Poems 126–150

 

126 To Mr. and Mrs. S.

on the Death of a Child
Cease, ye fond parents, cease to weep—
Let grief no more your bosoms swell:
For what is death? ’Tis nature’s sleep:
The trump of God will break its spell;
For he, whose arm is strong to save, 5
Arose in triumph o’er the grave.
Why should you sorrow? Death is sweet
To those that die in Jesus’ love;
Tho’ call’d to part, you soon will meet
In holier, happier climes above; 10
For all the faithful Christ will save,
And crown with vict’ry o’er the grave.
There’s consolation in the blow,
Although it crush a tender tie;
For while it lays its victims low, 15
Death opens to the worlds on high;
Celestial glories proudly wave
Above the confines of the grave.
Let heathen nations clothe the tread
Of death in faithless, hopeless gloom, 20
While vain imaginations spread
Terrific forms around the tomb;
For human science never gave
A light to shine beyond the grave.
But where the light, the glorious light 25
Of revelation freely flows,
Let reason, faith, and hope unite
To hush our sorrows to repose—
Through faith in Him who died to save,
We’ll shout hosannas o’er the grave.
composed 5 October 1843
published in Poems 1, 1856

127 A Song for the Latter Day Saints

1 Thou that created the heavens and the earth, the seas and the
fountains of water, thou art my God.
2 Thou art the same—thou changest not, therefore I will not fear,
for thy word will endure and thy promises will surely be verified.
3 In thee have I put my trust; I know in whom I have confided, and
I shall not be confounded.
4 Though difficulties rise before me higher than the Himmaleh
mountains, I will go forward, for thou Lord wilt open the way
before me and make straight paths for my feet.
5 When the billows of Change encompass me—when its surges dash
furiously, and the foam thereof is nigh unto overwhelming; thy power will sustain me: I will laugh at the rage of the tempest, and ride fearlessly and triumphantly across the boisterous ocean of circumstance.
6 Thy Spirit is better than the juice of the grape—thy approbation
is preferable to the smile of princes—thy favor is richer than the
finest gold, and thy wisdom transcendeth all human understanding.
7 Thy power is supreme—thy plans are founded in wisdom—thou
wilt perform thy work and accomplish thy purpose: man cannot prevent it.
8 The principles of thy kingdom are principles of truth, and truth is
everlasting as thyself, therefore thy kingdom will stand, and those that abide its laws will come up before thee to dwell in thy presence.
9 I will adhere to thy statutes—I will maintain the new and
everlasting covenant, not counting my life dear unto me.
10 When the clouds of uncertainty gather upon the horizon, darker
than the shades of midnight—when distrust is raising its standard over the broad field of speculation—thy word will dissipate every obstruction, and the testimony of Jesus will light up a lamp that will guide my spirit through the portals of immortality, and communicate to my understanding the glories of the Celestial kingdom.
11 I will make mention of thy goodness in the day-time, and in the
night season, I will rejoice in thy loving kindness, and meditate on the justice of thy dealings with the children of men.
composed 5 October 1843
published in Times and Seasons, 1 October 1844

128 You know, dear Girl

that God is just” [Eliza Partridge]
You know, dear Girl, that God is just—
He wields almighty pow’r;
Fear not his faithfulness to trust
In the most trying hour.
Though darkness like the shades of night 5
Should gather round your way;
The Lord our God will give you light
If you his will obey.
In sweet submission humbly wait
And see his purpose crown’d 10
He then will make the crooked straight
And spread salvation round.
Our heav’nly Father knows the best
What way we must be tried:
Stand still and his salvation test— 15
Thou shalt be satisfied.
composed 19 October 1843

 

129 To the Latter-day Saints

“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; and as one star differeth from another star in glory; so also is the resurrection of the dead.”
—Paul
“Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.”
—Jesus Christ
The trials of the present day
Require the saints to watch and pray,
That they may keep the narrow way
To the celestial glory.
For even saints may turn aside 5
For fear of ills that may betide,
Or else induc’d by worldly pride,
And lose celestial glory.
O’er rugged cliffs, and mountains high,
Through sunless vales the path may lie, 10
Our faith and confidence to try
In the celestial glory.
Why should we fear, though cowards say
Old Anak’s hosts in ambush lay,
Or there’s a lion in the way 15
To the celestial glory.
Fear not, though life should be at stake,
But think how Jesus, for our sake
Endur’d, that we might yet partake
Of the celestial glory. 20
We here may sometimes suffer wrong,
But when we join with Enoch’s throng
We’ll loudly echo vict’ry’s song
In the celestial glory.
What though by some who seem devout, 25
Our names as evil are cast out,
If honor clothe us round about
In the celestial glory.
Be steadfast, and with courage hold
The key of God’s eternal mould 30
That will the mysteries unfold
Of the celestial glory.
O, let your hearts and hands be pure,
And faithful to the end endure,
That you the blessing may secure 35
Of the celestial glory.
With patience cultivate within
Those principles averse to sin,
And be prepared to enter in
To the celestial glory. 40
Then let the “Times and Seasons” fly,
And bring the glorious period nigh,
When Zion will be rais’d on high
In the celestial glory.
composed 19 October 1843
published in Times and Seasons, 1 November 1843

 

