Poems 301–325

 

301 The Tree of Life

The tree of life’s an emblem:—One that shows
The principle on which existence flows,
The trunk, the center issuing from the root,
From which twelve branches bear twelve kinds of fruit.
The root the spring, the fountain or the head, 5
From which the spirit, life, light, knowledge spread,
Will, unto Him, th’ Eternal God, compare—
Diffusing life and blessings everywhere.
The trunk, to Christ, who is the living vine,
To whom, as branches, his Apostles join— 10
Partake His spirit, and the fruit they bear
Is, thro’ their lineage, scatter’d here and there.
Again—We’ll thus compare the tree of life:
The trunk, a husband—every branch, a wife
Grafted in him: the fruit, posterity 15
Partaking life and fatness from the tree.
The leaves, the holy Prieshood, that will rest
Upon that fruit, by lineal behest;
And through the perfect laws of purity,
Will, for the healing of the nations, be. 20
And thus, will Joseph, Brigham, Heber too,
And many more that practice as they do,
As stems, as trunks, as heads, as centers stand
And spread their righteous branches o’er the land.
Though limb to limb, be grafted on, until 25
The spreading boughs shall all the garden fill—
However far, the utmost limb extends
The trunk, its sap, thro’ every fibre sends.
* * * * *
Christ is the holy Branch from Jesse’s root;
’Twas said, that from His roots a stem would shoot 30
From that same stem, the saviors will come forth
On Zion’s mount, to sanctify the earth.
n.d.

302 The Champion

WHAT champion comes with piercing eye—
With bold and manly brow?
Whose lip has never quiver’d: Why?
He never broke a vow.
You see no cringing in his look— 5
No flinching and no fear:
And why? No bribe he ever took—
No flatt’ry charms his ear.
He shows no tremor in his hand—
No falt’ring in his tread; 10
He’s form’d the living to command,
And rule the mighty dead.
The same in person ev’rywhere,
And champion all the while,
Tho’ deck’d with gold and di’monds rare, 15
Or clad in peasant style.
The souls of gifts he can dispense;
Mark well, to whom he gives,
He smiles, and wounded innocence
Looks up—revives, and lives. 20
His whisper reaches ev’ry ear
From insect up to God,
The nations all, his voice will hear—
The guilty feel his rod.
What mean those accents swelling high? 25
His words in thunders roll:
A trembling shakes the earth and sky—
’Tis felt from pole to pole.
His finger on injustice laid,
He casts a with’ring frown; 30
And grasps his sword with sharpen’d blade,
And cuts oppression down.
He oft in worship bends the knee,
And pays his vows to heav’n:
He thanks the glorious Deity 35
For ev’ry blessing giv’n.
Who is this noble champion, who,
Alike in age and youth?
I love him, tho’ his friends are few:
His name—I’ll speak it: TRUTH.
composed January 1860
published in Mountaineer, 14 January 1860

303 Progression

As the light-house to mariners toss’d on the sea,
Is the prospect of future improvement to me.
But the more we approximate unto the light,
Our own imperfections increase in our sight;
And yet pow’r to o’ercome them is more and more giv’n 5
Unto those who are seeking the favor of heav’n;
And light cleaving to light, we more evil detect,
Then o’ercoming the evil, ourselves we perfect.
And the faster we learn, and the farther we go,
The more we discern of the much yet to know. 10
We have millions of years for improvement, yes, more;
For eternity’s volumes are filling before,
With progression inscribed on each page, and although,
Through inherited weakness, our progress is slow,
If the true point of starting we’re blest to obtain, 15
And then little by little, continually gain;
Into fountains of goodness and greatness, at length,
We shall grow, and increase to a fullness of strength.
I’m an every-day student. I’m taught by the bee—
The ant and the spider give lessons to me. 20
By the sensitive plant I’m taught to retreat
From the evils impending, I’m threaten’d to meet;
Not only from evils—appearances too,
For full oft from appearances, evils accrue,
And my fav’rite geranium instructs me, in spite 25
Of my turning it houseward, it turns to the light.
If I seek for the truth, as this plant for the sun,
’Twill illumine my path-way and guide me straight on.
But if I should grow heedless, and recklessly blind,
The friends I love dearest may leave me behind; 30
And I thus be compelled for sheer negligence’ sake,
Sweet association’s firm cement to break.
Eternal progression! How glorious to think
Of an upward advancement with link after link,
From the lowest gradation, to height after height— 35
From this mortal existence to Gods cloth’d with light;
And still upward and onward—unceasingly on,
For eternity comes when eternity’s gone.
composed January 1860
published in Deseret News, 18 January 1860

 

