Poems 376–400

 

376 “I lov’d her”

I lov’d her—she has liv’d a Saint—
Yes, such as God and angels love—
Free from all earthly sin and taint
She joins the just in realms above.

n.d.

&nsbp;

377 Old Year, Good Bye

Good bye, old year, good bye—
I see you’re almost gone;
But when you disappear,
Another year comes on.

Thus, passing day by day 5
Weeks, months and seasons fly:
Time’s chariot whirls away,
And year by year goes by.

Our sunny childhood years
Pass swiftly, one by one, 10
With all their smiles and tears—
Their sorrow and their fun:

Then like a golden beam
Youth comes—’Tis quickly gone;
Then manhood, like a dream— 15
And age comes creeping on.

Then death , the porter comes,
And kindly leads us through,
To where all nature blooms
With love and beauty too. 20

Life’s bark, on Time’s rough wave,
Its swiftest oars may ply:
There’s life beyond the grave—
Good bye, old Year, good bye.

Time’s tide is rising high— 25
Eternity moves on:
Good bye, old Year, good bye:
You’re going, going, gone.

composed ca. 31 December 1866
published in Juvenile Instructor, 1 January 1867

&nsbp;

378 Life’s Compounds

Our life abounds with mingled light and shade—
The good and evil mix in ev’ry grade:
Full oft the bitter and the sweet combine,
And prickly thorns, with fragrant roses twine—
Thistles associate with most lovely flowers, 5
And coiling serpents bask in pleasure’s bowers.
The Saints of God, themselves to prove,
And on the earth prepare,
To enter royal courts above,
And dwell in glory there, 10
Must both the light and darkness view—
Sunshine and tempest meet:
Must taste the good and evil too—
The bitter and the sweet.

It matters not what ills we may surmount, 15
If we but turn them all to good account:
If we draw honey like the “Deseret”
From all the pois’nous things our paths beset,

And if we pattern from the bee,
We’ll treasure for Eternity, 20
Some real good—some precious sweet

From every circumstance we meet.
Whate’er of the substance of earth we lay by,
Like the dew of the morning, is subject to fly:
Be it little or much, what experience we gain, 25
Let us go where we will we are sure to retain.

If kings and queens we ever rise to be,
Thro’out the changes of Eternity;
’Tis well for us, while here in time, to learn
To know ourselves, and others to discern. 30

To study the dealings and ways of the Lord
In each passing occurrence of life,
To each student, will yield a prolific reward,
With wisdom’s best precedents, rife.

See that lean miser, whose sparse, meagre board 35
Weeps with starvation o’er his glitt’ring hoard;
His soul absorb’d, his future gains to plan,
Holds no kind fellowship for fellow man—
His wither’d heart, unstamp’d in friendship’s mould,
Bears no affinity to ought but gold. 40

At length the call is issued from on high—
In spite of all his riches, he must die;
Naked, and poor as Job—of all bereft—
All the hard earnings of his life are left;
Having bestow’d no treasures on his mind, 45
He goes and leaves his wealth—his all, behind,
Except to know that he has played the fool;
And now, the ignoramus goes to school.
See the vain butterfly that courted show—
Fluttering and dazzling here awhile below: 50
Death came—it metamorphos’d her—she’s there—
And needs a microscope to show us where.

What is life’s gaudy splendor—its pride and its show?
They are just like the bubbles that burst as they go:
And what are the honors the world applauds high? 55
Things ready to perish—they live but to die.

If substantial happiness we would win,
Not to come and to go, as the tide;
We must plant the principle deep within,
And cherish’d, the gem will abide. 60

And God has kindly given to us a law,
By which we may sweet consolation draw,
From scenes of sadness, sorrow and distress—
From all the ills, which, heart and life oppress.
The right to acknowledge His own kind hand, 65
In all that transpires on earth—
This, this unto those who can understand,
Is a boon of celestial worth.

The church below,
Satan has sought 70
To overthrow—
To bring to nought;

But ev’ry evil purpose has been foiled—
Aggressions, on aggressors, have recoiled.

God over-rules 75
Malice and hate;
Foes are but tools
To make us great;

All who, mid fog and thunder, will be wise,
O’er every billow, will victorious rise. 80

Fear and alarm
May spread abroad—
Nothing will harm
The Saints of God.

Those who are Saints of God in very deed, 85
Will find a present help in time of need.

