Serious Poetry.

Fry, Caroline, 1787-1846


Rianna Au, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 100Kb
British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
2000
I.D. No. FryCSerio

Copyright (c) 2000, University of California

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 67
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


Serious poetry

Fry, Caroline


Printed for Ogle, Duncan
London,
1822

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. ISuppl:983. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler ISuppl:983mf.]


The editors thank the Shields Library, University of California, Davis, for its support for this project.

Purchase of software has been made possible by a research grant from the Librarians' Association of the University of California, Davis chapter.

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[Title Page]



Page [i]

SERIOUS POETRY.
Page [ii]

London:

Printed by James Moyes, Greville Street.
Page [iii]

SERIOUS POETRY:

BY

CAROLINE FRY,


AUTHOR OF THE "POETICAL CATECHISM."

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR OGLE, DUNCAN, AND CO.

37, PATERNOSTER ROW, AND 295, HOLBORN.

1822.


Page [iv]



Page [v]

CONTENTS.


Page [vii]

PREFACE.

OF this small collection of Poems, none were written for publication but those that have reference to the Jewish Prophecies, which have been added at the request of a friend. Of the rest, some few were composed by the desire of friends whose partiality valued them. The greater part were but the amusement of sleepless or solitary hours, with no motive for the composition but the feelings of the moment. But they are feelings to which every Christian is alike subjected; and this may give them an interest which otherwise they could not have.


Page viii

In our agitated passage through the world, it is sometimes good to know what others have felt, what others have thought; and though the Author of these Poems is aware that they have no claim to notice as poetry, she trusts they may be received as the serious reflections of a Christian who only wrote because she felt.



Page [1]

POEMS, &c.

[EVENING]

WE walk'd by the side
    Of the tranquil stream,
That the sun had tinged
    With his parting beam;
The water was still,
    And so crystal clear,
That every spray
    Had its image there.


Page 2

And every reed
    That o'er it bow'd,
And the crimson streak,
    And the silvery cloud,
And all that was bright,
    And all that was fair,
And all that was gay,
    Was reflected there.

And they said it was like
    To the chasten'd breast,
That religion soothes
    To a holy rest;
When sorrow has tam'd
    The impassion'd eye,
And the bosom reflects
    Its expected sky.


Page 3

But I took a stone
    That lay beside,
And I cast it far
    On the glassy tide;
And gone was the charm
    Of the pictur'd scene,
And the sky so bright,
    And the landscape green.

And I bade them mark
    How an idle word,
Too lightly said,
    And too deeply heard,
Or a harsh reproof,
    Or a look unkind,
May spoil the peace
    Of the heavenly mind.


Page 4

Though sweet be the peace,
    And holy the calm,
And the heavenly beam
    Be bright and warm;
The heart that it gilds
    Is all as weak
As the wave that reflects
    The crimson streak.

You cannot impede
    The celestial ray,
That lights the dawn
    Of eternal day;
But so may you trouble
    The bosom it cheers,
'Twill cease to be true
    To the image it bears.


Page 5

TO
A FRIEND
WHO EXPRESSED A FEAR THAT THE
BIBLE WAS A SEALED BOOK TO HER.

SEAL'D is it? Where then did you learn the sigh
That speaks a knowledge which your lips deny?
If its rich treasures never were reveal'd,
Where did you learn to wish the Book unseal'd?
The Esquimaux, to other climes unknown,
Can never sorrow for a milder zone.
So, had you never tasted of the fruit,
You had not sought with tears the hidden root.
Seal'd is it? wherefore should you think so? No!
'Twas never seal'd to one who fear'd it so.


Page 6

The troubled dreamer, in the midnight gloom,
Wrapt in deep slumber, glides from room to room,
Fearless of ill, unconscious of the night,
His bold, unfaltering footstep asks no light;
Onward he passes, with untroubled mind,
To seek some spot he waking could not find;
But if the dream be broken, and again
Suspended reason should assume her reign,
Strange to the path he knew so well before,
He sees the darkness, and he sees no more:
And does not so the soul? She too is bold,
Ere yet the dangers of the way are told.
No fearful mysteries her thoughts engage,
She sees no seal upon the hallow'd page;
The awful bar, invisible as strong,
Hides all the doubtings that to faith belong.
Time has been, and not very much remote,
When all was hidden, and you knew it not;
How thought you then of mysteries conceal'd?
Did you sigh then to have the Book unseal'd?


Page 7

No; when, in faintest accents, in your ear
The Spirit whisper'd, "There are secrets there,"
In that same hour the curtain was undrawn,
The Book was open'd, and the seal was gone;
The ray that lights you may be faint indeed,
And scarcely seen the sunbeam that you need;
Even as when we watch the opening day,
To catch the glimmering and uncertain ray,
At first it seems so loitering, so slow,
We almost doubt if it be morn or no;
But sure as twilight brings the perfect day.
A brighter sun shall light your future way,
Till mercy perfected your soul dismiss
To boundless knowledge and unmeasured bliss.


Page 8

THE LILY.

                Look down from heaven, and behold and visit this vine.
Psalm lxxx. 14.

THE spot where I loiter'd was lonely and wild,
    The bleak winds of heaven were blowing,
When I look'd on a lily of loveliest hue,
    That alone and unshelter'd was growing.

What once was a garden, deserted and waste,
    Was now but the wild nettle's bed;
The hedge-row, neglected and scatter'd to earth,
    Forbade not the passenger's tread.


Page 9

The thorn and the thistle disputed the soil
    Where fairest of flowers had blown;
The hand that had planted them left them to die,
    And the lily was blooming alone.

Sweet flower, I whisper'd, so frail as thou art,
    This waste is no garden for thee,
That form which the rude wind so ruthless has torn,
    Some eye once delighted to see.

It watch'd thee at morning, it watch'd thee at eve,
    And wept when it saw thee decline,
And sought for the insect that rankles the bud,
    And forbade it to nestle in thine.

But now it forgets thee, and leaves thee alone.
    To dwell with the poisonous weed;
The thorn is thy fellow, the thistle thy mate,
    Thou wilt perish, and no one will heed.


Page 10

And one there is like thee--the cherish'd, the lov'd--
    Ah! have we no tear for her fate?
The foot of the stranger has pass'd o'er her soil,
    And the infidel sits in her gate.

The eye that had watch'd her, the hand that had rear'd,
    In bitter displeasure averted,
Has left her the meanest, the vilest of earth,
    An alien, alone and deserted.

Disown'd in her birth-place, disown'd where she dwells,
    A stranger where'er she appears,
The heart that can melt for all sorrow beside,
    Refuses its pity to hers.

Great Father of Mercies! remember thy word;
    O hasten, and visit this vine!
The scorn of the Gentile has crush'd it to earth;
    'Twas unfruitful, -- but still it is thine!


Page 11

Tis that thou hadst planted, 'tis that thou hadst rear'd:
    Have pity, and hasten the hour,
When the dews of thy love shall be fresh on her leaf,
    And thy sunbeam be bright on her flow'r:

The hour when they, who pass over her now
    With careless and pitiless foot,
Shall come with delight to repose in her shade,
    And gratefully take of her fruit.


Page 12

ON THE
LOVE OF GOD

                We love Him because He first loved us.--
1 John, iv. 19.

THERE was a slave, who, born to days unbless'd,
Drew from his parent blood the hard decree
Of ceaseless and unwilling servitude.
His fathers, many an age, had worn the yoke
Of an incens'd and much offended Lord,
Whom ancient wrong, and ire inherited,
Had made the object of their ceaseless dread.
Just was he, and yet merciless to these,
The subjects of his well-deserved wrath.
"Do this, and live -- neglect it, and thou diest!"
This was his high, irrevocable word.


Page 13

The slave, unknowing of a better state,
And early taught that to obey was life,
Repin'd not at his destiny, but sought
To ease the servitude he could not shun,
And to evade the penalty he fear'd.
Much was he learned to digest the law,
And well he knew, by artful sophistry,
To bend the rigid letter to his will.
Here to excuse by outward circumstance,
There by the native feebleness within;
This by temptation, that by ignorance;
It seem'd his only effort was to find
How little he might do and be secure;
And where he could not soften, or pervert,
He served with slavish and mistrustful zeal.
He served, indeed, but did he love that Lord?
Would he not leave his service, if he could?
Would he not disobey him, if he dar'd?
This is not love --he did not, could not love him.
But it befell, that in a kinder hour,--


Page 14

For much of kindness was there in his breast,--
The Lord, contemplating this race condemn'd,
Fix'd his paternal fondness on the slave,
And, paying of his own the ransom due,
Took him to be his favour'd, foster'd child.
Gone was the bitter menace of the law,
The natal curse, and judgment's dreaded hour;
For he, his master once, his father now,
Nurtur'd and led him with a father's care,
Chastis'd his errors, but as fathers do,
Ev'n while they chasten longing to forgive;
And law or service none did he require,
But such as children to a parent owe,
The law of gratitude, the zeal of love.
Lov'd he his master now? How should he not?
And if you deem the portraiture I draw
Of what a Christian to his Maker owes,
And strives to render, be too highly drawn,
Judge ye between the master and his slave.
For were I bade to tell what earthly spirit


Page 15

Best loves his great Creator and his God,
His Lord, his Master, I would say 'tis he
Who best believes himself belov'd of him.
One who errs not has answer'd the demand,
And says, "Herein is love;" but mark him where,
"Not you lov'd me, but I have loved you."
But many a proud pretender's lofty boast
Of zeal and service in the cause of heaven,
Must fall before this high and holy test;
And many an erring saint might thence be taught,
That with a faithless and mistrustful fear,
Seeming to doubt himself, he doubts his God.
Oh! would you be assur'd you love your God,
Make him a God that must be lov'd of need.
A God you cannot otherwise than love.
Throw off that yoke of joyless servitude,
That niggard balancing of right and wrong,
Which fears to give too little or too much.
Doubt is not love -- suspicion is not love!
Believe that He has known you, pitied you,


Page 16

Taken you from prison and from death,
Sought and pursu'd you through a world of ill--
Restrain'd you, taught you, rear'd you for his own.
Believe that he forgives you every sin,
Pays every debt, and cancels ev'ry claim --
Watches beside your pillow while you sleep,
Supports you, leads you, guards you when you wake,
And bids his angels know no better task
Than to administer to you, his child.
And while in heaven's high mansion he prepares
The seat of royalty he bids you claim,
Arrays you in a vesture so divine,
Of holiness and virtue not your own,
That when the hour of just adjudgment comes,
All may confess in you the heir of heaven.
Believe the Lord your God is such an one,
And you must love him, even to your soul.
And if your heart, mistrustful, still will ask,
"But is it so?" It is, if you believe it--
If you will have it, if you wish it so.


Page 17

He says it -- He who never yet has fail'd,
Since time began, to do the thing he says --
And shall He falsely change His purpose now,
False in his love, though true in all beside?
Believe him, trust him, doubt not what he says--
Believe that he is this, and this to you;
And if your heart be as the marble cold,
And hard of nature as the stubborn rock,
'Twill melt at contemplation of such love.
Then will you serve him with a heart so free,
So light, so confident, your Lord himself
Will glory in the service you can pay.
The wrong corrupted nature still will do
Towards such a God, will seem but doubly wrong;
But, if the sense of new-discover'd guilt
Tempt you to doubt his mercy and his love,
Asham'd to have mistrusted one so kind,
You'll shed more tears of sorrow for that doubt,
Than for the sin itself that urg'd you to it.
Assur'd that one who loves you as his child,


Page 18

Feels all your griefs, and joys when you are glad,
You will hear nothing in his high decrees,
E'en when they wound you, but the voice of love;
You'll read a lesson that he wills you learn,
And not a dispensation of his wrath.
When heaven's severer judgments are abroad,
And awe and terror overhang the world,
A sentiment sublime will fill your soul,
And whisper in you, " 'Tis my Father's hand--
All may be lost, the world itself may fall,
But I shall be uninjur'd -- I am His."
The good he gives you will be doubly dear,
Because he gives it; and this nether world
Will gain a charm it never had before --
And even its disorders and its ills
Will shed a pleasing wonder o'er your soul,
To see how blindly they advance his will.
His services, his altars, and his house,
Will be the scenes of your intensest joys,
The things on earth you last would sacrifice.


Page 19

His people you will love with such a love
As that your heavenly Master feels for you--
Something distinct from what their merit claims,
A love that is not lessen'd by the faults
Their Lord himself is pleas'd to overlook.
'Tis they will be your counsellors and friends,
In grief your solace, partners in your bliss.
No measurement of service or of zeal
Will wake your fears; no calculation cold
Of what you may, or what you may not do;
Your joy will be to give him all you can;
Your greatest grief, that you can give no more:
Your business in life will then be none
In which you cannot ask his helping hand;
Your pleasures none but those himself has given,
And none for which you cannot give him thanks.
In grief your first sensation will be prayer,
In joy your strongest impulse will be praise.
You will expect from him your utmost wish,
Because you wish not, if he wish not too.


Page 20

Thus will you serve Him with a holy calm,
Love what He loves, and fear what he condemns;
And feeling that in Him is all your joy,
And in His presence your most pure delight,
You will await His coming in such mind,
As we await the thing we most desire.
Let nature answer, if this be not love.


Page 21

WRITTEN UNDER A SKETCH
OF
OARE CHURCH

WHERE , amid tumultuous waters,
    Sickening with a hope repress'd,
Far from all his soul desires,
    Loves the sailor's eye to rest?


Is it not on that far beacon
    Faintly beaming through the gloom,
Which some friendly hand has lighted
    To mark the path that leads him home?


Page 22

Methinks a hand as kind has rear'd
    On yonder hill the simple pile,
That 'mid the world's distasteful travel,
    The aspect might our path beguile.

Hardly press'd by earthly sorrow,
    Often have I turn'd my eye,
And caught the outline of its tower,
    Trac'd upon the azure sky.

Emblem of the peace it proffers,
    It has check'd the anxious tear;
Though the world should do its worst,
    There is peace and comfort there.

Yes -- and when the maddening draught
    Of earthly pleasure ran too high,
The distant form has seem'd to say
    "Remember," when it met my eye.


Page 23

Memento of a Saviour's love,
    Oft forgotten, oft denied,
However far my footsteps wander,
    Be thou ever at my side.

Tell me, when the world allures me,
    'Twas not such the bliss I knew,
When beneath thy hallow'd ceiling
    Draughts of holy joy I drew.

Tell me, when that world betrays me,
    Where its sorrows cease to harm,
Where I learn'd to brave its dangers,
    Resting on a Saviour's arm.

Tell, O tell me, when my folly
    Treads the path of sin too near,
How many pangs of bitter anguish
    Sense of sin has cost me there.


Page 24

Bring to memory every feeling
    Thou hast witness'd in my breast;
Be the beacon that shall guide me
    To realms of everlasting rest.


Page 25

THE GALE.

My seat was the strand of the southern shore,
    The salt wave bath'd my feet,
I lov'd to list to the ocean's roar,
    In its fitful, slow retreat.

And many a veering sail was there,
    Impell'd by the south wind's force;
And changeful e'en as the waves that bare,
    Was the vessel's troubled course.


Page 26

Now white and full the sails were spread,
    And shone in the bright sun-beam;
A moment -- all was dark and dead,
    And gone was the partial gleam.

Sometimes she rode like a monarch proud,
    On the subject waves uprear'd;
Then far o'er the fluid steep she bow'd,
    And a moment disappear'd.

She never rose so blithe and brave,
    But she sunk in the deep anon;
She never sunk so far in the wave,
    But she rose again as soon.

And many a thought came o'er my mind,
    As I watch'd her changeful mood,
With many a feeling deep combin'd,
    That my bosom understood.


Page 27

But there was one above the rest
    That linger'd on the thought;
It found a welcome in a heart
    That lov'd the truth it taught.

For I saw that, howe'er the vessel toss'd,
    Still a homeward course it bore,
And the wave that seem'd to distract it most,
    But impell'd it towards the shore.

And thus, I said, may each storm that blow'd
    Have shorten'd the way I come;
And shall I complain that the wave is rude,
    If it bear me the sooner home?


Page 28

THE DAWN.

PENSIVE as I watch'd the night,
Many a star was glitt'ring bright,
While their gay, but warmthless rays,
Wak'd the thoughts of other days;
Like the joys I knew of old,
They were bright, but they were cold;
Parting with the parting shade,
One by one I saw them fade --
Duly as the morning clear'd,
One by one they disappear'd.
So, before celestial light,
Sink the joys of nature's night;


Page 29

'Twas but folly made them dear,
'Twas but darkness made them fair.
As the dawn of grace increases,
Earth's delusion sinks and ceases;
Joys that once were all my bliss,
Fading into nothingness,
Take them wings, and pass away,
Lost in everlasting day.


Page 30

WRITTEN ON HEARING IT SAID, WE OUGHT NOT
TO PRAY FOR OUR SAVIOUR'S SECOND COMING
UPON EARTH.

AND is it so? Look at creation round!
See you how fair, how beautiful it is,
How form'd to bless, how exquisite to please?
We tread its wonders e'en beneath our feet,
We revel in its luxuries every hour,
And feast our every sense upon its charms.
Fit dwelling was it for a sinless race,
Form'd in the image of their parent God;
And 'twas for such he made it. Sad reverse!
What passes now in this so lovely scene?
What purpose serves this world so beautiful?
A vale of death, a prison-house of crime!
The sun that lightens, burns it --and the rain


Page 31

That sheds luxuriant verdure o'er the soil,
Swells the wild torrent till its ruthless force
Buries whole regions in resistless ruin.
There's not a gift of Providence, whose use,
Excessive or perverted, does not prove
A fruitful source of misery and death;
There's scarce a worm but preys upon its fellow,
And man on all -- but most upon himself.
Sorrow and pain have so possess'd the world,
That he who knows them not is deem'd unwise,
If he forget to expect them. All agree,
However differing else, or sad or gay,
All join to say it is an evil world,
Though He who made it once pronounc'd it good.
Can you contemplate such magnificence,
So fallen, so perverted, and not pray
That He who form'd it would renew his work,
And give it back to innocence and peace?
Can you? Then look at something still more sad,
More fallen, more perverted, more debas'd:


Page 32

Look at the heart that throbs within your bosom!
Not e'en the pow'r of celestial grace
Has stay'd its wand'rings, or repress'd its pride.
What holy resolutions, heav'n-inspir'd,
Ending in disappointment and remorse!
Mark how each pray'r you breathe is deeply ting'd
With some impatient, unsubmitting wish,
While e'en the tear of penitence you shed
Falls hard by that which flows from wounded pride.
How bitter, yet how fruitless, is the hour
That sinks the soul beneath its weight of sin,
And leaves it scarce less sinful than before!
How short the days of spiritual joy,
How long the nights of cold and careless distance!
What heaven-aspiring energies borne down,
And stifled in a perishable frame!
Is this the portrait of a heart you know?
I never learn'd the secrets of but one --
If yours be like it, you have need to pray
That time may be when sin shall be no more.


Page 33

Death may rid you this your cumbrous load,
But think how many will be left to bear it.
Can we reflect that every child of God
Bears the same struggle, and not wish it done?
Well may we tremble for the sinner's doom,
But little boots it to delay the hour.
See how they heap the measure of their guilt,
Crime upon crime, to aggravate their fate!
Each hour adds something to the sum of ill;
The punishment must fill an equal measure.
Hasten, O Lord, to close the fearful scene!
Hasten to claim the kingdom thou hast won!
Restore thy fair creation to itself,
To what it was before it learn'd to sin,
To what its gracious Master died to make it!
How long, how long, must we behold thy laws
Broken, insulted, trampled under foot?
How long -- O worse affliction! must we feel
That we, who love thee, help to break them too?
While sin remains, we are but half redeem'd.


Page 34

Yes, had I but one other prayer to breathe,
But one small remnant of exhausted breath,
I'd spend it thus, and thus should be my prayer,
"So come, Lord Jesus, quickly, quickly come!"


Page 35

ON HEARING THE SONG OF A BIRD ONE COLD
SABBATH EVENING IN FEBRUARY.

WHAT novel song, sweet Bird, has tun'd thy throat
Thou art not wont to find so sweet a note,
When scarce a sunbeam cheers the wintry day,
And not a leaf is green upon the spray.
Now I could fancy that thy bosom knows
Something of that which o'er my spirit flows,
When, tun'd to joys more pure than earth can give,
I watch the closing of the Sabbath eve.
They are not sunshine joys, for they are stay'd
And sober, as the twilight's closing shade;
They are not things of earth, for they abide
When grief has claim to ev'ry thought beside;
And, like thy winter song, poor Bird, they sound
More sweet, when all is desolate around.


Page 36

Yes, I have felt it, when the morning hour
Confess'd some earthly care's distracting pow'r,
And, with a step that spoke the bosom's load,
I joyless loiter'd to the house of God.
Oh! I have felt, when evening's tranquil hour
Bade me retrace the path I trod before,
A calm so heavenly o'er my bosom reign,
It seem'd no care might enter there again;
As if some magic touch had chang'd the scene,
And planted flowers where only thorns had been.
And thou, sweet Bird, couldst find a song for me,
When not a leaf was here to shelter thee.
And I will sing through winters long as thine,
Where sun of earthly bliss can never shine;
But where returning Sabbaths will renew
Flowers that from earthly sunshine never grew;
Till songs of purer happiness employ
Eternal Sabbaths of eternal joy.


Page 37

TO
A FRIEND
WHO COMPLAINED THAT SHE HAD NOT A HOME.

SAD and slow was the wanderer's tread,
As o'er the lengthen'd way she sped;
And often she cast a wishful eye
On the summer bower as she loiter'd by;
Or stopp'd to gather the brilliant flow'r
That open'd its bud to the mid-day hour.
But the flower died when she touch'd it near,
And the summer bower was not for her.
The lamb is hous'd when his game is play'd,
And the sparrow knows where her nest is made,
But the wanderer's toil is never done,
All else have a home, but she has none.


Page 38

On whatever spot might her limbs recline,
She sigh'd and whisper'd, "It is not mine."
She sigh'd, till she heard the warning word,
"Shall it profit thee, when it slew thy Lord?
Earth bare the thorns that pierc'd his brow,
Should it yield thee unfading flowers now?
Thou wilt find, some fleeting seasons gone,
A spot of earth that is all thine own;
And none will contend for thy dark abode,
When thy spirit is gone to rejoin its God.
'Tis dark--but thy Saviour has shared it too,
'Twas the only home he could find below;
And his home in heaven is for thee to share,
Pass lightly on till thou join him there."


Page 39

THE SETTING SUN.

THAT sun which is yonder so brightly declining,
    That you look at with careless delight,
Full many a lesson of wisdom might teach,
    Were you skilful to read them aright.

You have seen him envelop'd in dark-boding clouds,
    When the rain and the tempest appears,
When the mists of the ev'ning compass'd him round,
    And shadow'd his beauty in tears.

But knew you that this was an emblem of one
    Whose bosom is clouded with sin,
Whom sorrow has veil'd with the tears of contrition,
    And darken'd by tempests within.


Page 40

The world, all mistaking of what it beholds,
    With pity insulting looks on,
And esteems that the hope of the saint is destroy'd,
    That the seal of salvation is gone.

But as yonder fair sun, o'er the fast fleeting clouds
    That menacing gather below,
Proceeds on his course, and, though darken'd to us,
    No change in his brightness can know:

So the Spirit of God in the child of His love,
    Unalter'd by sin or by sorrow,
If obscur'd by the vapours of passion to-night,
    Will shine the more brightly to-morrow.

And oft you have seen when the morning has lower'd,
    And the noon-day been chilling and drear,
And the evening threaten'd for wind and for fain,
    A last gleam of sunshine appear;


Page 41

Appear with a brightness so pure, so serene,
    Dispelling the mists that infold,
That the clouds it is leaving, so awful before,
    Themselves are all turned to gold.

So the saint who has finish'd his day upon earth,
    Serenely and brightly declining,
Sheds a lustre unearthly on all things around,
    In future beatitude shining.

His morning of life may be cheerless and dull,
    His manhood embarrass'd with ill,
His evening comfortless, friendless, and sad,
    And his death-bed be glorious still!


Page 42

MIDNIGHT THOUGHTS.

WHY is my soul with weariness oppress'd,
Whence is this load so heavy on my breast?
Why is the tear so often on my cheek,
When scarce my fortunes may a tear bespeak?
Unsatisfied desire it cannot be,
For earth has nothing now to promise me;
Nor can it be regret for joy bereft,
For I want nothing while my God is left;
And were it fear, I still might wonder why
It should be here when danger is not nigh.
But it is none of these -- a pang more strong,
More deep, more keen, than ever sorrow wrung.


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O Thou! to whom my inmost thoughts reveal'd
Betray a secret from all else conceal'd,
Be witness with me, that, from sorrow free,
I mourn for nothing but my guilt to thee!
When nightly as I rest me on my bed,
I trace in memory how the day has sped,
Recall each erring thought, each idle word,
Each gift misus'd, and warning voice unheard;
The world conciliated, the cross denied,
The impatient wish, the swelling bosom's pride;
My spirit shrinks in terror from the view,
And mourns to think my God must see it too.
Tremendous thought! and must that holy eye
Look through my bosom's close obscurity,
And to all-judging excellence reveal
What I, a mortal, am asham'd to feel?
Search every thought, and -- No, it must not be,
I cannot, dare not, meet the scrutiny!
Hide me, my Saviour, in that darkness hide,
That veil'd creation when its Maker died!


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Cast o'er my soul the mantle of thy love,
And veil its blackness from the spirits above;
Or surely they will doubt if it can be
That heaven has a place reserv'd for me.
Would I could know, to all but God unknown,
If other hearts are evil as my own!
For much it seems with folly doubly fraught,
So often tutor'd, and so little taught;
With bitter penitence so often bow'd,
So often humbled, and yet still so proud;
The seat of passion's never-ceasing war,
This heart must be more hard than others are.
My Saviour, yes; I know the guilt I prove
Is more than cancell'd by thy dying love;
I know the bitterness my bosom bears
Is part of that which wrung thy sacred tears.
Full well I know the penalty is borne,
The sin is pardon'd, but it is not gone.
It rather seems that ev'ry hour upheaps
The guilty measure that my conscience keeps;


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And as the promis'd heaven comes more near,
Methinks I grow less fit to enter there.
Must it be always so? Forbid it, heaven!
For sin is hell, e'en though it be forgiv'n;
And that blest mansion whither we repair,
Would be no heaven if sin might enter there.
Speed then, ye lagging hours, and bear away
All that remains of weak mortality;
Take all of earthly good I have possess'd--
Take but my sins, and I resign the rest.


Page 46

THE WILD FLOWER.

[A man, like chaff are his days; like the stubble of the field does he grow up.]

[Text in Hebrew in original scanned volume.]

Psalm ciii. 15.

WHO heeds thee, poor flower? No fragrance is thine,
    No sunbeam has dress'd thee with hues of delight,
Thou hast found not a branch to o'ershade thee by day,
    Or shelter thy form from the blast of the night.

Thou bloom'st in the morning, but no one regards,
    Thou diest at eve, unregretted, unseen;
No eye would have miss'd thee, no bosom have felt
    One pleasure the less if thou never hadst been.


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Conceal'd in the herbage, thy delicate stem
    Is hourly crush'd by the passenger's tread,
And the brute, as he carelessly grazes the herb,
    Still presses his foot on thy impotent head.

None seek thee, none know thee, none cull thee with care,
    To bloom on the bosom in life's festive hour;
E'en the bee, as he flutters from blossom to blossom,
    Ne'er settles his wing on thy honeyless flower.

Sweet emblem of mercy! the tear of emotion
    Will fall when I see thee, but falls not for thee;
The ills that my fancy would picture as thine,
    Are the ills that another has suffer'd for me.

Yes, Jesus, my Saviour, they tell me of thine,
    Neglected, despised, like the weed thou hast made,
Thy people or saw not, or saw thee with scorn,
    In a robe of unloveliness meekly array'd.


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The deep shades of sorrow went over thy brow,
    But none mark'd the tear that thy innocence shed;
The clouds of affliction assembled their thunders,
    But none felt the shock when it burst on thy head.

E'en the flower of the garden is nurtur'd and rear'd,
    And guarded from evil with delicate care;
But thou, like the wild weed, despised of all,
    Wert known but to Him who implanted thee here.

The vilest of mortals might crush thee to earth,
    Cold insult might wound thee, and no one was mov'd;
All beside thee had something to cherish, to soothe,
    And Thou, only Thou, wert unsought, unbelov'd!

But sweet was the incense that flow'd from thy lips,
    In mercy for those who regarded thee not;
Each tear-drop that fell on thy bosom contain'd
    A balm for our sorrows when thine were forgot.


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And as yonder fair flower, unvalued, unclaim'd,
    Thus freely in paths unforbidden has grown,
So free is thy mercy, so priceless thy love,
    Whoever will take thee, may call thee his own.


Page 50

WHEN SHALL I FLEE AWAY, AND BE AT REST?

WHITHER wouldst thou, restless Spirit?
    Why so ill content to stay?
Ne'er was night so long and gloomy,
    But it yielded to the day.

Many a flower, yet unbudding,
    On the winter stem will blow;
Many a myrtle wreath shall blossom
    Yet to circle round thy brow.

Close the curtain that envelopes
    Futurity's untravell'd sphere;
Days of love and peace untroubled
    May be treasur'd for thee there.


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Wherefore should I wish to linger
    Till returning joy be given?
Life can never know a morning
    Bright as that which shines in heaven.

Earthly love is all too feeble
    For the immortal spirit's stay;
Friends the fondest should not keep me,--
    Jesus loves me more than they!

Flowers of earth, the best and fairest,
    Bloom upon a dying root;
Were my hopes e'en now in blossom,
    I would not loiter for the fruit.

I would go where Jesus waits me,
    I would be where Jesus is:
All too long have we been parted;
    Let my spirit speed to his!


Page 52

THE SABBATH.

YOU would that I write on the Sabbath of God,
But know you the meaning contain'd in that word?
You would that I write on the season of rest,
But know you by whom is that season possess'd?

And think you 'tis then, when the far-sounding bell
Is heard through the village, the city, and dell;
When the poor leave their labour, the wealthy their play,
And with hearts unrepenting assemble to pray?

When they who so thoughtlessly revell'd last night
In the temples of pleasure and godless delight,
Bring their tribute to-day to the house of the Lord,
All stain'd with their recent contempt of his word?


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Or think you 'tis then, when, o'erwearied with toil,
The grave and industrious rest them awhile,--
Dismiss from their bosoms their earthly affairs,
Which to-morrow again are the whole of their cares?

Not such is the Sabbath our Father has given
To the child of His love and the heir of His heaven;
Not such is His rest, nor so little its worth,
Whose pleasures immortal are budding on earth.

But where is the Sabbath of God and of heaven?
In the breast of the saint, of the sinner forgiven.
And where is the rest of enjoyment divine?
In the heart of the Christian -- And is it in thine?

And hast thou e'er felt, on the Sabbath-day morn,
That the love of thy God in thy bosom is borne?
Has thy heart been more light, and thy spirit more gay,
When thou wak'st at the dawn of the hallowed day?


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And hast thou e'er learn'd that the earth and its joys
Are treasures all worthless as infantile toys,
Compar'd with the pleasures a Christian may prove,
As he hastes to the banquet of peace and of love?

Hast thou felt that with joy from all else thou couldst sever,
Might this feeling celestial but last thee for ever?
That the pleasure unearthly, so transiently given,
Needs only duration to make it a heaven?

If thou hast, it is well;-- this earnest of love,
This taste of the banquet preparing above,
Comes commission'd from God with a message divine;
To tell thee a share in that banquet is thine!

Be steadfast, be faithful; --the righteous below
Have almost exhausted their chalice of woe;
The wicked have fill'd up their measure of crime,
And God's awful judgments are marking the time.


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Be steadfast, be faithful;--the hour is nigh;
Th' omnipotent arm is uplifted on high;
The doom of the world even now is impeding;
The last blow of wrath is prepar'd for descending.

No Season is this to be wand'ring abroad,
'Twixt the camp of the foe and the standard of God;
No season is this, when the battle is near,
To leave it yet doubtful whose colours you wear.

The hour is coming--is coming e'en now,--
When the children of men must be parted below;
When the friend from the friend of his bosom must sever,
And the child and the parent be parted for ever.

When they whom affection and duty unite,
Must draw on each other, oppos'd in the fight;
And the righteous must loathe the companion he chose,
To rejoice in the vengeance of God on his foes.


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Thy place at that hour needs no question but one,--
Has thy Sabbath eternal on earth been begun?
Hast thou, living, accepted the Spirit divine?--
If thou know'st it not here, it can never be thine!


Page 57

POLL PEG, LEICHESTERSHIRE.
A SKETCH.

SO wretched was the hovel where she dwelt,
It might be thought that poverty itself
Had left the world to dwell alone with her.
The air, that found a passage through the creeks
Of the ill-fitted beams that form'd her wall,
Might chill, but could not purify the air,
Thick with a cloud of suffocating smoke.
The window, curtain'd only with its dust,
And dark with long-accumulating dirt,
Refus'd a passage to the light of heaven.
Her bed,--if bed indeed it might be call'd,
Where the torn coverlet could ill conceal


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That all beneath it was but scatter'd straw,--
Claim'd half the space her dwelling house could boast.
And there her dog, companion of her toil,
When on the waste she kept her master's sheep,
Now partner in infirmity and years,
Shar'd the last resting-place she knew on earth.
Nor serv'd it less as way and stepping-place
To a suspended ladder, whence they reach'd
The hole of entrance to a wretched loft,
Where dwelt a widow'd daughter and her child.
In this poor habitation, hour from hour,
Day after day, the aged woman sat.
It seem'd her only object was to save
Her scanty garments from the falling fire.
Scanty, indeed, they were--scarcely enough
For covering to her shrunk and wither'd limbs;
While her bare arms, and half-uncover'd neck,
Shrivell'd with age, and stain'd with constant smoke,


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Show'd like to parched leather o'er her bones.
Her hair was grey, and scatter'd loose behind,
But left uncover'd her deep-furrow'd brow,
To tell that she had number'd fourscore years.
Her form was bent--and oft she laid her head
Upon the hard bare stone beside her grate,
Long satisfied to find no softer pillow.
And now the hand close press'd upon the side,
Now on the back, sufficiently betray'd
The alternate pang no groan had else reveal'd.
Nor wanted there the less apparent ills
That have embitter'd many a better state--
The harsh reproof, the bitter imprecation,
Unfeeling mockery, insult, and neglect.
Such was she,--and the foot that sought her dwelling
Would stop, as if by impulse, at the door,
Doubting to enter on so sad a scene;
And there the ear spontaneously would listen
To catch th' expected groan of misery.


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But not a groan, but not a sigh was heard;
And not a want, and not a wish was breath'd!--
For in this vile, this miserable hut,
There dwelt, a saint already half in heaven;
And in that gaunt, emaciated form,
Abode the Spirit of the living God!
"O happy, happy!" was her ceaseless cry;
"O, how delightful!" was her only plaint.
"What is delightful?" said the eager lip,
While the eye turned on the revolting scene.
"My God, my Saviour, and the life I lead."
Hear it, all ye who in a better state
Have sought for happiness, and found it not;
Hear where it habits when it flies from you;
Hear who has found it. It is even she,
Who, through a life of poverty and toil,
Has reach'd an age of want, and found her God.
Wrapt in bright visions of celestial bliss,
She cannot feel the miseries of a lot
She would not change for any thing but heaven.


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Tell her she's poor and wretched, she will say
There has been one afflicted more than she;
Talk of her suff'rings, she will tell you His,
Who, by the agony and death He bore,
Purchas'd for her this boasted happiness,
Her present peace, and her expected heaven.
Behold her, you, whose cup of life is fill'd
With a large draught of sublunary woe.
Her nights are sleepless, and they are not long;
Her days are painful, and they are not sad;
For day and night her spirit is with God,
And his with her,--holding sweet converse with her,
Of that approaching hour when this poor hut,
These days of pain, these nights of banish'd rest,
Will be exchang'd for everlasting bliss--
A bliss so near she tastes it even now!
Do thou, my spirit, contemplate the scene;
And, while the clouds of sorrow gather round,


Page 62

Learn to look calmly on the coming storm:
For here is one who nothing knows but ill, --
Nothing enjoys or has, except her God, --
And she is happy; Wherefore should we fear?


Page 63

FAITH.

FAITH , like a simple, unsuspecting child,
    Serenely resting on its mother's arm,
Reposing every care upon her God,
    Sleeps on his bosom, and expects no harm:

Receives with joy the promises he makes,
    Nor questions of his purpose or his power;
She does not doubting ask, "Can this be so?"
    The Lord has said it, and there needs no more.

However deep be the mysterious word,
    However dark, she disbelieves it not;
Where Reason would examine, Faith obeys,
    And "It is written," answers every doubt.


Page 64

Faith, with a keen and realizing glance,
    Revels in things yet distant and unseen,
And tastes a joy as exquisite, as true,
    As if no veil of darkness hung between.

It is no cold, reversionary bliss,--
    No distant hope the trusting bosom proves;
Faith has already wing'd the soul to heaven,
    In search of Him whom seeing not she loves.

If clouds and darkness rest upon the soul,
    Darkness is welcome, since it is His will;
In nature's saddest moments Faith can say,
    "Though he should slay me, I will trust him still!"

In vain, with rude and overwhelming force,
    Conscience repeats her tale of misery;
And powers infernal, wakeful to destroy,
    Urge the worn spirit to despair and die.


Page 65

As evening's pale and solitary star
    But brightens while the darkness gathers round,
So Faith, unmov'd amid surrounding storms,
    Is fairest seen in darkness most profound!


Page 66

PATIENCE.

PATIENCE , when heathen darkness veil'd the world,
Was that high spirit of unbending pride,
That dar'd to err, but was asham'd to suffer.
When man, unknowing of the God that made him,
Unknowing of himself, indignant saw
He could not turn aside the bitter shafts
Of pain and sorrow that beset him round,
Helpless to shun, and impotent to change
His fortunes, he determin'd not to feel.
God pitying saw -- but man undaunted stood,
With stubborn courage arm'd, and call'd it Patience.
Not such was His, upon whose sacred brow
The bloody drops of agony intense
Attest the writhing anguish of his soul,


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When, sinking low and heavy unto death,
He wish'd it might be that the cup might pass.
Not such was His, who on the burthen'd cross,
That bare the sins and sorrows of a world,
With eyes uplifted to his native skies,
Bewail'd himself forsaken of his God!
His was no bosom obdurately bold,
That brav'd Omnipotence itself to wound, --
The heathen's boast. And what is Patience now?
A spirit alive to every touch of woe,
And willing to endure it; -- a spirit sublime,
That feels and tears not, mourns and is content, --
That scorns to ask an antidote of pride,
And what the world calls firmness, to defeat
The purpose, all terrific as it is,
For which the bitter cup of wrath was mix'd.
"Strike me, O Lord, I am content to suffer! --
Strike, and I'll fall!"--is all a Christian's boast.
No hero he, with cool defiance arm'd,
To try his strength against an adverse fate;


Page 68

But a chastis'd, submitting, contrite child,
Who trembles at an angry Father's frown.
A Christian's Patience never is asham'd
To shed the tear her God is pleas'd to draw,
Nor blushes though a world should hear the groan
With which she sinks beneath his chastening hand.
But she disclaims the anticipating fear,
The doubt mistrustful, and the faithless eye,
Whose gloomy vision nothing sees but ill,
Regrets all past, and fears for all to come.
Patience gives thanks for all that is gone by,
Or sorrow borne, or pleasure past away;
Patience hopes good in all that is unseen,
The present feels, and suffers and submits:
Or if the sense of wrath-deserving guilt
Compel her to expect the judgment due,
She waits, as the consenting patient waits
The knife that is to part the canker'd limb.
Such is a Christian's patience tow'rds his God.
Patience tow'rds others is that holy calm


Page 69

That grows not warm at sight of others' wrong,
Too eager to correct what Heav'n permits.
She ventures not with a presuming hand
To pluck the ears from the unripen'd corn
That God has said must stand and grow together;
But, seeing evil, marks it with a frown,
Avoids its touch, and leaves the rest to Heaven.
If insincerity and trust betray'd
Have check'd the glow of artless confidence,--
If black ingratitude the service pay
Of generous and disinterested zeal, --
Patience exclaims not, with indignant haste,
Against the world, and all that habit it --
Shuns not their face with misanthropic hate,
Nor selfishly withdraws her from their claims;
But feeling, some small circumstance apart,
The nature that has wrong'd her is her own,
She wishes it were other than it is,
But as it is, she loves, and serves it still.
If jealous misconstruction watch her looks,


Page 70

Injustice sit in judgment on her deeds,
And falsehood be reporter of her words,
Not too much anxious to excuse herself,
Not eager to be thought for ever right,
Patience beholds the impotent attempt,
And smiles to think they never can detect
A thousandth part of all the guilt she feels.
When Patience sits upon the higher seat,
Without resentment she receives the shafts
That envious littleness, with erring aim,
Shoots upwards from its lowness, but to prove
Its own impatience of superior powers.
She sees in Jealousy's reflective glass
The value of the talent she enjoys,
And thence prepares her reckoning with her Lord.
Or if her seat be low, Patience feels not
Herself despis'd when others are esteem'd;
But, with an even and untroubled step,
Lowly, but not asham'd, pursues her way,--
Renders to all, without a jealous pang,


Page 71

The honour that she blushes not to want,--
And proves, all unpretending as she is,
She is too great to wish that she were greater.
But Patience, tow'rds each other and to God,
Leaves yet unperfected her harder task.
"Possess your souls in patience," were the words
Of One who better knew the human heart
Than he whose darken'd bosom it inhabits:
He knew that man, as proud as he is weak,
Abhors his weakness for his honour's sake,
Feeling less sorrowful that ill be done,
Than that himself must bear its obloquy.
For many a tear of seeming penitence
Has fallen disregarded of the Lord,
And many a cry of bitter self-reproach
Has been dispers'd before it reach'd to heav'n.
For the false tear was wrung from wounded pride--
And self-esteem, impatient of disgrace,
Breath'd the impetuous, unapprov'd confession.
But patience, such as pious bosoms feel,


Page 72

Is calm in contemplation of herself;
Sees with a sad, but not impassion'd eye,
The sin she hates because her Father hates it,
But bears, because her gracious Master bears.
If some besetting sin her bosom sear,
More sorry for the wrong it does her God
Than for the shame it brings upon herself,
More anxious that repentance be sincere,
Than wroth to have occasion to repent;
No high resolves of self-subduing force
Solace her pride with thought of generous effort;
She calmly lays it at her Maker's feet,
And cries, "O Lord, do thou perform the cure,
And let me pay the cost! -- and if it be
The utmost sum of all that I possess,
Yet spare it not-- take what I cannot give!"
No idle dreamer of perfection here,
Patience looks forward with intense delight,
But with submission, to that happier hour
When death shall purify the erring soul,


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And rid her of the guilt that wearies her.
She bears it as the culprit wears his chain,
The badge of infamy that marks his fall,
With calm, submissive penitence and shame;
Not as the maniac, impotently raging,
To burst the bonds he knows not why he wears.
Such is a Christian's patience. Would you ask
What may be his who dares not boast that name,
Whose sins are yet unpardon'd, unsubdued,
And unrepented?--I would answer, None!--
None to the wicked, none to the condemn'd.
Patience, the child of Heav'n, inhabits not
That seat of desolation and despair,
That earthly hell, an unregenerate bosom!
Some decent counterfeit, some self-command,
Some lordly passion, bow'd to interest,
Or prudent calculation of the gain,
May wear the semblance of the thing it is not;
But pure and holy Patience blossoms never,
Unless implanted by celestial grace!


Page 74

ON
PARTING FROM A FRIEND.

FAREWELL ! --and if for ever --what a doubt
Strikes through the soul at that tremendous thought!
'Tis not the world's for ever ; that will pass
Brief as the dew-drop on the morning grass.
And I shall lose thee, even as a dream
That flies before the day's unwelcome beam.
Such dreams as those that deck the weary night
With many a fairy phantom of delight--
Phantoms so true, so real while they stay--
We love not to exchange them for the day;
We feel that they are going, and we try
To hold them yet a moment ere they fly.


Page 75

'Tis but a dream--but yet a little on--
'Tis but a dream --we wake, and it is gone!
And we may sleep, and we may dream again,
But we would find the broken thread in vain.
So pass the joys of earth--and so, I deem,
The thread is broken of our friendship's dream.
And thou art gone!--and never more the tide
Of fate will cast us at each other's side.
But is this all? --There is a distant sphere
Where partings are not; shall I meet thee there?
The path is strait, the passengers are few:
You look'd, and did not like it, and withdrew.
Wilt thou forget it, and, though now refus'd,
Not once look back to see if it is clos'd?
Affection's anxious voice, to silence driven,
Suppress'd on earth, perhaps was heard in heaven;
For they whose adverse pleadings triumph here,
And gain'd their suit, forgot to plead it there,
Though truth's unwelcome whispers now be still'd,
Though life's exhausted chance be refill'd


Page 76

With yet another and another draught,
Each more insipid than the last you quaff'd,
'Twill ill suffice thee. There will come an hour
When life, exhausted, will supply no more;
And pleasure, urg'd, solicited in vain,
Refuse to fill the golden bowl again.
'Tis then, suspended between earth and heaven,
Disclaim'd both, the last, dead pause is given.
And there will come, amid the shadowy train
Of things that were, but cannot be again,
The thought of one fair spot on memory's waste,
Whose bright but slighted promise is not past;
One only flower, that, plac'd upon thy breast,
Would not have died and left thee like the rest.
And then, perhaps, thy spirit's lorn estate
Will faintly whisper, "Is it yet too late?"
"Is it too late?"--Ten thousand voices round
The vaults of heaven will repeat the sound.
Is it too late for mercy to forgive?
Too late for folly to repent and live?


Page 77

Oh grant it be not! May the Father hear
From his high throne the long-expected prayer!
That prayer at which his mercy has decreed
Love should prevail, and justice should recede;
The prayer for which his yearning pity waits
To draw the bar of heaven's eternal gates,
Before rejoicing angels to avow
The child he loves and pardons even now!


Page 78

WRITTEN IN TIME OF SICKNESS, ON HEARING IT
ASKED IF I WAS RESIGNED TO DIE.

                To live is Christ, and to die is gain.

RESlGN'D ! --I am resign'd, if Heaven so will,
To tread awhile the subterranean path
That leads me to my Father and my home--
To do his bidding until all be done
For which he cloth'd my spirit in its clay,
And bade my dust become a living soul.
I am resign'd, a little longer while
To watch the dawn, and wish that it were day;
To see the mists of error slowly wasting,
And the faint sun-beam struggling with the gloom!
"To live is Christ."--I am resign'd to live
Where Christ is with me, leads me by the hand,


Page 79

Follows my footsteps, sits beside my bed,
Bids the warm tear of grateful exultation
Wash every stain the tear of sorrow leaves,
And makes e'en evil seem so like to good,
I scarce may call it by another name.
I hope I am resign'd--the harder task--
To bear the plague of a rebellious heart;
To bear to wrong the Being I adore;
To love, and yet forget him; to desire
His presence more than all the things of earth,
And yet neglect and lose it for their sake;
To seek for holiness, and find but sin;
To war against myself; and long to be,
Yet feel I am not, what my Father bids.
"To die is gain."--Am I resign'd to die?--
The husbandman goes gaily to his toil,
Sings o'er his task, nor heeds the midday sun;--
But 'tis not resignation that he feels
When the late twilight calls him to enjoy
The rest he thought of as he toil'd by day.


Page 80

Ask him who comes from exile on the strand
Of some remote but not unfriendly shore,
Where gentle hospitality, perhaps,
Lighten'd his banishment, and sped his hours;
He will not tell you that he feels resign'd,
When bidden back to find the home he loves.
If far and long on the Atlantic wave
The bold adventurer securely rides,
Weathers uninjur'd many a stormy night,
And grateful smiles in many a cloudless day, --
Some too on board, companions of his toil,
Whom elsewhere he might deem it hard to leave--
With his far-gotten treasure all on board,--
Safe and triumphant as he hails the port,
Does he feel nothing but resign'd to greet
His kindred and his country once again?
It is not so. That cannot be the word
That speaks a Christian's feeling, when she hears
The distant sound of her Redeemer's tread,
Hasting to fetch her to his Father's arms,--


Page 81

When the first beam from heav'n's unclosing gates
Falls on her path, to light her to her God,
And angel voices vibrate on her ear,
Preparing songs to greet her coming there!


Page 82

THE CALM.

NOT a sound wak'd the air, not a leaf was in motion;
As a mirror of glass was the bosom of ocean;
The vessel slid carelessly over the wave,--
No cares for the timid, no toil for the brave.
I listen'd-- but not a faint murmur arose,--
The rocks and the waters no longer were foes;
They met unresisting, and stilly embrac'd;
It seem'd that the struggle of nature had ceas'd;
While the light pebble slumber'd unmov'd on the shore,
And the slow-coming tide crept insensibly o'er.


Page 83

I thought ne'er was sunshine so brilliant, so gay,
As the beam that embellish'd the landscape that day.
And yet I beheld, where the vessel was mooring,
The seaman was busied his light bark securing.
I wonder'd to see, but they told me, e'en now
They perceiv'd where the storm was preparing to blow;
That a calm so continued, so silent, so still,
Was an omen of danger, a presage of ill;
For 'tis thus that the south-winds their forces convene,
In fury to burst on this beautiful scene.
I sigh'd as they spake--but the lesson was learn'd;
They prepared for the dangers their wisdom discern'd;
They mistrusted the sunshine, they doubted the calm,--
In the fairest of seasons they thought of the storm.
But I -- I forgot when the danger was past,
How hard was the struggle, how bitter the blast.


Page 84

I thought that my bosom no more would be rent
By the ills that had wasted, the cares that were spent.
While a beam of tranquillity lighten'd my breast,
While each wish was subdu'd, and each passion at rest,
I believ'd that the trials of earth were expended,
That the struggles of feeling for ever were ended,
And my bark would glide peaceably over the wave,
Till at anchor for ever, it rest in the grave!
And is it then so?--Am I destin'd to learn
That the calm is portentous of danger's return?
O Lord, let my spirit be refug'd in thee,
Ere the coming of dangers thou bidst me foresee.
Ah! let me not trust this delusive repose:
Too blithely, too bravely my spirit arose;
And leaving the shelter to which it had flown,
Was renouncing thy strength to rely on its own.


Page 85

TO
A FRIEND,
ON TAKING LEAVE OF OARE.

LET us loiter awhile on this beautiful hill,--
    The last time, perhaps, we shall meet on its brow;
The days that so often have pass'd and return'd,
    Returning no longer, escape from us now.

Let them go!--Could we stay them, by social delight,
    By friendship enliven'd, endear'd as they are,
They were like to the pleasures a pilgrim enjoys,
    When his hopes and the home that he loves are afar.


Page 86

Let them go! -- there are fairer and better to come;
    Each joy seems to whisper, in passing away,
"We haste but to bear thee to purer delights,--
    Our speed is thy blessing--why bid us delay?"

We sigh when the spring flower falls from the bough,
    And regret that such beauty so quickly should fly;
But forget that the summer fruit could not be ours,
    Did the blossom that bears it not wither and die.

But of days that are passing shall nothing be found
To bring them to mind when they come not again?
Of the joys we have tasted shall nothing be left,
But a painful remembrance that once they have been?

