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June 26, 2007
"This is my comfort in my affliction; for Thy Word hath quickened me."
To those who are strangers to the Author of this small volume, and more especially to the many honourable and highly respected friends who have so handsomely countenanced it, not only by their own very liberal subscriptions, but by their personal exertions within their respective circles, it appears necessary that some account of her should be given.
Being from her infancy of a delicate constitution, she was brought up, by her affectionate and pious parents, with the most unremitted tenderness, and—as may be truly said—"in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Her parents' rank in life might be described as having been sufficiently respectable; as far removed from the ease of affluence as from the anxiety of dependence; but in the course of time, the accumulating ex-
The Subject of this brief memoir, after having spent at a seminary of the first respectability in a neighbouring town, those years of early youth which are commonly devoted to the acquirement of such knowledge as may be necessary to the passing through life with usefulness and honour, returned to her native village, in ESSEX; and there consecrated both her time and her talents to the education of female children.
The village school of a near Relative became the scene of her gratuitous services; and the rapid improvement of her Pupils afforded the most honourable testimony to her unwearied exertions, so disinterestedly
shewn, even at the expense of her own health; so that the device of a celebrated Divine of the sixteenth century, which she often used to admire, (a wasting lamp, with the motto, "I perish in giving light''*
In the Spring of 1806, when the Author had just completed her nineteenth year, her health was much impaired by her unwearied attention to the objects of her charge; which obliged her to relinquish the honourable employment in which she had been so cordially and so successfully engaged; and, in the November following, she was constrained to withdraw herself entirely from the world, through the severity of those afflictions under which she has laboured, with very little intermission, ever since.
In the history of her sufferings, it may with propriety be noticed, that in one sickness she has been confined to her chamber and to her bed for three years successively. More than once she has been brought to the very borders of the grave; and, as being (in her own apprehension) at the very point to die, has taken a most affecting farewell of her surrounding friends. In one or two instances, in particular, it was thought that her spirit had actually left the body, as not the smallest symptom of animation had been visi-
Hardly recovered from the severity of these disorders, she has, in the course of the last six or seven years, been called to endure the accumulated sufferings attendant on three attacks of the Palsy; with the last of which she was seized December 7, 1819, during a visit to a friend in KENT; where she had been spending a few weeks, in expectation of benefit from the change of air. This last attack, by far the most severe of the three, entirely deprived her of the use of her right side, and of her speech, and greatly impaired the energies of her mind. No hope of life was entertained for several days, neither was she able to speak for many weeks subsequent
Of the Author's productions, it must be observed, that while they meet the eye of the public as the earnest suppliants of its Charity, they solicit, with no less importunity, the exercise of its Candour also.
The subject of them is, undoubtedly, the most important that ever claimed the attention of mankind: the efficacy of the Word of GOD "to comfort all that mourn," under all sorrows and adversities to which Sin has exposed the human race! A more striking proof of which cannot be exhibited to our view, than what was to be seen in that spiritual consolation, that heavenly calm of soul, which the Author has long enjoyed, and still lives to enjoy, in all her trials, from this Word only; whilst, with this earnest in hand, she is waiting for the full possession of that Kingdom and Glory, to which she is assured by that very Word that God hath called her, of His own mere Mercy, through the mediation of His Son JESUS CHRIST.
The humble and unadorned style in which these few short Poems (and some of them but mere Fragments) are written, it is hoped, will not offend the taste of humane readers, who will be prepared to make every allowance for any defects or inaccuracies that may be found in them, when they shall be informed, that they were written, for the most part, either in great pain of body, or during those few short intervals of comparative ease, when the violence of her disorder might have been somewhat abated. It were also some apology for the unfinished state in which many of them may appear, that it was not without the earnest solicitation of her friends, (who thought that it might afford a grateful, and not unsalutary diversion to her mind,) that she was often induced to take up her pen so to rescue from sadness and sorrow, some few of those many solitary hours, which it was the will of GOD she should spend in the chamber of affliction. Many of these little pieces were traced in pencil, upon the envelopes of letters, the blank leaves of books, or upon any scrap of paper that presented itself, when the Author was able, and felt disposed, to write.
They have at length been collected, and are now published in this small volume, in the hope that, by the blessing of GOD, and the kind compassions of the friends of the afflicted, the sale of them may minister, in some degree, to the temporal comforts of the severely afflicted Author, and of her pious, aged, and widowed mother, with whom she resides.
The order of time, as to the dates that are affixed to most of the poems, has been noticed, for this among other reasons, that a key might be afforded the reader, should any of the Author's very evangelical prose productions be published at some future period; which will depend, in a great measure, upon the reception that may be given to the present specimen.
The Editor thinks it proper to add, that it is not more from a personal knowledge of the Author and her family, or from the sympathy which their present condition could not but excite in him, that he has taken such an interest in the publication of these poems, than from the Subject itself on which they are written; and having himself some little acquaintance with the important truths
"Live when this world's inwrapt in flaming fire,
And all its transient glory's pass'd away!"
Dec. 7, 1820.
"Meum desiderium crucifixum est."
My Love is crucified.
"Prodigious pile of wonders! rais'd too high
For the dim ken of frail mortality."
ALAS! what gloomy fears oppress,
What tempests shake this lab'ring mind!
Where, from such scenes of deep distress,
Can guilty souls a refuge find?
JESUS! I'll shelter in thy side:—
My Lord, my Love, was crucified!
Heard ye that deep, expiring groan?
Saw ye my Saviour bow His head?
Died He for sins Himself had done?
Ah no! He suffer'd in my stead!
"'Tis finish'd!" the Redeemer cried,—
My Lord, my Love, was crucified!
Ah! view that mild, majestic brow,
Encompass'd with a thorny wreath!
See! see the purple torrent flow!
His form, how lovely, ev'n in death!
Saw ye that pierc'd, that bleeding side?
My Lord, my Love, was crucified!
O love unparallel'd! extreme!
That GOD'S own SON His life should give!
From His own veins forth flows the stream
That bids the dying sinner live!
Well may I cast my fears aside—
My Lord, my Love, was crucified!
Come, then, my soul! no more complain,
Forget thy sorrows and proceed;
Thou shalt with Jesus live and reign,
For he is ris'n—"is ris'n indeed!"
No pow'r from Him shall e'er divide—
Thy LORD, thy LOVE, is GLORIFIED!
Feb. 14, 1813.
"Lord, remember me, now thou art in thy kingdom."
"O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me, saith JEHOVAH."
IN midst of sorrows, doubts, and fears,
Of lamentations, sighs, and tears,
When no bright beam of hope appears,
Dear Lord, "Remember me!"
I hear the winds careering wild,
The inward storm is not more mild;
Dost thou not listen to thy child,
Who cries, "Remember me?"
Methinks, enthron'd above the skies,
My Saviour knows what trials rise
My feeble mind to exercise,
And will "remember me."
Yes, though at distance from my home,
And like a wand'ring sheep I roam,
"I come," my shepherd says, "I come,"
"For I remember thee."
"I ne'er forget the blood I shed,
"The wrath I suffer'd in thy stead;
"And since I rais'd thee from the dead,
"I still remember thee."
"Though through a howling wilderness
"Thy path-way lies, yet onward press;
"I'll succour thee in thy distress,
"For I remember thee."
"Fear not the troubles of the way;
"The darkest shades shall yield to day;
"Still shalt thou hear thy Saviour say,
"I will remember thee."
Satan may whisper, "Thou art lost!"
My fairest schemes may all be cross'd;
Yet still the promise stands indors'd,
"I will remember thee!"
Trials unheard-of may attend
To wrest my soul from Christ her Friend,
But hark! those words the dungeon rend,
"I will remember thee!"
Oh! how His smiles my spirits cheer!
Methinks I see Him ev'ry where;
Methinks, in ev'ry breeze, I hear,
"I WILL REMEMBER THEE!"
Feb. 13, 1813.
"Why seek ye the living among the dead?"
"Thus saith JEHOVAH, Seek ye ME, and ye shall live."
PRESS'D to the earth with long-continu'd ills,
None but my God can know the pains I feel;
And none but He those mental suff'rings heal
For which the sigh breaks forth, the trembling tear distills.
Oft have I sought by Reason to assuage,
These keen sensations that distress my mind;
Alas! in vain; still would the tempest rage,
Nor could I from my woes a refuge find.
Foil'd here, I seek for comfort from the Few,
The friendly few whose converse used to cheer;
Glad would they give, if they the cordial knew;
Theirs is the glow of love, in heart sincere.
Still unreliev'd, to Solitude again
Mourning I turn, and trace the Poet's page;
And, not unfrequent, take the fav'rite Pen,
Using all arts my sorrows to assuage.
But ah! the aim is fruitless. Grief and pain
By solemn touch of Music oft have fled;
But music's solemn touch will not succeed,
To chase the troubled thoughts that in this breast remain!
Methinks I hear a busy Trifler say,
"Why seek in solitude thy mind to calm?
"Rather, with us, come, tread the flow'ry way,
"And prove the truth that 'novelty can charm?'
"Ah! come and gather roses while they bloom!
"Our gay society will soon dispel
"That dark, that mournful, melancholy gloom—
"Come, join our happy circle, and be well!"
And is the grand specific really yours?
I like the purchase, but the price is high!
Too high, if but the present it secures,
And leaves the future in uncertainty.
I cannot, dare not, join your merry train,
And for repentance lay up bitter store;
Alas! I've found those joys all end in pain—
No: I will trust their specious front no more.
Where shall the weary find a resting-place?
Whither, O whither shall the exile roam?
Banish'd thine earthly courts, O God of grace!
My mourning spirit asks a heav'nly home.
Oh! in that world, where my best hopes reside,
Where He, my glorious Head, sits high enthron'd;
Soon may this faith, now in the furnace tried,
Find, not for nought He suffer'd and He groan'd.
O blest Religion! If such joy as this,
From thy pure fount can flow, the mind to cheer,
Thine is the cordial—thine the cup of bliss;
And thine the only antidote to fear.
Then, though each ling'ring year, receding, leaves
My health still varying, and my faith still tried,
Firm shall my soul in Jesus' love confide,—
And banish'd be the sigh which now my bosom heaves!
May 5, 1812.
"Religion! thou soul of happiness,
And, groaning Calvary, of thee."
"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom."
I LONG to find my narrow bed,
To slumber with the peaceful dead;
Then, though the storms around me rave,
And wintry winds howl o'er my grave,
I shall securely rest;
Free from the tempter's mighty pow'r,
The foe who studies to devour,
The way-laid snare, th' insidious smile,
The fiery dart, the subtle wile,
Nor longer be distrest!
Alas! each step I take, I see.
That all on earth is vanity—
A bubble on the stream:
Then why should I desire to dwell
'Midst scenes so very changeable?
Life's a mere flitting dream!
Did mortals e'er below the skies,
Find HAPPINESS, that solid prize,
That treasure, worth pursuit?
Methinks I see the sinking brow,
The pensive feature, answer, "No!"
For sin lies at the root.
The rich, the giddy, and the gay,
Dance thro' life's little, fleeting day,
And fondly hope to find
In Dissipation's varied road,
'Mid mirth and splendour, her abode;
Nought else attracts their mind.
Yet, no! such follies will not do;
In vain the multitude pursue—
The beauteous phantom flies:
They follow still the devious way,
Not knowing that it leads astray,
Though oft a doubt will rise.
Many there be who fondly dream,
In quiet, (opposite extreme)
They shall the Ruby gain;
Books, literary pleasures, choose—
The grove, the garden, or the muse,
In vale, or hill—in vain!
For ah! Experience can attest,
'Tis not the sad recluse's breast
That forms her blissful seat;
The mind must soar to nobler heights,
The muse must take sublimer flights,
Ere happiness they meet.
WISDOM! for that's thy name—thy home
Is not in paths where mortals roam;
Thy dwelling is on high!
Far off, and dimly I behold
(Star-pav'd thy throne of purest gold)
Thee, seated radiantly.
I view—and while I view, I long
To be thy favour'd sons among;
Thy sons—the SONS of GOD!
To find that bliss, on earth denied,
That rest, for which in vain I've sigh'd,
In this any dark abode.
Who are the happy? Only they
Who, in the consecrated way,
Have walk'd by light divine;
Who, by almighty grace, have striv'n
With three-fold foes;—to whom 'twas giv'n
As stars on earth to shine.
O! may my lot with them be found
When the last awful trump shall sound,
And CHRIST descend again;
Then, far beyond temptation's reach,
My new-fledg'd pinions shall I stretch,
And happiness obtain!
Sept. 16, 1813.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray."
WHERE shall the poor afflicted pilgrim find
A balm to soothe the anguish of her mind?
Where shall my long-tried spirit seek repose,
From all the tossings that this bosom knows?
I look within—alas! the search is vain;
For all within is darkness, sin, and pain.
Ah! whither must I fly? The wound is deep,
And still I wake to sigh, and live to weep!
Is there no comfort for the mourner's care?
And must I sink in anguish and despair?
In vain for ease I turn to aught below—
My dearest friends would help, but know not how.
To thee I look, my Father and my God,
While smarting under thine afflicting rod,
And while I seek the rest Thou hast to give,
Look Thou on me, and whisper, "Sinner, live!"
