them sails for a living no more; Any that know them, will remember alway, The once reckless rover, and maid o’er the way.
FOR SOME WHO SNEER.
Sometimes it hurts the dignity Of educated men, If those who have not studied books, Dare take in hand the pen. They seem to think ’tis their sole right, To educate the mass; They may be right, but I contend, That Nature has her class. And that is where I love to learn; Her studies I enjoy; If College learning makes the man, Then I’m content a boy. I know some learned professionals, Delight to publish prose; When I attempt to show my verse, They sneer and twist their nose. And all because I’ve not been taught, In what they call High School; [page 36] They seem to think it not my place, And say, “don’t be a fool.” To such I’d ask, what makes you mind A foolish boy like me? If my poor verses don’t attract, What makes it bother thee. But there are only few of these, And them we soon forget; For all their study, I believe They are ignorant yet.
Eyes of richest, rarest hue,— Proof direct her heart is true,— Sparkling, dancing, luring, meaning, Full of love and passion gleaming, Listless, dreamy,—worth a crown: Favourite colour, beautiful brown. Tresses wondrous dark and glowing, Loosely hanging, tossing, flowing, Chignons slighting, ribbons spurning, Glossy, wavy—hearts upturning, Shading features, classical, fair; Admirable ringlets, beautiful hair. [page 37] Face expressive, smiling, cheering, Winning, loving, all-endearing; With bad passion never shrouded; Lines of care, yet not o’er-clouded; Encouraging, drawing, unresisting, Happy, real, true, bewitching. Form, while slight, erect in bearing; Step elastic, heart ensnaring, Carriage firm, yet unassuming, Still unconscious rivals dooming; Careless, reckless glances throwing, Not intentional, discord sowing. Mind and spirit lofty, strong, Upholding right, forgiving wrong; Hopeful, high, forgiving wrong; Always watchful, ever learning. Struggling in the path of duty,— Peerless lady, matchless beauty.
Smoky Hollow! Dear and Jolly; Many days I’ve with thee spent, Finding pleasure Without measure, To me not given,—only lent. [page 38] Merry faces Were thy graces; Though thy follies were not few; I can but love Thee far above All other land that’s met my view. For, did I not, In yonder cot Find her for whom my heart did long? Then all my days I will thee praise, With pen, in verse, and in the song. Just o’er the rill, Near yonder hill, My father tills his little farm. Many a prayer Offered there, Preserved me from many a harm. As thee I near, Hope yields to fear; Do all my dear old comrades still Make thee their home? Or do some roam The spirit world. Why such cold thrill? Has death been here? Tyrant! severe, And robbed thee of some former joys? [page 39] Of many a smile That did beguile? And where are all my neighbour boys? But such a task! Why do I ask? ’Twould cause us many hours of pain. Let’s think and rest,— It’s all for best, I pray we all may meet again. But Smoky Hollow! While I follow That which brings me worldly worth; A thought for thee Will always be, As one dear spot to me, on earth.
On Lake Ontario’s shores, one summer’s day, I strolled, to pass some idle hours away; And feelings sad Stole o’er me, as I watched the waters blue; Thoughts of loving schoolmates and comrades true, With hearts once glad, Who had left their native ville and quiet home, And chose a sailor’s life to lead and roam,— Now, ’neath the waves Have found their graves. [page 40] I, so desponding, envied them their shroud. Of such a winding-sheet I could be proud, Were I to die. And though no artist from his hands had sent Such beauty or such lasting monument, In which to lie. Have I been thinking wrong? and are they vain? Reversing thoughts now usher through my brain, And answering say,— Another day.
A HUNGRY LOVER.
Could I my fateful love reveal, To her who caused this pain! But ’tis decreed, I must conceal, To her I fain would gain. Oh, cruel lady! heed’st thou not? Thy heart is cold as steel. Can’st not be won, or ever got, Proud one? Dost thou not feel? Can it be thee, to lure me on, Discard, or worse, destroy? Exulting when thy work is done? Will wickedness bring joy? If, in thy heart, be found one spot [page 41] Where mercy could reside, I’d give my studying brain the plot, To try me there to hide. Refuse me not this last bequest; Give, O give, compassion! Or make, dear lady, this request: “Come in and get your ration.”
Good Book, in truth you get abuse From those for whom you’re given, Paths, without number, men do choose, Each only right for Heaven. Men take your words to prove their creed, To suit their selfish whims, Their bias minds, will, as they read, Recall their neighbours’ sins. Some take from you, the right to lead Their fellow men, and try Others condemn; have they not need Of pity from on high? It seems to me, if we would take Pattern from our Saviour, Love more each other, for his sake, There’d be good behaviour. [page 42]
OCT. 5th, 1876.
Number Ten Express, with a heavy train, Was running at make-up speed; The Driver and Fireman working to gain Lost time with their iron steed. The train sped on at a beautiful rate, And everything working prime; What man, if his start is somewhat late, Loves not to make up lost time? The head lamp streaming its light ahead, Showed a smooth and well-kept track, The engine with fuel and steam was fed, For Irving was at its back. A tried man sat at his watchful post With never a look to fear; No better one could the Western boast, Than Cooper, the Engineer. The trainman are at their places, and count The sidings, as carried past, With knowledge that duty is paramount. But hark! the sharp whistle blast! Three quick short shrieks are heard. Too late! The engine has left the rail; And sudden but truly the hand of fate Writes out a full mournful tale. How cool brave hearts on that fatal night, [page 43] Left home and their loves full dear, But to return a heart-rending sight, O, death! thou art too severe. How sorrow has entered the once bright home, Unwelcome, has taken a seat; How, shorn of its treasure, inmates will roam, And mourn this life incomplete.
When into the married state you glide With him who claims you as his bride, And loves you strong and well as such, Be generous—do not expect too much. For in so doing love has perished, That once was true and fondly cherished, And many an over-expectant heart, With cherished fancies has to part. A high enthusiasm at first, Is followed oft by fears the worst; But where both are inclined to give, A life of love they find to live. And happier than a queen anointed Is she who is not disappointed, [page 44] Who, finding troubles slight ahead, Prepares to lightly o’er them tread. Your love for him of whom you’re proud, Need seldom be proclaimed aloud; True love is deep and depth is thought, ’Tis scarcely sold, and never bought. Do you look for perfectness? Forsooth You may; but recognize this truth; No man has ever been wholly good, If his whole life were understood.
* * * * *
She stands beside her chosen one, A happy youthful bride, And ere the ceremony done Her faith is strongly tried. The questions put are earnest, plain; Almost too plain to bear; Thought flashes through her trusting brain, Betraying an inward care. But woman’s heart can scarcely cherish A truth against love pitted; It needs must be that fancies perish, She must not be outwitted. Accepting then the unknown fate, All troubles she defies, [page 45] Looks forward to a happy state, No cloud is in her skies. Her friends wish joy and bid her cheer, As if they really need; She trusts in him, who, to her dear, Is her whole life and creed. I would not now the future dare, Nor with its coming cope; I would not wake one sleeping care, Or damp one burning hope. Love is a flower of modest kind But unsurpassed in beauty, ’Tis grown in richest soil—the mind; Its culture—pleasant duty. Love is a trusting, clinging vine; Embracing, winding, mute; May it this whole wide world entwine, And all enjoy its fruit.
With anxious minds and eager eyes The parents watch their dying child; False hope encouraged still arise, Love often has fond hearts beguiled. [page 46] While earth’s affections, ever vain, Cling fast to all humans hold dear; We’er apt to forget, who sends the rain, Sends sunshine too, the earth to cheer. Their pet seems not to comprehend; There’s more of wonder than of fear. Perhaps the babe sees but a friend In death? We know of life severe. Or can it be the darling knows, And feels what we may never feel Of love, with which sin never goes; Unselfish, heavenlike and real? Nothing to doubt, naught to forgive; So pure, sin dare not venture near. Why wonder babe cares not to live? Why search for any sign of fear? Sweeter and dearer moments make The babe appear. The end is nigh, Hearts grieve and sink. Earth hopes forsake. Babes last farewell in nature’s sigh. Death’s sickle cut the tiny thread, And left a peaceful, lifeless face. With quiet care, the little dead Is lowered to its resting place. Prized now each sacred treasure; The little toys put safe away. [page 47] Loves of memory will not measure, Making happier day by day. Religious thoughts preserve the soul, Reverting back they bring to mind How Christ the children did extol; Blessed them all in manner kind. Of such the kingdom is, He says! This promise is to them alone. Their angels do behold always The face of Him upon the Throne. Sinful to mourn? No, human and weak, Parents their children will ever seek; And out of a mother’s heart of hearts, Thoughts of a dear little angel starts.
What was unfolded years ago, That you promised not to tell? Does now any mortal know? Have you kept my secrets well? Since the day when you were married To the husband of your choice, [page 48] To the love that since has tarried; Have you ever given voice? Does he know the love I bore? And while he was happy made, That I suffered grievous sore, That my life was in a shade? Did he never note a sadness When I passed athwart his door? Was it vain to hide my madness? Does he know the heart he tore? Sailing on the ocean billow, Struggling to forget my sorrow; When my head upon my pillow, Wishing for a brighter morrow. Was my secret safe in keeping? Oft repeated in my heart, Ever for an answer seeking, Never from the thought to part. Yet my faith was only shaken, Broken never, I believed In her who had the promise taken, For she knew I was bereaved. Have you all my sorrow kept? Hidden all the truth for me? Dearest lady, I have wept For the love I lost in thee. [page 49] The world you say will never know, Never other heart than thine? Blessings on you, I must go, Faith in you is always mine. See, my vessel restless waits, Longing for our wild, wide home, Together we defy the Fates, Our joy is the sea’s mad foam. The ocean’s bosom is our rest, Its songs shall be my knell; The secret safe within your breast, Take now a last farewell.