304 Confidence

Can earth produce a fairer, brighter gem,
A gem of nobler worth, than Confidence?
It is the richest diadem of all
Of earth’s associations, and the base
Of expectation and of future hope— 5
A source, a pedestal of happiness
Below, and the assurance which we feel
Of a fruition in the world above.
If not a balance to determine weights,
It constitutes the weight—the size—the length 10
And breadth, and the importance of each look—
Each word, and ev’ry act of those, with whom
In life we have to do. Where’er it reigns
Predominant, there love and freedom dwell,
And union too, has an abiding place, 15
And there, the beating heart, charm’d with its own
Security, pours all its contents out;
And thought with thought—feeling with feeling finds
Reciprocation, constant, full and free,
And then, as if upon an easy couch 20
Reclined, the spirit rests itself from all
Distrust and jealousy, in sweet repose.
And yet, with all its virtues—all its worth,
How often lightly prized! How cheaply sold!
What! Sold! No, never. Confidence is not 25
A thing of traffic, and as tenements—
As goods and chattels sold—like them transpir’d
Unto the purchaser, and thus obtain’d
By stipulation, as a currency.
It oft is sacrific’d—’tis offer’d up 30
On base unholy altars—at the shrine
Of one or more of all the passions of
Degen’rate nature in our fallen state.
Whoe’er performs the act—the offering,
Upon the altar places that which is 35
Another’s property, and not his own.
’Tis worse than common theft and robbery—
’Tis wanton sacrilege—’tis burglary,
For friend to trespass on the bosom of
A friend; and tear from the possessor that 40
Inestimable jewel. Sooner far,
Than I would have my confidence in those
I dearly love, eradicated, I
Would have my purse—my gold—my jewelry,
And all that kind of substance, torn away 45
By usurpation. Gold and silver, may,
If not recover’d, have their place supplied,
And full remuneration made for all
And ev’ry loss: Not so with confidence:
That has no substitute—no agency: 50
Nought but itself, officiates for itself.
Let once the pillars that support its throne
Be torn asunder—its foundations be
Destroy’d or shaken; and it will almost
Transcend the pow’rs of possibility, 55
Again its own primeval strength, and all
Its own primeval beauty to restore.
But yet, when its destruction is the work
Of stealth, by foul incendiary, who
With evil purpose, serpentinely coils 60
Around, and with a deadly, pois’nous shaft,
Infusing canker in the citadel;
Annihilates its fair, supernal form;
When changing circumstances shall the wretch
Expose; he has the forfeiture to pay; 65
And confidence, with all its former pow’rs
Restor’d returns and fills its rightful throne.
SAINTS, with each other should pursue a course
That will create, establish, and preserve,
With care assiduously cherishing, 70
Each in the other’s bosom, confidence,
Warm’d by the moving pulses of the heart,
The law of kindness flowing from the tongue,
Bearing the image of the inmost thought;
Should constitute the fulcrum of control. 75
Each word should be its own expositor—
Each look—each action should be stereotyped
With the firm impress of unchanging truth.
Sweeter to me, than honey in the comb,
Is the communion of congenial minds 80
Of noble texture and of sentiment
Exalted and refined; where confidence
Is full—is perfect—is by time matur’d,
And tested by conflicting circumstances.
It is a plant of slow, delib’rate growth, 85
When to perfection it attains, in form,
In feature, and in durability;
And tho’ untiring care is requisite
In rearing and in preservation too:
Its grateful service amply will repay. 90
It is a stretch of science, in this low,
Perverted age, to learn to appreciate
Whate’er of confidence is worth our aim.
What God approves, I love. The confidence
Of those, within whose bosoms, richly dwells 95
His Holy Spirit—those whose hearts are warm
With the sweet influence of celestial love,
And thrill with inspiration’s holy fire—
Whose minds, with the intelligence of heaven’s
Eternal truths, abundantly are stor’d— 100
Whose labor is for Zion, and whose aim
Is the salvation of the human race;
I say, the confidence of such is that
I crave. I also crave, and while I crave,
By merit I would seek the confidence 105
Of pure intelligences unbeheld
By the gross vision of mortality;
Who, tho’ unseen and tho’ unheard by the
Exterior senses, watch around, and oft
In sweet low whisperings, communicate 110
Unto our understanding, or impart
The thrilling impulse of prophetic fire.
Whose sensibility, acutely fine,
Precludes their free approach, when evil thoughts
Or evil practices contaminate 115
The halo of the moral atmosphere;
Which, self-creating, each ourselves surround.
Soothing as balmy evening zephyrs—sweet
As orient fragrant spicy gales—grateful
As honey-dews upon the smiling lawn, 120
Is confidence ’twixt friend and friend on earth,
But when its own bright radius upward points;
And when it permanently concentrates
Its firm, undeviating hold upon
The truth of God—the revelations of 125
His will to man in these, the latter days,
Prompting obedience to the precepts taught;
It is the magnet of salvation here,
And leads instructively unto the fount
Of everlasting peace and happiness. 130
It leads its own possessor to the “Tree
Of Life”—to habitations made with hands
That are immortal—to the courts on high,
Where, crown’d with majesty, in glory dwell
Jesus, our Brother, and our Father, God.
published in Deseret News, 7 March 1860

 

305 The Press

Written for the “Deseret Typographical and
Press Association”
[“We will sing of the Press: ’tis an organ of light”]
We will sing of the Press: ’tis an organ of light
When invested with sense and conducted by reason,
But if wielded, dear freedom, to crush with its might,
It erects the foul standard of error and treason.
To enlighten or blind—to release or to bind 5
The Press holds the key of the national mind.
The Press, with the Priesthood’s bright banner unfurl’d,
Is a beacon of truth, and gives light to the world.
The Printers of Zion are skimming the cream
And are feeding the Saints, while their own cups are filling; 10
From life’s mixtures and fixtures, and mystified steam
They’re extracting the essence, by careful distilling.
All good people will bless, and now wish them success,
And they’ll ever be shielded when shielding the Press.
The Press, with the Priesthood’s bright banner unfurl’d, 15
Is a beacon of truth, and gives light to the world.
The Press, like a fire on the mountains, should be
To announce the glad beams of a new dispensation,
That the noble and wise of all nations may flee
To the standard erected for peace and salvation; 20
Till mind shall be freed from each fetter and creed,
And the bosom of innocence ceases to bleed.
The Press, with the Priesthood’s bright banner unfurl’d,
Is a beacon of truth, and gives light to the world.
Speak low thro’ the Press and the honest will hear— 25
Call aloud to the wicked in voices of thunder:
Let the haughty ones tremble; ye meek never fear,
Though the judgments of God rend the nations asunder.
The Almighty decrees—He will do it with ease—
To establish a kingdom of glory and peace. 30
The Press, with the Priesthood’s bright banner unfurl’d,
Is a beacon of truth, and gives light to the world.
All hail to the Press of our own Deseret,
Where the “stars and the stripes” are in majesty waving—
Where justice and freedom and union have met, 35
With pure streams from the fount of intelligence laving.
Deep wisdom and might, from their dwellings in light,
The Gods are bestowing on all who do right.
The Press, with the Priesthood’s bright banner unfurl’d,
Is a beacon of truth and gives light to the world.
published in Deseret News, 28 March 1860

 

