1827.J EDITORIAL EMPLOYMENT. 35
and blood of Christ, and desire your prayers that I may receive the
full benefit of his atonement, and be prepared to meet him with
Of the friendship contracted by this editorial arrangement, no
one can speak so truly and so feelingly as Bishop (then Professor)
DoANE himself. This is tlie language of his commemorative ser-
mon : "It was in 1826 that our intimate relations commenced; and
man has never been in closer bonds with man than he with me, for
five and twenty years. A letter from him to a mutual friend, the
witness and the sharer of our earliest years of happiness, brings
down the tokens of his unswerving confidence and perfect love
within the latest fortnight of his life. . . . Our intercourse
was intimate at once, and we never had a feeling or a thought
to part us."
The paper of which he was to assume the joint editorship was
entitled The Episcopal Watchman ; and after some unavoidable
delay, the first number was issued on the 26th of March, 1827.
From this time, his aversion to seeing his productions in print was,
of course, removed ; and he not only brought to light some of the
effusions of his pen, which had tlius far been concealed from the
public eye, and confined exclusively to private hands, but he fur-
nished for each successive number of the paper, besides his due
proportion of prose articles, some poetical contributions. Among
these, a series of Sonnets, under the signature of Asaph, will take
the first place in our selections. The following appeared in the
first number : â€”
O Thou, whom slumber reacheth not, nor sleep,
The guardian God of Zion, in whose sight
A thousand years pass like a watch at night,
Her battlements and high munitions keep,
Or else the Watchman waketh but in vain.
Him, in his station newly set, make strong.
And, in his vigils, vigilant ; sustain
His overwearied spirit, in its long
And lonely round from eve till matin song ;
And of Thy charge remind him, " Watch and pray."
So, whether coming#at the midnight bell,
Or at cock crowing, or at break of day,
Thou find him faithful, and say, " All is well,"
How rich is the reward of that true sentinel !
" Could it have been any better, or any different," asks Bishop
DoANE, in his commemorative discourse, "if he had been premon-
ished of his course through life, or if he had written it on the day
on which his life was closed 1 "
36 JIEMOIU OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1827
The following Sonnet was next in order, and appeared near the
close of the Lenten season : â€”
The holy Lenten time is now far spent ;
And from the muffled altars, every where,
Full many a warning voice has bid prepare
The Lord's highway, and cried aloud, Repent !
And be your hearts, and not your garments, rent ;
And turn unto the Lord your God with prayer.
Not, as aforetime, are the contrite sent
To sackcloth, ashes, and the shirt of hair.
Or knotted thong ; but consciences laid bare,
And lowly minds, and knees in secret bent,
And fasts in spirit, mark the penitent.
Let not the broken hearted, then, despair ;
The siglis of those who "worthily lament"
Their sins reach Heaven, and are accepted there.
The next evidently points to his own conformity to the instituted
rites of his Church : â€”
The white-stoled Bisliop stood amid the crowd.
Novitiates all, who, tutored to revere
The mitre's holy offices, drew near,
And, after sins renounced and pledges vowed,
Pale with emotion and religious fear.
In meek subjection, round the chancel, bowed,
To hallowed hands, that o'er them, one by one,
Fell with a Prelate's thrilling benison.
Thou, who canst make the loadstone's touch impart
An active virtue to the tempered steel,
O, let Thy hand rest on them, till they feel
A new-born impulse stirring^n the heart.
And, swinging from surrounding objects free.
Point with a tremulous confidence to Thee.
The Sonnets, with one or two exceptions, are devotional, and
adapted to sacred occasions. Even when he stoops to apostrophize
an humble flower, his thoughts rise intuitively to heavenly musings.
Here we have a striking example : â€”
1827.] EDITORIAL EMPLOYMENT. 37
TO THE HEPATICA TRILOBA,
FOUND IN MARCH.
Why liftest thou, so premature, thy head
Amid the withered waste, pale flower ? Say, why
Dost thou, alone and desolate, defy
The year, yet unconfirmed, while there is shed
No wholesome dew upon thy leaf-strewn bed,
All choked and matted, but the frost wind's sigh
Is heard, at eve, thy chill slope rustling by ?
Hast thou forgot thy time, or dost thou spread
Thy sweet leaves to the air, and smiling wave
'Mid blasted verdure, like the garland shed
By fond affection, o'er the early grave,
To breathe its bloom around the youthful dead ?
Short be their sleep in dust as thine, fair flower ;
So wake to life and joy when past their wintry hour !
