Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

SONNETS BY HENRY ELLISON.

To do his work of love, to bind and free,
Who like Saint Peter hold the mystic key;

Who work his miracles, but words instead
THE STARS.

Of spells make use of, quickening the dead,
The stars come forth, a silent hymn of praise

The dead in soul, who deadest of all be! To the great God, and, shining every one,

Dearer to me your good opinion is Make up the glorious harmony, led on

Than the poor plaudits of the ignorant crowd, By Hesperus, their chorister : each plays

Groundless as hasty, brief as they are loud; A part in the great concert with its rays,

For Conscience, which but echoes Him in this, And yet so stilly, modestly, as none

Who lists the meek up, and puts down the proud, Claimed to himself aught of the good thus done

A pproves your sentence, and confirms it His!
By all alike, each shining in his place;
Each has his path, there moves unerringly,

AN ANSWER.
Nor covets empty fame. Do we as they :
Let each soul lend its utmost light, each play A foolish dreamer! well, e'en be it so-
In the grand concert of humanity

And yet I am awake, or, waking, dream
Its destined part : then mankind on its way

Things truer, or which so unto me seem, Shall move as surely as those stars on high! Than those who wake o nights and no rest know,

Till they get rich, and life for inoney throw

Away: and Love, its crowning grace supreme, THOUGHT.

And God (Love's essence,) openly blaspheme, What is the Warrior's sword compared with thee? Mocking him in his temple with vain show! A brittle reed against a giant's might!

Perhaps I dream-I dream the world is fair,

Fairer than heart can know or tongue can say ! What are the Tyrant's countless hosts? as light As chaff before the tempest! though he be

That Love doth greater treasures with it bear

Than wealth and that no wealth were thrown Shut in with guards, and by the bended knee Be-worshipped, like a God, thou still canst smite,

away,
E'en then, with viewless arm, and from that height Could it a sense procure ye, though it were
Hurl him into the dust ! for thou art free,

But of a flower's beauty for one day !
Boundless, omnipresent, like God, who gave
Thee for his crowning-gift to man : and when

TO KEATS.
Thou work'st with thy best weapon, Truth's calm pen,
To punish and reform, exalt and save,

Thou art the truest poet, Keats, for thou
Thou canst combine in one the minds of men, Sing'st but for love, not guerdon : even as
Which strength like that of God, united have! The lark in morning's ear, whose music was

And is, and ever will be, still as now,

Unconscious of an effort, as the bough
WORLD-MUSIC.

Is of its perfume—but the world doth pass
There is a music which I love to hear

Such by : 'tis hard of hearing, and, alas ! Beyond all other music 'neath the sky,

Harder of heart, and takes no count of how The deep sweet music of Humanity ;

A poet lives and dies, till he be gone; Falling for ever on mine inward ear,

Still, when he asks for bread, it gives a stone! From ages past, and choristers now here

And accurate biographers search out

His life's least details, when his name has grown No longer, yet whose voices, sweet and high, Like a " Te Deum ” to the Deity,

A word of power, and a light about
Fill the wide world, His temple, far and near!

It gathered, that attends not a King's throne!
Long had I, at the gates, sat listening,
Not daring yet to enter in, nor quite
Conceiving whence those blessed sounds could spring.

HOW TO SEEK TRUTH.
But now I, with a concourse infinite,

Before a daisy in the grass I bend Have entered in at last, and with them sing

My head in awe : I could not pluck it thence
And shout Hosannas, worshipping aright!

Without a feeling of deep reverence,
As something God has made for a wise end !

My whole mind it requires to comprehend
WHOM TO PLEASE.

The least work of Divine Intelligence,
True men and upright, of whate'er degree,

My whole heart, with all feelings deep, intense, With sweating brow, or crown upon your head, Expression to its loveliness to lend ! True sons of your great Father, missioned But not so is it with the works of Man

On these I boldly lay my hand, on creeds

AMBITION. And dogmas, for these come within my span

Glory enough 'twere for the greatest man Therefore with these articulate blasts I fan

To write what men should in their mouths still have, The chaff of Custom from Truth's genuine seeds,

Day after day, when he is in his graveLike the great wind, that where it listeth speeds! To be identified with things of span

And scope perdurable, that since began

The world high mention of mankind still crave : THE PURPOSE OF A LIFE.