130 Queen Victoria

Of all the monarchs of the earth
That wear the robes of royalty,
She has inherited by birth
The broadest wreath of majesty.
From her wide territorial wing 5
The sun does not withdraw its light,
While earth’s diurnal motions bring
To other nations day and night.
All earthly thrones are tottering things
Where lights and shadows intervene; 10
And regal honor often brings
The scaffold or the guillotine.
But still her sceptre is approv’d—
All nations deck the wreath she wears;
Yet, like the youth whom Jesus lov’d, 15
One thing is lacking, even there.
But lo! a prize possessing more
Of worth, than gems with honor rife—
A herald of salvation bore
To her, the words of endless life. 20
That GIFT, however fools deride,
Is worthy of her royal care;
She’d better lay her crown aside
Than spurn the light reflected there.
O would she now her influence bend— 25
The influence of royalty,
Messiah’s kingdom to extend,
And Zion’s “nursing mother” be;
Thus with the glory of her name
Inscrib’d on Zion’s lofty spire, 30
She’d win a wreath of endless fame,
To last when other wreaths expire.
Though over millions call’d to reign—
Herself a powerful nation’s boast;
’Twould be her everlasting gain 35
To serve the king, the Lord of Hosts.
For there are crowns and thrones on high,
And kingdoms there, to be confer’d—
There honors wait that never die;
There fame’s immortal trump is heard. 40
Truth echoes—’tis Jehovah’s word;
Let kings and queens and princes hear.
In distant isles the sound is heard—
Ye heav’ns rejoice! O earth, give ear!
The time, the time is now at hand 45
To give a glorious period birth;
The Son of God, will take command
And rule the nations of the earth.
composed 19 October 1843
published in Times and Seasons, 1 January 1844

 

131 Twilight Imaginings in Four Parts

FIRST—Invocation of the Muse.
SECOND—Response of the Muse.
THIRD—Echo, addressing Friendship.
FOURTH—Friendship’s Reply.
PART FIRST.
Invocation of the Muse.
Slumb’ring Muse, can aught inspire thee
With Parnassus’ fabl’d fire?
Aught with theme of song can fire thee,
Or attune thy unstrung lyre?
Is there aught can break thy slumbers— 5
Chase inertia from thy soul,
On thy harp bid attic numbers
In spontanteous currents roll?
While the twilight brown advances;
While the even-tide flows near; 10
While the stilly scene enhances
Recollection’s widening sphere;
While yon peerless orb is shining
Dimly through night’s gathering shade;
While the dew-drops are refining 15
Plenteous nectar o’er the glade;
While earth’s care-worn sons, retiring,
Ponder o’er their loss and gain,
Happy only in acquiring,
And by losses measure pain; 20
While gay Pleasure’s children loiter,
Reckless of the hours of rest;
While affliction’s sons and daughters
Groan, with wretchedness opprest;
While the city bustle ceases; 25
While its lattice-glimmerings fade;
While the nigthly breeze increases
Music in the rural glade;
While the scenery’s fondly aiding
Contemplation’s latent power; 30
While soft silence is pervading,
Like a charm, the Muses’ bower;
While the holiest thoughts invite thee,
Muse, awake a favorite strain;
Friendship’s theme—can that delight thee? 35
Say, was friendship made in vain?
PART SECOND.
Response of the Muse.
I awake, I awake to the hallowed sound
When the name of Friendship is echoing round:
’Tis a genial sound that is wont to inspire
The sweetest notes of my earliest lyre; 40
For O, ’tis a treasure kindly given
To atone for the loss of an absent heaven:
And amid the perplexing scenes of earth,
’Tis a precious boon of eternal worth;
For oft has its music hush’d to rest 45
The lab’ring grief of the throbbing breast;
And oft its efficient skill will impart
A specific draught to the wounded heart.
’Tis a silken shackle that often binds
In unconscious fetters congenial minds, 50
And so nicely muffl’d that they only seem
Like a yielding wave of the limpid stream.
It was friendship too that boldly stood
In the upper seat of the court of God.
’Twas a cherub then, and they call’d it love, 55
For it brought the Messiah from above;
Who, mov’d by its impulse, mark’d the way
From this nether sphere to the realms of day,
That earth’s degen’rate sons may rise
High, high o’er the acme that crowns our skies; 60
And, leaving ign’rance’ shades behind,
Bask full in the blaze of Eternal Mind.
Yes, friendship’s a sacred, a holy thing,
Of which angel-minstrels love to sing;
And its potent unction benignly imparts 65
An extatic thrill to seraphic hearts.
But hark! sweet music salutes my ear!
Are the heavenly minstrels gathering near?
List, list to the strains of the choir from on high,
And catch the sweet echo that is passing by. 70
PART THIRD.
Echo, addressing Friendship.
Spirit of Love, O whither
Hast thou been wand’ring forth?
Say, dost thou find a resting-place
Among the sons of earth?
Amid the incongruities 75
Of that low fallen sphere,
Say, dost thou meet the fond embrace
That is thy birth-right here?
In that dark vale of sorrow—
Of trouble, toil, and care, 80
Say, canst thou find a genial heart
Thy blandishments to share?
Amid the deep perplexities
With human life entwin’d,
Say, hast thou found a willing band, 85
With thy soft chain to bind?
Amid the rude commotions,
The tossings to and fro,
Say, canst thou find a sure abode
In all the world below? 90
’Mid all its wild absurdities,
Hast thou one laurel found—
One gem of magnanimity,
To decorate thy crown?
PART FOURTH.
Friendship’s Reply.
Fair sons of light, that little world 95
To which I often roam,
Was from th’ Eternal presence hurl’d,
And is no more my home.
Yet many noble spirits there,
Are scatter’d up and down; 100
And many who, my wreath to wear,
Would yield a sceptred crown.
Some of a high celestial birth,
And heirs of endless day,
Who well appreciated my worth, 105
And proudly own my sway:
And while their brief existence fills,
Like brilliant stars they shine,
And rise superior to the ills
That round their path entwine. 110
While others spurn my proffer’d hand,
Extended but to bless,
And scorn the measures I command
To ease their wretchedness.
The warmth that from my vitals springs 115
For Adam’s num’rous race,
Prompts me to spread my downy wings
Far from my native place.
For them I search’d the highest heaven,
And from His bosom brought 120
God’s only Son, the ransom given,
Which man’s redemption wrought;
That man hereafter may again
Possess the blest abode
Where I forever shall remain 125
Amid the smiles of God.
published in Poems 1, 1856

