Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

BY DANIEL COFFMAN.

Original.

rection to its subsequent course. But love alone, howMATERNAL LOVE.

ever much of moral beauty and poetry are in it, will never qualify her for a trust thus momentous—she must also possess much piety and wisdom—sterner virtues,

it is true, but absolutely essential. Excessive love for There are many things in this world to excite our a delicate child in a mother proud and haughty, raadmiration; yet amidst them all is there any thing to ined poor Byron; for “he was treated with an indulcompare with that law in nature which binds the moth

gence that, perhaps, went beyond the bounds of pruer to her offspring ?

dence.” My thoughts were directed to this subject by an en

It is pleasing to behold, amidst the devastations of graving before me, which represents an infant cradled the fall, one feature, at least, unimpaired. Contrasting to sleep on its mother's arms. It is from a picture by || strongly with other of the affections, which unhappily Strange, and is allowed to be very expressive. Underneath it are the following lines, from the pen of Profes-redeeming principle, forming an easy and safe criterion

are so greatly disordered, maternal love stands forth a sor Wilson. They will, I am sure, find a response in

by which to judge the depravity of poor human nature the bosom of every mother.

on the one hand, and on the other the superior excel“Art thou a thing of mortal birth,

lencies of that nature, had it retained its estate of priWhose happy home is on our earth?

meval purity.
Does human blood with life imbue
Those wandering veins of heavenly blue
That stray along thy forehead fair,
Lost ’mid a gleam of golden hair ?
O! can that light and airy breath

WOMAN.
Steal from a being doomed to death?

PERHAPS one of the most indispensable and endear-
Those features to the grave be sent,

ing qualifications of the feminine character is an amiaIn sleep thus nutely eloquent? Or art thou, what thy form would seem,

ble temper. Cold and callous must be the man who The phantom of a blessed dream?

does not prize the meek and gentle spirit of a confiO, that my spirit's eye could see

ding woman. Her lips may not be sculptured in the Whence burst those dreams of ecstasy!

perfect line of beauty, her eye may not roll in dazzling That light of drearning soul appears

splendor, but if the native smile be ever ready to wel. To play from thoughts above thy years.

come, and the glance fraught with clinging devotion or Thou smil'st as if thy soul were soaring To heaven, and heaven's own God adoring:

shrinking sensibility, she must be prized far above gold And who can tell what visions high

or rubies. A few moments of enduring silence would May bless an infant's sleeping eye ?"

often prevent years of discord and unhappiness; but A mother's love! There is scarcely any thing in the keen retort and waspish argument too often break nature so pure and disinterested. Constant, too, and the chain of affection, link by link, and leave the heart untiring, it follows us through all our devious windings with no tie to hold it but a cold and frigid duty. from the cradle to the grave. It is thought to be stronger than a father's love. If sickness or danger threaten, she is the foremost to render assistance-she enters

“Hope not,” says the celebrated Madame de Mainmore fully into all the little joys and sorrows of her child, and more willingly foregoes ease and rest for its tenon to the Princess of Savoy, on the eve of her mar. sake. In her is emphatically “the ruling passion

riage with the Duke of Burgundy, “for perfect happi

ness; there is no such thing on earth; though if it strong in death." Not long since I stood trembling at the bed-side of to afflictions often more severe than those of a private

were, it would not be at court. Greatness is exposed one who was about to try the realities of the invisible

station. Be neither vexed nor ashamed to depend on world. Just before the awful moment arrived, when the glad spirit dropped its clay tenement, and took its your husband. Let him be your dearest friend—your upward flight, the energies of nature appeared to rally

only confidant. Hope not for constant harmony in the a little—she gave a searching glance about the room, who bear occasionally from each other sallies of ill

marriage state. The best husbands and wives are those and feebly exclaimed, “O, my family!” This was the last coherent expression she uttered, and it vibrated upon

humor with patient mildness.” every nerve of my body. I think I hear it still.

