Page images


The following stanzas are the production of a youth of only eighteen years of age, and are replete with originality and fancy, happily blended with Christian feeling. The author, whom disagreements with his family induced to enlist as a private soldier, died of consumption at a very early age, in 1817.




Methinks it is good to be here,

If thou wilt let us build,-but for whom ? Nor Elias nor Moses appear ;

But the shadows of eve that encompass the gloom,

The abode of the dead, and the place of the tomb. Shall we build to Ambition ? Ah! no:

Affrighted, he shrinketh away; For see, they would pin him below

To a small narrow cave; and, begirt with cold clay,

To the meanest of reptiles a peer and a prey. To Beauty ? Ah! no: she forgets

The charms that she wielded before ; Nor knows the foul worm that he frets

The skin which but yesterday fools could adore,

For the smoothness it held, or the tint which it wore. Shall we build to the purple of Pride,

The trappings which dizen the proud ? Alas! they are all laid aside ;

And here's neither dress nor adornment allowed,

But the long winding-sheet, and the fringe of the shroud. To Riches ? Alas! 'tis in vain :

Who hid, in their turns have been hid;
The treasures are squandered again ;

And here, in the grave, are all metals forbid,
But the tinsel that shone on the dark coffin-lid.

To the pleasures which Mirth can afford,

The revel, the laugh, and the jeer?
Ah! here is a plentiful board,

But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer,
And none but the worm is a reveller here.

Shall we build to Affection and Love?

Ah! no: they have withered and died,
Or fled with the spirit above.

Friends, brothers, and sisters, are laid side by side,
Yet none have saluted, and none have replied.

Unto sorrow? The dead cannot grieve ;

Nor a sob, nor a sigh meets mine ear,
Which compassion itself could relieve :

Ah! sweetly they slumber, nor hope, love, or fear;
Peace, peace, is the watchword, the only one here.

Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow ?

Ah! no: for his empire is known,
And here there are trophies enow;

Beneath the cold dead, and around the dark stone,
Are the signs of a sceptre that none may disown.

The first tabernacle to Hope we will build,

And look for the sleepers around us to rise ;
The second to Faith, which ensures it fulfilled ;

And the third to the Lamb of the Great Sacrifice,
Who bequeathed us them both when He rose to the skies.


The Rt. Rev. George Washington Doane, D.D., LL. D., was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1799. He was graduated at Union College, Schenectady, when nineteen years of age, and immediately after commenced the study of theology. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Hobart, in 1821, and priest by the same prelate in 1823. He officiated in Trinity Church, New York, three years, and, in 1824, was appointed Professor of Belles-Lettres and Oratory in Washington College, Connecticut. He resigned that office in 1828, and soon after was elected rector of Trinity Church, in Boston. He was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey, on the thirty-first of October, 1832. The church has few more active, efficient, or popular prelates. Bishop Doane's “ Songs by the Way,” a collection of poems,

chiefly devotional, were published in 1824, and appear to have been mostly produced during his college-life. He has since, from time to time, written poetry for festival-days and other occasions, but has published no second volume.

" Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted."


from Rama's ruined walls,
That voice of bitter weeping !
Is it the moan of fettered slave,

His watch of sorrow keeping ?
Heard ye, from Rama's wasted plains,

of lamentation !
Is it the wail of Israel's sons,

For Salem's devastation ?

Ah, no—a sorer ill than chains

That bitter wail is waking,
And deeper wo than Salem's fall

That tortured heart is breaking:
'Tis Rachel, of her sons bereft,

Who lifts that voice of weeping ;
And childless are the eyes that there

Their watch of grief are keeping.

O! who shall tell what fearful pangs

That mother's heart are rending,
As o'er her infant's little grave

Her wasted form is bending !
From many an eye


weeps to-day Delight may beam to-morrow; But she—her precious babe is not !

And what remains but sorrow ?

Bereaved one! I may not chide

Thy tears and bitter sobbing-
Weep on ! 'twill cool that burning brow,

And still that bosom's throbbing :
But be not thine such grief as theirs

To whom no hope is given-
Snatched from the world, its sins and snares,

Thy infant rests in heaven.

THE WATERS OF MARAH. " And Moses cried unto the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, which. when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet."

By Marah's stream of bitterness

When Moses stood and cried,
Jehovah heard his fervent prayer,

And instant help supplied :
The prophet sought the precious tree

With prompt, obedient feet;
'Twas cast into the fount, and made

The bitter waters sweet.

Whene'er affliction o'er thee sheds

Its influence malign,
Then, sufferer, be the prophet's prayer

And prompt obedience, thine:
'Tis but a Marah's fount, ordained

Thy faith in God to prove,
And prayer and resignation shall

Its bitterness remove.


What is that, Mother ? — The lark, my child ! -
The morn has but just looked out, and smiled,
When he starts from his humble grassy nest,
And is up and away, with the dew on his breast,
And a hymn in his heart, to yon pure, bright sphere,
To warble it out in his Maker's ear.

Ever, my child, be thy morn's first lays
Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.

What is that, Mother ?—The dove, my son !
And that low, sweet voice, like a widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure, by that lonely nest,
As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,
For her distant dear one's quick return :

Ever, my son, be thou like the dove,
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.

What is that, Mother ?—The eagle, boy !-
Proudly careering his course of joy ;
Firm, on his own mountain vigor relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying,
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.

Boy, may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward, and upward, and true to the line.

What is that, Mother ?—The swan, my love ! -
He is floating down from his native grove,
No loved one now, no nestling nigh,
He is floating down, by himself to die;
Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,
Yet his sweetest song is the last he sings.

Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home.

« PreviousContinue »