Poems 226–250

 

226 Introduction of the Year 1853

The Year has come—the new, the op’ning Year;
Another leaf of the great book of Time—
Another chapter of the sceneries
Of human life is open’d, and a new,
An unrecited page is turn’d to be 5
Committed for the grand rehearsal. We,
The Saints of Latter-Day, who with our might,
In faithfulness are struggling to assist
In rolling on the renovation of
The earth, and all things that pertain thereto; 10
Fear not its contents, but believing in
The promise that “all things are ours; that nought
Can separate us from the love of God;
Not principalities or pow’rs, or life
Or death, or height or depth, things present or 15
To come:” and with increasing happiness
We view the hasty, hurried flight of Time,
With its attendant wonder-working change,
Propelling onward the events declar’d
Unto the ancient fathers; to prepare 20
The way for Jesus Christ to come again.
And yet the Year with all its joyousness
Recalls to mind the reminiscences
Of other days, and in our bosoms stirs
The feelings of the heart that will entwine 25
Around the mem’ry of the past; ere the
Bright star of Liberty had shone upon
The dwellings of the Saints.
And verily
The present, past and future are entwin’d
So closely in their bonds of fellowship— 30
So firmly wedded each to other, that
The mind must penetrate and circumscribe
The deep, connecting intimacy of
The whole; to comprehend the import of
Those strange, mysterious occurrences 35
Which sometimes most abruptly introduce
Themselves into life’s moving sceneries,
And like a mighty engine acting in
The centre of the grand machinery
Of earth’s events; produce those features which 40
Will form the data for all future time.
Such is the nature of that horrid scene
Which shed our Prophet’s blood! But God was at
The helm, God, the great mariner that guides
The ship of human life. His wisdom mov’d 45
And over-ruling all the wickedness
Of satan’s war-dogs, led this people forth
And thro’ the vortex of oppression, made
Us free; And let us praise his holy name.
But Illinois has brought a cloud, a stain 50
Upon her brow; as dark as all the skill
Of hell could make it! One which neither time
Or all eternity can e’er erase!
’Twill be a tarnish in the sequel of
Her history! ’Twill be like mildew in 55
Her wardrobe, vermin in her larder, and
Like greedy canker-worms to feed upon
Her vitals and consume their rottenness
Until her name shall have become extinct!
Here, in these valleys, peace and plenty reign. 60
As year to year succeeds, so change to change:
And O ye Saints! be ever on your watch,
The prince of darkness slumbers not and his
Innumerable disembodied hosts
Are never weary. God himself, to test 65
Your steadfastness, will put you to the proof,
And he will probe and feel about your hearts;
But not in person; for his presence would
Annihilate the trial. He will use
Those means—those instruments that will the best 70
Effect the purpose. Then let come what will,
Whether in worldly substance you abound
Or like the Lazarus of old, you live
Upon the crumbs that fall from others’ boards
Whether with Saints at home, or far abroad; 75
Hold on to your integrity. Swerve not
Tho’ ev’ry tie on earth is sever’d—tho’
Your hearts are made to bleed at ev’ry pore—
Be to your trust, your purpose, firmer than
Th’ eternal hills—true to yourselves; true to 80
Each other; true to God: in being true
To Him, be true to his authorities,
His chosen agency upon the earth
To guide the chariot of salvation. The
Rich jewel of integrity, as you 85
Approximate towards perfection, will
Increase in value year by year. ’Tis wealth—
’Tis wealth of character, and will abide
The wreck of all things. ’Tis celestial coin
And lawful tendry in the court of heaven: 90
’Twill pay your passport up, and purchase you
The “freedom of the City” of the Gods.
composed ca. 1 January 1853
published in Deseret News, 8 January 1853

227 Juvenile Hymnn

[“I’ll serve the Lord while I am young”]
I’ll serve the Lord while I am young,
And, in my early days,
Devote the music of my tongue
To my Redeemer’s praise.
I praise his name that he has given 5
Me parentage and birth,
Among the most belov’d of heaven
That dwell upon the earth.
O Lord, my parents here preserve,
To teach me righteousness; 10
That my young feet may never swerve
From paths of holiness:
And, like the faithful ones of old,
Who now behold thy face,
May I be form’d in virtue’s mould 15
To fill a holy place.
While youth and beauty sweetly twine
Their garlands round my head,
I’ll seek, at wisdom’s sacred shrine,
The gems that never fade. 20
Long may I sing thy praises here
Among thy Saints below;
And in eternity appear
With them in glory too.
composed 18 February 1853
published in Poems 1, 1856

228 To W. A. S.

Expressions of friendship, as proffer’d by you,
Are like pearls, found on life’s rugged road:
Like a bright summer-blossom, bespangled with dew,
Is a favor, in kindness bestow’d.
And the life-likeness pow’r of daguerean art 5
More forcibly, nought has defin’d;
Than the impress of gratitude, form’d in the heart
From a noble, ingenuous mind.
That prosperity, health, and long life may be giv’n
You, and peace and salvation attend; 10
While securing, in time, the rich treasures of heav’n
Is the wish of your sister and friend.
composed ca. 10 March 1853

 

229 To Sarah

Sarah, I love you—I have lov’d you long
With love that can’t be utter’d in a song—
That will not perish with life’s hopes and fears,
But lives and strengthens with increasing years.
God, our great Father, we should love supreme— 5
All else, proportion’d to their love for Him;
And through obedience, without ceasing, aim
To gain His presence, there, from whence we came.
Life’s scenes, like furnaces, are form’d to prove
Our textures, and prepare us yet to move 10
In spheres immortal, glorious and divine,
And pour salvation on our kindred line.
composed 4 April 1853
published in Poems 1, 1856

 