That things we do are right, because They may not contradict the laws; Or, backed by law, there’s righteousness In acts that struggling ones distress. That only those who learn at college Can hold a proper claim to knowledge; Or wisdom is confined to books, Or many words and studied looks. That others have no right to toy With that wherein we find no joy; [page 50] Or only we are given light, With which can be discerned the right. That they alone are fit to rule, Who’ve studied in a cunning school; Or praises ought to be confined To those who can the simple blind. That only they who win, may claim Rewards that go to make up fame; Or brave ones cannot conquered be; Or heroes die triumphantly. That there is any noble birth, Except of thought, higher than earth; Or titles, wealth, landed estate, Are those by which a man should rate. That men of many words are those With whom the most of knowledge goes; Or who with language can disguise, Must necessary be most wise. That who does regular attend The church, is to the church a friend; Or holiness is found in hymn, When used to gratify a whim. That one who loud on Sunday prays, May well be trusted other days; Or those who make the most pretense, Have honor in the highest sense. [page 51] That profit comes from those who preach Of things away beyond their reach; Or He who rules has changed His course Since Nature’s laws were put in force. That every lofty, shining steeple In sign of good among the people; Or gaudy, vain, and showy clothes, Along with earnest worship goes. That truest lessons can be taught Where laws are made to stifle thought; Or liberty can be enjoyed With thought confined, or mind decoyed. That all of good, by human mind, Was ever thoroughly defined; Or as to truth, a man, or men, Can tell the why, the where, and when. That love will leave without a cause, Or stay a slave to selfish laws. That friends are to be used as tools; Or sympathy lives but in fools. That slavery and serfdom can Be justified outside of man; Or what is known as intellect, Belongs to color, tribe or sect. That any Court on earth may take A life and plead—for moral’s sake; [page 52] Or gallows, axe and guillotine, Do not combine revenge to mean. That wars, except for home defense, Are ever fought by men of sense; Or ambition is a fair pretext For having neighbors’ land annexed. That happiness from riches spring; Or luxury true pleasures bring. That lasting joys are bought and sold; Or Wisdom trades her peace for gold. That charities can well be dealt By those who have not sorrows felt; Or ever was created pain To be proclaimed, in truth, as vain. That He who governed from the first, Cannot trace good among the worst; Or does not, will not, always claim All languages can ever name. [page 53]
FROM A DIARY OF 1876.
1875, farewell! And yet, the parting does not grieve; Memories live, and who can tell How many thou did’st with us leave? We call thee old, why is it so? Thy sojourn with us was not long; Scarce long enough to well thee know, E’re called to chant thy funeral song. But short as hast been thy career, Thy teachings to us were well meant; All erring men will have a fear Thy time might have been better spent. A year ago, thine end not seen, Thy future distant seemed to be; But magnified as thou has been In time; what in eternity? Less than a grain of sand that lies Embedded in the ocean’s shore; Or as a moment quickly flies, Thou may be likened. Nothing more. [unnumbered page] Let all of us for wisdom strive, And if we may only reach her, So long as we remain alive, We will not forget our Teacher Let 1875 retain, And take away our old bad tricks; We’ll learn enough if we remain, From our new 1876. When passion rules the untutored mind, And careless words are given vent, Secrets of the heart exposed we find, And on its throne sits discontent. Wrong words against a neighbor spoken Should not be noticed more than need; Preserve the friendship won unbroken, And as professed, be friends indeed. As, like the weather changes we, Are powerless to detain, So every pleasure we may see Is followed by a pain. As warm south wind in winter’s time We for a spell enjoy, So hope makes every feature shine, [page 2] Too oft but to decoy. Search then the only lasting hope, That nought on earth can blast; That reaches out, takes endless scope And serves unto the last. Passing through the shadows, dreary Seems my way, and lonely Are my thoughts, for I am ill and weary. Sun of my life, shine once more only, And light my path that I may tread My way more sure; nor stray Away among the lost, the damned, the dead. Give out your truest, brightest ray. Then I may sing my joys, and be A merry traveller. When the end Is reached, I will remember thee As more than is declared in friend. Could Robert Burns return and see Reverence that is now being shown, To his immortal memory, He’d wonder how he must have grown. When living, Rab was nothing great; [page 3] The friends of the poor bard were few; When gratitude is shown too late He who deserves gets not his due Burns’ proud spirit would not bend, Nor humbled be by any clan; His nature could not condescend— An honest, independent man. His genius shown to all the world, Who now dare try to underrate? See Robert Burns’ flag unfurled And all at last appreciate. There are some people in this place Depend on what they have of grace, To put them through all right. Keen to decry and wrong a neighbor, To put one down will strive and labor, Hearts full of bitter spite. When such engage themselves in prayer, Cry Lord! and feign the grearest care, For all Christ said is good, And rising from their knees they spy The mote that’s in a brother’s eye, The farce is understood. [page 4] The Robins are back in all their glee, Merrily skipping from tree to tree; Full welcome as harbingers of spring, And for the sweet happy songs they sing. No matter how cold, or keen, or long, The Winter has been, it ends in song With the birds; and man, with all his boast, May envy joys of the airy host. Unfurl the green banner and carry it high, Remembering Old Ireland, well may we sigh For land o’er the sea, long shorn of its beauty, Can Irishmen ever forget their duty? Let the “Harp of Erin” pour out in sweet strain, Sing us the songs of the land over the main. The shamrock will flourish and yet Liberty, Will rule in the Emerald Isle of the sea. The world will yet see, for Reason, our leader, Will teach us to conquer with good common sense. Superstition no longer acting as feeder, Real worth will replace Pounds, Shillings and Peace. We are telling stories of our younger days, And little is found therein to praise; [page 5] But our features are radiant with careless joy; Be slow to condemn a wayward boy. If men cannot withstand temptation, And nature tempts to relaxation, At times too, not of the purest kind, For none can perfect be of mind, What then may we expect from youth? Do we look for better in them? Forsooth We often may; but our growing pride Accepts the lesson in shame to hide. The snow is disappearing fast, The sun is shining brightly, Old Winter’s die is nearly cast, The birds again are sprightly. Some for Winter’s pleasure mourn, Others bless the sweet spring morn; Some enjoy what others trouble, Smoothest waters bear a bubble. A friend has asked advice regarding Entering into the married state; Although my nature’s not retarding, I’ve advised him for to wait. [page 6] He is a plain and bashful fellow, Some girl, because this is leap year, Has touched him where he’s rather mellow; That he is captured, there is fear. Advantage has of him been taken, Flirts get anxious—dread such fate. I’ll try and have the boy awaken, And see the truth before too late. Oh! April Fool, poor April Fool, You’r no exception to the rule; For all your brother days do see As many fools as maybe thee. Some of our great have to acknowledge That foolishness is learned in college; You are a fool, is frequent said, But fools will live when we are dead. Old Sol. was wise in the extreme, Yet dwelt on many foolish theme; So wisdom when of earthly kind, To foolishness will be inclined. Those men who prophesied the end, Can claim you a particular friend; We call you April Fool, but they Are the worst fools there are to-day. [page 7] Begone Winter, welcome Spring, Higher aims to mortals bring; Gloomy, wintry weather go, Take away your sheet of snow. Though your emblem is the white Yet your burdens are not light, Starving poor and pinching old, Purity like yours is cold. Your looks are well, we may own, But in harshness you have grown So we cannot for you mourn, Brighter season now is born. The sun, it seems, can scarcely shine, April will not get into line, Cloudy, damp and provoking cool; Such weather April finds to rule. But April will not always last; He cannot travel much too fast: There must be shown a brighter day, Or else he’ll lose the maiden May. ’Tis whispered, though a modest coon, He speaks of love—does handsome June; Though April will be loath to part With May, she’ll seek a warmer heart. [page 8] Building a chicken coop to-day, And though it may not well repay ’Twill answer to amuse. Speculation is not my forte, One has to pay for what of sport He may at odd times choose— Though my other wants may thicken, I’ll go now for raising chicken, And never count the cost. Those searching all their life for gold Will find true pleasures are not sold, For life is tempest-tossed.
A SEASON WITH POETS.
Intending now to spend a season With some poets, who are dear To all who love to read and reason, Though the last may not appear. Most of faults are under cover, What we love, we’re apt admire, So, every author is a lover, Success every man’s desire. Always careful in your reading, Never take too much at once; There’s none who are not lessons needing, Yet, we seldom find a dunce. [page 9] Can you spare of time and money? Get their works and read them through; Like the bees extracting honey From buds bloss’ming every hue.
