on Various Subjects.
Printed by H. H. Brown, Market Square.
Rhode-Island District, illegibleunknown [L.S.] Be it remembered, That on the 1828-04-1717th day of April, 1828, and in the fifty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, Catharine R. Williams, of said District, deposited in this Office, the title of a book, whereof she claims as proprietor, in the following words, viz. Original Poems, on various subjects. By C. R. Williams. Oh! lost to virtue, lost to manly thought, Lost to the noble sallies of the soul, Who think it solitude to be alone. . They come— The lost, the beautiful, the dead.
In conformity to an act of Congress of the United States, entitled An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned, and also to an Act entitled An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefit thereof to the art of designing, engraving and etching historical or other prints.
Benjamin Cowell, Clerk of the Rhode-Island District.
To the Public.
It is frequently the case that works of great merit are prefaced by an apology for offering them to the notice of the public; if it can be deemed necessary in such a case, it certainly becomes doubly so in this.
The following Poems, consisting chiefly of fugitive pieces, were written for the amusement of solitary hours, and with the exception of a Christmas Ode, were never intended for publication. Circumstances have now induced me to offer them to the public, and I offer them with the full conviction their errors will be overlooked. My reluctance to commit myself, by obtruding such trifles on the notice of the public, induced me to defer it long after I had been advised by several of my friends in whose judgment I placed great confidence. From a knowledge of my situation, I think none will conclude I have been actuated by a desire of fame. And I may add, that were my own personal emolument alone concerned, no other motive would influence me. But when I view the little helpless being who looks to me for support, I feel it an A3 viA3v vi imperious duty to sacrifice my own private feelings, and to put in requisition every talent I possess, whether one or ten. I will not, however, affect so much humility as to say, I feel myself imposing nonsense upon the public, and that the demand which the book makes upon the time of the reader is an imposition. I lament that the defects of education, or the want of imagination, prevents their being clothed in a language which would render them more acceptable. Upon strictly reviewing them, I cannot see that the sentiments are exceptionable. I believe there is nothing advocated contrary to the doctrines of the Gospel, or the soundest morality; on the whole, I conclude, that it will be said of them, as of the writings of most well-meaning but inferiour persons: That they can do no harm, and possibly may some good.
Some of my more serious readers may object to one or two pieces which are merely amusing, and perhaps go so far as to question whether a Christian could write or publish anything of a light nature. I ask the most fastidious, I submit to the most inquisitorial, whether Cowper, the inimitable Cowper! was not a Christian; and whether his John Gilpin, humorous and diverting as it is, contains one moral sentiment?
To others who may dislike the tone of sadness that pervades too many of these pages, I can only say, that it viiA4r vii is difficult for any one who is continually the subject of affliction, to write in a cheerful strain. We may struggle successfully, to keep up an appearance of cheerfulness in manners and conversation, but our writings generally exhibit the contrast between the outward and the inward man.
Many of those pieces which in a literary point of view are most satisfactory to myself, and would be perhaps most interesting to others, are excluded from publication; as they are written in Epic fashion, and relate to persons and incidents in real life, their publication would be manifestly improper. Setting aside the hostility I might provoke by their insertion, I am unwilling without necessity to injure the feelings of any one.
Several pieces in the former part of this book were written at the age of fourteen. And all those marked thus (*) were written between the age of fourteen and seventeen. I will make no apology for the insertion of those juvenile productions, since I have selected but a few out of a very large collection.
I would take this opportunity to tender my thanks to those who have so liberally subscribed to these books, and particularly to those who generously volunteered to procure subscribers. May He who rewards the good, reward them.
C. R. Williams.
The Sons of Song.
Occasioned by the recent fate of the Boston Bard.
Of all the woes that wait on human kind,
And which most keenly wound the feeling mind,
Sure those are greatest which on fame await,
Sure those fall heaviest when the heart elate
Dreams not of evil: but in joyous mood,
Sees nought in nature but the fair and good;
Turns o’er her page with still admiring eyes,
And only what is lovely there espies.
In admiration of the hand of God,
His eye delights, his thoughts now roam abroad.
Ambitious still the works of Heaven to scan,
For the improvement of his fellow man,
His heart dilates, his bosom fill’d with love,
Now catches inspiration from above.
And if with this some human feeling cross
His busy thought, mingling with gold its dross,
He sees it not, for wrapt in holy visions,
He soars aloft, borne on celestial pinions,
And dreams of giving happiness to millions.A5 10A5v 10
Lost in Imagination’s world of wonders,
Thinks not of human wrath nor hears its thunders,
They rise howe’er in distant murmurs borne,
And now approach him like the gathering storm;
He starts, he wakes, the clouds around him lower,
And looks for shelter from the coming shower.
Where shall he fly, where pens will not pursue him?
Who in the day of wrath will dare to hide him?
What gen’rous patron now extends his wing,
What Genius o’er him shall his mantle fling?
And who the wretch pursued will now uphold,
Whose sheltering arms the desolate enfold?
None! none so hardy vent’rous now are found,
To lift the falling Poet from the ground.
He struggles long amid the pangs of death,
Till like the swan, that sings with her last breath,
His soul harmonious soars, he joins the dead,
And genius, virtue, talents, all are fled!
This is not fiction: Would, Oh would! it were;
View yonder being nearly crazed with care;
Though on his brow the trace of beauty lingers,
And sorrow has not with effacing fingers,
Erased the look, that speaks of mind and soul,
Nor driven the spirit to its final goal;
Yet Envy damns him, with her artful lay,
And penury has mark’d him for her prey.
Like an expiring lamp that glows around,
And serves to shew the darkness more profound,11A6r 11
His spirit still emits some fitful gleams,
And though in darkness, still the Poet dreams.
Dwells on bright visions, now some seraph’s strain
Meets his charm’d ear, and dulls the sense of pain.
His attic chamber now a palace seems,
With untold rapture oft his fancy teems,
Nor knows what famine stares him in the face,
And that his fellow men fly his embrace.
But is it so? Ye wealthy and ye great,
Who by permission wear the robe of state.
Whom riches, honours, friends, combine to bless,
Whom rivals flatter, sycophants caress;
Who live in pleasure, and who die at ease.
Ah! can ye view such miseries as these,
And not extend a friendly arm to save
Your gifted brethren from an early grave?
Shall the blest land of freedom e’er behold
Her sons thus hardened by the love of gold?
Oh no! Columbia shall not be profan’d,
By crimes of avarice, nor her altars stain’d.
Her Genius rises radiant in his charms,
And folds the sufferer in his fostering arms!
Avows that talents to his care belong,
And throws his mantle o’er the Sons of Song.
Beauty, thou loveliest, mildest grace,
Which first from heaven didst wing thy flight,
How oft thy magic form I trace,
Which swims before my raptured sight.
Though Wisdom looks beyond thy reach,
Though Virtue soars above thy power,
And thou the moral still dost teach,
Of Beauty withering in an hour.
Yet still I love the spark’ling eye,
The rosy lip and winning smile,
Though often breathe a mournful sigh,
That these allure but to beguile.
For thou dost steal th’ unguarded heart,
And fascinate the ravished sense;
And Reason tries her every art,
To banish thee, thou smiling pest.
In vain she calls to aid the charms,
That Virtue wears, though void of grace,
And feels her heart beat new alarms,
While gazing on thy lovely face.
If Beauty still must fire the soul,
And still must hold her tyrant power,
Turn where enchanting Nature glows,
With charms which all may safe admire.
Her beauties cause us no alarms,
No jealous fears our hearts annoy;
No rival robs us of the charm,
For all within is peace and joy.
But Oh! withdraw thy dazzled gaze,
From that fair face where beauty blooms,
Thou Insect! fluttering round the blaze,
Forbear! thy soaring wing consumes.
Hymn for Sabbath Morning, 18081808.
Father of light! great source of love,
May I this day thy goodness prove.
Teach me this day to sing thy praise,
And thou, my theme, inspire my lays.
Within thy hallowed Temple, Lord!
May I this day attend thy word,
And bless that word unto my heart;
Oh may I choose that better part,
That strait, that narrow, surest way,
That leads to happiness and thee.
Crown with thy blessing every prayer,
And may I feel thy presence there.
Far from my heart be every joy,
Which might my gayer hours employ.
And every pleasure, every care,
Which might my panting soul ensnare.
Oh may I each temptation flee,
Which might withdraw my thoughts from thee.
Each image from my heart efface,
That proves a barrier to thy grace.
With pious awe, and fervent zeal,
May I thy condescension feel;
Grant unto me thy gracious aid,
To change a heart which thou hast made.
And when this fleeting life is e’er,
May I among thy saints once more,
Awake the song, while heavens shall ring,
With praises of th’ eternal King.
Moon-light, by the Sea-side.
The Moon in mild splendour o’er ocean is beaming,
And faint fades the shadows of twilight away;
Oh! would that the shadow from me were receding,
That hangs o’er my path, and has darkened my day.
There is, placid Ocean, beyond thy dark billows,
A land where my heart and my thoughts often turn;
A being whose form oft in idea I follow,
Whose fortune distracts me, whose absence I mourn.
Like some restless spirit, my thoughts often wander,
Attend on thy steps, all thy hardships endure;
And while on thy destiny sadly I ponder,
For thee I could wish it had been more obscure,
How oft in the visions of night I descry thee,
Thy coutenance altered, thy form bent with grief;
With the warmest affection endeavour to soothe thee,
Though all my exertions must fail of relief.
Though far distant from me perhaps at this moment,
Thy thoughts turn to me with affection sincere;
And though cruel fate must long keep thee absent,
I still shall be with thee, and still shall be dear.
Oh! bear, gentle breezes, oh! bear from my bosom,
The wish which ascends for her welfare and bliss;
Oh! tell her I dwell with the fondest affection,
On that last embrace――on the last parting kiss.
Yet a fond spark of joy in my breast is still glowing.
While hope softly whispers I yet may behold
The friend whose sad loss I so often am mourning,
And once more be blest, when her form I enfold.
of a Paragraph in the Lives of Eminent Christians.
The flood of time is fast approaching,
And alas! will soon pass over,
Dark oblivious waves engulphing,
All our schemes, our pains and labour.
What shall survive, the wreck escaping,
But virtue and Almighty favour?
What urgent motives for correcting,
Our terrestrial aims together.
Then let us strive to gain His blessing,
In which alone is found true favour,
Whose enjoyments worth possessing,
Endure forever! and forever!
On the Death of the Unfortunate Miss ****.
Rest, hapless Fair! beneath the turf,
Which holds of thee what here remains;
A soul of such exalted worth,
The tyrant death can ne’er enchain.
When the last morning’s glorious dawn,
Shall shed its orient beams on thee,
Then join the host of Heaven’s first born,
And to thy Saviour’s bosom flee.
Immortal pleasures wait thee there,
Unfading and without alloy,
To crown thy hope, thy fervent prayer,
And bless thee with eternal joy.
There in Jehovah’s presence blest,
May thy repose be long and sweet,
Till we are gathered to his rest,
And there, thy risen spirit greet.
