The Project Gutenberg EBook of Home Lyrics, by Hannah. S. Battersby Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: Home Lyrics Author: Hannah. S. Battersby Release Date: January, 2005 [EBook #7336] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 15, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-Latin-1 *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HOME LYRICS *** Produced by David Garcia, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreaders Team
This second volume of HOME LYRICS has been published since the death of the authoress, and in fulfilment of her last wishes, by her children, and is by them dedicated to the memory of the dearest of mothers, whose whole life was consecrated to their happiness and welfare and who fully reciprocated her self-denial, devotion and love.
To the Memory of a Beloved Son who passed from Earth April 3rd, 1887
Birdies. For a Little Five Year Old
The Angel on War
A Binghampton Home
Mrs. Langtry as Miss Hardcastle in "She Stoops to Conquer"
The Shaker Girl
The Fable of the Sphynx
Up, Sisters, Morn is Breaking
Oh! I Love the Free Air of the Grand Mountain Height
To the Empress Eugenie on the Death of Her Son
A Victim to Modern Inventions
It is but an Autumn Leaflet
Written on board the S. S. "Egypt," September 5th, 1884
Roberval. A Legend of Old France
The Brooklyn Catastrophe
The Naini Tal Catastrophe
To Our Polar Explorers
To the Inconstant
"Peace with Honour"
The New Year
It is but a Faded Rosebud
A Voice from St. George's Hall
To the Museum Committee, on opening Museums on Sundays
Only a Few Links Wanting
A Painful History
To a Faithful Dog
A Welcome from Liverpool to the Queen
In Response to a Kind Gift of Flowers
To a Faithful Dog
The Centenary of a Hero
Recollections of Fontainebleau
The Tunbridge Wells Flower Show
I would gaze down the vista of past years,
In fancy see to-night,
A loved one passed from sight,
But whose blest memory my spirit cheers.
Shrined in the sacred temple of my soul,
He seems again to live,
And fond affection give,
His mother's heart comfort and console.
Perception of the beautiful and bright,
In nature and in art,
Evolved from his true heart
Perpetual beams like sunshine's cheering light.
A simple unsophisticated life,
With faith in action strong,
And perseverance long,
Made all he did with vigorous purpose rife.
Responsive to sweet sympathy's kind claim,
His quick impulsive heart
Loved to take active part
In mirthful joy or sorrowing grief and pain.
His manly face would glow with honest glee.
As with parental pride,
Which he ne'er sought to hide,
He fondly gazed on his loved family.
For them he crowned with industry his days;
Ever they were to him
The sweetest, holiest hymn
Of his heart's jubilant, exultant praise.
And Oh, the tender pity of his eye.
The gentle touch and word,
When his fond heart was stirred
To practical display of sympathy.
His true affection, manners gently gay,
The kiss that seems e'en now
Warm on my lips and brow,
Are memories that ne'er can pass away.
Naught can e'er lessen the fond hope that we
May, one day, meet above
With all we dearly love,
To live again in blissful unity.
A tender birdie mother sat
In her soft nest one day,
Teaching her little fledglings, three,
To gambol, sing, and play.
Dear little brood, the mother said,
'Tis time for you to fly
From branch to branch, from tree to tree,
And see the bright blue sky.
Chirrup, the eldest, quick replied,
O yes, sweet mother mine,
We'll be so glad to hop about,
And see the bright sunshine.
Twitter and Downy also said,
We, too, shall happy be,
To bask within the sun's warm rays,
And swing on branch and tree.
Well, then, the mother said, you shall,
And straight the birdies all,
Perched on the edge of the high nest,
Beside the chestnuts tall.
Remember, said the mother bird,
You must not go beyond
That row of trees that skirt the edge
Of the transparent pond.
For if you do you might get lost,
Or drowned, and die in pain,
And never to our dear home nest
Return in joy again.
Well mind your orders, mother dear,
And will not disagree,
But do just what you tell us now,
Said all the birdies three.
They hopped off on delighted wing,
To the next chestnut tree,
O'erjoyed and panting with delight,
The great, grand world to see.
Oh! what a bright, glad scene, they cried,
And what a wond'rous sky!
What joy 'twould be to kiss the Sun,
And be with him on high.
And I, said Downy, I should like
To sail on yonder sea,
And with that pretty milk-white bird,
Skim o'er the waters free.
Said Twitter, you talk very large,
And do not seem to know
Our little wings have not yet power
Beyond these trees to go.
Besides, said Chirrup, mother said
We must not go beyond,
But only hop and fly about
The trees that skirt the pond.
But mother's gone to get us food,
And she will never know,
Said Downy, so upon the pond
I am resolved to go.
O fie! exclaimed the birdies both,
To think of such a thing,
You might get harm, and on us all
Sorrow and trouble bring.
Oh, I am not a bit afraid,
I feel so strong and free,
And will not homeward go until
I float on yonder sea.
Ah, well, said both the other two,
We will not go with you,
Good-bye, we will not disobey
Our mother kind and true.
Off went the two obedient birds,
And safely reached their nest,
The little birdies' happy home
Of sweet delight and rest.
Meanwhile, poor naughty Downy flew
From off the chestnut tree,
Away towards the milk-white bird
That skimmed the waters free.
But ah! his wings were much too weak
To bear him all the way,
And Downy fell imploring aid
From loved ones far away.
But no help came. The mother bird
Was far off gathering food,
From perfumed clover meadows round,
For her beloved brood.
And when she reached her nest and found
But two birds there alone,
And heard that Downy to the pond
So wilfully had flown,
Her heart, so lately full of joy,
Was rent with grief and pain,
For fear lest she should never see
Her darling bird again.
Calling upon his name she flew,
In terror, far and near,
From tree to pond, from pond to tree,
Seeking her birdie dear.
She called; alas, no answer came
To that poor mother's cry,
She searched among the sweet, wild flowers,
And chestnut branches high.
At length she spied a tiny speck
Beside the waters clear,
It was, alas, the lifeless form
Of her lost Downy dear.
She drew him on the soft green grass,
And chafed his lifeless form,
Opened his glassy eyes and mouth,
And tried his limbs to warm.
But all in vain, her darling bird
Was dead, and nevermore
Would he into that mother's ear,
His pretty warblings pour.
Then in despair she buried him
Beside the chestnut tree,
And covered him with twigs and leaves,
While weeping bitterly.
And then, with torn and sorrowing heart,
She flew back to her home,
Where Twit and Chirrup trembling staid,
Disconsolate and lone.
My little birdie dears, she said,
In bitterness and pain,
Our darling Downy to his nest
Will never come again.
His wilful disobedience
To my direct commands,
Has brought its own dire punishment,
Such as all sin demands.
I thought I could have trusted him,
For he, as you well know,
Promised me very faithfully
Not from these trees to go.
I want you both, my birdies dear,
To learn from this to see
How lying disobedience
Will ever punished be.
So take a lesson from it, dears,
And be resolved that you
Will never disobey or lie,
Whatever else you do.
O yes, we'll try our very best,
Your orders to obey,
And always strive to tell the truth,
Whether at work or play.
Dear children who may hear this tale,
You, too, should also try
To do whatever you are told,
And never tell a lie.
An angel spirit winging
Through aerial space her flight,
O'er peaceful, sleep-bound nature
Thus sang one autumn night:
What are those hosts advancing
In legions o'er the plain,
Through orchards heavy laden
And fields of full-eared grain?
Eastward and westward come they
Shining like gems of light,
Beneath soft, silvery moonbeams
Of peaceful, silent night.
Surely assembled nations
Are gathering for a fête
Of tournament, sham fight or joist,
In pride of strength elate.
Or, may be, some grand meeting
On field of cloth of gold,
Attracts those swarming legions
A peaceful tryst to hold;
For see, the steeds caparisoned
In trappings rich and bright,
With noble, high-bred men astride,
In transports of delight!
The flower of German fatherland,
In manhood's strength and pride,
Press on in measured marching,
By grey-haired veterans' side,
And westward press the youth of France,
Whose ardour none can stay,
Thirsting for laurels in the tilts
And contests of the day.
Emperors, with marshals, generals,
And stalwart men, are there;
Flushed with excitement swift they come
The splendid sports to share,
Doubtless each wears the colours
Of some loved lady fair
Whom they predict shall one day
Their heart and fortunes share.
Now sable night droops kindly
Into the arms of morn,
Who comes to herald in the day
And nature's face adorn?
Heaven's soft grey eastern portals
For her wide open fly,
As the grand sun's golden chariot
Wheels proudly through the sky.
Night's gentle Queen and star gems
Withdraw their gracious sway,
As the sun in rose-hued splendour
Kisses to life the day.
Waters like polished silver
Dotting the plain like shields,
Babble their morning greeting
From golden, grain-crowned fields.
Then the glad light of morning
Trips joyful o'er the plain,
As the angel horror stricken
Takes up her strain again,
Alas! those hosts advancing
In hot haste from afar,
But yesternight so joyous,
Now close in bloody war.
And, as ferocious tigers,
On tasting human blood,
Revel in greedy madness
Amid the crimson flood,
So these fierce hostile warriors,
Now stained with human gore,
Grow unrestrained and reckless,
And fiercer than before.
The valley late so peaceful
Steams with the rage of strife,
Fast down the gloated furrows
Flows the red stream of life.
Maddened to rage and fury,
Th' opposing hosts contend,
And murder, ruin, carnage, death,
Through the gorged plains extend.
What can be, cried the angel,
The meaning of such strife,
And how dare man thus rashly
Trifle with human life?
Can all the so-called glory,
That man to man can pay,
Outweigh the dire inheritance
Of this unhallowed fray?
Are hearts thus drunk with life blood,
And hands thus steeped in gore,
Not calculated to become
More brutal than before?
And do not youth and manhood
Deserve a better fate,
Than to be rashly sacrificed
To jealous greed and hate?
Thousands of glittering lances
Cut through the startled air,
As valiant chiefs and mighty men
The blood-red carnage share.
Flashes, like sunlight splendour,
Gleam forth from brazen shields,
And burnished arms dart back the light,
O'er the blood-gorged fields.
List! said the angel, sighing,
From many a ghastly mound
Deep groans of torture mingle
With the battle din around.
What piteous cries of anguish
Are those, who dying moan,
That they may never more behold
Their dearly loved at home!
Some of earth's best and brightest,
'Mid prospects glad and gay,
Others to loved ones plighted
Slaughtered and bleeding lay!
Some, sons of widowed mothers
Who had none else to cheer,
Some, guardians of fond sisters,
Many to wives most dear!
Ah! who can tell the sorrow
Intailed by war's foul breath,
Or gauge the dire inheritance
Of all this murderous death!
The sinew of their country,
The hope of years to come,
Cut down in prime of manhood,
Buried in stranger tomb!
O sages, statesmen, rulers,
Bestir yourselves and teach
The nation's misled millions
A higher goal to reach;
Exchange for greed and murder,
A reign of peace divine;
Thus, elevate earth's children
To brotherhood sublime!
Thus spake the gentle angel
As, gathering each fond prayer,
She wreathed them into garlands,
Of flowerets rich and rare
For Sardanapolis to plant,
Where they shall ever bloom,
In the eternal gardens
Beyond the silent tomb.
Broken the silver cord! the harp unstrung!
And kindred hearts with grief and anguish wrung,
For a beloved one from the earth hath flown
Leaving his dear ones desolate and lone.
Cheerless, deserted now each empty place,
So lately filled by him with radiant grace;
Sad memories in each lone corner dwell,
Vocal of him our torn hearts loved so well.
To feelings sympathetic and refined,
He joined a well-stored, richly cultured mind,
Where holy reason held her peerless sway,
Dictating all he had to do and say.
Self-discipline in action, thought and deed,
Was his uncompromising, glorious creed;
To do to others as he would that they
Should do to him, his crystal rule each day.
Dark superstition never gained his ear,
Or led to slavish and debasing fear;
A hater of hypocrisy in all
The varied forms by which it doth enthrall.
His logical and comprehensive mind,
Was marvellously gentle, loving, kind,
Which gave him with his patients wonderous power,
And served them well in many a trying hour.
A man of penetration, forethought, tact,
Loving to solve, elucidate each fact;
He firmly held to truth with friend and foe,
And ne'er was known to act from greed or show.
A safe and trusted counsellor was he,
And helpful, sweet companion as could be,
Of such calm, chastened thought, that all he said
Was fraught with wisdom, and by justice led.
His sense of duty formed the crucial test
By which to rule his actions, work and rest.
And his well-regulated heart and mind
Were full of charity towards all mankind.
A zealous public worker in the cause
Of sanitation, based on nature's laws;
For fifteen years in Birkenhead and Kent,
To this great end he his rare knowledge lent.
He loved his work and duties, as some love
Their pleasures, and with earnest purpose strove,
To prove that each right action surely brought
Its blessing, as all evil misery wrought.
Entheal concord, where 'twas possible,
And truth and justice made it feasible,
The armour his peace-loving spirit wore,
The love-crowned banner which aloft he bore.
The beautiful in nature and in art,
Charmed and delighted his devoted heart,
A gorgeous sunset, and a moonlit sky,
Ne'er failed to captivate both mind and eye.
As circlets made by weights flung in the deep,
Clear multiplying forms concentric keep,
Obedient to the heavenly law sublime,
Each circle forming others through all time.
So our beloved one leaves his track behind,
Of multiplying circles to his kind,
In the rich lessons of his well-spent life,
With holy God-like teachings ever rife.
No storied marble setting forth his praise,
A more enduring monument could raise,
Than the productive seed which he has sown,
Which chants his requiem in undying tone.
A priceless heritage he leaves behind,
In the example of his well-trained mind,
A blessed Aftermath! God grant that we
May tune our hearts to its sweet melody.
For though the jewel casket be no more
Amongst us, as in happier days of yore,
The radiance of the gem it held will still
Remain our lonely home and hearts to fill.
Let us then try courageously to tread,
The footprints where his noble teachings led,
With self-denying zeal right onward go,
Striving to vanquish every inward foe.
And thus we'll hope to meet again once more
Unitedly with loved ones gone before,
In the divine hereafter-home above,
Safe in each other's and the Father's love.
A fair child of promise, just nipped in the bud,
To plant on heavenly shore,
To bloom and expand in its love-light and peace
Not dead, only gone there before!
Just six years he lived in his loved earthly home,
His fond parents' joy and delight,
Where his bright little spirit shed gladness around,
And filled it with radiant light.
His fond little heart with affection o'erflowed,
To all his beloved ones at home;
Oh, think not these heavenly cords will be riven,
In the spiritual land where he's gone!
Grieve not, then, fond parents, your darling is safe,
In the happier realms of the blest,
There waiting to welcome and join you again,
In the time the Great Father finds best.
The rink, the rink, th' entrancing rink!
Come there to prove the sweet
Delicious joys of exercise,
In rhythmic glide of feet.
'Tis pleasure pure that all should taste
For it makes the spirit gay,
In graceful sylph-like movements free,
O'er the smooth floor to sway.
It stirs life's pulses to a glad.
Refreshing, genial flow;
It paints the cheeks with roses bright,
And lovely, healthful glow.
Come, then, and in enjoyment pure,
With loved ones at your side,
To sweet melodious music's strain,
Like fairies graceful glide.
A lovely, happy, peaceful home,
Within the fond embrace
Of circling mountains and a stream
Of calm meandering grace.
The Susquehanna's limpid flow,
With the Chunango strove,
And at their mild contention formed
The lovely sylvan grove.
Nature smiled sweetly all around
This homestead glad and bright,
Which seemed peculiarly endowed
With heaven's blent rainbow light.
So danced its colours through that home,
As if they sought to prove
Their harmony with the glad hearts
That formed this shrine of love.
A tender wife refined and pure,
A husband brave and true
Ruled o'er this shrine of happiness,
And darling children two.
Blossy, a dark-eyed, happy girl,
Whom fourteen years have seen,
Blooming in gentle maidenhood,
As fair as e'er was seen.
And then a darling child of four,
Like a fair beam of light,
The household flower, who filled the home
With perfume and delight.
Nice Annie, a fair, dimpled girl,
Who with untiring care
Strove in the home's machinery
To take her loving share.
Mary, the maid, with active zeal
And ever thoughtful heart.
With conscientious care fulfilled
Her well-directed part.
Well skilled in culinary lore,
Her "graham gems" kept time
With all the other household gems
Which in rare grace combine.
Accept these simple words of love,
Dear friends, as we now part,
And guard kind thoughts of me, I pray,
Within the household heart.
Like a radiant gleam of sunshine
She glanced upon the sight,
A being rare and lovely,
With wit and beauty bright.
Moulded and fashioned finely,
With tall, lithe, rounded form,
And graceful mien and manner,
Her beauty to adorn.
Without one graceless effort,
And perfected by art,
She gave a faithful rendering
Of her adopted part.
Her every turn and movement
Was poetry and grace,
Which lent a sweet enchantment
To her expressive face.
