Poems 326–350

 

326 The Following Lines
Are Respectfully Inscribed to the Missionaries of 1863, from G. S. L. City to Europe

Go forth, ye sons of Zion, go,
Abroad the gospel trump to blow;
Go, rid your garments—make them white and clean
From this vile generation’s blood and sin.
While you labor abroad, in the harvest field, 5
And the mighty “sword of the Spirit” wield,
Put your trust in God—his almighty arm,
Like a flaming shield, will protect from harm.

High is your calling—let your aims
Transcend all earthly princely claims: 10
As representatives of Zion, go,
And in your lives, truth’s saving precepts show.
Should a sinful snare for your feet be spread,
Fly—fly with the speed of the lightning’s tread—
Haste—haste from the track where th’ scorpion flies— 15
Approach not the den where the adder lies.

With promptness of returning day,
Here, thousands, when you’re far away,
With heart—with faith and purpose, fix’d and true,
Will bend the knee, and pray to God for you. 20
With wisdom, the secret of conquest lies;
Be pure and be humble—be just and wise;
And you’ll walk in the light which salvation spreads,
And bright garlands of honor will crown your heads.

composed April 1863
published in Deseret News, 29 April 1863

 

327 A Tribute
to the Memory of Mr. Cooke, Agent for the Overland Mail Company Who Died in Sacramento City, April 29, 1863. Respectfully Addressed to His Friend, Hon. Frank Fuller

Death ’s purple hand has struck a sudden blow!
From sorrow’s fountain streams are made to flow!
And you, from one beloved, are called to part;
Ah! this is nature’s tithing of the heart!

You loved your friend—you prized his noble worth; 5
The loss of such, is loss to us, and earth;
When from our midst a man like him is borne,
We, as a people, feel and deeply mourn.

O’er such a loss, deep sympathies will blend;
You mourn a brother, righteousness a friend; 10
Justice an advocate—humanity
An able counsel with a truthful plea.

A worthy man—deceit no resting place
Found in his heart, and cowardice no trace;
In mem’ry’s sacred archives he will live, 15
And to his name truth’s speech will honor give.

Peace to his ashes: let his dust return
To dust again, while laurels grace his urn—
While he, the immortal from the mortal free,
Basks in the halo of eternity.

composed ca. 29 April 1863
published in Deseret News, 6 May 1863

 

328 Addressed to Mrs. Cooke
of New York on the Death of Her Husband

Accept, dear mourning lady
This wreath I sadly twine:
Tho’ from a stranger, place it
Upon thy brow as thine.

Death’ s arrow oft is hidden 5
Beneath a blooming spray,
And sorrow comes unbidden
To cloud a shining day.

How soon the stately forests
By winds have been uptorn 10
And lovely fragrant arbors
By frosts, of beauty shorn.

How soon the fount of gladness
That lights the human soul
Is turn’d to springs of sadness 15
And grief’s dark currents roll!

To think yourself so wholly—
So suddenly bereft
Must make you feel your heart-strings
Are all asunder cleft. 20

We know the worth of good men—
The just on earth, are few
And while we mourn your husband
We sympathize with you.

He prov’d a man of honor— 25
Of truth and probity
And God will yet reward him
For his integrity.

Look thro’ your tears, Dear Lady,
And see the rainbow spread 30
A glorious resurrection
Awaits the virtuous dead.

To us, death is not gloomy
Nor yet, a lonely way
For angels come and guide us 35
To realms of light and day.

n.d.

 

329 For Emily H. Chase

When the fond mother mourns her darling boy
She feels the weight of grief and loneliness
Yet in her bosom springs a thrill of joy
To think of him in sinless happiness.

By faith she sees him beautiful and pure 5
Like a superior, priceless, pearly gem:
For him, the Priesthood and its pow’rs are sure
And a celestial, glorious diadem.

God, to prepare us for His heavenly rest
Has wisely mingled bitter with the sweet 10
All must be tried, and those who stand the test,
Will find at last, their happiness complete.

n.d.

 

330 The Thoughts of Home

O is there aught so gently strange,
By stoic reason taught,
With such strange contrarieties
Of pain and pleasure fraught—
Where, without contradiction, 5
The bitter and the sweet,
With most surprising placidness,
In combination meet—
When the extremely opposites
Of joy and sorrow come, 10
Commingling so harmoniously
As in the thoughts of home?
The thoughts of home—how strangely dear!
Then fond affection is sincere—
There hope will sing, in spite of fear, 15
And transports brighten with a tear.

Sweet tones of pensive playfulness
Move through each blissful lay:
Much like the blush of evening
Amid the blaze of day; 20
And all so indescribably,
They only know, who feel
The magic of its soft embrace,
Across the bosom, steal:
And none but stranger-hearts can feel— 25
And only those that roam,
Can know the sober ecstasies
That swell the thoughts of home.
The Thoughts of Home—ah who can tell
The charming music of its spell, 30
When mem’ry bids the chorus swell
On which reflection loves to dwell!

