Celia Thaxter.

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Page 7, 3rd line — for ''sang" read ra//g.
" 12, 17th line — for "hours" read /wur.
^' 15; 2 2d line — for ''spared" redid s/ia/n/.
" 19, 15th line should read "To her mind when

7iig/if o'er us her dark mantle flings."
" 35} 7^^'^ ^"^^ — for "cold and weary," read wi'/d

and dreary.


Mmmj i» Tmmm<&m:

" God sent his Singers upon the Earth
With, songs of Gladness and of Mirth,

That they might touch the hearts of men
And bring them back to Heaven again."

— Longfellow.

Printed by J. C. Graham & Co.


75 ^"^^1



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by
Mary J. Tanner,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C

g > .i= w=:' c ^ '


" Unblemished let me live, or die unknown ;
Ohj grant an honest fame, or gi^ant me none !"

In presenting this little volume to the public I do
so with the assurance that it will touch a respon-
sive chord in many hearts. I know that I am liable
to criticism, and to meet the approbation of all is past
my most sanguine expectations. Public taste is so un-
certain, and criticism sometimes so censorious, that
it is with fear and trembling I place my feet on the
literary platform.

Poetry is the clothing of our thoughts and fancies,
not the revelation of our experience. That the
wildest and most erratic ideas find vent through its
channels has been proven by those who have, long
ago, been acknowledged as possessing the highest
genius. I lay no claim to erudition or elegance,
but if my humble efforts should touch a pathetic
feeling in the hearts of my readers, or gain an ap-
preciation, I shall feel that my labors are well


Very few of my pieces were written for publica-
tion, but my friends having persuaded me to present
them in book form, I will only say:

'Tis the child of my brain, and by labors brought forth,
Should its pages contain either merit or worth.
Give the hearts of my friends either pleasure or gain,
I shall feel that my pen has not labored in vain.

'Tis a labor of love that my heart would bestow.
And the moments improve of my life as I go ;
That when I am gone and my hands are at rest,
My memory will live in the hearts I love best.


Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the
world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were
not familiar. It reproduces all that it represents;
and the impersonations clothed in its elysian light
stand thenceforward, in the minds of those who have
once contemplated them, as memorials of that sim-
ple and exalted content which extends itself over all
thoughts and actions with which it co-exists.


Poetry is a speaking picture, and picture a mute
poetry. They both invent, feign and devise many
things, and accommodate all they invent to the use
and service of nature. Yet of the two the pen is
more noble than the pencil, for that speaks to the
understanding, the other but to the sense.





A Prologue


Withered Flowers . .

. 26

Address to the Muse



. 27

An Apology


Little Feet

. 28

Life as a Day


Longings . .


The Broken Heart


My Lyre is not Toned to

Ode to May


Mirth or Glee

• 31

If I Shall Sing in Heaven . .


A Song of Zion

• 32

Somebody's Darling


The Power of Music

• 33

Lines Written to an Old

A Valentine

- 34

Scrap Book


The Pioneers of '47

• 35



The Friends of Yore

. 38



When I am Gone . .

.39 i

I Have Seen


Have Courage to Live

• 41

I'll Tell Thee a Tale


Day Dreams

. 43



I Gave Thee All . .

• 44

F are Thee Well . .


My Mother

• 45

I am Thinking Love of Thee


A Fragment

. 46



My Father. — In Memoriani 46

ToW. W. Phelps, Answer-

A Prayer . .

. 48

ing an Advertisement for a

Lines to an Elderly Lady .

. 49



A Christmas Greeting

. 51

The Angel of Death


Do You Remember?

. 52



1 Have Left Thee . .
F'U Have Thee Yet
An Epitaph
A Philopena
A Fragment
Time is Passing
Is it Wise or Well ?
Such is Life
The Temple I Built
With Autumn Leaves
Gertrude ..
Was it only a Dream?
When Life is Young
Flow on Bright Waters
Tell Her For Me . .
The Prophets •

We Come. — A Tribute to
President D. H. Wells, on

Page Page

54 Do Not Call Me, Grandma. . 84

55 When Abraham . . . . 86

56 Drifting .. -. ..87

56 Reflection .. ..89

57 Coming Home . . . . 91

58 I Parting Words . . . . 92

59 ' An Eleg^ - . . • • 93
59 A Mother to her Son on his
61 Wedding Day. . . . . 94
63 My Heart is Sad To-Night,

65 Jean .. .. -.96

66 Marah .. .. •• 97

68 To My Son . . . . 100

69 Is Genius Immortal ? . . 102

70 Mount Nebo . . • . 105
72 A Tribute to the Memory of 108
77 Lost in the Fog .. .. no

A Fragment .. c- 117

A Letter .. .. ..118

the occasion of his release

Friendship's OfTering. —


after being confined in jail

Mrs. Abigail Leonard

.. 120

for "Contempt of Court."