306 Birthday Wish for Mrs. B. W. Smith

MY DEAR SISTER BATHSHEBA—
Long may you live,
And year by year blessings on blessings receive;
May prosperity’s genius most graciously smile.
And in crowning your efforts diminish your toil.
In the grand distribution of th’ good things of earth, 5
May you get your proportion, to cheer your home-hearth;
Ever here claim the gifts of the angel of health,
And secure for hereafter Eternity’s wealth.
May such choice Birthday socials, like Hermon’s bright dew,
With frequency shed their refreshings on you: 10
And that Comforter, beacon of heavenly light,
Be your constant companion, by day and night.
As the mighty designs of Jehovah roll on,
May you hold sweet communion with those who have gone;
And the vail, now between us, grow thin to your view, 15
And Eternity’s visions be opened to you.
Though you’ve sought to do much, may you do even more
In the great work of God than you’ve done heretofore—
Doing good here and there, and wherever you go.
Please accept this—a Wish from
ELIZA R. SNOW.
composed 3 May 1860
published in Woman’s Exponent, 1 June 1874

 

307 Inscribed to Mrs. Elizabeth Maiben

I see the vacant cradle
I see the vacant chair;
But where’s the precious darling
That once was smiling there?
We felt its bright existence 5
Around our hearts entwin’d
As close as fond affection
With silken cords could bind.
Why should love’s dearest objects
Be from our bosoms torn? 10
And why life’s brightest prospects
Be of their beauties shorn?
But hush! a soft low whisper
A “Still small voice” that chides
The speech of man’s presumption 15
And “erring reason” guides.
Presume not, frail, weak mortal
Beyond thy sphere to pry;
Nor yet beyond thy province,
To ask the reason why. 20
God in eternal wisdom
Both gives and takes away;
There’s none His ways can fathom,
And none His hand can stay.
He sometimes gives the bitter 25
Then turns the bitter sweet;
You’ll bless its mournful absence
When you, your darling meet.
That voice is truth eternal—
That voice dispels our gloom— 30
We see a glorious triumph
That hails beyond the tomb.
n.d.

308 The Fourth of July, 1860

The stars and the stripes with radiance glow
In the light of our mountain home;
Here the blessings of union and freedom flow—
Here the deserts like roses bloom.
All hail to the Fourth—the glorious Fourth; 5
All hail to their memories dear,
Who erected the standard of heavenly worth,
That lifts its bold beacon here.
And here let it rise in the midst of the brave
Who’ve escap’d from oppression’s rod: 10
While our nation is digging fair freedom’s grave,
We are waving its banner abroad.
The goddess of peace and liberty dwells
On high in the pure mountain skies,
And waves her bright wand o’er these mountain dells, 15
And here her bold eagle flies.
The rich Independence our noble sires
Bequeath’d as a boon from heaven,
On the lap of their eastern sons expires,
And its banner is almost riven. 20
But it lives—yes, it lives in these mountain vales,
With the statesmen whose hearts are true;
Where its spirit and power and peace prevail,
With its justice and honor too.
The stars and the stripes may proudly wave 25
As an emblem of LIBERTY dear,
The patriot’s hope—the reward of the brave,
’TIS NO LIBEL TO LAUD IT HERE.
composed ca. 4 July 1860
published in Deseret News, 4 July 1860

 

309 What Aileth Thee?

1 What is the matter with thee now, O thou once glorious Republic?
2 Thou hast been greatly exalted—thou hast been placed on high as
an ensample to the nations of the earth.
3 The tall white plumes of liberty have waved most gracefully on the
splendid folds of thy wide spread banner, and E Pluribus Unum is still inscribed on thy emblazoned escutcheon.
4 Thou hast been highly extolled and greatly belov’d by thy children
at home, and thou hast been held high in honor and admiration by the far off stranger unto whom thou hast graciously proffered an asylum of peace and safety in thy open bosom.
5 But now alas! thou art thyself in trouble and the same proffers which
thou hast so magnanimously made to others; might seem most acceptable unto thy self.
6 Thy heart no longer throbs with emotions of tender sympathy, and
the sweet smile of peace has departed from thy countenance.
7 Thy hand, which once firmly wielded the glittering sword of justice,
and was active and vigilant in the distribution and protection of Equal Rights, is now alternately palsied and convuls’d; and fearful groanings are heard in the midst of this.
8 The effusions of thy councils are no longer the high-ton’d sentiments
of noble Statesmen pleading for the honor of their country and the rights of man: No: they come to us as the prating of fools, and as the voices of clamorous children contending about trifles.
9 Instead of exercising reason, the noble faculty with which God
endow’d man to compete with his fellow man; the members of thy councils, ignobly condescend to the level of brutes, by resorting to physical strength in deciding differences.
10 Where now is the union which has heretofore characteriz’d Thee
among the nations of the earth?
11 Thou mayest well be compared with Babylon of old—thy capitol,
with its infamous court; and him who now stands at thy head, is like unto the trembling Belshazzar with a hand-writing before him which he understood not.
12 And among all thy wise men—thy politicians—thy astrologers—
thy spirit-mediums—thy office seekers, yea, all of thy political demagogues; thou hast not even one Daniel to whom the Most High revealeth secrets, and maketh known things that will shortly come to pass.
13 There was one whom the Almighty rais’d up and sent unto thee, one
even greater than Daniel of old, Joseph Smith the prophet, whom Missouri thrust out, and Illinois most barbarously slew—whose blood now calls aloud from the ground for vengeance.
14 He was, and behold! his successor, Brigham Young, on whom the
mantle of Joseph rests, now is.
15 His soul cleaveth unto wisdom and the gentle breathings of the
spirit of God, fill him with understanding.
16 He dwells in the midst of the mountains, to where he and his
people have been driven from their legal inheritances.
17 These are the high minded, true hearted statesmen who have at all
times and under all circumstances, done honor to the glorious Constitution bequeath’d us by our patriotic forefathers, whose blood marked the path to honor and freedom.
18 The white-crested eagle has fled to them for protection, for they
manfully support the banner of liberty, with the original, but with thee, the obsolete insignia of Union and Equal Rights.
19 Their peace and loyalty is a reproof to thee, for what they are, thou
oughtest to be; and, let it be spoken to thy shame, what thou canst not by corruption bring down to thine own level, thou hast sought to erase.
20 Therefore hast thou sent forth thine armies to wipe us out of
existence and thus extinguish the last spark of patriotism and loyalty thou hast to boast.
21 But He, the Almighty Rules, who delivered ancient Israel out of the
hands of Pharaoh; put a hook in thy jaw, and thou hast not accomplish’d thy bloody purposes.
22 Canst thou not foresee the result of thine own doings? Dost thou
feel no deadly pangs produc’d by thine own suicidal acts?
23 Thro’ thy former tacit license to mobbings and plunderings, and to
repeated spoliation of the homes of the Latter-Day Saints; thou hast established a precedent for internal usurpation and aggression and in so doing, thou hast whetted the knife for thy own slaughter;
24 And thro’ thy own acknowleg’d inability to redress their grievances
thou hast given birth to and caress’d the imbecility which already is rendering thy Constitution of no force, and threatens to break the ligatures of thy joints asunder, and bring upon thee speedy dissolution.
25 Dost thou desire life? Would’st thou avert the blow, and escape the
ruin to which thy past and present course is rapidly and inevitably tending?
26 Make haste—get thee down as in the dust—humble thyself in
sackcloth and ashes, and repent thee of thine iniquities, and seek unto the prophet of the living Gods while thou canst approach him—if perchance he may even now tell thee words whereby thou so canst be saved.
composed July 1860