Virtue hath pain as well as pleasure, Taste is not to be thrown aside, Imagination is a lively treasure, These things are true, Mark Akenside. Love is the reason of living things, And with it happy privilege brings; The proof of these are produced daily, We must agree with P. J. Bailey. Mrs. Barbauld has passed the strife, And left us beautiful lessons for life; Her “Dirge” is a pretty piece to sing, Worship is found in “Ode to Spring.” To the primrose was addressed, Some pretty words with art in; Nature’s prompting are the best, Assured by Bernard Barton. Never mention “Isle of Beauty!” Could we so forget a duty? [page 10] The “First Grey hair” and “Hark the Strains,” Belong to Bailey-Thomas Haynes. Read of “Edwin,” the shepherd boy, Who in dreadful storms found joy. The “Humble Wish” and “Hermit Treaty;” All composed by a James Beattie. Melancholy has got control, Very grave, yet really fair; In judging them upon the whole, Pronounce them good for Robert Blair. Sleep, little baby, sleep; Closed thine eyes and little mouthie; Weep, childless mother, weep; Mourned, alas! by Mrs. Southey. “Bamborough Castle,” “On The Rhine,” William Lyle Bowles are thine, Your evening lingers; “Time” has smitten “The Cliffs” and one at “Ostend” written. The silver floods glide softly down, As bids his friend and joy farewell; Sad is the story of William Browne, Although we hope, it ne’er befell. The “Cry of the Children” is sad indeed, “Cowper’s Grave” with spirits drowning; A “Dead Rose” from its drawer freed, Lovely Elizabeth Barrett Browning. [page 11] There is none to match the simple beauty, Natural wit of Scotia’s gems; Of songs that speak each other’s duty, And mark the life of Robert Burns. For vividness of thought and life, And verse with spur and fire in; England, always first in strife, May justly honor Byron. His deep and strong imagination, None dare try to trammel; The last of all that make a nation, Is pride of Thomas Campbell. He came, a real live Earl, Carlisle, With titles, pomp and in fine style. Niagara Falls were well surveyed, And peaceful verses from them made. This poet praised the women well, Their virtues he was proud to tell; Geoffrey Chaucer counsel gave Which, minded, makes a peaceful grave. “An Ode” addressed to the Almighty, For Chatterton had seen affliction; While sick in soul could yet extol, Such minds know no restriction. Oft will we stop with youthful glare, To trace the opening beauties strive, [page 12] But it is said by one John Clare, Not long such joys remain alive. What Hartley Coleridge says is true— She is not fair to outward view, And her worst frowns are sweeter far Than smiles of most of maidens are. For him a humble grave was made, With nought of pomp was in it laid, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet, Lives to this day and many know it. Through many a land, in many a nook, The work of the lady, Eliza Cook, Will be remembered, for who will dare To underate our “Old Arm Chair.” The “Fireside” by Nathaniel Cotton, Once read will not soon be forgotten; If it is thoroughly understood, All will acknowledge it is good. “I am Monarch of all I survey,” William Cowper as author of that: A “Wintery walk at middle of day, Will not, if read, be called flat. Richard Crawshaw, solemn speaking, Rays of Heaven through him leaking; Lines are read with stifled breath, Less of life and more of death. [page 13] Cupid, uppermost in rhyme, Here master of it solely, He sings of love most of the time, Does Reverend Georgie Croly. Allen Cunningham is the name To which we call attention, He won himself a poet’s fame Too lofty now to mention. “Eliza stood on wood-crowned heights,” (For women will take lofty flights.) Few callings are, have not a star in, So, made to shine—Erasmus Darwin. Michael Drayton in his “Sonnet” Has a prize and fair has won it. “The battle of Agincourt” is well, And “Coyish love, don’t ever tell.” Turn to the “Wonders of the Lane,” Though the world has not fell yet, None the powers can well disdain Of Ebenezer Elliott. He met her in secret, in the depth of night, Do not judge hasty, it may be quite right; Ismeal Fitzadam was in love that is certain— No business of ours, so down goes the curtain. If those dear eyes that watch me now Could search the thought within my brain, [page 14] They’d know what I dare not avow; Serene a thinker, is Julian Fane. “The Persian,” “The Sun” and “The Cloud” betray A restless imagination sure, But “Black-eyed Susan” by John Gay, Is recommended as good to cure. Oliver Goldsmith and his “Village Pastor” Were men that owned not time their master; The traveller may go his journey’s length, E’re Goldsmith’s match is found in strength. James Graham to noble thought aspired, True worship was that he desired; Great buildings with their proud devices Often the weak in mind entices. There are few of all the human race With such as this man can keep pace; I doubt ’twill be a long, long day, Before we find a Thomas Grey. There will be mothers to lament, And vows will oft be broken. Gerald Griffin a message sent That is too true a token. A “Child’s first Grief” hard to bear, Felicia Hemans writes full fair; The “Voice of Spring” is welcome sound, And “Home” is always welcome ground. [page 15] George Herbert was a virtuous man, He wrote so bright, so cool, so calm, If virtue lasting honors give, This poet’s work will always live. James Hogg, the Etterick Shepherd, A rather large eccentric name— Was a master in a manner, And is not unknown to fame. “The song of the Shirt,” “The bridge of Sighs,” Beside many others, are good, Composed by a man considered wise, He is known by name—Thomas Hood. Long, long upon the scales of fate, When others may have thought too late, Lord Houghton grasped firm his pen And wrote fair lessons unto men. Leigh Hunt has told a many story, Some for love and some for glory, The one about the lions and glove Shows us that even fools may love. Ben. Johnson gives a definition Of that monster jealousy, Sets it forth in plain position, Reason must with him agree. If beauty is a joy forever, As proclaimed by John Keats, [page 16] Few are who handle well the lever, Many ways this question treats. Time may mar with trouble’s traces, Yet love we old familiar faces, Founded on some lasting basis, Waiting with patience calm. Friendship, full of happy graces, Shall live like Charles Lamb. Why Rosalind, why thus complaining? Does Cupid long to with thee lodge? Take in the lad and mind his training— A cunning piece by Thomas Lodge. Hail beautious stranger of the grove! Your songs are fresh and new; John Logan loved through woods to rove, And sing to the Cuckoo. Who so rash as seek to cover Glories won by Samuel Lover? “The four-leaved Shamrock,” truly clever; “The Angels Whisper” lives forever. When “Delia” on the plain appears, George Littleton is filled with fears, And though a Lord, and powers claim, He battles against the maid in vain. Lord Macauly, a shining star, Hero of “Henry of Navarre.” [page 17] Enthusiastic spirit thine; Preserved with care is every line. Climbing high the mountain top! Great poet, will you never stop? Are you seeking the end? You may, But vain such searching—Charles MacKay. James McPherson is a poet deep “Father of Heroes” a triumph has won. The imagination refuses to sleep, As seen in “Osian’s address to the Sun.” The “Village bells with silver chime,” Are found in Thomas Miller’s rhyme: In Nature’s loveliness he finds The grandest theme of grandest minds, John Milton, friend to all mankind, Possessor of a glorious mind, A benefactor of our race; None other left to fill his place. W. T. Moncrief has been beguiled, He wept when he should gladly smiled, And smiled when he should sorrowing wept, Could ever man such feelings kept? Deeper diving, higher striving, Onward, closer to wisdom’s gate, Always yearning, ever learning; James Montgomery, it is fate. [page 18] Go wing your flight from star to star, And search the most remoteless shore; Bring all the power from near or far And find you one like Thomas Moore. If sons of clay would cease to love, As advised by Mrs. Norton— We could not joy in things above, There would be no more courting. Men of ease, give ear unto Those who live where skies are darker. Sails the ocean are but few Can be as bold as Martyn Parker. Thomas Percy loved his Nanny, Fairest of the fair, and more He lived to love a many Granny, Did the Bishop of Dromore. In the “Messiah” is wondrous scope, Written by Alexander Pope, A man who seeming filled with hope Writes with an envious ease; Few are would care to with him cope; His poems always please. Sir Walter Raleigh, a famous Knight, Found a shepherd in a bad plight, Advised the boy his love to forego As all idle fancies end in woe. [page 19] Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, The mansion, castle, cot; Fame has a precious garland wove For love of Walter Scott. Less of music, more dramatic, Too correct to call fanatic; Much of study makes us fear There is none other like Shakespeare. Sir Phillip Sidney lingered long, With earthly attendant did commune; It is rather an interesting song, For such a subject as the moon. Horace Smith addressed a mummy; One would think he was a dummy, But if the piece is thorough read, We find the dummy is not dead. They sin who say that love can die, For Robert Southey would not lie; That he had knowledge, all agree, By studying Nature’s library. Robert Southwell, on the times, Into imagination climbs; Tide and fortune go by turns, He shows a light that always burns. Sir John Suckling lost his heart, A pretty maiden was the thief; [page 20] When Cupid shoots the fiery dart Hold Knights must even come to grief. The Earl of Surrey cries—give place! Are we then bound to obey His Grace? Not much. And if he comes between Our loves, we’ll lay him on the green. Algeron Charles Swinburn has spoken, All the world accepts the token; Pleasure, grief, remembrance, strength, Combine to form a man at length. The meanest creature one surmises Will farther than a penny run; What though now the world surprises Is works of Alfred Tennyson. A. Alexander Watts was one Who took great pride in what he done; And well he might, none have denied There’s beauty in “Our own Fireside.” Whitworth, William Henry, saw Old “Time” rise up and shake his paw, While “Death,” his page, full trembling stood “Hope” closed the grave, for He is good. “Not a drum was heard,” Charles Wolfe has said, Nor a funeral note, as they buried the dead, His battle’s ended, his last task o’er; Sad indeed was the burial of Sir John Moore. [page 21] William Wordsworth has gems indeed; Read “We are Seven” though two are freed; In “Scenes of Childhood” spend a day, And fail not reading “Lucy Gray.” The longer life the more offence; And any that may try it, Will find there is a deal of sense Said by Sir Thomas Wyatt.
“The Western World” with spirits free, Is a splendid piece of poetry; What William Cullen Bryant found Will spread good-will the world around. Ralph Waldo Emerson is known To all, both sides Atlantic; In Eva’s charms he once was thrown, His struggles then were frantic. Oliver W. Holmes well knew, When he wrote the L’Inconnue, That he would remembered be If only for those verses three. Who loves music, sweet and mellow? Who loves verse brim-full of thought? [page 22] Read the works of a Longfellow, Who for wisdom nobly sought. Greenville Mellen wants to know If there’s not magic in a name? Now some may shed a brighter glow, But all are very much the same. Hear you again the good old song, Of “Woodman spare that tree?” To George P. Morris it does belong, And long it will remembered be. A “Raven” on a midnight dreary Came Edgar Allen Poe to weary, And perched itself upon a bust above his chamber door; Its mission was but to annoy, Already he was void of joy, For he had lost a maiden, whose name was once Lenore; In vain he asked the Raven, pressing, pressing for an answer sore, If he might not clasp his maiden In that happy, heavenly maiden, When all on earth to him was o’er? But the Raven, mocking only, Speaks a word that sounds so lonely, And in that one word, so spoken, All his hope forever broken, [page 23] To his soul a dreaded token. Shall I never higher soar? The Raven answers, nevermore The shadow of a hand, as seen, Upon your sideboard, or your wall, Would not be thought of much to mean, But R. H. Stoddard gives it all. Moan ye wild winds, Bayard Taylor Asked not favour for the sailor. The moaning winds and dreary rain Remind us of our every pain. J. G. Whittier espied one summers day “Maud Miller” raking in a field of hay, And as a judge was riding slowly by Maud gazed with eager, earnest, wishful eye. “My life is like the summer rose,” A pretty piece and nicely styled; Those who know how this song goes, Remember Richard Henry Wilde. “Better Moments” never chill us But it is said Nathaniel Willis With soldiers’ widows sympathized; Should he for that be catechised? Samuel Woodsworth owns “The Bucket,” Into his father’s well he stuck it; [page 24] It hung there until covered with moss, Of historical buckets, this is the boss. The poets represented here To many hearts are very dear, Though some are gone, yet some survive Fond memories keep them all alive, But whether here, or over there, On earth, or in a land more fair, We love their writings that remain; Where there is loss, is sometimes gain, As, when the sunk sinks from our sight We miss its warmth, its cheer, and light, Our darkened feelings we restrain, For why? We know ’twill rise again. Welcome merry Christmas here, Bring to our hearts a taste of cheer; May all make thee an honored guest And treat thee with respect the best. Our thoughts will trace out loves full dear And friends will gather far and near; May the enjoyment of Christmas day The whole year’s sorrow melt away. The last of seventy-six is here, And as we part we pray That all will end as does this year, In one grand Sabbath Day. [page 25]
Shall mortals speak when Nature smiles? My tongue refuses to convey; A mind enchanted by her wiles, May lovinglike be led away. Away! The echo is not heard, But in a chamber of my heart, I feel the flutter of a bird, Whose songs my very soul do start. My charge is, though—not to repeat— A needless one, I have no gift For songs so wondrous clear and sweet, And yet I love their meanings sift. Ah! yes; the life we live is blest With that we can but entertain; There’re places where the wearied rest, And joy to list to Love’s refrain. Away! ’Tis sweet thus to be led; Hope is an all inspiring guide; Through Nature’s walks I softly tread, While flowers bloom on either side. [unnumbered page] If artful hands should ever touch My truest, dearest, choicest flow’r, Forgiveness could not come to such. For it would fade within the hour. And as I stayed to watch it die, My Hope would sally from my sight; Then with my dead love lying nigh, I’d pray for an approaching night. But glad am I, my flower grows Where Art is scarcely known to reach; And yet, what everybody knows Is hardly worth the while to teach. Lady, with you so shall it be, As Time his onward course shall tread. He’ll mark that you may easy see, One life is to another wed. And every truthful step you take Will prove, as flies each passing day, That Hope with love can for you make A Heaven never far away.