Our eye to the mark, we must steadily keep,
As the waves of change roll by;
Like a well steer’d ship on the mighty deep,
When the winds and seas beat high. 90

With God, Himself, at the helm, to steer—
With His servants side by side;
The storm and the billows, we need not fear,
For the ship will safely ride.

On, onward, in spite of the breakers ahead, 95
With the banner of life unfurl’d—
With all truth for our motto, with fearless tread,
We’ll march at the head of the world.

composed 4 February 1867
published in Deseret News, 27 February 1867

&nsbp;

379 Stanzas
[“Why should we grasp the shadow”]

Why should we grasp the shadow,
And let the substance fall?
Why do we leave the honey,
And fill our cups with gall?

Why scorn the lovely violet, 5
And pluck the prickly pear?
And why select the thistle
While roses flourish there?

Why do we swallow poison,
And call the poison good; 10
And not refresh the stomach,
With pure and wholesome food?

Why choose the midnight darkness,
In pref’rence to the day?
Why glut our minds with falsehood, 15
And thrust the truth away?

Why in their sin and folly,
Will people choose to die,
When God extends salvation
In fulness, from on high? 20

’Tis blindness—O, ’tis blindness
That shrouds the human mind—
That mantles o’er the judgment,
And wraps the senses blind.

How long will Adam’s children 25
By Satan’s pow’r be led?
How long, degeneration,
Control the path we tread?

Until the chains are broken—
Th’ oppressive chains that bind; 30
Till man regains his freedom—
The freedom of the mind.

Then will the Holy Priesthood,
Diffuse its light abroad;
And lead man safely upward, 35
To nature and to God.

composed February 1867
published in Deseret News, 13 February 1867

&nsbp;

380 Man Capable
of Higher Developments

MAN’S tide of existence is fearfully chang’d—
From God and from nature how widely estrang’d!
Vice, dandled by custom, mocks nature’s designs,
And existence is lessen’d where virtue declines.

We wake into being—how helpless at birth! 5
How short, at the longest, our visit on earth!
Too short to develop (we merely begin)
The germ of the Deity planted within.

As a father transmits from the father to son,
So God, our Creator, our Father has done; 10
There’s no attribute God, in his glorified form,
Possesses, but man, too, inherits the germ.

Though frail and imperfect, unlearn’d and unwise
We’re endow’d with capacities needful to rise
From our embryo state, onward, upward!—at length 15
To a fullness of knowledge, of wisdom and strength.

Man becomes his own agent, with freedom to choose,
With pow’r to accept and with pow’r to refuse;
With a future before him, the sequel of life,
To which this is a preface with consequence rife. 20

He may learn how to strengthen this life’s feeble chain,
And redeem the longevity man should obtain—
Develop capacity, greatness and worth,
By improving himself and improving the earth.

He should squander no talents, no health and no time; 25
All, all is important—age, manhood and prime.
As we sow we shall reap, what we earn we’ll receive—
We’ll be judged by our works, not by what we believe.

We now lay the foundations for what we shall be,
For life’s current extends to Eternity’s sea; 30
Whatever ennobles, debases, refines,
Around our hereafter an impress entwines.

We’re the offspring of God; shall we stoop to degrade
The form which at first in his image was made?
To honor our beings and callings, while here, 35
Secures an admission to life’s higher sphere.

In the likeness of Deity gracefully form’d,
With his own noble attributes richly adorn’d;
For a grand immortality man is design’d—
Perfected in body, perfected in mind!

composed February 1867
published in Herald of Health, April 1867

 

381 My Father Dear

My own indulgent father;
Most good and kind to me,
My heart is full of gratitude,
As heart of child can be.
The sweetest tones cannot express 5
What my young bosom feels,
For all the love and tenderness,
A father’s care reveals.
My father dear—
My father dear— 10
My own kind, loving father.

My earthly gifts and blessings,
From father’s bounties flow:
O, how shall I the debt repay?
What can a child bestow? 15
I will not deign an offering
From mammon’s shining mart—
A richer token, I will bring—
A tribute from the heart.
My father dear— 20
My father dear—
My own kind, loving father.