 

310 The Fathers—

Wouldn’t They Be Astonished?
COULD our country’s noble sages,
Who have gone to reap their wages,
Reap rewards for their well doing,
When on earth they were pursuing
This great nation’s peace and honor 5
In erecting Freedom’s banner;
Could they get one full expression
Of our Congress’ present session—
Could they take one single peep in,
They would surely fall to weeping. 10
They would weep and blush and wonder
At the noisy wind and thunder—
At the boisterous, wrathy prattle—
At the steam and tittle tattle—
At the ghosts with human faces, 15
Filling honorable places.
Could our Washington and Adams,
Jefferson and other sages,
Look upon the present scenery,
With its underwire machinery— 20
All the multiform dissentions
Of the multiplied conventions;
Some intent on office seeking—
Some intent on money eking—
All mix’d up in twists and jangles, 25
All absorb’d in wordy wrangles.
Could they take one squint at Utah,
See the army made a cat’s paw
Just to drain the nation’s coffers,
To appease the scoundrels’ offers— 30
Just to fatten speculators,
Base, blood-thirsty instigators,
Who blew hard to raise a bubble—
Who created all the trouble—
See the “Mormons” scourg’d like minions 35
For their worship and opinions;
Just one glance would make them wonder
If the nation had gone under,
And our country’s boasted White House
Metamorphos’d to a light-house, 40
A tall beacon, just to show their
Once “fam’d liberty” is nowhere—
That the freedom of men’s conscience,
Guaranteed to us, is nonsense.
If they look for “Rights” as equal, 45
As they hop’d for in the sequel
Of their hardships and privations—
Of their wise deliberations,
When the government they founded—
When the trump of peace they sounded; 50
They would think their labors wasted
And the fruits thereof, untasted—
That altho’ their deeds are boasted,
And their names on way-marks posted;
They are virtually forgotten, 55
And the Constitution rotten.
published in Poems 2, 1877

 

311 To W. C. Staines

New scenes await you and another sphere
Unlike to those in which you’re wont to be.
Go, and be blest—you’ll be remember’d here
For virtue, honor, and integrity.
You have been faithful: You’ll be faithful still: 5
The principle is rooted in your breast:
Your present mission you’ll with honor fill
And you again in Zion will be blest.
The Inspiration flowing from your tongue
Will warm the springs of joy in many a heart 10
And when the harp of peace is all unstrung
Your words of counsel, music will impart.
T’ enable you to bless your fellow men
Beyond the circle where your voice can reach;
The Lord will give you pow’r to wield the pen 15
That you the gifted of the world may teach.
Then brother go, with blessings on your head
Live near to Him and God will you sustain
And you the path of usefulness will tread
And crown’d with sheaves return to us again.
composed 20 September 1860

 

