Awd Isaac, The Steeple Chase, and Other Poems by John Castillo.
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Title: Awd Isaac, The Steeple Chase, and other Poems
With a glossary of the Yorkshire Dialect
Author: John Castillo
Release Date: February 14, 2011 [EBook #35287]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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Note that there is an index to the poems at the end of the text.
THE STEEPLE CHASE,
WITH A GLOSSARY OF THE
BY JOHN CASTILLO.
PUBLISHED BY HORNE & RICHARDSON.
The Author of the following Poems prefixes a “Preface” to them, lest he
should seem to be wanting in respect to his readers, did he not comply
with a custom which is universal. In doing so, however, he would eschew
two kinds of Preface, viz: that in which the author arrogates to himself
the merit of having produced a work entirely new, both in subject, and
in manner of expression, and on that score claims the plaudits of his
friends and the public;—and that in which the author professes to feel
himself inadequate to the task of composing a book, but at the pressing
solicitation of his friends, with great distrust of his abilities for
such a work, he yields to their entreaties, and pleads his inability in
mitigation of the critic’s wrath. With respect to the former, the writer
of the present volume professes not to offer to his readers any thing
new, either as to matter, or to language; and as to the latter, the
following pieces were most of them composed several years ago, at
distant intervals of time, and were frequently perused by his friends
long before he had thoughts of publishing them:—the character of his
poetry is therefore pretty well known to those who are likely[Pg vi] to become
purchasers of his book; and it would be but a bungling apology did he
attempt to shelter its defects under the plea of inability for his task.
It will be unnecessary to say much of the subjects sung of in the
following poems. Though they are various, the author hopes they will all
be found to contain a moral, which, if acted upon in common life, would
direct the conduct to a beneficial end. Many of them are founded on
facts which occurred in the writer’s neighbourhood, and which he has
endeavoured to turn to a useful purpose. Others are of an experimental
cast, and are the breathings of the poet’s heart when inflamed by Love
Divine! It has been his constant aim to exhibit the workings of grace in
the heart, its effects on the life, and the glorious futurity to which
it conducts its possessor. For this purpose, he has seized on a variety
of incidents known to many of his friends, which have furnished him with
matter on which to graft a spiritual thought. Life in its spring tide,
or when ebbing in death, home with its simple yet hallowed joys, a
religious assembly rapt in devotion and love, a landscape endeared by
the associations of youth or of kindred, a dilapidated church, a
withering flower, a text of scripture—have supplied him with topics;—and
he trusts that the doctrines which he has inculcated in connection with
them will always be found to agree with the Word of God.
Of the “Dialect” in which some of the pieces are composed, the author
deems it necessary to say a[Pg vii] few words. It is well known that every
county in England has its peculiarities of expression and pronunciation.
These peculiarities, though often unintelligible to persons brought up
at a distance, are yet the native language of the common inhabitants;
and there is, in their estimation, a point and power in them, which are
not to be found in more polished periods. The author has availed himself
of the dialect of his native county to convey to a particular class of
persons some important truths, which may, perhaps, be more welcomely
received because clad in that garb. There may, indeed, appear to
delicate ears, a rudeness approaching to barbarism, in the dialect which
he has employed; but what is wanting in polish, will, in the estimation
of those for whom he writes, be more than compensated by force and
vigour. Truth is truth—however humble the habiliments in which it is
dressed: nor does it come with less power to the heart because conveyed
in language with which those for whom it was intended are familiar.
Indeed, there is in that very familiarity something which arrests the
attention and affects the heart. Of the correctness of this view, the
author has many times seen proof, in the interest with which some of the
pieces in the dialect have been listened to, by persons whose education
being limited they could not perhaps have appreciated the beauties of
polished verse, but were at once arrested and delighted when the artless
tale was narrated in their mother tongue. To make this part of the work
as complete as[Pg viii] possible, great care has been used to render the
orthography correct: published specimens of the Dialect have been
consulted, as well as living authorities, and no pains have been spared
that could contribute to make it complete both to the eye and to the
ear. A difference of orthography may occasionally appear, caused by the
necessity of making a rhyme;—excepting a few rare instances of this
kind, a standard has been adopted which has not been departed from. For
the assistance of those who are unacquainted with the dialect of the
North Riding of Yorkshire, a copious glossary is appended to the work,
by reference to which the meaning of any unknown term or phrase will at
once be seen.
The author prays that the blessing of God may accompany his work!
Yah neeght as Ah went heeame fra’ wark,
A lahtle bit afoore ’twur dark,
Quite blithe an’ cheerful as a lark,
Ah thowght me-sel;
Ah sat me doon, te rist a bit,
At top o’t’ hill.
Fooaks just wur turnin oot ther ky;—
A lahtle plain awd man com by;—
“Cum set ye doon, gud frind,” sez I,
“An’ rist yer legs;”
He’d beean a bit o’ floor te buy,
An’ twea’r three eggs.
Ah fand him varry fain te stop;—
His staff he set up as a prop;—
His hooary heead he lifted up,
An’ thus compleean’d:—
(Sum fragments ov a gud like feeace,
Ther still remeean’d.)
“Yoo see,” sez he, “mah deear young frind,
Mah travel’s ommost at an end;
Wi’ age mah back begins te bend,
An’ white’s mah hair;
Ov this warld’s griefs, yoo may depend,
Ah’v hed mah share.”
His teeal tho’ simple, it wur grand,
An’ varry gud te understand,—
His stick steead up aboon his hand,
T’awd fashion’d way;
His cooat an’ hat wur wether tann’d,
A duffil gray.
“Ah think,” sez Ah, “’at Scriptur sez,
Gray hairs is honorable dress,
If they be fund i’reeghteousness,
By faith obtain’d;
An’ think, by what yer leeaks express,
That praaze yoo’ve gain’d.
Wi’ age it izzen’t gud te jooak,
An’ts ommost ower warm te woak,
Sit doon, an’ hev a bit o’ tawk,
O’ things ’at’s past;
Awd men like yoo, hez seeaf beeath heeard
An’ seen a vast.”
“A vast Ah hev beeath heeard an’ seen,
An’ felt misfotten’s arrows keen,
As yoo remark, whahl Ah hev beean
On this life’s stage;
It’s sike a varry changin scene,
Fra’ yooth te age.
Hoo great, an’ yet hoo feeble’s man,
His life at langest’s bud a span;”
His history be thus began,
Wi’ teears te tell;
An’ if yer ears be owght like maane,
’Twill pleease ye weel.
“Lang sin’ Ah lost mah wife,” sez he,
“Which wur a heavy cross te me;
An’ then mah sun teeak off tot’ sea,
A fine young man,
An’ Ah neea mare his feeace mun see,
It’s ten te yan.
Ah happen’d te be off yah day,
A kind ov sweetheart, as they say,
Com in an’ teeak mah lass away,
Wi’ hoosin stuff;
An’ noo, poor thing, she’s deead, they say,
A lang way off.
It’s noo neen yeear, an’ gaain i’ten,
Sin’ Ah at t’bark wood joined sum men,
’Twur theer Ah fell an’ leeam’d me-sen,
I’ spite o’ care;
Ah wur foorc’d te gie up theer an’ then,
An’ woark ne mare.
Bud t’neeaburs hez beean varry gud,
Or else lang sin’ Ah’d stuck i’t’ mud,
An’ seea throo them an’ t’help o’ God,
Ah gits mah breead;
An’ whooap they’ll be rewarded for’t,
When Ah’s law leead.
Bud seein all mah cumforts gooan,
Ah didden’t knaw what way te ton,
Then Ah began te sigh an’ mooan,
Beeath neeght an’ day;
Ah bowght a Baable, an’ began
Te reead an’ pray.
An’ as Ah reead, an’ as Ah preea’d,
Ah thowght it thunner’d ower mah heead,
An’ offens Ah’ wur sadly flay’d
Wi’ dismal noises,
Sumtaames i’ bed Ah thowght Ah heeard
Some ungkerd voices.
A preeacher chanc’d te cum this way,
Ah’v cause te ivver bless the day,
Kind Providence leead me that way
This man te heear;
Ah, like a sheep, had geean astray
For monny a yeear.
He sed ’twur t’luv o’ Christ cumpell’d him,
Bud seean as ivver Ah beeheld him,
Ah thowght ’at sum kind frind hed tell’d him
All mah heart;
For ivv’ry word, like arrows pointed,
Meead it smart.
Ah thowght, till then, ’at Ah wur reeght,
Bud he set mah sins all i’mah seeght,
At last Ah fell doon at his feet
Wi’ solid grief;
Ah thowght Ah sud ha’ deead afoore
Ah fund relief.
Ah reeally thowght, if yoo’ll beleeave me,
’At hell wur oppen te receeave me,
Sum sed the Lord wad seean releeave me,
He wur mah keeper;
Bud all they sed did nowght but greeave me,
An’ cut me deeper.
Ah dreeaded th’ Almighty’s froon,
An’ wander’d greeatin up an’ doon,
Nowther i’t’ coontry nor i’t’ toon
Neea rist Ah fand;
Mah sins, like stars, did me surroon’,
Or heeaps o’ sand.
Then varry seean t’repoort wur rais’d,
An’ all roond t’village it wur blaz’d,
Awd Isaac, he wur gangin craz’d
An’ nowght seea seer;
Mah cottage then for days an’ days
Neea sowl com near.
At thowghts ov ivverlastin pains,
An’ bein bund iv endless chains,
Mah bleead, like ice, ran thruff mah veins
Wi’ shivrin dreead;
Ah cudden’t sleep, an’ Ah forgat
Te eat mah breead.
At last this gud man com ageean,
For which mah heart wur glad an’ fain,
Just like a thorsty land for rain,
Ah sat quite neear him;
Whahl ivv’ry organ ov mah sowl,
Wur bent te heear him.
Bud seean as Ah his sarmon heeard,
A still small voice mah sperits cheear’d,
An’ Ah, that varry neeght wur meeade,
A happy man;
Te praaze the Lord wi’ all mah heart,
Ah then began.
Ah knew He hed mah sins forgeean,
Whahl Ah hed in His prisance beean,
An’ that His bleead cud wesh me cleean,
An’ white as snaw,
An’ mack me fit wi’ Him te reen
Whahl heer belaw.
Sin’ then, i’ all mah conflicts heer,
Ah flees te Him wi’ faith an’ preear,
An’ He, in marsey, lends an eear.
Thruff his deear Son;
An’ this is t’way, wi’ whooap an’ feear,
Ah travels on.
Oft, when Ah thus draws neear te Him,
He macks mah een wi’ teears te swim,
Then fills mah heart quite up te t’ brim
Wi’ t’luv o’ God;
An’ when Ah gets mare faith i’ Him,
Ah hods mah hod.
Sumtaames Ah’v hed yon beck te swim,
An’ monny a time this hill te clim,
Wi’ heavy heart an’ weeary lim’
An’ sweeaty broo;
Bud all ’at ah can trist Him in,
He helps me throo.
In all the straits ov life, sez he,
Hooivver bare mah cubburt be,
Wi’ broon breead crust, an’ woormwood tea,
Or even gall,
Whereivver Ah finnds Christ te be,
He sweet’ns all.
Mah neeaburs all, Ah deearly luv ’em,
An’ oft Ah’s foorc’d for t’repruv ’em
Te seek the Lord Ah tries te muv ’em,
Wi’ heart sincere,
Bud t’answers oft ’at Ah gets frev em,
’S quite severe.
Ah’v oft felt sorry te me-sel,
Beeath greeav’d an’ sham’d the truth te tell,
When Ah hev heeard oor awd kirk bell
Ring in te preear;
Ah’s flay’d ’at sum ’ll hear’t i’ hell
Upbreead ’em theer.
They’ll sit or lig upon ther deead,
An’ tawk aboot all kinds o’ treead,
An’ laff, an’ lee, quite undismay’d,
Till they’ve rung in;
Sike fooaks te t’ warld thay’re owther wed,
Or neear akin.
Sum sez ther priest’s a stumlin block,
He nivver leeads ’em on te t’ rock,
Like thooase ’at mends a threead-bare frock
Wi’ a new piece,
He cares bud lahtle for his flock,
If he gets t’fleece.
Bud oors, he is a Christian breeght,
He preeaches Christ wiv all his meeght,
Fills each beleeaver wiv deleeght,
’At gangs te heear him;
An’ therefoore ov his people’s bleead
The truth ’ll clear him.
Ah’v heeard him tell ’em pat an’ plain,
’At they mun all be boorn again,
Or suffer ivverlastin pain,
I’ t’warld te cum;
Bud if they’ll flee te Christ i’ time,
For all ther’s rum.
I’th’ pulpit or i’ conversation,
He’s awlus on for t’sowl’s salvation,
Wi’ kind reproof or exhoortation.
Or coonsel sweet;
An’ thooase ’at follows his persuasion,
They’ll be reeght.
Ther’s sum ’at sez, bud they’re misteean,
When they’re babtized they’re boorne ageean;
Just heer they miss t’ fundation steean,
An’ beelds o’t’ sand;
An’ they’ve neea dreead, till t’hoose is doon
Bud it ’ll stand.
Ah’s flay’d,” sez he, “ift’ truth wur knawn,
Ther’s monny a precious soul o’erthrawn,
For that gud seed ’at he hez sawn
Bud bleeam for ivver is ther awn,
Thruff sad neglect.
Ah’v seen yoong men, an’ women too,
An’ men wi’ hair all off ther broo,
Afoore he’s reead his lesson throo,
’S beean fast asleep;
Whahl others ’at far better knew
'S beean seen te weep.
They’ll rock an’ riggle like a ship,
Till sum kind frind gies them a nip,
Or wakken’d up wi’ t’saxton’s whip,
Or others’ coughing;
Then, mebby, when they’ve rubb’d their een,
They’ll start a laffin.
Sum’s liv’d te three or fower skoor,
An’ lang time heer’s had rulin pow’r,
They’ve woorn deep tracks across ’at moor,
Wi’ constant gangin;
Bud still, all t’whahl, for this warld’s loore,
Ther heearts wur langin.
Thersels they’ve nivver fairly seen,
They’ve nivver knawn ther sins forgeean,
Tho’ monny a time ther prayers hev beean
As lood as t’clark;
And thof they’ve hed twea pair of een,
They’ve deed i’t’ dark.
Ther’s sum ’at neeame o’ Christian beears,
An’s hed that neeame for monny yeears,
’At’s berreed ow’r t’heead an’ t’eears,
I’ warldly care;
An’ oft at kirk, we’ve cause te feear,
They market theer.
Ah wur at a sarten hoose yah day,
An’ t’awd man tiv his son did say,
If all be weel, thoo mun away,
Te moorn te t’ kirk,
An’ try te git oor wreeghts next week,
Te cum te woark.
An’ Tommy, he’s i’ sike a tackin,
’At cooat ’ll spoil for want o’ mackin,
If t’ tailor’s theer, thoo mun be at him,
Te cum an’ all;
That’s weel contrav’d, an’ then yah thrang,
’Ll deea for all.
Thoo needn’t stop te gang roond t’ farm,
Bud mun be theer i’ reeght gud taame,
Or mebby, if thoo dizzen’t maand,
Thoo’ll loss thy chance;
Ther’s sumtaames three or fower at him,
All at yance.
It’s ower far te gang a-feeat,
An’ if ’t be warm thoo’s seer te sweeat,
Thee Moother, she’ll deea nowght bud freeat,
Seea tak awd Dragon;
An’ tell him he mun cum next week.
An’ mend oor waggon.
Then if ye chance i’t’ coorse o’t’ weeak,
O’t’ Sunday’s subject for te speeak,
You’ll finnd awd memory seea weeak,
It’s all forgitten;
Thus wounded sowls ’at’s beean hawf heeal’d
T’awd sarpent’s bitten.
That skull ’at’s moolded green an’ gray,
T’awd saxton dug up t’other day,
Knaws varry neear as mitch as thay
O’t’ Sunday’s sarmon;
Yoo may as weel o’t’ subject tawk
Te sum awd Jarman.
That poor awd man’s noo deead an’ geean,
Tis hard te say what way he’s teean,
’At used te stand ageean t’funt steean,
Te tack fooaks watches;
Whahl careless lads i’t’ singin pew
Wur cuttin natches.
An’ seea for want o’ cultivation,
They shuffle on withoot salvation,
A vast, Ah’s flay’d, ’s o’ this perswasion,
Beeath yoong an’ awd;
Te be forgeean they ha’ neea nooation,
Till deead an’ cawd.
Bud they’ll finnd oot afoore’t be lang,
’At they’ve all t’ taame beean sadly wrang,
Ther wills may then be ower strang,
Te breeak or bend;
An’ noo they say they’re ower thrang,
They can’t attend.
I’ summer taame they’ll leeave t’awd nest,
An’ driss up i’ ther varry best,
An’ gallop off alang wi’ t’rest,
Te t’ fair or reeaces;
A vast gits what they nivver kest
At sike like pleeaces.
Ther’s sum gets theer wi’ wooden legs on,
An’ monny poor awd men wi’ wigs on,
Just sarvs t’yoong fooaks te run ther rigs on,
A fine example,
Whahl doon i’t’ dust ther poor awd lims
Sumtaames they trample.
Ther’s sum can nowther sit nor lig,
Aboot t’election they’re seea big,
They say they’re Britons, rump an’ rig,
Bud whea can trist ’em,
When, frev a Toory tiv a Whig,
A glass ’ll twist ’em?
Ther’s others rayther shoat o’ seeght,
Fort’ seeak o’ twea’r three sovrens breeght,
Gies in ther vooat, an’ thinks it reeght,
Te t’ Roman stranger;
Then others pleeaster up i’t’ street,
“The Church in danger!”
An’ seea they yan prevent another,
Wi’ drinking, politics, an’ bother,
Thof t’ best ov all can’t seeave his bruther,
Nor ransom him;
That spark ’at’s left they try te smuther,
As for thooase Methodeys, they say,
They mack seea varry mitch te deea,
Ther’s sum wad deea nowght else bud pray
An’ reead, an’ preeach,
Till they git all meead Methodeys,
Within ther reeach.
Bud ther wur neean o’ this amaze,
I’ neean ov oor foore elder’s days,
Thof ther gud deeds an’ honest prayers,
An’ pious reeadins,
Hez beean, neea doot, as gud as theers,
Wiv all ther meetins.
Te see ’em doon o’ beeath ther knees,
I’ kirk, or field, or under trees,
Wi’ brokken hearts an’ teearful ees,
Wur quite uncommon;
An’ if they hevn’t deed i’ t’ faith,
Then what’s cum’d on ’em.
Te preeach ’em all geean doon te hell,
It is a dreeadful teeal te tell,
An’ we mun wiv oor kindred dwell,
Seea we, like them,
Will on life’s ooacean tak oor chance,
An’ sink or swim.
They mack sike wark amang yoong fooaks,
They breeak up all oor jovial spooarts,
They thin oor ranks, an’ storm oor pooarts
Wi’ strange confusion;
Ther’s nowght bud we mun cry’t all doon,
A mere delusion.
Bud us ’at seldum hev attended,
They deeant git us seea eeasy mended,
An awd stiff yack ’s nut eeasy bended,
That’s varry true;
Bud thooase ’at winnut bend yoo see,
Mun breeak i’ noo.
They trifle on fra’ yeear te yeear,
Like watches woorn oot ov repair,
Thof if they wad, its varry cleear,
They mud be mended;
Bud they perceeave neea danger neear,
Till life is ended.
Awd Satan seea pollutes the maund,
They winnut stooap te t’ means desaun’d.
Till t’ hair spring gits wi’t mainspring twain’d,
An seea hard curl’d,
They’re foorc’d away te git refined
I’ t’other warld.
He leeads sum on like mountebanks,
As straight as thof they ran on planks,
An’ tells ’em, i’ ther jovial pranks,
He’ll nut deceeave ’em;—
Then oft on Jordan’s stormy banks,
Ther cumforts leeave ’em.
He leeads sum on another way,
An’ whispers tiv ’em neeght an’ day,
’At they need nowther reead nor pray,
They’ve deean nowght wrang;
An’ if they hev, he’ll set it reeght,
Afoore ’t be lang,
Ther’s others oft beean in alarm,
Bud Felix like, when t’heart wur warm,
Hez sed, “Go, an’ sum other taame,
Ah’ll send for thee;”
When they that taame, they didden’t knaw
Mud ivver see.
They rob thersels o’ ther awn reeght,
They reeally winnut cum te t’ leeght,
Lest o’ ther sins they git a seeght,
An’ sud be seeav’d;
An’ be ov all ther plissures sweet,
At yance bereeav’d.
Till deep sunk doon i’ t’ burning leeake
They then begin te feear an’ queeake,
Where vengeance can neea pity teeake,
Which theer hez sent ’em,
An’ furious feeinds i’ horrid sheeape,
Mun theer torment ’em.
They leeak for sum yan te deliver,
Bud theer they’ll finnd neea cumfort nivver,
Theer they may weeap an’ wail for ivver,
Ther harvest’s past;
Ther summer’s ended, refuge fails ’em,
An’ they’re lost.
Ther dreeadful doom an’ destiny,
Let us git all we can te flee,
By preeachin Christ where’er we be,
I’ deead an’ word,
Till all oor frinds ther folly see,
An’ ton te God.
“Ah beean i’ t’ way noo seeaven yeear,”
An’ as he spak, a briny teear
Ran doon his cheeks as crystal cleear,
Fra’ owther ee;
“Thenk God, Ah feeal whahl Ah sit heer,
’Tis weel wi’ me.
Bud neeght is cummin on ameean,
An’t leeaks as if ’twur boon te reean,
Or else mah stoory’s nut hawf deean,
’At Ah’v te tell;
Bud mebby we may meeat ageean,
Till then, farewell!”
Tho’ he hed all thooase sorrows booarn,
Compozur in each feeature shooan,
Thof he’d te woark and live alooan,
Fra’ day te day;
Ah wish’d his keease hed been mah awn,
An’ com away.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
HIS DYING ADVICE.
Oft hev Ah lang’d yon hill te clim,
Te hev a bit mare prooase wi’ him,
Wheas coonsel like a pleeasin dreeam,
Is deear te me;
Sin’ roond the warld sike men as he
Seea few ther be.
Corrupted bukes he did detest,
For his wur ov the varry best;
This meead him wiser than the rest
O’ t’ neeaburs roond,
Tho’ poor i’ t’ purse, wi’ senses blest,
An’ judgment soond.
Befoore the silvery neeght ov age,
The precepts ov the sacred page,
His meditation did engage,
That race te run;
Like thooase, who ’spite o’ Satan’s rage,
The praaze hed won.
Bud noo his een’s geean dim i’ deeath,
Neea mare a pilgrim here on eearth,
His sowl flits fra’ her shell beneeath,
Te reealms o’ day,
Whoor carpin care, an’ pain, an’ deeath,
Are deean away.