THE CHRISTMAS EVERGREEN.
Nearly two thousand years ago, A tiny sprout appeared; [page 2] Though for a time its growth was slow, It stands among us reared. A plant, whose wondrous spreading roots All kinds of soil does pierce, Its branches bend with healthful fruits Though borne in climates fierce. It changes not its color true, Yet forms a lovely scene; All people welcome are to view The Christmas Evergreen.
When I call him a man, all may comprehend What is recognized in a staunch and true friend: When I say he’s a hero, my all I will stake I am not deceived as regards Uncle Jack. A vigorous body and an active mind; A fair guarantee he will not be behind In the struggle of life, determined to take His place in the battle, is brave Uncle Jack. A genial companion, compassionate man, A genuine christian, deny it who can; Just enough of the pride which must be to make A character such as has good Uncle Jack. [page 3] I have known him to smile when others have wept, And have known him to give when other have kept; For a friend he will bend where others will break; A true sympathizer is dear Uncle Jack. He is not over rich, but is well to do; A kind hearted man, to humanity true, Oft as traversing the road by the Lake, I joy in a visit with old Uncle Jack. And often I wish that the world understood How much there is lost of the wholesomest food; There are hungry hearts which would willing partake If more would distribute like old Uncle Jack.
What is there in a kiss To make a maiden sorrow? Short lived is the bliss She seems from it to borrow. Are kisses but a token Of vows that soon are broken? What is there in a kiss That men so highly prize When with a pretty Miss They in their heart despise? [page 4] Are kisses used as a tool? Successful only with a fool. The question may be treated; There is in kisses beauty, Could they be proper meted, It were a wholesome duty, But if we ask a maid betrayed, An answer will not be delayed. Parents print them on the brow And cheeks of children dear; Lovers practice, knowing how To break the bands of modest fear. Wherin, then, can the rake so prize A kiss? The answer all surmise. Their meanings numerous are, Conveyancers of love, As pure as brightest star That shines in heaven above; But covering often bitter hate Which vengeance only can abate. Virtue and truth employ Kisses for artless ends, Finding in them the joy Which does not need amends; They also act with base deceit And with betrayers stoop to treat. So beautiful when good, [page 5] As when true lovers meet Words are not understood, Kiss claims the foremost seat. If kisses are not handled well, The saddest stories are to tell.
What serious thought is brought to mind to-day? A funeral throng are wending slow their way To churchyard on the hill, and mem’ries pave Their footsteps clear, from childhood to the grave A mother dead; children follow; sorrow Fills each heart. Looking toward the morrow A blank it seems; and yet, ’tis hard to bear. Mother lost? No! Still, there the vacant chair. Who will pretend to show, but those who know, The feelings of the child as treading slow, Following all of her who patient bore Great sorrows to be happy evermore. Hope, child! Your mother’s love exists. Yonder Vault of Heaven, now a source of wonder Is but the dwelling place of loved ones; blest Are they who occupy that glorious rest. [page 6] From yon dark, dreary clouds, which hide Beauties of the heavenly arch, Snows come, o’er which we gaily glide, And rains to save the earth from parch. So sorrows come to shield the mind From dwindling unconcerned away; To keep our thoughts the more inclined Toward an everlasting day.
I had a happy dream last night, A form and face, radiant with love, Stood by my lonely bed, Her eyes shone out soft, wondrous light; I asked how came she from above, And this is what she said. Our Father in Heaven, the King, Looked down on the Earth he had made, Saw unhappiness here, He called His Angels to sing Their dearest song, and He bade Those round the Throne to hear. With accord, the Angelic throng Sang praises and thanks to The King; The Spirits near the throne [page 7] Were blest in the beautiful song, Our Home with hosannas did ring, O! How the Glories shone! The Angels, encouraged now, In their song, Earth’s affections plead, And to The Throne drew near; With trembling wings their heads did bow By Hope inspired, these words He said, My Angels, do not fear. What would you for those creatures done? Your wishes I would have you speak; My Messengers who stand Around me, wait. My pleading son Earth’s happiness does ever seek, Now what shall I command? With but one voice the Angels spake, And thus the Great One did request With Charity and Hope: Let us go down to Earth and break Glad tellings; tell how came we blest, For they in darkness grope. One wave of hand, two bright forms stood Before The King, with graceful mien, Anxious their Lord to please. I will, no longer Earth shall brood, Conduct those who have sorrows seen To all who sorrow sees. [page 8] Go! Heaven’s blessing you attend; My Angels, I now acquiesce; Go tell the love I bear The world; your King shall be their Friend, Whose love if they will but possess, Shall them a crown prepare. The Hosts of Heaven thankful bent Their Angel forms, as finished He, Then near The King arose. The pleading one; with sweet accent He added, give them love from me. ’Twas Christ, who feels and knows. And so my child, your mother stands Beside your lonely bed to-night To tell you of the joy. That waits you in the better land; O, it’s so pure, and sweet, and bright, I want you there, my boy. Myriads of wings are in the air, Searching loved ones through the Earth, To show them how they may Be born to worlds all free from care. Your love shall fill at the last birth. She heard; and went away! I know though why she left me so; I’d have begged her stay till dawn, And she’d more work to do. [page 9] Others there are, she loves. I know, Is why she was so quickly gone. Mothers are wondrous true.
The birds seek out congenial climes And find the comfort there That is refused. ’Tis so with minds Which will not nurse despair. Is man, with God’s own image blest, Less free than they, in truth? Forbid. Old age will bring the rest, That is not found in youth. The plant that flourishes, then dies, Has not the power to speak, Or we might learn, without surprise, Of souls we should not seek. All feathered tribes, all creeping things, All beasts which man may name, To the Creator honor brings; Does man but offer shame? Endowed with faculty to love, With gifts from the Divine, With thoughts to soar from Earth above, With power to yearn and pine! [page 10] Oh man! go learn from Nature’s God, To be content, and know The paths are bare your parents trod, And scarce a weed may grow.
Great men have lived among us, many hours have spent, Often vain endeavour, their zeal we may commend; Yet failed they to produce, well as may have been meant. The substances that make the universal friend, Which cometh not through rank, or titled names alone, But sympathetic hearts, where goodly seed has grown. What heart is not illumined, as memories bright Bestir the mind, and cheer the brain with precious thought? Or soul not borne to higher aim, when urged its flight, By spirit—sprung from castle high, or humble cot— Is in its motive pure, and in its strength sublime? Though such may rest on earth its Master is not Time. When tongues controlled by sympathy for all do speak, Who is so wise as not to listen and attend? Who such a fool as not their fullest meanings seek, Or who so independent, not to need a friend? Among earth’s children few are they who learn to trace The secret springs of love which brighten human’s face. [page 11] When those whom we have truly learned to love, depart, Like shadows, heralding the dark approaching, night So gloomy sorrows come, and, creeping o’er the heart, Its windows close, ’till Hope within lets in the light And whispers to our souls—regrets and sighs are vain; Who makes the Sun to rise will bring them back again.
Through life we will have cause to grieve, ’Tis best; for when we do receive, We joy the more, and for my part I own at times a hungry heart. For happiness is not secured Where misery must be endured; When absence makes hearts grow fonder Loves, of course, are apt to wander. I speak of worldly things, but mind, Some day we leave them all behind, And then our souls from trouble freed Will find the rest God has decreed. From what is mortal, it is clear All troubles are enacted here; Greed, passion, appetite, desire, On earth flourish; never higher. [page 12] ’Tis such cause the soul to sorrow, Hope for brighter, happier morrow: Such looking cannot all be vain ’Twas God’s at first, ’twill be again.
Maggie, I scarce know what to say To you, on this your wedding day; Still, something prompts me with a word That whispers, pleading to be heard. What that word is, you can but know, But a visitor here below, Its home is Heaven, high above; Poor human’s reach, we call it Love. My fancy pictures it a bird, Whose chirp through icy winter heard; Defies the storms in life we meet, And makes the victory more complete. When Spring arrives with sunny face, And Summer musters all its grace; Some birds that with their dress deceive, When Autumn comes, prepare to leave. Then, we may gather from the past, Some happiness, but will it last? [page 13] I answer no, and why? forsooth; Because it was not lasting truth. True, unpretentious birds of snow, Will hover near when tempests blow; They are indeed fitting token, Of affection never broken. Another bird, of noble kind, Its name you will have cause to mind, Like higher minded souls, it flies Against the winds—’tis Paradise. Maggie, I won’t attempt disguise, The truth that hindrances rise; But winter’s stormiest, fiercest days, Does never drown the Snow Bird’s praise. When tired and weary, you’ve a place, That many try to reach through grace; There you shall joy and sing and rest, Not many, Maggie, are so blest.
Wise men at a table sitting, sitting stern-like in their chairs, Undertaking to do battle, battle for a country’s cares; Every nerve is strained for duty, [page 14] Each one anxious for such booty As may be found within such sphere, The quantity is not made clear, But greatest good is oft derived By throwing selfishness aside: And while men are earnest toiling, toiling for their neighbor’s good, Pots of strife should not be boiling, for it is unwholesome food. Men of letters often differ; differ why? we know the cause; It is one of Nature’s maxims. Maxims? no! but grandest laws;— All can learn from one another, No man lives the truth to smother; It is for this Councils have met To learn, decide and not forget To credit each with what is due, Though each may have of talents, few; Great ideas sometimes linger; linger where none care to look, Few would care Life’s Novel finger were there no end to the Book; Right over wrong ought have dominion, We cannot all hold one opinion, There is disease that has no cure, Rich men are very often poor, There’s nothing just that is not clear, Good counsel will not come severe. [page 15] The fault of this—our day—is spurning What does not come of college learning, And failing to improve the teaching That is not found in common preaching.
