The Confederation Poets
The Emigrant Mechanic, and Other Tales in Verse
30th Aug 2022Posted in: The Confederation Poets, Thomas Cowherd 0

THE

Emigrant Mechanic,

—AND—

OTHER TALES

IN VERSE,

—TOGETHER WITH—

Numerous Songs upon Canadian Subjects,

—BY—

THOMAS COWHERD,

THE BRANTFORD TINSMITH RHYMER.

——————

PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR,

Brantford, Ontario.

——————

JACKSON, MICH.:

DAILY CITIZEN AND JOB PRINTING HOUSE,

1884.

[unnumbered page]

PREFACE.

——

     The Author of this volume does not feel much apology necessary for its publication, though the world is already flooded with Rhyme, upon almost every conceivable subject, and most of it of a very mediocre character.

     Though living but a short time upon a Bush farm, my experiences were of such a practical nature as to entitle me to speak with confidence on many rural matters. The religious opinions so frequently and strongly expressed are the result of a careful study of God’s Word, and I feel that for them no apology is necessary.

     To learning I make but the most slender pretentions. Born in one of the humblest ranks in life, and going to my trade at the commencement of my teens, and working long weary hours for seven years at that trade, I found little opportunity of attaining anything like proficiency in literary composition. Many of my minor pieces have already seen the light in local and other newspapers, etc., and acting on the advice of several literary friends I have at last gathered my principal poems together in a permanent form. Should this effort not meet with public favor, the offense—if such it be—is not likely to be repeated, as I am now over sixty-five years of age. Many of the productions of my humble Muse were conceived, and in a great measure composed, while working at the bench—to which I am still confined, in order to provide for my family’s needs. [unnumbered page]

     If the advice of Pope to some of the Rhymers of his day was needful, viz., “to keep their effusions for seven years,” I can say truly most of mine have been kept that period nearly for times over. I would not have the reader imagine that they have necessarily grown better by being on the shelf; still this has afforded an opportunity for polishing them up in some measure.

     I may further say my “Emigrant Mechanic” was nearly or quite finished before Mr. McLachlan’s “Emigrant” was published, and before I had ever heard of “The U. E.,” a beautiful and very interesting poem by Mr. Kerby, of Niagara.

     My warmest thanks are due to the Rev. V. W. Smith, of Newmarket, Ont., for his kindness in undertaking the preparation of these pages for the press. Also for many valuable emendations.

     Such as they are I send forth my unlearned rhymes, with the earnest prayer that they may benefit the reader as much as they have benefitted me, for I can say in the words of Coleridge, “Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward.”

THOMAS COWHERD.

     Brantford, Ontario, January, 1884. [page iv]

CONTENTS.

——

THE EMIGRANT MECHANIC:

PAGE.

Book I

     Introduction. Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family. Death of

     Mother and two Sisters. Father’s second marriage. Family tradition. Youth’s

     thoughts and feelings in regard to it. Places visisted: Crossthwaite, Underbarrow,

     Lake Windermere, Esthwaite. Incidents. Poetic Tastes. Conclusion

5– 14

Book II

     Address to Domestic Bliss. Its influence on Society. Principal Source from which

     it springs, viz., conjugal union, faithfully cherished. An appeal to Parents and

     Lawgivers on the subject. WILLIAM’S training under its influence. Difficulties in

     procuring a trade. Success at last. Reflections on, and encouragements to, such

     trades. Temptations and trials. Anecdotes. Appeal to Masters and others. Narrow

     escape from a cut-throat. Courtship and its consequences. Conclusion.

14– 22

Book III

     Holidays. The Schoolboy’s anticipations in regard to them. Improper use made of

     such times by some apprentices. Evil consequence of their conduct. An Appeal to

     them on the subject. The sad tale of young Daycourt. Address to Liquor. Its evils.

     WILLIAM’S holiday rambles. Father’s Birthplace. Tragic scene there. Farleton

     Knot. Glance back to Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement. Visit of a

     man from Canada. His account of the country. Its consequences. WILLIAM’S

     taste in books. Rural rambles on business. Reflections on cruelty to animals.

     Retrospective glance. Conclusion.

23– 32

Book IV

     Address to the Sacred Scriptures, glancing briefly at their various excellencies.

     WILLIAM becomes a Christian. His reception into a church. Different views of

     things after conversion. Voice of Nature heard in God’s praise. Wonders why

     Man is so backward in this. Discovers reasons in Man’s inbred corruption,

     temptations, etc. Salvation all of Grace. The humbling nature of this truth to

     Man’s pride, but the security it affords believers. Its effects on him. Fresh Love-

     trials. Consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk. Church bells. Visit to

     Farm-house. Family worship. Glance at what England owes to prayer. Sunday-

     School teaching. Other exercises on that day. Their influence on him. Prepares to

     emigrate. Parting scenes, etc. Embark at Liverpool.

33– 41

[unnumbered page]

Book V

     Address to Commerce. Emigrants reach the sea. Farewell to England.

     WILLIAM’S employments on board. Storm described. Reach Banks of

     Newfoundland. Foggy weather. Icebergs seen. Land seen. Emigrant’s joy. Ship

     spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enter River. Scenery, Etc. Arrive before

     Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to Kingston. Thence to Hamilton. Settle

     near Brantford on a Bush-farm. Shifts for furniture. WILLIAM’S narrow escape

     from death in logging. His relish of Bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion.

     Resolutions formed and kept. Remarks incident to it. Conclusion.

42– 51

Book VI

     Address to Rural Life. Logging Bee described. The feast. Loggers’ jest and other

     incidents. Burning log heaps. Loggers’ Song. WILLIAM’S thoughts and

     employments in Autumn. The Autumnal garb of trees. Reflections connected

     therewith. The family’s Sabbath-day employments. Beginning of their hardships.

     WILLIAM leaves the bush for village life, but soon returns. Father’s narrow

     escape from being crushed. Winter employments. Preparations for sugar making.

     Process described. Sugarers’ Song. Conclusion.

52– 64

Book VII

     Address to Memory. Spring time described. Thoughts and fancies connected with

     it. Build a log barn. Spring employments. Increase of trials. WILLIAM’S

     sickness. His song on Christian Warfare. Good to himself from its composition.

     Leaves Bush for village again. Tinkers in the country. Thoughts and feelings in

     connection with it. Preaches in public under peculiar circumstances. Introduced to

     his future father-in-law’s family. Visits their house. Reception. Description of his

     future wife and sisters. Anecdote. Commences business. Visits the States to buy

     tools. Takes Niagara in his way. Scenery above Lewiston. First sight of Rapids.

     Of the Falls. Song to them. Conclusion.

64– 78

Book VIII

     Address to Hope. Its benefits to WILLIAM. Commences business. Manner of

     conducting it. Thinks again of Matrimony. Shop described. Inconveniences in it.

     An incident. Discouragements in trade. Compensation for them in visits to his

     intended. A further glance of her. The home provided her. Marriage. A peep at

     their home afterward. Forced to leave it. A second move. A Love’s pledge.

     Imminent peril of the wife. Unhappy condition of first-born. Church matters.

     WILLIAM’S trials from Temper, etc. Continued success in business. Tinsmith’s

     Song. His long sickness and support under it. Dutiful conduct of Apprentice.

     Wife’s self-sacrifices and matronly management. COOPER’S gratitude to her for

     it. Continued Poetical predilictions. Visits with his wife the Falls of Niagara.

     Family increase. Troubles in church affairs. Excommunication. Fresh church

     connection. Troubles arise afresh. Death of wife. WILLIAM’S lament.

     Conclusion.

79– 92

[page vi]

William and Amelia

93–102

My Garden

103–105

The Inebriate’s Daughter’s Appeal to her Father

106–108

To the Children in Mrs. Day’s School

109

Song to Brantford

110–111

To Elihu Burritt

112–113

To a Violet

114

Emma, The Tinker’s Daughter

115–119

To my Father, supposed to be dying

120–122

Ode to Peace

123–128

Stanzas suggested by a Funeral

129–130

ACROSTICS:

     I. To Mr. J. P—n, Missouri

131

     II. To my Eldest Son, in severe sickness

132

     III. A Tribute to the Memory of John Dent

133

Impromptu: To J. W—t

134

An Address to Brantford

135–136

Stanzas on Seeing the “Huron” Locomotive

137–138

The Young Mother’s Vision

139–140

Stanzas to the Author of “Little Ragged Ned”

141–142

“I Saw a Youthful Mother Lie”

143-144

FAMILY PIECES:

     To my Beloved Wife

145–146

     To my Daughter Mary Ann, Asleep

146–147

     To Ellen and Willie

148–149

     To Mr. and Mrs. C. Batty

149–150

     To my Infant Annie

151

     Stanzas in Memory of Annie

151–152

     To Mrs. H Battson

153–154

     To Mr. and Mrs. W. Batty

154–155

     Fireside Thoughts of Ann

155

     To my Brother James

156

     To my Daughter Ellen

157

Murder Will Out, or the Power of Conscience

158–168

THE FAITHFUL PASTOR:

     Book I

169–204

     Book II

204–240

[page vii]

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS:

     Jenny and her Pet Lamb

241–244

     To a Very Tall Sunflower

244–245

     Birthday Thoughts and Aspirations

245–247

     Song to the Lily of the Valley

247–248

     “Daisy, I Have Sought for Thee”

248–249

     The Charms of June

249–250

     To Dr. Laycock

250–251

     To Mr. Cowherd, from Dr. Laycock

251–252

     To Mr. James C—t

252–253

     To the Christians of Brantford

254–255

     To the Same

255–256

     Verses Written Immediately after Reading Horace Smith’s “Bachelor’s Fare”

256–257

     Stanzas on the Fearful Struggle in Europe, 1854

258–59

     Lines Written on the Morning of the Dreadful Fire, March 9, 1854

259–260

     To the Rev. J. W. and his Bride

260–261

     Stanzas on hearing an Auctioneer quote Scripture

261–262

     Winter’s Ravages; An Appeal

262–264

     A Canadian National Song

264–265

     A Call to the Soiree

266

     An Address by the Members of the Institute at the Soiree

267

     Alcohol’s Arraignment and Doom

268–269

     To Mr. James Woodyatt

269–271

     On hearing of Dr. O’Carr’s Death

271–272

     Stanzas suggested by the Railway Accident at Desjardin’s Canal

273–274

     To the Memory of Dr. Laycock

275–276

     Song of the Canadian Cradler

276–277

     Stanzas to Rev. J. B. Howard and Family

277–279

     Grumblings

279–280

     Verses on the Railroad Accident near Copetown

280–282

     A Tribute to the Memory of Rev. Thomas Fawcett

282–283

     A Tribute to the Memory of Mr. Richard Folds

283–284

     To the Humming Bird

284–285

[page viii]

     To the Same

286

     Fire Song

287

     The Fire Alarm

288

     My Old Arm Chair

289

     A Tribute to the Bravery of my Cousin, Mrs. T. A. Cowherd

290–291

     Canadian’s Welcome to the Prince of Wales

291–292

     Brantford’s Welcome to the Prince of Wales, 1860

292–293

     A Call for Help to Garibaldi

294

     Lines suggested by New York Tribune’s Account of Lincoln’s Departure from

          Springfield for Washington

295–297

     “Sumter has Fallen, but Freedom is Saved!”

296–297

     Song, “My Love is no Gay, Dashing Maid”

297–298

     The Sewing Machine

298–299

     Tabby and Tibby

300–301

     Lines Composed at Mr. McLarty’s, West Missouri

301–302

FAMILY PIECES:

     Lines to my Mother

303

     To my Wife

304–305

     To the Same

305–306

     To my dear little Boys, James, Christopher and Alfred

306–308

     To Alfred

308–309

     To Amelia

310

     To Frederic

310–311

     To my Daughter Ida

312–313

     To my Wife on the Thirteenth Anniversary of our Wedding Day

313–314

     To the Same (Twenty-fifth Anniversary)

315–316

     To the Same (Thirtieth Anniversary)

316-318

FAREWELL TO MY HARP

319

[page ix]

ERRATA.

——

     On first page in Argument, for “Underharrow,” read “Underbarrow.” And again at page 10, eighth line from top, read “Underbarrow.”

     On page 53, ninth line from bottom, for “neighbor,” read “neighbors.”

     At page 55, sixth line from top, for “these schemes,” read “the scheme’s.”

     At page 85, second stanza of Tinsmith’s Song, sixth line, for “buttons,” read “bottoms.”

     At page 132, fourth stanza, for “Mammon,” read “murmur.”

     At page 190, eighty-sixth stanza, sixth line, for “they’d been,” read “they had been.”

     At page 193, stanza 98, sixth line, for “has led them,” read “led them.”

     Page 207, stanza 11, fourth line, for “this authority,” read “His authority.”

     Page 248, last stanza, third line of Lily of the Valley, for “blossoms,” read “lessons.”

     Page 280, at the head of verses for Capetown read Copetown.

     Page 281, eighth stanza, third line, for “ere the day’s dawn,” read “ere day’s dawn.”

     And next stanza but one, first line, for “in every car,” read “is every car.”

     Page 282, in Tribute, fifth stanza, last line, for “Neglect to tell me of God’s grace,” read “Neglect to tell of God’s rich grace.”

     Page 295, in Address to Lincoln, sixth line, for “the humble victim,” read “humbled victim.”

     Page 251, in Lay to Dr. Laycock, in fourth stanza second line, read “perfect health,” instead of “peaceful health.” [unnumbered page]

THE EMIGRANT MECHANIC.

A TALE OF HUMBLE LIFE.

—————

“Let not Ambition mock their useful toil.”—Gray.

—————

BOOK I.

THE ARGUMENT.—Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family. Death of mother and

     two sisters. The father’s second marriage. Family tradition. Youth’s thoughts and feelings in

     regard to it. Places visited: Crossthwaite, Underharrow, Lake Windermere, Esthwaite.

     Incidents, poetic tastes, etc. Conclusion.

—————

My harp awakes! And as I touch each string,

The poor Mechanic Emigrant I sing.

Eighteen eventful years, or rather more,

Have fled since first he left his native shore—

That much-loved shore! that dear old English home!

So oft regretted since first led to roam.

My Muse, ’tis thine to give in artless lays,

A genuine history of his early days;

Make known the place where first he saw the light,

Portray the scenes which pleased his boyish sight,

Unfold his parentage, and backward trace

Their line, descended from no common race;

Speak of his eagerness to learn a trade,

Mark with proficiency in that he made,

Glance at his love scenes, and a lesson show,

Which youths in general would do well to know.

Fail not to tell how, in his eighteenth year, [unnumbered page]

He did, as Christian, publicly appear.

Make known the cause that led him first to feel

A strong desire to seek his future weal,

In emigration to that distant shore

Where flow great rivers, and loud cataracts roar;

Where mighty lakes afford the fullest scope

For future commerce, and the settler’s hope.

Go with him to his home in the wild woods—

That rude log cottage where he stored his goods;

Paint faithfully the scenes through which he passed,

And how he settled in a town at last;

What then befel him in successive years,

Or aught which to thee suitable appears,

To make history such as may be read

By high-born race, or those more lowly bred.

Let usefulness be still thy constant aim,

Nor care a jot for merely worldly fame.

Help me to seek, by constant, earnest prayer,

That God’s approval be my chiefest care.

And if a Poet thou would’st wish to make

Thy guide and pattern, gentle COWPER take.

Thus, O my Muse! may we together spend

Some happy hours, until my task shall end.

And when ’tis finished, may it ne’er be said

That we a useless memoir have displayed.

In the northwest of England’s verdant isle,

Where beauteous scenery meets one with a smile,

Where lakes and rivers burst upon the sight

And fill the mind with transports of delight,

Where lofty hills unite with lowly dales

To furnish matter for instructive tales,

There is a town, a very ancient town,

Which should enjoy a share of high renown.

My native place! I need not sink the name—

Such act, sweet KENDAL! thou might’st justly blame.

A place so dear, I trust I still shall love,

Where’er I am, or wheresoe’er I rove!

It has its site fast by a pleasant stream,

Beside whose banks our hero learned to dream.

Though quiet, it gave birth to many a name,

Which for good deeds obtained a moderate fame.

Some few there were well skilled in Science deep,

Who now within its several graveyards sleep. [page 6]

Its once-proud Castle that in ruin lies,

The birthplace was of one who lived to rise

To queenly state, and sit upon a throne,

And the eighth HENRY as her lord to own.

Within this town some very rich men live;

But many more who poverty receive

As their low birthright, with the fullest share

Of its attendants, constant toil and care!

These oft, though poor, in honesty may vie

With most of those who hold their heads so high.

Of this large class young COOPER’S parents were;

To peace inclined, they heeded not the stir

Which proud Ambition’s votaries create

To gain such objects as their pride may sate.

E’er since the father was a little boy,

Hard out-door labor did his hands employ.

The mother, too, to work was early taught,

And take delight in what her hands had wrought.

This hardy training proved of use to them,

A blessing they did never once contemn;

For ’twas the means of gaining honest bread—

And on no other would they e’er be fed!

In course of time four children needed care,

And claimed from them of food and clothes a share.

Nor did they grudge them what they could afford—

For they had learned to live and serve the Lord!

But soon Affliction, with her visage dire,

Called them to pass through purifying fire!

And first a smiling girl was snatched away—

The mother next, to Death became a prey,

The father, too, was sick, and laid aside

For many weeks; thus sorely was he tried.

Anon their pet, a lovely infant, died,

And she was laid by her dear mother’s side.

Such fearful strokes, to one in poverty,

Were hard to bear, as all may clearly see.

But this poor man, all strong in holy faith,

Was led to take a proper view of death—

E’en to regard him as an enemy

Conquered by Him who died on Calvary—

And view his loved ones but as gone before

To Canaan’s blest and truly happy shore! [page 7]

Ere long the Lord a partner did prepare

To aid this Christian, and his sorrow share.

She had for many years in service been;

Of careful habits, in good pay I ween.

And this enabled her to lay aside

A goodly sum, and keep her needs supplied.

This virtuous woman thus became “a crown”

To that poor man, by trials well bowed down.

And by her cleverness in housewif’ry,

With constant practice of economy,

The family soon enjoyed a greater share

Of household comforts, and had much less care.

Thus early schooled, our WILLIAM grew apace,

And though still young, wore oft a thoughtful face.

By nature studious, and of ready turn,

He needful tasks most eagerly did learn.

And being inquisitive, ’twas his desire

On winter nights, and by their frugal fire,

That his dear father should to him make known

What kind of ancestry they chanced to own.

To this the father, with a smiling face,

Soon made reply, “We spring from noble race!

Long, long ago, I can in truth declare,

A wandering Minstrel visited a fair,

And there saw one of every noble blood,

Who liked him well and deemed his music good.

They soon contrived each others’ minds to learn,

And felt Love’s flame within their bosoms burn;

But knowing well this would not be allowed,

Disguised, away they fled amongst a crowd.

Soon they were fast in honest wedlock tied;

And thus the Minstrel gained a lovely bride!

Yet were they destined not to live in peace—

For ELLEN’S brother vowed he would not cease

To search for them through all the country wide,

And quick return with ELLEN at his side!

Long time he searched, then gave them up for lost,

And proved his boasting vain, unto his cost.

But on one night he, weary, sad and faint,

Espied a house, and to that house he went—

Just reached the threshold, and sank down quite spent.

The fair young mistress, with a piteous eye,

Beheld the man, and feared that he would die.

She loosed his vest, then laid his bosom bare,

And spied a mark which well might make her stare. [page 8]

It was her brother! and her gentle heart

With love o’erflowed to act a sister’s part.

Most earnest efforts quick the man restored,

And ELLEN felt most grateful to the Lord.

She, fully conscious of strict rectitude,

Confessed her kindred, and for pardon sued.

The astonished brother clasped her in his arms;

Their early love afresh their spirit warms,

And all his hatred very soon disarms.

This Minstrel, with his lovely ELLEN, were

Our ancesters, as you may well infer.” *

Young COOPER heard, and could not well conceal

Some stirring thoughts that he began to feel.

He still was of a very tender age;

Far, far too young to feel Ambition’s rage.

But he had heard of Dukes, and Earls, and Lords,

And all the splendor which their rank affords;

Had seen in prints their castles and their halls;

Had heard of servants who obeyed their calls;

Of their vast parks, well filled with noble deer,

Their tables loaded with the best of cheer;

Of horses, carriage, and fleetest hounds,

And cattle feeding over all their grounds;

Of gardens filled with precious fruits and flowers,

And of sweet music to beguile their hours;

Fancied their mansions full of lovely girls,

With beauteous eyes, and richly flowing curls;

In short, conceived that these men were no less

Than mighty lords whom every eye should bless.

And ’twas no wonder if in reverie

This boy indulged with greatest frequency.

But years flew by, with all their constant care,

New hopes, new scenes, and feelings of despair.

He owning still a constitution weak,

Would better health in change of air oft seek.

At times like these, his second mother’s care

Did send him forth with relatives to fare.

And then sweet Crossthwaite, with its paper mill,

Its pretty brooks, and many a trickling rill,

With dearest pleasure would his bosom fill.

Deep gratitude impels him now to pay


     *In proof that the above legend has some foundation in fact, I may state that one of my hero’s cousins in England has a gold-headed cane, and another a splendid jasper snuff-box, both said to have been left by the party who came to seek the runaway lady.


[page 9]

A tribute due to relatives, and say

That purer kindness could not be displayed

To any one who needed friendly aid,

Than they still showed to him while living there,

As their own child, he did their goodness share.

Dear, aged friends! grim Death has laid you low,

And you no more to him can kindness show!

Often thy scenery, fair Underharrow,

Has cheered his spirit and dispelled his sorrow!

Thy hazel copses, and thy rugged Scaur,

With yellow-blooming whins, have banished far

All thoughts of his poor, weak and sickly frame,

And raised his love of Nature to a flame!

Yes, often now, though living o’er the sea,

And many years have fled since he saw thee,

Dear Memory brings thy early charms to view,

And all their pleasures to his mind seem new!

Again, fresh scenes would his attention crave,

Ev’n noble Windermere, with rippling wave;

And frequently he crossed o’er its short ferry,

In huge flat-boats, or pleasant sailing wherry,

And viewed, well pleased, its many lovely isles,

Clothed with rich verdure and sweet Summer’s smiles;

Or watched the fishes, darting to and fro,

As o’er its crystal waves the boat would go;

And still remembers those rich wooded hills,

While deep emotion all his spirit thrills.

Sometimes tired Nature would assert her sway,

Then gloomy thoughts rose up in dark array;

He thus would wander, weary and alone,

Listening the breezes in their fitful moan,

As in their anger they swept through the woods,

While thunder-clouds sent down their copious floods,

And ask himself, in bitterness of soul,

Why he his destiny would not control?

Why some were wealthy, and could take their ease,

And ride about wherever they should please?

While he, poor lad, on foot his weary way

Kept plodding still, till nearly close of day!

At other times a pleasant lodge was seen,

Where life seemed spent in happiness serene;

Its graceful lawn, its gardens and its fields,

Spoke loudly of the comfort money yields;

And oft he vainly dreamed that he possessed [page 10]

Just such a home, and with such comforts blest.

Sweet day-dreams these, quite frequently indulged;

Too oft, alas! were all his thoughts divulged.

Before him soon more charming views arise,

Enchanting scenes meet everywhere his eyes.

See Low Wood Inn, a sweet, secluded spot,

Most lovely sight, not soon to be forgot!

It stands upon the margin of the lake—

And of it all things round conspire to make

A mansion such as poets well might choose—

Fit habitation for the heaven-born Muse!

Well might he linger with entranced delight,

Though Sol gave warning of approaching night.

Aroused by this, ere long he forward hied

To that small village still called Ambleside.

We now again will cross with him the lake,

And thence the road that leads to Hawkshead take;

There Esthwaite water on a smaller scale

Unfolds her beauties, to adorn my tale.

She, like a mirror, on her silvery face

Reflects the mansions that her margins grace.

Those mansions fair are seen on every hand,

(What may not wealth, in such a place, command?)

And mark their owners men of wealth and taste;

Not miserly, nor yet inclined to waste.

Near this small lake does a rude hamlet stand,

In which there dwelt a poor, hard-working band.

The parents, both, were well advanced in age,

And yet, from kindness, they at once engage

To give this youth a welcome to their board,

And all the comforts that their means afford.

To see him happy was their chief desire,

Which did his soul with gratitude inspire.

They now are dead! Oh, may their ashes rest

In peace, and still their memories be bless’d!

WILLIAM oft thinks of all the pleasant scenes

He there enjoyed before he reached his teens;

And well remembers how he loved to stray

By that pure lake, soon after break of day.

’Twas at such time, that once he chanced to spy

A splendid pike upon the beach quite dry.

He viewed the prize; it had not long been dead,

As he well knew by looking at its head.

Surprised, he gazed about, on every hand, [page 11]

But saw no soul upon the lake or land;

Then thought, since no one came the fish to claim,

Take it he might, and yet incur no blame.

This settled in his mind, without delay

He seized the fish, and carried it away.

When he reached home, friends thought it would be best

’Gainst noon-tide hour to have it nicely dressed.

But candor now obliges me to say,

That the right owner soon appeared next day;

Who said he lately caught a noble pike,

And laid it carefully beside a dyke;

But, while he went still farther up the lake,

To draw some lines, and other fishes take,

A dog, or person, had purloined that one:

A cousin told him WILL the deed had done!

Told how he brought to them, with boyish glee,

As fine a pike as ever one could see!

This heard, the loser took it in good part,

Enjoyed the joke, and showed a kindly heart.

Hail, human kindness! Often have I been

Indebted to thee for same pleasing scene;

Although our race have sadly fallen low,

Thou still appearest like the heavenly bow,

Amidst the storms of human passion now;

And where, dear Angel, thou art to be found,

Sweet peace and comfort flow to all around!

An incident I now introduce

Which may, perchance, be now and then of use

In leading youths to greater carefulness,

When to sweet pleasure they themselves address.

Near Esthwaite’s foot exists a lonely spot,

Named by the country people “The Priest’s Pot”;

A strange, deep hole, with crystal water filled,

By land surrounded which was never tilled;

Of spongy texture, yielding to the foot—

Quite full of danger is this marshy spot.

To this place WILLIAM once a fishing went,

And, ere his patience was completely spent,

Took up a fresh position; but, alas!

His foothold proved but little else than grass.

While sinking fast he, with a fluttering heart,

Gave one quick spring and reached a firmer part.

This proved a lesson which he ne’er forgot—

He visited no more that dreaded spot. [page 12]

Before this time, for years, he went to school,

And caught some learning by the common rule;

In parsing showed a fair amount of skill,

Wrote a plain hand, and read with right good will;

Almost a “book-worm,” seemed he to devour

What books he got, and read from hour to hour.

And, oh! how pleased and gratified was he,

To hear the Master read sweet poetry!

Once he read well a very touching tale,

In which the Poet does the lot bewail

Of orphan “Lubin,” who, while tending sheep

For a hard master, oft was seen to weep.

While this pathetic tale was read aloud,

The tears to WILLIAM’S eyes would quickly crowd;

And from that time a Poet he became—

In joy or sorrow felt a glowing flame.

Though still so young he, at this very time,

Oft framed rude numbers, and poured forth his rhyme;

And ’twas no wonder if, by Nature taught,

He wrapped himself in sweet poetic thought.

He, to this day, is pleased to recollect

What few, who knew him then, would e’er suspect—

How much he loved to wander in the woods,

And watch the trees put forth their opening buds;

Or list the sound created by the wind,

Which sought a passage through the leaves to find.

He also loved, with wonder and delight,

To gaze on flowers bedecked with glory bright;

On polyanthus and auriculas,

In pleasing contrast with the ribbon-grass;

On wall-flower, too, with richest odor filled,

Like sweet frankincense daintily distilled;

On roses fair, in great variety

Of scent and color; and the peony,

Or scented violet, which scarce shows its head,

Yet does its odor o’er the garden shed;

On prince’s feather, wearing stately plume,

With much of show, but nothing of perfume;

Loved tulips, lilies, pinks and gilliflowers,

With woodbines trained o’er lovely garden bowers,

That give forth sweetness and their charms display,

While, in rich robes, they stand in full array;

The foxglove, daisy, and demure monk’s-hood,

With lilacs, and the scented southern wood;

The guelder-rose, with its fair, whited balls,

And creeping plants, high climbing up the walls, [page 13]

These at all times our hero warmly loved,

And showed it, too, when he in gardens roved.

While, to himself, he had a patch of ground,

Where, at his leisure, he was mostly found.

Thus passed, most pleasantly, his youthful days,

All intermingled with his boyish plays,

And sometimes meriting a meed of praise.

———————

BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT.—Address to domestic bliss. Its influence on society. Principal source from

     whence it springs, viz: conjugal union faithfully cherished. An appeal to parents and law-givers

     on the subject. WILLIAM’S training under its influence. Difficulties in procuring a trade.

     Success at last. Reflections on, and encouragements to, such trades. Temptations and trials.

     Anecdotes. Appeal to masters and others. Narrow escape from a cut-throat. Courtship and its

     consequences. Conclusion.

Domestic bliss! what tongue can speak thy praise!

What poet give, even in his noblest lays,

An eulogy that shall thy charms express,

Clothed in Truth’s language, thy own native dress?

To thy sweet influence do we owe the choice

Of all mankind, whoever raised their voice

In Freedom’s cause, or stood on battle-ground,

While Liberty her banner waved around.

To thee, when governed by God’s holy book,

Must we in future for true heroes look.

For if thou dwellest in each family,

Then long may wave the flag of Liberty!

To keep thee shining brightly round each hearth,

Is worth the wealth contained in all the earth!

It does become us then to study well

(Who knows the secret? Would some Angel tell?)

The best of means by which to foster this

Great earthly blessing, pure domestic bliss! [page 14]

Hail sweet conjugal union! Hail to thee!

May I thy humble votary ever be!

Take thee away, and each dear earthly home

Would soon a scene of dreadful strife become;

And from this source would spring a thousand woes

Which to imagine has my heart’s blood froze!

Dear fellow-countrymen! Stand forward now,

And faithful prove unto your marriage vow.

I conjure you by all the sacred ties

By which you’re bound unto your families,

Whatever faults, through weakness, you display,

In this be faithful to your dying day!

Why will you leave the wife you swore to love,

Who should to you be as a precious dove,

To wanton with a harlot void of shame,

And bring disgrace upon a father’s name?

Why will you pierce yourselves with sorrow through,

And ruin bring upon your children, too?

Oh! let a broken-hearted wife’s deep sighs,

And children’s woes, bring tears into your eyes!

Give to yourselves no rest, by day or night,

Till you have made their saddened faces bright.

Oh! there is One above who sees you now,

If you repent not he will bring you low!

Regard this warming, flee to God for peace,

From loving your dear families never cease.

And ye, whose task it is to make our laws,

Lend your strong influence to aid this cause;

See that your hands are clean—or make them so—

You’ve much to answer for, of weal or woe.

Young COOPER’S parents did on him impress

The way to gain domestic happiness;

More by example than by precepts strong

They their dear children sought to lead along.

Their constant conduct to each other told

What they preferred before the richest gold.

And one who knows them well can testify

That they themselves would evermore deny,

Ere they would risk their own or family’s peace,

As some have done, who scarce from jarring cease.

In such a family, as we might expect,

True discipline met not with long neglect.

And this, employed aright, the Lord will bless,

In spite of childhood’s frequent waywardness. [page 15]

Trained in this manner, WILLIAM soon arrived

Just to the time when means should be contrived

To get for him at once a proper trade,

And he to this not one objection made.

It was his choice that he might be employed

In marble works, and had the thought enjoyed

That some good master would his service need;

But disappointment was for him decreed.

Some other places then the father tried,

But all with boys appeared to be supplied.

The youth more anxious grew from day to day,

Nor could well brook what seemed such sad delay.

He oft retired at night unto his bed,

With various plans contrived in his young head;

But vanished soon were all these well-formed schemes,

As though they were so many empty dreams;

Until, by “hope deferred,” he was made sad,

And even home scenes failed to make him glad.

He now had nearly reached his thirteenth year,

And did a small, weak youth, indeed, appear;

Yet though so very young and small, this boy

Had felt deep sorrow, and no little joy.

Good news at last he heard, with much delight,

When his dear father came from work one night;

He said a tradesman an apprentice wanted,

And told what wages would to him be granted.

WILLIAM at once accepted of the place,

And met the man next morn with smiling face.

’Twas soon agreed that he a month should try

The work, and his new master satisfy.

This soon flew past, and he was strongly bound

Till seven long years should, in their course, move round.

To mention all his trials and mishaps

Would please no reader of this tale, perhaps;

Suffice to say, he did himself exert

In his new business, and was soon expert

In making up their wares of shining metal—

A teapot, can, or otherwise a kettle.

Let none despise him for his occupation,

For God has stamped it with His approbation.

’Tis therefore lawful, and should always be

Approved of men, though e’en of high degree.

God’s holy book commands that saints engage

In honest callings, throughout every age; [page 16]

That they may lead a just and holy life,

Nor needlessly be found in worldly strife;

That they themselves and households may maintain,

From the just proceeds of a righteous gain.

Let none be found so foolish or so base,

As to regard mechanics as a race

Devoid of intellect and common sense,

Who to true honor have no just pretence.

Our ranks can boast of one far higher name

Than e’er was found in other paths of fame.

This, my assertion, may to many prove

A puzzle great, while puzzles they do love.

Cheer up, ye poor mechanics! and pursue

Your lowly trades, and Heaven keep still in view.

Ye who have naught to boast save rank and wealth,

Look round you openly—or look by stealth;

See what our factories have done for you—

And for the world—whichever side you view!

Without them, Ocean ne’er would bear a sail

To catch the breeze, or fly before the gale;

Without them, where could we obtain the Press—

That mightiest engine in the universe?

Take it away, and we should back be thrown

Into dark ages, which would Science drown.

While all the household comforts that we boast

Would disappear, and be forever lost!

Such thoughts as these would ramble through the brain

Of our apprentice, while he did maintain

A due respect for those above him placed,

And kept these things within his mind encased.

Let none suppose that he his trade pursued

Without exposure to temptations rude.

In that small shop he found a vicious youth,

Who feared not God, nor yet regarded truth:

One who deep drank, who gambled, swore and lied

Most awfully; nor can it be denied,

Some other practices he did pursue

Which, I would hope, he long has learned to rue.

’Twas well for WILLIAM that this vicious youth

Was, undisguisedly, averse to truth;

That, in attempting to sow evil seeds,

He made no secret of his foulest deeds.

Howe’er it was, our hero stood his ground,

In such sad vices never was he found. [page 17]

He now acknowledges ’twas God’s rich grace

Kept him from falling in that dangerous place.

And, from his heart, that goodness would adore

Which did preserve him ’midst such trials sore.

“Evil communications,” God declares,

“Corrupt good manners.” Who then boldly dares

To say their influence will not be seen

In those who long exposed to them have been?

For, well we know, the unregenerate mind

Is proper soil wherein to seek and find

The seeds of latent evil, which may spring—

And springing, grow, till they destruction bring.

Even so it was with WILLIAM’S carnal heart,

Some mischief settled in its fleshy part.

Nor was this all; he oft became the butt

Of journeymen or ’prentice, who would glut

Their hardened hearts by showing greatest spite

’Gainst him for following what he thought was right.

Often that wicked youth, in wantonness,

Would try all means to give him sore distress.

And once, with all a dreadful demon’s rage—

In such acts none but demons would engage—

He threw him down, and held him; then applied

A lighted candle to his throat, and tried

To make him think it merely was a joke!

Which was as true as most of what he spoke.

The sore thus made gave him most cruel pain,

And left a scar that does even now remain.

Bad as this was, it was not half so bad

As what was done unto another lad.

I heard the story, and believe it true—

And shudder while I have it in my view.

The town in which this shocking act was done

I have passed through—it was an English one.

The scene, a Tinsmith’s shop, where several men

Were wont to work, and all were present then.

A monster man two solder-irons took,

Made them quite hot, and, with a fiendish look,

Went right behind the boy, and on each side

The heated irons to his face applied!

The youth saw one, his head aside he threw,

Received a burn, before his fate he knew;

He quickly turned it then the other way,

And had two scars unto his dying day! [page 18]

Methinks I hear the thoughtful reader ask,

“Why was the man, at once, not ta’en to task?

Why did the other men not take a part

With that poor boy, and show a feeling heart?”

I am informed they all enjoyed the joke!

Not one reproachful word they ever spoke.

I blush to think that any of my trade

Should of such monsters ever be afraid.

The very thought still makes my blood to boil—

And shuddering, from such thoughts I back recoil!

I would have dragged the fiend unto a jail,

Or had him fastened to a wagon’s tail,

Laid bare his back, and let the lash descend—

And, doing this, would still my act defend!

Ye masters, foremen, journeymen, and all

Who view such scenes, on each of you I call

To try your utmost now to do away

Such shocking deeds, enacted day by day!

If this you do not, you deserve the blame,

And richly merit good men’s scorn and shame.

Our WILLIAM’S trials led him oft to think

That, while from duty he would never shrink,

It would be better far to leave his trade,

Than the sad object of such sport be made.

And to his father spoke to this effect—

Not in ill humor, but with much respect.

The father’s counsel was, that he should stay,

As soon the other youth would go away.

I here may mention he had one good friend,

And one on whom he always could depend;

This was his dear young master, who oft took

Much pains in reading o’er the Christian’s Book—

Received its lessons in his gentle heart,

And showed by this he chose the better part.

He would encourage and defend the youth,

Who saw it right to let him know the truth.

Alas! this master soon was seized by Death,

And died rejoicing in our “common faith.”

COOPER with grief beheld the sorrowing scene,

And called to mind how kind that friend had been;

And often wished more like to him were found

In all the workshops through the country round. [page 19]

Still time moved on; the elder youth took leave,

And those he left had no just cause to grieve.

’Twas WILLIAM’S turn to take the other’s place,

And do his best to bring it no disgrace.

He now had under him a younger boy,

While better work did his own hands employ.

The workshop was a cellar, close to th’ street,

And passers-by would oft the workmen greet.

The light came through an iron-grated space,

Making a prison-like and dismal place.

One day a stir was made that street within,

And each felt anxious to behold the scene.

The errand-boy was busy cleaning knives,

As others have done often in their lives.

He in a moment climbed upon the bench,

And the huge carver in his hand did clench.

WILLIAM was looking up, with outstretched throat,

Quite unobservant, being lost in thought.

“I’ll cut! I’ll cut!” fell quickly on his ear;

He felt sharp pain, and thus had cause to fear!

The boy, for fun, across WILL’S neck had drawn

The carving-knife, and stood still as a stone;

Quite terrified at sight of blood, he said,

“I thought it was th’ back!” it proved the edge instead.

The wound was slight, but might have been far worse—

And he might ne’er have figured in my verse.

One thing the serious reader would expect—

To give thing the serious reader would expect—

To give God thanks he could not well neglect.

Ah, me! his passion drove such thought away—

Strong Passion’s call he hastened to obey;

And feeling in a dreadful angry mood,

He beat the boy that it might do him good!

Yes, beat him without mercy, and declared

’Twas well, indeed, the lad no worse had fared!

God dealt not thus with thee, my hero fine,

He long forbore with all those sins of thine;

And ’twas but just thou should’st some mercy show

To that poor boy, who did no better know.

My Muse, most willingly, would quit these themes—

Which are not seemly in a poet’s dreams.

More pleasing topics now demand my pen,

Though often sung by many wiser men.

The subject of my verse had early felt

That sensibility within him dwelt. [page 20]

So constituted was he, that at school,

When he should have been conning grammar’s rule—

In deep arithmetic—or other task—

His eye would wander to a distant desk,

Which, having reached, itself it stationed there,

Fixed on some beauty-bud of promise rare!

’Twill not seem strange, then, if in after years

This thing called Sensibility appears.

Strange, or not strange, our hero’s heart was warm,

Which made him seek the other sex’s charm;

And when his mind was brought to fix on one

Who, in his eyes, all others far outshone—

He loved to ramble, on a moonlight night,

With that dear girl—so charming in his sight—

And listen to the murmuring of Kent’s stream,

Whose face reflected full each pale moonbeam;

Or wander by the side of some lone wood,

In sweet discourse, which both considered good.

Or else they clomb, delighted, up that hill,

Upon whose top the Castle’s ruins still

Invite the mind, in pensiveness, to know

The end of all things in this world below.

Yes, these have stood within that gloomy place,

Which now exhibits many a striking trace

Of the rude ravages of Man and Time,

As seen upon that edifice sublime.

And, as he stood upon that green hill’s brow,

Has felt inclined abiding love to vow

To her, who fondly on his arm was leaning

With upturned eyes, which well bespoke their meaning.

That place is sacred to such lovers’ vows—

As could be witnessed by each tree that grows

Around those ruins; which have also seen

Some sad, strange sights within their day, I ween!

Sometimes they chose to see a mutual friend,

And in sweet singing would the evening spend.

At other times through beauteous Gillingrove,*

They, arm in arm, and rapt in love, would rove.

This walk they mostly took on Sunday nights,

As most in keeping with that day’s delights.

For both had long quite strict attendants been

At a small Chapel, thought to be too mean

To be oft visited by wealthy men;

Though some would wander to it now and then.

As yet nor WILLIAM, nor his girl, professed


     *A well-known lovers’ retreat.


[page 21]

To be by saving Gospel Truth most bless’d;

Yet both went there three times each Sabbath day,

To join in singing, if they did not pray.

And ’tis but right that Christian parents should

To church take children, for the children’s good.

To lead them to regard the Lord’s own day—

Nor spend its hours in idleness or play.

These two young people might be quite sincere,

For all their friends could ever see or hear;

But though their love was warm, and pure as day,

Time spent in this wise runs to waste away.

Of leisure he had never much to boast,

For every work-day found him at his post;

From six at morn till eight o’clock at night,

He faithful wrought, as in his Master’s sight.

Yet oft he wished—that wish was strongest then—

Improvement in his learning to obtain;

But such love frolics made that wish in vain.

This grieved him much when, afterwards, desire

He felt to nurture true poetic fire;

And did regret that youthful follies cost

So much in precious time forever lost.

This folly seen, he strove with eager haste

To let his leisure run no more to waste,

And rose each morn at four or five o’clock,

To walk abroad, and gain of health a stock;

Or listen to the lark’s sweet morning lay,

As he rose up to greet the King of Day;

Or let the lively, thrilling blackbird’s song,

Charm his fond ear as he walked slow along.

Sometimes through well-fenced fields of new-mown hay—

Breathing out fragrance—he was wont to stray;

Or climb a hill with firm, elastic tread,

While Sol his early beams in radiance shed.

The Castle hill he mostly did prefer,

As quite accordant with his character.

Upon its ruins he would musing sit,

Till he was seized with a strong rhyming fit;

Then frame his welling thoughts to some rude verse—

Which friends were anxious he should oft rehearse.

If thus his leisure was not always spent,

He read what books his friends had to him lent.

Of such good things he owned but very few—

And parents needed all the cash he drew.

Thus was his time most constantly employed,

While life passed smoothly on—not unenjoyed. [page 22]

BOOK III.

THE ARGUMENT.—Holidays: the Schoolboy’s anticipations in regard to them. Improper use

     made of such times by some Apprentices. Evil consequences of their conduct. An appeal to

     them on the subject. The sad tale of young DAYCOURT. Address to Liquor: its evils.

     WILLIAM’S holiday rambles. Father’s birth-place. Tragic scene there. Farleton Knot. Glance

     back to Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement. Visit of a man from Canada. His

     account of the country. Its consequences. WILLIAM’S taste in books. Rural rambles on

     business. Reflections on cruelty to animals. Retrospective glance. Conclusion.

————

Hail, Holidays! To you, with great delight,

The schoolboy looks—exulting with his might

At the fair prospect of enjoying play,

Or visiting relations far away.

Ere your propitious dawn he lays his schemes,

And pleased, rejoices in his bright day dreams.

He, in anticipation, views the charm

Of being for days exempt from birchen harm!

When, free from tasks—nor caring much for books—

With some companion he can fish the brooks;

Can ramble through the woods for flowers or nuts,

Play with fair girls who live in sylvan huts,

Mount with agility some green hill top,

And, with a mate, roll full length down the slope;

Or take his fill from loaded bramble bushes,

Or from rich fruit bedecked in Autumn’s blushes.

Such is the bliss that’s placed before his view,

In all its fulness, Holidays! by you.

And thus, without a single shade of sorrow,

He greets his mates with “Holiday to-morrow!”

These pleasures seem unto his boyish mind

Of the right sort—and for schoolboys designed.

He seldom thinks of all the anxious care

His parents feel, to give their son a share

Of useful learning, that he may discharge

His part to God, to them, and men at large.

Apprentices as well with pleasure hail

Their holidays—O, may they never fail! [page 23]

These are too often spent in idleness,

Or such sad courses as brings them distress.

This is the case when grog-shops they frequent;

For ruin follows time and means ill spent.

Pause, O, ye youths! before you yet begin

A course that may lead you to every sin!

Restrain your feet from entering those holes

Which prove the ruin of so many souls.

Would ye not pause, if right across your path

There lay a monstrous serpent, full of wrath?

Would ye, fool-hardy, rush into his jaws

To certain death? or would ye rather pause?

Youths, ye have cause, yea, weighty cause, to dread

This horrid serpent, on strong liquor fed,

Which lurks in every place where Rum is sold,

Though they may be all covered o’er with gold—

They often are; nor deem it hard of faith—

The way to present and eternal death!

God does by His most holy Book declare,
“Into God’s kingdom none shall enter there,

Who liquor drink till drunkards they become!”

Yet, day by day, some meet this awful doom.

Oh, warning take! Flee from this dreadful crime!

Pause and consider, while you yet have time!

Listen the story which to you I tell;

Dwell on its moral—mark the sequel well;

Then look abroad, and see its counterpart

In many a case that shows a broken heart.

DAYCOURT was a youth, possessed of wealth—

Had manly beauty and the best of health;

In learning he excelled—was quite a wit—

And oft indulged in a deep musing fit.

Of very warm and truly tender heart,

He did his best to act a proper part;

Which made him much respected all around—

Against him, filled with envy, none were found.

His widowed mother, then, might well be proud

Of such a son, and speak his praises loud.

He bore for her respect, and strove to prove

In many ways the fulness of his love.

For many years this widow, in her grief,

Looked up to God, and found from him relief. [page 24]

She knew the Lord, before her husband died,

And found Him one in whom she could confide;

In all her trials meekly bowed her head,

And found sweet peace was o’er her bosom shed.

Her son, to her, was all a son could be—

Yet on one point she felt anxiety:

He had not then experienced the New Birth,

And his best thoughts had all been of the Earth.

Adjoining their estate was living one—

A blithe young lady, who in beauty shone;

With health endowed, and with fair learning graced,

By wealth in easy circumstances placed.

AMELIA DOVE we well may call her name—

Like that sweet bird she seemed exempt from blame.

Her parents loved her—they could do no less—

She was the soul of all their happiness!

Early she rose, and, dressed in neat array,

Assisted her dear mother through the day.

Thus passed her time, beloved by all around—

She was as good a girl as could be found;

And a fair match for DAYCOURT all conceived—

This he himself had for some time believed.

They loved each other, and obtained consent

From their kind parents, and were well content.

And, having leisure, they would often walk,

Or, sitting in some bower, would sing and talk;

Or else they read some book which both admired,

Till their young hearts with ecstacy were fired;

Through hill and dale—through woods—were wont to rove,

Well pleased with all they saw, they drank in love!

The day arrived when DAYCOURT and his bride

Were at the altar in pure wedlock tied.

The day was spent as such like days have been,

And passed away in happiness serene.

At night, a bounteous marriage-feast was spread,

And Love’s sweet influence over all seemed shed.