In the following he affects the style and orthography of some of
the older English poets. Whatever may be objected to this, as a
matter of taste, it must be admitted that it throws no obscurity over
the devout sentiments inculcated ; nor does it interrupt the charac-
teristic smoothness and easy flow of his versification.
Howe heavenlie an inheritance is thine,
Sweet babe ! whom yon baptismal groupe present,
Nowe that the consecrating elemente
Hathe bathed thie forehead, and the crucial signe
Is as a frontlet bounde between the eyne,
In token that hereafter thou shall be
A faithfull soldier in the cause divine,
And, in thie triple warfare, manfullie
Beneath the banner of the Crosse shalt fighte.
If Christe himself so tenderlie invite
The little children to his heavenlie fold,
They mocke his ordinance, and doe despite
Unto his highe beheste, who dare withholde
Or yet delaye the pure, regenerating rite.
38 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1827.
WASHINGTON (NOW TRINITY) COLLEGE.
" In after days shall come heroic youth,
Warm from the school of glory." With a pride
I quote thy high prediction, Akenside,
In joyous hope to realize its truth,
Ere envious Time print his undainty tooth
Upon these sombre walls, which then descried
'Mid groves that half develop and half hide,
Shall haply stay some loiterer by the flow
Of Hart's sweet waves, that gladden as they glide
By wooded steep, green bank, and margin low,
Till o'er his soul float up in classic dream
The long-lost image of the Portico, *
The Sophist's seat, fast by Ilyssus' stream,
Lyceum's green retreats, and walks of Academe.
TO A WINGED FIGURE BY RAPHAEL.
Whether thou gazest up to some far isle
In the star-sprinkled depths above, where live
The race from whom thou art a fugitive,
Unseen, unheard from, for a dreary while ;
Or whether seeking to restrain the smile
That rises to thy lips, thy fingers strive
To hide what eyes so bold and bright contrive ;
Or whether meditating good or guile,
Thou restest on thine arm contemplative â€”
Are problems deeper than the thought can dive.
But if thy breast be not a holy pile.
Where nought unclean hath entered to defile,
Then Heaven forgive thee, false one ! and forgive
That I should trifle with a theme so vile.
CHRIST BEARING THE CROSS.
PAINTED BY DUNIAP.
If thou wouldst fortify thy young belief.
Christian disciple, read with anxious look
The pictured comment on the holy book,
That tells the sufferings of thy chosen Chief,
Nor let the look be single, neither brief:
1827.] EDITOllIAL EMPLOYMENT.
That tortured eye, and countenance so meek,
So mild, and yet majestical, bespeak
The Man of Sorrows, intimate with grief.
From him learn how divinity could lend
A dignity to suffering, nor disdain
Art's utmost effort in one face to blend
Immortal fortitude with mortal pain ;
And let not faith despise the aid of sense,
Nor spurn the " pencil's mute omnipotence."
Though it were eminence enough to be
Enrolled among the apostolic few,
Who, at their Master's call, devotedly
Went forth his self-denying work to do,
This is not all thy praise, Bartholomew ;
Thou for such fellowship wast set apart.
By One who saw thee from afar, and knew
Thy spirit undefiled and void of art.
And still the portrait which thy Savior drew
Bears record to thy singleness of heart.
For wide as Gospel tidings have been spread
Throughout all tongues, o'er continent and isle,
Shall this memorial to thy worth be read â€”
" An Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.''
Not e'en thy heavenly and harmonious swell,
Calling to Sabbath worship with a sound
From tower to tower reverberated round,
Can with my spirit harmonize so well
As that sad requiem, melancholy bell !
Which with unvaried cadence, stern and dull,
Tolls for the burial of the beautiful.
There is a potent and a thrilling spell
In every solitary stroke, to start
Long-cherished thoughts from memory's inmost cell,
And deep affections ; while each warning tone
That rests, 'mid solemn pauses far apart,
Like drops of water dripping on a stone.
Cheerless and ceaseless, wears into the heart.
40 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSAA^LL. [1827.
Renouncing a vocation so abhorred,
Uncertain riches and the lust of gain,
How blest it were, commanded by the Lord,
While yet he passes by, to join his train,
And taking up his cross, to walk like thee !
Nor be the power of those examples vain
Which thine own sacred registries record ;
But written for our learning may they be.
Read, marked, discerned, digested inwardly,
Until we see the path of duty plain.
Embrace the truth, and ever hold it fast.
And pressing onward, daily self-surpassed,
By comfort of that holy word, attain
The same eternal promises at last.