It is thought to be, I said, stronger than a father's love. In the account we have of Joseph and Mary re

FRIENDSHIP. turning to Jerusalem, in quest of their lost son, it is Wanwick, in his “Spare Minutes,” thus describes worthy of remark, when they find him in the temple, || common friendship: “When I see leaves drop from the mother, true to nature and to fact, is the first to ad- their trees in the beginning of autumn, just such, dress him: “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?"||thinke I, is the friendship of the world. Whiles the

It is the mother who fixes the destiny of the child— cap of maintenance lasts, my friends swarme in abunit is those lessons of instruction received at her knee, | dance; but, in the winter of my neede, they leave me which, falling like dew upon the tender plant, give di- ll naked.”

[blocks in formation]

BY MISS BROWNING.

woman.

Original.

In other climes can I forget thee then?
THE MISSIONARIES.

Farewell! our chosen home is far abroad,

Our pleasures those which love and duty bring;

We'll tread the verdant land our Savior trod, The New York Evangelist briefly notices the death of the And echoing hills shall with hosannahs ring." Rev. Mr. Mitchell and his wife, missionaries of the American The parting blessing to receive they kneel, Board, which occurred on their way to their place of destination

Those noble ones, the chosen of the Lord, among the Nestorians of western Asia. Mr. Mitchell was a

And nature holds her breath, lest the deep spell man of the highest promise and talents; and his wife, who was

Be broke-e'en angels still the lyre's cord, very young, is represented as combining all that is lovely in

Their melancholy fall, so full of anguish to the be- | And eager gaze in pure and raptured joy. reaved friends, and so deeply lamented by all who are interest With solemn awe each murmuring heart was stilled, ed in the advancement of Christ's cause, has called forth the As silent prayed that mother for her boy, following tribute to the memory of the youthful sufferers.

While chastened love her bursting bosom filled. Yox valiant soldier of the cross ! see now

Back from his brow the clustering hair she threw, Devotion kindle in his glowing eye;

And there a mother's parting kiss she leftDetermination stamps his youthful brow,

Whispered, “To God, to thy young love be true, For Christ to live, and in his cause to die.

Of all earth's chosen friends, save thee, bereft.” A mother's sorrows and a sister's tears

Then rose a father's blessing in that hour, Move not the noble purpose of his soul;

“Great God, be thou their everlasting friend, He points to heaven to soothe and hush those fears,

Guide them aright by thine almighty power, Which only faith in Jesus can control.

And let thy love their wandering steps attend." “How blessings brighten as they take their flight," But now the spirit-stirring anthem rings,

And tighter twine around his heart those cords To cheer those Gospel heralds on their way: That he must sever in the cause and might

Still that fond mother to her daughter clingsOf the great King of kings and Lord of lords. “Mother, farewell, I must not, cannot stay.” The memory of a thousand scenes of joy

They're gone: the deep blue ocean rolls between, Crowd on the heart their bursting eloquence

Where oft the starry sky dips in its foam; A mother, nightly praying o'er her boy,

The birds are yet as gay, the leaves as green, His hope, his blessing, and his strong defense But there's a change within their childhood home. Kind sisters, playmates of his childhood hours, And sharers of the joy of riper years,

Syria, fair land, most favored spot on earth,

Chosen by Him who crown'd thy verdant vales, Are dearer now; and e'en the birds and flowers,

As sinless man's first home, thou'st given birth Could he but weep, demand the flowing tears.

To kings and prophets, and thy hills and dales But, 0, a gentle one is by his side,

Have often echoed back the lofty praise A very girl in tenderness and years;

Of Judah's mighty God, from David's harp. Yet strong in faith and love, that youthful bride,

Thy zephyrs whisper tales of other days, And hope that looks beyond the darkest fears.