312 Psalm for 1860

PART FIRST
1 O Lord our God, thou art great and glorious.
2 Thy decrees are eternal—thy purposes fix’d and unchangeable—and
the times and seasons are directed by thine own Omnipotent wisdom.
3 The reins of thy government are: truth and equity, justice and mercy
are the executors of thy will. Justice cannot rob mercy, neither can mercy defraud justice: therefore they walk hand in hand together in the bright sunshine of righteousness.
4 Thy Saints rejoice in thy goodness—they glory in thy might and
majesty, and they adore thee for thy condescension and thy love.
5 Thou art our boast in the day of prosperity; and in the day of
trouble, thou art our shield and our trust.
6 When the purple hand of persecution lay heavily upon us, where,
although liberty of conscience was boldly inscribed on the national escutcheon, and the banner of freedom broadly waved in proud majesty; the blood of Saints and Prophets copiously flowed, for no other offence than the exercise of this inalienable right.
7 And we were driven from our inheritances and from our comfortable
homes, to wander shelterless in the dreary wild.
8 Thou didst inspire the heart of thy servant Brigham—thou didst
impart unto him a portion of thine own eternal wisdom; and he went forth with his brethren, to seek a resting place for thy people.
9 Thou didst direct their footsteps over trackless wastes and rugged
ways, to this valley in the midst of the “everlasting hills,” which, for ages, thou hast held in reserve for this purpose—where the foot of civilization did not tread; and where the hand of cultivation had not been stretch’d forth during the lapse of centuries.
10 This land, although a land of savages—a wild and dreary waste; they
received as a boon from heaven, the gift of thy hand; and with grateful hearts, they bowed down, and in the name of thine Only Begotten, they dedicated it unto thee for an asylum of safety and a gathering place for the Saints.
11 Here they erected a standard, even the standard of peace, unto which
they invited the scattered exiled Saints, and all honest in heart thro’out the world.
12 Many, yea many were the trials which thou didst call thy people to
pass through, while commencing and establishing a home in the wilderness, that it might “bud and blossom as the rose,” and that “springs of water might spring forth in the desert;”
13 Yea more than ordinary fortitude, courage and perseverance were
requisite to surmount those difficulties, and to endure the privations attendant on this new and extraordinary enterprize, which none but those unto whom thou, the Most High God had spoken, would even have attempted.
14 But thy servants were stout hearted for thou wert with them—
they never thought of discouragement, for thou had required this service at their hand, and moreover, the word CANNOT had long since been stricken from the vocabularies of Zion, as obsolete.
15 Although thou didst put thy people to the proof, to try their
texture, that they might come forth like pure gold from the furnace; thou didst bless their labors and crown their efforts with abundant success; and glory be to thy great name.
PART SECOND.
16 O God, how wonderful are thy providences, how strange are thy
dealings with the children of men!
17 Thou overrulest all things, and with thee is the result of every act of
the inhabitants of the earth.
18 Thou givest power and man operates, thou withholdest, and all his
plans and purposes are frustrated.
19 Although we had fled before our enemies from time to time, even
until we found refuge in the place thou hadst appointed for us, in the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains; still have our enemies pursued us, and even here, have plotted many deep plans for our destruction.
20 But thou, the King, the Lord God of hosts, hast preserved us—thou
hast wrought out for us a bountiful salvation—thou hast extended unto us a mighty deliverance.
21 In thine own wisdom didst thou devise it, and by thine own might
didst thou bring it to pass.
22 When the mouths of our enemies were opened wide to devour us—
when their armies were encamped about us, and were greedy to seize upon us and make us their prey—when they thought to wipe us out of existence, and were just ready to swallow us up; then thou didst put a hook in their jaw—thou didst hold them as a horse by the bit—thou didst frustrate all their schemes, and cause them to be covered with shame and confusion.
23 Thy Saints, in whose hearts richly dwells thy Holy Spirit, feel to
praise and adore thee; and by thy mercies and thy judgments will all the nations of the earth be taught to acknowledge thy power, and to know that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
24 Thou hast whispered unto them by the gentle voice of thy Spirit—
thou hast spoken unto them by thy servants, and now thou art beginning to call aloud unto them by the voice of lightnings and thunders—by the voice of whirlwinds, tempests, wars, pestilence and famine.
25 Therefore, let the honest in heart make haste and gather to the
places appointed, and let the inhabitants of Zion purify their hearts and sanctify themselves before the Lord, and prepare for the day that is approaching.
26 For a great and terrible day is near at hand, even a day of vengeance
and recompense for the ungodly.
27 Let all those tremble who have sought the destruction of the
Lord’s Anointed, and let dismay and fearfulness seize upon those who, having been taught the way of life and salvation, have turned away, and blasphemed the name of the Holy One of Israel.
28 But let the upright, even all the pure in heart, who have maintained
their integrity, and who have labored for the welfare of Zion and the salvation of their fellowmen; lift up their heads and rejoice, for their redemption draweth nigh. Praise ye the Lord.
composed 27 October 1860
published in Deseret News, 21 November 1860

 

313 The Fourth of July, 1861

We hail the day—the glorious day
Which gave a nation birth;
Where Freedom could her wand display
Among the powers of earth.
CHORUS.
All hail—all hail! to th’ Stars and Stripes, 5
The banner wide unfurled—
Here high amid our mountain sky,
It waves to all the world.
The freedom purchased with the blood
Of our heroic sires, 10
Will live and bless the Saints of God,
Till wickedness expires.
CHORUS.
No foul oppressor here can drive
The bolts of tyranny;
For Utah’s sons are all alive 15
To truth and liberty.
CHORUS.
The patriots’ wreath we proudly wear
Around our temples now;
Unholy hands have sought to tear
Ignobly from our brow. 20
CHORUS.
Foul politicians basely left
Truth, law and justice too—
With their own hands, the Union cleft;
And war and blood ensue.
CHORUS.
The Eagle, fled from maddening hosts, 25
Builds here, her towering nest,
And peace, the boon fair Freedom boasts
Expands her golden crest.
CHORUS.
The Constitution’s sacred fold,
With every chartered right; 30
The Sons of Utah, firmly hold,
And glory in its light.
CHORUS.
’Tis ours—’tis ours—the day is ours—
No forfeitures, we’ve made;
But every law from lawful powers, 35
We’ve loyally obeyed.
CHORUS.
And while we celebrate the day
So long this nation’s boast:
We will a grateful tribute pay
To Him, the Lord of Hosts. 40
CHORUS.
His hand—His mighty hand sustained—
The Lord our battles fought—
For us, a bloodless victory gained
And brought our foes to nought.
CHORUS.
He gives us Statesmen, wise and true, 45
Whose hearts have never swerv’d:
The laws and Constitution too
By them will be preserv’d.
CHORUS.
All hail—all hail! to th’ Stars and Stripes,
The banner wide unfurl’d— 50
Here high, amid our mountain sky
It waves to all the world.
composed ca. 4 July 1861
published in Deseret News, 10 July 1861

 