I think upon his kindness,
And fond emotions swell
From pure affection’s fountain streams, 25
And more than words can tell.
The purpose of my heart shall be
My gratitude to prove,
And with my life’s integrity,
To testify my love. 30
My father dear—
My father dear—
My own kind, loving father.

published in Juvenile Instructor, 1 March 1867

 

382 Lines
Written by Sister E. R. Snow and Presented to Br. Breneman B. Bitner, in Memory of His Wife Mary E., Who Died September 20, 1866

As a soft-beaming star, from the view is withdrawn,
So the gentle, the loving, loved Mary has gone;
To her loving young husband, the choice of her heart,
With affection she clung, and she linger’d to part.

Love echoes her mem’ry in accents as sweet 5
As the breathing of zephyrs that placidly meet
In the calm evening twilight, in spring’s beauty, where
The effluvia of roses, embalms the fresh air.

She was young—she was lovely—a pattern of grace—
The sweet spirit of Jesus illumin’d her face; 10
Her words were effusions that flow’d from the heart,
Untainted with guile and unmingled with art.

To each sacred injunction she nobly did yield,
And thus honor’d the principles God has reveal’d
In His plan of salvation, His infinite plan 15
For the full salvation and glory of man.

We most tenderly lov’d her, and struggled to gain
A reprieve from death’ s summons, but all was in vain;
Her life-sands were number’d—and finish’d, and though
We prayed and entreated, the lov’d one must go. 20

Let her husband cease mourning, and be of good cheer,
And perform every duty in faithfulness, here;
He will thus, to a fullness of blessings attain,
And enjoy his dear Mary’s affection again.

composed March 1867
published in Deseret News, 1 May 1867

 

383 Gold and Tinsel

Children, be wise in what you choose,
And never, never, good refuse;
The worthless tinsel brighter shines
Than purest gold, in rich designs.

Be not deceived by shining things— 5
Most pois’nous insects have bright wings;
Vice oft assumes a brilliant form,
And serpents have the pow’r to charm.

The tinsel glare may charm the eye
Of fools and idlers passing by; 10
But men of wisdom turn away,
And scorn the dazzling tinsel spray.

Guard well your hearts, lest silly pride
Instead of wisdom, be your guide:
Watch, and beware of haughtiness, 15
Which would destroy your loveliness.

Be very careful what you choose,
And careful too, what you refuse:
Let shadows fly before your grasp—
The substance, firmly, boldly clasp. 20

Oft-times the noblest and the best,
In simple, homely garb is drest—
Most precious gems are often found
In rudest forms beneath the ground.

As you in stature upward grow, 25
Avoid the tinsel’s glitt’ring show—
Aspire to be like sterling gold,
And daily let your worth unfold.

published in Juvenile Instructor, 15 May 1867

 

384 A Tribute to the Memory
of Mrs. Jane Richards

A bright and precious jewel,
From earth is call’d away,
To shine with greater splendor
In realms of endless day.

We lov’d her cheerful spirit— 5
We lov’d her noble heart—
We lov’d her truthful nature,
And yet, with her must part.

’Twere cruel to recall her;
Our loss, to her is gain: 10
She’s now beyond the province
Of mortal grief and pain.

To her, death had no terrors—
Its sting had been remov’d;
The God in whom she trusted, 15
In life—in death , she prov’d.

She listen’d to the Gospel,
Jehovah’s sacred truth;
And left the home of childhood,
And ties of early youth. 20

In heav’n she laid up treasures,
Secure from moth and rust,
Where crowns of life and glory
Await the pure and just.

composed May 1867

 

385 The Fountain and Streams of Life

Pure is life’s fountain—pure the Eternal Source
From whence the streamlets take their varied course—
Pure and unsullied as the burning zone,
That with bright glory, belts Jehovah’s throne.

From that pure fountain, endless currents flow 5
From world to world: meandering down they go
To earth where sin diffuses pois’nous breath,
And through life’s channels, plants the seeds of death .

God is the fountain.—He th’ eternal mart—
The ocean-spring from which all life-rills start; 10
Pure as His Spirit, life, from Him came forth,
Until, by man, corrupted on the earth.

Little by little, sin and empire gain’d,
Until disorder, vice and folly reign’d;
And, fill’d with vile degeneration’s stuff, 15
Life and its issues are impure enough.

Nought but Omnipotence’ almighty force
Could stay the ebbing current in its course:
’Twas sin’s dark tide that ebb’d life’s currents low;
The Priesthood comes—henceforth the tides must flow. 20

Regeneration now is on the track,
To cleanse the streams of life and bring them back:
The proper channel gain’d—however slow,
Life now is moving in an upward flow.

