To the deep umbrage of our North back woods,
And near to Huron's wild romantic shore-
Where Winter's storms are seen in angry moods,
To make the Lake's waves dash with loudest roar-
Came GOODWORTH, twelve years since, and brought a store
Of Christian wisdom to those lonely parts:
To try if he could find an open door
By which to reach the settlers' sinful hearts,
And them inform of what would heal their inward smarts.
Firm in his mind, robust was he in frame,
Of human learning having ample share;
With fervent zeal, love-prompted, there he came,
Pure Gospel Truth in meekness to declare,
And backwoods hardships with his hearers share;
He brought his loving wife and children four,
Who for their own convenience showed small care;
Who had with Christian heroism bore
A heavy share of trial several years before.
These four dear children had been early trained
To take their part in every day's employ;
Nor were their youthful hearts by this estranged
From the kind parents, who did show their joy
In manifesting no wish to annoy
Their dearest offspring by undue restraint;
Aware that this might very soon destroy
Their influence; and who has power to paint
The ills which flow from this too prevalent complaint?
Think not, kind reader, I would overdraw
My pictures of sweet, chaste, conjugal bliss;
All I describe I've seen, and, therefore, know
I err not far-though some may doubt of this-
And deem my sketches very far amiss.
It matters not; those who have faithful been
In wedlock pure have often found, I was,
That a fair share of happiness serene
Upon this earth in Christian families still is seen.
And such were those of whom I speak above,
For of God's grace they every one partook.
Their actions sprang from the great Law of Love,
So plainly laid down in his Holy Book.
All might discover from each kind, sweet look,
That they had been unto the Savior's School;
That they had seldom Wisdom's paths forsook,
But made the Word their only Guide and Rule.
This kept their love alive, nor let their ardor cool.
Yet they did not to this at once attain;
Poor human nature in its best estate
Has much about it that is truly vain,
And these were not exempt from common fate.
Some fourteen years before my story's date
They had been in the purifying fire
Of great affliction; had been led to wait
Upon their God who knew their soul's desire,
And brought them through, clothed in Humility's attire.
And gave them for their loved ones taken away,
What was more needful for their growth in grace,
And led them thus to make His Arm their stay.
In all their trials His kind hand to trace.
'Twas this that fitted them for such a place
As in these woods the were designed to fill;
And hence they always wore a cheerful face,
And bowed their own unto their Savior's will,
While with the Spirit's sword the showed the greatest skill.
And such were needed in that settlement
But just reclaimed from the wild wilderness,
For its inhabitants appeared content
With worldly things, which did good thoughts repress,
And cause the Pastor much of sore distress.
In truth it seemed a most forbidding field
For pastoral labor, and it was no less.
But God could make it precious fruit to yield,
And be unto his servants constant Strength and Shield.
Now they had sought the mind of God to know
Ere they concluded there to settle down;
And this determined they resolved to go
To that rough place-quite far from any town,
Where rude log huts were very thinly strown,
And where hard labor stared them in the face,
While gloomy woods appeared on them to frown,
To find earth's comforts were but very scarce.
For such a step I'm sure they needed special grace.
This they obtained, and providentially
Were led to find a very splendid lot,
Which fronted on that mighty inland Sea,
And is in Summer a most lovely spot;
A barren piece of land it sure is not.
This might be known from its fine stock of trees.
Now their good fortune gratitude begot,
Which was poured forth to God upon their knees,
While green leaves waved above, fanned by a warm, soft breeze.
A shabby shanty stood upon the ground,
Perhaps erected by a poor red man;
Fire-weeds and brushwood thickly grew around,
To clear off which they now at once began.
Near by the place a charming spring-creek ran;
This had its source in a high tree-clad hill,
From top of which the country they could scan.
The father and two sons with right good will
That shanty soon prepare, and they its small space till.
This proved a wretched shelter at the best,
For rain came through the worn-out roof of bark,
And for hard laborers was no place of rest,
While its small window left it very dark.
They speak together of a house, when, hark!
A noise they hear-a sound as of great glee-
The settlers in their breasts possessed a spark
Of sweet good nature, and now came to see
If they could not be useful to the family.
This as an omen soon was understood,
And pressing wants were to each friend made known.
With axes armed these quick obtained some wood,
Which by strong oxen speedily was drawn
To the selected spot that had been shown.
The Pastor's wife and daughters then prepare
A good, substantial meal, and with kind tone
Invite the friends to come and taste their fare,
Which they in gratitude had made with nicest care.
With this good offer all at once complied;
They came to work and therefore needs must eat.
The day was fine and beech tree shade supplied
A place for table, and each took a seat,
Admiring much the dinner spread so neat.
And GOODWORTH then gave thanks most rev'rently
For such sweet comforts in their wood's retreat,
And prayed that each warm-hearted friend might be
Rewarded for his kindness in Eternity.
The dinner o'er, awhile in friendly chat
They sat and rested till the cattle fed.
Then GOODWORTH freely spoke to them of what
He and his family to that place had led,
And sweetly mentioned Him that once had bled-
The great God-man, who, sinners came to save.
These men in silence heard all he had said,
And some shed tears, and all looked very grave,
Though each rude breast possessed a heart most truly brave.
Once more bright axes, wielded by strong arms
Make chips fly fast, as they the logs prepare;
Such willing work the Pastor's family charms,
For they this kindness had not thought to share.
A strong foundation now is laid with care;
Of ample size, the fabric upward grows;
The men take pains to have the corners square,
Which to effect the spare nor strength nor blows;
And thus, as if by magic, that neat structure rose.
Meanwhile, there came some shingles, nails and boards,
Brought by two teams, which only now were seen;
And this fresh kindness fullest proof affords
That GOODWORTH'S object was approved, I ween.
Now some for rafters a long way had been;
And, as the sun had sunk into the West,
The women had prepared their table clean,
Well laden, as before, with food; the best
Which they had power to furnish in that wild wood-nest.
Warm thanks are given: the workers fall to work
To do full justice to that savory meal.
No wicked feelings in their bosoms lurk
Against the family; but they strongly feel
They have an interest in all their weal,
And freely speak of coming back next day
The house to finish; kindly thus they deal
With those dear folks-who wish them still to stay-
And they will sing awhile, to cheer them on their way.
To this they all consented; then arose
Song after song, in praise of Jesus' name!
Such songs can lighten e'en our saddest woes,
And raise in human hearts a heavenly flame.
Six men there were who, from that night, became
Quite altered characters-as all might see.
For Gospel Truth can e'en a savage tame;
Though this to some men seems a mystery-
Such have not seen themselves sunk in depravity.
The singing o'er, the good man said, 'Let's pray.'
All down beside him reverently knelt;
It was a proper close for such a day-
As all engaged must then have deeply felt.
And oh, the language of that prayer did melt
Some stony hearts, as I in truth would tell:
For GOODWORTH on God's love and mercy dwelt-
On coming judgment-and on Heaven and Hell-
Till every one seemed bound as by the strongest spell.
This done, those neighbors-though reluctantly-
Took leave of that most happy household there:
And were as pleased as any men could be
They were allowed such company to share.
'Twas Spring time, and the still and balmy air
Was most refreshing to the wearied frame;
And Luna's brightness, though quite free from glare,
Enabled them to see which way they came-
For staying rather late they would incur no blame.
The morning came, and with alacrity
Came settlers also, ready as before
To help the welcome new-come family
Whose strange, deep news had made their hearts so sore.
And now the labor of the day each bore
As if his own advantage he would seek.
Some went to roofing, some to fix the door
And windows, and with hearts and arms not weak,
They make the work fly fast, scarce leaving time to speak.
The muster, greater this day than the last,
Left some hands free to clear a piece of ground;
And these, with brush-hooks, o'er two acres passed,
Making good riddance of what brush they found.
They then cut down some poles and fenced it round.
The family, too, were busy all this while,
For they were moved with gratitude profound
To show their thankfulness in many a smile.
Their happy faces do the laborers' hearts beguile.
The meal-times passed with pleasure and some profit;
Naught did occur to mar the harmony.
If there were whisky every one kept off it,
And all confessed they worked more easily.
Too often liquor in the woods we see,
And much vile mischief is it apt to do
When neighbors come to help at Logging-bee,
Or to assist each other at the plow.
It pleases me to see this practice broken through.
The Country would have reason to rejoice
If not a dropp were as a beverage used,
And I would not be slow to raise my voice
Till Temperance principles are more diffused.
For this by some folks I may be abused,
But where's the harm? I seek alone their good,
And cannot be by conscience well excused
If I refuse my aid to stem the flood
Which drowns its thousands of our common brotherhood.
But to return: The work had so well sped,
And the new house was so far on the way
Toward completion, that the family's head
Thought they might safely move that very day,
But first enquired what there would be to pay?
The neighbors smiled and kept the secret close,
And what the bill was none thought fit to say.
For satisfaction 'he must ask the Boss.'
To tell who that was every one felt quite at loss.
Is this exaggeration? Witness now,
Ye far backwoodsmen-much too oft belied,
Are ye inclined these things to disavow?
Or will my statements be by you denied?
If not they stand for truth both far and wide,
And your example may be found of use
In leading others quickly to decide
That they for ignorance have no excuse
In this enlightened age, when Knowledge is diffuse.
I need not mention every little thing
That was required to make the house complete.
My humble Muse would now attempt to sing
Of subjects which to her are far more sweet.
The Pastor happy lived in his retreat,
Preaching on Sabbath, in a school-house near.
There many came who could not get a seat,
And such large audience did the Pastor cheer,
Who spoke to them with zeal-for they to him were dear.
I may be asked, 'What was this man's persuasion?
Was he a Churchman or a Methodist?'
I answer make without the least evasion,
He owned no 'ism,' nor yet 'ite,' nor 'ist.'
But if on further knowledge you insist,
I only say that he was glad to own
The 'Blood-bought Throng' wherever they exist.
Nor did he scruple to let this be known,
The BIBLE still the Source from which his creed was drawn.
From it he gathered that ev'n two or three
Met in Christ's name a Church of God do make;
That, when so met, they have full liberty
On each Lord's Day the Bread and Wine to take.
All vain traditions they in this forsake,
But get rich blessing from the King of Kings.
And in that lonely house near Huron's Lake,
The family enjoyed the bliss which springs
From means well used, and these afresh each Sabbath brings.
The six of whom I spoke some pages back,
Sought early fellowship with that small band.
These of great sorrow had displayed no lack,
And now as Christians publicly they stand,
Unto Christ's work they give each heart and hand,
And one of them called Luth, possessed of means,
Resolved at once to give a piece of land
On which to build a chapel, midst sweet scenes;
A very central place, and near two deep ravines.
Nor was this all; he gave some good pine trees
And other requisites to build the place;
The work he knew would all be done by 'Bees.'
The friends the opportunity embrace
To make the matter fully known all round.
Strong opposition they had now to face
From those who rather would in sin be found,
And such cared nothing for the glorious Gospel sound.
The Minister proposed to wait awhile,
Till this grave subject could be well discussed.
He wished that none would act from motives vile,
For popularity he did not lust,
And in his Father he could always trust;
Advised to seek God's mind by earnest prayer,
In generosity to be still just;
By such means only could they hope to share
God's constant approbation and His guardian care.
This prudent course ensured the object sought.
Some who opposed did, of their own accord
Propose assistance, and with vigor wrought
To raise the humble Chapel to the Lord.
Dear GOODWORTH wielded skilfully the sword,
Which by God's blessing pierced into the souls
Of those who came to hear the plain-taught Word,
Whose rich Truth, for Sin's pleasures lost, consoles,
And cheers and strengthens those whose lust it still controls.
Truly it was a lovely sight to see
The opening of that place of worship pure.
There was displayed no animosity,
All seemed at home in perfect peace secure.
Sweet gospel sermons fitted to allure
The erring sons and daughters of mankind
Were preached that day, and I feel very sure
It was no 'blind man's leading of the blind,'
But preaching of that sort which is for good designed.
The music was by voices rich and clear,
The words the language of most grateful hearts,
All forming worship void of slavish fear;
Most orderly besides in all its parts,
Though the performers knew not much of arts
On which some pride themselves in this our day;
Nor was the singing done by fits and starts,
As if God's service were but childish play.
They knew His Eye was on their secret thoughts alway.