Wi’oot the author’s neeame or leeave,
They’d put his stoory thruff the sieve,
An’ roond his circuit set the screeve
O’ justice keen,
Fra’ crotchet cramp, or semibreeve,
Te sift him cleean.
The charge ’at they ageenst him bring,—
He harps teea mitch upon yah string,
Or triumphs like a lahtle king,
Ow’r fashions gay;
He’s ower religious!—That’s the thing
They meean te say.
Yet still Awd Isaac tells his teeal,
Ower monny a weeary hill an’ deeal,
An’ ’ll sumtaames into cities steeal,
Nor silent be;
Till infants try te lisp his theeame
Across the sea.
Oor last, an’ lasting interview,
His wonted theeame he did renew,
Fra’ which, a paraphrase he drew,
An’ thus began,
I’ conversation clear, an’ frindship true,
Like man te man.
“Ah lahtle thowght, as weel thoo knaws,
Thoo te t’ public wad expooase,
Mah awd gray cooat, wi’ all its flaws,
An’ stick an’ all,
For want o’ which, the aged prood
Seea offens fall.
Ah varry leeatly gat a hint,
They’d put oor stoory into prent,
An’ copies roond the coontry sent
Beeath left and reeght;
Bud if ’twur deean wi’ gud intent,
Gud luck gang wi’ ’t.
Noo all Ah sed wur meeant for gud,
If it wur reeghtly understud;
Te sum neea doot, t’language wud
Seeam quite abrupt;—
We’re all alike, ov flesh and bleead,
An’ hearts corrupt.
Fooaks oft leeaks mare at bleead an’ breedin,
Than at t’subject they are reeadin,
An’ thus awd prejudice is feedin,
I’ system’s narrow,
For want o’ pains te crack the beean
Th’oft miss t’marrow.
Men still i’ spite ov all oor caution,
’Ll hanker efter heeigh promotion;
Like Evan’s Pills, or Rowland’s Lotion
Saain’d by t’King;
We’re seea inclin’d te self-devotion—
That’s the thing.!
T’ Naation still seeams discontent,
Ther’s strange debeeates i’ parliament,
Petitions on petitions sent
Theer, all implorin;
An’ sum i’ dungeons deep lament
Whahl they’re snoorin.
Still ower t’land t’clood hangs dull,
An’ we may thrust, an’ they may pull;
Wi’ “Eys an’ Nooas” the paper’s full,
Wi’ applause an’ laughter:
An’ all the gud for poor John Bull
’S te cum hereafter.
Still let us calmly wait the end,
On God, an’ nut on man, depend.
Oor Nation’s woond is bad te mend,
His Israel he will still defend,
Wi’ kindness durable.
Bud numbers streeangely hev backslidden,
An’ deean thooase things ’at wur forbidden,
An’ caused His feeace for te be hidden,
By actions fowl,
Till scarce a ray ov whooap is left
Te cheer the sowl.
T’coonsel Ah wad recommend
Is all te strave ther lives te mend,
An’ persevere unto the end
I’ word an’ deed.
An’ thooase ’ll nivver want a Frind
I’ t’ taame o’ need.
Bud Ah mun cut mah stoory shoort,
Or it may mack the critics spoort,
Oor subject’s ov too greeave a soort
Te dwell upon.
Afoore ye spreead yer next repoort,
Ah sal be geean.
For sin’ we met an’ pearted last,
Ah finnd mah strenth decreeasing fast,
Like floor’s beneeath the Nowthern blast,
Yance fresh an’ gay,
Seea man is doom’d te droop an’ waste,
An’ fade away.
Ah wad befoore Ah tack mah leave,
Te all, mah deein coonsel give,
An’ if i’ the truth they deea beleeave
That truth, whahl Ah’v a day te live
Ah will defend.”
HIS DYING ADVICE.
When Eden’s floory garden smiled,
Nor Eve the Sarpent hed beguil’d,
Man stood upreeght an’ undefiled
I’ maand an’ feeature,
An’ sweetest conversation held
Wi’ his Creator.
Bud when that awful monster sin
Hed gain’d its ugly entrance in
The warld, oor sorrows did begin;
Then Heaven froond,
An’ t’ glitt’ring swoord o’ Justice gleeam’d
On all aroond.
Sin spreead destruction wide, an’ seean
Grim deeath began his feearful reign;—
Satan wi’ lees an’ malice keen
Went teea an’ fraw,
The frail, the noble sons o’ men
Bud the Almighty sent his aid,
Enoch an’ Abraham obey’d,
An’ Noah, Job, an’ Daniel pray’d,
An’ Gideon too;
An’ mighty fooas throo mighty faith
They did subdue.
Then ancient Israel’s altar’s blazed,
An’ solemn congregations gazed,
An’ Holy men ther voices raaized,
An’ trumpets soonded.
Then heathen armies stood amazed,
An’ wur confoonded.
Then Joshua congker’d i’ the vale,
An’ gud Elijah did prevail;—
The wicked worshippers o’ Baal
An’ showed te them the living God
An’ only true.
An’ while the sacrifice was pure,
Destruction com nut neegh ther door;
I’ moont or tent they wur secure
By neeght or day;
Whahl thraving groups o’ flocks an’ herds,
Aroond ’em lay.
They towght an’ showed ther childer hoo
Ther Fathers kept ther solemn voo,
When the Almighty leead ’em throo
The desert land;
An’ hoo thooase fell ’at wad nut boo
Te His command.
An’ seea sud we oor childer teeach,
An’ i’ ther ears gud doctrine preeach,
Befoore corrupt ideas reeach
The tender maand;
An’ when they up te manhood graw,
The gud they’ll finnd.
Ey, tell ’em whea the sarpent stung,
Hoo Moses an’ hoo Deborah sung,
An’ hoo the Holy Hebrews yoong
Did walk throo fire;
An’ try te tune ther infant tongues
Te David’s lyre.
Remind ’em ov a Saviour’s love,
Leearn ’em the way God will approve,
Te pray, an’ fix ther thowghts above
Eearth’s fleeting joys,
Which at ther best, when tried ’ll proov,
Bud empty toys.
Consult the worthies ov’ each age,
Wheas lives are doon i’t’ sacred page,
Nor rest till all the heart engage
Like them i’ feight.
Then we like them oor hostile fooas,
Sal put te flight.
Te us they as examples stand,
As guide-poosts in a weeary land,
Or like seea monny beeacons grand,
On mountains heeigh,
Te shoo the way Jehovah’s plann’d;
Or deeanger neeigh.
Bud men graw noo seea warldly wise,
Seea prooan te vanity an’ lies,
T’best o’ coonsel they’ll despise,
Seea queer they live,
They’ll scarce a proper question ax,
Or answer give.
Mankind i’ gen’ral can espy,
The mooat ’at’s in anoother’s eye,
An’ big an’ busy as Paul Pry,
’Ll mark it doon;—
It helps fra’ silly passers by
Te hide ther awn.
Theer’s numbers seeams o’ t’ better soort,
Aroond oor chapels still resoort,
An’ o’ convarsion mack a spoort,
An’ sins forgeean,
An’ at the truly pious shoot,
Ther arrows keen.
Bud the Almighty sees ther ways,
An’ thof he lenthens oot ther days,
An’ his just rath he noo delays,
’Tis seer te cum;
The stootest o’ the human race,
Mun meet ther doom.
Ey, when ther jolly days are spent,
If they i’ taame deea nut repent,
They’ll seerly doon te hell be sent
Te revell theer,
Te curse, an’ fooam, an’ pay ther rint
I’ black despair.
Freeat nut thysel when thoo doast see
The wicked i’ prosperity,
Te floorish like a green bay tree,
Or cedar tall;
He like a leeaf, by firm decree,
Mun feeade an’ fall!
Consider thoo what hez beean sed,
An’ o’ ther threeats be nut afraaid,
Beware lest thoo sud be betray’d
By ther deceit;—
An’ t’Lord gie thee, an’ nut upbreead,
His Sperit’s leeght!”
The coontry’s all anxiety,
Te knaw Awd Isaac’s pedigree,
An’ sum cry oot ’tis all a lee,
A meead up thing;—
Te sike we think it nut woth whahl,
Oor proofs te bring.
For all that wish te knaw—may read,
The sum an’ substance ov his creed;—
May catch, an’ saw the lahtle seed
Wi’ greeat success.
Bud whoor he liv’d, or whoor he deed,
’Tis left te guess.
DIALOGUE ON A STEEPLE CHASE
AT P******NG, IN YORKSHIRE.
Joe.—Weel Jim, hoo deea lad? What’s t’ news?
Which side is thoo on? Pinks or Blues?
Heer’s sike a mighty stir i’ t’ nation,
’Tis woth a lahtle conversation.
Ah want te knaw, is’t reeght or wrang;—
Unless thah nerves is varry strang,
Ah hev a paper i’ mah pocket,
’Ll lift thah heart oot ov its socket!
Jim.—A paper Joe! What is ’t aboot,
Sum munney matter, ther’s neea doot!
Sum Methodey or Ranter bother,
Or sum Tee-total thing or other.
Yan scarce can pass alang a street,
Bud sum sike like yan’s seer te meet,
Whea’d ommost sweear ’at black is white,
Te gain anoother proselyte,
Joe.—A munney matter ’tis o’ coorse,
Fra’ quite an opposition soorce,
For by the Liverpool Recorder,
’Tis mare o’ the Succession order:
For it is sed by snug repoort,
Religious fooaks hev geen ’t support.
That which we noo te nooatice bring,
Ist’ Steeple Chase at P******ng.
Jim.—Whah Joe, thoo’s neean o’ t’ warst o’ fellows,
Cum sit thee doon a piece an’ tell us,
If thoo sud think it neea disgrace,
Aboot this mighty Steeple Chase;
Ov hoo, an’ when, an’ whoor they run,
For honour, munney, or for fun.
Thoo’s just geen me an itchin eear,
Aboot the thing Ah wish’d te heear.
Joe.—Thoo sees upon a sarten day,
Ah hennut seen, but heeard ’em say;
Greeat gentlemen hev hosses treean’d,
Fra’ lofty pedigree obteean’d,
Seea full o’ bleead, an’ queerly towght,
Te gallop thruff or ower owght:
All muster at a sarten pleeace,
An’ this they call the Steeple Chase.
A purse o’ Gold they then present,
An’ word is thruff the coontry sent,
For fower mahle, Ah think they run,
An’ he ’at beeats,—the steeaks his awn.
Sum breeaks ther necks, wi’ missin bridges,
An’ sum gits stuck, wi’ jumpin hedges.
Ey, te confarm t’ truth Ah sing,
They kill’d a hoss at P******ng.
Jim.—Wha Joe, thoo quite supprises me,
Te think ’at men ov heeigh degree,
Sud reeally hev neea mare respect
For owther men’s or hosses necks.
Joe.—A boss is nowght i’ sike a keease!
Bairn! sowls is nowght at t’ Steeple Chase!
They for a trifle swap an’ sell ’em,
An’ t’ parsons hezzen’t sense te tell ’em.
T’ Steeple Chase is suted quite,
Te glut t’ carnal appetite.
Thooase whea ther Baable love, an’ preear,
’Ll finnd bud bareish picking theer.
Jim.—Maund Joe, thoo izzen’t ower severe,
An’ ’at thah coonsel be sincere.
The Law hez monny curious links,
Man mooan’t speeak awlus as he thinks.
Thof Ah me-sel feel shock’d te think,
Men sud seea rush on ruin’s brink:
Mitch mare te be encouraged in,
What mun be a presumptuous sin.
Joe.—The mare Ah see this standard reeas’d,
The mare an’ mare Ah stand ameeaz’d
Te think ’at parsons cannut see’t,
An’ tell ’em pleean it izzen’t reeght!
’At men sike tidings sud procleeam,
An’ thooase ’at beear t’Christian neeame
I’ spite ov all divine advice,
Te sanction sike a sweepin vice.
Jim.—Whativver be t’satisfaction,
It hez a woonderful attraction;
An’ macks ’em freely use ther shanks,
’Specially them o’ t’ heeigher ranks,
Fra’ Scarbro’, Malton, York, an’ Leeds,
They cum on lofty mounted steeds,
Ower dazzlin ommost te behold,
Wi’ silver’d whips, an’ cheeans o’ gold.
Theer’s bands o’ music, colours flying,
Hams, an’ legs o’ mutton frying,
Nimble waiters on the wing,
Te see ’em drink, an’ hear ’em sing,
Ther’s gamlin teeables, orange stalls,
Ther’s spices, nuts, an’ dancin dolls.
All things te sute the carnal taste,
May just be foond at t’ Steeple Chase.
Joe.—Thooase men hes gitten ’t i’ ther power
Regardless o’ the sufferin poor,
Te gallop ower hedge an’ dyke,
An’ deea an’ say, just what they like.
An’ all the while they run these rigs,
An’ sing, an’ drink, an’ dance ther jigs,
They’ll booast o’ noble ancestry,
An’ mighty steeple pedigree!
If onny wish the cause te knaw,
Whah they are able te deea seea,—
“’Tis munney macks the meer te gang,
Macks wrang seeam reeght, an’ reeght seeam wrang.”
Jim.—The thing sud be te them meead knawn,
Ther gold an’ silver’s nut ther awn.
Ther cattle they abuse an’ kill,
Belangs to t’Lord o’ Zion’s hill.
They sud be warn’d i’ ivvery pleeace,
Te gie up sike like wicked ways.
Or seer as theer’s a God aboon,
They’ll pull ther awn destruction doon.
Joe.—They hev been warn’d an’ hev refus’d,
Whahl thooase gud things they hev abus’d;
By which abuse they breeak God’s Law,
An’ that he’ll sum day let ’em knaw.
This maks ’em breeathe pernicious breeath,
An’ swagger on the verge o’ deeath,
Whahl oothers—rayther than control,
’Ll breeak ther necks, an’ loss ther sowl.
Jim.—A man tell’d me by way o’ jooak,
Bud kind o’ trimmel’d as he spooak,
They’d Doctors pleeaced wi’in a shoot,
Te slip necks in, ’at gat slipt oot.[A]
Joe.—It’s awful booastin this indeed,—
Bad sample o’ beeath fruit an’ seed.
Sike may upbraad the warld wi’ sizm,
It is next deer te Socialism.
Sike booastin they will sum day rue,
If we admit the Baable true.
All thooase mun pass a mighty change,
Afoore the happy hills they range!—
Bud tiv oor teeal let us ton back,
Lest we get farther fra’ oor track.
The day arrives, the smiling sun,
Procleeams the Steeple Chase begun.
On eeager eears the tumult steeals,
Ov prancin steeds, an’ rumblin wheels.
It wur a day ov winks an’ nods,
Ov lofty deeds, an’ lofty wods.
As thof they hed for ther defence!
The thunner ov Omnipotence!
T’ fooaks com rowlin in by skoors,
Fra’ neeab’rin toons, an’ off o’ t’ moors.
Like cloods ov locusts in they hale,
Fra’ Goadland, Sleights, an’ Harwood Dale.
’Tis seerly sum enchanted string,
That does sike croods tegither bring.
Like bees, they roond the steeple swarm,
In it they likely see neea harm.
Jim.—Neea harm! What harm, Joe, can there be,
I’ seeing sike a rarity:—
Ov men an’ hosses heeighly fed,
Wi’ priests an’ squires at ther head;
Ov gentlemen, an’ ladies gay,
As bonny as the floors i’ May.
Theer riches, yooth, an’ beauty shine,
Array’d i’ silk, an’ superfine.
An’ farmers’ maidens, yoong an’ fair,
We wonder hoo they’ve taame te spare;
Wi’ lads ov manners rough an’ rude,
All mixing i’ yah multitude.
An’ poor awd men, ’at scarce can blaw,
Wi’ beards an’ whiskers white as snaw;
Sad sample ov oor fallen race,
All rollin up to t’ Steeple Chase.
An’ farmers’ sarvants leeave ther pleugh,
Callin ther maister black an’ blue,
Whea for ther credit an’ ther neeame,
Hed coonsel’d them te stay at heeame.
Ah met ’em as Ah com alang,
(They wonder’d whah Ah waddn’t gang,)
Wi’ roosy cheeks, an’ shoothers brooad,
Bettin weagers up o’ t’ rooad.
Ther leeaks an’ words at yance declare,
Ther treasure an’ ther hearts are theer.
If yah contrary sentence drop,
That mooth they quickly try te stop.
When roond the splendid stand they meet,
’Twad deea a blinnd man gud te see’t;
Besaads the men’s seea faanly drist!
The Steeple Chase,—whah whea wad miss’t?
Joe.—Fra’ furst te last it is desaun’d,
Te pleease an’ fascinate the maand;
Te lift it, as on eagle’s wings,
An’ draave off thowghts o’ better things.
The stewards full o’ wardly wit,
Pronoonce ’at all things noo are fit,
When thoosands then roll up te see,
As drawn by Steeple witchery.
Fra’ whence they cum, or whoor they dwell,
If yoo’ve a paper it ’ll tell.
Ye ken the horses whea’s they are,
By t’ colours ’at ther riders wear.
Thus whether i’ the rooad or noa,
Wi’ whip an’ spur away they goa;
Ower hedge an’ dyke,—there’s nowght can stop ’em,
Unless an angry God unprop em.
Thus riding ower grass, or coorn
’Ats growin,—or ’ats leeatly sown,
There’s neean dare lift a hand, or say,
What hev ye deean, or whea’s te pay,
Whahl oaths profane, an’ lafter lood,
Are utter’d by the gaping crood;—
By some whea yance religion luv’d,
Not only sanction’d, bud appruv’d!
If ivv’ry ward an’ secret thowght,
Mun be yan day te judgment browght,
Oh, how unlike sike wark as this,
Is that which leads te glorious bliss!
Te see ’em thus seea blithe an’ merry,
Wur famous pastaame for Awd Harry.
If owght te him cud be delighting,
’Twad be to see ’em drunk an’ feighting.
He popt aboot amang t’ people,
At last he popt up on to’t steeple,
Open’d a pair ov dismal jaws,
Flapt his black wings, an’ yawn’d applause:
Like sum prood Emperor ov awd,
Upon the wether cock he rode,
’Whoor he mud all at yance survey,
The grand proceedings ov the day.
A flagstaff for a whip he seized,
An’ spurr’d the spire he wur seea pleeased,
Te think it sud his cause defend,
An’ that his bait hed answer’d t’end.
Jim.—Tis not for thee te criticise,
On men seea greeat, seea rich, seea wise,
They aim, neea doot, as weel as thee,
Te gang te heeaven when they dee.
What thof ther munney be bud lent,
Thoo knaws ’at munney mun be spent.
Besaads they hev example too,—
If t’ parson’s theer—What’s that te thoo?
Joe.—If thooase sud miss ther passage heeame,
A careless priesthood they may bleeame.
Blinnd guides they are, an’ t’Kirk’s ther moother,
An’ they wean’t gang te hear neea other.
We Christians run a diff’rent race,
Te what we call the Steeple Chase.
Besaads we finnd i’ Holy writ,
Ther’s neean cums theer ’at are nut fit.
Jim.—Thoo meeans te proove by argument,
Thooase ’at cums theer mun first repent,
An’ be throo Jesus Christ forgiven,
Afoore they’re i’ the rooad te heaven.
Neea carnal plissure they mun share,
Bud live a life ov faith an’ prayer.
If thooase alone hev saving grace,
Doon gangs at yance the Steeple Chase.
Joe.—Seea legions fell fra’ leeght te dark,
Seea Dagon fell afoore the ark,
Seea God prood Pharaoh owerthrew,
Wi’ Sisera, an’ Goliath too.
Seea fell the lords i’ sad supprise,
Wheas hands hed put out Samson’s eyes.
Thooase mighty men wur turn’d te dust,
An’ seean the Steeple Chasers must.
Jim.—Whah, Joe, it caps me fair te ken,
Hoo thooase heeigh flying gentlemen,
Can fra’ ther chasing gang te t’ kirk,
An’ join i’t’ blessed Sunday’s wooark,
Singing wi’ all ther might an’ main,
This heaven inspir’d, this holy strain,
“Let all thy converse be sincere,
“Thy conscience as the noon-day clear,
“For God’s all seeing eye surveys
“Thy secret thoughts, thy works and ways;”—
An’ then fra’ t’ kirk te t’ Steeple Chase,
An’ set at nowght God’s luv an’ grace,
Call t’dissenters, an’ shoot thruff t’nation,
For “Apostolical succession!”
Joe.—Te bring oor converse te a close,
Oor only aim is te expose,
The thing Almighty God doth hate,—
Nut te provoke unkind debate.
The day’s nut far ’at will reveal
The truth, an’ fix the final seal.
|Sum may when its teea late te rue,
|Finnd what they hoped wur false—is true
|Consarning everlasting woe!
THE LUCKY DREEAM, OR AN AWD THING RENEWED.
Yah Kesenmas neeght, or then aboot,
When meeasons all wur frozen oot,
Ah went te see a coontry frind,
An hospitable hoor te spend.
For gains Ah cut across at moor,
Whoor t’snaw seea furiously did stour:—
The hoose Ah geean’d, an’ enter’d in,
An’ wor as welcome as a king.
The stoorm ageean t’winder patter’d,
An’ hailsteeans doon t’chimler clatter’d,
All hands wur in, an’ seeam’d content,
An’ neean did frost or snaw lament.
T’lasses all wur at ther sowing,
Ther cheeks wi’ health an’ beauty glowing.
Aroond the heearth in cheerful chat
Twea’r three frindly neeaburs sat;
Ther travels telling,—whoor they’d been,
An’ what they hed beeath heeard an’ seen;
Till yan us all did mitch amuse,
An’ thus a stoory introduce.
“Ah recollect lang sin,” sez he,
“A stoory that wur tell’d te me,
’At seeams seea straange i’ this oor day,
That true or false Ah cannut say.
A man liv’d in this neybourheead,
Neea doot ov reputation gud,
An’ lang taame strave w’ stiddy care,
Te keep his hooshod i’ repair.
At length he hed a curious dreeam,
For three neeghts runnin ’twur the seeam;
’At if on Lunnon Brigg he stood,
He’d heear sum news wad deea him gud.
He labour’d hard, beeath neeght an’ day,
Tryin te draave thooase thowghts away,
Yet daily grew mare discontent,
Till he at last te Lunnon went!
Being quite a stranger te that toon,
Lang taame he wander’d up an’ doon,
Till led by sum mysterious hand,
On Lunnon Brigg he teeak his stand;
An’ theer he waited day by day,
An’ just wur boon te cum away,
Seea mitch he thowght he wur te bleeam,
Te gang seea far aboot a dreeam,
When thus a man, as he drew neear,
Did say, “Good friend, what seek you here,
Where I have seen you soon and late?”
His dreeam te him he did relate.