Howe’er impure the streams of life may be, 25
The Priesthood’s channel tends to purity,
Till, through the resurrection, pure and broad
Life’s mighty rivers skirt the throne of God.

composed May 1867
published in Deseret News, 12 June 1867

 

386 Ode to the Fourth

Hail, the Day when Freedom, first,
Proud oppression’s fetters burst—
Hail, their shades, who boldly durst
Liberty proclaim.

CHORUS—

Here, amid the mountain sky, 5
Freedom’s Flag is waving high—
Let the heav’n-born echo fly;
God and Liberty.

Hail, the banner of the brave,
Streaming o’er the patriot’s grave: 10
Here, forever shall it wave
To protect the just.

CHORUS —

Glorious Fourth! The Day is ours—
We have nourished Freedom’s powers,
And with us, her standard tow’rs 15
To Jehovah’s throne.

CHORUS —

God, who moved our worthy Sires,
When they kindled Freedom’s fires,
Utah’s noble sons, inspires
With the sacred flame. 20

CHORUS —

Here, with God-like grasp, and bold,
We, the Constitution hold,
Pure as when its sacred fold
Was, at first, bequeathed.

CHORUS —

Peace, the gift that Freedom gave, 25
When she crowned the wise and brave,
Bids her royal banner wave
O’er our mountain home.

CHORUS —

Peace, for which our fathers bled—
Peace, on which the nations tread— 30
Peace, the angel-form, has fled
To these mountain vales.

CHORUS —

Freedom spreads her wand abroad,
Prompting all to worship God
Fearless of the tyrant’s rod: 35
Glorious Liberty!

CHORUS —

Freedom, Justice, Truth and Peace,
Shall in Utah’s vales increase:
Shout, O shout, till time shall cease,
Truth and Liberty! 40

CHORUS —

composed ca. 4 July 1867
published in Millennial Star, 24 August 1867

 

387 Twenty Years Ago
Written by Request of Mrs. Bathsheba Smith, and Dedicated to Mrs. Margaret T. Smoot

Beneath the mountains crown’d with snows,
With future prospects rife:
The desert blossoms as the rose,
And teems with joyous life.
Roll back the curtain of the past 5
Where time’s swift changes flow,
And take a retrospective cast
Of twenty years ago.

This, then was but a wild retreat,
Where nature had no charms— 10
Untrod by all but savage feet,
In most degraded forms.
’Twas all a waste, a barren sod—
A part of Mexico,
Unsought by man—unblest of God 15
Till twenty years ago.

In summer’s sunshine, crickets here,
And snakes, their rights maintain’d;
And o’er the winters, bleak and drear,
Cold desolation reign’d. 20
Let fall the curtain—look and see
The present bright tableau,
Contrasted with the scenery
Of twenty years ago.

We’ve brav’d the desert’s trackless wilds— 25
We’ve tested untried soil,
And here, a rich abundance smiles
To compensate our toil.
From bondage and oppression free—
With friendship’s social flow, 30
We meet and chat with merry glee,
Of twenty years ago.

The earth, its richest gifts, bestows,
And plenty smiles around—
A sea of life among us flows, 35
With love and beauty crown’d.
Thanks be to God, the Holy One,
From whom all blessings flow;
For what achievements we have won,
Since twenty years ago.

composed ca. 24 July 1867
published in Deseret News, 31 July 1867

 

388 To Ernest

Ernest,

I thank you for the lines
You wrote, and wrote so well;
O, what a blessing ’tis to learn
To read and write and spell!

Be ever diligent to learn 5
Whatever good you can;
That you may wise and useful be,
When you become a man.

Be very careful of your books,
To neither tear, nor soil them, 10
But keep them looking clean and neat,
And not neglect, or spoil them.

What books you read, and what you do,
Let your dear parents choose;
The counsels loving parents give, 15
The child should not refuse.

Be honest and be upright too—
Let all your words be truth,
And noble manhood, yet, will crown
Your childhood and your youth.

published in Juvenile Instructor, 15 August 1867

 

389 Sister Nancy G. Cahoon

She’s gone!—The loving and belov’d
Full many a heart with grief is mov’d
And to her mem’ry, love will pay
The tribute of a truthful lay.