230 The Temple

Our Era this day numbers three years and twenty,
And lo! a great people inhabit the West;
The Lord God of Abra’m, the great God of battles,
Who leads forth to vict’ry, appointed our rest.
CHORUS.
The Temple, The Temple—we’ll build up the Temple, 5
A court of salvation—iniquity’s rod—
A glorious beacon—a light on the mountains—
A portal for angels—a threshold for God.
The stones of the corner—the Temple’s foundation
In peace, in the City of Brigham are laid; 10
In the chambers of Israel, the ground that is sacred,
Where righteousness triumphs—where truth is obey’d.
Chorus, the Temple &c.
Glad tidings of joy to the spirits in prison,
To the Saints of all countries and Isles of the sea,
For a Temple of God in the midst of the mountains; 15
And joy in the courts of the highest will be.
Chorus, the Temple &c.
Rejoice all ye meek—all ye contrite in spirit
For Zion’s redemption is now drawing near;
And the vail will be rent, and the Saints resurrected,
The kingdom in heaven will shortly appear. 20
Chorus, the Temple &c.
The Lord whom ye seek will soon come to his Temple,
The covenant messenger whom ye desire;
He’ll purify Israel as gold in the furnace,
Consuming the dross with unquenchable fire.
Chorus, the Temple &c.
Sing aloud hallelujah to God the Eternal: 25
To him be all excellence, glory and worth,
And blessed be Brigham and Heber and Willard,
His authoriz’d agency here upon earth.
CHORUS.
The Temple, the Temple—we’ll build up the Temple,
A court of salvation—iniquity’s rod—
A glorious beacon—a light on the mountains—
A portal for angels—a threshold for God.
composed 4 April 1853
published as a broadsheet, 6 April 1853

 

231 To Mrs. Haywood

Like the figures incog., in a masquerade scene,
Are some spirits now dwelling on earth;
And we judge of them only by actions and mien,
Unappriz’d of all relative worth.
In the transforming mask of mortality clad, 5
Kings and princes and peasants appear;
All forgetting whatever acquaintance they had
In existence preceding this here.
When the past shall develop, the future unfold,
When the present its sequel shall tell— 10
When unmask’d we shall know, be beheld, and behold;
O how blest, if incog. we’ve done well.
composed 27 May 1853
published in Poems 1, 1856

 

232 To Alice G. Heywood

She is not dead—she has laid aside
The visible—mortal form,
Until the dust is purified
And comes forth with a brighter charm.
The Casket was beautiful lovely and fair, 5
While the jewel within it shone—
The sweet spirit is now where holy ones are,
And the earthly returns to its own.
O, she was too pure for a world like this—
She has gone to a happier sphere; 10
To partake with the perfect above of bliss
Which she never had tasted here.
She passed like a fragrant blooming flower
From the ruggedness of time,
To a world where disease can have no power 15
To a pure and celestial clime.
We behold her not but she is not far,
And her spirit oft will come,
And minister where her dear parents are
Till they meet her in her bright home.
published in Deseret News, 18 June 1853

233 To Mrs. Stenhouse, Switzerland

Sister, you are counted worthy
Toils and sufferings to partake,
Which your dear, devoted husband
Now endures for Jesus’ sake.
Be not fearful or desponding, 5
Though from home you’re far away,
For the Lord our God will give you
Grace according to your day.
Wreaths of honor, crowns of glory,
Robes of pure, celestial white, 10
Will be given to all the faithful—
All who in the truth delight.
Be not weary in well-doing:
Be thou blest—be of good cheer,
For your name is known in honor 15
By the Saints—the faithful, here.
composed August 1853
published in Poems 1, 1856

 

234 To Mrs. Marion R. Pratt

on the Death of Her Little One
A precious jewel has withdrawn—
A jewel richly dear—
A royal gem, from earth has gone
And left the casket here.
A fondly cherish’d, tender flow’r— 5
Most delicately fair
Has gone to grace a holier bow’r
And bloom in purer air.
That lovely babe, so sweet and fair—
So sinless and so pure; 10
Has gone where holy angels are—
Where happiness is sure.
That child is not within the tomb—
It is not wrapt in sleep:
Such loveliness, death’s icy gloom 15
Has never pow’r to keep.
“Dust unto dust,” the earth receives
And treasures all its own:
But yet, that darling baby lives—
In paradise she’s known. 20
Her noble spirit deign’d to come,
But could not long remain
Ere she, recall’d to her high home,
Rejoin’d the blest again.
composed ca. 17 October 1853

 

235 To Elder John Lyon

Like a bright golden gem, in a casket refin’d,
Is the “Harp” you presented to me:
I admire its bold speech, and its high tone of mind,
And its accents of innocent glee.
Combin’d with rich matter, its elegant style, 5
Where good order and beauty entwine,
Is a tall panegyric on skill to compile,
On good taste in the author’s design.
I accept the fair gift, the rich, beautiful boon,
With gratitude mingled with pleasure: 10
With its heaven-inspir’d pages I love to commune,
And, possessing it, feel I’ve a treasure.
composed ca. 1853
published in Poems 1, 1856

 

236 Railroad Stanzas

In Jehovah’s arm we trusted—
To the wilderness He led:
Lo! the desert now is blooming,
As the ancient prophets said;
Where the saints of God are gathered— 5
Where fair Freedom’s peans swell—
Where Columbia’s glorious banner
Waves o’er mountain top and dell.
Haste, O haste, construct a Railway,
Where the vales of Ephraim bloom; 10
Cast ye up—cast up a highway,
Where “swift messengers” will come:
Soon we’ll see the proud Atlantic
With the great Pacific join’d—
Thro’ the skill of swift conveyance, 15
Leaving distance all behind.
Infant Utah, strong in effort,
Claims, she boasts our country’s braves;
For her sons have formed the climax
’Tween the east and western waves: 20
And we soon shall hail as neighbors
Those who dwell in lands afar,
As they move across the sage-plains
On the swiftly gliding car.
We shall be no longer outcasts 25
From the country whence we came;
Come, O come, and here we’ll bless you,
And exalt Jehovah’s name.
Each improvement, all that’s useful—
Ev’ry art in righteousness, 30
Will conduce to favor Zion—
Zion will all nations bless.
composed 31 January 1854
published in Deseret News, 2 February 1854

 

237 In Memory of Willard Richards

Counselor to President Brigham Young
Hear that low, plaintive sound! why so slowly that bell?
List—list to the tones—’tis a funeral knell:
And I catch from the breezes’ sad murmuring tread,
A faint whisper that says, Brother Willard is dead!
He’s not dead: He has laid his mortality by, 5
And has gone to appear in the councils on high—
In the bonds of pure fellowship; there to be
With the Saviors that dwell in Eternity.
We miss him—we miss him: but why should we mourn?
He’s in patience, life’s struggles and weaknesses borne: 10
He has fought the good fight, and the victory gained,
And, through faith, immortality’s powers attained.
He was prudent and wise—he was true to his trust—
He has gone to unite with the noble and just;
Whose afflictions, in time, he was happy to share, 15
And he freely partakes of their blessings there,
As a friend—as a brother, we lov’d him well;
But now he has gone with the Gods to dwell—
To partake with the martyrs a banquet of love:
There is joy—there are shouts in the world above.
composed March 1854
published in Poems 2, 1877