314 Response to “Our Country’s Call”

by Wm. C. Bryant
“Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.”
Bryant, why should thy gifted pen,
In numbers, echo from afar,
T’ arouse to wrath thy fellow men,
And move to scenes of cruel war?
Its fate is fix’d—its destiny 5
Is sealed—its end is sure to come:
Why use the wealth of poesy
To urge a nation to its doom?
Why should the implements of peace
And husbandry be thrown aside— 10
All kindly fellow-feeling cease,
And ev’ry hand in blood be dyed?
Our country feels the blighting rod;
Sore wars and famine will prevail;
“It must be so,” t’ avenge the blood 15
That stains the walls of Carthage jail.
In Fifty-Eight, with sheathless blade
That glitter’d in the nation’s hand,
Troops came, these valleys to invade—
Despoil most loyal subjects, and 20
Obliterate the vital spark
Of truth and genuine liberty;
And on the Union stamp the mark
Of base, blood-crested cruelty.
Fell madness prompts our country now— 25
She calls to sorrow’s heaviest tread;
To quit the axe, the spade and plow,
Will bring heart-rending cries for bread.
Then, with pale, spectre, ghostly form,
Will pestilence move in famine’s wake, 30
Til ev’ry hope and ev’ry charm,
Shall that ill-fated land forsake.
Our country, why such ills betide?
Why dost thou thus ignobly bow?
Thou wert God forgetting, in thy pride, 35
And thou art God-forsaken now.
Led by a blind-fold, iron will,
To your own hurt, with madden’d zeal,
You hurry downward to fulfill
What God through Joseph Smith revealed. 40
“How are the mighty fallen!” And thou,
Land of our birth—our pride, our boast—
Where peace once dwelt—where strife reigns now,
And fills with rage each rising host!
You dropp’d the balances of right 45
When first the Saints of God were driv’n.
“Blow after blow” will prove your might,
Like falling leaves of autumn riv’n.
Fight on, if fight you will: At length
The North and South, alike will feel, 50
With all their boast, in martial strength,
Protection is not made of steel.
Here, without bloodshed, is maintain’d
The freedom patriots prize most dear.
Not “might,” but Truth and Right have gain’d 55
In peace a “glorious triumph” here.
P.S. Should Bryant’s pen refuse to write
In scenes of blood, ’twere well to come
And share, with grateful, chaste delight,
The peace that fills our mountain home.
composed 12 November 1861
published in Deseret News, 25 December 1861

 

315 To the Sister of Mrs. Rose

on the Death of Her Son
A fair bud, you had tenderly nourish’d
From the arbor of earth is remov’d,
To a clime more congenial to flourish
Where the lovely and pure are belov’d.
O, then cling to the truth and be faithful 5
And ere long, with a fulness of joy
With warm life, you will press to your bosom
Your affectionate, beautiful boy.
composed ca. 1861

 

316 National Anthem

for the Opening of the Theater in Great Salt Lake City
Time is fled in his course to the close of the day:
Peace has fled! All the world is in trouble:
All the light of the nations is fading away
And their glory goes out like a bubble.
In the midst of the mountains high crowning the West 5
Lo! a Phoenix in beauty comes forth:
Tho’ thrust out from a nation once favor’d and blest
The rich germ will replenish the earth.
’Twas by the great Jehovah’s hand
Mov’d by His wise decree, 10
The germ was planted in this land
In bold security.
But shivering pal’sy seize th’ accursed arm
And wither’d be th’ ungodly, with his hand
That moves to do this exil’d people harm 15
Or lay oppression’s chain upon this land.
The Gods are free
And so are we
All heav’n protects our liberty.
Here in our mountain Deseret, 20
To bless the aims of righteousness
Have virtue, truth, and justice met
Life, liberty, and happiness.
We hold the triple pow’r to feel
A nation’s pulse, and judge its weal 25
The moving organs of the age
The Pen, the Pulpit, and the Stage.
While these strong engines wisely are directed
The people’s lives and Rights will be protected
And guided by the gift of revelation 30
In labor, study, rest, and recreation
Man will fulfil the purpose of creation.
There’s a God! He has spoken—His word is our law
All our blessings and pow’rs from His storehouse we draw
From the rod of oppression His hand led us forth— 35
He has plac’d us on high in the midst of the earth.
The American Eagle expanded its crest
When it perch’d on the cliffs o’er the vales of the West
Where the goddess of peace her bright canopy spread—
Where the genius of wisdom from other lands fled. 40
Truth is Zion’s royal Standard
Truth, the light of heav’n and earth
Freedom is her glorious Banner
Freedom with the Gods had birth.
With broad streamers on high in the clear azure sky 45
On the ocean of peace gently laving
On the Standard of Truth, crown’d immortal in youth
Lo! the Banner of Freedom is waving.
Hallelujah! God’s own kingdom
His pure Government of peace 50
Now commenc’d will stand forever
And forever will increase.
Hallelujah—hallelujah
Glory
Hallelujah.
composed 15 December 1861

 

317 Anthem

[“O God, bless Brigham Young”]
O God, bless Brigham Young;
Bless him, and all that bless him:
Waste them away, O God, we pray,
Who, rising to oppose him,
Contend with Thee. 5
O God, bless Brigham Young;
Preserve his health and vigor:
We pray Thee, give him pow’r to live
Until the resurrection
Gives back our dead. 10
Bless Thou thy chosen ones,
Who prompt this mighty people
To God-like worth—restoring earth—
By faith and works, prolonging
The life of man. 15
Bless all thy servants, Lord,
Who wield the holy Priesthood;
Till through its light—its grace and might,
To thy eternal kingdom,
All nations bow. 20
Long live the wise and just,
To guide the hosts of Israel;
Till Ephraim reigns o’er his domains,
And Judah’s royal sceptre
Shall be restor’d. 25
Long, long live Brigham Young,
To battle with tradition—
To break in twain each yoke and chain,
And give the world its freedom,
And truth its throne.
composed 30 December 1861
published in Deseret News, 12 March 1862

 