She well sustain’d her part in life 5
She was a kind and faithful wife—
In each relation she was true,
Wife, mother, friend and sister too.

Her virtues like a rich perfume
Of incense rising o’er her tomb 10
Are cherish’d as a rich behest
By all her wise example blest.

The path of duty which she trod,
Will lead its vot’ries up to God—
To light—to life, eternal life, 15
With peace and love and glory rife.

n.d.

 

390 “Praise, praise, O, praise
the Great I AM!”

Praise, praise, O, praise the Great I AM!
Sing glory, glory to the Lamb!
Let ev’ry heart a tribute bring,
And join to praise our God and King.

O God, who form’d the heav’ns and earth— 5
Who sends the gushing fountains forth—
Who built the sky and made the sea,
Thou art our God: we bow to Thee.

Thy servants, Lord, assemble here,
To praise and pray—to speak and hear: 10
O, let Thy Spirit on them rest,
And ev’ry humble soul, be blest.

While we convene from day to day,
Be in our midst, O God, we pray:
And let Thy mighty power be felt, 15
The dross, to burn—the gold, to melt.

On mountain tops, a beacon stands:
Its light is seen in distant lands;
Like burning lamps, Thy Truth, O God,
And righteousness go forth abroad. 20

Praise, praise, O, praise the Great I AM!
Sing glory, glory to the Lamb!
Let ev’ry heart a tribute bring,
And join to praise our God and King.

published in Deseret News, 9 October 1867

&nsbp;

391 Reflections
on the Death of Elders Anson V. Call and Brigham W. Kimball, Who Died on the Plains, on Their Return from a Mission to England

By which also He, (Jesus,) went and preached to the spirits in prison.
—[PETER.]
Why then are they baptized for the dead?
—[PAUL.]

Two valiant soldiers of the cross, have gone,
With full commissions—with their armor on,
How little thought they, when they went abroad
To bear the Gospel of the Son of God,
The greater portion of their mission, lay 5
Beyond the confines veil’d in mortal clay!

How clear the vision brightens, when we know
The spirit-world is like the world below
Without its evils—being freed from all
The mortal ills, transfer’d through Adam’s fall— 10
Free from all sickness, and the coils that bind
The pow’r of thought, and check the march of mind—
That order, there, with more perfection reigns,
Then e’en the Priesthood on the earth maintains.

O’er all the earth—extending far and wide, 15
How many millions honest souls have died,
Who never heard the precious Gospel’s sound—
Who ne’er salvation’s joyful path had found?

In the great world of spirits, now they live,
Where they with gladness will the truth receive: 20
And faithful elders of the church below,
Must to the spirit-world, on missions go.

We read of Pharaoh, one of Egypt’s boast,
Being in Hades, reigning o’er his host.

Are people there as nations, much the same 25
As they existed here from whence they came?
The German, German in each true respect—
The French still French, with their own dialect?
And should we, were the parting vail unfurl’d,
Behold all nations in the spirit-world? 30

The Saints of God who pass from life below
Have gath’ring places there, to which they go.

In Zion’s Temples, holy men will stand,
With Urim and with Thummim at command,
By day and night, when dead shall them inspire; 35
They, for the dead and living, will enquire;
That we, of God’s own mind, may be appriz’d,
And not mistake for whom to be baptiz’d.

Stupendous work! How wide our duties spread—
Not only to the living, but the dead! 40
We here, the Ordinances must receive
For those who, in the spirit-world, believe.
And many elders—old and young—the best
Of Zion’s sons—those who have stood the test;
Must go, to fill the mighty purposes 45
Of God, in saving this low world of His.

And such are those young brethren: to the last,
In faithfulness, they held their Priesthood fast:
And now they’re wanted elsewhere. They have gone
To finish up the mission they were on. 50
Altho’ to us, their sun of life, has set,
They’re yet alive and on their mission yet.
On England’s shores, the light of truth they spread;
Perchance they’re preaching now, to England’s dead;
Fulfilling thus, the pattern Jesus gave, 55
When He went forth, the prison-bound to save.

They doff’d mortality that they might go
And preach to spirits, what they preach’d below.
Such was their mission, and they knew it not:
They fill’d the earthly portion well, and thought 60
To join their kindred, in their homes on earth,
God purpos’d otherwise: He knows their worth.