The friends invited strove to show their joy,

In wishing happiness without alloy

To that young couple, who, in youthful bloom,

Were the admired of all in that large room.

But, Oh! I shrink! ’Tis my ungracious task

From bliss like this to tear away the mask!

On such occasions wine’s oft made to flow—

As if it were the source of joy below! [page 25]

The bridegroom felt in a most merry mood,

And drank each health till his young, joyous blood

Coursed through his veins as if quite all on fire,

And his kind thoughts gave place to bad desire.

His brain began to whirl—he boisterous grew—

All eyes on him, observant, quickly drew—

He seized a bottle, which he madly threw.

Sad to relate! it struck his beauteous bride!

And she fell dead, by her dear mother’s side.

This dread catastrophe soon sobered him,

And he was sick, and felt his eyes grow dim.

But while all stood in terror and dismay,

He roused himself, and fled from thence away;

Then headlong rushed into a deep, deep, stream—

And thus was ended that bright, youthful dream!

The pious mother tried in God to trust,

But this dire blow soon sank her in the dust.

Her parents, too, felt this most dreadful stroke

Too hard to bear, for both their hearts it broke!

Oh, cruel Liquor! Thou hast millions slain,

And still their death-throes cry to thee in vain!

Ten thousand broken hearts may soon be found

In almost every land the world around.

Millions of orphans’ cries thine ears assail,

While parents’ early death they loud bewail;

The prisons and asylums which we build,

From thy sad victims’ ranks are chiefly filled.

War’s dreadful ravages are justly blamed;

But war with thee deserves not to be named!

And still, insatiate monster! thy dread jaws

Are daily filled—being unrestrained by laws!

When will the day, the happy day, arrive,

When thee the injured nations forth shall drive?

Beware, Apprentices! In time beware!

Flee from those places which would you insnare;

Regard that man as your real enemy,

Who, tempting, leads to inebriety!

Now, while you daily toil, I wish you may

Have many a truly happy holiday!

The hero of my tale of such had some,

And felt well pleased whenever they did come.

On such occasions he was wont to go

To visit friends, who did much kindness show. [page 26]

With ardent joy full beaming in his face,

He more than once revisited the place

Where his dear father spent his youthful days,

In toilsome labor, or in childish plays.

To him ’twas still a sweetly quiet spot,

A picture of content—a small, neat cot—

And just beneath the hill called Farleton Knot.

He had a strange, romantic turn of mind;

To taste adventure ever felt inclined.

This being premised, we may expect to see,

That by slight dangers undeterred was he

From venturing to the edge of precipice,

To have a peep into some dark abyss.

The hill of which I spoke had sometimes been,

As was well known, the site of tragic scene.

It is a solid mass of limestone rock—

And there oft falls some huge misshapen block.

On one occasion a poor quarryman

Saw danger pending, and away he ran;

’Twas all in vain! the lately-riven stone

Came thundering down, and crushed his every bone!

A tale like this might well some minds appal—

But WILLIAM felt, just then, of dauntless soul;

And, with his cousin, hasted up the hill,

With eager steps and most unyielding will;

A scene there met his gaze which him repaid,

And threw the toil required far in the shade.

On every hand a charming prospect lay,

In all the beauty of a bright Spring day.

All Nature smiled, in loveliest green confessed,

Like a fair maiden for her bridal drest.

And songsters of the grove, no longer sad,

Their notes were warbling forth to make her glad.

And need we wonder then, if there he stood,

With glowing heart, and wrapt in musing mood?

As was his wont, he felt a strong desire

From such sweet views to draw poetic fire.

And so it was, for out his numbers flowed,

Which, quickly penned, he on his friends bestowed.

And though these numbers were but very rude,

They were, by rustic friends, with wonder viewed.

While he stood there his thoughts were backward thrown

To days which on Time’s fleetest wing had flown—

When his grandfather, in that humble cot, [page 27]

With sweet contentedness enjoyed his lot;

Wrought quietly at his most lowly trade,

And honest lived—though small the profits made.

In his mind’s eye, he saw his father climb

Those rugged cliffs, in youth, or manhood’s prime;

Or, with his brothers join in lively play,

On the long evenings of each Summer day.

Anon would view the time when each forsook

That humble cottage, some fresh toil to brook;

Saw them all settled in a wedded life—

In honest work employed, exempt from strife.

Or glanced at some of his own early days—

When he gave up, on Saturdays, his plays,

To go with his dear grandfather, to sell

The neat bee-hives the old man framed so well.

And often wondered what made selfish men

Try at less price those bee-hives to obtain;

And why the tears would oft the eyes bedim

Of that old man, when they thus bantered him?

And then with lightning speed his thoughts would stray,

To when his grandfather was ta’en away,

To meet in church-yard with his kindred clay.

As thus he stood and mused, his cousin’s call

Roused him again to consciousness of all

The widespread beauties of that landscape bright,

And he, reluctant, left the beauteous sight.

To hint at all he saw my time would fail,

And might too much but lengthen out my tale.

Suffice it, therefore, just for me to say,

That he spent pleasantly each holiday.

Ere this, when he was in his fourteenth year,

Amongst the Temperance ranks he did appear;

Attended meetings, heard the speeches made,

And grew indignant at the liquor trade.

He signed the pledge—the strict “teetotal” pledge—

And felt determined constant war to wage

Against the huge, fierce monster, Drunkenness—

Which caused, on every hand, such sore distress.

A drunken parent he had never had—

The Lord preserved him from a fate so sad!

But still his fervent soul was filled with grief,

From which he vainly strove to gain relief,

So long as this dread vice o’erspread the land,

And strong drink’s victims died on every hand. [page 28]

He thought upon the thing till bold he grew,

And framed a speech to tell of all he knew

Of this vile demon’s doings in the world,

And wished that out of it he might be hurled.

Soon after this, from Canada there came

A Christian man; no matter what his name.

He long to WILLIAM’S parents had been known,

And hospitality to him was shown.

On that good country’s merits much he dwelt,

And COOPER’S ears being open, soon he felt

A strong desire to reach that distant shore,

And all its giant wonders to explore.

Oft he had heard of its vast, splendid lakes,

Stupendous cataracts, and great cane-brakes;

Of boundless woods, well filled with noble trees,

And hugest rivers rolling to the seas.

The man described quite well Niagara’s falls,

Its thundering sound as it o’erleaps its walls;

He told the distance they could hear the sound,

And how with ceaseless roar it shook the ground;

Of Summer’s heat, of the long Winter’s cold,

And at what price the finest lands were sold.

This, and far more, the settler told the youth,

Who did regard it all as sterling truth,

And wished—but wished in vain—that he was free

To cross at once the stormy, deep blue sea.

No way appeared but quietly to wait

Till he was loosed, and grown to man’s estate.

Some years must pass before that day arrive,

So to be patient he thought fit to strive.

One-half of his apprenticeship had fled,

And now he fairly earned his daily bread.

Of clothes, his parents’ ever constant care

Provided him with quite a decent share.

Of pocket money he ne’er had a store,

His needs supplied, he did not care for more;

And his step-mother oft thought fit to say

That “money burned his pockets all away.”

Howe’er it was, he never had a cent

But found a hole, and out of that it went!

Though still close-worked, he did contrive to spare

Some precious time to spend in rhyming ware.

He read sweet COWPER’S poems through and through—

And, more he read, the more he liked them, too; [page 29]

His “Task” the most of all—an ample field—

What heart-felt pleasure it did to him yield!

Then MILTON’S lofty genius fired his soul,

Nor did he tire till he had read the whole.

Again began, and o’er the pages pored,

And drank the sweets with which they are well stored.

Then THOMSON’S Seasons with delight he read,

And YOUNG’S Night Thoughts in mournful dress arrayed.

Some few sweet pieces he from BYRON drew,

And read poor BURNS with much advantage, too.

But of all poets he loved COWPER most,

For in Miltonic grandeur he was lost;

And THOMSON lacked that great variety

Which in sweet Olney’s bard we clearly see.

Afflicted Poet! Thou didst well thy part,

By pouring balm into the wounded heart;

And while the world endures, thy verse will cheer

Poor down-cast souls, and bid them not to fear!

Nor did he read alone the poet’s page,

Good books in prose would oft his mind engage:

For he had joined th’ Mechanics’ Institute—

And in its praises I would not be mute.

Mechanics! It deserves your best support,

And to its rooms you often should resort.

There you may learn from books to act your parts,

While they refine and elevate your hearts.

He with great travelers took delight to roam

In distant countries, far away from home;

And frequently has dropped a silent tear

O’er PARK’S great trials in the desert drear.

Oh! who can read of all his heart-felt woes—

His frequent sufferings, and his dying throes—

And fail to drop a sympathetic tear

For his sad end—without a friend to cheer!

In LANDER’S patient, persevering toil,

Through greatest dangers, on wild Afric’s soil,

He felt the deepest interest, and partook

Their joys and sorrows, while he read their book.

And hailed, with pleasure and unfeigned delight,

The happy moment when the welcome sight

Of Niger’s junction with the great deep sea

A period put to their sad misery! [page 30]

Read BRUCE, whose book, received with cold distrust,

Was only prized when he was laid in dust.

And HUMBOLDT, the admired of all mankind,

Of gentle manners and accomplished mind;

Who scaled the lofty Andes’ snow-clad towers,

Where danger lurks, and fell destruction lowers.

And COOK, who bravely sailed around the Earth—

A friend to man—ev’n man of lowest birth.

Whose peaceful voyages to each far coast

Were for man’s benefit—as we may boast—

Yet at sad price, since his dear life was lost!

Of warlike heroes’ lives he read a few,

And of War’s horrors thus obtained a view—

Which made him sick at heart, nor wish to know

More of a man’s bloody doings here below.

His sober and industrious conduct gained

The Master’s confidence—which he retained;

And so, in services requiring trust

He was employed, and still continued just.

Sometimes to distant places he was sent—

And well he did enjoy the time thus spent.

It scope afforded to reflective powers—

And thus he profited by these spare hours.

Greatly did it delight him to behold

Fair Nature glittering in green and gold;

And the pure melody in different groves

Reminded him of his own early loves;

Or led him to break out, with tuneful voice,

In sweet hymn, which made his heart rejoice.

For he had now begun to feel the worth

Of Heavenly things, and pour God’s praises forth.

In this way, once he passed through Dallam Park,

To see its deer, and other objects mark.

These lovely creatures to his mind did seem

Most unfit objects of man’s sporting dream.

He greatly wondered how some men could be

E’er guilty of such wanton cruelty,

As to pursue, with horses with hounds,

Such harmless creature over all their grounds;

Hunt him o’er swamps and fields, and mountain slopes,

Through pebbly streams, or shady hazel copse,

Till they have driven him at last to bay,

Toward the close of some most sultry day.

Wondered how any one, with tearless eye, [page 31]

Could mark his sufferings, and then watch him die.

Oh, cruel man! when will thy thirst for blood

Be turned to energy in doing good?

When will Creation’s groans come to an end,

And men delight in love their days to spend?

While such reflections occupied his mind,

The place he went to seek he strives to find,

And is successful; gets his business done,

Then back pursues his homeward way alone.

Now Fancy wings her flight; I view again

Scenes which my memory will long retain;

See Kent—unsung—flow on in winding course

Through woods and fields, with very gentle force;

Or where, by Sedgwick’s side, its waters pour

O’er jagged rocks, with never-ceasing roar;

Or where they smoothly glide past Leven’s hall,

Sweet landscapes forming, which can never pall

The minds of those who love a beauteous scene,

And wish to spend a day in bliss serene.

For there this stream just flows as if by stealth

Through splendid parks—past gardens formed by wealth!

I oft look back to those most gladsome hours

Spent, while a schoolboy, in those garden bowers;

Where tall box-trees are trimmed to various shapes—

Old women—pitchers—or, it may be—apes!

Where plants and beauteous flowers are ever found,

To breathe out fragrance all the garden round.

’Tis time for me to curb my vagrant Muse;

A subject waits my pen she well may choose.

Now aid me, O my God! Who dwell’st above,

While I attempt to sing Redeeming Love!

Nor let one line, or word, be writ by me

Not in accordance with that Mystery!

May I, to profit fellow-sinners, strive,

And good from this for my own soul derive! [page 32]

BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.—Address to the Sacred Scriptures, glancing briefly at their various

    excellencies. WILLIAM becomes a Christian. His reception into a Church. Different views of

    things after Conversion. Voice of Nature heard in God’s praise. Wonders why Man is so

    backward in this. Discovers reasons in Man’s inbred corruption, temptations, etc. Salvation all

    of Grace. The humbling nature of this truth to Man’s pride; but the security it affords Believers.

    Its effects on him. Fresh love trials—consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk—Church

    bells. Visit to farm-house; family worship. Glance at what England owes to Prayer. Sunday

    school teaching. Other exercises on that day. Their influence on him. Prepares to emigrate.

    Parting scenes, etc. Embarks at Liverpool.

—————

Hail, Sacred Scriptures! Blessed volume, hail!

Thy worth I fain would sing to grace my tale.

Thou very best of Books, whose truths like balm

Can heal the broken heart, the conscience calm;

Give peace unto the sin-stained, troubled mind,

And, by God’s grace, can save a lost mankind!

Thou precious casket of the rarest gems!

Whose priceless value a vain world contemns;

Thou great revealer of that Savior’s birth,

Who came from Heaven to bless a guilty Earth!

Thy pages do unfold the wondrous plan

By which that Savior has redeemed lost man!

How He, who was in form of God above,

Laid by his glory out of purest love

To wretched sinners, who his goodness prove!

Thou makest known the amazing fact to Faith,

That Jesus conquered hell and sin by death!

And show’st how all who do believe this truth—

Or rich, or poor, or old, or in their youth—

Forever shall be saved from death and sin,

And feel “Eternal Life,” while here, begin;

And safe, at last, in bliss be brought to dwell,

Whose fulness never mortal tongue can tell!

Thou the Repository of just laws—

True civilization’s first and greatest cause!

A code of morals on thy page is writ [page 33]

To regulate men’s lives, and conscience fit.

There we may read the best biographies,

And dwell on many truthful histories;

Find grandest Poetry that e’er was penned,

Which to devotion pure its aid doth lend;

There pore on grand yet awful prophecies

That do reveal great nations’ destinies.

There we may learn what yet awaits this Earth—

Soon to be burned, and spring again to birth!

If we chaste Fancy wish to gratify,

What pleasant fields for this before us lie!

Pathetic love-tales charm the sober mind

Of young or old, of vulgar or refined.

In short, thou formest quite a perfect Whole,

Of what we need to please, direct, control.

And—wonder great! O, Blessed Book divine—

With all thy vast rich treasures—thou art mine!

So felt our hero, when pure Gospel truth

Came home to him, while yet in days of youth.

He was brought up beneath the “joyful sound,”

And from great snares by this was fenced around;

Yet, Oh! what grief and sorrow filled his soul,

When he first saw his heart and conduct foul—

Was led to view God’s holy law aright,

And know he was condemned in His just sight.

Then, what true joy did Jesus’ love inspire!

It kindled in his heart sincere desire

To leave, at once, the World’s wild, giddy throng,

Whose joy and pleasures all to Earth belong,

To join with those whose joys are from Above,

And who have tasted of a Savior’s love.

He, with a choice companion, then applied

For Christian fellowship; nor was denied.

All those kind brethren hearty welcome gave,

For each was glad a sinner’s soul to save.

And joyful praises straight to God ascend,

To whom the new-made members they commend.

An Elder, grave, gave each an exhortation,

To which their hearts respond in approbation.

Soon COOPER felt new life, new aims, new themes—

Which gave fresh turns to all his youthful dreams.

The Bible then became his choicest friend;

At home, abroad, did all his steps attend,

And its blest influence was known to lend. [page 34]

Now what a different aspect things assume;

What once was darkness, Gospel truths illume!

In the sweet services of Sabbath days

He takes delight—in spirit sings and prays.

Views Family Worship as an altar raised

To the true God, who should be always praised.

And now, whene’er he takes his walks abroad,

Hears Nature’s voice well tuned in praise of God.

Each blade of grass that springs beneath his feet,

The new-made hay, in Summer’s fragrance sweet,

The flowers that to his eyes their charms disclose,

The waving grain, and every tree that grows,

Each insect fluttering in the bright sunbeams,

Or fishes sporting in pure crystal streams,

Or birds that raise their songs by morning light,

At high mid day, or through the moonlit night;

Each storm that rises, or pure breeze that blows,

The copious rains, or Winter’s drifting snows,

Vast mountains rearing their hoar heads on high,

Each gem-like star set in the fair blue sky;

The herds wide feeding in the fields around,

All living things in every country found,

All these in their peculiar ways give forth

Praises to God, the Author of their birth!

“Then, why are Men so silent?” he’d exclaim;

“And, those especially, who know His name:

Who, through His grace, enjoy a heavenly birth,

Why rise they not above the things of Earth?”

The “why,” to WILLIAM, in his warm first love,

Did truly seem most difficult to prove.

He by experience knew but little then

Of the sad trials of his fellow men;

Nor e’er suspected that the flesh remains

In each poor sinner who true faith obtains.

This bitter truth he soon was made to feel,

Which greatly damped his young and ardent zeal.

How humbling was the thought that human pride

Within God’s children must be mortified!

“Salvation all of Grace” first cuts the roots,

Then the huge branches, and the smallest shoots,

Lays bare the fact, that all of Adam’s race

Are but vile sinners, and in woful case.

That the most moral among human kind,

As the most vicious, are to sin inclined.

And if not saved by Grace, not saved at all,

But are hell-doomed, and held in Satan’s thrall! [page 35]

While endless ruin stands before their view,

And does with slavish fear their minds imbue.

This Scripture truth was soon by WILLIAM seen,

For he had from his very childhood been

Used to the teachings of God’s holy word,

So that with it his mind was early stored.

However strange indeed it may appear

To some men’s minds, he felt no cause to fear:

For though this truth had stripped him of all worth

In sight of God, it called his praises forth,

By showing him Salvation full and free

To sinners, whatsoe’er their age, sex or degree,

Who credit the account that God has given

Of Jesus Christ—the precious gift of Heaven!

Now, feeling truly happy in his soul,

He felt most free to speak the Truth to all;

That, if by any means, he might succeed

In saving souls, of whatsover creed.

His shop-mates saw the difference with surprise,

And at his cost indulged in foul surmise.

He heeded not, but placed in God his trust—

To his employer still continued just—

And strove with all his might to rectify

Each thing improper which he chanced to spy;

That his old master might have no complaint

Against his servant for thus turning Saint.

He plied his trade from better motives now,

As God with wisdom did his mind endow,

And to his just commands led him to bow.

By such a course pursued he did enjoy

True piece of mind—though not without alloy.

And Time, who past him flew on fleetest wing,

New joys, new sorrows, to his mind did bring.

At times he still was caught in Love’s sweet snare,

Which of fresh trials brought no little share.

He was by nature very apt to fall

So deep in love, it did his mind enthral.

Yet clothed in purity was his desire,

Nor e’er to rank unequal did aspire.

One thing to this time had his thoughts possessed—

“To have the girl that pleased his fancy best.”

He had not noticed what the Word declares

On this great matter, so that in his prayers

He ne’er had asked the Lord to him direct,

And disappointment came for this neglect. [page 36]

’Midst doubts and fears he therefore put away

All thoughts of marriage to a future day.

When we regard the record of God’s will,

A duty to ourselves we best fulfil!

From past experience, I would now advise

That all young men, in this respect, be wise.

Few weightier matters can attention claim,

If at pure peace and happiness we aim,

Than the selection of a proper wife—

One that may be a true help-mate for life.

“A prudent wife from God alone can come,”

And only such can make a happy home.

What dreadful strife, what wretchedness and woe,

From error here is almost sure to flow!

’Tis Sabbath morn, a pleasant one, in Spring,

And Nature’s varied voice is tuned to sing.

The swallows twitter underneath the eaves,

And zephyrs stir the newly-opened leaves;

The cock’s loud crowing sounds on every hand,

Each bird is warbling praises through the land.

Young COOPER thinks it were indeed a sin

If he to tune his harp did not begin.

He rises from his bed, pours forth his praise

To his Preserver in some artless lays;

Then quickly dresses, and, though humbly born,

With mind elate he tastes the sweets of morn.

And such a morn! Ah, who would lie abed,

That has the power to taste these sweets instead?

Most grateful odors greet the well-charmed sense,

From blooming fruit-trees o’er yon garden fence;

The sweet wild-flowers amid the new-sprung grass,

Make it seem carpeted in Fancy’s glass.

And it a carpet proves to those blithe lambs

Which play around their several watchful dams.

All Nature smiles in loveliest green attire,

And seems to manifest a strong desire

To speak the praise of All-Creating Power,

In striking language, at this early hour.

She, bursting forth from Winter’s cold embrace,

Exulting leaves behind his every trace.

So, on the morning of this hallowed day,

The Savior tore the bars of Death away;

He Resurrection-truth brought forth to light,

And we with rapture hail the glorious sight. [page 37]

Now hark! that sound fast floating on the breeze,

And streaming forth from ’midst those dark yew trees—

’Tis church-bell music! and peal follows peal,

Till strong emotions we begin to feel.

Now it pours full on the delighted ear;

Soon, changing with the wind, the strains we hear

As if the bells were many miles away,

And some few tones had merely chanced to stray!

Again, it comes in full harmonious swell,

With thrilling power—as I remember well.

Thus pleased in mind, WILLIAM his way now wends

Toward a hill, which he at once ascends;

And thence pursues the road to Birkland’s farm,

Where from kind friends he meets reception warm.

The aged matron—since in grave-yard laid—

Was wont to render him her friendly aid

In shape of counsel—or delicious fare—

Of which good things he needed then a share.

The breakfast over, straight the Bible’s brought,

A proper chapter found as soon as sought;

Remarks are made, or they some question ask:

To gain instruction proves a pleasing task.

This done, sweet hymns of praise to God arise

From well tuned hearts—a joyful sacrifice!

Then, on their knees, in fervent prayer they join

To Him, their Savior and their Friend benign.

Give thanks for care extended through the night,

And blessings they enjoy at morning light.

Not only Sabbath days they thus began;

On week-days, too, it was their constant plan

To join in worship every night and morn,

That they Religion ever might adorn.

By this made fit to meet the ills of life,

They were preserved from much of worldly strife.

“Surely,” thought WILLIAM, “God will design to bless

This worthy family with rich happiness!”

Ev’n so he did; all seven knew the Lord,

And took, to guide them, His most holy Word.

England! whate’er thy foes may do or say,

Thousands of families for thee will pray,

By love and duty led. They will not cease

To seek that God would bless thy shores with peace!

Know thou, my Country! thy great naval store, [page 38]

Thy numerous armies, and thy cannon’s roar,

Are Impotence itself compared with prayer,

Poured forth from hearts which in thy blessings share!

Refreshed in mind and body, to the road,

With good companions from that dear abode,

WILLIAM returns; and in most pleasing talk

Time swiftly flies, while each enjoys the walk.

They reach the School before the time begin,

When each prepares some precious soul to win.

They, having tasted God’s forgiving love,

Their gratitude for that rich blessing prove,

By teaching children placed beneath their care

How they may best escape from every snare,

Be saved from hell, and reach heaven’s mansions bright,

To dwell forever in the Savior’s sight.

In Sunday School engaged twice each Lord’s day,

And hearing three discourses, some would say

No time could then remain for aught beside;

But this, my friends, has only to be tried.

For COOPER, in reserve, two hours still kept

An Elder’s invitation to accept,

Him to accompany to his home, and there

Join in sweet conversation, hymn or prayer.

Thus mostly passed his Sabbaths for two years,

Which kept him free from many doubts and fears;

Enabled him to work at business still

With easy mind, and with right hearty will,

And find that Wisdom’s ways are pleasantness,

While all her paths are peace and heart-felt bliss.

But little now remains for us to note,

Of grief endured, or of true pleasure sought,

While he remained in his dear native place,

The pain of leaving which he had to face.

Except Religion, he had but one theme,

That much engaged his mind in each day-dream.

This one was Emigration, which increased

In strength till his apprenticeship had ceased.

Accounts from different Colonies he read—

Their capabilities, and state of trade;

The various climates next he pondered o’er,

And Canada preferred still more and more.

He learned, indeed, the heat and cold were great;

But thought that Nature’s works would compensate [page 39]

For what one suffered from her climate’s rigor:

So preparation soon was made with vigor.

His father’s family no objection raised,

As they had friends there who the country praised.

Yet all thought well to seek the Lord’s direction;

Secure His aid and fatherly protection.

This done, they did no longer hesitate

To take the steps required in change so great.

The kind employers of both man and son

Showed plainly that their confidence was won:

Each made them offers if they would remain—

Of which they had no reason to complain.

The sire, at that one place, employed had been

For something over twenty years, I ween.

There he wrought hard—but for a decent wage—

And was approaching fast toward old age:

So, dare not longer such a place engage.

While WILLIAM’S natural romantic turn

Led him all offers, good and ill, to spurn.

He thought of little but Canadian farms,

And heeded not *Rebellion’s loud alarms,

Which his old master pointed out to him,

To put a stop to such a foolish whim.

Yet it caused them sincerest grief of heart

From all kind friends and relatives to part,

Without a prospect of beholding more

Each much-loved face, on dear Old England’s shore.

At last arrived that most important day,

When they from all must tear themselves away,

And feel, what Emigrants had felt before,

That parting scenes to tender hearts are sore.

Their Christian brethren did them all commend

To their kind Father, Savior, Guide, and Friend,

And gave to them, as pledge of their regard,

A Bagster’s Bible—God’s own precious Word.

Their kind, deep feelings, other friends displayed

By various gifts, till parting time delayed.

And these love-tokens sensibly affect

The Emigrants, as proof of their respect:

And often, when they view them even now,

A shade might seem to cross each thoughtful brow.

Association, most mysterious thing!

What striking wonders thou hast power to bring!


*The Rebellion of 1837.


[page 40]

Aided by thee, we can review each day

A hundred scenes, though thousand miles away.

A single thought, amidst much happiness,

May call up others which give sore distress.

At other times, reverse of this is true,

Most pleasing things are placed before our view.

But to return; the first of May appears—

A day for fond embrace and shedding tears!

Some few go with the friends to see them off,

Nor seek to hide their tears, though fools may scoff.

They take the boat; the signal’s made to start;

The “Water Witch” shoots forward like a dart;

Some lingering looks, some tokens of adieu—

Sweet town, dear friends, and all, is lost to view!

Why felt not COOPER then in rhyming mood?

Why did he slight the Muse, who should be wooed?

Why did he not pour forth a parting song

Expressive of his feelings—always strong?

His loving heart was painfully oppressed,

As for some nights he had but little rest;

Most weighty cares, too, seemed his mind to fill,

Or he might then have sung with right good will.

They onward sail, and PRESTON reach at noon;

Then take the coach and travel further on.

At night they gain the port of LIVERPOOL,

All greatly chilled, because the night was cool.

Dear relatives who live there, welcome give,

And take them to the house in which they live.

Next day they visit many different docks,

Or wondering view the buildings huge, in blocks.

Then seek a proper ship without delay,

And, having found one, passage-money pay;

Secure their berths, and place their goods on board,

Commend themselves and friends unto the Lord,

And buy such comforts as their means afford.

Mistakes about the charges, and delays,

Gave them uneasiness for several days.

At last the vessel’s towed toward the sea;

And, Reader, for the present, rest with me;

Or wait a moment while I briefly add

That they, to leave this port, were truly glad! [page 41]

BOOK V.

THE ARGUMENT.—Address to Commerce. Emigrants reach the Sea. Farewell to England.

     WILLIAM’s employments on board. Storm described. Reach Banks of Newfoundland. Foggy

     weather. Icebergs seen. Land seen. Emigrant’s joy. Ship spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence.

     Enter River. Scenery, etc. Arrive before Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to Kingston.

     Thence to Hamilton. Settle near Brantford, on a bush farm. Shifts for furniture. WILLIAM’S

     narrow escape from Death in logging. His relish of bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion.

     Resolution formed and kept. Remarks incident to it. Conclusion.

————

Hail, peaceful Commerce! in thy glorious train

Rich blessings come to those who thee maintain.

England by thee for centuries has been blest;

Thy worth to her can scarcely be express’d.

By thy facilities the Scriptures spread

From shore to shore, on God’s own errands sped!

Impelled by thee our ships proud Ocean bears,

While each fair port a thriving aspect wears.

Millions of gold by thee are well employed,

And the rich profits by each class enjoyed.

Through thee great Nature’s overflowing stores

From distant lands are brought unto our doors;

Increasing much our comfort and delight,

Without abating any civil right.

Nay, more; producing, by the sway, sweet bands

To bind us to give Peace our hearts and hands;

And thus to strike a death-blow to all war,

Whose brutal spirit keeps our minds ajar.

Through thee our mammoth manufacturing places

Send forth their wares to Earth’s remotest races:

By which means many thousand poor are fed,

And trained by Industry—by Virtue led—

Use right the skill with which they are endowed;

Of such like men may England long be proud,

And ever foster, by good wholesome laws,

Those trades which help so mightily her cause!

O, may that day be distant that shall bring

Neglect of thee, from whom such good doth spring!

Hail, peaceful Commerce! still a hearty hail!

As I proceed with my unvarnished tale. [page 42]

Our ship had not been long at Mersey’s mouth

Before a breeze sprung up from east by south;

And then the welcome sound fell on the ear

Of “Square the main yards! Sailors, do you hear?”

A hearty “Aye, Sir!” was the loud response,

And she had glided into sea at once!

With haste they for the Northern passage make,

But that good breeze did them too soon forsake.

Awhile they lay becalmed, and then return,

And reach the Southern passage just at morn.

Soon, soon they lose the truly precious sight

Of English shores, bathed in the morning light!

A few more hours, and land has disappeared;

They see no more Old Albion’s cliffs upreared.

Let us suppose that then this poor young man,

In plaintive strains his Farewell thus began:

“Adieu, my native Land! a long Adieu!

Years, years must pass before again I view

Thy much-loved shores, fast fading from my sight,

Or scenes preserved in fondest memory bright!

Should I be spared to reach yon distant coast,

Remembrances of thee will not be lost.

Should I be prospered in Canadian woods,

With a sufficiency of this world’s goods,

I still with pleasure will look back to thee,

And hail thy tokens of prosperity!

Will still remember, with a joyful heart,

Each much-loved face—each interesting part.

O, may thy peaceful Arts still flourish round,

And happiness in every nook be found!

May thy great Rulers feel an interest still

In all thy weal—and duty thus fulfil!

Adieu, my Country! may’st thou ever be

A Friend to Truth, and Mistress of the Sea!”

Now on the dark blue Ocean’s bosom cast,

Naught but the sea and sky are seen, at last,

Save finny tribes, which, sporting in the deep,

Seem swiftly past the noble ship to sweep;

Or flights of birds returning from abroad,

By instinct led, to charm each English wood.

With sails well filled, the vessel plows her way

In gallant trim, nor heeds the dashing spray.

Yet WILLIAM’S time ne’er seemed to hang on hand;

His days flew swiftly by, on sea or land. [page 43]

Sometimes a book his close attention craves—

At times, for hours, he watches the dark waves,

Or sits and gazes on that liquid blue,

And calls up phantoms of strange shape and hue;

Or tries to realize a shipwreck scene,

Till he scarce knows but he through one has been;

Or, having found a worthy Christian friend,

In sweetest converse many hours would spend.

One storm they had—it was the only one—

Which lasted but a day, and then was gone.

He oft had longed most eagerly to see

The foaming billows in their majesty;

And now they came, with desperate fury fraught,

As if they set all human skill at naught!

Strong and more strongly blows the mighty wind,

Till the tall masts like merest saplings bend!

Anon, the vessel ships a weighty sea,

Then all below is dread and misery;

While the salt water pours in torrents down,

As if inclined the Emigrants to drown!

Some women shriek, and children cry aloud,

While men toward the hatchways quickly crowd,

Not now inclined to utter oaths profane,

Or break a jest a meed of praise to gain.

Some, on their knees, implore the “Virgin’s” aid;

And some true prayer is to the Savior made.

The wind abates, but still the surges roar,

Hearts fearful beat, and consciences feel sore.

Ere long, the calm begins to be perceived,

And many feel as speedily relieved!

Some hasten to the deck to look abroad,

But few are found returning thanks to God!

Yet some there were who truly grateful felt,

And spake God’s praise as they before Him knelt.

Then WILLIAM saw, more clearly than before,

His wondrous wisdom and His mighty power!

He felt God’s goodness in both storm and calm,

And sense of this was to his soul like balm.

Now they approach the Banks of Newfoundland,

And densest fog prevails on every hand.

More danger does beset them than before,

For they might be by larger ships run o’er.

Strict watch is kept, and lights hung out with care,

That they may not be taken unaware.

Small sail is carried till the sky be clear; [page 44]

Yet onward, in their proper course, they steer.

Icebergs are seen; and now the welcome cry

Of “Land O’s” heard from off the top-mast high!

All eyes are strained to catch the joyful sight,

And Newfoundland is hailed with true delight!

Now soon a smart-built ship is near at hand—

A splendid craft! just come from Yankee land.

How gracefully she bounces o’er the wave,

Which seems desirous her fair form to lave!

A speaking distance very soon she gains,

And “Ship-a-hoy!” is heard in loudest strains.

Salute thus courteous is by each addressed,

And questions put—in seaman’s phrase expressed.

This done, away the gallant ship has sped,

Like some fair phantom which we do not dread!

Saint Lawrence Gulf they very swiftly cross,

And reach the River without harm or loss;

Then enter south of Anticosti’s Isle,

While each glad face is beaming with a smile.

COOPER had read of this majestic stream:

Of half its beauties he could never dream!

A pilot taken, blest with proper breeze,

They soon are carried past fine groves of trees.

Sweet islands spring, like fairy scenes, to view,

And each fresh turn presents them something new.

The pure green water tempts their thirsty souls,

As forward in its course the river rolls!

Neat, painted houses on each hand are seen,

And tin-clad spires say, “Here Religion’s been!”

The Emigrants conceived that Nature wore

A lovelier green upon Canadian shore

Than they had ever seen in Spring before!

But this was all delusion, and the effect

Of shipboard life, which they did not suspect.

Now they soon mark a ledge of rugged rock,

    Stretching near half across the river deep—

Fit place to give unwary ships a shock,

    And cause their crews in sad despair to weep.

Quite high and dry upon that rude Rock’s crest

    A ship they spy; a total wreck it seems!

This vessel had old Ocean’s billows pressed,

    And neared the Port—oft seen in sailor’s dreams.

How came it there? Had they no Pilot ta’en?

Was he unskillful? No one could explain!

Then felt the Emigrants most truly glad [page 45]

That they a safe and pleasant voyage had.

At last they reach that well-known place, Gros Isle,

And are obliged to anchor for a while.

For “Quarantine inspection” they prepare;

The berths are cleansed, and decks are scrubbed with care,

And human beings who had lost all traces

Of cleanliness, were made to scrub their faces!

This done; they muster in clean garments dressed,

To meet the Doctor, at the Mate’s behest.

No serious sickness to his eye appeared;

Yet some for want of decency are jeered.

Permission to proceed they then obtain;

The He-ho-heave!’s sung out in jovial strain,

And rests the anchor in its place again.

Ere this, some strange maneuvers on high land

Gain our friends’ notice, and they gazing stand.

Some men, at mast-like pole, to work are seen

With different balls, and what can it all mean?

WILLIAM inquires, and learns with much surprise,

In this way they send news and get replies!

That now they’re telegraphing to Quebec—

The fine old city, seen just like a speck—

Of their good ship’s arrival, safe and sound—

Her name—the people’s number in her found.

Men dreamt not then how soon it would transpire

That news, by lightning, could be sent through wire!

The fame of this, O Morse! to thee belongs,

And thy great name does honor to my songs.

Long may’st thou live, and reap the just reward

Of thy great labor, in good men’s regard!

They reach Quebec, and anchor in due time

Before its heights—so towering and sublime!

What views now meet their truly raptured sight—

All Nature’s smiling in the evening light!

The falls of Montmorency, just below—

With all her foam, most like to driven snow,

And ever-rising mist—proclaim aloud

The Being and the Presence of her God!

What glorious Craft is that which now appears

With graceful movement, as the ship she nears?

Canadian Eagle” steamship she is called;

Like that great bird she seemed both proud and bald!

The Emigrants behold her with surprise, [page 46]

Quite sure such splendid sight ne’er met their eyes.

Ere long our eager friends are made to know

That to the steamer they will have to go.

This pleases them, for they have prisoners been

For six long weeks, and want a change of scene.

The sailors now are heard to swear and scold,

As each one’s luggage is drawn from the hold;

The bustle great makes passengers look round,

Lest aught belonging them be missing found.

Our WILLIAM soon had need enough of this,

As he their best large box just chanced to miss,

And to the sailors spoke, who quick replied

They had just sent it o’er the vessel’s side.

To this their statement he denial gave,

Which made the men with strongest anger rave.

He then, most speedily, went down below,

And found the box quite safe enough, I trow!

He dragged it forth before their very eyes,

And they thought best to feign complete surprise.

The box secured, they bid the ship Adieu,

Then with great joy their journey soon renew.

By that conveyance they reach Montreal,

Leave that by barges which had comfort small,

And take the Ottawa, whose waters dark

In pure St. Lawrence leave their dingy mark.

Up this dark river, and canal Rideau,

They journey on, with speed at best but slow;

Sometimes through swamps, of dread mosquitoes full;

Now towed by Steamers, now by horses dull;

In this way come to Kingston, on the Lake—

The great Ontario—and a Steamer take.

Upon their journey quickly they proceed,

With much more comfort, and far greater speed.

Safely and soon they reach their destined place,

To meet with friends and friendship’s warm embrace.

Thankful to God for journeying mercies granted,

They settle in a Village newly planted.

The friends they met with their warm love displayed

By good advice and necessary aid,

In trying to procure for them a farm,

Where they might live, and have some comforts warm.

These with our friends were joined in Church connection,

And none were backward to evince affection.

Young COOPER soon was pleased, as man could be, [page 47]

That three of them, whom we shall name as “C——,”

Would leave their homes and business cares awhile,

To trudge with him, on foot, for many a mile,

Through Summer’s heat, and with most kind intention,

For purposes of which I have made mention.

He at such times would gaze upon the trees,

Whose lofty heads were bowing to the breeze,

Till he could fancy them a band devout

Engaged in worship, beyond any doubt.

Now he first heard those “soft and soul-like sounds”

From vast “pine groves,” which seemed to have no bounds,

Thrill his pure soul with their sweet melody,

Till it awoke his own rude minstrelsy,

And made him long near by to settle down

In some small hut which he could call his own.

This wish, in part, ere long was gratified—

The father bought a farm, to which they hied.

’Twas six miles from the village, and a place

Where much hard labor stared them in the face;

And there they found that, having spent their money,

It would not soon yield them much “milk and honey.”

But yet it promised, from its rich, black soil,

A full reward, in time, for cash and toil.

So, in good heart, without one “if,” or “but,”

They set to work to fix a roofless hut.

This done, they placed their goods in ship-board style,

With furniture dispensing for awhile.

Their boxes served quite well for chairs and table,

And on the floor they slept—if they were able—

For dread mosquitoes, and the heat intense,

Made good sound sleep be often banished thence.

Yet God’s kind care kept all in health and spirits,

And they found Industry had still its merits.

From day to day they did their axes seize,

And labor hard in cutting down fine trees,

Or cleaning up a Fallow ’gainst the Fall—

For which their skill was truly very small.

Ere long they purchased a young, wild ox-team,

    Which had for months been wandering in the woods,

Where they did not but eat, and drink, and dream,

    Like lords of all in those deep solitudes.

Our WILLIAM acted as the Teamster still,

And did his best to train them to his will;

Yet for a time they would not brook restraint,

But ran to th’ woods, on dangerous frolic bent. [page 48]

Once, while at logging, our raw teamster fell,

And the nigh ox trod on his foot as well;

He tried to rise, but found it was in vain,

And thoughts of their mad tricks shot through his brain.

He gently touched them with his sapling goad,

When they sprang sideways with their heavy load.

Quick as a lightning’s flash the log they drew

O’er WILLIAM’S prostrate form—O, sad to view!

When—wonder great—the cattle stood quite still

(In strict obedience to their Maker’s will)!

His head was on a log, his neck was bared,

As if for some dread ax-stroke quite prepared.

The log they drew upon his shoulder rested—

And thus his courage was severely tested.

One more slight move would surely crush his head;

In one short moment more he might be dead!

Still they move not! Was this not Providence?

Come, Sceptics, answer; here is no pretence;

What I relate are only simple facts,

Given with that faithfulness which truth exacts.

The father forward ran, in dreadful fear;

“O, WILLIAM, thou art hurt!” fell on his ear.

The log was raised, when up at once he rose,

Though feeling much as if his blood was froze.

To parent’s kind inquiries he replied,

“I feel no hurt except a bruised side.”

But faintness o’er him soon began to come,

When he was glad to reach his rude log home;

And from that hour has ever thankful been

For God’s deliverance—so clearly seen.

A few short hours sufficed to bring him round,

And he at logging speedily was found.

There still was something in this wild bush-life

To suit a mind ne’er formed for worldly strife.

The chopper’s quick reverberating stroke—

The well-trained oxen, toiling in the yoke—

The distant cow-bell’s ever-changing sound—

The new-chopped tree’s deep thundering on the ground;

The patter of the rain on forest leaves,

The tree-frog’s pipe, which oft the ear deceives;

The blazing log heaps, and the rude rail fence—

The wild-bee’s hum of gratitude intense

For hoards of honey, which our woods still yield;

The plenteous crops contained in each small field;

The Summer evening’s song of “Whip-poor-will,”

Near, or remote, while all beside is still; [page 49]

The clamorous crow’s most harsh discordant note;

The blue jay, prone to steal—by nature taught;

The beauteous woodpecker—the pigeon’s flight;

The snake, innoxious, gliding out of sight—

These sights and sounds brought pleasure to his mind,

Most heart-felt pleasure, leaving peace behind.

And though he toiled with all the eagerness

Which youths of ardent temperaments possess,

Till his poor body every night was tired,

He evermore these sounds and sights admired.

And naught but broken health could e’er have drove

Him from those woods, in which loved to rove.

Meanwhile, he took the first convenient time

To get some cherry logs, in soundness prime,

From which rude bedsteads he contrived to make,

That they their rest might with more comfort take.

He made a table, too, and felt quite glad

That they at last so good a table had.

These things were spoken of not boastingly,

But with a view to let new-comers see

How, in the Bush, strange shifts and turns are made,

By those who, rightly, are of debt afraid.

The COOPERS, simple minded, could not brook

To stand as debtors in a tradesman’s book;

And even to this day—through eighteen years—

’Twould grieve them sore should they be in arrears.

And I am sure it would be better far,

That families should themselves from debt debar,

Than blast their prospects, as too many do,

By what they have so often cause to rue!

From this digression let us now return,

To note what WILLIAM found with deep concern:

That “’Tis not good for Man to be alone,”

As said by God, in Wisdom’s solemn tone.

This now appeared to him a serious truth,

Far more than it had done in days of youth.

The birds still paired, and had their separate nest,

From love responsive in each songster’s breast;

But, though he loved on Nature’s face to gaze,

And mark the beauties which each day displays,

He felt a vacancy in his young breast,

For he no lov’d companion then possessed.

Far different was it in his native land—

There, such an one might always be at hand. [page 50]

Where was he now to look? Religious views

Left him small space from which a mate to choose.

God’s word came to his aid, and then in prayer

He threw himself upon his Father’s care.

That word declares, that “He who had not spared

His well-beloved Son, was not prepared

For once withholding from his children dear

Aught which they need, while still sojourning here!”

This precious promise proved to be as balm,

To keep his troubled heart at present calm;

And he resolved in patience still to wait,

Till God should find for him a true “help-mate.”

This resolution formed, was kept intact,

Nor was the strength his own, for that he lacked.

He, though so young, had very clearly seen

That Man, in every age, is prone to lean

Upon an arm of flesh—most frail support!

Which often fails us, oft makes us its sport.

And yet, O strange perversity! we cling

To that which never can us comfort bring.

He knew ’twas better to feel flesh so weak

As to be forced his strength from God to seek;

To feel, like Paul, “However weak we be,

We may still glory in Infirmity.”

From day to day, from week to week may prove

The preciousness of trusting in God’s love!

Should we do this, our joy will never cease—

Dark things will all look bright! Our end be peace! [page 51]

BOOK VI.

THE ARGUMENT.—Address to Rural Life. An average sample of a Logging-bee described. The

     Feast. The Loggers’ jests, and other incidents. Burning Log-heaps. The Loggers’ Song.

     WILLIAM’S thoughts and employments in Autumn. The Autumnal garb of trees. Reflections

     connected therewith. The family’s Sabbath-day employments. Beginning of their hardships.

     WILLIAM leaves the Bush for Village life, but soon returns. Father’s narrow escape from being

     crushed by tree falling. Winter employments. Preparations for Sugar-making. Process

     described. Sugarer’s Song. Conclusion.

————

Hail, Rural Life! from whom such pleasures spring,

That I invoke my Muse thy charms to sing.

Whether I view thee in my native land,

Where Science lends to Industry her hand,

To make her cornfields yield a double store,

Or beautify her landscapes more and more—

Where wealth immense is very freely spent,

By those who on thy weal are still intent;

Or here, in Canada, thy face I view

On well-cleared farms, or those which are quite new;

However rude thy features, or despised—

Though in Town-life, thy charms by me are prized.

A sense of these still urges me along,

As I proceed with my unlettered song:

And every line which I may write on thee,

I trust will evidence sincerity.

The new-come settlers now with speed prepare

To log the fallow they have cleared with care.

For Summer, with her heat intense, has fled,

And fruit-crowned Autumn has come in her stead.

The brush, well dried, is burnt; and all around

Logs, black and charred, are lying on the ground.

These into heaps must every one be drawn,

By means which to all Bush-men are well known.

Have they not strength or time the work to do?

They ask their neighbor’s help, and oxen, too.

And fellow-feeling, sprung from their own need,

Leads these the summons to obey with speed.

Should the set day be fine, they start from home

Without regret, and to the fallow come. [page 52]

One looks so pale, he seems not fit for work’

Has had the Ague, and it still doth lurk

In his poor frame, and may again appear

A dozen times before he’s closed the year!

Some others, also, wear quite sickly looks,

As though they had run deep in Doctors’ books;

Or are reduced, by heat and toil intense,

Till work, with them, would seem but mere pretence.

But let us not pre-judge them; they have hearts

Brave as a lion, and will act their parts.

The “fixings” ready, some experienced hand

A “Come, boys! Let’s to work!” gives as command.

This said, their strength and numbers they divide;

“Haw, Buck!” “Gee, Bright!” is heard on every side.

“Boys, bring your handspikes; raise this monster log

Till I can hitch the chain—Buck! lazy dog!

Stand o’er, I say! What ails the stupid beast?

Ah! now I see; you think you have a feast!”

Buck snatches at a clump of herbage near,

And deems it is, to him, most savory cheer;

But thwack, thwack, thwack, comes from the blue-beech goad;

He takes the strokes upon his forehead broad

With due submission; moves a little piece,

That those unwelcome blows may sooner cease.

The chain is hitched; “Haw, now!” is loudly heard,

And the half-buried log is disinterred.

“Get up! Go ’long?” vociferously shouts

Every ox-teamster, at these logging bouts.

The heap is reached; now list the loud “Whoa-ay!”

Louder and louder, till the oxen stay.

The chain’s unhitched; “Now, boys! your handspikes seize;

Lift! Altogether! Rest it on your knees;

There; roll him over. Ah! ’twas nobly done!

The fire will dry his coat, as sure’s a gun!”

And thus, to lighten toil, they pass the joke,

Or stand a moment to have serious talk.