 

132 The Ode of Genius to Truth

I’ll sing to thee, O Truth! Thy laws are giv’n
For my directory o’er earth and heav’n!
I sing of thee—I prize thy presence more
Than all the gifts of richly treasur’d lore—
I sing thy praises—thou art all to me— 5
I crave no pow’r but that confer’d by thee.
Eternal beauties in thy features glow,
And from thy lips, eternal fountains flow:
Let the pure lustre of thy radiant eye
Beam thro’ my soul and lift my nature high; 10
The master-strokes that on my pulses roll,
Are but the emanations of thy soul.
Let the fierce tigress chide her churlish brood;
Monster on monster, vent its spiteful mood—
Let crawling reptiles of the reptile school 15
Chastise offenders of their puny rule—
Let insects feel the weight of insects’ paw
For the transgression of an insect-law:
But Truth! thy advocate shall not descend
To sordid means, thy honor to defend; 20
For thou, O Truth! wilt not ignobly bend
To servile measures, for a noble end.
Should lofty Genius strike a feeble string;
No: in thy presence Truth, of Truth I’ll sing:
Thou art the basis of each worthy theme— 25
Thine is the lustre in each golden beam:
Wide as eternity, diffuse thy light
Till joyous day shall burst the shades of night:
Benighted earth, illumine with thy rays—
The slumb’ring nations, waken with thy blaze, 30
In falsehood’s stream, let error bathe his soul
And slander bend to envy’s base control;
Be thou, O Truth! my arbiter and guide—
Beneath thy standard, let my feet abide—
Let thy celestial banner be unfurl’d, 35
Until its crescent circumscribes the world;
On hope’s high pinion, write thy burnish’d name,
And plant thy signet, on the spire of fame.
Go forth, and conquer—all to thee shall bow,
And fadeless laurels wreath thy noble brow: 40
The palm of vict’ry waits to crown thy war—
The seal of triumph lingers not afar.
Victorious Truth! the conqu’ring scepter wield
Till all thy foes in meek submission yield—
Until inquiry spreads himself abroad, 45
And knowledge smiles to his instinctive rod—
Till party-zeal is shrouded with disgrace,
And superstition hides his lengthen’d face—
Till old stupidity is forc’d to fly—
Till ignorance and prejudice shall die— 50
Till pompous error, vanquish’d, licks the dust
And princely falsehood fires his smoking bust;
Then shall thy fiat hold the world in awe
And barb’rous isles exult to hear thy law;
Strong as omnipotence, thy arm shall prove, 55
And as eternal as the throne above.
composed 25 November 1843
published in Times and Seasons, 1 January 1844

133 Missouri

1 What aileth thee, Oh! Missouri! that thy face should gather
blackness, and why are thy features so terribly distorted?
2 Rottenness has seized upon thy vitals—corruption is preying upon
thy inward parts, and the breath of thy lips is full of destructive contagion.
3 What meaneth thy shaking, and why art thou terrified? Thou hast
become like the trembling Belshazzar. ‘Mene, mene, tekel upharsin’ is indeed written against thee; but it is the work of thine own hand—the characters upon thy wall, are of thine own inscription, and wherefore dost thou tremble?
4 Wouldst thou know the interpretation thereof? Hast thou sought
for a Daniel to declare it unto thee? Verily, one greater than a Daniel was in thy midst; but thou hast butchered the saints, and hast hunted the prophets like Ahab of old.
5 Thou hast extinguished the light of thy own glory—thou hast
plucked from thy head the crown of honor—thou hast divested thyself of the robe of respectability—thou hast thrust from thine own bosom, the veins that flowed with virtue and integrity.
6 Thou has violated the laws of our sacred constitution—thou hast
unsheathed the sword against thy dearest national rights, by rising up against thine own citizens, and moistening thy soil with the
blood of those that legally inherited it.
7 When thou hadst torn from helpless innocence its rightful
protectors, thou didst pollute the holy sanctuary of female virtue, and barbarously trample upon the most sacred gems of domestic felicity!
8 Therefore, the daughters of Columbia count thee a reproach, and
blush with indignation at the mention of thy name.
9 Thou hast become an ignominious stain on the escutcheon of a
noble, free and independent Republic—thou art a stink in the nostrils of the Goddess of Liberty.
10 Thou art fallen—thou art fallen beneath the weight of thine own
unhallowed deeds, and thine iniquities are pressing as a heavy load upon thee.
11 But although thy glory has departed—though thou hast gone down
like a star that is set forever; thy memory will not be erased—thou
wilt be had in remembrance even until the saints of God shall forget that the way to the celestial kingdom is ‘through great tribulation.’
12 Though thou shouldst be severed from the body of the Union, like
a mortified member—though the lion from the thicket should devour thee up; thy doings will be perpetuated—mention will be made of them by the generations to come.
13 Thou art already associated with Herod, Nero and the ‘bloody
Inquisition’—thy name has become synonymous with oppression, cruelty, treachery and murder.
14 Thou wilt rank high with the haters of righteousness and the
shedders of innocent blood—the hosts of tyrants are waiting beneath to meet thee at thy coming.
15 O ye wise legislators! Ye executives of the nation! Ye distributors of
justice! Ye advocates of equal rights! Arise and redress the wrongs of an innocent people, and redeem the cause of insulted liberty.
16 Let not the contagious spirit of corruption wither the sacred wreath
that encircles you, and spread a cloud of darkness over the glory of your star spangled banner.
17 Lest the monarchs of the earth should have you in derision—lest
you should be weighed in the balance with the heathen nations, and should be found wanting.
18 Lest the arm of the Lord should be revealed in judgment against
you—lest an arrow of vengeance from the Almighty should pierce the rotten fabric of a once sheltering constitution, and your boasted confidence become like an oak dismembered of its branches, whose shattered trunk is torn piecemeal by the uprising of the tempest.
19 For the cries of the widow—and fatherless—the groans of the
oppressed, and the prayers of the suffering exile, have come up before the Lord God of Hosts, who brought our pilgrim fathers across the boisterous ocean, and raised up a Washington to break the yoke of foreign oppression.
composed 19 December 1843
published in Times and Seasons, 1 February 1844