O, how we miss them! Yes, we miss them here—
To many, many hearts, they’re very dear—
Bright hope expectant smiled on many a brow; 65
Where chasten’d sorrow twines the willow now.

We bless their mem’ries: Angels guard their dust,
Until the resurrection of the just;
When, re-united, with immortal bloom,
They’ll join the shout of triumph o’er the tomb.

published in Deseret News, 9 October 1867

 

392 Epitaph for the Tombstone
of Sister Vilate M. Kimball

The casket lies beneath the sod—
The noble spirit dwells with God:
A saint she liv’d—a saint she died,
And will with Christ be glorified.

n.d.

&nsbp;

393 “God deals in love, but often”

God deals in love, but often
From view of mortal eyes
The grand result and purpose
Are cloth’d in deep disguise.

He truly is our Father— 5
Is holy, wise and just
His children’s future welfare
Is precious in His trust.

The heart-strings must be tested
And ev’ry heart be tried 10
To prove their worth of texture
And what they can abide.

Our Father wants His children
To lift their hearts above
And therefore He is taking 15
To heav’n, what most we love.
n.d.

&nsbp;

394 Children
A Song for the 13th Ward Sabbath School, G. S. L. City
[“In Our Lovely Deseret”]

In our lovely Deseret, where the saints of God have met,
There’s a multitude of children all around:
They are generous and brave—they have precious souls to save
They must listen, and obey the gospel sound.

CHORUS.

Hark! hark! hark! ’Tis children’s music 5
Children’s voices, O how sweet
When in innocence and love, like the angels up above,
They, with happy hearts, and cheerful faces meet.

That the children may live long, and be beautiful and strong
Tea and coffee and tobacco, they despise. 10
Drink no liquor and they eat but a very little meat:
They are seeking to be great and good and wise.

Chorus.

They should be instructed young, how to watch and guard the tongue,
And their tempers train, and evil passions bind:
They should always be polite and treat every body right, 15
And in every place be affable and kind.

Chorus.

They must not forget to pray, night and morning, every day,
For the Lord to keep them safe from every ill
And assist them to do right, that with all their mind and might
They may love Him, and may learn to do His will. 20

Chorus.

published in Juvenile Instructor, 1 November 1867

&nsbp;

395 To “Our Dixie” Colonists

Go forth in faith, go forth with zeal.
With firm intent for Zion’s weal,
Go forth with energy and will,
Your mission, with God’s help, to fill.

The barren lands must be reclaimed— 5
The howling wilderness, be tamed.
And Zion’s sons, and daughters too,
Have this important work to do.

We know the curse is on the soil,
And man with sweating brow must toil 10
Until the earth, redeem’d at length,
Will, crown’d with beauty, yield in strength.

Imagination’s pow’rs are quaint,
In boldest scenes romance can paint,
Compared with those in “Dixie land,” 15
Portray’d by Nature’s master hand.

There many a darken’d feature shows
Th’ effects of dread volcanic throes;
And soft expressions seem to start
With mimic touch of chiseled art. 20

There, mountain cliffs with grandeur rise
Until their summits reach the skies;
While here and there, a gaping gorge
That swells the claims to Vulcan’s forge.

This Dispensation teems with care 25
And toil and effort everywhere:
The cords of Zion must be lengthen’d—
Her stakes, be multiplied and strengthen’d.

Onward and Upward is the word,
At which the saintly pulse is stirred— 30
Faith and integrity impress
A seal on ultimate success.

Inglorious ease awards no prize—
In duty’s path the treasure lies;
And on its terminus, the key 35
To life and immortality.

published in Deseret News, 27 November 1867

 

396 Change

’Tis the evening of Time, and it is not strange
That Change should tread on the heels of Change.

Upheaving events, like a swelling surge,
Are moving onward to Time’s last verge;
And vortex-like, in their foaming haste, 5
Will swallow the nations or lay them waste.

* * * * *

The present transit across the plains,
Compared with the early “Mormon trains,”
Is much like the antelope’s fleety race
Compared with the terrapin’s burden’d pace. 10

* * * * *

They thrust us out—we were sent adrift
In untrodden wilds to make a shift:
Our pioneer men were brave and bold—
They trusted in God like the saints of old—
Though slow their progress, their foot-prints tell 15
They fill’d their mission, and fill’d it well.
No heart was faint and no hand was slack,
As they felt out the way and mark’d the track.
’Twas said of them (it is verily true,)
They did what no other men could do. 20

But change has swept o’er their path since then,
And smothered the track of the pioneer men,
Who “made the bridges and killed the snakes,”
As they wended their way to the mountain lakes.