“Dreams,” sez the man, “are empty things,
Mere thoughts that flit on silver’d wings;
Unheeded we should let them pass:—
I’ve had a dream, and thus it was,
That somewhere round this peopled ball,
There’s such a place as Lealholm Hall;
Yet whether such a place there be,
Or not, is all unknown to me.
There in a cellar, dark and deep,
Where slimy creatures nightly creep,
And human footsteps never tread,
There is a store of treasure hid.
If it be so, I have no doubt,
Some lucky wight will find it out:
Yet so or not, is nought to me,
For I shall ne’er go there to see!”
The man did slyly twice or thrice,
The cockney thenk for his advice,
Then heeame ageean wi’oot delay,
He cheerfully did tak his way,
An’ set aboot the wark, an’ sped,
Fund ivv’ry thing, as t’ man hed sed,
Wur ivver efter seen te floorish,
T’finest gentleman i’ all the parish.
Fooaks wonder’d sare, an’ weel they meeght,
Whoor he gat all his ginnes breeght!
If it wur true, in spite ov feeame,
Te him it wor a lucky dreeam.
A STRANGE EFFUSION,
WESLEYANISM AT EASBY,
IN THE STOKESLEY CIRCUIT:
Written when the Methodists were deprived of the place of
worship in which they had been accustomed to meet.
They’re wakken’d at Easby, the Lord is amang ’em,
Thof turn’d oot o’ t’ temple ’at used te belang ’em,
Anoother we whooap afoore lang ’ll be beelt,
Whoor sinners thruff Christ may hev pardon for guilt.
T’ Lord seems te oppen a way out afoore ’em,
Thof neybourin lions hev aim’d te devoor ’em.
When t’awd maister mariner fail’d at the helm,
They thowght it wad all the consarn owerwhelm;
An’ when they appear’d ov all succour bereft,
They endeeavour’d te freeghten t’ few ’at wur left.
Bud the Lord wur detarmin’d te be ther protection,
Te send ’em suppoort, an’ gie ’em direction;
If nobbut, like monny, they wadden’t betray him,
Bud stick te that text, beeath te luv an’ obey him.
They can’t be content wi’ ther steeple opinions,
Bud they mun mack inrooads on others’ dominions;
Thof theers be in gen’ral the fat an’ the wealthy,
For t’want of gud physic, they seldom are healthy.
Hoo strange ’at they sud sike fair temples erect,
Te murder the sowls in—they’re swoorn te protect!
Bud stranger they’ll finnd it o’ yon side the fleead,
Wi’ ther hands an’ ther garments all stain’d i’ ther bleead!
We needn’t te wonder they mack sike a fuss,
Ther craft is i’ danger fra’ rebels like us:—
For God can mack preeachers—hoo feearful the thowght—
Fra’ cobblers, or meeasons, or blacksmiths, or owght!
O yes! Dr. Pusey may whet his awd grinders,
An’ put on his captives ther fetters an’ blinders;
Ther’s poor men iv Easby ’at ken his awd sang,
An’ see the defect ov beeath him an’ his gang.
He may scare ’em wi’ taxes, wi’ rates, an’ oppression,
All thooase whea are oot o’ the line o’ succession,
Thof te prove ’at he’s in’t, he’s a varry poor chance,
Unless he unite wi’ the Romans at yance.
Then t’ Romans wad help him, an’ think it all reeght,
Te murder Dissenters, an’ put oot ther leeght;
Te cut ’em i’ pieces, te butcher an’ bon ’em,
Bud till that’s the keease they cannut owerton ’em!
Nur Stowsley, nur Yatton, ther frinds will invite,
Nur Skelton, nur Brotton, ther efforts unite;
They’ll finnd te ther mortification an’ pain,
They hev fowght wi’ t’ wind, an’ hev labour’d i’ vain!
A SOLILOQUY DURING A VISIT, AFTER SOME YEARS’ ABSENCE.
Ah, lovely Lealholm! Where shall I begin,
To say what thou art now, and once hast been?
Once the dear seat of all my earthly joys,
That now, in recollection only, rise!
Methinks, where’er I look no life appears,
But all the place a cheerless aspect wears;
Thy groves are desolate, thy swains are fled,
And many of them number’d with the dead;
Religion ’s cold, the poor are sore oppress’d,
Thy orphans weep, and widows are distress’d.
O let us pray their griefs may shortly end,
And God, their Father, still may prove their friend.
This ancient Bridge some faint idea brings,
Where still the swallow comes and dips her wings;
The murmuring river, and the rumbling mill,
Bear some resemblance to poor Lealholm still;
Yon silent whirlpool beautifies the scene,
Where shades of trees are in its deepness seen,
Where leaping fishes on the surface play,
And gladly seems to close, the summer’s day;
The broken waters from yon glen resound,
Their constant rippling ’s heard the village round;
Yon burden’d iron pinion loudly shrieks,
While tears of oil hang on his rusty cheeks;
The greedy race, the water still supplies,
The lofty wheel’s broad shelves successive rise;
The thund’ring engine doth her hands employ,
And Hunter’s place is fill’d by William Joy;
The floating bubble swims upon the wave,
While Ord[B] lies mould’ring in the silent grave;
Behind yon hill the sun escapes from sight,
And yields his empire to the shades of night.
Alas! Poor Lealholm once in glory shone,
But now, she like a widow, sits alone!
Once from yon town the people flock’d like bees,
To taste the sweetness of the country breeze;
Pedestrians joyful, here and there were seen,
While shays and whiskeys deck’d her level green;
The banks of Esk, were crowded all along,
Either with Anglers, or with lookers on.
The full “Moon,”[C] then did through her valleys shine,
So bright, some thought she never would decline;
Year after year she in her sphere did move,
And all seem’d animation, life, and love:
But now, in mists and gloom she disappears,
Eclips’d—her light no longer Lealholm cheers!
Pluck’d from her orb, her borrow’d lustre’s fled,
And in the silent tomb, she rests her head.
In distant lands my father’s lot was cast,
And we were left to feel the bitter blast.
Death’s fatal hand its victim did arrest,
And tore him from the darlings of his breast.
I, by a mother’s care, when young was led,
Down by the river to yon primrose bed,
Where birds so sweetly sung the trees among,
I thought those days were happy, bright, and long.
Oft I, a boy, with others of my age,
Did eager here in youthful sports engage.
Oft in yon wood we rov’d when life was new,
The rocks, and trees and rugged caves to view;
Where woodbines wild, with sweets perfum’d the air,
And all seem’d joyous, beautiful, and fair.
Alas! where’s now the grove? The trees are gone!
And many the wide ocean are upon:
A few remaining springers yet survive,
And keep their owner’s name and place alive!
Just so it is with us, could we but see,
Our fathers who are in eternity!
Their offspring live, but they’re for ever gone,
Their portion’s fixed, no more will they return!
May we be wise, and lessons learn afresh,
To trust no longer in an arm of flesh!—
Begin to seek, and rest not till we find
The peace of God, which satisfies the mind.
Then seeing all my earthly joys are fled,
Where, O my soul! art thou for succour led?
’Tis Jesus, that can all thy wants supply,
A fountain ’s there which never will run dry:
Arabia’s grove, nor Sharon’s flowery field,
Such rich perfume, such holy incense yield:
’Tis Jesus’ merit, and his dying love,
’Tis these perfume the glorious courts above!
THE EFFECTS OF THE GOSPEL.
Attend, all ye who Zion’s tidings love,
Whose hearts and hopes are fix’d on things above,
Whose chief delight is centred in the fame,
Of signs and wonders wrought through Jesus’ name;—
All ye who virtue love, and evil hate,
Attend, while I a simple tale relate.
A preacher being to a village sent,
To warn and woo the people to repent;
Depending only on God’s mighty grace,
His pious soul was looking for success.
For God, his people had a house prepared,
In which his arm had many times been bared,
And in that little village congregation,
Were found some earnest seekers of salvation.
Among the rest a noted Bruiser stood,
Whose hands had oft been stain’d with human blood;
A man of constitution so robust,
He oft had laid Goliaths in the dust.
He fully on the preacher fix’d his eye,
But scarcely could declare the reason why;
The subject, and the theme on which he dwelt,
Caught his attention, and its force he felt.
He thought the preacher all his actions knew,
His words, like arrows, pierc’d his conscience through;
His spirits fell, his heart was sick and sore,
Such anguish he had never felt before.
It seem’d to him as if an angel spoke,
He felt within as if his heart was broke,
He thought he heard mount Sinai’s thunder roll,
Which shook the very centre of his soul!
Such mighty strokes soon humbled all his pride,
He sank condemn’d, and loud for mercy cried.
“What shall I do?” said he, “Nay, who can tell?
Oh! how shall I escape the pit of Hell?”
On bended knees he did salvation seek,
Big tears roll’d down his long undaunted cheek:—
The people pray’d, the sinner wept the more,—
This man, who till that hour, ne’er wept before.
After a time his mighty anguish ceas’d,
The Lord of life his captive soul releas’d!
The joy he felt he scarcely could contain,
The people sung—“a sinner’s born again!”
Some time elaps’d—two of his mates had met,
As custom was, and in a tavern sat,
Conversing on events that daily pass’d,
Till one the other thus address’d at last.
“Heard you not what occurred the other day?
Old Sam has been converted, people say!”
“Old Sam!” the other says, with great surprise,
“What Sam, the Boxer?” “Yes!” the other cries!
“Depend upon’t, though you may think it strange,
But in old Sam there is a wondrous change!”
“Nay,—he converted! Pshaw! ’tis all a whim;
They’ve just as much converted me as him;
And I can find a man, I have no doubt,
That soon will beat all his religion out.”
“Perhaps not so,” the other softly said,
“I think Old Sam ’s of better mettle made,
I know that he was always bad to bend,
And on his firmness I will still depend.[Pg 53]”
The other rose, and would a wager bet,
Old Sam was not so far converted yet,
But that if pick’d at, he would turn again,
And still he would the bloody cause maintain.
To Sammy’s door their way direct they took,
For he had now the tavern’s haunts forsook;
They call’d a rebel out to lead the van,
To vex and aggravate the poor old man.
At length they reach’d, and rattled at the door,
Standing around, like lions to devour
His happy soul; but he had by his side,
King David’s faithful Shepherd for his guide.
Old Sammy from his Bible reading rose,
And straightway forth to meet the rebel goes;
“Here’s one,” say they, “will fight for what you like!”
He stamp’d, and raged, and dared old Sam to strike;
Sam look’d and smiled, as he before him stood,
Then shook his head, thinking the cause not good;
At length his flaming passion to control,
He cries, “The Lord have mercy on thy soul!
Thy case I pity, O thou man of might,
Although this practice once was my delight;
Calm thy fierce rage, and to old Sam attend,
Before destruction prove thy awful end.
I clearly see the spirit thou art in,
For I myself oft in the same have been;
And many a one like thee I’ve made to bend,
And brought their boasting valour to an end.
’Tis well for thee that I’m another man,
Or thou wouldst rue the day that this began;
I soon should settle all thy boasts and brags,
And make thy bones fall rattling on the flags!
Thou mayst thank God, whose power and grace divine,
Have chang’d this proud, rebellious heart of mine;
The love I feel to thee forbids the blow,
Which soon would lay thy boasting prowess low.
Restrain thy passion, give old Sam thine hand,
Be thankful that thou dost before him stand;
Go tell the men whom once I did adore,
Their wager’s lost, old Sam will fight no more;
Tell them to save their money for their wives,
Give up their folly, and reform their lives;
To go and seek salvation while they may,
Before the wrath of God drives them away!”
Sam’s noble speech so satisfied them all,
That not one there durst him a coward call.
“Although the wager ’s fairly lost,” say they,
“We all must own old Sam hath won the day!”
Now Sammy like a warrior stout and bold,
Seeks new companions, and forsakes the old;
While shouts of praise his ravish’d ears surround,
He hears, and understands, the joyful sound!
Yes, Sammy has a better master now,
And more substantial friends to deal with too;
Secure he leans on his Redeemer’s breast,
And sweetly sings himself away to rest.
THOUGHTS ON GOOD FRIDAY:
Occasioned by seeing two “Sinkers” dragged out of a Coal Pit;
one of them killed, the other dreadfully wounded. At a short
distance, a busy crowd were preparing their tents and posts for
the approaching races, on Easter Monday and Tuesday. On
mentioning the fatal occurrence, and naming the day, a
bystander exclaimed, “O, Good Friday is nought!”
The morning sun shone dim, as if in pain,
To see that day by man so soon despised.
The feather’d choirs did heedless man reprove,
Who had more cause than they, with early song
To greet the morn, on which their Saviour bled.
Alas! that man should e’er forget his love!
Down, down the pit, the cheerful sinkers went,
Nor grief, nor fear through all the gloom appear’d;
Though at the bottom deep, grim death sat shrouded
In horrid features, measuring their minutes!
Foul was the air, and bad;—they saw him not,
Nor dream’d he was so near, nor held dispute,
On which the lot might fall, to be his victim:—
When suddenly, through wanton carelessness,
Or the just judgment of an angry God,
The kibble kick’d, brim full of splinter’d rock!
Down fell at once his ponderous instrument,
Full thirty fathom, whizzing as it went!
Beneath its heavy crash a victim fell,
And groan’d, nor ceas’d, till he had groan’d his last.
Then from behind the scene the monster stept,
And with his bony fingers hurl’d his dart:
Its point another touch’d, but not so deep.
Forth from the pit I saw the sufferers dragg’d,
I heard deep groans, and saw their mangled flesh.
The former then with grief was quick interr’d,
The other a poor halting cripple lives.
Where’s now the man that says “Good Friday’s nought?”
With accidents like this, God’s swift judgments,
I could, if ’twere requested, fill these sheets;
But to the man who thinks, and judges right,
This may suffice. And is Good Friday nought?
Is that day nought on which our Saviour bled,
To buy our pardon, to save by suff’ring!
Open salvation’s fount for crimson crimes,
And wash, and make us guilty lepers clean?
Alas for man! He sees, he feels it not!
Of old, men saw, and felt it, though far off.
The martyrs saw, own’d, and observ’d it too,
In fasting, prayer, and self-denial;
This made them march, when call’d, with holy joy,
To meet the dagger’s point, or burning stake.
The earth once felt, and felt to her foundations;
The marble mountain felt, and quak’d, and shiver’d;
The sun felt, and grew dark; the heavens wept,
And hell beneath, in dismal groanings howl’d!
The serpent felt,—and still feels in his bruis’d head.
The Saviour!—Yes, the King of Glory felt,
In that sad cup his subjects should have drunk:—
Both in the temple, and the wilderness,
The street, the judgment hall,—in Pilate’s scourge,
In cruel mockings, and the scarlet robe!
He felt it too beneath the rugged wood,
When He fatigued climb’d Calvary’s steep brow!
He felt it in the hammer and the nails
That pierc’d his flesh, though he offended not!
He felt it in the reed, and crown of thorns!
He felt it in the hyssop, vinegar, and gall,
In strange upbraidings, and the soldier’s spear!
He felt it in that mighty crush, which should,
And would have crush’d, his guilty murderers.
He felt it till his mortal part expir’d!
He feels it yet, and so do his disciples:
But the proud stiff-neck’d sinner feels it not;—
Perverse, he will not, yet one day he shall!
Though he at present, feast and garnish out
His wife’s, or children’s birth days, and his own,
With songs, and cards, and music, and the dance,
Yet this, like Job’s day, shall be blotted out!
Though he will not, yet he shall regard it,
When God appears in majesty, and power,
Arm’d with thunder-bolts, and chariots of fire,
On all his foes to pour his vengeance!
Yes! All men then will wish to be his friends.
E’en those who have his words and grace despis’d,
Will wish their lives were to begin again!—
“Whither, O, whither shall the guilty flee,
When consternation turns the good man pale!”
TO A WITHERED FLOWER!
Withering Flower, upbraid me not!
Why cast on me that look so pale?
Why dost thou my attention court,
To listen to thy mournful tale?
Why bow thy head? Why bend thy neck?
Why look so drooping, wan, and cold?
To give my careless thoughts a check,—
And tell me I am getting old!
Fading Flower, upbraid me not!
Still nodding with the gentle breeze.
Or dost thou think I have forgot,
I too am wasting by degrees?
For scarce can I believe my sight,
Who lately saw thee fresh and gay;
That beauty could so early blight,
Or such fresh colours fade away!
Drooping Flower, upbraid me not!
But turn to Sol’s enlivening ray.
I in some climate cold or hot,
Must also sicken and decay!
Nay, why dost thou shake off thy leaf,
And show thy heart so fair and clean?
But mine to smite with inward grief,—
To feel the many plagues within.
Weeping Flower, upbraid me still!
For half the conquest thou hast gain’d.
Yes! listen to thy tale I will,
Until its meaning be explain’d.
Fair emblem thou of human life;
In thee its changing tints are seen;
Our visit here, so frail and brief,
Is painted in those tints of thine!
When in thy bud so rich and gay,
Thou did’st escape the spoiler’s hand
That would have reft thy charms away,
’Twas pity check’d—and let thee stand!
While cherish’d by the blushing fair,
And waving on thy hardy stem,
Thy fragrance rich, perfum’d the air,—
Thou’rt blasted now to me and them!
Unlike to thee, whose task is done,
When Man shall quit this vale of tears,
After this life’s short glass is run,
Man shall exist in nobler spheres.
All earthly glories fade away,
So transient and so insecure;
With us, alas, how short’s their stay!
Prefigur’d by a dying Flower!
Yet we have cause to bless the day,
If weary of a life mispent,
By this thy exit, any may
Be led to ponder, and repent.
Thou transient teller of the truth,
May he who bids, and thunders roll,
Forgive the follies of my youth,
And stamp thy lesson on My soul!
THE COUNTRY LOVE FEAST.
(Held in an old Barn, Farndale, Yorkshire.)
Sing, O my muse, in praise of Zion sing,
In praise of those who her glad tidings bring,
In praise to Him who left the courts above,
To manifest to us his Father’s love!
Celestial powers, my heart and voice inspire,
If such a worm as I can feel your heav’nly fire;
To such a theme, to such a noble song,
Sublimer strains than I can reach belong.
Glory to God, whose mercy and free grace,
Are not confin’d to either time or place,
To bless, and save the fallen sons of men,
To cleanse believers, and to pardon sin.
O what an humble, yet exalted place,
Where Christians meet, the great I AM to praise.
A Barn!—A Temple! what a place is this!
Emblem of heav’n, and type of future bliss!
An earthen floor serves us on which to tread,
The roof is cover’d with the spider’s web:—
To such is man’s best righteousness compar’d,
By which full many a lofty head’s ensnar’d.
No crimson pews distinguish rich from poor,
No brass inscriptions glitter on the floor,
No marble monuments adorn the wall,
No polish’d altars where men prostrate fall,
No tapestry doth hang the pulpit round,
No costly vaults are in this temple found,
No pealing organ’s note delights the ear,
But what is better far,—our God is here!
Wherever two or three sincerely meet,
Who have towards Zion’s city turn’d their feet,
’Tis there our God himself vouchsafes to be,
To bind the strong, and set the prisoner free.
The world’s applause we cheerfully disdain,
And shelter here from company profane.
For as we differ, ’tis by Jesus’ grace,
And ’tis His presence dignifies the place.
Before us here the bread of life is spread,
Behind are stalls where now the ox is fed.
Like that in Bethlehem where Jesus lay,
This stable now beholds a glorious day!
Here Pilgrims meet their travels to relate,
And when, and where they enter’d mercy’s gate.
They tell us how their eyes with tears did fill,
When unbelief was wilful of its will.
They tell us how their sins did them oppress,
And fill’d their inmost souls with deep distress;
And how the Lord their burden did remove,
Pardon’d their sins, and fill’d their hearts with love.
They all rejoice to see each other’s face,
To hear each prospers in the work of grace.
With one consent their cheerful hearts aspire,
And ecstasies of joy their bosoms fire.
Such times as these we think too soon are gone,
Our happy souls cemented into one!
We pray, and part, each to his distant home,
And still we cry, “Lord, let thy kingdom come!”
Both far and near his Kingdom doth extend,
Temples are rising both by sea and land.
The Bethel flag, high waving in the air,
Calls seamen to engage in praise and prayer,
Whole streets, reform’d, the great assembly join,
Speak with new tongues, and sing in songs divine.
Poor trembling sinners wipe their watery eyes,
And lamentations pierce the bowing skies!
Blasphemers fall beneath the power of God,
And statesmen flock to hear his Holy Word;
While some of them a portion find to spare,
Waste Zion’s walls and bulwarks to repair.
See golden prospects round us rise,
See the dejected raise their downcast eyes,
The liberated captives shout applause
To Zion’s King, and his victorious cause!
ODE TO BRITAIN.
Shine, Britain! Shine! Thy virtues we commend;
Thy light to distant nations shall extend.
A city on a hill cannot be hid,
Nor can’st thou be, while Heav’n lifts up thy head.
Shine, Britain! Shine! O send the bible forth,
To each benighted corner of the earth;
Till all with joy its richest blessings taste,
And share with us the glorious Gospel Feast.
O happy people! Highly favour’d Isle!
Which shares the sunshine of Jehovah’s smile.
The scenes thy sons and daughters have enjoy’d,
Kings have desir’d to see, but were denied.
We hope the sound of discord soon will cease,
And angels sing a universal peace!
When barren lands with plenty shall abound,
And Christ be worshipp’d the wide world around.
At thoughts of this the lonely desert sings,
To see his altars throng’d with prostrate Kings;
To see great men of honour and renown,
Cast off the coronet to wear a crown!
Hasten, O Lord, the long—long wish’d for day,
When favour’d with thy truth’s enlightening ray,
Poor Hottentots shall raise the song divine,
And savage Turks, the heav’nly concert join.
When Blacks and Whites, a vast redeemed throng,
Shall all unite to swell the mighty song;
Worship one God, and hail Him Lord and King,
Through the whole world the Saviour’s praises sing.
A VOICE FROM THE DEAD!
Written on being uncivilly treated, when erecting some
Tombstones in —— Church Yard, where the Author was denied the
use of any part of the Church, Porch, or Stable; was forbidden
to Letter the Stone in the Church Yard, though it was more than
a mile from the Church to the nearest convenient place for such
a work; and was also denied the Keys of the Gate:—yet at that
very time, the parson’s horse and cow, were feeding on the
grass, tearing up the graves, and breaking down the stones,
while none dared to complain! On seeing the horse’s leg sink
into a grave up to the lisk, the following thoughts suggested
What foot is that disturbs my rest,
Which through my coffin lid hath press’d,
And caus’d my bones the air to feel?—
It is the parson’s horse’s heel!
’Tis hard so much as there’s to pay,
That corpses cannot quiet lay,
But are by cow or horse plough’d up,
For priests to reap a three-fold crop!
Through such a process they must pass,
The grave, the tombstone, and the grass,
And Easter Offering beside:—
These claims must never be denied!