One of some accidents his neighbor tells,

Till each warm bosom with emotion swells;

How Jack Maguin was logging at a “Bee,”

And got his right leg broke beneath the knee;

How he, through careless treatment, was laid up

For full two months, and had scarce bite or sup.

Or how Will Sims was chopping near his house,

And his best ox was feeding on the “browse,”

When all at once the quivering tree descended [page 53]

Upon the beast, and thus is life was ended!

Anon we notice that each smutty face

Beams with good humor, and the cause we trace

To the supply of whisky just parta’en—

A thing which often proves the settler’s bane.

Again they work with stimulated strength,

And, ’midst more noise, the log-heaps rise at length.

The dinner hour arrives; the horn is blown

To make the fact to all the loggers known.

The teams to some near pasture now are led,

Or with new hay most plentifully fed.

The men make for the house with decent haste—

None are inclined to let time run to waste.

But this does not prevent the laugh and jest,

At the black face by every one possessed.

To wash is needful, and refreshing, too,

So all go at it without more ado.

This task performed, which all should take delight in,

They to the feast prepared need no inviting.

Their heavy labor gives an appetite,

And they can eat with relish and delight.

But first their host, if he’s a Christian man,

Gives thanks to God with all the warmth he can.

Then all the workmen ample justice do

To those good things so tempting to the view.

Dear Reader, have you seen a logging feast?

No? Wait a while, and I will place at least

The chief ingredients before your eyes:

Here’s a huge prime ham; there are pumpkin pies;

Mealy potatoes next our notice claim—

The bread and butter we need never name,

They must be there of course; and here’s a dish

Of no mean size, well filled with splendid fish.

That’s boiled, fresh mutton; those are nice green peas;

This huckleberry pie is sure to please!

And now I’ll cease—no, three things yet remain:

Tea, cream and sugar, might of slight complain!

There, will this do? Or is there something more

Which you would think it right to set before

Such worthy eaters? I am satisfied

It can’t be bettered in our Bush-land wide!

Good as it is, and hungry as they are,

They cannot from good jests themselves debar.

One sees his neighbor cast a longing glance

Toward that berry pie; and, rare good chance! [page 54]

’Tis nearest him; he chuckles with delight,

And is about to whip it out of sight;

But Fortune, still capricious, gives the No;

His nearest neighbor does an interest show

In this proceeding, and the pie has snatched,

Quite in good humor, ere these schemes well hatched!

The disappointed couple sympathise,

And signal to each other, with their eyes.

The third one, quite unselfish, deems the jest

Gone far enough, and now resolves ’tis best

To help himself, and hand round to the rest.

Another to the fishes takes a notion,

With more of selfishness than wise precaution.

His work-mate spies this, and removes the prize

A leetle further from his longing eyes.

Such jokes pass free; and no great wrong is done

To real good-fellowship by harmless fun.

’Tis o’er at last, when most of them partake

The pipe delicious, for its own dear sake.

They rest and smoke, and smoke and rest again,

Until the “Come, boys!” sounds in loudest strain.

Once more to work, with fresh alacrity,

They reach the fallow, pleased as men can be.

The teamsters call their cattle, not far strayed,

But chewing cud beneath some green tree’s shade.

“Co’ Buck! Co’ Bright!” throughout the woods resound,

And each trained ox moves forward at the sound.

Again the work goes forward, as before,

Till nearly night-fall, when their task is o’er.

Naught now remains but scattered chips and sticks,

Which their host’s hopeful son at leisure picks,

And lays upon the heaps—some here, some there—

The burning to assist, which needs due care.

’Tis supper time; again the horn is heard,

And its deep tones has woodland echoes stirred.

Most charming sound to my poetic ear;

And every time ’tis heard still far more dear!

They hear the sound, but yet seem loath to go;

And when they do, their steps are very slow.

They are well tired; no wonder; such a day

Of work laborious would some tire for aye!

Once more they wash; once more they freely eat;

Then light their pipes; and now each other greet

With warm “Good night!” but, ere they have departed,

Their host thanks them, from gratitude warm-hearted. [page 55]

Now all are gone, save two, who skulk behind,

Of the younger sort; and, if I am not blind,

A couple of bright girls I failed to mention,

Are not quite unaware of their intention.

But this is not my business, so I’ll pass

To other things, and let each court his lass.

Should next day prove a fine one, with a breeze

So strong as just to move surrounding trees,

The Settler may his new-raised log-heaps fire,

And see them burn to suit his heart’s desire.

The fire is placed; where, think you? Not below,

But on the top, and burns at first but slow.

See, now, the wind has blown it to a flame;

And soon the log-heap fire’s no longer tame!

Dry sticks and chips, in all the openings placed,

Will prove the time spent on them was not waste.

The embers, falling, make these soon ignite;

And now the heap, from end to end, is bright

With pale or ruddy flame; the smoke ascends

Thick, black and curling, as its way it wends

Toward the sky. Now twenty heaps are fired,

And form a sight I often have admired.

The heat becomes intense; for Sol’s warm rays

Uniting with the wood-fire’s fiercest blaze,

Make it past bearing; yet the Settler bears

The heat and toil, and smiling aspect wears,

Because the work progresses to his mind.

Let us draw nearer, then—’twill seem more kind—

And watch him with the handspike thrust the brands

Closer together. He a moment stands

To wipe the perspiration from his face,

Which streams fast forth again, and leaves its trace

In his pale looks and daily shrinking frame.

Now, every pile’s a mass of glowing flame!

The wind, increasing, whirls the fire about,

And makes the workman, if he’s wise, look out

For stacks and fences—dangerously near.

He knows the risk; he deems there’s cause for fear;

So keeps his eyes still wandering all around,

To mark the rising smoke where’er ’tis found.

Neglect might very soon cause damage great,

In that which should his labor compensate.

Hence his wise caution as the wind grows stronger,

Until the “burning” needs his care no longer.

This o’er, he drags the ground, and sows his grain, [page 56]

And of the toil required does not complain.

He “sows in hope;” and, if he take due care,

A splendid crop will soon be growing there.

In view of this, let us suppose him singing

The LOGGER’S SONG, while peaceful thoughts are springing.

THE LOGGER’S SONG.

Come, Boys, to the Logging be cheerfully jogging,

    A day’s work’s before us, I trow;

The Fall is advancing, Sol’s mild beams are dancing

    On the brook, in the Fallow below.

Cheerily, cheerily, cheerily, O!

Let’s log in the Fallow below.

The oxen are waiting, they need no fresh baiting,

    Till dinner-time come for us all;

Now, while we are pushing our work the new Bush in,

    Let none into carelessness fall.

Steadily, steadily, steadily, O!

Let’s work in the Fallow below.

The logs, thickly lying, our strength seen defying;

    But forward, Boys! true courage show!

With hand-spikes unbending, this day we will spend in

    The capture of each charred foe.

Speedily, speedily, speedily, O!

We’ll capture each black, charred foe.

Now, lads, in your teaming, let’s have no blaspheming!

    Your oxen are patient and strong;

Our logging laborious need not be uproarious,

    Nor lead us to anything wrong.

Decently, decently, decently, O!

Let’s act, as the huge log-heaps grow.

When dinner-horn sounding, calls all that are found in

    The Fallow to come to the Feast,

Let’s guard ’gainst satiety—eat with sobriety—

    So shall our joys be increased.

Soberly, soberly, soberly, O!

We’ll eat what our friends may bestow.

When day is departing, and we are all starting

    For Home, with its sweet earthly bliss,

May thoughts of wives smiling be still reconciling

    Our minds to hard labor, like this.

Then freely, most freely, still freely, O!

To all neighbors’ loggings we’ll go. [page 57]

Such work as that I have described above,

And holding plow, kept WILLIAM on the move.

Of active turn, he worked beyond his strength—

And felt the sad effects, in full, at length.

Yet at this season, in Canadian woods,

He could not well refrain from musing moods.

Nor was it any wonder, when each day

Added fresh charms to Nature’s grand display.

The once-green leaves, struck by the early frost,

Made up in gorgeous tints what they had lost!

He felt that never in his life before

Had he e’er seen such hues as those trees wore.

Some that were shaded still preserved their green,

While others near were decked in golden sheen.

Some in deep crimson robes were gaily drest,

Others in shades of brown, as seemed them best;

While not a few, of pride in dress were fuller,

And had their robes of every splendid color!

The weather, too, was of that balmy kind,

So suited to a dreamy state of mind;

For mighty Sol felt his yet powerful rays

Subdued, being wrapped in a thin, blue haze.

’Tis true, there came the oft-recurring thought,

That all these beauties were too dearly bought;

That soon, too soon, tempestuous winds would rise,

And murky clouds veil those bewitching skies!

That Winter but delayed his coming now

To gather blackness on his cold, knit brow,

That he might rush with tenfold furious rage,

And all the elements in war engage,

To strip the trees of all their splendors bare

And make sweet Nature a stern aspect wear!

Such thoughts at times filled him with melancholy,

Which then, shook off, were looked upon as folly.

And after-thoughts brought in their joyous train

Pleasures prospective, during Winter’s reign.

The fleecy snow’s wild dancing through the air;

The clean, white sheet, wove for the soil to wear,

To guard the plants designed for next year’s food

From Frost’s attacks, when in a vengeful mood.

The sleighing, too, in prospect, had delights

For one like he—so used to Fancy’s flights.

He heard already, in imagination,

The jingling bells, producing sweet sensation.

And ’midst such dreaming Time flew swiftly by,

While he, to stay its course, wished not to try. [page 58]

His Sabbath days met with observance due,

For he to Christian ways continued true.

The family with loving Brethren met,

Some miles from home, as oft as they could get.

With them “broke bread,” and joined in praise and prayer,

Or heard Christ’s doctrine read, or preached, with care.

This they continued every Sabbath day,

And found much benefit from it alway.

Meanwhile their worldly means grew less and less,

And fear of debt led them through some distress.

At last their circumstances were made known

To a dear friend, who did a kind heart own.

He WILLIAM took, to help him in his store,

And gave good wages—which endeared him more

To those, thus favored, who by this perceived

He carried out, in practice, truths believed.

In this employment WILLIAM staid not long,

His sensitiveness soon made things go wrong.

He therefore back returned into the Bush,

Where Want stood ready his fond hopes to crush.

Ere this, dread Winter had set in with rigor,

Yet he his bright axe took again with vigor.

Throughout the woods the snow lay very deep,

And Nature’s face betokened death-like sleep.

Few sounds were heard to break the stillness round,

Yet in those few our hero pleasure found.

The loud report of Indian hunter’s gun,

Which sometimes made the cattle homeward run;

The beauteous woodpecker’s quick rap-tapping

At girdled trees, that long since had no sap in;

Besides, the chopper’s almost constant stroke

Rang through pure air, and louder echoes woke;

While ever and anon a tree would fall

With thundering crash, which might some minds appal.

These all were sounds he loved well to hear;

For they, ’mid hard employ, his heart did cheer.

Severe the Bush-man’s life, and full of danger,

While, to most scanty fare he is no stranger.

It needs good eyes, strong arms, and courage, too,

To live the life which most new settlers do.

The elder COOPER’S sight was very bad,

Which came nigh bringing him a fate most sad.

They were both chopping at a basswood tree— [page 59]

Stroke followed after stroke most rapidly—

When, lo! a sudden blast of wind arose,

WILLIAM perceived it, and withheld his blows;

Looked up, saw danger, bade his father fly!

Reached a safe place himself, which was near by;

The tree came down; he quickly then returned,

And stood amazed as soon as he discerned

His father’s near escape from tree-crushed fate;

He quite unconscious of his danger great.

There rested, just a foot above his head,

A huge crook’d branch, that might have struck him dead,

Had it not been for God’s most watchful care,

So plainly manifested to him there.

This wondrous mercy called forth gratitude,

And Love’s warm glow fresh in their hearts renewed.

In cutting logs for barn, and drawing lumber,

Our hero spent of days a goodly number.

Amongst deep snow, and with a slow ox-team,

One thinks ’twould prove a damper to his dream.

Not so, however; though his food was scant,

Of liking for the Bush he felt no want.

He and his brother scoured the woods around,

Where’er ’twas likely straight logs could be found.

These cut, were left till snow had “settled down,”

When to the barn-site they with speed were drawn.

Thus passed the hardest months of that hard season,

And Sol’s increasing warmth was hailed with reason.

The more, because that Sugar-time drew near,

With its romantic scenes, to WILLIAM dear

From what he heard the older Settlers say,

So, for it he prepared without delay.

South of their home there grew a splendid lot

Of noble maples, in a sheltered spot.

Convenient to this place, there also grew

Some good black-ash, of which he chose a few

From these he made small troughs to catch the sap,

Whene’er the time should come the trees to tap.

A good pine tree he sought, with eager eyes,

To form a store-trough, of most ample size.

Obtained a gouge, and next his spiles prepared;

For all the toil required he little cared.

“Good axe-men fifty small troughs make per day;”

So said old Woods-men, in a boasting way.

This roused ambition in his youthful breast, [page 60]

And he worked hard, scarce taking time for rest.

His pride was somewhat humbled when he found

That he could make but thirty each day round.

Yet courage took from this, that their’s were made

Of soft pine wood, which did their smartness aid.

’Tis March, and now the snow has settled down

To half its former depth; Sol’s beams have grown

Sufficiently direct to make clear days

Feel warm enough to raise the sap, which plays

With life-renewing power, through all the trees;

And yet, at night, ’tis cold enough to freeze.

The Sugarer knows no time must now be lost

To be successful; so he takes his post

About the centre of the “Sugar-Bush,”

Whence he his labors can most freely push.

If wise, in lieu of gash he bores a hole

With auger, at right height, in each tree’s bole;

Drives in his gouge a-slant, inserts his spile.

Places a trough—fast lessening thus his pile.

At first, perhaps, the sap will scarcely flow;

He heeds this not, but onward still doth go,

Till every tree that he intends to tap

Is quite prepared to yield its share of sap.

This done, without delay he now will fix

His boiling place, and get two strong, forked sticks;

These, well secured, with pole to reach across,

For hanging kettles he is at no loss.

By this time, if the day continue warm,

His work assumes a more than common charm.

The huge store-trough conveniently is placed,

And he, to gather sap, begins in haste.

With pail upon each arm he moves along,

O’er the soft snow, the noble trees among.

If tunable, perhaps a song he sings

Of “Auld lang syne,” or some more serious things,

Which tends to make his work more easy seem,

Or drive away some foolish, walking dream.

The Bush, if large, will need another hand

To tend the fire; and this one must command

Sufficient knowledge of the Sugaring feat

To guard the syrup from too great a heat.

He must mind, too, to fill the boilers up;

And if he choose, he may ev’n take a sup

Of maple-honey, whose delicious flavor [page 61]

More than repays their outlay and hard labor.

It now has reached that point when constant watch

Must be kept o’er it, lest they spoil the batch.

New milk, or eggs, are used to clarify

The saccharine juice, that it may truly vie

For purity, with any sugar made,

By those who have been brought up to the trade.

’Tis ready now for straining; and as Eve

Draws her dark curtains, we the Bush may leave,

And follow him who bears his precious load,

Well pleased, but tired, to his rude log abode.

Let’s enter, unperceived, that we may see

The Sugar take its next and last degree.

Through flannel bag the syrup now they strain,

And the close texture does the dregs retain.

Now it is placed o’er quite a gentle fire,

Till it assume that state which they require.

This, by repeated trial, they discover;

When cool, it will “grain” well, and boiling’s over.

I’ve now gone through this sugar-making process

In business form; not giving, more or less,

A hint of frolics which the young folks play,

In sugaring-time, and after close of day.

My readers may imagine, if they choose,

The fun that from such gatherings ensues;

While I proceed to frame a harmless Song,

Expressive of the Sugarers feelings strong,

As he his most delightful work pursued,

Midst leafless trees, in deepest solitude.

THE SUGAR-MAKER’S SONG.

Sol’s warmth is increasing, the Frost-King is ceasing

    His hold on the sap of the trees;

And having wrought steady, my troughs are all ready,

    So now I will eagerly sieze

My few rude tools, ere ardor cools,

    Nor heed the melting snow.

Some days of toil will never spoil

    The pleasure before me, I know.

I need no inviting, to work I delight in;

    Of such I have plenty to-day;

The soft blush of Morning the scene is adorning,

    Then why should I longer delay?    

The Maple tree will give to me

    Its bounty most profuse;

One huge sweet cake I hope to make

    Each day, from the saccharine juice! [page 62]

Last night’s splendid freezing was truly most pleasing

    To those who the Sugar-Bush love;

This morn’s indications need no explanations,

    As the day will abundantly prove!

Then haste, comrade, and bring your spade,

    To clear away the snow,

That our wood-fire may soon acquire

    A beautiful, bright, ruddy glow.

Now, whilst I am tapping the trees with sweet sap in,

    Prepare you a good stock of wood;

Be watchful in boiling, run no risk of spoiling

    By carelessness, prospects so good!

O, as I tap, out flows the sap

    In a small crystal stream!

I feel as gay, on this fine day,

    As I have in some youthful dream!

Now, comrade, each kettle of cast-iron metal

    Is full enough quite for a start;

Pray keep the fire going, but yet not too glowing,

    For thus you will best act your part.

While I am off, guard the store-trough

    From cattle browsing near;

This splendid “run” may soon be done—

    The north wind is coming, I fear!

The syrup needs skimming. “Leave it to the women?”

    Ah, comrade, it never will do!

They may mind the straining without much complaining,

    Yet think it is quite enough, too.

Now eventide, and frost beside,

    Bid us our labor cease;

For home we’ll make, and syrup take

    To them, as an offering of Peace!

The lively strain which I have just indulged,

Must change full soon, if facts were all divulged.

For darker shades come o’er my hero’s dream;

But we must pause, ere we resume the theme.

And trust this sketch of rude Bush-life may prove

Acceptable to those who Nature love.

Such retrospect has charms for one like me,

Who has passed through such scenes most happily.

Pardon me, Reader, if my unlearned song

Should seem to you quite dull, and much too long; [page 63]

The good of all I would most gladly seek,

From purest motives, and with spirit meek—

Not courting Fame, so dazzling to men’s eyes,

But God’s approval, as my wished-for prize.

Should this be mine, I shall be quite content,

And deem my time and labor wisely spent.

——————

BOOK VII.

THE ARGUMENT.—Address to Memory. Spring-time described. Thoughts and fancies

     connected with it. Builds a log barn. Spring employments. Increase of trials. WILLIAM’S

     sickness. His Song on Christian Warfare. Good to himself from its composition. Leaves Bush

     for Village again. Tinkers in the country. Thoughts and feelings in connection with it. Preaches

     in public under peculiar circumstances. Introduced to his future father-in-law’s family. Visits

     their house. Reception. Description of his future Wife, and Sisters. Anecdote. Commences

     business. Visits the States to buy tools. Takes Niagara in his way. Scenery above Lewiston.

     First sight of Rapids; of the Falls. Song to them. Conclusion.

————

O, Memory! What art thou? Whence thy power?

Thy wonders are displayed from hour to hour

Of my existence. By thy powerful aid

Sweet Childhood’s scenes most truthfully are made

To pass before me in such vividness,

I stand amazed, and thy great skill confess!

By thy assistance, things long lost to view

Spring forth surprisingly—both fresh and new.

I travel back through more than thirty years,

With all their toils and pleasures, griefs and fears.

Go where I may, thou ever art with me,

As Counsellor and Friend, dear Memory!

Thy secret depths I would again explore,

And must draw largely ere my task be o’er.

Be thou no ignus fatuus to allure

Me from the paths of truth, nor it obscure, [page 64]

While I attempt to paint the coming scenes,

Which COOPER passed through with such slender means.

’Tis early Spring-time, and the opening buds

Bestud the boughs of trees through all the woods.

The snow and frost remain till rather late;

But Sol’s great power for this will compensate.

He, aided by soft winds and copious rain,

Will melt the snow, and break stern Winter’s chain.

The Frost-King, thus so suddenly dethroned,

May vent his rage, as if a giant groaned;

Or muster scattered forces and come back

Once and again, to the repulsed attack!

And when he finds his efforts all in vain,

May hurl defiance on Spring’s beauteous train;

And, from his region of eternal snow,

Send rude North winds to strike a deadly blow;

To nip the fairest blossoms in the bud,

And blast, in spite, the gardeners prospects good.

Yet One, Almighty, will his rage control;

His fiat has gone forth, “Let Seasons roll

In quick succession, while the Earth endures!”

And this, great benefits to us secures.

The birds begin to pair; the grass to spring;

And Maple sap is scarce worth gathering;

Yet, when it won’t make sugar, some prepare

Syrup, and vinegar, of flavor rare.

On every hand the brightly green-robed trees

May hear their finery rustling in the breeze;

And pleased, like mortals, with their gay attire,

May hear their finery rustling in the breeze;

And pleased, like mortals, with their gay attire,

May feel a strong, vain-glorious desire

To have a glass in which to view their charms,

Or mark the effect of each rude blast’s alarms.

Some, far more highly favored than the rest,

Have such a mirror as may suit them best.

Of these are they which grow beside a stream,

And, all day long, of their own beauty dream;

Or those that grace the margins of a lake,

Whose face reflects the grand display they make.

Ah, these imaginings are far from just;

Fair Nature would much rather sink to dust

Than thus dishonor her great Maker’s name!

And we, vain sinners, should be filled with shame,

To be so far behind in praises meet—

Neglecting duty that should still be sweet. [page 65]

Up to this time our Emigrants contrived

To keep from debt, though they themselves deprived

Far, far too often, of substantial food—

Which, in the end, did them but little good.

Yet day by day they toiled with eagerness,

In hope that God would their joint efforts bless.

To build a barn of logs they now prepare;

This gives them much hard labor, and some care.

To put it up they call a “Raising Bee;”

And, wishful to prevent ebriety,

They buy no whisky; but, instead of it,

Have cakes and coffee, which are far more fit.

The work was gone through in true Bush-man style,

Although a few assumed a scornful smile,

And would, no doubt, have been well satisfied

To have the liquor-jug still by their side.

This job completed, Spring work next came on,

And, truly, there was plenty to be done!

The man from whom they bought their “Indian lease”

Had made brush fences, and there was no peace

From “breachy” cattle, breaking through with ease,

To eat the crops as often as they please!

To cut down trees, and split them into rails

For laying fence, is work which seldom fails

The new Bush farmer, who must ever be

Upon the move, and used to industry.

Such was their case; and, Oh! the aching limb,

And sinking heart, as prospects grew more dim!

Anon, the sun shoots down such powerful rays,

As seems to set the air almost a-blaze!

They felt the previous Summer very hot;

But that, through Winter’s cold, was quite forgot.

Besides, as yet ’twas Spring; then why this heat?

Their strength was small from lack of proper meat.

’Tis true, they did not want for daily bread;

But Bush-life should with stronger food be fed.

In lieu of tea, they used root sassafras

So much and often, that they all, alas!

Not only cleansed their moderate share of blood,

But thinned it far too much to do them good!

WILLIAM, especially, became so weak

He could scarce bear to work, or e’en to speak.

When he essayed to stoop, his back seemed broke;

And courage failed beneath the heavy stroke. [page 66]

The different remedies which friends advised,

All failed to bring the health he so much prized.

His fond hopes crushed, he tried to bow his head,

Submissive to the will of Him who bled

For such poor sinners, on the “cursed tree;”

And found some comfort in his misery.

One day his spirits sank extremely low—

And Faith, herself, fled from him in his woe;

When, like a flash of lightning, to his mind

A passage came, sent by his FATHER kind!

“Fight the good fight of Faith,” with magic worth

Rang through his soul, and very soon gave birth

To a most lively, energetic Song,

On Christian Warfare—in which he was long.

I give the verses, with an earnest prayer

That all my Readers may their spirit share,

And seek for grace to help them still to fight

The “Fight of Faith,” as in their Maker’s sight!

THE CHRISTIAN’S BATTLE-SONG.

“Fight the Good Fight of Faith.”

Soldiers of Jesus! say—where is your armor?

    The word has gone forth; you are called on to fight!

Still doth the conflict grow warmer and warmer;

    Then trust in your Captain for wisdom and might!

Soldiers of Jesus! mind well your behavior;

    See those proud foes, how undaunted they stand!

Hark well to the words of your loving Savior:

    “Be ye also ready!” Regard this command.

Soldiers of Jesus! O, be not alarmed!

    Your glorious Captain has conquered them all!

Rouse, then, your courage! Be never disarmed!

    Your enemies seek to accomplish your fall.

Soldiers of Jesus! Immanuel’s banner—

    Most glorious of Ensigns—is reared up on high;

Fight ye! O, fight ye! in soldier-like manner;

    Jehovah, to help you, forever is nigh!

Soldiers of Jesus! the foes you contend with

    Are subtle, expert, they are many and great;

Your armor’s so tempered, that it will ne’er bend with

    Being used well against them; nor early, nor late. [page 67]

Take Breastplate of Righteousness—take Shield of Faith!

    By which you are able to quench all the darts

Of your great Antagonist! For, so He saith

    Who styles Himself “Faithful,” and who strength imparts.

To these be there added “Salvation’s bright Helmet,

    And Sword of the Spirit—the Word of your God.”

That God who your Foes with destruction o’erwhelmeth,

    And rules both the Heavens and Earth with his nod.

Still praying “with prayer and great supplication,

    In the spirit of Truth, and watching thereto,

With all perseverence, for the edification

    Of Brethren—the Saints,” who are Soldiers like you.

Soldiers of Jesus! now fight with all ardor

    Beneath that bright Banner now high and unfurled!

O, doubt not but Jesus will be your Rewarder,

    When from their proud standing your foes He has hurled!

Soldiers of Jesus! your Captain is waiting

     To give you a Crown—a most glorious reward!

Forward! press forward! success contemplating;

    He’ll give you the Victory; this promise regard.

Soldiers of Jesus! behold Him descending

    Upon a White Throne, His bright Angels around!

The “glorified throng” are upon Him attending;

    Before Him all Nations and Kindreds are found.

Hear those glad words, “Come, ye bless’d of my Father!

    Inherit the Kingdom prepared long for you!”

Then glory to Him and the Father together;

    With the blest Holy Spirit, to whom it is due!

The composition of these lively verses,

Was made to him one of his greatest mercies;

They roused his courage by their warlike tone,

And make him feel he was not left alone

To fight against a host of watchful foes:

For One was with him who felt all his woes;

Who had Himself through every trial been,

And still is with his people, though unseen!

Such sweet reflections had this good effect

Upon his mind: they led him to respect,

More than he yet had done, pure Bible truth; [page 68]

And thus he learned to bear Christ’s yoke in youth.

His soul—so sensitive—was led, at last,

Her every grief, her every fear to cast

Upon her God, with simple faith—unfeigned;

And found His promise true; she was sustained.

His body still was weak; and on the farm

He could not work without receiving harm.

To be a clerk he was not now inclined—

’Twas not a life congenial to his mind;

To work at his own trade he thought was best,

Which thought to several friends he then expressed.

These all agreed it would be right to try

To find employment in the Village nigh.

In it was one who carried on the trade,

Who, to appearance, had a fortune made.

To him he then applied, with some success,

To get a job, and wrought with eagerness.

Alas! it only lasted for a week,

And he was thus compelled fresh work to seek.

That Brother, who before had stood his friend,

Now kindly offered ample means to lend

To start in business on his own account;

But COOPER dreamt he never could surmount

The difficulties which beset him round,

So inexperienced as he should be found.

The work required, to him, was mostly new,

And made up by machines, as well he knew.

To work with these must be his chief concern;

But where was he to go such work to learn,

Unless he made too great a sacrifice

Of Christian privilege? This, in his eyes,

Was of such moment, that he rather chose

To struggle with chill Want, and other woes,

Until such time as God saw fit to show

To him the path in which he ought to go.

Meanwhile, as tinker, he two irons took,

With solder, rosin, and the Christian’s Book!

Equipped in this way ’mongst his friends he went,

And happy hours in work and trav’ling spent.

Of mending tins he had enough to do;

And got good board, and decent wages, too.

Ere long he visited more distant farms,

And found his calling not devoid of charms.

On Nature’s varied face he still could gaze, [page 69]

And each new scene presented fresh displays

Of God’s Omnipotence and boundless love,

Which raised his thoughts from Earth to things above.

While, ever and anon, he found a friend

To give him work, and press on him to spend

The night, in comfort, ’neath his friendly roof;

And thus afford the most substantial proof,

That Human-kindness in its warmest glow

Wants but Occasion, its full worth to show!

Sometimes a Settler viewed him with suspicion,

And paused ere he would give the least permission

For him to enter his small, rude, log dwelling,

While WILLIAM’S heart was with keen feelings swelling.

Anon, a gentle word would turn the scale—

The man would list the youthful tinker’s tale;

Would give a hearty welcome to his house,

And introduce him to his thrifty spouse;

Would bid her bring that leaky pail, or pan,

Which had been tinkered by “that other man,”

Who got from her the pewter spoons, and lead,

His supper, breakfast, and a nice clean bed;

Then took the metal every bit away,

Saying he got not half enough for pay!

When WILLIAM heard such things he did not wonder

That farmers, sometimes, looked as black as thunder

When he applied for work, or lodging sought

With earnestness, which fear of want had taught.

All he now earned went to the family store,

And thus he kept as poor as heretofore.

About this time, an invitation came

To their small Church, to spread Christ’s glorious name.

Two Brethren were deputed each Lord’s Day

To do the work, but not for worldly pay.

They tried to carry out the Lord’s command,

Which few, in this our day, can understand:

“Freely ye have received—so freely give;

More blessed ’tis to give than to receive!”

On one of these occasions COOPER went

With a dear Brother, who to preach was sent.

That Brother was ta’en sick, and could not preach;

WILLIAM, in public, was not wont to teach.

But He, whose sacred name they bore, was there;

On Him the youth now strove to cast his care.

The school-room—such it was—was crowded quite, [page 70]

Yet he felt nothing daunted at the sight.

’Twas well, perhaps, that every face was new

To him, and all the future hid from view;

For in that very room two maidens sate,

Both destined to be his in marriage state,

And greatly influence his future fate!

Had he known this—so sensitive was he—

It might have him unmanned to such degree,

As to prevent completely the discharge

Of duties which, to him, looked very large.

But as it was, he saw before him there

The old and young, whose looks bespoke some care

For their salvation. That most precious theme,

Of whose great worth the worldly-wise ne’er dream,

He with strong feelings urged upon them all;

And there were hearts responding to the call!

Such deep attention never had he seen

In any Meeting, in his life, I ween!

It thrilled his very soul, and made him speak,

In glowing language, of the Savior meek—

Whose love to sinners moved him to lay by

His own great Glory, and come here to die!

The good accomplished on that Sabbath day,

Ten thousand fold his labor did repay.

His unpremeditated preaching went

Home to some hearts—a Heavenly message, sent

By God’s good Spirit, as a proof to be

Of Grace most wondrous to Eternity!

The simple service reached at last its close;

When the sick Brother to some hearers goes

To learn their welfare, and his own impart,

With strongest tokens of a friendly heart.

Those persons were both English—man and wife—

Who knew, for years, the toils of Bush-farm life.

To them was introduced the new-made preacher,

Just then mistaken for an older teacher.

Due explanations made, they him invite

To call and see them, and stay over night.

He, nothing loath, the invitation kind

At once accepted, with delighted mind.

The two return, and with their Brethren meet

To join in worship—simple, pure and sweet.

The incidents of that blest Sabbath day

Haunted his mind, till he could not delay [page 71]

A visit to his new-made, kindly friends,

In hopes that it might tend to make amends

For great privations, every day endured,

Whilst but a mere subsistence was secured.

He therefore took his bag and tools once more,

To call at places never seen before.

He, in his wanderings, to a Village came,

Which had, for water-power, acquired some fame;

There he found work that did a day employ,

And learned what gave to him much greater joy—

How some five miles would bring him to the farm,

Where he might hope to meet a welcome warm.

Fatigued, he reached the house in strangest plight—

For sweat and dust made him a sorry sight.

The mother was engaged in converse there

With her first-born—a daughter blithe and fair.

These knew him not—so different his array

From what it was upon that Sabbath day.

And though he gave to each a friendly greeting,

It might have proved a rather chilly meeting,

Had not the youngest daughter whispered thus:

“’Tis the young preacher come to visit us.”

This was enough; apologies were made,

And perfect welcome speedily displayed!

In sweet discourse they sat a little while,

When tea was served, in most superior style.

COOPER of such a meal had never tasted,

Since he from his dear native land had hasted.

This o’er, the conversation they resume,

While truth’s clear rays afresh their minds illume.

This was to him a most important day:

For gloomy clouds then broke and fled away.

His future, once so dark, now brighter grew,

And filled his soul with gratitude anew.

That mother’s care assigned him the “best bed,”

On which to lay his weary limbs and head.

Most sweetly did the Wanderer sleep and rest,

As though by grief he ne’er had been oppressed.

He rose, refreshed, soon after break of day,

And thankfully his “Orisons did pay.”

While these dear folks the breakfast were preparing,

He to mend leaky tins no pains was sparing.

For what he did he would not make a charge—

His Independence was a trait too large; [page 72]

But what kind mother would not be repaid

In work or money for her love displayed.

She fixed the price—a very liberal one—

And paid the cash for all that he had done.

Perhaps my readers think this matron’s eyes

Saw, in the tinker, a most likely prize

To win, as husband, for her daughter fair;

But surely they must be mistaken there!

This family’s standing was considered good;

WILLIAM, amongst the very poorest stood:

And, in his tinkering garb, was not a match

For that fair girl, whom many strove to catch.

Let this be as it might; he left the house

Without proposing to make her his spouse.

Yet not without the strongest inclination

To make short intervals of separation.

Their daughter, Jane, was in her twentieth year,

And did to him a lovely maid appear.

He knew her soon as skilled in house affairs,

But ever lacking vain, coquettish airs.

Her form was graceful, and of medium size,

And sweet good nature beamed in her bright eyes.

He face, for most part, wore a pleasant smile,

While her dear heart ne’er harbored aught of guile.

Her charms were such that COOPER’S heart, ere long,

Could not resist their influence so strong.

Nor need we wonder much, for soon he learned

She had good offers, in great plenty, spurned,

Before she knew the Tinsmith—so forlorn—

Whose poor appearance ne’er drew forth her scorn.

Phebe, the youngest girl, was quite a lass,

Who might not yet have used a looking-glass.

Possessed of bright brown eyes and cheerful face,

On which, of sorrow, none could find a trace—

Unless her paleness might be viewed as such;

Yet all who read her eyes would doubt it much.

Of lively spirits, and most active turn,

Still fond of work, she could not fail to learn

Such household duties as her mother thought

Best that her girls should, in their youth, be taught.

To be a favorite, Phebe scarce could fail;

And parents rightly named her, “Nightingale!”

For, while asleep, she oft would sing at night

Some lively tune, and always sing it right. [page 73]

Between these two, in age and temperament,

Another girl was to that couple lent.

She, than her sisters, always seemed more shy,

At least, if strangers happened to be nigh.

All three grew up good-looking, and became

As faithful wives as e’er were known to fame.

One chubby babe, and three more sprightly boys,

Ranked ’mongst the number of this family’s joys.

Meanwhile a curious incident occurred,

To mention which may harmless mirth afford.

Our hero long had wished to take a tour

Still further North, ’mongst farmers far from poor;

And when returning—say on Friday night

To hold a meeting, if his friends thought right.

The place agreed upon was their “large room”—

One large enough, if neighbors all should come.

This settled, off he went for several days,

Toiling and sweating under Sol’s strong rays.

Sometimes with Christians of most generous souls;

Anon, with those whose conduct him appals,

Till the important day at last came round;

When at a house, hard by, he tinkering found.

The work all done, they ask him to partake

Refreshment with them, for pure kindness’ sake.

He thankfully complied with their request,

And found their cheer was of the very best.

The meal was served beneath a pleasant shade,

And he, to each good thing was welcome made.

Soon there rode by a gentleman well dressed,

And the host’s daughter thus herself expressed:

“Most likely that’s the Preacher just gone by;

He’s dressed in black, and wears a white neck-tie.”

“Perhaps so,” said the father; “’tis the night

The Meeting’s held, and they did us invite.”

WILLIAM, meanwhile, beheld the mother’s eyes

Cast oft upon him; and, with some surprise,

She asked, “Did you not preach a month ago

At the Plains School House?” He replied, “’Twas so.”

“And is it you that’s going to preach ere long

At our near neighbor’s?” He asked, “Is it wrong?”

“No; only—” There’s the rub! O contrast great,

Betwixt the well dressed man, and tinkers state!

To do them justice, ’tis but right to add—

They went to hear him, and for it were glad. [page 74]

Ere many weeks he is prevailed upon

To take that kind friend’s offer, and has gone

To Buffalo for tools; and on his way

Makes for Niagara, without delay.

Years he had longed to see that splendid sight,

And now this journey took with great delight.

’Twas in the month of August, when, he found

Himself for Lewiston, by steamer, bound.

The night he reached that was a sultry one—

And such excitement he had never known.

The room in which he tried to get some sleep

Had six poor drunkards in it!* So, at peep

Of early dawn, he rose; then washed his face;

Paid off his bill, and strove his nerves to brace

By walking o’er the seven remaining miles,

With glowing feelings, and face clad in smiles.

O, what a morn was that! A cooling breeze

Blew from Ontario, and just moved the trees.

Around, no clouds obscured the bright, blue sky;

Yet o’er the Falls a mist was rising high!

He clomb the “Mountain’s” rugged, stony height,

And often turned to gaze with fond delight

Upon the scene before him. The blue Lake

One sheet of golden splendor! Sol, awake,

Had sent his rays athwart that inland Sea,

Ere he rose high, in glorious majesty!

On either hand lay woods, and fields of grain,

Stretched out, for miles, in one vast fertile plain.

Upon his left rose BROCK’S plain Monument;

By “sympathy”—false named—now sadly rent!

The genuine fruit of murderous Civil war,

Whose dogs—let loose—step not at Virtue’s bar;

But oft, by their vile deeds, dare to pollute

What men most sacred deem as worth repute.

May thou, my dear, my own Adopted Land!

Ne’er hear again the tramp of hostile band;

Whether poured forth from neighboring foreign shore,

Or fruit of thy own sons’ deep thirst for gore!

WILLIAM, arrived upon the mountain top,

Pauses not long; he had scarce time to stop.

He took the River bank, and there, below,

The wondrous rapids for the first time saw.

His thoughts and feelings would be hard to tell,

While he stood there—bound as by magic spell.

Ere long he felt a very strange desire


    *Fact.


[page 75]

To brave that Water-Spirit’s foaming ire!

And once or twice essay’d e’en to descend

The precipice’s front, to gain his end!

“O for a bathe”—thought he—“in that pure stream!

Is it reality? or do I dream?

Am I now standing on Niagara’s brink?

O that I could of its pure waters drink!”

Soliloquizing thus, a thundering sound

Broke on his ear, and noise of Rapids drowned!

Aroused by this, he hurried faster on—

The veil of mist his guide—until, anon,

He reached a bend, which brought before his view

The mighty Cataract’s wonders, ever new;

Yet at such distance he could not well trace

The varied beauties of that matchless place!

Most eagerly he took the road again;

Nor paused to seek the company of men,

Who, reared amid these wonders, seldom feel

The deep emotions, or the fervid zeal

Which he then felt, as nearer still he drew,

And found his dreams of the Great Falls all true.

At last he stood there; and, in earnest, gazed

As though he could not weary: quite amazed

At the vast grandeur of the beauteous scene,

And half inclined to look on all as mean

That he viewed before! Musing, he stood

Still as a statue, while the mighty flood

Dashed madly onward, as if eager still

To take the leap, obedient to God’s will!

Again he’s roused by shout, away below,

’Twas from a Boatman, anxious now to know

If he would cross to the Canadian side?

COOPER obeyed, with Fancy for his guide;

And soon was bouncing o’er the heaving deep,

Whose current forced the boat to take a sweep;

While, ever and anon, a dash of spray

Made wet his clothes, as would a rainy day.

They reached the landing; and he now has gone

To Table-Rock, and muses still alone.

The song which follows does express in part

The strong, warm feelings of his raptured heart: [page 76]

SONG TO NIAGARA.

Niagara! I hail thy magnificent wonders,

    The work of my Father—the maker of All!

His voice ’tis I hear, in thy earth-shaking thunders,

    As “Deep unto Deep” every moment “doth call!”

    Waters rushing, always pushing

        Over the ledge of crumbling rocks;

    Ever leaping, never sleeping,

        Sound His praise in ceaseless shocks.

Thy mist to my mind seems a Pillar enshrining

    His All-glorious Presence, by day and by night!

Thy rainbows bespeak Him to Mercy inclining—

    Though none who gaze on thee are clean in His sight!

    Colors blending, mist ascending;

        All are displaying His great power!

    Rapids roaring, are adoring

        Him—their Maker—every hour!

The myriads of pearls, and bright emerald glories,

    Encircling thy brow, ’midst the foam and the spray,

Unite in presenting the most vivid stories

    Of splendor and riches which He can display!

    Pearls descending, without ending,

        Down that giddy precipice,

    Seem deriding our vain pride in

        Works which can’t compare with this.

The trees on thy banks look like worshippers standing,

    To pay at Thy shrine their just tribute of praise;

And loudly, indeed, are their voices demanding,

    That man unto God his sweet anthems should raise!

    Each tree growing, oft is bowing,

        Lowly its tall majestic head;

    Man, still scheming, ’s seldom dreaming

        Of this feast before him spread!

My soul, quite enraptured, could stay here forever,

    And drink in thy beauties with constant delight;

But something within me is whispering, “Never

    Be so taken up with sublunary sight!”

    Paths of Duty should have beauty

        More than what I find in thee;

    For thy glories tell no stories

        Of some things worth much to me. [page 77]

But yet I can gaze on thy dazzling brightness—

    Thy rainbows, thy pearls, thy clear emerald green;

On rapids still toss’d into foam of pure whiteness;

    On falls the most glorious that Earth has e’er seen!

    Strength acquiring, in admiring

        All as the matchless work of God;

    Can, with pleasure, leave such treasure,

        And my journey onward plod.

Around the Falls he lingered till past noon,

And still felt grieved to have to leave thus soon.

So loath was he a single charm to miss,

He oft went down and up the precipice,

By means of spiral stairs which constant shook,

As if by palsy-fit they had been struck.

The engine’s whistle warns his now to go,

And take the cars for rising Buffalo.

In that new City he arrived ere night,

Which gave to him but very small delight.

Tools soon he found—sold only by the set;

And with his funds, the price could not be met.

Here was a fix! Naught for him now remained

But to return, with just his pleasure gained!

This, as an offset, stood against the debt

He had incurred, and kept him from a fret.

Once more I pause, but with a hope quite strong,

That I may soon resume my simple song. [page 78]

BOOK VIII.

THE ARGUMENT.—Address to Hope. Its benefits to WILLIAM. Commences business.

    Manner of conducting it. Thinks again of Matrimony. Shop described. Inconveniences in it.

    An incident. Discouragements in trade. Compensation for them in visits to his intended. A

    further glance of her. The home provided her. Marriage. A peep at their home afterward.

    Forced to leave it. A second move. A Love’s-pledge. Imminent peril of the wife. Unhappy

    condition of first-born. Church matters. WILLIAM’S trials from temper, etc. Continued

    success in business. Tinsmith’s Song. His long sickness, and support under it. Dutiful conduct

    of Apprentice. Wife’s self-sacrifices and matronly management. COOPER’S gratitude to her

    for it. Continued Poetical predelictions. Visits with his Wife the Falls of Niagara. Family

    increase. Troubles in Church affairs. Excommunication. Fresh Church connection. Troubles

    arise afresh. Death of Wife. WILLIAM’S lament. Conclusion.

————

Hail, Hope! thou gem-decked Maid, with features fair!

Fairer than fabled goddesses of air.

I still regarded thee as sprung from God;

As sent to us from his divine abode,

With thy sweet sisters, holy Faith and Love,

That favored mortals might your virtues prove.

Led on by thee, we pass through heavy trial,

Requiring ever constant self-denial,

Unscathed, yet ridded of defiling dross,

To find ourselves the better for its loss.

Prompted by thee, we scale vast mountain heights;

Or take to Earth’s far bounds most rapid flights;

Face dreadful storms; yea, greatest dangers brave,

And, unappalled, view the deep, yawning grave!

In every age thy praise have Poets sung;

Throughout the world thy praise has loudly rung

So much and often, that I need not dwell

Upon thy worth: for it were hard to tell

The millionth part of good thou hast achieved;

By finite man it cannot be conceived!

Thy sovereign virtues WILLIAM deeply felt,

Howe’er engaged, and wheresoe’er he dwelt. [page 79]

In constant toil, and chilled by Penury,

He knew ’twas blessed to be cheered by thee.

Thou madest him content in low estate,

And for Prosperity to patient wait;

Till some, who thought his course deserved much blame,

Were led to full approval of the same.

More weeks went past, and his kind patron bought

Both tools and stock; when he with vigor wrought

In a small shop, and did his best to give

Due satisfaction, and made out to live.

Throughout the country nothing now was heard

Save talk of Civil war; yet undeterred

Was he, by what was going on around,

From his employment; and kept gaining ground.

The village of brave Soldiers was quite full,

And they, alone, made business far from dull.

When he at first commenced, he made a rule—

For which some folks then deemed him quite a fool—

To make good work and cheap, and have his pay

For all he sold; and this he did alway.

He had been taught to look on Honesty

As the best part of Business policy;

And his experience fully proved the truth

Of that old maxim—learned in early youth.

Meanwhile, as worldly prospects brighter grew,

To marriage state he turned his thoughts anew,

And made proposals for that lovely maid;

Nor was disapprobation once displayed

By either parent, who gave full consent,

As she, to marry him, was quite content.

Though not a “first love,” their’s remained still true,

And smoothly ran—was ever fresh and new!

His humble home, and shop, were all in one,

And looked, to others’ eyes, most woe-begone!

It was for his business truly quite unfit;

Yet customers still found their way to it.

Back from the street—up some half dozen stairs—

Two boards, on barrels, held his shining wares!

On one side high—the other very low—

And all unplastered; it was quite a show!

At one end stood his bench, and close behind it

Lay his rude couch; let not the rich deride it! [page 80]

At times, he rose from off that humble bed

With a fair snow-wreath close about his head!

One bitter night, some loyal Volunteers

Were quartered on him; and he told his fears,

That much of comfort could not there be found,

In such a room, with all his fixtures round.

One made reply which went to WILLIAM’S heart,

And proved that man had “chosen the good part”—

“’Tis better,” said he, “than our Savior had;

Of such a lodging He would have been glad!”

Our hero, with his hand-tools got along,

At best, but slowly ; and sometimes went wrong.

It was no easy thing to ascertain

What kind of goods a ready sale would gain.

His brother Tinsmith showed no friendly spirit;

He deemed him far too low in workman-merit!

And threatened vauntingly to drive him out:

But God’s rich blessing compassed him about!

His patterns he contrived, as best he could;

And every month, as tradesman, firmer stood.

His constant visits to his future bride,

Much of sweet pleasure every time supplied.

Rare worth and beauty did the maid possess;

To see her was to taste of happiness!

She was too lovely, and too gentle, far,

For one whose mind was very oft ajar;

So humble, that she left her father’s house,

With all its comforts, to become his spouse.

The home which he for that fair girl provided,

By most young lasses would have been derided.

’Twas just the farthest half of his rude shop,

Lined with planed boards on all sides, and the top;

Quite small in size, ’twas amply furnished,

With stove, three chairs, a table, box and bed!

In March, his natal month, through sleet and rain,

He bore his wife, who did not once complain.

No wedding jaunt could their small means afford,

Yet they had pleasure in true love’s accord;

And what they lacked in way of outward show,

Was quite made up by warm affection’s glow.