 

238 To Franklin D. Richards

One of the Twelve Apostles
The time has come when you again
Must speed you o’er the watery main;
You go to cheer and bless, once more,
The Saints who dwell on Europe’s shore.
You recognize as word of God, 5
What Brigham bids you do:
To stay or go—at home—abroad,
Is all the same with you.
A representative you go,
Of Zion’s kingdom here below— 10
Through faithfulness you have been blest,
And Zion’s blessings on you rest.
The steadfast course you have pursued
Has won you confidence—
The favour of the wise and good 15
Is your inheritance.
composed 1 April 1854
published in Millennial Star, 1 July 1854

 

239 Revolutionary Song

We celebrate the glorious day,
Our fathers broke oppression’s sway;
While revolution’s with’ring hand
Was sweeping o’er Columbia’s land.
The sword was reeking from the sheath— 5
Their path was strew’d with blood and death—
Black clouds of danger, grief and care
That ‘tried men’s souls’ were bursting there.
God gave them vict’ry o’er their foes,
And Freedom’s royal standard rose; 10
And soon a banner was unfurl’d
With stripes, and stars, to bless the world.
That flag in stars and glory grew
Till nations wonder’d at the view—
Till kings and princes rose to see 15
The tow’ring height of Liberty.
Our fathers died: Their sons forgot
That Equal Rights with blood were bought:
Then law-abiding men were slain!
Columbia’s Banner wears the stain! 20
But lo! a phenix from the grave
Of Joseph Smith, a people brave,
In Utah; with a Washington
And Moses too, in Brigham Young.
A people with their all at stake, 25
To live—to die for Freedom’s sake:
Then hail the Day, the glorious Fourth!
Fair Utah’s Statesmen prize its worth.
Our Constitution too; all hail—
Here let its laws and rights prevail, 30
And here forever, ever be
Peace, Justice, Truth and Liberty.
composed ca. 4 July 1854
published in Deseret News, 13 July 1854

 

240 Song

for the Celebration of the 24th of July, 1854
Lo! the mighty God remembers
Joseph’s children in the West;
In the day of their redemption,
Shem with Japhet, will be blest.
CHORUS.
Behold the day—the day is dawning; 5
Darkness flies before our view—
Old Lehi’s children are returning,
To walk in the light of Zion too:—
And we all will shout a loud hosannah.
Glory beams on Ephraim’s mountains— 10
Beauty smiles on Ephraim’s plains;
Streams of joy from heavenly fountains,
Join with music’s sweetest strains.
Chorus, Behold the day, &c.
Come you wand’ring sons of Lehi
Learn the ways the white men love; 15
Long the curse has rested on you—
God will soon the curse remove
Chorus, Behold the day, &c.
Lo! ye scattered tribes of Israel,
Ephraim and Manasseh too—
Here the banner of salvation 20
Is unfurled and waves for you.
Chorus, Behold the day, &c.
composed ca. 24 July 1854
published in Deseret News, 27 July 1854

 

241 “Although I know

thou hast with thee” [To Leonora Taylor]
Although I know thou hast with thee
Who best deserve thy care
Yet friends may still remembered be
When at the hour of Prayer.
Though Warriors bold, and Heroes true 5
Thy Dangers love to share
Yet still to friends that’s left—is due
One thought at Evening Prayer.
’Tis all we ask this one request
’Till we shall meet thee there 10
Remember us among the rest
When knelt at Evening Prayer.
We know thou wilt, we still believe
Thy sympathy to share
Thy Brethren left who now may grieve 15
Shall comfort find in Prayer.
Full many a friend remaining here
May speak when thou art gone
We’ll check the tear—nor dare to fear
We shall in Prayer be one. 20
Yes we shall still remembered be
A thousand miles apart
The Saints in unison are free
They ne’er can chain the heart.
Let Christians rage—they’d better hush 25
Nor sound a loud Alarm
They cannot “mine Anointed touch”
Nor do my Prophets harm.
Then Though we know thou hast with thee
Who best deserve thy care 30
’Tis all we ask—remember me—
Remember me—in Prayer.
n. d.

 