When the Sun, growing warm and bright, Sheding its strong and lustrous light, Through valleys, over hill and plain, Seeming in all its glory vain, Then the winged airy host does sing Their joyous songs, and welcome Spring. When the trees and the shrubs are freed, From Winter’s frost and icy greed; Decked are their branches with the green, Presenting artless, modest mien, Their fluttering voices to us bring, Sweet music, for they welcome Spring. When emblems of delicious fruits, Appear in form of buds and shoots, And when the earlier seeds are sown, All Nature then has warmer grown And yields to joy, impulse mingling, Creative power is found in Spring. When the storm of sorrow is past, [page 16] Though keen we may have felt its blast, Our hearts with joy again renewed, Our minds in pleasant hopes imbued; Then we the merry anthem ring, And earnestly we welcome Spring. When dark, depressive season ends, Though we may count some less of friends, Yet feel we soothed; the tyrant’s chain Lies at our feet, now broke in twain; We joy in freedom, so may sing, Welcome each relieving Spring.
TO A DARWINIST.
If man is but beast at best, As you do argue, let us test, And see if we can trace your kind, We may some great ancestors find. You won’t object, since you believe That what you have you did receive From non-intelligent sources, As hogs, or sheep, bulls, or horses. As you believe in progress, so We will commence at points below; Now as I survey your figure, In your faith I’m growing bigger. [page 17] Those feet and legs of your’s, I own, Have similar to baboons, grown; But if such argument must stand, How came you in this northern land? Your trunk is rounded like a log, Your chops are flat, but could a hog Be trained to eat as you’re able? Truth is often found in fable. Your shoulders, arms and clumsy paws, Does certainly uphold your cause; I am coming to the opinion, Over such a man holds dominion. Surveying close your ears and head, My mind is filled with brutish dread, That men have for their relation, Those who are below in station. But whether bi or quadruped, I am not settled on that head; Part of you is like the monkey, Part resembles well the donkey. I cannot with you now bewail, The loss of hairy hide and tail, Between the kinds draw out a line, Then you may find your Valentine. [page 18]
If it be good, is to be true, When you are far away; Then count me good and help me through To your returning day. If ’tis to miss a loving face And long for one full dear; Deep in my heart the good I trace, But, O! it fails to cheer. If it is for to wish and hope, To trust, to sorrow, joy; To yearn and with strong passion cope; I will be a good boy. I am lonely when you leave me, If ’tis only for a day; Absence cannot else but grieve me Darling; hurry back, I pray. I am selfish thus in speaking; Sweet, forgive me when I say, In your absence love is leaking; Darling, hurry back, I pray.
Let no man undertake the right To judge a fellow sinner; [page 19] All are led by different light, And God will name the winner. Judge not your brother, lest you be In error found at last; Who can into the future see? Or, who erase the past? Bold men do undertake to show They only can do well, Who take the path themselves do go, And others lead to hell. If all were rather more inclined To see what there is good Among others; the selfish mind Might then be understood. Man, in a self-conceited state, Is but the Devil’s tool. Sums can be figured without slate, Or any regular rule. Let he who judges other men First know himself is pure, A man may have a first rate pen, And still write very poor. Let he among you without sin, Be first to cast the stone— Not one dare try the honor win For self to each was shown. [page 20] If necessary, we are bound To judge each other here; The law has never yet been found Applied to higher sphere. The man who judges another soul, Assumes a foolish part; One who condemns should know the whole, A reader of the heart.
If Charity were pleased to dwell Where arrogance is taught; The world might of its virtue sell, But none is ever bought. If Charity proclaims a fault, ’Tis for the owner’s good; We cannot season without salt, And so we count it food. If Charity wore diamonds bright, Just to draw attention; We soon would tire of such a sight, Her name would lose mention. If Charity was not in life, The weak would suffer sore; [page 21] The strong would fall in bitter strife, To reach a friendly shore. If Charity would only smile Upon the rich and great, Beggars would find not worth the while To linger near their gate. If Charity were not a friend To all that God has made, The Devil would pay dividend, Because of increased trade. Charity has more lovely traits Than any other grace With Faith and Hope for sister mates All that is good she’ll trace. Charity excels all of good In other graces known; If this is rightly understood, The proofs are easy shown. Hope will raise a lofty banner, The air may fill with cheers— Disappointment chills the manner, Hope’s followers are fears. Faith is strong where all is pure, But sacred is such spot; While earthly failings do endure, Faith without work is naught. [page 22] Charity goes plainly arrayed, Pride wears a costly gown, Poor Modesty is half afraid To don her pretty crown. Charity never will desert, Love bears no restriction, Pity is vain and foolish flirt, Truth will blend with fiction.
Withhold from me the boon I ask, I will roam with a heart downcast; Grant it, nor count a heavy task, Your are my first, my all, my last. Look not for faults so oft; for my Poor nature harbors many such; If there is good, seek it, do try; My darling, do I ask too much? If so, excuse me; inasmuch, Contempt from you I cannot stand, If those sweet lips I may not touch, Refuse me not your kindly hand. Of all the sweets this world affords, None are so precious, love, as thine; [page 23] When hearts in sympathy accords The love produced is nigh divine. I own at times I flattery use, But not to one so true. Forsooth My trouble is the words to choose Wherein I may convey the truth. Be true to you? In truth I will, Then let your heart in peace be still; If with me life you counter complete, Keep sacred in your heart, my seat. Be true! I promise; what say you? Without you, I am nothing too.
Were it not for you the children, wife I never could ask to stay; Above and beyond is a purer life, And waiting to lead the way Is a form in white among angels bright, Earth loves in Heaven’s array. Death is but a change, and I believe, wife, God knows what for us is best; Too weak to fight on in unequal strife, We ought be thankful for rest; [page 24] But the tear drops flow for those who I know Must now be dangerous pressed. The world with its life, is a puzzle, wife, We may not thoroughly know; There are trials with truths that death only soothes, And joys which mingle with woe; But thought that is born in Eternity’s morn, In purest channels must flow. No tainting of blood, nor passion to flood. No jealousies to contend; No bodily wants, nor hateful-like taunts, No doubt of firmness of friend, So loves of the Earth should joy in the birth Of happiness without end.
Knowledge of good and evil gained Through Eve—our father Adam’s wife;— If she had from the fruit refrained, We all might lived a purer life. Or if she from the tree of life Had taken too and gave to him; Death would have given up the strife, Now both are conquerors, death and sin. [page 25] But God has planted in our breast Hope that when from Earth we sever, In glorious Edens we may rest, Eat of the tree and live ever. And life is love; ’tis but the sting Of death that causes mis’ry here, Sin to our mind does sadness bring, Beyond the grave we look for cheer. What’er is good, is understood By all who have partaken; What does this teach, but all may reach, No soul should feel forsaken. But joy to know that here below, Are many hours of pleasure; And when we leave we shall receive Far more than we can measure. The truth is well to know and feel, But at times should not be spoken— We enclose value with a seal, By the owner to be broken. And even should no argument Be found within verses above; The bow of Bible truth is bent, Straights is it arrow—perfect love. For jealousy, the first-born Cain, Did mediate how he might slay [page 26] His brother Abel; cursed stain, Demoralizing souls to-day. A pilot to the darkest crime; Deceit and lies follow its path; A monster from the first of time; Defying an Almighty’s wrath. ’Twas jealousy that caused Cain, Grow in anger to his brother; At last to kill; was he insane? Jealous passion virtues smother. But the Almighty God, most High, Although he punished Cain full hard, Did not condemn the man to die, Or for a life offer reward. Yet poor presumptuous mortals take The life that God gave unto man, And plead excuse—for morals sake. Justice should seek another plan. Because, if one by passion led, Kills another, that’s not to say That courts can kill; for all have read “Revenge is mine—I will repay.” Only He has the right to claim The life He gave. Man should not touch. God’s law’s are good; but men are vain, And undertake to do too much. [page 27]
God has an eye for the beautiful; (witness his formations and creations.) He views our lives as we view the garments we wear, seeing in them a necessity for the dark as well as the lighter colors.
Who could endure continually in the heat and light of the Sun? Is not the shade cool and refreshing at times?
The throne of Virtue cannot be destroyed. She is no usurper. Her right is clear. She emanated from the first. Her progenitor is God; therefore as the world and all Nature are ruled by a Heavenly Monarch, so shall vice continue to be subject to Virtue.
In many of the world’s battles the conquered are not the lesser heroes.
God never gave himself wholly away to man, or allowed His wisdom to be so distributed; but there are men, who, in their pernicious conceit, have constituted themselves His judges here, and assume an infinite knowledge of his intentions hereafter.
God has spread out his wonderful Book before us, and himself turneth the leaves thereof, into which every mortal may look, and seeing the truth, become solemnly and hopefully impressed.
During a life of struggle, wherein I have made many mistakes, I have never looked for mercy among men, [page 28] nor do I expect—when death shall drop the curtain on the last scene—that I will receive any real sympathy from the world’s criticisms; but I know where to look for both.
If, after my decease, any man or set of men should pretend to condemn me to an unhappy future, tell them I have appealed to a higher Court.
Love is the highest book in the school of Nature, but few of her scholars become efficient.
Love cannot be likened to gold; it may be lavishly distributed without impoverishing the giver.
They who give bountifully of love will be reimbursed by a Divine hand.
Worldly riches are obtainable only through device, while purest thoughts pilot love.
The air that surrounds the thrones of earthly Kings and rulers is filled with the flattery of countries; but the Almighty is seen through mists of love and His closest attendants are purified Spirits.
Love is not found among Earth’s treasures; it is too [page 29] great to be so concealed; its dazzling lustre would blind the selfish eye.
There are various kinds of love professed. Beware of gross imitations. The genuine trade mark is easily noted; it is not sold.
Those bountifully supplied with love are favored of God, for He is love.
Pity is younger than Love; pretty but delicate; not strong enough to venture any great distance without support.