Blessed Physician ! from thy ancient scroll
Can we not draw some wholesome medicine
To heal the heart that sickens with its sin,
And cure the deep distemper of the soul?
Is there no balm in Gilead, to make whole
The bruised and broken spirit, and within
The bleeding bosom stanch the wound, and win
The stubborn malady to its control ?
Blessed Physician ! happy is thy dole.
Whose praise hath in the Gospel ever been ;
For thou wast His disciple who could bring
Help to the helpless on their bed of pain,
And from the gates of double death again
Restore the hopeless in their languishing.
Holy and happy be the wedded pair.
Who, typifying here the solemn rite
To which the Bridegroom and his Church invite
The good in heaven hereafter, hope to share
The glories of his great espousal there â€”
They, when he cometh at the dead of night
In triumph with the Spirit and the Bride,
1827.] EDITORIAL EMPLOYMENT. 41
Shall go to meet him, with their odorous light
Well trimmed and burning steadily and bright.
And entenng in together, side by side.
In wedding garments robed of purest white,
And crowns of gold, and waving boughs of palm,
Sit down among the hosts beatified.
Guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
O, haste the rites of that " auspicious day,
. When white-robed altars, wreathed in living green,
Adorn the temples," and half hid, half seen,
The priest and people emulously pay
Glad homage, with the festal chants between ;
And aisles and arches echoing back the strain.
The sylvan tapestry around is stirred ;
And voices sweeter than the song of bird
Are resonant within the leafy fane.
If, in the fadeless foliage gathered there.
Pale nature has so bright an offering.
Where all beside is withered, waste, and bare.
What lively tribute should our spirits bring
To beautify, O Lord, thy holy place of prayer ?
SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST.
' The disciple wliom Jesus loved."
Gospel for the.
O highly favored, unto whom 'twas given
To lay thy hand upon the golden keys
That ope the empyrean mysteries.
And all the bright apocalypse of heaven !
Sweet solace of thy sorrowing soul, when driven
Into its island banishment alone.
Thy rapturous spirit has been long at rest,
Partaker of the glories then foreshown.
And knowing even as thy thoughts were known.
And if to bide His baptism be the test,
And drink the cup peculiarly His own.
Then thou hast gained thy mother's fond request,
And, stationed near the everlasting throne,
Shalt lean once more upon thy Savior's breast.
42 MEMOm OF ^VILLIAM CROSWELL. [1827.
The moon and stars light up their wintry fire ;
And kindling with a lustre more intense,
As if to quell the frosty influence
Which wraps the world in its unstained attire,
They draw our spirits heavenward to admire.
Nor them alone. For in the marbled sky
Ten thousand little snow-white cloudlets lie,
In fleecy clusters ranged from east to west,
Which meet the toil-worn swain's exalted eye.
As when he sees upon tlie upland's breast
His own unspotted flock at silent rest,
With all their new-bom mountain lambkins by,
And to his meditative mind recall
The mighty Shepherd tliat o'erlooks them all.
Having published the foregoing Sonnets, under the signature of
Asaph, in the first volume of the Watchman, he reserved for the
last number the following Valedictory, in which he relinquishes the
name, and modestly and gracefully lays aside the harp of the chief
musician of Israel's minstrel king : â€”
Why have I dared to wake the sacred string,
Silent for ages, fearing not to hold
High harping with that glorious bard of old,
The chief musician to the minstrel king ?
Alas ! that e'er presumptuous hand should bring
Dishonor on that borrowed name, or wrong
The leader in the service of the song.
Though fain to make his loud shoshannim ring
In concert with the consecrated throng,
Who in their solemn courses, all life long.
Kept Zion's courts resounding with its swell,
So faint and fitful are the sounds I fling,
My soul recoils lest they profane thy shell ;
Farewell, then, hallowed harp ! forever fare thee well !
1827.] EDITORIAL EMPLOYMENT. 43
To this Valedictory he received a prompt response from one
whose reputation as a poetess is now so well established, and whose
name has been so long and so favorably known to the public, that
we feel no delicacy in ascribing it to Mrs. L. H. S. : â€”
OCCASIONED BY HIS VALEDICTORY SONNET.
O, not farewell, deft ruler of the lyre ;
Sweet singer of our Israel, not farewell ;
Thou early called amid the temple choir,
The glad, high praises of our God to swell.
Levite and priest, who Zion's anthem led,
Had trembled if their solemn string were mute,
If the soul's pulse of melody were dead,
Or hushed the breathings of Jehovah's lute :
Wouldst thou forego the baptism of the skies ?