What though they do the grass devour,
And leave their dung against the door!
Pay up,—say nought,—’What’s that to thou?’
It is the parson’s horse or cow!
I know the living dare not grumble,
Nor at the parson’s conduct stumble!
And when the simple truth is told,
Of dead men they can get no hold.
We thought no hammer was to sound,
Upon this consecrated ground,—
Yet cow or horse may grind our bones
And rub their sides against the stones!
Some think things so are constituted,
That masons’ tools are all polluted,
But that the parson’s horse or cow,
Like th’ Church, is consecrated too!
Thus they may gallop o’er our graves,
And split our coffins into halves;
In spite of widows tears and groans,
May pastime make of dead folks’ bones!
This is too hard for flesh and blood!
A thing which cannot be withstood;
A thing which inward grief imparts
To pious minds and tender hearts.
But men enthrall’d must never speak,
Nor for redress attempt to seek,
But with such creatures be content,
As Bishops have ordain’d and sent.
Like him who dwells upon the coast,
Who of the priesthood makes his boast,
Regardless what the flock endure,
“If he can but the fleece secure![Pg 65]”
His present residence and living,
Are of his earthly father’s giving;
So none his title dare dispute,
For Bishops cannot turn him out!
Though life and conduct be profane,
He knows that men dare not complain;
Or soon he’d show them his degrees,
And take revenge in tythes and fees!
Such workmen’s labour is in vain
To keep their hands from bloody stain;
In vain they strive to show the road,
That leads to glory and to God!
No wonder if such Church decay,
If members leave it day by day,
Where tyrannising is the law,—
And till a change, it must be so.
The remedy will be unknown,
Till Priests are of the Spirit born;
Till they get hearts refin’d and pure,
Dissenters must their scorn endure!
TO THE MOOR BIRDS IN A STORM.
Ye birds of the Moor, I doubt you’ll be poor,
The storm is quite likely to last;
The owl and the crow, are shelter’d below,
But you are expos’d to the blast!
The snow lies so deep, the hill is so steep,
My footsteps are feeble and slow,
O lend me your wings, ye dear little things,
To carry me over the snow!
Nay, I have no gun, so you need not run,
Nor cackle, nor spread out your tails;
No danger is near, you’ve nothing to fear,
The poacher is down in the dales.
The wind whistle’s woe, through the valley below,
To the birds that are down in the wood;
You may hear by report, that the gun is afloat,
To scatter their feathers and blood.
If you’ll be content, till the storm shall be spent,
And suffer no envy or strife;
No doubt but you may, on some future day,
Get fat, and escape with your life!
But if you encroach, or chance to approach,
The web-footed classes domain;
If wide you should stray, or fall out by the way,
A thousand to one but you’re slain!
LINES ON RETURNING A BORROWED STICK OF SLENDERISH SIZE,
Which had been lent with a strict charge to take particular
care of it, and to return it as soon as done with.
To Mr. William Horner, of Ripon.
Dear Billy, with thanks, I return thee thy switch,
Which has many times kept me out of the ditch.
I have found oft when stumbling o’er hillock or stone,
A slender supporter is better than none!
When the stars were beclouded and darkness prevail’d,
And the rain was descending, its aid never fail’d;
For it grop’d out my way, and assisted my sight,—
When my foot would have slipp’d, it kept me upright.
It never forsook me, or broke my command,
Unless it was when it slipt out of my hand;
Then myself it might blame, for not taking more care,
For when duty demanded it always was there.
It is rare upon earth to find such a friend,
On which one can always so safely depend;—
When help was most needed it paid most regard,
And never reprov’d me for using it hard!
THE THUNDER STORM.
The praise be thine, Almighty, matchless King,
Whose care and power, my muse presumes to sing;
Whose tender care protects, while thousands sleep,
The wakeful sea-boy on the mighty deep.
Thou dost from perils screen his naked head,
Which in a moment fill the world with dread;
Thou, while thy lightnings flash, and thunders roll,
Dost whisper secret peace into his soul!
The praise be thine, whose interposing power,
Protected us across yon lonely moor,
And through that night of terror and alarm,
Mysteriously preserv’d us all from harm!
That night of awful peril we record,
Ascribing all the glory to the Lord;
When from yon distant Meeting we return’d,
And pious friends at home our absence mourn’d!
The moon and stars at once withdrew their light,
And thus increas’d the horrors of the night,
Loud claps of thunder shook the sons of pride,
And female courage was severely tried!
The time pass’d on in conversation sweet,
While flaming lightning flash’d around our feet,—
Yet by the flash, in each believer’s face
We read the sign of confidence and peace.
Some to our God did then devoutly pray,
While others sung that awful hour away;
A voice was heard, “Ye need not be afraid,
Whose hope is on the Rock of Ages stay’d!”
Our virgins trimm’d their lamps, and sweetly sung,
And tenderly around each other clung,
While, as through fire and flood they took their way,
Salvation was the burden of their lay.
’Midst dismal darkness the black clouds were driven,
With all the fearful majesty of heaven;
And then as if an angel cleft the cloud,
And show’d to man the glowing wrath of God,
More quick than either thought, or sight of man,
From north to south the flaming fluid ran;
The east and west burst into a blaze,
And guilty man beheld it with amaze!
It seem’d to warn the world against that day,
When earth and sky shall melt, and pass away!
The distant mountains seem’d to own his nod,
And cried to man, “Prepare to meet thy God!”
All glory be to our eternal King,
Who brought us all safe home His praise to sing.
May we both hear and keep his Holy Word,
And so fulfil the royal law of God!
THE MISER’S AWAY!
The miser’s away, and he’ll never come back,
Any more his rusty old guineas to crack,
By his niggardly fare, of potatoes and fish,
His successor enjoys a more plentiful dish.
I once had occasion to pass by his door,
Whose threshold so seldom was cross’d by the poor,
A kitten came out in its innocent play,
And pleasantly three-thrumm’d—“The Miser’s away![Pg 70]”
The way weary traveller, to shorten the mile,
Sometimes has occasion to go by the style;
The gain that he gets, his spirit revives,
He cuts off an elbow, and sooner arrives.
Through one of his fields the pathway doth lie,
And very few ’scap’d the dint of his eye.
The gate as it opens and creaks, seems to say,
’Pass stranger, and welcome’—“The Miser’s away!”
In his ancient old Intake, long kept without fence,
And without cultivation, for fear of expence,
By the plough, or the spade, the rough is made plain,
And the hopeful young husbandman scatters the grain.
Where the bones of the gimmer decay’d on the ground,
And nettles and briars were every where found,
Fine corn is now growing, all smiling and gay;
It had not been so, but—“The Miser’s away!”
The birds haste away to the green holly bush,
The blackbird now tries to outrival the thrush;
They tip the tall branches on fluttering wing,
Make nearer approaches, and merrily sing.
The flowers in the garden around the bee-hive,
With unwonted freshness begin to revive,
To each new beholder their beauties display,
And whisper in perfume—“The Miser’s away!”
Here among his old books his Sabbaths he spent,
On logic and physic sat making comment;—
He thought it would be the best method to use,
To save both his carcase, his money, and shoes;—
He’d be his own doctor, and preacher likewise,
And his old yellow heap, like a mountain would rise!
The riches he heap’d up, by night and by day,
Another has found, for—“The Miser’s away!”
Containing a Moral for high looks, and forward folks.
Ye sportsmen bright of skill, and sight,
Who range o’er hill and dale;
Awhile give ear, and you shall hear,
A true and homely tale.
Ye friends at home, who seldom roam,
Much farther than the mill,
Be sure you’re wise, and mind your eyes,
Or let your guns lie still.
It happen’d where, as you shall hear,
A building was erected,
That to complete its breadth and height,
Some workmen were collected.
One morning chill, before yon hill
Was gilded with the sun,
Or adze, or axe, or mallet had,
Their battering begun;
Two favourite ducks, had ’scaped the fox,
Well fed, and feather’d too;
In sportive play, aspiring they
Took wing, and off they flew.
With airy wheel, they quick did scale,
The lofty wall unscar’d,
The trees they topt, and down they dropt
A gun-shot from the yard.
A joiner ran, to fetch a gun
The wild ducks to secure,—
The gun he brought, with which he thought,
To make at least one fewer.
Through mist and dew, the contents flew,
A duck began to cry,
And one took flight, and left our sight,
Nor could we it espy.
This done, the man full swiftly ran,
To gather up his game,—
Both fore and aft, the people laugh’d,
To see his wild duck tame!
He set her down, she gaz’d around,
Wond’ring at such abuse,—
But for her weight, or else she might
Have pass’d for a wild goose.
In friendship sweet, the ducks soon meet,
And talk their frolic o’er,
And in their play, they seem to say,
They’ll fly so high no more.
Our thoughts oft may, our skill betray,
But actions they speak louder;
If he’d been still, he’d saved his skill,
Likewise his shot and powder!
THE BROKEN SEAL.
To sing of Southcotes clouded fame,
My muse presumes and tries to soar;
Though some may say, “Blot out her name,
Let it be seen or heard no more,”
I have a secret to reveal,
Effected by a broken Seal!
This poor Joanna had her day;—
While fair and bright the morning shone,
She led too many far astray,
Whose souls much better things had known;
She soon their ancient tribe could tell,
And signed their title with a Seal.
A poor, illiterate, labouring man,
Who went Joanna’s voice to hear,
A stranger to salvation’s plan,
Had linger’d on from year to year;
He thought she preach’d the gospel real,
And he of course must have a Seal!
Without a heart transform’d and new,
Joanna Southcote took him in,
And seal’d him her disciple true,
Without repenting of his sin;—
He slyly from his wife did steal,
The price of his mysterious Seal!
Her creed on such conditions hung,
That while her seals continued whole,
Then hope was bright, and faith was strong,
And they could neither fail nor fall;
But none could rescue those from hell,
Who chanc’d to crack or break the Seal!
When, lo, upon a certain day,
Examining his little store,
Joanna’s passport to survey;
His pocket book he rummag’d o’er,
But consternation turn’d him pale,
When he perceiv’d he’d broke his Seal!
His heart was stung with deep dismay,
With anguish, and tormenting fears,
Which like a trumpet night and day,
Did sound this sentence in his ears,
“Thou never canst thy crime conceal,
Remember thou hast broke thy Seal!”
He thought the Almighty from on high,
Would soon his red hot lightnings pour,
And he, a sinner doom’d to die,
Might then expect the hottest shower;—
God would on him his wrath reveal,
For he had broke the fatal Seal!
He more than either once or twice,
With heavy heart and tearful eye,
Went to a preacher for advice,
Who soon his sickness did descry;
By what his conscience seem’d to feel,
His heart was broken with his Seal!
The preacher then without delay,
Did point him to the sinner’s friend,
Exhorting him to watch and pray,
And on the Son of God depend,
Whose efficacious blood could heal
His soul, though he had broke his Seal!
One day in agonizing prayer,
Believing on the Son of God,
On the dark borders of despair,
He found redemption in His blood,
And from the transport he did feel,
He bless’d the day he broke the Seal!
Composed to gratify a Scottish Rhymer, and brother mason.
A stone!—and what about a stone?
What sense is there in that?
I answer, in itself there’s none:
But hold, I’ll tell you what!
Oft while in craggy woods I’ve been,
All silent, and alone,
A thousand beauties I have seen,
Conceal’d within a stone!
While passing through life’s troubled scenes,
O’erwhelm’d with care and grief,
A stranger in this wilderness,
And needful of relief:
Not wishful then to every one,
To make my troubles known,—
The thing most useful in this world,
I’ve gained it by a stone!
Some boast of riches, and estates,
Of chariots, and of steeds,
Of ships that sail by wind or steam,
And some of mighty deeds:
But all the treasure I desire,
In cities, or alone,
Is peace of conscience, health of mind,
And hewing at a stone!
Our kings, and nobles, dukes and lords,
Whose splendid castles rise,
Whose palaces, and lofty towers,
Reach almost to the skies;
Of Greece and Corinth make their boast,
Yet are oblig’d to own,
Some honour due, from first to last,
To those who hew the stone!
In every town, in modern days,
Some system new prevails,
Men deviate from former ways,
The mason’s art now fails:
Yet masons will be masons still,
And will each other own,
And smile at all attempts of skill
To imitate a stone!
The work will stand, and not disgrace,
The master-builder’s plan,
Defying rain, and tempests fierce,
For twice the age of man!
With all their compositions curl’d,
And round their columns thrown,
The grandest temple in the world,
We read was built of stone!
When this fair earth at first arose,
And man was made upright,
Him, the great God of Heaven chose,
And view’d him with delight.
Had he thus stood, (’tis thought by some,)
And in God’s image shone,
It never would have been our doom,
To hew and polish stone.
But man soon fell, by mortal sin,
And since the deed is done,
And we its captives long have been,
Th’ effect we cannot shun:
Yet though man from perfection fell,
And sin did make him groan,
The Lord in Zion laid for him,
“A sure foundation stone!”
When men began to multiply,
And sin defil’d the heart,
The Lord look’d down with pitying eye,
With man he could not part.
The sun by day, and moon by night,
And twinkling stars that shone,
He made them all rejoice, and sing,
Of “Christ, the corner stone!”
Whoe’er upon this stone shall fall,
Shall surely broken be,
Yet he may still be heal’d again,
And be from sin set free:
But he on whom this stone shall fall,
Shall see the Almighty’s frown;
He shall be crush’d as powder small,
By this stupendous stone!
Moses, that mighty man of God,
Who Israel’s flock did lead,
Whose feet the path of duty trod,
And oft for them did plead,
In conversation with the Lord,
His face with glory shone,
And from awful Sinai bore,
The “Tables made of stone![Pg 78]”
But lo, revolting Israel’s seed,
In Horeb, as we’re told,
Had during Moses’ absence made,
A calf of molten gold;
Such folly made his griev’d heart ache,
With pangs till then unknown,
And down he threw at once, and brake
The “Tables made of stone!”
Though ours be not such flagrant sins,
But lie perhaps conceal’d,
The day is coming when all things,
Now hid shall be reveal’d:
And some we have great cause to fear,
If they the truth would own,
Have little gods which they revere
Of gold, or precious stone.
When once through Israel’s armies brave,
The boasting challenge ran,
When great Goliath sent to Saul,
To find him out a man,
Who would in single combat fight,
Till one should be o’erthrown,
How little did he think that day
Of falling by a stone!
With steps that made the earth to bend,
And spirit swell’d with pride,
He boasting shook his greaves of brass,
And Israel’s God defied.
From Jesse’s loins a stripling sprung,
Who made the monster groan,
When from the whirling sling he threw,
The feeble,—fatal stone!
Proud armies have been overthrown,
And cities sack’d within,
And towers and temples broken down,
The sad effects of sin:—
And once an Angel did foreshow,
The fall of Babylon,
When in the heaving deep he threw,
A great and mighty stone!
When David’s highly favour’d son,
His temple first began,
They from the mountains brought a stone,
Which seem’d a pest to man:
The masons view’d it o’er and o’er,
But oft with haughty scorn,
Rejected it, and roll’d aside
This strange, unshapely stone!
From first to last it tumbling lay,
An object of disdain,
Till time, upon a certain day,
The mystery did explain.
The last, and loftiest pinnacle,
To finish and adorn
They sought, but none would do so well
As this rejected stone!
A finer building ne’er was seen,
By any mortal eye,
The timbrels rung, and Israel sung,
And old men wept for joy.
And having thus their temple rear’d
Themselves are forc’d to own,
That which the builders once refus’d
Is now the Corner Stone!
’Tis thus Jehovah’s favour’d sons,
With hearts by grace refined,
Are all compar’d to living stones,
For nobler ends design’d.
Thus he the mighty structure rears,
And perfects them in one,
A glorious Church,—and Jesus is
The chief, the corner stone!
A stone by Daniel was perceiv’d,
And still the record stands,
Which from the mountains should proceed,
Cut out as without hands;
Whose dignity should greater grow,
And mighty Kings dethrone,
Till all the earth be fill’d below,
With this amazing stone!
So “in due time God sent his Son,”
According to His word,
Whose sacred mission was begun,
And seal’d with precious blood;
Who, while He dwelt on earth below,
Did make salvation known,
And caus’d His heavenly love to flow
In hearts once hard as stone!
But Pharisees and cruel Jews,
Did seek from day to day,
This holy person to abuse,
To persecute and slay.
But God did give his Angels charge,
O’er his anointed one,
Lest he at any time should dash
His foot against a stone!
At length his faithfulness to prove,
He for the world must die,
And power was given to wicked men,
The Lord to crucify.
The sun was dark at that event,
And with His dying groan,
Earth trembled! and the rocks were rent,—
The rocks of solid stone!
His enemies still follow’d Him,
When He lay in the grave
Hewn in the rock, for Joseph’s tomb,
Who did His body crave:
Lest He their projects should destroy,
And they be overthrown,
They shut him in, and set a guard,
And seal’d the mighty stone!
But Roman bands could not confine
The Saviour to His cell,
He manifests His power divine,
In spite of Earth and Hell:
The Father “owns His suffering Son,”
Nor leaves Him then alone,
For lo! “an Angel comes by night,
And rolls away the stone!”
He rises to men’s wond’ring view,
And triumphs o’er His foes,
And proves the blessed record true,
Though sin and death oppose:
In glorious majesty He reigns,
On his exalted throne,
And still He power on earth retains,
To soften hearts of stone!
To those who overcome through Him,
A stone, and a new name
He gives, which none can read but they,
Nor understand the same.
And they shall share His joys divine,
Seated on glittering thrones,
And walk those streets whose pavements shine
Like gold, or precious stones!
TO THE RISING SUN! ON A FROSTY MORNING.
Hail glorious Sun! bright regent of the day;
Gladly I welcome thine all cheering ray:
’Midst frost and snow, a visit thus from thee,
Sets each numb toe and frozen finger free!
Bright emblem of the Majesty on high,
Who lives and reigns, the Lord of earth and sky!
Before thy face the hailstones melt away,
And thy glad light turns darkness into day.
Oft moving down the sloping dale I’ve eyed,
Thy golden radiance from the mountain side;
Have often long’d upon yon hills to be,
To catch a comfortable ray from thee.
Now chill November’s breath is cold and keen,
The trees around have lost their lovely green,
While horned cattle from the mountains roam,
And for their masters low, to take them home.
The early plough boy stops to clap his hands,
The tender female dances where she stands;
While I, half starv’d, have thought thy coming long,
But now I hail thee welcome with a song!
’Tis said in heathen lands they worship thee,
When o’er the mountain tops thy light they see:
But as thou here no homage dost receive,
I to thy Maker all the glory give.
His face, like thine, the drooping sinner cheers,
Oppress’d with guilt, and overwhelm’d with fears:
A ray from thee, O uncreated Sun,
Breaks up, and makes long frozen fountains run!
Thou, from thyself, the soul to purify,
Dost pour the living water from on high,
Which if it doth within the soul remain,
The sinner’s heart shall never freeze again!
Yes! he who daily drinks of this pure wave,
For sensual pleasure shall no relish have,
But calm amidst the turbulence of life,
Shall dwell for ever free from care and strife.
Shine, glorious Sun! thy blessings richly pour,
And cheer our fallen world from hour to hour!
With thy glad beams, O visit every vale,
’Till every starving soul thine influence feel!
LINES IN MEMORY OF THE REV. D. DUCK, CURATE OF DANBY.
Yes! Daniel, faithful Daniel’s gone,
His weeping flock lament their loss;
No more they fix their eyes upon
That zealous preacher of the cross!
No more he meets them at the gate,
No breezes waft his silver’d hair,
While o’er the dead, both small and great,
His soul breathes out the ardent prayer!
Nor from his eye, when grave-scenes call,
His streaming tears are seen to flow,—
Those tears, which to the earth did fall,
And mingle with the dust below.
No more he at the altar stands,
To bless, or break the hallow’d bread,
While from his lips and lifted hands,
Each hungry, holy soul is fed!
But mingled happy saints among,
His ravish’d soul doth now ascend,
To share that bliss which he so long,
To others here did recommend.
AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A BELOVED CHILD.
My little boy! my lovely boy!
Why in such haste away?
Will no embrace, or tempting toy,
Induce thy longer stay?
What prompted thee the day before,
To climb thy Father’s knee,—
Spring to the window or the door,
With such unusual glee?
I wonder oft, with wakeful eye,
And think it might be so,
Some Spirit then was passing by,
And beckon’d thee to go!
I recollect with other things,
Which I have felt and fear’d,
Once something like the sound of wings,
Within the room was heard!
Hast thou in infant vision seen
The city of our God?
Or on those holy mountains been,
By saints and angels trod?
Or hast thou heard the melody
Which fills the courts above?
Or has thy Saviour shown to thee
The tokens of his love?
If so,—no wonder thou should’st look
So light on all below;—
If thou hast tasted of the brook
Where living waters flow!
No wonder thou with such delight,
Didst view the rising sun:
Then glance on us thine eye so bright,
And flutter to be gone!
If thou hast seen among heaven’s choirs,
The crown that thou shalt wear,
Forgive a parent’s fond desires,
To keep thee longer here.
If thou among earth’s griefs and joys,
Hadst any longer stayed,
With other rude and wicked boys,
Hadst into evil strayed;—
Hadst thou thy Saviour disobey’d,
Who died thy soul to save,
Thy parents’ heads might have been laid,
With sorrow in the grave.
If it be wrong to mourn for thee,
The Lord that wrong forgive,
And grant us grace each day, that we
In him may walk and live.
O could our faith but pierce the gloom
That hovers round our clay,
We might prefer an early tomb,
To one that’s old and grey!
Could we but hear the songs they sing,
Or see the robes they wear,
’Twould give our resolutions wing,
With longings to be there.
To see those heavenly harpers young,
Light up the sacred fires;
To see their nimble fingers run
Along the golden wires;
Would make a man forget his grief,
His conflicts here below,
And give a mother’s soul relief,
With languishings to go!
Would make us all forsake our sin,
And Jesus Christ adore,
And bring the resolution in,
To grieve our God no more.
Would make us to His house resort,
To weep, and watch, and pray,
Until we gain that blissful port
Where tears are wiped away.
ON THE FIRST TEXT HEARD SPIRITUALLY.
(“My heart is fixed.”—Psalm lvii. 7.)
By grace divine I sing, “My heart is fix’d!”
(Fix’d on the corner stone in Zion laid:)
He spoke, I wept, and heard the blessed text,
And all my wavering, wandering thoughts were stay’d.
He to me spoke, as with an angel’s voice,
And all my fears at once like lightning fled!
O how my troubled soul did then rejoice!
I was as one new risen from the dead!
Thrice happy bard who wrote such words as these,
So applicable to a case like mine;
Such music surely never reach’d my ears,
Nor words did ever with such lustre shine!