America . .

.. 122



A Refrain

.. 124

The Ashes of Love


A Soliloquy ..

.. 125

Three Little Flowers


I Would Not Live my


Where Are They? , .



. 127


If I could weave some wild romance,
Some wondrous tale of fate or chance,

To chain the fancy's eye;
Could send my mind from things of worth,
To ramble idly o'er the earth,

'Twould pay my pen to try.

But fancy's fingers are not deft.

To weave the web from right to left,

Nor yet, from left to right:
And if at morn some wondrous scene
Should come my mind and work between,

'Tis sure to flee 'ere night.

Then if my glowing thoughts should roam
Afar from scenes of friends and home,

And seek some fairer light;
My slate and pencil come in play
To catch at once the wandering ray,

'Ere it has vanished quite.

But if I think to ''spin a yarn,"
There's sure to be some socks to darn.

Or other gear to mend:
Or neighbors come, with, "how do you do,"
Or, "sister Mary, please won't you," —

Or baby is to 'tend.


Or Lewis comes with A. B. C,

And says, " mamma, now tell them me,"

I'm sure you have the time;
Then if I have a thought on hand,
Of saying something great or grand.

My verses will not rhyme.

No wonder then, that men should boast
That women are **not quite the toast,"

Nor that so many fail.
They would not have the pluck to try.
Among the many reasons why

Their pens could not prevail.

Then if I write a ragged rhyme,
Or have my verses out of time.

Don't criticise too rough;
But say, when all my griefs I tell,
My song is written very well.

My rhyming, good enough.

Once in my life I heard it said,
If woman had a poet's head.

Or tried to wield the pen,
That she would yield her reasons light,
Or die 'ere she was crazy quite.

From softening ol the brain.

I would not like to yield the mite
That God has given, of reasons light,

For some poor, sorry jest;
And have them say, nor deem it wrong-
In reading o'er my little song,

'Tis poor, but 'twas her best.


I know I cannot write at length;
And yield to man's superior strength

To carry off the palm.
His mighty genius, wondrous power,
To chain the mind from hour to hour,

I cannot hope to claim.

If I should fancy genius mine,
Or think I had a right divine

In sylvan paths to stray;
Some canting swain must fain portend,
That woman comes to a bad end

Who "whistles" if she may.


Wake, my m.use, so longthou'st slumbered
All thy laurel wreaths will fade.

Days have passed away unnumbered.
Since I last invoked thy aid.

I w^ould have thee, while awaking,

With bright laurels twine my brow,

For ambition's morn is breaking
Brightly o'er my pathway now.

Brightest hopes and aspirations
Oft my beating bosom swell.

Can I banish such reflections.

Shall I bid such thoughts farewell.


No, but rather let me cherish

Hopes so bright, so pure and deep,

Every idle thought shall perish,
Every lighter care shall sleep.

Life's broad pathway lies before me,

Shall I travel without aim;
Let me labor still for glory.

Strive to gain a lasting name.

Hope's bright star shall onward guide me,
Through the deepest, darkest gloom,

Shed its radiance o'er my pathway,
Light my passage to the tomb.


Perhaps thy lips, with careless accents breathing,
Will find no beauty in the measured words;

And while my own their softest tones are wreathing.
Within thy heart no melody is stirred.

But yet some thought across thy hearts reflection,
May bring to mind the tide of other years;

And o'er thy soul will sweep the recollection j
Of days that brought thy young life's hopes and|;


And then, perchance, my Muse's kind endeavor
May touch within thy heart a tender chord,

And waken thoughts, that in thy bosom ever,
Had slumbered 'ere it felt the magic word.

Then let my voice with thrilling accents murmur
And strike the harp, with music's hallowed strain

Bright as the days of life's short fitful summer
Whose passing hours may never come again.