 

134 The Past Year

A year—what is a year? ’Tis but a link
In the grand chain of time extending from
The earth’s formation, to the period when
An angel standing in the sun shall swear
‘The chain is finished—time shall be no more.’ 5
Then, by the pow’r of faith, that pow’r by which
The great Jehovah spake and it was done,
And nature mov’d subservient to his will;
Earth leaves the orbit where her days and nights
And years and ages have been measur’d long, 10
By revolution’s fix’d unchanging laws;
And upward journeys to her native home.
Where is the Year? Envelop’d in the past,
With all its scenes and all its sceneries
Upon its bosom laid. The year has gone 15
To join in fellowship with all the years
Before and since the flood; leaving behind
A train of consequences—those effects
Which, like a fond paternal legacy
That firmly binds with int’rest, kin to kin; 20
Unite the future, present and the past.
The Year is gone! None but Omnipotence
Can weigh it in the balance and define
The good and evil mingled in its form.
None but an Omnipresent eye can view 25
The fountains and the springs of joy and grief,
Of pain and pleasure, which within its course
It open’d and has caus’d to flow thro’ out
The broad variety of human life.
None else is able to explore the length 30
And breadth—to fathom the abysses and
To pry into the cloister’d avenues
Of this life’s sceneries, and testify,
Or count the seeds of bitterness which yield
Pois’nous effluvia, proving, when infus’d 35
Into society, its deadliest curse;
Or number the bright rays of happiness,
Whether in sunbeams written, or defin’d
By those soft pencilings of light,
Whose want of dazzling brilliancy, is more 40
Than compensated by their constancy
In every day attendance,—little joys,
Which shed a soothing infl’ence on the heart,
Yet imperceptibly—by habit made to seem
More like appendages than gifts bestow’d. 45
But who, with common sense and eye unclos’d—
With sensibility enough to keep
The heart alive—with warmth enough to give
An elasticity to half its strings;
But finds inscrib’d upon the tablet of 50
The memory, a reminiscence of
The year departed, deeply written there
In characters that stand in bold relief;
And more especially in these last days
When nature, seeming conscious that her time 55
Of dissolution is approaching; hastes
With all the rude impetuosity
Of the tumult’ous hurricane; to close
Her labors. Ev’ry spirit is arous’d
Both good and bad, each to its handy work, 60
Diffusing in the walks of social life
Their honey and their gall: each heart imbibes
That, which is most congenial to its own
Inherent qualities of character;
Of which a full development is wrought 65
By the effective hand of circumstance.
A few more years of hurried scenery
Will tell the tale—the present drama close—
Decide the destiny of multitudes
And bring this generation to the point 70
Where time extending to its utmost bound,
Will tread the threshold of eternity.
composed ca. 1 January 1844
published in Deseret News, 28 December 1850

 

135 To Mrs. Mary Pratt

on the Death of Her Little Son
Time with an arrow’s speed has gone
Since I beheld a blooming flower,
As fresh as summer morning’s dawn—
Its beauty grac’d the vernal bow’r.
’Twas lovely, and its op’ning bloom 5
A joy inspiring halo spread;
And rich as Eden’s first perfume
Was the sweet fragrance which it shed.
Such was your little one; and more
Than rosy beauty grac’d its air— 10
A higher charm its features bore—
A noble intellect was there,
With fondest hopes, from earliest hour
You saw its mind, a royal gem,
Expand with reason’s genial pow’r 15
To form a future diadem.
But oh! a frost has nip’d the flow’r,
And all its loveliness is gone!
A hand unseen with ghastly pow’r
Has laid full low, your little one! 20
But soon, by nature’s annual round
That flow’r beneath the vernal skies
Will bloom. Ere long the trumpet’s sound
Will bid your sleeping cherub rise.
How was that lov’d, departed one 25
Endear’d by scenes of deep distress!
Missouri’s prison walls have known
Its infant cry—your fond caress:
When in your arms with tenderness
You bore it to the wretched cell; 30
That with your presence you might bless
The heart of him you love so well.
But hush the sorrows of thy breast,
And wait the promise of the Lord,
To usher in a day of rest, 35
When all will be again restored,
Although a tender branch is torn
Asunder from the parent tree;
Back to the trunk it shall be borne,
And grafted for eternity.
composed 17 January 1844
published in Times and Seasons, 1 March 1844

 