Supported splendidly by all
The other artists there,
Who well deserve with her, their star,
The public praise to share.
Would that we had more artists
As natural as she,
Then might the stage a mirror
Of true life prove to be.
I met a pleasant, thoughtful girl,
Fresh from a homely band
Of Shaker brethren who fare well
In this far Western land.
I talked to her of earthly love,
She answered with a sigh;
I sought to know the hidden truth,
And asked the reason why
She would prefer a Shaker's life,
Pleasant though it might be,
To working in the free, grand world,
Consistently and free,
With household duties wooing her,
And babies on her knee?
She blushed a trifle, and looked shy,
Confessed the truth was plain,
That if "some one" should ever come
And seek her love again,
She would, with all her loving heart,
Accept his profferred hand,
And leave her Shaker friends with him,
For any clime or land;
But that she doubted that the love
He once professed was o'er,
And that she feared that it for her
Was quenched for evermore;
And so she guessed she'd best return
To her calm Shaker home,
And curb the feelings of her heart,
And never seek to roam.
O Shaker maiden, pause, I pray,
Take further earnest thought,
Nor stay the longings of your heart,
With heaven-born nature fraught
Duties there are on every side,
Awaiting willing hands,
All unrestricted, unconfined
By any creeds or lands.
Sweet ties of home are holier far,
Spontaneous acts more true,
Than any Shaker work ordained
For man to struggle through.
O palace of marvellous beauty and light,
Like a shrine of enchantment thou art to the sight,
As sparkling with pride 'neath the sun's fond caress,
Thou blushest with love's conscious joyful excess.
Ten thousand bright jewels, from Neptune's realm won,
Compose thy weird structure, where daily the sun
And nightly the Moon in turn sparklingly play
Through each lunar ripple and bright solar ray.
Like some ancient temple upreared to the sun,
As chaste as a bride—and as pure as a nun,
Result of stern winter's imperious commands,
Fitting tribute to it in these northern lands.
Thy empire, O ice king, is stern and severe,
But it has rare pleasures which all hold most dear.
We, our winter pastimes to greet thee convoke,
And the goddess of health with thee daily invoke.
In gleeful assemblage we now celebrate
Thy reign, through tobogganing, snow-shoes, and skate,
In sliding along to the sleigh-bells' blithe sound,
O'er rivers, and meadows, and snow-mantled ground.
Then hurrah for the Palace, the ice king, the snow;
Around them let mirth and hilarity flow,
Hurrah for our Governor, country, and main,
And God bless our loved Queen, and long may she reign.
Oh! the image and the fable of the Sphynx!
What lessons do they teach,
What sermons do they preach
Of the riddle and the mystery of life!
'Tis a union of brute force and love sublime.
A female face and head
To a lioness form are wed,
Embodying strength and purity divine.
The lioness, a symbol of wild might;
The peerless head and face,
And bust of female grace,
Are types of pure affection and delight.
In each one lies this dual element:
That well might master be,
If not o'er-ruled by strict fidelity.
And the all-powerful conquering light of love,
Which, blessing those who give
No less than who receive,
Makes bliss on earth, as God's laws clearly prove.
In crowning thus the Sphynx with love's sweet worth,
We have for us the old,
Sweet gospel ever told
That love in peerless might should rule the world.
Shall then our path o'er life's uncertain way
Be led by a true heart,
Acting pure love's kind part,
Or by fierce guidance of a beast of prey?
To what heroic heights mortals may climb,
Humanity to serve,
With loving heart and nerve,
Are seen in Buddha, and in Florence Nightingale.
And to what depths of leonine lust and crime
A cruel man may go,
Scattering fear, ruin, woe,
Witness fierce Nero and Caligula!
In each these possible heights and depths betide,
All, then, may freely choose,
None can the choice refuse,
Between the higher and the lower guide.
Where selfishness and unchecked passions stray
As ruling motives sole,
To reach a tinselled goal,
There crouches the ferocious beast of prey.
Shall life to us be crowned with blessings sure,
As noblest woman's life,
Harmonious 'mid all strife,
Or blurred with bestial appetites impure?
Surely the answer should be prompt and plain,
That we, at any cost,
Will not be so far lost
As to permit the beast o'er love to reign.
The purport of the dual female form,
Shrines the grand truth, that Might
Should bravely nourish Right,
Life's checkered pathway sweetly to adorn.
'Tis said the Sphynx in ancient Afric' stood
Upon the great highway,
Beckoning all to stay,
Who passed, to guess life's riddle if they could,
Which if they failed in, she devoured them there,
As she believed that they
Who would not learn life's way,
Were not entitled its best joys to share.
But Oedipus, a wiser man than most
Passing, the riddle guessed,
That gave the Sphynx sweet rest,
And forthwith she descended from her post.
Knowing her secret, once devined, would be
Learned by all thinkers, then
Proclaimed by them to men,
Her mission o'er, she vanished 'neath the sea.
The axiom of "Man, know thyself" is worth
The pains it costs to learn,
E'en through long labours stern,
Since 'tis the key that opes rich joys on earth.
Pure knowledge entereth through struggles fierce,
And only to the few
Who sternly seek the true,
Is given to solve the mystery of the Sphynx.
Up, sisters! morn is breaking
Over the mountains grey,
As, borne on silvered pinions,
She ushers in the day.
She comes, and at her bidding
The empress of the night,
And starry hosts of heaven,
Veil their supernal light.
Scarce has their empire ended,
O'er the awakening earth,
When morning, fresh and joyous,
With dewdrops clad comes forth.
And now the great sun's chariot,
Led by the rosy hours,
Sweeps through the heavens proudly,
And o'er fond nature towers.
The grand, majestic sun-god,
Pavilioned is on high,
And throned in golden splendour
He reigns o'er earth and sky.
Dispersing gloom and sadness,
Giving to all new birth,
Dispensing light and gladness,
O'er the rejoicing earth.
Up, then, fair sisters, early
His call from sleep obey,
His first sweet healthful teachings
Will sanctify the day.
Inhale his breath delicious,
Its freshness health bestows;
It tints the cheeks with colours
Of Persia's lovely rose.
Up, then, at nature's bidding,
Over the hills away,
With freshened pulses glowing,
To hail the King of Day.
Oh! I love the free air of the grand mountain height,
In its freshness new vigour I find,
It makes life's warm pulses throb high with delight,
And stimulates body and mind.
Its freedom inspires happy thought and desire,
And the heart cannot fail to rejoice,
As it makes the glad spirit receptive and quick
To translate nature's eloquent voice.
The sun-illumed firmament royally decked
In pearly-tinged cloudlets of grey,
Framed in exquisite clearness of deep tender blue,
Fit throne for the Monarch of day!
The city below lies in tranquil repose,
Betraying no symptom of life,
Ah! who could suppose at this distance that it
Could be moved by dissension and strife!
For it lies like an innocent, slumbering babe
In the fold of a fond mother's breast,
Between the fair river that kisses its feet,
And the mountain in well-guarded rest.
Then o'er the St. Lawrence and spanning its flow,
Is Stephenson's triumph of skill,
The grand bridge that laughs at a kingdom of ice,
Which essays its stern ramparts to kill.
And there like an emerald shrined in mid stream,
Is St. Helen's bright islet of grace,
Whose trees on the river's soft waters, delight
To mirror their beautiful face.
Then hurrah! for the mountain, the islet and bridge,
And fair Montreal in their midst,
With her clear sun-lit skies, that bring blessing and health,
For few pleasanter cities exist.
Behold a miracle! the eastern sky
Is whispering of a new creation nigh,
As the fair dawn, with love-born joy and pride,
Is gently opening day's grand portals wide.
And see her rosy sisters tripping o'er
Land, sea and mountain, lake and pebbly shore,
Spreading th' entrancing tidings, near and far,
Of the sun's advent in his golden car.
And now through lustrous, glad, effulgent sheen,
God's presence manifest to man is seen,
As the majestic herald of his love
Enthrones himself in matchless pomp above.
And see, each rippling streamlet, mount and sod
Obeys the mandate sent to it from God,
To do the work to each by Heaven assigned,
And in its due performance joy to find.
With joy extatic all creation springs
To glad new life each his anthem sings
To the sun-god's Creator and upraise
Their thrilling melodies of morning praise.
Have ye e'er heard it echoed through the woods
By birds and insects, mountain, streams and floods?
Then, say, do man's best efforts match the song
Of that harmonious, grateful, fervent throng?
Renewed and glad the denizens of earth
Obey the will of Him who calls them forth:
Obedience makes all labour doubly sweet,
And victory crowns the race with willing feet.
The great sun never wavers from his line
Of duty, in his gracious work sublime,
His grand example perfect is, as when
The Everlasting first created men.
Symbol he is of the Great Father's power,
Discoursing of it every passing hour,
As calling to new life each germ and seed,
He teaches earth to bring forth what men need.
Streams, plants and insects, animals and earth
Fulfil the role assigned to them at birth;
Soft, gentle showers in cooling streams descend
O'er verdant nature freshened joy to lend.
Planets and stars obey the law divine,
And in the pre-concerted plan combine.
To do this bidding who in ether placed
Their glorious orbs, and their grand circles traced.
And think ye mortals that a God so great
Could be unmindful of our mortal state?
Ah, no, His grand unchanging laws apply
To every living creature equally.
There's not a denizen of earth, sky, sod,
But bears some message to us from our God;
The changeless laws of earth and firmament
Are with deep truths and glorious lessons blent.
The Great Eternal, ruler of the earth,
Formed laws immutable for it at birth;
Charging the realm of nature to befriend,
The race for whom he formed it, to life's end.
Grand proofs of His great love through it are found,
By those who seek them, and rich joys abound
For all who learn themselves, and the blest will
Of the Creator lovingly fulfil.
Immortal love! what power is thine,
To quicken and inspire!
Fabled Prometheus well might dare
To steal from heaven such fire.
For 'tis a beacon light to guide
To rapturous joy and peace,
In this our present earthly home,
And where all sorrows cease.
Thy subtle fire electrical,
In word, look, touch or kiss,
Thrills through our being to invoke
Responsive mutual bliss.
Once moved by this Herculean power,
What cannot mortals dare?
Dangers else insurmountable,
They with impressment share.
Nothing on earth e'er nerved the arm
Of knight or warrior bold,
Like love of country, home, and heaven,
In the brave days of old.
No matter what man's form of words,
Uttered or written down,
If thy incisive, quickening spell,
Does not their labour crown.
And still thou reign'st supremely fair,
In homes and battle fields,
And his the arm victorious,
Who thy grand armour wields.
For they who with untiring zeal,
Thy heart-fires ceaseless feed,
Know their supernal warmth alone,
Can meet man's highest need.
But hearts e'en at the altar pledged
Oft seek for love in vain,
And hungering souls are doomed to starve,
In freezing, cold disdain.
Ah, why should mortals thus refuse
To wield that grace divine,
The chief of the blest three that heaven
Gives to make life sublime.
Some make a grave mistake, and seek
Pity beyond their home;
No friend or relative on earth
Should counsel thus to roam.
Others have cultivated minds,
Are leaders in high art,
Whilst in the little things of life,
They take no kindly part.
And yet if we investigate,
It is these little things,
Which make up human happiness,
And lasting pleasure brings.
And tastes objectionable oft,
May on life's harp-strings jar,
And much domestic war.
The little word in the right place,
The gentle touches, tones,
The watchful loving sympathy,
Which for so much atones,
Are potent means which moral force
Finds it the best to wield,
For 'neath their mystic influence,
Most hearts are bound to yield.
Oh! for this love that conquers self,
That binds us to our kind,
That raises us to heaven and God,
And purifies the mind!
Ecstatic, sweet, rekindling power,
Bright altar-fire sublime,
Most precious gift to mortals given,
That will outlive all time.
The Rubicon is past when wed,
And there is no retreat,
Brave hearts should then accept the lot,
Which none but they can meet.
'Tis always wise and safe to choose
The heaven directed course
Of ruling by all-conquering love,
Than by the rod of force.
Let home be made a sacred shrine,
The best, most cherished spot,
All others then will surely be
Deserted and forgot.
Each should uphold the other self,
Before the world's keen sight;
In thus upholding, each will keep
His honour doubly bright.
Like Graecian vestals who of yore
Believed no duty higher
Than tending night and day the flame
Of the celestial fire,
So let the broad world's denizens
Foster this heart-fire bright,
Which can their pilgrimage on earth
Illume with glorious light.
Domestic bliss, how beautiful!
No idol is so fair.
Set in the royalty of love,
What can with it compare?
Models of virtue are the homes
Where this blest power holds sway,
Where parents' words suffice to move
Their offspring to obey.
I know of such a happy home,
Where love-signs rarely cease,
And 'tis in very truth a throne
Of harmony and peace.
Nature's grand law of order there,
Reigns with exactness sure
The wheels of time glide smoothly through
An atmosphere so pure.
A group of healthy children six
Their happy parents meet,
For breakfast where food, simple, pure,
Their hungry senses greet.
Those budding blossoms of the home
With joy-lit life appear,
A daily morning glory they,
So neat, clean, trim and dear.
No wonder if the father's soul,
Worships his darling bride,
No wonder if his manly heart,
Swells with delighted pride:
For does she not make home a shrine,
Where love and duty vie
To honour, through her peerless love,
Their holy marriage tie?
He daily leaves his happy home,
Next heaven the holiest place,
Strengthened by her sweet words and kiss,
For action in life's race.
And she through all her daily rounds,
Thinks foremost of the one,
Who no less now than years ago,
Her steadfast love has won.
God bless them in their happy home!
God bless their children nine!
And may they through a peaceful life,
Ever in love combine,
To aid and cheer each other here,
And when this life is past,
Be reunited in that life
Which will for ever last.
Such homes of cheerful industry,
Of order, thrift and care,
Sweetly reflect on those whose minds,
Their thrice blest precincts share.
And since 'tis in the reach of most
To make a home like this.
What pity that e'en one refuse
To win such priceless bliss.
People there are who ceaseless moan,
Their hard and cruel fate,
Yet never see their course is wrong,
Until alas! too late;
To such the axiom I'd repeat,
That 'tis God's righteous will,
To help all those who help themselves,
Life's duties to fulfil.
'Tis written upon every life
With which we mingle here,
And throughout nature's wide domain
It also doth appear,
That all unchanging are God's laws,
Their consequences sure;
That as we choose to sow we reap,
Fruit holy or impure.
Trace the effects of idleness,
Extravagance and play,
Of self-indulgence, vice and pride,
And then reflecting say,
It was not stern Nemesis' part,
To punish each, as cause
Of retribution to himself
For breaking nature's laws.
Let all, then, bravely conquer self,
And use the means which heaven
Has placed within the reach of each,
Life's sorriest state to leaven.
Industry, perseverance, thrift,
Love, honesty and skill,
Will aid the weakest in their work,
Life's duties to fulfil.
All-conquering, grand, unselfish love!
Nought can withstand the power
Of thy divine, o'ermastering force,
To man heaven's richest dower.
All know who own thy sovereign sway,
No wealth can equal thine,
Inspiring and constraining each,
To sacrifice sublime!
If sympathy can soften a mourner's poignant woe,
And stay the bitter tear drops that from her sad eyes flow,
Then take it, honoured Empress, from the land of thy retreat,
Where hearts in bitter anguish with thine now sorrowing beat.
Alas, we cannot fathom the mysteries of doom,
Which set its mark upon a life brilliant in youthful bloom,
Full of undaunted ardour, and eager for that strife
That robbed the sorrowing mother of his most precious life.
Ah, who can help recalling, and who the fervour tell,
Of his bright words on parting in that sad but brave farewell,
With bounding heart hope-laden and holy ardour fraught,
Scorning all fear and danger, as by thy wisdom taught.
Think, mourner, of thy darling as safe within heaven's
Crowned with a victor's chaplet within the gates of gold,
His young, bright, earnest spirit happy on yonder shore,
Where you will be in God's own time united evermore.
A crown of earthly splendour might have enwreathed his
But could that weigh 'gainst glory with which 'tis radiant now?
Would'st thou exchange the latter for all earth's gaud and glare?
No, sad one, thou would'st rather in God's time join him there.
Far from all warring tumult, in peaceful joy above,
Safe in the tender keeping of everlasting love;
Think of him thus for ever in the dear Father's care,
And say would'st thou recall him, earth's proudest throne to share?
Only a few swift time-strokes to make up life's brief
Only some few more pulse-beats till we, too, pass away;
There in the bright hereafter with great exceeding joy,
There, never to be parted, thou wilt rejoin thy boy.
Science! thou mirror of celestial type
Wherein e'en mortals may discerning see,
If they with steady perseverance seek,
The will and purpose of Deity.
By the effulgence of Thy affluent light
Men learn the hidden mysteries of earth,
Unlock the secrets of the starry heavens
And solve the problem of each dewdrop's birth.
Thou art the magic key that opens wide
Sources of knowledge, beauty, wealth and grace,
Which teach man how to help his brother man,
And benefit and elevate the race.
Beneath thy guidance men have found the stone
Philosophers long sought but rarely found,
Whose lesson is that the Great God helps those
Who feel to help themselves and others bound.
What blest results are following in thy train,
To physical as well as mental wealth,
Through sanitation, in its myriad forms,
By which it now promotes the nation's health.
Well regulated physical as mental work
Opens rich sources of enjoyment sweet;
And mind and body strengthened, thus delight
New difficulties to withstand and greet.
Few know how strengthening is resisting power,
In mind and body as in physics too,
And what accumulating force it lends
To man his life work daily to renew.
The richest happiness comes from within,
From duties well accomplished blessings flow,
And precious fruits of action, thought and deed
That will not give rude switch grass place to grow.
Thou teachest that a form to be a square
Must have its lines of length, breadth, depth, exact,
Without the least divergence right or left,
And with its due proportions clear, compact.
What helpful lessons might not this form teach,
If testing thus the lines of motives, thought,
Which make the sum of action square or false,
Each would discern the application taught.
When truth as the soul's standard is set up,
Making the inner life exact and square,
With love to God producing love, to all,
What will not man for man and duty dare?
True brotherhood consists in making each,
As far as may be, just another self;
The priceless sequence of such action would
Exceed the greatest riches men call wealth.
Then might the blest commandment, do to all
As to ourselves we would that they should do,
Flow as a natural sequence, and such act
Would bring its own reward and comfort, too.
For truest happiness is known to those
Who learn to know themselves through struggles brave.
Such conquerors steer serenely o'er the calm,
Clear sea of life, as o'er its troubled wave.
Knowing that the Great Father wills that man
Should, through much strife and suffering win that prize,
Whose precious fruits of knowledge wait for all
Who use full well each moment as it flies.
Then let us strive to form each thought, word, deed,
On the exact, undeviating square,
Seeking to learn and discipline ourselves,
And win rewards which all who will may share.
Dear, happy Christmas! once again
We joy to welcome thee,
With all thy glad surroundings, grouped
For world-wide jubilee.
We'll crown thy peace-illumined brow
With holly burnished bright,
Entwined with glowing crimson buds,
And mystic berries white.
Then the sly bough of mistletoe
We must not, cannot miss,
For, privileged beneath its shade,
We hope for many a kiss.
Kisses of joy from those we love,
Kisses of pardon, too,
That chase all anger from the heart,
And feelings seared renew.
E'en as the song of peace on earth
Flows lovingly from heaven,
Should men forgive their foes, as they
Expect to be forgiven—
Burying all painful bygones deep,
Far out of thought and sight,
Sweet peace possessing, reconciled,
In new love-bonds unite.
And round the merry Christmas board
Pledges of good-will give,
That they can, once a year, at least,
Old grudges quite forgive.
And let the poor, the blind, the maimed
Be kindly feted, too;
In blessing others all are bathed
In blessings rich and new.
Thus, peace-proclaiming, loving friend,
Time-honoured Christmas dear,
Thou wilt, indeed, have well fulfilled
Thy love-fraught mission here.
Since quite a boy Hal Gradient had been
Noted for ingenuity—between
The hours when not on active duty he
Immersed in some new scheme was sure to be;
So, by the age of twenty-five he grew
Absorbed in plans, constructive, rare and new.
We both in engineering works were then,
On contract work engaged in France, when
He the gratifying news received,
That some unknown rich relative had died,
Leaving him sole executor and heir
To an estate both lucrative and fair.
Prior to leaving for his native land,
He said to me, Now, Mark, my friend, you understand,
I shall expect to see you at my home
As soon as your engagement here is done;
And such a home, my boy, as you shall see,
You cannot well conceive what it may be,
For I intend to exercise my skill,
Its precincts with inventions new to fill,
And have things so arranged that work and time
Shall reap rich harvests in their course sublime.
Time passed; my contract done, I hastened home,
Unwilling longer from its joys to roam,
When Harry, hearing that I had returned,
To have me by him with impatience burned;
So, to his pressing lines that I should pay
A visit to his country home next day,
I cordially assented, for I, too,
Was anxious our prized friendship to renew.
Descending at the station I espied
The dear old boy, with dog-cart at his side,
Waiting to welcome me with heart and hand,
To all we prize most in our native land;
For howsoe'er or wheresoe'er we roam,
We find no joys like those of home, sweet home!
We bowled along the pleasant country lanes,
By wooded heights and blossom-covered plains.
See! said he, there's my house among the trees,
Sheltered, yet open to the southern breeze.
In that beyond, with other two, you see,
Whose grounds close round my own so pleasantly,
Live valued friends of whom I never tire;
With each abode a telegraphic wire
Communicates, so, when we feel inclined
For whist or billiards, after we have dined
We telegraph to fix the time and place,
And oft arrange a meet for hunt and chase,
Which is convenient, as you soon will see,
And makes us like one social family.
Just then arriving at the gate hard by,
I will descend and open it, said I;
Sit still, said Harry, when without a word,
The gate seemed opened of its own accord.
Hallo, that's "open, Sesame," I said,
How is it done? to which Hal answer made:
Why, don't you see; I've placed across the path
A narrow gutter like a shallow bath,
And when we stop the wheels press on it, so
It slightly sinks, and forces cranks to go,
These then force back the gate until we've passed,
Whilst others set it free and close it fast.
Well, now that is convenient, I cried,
Yes, and saves lodge and keeper, he replied.
Arriving at the house, the groom we found
And waitress at the door, for the clear sound
From two electric wires pressed by the cart
In passing through the gate, had sent a dart
Of electricity that rang a bell,
To man and maid of our approach to tell.
Hal's sister met us in the entrance hall,
A lady of a certain age, erect and tall,
Whose bearing was, to say the least, severe,
One not just suited hearts to win and cheer;
She eyed me in a curious sort of way,
And then, with haughty mien, she went away.
I noticed as I hung up coat and hat,
A sort of cage, and said to Hal, what's that?
'Tis my automaton machine, he said,
For brushing thoroughly from heels to head;
I will explain: a platform there below
On which you step, makes wheels and levers go,
In fact, your weight the motive power supplies,
On which the action of the whole relies,
Those arms with brushes then revolving wheel,
And from your clothes the dust adroitly steal,
Whilst overhead another like machine
Is also placed your hat to smooth and clean;
Observe it, like a hat box cleft in twain,
With bristled, lever-working jaws that claim
Your hat within their grasp, so for the nonce
You've trowsers, coat and hat all brushed at once.
A very curious contrivance; how
I'd like to see it set in action now.
That you shall do, said he, and stepping in
Upon the little platform neat and trim,
The numerous brushes vigorously spun
Some fifteen times, and then their work was done.
There, shouted Harry, what d'ye think of that?
Jump in and try, but don't forget your hat,
For if you do you'll bitterly repent,
And have good reason, too, for discontent.
No, not just now, some other day, said I,
Feeling a bit too nervous then to try.
Excuse me, then, a moment while I seek
My sister, for to her I wish to speak.
Hal had no sooner left, than as I stood
Before the strange machine, I thought I would
Venture to test it then when none were by
To chaff if I should chance to bolt or cry,
So, stepping boldly in, the brushes ran,
And their appointed active work began,
And that they did it well there is no doubt,
But having rashly bent one elbow out,
Its funny bone was rapped, which made me shout,
Then, horrors! the hat brushes wheeled about,
I had forgot my hat, so they instead
Most unceremoniously seized my head!
The horrid thing whirled round at frightful pace,
Stripping, it seemed, all skin off nose and face.
I tried to stoop, escape from it to find,
But only got distracting blows behind,
Soothing the part affected not the less;
I felt abused, insulted, I confess.
The hateful thing, however, stopped at last,
And springing to the floor I cast
Bewildered and distrustful glances round
When, like an added insult, there I found
Harry convulsed with laughter at my side,
Which nettled my already wounded pride.
My anger was extreme on rushing out
With one loved whisker curled my ear about,
The other brushed across my face; my hair
All twisted in a vortex of despair;
I felt unable to express my rage
At his so vaunted but abusive cage.
'Tis an infernal, demon-formed machine,
Shrieked I to Hal, as ever yet was seen,
He only roared with laughter as he sat,
Saying, 'twas so because you had no hat,
You know I charged you to remember that.
I tried to laugh but 'twas of little use
After such diabolical abuse,
But calming down at last I cheerful rose,
Wishful, in private, to survey my nose,
To see if any skin were left there now,
And what the state of my disordered brow.
So, hastening to my room with Hal, I found
All there so cosily arranged around,
That in my admiration I forgot
The consequences of my ill-starred lot
Why, what a jolly room, to him I said
Yes, and you see that second little bed.
If you are nervous, or should like me to,
As when in France, I'll sleep in it by you.
O no, in England I can have no fear,
As in the old times when you were not near.
All right, old boy, but stay, before I go
I'll light the gas, and I must let you know
'Tis done by electricity, through aid
Of batteries in the basement; I've wires laid
All through the house—now see this knob I touch
Causes two wires in contact swift to rush,
Then an electro magnet turns the stop,
At the same moment sparks from out them hop,
The gas is thus ignited—'tis not all,
You see along the ceiling, down that wall,
On either side the gas jet placed, a bar.
Each of a different metal, one has far
More power than has the other to expand
When hot, which makes it bend, you understand,
In doing so it acts upon a rod
And lever, under whose constraining nod
A catch which holds the shutters is set free,
And with a spring they close to instantly.
The metal, as he touched it, heated grew,
And, as by magic, shutters were closed to.
'Tis very cleverly arranged, I say,
But here's a knob marked with the letter A;
What is its use? This A stands for alarm,
When pressed in case of fire or threatened harm,
A large alarum placed above the roof,
Soon to the neighbours gives convincing proof;
We won't try that just now as its sound, would
Undoubtedly alarm the neighbourhood.
But see, in this recess with curtained way
Is a self-acting shower-bath that you may
Try in the morning if you're so inclined.
There's just one more contrivance yet I find
That I must show you; by your bed side stands
A nest of speaking tubes; this one commands
My bedroom, number two, my sister's, and
The third, Jane's room; this last, you understand,
Might be convenient should you e'er require,
If ill, an early cup of tea, or fire.
Is Jane the pretty housemaid? I reply,
She is, you sly boy, but she's coy and shy.
Harry, I thought you'd known me better to——
All right, old boy, I was but joking you.
Harry now left. When dressed for dinner I
Resolved tube numbered one at once to try,
I blew the whistle, from the other end
Hallo, was quickly answered by my friend.
I'm waiting to go down, will you be long?
I'm ready now, came mellowly along,
And so we met upon the landing soon,
And joined the ladies in the drawing-room.
A charming little dinner o'er, and then
The ladies left and we were chatting when
A bell was rung; Hallo, that's Pool, Hal cried;
What does he want, I wonder, quick replied
His friend by numerous clicks. He wants to know
If we will sup with him. Mark, will you go?
I've no objection; click, click, click soon sent
The answer to his friend, and off we went.
On our return Hal showed me many more
Of his inventions, of which he'd a store,
Till my bewildered and distracted head
Was fairly dazed, so I escaped to bed,
But not, alas, to sleep; th' exciting day
Had been too much for my poor nerves; I lay
Tossing and restless, could not sleep at all,
So thought I'd summon Harry to my call,
As he'd suggested, and we had agreed
That I should do in case of urgent need.
I seized the tube, blew through it lustily.
Well, soon was answered through it sleepily.
I cannot get to sleep, I wish you'd come
To me, or have me with you in your room;
I'd rather of the two that you'd come here,
As you proposed, in case of need or fear.
As I proposed! you base, abandoned wretch,
Repeat those words and I'll my brother fetch.
Horror of horrors! the wrong tube I'd grasped,
And to Miss Gradient had been talking fast.
What should I do? I tried, but all in vain,
Th' unlucky error meekly to explain.
Dear madame, I assure you on my word,
'Twas a mistake, but no response was heard;
'Twas clear she'd hear no more I had to say,
However I might for forgiveness pray,
So, putting in the whistle, on the bed
I once more settled my distracted head.
The bare idea of my speaking so
To that old lady was an awful blow;
How could I meet her at the breakfast? how
Sustain the anger of that rigid brow?
At last I made a desperate resolve
To wake up Hal, the mystery to solve,
So, quickly seizing the next tube o'erhead,
Oh! I have made a great mistake, I said,
I wanted you to come and sleep by me,
But, seizing the wrong tube, unluckily
I asked Miss Gradient to come instead
Of you; pray come to me at once, I said,
Or I shall try to find you, quickly too;
I'm dying something to explain to you.
The answer almost drove me wild with pain,
'Twas in a quick, sharp, female voice again,
But not Miss Gradient's evidently now,
'Twas Jane's, the pretty housemaid's: how—
How dare you, Sir! I'd have you know, young man,
That I'm an honest girl, and scorn your plan,
And if you dare to come you can't get in,
For cook has double locked the door within.
My dear girl, I assure you, I commenced—
I ain't your dear girl, then said Jane, incensed,
'Tis no use talking any more to-night,
With curl papers I'll stop the plug up tight,
And in the morning, to your cost, you'll see
I will expose your conduct thoroughly.
Another awful error—what a scrape
I found myself within, and how escape?
I threw myself once more upon the bed,
Great drops of perspiration on my head,
Feeling bewildered, destitute of hope,
With such a series of mishaps to cope.
If those fast bolted shutters had not been
So firmly closed, I might have had a gleam
Of the blest early dawn, but I will try,
Thought I, to open them; then by and bye
I'll dress and go to Harry to explain,
Before he meets his sister or sees Jane.
I felt my way then cautiously along,
Quite nervous, lest I should again go wrong.
The window was a bow one—on I passed,
Still groping onward, till I cried at last,
Ah! here it is, this is the curtain slide;
I passed within, when—how shall I describe
My woeful plight? I screamed and yelled with pain,
My feelings to describe, alas! 'twere vain,
In the self-acting shower bath I had stepped.
And in a torrent its freed waters leapt
On my distracted form, with deafening sound,
Which sent me stunned and spinning to the ground
In painful and undignified surprise;
The curtains having deadened the wild cries,
Wrung from me under such enforced surprise,
No one had been aware of my sad plight.
As dripping, shivering with the sudden fright,
I drew my wet clothes off and felt my way
For dry ones, longing for the light of day,
As longs some sun-struck traveller, from whose sight
A momentary shock obscures the light.
The darkness so oppressive and intense
Seemed round me an impenetrable fence,
As well to physical as mental view,
Deadening the intellect and reason too.
I could not long the awful state endure,
So making a great effort to secure
A calmer mood, by sad experience taught,
Why, what a fool I've been, at length I thought,
To have forgotten like an arrant dunce
I've but to press the knob to have at once
The gas jet lit; so groping bit by bit,
I reached it, pushed the knob, but no gas lit;
Terrific noise above I heard instead,
I'd set th' alarum crashing overhead!
What should I do? the neighbourhood would be
Aroused, and perhaps as terrified as me.
I'd no idea how to stop the thing
Which now distractingly began to ring.
I'd rush to Harry; ah, he'd heard the crash,
And to my room now rushed with hurried dash;
Why, what on earth's the matter, quickly tell?
Nothing but that abominable bell.
I wished to light the gas, the wrong knob pushed;
There, Harry said, I've stopped it, and off rushed
To satisfy the neighbours who were now
Ringing t' inquire th' occasion of the row.
He soon returned, saying he'd telegraphed
To tell of the mistake, and then he laughed,
Lighted my gas, and quickly went to bed,
As he, like me, was chilled from heels to head.
Alas! my friend was gone ere I'd the power
T' explain the contretemps of that sad hour.
To get away was now my only thought,
But then this all-important step was fraught
With seen and unseen dangers everywhere,
Suppose I met Miss Gradient on the stair,
Or Jane—for this I candidly confess
I did not the required aplomb possess.
Besides I dreaded now to rouse the house;
No, I would dress, then wait, still as a mouse,
For early dawn, a note to Harry write,
Which would my wronged position soon make right.
Yes, I would go before the servants were,
Or any of the family, astir.
Consulting Bradshaw, then, I found a train
Arranged to leave at six—could I but gain
The station by that hour, how happy I
Should be. I soon resolved to try.
I dressed at once, my letter with sad heart
Placed on the table, and prepared to start.
Opening the door I crept out cautiously,
With boots in hand down stairs quite noiselessly;
Arriving in the hall I put them on,
But found the front door locked and the key gone!
Confound it! what on earth was I to do?
I'd try the kitchen entrance to get through;
Steering in that direction, on I went,
To find some egress resolutely bent;
Coming to baize-clad folding doors at length,
I turned the handle, pushed with all my strength.
Then, Murder! Thieves! and Fire! I shouted loud,
For tightly clasped in writhing pain I bowed
Within the thief trap, where I had been caught,
Which Harry had explained, but I'd forgot;
The sharp, excruciating agony,
From the electric current, cruelly
Vibrated through me from my head to feet,
Urging the goaded blood to fever heat.
At last the cruel knocks and shaking ceased,
And from the horrid thing I got released;
I dropped bewildered on a chair hard by,
With tortured body and despairing cry,
And then spied Harry shivering at my side,
Asking how I came there, when I replied,
Why, I was going off, I gasping said,
I've been most miserable since I went to bed,
This is the climax, I have suffered so
That I am quite determined now to go.
Nonsense, said Harry, come upstairs again,
I'm sorry you've been put to so much pain,
But I will soon make all things right, you'll see.
No, in this house I'll never happy be;
I'm much obliged for all your kind intent,
But am on leaving resolutely bent,
For what with handles, tubes, bells, wires and such,
With pipes, coils, batteries, and knobs to push,
I've almost lost my head, am racked with pain,
And long my own snug lodgings to regain.
Well, wait at least until the men arrive,
When we can to the station quickly drive,
And meanwhile Jane your breakfast shall prepare.
No, no, I cannot wait for Jane, I then declare,
Pray let me go, or I shall miss the train;
Good-bye, in town we'll shortly meet again,
I've left a note to tell the reason why
I felt obliged to go; again, good-bye.
I'd not gone far along the path before
I ventured to look back again once more.
Then walking at a less excited rate
I just remembered that within the gate
Electric wires were laid, so, turning round.
And seeing Harry still upon the ground,
Cried, is there any danger at the gate?
Danger, what do you mean? at any rate
You're sure there're no more wires or such like thing,
No coils or batteries, no more bells to ring?
Oh, nothing of the kind, you need not fear,
But, Frank, said Hal, come back and reason hear.
I shook my head and resolutely cried,
No, thank you, for that moment I espied
Jane opening shutters, so I quickly pushed
Aside the gate, and out exulting rushed.
I breathed more freely when once fairly through,
And o'er the highway to the station flew.
I caught the early train and reached my home,
Almost determined nevermore to roam,
For what I'd suffered on that single night,
Was quite enough to make me die of fright;
And as I sank upon my chair I said,
Thank goodness, I've no wires above my head,
For as to lighting gas I'd rather stir
And light it with the humble lucifer;
Encounter burglar with my own strong arm,
In place of man traps to create alarm;
Pull at the shower bath in a Christian way,
And face to face with friends my visits pay,
Than have electric wires take my commands,
And do the honest work of willing hands.
It is but a bright autumn leaflet,
Blown adrift from the fond parent stem,
To wither and perish in silence,
Like many a flowering gem;
But I gathered the flame-tinted treasure,
As it fluttering fell at my feet,
To send to my own absent darling,
Her radiant glances to greet.
It grew in the grand air of freedom,
From the heart of the mountain sod,
Fulfilling its destiny gladly,
In cheerful obedience to God.
It struggled through life well and bravely,
'Gainst wind, cruel night, frost and storm,
Which gained it that bright sheen of glory,
Its fond dying face to adorn.
'Tis said that the song of the bulbul,
Floating sweetly through calm moonlit skies,
As he sings to his dearly loved partner,
Is the sweetest just ere he dies;
So it seemed that the leaflet whilst dying,
Was discoursing of love from its core,
Which gave it a beauty and glory
It had never appeared in before.
It spoke of a life in the future,
Transcending the glory of this,
Where hearts in harmonious concert,
Would form an existence of bliss.
So I gathered the love-freighted leaflet,
Which brought such sweet message to me,
In hopes that its heavenly language,
Might be eloquent also to thee.
For I knew that the beautiful message,
Came from fond nature's glorious king,
So I linked it in rhythmical measure,
For you, my own darling, to sing.
And as your clear voice gives it utterance,
Think of her who has sent it to thee,
As a love-laden token and blessing,
From her fond heart far over the sea.
Kind friends and passengers, we near
Our destined port, in England dear,
But ere we land, our thanks are due,
To our skilled captain and brave crew,
For having brought us safely o'er,
Broad ocean from its further shore,
With uniform consummate care,
Beyond expression or compare.
Then, Captain Sumner and your crew,
Accept our loyal thanks, most true,
For steering the good ship Egypt o'er,
In safety to her destined shore.
Then, as is customary here,
Let these thanks find expression clear,
Towards sailors' orphans, who have claim
On all who safely cross the main.
Then pass the broadest plate around,
Let great bright coins on it resound.
The claim ungrudgingly fulfil,
With generous heart and right good will.
Then, ere we part, let each one try
To sing "Good-bye, sweetheart, good-bye,"
With hopes, some day, again to meet
And each the other kindly greet.
Never did rosy morning
Sweep o'er the skirts of night,
Calm nature's face adorning,
With more intense delight;
Never did earth exultant
Summon her offspring all,
To life-work, love and duty
With more inspiring call,
Than in the young spring season,
Three centuries ago,
When Roberval set sail from France
To skim broad ocean's flow.
Nobles, rich, young and restless,
Statesmen and soldiers too,
Women of birth, and sailors,
Composed the adventurous crew.
Leaving St. Malo's harbour.
They steered in Cartier's wake,
For that New France which Francis hoped
A source of wealth to make.
For of it wondrous stories
Were floating in the air,
A very Paradise it seemed
Of joy beyond compare.
A vast, mysterious country,
Studded with gems and gold,
Where virgin soil and forests grand
Were girt by headlands bold.
A land of beauty, where 'twas said
Celestial fountains played,
Whose waters made the aged young,
And Time's dread havoc stayed.
Such were the thrilling stories
Of ancient Florida.
And of that favoured part of it
Now known as Canada.
France, prompted by ambition,
Was on its conquest bent,
Though Rome to Spain had given
The whole vast continent.
To subjugate a people
In wildest freedom bred,
Whose trade was armed barter,
To utmost hardship wed,
To potent savage nations,
To teach the white man's creed;
This was the hardy project
That France's king decreed.
Among the group of women
Was Marguerite, the fair
Niece of the Viceroy, Roberval,
Young, lovely, debonnaire,
Like gleams of summer sunshine
That glorify the sea,
Among the ship's companions,
Her presence seemed to be.
There, too, was a young noble,
Who with her left his home,
Content all honours to renounce,
With her he loved to roam;
Together had they plighted
Their vows before high heaven,
To the new faith together
Their pledged adhesion given.
Before their loving pastor,
And Marguerite's maid, with prayer,
These Huguenots in secret,
To sign the contract dare,
In the still hour of midnight,
Whilst all were thought to be,
Bound in the gyves of slumber,
In that ship far out at sea.
Alas! a listening traitor,
Ere waned the morning star,
Prompted by hate and malice,
Had spread the secret far;
And Roberval rose furious,
In wild ungoverned rage,
Against the hated heretics,
A deadly war to wage.
Fast bind the men in irons,
The women thrust, he said,
Into a boat with fire-arms,
Some powder, meat and bread,
For see! the Isle of Demons
Lies close athwart our lee,
And they the fit companions
Of its horned fiends shall be.
The wild, infernal orgies
Of these winged imps of night
Yet fill the air with horror,
And thrill it with affright;
To these I now consign them,
Quick, thrust them out to sea,
And through a life of torture
May they repentant be.
Thus Roberval, the Viceroy,
Thundered his fierce commands,
As Leon, Marguerite's husband
Burst from his iron bands,
Plunged headlong in the wild flood
And toward the threatening shore,
Swam boldly forth'—defiant
Of him and ocean's roar.
The swimmer and the boat's crew
Long fought for life and breath,
And all appeared together
Entering the jaws of death,
As Roberval steered from them,
Outbreathing curses loud,
And imprecations furious
That stout hearts chilled and cowed.
The ship receded—vanished,
Leaving the wave-tossed three
All valiantly contending
With the belated sea.
The swimmer battled fiercely,
With ocean's maddening strife,
As the frail women bravely
Contended for dear life.
Till haply, thanks to heaven,
They're saved, for see, they stand
Linked heart and hand together,
The three once more on land.
'Tis said infernal demons,
Beset them day and night,
And with their shrieks satanic
Chilled them with dire affright.
But a strong hand celestial
Was ever interposed,
And round about them ever
A viewless barrier closed.
Th' infernal brood of hell,
Howling in baffled fury,
Around them powerless fell.
In course of time kind heaven
Gave them a baby boy,
Who filled their hearts with rapture,
And thrilled them to new joy,
But death soon stole their treasure,
Then Leon made his own
The Norman nurse then summoned,
And Marguerite was alone!
Alone on that dread island,
In whose accursed soil
Her loved ones found unhallowed rest
From harrowing care and toil.
Still courage never failed her,
Though fettered to the sod
Where hideous fiends assailed her,
To try her faith in God.
Though foes came gathering round her,
Appalling to the view,
From upper as from nether worlds,
And nearer lurking drew,
Of these, grim bears were foremost,
Who boldly round her close,
But with her gun brave Marguerite
Slew three of these fierce foes.
Thus, though most gently nurtured,
This maiden rose to be
A heroine undaunted
On the lone isle of the sea,
And Leon was a hero,
Who risked fame, fortune, life,
To be the sworn defender
Of helpless maid and wife.
Two dreary years of warfare
Had passed o'er Marguerite's head,
Crowded with deeds heroic,
Since she with Leon wed,
When, far at sea some whalers
Observed a curling smoke
Rise from the haunted island,
Which fear and wonder woke.
Was it the trick of demons
To lure them to the shore,
And lead them on to ruin,
As many had been before?
They thought it was, and kept aloof,
Then vague surmises made.
That some unhappy mortal
Might need their timely aid.
So, triumphing o'er terror,
They warily drew nigh,
Descried a female figure
Waving her signals high;
Clothed in the skins of white bears,
So lovely she appeared,
That the brave-hearted sailors
Most gladly toward her steered.
Thus Marguerite was rescued,
Through a heaven-directed chance,
Restored to home and country
In her beloved France.
'Tis said the baffled demons
At her departure fled,
And never to the island
Again their legions led.
Firm in her new faith, Marguerite
Was a brave pioneer,
Of those devoted Hugenots,
To true hearts justly dear,
Who, half a century after,
Composed that sturdy flock,
Who from the good ship May Flower
Landed on Plymouth rock.
And who shall say how many
This noble woman led,
To break their bonds asunder,
Who were to priestcraft wed?
And as I close this ballad,
Learn, reader, that its heroes
Toiled not in vain for you.
NOTE—Isles of Demons: one of two islands north-east of Newfoundland supposed to have been given over to the fiends, from whom they derive their name, variously called by Thevet Isle de Fische, Isle de Roberval, and Isle of Demons. The Isle Fichet of Sanson and the Fishot Island of some modern maps.
Twas eve in Brooklyn, and the bracing air
Of northern regions fanned the city fair,
Urging life's currents to a generous flow
And quick'ning nerve and pulse to joyful glow.
A touching tragedy had been installed
Within the theatre, "The Orphans" called,
One of the most successful dramas sage,
America has placed upon the stage.
To it for peaceful recreation strayed
Scores of the citizens, en fête arrayed,
Some with beloved ones whom they hoped one day,
Might be their partners through life's checkered way.
Others formed parties from the family group,
Maidens and children in the joy of youth,
Glad schoolboys taken for reward or treat,
And worthless idlers sauntering from the street.
Many a fond and loving pair were there
Who in each other's joys and griefs had share;
Grave statesmen, merchants, all in that brief hour,
Sat spell-bound by the dramatist's rare power.
When in an instant the appalling cry
Of fire! fire!! fire!!! was heard resounding high;
The terror-stricken crowd in blank dismay
Rushed frantically towards each narrow way.
No ears had they for the brave girl who sought
To counsel in that hour with horror fraught,
Who cried "We are between you and the fire,
Be calm, for God's sake, in this danger dire."
[Footnote: On the first alarm of fire and whilst others were escaping, Miss Kate Claxton with three other actors came bravely forward to the footlights uttering these words of passionate entreaty.]
Those nearest haply reached the narrow way,
And thanking God, emerged from the affray,
Whilst others stumbled, dazed with terror wild
And soon in tangled heaps lay powerless piled.
In wildest proxysms of fear and pain,
Each sought his giddy footing to retain,
Whilst piercing cries of agonized despair,
Rose through the gloomy smoke-charged stifling air.
Then suffocation, oft more merciful
Than fire, its victims claimed to lull,
Scared victims, gasping for that precious air,
Which fire and smoke alike refused them there.
Fast hurried on the greedy tongues of fire,
To make of those dread mounds a funeral pyre,
As raging onward o'er their victims broke,
The fearful conflict of the fire and smoke.
Dread was the scene o'er which the Fire King laughed
As he his bowl of frantic pleasure quaffed,
Whilst the doomed structure tottered in the girth
Of his wild, bellowing, satanic mirth.
Strong men and feeble women, young and old,
Statesmen, financiers, and warriors bold,
Who were a short hour since elate with pride.
Now charred and calcined, slumber side by side.
The fierce insatiate fire-fiend raging flew
In wild demoniac rage the structure through,
Tearing down rafters, hurling to the ground,
Props, pillars roof-beams with appalling sound.
Oh! what a scene of strife raged wildly there,
'Mid cries for help and struggles of despair;
All human efforts powerless to assuage,
The greedy fire-fiend's devastating rage.
The fiery monster dashed away all trace,
Of that late mimic world of beauteous grace,
Swallowing in a fleet, wrathful breath of rage,
All the vain baubles of the tinseled stage.
All the wild tumult has subsided now,
Hushed is the pleading prayer and woe strung vow,
Breathed by fond parents, brothers, husbands, wives
Of near three hundred late exultant lives!
Then, as the demon's rage was well nigh spent,
He o'er the drenched and trampled corses bent,
Effacing as he best could, every trace
Of recognition from each ghastly face.
Drunken and gorged the sated fire-fiend spread
His gloomy sable shroud about the dead,
And left the fort he could not longer hold
Conquered by man's heroic efforts bold.
Too painful 'twould be to prolong the tale,
Of that which followed, or the piteous wail
Of friends bereaved, who sought with harrowing dread,
To single out their loved ones from the dead.
Close we, by urging those in power to do
What well becomes all rulers wise and true,
To make new laws, enforced by vigorous means,
To spare all repetition of such scenes.
Oft will Columbia sing to future time,
Of her centennial union sublime
But ever with the memorable year,
Will mingle memories of this history drear.
The morning broke with streams of welcome rain,
Such as the two preceding ones had brought.
Rain, that in tropic climes means life and joy
To man and beast as to the thirsty soil
And though the sky hung like a sable pall
Over the fair oasis, nestling calm
Beneath the trusted shelter of the hills,
And o'er the broad lake-outlet of the floods,
What cause had they to fear? 'Twas often thus,
And the long wished-for rains would bring forth joy
So reasoned they who, peaceful, viewed unmoved
Th' outpouring of that sullen ocean cloud,
When suddenly, they who had calmly felt
So safe one little span of time before,
Discovered in dismay the swollen floods
Meant danger—that the safety of their homes.
Was menaced, walls were tottering, waters rose,
Sapping foundations, threatening precious life.
Security was lost in maddening fear,
And, panic-stricken in disordered haste
And direst plight, they quit their homes, and fly
To seek a refuge from the merciless,
Relentless flood. On, on, they wildly rush,
No matter where, so they preserve the lives
Of those they dearly, passionately love.
Some o'er fierce rolling streams are helped by men
In mercy sent to render priceless aid,
And happy they, the rescued, who escape,
For scarcely had they timely refuge found,
Than a huge limb of the great mountain fell,
Sweeping the fair hill-side of house and land,
And burying dozens of their fellow men
In one uncompromising, living tomb!
Brave men with tender hearts and stalwart arms,
Regardless of their lives flew quickly there.
Seeking to save their fellows; but, alas!
The task is useless, they are past all aid;
The cold earth sepulchres their mortal frames—
Still, hope's star-beacon lures the toilers on,
And with stout hearts and mercy sinewed arms,
They, toiling, dig, if haply they may save
But one poor soul from out the piteous heap.
But as they worked, their honest hearts elate
With love-inspiring toil, Oh, sad to tell!
Another mass, far larger than the last,
Fell from the dark flood-loosened mountain side,
Burying those noble men beneath the deep
Dank heap, like those they fondly hoped to save.
O noble band! thy Christ-like heroism
Shall be enshrined in deathless memories
Outliving time; for rolling ages love
To chronicle the history of brave deeds,
That spur by their example other minds
To acts of heroism such as thine!
Oh! fearful was that avalanche of earth,
That in its fury, e'en with lightning speed,
Swept to eternity such precious freight!
Strong men in the proud glory of life's prime,
Women in joyful trustfulness of love
With little children in full bloom of life;
All in the twinkling of an eye cut down,
In that rude harvest of the tyrant Death!
