452 At the Sea of Galilee
453 “We’ve sailed on many an ocean”
454 “Our former, loved associates”
455 The World’s Jubilee
456 To Miss C. Cobb
458 Parting Lines
459 A Jubilee Poem
460 President George A. Smith
461 Hints at Matters of Fact in Utah
462 Temple Song
464 Funeral of President Brigham Young
467 In Memoriam
470 Clifton Rossiter
471 “May we onward and upward”
474 [To Elizabeth H. Goddard]
475 In Memory of
Thou City with a cherished name—
A name in garlands drest
Adorned with ancient sacred fame
As City of the blest.
Thy rulers once were mighty men— 5
Thy sons renown’d in war:
Thy smiles were sought and courted then
By people from afar.
A holy Temple, built as God
Directed it should be; 10
In which His glory shone abroad,
With heav’nly majesty;
Was great adornment to thy place,
And lustre to thy name;
With much of grandeur, wealth and grace, 15
To magnify thy fame.
The Lord was with thee then, and deign’d,
In speech well understood,
Through prophets, by His wisdom trained,
To counsel for thy good. 20
Attracted by illustrious fame,
As by a ruling star,
To study wisdom, people came
From other climes afar.
Thine then, a chosen, favor’d land, 25
Was crowned with plenty’s smile;
The mountains dropp’d down fatness, and
The hillsides, wine and oil.
And thou wert like a golden gem
Upon a nation’s brow. 30
Alas! What art thou now?
Degraded, and on every hand,
From wisdom all estrang’d:
Thy glory has departed! And 35
All, but thy name, is chang’d.
From God withdrawn—by Him forsook—
To all intents depraved:
Beneath the Turkish iron yoke
Thou long hast been enslaved. 40
Divested of all heav’nly rites,
Thy crest has fallen low:
Around thy walls are squalid sights
Of beggary and woe.
Thy streets are narrow, filthy lanes, 45
Offensive to the breath;
Thy pools appear like sewer drains
That breed disease and death.
No Temple, now that God design’d—
No church by Him approved— 50
No prophet to reveal His mind,
By inspiration moved.
Where once a royal Banner spread,
The Crescent’s waving now.
A sable wreath is on thy head, 55
And blood upon thy brow.
The curse of God thy changes wrought,
Thro’ crimes the Jews have done,
When they His counsels set at nought,
And crucified His Son. 60
Since then, has retribution’s hand
Put forth its fearful skill
Upon thy structures and thy land,
A destiny to fill.
Thy children, Seed of Israel 65
Of God’s “peculiar care,”
On whom the weight of judgment fell,
Are scattered everywhere.
* * * * *
Thy sun has not forever set—
God has a great design, 70
And will fulfil his purpose yet,
Th’ appointed time will surely come;
According to His will,
For God, with “faithful Abraham,” 75
His cov’nants to fulfil.
Thyself redeem’d from deep disgrace
Of filth and negligence;
These uncouth structures shall give place
To taste and elegance. 80
Thy walls shall be of precious stones—
Thy gates of richest pearl;
And on thy tow’ring battlements,
Shall sacred banners furl.
The Seed of Jacob, then shall dwell 85
In bold security:
More than the former glory, shall
Thy latter glory be.
composed 4 March 1873
published in Woman’s Exponent, 15 January 1874
I have stood on the shore of the beautiful sea,
The renowned and immortalized Galilee,
When t’was wrapp’d in repose, at eventide
Like a royal queen in her regal pride.
No sound was astir—not a murmuring wave— 5
Not a motion was seen, but the tremulous lave,
A gentle heave of the water’s crest—
As the infant breathes on a mother’s breast.
I thought of the present—the past: it seemed
That the silent Sea, with instruction teem’d; 10
For often, indeed, the heart can hear
What never, in sound has approached the ear.
Full oft has silence been richly fraught
With treasures of wisdom, and stores of thought,
With sacred, heavenly whisperings, too, 15
That are sweeter than roses, and honey dew.
There’s a depth in the soul, that’s beyond the reach
Of all earthly sound—of all human speech,
A fiber too sacred and pure, to chime
With the cold, dull music of Earth and Time. 20
’Tis the heart’s receptacle, nought can supply,
But the streams that flow from the fount on high,
An instinct divine, of immortal worth,
An inherited gift, through primeval birth.
* * * * *
Again, when the shades of night, were gone, 25
In the clear bright rays of the morning drawn,
I walked on the bank of this selfsame Sea,
Where once, our Redeemer was wont to be.
Where, “Lord save, or I perish.” was Peter’s prayer,
Befitting the weak and the faithless elsewhere. 30
And here while admiring this Scriptural Sea,
Th’ bold vista of Time, brought th’ past up to me.
Embos’d with events when the Prince of Life,
Endured this world’s hatred—its envy and strife;
When, in Him, the Omnipotent was revealed. 35
And, by Him, the wide breach of the Lord, was healed.
The gates, He unbarred, and led the way,
Through the shadow of death, to the courts of day;
And “led captivity captive,” when
“He ascended on high, and gave gifts unto men.”
composed 17 March 1873
published in Woman’s Exponent, 1 July 1873
We’ve sailed on many an ocean,
And entered many a port—
View’d many a princely Palace,
And many a lordly Court.
Seen many Mosques and Churches, 5
And witness’d service there;
And how unlike the Gospel,
Their modes of worship are.
How long shall superstition,
Priestcraft and ign’rance bind 10
In chains our fellow beings
And dwarf their powers of mind?
By undisputed tokens,
His favor’d people know
That God again has spoken 15
From heav’n, to man below:
And that the glorious Gospel
Meets every mortal need;
While Truth Eternal triumphs
O’er every human Creed. 20
By faith, and works united,
Through Jesus’ blood made free;
How noble, pure, and Godlike,
The lives of Saints should be!
Safe from the fierce destroyer 25
That on the water rides;
And “terra firma” dangers,
The Lord our pathway guides.
From many a stranger country,
And many a foreign strand, 30
We now are sailing homeward,
Towards our native land.
composed 4 June 1873
published in Woman’s Exponent, 1 July 1873
Our former, loved associates,
Have mostly passed away;
While those we knew as children
Are crowned with locks of gray.
We saw Time’s varied traces, 5
Were deep on every hand—
Indeed, upon the people,
More mark’d, than on the land.
The hands that once, with firmness,
Could grasp the ax and blade, 10
Now move with trembling motion,
By strength of nerve decay’d.
The change in form and feature,
And furrows on the cheek;
Of time’s increasing volume, 15
In plain, round numbers speak,
And thus, as in a mirror’s
Reflection, we were told,
With stereotyp’d impressions,
The fact of growing old.
composed 20 June 1873
published in Woman’s Exponent, 1 August 1873
The tide of time is ebbing low,
The wheels of change roll fast;
Hark! the heralds of salvation blow
The gospel trump’s loud blast.
Our God, the source of life and love, 5
To earth His care extends—
Reveals the law the hosts above
In holy union blends.
Awake, awake, let the nations hear
Jehovah’s firm decree, 10
To abolish sin, and usher in
The world’s great Jubilee.
Immortal garlands crown the day
On which brave men of God,
Who pioneer’d the desert way 15
First in this valley trod.
From here, the “little stone” will roll—
“The kingdom” spread abroad,
Till peace shall reign from pole to pole,
And all acknowledge God. 20
The “iron horse” and “lightning wires”
Their mutual pow’rs combine;
And man’s vile wrath, o’erruled, conspires
To aid the great design.
O’er mountain tops swell high the strain— 25
To every land proclaim,
The voice of God is heard again;
Shout, glory to his name.
published in Juvenile Instructor, 20 June 1874
Why should each fond emotion
That swells the human heart
Be mov’d like waves of ocean,
When friend from friend must part?
Better than ev’ry feeling 5
Within the soul, be stir’d,
Let time and distance stealing,
Prevent the parting word.
And tho’ I’m thus suppressing
The parting, fond adieu; 10
Lady, you have my blessing,—
And cordial wishes too.
With hearts around you beating
That with affection swell,
And kindred voices greeting, 15
Accept my kind “farewell.”
May sunshine crown your absence
Until the time shall come
That brings you back in safety
To this dear “mountain home.”
MUCH HONORED SIR,
We proudly welcome you,
As a true champion of the rights of man.
You fought the battle, and you fought it well.
You fought for justice and those sacred rights
Our country’s Constitution guarantees 5
To loyal citizens.
You fought to quell
Aggression’s foaming tide—you fought for peace
The same for which our own brave Washington
Once battled—he in martial armor clad,
As standing on King George’s claims, he strove 10
To gain the vict’ry o’er tyrannic sway;
That civil and religious freedom, might
Extend to us. He fought and won the prize.
You stood on “freedom’s fair and happy soil,”
To which the oppress’d, from every land, resort: 15
And there opposed oppression? Yes, and that
Of blackest, direst, foulest element!
Oppression bred by hireling priests, who don
“Heaven’s livery” for lucre’s sake, and fed
And nursed by hungry politicians, who, 20
Eager of gain, would, Judas like, barter
Their country’s honor, justice, freedom, all—
For what? To gratify their lust for gold.
You, minus all the glittering pomp of spear,
And sword—all martial trappings, warrior’s boast; 25
Went forth like David, when Goliath dared
The hosts of Israel, and confronted those
Whose whetted teeth were ready to devour
Your people. You were armed with justice and
Altho’ your adversaries had 30
Th’ advantage in unequal numbers, God,
The Great Majority, was on your side:
And Brigham Young and his associates prayed
For you—not only, as the people pray
Within their churches and cathedrals, or, 35
At the domestic altar, where the pure
And fervent incense rises, but, they have prayed
In holy Order, as the Savior taught;
At their request, his ancient Twelve, to pray.
You knew “the race is not unto the swift, 40
Nor battle to the strong”— God was your trust.
The ordeal past, like Daniel from the den—
As Shadrach, Meshek and Abednego
Went forth without the smell of fire upon
Their garments, you, unblemished have returned. 45
With grateful hearts, we bid you WELCOME HOME.
composed ca. 15 July 1874
published in Woman’s Exponent, 1 August 1874
Fare you well, much honored mother;
Life and health your steps attend:
God, our Father will protect you,
As your homeward way you wend.
Fare you well, beloved Lady! 5
Go in peace, and be thou blest.
In the far off East, remember
Those who love you, in the West.
In the valleys of the mountains,
Hearts to God and country true; 10
In the holiest bonds of friendship
Known on earth, remember you.
When you’ve filled your earthly mission
And resigned your “dust to dust,”
You shall have abundant entrance 15
Into mansions of the just.
composed 2 August 1874
published in Woman’s Exponent, 1 November 1874
This day, on history’s brightest page, will live,
With honor’s purest diadem, adorned
With life’s chaste gems of beauty and of youth,
We now embellish it.
This is the day
On which the Pioneers of Utah, first, 5
Not yet three decades since, with thankful hearts,
Entered this vale.
’Twas dry and desolate
But they had come, searching their way across
The trackless desert plains, to find a home
For persecuted Saints; and here they found 10
A parched and sterile waste—the heritage
Of crickets, and the Indian’s stamping ground;
Which none but those who fully trusted in
The living, speaking God of Abraham,
Would have essayed, or struggled to reclaim. 15
And, since the tedious, slowly plodding team
Is superseded by the “iron horse,”
And time and distances seem swallow’d up,
Recitals of the stern realities
Experienced in our weary pilgrimage 20
Across the plains, fall on the list’ning ear,
Like studied fables, or romantic tales.
God led the Pioneers, and they the Camps
Here, a nucleus was formed—
A bright Oasis, like a Phœnix, rose 25
Upon the barren waste—brought forth by toil
And skill—by constant patience, faith and prayer:
And now the wilderness is budding as
The rose; and in the desert, streams break forth.
And here, God has a purpose to fulfil: 30
A purpose greater—more important, and
Magnanimous by far, than ever was
Invented by the human brain, is couched
In these strange movements—in the grand results;
Not merely those already realized, 35
But yet of broader, higher magnitude,
Embosom’d in the undevelop’d form
Of unborn times, and will immortalize
Th’ eventful day we now commemorate.
We are God’s children, and His instruments 40
To execute His plans; and what He has
Foretold through prophets, by Himself inspired,
Will, to the letter, all be verified.
An ancient prophet, when the holy fire
Of inspiration from the Deity, 45
Quicken’d his senses with a glowing spark
Of light divine, beheld, far down the long,
Dark vista of the Dispensations, then
Unfolded, ours—the present one—the last
And greatest: ’tis the Dispensation of 50
The fulness of all times—comprising those
Which have preceded; and, in this, he saw
In the lone “desert, a highway cast up,”
On which the ransom’d of the Lord should come
From every clime and nation under heaven. 55
God will establish in these mountain vales,
The Kingdom Daniel saw in vision, which
He likened to a “little stone,” that rolled
Down from the mountain—growing, moving on,
Until it filled the earth.
A portion of 60
The elements are here before us, in
This blooming choir—this mammoth Jubilee,
Where youth and childhood—pure and innocent
As vestal offerings, and beautiful
As ideality’s bright pencilings 65
Unite their voices in Jehovah’s praise.
O may these germs of immortality
Mature in wisdom’s true intelligence,
Endow’d with all the gifts the fullness of
The everlasting Gospel can confer. 70
May these young sons of Zion, these bright boys,
Be stalwart in their growth—be champions of
And valiant for eternal truth—improve
Upon the present type of manhood, and
Foreshadow a still higher to succeed, 75
Become staunch men of God, and proof against
Th’ infectious evils rampant in the world.