Not so--we have sat at a banquet whose board
    Of all that it offers leaves something in store;
We have tasted a cup whence the nectarine draught
    Is sweet on the lip when we drink it no more.


Page 87

The friendship that lightens our heavenward course
    Is a treasure the richest that Fortune has giv'n;
But the sweetest affection our bosom can know
    Is that which is seal'd with the blessing of Heav'n.

And such be the blessing that rests on our love,
    When the lips that have ask'd it no more can unite;
So the scene where our hearts were devoted to God
    Shall be fresh on the conscience when pass'd from the sight:

And the thought of to-day shall rebuke ev'ry tear,
    And bid ev'ry wish of impatience be still;
And each heart shall be pledg'd to the other, to know
    No hope but his mercy, no choice but his will!


Page 88

ON BEING ASKED THE NECESSITY OF PRAYER TO
THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE IMMUTABILITY OF
THE DIVINE DECREES.

YOU ask me why I bend the knee
    In attitude of prayer,
If I believe myself ordain'd
    Eternal glory's heir?

List, and I'll tell thee.--What am I?--
    A child of sin and sorrow,
Produc'd without my will to-day,
    And doom'd to die to-morrow.


Page 89

And I am born, as others are,
    The willing slave of sin;
Lur'd by a treacherous world without,
    Betray'd by guilt within.

And if in Scripture's hallow'd page
    I read of pard'ning love,
And mercy for the ransom'd saints,
    Whose names are written above;

And if upon the sacred palm
    Of the Redeemer's hand,
'Mid saints and holy martyrs rang'd,
    My name engraven stand;

I have not seen it written there,
    Nor read in deeds of heaven
My title to partake the bliss
    For which his blood was given.


Page 90

And though of all the Father gave
    The Saviour loses none,
I cannot search the heav'nly roll
    To learn if I am one.

No earthly mirror can reflect
    The seal upon my brow;
And in my soul's corrupted soil
    No fruits of merit grow.

But I have read, and read it there
    Where falsehood never spake,
That they who come in lowly guise
    To ask for Jesus' sake;

And they who bring a heart with guilt
    And deep contrition sear'd,
With knee and spirit bending low,
    To wait till they be heard;


Page 91

Sure I have read that these are they,
    And others are there none,
For whom their Saviour and their God
    The palm of glory won.

And these are they the Father chose
    With fond and partial love;
For whom salvation is proclaim'd
    By angel hosts above.

And shall I, then, despise the mark
    That proves me heir of bliss?
I know me his, because I pray,
    And pray because I'm his.

And there was one on earth, I ween,
    Had little need to pray;
And all that was, was his to give,--
    Lord of a boundless sway.


Page 92

He pray'd not with intent to change
    His Father's high decree;
Nor had he need to ask in prayer
    The thing he meant should be.

Yet Jesus pray'd--and earth receiv'd
    Her Maker's bended knee;
Gethsemane resounds the cry,
    The groan of agony!

First tell me why a suppliant's breath
    Pour'd from a spirit divine;
And I will tell thee why I ask
    A bliss I trust is mine.

My humbled spirit is content
    To know that I am bid;
Nor dares to ask why I should need
    To do what Jesus did.


Page 93

And whilst I rest in tranquil hope
    To share my Saviour's bliss,
Know that if e'er I cease to pray,
    I'll cease to think me his.


Page 94

FROM THE
THIRTY-SIXTH CHAPTER OF EZEKIEL.

STAY , Gentile, stay thy sacrilegious hand!
Pass not thy furrows o'er my cherish'd land.
Think you I heeded not to hear you swell
The shout of triumph, when my people fell?
When I had left them, helpless and forlorn,
The Heathen's wonder, and the Gentile's scorn,
Was 't little that your words profan'd my name,
And mock'd the Father for his children's shame?
Was 't little that ye crush'd my bruised reed,
And rais'd your triumphs on my people's need!
It was my cherish'd one--my eldest birth--
The vine I planted on a desert earth--


Page 95

The spot where I delighted to abide,
Disown'd, disclaim'd, on all the earth beside.
The vine I planted wither'd to the root,
Belied its promise, and produc'd no fruit.
The spot that I delighted in was stain'd
With lawless blood, with idol rites profan'd.
My child -- my cherished one--my best belov'd,--
Unwon by kindness, and by wrath unmov'd,
Wearied to listen to a Father's word,
Preferr'd the service of a baser lord.
Have I forgotten them? Feel I no more
One pitying thought of what I lov'd before?
I will repent me of the wrath I spake;
And save my people, for my glory's sake.
I see them, where they wander from my fold;
The world has wrong'd them.--Let the world behold!
And far as day's meridian splendours shine,
Astonish'd know this scatter'd flock is mine!
Mine, though on earth despis'd and disesteem'd--
Mine that I chose me--mine that I redeem'd.


Page 96

I will return to thee, poor banish'd one;
Surely thy dole of bitterness is done!
I'll plant thy deserts with the blushing rose,
And scatter harvests where the wormwood grows.
I'll chase the proud oppressor from thy home,
And bid the stranger give my people room.
And then, when Israel shall behold again
A Father's smile, expected long in vain,
The blush of shame shall deepen on his cheek;
The neck shall bow, the stubborn heart shall break
And mercy triumphing where terrors fail,
A Father's fond caresses shall prevail.
Through distant worlds the warning voice is heard--
"These are mine own, and I will be their Lord!"


Page 97

REFLECTIONS ON THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR, DEC.
31, 1821; BEING ALSO MY BIRTH-DAY.

'TIS past--and the recording angel bears
To Heaven the record of another year--
Another year of nature's and of mine!
Nature has known no change.-- The spring has bloom'd,
The autumn has fulfill'd the summer's promise,
And winter's mantle wraps her in repose.
Nature has known no wrong.--The simple flower
Liv'd but to do the purpose of its being,
And, uncorrupted; died when it was done.
The summer-fly has play'd its little hour,
Grateful, perhaps, and surely innocent.
The very dust we tread upon has been


Page 98

All that its God ordain'd it--all he wish'd it.
Omniscient Lord! If wonder be in heaven,
Angels indeed will wonder, when they hear
That while all nature has fulfill'd thy law,
I, who have call'd thee Father--I have broke it.
Worse than the most despised thing of earth--
Worse than the very dust of which thou mad'st me;
They do thy will, but I have done my own.
My soul misgives me as I backward trace
The year that even now gone its way,
To witness of the things that it has seen.
By sin unstain'd, and by the world unshar'd?
Which are the hours--speak, Conscience! for thou knowest--
That no impetuous, no respectful thought,
No proud contempt, no haughty self-esteem,
No bold impatience against Heaven's decree,
No restless wish for what my God denies,
No selfishness, no vanity has stain'd?


Page 99

Where shall I date the deed that can disown
All other motive but my Maker's will?
Alas! I cannot find them! Lord, thou knowest
Why I have still forsaken what I love,
And madly have pursued the thing I hate:
Judge if I hate it! Thou hast seen the tear
That fell when every eye but thine was clos'd;
Thou hast beheld the blush suffuse my cheeks
At thought of sins which only thou hadst known!
And, thou hast mark'd when sleep forsook my pillow,
Scar'd by the recollection of the wrong
That had been offer'd to my Saviour's name.
Judge if I hate it! Yes, the year has clos'd,
And if the sum of all it can bequeath
Be sense of sin on every deed on mine,
How sweet a record does it leave of thee!
How often, when my vacillating foot
Has rashly trod the path of sin too near,
Some quick reproof, unknown to those who gave it,
Has timely whisper'd, "And canst thou do this?"


Page 100

How often, when, forgetful of the past,
Guilty mistrust, and sullen discontent,
Have mark'd their sable shadows on my brow,
Has some sweet pledge and earnest of thy love--
Some flower unwonted blooming on my path--
E'en as a father wooes a captious child,
Recall'd the smile of grateful exultation!
And often when my lips could frame no prayer,
Thou hast said, "Fear not, Jesus pleads for thee!"
And when the bitterness of conscious guilt
Urg'd my impatient spirit to despair,
How many times redeeming love has spoken,
"Is it beyond the price that I have paid?"
Yes, I remember, when the swelling bosom
Told that the pang it suffer'd was too much,
How sweet a voice celestial spake within me,
"Didst thou not say, e'en now, Thy will be done?
"This is my will.--Wouldst thou not have it so?"
And I could date the hour when friends withdrew,
Malice was pleas'd; and they whom I had lov'd


Page 101

Fix'd on my name the stigma of reproach;
And tell how sweetly thou couldst make me feel
The wrong was thine, and I but too much honour'd
In that thou suffer'dst me to share it with thee.
Thy love was tender, when my own was cold--
Thou couldst remember, e'en when I forgot;
When I provok'd thee, thou forbar'st to punish;
When I forsook thee, thou upheld'st me still;
When I denied thee, thou didst own me thine.
Bear off the record--bear it e'en to heaven!
I am content to blush while it is read;
Since he who reads will blot it with his tears;
And they who hear, with feeling voice will utter
Shame upon me, but glory to my God!