Now the late lovely valley, Naini Tal
Stands as a witness of the frailty
Of human strength 'gainst the o'erwhelming might
Of forces, which the All Mighty only guides;
Proving, that great as oftimes is man's force,
It is as nothing, when the elements
Proclaim Him monarch of all power and might,
In language for the world to comprehend.
Now, welcome home, ye valiant band,
By science lured to roam,
Thrice welcome to your native land,
To Britain's hearth and home;
For ye have conquered many a foe,
And vanquished many a fear,
Since in your country's name ye sailed
So bravely forth last year.
Then many a fervent "Good speed ye"
Was wafted from the land,
That blent with blessings from the ships,
For those left on the strand.
Hope streaming through each hot tear formed
Rainbows of promise sweet,
To comfort each lone sundered heart,
Till blest again to meet.
But eighteen months have passed away
Since those farewells were breathed,
And ye've accomplished what was wished
Without a sword unsheathed.
And with her royal chaplets light
Of honour and renown,
Your brows of manly fortitude
Britain delights to crown.
Ye've had the courage, nerve, and skill,
To do, and bravely dare,
That which none other save yourselves
Have had the joy to share.
In penetrating furthest yet,
Into that region lone,
Where grim uncompromising ice
Girdles the Polar Zone.
"The sea of ancient ice," henceforth
Inscribed on the world's chart,
Though never of that world to be
A sympathetic part;
Since mighty floating fortresses,
With adamantine towers,
Form everlasting barriers grim,
That mock man's feebler powers.
Heroic Nares! Commander bold
Of the well-ordered band,
Accept with thy intrepid crews,
Thanks from thy native land,
For having with determined zeal,
Reached a much longed-for goal,
And solved the mystery that veiled
The regions of the Pole.
Thus proving inacessible
The ice-ribbed polar sea,
Ye've earned your laurels valiantly,
Still it is well that we
Join ye in rendering fervent thanks,
To the Supreme above,
For safe return in joyous health,
To country, home and love.
Oh! what a change since last we met, when thou wert all my
And love dictated every word, and sweetened every tone.
Cold and repelling was the gaze that rested on the one
Whose heart's devotion, true as steel, thy treachery had won.
Who could have thought that vows exchanged before the God of heaven,
And pledged so solemnly, could be so soon, so rudely riven?
But, false one, I fling back to thee thy hollow, withering gaze,
And spurn thee in the bitterest tones my scorn-strung voice can raise.
Arise, ye valiant warrior hosts, arise!
Now, in the flush of victory, pierce the skies
With grateful outbursts of exultant praise.
Such as victorious hosts alone can raise,
To the great God of nations, Lord of lords,
Who in your pride of conquests sheathes your swords,
And claims your rapturous homage from afar,
For all the brilliant exploits of the war.
Let the majestic paeans heavenward sent,
Be with united voice of Britain blent;
Like measured thunders the grand anthem swell,
A nation's fervent gratitude to tell.
And yet another strain of prayer outpour
For the lamented victims of the war.
And for our Queen, who now delights to crown
Her brave commanders with deserved renown.
God bless these mighty men of mind and power,
Who led the well-trained hosts in war's dread hour,
Crushing rebellion, bidding rapine cease;
Then, with heroic valour, courting peace.
And as each soul is heavenward winged to raise
To the Creator this grand psalm of praise,
Forget not the crest-fallen hosts, but bear
Their country's troubles to the throne of prayer.
Sons are we all of the same Father wise.
Who rules in sovereign pomp the earth and skies,
Who bids all live in brotherhood divine,
Without distinction of race, creed or clime.
God speed the day when cruel wars shall cease,
And all the wrestling earth shall be at peace,
When liberty's proud flag shall be unfurled,
And justice, not the sword, shall rule the world.
"Peace with honour," glorious, joy-lit words!
Britons, lay down your arms, re-sheath your swords,
For the red demon War lies foiled and chained,
And Britain's prestige is anew proclaimed.
With re-united Europe, grateful raise
To Heaven glad paeans of exultant praise;
For see, crest-fallen strife, abashed, retreats,
As Berlin's congress her design defeats.
While Justice, Peace and Hope effulgent stand,
Aiding the Council of the patriot band.
Grand conclave of the wise, 'twas well ye bade
Such Heaven-born guests lend to your council aid,
Well for the good and welfare of the world
That ye your Heaven-blest flag of peace unfurled!
Great Emperor Peacemaker! well hast, thou done,
To link to thy long list of victories won,
This bloodless one, where all alike contend,
With cultured courtesy, as friend with friend,
To help the fallen, bid rude passions cease,
Through moral suasion, and re-throne blest peace.
And thou, Disraeli, pillar of the State,
With the proud flush of triumph now elate,
Well hast thou earned thy laurels, nobly won
Thy Queen's and country's verdict of "well done,"
For with far-seeing mind, unflinching skill,
Rare tact and talent, calm, consummate skill,
Thou hast, with thy brave colleagues, fought our fight,
And made stern right triumphant over might.
Since to the foremost and most honoured place
A subject could aspire to, or could grace,
Thou hast ascended by the nation's will,
Let "Peace with Honour" be thy motto still.
Thus shall our civilizing mission be
To future ages a reality,
That where the flag of Britain is unfurled,
Peace and good-will may flow to all the world,
Till throughout every nation wars shall cease,
And honour reign triumphantly with peace.
The long day of the year is nearly done,
The atoms through its sand-glass almost run,
Another bridge is well-nigh swung—by Time
O'er the grand current of life's course sublime.
For see! through floods of eastern glory high
The morn's fair chariot swoops athwart the sky,
And from its circling rose-lit atmosphere
Steps, beaming with young hope, the infant year!
Knowing no bygones, he points gaily on
To battles to be waged and victories won,
Struggles with self, o'ercomings that will crown
The combatants with honour and renown.
Battles which make the men of mark on earth.
Men who feel culture of all God's gifts worth,
A thorough abnegation of self-will,
To fit them life's work rightly to fulfil.
Then let each with the glad New Year begin
To act so they may fadeless victories win,
Since heaven's choice gifts and deathless wreaths of fame
Wait for the good, and great, their joys to claim.
Home! magic name of sweetest sound,
That thrills us like a spell;
That consecrates the humblest cot
Where loved ones kindly dwell.
How much that simple name recalls
Of happy childhood's days,
When the old homestead was illumed
By love's inspiring rays.
Visions of beauty unsurpassed,
Are conjured by that word
That thrills a Briton's heart where'er
The English tongue is heard.
And when in exile wandering,
On fairer, brighter plains;
How the melodious name of home
Our best affection claims.
The roof-tree may be stricken down,
And loved ones be no more;
But the sweet memories of our home
Live on for evermore.
Wealth may attract and pleasure lure
When far away we roam;
But ah! how joyful we return
To the pure shrine of home.
There we find sweet repose and peace,
There too our holiest love;
And there we gain a foretaste pure
Of coming joys above.
Then "Home, sweet home," shall be our song
On earth, and when on high
'Twill still be home, dear, happy home,
In the glad "by-and-by."
It is but a lone faded rosebud
That a dearly loved one gave to me,
In years now long past but remembered
And shrined for the years yet to be.
It opens the floodgates of memory,
Discoursing of dear days gone by,
Dead and buried except to rememb'rance
Which never can slumber or die.
For hearts that have once truly mingled,
In sympathy, love and esteem,
Can never be really sundered
Though oceans and seas roll between.
And still I will cherish my rosebud,
Though it never may bloom to a flower,
As a symbol of love that was strangled
In life's saddest yet happiest hour.
Thou reverend relic from a far-off clime,
Of ancient days, triumphant over Time.
Thou ocean traveller, brought with peril o'er,
To rise again on London's busy shore.
Superb exponent of Egyptian art,
What wondrous secrets load thy granite heart
Since thou wert fashioned from the ribs of earth
To show the great sun's golden glory forth!
Thou with six noble compeers hast surveyed
The birth and death of empires undismayed.
Some of them saw at On the guiding light
Shed o'er the Holy Family in their flight.
The oldest still ennobles Goshen's brow,
Almost the sole surviving relic now
Of her foundation, and upon whose sod,
When years had rolled their courses, Jesus trod.
And one in Turkey, yet one more in Rome,
Captives and aliens from their childhood's home,
Tower in lone majesty, recording still
The grandest era of Egyptian skill.
A fifth in Alexandria calmly rears
Its stately form, and o'er it kindly peers
A noble landmark, like an angel guide
To wanderers o'er Egypt's sand plains wide.
Ask of the ages where the sixth has gone,
For naught of that stone mountain now is known.
Thus perish all things, save the spirit free,
Inheritor of immortality!
Past ages fondly raised to Ra and Tum
(Whose morn and evening glory robed the sun),
These sacred fanes, to grace the sun shrine high,
Full in the golden splendour of the sky.
Where now is Heliopolis? ah, where
Her sun-shrine, raised in classic beauty rare?
Crumbled, and lost in rainless Egypt's dust,
Save what these columns guard in sacred trust.
And shall we fondly consecrate and raise
Vast monuments to sing of mortal praise,
And then presume to criticise and scorn
Fanes raised the sun-god's temple to adorn?
Ah no, but let us rather consecrate
Anew this worship-sign of ancient date,
Than join in scoff by sneering cynic thrown
On faith and on religion not his own.
Upon the generous donor's aged brow
Let Britain place her graceful chaplet now,
Since unto him is due that she doth hold
This precious relic of the faith of old.
And let us not forget what thanks are due
To skilful Dixon and his gallant crew,
And as is just, be honour also paid.
To useful Dmetri for his timely aid.
Then plant the precious fane on Britain's shore.
In solemn tribute of the faith of yore,
That coming ages may revere the sod
That shrines this tribute to the living God.
Inhabitants of Liverpool,
List to the urgent call,
Which summons you in crowds to-day,
Within St. George's Hall.
There earnest Women are convened,
In purpose strong to seek,
Through your kind help and influence,
To aid the Faint and Weak.
The Convalescent Hospital
Stands burdened with a debt,
Which we resolve (if you permit)
Shall now be promptly met.
To this intent, a Grand Bazaar
Is held by us to-day;
And fifteen hundred pounds the sum
We fondly hope to pay.
The cause is good; then quickly prove
Your gratitude for health,
By giving with a willing heart
Of your abundant wealth.
Or if not quite disposed to give,
Then freely buy, I pray,
Of the rich stores of wondrous art
Displayed for you to-day.
Work marvellously wrought, and rare
As beautiful you'll find;
With good plain, homely garments, too,
Of varied form and kind.
And lovely flowers, in sweet perfume,
Breathing delight and love;
Discoursing, in mute eloquence,
Of fadeless ones above.
Groups, too, of artificial flowers,
To serve when others die;
Like photos of dear absent friends,
Delighting heart and eye.
Presents there are for Boys and Girls,
And darling Pets at home,
And souvenir for Grandmamma,
If too infirm to come.
And, mingling with the festive scene,
Is music's witching voice,
Swelling, in harmony divine,
Man's spirit to rejoice.
Beneath the master hand of "Best"
The organ springs to life,
Like some roused monster in his lair,
Goaded to deadly strife.
Attuned to Angel sweetness, then,
And tremblings of delight,
It fills the dreamy marble Hall
With visions pure and bright.
Then merchant Princes, Tradesmen, too,
Dry business leave awhile;
And with your dear ones by your side,
With us an hour beguile.
O ye in power, thus placed to minister
To every pressing local, social claim,
Of those who gave you this authority,
Trusting you to act wisely in their name,
See that the precious heirloom of our race,
For which our fathers suffered, toiled and bled,
Our glorious Constitution, Britain's pride,
Be to the people's rights in justice wed.
Withhold not from them what in trust ye guard,
For calm enjoyment on the day of rest,
By opening parks, museums, libraries,
That their closed treasures be enjoyed with zest.
Why should our city's priceless treasures not
Be freely open on the day of rest,
That the inspiring thoughts of noble minds
Be to the people thus divinely blest?
And if the masses do not agitate,
For free admission to these works of art,
This fact adds reason more why cultured men,
Should lead them in these joys to share a part.
This day was made for man, not he for it,
And should he to him of all days the best,
For moral, physical and mental life,
Since calm exertion may be actual rest.
Surely the study of the Father's laws,
And survey of His wondrous works and power,
Seen through all nature's grand and wondrous realm,
Is fit enployment for a Sunday hour;
Think ye the public house a fitter place,
In which to spend that blessed afternoon?
I fear that many of you must do so,
Or you would grant what has been claimed right soon.
Sweet object lessons from the King of Kings
Are found in animal and insect life,
And birds and fishes, beauteous flowers and trees,
Are with such lessons eloquently rife;
So are the gracious, light-dispensing heavens,
Grand ocean's depths and mountain heights sublime,
Day's regent King, night's lovely gentle Queen,
Each one discoursing of the Power Divine.
I've lived in Paris and in wonder seen,
A mighty host of people wend their way
In thousands, to the lovely sylvan park
Of Versailles, to spend part of that blest day,
In families of husband, children, wife,
With basket of refreshments, simple, pure,
Which, seated on some verdant bank, they shared,
In peaceful happiness, serene and sure.
I've watched them closely, willing to detect,
In those past days of prejudice and pride,
Some flaw of conduct, wantonness, excess,
Which I could criticise, rebuke or chide,
But I was staggered not to find save one
Excess of drunkenness in that vast throng,
And that one was a foreigner, which proved
That all my foregone censure had been wrong.
And further careful observation proved
Tha wisdom of thus opening freely all
Art treasures, which refine and cultivate,
Whilst giving joy alike to great and small,
For families, who, parted all the week,
On this one day could mingle happily,
And bodily, as well as mental health,
Be thus promoted most agreeably.
The crowd passed pleasantly and peacefully
Through the rich treasures in the palace spread,
And to his credit, be it here remarked,
The priest full oft these happy parties led;
They passed the forenoon of the day at church
In prayer and praise to the great Lord of all,
And now in calm enjoyment praised Him here,
Who hears when and where'er his children call.
Then ye who rule this city, pause I pray,
Give to this subject your attention best,
And make the Sunday to the poor as rich,
A day of liberty, a day of rest.
Let each be free to exercise his choice;
For to keep Britain really great and free,
We should not fetter consciences, or yet
Deprive its people of true liberty.
Only a few links wanting,
Earth's toilers oft exclaim,
Only a few charmed linklets,
To make life's perfect chain;
Philosophers and statesmen,
Poets and courtiers gay,
And cunning craftsmen, at life's forge
Echo the same each day.
The students of life's mysteries
Toil hard, with stern resolve,
The secrets of the universe
To penetrate and solve;
For most minds have some purpose,
Some goal they fain would gain,
Which they believe the linklet
Wanting in life's grand chain.
The warrior risks dear life-blood,
Others toil hard for fame;
The Sage works on through midnight
To earn an honoured name.
The Lover pleads untiring,
At the beloved one's feet,
Each seeking the missed linklet
That may life's chain complete.
Some seek the link in pleasure,
In rioting and sin.
Others, in forced retirement
Of self, in cloisters dim.
Some make the world's applauses
Their sole reward and aim,
Some torture gold to fashion
The missed links of life's chain.
Strive on, ye band of workers,
In faith and courage strong,
Knowledge by labour entereth,
Through perseverance long;
No prize is half so precious
As that obtained through pain,
No means like self-denial,
For perfecting life's chain.
Ever a something wanting,
Ever, just one link more;
Such is the hope-lit watchword
Of pilgrims to heaven's shore,
Nor till on that shore landed,
Will missed links of life's chain
Be found, and firmly welded,
To sunder ne'er again.
Three youths in the heyday of life's hopeful spring,
On a bright April morn gaily hied,
With three little skiffs, each one made by himself,
To skim o'er the silvery tide.
In the joy that awaits on all well-performed work,
Engaged in by youth, child, or man,
Whilst employing the powers which to him God has given,
And labouring as well as he can,
They pushed from the shore, their young spirits elate.
In a trance of enjoyment and pride;
For were they not reaping the cherished reward
Which to labour is never denied?
Far happier than kings, as light-hearted as birds
Who warbled spring carols on high,
Each guided his skiff o'er the freshening wave,
'Neath a cloudless, sun-glorified sky.
They had chatted together while making their boats,
Half in serious mood, half in fun,
Of parting their hair in the middle to aid
Fair balance in the risk they might run.
And thus, in increasing and joyful delight,
They paddled a full hour and more,
And were gaily returning triumphantly, when,
Within about ten yards from shore,
Young Ithill, the eldest, a youth of sixteen,
His seat unaccountably lost,
And out of the frail skiff, the promising boy,
In a twinkling was ruthlessly tost.
His nearest companion, young Whittaker, sprang,
His canoe prompt assistance to lend,
But the noble young Ithill refused to lay hold,
For fear of endangering his friend.
