Sarah S. Mower
Part 2 out of 2
By gusts of threat'ning sound.
The hurricane arose in wrath,
The rain in torrents poured;
Huge trees were flung across our path,
Loud crashing thunders roared.
When vivid lightnings round us blazed,
He told me not to fear;
My little trembling hand he seized,
And checked the rising tear.
Loud thunders through the forest pealed;
He smiled, and cheered me on,
Exclaiming, "we'll soon reach the field,
Then all the danger's gone."
But soon, in hurried tones he said,
"Run, sister, run with me,
Look! look! directly o'er your head,
Behold that falling tree!"
But, while I heard the warning sound
Rise o'er the raging storm,
Its double trunk had clasped around
My little trembling form.
Why did my brother linger there,
Nor strive to gain the field?
Torn branches filled the darkened air,
Huge trees above us reeled.
Like some stern warrior on the field,
'Midst danger, death, and strife,
He stood, determined not to yield,
Until he saved my life.
That awful tempest, and thy care,
My mem'ry still retains,
Engraved upon those tablets fair,
'Twill live while life remains.
ADDRESSED TO AN ABSENT SISTER.
Dear sister, though absent, your image is bright,
It dwells in my heart and prompts me to write;
Your health, is it blooming, your spirits in cheer?
You know 'twould rejoice me, such tidings to hear.
The din of the village, and hum of the mill,
Can they charm my sister like our quiet vale?
Does our little cottage seem humble and mean,
Embosomed with trees, and surrounded with green?
Like father and mother, are those where you dwell?
Like brothers and sisters who love you so well?
Or do you look forward and sigh for that hour,
When we shall all meet in your jessamine bower?
Where vines that you planted, will wave o'er your head,
And nature's green carpet sweet odors will shed;
Each cool breeze is playing with flowers growing near,
Which sister has planted, our spirits to cheer.
Your roses and lilacs, among the pine trees,
Are swarming with butterflies, humbirds, and bees;
I view them each morning, all spark'ling with dew,
And fancy they're emblems of sisters like you.
Come home and do housework, tend poultry and flowers,
At noontide recline in our cool shady bowers;
Could not such employment still yield you delight,
Where birds are all singing from morning till night?
Soon summer is coming, your flow'rets will bloom,
And spread new enchantments around your old home;
Our grove by the river in beauty is drest,
The Whippowil's notes sweetly soothe us to rest.
The sun, in mild splendor, sinks down in the west,
Encircling with glory the old mountain's crest;
The clouds o'er his head glow with purple and gold,
The river is catching the tinge of each fold.
The scene would be lovely, if sister was here,
But now I'm so lonely, it looks sad and drear;
The beauties of nature are losing their charms,
No more to divert me, till clasped in your arms.
But I'm growing weary, I'll draw to a close,
And seek for refreshment in needful repose;
If this, from a sister can give you delight,
Retire to your chamber, this evening, and write.
Adieu, my dear sister, until your return
Sweet home will be dreary, and almost forlorn;
May God be your guide, your supporter and stay,
Directing your footsteps, wherever you stray.
A MORNING SCENE
ON A SISTER'S WEDDING DAY.
Dear sister, when they called thee bride,
That sound, my spirits deeply tried;
My heart, at that one little word,
Through every trembling fibre stirred.
I'd still a place within thy heart,
But oh, I felt it hard to part;
And that long dreaded hour had come,
When thou must leave thy childhood's home.
But that sad morn; a pleasant sight
Cast o'er the future gleams of light;
I listened, and the voice of prayer
Ascended on the morning air.
'Twas then, I thought the heavenly dove
Gave us a token of his love,
For, in the western heavens, now
Appeared a bright resplendent bow.
'Twas lovely as that arch displayed
When Noah by the altar prayed;
That sacred scene could but impart
A gleam of sunshine to my heart.
O, 'twas a consecrated hour,
When, through that sweet refreshing shower
The morning sunbeams brightly smiled,
And whispered, trust thy Father, child.
TO THE WHIPPOWIL.
Vernal songster, thou art here,
With the flowers thou dost appear;
Yes, sweet little Whippowil,
Thou art singing by the rill;
Where the silver moonbeam plays
Thou dost chant thy hymn of praise;
Thy shrill voice I love to hear,
And I'd have thee warble near.
Come, sweet bird, the moonlight shines
Through the verdant row of pines,
Standing by our cottage door,
Come, where thou hast sang before,
When I heard thy thrilling note
On the twilight breezes float,
Ming'ling with the cheerful song
Of our happy fireside throng.
Loved ones, that to me are dear,
No more tune their voices here;
Some have sought a distant home,
Gone, 'midst other scenes to roam;
One is racked with wasting pain,
And may never sing again;
While I hear thy feeble moan,
I can never sing alone;
Still, we welcome blooming spring,
But there's no one here to sing.
Come then, little singing bird,
Let thy cheerful voice be heard;
Come, and pour thy melting lays
Where thou didst in better days;
Strive each drooping heart to cheer,
Strive to dry the falling tear,
Strive to soothe each throbbing breast,
Hushing troubled minds to rest.
"My harp is on the willows hung.
And the strings all out of tune,"
And dost thou listen for a song,
From this frail harp, neglected long?
My harp, alas! is drenched in tears,
Rent by contending hopes and fears.
Pale trembling fingers sweep the strings
Whene'er my muse, in sadness, sings;
For, prostrate now, before me lays
The playmate of bright joyous days;
She was my early childhood's pet,
Nor can my bleeding heart forget
That love, which has, in later years
Shared all my pastimes, hopes, and fears.
Long has pale death beside her stood,
And poured his arrows like a flood,
Whilst I have tried, with beating heart,
To steal the poison from each dart;
But oft I fear, lest these dread showers
Will baffle all our feeble powers,
And death's cold hand, will rend apart
The tie that binds her to my heart.
Long I've refused to leave her side,
Lest there should aught remain untried,
Which might her wasting form restore,
And tinge her cheek with bloom once more.
Oft by her couch, the livelong night,
I've watched, till morn's unwelcome light,
Like some vain babbler, must reveal
The tears, which I would fain conceal;
Then softly stole, in silence, where
No sigh could reach the sufferer's ear.