And rouse thy mind to higher, better feeling,

Or waken thoughts, from noble impulse sprung,
Within thy heart some tender chord revealing.
The source from whence its brightest notes were

'Tis not to know that I have lived and suffered.
Nor that my heart has hoped or bled in vain.

'Tis not to tell of flowers too early gathered
Or passing joys that may not come again.

But if thy brow some passing cloud should gather
Some weary care, or pain of hope deferred,

I still would cheer thee, or with kind endeavor,
Would soothe thy spirit with a magic word.


There's glory in the rising of the sun,
And in the morning of our life there's glory;

And when the opening pages are begun.
We hope to write in gladness all the story.


We tread the halls of grandeur and of beauty,
Our glowing thoughts with high ambitions filled,

Nor seek to shun the humbler paths of duty,
If thus our lives a sterner fate has willed.

We tune our hearts to notes of joy and gladness.
And strive right manfully for wealth or fame.

Unheeding still the minor key of sadness
That marks from whence some passing fancy

No heart, perchance, but has its fleeting hours
Of happy thoughts, and high and brave resolves,

No mind, perchance, but spends its nobler powers
To mark the planet where its fate revolves.

The sun may rise, and mark with golden splendor

The joyful footsteps of the gladsome morn;

Her pathway fill with radiance soft and tender,

And mark the fields where melody is born.

But fiercely shines the heat of summer noonday,
And fierce the tide of passions wild and strong.

Some slumbering fire within the soul awaking.
To bear the heart's resistless power along.

As lengthening shadows o'er the pathway gather.
And show the night fast closing round our heads.

Soft breezes o'er the cooling landscape murmur.
And darkness soon her kindly mantle spreads.

Blest be the heart that writes no line of sadness
Along the pages of the book of time.

Blest be the voice whose notes of joy and gladness,
Can mingle with the evening's vesper chimes.



I saw her, she was young and fair,
A being far too bright for earth;

The sunbeams sparkled in her hair,
Her voice sang forth in tones of mirth.

No sorrow dimmed her sparkHng eye,
No sadness filled her youthful heart,

But all was calm serenity

Where sorrow ne'er should claim a part.

And sixteen summers scarce had passed
Above her brow, or lightly flown.

Hers was a laughing, joyous heart
That knew of life no sadder tone.

And oft she turned a listening ear
To hear another's tale of woe,

And shed a sympathizing tear

O'er grief it was not hers to know.

He came, — I seem to see e'en now,
The flashing of his keen blue eye,

Above his pale and manly brow
His dark and wavy tresses lie.

His step is firm, his form erect.
His carriage full of lofty pride;

His haughty mien commands respect,
Though all but that should be denied.


He sees her, and he seeks the side
Of her so many sought in vain,

He fain would win her for his bride,
And strives her trusting heart to gain.

He tells her tales of bygone days.
And pictures life in fairy scenes,

His lips are taught to speak her praise,
Her charms, his love are all his themes.

He pours in her delighted ear

Fond tales of love-inspiring dreams;

While she, enraptured, bends to hear.
And thinks him all her fancy deems.

'Twere well if we might leave them now
In sweet communion, side by side,

Might let oblivion's curtain fall.
The strifes and woes of life to hide.

But no, 'tis mine to tell the tale,

To watch earth's fairest flowers decay,

I saw her blooming cheek grow pale,
As all her bright hopes fled away.

She saw the idol of her heart
Bereft of life's divinest charms.

As brightest dreams of night depart.
And darkness folds us in her arms.

They told her falsehood filled his heart.
That vileness and deceit were there.

That he would act the villian's part.
And fain would innocence ensnare.



And many were the tales they told,
Of all the wrongs that he had done;

They sought his past life to enfold,
And called him dark and guilty one.

They said that liquor's madd'ning fires
Were daily coursing through his veins.

His soul was filled with wild desires.
And darkness bound him in her chains.

It might have been, things oft may be
Which innocence would never guess:

For souls of deep hypocrisy,

Conceal their thoughts as suit them best.

Perhaps they wronged him, — He above
Who knows our secret thoughts can tell,

But oh ! it was a cruel thing

To sever hearts that loved so well.

And bound by every sacred tie
That man respects, or angels love,

Their vows were registered on high.
And witnessed from the throne above.

And then, in wedlock's holy band
Those two united soon would be,

To travel onward hand in hand

Through time and through eternity.