'Tis no mean beauty of the ground
That has allur'd my eyes,
I faint beneath a nobler wound
Nor love below the skies."
O when wilt Thou comfort me?
RETURN, return, ye blissful hours,
Ye animating days!
On memory exert your pow'rs
And tune my heart to praise!
Come, Lord! and cheer my lonely room,
And teach my mind to rise
Above this spirit-sinking gloom,
To mansions in the skies.
Spread a sweet influence o'er my heart,
And dissipate my fears;
Thy renovating balm impart,
And stop these flowing tears.
When Jesus hides his smiling face,
My comforts all are flown:
O for the visits of His grace!
Those visits I have known.
Cheer up, my soul! nor doubt his love,
Nor lay thy hopes aside;
He still will thy Deliv'rer prove,
And make thy grief subside.
Then shall those days once more return,
And rest and peace be thine;
Then shalt thou cease to sigh and mourn,
And taste of bliss divine!
AFFLICTED, tempted, tried, and poor,
I seek a shelter from the storm;
I knock at willing Mercy's door,
And ask for refuge for—a worm!
The rest I seek is freely giv'n,
In Jesus' bosom there is room;
And where HE is it must be heav'n,
And "whosoever will" may come.
Diseased, blind, deaf, lame, or faint,
Jesus receiv'd and made them whole;
And gave relief to each complaint
Of ev'ry burden'd, sin-sick soul.
Come, then, and try the Saviour's pow'r
To ope thine eyes, and heal thy mind;
Weary or guilty, come, this hour,
And thou the promis'd rest shalt find.
April 10, 1809.
"Be still, and know that I am GOD."
"O be my will so swallowed up in THINE,
"That I may do THY will in doing mine."
WORN down with sickness, and by grief deprest,
Through faith I clasp my Saviour to my breast,
And call Him mine; He'll not refuse the claim,
But suffer me to bear His precious name.
Come, then, whatever grief, or pain, or gloom,
Since He is mine, I have in heav'n a home.
On him relying, I can boldly say,
"Give me THYSELF, take what thou wilt away!"
My health, my ease, for this dear Saviour's sake,
A trifling sacrifice, I gladly make;
And, through His grace, content with His decrees,
I patiently submit my will to HIS.
June 19, 1810.
"He is faithful that promised."
ABOVE, beneath, on either side,
Dark did the tempest roll,
And no sweet promise was applied
To ease my anguish'd soul.
I look'd for comfort from above,
Amidst the dreadful storm;
And sought the Saviour whom I love,
A wonder to perform;
But ah! my sufferings increas'd,
I thought I must despair;
I fear'd His love for me had ceas'd,
That He refus'd my pray'r:
Yet could any heart, like one of old,
Oppress'd with anguish, say,
Though He me slay, I'll keep my hold,
Nor cease on Him to stay.
Mine is a God who does not love
His children's griefs to view;
Though He delights His grace to prove,
Ere He His mercy shew.
He wounded in the tend'rest part,
To make me feel my need;
Then pour'd the balm into my heart,
And prov'd a Friend indeed.
This is the God in whom I trust!
This is the God I fear!
And when His summons wakes the just,
I shall with them appear.
GOD is my Father, CHRIST my Friend,
The HOLY SPIRIT mine;
Through life, in death, and to the end,
I'll sing of Love divine.
Of Love, that kept my head on high,
Above the tempter's pow'r;
Love, that shall raise me to the sky,
When tempests cease to low'r.
I'll set my foot upon the foe,
And still, by grace upheld,
From conq'ring, on to conquer go,
Until he quit the field.
Then shall my soul, from sin set free,
As captive from his chain,
Sing of His Love who died for me,
In an immortal strain.
Take, then, the thanks, the heartfelt praise,
Of thine afflicted child,
O Thou, who hast my head uprais'd,
And now upon me smil'd!
And leave me not, my gracious God,
To suffer thus again,
Lest, while I smart beneath Thy rod,
And, agoniz'd with pain,
Satan should tempt my soul to say,
Thy chastisement is hard;
But still preserve me from his sway,
And be his pow'r debarr'd.
Thou canst not leave me to be lost,
Unheeded in the storm;
Thou know'st the wondrous price I cost,
Though a polluted worm!—
For I am Thine! Thy ransom'd one!
Bought with Thy precious blood;
And here record Thy pow'r I've known,
JESUS! my LORD! my GOD!
August 7, 1809.
For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you."
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."
TOSS'D on the troubled waves, behold! we come,
To seek a peaceful, a perpetual home!
Immers'd, O Lord, in life's deceitful sea,
We waft a wish for happiness and Thee!
Thou, Saviour, art our bright, our morning Star!
To Thee we look, when wand'ring, from afar;
And, by Thy light, regain the long lost road,
That leads to peace, to joy, to Thine abode!
"Thou only centre of my rest,
Look down with pitying eye,
While with protracted pain opprest,
I breathe the plaintive sigh."
"Look upon mine affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins."
LONG have I lain beneath affliction's rod,
And nature oft has murmur'd at its stroke;
Yet Faith, aspiring, leads me to my God,
And, through the cloud, His mercy I invoke.
I know the hand whence all my trials come,
Teeming with blessings from my gracious Lord!
But when my sins appear they strike me dumb,
Such awful threat'nings clothe His sacred word.
Where shall I go to hide me from His frown?
Whither, for refuge, shall a sinner fly?
The burden of my guilt still weighs me down,
But Jesus died for sinners, vile as I.
O Lord! remove the stroke that lays me low;
(Not for my own, but for my Saviour's sake)
One cheering smile upon my soul bestow,
My joys restore, ere my prest spirit break.
Spare Thou my life! if so Thy will approve;
Let me once more, through boundless mercy, see
My soul's assurance in redeeming love—
That Jesus died, and—that He died for me.
Then, should Thy Wisdom please t' increase my pain,
Assur'd of Thy forgiveness, I can bear
Thy righteous will, though not restor'd again,
And, "midst the fires," proclaim my Father's care!
Sept. 13, 1809.
O'ERWHELM'D with the waves of affliction, I cried,
And lift up my voice to my God,—
"And wilt Thou, O Lord, leave my sorrowful side,
Oppress'd with the weight of Thy rod?
The darkness of night has envelop'd me round,
My soul flees for refuge to Thee;
I know that Thy grace and Thy mercy abound,
Thou only my spirit canst free.
Long since have I trusted, and prov'd Thou art good;
Thy presence has oft cheer'd my heart;
And wilt Thou, now 'Satan comes in like a flood,'
Will JESUS, my SAVIOUR, depart?"
—I cried—while the billows roll'd over my head,
And Satan strove hard to prevail;
I knew that the Lord, in His promise, had said
His faithfulness never should fail;
"But was it to me that the promise applied?
"Might I in its blessedness share?"—
Sunk deeper and deeper, desponding I cried,
There's nothing for me but despair!
How painful the conflict! but God, of His grace,
The darkness of night turn'd to day,
And, cheer'd once again by His reconcil'd face,
Rejoicing, I went on my way.
Rejoicing I went—expecting no more
Such times of temptation would come;
Look'd forward with joy, when the trial was o'er,
And' long'd for my heavenly home.
But ah! my poor heart, unbelieving and vile,
(When, when will thy wanderings end!)
In moments of sorrow alone, an exile,
Thou lookest to JESUS thy Friend!
No sooner the rod was remov'd, than, so soon,
Relying on feeling and frame,
Thou thoughtest the future would always be noon,
And thy love, an undying flame:
But since, thou hast learned, by experience taught,
Whatever thy comforts may be,
They are by THE SPIRIT'S own energy wrought,
And spring from thy JESUS—not thee.
"Lord, I am pain'd; but I resign
My body to Thy will;
'Tis grace, 'tis wisdom all divine,
Appoints the pains I feel."
"My times are in Thy hand."
WITH wave impelling wave, my feeble mind,
Cheer'd with the blissful hope of endless peace,
Desires to be to all His will resign'd
Who sent affliction, and can bid it cease.
I feel my weakness, but I know His grace
Is all-sufficient, and divinely free;
That, from His book, my name he'll ne'er erase,
But strength command as ev'ry day shall be.
Yet there are seasons when my spirits sink,
And gloomy doubts, with soul-distressing fears
Oppress my mind; then trials make me shrink,
Till once again His smiling face appears.
My Parents' suff'rings swell my sorrows too,
While wearied nature painful scenes portrays,
And trembles, lest the oft-repeated blow
Should summon them, and leave me 'midst my days.
Yet why should I regret, or wish their stay,
Since this weak frame must soon forget its pain;
And while our bodies mingle with the clay,
Our ransom'd souls, in heav'n, shall meet again.
"How dull the Sabbath-day,
Without the Sabbath's Lord:
How toilsome then to sing and pray,
And wait upon the word!
"Where two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
WHILE pensively thinking of mercies departed,
Of times that, to me, are for ever gone by;
How oft from these eyes has the silent tear started!
My heart been betray'd by the ill-stifled sigh!
There once was a time, when with joy I attended
The preaching of Grace and of Mercy so sweet;
But now, from my bosom this pleasure is rended,
No more with the church upon earth shall I meet.
O might I, in solitude, find Thou art present,
And list to that voice which can calm all my fears!
Seclusion with Thee, O my God! is most pleasant,
In converse with Thee ev'ry pain disappears.
O deign once again to illumine my dwelling!
O shed once again o'er my soul a sweet ray!
Thy smile, from my mind all its darkness dispelling,
Removes in that instant its sorrows away.
I'm poor, I am needy, am weak, and afflicted;
Thou—gracious, and rich, and almighty in pow'r;
Thy Presence, to place nor to person's restricted,
Accessible art Thou in every hour.
Debarr'd from attending Thy courts, I will seek Thee
At home in my chamber, by sickness confin'd;
And tho' the rude blasts of the winter bespeak Thee,
Thy whispers within, shall bring peace to my mind.
Feb. 18, 1810.
BE hush'd my voice! and let the rising sounds
Of discontent, unutter'd die away;
What, tho' thy life with chequer'd scenes abounds,
And dark and rugged be the pilgrim's way!
Why shouldst thou murmur? 'Tis the lot of man
To meet with cares peculiar to his sphere:
Though great, they're compass'd by a narrow span,
And, "if we're Christ's, we only suffer here!"
'Tis mine to view the ev'ning sun go down,
And rise again to see me still confin'd;
But this alas! grieves not my heart alone,
A Parent's suff'rings more affect my mind.
Were but my breast of anxious care devoid
On this account, methinks I then could bear
My daily pains,—with this assurance buoy'd,
"That we are Christ's, and only suffer here!"
Feb. 28, 1810.
O MY soul's most valu'd treasure!
Spring of all its chiefest joys!
How shall I express the pleasure
That my grateful heart employs?
Thou hast prov'd a tender Father,
'Midst the scenes of grief and woe;
All my earthly joys I'd rather,
Than Thy gracious smile forego.
Thou hast all my wants attended,
Bow'd Thine ear to hear my moan;
Mercy with my suff'rings blended,
And the suff'rer call'd Thine own.
Lord! what shall I to Thee render
Of the blessings Thou hast lent?
All I have, to Thee I tender—
All I am, I now present.
I will take of THEE, SALVATION,
And upon Thy fulness live;
Since 'tis Faith's divine vocation
Not to give THEE, but—receive.
Sept. 16, 1810.
"I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me."
"The disposings of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD."
IN days of my youth I will seek my Creator,
To bend my proud spirit to take up the Cross;
Though great are my trials, my joys will be greater,
And JESUS will amply repay me my loss.
Though dark be my way, and the climate unpleasant,
My Guide is omniscient, almighty, and good;
My journey is trying, and painful at present,
But He will supply me with clothing and food.
I walk amidst dangers, yet He will be near me;
Surrounded by snares, yet my foot shall be freed
And when I'm in trouble my Father will hear me,
And prove a firm Friend in the time of my need.
I'll say of the LORD, ''Thou art GOD my defender,
And under Thy shadow I still would abide;
The calves of my lips unto Thee I would render,
And trust in the promise, "The LORD will provide."
Nov. 17, 1810.
WATCH o'er my path—some ray of glory shed
Upon this aching, this defenceless head!
Bend Thou my will, and make it yield to Thine;
Let all the Christian in my conduct shine:
Meekness, forbearance, temperance, and love,
Humility and patience join, to prove
Thy steps I follow, and Thy name revere,
In hope of glory glad to serve Thee here!
If still 'tis mine to drag a weary life,
Outwardly pain'd, and feeling inward strife,
Yet do Thou still, as Thou hast done before,
On my tried mind Thy consolations pour:
Shield Thou my head, when storms around me rage;
And when the clouds a tempest dire presage,
Then, then lift up Thy banner, and repel
Th' united force of flesh—of earth—and hell!
Dec. 18, 1810.
ONCE I could meet you in your blest resorts,
And enter with you to my Father's courts:
Once I could join your cheerful song of praise,
And hail the dawn of happier Sabbath days:
But now—no more!—You, privileg'd, still find
An entrance there, whilst I am left behind.
You hear those tidings which, ere now, could charm
My cares away, and give a mental balm;
There you can swell the anthems of the skies,
Whilst my weak breath, for song, expires in sighs!
O dreary Sabbaths in affliction's room,
That bring no earnest of the rest to come!