When busy day, retiring,
Withdraws its radiant eye;
And scenes of wild confusedness 35
In still composure lie—
When nature’s arms are folded
Upon her slumbering breast,
With all her usual gaieties,
In sullen sadness drest; 40
O then, the stranger’s inmost soul
Exults to meet the gloom,
And feed its fond affections on
The cordial Thoughts of Home.
For then the Thoughts of Home are press’d 45
With warmest ardor to the breast;
When recollection’s golden crest
In night’s soft shadowy form is dress’d.
’Tis now the morning twilight
Of the millennial day— 50
Its dawn is fast approaching—
We see its cheering ray;
As on our spirit-pulses,
The Priesthood’s dews distil,
Bright prospects of our better Home, 55
Our waking bosoms, thrill;
Where “holy habitations” are,
By hands immortal, made,
And with eternal beauties crown’d,
Whose lustre will not fade. 60
And while as strangers, here we roam,
And stem the tide of satan’s foam,
Like life-inspiring cordials, come
The Thoughts of our Celestial Home.

composed July 1863
published in Deseret News, 22 July 1863

 

331 The Grand Conquest

Time, in a tour of near six thousand years,
Has register’d things of tall note.
When Earth
Receiv’d the fulness of its measure from
Th’ Almighty’s great creative hand; he saw
Her wedded, and in Godlike harmony 5
Associated with the countless spheres
Which form the mighty Universe. Her place,
Her orbit was defin’d: moving therein,
Thus far, her own creation’s law fulfill’d.

He saw chaotic elements control’d— 10
The firm of light and darkness broken up,
And day and night alternately succeed.

He saw the curse with all its woe, entail’d
On Adam’s profligate, degen’rate sons.
He saw the great immersion of the world, 15
Washing away the disobedient race,
Which had extended o’er the face of Earth,
Like clouds: and had eclips’d her loveliness.

He’s seen huge empires creeping from the gulph
Of non-existence: and assume the right 20
Of being and forever more to be:
Then, by a ling’ring gaze from his stern brow;
In terrible convulsions die away.
Nations awaken’d by the noble charms
Of virtue; he has seen arise in pomp 25
And haughty grandeur, and unconsciously,
By syren voices, lull’d to dead repose.
He’s seen the tallest, proudest monuments
Of human art, crumble to atom dust,
And scatter on the flying winds of heav’n, 30
Thro’ the strange magic of his passing breath.

All this:—And he has not beheld a scene—
He never has recorded an event
More strange—more full of meaning, or more deep
With interest—higher in majesty; 35
And none so big with future consequence,
As the Grand Conquest in the Middle Age,
On which the fate of Dispensations hung;
When heaven’s great Champion met a monster, which,
Four thousand years of fearful slaughter, fail’d 40
To slake his burning thirst for human gore!
He’d eaten kings—demolish’d cities, and
Evacuated bolted citadels—
He’d slain ambition—blasted beauty—scorn’d
Affection’s pray’r, and mock’d the tears of love; 45
And fast empannel’d in his leaden jaws,
Held ev’ry victim of his horrid rage;
And even dar’d insultingly to face
The royal fav’rite of the majesty
On high.

The conflict closely wag’d—and Oh! 50
The noble champion fell! The monster laugh’d—
Heav’n trembled—Nature clos’d her tearless eye
In frantic agony! But lo! The Knight
Was only leaning on the monster’s breast,
Better to reach the center of his heart; 55
And then arose unharm’d, and bore away
The quiv’ring spirit of a vanquish’d foe.

From their high seats, cherubic hosts arose,
And they came down to hail him; for all heav’n
Waited in mute solicitude, to see 60
The issue of the great momentous scene.

The Son of God, came off victorious:
Honors awaited him, and he was borne,
By a triumphal escort, through the skies,
And seated high upon his Father’s throne. 65
The mighty Gabriel with his noble train,
Essay’d to worship him; and bowing down,
With ensigns of immortal dignity;
He touch’d a chord—ten thousand harps awoke.
Hark! hark—An echo from the upper heav’n. 70

‘Welcome, welcome, King of glory—
Thou hast conquer’d—thou hast won:
The heav’n of heav’ns will shout the story
Of the deed which thou hast done—
Welcome to the highest throne. 75
Thou art he who stoop’d to conquer—

Thou hast slain the ghastly foe,
Whose unhallow’d rage and rancor
Swell’d the tide of human woe—
Thou hast laid his spirit low. 80

Down to the dregs, thou didst not shrink
The bitter cup, on earth, to drink;
And hence the pow’rs of vict’ry flow
Unto the sons of men below.

Pow’r and dominion, both in earth and heaven 85
Are thine, and to thy name all praise be given:
We feel a holy pride as we adore thee,
And spread our crowns and royalties before thee.

Glory to thee, we will repeat
And bend with def’rence at thy feet, 90
For ev’ry honor is thy due
Thou King of Kings and conqueror too.’

Bow down to Him, ye nations: Shout, ye Saints,
In strains of high intelligence; and through
Obedience, manifest your love to Him 95
Who spoil’d your spoiler; now that you can look
So fearlessly upon pale, conquer’d Death.

published in Poems 2, 1877

 

332 Epitaph for the Tomb
of Mrs. Eliza Fulsom and Child

The resurrection’s power will break
The confines of the tomb
Her sleeping dust will then awake
In everlasting bloom.