On Hearing a Discourse from these Words,
Ye have asked and have not received, because ye asked amiss.
Ah then! (let conscience speak) I’ve asked amiss,
The low vain pleasures of a world like this.
Its charms enticing, try their every art,
Its sordid cares have hung around my heart.
Alas how vain! the tort’ring busy fear,
The saddened heart and penitential tear;
The mind that’s fettered by the joys of earth,
Must struggle vainly for a heavenly birth.
The soul may aim to reach its native skies,
But clogged by earth, it fails, its ardour dies.
Thus long I’ve laboured in the path of truth,
And thus have pass’d the fleeting years of youth.
Heaven and the world by turns my thoughts employ,
Eternal pleasures, and life’s transient joy.
Oh would this warfare in my breast subside,
Then might my days like thine as smoothly glide,
In duty’s path; Oh could I find the way,
And never more in error’s footsteps stray,
Indulgent Parent! fix my thoughts above,
And on my heart impress thy wond’rous love!
May all my hopes, each thought and each desire
For lasting pleasures, and for thee aspire.
May earthly cares no more my soul enslave,
Enable me the world’s dread laugh to brave.
To ask what with thy glory may accord,
And in each act to make my guide thy word.
Written at Sunset.
Faintly beaming from the West,
The God of Day retires;
And scatt’ring glories as he sits,
Withdraws his cheering fires,
But soon with added lustre bright,
Behold him in the East,
All nature smiling at the sight,
All hail the welcome guest.
Oh Sun of Righteousness arise.
To cheer this darksome gloom;
With charms superior bless mine eyes,
And light me to the tomb.
Shelter’d beneath thy healing wings,
I’ll every ill defy;
Share the pure bliss Religion brings,
And taste immortal joy.
Source of each joy, of purest pleasure,
Which can glow in mortal breast;
Brightest! fairest! valued treasure,
Friendship! thou canst make us blest.
The sons of sorrow seek thy bosom,
There they hush each grief to rest,
No dark distrust, no foul suspicion,
On thy features are imprest.
Kind compassion e’er attends thee,
Virture sure is on thy side;
Heaven itself well pleas’d beholds thee,
And kind angels are thy guide.
To the broken heart of sadness,
Thou canst give the wish’d relief;
Thou canst make the smile of gladness,
Smooth the wrinkled brow of grief.
Still may all those soft sensations,
Tender, constant, and refin’d,
Friendship’s warm and chaste emotions,
Dwell within my Emma’s mind.
And whene’er the sigh of anguish,
From my heart unbidden steals,
May that expressive look of kindness,
Tell what thy kindred bosom feels.
To an Unbelieving Friend,
Upon Her Being Terrified in a Thunder Storm.
While loud around the thunders roll,
And forked lightnings wing their way,
What terror strikes the guilty soul,
Affrighted girl, where is thy stay?
Thou know’st the hand that bold directs
Th’ unerring instrument of death,
With jealous eye each thought detects,
And holds within his heart thy breath.
Does not thy fearful heart suggest,
A sudden doom perhaps is thine?
The struggling tear, but ill supprest,
Reveals the thoughts which war within.
The quick, short breath, the sudden start,
And change of place so often tried,
Whene’er the lightnings round thee dart,
And flash so fiercely by thy side.
The throbbing breast with anguish heav’d,
The fearful glance cast trembling round,
Denote a mind but ill at ease,
And show no refuge thou hast found.
Methinks dismay’d while round thy head,
Peal after peal tremendous rolls,
Thou view’st with envy yonder shed,
Beneath whose roof, the Christian dwells.
But let me seize th’ auspicious hour,
When every passion sunk to rest,
Bends to that awful guardian Pow’r,
That ever warns thee to be blest.
Though terrors arm his dreadful nod,
And clouds and darkness round him waits,
Yet righteousness is his abode,
And justice at his portals sits.
Oh! may this dread awak’ning hour
Call forth that spirit into life,
Impress thy mind with lasting awe,
And cause thee to prepare for death.
And if prepar’d, dread not the blow.
That lays thy beauteous form in dust,
Thy soul releas’d from every woe,
Shall soar among th’ angelic host.
Lines, Written on 1808-12-25Christmas Day, 1808.
Hail, glorious day! auspicious morning, hail;
Which gave a Saviour to a guilty world;
Oh may the voice of truth this day prevail,
And warm our hearts to hear with joy his word.
This day, Oh God, her annual tribute brings,
Of prayers and praises to th’ eternal Three,
This day thy saints awake ten thousand strings,
And make their vows and offerings unto thee.
From every nation, every clime they come,
To drink the waters of eternal life;
To earth’s remotest verge thy name is known,
From farthest southward to the frozen north.
Oh wilt thou smile upon each grateful heart,
That bows this day before thine awful throne?
Cause thine enlivening Spirit to impart
A ray of light, and mark them for thine own.
Let the glad tidings of celestial joy,
Cheer every heart and every breast inspire;
And may thy promises our thoughts employ,
And fill each worshipper with holy fire.
May thy exalted Son, who this day came,
To take our sins upon his guiltless head,
Redeem us from the penalty of sin,
And on our souls his saving grace be shed.
Who is the Nymph that hither flies,
With step light bounding o’er the green,
With rosy lip and downcast eyes.
And cheek that blushes to be seen.
Where’er the maid pursues her way,
The flowers spring up beneath her feet;
All Nature cheer’d looks bright and gay,
And smiles her kind approach to greet.
Her fragrant breath the air perfumes,
Around the winged songsters rove;
While flutt’ring all their little plumes,
They fill with melody the grove.
Stern Winter sickens at the sight,
And bids his forces straight retire,
Back to the dark abodes of night,
They quick return, led by their sire.
The cheek of beauty glows afresh,
The eye with added brightness beams;
While every lip her charms confess,
And every breast her influence feels.
We view thee from that liberal hand,
The source from whence all blessings flow:
Who at the word of His command,
Binds as in icy chains, or bids the landscape glow.
Lines, Written at a Family Tomb, 1808-07-17July 17, 1808.
Approach this sacred, hallow’d place,
With solemn, reverential fear;
In silent rest, in death’s embrace,
Here lie the friends in life most dear.
Here sleeps the statesman, wise and good,
His friend and partner by his side;
And here too, rests a mother’s love,
And here, a father’s joy and pride.
Here in sweet peace and soft repose,
Releas’d from sorrow and from care,
Dismiss’d too from a world of woes,
From dangers and unnumber’d snares,
Lies my lov’d mother! injur’d shade!
What for thy sufferings can atone?
When shall thy wrongs from memory fade,
When shall I cease thy fate to mourn?
Oft on thy bosom gently laid,
My infant cries were hushed to rest,
And when beside thee I have play’d,
I thought myself supremely blest.
Tis past! And now beside the tomb,
Which holds thee in its sacred trust,
I pause to mourn thy early doom,
But own that God was wise and just.
And close reclining by thy side,
Lies the companion of my youth;
Of temper modest, meek and mild,
The child of innocence and truth.
Yes, lovely boy! yes, brother dear!
Had but our rising hopes prov’d true,
Not now the unavailing tear
Had dropt to bid the last adieu.
Soft o’er thy grave the setting sun,
Sheds its last glimm’ring, parting light,
A silent warning to be gone,
Nor linger in the shades of night.
Farewell, dear friends! a brief farewell,
On yonder not far distant shore,
We’ll hope to meet and there to dwell,
Where sin and grief shall vex no more.
Soul-reviving Spirit come,
Bear me to my heavenly home;
Quick! oh quickly let me fly!
And dwell with Thee, my God on high.
Within this dry and barren place,
My famished soul implores thy grace;
Implores thy Sovereign power to bless
The hope, that on thy mercy rests.
Back, worldly joy and earthly care,
Thou shalt no more my soul ensnare;
Jesus, my hope! if thou art mine,
My soul shall ne’er with sorrow pine.
No other object can impart
A ray of joy to this sad heart;
No greater wish my bosom fires,
Thou art the sum of my desires.
Within this dry and barren place,
My famished soul implores thy grace;
Then quick, oh quickly let me come,
And seek with Thee an happier home.
Lines Written on a Passage from N――, to ――.
Gently now the waves are flowing,
Which conveys me from thy strand;
Precious joys in fancy glowing,
Still endear thee to my mind.
Once I fondly vainly fancied,
Thou hadst bliss for me reserved;
Though so long by hope deluded,
Still thy soil is dearly loved.
Still I prize the place once valued,
By the friends I held so dear;
In my breast their names are treasured,
And calls forth full many a tear.
While I think on pleasures over,
Which for me thou once did hold;
Where’s the charms I then discovered,
Where, alas! my heart is cold.
It beats not now with tender gladness,
When thy circling shores I view;
Now, alas! depressing anguish
Pains the heart to memory true.
Now no mother’s tender blessing,
Waits my ardent infant prayer;
Now no soft and fond caresses,
Wait my wished arrival there.
Cold the bosom which then met me,
With maternal rapture warm;
And those arms which often prest me,
Cold that dear and lovely form.
And thy Sire, whose eyes soft beaming,
Ever met me with delight,
With transport prest the happy being,
Whom he said could charm his sight.
He has fled! has fled forever!
Left this earthly house of clay;
Shall I ne’er behold him? never―
Unless ’tis in eternal day.
For his spirit pure as ether,
Sanctified by heavenly love;
Now has risen to its Maker,
There to dwell in joys above.
Then my friend, no longer wonder,
N―― gives no more delight;
Since the friends I loved most tender,
Never there can bless my sight.
Still in fancy oft I wander,
Near the scenes to memory dear,
On lost pleasures pensive ponder,
Fondly drop the parting tear.
To Mr. ――,
Who under a vow of secresy confided to me the story of his life.
Yes! I will ever sacred keep
The awful promise I have given;
A word shall ne’er these lips escape;
No—as I hope for bliss in heaven.
That heaven before whose awful throne,
The plighted vow was freely made;
That heaven who registered thy doom,
And o’er it threw this darkening shade.
Though the sad tale must ne’er be told,
Though ever in my breast concealed;
The various scenes thou didst unfold,
Must never-never be revealed.
Yet oh permit my thoughts to rove,
Where thine in agony must dwell;
To pity what I can’t relieve,
And mourn the woes I cannetcannot heal.
Oft kindle with ambitious fire,
To equal that heroic mind;
That ne’er will give the contest o’er,
’Till victory’s wreath thy brow shall bind.
’Tis hard indeed to banish thought,
That wills to lead our steps astray;
To bid our fondest hopes depart,
Lest their indulgence should betray.
With truest sympathy I heard
Those lips, so eloquent, portray;
What at this distant time appeared,
To harrass thee with wild dismay.
I heard—alas! the story lives;
Deep in my breast a sigh sometimes,
The tribute which soft pity gives,
For thee, strange sufferer will rise.
Pleasing, accomplished as thou art,
By fortune bountifully blest;
Yet has misfortune hurled her dart,
And in thy heart the barb transfixt.
But He who still in wisdom guides,
Unerring shall thy faith regard;
Yes, He who on the tempest rides,
Can that restrain and thee reward.