Though all who read, may not that beauty see,
Nor feel the truths that sin sick hearts console,
Yet, O, it was a blessed text to me,
By which the Lord spoke peace unto my soul!
’Tis mystery all! ’Tis like the wind that blows!
I hear its sound, as it sweeps through the wood,
I feel it come, but know not where it goes,—
And so is every one that’s born of God!
Now I can sing, “My soul is sick of love!”—
Of love to God, and every one I see;
Nor smiles, nor frowns, my happy soul can move,
A friend or stranger is alike to me!
But will the Lord such rebels still receive?
Can angels sing for such a wretch as I?
Did Jesus die, that one so vile might live?
So vile, so full of sin and misery!
Yes! He the sinner doth invite to come;
For rich, for poor, for all his grace is free!
Fly, sinners, fly to Christ, there yet is room
For all who feel their guilt and misery.
The King is now my Friend, I cannot doubt,
For he His witness doth to me impart;
He’ll bind the strong man arm’d, and cast him out,
And pour the living stream into my heart!
O happy soul, when thus to life restor’d,
Let folly end, where genuine hope begins;
He finds a heaven, who truly finds the Lord,
But he that finds this heaven, must lose his sins!
O may I learn to do the thing that’s right,
My love to God, by true obedience show;
And read, and wrestle, strive, rebuke, and fight,
And watch, and pray, and to perfection grow!
So when my warfare here on earth is past,
And Death on me his chilling hand shall lay,
God will receive my ransom’d soul at last,
To live and reign with Him, in endless day!
TO A SQUIRREL IN A CAGE.
Little spinner, blithe and gay,
Dancing thus thy life away!
A King his palace might resign,
For a couch as soft as thine!
Thou canst choose, as suits thee best,
When to toil, and when to rest:
Free from earthly care and strife,
Merrily doth pass thy life.
Ere the day begins to dawn,
Thou art at thy work alone;
By the early riser seen,
Turning round thy light machine.
Quick thou tip’st the slender wires,
Which more art than strength requires;—
Be the weather foul or fair,
Heart and foot are light as air!
Joyful in thy little jail,
Thou dost spread thy bushy tail:
Playing many a curious prank,
Tumbling like a mountebank!
When awful thunders o’er thee break,
And earth’s foundations seem to shake,
Free from terror and dismay,
Thou heed’st it not, but spin’st away.
Separated now for good,
From thy cronies of the wood,
Thou no more dost wander free,
Skipping light from tree to tree.
Though once with thee things better went,
Thou seemest happy and content,
If some kind friend supply thy lack,
By giving thee a nut to crack.
And when thou hast it in thy paw,
In face of either friend or foe,
The beamings of thine eye impart
The motions of a grateful heart.
Alone, confin’d within thy cage,
Thou fearest not the battle’s rage;
Of courage bold, and action brave,
Though in prison—thou’rt not a slave!
If life is spared, some other day,
When I shall chance to come this way,
A present unto thee I’ll bring,
Thou bonny, little woodland thing!
Little spinner, blithe and gay,
Dancing thus thy life away!
A Queen her palace might resign,
For a pillow soft as thine!
TO A BIRD SINGING IN WINTER.
Why, why, little bird, so cheerfully sing,
When all things around look so sad?
The prospect at present, as touching the spring,
Gives cause to be sorry, not glad!
Had April appear’d in loveliest hue,
And made the green meadows look gay,
Thou merrily might’st have mounted thy bough,
And warbled thy minutes away.
But summer’s far off, and still in the copse,
The cold winter’s snow doth descend,
Fierce winds, and sharp frosts, may yet blast thy hopes,
And bring thy sweet song to an end.
By craft of the boys, in bush, or in wood,
Thy foot may be caught in a snare,
And thou whilst seeking a morsel of food,
Be a captive, ere thou art aware.
Why merrily sing, when thou hast no barn,
In which to lay up thy grain?
Why warble thy notes, while unthankful man,
So often is heard to complain?
Why cheerfully sing when there are no flowers,
Or sun in the valley to shine?
’Tis proof that thy prospects are brighter than ours,
Thy heart more contented than mine!
How short, how frail is our abode on earth!
But yesterday it seems since we sprang forth:
Life doth no sooner sparkle in our eye,
Than we are subject to decline and die!
A brother Mason now a victim lies
To Death, whose icy hand hath closed his eyes!
He sleeps, forgetful of his toil and care;
In prime of life, no more his voice we hear.
No more the chisel moves within his hands,
The sounding axe no more his skill demands:
But silence reigns,—his spirit’s gone to rest,
His ransom’d soul is number’d with the blest!
His sins and follies here he did bemoan,
A heavy burden, grievous to be borne;
When lo, the Lord, a week before he died,
Dispers’d the gloom, and all his wants supplied
In the Redeemer’s blood he did believe,
And God his pardoning love to him did give:
Such depth of mercy fill’d us with surprise,
And tears of gratitude flow’d from our eyes!
He boldly triumph’d in God’s pardoning grace,
With love and patience beaming in his face;
Till fainting in the icy arms of death,
He praised his God with his departing breath
How oft have we in health, and free from pain,
Joyful to labour, cross’d the dewy plain,
Before the morning stars had disappear’d,
Or early harmony the woodlands cheer’d!
How oft have we been partners through the day,
Or sung in hymns our nightly hours away!
Alas! my partner’s gone! Can I forbear
To welcome down my cheek the rolling tear?
No more on earth his voice shall mix with mine,
In social converse, or in songs divine!
Be it my chief concern to be prepar’d,
Like him to die, and meet my just reward.
False witnesses did raise a vile report,
And laid things to his charge that he knew not:
But now he’s gone to be with Christ on high,
Where he is safe, and may their power defy.
Now slander and reproach at once may cease;
No more can they disturb our brother’s peace!
Their arrows keen can never pierce his soul,
He is departed, and hath reach’d the goal!
Farewell! but Oh! we hope to meet again,
And join our voices in a nobler strain,
Where Jesus our great Prophet, Priest, and King,
In everlasting majesty doth reign!
REFLECTIONS ON PETCH’S TOMB.
Dear Petch belov’d! Thy endless portion’s fix’d!
As death hath left thee, so shall judgment find:
Thy spirit, with a world of spirits mix’d,
Hath left its mouldering tenement behind!
Sprightly and active, thou the other day,
Didst fill thy station in this world of cares;
In life’s fair morn, thy soul hath slipt away,
From its delusions, and a thousand snares!
Thy cheeks a more than common bloom did wear,
Thy voice with music sweetly did agree;
Thy heart was lively, thy complexion fair:—
Had I chose one for life, I’d chosen thee!
Perhaps thy mind dwelt on some future scene,
Anticipating more than was allow’d,
When pale affliction drew a veil between,
And death appointed thee an early shroud!
Methinks I hear thee, while I thus survey
The dreary place where thy remains are laid,
Crying, “Prepare for the great judgment day!
That day which shall thy destiny decide!
There’s no repenting in the gloomy grave,
Nor in that world in which I now exist;
Christ died, that he from hell thy soul might save,—
Keep his commands, or thou wilt ne’er be blest![Pg 96]”
Here I should faint, reflecting on my theme,
And recollecting thy great sins now past,
Had not the grace of God, thy passport been,
Had not heaven deign’d to smile on thee at last!
Hadst thou not given some proof of penitence,
Had I not witness’d oft the bless’d effect,
I might have fear’d, through disobedience,
That Heaven for ever would thy soul reject.
But Oh, the saving power of grace divine,
Which reach’d the dying thief upon the cross,
Had visited that troubled soul of thine,
Which else had mourn’d its everlasting loss!
Disrob’d of all his terrors, Death drew nigh,—
Behind, a band of shining seraphs stood,
He pointed toward the opening sky,
And dipt his dart in the atoning blood!
His humble victim felt the stingless wound,
And to his God resign’d his fleeting breath;
He view’d Heav’ns portals through the gloom around,
And shouted “Victory!” in the arms of Death!
Go, blooming youth, and share the rich reward,
Purchas’d for such as thee with blood divine;
Thank God, He ever did thy prayer regard,
And caus’d the light of life on thee to shine!
May all the household of thy kindred dear,
Hear and regard the caution thou hast given;
Repent, and turn to God, with hearts sincere,
And have, like thee, the earnest of their Heaven!
May I amidst a world of toil and care,
Still bear in mind my Shepherd’s care for me,
Weep o’er my sin, each day for death prepare,
Sigh o’er thy name-stamp’d tool, and think on thee!
“WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR REPORT?”
Isaiah liii. 1.
“Who hath believed our report?”
The agonizing prophet cried;
Where do the wandering tribes resort,
For whom the King of Glory died?
His goodness doth before them pass,
The fairest of ten thousand He,
Yet sin bewilders, and alas,
In Him they can no beauty see.
His Kingly presence they deny,
While round their altars they resort,
Well might the grieved prophet cry,
“Who hath believed our report?”
“Away with such a one,” they cry,
“Let timbrels sound, and damsels sing,
This strange impostor crucify,
For none but Cæsar is our King![Pg 98]”
Slain in the streets the martyrs lie,
Who strove His kingdom to support,
Well might the trembling prophet cry,
“Who hath believed our report?”
His ministers to make Him known,
Their time, and strength, and souls devote,
Yet oft in sorrow cry alone,
“Who hath believed our report?”
All we like sheep have gone astray,
From Him we have our faces hid,
We each have turn’d to his own way,
And done the things that were forbid.
His faithful servants all day long,
Do to repentance us exhort,
Yet nightly raise the mournful song,
“Who hath believed our report?”
It was for us He was accused,
Sank under sorrows not His own,
Was buffeted, chastis’d, and bruis’d,
To raise us rebels to a throne.
The nails, the hammer, and the spear,
And reed, with which His head was smote,
All cry in the deaf sinner’s ear,
“Who hath believed our report?”
Yes! both the pulpit and the press,
The thunder of His power proclaim,
Commend His blood and righteousness,
And offer mercy in His name.
Yet some are always standing by,
Of holy things to make a sport,
And weeping preachers yet may cry,
“Who hath believed our report?”
Some have believed this report,—
To them He hath “His arm reveal’d;”
To Him their lives they now devote,
For “by His stripes their souls are heal’d!”
And on the last important day,
When all shall be to judgment brought,
Thrice happy those who then can say,
We have believed this report.
But woe to all ungodly men,
Who wonder how these things can be;
They’ll wonder more, and perish then,—
Too late they will their folly see.
For them, alas, no joys remain,
The Lord of life will cut them short;
And they shall weep and wish in vain,
They had believed our report!
The Sun throws his ray on the lake,
The vessels are scudding along;
Before half the city’s awake,
The air is all action and song!
The Bees haste away to the moors,
And eager their task to complete,
Extract from the bells of the flowers,
Their delicate essences sweet.
All cheerful they hurry along,
Their storehouse of food to increase,
Till Death puts an end to their song,
The citizen’s table to grace.
Though few can their weapons withstand,
Or few can their forces defeat,
Yet Death with a torch at command,
Soon makes the wing’d armies retreat.
At once their anxiety droops,
In the grave they lie silent and still,
While strangers are draining the cup,
They made such exertions to fill.
O may I be bold as the Bee,
In work of a similar cast,
So faithful, industrious, and free,
And labour, and sing to the last!
CAUTION FROM LIMBER HILL.
(Occasioned by a fall during a frost.)
’Twas a bit gone December,
As I well remember,
I met with a rubber, and got some advice;
What harbour to rest in,
What Friend to put trust in,
And how we may walk with slape shoes upon ice!
In coming down Limber,
Among the young timber,
My foot slipt, and falling, it was a take in,
The night being darkish,
And we a bit larkish,
Instead of a broom bush, I grasped a whin!
When my fingers were bleeding,
And pain was succeeding,
It set me a thinking,—of that you’ll not doubt;
And but for the blunder,
Which lessen’d the wonder,
I else had been punish’d enough to sing out!
My views being muddy,
I quickly did study,
What things upon earth to compare with this whin;
After walking around ’em,
I very soon found ’em
To be a false friend, or the pleasures of sin!
A true Friend is precious,
His favour’s delicious,
He’ll give you a lift, when he sees you break down;
In conflicts distressing,
You’ll find him a blessing,
He’ll mark your oppressions, and call them his own!
But a false Friend will vary,
And vow quite contrary,
His heart to your grief will be hard as a stone;
In sorrow or sickness,
He’ll pity your weakness,
But only plant under your pillow a thorn!
While your money is chinking,
He’ll answer you winking,
He’ll “Master,” and “Sir” you, and come at your call;
But give him a pincher,
You’ll find him a flincher,
Instead of a lift, he will fling you a fall!
So sin is deceiving,
’Twill pierce through the heart, and invite you to sing;
’Twill put on fair faces,
To woo your embraces,
But after you’ve grasp’d it, there follows a sting!
THE VILLAGE CHURCH IN RUINS!
(A decayed Church, a faithful Minister, a Gospel Sermon, a
cold wind, a rainy day, and ten hearers!)
Alas, for our mother, whom age hath o’ertaken,
Her champions are sleeping beneath the cold sod;
She seems both by lover and friend quite forsaken,
Her total dependance is now on her God!
By tribute to Cæsar her battlements crumble,
Her grey headed Elders may weep in despair;
Her once lovely fabric’s now ready to tumble,
While no one arises her breach to repair!
Alas, for the spot where our ancestors bended,
In humble devotion, and brotherly love,
Where early petitions like incense ascended,
And blessings in answer came down from above.
Alas, for that spot where our tribes did assemble,
In youthful succession, both healthy and gay,
Which then did the Temple of Zion resemble,—
But briers and thorns have now choked up the way.
The voice of her Elders in prayer seems to falter,
And her bells ring dolefully over her dead,
Her priest may lament from the porch to the altar,
Her pews are deserted, her virgins are fled.
Among her old timber, the hollow winds whistle,
And carve out a track for the frost or the snow;
Her walls, while they preach her departing epistle,
Are cover’d with gloom, both above and below.
Dim through her old windows the daylight is peeping,
The damp floor hath driven the hearers away;
A drop through the roof seems as if it were weeping,
To think how her beauty is gone to decay.
Of her milk and her honey she still might have boasted,
And offer’d to all in abundance, and free,
But her funds by the drones are now nearly exhausted,
In craftily clipping the wings of the Bee.
Still thanks be to God, the Gospel is publish’d,
With precept on precept, and line upon line;
Still Ten there are found, who come to be furnish’d,
With heav’nly instruction, in lectures divine.
The Minister boldly the tidings reported,
And wisely distinguish’d the bad from the good;
Of the present or absent who die unconverted,
That worm eaten pulpit is clear of their blood!
(Composed during a visit from the West.)
Once more, my muse, resume thy wonted seat,
And ask permission of the wise and great,
To admit, as tribute due, thy warbling song,
In thy own land, and in thy mother tongue.
Once more the happy region I behold,
Where I have oft experienc’d joys untold;
Where cattle graze, and crystal fountains flow,
And rivers glide, and healthy breezes blow.
Here my enraptur’d fancy playful roves,
And walks ’mong flowery banks, or shady groves,
Or nimbly climbs the rugged mountain’s height,
And views yon plains with ever new delight.
Sometimes in fertile orchards I attend,
Where mellow fruits the loaded branches bend;
Sometimes I see old Esk in fury roll,
Or fish, or walk, or swim the silent pool.
Here did I spend the morning of my days,
And learn’d by grace, to walk in wisdom’s ways,
Its scenes can court my soul’s affections yet,
Their charms are such they cannot be forgot.
O yes, the cottage once again I see,
Which oft has prov’d a safe retreat for me,
From wintry tempest, or my neighbour’s frown,
From piercing frost, or scorching sun at noon:
Its walls my castle, and its roof a guard,
As from the cloud the forked lightning glared.
Here did I notice first with wond’ring eye,
The rainbow’s beauty, and the bright blue sky;—
The morning sun, or the pale evening star,
The moon’s eclipse, or comet’s sign of war!
Here oft our little tribe have muster’d up,
And from each eye have wiped the crystal drop;—
Each other cheer’d when dark misfortune frown’d,
As we our little fire have circled round!
What each had read, or heard in times before,
Each eager open’d out his little store;—
Of fairy stories, stormy seas, or sands,
Rocks, woods, or caves, or dens in foreign lands,
Enchanted castles, weapons, sceptres, crowns,
Of friars, giants, hermits, smiles and frowns!
Thus oft our lonely evenings pass’d away,
Till glad we welcom’d in the morning ray;—
Ours might have been the cottage of content,
But we an absent Father did lament.
Now wide dispers’d whom nature so endear’d,
No evening song, no conversation’s heard!
The garden walls we did so often climb,
Are desolated by the hand of time!
Oft on yon sunny bank our feet have been,
Or skimm’d the frozen pond upon the green;
Where I may wander now, and sigh alone,
O’er pleasures past, and never to return!
O Land belov’d! Thou still art dear to me!
I still behold a comeliness in thee,
Which to express I cannot language find,
Nor vent the deep emotions of my mind!
Though transient joys have ta’en their lasting flight,
In thee I see a permanent delight,—
A secret sympathy I can’t express,
Which seems to feed the flame of happiness!
But what is best of all, religion thrives,
The desert sings, the work of God revives!
Cold, frozen hearts have felt the melting flame
Of Jesu’s love, and spread abroad the same!
Sing on, ye tribes, sweet peace ye may secure,
Your wants supplied from field and fountain pure;
Live, and enjoy your privilege great,
Nor ever more forget the mercy seat!
No midnight revels here your door molest,
Nor wild confusion robs you of your rest;
Here you in silence may your eyelids close,—
On downy pillows find a sweet repose!
Here broad back’d mountains raise their heads immense,
And rocky bulwarks rise for your defence,
Whose silent caves present sublimer charms,
Than the shrill trumpet, or than war’s alarms.
O happy man, who safe from winter’s frown,
Lies anchor’d in a harbour of his own;
He whose chief treasure is a humble mind,
By truth enlighten’d and by grace refined!
Who suffers not his flock to go astray,
But early learns his tribes to sing and pray;
Though he but little knows of men and things,
Yet having this he needs not envy Kings!
Bend, O ye kings! and at God’s altar bow,—
Your God hath left a brighter throne for you;
And costlier robes than yours He laid aside,
And in your stead, He suffer’d, bled, and died!
Be not deceiv’d, ye all must stoop as low
As a poor beggar, Jesu’s love to know:
The beggar, or the king, that throne to gain,
Must know what’s meant by being “born again!”
The number of the faithful, Lord, increase,
And fill their habitations with thy peace;
That all may know, e’en husband, child, and wife,
The benefits of a religious life.
O still ride on, thou mighty matchless King,
Till all thy favour feel, and praises sing;—
Thy favour, which alone true joy imparts,
Is thy law written on thy people’s hearts.
By thine omnipotence o’ercome thy foes,
And make them dread thy name, and own thy laws;
O let not sin for ever them deceive,
But spare them breath to pray, repent, and live!
O may my scatter’d tribe thy voice attend,
And with thy ransom’d few their voices blend:
I long to see them with their names enroll’d
Among thy people, in thine earthly fold.
O God, ’tis thine, I leave the cause with Thee,
To give them ears to hear, and eyes to see,
And hearts to feel;—apply the sprinkled blood,
And purify, and make them sons of God!
The ties of Friendship cling around my heart,
While I from much lov’d scenes am forced to part,
And leave the beauties of my native home,
With weary step, far o’er yon hills to roam.
O may I gain a seat on Zion’s hill,
Where I no more shall bid my friends farewell;
Nor mix with parting tears the morning dew,
Nor drop my pen, nor sigh my last adieu!
THE TWO HOURS’ TASK!
(A congratulatory Address to the Lambs, on their appearance in
Welcome, little peaceful strangers,
To your fields and pastures green,
Fearless of surrounding dangers,
Since no dangers you have seen.
While the sun is on you beaming,
That you may new strength receive,
Sweet new milk is for you streaming,
That you may partake and live.
Spring, with all her charms, invites you,
Now to taste the tender blade;
Birds are singing to delight you,
Whether in the sun or shade.
Nature has with gladness crown’d you,
Woodlands echo at your birth,
Spreads a flowery carpet round you,
Bids you walk in freedom forth.
But beware of your destroyer,
Crafty Reynard stalks the plains,
To your shepherd cleave then closer,
Or he’ll drain your little veins.
In your merry evening gambols,
Of surrounding foes beware,
Also in your distant rambles,
See you wander not too far.
Fell destruction round you hovers,
Therefore caution don’t despise,
Croaking ravens wait in numbers,
To pick out your little eyes.
Go not forth without your shepherd,
Be not lifted up with pride,
For if peaceful you would slumber,
You must never leave his side.
Till your strength is perfected,
Keep within your master’s ground,
You shall never be neglected,
If you thus are faithful found.
See yon lamb that now is bleating,
Him misfortune calls its own;
And mark’d out an early victim,
From the flock he strays alone.
See the little lonely mourner,
Like a bull-rush hangs his head,
Seeks a solitary corner,
And refuses to be fed.
Life to him appears a burden,
This his wailings testify,
Earth no pleasures can afford him,
He will shortly droop and die.
Ere he drink the crystal fountain,
Ere he dance the flowery plain,
Ere he bleat on yonder mountain,
He returns to earth again.
Emblem of that happy infant
Which was born the other day,
But before it knew bereavement,
From the earth was call’d away.
Call’d to more delightful regions,
Ere he learn’d his mother tongue,
There to speak a purer language,
There to sing a sweeter song.
On his Lord to wait attendant,
And to sing redeeming love,
Seated on a throne resplendent,
In a brighter world above.
Cheerful lambs around us caper,
Woodland songsters hail the morn;
But frail man is doom’d to labour,
Weep, and sweat, and sigh, and mourn.
Yet there is a higher station,
Man is born for nobler joys,
If he seeks and finds salvation,
He shall sing above the skies.
Though he be a fallen creature,
Subject here to droop and die,
The “Lamb of God” can change his nature,
And take all his sins away!
THE COUNTRY BLUNDER!
Some lines which I have lately penn’d
May prove a caution to a friend;
Indeed as such they are intended,
And to my friends are recommended.
But some, though caution’d night and morn,
Will not take heed, howe’er we warn,
But still to make their neighbours fun,
Will obstinately blunder on.
A servant man in Glazedale glen,
Did lately shoot a fine pea-hen:
Taking her for a pheasant good,
Lately stray’d from the neighb’ring wood.
But had he studied well the season,
He might have found sufficient reason,
To have convinc’d him, there and then,
’Twas neither pheasant, cock nor hen!
For is it common thus to see,
Where there is neither bush nor tree,
A pheasant pick, in open day?—
Much more upon the King’s highway?
To view her well he did not fail,
Her rosy comb, and fine long tail,
And call’d her without more ado,
A pheasant,—and a fine one too!
But beast, or bird, it makes no matter,
He takes his gun and jingles at her;
And ere that bird his mercy begs,
She tumbles down, with broken legs!