And then when life and love shall reign 5
As fondly she has press’d;
With pure delight, she’ll clasp again
Her baby to her breast.

n.d.

 

333 On the Death of Hyrum Smith
Son of Sister Wheeler

While the fond mother mourns her darling boy
Deep in her heart, she feels a spring of joy;
The glorious Gospel, fraught with pow’rs to save,
Bids her look up:—she looks, beyond the grave;
There she beholds more happy, far, than here 5
Her child—he lives, and in a brighter sphere.

n.d.

 

334 “To Be, or Not to Be”

To be a Saint, or not to be,
Is ev’ry one’s prerogative
To choose.—If from volition free,
You make your choice, THAT nobly live.

The feint of doing things by halves, 5
Is worse than doing not at all:
Canst worship God and golden calves?
Bear Jesus’ cross, with satan’s pall?

Will God and mammon, be allied?
Can Jesus Christ and Baal unite? 10
Will truth and falsehood coincide,
Or darkness propagate the light?

Then, wherefore think with mockery,
Or base deception, to prevail?
Why bend to God the falt’ring knee, 15
And yield the heart and hand to Baal?

Why, smiling, gaze upon the cloud,
Which, gath’ring, forms the deadly blast?
Why, tamper with the coiling shroud,
Till in its folds it binds you fast? 20

Who waits the thunder’s voice, to tell
Of the fierce lightning’s fatal stream?
Or trusts th’ enchantress’ fairy spell
T’ avert the lifted poniard’s gleam?

Rise, trim your lamps and make them bright— 25
Keep ev’ry thought and eye awake:
Gird on your armor, for the fight—
Truth, freedom, virtue are at stake.

You who indulge in carnal ease,
Awaken from your treach’rous sleep, 30
Rise—ev’ry post of duty seize,
And sacred, ev’ry cov’nant keep.

When God a crucible prepares,
It burns with dross-consuming heat:
His threshing floor will waste the tares, 35
But He’ll preserve the precious wheat.

composed November 1863
published in Deseret News, 2 December 1863

 

335 That Concert
Respectfully Inscribed to Proff. David O. Calder

That Concert—that scene—all was form’d to inspire
Thoughts of Eden’s fresh bowers of love;
And it seem’d, as I gaz’d on that beautiful choir,
As a type of the choirs above.

The music—the singing—saluting the ear, 5
Spread Elysian sensations around,
As the sweet tones were utter’d in sounds full and clear,
And the words were not swallowed by sound.

The order was perfect—the beauty was rare:
The fair Goddess of Purity too 10
Embellish’d the grandeur that brilliantly, there,
Illum’d the magnificent view.

God bless the kind Teacher with fullness of joy,
For his patience in “labors of love,”
From ennobling progression, may nothing decoy, 15
The blest youth, whom he toils to improve.

Success crowns his efforts in what he has done—
His example, a beacon, will shine,
In refining improvement, to lead others on
Where the Muses their laurels entwine. 20

God bless those young children—yes, bless that whole choir;
Such pure strains may they long live to sing;
And all join in the chorus with Gabriel’s lyre,
At the crowning of Zion’s great king.

composed 19 December 1863
published in Deseret News, 2 March 1864

 

336 For the Album
of Mrs. Sarah B. Long

The purest tributes earth can bring—
Bright gems, that never fade,
Should be for friendship’s offering
Upon her altar, laid.

Let none, but who, at nature’s shrine 5
With humble homage bow,
The sacred wreaths of friendship twine,
Around her virgin brow.

No touch of flatt’ry e’er should spot
The lustre of the rays 10
Of friendship’s smile, or cast a blot
Upon her radiant face.

With heav’nly beauties not a few
Will God enrich her crown:
Lady, I deem it all your due— 15
By merit truly won.

n.d.

 

337 The Hypocrite and the Traitor

I hate hypocrisy—that velvet thing
With silken lips, whence oily words flow out.
’Tis like a mildew in the social cup
Of life—’tis worse than mould—’tis poison—’tis
A worm disguised, that eats asunder the 5
Most holy cords of confidence, that bind
In cordial fellowship, the hearts of men.
Kind words, with falsehood in them? Yes, how strange!
Designed to please—and yet, they do not please,
But sting, like vipers, into friendship’s core. 10

I love sweet sounds—soft and melodious,
That chime with pure unsullied nature’s tones;
But to my soul there is no melody
In sounds, however smooth, devoid of truth.
I’d rather hear the dashing cat’ract’s roar, 15
Or the rough clamor of the swelling surge,
Or listen to the thunder’s bursting peal,
Than creamy words, with glowing eloquence
Dress’d up, which savor of dishonesty.

If I were ignorant, blind, or were a fool, 20
I could take down the soporific draught,
And call it good, and look the author in
The face, and smile, and be no hypocrite.
But when I’m like my Maker, God, endued
With intuition, (be it e’er so small) 25
I do, like Him, love truth and honesty.