136 To Mrs. Sylvia P. Lyon

on the Death of Her Little Daughter
Earthly happiness is fleeting—
Earthly prospects quickly fade—
Oft the heart with pleasure beating
Is to bitterness betray’d!
Ah! methinks I see you bending 5
Like a willow o’er the urn:
But a heav’nly voice descending
Sweetly whispers, “do not mourn.”
Scenes of sorrow most distressing—
Scenes that fill the heart with pain 10
Often yield the choicest blessing—
Present loss is future gain.
In the darkest dispensation
Oh remember, God is just:
’Tis the richest consolation 15
In his faithfulness to trust.
Let the heart oppress’d with sorrow—
Let the bosom fill’d with grief—
Let the wounded spirit borrow
From his promise, kind relief. 20
While affliction’s surge comes o’er you
Look beyond the dark’ning wave!
See a brighter scene before you—
Hail the triumph o’er the grave.
Though your lovely child is taken 25
From your bosom to the urn;
Soon the sleeping dust will waken
And its spirit will return.
Yes, again you will behold it
Fairer than the morning ray— 30
In your arms you will enfold it
Where all tears are wip’d away.
composed 17 February 1844
published in Times and Seasons, 15 March 1844

 

137 Reflections

at the Funeral of Joel F. Scovil Son of Lucius N. and Lury Scovil; Who Died on the Tenth of May, 1844.
Aged 14 years and 12 days
The spirit had departed and had left
The mortal tenement a lifeless form!
I sat beside his coffin, but for him
I had no tears to shed. How could I weep?
His years, indeed, had been but few, but then 5
He was a saint, and he has gone to join
The spirits of the just. There was to him
No bitterness in death. The pow’r of faith
Imparted through the glorious gospel of
The Son of God had shorn the monster of 10
His terrors and his sting. It rent in twain
The parting vail that hides from mortal view
Eternal things: and kindred spirits came
To greet the dying one and waft him home.
Freed from mortality and all its ills; 15
To die as he has died, is endless gain.
Such were my feelings: then I look’d upon
His mourning parents, and I thought of their
Bereavement! ’Tis their only son—he is
Their first-born, and to him with fond delight 20
Their expectations clung; and here he lies!
Corruption preys already on the face
They dearly lov’d! And now where is their hope?
My heart was moved with tenderness; and grief
For one short moment weigh’d my feelings down. 25
But then the spirit of the living God
Waked with its light the vision of my mind,
And I exclaim’d within myself, all, all
Is well. He’s gone to do a work for them
Of everlasting consequence; and they, 30
Ere long shall understand the purposes
Of him who holds the destinies of man;
In this their present loss, and then their joy
Will be unspeakable.
Soon, very soon
The resurrection morn will dawn and bring 35
An everlasting triumph o’er the grave.
Be faithful then ye parents! Keep the faith—
Be steadfast in the cause of Zion, till
Your course is finish’d, and your work is done;
And you shall soon embrace your child, array’d 40
In robes of royalty—with glory crown’d
In your own mansion of celestial light.
There, fond affection, everlasting bond
Of kindred spirits and of kindred flesh,
In strength perfecting, will entwine around 45
The glorious objects of an endless claim.
composed 11 May 1844
published in Times and Seasons, 15 May 1844

 

138 Funeral Hymn

“How calm and beautiful the morn
That gilds the sacred tomb
Where once the Crucified was borne
And vail’d in midnight gloom.
O weep no more a Savior slain; 5
The Lord is ris’n—he lives again.”
Enthron’d in everlasting day,
He lives no more to die:
He stoop’d to death, to lead the way
To happiness on high: 10
O’er death triumphant, and the grave,
He lives above, with power to save.
Beyond this earthly vale of tears,
Of sorrow, toil, and pain;
Beyond this pilgrimage of years, 15
A glorious rest remains:
Then weep no more, but follow on
Where our departed friends are gone;
Where pure and noble spirits are,
That taste of heavenly rest; 20
To join the great assemblies there,
And mingle with the blest;
Where health and youth and beauty bloom
In endless triumph o’er the tomb.
To raise a wretched fallen race 25
To sceptred crowns on high,
The Savior left his Father’s face,
And came to bleed and die!
Shout, shout! O shout the highest strain;
He conquer’d death and rose again. 30
And now with joy, salvation treads
Through death’s forbidding gloom—
The light of life eternal spreads
A halo round the tomb.
Then weep no more—the Saints that die 35
Are hail’d with joy in worlds on high.
published in Poems 1, 1856

 

139 To Mrs. B. M. Neff

To thy fond home returning,
Fair lady, bear with you
Like a bright taper burning
The mem’ry of Nauvoo.
In that association 5
Intelligence holds dear
The wisest of the nation
Are oft assembled here.
The pure, divine instruction
That emanates from God; 10
Has here its introduction
To earth, and spreads abroad.
O could your blessings equal
The wishes of my heart
In Zion’s glorious sequel 15
You’ll share a joyous part.
Be this your present portion,
A steadfastness of soul—
A spirit of devotion—
A pow’r of self-control; 20
To plant within your bosom
An undisturb’d repose
Which smiles amid the changes
As fortune ebbs and flows.
Tho’ duty’s mandate send you 25
In other scenes to share:
My blessing shall attend you
And this shall be my pray’r:
O God, my Father! bless her—
Be thou her friend and guide; 30
Let guardian pow’rs caress her
While watching by her side.
Altho’ the earth’s foundation
Is from its center torn;
On pinions of salvation 35
Let her be upward borne.
Inspire her with thy spirit
To fix her hopes above;
And bring her to inherit
The fulness of thy love.
composed 12 May 1844

 