Young Girling was some distance off, but at once
To the rescue most gallantly sprang,
As meantime the cry of "a boy drowning," loud
Through the air supplicatingly rang.
And the mother of Girling, who heard that wild cry,
Flew like lightning across to the strand,
Plunged fearlessly into the tide, where her son
Was struggling with stout heart and hand
To reach his poor friend, and the brave mother sought
To encourage his efforts to save,
While she, who, like him, could not swim, struggled hard,
Kept afloat by her clothes on the wave.
But vain were their efforts, the telegraph boy
Had sunk 'neath the pitiless wave,
And his poor lifeless body, so late full of life,
Now lies in its calm ocean grave.
In response to shrill cries for assistance, some men
Put off in a boat, all too late!
Instead of at once plunging in to the boy,
Thus heartlessly left to his fate,
'Tis said one of three or four beings called men,
Calmly standing close by on the land,
Threw stones to direct where the poor boy had sunk,
In reply to the woman's demand.
I've been told, but 'tis almost too hard to believe,
That one of these beings could swim,
But was too great a coward and poltroon to risk
The endangering of life or of limb.
But enough of such sickening allusions as these;
Those who might have saved life, lost what none
Who never ennoble their lives by good deeds,
Could imagine of happiness won
By hearts braced with courage, regardless of self,
Such as John Girling's mother displayed,
Who, like a true hero, sublimely risked life
In those efforts, alas! vainly made.
Is there not on this isle some society formed
To reward such brave deeds as this one?
For surely humanity could not withhold
Recompense for such gratitude won!
Let us hope that this sad, painful history may lead
Every one to determine to try,
The fine art of swimming to master forthwith,
Ere the now opening season pass by.
For doubtless the poor boy might yet have been spared,
Had he known how to swim or to float,
As very few strokes might have brought him to shore,
When he slipped from his slight fragile boat.
'Tis sweet to record the good conduct and life
Of this well-beloved, motherless boy,
In the hope that it may to his absent sire's heart
Convey some consolation and joy.
Teacher sublime, great, grand and free!
My spirit loves and honours thee,
Who taught that all religion ran,
In love to God, and love to man.
Grand, comprehensive standard this,
To lead mankind to peace and bliss,
Inspiring them, when well unfurled,
To link in brotherhood the world.
Could any sect or doctrine claim
A higher, nobler, holier aim?
And should not all religion tend,
To this all-glorious god-like end?
The greatest teacher ever known,
This simple rule of life has shown
Should be the standard for all time,
Of all the sons of every clime.
If then Christ's soul-inspiring plan,
Makes love to God and love to man,
Embrace all duties, and insure
Virtue and happiness most pure.
Why vex the world with differing creeds,
Which meet not universal needs,
Which sore perplex and lead the mind
To separate, not link mankind?
For would not self-denial spring
From such rich soil, and blessings bring,
Which would provoke each one to be
His brother's helper ceaselessly?
If each love God with heart and mind,
And treat as brethren all mankind,
All other virtues must perforce,
Outflow from such inspiring source.
Such life divine inspired within,
Would form stern barriers to all sin,
And be the motive power to lead,
To all that man could wish or need.
Blest reason, long dethroned, might then
Become the guide of erring men,
Blind superstition meet its doom,
Within an unregretted tomb.
Let all with one accord then bend,
Their powers to further this grand end,
Love then would herald the new birth,
Of peace and good will through the earth.
Poor Tyne! no verse of mine has ever sung
The praise of one more faithful than thou wert,
For warm affection formed a major part
Of thy canine existence, now, alas!
Cut short by sad and cruel accident.
We cannot choose but mourn thee, good old dog,
Who for a period of thirteen years
Guarded the family hearth and claimed a share
Of warm affection in its daily life,
Watching through tender, melancholy eyes,
Each loved one forming its component parts.
Ready to follow, sport, caress or play,
If but a kind word led the cue or way,
Parisien emigré of sixty-seven,
Reserved for kinder, more congenial fate
Than thy unhappy brethren of the siege;
Perchance with instinct keen thou did'st rejoice
To leave thy native land, o'ercharged with strife,
And on a foreign shore tell out thy life.
Thy soft, thick, creamy coat, expressive tail,
Deep, lustrous, loving eyes, short bark and wail;
Thy wild delight at prospect of a walk,
Glad boundings over green sward fresh and free,
Thy look of conscious guilt when wrong was done,
And patient waiting at thy master's side,
For well-selected morsel of each meal;
Thy pleadings, far more eloquent than words
Of mine could ever chronicle, thy sweet
Low whinings of inquiry or desire,
All will be long remembered, watcher true,
Good, old, affectionate, responsive Tyne!
Is there a heart so sere as not to feel
Pleasures innumerable o'er it stead,
In sweet surroundings of earth's lovely flowers,
Which cheer and elevate man's saddest hours.
Sweet messages from heaven they convey,
Through perfumed breath they sing their God-taught-lay,
Root firmly bedded in the active sod,
And eye turned upward to their Father God.
Pure gems of earth are beauteous to behold,
Set in the royalty of burnished gold;
But what is their dead beauty, to the glow
Of living, loving glory which flowers show?
Kind angel messengers to earth they seem,
Suggestive of hopes radiant, evergreen,
And of a future blossoming above,
In an eternal home of blissful love.
Types of what earthly love is meant to be,
Struggling through labours to existence free.
Then putting on a fragant outgrowth, rife
With joy for others, through true flowering life.
Sweet influences borne on angel wing,
These odorous blossoms to the sad heart sing,
Diffusing added zest to joyful mirth,
And spreading ripening gladness through the earth.
The perfume of a flower, a touch, a tone,
Oft waken memories of dear days gone,
Wherein an atmosphere of earthly bliss,
A plighted love was sealed with thrilling kiss.
Who has not treasured some poor faded flower?
In token of a radiant, love lit hour,
When life was one delicious joyful dream,
Ere we had learnt "things are not what they seem."
Sweet rose! in sunlit robes of beauty rare,
Which loads with fragrance the enraptured air,
Reposing gracefully on verdant stem,
Thou art of all earth's flowers the choicest gem!
Well has our country done in making thee
An emblem of her nationality;
Thy beauteous form, sweet breath and sunset sheen,
Make thee of all earth's loveliest flowers the Queen!
Who says that Scotland's thistle is not fair?
Of sturdy growth and free determined air,
Type of a race, in mental vigour strong,
Of perseverance and endurance long.
The shamrock with its triple verdant smile,
Fit emblem of our emerald sister isle!
Whose people's pleasant humour laughs down care,
As they good fellowship delight to share.
May thistle, shamrock, rose, for aye intwine
In union and brotherhood sublime;
And every Briton heavenward waft the prayer,
That each the other's weal or woe still share.
Narcissus, sacred to proud Juno once,
Was afterwards the flower of cultured France,
Then the dynastic emblem of Savoy,
Now, the red Indian's magic herb and joy.
The violets of classic Athens too,
Of modest bearing and enchanting hue,
In the accomplishment of time became,
Napoleon's violets of world-wide fame.
Nabrassor's Queen, tired of the level plains
Which her adopted Babylonia claims,
Sighed for her Midian gardens and sweet flowers,
To cheer her in her few retiring hours.
She sighed not long or vainly, for her lord
Called art to rival nature; at his word
Bewitching gardens with rare flowers were
Formed and suspended in mid-air for her.
Let all be grateful to these flower friends,
Who to life's pleasure such rich fragrance lends,
And strive, like them through perfumed actions clear,
Others to gladden, elevate and cheer.
Then will they not have toiled and smiled in vain,
For man a fuller, freer life to gain,
In bright incentives to enjoyments sure,
Through sympathetic nature's teachings pure.
Beloved Queen of Britain's sea-girt Isles,
And lands o'er which the grand Sun ever smiles,
Accept from Liverpool, we humbly pray,
The heartiest welcome loyal hearts can pay.
Thrice welcome to this enteprising Port,
Whose ships to Earth's remotest point resort,
Making our City a commercial throne,
For merchant princes of deserved renown.
The loyal shouts which will beset thy way,
And hearty cheers which thrill thy heart to-day,
Are but expressions impotent to tell,
Our fealty to the Queen we love so well.
We welcome also Connaught's Prince with pride,
And the Prince Henry and his royal bride,
And pray they may in wedded bliss long live,
With every blessing heaven and earth can give.
Our Exhibition, we would fondly hope,
May prove with former splendid shows to cope;
But chief its maritime displays we deem,
May gain the approbation of our Queen.
Peoples of other and far distant lands,
Have toiled with active brains and willing hands,
Working with competition's keen excess,
To make the shipperies a grand success.
In its arrangements may a lion's share
Of grateful thanks be given to our mayor,
To whose untiring enterprise is due,
The grand result which we now proudly view.
What rich displays of scientific art,
Applied to manufactures, form a part
Of its instruction, and what mines of wealth
Have they not sprung to minister to health.
What triumphs of constructive power are here,
What force in those huge engines doth appear,
Which leagued with steam are conquering time and space
And quickening intellect to giant's pace.
And see, yon granite structure towering high,
As if earth's wildest tempest to defy,
Lighthouse of Eddystone, reared at Land's End,
To storm-tossed mariners an angel friend!
And fitting offspring of this noble tower,
To shipwrecked mariners a priceless dower,
Are those blest life-boats merciful to save
Full many a sufferer from a watery grave.
Yonder the graceful trophy, typical
Of our fair City's commerce, trade and skill,
A not unworthy tribute to form part
Of the world's storehouse of constructive art.
Magnificent displays from every clime!
Columbia, Afric', Asia, all combine
With Europe, in this peaceful contest won
From every nation known beneath the Sun!
Science, with her fair sister Art, unite
With nature, to form parterres rare and bright,
Preside at buffets of refreshment pure,
To make enjoyment in the whole more sure.
All industries have freely lent their aid.
And to our city's fête grand tribute made,
Too numerous the products, rich and rare,
In this too brief description to have share,
Suffice it that the whole is richly worth
A pilgrimage from any part of earth,
Besides the lustre shed by thee, dear Queen,
Over the practical, inspiring scene.
Well do we, who are acting out life's part
In its last scene, remember with sad heart,
How nearly five and thirty years ago,
Thou came'st here, with thy loved one, in life's glow!
Albert the Good! long shall his honoured name
Deep love and reverence from all people claim;
Cultured and intellectual, virtuous, kind.
His manly heart was generous and refined.
Noble by birth, yet nobler far by deed,
In philanthrophic work he took the lead,
With thy ennobling union strengthened, graced,
His name on Fame's grand scroll is firmly traced.
Accept, beloved Queen, ere thou depart,
The fervent prayer of every loyal heart,
That the Great Father bless and guard thee long,
Thy gracious reign to prosper and prolong.
Your beauteous gift of lovely brilliant flowers,
My dear young friend, has cheered my suffering hours,
With loved charged telegrams from nature's king,
Such as these messengers to mortals bring.
In gorgeous hues of scarlet, pink and white,
Caught from the glorious sun's electric light.
And sheened by lovely fronds of maiden hair,
With which no emerald jewels could compare.
How merciful the ways of providence!
Our daily life with such sweet joys to fence,
And linking with them such divine discourse,
To point the way to heavenly intercourse!
What pure benevolence has called them forth,
Calm, blooming offspring of rejoicing earth,
Never to sadden, ever to make gay,
And chase the clouds of gloom and care away.
Responding with delight to human care,
Loading with fragrance the enraptured air,
Proving that culture and refinement can,
Increase the happiness of plants and man.
While the divine suggestions which they impart,
Are elevating both to mind and heart;
Calm and refresh the spirit, and incite
To seek through nature's laws "The kindly light."
For nature is God's revelation sure,
Which ever was and ever shall endure,
A daily new creation, to inspire
To simple pleasures and devine desire.
Then let us question nature more and more,
Her glorious realm more ardently explore,
Since she has joys unbounded to extend,
To all who truly seek to be her friend.
Of all the blessings which kind heaven bestows,
From infancy to life's most lengthened close,
The one, far greater than all earthly wealth,
Is the inestimable gift of health;
But as this precious gift of heaven is placed
Greatly within our power to use or waste,
Should not its scientific study claim
Our grave attention and our best care gain?
Without it, the bright jewel of the mind
Is apt to get distorted, weak and blind,
And if not previously well schooled and trained,
Becomes to fears unjustified enchained.
This chiefest blessing of all bounteous heaven,
Is to His children by the Father given
As a productive talent, to be used
For universal good, and not abused.
It thus becomes a solemn charge, that each
Who understands it thus, should others teach,
By individual efforts, and means paid,
For missionary service widely laid,
And as strong healthy minds so much depend,
On healthy bodies; to this righteous end.
Should not all education be then based
On this foundation and with it enlaced?
Let children even, learn that kindly heaven,
To them this priceless heritage has given,
Which they must learn to use with constant care,
And of its dangerous abuse beware.
Why should they not be early taught to know
The dire effects from alcohol that flow,
As well as the right use of generous food.
And well-timed exercise to cleanse the blood.
To trace th' effects that flow from every cause:
With ventilation's most important laws,
Of cleanliness of mind and person too,
And strict exactitude in all they do,
And to breathe through their nostrils, meant to be
Their ever ready respirator free:
To masticate, not bolt their food, and try
To learn themselves, and know the reason why.
Thus being early taught, in after life
They might be better armoured for the strife
Of fierce temptations, which, when conquered, can
Strengthen and elevate the inner man,
For soon or later each is bound to learn,
That every talent must make fair return,
To Him who mercifully gave its use,
For joyful happiness, and not abuse.
There are three sanitary agents given
To mankind, by the gracious God of heaven,
Freely and without stint, for all who choose
These blessed ministers of His to use.
These agents blest are, water, light and air,
Abundantly provided everywhere,
Flowing so freely o'er the outstretched earth,
That man has scarcely yet discerned their worth.
The wind is earth's great ventilating force,
Water the cleansing, purifying course,
Light the awakening, stimulating power,
To nature as to man Heaven's priceless dower.
Important lessons they each hourly teach,
Which every creature has within his reach,
For the same laws that nature's rule apply
To every member of God's family,
Bringing stern punishment for every cause
Involved in disobeying His great laws.
All honour to the band of pioneers,
Who nobly fought 'midst opposition sneers
T' establish sanitary laws, through all
Our towns and cities, for the great and small,
So that preventable disease might be
Assaulted, and stamped out effectually,
And that diseases which perforce remain
Might fuller scientific treatment claim;
And, thanks to Heaven, the fight was not in vain,
For their wise teaching was so simple, plain,
That thousands were induced to join th' affray
And aid the righteous scheme to win the day,
So that a large share of the nation's wealth
Was gained to minister to public health:
And now, no longer are our towns disgraced
By filthy sewage and foul noxious waste,
And every corporation through the land
Is bound on this wise scheme to take its stand.
Medical science tells us that the skin
Is pierced by perspiratory tubes within,
In countless thousands, used for drainage pores;
Vessels secreting oil are found in stores,
Whilst more provide for growth, and others still
Carry off parts decayed with matchless skill,
Each needing daily cleansing with due care,
If we would health and mental vigour share.
Providing other strict conditions willed
By nature, be unswervingly fulfilled.
Thus it should be our first concern to learn,
The laws on which such vital interests turn.
The ambulance and cookery classes each,
In pleasant style much useful wisdom teach,
But are not patronized to the extent
They merit, in their practical intent.
The winter course of science lectures free
A spur to much research has proved to be,
Where representatives from every class,
The most delightful hours together pass.
And what a joy it is to sit at ease,
Listening to words that educate and please,
From master minds who know their subject well,
And on its salient points delighted dwell.
These with free libraries and concerts tend
Much happiness with useful work to blend;
And our fair city may be proud to know,
Th' uplifting forces which from them outflow.
The despotism of custom in our day
To much benignant progress bars the way,
While superstition, ignorance and sloth
Oppose all national and mental growth.
But under education's brightening ray,
And blessed reason's intellectual sway,
These barriers are bound to disappear,
And leave the path to progress free and clear.
The dogmatism of fashion too is crime,
When injuring the human form sublime,
By its stern mandates, which attract the weak,
Causing them nature's holiest laws to break,
By lacing tightly, to a model form,
Which fashion sternly says should then be worn;
This tightening in the vital organs so,
Prevents the circulation's healthy flow,
And thus the lungs and pliant ribs and heart,
Incapable of acting out the part
Assigned to them by nature, prove a prey
To premature diseases and decay.
We talk with pious horror and regret,
Of the unwise Chinese, who will not let
The feet of their poor female children grow,
Entailing thus unutterable woe;
But when unprejudiced the reason acts,
And we together scan th' appalling facts,
Resulting from tight lacing, and tight shoes,
We cannot conscientiously refuse,
To say that of the two vile customs, ours
Is certainly more culpable than theirs,
While we too are not guiltless or discreet,
Respecting our behaviour to our feet,
Making them hobble on high heels, with toes
Not half the width that should their forms enclose;
So we should be more modest when we seek
To satirize them and their customs-weak,
Remembering that we too are much to blame,
And like them merit censure and much shame.