They were a happy couple, with warm hearts:

Both striving eagerly to act their parts.

If ever twain were blended into one, [page 81]

’Twas in their case, as all who knew them own.

He, working soon and late to rid his debt;

She, taking care of all he chanced to get:

And, with sweet smiles upon her lovely face,

Dispelling of despondency each trace.

Too soon, the place in which their bliss begun,

Was made too hot by our Canadian sun.

A Bakery below, Sol’s rays above,

With heat from stove, made them most glad to move.

They next obtained a shop which answered well;

For all he made, they could most freely sell.

This place, however, they were forced to quit

In three months after they had entered it.

More than one person had on it a claim,

And each law-suit fanned their litigious flame,

Until at length it went to Chancery,

And that sage Court could on this thing agree—

To have it closed forthwith! And thus our friends

Were forced to move, once more, to gain their ends.

Each move brought double rent; but this became

A thing remembered only by its name.

Trade still increased, as did Experience, too,

And WILLIAM now had more than he could do.

But by this time he had assistance found

In his wife’s brother, as apprentice bound;

A youth most active, and good-natured, too,

Who took delight in what he had to do.

The shop to which they went—last on the street—

Was, as a residence, to them most sweet.

Almost in front, a river calmly flowed;

Close by, a plain wood bridge the stream bestrode.

There, he could stand at his shop door and view

A scene which called up feelings ever new.

Above the bridge, for nearly half a mile,

It is most lovely, clad in Summer’s smile.

Tall trees, of various kinds, it margins grace,

While it flows on, with ever gentle pace,

Past two small islands; each one like a gem

Set in the stream so softly passing them.

There, often has he sat, on summer’s eve,

With his fair bride, both loath the scene to leave.

Lit up by Luna’s beams, ’twould larger seem,

And scope afford for sweet poetic dream.

One island he would picture as the site

Of a neat mansion, where he might, at night, [page 82]

Retire from business cares to take a boat,

And on the surface of the river float

With his most charming—his most loving wife;

Content to leave behind all worldly strife.

Such freaks would Fancy play, when he inclined

To let her reign sole Monarch of his mind!

Yet, when the spell was broke, the sweets of home

Were such, that from them he ne’er wished to roam.

And thus days, weeks and months most smoothly passed,

Till Winter came, each beauteous scene to blast.

Now, with new hopes, alas! came fears as well,

The strength of which it is not mine to tell.

But those who once have fond, young husbands been,

May well conceive what hopes and fears I mean.

Scarce had December sealed the Frost-King’s reign,

Ere these true hearts a Love’s-pledge did obtain.

Protracted labor, bringing sore distress,

Came nigh extinguishing their happiness!

This oft led WILLIAM to the Mercy Seat;

And, oh, his visits there were truly sweet!

Nor was it vain; two precious lives were spared,

And the young parents were, afresh, prepared

To grapple with their duties—growing large—

Conscious of weakness in their full discharge.

The babe proved cross and fretful; and, for years,

Frequent convulsive fits filled them with fears;

And quite unfitted her, in after life,

For bearing a just share of toil and strife.

This proved an exercise for faith and prayer,

Until they fully felt that God’s kind care

Would be extended o’er their suffering child;

And this thought made their souls more reconciled,

To bear with patience this great, frequent trial,

Which called on them so much for self-denial.

A growing interest now in Church affairs

Filled that young father’s mind with weighty cares.

At this my readers need not be surprised;

Nor should my notice of it be despised.

That Church on Scripture truth had ta’en its stand,

And wished to bend alone to God’s command—

To copy, in their government, the plan

Marked out by Christ, when first His Church began.

Now they sought one well qualified to take

The Elder’s office—not for lucre’s sake,

Nor “as a lord o’er God’s own heritage”— [page 83]

But one who humbly would, with warmth, engage

To do His bidding and bear peaceful rule

O’er that small Church—that it might prove a school

For Saints to grow in strict conformity

To God’s just will—as they that will may see.

One soon they found, who had for years been tried:

Who by Paul’s test was willing to abide;

Well knowing the advice which he had given

To Ephesian Elders; and how he had striven

To labor with his hands for the support

Of self and friends, oft made the worldling’s sport.

Let none imagine that this flock obtained

Another’s labor for some selfish end;

Large sums they raise to help the suffering poor,

And freely give of their superfluous store

To send the Bible into heathen lands—

And that while all are laboring with their hands.

This testimony I would bear of them;

’Tis strictly true, whoever may contemn.

As deacons they chose WILLIAM and another,

Who was regarded as a worthy brother.

In God’s pure sight they viewed themselves unfit

For such high office; yet accepted it

In deference to their brethren, who made choice

Of them at once, without dissenting voice.

’Twas thus it came that he had many cares,

Beside his family’s and trade’s affairs.

In preaching now he took his regular turn,

And, though but weakly, did with ardor burn

To tell poor sinners of a Savior’s love,

Or Saints instruct in lessons from Above.

He ’midst those labors found, with sore distress,

A constant warfare mar his happiness.

Dyspepsia—fell disease—his stomach seized,

And, like a demon, would not be appeased;

But made his temper, far too quick and warm,

By frequent outbursts often work him harm.

This grieved the heart of his beloved wife,

And might have led to constant family strife,

Had not the Lord to him his folly shown,

By greater chastisement than he had known. [page 84]

And now our friends possessed sufficient means

To pay their debt, or purchase those machines

Which tinsmiths use; and WILLIAM asked his friend

If he, conveniently, could longer lend

What they were owing him? His kind reply

Led COOPER soon the needful tools to buy.

This was an era in their history,

And they most gladly work more actively

In manufacturing their humble wares,

Or giving to old things their due repairs.

While freely pushing their close labor through,

They still found plenty for the two to do;

Which called on them for greater thankfulness

To their kind God, who did their business bless.

While thus engaged, pray tell me where’s the wrong,

If they should sing the following “Tinsmith’s Song?”

TINSMITH’S SONG.

What though our bench labor rob us of the favor

    Enjoyed by the farmer, ’midst fair Country scenes;

What though ’tis confining to make up tins shining,

    There’s naught in the trade which our conduct demeans.

    Then ply the shears, since it appears

        That our calling is honest and fair;

    Yet take good heed, lest, in our speed,

        We should send from our hands leaky ware!

In using the folder we then may grow bolder,

    And form and groove pans with our consciences clear;

Drive each of the turners with skill beyond learners,

    And put in stout wire with our hearts full of cheer.

    Then take a burr and make it whirr,

        As the buttons spin round like a “top;”

    And fit these tight, which is but right

        If we wish a good name for the shop.

In this case the setter will do the work better,

    And strong double seams will repay all our pains;

But slight not the soldering, or customers ordering

    Their work at our hands will begrudge us our gains.

    This we can do and yet push through

        Quite a good share of labor each day,

    And in our sales of pans or pails

        Boldly ask those who buy for our pay. [page 85]

We thus may be working, no selfishness lurking

    Within, though the weather be cloudy or cold;

And lawfully striving our trade still be driving

    From far better motives than mere thirst for gold.

    Then we may serve and never swerve

        From strict duty’s plain, straightforward path,

    Our country’s weal with fervid zeal

        By skill which each artisan hath.

O! then our bench labor may bring us the favor

    Of a jaunt now and then midst the forests and fields,

Which pleasure so joyous can never annoy us,

    If health and contentment it constantly yields.

    Then ply the shears, since it appears

        That our calling is honest and fair;

    Yet take good heed lest in our speed

        We should send from our hands leaky ware.

And now these parents’ hearts were rendered glad

By a sweet babe as ever parents had;

A lovely boy, a precious first-born son,

An April flower ere Spring had well begun.

Thus were their family and cares increased

While pleasure not lessened in the least.

But a few months were destined to disclose

A lengthy list of what some think are woes.

Three serious accidents that year befel

His aged father, and ’twere hard to tell

The weary months of suffering he endured

Ere loss of limb to him relief procured.

Their patron, too, was by sore sickness brought

Down to death’s door, as all who saw him thought.

WILLIAM at last was on a sick-bed thrown

For many weeks, and then was fully shown

The fervent love and patience of his wife

Increasing still through years of after life.

Bereft of reason, as his friends declared,

Rich consolation he at all times shared.

Death—man’s “last foe”—for him no terrors had,

His blighted prospects did not make him sad.

To leave his wife and babes he was resigned,

And this while all deemed him of unsound mind.

The temper, true, his faith and feelings tried,

But his suggestions met “God will provide.”

This simple text was strong enough to stay

Each wavering thought that rose from day to day. [page 86]

The time when he fell sick was in the Fall,

When lively business made most pressing call.

And yet he was enabled to abide

Content with this, “Jehovah will provide.”

Ev’n so he did, and that in wondrous way,

For his wife’s brother worked both night and day,

A striking instance of unselfishness

But rarely seen in youths of such a class.

Though outward things looked dark, this chastisement

Was plainly from a loving father sent;

And they saw constant reason to rejoice

That what is painful might be made their choice.

For, while it weaned their thoughts from things of earth

It made them prize the more their heavenly birth.

And ev’n their fond affection for each other

Was purified from that which tends to smother

The noblest energies of Christian souls,

And far too often their best thoughts controls.

This sickness showed, and that most strikingly,

How good a nurse this faithful wife could be.

Through all her trials she was quite resigned,

And not one murmuring thought rose in her mind.

A more attentive or enduring nurse

I’m very sure ne’er shone in poet’s verse.

When his recovery was manifested

Her love and patience were severely tested.

For calomel caused him such great distress

He was oft found in fits of fretfulness.

But yet she meekly bore with his caprice

And her self-sacrifice did never cease.

He, when restored again to perfect health,

Grew far more conscious of the store of wealth

By him possessed in having such a wife

To act as helpmate through the storms of life.

And long after, when their lovely boy

Was very sick, he did his skill employ

To soothe her sorrows by an artless lay

Exhorting her to make God’s love her stay;

And holding up to view Heaven’s perfect bliss,

He aimed to show that naught can come amiss

To those who all their hopes on Jesus rest,

And “seek through His Atonement to be bless’d.” [page 87]

Their child restored, their joys again increase,

For God’s sweet service yields them constant peace.

He, constantly employed in hard bench work,

Let not a thirst for wealth within him lurk,

And was enabled to preserve his mind

So free from care that, when he felt inclined,

He could with ease bring all his thoughts to bear

On Scripture truths, and each with each compare,

Or let his fancy take her random flight

To bring from Dreamland some new-coined delight.

At other times would raise his tuneful voice

And sing sweet hymns which long had been his choice,

Or else recite some charming poetry

With touch of skill and much of energy.

At times his spouse, too, did her sewing bring,

And joined harmoniously God’s praise to sing.

Thus mostly passed their time for months and years

In bliss too great to last, as it appears.

Meanwhile their debt most honestly was paid,

By which their prospects were much brighter made.

Yet gratitude glowed brightly in each heart,

To him who acted such a friendly part

As to lend money and then wait for years

In patience for the payment of arrears.

About this time they visited “The Falls,”

As business was not urgent in its calls.

WILLIAM felt joyful in no trifling measure

With such a wife to share so great a pleasure,

And a gladly spent his money and his time

To view with her that scenery sublime.

This jaunt gave both the most heartfelt delight,

And furnished her the first and only sight

She ever had of wonders there displayed,

Which were in Spring’s fresh beauty then arrayed.

They stood and gazed, or sat in shady place,

With glowing feelings pictured in each face.

He greatly longed to have a dwelling near,

That he might oftener view scenes grown so dear.

But family needs would force themselves on him,

And those bright visions very soon grew dim.

Yet he inquiry made of settlers round

To learn what prospects then might there be found

Of earning a just living at his trade;

But this quite threw the project in the shade.

Then he thought fit to let “well be” alone [page 88]

Till clearer light should on the scheme be thrown.

Hopes next arose that he might yet revisit

Once every year, with pleasure more exquisite,

Those grand, unrivalled Falls with her he loved,

More lovely still now that her love was proved.

The sequel shows how little we foresee

Of good or evil in our destiny.

’Tis right; and this should make us place our trust

In God, our Father, ever wise and just.

Since naught can happen without His permission

Who orders our affairs with wise precision.

At the appointed time they home returned,

While love for it more strongly in them burned.

One Winter and two Summers now had passed

Since a fine boy upon their care was cast.

Again stern winter came, with cloudy skies

And howling blasts, like some fell demon cries.

Dark, chill November had been ushered in,

With much of elemental strife and din,

When came another daughter, bright and fair,

To charm the hearts of that still loving pair.

The new come love-pledge, as time swiftly flew,

In sweetest bands their souls more closely drew.

Increasing means more household comforts brought,

Not greatly coveted if they were sought.

They asked God day by day for such supplies

Of worldly blessings as He deemed most wise,

Took those most thankfully He kindly sent,

And with their lot, for most part, were content.

’Tis true that COOPER wished to spend more time

For the improvement of himself in rhyme,

But greater duties had a higher claim,

Neglect of which would bring upon him blame.

He therefore kept his muse in close subjection,

And gained God’s blessing and most kind protection.

Yet now and then his pent up feelings broke

Through all restraint, and his rude harp awoke

To pour forth numbers with intent to cheer

Parents or friends, who lent a willing ear

To his effusions, void of learning’s grace,

But full of feeling, which supplied its place.

Another Spring and Summer passed away,

Then Autumn, too, and Winter held the sway;

While January, when half its course was run, [page 89]

Brought to our friends a second infant son.

Two of each parental love now claim,

As sharers of their destiny and name;

While years of happiness might seem in store

For, prosperous still, they loved each other more.

That season was their best in way of trade,

And thus their prospects wore no darkening shade.

Satan—arch enemy of all mankind—

Beheld with envy their peace of mind,

And most maliciously employed his skill

To work them woe—defiant of God’s will.

Their worldly property he did not touch,

For loss of this would not be felt so much

As trouble with their brethren in the church,

Severed from whom they might be left in lurch.

His plan succeeded, as I know too well,

For some deemed wise were held as by a spell

In bands of strongest preconceived opinion,

While Ignorance held them in his dominion.

WILLIAM had seen this long, and mourned in soul,

With such emotion as scarce brooked control,

And, knowing that they held it just and right

For all to seek increasing Scripture light,

He, in the search for truth, gave up his mind,

And was well pleased some few choice pearls to find.

These lustrous gems he had now wish to hide,

So held them up to view, and earnest tried

To lead his brethren to approve their worth;

But such a course gave to contention birth.

Nor was it long before occasion came

For those opposed to lay upon his blame,—

The end of which was that they did him sever

From sweet communion with their church forever!

Under this blow he tried to bear up well,

But all he suffered ’twould be hard to tell.

His spouse and parents with him sympathised

And broke the bands which each so long had prized.

Naught now remained for them but to unite

In holy fellowship with purer light.

Soon some few other friends who knew their case

Their humble cause did with much warmth embrace.

One with our hero labored in the Word

With what small skill and time he could afford.

Things went on smoothly for about a year,

And some success did much their hearts cheer. [page 90]

Ere long, however, troubles unforeseen

Burst on the little band with shafts so keen

That WILLIAM’S faith and strength were solely tried,

And with his lot he was dissatisfied.

One of the flock was easily led astray,

And self-indulgence held him in its sway.

Two others left because a change of view

Made several seek to be baptized anew.

Slow passed another very trying year,

And thick gloom gathered, filling them with fear.
Our friend was sick from an unquiet mind,

While Comfort—wonted guest—he failed to find.

At last his loved, his idolized wife

In her accouchment left this mortal life.

Schooled long, he firmly bore this heavy stroke,

And bowed his head submissive ’neath God’s yoke.

This brought him peace, and his sad muse ere long

Found utterance in the following mournful song:

WILLIAM’S LAMENT ON THE DEATH OF HIS BELOVED WIFE.

Awake, my harp! give forth in solemn time

Thy sweetest numbers in harmonious rhyme.

’Tis time to bid my dormant powers arise,

Yet I would first dry up my weeping eyes.

My full charged bosom heaves, and oh, how slow

Conflicting thoughts in well timed numbers flow.

Cease, rebel feelings, cease your dreadful strife;

The theme’s my love, the partner of my life.

Her portrait is before me, and that smile

Upon her features playing, shows no guile.

What were thy thoughts, my loved one, on that day

The artist’s skill did our joint forms portray?

Thou wast not then so foolish as to deem

An early death a vain or idle dream.

We oft had converse on that mournful theme,

As oft looked forward to the solemn day

When death, grim monster! should tear one away.

I thought my time most surely first would come,

And thou, expected’st, first to reach thy home!

Thus were we apt to number out our days,

And oft together led to seek God’s ways.

Most unfeigned pleasure did we take in this,

And gained as fruit sweet tastes of heavenly bliss.

Now, my belov’d one, thou art gone from me [page 91]

And our dear little ones! Oh! can it be?

The sad reality comes o’er my mind.

Thou’rt gone indeed, and we are left behind.

Oh for that faith of which thou wast possessed,

As thy pure spirit strove to gain her rest.

Oh for that patience which thou didst display

Beneath our Father’s hand to thy last day.

Methinks that thou art whispering in my ear:

“Let God’s sure promises thy spirit cheer;

“Remember that our Jesus is the same

“To all whose trust is in His precious name.

“A few short days, perchance, or months, or years,

“May flee away; yet he will still thy fears

“And bear thee up as if on ‘eagle’s wings,’

“Far, far above the reach of earthly things.

“Remember what thou didst to comfort me;

“Thou hast God’s word, the same it is to thee.

“Let fervent prayer ascend to God above;

“He’ll deign to listen for He still is love.

“Rouse then, thy courage, let thy faith be strong,

“Let Hope, ‘an anchor sure,’ to thee belong.

“The time’s not distant we again shall meet

“To part no more. This is a thought most sweet.

“But yet in patience do thy souls possess,

“And wait God’s time, and then He will thee bless.”

Enough my loved one, I will haste away

To do my duties without more delay.

And trust in God who can fresh strength impart

To me serve him with a perfect heart.

Here, then, kind reader, I must close my lay,

As other duties call me now away.

If you’ve had patience to go with me through

My lengthened tale, I bid you warm adieu.

If my small learning has called forth a sneer,

Know you from such things I have naught to fear.

For what is written I have this defense:

My song at least lacks not for common-sense. [page 92]

WILLIAM AND AMELIA.

———

Near the side of Windermere,*

    Down a gentle rising hill,

Flowed a murmuring brook so clear

Every portion of the year,

    And no doubt is flowing still.

Hard by stood a small, neat house,

    Tenanted by peasants poor.

The mother was a loving spouse,

One who never was a blowze,

    But most tidy evermore.

The husband was an honest man

    Working hard on working days,

Deeming it the wisest plan.

Each day’s labor he began

    By pure prayer to God always.

We shall call them HUMBLEWORTH;

    They such name deserved quite well.

In that country of the north

All would speak their praises forth,

    With delight their worth would tell.

Three dear children graced their home,

    Lovely were they in their youth.

When they chanced in woods to roam,

Fairies seemed they to become;

    Full their hearts of love and truth.


    *For the benefit of such readers as are not acquainted with the locality of Lake Windermere, I may say it is the largest lake in England, and lies to the north.


[unnumbered page]

AMIE, BESS and little ANN

    We their name at present call;

AMIE’S bloom was richer than

Any rose which zephyrs fan.

    She had, too, a lovely soul.

BESS was as a lily pale,

    Graceful as a fawn could be.

She was never very hale,

Parents’ eyes could see her fail,

    And they felt anxiety.

Little ANN, a chubby lass,

    Was the youngest and the pet;

Friends all thought naught could surpass

That sweet child in loveliness

    Which they in their lives had met.

I have said that they were poor.

    This was true of worldly things;

Yet they had an ample store,

They were skilled in Bible lore,

    And from this sweet comfort springs.

Very close observers might

    Deem them once of higher rank,

They defrauded of their right,

But still blest with gospel light,

    Of rich consolation drank.

Near them lived a proud, rich man,

    Wide his lands, but small his heart.

Of him a report there ran

That he to be rich began

    Practicing a knavish part.

“GRIPEY” was the name he bore

    ’Mongst the country people round;

They could reckon up a score

Of vile actions, if not more,

    And from these this name they found.

Call I him “SIR FINGERNEED,”

    Such a name is more genteel;

Had he done one worthy deed

I would not withhold the meed

    Of sweet praise I truly feel. [page 94]

He had but only son,

    WILLIAM was his given name;

He to love had not begun,

Yet at times he liked to run

    In the woods when AMIE came.

There for her he’d try to find

    Hazel nuts and berries, too.

Thus he showed his heart was kind—

That he had no churlish mind

    When such actions he could do.

Time flew past; poor BESSIE lay

    On her humble dying bed.

Parents now beside her pray,

AMIE watches her by day—

    Moving round with softest tread.

WILLIAM oft some dainty brought

    To her by his mother sent,

And returned with sober thought,

Musing as each mortal ought

    On a death-bed scene intent.

He had heard fair AMIE speak

    Of a place above the sky,

Where dear BESS with spirit meek

Would be taken, though so weak,

    If at present she should die.

Now he reaches that fine place

    Where he and his parents live.

Marks of sadness on his face

Make his father wish to trace

    What could him such trouble give.

WILLIAM, not inclined to guile,

    Did the truth at once disclose.

This creates a scornful smile

On that rich man’s face the while,

    Then unto his wife he goes,

And in stern and angry mood

    Asks her why she sent the boy;

Did she call that doing good

Sending one of the gentler blood,

    Just to watch a cottar die? [page 95]

He no reasons deigns to hear,

    Bids the boy not go again.

WILLIAM drops a silent tear

While his parent still is near,

    Yet strict silence does maintain.

BESS has left this earthly scene,

    Sorrow therefore fills that home.

They have to the churchyard been,

And its clods are now between

    Them and charming BESSIE’S form.

They were not alone in grief,

    WILLIAM sorrowed much at heart,

Knew not yet the saint’s belief,

And most slowly came relief

    To remove from him his smart.

Those who seek to curb the mind

    Of their offspring in their youth,

Should show reason why they bind,

Clothed in language very kind,

    Lest they tempt them from the truth.

Soon the youth began to feel

    Galled by most unjust restraint,

And did oft in secret steal

To enquire of AMIE’S weal,

    And to her would make complaint.

Then she told her father all.

    Calm but firm was his reply:—

“WILLIAM shall no longer call;

Some great ill might him befall,

    And he must himself deny.”

This AMELIA saw was right

    And informed the gentle boy.

Tears bedimmed his eyes that night

For the loss of his delight,

    Which would all his peace destroy.

Said he now, “I will refrain

    From my visits, AMIE dear,

If you’ll true to me remain

Till I can consent obtain

    From my father, whom I fear.” [page 96]

AMIE blushed, her word did pledge.

    WILLIAM snatched a parting kiss

As he swiftly climbs the hedge,

Fairest dreams his mind engage

    For he tastes of lover’s bliss.

Pass we o’er five tedious years.

    Years which saw great changes come

To some thousands in all spheres,

Raised by hopes or sunk by fears,

    Now alive, or in the tomb.

WILLIAM had just come from school

    Summoned to his father’s bed

On an Autumn evening cool.

Now dread thoughts began to rule

    Him who lay just like the dead.

Why that start, that vacant stare?

    Does he know his son is by?

Guilty conscience who can bear?

Hope shut out or blank Despair,

    When one’s latter end is nigh?

Stood the youth with tearful eyes

    Fixed upon the dying man.

He would speak, but when he tries

His young soul within him dies

    As he views that face so wan.

Speaks the father now at last,

    “WILLIAM, listen to my tale.

I through dreadful crime have passed,

But while life is ebbing fast

    Now to you I would unveil

“My base heart, if yet I may

    In some measure crime atone.

It is thirty years this day

Since a Will I made away,

    To gain riches not my own.

“Him I wronged is HUMBLEWORTH,

    Long a neighbor near this house:

His my wealth by right of birth;

All I own upon this earth

    Is my family—and disgrace. [page 97]

“I would make amends to him,

    But grim death now shakes his dart;

Breathing fails me, eyes grow dim,

Spectres ’fore my vision skim,

    And with terrors fill my heart.

“List, my son, your’s be the task,

    When I’m past this earthly scene,

Pardon for my sin to ask,

My vile conduct to unmask,

    And make known what I have been.

“But, my boy, in pity spare,

    Spare your mother’s feelings dear.

Warning take from me, nor dare

Sport with sin; of that beware,

    For great danger lurketh near.

“I more would say, but now again

    Death’s strong fetters bind my tongue.”

Soon his struggles are in a vain;

WILLIAM’S heart is wrung with pain,

    And his nerves are all unstrung.

Startling groans break on his ear

    Now that ill-spent life has fled.

WILLIAM sees his mother near

And attempts her heart to cheer,

    As she sinks upon the bed.

Seems this stroke too hard to bear.

    In the lack of Christian hope,

Her weak heart from grief and care

Droops too soon to dire despair;

    With such foe she cannot cope.

Now the youth feels greatest need

    To curb well his ardent grief,

Calls he loud for help with speed.

His commands the servants heed,

    They obey his mandates brief.

First the mistress they convey

    To her room and lay her down.

There would WILLIAM with her stay,

But he could not brook delay

    Till his father’s crime he own. [page 98]

Goes he to the house once more

    Where his dear AMELIA lives.

With a heart most truly sore,

Reaches he the cottage door,

    Knocks; no one admittance gives.

Why is all so still around?

    This place they did occupy!

“Where can HUMBLEWORTHS be found?”

Asks he loud, nor heeds the sound

    Of man’s footsteps passing by.

Turns the man in haste his head

    And the youth does recognize,

Tells him, “In the lake’s clear bed

Some one found poor AMIE dead!”

    And that thitherward he hies.

This like thrust of dagger came,

    Near depriving him of sense.

In his breast’s a raging flame,

Calls he AMIE’S lovely name

    As he rushes o’er the fence.

Down toward the deep lake’s side

    Flies he now with greatest speed.

Forms among the bushes glide,

Sorely is the lover tried

    In this saddest hour of need.

Who can paint his grief of mind

    As the lifeless form he views?

Vainly strives he peace to find,

This stroke seems the most unkind;

    He all comfort does refuse.

AMIE’S face has lost its bloom,

    Though her countenance is fair.

Little ANN within the room

Deeply shares the general gloom,

    In a dim lit corner there.

Some make efforts to restore

    That sweet girl they loved so well.

Too long time elapsed before

Her dear form was drawn to shore.

    Death has cast o’er her his spell. [page 99]

Women kind now lay her out,

    In pure white her corpse invest.

WILLIAM then, by nature taught,

With poetic feeling fraught,

    This warm song to her addressed:

SONG TO AMELIA.

Still like to Luna wading,

    Beneath yon silvery cloud,

Thy beauties are unfading,

    Though mantled in a shroud.

As thou in death art lying,

    Thy lovely form I view,

And ask if aught in dying

    Has made thy charms seem new.

Say, wert thou conscious ever

    That I to thee was true?

That naught but death could sever

    The bond ’twixt me and you?

I came with heart nigh bursting

    From thee to get relief.

My very soul was thirsting

    To let thee share its grief.

And now this stroke has fallen

    Like thunderbolt on me,

And my poor heart is swollen

    With saddest misery.

Oh, where can I be flying

    For strength and succor now?

If there were hope in dying,

    I soon to death would bow.

But now my duty strongly

    Bids me my task fulfil;

Thy family suffered wrongly,

    To right them I’ve the will.

And then I would be leaving

    Each bitter scene of woe,

Haply my loss retrieving,

    If that can be below. [page 100]

Thou wert to me oft speaking

    Of God’s sweet place of Rest,

I would that place be seeking,

    To be with thee most blest.

Farewell, my young life’s charmer,

    A long, a last farewell;

I feel my heart grow warmer

    As on thy love I dwell.

Calls he HUMBLEWORTH aside,

    Speaks to him with faltering tongue:

“Father’s sin I dare not hide;

Me he bade before he died,

    Soon redress your grievous wrong.

“He destroyed your uncle’s will,

    When you were a little boy,

And did not his part fulfil

As your proper guardian still,

    Losing peace of mind and joy.

“I’m prepared to give a deed

    To you of that large estate,

But I strongly intercede

For my mother in her need,

    In her sad affliction great.”

“My dear friend,” the good man said,

    “Let some time now pass away.

I am not of you afraid,

His command you have obeyed,

    Let us talk some other day.

“Go, my boy, and cheer the heart

    Of your mother, still my friend;

See, I bid you now depart,

Lest delay increase her smart;

    I will soon to it attend.

“Learn to place in Christ your trust;

    Seek for pardon through His blood.

God alone can keep you just,

For we are at best but dust;

    Naught have we ourselves of good.” [page 101]

WILLIAM hastens to the Hall

    With a somewhat easier mind.

Fearing that it might appal

Mother’s heart, he tells not all

    That befell their friends so kind.

Now an inquest has been held

    O’er AMELIA’S corpse so fair,

Tears have from their fountains welled,

Grief immoderate has been quelled,

    Which has brought of peace a share.

Now arrangements have been made

    Suiting all who are concerned.

HUMBLEWORTHS such love displayed,

As proved all that I have said,

    Showing in whose school they learned.

To the Hall, as theirs of right,

    All the family removed;

And they strove with all their might

To make the widow’s burden light,

    For she was by them beloved.

As assistant on the farm

    WILLIAM proved of greatest use.

With a heart both young and warm,

He soon found that ANNIE’S charm

    For lost time was some excuse.

Why should I prolong this tale?

    All my object may divine:

Christian love will still prevail

O’er its foes when they assail,

    And it will forever shine. [page 102]

MY GARDEN.

———

I have a little garden plot,

    ’Tis very small indeed;

But yet it is a pleasant spot,

And plenty large enough, I wot,

    When out-door work I need.

Two woodbines flourish at my door,

    And climb above its porch;

One yields of grateful scent a store,

One flowers till all the summer’s o’er

    And winter days approach.

And o’er the walls grape vines are spread,

    Which bring delicious fruit;

These also sweetest odors shed,

And please my senses till I’m led

    To hold them in repute.

And then I have of peach trees three,

    Which have begun to bear,

And ’tis a pleasing sight to see

My somewhat numerous family

    All eager for a share.

Three apple trees I next would name,

    Though fruit they ne’er gave me;

For this their tender age I blame,

And other cause I cannot name,

    And so I wait to see.

Some berry trees I also boast,

    And these of different kinds.

Of flowering shrubs I have a host,

Which did in cash and labor cost

    What might affright some minds. [unnumbered page]

Four kinds of lilac here are grown,

    One double flowering cherry,

And weeping ditto, not much known;

Eight different sorts of rose I own,

    And shrub that yields snowberry.

Of lily yea, and crocus, too,

    I’ve some varieties,

And monkshood, pinks, and violets blue,

Of double almonds not a few,

    With two kinds of peonies.

Some polyanthus and foxglove,

    Sea-pinks, and columbine,

Sweet-scented tulips, which I love,

Whose beauty has e’en power to move

    A heart less fond than mine.

The daisy and sunflower tall,

    Present a contrast great;

One like to him who, proud in soul,

Expects his fellow men to fall

    Submissive at his feet.

The other, like true modesty,

    Scarce lifts its lovely head

Lest you its secret charms should see—

Just like a lovely maid, when she

    Is to vain-glory dead.

Sweet-briar and sweet-william claim

    A notice from my pen,

For each of these can boast of fame;—

Are better known than my poor name

    Among the race of men.

My hollyhocks and lichens fine,

    Spread out their charms to view,

And other pretty flowers are mine—

To speak whose praises I incline,

    If but their names I knew.

Of annuals I have but few,

    That fact I fully grant;

Yet I have larkspur, pink and blue,

And double poppies of rich hue.

To serve me while the summer’s new

    I’ve beds of rhubarb plant. [page 104]

Some household herbs and fragrant thyme,

    With lettuce, sage, and mint,

Complete my stock; but had I time

A lingering lesson swells my rhyme

    With many a moral hint.

That as we rear in summer’s glow.

    Herbs, fruits and flowerets fair,

So may we in our natures grow

Sweet flowers that may hereafter blow

    In Heaven’s serener air.

[illustration]

[page 105]

The Inebriate’s Daughter’s Appeal to Her Father.

————

One frosty night in bright moonlight,

    I left my cheerful home;

My thoughts were such I cared not much

    Which way I chanced to roam.

With firmest tread my way I thread

    Through many a winding street,

When drunkard’s voice in tones not choice,

    My startled ear did meet.

He cursed a girl whose hair in curl

    Bespoke a tidy mother;

Whose clothes, though plain, wore not a stain,

    Yet grief her words did smother.

Her beauteous eyes told then no lies

    While she looked at the man.

As nature brought the words she sought,

    She this appeal began:

“Oh, father, leave this wretched place,

    And hasten home with me;

For mother and the darling babe

    Are in sad misery!

They have not tasted any food

    Since morn of yesterday.

Yet you should hear that mother dear

    For blessings on you pray. [unnumbered page]

“For when she prays aloud for you,

    Her tears they flow apace,

And deepest crimson doth suffuse

    Her ever lovely face.

She says that she must leave us all

    Before ’tis very long,

To go to yonder Heaven above,

    And join in Angel’s song.

“And when she looks at our dear babe,

    Her tears flow forth again;

Yet never does she, father dear,

    In words of you complain,

But says that she will try to make

    A happy home for you.

Come ill, come well, whate’er betide,

    She’ll loving be and true.

“O, father, hasten with me, then,

    Before my mother die!

When I left home your charming boy

    Most piteously did cry;

It would have moved a heart of stone

    To see the tears he shed;

His shrieks make worse the dreadful pain

    In mother’s throbbing head!”

The drunkard stood in solemn mood,

    In riveted attention.

This strong appeal did make him feel

    Most serious apprehension.

He took the hand of maiden bland,

    And hastened fast away;

Not turned his face on that dread place

    Which had made him its prey.

They reached the house where that dear spouse

    Was breathing out her soul.

From sense of sin he rushes in,

    Nor could himself control.

Upon his knees in agonies

    He cries aloud, “My wife,

Do speak to me, for I will be

    A husband, dear, through life!” [page 107]

No voice there came; the vital flame

    Had fled, of child and mother.

He could not stay, so turned away,

    With look that made me shudder.

That little girl with hair in curl

    At last to him doth speak:

“My father dear, your heart I’ll cheer,

    And blessings for you seek.

“How we must pray, she taught the way

    Who now has gone to bliss.

Nor would I be the least degree

    In duty found remiss.”

Her artless strain made him refrain

    From purposes most foul.

In after years she calmed his fears,

    And saved at last his soul.

[illustration]

[page 108]

To the Children in Mrs. Day’s School.

————

1853.

————

My dearest children, do you know

That best of all things here below,

And knowing, you should always show

              To one another?

Which when received doth warm the breast,

To troubled souls imparts sweet rest,

And makes each near connection blest—

              Of friend or brother.

This precious thing has power to melt

Man’s stubborn heart, as I have felt,

Subdue all sins that ever dwelt

              In men benighted.

If o’er this world ’twere shed abroad,

The soldier soon might sheathe his sword,

And God alone would be adored,

             And all things righted.

What is this thing of which I speak?

It can be found by those who seek,

With willing mind and spirit meek,

             Intent on finding.

It has its origin above,

More beauteous is than any dove;

Those who have felt it know ’tis LOVE,

            And well worth minding.

Where was this love most clearly seen?

My children you can tell, I ween.

The truth both old and young may glean

            From Scripture’s pages.

For there we read that Jesus came

To suffer death, endure the shame,

That he might free us from all blame,

            Throughout all ages. [unnumbered page]

SONG TO BRANTFORD.

————

1854.

————

Air—“AULD LANG SYNE.”

Thou lovely town in which I dwell,

    My own adopted place,

In verse I would most gladly tell

    The pleasures which I trace,

As back I look through all the years

    Which o’er my head have passed,

Since I began, with many fears,

    My hopes on thee to cast.

For that support which, under God,

    I have from thee obtained.

Now through life’s journey I would plod,

    With gratitude unfeigned.

When I at first began my trade,

    I was not worth a cent.

That small commencement then I made

    With money to me lent

By one whose name I fain would tell,

    If he would give consent.

On love like this I’ll fondly dwell,

    Till my poor life be spent.

His kindness set me first afloat

    In business and its cares,

And thy inhabitants have bought

    My humble, shining wares. [unnumbered page]

So that my needs have been supplied,

    And a most ample share

Of true home sweets I have enjoyed,

    Such as are far too rare.

But yet I have had sorrows, too,

    Sent by my Father kind,

To make me think, and say and do

    All he in love designed.

And now I candidly declare,

    I would not if I could,

Have altered my sweet bill of fare,

    It has been all so good.

Our eight dear children growing up,

    My wife and I behold,

And quaff such pleasures from life’s cup

    As none can get from gold.

And whence does such pure pleasure come?

    I answer, from the Lord.

His presence cheers our humble home,

    And we can well afford

To praise and glorify His name,

    While we do here remain;

And be content to suffer shame,

    If but the Crown we gain.

[illustration]

[page 111]

TO ELIHU BURRITT.*

————

AFTER LISTENING TO HIS LECTURE ON “COMMERCE,”.

DEC. 26, 1857.

————

DEAR SIR:—

    Pray deem it not presumptious in me

        To give expression thus to what I felt

    Last night, while listening to the poetry

        In your discourse, as you on Commerce dwelt.

    I know not if you ever wrote a rhyme,

        Or framed your thoughts in a well measured line;

    But sure I am your language so sublime,

        Shows you possess a deep, poetic mine.

    I listened with attention most profound,

        As did the audience that before you sat,

    Feeling as if I was on holy ground;

        Which in my mind deep reverence begat.

    And O, when you led us in spirit back

        To Eden’s God-formed, most delightful bowers.

    Ere our great parents had endured the rack

        Of sin-struck consciences among her flowers,

    I almost fancied that I heard the birds

        Warbling melodiously the praise of God;

    While sinless man in soul-enraptured words,

        Responded as he pressed the flowery sod.


    * It affords me much pleasure to be able to say that after presenting these verses to Mr. Burritt he was kind enough to call on me at my house, and expressed himself pleased with them.


[unnumbered page]

    And when Sin came, as with hot furnace-breath,

        To blast the loveliness of all around,

    And our progenitors first tasted death

        With consciousness that they were naked found,

    You did portray the scene so vividly,

        Of their rude efforts at an uncouth dress,

    That tears of pity from strong sympathy

        Bedimmed my eyes to see their great distress.

    And when you showed how God with skillful hand

        Employed Himself to make them coats of skin,

    I saw mechanic skill take higher stand

        From this divine and early origin.

    And O, I thought this fact should ever lead

        Artificers to strive and manage well

    Their several crafts; and show by word and deed

        Their love to him who does in glory dwell.

    Then, as I watched the progress made by Art,

        And peaceful Commerce coming by degrees,

    I felt it was your mission to impart

        To this war-ravaged world such views as these.

    My gladsome soul did to such views respond,

        And utterance found before my God in prayer.

    Hence caught fresh glimpses of the time beyond

        The present age, which shall such glory share.

    Go on, great champion of the Good and True,

        Spread wide the messages of the dove-eyed Peace,

    And may God’s richest blessing flow to you

        Where’er you are, until your labors cease! [page 113]

TO A VIOLET.

————

FOUND BLOOMING IN MY GARDEN IN DECEMBER,

1859.

————

    Beauteous, variegated flower,

        That with courageous mien,

    Not heeding much stern Winter’s power,

        Hast let thy face be seen

At such a season, and amid such dearth

    Of vernal beauty, I would bid thee hail;

For charms like thine to me have wond’rous worth.

    When Summer’s comforts fail.

    I had not thought to see a gem

        Like thee, as fresh and fair

    As ever graced a diadem,

        Bloom in the open air

After such killing frost as we have had;

    And when grim Winter had his ice bolts hurled

With double vengeance, prematurely mad,

    As though to chill the world.

    Still thou art here in loveliness,

        But lacking Spring-time’s scent,

    And seeming in thy charming dress,

        With thy lone lot content.

The while that other plants are dead to sight,

    And waiting patiently for Spring’s approach,

When King Frost’s forces shall have ta’en their flight,

    Chased by Sol’s glorious torch.

    But now I bid a warm adieu,

        And place this in a book

    Where I can bring thee fresh to view.

        Whene’er I choose to look;

Regretting only that I tore away

    Thee from my garden bed, where thy sweet face

Lit up with smiles that nook, and made it gay,

    As by a sunbeam’s trace. [unnumbered page]

EMMA, THE TINKER’S DAUGHTER;

OR, THE BENEFITS OF SABBATH SCHOOL INSTRUCTION.

————

1854.

————

In a wretched, narrow street of an old English town,

A roving tinker lived; one who would often drown

Of Virtue every trace, by drinking much strong beer;

Oft mixing in a fight, a stranger to all fear.

Right before his door-step, mud did the gutter fill;

And once to cleanse it out he never had the will.

The windows of his house with patch-work were supplied,

And all within the door by coal-smoke well was dyed.

In such a place as this, we would not hope to find

One of the human race with pure and noble mind;

Yet one indeed there was, whom we shall Emma call—

Most beautiful her face, most lovely in her soul.

She was the only child of that sin-hardened man—

Her sainted mother died as her tenth year began;

The father brutal seemed to all the world around,

Yet never with his girl was he in anger found.

And much his kindness told upon her gentle heart;

It soothed her childish grief, and made her act her part.

The lessons she had learned before her mother died,

Were now of greatest use, for she was sorely tried.

And when her father went to stay a week away,

She read her Bible oft, and cared not much for play;

But, feeling ill at ease, with dirt within and out,

She whitewashed all the rooms; of this you need not doubt. [unnumbered page]

The gutter still remained, just in its former state;

That she could not mend, so left it to its fate.

But now she scrubbed the floors, and waited patiently,

Till came her father home, who smiled the change to see.

His feelings were roused up when he viewed the comforts round,

And wondered where the child could so much skill have found?

Then clasped her in his arms—felt now inclined to be

More worthy of his girl, and work right steadily.

About this time there came a Sabbath visitor,

Who had got youths to school, but wanted many more.

The tinker angry sat, nor asked the man within;

Said, “Emma read her Book, and did not live in sin.”

But she, quite conscience-struck, said, “Father, you’re not right,

We all great sinners are, in God’s most holy sight;

My Bible tells me this—I’m sure it speaks the truth;

Please let me go to school, while I am yet a youth!”

This unexpected thrust went to his parent-heart;

Yet still he did not like with his dear girl to part;

But bid the man sit down, and tell him what was taught

In these same Sabbath Schools, of which he had not thought.

This friend was nothing loath; he sought the good of souls—

Had tasted Jesus’ love, which selfishness controls;

So told how many folks, by best of motives led,

Gave their own pleasure up, and taught the young instead.

’Mongst these were often found some great in rank and wealth,

Who loved the cause so well, they did it not by stealth;

But honor counted it to teach in Sunday School,

And thus to square their lives by their dear Savior’s Rule.

The tinker was surprised to hear such news as this;

He thought that all fine folks were full of selfishness;

But, if it all was true, the girl at once might go—

Whatever good she got, she soon that good would show.

Then Emma threw her arms around his neck, and said,

“Dear father, for your love you shall be well repaid;

When I come home from school, I’ll tell you all I learn,

Then the good of Sabbath Schools you may soon discern.” [page 116]

She asked the man to tell where she would have to go;

Who said, “My little girl, ’tis there, in Union Row;

In that large, lofty house; the time is half-past two.”

This heard, forth Emma went, and made no more ado.

The father, when alone, sat long time lost in thought,

Then took the Bible up, and through its pages sought;

He wished to see himself if all they said was true;

But little progress made—such work to him was new.

Soon came his bright-eyed girl, with face like rose in June,

Who told of hymns they sung, and of each pretty tune;

What chapters there were read—the questions asked she told—

What prayers were offered up, both for the young and old.

She said her teacher was a lady very grand,

Who, when she first went in, most kindly took her hand,

And led her to a seat where she herself sat down,

Nor seemed afraid to crush her beautiful silk gown.

The tinker heard it all, and wondered in his mind

How gentlefolks could be so very good and kind;

And promised her she should next Sabbath go again,

But wished that she would now her former words explain.

His conscience told him oft that he was far from right,

That he had wicked been, in sinning against light;

Oh, was there then no hope that he should yet be saved?

This thought was hard to bear, and could not well be braved.

Then Emma meekly spoke, and told him all she knew;

And searched the Bible’s page, to prove her words were true.

This was an easy task, for there ’twas clearly seen

How men, because of sin, by God condemned had been.

He found this prove as gall, and felt so much distressed,

By day he could not work, at night obtained no rest.

Before the week was gone he, almost in despair,

Went forth into the woods, and wandered here and there.

When Sunday came at last, he hailed it with more joy

Than he had done before, and did its hours employ

In poring o’er that Book which had so roused his fears—

When Emma went to school his eyes were full of tears. [page 117]

So strongly on her mind was his sad state impressed,

She to her teacher flew, and thus herself expressed:

“O, Madam, please to tell what sinners great must do,

When they, because of sin, feel quite pierced through and through?

“My father, all the week, nor worked, nor ate, nor slept;

But seemed much like a man who was of sense bereft.

Oh, speak, dear lady, speak! for surely he will die

Unless he soon can learn which way he is to fly!”

With pity in her eyes, the lady kindly took

The humble, loving girl, whose frame with terror shook,

And placed her in a seat, and whispered in her ear

That Jesus came to save poor sinners filled with fear.

She told her how He was both God and Man in one—

The Lord of Heaven and Earth, yet God’s beloved Son;

That He for sinners died, just out of purest love,

And on the third day rose, and went again above;

But sent His Spirit down to work upon our hearts,

Through His blest Word of Truth, sent to our inward parts;

And says in that same word—the Bible you have read—

That all who do believe are saved, because he bled!

She further kindly said, “Wait now till school is done,

And I will go with you—so much my love you’ve won.”

Then Emma dried her tears, and with a pleasant face,

Amongst the other girls she quickly took her place.

Again, from portions read, the teachers questions ask;

They strove to work from love, and felt it was no task;

Once more sweet hymns were sung which suited Emma’s case,

And prayer from all arose up to the Throne of Grace.

The truth that Emma heard went home into her soul,

And joyful feelings rose which she could scarce control.

The pleasant service o’er, the teacher with her went

Into that filthy street, nor thought her time misspent.

They entered soon the house; the wretched man was found

Nigh overwhelmed with grief, and waiting for the sound

Of news, which, as he thought, his darling girl would bring;

But at this proof of love his tears afresh did spring. [page 118]

He truly felt ashamed that one like she should come,

To try to do him good, in his most wretched home;

The lady told him soon what she might do for such

Was done for Jesus’ sake, which did his feelings touch.

She then sat meekly down, and in a heavenly frame,

Told him how Jesus Christ a Sacrifice became;

How sinners of all ranks, by Faith, might be forgiven—

Be saved from sin and hell, and go, at last, to Heaven!

The Lord her labors blessed—they both believed the Word—

And thus it did appear the prayer of Faith was heard.

For such a state of things had Emma’s mother prayed,

And she had her request, though for a time delayed.

The tinker, now reclaimed by God’s almighty power,

His business still pursued, nor lost a single hour;

On Sabbath went to Church, with his neat, pretty maid,

And in temptations strong received the Savior’s aid.

Then, feeling that the place where they were living now,

Was not the place at all for Faith and Love to grow,

He took a small, neat house, just outside of the town,

And, for a proper life, gained from the good, renown.

In time dear Emma came to be a teacher, too,

And God did her employ much lasting good to do.

Her father, in due time, was taken to his rest,

And she, with loving man, as a wife was truly blest.

I might prolong my tale, but quite enough is told,

To show that Christian Love is better far than gold:

That those who wish to be most happy here below,

Must strive with all their might the Savior well to know. [page 119]

TO MY FATHER,

———

SUPPOSED TO BE DYING—SEPTEMBER, 1841.