140 To a Young Saint

This is the second of two poems ERS included in Barbara Neff’s autograph album (see poem 139).
≈≈≈≈≈
Fair, youthful Maiden, dost thou comprehend
The honor, dignity—the glory, and
The high responsibilities compris’d
In your profession?
You’ve essay’d to be
A Saint of God—to be an heir of his, 5
And a joint heir with Jesus Christ, to an
Inheritance, eternal in the heavens.
Number’d with Zion’s daughters, you are rais’d
In honor, high o’er earthly princesses.
Thine was a favor’d lot, when o’er thy path 10
The everlasting Gospel spread its light.
That was a time of interest—a scene,
On which the angels gaz’d with holy joy,
And made sweet mention of your name, in strains
Of tuneful sympathy; when your warm heart, 15
Beating with youthful expectation, and
The sunny hopes of life’s unclouded day,
Was open’d to receive the glorious rays
Of truth, supernal, emanated from
The gushing fountain of eternity: 20
And when beneath the liquid wave, you clos’d
Your eyes to this world’s fascinating scenes,
You started upward.
Lady, onward move,
Nor turn aside, though earth and hell combine
Their hateful wrath and all the low disguise 25
Of saintly hypocrites.
There’s none can stay
Jehovah’s hand; and nothing will impede
The conquering footstep of his glorious work.
A crown of brighter glory than the sun
In yonder firmament, will yet be seal’d 30
Upon the faithful Saint. But now, it is
A day of sacrifice. Ease, honor, wealth,
Must be surrender’d to obtain the prize:
E’en reputation, dearer far than life,
Is doom’d to suffer cruel martyrdom. 35
The Lord permitted satan to go forth
And prove the faith and the integrity
Of Job, his servant: and he suffers now,
A lying tongue, with base impunity
To stalk abroad. But God—the hosts of heav’n, 40
And all the best of earth, are on the side
Of innocence. Then Lady, fear no ill,
Except departures from the glorious truths,
Communicated from the world on high.
Angels have fall’n! Be this thy monitor 45
To check the first faint glow of confidence
In human wisdom and in human strength.
Confide in God, and cheerfully receive;
Fearless of consequence; what he reveals
From time to time, thro’ his own prophets here; 50
Then, neither principalities, nor pow’rs—
Things present—things to come, nor height, nor depth,
Can separate us from the love of God.
composed 12 May 1844
published in Poems 2, 1877

 

141 Riots in Congress

Hush, hush, lest the monarchs of Europe hear
The heart-sick’ning sound that salutes the ear!
For wherefore should haughty tyrants know
That republican dignity’s sinking low?
O where have the noble spirits gone— 5
O where is the glory our fathers won?
And where are the sages that us’d to feel
For the nation’s honor—the nation’s weal?
What! “riots in Congress!” Can it be
In a country renown’d for its liberty, 10
That the highest departments of State are rife
With low-minded jargon and boyish strife?
When the head is sick, the whole heart is faint,
And a spreading disease must produce complaint,
There’s no wonder then at the public tone— 15
The head is disorder’d—the people groan!
Ah! “riots in Congress!” Is it not
On our nation’s escutcheon, a deep, foul blot?
Yes, the standard of Freedom has been disgrac’d
With a stain that can never be eras’d! 20
Is there, who will attend to the people’s cause?
Is there, who will administer rights and laws?
Men are fooling in Congress while freemen roam
In their own native country, thrust from home!
Now, we’ve “riots in Congress”:—not only there, 25
But riots are spreading ev’ry where;
And the Union soon will be made to know
That her sanction of mobbing, has brought her low.
O, where have the shades of our fathers gone?
O, where is the spirit of Washington? 30
Is this the proud climax of Liberty,
And are these the best blessings of being free?
composed 25 May 1844
published in Nauvoo Neighbor, 5 June 1844

 

142 To Laura Marinda

and Emily Matilda Hyde
Fair little misses, always do
As your fond mother teaches you,
And you shall both, your brother meet
And fill his cheeks with kisses sweet.
Be to each other very kind— 5
With useful studies store your mind—
To God our Father bow the knee,
And when you pray, remember me.
composed 2 June 1844
published in Frontier Guardian, 14 November 1849

 