I must not fail to mention the chief thing
For which all saints should meet on Sabbath day;
But first my Muse would boldly spread her wing,
For she could always on this subject stay.
Your kind indulgence, reader, I would pray,
As this sweet topic is most dear to me.
Most gracious Savior, who for me didst pay
Thy precious blood upon the cursed tree,
That I might be redeemed from sin and misery.
Grant me Thy Spirit's aid while I attempt
A true description of thy 'Feast of Love'
May I from evil motives be exempt,
Nor mention aught but what Thou wilt approve.
That small, dear family 'born, from above,'
Just numbering twelve, around the table meet.
Each one displays the meekness of the dove,
And hopes to share a most delicious treat
In joining thus with Jesus in Communion sweet.
And now the Pastor thought it right to tell
What were the principles on which they met;
For great misapprehension he knew well
Prevailed abroad, and some men's minds beset.
He trusted no one present would forget
That the pure Bible was their only guide.
They had no human system to abet,
Nor would they by man's arguments be tried.
What say the Scriptures? these alone the case decide.
He said, 'We meet, dear friends, in Jesus' name;
By his command who, says, 'Remember me?'
As He for us Sin-offering became,
It is but right we should obedient be,
And O, what wondrous love we here do see!
To think we are invited all to feast
With Jesus in His glorious majesty.
This is a marvel, and 'tis much increased
When we reflect we are not worthy in the least.
'Here at this table I now humbly stand
Upon a perfect level with the rest.
We take the Bread and Wine at Jesus' hand,
He hath these simple Emblems truly blest.
Our love to him by this act is expressed,
And though we are indeed a small, weak flock,
The Lord makes each a highly honored guest.
On His Atonement as our holy rock,
We stand secure midst danger, nor fear any shock.
'We do this every First Day of the Week,
Because of old God's people did the same;
This all may learn who will take pains to seek
The Word of Truth. All arguments are lame.
Men use against it, and not free from blame.
Can we, dear friends, remember Christ too often?
Ah, no indeed! To save our souls he came!
And his vast Love to us our hearts should soften,
And plume the, wings, of Faith, which we may soar aloft on.
'We do not wish to hold the servile views
To which too many of God's children cling.
Oh, why should Christians in this way refuse
What to their souls would sweetest comfort bring?
'Remember Me' should make our love to spring
Like water gushing from a fountain clear,
And tune our hearts each time afresh to sing
The praise of Jesus, and should make us rear
Our Ebenezer high as we to heaven draw near.
'Some ask us if we have the Lord's command
For breaking bread upon each Sabbath day.
We ask them in return, have they at hand
A plain behest for acting in their way?
If such they have let them without delay
Spread wide the fact and let the truth be known.
I should have nothing further then to say,
Except my error thankfully to own.
But friends, as yet none ever have such precept shown.
'Suppose there were near by a flock of sheep
Whose sad, gaunt looks bespoke the pasture bare,
While they have left scarce strength enough to creep,
From having lacked too long good food and care.
Suppose that these were brought to pasture fair,
The gate of which was opened wide to them.
Would they wait for command to enter there?
In truth I think not, and can rightly claim
That we in doing this incur not any blame.'
This said, he read aloud the Savior's words,
Uttered that solemn night before he died.
Deep, soul-toned language which quite well accords
With his great sufferings for his blood-bought bride.
O, let not any this plain feast deride;
There ne'er was Ordinance appointed yet
That has more comfort to the Saints supplied.
'Tis calculated to make them forget
Their sorrows when they view Christ's death and bloody sweat.
And now most grateful thanks are offered up,
The Bread is broke, and all in silence eat.
Then in like manner they partake the Cup,
In fellowship they sit at Jesus' feet,
And take from his dear hands refreshment sweet.
This done, collection for the Saints is made,
And next praise rises to the 'Mercy Seat.'
From right glad hearts and unfeigned lips 'tis paid:
The meeting closes and each kind farewell is said.
Yet this day's joyous service was not o'er;
Some met at night with GOODWORTH'S family,
And there together searched the hidden store
Of Bible truth, the prayer of Faith the key
That did unlock each wondrous mystery.
All were invited, nay were pressed to speak,
And show the light which God gave them to see.
This course served well to strengthen what was weak,
And all learned much who meekly were inclined to seek.
Nor was pure praise neglected at this time:
All were well pleased with that day's exercise.
And freely joined in Zion's songs sublime,
Thus pouring forth their evening sacrifice.
This did but strengthen pre-existing ties,
While warmer grew their hearts in Love's soft bands.
At nine o'clock reluctantly they rise,
To part at last with cordial shake of hands,
More fitted for the coming day, with its demands.
I offer the above as a fair sample
Of this small Church's worship on First Days,
And should be highly pleased if their example
Had on our minds an influence always.
Their love and zeal are worthy of all praise,
Though all they have or are is of God's grace.
His love to them they view with deep amaze,
And trust ere long to see him face to face
In heavenly Regions-His own happy Dwelling Place.
To spare the Reader risk of long digression,
And keep within just bounds my humble tale,
I now in order give GOODWORTH'S profession
That none to understand his views may fail.
Against these views some men no doubt will rail,
But let such take the Bible in their hands,
And with Truth's weapons only them assail.
This the importance of the thing demands,
For by the Truth alone his doctrine falls or stands.
On Scriptural grounds of every Sinner's hope
He held no wavering views, for Truth shone clear
Into his soul, and gave him power to cope
With Error's darkest forms. He had no fear
Of man before his eyes. The spiteful sneer
Of Antinomians and proud Pharisees
Disturbed him not, save to call forth a tear
From heartfelt pity for the vagaries
Of their perverted judgments touching God's decrees.
He held, then, that the Lord, who sees the end
From the beginning, did of his own pure grace
Choose some with him Eternity to spend,
From 'mongst the millions of our fallen race,
Determined all such should behold his face
In peace at last, in spite of Hell and sin.
These would in time his Gospel Truth embrace,
Or die incapable for Faith within.
Thus did he view the triumphs of God's Grace begin.
He saw God's Love-Superlative, Eternal,
Gradually unfold the mystery
To Man, who by Satanic schemes infernal,
Had fall'n from happiness to misery.
And he by Faith's keen eye could clearly see
Its full development when Jesus came
The sinner's Surety and best Friend to be;
Who 'bore the Cross and still despised the Shame,'
Nor shrank from God's just wrath-a fiercely burning flame.
Christ's glorious Resurrection too, he saw
To be God's stamp of approbation great
On that vicarious work which his just Law
Fulfilled-a ground of hope commensurate
To man's great needs in every age and state.
These truths so filled his warm and generous soul
That he on them would oft expatiate
Until his feelings seemed beyond control;
And this secured attention from his hearers all.
Of man's free will he had not any doubt;
Yet he as much believed the declaration
Of God's own Word-which some men dare to flout-
That man's heart is, in every rank and station,
'Always deceitful,' filled with profanation,
'And desparately wicked.' This none know
But God, who has provided expiation,
And sent his Holy Spirit down to show
These facts to sinners dead, and on them Life bestow.
On final perseverance of all Saints
He took the highest stand which man can take,
And found in it a balm for most complaints
Of Christian souls, to sense of sin awake.
This glorious truth to him would often make
Light shine in darkness and dispel his fear;
Oft led him to endure for Jesus' sake
Loss of beloved objects, and appear
An ever happy man, 'midst prospects dark and drear.
Besides the views I have already given
He held it right that Christians all should use
The talents they possess as gifts from heaven.
Neglect of this admits of no excuse,
Though there are times when men their gifts abuse.
As members of the Church all have their place,
And none well taught of God should e'er refuse
To aid His cause according to the Grace
Received since they were led Salvation to embrace.
For peaceful rule and needful discipline,
He held that churches should call two or more
Of members, who well qualified had been,
As Elders, by God's Spirit to watch o'er
The flock of Christ; men skilled in Bible lore,
And 'apt to teach; not novices, but such
As have seen service in the Truth, and bore
Good characters becoming Christians much,'
For only men like these should that high office touch.
Two or more Deacons they should also call,
Who by the Scripture rule are qualified
To keep the Church's funds, and still help all
Who may by poverty be sorely tried.
By such arrangements Churches should abide,
If they would faithful prove unto the Lord.
We have no right to set His Laws aside;
Such conduct is by our Great Head abhorred,
And does with our profession very ill accord.
As this Church was but young it was deemed best
That they should, as their pastor, him retain.
He thanked them much for confidence expressed,
And hoped it would not tend to make him vain.
He thought it right his views thus to explain,
And trusted they would give them due attention.
Should his poor life be spared he would remain
And labor hard to keep them from declension,
Though of their falling off he had no apprehension.
The Salary question next came on the board.
What should the amount be, how or whence obtained?
The Church itself could not the means afford;
Perhaps some others might assistance lend-
But would the pastor such a course commend?
Had they consulted him at first they would
Have found they had no cause to apprehend
A lack of means to serve intentions good;
He wished to labor freely for Christ's brotherhood.
He and his family needed then no aid
Except what new-come Settlers might require.
And obligation was upon him laid
To seek the good of souls from motives higher
Than worldly gain. He trusted his desire
Was that the Gospel might be free to all.
What Christ had done for him his zeal would fire,
And make him earnest in the sinner's call;
Thus gladly would he forward press toward the goal.
Now let not Christians who from him may differ
Suppose this man could no forbearance show.
It was his wish to be in nothing stiffer
Than Truth required, which God led him to know.
From human creeds his conscience said 'withdraw!'
To stand by such advice he was content.
To Pharisaic pride he was a foe,
And to ungodliness where'er he went,
While to promote true Love his gifts and time were spent.
My Muse again of temporal-things would sing,
And I her mandate hasten to obey.
Upon all farms there's work enough in Spring,
And GOODWORTH'S people were not used to play.
'Tis true their farm was small, yet day by day
They plenty found to occupy their time;
That patch of ground the labor would repay.
As for good crops, 'twas in condition prime:
Such they all hoped to raise in that fine fruitful clime.
Six acres still lay right behind the two;
Doubtless it had an Indian clearance been.
This needs not much to fit it for the plow,
So they of brush and rubbish rid it clean,
And broke it up. Then a rail fence was seen
Most speedily to compass it around.
Soon spring wheat sown was looking brightly green,
While in the garden useful plants were found,
And these good prospects made the family's joys abound.
Their live stock was not large, yet they possessed
Two milking cows, and yoke of oxen strong,
Some turkeys, hogs, and poultry of the best.
These all were bought ere they had been there long.
For finest fish they could not well go wrong;
The lake supplied all that they wished to get.
In small canoe they often sailed along
The side of lovely isles and cast their net,
Or fished with line till glorious Sol had nearly set.
Sometimes a deer would venture near enough
To run the risk of catching lumps of lead,
And this well dressed was no unsavory stuff
With which to help a meal of wheaten bread.
Of bears and wolves they were at first in dread,
But soon found out there was no cause for fear;
For if such came and mortal showed his head,
They soon ran off with a true coward's leer,
Which made it seem surprising they should come so near.
To clear against the Fall, the sons marked out
Ten acres of the woods well filled with trees.
Such work required strong arms and courage stout,
And those young men could rightly boast of these.
They now with willing hands their axes seize
And push the work from early morn till night.
Loud sound the strokes, till each brave woodman sees
The trees begin to tremble in their sight,
And soon with thundering sound upon the ground alight.
The chopper's life is not a life of ease-
And yet to those who understand it well
There's much about it that doth tend to please
Their warm, strong minds, as they such monsters fell.
I have oft stood as if bound by a spell,
When some huge giant swayed awhile in air,
And then with crash tremendous shook the dell,
While cows from fright would scamper here and there,
But soon return to browse its top for lack of fare.
While those in woods were busily employed
Swinging their axes in true workman style,
Their sisters neatly dressed as much enjoyed
The garden work, quite cheered by Nature's smile.
Lightening their labor with sweet songs the while,
They trained the different plants with skillful hands;
A pleasing task well fitted to beguile
Such modest, gentle girls, who in Love's bands
Were bound together, thus obeying God's commands.
Their gardener skill was not alone confined
To what was wanted for their bodily needs.
By nature taught, each had a tasteful mind,
And this was shown by planting flower seeds.
These by some folks are looked upon as weeds,
And therefore useless-not e'en worth a straw!