Although it savors much of treach’ry,
There’s many a fashionable, well-disposed,
Kind feeling hypocrite, would not betray;
But aiming for your good, they, Jesuit-like, 30
Believe “the end will sanctify the means,”
And thus destroy the jewel, confidence.

I will not dip my pen in gall: Then how
Describe that vice of vices—treachery?
The traitor, holding claims on manhood, is 35
A gross burlesque upon his Maker’s form,
And would be, were he rightly classified,
Of crawling reptile kind, so serpentine,
That as the anaconda twines itself
Affectionately round its victim, till 40
Life yields its empire to the fond embrace;
So coils the traitor, when his aim is death.

How sordid is the wretch who sets a price
For traffic, on his brethren, kingdom, friends—
His nation, country—his salvation, all! 45
And what the price? Perchance a paltry sum
Of gold—a little speck of that same gold,
With which, the common streets of Zion will
Be pav’d, on which, the faithful Saints of God
Will tread.

Perhaps he sells at cheaper rate— 50
For only the vile, rotten friendship of
The villainous, who more despise him for
The very treachery, purchased with a kiss.

God has implanted in the human heart
A love of honor, right and righteousness; 55
And he, within whose soul, this attribute
Of Deity, dies out; has fallen far
Indeed, below his natal innocence.

’Twould seem, the traitor’s heart would be its own
Reproof, as he with hellish purpose, joins 60
In all the various walks of Church and State—
With a mock interest, in grave counsels, meets,
And sits in judgment on his country’s weal:
With seeming sanctity, he mingles in
The circles met for holy prayer and praise, 65
And dares the name of God to utter: Yes,
“He prays like Abel, and performs like Cain.”

The ancient Judas, modern Arnold aped—
Some others, later still, I’ve known, but they
Are gone, and with them, let their mem’ries rot: 70
All their successors’ fates will be the same—
Their ghosts will meet in Pluto’s nether shade,
But traitors have been, are, and will be, till
Satan is bound, and all his imps destroyed.

Many betray through ill-plac’d confidence: 75
With no intent of crime, committing crimes—
Let such, take counsel and henceforth, beware.

“Hell is let out for noon”—foul spirits are,
With all their wires, at work—coarse wires and fine,
To draw in traps, in readiness to spring. 80
Let none presumpt’ously conceit themselves,
Impervious to all their thousand schemes.
While aiming to be greatly good, be wise;
Goodness is not sufficient—Wisdom fills
Salvation’s judgment seat and chair of state. 85
Integrity leads to the Godhead—Truth
Is God’s own pass-word at the gate of heaven.

composed March 1864
published in Deseret News, 30 March 1864

 

338 To Wilford Woodruff Jun.
on a Mission to England

God bless you, young brother and fill you with light—
Endow you with wisdom and clothe you with might—
Give pow’rs of discernment and ever bestow
What skill will be needful to thwart every foe.

God bless you young brother and comfort your heart: 5
Be faithful, be valiant act nobly your part
What you know to be duty, be prompt to perform
The result, leave with Him who will shield you from harm.

God bless you, young brother and help you o’ercome
Those regrets strangers feel thro’ the absence of home: 10
With all its endearments you can only dispense
With dignified firmness, produced by good sense.

God bless you, young brother: with strength to emerge
When life’s sterner duties, like streamlets diverge
In ev’ry direction, and urge the demand 15
That on manhood’s broad platform you take a firm stand.

God bless you young brother: lift all your aims high
Heed not those that deride, neither them that defy:
On the Priesthood’s foundation establish your will
And press on, when its fulness of blessings distil. 20

God bless you, young Brother, wherever you are
And help you with boldness the Gospel declare:
Fill your mission with honor then joyfully come
And bless with your presence your friends and your home.

composed 22 April 1864

 

339 Freedom—My Country

’Tis Freedom’s glorious birthday
Beneath Columbia’s sky.
All hail! Immortal Freedom, hail:—
She was not born to die.

She lives: But, where? There’s madness 5
Upon our nation’s brow,
With reeking, crimson wreaths entwin’d!
O where is Freedom now?

Her path is on the mountains—
Her home, the vales below, 10
Where God’s eternal Priesthood rules,
And Truth’s pure currents flow.

War’s bugle notes are sounding
Where once fair Freedom spread
Her banner forth—where now, in streams, 15
Fraternal blood is shed!

My Country, O my Country,—
My birth-place and my home;
Thou, thou hast done the fearful deed
That seal’d thy hast’ning doom! 20

Ere long, a land of widows
And orphans, thou wilt be:
A “MENE TEKEL” on thy wall,
Foretells thy destiny.

Thy gallant sons are dying— 25
Thy sons, by sons are slain:
Pray’rs, tears and sighs cannot recall
Them back to life again.

A hand reach’d forth to save thee,
Some twenty years ago; 30
But thou, with hellish anger spurn’d
That hand, and laid it low.

You screened the perpetrators—
You revel’d o’er the deed;
And God, in justice, mocks you now 35
In this, your time of need.

You broke the shield of Freedom,
And Freedom had to fly
For refuge to the mountain tops,
Beneath the western sky. 40

By Truth and Justice cherished;
From here she will spread forth
Her glorious banner, and proclaim
Peace, Peace, to all the earth.