How wisely Israel's poet songster said,
That cleanliness to godliness is wed,
For filthiness of body must conduct,
Impurities which mental life obstruct.
How well are engineers on the alert,
To keep their engines free from dust and dirt,
Knowing that without such great care from them,
They could not do the work required by men;
So neither can we hope our bodies will
Their heaven directed work aright fulfil,
If their machinery is not kept free,
From foul obstruction and impurity.
Science and nature then should be our guide,
Instructive lessons they for all provide,
Teaching us how the pleasant winds insure
That atmospheric air is sweet and pure;
God's antidote they are, invisible,
To poisonous vapours else unbearable,
Which steam from all decaying substances,
Throughout the earth's wide-spread dependences.
But as men civilized do not exist
Always in open air, these guides insist,
That as God uses circulating air,
To purify and sweeten everywhere,
That we should also, through our dwellings wide
An ever circulating air provide,
As we, like other animals outpour,
Foul, poisonous vapours too from every pore.
How well bees understand effects and cause,
Of breaking ventilation's righteous laws,
For see, their crowded hive with straw inlaid,
Has in it but one tiny opening made,
And yet the many thousand inmates there,
Have better, purer, more refreshing air,
Than men and women, in close bedrooms pent
For seven or eight long hours, without a vent
To carry off empoisoned loathsome air,
That they are stupidly content to share.
If we could look within the hive we'd see,
Full two score bees holding tenaciously,
With firm grasp to the floor, unceasingly
Flapping their tiny wings with energy,
And as they fall off wearied, others come
To take their place, with merry hum,
And thus they work, without a moment's pause,
Exemplifying ventilation's laws,
By forcing good air to supplant the bad,
And so escape the consequences sad
Of poisonous vapours and contracted homes,
For which their heaven-taught wisdom thus atones;
Proving they are indeed, inspired to be
Exponents of the laws of Deity.
And if still further witness is required,
To prove what nature teaches be desired,
Let us in fancy's aerial chariot fly
To Bengal's capital, and once more try
To demonstrate from just another side,
The evils which infected air provide;
For it is just a century ago,
Calcutta furnished such a tale of woe,
As surely seldom has been found before
In any other country's saddest lore.
The Great Mogul of India had allowed,
The English to have factories endowed,
In certain parts of his dominion wide,
Which soon became a source of wealth and pride,
To those who laboured in them, and it chanced
That a barbarian Nabob on them glanced
With envious eyes, Suragah Dowlah named.
The tributary king Bengal then claimed,
And this barbarian monster, one fine day
Led a large army to the factory
Built at Calcutta, and so suddenly
Did he attack the place that the small band
Of a few hundred English could not stand
A moment 'gainst his several thousand men,
As they at most but numbered one to ten;
Defence was useless, so they wildly fled
To ships within the harbour, by hope led
To find a refuge there; several of whom
Thereby escaped a most disastrous doom,
But others were pursued and brought to bay,
Which formed th' appalling history of the day,
For in the wild confusion of the fight,
Above six score were captured in their flight;
These the victorious Nabob, had immured
Within the fortress prison, well secured,
Too well, alas! for the contracted den,
Known as the "Black Hole of Calcutta" then,
But eighteen feet in length by fourteen wide.
Could air for twenty men at most provide;
And there were four score odd strong, stalwart men,
Thrust into that abominable den;
Having but two small holes for windows there
For the admission of Heaven's blessed air,
Crushed in with violent brutality,
Shoulder to shoulder they stood gaspingly.
No room to stir in that accursed place,
They pressed in ghastly horror, face to face;
The anguish of the captives soon became
Greater than any pen or word could name;
The neighbourhood resounded with their cries,
Which all description utterly defies,
But as the night wore on, these ravings ceased,
As most of the poor victims got released,
From their most agonising pain, by death;
Whilst the remainder scarce had gasping breath.
Thus when the morrow's blessed sun arose,
It did a most revolting sight disclose,
A ghastly spectacle of horror, where
Were six score loathsome corpses upright there,
Whilst jammed between them, in the filthy den,
Were twenty-three more miserable men,
Who hardly could be said to be alive,
So fearfully did death among them strive
To make them all his own, leaving no trace
Of aught but spectre life in that vile place.
This dreadful history cannot fail to show,
How fatal consequences surely flow,
From disregard of the Creator's laws,
For these foul poisonous vapours were the cause
Of five score agonising deaths, within
The space of a few hours, from wilful sin.
Many such instances of equal weight,
I might from various other sources state,
To show what misery and direful woe,
From breaking nature's laws is sure to flow;
Whilst in the keeping of them, blessings pure
Flow in rewards continual and sure.
Then, seeing we have so much in our power,
Let us like the wise bees improve each hour,
Learn of so-called barbarians, to set free
The vital organs, to act easily,
And to defy dogmatic customs, when
They would enslave the intellect of men,
No longer nature's holy precepts break;
So shall sound bodies sounder minds soon make,
As such a course rich blessings surely brings
From the All Wise, All Mighty King of Kings.
Ingratitude! gaunt spectre of the mind,
That is to every generous impulse blind,
Offspring of nature's callous, cold and stern,
Where selfishness and censure reign by turn.
Hideous these spectres to the mental sight,
Black as the sable pall of darkest night,
As they await the summons of the mind,
That sends them forth to sting and wound mankind.
In cold response to acts of kindness born,
Ingratitude replies with scathing scorn,
Inflicting through these imps uncalled for pain,
And treating sympathy with cold disdain.
Not only torturing others, they invent
New tortures for the one by whom they're sent,
Inflicting most excruciating pain,
During their diabolical black reign.
Like you the picture, callous, selfish man!
If not, then shun its likeness, while you can;
Let truth and justice triumph over hate,
And rise triumphant to a happier state.
Displace the imps ingratitude convokes,
By love-winged sprites that gratitude evokes;
Open thy mind to kindnesses received,
And be no longer blindly self-deceived.
For gratitude has angels at command,
Which form an ever ready willing band,
To fly on missions of all-conquering grace,
As from their path those hideous imps they chase.
For darkness cannot live where there is light,
And so these imps detested take their flight,
Before the glories of this angel band,
They could not for a single moment stand.
And the sweet balm these love-winged sprites convey,
Strengthens and cheers recipients on their way;
Blessing the sender no less than the one
Who thus receives the grateful tribute won.
Besides, one good and self-denying deed,
To many others must in order lead,
And the sweet gratitude that they evoke,
Will other loving kindnesses provoke.
Oh, why should we refuse Heaven's proffered chance
To universal happiness enhance,
By doing unto others as we, too,
Would wish that they to our own selves should do.
If we could only make this law our care,
What untold blessings might we daily share,
For every effort through this guidance made,
Would be by heaven most graciously repaid.
One firm step forward in the right path makes
The next more easy, and fresh courage wakes,
While the sweet power of conquering bestows
Accumulating interest as it grows.
And so the proudest warrior is he
Who governs self with strict fidelity,
While the bright laurels which he gams will last,
When all earth's bloody victories are past.
We sing the praise of flowers, and justly so,
For from their beauteous petals blessings flow;
But there are other countless beauties yield
Blessings unnumbered in fair nature's field,
Suggesting happy thoughts and pure desire,
Inspiring us to string our heart's best lyre,
Constraining to contentment in life's race,
By making earth seem an enchanted place.
Nature of human pleasures is the Queen,
Robed in her own unrivalled peerless green,
Wed to the sun's all-glorious majesty,
Eternal witnesses of Deity.
Friendship with her makes one sensation full
Of calm delight, that heart and spirit lull.
Such meditative hours I dearly love,
They seem a benediction from above;
The beautiful, eternal as the true,
Affords through nature inspiration new,
Making each varying season of the year
A revelation fresh from heaven appear.
A lawn in gentle undulations seen,
Coated in verdure bright of emerald green,
Margined with belts of foliage 'neath heaven's blue,
With distant mingling woods of varied hue.
And mountains where the coloured genii play
In azure purple at the close of day,
Is a grand spectacle of beauty rare,
Which is a loving, lasting joy to share
Whilst we remain unconscious the time's flight
Steals like sweet music on the ear of night;
So full of quiet rapture nature seems,
We feel suffused in peace as in sweet dreams.
Observe how graceful form and symmetry
Are blent in trees with kind utility,
Showing the Father's scientific care,
Is testified to nature every where.
The "Taliput" of fair Ceylon supplies
The shade required 'neath tropic orient skies;
Its leaf, impervious to sun and rain,
Affords refreshing shelter for ten men.
It also forms a tent for soldiers, and
A parasol for travellers through the land.
A book for scholars, a rich joy to all,
Both young and aged, and dear children small,
The cocoa-nut tree gracing Ceylon's fields,
Materials for daily uses yields,
Makes bread, wine, sugar, vinegar and yeast,
Cloth, paper, ships and tents for man and beast.
See the strong oak with boldly branching arms,
The delicate, light birch of airy charms;
The graceful, drooping elms like fountains play;
The stately poplar and rich chestnuts gay,
The sugar maples towering to the sky,
Like antique vases elevated high,
All charged with telegrams from God above,
In blessed token of His ceaseless love.
Yonder an avenue of graceful elms,
Fully a mile across the landscape swells,
Whose over-hanging branches form an aisle,
Grander than any in Cathedral pile;
Then the historic tree that was the pride
Of Israel's wisest monarch, that defied
The elemental strife that ages feared
To build the Temple Solomon upreared.
Cedars of Lebanon! how proudly they
In tens of thousands clothed the mountain way,
In age-timed friendship with each throbbing star,
A miracle of beauty near and far.
Now only seven of these trees remain,
Grand landmarks to the Arabs of the plain,
Who in their shade their altars consecrate,
And their umbrageous shelter venerate.
London has full six thousand acres laid
In parks, for public recreation made;
Paris its Tuileries, with Fontainebleau,
St. Cloud, Versailles, where lovely fountains flow,
Vienna its great Prater, Frankfort too,
New York its Central Park in verdure new;
Whilst other towns and cities everywhere,
Are vieing each with each such joys to share
All exercise important sway supreme,
On public health and morals felt and seen.
By their community of pleasures pure,
Which rich and poor can equally insure,
These public gardens with their lakes and flowers
Preach better temperance lectures than the showers
Of eloquence their advocates display,
On thirsting toilers of the working day.
They form a sweet oasis from the care
And dissipations of the city's glare,
Where families of young and old may meet,
And friends on equal terms each other greet.
A people must its pleasures have, and so,
Whether they're virtuous, poisonous, fast or slow,
Depend on the directing minds that lead
The city's councils met for public need;
So it should be our great concern to see
Our rulers men of whole-souled charity.
Let national be rational delight,
Made profitable to each class by right,
That public parks may be a joy to all,
Men, women, rich and poor, and children small.
That, as in Germany, the people may
Find healthful pleasures in them day by day.
Thus the class social barriers which the pride
Of Anglo-Saxon nations still provide,
May yield beneath more kindly pressure lent,
To make all classes happily content.
What worthier monument could nations raise,
To merit from its masses grateful praise,
Than such attractive parks to educate,
And morals, minds and manners elevate?
For lectures on home subjects, not too long,
Might be delivered freely to the throng,
Exemplifying the Creator's laws,
Which yield their just effects to every cause,
Whilst music in sweet tones of band and voice,
Might lead the congregation to rejoice,
As well to educate as charm the ear,
And many a saddened heart uplift and cheer.
Dear Vixey! quadruped of noble type,
I fain would chant the praises of thy life,
Though words of mine are powerless and weak,
To sketch thy character, so brave yet meek.
Full of sincere devotion, without bound,
Art thou to thy dear master, faithful hound!
Thy love for him refreshing is to see,
For in him centres thy felicity.
When he is saddened or beset with fears
I've seen thy lovely eyes suffused with tears.
And thou hast nestled by him to express
Thy sympathy in eloquent caress.
But when in happier mood, and accents bright
He speaks to thee, what transports of delight
Beam from thine eye where joy and peace prevail,
Upraise thy ears and elevate thy tail.
Those solemn, full, expressive eyes of thine,
With fond affection and emotion shine,
As he permits thee to curl round and lie
Upon the sofa near him cozily.
Nothing will tempt thee to forsake his side,
Where thou reclinest, with delighted pride.
Vain are all efforts to divert thy choice,
Unless o'er-ruled by his belovéd voice.
And whilst in Mrs. Mount's well-ordered room,
Where thou with him art dining after noon,
How knowingly thou dost inspect each face,
Where thou, instinctively, kind feelings trace.
If thou could'st only speak, what tones of love
Would pass 'twixt thee and him, thy joy to prove,
For surely never could affection be
Stronger than thine in warmth and constancy.
Serving each member of the family,
With true allegiance and fidelity,
Though chiefly to thy youngest mistress thou
Dost with affectionate submission bow.
Albeit, thou wouldst forsake them all to win
One quiet word or coaxing look from him;
Thy first obedient loyalty is shown
To him who thou so proudly count'st thine own.
No wonder, then, that he so prizes thee,
For such devotion and fidelity,
Which, even from a dog, can joy impart
To a despairing or a troubled heart.
Thy great, round eyes with eloquence express
Unselfish love and fullest confidence,
Almost beyond the power of words to tell,
When gazing on the one thou lov'st so well.
Dear Vixey, I conclude by sending thee,
Over the boundless, intervening sea,
Many kind words and pats by the loved one
Who thy fond, ardent, faithful love has won.
Self discipline and perseverance strong,
Effort on effort, with endurance long,
Make kings of men, who subjugate and sway
Stern empire over self each hour of day.
They, like skilled generals, lead on the van
Of thoughts progressive in the inner man,
And marshal well their forces, so to fight
That truth and justice be diffused as light.
Such constitute an empire grand within,
Raise fortresses 'gainst known and secret sin,
And thus become brave conquerors, whose deeds
Leave all the monument that goodness needs.
They form a true refining power on earth,
A high nobility of sterling worth,
Who, though oft poor in worldly riches, may
Far nobler thrones than those of earth's kings sway.
Triumphs o'er self-will, selfishness and pride,
Ensure a wealth of consequences wide,
Which gain the victor armour that shall win
Him further victories o'er self and sin.
But 'tis the will of heaven that each should keep
This armour bright, and sow what he would reap,
That industry unflinching, tireless zeal
Should to earth's workers rich results reveal.
Endurance disciplines to sympathy,
Which deals a death blow to cold apathy,
Making its owner ready to risk all,
And smile down obstacles at duty's call.
Kind gentleness comes also in its train,
Constraining men to serve those some would blame.
Patient with erring strayed ones far from home
Sternly severe unto themselves alone.
Then comes the blissful privilege that flows
Through self-denial, of assisting those
Who may through ignorance have lost their way,
Or blindly stumbled in the glare of day.
That charity translated into love,
Is of all graces foremost, all may prove,
Meaning not merely money, which counts naught,
Unless with sympathetic kindness fraught.
Intelligible to the searching mind,
Is the Creator's message to mankind,
If it with fervour study His grand laws,
Which prove that each effect must have a cause.
As naught material is lost in space,
So nothing spiritual can man efface;
Exemplifying thus the axiom sure,
That conquering love, truth, justice must endure.
So let each strive to serve as best he can.
His Father God, himself, and fellow man,
By subjugating self, and shewing forth
That justice, love, truth, peace, should rule on earth.
Then might that brotherhood which Christ ordained,
Be through the wide world practised and proclaimed,
As one grand creed for earth's vast family,
Of loving service to the Deity.
George Stephenson, the heroic son of Britain's hardy
The world this day holds festival, his grand career to trace;
And proudly as compatriots England enshrines his name,
Among her choicest heroes, on her cherished scroll of fame.
This ninth of June commemorates the glad centenary
Of him whom mighty nations hold in grateful memory;
A veritable hero he, worthy immortal praise,
And the most lavish monuments mankind may to him raise.
Out of the humblest ranks of life the Wylam pitman rose,
To a stern, irresponsive world great secrets to disclose;
And through the rare, majestic force of a God-inspiring will,
He forced the world his grand design and purpose to fulfil.
The poor, illiterate youth thus reared in penury extreme,
Could scarcely read or write ere he attained eighteen,
And yet, by the observant force of a self-guided brain,
He lived to benefit a world, and gain immortal fame.
Battered and forged by poverty, his iron spirit rose,
Unbroken and undaunted by the world's derisive blows,
Spurred on by opposition, through the sharp furnace leapt,
Strengthened and sharpened—a great power—this king of railroads stept.
His life work in his vast results will long outlive the
Of warrior, statesman, ruler, bard, and make his honoured name
An inspiration for all time to prove what can be done
By observation, force and skill—what deathless laurels won!