From such coarse souls I do not look for deeds
Which, in sweet aspect, do our nature show;
I envy not their taste nor all they chance to know.
I love to look on flowers. They to my soul
Sincerest pleasure and sweet peace still bring;
Their varied charms can wondrously control
My troubled spirit-smarting from the sting
Of cold neglect and sad, crushed hopes, whence spring
Many sore trials to the sons of men.
I, midst my flowers, can feel myself a king,
Nor envy much the rich and mighty then,
With all their pomp and pride, or gorgeous trappings vain.
And those fair damsels always loved to view
Sweet tulips, pinks, and daisies' charms unfold,
The peony's blush, the lovely rose's hue,
And woodbine's blossoms-lilies like pure gold.
All these, and more, were pleasant to behold,
And well repaid them for their frequent toil.
Their plants throve well in that rich, deep, black mold,
And though the work did their nice fingers soil,
It kept them ever free from this poor world's turmoil.
The settlers round beheld with much surprise
The neat-kept garden in such beauty seen,
And oft they looked with rather longing eyes
Upon the flowers bedecked in glorious sheen.
Sometimes a youth upon the fence would lean
And Watch with due respect the sisters fair;
Then anxious ask what this and that could mean,
Or names of plants which seemed to him so rare.
Doubtless it was to see the maidens he came there.
Of this I could not speak with certainty;
But mutual blushes, looks significant,
Are very apt to tell strange tales to me.
I once was young, so you will therefore grant
I should know something of what youths still want
When they to such sweet girls quite bashful come,
And utter words as if their stock was scant.
Well, 'tis but natural, and I would be mum;
Of bliss thus sought and gained 'twere hard to tell the sum.
Often the parents, in their Master's spirit,
Would link-armed take a pleasant walk at eve
To visit neighbors, and thus seek to merit
That just reward which faithful Saints receive
From Jesus Christ, who never will deceive
Those working well for him. They therefore went
Gladly each burdened conscience to relieve,
And those assist who were by sickness spent,
Or tell to all, the message which their God had sent.
On one of these occasions they became
Acquainted with a youth to bed confined.
From early childhood he was always lame,
And for a year or two had been quite blind.
His manners were most gentle, and his mind
With human knowledge seemed to be well stored.
Now these dear people made enquiry kind,
If he had in affliction sought the Lord,
Or ever gained true comfort from his Sacred Word.
To them at first he no reply would give,
Yet seemed absorbed in thought, and heaved a sigh.
At last he said, 'I always aimed to live
So that I need not fear when brought to die.
I feel at present that my end is nigh
And should not care ev'n now, if I were dead.
Upon my blameless life I can rely,
Nor look for harm to fall on guiltless head.
A purer life than mine no mortal ever led.'
'My dear young friend,' the Pastor sweetly said,
'Did your own conscience never whisper you
That hope like this to ruin always led?
If not, let me now tell you it is true!
For none may hope the face of God to view
In peace unless their sins are washed away
By Jesus' blood. Our dearest Savior flew
On wings of Mercy man's worst foes to slay,
And open wide the gates, to everlasting day!'
He asked him then if he might read aloud
A portion of God's Word, and offer prayer.
The youth consented, feeling much less proud
Than when these Christians first had entered there.
GOODWORTH three chapters read with greatest care,
Three which at length dwell on the sinner's state,
And then by plainest speech made him aware
How he might best escape a sin-cursed fate,
Be reconciled to God, and coming Glory wait.
[Footnote: The 3d, 4th, and 5th chapters of Romans]
The poor blind lad had never heard before
The wonders which those chapters do reveal,
Self-righteousness he ne'er could think of more,
For sense of guilt he now began to feel.
This roused up fears he could not well conceal,
And made him anxious those two friends should pray.
The Pastor made to him one more appeal,
Then supplicated God without delay
That Grace might be shed forth to lead him in the way.
Now bitter tears flow from those sightless orbs,
As light breaks in upon his darker soul,
Prospect of death his wretched thoughts absorbs,
And makes him wish that he could back recall,
Those early years which did so fleetly roll,
Before he lost his health and precious sight;
For no dread visions then did him appal,
Nor was he wont to tremble from affright.
Oh, that he had but sought Salvation with his might!
Our two friends told him plain 'twas not too late;
Such burdened souls the Savior had invited,
However black their crimes, however great
Their mad rebellion; even if they had slighted
This Means of Grace-without which man is benighted-
He bids them come to him and find sweet rest.
Those who have thus obeyed have been delighted
With his light yoke, and often have expressed
Their sense of such great goodness, feeling truly blest.
This good instruction had the best effect,
And as he seemed composed the friends prepare
To start for home, nor in the least suspect
How quick the time had fled whilst they were there.
They bade 'good night' and left him in the care
Of their Kind Father, who had bid them go;
And in their journey through the woods they share
Sweet converse and true joy in constant flow,
And reach their neat log house Content afresh to know.
The sons and daughters greeted their return
With pleasant smiles, then with respect enquired
What led to their detention, and now burn
To know the cause they look so sad and tired.
The parents, nothing both, gave as desired
A brief account how they had been employed;
And this once more full confidence inspired
While each the truly pleasing thought enjoyed,
That one soul less would be by Satan's power destroyed.
Around the family Altar next they meet
To worship God by reading, prayer and praise,
Which all ascend like richest incense sweet
Before the throne of Him who guides their ways.
Surely bright Angels might delight to gaze
Upon this happy family at such time,
And feel those Christians fit to join in lays
That they are wont to sing in heavenly clime;
In rapturous devotion to their King sublime.
If e'er a glimpse of heaven is had below,
If there is aught of Bliss upon this Earth,
A family like this it best can show,
For they need not the worldling's boisterous mirth;
And yet of social feeling there's no dearth.
Each does enjoy true peace and happiness,
Which, rightly valued, in their turn give birth
To noble deeds designed mankind to bless,
To strengthen what is right, and what is wrong redress.
I would not undervalue Church connection,
For 'tis of God's appointment, and should show
True Christian principles in much perfection,
And be the sweetest bond of all below.
But oh, it happens, I too truly know,
There is mixed with it so much worldliness,
So man members to vile Mammon bow,
That my poor soul is filled with sore distress,
And scarce dare hope the Lord will such connection bless.
Under these circumstances I with others
Await most anxiously that day's appearing,
When Jesus Christ will with his chosen brothers
Dwell in sweet fellowship and love endearing.
The hope of this should always be most cheering
To every Christian of each state and name;
And make them patient hear with the rude jeering
Of those who love to glory in their shame;
Who for their soul's perdition are alone to blame.
This hope was dear indeed to GOODWORTH'S heart,
And made him feel a very strong desire
Right Knowledge on all subjects to impart,
And use but proper means true zeal to fire.
He wished not that his hearers should admire
His humble teaching, but the truths he taught,
And tried to show them how they could acquire
The power to judge all subjects which were brought
Before their minds, as they with good or ill were fraught.
Under such teaching this small Church became
An humble, cheerful, happy, loving Band.
While they by industry their wild lands tame,
They did not oft neglect to lend a hand
To him who thus on Scripture took his stand.
Their conduct and profession both agree,
And every instance of God's goodness fanned
Love's flame, and made it burn more steadily;
For which they praised the Lord with great sincerity.
Amongst their number there was poor McKan,
Weakly in body but yet firm in mind.
His means were small when he at first began
To clear as wild a bush farm as you'll find.
The neighbors round had all to him been kind,
Feeling much pity for his family;
For he, though toiling hard, had run behind
In payment for his lot and soon might be
With those dependant on him brought to misery.
While certain ruin stared him in the face,
He felt he'd rather die than beg from friends;
And so prepared to sacrifice his place-
Persuaded that the Lord would make amends.
The Pastor hears his case and straight attends
Upon him at his house with wish to know
The full particulars, and gladly lends
An ear attentive to his tale of woe;
How the stern creditor would no more mercy show.
His case was not a solitary one.
Too many find when they have toiled for years,
That sweet Hope leaves them when their strength is gone;
Which fills their future with alarming fears,
And nothing for them but despair appears!
O, why is this? Have they imprudent been?
Or has great sickness sunk them in arrears?
Perhaps it may be these; and yet I ween
Another cause of trouble may be clearly seen.
That cause is this: Our Government thought fit
To sell their land at far too high a rate,
And those who bought thought they could pay for it
Within the time, which would be something great.
If common-sense had chanced to bid them wait,
They mostly had an answer close at hand:
'Men whom they knew had bettered much their state
By buying on long time that wild bush land,
Ami now as able farmers 'mongst their fellows stand.'
By pinching work they raise the first installment
For lot on which the claim pre-emption right,
And from that time they find complete enthralment,
As with Adversity they constant fight.
Where's now the prospect which was once so bright?
'Not quite all gone,' may some poor settler say.
But health is broken, and no more delight
Fills their parental hearts from day to day,
While each succeeding month adds something more to pay,
Until at last the time allowed has fled.
More time is granted, but alas, in vain!
With aches and pains they now are nearly dead.
Such help as they require they can't obtain;
And yet perhaps of fortune they complain,
Or blame the friends whose 'luck' led them out there.
But from such course 'tis better to refrain;
For, had they been still servants, with due care
They might have bought good farms and had some cash to spare.
Just so it was with that poor Christian brother,
And this at once the Pastor clearly saw;
Yet had no wish in haste to judge another,
But felt inclined pure Charity to show.
Then, having learned all he now wished to know,
Home he returned and sought his Father's ear.
From his full heart strong supplications flow,
Which cease not till he sees his duty clear,
And gains fresh help from God his brethren's hearts to cheer.
He next the matter told to his dear wife,
For she was wise and often could suggest
What was most useful in affairs of life,
Which made her counsel be in much request.
Her mind to him she freely then expressed,
And mentioned what she heard the day before-
How brother Luth, who was of friends the best,
Would take the farm and willingly give more
Than would the Creditor, if they the land restore.
GOODWORTH heard this, then spoke to Luth alone-
Told him quite plainly how the matter stood,
Yet not in harsh, authoritative tone,
But meekly, as more likely to do good.
By this he showed regard for brotherhood,
And led Luth candidly to speak his mind.
Then, as both felt in very kindly mood,
They deemed it best to try McKan to find
And let him know what they in Christian love designed.
They found him soon and Luth made his proposal,
Which filled the humble family with delight.
The whole affair appeared as the disposal
Of their kind God, who always acted right.
Most thankful were they that in His pure sight
They found such favor in their hour of need.
That brother's kindness they could ne'er requite;
His was a noble-a most generous deed,
Which could alone from love at any time proceed.
Luth took the place, and for improvements paid
Beside what to the Creditor was due;
'And if the family chose, they might,' he said,
'Remain his tenants for a year or two,
And daily labor he would take in lieu
Of money payments for a moderate rent.'
This plan aroused their gratitude anew,
While with the bargain all appeared content,
And deemed the time employed most profitably spent.
The two on their return called in to see
The sick blind youth, who now was sinking fast.
He was no longer in despondency,
Though he of late had through great suffering passed.
On the Atonement all his hopes were cast,
And now enjoyed a happy frame of mind.
The work of Jesus did appear so vast,
He could not doubt but it had been designed
By Him whose name is Love, to save poor lost mankind.
The parents had beheld the change thus wrought
By Gospel Truth in their afflicted boy,
And called to mind how often they had thought
Religion was invented to destroy
Whatever mortals have of peace and joy.
'But now,' they said, 'we think it something worth.
For our son's happiness has no alloy,
Although about to leave the joys of Earth,
And all those pleasant things which used to yield him mirth.'
The Pastor now gave each an exhortation,
And kind friend Luth engaged awhile in prayer,
Which met, at present, no disapprobation.
Much death bed comfort does the sick one share,
But soon his eyes assume a brighter glare,
The rattle in his throat bespeaks death near.
Anon they raise the dying youth with care,
Whose smiling face shows plain he has no fear,
For Jesus in the valley does his servant cheer.
A strong, brief struggle, and now all is o'er!
No more the heart will in his bosom beat.
His soul triumphant gains Heaven's peaceful shore,
And raptured stands to view each scene so sweet;
Then joins the thousands tasting Bliss complete,
In all the Hallelujahs which they raise
Unto the Lamb of God, while at His feet
They cast their crowns and ever wondering gaze
On Him who sits enthroned as worthy of all praise.