Things with a soul of good in them to save E’en in my boyish days, ere yet a cloud

Them from oblivion, which nonght else canOf sadness rested on my path, except

Aye, glory twere enough to write a song,
To make it brighter, when away 't was swept

That e'en the child upon its mother's knee
By the strong breath of Hope, so gay and proud, Should love to sing, and still remember long,
E’en then I've turned aside from the vain crowd, Long after, in the days that are to be!
The forms and ceremonies, which intercept And which to mind recalling, he feels strong,
The heart's diviner beatings, and have wept Within, the heart of his Humanitie.
For suffering Humanity aloud !
Aye, even then I made a boyish vow,
In Nature's own grand temple kneeling down,

HOPES OF THE FUTURE.
Who set her sign in token on my brow,

We do not work our wonders with the sword, That I allegiance only would avow

Dear Countrymen, nor claim aught on such plea,To him who wears upon his head the crown With mothers and with children on their knee, Of genuine Manhood, be he king or clown! With patient Thought, and Love, that can afford

To suffer, and by suffering record

His power to achieve all victorie ;
SELF-GREATNESS.

With these, and with whatever else may be
The beggar's staff has often wider sway

Gentlest, and with the power of the Word, Than the king's sceptre! higher empire far,

We work our wonders which none can gainsay! Far nobler subjects, his own thoughts, which are

Unfailingly, as from the grass the flower, Best ministers of good from day to day!

The seed divine we scatter by the way, Content with these, still ready to obey,

Shall spring, and ripen in its destined hourHe in his sphere moves stilly, like a star

Then shout, ye Nations, for the harvest-day Which makes all light about it, 'bove the jar

Is coming, and the Sun of Truth gains power! Of earth's vain cares, on his eternal way. Till, thus become a spirit, spirits wait

ON SOME FLOWERS ABOUT A COTTAGE. Upon him, ever round that viewless throne, Which He, on passions, early taught to own Oh sight beyond all others passing.dear! Wisdom's supremacy, has raised : a state

The love of Nature is the love of all
Wherein celestial powers have sway alone ; That's good, and beautiful, and rational-
The Lord of his own Soul is truly great !

And he, who has but taken pains to rear
A rose about his door, extends his sphere

Of being and enjoyment-he a call
ON SEEING A POOR MAN TO WHOM I HAD Has had, and caught the voice poetical
GIVEN CLOTHING.

Which speaks through all her lovely works so clear.

And by that rose she leads, in gentle guise,
I met the old man now so warmly clad

Him, by the hand, as 't were, upon the way,
'Gainst winter, and, rejoicing, asked him how And round him all life's fair humanities
He felt-he answered 64 better," while his brow Calls by degrees; for she will not betray
Kindled with gratitude, as though he had

The heart that trusts her, but, with closer ties, Received the benefit, not I! what bad,

Towards her draws, nor lets it go astray!
What sorry reckoners the rich must be,
In Joy's arithmetic, who unmoved see
The face, which they with smiles might make so glad,

MEANS OF CIVILIZATION.
In sorrow steeped! then to myself I said,

With things of little cost, of every day,
The clothing warms not him, but me-

As common as kind words and gentle looks,
Not outwardly, it warms my heart instead! And daily greetings, and familiar books,
Yet he, as though his only were the debt,

That teach us wisdom while it seems but play: Thanks me still! see ! how gently is man led With means at hand still by life's daily way, To Good, thus more than all he gave to get ! As natural as flowers by the brooks,

-and yet

As pleasant as field-paths thro' sylvan nooks, and rival of France. The celebrated Dr. Price of And no cheap that the poorest cao defray

London, and the still more distinguished Priestley The expense thereof: with these and things like these, of Birmingham, spoke out boldly in defence of the We work our wonders by the fireside :

great principles of the Revolution. A London club Our magic-charms, the kiss of love and peace; of reformers, reckoning among its members such Our magic-circles, small at first, but wide

men as Sir William Jones, Earl Grey, Samuel Enough at last to grasp the world with ease, Whitebread and Sir James Mackintosh, was estaHumes, where God, as in temples, doth reside! blished for the purpose of disseminating demo

cratic appeals and arguments throughout the United

Kingdom THE HEART'S PLACES OF WORSHIP.