Of Babel's plaintive songs, of conflicts sharp Now is the hour for woman's soul to rise,

With Canaan's ancient kings, and victories won. Unmindful of the agony within;

And e'en thy rugged mountains, cold and bare, She points them to a home beyond the skies,

Are hallowed by that high and holy One, And sweetly whispers, “There we'll meet again.

Who sought their solitude for midnight prayer. We bear Immanuel's flag to Jacob's race

The spicy breezes, from each cedar grove, We go to lead his chosen ones to God;

And vineyard rare, waft us his dying breath, Then speed us with the story of his grace,

Whose quenchless, wondrous, agonizing love, The raptured song of Christ's redeeming blood.

Purchased our ransom by a Savior's death. Father, you'll miss me at the hour of prayer,

Syria, since, then, is all thy glory lost, Or when in praise the heart goes up in song;

A guilty, darken'd cloud hangs o'er thee now; You'll miss me ever from your tender care;

Thy ancient temple spoil'd, thy sons oppress’d, But time is short-you will not miss me long.

And to a stranger tyrant made to bow. And, mother, when your patient, watchful love,

But yet I see a little cloud of light Would fondly yearn o'er one it sought to shield

Bursting on high for Israel's down-trod race; From sorrow, pain, and sin, then look above,

It larger grows with rays more glorious bright, And to your Savior's care your daughter yield

And their redemption in its beams I trace. Farewell, dear parents-brothers, sisters, too;

Each book or friend, each favorite walk or tree, Such were the thoughts of that devoted pair, Will bring my image back again to you,

As side by side the vessel's deck they trod; And waken olden, tender thoughts of me.

Each sound was hushed, and gone the daylight glare, My own bright sunny home, my childhood's pride, While the soft moon threw round her silvery flood. And must I never taste your joys again?

The scene was one of passing loveliness. The winter's evening, by the bright fire-side,

Like some good spirit from the world of life,

[blocks in formation]

To cheer his heart mid joy or loneliness,

To that fond husband seem'd his trusting wife, As with the Christian poet's raptured eye

God's promises to Abram's seed she plead, And saw their coming ransom sealed on high,

While doubt and fear before her spirit fled. The winds among the canvass whispering low,

Fling back the waving tresses from her brow;
Her speaking eye grows brighter with the glow

Of her own feelings, as they deepen now.
The night was calm, and save th' All-seeing eye

That guarded them with tender, constant love,
They were alone beneath that cloudless sky,

And shining stars look'd on them from above. Then, as arose upon the evening air

The solemn voice of that devoted man, In soul-subduing, soul-exalting prayer,

They gave themselves entire to God again. Before them lay the fair and promised land,

And ’mongst its rocky hills, their destined sphere But neither rocky hills nor barren sands

Depress’d their hearts, or caused the starting tear. E'en now they hear the deep, heart-rending cry

Of millions, perishing for heavenly food O, if they had but angel's wings to fly,

To bear the blessed manna sent from God!

That holy man, a youthful martyr now,
And faith relights the brighten'd hopes that rise

To chase the gathering shadows from his brow.
His cold and dying hands are clasp'd in hers,

His icy cheek is pillow'd on her breast.
Could she but warm them with her scalding tears,

The desert, more than Eden bower, were blest.
“Great God," she cried, “in mercy spare him now,

0, leave me not alone in this dread hour;" Then press’d such burning kisses on his brow,

As are unknown except to love's despair. She drew him closer to her throbbing heart,

And vainly strove to warm his life anewRaised her clasp'd hands to heaven, “Lord, must we

part? Then give him grace to die, and triumph too." Her prayer was answered, and his glowing eye

Told of the holy joy that filled his breast: “Mary, dear Mary, I could calmly die,

But, O, my widow'd wife, where will she rest,
In that dark hour to which her heart must bow,

When most she needs a husband's tender love?
But God has called me, dearest; I must go;
He'll gently guard thee, my own,

stricken dove. My absent mother, be her hope and stay,

God of my life! who dost not need me here, Else thou wouldst not have call'd me thus away;

But let her know my sky in death was clear. God shield thee, wife, for I am going now;

Earth fades away, but heaven is full in sight.” One look of love he gave, and murmur'd low

His last farewell; then sped to realms of light That spirit pure—too pure on earth to stay.