Our friends strove now to cheer the drooping hearts
Of that lone couple in their deep distress;
For they knew well each promise which imparts
To mourners hope and heartfelt happiness.
These on their minds they forcibly impress;
And their kind efforts are not used in vain,
For the bereaved ones readily confess
That faith in Jesus brought substantial gain
To their dear boy who now is free from grief and pain.
The neighbors, apprehending such event,
dropp silent in and heartily engage
With solemn mien and truly kind intent,
The old folks' ardent sorrow to assuage.
Some one prepares the needful shroud to wage,
While others wash and lay the body out,
And in soft tones make observations sage,
The truth of which none are inclined to doubt,
For all at such a time seem serious and devout.
Meanwhile the Pastor and his friend take leave,
And reach their homes before 'tis very late.
The news they take their families receive
As fresh inducement on their God to wait,
And ever watch by Wisdom's sacred gate.
Two days elapse and bring the Sabbath round,
And settlers join the humble funeral state,
Which reaches soon the new-made burial ground,
Where all list to the service with respect profound.
Those simple, mournful rites do much impress
The minds of all assembling on this day;
And now the Preacher lays the greatest stress
On danger consequent upon delay
In matters of Salvation, when the Way
To Everlasting Life, himself stands ready
To welcome those who make His blood then stay,
However weak their faith, howe'er unsteady
Their trembling souls become when tossed in Life's rough eddy.
The text [Footnote: The three last verses of Matthew XI.] was one
that wonderfully stated
The sinner groaning under loads of guilt,
And mourning souls have found weak faith recreated,
As on its consolations they have built
Their stable hopes, against which Hell full tilt
Has often run, determined to prevail-
And might have done if Jesus, who has spilt
His precious blood for them, had chanced to fail.
But that can never be, whatever foes assail.
Has any mortal skill to estimate
The solid good that such a text has done?
Ah, no! the task's so wonderfully great,
By finite man it need not be begun.
Fit for the work, of Angels there is none.
God can alone the glorious secret tell,
Or mark the value of the mighty boon
To all the souls whom it hath saved from hell,
And landed safe in Glory, ever there to dwell?
And at this time the mourners dried their tears,
As the Departed's state they realize.
Raised were their hopes, abated were their fears,
On each new view of Christ's great Sacrifice.
Now might be seen joy beaming in their eyes,
As they learned acquiescence in God's will.
Most precious promises the word supplies,
To cheer their hearts and every murmur still,
While they together walk adown Life's slippery hill.
Others, who long had boon companions been
Of that young man in his most joyous days,
With tearful eyes are in that Chapel seen,
And seem desirous to amend their ways.
They never had before beheld Truth's blaze,
But, like too many, boasted of their state,
Not dreaming that their light was lost in haze
Of stupid ignorance and folly great;
God grant such may repent before it is too late.
'Tis thus the Lord oft makes most lasting good
To flow from what we mortals view as ill;
And we pass through each strange vicissitude
To find that peace again our souls can fill;
While Mercy's shed, not like a trickling rill,
But in full streams, with never ceasing flow-
Softening our hearts obdurate, and our will
Conforming unto God's; until we know
It was all needful to keep us from sin and woe.
We now will pass from sad to lively scenes,
And bask awhile in July's warmth and smiles;
For settlers,' homes can furnish ample means
To have a Picnic 'mongst the beauteous isles
Bestudding Huron's face for many miles.
Why should not those, who live on such wild farms,
Enjoy a pleasant pastime, which beguiles
The jaded mind: affording many charms
To those who wish to flee from anti-social harms?
The subject some weeks previous had been broached,
And this enabled farmers to have care
Lest the event on needful work encroached-
A thing of which they all should be aware;
As they, through Summer, have scarce time to spare
For needful recreation in this way.
Now, by contrivance, they enjoy a share
Of sweet delight, on this auspicious day:
When several families make for a most pleasant Bay.
Fine was the day, and settlers' boats were ready
To bear their precious cargoes from the shore.
The Pastor's presence kept the young folks steady,
Though blandest smiles the happy party wore.
Strong, manly arms plied well each sturdy oar,
To make the boats fly swift o'er sparkling waves.
These seemed quite conscious of the freight they bore,
And kissed the water which their trim forms laved;
While all enjoyed a scene that ne'er the heart depraved.
And thus they reach a lovely Isle, tree-clad-
At no great distance from their starting place-
From whose high front most splendid views are had
Of other isles, all clothed in Summer's grace.
With rapture they now gaze on Nature's face;
See trees bedecked in brightest green attire,
Which look well pleased with July's warm embrace-
Their forms view in the Lake, and much admire
Their fine proportions; and more stateliness acquire.
For camping-ground they had not long to look;
A sheltered place, from underbrush quite free,
Was known to all as a most charming nook,
Where they might rest and eat in privacy.
On choice of this they every one agree;
Then place the baskets-laden with good things-
And now their voices, in sweet melody,
Present pure praises to the King of Kings:
A truly pleasant service that much blessing brings.
Young GOODWORTH'S then good poetry recited;
'Hymn to Mont Blanc,' and GRAVES' sweet 'Elegy;'
While MILTON'S lofty strains each one delighted,
And COWPER'S sketches-full of harmony.
CAMPBELL and WORDSWORTH yield variety,
And BURNS his quota furnished with the rest.
WILSON'S good Dramas, too, were deemed to be,
By all the company, among the best:
And I would find no fault with what was then expressed.
For lengthening out the pleasure thus obtained,
The Pastor undertook to criticise
Those pieces heard, and what was dark explained.
Next, needful illustration he supplies,
Or shows defects not seen by common eyes.
Comparing the best with sacred poetry,
He unfolds beauties in the Prophecies
Of great Isaiah, and quite readily
Paints in most glowing terms the Psalmist's minstrelsy!
Then speaks of Jeremiah's plaintive strain-
The 'Weeping Prophet' and true Patriot,
Who often wept for Zion, and felt pain
For her great sins; who, when God's wrath waxed hot
Against his country, ne'er her weal forgot,
But prayed and wrestled with the Lord of Hosts,
If, peradventure, he her crimes would blot
From out his Book; and yet he never boasts
Of love to country, as some do who seek high posts.
The book of Job-great in poetic lore-
He dwells upon, till wonder and delight
Seize all his hearers; most of whom before
Had not enjoyed a very clear insight
Into that Book, which tells of God's great might,
His wisdom, goodness and forbearance long
With his poor servant, brought to saddest plight
Through Satan's eagerness to drive him wrong;
When he poured forth his woes in deep impassioned song.
Next glanced at Moses' song on Red Sea shore-
When Pharaoh and his mighty host were drowned-
In which the Tribes most gratefully adore
Their great Deliverer, who on Egypt frowned.
No mortal uninspired could e'er have found
Such fitting language for that great event,
Those strains sublime, with glorious grandeur crowned,
Came forth from heaven, and back were thither sent
As worship to the Lord, from hearts, on praise intent.
'Twas now full time that they should all partake
Of the refreshment thither brought with care.
While thirst was quenched with water from the lake,
They each with each their choicest viands share.
But ere they eat of that most ample fate,
Due thanks are given in a proper song.
Such happy lot with any can compare,
So none need marvel if they tarried long,
For everything conspired to make Love's bonds quite strong.
The dinner o'er the older ones retired
To give the Island a complete survey.
In doing this they very much admired
Sweet scenes thus visited on that fine day.
The younger part had no desire to stray,
So they remained in that nice shady nook,
And joined together in a harmless play,
Or read awhile in some delightful book,
And thus of purest pleasure old and young partook.
The sun, quite fast into the West descending,
Now warned them all it was full time to go
To their dear homes, where sweetest comforts blending,
Gave no just cause neglect of them to show.
But yet their hearts, with gratitude aglow,
Prompt them once more to join in praise each voice
And now the Pastor sought from them to know
If they of proper hymn have made their choice,
As he had one composed, and truly would rejoice
If his attempt to speak the mind of all
For this day's pleasure and substantial joy
Should meet, with approbation and recall
The hours so sweetly spent without alloy.
He spoke of this to them with manners coy,
Like one not used to boast what he had done.
'Perhaps,' he said, 'They might their time employ
To more advantage if he ne'er begun
To give to them the Song which he in haste had spun.'
PASTOR'S SONG ON LEAVING THE ISLAND.
Soon Sol will sink into the West
And Luna shed her silvery beams;
Each songster seeks its wild-wood nest
To spend the night in love's sweet dreams.
And we, dear friends, prepare to leave
This Isle and each delightful scene,
And feel we have no cause to grieve
That we upon its shores have been.
For all, throughout this lovely day,
Have had much pleasure free from pain.
Then let us, ere we go away,
Lift up our hearts in praise again.
'O Thou who from thy bounteous hand
Dost give thy children all they need,
Behold us now-a loving band,
And all our boats in safety speed
'To yonder bay; then guide us home.
Accept our thanks for mercies great
We have enjoyed beneath thy dome,
In humble, yet contented state.'
Farewell, sweet Isle; may thy fair scenes
Ne'er witness orgies, vile, profane;
For this man's character demeans,
And never yields him solid gain.
With this short song they all were satisfied,
And soon agreed that it forthwith be sung.
In strong, warm feelyngs then each singer vied,
And some gave proof they had no lack of lung.
To Duke Street tune were their fine voices strung,
And thus verses went off charmingly,
While through the distant woods their loud notes rung.
The party now, with great alacrity
Regain the boats, and push into that deep, blue sea.
And what a beauteous scene was there presented
To their admiring gaze on that fine lake.
'Twas such that they could all have been contented
To stay forever; but a something spake
And bid them hasten, as life was at stake!
This may seem, strange, but they with dread behold
Heaven's face grow black, while mighty winds awake.
And now 'tis well that men both strong and bold
Have charge of those frail boats well filled with young and old.
In this their trouble they look up to God,
Who bids the angry elements be still;
And thus suspends o'er them his chastening Rod,
While deepest gratitude their bosoms fill,
Inspiring them afresh to do His will.
It nerves each heart and arm to ply the oar
With ceaseless efforts; working hard until
In safety every boat has reached the shore.
When the curbed storm at last does all its vengeance pour.
The rain comes down in torrents, and the flash
Of vivid lightning penetrates the gloom!
Loud roars the mighty thunder, and the dash
Of angry waves upon the ear doth boom!
The friends, escaped as from a watery tomb,
All stand together 'neath o'erhanging rock.
Somewhat appalled and rather pinched for room,
They list in silence each tremendous shock;
Yet Christ, their Shepherd, watches o'er his feeble flock.
The storm subsides, and they not much the worse,
Cheered by the bright moon beams haste on their way.
God's special mercies warmly they rehearse,
Which yields fresh comfort, as so well it may.
Upon the whole they had a pleasant day,
And ere each separate party leaves the track,
The Pastor says, 'Dear friends, now let us pray.'
All gave consent, and forth there rose no lack
Of earnest prayer to Him who safely brought them back.
Now while they separate and thence pursue
The several paths that lead them to their farms,
I seize occasion to bid warm adieu
To my poor Muse, who lent to me her charms
In my adventurous flight; and free from harms
Will live in hope the subject to resume
As leisure serves me and the topic warms
My height and fancy, which may truth illume,
That what I have to sing may live beyond the tomb.
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine, and all besides,
Through learned with labor, and though much admired
By curious eyes and judgments ill informed
To me is odious
Such should still be affectionate in look
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of Grace to guilty man
How strange the various scenes through which we pass
In our life's journey-onward to the grave!
Sometimes all smiles and sunshine; then alas,
Dark clouds hang o'er us, and God's help we crave.
Weak in adversity-when prosperous brave,
We often act a very foolish part;
Forsaking Mercies which our Father gave.
To follow our devices, till we smart
With self-inflicted pangs sent through our inmost heart.
So I, who many times have sung; of duty,
Too oft am led to slight my own, and feel
God's chastening hand, until I see the beauty
Of all His dealings with me for my weal.
And yet the hand that wounds is sure
The injured part; designing all in love;
And in such manner that He can't conceal
The Father's kindly heart. 'Tis thus we prove
His earnest wish to have us always look Above.
Some months have fled since I this task began,
Bringing to neat completion its first part.
Awhile my thoughts in easy measure ran,
Which much beguiled an often saddened heart.
And made me lay my pleasing task aside.