Then crown the day with honors, 45
And never, never cease
To decorate fair Freedom’s brow,
With garlands gem’d with Peace.

composed ca. 4 July 1864
published in Deseret News, 6 July 1864

 

340 Inscribed to Sister Howard

MY DEAR SISTER HOWARD,
Believe me, ’tis true,
Since the last time we met I have thought much of you,

I’d not thought very little of you heretofore,
But suffice it to say, I am now thinking more.
As a very dear Sister I’ve valued your worth, 5
Since our first-born acquaintance on this nether earth.

I have seen you in sorrow, I’ve seen you when cares
With their menacing features beset you with snares;
But no wire-fashioned fret-work appeared on your face,
And anxiety’s pencilings left not a trace. 10

You were wont to be happy, and joyous, and free,
Like a sunshiny wave on a calm summer’s sea;
Not a cloud, scarce a shadow came over your brow,
But I saw one last evening, ’tis haunting me now.

Yet I marvel not lady; the cause I well know, 15
Is it wrong? should you quell it? my heart answers no,
Our hearts are not fashioned of iron and steel,
But compounded of substances, full primed to feel.

It is true, the deep fountains of heart and of soul,
Should be guided by reins at the judgment’s control, 20
When the Spirit of God, with its oil and its wine,
The pure balm from above, shall that guidance define.

No wonder deep thoughts come; your Howard is where
The dark minions of Satan are holding a Fair—
Where the white man turns savage, and savages prey, 25
On the lives of each other, and life wastes away.

’Tis their doom—it is sealed—and the angel of death
Has received his commission, the sword to unsheath;
And a torrent of blood, and a deluge of woes,
Will sweep on, from this time till iniquity’s close. 30

But O, think, my dear Sister, just think, who are we?
Saints of God, and inheriting His liberty,
With an unction from heaven, that speak thus to the soul
“Never fear—I am God—I have power to control;
Thou art truly my daughter—trust, trust me, my child 35
I have guards—I command them—they cannot be foiled.

“My displeasure and wrath on mine enemies rest,
But the people who serve me, the Saints shall be blest;
With pure hearts they may journey, it matters not where,
Or what dangers surround them—my angels are there.”

composed 17 August 1864

 

341 The Departure
of Bishop John M. Woolley

A battle’s fought—a victory is won.
Another valiant soldier has laid off
His gross insignia, and entered on
His grand promotion. He is one that ne’er
Had swerv’d from loyalty—he ne’er was known 5
To fly the track of duty. He, a soldier of
The cross, to our great Captain, Jesus, had
Sworn fealty—entered service, and on board
Salvation’s mighty ship he went, with heart
And soul—with all he had, nor cast a look 10
Behind him.

Insubordination to
The ship’s command, for once, has never soil’d
His fair escutcheons. Ever rev’rent to
The great Eternal’s orders, he obey’d
Each requisition as the word was giv’n, 15
Whether at helm, on deck or at the masts,
The scullery or at the cabin’s board.
At the laboratory or beside
The desks, he has prov’d faithful everywhere;
And all performed with his full armor on. 20
For heaven’s eternal Majesty’s grand crew
Is on a martial cruise, and all must fight
Or die.

Fight what? Iniquity, not men,
Salvation’s proclamation proffers peace,
And ’tis a peace worth fighting for. Hence, God 25
Requires his servants, with the two-edged sword
Of truth and righteousness, to war with sin—
To break the chains, with which blind ignorance
Enslaves the world—to stop corruption’s course,
And lead mankind to God and Liberty. 30
Such is the warfare J. M. Woolley wag’d.
He fought and conquer’d—he life’s ordeals pass’d,
And now he’s through, without the smell of fire
Upon his garments—Glorious victory!
Sudden transition! Some would call it death : 35
Pity such ignorance—good men never die.

We do not think of death as many think:
“To be, or not to be,” with us, is not
A “question.” We’ve an unction from on high,
Reaching within the vail, and showing us 40
Things present, past and that which is to come.
We know that when mortality, the clog
That holds affinity to earth, and binds
Us here, is doff’d we do more truly live.

Worthy the high promotion, he that’s gone 45
Is now a witness in an upper court,
Where courts of justice are conven’d in heav’n,
To sit in judgment on transactions here:
He was both truthful, and of judgment sound,
(Rare qualities in this degen’rate age) 50
Such testimonies, pro or con, have weight:
Ye righteous ones, he’ll nobly plead your cause—
Let evil doers tremble at the thought.

We think of him with joy, yet sadness comes
Unasked, at thought of the bereavement, which 55
Is felt, and deeply felt by many, but
Within the sanctuary of his home,
Warm pulses beat, as pen cannot express.

But faith looks forward—time is on the wing,
Its course will soon the resurrection bring. 60
He is not far away: he’s gone before,
Yet the dear lov’d ones he will still watch o’er:
While his fond heart is yearning over you,
Acquit yourselves with honor—being true.
God is the widow’s God—He’ll shield and bless 65
And be a father to the fatherless.