Come Evening, come, serene and mild,
For social converse sweet designed,
For once thou hast the power
To soothe the tumults of my breast,
To hush each varied grief to rest,
And form the festive hour.
Thy shadows length’ning on the plain,
The stars that deck thy splendid train,
Employ my wandering gaze;
The glittering canopy of heaven,
Thus for delight and comfort given,
Speaks loud a Maker’s praise.
Nor less around the cheerful fire,
Shall joy sincere our hearts inspire,
Or innocence preside;
Th’ enlivening chat, the merry song,
Unconscious still the hour prolong,
Through the long eventide.
And when the tempest howls around,
And snow descending to the ground,
Conceals the face of earth;
With books and friends we’ll seek delight,
And happy faces all unite,
Around a winter’s hearth.
Once more, once more! delusive dream return,
Give me what waking I can ne’er enjoy;
From the dark confines of the moldering urn,
Bring back the form my fondest thoughts employ.
Oh mother! mother! still the smile benign,
Which so oft played about that lovely face;
Beam on my midnight hours, I dream thee mine,
And once more hold thee in my fond embrace.
Last night I felt thy heart beat close to mine,
And on thy lips imprest a glowing kiss;
Ah, bitter disappointment soon to find
Twas but a dream, how vanished all my bliss.
Thine eyes with melting tenderness ran o’er,
The glow of health was on that lovely cheek;
My heart alive to nature’s sweetest power,
With rapture listened to those accents sweet.
But soon officious reason checked my joy,
And recollection told me thou wert dead;
Yes, death inexorable, thou didst destroy
This lovely form, ’tis now forever fled.
Then dear delusive dream, once more return;
Give me what waking I can ne’er enjoy;
From the dark confines of the mouldering urn,
Restore the form my fondest thoughts employ.
At the Request of the Late Charles N. Tibbitts, Esq.
Written in 18141814.
I like the face where innocence resides,
Where honest candour and good-nature meets,
The face that glows with nature’s varied dies,
Where every passion eloquently speaks,
Where jocund pleasure is expressed by smiles,
And anger by the frown of just disdain;
Who innocent, is unsuspecting guile,
And when he’s happy, cannot talk of pain.
But shun the man beneath whose lowering eye,
Retiring thought avoids the test of day;
Though playful humour with imposing grace,
Deigns with a subtle smile his face to dress;
Yet care in thousand forms still haunts that breast,
Contending passions rob his soul of rest.
A politic regard to human laws,
Joined with the view to force the world’s applause,
May make him talk of order and so forth,
And foremost in the praise of public worth.
His boast of morals may be more sincere,
Like his abstemiousness, th’ effect of fear;
A selfish wish for health, long-life, and ease,
May well preserve him from some sins that please.
Love! generous love! he would proclaim his guest,
A reluctant tenant in his sordid breast.
Mark when he smiles! a thought disturbs his mind,
And when he frowns—some profit is at hand.
A battery’s masked beneath that sullen brow,
There envy rankles, malice bends her bow,
With dexterous hand her keenest arrow draws,
And on the destined wretch her vengeance pours.
Ah what avails the rose upon his cheek,
The well-turned features, or the smiling lip?
Still shun the man beneath whose gloomy eye,
Cunning and dark design in secret ambush lie.
The following appeared in the R.I. American in 18111811, requesting a Versification.I enquired of Time. To whom said I was erected this building, which you have levelled with the ground? Time made no answer, but spread his quick wings and hastened his flight. I then spoke to Fame; Oh thou! the parent of all that survives. Thou who—She cast her troubled and sorrow-swelled eyes on the ground, in the attitude of one whose heart is too full for utterance. Wondering and confused at what I had seen, I was turning aside from the Monument, when I saw Oblivion stepping from stone to stone. Thou, exclaimed I, thou must be acquainted with it. Ah, shew me! He interrupted me with a voice like deep thunder at a distance. I care not what it has been—it is now mine.
Of Time I demanded for whom were these walls
Erected? For what were they raised?
He answer’d me not, but spread his swift wings,
And darted abrupt from my gaze.
I then turn’d to Fame, and I ask’d with a sigh,
Thou parent of all that survives,
Thou who! but her heart was too full to reply,
On the earth bent her sorrow-swelled eyes.
Confused, amazed, and with wonder entranced,
I was turning aside from the scene,
When the form of Oblivion recalled my glance,
Whose shade slowly moved o’er each stone.
Ah thou, I exclaimed! Thou surely must know,
And tell me for whom? I had said;
With a voice like to thunder, deep, distant, and low,
These words slowly uttered the shade:
For whom this proud structure once reared its head,
Sure now of no moment can be;
’Tis a ruin; its beauty and splendour have fled,
And now ’tis devoted to me.
To the Village of ****.
Is there on earth a place so bright,
That ever charmed the gazer’s sight,
Beneath the circling sun?
Oh spot so dearly loved by me,
To thee shall Satan bend the knee,
And own himself outdone.
Say, is there in the world so good,
Or has there ever since the flood,
A spot like thee been blest,
With able heads, and ready hands,
And choice, select, well-ordered bands,
As here have pitched their tents?
Did envy ever breathe a wish?
Did ever malice name a curse
Which they unheeding past?
Which they’ve not grasped at, wrested, sifted,
Mangled, altered, tortured, twisted,
To purposes the worst?
Cannot the youthful heart enjoy
A moment’s glee, its hours employ
In recreation sweet?
Unblamed by censure, undisturbed
By slanders slyly, doubtful words;
Or worse—by low-lived wit?
Still there’s a few, a valued few,
Who claim the praise to merit due,
For whom my heart is warm;
But then the gang who rule the roast,
Far worse than those who haunt our coast,
The beauteous soil deform.
Then say, is there a place so sweet,
That ever charmed the gazer’s sight,
Sustained so deep a wrong?
For, dear lamented spot, to thee
Must Satan bend the votive knee,
And own himself outdone.
To a Caged Bird.
In vain you try to baffle fate,
Poor bird, and struggle to be gone;
And beat and peck the wiry grate,
That holds that little captive form.
For thee does nature smile in vain,
From day to day with charms renewed
No breath of spring, no balmy gale,
Can cheer an irksome solitude.
Yet, lovely bird, within thy breast,
There dwells one pleasure ever new;
Which ne’er thy tyrant master blest,
A heart affectionate and true.
For thou dost still in sorrow mourn,
At morning’s dawn and evening’s close;
Thy little mate now from thee torn,
And thou hast too a prisoner’s woes.
Still, still sad bird! thy woes rehearse,
To sorrow’s song thy voice attune;
A sigh responsive from my breast,
Shall answer every note of thine.
Addressed to ****.
Oh! who of earthly hopes bereft,
Forbids the tear of grief to flow?
Or who that sorrow’s pang e’er felt,
Can chide the mourner in his woe?
Say, when within the struggling breast,
Conflicting passions wildly rage;
When all our hopes have sunk to rest,
And nothing can our grief assuage.
Shall not the sigh of anguish rise,
As often we retrace the past,
And back despairing fancy flies,
And views the dawn of life o’ercast?
If pity ever touched thy heart,
Or human feeling there has place,
Forbear to point misfortune’s dart
With all that can my woes increase.
Short triumph of a little mind!
For I shall soon escape thy sight;
Relenting Heaven will prove more kind,
And calm my soul with peace and light.
Light of a day that knows no end,
Light of a morn that knows no even;
Dawn on my soul, my steps attend,
And lead me to the joys of heaven.
Lines, at the Grave of Miss A.W.
Methinks I hear thee now, my once gay friend,
With voice angelic, call me to attend,
To words of truth, while bending o’er thy dust,
My spirit soars with thine among the just.
Yes, beauteous spirit, I attend thy words,
And every impulse of my soul accords;
Thou seem’st to say-This valued spot contains
Only of earthly beauty what remains.
Oh mourn me not! though vanished from my sight,
My soul to endless joy has winged its flight.
Mourn not the hour that set my spirit free,
And bore me to eternal joys on high.
The pangs of death are past, the scene is closed,
The world has fled and with it all its woes,
Its joys have vanished like a dream away,
Its promised pleasures could not tempt my stay.
But oh, my friend! while youth and health remains,
While glowing fancy every scene retains,
While pleasure courts you with enticing smiles,
And spreads around you all her subtle wiles,
And pride of life with all her dazzling charms,
And syren voice invites you to her arms.
Oh yet while tempting joys around you glow,
Before you try them, heed the bitter woe,
That lurks beneath the roses which they spread,
And brings destruction on her votaries’ head.43C4r 43
Be warned by me, so early snatch’d away:
Prepare to meet the terrors of that day,
When heart and flesh shall fail, and nought can stay
The trembling soul, in presence of its God,
But humble hope, relying on his word.
Prepare to see your God, while yet you may!
To see his face in peace, make no delay.
The voice has ceased, but still in mental sight,
Thy form appears bedeck’d with robes of light,
Still in my ears thy words seraphic ring,
My fluttering spirit seems almost on wing.
Thou to my languid hopes hast impulse given,
And all my wishes raised from earth to heaven.
To praise thee all shall join who tread Columbia’s ground
Hail Patriot, Statesman, with due honours crowned,
On every grateful tongue thy praise shall dwell,
May every future age thy virtues tell,
And latest time thy firmness shall record,
Serene in every storm, and ne’er by faction awed.
Just to all ranks, thou hast not shared thy part,
E’en in the midst of foes thy steadfast heart,
Fixed in its aim, no dangers e’er could see,
Firm as the hills, from terror too, as free.
Envy in vain shall strive to blot thy fame;
Rivals shall fall and miss their deadly aim.
Severely just and nobly great thou art,
On history’s page thou still shalt act a part,
New and uncommon, graved on every heart.
To a Stranger,
Who used to walk after dark in the North Burial-Ground, Newport, 18151815.
Say, pensive Stranger! why to this lone spot,
Do thy sad steps thus mournfully incline?
The lonely tenants of the grave cannot
Return one sigh, or drop one tear for thine.
Oft have I mark’d thee, at this dreary hour,
With arms enfolded, and with head reclin’d,
Steal from the crowd, from pleasure’s rosy bower,
And court the sacred silence of this shade.
But why thus resolutely turn thine eyes
From all the gay companions of thy youth?
Why shun the place where giddy pleasure smiles,
And lures the thoughtless from the paths of truth?
Not thirty summers can have seen thee now;
Not thirty annual suns roll’d round thy head;
And still upon that youthful, thoughtful, brow,
The hand of care has some deep furrows made.
Perhaps this place holds some beloved form,
On which thine eyes were wont with joy to gaze,
One who, alone, could that cold bosom charm,
Whose loss has sadden’d all thy future days.
Does then this earth entomb some lovely clay,
Enshroud some angel form, forever fled!
That here you seek, and nightly visits pay,
To the still mansions of the silent dead?
With thee, strange mourner, I could weep for this,
Could bid the fountains of mine eyes o’erflow,
And bending o’er the scene of buried bliss,
With thine could mingle tears of bitterest woe.
But He who takes our blessings at his will,
Does not require such offerings at our hands;
He bids the ravings of despair be still,
And the sweet song of gratitude demands.