Yet there are moments when my soul can soar,
And feel envelop'd and confin'd no more:
Forget its partner, in its rapid flight,
And drink new pleasures at the fount of light:
Oft have I felt, at such a time as this,
Such joys, such foretastes of celestial bliss,
I would not barter for Golconda's mines,
For Crœsus' wealth, or aught on earth that shines.
Jan. 25, 1811.
"Trials must and will befal;
But with humble faith to see
Love inscrib'd upon them all,
This is happiness to me."
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."
YES! Thou wilt keep me by Thy mighty pow'r,
When the storm threatens, when the tempests low'r!
Above the waves this sinking head shall rise,
And Thou, my God, wilt send serener skies.
O! might this languid bosom learn to trust
In Thee, as merciful as Thou art just!
Bid Thou these idols abdicate the throne,
Where Thou, my Sov'reign, Thou must reign alone.
Look I within? the scene distracts my mind;
Nought but a will refractory I find:
A heart still cleaving to created good;
A wretched wand'rer, though in solitude.
When shall this shatter'd bark, by tempests driv'n,
Arrive at that blest port—the port of Heav'n?
When shall this soul, attracted, learn to rest
In that dear refuge of the deep-distress'd?
Who, near at hand, eternally shall prove
The glorious object of His people's love.
O! by Thy gracious, life-inspiring pow'r,
Preserve me from this dark, this trying hour!
Bid my rapt spirit trace the land of peace,
Where sin and sorrow shall for ever cease;
And whilst I dwell delighted on the view,
Releas'd from bondage—make the vision true.
July 26, 1812.
"Thanks be to GOD, who giveth us the victory, through our LORD JESUS CHRIST."
"Shout! for the LORD hath given you the city."
I AM fully persuaded, from daily experience as well as from the word of God, that the Christian's joys are the "joys of conquest," (as men rejoice when they divide the spoil,) rather than those of peace; and that although the believer in Jesus is ever graciously, yet he is not supinely blest: hence he must fight, if he would reign: and surely it is no small encouragement to the spiritual soldier, who is "engaged in a warfare from which there is no discharge," to know, that his glorious Captain and Leader has assured him of victory!
Array'd in panoply divine,
I urge my conq'ring way,
Not doubting, thro' His grace, to shine
In yonder realms of day.
Then, let me wrestle with my foes,
By faith, and still pursue
The way my conq'ring Captain goes,
And I shall conquer too!
"True, 'tis a strait and thorny road,
And mortal spirits tire and faint,
But they forget the mighty
Who feeds the strength of ev'ry saint."
"And David encouraged himself in the LORD his GOD."
'TIS hard to toil the up-hill road
Unaided, Lord, by Thee,
When gloomy doubts and fears forbode
There is no rest for me.
But, with Thy promises in view,
I still must persevere,
And, 'midst the rugged way, pursue,
Since Thou, my Guide, art near,
Sweet pole-star! still I'd follow Thee,
And eye the gracious plan,
How God-incarnate came to free
The wretched captive—man!
I see my int'rest in the deed
Of grace and love divine;—
Ah! did JEHOVAH'S FELLOW bleed
To save a soul like mine?
Then I am happy:—nought below
Shall interrupt my peace;
I'll go the way Thy people go,
To share Thy people's bliss.
Feb. 20, 1813.
"Thine own soft hand shall wipe the tear
From each believing eye;
Affliction, pain, and ev'ry fear,
And death itself shall die!"
"Make haste, my Beloved, and be Thou like to a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains of spices."
WHEN shall these eyes, so us'd to weep,
Close in their last, but happy sleep?
When shall this agitated breast
Beneath the green turf sweetly rest?
And when shall this tried spirit be
Releas'd from frail mortality?
I long to hail the blissful hour;
I long to be above thy pow'r
O my worst enemy! and find
That rest, for which I've ceaseless pin'd.
What, though the awful tempests rave!
There is a silence in the grave.
No mighty billows there shall roll,
Nor midnight thunders shake my soul.
This wintry night shall quickly end,
Its gloomy horrors flee;
I hear Thy voice, my soul's best Friend,
And long Thy face to see.
I hear it in the passing gale,
It tells me Thou art near;
Cheerful I journey through the vale;
Delighted, heav'n-ward steer.
I will not weep while scenes like these,
In bright prospective rise;
Soon shall I reach, by blest degrees,
My mansion in the skies.
It comes! it comes! the blissful day!
The storms of life have pass'd away:
The morning breaks—the shadows flee—
My ransom'd spirit springs to Thee!
My ruin'd tenement, in dust,
JESUS! ev'n that to Thee I trust,
Until, at Thy omnific word,
It rises up to meet its Lord;
O! hasten on the glorious time!
Come, in majestic pomp, sublime:
Come, Saviour! for I long to see
The God, the Man, who died for me;
To join Thy saints Thy throne before,
To love—to wonder—and adore!
Feb. 21, 1813.
"They shall praise the LORD that seek Him."
EVENING. Where art Thou, best and holiest of Beings! I seek Thee, but I find Thee not! Is it not said of Thee, "The Lord went His way, as soon as He had left communing with Abraham?" One hour I am rejoicing in Thy gracious presence, and the next I am enquiring,
"Where is my God? does He retire
Beyond the reach of human sighs?
Are these weak breathings of desire
Too languid to ascend the skies?"
No, my Father! Thou hearest me: Thou canst not be unmindful of my situation: Thou wilt not forget thine afflicted handmaid. I stand upon the brink of a mighty precipice, but Thy hand is stretched out to save me ere I fall. Safe, beneath Thy protection, I would learn to smile at danger; and, while tossing upon this tempestuous ocean, I would not yield to fear, but triumph in the consolatory thought, "My FATHER'S at the helm!"
"Why do I seek Thee if Thou art not here?
Why find Thee not, if Thou art every where?"
April 23, 1813.
"The op'ning heav'ns around me shine
With beams of sacred bliss,
While JESUS shews His heart is mine,
And whispers, I AM HIS."
"My Beloved is mine, and I am His: He feedeth among the lilies."
O blissful hour! when Jesus' face,
Array'd in beams of love and grace
Appear'd upon my view;
I smil'd to see the clouds withdraw,
I wonder'd at the change I saw,
So much desir'd—so new!
"Thou art my God!" my raptur'd spirit cried—
"Thy God, in life and death"—He quick replied,
"Thine through eternity!"
Farewell then to my earthly woes,
I'll triumph o'er my inward foes:—
He bids me, in His strength, be strong,
He draws my happy soul along,
And points the way that once He trod,
The way to glory—and to God!
"A father's love may raise a frown
To chide the child, or prove the son,
But love will ne'er destroy;
The hour of darkness is but short
Faith be thy life, and patience thy support,
The morning brings the joy."
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in him."
CHEER up, my soul! now triumph, and forego
This constant iteration of thy woe;
Since there are joys laid up in heav'n for thee,
Why shouldst thou dwell on fancied misery?
Let Satan use his ev'ry art to move,
The love of God is everlasting love;
And neither life, nor death, nor aught beside
Can rend my soul from JESUS crucified!
Long has my heart, by sweet experience known,
Thou, Lord, wilt ne'er thy chasten'd child disown!
Then let me lean upon Thy gracious arm,
And, thus supported, I shall feel no harm:
My proud, insulting foe shall cease his boasts,
Knowing my Refuge is, "the LORD of HOSTS!"
O! let me always prove Thy Spirit's pow'r,
Present to keep me in temptation's hour!
Let me not loiter in the heav'nly race,
But run and triumph, thro' redeeming grace;
And, in my darkest moments, still depend
On Thee, the needy sinner's faithful Friend!
May 5, 1813.
"Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent."
IN JESUS, my beloved Saviour, all fulness dwells; and while HE lives I shall live also. I am oppressed, but HE will undertake for me; I am in the midst of enemies, but HE will appear for my help, and come and save me.
My Rock, my Refuge, and my Tow'r,
My Trust in sorrow's darkest hour;
My only Hope on earth, in heav'n,
To Thee be endless honours giv'n.
Can this poor heart a trouble know,
If Thou Thyself Thy love bestow?
Or the whole world one joy afford,
If Thou withhold Thy presence, Lord!
Come, then, as Thou wert wont to come,
And make my breast Thy lasting home!
Come, by Thy Spirit, and impart
Life, joy, and gladness, to my heart,
And all my pow'rs shall join to bless
JESUS my STRENGTH, my RIGHTEOUSNESS.
July 10, 1813.
"When I sit in darkness the LORD will be a light unto me."
SHINE forth, once more, Thou glorious Sun,
And bid the darksome night be gone;
Again thy blissful beams display,
And drive these clouds of grief away!
JESUS, my Saviour! shall I be
Forgotten, and unlov'd by Thee?
Wilt Thou refuse to hear my cry,
"Give me Thyself, or else I die?"
I seek Thee sorrowing; shall I find
No balm to ease my tortur'd mind?
No sweet, consolatory sound,
To tell me I've my Saviour found?
Ah me! but no; I'll not despair:
Methinks He'll listen to my prayer!
Time has been He has answer'd me,
And set my bondag'd spirit free;
And who can tell, but He'll appear
Ev'n now, my mourning soul to cheer!"
July 17, 1813.
" 'Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought;
Do I love the LORD or no?
Am I His, or am I not?"
"If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD."
ARE my graces genuine, most gracious Lord? Will they endure the fire? I often fear they are counterfeit, and will be consumed instead of being purified: —but—Thou knowest.
Are these the tears Thy people shed?
And when the skies are low'ring,
Do thoughts, like mine, their breasts pervade,
Their confidence o'erpow'ring?
Do sighs, like these, burst from their hearts,
Their latent griefs betraying,
When the dark scene its gloom imparts?
And, like me, are they saying,
"He hastens not;—He will not come;—
"I seek with vain endeavour:
"Ah! has He seal'd the dreadful doom,
"And cast me off for ever?"
Dear Lord, forgive! Thou hast not left
Thy ransom'd one to perish;
And though of outward joys bereft,
I'll still Thy promise cherish.
Soon will these tears, and griefs, and sighs,
And conflicts, cease for ever;
And heav'n—the glorious martyr's prize—
Be giv'n to each believer!
July 21, 1813.
"O for a message from above
To bear my spirits up!
Some pledge of my Redeemer's love
To calm my terrors, and support my hope."
"My soul fainteth for Thy salvation:"
"Mine eyes fail for Thy word, saying, When wilt Thou comfort me?"
THOU, whom, though unseen with my bodily eyes,
More than life, with its dearest enjoyments, I prize;
Fulfil the blest promise,—Thy presence afford,
And bid the poor mourner rejoice in her LORD.
Is it nothing to Thee that I sigh and complain?
O! when wilt Thou hasten, and cheer me again?
When, when shall that word, my lost comfort restore,
"Return thou poor sinner, and wander no more!"
Alas! to my hurt, I have foolishly stray'd;
Thy easy commands I have oft disobey'd;
In mercy yet think on Thy penitent child,
Nor let me for ever from Thee be exil'd!
My guilt I confess, and Thy favour entreat,
Submissively prostrate my soul at Thy feet;
Nor can I depart 'till I certainly know,
The boon I request Thou wilt freely bestow.
Benignant Redeemer! propitiously smile!
I'm worthless and needy, rebellious and vile;
But speak the blest word, and my sorrow shall cease,
O! whisper forgiveness, acceptance and peace!
Aug. 21, 1813.
"Hast Thou not bid me seek thy face?
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sov'reign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?"
"To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."
"I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye ME, in vain."
SOV'REIGN of worlds! mysterious one in Three!
Whose Presence spreads through all immensity!
Before whose Face angelic spirits stand
Veil'd, humbly waiting Thy divine command;
Say, may the earth-born dare presume to lie
At Thy dread feet, and lift a suppliant eye?
May one of Adam's guilty race pretend,
To call her MAKER her ALMIGHTY FRIEND?
And, while her bosom heaves with various grief,
Look to Thy throne, there only, for relief?
O blest, benignant Pow'r! I hear Thee say,
"Come to the seat of mercy, come away!
Reveal the sorrows of thy lab'ring mind,
And thou shalt comfort and acceptance find.
Blest be that Mercy, which to me has flow'd,
Thro' the pure stream of my REDEEMER'S blood!
My grateful heart would love, adore, and bless,
JESUS my Strength, my Hope, my Righteousness;
My all on earth, my Portion after death;—
O! may I praise Him with my latest breath!
And then, (transporting, blissful, glorious thought!
'Tis with a thousand nameless blessings fraught!)
Rise in His likeness, and triumphant soar
Where storms and tempests shall be known no more!
Sept. 15, 1813.
"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes."
What earthly balm can ease my tortur'd mind,
While raging billows o'er my bosom roll!
Ah! would that voice, all merciful and kind,
But breathe its soothing accents o'er my soul;
For I am fainting at the long delay
Of Him, who erst my Comforter I knew;
Fly, hapless moments! speed with haste away,
And let me bid the world and sin adieu!
O prone to loiter o'er each darken'd scene,
And brood o'er sorrows on thy sleepless bed!
Pale, as with inborn grief, thy cheeks were seen;
E'vn from thy cradle droop'd thy aching head!
For thee affliction had her draught prepar'd,
Soon as the day dawn'd on thine infant-eye;
With all her children thou the lot hast shar'd,
Of thy first parents' sin and misery.