318 To Aurelius & Laura H. Miner

at the Celebration of Their Wedding—6 Years Ago
An honor’d guest would now vouchsafe to pay
A humble tribute to this nuptial day:
May its return be ever hailed, as now,
With wreaths of happiness around its brow.
As you in life’s progressive journey go 5
Let your experience, wisdom’s gems bestow
With Time’s advance, let every step you take
Its greatest measure upward, onward make
Thus, far from fetters, Hymen’s band will prove
A silken chain of confidence and love; 10
While sons and daughters train’d in righteousness
Rise with renown your ancestry to bless.
With Time’s advance, let ev’ry step you take,
Its greatest measure upward, onward, make;
And may your cup, with ev’ry good, be rife 15
Which tends to present and eternal life,
Whate’er of sorrow, in your cup is giv’n
Receive as med’cine, kindly dealt by heav’n.
By sweet and bitter properly applied,
Our erring judgment may be rectified; 20
And man re-trace the downward pathway, trod,
And yet regain the presence of his God.
composed 30 May 1862

 

319 To Brother & Sister [Colanne?]

on Their 16th Wedding Day Celebration
’Twas not an iron bondage
Nor tie of selfish gain
That join’d you twain in wedlock—
’Twas wisdom’s love-wrought chain.
Sixteen years, your nuptial union 5
Has been crowned with peace and love
Guided by the sweet communion
Of the Spirit from above.
Confidence produces union—
Truthfulness gives confidence: 10
Union binds the powers of darkness—
Union forms a strong defense.
God has blest your mutual efforts—
Blest the air and soil for you;
His rich smile of approbation 15
Crowns your toils with plenty, too.
May your trust in God be strengthen’d
Day by day and year by year
And your temporal lives be lengthen’d
To complete your missions here. 20
Of the pow’r of lives eternal
If you fain would be possess’d,
Magnify the “law of Sarah,”
And, like Abra’m, you’ll be blest.
n.d.

 

320 Hymenial D. A. & E.

When you in wedlock bands are join’d
O may your hearts remain
Forever one, that you may find
No fetters in the chain.
List, list not to the fickle strain 5
That fancy’s minstrel swells—
Think not on earth, without a pain,
The goddess Pleasure dwells.
But heav’n has sent affection here
For kindred hearts to share— 10
To chase from sorrow’s eye, the tear,
And smooth the brow of care.
And of its genial pow’r possess’d,
Your path with light, will glow;
And with its heav’nly music blest, 15
You’ll taste of bliss below.
n.d.

 

321 Song for the Fourth of July, 1862

Hail! all hail the day,
The bright, glorious day,
When the banner of Freedom unfurl’d:
It was purchased with blood,
And the tall standard stood 5
As a beacon of light for the world.
CHORUS:
O Freedom—fair Freedom,
Boon of the brave;
Here thy spire rises high,
Like a tower in the sky, 10
And thy banner forever shall wave.
Praise our noble sires,
Who erected fires
On the altars of justice and peace;
We will cherish the same 15
Bright and pure holy flame,
And its incense henceforth will increase,
CHORUS:—O Freedom, etc.
There’s a sad, sad sound
Which “the wires” take round;
And it comes from fair Liberty’s home! 20
Where disunion has spread,
And the fierce warrior’s tread
Fills with sorrow the cottage and dome!
CHORUS:—O Freedom, etc.
Here we’ll never swerve,
But, as gold, preserve 25
The just rights which are mutu’lly given;
While protection’s broad fold
We unflinchingly hold,
As bequeathed by our country and heav’n.
CHORUS:—O Freedom, etc.
composed ca. 4 July 1862
published as a broadsheet, 4 July 1862

 

322 Song for the Twenty-Fourth

of July, 1862
How blessed to live in the last dispensation
When God is restoring His kingdom to earth;
Clean hands and pure hearts, with the power of salvation,
Bedeck our enjoyments with infinite worth.
CHORUS:
Encircle with garlands, of honor and beauty, 5
The great day of days, when the Pioneers’ feet
Saluted the new-trodden soil of the desert,
Where the choice from all nations harmoniously meet.
Farewell to traditions which fetter man’s spirit,
Annihilate genius and manacle art; 10
Those which stereotype mind, by defining its limits,
Which trammel the judgment and canker the heart.
CHORUS:—Encircle, etc.
Adieu to all sorrow, the offspring of error;
Here is truth flowing pure from the fountain above,
To receive and obey it—be thankful and joyful, 15
Forms the halo of purity, goodness and love.
CHORUS:—Encircle, etc.
God design’d man for happiness, honor and glory,
To retain his identity, worlds without end,
To prevail over evil, be wise and immortal,
And at length to the courts of the gods to ascend. 20
CHORUS:—Encircle, etc.
composed ca. 24 July 1862
published in Deseret News, 30 July 1862

323 Our Nation

How came this mighty nation?
From whence the germ of pow’r?
It first appeared on “Plymouth Rock”—
It came from Europe’s shore:
Emerging from its weakness, 5
And from th’ oppressor’s band,
It pluck’d the brightest laurel wreath,
And claim’d the happiest land.
It grew in might and majesty—
In greatness, wealth, and skill; 10
And held its future destiny
Subservient to its will:
Kingdoms and empires, one by one,
Come bending to its shrine,
While gems of art and genius 15
In blending beauty shine.
Beauty, beauty
In blending beauty shine.
A change came o’er the nation
That once was brave and free, 20
That boasted of its patriotism—
Its peace and liberty:
Whose broad sail kiss’d the ocean breeze—
Whose steamers plow’d the deep—
Whose glory lighted distant seas— 25
Whose prowess scal’d the steep—
Whose sons, in war, were valiant—
In peace, like pillars stood
To guard the post of human right—
To bless and shield the good. 30
Its banner, every country hail’d,
And called th’ oppress’d to come;
And where protection triumph’d,
Enjoy a peaceful home.
Peaceful, peaceful, 35
Enjoy a peaceful home.
Alas! alas! our nation
Has fallen—O how changed!
From justice, truth and liberty
How fearfully estranged! 40
Its honor has departed,
Its beauty is despoiled,
Its soaring Eagle* chas’d away,
Its banner is defiled!
The light of freedom has gone down, 45
The son of peace has fled;
And war’s fell demon marches on,
With fierce and haughty tread!
*The Governor’s Flag
[this asterisk and note appeared with the original poem in the Deseret News]
The holy ties of brotherhood,
Lie desecrated now— 50
’Round freedom’s blood-bathed altar,
Vile sons of Mammon bow!
Mammon, mammon,
Vile sons of Mammon bow.
The peace that fled our nation 55
Has won a coronet,
In its only earthly refuge
In the land of Deseret.
Amid the Rocky Mountains
A Phoenix has appear’d, 60
An ensign has been lifted up,
A standard has been rear’d,
By men, who, with the help of God,
A cruel bondage broke,
And saved a loyal people from 65
A base, fraternal yoke.
The crown of freedom now is placed
Where freedom’s crown should be;
And the noblest hearts are shouting
God, Truth and Liberty. 70
Shouting, shouting,
God, Truth and Liberty.
composed October 1862
published in Deseret News, 5 November 1862