In the pathless desert’s unbeating heart, 25
We awoke a pulse and we formed a mart:
We discover’d gold, but we valued more
The produce of soil than the shining ore:
We tilled the earth and produc’d the bread
On which the stranger has freely fed; 30
For we were not long in our wild redoubt,
Ere multitudes follow’d where we led out.

As Change march’d on the electric wire,
With its lightning pulse and its heart of fire,
Mov’d on in our wake successfully and 35
Unites us again with our father land.
With lightning’s speed—with its pow’r compress’d
We can speak to the East—we can speak to the West;
And then, at our leisure, with social ease,
Can chat with the settlements when we please. 40

’Tis the evening of Time and results will prove
That Change with a hasty step should move.
The ungodly nations of every land,
That wait his coming may fear his hand.
While Change is filling the world with fear 45
He comes with a smiling visage here;
With a noble brow and a look of pride,
He walks in our midst with a haughty stride.

Electric speed is now all the rage—
’Tis truly a fast and racy age. 50
The “iron horse” with its fiery gear,
With a mighty rush is now coming here.

To clip time and distance, the rail and wire,
With artistic effort and skill, conspire;
And Change is combining a powerful team 55
Of the lightning flash and the puffing steam,
Which, boldly harness’d and train’d to chime,
Ignore all distance and laugh at time.
The President’s Message, a wreath of gold,
Was spread on our tables a few hours old. 60

The eastern cities their hats may doff—
The “Mormons” are now but a few days off,
And every day are still drawing near,
As the “iron horse” is approaching here.

Let the Saints awake—let the world prepare 65
For coming events: There’s no time to spare:
’Tis the evening of Time, and the hours are few,
And change has very much yet to do.

published in Deseret News, 18 December 1867

 

397 Dedication
To Brigham Young, President over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Servant of God, most honor’d—most belov’d;
By Him appointed and of Him approv’d:
Prophet and Seer—you stand as Moses stood
Between the people and the living God.

All human wisdom and all human skill 5
Could never qualify you thus, to fill
The place you occupy: nor could you bear
Through human aid, the weight of duties there.

* * * * *

The world was cloth’d in deep impervious gloom,
Like death’s dark shadows mantling o’er the tomb: 10
A cleric infl’ence truth and falsehood blended,
And over christendom its cords extended.

The heav’ns were closed—no angel-form appear’d—
No heav’nly visions, human optics cheer’d;
From God, His children so estrang’d had grown 15
His voice, for centuries had not been known.

At length He spoke: Who? Father? Yes, He spoke
To Joseph Smith, and the long silence broke—
Announc’d to him the work that must be done,
And thus the Dispensation was begun. 20

Call’d singly to confront the world in youth,
Joseph was firm and valiant in the truth—
The tide of sin and unbelief, withstood,
And seal’d his testimony with his blood.

With God’s own spirit—with His wisdom rife, 25
He chang’d the current of the stream of life—
Placed a bold veto on its ebbing tide,
And caus’d the ship of life to upward ride.

Joseph was slain: His mantle fell on you—
Th’ eternal Spirit rested on you too; 30
Diffusing light and knowledge round about—
’Tis in you like a fountain flowing out.

Above all pow’rs upon the earth, you have
The keys to govern and the keys to save—
To save from folly, ign’rance and distress, 35
And lead mankind to God and happiness.

Happy that I’m permitted so to do,
I dedicate this Volume unto you:
With one desire prevailing in my breast,
That unto others’ good it may be blest. 40

If, o’er the world of sentimental night,
It should diffuse one ray of living light,
And in pure hearts a thirst for truth beget,
My ardent wishes will be amply met.

With trust in God, I pray it may impart 45
Light to the mind and comfort to the heart;
And, like “the widow’s mite,” an off’ring prove,
Approv’d by you—approv’d by those above.

published in Deseret News, 22 January 1868

 

398 The God I Worship

“O Lord my God, thou art very great: thou art cloth’d with honor and majesty”—
“All the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heav’ns.”
Hebrew Psalmist.