———

My dear, afflicted parent! Ere thine eyes

    Are closed in death, accept this tribute due

From one who is allied by Nature’s ties,

    And ties which firmer bind both me and you.

My strain is humble, and my muse is rude,

    Yet you my lay will now be pleased to hear.

Deem it not vain in me thus to intrude

    My unlearned warblings on your dying ear.

’Tis not a thirst for fame that bids me wake

    My youthful harp, and strike its solemn chords;

But ’tis the strong desire, for your dear sake,

    I feel to treasure up your dying words.

Then come, my Muse; O, condescend to aid

    My feeble efforts, while I touch this theme;

Ev’n thou who hoverest now o’er COWPER’S shade—

    Thou Source of Truth! and, with enlightening beam,

Remove the film that does becloud the eye

    Of my dark understanding while I sing;

O, guide my trembling fingers, for I’ll try

    To tune my harp, and touch its every string.

Say now, what that sound which caught my ear,

    While I sat mute upon my father’s bed?

A sound so sweet it did my spirit cheer,

    And made me muse, by contemplation led.

It was the triumph of that holy man—

    His deathbed song, in view of yonder heaven!

And as he spoke—till then his face was wan—

    A brightened countenance was to him given. [unnumbered page]

“I have a glorious prospect now in sight!”

    He said, then raised his voice—“’Tis through the blood

Of Jesus Christ; it fills me with delight,

    And makes me long to cross dark Jordan’s flood!”

But then, as if his words might be construed

    To be impatient, he serenely said,

“Let not my language now be wrongly viewed;

     I wait God’s will—on Him my soul is stayed.”

He still continued, “Though my suffering’s great,

    My strength has been quite equal to my day;

God’s love to me indeed is very great,

    Nor will I murmur though He still delay.

“I reckon all the sufferings of this time

    As nothing, when compared with heavenly things!”

He ceased, and left me this to pen in rhyme,

    And ponder o’er, when he in Glory sings.

I stood; my eyes were fixed upon that face

    Which oft had worn a smile for me, his son;

In retrospect, I then began to trace

    The many acts of kindness he had done.

Well I remember—though he was but poor—

    How ardently he wished to have me taught

At least to read and write, if nothing more;

    My interest to advance was what he sought.

And, aided by a frugal partner’s care,

    He furnished was with means to gain his end;

Most careful still, they always had to spare

To purchase books which might assistance lend.

Great pleasure then they took to hear me read

    The Bible’s sacred page; though I, averse

To what was good, would rather have been freed;

    And they were grieved to have me to coerce.

I then knew not the value of that Book

    Which, since that time, I have so precious found;

And my perverse young temper would not brook

    Restraint, though it did much their feelings wound. [page 121]

They persevered in pointing out to me

    The dangerous path that I was treading in;

At last, it pleased the Lord to let me see

    How dreadful was the nature of my sin.

What joy then filled thy bosom, father dear!

    Thou, too, my mother, didst express delight,

That I was brought to lend a listening ear

    To Jesus’ voice, and with his soldiers fight.

But ere that time, what pleasure it did give

    To hear the warblings of my youthful Muse;

It made you wish that you might only live

    To see the day when I would not refuse

To sing of Love omnipotent, Divine!

    Such love as Jesus bore to wretched man!

And, aided by the truth which clear doth shine,

    Shout forth aloud Redemption’s finished plan.

For seven long years we have united been

    Within a Church, in fellowship and love;

And in that time how often have we seen

    Afflictions sent, dire evils to remove.

Let all now left, in gratitude to God—

    In meek submission to His sacred will—

Both praise and bless His name! then kiss the rod:

    This will our souls with consolation fill! [page 122]

ODE TO PEACE.

———

Come, dove-eyed peace—offspring of heaven, descend;

Thy calm, sweet influence do thou me lend;

Dispel the gloom that broods upon my mind;

Bid melancholy flee; make me resigned

To bear with patience and submission due

The will of God; and still my mind imbue

With reverential awe and just regard

For all his ways, as taught in his blest word.

Yes, thou sweet Peace, whom, when the Savior great

Had nearly closed sojourn in earthly state,

He gave as his last legacy to those

His dearest friends, who from mankind he chose,

In those dear words, “Peace now I leave with you,

My peace I give; you soon shall prove it true.

Not as the world its boasted treasure gives,

’Tis of my grace to each one who believes.

Let not your hearts be troubled, then, nor fear,

The Comforter—the Holy Ghost—is near.

And, when I shall to yonder heaven ascend,

Him, with His vast, rich blessings, I will send.”

Not only these this gracious boon enjoyed,

But Saints before that time, pure, unalloyed,

And blissful peace within their breasts possessed,

Both in dread dangers and when much oppressed.

Adam, our great progenitor, received

With Eve, his wife, this gift, which much relieved

Their guilty minds. It was the promise great

Made to them while in their most abject state,

“That their illustrious Seed should bruise the head

Of the Arch Tempter, in their room and stead,”

Which wrought the change produced in their sad minds,

And soon bid flee that slavish fear which blinds

The eyes of mortals; gave them soon to see,

“Though the offense was great the gift was free,”

And would extend unto their progeny.

O blissful change! from dark foreboding fear,

A wounded conscience, and Hell’s prospects drear,

To joy unspeakable and purest peace,

Which once received were never more to cease. [unnumbered page]

A prophet said—the prophet was a man

Who did enjoy that peace which only can

Flow from one source—God’s own redemption plan—

“Mark well the perfect man; behold the upright,

Whose death so precious is in Jesus’ sight;

His end is peace.” He goes down to the shade

Of death’s dark valley, and is not afraid

To come within the precincts of the grave,

Well knowing Christ is ever near to save.

Deluded Balaam also sweetly sung,

In words of solemn grandeur, bold and strong,

The happiness which Israel through his tribes

Enjoyed beneath God’s care. Not Balak’s bribes

Nor vain enchantments, with their altars reared,

Nor bleeding victims sacrificed, appeared

To move their God from blessing them to curse

His chosen people, oft to God averse.

Well Balaam knew that if he were to die

“Their God was not a man that he should lie.”

He hated Truth, but was constrained to sing

Of their blest state beneath God’s fostering wing.

And when he sang the latter end of such

His harp gave tones as though from Seraph’s touch.

He sang aloud their bliss, nor did he cease

Till all the hills re-echoed sweetly “Peace.”

Nor could refrain from envy when he viewed

Jehovah’s covenant of Peace renewed;

But breaking forth in rapture loud did cry

“O let me die the death the Righteous die!

Let my last end be only like to his

Whom God dost bless with thee, delightful Peace!”

Even I, who write this simple Ode to thee,

Have felt thy thrice-bless’d influence on me;

And feeling fresh the vigor thou dost give,

Would gladly trace thy merits while I live;

Would fain enumerate the mighty host

Of those who’ve had pure peace of mind to boast;

But ah, how great the sum! even time would fail

Or if to gain its aid I could prevail,

My powers of mind would fail to set them forth

As they appear in Scripture; yet ’tis worth

The little time which I can freely spare

To choose a few from many that are there.

The pleasure it affords would well repay

The labor needed, if I spent the day. [page 124]

Behold that holy man who, strong in faith,

Lends an obedient ear to what God saith.

See, when the Lord his strength of faith would test,

How quickly he obeys the high behest.

The task indeed was great, but he, possessed

Of peace of mind, was always quite at rest.

Yes, though his Isaac dear was doomed to die,

No murmuring escaped his lips, and why?

He knew that God had promised him to bless

With numerous progeny, and nothing less.

He felt assured that from this very seed—

His darling son—ere long was to proceed

So vast a host that if the stars but could

By man be numbered, then his offspring would.

And forth from them was Christ the Lord to come,

The Refuge of his Saints, to lead them home.

And Abraham knowing this ne’er sought release

From God’s sweet service, and his end was peace.

Now mark his son. He in the shining track

His father trode, sincerely walked; no lack

Had he of the great blessing which from thee

Flow in such rich profusion, but did see

By eye of Inspiration what God said

Was soon to be fulfilled. Then he was laid

Beside his father, and his end was peace.

Jacob, his youngest son, Supplanter named,

Parent of Patriarchs so greatly famed,

Found too that peace of mind was always sweet

When he sojourned with Laban in retreat.

What was it, I would ask, which made him bear

The heat by day and midnight’s frosty air?

The loss of cattle stolen from his hands?

Such churlish conduct, and such harsh commands?

With loss of sleep, and wages changed ten times,

And twenty rigorous years in wasting climes?

What was it then, I ask, but peace of mind

Arising from the thought that God was kind

And ever faithful, and would soon fulfill

His promise made, to be his Guardian still!

He had sore trials, yet with great avail

He wrestled with his God and did prevail.

Joseph, his son, beloved above the rest,

Felt soothing peace within his youthful breast. [page 125]

His is an history that as a child

I loved to ponder, and to mark how mild

And affable his conduct, yet how great

The bitterest envy joined, with fiercest hate,

The brethren bare toward the godly youth

Who trode the path of rectitude and truth,

That they in spite of his prophetic dreams,

Disposed of him, and, as they thought, the themes

His soul dwelt much upon, by banishment.

Straitway to distant Egypt he was sent,

While they, with strange feigned tale, now homeward came,

And vainly thought to clear themselves from blame

By falsehood foul and black hypocrisy

Before their unsuspecting father. He

Their lies believed and mourned his much-loved son

In tears of anguish, whom he though undone.

Meanwhile the youth, directed by his God,

In journey with the Ishmaelites did plod

His weary way to Egypt. He arrived

Possessed of peace of mind, nor could be bribed

To part with this, his only treasure left

Save sweet reflection, when he was bereft

By his hard brethren of the sweets of home,

And banished forth a wanderer to roam.

Say now, O Muse, what was the cause why he

Enjoyed a state of mind completely free

From all the sad effects which freely flow

In tasting long accumulated woe?

’Twas having peace, that best of all reward

To those—and none beside—who Truth regard.

And long as Joseph did in Egypt live,

The record of his life this truth did give.

Behold him when in his first master’s house,

Who placed beneath his care all but his spouse;

How nobly he withstood temptation great,

How suitable his conduct to his state.

Behold him when his mistress tried so hard

To tempt him into sin. Did he regard

Her strong entreaties or her flowing tears?

Those fell like emptiness upon his ears,

And these but more impressed his tender mind

With wish to better serve his master kind.

He gave this answer: “Oh, how can I do

This wickedness so great and sin with you

Against that God who hath my feet preserved [page 126]

In holy paths from which I never swerved?”

But oh, what poor return did he receive!

A dungeon followed next, nor did he grieve,

But cheerfully endured the heavy cross,

And found his gain were others saw but loss.

And he who was his trust did not forsake

His much loved child when Truth seemed all at stake,

But brought him trough these trials manifold,

And still preserved that peace of mind which gold

Could ne’er have purchased, and much less secured;

But having which, he patiently endured.

Now mark the steps by which he did ascend

To that high pitch of honor, when did bend

The knees of Egypt’s sons at King’s command

As he went forth in state to view the land.

It was not flatt’ry, nor vain compromise

With Egypt’s many gods no, he was wise

With wisdom from above, and well he knew

That the predictions he had given were true,

And that ere long both heaven and earth would see

His youthful dreams fulfilled were sure to be.

Even so they were. His brethren did bow down

Their faces to the earth ’fore him unknown,

When they were sent by Jacob to obtain

For him and his the necessary grain.

It was a time of famine, and the dearth

Had then extended over all the earth.

But Joseph was raised up by gracious heaven,

And unto him for this was wisdom given.

Now when his feelings he could not restrain,

He formed a scheme by which he might detain

The brethren, who a second time had come

To purchase food for those they left at home.

The scheme was tried and it succeeded well;

But O, how Joseph burned to break the spell

Which hitherto had bound them! He made known

That he was Joseph to whom they had shown

Such cruel usage, but their deed forgave,

And told how God had raised him up to save

Them with their offspring and great Pharaoh’s land.

The news now reached the King, who gave command,

“Joseph, let all thy relatives appear

Before my face; they nothing have to fear.

Lade all their beasts and bid them haste away;

Take wagons from my hand, make no delay. [page 127]

Inform your father and let him come down;

The best of my dominions is his own.

Bring all your progeny, nor once regard

Your household goods, if they your speed retard.”

I’ll now take leave of all that passed between,

And come at once to that affecting scene—

The meeting of the father with the son.

Poor Jacob saw what glory he had won

By perseverance in the “narrow path,”

And having seen it, wished to meet his death.

Mark now the truth of what I wish to sing.

This interview to Jacob peace did bring.

He said: “In bitterness I will descend

Into my grave and meet my latter end.”

But God in mercy and rich love decreed

That he should see both Joseph and his seed.

Ere long the time arrived when Jacob’s age

Gave proof he too must soon leave this world’s stage.

Therefore he gathered round him, near his bed,

His twelve dear children, unto whom he said,

“List now, ye sons of Jacob, hearken well

To Israel your father. I foretell

What shall befall you in your latter days.

O then, my sons, take heed unto your ways.”

He ended not till all received the share

Which God allotted them, when with due care

The Prophet drew his feet into the bed,

And in sweet Peace his spirit softly fled.

Now, when the last sad rites had been performed

O’er Israel’s corse, the brethren, now reformed

By God’s just dealings, soon began to fear

That Joseph would their enemy appear;

So sent a message, fell before his face,

Confessed their sin, and wished he would erase

Out from his mind remembrance of their deed.

He gave soft answers, hence they all were freed

From ills expected, and were now agreed.

A few short years saw each of them removed

By peaceful death, and so my point is proved. [page 128]

STANZAS.

———

SUGGESTED BY A FUNERAL, ON SEEING ONE PASS WITH MANY ATTENDANTS,

    WHEN JUST RECOVERING FROM A LONG SICKNESS, 1841.

———

For me there’ll be no great display,

    No turning out of people,

When I do quit my house of clay,

    Nor tolling from the steeple

Of yon tower with its tin capped dome,

    Whose bell the time is telling,

When some lone wanderer reaches home—

    His narrow churchyard dwelling.

Nor yet will pompous equipage,

    Or such like things sublun’ral,

Nor music sweet with charms engage

    Those who attend my funeral.

Nor will I care if but my death

    Take place while friends are tending;

And I can see with an eye of faith

    My blessed Saviour bending

Down upon me a gracious eye,

    And bid my spirit enter

Into her rest. O, then I’d fly

    And cleave to Him—the Center

Of those sweet joys which do abound

    In yon bright world of Glory,

Where I shall hear the blissful sound

    Of that delightful Story. [unnumbered page]

How Jesus did our cause engage,

    When he left Heaven’s portal,

And stooped to conquer hellish rage,

    In weakness like a mortal.

How he fulfilled in its demands

    The Law that we had broken;

How God exacted at his hands

    The strongest, clearest token

Of matchless Love, so that He gave

    His life’s blood for transgression,

And left the confines of the grave

    In glorious Resurrection.

[illustration]

[page 130]

ACROSTICS.

———

I.—TO MR. J. P——N, IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI, 1841.

———

The dolorous cry from far was heard

How groaned poor Afric’s sable sons.

Our hearts with pity moved, we feared

Much evil by the monster done.

Ask ye his name? ’Tis slavery dire,

So big with crime, so red with gore.

Could Christians feel his dreadful ire

Oh how they’d wish he was no more.

Would they not send to Heaven this prayer?

Hear thou on high, O God of love;

Ere time be long thine arm make bare.

Rend him with judgment from above;

Down from his seat hurl him to dwell

Built round with walls of fire in hell.

Raise thy strong arm and fix him deep.

Add this: in anguish make him weep.

Now hell, make room in thy domains,

This dreadful foe will soon no more

Firm bind poor slaves in galling chains,

Or lash their backs till flows their gore.

Remorseless still, he cares not for their fate,

Doom speedy, therefore, should on him await. [unnumbered page]

II. TO MY ELDEST SON, IN SEVERE SICKNESS.

Thou sweetest, loveliest babe—my first born son;

How great has been thy sufferings from disease!

Oh, my poor soul doth, ever and anon,

Make prayer to God, that he would give thee ease.

Ah, dearest babe! from this thy case, I read

Sad, yet true lessons of imputed sin.

Can we conceive that thou indeed art freed—

O, thought most strange—from guilt by man brought in?

Would we but read, mark, learn, and still digest

His word, who gave at first to man his being,

Error would vanish, and His will expressed,

Respecting this, we could not fail from seeing.

Doubt would remove, and so would Mammon, too;

Justice would still be seen most clearly such;

Unquestionable, this fact would stand to view,

No one is free from Sin’s defiling touch!

I see thy pale, emaciated face,

Once decked with bloom of health’s most ruddy glow!

Regard for man would lead me still to trace—

Bent on the truth— whence all these evils flow.

Rich in possession of the Book Divine,

All I desire is that the Lord would give

Needful instruction, while I scan the line—

The line of truth, on which my soul must live.

For there I read—though Death hath ever reigned

O’er every one of Adam’s sinful race—

Righteousness of Christ, by Faith unfeigned,

Delivers from its sting: all of free Grace!

Cease then, my soul, to murmur or complain,

And place thy trust upon the God of Love.

Now look to him who rose from th’ grave again,

And reascended to the realms above.

Dread not the stroke, though great may be the pain,

And hard to bear, for it will work thy gain! [page 132]

III.—A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN DENT.

[Who lost his life by an accident in raising a barn.]

————

1843.

————

A task so painful, yet so justly due

To thee, my dear, my much respected Brother,

Rightly devolves on me whose heart beats true

In Zion’s cause; yet, would it were another!

But as it is, my Muse, though rude, shall sing—

Used as she is to such a mournful strain—

That I may cause true sympathy to spring

Ere long, for those who feel for thee most pain.

’Tis scarce a week since thou, in manhood’s prime,

Of things quite dear to both hadst spoke with me!

’Tis now my lot to tell, in mournful rhyme,

How short a space there was ’twixt Death and thee.

Ere thou wert well aware the fatal dart

Met thee amongst thy fellows, shot by Death;

Ev’n now I feel that dread from friends to part

Methinks thou felt, though thou wast strong in faith.

O, that I could but paint in language strong,

Regarding truth, thy sufferings so severe;

Yes, then I’d sing, in pure and holy song,

Of Him whose presence cheered thee much while here.

“Fear not,” saith God, to all his people dear;

Just then thy heart responded, “Fear ye not!”

O, what a precious truth our hearts to cheer!

How sure to reconcile us to our lot.

Now is the time to glorify our God,

Depending on His gracious arm to keep

Each footstep treading in the narrow road.

Nor let us murmur, though constrained to weep

The while o’er those who now in Jesus sleep. [page 133]

IMPROMPTU.

———

TO MY FRIEND, J. W——T.

———

When troubles arise, my friend, lift thine eyes

    To that Being who died on the cross!

Rest assured of this: the Mansions of Bliss

    Ne’er were reached without some seeming loss! [unnumbered page]

AN ADDRESS TO BRANTFORD.

————

1853.

————

Hail, truly pleasant, fast increasing Town!

Thee I address, in rude but earnest strains.

My own adopted place! Some sixteen years

Have rolled fast o’er my head since first my eyes

Got sight of thee, from off yon Eastern hill.

How welcome was the sight! O, how cheering,

Grand and beautiful, to a mind like mine!

I oft had heard of thee before I came—

Had heard the name thy beauteous river bears;

As oft had wondered if I e’er should live

To cross the broad Atlantic’s deep blue waves,

And reach the shores of that vast Continent,

Whose many wonders, in my boyish days,

I tried to sing, and still longed much to see.

As often tried to picture, in my mind,

The appearance thou presentedst to the view;

I fancied thee much less than what thou wert—

Consisting of a few small, straggling huts,

Both rude in shape, and ruder far in things

Which make home, what it always ought to be,

The dearest place that men possess on earth!

I next would paint thy river deep and broad

As great “Saint Lawrence,” or the giant streams

That everywhere abound throughout this land!

In this I was deceived; its name misled

My roving fancy; for I surely thought

It must be great, indeed, beyond compare,

In such a country to receive such name.*

This great mistake corrected; I have found

Some wonders rare, though of a different kind;

And often have I wandered on the banks

Of thee, sweet River! Where maple, elm or oak

Have spread their boughs and verdant foliage,

And have felt the cool, refreshing breezes

Which blew from off thy stream in Summer’s heat.

There I would indulge, awhile, my fancy;

Give her the reins, and let her soar aloft

Into the vast infinitude of space,

Or try to tie her down to earthly things;


    *The “Grand River.”


[unnumbered page]

Make her portray what now the prospects were,

That this fair Town had placed before her view.

Would she soon rise to eminent estate?

Or would she struggle vainly, for a while,

To reach to greatness, and so just remain—

A monument of ruin and decay?

As I have stood upon the pleasant hills

By which thou art encircled, I have cast

My eye from East to West, from North to South,

And often marked the vast extent of ground

Which thou may’st fill; laid out by God’s own hand

To be a glorious city—and that soon!

Then “put thy shoulder to the wheel!” Arise,

In all thy might, and let thy hardy sons

Put forth united efforts in the work.

Deepen thy Canal; let thy Railroads make

Both quick and certain progress; and neglect

No proper means to push the town ahead!

But, while thou strivest thus in temporal things,

Oh, forget not things of greater moment!

Strive to purge away all that’s offensive

To true Virtue. Let the groggeries cease

To deal out liquid fire to kill thy sons!

Strengthen the hands of those who would maintain

Good wholesome laws. Give adequate support

To those who minister in holy things,

That they, unfettered, may aloud proclaim

Christ’s great Salvation to a ruined World!

Let all true Christians in thy midst unite,

In holy efforts and God’s strength, to stem

The torrent great of foul Iniquity.

Yes, fellow Christians, let our lives be such

As may commend the Truth which we believe,

Unto the consciences of all around.

Let those of us, especially, who claim

A parent’s honored name, now boldly stand,

And show in bonds conjugal, faithfulness;

Still manifesting love and tenderness

Unto our partners; always aim to make

Our homes the scenes of happiness and peace!

Then will our children rise and call us blessed;

And generations yet unborn will tell—

That Brantford was determined to be great

In every thing which is both wise and good! [page 136]

STANZAS.

———

WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER SEEING THE “HURON” LOCOMOTIVE, FOR THE

    FIRST TIME, AT CAINSVILLE, JANUARY 6, 1854.*

———

The Iron Horse has reached at last Cayuga’s heights so near;

Look out, ye men of Brantford, now, for soon he will be here!

He brings with him a weighty load, his way before him feels,

As slowly o’er the new-laid track he moves his ponderous wheels.

Mechanics, use your utmost skill, and ply each brawny arm,

Let sight of yon huge iron steed your very heart’s-blood warm;

Nor let cold Winter’s raging storms your progress now retard,

But quickly get the bridges built; nor doubt a rich reward.

Be steady, men! the hammers lift, send home the sturdy nails;

Make every fixture quite secure, and solid lay the rails;

’Tis done right well! and now, again, the Monster moves along,

But cautiously, for fear the work should not prove very strong.

He does resemble very much the mighty Elephant,

That let our new-made wooden bridge his courage sadly daunt;

Who, when he came to cross the stream which flows right through our town,

Did fancy his great clumsy foot would break the fabric down.

So slowly moves this horse along, but soon his speed he’ll quicken—

Nor care a straw though Winter’s snow right in his track may thicken;

For when the works are finished well, he’ll seem to snuff the breeze,

And fly at such a rapid rate as may his masters please.


    *This piece was the second that was printed in a Brantford paper. I would here take the opportunity to say that Henry Lemmon, Esq., of the Courier, though differing from me in politics, was exceedingly courteous in giving my rhymes free admission into his journal. The same testimony I also willingly bear to the late Herald, and the Expositor, still flourishing.


[unnumbered page]

Look out, ye men of Brantford, now! See, he has reached your doors;

He heaves and pants, he snorts and looks to sweat through all his pores;

And yet he stands in harness trim, nor cares a fig for rest,

But is quite ready still to move, and waits but your behest.

And now, above his whistle shrill, is heard a deafening noise—

The people all, in loud hurrahs, give vent to heartfelt joys;

The cannon roars, while all around is vigorous effort made

To make this Celebration throw all others in the shade!

Processions form, the banners wave; now mark those hardy Bands—

The Fire Brigade—who well deserve much honor at our hands;

For they in war-like deeds excel, yet not in bloody fight—

They battle with destroying fire, by day as well as night!

These form, with others in their rear, a very numerous host;

The Marshal gives command, and now each company takes its post;

The drums are beat, sweet music fills the ear with much delight,

And splendid Fireworks are prepared to grace the coming night.

O, ye who have the management of this most glorious fete,

My Muse would your attention crave, and earnestly entreat,

That you would not forget the poor, but give to them a share

Of all your choicest eatables, as much as you can spare.

And let them have a good supply of tea and coffee, too;

They well deserve as rich a treat as either I or you;

For do they not, with constant toil, such works as this complete?

Then welcome them unto the board, and bid them freely eat.

Now I will close my hasty rhyme, with earnest wish expressed,

That all our town would well behave to each and every guest;

Let all our conduct on that day be orderly and quiet,

And none lay out a single cent in drunkenness and riot. [page 138]

THE YOUNG MOTHER’S VISION.

———

1854.

———

I saw a fair young mother sitting,

    With a babe upon her knee;

Fast through her mind sweet thoughts were flitting—

    So it did appear to me.

Her eyes with fondest smiles were beaming

    On that infant’s lovely face;

She seemed upon the future dreaming,

    And I tried her dream to trace.

While her face with love was glowing,

    As her babe looked up and smiled;

Thus I sketched her numbers flowing

    Freely forth unto her child:

“Charming boy, in beauty vieing

    With the fairest rose I see;

This I need not be denying,

    That thou dearer art to me.

“Whilst thou slept, I fell to musing

    On thy present happy lot;

And thy future for thee choosing,

    Soon all other thoughts forgot.

“Thus I chose at first to paint thee—

    Growing up toward thy teens;

No corruption near to taint thee

    Passing through the boyish scenes. [unnumbered page]

“Then I traced out all the labor

    Which I would bestow on thee,

That thou mightest grow in favor

    With the Lord, as well as me.

“Next I viewed thy mind expanding,

    With the best of knowledge stored:

Light divine, and understanding

    Gained from God’s most holy Word.

“Years flew by; thou wert approaching

    Very near to man’s estate,

And, to those around, wert broaching

    Thy deep thoughts, with soul elate!

“Again I saw thee; thou wert coming

    To the heights of world-wind fame;

My fears arose, I saw ills looming,

    And bid thee guard thy spotless name.

“I looked again, and found thee wooing

    Damsel modest, rich and fair;

And wicked men sought thy undoing,

    Ere thou wert the least aware.

“But, thanks to God! He did preserve thee—

    Gave thee, too, a lovely wife;

For duty this afresh did nerve thee,

    Struggling with the ills of life.

“Again the vision passed before me,

    But some years had fled away;

Thou hadst been sick, the Lord restored thee—

    Children were around at play.

“I saw thy wife and thee were growing

    In sweetest chaste conjugal love;

To things of God attention showing,

    Fitting you for bliss above.

“The curtain drops: thy smiles recall me

    To discharge my duties right;

Rich mercies I enjoy console me

    For the loss of Vision bright.” [page 140]

STANZAS.

———

TO THE AUTHOR OF “LITTLE RAGGED NED, AN ORPHAN.”

———

1854.

———

Friend, I’ve read thy touching verses

    Poured from gentle, loving heart,

Glad that sense of thy own mercies

    Gives thee zeal to act thy part

In bringing sweet, poetic art

    To bear upon the orphan’s case,

    And show as by a sunbeam’s trace

How such as he are made to smart.

Would I had thy skill in writing;

    I would give thee tribute meet,

Showing those too fond of slighting

    Th’ orphan’s cause, that it is sweet,

Pure modest worth with love to greet,

    Though that worth may not appear

    In form bedecked in gorgeous gear,

But one in tattered garb complete.

Well indeed hast thou depicted

    What the ragged boy endured;

How his soul with grief afflicted

    Could alone by One be cured.

O, would that such could be allured

    At once to fly to Jesus’ arms—

    To prove how great are all his charms;

And thus have peace of mind ensured. [unnumbered page]

Poor dear ragged orphan, weep not;

    There is one thy Friend above.

Know then that this Friend will sleep not

    But watch over thee in love.

He will thy foes in wrath reprove.

    For this he strongly pledged his word,

    Which should true comfort thee afford

Till death all thy sad woes remove.

Did thy mother die confiding

    In the Saviour’s precious blood?

’Neath that covert be thou hiding,

    If thy soul would seek its good.

Yes, dearest child, have faith in God,

    Then the rich blessing he can give

    Will all be thine while thou dost live;

As from the Word is understood.

I would join this friend and others,

    Who have hearts and feelings right,

To acknowledge for our brothers

    Such as thou; though foulest spite

May be displayed in earnest quite,

    By those who are so fond of self

    That they cant spare a little pelf

To make your saddened faces bright. [page 142]

I SAW A YOUTHFUL MOTHER LIE.

———

I saw a youthful mother lie

    Upon the bed of death.

No bitter tears bedimmed her eye

Though parents, spouse, and friends were nigh,

    Expecting her last breath.

And when a little daughter came

    To see her mother dear,

She did not call her child by name,

But, quite composed, appeared the same

    As if she were not near.

I asked myself what made her act

    In this way to her kin?

Was her poor frame with torture racked,

Or was it consciousness she lacked,

    Or dreadful fears within?

I well divine ’twas none of these

    Concerned this mother’s mind.

’Tis true her cough gave her no ease,

That she was sinking from disease,

    And was to all resigned.

O, was it the dear Saviour’s call

    That she was listening to?

It was, and rapture filled her soul,

Feeling content to leave them all,

    With heaven in her view.

And then, by some strong impulse led,

    She wished us next to sing.

We sang the praise of him who bled

On Calvary in the sinner’s stead,

    That he to us might bring [unnumbered page]

Salvation from both sin and hell,

    A song she much admired,

And one on which she loved to dwell;

One suited to her case so well

    That it true joy inspired.

And oh, methought were she but strong,

    She would have raised her voice

To join us in that pleasing song,

And let it waft her soul along

    To Him who was her choice.

Yet doubtless then her spirit sung,

    Yea joined us too in prayer;

And now her golden harp is strung

Which will ne’er be “on willows hung,”

    In weakness or despair.

[illustration]

[page 144]

FAMILY PIECES.

———

TO MY BELOVED WIFE,

DURING AFFLICTION, 1842.

———

Ann, we have lived in peace for three long years.

    Much pleasure we have had, some crosses too;

Enough to show that in this Vale of Tears

    Affliction’s needed still to bring us through.

Why should it not be so? Our God is good;

    He’s also wise, and better far doth know

What’s best for us, and if we understood

    Our interest well we should confess it so.

A man both wise and good did once aver—

    “At th’ hands of God we have received good;

And shall not we, who are so prone to err,

    Receive our evil too, as best we should?”

My dearest Ann, let not your spirits down,

    But with me kiss the rod that God hath sent.

His promise is that he will not disown

    Those dear to him, though by sore troubles bent.

O, that the sacred influence of truth

    Which we profess may ever dwell within;

That we may bear the yoke in our youth,

    And always flee the devious paths of sin.

O, that the Holy Book which does contain

    The greatest charter our kind God can grant,

May prove to be like precious heavenly rain

    To nourish, strengthen, and keep us from want. [unnumbered page]

Then, hand in hand in unity and love,

    In holiness we’ll walk before our God,

And have affections fixed on things above,

    Our feet with “gospel preparation shod.”

And thus may we hold on Life’s journey through;

    Nor e’er forsake pure Wisdom’s sacred path.

Still as we journey always keep in view

    Those glorious things “the righteous nation” hath.

In sure and certain prospect, far beyond

    In point of worth this world and all its toys,

Treasure in heaven, beside the blissful sound

    Of Jesus’ voice, with sweetest heavenly joys.

And may our children all likewise receive

    The richest dews of heavenly blessing now.

O, may the Lord make each of them believe

    The gospel pure, and to its teachings bow.

And then indeed should we be called to part

    While in this world, we all shall meet above,

Where we with every power and all our heart

    Will praise the Saviour’s name and sing his love.

O, blest, blest thought! through vast Eternity

    In purest bliss and holiness to dwell.

There our glad eyes shall Jesus ever see,

    And hear the Saints his greatest wonders tell.

———

TO MY DAUGHTER MARY ANN, ASLEEP.

———

1842.

———

Sweetly asleep is Mary Ann,

    In calmest infantile repose.

Her lovely face no longer wan,

    Seems lovelier still when in a doze.

Sleep on, my babe, I’ll not disturb,

    Thy silent rest I love to view;

For now thou needest not the curb

    I use in trying to subdue [page 146]

Thy peevish temper, which, I ween

    Needs constant care from me, thy sire,

While through thy childish ways are seen

    Thy passions strong in wildest fire.

Sleep on, my child, some future day

    May see thee walking in God’s ways.

For this great blessing will I pray

    Still guided by the Truth’s clear rays.

Sleep on, my little girl, till morn,

    And when awake pursue thy play;

Yet, when grown up, may’st thou adorn

    The sphere in which thou mov’st by day.

Sleep on, my daughter, sleep in peace.

    Thou has been toiling through the day.

Thy little tongue doth seldom cease

    From talking much in thy own way.

Sleep on, sweet prattler, and may bright

    Angelic Spirits guard thee round,

Till Sol with his resplendent light

    Doth break thy slumbers quite profound.

Yes, sleep, my child, through every night,

    As fast revolving years proceed.

By day enjoy the heavenly light,

    Of which we in the Bible read.

But oh, sleep not when duties bid

    My girl awake to run the race

Which Christians run, when thorns amid

    May make her see her need of Grace.

And oh, sleep not in ways of sin,

    For dangers lurk with serpent wiles;

And false security within,

    Each unsuspecting mind beguiles.

And when the solemn time arrives

    For thee to sleep in death at peace,

And thy pure spirit strongly strives

    To gain her longed-for wished release,

O, may she mount to yon abode

    Where God’s blest Saints and Angels dwell;

And there rejoice in him who trode

    The path to death to save from hell. [page 147]

TO ELLEN AND WILLIE.

———

Ellen, my prattler dear,

    Wille, my darling boy,

My children need not fear,

    They shall my gift employ.

To you, by great neglect,

    I have no rhyme addressed.

This you would scarce expect,

    So much you’ve been caressed.

For it I now will try

    To make amends quite ample,

And trust the time is nigh

    When you can read this sample.

Ellen, I think I see

    That thou resemblest mother;

Thou’rt not so much like me

    As Willie, thy young brother.

One thing I wish you both,

    That you in your behaviour

Like her, may not be loath

    To follow Christ, the Saviour.

For never have I seen

    One of a lovelier spirit;

No mortals do, I ween,

    Such loveliness inherit.

She was of temper mild,

    Was often smiling sweetly,

In malice was a child,

    As a Christian walked discreetly.

To have this said of you

    Would give your father pleasure.

It would be worth, if true,

    To me a world of treasure.

So Ellen, prattler dear,

    Willie, my darling boy,

While father’s stay is here,

    O, fill his heart with joy. [page 148]

As soon as you can read,

    Peruse the Bible’s page,

And to your ways take heed

    As you advance in age.

Then to the Saviour fly,

    Who, only, you can save

From woes that never die,

    In death beyond the grave.

That we may meet at last

    In Heaven, that happy place,

When every storm is past,

    To view our Jesus’ face.

———

TO MR. AND MRS. C. BATTY.

———

1847.

———

    Parents-in-law, a Rhymer much in debt

        Deems it full time to try his debts to pay;

    And as some large arrears are standing yet,

        To give this mite I will no more delay.

    And if I cannot make a full discharge,

        Perhaps I may induce you to forbear,

    For though this portion is not very large,

        ’Tis quite as much as I can freely spare.

    Preliminaries settled, I proceed

        To seek the assistance of my humble Muse;

    Well knowing that she will in time of need

        Give forth such numbers as you’ll not refuse.

Impelled by gratitude for kindness shown,

I bless my God I now so long have known

That sweet connection in which I have stood

With you and yours. Thoughts of it make the blood

Run freely through my veins; they cheer my mind,

Revive my spirits, make me leave behind

Vile carking cares, dispel my melancholy,

Fire my devotion with desires most holy, [page 149]

Fill my sad soul! Thus am I drawn away,

And in imagination soar to-day

To those blest regions where my Ann has gone,

And feel that even now I’m not alone.

                For her pure spirit is with mine

                Holding fellowship divine.

                Hark! she whispers in the skies,

                “Let thy prayers to Heaven arise;

                Let thy songs ascend above;

                Sing evermore Redeeming Love;

                For all those who here do enter

                Cleave to Jesus as their Centre,

                And we now on holy ground

                Join in one unceasing round

                Of purest pleasure, and do raise

                Our voices in the Saviour’s praise,

                And thus throughout Eternity

                Dwell in sweetest harmony.

                To all my kindred I would say,

                Work while ’tis called ‘to-day.’

                Always listen to the voice

                Of Jesus, and in him rejoice.

                Make his righteousness your boast,

                For without it you are lost.

                Listen now, he calls to-day;

                Flee, Oh, flee to him away!”

She ceased to speak, and back her spirit fled

To yon bright Mansions where her Saviour led;

And we are left confined in tents of clay,

To “groan, being burdened,” for Redemption’s day.

Oh, then, dear parents, let us not forget

The “still small voice” of Mercy speaking yet.

Let us put on afresh our heavenly armor,

The Christian warfare is but growing warmer.

Should our weak courage fail, let us in meekness

Look still to him who gives us strength in weakness.

And thus supported, may our lives declare

How blest the portion which through grace we share. [page 150]

TO MY INFANT ANNIE.

———

1847.

———

Motherless babe, I can’t forbear to make

Some rhyme to thee for thy dear mother’s sake.

Thy pleasant looks, thy smiles, thy temper mild

Do much surprise me in so young a child.

In thy sweet face I view in embryo

My lost wife’s charms; it is, it must be so.

Quiet thy ways, and smiling oft through tears,

An earnest surely this for future years,

That the same lovely conduct may be shown

Which marked thy mother’s life, as is well known.

Then as thou dost advance to womanhood,

May God’s own Word by thee be understood.

    Can I look forward to the time

    When thou shalt reach a woman’s prime?

    When youth and beauty, linked with grace

    May beam forth from thy smiling face?

    Alas, the future, hid from sight

    Of all but Him who dwells in light,

    May see us numbered with the dead.

    And knowing this may I be led

    To train my children in the way

    That leads to Heaven’s eternal day.

————

STANZAS

IN MEMORY OF ANNIE, DIED JULY 11, 1847.

————

Thou ’rt gone, thou lovely gem, I trust

    To grace the crown of Zion’s King;

And we thy body to the dust

    Commit with faith unwavering.

Thou wast just long enough with us

    To charm our hearts and claim our love;

And now thou ’rt gone. Why is it thus?

    Did Jesus need thy soul above? [page 151]

For twenty weeks thy lovely face,

    Thy pleasing smiles, thy temper mild,

Have made thy father hope to trace

    The mother in her darling child.

And yet thou hast for some time seemed

    Too fair a flower to bloom below.

Thy death but proves our Father deemed

    It best that thou in Heaven should’st grow.

And knowing, as I well may know

    That this vain world is full of trial,

I would not say against the blow,

    Though it may cause me self-denial.

Now, while I write, my thoughts ascend

    More fleetly than the lightning’s flame

To that blest place where lowly bend

    God’s saints, in worship of his name.

And there methinks I see thee join

    With mother and a numerous throng,

In praise of Him who is Divine,

    To whom all honor does belong.

Why should we grudge to part with thee?

    Thou wert our Heavenly father’s own;

And he far better knows than we

    What’s best to do, as will be shown.

And yet it seems so hard to part—

    To part with those we love so dearly,

That, though the keenness of the smart

    Is gone through Jesus’ death most clearly,

We cannot help but mourn and weep

    At losing for a time such treasure.

But we’ll rejoice that those who sleep

    In Christ, shall, in unbounded measure,

Enjoy true happiness and peace

    In yon fair World, where pain nor tears

Are either felt or seen; where cease

    All sorrow and perplexing fears. [page 152]

TO MRS. H. BATTSON.

———

1847.

———

To you, dear sister, I would now address

    A rude production of my rhyming brain;

And if it does increase your happiness,

    Of this intrusion you will not complain.

Margaret, nine years have nearly rolled away,

    Since I first met you at your father’s place.

Well I remember, to the very day,

    My first glad glimpse of your young smiling face.

More, I remember for, almost forlorn,

    I was received well ‘neath that friendly roof,

And such pure kindness unto me was shown

    As put my gratitude to strongest proof.

May I not hope that our dear Saviour took

    As done to him what then was done for me?

If so, your names are written in his book,

    As an assembled universe may see.

’Tis now, when one not only dear to me,

    But to you all, has reached the World of Bliss,

That I am led more clearly to see

    The grandeur which in our Religion is.

May I not hope that in some small degree,

    The exercise of my poor gifts did tend

To lead the youthful, loving sisters three

    Beneath Christ’s yoke their willing necks to bend?

And now what shall I say? You are a wife;

    A mother’s joys, I trust, will soon be yours.

O, may you still in blest conjugal life

    Find that true grace which evermore endures.

And may you live for many years to come

    That life which none but Christians true can live.

Press forward now to reach your heavenly home;

    A sacrifice to God your being give. [page 153]

And may the Lord give Grace to one and all,

    That we may serve him while we stay below;

Then, in due time He will our spirits call

    To share that bliss he can alone bestow.

————

TO MR. AND MRS. W. BATTY, OF PARIS.

————

1847.

————

Brother and sister dear, my stay I prolong here,

    While an effusion can flow from my pen.

May it you gratify, your minds now satisfy,

    That I may have courage to try it again.

Do thou, my dear brother—for there is no other

    Has a claim upon me if thou be denied—

Accept from me the lay I in gratitude pay

    For services rendered when I was so tried.

When by great sickness low, I was some years ago,

    Thy interest with mine was clearly as one.

For me thou wast striving, thyself was depriving

    Of needful repose when thy day’s work was done.

            In view then of thy strong affection

                As shown to me, my feelings flow;

            And, while I enjoy reflection,

                I’ll strive my gratitude to show.

            I saw thy conduct with emotion,

                Prayed my God to own and bless

            What thou didst through love’s devotion,

                To increase my happiness.

            ’Twas then I sought thy soul’s Salvation;

                In prayer besought the Lord to make

            What proved to me severe probation

                A blessing to thee for Christ’s sake.

            And now I see thee with thy wife,

                Ranked amongst the heirs of Glory,

            Partakers of Eternal Life

                Through faith in sweet Redemption’s Story. [page 154]

            A blessing this, which fleeting Time

                Can not unfold in all its brightness,

            As ’twill be seen when in Heaven’s prime

                We walk its streets in robes of whiteness.

            Hail happy day! Thy near approach

                Inspires our hearts with joy and gladness,

            Enables us to bear reproach,

                Takes from our hearts much of their sadness.

Brother and sister dear, let us while we are here

    Cling unto Jesus, our very best friend;

That when Death shall come we may soon reach our home,

    And gain Felicity never to end.

————

FIRESIDE THOUGHTS OF ANN,

MY FORMER WIFE.

————

Wrapt of late in solemn musing

    On the checkered scenes of life,

Peace was o’er my mind diffusing

    As I thought of Ann, my wife.

Pure in life and conversation,

    Full of smiles and modest worth,

Showing calmest resignation

    When sad trials called it forth.

Sweet and softly o’er me stealing,

    Like a pleasant zephyr’s breath,

Came pure faith, my sore heart healing

    As I thought of Ann in death.

In her prime and beauty dying,

    Full of love and heavenly joy,

Safe in Christ, stern Death defying

    Nothing could her peace destroy.

Faith and fancy both combining,

    Blessings to me freely given,

Keep my soul from e’er repining,

    As I think of Ann in Heaven. [page 155]

TO MY BROTHER JAMES.

————

James, ’tis full time for me to write

Some rhymes to you in earnest quite.

I’ve promised long, and now I’ll try

My promise to fulfill, and why?

Because you have a claim on me

Which, when paid off, will set me free,

To run awhile again in debt,

Which in its turn shall sure be met.

But this is trifling, you may say.

Perhaps it is, but trifles may

Effect some good; they often do,

And quite as often please us, too.

Who’s free from trifling? I would ask.

To find out one would prove a task.

But then I candidly confess

That we should surely trifle less.

Well, let me see; can any theme

Be started? Yes, I had a dream *

The other night. Both you and I

Were standing on a hill so high,

And soon there came a mighty stream

Which did not leave of hope a gleam.

But suddenly a plank we found,

That brought us safely to dry ground.

Then I awoke devoid of fear,

And you the Moral true shall hear.

All mortals now are sailing down

The stream of time, as you must own;

And waters roar, and dash, and foam.

Then say—how shall we reach our home?

There is a plank, as we have seen,

And it is safe, most safe, I ween.

’Tis in the Gospel clearly shown,

’Tis by all Christians fully known.

We have its merits long since tried,

And glory in the Lamb who died.

Then let us prize it as we ought,

And serve him who our souls has bought.

For surely this our duty is

If we would reach eternal bliss.


    * Fact.


[page 156]

TO MY DAUGHTER ELLEN,

ON HER WEDDING DAY, MARCH 20, 1859.

————

Ellen, on this glad occasion

    I address to you a rhyme,

And in tones of sweet persuasion

    Would advise you at this time.

If full measure of enjoyment

    You would seek in married life,

Make it daily your employment

    To avoid what leads to strife.

Prize, O prize, both now and ever,

    Joseph’s confidence of love.

See that fits of temper never

    Drive him forth from home to rove.

Should he show unlooked for weakness,

    Hide the secret in your breast,

And expostulate with meekness

    When you have God’s Throne addressed.

Always aim to dress with neatness,

    Though your clothes be e’er so plain;

Add to this your mother’s sweetness,

    If you would love’s sway maintain.

Should yours prove a life of trial,

    May you both still look above.

Exercise in self-denial

    Strengthens pre-existing love.

I have found that constant blessing

    Springs from troubles sanctified,

And when needs have been most pressing,

    God himself those needs supplied.

To His care I therefore leave you,

    Bid you lean upon his arm;

May naught soon arise to grieve you,

    Naught to damp affection warm. [page 157]

MURDER WILL OUT;

OR, THE POWER OF CONSCIENCE.

————

A tale of Jealousy and Revenge, by Bernard Gray.

Turned into a Ballad and some new Scenes added.*

————

1854.

————

Sullen sat in jealous mood,

    A most brutal-looking man;

Purpose foul served him for food.

Against a maid he lately wooed

    His dreadful purpose ran.

Long he sat with vacant stare,

    Large his eyes, quite gray and full;

Fell in tangled locks his hair,

O’er his dirty forehead there,

    Fit covering for such skull.

Stands in the room a crazy bed

    And two wretched, worn-out chairs.

That had rested limbs and head,

These now served for that instead;

    Thus ill the villain fares.

Heard he on that gloomy night

    Demon foul to urge the deed?

Would he tremble at the sight

If some horrid goblin sprite

    Came his strong wrath to feed?


    * I would not wish exactly to be held responsible for what the reader may deem unchristian-like language or statements in this ballad, as I have copied the original in such matters.


[unnumbered page]

He would welcome as his friend

    Ev’n proud Satan, prince of Hell,

If he would assistance lend

So that he could gain his end

    In crime—so very fell.

She who thus had roused his ire,

    Lived a little distance off.

With his jealous soul on fire

Cudgel stout suits his desire;

    He has one stout and tough.

Soon he reached her shabby home,

    Rapped aloud upon the door.

“Yes, John Bristol, you may come,”

Said a voice within that room

    So high on the third floor.