Alone in her weakness she is not receivable.
Indolent and selfish people prefer her company, knowing her lack of energy and activity.
Easily persuaded, she is often found astray.
She may be mistaken for Charity, by those not thoroughly acquainted; and cunning enough not to correct the mistake, unless the surmise that proof will be called for—at which time, she will, with necessary humility, suddenly collapse. [page 30]
Nevertheless she is capable of stimulating, to a certain degree, those who pretend to suffer.
Is a close student of theories which cannot be put into practice.
She fain would be known as a friend, but is too much bound up in self to stand a friendly test.
She has not enough energy in her whole character to keep in good repair any one virtue.
Most of mankind—financially speaking—may be, and probably are, honest; but too often ignore the debt of gratitude they owe to the Great Supplier of all, and forget to pay respect due to their fellow men.
The mightiest nations struggle against accumulating debt; can any say Heaven owes aught?
If any man boast of his non-indebtedness, let him open the Book of Nature; therein he may find accounts against him which will tax all his resources to pay.
They who have succeeded in going through life without cheating or defrauding their neighbor have done good, and ought be commended; but those who have [page 31] been strictly honest with themselves have done greater good and will be rewarded.
If men by force collect trivial, though lawful, debts, here, how much mercy may be expected when their account is presented hereafter?
A shrewd man will study to owe as little as possible in this world; the knowledge of a wise man sheweth him much farther.
Knowledge is a true pilot, and keeps the channel of life.
Not through force or popular opinion do we reach the right, but by calm reasoning and a faithful looking up.
A scandal hunter is as much to be shunned as a thief, and should receive less of pity and more of contempt.
We cannot be too guarded as to encouraging the acquaintance of a suspicious person, as such people misconstrue your every action, and imagine they see within some bad motive.
Impudence was master of ceremonies at the burial of shame. [page 32]
Modesty, in her effort to conceal virtues, is often frustrated; she is confused for the moment, consequently becomes conspicuous.
No true women will play on the passions of men to secure their respect, nor carry the cloak of deceit; unless it be to cover the faults of those she loves.
Those who feed on the faults of others, are partaking of poisonous food; and will become a prey to the most repugnant of all diseases.
Men should not put that amount of energy into their business that would tend to deprive them of a thoughtful and happy appreciation of Home.
Fashion cares little for comfort, yet she delights in a cushioned pew.
Envy is neither good nor beautiful, but she insists on occupying an ornamental seat.
Charity is honored in Heaven; without her the Earth were a desert home; she tarries here seeking not her own comfort, but in alleviating others’ pain. [page 33]
[unnumbered page, includes illustration]
I scarcely know whether the charge of plagiarism could properly be brought against me or not. The only reason I have for thinking it could not, is, that I have never yet seen the book called “Black Crook,” nor any person who ever did, as I know of, until “Greppo” was completed. I witnessed the play in St. Catherines, December 20th, 1878, and there is where the idea came from, though there is no attempt to follow the tale, as played, closely. [unnumbered page]
“Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate, All but the page subscribed, their present state.”
THE MYSTIC QUEEN
Black Crook, comrade of the devil, Delighted in dark scenes revel; His servant Greppo, bound in fear, Saw nothing in such life to cheer; He longed for a true bill of fare— So scant was food he lived on air; Hungry ever, he cursed the day He owned the Black Crook’s fearful sway, And vowed to leave the devil’s home The first good chance he got to roam. ’Twas all no use; the staff of Crook Most all of his attention took. Often he begged for food, but no; The devil joyed in Greppo’s woe. One night the old infernal king Sent word to Crook, Greppo to bring. [unnumbered page] “Oh! master, don’t, don’t take me there,” Cried Greppo, in tone of despair. “What, disobey?” down came the staff— Pain never yet produced a laugh. “I’ll go.” “Oh, Lord! what awful smell!” Said Greppo, as he neared hell. Old Satan met them at the gate, With all the show of King in state. Said Greppo, “Master, I will wait For your return, and don’t stay late; I will not stray, no, master, no; But in there I don’t want to go.” “Rebellious fool!” cried the Black Crook. (Now Greppo’s frame with terror shook.) They passed in. Old Satan gazed On that spare form, and was amazed. “Too weak to work, too poor to burn; He can’t stay here—he must return.” “Oh, please, your Majesty, that’s so; Well fed, I couldn’t help but grow; I’m starved—that is just the matter; I’ll come again, when I get fatter.” “Well,” Satan said, “I’ll send you back With Crook, and follow close his track; I’ve got sharp work for both to do; Those in my service must be true.” “Oh, yes, your Honor, Grep. replied; “In serving Crook, I’ve nearly died; But, please, sir, urge him, I entreat, [page 3] To procure more for me to eat.” “All right,” said Satan, “come what will, I’ll see that you shall have your fill.” “O, thanks, dear sir,” Greppo repeated; “With your permit, will I be seated.” Old Satan now made Black Crook stand, And in bold voice did him command: “Go to one Rudolph, now in chains; Speak thus: ‘I will relieve your pains; If you consent to act my will, Your purse with diamonds I will fill.’ ‘Nay, more, say: ‘I’ll your love restore, And point you out a golden shore.’ He’ll shrink from you at first, but mind, To gold and love he’ll be inclined, At last he’ll yield—then set him free; His entrance here would welcome be. Point him then to the land of gold; Once he’s started, the rest is told: Worship of women, gold and fame, Is secret how I came to reign. Let Greppo serve this young man through, He will be glad get rid of you; Let both go down in seas of death. You hear now: waste not idle breath.”
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Now Rudolph was an artist young, Who to a goodly maid had sung The songs of love. A rival came, [page 4] Who flourished high sounding name; A Count, who boasted of his worth, Of titles, land and noble birth; Too much for one, who came of earth, Brought on this joyous couple dearth. With gold and flattery, he bought All those from whom device she sought. So, lover-like, they took to flight, One cloudy, moonless, summer night. Paid hounds were soon upon their track, O’ertook, and forced the lovers back. Mankind, chiselled proper, will Smallest kind of positions fill; Tempered well, make but a tool,— There’s few exceptions to this rule. Rudolph was bound at once in chains; But hope is balm for many pains.
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Greppo o’erheard those devils plot, And he resolved not to be caught; If Rudolph would but feed him well, He’d try and steer him clear of hell. Black Crook his staff did fiercely stamp, And bade poor Greppo once more tramp. “Yes, master, yes; don’t use me rash; You know,” said he, “I want some hash.” Crook raised his staff, but Greppo plead, And promised not to ask for bread; He dared not speak his thoughts aloud, [page 5] But, inwardly, revenge he vowed. They sought the castle of a Count; By some mysterious way did mount The walls that closed poor Rudolph in. Black Crook’s face wore a hideous grin. They trod the way to Rudolph’s cell; Before them doors turned, bars down-fell. They found the prisoner chained fast, With spirits terribly downcast. He hears their steps, and turning, spies A pair of devilish, ugly eyes. Black Crook these words to him did speak: “I came your freedom but to seek.” But it was just as Satan said, Rudolph starts back, as if afraid. Then Black Crook asks, “Why shrink you so? Would you your lovely maid forego?” The Crook has touched his weakest spot. Speaks Rudolph: “Know you, devil, aught Of her, and is she yet the wife Oh him, the Count?” “My life! my life! Young man, be not so rash; believe, Black Crook came not you to deceive. The girl is free as yet. Comply With my terms, live; refuse, you die. The Count, who shut you in this place, Means she no more shall see your face; He long for her consent has tried; Her relatives have all complied, [page 6] And soon his gold will buy the bride, Then throw off all your foolish pride, And haste with me to coincide. I’ll for you out a way provide; My servant here will be your guide, And point you where a boat is tied, With which you pleasantly shall glide By caves and nooks in mountain side. Here is a ring which if you wear, Believing in, will show you where Diamonds are hidden, beauties rare. I charge you answer;—how, beware.” “Rudolph say yes,” Greppo puts in; “It can’t be such an awful sin. If you stay here you’ll get as thin As me, and then you’ll never win. As much for me as for yourself, A sight once more of pantry shelf Would all my inward soul delight, Say yes; I’ll see you through all right. Consider your deportment, man, And help yourself whene’er you can; Accept this offer for my sake; Then for a restaurant we’ll make.” Rudolph accepts, and from the Crook The ring and purse of gold he took. “Now, go.” The devil grins, and they Are speeding fast upon their way. “Ha, ha!” laughs Crook; “the boat shall bear [page 7] You to the devil’s lowest lair; Breathe fast, each one a golden breath; Make haste, the river leads to death. Love unrestrained, and pride, and gold, Has many a dark, dark story told. Ambitious man! thy doom is known; Satan smiles from his fiery throne.”
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Meanwhile Rudolph and Greppo went The way their master had them sent. But once out of the Black Crook’s sight, Greppo complained of being light. “Let’s first,” said he, “secure some dinner; ’Twill give you strength, that you may win her. When there’s a chance, I’d be a sinner To go on growing poor and thinner. You have, you know, a purse of chink, And I’m so hungry; only think! Something to eat, and then a drink, We’ll travel to the river’s brink. And Rudolph, if you use me well, A story to you I will tell; I’ll help you cheat that son of hell, For forcing me with him to dwell.” “All right, poor Greppo, stay with me; You’ll plenty of provision see. Before we farther go, we’ll feast;” (A creaking wagon ought be greased). An eating house was found near by; [page 8] Two mortals faced a mutton pie; It vanished soon; they ordered more; Looks of surprise the waiter wore. How much they ate; I will not tell; There was not, though, much more to sell When those two left. The bill was paid, And Greppo was some larger made; He grateful felt, and dispossessed Of fear, he felt within his breast Desire to aid his comrade, pressed By enemies, too strong to test. Now, Greppo, though of late a tool, Was far from what is known as fool; Black Crook had been to him a school, As we will find by study cool.