In Scotland an auxiliary society was formed, under How many shrines, for its affections there

the name of “ Friends of the People.” Thomas To dwell, as in a temple, can the heart

Muir, young in years, yet an elder in the Scottish Of man for itself make, with little art,

kirk, a successful advocate at the bar, talented, affaE'en of the simplest things ! how passing fair

ble, eloquent, and distinguished for the purity of his Seem to us all the spots, so cherished, where

life, and his enthusiasm in the cause of Freedom, We passed our boyish days : ere sorrow's smart was its principal originator. In the 12th month of Had touched, or we had bartered in life's mart,

1792, a Convention of Reformers was held at EdinOur heart's affections for a paltry share

burgh. The government became alarmed, and a Of the world's gold or favour-e’en the stone

warrant was issued for the arrest of Muir.

He es We sat on by the stream-side, in our bliss

caped to France, but soon after, venturing to return Far richer than we since through gold have grown,

to his native land, was recognized and imprisoned, Seems to us in our inmost hearts all this

He was tried upon the charge of lending books of Revolving, far far better than a throne,

republican tendency, and reading an address from Whose feet, not innocent brooks, but false lips kiss! Theobald Wolf Tone and the United Irishmen before

the society of which he was a member. He defended himself in a long and eloquent address, which concluded in the following noble aud manly strain.

" What, then, has been my crime? Not the lend- . THE SCOTTISH REFORMERS. ing to a relation a copy of Thomas Paine's works

not the giving away to another a few numbers of an

innocent and constitutional publication—but my I have just been conversing with an aged gentle crime is for having dared to be, according to the man, who has called my attention to the details measure of my feeble abilities, a strenuous and an furnished by late British papers, of the laying of the active advocate for an equal representation of the corner-stone of a monument in honor of the politi- people in the House of the People—for having dared cal reformers, who were banished in 1793 to the to accomplish a measure, by legal means, which was convict-colony of Botany Bay. My friend was in to diminish the weight of their .taxes, and to put an Edinburgh at the end of their trial; and, although end to the profusion of their blood. Gentlemen, quite young at that period, distinctly remembers from my infancy to this moment, I have devoted their appearance, and the circumstances preceding myself to the cause of the people. It is a good their arrest. I know not that I can occupy a leisure cause—it shall ultimately prevail-it shall finally evening better, than in compiling a brief account of triumph.” the character and fate of these men, whose names He was sentenced to transportation for fourteen even are unknown to the present generation in this years, and was removed to the Edinburgh jail, from country.

thence to the hulks, and lastly to the transport ship, The impulse of the French Revolution was not containing eighty-three convicts, which conveyed confined by geographical boundaries. Flashing hope him to Botany Bay. into the dark places of the earth, far down among The next victim was Palmer, a learned and high.

and long oppressed, or startling the oppres. ly accomplished Unitarian minister in Dundee. He sor in his guarded chambers, like that mountain of was greatly beloved and respected as a polished genfire which fell into the sea at the sound of the Apo tleman and sincere friend of the people. He was calyptic trumpet, it agitated the world.

charged with circulating a republican tract, and was The arguments of Condorcet, the battle words of sentenced to seven years' transportation. Mirabeau, the indomitable zeal of St. Just, the iron But the friends of the people were not quelled by energy of Danton, the caustic wit of Camille Des- this summary punishment of two of their devoted moulins and Gaudet, and the sweet eloquence of leaders. In the 10th month, 1793, delegates were Vergniaud, found echoes in all lands; and nowhere called together from various towns in Scotland, as more readily than in Great Britain, the ancient foel well as from Birmingham, Sheffield, and other places

BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

the poor

in England. Gerrald and Margarot were sent up by ing aronnd, over which tossed the faring Aambeaux the London society. After a brief sitting, the ('on of the sheriff's train. Gerrald, who was already vention was dispersed by the public authorities. Its under arrest, as he descended, spoke aloud : “ Behold sessions were opened and closed with prayer, and the funeral torches of Liberty!" the speeches of its members manifested the pious Skirving and several others were immediately enthusiasm of the old Cameroneans and Parliament arrested. They were tried in the 1st month, 1794, men of the times of Cromwell. Many of the dis- and sentenced, as Muir and Palmer had previously senting clergy were present. William Skirving, the been, to transportation. Their conduct throughout must determined of the band, had been educated for was worthy of their great and holy cause. Gerrald's the ministry, and was a sincerely religious man; defence was that of Freedom rather than his own. while Joseph Gerrald-young, brilliant, and beanti. Forgetting himself, he spoke out manfully and earful in his life and character-came up to join the nestly for the poor, the oppressed, the overtaxed puritans of Scotland in his sober garb, with his long and starving millions of his countrymen. That hair falling over his shoulders, in primitive simpli- some idea may be formed of this noble plea for city. When the Sheriff entered the hall to disperse Liberty, I give an extract from the concluding parathe friends of liberty, Gerrald knelt in prayer. His graphs : remarkable words were taken down by a reporter " True religion, like all free governments, appeals on the spot. There is nothing in modern history to to the understanding for its support, and not to the compare with this supplication, unless it be that of sword. All systems, whether civil or moral, can Sir Henry Vane, a kindred martyr, at the foot of the only be durable in proportion as they are founded scaffold, just before his execution. Gerrald's lan. on truth, and calculated to promote the GOOD OF guage was as follows; and under the circumstances MANKIND. This will account to us why governments it is no marvel that his auditors ascribed to bim suited to the great energies of man have always outsuperhuman power. It is the prayer of universal lived the perishable things which despotism has humanity, which God will yet hear and answer. erected. Yes! this will account to us why the

"O thou Governor of the Universe! we rejoice stream of time, which is continually washing away that, at all times and in all circumstances, we have the dissoluble fabrics of superstitions and imposliberty to approach Thy throne; and that we are tures, passes, without injury, by the adamant of assured, that no sacrifice is more acceptable to Thee, Christianity. than that which is made for the relief of the oppress “ Those who are versed in the history of their ed. In this moment of trial and persecution, we country, in the history of the human race, must pray that Thou wouldst be our defender, our coun- know that rigorous state prosecutions have always sellor, and our guide. O, be Thou a pillar of fire to preceded the era of convulsion; and this era, I fear, us, as Thou wast to our fathers of old, to enlighten will be accelerated by the folly and madness of our and direct us; and to our enemies a pillar of cloud, rulers. If the people are discontented, the proper and darkness, and confusion.

mode of quieting their discontent is, not by insti- Thou art thyself the great patron of liberty. tuting rigorous and sanguinary prosecutions, but by Thy service is perfect freedom. Prosper, we he- redressing their wrongs, and conciliating their affecseech Thee, every endeavor which we make to pro- tions. Courts of justice, indeed, may be called in mote Thy cause, for we consider the cause of truth, to the aid of ministerial vengeance; but if once the or every cause which tends to promote the happi- purity of their proceedings is suspected, they will ness of thy creatures, as Thy cause.

cease to be objects of reverence to the nation ; "0 Thou merciful Father of mankind, enable us they will degenerate into empty and expensive for Thy name's sake to endure persecution with for- pageantry, and become the partial instruments of titude; and may we believe that all trials and tribu- vexatious oppression. Whatever may become of lations of life, which we endure, shall work together me, my principles will last for ever. Individuals for good of them that love Thee; and grant that may perish; but truth is eternal. The rude blasts the greater the evil, and the longer it may be con- of tyranny may blow from every quarter; but freetinued, the greater good, in thy holy aná adorable dom is that hardy plant which will survive the temprovidence, may be produced therefrom. And this pest, and strike an everlasting root into the most we beg, not for our own merits, but through the unfavorable soil. merits of Him who is hereafter to judge the world " Gentlemen, I am in your hands. About my life in righteousness and mercy."

I feel not the slightest anxiety; if it would promote He ceased. The sheriff, who had been tempora- the cause, I would cheerfully make the sacrifice; rily overawed by the extraordinary scene, enforced for, if I perish on an occasion like the present, out his warrant, and the meeting was broken up. The of my ashes will arise a flame to consume the tyrants delegates descended to the street in silence-Arthur's and oppressors of my country.” seat and Salisbury crags glooming in the distance None of the Edinburgh reformers, as I understand and night-- an immense and agitated multitude wait. I from my informant, lived to return to their native