Oft from thy young companions hast thou broke,
To seek relief in rest and solitude;
And early learn'd His mercy to invoke,
Who, not unpitying, thy distresses view'd.
Thus, when the spring of life, with flatt'ring smile,
Would woo thee, with thy youthful friends to join,
Then would affliction still thy joys purloin,
And send thee sorrowing to thy couch the while!
O! had not mercy, in this cup of woe,
Some few ingredients palatable mix'd,
How wretched were the pilgrim's lot below,
Where sin and sorrow have their dwellings fix'd!
But GOD be glorified! Affliction's school
(Though sharp the rod, the discipline severe)
Is to my soul and shall be ever dear,
For there I learn'd the blest, unerring rule,
To judge of men and things by other light,
Ev'n by the light of INSPIRATION'S page;
And found a Guide, to lead my footsteps right,
Through the dark path-way of my pilgrimage.
I saw, delighted, through surrounding gloom,
A narrow passage to repose divine;
And oft I've pac'd my solitary room,
And said, "this promis'd pleasure must be mine!"
Sept. 22, 1813.
"His love, in time past, forbids me to think
He'll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Eben-ezer I have in review,
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through."
"Thou HAST been my help, leave me not, neither forsake me, O GOD of my salvation."
STILL I seek, but cannot find Thee,
O Thou source of all my joys!
Need'st Thou that I should remind Thee
What desire my heart employs?
Thou art not, like us, forgetful
Of the objects of Thy love;
Why then should I be so fretful?
I shall soon Thy kindness prove.
While Thou'rt absent, nought delights me,
Nothing then has pow'r to please;
Ev'ry little cross affrights me,
Doubts and fears my spirit seize!
O delay not! hither hasten!
Let me see Thy smile once more!
Father! Father! cease to chasten!
View and pity as before!
I am dust;—the swift wind passing,
Sweeps me to my early grave;
Let Thy Mercy, everlasting,
Now shine forth, Thy child to save!
Must I be a wretched stranger,
In this lonely wilderness?
Wand'ring in the midst of danger,
Unreliev'd from my distress?
O! let Thy paternal feeling,
Thee to pity, Lord, incline!
See Thy suppliant daughter kneeling,
Am I not for ever Thine?
Well thou know'st the bitter groanings
Which from this poor heart arise;
Thou hast listen'd to my moanings—
Thou hast heard my midnight sighs!
Send, O send me consolation,
Lest I sink in deep despair!
Whisper, "I am thy Salvation"—
Let me know Thou hearest pray'r!
Sept. 23, 1813.
"O pleasures past, what are ye now
But thorns about my bleeding brow?
Spectres that hover round my brain,
And aggravate and mock my pain."
NO:—they are fled; and fled for ever!
All the bright scenes Imagination drew
Are vanish'd, and no trace is left behind.
Go, fair deluders of my lonely hours!
Tell me no more of joys ye promis'd oft,
But yielded never! Nor let flatt'ring smiles
Seduce me to rely on bliss below.
Where, Fancy? Where is now the lovely view,
Which thy creative pow'rs on airy clouds
Portray'd, so fascinating and so bright?
And where thy visions, Hope?—for ever fled.
Oft have ye promis'd, (and as oft deceiv'd)
That yet a little while, and storms would cease,
And joy succeed to grief. I heard, delighted;
I come, my God, I come!
The beams of light, reflected by Thy word,
Direct my footsteps to Thy throne of grace,
While the blest Spirit leads my woe-worn mind.
To Thee, enthron'd with glory in the skies!
There, Faith beholds the countless company,
Who sojourn'd once as strangers here below:
Their thorny path they sped through hosts of foes,
Esteeming Christ's reproach the greatest gain,
Counting it joy to suffer shame for Him
Who, death eternal had endur'd for them.
Sep. 27, 1813.
"My home, henceforth, is in the skies,
Earth, seas, and sun adieu!
All heav'n unfolded to my eyes,
I have no sight for you."
"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God."
ROUSE up, my soul! and let the thoughts of home
Accelerate thy movements thitherward!
'Tis but a few more weary steps, and thou
Wilt bid farewell to all the woes of Time;
Wilt pass the threshold of thy Father's house;
And, having enter'd, shalt return no more!
Thy royal mansion, sumptuously adorn'd
With the bright trophies of redeeming love,
By JESUS is prepar'd; and angels stand,
Waiting His word, to take thy Spirit home.
Dec. 25, 1813.
"Couldst thou persuade me, the next life could fail
Our ardent wishes; how should I pour out
My bleeding heart in anguish, new, as deep!"
WELL might I mourn, if after this short life
There were no other promis'd to my soul,
But dread annihilation were my doom!
Happy for me, that my Redeemer lives
In full possession of eternal life;
And that because HE lives, I also shall!
These tortur'd nerves shall rest; this wearied head,
Oft aching, shall know grief and pain no more:
This feeble frame, though in dishonour sown,
Shall yet be rais'd in glory and in pow'r:
This mortal, put on immortality.
Then why these flowing tears? and why, O why
These over-anxious thoughts? Death hastens on,
Thy kind Deliv'rer from the woes of time,
And ushers into everlasting day.
March 1, 1814.
"I muse on the work of Thy hands."
TRANSITORY, fleeting guest,
In a world which is, at best,
A world of sin and sorrow;
Who can tell how short the stay
E're I'm call'd to haste away?
Perhaps 'twill be to-morrow!
Trav'ller in a rugged road,
Which many a pilgrim-foot has trod,
Oppress'd like me and weary;
I cast my eyes about to find
Which way the devious path will wind,
But oh! the prospect's dreary.
Embark'd upon a troubled sea,
My destin'd port—eternity!
O! how I long to make it!
My pilot, through the foaming tide,
This shatter'd bark will safely guide,
Where storms shall never shake it.
'Tis He, who erst the tempest still'd,
On whose unbroken word I build
My confidence, so stable;
He loves me, and has pow'r to save,
From ev'ry rough, tremendous wave;
And, while the surge my bark shall lave,
I'll still believe Him able.
June 5, 1814.
"When my breast labours with oppressive care,
And o'er my cheek descends the falling tear;
While all my warring passions are at strife,
O let me listen to the words of life!
Raptures deep felt His doctrine did impart,
And thus He rais'd from earth my drooping heart."
"This is my comfort in affliction: for Thy word hath quickened me."
PEACE is proclaim'd! the nations are at rest:
Yet rage the tempests in this troubled breast!
For me, the op'ning morn its trial brings,
And night, unfriendly, horrid visions flings
O'er my distracted senses. How I pine,
To see the day of mortal life decline!
O! had my soul no hope beyond the tomb,
No promis'd prospects of a life to come,
How could I bear my burden! How sustain
This constant load of languor and of pain!
Each nerve the seat of torture; ev'ry breeze
Seems to arrest me laden with disease.
The day, to others cheerful, mild, and bright,
To me is void of comfort or delight;
And woeful scenes oppress my anguish'd brain,
When, on my couch, I seek for ease, in vain!
June 11, 1814.
"By the grace of GOD I am what I am."
NOW, in this solemn hour, O God of grace!
My soul's best Friend! help me to dedicate
My all to Thee! The eye of feeble sense
A gloomy catalogue of ills surveys,
And sheds the tear, as fault'ring accents speak
My stubborn will not subject yet to Thine.
But Thou, great Judge of what is fittest, best,
Well know'st how all is working for my good.
I would not shrink from my appointed lot,
Nor charge Thee foolishly; nor vainly deem
The cross too heavy that Thy love ordains:—
No, gracious God! tho' earthly members dread
These pains incessant, and this toil—my mind,
Renew'd by Energy divine, welcomes
Thy righteous will. Thou canst not injure me!
Transgressor though I am of all Thy laws,
By inward thought, if not in outward deed;
Conceiv'd in sin, and born a child of wrath,
Feb. 27, 1814.
THE hand which has wounded, alone can heal; and no effort of friendship, however great, or well intended, can do that which is only the prerogative of Omnipotence. I heard not of your bereavement until just as we were going to bed last night; and as it very much affected me, I could not retire until I had given vent to my feelings, in the enclosed Elegiac Lines to Mr. S. . . . .'s respected memory; of which I beg your acceptance. It is no honour to the name of so good a man, to be sung by so mean and unskilful a minstrel as I am; yet, rude and unpolished as my numbers confessedly are, I feel a satisfaction in having (though imperfectly) discharged a debt to departed worth, and surviving friendship.
How much mercy is mixed in this dispensation! Thousands are called to sorrow, even "without hope," over some of their dearest earthly friends, on committing their bodies to the grave—but, he "sleeps in Jesus," and is blest! O how delightful must the anticipation of a re-union with so beloved an object be! You, my dear Madam, are called to drink deep of the cup of affliction:—you have had to wade through the mighty billows, and have been of-
Earnestly desiring, that you may be supported and comforted by the consolations of the blessed gospel; and that although you may, and cannot but mourn, yet that you may be preserved from murmuring.
May 30, 1812.
"Sure the last end
Of the good man is Peace. How calm his exit!"
HAIL, happy spirit! Thou hast burst thy clay,
And soar'd to regions of eternal day!
Hail, Christian warrior! The battle's gain'd,
The race is run, the precious prize obtain'd.
A crown of glory now invests thy brow:
—Gift of His grace who suffer'd here below!—
And is he gone, whose warm affections flow'd
And compass'd all who trod IMMANUEL'S road?
Is S— — gone? The man whose tender heart
In others' sorrows took so deep a part!
Whose gen'rous sympathy was ne'er refus'd—
(To mean, dissembling artifice unus'd)
Ready, at call of Charity, to shew
What or the Christian, or the Man could do!
May 30, 1812.
"The Country wins me still,
I never fram'd a wish or form'd a plan,
That flatter'd me with hopes of earthly bliss
But there I laid the scene."
"My very dreams were rural."
FAREWELL, ye giddy, bustling scenes,
I leave you for my native vale!
Your glitt'ring toys are useless means
To make the sweets of B-rnh-m fail.
Still, still I love my native spot,
Above th' attractions of the Town;
Content, fix'd here, I envy not
Its pride, its pleasures, or renown.
What, tho' I'm neither rich nor great,
But move within a humble sphere!
I covet not their wealth or state,
Possess'd of purer pleasures here.
Amidst beloved friends, and kind,
No other bounties would I crave,
Than daily bread with peace of mind,
And a good Hope beyond the grave.
July, 5, 1806.
ACCEPT this work of Fancy, and whene'er
You gaze upon these tokens of my love,
O may your sympathy bestow a tear!
And when my spirit dwells no longer here
They will my warm affection ever prove.
Though small the gift, the giver's heart, you know,
Presents th' amusement of her lighter hours;
Trifles that shew her strong regard for you,
For ever fervent and for ever true,
Or Fancy had not thus employ'd her pow'rs!
Doom'd as I am to suffer, yet I feel
Assur'd of freedom from these grievous pains:
Though still a pris'ner, yet doth Faith reveal
The sov'reign Balm which can my spirit heal,
And that great Friend who will unloose my chains.
Yet, ere I go, I'd send this shelly gift,
Another proof of my affection strong;
And while my hands and heart to God I lift
For you in supplication, this the drift,
That both your lives may happy be, and long.
By mutual love endear'd, our hearts are bound
By two-fold ties of Nature and of Grace;
And when a few more fleeting years roll round
We shall together be in Glory found,
To sing of JESUS' Love, and see His Face.
Take, then, these monuments, wrought by my hand,
And call them yours, and still remember me;
And when I've reach'd the better Canaan's land,
While you, on this side Jordan, waiting stand,
You'll think of your departed E, S, G!
Nov. 15, 1808.
"What, though our Dreams are often wild,
Like clouds before the driving storm;
Yet some important may be styl'd,
Sent to admonish or inform."
"He that hath a dream, let him tell a dream."
METHOUGHT, one gloomy night, my spirit flew,
And reach'd a plain where nought of verdure grew;
And on the centre of this barren land,
I pensive took my solitary stand.
Beneath my eye, a black, but polish'd stone,
Inscrib'd with characters at first unknown.
I wonder'd much whose form could lay beneath
These solemn emblems of a mortal's death.
While thus entranc'd, I ruminating stood,
And saw these words—"Here lies THE SON OF GOD!"
Unusual agitation seiz'd my frame—
I heard, or seem'd to hear, my SAVIOUR'S name!
Down from my eyes the tear of anguish flow'd—
Again I read "Here lies THE SON OF GOD!"
Then, to my mental sight, a form appear'd;
(A form so much belov'd, so much rever'd!)
This, and the following piece, the Editor requests may be read as they are related—as Dreams.
'Twas HIS—who bled on Calv'ry's mount and died,
And from whose Body flow'd the crimson tide!
'Twas HIS—who died my sinful soul to save,
To rescue from destruction and the grave!
'Twas HIS, the lovely Form before me stood,
JESUS my SAVIOUR, and the SON OF GOD!
Methought He smil'd, and pointed to the skies,
While, wrapt in wonder, I beheld Him rise;
When the sweet vision vanish'd from my sight,
And left me all alone, enshrouded by the night!
Yet now, tho' many years have roll'd between,
I still remember this sweet solemn scene;
And often wish, but wish alas! in vain,
To see this lovely vision once again.