242 Address

Rulers of Israel—friends and brethren too—
I’m pleased—I’m proud t’associate with you:
Nearly all nations on the earth, appear,
In representatives, before me here.
Of God our Father, may we here be blest, 5
And may His Spirit richly on us rest—
Pastime with profit, be enjoyed by all
Associated here in Zion’s Hall,
Where beauty, worth and grandeur are combin’d
To charm the eye, and to impress the mind 10
With heavenly wisdom and with classic lore—
In one slight view, identifying more
Than might in lengthened speech be understood;
And since our Creed comprises EVERY GOOD,
From mutual impulse we’ll amuse and cheer— 15
The law of social freedom governs here.
No bills of fare—nor debt—nor credit gain’d—
The entertainers are the entertained.
The social circle proffer’d to bestow
Foretastes of heav’n upon the earth below; 20
And constituted, on Jehovah’s plan,
A glorious legacy for fallen man.
This pearly boon, like other blessings, giv’n,
As comforts here—as guides that lead to heav’n;
Has been perverted, and by folly sold 25
T’increase the miser’s glitt’ring heaps of gold;
Or else, imbued with ranc’rous gall, to be
A tool for envy, hate, and jealousy,
With words that burn, till red hot strifes accrue—
Contentions spread, and civil wars ensue: 30
Or else, divested of its living charms,
Its thrilling pulse which ev’ry member warms—
Robbed of its cheering, life-inspiring lays,
Sincere emotions, and its truthful face—
Spoiled—dispossessed of all that is divine, 35
And sacrificed on fashion’s hollow shrine!
But to the Saints, God will all things restore,
As pure, as perfect as they were before:
And more endearing, thro’ the contrast given
In our estrangement from the laws of heaven. 40
Truth to his neighbor, ev’ry man shall speak,
And heaven bred confidence, will bless the meek.
In princely grandeur—God-like majesty—
With all the graces of simplicity:
The social circle, rising, will be raised 45
From all abuses, and o’er all disgrace.
Wisdom will pour her treasures freely, then,
In high toned sentiment from lip and pen;
With all varieties that please us now—
Love’s placid cheek—tall reason’s sternest brow; 50
The dance—the song—the comic, grave, and gay;
The speech—the music, lecture, and the play.
Well blended changes, head and heart inspire,
While long-continued scenes fatigue, or tire.
We now are strangers—pilgrims here below, 55
And have forgotten what we us’d to know—
Forgotten all the wheretofore, and the whys
Of our creation here—the tender ties
Of dear relationships we loved to claim,
Where we existed, long before we came 60
To mortal life, and ties of ev’ry form
Which add to being, interest, or charm.
Forgotten friends, and kindred too? If so,
We have descended most egregious low!
What said our Savior?—“Glorify thou me 65
With that same glory which I had with thee
Ere this world was,” which seems to signify
That he with God, had been exalted high.
And he our “elder brother!” Can it be,
We’re kin, by ties of consanguinity?— 70
That we with Jesus, heretofore have dwelt?
Perchance with him, on holy altars knelt.
We were obedient—else we now had not
Obtained, in Jacob’s line, our favored lot.
It is unlawful, greedily to pry 75
Forbidden things. We therefore will comply
With what the Lord requires from day to day—
Gladly pursue the “straight and narrow way,”
Till that diverges gloriously abroad
In the celestial kingdom of our God. 80
If, on this step-stone to another sphere,
We honor our existence, and revere
The Holy Priesthood, and in faithfulness
Seek to establish truth and righteousness
Upon the earth—our missions here fulfill, 85
Subservient to our heavenly Father’s will:—
In Nature’s upward course, the time will come,
When we, as children, will be welcomed home
To Heaven’s grand social circles; where will be
Our royal Father, and his family: 90
Yes, all his faithful children—not a few—
Who’ve done his will—both sons and daughters too.
We’d doff mortality, and enter thro’
The vail that hides Eternity from view:
With recollection quickened, then we’ll know 95
What we experienced ere we dwelt below;
And hail each other from the coasts of Time,
As wanderers, rescued from a barbarous clime:
Our kindred, heaven’s nobility, we’ll meet
At home, unmask’d, to crown the social treat.
composed ca. 29 December 1854
published in Deseret News, 11 January 1855

 

243 To Parents

FATHERS and mothers! love for Zion’s weal
Inspires the muse to proffer an appeal,
In Zion’s name. Her welfare is our aim,
And mutual int’rest; therefore I will claim,
Not the indulgence of your list’ning ear, 5
Nor the vain plaudits sycophants would hear;
But your attention, thoughtful, calm and grave—
Your sober judgment I would fondly crave.
You all are stewards of what you possess:
You may abuse or use in righteousness; 10
And thus the children giv’n you of the Lord
May prove your curse, or prove a rich reward.
Early in life, is the direction giv’n
Which leads them down to hell or up to heav’n.
As outlines sketch’d in youth and infancy, 15
The manhood and womanhood will be.
The infant mind is like an empty cell,
Where good and evil find a place to dwell,
And may, by culture, be enlarg’d and fill’d,
And truth and error, one or both, instill’d. 20
Our bodies, thro’ exertion, strength obtain—
By exercise, to proper growth attain:
Let healthy, vig’rous limbs, inertly lie,
How soon they perish—ultimately die!
And without practice too, the mental powers, 25
Weak, unsupplied with needful, useful stores;
Will not arrive at their diploma’d worth,
Nor shed their own inherent lustre forth.
We cannot pow’rs and faculties create,
But ’tis our province, both to cultivate; 30
And while life’s busy scenes are hurrying thro’,
The most important is the first to do;
And surely none can more of worth combine,
Than the improvement of the youthful mind.
Will ignorance—will wit and sportive glee— 35
Will nonsense qualify your sons to be
Your representatives to carry on
The work you have commenced, when you are gone?
In high important offices to act—
As Zion’s judges, business to transact 40
In things momentous for all Israel’s sake,
With the salvation of the world at stake?
When education waits before your door—
When her rich streams in golden currents pour;
Altho’ yourselves have not the time to sip, 45
Inspire your sons and daughters too, to dip.
Prompt them to mental service, while the mind,
Like pliant boughs, is easily inclined—
While they with readiness and pleasure take
The impressions which the sculptor’s chisels make. 50
Your sons as heralds, soon must go abroad
To face the world—to teach the truth of God—
The wise—the erudite of earth to meet—
Knowledge with knowledge—mind with mind compete—
All their attainments criticised and tried, 55
Before tribunals of ungodly pride:
Where no apologies will be received,
And no mistakes and errors be retriev’d.
’Tis true, the Lord his Spirit does bestow,
And thro’ that medium, streams of knowledge flow: 60
But when the opportunities are giv’n,
Thro’ the o’er-ruling providence of heav’n,
For self-improvement; no one need expect
That God will smile upon our own neglect.
The Lord assists all those who do their part— 65
The dilatory ones must feel the smart.
Would not your bowels of compassion yearn
To think your child, in stranger lands must learn,
By force of cruel circumstances, what
He might have been, at home, in kindness taught? 70
Among the brutes, and brutish of our kind,
The pow’r of sinew rules, instead of mind:
Where cultivation sheds its genial ray,
Knowledge is pow’r, and mental strength bears sway.
As fins obscure the vision of the blind, 75
So ign’rance hides the lustre of the mind—
To rude unpolish’d gems, it will compare,
Till education stamps an impress there.
Should Zion’s sons, in aught deficient be,
That will adorn, or yield utility? 80
And very soon your blooming daughters will
Their destin’d place as wives and mothers fill.
The best—the noblest boon they can receive—
The richest fortune, you have power to give—
The wealthiest patrimony under heav’n, 85
Is Education timely—wisely giv’n.
Not erudition’s superficial gloss—
Its glitt’ring tinsel, and its flimsy dross,
Vain useless lumber—foolish, empty boast,
Which constitutes the braggadocia’s toast. 90
Instead of fabled, false, fictitious glare,
Teach them what was—what will be, and what are;
Which will their minds with useful stores supply—
Expand, ennoble, and exalt them high,
Teach them the principles of life and health, 95
And make them rich with intellectual wealth:
As your best legacy, teach them to find,
By constant searchings, treasures for the mind:
All else will perish or elude their grasp,
Tho’ much they cherish—tho’ they fondly clasp; 100
But what they gather up of mental worth,
Will not forsake them when they leave the earth.
The pow’r of method students gain in school,
Forms a credential—constitutes a tool,
An operative instrument, whereby 105
Their own resources, they can self-apply.
Then, let your children be well taught in youth,
Upon the basis of eternal Truth—
Self-cultivated too, as well as taught—
Train’d to reflection, and inur’d to thought: 110
And both in Time, and in Eternity,
Your sons, as pillars, in the church, will be—
As chosen saviors on Mount Zion stand,
And sway the royal sceptre of command:
Your daughters too, as polish’d stones, will shine, 115
And ornament their parentage and line—
To grace—to dignify celestial courts,
Where the illustrious from all worlds resort;
And mingle in the high assemblies, where
The Holy Ones—the Gods and angels are.
composed Winter 1854–1855
published in The Mountaineer, 10 March 1860