Now, as I write not for an earthly mart,
I have a wish that my poor rhymes may bide
The test of Scripture Truth by whomsoe'er applied.
I feel a sacred pleasure warm my breast
As I resume my simple tale of love:
A tale which is not in rich language dressed,
I fain would look for help from God above,
To leave a record of my principles;
And seek the guidance of the Heavenly Dove,
Whose influence the darkest doubt dispels,
And fills with purest peace the heart wherein he dwells.
This glorious truth was never more displayed
Than in dear GOODWORTH'S every day's employ;
Or in the fields or in the woodland shade,
His love of duty yielded constant joy;
Sweet Heaven-born Peace naught could in him destroy.
For why? He had in God most steadfast trust,
And things which do so many minds annoy
Led him to curb all anger, pride and lust,
While in each fresh distress he knew that God was just.
He also knew that he is merciful
And wish in all he does unto mankind.
If this we see not we are very dull,
And to our soul's best interests truly blind.
This to perceive some minds are too refined
By false philosophy and learning vain.
No wonder then if they are left behind
The humble child of God who with disdain
Views all these worldly pleasures that he might obtain.
Just so with GOODWORTH; though he had in schools
Learned much of what is termed deep classic lore,
He quite preferred to train his life by rules
Contained in Scripture; and it grieved him sore
To see some Christians-this all should deplore-
Neglect Christ's precepts to procure their ends.
But seeing this, he never once forbore
To speak plain truth and reap what oft attends
An upright course-ev'n scorn; but this his walk commends.
In his snug home he evermore obtained
What flowed from love-a holy reverence.
Of harsh commands his children ne'er complained;
Wrangling and discord both were banished thence.
His much loved wife possessed some rare good sense,
And seconded his efforts for their good.
She never sought in earnest or pretence
To lower him before his flesh and blood;
While to increase their comforts she did all she could.
Nor was it strange if such a home as this
Made him content his leisure time to spend
Within his family circle; for such bliss
Comes not to all, who seek to make an end
Of troubles that a single life attend,
By entering soon into the marriage state.
If such folks would but strict attention lend
To Bible teaching, they might share the fate
Of these, our friends, on whom true pleasure seemed to wait.
Their constant mutual love became the theme
With all who knew them in that Settlement;
Domestic bliss was proved no idle dream,
For in true happiness their lives were spent.
To labor hard they always were content,
Regarding Paul's advice and his example:
It was their thought they were but thither sent
To furnish proof which all might own was ample
That they loved Jesus' laws, on which too many trample.
Let none imagine they e'er built on this
A hope of endless happiness in heaven.
They deemed it right all men should bow submiss
To His Authority, whose life was given
For sinners vile; that they might not be driven
Away from Him to dwell in endless woe.
This oft has cheered them on as they have striven
To lead their fellow men God's truth to know;
And every day its power did their behavior show.
The Spring is past and Summer's heat has fled.
United diligence hath well supplied
A plenteous store of more than needful bread,
For they have some choice luxuries beside,
By which means different tastes were gratified.
The snug ten acre field with wheat is sown,
And looks most promising. Should naught betide
To hurt their present prospects this alone
Will well repay them for the hardships they have known.
And now the necessary steps are taken
To shield the cattle from dread Winter's rage.
Necessity-stern master-does awaken
Their full inventive powers, and they engage
With ready ardor pens and sheds to wage;
And in the absence of commodious barn,
They stack with care their straw, and thus are sage
Compared with many whom no dangers warn,
And who, though often suffering, will not stoop to learn.
A good supply of hard wood they obtain,
To serve them through the season drawing near,
When rude King Frost will hold tyrranic reign,
Making the country desolate and drear.
But in those woods they have small cause for fear
From Winter's howling, fearful, bitter blasts,
For they have fuel in abundance near,
And the huge wood file constant comfort casts
Into the snug log house long as the season lasts.
All these arrangements made, the Pastor felt
He had more leisure now to walk abroad;
And in the gorgeous woods he often knelt
In fervent prayer before his Father, God.
For miles around his feet have pressed the sod
Which ne'er was turned by plow up to the sun-
Wilds that the foot of white man seldom trod,
And where no clearance had as yet begun:
Where he could sit and watch some charming brooklet run.
Or now and then would wander near the side
Of that majestic Lake, whose isles, tree clad
And decked in Autumn's tints, appeared to ride
With all their splendors quite elate and glad
On Huron's silvery surface. Such scenes had
A powerful charm to one of GOODWORTH'S mind.
They would indeed, if aught had made him sad,
Often dispel his gloom and leave behind
Precious remembrances of an enduring kind.
This was no marvel for his soul was filled
With true poetic fire; and oft sweet song
Of purest praise spontaneously has welled
From his enraptured heart. Then he would long
To leave a world where misery and wrong
So much prevail, but yet content to stay
And sere his master, his poor saints among;
Would try to save those led from God astray,
That he might aid Christ's cause while it is called 'To-day.'
Amidst such scenery he would sometimes take
In haste his pencil, that he might note down
Such thought as gushing from their fountain make
The truest poetry that man has known.
A specimen or two will now be shown
Ere I proceed with my unlettered tale.
If I mistake not they have all been drawn
From Nature's store, and if so should not fail
To claim our deep respect while they our minds regale.
PASTOR'S AUTUMNAL SONG.
Sweet Nature in grandeur Autumnal lies still,
And I stand all entranced mid the gorgeous display,
While the sun brightly sets o'er yon westermost hill,
And soft twilight succeeds to a most balmy day.
It is sweet in our woods a free ranger to wander,
And view the bright tints the frost makes on the leaves;
To watch day by day, as the colors grow grander,
And its garb evanescent each tall tree receives.
'Tis here that I feel my breast heave with emotion,
While reflections arise in its deepest recess;
And these in their turn fill my soul with devotion,
As I trace the Kind Hand for my aid in distress.
These all are thy works, O, Thou glorious Being!
Thou art the great Limner with whom none can vie;
Yet dim are the splendors as night comes, fast fleeing,
Compared with the glories around Thee on high.
Amidst this array comes the solemn thought stealing,
That these glowing colors will soon pass away.
Each rude blast of wind seems a passing bell pealing,
And loudly is calling all Christians to pray.
For full preparation, ere Death comes to call them
To lay all earth's cares and sweet pleasures aside;
That they may be happy whatever befall them,
Still trusting in Jesus, the Lamb who hath died.
HIS SONG TO A RILL.
Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,
Murm'ring softly down this hill,
Oft I list thy charming voice,
At the bright and early morn,
As the Sun comes from the East,
While his beams these scenes adorn,
To furnish minds like mine a feast.
Sweetly musical, pure Rill,
Thou dost me with pleasure fill.
As I note thy varied charms
Dulcet sounds fall on my ear,
Soothing much a saddened heart;
Easing me of grief and fear,
Till I grieve from thee to part.
Modest, unassuming Rill,
Thou art formed by matchless skill.
Grace and beauty are displayed
In thy ever-smiling face
And the objects which surround
This thy home; where I can trace
Traits to make this hallowed ground.
Lively, joyous, trickling Rill!
As I gaze upon thee still,
Wanders back my mind afar
To those haunts of boyish days,
When my young and ardent soul
Warbled forth its earnest lays,
Gladly following Nature's call.
Glittering, dancing, pearly Rill!
Thou dost well thy Maker's will
In regarding his behest.
Teaching Christians all the way
They must take to please their God;
Lest in dangerous paths they stray,
And bring upon themselves his Rod.
Swiftly flowing, gentle Rill,
Murm'ring softly down this hill,
I must bid thee now farewell;
Other scenes my presence claim.
My dear Master's work demands
What will bring no earthly fame-
The labor of my heart and hands.
Upon these songs no farther I comment;
They speak a language dear unto my soul;
And I could dwell through all my life content
To gaze on Nature, who doth never pall
A mind well tuned to listen to the call
Of her pure minstrelsy, which yields delight
Unmixed, enduring, as the seasons roll
In quick succession, hymning forth the Might
Of their All-wise Creator, who doth all things right.
'Tis 'Indian Summer,' and the sun looks down
As if afraid to show his blazing face.
And now the woods assume a darker brown,
While in the weather there is not a trace
Of Summer's ardent heat that doth unbrace
The nerves of most, and makes one long to feel
The cooling breeze as Winter comes apace
To scatter forest leaves with savage zeal,
Which do the narrow wood-paths by their fall conceal.
And now the copious rains come pouring down,
Filling the creeks and swamps and rivers full;
Or in the woods or in the growing town,
Things wear an aspect truly dark and dull.
Through deep, stiff mud the stoutest oxen pull
With much ado the very smallest load;
While many a blow across his patient skull
Urges the meek ox slowly on the road,
Tiring the settler out ere he reach his abode.
Anon the angry northwest winds arise,
Bringing dark scowling clouds full fraught with snow.
This all discharged, perhaps for months there lies
One vast white sheet which screens the plants below
From biting frosts, while easier to and fro
The settlers move in their convenient sleighs.
These heed not cold if they have hearts aglow
With friendly feelings, but will speed for days
Along the snow-paved roads and on some strange highways.
At such a time Goodworth and eldest son
Left home and all its inmates in God's care;
But ere they had their first day's journey done
A circumstance occurred by no means rare.
An English emigrant had settled where
The woods were heavy and no neighbors near.
He had partaken of the morning's fare
And armed with axe dreamt not of cause for fear-
Thought he'd be back at noon to wife and children dear.
But noontide came and brought no father fond
To take his place and share the frugal meal.
They little knew that his loved form beyond
In that dark wood could no emotion feel.
The loving wife could very ill conceal
Dread thoughts which rose within her faithful breast.
Should he be dead her own and children's weal
Were fled forever. So, with mind distressed
She went to search the woods and gave herself no rest.
At last she came to where a huge tree lay
Athwart the body of the hapless man.
By grief distracted there she could not stay,
But up the road with frightful speed she ran.
Soon she met Goodworths and forthwith began
To tell her tale most incoherently.
Few words were needful at such a time to fan
Love's flame in them or make them prove to be
Both Good Samaritans to that poor family.
They took her up and tried to calm her mind
Until they came to that soul-harrowing scene.
Now all alight; ere long the axe they find,
Which had so late the man's companion been.
His stiffened corpse was wedged quite fast between
The tree and frozen earth, and naught remained
But first the widow with sleigh-robes to screen
From bitter cold; and this point having gained
They soon cut through the tree, so well had they been trained.
It then became their melancholy duty
To take the lifeless form from the sad spot.
And now the widow in sweet, mournful beauty
Directs the new-found friends to her log cot.
A tearless eye within that home was not-
All felt the dreadful nature of the loss
Which had that day occurred, for naught could blot
His great worth from their minds. He ne'er was cross
To those who clung to him as to the tree the moss.
To leave this family in such piteous state
Was out of question, so young GOODWORTH took
The horses out-for now 'twas growing late-
To quench their thirst at a clear purling brook,
And gave them food within a sheltered nook;
Then found some boards and made a coffin rude.
Meanwhile the father took God's holy Book
And read such portions as teach fortitude
To us, that all immoderate grief may be subdued.
'Twas well that mother long had known the Lord,
For wondrous strength is now to her imparted;
And each clear promise in the Holy Word
Proved balm unto her soul, though much she smarted.
In both the GOODWORTHS she found friends warm hearted,
Friends who could give their love and sympathy;
And ere they from her humble home departed
They showed such proofs of generosity
As did with their profession very well agree.
For such a work by sad experience trained,
They soon proceeded to lay out the dead;
And though fatigued they ne'er of it complained.
Nor would they let the widow spread a bed
For their joint use, but sat and watched instead.
She, much refreshed by prayer and conversation
Retired to rest her weaned heart and head.
They spent the night in solemn contemplation
Or read that precious Book which does unfold Salvation.
When morning came their plans were well matured,
And each went off to tell the mournful news.
Ere noon appeared assistance they secured,
For help at such time who can well refuse?
Some brought their tools which they knew how to use,
And dug a grave in the selected spot.
There round it grew no stately, somber yews,
But these and other things it needed not
To be fit resting-place for one not soon forgot.
When all was ready GOODWORTH lent support
To the bereaved one following the bier.
In sweet-toned language he did her exhort
To look to Him who 'bottles up each tear'
His children shed while in deep sorrow here.