Near the window, very sad,

    Sat she, deeply wrapped in thought

And appeared but thinly clad.

Brown her hair, blue eyes she had

    As e’er with love were fraught!

She asked the man to take a seat.

    He “preferred to stand awhile,

Had been sitting much of late.”

Now, as if impelled by fate,

    He has recourse to guile.

Says she, “Glad I am you’ve come

    For I thought you took offense.”

Little dreams she of the doom

Hanging o’er her in that room,

    Or she would flee from thence.

He her conduct now reproves,

    She replies in innocence.

Softly he behind her moves,

Right behind the girl he loves,

    In cowardly pretence.

Ere suspicion could arise

    In the hapless victim’s mind,

Up the sturdy cudgel flies,

Downward on its aim it hies,

    And strikes her as designed. [page 159]

Right upon her temples fair,

    Murder foul has done its part.

Eyes assume a strange, fixed stare,

Flows the blood among her hair,

    No longer throbs the heart.

Now the villain lifts her arm,

    Now he finds the pulse has fled;

He can do no further harm;

Conscience sounds a loud alarm,

    For surely she is dead.

Now he flees in haste away;

    Shifts the scene again to her:

She is found by friends next day

Stiff and gory as she lay,

    And they create a stir.

Quickly gathers round a mob,

    Fleetly flies the horrid news,

Making hearts more strongly throb;

Women shriek, and cry, and sob

    As each the body views.

Come the officers of law;

    Cries are heard to let them pass.

Through the crowd they forward go,

To behold the scene of woe;

    Suspense now holds the mass.

Shifts the scene unto the sea,

    Nears a port a stately sail;

Joyful seems the crew to be,

Dream they not of misery

    From an approaching gale.

Swiftly comes a dreadful storm;

    Fast the rigging’s torn away;

Broken masts the ship deform,

All is terror and alarm

    Amidst the dashing spray.

Angry roars the foaming deep;

    Death now stares them in the face;

There is found no time to sleep,

Nor would it avail to weep

    In such a woeful case. [page 160]

Lift they up a prayer to God;

    Does He hear them in distress?

See, He waves his righteous Rod,

For they’ve on his precepts trod;

    His might they now confess.

Two alone survive the rest,

    These are clinging to a spar.

One with secret in his breast

Is by sense of guilt oppressed,

    Which keeps his mind ajar.

Can the reader guess his name?

    “Bristol?” yes, he was the one;

He a sailor soon became,

Nor felt any sense of shame

    Till life had nearly gone.

Now Hell’s terrors seize his soul;

    Now he sees the murdered maid

In her blood before him fall;

Hears her for God’s vengeance call,

    And ask why it’s delayed.

Feels the elements at war

    Nothing to the strife within,

Therefore to his brother tar

His locked heart he does unbar,

    To ease him of his sin.

Tells him how some months ago

    He a harmless maiden slew.

Jealousy had wrought his woe,

Made him give the fatal blow;

    ’Twas very wrong he knew.

“Speak her name!” the other cries;

    “Mary Markham,” Bristol screams.

Rage gleams from that other’s eyes,

As he at John Bristol flies,

    To end his mortal dreams.

Soon he’s by the murderer’s side,

    Now he fiercely drags him down.

“Here thou shalt no longer bide;

Sink, fiend! Sink into the tide,

    And all thy baseness drown!” [page 161]

Loud and louder roars the wind;

    The new murderer is alone

And has lost his peace of mind.

Will he seek a port to find

    And there his sin atone?

Fellow sinner, think not hard

    Of the poor remaining one.

He from proper light debarred,

Thought it duty to reward

    Bristol for that deed done.

Why? He to the murdered maid

    Was a brother by his birth.

His love for her did not fade,

And this journey home he made

    In hopes to yield her mirth.

Shifts the gloomy scene once more,

    To a narrow, crooked street;

In a wretched liquor store

Sit a man we’ve seen before,

    Musing on things not sweet.

He might seem to view intent

    Watered spirits in a glass,

Fir his eyes on that are bent,

But his thoughts are wandering sent

    After that murdered lass.

In this street—the very same,

    That most shocking act was done;

It had nearly lost its fame,

Yet remembered was the name

    Of that poor maiden lone.

When her name was spoke ’tis said

    Chilling horror seized the soul

Of both high and lowly bred;

All who heard were filled with dread

    Which they could scarce control.

Seems the man irresolute

    About the drink before him placed.

Now his gestures are not mute,

Showing feelings most acute,

    And such as might be traced. [page 162]

Bodingly he shakes his head,

    Deep-drawn lengthy sigh then heaves

His broad chest, for her now dead!

Bitter tears are freely shed

    As he for sister grieves.

In plain sailor’s clothes he’s dressed,

    Anchor blue is on his hand.

A woman’s eyes now on him rest,

Who, with babe upon her breast,

    Speaks him in accents bland.

“Does the liquor suit your taste?

    Is there nothing else you need?”

From his seat he rose with haste,

On the floor his feet he braced;

    “I’m thinking of that deed!”

Quickly swallows he the drink,

    Then asks, “Is not this the street?”

“What street? Come, yourself bethink!”

“I will; yet from it I shrink.
   Sweet girl, we ne’er shall meet!”

“Tell, good woman, if you can,

    Where she”— Once again a pause.

Turns she now afresh to scan

The face of that most wretched man.

    So very full of woes.

Anxious to relieve his mind,

    Stays she still within the room;

Then says, “Man, what would you find?

I to serve you am inclined.”

    “Where met that girl her doom?”

Now she needs no other clue;

    Says, “You’ll see the place from here.

Fouler deed I never knew;

Was she anything to you?

    Come, tell me without fear.”

“Was my sister, that was all;”

    Soft he said, then paid his bill.

Something seemed on him to call;

Speedily away he stole,

    But not with ready will. [page 163]

Radiant Sol is sinking low,

    And Night coming on apace;

Roofs in the setting sunbeams glow,

And his purple tints they show,

    Till he has run his race.

At this time does Markham sit

    In that lonely, dirty room;

Heeds not how the shadows flit,

Asks not if such place be fit

    To drive away his gloom.

Felt he quite constrained to see

    That house, where his sister dwelt,

And refresh his memory,

Thinking what she used to be,

    When he so happy felt.

Now he tries to realize

    Scenes that harrow up his soul.

While, successfully, he tries,

Fancies he can hear her cries!

    This does his heart appal.

Thus engaged, he quickly hears

    Soft steps coming to the door!

This does not arouse his fears;

Strong his nerves, it now appears,

    As ere they were before.

Timid hand has lift the latch;

    One more man is now within.

Very soon he strikes a match;

Candle’s lit! Can Markham catch

    Those features—dark with sin?

Soon. But what a sight to see;

    Eyeballs from their sockets start!

Trembles he convulsively;

Should he try he could not flee;

    He’s struck, as by a dart!

Bristol locks the door inside,

    And scans well the room around;

His grey eyes are opened wide—

Who’s that on the other side?

    Too soon the truth he found! [page 164]

Markham springs now on his feet,

    While his eyes with passion glow;

Bristol’s these defying meet!

Firm they stand, nor seek retreat;

    They well each other know!

First the brother silence broke;

    “Villain! Come you here again?

Who did your right doom revoke?

Died you not from my just stroke

    Upon the stormy Main?

“You’ve the impudence to come

    To the place she occupied!

Your foul presence taints the room

Which to her was a home,

    Till, by your hands, she died!

“You hardened wretch! Take, quickly take

    Your polluted soul from here!

Who, for you, Death’s fetters brake?

Satan his own child forsake!

    He’ll have you, never fear!

“Monster! you’re not fit to live,

    Neither yet to die, at all!”

Bristol does no answer give;

The torments no one can conceive,

    Endured by his vile soul!

Again the brother spoke in rage:

    “Think you to escape your doom?

Other story, I engage

To read, ere you quit this stage.

    Stern Vengeance now doth loom!

“If there be no other way,

    Law I’ll take in my own hands.”

“This you’ve done”—did Bristol say—

“At the shipwrecks yesterday;”

    Now Markham shuddering stands.

Said he, “Yes, I did it then,

    And you are sent back to me;

You will ne’er escape again;

Trial will be but in vain—

    You’re doomed to misery! [page 165]

“Mary, my own sister dear!

    When I last time saw your face,

Dreamt you not of cause to fear

Murderer’s hand upon you here,

    Within this very place!

“No stain was upon your name;

    Lively, modest girl you were;

Would you ne’er had felt love’s flame!

Yet you had no cause to shame,

    But bore good character.

“If I live, your murderer’s neck

    Pays the forfeit of his crime!

Loss of time I will not reck—

Nothing shall my ardor check,

    Should he seek other clime!”

Speaking thus, he placed his back

    Firm against the outer door;

As he had of voice no lack,

Shouted, till his face grew black,

    And stamped upon the floor!

Presently the neighbors come,

    While poor Bristol trembling stands.

Now they are within the room,

And proceed to seal his doom

    By binding fast his hands.

Shifts the scene into a Court,

    Near to suffocation full;

Counsel unto lies resort,

And the jury loud exhort

    To make proceedings null.

Bristol’s friends had paid them gold,

    And they do their best to show

Black is white: as, when of old,

Satan, without fee, lies told,

    To work our Parents’ woe.

Let them do their very best,

    There’s a witness all must hear!

It is in John Brisol’s breast,

And it cannot, will not rest,

    Till all the truth appear! [page 166]

All his quivering lips observe,

    While he now attempts to speak.

Conscience cries, “Come, muster nerve,

You must not from duty swerve;

    You shall proceedings check!”

He speaks; all eyes quickly turn

    On the wretched culprit’s face.

“I my crime most deeply mourn;

Thoughts of it my vitals burn;

    I dare not hope for grace!”

Verdict found, and sentence passed,

    In three days condemned to die;

Thus he’s caught by Law at last;

Fetters bind his limbs quite fast,

    As he, in cell, doth lie.

Now the Devil steels his heart

    To refuse religion’s aid;

“In that thing he’ll have no part,

It would but increase his smart—

    Of death he’s not afraid!”

Vainly strive God’s messengers

    To lead him to Jesus’ blood;

“There’s no need,” he still avers,

And good victuals much prefers,

    So asks, again, for food.

’Tis the night before he die;

    Swiftly speed the hours away;

They, like seconds, seem to fly

To a Record, kept on high,

    Against the Judgment Day!

Two—three—four—five! from the clock,

    Sound like guns fired in distress.

Yet appear to give no shock

To that man, with heart of rock,

    Through full of wretchedness!

Six! More dismal sounds are heard

    Than the striking of the hour;

Workmen’s blows loud echoes stirred,

Fixing scaffold—we inferred.

    To rouse him has this power? [page 167]

Not the least; it scarcely went

    To the chambers of his brain;

Others thought it cried, “Repent,

Bristol, ere your life be spent!”

    But yet the cry was vain!

Still he hardens his vile heart,

    And hangs sullenly his head.

Seven—eight—nine—ten! Did he start?

No; but friends from him depart,

    And he will soon be dead!

Comes the Sheriff to his cell;

    Puts the cord around his neck;

Now his feelings who can tell?

Still he careth not for Hell—

    But waits the Sheriff’s beck.

Slow the dull procession moves

    To the fatal gallows-tree;

There he sees no face he loves,

Through the people come in droves

    His dying throes to see.

Now he hears the warrant read,

    Bids adieu to all around;

Solemn prayer again is made,

And the cap’s drawn o’er his head;

Signal’s given; his soul has fled!

    The body sinks to th’ ground.

“I’ve followed him unto the end!”

    Said a voice among the crowd.

Warning take! Young men, attend!

See the murderer’s dreadful end!

    It speaks like thunder loud. [page 168]

THE FAITHFUL PASTOR.

————

WRITTEN IN 1854.

————

“Would I describe, such as Paul,

Were he on earth, would hear, approve and own,

Paul should himself direct me!”

—[COPWER.

————

BOOK I.

————

I.

    To the deep umbrage of our North backwoods,

    And near to Huron’s wild romantic shore—

    Where Winter’s storms are seen in angry moods,

    To make the Lake’s waves dash with loudest roar—

    Came GOODWORTH, twelve years since, and brought a store

    Of Christian wisdom to those lonely parts:

    To try if he could find an open door

    By which to reach the settlers’ sinful hearts,

And them inform of what would heal their inward smarts.

II.

    Firm in his mind, robust was he in frame,

    Of human learning having ample share;

    With fervent zeal, love-prompted, there he came,

    Pure Gospel Truth in meekness to declare,

    And backwoods hardships with his hearers share;

    He brought his loving wife and children four,

    Who for their own convenience showed small care;

    Who had with Christian heroism bore

A heavy share of trial several years before. [unnumbered page]

III.

    These four dear children had been early trained

    To take their part in every day’s employ;

    Nor were their youthful hearts by this estranged

    From the kind parents, who did show their joy

    In manifesting no wish to annoy

    Their dearest offspring by undue restraint:

    Aware that this might very soon destroy

    Their influence; and who has power to paint

The ills which flow from this too prevalent complaint?

IV.

    Think not, kind reader, I would overdraw

    My pictures of sweet, chaste, conjugal bliss;

    All I describe I’ve seen, and, therefore, know

    I err not far—though some may doubt of this—

    And deem my sketches very far amiss.

    It matters not; those who have faithful been

    In wedlock pure have often found, I wis,

    That a fair share of happiness serene

Upon this earth in Christian families still is seen.

V.

    And such were those of whom I speak above,

    For of God’s grace they every one partook.

    Their actions sprang from the great Law of Love,

    So plainly laid down in his Holy Book.

    All might discover from each kind, sweet look,

    That they had been unto the Savior’s School;

    That they had seldom Wisdom’s paths forsook,

    But made the Word their only Guide and Rule.

This kept their love alive, nor let their ardor cool.

VI.

    Yet they did not to this at once attain;

    Poor human nature in its best estate

    Has much about it that is truly vain,

    And these were not exempt from common fate.

    Some fourteen years before my story’s date

    They had been in the purifying fire

    Of great affliction; had been led to wait

    Upon their God who knew their soul’s desire,

And brought them through, clothed in Humility’s attire. [page 170]

VII.

    And gave them for their loved ones ta’en away,

    What was more needful for their growth in grace,

    And led them thus to make His Arm their stay,

    In all their trials His kind hand to trace.

    ’Twas this that fitted them for such a place

    As in these woods they were designed to fill;

    And hence they always wore a cheerful face,

    And bowed their own unto their Savior’s will,

While with the Spirit’s sword they showed the greatest skill.

VIII.

    And such were needed in that settlement

    But just reclaimed from the wild wilderness,

    For its inhabitants appeared content

    With worldly things, which did good thoughts repress,

    And cause the Pastor much of sore distress.

    In truth it seemed a most forbidding field

    For pastoral labor, and it was no less.

    But God could make it precious fruit to yield,

And be unto his servants constant Strength and Shield.

IX.

    Now they had sought the mind of God to know

    Ere they concluded there to settle down;

    And this determined they resolved to go

    To that rough place—quite far from any town,

    Where rude log huts were very thinly strown,

    And where hard labor stared them in the face,

    While gloomy woods appeared on them to frown,

    To find earth’s comforts were but very scarce.

For such a step I’m sure they needed special grace.

X.

    This they obtained, and providentially

    Were led to find a very splendid lot,

    Which fronted on that mighty inland Sea,

    And is in Summer a most lovely spot;

    A barren piece of land it sure is not.

    This might be known from its fine stock of trees.

    Now their good fortune gratitude begot,

    Which was poured forth to God upon their knees,

While green leaves waved above, fanned by a warm, soft breeze. [page 171]

XI.

    A shabby shanty stood upon the ground,

    Perhaps erected by a poor red man;

    Fire-weeds and brushwood thickly grew around,

    To clear off which they now at once began.

    Near by the place a charming spring-creek ran;

    This had its source in a high tree-clad hill,

    From top of which the country they could scan.

    The father and two sons with right good will

That shanty soon prepare, and they its small space fill.

XII.

    This proved a wretched shelter at the best,

    For rain came through the worn-out roof of bark,

    And for hard laborers was no place of rest,

    While its small window left it very dark.

    They speak together of a house, when, hark!

    A noise they hear—a sound as of great glee—

    The settlers in their breasts possessed a spark

    Of sweet good nature, and now came to see

If they could not be useful to the family.

XIII.

    This as an omen soon was understood,

    And pressing wants were to each friend made known.

    With axes armed these quick obtained some wood,

    Which by strong oxen speedily was drawn

    To the selected spot that had been shown.

    The Pastor’s wife and daughters then prepare

    A good, substantial meal, and with kind tone

    Invite the friends to come and taste their fare,

Which they in gratitude had made with nicest care.

XIV.

    With this good offer all at once complied;

    They came to work and therefore needs must eat.

    The day was fine and beech tree shade supplied

    A place for table, and each took a seat,

    Admiring much the dinner spread so neat.

    And GOODWORTH then gave thanks most rev’rently

    For such sweet comforts in their wood’s retreat,

    And prayed that each warm-hearted friend might be

Rewarded for his kindness in Eternity. [page 172]

XV.

    The dinner o’er, awhile in friendly chat

    They sat and rested till the cattle fed.

    Then GOODWORTH freely spoke to them of what

    He and his family to that place had led,

    And sweetly mentioned Him that once had bled—

    The great God-man, who, sinners came to save.

    These men in silence heard all he had said,

    And some shed tears, and all looked very grave,

Though each rude breast possessed a heart most truly brave.

XVI.

    Once more bright axes, wielded by strong arms

    Make chips fly fast, as they the logs prepare;

    Such willing work the Pastor’s family charms,

    For they this kindness had not thought to share.

    A strong foundation now is laid with care;

    Of ample size, the fabric upward grows;

    The men take pains to have the corners square,

    Which to effect they spare nor strength nor blows;

And thus, as if by magic, that neat structure rose.

XVII.

    Meanwhile, there came some shingles, nails and boards,

    Brought by two teams, which only now were seen;

    And this fresh kindness fullest proof affords

    That GOODWORTH’S object was approved, I ween.

    Now some for rafters a long way had been;

    And, as the sun had sunk into the West,

    The women had prepared their table clean,

    Well laden, as before, with food; the best

Which they had power to furnish in that wild wood-nest.

XVIII.

    Warm thanks are given: the workers fall to work

    To do full justice to that savory meal.

    No wicked feelings in their bosoms lurk

    Against the family; but they strongly feel

    They have an interest in all their weal,

    And freely speak of coming back next day

    The house to finish; kindly thus they deal

    With those dear folks—who wish them still to stay—

And they will sing awhile, to cheer them on their way. [page 173]

XIX.

    To this they all consented: then arose

    Song after song in praise of Jesus’ name!

    Such songs can lighten e’en our saddest woes.

    And raise in human hearts a heavenly flame.

    Six men there were who, from that night, became

    Quite altered characters—as all might see.

    For Gospel Truth can e’en a savage tame:

    Though this to some men seems a mystery—

Such have not seen themselves sunk in depravity.

XX.

    The signing o’er, the good man said, “Let’s pray.”

    All down beside him reverently knelt:

    It was a proper close for such a day—

    As all engaged must then have deeply felt.

    And oh, the language of that prayer did melt

    Some stony hearts, as I in truth would tell:

    For GOODWORTH on God’s love and mercy dwelt—

    On coming Judgment—and on Heaven and Hell—

Till every one seemed bound as by the strongest spell.

XXI.

    This done, those neighbors—though reluctantly—

    Took leave of that most happy household there:

    And were as pleased as any men could be

    They were allowed such company to share.

    ’Twas Spring time, and the still and balmy air

    Was most refreshing to the wearied frame;

    And Luna’s brightness, though quite free from glare,

    Enabled them to see which way they came—

For staying rather late they would incur no blame.

XXII.

    The morning came, and with alacrity

    Came settlers also, ready as before

    To help the welcome new-come family

    Whose strange, deep news had made their hearts so sore.

    And now the labor of the day each bore

    As if his own advantage he would seek.

    Some went to roofing, some to fix the door

    And windows, and with hearts and arms not weak,

They make the work fly fast, scarce leaving time to speak. [page 174]

XXIII.

    The muster, greater this day than the last,

    Left some hands free to clear a piece of ground;

    And these, with brush-hooks, o’er two acres passed,

    Making good riddance of what brush they found.

    They then cut down some poles and fenced it round.

    The family, too, were moved with gratitude profound

    For they were moved with gratitude profound

    To show their thankfulness in many a smile.

Their happy faces do the laborers’ hearts beguile.

XXIV.

    The meal-times passed with pleasure and some profit;

    Naught did occur to mar the harmony.

    If there were whisky every one kept off it,

    And all confessed they worked more easily.

    Too often liquor in the woods we see,

    And much vile mischief is it apt to do

    When neighbors come to help at Logging-bee,

    Or to assist each other at the plow.

It pleases me to see this practice broken through.

XXV.

    The Country would have reason to rejoice

    If not a drop were as a beverage used,

    And I would not be slow to raise my voice

    Till Temperance principles are more diffused.

    For this by some folks I may be abused,

    But where’s the harm? I seek alone their good,

    And cannot be by the conscience well excused

    If I refuse my aid to stem the flood

Which drowns its thousands of our common brotherhood.

XXVI.

    But to return: The work had so well sped,

    And the new house was so far on the way

    Toward completion, that the family’s head

    Thought they might safely move that very day,

    But first enquired what there would be to pay?

    The neighbors smiled and kept the secret close,

    And what the bill was none thought fit to say.

    For satisfaction “he must ask the Boss.”

To tell who that was every one felt quite at loss. [page 175]

XXVII.

    Is this exaggeration? Witness now,

    Ye far bakwoodsmen—much too oft belied,

    Are ye inclined these things to disavow?

    Or will my statements be by you denied?

    If not they stand for truth both far and wide,

    And your example may be found of use

    In leading others quickly to decide

    That they for ignorance have no excuse

In this enlightened age, when Knowledge is diffuse.

XXVIII.

    I need not mention every little thing

    That was required to make the house complete.

    My humble Muse would now attempt to sing

    Of subjects which to her are far more sweet.

    The Pastor happy lived in his retreat,

    Preaching on Sabbath, in a school-house near.

    There many came who could not get a seat,

    And such large audience did the Pastor cheer,

Who spoke to them with zeal—for they to him were dear.

XXIX.

    I may be asked, “What was this man’s persuasion?

    Was he a Churchman or a Methodist?”

    I answer make without the least evasion,

    He owned no “ism,” nor yet “ite,” nor “ist.”

    But if on further knowledge you insist,

    I only say that he was glad to own

    The “Blood-bought Throng” wherever they exist.

    Nor did he scruple to let this be known,

The BIBLE still the Source from which his creed was drawn.

XXX.

    From it he gathered that ev’n two or three

    Met in Christ’s name a Church of God do make;

    That, when so met, they have full liberty

    On each Lord’s Day the Bread and Wine to take.

    All vain traditions they in this forsake,

    But get rich blessing from the King of Kings.

    And in that lonely house near Huron’s Lake,

    The family enjoyed the bliss which springs

From means well used, and these afresh each Sabbath brings. [page 176]

XXXI.

    The six of whom I spoke some pages back,

    Sought early fellowship with that small band.

    These of great sorrow had displayed no lack,

    And now as Christians publicly they stand,

    Unto Christ’s work they give each heart and hand;

    And one of them called Luth, possessed of means,

    Resolved at once to give a piece of land

    On which to build a chapel, midst sweet scenes;

A very central place, and near two deep ravines.

XXXII.

    Nor was this all; he gave some good pine trees

    And other requisites to build the place;

    The work he knew would all be done by “Bees.”

    At least he thought that such would be the case.

    The friends the opportunity embrace

    To make the matter fully known all round.

    Strong opposition they had now to face

    From those who rather would in sin be found,

And such cared nothing for the glorious Gospel sound.

XXXIII.

    The Minister proposed to wait awhile,

    Till this grave subject could be well discussed.

    He wished that none would act from motives vile,

    For popularity he did not lust,

    And in his Father he could always trust;

    Advised to seek God’s mind by earnest prayer,

    In generosity to be still just;

    By such means only could they hope to share

God’s constant approbation and His guardian care.

XXXIV.

    This prudent course ensured the object sought.

    Some who opposed did, of their own accord

    Propose assistance, and with vigor wrought

    To raise the humble Chapel to the Lord.

    Dear GOODWORTH wielded skillfully the sword,

    Which by God’s blessing pierced into the souls

    Of those who came to hear the plain-taught Word,

    Whose rich Truth, for Sin’s pleasures lost, consoles,

And cheers and strengthens those whose lusts it still controls. [page 177]

XXXV.

    Truly it was a lovely sight to see

    The opening of that place of worship pure.

    There was displayed no animosity,

    All seemed at home in perfect peace secure.

    Sweet gospel sermons fitted to allure

    The erring sons and daughters of mankind

    Were preached that day, and I feel very sure

    It was no “blind man’s leading of the blind,”

But preaching of that sort which is for good designed.

XXXVI.

    The music was by voices rich and clear,

    The words the language of most grateful hearts,

    All forming worship void of slavish fear;

    Most orderly besides in all its parts,

    Though the performers knew not much of arts

    On which some pride themselves in this our day;

    Nor was the singing done by fits and starts,

    As if God’s service were but childish play.

They knew His Eye was on their secret thoughts alway.

XXXVII.

    I must not fail to mention the chief thing

    For which all saints should meet on Sabbath day;

    But first my Muse would boldly spread her wing,

    For she could always on this subject stay.

    Your kind indulgence, reader, I would pray,

    As this sweet topic is most dear to me.

    Most gracious Savior, who for me didst pay

    Thy precious blood upon the cursed tree,

That I might be redeemed from sin and misery.

XXXVIII.

    Grant me Thy Spirit’s aid while I attempt

    A true description of thy “Feast of Love.”

    May I from evil motives be exempt,

    Nor mention aught but what Thou wilt approve.

    That small, dear family “born from above,”

    Just numbering twelve, around the table meet.

    Each one displays the meekness of the dove,

    And hopes to share a most delicious treat

In joining thus with Jesus in Communion sweet. [page 178]

XXXIX.

    And now the Pastor thought it right to tell

    What were the principles on which they met;

    For great misapprehension he knew well

    Prevailed abroad, and some men’s minds beset.

    He trusted no one present would forget

    That the pure Bible was their only guide.

    They had no human system to abet,

    Nor would they by man’s arguments be tried.

What say the Scriptures? these alone the case decide.

XL.

    He said, “We meet, dear friends, in Jesus’ name;

    By his command who says, ‘Remember me.’

    As He for us Sin-offering became,

    It is but right we should obedient be.

    And O, what wondrous love we here do see!

    To think we are invited all to feast

    With Jesus in His glorious majesty.

    This is a marvel, and ’tis much increased

When we reflect we are not worthy in the least.

XLI.

    “Here at this table I now humbly stand

    Upon a perfect level with the rest.

    We take the Bread and Wine at Jesus’ hand,

    He hath these simple Emblems truly blest.

    Our love to him by this act is expressed,

    And though we are indeed a small, weak flock,

    The Lord makes each a highly honored guest.

    On His Atonement as our only rock,

We stand secure midst danger, nor fear any shock.

XLII.

    “We do this every First Day of the Week,

    Because of old God’s people did the same;

    This all may learn who will take pains to seek

    The Word of Truth. All arguments are lame

    Men use against it, and not free from blame.

    Can we, dear friends, remember Christ too often?

    Ah, no indeed! To save our souls he came!

    And his vast Love to us our hearts should soften,

And plume the wings of Faith, which we may soar aloft on. [page 179]

XLIII.

    “We do not wish to hold the servile views

    To which too many of God’s children cling.

    Oh, why should Christians in this way refuse

    What to their souls would sweetest comfort bring?

    ‘Remember Me’ should make our love to spring

    Like water gushing from a fountain clear,

    And tune our hearts each time afresh to sing

    The praise of Jesus, and should make us rear

Our Ebenezer high as we to heaven draw near.

XLIV.

    “Some ask us if we have the Lord’s command

    For breaking bread upon each Sabbath day.

    We ask them in return, have they at hand

    A plain behest for acting in their way?

    If such they have let them without delay

    Spread wide the fact and let the truth be known.

    I should have nothing further then to say,

    Except my error thankfully to own.

But friends, as yet none ever have such precept shown.

XLV.

    “Suppose there were near by a flock of sheep

    Whose sad, gaunt looks bespoke the pasture bare,

    While they have left scarce strength enough to creep,

    From having lacked too long good food and care.

    Suppose that these were brought to pasture fair,

    The gate of which was opened wide to them.

    Would they wait for command to enter there?

    In truth I think not, and can rightly claim

That we in doing this incur not any blame.”

XLVI.

    This said, he read aloud the Savior’s words,

    Uttered that solemn night before he died.

    Deep, soul-toned language which quite well accords

    With his great sufferings for his blood-bought bride.

    O, let not any this plain feast deride;

    There ne’er was Ordinance appointed yet

    That has more comfort to the Saints supplied.

    ’Tis calculated to make them forget

Their sorrows when they view Christ’s death and bloody sweat. [page 180]

XLVII.

    And now most grateful thanks are offered up,

    The Bread is broke, and all in silence eat.

    Then in like manner they partake the Cup,

    In fellowship they sit at Jesus’ feet,

    And take from his dear hands refreshment sweet.

    This done, collection for the Saints is made,

    And next praise rises to the “Mercy Seat.”

    From right glad hearts and unfeigned lips ’tis paid:

The meeting closes and each kind farewell is said.

XLVIII.

    Yet this day’s joyous service was not o’er;

    Some met at night with GOODWORTH’S family,

    And there together searched the hidden store

    Of Bible truth, the prayer of Faith the key

    That did unlock each wondrous mystery.

    All were invited, nay were pressed to speak,

    And show the light which God gave them to see.

    This course served well to strengthen what was weak,

And all learned much who meekly were inclined to seek.

XLIX.

    Nor was pure praise neglected at this time:

    All were well pleased with that day’s exercise.

    And freely joined in Zion’s songs sublime,

    Thus pouring forth their evening sacrifice.

    This did but strengthen pre-existing ties,

    While warmer grew their hearts in Love’s soft bands.

    At nine o’clock reluctantly they rise,

    To part at last with cordial shake of hands,

More fitted for the coming day, with its demands.

L.

    I offer the above as a fair sample

    Of this small Church’s worship on First Days,

    And should be highly pleased if their example

    Had on our minds an influence always.

    Their love and zeal are worthy of all praise,

    Though all they have or are is of God’s grace.

    His love to them they view with deep amaze,

    And trust ere long to see him face to face

In heavenly Regions—His own happy Dwelling Place. [page 181]

LI.

    To spare the Reader risk of long digression,

    And keep within just bounds my humble tale,

    I now in order give GOODWORTH’S profession

    That none to understand his views may fail.

    Against these views some men no doubt will rail,

    But let such take the Bible in their hands,

    And with Truth’s weapons only them assail.

    This the importance of the thing demands,

For by the Truth alone his doctrine falls or stands.

LII.

    On Scriptural grounds of every Sinner’s hope

    He held no wavering views, for Truth shone clear

    Into his soul, and gave him power to cope

    With Error’s darkest forms. He had no fear

    Of man before his eyes. The spiteful sneer

    Of Antinomians and proud Pharisees

    Disturbed him not, save to call forth a tear

    From heartfelt pity for the vagaries

Of their perverted judgments touching God’s decrees.

LIII.

    He held, then, that the Lord, who sees the end

    From the beginning, did of his own pure grace

    Choose some with him Eternity to spend,

    From ’mongst the millions of our fallen race,

    Determined all such should behold his face

    In peace at last, in spite of Hell and sin.

    These would in time his Gospel Truth embrace,

    Or die incapable for Faith within.

Thus did he view the triumphs of God’s Grace begin.

LIV.

    He saw God’s Love—Superlative, Eternal,

    Gradually unfold the mystery

    To Man, who by Satanic schemes infernal,

    Had fall’n from happiness to misery.

    And he by Faith’s keen eye could clearly see

    Its full development when Jesus came

    The sinner’s Surety and best Friend to be;

    Who “bore the Cross and still despised the Shame,”

Nor shrank from God’s just wrath—a fiercely burning flame. [page 182]

LV.

    Christ’s glorious Resurrection too, he saw

    To be God’s stamp of approbation great

    On that vicarious work which his just Law

    Fulfilled—a ground of hope commensurate

    To man’s great needs in every age and state.

    These truths so filled his warm and generous soul

    That he on them would oft expatiate

    Until his feelings seemed beyond control;

And this secured attention from his hearers all.

LVI.

    Of man’s free will he had not any doubt;

    Yet he as much believed the declaration

    Of God’s own Word—which some men dare to flout—

    That man’s heart is, in every rank and station,

    “Always deceitful,” filled with profanation,

    “And desparately wicked.” This none know

    But God, who has provided expiation,

    And sent his Holy Spirit down to show

These facts to sinners dead, and on them Life bestow.

LVII.

    On final perseverance of all Saints

    He took the highest stand which man can take,

    And found in it a balm for most complaints

    Of Christian souls, to sense of sin awake.

    This glorious truth to him would often make

    Light shine in darkness and dispel his fear;

    Oft led him to endure for Jesus’ sake

    Loss of beloved objects, and appear

An ever happy man, ’midst prospects dark and drear.

LVIII.

    Besides the views I have already given

    He held it right that Christians all should use

    The talents they possess as gifts from heaven.

    Neglect of this admits of no excuse,

    Though there are times when men their gifts abuse.

    As members of the Church all have their place,

    And none well taught of God should e’er refuse

    To aid His cause according to the Grace

Received since they were led Salvation to embrace. [page 183]

LIX.

    For peaceful rule and needful discipline,

    He held that churches should call two or more

    Of members, who well qualified had been,

    As Elders, by God’s Spirit to watch o’er

    The flock of Christ; men skilled in Bible lore,

    And “apt to teach; not novices, but such

    As have been service in the Truth, and bore

    Good characters becoming Christians much,”

For only men like these should that high office touch.

LX.

    Two or more Deacons they should also call,

    Who by the Scripture rule are qualified

    To keep the Church’s funds, and still help all

    Who may by poverty be sorely tried.

    By such arrangements Churches should abide,

    If they would faithful prove unto the Lord.

    We have no right to set his Laws aside;

    Such conduct is by our Great Head abhorred,

And does with our profession very ill accord.

LXI.

    As this Church was but young it was deemed best

    That they should, as their pastor, him retain.

    He thanked them much for confidence expressed,

    And hoped it would not tend to make him vain.

    He thought it right his views thus to explain,

    And trusted they would give them due attention.

    Should his poor life be spared he would remain

    And labor hard to keep them from declension,

Though of their falling off he had no apprehension.

LXII.

    The Salary question next came on the board.

    What should the amount be, how or whence obtained?

    The Church itself could not the means afford;

    Perhaps some others might assistance lend—

    But would the pastor such a course commend?

    Had they consulted him at first they would

    Have found they had no cause to apprehend

    A lack of means to serve intentions good;

He wished to labor freely for Christ’s brotherhood. [page 184]

LXIII.

    He and his family needed then no aid

    Except what new-come Settlers might require,

    And obligation was upon him laid

    To seek the good of souls from motives higher

    Than worldly gain. He trusted his desire

    Was that the Gospel might be free to all.

    What Christ had done for him his zeal would fire,

    And make him earnest in the sinner’s call;

Thus gladly would he forward press toward the goal.

LXIV.

    Now let not Christians who from him may differ

    Suppose this man could no forbearance show.

    It was his wish to be in nothing stiffer

    Than Truth required, which God led him to know.

    From human creeds his conscience said “withdraw!”

    To stand by such advice he was content,

    To Pharisaic pride he was a foe,

    And to ungodliness where’er he went,

While to promote true Love his gifts and time were spent.

LXV.

    My Muse again of temporal things would sing,

    And I her mandate hasten to obey.

    Upon all farms there’s works enough in Spring,

    And GOODWORTH’S people were not used to play.

    ’Tis true their farm was small, yet day by day

    They plenty found to occupy their time;

    That patch of ground the labor would repay.

    As for good crops, ’twas in condition prime:

Such they all hoped to raise in that fine fruitful clime.

LXVI.

    Six acres still lay right behind the two;

    Doubtless it had an Indian clearance been.

    This needs not much to fit it for the plow,

    So they of brush and rubbish rid it clean,

    And broke it up. Then a rail fence was seen

    Most speedily to compass it around.

    Soon spring wheat sown was looking brightly green,

    While in the garden useful plants were found,

And these good prospects made the family’s joys abound. [page 185]

LXVII.

    Their live stock was not large, yet they possessed

    Two milking cows, and yoke of oxen strong,

    Some turkeys, hogs, and poultry of the best.

    These all were bought ere they had been there long.

    For finest fish they could not well go wrong;

    The lake supplied all that they wished to get.

    In small canoe they often sailed along

    The side of lovely isles and cast their net,

    Or fished with line till glorious Sol had nearly set.

LXVIII.

    Sometimes a deer would venture near enough

    To run the risk of catching lumps of lead,

    And this well dressed was no unsavory stuff

    With which to help a meal of wheaten bread.

    Of bears and wolves they were at first in dread,

    But soon found out there was no cause for fear;

    For if such came and mortal showed his head,

    They soon ran off with a true coward’s leer,

Which made it seem surprising they should come so near.

LXIX.

    To clear against the Fall, the sons marked out

    Ten acres of the woods well filled with trees.

    Such work required strong arms and courage stout,

    And those young men could rightly boast of these.

    They now with willing hands their axes seize

    And push the work from early morn till night.

    Loud sound the strokes, till each brave woodman sees

    The trees begin to tremble in their sight,

And soon with thundering sound upon the ground alight.

LXX.

    The chopper’s life is not a life of ease—

    And yet to those who understand it well

    There’s much about it that doth tend to please

    Their warm, strong minds, as they such monsters fell.

    I have oft stood as if bound by a spell,

    When some huge giant swayed awhile in air,

    And then with crash tremendous shook the dell,

    While cows from fright would scamper here and there,

But soon return to browse its top for lack of fare. [page 186]

LXXI.

    While those in woods were busily employed

    Swinging their axes in true workman style,

    Their sisters neatly dressed as much enjoyed

    The garden work, quite cheered by Nature’s smile.

    Lightening their labor with sweet songs the while,

    They trained the different plants with skillful hands;

    A pleasing task well fitted to beguile

    Such modest, gentle girls, who in Love’s bands

Were bound together, thus obeying God’s commands.

LXXII.

    Their gardener skill was not alone confined

    To what was wanted for their bodily needs.

    By nature taught, each had a tasteful mind,

    And this was shown by planting flower seeds.

    These by some folks are looked upon as weeds,

    And therefore useless—not e’en worth a straw!

    From such coarse souls I do not look for deeds

    Which, in sweet aspect, do our nature show;

I envy not their taste nor all they chance to know.

LXXIII.

    I love to look on flowers. They to my soul

    Sincerest pleasure and sweet peace still bring;

    Their varied charms can wondrously control

    My troubled spirit—smarting from the sting

    Of cold neglect and sad, crushed hopes, whence spring

    Many sore trials to the sons of men.

    I, midst my flowers, can feel myself a king,

    Nor envy much the rich and mighty then,

With all their pomp and pride, or gorgeous trappings vain.

LXXIV.

    And those fair damsels always loved to view

    Sweet tulips, pinks, and daisies’ charms unfold,

    The peony’s blush, the lovely rose’s hue,

    And woodbine’s blossoms—lilies like pure gold.

    All these, and more, were pleasant to behold,

    And well repaid them for their frequent toil.

    Their plants throve well in that rich, deep, black mold,

    And though the work did their nice fingers soil,

It kept them ever free from this poor world’s turmoil. [page 187]

LXXV.

    The settlers round beheld with much surprise

    The neat-kept garden in such beauty seen,

    And oft they looked with rather longing eyes

    Upon the flowers bedecked in glorious sheen.

    Sometimes a youth upon the fence would lean

    And watch with due respect the sisters fair;

    Then anxious ask what this and that could mean,

    Or names of plants which seemed to him so rare.

Doubtless it was to see the maidens he came there.

LXXVI.

    Of this I could not speak with certainty;

    But mutual blushes, looks significant,

    Are very apt to tell strange tales to me.

    I once was young, so you will therefore grant

    I should know something of what youths still want

    When they to such sweet girls quite bashful come,

    And utter words as if their stock was scant.

    Well, ’tis but natural, and I would be mum;

Of bliss thus sought and gained ’twere hard to tell the sum.

LXXVII.

    Often the parents, in their Master’s spirit,

    Would link-armed take a pleasant walk at eve

    To visit neighbors, and thus seek to merit

    That just reward which faithful Saints receive

    From Jesus Christ, who never will deceive

    Those working well for him. They therefore went

    Gladly each burdened conscience to relieve,

    And those assist who were by sickness spent,

Or tell to all the message which their God had sent.

LXXVIII.

    On one of these occasions they became

    Acquainted with a youth to bed confined.

    From early childhood he was always lame,

    And for a year or two had been quite blind.

    His manners were most gentle, and his mind

    With human knowledge seemed to be well stored.

    Now these dear people made enquiry kind,

    If he had in affliction sought the Lord,

Or ever gained true comfort from his Sacred Word. [page 188]

LXXIX.

    To them at first he no reply would give,

    Yet seemed absorbed in thought, and heaved a sigh.

    At last he said, “I always aimed to live

    So that I need not fear when brought to die.

    I feel at present that my end is nigh

    And should not care ev’n now if I were dead.

    Upon my blameless life I can rely,

    Nor look for harm to fall on guiltless head.

A purer life than mine no mortal ever led.”

LXXX.

    “My dear young friend,” the Pastor sweetly said,

    “Did your own conscience never whisper you

    That hope like this to ruin always led?

    If not, let me now tell you it is true!

    For none may hope the face of God to view

    In peace unless their sins are washed away

    By Jesus’ blood. Our dearest Savior flew

    On wings of Mercy man’s worst foes to slay,

And open wide the gates to everlasting day!”

LXXXI.

    He asked him then if he might read aloud

    A portion of God’s Word, and offer prayer.

    The youth consented, feeling much less proud

    Than when these Christians first had entered there.

    GOODWORTH three chapters* read with greatest care,

    Three which at length dwell on the sinner’s state,

    And then by plainest speech made him aware

    How he might best escape a sin-cursed fate,

    Be reconciled to God, and coming Glory wait.

LXXXII.

    The poor blind lad had never heard before

    The wonders which those chapters do reveal.

    Self-righteousness he ne’er could think of more,

    For sense of guilt he now began to feel.

    This roused up fears he could not well conceal,

    And made him anxious those two friends should pray.

    The Pastor made to him one more appeal,

    Then supplicated God without delay

That Grace might be shed forth to lead him in the way.


    * The 3rd, 4th, and 5th chapters of Romans.


[page 189]

LXXXIII.

    Now bitter tears flow from those sightless orbs,

    As light breaks in upon his darker soul,

    Prospect of death his wretched thoughts absorbs,

    And makes him wish that he could back recall

    Those early years which did so fleetly roll,

    Before he lost his health and precious sight;

    For no dread visions then did him appal,

    Nor was he wont to tremble from affright.

Oh, that he had but sought Salvation with his might!

LXXXIV.

    Our two friends told him plain ’twas not too late;

    Such burdened souls the Savior had invited,

    However black their crimes, however great

    Their mad rebellion; ev’n if they had slighted

    This Means of Grace—without which man’s benighted—

    He bids them come to him and find sweet rest.

    Those who have thus obeyed have been delighted

    With his light yoke, and often have expressed

Their sense of such great goodness, feeling truly blest.

LXXXV.

    This good instruction had the best effect,

    And as he seemed composed the friends prepare

    To start for home, nor in the least suspect

    How quick the time had fled whilst they were there.

    They bade “good night” and left him in the care

    Of their Kind Father, who had bid them go;

    And in their journey through the woods they share

    Sweet converse and true joy in constant flow,

And reach their neat log house Content afresh to know.

LXXXVI.

    The sons and daughters greeted their return

    With pleasant smiles, then with respect enquired

    What led to their detention, and now burn

    To know the cause they look so sad and tired.

    The parents, nothing loth, gave as desired

    A brief account how they’d been employed;

    And this once more full confidence inspired

    While each the truly pleasing thought enjoyed,

That one soul less would be by Satan’s power destroyed. [page 190]

LXXXVII.

    Around the family Altar next they meet

    To worship God by reading, prayer and praise,

    Which all ascend like richest incense sweet

    Before the throne of Him who guides their ways.

    Surely bright Angels might delight to gaze

    Upon this happy family at such time,

    And feel those Christians fit to join in lays

    That they are wont to sing in heavenly clime;

In rapturous devotion to their King sublime.

LXXXVIII.

    If e’er a glimpse of heaven is had below,

    If there is aught of Bliss upon this Earth,

    A family like this it best can show,

    For they need not the worldling’s boisterous mirth;

    And yet of social feeling there’s no dearth.

    Each does enjoy true peace and happiness,

    Which, rightly valued, in their turn give birth

    To noble deeds designed mankind to bless,

To strengthen what is right, and what is wrong redress.

LXXXIX.

    I would not undervalue Church connection,

    For ’tis of God’s appointment, and should show

    True Christian principles in much perfection,

    And be the sweetest bond of all below.

    But oh, it happens, I too truly know,

    There is mixed with it so much worldliness,

    So many members to vile Mammon bow,

    That my poor soul is filled with sore distress,

And scarce dare hope the Lord will such connection bless.

XC.

    Under these circumstances I with others

    Await most anxiously that day’s appearing,

    When Jesus Christ will with his chosen brothers

    Dwell in sweet fellowship and love endearing.

    The hope of this should always be most cheering

    To every Christian of each state and name;

    And make them patient bear with the rude jeering

    Of those who love to glory in their shame;

Who for their soul’s perdition are alone to blame. [page 191]

XCI.

    This hope was dear indeed to GOODWORTH’S heart,

    And made him feel a very strong desire

    Right Knowledge on all subjects to impart,

    And use but proper means true zeal to fire.

    He wished not that his hearers should admire

    His humble teaching, but the truths he taught,

    And tried to show them how they could acquire

    The power to judge all subjects which were brought

Before their minds, as they with good or ill were fraught.

XCII.

    Under such teaching this small Church became

    An humble, cheerful, happy, loving Band.

    While they by industry their wild lands tame,

    They did not oft neglect to lend a hand

    To him who thus on Scripture took his stand.

    Their conduct and profession both agree,

    And every instance of God’s goodness fanned

    Love’s flame, and made it burn more steadily;

For which they praised the Lord with great sincerity.

XCIII.

    Amongst their number there was poor McKan,

    Weakly in body but yet firm in mind.

    His means were small when he at first began

    To clear as wild a bush farm as you’ll find.

    The neighbors round had all to him been kind,

    Feeling much pity for his family;

    For he, though toiling hard, had run behind

    In payment for his lot, and soon might be

With those dependant on him brought to misery.

XCIV.

    While certain ruin stared him in the face,

    He felt he’d rather die than beg from friends;

    And so prepared to sacrifice his place—

    Persuaded that the Lord would make amends.

    The Pastor hears his ease and straight attends

    Upon him at his house with wish to know

    The full particulars, and gladly lends

    An ear attentive to his tale of woe;

How the stern creditor would no more mercy show. [page 192]

XCV.

    His case was not a solitary one.

    Too many find when they have toiled for years,

    That sweet Hope leaves them when their strength is gone;

    Which fills their future with alarming fears,

    And nothing for them but despair appears!

    O, why is this? Have they imprudent been?

    Or has great sickness sunk them in arrears?

    Perhaps it may be these; and yet I ween

Another cause of trouble may be clearly seen.

XCVI.

    That cause is this: Our Government thought fit

    To sell their land at far too high a rate,

    And those who bought thought they could pay for it

    Within the time, which would be something great.