Close to her breast the almost frantic wife Still pressed in agony the soulless clay,

Seeking in vain to call it back to life“0, breathe again, my husband, speak once more,

Call me thine own, and bid me die for thee. 'Tis all in vain. Great God in mercy hear

To thee, and thee alone, for help I flee;" Then by his side she sank in agony of prayer.

[ocr errors]

'Twas autumn twilight: the rich sunset sky

Spread o'er a scene of lonely barren sand; Nor aught is seen to entertain the eye,

Save one lone tent, in this deserted land. Why there alone? beside that desert spring,

O'er which not e'en a pine its shadows threwMayhap a wandering Arab on the wing,

With booty, plundered from the pilgrim JewBold, fearless, tameless tribe, whose chosen home

Is in the wilderness, or mountain land, Whose freedom is the desert plain to roam

0, when will thy redemption be at hand? And who can tell but this may be the spot

Where banish'd Ishmael's fainting parent wept ; Then turn'd unto the fount with blessings fraught,

And promises which God has faithful kept.
But, ah! the thrilling scene within that tent

Is not of Arab, feasting on his spoils;
That anguish'd sigh comes from a bosom rent

With bitter gries, and bound with bleeding coils. 0, who can tell the agony of woe

To woman's heart, when all its hopes so bright, Its treasured love, are crushed beneath the blow

Which hides their earthly object from her sight! And such, indeed, was the devotion pure

Of that fair girl, exiled from early home, And every joy that can the heart allure,

With one she lov’d, in stranger lands to roam. Since then, not one brief year has coursed its round,

And with their mountain home almost in sight, Each glittering hope is trampled to the ground;

For death is there, with his resistless might. There on a lowly couch the sufferer lies,

As the lost sailor, 'mid the howling storm

And midnight darkness, sees the morning star Rise in the east, and instant all is calm;

So when her soul, amid its deep despair, Look'd up to Christ, her only refuge now,

He gently soothed and hushed its sigh and care, And bade her heart in sweet submission bow.

She calmly wiped the dampness from his brow, And printed on his lips a last fond kiss:

“Yes, dearest, sainted one, thou'st left me now, But soon I'll join thee in the realms of bliss.”

No wonder that those rude and mountain men Were filled with pity for that lonely child

More quick to do her bidding now, than when, For promised gold, along the way they toiled.

She saw that their stern hearts could deeply feelThen pointed to her husband's lifeless form;

Their moisten'd eyes quick answer'd her appeal,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

And when at last he owns thy worthless name,

Thou shalt with him in radiant glory shine.

SLEEPING CHILD.

BY MRS. SIGOURNEY.

SLEEP, dearest, long and sweet,

With smile upon thy brow, Thy restless, tottering feet,

Are surely weary now, Trotting about all day

Upon the nursery-floor, Or happier still to play Among the wild flowers gay

Beside thy father's door.

And told her she was safe from every harm.

O, what a night was that, as by his side
On suffering couch she lay till morning sun,

Of earthly friend and comfort all denied,
And toil, fatigue, and grief their work had done!

Then, as they bore her husband from her view,
Wrapp'd in his cloak, uncoffined, without shroud,

And o'er his form the desert sand they threw, In pain and anguish there she meekly bowed.

That was the hour that woman's soul most tries, (And who can feel its thrilling horrors may—

To attempt the scene in words my pen denies;) And in that hour she knew that she must die.

Then thoughts of home came rushing thro' her mind, A father, watching o'er her suffering bed

A sister, in her warm affections twined: “O, were they here to bathe my burning head!

And, mother, wert thou here to soothe me now, Thy love would chase away my spirit's grief

Would still the throbbing of my aching brow, And to my dying hour bring sweet relief.”

She linger'd there in pain a few brief daysNo gentler nurse than the attending Koords,

Who guarded them thro' all their desert ways, And, save their pitying looks, no soothing words.

Sometime her thoughts in wild delirium roam, To happy scenes that in her memory live

To youthful friends around her childhood homeVain, fleeting fancies, yet they pleasure give.

And then, in joy too rapturous to remain, Her husband labors in Nestoria's land

She's by his side, and hears his voice again; Then wakes, to die, there in the desert sand.

They buried her beside his lowly grave, Bore to her weeping friends the tidings drear,

A penciled line that she in dying gave, And bade them carry back-memento dear.

Thy little laughing eyes,

How tranquilly they rest, Thy tiny fingers clasp'd

Upon thy guiltless breast, While o'er thy placid face

The stealing moonbeams fall, And with a heaven-taught grace Thy baby features trace

Upon the shaded wall.

Sleep, dearest! She whose ear

Her nursing-infant's sigh Hath never waked to hear

When midnight's hush was nigh, Ne'er felt its balmy kiss

The cradle-care repay, Hath she not chanced to miss The deepest, purest bliss

That cheers life's pilgrim-way?

To see each budding power

Thy Maker's goodness bless, To catch the manna-shower

Of thy full tenderness, The immortal mind to train

No more divine employ Thy mother seeks to gain, Until her spirit drain

The seraph cup of joy.

Who'll answer now the deep, heart-rending cry,

Borne on each breeze, from far Nestoria's land? Shall it unheeded pass—the famished die ?

And we dare meet them, curs'd at Christ's left hand ? And can we hear them ask the way of life,

Then weigh the anguish of a soul that's lost, Shut out from heaven, consign’d to hopeless grief,

And longer stay to count the trifling cost? 0, Christian reader, by thy hopes of heaven

By all thy blessings, rich, and high, and rare-
By all thy precious joys, of sins forgiven,

Art thou not call'd upon to hasten there,
With news of Christ, the fainting soul to cheer-

The Gospel feast to spread-bid sinners come-
The promised highway of the Lord prepare,

That Israel's ransom'd seed may hasten home? What costly sacrifice hast thou to bring

To Christ? Come, haste, and offer at his shrine; Give what thy soul most loves-an offering;

'Tis all thou canst return for love divine. If thou wilt bear the cross, with all its shame,

Eternal life and Christ himself are thine;

Original.

HAPPINESS. I HAVE been where 'twas said I should meet thee,

With the learned, the gay, and the fair, But when I expected to greet thee,

Thy shadow was all that was there.
I come to the humble and holy,

And dwell with the faithful and true,
I shed a soft light on the lowly,
Who goodness and glory pursue.

S. B.

[blocks in formation]

manner.

Original.

ily, had wandered by night from his unattended bed to THE WIDOW.

the river, and there was drowned, having been discov.

ered too late for assistance. “Choose all our changes, Lord.”

The widow was now on her way from New Orleans I was once on board a steamboat where there oc- to Bayou Sara, on the melancholy errand of seeing the curred a little adventure, which fixed, and, as it were, spot, and learning the particulars of her husband's pointed the text which I have placed as a motto, indel-death-hoping, too, in her destitute condition, to save ibly in my mind. There was, amongst the passengers, whatever little effects he might have died possessed of. a young female with her two infant children, who had She had taken her passage in the boat, as I have said, recently become a widow. Her bereavement, as I as deck passenger; but the captain, a benevolent man, learned, had happened in a very sudden and affecting when he ascertained the particulars of her case, told

The casualty of an instant had left her her she should come free of charge, and also, when a friendless and forlorn, in a country remote from her vacancy occurred that day, by the landing of some labirth-place, and without the common solace of kindred dies at a town on the river, he removed her and her or even of neighborhood. She was the wife of an em-children into the vacant state-room. The water was igrant, but a few months in our country, and but im- in a very low stage, and it took the unusual time of perfectly acquainted with its customs and usages. She five days from the city to Bayou Sara. was a Scotch woman, the daughter of a farmer, and, as The day after the widow's installment in the ladies' I found, quite an extraordinary character; and though cabin, there arrived a party from a plantation on the her life had been simple, she had received a very good coast, consisting of a gentleman and his wife, an infant education, and whilst she knew very little of the world, of two years and his nurse, and one or two other attend. was possessed of an intuitive good sense, which ants. Their passage had been bespoken on the downgreatly supplied the deficiency. Above all, she was ward trip of the boat, and a state-room held in reserve strongly grounded in religion. I saw her in a situa- for them. It so happened that when the lady of the tion where she was sorely tried. I first saw her as I plantation first entered the cabin, seeing the sun full looked over the guard of the boat into the lower deck; upon her apartment, she declared herself dissatisfied, for in that place she had taken her passage. And as saying it was out of the question that her infant should she sat apart with children, I was struck with her su- lie in a room exposed to the sun, or on that side of the perior look to those about her. I became interested to boat where the sun came! And she looked about, as observe her closely, and subsequently, from conversa we may suppose she had been accustomed to do at tion, I gathered her little story. It seems her young home, to espy whom she might dislodge; and seeing husband, desiring a better start in life than his patrimo- the lowly looks and humble arrangements of the widow ny afforded him, and having also met with some hin- on the opposite side, she asserted at once that she bedrances of property, had decided to cross the ocean, lieved that that was the room which had been selected and seek, in America, the land of hope, a broader field for her! The widow replied, “Madam, I don't know, of enterprise. Alas! he sought a grave; and many a the captain put me in this apartment.” “O, the

captime in his brief career, after he reached the land, he tain has made a mistake,” insisted the lady, “I spoke might have exclaimed with Hassan

first for the room, of course, as I engaged it on the “Sad was the hour and luckless was the day, downward trip; besides, my little boy is not well, and

When first from Shiraz' walls I bent my way.” can't stand the sun.” Some one suggested to the wid. Alas! for him there was no return. He landed in New ow that the subject had better be referred to the capOrleans at an unsuitable season of the year to get ac- tain. But she, feeling probably that she would not, climated. The weather was hot and depressing. He however innocently, embarrass him with his passenwas amongst strangers, anxious, and short of money,gers, said, with dignity and gentleness, in low but and unacquainted with the resources of the country. measured voice, “I will let the lady have my room, alIt seems he had come up the river in search of a situa-though, in a like case, I would not take hers;" adding, tion as overseer of a plantation, leaving his family in " If her babe is sick, she is welcome to it; for mine, the city until he should ascertain a home for them. thank God, are well.” The rooms, she knew, were Some business he found, though not what he sought; equally good; yet she felt the indignity of being disfor he had been objected to as appearing above the sit- placed at the will of another. The poor creature was uation of overseer, and probably insufficient to its du- full of grief, and bewildered with anxieties; and the ties, as well as averse, by national feeling, to its pecu- unfriendliness of this assault wounded and oppressed liar offices. But he had obtained some business, and her. She made ready to remove her things. Her now wrote a letter to his wife to come to him, inclosing scanty packages gáve place to the rich and massive travthe necessary funds for her expenses. But the faith-eling apparatus of the lady. What a contrast the less messenger, a heartless villain, abstracted the two presented, in all respects, of condition and of char. money, and destroyed the letter, and the first news the acter ! unfortunate woman received was, that her husband was When the lady saw her busying herself to remove, dead! He had been seized with the fever of the coun- she insisted that her servant should lift the things for try, and in his delirium and his anxiety to see his fam- her, "since,” said she, in her petulant self-complacency,

« ForrigeFortsett »