They reached the grave, where she with firmness stood
And felt such comfort as dispelled her fear.
Such fruits spring from true Christian Brotherhood
To all who rest their hopes on Christ's atoning blood.
Due rites performed, the settlers flock around
The widowed mother and warm offers make
Of humble service, with respect profound.
This wished the boy and that the girl to take,
And treat them well for their dear parents' sake.
She heard these offers with much thankfulness,
But said to part with them her heart would break-
Would miss them, too, in this her sad distress,
And they could get along if God their efforts bless.
That night the Pastor ventured to enquire
What were her prospects? Did she money need?
The answer made he could not but admire:
'Her God had ever proved a friend indeed;
Cheered by His promises which she could plead,
She doubted not He would them still protect,
And, make their labors on the farm succeed;
Her boy was strong, and had such great respect
For what was right that he his work would not neglect.'
Next day the friends prepared again to start
On their cold journey soon as it was light.
Both urged their hostess freely to impart
To them from time to time her prospects bright
Or the reverse, as she might deem it right.
In fervent prayer they her to God commend,
Then bade Farewell and soon were out of sight
They reached that day their lengthy journey's end,
And gained a hearty welcome from their loving friend.
That friend lived in a village destined soon
To show few traces of the times gone past
When its fair site was woods where the racoon,
The bear, and wolf had munched their stolen repast.
In wealth and people 'twas increasing fast,
But not in morals-these were very low;
Yet some there lived who roused themselves at last
And with great vigor met the monster foe-
Ev'n vile Intemperance-to give him his death blow.
This end they hoped for by the simple means
Of total abstinence from liquors strong.
The frequent use of these gives rise to scenes
Which all good men would scorn to be among.
Vile oaths, the boisterous mirth, the wanton song,
Were constant heard within each horrid den
Where these vile drinks were retailed all day long.
'Twas sad indeed to view such filthy pen
Filled with poor ruined wretches who once had been men.
Throughout the village there were many such,
And as a consequence great mischief done.
It is surprising and has grieved me much
To think our Magistrates have laurels won
By doing what all devils view as fun!
Why grant a license to each Groggery
When it is evident men only run
To those low places for iniquity,
Till they become as vile as wicked men can be?
Our Pastor's friend was one among the number
That first came forward openly to stand
On 'total Abstinence,' nor did he slumber,
But to the work lent willing heart and hand.
GOODWORTH knew this, and having at command
A little leisure held a meeting there.
He spoke with warmth in language bold yet bland,
Using such arguments as made men stare
Who went for sake of fun, but got some better fare.
With ready tact he showed the means insidious
Used oft by those who sold the drunkard drink.
To lure him on by stimulants oblivious,
Till he lost self-command, and ceased to think.
Then showed him tottering on the fearful brink
Of the wide-opening grave and drunkard's hell,
And truthfully described how link by link
Of sacred ties were severed, as the spell
Grew daily stronger, and a sot confirmed he fell.
And now he drew as with a master's hand,
A vivid picture of sad family woes;
The broken-hearted wife oft forced to stand
Betwixt her children and their father's blows-
He mad with rum, thus trampling Nature's laws;
Or gave a life-like sketch where parents vie
In drunken riot, every day the cause
Of strife and discord, the poor home a sty
Where filth and rags surround them, till like beasts they die.
And then he gave with most consummate skill
A true description of Sobriety,
Where man and wife walk up and down Life's hill
In sweet conjugal peace and piety;
Their love increasing as more years they see,
Their children growing up like olive plants
To love and cherish much their memory,
And if need be in Age supply their wants,
Then meet with that reward which God to such still grants.
While he was speaking there was some excitement,
And at the meeting's close a number came
To sign the Pledge, expressing much delightment.
Yet some were there who slunk away in shame,
Muttering that they were not a whit to blame
For the poor drunkard's fate, although they had
Used every means to keep alive the flame
Which burned their vitals and made them quite mad.
That these escape due punishment is far too bad.
I here would try to speak my mind in brief
Upon the Temperance movement ere I pass
To other scenes, either of joy or grief,
In which our Pastor figures-for alas,
'Man's best laid schemes are only like to grass
Which springs up for a season and then dies.'
Just so this question 'mongst the world's great mass
Sometimes seems gaining ground, but the Foe plies
His sly ensnaring waits and all reform defies.
Now why is this? Can any tell me why?
Some feel quite sure all we now want's a law
To stop the godless traffic. These rely
Perhaps too much on man to strike the blow
Which is to bring the fell Destroyer low.
Others are sure that it is useless quite
To curb the monster. These ne'er felt the glow
Of pure Philanthropy move them aright
Or they would rise and aim to crush this demon's might.
Try this scheme, friends: Let all true Christians stand
Fast in one body, and use fervent prayer
And self-denial, that the Lord's right hand
May be stretched out to break each chain and snare
Which binds mankind. Then let it be our care
To act consistently in all we do.
Of resting on an arm of flesh beware!
For in this case our plans will all fall through;
We shall be put to shame and feel deep anguish too.
May we no opportunity neglect
Of spreading wide the Gospel's joyful sound
For those who never do indeed expect
That God's rich blessing will their steps surround.
Thrice happy shall we be if we are found
Engaged still thus when Jesus calls us hence.
Rise, Christians, then, and let your zeal abound!
The Savior calls! In earnest now commence
This Godlike work, and let his name be our defence.
I now resume my simple narrative,
To tell how GOODWORTHS reached their home again.
More striking views of them I yet must give,
If I may strike my harp and use my pen.
To me who rank not 'mongst well learned men
'Twill prove a task of no small magnitude;
Yet after hard bench-labor, now and then
It gives relief from much solicitude
To sit in my arm chair and form my verses rude.
Once more our friends are gliding o'er the road,
While their clear bells most lively music make.
The sleighing good, and past each log abode
They swiftly fly and soon a side-line take
To gain an Indian village near the Lake.
Here they intend to spend a little time
The poor Red Men from sin and death to wake
By speaking to them of those Truths sublime,
Which can renew the souls of men sunk low in crime.
The Indian Chiefs received them with much pleasure;
They saw in GOODWORTH what did suit them well.
Of outward charms he had an ample measure,
And his fine voice was like a deep-toned bell.
These all combined cast as it were a spell
Over those haughty rangers of the wood,
And made them ponder what he had to tell.
It was a sight to see those natives rude
List to God's Gospel-message in a serious mood.
They listened, and the Holy Ghost with power
Sent home the word to some of savage heart.
These since have seen great cause to bless the hour
In which our Pastor visited that part.
A few, deep-skilled in blackest 'heathen art'
Were full of rage and would have done him harm,
But lacked the power, which but increased their smart.
Meanwhile the others with fresh feelings warm,
Pressed hospitable rites and quelled the fierce alarm.
With these he had some very earnest talk
Of that obedience which the Lord requires
From his Disciples, to ensure a walk
Such as may tend to curb our vain desires
And nurture that which to all good aspires.
He deemed it proper not to press at first
The rite Baptismal; and while one admires
His views on this, another seems to thirst
For full initiation lest he die accursed.
This from an Indian did excite surprise;
But soon 'twas known this man had heard before
A hint of it from some one he thought wise-
One truly skilled in strong Sectarian lore.
To try to set him right Goodworth forbore,
At least at that time, as too well he knew
Men oft in controversy feel more sore
On things of which they have but partial view;
That they will argue most for what to them is new.
Upon the morrow ere they took their leave,
It was arranged-God willing-to return
Within a week or two those to receive
Into strict Fellowship who wished to learn
God's will, which all in Scripture may discern,
That in Church standing they a light might be
To their poor friends whose state required concern.
This settled, GOODWORTHS then most cheerfully
Resumed their journey home to join their family.
The first few miles in safety soon they passed,
And reach the edge of a most dismal swamp
Stretched out before them in dimensions vast;
A huge receptacle of gloom and damp.
There savage wolves and beasts of such a stamp
Might lodge secure and plan most daring deeds.
Gloomy the prospect, though the solar Lamp
Was full two hours from setting, and the steeds
Restive become and faster fly as instinct leads.
The men knew well what they had to expect,
And sent a prayer into their Father's ear.
This done, they did no proper means neglect
To meet what danger might be hovering near,
And also strove each others' hearts to cheer.
Swifter the horses speed o'er the rough logs
That form the road, and now some wolves appear
Hungry and fierce and fresh from noisome bogs,
To pounce upon our friends who lack their faithful dogs.
The murderous gang now spring but miss their prey,
And plunging in deep snow vent forth their rage
In horrid yells, then strive to reach the sleigh.
Again they fail; again afresh engage
With double fury bloody war to wage!
Vain their attempts. A Mighty Hand unseen
Aids those two men. This does their fears assuage,
And nerves their arms, and keeps their minds serene,
Or they had failed to tell how good the Lord had been.
The swamp is cleared, yet on the smoother road
Their speed they slack not till they reach the house
Of a poor drunken settler then abroad
On his nocturnal revels, while the spouse
Was left to mourn his oft-indulged carouse,
And tremble for his safety from the cold.
No sense of danger e'er could him arouse
From his sad sunken state. Drink had such hold
On his gross appetite he seemed to Satan sold.
And yet the wife, the mother of his babes,
Ne'er breathed reproach against her low-sunk mate.
Such love as her's it is which sometimes saves
A wretched husband from a drunkard's fate.
'Tis true such love is oft repaid with hate,
And driven to distraction wives may say
Hard things of men who bring them to a state
Of heartfelt woe, and drive their feet astray
From Virtue's paths, until they shun the light of day.
But here and there a character shines forth,
As in this case, most worthy of all praise.
For this sweet wife was one of matchless worth,
And her dear name should grace my artless lays,
If I by that means could her triumphs raise.
She was in truth a noble heroine,
Whose brow might well have been bedecked with bays;
For deeds like hers through every age should shine
To show the strength of Love and prove it is divine.
O, woman! who has skill of mind or pen
Those feelings to portray that fill thy breast?
All we yet see are glimpses, now and then,
Which make us long the more to know the rest.
Self-sacrificing woman! thou'rt possessed
Of that which does enable thee to bear
A load of misery on thy heart impressed
By wrongs from him who should thy sorrows share,
And make the daily weal his ever constant care.
His home in that far North wild wilderness,
Had naught about it which could tell the tale
Of what that mother suffered of distress,
For hope-fond hope had kept her strong and hale.
It was still whispering she would soon prevail
Upon her husband to renounce his sin.
This cheered her heart although her face grew pale
With anxious care how best she could begin
And what means to employ that she might victory win.
So GOODWORTH found her on that bitter night
With house quite trim and table neatly laid,
And hopeful still though in a serious plight,
As we have hinted, very much afraid
Lest her dear man should freeze. 'He is,' she said,
'As good a husband as I could desire
But lot his fault. He always has displayed
Such love for me that I will never tire
Of loving him, though none my conduct may admire.'
And saying this she would have gone alone
The absent one upon the road to seek.
Her ardent love conspicuously shown
On that occasion, and I fain would speak
Her praise with trumpet tongue, though she so meek
Might blush to hear it and feel half offended.
Now GOODWORTHS thought that one whom they deemed
Was best at home, yet they her love commended,
And volunteered to go, by trusty dog attended.
'Twas not in vain. Behind a Huge pine tree
The man, o'ercome, was lying fast asleep;
Nor could they rouse him, so far gone was he,
Or from the cold or from potations deep.
An unseen Eye did faithful vigils keep
O'er that poor sinner though he knew it not;
And thoughts of this has since oft made him weep
Tears of true penitence in that lone spot,
Which gave to him a lesson that he ne'er forgot.
This spot was very near to where he lived,
And the kind friends Drink's hapless victim bore
To his own home, both feeling truly grieved
That his sad state would make his wife's heart sore.
And now the faithful dog trots on before,
Most clearly glad because his master's found.
Anon he whines and scratches at the door,
Which makes his mistress' heart within her bound
As she peers through the dark and tries to catch some sound.
Each moment seemed an hour as thus she stood
In doubt, expecting some great evil near;
And when they came the sight nigh froze her blood.
She fainting fell, through mingled grief and fear.
Meanwhile the children in the chamber hear
A noise below, and leave their snug, warm bed,
Then in deep sorrow view their parents dear,
And big, warm tears each youngling freely shed,
For their idea was that both were lying dead.