    If common-sense had chanced to bid them wait,

    They mostly had an answer close at hand:

    “Men whom they knew had bettered much their state

    By buying on long time that wild bush land,

And now as able farmers ’mongst their fellows stand.”

XCVII.

    By pinching work they raise the first installment

    For lot on which they claim pre-emption right,

    And from that time they find complete enthralment,

    As with Adversity they constant fight.

    Where’s now the prospect which was once so bright?

    “Not quite all gone,” may some poor settler say.

    But health is broken, and no more delight

    Fills their parental hearts from day to day,

While each succeeding month adds something more to pay,

XCVIII.

    Until at last the time allowed has fled.

    More time is granted, but alas, in vain!

    With aches and pains they now are nearly dead.

    Such help as they require they can’t obtain;

    And yet perhaps of fortune they complain,

    Or blame the friends whose “luck” has led them out there.

    But from such course ‘tis better to refrain;

    For, had they been still servants, with due care

They might have bought good farms and had some cash to spare. [page 193]

XCIX.

    Just so it was with that poor Christian brother,

    And this at once the Pastor clearly saw;

    Yet had no wish in haste to judge another,

    But felt inclined pure Charity to show.

    Then, having learned all he now wished to know,

    Home he returned and sought his Father’s ear.

    From his full heart strong supplications flow,

    Which cease not till he sees his duty clear,

And gains fresh help from God his brethren’s hearts to cheer.

C.

    He next the matter told to his dear wife,

    For she was wise and often could suggest

    What was most useful in affairs of life,

    Which made her counsel be in much request.

    Her mind to him she freely then expressed,

    And mentioned what she heard the day before—

    How brother Luth, who was of friends the best,

    Would take the farm and willingly give more

Than would the Creditor, if they the land restore.

CI.

    GOODWORTH heard this, then spoke to Luth alone—

    Told him quite plainly how the matter stood,

    Yet not in harsh, authoritative tone,

    But meekly, as more likely to do good.

    By this he showed regard for brotherhood,

    And led Luth candidly to speak his mind.

    Then, as both felt in very kindly mood,

    They deemed it best to try McKan to find

And let him know what they in Christian love designed.

CII.

    They found him soon and Luth made his proposal,

    Which filled the humble family with delight.

    The whole affair appeared as the disposal

    Of their kind God, who always acted right.

    Most thankful were they that in His pure sight

    They found such favor in their hour of need.

    That brother’s kindness they could ne’er requite;

    His was a noble—a most generous deed,

Which could alone from love at any time proceed. [page 194]

CIII.

    Luth took the place, and for improvements paid

    Beside what to the Creditor was due;

    “And if the family chose, they might,” he said,

    “Remain his tenants for a year or two,

    And daily labor he would take in lieu

    Of money payments for a moderate rent.”

    This plan aroused their gratitude anew,

    While with the bargain all appeared content,

And deemed the time employed most profitably spent.

CIV.

    The two on their return called in to see

    The sick blind youth, who now was sinking fast.

    He was no longer in despondency,

    Though he of late had through great suffering passed.

    On the Atonement all his hopes were cast,

    And now enjoyed a happy frame of mind.

    The work of Jesus did appear so vast,

    He could not doubt but it had been designed

By Him whose name is Love, to save poor lost mankind.

CV.

    The parents had beheld the change thus wrought

    By Gospel Truth in their afflicted boy,

    And called to mind how often they had thought

    Religion was invented to destroy

    Whatever mortals have of peace and joy.

    “But now,” they said, “we think it something worth,

    For our son’s happiness has no alloy,

    Although about to leave the joys of Earth,

And all those pleasant things which used to yield him mirth.”

CVI.

    The Pastor now gave each an exhortation,

    And kind friend Luth engaged awhile in prayer,

    Which met, at present, no disapprobation.

    Much death bed comfort does the sick one share,

    But soon his eyes assume a brighter glare,

    The rattle in his throat bespeaks death near.

    Anon they raise the dying youth with care,

    Whose smiling face shows plain he has no fear,

For Jesus in the valley does his servant cheer. [page 195]

CVII.

    A strong, brief struggle, and now all is o’er!

    No more the heart will in his bosom beat.

    His soul triumphant gains Heaven’s peaceful shore,

    And raptured stands to view each scene so sweet;

    Then joins the thousands tasting Bliss complete,

    In all the Hallelujahs which they raise

    Unto the Lamb of God, while at His feet

    They cast their crowns and ever wondering gaze

On Him who sits enthroned as worthy of all praise.

CVIII.

    Our friends strove now to cheer the drooping hearts

    Of that lone couple in their deep distress;

    For they knew well each promise which imparts

    To mourners hope and heartfelt happiness.

    These on their minds they forcibly impress;

    And their kind efforts are not used in vain,

    For the bereaved ones readily confess

    That faith in Jesus brought substantial gain

To their dear boy who now is free from grief and pain.

CIX.

    The neighbors, apprehending such event,

    Drop silent in and heartily engage

    With solemn mien and truly kind intent,

    The old folks’ ardent sorrow to assuage.

    Some one prepares the needful shroud to wage,

    While others wash and lay the body out,

    And in soft tones make observations sage,

    The truth of which none are inclined to doubt,

For all at such a time seem serious and devout.

CX.

    Meanwhile the Pastor and his friend take leave,

    And reach their homes before ’tis very late.

    The news they take their families receive

    As fresh inducement on their God to wait,

    And ever watch by Wisdom’s sacred gate.

    Two days elapse and bring the Sabbath round,

    And settlers join the humble funeral state,

    Which reaches soon the new-made burial ground,

Where all list to the service with respect profound. [page 196]

CXI.

    Those simple, mournful rites do much impress

    The minds of all assembling on this day;

    And now the Preacher lays the greatest stress

    On danger consequent upon delay

    In matters of Salvation, when the Way

    To Everlasting Life himself stands ready

    To welcome those who make His blood their stay,

    However weak their faith, howe’er unsteady

Their trembling souls become when tossed in Life’s rough eddy.

CXII.

    The text* was one that wonderfully suited

    The sinner groaning under loads of guilt,

    And mourning souls have found weak faith recruited,

    As on its consolations they have built

    Their stable hopes, against which Hell full tilt

    Has often run, determined to prevail—

    And might have done if Jesus, who has spilt

    His precious blood for them, had chanced to fail?

But that can never be, whatever foes assail.

CXIII.

    Has any mortal skill to estimate

    The solid good that such a text has done?

    Ah, no! the task’s so wonderfully great,

    By finite man it need not be begun.

    Fit for the work, of Angels there is none.

    God can alone the glorious secret tell,

    Or mark the value of the mighty boon

    To all the souls whom it hath saved from hell,

And landed safe in Glory, ever there to dwell.

CXIV.

    And at this time the mourners dried their tears,

    As the Departed’s state they realize.

    Raised were their hope, abated were their fears,

    On each new view of Christ’s great Sacrifice.

    Now might be seen joy beaming in their eyes,

    As they learned acquiescence in God’s will.

    Most precious promises the word supplies,

    To cheer their hearts and every murmur still,

While they together walk adown Life’s slippery hill.


    * The three last verses of Matthew XI.


[page 197]

CXV.

    Others, who long had boon companions been

    Of that young man in his most joyous days,

    With tearful eyes are in that Chapel seen,

    And seem desirous to amend their ways.

    They never had before beheld Truth’s blaze,

    But, like too many, boasted of their state,

    Not dreaming that their light was lost in haze

    Of stupid ignorance and folly great;

God grant such may repent before it is too late.

CXVI.

    ’Tis thus the Lord oft makes most lasting good

    To flow from what we mortals view as ill;

    And we pass through each strange vicissitude

    To find that peace again our souls can fill;

    While Mercy’s shed, not like a trickling rill,

    But in full streams, with never ceasing flow—

    Softening our hearts obdurate, and our will

    Conforming unto God’s; until we know

It was all needful to keep us from sin and woe.

CXVII.

    We now will pass from sad to lively scenes,

    And bask awhile in July’s warmth and smiles;

    For settlers’ homes can furnish ample means

    To have a Picnic ’mongst the beauteous isles

    Bestudding Huron’s face for many miles.

    Why should not those, who live on such wild farms,

    Enjoy a pleasant pastime, which beguiles

    The jaded mind: affording many charms

To those who wish to flee from anti-social harms?

CXVIII.

    The subject some weeks previous had been broached,

    And this enabled farmers to have care

    Lest the event on needful work encroached—

    A thing of which they all should be aware;

    As they, through Summer, have scarce time to spare

    For needful recreation in this way.

    Now, by contrivance, they enjoy a share

    Of sweet delight, on this auspicious day:

When several families make for a most pleasant Bay. [page 198]

CXIX.

    Fine was the day, and settlers’ boats were ready

    To bear their precious cargoes from the shore.

    The Pastor’s presence kept the young folks steady,

    Though blandest smiles the happy party wore.

    Strong, manly arms plied well each sturdy oar,

    To make the boats fly swift o’er sparkling waves.

    These seemed quite conscious of the freight they bore,

    And kissed the water which their trim forms laved;

While all enjoyed a scene that ne’er the heart depraved.

CXX.

    And thus they reach a lovely Isle, tree-clad—

    At no great distance from their starting place—

    From whose high front most splendid views are had

    Of other isles, all clothed in Summer’s grace.

    With rapture they now gaze on Nature’s face;

    See trees bedecked in brightest green attire,

    Which look well pleased with July’s warm embrace—

    Their forms view in the Lake, and much admire

Their fine proportions; and more stateliness acquire.

CXXI.

    For camping-ground they had not long to look;

    A sheltered place, from underbrush quite free,

    Was known to all as a most charming nook,

    Where they might rest and eat in privacy.

    On choice of this they every one agree;

    Then place the baskets—laden with good things—

    And now their voices, in sweet melody,

    Present pure praises to the King of Kings:

A truly pleasant service that much blessing brings.

CXXII.

    Young GOODWORTHS then good poetry recited;

    “Hymn to Mont Blanc,” and GRAY’S sweet “Elegy;”

    While MILTON’S lofty strains each one delighted,

    And COWPER’S sketches—full of harmony.

    CAMPBELL and WORDSWORTH yield variety,

    And BURNS his quota furnished with the rest.

    WILSON’S good Dramas, too, were deemed to be,

    By all the company, among the best:

And I would find no fault with what was then expressed. [page 199]

CXXIII.

    For lengthening out the pleasure thus obtained,

    The Pastor undertook to criticise

    Those pieces heard, and what was dark explained.

    Next, needful illustration he supplies,

    Or shows defects not seen by common eyes.

    Comparing the best with sacred poetry,

    He unfolds beauties in the Prophecies

    Of great Isaiah, and quite readily

Paints in most glowing terms the Psalmist’s minstrelsy!

CXXIV.

    Then speaks of Jeremiah’s plaintive strain—

    The “Weeping Prophet” and true Patriot,

    Who often wept for Zion, and felt pain

    For her great sins; who, when God’s wrath waxed hot

    Against his country, ne’er her weal forgot,

    But prayed and wrestled with the Lord of Hosts,

    If, peradventure, he her crimes would blot

    From out his Book; and yet he never boasts

Of love to country, as some do who seek high posts.

CXXV.

    The Book of Job—great in poetic lore—

    He dwells upon, till wonder and delight

    Seize all his hearers; most of whom before

    Had not enjoyed a very clear insight

    Into that Book, which tells of God’s great might,

    His wisdom, goodness and forbearance long

    With his poor servant, brought to saddest plight

    Through Satans eagerness to drive him wrong;

When he poured forth his woes in deep impassioned song.

CXXVI.

    Next glanced at Moses’ song on Red Sea shore—

    When Pharaoh and his mighty host were drowned—

    In which the Tribes most gratefully adore

    Their great Deliverer, who on Egypt frowned.

    No mortal uninspired could e’er have found

    Such fitting language for that great event,

    Those strains sublime, with glorious grandeur crowned,

    Came forth from heaven, and back were thither sent

As worship to the Lord, from hearts on praise intent. [page 200]

CXXVII.

    ’Twas now full time that they should all partake

    Of the refreshment thither brought with care.

    While thirst was quenched with water from the lake,

    They each with each their choicest viands share.

    But ere they eat of that most ample fare,

    Due thanks are given in a proper song.

    Such happy lot with any can compare,

    So none need marvel if they tarried long,

For everything conspired to make Love’s bonds quite strong.

CXXVIII.

    The dinner o’er the older ones retired

    To give the Island a complete survey.

    In doing this they very much admired

    Sweet scenes thus visited on that fine day.

    The younger part had no desire to stray,

    So they remained in that nice shady nook,

    And joined together in a harmless play,

    Or read awhile in some delightful book,

And thus of purest pleasure old and young partook.

CXXIX.

    The sun, quite fast into the West descending,

    Now warned them all it was full time to go

    To their dear homes, where sweetest comforts blending,

    Gave no just cause neglect of them to show.

    But yet their hearts, with gratitude aglow,

    Prompt them once more to join in praise each voice.

    And now the Pastor sought from them to know

    If they of proper hymn have made their choice,

As he had one composed, and truly would rejoice

CXXX.

    If his attempt to speak the mind of all

    For this day’s pleasure and substantial joy

    Should meet with approbation and recall

    The hours so sweetly spent without alloy.

    He spoke of this to them with manners coy,

    Like one not used to boast what he had done.

    “Perhaps,” he said, “They might their time employ

    To more advantage if he ne’er begun

To give to them the Song which he in haste had spun.” [page 201]

PASTOR’S SONG ON LEAVING THE ISLAND.

Soon Sol will sink into the West

    And Luna shed her silvery beams;

Each songster seeks its wild-wood nest

    To spend the night in love’s sweet dreams.

And we, dear friends, prepare to leave

    The Isle and each delightful scene,

And feel we have no cause to grieve

    That we upon its shore have been.

For all, throughout this lovely day,

    Have had much pleasure free from pain.

Then let us, ere we go away,

    Lift up our hearts in praise again.

“O Thou who from thy bounteous hand

    Dost give thy children all they need,

Behold us now—a loving band,

    And all our boats in safety speed

“To yonder bay; then guide us home.

    Accept our thanks for mercies great

We have enjoyed beneath thy dome,

    In humble, yet contented state.”

Farewell, sweet Isle; may thy fair scenes

    Ne’er witness orgies, vile, profane;

For this man’s character demeans,

    And never yields him solid gain.

CXXXI.

    With this short song they all were satisfied,

    And soon agreed that it forthwith be sung.

    In strong, warm feelings t’en each singer vied,

    And some gave proof they had no lack of lung.

    To Duke Street tune were their fine voices strung,

    And thus the verses went off charmingly,

    While through the distant woods their loud notes rung.

    The party now, with great alacrity

Regain the boats, and push into that deep, blue sea. [page 202]

CXXXII.

    And what a beauteous scene was there presented

    To their admiring gaze on that fine lake.

    ’Twas such that they could all have been contented

    To stay forever; but a something spake

    And bid them hasten, as life was at stake!

    This may seem strange, but they with dread behold

    Heaven’s face grow black, while mighty winds awake.

    And now ’tis well that men both strong and bold

Have charge of those frail boats well filled with young and old.

CXXXIII.

    In this their trouble they look up to God,

    Who bids the angry elements be still;

    And thus suspends o’er them his chastening Rod,

    While deepest gratitude their bosoms fill,

    Inspiring them afresh to do His will.

    It nerves each heart and arm to ply the oar

    With ceaseless efforts; working hard until

    In safety every boat has reached the shore.

    When the curbed storm at last does all its vengeance pour.

CXXXIV.

    The rain comes down in torrents, and the flash

    Of vivid lightning penetrates the gloom!

    Loud roars the mighty thunder, and the dash

    Of angry waves upon the ear doth boom!

    The friends, escaped as from a watery tomb,

    All stand together ’neath o’erhanging rock.

    Somewhat appalled and rather pinched for room,

    They list in silence each tremendous shock;

Yet Christ, their Shepherd, watches o’er his feeble flock.

CXXXV.

    The storm subsides, and they not much the worse,

    Cheered by the bright moon beams haste on their way.

    God’s special mercies warmly they rehearse,

    Which yields fresh comfort, as so well it may.

    Upon the whole they had a pleasant day,

    And ere each separate party leaves the track,

    The Pastor says, “Dear friends, now let us pray.”

    All gave consent, and forth there rose no lack

Of earnest prayer to Him who safely brought them back. [page 203]

CXXXVI.

    Now while they separate and thence pursue

    The several paths that lead them to their farms,

    I seize occasion to bid warm adieu

    To my poor Muse, who lent to me her charms

    In my adventurous flight; and free from harms

    Will live in hope the subject to resume

    As leisure serves me and the topic warms

    My heart and fancy, which may truth illume,

That what I have to sing may live beyond the tomb.

——————

BOOK II.

————

“I seek divine simplicity in him

Who handles things divine; and all besides,

Though learned with labor, and though much admired

By curious eyes and judgments ill informed,

To me is odious.”

“Such should still be affectionate in look,

And tender in address, as well becomes

A messenger of Grace to guilty man.”

Cowper.

————

I.

    How strange the various scenes through which we pass

    In our life’s journey—onward to the grave!

    Sometimes all smiles and sunshine; then alas,

    Dark clouds hang o’er us, and God’s help we crave.

    Weak in adversity—when prosperous brave,

    We often act a very foolish part;

    Forsaking Mercies which our Father gave,

    To follow our devices, till we smart

With self-inflicted pangs sent through our inmost heart. [page 204]

II.

    So I, who many times have sung of duty,

    Too oft am led to slight my own, and feel

    God’s chastening hand, until I see the beauty

    Of all His dealings with me for my weal.

    And yet the hand that wounds is sure to heal

    The injured part; designing all in love;

    And in such manner that He can’t conceal

    The Father’s kindly heart. ’Tis thus we prove

His earnest wish to have us always look Above.

III.

    Some months have fled since I this task began,

    Bringing to near completion its first part.

    Awhile my thoughts in easy measure ran,

    Which much beguiled an often saddened heart.

    Ere long death shook at me his poisoned dart

    And made me lay my pleasing task aside.

    Now, as I write not for an earthly mart,

    I have a wish that my poor rhymes may bide

The test of Scripture Truth, by whomesoe’er applied.

IV.

    I feel a sacred pleasure warm my breast

    As I resume my simple tale of love;

    A tale which is not in rich language dressed,

    Nor aims it much the worldling’s heart to move.

    I fain would look for help from God above,

    To leave a record of my principles;

    And seek the guidance of the Heavenly Dove,

    Whose influence the darkest doubt dispels,

And fills with purest peace the heart wherein he dwells.

V.

    This glorious truth was never more displayed

    Than in dear GOODWORTH’S every day’s employ;

    Or in the fields or in the woodland shade,

    His love of duty yielded constant joy;

    Sweet Heaven-born Peace naught could in him destroy.

    For why? He had in God most steadfast trust,

    And things which do so many minds annoy

    Led him to curb all anger, pride and lust,

While in each fresh distress he knew that God was just. [page 205]

VI.

    He also knew that he is merciful

    And wise in all he does unto mankind.

    If this we see not we are very dull,

    And to our soul’s best interests truly blind.

    This to perceive some minds are too refined

    By false philosophy and learning vain.

    No wonder then if they are left behind

    The humble child of God, who with disdain

Views all these worldly pleasures that he might obtain.

VII.

    Just so with GOODWORTH; though he had in schools

    Learned much of what is termed deep classic lore,

    He quite preferred to train his life by rules

    Contained in Scripture; and it grieved him sore

    To see some Christians—this all should deplore—

    Neglect Christ’s precepts to procure their ends.

    But seeing this, he never once forbore

    To speak plain truth and reap what oft attends

An upright course—ev’n scorn; but this his walk commends.

VIII.

    In his snug home he evermore obtained

    What flowed from love—a holy reverence.

    Of harsh commands his children ne’er complained;

    Wrangling and discord both were banished thence.

    His much loved wife possessed some rare good sense,

    And seconded his efforts for their good.

    She never sought in earnest or pretence

    To lower him before his flesh and blood;

While to increase their comforts she did all she could.

IX.

    Nor was it strange if such a home as this

    Made him content his leisure time to spend

    Within his family circle; for such bliss

    Comes not to all, who seek to make an end

    Of troubles that a single life attend,

    By entering soon into the marriage state.

    If such folks would but strict attention lend

    To Bible teaching, they might share the fate

Of these, our friends, on whom true pleasure seemed to wait. [page 206]

X.

    Their constant mutual love became the theme

    With all who knew them in that Settlement;

    Domestic bliss was proved no idle dream,

    For in true happiness their lives were spent.

    To labor hard they always were content,

    Regarding Paul’s advice and his example:

    It was their thought they were but thither sent

    To furnish proof which all might own was ample

That they loved Jesus’ laws, on which too many trample.

XI.

    Let none imagine they e’er built on this

    A hope of endless happiness in heaven.

    They deemed it right all men should bow submiss

    To this Authority, whose life was given

    For sinners vile; that they might not be driven

    Away from Him to dwell in endless woe.

    This oft has cheered them on as they have striven

    To lead their fellow men God’s truth to know;

And every day its power did their behavior show.

XII.

    The Spring is past and Summer’s heat has fled.

    United diligence hath well supplied

    A plenteous store of more than needful bread,

    For they have some choice luxuries beside,

    By which means different tastes are gratified.

    The snug ten acre field with wheat is sown,

    And looks most promising. Should naught betide

    To hurt their present prospects this alone

Will well repay them for the hardships they have known.

XIII.

    And now the necessary steps are taken

    To shield the cattle from dread Winter’s rage.

    Necessity—stern master—does awaken

    Their full inventive powers, and they engage

    With ready ardor pens and sheds to wage;

    And in the absence of commodious barn,

    They stack with care their straw, and thus are sage

    Compared with many whom no dangers warn,

And who, though often suffering, will not stoop to learn. [page 207]

XIV.

    A good supply of hard wood they obtain,

    To serve them through the season drawing near,

    When rude King Frost will hold tyrranic reign,

    Making the country desolate and drear.

    But in those woods they have small cause for fear

    From Winter’s howling, fearful, blister blasts,

    For they have fuel in abundance near,

    And the huge wood fire constant comfort casts

Into the snug log house long as the season lasts.

XV.

    All these arrangements made, the Pastor felt

    He had more leisure now to walk abroad;

    And in the gorgeous woods he often knelt

    In fervent prayer before his Father, God.

    For miles around his feet have pressed the sod

    Which ne’er was turned by plow up to the sun—

    Wilds that the foot of white man seldom trod.

    And where no clearance had as yet begun:

Where he could sit and watch some charming brooklet run.

XVI.

    Or now and then would wander near the side

    Of that majestic Lake, whose isles, tree clad

    And decked in Autumn’s tints, appeared to ride

    With all their splendors quite elate and glad

    On Huron’s silvery surface. Such scenes had

    A powerful charm to one of GOODWORTH’S mind.

    They would indeed, if aught had made him sad,

    Often dispel his gloom and leave behind

Precious remembrances of an enduring kind.

XVII.

    This was no marvel for his soul was filled

    With true poetic fire; and oft sweet song

    Of purest praise spontaneously has welled

    From his enraptured heart. Then he would long

    To leave a world where misery and wrong

    So much prevail, but yet content to stay

    And serve his master, his poor saints among;

    Would try to save those led from God astray,

That he might aid Christ’s cause while it is called “To-day.” [page 208]

XVIII.

    Amidst such scenery he would sometimes take

    In haste his pencil, that he might note down

    Such thought as gushing from their fountain make

    The truest poetry that man has known.

    A specimen or two will now be shown

    Ere I proceed with my unlettered tale.

    If I mistake not they have all been drawn

    From Nature’s store, and if so should not fail

To claim our deep respect while they our mind regale.

PASTOR’S AUTUMNAL SONG.

Sweet Nature in grandeur Autumnal lies still,

    And I stand all entranced mid the gorgeous display,

While the sun brightly sets o’er yon westernmost hill,

    And soft twilight succeeds to a most balmy day.

It is sweet in our woods a free ranger to wander,

    And view the bright tints the frost makes on the leaves;

To watch day by day, as the colors grow grander,

    And its garb evanescent each tall tree receives.

’Tis here that I feel my breast heave with emotion,

    While reflections arise in its deepest recess;

And these in their turn fill my soul with devotion,

    As I trace the Kind Hand for my aid in distress.

These all are thy works, O, Thou glorious Being!

    Thou art the great Limner with whom none can vie;

Yet dim are the splendors as night comes, fast fleeing,

    Compared with the glories around Thee on high.

Amidst this array comes the solemn thought stealing,

    That these glowing colors will soon pass away.

Each rude blast of wind seems a passing bell pealing,

    And loudly is calling all Christians to pray.

For full preparation, ere Death comes to call them

    To lay all earth’s cares and sweet pleasures aside,

That they may be happy whatever befall them,

    Still trusting in Jesus, the Lamb who hath died. [page 209]

HIS SONG TO A RILL.

Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,

Murm’ring softly down this hill,

    Oft I list thy charming voice,

At the bright and early morn,

    As the Sun comes from the East,

While his beams these scenes adorn,

    To furnish minds like mine a feast.

Sweetly musical, pure Rill,

Thou dost me with pleasure fill.

    As I note thy varied charms

Dulcet sounds fall on my ear,

    Soothing much a saddened heart;

Easing me of grief and fear,

    Till I grieve from thee to part.

Modest, unassuming Rill,

Thou art formed by matchless skill.

    Grace and beauty are displayed

In they ever-smiling face

    And the objects which surround

This thy home; where I can trace

    Traits to make this hallowed ground.

Lively, joyous, trickling Rill!

As I gaze upon thee still,

    Wanders back my mind afar

To those haunts of boyish days,

    When my young and ardent soul

Warbled forth its earnest lays,

    Gladly following Nature’s call.

Glittering, dancing, pearly Rill!

Thou dost well thy Maker’s will

    In regarding his behest.

Teaching Christians all the way

    They must take to please their God;

Lest in dangerous paths they stray,

    And bring upon themselves his Rod.

Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,

Murm’ring softly down this hill,

    I must bid thee now farewell;

Other scenes my presence claim.

    My dear Master’s work demands

What will bring no earthly fame—

    The labor of my heart and hands. [page 210]

XIX.

    Upon these songs no farther I comment;

    They speak a language dear unto my soul;

    And I could dwell through all my life content

    To gaze on Nature, who doth never pall

    A mind well tuned to listen to the call

    Of her pure minstrelsy, which yields delight

    Unmixed, enduring, as the seasons roll

    In quick succession, hymning forth the Might

Of their All-wise Creator, who doth all things right.

XX.

    ’Tis “Indian Summer,” and the sun looks down

    As if afraid to show his blazing face.

    And now the woods assume a darker brown,

    While in the weather there is not a trace

    Of Summer’s ardent heat that doth unbrace

    The nerves of most, and makes one long to feel

    The cooling breeze as Winter comes apace

    To scatter forest leaves with savage zeal,

Which do the narrow wood-paths by their fall conceal.

XXI.

    And now the copious rains come pouring down,

    Filling the creeks and swamps and rivers full;

    Or in the woods or in the growing town,

    Things wear an aspect truly dark and dull.

    Through deep, stiff mud the stoutest oxen pull

    With much ado the very smallest load;

    While many a blow across his patient skull

    Urges the meek ox slowly on the road,

Tiring the settler out ere he reach his abode.

XXII.

    Anon the angry northwest winds arise,

    Bringing dark scowling clouds full fraught with snow.

    This all discharged, perhaps for months there lies

    One vast white sheet which screens the plants below

    From biting frosts, while easier to and fro

    The settlers move in their convenient sleighs.

    These heed not cold if they have hearts aglow

    With friendly feelings, but will speed for days

Along the snow-paved roads and on some strange highways. [page 211]

XXIII.

    At such a time GOODWORTH and eldest son

    Left home and all its inmates in God’s care;

    But ere they had their first day’s journey done

    A circumstance occurred by no means rare.

    An English emigrant had settled where

    The woods were heavy and no neighbors near.

    He had partaken of the morning’s fare

    And armed with axe dreamt not of cause for fear—

Thought he’d be back at noon to wife and children dear.

XXIV.

    But noontide came and brought no father fond

    To take his place and share the frugal meal.

    They little knew that his loved form beyond

    In that dark wood could no emotion feel.

    The loving wife could very ill conceal

    Dread thoughts which rose within her faithful breast.

    Should he be dead her own and children’s weal

    Were fled forever. So, with mind distressed

She went to search the woods and gave herself no rest.

XXV.

    At last she came to where a huge tree lay

    Athwart the body of the hapless man.

    By grief distracted there she could not stay,

    But up the road with frightful speed she ran.

    Soon she met GOODWORTHS and forthwith began

    To tell her tale most incoherently.

    Few words were needful at such a time to fan

    Love’s flame in them or make them prove to be

Both Good Samaritans to that poor family.

XXVI.

    They took her up and tried to calm her mind

    Until they came to that soul-harrowing scene.

    Now all alight; ere long the axe they find,

    Which had so late the man’s companion been.

    His stiffened corpse was wedged quite fast between

    The tree and frozen earth, and naught remained

    But first the widow with sleigh-robes to screen

    From bitter cold; and this point having gained

They soon cut through the tree, so well had they been trained. [page 212]

XXVII.

    It then became their melancholy duty

    To take the lifeless form from the sad spot.

    And now the widow in sweet, mournful beauty

    Directs the new-found friends to her log cot.

    A tearless eye within that home was not—

    All felt the dreadful nature of the loss

    Which had that day occurred, for naught could blot

    His great worth from their minds. He ne’er was cross

To those who clung to him as to the tree the moss.

XXVIII.

    To leave this family in such piteous state

    Was out of question, so young GOODWORTH took

    The horses out—for now ’twas growing late—

    To quench their thirst at a clear purling brook,

    And gave them food within a sheltered nook;

    Then found some boards and made a coffin rude.

    Meanwhile the father took God’s holy Book

    And read such portions as teach fortitude

To us, that all immoderate grief may be subdued.

XXIX.

    ’Twas well that mother long had known the Lord,

    For wondrous strength is now to her imparted;

    And each clear promise in the Holy Word

    Proved balm unto her soul, though much she smarted.

    In both the GOODWORTHS she found friends warm hearted,

    Friends who could give their love and sympathy;

    And ere they from her humble home departed

    They showed such proofs of generosity

As did with their profession very well agree.

XXX.

    For such a work by sad experience trained,

    They soon proceeded to lay out the dead;

    And though fatigued they ne’er of it complained,

    Nor would they let the widow spread a bed

    For their joint use, but sat and watched instead.

    She, much refreshed by prayer and conversation

    Retired to rest her wearied heart and head.

    They spent the night in solemn contemplation

Or read that precious Book which does unfold Salvation. [page 213]

XXXI.

    When morning came their plans were well matured,

    And each went off to tell the mournful news.

    Ere noon appeared assistance they secured,

    For help at such time who can well refuse?

    Some brought their tools which they knew how to use,

    And dug a grave in the selected spot.

    There round it grew no stately, sombre yews,

    But these and other things it needed not

To be fit resting-place for one not soon forgot.

XXXII.

    When all was ready GOODWORTH lent support

    To the bereaved one following the bier.

    In sweet-toned language he did her exhort

    To look to Him who “bottles up each tear”

    His children shed while in deep sorrow here.

    They reached the grave, where she with firmness stood

    And felt such comfort as dispelled her fear.

    Such fruits spring from true Christian Brotherhood

To all who rest their hopes on Christ’s atoning blood.

XXXIII.

    Due rites performed, the settlers flock around

    The widowed mother and warm offers make

    Of humble service, with respect profound.

    This wished the boy and that the girl to take,

    And treat them well for their dear parents’ sake.

    She heard these offers with much thankfulness,

    But said to part with them her heart would break—

    Would miss them, too, in this her sad distress,

And they could get along if God their efforts bless.

XXXIV.

    That night the Pastor ventured to enquire

    What were her prospects? Did she money need?

    The answer made he could not but admire:

    “Her God had ever proved a friend indeed;

    Cheered by His promises which she could plead,

    She doubted not He would them still protect,

    And make their labors on the farm succeed;

    Her boy was strong, and had such great respect

For what was right that he his work would not neglect.” [page 214]

   

XXXV.

    Next day the friends prepared again to start

    On their cold journey soon as it was light.

    Both urged their hostess freely to impart

    To them from time to time her prospects bright

    Or the reverse, as she might deem it right.

    In fervent prayer they her to God commend,

    Then bade Farewell and soon were out of sight.

    They reached that day their lengthy journey’s end,

And gained a hearty welcome from their loving friend.

XXXVI.

    That friend lived in a village destined soon

    To show few traces of the times gone past

    When its fair site was woods where the racoon,

    The bear, and wolf had munched their stolen repast.

    In wealth and people ’twas increasing fast,

    But not in morals—these were very low;

    Yet some there lived who roused themselves at last

    And with great vigor met the monster foe—

Ev’n vile Intemperance—to give him his death blow.

XXXVII.

    This end they hoped for by the simple means

    Of total abstinence from liquors strong.

    The frequent use of these gives rise to scenes

    Which all good men would scorn to be among.

    Vile oaths, the boisterous mirth, the wanton song,

    Were constant heard within each horrid den

    Where these vile drinks were retailed all day long.

    ’Twas sad indeed to view such filthy pen

Filled with poor ruined wretches who once had been men.

XXXVIII.

    Throughout the village there were many such,

    And as a consequence great mischief done.

    It is surprising and has grieved me much

    To think our Magistrates have laurels won

    By doing what all devils view as fun!

    Why grant a license to each Groggery

    When it is evident men only run

    To those low places for iniquity,

Till they become as vile as wicked men can be? [page 215]

XXXIX.

    Our Pastor’s friend was one among the number

    That first came forward openly to stand

    On “total Abstinence,” nor did he slumber,

    But to the work lent willing heart and hand.

    GOODWORTH knew this, and having at command

    A little leisure held a meeting there.

    He spoke with warmth in language bold yet bland,

    Using such arguments as made men stare

Who went for sake of fun, but got some better fare.

XL.

    With ready tact he showed the means insidious

    Used oft by those who sold the drunkard drink

    To lure him on by stimulants oblivious,

    Till he lost self-command and ceased to think.

    Then showed him tottering on the fearful brink

    Of the wide-opening grave and drunkard’s hell,

    And truthfully described how link by link

    Of sacred ties were severed, as the spell

Grew daily stronger, and a sot confirmed he fell.

XLI.

    And now he drew as with a master’s hand,

    A vivid picture of sad family woes;

    The broken-hearted wife oft forced to stand

    Betwixt her children and their father’s blows—

    He mad with rum, thus trampling Nature’s laws;

    Or gave a life-like sketch where parents vie

    In drunken riot, every day the cause

    Of strife and discord, the poor home a sty

Where filth and rags surround them, till like beasts they die.

XLII.

    And then he gave with most consummate skill

    A true description of Sobriety,

    Where man and wife walk up and down Life’s hill

    In sweet conjugal peace and piety;

    Their love increasing as more years they see,

    Their children growing up like olive plants

    To love and cherish much their memory,

    And if need be in Age supply their wants,

Then meet with that reward which God to such still grants. [page 216]

XLIII.

    While he was speaking there was some excitement,

    And at the meeting’s close a number came

    To sign the Pledge, expressing much delightment.

    Yet some were there who slunk away in shame,

    Muttering that they were not a whit to blame

    For the poor drunkard’s fate, although they had

    Used every means to keep alive the flame

    Which burned their vitals and made them quite mad.

That these escape due punishment is far too bad.

XLIV.

    I here would try to speak my mind in brief

    Upon the Temperance movement ere I pass

    To other scenes, either of joy or grief,

    In which our Pastor figures—for alas,

    “Man’s best laid schemes are only like to grass

    Which springs up for a season and then dies.”

    Just so this question ’mongst the world’s great mass

    Sometimes seems gaining ground, but the Foe plies

His sly ensnaring arts and all reform defies.

XLV.

    Now why is this? Can any tell me why?

    Some feel quite sure all we now want’s a law

    To stop the godless traffic. These rely

    Perhaps too much on man to strike the blow

    Which is to bring the fell Destroyer low.

    Others are sure that it is useless quite

    To curb the monster. These ne’er felt the glow

    Of pure Philanthropy move them aright

Or they would rise and aim to crush this demon’s might.

XLVI.

    Try this scheme, friends: Let all true Christians stand

    Fast in one body, and use fervent prayer

    And self-denial, that the Lord’s right hand

    May be stretched out to break each chain and snare

    Which binds mankind. Then let it be our care

    To act consistently in all we do.

    Of resting on an arm of flesh beware!

    For in this case our plans will all fall through;

We shall be put to shame and feel deep anguish too. [page 217]

XLVII.

    May we no opportunity neglect

    Of spreading wide the Gospel’s joyful sound

    For those who never do indeed expect

    That God’s rich blessing will their steps surround.

    Thrice happy shall we be if we are found

    Engaged still thus when Jesus calls us hence.

    Rise, Christians, then, and let your zeal abound!

    The Savior calls! In earnest now commence

This Godlike work, and let his name be your defence.

XLVIII.

    I now resume my simple narrative,

    To tell how GOODWORTHS reached their home again.

    More striking views of them I yet must give,

    If I may strike my harp and use my pen.

    To me who rank not ’mongst well learned men

    ’Twill prove a task of no small magnitude;

    Yet after hard bench-labor, now and then

    It gives relief from much solicitude

To sit in my arm chair and form my verses rude.

XLIX.

    Once more our friends are gliding o’er the road,

    While their clear bells most lively music make.

    The sleighing good, and past each log abode

    They swiftly fly and soon a side-line take

    To gain an Indian village near the Lake.

    Here they intend to spend a little time

    The poor Red Men from sin and death to wake

    By speaking to them of those Truths sublime,

Which can renew the souls of men sunk low in crime.

L.

    The Indian Chiefs received them with much pleasure;

    They saw in GOODWORTH what did suit them well.

    Of outward charms he had an ample measure,

    And his fine voice was like a deep-toned bell.

    These all combined cast as it were a spell

    Over those haughty rangers of the wood,

    And made them ponder what he had to tell.

    It was a sight to see those natives rude

List to God’s Gospel-message in a serious mood. [page 218]

LI.

    They listened, and the Holy Ghost with power

    Sent home the word to some of savage heart.

    These since have seen great cause to bless the hour

    In which our Pastor visited that part.

    A few, deep-skilled in blackest heathen art

    Were full of rage and would have done him harm,

    But lacked the power, which but increased their smart.

    Meanwhile the others with fresh feelings warm,

Pressed hospitable rites and quelled the fierce alarm.

LII.

    With these he had some very earnest talk

    Of that obedience which the Lord requires

    From his Disciples, to ensure a walk

    Such as may tend to curb our vain desires

    And nurture that which to all good aspires.

    He deemed it proper not to press at first

    The rite Baptismal; and while one admires

    His views on this, another seems to thirst

For full initiation lest he die accursed.

LIII.

    This from an Indian did excite surprise;

    But soon ’twas known this man had heard before

    A hint of it from some one he thought wise—

    One truly skilled in strong Sectarian lore.

    To try to set him right GOODWORTH forbore,

    At least at that time, as too well he knew

    Men oft in controversy feel more sore

    On things of which they have but partial view;

That they will argue most for what to them is new.

LIV.

    Upon the morrow ere they took their leave,

    It was arranged—God willing—to return

    Within a week or two those to receive

    Into strict Fellowship who wished to learn

    God’s will, which all in Scripture may discern,

    That in Church standing they a light might be

    To their poor friends whose state required concern.

    This settled, GOODWORTHS then most cheerfully

Resumed their journey home to join their family. [page 219]

LV.

    The first few miles in safety soon they passed,

    And reach the edge of a most dismal swamp

    Stretched out before them in dimensions vast;

    A huge receptacle of gloom and damp.

    There savage wolves and beasts of such a stamp

    Might lodge secure and plan most daring deeds.

    Gloomy the prospect, though the solar Lamp

    Was full two hours from setting, and the steeds

Restive become and faster fly as instinct leads.

LVI.

    The men knew well what they had to expect,

    And sent a prayer into their Father’s ear.

    This done, they did no proper means neglect

    To meet what danger might be hovering near,

    And also strove each others’ hearts to cheer.

    Swifter the horses speed o’er the rough logs

    That form the road, and now some wolves appear

    Hungry and fierce and fresh from noisome bogs,

To pounce upon our friends who lack their faithful dogs.

LVII.

    The murderous gang now spring but miss their prey,

    And plunging in deep snow vent forth their rage

    In horrid yells, then strive to reach the sleigh.

    Again they fail; again afresh engage

    With double fury bloody war to wage!

    Vain their attempts. A Mighty Hand unseen

    Aids those two men. This does their fears assuage,

    And nerves their arms, and keeps their minds serene,

Or they had failed to tell how good the Lord had been.

LVIII.

    The swamp is cleared, yet on the smoother road

    Their speed they slack not till they reach the house

    Of a poor drunken settler then abroad

    On his nocturnal revels, while the spouse

    Was left to mourn his oft-indulged carouse,

    And tremble for his safety from the cold.

    No sense of danger e’er could him arouse

    From his sad sunken state. Drink had such hold

On his gross appetite he seemed to Satan sold. [page 220]

LIX.

    And yet the wife, the mother of his babes,

    Ne’er breathed reproach against her low-sunk mate.

    Such love as her’s it is which sometimes saves

    A wretched husband from a drunkard’s fate.

    ’Tis true such love is oft repaid with hate,

    And driven to distraction wives may say

    Hard things of men who bring them to a state

    Of heartfelt woe, and drive their feet astray

From Virtue’s paths, until they shun the light of day.

LX.

    But here and there a character shines forth,

    As in this case, most worthy of all praise.

    For this sweet wife was one of matchless worth,

    And her dear name should grace my artless lays,

    If I by that means could her triumphs raise.

    She was in truth a noble heroine,

    Whose brow might well have been bedecked with bays;

    For deeds like hers through every age should shine

To show the strength of Love and prove it is divine.

LXI.

    O, woman! who has skill of mind or pen

    Those feelings to portray that fill thy breast?

    All we yet see are glimpses now and then,

    Which make us long the more to know the rest.

    Self-sacrificing woman! thou ’rt possessed

    Of that which does enable thee to bear

    A load of misery on thy heart impressed

    By wrongs from him who should thy sorrows share,

And make thy daily weal his ever constant care.

LXII.

    His home in that far North wild wilderness

    Had naught about it which could tell the tale

    Of what that mother suffered of distress,

    For hope—fond hope had kept her strong and hale.

    It was still whispering she would soon prevail

    Upon her husband to renounce his sin.

    This cheered her heart although her face grew pale

    With anxious care how best she could begin

And what means to employ that she might victory win. [page 221]

LXIII.

    So GOODWORTH found her on that bitter night

    With house quite trim and table neatly laid,

    And hopeful still though in a serious plight,

    As we have hinted, very much afraid

    Lest her dear man should freeze. “He is,” she said,

    “As good a husband as I could desire

    But for his fault. He always has displayed

    Such love for me that I will never tire

Of loving him, though none my conduct may admire.”

LXIV.

    And saying this she would have gone alone

    The absent one upon the road to seek.

    Her ardent love conspicuously shown

    On that occasion, and I fain would speak

    Her praise with trumpet tongue, though she so meek

    Might blush to hear it and feel half offended.

    Now GOODWORTHS thought that one whom they deemed weak

    Was best at home, yet their her love commended,

And volunteered to go, by trusty dog attended.

LXV.

    ’Twas not in vain. Behind a huge pine tree

    The man, o’ercome, was lying fast asleep;

    Nor could they rouse him, so far gone was he,

    Or from the cold or from potations deep.

    An unseen Eye did faithful vigils keep

    O’er that poor sinner though he knew it not;

    And thoughts of this has since oft made him weep

    Tears of true penitence in that lone spot,

Which gave to him a lesson that he ne’er forgot.

LXVI.

    This spot was very near to where he lived,

    And the kind friends Drink’s hapless victim bore

    To his own home, both feeling truly grieved

    That his sad state would make his wife’s heart sore.

    And now the faithful dog trots on before,

    Most clearly glad because his master’s found.

    Anon he whines and scratches at the door,

    Which makes his mistress’ heart within her bound

As she peers through the dark and tries to catch some sound. [page 222]

LXVII.

    Each moment seemed an hour as thus she stood

    In doubt, expecting some great evil near;

    And when they came the sight nigh froze her blood.

    She fainting fell, through mingled grief and fear.

    Meanwhile the children in the chamber hear

    A noise below, and leave their snug, warm bed,

    Then in deep sorrow view their parents dear,

    And big, warm tears each youngling freely shed,

For their idea was that both were lying dead.

LXVIII.

    Our friends knew better and strove eagerly

    To still their cries and consciousness restore

    Unto the sufferers. Soon with joy they see

    The mother fast recovering; her they bore

    Into her bed-room that they might give more

    Attention to the drunken father’s case.

    He in deep stupor did most loudly snore

    And looked quite frightful with frost-bitten face,

Which kept him long in mind of that—his great disgrace.

LXIX.

    Next they rub hard with snow the frozen parts,

    Until the flesh displays a ruddy glow.

    This task accomplished they with lighter hearts

    Deeper concernment for the mistress show.

    She, quite awake, most anxious was to know

    Their full opinion of her partner’s state.

    The favorable answer made her bow

    Her heart to God for this mercy great,

In having kept her man from such an awful fate.

LXX.

    From bed she rose and pressed on them to eat,

    But GOODWORTH asked if he might go to prayer.

    She gave consent, and ’fore the Mercy Seat

    They poured forth thanks for all their Father’s care,

    And prayed that all within the house might share

    God’s rich forgiving love, and ever be

    Devoted to his service: so prepare

    By constant practice of true piety

To join the heavenly ranks a happy family. [page 223]

LXXI.

    And now they eat with keenest appetite

    Of the good things so temptingly displayed—

    Prime venison with bread both sweet and light.

    And charming butter as e’er housewife made

    Were with tea, cream, and rich preserves arrayed

    In plentiful supply upon the table.

    There, backed by welcome, all their toil repaid.

    And they found backwoods cheer indeed no fable:

Yet to partake thereof their hostess was not able.

LXXII.

    Their noble team they came so near forgetting.

    Had been provided for with care by one

    Who gave his parents no just cause for fretting—

    A rather small but very hopeful son.

    Around the blazing hearth-fire they begun

    To draw their chairs to dwell in converse pure

    Another hour on what the Lord had done:

    How he had kept them all from death secure

And caused their love and faith through trials to endure.

LXXIII.

    The guests both slept in peace and early rose,

    And found their host already stirring round,

    But suffering much from being badly froze,

    And strangely nervous at the slightest sound.

    The elder GOODWORTH spoke to him and found

    That Conscience was at work within his breast.

    She made him hear with reverence profound

    Truths suited to the case of one distressed

By sense of heinous guilt, which drives away all rest.

LXXIV.

    He also brought most forcibly to view

    The need there was of “total abstinence”

    For such as he; and step by step he drew

    The man along till an o’erwhelming sense

    Of his great crime made him wish to commence

    At once a life of strict Sobriety.

    He signed a pledge and straightway banished thence

    The fiery fluid, his great enemy,

And did thenceforward keep his pledge most sacredly. [page 224]

LXXV.

    The breakfast o’er, our two friends bade adieu

    To parents, children, in their kindly way.

    ’Twas now their wish to push the journey through

    Before the close of that short Winter day.

    The Sun was up and made a grand display

    Upon the trees and shrubs on every hand;

    These all were clad in silvery array,

    As if transformed by some Magician’s wand,

But ’twas the work of Him who counts the grains of sand.

LXXVI.

    For through the night a change had taken place—

    Such as we frequent view without surprise.

    Rain falls and freezes—this is oft the case—

    And trees look pretty to our outward eyes.