"What mighty agents have access,
What friends from heav'n, or foes from hell,
Our minds to comfort or distress,
When we are sleeping, who can tell?"
IN the dark watches of the silent night,
A pleasing, awful vision met my sight.
Methought I follow'd where my mother led,
And saw a breathless Hero on a bed.
I started back with horror and amaze,
But soon I paus'd; and wond'ring, stood to gaze.
The Hero lay, in sable armour clad;
Suspended on the wall His glitt'ring blade;
Beside the sword, in gloomy order plac'd,
I saw a helmet which His head had grac'd:
His coat of arms, and vict'ry's trophies too
I saw—and then again return'd to view
The Hero's corse.—Methought my mother went,
And left me brooding o'er the strange event.
No sooner had I miss'd her from my side,
Than I prepar'd to follow; but—denied—
March 16, 1809.
DEAR grand-parents listen, some moments employ,
To attend to the thanks of your motherless boy!
'Tis eight years to-day since I first drew my breath,
And my dear mother's eyes are now seal'd up in death!
Although I'm so young, yet I very well know
How great are the favours you daily bestow:
I am fed, I am cloth'd, I can write and can read,
And I know that these favours are great ones indeed;
And I wish, for the future, my conduct may prove
The sense that I have of your kindness and love.
Should I live to grow up, and a sailor become,
I'll never forget my dear grand-parents' home,
But, dress'd in my jacket and trowsers, with joy
Will still be your dutiful, motherless boy!
March 16, 1809.
MARY! thy gift, though small, I highly prize,
And when I use it I shall think of thee:
The little work-bag, as it meets my eyes,
Seems, with thy voice, to say, "Remember me!"
I will remember thee, and pray that thou
Mayst be directed by Almighty pow'r,
In ev'ry step you take, in all you do,
And be preserv'd until the dying hour!
That when thy spirit shall its mansion leave,
It may ascend to Happiness on high;
Till thy fair form shall quit the loathsome grave,
And join its much lov'd partner in the sky.
Yet, Mary, look not for that happy day,
Unless on JESUS thou hast built thy trust;
He is the one, true, living, only way
By which we can be sav'd, and GOD be just
Ah! why should GOD'S own SON come down to die,
If Man could make th' atonement for his guilt?
Where, but to JESUS can a Sinner fly?
Or why to HIM, had not His blood been spilt!
In Adam's fall we fell! his unborn race
Partook his guilt, and his corruption share;
Salvation, therefore, comes not but by grace;
Strive, Mary, strive to gain an int'rest there!
Without it thou canst never taste of joy;
That joy, so past expression and so pure!
The hope of which all sorrow can destroy,
Or how could I such sorrows still endure?
This is my Comfort when oppress'd with pain!
This only can my fainting spirits raise:
I know that JESUS has not died in vain;
By Grace He saves, and well deserves the praise.
May 11, 1809.
"Not dead, but gone before."
WHEN the hour comes that all my suff'rings end,
Wilt thou, my Jane, my Sister, and my Friend,
Recall the look that beam'd with love on thee,
The grateful smile of thine own E. S. G?
And when this fragile form returns to dust,
This spirit joins the ransom'd and the just,
Wilt thou, my Sister, ramble where the tomb
Wraps thy Eliza in its awful gloom?
And when soft ev'ning shuts the summer's day,
Thy pensive steps bend where my relics lay?
Wilt thou, sweet mourner, o'er my lowly bed
Heave the soft sigh, the tear of mem'ry shed?
Methinks, beside my grave, I see thee stand
Suspended deep in thought; and in thy hand
A tribute of thy love to strew around,
And with sweet scented flow'rs bedeck the ground
Where thy Eliza sleeps in death's cold arms,
Secure from pain and sorrow's dread alarms:
Flow'rs emblematic of her early doom,
Who, nipt by blighting wind in youthful bloom,
Inclin'd her drooping head, and sank into the tomb!
Sweet, interesting mourner! lovely maid!
Thou, like the rose thou strew'st, must also fade!
And thou, thy lov'd Eliza's bed must share,
That clay-cold bed! must be an inmate there!
Sweet blossom! lovely flow'ret! placid Jane!
Sharer of all my pleasures, all my pain!
Lovely in life from the same root we came,
And both were proud to bear a Sister's name!
Each strove who most affectionate should prove,
And ev'ry trial but increas'd our love!
Hail! happy union! where our purest love
Shall be matur'd eternally above!
Where death's unknown! and no destructive hand
Shall sever that indissoluble band;
But Sarah and Eliza both shall join,
To celebrate the height, length, depth, of Love divine!
Cease then, my Jane, to shed the fruitless tear,
And listen to the notes of one so dear!
Thou know'st my suff'rings, and thou oft didst grieve
That 'twas not thine those suff'rings to relieve;
But now they're ended, give thy sorrows o'er,
Praise th' Almighty, and regret no more!
'Tis hard to part! but then, how great the joy,
To meet where sin and pain shall ne'er annoy!
To meet and part no more! O! think of this,
And rather hail my entrance into bliss!
Yes! we shall meet again! I shall arise
From my cold bed of earth, and in the skies
June 16, 1809.
"When shall I come and appear before GOD?"
O PLEASURES priz'd! ev'n when I join'd the train,
And with my kindred trod those hallow'd courts
Where GOD, my GOD, is honour'd and ador'd.
Delightful moments! now for ever fled!
Ye go, ye happy few, beloved friends,
But me, Hope's prisoner, ye leave behind!
How gladly would ye take my willing hand,
And lead me to the Temple of my GOD,
And I with joy obey! but pain forbids.—
My heart alone goes with you; while my frame
Waits for its promis'd Rest in happier clime.
Go ye, beloved! seize the present hour!
And while health mantles on your cheeks,
Lay up the word of life! The time may come
Twill serve you as a balm from mem'ry's store;
And when denied, like me, the means of grace,
The retrospect may prove its pow'r to sooth.
July 2, 1809.
"I wake; and waking, climb night's radiant scale."
SWEET, solemn hour! how oft at thy return
I've waking hail'd thee! and when all around
Beneath this roof recline their wearied heads,
And sweetly slumber out the night, do I
My solitary, pleasing vigils keep;
Now silence reigns o'er all the darken'd earth,
And, by th' expressive stillness she commands,
Gives midnight audience to the works of GOD!
Creatures, tho' dumb, that have "a teaching voice,"
And well instruct whom HE makes wise to learn.
In this so grave an hour, all Nature seems
One universal organ, form'd to hear
The gentlest sigh of winds, or rippling waves,
Or the enchanting songstress of the night;—
Alike harmonious in the ear of him
Whose heart is tun'd to plaintive melodies.—
In such an hour, inraptur'd I behold
The silver moon glide placidly along
High heav'ns ethereal vault; and, 'midst the stars,
Reflect her image on the smooth expanse
Of Crouch's breast serene!
July 6, 1809.
"Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth when ev'ry sport could please."
HAIL, sacred spot upon this spacious earth,
So much endear'd that I would never roam!
Place of my first, and of my second birth,
My parents' habitation, and—my Home!
Within thy walls domestic joys are found;
(Joys I have learn'd full dearly how to prize)
Beloved kindred compass me around,
And as I view them tears bedim my eyes;
Grateful memorials to Him, who gave
Such Parents, Friends, and all inferior things;
With these immur'd, I would not, might I have
The richest sceptre sway'd by earthly kings.
And though our names no earthly titles grace,
Nor at our board do pamper'd lacquies wait,
We boast a kingdom—are of heav'nly race—
And Angels serve us in our humble state!
Aug. 1, 1809.
"Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot."
THOSE pretty cheeks must one day fade,
And underneath the turf be laid
Where your dear mother sleeps!
Those active limbs must cold become,
And the dark grave must be your home,
O'er which the tempest sweeps!
Suppose, my dearest little boys,
You for a while lay by your toys,
And think on better things!
Receive the truths that I relate,
And, should they have their proper weight,
You'll happier be than kings.
In early youth remember God!
And take the path the Saints have trod,
And never tell a lie;
Nor steal, nor take GOD'S name in vain,
Nor dare the Sabbath-day profane;
Remember—you must die!
Take the advice which now I give,
For, after death, your souls must live
In happiness or pain;
Not for another hour, or day,
But longer far than I can say:
I'd have you this retain.
The BIBLE is GOD'S holy word,
To be above all books preferr'd
And reverenc'd by you:
It tells you how to live and die,
And points to happiness on high:
Do, then, that path pursue.
And when you hear the good man preach
Listen attentive to his speech,
And pray to GOD to bless;
That GOD, who hears the Infant's pray'r,
Would give you of His Grace a share,
And both your hearts impress!
You hear of JESUS, and you read
How He came down on earth to bleed
For sinners, such as you;
Think of His goodness then, and pray
To be directed in the way
That leads to glory too.
You read of wicked little boys,
Who did "the man of God" despise,
And were devour'd by bears!
Of Ananias and his wife,
Who told a lie, and lost their life!
In Scripture this appears.
Of good young king Josiah too,
You read; his steps may you pursue,
And serve the Lord as well:
Of JESUS—once a child like you,
Of what He said, and came to do,
To save our souls from hell.
You read, He took the infant race
Into his arms, and deign'd to bless
All whom their parents brought:
Inviting "little ones" to come
To Him, whose bosom is the home
Of all who Him have sought.
Which way d'ye choose? The good, I trust!
And if you seek the LORD, you must
Be happy even here;
And after death your souls will rise,
To be far happier in the skies,
And dwell for ever there!
Aug. 15, 1809.
"All truth shall I relate: nor first can I
Myself to be of mortal race deny."
D — —! I greet thee on thy natal day,
In strains that argue no deceitful lay.
A Sister's feelings dictate to her pen,
A Sister, whom thou ne'er may'st see again!
So far remov'd—a rolling sea between;
What vast vicissitudes may intervene!—
Ere thou again thy native place behold—
The hand which writes may be for ever cold!
We met—we parted—and our last Adieu,
If right I augur, was the last for you.
Although thy junior, I the first must die!
I see the awful, pleasing hour draw nigh:
That hour, in which my sorrows all shall close,
And nought disturb this wearied frame's repose.
O! may those ties, as dear to thee as life,
(Thy interesting children and thy wife,)
Aug. 19, 1809.
O! WHAT a Genius sublime
Dwelt in that bosom, cold as marble now!
Had but those talents been matur'd by time,
That lovely form a while escap'd the blow,
What hadst thou been? but ah! thy sands are run!
Imagination's tow'ring flights are o'er!
Thy search for wisdom in all tongues is done;
The pen, the pencil, now delight no more!
The Hebrew, Greek, the Latin page,
No more thy scrutiny invite:
French and Italian now have ceas'd to please:
Thy genius, elegant and bright:
A wonder of our age!
Ah! why did death, so soon, on this fair object seize!
Yet why should I that pow'r arraign,
Which summon'd her away!
She's now releas'd from sin and pain,
And joins the heav'nly lay.
Now her capacious mind
Takes in full draughts of knowledge more refin'd;
And her melodious voice
Now with seraphic harmony unites,
And all her pow'rs rejoice
In pleasures ever new, and rapturous delights!
German and Spanish, now are left by thee;
The Arabic and Persic—both forgot!
Far greater beauties feast thy wond'ring eye,
Felicity's thy lot!
Thy search is o'er.
And thou no more
Shalt trace the landscape sweet!
No more the lawn,
At early dawn,
Invites thy willing feet!
Fair Fancy's flight is thine no more,
Nor the poetic dream:
Farewell to all thy classic lore,
Now JESUS is thy theme!
Thy Heav'n's begun,
Thy Sorrow's done,
Thy Tears are wip'd away;
The LORD, thy light,
Has chang'd thy night
To an eternal day!
Sep. 7, 1809.
EIGHT years have pass'd! September comes once more;
The pleasing Anniversary's return'd!
Have not your bosoms, as you've number'd o'er
The mercies of those years, with praises burn'd?
Methinks I see each lift the grateful heart,
While tears of pious joy bedew the cheek;
And while you feel, what language can't impart,
My fancy dictates what your lips would speak:
"Blest be that hour! when, by the closest bands,
Our willing hearts united with our hands!
Blest be our GOD, who on our union smil'd!
Whose Love is still a boundless deep,
Himself our Guard, awake, asleep,
His sway benignant, and His precepts mild!
O GOD! our Guide, Protector, Father, Friend!
With heartfelt gratitude we bow the knee;
Accept the thanks which from our hearts ascend,
The pious praises, due alone to Thee!
What, tho' of trials we have had a share!
What, tho' oppress'd with grief we oft have been!
Thou never hast refus'd to hear our pray'r,
Nor left us to ourselves, the world, or sin.
And tho' we boast no blood, or earth's descent,
Nor yet of gold's accumulated store;
Yet, these privations we will ne'er lament,
But gratefully acknowledge we have more!
Yes! we have more—since JESUS died to save;
Since HE, for us, forsook His seat in bliss;
No more than this our Heav'n-born spirits crave,
And we are happy while assur'd of this.
If long or short, our lives on earth shall be,
If sweet or bitter, our appointed cup;
LORD! we would rest with confidence on Thee,
And with a Christian firmness drink it up!
'Twas thus, for us, our blest Redeemer did;
Nor would we shrink at trials' dread approach,
But do whate'er His holy word has bid,
And smile at man's unmerited reproach!
Still may this tender, this endearing tie,
Be honour'd with His soul-enliv'ning smile;
Still may our hearts be rais'd to Him on high,
And hopes of Heav'n our ev'ry care beguile!"
This, and much more, methinks your lips would speak,
And my heart echoes to your pious joy;
And whilst the tear bedews my care-worn cheek,
Pray'rs for your happiness my lips employ.
Well may I gratefully with you unite,
My tribute of thanksgiving to our God!
This day's return doth Memory invite
To recollect what pain was mine,
How near my soul was to resign
All that is mortal to its last abode.
But I am spar'd, and live to see
This day return again;
And though affliction cleaves to me,
A heavy, length'ning chain,
I still can say, "the LORD is good,"
And worthy to be fear'd;
Who, near my side at all times stood
In midst of grief appear'd!
Then, debtors to Grace and to Mercy, we bow,
And our joint Eben-ezer erect;
The Wife, the Husband, and the Sister there;
The Father and the Mother shall unite,
In hymns of praise
Thro' endless days;
No sigh, no tear,
Nor cause of fear,
But all is bliss uncloy'd, and permanent delight!
Sep. 21, 1809.
"One simple effort more, and then farewell
The tuneful cadence and the measur'd strain!"
DEAR Instrument! the dire decree is past,
That thou and this afflicted hand must part!
I must relinquish thee: and that employ
Which has so often sooth'd my languid mind,
Its former strength restor'd, must cease.
Yet, ere I quite resign my much lov'd charge,
I'd muse upon thy labours, faithful friend,
While mem'ry counts the services thou'st done.
If to my thoughts thou hast not given birth,
Full oft hast thou preserv'd their lives from death,
And by thy faithful lineaments pourtray'd
The joys and sorrows of this anxious breast.
Many a pleasing, painful line thou'st writ,
Nor yet refus'd thine aid when duty call'd.
And when on wings of faith, my quicken'd soul
Hath been upborne towards her native skies,
Thou hast my purest joys on earth describ'd;
Nor faithless prov'd when mighty billows rag'd,
And "deep to deep" for sad memorial call'd.
Oct. 3, 1809.
WHEN the earth opens for my narrow bed,
And darkness wraps around my lifeless head:
When the tear trickles from a Parent's eye,
And "dust to dust" concludes the obsequy:
When the slow-moving, mournful, sable train
Return to their deserted home again,
Leaving Eliza in the grave's cold cell,
And take a long, a last, a sad farewell—
Then will the stormy voy'ge of life be o'er;
The shatter'd vessel gain her destin'd shore;
No more to venture on the boist'rous sea,
At anchor safe in immortality!
HEARD the soft murmurs of the glassy wave—
Saw the light vessel o'er the surface skim—
On the lov'd banks that Crouch's waters lave,
And all my waken'd mem'ry dwelt on him!
For there we walk'd—and in its crystal stream
Reflected saw the beauteous azure sky;
And by pale Cynthia's mild and silv'ry beam
Discours'd of fleeting life, and joys on high.
But now, no more we take our ev'ning's walk,
No summer's ramble can be shar'd by me;
No more together on that marge shall talk
Thy fond Eliza, lovely youth, with thee!
Afflictions dire pervade thy Sister's frame,
And thou art dwelling on a distant shore;
Yet shall our mutual love remain the same,
Altho' these pleasures we should share no more.
DAUGHTERS of ALBION! whose fair name
Resounds upon the trump of Fame!
Why do ye not the path pursue
Which has immortal bloom in view?
The roses on your cheeks must fade;
Those forms must be in darkness laid;
Those brilliant eyes must cease to shine;
Each sweet attraction must decline;
Must perish in the silent tomb,—
That house of universal gloom.
Mere outward ornament may grace
The beauteous or th' expressive face,
But beauty and expression join'd
Are rivall'd by th' enlighten'd mind.
Augusta shone, in ev'ry beauty drest,
In all that graces woman, but the best.
Her form superior, and her fortune great,
Inur'd to splendour and to worldly state,
Her lovely person all her care engross'd,
And those were most belov'd who flatter'd most.
Thus was she, when THE FOE to BEAUTY came,
And left no traces ev'n of Beauty's name.
That Face how alter'd! who admires it now?
None speak of fair Augusta's polish'd brow,
Or praise the vermil tincture of her cheek,
Or those attractions whereof all could speak.
The charm is fled—the gay enchantment's o'er—
The Beauty once, is beauteous now no more:
And all her traces are to this reduc'd,
Not what she is, but has for ever lost!
Ah! poor Augusta! is there nought behind?
No sweet resource from an enlighten'd mind?
No! for she trusted in her Form alone,
And plac'd the idol Self upon the throne.
She thought Religion was an idle dream,
And never spake but Pleasure was her theme;
Oct. 26, 1809.
"The kindest and the happiest pair,
Will find occasion to forbear;
And something every day they live
To pity, and perhaps forgive."
CAN I, at Friendship's call, remain supine?
Or silent be when you request a line?
Should I not rather pour the votive lay,
To greet Sophia on her wedding-day?
Yet, though unskill'd in the poetic art
To raise the mind or animate the heart,
Sincerity, I'm sure, will deign to guide
The willing pen, and o'er my thoughts preside
What shall I sing;—Or how begin my lay!
Fain would I strew with blooming flow'rs her way,
Or wreath a chaplet for the bridal day.
O! for the spot where vernal blossoms blow,
To twine a garland for Sophia's brow!
'Twere vain to promise you shall taste of joy
Pure and unvaried, or without alloy;
No mortal e'er this unmix'd portion prov'd,
How much soever valu'd, bless'd, belov'd;
Such cares and pains, such vast vicissitude,
'Midst ev'ry scene in this frail life intrude.
The theme is painful, yet I dare not say
Sophia's shall be one unclouded day;
That no rude storm shall interrupt her peace,
Nor that her joys shall with her cares increase.
It may be—and if Friendship's pray'r prevail,
For thee shall rise the sweet, th' auspicious gale,
To waft serenely o'er life's troubled sea,
And all a Friend should wish, I'll wish for thee!
O! may the GOD of Heav'n your union bless,
And crown your earthly prospects with success!
May His paternal and benignant smile
Rest on you both, and all your cares beguile;
Cheer all your days, and when those days shall cease
Receive your spirits into endless peace!
May no rude storms of passion interpose
To grieve the mind, and rob it of repose;
Nor jealousy, with frowning brow severe,
Rack the rent heart, or cause the bitter tear:
Nov. 14, 1809.
ONCE more December's latest day is come,
And in a few short hours winds up the year,
With all its mercies, comforts, sins, and pains!
Again I take the retrospective glance,
And of myself inquire, What have I been
Throughout another stage of mortal life?
"A cumb'rer of the ground" my conscious heart
Makes full acknowledgment, as she perceives
How oft the voice of Mercy has proclaim'd
"Spare it another year!" The sword of Death
Has hung suspended by a single hair;
Fevers, and palsies, and diseases dire
Invading this weak frame, as if to rend
At once those links that soul and body join.
Dec. 31, 1809.
"Hitherto hath the LORD helped us."
JANUARY comes again,
Bringing blessings in its train;
Life preserv'd, and mental pow'rs,
Food, and home, and peace are ours:
All that's needful we possess,
Mercies great and numberless.
Come, let us kneel, and kneeling, sing
All praise to GOD, our gracious King!
Shall we not lift the grateful voice,
And all within us now rejoice!
Yes, we will bow before His throne,
And there His ev'ry favour own;
With Pray'r and Praise we will record
The loving-kindness of the LORD.
JEHOVAH! Sov'reign LORD of heav'n and earth!
August, magnificent, and awful name!
Rais'd from the dust, to Thee we owe our birth,
And this bright spark of intellectual flame!
O! had not Sin Thine Image fair defac'd,
Nor our first Father dar'd transgress Thy will
When in that blissful garden he was plac'd,
This lower world had been an Eden still!
But he the mound o'erleap'd, and to our cost
Ate of the fruit Thy wisdom had forbade;
So were the Blessing and the Glory lost,
Till Thine own SON, with blood, the Ransome paid.
Pleading His merits, see, before Thy Face,
A praying Family together bow;
Pour out on each a fresh supply of grace,
An earnest give, of Heav'n begun below.
Thy Rod we've felt—Thy MERCY, how much more!
In the past year we now have liv'd to close;
THEE, sinners' Friend and Guide, we would adore,
And own Thy bounty, whence each blessing flows.
A needy few! we still require Thine aid,
To help us onward through a life of care;
We need Thy grace, to trust what thou hast said,
And lean on Him, who does our sorrows share.
LORD! we are laden with a sense of guilt;
Our hearts perversely lead us oft astray;
We flee to Thee, thro' Him whose blood was spilt,
To cleanse our souls, and wash their stains away.
Our good thou'st been through ev'ry passing year;
Thy Mercies hitherto our lives have crown'd:
Still guide and guard us while we sojourn here,
Till in Thy kingdom we're together found.
With mutual pleasure shall we then count o'er
Each gift receiv'd, but on HIM chiefly dwell,
Who brought us safely to that blissful shore,
To praise His name who "hath done all things well."
Jan. 1, 1810.
"The memory of the just is blessed."
AND are those blooming cheeks so pale
Which Health's own roses late did grace?
And does the keen, the wintry gale
Sweep o'er thy narrow resting-place?
Could we have thought that, cold in death
Thy youthful form would now be laid;
Disease would stop so soon the breath
Of thee, the cheerful Village-maid?
Had eighteen Summers only roll'd
When we were call'd to mourn thy loss?
We hop'd that bloom thou long wouldst hold—
But now thou art a breathless corpse.
Could human foresight e'er have thought,
(With cheeks so florid, health so free,)
That thou wouldst now to dust be brought?
That now the turf would cover thee?
O SUSAN! though thy lot was low,
And thou by service gain'dst thy bread,
Affection's tear for thee shall flow,
And o'er thy faults its mantle spread.
My heart shall treasure up with care
The love which thou to me hast shewn;
And thou shalt have a tablet there,
More firm than monumental stone.
Oft at thy name shall feelings wake,
And pour the soft, the pensive sigh;
Till that weak ligament shall break
Which keeps my spirit from the sky.
There shall I join my humble friend,
(For there shall no distinctions be,)
Both at our SAVIOUR'S feet shall bend,
Thy "Betsy," lovely maid, with thee.
Adieu, dear Susan! for thy soul
Now tastes of happiness supreme;
And, whilst eternal ages roll,
On thee shall light immortal beam.
O Spirit pure! if from thy seat
Thou now mightst charm my list'ning ear,
With sounds so ravishingly sweet
As wake to rapture those who hear,
Thou couldst a wondrous tale unfold
Of blood-bought happiness and peace;
Of pavements bright as purest gold,
Of joys which never, never cease:
Of Forms ethereal, who, like thee,
The slipp'ry part of youth had trod,
But now, from earth and sin set free,
Behold their SAVIOUR and their GOD.
Thou wert my Pupil while below,
But now thy knowledge mine exceeds;
I hail thee my Superior now;
Thy mind no earthly Teacher needs.
Now thou look'st down upon the earth,
And haply, if thy mind may dwell
On this thy place of second birth,
Thy soul can sweetly say, "'twas well!"
'T was well for me that I was led
To seek a situation there;
'T was there I heard that JESUS bled,
To save from ruin and despair.
Then, then methinks, I see thee fall
Anew at thy REDEEMER'S feet,
And hear thee "crown Him LORD of all,"
The Author of thy bliss complete.
Weak were the instruments—but Grace,
All-conq'ring, bid the darkness flee;
And now 't is thine to see the face
Of Him who set the pris'ner free.
All hail! Thou great, incarnate LORD!
Victorious ride Thy foes among;
Gird on Thy thigh Thy polish'd sword,
To conquer Death and Hell be strong.
Bring in Thy myriads! let Thy fame
Be publish'd through the world around,
Till all shall know Thy glorious Name,
And taste SALVATION in the sound.
Jan. 13, 1810.
SWEETEST, mildest, gentlest Fair!
Frequent subject of my pray'r!
Oft thy tenderness has brought
Real pleasure to my thought.
Thou my sorrows dost beguile
With thy soft, thy constant smile:
O that I could frame for thee
Lines of sweetest melody,
That would on this well-known day,
All my heart's fond wishes say!
Take the tribute of my pen,
Now this season's come again.
'Tis thy Sister, gentle nurse,
Tries thy cares to reimburse;
And presents the artless lay
On her Sarah's natal day.
Should I of thy merits tell,
Where I always love to dwell,
Thou wouldst modestly reprove
This essay of grateful love.
Dare I presume? the thought is bold!
Perhaps, departed, I might hold
A sweet communion with my Jane!
Might I?——or is the fancy vain?—
Sure, to look down upon that face,
From heav'n, my soul's blest dwelling-place,—
May peace, may life, may health be thine!
May all that's lovely in thee shine;
May Grace preserve thy youthful feet
From paths where sin and sorrow meet;
From Satan, and that flood of woes
That from a course of folly flows!
May "the good SPIRIT" be thy guide,
And o'er thy ev'ry step preside!
Jan. 21, 1810.
UNCLE and Aunt, I come to pay
My grateful thanks to you to-day,
And hope you'll not refuse
T' accept your William's gratitude
For all your kind solicitude,
And ev'ry fault excuse.
An orphan-child!—how good was GOD
To fix my permanent abode
Beneath your tender eye!
Might I but live, I hope to prove
I'm not unconscious of your love,
But feel it sensibly.
Four years I've liv'd beneath your roof,
And had full many a tender proof
Of fond, paternal care;
With you I've found a happy home,
And now I'm seven years old, am come,
With joy my thanks to bear.
Uncle and Aunt, accept the verse
With which I try to reimburse,
At least, some little part,
Of all the kindness I've receiv'd,
And still desire to be believ'd,
Yours, with a grateful heart.
Jan. 25, 1810.
SWEET little babe! and does the charm
Of filial love so strongly shine,
That thou canst press, and fear no harm,
Thy mother's breathless lips with thine?
Does Death wear no repulsive face
To fright thy infant-mind away?
Canst thou her clay-cold corpse embrace,
And shew no symptom of dismay?
Yes! thou canst view, and sweetly sleep
On that once warm maternal breast;
'Tis nature teaches thee to weep
When they attempt to break thy rest.
Sweet infant-boy! how true thy grief,
Tho' thou canst lisp no mother's name;
To thee, of tend'rest ties the chief,
And even Death avows thy claim!
WHAT is LIFE? a transient vapour,
Vanishing as it refines:
What is HEALTH? a glimm'ring taper,
That expires ev'n while it shines.
What is BEAUTY? but a flow'ret,
Often wither'd ere full-blown;
Storms hang ready to devour it,
Sickness brings the blossom down.
'Twas but late I saw her living,
Blooming, lovely, young, and fair;
Comfort to my heart oft giving,
By her kind, assiduous care.
See Page 131.
I, enervated and ailing;
She, a healthy, smiling maid;
Now her loss I am bewailing—
Susan's wrapp'd in death's cold shade!
Dare we call HIS ways in question?
Or arraign our MAKER'S will?
Hence! the impious suggestion,
Let our rebel-hearts be still.
THOU hast cropp'd this beauteous flower,
Brought its glory to the ground;
Yet, while we behold Thy Power,
Mercy in the stroke is found.
THOU, from trials and temptations,
Hast remov'd our Friend away;
Suffer not our vile impatience
To dispute Thy sov'reign sway.
May the lesson that was sent us
In her sweet and peaceful end,
Serve to comfort and content us,
And our hearts to duty bend.
Susan died to go where sorrow,
Pain and sickness find no place:
While below we're mourning for her,
(Monument of saving grace!)
She to Glory has ascended,
Views the Lamb which once was slain;
Tastes the bliss for His intended,
Purified from ev'ry stain.
Yet, to think how once I knew her,
Faithful, tender, watchful, kind;
Knits my heart more closely to her,
As her worth I call to mind.
Grew I worse? my Susan felt it,
Tears of sorrow dimm'd her eye;
Or complain'd? her heart was melted,
All her pleasure was gone by.*
Dearest, tend'rest, kindest servant!
On thy mem'ry still I dwell:
Still for thee my love is fervent,
Thine to me I often tell.
Farewell! let me cease repining,
Bow and kiss a Father's rod;
Since above, dear girl, thou'rt shining,
"In the City of our GOD!"
Feb. 18, 1810.
Alluding to her frequent expressions when the Author had been very ill, and was recovering: "Ah! Miss Betsy! when you are worse, all my pleasure is gone by!"
"I live, once more to see the day
That brought me first to light;
Lord! teach my willing heart the way
To read Thy mercies right."
"All my times are in Thy hand."
WANDERING Pilgrim in this world of woe,
Where tempests howl, and low'ring skies appear!
Through thorns and briers 'tis thy lot to go:
Pilgrims have "no abiding city here!"
This day thou numb'rest three-and-twenty years
In this poor tott'ring tenement of clay:
Methinks the date, tho' short, too long appears
To find thee still no farther on thy way.
The road I know, and yet my my loit'ring feet,
(Slow-footed coursers in the heav'nly race,)
Too oft relax, when they should mend their pace
To reach the promis'd land, the Paradise of bliss!
How humbling is the faithful voice of Truth,
That I have doz'd away my precious time!
Vainly employ'd the bloom of early youth
In seeking earthly joys, for joys of Heav'n sublime!
Mercies neglected; means of Grace not priz'd;
Duties undone, or carelessly perform'd,
Add to the sins this heart hath oft devis'd,
Add to the sorrows that from sin have swarm'd.
A house of idols is this bosom found,
By Thy all-searching, omnipresent eye;
A field, where thorns and thistles still abound,
Drinking the rain and dew ungratefully.
Yet would the wand'rer leave her devious way,
And ask forgiveness for the sinful past;
And from Thy stores, immeasurably vast,
Entreat the gracious boon, on this her natal day.
Can I be happy when Thy Face is veil'd?
Can I rejoice to see this morning dawn?
If smiles, that us'd to cheer, be now withdrawn,
And fellowship with Thee be from my soul withheld?
My Father! no: all guilty as I am,
No peace or consolation can I find
To cheer this weak, this tempest-tossed mind,
But in Thy Love and Grace, flowing thro' CALV'RY'S LAMB.
March 12, 1810.
"Thy children shall be like olive plants round about thy table."
SEE the young Plants in sweet succession spring,
And round the Stem with fond affection cling!
O! lovely sight! when human saplings rise,
United to the root by tend'rest ties;
Cleaving more close than ivy to the oak,
Scarce to be sever'd unless both be broke.
Sweet little Plants! each op'ning day reveals
Some novel charm that on affection steals;
Some fresh attraction, or some winning grace,
In height, in form, in intellect, or face.
"In vain Thy creatures testify of Thee
Till Thou proclaim Thyself."
"I meditate on Thee in the night-watches."
HOW loves my heart, at midnight's solemn hour,
To listen to the sighing sound of winds,
With mournful cadence dying on the ear!
Well suit such hollow notes my pensive mind,
Waking to sympathy the troubled soul.
Luxurious sounds! how do they charm my ear,
As billows foam, dash on the shore and die!
Oft have I listen'd to these melodies,
And found my own storm-tossed spirit sooth'd,
As 'midst the roar of winds and din of waves
I've heard their RULER! forth th' unconscious sigh
To heav'n has flown, wing'd with a pleasing pain,
While tears spontaneous have bedew'd my cheek,
Expressing, though in silence, GOD'S high praise;
For—this august, this glorious Being's mine!
A worm of dust claims kin with DEITY,
And dares to call th' ALMIGHTY, her own GOD!
Yea, more! to call HIM FATHER, HUSBAND, FRIEND!
Feb. 10, 1811.
"I remember thy kindness."
IMMUR'D, secluded, lone, exil'd,
With health departed, mind oppress'd;
Oft in my solitude I've smil'd
When you, dear Friend, have been my guest.
'Twas your's to point to fairer Lands,
Where sin and pain can find no place;
And your's to help unloose the bands
That kept my tortur'd mind from peace.
Come memory! again retrace
Those scenes of mingled light and shade;
Thou know'st they occupy a space
Where thou hast all thy records laid.
Nor shall oblivion e'er invest,
Or raze those deep-wrought registers;
Still shall they dwell within my breast,
In fairest, brightest characters.
Yes! while this languid pulse shall beat,
And aught terrestrial please my mind,
Your tenderness shall ever meet
A love as cordial as refin'd.
For we are bound by other ties
Than those mere human kindred know;
'Tis Love divine the cord supplies,
And bids such sweet affection flow:
Love, that shall last when Time shall cease to be,
And glow in Heav'n to all Eternity!
Nov. 20, 1811.
SWEET Songster! thou canst dress thy plumy coat,
And spring from perch to perch so merrily;
With softest melody distend thy throat,
As if unconscious that thou art not free,
Yet dost thou not, sweet bird, love liberty!
Art thou contented in thy narrow sphere?
Methinks imprisonment's no grief to thee;
Durance, so hard to man, so cheerful thou canst bear!
It may be, thou didst never taste the joy
Of roving in thine own air unconfin'd;
Ne'er didst thy charming minstrelsy employ
Among thy fellows of the feather'd kind:
If so—then Liberty! that magic word,
Has not one charm for thee, sweet isolated Bird!
April 22, 1812.
"Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste
THERE, where those tiny flow'rs of brightest blue,
That help'd to form my simple nosegay, grew:
There, where the Crouch's distant banks were seen,
Array'd in various shades of beauteous green:
And Canewdon's high tow'r conspicuous rose—
'T was there my solitary walk I chose.
To me, emerg'd from long confinement's gloom,
How sweet th' uncultur'd wild flow'r seem'd to bloom!
How sweet the distant landscape, long unseen,
The rural path-way, where I oft had been!
There Lonicera twines her fragrant bine,
And there, beset with thorns, sweet Eglantine.
The White-thorn hanging high her snowy flow'rs,
All the wild store which FLORA lavish pours,
Greeting th' inraptur'd eye! I seem to see
A new Creation rising suddenly.
April 23, 1812.
"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
WHEN late in Tears our little ZION sat,
Mourning her loss—a faithful Shepherd's care:
Did you not pity her bereav'd estate,
And lend your service at the Church's pray'r?
You, who have borne with them full many a shock,
In adverse as in prosp'rous states the same,
Do you regret, that, o'er this little Flock,
A year ago you took a Pastor's name?
Is not that memorable day endear'd,
And oft remember'd with a sacred joy,
When, 'mid the multitude, those few appear'd,
To designate you to your new employ?
And yet not wholly new;—long had you toil'd
In each department of their little state;
Mourn'd, inly mourn'd, at blooming prospects spoil'd,
And felt, how keenly! did their love abate!
Yes! you have borne the burden:—you have wept,
And all can witness to your earnest zeal;
When those who should have watch'd, alas! have slept,
And they have wounded, whose it was to heal!
But to the bright side turn we:—there have been
Times, (and we praise Him, not so very few—)
When rays of light have grac'd the smiling scene,
And giv'n new pleasures to the Church and you.
Well then, I greet you! and with you implore
Those times of sweet refreshing may return;
When the advancing few, and many more
May, for the common-weal, with ardour burn.
Shepherd subordinate! may He, the Head,
With His own Spirit's influence attend;
On all your labours be His blessing shed,
My Guide, my Brother, Minister, and Friend!
May 1, 1812.
THE Miser loves his gold, and feels
A thousand joys arise,
When to his well-fill'd bags he steals
To feast his longing eyes:—
The feeling mind a purer pleasure proves
As it contemplates faces which it loves:
And thus, though distant many a mile,
The Painter's mimic skill
Can o'er the features spread a smile,
Our hearts with pleasure fill:—
Such magic pow'r thy gift achiev'd
When late the portraits we received.
Nor deem it strange, should we presume
Another boon to crave,
Since to complete our little room
Her likeness we would have,
Whom, tho' unknown, we're taught to love,
And hope she will our wish approve.
Dear Madam, should you feel inclin'd
T' accept th' united plea,
What real pleasure shall we find
When we those features see;
And thus some good idea gain
Of one we've wish'd to know, in vain.
Consider what our joys would be
When we the group survey!
The Son's—the Daughter's face we see—
The Father's comes to-day:
And will the Mother and the Friend,
To our request not condescend?
Say, dearest Madam, are we rude
Thus on your kindness to intrude?
One obligation you confer,
A new petition we prefer;
Not willing, those whom God hath join'd,
Should e'er be sever'd, but combin'd.
Beggars, you know, strong pleas will make,
And crave a boon for pity's sake;
But we a mental pleasure seek,
And this the language that we speak:
"If Friendship for the few unknown
Inspire your heart, then be it shewn
In sending what would give such pleasure,
And be esteem'd so great a treasure."
But oh! what joys superior should we feel
If but in Person we could see you here!
Yet even this, our suit would not repeal,
Nor change the wish for your own miniature.
May 7, 1812.
"The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance."
HEARD ye that sigh? it breath'd from Serampore!
The Wife, the Mother, Sister, is no more!
She, to the will of GOD supreme, resign'd,
Cross'd the wide sea, and left her home behind;
Her Father, Mother, Kindred, Country, all—
Save one lov'd object. To the heav'nly call
Not disobedient; behold her leave
Her native land, to tempt the briny wave,
Where soon her first-born finds an early grave!
The veil we draw o'er that affecting scene;
The feeling mind knows what such partings mean.
Born on the sea, her infant's voyage ends;
The Mother childless—distant from her friends;
Yet is she still supported, and she sees
A FATHER'S hand, tho' veil'd in mysteries.
How shall a stranger tell the mournful tale
Fraught with unusual interest? How paint
Her blest departure from this tearful vale,
The sweet experience of the dying saint?
Ah, Chamberlain! for thee, for thee I weep!
A widow'd husband!—motherless thy child!
Methinks I hear thee, when she fell asleep,
Hear thee address her clay, in accents wild,
"Speak, my lov'd Hannah! let me hear thy voice!
Those tones affectionate repeat once more!
Oft have they made this anguish'd heart rejoice—
Speak, dearest woman!" but—the struggle's o'er!*
Marshman! of men most feeling—thou wast there;
Sure never mourner had a kinder friend!
Such proofs of love, ah! would they were less rare!
In which the Brother and the Christian blend.
See the interesting Narrative before referred to.
Oft have these eyes thy tender page bedew'd,
And oft these lips pour'd blessings on thy name,
When, in idea, I that scene have view'd,
Which lays to sympathy so strong a claim.
The Mother now has left her Babe behind,
And lies at Cutwa, solitary, low:
But their blest spirits round the throne have join'd,
To sing and love—as Angels cannot do!
May 13, 1812.
SWEET little Plants! and shall ye grow
In bloom and verdure many a year?
And on the mild, the polish'd brow,
Shall bright intelligence appear?
Shall Danzie's lovely, lisping tongue,
In future, eloquently charm?
Will he, the thorns of life among,
Still pass so steady and so calm?
Shall his blue eye, with gentle ray
And sympathetic feeling, bend
Where mis'ry's sons unheeded lay?
And shall the wretched call him friend?
Elizabeth! my name-sake niece,
What may thy future prospects be?
A dweller in the shades of peace,
Far from the tents of revelry?
Yet some there are who elbow through,
Or pass with rapid steps along;
Unfeeling, and unthinking too,
As the surrounding, clam'rous throng.
But those of gentler minds, full oft,
Find cause indeed to heave the sigh;
Their feelings are, alas! too soft
To bear the half-averted eye.
The rude neglect, the rough disdain,
Or conscious grandeur's haughty frown,
These to the tender heart give pain,
And weigh the meek in spirit down.
What shall I wish for you, sweet pair?
That which by me is most preferr'd?
A comfortable dwelling, where
The sound of tumult is unheard?
But why should I presume to choose,
Ev'n though your welfare I desire?
What would be best, I might refuse,
And what would harm you most, require.
THOU know'st, great Arbiter, too well,
To ask a sinful child of dust;
Choose Thou their lot, their place to dwell,
Thou ever gracious, wise and just!
To Thee we leave what shall await,
Prosp'rous or adverse, dark or bright;
Only—whatever be their state,
O may Thy ways be their delight.
June 2, 1812.
"——Placidáque ibi dèmum morte quievit."
"There, calm at length, he breath'd his soul away."
O'ER the soft scenes of mild domestic joy,
In which, blest spirit! thou wert wont to share,
My mem'ry wanders; but the lov'd employ
Is almost more than this weak mind can bear.
Yet still the darling object she pursues,
And dwells incessant on the chosen theme:
A Father's smile in retrospect she views,
Turns to the present, and, behold—the dream!
And art thou fled? Is that endearing name
Lost! lost for ever? Shall that voice no more
To thy Eliza's room admittance claim,
Thine own and her afflictions to deplore?
And there, secluded, talk of that bright day
When palsied limbs and failing eyes give place,
To youth eternal and immortal grace;
Where "all the former things are pass'd away."
These colloquies are over:—yet the thought
Is with substantial consolation fraught,
That thou art happy.—As for me, I wait,
Longing to follow to that blissful state,
Where the lov'd Sire and his afflicted Child,
(No more afflicted and no more exil'd,)
Shall meet together in their happier home,
Where the sad sounds of parting never come;
And in due time, upon the heav'nly shore,
Welcome those lov'd on earth, to separate no more.
June 25, 1815.
"She hath done what she could."
"———The warmer efforts of her gentle heart,
Anxious to please."
SHARER of all my joy and pain,
My other self, my sister Jane!
What tribute, from my willing hand,
Does not thy constant care demand?
Thou dost affliction's pillow smooth,
And gently oft my bosom sooth
When thoughts of past, or present ill,
Most painfully that bosom fill.
Tried, faithful, gen'rous, sympathizing, kind!
Where shall my feelings fit expressions find?
How shall my heart its gratitude express
For TEN long years of well-prov'd tenderness?
Jan. 22, 1817.
THERE sweetly slumber in your dusty bed!
There rest serenely with your kindred dead,
My Father! Sister!—peacefully recline,
While thus my hands your mournful wreaths entwine.
And yet, ye are not dead! my humble lay
Might rather celebrate your natal day.
Now ye begin to live: and only now;
Since 't is a dying life we lead below.
Here the companions of our voy'ge we see,
Sink one by one into Eternity;
While the rude storms our trembling barks assail,
And sorrow meets us on each sighing gale.
And have ye met? and has the aged Sire
Join'd with his Daughter the seraphic choir?
Did Death translate you from a world of woe
To climes where joys celestial ceaseless flow?
And has that friendly messenger set free
From cumbrous chains, to life and liberty,
Your happy spirits? We will weep no more;
Assur'd of this—your conflicts now are o'er.
No more shall chilling hand of Palsy bind,
In its benumbing grasp, the weaken'd mind;
Those limbs once active;—that persuasive tongue,
On whose sweet sounds our pleas'd attention hung
List'ning to be instructed, or obtain
One more sweet proof we had not liv'd in vain,
But that at home, tho' all the world had frown'd,
Sweet peace, with harmony and love were found.
Now rest their bodies in the narrow cell,
Whilst their freed souls in heav'nly union dwell.
Partners in tribulation once below—
Joint-victors, crown'd with endless Glory now!
And ye, whose widow'd hearts seem'd 'reft in twain,
Shall rise and follow! ye shall meet again.
Sweet rays of Hope the grave's dark bed illume,
No horror hovers o'er the Christian's tomb!
Though mute, inglorious, now they seem to lie,
When the last trump shall shake the vaulted sky
They'll rise to life:—the grave shall yield its trust,
At the blest resurrection of the just.
Hail, mighty Conq'ror! blest Redeemer, hail!
Victor immortal! how didst Thou prevail!
Death could not hold THEE in his feeble clasp—
Touch'd by THY pow'r unsinew'd was his grasp.
Then was it seen that Thou hadst pow'r to save,
When Thou didst rise triumphant from the grave;
And give sweet earnest that the day would come,
When we—ev'n we should issue from the tomb.
But what, tho' our beloved circle's broke,
And nature mourns beneath th' afflictive stroke!
'Tis not for you alone these tears are shed,
Or that you're number'd with the pious dead,
As that ourselves are left so far behind,
The sport of ev'ry wave, of ev'ry wind.
Yet why should we despond? Life's longest day
Must have its close; and soon the roughest way
Will smoothly end, to those, whose faithful hearts
Are fix'd on Him who ev'ry good imparts.
Then let it be our study how to please,
That GOD who governs by His wise decrees;
His Counsels follow, and His Glory seek
In ev'ry act we do, and word we speak;
Calmly endure, and resolutely aim
To magnify His great and holy name;
Feel our dependance, at His footstool fall,
Sink into nothing, and let GOD be all.
May His good SPIRIT His own Law inscribe
Deep on our hearts; may we His mind imbibe;
Welcome His will; and wait the summon's giv'n,
To leave these scenes of night, for endless day in Heav'n.
Jan. 25, 1815.
"Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life."
WERE I but skill'd in the poetic art,
My friend Louisa had not twice essay'd
To move my willing, unreluctant heart,
But ere she ask'd the tribute had been paid.
No stranger to those mild domestic joys,
Those gentler Charities which life endear;
Taught, ev'n by losses, these sweet boons to prize,
And mix with gratitude the frequent tear,
Eliza yields;—and grants her Friend's request,
Though but too conscious of her want of pow'r,
To dress in language, as she ought, the best,
Her genuine feelings in this pleasing hour.
Louisa wept—in early life bereav'd
Of him whose smile endear'd her happy home;
O'er her dear Babes the youthful Mother griev'd,
And prophesied of mournful years to come.
She drank the cup; the bitter cup; she sigh'd;—
Look'd on her Boys—then cast an eye to Heav'n:
But all her sorrows have been sanctified;
Much did she lose, yet still much more was giv'n.
Happy Louisa! Happy even now;
Since Love and Mercy's Arms encompass thee:
Methinks I see the smile upon thy brow—
Thou wast in bondage—Grace has made thee free.
And didst thou then, instructed from above,
Aim, with a Mother's tenderness, to guide
Their youthful footsteps to the source of Love,
And recommend the Guardian thou hadst tried?
Tried Him, and found Him faithful: saw His hand
Stretch'd out to succour, to protect, to save;
Steering the shatter'd vessel to the land,
Thro' the rough storm, and o'er the swelling wave.
A Christian Mother! may her Sons be blest,
And hand in hand, delighted, tread the way,
Through this low valley, to the place of rest;
From scenes of darkness, to the realms of day.
Thou "Father of the fatherless!" and Friend
Of ev'ry friendless name that sinners have,
Protect these Orphans to their journey's end,
And be their Portion ev'n beyond the grave.
Then shall she triumph! then the voice of praise
Shall my Louisa's lips unmingled pour,
To Him who cheer'd the widow's darksome days,
And bade the trembling suppliant "weep no more."
Oct. 7, 1819.
"My Son, attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings."
WILL my dear Boy lend an attentive ear?
And, while his Mother dictates, will he hear?
Say, will my D— — listen while she speaks
Whose tears so oft bedew'd his infant cheeks?
Whose love maternal yearns her Son to see
All that a Man, a Christian, ought to be?
Yet knows, without the aid of Grace divine,
Such rich experience never can be thine.
There is a way, the end of which is—death!
Hast thou not read that Holy Word, which saith,
"Remember thy Creator in thy youth?"
Listen, my D— —, 't is the voice of TRUTH.
Make thou that Word thy Counsellor; 't will be
The chart to guide thee to Eternity;
To show the rocks, the quicksands, and the shoals
That wreck and swallow up so many souls,
And leave the ruin'd wand'rer to deplore
Those days, which, wasted once, return no more.
Dost thou seek Honours, Riches, Pleasures, Peace?
From all thy vain pursuits and efforts cease,
And let the Pearl of Price attract thy view,
'T will lead to honours, riches, pleasures too:
Honours unfading, pleasures unalloy'd,
To be through all Eternity enjoy'd,
With thine, a Monarch's treasures cannot vie,
If beyond Jordan thy fair Portion lie.
O! read the life of JESUS! see what love
Inspir'd His soul, and brought Him from above;
And be thy bosom warm'd to ask a part
In that compassionate Redeemer's heart.
Ask for an int'rest in His precious blood;
Seek living waters, and diviner food;
Wisdom to guide, Omnipotence to shield,
Pardon for sin, and Grace His sword to wield.
Adieu my D— —! let thy Mother's pen,
Which never more, perhaps, may warn again,
Gain thy attention; and, be well assur'd,
That all her fond affection has endur'd
For thee from infancy, and through thy youth,
Shall well be paid, if in the paths of Truth
She sees her First-born walk while he is young,
And leave far off the dissipated throng—
Prone to seduce, and happy to mislead,
Who tempt to sin, and glory in the deed.
Thou hast a Brother! Let fraternal love
By ev'ry word, by ev'ry action prove
That, 'midst the joys, the trials, and the strife,
Which tend to sweeten or embitter life,
His interests and his person both are dear;
United dwell whilst ye shall sojourn here;
And may that union and that love extend
Through ages that shall never, never end,
And the fond Parent, with her much lov'd Boys,
Live and depart in peace, to share eternal joys!
Oct. 7, 1819.
STOP, Passenger! and let these ashes preach
A lesson better than Divines can teach.
Here, to thy sense, evident appears
How Death has triumph'd! how a few short years
People the turf; — loudly they call on thee
To think how soon this too thy state may be.
"The sting of death is sin:" but—JESUS died!
And is His Blood to thy disease applied?
That Sov'reign antidote alone can heal
Those fears of death which guilty sinners feel.
Thou art a Sinner!—be thou young or old,
And this the place where Truth should e'er be told.
Graves will not flatter;—'t is the pride of men
That varnishes and cheats: and when the pen
Ask thou thine heart, amidst this solemn scene,
What these false notions—what those errors mean!
Art thou a Christian? it will quickly say,
Man is a worm; the creature of a day;
Incapable of good, and prone to ill;
The subject of a void that none can fill
But GOD alone. Howe'er proud men presume,
HE only can prepare thee for the tomb.
Thy Works! (if thou shouldst think such works can be
A passport for thee to Eternity,)
In that dread hour when tombs resign their trust,
Shatter'd the urn, the monumental bust;—
When the turf heaves, the earth its tenants yields,
And from the view no more these relics shields;
In that most awful hour, that Blood alone,
(Which once was shed transgression to atone,)
That Blood, that Righteousness, that Saviour, then,
Alone will give a hope to guilty men;—
The Judge, indignant at thy vain request,
Will fix thy lot far distant from the blest,
And spurn those mis-call'd works, on which were built
Fallacious hopes of freedom from thy guilt.
O! what a solemn hour! Behold, 'tis here!
How wilt thou 'midst the myriads appear?
Whilst congregated worlds around thee rise,
Some take their flight beyond the azure skies
Pardon'd and justified, to Glory speed;
While others, for whom none can intercede,
Join the sad group,—and, banish'd to the place
Where never enters one faint beam of grace,
Lament, how sadly! that they tried to gain
Heav'n by their works, but found those efforts vain.
Haste then, and bend ev'n now the suppliant knee,
That thy blest state may with the righteous be;
And, unpresuming, lay thy glory down,
And let JEHOVAH-JESUS wear the Crown!
Nov. 7, 1819.