May these fair daughters—these young, sprightly girls
Preserve their purity—improve in mind—
In heart—in manners, grace and dignity— 80
Scorning to be the idle dolls and pets—
Mere playthings on the stage of human life,
But aim at higher, grander purposes—
To useful, noble womanhood, to be
The model mothers of a Godlike race. 85
Such are the men and women God must have
To consummate the work of Latter-day—
To be His instruments, with which to form
The basis of a government of Peace—
Of Justice, Truth and Equity—to build 90
His Kingdom, over which, the Prince of Life,
The Prince of Peace, our King, will come to reign.
composed ca. 24 July 1875
published in Deseret News, 28 July 1875
A friend of God—a friend of man—a kind
And loving husband, father, brother, saint,
The deep, sad sense of loneliness
Felt in the soft and soothing whisperings
Of twilight zephyrs as they gently move, 5
And seem in mournful requiem to chant
The solemn fact, speaks volumes to the heart.
He is not dead; yet, death has done its work;
It came, but not in ghastliness—it as
A kindly porter set the “Gates Ajar,” 10
And he stepped forth, leaving the tenement
A breathless corse, that slumbers in the tomb;
’Twas worn and weary and it needed rest.
No faith, nor prayers, nor the heart-yearnings of
The loving and beloved, could longer bind 15
That mighty spirit in an earthy form.
The wreath which mem’ry twines for him, around
The warm affections of the saints of God,
Will still be bright, and fresh with fragrance, when
The tallest, proudest monumental spires 20
That grace the tombs of earthly royalties,
Have crumbled ’neath the with’ring stroke of Time.
He made his mark in honor’s upward path;
And his example is, to those he loves,
The richest legacy he could bequeath. 25
With firm integrity, unflinchingly
He’s “fought the fight of faith.” He’s nobly fought
The powers of darkness—stem’d the foaming tide
Of ign’rance, prejudice and bigotry,
Combined in force against Eternal Truth. 30
And now, disrobed of frail mortality’s
Encumbrances, he joins the mighty host
Of valiant vet’rans of the cross, who’re all
Co-operating with the saints on earth;
And with that band he’ll shout triumphant strains. 35
Here, he was humble as a little child,
And yet, as boldest lion, he was bold
And brave. Unflinchingly he ever dared,
What is no ordinary daring in
This fawning, sycophantic age; he dared 40
To speak the truth. He verily is one
Of God’s best specimens of genuine
Nobility, i.e., AN HONEST MAN.
We’re proud to know he was and is our friend.
“Peace to his ashes.” His loved memory 45
Needs not of mortal praise. His works abide;
And he, with all whose lives are fashioned by
The unadulterated Gospel’s mould,
Will live eternally where God shall reign.
composed 11 September 1875
published in Woman’s Exponent, 15 September 1875
Say, have we “fall’n on evil times”—a day
When Inquisitions hold assumptive sway?
When law and equity are thrust aside,
And ermin’d cliques o’er right and justice ride?
What strange absurdity ’twixt church and state, 5
When a Chief Justice claims to legislate
In men’s religious faith—whether express’d,
Or pent within the brain, and non-confess’d?
When, for opinion’s sake, men must be shrived
And of the right of cit’zenship deprived! 10
Say, who would pillage, rob, or steal your purse?
Yet thrusts at consciences are grossly worse.
Mob raids—judicial raids—whatever name
May be applied, all raids are much the same;
Altho’ an outrage might seem more polite 15
Committed in the day, than in the night.
When human legislation seeks to grind
The conscience, and religion’s form to bind;
We’re fearless of results, for God o’errules
The acts of men—the wicked are but tools 20
To fill a purpose in these latter days,
For e’en the wrath of man shall work His praise:
The wicked shall destroy the wicked when
His vial’d wrath is pour’d on guilty men.
To us, as advocates of freedom’s cause, 25
And loyal subjects to all LEGAL laws,
’Tis surely no soul-pride-inspiring thing,
That magistrates are leagued with “whiskey ring,”
And thus degrade the empire form’d to be
A safeguard to our peace and liberty. 30
Can honor’s badge—can honor’s titles screen
Dishonor’s deeds and motives false and mean?
Though high officials prostitute their power—
Like vampires, peace and liberty devour;
Shall we the Constitution’s Rights forego? 35
Truth, Justice, Honor, Freedom, answer NO.
Truth’s mighty engine plac’d upon the track
By God’s decree, no power can force it back.
What! Stay Truth’s onward progress? No! As soon
Extinguish yonder sun—blot out the moon— 40
Remove earth from her orbit, and remove
The constellations from the arch above;
As well apply a puny, finite force
To stop the planets in their brilliant course:
As well might moles and bats the light defy, 45
And seek to pluck the sunbeams from the sky.
Truth’s cause will triumph over all the powers
Of earth and hell. Ye Saints, HIS CAUSE IS OURS.
published in Poems 2, 1877
Hark, hark! angelic minstrels sing
A sweet, melodious strain;
Heav’n’s high, celestial arches ring
With joyful news again.
Lo! now another key is turned: 5
’Tis God’s divine behest;
And those for whom our hearts have yearn’d,
Our dead, again are blest.
From the valleys of Ephraim hosannas arise,
And new hallelujahs descend from the skies, 10
Glad shouts of redemption from bondage resound
From the shades where the spirits in prison are bound.
In eighteen hundred seventy seven,
Let holy records tell,
A Temple’s finished—bolts are riven 15
In twain where spirits dwell.
We’ve been baptiz’d for them, and now,
As agents, in their stead,
We’re wash’d and we’re anointed too—
The living for the dead. 20
CHORUS—From the valleys, &c.
Within a Temple’s sacred court,
Beneath its royal tower,
Let humble, faithful saints resort
To wield salvation’s power.
Salvation’s work! O, glorious theme! 25
Too high for mortal tongues;
Seraphic hosts its grace proclaim
In everlasting songs.
CHORUS—From the valleys, &c.
A great, momentous time’s at hand,
Portending signs appear; 30
The wise will see and understand
The day of God is near.
Ye heav’nly gates, no more ajar—
Henceforth stand open wide;
The Bridegroom’s voice is heard afar, 35
Prepare, prepare the Bride.
CHORUS—From the valleys, &c.
published in Woman’s Exponent, 15 February 1877
1 In all our assemblies we will chant the praises of the Lord God
2 His spirit is the soul of our entertainments—the interest of His
kingdom the incentive of all our efforts.
3 God, who inhabits eternity—who dwells in the fulness of light—
who speaks and all the intelligences in the courts on high give audience:
4 He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Brigham, and of all
true Latter-day Saints.
5 Blessed are those that trust in Him—who obey the voice of His
servants—who rejoice in the purity of His ordinances, and the
justice and equity of His statutes.
6 He sent the angel Moroni to announce to Joseph the introduction
of the Dispensation of the fulness of times: He sent Peter, James and John to commit to him the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.
7 Through Joseph, He revealed the principles of righteousness, and
laid the foundation of a government of peace.
8 Though small in the beginning, and a theme of derision among the
scribes and pharisees of modern times, it is truly “a marvelous work and a wonder”: It has spread from nation to nation, and is now arousing the attention of the high ones of the earth.
9 It is gathering the honest in heart from every clime—the spirit of
God is in their hearts, and the strong cords of faith and obedience draw them together.
10 They come, not laden with the gold of Ophir—they come not
decked with the glittering ornaments and splendid attire of worldly grandeur; but through the tender mercies of Him who “tempers the storm to the shorn lamb,” although destitute of Mammon’s treasures, they come richly supplied with the more requisite capital for strengthening the stakes of Zion, and building the Temples of our God, even the brain, the bone and the sinew.
11 Through the blessings of the Most High on the labors of the
husbandman, the parched and sterile soil has become productive and yields an abundance of the richest products.
12 The products of Utah are abundantly laden with material for the
finest and richest fabrics; the most skillful artisans are here; and only united effort is wanting to ensure permanent success; and, ere long, the faithful in Zion will be clothed in garments more beautiful than those of earthly princes, and “the beauty thereof will be the work of their own hands.”
13 Let us all, old and young—parents and children, take hold with our
might, for the time has come when those who profess to be saints, must be saints in very deed.
14 There is a furnace in Zion—the fire thereof has already commenced
to burn, and the heat will increase until iniquity shall be cleansed from our midst.
15 Then will the treasures of the earth, the treasures of the deep, and
the treasures of the heavens above, be poured out in great abundance.
16 Then will the beauty of Zion shine forth clear as the sun at
noonday: She will arise terrible in might—the glory of God will fill her courts, and celestial beings will minister in her holy places.
17 Glory, honor, praise and adoration be unto our God.
composed ca. 24 July 1877
published in Woman’s Exponent, 15 August 1877
That morning dawned as bright and beautiful
As morning ever dawned. The sun rose clear.
The day was glorious; but Zion wept!
The sound of grief was heard in all her courts!
The Church had lost a Guide: Humanity, 5
An able Advocate—Mankind, a Friend.
* * * * *
From morn till morn, the body lay in state
And thousands came, a tribute of respect
To pay, and take a last—a parting view
Of the illustrious dead.
The funeral rites 10
Were on the Sabbath day. At service hour,
The spacious Tabernacle densely filled,
Was thronged by anxious multitudes without:
Within, one vacant Chair remained
Enrobed in folds of solemn drapery! 15
The “Tenth Ward Band” commenced the services—
The Choir and Organ sweetly sang and played;
But his, the most appreciative ear,
No longer listened.
Decked with pure white flowers,
Hallow’d with tear-drops from the eyes of those 20
Whose skilful hands, prompted by loving hearts,
In wreaths entwined them; there the coffin stood,
Encasing the cold form of him, who’d been
Attraction’s centre; and the cheering voice
Which had, for years, with winning eloquence, 25
The power to draw, command and rivet the
Attention of an audience, was still!
And mourning sat on every countenance,
As though the lights of earth had all gone out,
And left a calm—an all pervading calm. 30
But men of God were there—men who had “borne
With him, the heat and burden of the day.”
Apostles, Prophets, Revelators, Seers,
Brave, noble men, whose hearts had never quailed:
Who knew no fear when times were perilous. 35
But now, when speaking of their leader’s worth—
Their love for him—their loss, and Zion’s loss;
The firm lip quiver’d, and the dew of grief,
Beneath their eye-lids gather’d. Strong men wept!
But when their thoughts reached upward and the light 40
Of the Almighty’s Spirit beamed upon
Their sorrowing hearts, in God-like majesty
They rose superior to the mournful scene.
They knew the work that Brigham Young, so long,
With master mind and skill had pioneered, 45
Was God’s—that He, his servants, heretofore,
Had clothed with power and wisdom, and He now
Would others clothe upon, and bear them off
Then the bold eloquence
Of truth, when crowned with might and majesty, 50
Flowed from their lips to that vast audience,
And the bright rainbow of immortal life,
Appeared in beauty o’er the cloud of grief;
And rays of joy ineffable, beamed forth.
Electrified by influence divine, 55
Wrapped in the future, men forgot to weep.
* * * * *
The Tabernacle service closed—Anon
The grand procession formed in order, and
Moved slowly onward to the waiting tomb.
All Israel were mourners; but the corse 60
Was followed by a num’rous weeping train
Of those, by dear and filial ties, his own.
Their hearts were stricken, sad, and desolate,
As they moved slowly to the burial
Of him, the husband—father—friend, and all 65
Of mortal trust—the guardian of their lives;
Whose presence formed the sunshine of their hearts.
Ne’er was a father more affectionate
Nor yet an earthly father more beloved.
Though he was full of years, their fond hopes gave 70
Them promise of his life for years to come.
But death came suddenly, and suddenly
To them their earthly aims became a blank!
They felt as all bereft—that all was gone!
It seemed to them, the wheels of Time stood still, 75
And every pulse of Nature ceased to move.
On, slowly on, the great procession moved
To the repository of the dead—
A site reserved on his own premises
Where kindred dust is sleeping side by side: 80
There, in a new, a pure white sepulchre,
The coffin, with its precious charge, was placed.
The “Glee Club” stood beside the tomb, and sang
A favorite hymn of the departed one.
Then an Apostle knelt: In fervent prayer 85
He dedicated to the Lord our God,
And, for the safe, and undisturbed repose
Of all, now sleeping—all that there shall sleep;
The sepulchre—the coffin and its sacred trust—
The ground, and its enclosure ’round about. 90
There sleeps the weary flesh, and rests in peace,
While he, the master spirit of the age,
Associates with the first great leader of
This Dispensation, in the courts above.
He loved his people—Their high destiny 95
Will be a monument to BRIGHAM YOUNG.
composed September 1877
published in Poems 2, 1877
Should lofty Genius strike a feeble string?
No: In thy presence, Truth, of Truth I’ll sing. [Chapter Fifth, ll. 190–191]
INTRODUCTION TO PERSONIFICATION.
I love the beauties of the vale
Where lovely flowrets bloom—
I love the fragrance of the gale
That dances with perfume.
I love to watch the vap’ry crowds 5
Those gems that mount the skies—
I love to see the summer clouds
In mountain form arise.
I always love to gaze upon
The orb of borrowed light: 10
I love to see the rising sun
Disperse the shades of night.
Ye limpid lakes—ye purling streams—
Ye grottos decked with spars—
Ye twilight shades—ye noon-day beams, 15
And ye soft twinkling stars;
I love you, for your features smile
With nature’s sinless charm;
But from your sphere, I’ll turn awhile
To nature’s diff’rent form. 20
To beauteous landscape, glen and glade,
I bid a short farewell;
To wander through the mystic shade
Where metaphysics dwell.
O’er mental fields, for once, I’ll tread, 25
Where feelings are combined;
Where thoughts are trained, and passions bred,
I’ll trace the path of Mind.
CONTENTS.—The parentage of Error—Joy at his birth—His mother discovers his imbecility—Her night visit to Suspicion—Returns and informs her husband—They call a Council—The members of the Council—Deceit makes a proposition—Is sent to Lucifer for means—Returns with success—His measures are adopted—The Council dissolves—Duplicity’s feint for the public benefit, etc.
The chronicles of other times record
The veritable facts, that Prejudice
And Ignorance were both betroth’d at birth,
And that their births were simultaneous.
They early wedded, and their nuptial tie, 5
With birth of Error, joyously was crowned.
While yet an infant: ere his tongue had learned
The childish prattle, or his puny hand
The potent grasp, young Error’s fame had spread
Thro’out the mental realm; and thousands sang 10
In mellow strains, the praises of the child.
Long live the parents, and long live the son,
From tongue to tongue, reverberating spread,
And fill’d the acme of devoted hearts,
A crowd promiscuous, to the cradled child 15
Their willing def’rence proffered; while those skilled
In astrological prophetic lore,
Predicted that in time not far remote,
He’d wear the crown—the royal sceptre sway
And hold the destinies of earth and heav’n. 20
They, to immortal Mars, his lineage traced—
Extol’d the child, and blest the ruling stars.
’Twas more than bliss (if wild enthusiasm
Can more bestow), the mother’s bosom fill’d,
While she officiously each real want, 25
And want imaginary too, supplied.
Not so with Prejudice: His stable soul,
Scorning the petty flights of frantic joy,
On principle undeviating, turned.
Pleased with the customs in his childhood taught— 30
Calm, settled and dispassionate; but yet,
None drank more deeply of the gen’ral joy
Than Prejudice: and what the scribes foretold,
None with intense int’rest heard, than he.
The prospect of his darling Error’s fame, 35
Like a strong magic, superhuman charm,
On his inflexible corporeal frame,
Its mighty all transforming pow’r displayed.
His nerves so much like massy bars become,
His grasp was not unlike the grasp of death. 40
His meagre form invulnerable grew,
All but his eyes.
Time, with the parents, moved
With pace accelerated, while they watch’d,
Caress’d and dandled their beloved son.
But yet, since nature’s doom is fixed, that pain 45
And pleasure ever shall go hand in hand,
And thus, by turns, deal out their measured draughts,
Or sometimes mingle in the tender’d bowl;
Just so anxiety filled up the space,
If space remained in those fond parents’ hearts, 50
For Error could not walk without the aid
Of both his parents to support his frame.
Paternal love, dame nature’s kindly gift
To succor weakness and deformity;
Had someway—how or why, it matters not: 55
His sad defects from curious gazers, screen’d,
But not from all. Maternal tenderness,
That potent, most immutable of bonds—
The most undeviating charm—a charm
Which is by circumstances seldom warp’d; 60
To fearless energies moved Ignorance’ soul:
And getting softly up one dismal night—
Cautious, lest she should waken Prejudice,
She crept away as slyly as the still
Low breath of night, thro’ windings intricate, 65
To that dark, moody cave, where far and wide,
The famed Suspicion bends his churlish bow.
“Thou’rt welcome, matron,” old Suspicion said,
“Come in: but pray, now in the depth of night,
What could have brought you here? What ails the child? 70
Then, looking thro’ his old perspective tube,
He said, “Ah now I see—Young Error is infirm,
And there’s great danger too, not far ahead:
For in the distance now, I see the brave
Young Truth, is gaining ground—he now ascends 75
Yon hill. Conquest’s insignia, amply lie
Bestrown around him; and ‘twill not be strange,
If he the right of empire shall dispute,
At no far distant day, with your dear son.
Was Error’s strength half equal to his size, 80
Truth might in vain attempt to thwart his pow’r.
Take potent measures now, without delay,
And pray our guardian gods to bless the means:
Once get your son enthron’d, and danger’s past.”
Poor Ign’rance, trembling like the aspen leaf, 85
Arose and bade good night. “Excuse my haste,
For morning shall not put her twilight forth,
Nor spread a beam, till something is devis’d
For my decrepid boy.”
She clos’d the door
And that was all of thought that pass’d her soul, 90
Till at her husband’s bedside she called out,
“My dear, awake!” “Where hast thou been, my love,
Thou art the soul of life to me; and sleep
Had not sat sweetly on my dropping lids,
Had I but dream’d that you were far away. 95
Why so disturb’d? Have evil spirits been,
Like night’s foul demons, robbing thee of rest?
Thy throbbing heart and quickly beating pulse
Alarm me.” “Rise and I will tell the all,”
Said Ignorance, with a suppressed sigh. 100
“Last eve, as our dear child between us sat,
And as I gaz’d upon his darling face—
His placid eye with love’s transcendent glance
So fully fraught; and then his massy form,
Bending in mild submission low; bespoke 105
At once a soul so dutiful—so meek,
And so affectionate; my heart was full:
And then I thought, though diligently, we
Have ev’ry effort tried t’increase his strength;
His muscles yet are like the liquid stream. 110
These thoughts compress’d my head, e’en while
Upon the nightly pillow I reclined:
I then got stilly from thy side, and down
To old Suspicion’s dell, with timeless haste
I ran; that if perchance, he might the means 115
Devise in our behalf. But happier far,
For me, if kind Suspicion’s dismal glen
I never chanc’d to find, unless ere long,
The means—the antidote is found, that will
Give Error strength, and ward impending ills. 120
I do not speak of this to grieve thy heart:
Forever in my bosom should it lie
Conceal’d, and save your heart the bitter pang.
’Tis better, if we can escape the ill,
To feel the dread. Suspicion said to me 125
That what is done, cannot be done too soon:
For there’s one Truth, a bold, aspiring lad,
That come, perhaps from some untutor’d race;
Is making valiant conquests just below
That cloud-top’d hill, which forms the line between 130
Investigation’s vastly wide domains,
And the possessions of Stupidity.
He’s pushing on this way, a rapid march:
No doubt intending to obtain the crown—
To banish Error, or to stamp his name 135
With marks of infamy indelibly.”
Ere Ignorance had clos’d this hurried speech,
Her partner, Prejudice, had clad himself,
And seated in his easy chair—his arms
Were folded on his breast, and Ignorance 140
Had knelt before him; when the little blaze,
That tremor-like, above the embers rose;
Darted a ray across his phiz, and then
She saw upon his cheek, the stranger tear:
For Prejudice had never wept till then. 145
“My dear, it is no time for weeping now:
Tears never sav’d a kingdom—we must up
And stir ourselves, for ’tis the gen’ral wish
Our son should get the crown.” “Yes, yes my love,”
Said Prejudice, half rising from his seat— 150
“We’ll have a Council call’d, of our best friends,
Who shall assemble ere the morning dawns,
In some deep, private place, that none may know
How stern Necessity inspires our haste.
For many, tho’ they wish us well, and pray 155
For Error’s welfare; should they know his case,
Would be no better friends than we should need.”
Then, taking down his little trump, he gave
The special call that old Stupidity
Was prompt to obey: for in his care alone 160
They left the child whene’er they went abroad.
Stupidity was their peculiar friend—
They had attach’d him to their interest
At Error’s birth: and many times he’s sat
From one day’s dawn until another’s close, 165
Beside the fav’rite child. And now, as quick
As thought can move upon perception’s glance,
He comes, and on his long-accustom’d mat;
Without a question, wherefore? why? or what?
With due composure, seats himself. It was 170
That quiet, calm, indifference of soul,
That constituted his congenial trait.
’Twas midnight.—Darkness, thick as ever fell
On Lapland’s soil, scowl’d sullenly around,
When those fond parents hurried from their home. 175
Fell darkness was no cause of dread to them—
And midnight but a spur to urge them on.
Sure, nothing will buoy up the soul so long,
Amid perplexing scenes, as hope and fear;
And there’s no prompter like Necessity; 180
For Time had barely pass’d his midnight watch,
Before the chosen friends had got the word
In urgent haste, and had assembled too.
Choice ones they were, and all of good repute—
The highest dignitaries in the land— 185
Of whom, was sober Superstition—grave,
Sedate, and some inclin’d to be austere.
The wise Tradition, ven’rable with age
Was there. He’d won the hearts of all, in youth,
Until his influence was like the tall, 190
Strong posts, which Sampson level’d when he slew
The multitudes, and perish’d in the midst.
He had been thro’ the wars of olden times—
Fatigue; and then so many years had pass’d
Around his head; a snowy whiteness ting’d 195
His locks, which wav’d in graceful dignity:
He look’d so wise and sanctimonious,
His words were unequivocally law.
Of equal rank, and not a distant kin
To him, was Party-zeal. The holy fire 200
Of patriotism fill’d his ardent soul:
The welfare of his country was his best—
His only claim’d inheritance; and he
Had sworn to advocate it, right or wrong.
Tho’ nature had, in some sly prank of hers, 205
Robb’d him of his corporeal sight; still he
Retain’d his mental vision quite intense—
He held the office of Chief Magistrate.
Yes, these, and many more of kindred blood,
Were to the famous Council call’d: and each 210
Submitted to the oath of secrecy,
Which was administer’d by Party-zeal.
The place selected, was a mystic maze,
Where no nice, scrutinizing ken could reach;
Where all were seated in a still surprise 215
That well comported with the silence of
The dark, dark night that spread its vail around.
Poor Error’s sad condition was to all
Distressing news, of which, not one before,
Except Suspicion, had presentiments. 220
Blind Party-zeal arose: Their eager eyes
At once, instinctively were fix’d on him,
Like the expectant infant’s watchful look,
That hangs upon the mother’s countenance;
While he proceeded thus: “Dearly belov’d, 225
You know I am not privileg’d to read
The feelings of your bosoms, in your looks,—
But yet I feel within my soul, that all
Join, with one int’rest, in the common cause.
You truly know that I have ever been 230
A faithful servant of this commonwealth;
And with the greatest pleasure would I be
A servant still: And this I would propose:
That whosoever will devise the means
Effectual, for the object now in view, 235
Shall be awarded with the second place
In rank of all imperial dignities—
To be ensur’d hereditary right,
As soon as Error shall obtain the crown.
If you approve the plan, adopt it soon— 240
Let not a moment pass inertly by,
That has great consequences pending on.”
The motion of old Party-zeal, was heard
With gladness; for in such a doubtful case,
No sacrifice could be too great; and no 245
Inducement of reward, be rais’d too high.
An instrument was drawn in legal form,
Which would secure the honorary grant;
To which they severally subscrib’d.
Was still as the low mansions of the dead: 250
None dar’d—none wish’d to speak, lest hapless he
Should interrupt some half-way moulded scheme.
Thus for the space of two well measur’d hours,
The members of the Council sat.
Blue twilight of the morning had begun 255
To play around them, when Deceit arose.
“My friends,” said he, “give audience: I’ve a plan
That will, if promptly executed, meet
The present crisis. I would gladly spare
Your feelings friends; but this is not a time 260
For flattery—and therefore be assur’d
There’s nothing kept in Hades, Earth, or Heav’n,
That would empower our young Prince to act
When unsupported by his parents’ aid.
Yet if they will submit (submit they must, 265
For ’tis the only hope) to be confin’d
In secrecy forever at his side;
I’ll get the cloak my royal father wore
With such success to Eden’s garden, when
He gave the happy pair forbidden fruit. 270
It is constructed with expansive pow’rs
Which might extend it to a monstrous size:
And then ’tis of a texture so unlike
All else: it suits all seasons of the year—
All business, all occasions, and all climes. 275
’Twould clasp around young Error’s neck, and hang
In such nice, intricately plaited folds;
That Prejudice and Ignorance might stand
Beneath, on either side, and skillfully
Bear him erect, in spite of common sense.” 280
“Go then,” said Prejudice, “we’ll have it tried.
While you are absent, Ignorance and I
Will go and have our son in waiting here.”
“Make haste,” said Party-zeal, in a low tone,
To young Formality; “provide a steed, 285
And mount Deceit, and speed him on his way.”
No sooner said than done.
Then like a swift
Skylark, they saw him flit across the white
Aerial plains, and like a little speck,
Almost invisible, that floats upon 290
The moving air; they saw him sink beneath
The broad horizon’s low, encircling arch;
Onward he flies, tho’ far beyond the reach
Of other ken than that of spirits wild,
That are let loose abroad the airy fields 295
Of false imagination. Passing through
Black misty glens of vapors volatile,
And miry pits where fell confusion hiss’d;
At length he reach’d the habitation of
The great, notorious Lucifer.
Was second son to his dark majesty,
Who was enraptur’d to embrace once more
His well beloved son; and anxious too,
To hear, thro’ him, the present state of things
In the new world: he deeply felt for them— 305
Being a colony he planted there.
Long, long ago—a puny thing at first,
But he had sent them annual supplies;
And had transfer’d to them, the Government,
With the advice that they should rear a king. 310
’Twas Lucifer that whisper’d to the scribes
And the astrologers, at Error’s birth,
That he should hold the reins of Government.