Down at the altar's foot thy censer cast ?
Hide in the earth a gift that seraphs prize.
Yet 'â– 'â– faithful " hope to be pronounced at last '?
Minstrel, return ! Resume the hallowed strain ;
Repent thee of thy sin, and woo Heaven's harp again.
To such a call, from such a source, the young bard was not
insensible ; nor could he find it in his heart to turn a deaf ear to
the sweet strains of the enchantress. Hence the following
â€¢ Lady, for thee to speak, and be obeyed,
While I, adventurous all too long, retire,
Expecting scarcely pardon, much less praise.
The unstrung chords what sweeping spirit sways i
What sudden murmurings from the abandoned lyre
Pass on the breeze, and, as they pass, expire ?
O, could my disproportioned powers retain.
Forever treasured up, that cherished tone,
And blend, yet not abase it, witli my own,
Its sweet reproaches had not been in vain ;
Yea, could I, kindled with a kindred fire,
44 MEMOm OF AVILLIiUI CROSAVELL. [1827.
But hope to catch the echoings of that voice
Which bids my harp renew its feeble strain,
How would my bounding bosom then rejoice,
Nor breathe distrust of God's good gifts again !
But these Sonnets constituted only a small portion of his poetical
contributions to the columns of the Watchman. A few pieces are
selected, which appeared without any signature, but which, from
being found in his manuscript collections, are known to be from
The first of the two following Sonnets was written soon after
the ordination of Jacob Oson, a colored man, of middle age and
respectable talents, who had been engaged by the Domestic and
Foreign Missionary Society of the Church to enter upon the duties
of missionary in Liberia : â€”
Joy to thy savage realms, O Africa 1
A sign is on thee that the great I AM
Shall work new wonders in the land of Ham ;
And while he tarries for the glorious day
To bring again his people, there shall be
A remnant left, from Cushan to the sea.
And though the Ethiop cannot change his skin.
Or bleach the outward stain, he yet shall roll
The darkness off that overshades the soul,
And wash away the deeper dies of sin.
Princes, submissive to the Gospel sway,
Shall come from Egypt ; and the Morian's land
In holy transport stretch to God its hand :
Joy to thy savage realms, O Africa !
But this joyful anticipation was never realized in the person of
Mr. Oson ; for after he had received his outfit, and while making his
preparations for embarking to the contemplated field of his future
labors, he fell into a distressing sickness, which in a few months ter-
minated fatally. " By this providential dispensation," says the editor
of the Watchman, " the great cause of African improvement is de-
prived of a most devoted servant, and the hopes of our society are for
the present frustrated ; Mr. Oson being the first missionary they have
been al)le to obtain for this service, after years of inquiry. Until a
few days before his death, Mr. Oson entertained strong hopes of
being able to embark in the brig Liberia ; but finding himself com-
pelled to abandon his long and fondly cherished expectations, he
1827.] EDITORIAL EMPLOYMENT. 45
calmly resigned himself to the will of God, earnestly praying that
other laborers might be raised up, to enter into the field to which
he had been looking with so much anxiety." And to this notice he
appended the following Sonnet : â€”
Not on the voyage which our hopes had planned
Shalt thou go forth, poor exile, o'er the main ;
The savage glories of thy fatherland
Shall never bless thy aged sight again ;
Nor shalt thou toil to loose a heavier chain
Than e'er was fastened by the spoiler's hand.
And yet the work for which thy bosom yearned
Shall never rest, though sin and death detain
Messiah from his many-peopled reign,
Till all thy captive brethren have returned.
But thou hast gained, (O, blest exchange !) instead,
A better country, and a heavenly home,
Where all the ransomed of the Lord shall come,
With everlasting joy upon their head.
Still another Sonnet is selected from the first volume of the
Watchman, which appears to have been suggested by the death
of the Rev. Abiel Carter, rector of Christ Church, Savannah,
Georgia : â€”
As some tall column meets its overthrow.
And levelled in the dust reclines, at length.
In all its graceful symmetry of strength.
So manhood, in his middle years, lies low,
Singled by death from out the stateliest,
While yet he lifts his towering head elate.
And feels the firmer for the very weight
Of all that in dependence on him rest.
Ah, why should we bewail his present fall,
Though prostrate now, and basely undertrod.
If, at the Master Builder's final call.
He stand amid the upright as before,
A pillar in the temple of his God,
And from his happy station go no more.
The next two pieces are of a strictly devotional character : â€”
46 MEMOIR or WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1827.
When Thou, the vineyard's Visitant,
To look on thy degenerate plant,
Shalt hither take thy way,
And find it green and flourishing,
Curse not the unproductive thing.
