Martha Lavinia Hoffman Poems

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The Butterfly

Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
Do you dine today with the regal rose
Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing

The Cavern By The Sea

The tropical islands of Tonga
In the Southern Pacific sea lie
Like fragments of cool rainbow color
Dropped down from the melting blue sky.

The Depths

Sublime and wonderful art thou, O deep,
Illustrious ocean, vast unmeasured waste!
Lost in thy contemplation, I do seem

Lines To The Ocean

Old Ocean, none knoweth thy story;
Man cannot thy secrets unfold,
Thy blue waves sing songs of thy glory

Home, Sweet Home

Backward across the lapse of years,
With its ebbing tide of smiles and tears,
Memory turns her wistful gaze
And sighs for the pleasures of by-gone days,

Summer Clouds

I watched the clouds at evening
When the Summer day neared its close,
As above the sentinal mountain peaks
Their pinnacled temples rose.

Mistily blending together
The faint, fleecy curtains unfold;
In the sky's magic mirror revealing,
Linings of silver and gold.

And here and there in the fluffy foam,
A twinkling star shines through;
Mingling a golden radiance
With the filmy tints of blue.

'Till they seem like the pearly gateway,
With the city towers just behind;
O'er whose walls of glittering jasper
Eternal day has dawned.

Oh! I almost catch the melody
That the angels sing in Heaven;
As I watch the faint, fair Summer clouds,
O'er the sky's blue curtain driven.

And my soul mounts up on eagle's wings,
To explore the realms unknown,
While life and death in a new, strange light,
Seem but a part to the throne.

When I think of the joy awaiting,
Beyond the bier and the shroud,
Death seems but a transient shadow,
A passing Summer cloud.

One Little Glimpse Of Heaven

One thought of holy ecstasy
Breaks on my spirit's sight
Like a bright, flashing meteor

O, Can I Be Happy In Heaven?

O, can I be happy in Heaven,
Though free from earth's trouble and care;
Though glories undreamed of be given,

There Is a God

The fool hath said, 'There is no God'
But Wisdom, hour by hour,
Proclaimeth over land and sea
In sweet unbroken harmony
His glory, love and power.

Who formed the earth, who built the sky,
Who planned the circling year?
Seed time and harvest roll around
We listen- but no jarring sound
In Time's great wheels we hear.

Day unto day, night unto night,
For toil and rest designed;
Surely some living mind hath thought
Who spake a universe from naught
Had more than mortal mind.

Some sculptor hath hand formed the earth,
Some architect
Hath reared the heavens to their height,
Some artist with his colors bright
All nature decked.

Who wrought the delicate design
Of leaf and bud?
Who is the bird his music taught,
If as the blinded fool hath thought
There is no God?

Who shall avenge the innocent
Whose speaking blood
Cries from the ground wronged Nature's curse
If in the boundless universe
There is no God?

And who fulfill those hopes that pant
Through fire and flood?
What solace can they give instead
Who with the blinded fool have said:
'There is no God?'

'There is no God,' the fool hath said,
On earth's green sod;
But Wisdom speaks from earth to sky
And sings from world to world on high
There is a God.

Think For Yourself

How many we meet as we travel along
Who go with the tide of the popular throng,
What other men think, they think, and no more,
What other men do, doing, they are secure;
So on with the current they eddy and whirl,
Never pausing to look for Truth's beautiful pearl;
But what if Galileo long years ago
Had not dared to steer 'gainst the tide's changeless flow?
And oh! what if Luther had gone with the tide
And done what they did, and done nothing beside?
And what if Columbus had buried his light
And let the world grope in its ignorant night,
Because all alone, he with Truth had to stand,
Where now might have languished our beautiful land?
What banner of Truth over error would wave
If none ever dared false opinion to brave?
But they clung to their pearls while the mocking crowd passed
And Truth twined for them fadeless laurels at last.
And many another whose name is forgot
But whose thoughts, words, and deeds into sunbeams are wrought,
That stream down the ages to light some dark place
Or shine like the stars on a benighted race;
So whate'er you do, though you travel alone,
Think for yourself, have a mind of your own;
For the thoughts we are thinking must fashion the world,
And if false, or if true, they shall sometimes be hurled
Far out of our reach down the centuries' flight;
As clouds to their day, or as stars to their night.