143 The Assassination

of Gen’s Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith
First Presidents of the Church of Latter-day Saints; Who Were Massacred by a Mob, in Carthage,
Hancock County, Ill., on the 27th June, 1844
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
— Rev. 6:9–11.
Ye heav’ns attend! Let all the earth give ear!
Let Gods and seraphs, men and angels hear—
The worlds on high—the universe shall know
What awful scenes are acted here below!
Had nature’s self a heart, her heart would bleed 5
At the recital of that horrid deed;
For never, since the Son of God was slain
Has blood so noble, flow’d from human vein
As that which now, on God for vengeance calls
From “freedom’s ground”—from Carthage prison walls. 10
Oh! Illinois! thy soil has drank the blood
Of Prophets martyr’d for the truth of God.
Once lov’d America! what can atone
For the pure blood of innocence, thou’st sown?
Were all thy streams in teary torrents shed 15
To mourn the fate of those illustrious dead;
How vain the tribute, for the noblest worth
That grac’d thy surface, O degraded Earth!
Oh wretched murd’rers! fierce for human blood!
You’ve slain the prophets of the living God, 20
Who’ve borne oppression from their early youth,
To plant on earth, the principles of truth.
Shades of our patriotic fathers! Can it be,
Beneath your blood-stain’d flag of liberty;
The firm supporters of our country’s cause, 25
Are butcher’d while submissive to her laws?
Yes, blameless men, defam’d by hellish lies
Have thus been offer’d as a sacrifice
T’appease the ragings of a brutish clan,
That has defied the laws of God and man! 30
’Twas not for crime or guilt of theirs, they fell—
Against the laws they never did rebel.
True to their country, yet her plighted faith
Has prov’d an instrument of cruel death!
Where are thy far-fam’d laws—Columbia! Where 35
Thy boasted freedom—thy protecting care?
Is this a land of rights? Stern-FACTS shall say
If legal justice here maintains its sway,
The official pow’rs of State are sheer pretence
When they’re exerted in the Saints’ defence. 40
Great men have fall’n and mighty men have died—
Nations have mourn’d their fav’rites and their pride;
But TWO, so wise, so virtuous, great and good,
Before on earth, at once, have never stood
Since the creation—men whom God ordain’d 45
To publish truth where error long had reigned;
Of whom the world, itself unworthy prov’d:
It KNEW THEM NOT; but men with hatred mov’d
And with infernal spirits have combin’d
Against the best, the noblest of mankind! 50
Oh, persecution! shall thy purple hand
Spread utter destruction through the land?
Shall freedom’s banner be no more unfurled?
Has peace indeed, been taken from the world?
Thou God of Jacob, in this trying hour 55
Help us to trust in thy almighty pow’r;
Support thy Saints beneath this awful stroke—
Make bare thine arm to break oppression’s yoke.
We mourn thy Prophet, from whose lips have flow’d
The words of life, thy spirit has bestow’d— 60
A depth of thought, no human art could reach
From time to time, roll’d in sublimest speech,
From the celestial fountain, through his mind,
To purify and elevate mankind:
The rich intelligence by him brought forth, 65
Is like the sun-beam, spreading o’er the earth.
Now Zion mourns—she mourns an earthly head:
The Prophet and the Patriarch are dead!
The blackest deed that men or devils know
Since Calv’ry’s scene, has laid the brothers low! 70
One in their life, and one in death—they prov’d
How strong their friendship—how they truly lov’d:
True to their mission, until death, they stood,
Then seal’d their testimony with their blood.
All hearts with sorrow bleed, and ev’ry eye 75
Is bath’d in tears—each bosom heaves a sigh—
Heart broken widows’ agonizing groans
Are mingled with the helpless orphans’ moans!
Ye Saints! be still, and know that God is just—
With steadfast purpose in his promise trust: 80
Girded with sackcloth, own his mighty hand,
And wait his judgments on this guilty land!
The noble martyrs now have gone to move
The cause of Zion in the courts above.
published in Times and Seasons, 1 July 1844

 

144 To Elder John Taylor

Thou Chieftain of Zion! henceforward thy name
Will be class’d with the martyrs and share in their fame;
Thro’ ages eternal, of thee will be said,
“WITH THE GREATEST OF PROPHETS HE SUFFER’D AND BLED.”
When the shafts of injustice were pointed at HIM— 5
When the cup of his suff’ring was fill’d to the brim—
When his innocent blood was inhumanly shed,
You shar’d his afflictions and with him you BLED.
When around you like hailstones, the rifle balls flew—
When the passage of death open’d wide to your view— 10
When the prophet’s freed spirit, thro’ martyrdom fled,
In your gore you lay welt’ring—with martyrs you BLED.
All the SCARS from your WOUNDS, like the trophies of yore
Shall be ensigns of honor till you are no more;
And by all generations, of thee shall be said 15
“WITH THE BEST OF THE PROPHETS IN PRISON HE BLED.”
composed 27 July 1844
published in Times and Seasons, 1 August 1844

 

145 Lines Addressed to

Thou Chieftain of Zion! henceforward thy name
Will be class’d with the martyrs and share in their fame;
Thro’ ages eternal, of thee will be said,
“WITH THE GREATEST OF PROPHETS HE SUFFER’D AND BLED.”
When the shafts of injustice were pointed at HIM— 5
When the cup of his suff’ring was fill’d to the brim—
When his innocent blood was inhumanly shed,
You shar’d his afflictions and with him you BLED.
When around you like hailstones, the rifle balls flew—
When the passage of death open’d wide to your view— 10
When the prophet’s freed spirit, thro’ martyrdom fled,
In your gore you lay welt’ring—with martyrs you BLED.
All the SCARS from your WOUNDS, like the trophies of yore
Shall be ensigns of honor till you are no more;
And by all generations, of thee shall be said 15
“WITH THE BEST OF THE PROPHETS IN PRISON HE BLED.”
composed 27 July 1844
published in Times and Seasons, 1 August 1844

 

146 Lines

Written on the Birth of the Infant Son of Mrs. Emma, Widow of the Late General Joseph Smith
Sinless as celestial spirits—
Lovely as a morning flow’r,
Comes the smiling infant stranger
In an evil-omen’d hour.
In an hour of lamentation— 5
In a time—a season when
Zion’s noblest sons are fallen,
By the hands of wicked men.
In an hour when peace and safety
Have the civil banner fled— 10
In a day when legal justice
Covers its dishonor’d head.
In an age when saints must suffer
Without mercy or redress:
Comes to meet a generation 15
That has made it fatherless.
Not to share a father’s fondness—
Not to know its father’s worth—
By the arm of persecution
’Tis an orphan at its birth! 20
Smile, sweet babe! thou art unconscious
Of thy great, untimely loss!
The broad stroke of thy bereavement,
Zion’s pathway seem’d to cross!
Till in childhood thou hadst known him, 25
Had the age, thy father spar’d;
The endearment of remembrance,
Through thy life time thou hadst shar’d.
Thou may’st draw from love and kindness
All a mother can bestow; 30
But alas! on earth, a father
Thou art destin’d not to know!
composed 24 November 1844
published in Times and Seasons, 1 December 1844

 

147 To Mrs. Mary

Consort of the Late Hyrum Smith the Second Patriarch
over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Though thy lord, thy companion, is laid in the dust,
He that liveth forever, whose counsels are just,
Is your friend and protector—He only can bind
The deep wounds of your spirit and solace your mind.
His power is sufficient, whatever betide; 5
The earth and its fulness are His: He’ll provide
For your fatherless children: their father He’ll be,
And, according to promise, a God unto thee.
Then, much-honor’d lady, submissively bow
To the weight of affliction that falls on you now: 10
The glad period approaches when, happy above,
Your companion you’ll meet, and rejoice in his love.
composed 1844
published in Poems 1, 1856