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Many a mile through forest glen, Travelled two now hopeful men. Greppo had shown of common sense, Which won of Rudolph, confidence; And so he asked to have undone The story which is here begun. “There are rich caves, as Black Crook told; Where, the secret is not unrolled: Fairies, they say, have oft been seen Gliding adown the river’s stream; Some have chose to follow their track, But never yet has one come back; And men, intent to rob those caves, [page 9] Follow the river to their graves. Black Crook knows well the end of all Who into his foul traps do fall.” “Why go we on, then?” Rudolph cries. Said Greppo, “I’ve for you surprise; ’Tis this: Black Crook was once as young As you, and he, too, loves song sung To maid as bright, and free, and pure, As ever trod the earth, I’m sure. See, near the slightly rising ground, Yet half enclosed by ivy round, And just beyond yon graceful bend, A river its quiet way doth wend. It must be true; this is the spot, Where stood the happy hunter’s cot. See, Rudolph, see! Now am I sure That truth may come from source impure. Until this hour my future course Was not made clear, for doubt would force Itself upon me; now, ’tis plain Our suffering has not been in vain. As poison lurks in wholesome food: From even devils may come good. Around this now neglected plot, There has been cultured happy thought. Let us sit here, some I have seen, I’ll tell, and from you nothing screen, That for your welfare, ought be told, Or life and death, of love and gold. [page 10] Above the ruins that round us lie, Once, in the years that hurried by; A hunter built a cozy home, Loving the forest depths to roam. His sole companion was a child, A daughter; like the flowers wild She grew, neglected was by art, While nature done her lavish part. I cannot here exact describe; Memories have so oft belied; ’Twas but a picture; such a face I never knew a form to grace, Suffice to say, from what I saw, Among the features, not a flaw Could well be found; such loveliness I have not language to express. Hunter father, and daughter fair, Must have known joy on earth is rare; A quiet freedom, unrestrained, For which the world is not much famed. Few visitors were theirs; perchance, Some hunter bold, his skill enhance, Would venture farther than his wont, And find the hunter’s cabin front. One eve, the sun was nearly down, A young man from the distant town, Who’d lost his way, through love of sport, Was startled by a gun’s report. Direct from whence had come the sound, [page 11] He soon was speeding o’er the ground, And coming to the hunter’s cot, A welcome from the inmates got. He thanked them in a gentle way Informed them how he came to stray, And hoped their kindness to repay, Perhaps at no far-distant day. Said the hunter, ‘We’re glad to please A stranger, who is ill at ease, Our life is one of quiet cheer, Few are who care to venture here.’ That night beside a cheerful fire, Before time came to rest retire, The young man to himself confessed Of something lately he possessed, The forest-maid had touched a chord, That in his bosom did afford Music he never yet had known; In other words, the seed was sown, From which have many heart-pains grown; Love never can act well the drone Less skillful than the busy bee In gathering sweets from poison tree, To quick return himself committed, Anxiety, relish outwitted. Early in the morn of morrow, Full of thought, akin to sorrow; The hunter to him pointed out The shorter and the surer route. [page 12] With chosen words, he gave the girl A handsome ring, full set with pearl, She thanked him with that modest wit, That only purest mortals fit. He engaged to some time renew The visit, as he bade adieu. Perhaps ’tis well you know the name Of him who to this dwelling came; ’Twas Henri, brother to the same, With whom we now are having game. Of family proud they would not brook Be baulked in what they undertook. The present Count was but a child, When Henri was a gallant wild.
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A few months past, Henri once more Admitted was at hunter’s door; This time with him an artist came, Who had not yet won artist fame. These two though very much unlike, Had learned an intimacy strike; Together with the brush and gun, They oft had trouble pleasure won. And so it came, Henri revealed Unto the artist, where was sealed, By forest depths, wondrous scene, The hunter’s home beside the stream. Not many days had there been spent, Ere Henri strongly did repent [page 13] The artist’s presence; soon he saw, What triumphs over form and law The artist’s freer nature wrought, What Henri methodistic sought; He saw the artist’s love returned, And in his bosom passion burned. He struggled hard for to repress Thought full of revengefulness; And often with the hunter went In search of game and heart-ease bent. But jealousy, accompanying pride, Is sure to take a lengthy ride; To Henri bettered not his state; Reason was dispossessed by hate.
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Meanwhile, the artist skilful drew A picture, beautiful and true, Of her from whom he learned to know Of brightest gems in crowns below. In leisure hours, among the trees, Love whispers came with every breeze; Hearts fluttered, like leaves overhead. Fear will not live if Hope be dead. Down and along the river’s bank, Was scene of many luckless prank; There Cupid did a tale impart, And there exchanged a heart for heart. The maiden told her father all; He, knowing some day he must fall [page 14] Before death’s sickle, gave consent; Two hearts were thereby made content. Henri seemed yet to be their friend, He did so well passion contend: Hard was the battle that he waged, Such tempest scarcely can be caged. The time the visitors had set For their return came with regret. Duty will sometimes lovers sever, But hope must always be the lever. ’Twas understood the artist should Return as soon as e’er he could; The maid now dear to him as life Was then to take the name of wife. When Henri saw the maiden wore Another ring, his heart was sore; Unable to resist, gave way; Revengeful thought his mind did sway. For jealousy had drove him mad; From this, my story is full sad. Confession ought to promptly made, Or else forgiveness is delayed. Who choose and relish well deceit, Subsisting are on poisoned meat. Some surfaces, when over sweet, Hide hearts that are not fit to eat. But love sees deep; the maid discerned The passion that in Henri burned; She for her lover’s safety yearned, [page 15] And told him what she lately learned. He partially dispelled her fear; Hope will not entertain things drear. Hearts would not beat, without the cheer That emanates from ether clear. The dread hour came, the lover’s pledge Renewed was at the forest edge; Henri saw all, by hate deranged, From man into a demon changed. A marksman sure, his rifle raised, From out its barrel, death-fire blazed, A swift, unerring bullet sped, The artist by his love fell dead. A shriek; and ere its echo died, Henri was by the maiden’s side; While she in agony endured, The picture painted, he secured. He then upbraided her with scorn; “The man,” said he, “must yet be born Who dares to cross my beaten path; Your love is victim to my wrath.” ‘Go, murderer, go,” the maiden cries, ‘Your hellish laugh, your soul belies; But know, love kindled never dies; ‘Tis firm as sun in yonder skies. Methinks, already in your face, I see what never will erase. Devil! I could not wish you worse; In letters plain I read the curse.[page 16] Take back the ring you gave, ere hate Had brought you to such fearful state, Aye, shrink, a coward heart within, Is the prompt Nemesis for sin. My love lies dead, but better far, To die, than live as you now are. No light to cheer your darkened soul, Nor hope to point you to the goal. My father comes! fly, devil, fly, Your punishment is not to die, Living remorse is yours, now go, And live to find the depths of woe.’ The sharp report, the maiden’s shriek, The hunter heard, and came to seek The cause. He saw his child bereaved, The dead, and he who them deceived. When Henri saw the hunter near, Possessed of dread and frenzied fear, Began reload his murderous gun, Toward the woods in haste did run; Before he reached his cover, stopped, And suddenly to earth he dropped: The hunter’s bullet found his frame, And partially destroyed his game. While on the ground a deadly ball He fired, and saw the hunter fall, And heard the agonizing cry, As crawled into the woods near by, There bound his wound—a shattered knee— [page 17] And as he could went hurriedly. Up to this day few are who know Where lives the cause of all this woe. The artist’s friends he dared not face, Nor to his home his footsteps trace. One who by crime becomes depressed, Loses the strength that friends will test. The curse the maid read on his brow Was plain, but it is plainer now: A man that does himself despise Is one who with the devil vies. His pleasures are, to help destroy All virtues out of which come joy; All honor gone—of mercy void— A guilty mind—a soul destroyed— Alone, and yet to devils tied, He lives in cave, in mountain side— A maimed, dark, mysterious man, But skillful sorcerer, keen to plan.” “Black Crook?” “Yes, Rudolph, ’tis the same, And he delights to own the name; In league with Satan, fatal hour To any who may scorn his power. This may not be, just word for word, The scenes I neither saw or heard; But gleaned these things I to you state From Black Crook and his book of fate. To thwart his dark, deep-laid design, I want your help, and you want mine. [page 18] Of my advice, this is the first: Discard for golden gain your thirst; The ring he gave, believe it not; Beauty has many lessons taught— No truer one was ever known Than this: Joys scarcely go alone. I own anxiety to explore The caves along the river shore; My object is not golden gain, Nor selfish love, nor worldly fame. To know of truth is my desire, And in such search I never tire; Now I propose we keep the land, And work together, hand in hand.” “No doubt but we could find the boat, But in it I don’t care to float. That there is gold, too, I believe; Yet sometimes truth will men deceive. Black Crook’s tale is certain luring, But happiness, to be enduring, Must be built of metal lasting; Strength is often gained by fasting. In fasting, one should not be starved. A loaf lasts longer when this carved; But if, when made, it is not tasted, ’Tis full as bad, and worse, than wasted. I’ve told you nearly all, I think, Would help your faith in Black Crook sink. If what you’ve heard is true, ‘tis plain [page 19] We have not travelled here in vain. Greppo, your wisdom I admire; Your thoughts go certainly much higher Than mine will fly, and yet, I feel, As close I follow, more is real. That you have led me here for nought I don’t believe, though I’ve not caught Your full intent. Come, to me tell, And say what of the maid befell.” “Rudolph, I came here but to find How much of truth I left behind With Crook, and in his fateful book. I’m satisfied with the plan I took. There are truths in dark corners hidden— The sweetest fruits are the forbidden. What you have listened to from me, Was not intended I should see. As to the maid, I’ve held aloof, For want of well-defined proof. Still, this I gathered, as she grieved, Good creatures came and her relieved; But who they were, or how they came, Or where they went, I cannot name; And of this only I am sure, Their motive was not else than pure. Knowledge is force; what we now know Will aid us when we strike the blow. But let us go some farther on, Perhaps more light may on us dawn.” [page 20]