Take courage, sons of hardy toil, your iron spirits, too,
By stern, unflinching industry, may some wise forging do,
Which might yourselves ennoble, and benefit your race,
Who would in turn, with gratitude, your names delight to trace.
He sailed a trackless, unknown sea in the vast realms of
Discovered paths to enterprise, with golden issues fraught,
Which lent fair commerce fleetest wings, and spurred the heels of trade,
And throughout Britain's pleasant land his iron highways laid.
Something there is in lives like these that stirs the soul of
With irresistible desire to do the best he can;
Like him, through dauntless industry, and noble, firm resolve,
To aid life's wheel of progress more smoothly to revolve.
Thus may his grand career inspire the multitude to-day,
Throughout the nation he has dowered all homage due to pay
To the majestic mind and will of him, whose honoured name
The British nation shrines anew, on the world's proud scroll of fame.
Dreaming before the cheerful fire,
Cushioned in easy chair,
Methought a troupe of fairies bright,
So blithe and debonair,
Trooped gaily in the dim lit hall,
With buzz of tempered joy.
Four little fairy maiden forms
Led by a merry boy,
In robe of ermine, crown of gold,
Dove-eyed Dora as Britain's Queen,
Whose brown hair sprayed o'er shoulders fair,
And wee feet peeped from satin sheen.
Clad in America's proud flag,
Comes Liz with eyes of blue,
Personifying with rare grace,
Columbia's goddess true.
The two right heartily shake hands,
By which 'tis understood
That they were pledged, come weal, come woe,
To dwell in brotherhood.
From the assembled groups around
They hearty plaudits won,
All feeling sure these nations could
Brave the whole world as one.
Then as the prince of Eastern lore
With mirthful mischief rife,
Comes Harry pressed by love to kiss
The princess back to life;
The eyes soon ope beneath his touch;
The maids in glad surprise
See the prince break the fairy spell,
And claim his willing prize.
Little Red Ridinghood comes next,
Crying in sad despair:
O grandma, what long teeth you've got!
What eyes! what shaggy hair!
In this case happily the wolf
Ne'er moved or spake a word;
Perhaps he was too much ashamed
To have his gruff voice heard.
Then to my wondering gaze appeared
Old goody in her shoe,
With all her numerous tribe that made
Her not know what to do.
And next a lovely belle who caught
All hearts as in a cage,
And bearing up her graceful train
A quite bewitching page.
Then the scene changed and nothing but
A barrel, labelled "flour,"
Appeared upon the mimic stage
In that glad evening hour;
When lo! from out the wooden tub
A beauteous little sprite,
Emerging kissed her tiny hands,
The household flower that night.
Then 'round a caldron on a grate
To spoil the broth appeared,
Five little dainty fairy cooks
Whom tout le monde now cheered.
Next came the awful family squalls,
Which Granny vainly tried
To stay with Winslow's stuff for which
Full many a babe has cried;
The stuff and rod were all in vain,
The squallers loudly bawled;
Granny, despairing, shrieked aloud,
And all in chorus squalled.
And now "the reign of terror" dire
Was pictured by them all,
Nestling most trustingly beneath
An umbrella tall.
And still once more the scene was changed.
The fairy sprites so bright,
In robes de nuit with tapers lit,
All sweetly sang "good night."
Good night, I cried; why, how is this;
Things are then what they seem,
And these sweet picture-paintings here
Have not been all a dream?
For there's our doctor's pleasant smile,
There the kind brothers Gale,
And there the little happy group
Who tableaw'd each sweet tale.
There Arnold as a southern belle,
Who'd made much fun to-night,
There all the guests of Springbank too,
Applauding with their might.
Better than fiction, I exclaimed,
And crowning all the rest
Glad charity the prceeds had,
Making the pastime blest,
Thanks to ye, little happy ones,
Thanks for the vision bright,
Which with such zest and innocence,
You've given us to-night.
Well I remember, many years ago,
Deep in the forest shade of Fontainebleau,
With six dear girls in lovely virgin prime,
Partaking of its rural joys sublime.
Sue, Polly, Edith, Amy, Maud,
Dear girls, whom no one could but love and laud;
I like a mother to them tried to be,
We were, in truth, a happy family.
Far from our homes, in foreign lands we strayed;
In Paris for twelve months our quarters made,
Studying most earnestly, serenely gay,
In the good pension of Madame Rey.
We visited the Palace, and roamed through
Its storied chambers and trim gardens, too,
And lingered by the fish pond where, 'twas claimed,
Poor Marie Antoinette the fishes tamed,
And then into the lovely forest sped,
With simple meal of ripe fruit, meat and bread,
Which we discussed with appetites made keen
By games and frolic on the meadow green.
The over-hanging wealth of summer trees
Were swayed by Zephyr's stimulating breeze,
While the sun's ardent glances played between
The joy-tossed leaves and frolicked on the green.
Wearied with a long ramble we reclined
Beneath the waving foliage, glad to find
A spot so lovely for a needful rest,
Feeling by nature there supremely blest.
Reclining 'neath the sun's inspiring kiss,
We felt by nature soothed to peaceful bliss,
Too great for human utterance of word,
Though our whole being was to rapture stirred.
Thus in a dumb delight our thoughts took wing,
In grateful homage to fond nature's king,
With newly waken'd resolutions blest,
During that hour of blessed, peaceful rest;
And when at length we from the sweet trance woke,
What joyful exclamations from us broke!
As all in one rich harmony agreed,
We felt from every earthly burden freed.
Then, coming on a lovely forest glade,
By a clear, purling brook refreshing made,
We sat upon some rocks that tempting lay,
Full in the smile of the sun's chastening ray,
And its full glory rested on the hills,
Falling on lonely brooklets, streams and rills,
While the West glowed with blazing, crimson fires,
Kindled to emulate divine desires.
The sun-lit glory streaming from the West
Lulled us once more to tranquil, joyous rest,
When, with a silent wonder, we espied
Most lovely lizards o'er the smooth stones glide.
Doubtless the pretty creatures were lured forth
By the supernal love light flooding earth,
And in rich robes, with gorgeous colours bright,
Were joining nature's transports of delight;
For 'twas the tranquilizing sunset hour,
When the great sun-god concentrates his power,
To spread refining influence and show
His colour painting to the earth below.
And thus refreshed, we bent our homeward way,
Strong in the gladdening influence of the day,
Gathering bright wreaths of wild flowers rare, to be
Mementoes of the day's felicity.
What wealth of floral beauty, fresh from bright summer
What exquisite commingling of lovely fragrant flowers!
What budlets of rich promise, what hope-set leaves are here,
Grouped with rare skill and elegance—the eye and heart to cheer!
Bright flowers of humble beauty, from forest, wood, and
Stand by their wealthier cousins, in innocence arrayed,
And blending with rich blossoms the graceful maidenhair,
Spreads far its fairy frondlets, to woo the joyful air.
And roses, too, sweet roses, gems of dear England's soil,
Welcomed alike in palace as in the cot of toil;
Tender and soft their tintings, as gentle maiden's blush,
Soothing their perfumed breathings, as twilight's mystic hush.
Fruits ripened rich and luscious, sore tempters to each
And vegetables—divers, well cultured, and immense;
All in full life and vigour, delightful to behold
The produce of old England's well cultivated mould.
These fruits so rare and luscious, these gorgeous flowerets
These graceful gems of verdure—delighting us to-day
Are tender loving tokens, fresh from the living sod,
Of the surpassing wisdom and boundless love of God.
The first volume of HOME LYRICS was published during the life of the authoress, in 1876, receiving, amongst others, comments from the press as follows:
The mantle of Mrs. Hemans may be said to have descended on
Mrs. H. S. Battersby. She infuses into her poems the ardour
of home affection; her faith is pure, and her hope
unswerving. Many of her verses have inspiration from the
clear, bracing air of Canadian skies. She loves the grandeur
of nature; lofty rocks and waterfalls; forests whitened with
snows, and vast frozen lakes, smooth as polished marble, and
solid as granite. He who delights in the fauna and flora of
nature has in every clime
"Which the eye of Heaven visits."
a library fruitful of study and a pursuit which is innocent and healthful. Mrs. Battersby deduces a moral lesson in her spirited lines "To the Chaudière Falls, Canada"—
"Oh, wild rolling waters; oh, white-crested
I, too, would press onward, right on to my home;
Like thee, with stern purpose, let nothing impede,
Or cause me to falter in courage or speed.
"My mission, like thine, is right onward to
Though tempests be raging and dark waters flow,
Oh, might I, like these, with firm, resolute voice,
Through dangers, and even through tempests, rejoice!"
But the author reserves her warmest welcome and her loudest notes of praise for the charming scenery of her native land. "Beautiful Malvern" is dearer to her heart than the most romantic regions in Europe. More beloved than the snow-capped grandeur of the Alps, than the castle crowned Rhine, enshrined in the stanzas of a hundred poets, Helvetia's dark gorges, and the silvery cascade of Giessbach, calm Chamounix, and the gloomy dungeons and stake of the Castle of Chilon.
"All these wonders of nature and wonders of
With their thousand attractions of beauty combined,
Have served but to strengthen my fond love for thee,
And make thee, dear Malvern, still dearer to me."
This supports the quaint remark of a tourist that one of the great delights of travelling is the thought and anticipated pleasure of coming home again. From the subjects chosen for many of her poems the author has evidently made appeal rather to the narrow circle of her own near relations and friends than to that ever-increasing one which is expressed by the phrase of the "reading public." She writes thus in her preface, the brevity of which is much to be commended:—"They are published chiefly for the author's dear children, relations, and valued friends, to whose hearths and hearts it is hoped that they will, as HOME LYRICS, readily find their way."
In "A Painful History," Mrs. Battersby speaks boldly out against one of our social inequalities, which she sensibly and very justly denounces. All men of true honour must accept and endorse her verdict. Hood treats the same theme with all the tenderness of his fine sensitive nature, and with all that exquisite harmony which his refined muse had at ready command. HOME LYRICS is a charming little volume of poems, full of sincerity, grace, and devotional feeling.
"One of the prettiest collections of poems we know of. It is very nicely printed, and the poems will be found to have a large amount of poetry in them. A more suitable present to a young friend we do not think could be found than this volume."
Poetry will never die while there are Hearts and Homes. The poetical spirit of this accomplished lady has hovered over that sacred spot, Home, sweet Home, and there sung, like the Bethlehem angels, those sweet melodies of love. They are published, she tells us "chiefly for the author's dear children, relatives and valued friends, to whose hearths and hearts it is hoped that they will, as Home Lyrics, readily find their way." It is a fortune all its readers will wish it, where the gems under the gold-lettered, crimson covers will be often inspected, and the neat volume often made a Christmas or a New Year's gift.
Under this title will shortly be published a volume of poems. We have seen the author's proofs and can testify to the depth of feeling and mature thought, together with the telling language brought to bear in working out many of those homely scenes upon which the heart delights to dwell, as well as others of a miscellaneous character.
This book, by H. S. Battersby, the issue of which we announced a short time ago, has been published, and forms a very handsome volume. We have before referred to the diversified character of the poems thus collated, in fact several of them have appeared in our columns; suffice it now to say that the general topics selected are of a pleasing character, simple rather than striking, yet effectively thought out in excellent composition. As its name denotes, it is chiefly the mirror of home attributes, and thoughts, and feelings, and what is more calculated to engross the attention of a thoughtful mind than such irresistible appeals, all the more attractive from their natural bearing and ingenious meaning! To the lover of poetical thought the volume will be welcome, while the general reader will find much that cannot fail to interest.
The above is an appropriate title for a volume of poems in which events occurring within the domestic circle are largely, but by no means exclusively, dealt with by the authoress, who explains, in a modest and brief preface, that the poems are published chiefly for "dear children, relatives, and valued friends." To many of these, no doubt, most of the effusions contained in this volume will have a personal interest, especially as the verses are written with much feeling and natural truth, which will be sure to elicit sympathy. But there are other poems which will interest the general reader, especially if he or she has travelled much, as the authoress has jotted down in verse her thoughts upon many of the numerous places she has visited. Amongst these is Malvern, with which town and the hills Mrs. Battersby seems particularly pleased, if not quite enthusiastic. There is "A Welcome to Malvern," after years of absence, which clearly demonstrates this; then the delightful prospect from the "Beacon" is discoursed upon; and, later on appear a few verses on "St. Ann's Well," followed by "Farewell to Malvern," in which, after references to the pleasant locality, the Abbey Church, and the Promenade Gardens, there occurs the following verse:
And then, 'tis the home of a man of rare
Rare talents, rare worth, Dr. G——y, by name,
Whose wonderful skill and refinement combined
Administers (sic) balm to the body and mind.
This, we apprehend, was written and published prior to the disclosures in the Bravo case, in which Dr. G——y cut such a very sorry figure.
We are pleased to find that a second edition of Mrs. Battersby's poems has been called for; they really contain some very excellent verse, the offspring of a mind far superior to that of the ordinary rhymester. We have always had a good deal of sympathy for the Moon and the Sea, because they are generally the first victims of every "poet's" misguided pen; it was, therefore, an intense relief to find that Mrs. Battersby's lyrics on these subjects are quite readable; indeed, the lines to the Sea are exceedingly pretty and full of original ideas. The volume contains a few weak pieces, which might have been omitted with advantage. Of these is a "Farewell to Malvern," from which we extract the following verse, as being somewhat interesting at the present time:—
And then, 'tis the home of a man of rare
Rare talents, rare worth, Dr. G——y by name,
Whose wonderful skill and refinement combined
Administers balm to the body and mind.
Mrs. Battersby says she prints this book for her relatives and friends, and of the latter we are sure it will make a great number.
HOME LYRICS, by H. S. Battersby, is a small but neat volume of miscellaneous poems, published by Messrs. Ward, Lock and Tyler, Warwick House, Paternoster Row. The authoress states that the poems have been written at various times and under various circumstances, and several of them have already appeared separately in the columns of journals as occasional contributions. The versification is good and the true spirit of poetry runs through the volume. Mrs. Battersby's descriptions of scenery in Canada as well as in this country are very pleasing, and the language employed is evidently that of a devout Christian. These HOME LYRICS should find their way to many hearths and hearts.
This is a pretty volume of poems, written, as the preface informs us, at various times and under different circumstances. They also vary in merit, but the same kindly sentiment runs through the whole, and they will be welcome at many a fireside on account of the sympathy they manifest with home life. In the descriptions of scenery a warm admiration is manifested for the beauties of nature, but the chief attraction of these LYRICS lies in the interest they impart to the ordinary incidents of life.
There is a homely look about friend Hannah's photographic frontispiece which bids us look beyond the title page. Anything that appeals to home sympathies must ever find a welcome from the soldier and sailor, too often thought to be the light and airy citizen of the world, but ever in his inmost heart yearning, amidst duty and glory, for home. Our poetess shadows out a great and grand home sentiment in the lines—
"O vast, mysterious, solemn sea,
Great reflex of the Deity;
Safe in the hollow of His hand
Doth all thy waste of waters stand."
Indian Indra and Teutonic Thurmor alike bow in acknowledgment of the truth of this conception.
Under this title has been published a volume of original poems. We can testify to the depth of feeling and mature thought, together with the telling language brought to bear in working out many of those homely scenes upon which the heart delights to dwell, as well as others of a miscellaneous character.
HOME LYRICS.—London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, Warwick House, Paternoster Row.—
It is not surprising that this handsomely got-up book of poetry, gilt edged, and printed on toned paper, should have passed into a second edition. It would be difficult to find a work more adapted for a "present" than Mrs. Battersby's HOME LYRICS; for, while far removed from those hateful goody-goody collections of "poetry," which perplex and distress the unfortunate reader, her verses are tinged with a deep, religious earnestness which may find an echo in any well balanced mind. This very earnestness, in fact, is the most noticeable point in the whole of the detached pieces which go to make up the volume. Apart from the mechanism of the verses, which might readily be made to work more smoothly, there is found a rare amount of originality in the pieces and an enthusiastic admiration for Nature and Nature's wonders which finds expression in various outbursts, more or less poetical. Whether singing of the "proud hills of Malvern" or inditing blank verse in face of the Horse Shoe Falls at Niagara, the author is equally at home, inasmuch as she is always under the influence of a keen appreciation of the sublimity and beauty of natural objects. The following "Hymn to Nature" will give an exact idea of the merits and defects of her style:—
"Dear Nature, how I love thee,
In all thy varied forms,
Through which the God of beauty
Thy loveliness adorns.
Pure fount of gushing gladness,
From spring of heavenly birth,
Whose living Waters flow for
The children of the earth.
"Crowned by soft, beauteous moonbeams
Of holy, silver light,
Types of that ancient pillar
That led the hosts by night—
Kissed by fond golden sunbeams
Of love-streams from on high,
Well may thy glad song ever
Fill the wide earth and sky."
To those who can enjoy the quiet and peaceful side of life with only an occasional glimpse of its stern realities, these LYRICS will be very acceptable.
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