But, shall I thus forever weep,
And let my harp forgotten sleep,
When there's one sweet melodious strain,
Whose power can wake its string again?
Come, let us chant one grateful song
To Him, whose patience waited long,--
"_God ruleth, let the earth rejoice!_"
Yes, let us make a joyful noise.
We're chastened by a hand divine,
Let us be dumb, nor dare repine;
Thou didst it. O, our Father, God,
Then let us humbly kiss the rod.
Though from our eyes the tear-drop starts,
When those who twine around our hearts
Are suffering with exquisite pain,
Yet, we may weep, and not complain.
Lord, thou didst weep, and so may we,
And bow submissive still to Thee;
Grant us thy grace in sorrow's hour,
To flee for refuge to thy power.
TO A SISTER WHILE DANGEROUSLY ILL.
O Sister! Sister! can it be
That thou must droop, and die?
Still blending on thy fair young cheek,
The rose and lily vie.
But burning fever is the root
From whence those roses spring;
While pain and suffering, on thy brow,
Those snowy lilies fling.
THE INVALID'S DREAM
The sick girl sat with downcast eye,
Her bosom heaved the deep drawn sigh,
She felt that all complaint was vain,
For health would ne'er return again.
With pain and weariness oppressed,
She sought her pillow, there to rest,
While sleep a welcome visit paid,
Bright scenes were to her view displayed.
In fancy's magic glass, she sees
Her cheek, long faded by disease,
The rose of health blooms there again,
'Tis no deceitful hectic stain.
Lightly and firm her footsteps fell;
In rapture, she exclaimed, "I'm well!
I bear no suff'ring, feel no pain,
My long lost treasure I regain."
Her blooming form now stands erect,
In fair and comely robes bedecked;
Her limbs, so long with pain oppressed.
Can nimbly move or sweetly rest.
Rejoicing friends their praises sing,
To Hezekiah's bounteous king;
Well pleased, she hears their grateful songs,
And her glad voice the strain prolongs.
But sleep his downy pinions spread,
Her slumbers broke, the vision fled;
Her burning temples throbbed with pain,--
She was an invalid again.
TO A BUTTERFLY IN MY CHAMBER.
Whence art thou, frail, wand'ring stranger,
Softly flitting round my bed?
Is thy life exposed to danger?
Are thy friends and kindred dead?
Does the cold rude breath of autumn,
Chill thy little fragile form?
Hast thou come to seek a shelter
From the dreaded gath'ring storm?
Art thou now our friendship trying?
Wouldst thou test the vows we made,
When thou was so gaily flying
'Round us, 'neath the fragrant shade?
Or, wouldst thou our hearts be cheering,
Through this pensive lonely eve,
While the chilly winds are bearing
On their wings the faded leaf?
Would thou wast the Father's token,
That the sweet celestial dove,
When the golden bowl is broken,
Will support us by his love,--
Will, in that dread painful conflict,
Flit around our dying bed,
And, to fill the soul with comfort,
Whisper, "blessed are the dead."
TO THE "WILD FLOWER."
I've ranged the bright streamlet in childhood's blest hour,
And culled from its borders spring's loveliest flowers,
Then bound up my bouquet, all glitt'ring with dew,
And smiled on my treasure as homeward I flew.
I've seen the sweet violet deck the green sod,
All fresh from the hand of a bountiful God,
While soft whisp'ring zephyrs breathed this in my ear,
"The wisdom of God in these blossoms appear."
I've looked on the mayflower, spring's earliest child,--
It peeped from the snowdrift and modestly smiled;
I've plucked the fair lily, arrayed in fair white,
And drank in its fragrance with heartfelt delight.
Yet blossoms that smile in the green woodland bower,
Ne'er rival this sweet intellectual flower;
This blossom sprang up from the depths of the mind,--
The heart's thrilling fibres its tendrils entwine,
Affection's pure fountain has watered the germ,
The bright sun of intellect cherished its form,
It's petals were colored in fancy's rich dye,
Till they, with the hues of the rainbow may vie;
I'll pluck thee, sweet blossom, pure fragrance I find,
When the rich perfumes are inhaled by the mind.
[Footnote 5: A volume of poems.]
AT THE FAMILY ALTAR. COMPOSED FOR THE REV. W. FOSS,
The father, still in manhood's prime,
Was bowed in humble prayer;
His partner, fair as when a bride,
Was kneeling by him there.
Reclining on a sister's arm,
The babe found sweet repose;
While from the heart, in accents warm,
The father's prayer arose.
And, fair as rosebuds bathed in dew;
By morning zephyrs fanned,
A blooming group of loved ones, too,
Was ranged on either hand.
As many children God had given,
As good old Jacob had;
That he might meet them all in heaven,
How fervently he prayed.
What deep emotions filled my breast,
That scene my spirit stirred;
Will not that family be blessed,
That prayer in heaven be heard?
Though oft his duty calls abroad,
Salvation's news to bear,
The father leaves his charge with God,
Confiding in his care.
AN APPEAL FOR IRELAND.
"Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shall find it after many
days."--_Ecel_. xi; 1.
Hark! hear the cry of Erin's sons,
By plague and famine frantic;
The wail of wives and little ones
Comes o'er the broad Atlantic.
O, heed the bitter piercing cry,
That's pealing o'er the ocean;
To us, to us, for aid they fly,
As Israel fled to Goshen.
List! hear that sad and mournful sound,
It is the parent sighing;
Beside him, on the damp cold ground.
His darling ones are lying.
A nation sinking to the grave;
How thick death's shafts are flying!
The loved, the lovely, and the brave,
From want are daily dying.
They're calling to Columbia's sons,
And to her happy daughters;
Take of your bread, ye favor'd ones,
And cast it on the waters.
THE LITTLE CLOUD.
All day the rain has patter'd down,
In dense dark folds, clouds hang around,
The humid air is dead and still,
Thick vapors veil the distant hill.
But now, a little crimson cloud
Beams from an opening in the shroud,
Which, like a dusky pall, o'erspreads
The azure vault above our heads.
Our fancy, while we gaze, takes wings
And flits around earth's brighter things,
Then whispers in our list'ning ears,
"This earth is not all sighs and tears."
This cloud is like the robin's song,
Whose notes were hushed all winter long,
But comes to usher in the hours,
Whose genial warmth revives the flowers.
Or like the south wind's gentle voice,
Bidding all nature's works rejoice,
Teaching the little birds, to sing
A serenade to blooming spring.
Like budding flowers where thorns once grew,
And beauty bursting into view
Where all was dark, and drear, and wild,
Nor pleasures in prospective smiled.
'Tis like the smile that beams through tears,
When hope usurps the place of fears;
Like health, new sparkling in the eye
Of him, whom friends gave up to die.
Faint emblem of the glory shed
Around the dying christian's bed,
That prelude to the dazzling light
Which bursts on his enraptured sight,
When the freed spirit soars above,
And faith is swallowed up in love.
AS IT WAS, AND AS IT IS.
It was a wild, sequestered spot,
With here and there a humble cot;
Yet, nature's richest robes were thrown
Around those hills and valleys lone.
'Twas quiet, fair, and lovely, then,
Though beasts of prey and savage men
Roamed o'er those hills of graceful form,
Whose trees for ages braved the storm,
Yet, humbly stooping to behold
The broad majestic stream, that rolled
Through smiling mead and woody plain,
Fast speeding onward to the main,
Or, dashing from its rocky height,
Proclaims the great Creator's might,
Its deep toned music, strangely meet
To mingle with the anthem sweet,
That floated on each whisp'ring breeze,
Which came, soft stealing through the trees
That grew upon the winding shore,
In giant ranks, in days of yore.
When genial spring her magic spell,
Cast 'round each lovely woodland dell,
And woke to life the warbling throng,
While streamlets gaily danced along;
If such a spot on earth be found,
Those hills and vallies all around
Smiled, like the paradise of God,
When first by sinless beings trod.
Thus, rude, romantic, grand, sublime,
Was Lewiston, in olden time.
But Art and Genius, passing by,
Saw this fair spot neglected lie,
Then said, in deep emotion's tone,
"Shall these bright waves go dancing on,
Just like a thoughtless child at play,
Who throws his strength and skill away?"
Anon, they raised the useful mills,
The sparkling waters moved the wheels,
And industry, with cheerful air,
Was pleased to take her station there.
The proud old forest bowed, his head,
With sullen frowns the savage fled,
The timid beaver left the shore,
The deer and moose were seen no more.
Rich cultivated fields appeared.
Neat tasteful dwellings soon were reared,
In graceful ranks we see them stand,
With spacious streets on either hand.
Where once the Indian's wigwam stood,
The factory, with its busy crowd,
Dispenses blessings far and near,
While rich and poor its products share.
Here merchandise, with eagle eyes,
His own and others' wants supplies;
And science, like a swelling tide,
Diffuses knowledge far and wide.
The sweetly pealing sabbath bells,
Now echo round those hills and dells,
And call the villagers to meet
Where they enjoy communion sweet,
With Him who answers ev'ry prayer
That humble faith can utter there.
There's music in those sabbath bells,
This pleasing truth methinks they tell,
That God is held in rev'rence there,
And worshiped in His house of prayer.
In the fair background now are seen
Sweet hills and dales, all robed in green,
With here and there a pleasant grove
Where every class delights to rove;
There, age sits down beneath the shade,
Where he has oft in childhood strayed;
There, youths and maidens often walk,
To spend an hour in friendly talk;
There, little children, too, are seen,
Like lambs they gambol o'er the green;
They wander there in summer hours
In quest of birds' nests, fruit, and flowers.
The scholar loves this solitude,
Where tumult never dares intrude;
And here the stranger likes to roam,
And think of loved ones left at home.
The saint, at twilight's pensive hour,
Here seeks the sweet secluded bower;
While whisp'ring zephyrs linger near,
And waft to heaven the humble prayer.
And all who study nature's book,
On this fair page delight to look;
They'll range those hills and vallies o'er,
And trace the river's winding shore.
Nor can they e'er forget to look
Upon the little murm'ring brook,
Which, like a silver belt, winds round
The hill, with oak and elm trees crowned.
But that majestic waterfall,
In grandeur still surpasses all.
Should Art and Genius there assemble,
With solemn awe they'd stand and tremble;
Than all their works, they'd own this greater,
And bow before the great Creator.
I wandered out one summer night,
'Twas when my years were few,
The wind was singing in the light,
And I was singing too.
One fleecy cloud upon the air,
Was all that met my eyes,
It floated like an angel there,
Between me and the skies.
I clapped my hands and warbled wild,
As here and there I flew,
For I was but a careless child,
And did as children do.
I heard the laughing wind behind,
'Twas playing with my hair;
The breezy fingers of the wind,
How cool and moist they were.
The twilight hours came stealing by,
And still I wandered free;
Ten thousand stars were in the sky,
Ten thousand on the sea.
For ev'ry wave with dimpled face,
That leaped upon the air,
Had caught a star in its embrace,
And held it trembling there.
But wherefore weave such strains as these,
And sing them day by day,
When every bird upon the breeze
Can sing a sweeter lay.
I'd give the world for their sweet art.
The simple, the divine;
I'd give the world to melt one heart,
As they have melted mine.
And wouldst thou, sweet minstrel, if earth should unfold
To thee all her treasures of silver and gold,
Resign all thy riches, thy wealth, fame and power,
To sing like the birds in the green woodland bower?
Like thee, dear Amelia, I love the wild bird,
Their soft melting strains, at grey twilight, I've heard;
The whippowils, then, on the cool zephyr's wing,
Their clear pensive notes in rich harmony fling.
I listen each morning with heartfelt delight,
While birds bid adieu to the shadows of night.
And greet in sweet anthems the bright king of day,
As they through the forest are soaring away.
Yet thy flowing numbers, when breathing around,
Awaken such echoes as these never found;
A chord in my bosom, thy sonnet has stirred,
Which never was touched by the notes of a bird.
But meekness in woman to me is so dear,
I love thee the more when such language I hear;
True greatness and modesty, when they combine,
Like stars of the firmament sparkle and shine.
The birds of the forest thy spirits can cheer,
Their songs fill with music thy sensitive ear,
But has that fair dove in thy heart found a nest,
Whose singing can make thee eternally blest?
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY VIEWING A ROW OF FINE TREES NEAR
These youthful pines, a verdant row,
Cast their dark shadows on the snow;
Just like a picture, or a dream,
Or tale of fairy lands, they seem.
I hear a soft melodious lay,
The winds are with their tops at play;
While moonbeams through their branches stealing,
Wake up a wild romantic feeling.
The forest birds in spring will come,
'Neath these green boughs to make their home,
To cheer us with their sweet wild song,
To build their nests and rear their young.
Child of the wood, in infancy,
I learned to love the forest tree;
I'm still the same romantic creature,
Admiring all the works of nature.
The rocks, the fields, the groves and flowers,
Are fraught with some mysterious powers,
That bind me with a pleasing spell,
Which naught can break while here I dwell.
The wild bird's note, the woodland dell,
Have charms beyond my power to tell;
While winds are through the forest roaring,
My spirit with the sound seems soaring.
The rosy morn, the sunset sky,
The glitt'ring retinue on high,
The sun's broad blaze, the moon's mild beams,
Reflected from the lakes and streams,
The lightning's flash, the thunder's roar,
The ocean dashing on the shore,
And meteors streaming through the air,
Proclaim that God is everywhere.
SUGGESTED BY VIEWING A PETUNIA.
Fair plant, well pleased on thee I look,
Thou art a page in nature's book,
Which I delight to read;
Though stoics set thee quite at naught,
And say that none but children ought
On such vain trifles spend a thought,
Their words I little heed.
A child I'd ever wish to be,
With an instructer just like thee,
And listen to her voice;
Fain wouldst thou our best passions move,
And lead our wandering thoughts above,
Where, at the fount of boundless love,
We ever might rejoice.
Our tender care thou dost repay,
Though watched and guarded night and day,
Thus teaching thoughtless man;
When thou art nursed and watered well,
Thy bursting buds with fragrance swell,
And thus the grateful story tell,
That we do all we can.
Thy blooming petals love the light.
The sun smiles on them, they grow bright,
Withdraws his beams, they faint;
Yet, when beneath his radiant gaze,
The modest blush that o'er them plays,
To every thinking mind, portrays
The contrite, humble saint.
Sweet plant, I love thee, yes, I do,
And all thy blooming kindred too,
(More than the works of art,)
For in them, I can ever find
Such beauty, skill and power combined,
As captivate and soothe the mind,
And cheer the drooping heart.
Fair gift, by royal donor given,
dipped in the radiant dyes of heaven,
And strown o'er every land,
Ye shed your fragrance o'er the tomb,
Steal from deep solitude its gloom,
And when the gardener gives you room,
You bless his fostering hand.
Not Newton, though he soared so high,
And traced the planets through the sky,
With such amazing power,
Nor Franklin, whom we praise so loud,
Though lightnings in their misty shroud,
Obeyed his voice and left the cloud,
Could make the simplest flower.
Nor could the chemist's skill suffice
To mingle such exquisite dyes,
As in the flowers appear;
And were all human powers combined,
And centred in one single mind,
Its best productions, we should find,
Stand halting in the rear.
When, veiled in flesh, God dwelt below,
He deigned his watchful care to show,
For man's ungrateful race;
When sin their drowsy eyes had sealed,
He took the lily of the field,
And bade them think what that revealed,
And learn to trust his grace.
The garden which Jehovah planned,
And planted with his own right hand,
Was decked with fragrant flowers;
And shall we boast that we now slight
What God designed to give delight,
Ere sin had cast its with'ring blight
O'er all our mental powers?
TO A WHITE HOLLYHOCK.
Sweet plant, so fair, so pure thy blossoms look,
I almost fancy that some angel, from
His wing the feathers plucked, and of them, at
The twilight hour, thy snowy petals made.
But fancy leads astray. Not one of all
That shining throng, which worship 'round the throne,
Could e'er such work perform. None but the hand
Divine, these curious fabrics wrought.
SUGGESTED BY VIEWING THE MINIATURE OF A PAIR OF LOVELY
TWIN BOYS, WHO WERE DEPRIVED OF THEIR MOTHER AT THE
AGE OF TWO MONTHS, AND WERE THE ONLY REMAINING CHILDREN
OF THEIR FATHER.
I gaze upon this picture fair,
And find strange beauty mirrored there;
Its magic spell with power is fraught,
To ope the fount of hidden thought.
Sweet childhood's opening blossoms here,
In all their loveliness appear;
Pure innocence, with touching grace,
Smiles in each feature of the face,
Like rosy morning's cheerful rays,
O'er childhood's artless brow, it plays.
The lips, half open, almost speak,
While on the fresh, young, dimpled cheek,
The bloom is like those vernal flowers,
Whose fragrance fills our woodland bowers.
Those speaking eyes the power have caught,
To mirror forth the germs of thought;
Their silent language, deep and strong,
Can touch the hidden springs of song;
Their melting beams can reach the mind,
Where they our best affections find.
Why did these twin-born, smiling boys,
Come here to wake maternal joys,
In that fond, faithful mother's breast,
Where they could but a moment rest?
With love too deep for words to speak,
She pressed each tender infant cheek,
With quivering lips and falt'ring breath,
Before the opening gates of death,
While faintly burned the vital spark,
Within life's frail and shattered bark,
Just mooring in the port of bliss,
She paused to steal one last, fond kiss.
In death's embrace those lips were cold,
Ere half their thrilling tale was told;
The mother and her babes must part,
Before the tender infant heart,
By her soft winning tones, had learned
What love within her bosom burned
Before her counsels, blessed and wise,
Could train her offspring to the skies.
Sweet babes! so helpless, frail and fair,
Why here, without her watchful care?
Your sainted brother never wept
Beside the grave, where loved ones slept,
While clouds were gathering round his head,
He to the Savior's bosom fled.
Then why not plume your tiny wings,
And soar to where your mother sings?
Why tarry on this barren shore;
Till waves of trouble round you roar?
Ah! now I know; you linger here,
Your father's lonely hours to cheer.
Death would not pluck the last fair flower,
That bloomed in his connubial bower;
He fondly loves his orphan boys,
They half restore his withered joys.
Sweet rosebuds, springing from the tomb,
Long round his hearthstone may you bloom,
With smiles of love your father greet,
And fill your mother's vacant seat.
THE CULTIVATION OF FLOWERS.
Where can we find a more healthy and delightful employment, than the
cultivation of flowers? Though of less importance than those plants
which are necessary for the support of animal life, yet, rightly
considered, they yield a pleasant and instructive entertainment for the
intellectual powers, and may justly be termed food for the mind.
"Nonsense" some of our readers exclaim, "Nonsense, to talk of feeding
the immortal mind, with flowers! For one, I think people may find some
more useful employment than that of persuading their fellow beings to
spend the precious hours of this _short_ life upon these useless
But pause, my readers, and consider who gave this finishing touch to the
face of nature. Who strewed the fields with flowers? Were they not
brought into existence by the same All-wise Being who created the earth
upon which we dwell, with its millions of intelligent beings, its vast
oceans, its towering mountains, its flaming volcanoes and its majestic
rivers with their awe inspiring cataracts; who created the sun, that
great fountain of light and heat, and the centre of attraction for those
vast globes which revolve around it, and then counterpoised with such
precision the different forces which produce and continue their motion,
that they continue to perform their appointed revolutions, without the
least deviation from that orbit, in which they were placed at creation's
dawn; who "made the stars also," that innumerable multitude of fixed
stars, or suns with their attending planets which inhabit the boundless
regions of space; whose wonderful works are so numerous as to overwhelm
the feeble mind of man, and to compel him to conclude at the
commencement, by saying that they are infinite? And shall we be so
impious as to hush the voice of reason, and disregard the words of holy
writ enough to say, that even the little violet was made in vain? I
should sooner believe that Washington, the father of our country, while
the destiny of our nation was placed, as it were, in his hands, was in
the habit of deserting his army while on the battle field, engaged in
the most bloody conflict with a mortal foe, for the sole purpose of
amusing himself with soap bubbles and firebrand ribbons.
"But," says one, "they were created for a scourge and a snare to fallen
man; for while we are compelled to spend much of our time in destroying
thorns and thistles from our premises, they are continually tempting the
weaker part of our race to spend their strength and time upon that,
which at best, can yield no profit." But against this assertion, the
scriptures afford us ample proof, for we are there informed, that they
were created before the fall, and pronounced very good, while thorns and
thistles were brought forth afterwards; for the Lord said, when
pronouncing the curse upon Adam, "Cursed be the ground for thy sake,
thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee," thus implying that
they were not already in existence. And again, flowers are universally
spoken of in scripture as blessings, or used as emblems of things
valuable or pleasing, while thorns and thistles are always used to
represent things hurtful, or afflictive. And if any part of nature's
works retain their native purity and remain unchanged, save by the hand
of death, is it not flowers? It is true, they neither supply us with
food or clothing, and if they possess medical qualities, they might as
well be contained in the plant without the appendage of a flower. Nor
were they made for the fowls of the air, or the beasts of the field, for
they totally disregard them; we never see the ox, the horse, or the
sheep, stop to smell their fragrance or gaze upon their beauty. And many
of those who are termed the lords of creation, consider them beneath the
notice of intellectual beings, and yet they were made for some wise
purpose. We will therefore admit the truth of an assertion made by a
friend, who remarked that flowers were doubtless created for the sole
purpose of gratifying the weak and childish minds of the female sex. Be
it so, let us thankfully receive the gift, and think ourselves honored
by being thought worthy of the fairest and sweetest part of nature's
productions; for which she has reserved her most grateful perfumes, her
richest dyes, and the finest strokes of her pencil. Yes, we _will_
cultivate flowers, for we do not profess to be more scrupulous about the
manner in which we spend our time than the Lord of the universe was,
for he planted flowers in _his_ garden. The scriptures inform us that he
planted every tree that was pleasant to the sight. And flowers certainly
were pleasant, even to the pure eyes of our Savior; for while speaking
of the lilies of the field, he says, "Even Solomon, in all his glory,
was not arrayed like one of these." And the wisest of men, when
searching the world over for comparisons worthy of his beloved, exclaims
in the fullness of a heart overflowing with love and gratitude, "He is
the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley."
Sweet flowers, there is room enough for you in the female mind. We will
take you to our bosoms and cherish you with that affectionate regard,
which your lovely qualities deserve. We will admire your spotless purity
and innocence. You were thought worthy of a place in the blissful bowers
of Eden. And for aught we know, ye were the only part of nature's works
which were created solely for the purpose of charming the mind and
gratifying the senses of sinless beings. And may we make a profitable
use of these lovely relics of paradise! May they continually remind us
of the skill, wisdom and goodness of the great Architect of the
Where can we find a more transparent medium through which we may "look
through nature up to nature's God," than a veil interwoven with flowers?
When fatigued in body, where can we find a more pleasant resting place
than beneath the cool shade of an arbor, in the flower garden? When our
spirits are depressed or our minds perplexed with distracting care,
thither let us repair: it will prove a more effectual remedy than on
hour spent in gossipping, or an evening in the ball room. It can but
exert a healthful influence over the mind, to inhale such exquisite
odors, and gaze upon such beautiful colors and delicate tints, combined
with gracefulness and elegance of form. The art of man has long been
striving to imitate them, but the simplest flower that blooms still
eclipses their best performances. And yet the gorgeous canopy that decks
the monarch's throne owes half its splendor to the imperfect miniature
of the inhabitants of the flower garden.
And strange as it appears, how often do we see persons, who would blush
were they seen contemplating the simple beauties of a delicate flower,
pride themselves in embellishing their dwellings and equipage with its
coarsely wrought picture. But while they are pleasing themselves with
the shadow, we will feast ourselves on the substance.
"I am weary of this lecture upon flowers," the stoical reader exclaims:
If so, my friend, you are at liberty to retire to any place of
entertainment which your better judgment may suggest; but I will lay
aside my pen to walk among the flowers; and see if some of those silent,
though eloquent preachers, will not furnish the mind with some new idea,
which may serve as a foundation for another discourse.
MUSIC OF THE MIND.
What is music of the mind? Is it the soft harmonious strains of the
little minstrel which often steals into some secret nook within the
heart, and there tunes her silent harp to notes of sweetest melody?
Though we never hear her melting lays, yet persons in every station,
from the king upon his throne to the beggar by the wayside, and the rude
untutored savage roaming through his native forest, often experience
that exquisite pleasure produced by her magic spell.
We are continually surrounded by scenes calculated to produce this
music. The variegated scenery of different landscapes; the changing
seasons of the year; Spring with her balmy air, soft refreshing showers,
green fields, fragrant flowers, and merry cheerful birds; Summer, with
her sultry days, her cool inviting shades, her waving fields, and
delicious fruits; and Autumn, with his rich golden harvest, bright
pensive dreamy days, and clear moonlight evenings, have power to rouse
the minstrel from her slumbers; and even rude old Winter, clothed in
clouds and storms and drifting snows, can with his icy fingers sweep her
silent harp strings and wake their wildest melody.
We retire beneath the sacred shade of some ancient forest, and look upon
nature as she stands forth arrayed in all the charms of her primeval
beauty; where art has never plucked her native bloom, and tinged her
cheek with carmine. We there gaze upon the tall old trees, which have
for centuries been towering higher and higher, till they seem ambitious
to wave their lofty tops among the very clouds of heaven. We quench our
thirst with the sparkling waters of the pure spring, which bubbles up
cool and clear from its crystal fountain, washing the roots of the
trees, and trickling over the ground in bright streams, like threads of
molten silver, till they unite in one of those beautiful streamlets
which lend such enchantment to the woodland bowers; here, murmuring
melodiously among smooth rocks and bright pebbles, while the dimpling
eddies upon its surface reflect the rays of laughing sunshine which
quiver through the leafy canopy above; there, dashing over a projecting
rock forming a little cascade, and then flowing smoothly along, bearing
upon its tranquil bosom the fair images of the flowers which spring up
along its banks, upon the sloping hill-side and in every shady nook and
dell, smiling in strange beauty among the stern features of the woodland
scene. Sweet flowers, so fair and fragile, that they flourish only when
sheltered from the rude blast and pelting storm by some friendly shade,
and so modest and retiring in their habits, that they shun the open
field, where they must encounter the scrutinizing gaze of the noonday
sun, and choose this sweet seclusion for their home.
We stand upon the shores of the ocean, while the sun emerges from its
bed, lifting his broad shining disk above the blue waters, and tinging
the sparkling waves with every hue that decks the rainbow's form. We
gaze with rapture upon the scene, till, dazzled by its brilliancy, we
turn our eyes upon the white sails, gliding over the bosom of the deep,
like some noble bird winging its way through the air, or watch the
swelling waves, as they roll in grand procession towards us, and break
in thunder on the shore. We sit in a calm summer evening and watch the
shadows as they lengthen o'er the ground, till they lose themselves in
the deep rich green of the vales from winch the sun has disappeared, to
gild the tops of the forest trees and far off hills with more than
noonday splendor. The balmy zephyrs hold their breath, nor dare to
whisper in the softest tone, while the little forest birds, in sweetly
pensive strains, are chanting forth their evening hymn of praise and
homage to the sun, who, now all bright with parting smiles, sinks down
behind the western hills, tinging the clouds at first with light faint
orange streaks, which soon turn to crimson, and touched again by
sunset's magic wand, they glow in purple of the richest dyes, then
slowly fade to grey, while twilight draws around us her dewy curtains
and shuts the scene from our admiring gaze.
We walk abroad in the calm stillness of a moonlight evening, when night,
cheered by the presence of her fair queen, withholds her dusky pall and
contents herself by drawing a thin silvery veil over the fair-face of
nature, which only serves to cast a shade of pensive beauty upon her
lovely features. The rocks, the fields, the lakes and streams, the
distant hills and mountains, whose lofty peaks are crowned with the
white fleecy clouds which skirt the horizon, appear far more lovely when
viewed by the pure dreamy light now stealing around us, than when
displayed to our sight by the clear light of day. The trees and shrubs
lie pictured on the dewy earth, their fair images reposing in motionless
beauty, save when the cool breath of evening plays among the verdant
branches, disturbing their shadowy outlines. No sound breaks upon the
stillness of the scene, except the gentle murmur of the winding stream
or the roar of some far off waterfall, softened and subdued by distance,
till it mingles in harmony with the clear shrill notes of the
whippowils, who never close their waking eyes, but serenade the moon
till morning light, while every object upon which we turn our eyes
reminds us of the fancy sketch of some fairy land.
We gaze upon the grand array, when Aurora Borealis plays her antic
freaks, fights her mimic battles, waves her flaming banner along the
northern skies. We look out upon the blue expanse above, when the bright
and beautiful stars, with their sparkling eyes, are looking from their
distant homes upon our little earth like angels commissioned to watch
over its slumbering inhabitants, till the clear light of day arouses
them to life and consciousness. In view of objects and scenes like
these, a pleasing sensation steals over the mind, till no language can
express the emotions which struggle for vent within our bosoms and the
full heart flutters like an imprisoned bird against the walls of its
This is what we call music of the mind. Yet when no love to the Creator
mingles with our contemplations, it is music of an inferior order. But
when an individual is brought to realize and "believe with all his
heart" that the author of all the scenes of beauty, grandeur and
sublimity, which nature presents to the eye, has condescended to drop
the sceptre from his hand, lay by his dazzling crown and leave his
throne of glory, while he descended to our earth, and gave his life to
ransom guilty rebels against his righteous government, pouring out his
blood on Calvary till the fountain is sufficient to cleanse the foulest
stains of sin, even from the most polluted soul; then it is that his
mind is filled with music, and that too, which is as much superior to
any ever experienced by an unregenerate soul, as the full blaze of the
noonday sun is to the faint light which glimmers from the burning taper.
For every fibre of the heart, now touched by the finger of God, wakes in
harmony, and vibrates with the richest music of which earth or heaven
can boast. It is the very same which animates the spirits of just men
made perfect, and none but blood washed sinners can ever learn the song.
No music, borne from Eden's bowers,
On heaven's own balmy wings,
No song, that angels ever sang.
Could roach these lofty strings;
For Gabriel with his golden harp,
Tuned by the heavenly dove,
Could never touch the thrilling notes
Of God's redeeming love.
* * * * *
The Pastoral was published in one of the papers of the day. As it gave
rise to a little mirth, we insert it with the poems annexed.
* * * * *
PRAISES OF RURAL LIFE.
Though city ladies treat with scorn
The humble farmer's wife,
And call his daughters rude and coarse,
I'll live a country life.
I'd rather spin, and weave, and knit,
And wholesome meals prepare,
Than, dressed in silk, with servants throng'd,
Lounge in my cushioned chair.
I love to see my chickens grow,
My turkies, ducks, and geese;
I love to tend my flowering plants,
And make the new milk cheese.
I love to wash, I love to sew,
All needful work I like to do;
I like to keep my kitchen neat,
And humble parlor, too.
And when the grateful task is done,
And pleasure claims a share,
With some dear friend I'll walk abroad
And take the balmy air.
Not through the dusty, crowded streets,
Amid the bustling throng,
But in some pleasant cool retreat,
We'll hear the woodland song.
Or trace the winding silver stream,
And linger on its banks,
While all the birds in concert sweet,
Present their evening thanks.
We'll seek the ancient forest shade,
And see its branches wave,
Which have, perchance, a requiem sang
Above the red man's grave.
We'll breathe the pure untainted air,
Fresh from the verdant hills;
And pluck wild blossoms from their beds
Beside the laughing rills.
I love the country in the spring,
With all its waving trees;
When songs of joy from every grove
Are wafted on the breeze.
The smiling pastures robed in green,
How beautiful, and gay;
With bleating flocks, and lowing herds,
And little lambs at play.
I love midst rural scenes to dwell,
In summer's pleasant hours;
And pluck her sweet delicious fruits,
And smell her fragrant flowers.
I love to see the growing corn,
And fields of waving grain;
I love the sunshine, and the shade.
And gentle showers of rain.
I love to see the glitt'ring dew,
Like pendant diamonds, hung
On ev'ry plant, and flower, and tree,
Their glossy leaves among.
I love the joyful harvest months;
When smiling on the plain,
We see rich golden ears of corn,
And bending sheaves of grain.
I love to see the cellar filled
With sauce of various kinds,
Potatoes, beets and onions too,
And squashes from the vines.
I love to see the well filled barn,
And smell the fragrant hay;
I'll milk while brother feeds the lambs,
And see them skip and play.
I love to rise before the sun,
And see his rosy beams
Shine glim'ring through the waving trees,
In quiv'ring fitful gleams.
I love, when nothing intervenes.
The setting sun to spy,
Tinging the clouds with every hue,
Which charms the gazing eye.
I love the country every where,
Here let me spend my life;
No higher shall my thoughts aspire--
I'd be a farmer's wife.
[Footnote 6: "Good, Sarah, that's right! If we can find one that
worthy of you, we will send him along."--_Editor_.]
ODE TO SARAH.
Rural maid, who, o'er glade,
Forest, plain, and mountain, roam
In joy and peace, and made
Happy by the brook's gay foam;
Who art content to live
In the farmer's domicil;
A listening ear give
To a stranger, who, with quill
In hand, sits down to write
An epistle, or letter,
To one, of whom it might
Be said, she's far his better.
Fair maiden, thou hast said,
And I doubt not truly too,
A farmer thou would wed,
If he would sincerely woo
Thy heart's best affection,
And at the holy altar
Vow, that kind protection
He'd give thee, and never falter,
But sacred keep the vow
Thus solemn made, and never,
So long as life lasts, bow
Down, and let this bond sever.
Lady fair, wouldst thou dare
A mechanic's wife to be,
And with him toil, and share
All the ills of life's rough sea?
Wouldst thou trust thy frail bark
In his hands, and if perchance
Ills should come, thick and dark,
Stand firmly, and thus enhance
His happiness, and not,
At disappointment's first dart,
Complain of thy sad lot,
And sink under a faint heart?
What sayest thou, fair one?
Dost thou view the mechanic,
As some _fair_ ones have done,
With disgust, who grow frantic
At the sight of his dress,
Just because it does not fit
So smooth as they confess
That they should like to see it?
Dost thou, in honesty
Of heart, think him good and wise.
And in sincerity
Believe him not otherwise?
Dear lady, wouldst not thou,
To flee "single blessedness,"
Accept an offer now
From a mechanic, and bless
Him, throughout a long life,
With thy good fairy presence,
And ne'er the cry of strife
Raise, but yield obedience?
If _him_ thou wilt many,
Give him soon thy residence,
That he may not tarry,
But, with lightning speed, fly hence.
[Footnote 7: Authoress of "Praises of Rural Life."]
AN EPISTLE TO JERE, IN ANSWER TO HIS ODE.
Worthy and much respected friend,
Accept the thanks I freely send;
Your generous offer, all will say,
Mere grateful thanks but ill repay.
An answer you request of me,
But prudence calls for some delay;
This weighty subject claims my care,
To answer now I must forbear.
Could you admire a homely face,
Devoid of beauty, charms, or grace?
Would you not blush, should friends deride
The rustic manners of your bride?
Say, would you build a cottage near
Some pleasant grove, where we might hear
The blithesome wild birds' pleasing song,
From morn till eve, all summer long?
And would you plant some tall elm trees,
Around your house, your bride to please;
And have a little garden, too,
Where fruit, and herbs, and flowers might grow?
And would you rear a mulberry grove,
That I might thus a helpmeet prove?
Although I suffer no distress
From fears of "single blessedness,"
I'd not disdain your rustic dress,
If generous feelings fill your breast;
That would not bar you from my door,
For costly clothing makes us poor.
Although you do not till the soil,
You say you're not afraid to toil:
By prudence, industry, and care,
A man may prosper any where.
You ask, if I would you obey,
Nor have contentious words to say?
I should not scold without a cause,
Nor would I reverence rigorous laws.
But let our correspondence end,
'Twill much oblige your humble friend;
As I've no gift for writing letters,
A friendly call would suit much better.
Appoint a day, and I'll prepare,
I'll sweep my hearth, and comb my hair;
I'll make the best of humble means,
Bake pies and puddings, pork and beans;
I'll dress in neat, but coarse attire,
And in my parlor build a fire.
Sir, I reside in Ruralville,
Southeast of Bluff, a craggy hill;
A broad majestic stream rolls by,
Whose crystal surface charms the eye.
If you still wish to win a bride,
Come where the farmers' girls reside;
Henceforth I write no more to you,
My much respected friend, adieu!
* * * * *
NOTE. If Jere isn't "done brown" now, we are no judge of _human nater_.
Cheer up, Jere, "a faint heart never won a fair lady." "Pull up your
dicky up," and try again; and if you get "sacked," remember and
practice the advice of the old Poet:--
"Chase your shadow, it will fly you;
Fly yourself, it will pursue;
Court a girl, if she deny you,
Drop your suit, and she'll court you."--_Editor_.
NEIGHBORS' ADVICE TO INVALIDS.
Why sit you here, pining in languor and gloom?
Except you do something, you'll sink to the tomb;
Ah, where's the red roses that bloomed on your brow,
Where nothing but white ones are languishing now?
Go, learn of the red men, they certainly know,
They find healing plants, and will tell where they grow;
God gave them this knowledge; their skill is the best;
Make use of such means, they will surely be blest.
No poisonous minerals fill up his chest,
But herbs that will heal you when sick and distressed,
Designed by our Maker all pain to subdue,
Which tortures the frame where these antidotes grew.
O, shun the rude savage who roams through the wood,
With knowledge too scanty to choose wholesome food;
Thomsonians will help you, they'll heal your disease;
Emetics and numbers will soon give you ease.
The brave number one all disease can expel,
And make you exclaim, I am perfectly well;
All poisonous drugs in your system will die,
Each pain will take wings, and the calomel fly.
These hot-crops will kill you with pepper and steam,
Pork, mince pies and pancakes, hot puddings and cream;
They'll double your fever, dyspepsia and pain;
I beg you take warning; by thousands they've slain.
On boasting pretenders I'd now turn my back,
No longer I'd deal with that ignorant quack;
He cannot distinguish the heart from the brain,
King's evil or dropsy from pleurisy pain.
Apply to the man who is bred in our schools,
His drugs are examined by chemical rules;
Whatever he uses is put to the test;
I like to take analyzed medicine best.
His science trained eye your whole system will scan,
From him naught is hidden which preys upon man;
He'll find ev'ry pain, with its cause and effect,
Plain reason might teach you that he's most correct.
Oh, shun this deceiver, his motives are gain,
He oftener augments, than alleviates, pain;
His boasted attainments are nothing but show,
Put him with the rest, they'll just make a row.
He'll steal the warm crimson, that flows through your heart,
He'll haunt you with blisters and plasters that smart,
Torment you with setons, with leaches and cups,
His calomel poisons, the blood it corrupts.
Emetics reduce you, and tonics distress,
While morphine distracts you and seldom gives rest.
Now leave him, Oh, leave him! your life he'll not save;
Except you obey me, you'll sink to the grave.
Come, leave all the doctors; resort to the shops
Which peddle pills, balsams, elixirs and drops;
Each cures ev'ry malady whenever used,
Altho' by base slander they're greatly abus'd.
I hate these vile patents; they often make worse;
Hear my good advice, let your mother be nurse;
Ten thousand rare medical plants grow around.
Their ne'er failing virtues old women have found.
There's catfoot and mugwort, archangel and balm,
Possessing great virtues, and never do harm;
While spleenwort, and whiteweed, and hyssop, and sage,
Have cured the consumption in every stage.
Take saffron and goldthread, white poplar and rue,
They've cured the dyspepsia wherever they grew;
Use clover and nightshade, and drink wintergreen,
They'll cure the worst cancer that ever was seen.
But I have no faith in these simple herb teas
They never can lessen or cure a disease;
And do not take pills, nasty powders and drops,
Till you are filled up like the medical shops.
Still, something is needful, of that I am sure,
But I've the most faith in the cold water cure;
'Twill strengthen, invigorate, open the pores,
'Tis curing sick people by dozens and scores.
Don't wrap yourself up in that cold dripping sheet,
I always take cold, only wetting my feet;
Yet there is an agent which I would apply,
The red forked lightning which darts through the sky.
Old Franklin has tamed it and brought it to earth,
And men are now learning how much it is worth;
'Twill dart through the stomach, the heart, and the brain,
Each pore it will open and drive out the pain.
Come, quit all this fussing, take rich hearty food,
And soon, I assure you, your health will be good;
Leave your warm stifling beds, your soft cushioned chair,
Run ten miles a day in the cool healthful air.
If I went thus, moping and lounging about,
'Twould bring on dyspepsia, consumption, or gout;
Now here is good counsel, why will you be shy,
You'd much better take it than lie down and die.
The Oak and the Rill
Hymn for a Donation Gathering
The Marriage Vows
Lines on the death of Ellen N----
Lines on the death of R., P.B., C., S., and M.A. Wing
The Rose and Lilac Tree
Lines on the death of Mrs. West
Thoughts on the sudden death of J.W.N.
Reflections on the death of Mr. White
The Sister's Lament
Lines on a Lock of Hair
Lines on the last hours of Mrs. Judson
Lines on a Baptismal Occasion
There is joy in heaven, &c.
Like a lost sheep, &c.
And the vail of the temple was rent in twain
Lines to an absent relative
Lines to the wife of the above
Come home to New England
A Sister's Departure
A Sister's Counsel
Lines to a Friend on parting
Farewell to a Brother
To W.H.D, an adopted Brother
Lines to a Friend in affliction
Lines to a Sister
To my Brother
My Brother in the Tempest
Lines to an absent Sister
A Scene on a Sister's Wedding day
To the Whippowil
My harp is on the willows hung, &c.
To a Sister, while dangerously ill
The Invalid's Dream
To a Butterfly in my Chamber
To the "Wild Flower"
The Minister at the Family Altar
An Appeal for Ireland
The Little Cloud
Lewiston, as it was, and as it is
Twilight Musings. By Amelia
Thoughts on a Petunia
To a White Hollyhock
Lines on the Miniature of a pair of twin boys
The Cultivation of Flowers
Music of the Mind
Praises of Rural Life
Ode to Sarah
An Epistle to Jere
Neighbors' Advice to Invalids
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