Page 102

HUMILITY.

"HUMILITY ," said Lena, as she drew
A well-worn glove upon her sun-burnt hand,
"Is the best ornament a Christian knows.
"I think not well of one whose ready speech
"Can talk of self-abasement, and the need
"She hourly feels of pardon from above,
"Yet is array'd in all the pride of life,
"Studies the body's ease, the graceful mien,
"And all the luxuries of refining taste.
"I judge our piety is better shown
"By self-denying lowliness of mind;
"By abstinence from all the joys of sense,
"And disregard of what the world esteems."


Page 103

And whilst she spoke, the look of harsh reproof
Was follow'd by a self-complacent smile;
As her eye fell upon the homely garb
And ill-adjusted ornaments she wore.

    Serena, gifted with a milder mood,
Not prone to censure, diffident and meek,
In gentle accents urg'd the favourite theme.
"I envy not the beauty's flatter'd form,
"And all the attractions of exterior grace,
"If I must with them take the pride of heart,
"The vanity that follows where they are;
"For sure I am that lowliness of mind,
"Self-disesteem, and meek humility,
"Are ornaments more lovely far than they:
"And while I feel these better gifts are mine,
"I covet not what others prize so much."

    And here Lucinda gently clos'd the book
That she had tried in vain to understand--


Page 104

And "Surely it is strange," she said, "that some,
"Professing to renounce this passing world,
"Should be at so much pains to store their mind
"With varied knowledge and mere human lore
"The strait, still path that leads us to our God,
"Is all a humble Christian needs to know;
"And this, if I mistake not, best is learn'd,
"And best pursued, by one who knows no more.
"Not in the warmth of intellectual fire,
"The elevation of the letter'd mind,
"Or the gay flights of genius and of taste,
"Should I expect that meek humility
"JESUS , our lowly Master, bade us learn.
"Humility may rather dwell with us,
"Who, in a sphere of simple usefulness,
"Can better serve and glorify our God,
"Than they whom learning lifts so much above us."

    There was a fourth.-- I marvel what she thought,
For she said nothing -- yet she felt, perhaps.


Page 105

It may be she had lov'd the world too well,
Had too refin'd and delicate a taste;
And while she felt the grace of God within,
Had cause to mourn her yet unconquer'd pride.
Perhaps she lov'd too well the letter'd page,
The force of intellect, and the mental fire;
Was fond to see the holy cause she lov'd
Adorn'd with all that learning can impart,
And thought too meanly of the homely garb
That simple poverty so often wears,
Or if of beauty she had something known,
She might remember when her folly priz'd
Above its worth the transitory good.
'Tis certain, that the rising blush betray'd,
Her self-convicted bosom could not boast
The virtue each had challeng'd as her own.

    I heard no more, nor know what pass'd within--
I may not judge whose heart was proudest there,
He to whose eyes all bosoms are unbarr'd


Page 106

Might judge that she who blush'd that she was proud,
Was humbler yet than they who knew it not.
I cannot tell -- but when they parted thence
To meet their God that night in secret prayer,
I think I know who breath'd the deepest groan,
Who sunk the lowest at her Maker's feet,
And with most tears of bitter penitence
Besought an interest in her Saviour's blood.

    Humility! the sweetest, loveliest flower
That bloom'd in Paradise, and the first that died,
Has rarely blossom'd since on mortal soil.
It is so frail, so delicate a thing,
'Tis gone if it but look upon itself;
And she who ventures to esteem it hers,
Proves by that single thought she has it not.


Page 107

TO
A FRIEND.

BEHOLD you the beam
    On yonder tide,
As it gently plays
    On the vessel's side?
The white sails are spread,
    And the anchor heaves,
And the mariner looks
    Towards the home he leaves.

Now swiftly she flies
    Through the evening gale,
And the bright moon-beam
    Is on her sail;


Page 108

Like some tall spectre,
    Unstable and light,
She silently steals
    Through the shadows of night.

And they are gone
    To some distant sphere;
But the bright moon-beam
    Will still be there,
To light their steps
    On a foreign shore,
While it shines on the home
    They must see no more.

So the self-same beam
    Of celestial light
Shall gild the shades
    Of our distant night;


Page 109

And our spirits shall meet,
    When forbidden here,
Above yon pale moon's
    Silvery sphere.

There our hearts, asunder
    So harshly riven,
Shall unite their prayers
    Ere they reach to heaven;
And a beam from mercy's
    Exhaustless store
Be bright on us both
    When we meet no more.


Page 110

THE
HARP OF JUDAH.

FOR whom is the harp of Judah strung,
That silent erst on the willows hung?
Whence are the stranger sounds that crept
O'er the tuneful chords that so long have slept?

Methinks 'twas a sound that the breezes bore,
On joyful wings, from a distant shore;
And the harp of Judah gently rings,
As the whisper creeps o'er the slumbering strings.

'Twas the voice of pity, that asks a tear
For the mournful weeds her children wear;
That asks of Compassion's hand to wrest
The poignant thorn from Israel's breast.


Page 111

It tells of a faint and feeble light,
That breaks on the captive's weary night;
The dawn of a glorious day to come,
When Mercy shall lead the wanderer home.

Ah! far may the voice be whisper'd round,
Till each heart be glad at the joyful sound;
And many a bosom learn to feel
An anxious throb for Israel's weal!

And many a lip be taught to share,
With holy warmth, the expectant prayer;
The prayer that He, whose prophetic eye
Once softly wept o'er her ruin nigh,

By the voice of imploring nations mov'd,
May smile again on the land he lov'd;
And wipe from her brow the spot of shame,
Replac'd by the seal of her Saviour's name!


Page 112

NIGHT.

STILL as I watch'd the evening close,
In azure blue the pale moon rose;
No sullen mist obscur'd her ray,
Nor e'en a light cloud cross'd her way.
I smil'd a welcome to the beam
First playing on the silver stream,
And vainly thought to watch her light,
Still kindling on the darkening night.
At first 'twas but a breadthless seam,
A sable streak, that cross'd her beam;
But now it thickens fast--and now
It closes on her pallid brow;
And still by moments she appears,
A bright smile kindling through her tears.


Page 113

Another and another ray
Fell faintly ere she pass'd away.
I watch'd the clouds fast fleeting o'er,
But watch'd in vain--she came no more.
Ah! would 'twere this the only light
That closes in unbroken night!
The only hope that scarce may last
Till the smile that welcom'd it be past!
But 'tis even so life's early dream,
Fair rising with unclouded beam,
With promise bright of blissful years,
Must briefly quench that beam in tears.
At first 'tis but a passing fear,
That makes returning hope more dear;
But the shades of sorrow gather thick,
And the spirit faints, and the heart is sick;--
We look that some hope should pierce the gloom,
But the faithless moon-beam does not come!
And we must wait till a surer light
Dispel the shades of our bosom's night.


Page 114

ON
PARTING FROM A FRIEND,
UNDER PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

SAY , can they part us, Love, whose hard decree
Forbids my heart to breathe one thought to thee?
Will chilling absence leave affection cold,
No longer cherish'd when no longer told--
And time's swift footsteps, as they onward move,
Wear out the sacred impress of our love?
Day after day, month after month will close,
And none will whisper of the friend we lose;
The form that memory paints will disappear,
And e'en the name grow strange upon the ear.


Page 115

But can they part us? No, my Friend belov'd!
Chosen in sunshine, has in darkness prov'd!
They cannot part us.-- There will be an hour
When time and distance must forego their power;
Those blissful moments when our spirits stray
Beyond this cold world's transitory sway;
When life's low interests to oblivion fall,
When earth is nothing, and when heav'n is all!
'Tis then our spirits, now to distance driv'n,
United midway betwixt earth and heav'n,
Mov'd by one impulse, kindled by one flame,
The same our feelings, and our hopes the same;
Unmindful of the space that time has run,
Mingled in prayer, shall feel that we are one.
They cannot part us, while our footsteps tread
One path to glory, by one spirit led.
But should it be! -- Yet I forbear the thought;
Thy heart divines it, though I speak it not.
Then we indeed were parted, and our feet
Must traverse paths that would not, could not meet.


Page 116

Attun'd to other hopes, no thought of mine
Could meet in heav'n a kindred thought of thine;
And when I urg'd my lowly suit for thee,
No prayer of thine would echo back the plea.
The tie that time and distance parted never,
Hopes disunited might dissolve for ever!

THE END. London:
Printed by James Moyes, Greville Street.