Whate’er the cause that calls thee here to mourn,
Oh be this truth upon thy heart imprest,
That all is vanity below the sun,
That this frail world is not to be our rest.
Beyond this wreck, which sin and death display,
Oh! lift to heaven the piercing eye of faith;
Think of the hour when this imprison’d clay
Shall burst the tomb, and triumph over death!
On the recovery of a Friend, from a dangerous illness.
The prayer of faith shall save the sick,
And I the blessing crave,
Thou who art ever loth t’ afflict,
Oh interfere to save.
From heaven bend down Thy list’ning ear,
And loose the bands of death,
And wipe away the sorrowing tear,
Restore the fleeting breath.
’Tis done! the breath of heaven revives,
The grateful suff’rer lives;
Again hope sparkles in her eyes,
And health new rapture gives,
To her who watched each varying look,
And held thine aching head,
And every other care forsook,
To weep beside thy bed;—
To her what transport to behold
The rose of health re-bloom,
And see the sun again unfold,
She feared would sit at noon.
But greater, higher joys were hers,
To know thy sins forgiven;
And see thee live, like one redeem’d,
An heir of bliss and heaven.
To a Departing Friend.
And must I speak the word farewell?
And must I bid thee now depart?
Of thy deep grief thou need’st not tell,
I know, for thou hast us’d no art.
Yet think not, I would bid thee stay;
I feel the wisdom of thy words,
And for thy welfare while I pray,
With thy resolve my heart accords.
Oh! may the strength that arms thy soul,
Uphold thee still, where’er thou art,
May every passion find controul,
And bid temptation still depart.
Better to fly where danger lures,
Than risk the chance long t’ resist;
Prevention’s greater skill than cure,
The latter is too great to risk.
Yet oft my thoughts will follow thee;
The lonely hours which friendship cheer’d
Will still return, but not to me,
The friend, who once those hours endeared.
And surely thou wilt often dwell
On her whose grateful heart repaid
Thy kindest wishes—none can tell,
How oft for thee that heart has bled.
Should want or sorrow be thy lot,
Or sickness lay thee helpless there,
Then think on me—forget me not,
In misery thou shouldst be my care.
But need I say, should fortune smile,
Think not on me? Oh never! never!
But turn, and in her bosom dwell,
Who lov’d thee once—and will forever.
Occasioned by the death of Capt. Charles T. Loughead, of Warren, (R.I., who died in Dartmouth (Eng.) 1819-03-26March 26th, 1819. Published in the American.
Though lock’d in death’s embrace on foreign shores,
And favour’d strangers clos’d thy dying eyes,
To mourn thy sad and early loss is ours,
As fair in memory’s page thy virtue rise.
Still shall thy friends recall the parting scene,
When their fond wishes for thy safety breath’d,
Met thy warm glance, bright, happy and serene,
Though then prophetic fears thy bosom heav’d.
The barque that bore thee from thy native land,
When thy undaunted spirit bade thee go,
Slowly returns without thy guiding hand,
Th’ unwelcome bearer of thy last adieu.
That manly form sleeps in the silent dust,
Still is the tongue, untutor’d to deceive,
Yet shall thy graces rare, since lost to us,
Plead for our tears, whene’er for thee we grieve.
Few knew th’ exalted virtues of thy soul,
And fewer still the kindness of thy heart;
Mild, though unchanging, resolute, yet cool,
Dispassionate and just, disdaining art.
Whether, transplanted to a happier clime,
Those virtues now expand with growth divine;
Whether that voice attun’d to themes sublime,
Swells in celestial choir around thy throne—
We know not till the veil of flesh withdraw;
But Oh, eternal God! one hope is given;
If to the pure in heart, thy gates unbar,
Loughead has seen thee in the courts of heaven.
On visiting the room that contained the remains of Mrs. A.H. Addressed to the bereaved Husband.
Thy pangs are o’er, my sainted friend!
Thy sorrows never more can rise,
Here did commission’d angels bend,
To waft thy spirit to the skies.
Those eyes are clos’d in sweetest sleep,
To us that voice is heard no more,
Till heaven’s enrapturing chorus greet
Our ears on Canaan’s blissful shore.
Sweet is the place where God has been,
His holy footsteps here have trod;
To eyes of faith unveil’d the scene,
Where now the mourner walks with God.
And sweet and sanctified their rest,
Who on thy sacred breast recline,
Saviour of men! of Thee possest,
And yield their souls to love divine.
A mourner in this vale of tears,
Through clouds and doubts she travelled on;
Nor lost amidst distressing fears,
The view of an immortal crown.
That crown is hers, the bourn is past,
Where dying nature yields her breath;
Those agonizing pangs, the last,
And only pangs she found in death.
Think’st thou she’d leave the realms above,
To grace thy side on earth again?
Or from the bosom of her God,
Descend, e’en thy loved arms to fill?
Oh no—before that throne of light,
Where all his ransomed children meet;
She joins with ever new delight,
In the sweet song the just repeat.
Then, widowed mourner, cease thy tears,
The God you serve wiped her’s away;
On thy Redeemer cast thy cares,
Make him thy refuge and thy stay.
RecalRecall the memory of his grace,
His love once to thy soul revealed;
When all was hope and joy and peace;
And He alone thy bosom filled.
Of all the bounties He has given,
One only gift the Lord recalls;
And though ’tis from thy bosom riven,
Has He no right, who thus remands?
Oh! think of blessings yet in store,
For those who on his truth rely;
And seek by life of faith and prayer,
To make their treasures in the sky.
Hear his kind accents speak to thee,
My son resigned sustain this blow;
What I now do thou canst not see,
But wait, thou shalt hereafter know.
On Entering St. John’s Church,
On the morning of the 1820-12-2525th of December, 1820, while the Psallonian Society were singing The Star of Bethlehem. Published in the American.
What strain is this salutes my wondering ears,
That rises, swells, then softly dies away;
And seems on its melodious tide to bear
Some parting spirit to the realms of day?
And why, in all her festal garments clad,
Like some fair bride upon her nuptial day,
Shines forth the Church! the city of our God,
The mount of Zion, and the King’s highway!
Above, beneath, around, enchantments reign,
Perennial Spring seems opening on the view;
The box, the myrtle and the laurel twine,
To wreath a garland for a Conqueror’s brow.
And who the Conqueror, on whose natal morn,
Such honours wait? To whom the willing knee
Is humbly bent—to whom the raptur’d tongue
Ascribes all praise in heaven? It is He—
The Prince of Peace! Son of the Highest, hail!
May every heart confess thy gentle sway,
No warrior, Thou, whose ruthless bands compel
Reluctant nations sullen to obey.
But ah! a crimson banner is unfurl’d,
The blood-stain’d tide upon that cross has flow’d;
But ’twas thine own, shed for a guilty world,
When in the wine-press of the wrath of God.
Awake, Oh Zion! and put on thy strength,
Jerusalem, in beauteous garb array’d,
Shout loud hosannas! for from now henceforth,
The vile shall cease thy sacred courts to tread.
Well might seraphic choirs proclaim,
And hail the Virgin mother of our God;
Though clad in lowliest garb the Saviour came,
The straw his bed—the manger his abode.
Thrice happy Shepherds! who on Bethl’hem’s plains,
First heard the tidings of good will to man:
Thrice favour’d Magi! whom no fears detain’d
From offering incense at his lowly shrine.
Redeemer of the world! haste—haste the time,
When all opposers at thy cross shall fall;
And in thy second advent grateful join,
To crown Thee Salem’s King, and Lord of all!
The Crown of earthCome, then, and added to thy many crowns, receive yet one, The crown of all the earth.—. awaits that holy brow,
Sin, death and hell resign th’ unequal strife;
Haste then, and prove to all Thy saints below,
Thyself the Resurrection and the Life.
All is Not Lost, for Providence Survives.
Published in the Telescope of 18161816.
All is not lost—since He the world sustains,
Who fram’d and form’d it. Still, still He exists.—
Beneath the shadow of His wings I’ll rest,
Till these calamities be overpast.
All is not lost—though friends and fortune fail—
The glittering silver and the gold are His,
And His the cattle on a thousand hills.
His too the heart, to form it at his will.
At His command unnumbered worlds were made,
At His command they fall, and at His word,
The empyreal arch shall vanish as a scroll,
Or as a vesture change.
Thrice happy he who shrinks not at the thought,
Whose hope ascends beyond the heaven of heavens;
Whose mind, whose treasure, and whose heart are there.
Amid the dread convulsions of the world,
He is unmov’d: For all the ills of life,
Clad in celestial armour, stands prepared.
Too true it is, his heart is often wrung
By the world’s baseness:—that ingratitude
And undeserved scorn cut like a dagger;
But then he lifts his eyes;
And, in his meek and lowly Saviour, sees
The perfect pattern of forbearing love.D2 58D2v 58
There stretch’d upon the tree where man’s ingratitude
Had nailed Him, he sees the man of sorrows
Now hunted through the world,
He, tho’ the Lord of all, had not a place
To rest his head in safety; He was scorned,
Deserted, slandered, hunted and pursued
By all the world. And yet this man of sorrows
In meekness stretched his limbs upon a cross,
Nailed by the sinful men he came to save—
His life for theirs. Oh, when that blameless life
Is had in view, if self is still remembered,
’Tis with such thoughts as these:—Shall I repine,
My Saviour and my King! at the high honour
Thus vouchsafed me? Shall I mourn that all
Unworthy as I am, I thus conform to thee?
Oh! if from depths of heathen lands, where yet
Thy Gospel hath not found its way, impelled
By inspiration, or by reasons’s laws,
Some bold enquirer for the truth should come;
Unshackled by man’s teaching, unbewildered
By man’s opposing doctrines;—
If such should ope the volume of Thy word,
And trace throughout the history of Thy chosen,—
Would he believe the quiet, cold professor,
Who smoothly glides the stream of life along,
And, unconcerned, jogs through the bustling world;
Who wears, indeed, the name of Christ, but herds alternate
With friends or foes, just as occasion suits—
Say, would he here discern the self-denying59D3r 59
Disciple of Immanuel? If not here,
Where should he look? for such, alas! are many
That now profess Thy name, abused Saviour!
Oh rather would he turn him to the few,
Who think to wear his name, and do his will;
Who struggle on amidst a sea of sorrows,
Scorned by the world, and by pretended friends;
Still doomed, though labouring in a Saviour’s cause,
To suffer as the foe. And keener still,
The Christian feels, from those where least deserved;—
From those for whom he oft has watched and wept;
From those whose wounds his hand has often bound,
And fondly tried to heal with words of peace.
But, let us view him on the bed of death,
Despised, rejected, hated and contemned,
Almost discouraged, yet still pressing on,
Till worn at length with trials too severe,
The outward man decays. And, oh! ’tis then
The Christian triumphs! Heaven is in his view,
The great reward is near. Oh who, he cries,
Would shun my life, to taste the joys I feel?
He dies, indeed, but not as others die—
For from his eye a beam of glory darts,
And Oh, that placid, most celestial smile,
It tells of heaven—what none who look can doubt.
