« PreviousContinue »
GEORGE W. BETHUNE. THE Rev. George W. Bethune, D. D., is a native of New York, and is widely known as one of the finest scholars and most eloquent preachers in the American churches. He is author of several volumes of literary and religious discourses, which are as much distinguished as his poems by a genial, loving spirit, and a classical elegance of diction. A collection of his poems was published in Philadelphia in 1847. Dr. Bethune has been for several years a minister of the Reformed Dutch Church in Philadelphia, where he now resides.
TO MY MOTHER.
My mother !—Manhood's anxious brow
And sterner cares have long been mine;
As when upon thy bosom's shrine
My mother ! but I am again
That prattled at thy knee; and fain
Was sunshine, and thy frown, sad night,
It veiled from me thy loving light ;)
And gazed o’er many a classic scene;
Which once was ours, oft intervene,
That pleasant home of fruits and flowers,
Where, by the Hudson's verdant side My sisters wove their jasmine bowers,
And he, we loved, at eventide Would hastening come from distant toil to bless Thine, and his children's radiant happiness. Alas, the change! the rattling car
On flint-paved streets profanes the spot,
Of Bethlehem, and Forget-me-not.
Of ancient wisdom, and have won,
Or bard have never taught thy son Lessons so dear, so fraught with holy truth, As those his mother's faith shed on his youth. If, by the Saviour's
made meet, My God will own my life and love, Methinks, when singing at His feet,
Amid the ransomed throng above, Thy name upon my glowing lips shall be, And I will bless that grace for heaven and thee. For thee and heaven ; for thou didst tread
The way that leads me heavenward, and My often wayward footsteps led
In the same path with patient hand; And when I wandered far, thy earnest call Restored
soul from sin's deceitful thrall. I have been blessed with other ties,
Fond ties and true, yet never deem That I the less thy fondness prize;
No, mother! in my warmest dream Of answered passion, through this heart of mine One chord will vibrate to no name but thine.
Mother! thy name is widow-well
I know no love of mine can fill The waste-place of thy heart, or dwell
Within one sacred recess : still Lean on the faithful bosom of thy son, My parent, thou art mine, my only one !
I am alone ; and yet
Around me, as were met
Ye winged Mysteries,
Beckoning me to arise,
you far in the unknown, unseen immense Of worlds beyond our sphere-What are ye? Whence ?
Ye eloquent voices,
Now strong as when rejoices
The wise departed—ye
Ye hover o'er the page
For many a distant age;
From your sublime examples, and so cheer
Ye come to nerve the soul
Trembling, saw around him roll
Still keep! O, keep me near you,
Still let my glad soul hear you
WRITTEN ON SEEING THORWALDSEN'S BAS-RELIEF REPRESENTING NIGHT.
YES! bear them to their rest ;
Yet must they wake again,
pang of sorrow, the temptation strife,
Canst thou not bear them far-
Canst thou not bear them up
of wrath for hearts in faith contrite ?
To Him, for them who slept
So, lay their little heads
Let them immortal wake
There can come no sorrow,
Would we could sleep as they,