The friend, companion, father, brother lives—
He is not dead, but purer life receives.
“Peace to his ashes”—yonder lies his dust
In earth’s cold bosom.—He is with the just.

composed 20 August 1864
published in Deseret News, 24 August 1864

 

342 Respectfully Inscribed
to Br. Henry Maiben

To live a Saint—a Saint to die,
Perfects the aim of mortal life—
Secures the key to courts on high,
With all the powers of being, rife.

Thus when a parting, lingering look 5
Of that dear gemless casket form,
Which in the coffin lay, I took;
This thought diffused a soothing charm.

For she was faithful, to the end—
In life’s associations, true— 10
An upright, kind, confiding friend—
A faithful wife, and mother too.

Peace to her dust: your Caroline
Lives where no earthly ills betide:
In brighter spheres, her graces shine: 15
She lived a Saint—a Saint she died.

composed 17 October 1864
published in Deseret News, 26 October 1864

 

343 Dixie

I love the land of Dixie—
Our mountain Dixie land;
Where peace is in the atmosphere,
And wealth, amid the sand.

I’ve seen its gorgeous mountains, 5
Of every form and hue;
Where huge volcanic craters yawn
Upon the gazer’s view.

Black rocky beds of lava
Discolor nature’s face— 10
The product of tremendous throes
Of hers, in by-gone days.

As if, in earth’s deep bosom,
Prometheus’ stolen fires
Were fann’d till blazing billows flow’d 15
In flaming, cloud-topp’d spires.

Imagination pictures
Where Vulcan’s forge has stood:
If burning heat can purify,
Our Dixie must be good. 20

Where lofty barren summits
Supply a bold redoubt;
A winding, mountain fissure path
Leads you abruptly out

Upon a lovely landscape, 25
That’s nurs’d by purling rills;
Those veins of nature, flowing from
Her everlasting hills.

Emerging from the rudeness
That marks a desert way; 30
Those little Edens, to the view,
Seem like the break of day.

We seek in tiny parcels
For things of precious worth;
And here, between the rocky cliffs, 35
We find rich spots of earth.

These spots are merely patches,
Like gold dust on a leaf—
Like distant stars that gild the night—
Like orbits on a reef. 40

I love the land of Dixie,
The nursery of the vine:
’Twill yield an independency
Of cotton, oil and wine.

’Tis full of gold and silver 45
As well as wine and oil:
The shining wealth will be brought forth
By dint of faith and toil.

It was thro’ man’s transgression,
The soil of earth was cursed: 50
And now, by man’s obedience,
It will be reimbursed.

Success to loyal Dixie,
Fair Utah’s sunny land;
Where faith and industry will soon, 55
A mass of wealth command.

Extend your large investments
To that exhaustless mine:
The gold is in the cotton plant—
The silver in the vine.

composed October 1864
published in Deseret News, 26 October 1864

 

344 St. George

St. George is a gem—a rich, beautiful gem,
Just divesting itself of its crudeness;
It appears to the view, like a fair diadem
On the brow of imperial rudeness—
Like a sweet op’ning flower on a thorn covered stem 5
From a germ of perennial goodness.

For long centuries past, and most heavily,
Has the curse, on these mountain vales rested;
But through faith, and God’s blessing on man’s industry,
Of its evils, will earth be divested: 10
’Tis the last dispensation, and all things must be
From the grasp of degen’racy wrested.

The North Side of St. George, is directly the base
Of a high, rugged, brick-color mountain;
To the East and South-East, is a fine open space, 15
Which extends ’round the point of a mountain
Where a fifty rod tunnel unites with a race,
Making six miles, which brings forth a fountain

From the famed Rio Virgin, whose sandy bed lays
In a serpentine form in the mountains; 20
Santa Clara, to this South-East point, wends its way
From the West, after amply discounting
To quick-sands and farm-lots, till more like a spray
It appears, than a lucrative fountain.

St. George slopes gently Southward: Defining the view 25
On the South, a steep, level ridge rises,
Of such velvet-like smoothness and mellow brown hue,
It seems formed by artistic devices!
Thence, the land running West, then North-Westerly too,
Forms a curve which its distance disguises. 30

Of red hues, the stone walls, streets and town lots partake;
But this feature is in its declension:
St. George in its progress, seems destin’d to make
(Judging future, by present propensions)
A city that’s second to none but Salt Lake, 35
In its beauty, if not in dimensions.

Now, if any opine that the folks of St. George,
In architectural tendencies slumber;
Let them travel, for once, down that wild mountain gorge,
Of a distance near forty miles number, 40
Over sand-beds and rock-beds and through Vulcan’s forge,
Where those people import all their lumber.

Notwithstanding all obstacles strewing the way,
To discourage this colonization:
Perseverance and patience are gaining the day— 45
Firm integrity, holy oblation,
Is replete with an incense that God will repay
With success in the path of salvation.

Of the people, the citizens truly I say,
(No one fully is known, until tested) 50
They’ve “stood up to the rack, whether hay or no hay:”
For such Saints are the heav’ns interested:
They will not lack for bread, and at no distant day,
They will be with earth’s fulness invested.