And now, behold the Saviour’s words fulfilled,
You they will hate, because they hated me;D3 60D3v 60
My words they kept, and yours they now shall keep.
Yes, the mild reasonings, and the just rebukes,
The tender warnings, and the fervent prayers,
Are deeply treasured in each contrite heart.
The Saint has pass’d, and all his failings too;
The odour of his virtues only lives.
Is this the Portrait of the man of God?
Then be it mine to suffer what He wills;—
With bleeding feet the thorny path to tread,
And drain the bitter chalice to its dregs.
Though agonizing nature turn away,
I will not shrink, so I resemble Thee,
Thou martyr’d Saviour of a guilty world!
After reading the Story of an Indian slain in Battle, by his Friend.
The wounded Indian to the covert flies,
To pluck the poisoned arrow ere he dies;
With desperate effort draws it from the wound,
And as life’s current oozes on the ground,
While dissolution’s pang his soul assails,
And nature’s darkness o’er his mind prevails,
Curses the hand the fatal shaft that sped.—
Oh that for me, he says, my foe had bled.
That foe in happier days was called my friend,
Oft did my watchful care his steps attend.
When sorrows o’er his mind her shadows hung,
With guardian care my untired spirit clung;
And sought by every art his grief t’ assuage,
To turn misfortune’s dart—disarm its rage;
How well rewarded, let this arrow tell,
Would I could send it with my last farewell.
My daring soul that never knew a fear,
Heeded an infant’s wail, or mother’s tear,
Feels but one pang, it lights my languid eye,
One bitter pang! that unrevenged I die.
Poor child of nature, o’er thy fate I mourn,
That thy great spirit with revenge should burn.
The gospel’s peaceful sound ne’er reached thine ear,
Untaught the heavenly lesson to forbear.D4 62D4v 62
Like thee from treachery I wounded fly,
And seek some covert to repose or die.
Like thee, with dauntless hand the barb withdraw,
Though at my feet I see the life-blood pour;
Like thine, my heart unwonted fire retains,
’Twas tipt with poison and the sting remains.
Oh! that for me, some gentle hand were found,
To pour in Gilead’s balm and heal the wound.
Nor vain the wish—then hear my earnest prayer,
Thou Great Physician! for I feel Thee near.
Forgive the cause of all the woes I feel,
And guard his breast from feelings that rebell;
Should bitter malice e’er his fame assail,
And friends, conjoined with enemies, prevail,
Till sorrows multiplied press down a heart,
Unskilled in simple truth to strive with art,
Some pious friend, the hapless mourner raise,
And point his view to truth’s refulgent blaze;
Display in living characters that home;
Where envy, rage, and hate shall never come.
And when pale sickness o’er his form shall spread,
May some kind breast support his aching head,
Some gentle hand his throbbing temples bind,
And teach the art of love a kindred mind,
With softest voice to soothe his anxious fears,
And with assiduous love, take more than half his cares.
And when reclining on the bed of death,
With fluttering pulse and half suspended breath,63D5r 63
Those dying eyes shall anxiously implore
The look consoling, and the fervent prayer,
With faith trimphant may she mark the road,
And guide unwavering to the rest of God,
Nor feel her pangs who, ere that time shall come,
Escaped before him—has arrived at home.
On the departure of the Rev. Joseph R. Andrus, for Africa.
Farewell! in heaven we meet again,
Asserter of the rights of men;
Auspicious now with favouring gales,
YouYour ship appears, whose swelling sails
The self-devoted martyr Self-devoted Martyr. This expression might, with perfect propriety, be applied to the Rev. Mr. Andrus. He knew that a short life awaited every white person who attempted to reside in Africa. Yet, nothing daunted by the dangers of the undertaking, he resolved to go. It was not a long life, but a useful one that he coveted. Yet life, we would have supposed, must have possessed uncommon charms for him. He was the only surviving one of a numerous family of children, and as such, doubly endeared to the hearts of his parents. Friends, fortune, every thing conspired to make a residence in his own country desirable. But to carry the Gospel to the benighted regions of the earth had long been the prevailing desire of his heart. The subject of slavery, too, had been one of deep consideration and regret. With these views in conjunction, he entered into the service of the Colonization Society, and sailed with a company of colored persons from Norfolk, (Vir.) in the brig Nautilus, 1821-01-21January 21st, 1821. Had Mr. Andrus been the person mentioned in the Gospel, to whom our Saviour addressed the word Sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and come and follow me, he could not have more literally obeyed the divine command, since he gave all his property, of every name and nature, to pious and charitable purposes, before his departure. As a preacher, Mr. Andrus was excelled by many in brilliance of imagination, and powers of oratory. Yet his manner, partaking of almost infantile simplicity, never failed to find its way to the heart. He was peculiarly qualified for the arduous undertaking he was engaged in. The serenity of his temper was imperturbable; and his consideration for the unhappy beings he was endeavouring to rescue, to civilize, and Christanize, so great, that nothing could offend. Often has the writer of this, seen his patience and forbearance severely tried 67D7r 67 by the distrust, and even rudeness with which his humane offers were frequently treated. On those occasions he would say, while the pitying tears stood in his eyes—Poor degraded beings! who can wonder at it! Although he did not live to see the company settled, yet the prophecy in the seventh stanza of the foregoing lines, may be considered as accomplished, in the now flourishing Colony at Liberia, since he selected and contracted for it. Like Moses, he was permitted to lead them to the promised land, and like him permitted but a glimpse of it. hails.
Thou’st heard the wretched captive’s prayer—
The witness of forlorn despair,
Indignant has essayed to break
The yoke of bondage from his neck,
And lead in peace the wanderer back.
And now thy task, through wilds to rove,
The herald of redeeming love;
Where tropic suns, with burning ray,
Scorch the faint traveller on his way,
And the fierce tiger prowls for prey.
But glowing suns that parch the earth,
Or chilling night’s pestiferous breath,
In vain impede thy pious search;
The cloud descends from heaven’s high arch,
That once protected Israel’s march.
Alone, through deserts dark and deep,
Where savage tribes their vigils keep,
Thou undismay’d shalt wend thy way
Illum’d by inspiration’s ray,
And blest with beams of heavenly day.
Though rough the path, perplex’d the road,
The way leads upward to thy God;
His cheering voice shall reach thine ear,
Faint not, nor shun the cross to bear,
In heaviest hour, for I am near!
If prayers can make thy labours blest,
Heaven shall reward, with high behest.—
In the lone desert thou shalt rear
A vine whose fruit shall soon appear
Abundant to reward thy care.
Ethiopia soon shall come with haste,
Thirsting the streams of life to taste.
There while Jehovah’s altars blaze,
Shall her dark daughters tune their lays,
To swell the choral hymn of praise.
On yon dark mountain’s awful brow,
And in the smiling vale below,
See the Redeemer’s cross unfurl’d,
While lowly bends a ransom’d world,
To worship Him—the long foretold.
Then, Herald of the Gospel, speed,
Fearless in duty’s path proceed;
Degraded tribes, in guilt o’ergrown,
Who now may at thy message frown,
Hereafter shall adorn thy crown.
For 1820-12-25Christmas Day, 1820.
Published in the Religious Intelligencer.
Oh pure was the light on the plains of Bethlehem,
Where the shepherds of Israel awaited their King,
And hallowed the tongues that resounded the pæan,
With which the high arches of heaven did ring.
And hushed was the voice of the world’s mad commotion,
And even the passions of men were at rest;
All, all had subsided, now calm as the ocean,
Which rocks itself still, when the tempest had past.
It had past, for the nations of earth were reposing,
And breathing awhile from the horrors of war;
At midnight alone the sages were rising,
To follow the leadings of Bethlehem’s Star.
Thou Son of the Highest! how glorious the morning,
That dawned on the world, and revealed thy glory;
How blest were the followers, thy triumphs adorning,
That hailed with Hosannas the Just and the Holy.
In the heart was the kingdom thou cam’st to establish,
To embellish with graces that fade not away;
Tho’ the place from the map of creation were banished,
Thy kingdom is founded and knows no decay.
Though centuries have past, since the land of Judea,
Beheld thee on earth as the ancient of days,
And the dwellings of Jacob no longer appear,
Yet here shall the gates of thy Zion be raised.
In the darkness of midnight the nations were shrouded,
Which now the bright beams of thy glory have blest,
And the forest, where silence perpetual had brooded,
Shall now bring its offering Thy temple to grace.
E’en here shall the glory of Lebanon greet Thee,
The box and the myrtle, the fir-tree and pine,
Though that glory unhappy Judea has left thee,
Yet here, in new splendour, arrayed, shall it shine.
Oh pure may it shine! as the light in Bethlehem,
When the Shepherds of Israel awaited their King;
And hallowed the tongues which on this day adore Him,
As theirs who of old, met His praises to sing.
To Mary, on her Wedding Day.
Lo! in yon valley where the willow laves
Its bows umbrageous in the passing waves,
Whose shade impervious to the noontide sun,
Scarce light admits, my harp forlorn has hung.
Its strings relax’d, just breathed a pensive wail,
In dying numbers on the passing gale;
Fit is the place, though sad the scene, for oh!
It seldom answered but to notes of woe.
But now I’ll bring it to a cheerful scene,
Where love invites, and pleasure smiles serene;
Its tones, the gladsome, blithsome hour shall sway,
And every chord harmoniously obey.
With gentle touch its trembling strings I’ll try,
And change its wailing to the notes of joy,
Come then, and make thy first, though rude essay,
To sing of love, on Mary’s wedding-day.
Display aloft the glittering, dazzling chain,
Which poets dream of, and which Lovers gain;
Come sing of pleasure, rapture, earthly bliss,
Of love’s first sigh! or of its earliest kiss.
Disclose, in blazing pomp, where Hymen stands,
And smiling, waits to join the willing hands;
With looks complacent, views the lovely prize,
And lights his torch at William’s sparkling eyes.
Rehearse the vows of everlasting love,
Oft made, invoking all the powers above;
No! gentle harp, this strain suits not her ear,
To whom I would a modest off’ring bear.
To her far dearer the domestic hour,
When sobered rapture yields to friendship’s power.
Calm as her breast, those hours shall softly pass,
And each bright morn seem brighter than the last.
Each day when through its tranquil course has run,
Sees peace depart not with the setting sun.
The hour around the social party brings,
And William listens, while his Mary sings.
Nor this alone—at the still hour of even,
They join the notes of praise, and talk of heaven;
And hers the task, with every opening day,
To lure to brighter worlds, and lead the way.
Her heart shall never feel the chilling pains
Of love departed, or of friendship changed;
Ne’er shall her peace be wrecked, her bosom riven
By looks estranged, or by compulsion given.
But every smile, with answering smile repaid,
And every tear with tenderest, gentlest aid;
Tranquil on earth may they their days thus spend,
Grant Power Supreme! until their life shall end,
Then in Thy kingdom rest, with Mary’s friend.
Happy 1824-01-01New-Year, 1824.
How sweet when surrounded by all we hold dear,
The warm gratulations on a happy new year,
Auspicious its opening t’ a people so blest,
Reclining in peace upon liberty’s breast.