 

324 The Year 1862

Adieu, departing Year. The Year goes forth
To join its fellows—to become a link
In the great chain of Time, which now unites
The present and the past.
Escutcheon’d with
Th’ events of life which weave a checker’d garb, 5
It stands conspicuous upon the file
Of years before and after Noah’s flood.
The Year has left its reminiscences
In bold relief. Abroad, on columns by
Our nation rear’d, the superscription of 10
The Year, is deeply sketched in characters
Of ignominious fraternal strife,
And marked with pencils, dipped in human gore!
But, hush! the Year’s successor boldly comes.
Ye, saints of God, take heed—mark well your steps, 15
For while Time’s hurried changes, like the bolts
Of Vulcan, shake the nations of the earth;
God also has a sieve prepared for you:
The gospel net has gathered every kind—
The best—the worst of all in human form; 20
And while He wields war’s crimson besom to
Destroy the wicked—purify and cleanse
The land from wickedness, and thus provide
For righteousness a place; He also will
Prepare a righteous people for a pure 25
Inheritance, that man may dwell in peace.
The tide of Time heaves up, and on its crest
It bears a presage of all nations’ wreck.
Man and his nether majesty have long
Usurped the helm and reins of government: 30
The truthful and the meek have been despised—
The good forgotten and the poor oppressed,
While God and godliness, virtue and truth
Were set at nought—while vice and falsehood ruled,
And pride and folly were exalted high. 35
A change—a change must come. Prophets declared
That in the latter days, God would set up
His kingdom on the earth, and thus restore
A righteous, pure, and perfect government;
That “He, whose right it is to reign,” might reign. 40
Then, clear the way—the kingdom now is here:
War, famine, pestilence, and all their train
Of desolations, take their post, to sweep
The earth, while free libations are pour’d out,
In streams of human blood, to purify the ground. 45
“It must be so,” for so has God decreed.
God had an everlasting purpose, fixed
For these, the latter days; long, long before
The morning stars attuned their lyres, to sound
The lofty paean notes that echoed in 50
Commemorative strains of this world’s birth;
And he, to whom the Dispensation of
Time’s fulness was committed, has foretold,
In language plain as mortal tongues can speak,
The fearful scenes which daily now transpire. 55
To these, the deep fastnesses of the rocks,
Where mountain peaks ascend, we have been driven,
That we might have a refuge from the storm,
While God shall vex the nation, and “pour out
The fierceness of His wrath,” on guilty men. 60
But where in peace and plenty now we dwell,
Was late a desert where the serpent hissed,
And the degraded savage wildly roamed—
A land of crickets, grasshoppers and flies,
Now made to bud and blossom as the rose. 65
The passing Year, with blessing’s lib’ral hand,
Has dealt to us from nature’s bounteous stores,
The finest wheat, and the most luscious fruits,
And crowned the labors of the husbandman
With full supplies, to cheer the grateful heart. 70
Truth and salvation’s fountains, to the just,
From God’s own presence, here, unceasing flow
In clearest, richest, boldest currents, rife
With exaltations, gemmed with endless life.
composed ca. 31 December 1862
published in Deseret News, 7 January 1863

 

325 Nathaniel V. Jones

He’s gone! Ah! yes, but though he’s truly gone,
He is not dead, and neither does he sleep.
In yonder cemetery, where the sod
Was parted to receive its fellow earth,
His mortal part, the part which form’d the tie 5
By close affinity, to bind him here,
Has been deposited: to decompose,
Until “ashes to ashes—dust to dust,”
Shall be returned, to wait the trumpet’s sound:
Then cleansed and purified, it will come forth, 10
Free from all gross, corrupting particles;
In perfect beauty, strength and majesty.
Thus with the tenement.
Where—where is now
Himself, his own immortal, inner self,
The tenant? Dead? No: Gone? Not far away, 15
But these gross eyes of ours, which constitute
The vail ’twixt us and the bright spirit world,
Contain too much of earth’s alloy, to see
Existence, in its purely spirit form,
Unless by spirit quickened.
Now he lives; 20
And on the self-same earth on which he lived,
He breathes an element highly refined,
Imparting life, exquisite life to those
Who’ve gained, thro’ faithfulness, a victor’s crown.
He has been faithful—he is faithful now, 25
He is not idle. ’Tis enough to say
Of him, he was a Saint of God indeed.
Such men as N. V. Jones, need not the tongue
Of eulogy, nor yet the sculptor’s hand,
To quicken mem’ry’s ever beating pulse— 30
Their lives—their deeds perpetuate their names.
This generation treads the verge of Time,
That reaches to the resurrection morn,
When we shall meet with the departed one.
But yet we feel, and deeply mourn the loss, 35
For he was valiant in the cause of truth,
And to the Priesthood’s bidding ever prompt—
Loved by the just and by the wicked feared.
With all his virtues, that which most adorns
His character, and forms his passport to 40
The realms of light and happiness—the courts
Of glory, and the presence of the Gods,
Is that most precious, priceless gem of gems,
By mortals e’er possessed, INTEGRITY.
composed 20 February 1863
published in Deseret News, 25 February 1863

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