When the infernal monarch heard Deceit
Explain the business of his morning ride, 315
He smiled approval to the wily scheme.
Then giving him the cloak, and bidding him
Good speed; he sent him on his way.
Retrod the dubious track—when gazing still,
The anxious members of the Council spied, 320
Amidst the softly gliding, vap’ry clouds,
A little something fast approximate,
Until within the province of their sight:
When lo! the hero came. Error was there
In readiness; for it was then mid-day. 325
The steed selected for the champion’s use
Was Popularity—surefooted, he
Was much the safest beast in all the realm,
To journey on an unfrequented way;
His pace was easy to the rider, too. 330
“Thou’rt welcome back again,” said Party-zeal:
As bold Deceit dismounted, and the kind
Formality secur’d the gorgeous reins:
“You’ve been successful too—I gladly see
The precious cloak is folded on your arm. 335
Well you have fairly, altho’ cheaply won
For you an everlasting rank.” “Stay, stay,”
Said Superstition, “’tis a heinous sin
To talk of such unhallow’d trifles now:
But try the garment, brave Deceit, and see 340
Whether ’twill answer the design or not.”
His tone inspir’d a reverential awe;
For e’en his motions were imperative;
And they all felt that Party-zeal had sinn’d:
So they look’d sadly grave, to make amends. 345
On Error’s shoulders, then the cloak was hung
While, sire and mother stood beneath each arm.
Achilles’ armor did not fit so well
His fair Patroclus, as this fitted all.
Joyful to find the scheme complete; some gave 350
A shout—and even Superstition smil’d,
And bowing down to Error, wish’d him peace,
And an immortal reign.
Began to deck itself in sable shades,
Reminding them of home. Accordingly, 355
When they had sev’rally agreed to spread
The word that Prejudice and Ignorance
Had died on yesternight; and they had been
To the performance of the obsequies—
That the bereaved Error was array’d 360
In mourning deep; they left the wild recess—
Dispersing to their sev’ral homes, except
Duplicity, who secretly threw up,
Beneath the supple willow’s boughs, two mounds,
Of equal length and side by side: and there 365
The population ran with pious zeal,
To pay to the departed ones, their last,
Best honors; and to worship at their shrines.
For soon the tidings, like the fiercest gale
That sinks the forest low, had reach’d their ears, 370
And young Credulity pronounc’d it true.
We’ll leave them now in this promiscuous scene—
Some sad—some feigning sadness—deeply all
Are sympathizing in th’ expected joy,
Awaiting Error’s coronation day: 375
And we will take a passing view beyond
That long, wild, angling, cloud-top’d hill—that mount,
Which rises on the other side of those
Extensive, smooth, and barren plains, which were,
And are, life-leas’d to old Stupidity. 380
CONTENTS.—Conversation between Investigation and Candor concerning the courtship of Inquiry and Knowledge—Inquiry obtains consent—Their nuptials—Inquiry’s narrative—Birth of Truth—His prospects—The infant Experience—His predecessor’s visit to the parents—Conversation—His bequest—Departure, etc.
“You know, dear wife,” Investigation said
To his beloved Candor, as they walked
Abroad one moonlight eve, “that noble lad,
Surnamed Inquiry, frequently has spent
The social hour with us, and have we not 5
Observed, when our fair daughter, Knowledge comes,
Unconsciously she draws him to her side,
While hand in hand they tread the flow’ry walks
Supremely happy in a mutual love?
Well, yesternight, as he and I, alone 10
Beside the open window sat and gazed
Upon the clear full moon that spreads her beams
And hides the unassuming stars; my mind
Strayed far away in those deep labyrinths
That twine and intertwine like gilded clouds 15
Around creation’s folded mysteries.
But other thoughts possess’d Inquiry’s brain.
He whisper’d in my ear that he would fain
Make one request, and could not be denied.
Then said, most bashfully, ‘For Knowledge, Sir, 20
I ask: I love her, and would sacrifice
My all, if on no other terms, I could
The purchase make, and take her to myself.’
In earnestness of soul, he’d lowly bow’d
Upon his knees. I told him, I might grant 25
His noble wish, but must consult thee first.”
“Ah, yes,” said Candor, for her gentle heart
Was frank and open, as the light of noon
Without a cloud: “I knew long time ago
That his affections were intently fix’d 30
Upon our child; and often have I turned
Aside, to hide the voluntary smile,
As I beheld how modestly she shunn’d
His fond pursuit and kind caressing tones
To her, till he grew sociable with us. 35
Inquiry was so shy of us at first,
I even thought ’twas his intent to steal
Fair Knowledge off and never ask consent.
However that might be, she cautiously
Refused attentions proffered her, until 40
Her parents had received a due respect;
And just so fast as he grew intimate
With us; so fast she laid aside her cold
And distant mien, and grew affectionate.
He truly is a youth of promise, and 45
He bears so great resemblance to thyself,
I think him worthy of her; and I know
If he does not abuse her, she will prove
A treasure richer far than golden gems.”
Then Candor ask’d her lord’s consent, to give 50
Permission to the sage Experience;
And off he sped to let Inquiry know
That kind Investigation and his spouse,
Would have him wed the idol of his heart.
They, who have felt the close tormenting chain 55
Of doubtful hope; and seen it terminate
In the possession of their dearest wish;
Know best, how young Inquiry felt at the
Reception of the joyful news.
Attir’d himself to fit the bridal hour: 60
A plain, full suit, he chose, for, such, he knew
Would better please Investigation’s eye,
Than splendid robes and dazzling ornaments.
While he made ready, Perseverance got
The coach equip’d; for Perseverance had 65
Attended him as coachman, always when
He paid his visits to his love: Tho’ once,
He undertook the tour with Indolence,
But then he lost his way, and wander’d home.
All things in readiness—Inquiry took 70
His customary seat with throbbing heart;
And bade the coachman drive and “tarry not
In all the plain,” nor heed the craggy steeps,
Nor swelling streams.
Delighted Knowledge saw
The coach arrive; for on that morning she 75
Had deck’d herself for him, with richest pearls.
She look’d most fair; and in her sparkling eyes
There was a glow so full of meaning, she
Might well have won an angel’s love. With speed
Like thought, Inquiry left the carriage seat, 80
And at Investigation’s feet, he bow’d,
Then press’d a kiss on gentle Candor’s hand,
But only gave a smile to her he lov’d;
For she was not his own, and he had learn’d
Ere then, that he must pluck the flow’r before 85
He quaff’d its fragrancy.
The bridal hour
Arriv’d, but brought with it no pompous show:
And no vain, jesting crowd assembled there.
Intelligence politely notified
A few associates, and seated them 90
Genteelly in the spacious drawing room;
And Candor saw Inquiry plac’d, and then
Investigation led the bride to him—
Squire Application rose, and legally
Perform’d the sacred rite.
The service o’er— 95
The fair Complacency serv’d round the treat.
In golden cups, nature’s pure bev’rage flow’d;
While platters loaded with the choicest fruits;
And every rich variety of Art,
By Diligence and Industry prepar’d; 100
In lib’ral hospitality were spread;
And all, with cheerfulness, partook of a
Rich nuptial feast, while Affability,
In sweetest strains, his liveliest harp attun’d.
“My children,” said Investigation, to 105
The wedded pair, when all the guests were gone:
“It is our wish that you should not
Depart from us. I’ve wide, extensive fields—
Fine verdant plains, and forests spreading far,
And rich, unfathom’d mines; All, all shall be 110
At your command, provided you remain.
You both are young, and Knowledge needs, as yet,
A mother’s care. Our old Experience
Is settled here, and he is vastly rich
In all the precious stones of ancient use— 115
’Twould be his happiness to serve you here.”
“O how shall I repay thy kindness, Sir,”
The son replied: “Thanks seem too mean a gift
To offer now; but ever will I be
A dutious, faithful child. Thou knowest well 120
The colony in yon adjacent realm;
And my possessions lay so nearly by,
That intercourse with the inhabitants
Was unavoidable: Though had I known
Them better at the first, I never would 125
Have suffer’d such repeated wrongs.” “What wrongs?”
Inquir’d Investigation. “Let me hear.
They’ve often tried their black, infernal tricks
On me: but I’ve chastis’d them sorely and
They now seem weary of their base pursuit.” 130
“My hardy servant, Perseverance, is
A bold, courageous fellow, otherwise
I heartily believe, I never should
Have press’d this lovely jewel to my heart,
Or call’d her mine,” Inquiry said; “for all 135
The machinations mischief could invent,
I’ve had to stem. Suspicion does profess
To tell deep hidden things: At any rate,
Those round about him, intimated long
Ago that Knowledge had bewitch’d my heart; 140
And ever since, they’ve throng’d my house by day,
And pillag’d my possessions in the night.
Such proffer’d friendship hung upon their lips,
They stole away my richest goods, before
I could believe their treachery. Oft times 145
Blind Party-zeal has counseled me, with tears;
And warn’d me to beware of you; and told
Such frightful tales—how you tormented all
That ever come, till they grew idiots:
I really was afraid of thee. E’en old 150
Deceit has spent whole weeks convincing me
That thy fair daughter, Knowledge, was a sheer
Imposter—that the sage Tradition had
The genuine fair; and thine was but a proud
Disdainful thing. Well, in suspense I went 155
And ask’d Tradition. ‘Yes,’ he said; but did
Not introduce her, though I waited long.
He recommended Credence as a match
Best fitting me. He said she was so mild,
So pleasant, tame, and peaceable, that one 160
Might spend a life more quietly with her,
Than any lass he knew. And more than that;
If I’d accept of her, he’d make me heir
To his estate. His riches are immense—
His landed titles of anterior date, 165
Would have supported me in luxury
I’ve some acquaintance with
Miss Credence—She’s a pleasant thing indeed;
But she’s decidedly too tame for me,
For ev’ry passing stranger might enjoy 170
Her charms in common with myself. I hate
A soul so spiritless.
Those beings held o’er me, has cost me much;
Distanc’ing me from Candor and thyself—
And Knowledge was so cold to me, I ’gan 175
To think, what Superstition said, was true.
He told me Knowledge was of birth too high
For me to gain; and by persisting on,
I should heap endless curses on my head.
But Perseverance urg’d me still to try 180
My fortune here; and many times he drove,
My carriage thro’ thick show’rs of missiles, thrown
By their light troops that scouted round.”
Inquiry’s narrative. And with a fine
Refreshing walk among the fragrant flow’rs 185
That spread their sweetness out, as if t’ atone
For the departure of the setting sun;
They clos’d the wedding day.
O, who would not
Have felt the heavy weight of sadness, if
Forbidden to assemble oft with this 190
Delightful group, as time pursued its course,
And seasons pass’d most pleasantly away?
But when the gracious Spirit bless’d them with
A son, the lovely Truth, so beautiful;
To grace their board; methinks an angel might 195
Have heav’d a sigh of sorrow, if debar’d
The satisfaction of commingling there.
For Truth bore in his infant countenance
The impress of Divinity; and the
Clear light of morning seem’d made up of shades 200
Of mingled brown, contrasted with the pure
Bright beams that emanated from his eye:
And he was like a constellation in
Inquiry’s view; whose spirit was enlarg’d;
And while he lov’d his son to ecstacy, 205
His fond esteem for Knowledge lessen’d not—
She was still more belov’d on Truth’s account.
One evening twilight, when the noble pair
Were seated side by side, and with sweet smiles
And mutual love, caress’d the cherub child; 210
Inquiry said, to his fair consort, thus:
“My love, e’er since the birth-day of our own
Angelic Truth, maternal watchfulness,
Like a delightful spell that never seeks
Relief from fond solicitude, has bound 215
Thee gently to his cradled infancy,
E’en nearer than myself.
Hast thou observ’d
Amidst thy constant watchings, round his head,
A halo of transcendent brightness play,
With grandeur greater than the eye could scan?” 220
“O yes, and truly long I’ve wish’d to join
With thee, my spouse, in converse sweet upon
This topic; for it has engross’d my mind
By day and night. I’ve even dar’d to think
Our child of a celestial origin, 225
Sent here a noble purpose to fulfil;
For at his birth, bright spirits from the skies
Were hov’ring round about. I’ve often seen
His features glow with dazzling radiance, and
His eyes directed upward with intense 230
And fix’d expression, and I truly think
He was communing with the upper world.
Dost thou not well remember when my sire,
With deep-ton’d fervor, has commented on
Those records of anterior date, which Time 235
Has left in his possession—how he oft rehears’d
Tales of deep int’rest, when in olden times
A conduit, unobstructed with dark clouds
Of wickedness, or sightless fogs of doubt;
Was free and open ’twixt the upper skies 240
And this our lowly residence: And then,
Bright spirits often mingled with our race.”
“Yes,” said Inquiry—“Change will never blot
From the broad page of my remembrance, those
Ecstatic thoughts my swelling bosom thrill’d, 245
When thy lov’d Sire, Investigation, sketch’d
The splendid sceneries of ages past:
And now my spirit burns within me, when
I look with thoughtfulness upon the form
Of our beloved little one; and think 250
He’s sent to us, again to usher in
A brilliant scene of things, surpassing all
The records have ascrib’d to olden times.”
The joyous soul of Knowledge, sparkled in
Her eye, as her loved consort finished thus, 255
Their evening colloquy.
Weeks congregated into months, and months
Roll’d up the year. Young Truth, with placid look,
Was gazing on the smiling countenance
Of his late welcom’d brother.
Morn, fair morn 260
Had just spread forth her earliest, faintest ray
Abroad the canopy of nature, when
Inquiry whisper’d to his spouse; as both
Sat most affectionately by the side
Of Truth and the then nameless one: “My love, 265
A knock is at the gate—who should intrude
Upon the sacred quietude of this
First dawn of day?” He had no sooner clos’d
His query, than the porter usher’d in
Experience, the aged fav’rite of 270
The generation just gone by.
Your pardon, youthful friends,” said he, “for this
Untimely call. Business like mine, demands
An hour that shall precede the presence of
The quizzing multitude. I’d fain confer 275
With you, upon a subject which concerns
Yourselves not only; but will much affect
The public weal. Last night, ere twilight down,
The keen, bright-eyed Discernment, who resides
Across the way; call’d at my residence, 280
And in her usual, shrewd, prophetic style,
Discours’d to me about your elder son:
Saying that his proud destiny ordain’d
For him to reach the highest summit of
Yon lofty hill, whose tow’ring eminence, 285
Projects above the influence of the clouds—
That he shall be triumphantly enthron’d
In that palladium of honor, while
Its rich, emblazon’d spires superbly wave
High o’er the brightest of the orbs above. 290
Well, as upon my sleepless couch I lay;
I ponder’d o’er those things, and ponder’d too
About myself—how illy I appear’d,
To bear companionship with Truth in such
A splendid, bold career. My features are 295
Too earthly, and my voice too tremulous—
My form uncouth, too freely savors of
The carnal mould. Train’d from my early youth
In old Tradition’s school; and often class’d
With reckless Ignorance; my mind receiv’d 300
An impulse that full often downward tends—
My garments are too much encumber’d with
The useless trappings of the ages past!
I therefore never shall aspire to tread
An upward course of equal height with you: 305
But if my name you will confer upon
Your younger son; I will bequeath to you,
For him, and for the benefit of all
The future advocates of Truth; the whole
Of my estate, comprising all the spoils 310
Of conquests won, and treasures gather’d up
By centuries of toil; and sparkling gems
From deep sequester’d mines; brought forth by the
Strong burthen-bearer, concentrated Thought.
Thus I’ll dispose of my effects: and then 315
In person I will cheerfully retire
Anon, and seek a peaceful quietus
Down in Oblivion’s glen, and seat myself
Beside the purling streams, where silently
Lethe’s cool waters, soft and gently flow. 320
Beneath the care of Knowledge—by the side
Of Truth, the young Experience will grow
Like a young plant beside the water brooks—
His features will like polish’d gems appear,
And light and glory shine upon his path.” 325
The parents, grateful for the gen’rous flow
Of patriotism, the sage Experience
So frankly proffer’d them, return’d their thanks
With mutual promise that the infant should
Henceforward, to his mem’ry, bear his name. 330
“But,” said Experience, “one subject more
Demands a prompt attention. Contrast is
The talisman of pure Intelligence;
Therefore my blooming namesake’s features, must,
From time to time, in bold comparison, 335
Be shown with my pale, shadowy countenance.
It little will avail, altho’ his form
Should grow as fair as Lebanon, and rise
As high as her tall cedars, should it not
Occassionally be in contrast plac’d 340
With my low, meagre personage.”
Said Knowledge, “it is truly so: but then,
It seems thou hast thy purpose fix’d, to hide
Thyself forever in obscurity.”
“Prompt to your service,” said the aged one, 345
“I’ll hold myself in constant readiness,
And when the friends of Truth shall call
With clear, sonorous voice; with swiftness of
The lightning’s flash, or like a spirit, sent
From nether spheres remote; I will come forth 350
And stand beside the young Experience,
To aid you in your future struggles with
The neighb’ring Commonwealth.” “What struggles, pray?”
Inquiry said, with keen solicitude.
“’Tis not my province to prognosticate 355
In things to come,” replied Experience.
“Last night, Discernment bid me take one peep
Ahead, thro’ her perspective tube; else I
Had never made this morning call. I saw
That youngster of gigantic stature, who 360
Is highly doted on in yonder realm;
Aspire to be the hero of his clan,
And monarch of surrounding realms. But my
Weak vision could not circumscribe those things;
And my faint elocution can’t describe 365
E’en what I plainly saw. Discernment will
Instruct you freely in those mysteries:
Meantime, be sure from what I saw and heard,
That nothing augurs harm to yours and you.”
Then, after having made the said transfer 370
Of Goods and Chattles, Lands and Tenements;
The Sage, with an affectionate farewell,
Took his departure for the “Land of Nod.”
CONTENTS.—The scene opens with the sound of war—Surprise of young Experience—The manner of Truth composes him—Description of Truth—Investigation musters his forces—The storm—The friends of Truth assemble around his standard—The storm subsides—Inquiry goes forth to ascertain its effect—The cause of the storm—Description of Falsehood by Investigation—The group disperses—The nativity of Truth—His mission—His visit to the mountain arbor in company with Experience—Invocation—A seraph meets them—His instructions and departure—Serenade.
Like the loud crash of coming tempest, when
Its furious blast lays low the forest pride;
And like the roar of far-off thunder peals
Upon the ear of midnight; came the sound
Of war. ’Twas not a war of elements— 5
’Twas not a war of winds and waves—a strife
Of nature, when her laws in contact wage
A furious contest; seeming to forget
Th’ eternal chain that binds varieties,
And of ten thousand times ten thousand; forms 10
One great—one grand, consolidated whole.
No: ’twas a warfare, of an origin
Long, long anterior to the earliest tread
Of Time upon Earth’s checker’d carpeting;
’Twixt Truth and Error: and relentlessly; 15
Though oft the scene is chang’d from place to place—
Although the scenery is oft renewed;
The never ending contest rages yet.
The young Experience had not grown up
To manhood, ere the hoarse, discordant sound 20
Of war, fell on his unaccustom’d ear;
And with its thunders, chas’d beyond his ken,
Those fair illusions of refin’d repose,
His cradled dreams had on his vision sketch’d.
A momentary shade came o’er his brow 25
At first; but soon the shadow was dispel’d
By the commanding countenance of Truth,
Who had become a youth of stature fine—
Of mien majestic as the tow’ring fir
That rears its disk amid the forest wild. 30
He spoke a pure—a perfect dialect,
And one unlike to that in common use;
Fraught with a mild, yet bold austerity—
Such as his enemies could never brook.
To prove that Truth had enemies, is but 35
To prove that no existence ever could
Be known as such, without its opposite—
That contrast is Creation’s pulse—her great
Thermometer of being—her grand scale,
In which to illustrate realities. 40
Truth knew no fear; and the war-clarion’s sound
Most surely would have fall’n upon his ear
Like the sweet music of the summer breeze;
Had its shrill notes but come to summon him
To honorable war; where strife with strife 45
Was openly and honorably wag’d—
A contest where e’en fierce hostility
Descended not to measures basely mean—
Where “sword with sword—armor with armor join’d,”
With purpose noble and a noble foe. 50
Investigation heard the rude alarm,
And with a purpos’d aim to place himself
In the proud front of battle; marshalling
His gathering hosts, prepar’d to meet the fight.
Candor essay’d to bear him company: 55
For to her noble lord, her gentle heart
As closely clung, as twines the ivy round
The sturdy oak; and in her constant care
For him, she heeded not what might befall
Herself, e’en though oppos’d to hostile foes. 60
But then the beardless boy, Experience
Essay’d to urge the impropriety
For one so gentle, delicate, and fair,
To dare presume to stem the tide of war.
With deeply chasten’d thought, and looks abash’d— 65
Feeling as virtuous woman ever feels
When fearful lest her deep solicitude
Has borne her o’er the line that bounds her sphere;
Candor retir’d nor sought the scene of strife.
Before the shrill, reverberating sound, 70
The thrilling peal of “march,” had gone abroad—
While many hearts dilated—many a pulse
With an accelerated motion beat
With hope, for vict’ry’s crested diadem;
Lo, on a sudden, from th’ horizon’s disk 75
Which mantles o’er the fields of Prejudice;
A cloud, of fearful import, black as night
Appears where darkness holds her revelries
Beneath the hidden stars: by boist’rous gales
Impel’d, and rife with blasting thunderbolts 80
That seem’d to shake creation’s self; roll’d on,
And strew’d unsparingly the with’ring force
Of its tremendous howl! It was mid-day,
But scarce a solitary beam of light,
Which emanated from the glorious orb 85
On high, could penetrate the low’ring cloud
Of storm, that hid the canopy above;
Except where Truth had riveted his stand,
And stood immovable.
Where he had fix’d
His pedestal and rear’d his standard—there 90
His ensign wav’d on high, and fearlessly
Defied a storm that mock’d the elements,
And in commotion wrapt the world abroad.
There, there was light, in spite of all the wild,
Chaotic darkness rudely howling round. 95
T’ escape, if possible, unscath’d amid
The coming blast; as if by instinct drawn;
Investigation’s military host,
And their associating kindred friends,
With nimble footsteps gather’d ’round the spire 100
Of the inflexible and dauntless Truth.
At length the storm, with all its noise, assuag’d,
And Hope’s celestial rays diffus’d abroad
Her cheering influence o’er the scenery;
While a commingling beam of radiance shone 105
From the bright countenance of noble Truth.
Investigation sent Inquiry forth
To ascertain whatever the effect—
If aught of consequence—or good or ill.
Some traces had remain’d, but they were few, 110
And small, compar’d with the great tumult and
The noise that rag’d abroad. Some “hangers on,”
Who stood as advocates for Truth, when all
Was sunshine, calm, and clear; but when the cloud
Arose; ran off, like goats affrighted, to 115
The neighb’ring province. Others, too,
Who previously had stood erect; bow’d down
Beneath the weight of atmosphere—condens’d
With wild Confusion’s hiss; but when the storm
Pass’d by, they soon regain’d their former height, 120
And proper attitude.
But many were
Of such unyielding texture, and so near
Allied to Truth; and to his standard had
Adher’d so close; they laugh’d amid the storm:
A storm, which, though it baffled nature, had 125
Much less to do with nature than with art;
As was discover’d near that evening’s close,
Whose twilight introduc’d itself upon
A large, and smiling circle, seated round
The threshold of Inquiry; talking o’er 130
Such thoughts as the occasion might inspire:
When eagle-eyed Discernment, rising up;
Address’d the audience thus: “Beloved friends
Amid your conversations I have sat
As mutely as a soulless thing should sit, 135
Beneath the sound of tall Intelligence,
Prompted by Erudition’s polish’d wand.
Mine is a silent, not an idle muse;
My thoughts have been abroad—My studious mind,
So wont to search the lowest depths, and climb 140
To upper heights, has been conversing with
The laws of clouds and storms; and I have found
The ruling cause, and corresponding means,
Producing the tornado, which, to-day,
Caus’d our unlook’d for interruption, and 145
Now clothes the skies in lurid mistiness.
My mind has trac’d its origin. It rose
In yonder province. There’s a fruitful forge,
Where storms, and clouds, and all that sort of thing,
Are freely manufactur’d. ‘Tis a forge, 150
According to the tales of fabled times;
Not all unlike to that which Vulcan us’d
On Lemnos’ Isle, in casting thunderbolts
For his great father, Jupiter. The forge
From which tumult’ous troubles come to us, 155
Is located in the vicinity
Of famous Error, son of Ignorance
And Prejudice. It is committed to
The faithful care of Bigotry: and the
Whole operation is perform’d by one 160
Whose vigilance and persevering skill
Can never be surpass’d. Scandal, and lies,
Detraction, slander, vile abuse, and all
That catalogue of black ingredients,
Are the constituent materials— 165
The compound base, of his infernal works.”
Inquiry then arose, and earnestly
Begg’d old Investigation to declare
The name of that great artisan of storms;
Saying, “If we can trace the monster out; 170
We’ll spoil his works, and overthrow the cause
Of those invet’rate enemies of Truth.”
“That famous champion, is Falsehood,” said
Investigation. “It will be in vain
To hope for his destruction; for his soul 175
Is made invulnerable, by the great
Founder of that rude province, Lucifer;
Who has bequeath’d it for the benefit,
Use, and behoof of those inhabitants,
So long as they, their efforts shall combine 180
In the support of Error. Though his form
Should be prostrated, and destroy’d; his soul,
Still extant Phoenix-like, would mould itself
Another body, and perchance a shape
Some differing from the last, for its abode: 185
But still it would survive, and still pursue,
In form, whatever circumstance might choose;
His nature-woven—his instinctive trade—
That fiendish art, by Satan’s self, inspir’d.
And therefore, fruitless will all efforts prove, 190
To clear from yon horizon, those thick mists
Of darkness, which obstruct the trav’ler’s view;
While Prejudice and Ignorance remain.
The information from Discernment gain’d,
Will aid in future movements, which we may 195
Devise in operations form’d to quell
Hostilities, which formidable grow,
And day by day producing fresh annoy.
Henceforth, to meet dishonorable foes
On honorable terms, we need not hope; 200
But we must keep in warlike readiness;
Lest Error take us unawares; and we,
In recklessness, unarm’d, to contest drawn;
Should prove unvaliant in the cause of Truth.”
Thus clos’d Investigation’s speech. The day 205
Was folding on the crest of midnight, its
Expanded robe—the interesting group
Dispers’d, each to his dwelling: musingly
Some went, and some in converse cheer’ly join’d
Upon the curious termination of 210
The bold campaign, to which that morning’s dawn
Had call’d them forth; with only Falsehood’s blast,
Without the glory and the pomp of war.
Far, far above the lofty, tow’ring peak
Of that high mountain, o’er whose noble base, 215
Truth’s mighty banner wav’d most gracefully;
Is an immortal citadel of Fame—
The bright palladium of Honor—form’d
By skill supernal and by higher pow’r
Than earthly—pois’d securely far above 220
The reach of clashing elements—beyond
The scathing hand of Time’s impetuous change.
’Tis Truth’s eternal mansion—the abode
Of his nativity—the glorious crown
Of that immortal—that celestial sphere, 225
Whence the Great Spirit, the high Ruler of
The worlds on high; commission’d him to tread
The courts below—t’emblazon Earth—to give
To Time, an everlasting consequence—
To place substantially on nature’s brow, 230
Imperishable gems—to gather out
From human life’s impervious labyrinths
Of mixture and confusion; every thing
Of noble mien: all, all that dare confront
The sway of Error: and to overthrow 235
All base dominions, and to reinstate
Usurp’d authorities—to rally round
His spire, a true, high-aiming, faithful band,
And train them for his native citadel:
To mark the way, and lead them upward to 240
That splendid port—that palace of Renown,
Beyond the portals of Eternity.
Such was his royal mission, and he fear’d
No nether pow’rs, with forces all combin’d;
For his sweet intercourse with hosts that dwelt 245
In realms of light, was free and unrestrain’d.
After the tumult of that blust’ring day;
In company with blithe Experience;
Truth sought his usual recreation for
The midnight hour; and in his self-wrought path, 250
Which he, and none beside, had often trod;
They reach’d the fav’rite mountain’s summit. There
Within a fragrant arbor deck’d with vines
Of spicy sweetness, and luxuriant flow’rs—
With boughs which bent beneath the luscious weight 255
Of rich, delicious fruit, in mellowness
That mock’d decay; Truth and his brother sat
Like monarchs o’er the scenes beneath their feet.
“Would’st thou behold a lovely Seraph’s face,
And hear instruction flowing from the lips 260
Of an inhabitant of yonder sphere?”
Experience’ smiling countenance,
With approbative silence, spoke consent;
When Truth, with eye uprais’d invokingly
Pour’d his effusion thus, 265
Fly, fly Spirit, fly,
Thou Seraph in light;
While the stars are on high
To sanctify night:
Come down in thy beauty, 270
And yield us a charm—
Let us bask in thy glory,
And gaze on thy form.
Come, come to thy bower—
The vines are in bloom— 275
Each Eden-like flower
Is rife with perfume.
The fair boughs are bending
With rich mellow fruit—
Soft zephyrs are blending, 280
To hail thy salute.
O come, Spirit come—
Heav’n’s portals are wide:
Why should’st thou at home
Forever abide? 285
Come, come to thy arbor,
Thy sweet scented bow’r;
’Tis grievous to harbor
Thy absence, an hour.
Thou cherish’d above, 290
In sinless domains;
Where th’ spirit of Love
Thy music has measure,
Earth seldom has known: 295
O come; we will treasure
Each full meaning tone.
O Thou, of that throne
Which Seraphs surround;
Where light is thy zone, 300
With majesty crown’d:
Thou mighty Eternal,
O now send her forth,
Whose form is supernal—
Whose nature, all worth. 305
The invocation gently rose upon
The light ethereal wave, like incense borne
From off the holy altar, when its fire
Consumes an unadulterated gift,
By sacred hands spread out in sacrifice: 310
When lo! obedient to the pray’r of Truth;
A form, of more than mortal beauty, came,
Descending on a lucid azure ray—
A heavenly nymph! ’Twas Wisdom—Wisdom’s self—
The uncreated, true original 315
Of ev’ry counterfeit of excellence—
Of ev’ry ideal form, and fairy shape
That calls for worshippers; from Pallas and
Minerva, deities immortaliz’d
With ancient Grecian fame; e’en down to her, 320
Proud England’s present royal Queen, the last
Of worship’d idols of imperial courts.
She came:—Her awe inspiring dignity,
O’er the warm heart of young Experience;
Spread an o’erpow’ring charm—a spell of fear 325
And sweet astonishment, until he was
Insensibly entranc’d: his pulses died
Away; and life with him was ebbing low,
Until the genial, life inspiring voice
Of Wisdom—the sweet incense of her breath— 330
Her gentle, placid tones—her whispers soft
And bland; restor’d him back to consciousness
And free reciprocating thought; and then
She smil’d upon him. That one smile, had more
Of the true spirit of Philosophy, 335
And more of Inspiration, than the whole
Grey catalogue of grim astrologers
That ever wav’d the dubious magic wand;
And more than e’er evaporated thro’ 340
The tripod screen of Delphi’s oracle.
’Twas full of meaning, grac’d with common-sense;
And ’neath its potent, fascinating charm,
The youth, restor’d to vigor, and endow’d
With strength, and gifts, and faculties, that he,
’Till then, had not possess’d; sat meekly down 345
At Wisdom’s feet: and she address’d him thus:
“Brother, I call thee such, for such thou wert
To me in yonder world, from whence we came,
And where I still abide; except at times,
I come to Truth to cheer his loneliness, 350
And watch, unseen, about your youthful steps.
Your recollection, now adapted to
Your present state; has lost its former hold
On things eternal, and has dropp’d the claim
By which you hold me in fraternal bonds 355
Beside thee, in our social native home.
There kindred love exists.
Are sever’d—consanguinity divorc’d,
When e’er a spirit condescends to come
To tabernacle with the sons of men, 360
But not forever: When the living clay,
By death is smitten, and returns to dust;
The spirit, back again, instinctive flies
Home to its loving, lov’d associates.
And now, young Brother; since thy days are few 365
On earth; let me admonish you in love,
Cling to your brother’s standard—ever be
With him, when in nocturnal silence, he
Seeks intercourse with that Intelligence
Who is from everlasting, and who will 370
To everlasting ages yet remain.
And when Truth comes for converse here with me,
On things ineffable; come thou. Seek too;
And thou, too often canst not seek, the grave
Society of chaste Reflection. Though 375
Her deeply penetrating eye, at times
Is shrouded with the dew of sadness, and
Her speech may sometimes savor of reproof;
Her words are fraught with usefulness—her soul
Is near allied to mine. Thus, as thy years 380
Shall multiply, thy nature shall expand;
And when old Age shall place his coronet,
Stamp’d with the burnish’d seal of Honor, on
Your head; the heav’ns in approbativeness,
Will send me down, with thee again to share 385
Those kindred ties of close affinity,
Which held us in relationship before.
And even now, amid the recklessness
Of your unpractis’d, young, and scanty years;
Through humble supplication, fervently 390
Prefer’d to yonder throne invisible;
You may call down my presence. I will spread
A halo luminous around thy feet,
And breathe rich music to your inmost soul.”
She said no more: but with a sweetly bland, 395
And sisterly affection; printed on
The cheek of each a tender parting kiss,
And took her upward flight.
With mutual looks
That told too well, a tale of deep regret,
The brothers cast a farewell, ling’ring look 400
At the departing Seraph; then arose,
And cours’d their homeward way; and as
They went, Experience serenaded thus:
Richer than the pearls which ocean
Treasures in its ample bed; 405
Is each cherish’d, sweet emotion,
Wisdom gently deigns to shed.
Wisdom has no false attraction—
Pure and spotless is her soul;
When she stimulates to action, 410
Hers is no usurp’d control.
Onward, Time! thy chariot hasten—
Let the scenes of life awake:
When their keen corrosives chasten
Me, I’ll smile, for Wisdom’s sake. 415
Welcome Age: I’ll hail our union
As a point replete with gain,
If thro’ thee, a full communion,
I with Wisdom, shall obtain.
Bind thy wreath about my temples— 420
Place thy signet on my brow—
On my cheek, thy furrow-dimples,
Plant, where blood is coursing now.
If she loves the hoary headed,
Let me be what Wisdom loves: 425
Let my nature all be wedded
To whatever she approves.
By her heav’nly precepts guided—
With her counsel for my shield:
All my efforts, undivided, 430
Shall for Truth, the falchion wield.
CONTENTS.—The hall of Prejudice—A conversation—Consternation enters and announces the progress of Truth, etc.—Sundry measures proposed for the support of Error—The Convention appoints Deceit to devise measures, and adjourns for his deliberation—Is reassembled, and the plans divulged, which are applauded by a motion for immediate execution—The Convention dissolves—The care of Stupidity for Error—A description of him—Description of his wife, Content—She commences a sonnet—Error’s approval—She concludes the Sonnet.
In the grand, spacious hall of Prejudice,
Built in that olden form of architect,
The Tuscan order, of anterior date,
A caucus was convened: and, speeches there
Of senatorian length—spun out, with skill 5
Congressional; reverberating roll’d
Their wordy force along the marble walls.
Opinions in a sanguine torrent flow’d,
While arguments, unutter’d and unform’d
With crude, contingent cogitations, groan’d 10
For utterance: while thoughts compres’d revolved
Like fever’d madness, ’round the throbbing brain.
When lo! a messenger in fearful haste,
(A haste betok’ning evil tidings borne;)
With wild, distorted features, and with hair 15
Dishevel’d recklessly upon the breeze;
Was seen approaching; and anon, unask’d
And with a rude, unceremonious step,
Abruptly mingled in the Council hall.
“This honorable body will excuse 20
(Said Consternation, while the looks of all
Bespoke anxiety the most intense)
This interruption: I’m expressly sent
By Disappointment, to announce to you,
Altho’ unwelcome be the news; what has 25
Of late transpir’d upon the borders of
Superstition, who had been
By vote called to the presidency of
That sitting Council; bade the messenger
Proceed. “There’s been a mighty falling off 30
Along the borders of your wide domain.
Increasing still—the dread contagion of
Apostacy is spreading far and wide—
Like fires in Autumn, that have broken loose
Upon the meadow, when its herbage, scath’d 35
With nightly frosts, is of its verdure shorn;
Threat’ning depopulation to the realm
Where Prejudice presides. Huge multitudes,
By flight precipitate, adhere to Truth,
And gather ’round the standard he has rais’d 40
In opposition to your noble prince,
The royal, high born Error. Error will
Be left without supporters, if perchance,
The growing mischief cannot be subdued.
The blast which Falsehood’s fruitful forge propel’d, 45
Is now producing a reaction, rife
With more of evil than of good to us:
For through the influence of its thundering noise,
So long and loud; Investigation has
Been fiercely rous’d, and all his faculties 50
Exerted, which, of course, preponderate
Against ourselves; and he is now abroad;
And with his presence fascination seems
Most firmly and inseparably wove;
And to his person delegates a pow’r, 55
That predisposes to the side of Truth.”
When Consternation’s narrative was done,
A deep’ning groan thro’ the assembly mov’d;
And sombre clouds, like morning mists that hide
The distant landscape from the view, bespread 60
O’er ev’ry phiz except the laughing brow
Of wild Enthusiasm. Her recklessness
Drew from old Superstition’s rigid soul,
A sharp rebuke.
Deeply encompass’d with
That kind of sanctimonious dignity 65
Which silence’ spell creates—profusely clad
In his imperial and undiminish’d robe,
The honor’d Error sat. Old Prejudice,
With stern indignity, appear’d to scorn
A shade of sorrow. But poor Ign’rance’ heart, 70
Of other texture—cast in softer mould—
Yearn’d, as a mother’s heart is wont to yearn
O’er helpless imbecility. Her tears,
In close succession, chas’d each other down
Her placid cheek.
Thus for a long, long space, 75
The Council sat; while o’er a motley crowd
Of feelings, and a wild variety
Of thoughts, that gather’d into huddled heaps,
A murky silence brooded: Till at length,
The stable-soul’d Tradition—sage with years, 80
Whose steadfast and undeviating mind
Had never felt a change: arose, and thus
Address’d the waiting audience.
Let not the unattested fol de rol,
Which you this day have heard, occasion you 85
Too much alarm. The recent efforts which
Stern Bigotry, coercing Falsehood, made;
I was and still am well aware, are such
As Folly and young Indiscretion would
Our cause is everlasting, for 90
’Tis bas’d upon those changeless principles
Which I inculcate—principles, which like
My nature, are immovable; and as
My nature, free from innovation; and
Needs not those vollies of redundant means 95
That have enlisted you their services.
Why should the lovely face of nature be
Distorted, and our sunny skies obscur’d,
And the soft spicy gales that gently dance
Upon the lucid atmosphere, be put 100
In such intolerable rage, and wild
Commotion, by the foul and madd’ning blast,
Which emanates from Falsehood’s dark recess?
My single arm is all sufficient to
Perpetuate this kingdom and insure 105
Endless duration to our regency.”
Old Party-zeal, who, like a tremor, sat
Beneath Tradition’s speech—his sightless balls,
Like spheres disorganiz’d, that burst the bounds
Prefix’d by nature to define their course, 110
And lawlessly emerge abroad; roll’d round
With vagrant motion; while his bony limbs
Shook tremulously, by the phrenzy of
His deep impassioned spirit, thus arous’d
To tones impetuous; hastily arose, 115
And clos’d Tradition’s brief oration, with
The fervid introduction of his own.
“I claim your audience. My soul is stir’d
Within me, that this honorable hall
Should be saluted, and its echoing base, 120
And speaking columns, forc’d to iterate
With such laconic, dull, dispassionate
Harangues, in an emergency like this.
Pshaw! who could think your august presence would
Be call’d to witness propositions, such 125
As have been laid before you? What! Shall we,
At this important juncture in affairs,
Dispense with Falsehood’s most efficient skill?
We might as well relinquish Error’s self,
As silence such promoters of his cause, 130
As Falsehood, Slander, Calumny, Abuse,
Deceit and Ignorance and Prejudice,
With all our royal line of royalties;
Relying solely on the agency
Of old Tradition. Not that I intend 135
To underrate his services. I know
They have been, and are still of great account.
His precepts are most honorably firm;
And he is like a stately pillar in
This commonwealth: he stands unmoved, amid 140
The fiercest blast—he’s able to repel
E’en Truth himself, in single combat join’d;
But now, too formidable are our foes—
By far too numerous—they are too much
Control’d by wise Investigation, to 145
Be foil’d without our concentrated force.
Then surely, let us summons ev’ry one
That wears the crest of Lucifer, and is
By him commissioned to perform in war.
Let Bigotry arouse and stand at helm, 150
To nerve the arm of Falsehood to put forth
Redoubled blasts. Let Persecution draw
His crimson’d bow, and all ye Furies, rise—
Without delay, perform your midnight works!
Spare not the face of nature—heed it not 155
Though sunny skies and balmy gales, and all
The silken joys of sweet repose, are doom’d
To be annihilated by your tread—
Push on—the end will sanctify the means—
Be pow’r your right—let force the right decide.” 160
Thus Party-zeal clos’d up the fervor of
The warm effusion of his heated brain.
His speech was follow’d by a clam’rous shout
Of joy. Enthusiasm was frantical,
But Superstition call’d for order; and 165
It was propose’d that measures for defense,
And measures of aggression too, such as
Would suit exigences; should be prescrib’d.
The Council mov’d—’twas seconded and pass’d.
“That, as Deceit had signaliz’d himself 170
In desp’rate cases heretofore; that he
Devise such plans of operation as
His judgment shall direct, to govern us
In future—plans of operation to
Secure ourselves, and overthrow the pow’r 175
The Council then adjourn’d until
Deceit had leisurely applied his thoughts
To schemes—to ruminations intricate:
And when he fixed his eye upon the point,
That seem’d to grasp the grand accomplishment 180
Of what he wish’d; he drew his purpose forth,
With all the ease and all the recklessness,
That masters of the little art draw out
From its entanglements, the “puzzling chain.”
His plans matured—the Council re-convened; 185
And he deliberately spread them forth;
In matter and in manner following:
“Error must be again committed to
The oversight of old Stupidity;
That Prejudice and Ignorance may go 190
Abroad, to do their handy work—to wrap
Their sombre veils about the senses; thus
To shackle Intellect, and fix a bolt
Upon proud Understanding’s citadel;
E’en though Sincerity, her azure seal 195
May place indubitably on the heart.
Thus will they hold beyond the reach of Truth,
Each intellectual organ; and close up
The avenues of Common-sense, and spread
A net, to meet and baffle all the skill 200
Of bold Investigation.
May pour his smoking, burning lava forth
Without reserve, and fill the ‘itching ears.’
This measure will secure our strength: and then
Means must be put in progress, to subdue 205
The pow’r of Truth and his adherents.
Our haughty Pride take Envy, his belov’d,
With all their children, Avarice and Hate,
And their huge brother Jealousy, whose eyes
Of green and livid hue, protrude beyond 210
Their own digressing orbits—and Distrust,
And Selfishness; and let them also take
Their whole domestic retinue—a host
Of valetudinarians, that feed,
And feast themselves at others’ cost. And then 215
To grace their num’rous train, and to perfect
Their work; a priest or priestess must go forth
With them; for vain is all the influence
Exerted yet; without the sacred garb
Of piety. Dissimulation wears, 220
With easy grace, the sacerdotal gown:
He prays like Abel, and performs like Cain:
Therefore let him be duly authoriz’d
To act in holy things—and let him join
Himself unto the kindred, household band 225
Of Pride and Envy. Let them colonize
In yonder province—in the very heart
Of that dense population.
The breath of midnight softly glides upon
The wings of darkness; imperceptibly 230
They’ll undermine the solid basement of
Herculean Union, who maintains, within
His hold, the massy keys of God-like strength.
His mansion shaken—Union will depart;
And ere pale Envy’s infant Discord shall 235
Arrive to manhood’s height, he will maintain,
By dint of firm possession, for his own
Inheritance, and at his own behest;
A rich estate, beneath the busy eye
Of tall Inquiry.”
When the speaker clos’d; 240
As subterranean gases—long confin’d,
Ignited, burst with a tremendous roar;
So rang the shout of approbation, through
That spacious hall. E’en Superstition spoke
His warm approval to the plans propos’d; 245
And he confess’d Deceit had usher’d forth
An effigy of Wisdom—not his own.
But the squint-eyed Suspicion watch’d Deceit,
And saw him turn and laugh in secrecy,
While to himself, he mutter’d rhapsodies 250
Of sly intent.
The Council then proposed
A forthwith execution of the schemes
Just laid before it: And without delay,
With buoyant hearts, the splendid colonists
Took their departure for the sphere assign’d 255
The vehicle of Fashion, too,
Was call’d in requisition; and the steed
Of Popularity, caparison’d
With gaudy strings of shining ornaments—
With nimble feet, and nostrils snuffing air; 260
Was harness’d to the waiting vehicle:
And Prejudice and Ignorance, anon
Were mounted there. The sage Tradition sat
Lowly in front, and grasp’d the gorgeous reins;
When swift as eagles on the lucid air, 265
With eager haste their plumy pinions ply;
Smoothly and swiftly roll’d the chariot on,
And bath’d its glitt’ring wheels, in golden beams.
The caucus rising, separated; and
Stupidity, with most dispassionate 270
Composure, then address’d himself to the
Requir’d attendance on his precious charge.
There’s nothing moves upon affection’s cord
With softer touch, or in a heart that beats
With sensitive emotion; wakens more 275
Of unaffected tenderness, than the
Lone watch o’er sleeping, helpless innocence.
Stupidity, to cradle nurs’ries rear’d;
Had watch’d o’er Error’s earliest infancy;
And all the warmth his passive nature knew,
Had been from time to time arous’d, until 280
His own existence seem’d itself, to be
With Error’s being, intricately join’d.
But then, Stupidity was not alone
Without a mate—he had his “better half”—
His dear Content—the partner he had wooed 285
In early boyhood. Though she was of birth
More noble than himself; and might have grac’d
A higher walk—have rank’d with royalty,
And smil’d where princely lords affect to smile
By her consent: and though she might have dwelt 290
With her twin-sister, the deep-soul’d Content,
The fair and noble form that ever dwells
Affectionately in the blest abode
Of Usefulness and Virtue; she had deign’d
To be his own; and in the evenness 295
Of his career, forego the envied height
That crowns the halls of bright Activity.
And ever since their first espousal, she
Adheres to him, with all the constancy 300
Of love effeminate.
With her sweet voice—
So near allied to silence, that its strains
Scarce urg’d a motion, tremulous, on air:
She, singing thus, caress’d his hours away.
Error has a charm to bless— 305
Error’s presence we possess;
Dearer far, than Happiness,
All Enjoyment’s boasted reign,
Is but a reprieve from pain; 310
And she crowns the broad domain
Ours, are joys that come unbought
With the coin of tedious thought—
Pleasures flow, unask’d, unsought, 315
Each emotion of the breast—
Ev’ry passion, lull’d to rest:
With unconscious ease impres’d,
Is Stupidity. 320
Get you hence—ye works of Art,
With the treasures you impart—
Let me press me to the heart
Let Refinement come not here— 325
Nor Intelligence draw near
To the sphere—the blessed sphere
He is faithful to his trust—
Books may moulder—tools may rust— 330
All Improvement lick the dust,
O Stupidity, my Love:
Thou art gentle as the dove—
None but Error ranks above 335
Thus sang Content; while on his downy mat,
At Error’s feet, her spouse reclining lay—
Breathless and motionless, lest lucklessly,
Her strains so sweet, and so congenial to 340
His feelings, might perchance, escape his ear,
As they were gliding from her gentle tongue.
Error was pleas’d: He smil’d, and bowing down
To catch the ling’ring echo of the strain
That died away; as nature’s pulses die, 345
Amid the melting, sultry noon-day heat
Of a hot summer’s sun; he slyly pres’d
A stealthy kiss upon the dimpled cheek
Of the dispassionately fond Content.
Encourag’d by the condescension of 350
A being thus rever’d: with louder tones,
She clos’d the music of her minstrelsy.
List to the strain:
Error’s foes will not prevail:
All the pow’rs of Truth will fail, 355
If he treads within the pale
Should Investigation roam
Here; he’ll be but ill at home;
Let him not essay to come 360
Prejudice and Ignorance
Will environ Common-sense,
And secure the strong defence
Of Stupidity. 365
Then, O Error, let thy breast
Be with sweet repose imprest:
Multitudes, with thee, will rest,
CONTENTS.—The friends of Truth are conven’d to discuss subjects interesting to him and his cause—Investigation returns from an excursion—He conducts Discernment and Intelligence into the edifice where Truth is seated in audience—Lays the package of Intelligence on the table—After various discussions, Experience makes a speech, containing instructions for their future benefit—Truth suggests the immediate supplanting of the colony of Pride, recently planted in their midst, by the friends of Error—The Poem concludes with the Ode of Genius to Truth.
The friends of Truth, were congregated in
A spacious edifice, that nobly rear’d
Its tow’ring disk, beside the mountain, where
Truth’s banner wav’d; to hear and to be heard,
In deep discussions, long and intricate; 5
Involving thoughts elaborately turn’d
Upon the nature, origin, and the
Grand destination of immortal Truth;
While his own self presided.
His pure mind
Was so securely fortified against 10
That vanity of feeling, and of thought,
That reigns inherent in the human heart;
That he could sit in judgment, and decide
Upon the merits of discussions, when
His merits were discuss’d. Inquiry, too, 15
Was present; and his consort Knowledge, sat
With close attention, silent by his side.
Thought freely was exchang’d; and sentiments
Of richest texture, liberally were,
From num’rous fountains, flowing in a stream 20
Of unaffected reciprocity.
From an excursion, which had been perform’d
With much of honor to himself, and some
Advantage to the onward cause of Truth;
Investigation had return’d: but scarce 25
Had leisure time to rest himself from the
Dull weight of weariness, and to regale
His appetite upon the viands which
Economy had plac’d before him; ere
Discernment, who had been by Truth employ’d 30
To watch events as they transpir’d abroad;
Return’d, and with her, came Intelligence,
Her faithful escort. When an interview,
Between them and Investigation, had
Ensued; Investigation rose, and with 35
A hasty step; conducted them to the
Saloon, where Truth was then in audience
Deliberately seated—where the voice
Of bland Experience, with eloquence,
Replete with learning’s master music; hush’d 40
To sleep, the god of Silence: He awoke,
And Silence rose to pay respectfully
His most appropriate addresses to
Investigation; whose hale presence drew,
From all his friends, a liberal respect: 45
And consequently, from his enemies,
A cold, repulsive, deferential awe,
The nearest kin, to Hate.
The greetings o’er—
Investigation spread the package of
Intelligence upon the table, and 50
Announc’d the circumstances that occur’d
Beneath the influence of motions pass’d,
And resolutions put in practice, in
The Council Hall of Prejudice, and were
Discover’d thro’ Discernment’s optic-glass. 55
The hostile movements, which were going on,
Requir’d the most efficient means applied
By Perseverance’ firm, untiring hand.
Experience, who had of late, increas’d
In stature, as in years; and frequently 60
Free converse held with Wisdom; was requir’d
To say what he opined would most conduce
To public benefit. He then arose,
And thus address’d the waiting audience:
“Most worthy friends, let not your hearts despond 65
By reason of the articles contain’d
In the last bundle of Intelligence.
’Midst all the tumults and commotions—’midst
The storms of war that on our borders rage
Most rudely and relentlessly; it seems 70
That Fortune, though she frowns on us at times;
In the event, will ever potently
Incline her balance in our favor. Hosts
Of immigrants continually flow
From yonder vale, to share the blessings of 75
Our pure, salubrious, heav’nly climate. Much,
Investigation, by his arduous toils,
Thro’ Perseverance’ genial aid; has done
In our behalf. But let us not relax
Our efforts, short of the accomplishment 80
Of what should be accomplish’d: Let us not
Fall short of the entire attainment of
The highest point that is attainable.
Since Prejudice and Ignorance are bent
To use their utmost influence, they must 85
Be met by strength and skill commensurate.
They are our great antagonists: for by
Their pow’r and their unceasing diligence,
All other foes of ours, now draw support.
Error will reign—and reign so long as he, 90
By the deep hidden strength of Prejudice
And Ignorance, shall be upheld. Each dart
That’s aim’d at him, falls light and harmlessly—
By him unheeded and unfelt; while thus
By them he is sustain’d. Therefore, arise, 95
Investigation, and once more go forth
With your beloved Candor: Go, and chase
Them from our borders—drive them home
Into their secret lurking-place, and smite
Them there. Then, like a mountain, undermin’d, 100
The mighty Error will come tumbling down;
And make the nations tremble with his fall.
But to precede those all important deeds,
Inquiry must display his tactic skill
In the destruction of that false Content, 105
Around whose fairy-shapen image, twine
The very heart strings of Stupidity;
And on whose music’s sweet, delusive sound,
His life’s dull pulses move unconsciously.