And now,

land. They perished, one after another, undertthe , triumph of the oppressor is but for a season ; and severe discipline of colonial servitude. The na ure that even in this world a lie cannot live for ever. of this seemingly lenient punishment is not always well and truly did George Fox say in his last days : understood in this country. Judging from accounts - The TRUTH IS ABOVE ALL !" given of it by returning convicts, (not always per Will it be said, however, that this tribute comes haps reliable authority) it has few redeeming fea- too late ? That it cannot solace those brave hearts, tures, even as contrasted with the worst condition which, slowly broken by the long agony of colonial of negro slavery. The convicts are brought to the servitude, are now cold in strange graves ? It is, barracks in long lines, and the farmers and sheep indeed, a striking illustration of the truth that he owners from the country walk round among them who would benefit his fellow.man must "

walk by to select for purchase such as may suit their pur- faith ;'' sowing his seed in the morning, and in the poses-examine them as a horse dealer would a evening withholding not his hand, knowing only this, horse-compel them to run, hold up their legs and that in God's good time the harvest shall spring up arms, strike them on their chest and back to prove and ripen, if not for himself yet for others, who, as their soundness in breath and lungs—and, if the scru- they bind the full sheaves and gather in the heavy tiny is satisfactory, purchase them, and take them clusters, may perchance remember him with gratito their respective plantations and sheep-farms. In tude, and set up stones of memorial on the fields of some of the remoter districts even the grave, the his toil and sacrifices. We may regret that in this common refuge of the weary and suffering, is clothed stage of the spirit's life, the sincere and self-denying with unwonted attributes of terror, and repugnance. worker is not always permitted to partake of the No prayer is breathed over it; none of the rites of fruits of his toil, or receive the honors of a bene. reverence and religion make holy the convict's buri. factor. We hear his good evil-spoken of, and his al—the scream of the wild fowl and the wash of noblest sacrifices counted as nought,-we see him waves on a strange coast, are his only requiem, not only assailed by the wicked, but discountenanced

Years have passed, and the generation which knew and shunned by the timidly good, followed on the persecuted reformers has given place to another. his hot and dusty pathway by the execrations of the

half a century after William Skirving, as hounding mob, and the contemptuous pity of the he rose to receive his sentence, declared to his worldly-wise and prudent; and, when at last the judges : :--. YOU MAY CONDEMN US AS FELONS, but horizon of Time shuts down between him and our

BY THE selves, and the places which have known him know PEOPLE"—the names of these men are once more him no more for ever, we are almost ready to say familiar to British lips. The sentence has been reo with the regal voluptuary of old : « This also is versed : the prophecy of Skirving has become his. vanity and a great evil; for what hath a man of all tory. On the 21st of the 8th month last, the corner his labor and of the vexation of his heart, wherein stone of a monument to the memory of the Scottish he hath labored under the sun ?” But is this the martyrs, for which subscriptions had been received end? Has God's universe no wider limits than the from such men as Lord Holland, the Dukes of Bed. circle of the blue wall which shuts in our nestlingford and Norfolk, and the Earls of Essex and Leices- place? Has Life's infancy only been provided for; ter-was laid with imposing ceremonies, in the and beyond this poor nursery-chamber of Time is beautiful burial-place of Calton Hill, Edinburgh, by there no playground for the soul's youth, no broad the veteran reformer and tribune of the people, fields for its manhood ?-Perchance could we but Joseph Hume, M. P. After delivering an appropri. lift the curtains of the narrow pin-fold wherein we ate address, the aged Radical closed the impressive dwell, we might see that our poor friend and bro. scene by reading the soul-inspiring prayer of Joseph ther whose fate we have thus deplored, has by no Gerrald. At the banquet which afterwards took means lost the reward of his labors, but that in new place, and which was presided over by John Dunlop, fields of duty he is cheered even by the tardy recog. Esq., addresses were made by the President, and tion of the value of his services in the old. The Dr. Ritchie, well known to American abolitionists continuity of life is never broken ; the river flows for their zeal in the cause of the slave, and by Wil- onward and is lost to our sight, but under its new liam Skirving of Kirkaldy, son of the martyr. The horizon it carries the same waters which it gatherComplete Suffrage Association of Edinburgh, to the ed under ours; and its unseen valleys are made glarl number of five hundred, walked in procession to by the offerings which are borne down to them from Calton Hill, and in the open air proclaimed unmo- the Past, flowers, perchance, the germs of which its lested the very principles for which the martyrs of own waves had planted on the banks of Time. the past century had suffered.

Who shall say that the mournful and repentant love The account of this tribute to the memory of de- with which the benefactors of our race are at length parted worth, cannot fail to awaken in generous regarded, may not be to them in their new condihearts emotions of gratitude towards Him who has tion of being, sweet and grateful as the perfume of thus signally vindicated His truth, showing that the long forgotten flowers; or that our harvest hymns

TOUR SENTENCE

SHALL

YET BE REVERSED

« ZurückWeiter »