Far, far from the horrors of bloodshed and strife,
Where descendants of heroes are struggling for life;
Where captives forlorn, in deep dungeons are lying,
While the shrieks of the wounded, and groans of the dying,
Are borne on the blast, through the universe flying;
Where oppression stalks forth, in her terrible garb,
And the pleadings of innocence cannot be heard.—
Where the Cross and the Crescent for vict’ry are striving,
While friends are far off, and foes closely pursuing.
Remote from the scenes of carnage and woe,
Yet may sympathy’s tears for the wretched still flow.
And has Greece, once again, from her ashes now risen,
Awoke from her slumbers, and burst from her prison?
Come forth in new splendours, her heroes so brave,
Have now bared an arm their sad country to save.
Great God! from the throne of thy glory look down,
Oh stoop from Thy heaven! their efforts to crown;
Omnipotence aid them, the Cross to sustain,
And hurl the proud Crescent to darkness’ domain.
For thee, my dear Country, far other scenes rise,
And blessings unnumbered salute thy glad eyes.
The tyrants of Europe, still contend for their power,
But no dark clouds of war in our hemisphere lower.73E1r 73
No Sovereign of France, nor turbaned Despot;
Shall here the De Luce,See Hist. of Spain, 18241824. or the Crescent exalt
Our sons are so brave, and our daughters so fair,
Our fields are so verdant, so pure is our air.
What nation so blest, with us can compare?
While the throbbings of joy and of gratitude rise,
May the song of thanksgiving ascend to the skies,
And still draw down blessings my country, on thee,
The world’s last asylum, the land of the free!
The Dutch Wedding,
A True Story.
A farmer who lived in the State of New-York,
That made his own cider, and raised his own pork,
Whose family once from the Netherlands came,
Grew so pround all at once, he scarce knew his own name;
His son, a rare youth, courted Jenny Van-Dyke,
And young bonny Charlie was called Van-Slyke.
His high-minded father had bred him a tinker,
And much it grieved him, that his son lov’d a weaver!
His blood he declared should ne’er be debased,
So degradingly low, as with weavers to mix;
He tried all his wits the match to break off,
Love baffled his arts, and he found them so loth,
That he gave up the contest, and suffered the wedding
To take its own course, so the guests were all bidden,
The floor nicely sanded, and then a good fire,
For to draw in the log did three oxen require.
Now a fine jolly company met at the party,
They were not quite all young, but all stout and hearty.
There was farmer Van-Beson with wife and with daughter,
A king among jesters, who never gave quarter;
There was Betsey Van-Winkle and her sturdy beau,
Whom all the girls envied, she made such a shew;
And Peter Van-Horn, close beside his gude vrow,
Though which way he got there, he scarcely knew how,
For the night being cold, and his horses unsteady,
He lined his coat well with hot whiskey toddy.75E2r 75
But to name all the guests, would take me till night,
They talked, and they feasted, and danced till ’twas light,
The cider and apples and whiskey went round,
And the nuts, and the bride’s cake and sour-crout abound.
And then they had turkies and beef-steaks a plenty,
Now none were found there but the best of the gentry.
But when the time came they no longer could stay,
The Mynheers were afraid they’d forgotten the way.
The sleighs were drawn up, and the ladies prepared,
With horse-whips their masters to drive and to guard.
The hay was well spread, and the seats taken out,
And they fumbled in, who could scarce have got out.
Now Peter Van-horn, and two or three others,
Who at every carousal had still been sworn brothers,
Demanded more whiskey, and found the door closed,
But a ladder stood near them, so up it he goes;
And vowing that there he would come through the roof,
They hired him with whiskey to go and drive off.
’Twas in vain his good wife begged he’d give her the reins,
Nought but oaths in high-Dutch could she get for her pains,
So in tumbled Peter, and the horses they flew,
The gate being open, like lightning went through.
Poor Peter fell prone, but lay snug in the hay,
While the steeds kept on level four miles of the way,
Till the surface began to be somewhat uneven,
’Twas here that poor Peter was fain to have striven.
He was bang’d and well bruised from one side to tother
Now one end was up and sometimes the other.
And often the sleigh on its beam-ends was carried,
And then by a tack, it would once more get righted.E2 76E2v 76
He railed at the horses, and vowed he would fix ’em,
And while he could speak, shouted dunder and blixum.
At length they got home, how the angle they turned,
And not capsized Peter I never have learned.
They stopped short at the door, and out burst the women,
While within was confusion, and children a screaming.
And Peter was taken they all thought for dead,
His temples were chafed, and then he was bled.
’Twas day-light on the morrow before he could speak,
His wife had arrived her companion to seek.
Now Peter, she said I pray take this warning,
And begin reformation from this very morning,
And not get high, dearest, you’ve suffered enough,
That I will not, said Peter, so high as the roof!
On hearing a person slander another, after her death.
Thou being of distorted form,
Whose accents, louder than the storm,
Arrest the startled ear,
Now rise in fury, now decrease,
And now in mockery whisper peace,
To soothe excited fear;—
I know thee by the look askance,
know thee! by that guileful glance.
Off, demon! touch me not.
For treachery, mischief, at thy birth,
Below presided—not on earth
Was thy pale race begot.
Thy darts have deadlier venom, far,
And kill more than the sword of war,
Though in the dark they sped.
The sickness that at noon-day rages,
Or pestilence, in all its stages,
Is not such cause of dread.
For death, with thee, is no protection,
Thou dost not wait a resurrection,
To triumph o’er the tomb;
Thine immortality commences,
When steeped in death thy victim’s senses
Are shrouded in its gloom.
Being unlovely and unloved!
Who hast the sweets of malice proved,
Within thy tortured breast;
For, self-tormentor, still within,
Exists the punishment of sin,
In fruitless wishes curst.
For vain dost thou pursue to death;
The prey escapes; thy poison’d breath
Shall thy own vitals burn.
See angels round thy victims hover,
And spread their snowy wings to cover
The consecrated urn.
For 1808-12-25Christmas Day, 1826.
Awake, my harp! to notes of gladness,
That harp which three long years has slumber’d;
Awake to joy unmix’d with sadness,
Though only grief those years have number’d.
Yes, I’ll rejoice, though clouds of sorrow
O’er my sad destiny may hover;
I will rejoice, child of to-morrow,
Though fortune’s sun has set forever.
I will be glad, though friends forsaking,
Turn eyes of pride and coldness on me,
And reckless stab the heart that’s breaking;
Still I will rejoice this morn to see.
All hail! the day that brought salvation
To fallen man, his sins forgiving;
To rich and poor proclaimed redemption,
And made of him an heir of heaven.
Look up! thou traveller in Zion,
Thy day of sorrow swift is passing;
Look up, and join the general pæan,
For see, his second advent’s hasting.
Rejoice! once more thy Saviour comes;
In clouds of glory faith beholds him;
Welcome to his expanded arms,
His suff’ring friends, who still adore him.
Supposed to have been written by Patrick O’Conner, who fled to this Country soon after the Irish rebellion, and died soon after, in the State of Ohio.
Ye woods and wilds and lofty hills,
And streams that softly murmur by;—
Groves that the air of freedom fills,
And freedom’s children all enjoy:—
Oh! could you cool this feverish breast,
Or ease this wildly throbbing brain,
Or bring one hour of mental rest,
I had not cross’d the seas in vain.
But ah! fair Erin, still I turn,
With beating heart, to thee, my home;
Thy wrongs still cause my brain to burn,
They haunt me still, where’er I roam.
Once I was blest; a father’s smile
Lighted our homely, happy hearth,
A mother would our cares beguile,
And five fair sons were all their wealth.
But terror to our dwelling came,
’Twas when pale famine stalked around;
Distraction took rebellion’s name,
And in her ranks my kindred found.
For near our thatch’d and humble shed,
Where peasant hinds expiring lay,
A palace rear’d its lofty head,
And daily rung with shouts of joy.
There plenty spread the festal board,
And jovial souls were feasted high;
And song and dance and joy were heard,
And starving penury left to die.
Petitions, prayers and tears were vain,
To win the hearts of those within,
With blows repuls’d, could they complain,
Or wonder it should end in sin?
The madd’ning crowd the barrier burst,
And rushed tumultuous to the strife;
Hunger each tender feeling hushed,
Blood flowed for blood, and life for life.
Ah, happy those who sunk to rest,
Whose pangs were eas’d in death’s embrace;
Two of my brethren thus escaped,
And I alone survive disgrace.
My aged father, pris’ner made,
While his two sons fought by his side,
The gibbet has their ransom paid,
My mother on the morrow died.
I fled to Liberty’s last home,
To lay my bones beneath this sod,
Thus far the wearied wanderer come,
Bless now the effort, Oh! my God.
I feel the woes of life are o’er,
From my glazed eye the light has fled!
Erin, thou hast my last, faint prayer,
And I am number’d with the dead.
Written in a Lady’s Album, who differed from the writer in religious opinion.
Memorial frail, of friendship and esteem,
I leave a name upon thy pages fair,
Unknown to greatness; yet if right I deem,
’Tis not an object of the owner’s prayer.
In holy friendship, once our hearts were joined,
Once, did I say? I hope they are so now;
Shall names a barrier prove ’tween mind and mind,
Must we to fashion thus obsequious bow?
Shall man presume to judge his fellow-man,
Or wrest the lightning from his father’s hand?
Or hold his brother up to bigot scorn,
In proud conceit, he knows th’ Almighty mind?
He may—but I so ignorant and blind,
Bend in submission low before his throne;
If wrong, oh God, restore thy erring child,
If right, at all events thy will be done.
May that atoning blood that flowed for us,
As well as all mankind, cleanse from our sins;
And in his mercy humbly may we trust,
Whose perfect sacrifice from death redeems.
On passing the spot that contained the remains of the late Col. Seth Wheaton.
Yes, honour, patriotism, slumber here,
And tears of general mourning wet his bier.
And he lies here, whose searching, mighty mind,
The universe itself could not confine.
But who shall say where now the spirit soars,
What worlds unnumbered on his vision pours?
His soul now freed from flesh, may haply scan
The wonders of creation’s boundless plan.
Friend of the poor! friend of the wretch forlorn,
Who met from fellow beings, naught but scorn,
Who never saw the tear of pity flow,
Or found an ear attentive to their woe,
Or charity unasked, unsought but thine.
Forbade by thee in penury to pine.
Friend of the poor! the desolate, th’ opprest,
Not only humane to the good distrest,
But kind to all; thine but the wish to know
Their sorrows—not the source from whence they flow.
Thine but the gracious task to give relief,
And not to chide them for the cause of grief.
Accept my tears—for well thy worth I knew,
Thy private virtues were but known to few,
Thy public ones were known, and dreaded too.
Yes, the stern virtues of that upright mind,
Which scarce could brook the baseness of mankind,
Were known, and some who cowered beneath thy glance,
Would scarce have feared before the warrior’s lance;
The time shall come, when they shall feel thy worth,
And vainly wish to have thee back on earth,
And join with us to say thy Tomb should bear
This epitaph—Integrity rests here.