He then did speedily run out,
And twin’d her slender neck about,
With pleasure sparkling in his eyes,
Thinking he’d got a famous prize!
But one whose senses were awake,
Did soon point out his sad mistake;
His countenance did alter, when
He found it was a fine pea-hen!
He thought his neighbours then would scoff,
And poets soon would take him off;
Too late he wish’d and strove in vain,
To bring his hen to life again!
Ye poachers all, both young and old,
If you don’t think my pen too bold;—
Or may I say, kind gentlemen,—
Take warning by this same pea-hen!
Mind well what creatures you abuse;
They all were given by God for use:—
Lest you should make your neighbours fun,
Look well before you point your gun!
Or you by chance may shoot a horse;—
The other’s bad,—this would be worse:
Yet such a thing was lately done,
And by a badly managed gun!
The thorns or thistles, stones or whins,
May prick your legs, or break your shins;
Yet those who’d buy instruction cheap,
Should always “look before they leap!”
If still my counsel you disdain,
I may hereafter write again;
And should you not mind what you do,
I may inform of some of you!
A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE.
Come, fellow sinner, lend an ear,
And listen while I now declare
What God hath done for me;
His word hath broke my stony heart,
My soul hath felt the piercing smart,
Of guilt and misery!
Long time I went about distress’d,
Nor day nor night could I find rest,
Till I his voice did hear,
Till I beheld Him on the Cross;—
My soul did then her burden lose,
And all its slavish fear!
To Him who doth my foes controul,
I look’d and He hath heal’d my soul,
And all my sins forgiven:
Hence may I turn my feeble sight
To yonder realms of peace and light,
And live and die for Heaven!
Oh hasten, sinners, to be wise;
While Jesu’s mercy loudly cries,
Do you salvation take;—
But if you’re stubborn to the last,
Then be assur’d you will be cast,
Into the burning lake!
Say you, “Where shall we find the Lord,
According to his Holy Word,
To heal our wounded mind?
While some say here, and others there,
We long to see the temple where
We may salvation find!”
Wherever two or three are met,
Whose faces Zion ward are set,
He’s promis’d there to be;
O seek the Lord without delay,
And cry for mercy night and day,
Till you’re from sin set free!
When you by grace are born again,
Then publish to the sons of men,
That you this path have trod;
That others may for mercy cry,
And saints may lift their voices high,
And glorify their God!
THE PORTION OF THE JUST.
How blessed a thing Hallelujah to sing,
When time shall with us be no more:—
At the Judge’s right hand all the faithful shall stand,
His goodness to see and adore!
In that heavenly place in the light of his face,
They in mansions of glory shall dwell;
No more the big tear on their face shall appear,
For to sorrow they’ve bid a Farewell!
Above and below rich clusters do grow,
Of the grapes of that Canaan so pure;
His welcome so sweet makes the banquet complete,
And they sing of His mercy secure!
Death vanquish’d, they sing, and spoil’d of his sting,
Of Hell conquer’d by Christ from above;
On the plains of delight with thousands in white,
They shall walk and converse of His love!
But the wicked, alas, when their sentence shall pass,
Shall at once into darkness be driven,
Fierce pains to endure with spirits impure,
Who were hurl’d from their places in heaven!
Oh, if thou dost crave above all things to have
A seat with thy Saviour divine,
No longer delay, nor rest night nor day,
Till a scriptural title is thine!
THE HAPPY CHOICE!
Jesus! thy name to me hath charms,
Outvieing all beneath the sun;
Thy secret love my bosom warms,
And in my soul ’tis heav’n begun!
No peace like that thy presence brings,
No joys like those thou dost impart;
Anon, with healing in thy wings,
Thou com’st to heal the broken heart!
Thy footsteps may I always see,
Under thy shadow may I dwell!
I give my life, my all to thee,
And triumph o’er the powers of Hell!
Thou dost my soul with rapture fill,
No more for mammon I contend;
I glory in the joys I feel,
While thou dost comfort and defend!
O let thy name be always sweet
As honey, from the rock, that flows;
So shall I gladly turn my feet,
Where’er my blessed Master goes!
ON THE DEATH OF JOHN MORLEY.
“Heard you that groan? ’Twas from a dying man!
A man just gone into Eternity!”
“Redeem thy time! Thy life is but a span!”
That language,—Hark! It speaks to you and me!
A man of health, and strength, and spirits gay,
The solemn call seem’d distant to his view;
But, lo, how soon the victim’s snatch’d away
By Death’s rude hand, and bids the world adieu!
Fearless of danger, he, twelve days before,
Went to the field to share the common lot,
With the sharp scythe to cut the grass or flower,
But, ah, the secret lesson he forgot!
“All flesh is grass, or like the flowery field,
So soon ’tis faded, wither’d, or cut down;
To time’s embrace its charms are forc’d to yield,
The winds pass over it, and it is gone!”
When heated by the sun’s meridian ray,
And parch’d with thirst, to drink he felt inclin’d,
Dropping his scythe, poor Morley took his way,
In hopes some cool, refreshing stream to find!
To yonder river to receive his death,
With sweat, like dewdrops, hanging on his brow,
He hastes—nor thinks he must resign his breath,
And to the lonely church-yard shortly go!
Thus bathed in sweat the river’s bank he gains,
And drinks, and washes in the crystal flood;
When lo! an icy coldness chills his veins,
Affects his senses, and inflames his blood!
He medical assistance quickly sought,
Excessive pain depriv’d his eyes of sleep;
Physicians soon their powerful medicines brought,
But ah! the fatal dart had pierc’d too deep!
The fever rages, not a limb is free,
It mocks the power of remedies applied;
Friends weep, and wish for his recovery;—
Alas! their warmest wishes are denied.
His fate seems hard, but yet Heav’n sees it fit,
And Heaven’s will is best, we must agree;—
Sooner or later we must all submit
To Death’s loud call,—to nature’s stern decree!
The surgeon blushes while his patient bleeds,
All hope soon vanishes of life below;
With hasty step the monster Death proceeds,
Lifts his fell dart, and strikes the fatal blow!
His wife distracted doth her loss deplore,
His children weep as though their hearts would break;
They shrieking cry, “Our father is no more!
O where shall we our lonely refuge seek?
Where shall we find so true, so kind a friend?
Where shall we find a sharer in our grief?
Where shall we find a Father to attend,—
To wipe our tears, or point us to relief?”
O haste! O haste! the house of prayer attend,
And plead your cause, bow’d at your Saviour’s feet;
To Heaven daily let your prayers ascend,
And there a Friend, and Father you shall meet!
Poor Morley’s dead! the startled village cries!
His wife, a widow, has in tears to grieve!
While he, outstretched, now pale and silent lies,
Nor tongue, nor eye, nor hand a motion give!
No more his whistle echo’s through the grove,
Nor clashing gates pursue his loaded steed;
No more he through the fields doth rove,
To play the flute, or blow the rustic reed!
No more the rolling flood’s at his controul,
Nor willing servant runs when he shall bid;
But mournfully I hear the death bell toll,
To hail him welcome to his lonely bed!
But Oh, the soul! That ever during spark,
Kindled in him by the Almighty’s breath,
Still lives, though we her passage cannot mark!—
She lives, though she hath pass’d the vale of death!
Where has she fled? What is her portion now,
While I upon his death thus meditate?
’Tis mystery this we mortals must not know,—
And cries, “Prepare ye, for a future state![Pg 122]”
Her portion’s that for which she was prepar’d;—
Though suddenly remov’d from earth below,
No more can she reject her just reward,
She shares eternal happiness, or woe!
To trace her flight might but insult her King,
Since He for guilty sinners once did bleed!—
The muse in silence drops her feeble wing,
Refusing any further to proceed!
THE SERVANT’S ADDRESS TO HIS MASTER;
On deriding him for becoming a Methodist!
Master, I beg you’ll pardon, while I speak,
The liberty I now presume to take;
And trust the brief apology you’ll hear,
Will please, if you will please to lend an ear.
“Wilt thou forsake the Church?” did you not say?
“And strive to get to Heaven some nearer way?
A better way perhaps by you believ’d:—
But ’twill be well if you are not deceiv’d?”
Deceiv’d, or not, we are resolv’d to go;
If Christ be with us, all is well we know!
He is our Leader, He marks out the way,
Inviting all to come, and none to stay!
The Church, or doctrine, we’ve no cause to blame,
’Tis to ourselves that we ascribe the shame!
The way to heav’n was certainly made plain,
When told to “run so that we might obtain.”
Our prayers and praises were so faint and few,
We thought one day in seven would surely do,
To praise Him who is worthy of more praise,
Than our best powers are qualified to raise!
Oft when we did approach the throne of grace,
Our hearts and thoughts were in some other place.
O shameful truth! And yet it is most true!
But conscience told us this would never do!
The nearest way to Heaven that we can go,
Is cleaving close to Christ while here below;
’Tis He that can our sinking footsteps stay,
And vain the man who seeks another way!
The man who truly has this race begun,
Will see no time to stand, but strive to run;
The night is coming, and will soon be here,
He’ll therefore oft betake himself to prayer:
Lest strength should fail, or he should grow luke-warm,
And his weak soul, the enemy disarm!
That Book declares, whose Author is “The Truth,”
The careless soul, “He’ll spew out of his mouth!”
Hence, doth he see he must be cold or hot;
Must either have the Spirit of Christ, or not:—
If on examination he lacks this,
God’s Book declares that “he is none of His![Pg 124]”
If not a child of God, a child of hell,
And dying thus, he must with devils dwell;—
And when his earthly hopes have taken flight,
Be then shut up in everlasting night!
A sinner when he sees himself aright,
Sees that his brightest day is turned to night;
The things that once were his delight and joy,
Do all his fondest hopes at once destroy!
God’s Book like Sinai’s mount to him appears,
Its sentences like thunder stun his ears!
He strives to soothe himself, but strives in vain,
Till God, to him the secret doth explain.
He sees and feels the awful load of sin,
Nor can aught ease the grief that he is in,
Until he hears God’s cheering, still small voice,
Which calms his fears, and bids his soul rejoice!
A man must know his sins on earth forgiven,
Or he’ll not read his title clear for Heaven;
If this you think too strong to be believ’d,
I’m sure, in death, that you will be deceiv’d!
I am resolv’d a pilgrim now to be,
Let worldly men say what they will of me;
And through the grace of God, though Hell resist,
I’ll live and die a faithful Methodist!
I see the pilgrim’s life is far the best,
Scorn’d by the world, but yet by Jesus blest!
When death shall come, the Heav’nly land in view,
In peace, I’ll bid this world of sin Adieu!
SABBATH MORNING MUSINGS.
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house
of the Lord.” Psalm. cxxii. 1.
How do I love thy courts, O Lord!
What glories they unfold:
The joys they do to me afford,
More precious are than gold!
The very gates through which I pass,
Are beautiful to me!
What numbers here beneath the grass,
In silent slumber lie!
While I approach this solemn ground,
My thoughts I will controul;—
The tolling bell, with mournful sound,
Affects my inmost soul!
While musing o’er the silent dead,
What wonders do I see!
The very dust on which I tread,
Once liv’d, and mov’d like me!
Here things mysterious I perceive,
Things which I can’t explain;—
Wak’d by that voice which Heav’n shall give,
This dust shall “rise again![Pg 126]”
Then some to everlasting life,
Exultingly shall rise;
While some to everlasting death,
Shall go with weeping eyes!
Such as we sow, that shall we reap;
The sowing time is now:—
O may I watch, and faithful, keep
My station at the plough!
O what’s this world with all its joys,
But a delusive dream;
The dead, as speaking witnesses,
All testify the same.
They preach in lectures loud and plain,
Though silent, cold, and deep;
They tell me, if the earth remain,
I soon like them shall sleep!
They cry to all, “Repent, believe,
And you shall pardon’d be;
Unless that blessing you receive,
You’re lost eternally!”
The dial faithful to its task,
The sun in yonder sky,
Both show to us without a mask,
How swift the moments fly!
“Redeem thy time!” they seem to say,
“Thy life is but a span;
For what are three score years and ten?
And that’s the age of man![Pg 127]”
Here on a level all are laid,
Here none the conquest have!
The robes that once the rich array’d,
Are tarnish’d by the grave!
The cheek which blossom’d like the rose,
Has lost its lovely charms;
That beauteous form the lover chose,
Is clasp’d in Death’s cold arms.
All earthly hopes, and earthly joys,
And prospects must decay;—
But they who serve their God aright,
Shall live in endless day!
How wondrously the scene is chang’d!
How lovely they appear!
I view them in their state arrang’d,
With more delight than fear!
Ah! once the scene was not so fair,
I scarce could read a stone!
But grace can conquer slavish fear,—
With joy I look thereon!
The opening grave oft spoil’d the hinge,
On which my fancy play’d;
The skulls and bones would make me cringe,
While I their forms survey’d.
Chill horror used to haunt my breast,
While sin therein remain’d;—
But Jesu’s name be ever blest,
I have his favour gain’d!
’Tis faith perfumes destruction’s breath,
Our Jesu’s strong to save;
’Tis faith removes the sting of death,
The terrors of the grave!
How oft have I in giddy maze,
This sacred passage trod!
Not thinking ’twas so pure a place,
Much less the house of God!
His mercy doth preserve me still,
He doth not always chide;
But waits that all His love may feel,
Since he for all hath died.
Behind some lofty pillar here,
In silence let me steal;
And tread His courts with humble fear,
And low before him kneel.
With fearful, trembling, broken heart,
To him I lift mine eyes;
And wait till He his love impart,
And conscience bid me rise!
Then will I praise Thee, O my God,
When in my heart it glows!
And gladly wait to hear thy Word,
And catch it as it flows!
Then may I keep thy sabbaths pure,
And still thy house attend;
Until that sabbath shall commence,
Which never hath an end!
LINES ON LEAVING FRYUP, IN SEARCH OF WORK.
I’m sorry, Fryup! thee to leave,
But thou deniest what I crave,
Though I have ask’d with tears!
Oft have I drunk at thy pure rills,
And labour’d ’mongst thy moorland hills,
For many toilsome years!
’Twas oft to me a painful task,
Thine aid in time of need to ask,
So often sought before;
And many times my small demand,
Was torn, as with a trembling hand,
Reluctant from thy store!
Oft have I rang’d thy verdant woods,
Where roses bursting from their buds,
Have struck my wondering eye!
And oft have I thy woodbines cropt:—
While from my hand the sweet flowers dropt,
I’ve thought,—I too must die!
Here, with each morning’s early dawn,
I lov’d to walk the flowery lawn,
To hear thy warblers sing!
Or when at eve their songs were mute,
I’ve sooth’d my fancy with my flute,
And made thy woodlands ring!
I’ve seen thy mountains clad with snow,
While shelter’d in the vale below,
’Midst hospitable friends!
For all their kindnesses to me,
May Heav’n bless every family,
And make them full amends!
But trade is now so dull and dead,
A man can hardly earn his bread,
In winter’s frost and snow:
So I must take my staff in hand,
And travel to some distant land,
Till here more plenty grow!
I grieve to leave the Sunday School,
Where I with gratitude of soul,
Have taught with great delight,
The youthful, rising sons of men,
To steer safe past the gulf of sin,
By glorious gospel light.
With men of understanding heart,
I always joy’d to act my part,
Where I may teach no more:—
Where I, myself have oft been taught,
And blessings gain’d beyond my thought,
From Heaven’s bounteous store!
As when the sailor points the keel,
For ancient Greenland’s icy field,
So I my course must steer!
I need assistance at the helm,
Lest life’s rough sea should overwhelm
My soul,—no harbour near!
For quicksands and contrary winds,
And enemies as well as friends,
I still expect to find:
There is a Friend who lives above,
To all who do His precepts love,
He proves both true and kind!
To Him I will address my prayer;
My little bark unto His care,
With confidence I’ll trust!
A steady course, O may I steer,
And if to Him I prove sincere,
He’ll land me safe at last!
(On being deprived of her nest by some Sparrows.)
A Swallow one evening was sweeping along,
’Mongst such as against her were spiteful,
An impudent Sparrow requested a song,
Affirming her voice was delightful!
The innocent Swallow consented,
But afterwards sadly repented;
For the nest she had been at such pains to erect,
She was soon from enjoying prevented!
To the ridge of the barn they hurried along,
As fast as their feathers could speed them,
Where she tweedled and sung, in her African tongue,
Her favourite anthem on Freedom!
While she was this Sparrow amusing,
The rest were her labours abusing;—
They had taken possession both of garret and floor,
And were in her best chamber carousing!
When the Sparrow beheld by the flood in her eye,
How much this bad treatment did grieve her,
With contempt in his manner he bade her good by
Nor pitied, nor tried to relieve her!
Still her sweet little song did not alter,
Her delicate voice did not falter;
But she tweedled and sung what was next to be done,
As though she alone was the faulter!
Reproving the Sparrows she then seem’d to say,
“To you we are surely no strangers;
To pay you this visit, in crossing the sea,—
We encounter a great many dangers.
O Sparrows! why have you betray’d us?
’Tis cruelty thus to invade us!
We bring summer with us, take nothing away,
O Sparrows! why have you betray’d us?”
A CALL TO THE CARELESS!
Awake! O ye sleepers, awake!
Or soon you will smart ’neath the rod!
Be thankful you’re not in the lake,
That burns with the anger of God!
Your life as a vapour will prove,
Your days as a shadow will flee;
Then seek to have treasure above,
And struggle from sin to be free!
O sinners! be honest and yield
To the Spirit of God when He strives;
Or you will be slain in the field,
When He with His army arrives!
This Jesus shall conquer the world!
The proud and the lofty subdue!
With terrible banners unfurl’d,
Shall sift both believers and you:—
The poor, not because he is poor,
Nor the rich for his riches regard;
But thoroughly purging His floor,
Appoint unto each his reward!
Believers! who wish to be whole;—
A fountain long open hath been,
To wash out the spots of the soul,—
O hasten to wash and be clean!
When sin shall experience its death,
Then you the grand secret shall know;
Shall Heaven enjoy upon Earth,
And be happy and useful below!
TO A HORSE, DYING ALONE!
Poor, hapless beast, thus left by all below,
Amongst the noblest of God’s creatures, thou,
Once free from pain,
Didst trip the plain;
But Oh! how much thy case is alter’d now!
Thy groom and master seem to stand aloof!
Is it, because of thee they’ve had enough?
Is it respect,
Or sheer neglect,
That of their care thou hast no stronger proof?
Perhaps they do not like to hear or see
Thy last deep groan, thy dying agony!
The grass upspurn’d,
Thine eye upturn’d,
Bespeak its weight to heedless passers by!
That hoarse deep sigh, the sad effect of sin,
Proclaims the depth of agony within!
On man and beast,
Greatest and least,
Grim Death doth feed, and glad his victim win!
The blue shade gathers on thy glassy eye,
So sternly fix’d upon the evening sky;
Once full of light,
Through darkest night,
It proved its master’s guide to home and family!
Thy lovely form, once beauteous to behold,
For which thy master parted with his gold;
And this thy dappled hide,
Though once its owner’s pride,
Now for a thing of nought will soon be sold!
That ear through which the slightest sound inspir’d
Vigour, when pressing business oft requir’d;
Already cold as clay,
Doth now inactive lay,
Nor startles at that gun which now is fired!
Thy frolics and thy gambols now are past,
Thy last stage is run;—thou art dying fast:
Perhaps ere I,
At home shall be,
Thou unattended wilt have breath’d thy last!
The stall is vacant where thou lov’dst to be,
The curb and saddle now are nought to thee!
The whip and spur,
Thou car’st not for,
But leav’st to others as thy legacy!
While I string up my rhymes to make them chord,
And thus thy melancholy fate record,
Perhaps near thee,
In some old tree,
The lonely night bird sings thy funeral ode!
Some while their cup is full can laugh at Death,
And light esteem that power which lends them breath;
But be that far,
As yon pale star,
From him who now its progress witnesseth!
Did men but see how near is his approach,
They would with morning sun, or nightly torch,
And search with care,
And strictly watch each avenue and porch!
Nor would they rest, at business or in bed,
Till every foe was found, and captive led;
Till all the soul,
From stains most foul,
Was wash’d, or till the contrite tear was shed!
A fountain from the mount of God doth flow,
For all who will take time and pains to go,
Whose healing stream,
Doth freely teem,
To wash polluted sinners white as snow!
A soul thus wash’d shall joyful rise again,
By Death unscar’d, and on angelic wing,
Shall mount above,
To Him whose love
And power deprive the monster of his sting!
MUSINGS DURING AFFLICTION;
THE SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS.
“He shall fly away as a dream.” (Job. xx. 8.)
While here I sit musing alone,
Not sharing the toils of the day,
My spirit doth inwardly groan,
At the symptoms I feel of decay.
My care burden’d mind can’t be still,
Though the external fabric be maim’d;
Some part must be working the will
Of Him who that fabric hath framed.
The merchant looks over his books,
And hopes well to finish the day;
So life hath some corners and nooks,
It might not be wrong to survey.
If the morning of life we behold,
When all seems delightful and bright,
The rosebud doth scarcely unfold,
But ’tis gone as a dream of the night!
If to youth our attention we turn,
When all is enchanting and free;
When very few know how to mourn,
And all things seem pleasant and gay.
A something we sought in the fields,—
Alas! as oft sought it in vain!
The joys that such scenery yields,
Are such as we cannot retain.
We sought in the meadows and groves,
In the woods, by the rivers and streams;
But all our vain hopes and our loves,
Were like wood to the furnace’s flames!
The old pathway still puts us in mind,
Though its stones are forsaken and green,
Of youthful affections, so kind,
Though now scarce a vestige is seen!
We long have been wandering abroad,
And have learn’d to sorrow and weep;
While some have been lost on the road,
And others have sunk in the deep!
In the fire-side circle we sought,
But found by the glimmering light,
That soon as the shadows we caught;
They fled like a dream of the night!
There were some whom we knew in the flesh,
Seem’d happy, and healthy, and strong;
But before they obtain’d their wish,
They, alas! in a moment were gone!
’Twas gloomy and dark at their end,
No light in their death did appear;
That happiness would them attend,
Was hoped—but hope turn’d to despair!
Alas! how neglectful they lived,
How sad an example they set,
How many fair youths were deceiv’d,
Who are not yet free from the net!
They surely had time to repent,
To weep, and to sorrow, and pray;
But time that should thus have been spent,
Was wantonly squander’d away.
They quick were cut off at a stroke,
Were hurried away from our sight;
The bonds of their friendship all broke,
They fled like a dream of the night.
Though long in the grave they have lain,
And long since have gone to decay,
Remembrance can raise them again,
As fresh as they were in life’s day.
We remember the look of the face,
The language that glanc’d from the eye,
The cough, or the laugh, or some grace,
By which we their forms can descry.