I am pleased with St. George—I am proud of my friends 55
Who, when call’d to a duty, pursue it;
For, all those who decline, ere this great mission ends,
In their hearts and their pockets, will rue it;
What the Priesthood proposes, however it tends
’Tis a wise speculation, to do it. 60

Nature’s rudeness must yield to the finger of art:
’Tis a feature of this dispensation,
God predicted the latter-day work to be short:—
In the march of earth’s regeneration,
St. George seems design’d to become a great mart 65
For the gathering and traffic of nations.

composed October 1864
published in Deseret News, 16 November 1864

 

345 To Mrs. Sarah L. Taylor

The richest Gifts, my Sister Dear,
I pray our Father to bestow,
Your feet to guide—your heart to cheer
While on your mission here below.

I wish you not a life of ease 5
Where earthly pleasures charm to blind
While pride and folly, by degrees
Distort the sovereign pow’rs of mind.

Be yours a life of care and work
By purest thoughts and aims inspired; 10
Be this your motto “never shirk”
Whate’er by duty’s law required.

’Tis yours to near the Source of Good—
In wisdom’s upward path to tread—
Attain to noble woman-hood, 15
And bless the living and the dead.

n.d.

 

346 Parting Lines to Mrs. S. M. W.

Lady, for thee I twine a parting wreath
A guileless token friendship would bequeath:
May heav’n’s sweet influence shed a fragrance now
And bind it fast on mem’ry’s sinless brow.

Accept my humble blessing and my love. 5
As pure as angel bosoms feel above,
When I bow down before my God in pray’r
I’ll ask His blessing wheresoe’er you are.

Keep your eyes Zionward: This is your home—
Here will be safety when earth’s perils come: 10
In ev’ry circumstance—in all you do,
Swerve not but keep eternal life in view.

Go bless your husband with your cheering smile—
With wisdom and with love, his cares beguile:
Those precious objects of your mutual love 15
Guide gently in the path that leads above.

Since duty calls thee, go, if go thou must,
The path of duty is the path we trust.
Go forth in peace and angels succor thee:
When far away, in love remember me.

composed 1 November 1864

 

347 Contentment

Contentment is wealth that I would not resign
For all the gold dust ever found in the mine;
’Tis a boon so unearthly—a jewel so fair
That with crowns, thrones and empires, will never compare.
And I would not exchange it for beauty’s fine grace, 5
Nor all fickle attractions that time will erase;
Boasted honors and titles I freely despise,
When contrasted with this incomparable prize.

Would you feel in your bosom, a music of soul
Like the soft gliding stream’s imperceptible roll?— 10
Clothe your mind with a sweetness surpassing the rose?
Then accept the rich off’ring, contentment bestows.

Not the passive contentment that laziness screens,
Which recoils at the use of appropriate means—
That inactive content which can carelessly wait 15
And leave objects adrift on the ocean of fate
And not hazard an effort, nor reach forth a hand,
By the dint of exertion, to bring them to land—
The dull stupor that reigns when the heart-pulse is low
And anon disappears when life-energies flow. 20

No; no; but the charm which spontaneously springs
From a sense of the nature and order of things,
Not a torpid inertia, with pulses confined,
But a principle in, and controlling the mind—
That sweet placid compliance, which virtue inspires, 25
And which rigid necessity, often requires.

Yes, that cheerful concurrence which heaves not a sigh,
O’er the change-woven-sceneries that time ushers by:
Which performs as a limner, when prospects grow pale—
Which creates a bright lamp in obscurity’s vale; 30
Which can smile at misfortune and sport amid toil—
The dark-omen’d predictions of poverty, foil;
Which extracts the rough poison, from malice and hate,
And which draws from oppression, its heaviest weight—
Wakes up speech in retirement, and sportively sings, 35
In the midst of life’s storms, inexpressible things;
Which presides over feeling, with an infl’ence so strange,
That oft-varying condition’s divested of change.
Thus, let virtue’s clear impress, benignly impart
Contentment—rich treasure—sweet solace of heart; 40
With its sacred emotions pervading the breast
Amid life’s rude commotions, our spirits will rest;
And the most of the varied discomfitures here,
Will recede in the distance, and rarely appear;
And whatever of comforts are graciously given, 45
Be received with thanksgiving, as blessings from heaven.

composed February 1865
published in Deseret News, 1 March 1865

 

348 My Own, My Country’s Flag
Lines Suggested by the Grand Display of Flags in Honor of the Re-inauguration of President Lincoln

I love that Flag.—When in my childish glee—
A prattling girl upon my grand-sire’s knee;
I heard him tell strange tales, with valor rife,
How that same Flag was bought with blood and life:
And his tall form, seem’d taller, when he said 5
“Child, for that Flag, your grandpa fought and bled:”
My young heart felt that every scar he wore,
Caused him to prize that banner, more and more.

I caught the fire, and as in years I grew,
I loved the Flag—I loved my country too. 10
My bosom swell’d with pride, to think my birth
Was on that highly favored spot of Earth.