The Pirate Chief.
Ah! what is that yonder, at distance appearing,
So silent ’twould seem that her crew are asleep?
’Tis a sail I descry, on the billow careering,
She nears us, and see how her keel cuts the deep.
’Tis morn—and on the deep green wave,
The rising sun is softly glancing;
Ere even we may find a grave,
Upon the ocean’s bed reposing.
Our crew are brave, and trusty hands,
Our ship well mann’d, and used to danger;
And we’ve encountered desperate bands,
Fought face to face, and braved all weather.
And well I ween is this the case,
Or many a heart would now be sinking;
And pale and sad full many a face,
For see the ruffian pirate’s veering.
She wears, to intercept our course,
And dexterous does her pilot manage;
And see, her guns prepare to force
Our Captain to the dreadful carnage.
Her blood-stain’d decks are near in sight,
Her darken’d side leans to the billow;
While o’er her mast, at fearful height,
The flag of black is waved in terror.
But where is he, the Pirate Chief,
So famed for every deed of horror,
That they almost surpass belief—
Whose very name is clothed in terror?
Yonder upon the deck he stands,
And inly dwelling on his plunder;
He starts!—but ere his sign commands,
Our guns have spoke in words of thunder.
’Twas rather by a sudden stroke,
We managed them in this manœuvre;
And see, their ranks are fairly broke,
They’ll find it hard to fetch together.
Fight on, brave souls! the moment seize,
When all is terror and confusion;
On! on! and catch the favouring breeze,
The battle draws to a conclusion.
Ha! how her dreadful broadside roars,
For all her forces now have rallied,
And o’er our deck like tempest pours,
Mind not—her blows we well have parried.
They grapple—hand to hand they fight,
Strange that the roar does not astound them,
Well may the scene now shun the light,
And smoke envelope all around them.
Ah! many a maid shall mourn this day,
And many a proud, exulting brother,
The sword that hews our ranks away,
Must stab the heart of many a mother.
For ripened age, and blooming youth,
Are in the dreadful combat struggling,
And death has sealed the lip of truth,
From many a wound the life-blood gushing.
But hark! what dreadful crash was that?
A fearful cry ascends to Heaven!
A powder magazine blown up,
And in the shock her sides are riven.
The fight is o’er—the black-flag lowers,
Her Chief is bound, her decks are boarded,
Within our ship the treasure pours,
Which rapine gained, and murder hoarded.
Turn we—for on Bahama’s Isle,
A sad prillegible1 lettercession now is moving;
The muillegible1 lettered drum, the solemn knell,
Announce a sinner is departing.
But who is he, with port erect,
And face without one shade of feeling?
Something there is, commands respect,
Although his deeds are foul and daring.
A man he was of middle age,
And had a black and piercing eye;
And in its glance of sullen rage,
A soul still darker you might spy.
And fast he’s hurried to the shades,
And hears no voice of mercy near;
His last, mad war with heaven to wage!
Angels looks down! and drop a tear.
Eighteen poor wretches shared the rope,
And blest the prayers their master scorned;
And may we not indulge the hope,
An eye of mercy on them turned?
With step unfaltering still he moves,
The holy monk close by his side;
The Pirate Chief! no monk he loves,
But death can only now divide.
For soon the scaffold they ascend—
My son! the reverend father cries,
Forbear! the prisoner said—attend,
I have no time to talk of lies.
My soul, undaunted, seeks a Port—
I know not, and I care not whither;
My name shall never be the sport
Of priests, or fools, no never! never!
On Britain’s Isle, I drew my breath,
Of noble stock, ’tis true, I came;
My deeds of rapine, and of death
You know—the cause I will not name.
The secret dies with me, he said,
For never yet, in hour accurst,
Have I the dreadful tale betrayed,
Now Law and Justice do your worst.
The story detailed in the foregoing lines, is founded on fact. In the year 18191819, the person whose character and tragical fate is here spoken of, appeared in the town of Providence, (R.I.) and being, to appearance, a gentleman, was received as a boarder into one of the most respectable houses in town. He continued here some months, being employed, as he said, in purchasing vessels for a company at the southward. There was evidently a mystery about him, but that reluctance which all wellbred persons feel, to pry into the affairs of others, prevented his being watched or interrogated. It was, however, thought to be solved, by observing that some of his clothes were trimmed with the Patriot uniform of South America. The countenance of the man was certainly against him, for though not ugly, it had (if we may be allowed the expression) a most Satanic cast. He was acquainted with several languages, civil in his man ners90E9v 90 ners to all, and towards the female sex, he observed that respect and punctilious politeness, that would have done honour to the days of chivalry.
He often voluntarily spoke of his family, who, he said, were of French extract, and residents in Virginia; related many anecdotes of them, and incidents of his early life, which, undoubtedly, were all fabrications. The romantic name he went by, he declared at his death to be assumed; and it is a singular fact, that notwithstanding the many persons he saw in this country, the many he encountered fighting on the high seas, and the thousands who witnessed his execution, he should never have met with one who recognized him, or at least, with none who acknowledged the recognition, so that his origin to this day, remains unknown. Although he declared at his death, that he came of a noble family in England, it is by no means certain that he did, as he died the same hardened being that he lived.
Soon after he left this town, it was known he was a Pirate; and various accounts of his ferocity and brutal courage were published. He and his deluded followers were at length taken and carried into New-Providence, where they suffered the penalty of the law. The paper that gave an account of his last moments, mentioned his declaration respecting his origin, and determination never to reveal his true name, and also that he preserved the most unfeeling and imperious manners to the last.
Such was the end of a man, who evidently possessed talents of a high order, and who was induced, either by misfortunes of a very uncommon nature, or by a peculiar love of wickedness and a naturally ferocious temper, (probably the latter) to engage in a course of life which terminated at an early period in an ignominious death.
Recollections of Early Friendship.
It will easily be seen, by the friends of the writer, that the person here referred to was the late excellent and lamented Mrs. Harriet F. Chace.
Oh, for a friend! when other friends have fled,
On whose kind breast to lay this aching head;
The look which friendship only can impart,
That never fails to cheer the drooping heart,
Which says, in language plainer than of words,
Accept the sympathy that love affords.
Though all the world forsake, yet will I never,
The tie that binds us, coldness shall not sever;
We shall not join the sycophantic throng,
Who think that friendship to the great belong;
And find adversity still cool their zeal,
For every friend for whom they once could feel.
No: ours from lapse of time shall ne’er decrease,
But each revolving year its strength increase.
Such were the words her feeling looks once spoke,
Who for my guardian Angel, once I took.
And Oh! when earth clos’d o’er that tender heart,
And I was doomed from all those joys to part,
A tender and confiding friend had given,
Ah, none can tell how deep my heart was riven.
She, who for years had known my inmost soul,
Whose voice in sorrow ever would console,
And whose mild reasoning passion could controul.F 92F1v 92
Herself exempt from that vexatious strife,
Which seems to some their destiny for life;
She seemed all pure, all passionless within,
And yet discerned the very depths of sin.
She had a heart—and could not fail to konw
The fruitful source, from whence proceeds our woe,
But had herself no darling sins to cover,
From which she felt it would be pain to sever.
Yet often saw the fault in those beloved,
And spread their case before the God she served.
And mourned in secret o’er their dangerous state,
Not rashly judged them with tyrannic hate;
Nor held them up to sanctimonious scorn,
Or hatred of that world, who from the wretched turn;
She never sought to break the bruised reed,
Or cause the wounded heart afresh to bleed.
Oh! if Immortals could a tear bestow,
Or Angel-bosoms feel a moment’s woe,
Shade of my friend! I now should know thee near,
And find the blest could drop one human tear.
But reason, piety, such wishes chide;
For thou art gone where every tear is dried.
In vain I search, in vain I look around,
For, one like thee I never yet have found.
And never to my view will such be given,
Till I can join thee with the blest in heaven.
The Wanderer’s Last Home.
A ship from Northward o’er th’ Atlantic driven,
By favouring winds approach’d her destin’d haven,
Her sails were filled and streamers fluttered gay,
And lightly bounding on pursued her way,
And each one seemed as gay and void of care,
As the blithe bird, that hails the morning air,
And strains its tuneful throat, and sweetly sings,
And careless flutters round with wanton wings.
One, only one, amid that thoughtless band,
With look of care, was often seen to stand
Close to the dizzy edge, or on the prow,
With look intent would eye the waves below;
Broken in heart and alien in his mind,
And far, far distant from his native land.
And when the billows dashed and wind blew high,
Along the slippery deck would bend his way;
Reckless of danger, still at midnight hour,
Seen on the vessel’s side and bending o’er,
And looking oft, as though he longed to go,
And lay him in the ocean-bed below.
And when the blackened sky was overcast,
And death seen coming in the howling blast,
And thunders rolled, and lightings glared around,
And opening waves disclosed the deep profound,
The stranger passenger with folded arms,
Seen by the lightning’s flash, then clasped his hands,
Upraised to heaven, and murmuring No not now,
My spirit in this uproar cannot go;
I will not seek my heavenly Father’s throne,
When nature in convulsions feels his frown.
Oh no! ’tis peace I seek, for peace I pray,
And in these roaring waters cannot lay;94F2v 94
I wait a still, small voice, ’twill noiseless come,
And bid me welcome to my long, long home.
’Twas strange, indeed, to view that manly form,
That step so firm, that still defied the storm;
Although the ship, now bending to its force,
Now pitching onward, often changed her course,
Reeled like a drunkard, tumbling to and fro,
Now high upraised, then bedded deep below.
Brave of the bravest—he ne’er thought of danger,
Though urged below, still on the deck would linger.
At length the storm is o’er, and morn’s first ray,
Sees the tall ship pursue her destined way,
With double joy they view the morning light
Succeed the horrors of a stormy night.
The winds had lulled; the waves were gently curled,
And peace seemed spreading o’er the wat’ry world.
A gentle breeze impelled the barque along,
And Charleston smiled before the rising sun.
Amid the greetings of the little band,
Of faces cheerful at the sight of land,
The stranger silent stood—his looks were bent,
Then upward an imploring look he sent;
And softly whispered, what a peaceful hour,
Spirit that rules the deep! I feel thy power.
Then springing, plunged far o’er the vessel’s side,
And sunk forever in the whelming tide.
The breeze still bears the fated barque along,
And Charleston spreads before the rising sun.
The waves still wash the peaceful shores around,
Where the poor wanderer a grave has found;
The billows still move on, with ceaseless roar;
But Conway! hapless Conway! is no more.
Beneath that arched and polished brow,
And forehead of the purest snow,
And eyes that speak, and cheek that glows,
And emulates the opening rose,
And form that might with Venus vie,
When once she formed Arcadia’s joy;
A serpent twines whose sting is death,
That rose is not the rose of health;
That eye so bright, of mildest hue,
Colour of heaven’s own azure blue;
Speaks not of joy; ’tis withered there,
And all without is false as fair.
Corroding grief that bosom wrings,
Where the meek Dove might rest his wings,
So soft its undulations rise,
Like slumbering infant’s gentle sighs.