How short our acquaintance appears,
Our pleasures, how swift was their flight!
Before we could number their years,
They fled as a dream of the night!
In manhood we sought it abroad,
And mix’d with the mirthful and gay,
When liberty lengthen’d the cord,
And tempted our feet far astray.
Then away to the races and fairs,
When seasons and friends did invite;
To the shows, to the stalls, and their wares,
And to music and dancing at night!
We sought it by land and by sea,—
Where’er we directed our eyes,
All said, “Pleasure is not in me!
My beauty is all a disguise!”
O Happiness! where dost thou dwell?
O where shall we search with success?
From the court to the cottage or cell,
All seem the abodes of distress!
Oft have we reflected with pain,
And fancied while counting the cost,
If restor’d to childhood again,
We’d recover the thing we had lost.
Then happiness seem’d to be ours,—
We roved by the river or glen;
The birds, and the bushes, and flowers,
Appear’d as a paradise then!
Yon hill, and the stone on the plain,
Remind us whenever we pass,
Where we in a fairy-like train,
Have scamper’d about on the grass!
Gone by are our childhood and youth,
And gone is each transient delight;
They told us,—who told us the truth,—
They’d pass as a dream of the night.
By the faithful discourse of a friend,
We were told, whether cloudy or bright,
This life, long or short, in the end,
Would depart as a dream of the night:—
That in vain among shadows and flowers,
We sought satisfaction within;
True pleasure could never be ours,
Till the heart had been broken for sin
The heart, until such was the case,
Was so puff’d up with pride and deceit,
That no matter how splendid the feast,
That root bitter’d every thing sweet!
He would prove by the sacred page,
And by men of experience too,
It had been so in every age,
And continues so, even till now!
Until sin was expos’d to the light,
In the glass of the Gospel was view’d,
We could not enjoy true delight,—
Till the heart had been chang’d and renew’d.
Nor need we now ask any more,
Why a thing which so many pursue,
And to gain will all things explore,
Should be truly possess’d by so few.
In all earth’s extensive domain,
’Midst all the sweet breezes that blow,
In mountain, or forest, or plain,
Where Eden like luxuries grow;[Pg 142]—
Amid all the fair branches and free,
Inviting their clusters to share,
One tree, and only one tree,
This heav’nly manna will bear.
That tree of celestial seed,
By heav’nly culture doth rise;—
That man from his sins might be freed,
’Twas sent as a gift from the skies!
But many the tree did deride,
And oft of its fruit did complain,
Since to gain it they often had tried,
But return’d to their folly again!
They made it a matter of doubt,
That it had been planted for them:—
Repentance, and Faith were the root,
And Holiness grew on the stem!
Some as they pass’d by gave a glance,
Made remark on the wilderness bare;
And affirm’d with eye all askance,
No semblance of beauty was there.
Though to plant it the Saviour of men
Hath sorrow’d, and suffer’d, and bled;
And His Spirit pour’d out as a stream,
Hath His heav’nly influence shed.
You see, when the secret is told,
And the riddle’s expounded to all,
It was planted in Eden of old,
But had been torn up by the fall!
So Christ hath in love to His church,
Thus rear’d this plant of renown,
To screen when the sun’s rays might scorch,
And to cheer when our spirits are down.
Whoe’er of its produce partakes,
Whatever objections arise,
Through the Cross, and the choice that he makes,
Shall be holy, and happy, and wise!
Then we to His temple shall run,
And worship with joy and delight;
Our trials while under the sun,
Will pass as a dream of the night!
On being solicited to attend a Theatre, by two young women, who
urged their entreaties by the argument, “There is no harm in
attending the Play!”
Ye daughters of Albion’s flourishing isle,
Come listen awhile to my lay;
Defending your morals, you say with a smile,
“There’s no harm in attending the Play!”
Ye Theatre gallants, and deep witted men,
Whose counsels so many obey,
Come lend a poor ignorant rustic a pen,
And he’ll help you to plead for the Play!
If you are not immortal, but end when you die,
As some have the courage to say,
Why need you look out for a mansion on high,
You’ve nothing to fear from the Play!
If you are immortal, yet free from the fall,
And never have wander’d astray;
If you have no sin to repent of at all,
You’ve nothing to fear from the Play!
If Christ in His word, has left no command,
For people to watch and to pray,
If an house cannot fall that is built on the sand,
There’s no harm in attending the Play!
Not calling in question your baptismal vow,
If life’s like a long summer’s day,
And you have not to reap such fruit as ye sow,
There’s no harm in attending the Play!
If the Christian’s creed from the truth be reverse,
And the fair crown of life can decay;
If the Bible be false, and Religion a farce,
There’s no harm in attending the Play!
Should a visit from Death come and put you in mind
Of your frail habitation of clay,
You may try to obstruct the unwelcome design,
With the transient delights of the Play!
If a faithful reproof you should happen to meet,
You can soon turn your faces away,
And pass by the blind and the lame in the street,
And carry your cash to the Play!
But if Parsons themselves so often attend,
Then surely their followers may;
And no wonder that they so well can defend,
The moral effects of the Play.
If Wesley and Whitfield have pleaded in vain,
And led their disciples astray;
Let Simpson and Hervey in silence remain,
You’ve nothing to fear from the Play.
If you of your time have to give no account,
At the last, the great Judgment day,
The troubles of life you may quickly surmount,
By clapping them off at the Play.
If safe ’midst seduction and ruin you roam,
You may laugh at the stoppers away,
Who sit pining and pulling long faces at home,
And are missing the joys of the Play.
Should the roof be crush’d in, and you kill’d we’ll suppose,
Why some angel would bear you away,
To some distant region of milder repose,
Where your spirit might dream of the Play.
Having no tribulation, no robe wash’d in blood,
Nor tears that need wiping away,
You might sing in those realms to the praise of your god,
How oft you had been at the Play.
THE REMOTE CHRISTIAN.
Deep in a glen, remote and wild,
And far from affluence,
A cottage stood, and heaven smil’d,
Upon that residence.
A couple liv’d there many years,
In love and unity;
Who careful in this vale of tears,
Had rear’d a family.
No costly goods their cot adorn,
No shining liveries wait;
For them no huntsman sounds his horn,
No carriage at the gate.
A simple, honest peasant, free,
Not with much learning stored;
Though thus remote, yet happily,
Had sought and found the Lord.
Where neither moth nor rust can harm,
Nor thieves can ere invade,
Beyond the reach of human arm,
Was his heart’s treasure laid.
Around his farm, or in his field,
The moor birds hatch’d and fed;
And when at work, the lapwing cried,
And flutter’d o’er his head.
While thus his little field he drain’d,
Or temper’d the wild sod,
His household too with care were train’d,
To love and fear their God.
The field, the garden, and the tree,
For him their produce bore,
His table too, the bee supplied,
From her delicious store.
The Lord who thus his substance blest,
Did all his wants supply;
And pleasantly to quench his thirst,
A brook ran murmuring by.
I saw him on his dying bed,
When strength began to fail,
I saw him lift his languid head,—
And heard his happy tale.
He then began to bless the day,
His sins had been made known,
When he began to weep and pray,
And look’d to Christ alone.
He bless’d that Book his heart had cheer’d,
And tried its worth to tell;
He bles’d that Blood which once was shed,
To save his soul from hell.
Yes! Christ to him was precious then,
His company was sweet;
He said, His love was in his heart,
The world beneath his feet.
This, when the monster Death arriv’d,
Did solid comfort bring;
That blood he felt had quite depriv’d
The monster of his sting.
“This body chang’d, shall soon,” said he,
“With saints and angels join,
And sing to all eternity,
The depths of Love Divine!”
(Occasioned by the death of a newly married pair, who drowned
themselves, after living together three weeks.)
On Esk’s old bank the watery willows weep,
Where wife and husband launch’d into the deep;—
And from their cottage sought an early grave,
To end their jarring, in the peaceful wave
Ah, hapless pair! who can withhold the tear,
When he the melancholy place draws near!
The dire event to future times will prove,
The short enjoyment of your wedded love!
How apt are earthly prospects to deceive,
And leave her disappointed sons to grieve!
How oft will trifling things the mind perplex,
Where grace doth not her influences mix!
The morning shines,—to church they haste away,
And noisy guns proclaim the wedding day;
Within three weeks to the dark grave they’re borne,
To slumber till the Resurrection morn!
Around, the neighbours mourn their hapless lot,
And weeping children haunt the dreary spot;
The lippering wave, rais’d by the nightly gale,
Tells to the Moon her melancholy tale!
ON SOME WHO HAD LEFT US, AND SPOKEN DISRESPECTFULLY OF US!
“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and
yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs xxx. 12.)
Yes! once they met with us, and gave us the hand,
Uniting to sing and to pray;
But long could not bear the rigid command,
So off they went lilting away!
Forsaking the vulgar, whom now they despise,
For doctrines more learned and pure;—
This cutting off hands, and plucking out eyes,
This doctrine they could not endure!
They speak of perfection, but oft with disdain,
Our faults and our failings expose;
Because this perfection they cannot attain,
They’ll plead for their muffs and their boas!
So lofty their eyelids, so lofty their looks,
They’ll laugh at a sinner in tears;
Their prayers are lock’d up in their finely bound books,
While they’re trimming their necks and their ears!
The new birth’s convulsions they cannot have felt,
Or they dare not speak as they do;
Their heart is too proud into nothing to melt,
And must, while to mammon they bow.
Whenever their dwelling you chance to approach,
Of their soft invitation beware;
The pharisee’s leaven, the good man’s reproach,
And the seat of the scorner are there!
To folks of high breeding they offer their pledge,
’Gainst others to raise a complaint;
They’ll skim on the surface, and trim off the edge,
To pass for a dignified saint!
The God of Elijah who sees through the heart,
These specious impostors will spurn,
And send them in spite of their cunning and art,
Where they will eternally mourn!
THERE IS A GOD!
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalm
There is a God who rules above!
And man’s the object of His love!
And Jesus, His beloved Son,
Hath bled, and died to make this known.
Though man his attributes deny,
And utter daring blasphemy,
He shall be conquer’d from above,
By Justice, Judgment, or by Love.
Though he be lusty now, and strong,
And bold in ribaldry and song,
A time will come when he must flit,
And to a stronger arm submit.
Then Death will disregard his groans,
And time will melt his giant bones,
If no contrition he shall feel,
His sins will sink him into hell.
While there he drinks the bitter cup,
The dust shall lick his marrow up;
His tongue within the grave shall rot,
While name and memory are forgot.
On that dread morn when all shall rise,
The righteous whom he did despise,
Shall over him dominion have,
And all the terrors of the grave.
The stars recede, the morn appears,
So long anticipated!
The air which now the spirit cheers,
With shouts is agitated!
The rustics full of mirth and glee,
Are big with expectation,
Of what they are to hear and see,
When they’re at Confirmation!
The road is fill’d from side to side,
With bonny lads and lasses;
With country bloom, and village pride,
Gigs, horses, mules, and asses!
With whip and spur, they dash along,
As though to fair or races;
With artificial feathers hung,
And veils before their faces!
But few know what they’re going to do,
Or they are strangely lied on;
They’re careless of the solemn vow,
As is the steed they ride on!
They go, because their neighbours go,
And think all pass for Christians, who
Are pass’d at Confirmation!
A few there are, but few we fear,
Their faith by works expressing;
And oft in private on their knees,
They wrestle for a blessing!
The greater part of them by far,
Will carry a Cain’s offering;
They’re strangers to the morning star,
To royal David’s offspring!
A hope they have, but cannot tell
On what that hope is grounded;—
Thus like some old Egyptian spell,
It cannot be expounded!
The carnal mind still bears the sway,
For want of resolution;
And scatter’d tribes, still day by day,
Profane the institution!
In spite of lectures orthodox,
Of Bishops, prayers, and caution,
They, greedy as the thirsty ox,
Drink in the deadly potion!
The scribes may write with mournful pen,
The Church’s lamentation;
While year by year, they seek in vain,
The fruits of Confirmation!
THE MAN OF THE WORLD!
From a boy much indulg’d, he grew up to a man,
And had liberty almost unbounded;
Nor scarce ever thought of this life’s little span,
With prospects of plenty surrounded!
His steed, like himself, in high spirits he views,
As it snuffs at the fresh flowing fountain;
On which oft at daybreak he brushes the dews,
And gallops o’er valley and mountain!
His cheek round and fat, wears the hue of the rose,
He seems quite a stranger to sorrow;
And while on his sofa his limbs find repose,
He laughs loudly, and talks of to-morrow!
“To-morrow,” says he, “you must call up the hounds,
As soon as the light is appearing!”—
Not thinking that Death while rambling his rounds,
To his mansion a message is bearing,
“To-morrow,” says he, “we’ll unkennel the fox,
Or in his old cabin we’ll crush him;
Or when we have got him away from the rocks,
In spite of Old Harry we’ll brush him!
And then we will dine on the lamb or the goose,
Which, if he had liv’d would have fill’d him;
Then o’er a full bumper we’ll have a carouse,
And we’ll sing where he fell, and who kill’d him!”
But ah! when life’s stern disappointment he meets,
Like a lion imprison’d he grieves,
That he who expected so much of life’s sweets,
So soon of its bitters receives!
Disease o’er his fortified barriers leaps,
And with internal pain soon afflicts him;—
Next into his chamber the pale monster creeps,
And singles him out as his victim!
Like a leaf that in autumn falls dead from the tree,
Soon a train is seen weeping behind him:—
A visit I made, his improvements to see,
And I look’d, but alas, could not find him!
THE RULE OF CONTRARY!
Some men have Rules so incorrect,
They almost always vary;
And some make Rules to gain respect,
But I’m for one contrary!
Some strive to gain the smiles of men,
But I prefer their frown;
The torrent of my pride to stem,
And keep ambition down!
The praise of men’s an empty thing,
And crowns and sceptres vain,
To him who seeks the “living spring,”
As parch’d lands look for rain!
Some recommend the hearty laugh,
But I prefer the tear,
Which tells me that my heart is soft,
My hope of heaven is clear!
Some say, “Give me the tavern song!”
But I prefer the sigh,
Which though unnoticed by the throng,
Yet pierces to the sky!
Some say, “Give me that pleasing look,
Which does the fancy win!”
But give me one that’s plain without,
If she be fair within!
Some plead for ornamental dress,
The concert and the ball;
Except the Robe of Righteousness,
Let me be stript of all!
Some love with dealers dark to dwell,
And glory in the night;
But I would shun the road to hell,
Therefore I love the light!
Some love their minds with tales to feed,
Of regions yet untrod;—
When I’ve a little time to read,
Give me the Book of God!
Some praise a head of natural wit
And worldly wisdom full;
Without the truths of Holy Writ,
Give me an empty skull!
The jet, the gold, or ivory cross,
By many is admir’d;
But I esteem the blood of Him,
Who on the cross expir’d!
My heart with sin as crimson dyed,
Would ever so remain;
But if that blood by faith’s applied,
’Twill cleanse from every stain!
With some their fill of pleasure here,
Is all the good they crave:—
Give me a humble, holy fear,
A hope beyond the grave!
At wisdom’s shrine I’ll light my torch,
And in her pleasant ways,
Under the Nazarene’s reproach,
I’ll live out all my days!
Thus whether sanction’d or despis’d,
Such is my fancy’s Rule;
In keeping which I shall be wise,
Although accounted fool!
Let the free thinker take the hint,
And with my creed agree;
That all are not compell’d to think,
Nor speak the same as he!
ON FINDING SOME DEISTICAL BOOKS IN THE HOUSE OF ONE WHO ONCE FEARED GOD!
“How is the gold become dim!” (Lamen. iv. 1.)
False publications throw their gloomy rays,
Where once the Sun of Righteousness did shine;
With pain we recollect the former days,
While scoffing infidels their voices join!
Insulting Heav’n, they oft with brazen brow,
Deny our Saviour is the Son of God!
But soon to Him their every knee shall bow,
And they shall groan beneath His iron rod!
What madness to defy His power above,
To slight that blood which has their souls redeem’d;
To him who does his God sincerely love,
How painful ’tis to hear His name blasphem’d!
O let us flee these men of wicked minds,
Whose glory reaches not beyond the grave;
Who to accomplish their absurd designs,
Dethrone our King, and style the conquest brave!
Yet still He reigns, and shall for ever hold,
In massy chains the gloomy powers of Hell;
They soon His second coming shall behold,
And howling, see the place from whence they fell!
Ah! surely Satan’s thousand years are up,
And he once more is suffer’d loose to go!
His object is to stagger Israel’s hope,
And drag them captive to his den below!
Come down, O Lord! and bid thy thunders roll!
Send forth thy lightnings, and thy foes consume!
O let them know that thou wilt them controul,
In each, and all the shapes which they assume!
Gird on thy sword, thou mighty matchless King!
Reclaim these poor deluded sons of men!
O save them from the cruel serpent’s sting;
And drive him back to his infernal den!
If Israel’s hope is not quite lost in death,
May these dry bones the Word of God receive!
Come from the four winds, O reviving breath,
And breathe upon these slain, that they may live!
ON VISITING FRYUP, DURING A GREAT REVIVAL.
O Fryup! far distant thy fame now extends,
Kind Heav’n doth thy breaches repair;
Thou land of religion, and bibles, and friends,
I rejoice to breathe thy pure air!
Thou land of devotion, and health to the soul,
With pleasure I walk o’er thy plains;
Where Christ to the sick hath oft spoken, “Be whole!”
Where religion, where righteousness reigns!
With earnest desire I’ve long wish’d to see,
The beauties which now I behold;
This visit has proved more refreshing to me,
Than thousands of silver, or gold!
The day spring of glory hath visited thee,
For joy thy inhabitant sings;
The bright Sun of Righteousness riseth on thee,
And healing’s receiv’d from his wings!
His influence too, I have felt in my soul,
With gratitude now I confess;
May all his opposers yield to his control,
And sinners be saved by his grace!
As lights in a land long benighted and dark,
May thy sons and thy daughters arise;
While faith to a flame fans the Heav’nly spark,
And they earnestly press to the skies!
May the husband incessantly plead for the wife,
The wife for her husband contend;
That the favour of God which is better than life,
May on both through the Spirit descend!
May the lover’s petition be heard for the fair,
And the maiden prevail for the youth;
Till all those who for righteousness never did care,
Feel the force of Religion and Truth!
May thy ministers fill’d with the Spirit of God,
As giants prevail o’er their foes;
Their word prove more sharp than a two edged sword,
In defence of their King and his laws!
May thy sinners be sav’d on every hand,
Believers be steadfast and true;—
With sorrow, once more, I now quit thy fair land,
Old Fryup! and bid thee adieu!
THE THREE VOICES!
1st. The Voice of Conscience says,
Man! mind thyself, and all thyself;
Thy inner self, thy outer self,
Thy present self, thy future self,
The best of self, and worst of self;
Or it may chance that thou, thyself,
For ever may’st upbraid thyself,
For making such a fool of self,
As not in time to know thyself!
2nd. The Voice of the Flesh says,
O Man! do thou enjoy thyself,
For why should’st thou annoy thyself,
Or strangely thus employ thyself,
In seeking thus to know thyself,
When other men are like thyself!
Beware lest thou destroy thyself!
Be not a burden to thyself,
While thou hast life within thyself!
3rd. The Voice of the Devil says,
Fine man, think highly of thyself!
Put no restraint upon thyself;
Nor with religion plague thyself!
For thou art not so bad as self
Would sometimes make thee think thyself!
To my advice submit thyself,
And in thy lusts indulge thyself;—
Then I at last shall get thyself!
Between Rosedale Bob and Hartoft John, on a Speech delivered by
the Venerable The Archdeacon P——, L.L.D., at a Bible Meeting
held in the new Church, Rosedale.
John.—What cheer, awd stock? say what’s ther beean te doo,
’At macks ye leeak seea dark aboot yer broo?
Yoo leeak as thof yer parliament petition
Had met wi’ sum romantic opposition!
Or mebby yoo hev met wi’ sum abuse,
Or fra’ sum quarter heeard sum heavy news!
Perhaps the trial may cum clooaser still,
Yer wife or childer may be takken ill.
Bob.—Alas! the news Ah hev te tell’s seea bad,
The fields an’ forests seeam i’ moorning clad;
By men unauthorized an’ unordeean’d,
Oor new erected Temple is profeean’d!
The cushions an’ the tassels all are soil’d,
The bell’s enchanted, an’ oor woorship’s spoil’d,
They’ve held in it, what’s caus’d this desecration,
A meetin’ for t’ Baable’s circulation.
John.—If that be all the thing’s as leeght as chaff,
The fields an’ fleeads may clap ther hands an’ laff;
Sin’ better sense is teeachin’ greeat an’ small,
Te send this glorious leeght fra’ pole te pole!
’Tis yan o’ Jesus Christ’s last greeat commands,
Te send this leeght te dark an’ heathen lands.
Lets whooap the profit ’ll ootweigh the loss;—
If t’parson beean’t t’Church ’ll be neea worse!
Bob.—Whah, Ah’s neea scholar, nowther will pertend
Te say, hoo far this mischief may extend.
Oor greeat Divine, afoore he left the pleeace,
He tell’d us positive it wur the keease:
Hiz argument did raise te that amoont,
The Church wur ruin’d on this seeame accoont;
When sike like wark the church’s pillars shake,
Hiz maister’s honner foorc’d him for te speak.
John.—Whether Divine, M.A., or L.L.D.,
’Tis lahtle matter whea or what he be:
The thing’s reveal’d tiv us as clear as him,
What God approves man owght nut te condemn.
Whate’er may be his sacerdotal geeans,
The public, they may thenk him for hiz peeans;
’At he seea fine a sample sud dispense
Ov college iddicated influence.
Bob.—Cud it be heeard an’ understeead on reeght,
Daft Hannah’s speech be quite as full o’leeght.
She thinks t’awd man sud nut ha’ beean seea vext,
Bud tonn’d hiz leeaf an’ teean anuther text.
The bad effects hez beean, she hez neea doot,
Wi’ brush or beezom swept an’ carried oot;
They teeak true pains te mack all clean an’ clivver,
An’ t’ Church is noo as gud an’ weel as ivver.
John.—Bud leeak thoo heer, this is the thing they dreead,
If yance t’Baable an’ the truth be spreead,
The veil ’ll fall fra’ off the people’s eyes,
An’ t’ commons then will as the lords be wise;
They then ’ll graw so base i’ disposition,
Te heigher powers they will disdain submission;
An’ will te men ov honourable name,
Refuse that homage which ther titles claim!
Bob.—Then chapels will i’ all directions rise,
Wi’ saucy steeples moonting te the skies;
An’ preeachers run, or ride on hoss or gig,
As rank as sheep that travel Blaca rig,
If sike proceedings further be alloo’d,
Awd England’s sun ’ll set behinnd a clood:—
Nur need we wonder they alood procleeam,
Thooase men sal speeak neea longer i’ this neeame.
