Edward Cox
Thoughts by the Way
30th Aug 2022Posted in: Edward Cox, The Confederation Poets 0

Thoughts by the Way.

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THOUGHTS BY THE WAY.

BY

EDWARD COX.

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“O sweet! to stray an’ pensive ponder

A heartfelt sang.”—Burns.

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Toronto:

PRINTED BY C. BLACKETT ROBINSON, 5 JORDAN ST.

1886

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PREFACE.

IT is not without some hesitation that I have ultimately yielded to the solicitations of friends in reference to the publication of my metrical compositions. I am aware that friendship’s estimate of our acts, however desirable, is not always a guarantee of their faultlessness, as has been said in friend speaking of friend,

“Even his failings leaned to Virtue’s side.”

     I wish to state here that a few of the following pieces are what the author of the “Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava” would probably call “Fugitive Poems,” inasmuch as they originally, though irregularly, appeared in some of the Provincial papers, not only being accepted and inserted by the respective editors, but at times, to the surprise of the author, complimentary notes being annexed to them, which have not a little influenced the writer in the adventure which he now makes, in the publication of this small volume.

     It may be, I have not always adhered to the admonitions of art in the selection of the metre. My only apology for the divergency in the versification, peradventure, is, that, without exception, I have followed the emanations of my own fancy. [unnumbered page]

     In the following original compositions “there may appear a casual coincidence with the authors whose works I have been accustomed to read.” But I believe that not in one instance have I been guilty of intentional imitation, or the more repugnant impropriety—sin of plagiarism. Though the following poetical effusions, it may be, are imperfect in structure, they have not been penned without some pleasure to the author, and he hopes they may not be wholly unproductive of profit to the reader, at the very least, harmless.

     If, however, the cultured and the urbane should honour the author with a review of this volume, he trusts that they will make ample allowance for educational deficiencies, inasmuch as the following “Thoughts” have not been penned by one who has written with all the facilities of learning leagued with leisure, but the opposite; hence the flowers of his wreath, if any, will be entirely unartificial, wayside, natural flowers.

     Not that I consider myself the recipient of any innate greatness as Burns, Gray, or Byron; but I do say this, that if, on the publication of my poems, I did not realize that I possessed some poetic puissance, I would be impertinent indeed, deserving to be branded as the fool of fools, and basest of the base.

THE AUTHOR.

WALSINGHAM CENTRE,

           May, 1886. [page vi]

CONTENTS.

PAGE.

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY

9

THE FIRST FLOWERS OF SPRING

11

HURRAH FOR CANADA

12

THE SIEGE OF SILISTRIA

13

AFTER THE BATTLE

16

EARTHLY JOYS

17

ON THE DEATH OF MRS. MARY HAZEN

19

FIRE

21

TO A VENERABLE FRIEND

24

BRITAIN

25

SPRING

27

ON THE DEATH OF MR. G. COX

29

THE SABBATH

31

ON THE DEATH OF GEN. HAVELOCK

32

THE THRASHERS ARE COMING

34

TO CAPT. J. D. MORGAN

36

TO MR. J. W., A MEDICAL STUDENT

38

THE RED, RED BATTLEFIELD

41

TO MR. G. N. H., A STUDENT OF WALSINGHAM CENTRE

43

TO THE MONUMENT OF WATERLOO

44

THE COWS

45

ON CROSSING THE ATLANTIC

47

LINES WRITTEN ON EASTER SUNDAY

49

ON THE DEATH OF MISS JANE ABBOTT

50

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A CAVALRY CHARGE

52

MY NATIVE LAND

53

SAGINAW

55

THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD

56

PRAISE YE THE LORD

57

ON THE DEATH OF MISS M. W.

57

THE GOSPEL SHIP

59

ON THE DEATH OF A LITTLE GIRL

60

THE BAND TO-NIGHT

61

OLD ALBION

63

[page 8]

[illustration]

THOUGHTS BY THE WAY.

————

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY.

LINES WRITTEN FOR THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF MAY.

“Vivat Regina.”

PROP the pennons to th’ breeze,

    And bid the cannons roar,

The glorious twenty-fourth

    With joy we hail once more.

The twenty-fourth of May,

    The birthday of our Queen,—

Let bands alternate play,

    And salvos boom between.

Let the morn be lucent

    O’er all the land and sea;

Let Albion’s decks resound

    With martial melody. [unnumbered page]

What tho’ the clouds should rise,

    And thunders shake the sky:

Help celebrate the day

    Shall Heaven’s artillery.

That day we love so well,

    To ev’ry Briton dear;

Yea let the world around

    Our Queen, the good, revere.

So shall the day be one

    Of universal mirth,

The anniversary

    Of our Sovereign’s birth.