But many hopes that are as bright
Are doomed to fade and pass away,

And many hearts that beat as light, i

Are left, perchance, as sad as they.


She could not give a love divine,
To what W2LS now no longer fair,

She could not bow unto the shrine
And see' a broken image there.

Twas all in vain, he said his love
Was ever hers, would ever be,

'Twas not alone in life to prove.
But throughout all eternity.

'Twas all in vain, he stooped to plead.
With aching heart and brain afire,

She would not be a drunkard's bride,
He could not hope to raise her higher.

And thus they parted, and the bloom
Of beauty left her fair young brow,

'Twas sad to see the deepening gloom
That bowed her gentle spirit now,

'Twas sad to see the cheerless smile
That wreathed at times her pallid lips,

'Twas sad to know that for awhile
She loved as one who ne'er forgets.

She mourned awhile her blighted hopes,
And o'er life's lost beauty sighed

As many a flower in wintry hour
Has bowed its gentle head and died.

But winter's snow and summer's sun.
Bring forth the perfect fruit and flower ;

And many a joy their faith has won
May bud and bloom in beauty's bower.



We hail thee, May! the brightest month of Spring,
Thy flowers I'll twine in garlands for my brow,

For every flower some sweet remembrance brings,
And memories silent stores are sacred now.

Ah ! how the spirit loves to wander back

O'er the bright scenes of childhood's happy hours,

When all unconscious of life's thorny track,

We loved thee for thy brightness and thy flowers

We dreamed of bliss, nor thought of coming storms
To mar the prospects of the future life.

No lowering clouds, nor cannon's fierce alarms,
Foretold to us the spirit's coming strife.

We dreamed of brightness in the coming days,
And thought that happiness was all our store,

We listened to thy songster's sweetest lays,
Were happy then nor blindly asked for more.

Oh ! could the heart forever thus repose,
Far from ambitions wild and stormy path,

Secure from hidden ills or fancied woes.

Where sorrow's hand should never blight or scath



There's music in my heart to-night,

There's music in my soul:
There's many a sound of sweet delight,

That scarce can brook control ;
But oh! no tuneful melody

Unto my voice is given,
I often wonder as I sigh,

If I shall sing in Heaven.

I've joined in many a merry throng,

And many a festive train,
I've listened to the mirth and song,

Of many a joyful strain.
And as I've thought of changes wrought.

And many a gift that's given ;
Perchance for me some change might be,

And I would sing in Heaven.

And often in the twilight hours

When silence broods around,
I bow my heart unto the power

Of music's hallowed sound:
Then joyful thoughts come o'er my mind,

And hope so sweetly given,
My soul sweet melody will find.

And I shall sing in Heaven.



All tattered and weary he stood at the door,
With eyes weak and bleary, and face spattered o'er
With dirt from the street, and I heard some one say
There's somebody's darling just coming this way.

The words sent a thrill of response to my breast
And gave a strange chill, though but spoken in jest;
For the poor wretched form, in its tatters arrayed.
In a fond mothers arms, on her bosom has laid.

And somebody's darling he surely has been, —
Though cradled in poverty, nurtured in sin,
The soul from its maker comes gentle and pure.
And crime only follows the wrongs we endure.

Then speak not unkindly of those that may fall,
Misfortunes come blindly, and sorrow to all:
The child that to-day meets with tenderest care,
May soon have its griefs and its burdens to bear.

But let us remember, when Summer is past,
The snows of December come chill on the blast,
And hearts that are cheery and happy to-day,
To-morrow may weary on life's toiling way.

|Oh ye that are cradled in comfort and pride,
iForget not the waifs on humanity's tide;
|There is many a wreck on the ocean of time.
Washed by poverty's waves on the breakers of crime



Poor shattered book, —

Your age is full of years ;

Your leaves are full of blots and blotches, —

And pages scribbled o'er w^ith pencil or with pen.

Your silent pages many things reveal

That else in memory's cells had scarce been found

For time has sped and years have passed away,

Since you and I were once familiar friends;

And all your ragged leaves were bright and gay ;

I too was young and full of brightness then.

But as this ragged book is laid aside

For others brighter, and perchance more fair,

I too shall soon be passing on life's tide,

My name, my place will scarce be thought of here.