Yet there are sighs which none may hear,
In anguish drawn, when none are near,
Those eyes with tears oft overflow,
But none must hear this tale of woe,
Condemned to smile with broken heart,
In revels still to bear a part,
While e’en her inmost soul was torn,
As oft she thought on life’s fair morn.
That morning dawned without a cloud,
A mother of her darling proud,F3 96F3v 96
Folded her fostering arms around,
And fortune all their wishes crowned,
A brother, too, with tender care,
Protected her so loved, and fair.
But death has laid that brother low,
And in one grave the mother too.
Riches have taken wings and flown,
And all her comforts now are gone.
In vain from friend to friend she turned;
Cold-hearted friends the orphan shunned.
She would with poverty have striven,
Though scarce could bear the winds of heaven,
She would have earned her daily bread,
Content to dwell in some low shed;
But houseless, homeless, friendless too,
And helpless, ah! what can she do?
One only roof a shelter spread,
Where she could rest her wearied head.
One, only friend, appeared to save
The sufferer from a cruel grave.
That friend—alas! I cannot tell
The steps by which the outcast fell.
But fallen she is, and oh, how low!
And ’twas that friend who gave the blow,—
Who spread the net with fiend-like art,
And trampled o’er a grateful heart,
But she, his victim, soon shall lose
The recollection of her woes.
So fast she fades, ah! once so fair,
The canker of remorse is there;
The hectic flush is on her cheek;—
That smile that once so bland and sweet,97F4r 97
Charmed the beholder, is no more;
And tears of penitence deplore
The guilt, which sad necessity
Appeared to make her destiny.
The anguish of her soul shall cease—
The voice of mercy whisper peace.
And that false friend, he lives at ease,
And pleasure has not ceased to please.
Fortune on him her gifts has showered,
And in his lap her treasure poured.
And those who turn an eye of scorn
On her—on him they do not frown.
No, still the lovely and the fair,
Who make prosperity their care,
Flutter around with mind intent,
And every thought on conquest bent;
Ambitious to unite with one,
Who well deserves the public scorn,
With one whom heaven avenging brands
As villain! such confessed he stands.
And in that day when crumbling worlds
Shall sink, and long slept vengeance hurls
The sinner to the gulph below,
To bear interminable woe,
He shall the rocks and mountains call,
On his devoted head to fall.
While she—but stop, to you, ye fair,
Who would be thought bright virtue’s care,
To you I would one word address,
The dictate of true tenderness.F4 98F4v 98
You are the cause; yes, hear the truth,
Of ruin; and it is not youth,
In shocking levity, that smiles
On him who innocence beguiles;
But those of every age and station
Join in this most degrading fashion,
Of scorning the poor fallen wretch,
And flattering him who made her such.
Has fortune on the monster smiled—
No matter whom he has beguiled
He’s followed, courted, feasted, flattered,
And, though with reputation shattered,
His presence causes no alarms;
And beauty woos him to her arms.
They cannot surely hope t’reform,
By homage paid to the vile worm;
They cannot, and we cease to wonder,
Virtue and man are still asunder.
But Oh! would strict propriety
Exclude him from society—
Would virtue, modesty and sense,
Avoid him, like a pestilence;
They’d find ’twould go towards reforming
A vice, that fills the world with mourning—
That breaks the hearts of many mothers,
Crimsons the cheeks of many brothers,
And robs the wretched fair and fallen
Of all below, perhaps of heaven.99F5r 99
Oh mothers! who profess to guide
Your daughters, now your joy and pride;
Set an example, blest of heaven;
So shall your own sins be forgiven;—
Succour the lost—to you they call:
Then you and yours shall never fall.
But shun the wretch whom God has curst;
For crimes the greatest and the worst;
Done to obey the Power that says
Be separate, and shun his ways;
Hold no communion with the wretch,
Who hunts the fairest and the best,
Intruder at each social hour,
Like lion seeking to devour;
Shun him and He who heareth prayer;
Shall make your offspring still his care;
Shall guard them from the snares of sin,
And their reward shall here begin;
And when you here have nobly striven,
Transplant you to the joys of heaven.
Thou dreaded foe of man—deceitful foe!
Decking thy victims in unearthly beauty,
And flattering still, while still they slow advance,
Thy silent progress, is unseen, though sure.
Thou miner—busy at destruction’s work,
Baffling all human skill, and sapping life.
No age, no sex, secures us from thy grasp—
Thy grasp how deadly. Vain the healing art,
Vainly is Nature searched, for antidotes.—
No remedy is found; the hapless victim writhes
Within thy fearful grasp; but writhes in vain.
He flies his country, seeks a foreign sky,
Or, buried deep within some forest shade,
Inhales the breezes of a purer air.
Thy fangs, alas! have fastened on his heart.
No effort tears him from thy dead embrace.
Yet, still, the brightness of those failing eyes—
The bloom that visits still the sunken cheek,
Deceive the dying and the living too.
Believing what we wish, how can we doubt,
The friend beloved may once more be restored?
That voice, though weak, has not yet lost its sweetness,
And all the mind still triumphs unimpaired.
Th’ enquiring glance is often to us turned;
The hand, with gentle pressure, meets our own,
And looks of love repay our tender cares.
How can we think that soon the yawning grave
Will hold the loved one in its cold embrace?101F6r 101
Shall not our tears detain him? Cannot, then,
Our cares restore him to the joys of life?
Ah! can he die, while we his couch surround,
And watch each motion of his lips and eye;
And daily, hourly, on our bended knees,
Invoke the God of heaven in his behalf,
For one short year, one month, one day, one hour?
He cannot die, for Heaven will hear our prayer,
And cause the shadows to go back in answer.King Hezekiah.
Short-sighted mortals!—can no proof be given,
That we are heard, but granting our petitions?
Must God reverse the order of his laws,
Or we remain thus sceptical? Perhaps
The dreaded visitor is his commissioned Angel,
With mandate irrevocable.
Oh! I have seen the young, the beautiful,
The tender parent, and sweet blooming maid,
The faithful husband and confiding friend,
The wise, the virtuous, learned, and the brave—
All, all cut down. Like grass before the scythe
They fell. And, once—tho’ years have since gone by—
Their memory is fixed upon my mind—
I knew two brothers, promising and fair.
But one they were in love: their gentle hearts
So tenderly united. From the world apart,
They lived, but yet, alas! they lived not long.
A thirst for knowledge burned within their breasts,
Nor burned in vain; the midnight lamp beheld
The ardour of their search—the morn rewarded—102F6v 102
For Science to their sight her stores unveiled,
Rich in the cumulated wealth of ages.
But vain the meed that crowned their anxious toil;—
Vain Academic honours; vain all praise.
Little did it avail that the fond parents
Drank in their praises, with delighted ear,
Or strained, in their behalf, their slender means,—
Giving the produce of laborious years,
To aid their offspring onward to the goal.
Alas! the promise of their future years
Has fled, e’en in the morning of their days.
For death, stern death! with a relentless hand,
Has crushed their rising honours in the bud,
And hid them both within the narrow tomb.
Russell, methinks I see thy mild blue eyes,
Where all the kindness of the heart shone forth;
And then thy wasted form, and thy sad looks,
When the conviction came, that death was nigh.
Thy love of life was strong. Thy hopes were high
Of future greatness and of future use.
And were they doomed to perish at a blow?
They were! The books of science were thrown by,
And heaven’s own volume occupied their place.
How hard to him who makes the chiefest good
His latest study; O, how hard to him,
Who measures scripture by scholastic rules,
And sits bewildered in the labyrinths
Of human learning! Science, here, is lumber.—
The simplest child of Nature may, at once,103F7r 103
Seize all the premises the Gospel offers;
Yet to the wise how hard!
His struggle for the precious bread of life
Was long and doubtful; but he sought in earnest;
And unto such the blest Redeemer saith,
Ye shall not seek in vain.
The sad survivor, with fast falling tears,
Bent o’er his brother’s corpse, himself how near
That dreaded bourne, from whence there’s no return.
Already had the fell Destroyer seized,
(Relentless, he, to this devoted race,
Sweeping, as with the besom of destruction,
Its fairest promise from the earth away)
Upon the vitals of this latest hope
Of the fond parents;—at the seat of life
Insatiate gnawed the Vulture.—He who, thus,
Bent o’er the dead, himself too soon was mourned
With tears of bitter desolation!
O valued friend, thus early snatched away!
I see thee, still, as on the bed of death.—
Thy dark eye sparkling with unearthly lustre,
Directs its falling glance on those beloved
I feel the chilling pressure of that hand,
And hear thy last kind words, Weep not for me.
And must the wit of man still seek, in vain,
For antidotes against this fatal scourge?104F7v 104
Among the healing plants, with which his earth
Abounds, medicaments which still are unexplored?
Instinct has led our forest sons to find
An antidote to the fell serpent’s bite,
Once deemed incurable? And cannot men,
Who hold the keys of Nature, and explore,
By Science guided onward, all the wealth
Of her mysterious caverns—cannot they
Bring to the light of day some healing balm,
To stay this dreaded plague? I will believe,
And hope! The march of Mind goes on—each day,
Her path seems brighter, plainer—something new
Astonishes and cheers us. And, though still
Morality, and dust to dust, remain
The fixed decree of the Eternal One;
Yet, generations now unborn shall smile,
In time to come, at this, our ignorance.
Why, Oh my soul! this scene displayed,
A world in shade and gloom;
Ah! why in fun’ral garb arrayed,
For Him who seeks the tomb?
Martyrs have yielded up their lives,
To their tormenting foes;
The great, the good, the lov’d, the wise,
Have suffered bitterest woes.
Yet still th’ unclouded sun looked out,
And smiled on all around;
No ghostly shadows stalked about,
Nor earthquakes shook the ground.
Then why does labouring, panting Earth,
With agonizing throes;
Struggle, as though ’twas nature’s birth,
Or her last fearful close?
What can it mean? Could nature’s God
E’er feel a mortal pang?
The world still governed by his nod,
And on that cross to hang?
My soul, retire:—Forbear to ask
Thy great Redeemer’s name;
The subject is for words too vast,
Thine answer is within.The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.
Enough for thee to know, his love
Surpasses mortal thought;
This off’ring, registered in heaven,
Has thy salvation bought.
Hymn for Easter.
Christ our Redeemer in triumph has risen,
Jesus the Saviour, has risen to-day;
He has now burst the bars of His prison,
He has ascended to regions of day.
Christ our Redeemer’s ascended to heaven;
Oh where is the terror of Sinai now?
Our Intercessor triumphant has risen,
The halo of glory encircles his brow.
The daughters of music shall tune the glad lyre,
As time in succession still brings round the day;
Oh! for David’s sweet harp, and the strain of Isaiah,
To sing of the mercies we ne’er can repay.
When the last trumpet shall wake from their slumbers,
The saints who now sleep in their beds damp and cold,
Released from the flesh which the spirit encumbers,
We shall behold Him; in glory behold.
Let us rejoice, for the Lord has arisen,
Jesus our Saviour has burst from the clay;
He has come forth, from the grave’s gloomy prison,
He has ascended to regions of day.