Long may she live, live aye,

    To wear th’ cor’net royal,

Thron’d in her people’s love

    On England’s sceptr’d isle.

And when her reign shall cease—

    But by dissolution—

More grand in Heaven be her

    Second coronation. [page 10]

THE FIRST FLOWERS OF SPRING.

AWAKE my harp, no more delay,

    Prepare thyself to sing;

Well worthy of thy melody

    Are the first flow’rs of Spring.

There’s beauty in the Summer’s prime

    The Summer’s prime doth bring;

But what is all its languid bloom

    To the first flow’rs of Spring!

There’s beauty in the Autumn leaves,—

    Their wealth of gold some sing;

But what are all their varied tints

    To the first flow’rs of Spring!

There’s beauty in the niv’ous flake,—

    The down of Winter’s wing;

But what is all its loveliness

    To the first flow’rs of Spring!

Those od’rous blossoms of the dust

    Do lessons with them bring;

Types of the rising of the just

    Are the first flow’rs of Spring. [page 11]

HURRAH! FOR CANADA.

HURRAH! for Canada,

    The land we love so well,

For which our fathers fought—

    Around the standard fell.

To wrest it thraldom from,

    To make it great and free,

They did not hesitate

    To die heroically.

Hurrah! for Canada,

    Her realm is all our own;

Red combat’s legacy,

    Entail’d from sire to son.

What tho’ the clouds should rise,

    The thunders martial roar,

Aggression’s grenade storm

    Assail our peaceful shore?

The grand old flag would rise,

    Red-cross’d, ensure relief,

Emblazon’d on its folds

    Display the Maple Leaf;

Roll back intrusion’s tide,

    From inland trespass awe,

Would thus our rights retrieve,

    For Canada, hurrah! [page 12]

AN ATTEMPT ON SILISTRIA

BY THE RUSSIAN ARMY UNDER PRINCE PASKIEVITCH,

1ST MAY, 1854.

Lo! in the East the cannon roars,

’Long the Danube destruction pours.

          Many shall die,—

Shall soon resign their fleeting breath,

All for the soldier’s glorious death—

          A life on high.

See where they stand along the shore,

The Russian ranks with Turks before,—

          The young, the gay,

The nation’s best, their country’s pride;

Valor and strength stand side by side

          In grand array.

The gallant steed, the reckless brute,

Is keeping time to drum and lute,

          As in a dance;

With ribbon’d mane and burnish’d heel,

Bearing on high the best of steel—

          The beamy lance. [page 13]

See the proud Crescent waving high,

Its horn adverse invades the sky—

          Flag of the free—

Wanes in the clouds of battle dun,

Which now exclude the light of sun

          Indignantly.

’Tis night at noon unnatural;

The soldiers grope along the wall

         The smoke among,

’Cept when the guns with all their might

Generously dispense their light

          The lines along.

And now the battle’s waxing warm,

The Ottomans fall ’thout alarm,

          Content to die

Around their guns, that rampant roar,

Besprinkl’d all with Moslem gore

          Of crimson dye.

With waving swords th’ assailants shout;

Of victory there is no doubt—

          Valor’s reward.

Russia shall show to all the world

Her flag vict’rously unfurl’d,

          Her fame record. [page 14]

On, on, ye brave! the standard bear,

Evince your valor by its care,

          All in the gloom.

What tho’ ye fall amidst the strife?

Perpetuate it shall your life

          Beyond the tomb.

Yea, uninterr’d your names shall be,

By honor held in memory

          For evermore.

For evermore your deeds shall live,

A halo to your dust shall give—

          Die or conquer.

And now the cannon’s slack’ning fire

Bespeaks the conflict well nigh o’er—

          The brief campaign.

The Czar’s best troops their backs display

All to the foe and march away,

          Outbrav’d, o’ercame.

All honor to the turban’d dead,

Reclining in their graves of red,

          Their soldier’s rest.

Their noble deed of daring done,

Immortal shall outshine the sun—

          Refulgent blest. [page 15]

AFTER THE BATTLE.

(TIME—TWILIGHT.)

THE tumult stern, the battle’s roar,

Had ceased:—it was the evening’s hour;

The stars appear’d, ejected shone,

Like sparks of fire from bursting bomb.

The regimental bands were mute;

The brazen coils and languid lute

Indisposed the bugle’s bray,

Its echo dying with the day.

All, all were still, the winds were low,

Scarce did the breeze the banners blow;

Quiescently the colors hung

In crimson trail their staves along.

In mortal bivouac myriads lay

Right where there stood in proud array,

In pale repose the night to pass

Regretless on the gory grass.

The good, the gallant, and the gay,

Whose memories shall ne’er decay;

A monolith magnificent,

Of mental build their monument. [page 16]

EARTHLY JOYS.

EARTHLY joys—ah! what are they?

    We ask; but no reply.

Remorse’s dumb without a tongue,

    And ev’ry breath a sigh.

Earthly joys—ah! what are they?

    They serve but to delude;

Allure t’ social sweets beyond

    That prove a solitude.

Earthly joys—ah! what are they

    But sorrow’s brief preface?

Elude our grasp, like phant’ms fly,

    And flying leave no trace.

Earthly joys—ah! what are they?

    Like ships before the breeze;

Th’ sight regale when far away,

    But vanish whil’st we gaze.

Earthly joys—ah! what are they?

    The fancied good we chase;

Expire like meteors in th’ sky

    Ere we can point the place. [page 17]

Earthly joys—ah! what are they?

    So soon the sources dry,

Like wast’d brooks in summer-time

    No water can supply.

Earthly joys—ah! what are they?

    So soon, so quickly past,

Like autumn flow’rs they recede,

    And perish in the blast.

Joys unfailing, joys alone,

    To Faith and Hope are given;

They are not of the earth at all—

    Originate in Heaven.

[illustration]

[page 18]

THOUGHTS ON THE DEATH OF MRS. MARY HAZEN, JR.,

OF SPRING ARBOR, WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE

29TH MARCH, 1879.

THAT thou art dead we can’t believe;

Our senses may ourselves deceive—

          Thou art not dead.

They that believe shall never die,

But live hereafter in the sky,

          The Saviour said.

Oft have we heard thee with delight

Sing of that realm so fair and bright—

          Home of the blest—

We little thought to thee so near;

But thou art gone its bliss to share—

          Immortal rest.

Thy soul was of the joyous sort

That serv’d to cheer the cheerless heart,

          If such among.

At they behest the organ rang,

’Neath thy hand harmonious sang

          Its evening song. [page 19]

The flow’rs shall bloom, the birds shall sing;

The glories of the coming spring

          Will soon be here

To beautify those fields of ours,

With melody to fill those bow’rs,

          The heart to cheer.

The flow’rs shall fade, the songs shall cease,

The winter will the fields deface,

          Destruction bring;

But in the land beyond the tomb,

Where thou art gone, is endless bloom,

          Perpetual spring.

[illustration]

[page 20]

FIRE.

I AM kind to you all,

   And that you’ll confess;

If you inly speak out

   I know you’ll say yes.

You scarcely sit down

   To the bountiful board

But what you draw freely

   From my ardent hoard.

When darkness prevails,

   Obscuring the sight,

I relieve you at once

   With my tapers of light.

And when your toil ends,

   As at even’s respite,

If a smoke you suggest

   I illume the sweet pipe.

I’ve cleared off your lands

   With laborious flame,

Where you gather with joy

   The deaf ears of grain [page 21]

And if after harvest

   I but taste the stubble,

You come out against me

   With water and trouble.

I’m the life and the light

   Of the old iron horse;

And I speed him along—

   Its my business, of course.

You talk of a railway

   To Port Rowan, I hear;

But the By-Law’s a “fiz,”

   And the bonus unfair.

Fifty Thousand Dollars

   Of gold Municipal

Is a “mighty” big price

   For a cast ir’n whistle.

I was th’ soul of your ships

   In the Nile’s stern fight;

The winners I made you

   In the world’s whole sight. [page 22]

I’ve defended your forts,

   Aye, times without number;

And old Waterloo aw’d

   With iron-orb’d thunder.

And still I am ready,

   At the clarion’s call,

The bayonet to gild,

   Or to girdle the ball.

But for all these good deeds,

   Which are mine, I can prove,

You put me in irons

   In this horrible stove.

[illustration]

[page 23]

TO A VENERABLE FRIEND.

G. C., OF SPRING ARBOR.

TIME’S storm and tempest thou hast stood

    Half a century more,

Like the majestic oak that stands

    Along the shelving shore.

Blanch’d are thy locks, no longer brown,

    A whiteness they assume,

Look like a wreath of lilies fair,

    Of sixty summers’ bloom.

The morning of thy day is past,

    Thy noon is spent, brief hours,

To intimate that eve is near,

    Puissant less thy pow’rs.

Then look to Him, the Lily pure,

    Unto the end believe,

And in that land, mortal no more,

    Immortal life receive. [page 24]

BRITAIN.

HOME of the free! o’er hill and wave,

In ev’ry clime thy banners wave,

O’er equal rights without a slave,

O’er loyal hearts forever brave.

Off cruising now in ship and sloop,

Thy ocean sons with hearts of oak,

Thy colors fly o’er sail and rope,

All clouded in Trafalgar’s smoke.

Still riding o’er the billowy main,

With booming guns and music’s strain,

Thy pennons proud now flaunt again,

Flying o’er the sail of Spain.

At Waterloo thy banners float

On the sulphurous tide of shot,

Carried by the crimson coat

All to the roll of drum and lute.

O’er Alma’s heights, through Inkerman,

The standard bear to the Redan.

Up! On! Forward, march! Ready, men,

Your bayonets dye, said Raglan. [page 25]

O’er Lucknow’s tow’rs aloft sublime

Re-waves the flag to martial time;

The foe recedes from line to line,

As in their front thy sabres shine.

At Abu-Klea gleaming now,

With consternation fill the foe;

Brands of many a sanguine blow,

Blood re-bronzed fresh conquests show.

Well may Britain boast and shine

With trophies won in every clime!

What nobler theme in measur’d line

Could statemen pen, or poet rhyme?

[illustration]

[page 26]

SPRING.

THE Spring! The Spring! is her again,

    Joyous our hearts to make;

Solicited by sun and rain

    The blue-eyed flow’rs awake.

The feather’d tribes rejoice in song,

    Their sweetest notes emply;

’Most ev’ry bush my path along

    Proclaims the gen’ral joy.

The swollen brooks speed on their way

    The dells athwart they run,

All sparkling in the vernal ray

    Of the ascending sun.

The orchard’s odor fills the air,

    Beauty on ev’ry spray;

The burglar bees again we hear

    Bearing the sweets away.

The humble hazel and the thorn

    Add beauty to the scene;

The woods immense, the leaves adorn,

    No longer gray but green. [page 27]

Green are the dells, the uplands too:

    Beauty is ev’rywhere;

The sky’s inclemency withdrew,

    Calm’d is the atmosphere.

So may all moral storms subside,

    All in our hearts we sing,

Immortal sunshine with us ’bide,

    Th’ soul’s superior Spring.

[illustration]

[page 28]

IN MEMORIAM.

LINES WRITTEN ON THE DEATH OF MR. GEORGE COX, OF SPRING ARBOR, WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 5TH APRIL, 1881.

“Requiescat in pace.”

SOUL of the just departed worth,

Thy rest on high shall be henceforth

          With all the good,

With all the gen’rous and the wise

That find their portion in the skies,

          Repose in God.

Enlist’d in Immanuel’s cause,

Thy zeal puissant knew no pause—

          No fear was thine.

Fearless and faithful to the end,

At duty’s call thou didst attend

          The call divine.

’Thout hesitation on thy part,

The good to do was in thy heart—

          Benevolent.

How didst thou labour to procure

Felicity, to all ensure

          Peace permanent! [page 29]

On Sabbath morn thou didst ascend

The sacred desk awhile to stand—

          With purpose pure—

The Word to preach, the precious truth,

The hope of age, and joy of youth,

          With point and pow’r.

With soul aglow with mental fire,

Th’ moral flame rose high and higher—

          Transcendent shone.

But thy voice is hushed in death,

Having gained the good man’s wreath—

          On high a home;

Where we shall surely greet again,

Exempt from all decline and pain,

          From death ever,

With friend paternal gone before,

Presently meet to part no more—

         Never, never!

[illustration]

[page 30]

THE SABBATH.

DAY of sweetness, day of quiet,

Of peace and hope, angel diet—

          Immortal food—

For all who walk in wisdom’s way,

And holy keep the blessed day

          Unto our God,—

Who in six days the world so great,

Sun, moon, and stars did all create,

          To move and shine;

But the seventh serence He blest

As a day of hallowed rest—

          Worship divine.

When all the tribes of earth may come,

And in the rays of the sun’s SUN

          Repose by faith.

O privileg’d people of th’ land

Where love around such light doth send

          Ev’ry Sabbath! [page 31]

LINES

WRITTEN ON THE DEATH OF GENERAL HAVELOCK, WHO DIED IN INDIA,

24TH NOVEMBER, 1857.

UPRIGHT was he ’fore God and man;

Through life he march’d in danger’s van

          Without dismay;

His life erect, he fear’d not death;

His right he claim’d, the vet’ran’s wreath,

          And passed away

From this realm of strife and death,

Where life is but a falt’ring breath

          To that to come:

In those towers above the stars,

Garrisoned by Heaven’s Hussars,

          The hero’s home.

Now hail’d along the hallow’d coast

By ’fulgent sentry, the outpost,

           With “Who comes there?”

I see thee pause, hear thee reply;

When, lo! the watchmen of the sky,

           Thy friends, appear. [page 32]

They bid thee speed with trump and lute;

The hosts beyond thy soul salute

           With loud huzzas;

The battlements resound with cheer,

Whilst far away as eye can peer

           The ramparts blaze.

The guard is pass’d without annoy’;

The gates are gain’d with rapturous joy;

           The conqueror

The street ascends of Glory’s gold,

Where once the cherub-chariots roll’d

           The tide of war.

And now he halts, if halt the mind;

Heaven’s blue barricades behind—

           Far, far away.

Enrank’d on high our here stands,

While sweet discourse the Heavenly bands

           Hosannas play.

[illustration]

[page 33]

THE THRASHERS ARE COMING.

THE thrashers are coming t’-morrow,

    The thrashers are coming, they say;

So some flour I’ll have to borrow

    To replenish the old bread-tray.

The thrashers are coming t’-morrow;

    Eight good fellows I’ll need, they say,—

To work in the straw so yellow,

    To unmow and mow it away.

The thrashers are coming t’-morrow,

    And one more horse I’ll want, they say:

She’s very kind,—I mean the widow,—

    Her Black I’ll get to put with Gray.

The thrashers are coming t’-morrow,

    And my wife, Mrs. Watch, ’s away;

She flew where I dare not follow

    The wooing widow to repay. [page 34]

The thrashers are coming t’-morrow,

    So the bins I’ll deepen to-day;

Else, perhaps, they’ll be too shallow

    When the grain I’m stowing away.

The thrashers are coming t’-morrow;

    Boys, stand back, keep out of the way!

I’ll have to fly like a swallow

    All over the place, so Good-day.

[illustration]

[page 35]

CONDOLATORY ADDRESS.

TO CAPTAIN J. D. MORGAN, OF WALSINGHAM CENTRE. WRITTEN AT THE TIME OF HIS ILLNESS TWO DAYS BEFORE HIS DEATH.

MAY life be given long

    Abundant unto thee;

Thy ardor at the “Raid”*

    Bespeaks thy loyalty.

At thy country’s call,

    Roused the right to aid,

Thou didst not hesitate

    To meet the glitt’ring blade.

To face the iron storm

    Of missiles wing’d with death;

Our glorious flag unfurl

    To the clarion’s breath.

To move amid the gloom,

    ‘The smoke-engender’d night,’

Where the bayonets gleam

    In the vollied light.


     *This refers to the Fenian Raid of June, 1866.


[page 36]

To die, if necessary,

    For thy country’s good;

Upon her altar high

    To sacrifice thy blood.

To die at early dawn,

    Ere the shining hours;

Or in the evening calm,

    At the shut of flowers.

Along some river’s brink,

    Down in the valley low;

Or on the mountain’s top,

    All in the battle’s glow.

For thou didst leave thy home,

    Just like some Spartan brave,

Perchance to lay thee down

    Low in a soldier’s grave.

But God preserv’d thy life

    From the devouring bomb;

May thy soul now find rest,

    And peaceful be thy tomb. [page 37]

TO MR. JOSEPH WOODWARD, JR.,

A MEDICAL STUDENT.

    “Friendship, mysterious cement of the soul,

      Sweet’ner of life, and solder of society,—

      I owe thee much.”—Blair.

ACCEPT, Dear Sir, this feeble strain,

I dedicate it to thy name—

          To thee, my friend.

The sun may fail, its light resign;

Love will outlast that circlet’s shine—

          Shall never end.

The Oculist, the only wise,—

He who unbound the blind man’s eyes

          The light to see,—

May He with wisdom sun thy soul,

O’er surgery complete control,

          In love, give thee.

One drop from Him, th’ great Physician,

Would stimulate to high ambition

          Of moral wine.

Would cheer thee with untold delight,

And fill thee with perceptive light—

          Radiance divine. [page 38]

The flow’rs may bloom, their sweets display,

Then storm despoil’d may fade away—

          May droop and die.

So earthly charms, we hold so dear,

Desert us do when ill we are—

          With health they fly.

There’s nothing like a hoard of health;

’Tis better than financial wealth—

          By millions told:

When sickness blast and pangs devour,

And life is shorten’d to an hour,

          How dim is gold.

How dim, how dense, how doubly dark,

When life is low, a flick’ring spark.

          The radiant dust

Is little worth when health is gone;

For health and happiness are one

          Estate the best.

Guarded by thee—our weal’s first friend,

With pill and powder make an end

          Of Death—kill him.

Ah! couldst thou but stop his breath,

Strip from his brow the pale-bloom wreath,

          What laurels win! [page 39]

A life recruit of skilful sort,

To raise a rampart round the heart—

          The seat of life;

To fend it from the fatal dart

Its purposes of pain to thwart

          Thy glorious strife.

To reinstate the prostrate frame,

So it may stand erect again—

          From languor free.

Yea, to reclose the moral gate,

Wide op’ning to that unknown state—

          Eternity.

In thy attempts to baffle death,

Immortalize our mortal breath,

          May’st thou be great;

At one to quench the fever’s flame,

Or warm the icy hand again—

          Restore complete.

So shall thy acts of goodness live,

A savor to thy name shall give

          Beyond the tomb;

In that land of fadeless bowers

Shall crown thee with immortal flow’rs

          Of sweet perfume. [page 40]

THE RED, RED BATTLEFIELD.

THE battle’s o’er, the bullet’s flight,

The flash, the roar, but not the fight;

          The drums are mute;

The steeds are still, or almost so,

With manes as white as Winter’s snow—

          Irresolute.

’Long the green slope lie wounded they,

From which the red rills roll away

          To plains below;

As when in Spring th’ arrowy rays

Of the hot sun all in a blaze

          Dissolves the snow.

The crimson blade now seeks the shade

Of the brown sheath with gold inlaid—

          With grace controll’d;

All finger-mark’d the yellow hilt

Displays the blood so gallant spilt

          By bearer bold.

The banner huge is in the dust,

Quivering to the passing gust,

          Just where it fell [page 41]

Along the stream, whose startl’d flood

Sweeps fast away from scenes of blood

         Athwart the dell.

The hills are red, the valleys too,

O’ervast with something thick and blue—

          The battle smoke;

Odor sulphuric fills the place

Where heroes proud fell face to face

          To martial stroke.

Still reclining to valor known,

Bleeding the brave forget to moan,

          Tho’ faint their breath.

The battle’s o’er, the bullet’s flight,

The flash, the roar, but not the fight

          ’Twixt Life and Death.

[illustration]

[page 42]

LINES WRITTEN TO MR. G. N. H.,

A STUDENT OF WALSINGHAM CENTRE, WHO SUCCEEDED IN PASSING THE THIRD CLASS TEACHERS’ EXAMINATION AT SIMCOE, JULY, 1881.

WITH great industry thou hast sought

For wisdom in the realm of thought—

          Early and late—

An intellectual store to gain,

The immortal treasures of th’ brain—

          The mind’s estate.

Wealth we may have, but not retain;

May lose the glitt’ring prize again

          In one brief hour;

For riches are but transient things,

Which fly away as if on wings,

          And leave us poor.

But intellectual wealth may be

An everlasting joy to thee—

          Thy heritage.

Thine the unfading wreath to wear

Of mental bloom forever fair—

          Wreath of the sage. [page 43]

AN ADDRESS TO THE MONUMENT OF WATERLOO.

PILLAR potent of granite gray,

Thy flinty blocks to me display,

Make present most the victor’s dead,

Who falling found a gory bed.

About thy base, proud Monument,

Bright Freedom’s blood thy sole cement.

In each stone impacted I see

Personal immortality

Of those who nobly fought and bled,

Quarri’d as from their graves of red.

To erect a tower like this,

More famous than th’ Acropolis;

A pyramid of martial birth,

A column grand of moral worth,

A Monument to deathless fame,

Great headstone of th’ burial plain;

Stand forever, huge pile of stones,

Aggression’s gyve, paean of thrones.

[illustration]

[page 44]

THE COWS.

BEHIND the barn,*

    Beyond the hill,

Back in the woods,

    I hear the bell.

Across the creek†

    I know its tone;

It seems to be

    Near “Shantytown.”

The twilight ’tis,

    The hour of eight;

They’ll not be up,

    ’Tis getting late.

Last night they laid

    Upon the leaves,

And chew’d their cud

    Atween the trees.


* This piece was written while the author was residing at Spring Arbor.

† This refers to the Venison Creek.


[page 45]

If they lie out,

    Again to-night,

They’ll shrink their milk

    So sweet and white.

I must be off,

    O’er rill and log;

For company

    I’ll call the dog.

’Tis raining some—

    I thought it would—

They’ll have to stay,

    Both young and old,

Another night

    Beneath the boughs,

For ’tis too wet

    To hunt the cows.

[illustration]

[page 46]

ON CROSSING THE ATLANTIC

IN SPETEMBER, 1847.

NOW the clouds turned black,

    The winds began to blow,

The sailors went aloft

    And passengers below.

The waves began to rise

    All in their strength and glee;

They leap’d upon the deck,

    The Ruffians of the sea.

Lightning flash’d to lightning,

    Thunder did thunder call,

The elements broke forth,

    As if in anger all.

The hail at random flew

    Like bullets from the sky;

As heavier rolled

    Heaven’s artillery.

Before the blast she flew:

    Our ship like a swallow

Plunged into the deep,

    Then rose upon th’ billow. [page 47]

Wind howled to wind

    Through the deepening gloom,

As in their airy hands

    They toss’d the briny foam.

For eight and forty hours

    The storm rag’d furiously,

And then the swelling blue

    Heaved more placidly.

So when life’s cruise shall end,

    Its cable mortal cast,

Upon may we all land

    Th’ Continent of the blest.

[illustration]

[page 48]

THE LINES WRITTEN ON EASTER SUNDAY.

THE Lord’s risen to-day,

    Let saints and angels sing,

For Death is in dismay,

    The grave an empty thing.

Joy to the earth proclaim,

    All abroad be spoken,

Mortality is slain,

    Th’ pow’rs adverse are broken.

Humanity shall rise,

    All in the dust shall live,

All, all beneath the skies

    Immortal life receive.

For Christ’s ascent to-day

    Is to us the token,

Which shall not pass away,

    Of our resurrection. [page 49]

NENIA ON THE DEATH OF JANE ABBOTT,

WHO DIED AT MASTON, 27TH AUGUST, 1873.

AGED EIGHT YEARS.

THE soul, the soul has fled,

    The happy spirit’s free,

The soul it is not dead,

    ’Tis gone in bliss to be.

’Tis gone from earth away,

    Where death shall never come,

Exempt from all decay,

    In its celestial home.

Oft have we heard thee sing,

    “There’ll be no sorrow there,”

Which to our hearts now bring

    Memorials of cheer.

God gave thee in His love,

    Recall’d thee in the same,

To raise our hearts above,

    Where we shall greet again. [page 50]

Say, was thy exit grand

    From this dark world of ours?

Did some seraphic band

    Escort thee to yon bow’rs?

Or did thy Saviour come

    To hush at once Death’s storms—

Sweetly convey thee home

    In His almighty arms?

Knowledge enough it is

   To know to thee is given,

Bliss, everlasting bliss—

    A home above in Heaven!

[illustration]

[page 51]

THE CHARGE OF THE HEAVY BRIGADE

AT BALACLAVA.

TEN hundred brave horsemen

    As ever drew rein

From the valley rode up,

    Fresh laurels to gain.

From a trot t’ a gallop,

    On chargers of gray,

Up, up the hill hied,

    Away and away.

Rocked in their saddles,

    Majestic and bold,

And the hilts of their swords

    Glittered like gold.

Their sabres they plucked;

    At lightning-like speed,

Like a thunderbolt, flew

    The gay cavalcade.

They swept the green slope,

    Bespatter’d with gore,

And swayed the red steel

    ’Mid the hostile roar.

The charge it was brilliant,

    No “one had blunder’d”

In the despatch of the

    Gallant ten hundred. [page 52]

MY NATIVE LAND.

                                                                             “My native land,

                                        Filled with thoughts of thee this heart was proud.”—

                                                                                                                  —Coleridge.  

MY native land, with pleasant park,

    From thee I have been torn,

And by the sail-spreading bark

    Across the billows borne.

Yet, sweet the thought, when I survey,

    When sporting round the bow’r,

With sprightly step in youthful play,

    I pluck’d the blue-bell’d flow’r.

On gentle slope of village hill

    Gay orchards wav’d in bloom;

Whilst flow’d beneath a crystal rill,

    ’Tween banks of sweet perfume.

Whilst at its base reclin’d a green,

    Steep’d in genial show’rs,

A lovely plain, with silver stream,

    Inlaid with golden flow’rs. [page 53]

At summer’s eve, o’er hill and vale,

    Sweet swelling music’s sound

Rung on the soft transporting gale,

    Whilst moonbeams slept around.

And dew, distilling from on high,

    Cups liliaceous caught,

Whilst planets bright hung down the sky,

    And vines crept o’er the cot.

There fragrant bloom at dusky dawn

    Breath’d sweetness to the bow’r,

And shining drops at rise of sun

    Sprinkl’d leaf and flower.

Tho’ I may never see thee more,

    But ever from thee dwell,

Britain, be blest for evermore,

    My native land, farewell.

[illustration]

[page 54]

SAGINAW.

WHAT shall I do, the knave has left?

    The logs I helped him draw

He never paid me for at all;

    He’s gone to Saginaw.

My hay and oats I sold him, too,

    My axes and my saw,

For these I’ll never get a cent;

    He’s gone to Saginaw.

And groc’ries, too, I let him have,

    Just before the thaw,

For these he never settl’d up;

    He’s gone to Saginaw.

My oxen, too, the best, he bought,

    He gave his note—a straw—

A hundred dollars. Oh! the rogue;

    He’s gone to Saginaw.

My timber, too, he bought it all;

    The trees I help’d him saw;

“I’ll pay you all at once,” he said;

    He’s gone to Saginaw. [page 55]

Some said the man was just—just gone

    As I propos’d the law

He “dug,” too late the constable;

    He’s gone to Saginaw.

————

THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD.

WHOSE wisdom is unsearchable,

    Knowledge it all He hath;

Heaven’s unfuell’d fires bespeak His skill,

    Enkindl’d by His breath.

In the blue firmament to burn,

    Their hearths of naught upon,

Glowing the night illume, adorn,

    The scions of the sun.

Until the morning doth appear,

    With its excess of light,

When all those glories disappear,

    Wisdom portray and might. [page 56]

PRAISE YE THE LORD.

SING to the Lord, for He is great,

    Him who can comprehend;

Come, let us join to celebrate

    His love, which ne’er shall end.

Love without end or origin,

    The origin of all,

Creation’s cause in the “I AM,”

    Whom we invoke, extol.

Sing to the Lord, for He is love,

    So saith the sacred Word;

Then let us all consonous move,

   I n song praise ye the Lord.

————

THOUGHTS

SUGGESTED ON THE DEMISE OF MISS M. W., WHO DIED AT WALSINGHAM CENTRE, 24TH MARCH, 1870, AGED TWENTY-TWO YEARS.

WEEP not for me, I’m happy now,

    I’m in the better land;

A beautiful crown’s on my brow,

    A palm is in my hand. [page 57]

Beautiful palm the Saviour gave,

    Forever fresh and fair;

Emblem of triumph, it I’ll wave,

    My crown of beauty wear.

A golden harp He gave me too,

    So I may sing His praise;

Join in the song forever new,

    To Him who loves always.

A beautiful robe now I wear,

    My Saviour gave to me,

When I pass’d by faith and prayer,

    Through those portals pearly.

Farewell, my friends, to all farewell,

    In heaven we hope to meet;

For Jesus died to bring us all

    Where households broken greet.

[illustration]

[page 58]

THE GOSPEL SHIP.

THE good old ship is bounding on,

    Before the fresh’ning breeze;

With all her canvas fully set,

    She rides the surging seas.

All staunch and ample are her decks,

    Her bulwarks lofty, strong;

Her colors of a crimson hue,

    High o’er her topsails hung.

See how she cuts the rising wave,

    She cleaves the furious foam;

There’s land ahead! the watchman cries,

    We soon shall reach our home.

Then let the waves relentless dash,

    The thunders final roar;

Like the Old Ark she’ll all survive,

    And again the better shore. [page 59]

IN MEMORIAM.

LINES WRITTEN ON THE DEATH OF G. F., A GIRL OF SEVEN SUMMERS, WHO DIED AT WALSINGHAM CENTRE, 4TH OCT., 1876.

DEAR, thou art gone, forever gone,

Short was thy course beneath the sun,

Brief thy stay, thy blooming hours;

Thou art gone like the summer flow’rs.

Tho’ thou art gone, thou art not dead,

Thy spirit pure is free and glad;

To test our strength, submission’s pow’rs,

Thou art gone like the summer flow’rs.

Thou art gone to the better land,

Immature to grow, expand;

To blossom ’mid ambrosial bow’rs,

Thou art gone like the summer flow’rs.

Yea, thou art gone to the spirit realm,

Thy dust in death is cold and calm,

O, may thy lot at last be ours,

To be restor’d like summer flow’rs.

To bloom in everlasting light,

With vigor cloth’d, immortal might,

Exempt from death all adverse pow’rs,

No more to fade like summer flow’rs. [page 60]

THE BAND TO-NIGHT.

GOD bless the Band to-night,

    Each member of the Band;

Help us to walk upright,

    Supported by Thy hand.

So shall our souls quiescent be

With that repose which comes from Thee.

God bless the Band to-night,

    Our standard-bearer bless,

Help him to hold aright

    The truth in righteousness;

So shall his soul quiescent be

With that repose which comes from Thee.

God bless the Band to-night,

    Our vet’rans in the field,

With love the foe to smite,

    Till all, till all shall yield;

So shall their souls quiescent be

With that repose which comes from Thee. [page 61]

God bless the Band to-night,

    He who for us shall look,

Shall give direction right

    Out of Thy blessed book;

So shall his soul quiescent be

With that repose which comes from Thee.

God bless the Band to-night,

    Those raw recruits bring in,

Arm! arm them for the fight,

    The conquest over sin;

So shall their souls quiescent be

With that repose which comes from Thee.

God bless the Band to-night,

    Together bless us all;

Be Thou our rock and light

    When storms about us fall;

So shall our souls quiescent be

With that repose which comes from Thee. [page 62]

OLD ALBION.

OF armies all thine is the best,

Dare who would thy sword arrest.

              Napoleon

Determin’d did the same to do,

But lost his brand at Waterloo,

              Sceptre and crown.

Thy navy is unrivall’d strong;

Wreck to the craft that would thee wrong

              On the rude seas.

Thy ships—immense iron isles—

The billows brave, the battle’s wiles

              Unaw’d, with ease.

As regal goodness doth attest,

Of sovereigns all, thine is the best

              This orb around.

Long live the Queen at her demise!

May she in peace above the skies

              Be call’d re-crown’d. [page 63]

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