148 To President Brigham Young

An important station is truly thine,
And the weight of thy calling can none define:
Being call’d of the Lord o’er the Twelve to preside,
And with them over all of the world beside.
Like Elisha of old, when Elijah fled 5
In a chariot of fire, thou hast lost thy head;
Lost thy head? O no! thou art left to prove
To the Gods, thy integrity, faith, and love.
Thou hast gain’d, like Elisha, a rich behest,
For the mantle of Joseph seems to rest 10
Upon thee, while the spirit and pow’r divine,
That inspir’d his heart, is inspiring thine.
The great work which he laid the foundation to
Is unfinished, and resting on thee to do—
With thy brethren, the Twelve, thou wilt bear it forth 15
To the distant nations of the earth.
Kings, princes, and nobles will honor thee,
And thy name will be great on the isles of the sea—
The pure light of intelligence thou wilt spread
Will exalt the living and save the dead. 20
The great spirit of truth, will direct thy ways;
Generations to come, will repeat thy praise—
When thy work is completed on earth, thou’lt stand
In thy station appointed at God’s right hand.
published in Times and Seasons, 15 February 1845

 

149 The Venerable Lucy Smith

The aged, venerated, much belov’d
Mother in Zion, and the mother of
The greatest men this generation had
To boast. One, only one, of all her sons
Survives—the others sleep the sleep of death! 5
The great anointed seer and prophet, she
Has nurs’d upon her bosom and has watch’d
In helpless, cradled infancy: her heart
With deep solicitude had often yearn’d
Over his tender childhood, ere the God 10
Of heav’n reveal’d the glorious purpose which
Was pre-determined in the courts above,
Should be accomplish’d in the present age:
But when she realiz’d the Lord had call’d
Him in his youth and inexperience to 15
Re-introduce the “ancient order” and
Confront the prejudices of the world;
The throbbings of her breast, none can describe;
And she can tell a tale that none besides
Can tell.
She’s suffer’d much and much she has 20
Enjoy’d. I oft have sat beside her and
Have listen’d with sweet admiration to
Her strains of heav’nly eloquence while she
Describ’d the glories that are soon to be
Reveal’d.
She’s witness’d change succeeding change 25
Roll up the tide of revolution till
Its heaving waves accumulating seem
About to burst and overwhelm the world!
The standard of our country, she has seen
Rising in glorious majesty, and wave 30
Its fam’d, unrival’d banner gracefully,
Till other hands than those that rear’d it, sapp’d
Its broad foundation, and its ensign marr’d—
Tott’ring and tremulous it now appears
Ready to fall and in its fall to make 35
The most tremendous crash the civil world
Has ever known!
She’s seen the church of God
Start into being and extend itself
From shore to shore and plant its footsteps on
The islands of the sea.
She once beheld 40
Her lord, her consort dragg’d to prison while
With tears and supplicating words, she plead
His innocence, and begg’d for his release.
“Commit the Book of Mormon to the flames”
Replied the “officer of justice” “and 45
Your husband shall be liberated”: But
Her noble spirit scorn’d to purchase his
Release, on terms so base! at such a price!
She lov’d the truth and fear’d the God of heav’n.
She’s seen her children driv’n from place to place 50
And hunted like the mountain deer. She’s stood
Beside the death bed of her noble lord
Who, ere the lamp of life became extinct,
Like ancient Jacob, call’d his children round
And bless’d them one by one.
I knew him well, 55
For he was Zion’s first great Patriarch;
And from his lips I’ve felt the sacred pow’r
Of blessing on my head. But he has gone,
And she in lonely widowhood remains!
She’s follow’d to the grave, five noble sons! 60
She stood beside the bleeding forms of those
Great brother-martyrs of the latter-day.
Ah! think of her, ye tender mothers when
Her feeble, tott’ring frame that bow’d beneath
The weight of years and life’s infirmities, 65
Accumulated by the toils and cares,
Anxieties and oft heart-rending griefs;
Stood o’er her murder’d sons! She laid her hand
Upon their marble foreheads, while the blood
Was freely gushing from their purple wounds! 70
And yet she lives, and yet bears witness to
The truth for which they fell a sacrifice.
Yes, venerable Lady, thou shalt live
While life to thee shall be a blessing. Thou
Art dear to ev’ry faithful saint. Thousands 75
Already bless thee—millions yet to come
Will venerate thy name and speak thy praise.
composed May 1845
published in Times and Seasons, 15 May 1845

 

150 A Patriarchal Ode

Blest is the man o’er his household presiding
Fill’d with the spirit and wisdom of God
Blest is the household where friendship and concord
Like Eden’s sweet odors are spreading abroad
Chorus
Yours is the blessing of glory and honor 5
Majesty, might and dominion spread wide
Union and harmony, truth, and salvation
In your habitation forever abide
Prompt to perform what the Lord had appointed
Bearing his standard to lands far away 10
Gathering the scattered descendants of Abram
Spreading the light of the glorious day
Chorus. Yours is the blessing &c.
Choosing the life that with God is eternal
Seeking his counsel, and faithful to do
Ever abiding the law that’s Celestial 15
Keeping the manner of Glory in view
Chorus. Yours is the blessing &c.
Bound in the ties that unite us forever—
Formed for eternity—sacred on earth
Mingling with spirits so noble and heavenly
Tempered with sweetness embodied in worth 20
Chorus. Yours is the blessing &c.
n.d.

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