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Far down the river’s course they went, For knowledge, more and more intent. An earnestness in thought and act Will win, accompanied by tact. Deep in the forest-depths they strayed; Weary and tired, but not dismayed. Night found them; sweet, unconscious sleep Was their’s—their guard the mountain steep. The first grey light of morning found Greppo alert; he hears the sound Of voices in the distance; cries, “Up, Rudolph!” harboring surprise. With caution, soon are on the move. True courage always will reprove A reckless step, or thoughtless act;— Few are who recognize the fact. Not long ere both stood still, amazed; Enraptured and delighted, gazed On beauties seldom to be seen, And waters wild that rolled between. Across, and opposite, the sight Created in their minds delight; Great fountains sparkled, flowers grew, And matchless groves, of every hue. Bewildered, on a cliff they stood; Behind, and on each side, thick wood; Below, in front, fierce currents swept; As time its course has ever kept. [page 21] In state of ecstasy, they saw; Which gradual took the form of awe; And not until a sweet voice spake, Did they to a real sense awake. They trembled more from hope than fear, As turning, saw one standing near Whose beauty did at once inspire; A female form, in rich attire; A faultless form; a modest face; A golden wreath her brow did grace; Soft tresses fell on shoulders fair, Like silken threads in sunny glare; Expression, dignified and rare, Yet lines of sorrow rested there; And nestled in her arms a dove— Pure emblem, messenger of love. With kindly words she them addressed, Asking what motive could have pressed Them wander so? and what they sought In such a wild, neglected spot? Greppo proceeded to relate Of Black Crook and the book of fate; Of Rudolph’s trials, the ring and purse, The maid and artist, death and curse; The hunter’s death, and Henri’s flight; Of powers of darkness, sorcerer’s might; Of service forced; of truth obtained; Of pain endured, and knowledge gained; Of riches promised—how the boat [page 22] Would to a golden land them float; Of tales alluring—why ignored, And all as yet they had explored. Soft, hazel eyes grew moist; the tears Followed the thought of bygone years; The dove crept close, as if to share Whatever sorrow rested there. Said she: “Your story has impressed Me deeply, and within this breast Is heart that knows of pain you speak. My friends, you shall no longer seek. Show me the ring—’tis same I wore, That Henry gave at hunter’s door; The same that I returned with scorn That bloody and eventful morn. Greppo, a hero’s heart is your’s; Reward is for him who endures. And, Rudolph, triumphs you await Over all titles, pomp and state. Toward the suffering loves incline, And twinkling, smile as stars divine; Though clouds may cause them yearn and pine, In darkest hours they brightest shine. Deprived of all on earth held dear— Alone, and destitute of cheer, The maid was rescued; now she stands Before you, Queen of golden lands. Nay, start not, friends; perhaps to-day May all your future life survey. [page 23] My power is limited, ’tis true; But I have servants not a few. The land you see, and so admire, Belongs to beings truer, higher, Than this poor world of yours can boast; A virtuous throng—a countless host. No mortal force—not human might, Has dared invade that land of light; Fools grasp the oars, and pull in vain, But wise ones patiently refrain. You have done well, Black Crook distrust, For had you followed him, you must Ere now been swept to depths below, Where all the devil’s victims go. He told you truth, but left the lies For you to find, when all your cries Would been too late, too late to change Your fate. Such stories are not strange. I ask you now, have faith in me; I will, that you no longer be Disturbed by sorcerers’ ways, or feel That superstitious thoughts are real. Rudolph, I readily perceive, Gold must be used, to you relieve. Well, be it so; within the hour You shall possess its hazard power. An agent powerful for good, Yet devil’s relish it for food; A prompt bestower of relief, [page 24] Yet often close allied to grief. If you use it as I intend, ’Twill prove a beneficial friend; Relieve distress and loves unite, Crush out the wrong, uphold the right. I charge you, guard ambition well; ‘For by that sin have angels fell,’ Over your mind have watchful care; Of proud and foolish thought, beware.” The dove now flew to branch o’erhead And plucked a leaf and quickly sped Over the river; the morning’s glow Sparkled like fire from wings like snow. Soon was sight to never forget, Myriads, like fairy beings, met On other side, and lined its shore; Some of them brilliant armor wore. Happy and joyous, they seemed to be; Bursts of music and songs of glee, With not a note of grief or care, Came floating sweetly through the air. Sudden, from out a dozen caves, As many boats plunged in the waves; Stout hearts fail not, each hand an oar; Cheers mingled with the rapids roar. In vain the river growled and tossed Its frothing foam: they safely crossed. One from each boat brought to the Queen Of gold and treasures, seldom seen. [page 25] “My friends, let not these scenes astound; There’s wonders that are never found; There’s truths that never will be told. Affections, too, earth will not hold. No mortal hands could ever guide My people o’er that fateful tide; The boat must come from other side To safely in those waters ride. Here are riches, with which you may Every debt you owe repay; In all your deals, keep in your mind Fair Charity: be more than kind. Rudolph, your rival cannot hope With such fortune as your’s to cope. Secure happiness—count not cost For love will live long after lost. Greppo, your’s is a special task— I know you do not riches ask: The power of Black Crook you shall break, If you from me this ring will take. If he attempt to force again Those fears upon you, which are vain, Be wise; the souvenir him show, Remind him of what you now know. ’Twill crush his coward heart; no more He’ll dare to speak of golden shore; Cast back his ring and hellish purse, Who works deceit, may wear its curse, Nay, hesitate not to accept. [page 26] For such as you are treasures kept. Kind Providence has for you wrought, What could not otherwise been got. Lessons of life are full severe, But out of sorrow cometh cheer, At early morn I crossed those waves To pass an hour beside two graves. Though not unhappy, yet, I drink Of streams of thought, and love to think; And so it came that we have met, A happening, may we not regret. I now must bid you both adieu, In all you undertake, be true; Boast not of what to-day you’ve seen. My name! Stalacta, Mystic’s Queen.” Rudolph and Greppo watched them cross The dreaded stream, to shores of gloss; Then quiet turned, their steps retrace, Happy with what had taken place.
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A troop of horse impatient wait For entrance at a castle gate; After some parley, it is swung, And bell of castle door is rung. Count Wolfenstein himself appeared, And saw what oft of late he feared: Two officers, and two behind; He could not rightly bring to mind. Out on the smooth, wide gravel walk, [page 27] Armed men; beyond, a village flock, All seeming anxiously intent; And well he knew what it all meant. “Sir Count,” an officer now spake, “To our intent, you are awake; Show us to private room, I pray; Our task admits of no delay.” The Count saw to resist was vain, Refusing, he could nothing gain; So to the parlor led the way, To find what these men had to say. The officer at once unloosed A roll of papers and produced Of mortgages and long accounts, The worth of the estate amounts! “These must be paid,” said he, ‘direct, Or else you know what to expect. Your castle, park and other hands, Must pass at once to other lands. Before proceeding to foreclose, Sir Count, have you aught to propose?” “I have,” he answered; “this estate Was never mine at any date. The statement causes you surprise! Why, I really cannot surmise; This world is full of farce and lies, And frauds are thick as August flies; Some are large, and others small— Springing from one family all. [page 28] Most everybody knows of play, That would not bear the light of day. I make no doubt that even you Who deal out law, will sometime sue For favor you cannot expect, If Justice keeps her course correct. As I have stated, there is one Yet lives—my father’s eldest son. I’ll have him here, and to you prove What I have said. Checkmated! Move! You cannot! Blocked, and badly beat, Where now will be your next retreat? Soon shall you see of this the proofs, If speed is found in horse’s hoofs.” To other two new light awoke. There’s much of mystery under seal, That truth hereafter will reveal. Not long they waited; soon there came A creature, crooked, dark and lame. He brought with him a box and staff, And laughed as only devil’s laugh. “Henri! my creditors at last Have all my debts against me cast. Prove to these men I’m not the heir To this estate; me witness bear.” “Ha! that I will. Within this box, That lay for years among the rocks, Are papers, never yet been seen, [page 29] Will prove me heir of Wolfenstein.” “Liar! ’tis Greppo speaks, as throws Of all disguise; “here’s one who knows Of all your devilish box contains; Its truths are smeared with bloody stains. Cringe you? Where is your power now? Look on this ring, and, trembling, cow! Fiend of hell! could justice give Harsher sentence, than you should live?” “Murderer, too!” now Rudolph cries, Who also has thrown off disguise; “Take back the cursed ring and gold You gave; and know, the story’s told, As how you shot your comrade through, And not content, the hunter too. Greppo and I have seen the maid, Whose kindness you so foul betrayed. Your story was too weak to stand; By other route we saw the land You told us of. To-day I claim All that is held in either name. These documents to me belong. Your lives were spent in doing wrong To those who gave you no offence, Nor injured you in any sense. Enough is known to us of crime, To drive you both from shores of Time Into Eternity.” “Forbear!” Both plead, in tone of deep despair. [page 30] “These are my terms; You both must sign, Acknowledging this castle mine, And all belonging lands, and all That you of late your own did call; As prisoners through the town must ride, Guarded to port at ocean’s side, And there embark for o’er the sea. You’ve heard; do you to this agree?” “We do,” they both at once replied; Humbled, through crime, they mercy cried. Proud hearts, laid low, will often choose, That, they would, if they dare, refuse. So Black Crook and the Count were sent; Let’s hope they found cause to repent. Who selfishly employ such means Merit the fate of Wolfensteins.
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Some months have passed, and once again The summer breezes kiss the plain. Shouts of joy in the village streets, And all around us music greets; For this is Rudolph’s wedding day. The old and young alike, are gay:— There’s general joy whenever right Shall triumph over wrong and might. Into the castle grounds they ride— Rudolph and his now happy bride, Followed by throngs of merry youths. The story’s end, its harshness soothes. [page 31] The halls and grounds are almost strange, So great has been the master change; A cheerful, quiet beauty reigns; No prison bars its splendor stains; Oil paintings, brought from foreign lands, And some from well-known artists’ hands, Adorn the walls; the Forest Maid Is there, in frame with gold inlaid. A festive time is going on Out in the front, on grassy lawn; Our hero, Greppo, free and stout, Is there. The light is nearly out; But ere it fades entire away, Of Greppo I’ve few words to say: Knowledge of how to truth extract, Was what gave him such wondrous tact How happy all did after dwell, I have not time nor strength to tell. To urge all for the Mystics look; To warn against such as Black Crook, And show of truth outside of book, Comprises what I undertook. ’Tis always well love should be proved; Great hearts by sympathy are moved. Do bitter spirits e’er attract? Do any fail to see the fact?
[unnumbered page, includes illustration]
|Father to Child||8|
|How Man Came and Fell||12|
|Who is a Friend||16|
|The Self Righteous||18|
|To a Friend||20|
|False as Fair||22|
|Our Grocery Store||25|
|Will I Be Remembered Then||29|
|The Maid O’er the Way||34|
|For Some Who Sneer||36|
|A Hungry Lover||41|
|Oct. 5th, 1876||43|
|To Miss —||44|
|From a Diary of 1876||1-9|
|A Season with the Poets||9|
|Pieces from a Diary||25|
|The Christmas Evergreen||2|
|To a Darwinist||17|