Let her be stricken from existence, and 110
The charm, by which she holds him, be destroy’d;
And he will mount the morning mist, and fly,
Like an autumnal, wither’d leaf, away
Into Oblivion’s dusky vale, and, seek,
In that recess, where my great name-sake finds 115
His chosen residence; a resting place.
Then will long sleeping Intellect arouse,
And concentrating her awaken’d pow’rs;
Will aid the wise Investigation, in
The consummation of his sacred work. 120
’Tis an important business, and cannot
Be done in darkness: therefore, thou, O Truth,
Must give thy sanction—yes, and more than that—
Thou must go with us, and dispense the light
Which radiates from thy glowing countenance; 125
To shield us from the dark, disguis’d attacks
Of midnight’s foul assassins.
Say, O Truth,
Shall we thus aid Investigation? Shall
We all be colleagues in this enterprise?
Approvest thou the scheme I have prescrib’d?” 130
Experience gracefully resum’d his seat,
And ev’ry eye was turn’d inquiringly,
Upon the face of Truth, whose features glow’d
With full expression.
“What Experience has
Express’d,” said he, “I fully sanction; but 135
There’s one consideration, which I would
That colonizing company,
Consisting of the family of Pride
And his attendants; which Discernment saw
Prepar’d for a location in our midst, 140
To undermine our Union; now requires
Our prompt—our first attention. Let us then
Be on th’ alert, and intercept them, ere
They, for themselves, a foothold shall secure.
’Tis easier, much, to give a rolling stone, 145
A retrograding motion, than to raise
It from its planted, moss-grown resting place.
Then let us rise with Union, for to rise
With Union, is to rise with strength; and thus,
Expel those innovations from us; ere 150
They shall obtain the right of residence.
For what avails all foreign conquest, when
An enemy is lurking in our midst—
Preying upon domestic quietude:
And through our vital part, the heart of Peace, 155
Diffuses fest’ring seeds of rottenness?
We’ll join, and drive those renegadoes hence;
That when Investigation’s vict’ry’s won,
And all in triumph shall return; fair Peace,
With smiles will wave her gentle wand, to bid 160
Us welcome; and with music’s holiest strain,
Transfer her diadem, to crown our home.”
Truth closed his speech: A universal nod,
Betok’ning approbation, mov’d around
Through the assembly.
Genius propos’d 165
To grace their separation with an Ode
To Truth: and chanted thus, the parting lay.
THE ODE OF GENIUS TO TRUTH.
I’ll sing to thee, O Truth. Thy laws are giv’n
For my directory o’er earth and heav’n:
I sing of thee—I prize thy presence more 170
Than all the gifts from Learning’s richest store:
I sing thy praises—thou art all, to me—
I crave no pow’r, but what I draw from thee.
Eternal beauties in thy features glow,
And from thy lips, eternal fountains flow: 175
Let the pure lustre of thy radiant eye,
Beam thro’ my soul, and lift my nature high:
The master-strokes that on my pulses roll,
Are but the emanations of thy soul.
Let the fierce tigress chide her churlish brood— 180
Monster on monster, vent its spiteful mood:
Let crawling reptiles of the reptile school,
Chastise offenders of their puny rule:
Let insects feel the weight of insects’ paw,
For the transgression of an insect-law: 185
But Truth, thy advocates shall not descend
To sordid means, thy honor to defend:
And thou, O Truth, wilt not ignobly bend
To servile measures, for a noble end.
Should lofty Genius strike a feeble string? 190
No: in thy presence, Truth, of Truth I’ll sing.
Thou art the basis of each worthy theme:
Thou art the lustre of each golden beam:
Wide as eternity, diffuse thy light,
Till joyous day shall burst the shades of night: 195
Benighted Earth illumine with thy rays—
The slumb’ring nations waken with thy blaze.
In Falsehood’s stream, let Error bathe his soul,
And Slander bend to Envy’s base control:
Be thou, O Truth, my arbiter and guide: 200
Beneath thy standard, let my feet abide:
Let thy celestial Banner be unfurl’d,
Until its crescent circumscribes the world:
On Hope’s high pinion, write thy burnish’d name,
And plant thy signet on the spire of Fame. 205
Go forth, and conquer: All to thee shall bow,
And fadeless laurels wreath thy noble brow:
The palm of Vict’ry waits to crown thy war—
The seal of Triumph, lingers not afar.
Victorious Truth, thy conq’ring sceptre wield, 210
Till all thy foes in due submission yield—
Until Inquiry spreads himself abroad,
And Knowledge smiles to his instinctive nod—
Till Party-zeal is shrouded with disgrace,
And Superstition hides his lengthen’d face— 215
Till old Stupidity is forc’d to fly—
Till Ignorance and Prejudice shall die—
Till pompous Error, vanquish’d, licks the dust,
And princely Falsehood, fires his smoking bust;
Then, shall thy fiat hold the world in awe, 220
While ev’ry Isle exults to hear thy law:
Strong, as Omnipotence, thy arm shall prove,
And as Eternal as the throne above.
published in Poems 2, 1877
The stream of time is ebbing low—
The closing scene is near:
There’s much to do, then Brother go,
Although we need you here.
On Europe’s shore a broader field 5
Of work you’re called to fill:
We know the voice of God, and yield
Submission to his will.
Remember Brother, everywhere
In duty’s path you tread, 10
We’ll pour by constant faith and prayer,
Our blessings on your head.
When far from these dear mountain vales,
Where warm, fond hearts you leave,
While time and distance, silently 15
Their twofold web shall weave,
Supported by Jehovah’s arm—
Protected by his power
He’ll bear you off o’er every harm.
And gild the darkest hour. 20
The nations’ pulses you must feel:
Mark well their swift decay;
And timely warn the pure in heart,
To rise and come away,
Your heart inspired with heav’nly zeal 25
Salvation’s power to spread;
You’ll move the mighty Cause and bless
The living and the dead.
Tell those who wield th’ affairs of State—
Let haughty tyrants hear— 30
The worldly wise and worldly great,
The day of God is near.
He’ll bind the powers of wickedness—
He’ll make the oppressor cease—
He’ll crown the world with righteousness, 35
With Knowledge, Truth and Peace.
published in Woman’s Exponent, 15 August 1878
He’s gone! A veteran in the cause,
Of righteousness and truth—
An advocate for freemen’s laws—
A champion from his youth.
While loved ones weeping stood around, 5
To watch his dying breath;
A heav’nly escort waited by
The good man’s bed of death.
And when the noble spirit left,
Its tenement of clay, 10
The guard, commissioned, led him forth,
To bask in endless day.
While here, fond hearts with sorrow thrill,
And heave the mournful sigh:
Glad shouts of joyous welcome fill, 15
The shining courts on high.
A grand reception holds above—
A valiant soldier comes;
Fraternal friendship’s mutual love
Receives the veteran home. 20
He fought the fight of faith below—
The crown of victory won—
With honor joins the host on high,
With all his armor on.
In peace his weary flesh shall rest, 25
Entombed in mother earth;
Till heaven’s shrill trumpet wakes the dust
In an immortal birth.
composed 9 December 1878
published in Deseret News, 25 December 1878
“Let our eye look upon Zion—let her be defiled.”
1 Let us enter the private sanctuary of domestic life, where, to the
honor of this great Republic, the divinity of the marriage tie is acknowledged and held sacred, and where virtue, the crowning glory of the social circle, is bravely and successfully protected.
2 Let us there, with wanton cruelty, defy the Constitution of our
country, and by trampling on the rights of conscience, sever the holy ties of wedlock, separate husbands and wives, parents and children, and ignore the finest affections of the human heart.
3 Yea, let us cause thousands of honorable, loving wives to be
stigmatized as prostitutes, and their offspring as bastards.
4 Let us cause multitudes of innocent children, that now are being
tenderly cherished and educated, to be branded with infamy and deprived of heirship.
5 Let us desecrate their homes and exterminate the only people of
whom our nation can truly boast as protectors of purity and innocence, lest their virtuous and honorable example shall, in the present reign of corruption, rise up before us as a burning reproof.
6 Let us immure in loathsome prisons those brave men, who, for the
sake of worshipping God according to the dictates of their consciences, left their homes and the graves of their noble ancestors, and sought refuge in the sterile American Desert.
7 Where, nerved by the power of faith in the arm of Jehovah, for a
while they battled with the elements for life, and at length, with indomitable energy, overcame the barrenness of the soil, and made the “desert blossom as the rose.”
8 Those are the men, who, with their stalwart sons, the offspring of
plural, celestial marriage, with stern, unyielding perseverance, established a connecting link between the commercial cities of the East and the rich mining districts of the West, and made practicable for the nation the continental transit of the “iron horse.”
9 Let us erase from the book of remembrance the countless deeds of
hospitality and generosity bestowed by those early settlers of the wilderness, on our perishing emigrants when their supplies were exhausted, as they were wending their way through to California.
10 Let us plant the seeds of devastation in a thriving, peaceful,
industrious community—a Territory brought into existence and made to flourish without aid, encouragement, or protection from the government under which it exists.
11 Yea, let us abrogate the rights of its founders, insomuch that
henceforth it shall be controlled by gamblers and speculators, who have no interest in common with the people.
12 Instead of the Territory of Utah as it now is—a theme of boast as
a nucleus of peace, good order and happiness, let us, through our crushing policy, exhibit it to the nations abroad, as a spectacle of confusion, desolation and woe.
13 Let us tear asunder that mighty shield of the rights of conscience,
our glorious Constitution—let us place our veto on the commands of the Almighty, and presume to measure arms with the Great Ruler of the Universe.
14 Thus saith the Supreme Court of the United States of America—the
Court of final decision—the highest tribunal of a great and powerful nation—the last earthly resort to which an oppressed American citizen can appeal for protection, and suffering innocence for redress.
composed January 1879
published in Deseret News, 21 January 1879
Blessings on thee, darling baby—
Welcome to our tender care:
Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Hearts and homes with us to share.
All a mother’s fond affection 5
Can on helplessness bestow,
With a father’s wise protection,
Precious darling, you shall know.
Blessings on thee darling baby
Be your path with honors strew’d 10
Upward-on, in life’s progression
From your tiny babyhood.
All the blessings you inherit,
Thro’ your royal princely birth,
May you gain by lifelong merit, 15
Crown’d with noblest woman-worth.
composed ca. 2 February 1879
Lov’d and loving little stranger
Short and sweet has been its stay
Like a golden ray of sunshine
Came and smiled and pass’d away.
Precious and of noble manhood— 5
Lovely germ of royalty
Destined in the resurrection
To attain maturity.
Thro’ the Gospel (if they live it
Ever true and faithfully) 10
Its fond parents will receive it
Glorious in eternity.
Sweetly sleeps the precious casket
Where the dead in silence lie
But the Jewel crown’d with beauty 15
Basks in blissful scenes, on high.
Born to share a father’s blessing
Born to win a mother’s love
Born t’ obtain the Holy Priesthood—
Born to reign a Prince above.
dated 11 March 1879
May we onward and upward, all cherish and nourish
The virtues on which this rich blessing depends;
And may we with love and fond hearts ever cherish
The tie that now makes us wives, children and friends.
composed ca. 3 April 1879
published in Biography and Family Records of Lorenzo Snow, 1884
With joy and thanksgiving, the Priesthood this day,
The four corner stones of the Temple site lay;
The spirits in prison will hail the glad word,
And shout hallelujahs of praise to the Lord.
Hosanna, hosanna—All Israel shall sing, 5
Hosanna to God, and to Zion’s great king:
Hosanna from heaven shall re-echo again,
And the spirits in prison send up the refrain.
Long, long had they waited and waited in vain,
For th’ gospel in fulness to come forth again; 10
When the prophet Elijah, the work should make known,
Uniting the fathers and children in one.
A temple of God! What a glorious theme!
He gives us the pattern, we build it to Him:
If holy and pure from foundation to dome, 15
The Lord to His Temple shall suddenly come.
The glory of God, on its summit shall rest,
And the inner apartments divinely invest;
The power of salvation in currents shall flow,
From fountains above to the Temples below. 20
All glory to God in the highest be given,
By mortals on earth and immortals in heaven,
Loud, loud hallelujahs resound to His name,
Who was, and is now, and forever the same.
composed ca. 14 April 1879
published in Deseret News, 7 May 1879
LIFE! What a treasure, how great is its worth!
Life! What a blessing to man on the earth!
Life let us value and cherish the prize,
Learn to preserve it, ye Saints, and be wise.
Vainly we struggle preparing to die, 5
Vainly aspire to the mansions on high;
If we are abusing the life we receive,
It is not to die, it is duty to live.
Life is the crown we are toiling to gain,
Life is the jewel we hope to obtain, 10
Life—the existence God gives us today;
Life is no trifle to barter away.
What tho’ in patience and faith we endure,
Life, life eternal we cannot secure,
Till we shall learn how to value and save 15
Life, present life, from a premature grave.
Life, present life, let us study its laws,
Know each effect, understand every cause,
Seek to promote it and lengthen its span.
Life, present life, what a blessing to man, 20
Great is the mission, to teach how to live.
Long life is proffered, O, who will receive?
Life is a pledge of existence on high,
Learning to live will prepare us to die.
published in Young Woman’s Journal, April 1890
With Friendship’s bright “forget me not”—
With Love’s celestial dew—
With Truth’s immortal gems of thought,
These pages, freely strew.
composed 21 April 1879
Peace to the casket—let it rest;
The jewel shines among the blest.
composed ca. 22 April 1880