[A good wife sat in her kitchen door,
Her face w^as faded, and old and poor,
Her hands were weary and wanted rest,
As she folded them silently on her breast.

And her heart was sad as she sat and thought,
Of the weary days she had planned and wrought.
Of the socks she'd knit, and the clothes she'd made
For the little feet that around her played.


How early and late she had ever strove,
With heart and hands in the labor of love :
To train the minds and to guide the feet
In the ways of righteousness pure and sweet ;
And her feet were busy full many a day
For the little hands at their merry play.

But all alone she was sitting there,
And her heart was weary and full of care,
For the little feet at the garden stile
Had wandered many a weary mile.

The mother's hope and the father's pride
Were fondly set on the boy that died, —
With the laughing eye and the curly hair,
With the heart to do and the will to dare.

The little feet would never come

To brighten again their early home;

The hopes and joys she had cherished then,

Would never lighten her heart again.

And the world seemed weary and full of care.

As she sat so still and lonely there.

But her eye lit up with a tender smile,
As she thought of him who had spared her toil;
And the hopes and cares of her weary lot,
And her heart was glad and she murmured not.

For she thought of days when she was fair.
With a merry face and golden hair;
And he stood so proudly by her side,
And pressed her to his heart, — a bride.


But years had come, and years had gone,
And the blooming bride was aged and wan;
For time and sickness and wearying care
Had faded her cheek and blanched her hair.

But he that had loved her a youthful bride,
Still held her tenderly by his side :
And he said, to him she was far more fair
Than the dainty daughters of fashion were.

She had walked by his side for many years,
She had shared his joys, his hopes and fears,
And he still would clasp her to his heart,
And hold her there until death should part.


There is a magic in the name,

A deep enchanting spell :
That binds our hearts, and brings again

From memories silent cell,
The tender thoughts of days long past,

Of love that we have known ;
Of joys that could not always last.

And pleasures that have flown.

There is a charm in friendship's smile,

A light in friendship's eye:
A tenderness that doth beguile

Each hour that's passing by,
Prints brighter hues on every flower,

And makes the earth more fair.
Casts o'er our hearts its magic power,

And fondly centres there.


Then who would pass through Hfe alone,

Mid darkness, care and gloom;
Unsought, uncared for and unknown,

Sink to the silent tomb.
Without a friend to shed a tear,

A sight to memory lend;
Oh who would live uncared for here,

Or die without a friend.


I have seen a little floweret

Opening leaflets to the sun.
But a blast swept rudely by it,

And its gentle course was run.

I have seen the sun in gladness
Rising in the clear blue sky:

But the evening closed in sadness,
Robed in Nature's darkest dye.

I have seen bright fond hopes cherished

By the noble and the good :
But like Autumn leaves they perished,

Leaving earth a solitude.

I have seen a lovely maiden
Step in pride and beauty forth,

Life to her with joy was laden,
All her tones were those of mirth.


And again I turned me, hoping

Still to find her as before,
But I saw her pale and drooping,

All her hopes in life were o'er.

Envy's jealous eye had seen her, —
O'er her Scandal's breath had flown,

Life no longer gave her pleasure, —
Sorrow marked her for his own.

I have seen the guiltless perish
By the shafts of envy thrown,

While the base and worthless flourish
O'er the ruin they have strewn.


Warm Spring is now coming, so fragrant and green,
With beautiful flowers to deck our May queen. ;
Then come to the mountains and wander with me,;
Where the wild flowers grow, I will cull them for thee;
The brightest and fairest of all shall be thine,
In beauty and fragrance a garland I'll twine,
Uf flowers, wild flowers, so lovely and bright;
That shall circle thy brow with a halo of light, j
Or, shouldst thou love not the chapiet I'll twine, !
Affection, still brighter, around thee shall shine.

Come to the valley where the bright waters meet,
Where the rippling stream murmurs on at our feet.i
Where the bright glassy waters glide on through

the vale. i


Oh come there with me, and I'll tell thee a tale.
How a maiden once loved, though her love was
j unknown,

lAnd she lived on in silence, sad, sad and alone,
:No word passed herlips,though 'twas told by her eye.
And the blush on her cheek when the loved. one
I was nigh.

And I'll tell thee how, often, at twilight's lone hour,
jWhen the shadows of eve shed their magical power,
jFond thoughts of the future, untold, undefined,
iLike visions of beauty arise to her mind.

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