* * * * *

There came a time, which I remember well,
Beneath the Stars and Stripes, we could not dwell!
We had to flee; but in our hasty flight, 15
We grasped the Flag, with more than mortal might;
And vow’d although our foes should us bereave
Of all things else, the Flag we would not leave.
We took the Flag, and journeying to the West,
We wore its motto graven on each breast. 20

Here we arrived in peace, and God be praised,
Anon our Country’s glorious standard raised;
And the dear Flag, in graceful majesty,
Hail’d to the mountains, Union—Liberty,
Fair Freedom spread her garlands round us, though 25
This land was held in claim by Mexico.

’Twas not, as now, with cities spreading round—
With nature’s products flowing from the ground—
With sheltering roofs, and comfort’s soothing smile—
With luscious boards, to nerve the arm for toil. 30

No spade or plow had stirr’d the sleeping sod—
No white man’s foot, the turf, had ever trod:
’Twas all a waste, lone, desolate and drear—
The savage roam’d—the cricket flourish’d here.

Exiled from home, a long and weary tread, 35
With meagre outfits, scanty was our bread;
Grim-faced necessity enforced a strife—
We battled with the elements, for life.

But God was with us, and His wisdom saved,
And o’er our heads that sacred Banner waved; 40
’Mid shouts of joy, I saw that Flag unfurled;
And wave, on mountain breezes, to the world.

’Tis waving yet.—Forever shall it wave—
Beneath its spire, celestial peace, will lave.
Hail to the Banner of the brave and free— 45
All hail, to UNION, TRUTH and LIBERTY.

composed 5 March 1865
published in Deseret News, 15 March 1865

 

349 Acrostic
[To Lorenzo Snow Lyman]

Love what God loves, and let your every aim
On things of worth—on things eternal rest:
Resist all evil, and you’ll see your name
Enrolled among the wisest and the best.

Nerve up your heart, while youth’s warm pulses beat, 5
Zealously duty’s heaven-ward path to wend—
On, onward press, until your willing feet
Shall to salvation’s highest summit tend.

Never forget the precepts just and true,
Of rich integrity, with honor rife 10
Which your dear mother oft instructed you:
Let them be graven on your daily life.

Your mother dear, a glorious crown has won—
May her example, her Lorenzo guide;
And as she watches o’er you, know her son 15
Never from wisdom’s pathway turn’d aside.

composed March 1865

 

350 Peace in the States

There’s a pause—there’s an ebb in the nation tide—
There’s a check on the reins of fratricide.
Hush’d is the cannon’s thundering roar,
And the clarion’s sound is heard no more:
No more the shrill cry of, To arms! to arms! 5
Stirs the feverish war-pulse with fresh alarms:
The brave warriors’ chargers have ceased to tread,
With proud prancing step, over heaps of dead.

No more, on the crimson’d battle field,
In hostile dread array, 10
In armor equip’d—with sword and shield,
And with hearts that yearn to slay;
Brother with brother—son with sire—
Kindred with kindred meet,
And kin against kin, with mortal ire, 15
The war-drum of battle, beat;
Who seem’d, by mutual demon impulse, driven
To send each other, sword in hand, to heaven:
They all were “Christians”—by one faith endow’d—
Pray’d the same prayer—at the same altars bow’d. 20

That awful scene has closed; and yet, not all
Of sorrow ceases with the curtain’s fall:
One peep behind the scenes, would much disclose,
Of bleeding anguish and a world of woes:
The warm heart sickens at the distant view— 25
God help the widows and the orphans too;
And succor female innocence; and give
The pure in heart protective pow’r to live,
E’en tho’ corruption with its gold-gloved hand
Should grasp the reins, and rule throughout the land. 30

And now of boasted peace, pray tell
Where the pure goddess deigns to dwell:
Ye statesmen, if you’ll tell us where
Freedom is free, sweet Peace dwells there:
What truthful patriot would dare, 35
Pointing to Congress, say, “tis there?”
If Peace is there, it apes a mouse,
Both in the Senate and the House.
It is not, altogether a “mouse in the wall,”
’Tis a mouse in the sanctum and one in the hall— 40
’Tis a mouse in the desk, and it nibbles the laws,
And it nibbles the lock on the Treasury’s draws,
And it nibbles the vetoes, and nibbles the pleas,
And would fain nibble Utah as mice nibble cheese;
But for all of these nibblings, we’ll give it ablution, 45
When it ceases to nibble the old Constitution.

Is it true, peace and freedom have sometimes met,
By mere chance, in the President’s Cabinet?
And say, is it true that Sambo is free?
He seems ill at ease in his liberty, 50
Which is like a wild bird—the North caged it, and
In its cage, it now flutters in Sambo’s hand;
And full many dilemmas of various mixtures
Are now interwove with our national fixtures.

They call it a peace, when the deadly strife 55
Is over, which battles with life for life.
Office traffickers, swindlers and their vile horde
Will entail worse mischiefs than fire and sword:
When corruption mounts the chariot of Time,
Peace will not remain in the province of crime. 60

There’s a time—it will come, when these evils will cease—
From the throes of our nation, the Phœnix of Peace
Will come forth in proud triumph, and Liberty, then,
Will, with Justice and Truth, bless the children of men.

composed ca. May 1865
published in Poems 2, 1877

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