Nor to the dresser say, â€”
" How long shall I, from year to year.
Come seeking heavenly frruitage here,
And none, alas ! be found ?
In vain it rears its leafy crown
In barren pomp. Cut, cut it down :
Why cumbereth it the ground ? "
Lord, listen to my earnest prayer,
And yet a little longer spare
The blighting of thy frown.
But let the gardener prune and dress,
And dig around its barrenness.
Before thou cut it down.
SUNDAY SCHOOL HYIMN.
â€¢ Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not"
Savior ! thy precept is not hid.
Nor is thy love forgot ;
We come, whom thou didst not forbid.
And man forbids us not ;
To Thee we come, the Guide that brings
The erring strays of sin
Back from their early wanderings.
Thy fold to enter in.
To us thy heavenly grace impart, I
And let the words of truth ,
Be inly grafted in our Iieart,
And nurtured in our youth ;
So shall its strong and thrifty shoots
From year to year increase.
And, with thy blessing, yield the fruits
Of righteousness and peace.
1827.1 EDITOIIIAL EMPLOYMENT. 47
O, with the seed thy sowers sow
That timely dew distil
By which we may not only know,
But love and do thy will.
So shall its rooted strength defy
The storms of life, and spring,
With ever-lifted head, on high,
In ceaseless blossoming.
Though feeble is our strength and weak,
Yet do not thou repress
Their near approach who early seek
Thy love and holiness.
O, hear us, as with one accord
Our grateful song we raise ;
And out of children's mouths, O Lord,
Again perfect thy praise.
The following complimentary lines to a lady are shorn, in the
manuscript copy, of the last stanza, but are here inserted entire
from the Watchman : â€”
TO * * * *
Lady ! to whom belong
The will and power to roll
The tide of music and of song
That overflow the soul.
The stream has passed away.
But left a ^littering store,
Deposited in rich array
On memory's silent shore, ^
A strand of precious things,
Where in confusion lie
The wrecks of high imaginings
And thoughts that cannot die.
O for that voice alone.
Whose full, refreshing flow
Could on the troubled soul its own
Why should those streams be mute
Which brighten as they roll,
Nor in their liquid lapse pollute,
But beautify the soul ?
48 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1827.
O, tranquillize, refine
The heart, till it shall be
As in its primal day divine,
And full of Deity.
Among the selections of the present year, three other short
pieces may be added. The first was one of his earliest produc-
tions, having been written on visiting his parental home, after his
first going abroad into the world. It was addressed to his cousin
E. S., and afl;erwards published in the Watchman, 1828 : â€”
I knew my father's chimney top.
Though nearer to my heart than eye,
And watched the blue smoke reeking up
Between me and the winter sky.
Wayworn I traced the homeward track
My wayward youth had left with joy ;
Unchanged in soul I wandered back,
A man in years, in heart a boy.
I thought upon its cheerful hearth.
And cheerful hearts' untainted glee.
And felt, of all I'd seen on earth,
This was the dearest spot to me.
The next was also probably an early production, being founa
among his loose manuscripts, without any date : â€”
Yon distant tower of old gray stone,
The verdure of the trees,
The golden sunlight o'er them thrown â€”
What fairer scene than these ?
The organ and the Sabbath bell.
Blent like the far-off sea â€”
What tones the raptured heart can swell
Up to such ecstasy ?
To human sympathies the sight
Is dearer far within,
1827.] EDITORIAL EMPLOYMENT. 49
When all, on bended knees, unite
In penitence for sin ;
And heavenlier far the thoughts they raise,
When human voices there
Swell high the glorious tide of praise,
Or breathe the contrite prayer.
The following was first published in the Watchman, and after-
wards copied into several of the contemporary periodicals : â€”
DRINK, AND AWAY.
" There is a beautiful rill in Barbary received into a large basin, which
bears a name signifying ' drlnlt, and away,' from the great danger of
meeting with rogues and assassins." Or. Shaw.
Up, pilgrim and rover!
Redouble thy haste,
Nor rest thee till over
Life's wearisome waste.
Ere the wild forest ranger
Thy footsteps betray
To trouble and danger,
O, drink, and aAvay!
Here lurks the dark savage
By night and by day.
To rob and to ravage.
Nor scruples to slay.
He waits for the slaughter;
The blood of his prey
Shall stain the still water ;
Then drink, and away!
With toil though thou languish.
The mandate obey;
Spur on, though in anguish ;