Let the pagan claim for his god of war,
An unconscious thing on a stupid car—
Let him bless the leek and adore the cow,
Or before the Lama of Thibet bow,
Let ambition’s dupes to its altar hold— 5
Let the miser boast of his idol, gold:
And let pleasure’s votaries sacrifice
To a faithless god, for a doubtful prize:
And let all that bow at the shrine of fame,
Feed their hungry god—’tis an empty name. 10
Let devout sectarians place their hearts
On a god without passions, form or parts—
One that kindly deign’d in the days of yore
To converse with men, but will speak no more.

Ah! they cannot boast of a god like mine, 15
In whom love and pow’r in perfection shine.
How inferior theirs, when compar’d with Him,
The Eternal Father, the great Supreme?
He, whose wisdom call’d this creation forth,
And the sons of men, introduc’d to earth— 20
He, whose finger marks ev’ry ocean’s bound,
While he moves the revolving planets, round—
He, that “holds the firmament in his hand,”
While the seasons yield to his stern command—
Who, in human form sent His likeness down, 25
To declare himself, and his love make known—
That unequal’d love, that could stoop to die,
That an earthly race might be rais’d on high—
Might partake the streams of celestial kind,
From the fountains of the Eternal Mind:— 30
He, whose noble attributes are rife
With the gifts and powers of an endless life—
He, who, through the Priesthood, has kindly giv’n
To his saints, a pattern of things in heav’n;
Who has also giv’n thro’ his pow’r and grace, 35
Both Prophets and Seers for these latter-days—
Who, the laws of light and life to unfold,
Is conversing now as in days of old.
He, who condescends to proclaim his will,
And unto his servants, his mind reveal— 40
He, who led us here, to these peaceful vales—
He, whose loving kindness never fails.

There is none beside, I would call my own,
For the Lord is God and He alone.

published in Poems 2, 1877

 

399 One of Time’s Changes

The times are chang’d from what they were,
When all the fairest of the fair,
Whom Fame immortaliz’d as “beauties,”
Were skillful in domestic duties.

Some modern Misses scarce believe 5
That Ladies us’d to spin and weave;
Or that gay princesses of yore,
Wrought the rich garments, princes wore.

When Fashion with proud Folly met,
The stars of Industry, all set; 10
Pleasure and Profit then disbanded,
And Labor, like grim Want, was branded.

’Twas strange as foolish—but it got so,
Who were not idle, would be thought so;
And would be ladies grew so common, 15
They rose en masse, to plunder Mammon.

The lamp which lights the latter-day,
Will clear the mists and fogs away;
And for our future practice, leave
The web of wisdom, heav’n shall weave. 20

The Saints must break false habit’s chain,
And things to right, restore again—
Turn Fashion’s tide to noble uses,
And thus redeem its long abuses.

To stamp respectability 25
On what begets utility;
Will hasten earth’s regeneration,
And us an independent nation.

We need not take the world by storm:
We hold the keys to all reform: 30
Then let us not in folly spurn them,
But rise, as Saints of God, and turn them.

Now who, in spite of Fashion’s peal
Will dare draw music from the wheel,
Or regulate the kitchen, when 35
Cornelia stops, to wield the pen?

published in Poems 2, 1877

 

400 College of Heaven
Song for the 13th Ward Sunday School

We are blest:—We are Sunday-school scholars;
And schools are now open for all
Of the young who are seeking for knowledge—
There’s room for the large and the small.
The truths we are taught in our childhood, 5
Are treasures more precious than gold;
And all who would gain them, may freely obtain them,
And truth will not fade and grow cold.

CHORUS.

Three cheers, for our Sunday-school teachers:
To our God, shall hosannas be sung: 10
Hurra, for our Sunday-school union:
’Tis the college of heav’n for the young.
There’s a foe that we all have to conquer—
A foe that would fetter and bind,
And confine in his dark, dreary prison, 15
That beautiful jewel, the mind.
Old ignorance he is the tyrant—
He makes our minds little and low;
But they will grow bigger, when we pull the trigger
Of study, and battle the foe. 20

CHORUS.

We must all grasp and cling to our studies,
And don the rich armor of thought;
And must never, for once feel discouraged;
And never too proud to be taught.
We can conquer the tyrant with learning: 25
If each, with a firm, honest heart,
Will join in the battle, we’ll make his chains rattle,
And ignorance soon will depart.

CHORUS.

published in Juvenile Instructor, 15 February 1868

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