Our friends knew better and strove eagerly
To still their cries and consciousness restore
Unto the sufferers. Soon with joy they see
The mother fast recovering; her they bore
Into her bed-room that they might give more
Attention to the drunken father's case.
He in deep stupor did most loudly snore
And looked quite frightful with frost-bitten face,
Which kept him long in mind of that-his great disgrace.
Next they rub hard with snow the frozen parts,
Until the flesh displays a ruddy glow.
This task accomplished they with lighter hearts
Deeper concernment for the mistress show.
She, quite awake, most anxious was to know
Their full opinion of her partner's state.
The favorable answer made her bow
Her heart to God for this his mercy great,
In having kept her man from such an awful fate.
From bed she rose and pressed on them to eat,
But GOODWORTH asked if he might go to prayer.
She gave consent, and 'fore the Mercy Seat
They poured forth thanks for all their Father's care,
And prayed that all within the house might share
God's rich forgiving love, and ever be
Devoted to his service: so prepare
By constant practice of true piety
To join the heavenly ranks a happy family.
And now they eat with keenest appetite
Of the good things so temptingly displayed-
Prime venison with bread both sweet and light;
And charming butter as e'er housewife made
Were with tea, cream, and rich preserves arrayed
In plentiful supply upon the table.
These, backed by welcome, all their toil repaid,
And they found backwoods cheer indeed no fable;
Yet to partake thereof their hostess was not able.
Their noble team they came so near forgetting,
Had been provided for with care by one
Who gave his parents no just cause for fretting-
A rather small but very hopeful son.
Around the blazing hearth-fire they begun
To draw their chairs to dwell in converse pure
Another hour on what the Lord had done;
How he had kept them all from death secure
And caused their love and faith through trials to endure.
The guests both slept in peace and early rose,
And found their host already stirring round,
And suffering much from being badly froze,
And strangely nervous at the slightest sound.
The elder GOODWORTH spoke to him and found
That Conscience was at work within his breast.
She made him hear with reverence profound
Truths suited to the case of one distressed
By sense of heinous guilt, which drives away all rest.
He also brought most forcibly to view
The need there was of 'total abstinence'
For such as he; and step by step he drew
The man along till an o'erwhelming sense
Of his great crime made him wish to commence
At once a life of strict Sobriety.
He signed a pledge and straightway banished thence
The fiery fluid, his great enemy,-
And did thenceforward keep his pledge most sacredly.
The breakfast o'er, our two friends bade adieu
To parents, children, in their kindly way.
'Twas now their wish to push the journey through
Before the close of that short Winter day.
The Sun was up and made a grand display
Upon the trees and shrubs on every hand;
These all were clad in silvery array,
As if transformed by some Magician's wand,
But 'twas the work of Him who counts the grains of sand.
For through the night a change had taken place-
Such as we frequent view without surprise.
Rain falls and freezes-this is oft the case-,
And trees look pretty to our outward eyes,
But is this all that such a view supplies?
Can we not trace a Mighty Artist's skill,
Which competition from mankind defies?
Then let us learn to reverence Him still,
Who forms these beauteous scenes according to His will.
Dear GOODWORTH gazed upon the glittering scene
Until his soul was filled with ecstacy.
Here he perceived that God indeed had been
To clothe dull Winter in great majesty.
To him it was so full of poetry
That he was led to frame another lay,
Which seems to me to breathe such melody
I must ev'n give it without more delay,
And rest in hope 'twill live far, far beyond my day.
PASTOR'S SONG ON THE FROST-WORK OF A FOREST SCENE.
Last night's air was keen and the snow lay around;
All the trees, stript of leaves, were quite naked and black,
And naught broke the stillness so very profound
Save the jingle of bells as we passed o'er the track.
And little we thought of the sorrowful state
Of that fond, loving, wife by whose bountiful cheer
Our needs were supplied, nor yet dreamt of the fate
Impending o'er one-to her heart ever dear.
As little expected the clouds of despair
Hanging terribly pregnant with evils so dire
Would all quickly vanish in answer to prayer,
And sweet comfort spring forth from the midst of the fire.
As little we thought that the rude rising blast
Would bring rain to transform every dark forest scene
To richness of splendor by nothing surpassed
That we mortals have witnessed of wonders' terrene.
Yon maple trees bend with their silvery load
Like the frail sons of earth under ponderous wealth.
These feel keen affliction their consciences goad,
Yet they heed not the warning till Death comes by stealth.
And those, though they look on this calm, sunny day,
To be robed in pure beauty so strikingly grand,
Should Boreas arise his least might to display,
Would be stript of their charms by his merciless hand.
And yonder dark pines that seem still to aspire
To pre-eminence over their comrades below,
Which shine in Sol's rays like huge masses of fire,
To the earth their proud heads may be soon made to bow.
Yon oaks, which, like kings of the forest appear,
With their thick, crooked branches all coated with ice,
Never dream that the loss of their splendor is near,
That each branch may be broke by the wind in a trice.
Just so we vain mortals indulge foolish pride,
When we deck our poor bodies in splendid attire;
And oft has the Tempter successfully tried
With such means us to lead to most sinful desire.
How seldom we think that the primitive use
Of the first suit of clothing by Adam and Eve
Was not for adornment with trappings profuse,
But as cover for nakedness-guilt to relieve.
This lesson more frequently brought to our view
Might preserve all our souls from much sorrow and sin,
And make us more anxious each day to renew
Those adornings which Christians should all have within.
With reflections like these in true pleasure I gaze
On this landscape so fair-so transcendently bright,
And utter my heart's feeble tones of sweet praise
To my Father who formed it by Wisdom and Might.
Thus to a mind by sacred Truth impressed
Nature at all times is an open book,
And he who reads aright is truly blest.
But ah, how much her teachings we overlook!
One who his Scripture Guide has quite forsook
Makes her an idol, and her praises sings
In warmest strains; he hears in every nook
Of her domain a thousand different things
Proclaim her Godship, which to him much pleasure brings.
Another, dreaming he is taught of God,
Will hardly deign to look on her sweet face.
His feet may press the flower-bespangled sod,
But to admire the carpet would disgrace
A mind so holy, and perhaps displace
Far better thoughts which rise within his breast!
In such a one 'twere difficult to trace
The influence of Truths sublime expressed
By our Great Master in discourse to us addressed.
As on most questions, mine's the middle view,
And looks on all creation as the work
Of God All-wise, most kind and mighty too.
This frees my mind from all vain thoughts which lurk
In its recesses, dissipates the murk
Of idol worship and religious pride,
And makes me proof 'gainst each insidious quirk
Thrown out by those who do my views deride;
Whose judgment seems to me from truth and reason wide.
In musings deep or Lively conversation,
The time flies quickly as our friends draw near
Their woodland home, which, after separation
So long from those it holds, is still more dear.
Anon, friends' farms successively appear,
And at Luth's house they stop to rest awhile
Themselves and team. There they lack not good cheer
Nor kindly welcome, shown by many a smile
From man and wife, a loving pair quite free from guile.
From Luth they learned all their dear folks were well,
And this relieved them from anxiety;
So now with grateful hearts awhile they dwell
Upon those themes which dear to Saints should be-
Spoke of the love displayed so lavishly
In journeying mercies, wheresoe'er they went;
Of good accomplished-though with modesty-
By them as instruments most timely sent;
And thus an hour or two was profitably spent.
Ere very long they reached their own abode-
That Nest well lined with Love, Content and Peace,
Where true home feelings in each bosom glowed,
And solid comforts day by day increase,
Bidding quite fair to last till life shall cease.
This their return the trusty dogs first hear,
And they by joyous barking rouse the geese,
The ducks and poultry, which in chorus clear
At once their voices raise, dreaming that harm is near.
The household listen to the noise outside
A few short moments, when the youngest son
Struck by a pleasant thought could not abide
Longer suspense, but in a trice begun
To don his hat and gloves, both quickly done.
He hurries forth and by fair Luna's gleam
His eyes beheld what made him faster run
To bid the loved ones welcome, and the team
To house, and give such food as he may fittest deem.
The two well loaded with their traveling gear,
Make for the cottage fast as they can go.
There the three females cheerfully appear
Determined they a welcome will bestow
Such as most virtuous minds alone can show.
Sweet smiles bedeck the mother's comely face,
The daughters too with joy are all aglow,
Quite pleased to have a kiss or warm embrace
From those they love so well at such a time and place.
Reader, dost thou possess imagination?
If so, just use that precious faculty
And join with me in making observation
On love scenes drawn from this dear family.
Thou art no eavesdropper, but yet I see
An interest sparkling in thy earnest face
Which shows thy heart doth go along with me
As I such secrets do my best to trace
And hold them up to view to benefit my race.
Imagine then the cordial reception
That I above have feebly tried to paint.
My picture has the charm of no deception-
A thing of which there's oft not much complaint.
Behold this loving band without restraint
Gathered mound the evening's social board,
Each in such frame of mind as seems a Saint,
Even in their eating honoring the Lord,
As they with temperance use whate'er their means afford.
The father in most truly Pastoral style
Spoke of the dangers they had just passed through;
Dwelt on the English settler's death awhile.
And the sweet conduct of the widow, too,
Until the listeners had enough to do
To calm their feelings and restrain their fears.
Their sympathy was pure, to nature true,
Which made them deeply feel the griefs and fears
Of fellow mortals; and their father's heart it cheers.
He next informed them of the low sunk state
Of that new village where he meetings held.
How some few men were snatched from drunkard's fate,
How drink's most worthless traffic had been quelled,
And prejudice by force of Truth dispelled.
Next of their visit to the Indian tribe;
Told who received the Truth and who repelled
Its influx to their souls and Satan's bribe
Received, which did of Life Eternal them deprive.
The wolf adventure and Inebriate's case
Received due notice and called loud for praise
To Him whose hand they could-so clearly trace,
Who had most kindly cared for them always.
Then the Doxology at once they raise
To the 'Old Hundred,' the immortal air,
The clear, full harmony of which displays
Such skill that mortals now may well despair
Of making better tune though they have talents rare.
This done once more they read God's holy Word,
Choosing such portion as their minds may suit.
Then in great reverence kneel with full accord,
And fervent pray, though all save one are mute.
Are there who deem such acts of no repute?
Sad is their state, for they have nothing learned
As well worth learning. Will they this dispute?
Alas, poor sinners, you are not concerned
That you have Christ refused and thus your soul's good spurned.
We'll draw the curtain while the family sleep-
Such sleep as pure contentment ever brings;
And while good Angels, o'er them vigils keep,
Let's pause a little that my rude harp's strings
May be drawn tighter, that my Muse her wings
Afresh may plume, ere she completes her song
For she has yet to sing of pleasant things
And the reverse, so she must needs be strong
To execute her task as time fast flies along.
The occasion I will take to introduce
More fully to my patient reader's view
This worthy household; which will be of use
In after scenes, as I my tale renew.
Joseph, the eldest, we have seen was true
To God and Nature in some trials great:
Much like his father year by year he grew
Until he reached to manhood's full estate;
In manners humble, and in preaching gifts first rate.
William, the younger, was not quite so grave;
As kind in heart, but still more blithe and free;
Quite serious on occasions and most brave,
There were few youths more loveable than he.
In Sunday school 'twas his delight to be,
There he still led the singing and took part
In teaching children the 'great Mystery'
Of gospel truth, and many a childish heart
Felt that the loss of him would yield unceasing smart.
The sisters, younger still, I must compare
To two fair roses very lately blown;
Who, though they lived in the woods, were debonair
As any town's girls I have ever known.
Their skill in housewifery was clearly shown
In the discharge of all their household duties.
They both had voices of the sweetest tone-
Not shrill nor harsh, but more like what the flute is,
And were by all who saw them looked upon as beauties.
But those were naught compared with Faith and Love
Possessed by both, evinced by all their acts;
And nothing pleased them better than to prove
That pure Religion never aught subtracts
From real enjoyment, as is shown by facts
Which all who can may read if so inclined.
'Tis true our Father evermore exacts
Complete obedience, but our hearts refined
By the Spirit through the Truth know all's in love designed.
Clarissa and Louisa were the names
Bestowed upon these daughters at their birth,
And 'twas foretold by some attendant dames
That each when grown would have uncommon worth.