John.—’At sike a meetin’ sud be held i’ t’ church,
By men ’at scarce wur fit te stand i’ t’ porch,
Wur sike a stain upon its consecration,
As roused his reverence’s indignation.
What cud thooase expect as ther reward,
Bud fra’ sike bold attempts te be debarr’d;
Nur ivver mare mun they cum theer again,
Whahl he hiz sacred office does sustain!
If sike like doctrines spreead an’ sud prevail,
Then Bishop’s ordination treead ’ll fail;
Then grace ’ll mare than larning be admired,
An’ priests stand i’ the market place unhired:
Men will fra’ ivvery secret corner creep,
Or oot o’ coalpits into pulpits leap;
Whahl wi’ ther gestures an’ insinuations,
They’ll rob the Churches o’ ther congregations.
Bob.—Then fooaks ’ll ton, like bees ’at’s left the hive,
Seea stupid as te nowther leead nur drive,
Nur draw by gifts, nur binnd doon by oppression,
Nur scar by Apostolical Succession:
In vain a man may then hiz feeace disguise,
An’ landlords ower ther tenants tyrannize.
Neea patchwark then ’ll answer as afoore,
Nur gowns, nur blankets buy or sell the poor.
That Parson then by chance may loss hiz pleeace,
Whea hunts, or gallops i’ the Steeple Chase;
Whea i’ the ring appears a jovial fellow,
Sits by his wine or grog till he is mellow;
Then wi’ hiz dogs pursues the grouse or game
Mare than the cottage ov the poor or lame;
Or if hiz gun sud chance te miss the mark
Te rap an’ sweear, an’ lie all t’bleeam o’ t’ clerk.
John.—Nur wonder thoo that venerable man,
Sud be seea feearful ov hiz treead an’ clan;
If better leeght be spreead by land an’ sea,
Oor heeame boond slaves ’ll seek for liberty,
They’ll finnd they’re neean seea fit te show the way,
As thooase ’at walks theerin fra’ day te day.
Bud God himsel has teeak the thing i’ hand,
An’ Baable Meetings yet sal bless oor land;
Oor God ’ll raise up men ov noble soul,
An’ He the sleepy churches will controul:
Will send hiz sarvants whea hiz judgements knaw,
Te thunner oot the terrors ov His law;
Whahl Jesus will hiz meeghty airm mack bare,
An’ tack the flocks himsel into hiz care.
Bob.—Sike laws amang oor heeigh up chaps exist,
As labouring men finnd hard for te resist.
O’t’ Sabbath days they rob beeath God an’ man,
That scribe may preeav this statement fause as can.
All hands mun haste seean as they hear the bell,
To t’steeple hoose let t’priest be what he will;
An’ thooase ’at izzen’t satisfied wi’ t’kirk,
Mun owther quit ther farm or loss ther woark.
John.—Thooase laws mitch differ fra’ the laws ov heaven,
Fra’ God te man for holy purpose given;
Peace te promote an’ put an end te strife,
Te regulate hiz hoosehod an’ hiz life.
In holy days afoore the churches fell,
Neea music soonded like the sabbath bell;
The ministers wur thoughtful, holy men,
Nur threeats wur needed, nur compulsion then.
Bob.—Yan wad be fain sike days again te see,
An’ hear fooaks sing wi’ love an’ melody,
As yan hez reead i’ bukes ov holy men,
’At nowther cared for fire nur lion’s den:
Bud dreeaded sin wi’ all its scorpion stings,
Mare than the wrath ov heathen priests an’ kings.
All whea te God in meek submission boo,
Thof t’way be dark, He’ll awlus bring ’em throo.
John.—Jist wait a whahl, till taame reverse the scene,
An’ Anti-Christ hez hed hiz pompous reign;
When persecution wi’ her torch an’ foark,
Sets carnal men an’ ministers te woark,
Te help the Beast te mack hiz proselytes,
Te purge hiz fleer, an’ bon the hypocrites:—
Then thooase whea live, an’ hev the truth maintained,
I’ cleearer leeght ’ll hev the thing explained.
A LOVE LETTER!
(To Miss ——)
Forgive a stranger who would make so free,
As to declare a suitor’s love for thee;
And by the strength of his affection, move
Thy heart to render back responsive love!
The language these few humble lines impart,
Though it seem rude, is from an honest heart;
From one whose only aim and object is,
Thy Lover’s glory, and thy future bliss.
Not for myself would I now intercede,
For I, alas, no excellence can plead;
My handsomest attire is homely spun,
And many years my glass of life hath run!
I plead the cause of Him, at whose command,
Thy soul shall one day in his presence stand;
And thou for ever may’st lament the change,
If once His love be turn’d into revenge!
Of all thy list of lovers finely drest,
He told me secretly He was the first;
That even in thy youthful frolics wild,
His love was on thee, from a very child!
That often he has stood without thy door,
While thou did’st other swains prefer before:
That oft the tear hath dim’d his eye so bright,
His locks all dripping with the dews of night!
He needs not thus admit of rivals, when
He is the fairest of the sons of men!
He wooes the world, and those who hear his voice,
Seldom, if ever, rue their happy choice.
He says for thee He has in battle bled,
And carried weighty sorrows in thy stead;
To save thy soul from infinite distress,
He bruis’d the monster in the wilderness!
Nay, language fails, to say by land or sea,
What perils He hath undergone for thee;
Yea, many a bitter cup, and piercing smart,
His soul hath felt to gain thy worthless heart!
Yes! He who thus demands thy stedfast love,
Is highly honour’d in the courts above;
He speaks, and sun, and moon, and stars, stand still,
And stormy winds and waves obey his will!
His tender care hath been about thy bed,
When midnight thunders rolled above thy head!
When trembling thou beheld’st the lightning’s glare
Light up thy room, and cause thee sudden fear!
To all who need Him he is sure to prove
The best Physician too, when sick of love;
And yet all those who fall beneath his ire,
His anger doth consume and burn like fire!
How long wilt thou withhold from Him his right,
Or from thyself such permanent delight,
As He hath promis’d in His faithful word,
Such as the hills of Paradise afford?
When will thine eyes with happy tears o’erflow?
And thy fair breast with holy ardour glow?
When will thy lips thy dearest friend surprise,
By speaking out the language of the skies?
Who thus surrender Him their heart and mind,
Through life’s vicissitudes are sure to find
“Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end,”
A faithful Lover, and a constant Friend!
Where will those flee, or what may they expect,
Who his repeated overtures reject,
Who put in other gods their daily trust,
When He shall dash their refuge into dust?
I long to see that lovely face of thine,
Beam forth with holy confidence divine;
And, fully freed from sin’s enthralling chain,
No longer seek for happiness in vain!
If then thy love be wandering elsewhere,
Thy choice decide, while He doth with thee bear;
Lest thou lament thy loss with anguish keen,
When Death hath fix’d a mighty gulf between!
See yon flag of crimson dye,
Wave along the vaulted sky!
See yon flag, &c.
To its hem fair Truth is bound,
Blood of martyrs sprinkled round;
That earth’s multitudes may see,
Truth will have the Victory!
Wicked men in vain oppose,
Babes shall sing of Sharon’s Rose!
Wicked men, &c.
Borne on winds from pole to pole,
Like the prophet’s flying roll;
Ethiopia soon shall see
Truth will have the Victory!
Some of earth’s dark corners shine,
With this heav’nly light divine!
Some of earth’s, &c.
Africa’s dark sons obey,
Pagan temples own her sway;—
Own with us, ’tis God’s decree,
Truth shall have the Victory!
Turks! who will no mercy shew,
Mercy is proclaim’d for you!
Turks! who will, &c.
Men are ceasing to bow down,
To their gods of wood and stone;
And all nations soon shall see,
Truth will have the Victory!
Where Truth reigns the work goes on,
Christ and Truth are both but one!
Where Truth, &c.
Saints shall find the promise true,
Christ will soon “make all things new;”
And rejoice at God’s decree,
Truth shall have the Victory!
Pow’rs of darkness! do your best,
Put your prowess to the test!
Pow’rs of darkness! &c.
Persecution fierce employ,
Jesu’s kingdom to destroy,
’Tis in vain! ’tis God’s decree,
Truth shall have the Victory!
Jews! the Crucified adore,
Objects of his wrath no more!
Jews! the Crucified, &c.
Own the Galilean King,
With your gentile brethren sing;
Now obey, ’tis God’s decree,
Truth shall have the Victory!
Hasten, Lord, the glorious day,
Let all true believers say!
Hasten, Lord, &c.
When these frozen hearts shall flow,
Each with love and wonder glow;
All with one accord agree,
Truth hath gain’d the Victory!
Soon th’ Archangel’s trump shall sound,
Wake the dead from sleep profound!
Soon the, &c.
Earth shall melt, the stars shall fall,
Men on rocks and mountains call;
Christ will then his saints set free:—
What a glorious Victory!
REFLECTIONS ON A BACKSLIDER.
How art thou fallen, thou son of the light!
How happy the scenes from which thou art driven!
Behold! if thy soul can dwell on the sight,
Where thou didst once walk and hold converse with heaven!
Then down turn thine eye to yon dreary place,
To which with swift steps thy spirit is bound;
See the hideous forms which thy spirit shall chase,
Ere long in that fire which thee will surround!
In anguish there thy frighted eyes shall roll,
While demons triumph at thy overthrow;
With flaming firebrands lash thy naked soul,
With burning arrows pierce thee through and through!
Thy dying soul still fed with living pain,
Shall curse the day on which she first drew breath;
Her awful burden she must still sustain,
And weep, and wail, and long in vain for death!
Midst hell’s deep gloom her portion she must drink,
Of double vengeance from Jehovah’s ire,
And in the burning lake for ever sink,—
That dreadful region of tormenting fire!
Alas! the dreadful stupor still remains,
Nor hell can fright, nor heav’nly joys allure;
In vain thy self-convicted soul complains,
Of constant torment, and of thoughts impure!
In vain the heav’nly harpers tune the lyre,
Rejoicing saints perform the three-fold part;
In vain believers flash devotion’s fire,
Or drag the holy harrows o’er thy heart!
That heart enclos’d as in a case of steel,
Laments its loss, and seeks for rest in vain!
Sighs for that impulse which she once did feel,—
Oh! shall she never taste those joys again.
I know the Lord is mighty to redeem,
Of boundless mercy, and unmeasur’d grace,
But sin hath fix’d a mighty gulf between,—
Beyond that gulf a Saviour shows his face.
Sometimes thou may’st the keen conviction spurn,
Through liquor’s magic, or associates gay,
But this thy strongest refuge will o’erturn,
To think of Death, and the great judgement day.
“Speak unto us smooth things.” (Isaiah xxx. 10.)
Far over Cleveland’s lofty hills,
Water’d by rivulets and rills,
A lovely village doth appear,
And o’er the trees its chimneys rear
A church there is without a steeple,
And several unconverted people;
Though not much pious fruit appear,
The people still desire to hear.
To chapel oft they go and back,
In their old summer beaten track,
Where they the Holy Spirit grieve,
And pray for what they don’t believe.
Those preachers they like best to hear,
Whose doctrine is not too severe;
Who make no push extraordinary,
But tell their tale and let them be.
It happen’d on a certain day,
A stranger chanced to stroll that way;—
I’ll try to sketch him if I can,
Some call him an eccentric man.
One whom God’s Spirit had enlighten’d,
Whom his own sins had soundly frightened;
Who when by strong conviction pained,
Did pardon seek, which he obtained.
He knew he then accepted stood,
By faith in the atoning blood;
But saw the people’s sad condition,
And offer’d them his admonition.
A door was open in that place,
Where long had been the means of grace;
The means by many long neglected,
For fear they there should be detected.
A worthy woman there did live,
Who her advice did gratis give;
Who cared for both the flock and fold,
Like Deborah in days of old.
Like her she long had wish’d to see,
A glorious gospel victory;
And gave a friendly invitation,
To hear an extra exhortation.
The forms were set, and rostrum fix’d,
The preacher went and took his text:—
Sinners! your bleeding Saviour see,
He cries, “Ye will not come to me!”
He tried to tell what those shall win,
Who come to Christ and leave their sin;
How those shall fare in the great day,
Who all their life time stay away.
Having as he thought, clear’d his way,
They sang, and then began to pray;
He left his elevated station,
And went among his congregation,
Of the great things he’d dwelt upon,
He ask’d them questions, one by one,
And if advice or help was needing,
For penitents who then were pleading.
They still went on to sing and pray,
The good, old-fashioned gospel way;
And closer press’d the invitation,
Until ’twas time for separation.
But such unusual proceeding,
They say completely spoil’d the meeting;—
That preacher’s conduct is unstable,
Who cannot keep behind the table!
Preachers ought not to come so nigh,
Into the soul’s affairs to pry;
For whether they be saved or no,
Is more than they’ve a right to know.
Such bold presuming impudence,
To some might prove a great offence;—
Going and asking one by one,
How they for Heaven are getting on!
They say they’ll come to preaching still,
If she one promise will fulfil;
That is as long as she is able,
Will keep the man behind the table.
Those hearers now are far too thin,
Who like a lusty, loud “Amen!”
And folks have now a taste so fine,
A semiquaver breaks the line!
Ye men of God, the truth enforce,
You cannot press the thing too close,
If you would do the people good,
Or clear your conscience of their blood.
When your sermon is completed,
Then your aid is further needed;
To lift up still your warning voice,
Nor leave the people to their choice.
Though some, alas, are so precise,
And God’s rich blessings do despise,
Others may need your friendly care,
And will your counsel gladly hear.
If your advice when managed well,
Perchance might save some soul from Hell;
Oh think of this,—and if you’re able,
You may stand still behind the table.
If I should go that way once more,
And find the people as before;
They must have either chain or cable,
If they keep me behind the table.
THE LODGER IN LIVERPOOL;
THE MASON IN WINTER NIPT BY THE FROST.
While a card party were enjoying themselves in an adjoining
While sad I sit, oft musing over
Happy days for ever fled;
A lonely lodger in a corner,
Like some hermit in his shed.
All around seems blithe and merry;
My light’s dim, and harp’s unstrung,
While memory turns to yonder valley,
On whose flowery banks I’ve sung.
Dirty, ragged, and down-hearted,
Far from country, friends, and home;
And as far from kindness parted,
Doom’d for work the world to roam.
While the cheerful game hath flourish’d,
Gaily the glad table round;
From my eye the tear unnoticed,
Oft hath fallen to the ground.
Now they sing of female beauty,
Or the treachery of men,
Or of robbers seeking booty,
Like the tiger from his den.
Lovely forms and handsome faces,
Serve to gild the gay deceit;
Amorous ditties serve for graces,
Both before and after meat.
’Tis theirs to share life’s fleeting joys,
Mine to drag the galling chain;
But still a hope my spirit buoys,
That the sun will shine again.
If their pleasures were not carnal,
I might long with them to share;
Did they lead to joys eternal,
When they laugh, I might despair.
But when time makes all surrender,
Nor permits the least excuse,
Happy they, whom time’s avenger,
Charges not with its abuse.
(Isaiah lxiii. 1.)
O ye muses, assist me to sing,
Of the things which by faith I have seen;
Of the love of my Saviour and King,
While wandering on earth I have been.
That Him I so little have loved,
For this I have reason to mourn;
And for talents and time mis-improved,
In the days of my youth that are gone.
For neglect of the records divine,
Which so often did sound in mine ear;
My affections they did not incline,
I neglected like others to hear.
Like sheep did we all go astray,
And left the fair pastures serene;
Did wander from him far away,
Where terror and darkness were seen.
There in ambush our enemies lay,
As we roam’d o’er those desolate plains;
We became their unfortunate prey,
And were bound in affliction and chains.
We long in that sad plight did lie,
Nor had courage nor strength to look up;
Yet we oft cast a languishing eye,
To the hills from whence cometh our hope.
And there came one from Edom afar,
To whom the sad signal we gave;
He looked like a champion of war,
He was bloody—yet mighty to save!
And as swift to our rescue He came,
We related to Him all our grief,
He said that heaven heard us complain,
And ’twas He that had brought us relief.
“Who art thou?” then we fearfully said,
“Why so red in thy glorious array?
Like one who is sorely dismayed,
Through the burden and heat of the day?”
“I have come from the Father of lights,
That you in His glory may shine;
Whose throne is on high o’er all heights,
And the work of redemption is mine.
In His courts the great question was ask’d,
Who would rescue lost man from the grave?
I, my love and omnipotence task’d,
That the ruined and lost I might save!
Then stern Justice demanded his due,
And I looked for help but found none;
So my life I have laid down for you,
And have trodden the wine press alone.
“Look on me,” He said with a smile,
“’Twas for you I was bruised as ye see;
There was none for this wonderful toil,
And the burden fell all upon me!”
Then He lifted us up from the ground,
And He broke our tyrannical chain;
While His blood stream’d afresh from each wound,
And whoever it touch’d was made clean!
“The ransom, though mighty, is paid,
Therefore open your hearts to receive;
You need be no longer afraid
If you truly repent and believe!”
While sweet comfort thus flow’d from his tongue,
His visage though marr’d grew more fair;
With swift wings and angelical song,
He ascended on high in the air!
A bright cloud took Him out of our sight,
And our eyes could behold him no more;
He arose to the regions of light,
And left us to believe and adore!
REFLECTIONS ON ABSENT FRIENDS, GONE TO AMERICA.
The sun had gone down o’er yon lofty mountain,
The last golden streamer had left the tall tree;
The dwelling below seemed forsaken and gloomy,
Its inmates were tossing upon the wide sea.
The rose tree was nodding the lasses had nourish’d,
Which oft had supplied them with Sunday’s perfume;
The wall-flower in sorrowful modesty flourish’d,
And wept o’er the beautiful daisy in bloom!
In the track by the river the green grass is springing,
On whose flowery bank they were oft wont to stray;
No more the still grove with sweet echoes is ringing,
To the voice of the milk maid, or children at play.
The dog in the night time now howls discontented,
Of its master and mistress but lately bereft;
I listen’d and look’d to the place they frequented,
Of them not a sigh, nor a whisper is left.
How strong the emotions of friendship were glowing,
When towed by the steamer the ocean they braved;
Their force was evinced by the tears that were flowing,
As the hat, or the hand, or the handkerchief waved.
From the shores of old England we anxiously view’d them,
A cargo most precious, and dear to our sight;
Far o’er the blue surface affection pursued them,
Till the ship was conceal’d by the curtain of night.
They have left us,—their absence wakes mournful reflection,
As the fast sailing Arundel bears them away;
We can only consign them to heavenly protection,
To Him, whom the winds and the waters obey.
He who roves through the wood may quickly discover,
Their affection in tokens which there he will see;
Where with sorrowful heart each friend or each lover,
May sigh o’er their names in the bark of the tree.
THE LAST JOB OF AN OLD TRAMP;
REFLECTIONS ON BURNING A MASON’S MALLET
FOR A YULE CLOG, ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
O thou once highly valued piece of wood,
By him who best that value understood;
Whose purse so often thou didst help to fill,—
Whom bed and board,
Thou didst afford,
Attended by thy train of sharpen’d steel!
True to thy task throughout the changing year,
Thy fellowship was to thy master dear:—
Whether at work, or o’er his shoulder slung,
Or near his side,
Thou wast his pride,
While with his friend he cheerful sat and sung!
Without a murmur at stern winter’s frown,
Or summer’s heat, in country or in town,
The stone hath yielded to thy sturdy blow:—
Thy day is gone,
Thy task is done,
And thou art own’d by thy last master now!
While careless I thy destiny survey,
And see thee down to ashes waste away;
Thy crackling whisper seems to shew to me,
The frailty clear,
Of all things here,
To earth allied, and man’s mortality!
Since first on thee the tender bud appear’d,
Or on thy branch the birds the woodlands cheer’d,
What strange vicissitudes have roll’d between;
Since thou wast nurs’d,
With care at first,
Or in the forest flourish’d gay and green!
There was a time when high thy top did wave,
In mystic triumph o’er the woodman’s grave,
Whose stroke had ceas’d, worn out by course of years;
The breezes play’d,
Whose peaceful shade remembrance only bears!
Ah! thou wilt never, never bud again,
Thy ashes lost in field, or flood, or lane;
No more the sun will on thy substance shine:
It would, at last, I fear,
Be well with many here,
If life’s last spark might be compared with thine!
Daft—weak in mind
Duffil—kind of coarse cloth
I’ t’—in the
O’ t’—of the
Owght—ought, or aught
Praaze—praise, or prize
Teea an’ fraw—to and fro
Te t’—to the
Wheas—who is, or whose
|Awd Isaac, Part First,
|—— Part Second,
|—— His dying advice,
|Dialogue on a Steeple Chase,
|The Lucky Dream,
|A strange effusion,
|Old Sam, or the effects of the Gospel,
|Thoughts on Good Friday,
|To a withered flower,
|The country Love Feast,
|Ode to Britain,
|A voice from the dead,
|To the Moor birds in a storm,
|Lines on returning a borrowed Stick,
|The thunder storm,
|The Miser’s away,
|The broken seal,
|[Pg 198]To the rising Sun,
|Lines in memory of the Rev. D. Duck,
|An elegy on the death of a beloved child,
|On the first text heard spiritually,
|To a Squirrel in a cage,
|To a bird singing in winter,
|Reflections on Petch’s tomb,
|“Who hath believed our report?”,
|Caution from Limber Hill,
|The village church in ruins,
|The two hours’ task,
|The country blunder,
|A sinner saved by grace,
|The portion of the Just,
|The happy choice,
|On the death of John Morley,
|The servant’s address to his master,
|Sabbath morning musings,
|Lines on leaving Fryup,
|A call to the careless,
|To a horse, dying alone!,
|Musings during affliction,
|The remote Christian,
|[Pg 199]Solitary reflections,
|On some who had left us,
|There is a God,
|The man of the world,
|The rule of contrary,
|On finding some Deistical books, in the
house of one who once feared God,
|On visiting Fryup,
|The Three Voices,
|Dialogue between Rosedale Bob, and Hartoft John,
|A love letter,
|Reflections on a Backslider,
|The lodger in Liverpool,
|Reflections on absent Friends,
|Last Job of an old Tramp,
Whitby: Printed by Horne and Richardson.
Page 23: Unnecessary opening “ as in original
Page 27: .! at end of verse as in original
Page 34: Closing ” has no associated opening “ in the original
Page 46: Opening “ has no associated closing ” in the original
Page 54: “ added before We all must
Page 59: mispent as in the original
Page 70: expence as in the original
Page 148: bles'd as in the original
Page 174: Powr's corrected to Pow'rs (second instance)
Page 175: &c, corrected to &c. in the last verse
Page 186: Unnecessary opening “ as in original
Page 190: flourish,d corrected to flourish'd
Page 195: sowl corrected to soul
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