 

244 Address

Delivered by Eliza R. Snow, Jan. 9, 1855,
at a Social Party in Lorenzo Snow’s Hall
My Brothers and Sisters, I’m happy to be
Where the atmosphere’s pure—where the spirit is free—
Where clear rays from the light of Eternity shine—
Where reflections from Intellect’s luminous mine
Brightly beam from each eye—in each countenance glow— 5
Where pure currents of thought, unobstructedly flow—
Where sweet singers and players, rich off’rings impart
To form telegraph lines from the head to the heart.
Hosanna to God: Let his praises abound
Till the world, to his honor, with shouts will resound; 10
And with acts that imply more than language can speak
All that look for salvation, his favor will seek.
With pure hearts and clean hands we can never do wrong,
And we’ll praise him in music, in dance, and in song:
In whatever we do, either pastime or toil, 15
For the welfare of Zion we aim all the while.
’Tis our theme—our ambition—our wealth and our home—
Our bright centre of hopes in the glories to come.
Like rich clusters of grapes on a desolate plain,
Or cool streams on the desert, is what we obtain 20
From the presence of God when his spirit unbinds,
And with holy inspirings, gives scope to our minds.
And our minds must expand, and our hearts be enlarg’d,
Or with “line upon line,” they will be overcharg’d:
Small vessels, when fill’d, can but little contain— 25
All that each can receive, we are sure to obtain.
But the eye hath not seen, and the ear hath not heard,
Nor hath enter’d the heart, what the Lord has prepar’d
In the heavens, for the saints, who their faithfulness prove,
And in keeping his statutes, exhibit their love. 30
Yet sweet foretastes flow down, like refreshings of dew
On our pilgrimage here, to encourage us through.
Lo! The powers of the earth are beginning to shake,
And the great day of vengeance is ready to break!
A slaughter-field Babylon soon will become, 35
For the Gentiles are urging their own fearful doom—
And the sinners in Zion will meet their reward,
For the judgments begin at the House of the Lord.
Revolution’s wide trumpet is sounding its blast—
Change is treading on change, and Time’s chariot rolls fast. 40
The earth’s tide of creation has ebb’d itself low—
There will be no more ebbing—henceforward, ’twill flow.
Restitution’s tall Era, with us has commenc’d,
And the truths of salvation are widely dispens’d—
The grand gath’ring of Israel, proclaim’d far and near, 45
And a few from all nations are gather’d up here.
And how blest are the saints who’re permitted to come
To these valleys of peace—to this mountainous home,
Where no wolf and no tiger can lawlessly prowl,
And no night-lurking dog with impunity howl— 50
Where the finger of God thro’ the Priesthood, directs,
And his all seeing-eye thro’ his Prophet, protects.
Truth will spread forth its conquests till th’ nations abroad
Will bow down and acknowledge the kingdom of God.
In eternal progression we’re taught to believe, 55
But we all have to labor for what we receive.
With no service perform’d, no reward is obtain’d—
Where no warfares are wag’d, are no victories gain’d.
We must work, and continue our work all the day—
If we tire out at noon we shall forfeit the pay: 60
If perchance we should wear out, we take the next room,
And with more refin’d matter our labors resume,
Under superintendence of those who preside
In the bright spirit land, o’er the saints that have died.
Father Adam, our God, let all Israel extol, 65
And, Jesus, our Brother, who died for us all:
All the praise is imperfect, we now can bestow—
Our expression is weak, and our language too low:
But when Zion that dwells on a planet in light,
With the Zion perfected on earth, shall unite; 70
Sweet, rich, high-sounding anthems, all heav’n will inspire,
As the pure language flows from the lips of the choir.
composed ca. 9 January 1855
published in Deseret News, 18 January 1855

 

245 Contrast

The storm is past: all nature is serene:
How clear the sunshine, and how calm the scene!
The hurricane is over: soft and low
As music’s whisper, gentle zephyrs blow:
The tuneful songsters chant their joyous lay, 5
And rose-cheek’d cherubs on the terrace play.
The cataract has ceased, and all is still,
Save the low murmur of the purling rill.
The earthquake past that threaten’d to destroy;
Each bosom swells with gratitude and joy. 10
The angry waves recede: along the shore
Sweet bugle notes chime with the boatman’s oar.
When raging wars, their fierce dread clamor, cease,
How grateful comes the gentle voice of peace.
To vet’ran warriors from the battlefield, 15
What sacred pleasures home and fireside yield.
Turmoil and labor, relish give to rest,
And make retirement oft a rich behest;
And after wild confusion takes a fill,
Sweet harmony seems more harmonious still. 20
Much, much is learned by contrast. Who would know
To prize a friend, who never had a foe?
Without the wrong, who could adjudge the right?
Without the darkness, how distinguish light?
Without the bitter, who would relish sweet? 25
If friends ne’er parted, say if friends could meet.
We learn in sickness how to value health—
Through poverty, the benefits of wealth.
How better prove pure wheat than to compare
The genuine kernel with the spurious tare? 30
The school of God impresses lessons well:
In which the students learn to read and spell—
Learn how to appreciate all and ev’ry good,
As hunger gives an appetite for food.
Ask Israel’s Elders who go forth to preach, 35
To all—to every nation, grade and speech:
When far from all on earth you dearly prize—
Far, far from home and all its tender ties—
Exposed to hatred, malice, scoff and scorn,
Where vice is nourished and tradition born— 40
Where sin, contagious with the blight of death,
Enters the life-blood and pollutes the breath!
Strange, among strangers, and at times, unblest
With shelter, food or drink or where to rest.
Then there—altho’ to your high callings true; 45
You think of home: you learn to prize it too.
All things existing, will to good conduce,
When well applied, and to their proper use,
And all subserve our profit, when we know
Their adaption—what, when, where and how. 50
We’re here to learn—to suffer and to rise:
Without experience Gods would be unwise.
composed ca. 23 January 1855
published in Poems 2, 1877

 

246 Woman

Address before an Assembly of the
“Polysophical Institution,” in Prest. L. Snow’s Hall,
Great Salt Lake City, Jan. 30, 1855
Before this noble audience, once again
A Lyre of Zion re-resumes its strain.
Thought is a currency—Speech is design’d
To circulate the treasures of the mind.
When this Society convenes, this Hall 5
Is a grand reservoir, supplying all:
And constitutes an intellectual mint,
Where words are coin’d—ideas take their tint—
Where morals, arts and sciences are taught—
Mind prompting mind, and thought inspiring thought. 10
When last assembled, woman’s worth and sphere
Were beautifully illustrated here:
And then the thought suggested to my view,
That woman’s self might speak of woman too:
But not for “Woman’s Rights” to plead or claim— 15
No! that, in Zion, I should blush to name.
I have apologies to offer here
For Gentile ladies who disclaim their sphere.
Having obtained enough of truthful light,
To see life’s strange perversions of the right; 20
They seek with noble, yet misguided aim,
Corruption and abuses to reclaim:
But all their efforts to remove the curse
Are only making matters worse and worse.
They could as well unlock without a key, 25
As change the tide of man’s degeneracy,
Without the holy priesthood: ’tis at most,
Like reck’ning bills in absence of the host.
No more of this. I’ll speak of woman now
When Inspiration’s pow’rs, the mind endow— 30
Where rules are giv’n to renovate the earth—
To try all textures and to prove all worth.
And what is woman’s calling? where her place?
Is she destin’d to honor? or disgrace?
The season’s gone when she could set her stake 35
To which the will of man must bow or break—
The time is past for her to reign alone,
And singly make a husband’s heart her throne:
No more she stands with sovereignty confess’d;
Nor yet a play-thing, dandled and caress’d; 40
Neither a dazzling butterfly or mote,
On light, ethereal, balmy waves to float.
Hers is a holy calling, and her lot
With consequence most highly, deeply fraught—
“Help-meet” for man—with him she holds a key 45
Of present and eternal destiny.
She bends from life’s illusive greatness down—
“She stoops to conquer”—serves to wear a crown.
Love, kindness, rectitude, with wisdom fraught
Form woman’s greatness, wheresoe’er her lot: 50
However great, let once her aim be pow’r,
She sinks—decreases from that hapless hour!
Aspiring brains fictitious heights create
And seek to clothe in greatness, ere they’re great:
All dignity is but an idle sport, 55
Where goodness forms no pillar for support.
Who thro’ submission, faith, and constancy,
Like ancient Sarah, gains celebrity;
And thus obtains an honorable place;
A high position may sustain and grace. 60
That there are rights and privileges too,
To woman’s sphere, and to her duties due;
Reason and justice—truth and heav’n confirm;
But they’re not held by force, nor took by storm.
If “rights” are right when they are rightly gain’d, 65
“Rights” must be wrong when wrongfully obtain’d:
The putting forth a hand to take the prize
Before we fairly win it, is unwise.
Let woman then, a course in life pursue
To purchase man’s respect, as merit’s due, 70
And feeling God’s approval, act her part
With noble independence in her heart;
Nor change, nor swerve, nor shrink, whatever is;
Though fools may scoff—impertinence may quiz:
Faithful, though oft in faithfulness unknown— 75
With no whereon to lean, but God alone.
Then by the laws which rule the courts above,
She holds the charter to a husband’s love,
Which built on confidence—by virtue won,
Will amply—will abundantly atone 80
For what she feels at times, neglected now—
Misjudg’d and unappreciated too.
With chaff and tares, wheat may be buried low—
Gold hid in dross, where none but angels know.
Wit, youth, and beauty oft a charm impart 85
Which throws a magic spell around the heart;
But ’tis an influence ever prone to wane
Unless the powers of worth that charm sustain.
The jewel, confidence, is far above
The fickle streams of earth’s degen’rate love. 90
Nature, inviolate holds certain laws—
There’s no effect produc’d without a cause:
Integrity and faithfulness, through hard
And patient labor, reap their own reward.
The gains of craft will take their own light wings, 95
And all assumptions are but short-liv’d things.
As we move forward to a perfect state
And leave the dross degeneracies create:
Laws of affinity will closely bind
Heart unto heart—congenial mind to mind. 100
Life, Order—all things are in embryo,
And through experience God is teaching how
To mould—to fashion to the pattern giv’n—
To show on earth a specimen of heaven.
A calm must be preceded by a storm, 105
And revolutions go before reform:
Faith, practice, heads and hearts must all be tried,
To test what can and what cannot abide.
When shakings, tossings, changings, all are thro’—
All things their level find—their classes too; 110
A perfect government will be restor’d,
And Truth and Holiness and God ador’d,
But ere this renovating work is thro’,
Woman, as well as man, has much to do:
Responsibilities, however great, 115
Advancing onward will increase in weight;
And she, that she receiving, may dispense,
Needs wisdom, knowledge and intelligence;
Of high refinements too, she should partake
With rich endowments; for her offspring’s sake. 120
Queen of her household—authorized to bless—
To plant the principles of righteousness—
To paint the guideboard that thro’ life will tell,
And lead instinctively to heaven or hell—
To fix the base, the fundamental part 125
Of future greatness in the head and heart,
Which constitutes the germ of what will be
In the high courts of immortality.
What we experience here, is but a school
Wherein the rul’d may be prepar’d to rule. 130
The secret and the key—the spring—the soul
Of rule—of government, is self-control.
Cloth’d with the beauties, purity reflects,
The acknowledg’d glory of “the other sex,”
From life’s crude dross and rubbish will come forth, 135
By weight of character—by strength of worth;
And thro’ obedience woman will obtain
The power of reigning and the right to reign.
composed ca. 30 January 1855
published in The Mormon, 27 December 1856

 

247 Elegy

Written on the Death
of Mrs. Phoebe M. Angell
“Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord.”
Long, long will Zion’s daughters,
And Zion’s mothers too,
Her dear, fond mem’ry cherish,
And blessings o’er it strew.
She serv’d the God of Israel 5
In faith and faithfulness;
Her life on earth abounded
In works of righteousness.
She sooth’d the heart of sorrow,
And calm’d the breast of woe— 10
What God to her imparted,
She freely did bestow.
She sought the poor and lowly,
And while her hand bestow’d,
Her lips were richly vocal, 15
Directing up to God.
Her mind was deck’d with knowledge,
From long experience gain’d—
Her heart was stor’d with wisdom,
By faith and pray’r obtain’d. 20
Though from the cup of sorrow
Which falls to mortal lot,
Hers was an ample portion—
She drank and murmur’d not.
She’s gone—and while we mourn her, 25
Our loss to her is gain;
And we would not recall her
To this low world of pain.
She fill’d her earthly mission
In faithfulness and love; 30
And now has join’d the assemblies
Of holy ones above.
published in Deseret News, 1 February 1855

248 The Press

THE PRESS—the Press—the Printing Press—
A noble Art the world to bless:
It wields the products of the pen—
The truths of God, and the crafts of men:
It moves with the might of a giant’s arm— 5
Its roaring anathemas cause alarm—
It wakes up the wrath of its fearful ire—
Its friction arouses political fire—
It moulds with a smile the bright meed, renown,
And monarchies shrink from its with’ring frown:— 10
The Press, like a mirror, reflects from its page,
The progress—complexion, and phiz of the age.
The Press—the Press—where th’ Press is free,
There dwells the goddess LIBERTY—
And peace, and plenty, hand in hand, 15
Rich blessings strew throughout the land;
And the rights of man, and the gifts of God
Are nursed with care, and dispensed abroad—
And streams of intelligence freely flow
To rich and to poor—to the high and low; 20
The Press the swift speed of the race imparts
To the march of Science, and useful arts—
It holds a strong key—it can loose or bind—
Contract or enlarge ev’ry sphere of mind.
The Press—the Press—the Deseret Press— 25
An instrument of pow’r to bless—
A trumpet with loud thunders rife—
It stands on board the “ship of life;”
It sounds long and loud the clear orders giv’n
By th’ Captain below, as they flow from heav’n; 30
It thunders afar the shrill cry of alarm—
Ye nations!—prepare for the coming storm!—
Black clouds are now gathering thick o’er th’ earth—
From wars, from pestilence, fire, and dearth,
Haste!—Fly to the ship!—for the scourge of God, 35
In vials of wrath will be pour’d abroad!
The Press—the Press—the Deseret Press
In Zion stands, the Saints to bless:
An organ of God, with music rife,
Its volumes swell with notes of life:— 40
And sweet is its voice, and its breath is pure,
And rich are its tones, and its words are sure;
Its accents are thrilling, and deep, and clear,
And speak to the judgment of all that hear;—
When borne on the wings of the wind abroad, 45
With joy they are hail’d by the Saints of God—
And thousands respond with a shout,—Success
To Deseret Printers, and Deseret Press.
composed ca. 2 February 1855
published as a broadsheet, 2 February 1855

 

249 Chant

Delivered by Eliza R. Snow, February 6th, 1855,
before an Assembly of the Polysophical Institution,
in L. Snow’s Hall
1 I will praise thee, O my God.
2 In the midst of the daughters of Zion—in the presence of the
Honorable Judges in Israel, I will exalt thy name.
3 The first fruits of all the nations of the earth are here—thou hast
associated me with choice spirits, even those who have conducted nobly from the beginning.
4 Thou hast cast my lot with those whose faith is more precious than
all the glitt’ring treasures which our mother Earth is now folding in her bosom; and whose integrity is a brighter ornament than the most brilliant diadem that ever decorated the head of an earthly monarch.
5 Thou hast imparted to me a portion of the pure oil of gladness, even
thy Spirit; which creates in my bosom a perpetual fountain of joy; and which constitutes both the law of affinity and the pow’r of attraction, to lift my heart upward, and give me faith and confidence to trust in thee.
6 Thou hast committed to thy servants the key of knowledge with
which they have unlock’d the treasures of wisdom and understanding, and have open’d the fountains of light to this generation.
7 Thou hast delivered thy people: Thou hast led them forth from
under the hand of oppression; and although they sacrific’d their rightful possessions in the lands of their nativity; they know that the cattle upon the thousand western hills—the Earth and the fulness thereof, are thine; and they rejoice in the deliverance which thou hast wrought for them.
8 Thou hast sustain’d thy Saints in the midst of the ordeal of
affliction—thou hast brought them forth from the fiery furnace,
9 As thy Son Ahman stood by the three Hebrews, who anciently were
cast into the flames according to the edict of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; so thou Ahman went in the midst of thy people, the Latter Day Saints—they have come forth unhurt and the smell of fire is not on their garments.
10 Those who have turn’d their backs on their brethren, have perish’d;
and those that have halted by the way, thro’ fear; have been entic’d to revel at the waters of Lethe until the dark shadows of Oblivion have swallow’d them up forever!
11 But those that adher’d to thy statutes and have maintained their
steadfastness in the sacred covenants of the Holy Priesthood; have been led forth from the foaming vortex of mobocracy, and from the contaminating corruptions of the nations—they have landed safely on the terra-firma of peace—their feet are established on the mountains of Israel, the chambers of the West; in the strongholds which thou Ahman had prepar’d for them, with the strength of the everlasting hills—the munition of rocks for their defence.
12 Thou hast plac’d the scepter of Government in the hand of thine
anointed, even thy servant Brigham, on whom has fallen the mantle of Joseph—thou hast endow’d him with knowledge and understanding—his Councilors are men of wisdom—his administration is that of justice and equity; and thy people dwell
safely and rejoice in the multitude of blessings of the reign of peace.
13 Well may thy praises resound throughout all the rich valleys of
Ephraim: and let the lofty snow-crown’d mountains reverberate with shouts of hosanna to thy name.
14 I rejoice in thy Statutes and in the holy ordinances of thy House—
my lips shall praise thee in the social assemblies of thy Saints.
15 In the silent meditations of the night, when my thoughts reach
after thee, and when the vision of my mind seems to penetrate the dark curtain of mortality; I am swallowed up in the contemplations of thy greatness and majesty, and the condescensions of thy love for thy degenerate children.
16 Then I feel to say in my heart; altho’ it might be thro’ the furnace
of affliction—tho’ it should be by draining the cup of bitterness to the dregs, if, that, in thy wisdom, is deem’d necessary to purify and prepare me; let me be prepar’d; that I may behold thy face—that I may come up and dwell in thy presence.
17 Then, and not till then, will my soul be fully satisfied, O, my God,
Adam, Ahman, the King, the Lord of Hosts.
composed ca. 6 February 1855
published in Deseret News, 25 April 1855

 

250 Nationality

Address by E. R. Snow, Feb. 27th, 1855,
before an Assembly of the “Polysophical Institution,”
in L. Snow’s Hall
Most courteously, this evening I’ll present
Before this audience, a sentiment—
At least, a hint, on Nationality,
A love, or rather partiality
For birth-place—country, and the people where 5
Our lungs at first inhale the vital air.
One might as well my thoughts exterminate—
My place in pedigree annihilate;
Or the warm pulse of life eradicate,
As to efface or to remove from me— 10
The sentiment of Nationality.
It of my nature constitutes a part—
Unites with all the life-blood of my heart,
And if no trait or portion of my spirit,
’Tis something I eternally inherit. 15
Not all the charms surrounding scenes impart
Can chase the high-toned feelings from my heart;
For oft—full oft, so tenderly they yearn,
A kindling impulse prompts a fond return
Unto the land of my nativity— 20
My native home—my native scenery.
But where—O where the land so choice—so dear?
Which is the nation I so much revere?
I do not languish for the lakes and rills—
The rugged heights of Europe’s Alpine hills— 25
The verdant vales which beauteously repose
’Neath their bold summits of eternal snows.
Nor would I boast a proud nativity—
On the luxuriant plains of Italy,
With glowing, sunny landscapes, rich and fair— 30
Tall city spires and grand cathedrals there,
Where the salubrious climate’s genial heat
Gives to the pulse, a soft and ardent beat;
Where nature with accelerated force,
With less of time, completes her wonted course. 35
Nor yet in Germany, where laws are made
To fit like tenons of the workman’s trade—
Where ev’ry code of civil policy
Mocks the precision of geometry—
Where ease and luxury are smiling round, 40
And merry glee and cheerfulness abound:
Where fragrant meadows and the harvest field
To man and beast a joyous plenty yield.
Not Britain with her mountains, hills, and dales,
Including England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales; 45
With inland products and ship-crested coast—
Comprising much that wealth and honor boast:
With far-famed cities, towns and villas too,
Where genius flourish’d and where valor grew,
With all varieties of grade and sphere 50
Of home—sweet home, most lovely and most dear—
The honor’d home of noble thousands, where
Are executed with judicious care
Those legal pow’rs created to bestow
Protection’s banner to the high and low; 55
And where religious toleration now,
Above all elsewhere, lifts its manly brow.
Not Sweden, Denmark, Norway—not in France
Where revolution’s onward strides advance
And then recede, as tides that ebb and flow— 60
As moons that waxing, waning onward go:
While soft refinement with its graceful air
Displays a master-stroke of polish there—
Where vinous foliage—native fruits and flow’rs
Vie with exotics in luxuriant bow’rs. 65
Neither America’s much favor’d land,
Where Lehi, guided by Jehovah’s hand,
Obtain’d a place for him and his to be
Thro’ generations of posterity.
Where those choice records—where the truth was found 70
As said Isaiah, “speaking from the ground.”
Not coasts or capes nor Islands of the sea;
For none I cherish a partiality.
I say, with brother Eddington: I’m not
Italian, Hindoo, English, German, Scot; 75
Neither American, Swiss, Welsh, or Dane,
Nor any Islander from ocean’s main,
Nor Spanish, French, Norwegian, nor Swede—
I claim no country, nation, kingdom, creed
Excepting Zion; this I proudly name— 80
This is the home I fondly love to claim:
Were I to boast of nationality,
I’d go beyond this frail mortality.
The noblest spirits scatter’d o’er the earth,
By truth’s eternal influence gather’d forth 85
From Babylon to earthly Zion, here,
Are on their way to heaven’s celestial sphere:
Our inns—our stopping-places, which or where,
Don’t matter when we’ve paid our bills of fare.
One God—one faith—one baptism: we are now 90
All in one kingdom—at one altar bow:
The union of the Father and the Son
Is heaven’s high pattern—we must all be one—
All local feeling should be laid aside,
And former differences no more divide. 95
The time approaches—soon will Zion be
The pride of earthly nationality—
It will the history of those adorn
Of whom ’tis said, they were in Zion born.
The Holy Spirit, ev’ry saint receives 100
Is one sense added to what nature gives;
It is a pow’rful telescope, whereby
We look beyond the stretch of mortal eye.
Its keen perceptive vision takes a view
Of origin and destination too. 105
Instructed by this spirit-sense, we learn
More than corporeal senses can discern.
It sees we are not natives of this earth—
We’ve liv’d before—we had an earlier birth—
A clime and habitation highly pure 110
Beyond what these gross senses can endure.
That is the charm—the nationality—
The spring of impulse actuating me—
That is the point to which I would attain—
The country—home I fondly would regain: 115
From whence, for noble purposes, we all
To gain experience thro’ our Parents’ fall—
To gain the Zenith of perfected worth,
Have come on pilgrimage, thro’ mortal birth.
As foreign trav’lers, each a camping ground 120
On diff’rent portions of the earth have found;
The force of habit gives to each, a grace—
Peculiar charms to each and ev’ry place:
And yet, with all the adoration felt
As at their shrines devotedly we knelt, 125
Not one—not all possess sufficient worth
To make us feel quite nat’ralized to earth.
Our hearts beat upward and our spirits move
In homeward currents, towards those we love,
Where uncorrupted nature’s beauties glow— 130
Where life’s pure streams from endless fountains flow;
And there the sixth, the spirit-sense will lead
If to its dictates we give constant heed;
And its refining process will prepare
Us for a full and free reception there, 135
And there we’ll talk of Nationality
With the celestials of Eternity.
composed ca. 27 February 1855
published in Deseret News, 25 June 1856

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