    But is this all that such a view supplies?

    Can we not trace a Mighty Artist’s skill,

    Which competition from mankind defies?

    Then let us learn to reverence Him still,

Who forms these beauteous scenes according to His will.

LXXVII.

    Dear GOODWORTH gazed upon the glittering scene

    Until his soul was filled with ecstacy.

    Here he perceived that God indeed had been

    To clothe dull Winter in great majesty.

    To him it was so full of poetry

    That he was led to frame another lay,

    Which seems to me to breathe such melody

    I must ev’n give it without more delay,

And rest in hope ’twill live far, far beyond my day.

PASTOR’S SONG ON THE FROST-WORK OF A FOREST SCENE.

Last night’s air was keen and the snow lay around;

    All the trees, stript of leaves, were quite naked and black.

And naught broke the stillness so very profound

    Save the jingle of bells as we passed o’er the track.

And little we thought of the sorrowful state

    Of that fond, loving wife by whose bountiful cheer

Our needs were supplied, nor yet dreamt of the fate

    Impending o’er one—to her heart ever dear. [page 225]

As little expected the clouds of despair

    Hanging terribly pregnant with evils so dire

Would all quickly vanish in answer to prayer,

    And sweet comfort spring forth from the midst of the fire.

As little we thought that the rude rising blast

    Would bring rain to transform every dark forest scene

To richness of splendor by nothing surpassed

    That we mortals have witnessed of wonders terrene.

Yon maple trees bend with their silvery load

    Like the frail sons of earth under ponderous wealth.

These feel keen affliction their consciences goad,

    Yet they heed not the warning till Death comes by stealth.

And those, though they look on this calm, sunny day,

    To be robed in pure beauty so strikingly grand,

Should Boreas arise his least might to display,

    Would be stript of their charms by his merciless hand.

And yonder dark pines that seem still to aspire

    To pre-eminence over their comrades below,

Which shine in Sol’s rays like huge masses of fire,

    To the earth their proud heads may be soon made to bow.

Yon oaks, which, like kings of the forest appear,

    With their thick, crooked branches all coated with ice,

Never dream that the loss of their splendor is near,

    That each branch may be broke by the wind in a trice.

Just so we vain mortals indulge foolish pride,

    When we deck our poor bodies in splendid attire;

And oft has the Tempter successfully tried

    With such means us to lead to most sinful desire.

How seldom we think that the primitive use

    Of the first suit of clothing by Adam and Eve

Was not for adornment with trappings profuse,

    But as cover for nakedness—guilt to relieve.

This lesson more frequently brought to our view

    Might preserve all our souls from much sorrow and sin,

And make us more anxious each day to renew

    Those adornings which Christians should all have within.

With reflections like these in true pleasure I gaze

    On this landscape so fair—so transcendently bright,

And utter my heart’s feeble tones of sweet praise

    To my Father who formed it by Wisdom and Might. [page 226]

LXXVIII.

    Thus to a mind by sacred Truth impressed

    Nature at all times is an open book,

    And he who reads aright is truly blest.

    But ah, how much her teachings we o’erlook!

    One who his Scripture Guide has quite forsook

    Makes her an idol, and her praises sings

    In warmest strains; he hears in every nook

    Of her domain a thousand different things

Proclaim her Godship, which to him much pleasure brings.

LXXIX.

    Another, dreaming he is taught of God,

    Will hardly deign to look on her sweet face.

    His feet may press the flower-bespangled sod,

    But to admire the carpet would disgrace

    A mind so holy, and perhaps displace

    Far better thoughts which rise within his breast!

    In such a one ’twere difficult to trace

    The influence of Truths sublime expressed

By our Great Master in discourse to us addressed.

LXXX.

    As on most questions, mine’s the middle view,

    And looks on all creation as the work

    Of God All-wise, most kind and mighty too.

    This frees my mind from all vain thoughts which lurk

    In its recesses, dissipates the murk

    Of idol worship and religious pride,

    And makes me proof ’gainst each insidious quirk

    Thrown out by those who do my views deride;

Whose judgment seems to me from truth and reason wide.

LXXXI.

    In musings deep or lively conversation,

    The time flies quickly as our friends draw near

    Their woodland home, which, after separation

    So long from those it holds, is still more dear.

    Anon, friends’ farms successively appear,

    And at Luth’s house they stop to rest awhile

    Themselves and team. There they lack not good cheer

    Nor kindly welcome, shown by many a smile

From man and wife, a loving pair quite free from guile. [page 227]

LXXXII.

    From Luth they learned all their dear folks were well,

    And this relieved them from anxiety;

    So now with grateful hearts awhile they dwell

    Upon those themes which dear to Saints should be—

    Spoke of the love displayed so lavishly

    In journeying mercies, wheresoe’er they went;

    Of good accomplished—though with modesty—

    By them as instruments most timely sent;

And thus an hour or two was profitably spent.

LXXXIII.

    Ere very long they reached their own abode—

    That Nest well lined with Love, Content and Peace,

    Where true home feelings in each bosom glowed,

    And solid comforts day by day increase,

    Bidding quite fair to last till life shall cease.

    This their return the trusty dogs first hear,

    And they by joyous barking rouse the geese,

    The ducks and poultry, which in chorus clear

At once their voices raise, dreaming that harm is near.

LXXXIV.

    The household listen to the noise outside

    A few short moments, when the youngest son

    Struck by a pleasant thought could not abide

    Longer suspense, but in a trice begun

    To don his hat and gloves, both quickly done.

    He hurries forth and by fair Luna’s gleam

    His eyes beheld what made him faster run

    To bid the loved ones welcome, and the team

To house, and give such food as he may fittest deem.

LXXXV.

    The two well loaded with their traveling gear,

    Make for the cottage fast as they can go.

    There the three females cheerfully appear

    Determined they a welcome will bestow

    Such as most virtuous minds alone can show.

    Sweet smiles bedeck the mother’s comely face,

    The daughters too with joy are all aglow,

    Quite pleased to have a kiss or warm embrace

From those they love so well at such a time and place. [page 228]

LXXXVI.

    Reader, dost thou possess imagination?

    If so, just use that precious faculty

    And join with me in making observation

    On love scenes drawn from this dear family.

    Thou art no eavesdropper, but yet I see

    An interest sparkling in thy earnest face

    Which shows thy heart doth go along with me

    As I such secrets do my best to trace

And hold them up to view to benefit my race.

LXXXVII.

    Imagine then the cordial reception

    That I above have feebly tried to paint.

    My picture has the charm of no deception—

    A thing of which there’s oft not much complaint.

    Behold this loving band without restraint

    Gathered around the evening’s social board,

    Each in such frame of mind as seems a Saint,

    Even in their eating honoring the Lord,

As they with temperance use whate’er their means afford.

LXXXVIII.

    The father in most truly Pastoral style

    Spoke of the dangers they had just passed through;

    Dwelt on the English settler’s death awhile,

    And the sweet conduct of the widow, too,

    Until the listeners had enough to do

    To calm their feelings and restrain their tears.

    Their sympathy was pure, to nature true,

    Which made them deeply feel the griefs and fears

Of fellow mortals; and their father’s heart it cheers.

LXXXIX.

    He next informed them of the low sunk state

    Of that new village where he meetings held.

    How some few men were snatched from drunkard’s fate,

    How drink’s most worthless traffic had been quelled,

    And prejudice by force of Truth dispelled.

    Next of their visit to the Indian tribe;

    Told who received the Truth and who repelled

    Its influx to their souls and Satan’s bribe

Received, which did of Life Eternal them deprive. [page 229]

XC.

    The wolf adventure and Inebriate’s case

    Received due notice and called loud for praise

    To Him whose hand they could so clearly trace,

    Who had most kindly cared for them always.

    Then the Doxology at once they raise

    To the “Old Hundred,” the immortal air,

    The clear, full harmony of which displays

    Such skill that mortals now may well despair

Of making better tune though they have talents rare.

XCI.

    This done once more they read God’s holy Word,

    Choosing such portion as their minds may suit.

    Then in great reverence kneel with full accord,

    And fervent pray, though all save one are mute.

    Are there who deem such acts of no repute?

    Sad is their state, for they have nothing learned

    As well worth learning. Will they this dispute?

    Alas, poor sinners, you are not concerned

That you have Christ refused and thus your soul’s good spurned.

XCII.

    We’ll draw the curtain while the family sleep—

    Such sleep as pure contentment ever brings;

    And while good Angels o’er them vigils keep,

    Let’s pause a little that my rude harp’s strings

    May be drawn tighter, that my Muse her wings

    Afresh may plume, ere she completes her song;

    For she has yet to sing of pleasant things

    And the reverse, so she must needs be strong

To execute her task as time fast flies along.

XCIII.

    The occasion I will take to introduce

    More fully to my patient reader’s view

    This worthy household; which will be of use

    In after scenes, as I my tale renew.

    Joseph, the eldest, we have seen was true

    To God and Nature in some trials great.

    Much like his father year by year he grew

    Until he reached to manhood’s full estate;

In manners humble, and in preaching gifts first rate. [page 230]

XCIV.

    William, the younger, was not quite so grave;

    As kind in heart, but still more blithe and free;

    Quite serious on occasions and most brave,

    There were few youths more loveable than he.

    In Sunday school ’twas his delight to be,

    There he still led the singing and took part

    In teaching children the “great Mystery”

    Of gospel truth, and many a childish heart

Felt that the loss of him would yield unceasing smart.

XCV.

    The sisters, younger still, I must compare

    To two fair roses very lately blown;

    Who, though they lived in the woods, were debonair

    As any town’s girls I have ever known.

    Their skill in housewifery was clearly shown

    In the discharge of all their household duties.

    They both had voices of the sweetest tone—

    Not shrill nor harsh, but more like what the flute is,

And were by all who saw them looked upon as beauties.

XCVI.

    But these were naught compared with Faith and Love

    Possessed by both, evinced by all their acts;

    And nothing pleased them better than to prove

    That pure Religion never aught subtracts

    From real enjoyment, as is shown by facts

    Which all who run may read if so inclined.

    ’Tis true our Father evermore exacts

    Complete obedience, but our hearts refined

By the Spirit through the Truth know all’s in love designed.

XCVII.

    Clarissa and Louisa were the names

    Bestowed upon these daughters at their birth,

    And ’twas foretold by some attendant dames

    That each when grown would have uncommon worth.

    This prophecy gave rise to harmless mirth

    In after years, and led the girls to say

    That in their conduct there should be no dearth

    Of loveliness, for fear it should betray

The fame of those good dames still living in their day. [page 231]

XCVIII.

    “Surely those parents must have been well off!”

    Some reader may exclaim in scorn or jest;

    But if ’twere not so there’s no need to scoff,

    And if it were I have the truth expressed.

    Mine eyes have seen some parents quite as blest

    In all their offspring, and I hope to see

    My own dear children in their day attest

    That what I write is true, and ever be

A loving, happy band and useful family.

XCIX.

    I have an aim in making this digression,

    Can anyone divine what it may be?

    Though not a Papist I will make confession

    And clear at once the seeming mystery.

    Luth had a son now grown to man’s degree,

    Who made proposals for Clarissa’s hand,

    And GOODWORTH thought for aught that he could see

    It was not well their wishes to withstand,

So let things take the way they were already planned.

C.

    And Joseph, wishing not to be behind

    His darling sister, cast about his eyes

    And soon found one possessing generous mind,

    Whose fund of worth proved his selection wise.

    Her name methinks the reader may surmise,

    For it was Ruth and also Luth, a maid

    Who did prepare for matrimonial ties

    In prayerful spirit, and who ne’er betrayed

That love of coquetry by many girls displayed.

CI.

    Both these young folks had followed the example

    Of worthy parents, and as Christians stood

    In that young Church. Their worldly means were ample

    At least for such as wed from motives good.

    Besides if needful they could earn their food,

    Which made their marriage prospects bright and cheering.

    Things thus far settled they did all they could

    To haste the nuptials, and grew more endearing

As the auspicious day drew nearer its appearing. [page 232]

CII.

    Again the Sabbath day came duly round,

    And GOODWORTH met his flock with heartfelt joy.

    Once more he faithful preached “the joyful sound,”

    Or taught the Saints sin’s fetters to destroy,

    And how their time and talents to employ.

    Then just before the “Breaking of the Bread,”

    He of his journey spoke in manner coy,

    And deep attention by the Church was paid

As he recounted mercies sent by Christ their Head.

CIII.

    Upon the work special stress he laid,

    Begun by God amongst the poor Red Men,

    And moved by sacred zeal he boldly said

    That something must be done; but how or when

    Was for the Church to say. As he stood then

    Chosen of God and them to oversee,

    His little flock, he could not go again

    Without depriving some of Ministry

Most needful at that time if he would faithful be.

CIV.

    He further said it was a settled thing

    With him that if the Holy Spirit call

    One to the Pastorship, no good could spring

    From frequent absence, for the Church needs all

    His time and talents; and should ill befall

    A flock so left God might the question ask,

    “Why didst thou leave my sheep and lambs at all?

    I placed thee there; attend thou to the task

If in my smiles approving thou wouldst wish to bask!”

        CV.

    He cited many texts to prove his view,*

    And felt much grieved some Churches in our day

    Should to their interest be seldom true,

    And Pastors for slight causes turn away.

    From personal observation he would say

    That many men who make a great profession

    Begrudge the mite so needful as the pay

    Of those whose Pastoral worth’s their sole possession;

Who could not wink at sin nor make undue concession.


    *See at least one amongst many in I Peter, V, 1—4.


[page 233]

CVI.

    “Some folks, again,” he said, “quite overlook

    The nature of the office as laid down

    For Churches’ guidance in the holy Book,

    And substitute opinions of their own.

    Such meet their fellow Christians with a frown

    If they insist upon the Scripture plan,

    And deem him little better than a clown

    Who has the courage their false views to scan;

And should he not desist might place him under ban.

CVII.

    “Thus saith the Lord, in all religious matters,

    As the thing needful should our minds impress.

    We’ve naught to do with the unseemly tatters

    Of creeds and ceremonials on which stress

    Is laid by many who the Truth profess.

    The Scriptures teach that Pastors should take heed

    To all their flock, that faith and holiness

    May grow apace; that they the sheep should feed

With Heaven-inspired food according to their need.

CVIII.

    “But Churches for most part make choice of him

    Who does a splendid preaching talent show;*

    Or else they seek to gratify some whim

    Lest hearers should their purse strings tighter draw.

    ’Tis easy for one taught of God to show

    That those so chosen cannot well fulfill

    True Pastoral duty, which consists, we know,

    In oversight according to God’s will—

Not Lords o’er his inheritance, but humble still.”

CIX.

    The Church agreed in what the Pastor said

    And Luth suggested that young GOODWORTH might

    Act as Evangelist in his father’s stead,

    Should he ’fore God consider it quite right.

    Joseph assured them it was his delight

    To aid in any way his Master’s cause,

    But thought that all should seek for further light

    By fervent prayer, and therefore would propose

To leave it unto Him from whom all wisdom flows.


    *The author would not like to be misunderstood. All he intends to say is that a talent for preaching, however good, is not the only qualification for Elder or Pastor. See I Tim. iii, and Tit. i.


[page 234]

CX.

    This was determined on and they attended

    Unto the “Supper of the Lord” in love.

    Once more their Sacrifice of Praise ascended

    From grateful hearts unto their God above,

    Who heard it all and did such acts approve.

    Refreshed in soul once more they separate

    In friendly manner, as it does behove

    The joint possessors of such blessings great

As heirs of bliss and glory in a future state.

CXI.

    Throughout the week the members freely gave

    Unto this subject due consideration;

    And Joseph looked, to anxious friends, more grave,—

    Was oft in prayer or wrapped in contemplation.

    The father, who of this made observation,

    Encouraged him to frankly speak his mind.

    This led them soon to mutual explanation

    And fuller confidence, which all combined

To lead them both to be unto God’s will resigned.

CXII.

    It caused a struggle in that parent’s breast

    To part with one grown dearer every day;

    And Joseph at the first felt quite distressed

    At leaving friends so very far away.

    As was but natural, thoughts of wedding day

    Would also cross his mind and make him sigh;

    But yet he felt determined to display

    True Christian courage and himself deny,

If to his fellow men ’twould bring Redemption nigh.

CXIII.

    The father saw no very great occasion

    For much of self-denial in the case.

    The Bride-expectant would with small persuasion

    Share any trials he might have to face.

    Besides the Indians would prepare a place

    With needful comforts, should he there remain.

    ’Twas therefore his advice to seek for Grace,

    Such as the work demanded, and thus gain

The glorious Reward which faithful ones obtain. [page 235]

CXIV.

    To this the son made not the least objection,

    And so the matter stood till next Lord’s Day,

    When, as the Church approved of the selection,

    Much unfeigned love they all to him display;

    Rejoicing to see one so young obey

    Duty’s strong impulse, and to God commend

    Their much loved brother, who without delay

    Made preparation that ere the week’s end

He might the Indians reach and to his work attend.

CXV.

    At the reformed Inebriate’s house he called

    In passing, and was truly glad to find

    The man his vice inveterate had controlled,

    And was improving daily in his mind.

    He owned that had his wife not proved most kind

    He might have been again to drinking drove.

    This Joseph hears, but hopes the pledge he signed

    Would be some safeguard if he should lack love;

Yet urged him much to seek for help from God above.

CXVI.

    To miss the swamp he took another road

    Not so direct, but pleasanter by far.

    Most holy feelings in his bosom glowed

    As he gazed on the glittering Evening Star.

    The sleighing good, such traveling was no bar

    To his sweet musings as he nearer drew

    Unto the village where he had to war

    With heathen darkness, and for aught he knew,

Where trials great and many might his steps pursue.

CXVII.

    On his arrival joy sincere was felt

    By those who had the Gospel’s sound regarded.

    These in full council passed the Wampum Belt,

    And by their confidence his zeal rewarded.

    None had the influence of Truth discarded

    Who first professed by it to be made free,

    And ’twas their wish, since nothing now retarded,

    To be baptized with due solemnity,

That those who disbelieved might their obedience see. [page 236]

CXVIII.

    The Preacher this performed by full immersion

    Of the whole body in the deep blue lake,

    And none but those who evidenced conversion

    Did of that holy ordinance partake.

    I state not this from a desire to wake

    Any contention in a Christian’s breast;

    I rather “strive for things which peace do make,”

    That I my love for all saints may attest.

This course I long have deemed the wisest and the best.

CXIX.

    Those thus baptized in fellowship then stood,

    And as instructed, to Christ’s laws attended.

    Their souls reposed on His atoning blood

    For full salvation, and their lives commended

    The saving Truth to those who were offended

    At the first preaching of the Joyful News.

    What these beheld their outward rage suspended,

    And now no longer dared they to accuse

The Preacher of vile motives and his work abuse.

CXX.

    For some few weeks he labored there with pleasure,

    And his Red brethren urged on him to take

    The Pastor’s office, but so grave a measure

    Demanded time for its importance’s sake.

    “Should I be spared,” he said, “I wish to make

    My life a useful one where’er I live;

    To Duty’s call to keep my ear awake,

    And as I have received to freely give,

Aiming to show I wish for no alternative.”

CXXI.

    With this resolve so very freely spoken

    We bid the Red Man for the time Adieu,

    For other scenes most clearly do betoken

    That genial pleasure is not lost to view.

    The lovers to their vows continued true,

    And fixed upon the following New Year’s day

    As best for entering on their duties new,

    When it was planned a Wedding jaunt to pay,

In visit to Niagara, many miles away. [page 237]

CXXII.

    The day arrived—a bright and cheering one,

    With which came Settlers on kind thoughts intent.

    Their gratitude for what the Lord had done

    They wished to show by love and substance spent

    Upon their Pastor, whom they viewed as bent

    On seeking their advantage since he came.

    One, by a neighbor, had two turkeys sent,

    Both fine young birds, well fed and very tame—

A gift which well might put some richer men to shame.

CXXIII.

    This neighbor brought upon his own account

    An ewe and ram of most superior breed.

    Another had a very fair amount

    Of splendid timothy and clover seed.

    A fourth good maple sugar as his meed

    Bestowed with blandest smiles and modest mien.

    A fifth had apples, of which all agreed

    They were the best they in that part had seen;

While a sixth brough savory sausages quite fresh and clean.

CXXIV.

    These as an average sample of the gifts,

    I mention merely with a view to show

    That Gratitude is put to no mean shifts

    In kindly hearts whose love keeps them aglow.

    Those who have naught but water to bestow

    Upon a thirsty Saint, reward will gain

    From Heaven’s high King, who loves to have it so.

    We must from sneering at small gifts refrain,

For the poor widow’s mite did great reward obtain.

CXXV.

    Surprise and joy that Christian family felt

    At this display of love and gratitude;

    While with their friends they reverently knelt

    To give God thanks, they for rich blessings sued

    For the kind donors, now more strongly viewed

    As brethren in the very strongest bond.

    Each at the Mercy Seat their love renewed,

    And heart to heart did fervently respond.

All merely worldly pleasure this is far beyond. [page 238]

CXXVI.

    This past, the marriage knot was quickly tied

    For those young well matched couples, who appeared

    In all respects well pleased and satisfied.

    This tended much to keep the parents cheered,

    And to the friends around them more endeared.

    The wedding feast parta’en, they soon prepare

    For their long journey, as a change they feared

    In the fine weather, which might make roads bare

And the good sleighing spoil—a thing by no means rare.

CXXVII.

    On that delightful jaunt I need not dwell,

    Only to say that all the drive enjoyed.

    When safe returned each had a tale to tell

    Of the great Cataract’s wonders, never void

    Of thrilling interest to minds employed

    In viewing Nature right. I now would haste

    Lest my dear readers feel themselves annoyed,

    To finish what has brought me no small taste

Of Poet’s joy, and often has my heart solaced.

CXXVIII.

    That earthly pleasure’s not without alloy

    Poets have sung and sages oft have said,

    And none did e’er such pleasure long enjoy

    Without being to the same conclusion led.

    Our Pastor’s dear Louisa took to bed

    Soon after New Year’s visit to the Falls;

    Ere Spring came round she bowed her lovely head

    To Death’s stern summons! Yet sweet hope consoles

The friends for loss of her, and undue grief controls.

CXXIX.

    Her death-bed was a scene I love to view

    With chastened pleasure, for her faith was strong.

    She to her Savior had for years been true,

    And then to be with Him did daily long,

    Yet not impatiently, for ’twould be wrong;

    But with strong fortitude—so calm and pure

    That one who saw her left the World’s gay throng,

    And since has had great trials to endure,

But found the Savior’s aid was ever near and sure. [page 239]

CXXX.

    But little now remains for me to sing,

    Not that I matter lack—a large supply

    Exists where I got this from, and may spring

    Into poetic joy if I should try

    Again to tune my harp, this time laid by

    At Duty’s call. Our friend and spouse live where

    We found them first. William and wife are nigh,

    And with their children choicest comforts share.

While Joseph of the Red Men’s Church takes Pastoral care.

CXXXI.

    Luth and Clarissa own a good sized farm,

    Well tilled, well stocked and fronting to the Lake.

    Around their hearthstone boys and girls do swarm,

    So that they soon a larger house must make.

    Some members of the Church now sometimes take

    Their turns in preaching, and the elder Luth

    Shares Pastoral duty for his Master’s sake.

    As Deacons they have men who love the Truth,

All proving that the Church is in a state most sooth.

CXXXII.

    The Lord’s Forget-me-nots grow everywhere

    Along the Christian’s path as he pursues

    His Heavenward journey. And a Father’s care

    Gives each sweet odors and most lovely hues.

    And they throughout the darkest days diffuse

    A balmy fragrance strikingly delicious!

    Yet we, vain mortals, oft these sweets refuse

    And choose instead that which is most pernicious,—

Thus wandering far from God, who always is propitious. [page 240]

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.

—————

JENNY AND HER PET LAMB.

————

By the side of lonely moor,

    In a humble clay-built cot,

Lived a widow very poor

Who received her daily store

    As the Lord’s Forget-me-not.

With her lived her little girl,

    Blithe and pretty blue eyed Jane;

She wore golden locks in curl,

Which showed Nature was no churl,

    If it did not make her vain.

Plain but neatly was she dressed,

    With her lot was quite content,

No great care her mind oppressed,

She with cheerfulness was blessed,

    While in work her time was spent.

Came there by the cot one day

    Quite a numerous flock of sheep.

Lambs did by their mothers play,

One was in a sickly way,

    Which called up Jane’s feelings deep.

He who drove them, hard of heart,

    Did that sickly lamb abuse;

This increased young Jennie’s smart,

It went through her like a dart,

    Wondering, “would the man refuse

“To give her that pretty lamb

    Which appeared so like to die?”

Came the thought to her like balm

Her distress of mind to calm,

    As she to the man drew nigh. [unnumbered page]

When to him she made request

    Answered he in surly tones,

“She might have the little pest,

For it was at very best

    But a heap of skin and bones!”

Joyfully she took the prize

    In with her to that rude cot.

Pleasure filled her sparkling eyes,

For the lamb had ceased its cries

    Ere it reached so safe a spot.

Like a foster mother she

    Nursed it then with gentle care,

Till it grew in time to be

Large as any sheep you see,

    Fed upon such scanty fare.

And its wool in one short year

    For some better pasture pays

And assists the heart to cheer

Of that widow, who had fear

    For the coming Winter days.

Came there soon some troubles great

    On this poor, small family.

He who owned the large estate

Where they lived, had sunk of late

    Into greatest poverty.

Lost he all his wide domain,

    Dragged to jail because of debt.

He would not of fate complain,

If that widow might remain,

    But consent he could not get.

He who took their kind friend’s place

    Acted a most cruel part.

All might see upon his face

There was not a single trace

    Of a kind or gentle heart.

And the widow was forbid

    To remain another week.

Sternly he her pleadings chid,

“All such tenants he would rid,

    And fresh quarters make them seek.” [page 242]

Threatened if they would not go

    He their all would take away.

This was such a heavy blow

Sickness laid the mother low;

    The were thus obliged to stay.

Ere the time had quite expired

    Down the angry landlord came

With a man whom he had hired;

Liquor strong their courage fired

    Till they felt no sense of shame.

Seize they Jenny’s pretty pet,

    Cut its throat and leave it there;

Then the household goods they get—

Heed not how the dear ones fret

    When their cot was made so bare.

Saw the Lord that wicked deed?

    Did the widow’s prayer avail?

See, you further on may read,

What the Lord had just decreed

    In the sequel of my tale.

Thunder clouds hung overhead,

    While those shocking acts were done;

Forth the lightning’s arrow sped,

Guided there it struck them dead,

    Ceased to beat their hearts of stone.

All who heard the widow’s case,

    Those who saw sweet Jenny’s tears,

Got for them a better place,

Bade them wear a cheerful face,

    Trust in God and calm their fears.

Said the widow to her Jane,

    “Saw you how your darling died?

Did it of the act complain?

Jesus as a Lamb was slain,

    As a Lamb was crucified.

“This was in the sinner’s stead,

    This was done for you and me;

For our sins he freely bled,

Bowed to Death his sacred head

    On the shameful cursed tree.” [page 243]

Heard that lovely girl these things?

    Yes, and did believe them too.

Faits its blessings to her brings,

And God’s goodness oft she sings.

    This, dear reader, you may do.

TO A VERY TALL SUNFLOWER.

————

Gigantic flower with many golden faces,

    Why climbest thou so very high in air?

Art loth to show the very smallest traces

    Of sweet Humility with aspect fair?

    Well, even ’mongst men they are by far too rare!

I oft have heard how thou in deep devotion

    Dost follow Sol, the glorious king of Day.

If this be true, perhaps thou seek’st promotion

    To his high courts, thy splendors to display,

    And dazzle all who view thy bright array.

Poets we know are strangely given to dreaming,

    And thus it came—they all thought this of thee.

’Tis true, sometimes thy yellow flowers do seem in

    Just such a mood, and this they chanced to see;

    But those who watch thee closely will agree

That yet these flowers at times face all the quarters,

    East, West, and North as well as sunny South,

And I have seen them like most patient martyrs

    Hang thus for days in time of Summer’s drouth,

    Although such weather did not stop their growth.

Thou tallest of the tall amongst thy fellows

    Look’st like a king. So full of majesty

Art thou, that this alone the truth may tell us

    Why we no humble mien in thee can see.

    Thou only bow’st to God who fashioned thee. [page 244]

If this be so thou art a lesson teaching

    To all who view thy many golden charms;

And all this time a sermon hast been preaching

    To me, and now my heart toward thee warms,

    Till I would gladly save thee from Frost’s harms.

This may not be; already thou art drooping;

    A few more days will strip thy splendors off,

And when Frost comes to find thy tall form stooping

    He at thy nakedness perhaps may scoff,

    But heed not, ’twas not his thy charms to doff.

Sunflower, I leave thee now, and this truth ponder,

    Thou hast fulfilled the task allotted thee.

Have I discharged the obligations under

    Which I lay to God? the world? Ah me!

    A host of imperfections I can see.

Then let me know, before I cease my rhyming

    Take thy strong lesson very much to heart,

That while I am up Life’s rough ladder climbing

    I still may seek to act a proper part,

    And strive to fearless meet Death with his dart.

—————

BIRTHDAY THOUGHTS AND ASPIRATIONS.

————

WRITTEN ON MY THIRTY-SEVENTH BIRTHDAY,

MARCH 20, 1854.

————

What solemn thoughts crowd o’er my mind

    As this eventful day moves on.

I feel most forcibly inclined

To strive some proper words to find,

    In praise of God for what he’s done.

And why? For seven and thirty years

    He who at first my being gave

Has still upheld me, calmed my fears,

While passing through this Vale of Tears,

    And on my journey to the grave. [page 245]

’Tis then but right that I should take

    A retrospect of my past days.

This done in faithfulness will make

My humble lyre aloud to wake

    Its every string in God’s pure praise.

Then let my memory recall

    Each striking scene through which I’ve passed.

What strong emotion fills my soul,

As they in quick succession roll

    Before my wondering gaze at last!

I feel my childhood’s joys once more,

    Again I pass its sorrows through.

Of richest mercies what a store,

In health or else in sickness sore,

    As if by magic spring to view.

With all my sins upon my head

    I see two near escapes from death;

Then is a feast before me spread,

And I on heavenly food am fed,

    The precious gift of God through faith.

Lo, there I see Him guard me round,

    Lest strong temptations me o’ercome;

Here I am in his favor found,

While others in perdition drowned

    Were long since hurried to the tomb!

O, what a miracle is this,

    That I am saved from hell and sin!

Predestined by pure Grace to Bliss,

My soul in transport bows submiss

    To God, and hopes a crown to win.

Then may I mourn my past neglect

    Of all thy goodness, O, my God!

Henceforward may I more respect

Thy just commands and still detect

    Those lurking sins that bring thy rod.

Should I be spared another year,

    May one great thought my bosom fill:

To let it to mankind appear

That I am but a pilgrim here,

    Just left awhile to do Thy will. [page 246]

But Lord, thou know’st I am but weak;

    Impart fresh strength that I may be

More and more anxious still to seek

The good of souls with spirit meek,

    And thus prove my sincerity.

And here I would once more record

    The fervent breathings of my soul,

That thou would’st richest Grace afford

To all my children through the Word,

    And still our every act control.

—————

SONG TO THE LILY OF THE VALLEY.

————

Lily of the valley, this brief poetic sally

    At the very least is due unto thee.

Thy fragrant wax-like flowers all freshened by Spring showers

    Seem purity embodied unto me.

    Lily of the valley blooming near the alley

    Of the little garden close to my home!

Lily of the valley, I fain would gladly rally

    All the powers of sweet Fancy to my aid

To describe thy form retiring, which I cannot help admiring

    As it peeps from its broad, leafy shade.

    Lily of the valley, etc.

Lily of the valley, thou very well dost tally

    With my notion of a modest, gentle maid.

Thy delicate bell-cluster may lack in grandeur’s lustre,

    Yet thou in true beauty art arrayed.

    Lily of the valley, etc.

Lily of the valley, Sol scarce with thee dare dally;

    He plants no rose-blushes on thy cheek,

Yet indebted to his power art thou from hour to hour,

    And his beams play with thee hide and seek.

    Lily of the valley, etc. [page 247]

Lily of the valley, deem not my rhyming folly,

    For I love both thy form and thy scent;

And this is chiefly true as thou kissest in the dew,

    While thy head in pure modesty is bent.

    Lily of the valley, etc.

Lily of the valley, bloom near my garden alley,

    And shed forth thy fragrancy around;

I’ll think as thou art growing of the blossoms thou art showing

    To me when in musing I am found.

    Lily of the valley blooming near the alley

    Of the little garden close to my home.

—————

DAISY, I HAVE SOUGHT FOR THEE.

————

Daisy, I have sought for thee

In the garden, on the lea,

Ever since I learned to roam

From my much loved English home.

Once I owned a little thing

Called a daisy here about,

And it bloomed awhile in Spring,

But the Winter froze it out.

’Twas a pigmy flower at best,

Though in red robe it was dressed.

English daisy’s lively mien

Never in its face was seen.

When it died I did not fret,

Nor a dirge sung o’er its bier.

Some few plants that I have met

Claimed at least form me a tear. [page 248]

Now what is it that I see?

Daisies growing on a tree!*

White and double—white as snow,

Hundreds of them in full blow.

Let me look awhile at them,

Even through sweet fancy’s eyes.

Every flower’s a perfect gem,

And as such I will it prize.

But let Fancy stand aside,

Common folks might me deride,

Thinking something ailed my brain,

Should I such a thing maintain.

Well, ’tis all as one to me,

Fancy still shall have the sway.

That Daisies here grow on a tree

I mean to insist alway!

—————

THE CHARMS OF JUNE.

————

INSCRIBED TO MY WIFE.

————

The lilacs are now in the full flush of beauty,

    The fruit trees have blossomed, the tulips are gay,

And birds’ gushing melody points out our duty

    To God who doth bless us so vastly each day.

Brilliant verbenas in rich robes are glowing,

    And spireas their fair silver glories maintain,

While violets and lilies their charms are bestowing

    To add to the splendors of sweet Flora’s reign.


    *The blossoms of the double flowering cherry tree. They bear a great resemblance to the white double daisy of English gardens, and in fact were pronounced to be the same by a lady friend of mine. I took the hint and wrote the above.


[page 249]

O, soon will the odors of bright blushing roses

    Unite with the woodbines in fragrance complete;

For hoards of their incense this fine month discloses,

    To all who are fond of a garden retreat.

Viburnum Opulus* its snowballs is forming,

    The peonies are ready to burst into bloom,

Rude Boreas has ceased for awhile his dread storming,

    And Nature at last got rid of her gloom.

In flower-bedecked fields or vast woods at this season

    I would ’twere my privilege to frequently roam;

But fear such indulgence might well be termed treason

    Against the sweet duties and pleasures of Home.

Then since this solacement by God is denied me,

    I’ll joy that in fancy it still is my lot

To rove with my own lovely Ellen beside me,

    Through scenes that can never by us be forgot.

—————

TO DR. LAYCOCK,

ON HIS LEAVING BRANTFORD ON ACCOUNT OF ILLNESS.

————

NOVEMBER, 1854.

————

Doctor, you must not hence depart

    Ere I address a parting lay

Fresh gushing from an honest heart,

    Which grieves because you cannot stay.

To Rhyme I make but small pretence,

    Yet what I write is what I feel;

And should it prove but common-sense,

    Many defects this will conceal.


    *Guelder Rose.


[page 250]

I have oft wished since you came here,

    That we might years together spend;

And now I hang ’twixt hope and fear,

    In strange uncertainty, my friend.

Right glad, dear Doctor, would I be

    If you left here in peaceful health;

I know ’tis prized by you and me

    As far before the greatest wealth.

And well it may! For what is wealth

    In most men’s hands but splendid dross

To purchase friends who leave by stealth

    Their friend, when he has found its loss.

Yet ’tis I own, when rightly used,

    A goodly thing for you and me,

Who can’t of hoarding be accused—

    At least from all that I can see.

Then take what I most freely give—

    A wish sincere that you may yet

Return in health near us to live,

    An honest livelihood to get.

And may your partner live to share

    With you for years fresh joy and peace.

For this I urge an earnest prayer

    To God who makes my joys increase.

—————

TO MR. COWHERD,

FROM HIS FRIEND, H. S. LAYCOCK.

————

    [Perhaps my readers will have the goodness to pardon me if I here present them with an exact copy of a Rhyming Letter which I received in answer to the poem above from my much respected and greatly lamented friend, the late Dr. Laycock, of Woodstock, Ont. I place it here because of the compliment he was kind enough to pay me on my rhyming abilities, and chiefly in relation to those Pieces to my Children. I candidly acknowledge that it was his opinion, so freely and perhaps flatteringly expressed, which weighed with me greatly as an inducement for giving so many of them in these pages.]

————

    Dear friend, though a poor hand at rhymes, I’ll try

    In kind to your kind verses to reply.

    Together we have passed some happy hours,

    Pleasantly loitering in the Muses’ bowers; [page 251]

    Not with the Bards who sing of Wine and Love,

    But those who can the nobler Passions move

    To finer sympathies, and by their art

    Instruct, amend as well as cheer the heart!

    Such Bard our COWPER. Oft his pleasing strains

    Have won us to forget the cares and pains

    The world lays on us all; WORDWORTH the same;

    And other bards besides less known to fame;

    Thyself, dear friend, amongst the rest. Thy rhymes

    Flow from a heart in tune with Nature’s chimes,

    And breathings of Sweet Home, Domestic joys,

    The opening graces of thy girls and boys,

    And themes like these to Nature dear please all

    Whose souls like ours respond to Nature’s call.

    Nature, to whom proud Art can lend a grace,

    But whom if absent Art can not replace!

    Take these poor lines in haste and sickness penned,

    As tribute from a warm and grateful friend,

    Who, though thy kindness he can not repay,

    Will ne’er forget thee, Cowherd, nor thy lay.

BRANTFORD, NOV. 16, 1854.

—————

TO MR. JAMES C——T.

————

NOVEMBER, 1853.

————

“A friend in need’s a friend indeed.”

————

My friend much respected, ’tis hardly the thing

That I on some subjects so often should sing,

And yet never manage a rhyme to bestow

On one whose great kindness I’d gratefully show.

It oft has been spoken, as oft has been penned

That “It cannot be ever too late to amend.”

And as I’m unconscious of lacking respect,

Will do what I can to repair my neglect. [page 252]

O, can I look back to the time of my need,

When thou, under God, prov’dst a kind friend indeed,

And feel no emotion my bosom to swell?

’Twere baseness of conduct too shocking to tell.

Time was when chill penury stared in my face,

And I was made feel it almost a disgrace.

As a fruit of thy kindness that time has gone by,

So I to be thankful would constantly try.

O, well I remember how often I thought

My business endeavors would all come to naught;

That I, ’midst my toiling should surely stick fast,

And most sad disappointment meet me at last.

The Lord sent thee to me at such time of trial,

When exercised well with the grace Self-denial.

Thy kind way of speaking took from me my sadness,

And left in its place a rich increase of gladness.

And oft since that time through a much chequered life

Amidst this world’s bustle, its turmoil and strife,

My mind has been solaced with thoughts of thy love,

Which does thy relation to Christ clearly prove.

Under the weakness of age thou art bending,

Yet no doubt have I that the Lord is still sending

The joy of His presence thy spirit to cheer,

In doing thy duty while thou stayest here.

And Oh, may it please our kind Father and God

Thy steps to support with his “Staff and his Rod;”

Then cause his bright Angels thy ways to attend,

And thus bring thee safely to Life-journey’s end.

May thy good example to those that remain,

Be useful in showing Religion is gain,

That they may still follow the path that Christ trod,

And join thee in singing the praises of God. [page 253]

TO THE CHRISTIANS OF BRANTFORD.

————

OCTOBER, 1853.

————

Christians of Brantford, list awhile,

    An humble Rhymer speaks to you.

Perhaps the fact may cause a smile,

Though I speak not from motives vile,

    But with your interest full in view.

You are engaged in warfare great

    With that great sin which oft has made

A loving husband full of hate,

A young wife’s beauty quickly fade,

    And early death become her fate.

You have to grapple with that fiend

    That oft has made poor children weep,

Bereft them too of every friend,

Who would unto their wants attend—

    When they were sick afford relief.

You are engaged in mortal strife

    With that huge serpent which ere now

Has poisoned all the joys of life,

Made many homes with discord rife,

    And sunk poor human nature low.

With him that oft has torn away

    The laurel from the Sons of Fame,

Caused them from Wisdom’s paths to stray,

Has turned to darkness their bright day,

    And covered them all o’er with shame.

Young as some are, all must have seen

    His potent arm stretched forth to strike

As victims those who long had been

Striving on human aid to lean.

    Mind friends you never do the like! [page 254]

Oh, have you thought upon his power,

    And learned how weak are mortal men

When brought into temptation’s hour,

And “storms arise and tempests lower?”

    The strong may even falter then.

And feeling weak have you been led

    To put your trust in God alone,

Who with his bounteous hand hath fed

You all your lives, and in the stead

    Of guilty man did sin atone?

If you have not done this before

    O flee, my dear young friends, away

To Jesus Christ, the friend who bore

Our sins, that he might us restore

    To God and Bliss and Endless Day.

—————

TO THE SAME.

————

NOVEMBER, 1854.

————

Christians, arouse you! Quick up and be doing!

    The monster Intemperance stalks through our land!

Unfurl wide your banners, and good still pursuing,

    On “No Truce with Tyrants!” let each take his stand.

    Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!

    The might of this evil but few can withstand!

Shrieks and groans from the dying are heard all around you,

    And heartrending sights every day are displayed;

While blasphemous curses may well nigh astound you,

    And dangers fast thicken; yet be not dismayed.

    Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!

    If these things appal you your help they demand.

Thousands of windows and orphans call on you

    Who lost their support from this tyrant’s attacks,

And he with his legions may soon fall upon you,

    If you now shrink from duty or show him your backs.

    Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!

    Your own peace and safety your efforts demand. [page 255]

Our Jails and Asylums are full to o’erflowing

    With victimized wretches struck by this fiend’s hand,

And many poor youths unsuspicious are going

    To destruction, led on by his magical wand.

    Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!

    The doom which hangs o’er them gives forth the command.

Then muster your forces and stand forth unyielding,

    In the name of Humanity heed not his rage.

Mind not his blandishments—evil still gliding—

    But ever determine to war with him wage.

    Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!

    In this monster’s overthrow firmly now stand.

Christians, arouse you! Quick, up and be doing!

    For help look to God’s own Omnipotent Arm!

Let no Tempter charm with the soft voice of wooing,

    Or frighten your hearts by the sounds of alarm.

    Lend, lend a hand! Lend, lend a hand!

    ’Midst trials and dangers like true heroes stand.

—————

VERSES,

WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER READING HORACE SMITH’S “BACHELOR’S FARE.”

————

1854.

————

He who wrote these lively verses

    Hath his talents misemployed,

While he marriage ills rehearses—

The conjugal life asperses

    Which so many have enjoyed.

And each brown or blue eyed charmer,

    Let her rank be high or low,

Must have felt such verses harm her—

Must have felt her cheek grow warmer

    With just indignation’s glow. [page 256]

Were he then as bachelor living

    He might speak of bachelor life.

But such men need not be giving

    Crabbed views of man and wife.

If he were to fair one married

    Greater still would be the shame;

It would prove love had miscarried,

    He alone perhaps to blame.

Were it shown that he was jesting,

    Jests like this with ills are rife;

Poets should be still attesting

This plain truth—Mankind are blest in

    Chaste and sweet Conjugal Life.

Marriage is of God’s ordaining,

    Serving purpose wise and good.

Those who are from it abstaining,

Should be found always refraining

    From treating it in jesting mood.

From experience I am speaking,

    In protesting I prefer

A wedded life. If you are seeking

To have pockets with no leak in,

    From it let naught you deter.

But this thing make up your mind in,

    Choice should fall on one of worth.

Love of wealth some men are blind in;

For a wife may be worth finding,

    Though she be of humble birth.

If you are a true wife blest in,

    Mind you well fulfill your part,

That you may, all cares distressed in,

    Prove the warmth of woman’s heart.

I have proved it in rich measure,

    And with honest brow declare,

Married life for sweetest pleasure

    Can with any life compare! [page 257]

STANZAS

ON THE FEARFUL STRUGGLE IN EUROPE.

————

APRIL, 1854.

————

England’s real strength is in the Lord of Hosts.

————

Slumbereth now the British Lion,

    In his sweet green Island lair?

No! He rushes forth to die on

    Europe’s plains, or crush the Bear.

Now he may well hope for glory,

    Warring in defense of Right.

Will he soon be faint and gory

    From the Czar’s most lawless fight?

Oh, forbid it, God of Battles—

    In whom we would place our trust!

Ere is heard his cannon’s rattles

    Quench the Bear’s most savage lust!

Turn him back to his own regions,

    Through a wild and bitter clime;

Wide disperse his barbarous legions

    In Thy own good way and time.

If in Wisdom thou ordainest

    This dread war shall still proceed—

Let us feel thou ever reignest

    Through the saddest hours of need;

That thou still as Sovereign rulest

    O’er the Nations of this world;

That thou yet mad Despots schoolest,

    Ere they to the dust are hurled.

O preserve our generous Lion,

    And his partners in the War;

Bid their hosts thy arm rely on;

    Guard each soldier, shield each tar. [page 258]

Let us see them soon returning

    To their now deserted domes;

Let pure joy instead of mourning

    Fill their fondly cherished homes.

May we profit by the lesson

    Which events like this should teach—

Seek to put away transgression,

    Act as healers of each breach.

Then we long may share God’s favor—

    From the Queen upon her throne

To the lowly son of labor

    Toiling his poor crust to own.

—————

LINES

WRITTEN ON THE MORNING OF THE DREADFUL FIRE

WHICH CONSUMED THE B. B. & G. R. R. DEPOT BUILDINGS.

————

Oh! there has come on us a dreadful calamity,

    Our fine Depot Buildings in ruin lie low.

And works which for months were in earnest activity,

    To Fire’s fearful ravage have been made to bow.

If the watchmen were both in the right path of duty,

   How came it we every one heard with amaze,

That they saw not the fire till it fiercely was bursting

    Right through the gable in one perfect blaze.

I would not indulge in ungrounded suspicion,

    But truly the matter looks dark to my mind.

And I trust before long a most strict inquisition

    Will be instituted, the faulty to find.

But should this be done would it rear up the buildings

    That now form a rubbish heap blackened and hot?

Ah, no! and the Muse peering into the Future

    Fears never such structures shall rise on that spot! [page 259]

Then mourn, Brantford, mourn! for thy sad, sad misfortune

    May well make thy sons to remember this day;

And all may well sigh and feel strongest emotion,

    For troubles now thicken in blackest array.

And oh, it would tend to thy weal in the future,

    If thou such events as a warning would take

To cleanse from thy dwellings Sin’s dreadful pollution,

    Lest God’s greater judgments against thee awake.

—————

TO THE REV. J. W. AND HIS BRIDE.

————

A MARRIAGE LAY.

————

OCTOBER 4, 1853.

————

An humble poet—save the mark!

    Wishes to give to you a lay

    In honor of your wedding day,

But somehow labors in the dark,

    And fears from etiquette to stray.

And why? No invitation came

    To bid me tune my simple lyre—

    To fan my low poetic fire,

Nor yet a hope of deathless fame

    Which might for risk, serve me for hire.

I’ll run the risk and fearless strike

    A lyre too apt to slumber long,

    And pour my thoughts in artless song.

Many there are who do the like,

    And yet in this may do no wrong.

Now, I would hope sweet blessings may

    Flow to you from our Father kind:

    The rich gift of a happy mind,

In Wisdom’s paths content to stay,

    And purest peace in that to find. [page 260]

I trust you will be filled with love,