This prophecy gave rise to harmless mirth
In after years, and led the girls to say
That in their conduct there should be no dearth
Of loveliness, for fear it should betray
The fame of those good dames still living in their day.
'Surely those parents must have been well off!'
Some reader may exclaim in scorn or jest;
But if 'twere not so there's no need to scoff,
And if it were I have the truth expressed.
Mine eyes have seen some parents quite as blest
In all their offspring, and I hope to see
My own dear children in their day attest
That what I write is true, and ever be
A loving, happy band and useful family.
I have an aim in making this digression,
Can anyone divine what it may be?
Though not a Papist I will make confession
And clear at once the seeming mystery.
Luth had a son now grown to man's degree,
Who made proposals for Clarissa's hand,
And GOODWORTH thought for aught that he could see
It was not well their wishes to withstand,
So let things take the way they were already planned.
And Joseph, wishing not to be behind
His darling sister, cast about his eyes
And soon found one possessing generous mind,
Whose fund of worth proved his selection wise.
Her name methinks the reader may surmise,
For it was Ruth and also Luth, a maid
Who did prepare for matrimonial ties
In prayerful spirit, and who ne'er betrayed
That love of coquetry by many girls displayed.
Both these young folks had followed the example
Of worthy parents, and as Christians stood
In that young Church. Their worldly means were ample
At least for such as wed from motives good.
Besides if needful they could earn their food,
Which made their marriage prospects bright and cheering,
Things thus far settled they did all they could
To haste the nuptials, and grew more endearing
As the auspicious day drew nearer its appearing.
Again the Sabbath day came duly round,
And Goodworth met his flock with heartfelt joy.
Once more he faithful preached 'the joyful sound,'
Or taught the Saints sin's fetters to destroy,
And how their time and talents to employ.
Then just before the 'Breaking of the Bread'
He of his journey spoke in manner coy,
And deep attention by the Church was paid
As he recounted mercies sent by Christ their Head.
Upon the work especial stress he laid,
Begun by God amongst the poor Red Men,
And moved by sacred zeal he boldly said
That something must be done; but how or when
Was for the Church to say. As he stood then
Chosen of God and them to oversee,
His little flock, he could not go again
Without depriving some of Ministry
Most needful at that time if he would faithful be.
He further said it was a settled thing
With him that if the Holy Spirit call
One to the Pastorship, no good could spring
From frequent absence, for the Church needs all
His time and talents; and should ill befall
A flock so left God might the question ask,
'Why didst thou leave my sheep and lambs at all?
I placed thee there; attend thou to the task
If in my smiles approving thou wouldst wish to bask!'
He cited many texts to prove his view,
[Footnote: See at least one amongst many in I Peter, V, 1-4]
And felt much grieved some Churches in our day
Should to their interest be seldom true,
And Pastors for slight causes turn away.
From personal observation he would say
That many men who make a great profession
Begrudge the mite so needful as the pay
Of those whose Pastoral worth's their sole possession;
Who could not wink at sin nor make undue concession.
'Some folks, again,' he said, 'quite overlook
The nature of the office as laid down
For Churches' guidance in the holy Book,
And substitute opinions of their own.
Such meet their fellow Christians with a frown
If they insist upon the Scripture plan,
And deem him little better than a clown
Who has the courage their false views to scan:
And should he not desist might place him under ban.'
'Thus saith the Lord, in all religious matters,
As the thing; needful should our minds impress.
We've naught to do with the unseemly tatters
Of creeds and ceremonials on which stress
Is laid by many who the Truth profess.
The Scriptures teach that Pastors should take heed
To all their flock, that faith and holiness
May grow apace; that they the sheep should feed
With Heaven-inspired food according to their need.'
'But Churches for most part make choice of him
Who does a splendid preaching talent show;
Or else they seek to gratify some whim
Lest hearers should their purse strings tighter draw.
'Tis easy for one taught of God to show
That those so chosen cannot well fulfill
True Pastoral duty, which consists, we know,
In oversight according to God's will-
Not Lords o'er his inheritance, but humble still.'
[Footnote: The author would not like to be misunderstood. All he
intends to say is that a talent for preaching, however good, is not the
only qualification for Elder or Pastor. See I Tim. iii and Tit. i.]
The Church agreed in what the Pastor said
And Luth suggested that young GOODWORTH might
Act as Evangelist in his father's stead,
Should he 'fore God consider it quite right.
Joseph assured them it was his delight
To aid in any way his Master's cause,
But thought that all should seek for further light
By fervent prayer, and therefore Would propose
To leave it unto Him from whom all wisdom flows.
This as determined on and they attended
Unto the 'Supper of the Lord' in love.
Once more their Sacrifice of Praise ascended
From grateful hearts unto their God above,
Who heard it all and did such acts approve.
Refreshed in soul once more they separate
In friendly manner, as it does behove
The joint possessors of such blessings great
As heirs of bliss and glory in a future state.
Throughout the week the members freely gave
Unto this subject due consideration;
And Joseph looked, to anxious friends, more grave,
Was oft in prayer or wrapped in contemplation.
The father, who of this made observation,
Encouraged him to frankly speak his mind.
This led them soon to mutual explanation
And fuller confidence, which all combined
To lead them both to be unto God's will resigned.
It caused a struggle in that parent's breast
To part with one grown dearer every day;
And Joseph at the first felt quite distressed
At leaving friends so very far away.
As was but natural, thoughts of wedding day
Would also cross his mind and make him sigh;
But yet he felt determined to display
True Christian courage and himself deny,
If to his fellow men 'twould bring Redemption nigh.
The father; saw no very great occasion
For much of self-denial in the case.
The Bride-expectant would with small persuasion
Share any trials he might have to face.
Besides the Indians would prepare a place
With needful comforts, should he there remain.
'Twas therefore his advice to seek for Grace,
Such as the work demanded, and thus gain
The glorious Reward which faithful ones obtain.
To this the son made not the least objection,
And so the matter stood till next Lord's Day,
When, as the Church approved of the selection,
Much unfeigned love the all to him display;
Rejoicing to see one so young obey
Duty's strong impulse, and to God commend
Their much loved brother, who without delay
Made preparation that ere the week's end
He might the Indians reach and to his work attend.
At the reformed Inebriate's house he called
In passing, and was truly glad to find
The man his vice inveterate had controlled,
And was improving daily in his mind.
He owned that had his wife not proved most kind
He might have been again to drinking drove.
This Joseph hears, but hopes the pledge he signed
Would be some safeguard if he should lack love;
Yet urged him much to seek for help from God above.
To miss the swamp he took another road
Not so direct, but pleasanter by far.
Most holy feelings in his bosom glowed
As he gazed on the glittering Evening Star.
The sleighing good, such traveling was no bar
To his sweet musings as he nearer drew
Unto the village where he had to war
With heathen darkness, and for aught he knew,
Where trials great and many might his steps pursue.
On his arrival joy sincere was felt
By those who had the Gospel's sound regarded.
These in full council passed the Wampum Belt,
And by their confidence his zeal rewarded.
None had the influence of Truth discarded
Who first professed by it to be made free,
And 'twas their wish, since nothing now retarded,
To be baptized with due solemnity,
That those who disbelieved might their obedience see.
The Preacher this performed by full immersion
Of the whole body in the deep blue lake,
And none but those who evidenced conversion
Did of that holy ordinance partake.
I state not this from a desire to wake
Any contention in a Christian's breast;
I rather 'strive for things which peace do make,'
That I my love for all saints may attest.
This course I long have deemed the wisest and the best.
Those thus baptized in fellowship then stood,
And as instructed, to Christ's laws attended.
Their souls reposed on His atoning blood
For full salvation, and their lives commended
The saving Truth to those who were offended
At the first preaching of the Joyful News.
What these beheld their outward rage suspended,
And now no longer dared they to accuse
The Preacher of vile motives and his work abuse.
For some few weeks he labored there with pleasure,
And his Red brethren urged on him to take
The Pastor's office, but so grave a measure
Demanded time for its importance's sake.
'Should I be spared,' he said, 'I wish to make
My life a useful one where'er I live;
To Duty's call to keep my ear awake,
And as I have received to freely give,
Aiming to show I wish for no alternative.'
With this resolve so very freely spoken
We bid the Red Man for the time Adieu,
For other scenes most clearly do betoken
That genial pleasure is not lost to view.
The lovers to their vows continued true,
And fixed upon the following New Year's day
As best for entering on their duties new,
When it was planned a Wedding jaunt to pay
In visit to Niagara, many miles away.
The day arrived-a bright and cheering one,
With which came Settlers on kind thoughts intent.
Then gratitude for what the Lord had done
They wished to show by love and substance spent
Upon their Pastor, whom they viewed as bent
On seeking their advantage since he came.
One, by a neighbor, had two turkeys sent,
Both fine young birds, well fed and very tame-
A gift which well might put some richer men to shame.
This neighbor brought upon his own account
An ewe and ram of most superior breed.
Another had a very fair amount
Of splendid timothy and clover seed.
A fourth good maple sugar as his meed
Bestowed with blandest smiles and modest mien.
A fifth had apples, of which all agreed
They were the best they in that part had seen;
While a sixth brought savory sausages quite fresh and clean.
These as an average sample of the gifts,
I mention merely with a view to show
That Gratitude is put to no mean shifts
In kindly hearts whose love keeps them aglow.
Those who have naught but water to bestow
Upon a thirsty Saint, reward will gain
From Heaven's high King, who loves to have it so.
We must from sneering at small gifts refrain.
For the poor widow's mite did great reward obtain.
Surprise and joy that Christian family felt
At this display of love and gratitude;
While with their friends they reverently knelt
To give God thanks, they for rich blessings sued
For the kind donors, now more strongly viewed
As brethren in the very strongest bond.
Each at the Mercy Seat their love renewed,
And heart to heart did fervently respond.
All merely worldly pleasure this is far beyond.
This past, the marriage knot was quickly tied
For those young well matched couples, who appeared
In all respects well pleased and satisfied
This tended much to keep the parents cheered,
And to the friends around them more endeared
The wedding feast parta'en, they soon prepare
For their long journey, as a change they feared
In the fine weather, which might make roads bare
And the good sleighing spoil-a thing by no means rare.
On that delightful jaunt I need not dwell,
Only to say that all the drive enjoyed.
When safe returned each had a tale to tell
Of the great Cataract's wonders, never void
Of thrilling interest to minds employed
In viewing Nature right. I now would haste
Lest my dear readers feel themselves annoyed,
To finish what has brought me no small taste
Of Poet's joy, and often has my heart solaced.
That earthly pleasure's not without alloy
Poets have sung and sages oft have said,
And none did e'er such pleasure long enjoy
Without being to the same conclusion led.
Our Pastor's dear Louisa took to bed
Soon after New Year's visit to the Falls;
Ere Spring came round she bowed her lovely head
To Death's stern summons! Yet sweet hope consoles
The friends for loss of her, and undue grief controls.
Her death-bed was a scene I love to view
With chastened pleasure, for her faith was strong.
She to her Savior had for years been true.
And then to be with Him did daily long,
Yet not impatiently, for 'twould be wrong;
But with strong fortitude-so calm and pure
That one who saw her left the World's gay throng,
And since has had great trials to endure,
But found the Savior's aid was ever near and sure.
But little now remains for me to sing,
Not that I matter lack-a large supply
Exists where I got this from, and may spring
Into poetic joy if I should try
Again to tune my harp, this time laid by
At Duty's call. Our friend and spouse live where
We found them first. William and wife are nigh,
And with their children choicest comforts share.
While Joseph of the Red Men's Church takes Pastoral care.
Luth and Clarissa own a good sized farm,
Well tilled, well stocked and fronting to the Lake.
Around their hearthstone boys and girls do swarm,
So that they soon a larger house must make.
Some members of the Church now sometimes take
Their turns in preaching, and the elder Luth
Shares Pastoral duty for his Master's sake.
As Deacons they have men who love the Truth,
All proving that the Church is in a state most sooth.
The Lord's Forget-me-nots grow everywhere
Along the Christian's path as he pursues
His Heavenward journey. And a Father's care
Gives each sweet odors and most lovely hues.
And they throughout the darkest days diffuse
A balmy fragrance strikingly delicious!
Yet we, vain mortals, oft these sweets refuse
And choose instead that which is most pernicious,-
Thus wandering far from God, who always is propitious.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem