Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




God’s blessing on the Baby Boy
    Its Father ne’er caress’d.
How much of sadness and alloy
Are blent with every thrill of joy
    That agitates my breast,

While o’er earth’s fairest scenes I roam
    And feast my raptured eyes,
As thoughts of thee unbidden come,
To win me to the quiet home
    In which the New Born lies?

What would I give, at this still hour,
    For but a glance at thee?
Hast thou a spell of magic power,
Thou delicate and fragile flower
    That sleeps beyond the sea,

That thus my waking thoughts you share,
    And mingle in my dreams?
For, like a Spirit of the air,
O’er all that’s rich, and grand, and rare,
    Some fancied feature beams.

I stood on Snowdon’s topmost height,
    And far beneath me lay
A thousand hills in all their might,
Tinged with the sunset’s rosy light,
    A fair and proud array; [Page 115]

But by thy cradle then to kneel,
    And gaze upon thy face;
Thy little hand in mine to feel,
To make a Father’s first appeal—
    Thy answering smile to trace—

Could I have turn’d, such bliss to know,
    To spend one hour with thee,
The splendid scene that lay below,
Loch, vale, and stream, and sunset’s glow
    Few charms had had for me.

O’er sweet Killarney’s placid breast,
    My bark this moment roves.
And never did my spirit rest
On scene, by Heaven more richly blest,
    With all the wand’rer loves.

But there’s a chamber far away,
    A mother’s glance of pride—
Familiar forms, that, wondering, pray
That they with “Brother” still may play,
    That haunt me as I glide.

And thus it is, go where I will.
    Where’er my footsteps roam,
A Cherub face is with me still,
Mingling with rapture’s wildest thrill,
    And beckoning me home.
1839. [Page 116]