Charles Dexter Cleveland.

A compendium of American literature; chronologically arranged, with biographical sketches of the authors online

. (page 64 of 70)
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On the hills of thy beauty, my heart is wit^ thee.

With the eye of a spirit I look on that shore.
Where pil^m and prophet have linger*d before ;
With the glide of a spirit I traverse the sod
Made bright by the steps of the angels of Qod.

Lo, Bethlehem's bill-site before me is seen,
With the mountains around and the valleys between ;
There rested the shepherds of Judah, and there
The song of the angels rose sweet on the air.



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wan a. whitzibb. 668

And Bethany's palm^reee in beauty still thrair
Their shadows at noon on the ruins below;
But where are the sisters who hastened to greet
The lowly Redeemer, and sit at His feet f

I tread where the twelve in their wayfaring trod ;
I stand where they stood with the chosen of Gk>]>—
Where His blessings were heard and his lessons were taught,
Where the blind were restored and the healing was wrought.

O, here with His flock the sad Wanderer came—*
These hills Ha toil'd orer in grief, are the same—
The founts where Hk drank by the way-side still flow,
And the same airs are blowing which breath'd on his brow t

And throned on her hills sits Jerusalem yet.
But with dust on her forehead, and chains on her feet ;
For the crown of her pride to tJie mocker hath gone.
And the holy Shechinah is dark where it shone.

But wherefore this dream of the earthly abode
Of humanity clothed in the brightness of Gk>D f
Were my sjArit but tuned from the outward and dim,
It could gaze, eyen now, on the presence of him I

Not in clouds and in terrors, but gentle as when,

la loTe and in meekness. He moTed among men ;

And the Toice which breathed peace to the waves of the sea.

In the hush of my spirit would whisper to me 1

And what if my feet may not tread where Hb stood.
Nor my ears hear the dashing of Galilee's flood.
Nor my eyes see the cross which he bow'd him to bear.
Nor my knees press Qethsemane's garden of prayer.

Tet, Loved of the Father, Thy Spirit is near
To the meek, and the lowly, and penitent here ;
And the voice of thy love is the same even now.
As at Bethany's tomb, or on Olivet's brow.

O, the outward hath gone ! — ^but, in glory and power,
The Spirit surviveth the things of an hour ;
Unchanged, undecaying, its Pentecost flame
On the heart's secret altar is burning the same !



OLKEIOAL OPPRS8SOB8.

rin the Report of the celebrated pro^elarery meeting in Charleston, 8. C, on the
4th of 9th month, 1835, pnbliahed in the *' Courier*' of that dty, it U stated : **Tbe
CLEROT <^ all denominations attended in a body, LBNoiHa THsra SAitcTioira to thi
PBOCSioiirfM, and adding bj their presence to the impressive character of the scene.**]

Just Gk)d I and these are they
Who minister at thine alUr, Ood of Right !
Men who their hands with prayer and blessing lay

On Israel's Ark of light I



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664 JOBV Q. wuhtise.

What I preach, and Iddaap bmii f
Give thanks — and rob Thy own afllioted poor ?
Talk of Thj gloriona libertj, and then

Bolt hard the captive's door f

What I serrantB of Thy own
Meroifnl Son, who came to seek and save
The homeless and the outcast — fettering down

The tasked and plondered slave I

Pilaie and Herod, fHendsl
Chief priests and mlers, as of old, oomhtne I
Just God and holy t is that church, which lends

Strength to the spoiler, Thine f

Paid hypocrites, who turn
Judgment aside, and rob the Holy Book
Of Uiose high words of truth which search and bum

In warning and rebuke ;

Feed fat, ye locusts, feed I
And, in your tasselled pulpits, thank the Lord
That, from the toiling bondman's utter need,

Te pile your own full board.

How long, O Lord t how long
Shall such a priesthood barter truth away,
And, in Thy name, for robbery and wrong

At Thy own altars pray f

Is not Thy hand stretched forth
Visibly in the heavens, to awe and smite ?
Shall not the living God of all the earth.

And heaven above, do right T

Woe, then, to all who grind
Their brethren of a common Father down 1
To all who plunder ftrom the immortal mind

Its bright and glorious crown I

Woe to the i>riesthood ! woe
To those whose hire is with the price of blood —
Perverting, darkening, changing as they go,

T^e searching truths of God !

Their glory and their might
Shall perish ; and their very names shall be
Vile before all the people, in the light

Of a world's liberty.

Oh ! speed the moment on
When Wrong shall cease — and Liberty and Love,
And Truth, and Right, throughout the earth be known

As in their home above.



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jomra wnnrnaL 666



LEOOETT'S MONUMENT.^

" Te bnlld the tomlM of the pxophets.*'— Holt Wbit.

Tes — ^pile the marble o'er him ! It is well
That ye who mocked him in his long stem strife,
And planted in the pathway of his life

The ploughshares of yoor hatred hot from hell,
Who clamored down the bold reformer when
He pleaded for his captive fellow men,

Who spumed him in the market-place, and sought
Within thy walls, St. Tammany, to bind

In party chains the free and honest thought.
The angel utterance of an upright mind —

Well is it now that o'er his graye ye raise

The stony tribute of your tardy praise.

For not alone that pile shall tell to Fame
Of the brave heart beneath, but of the builders' shame !



lOHABOD I'

So fallen, so lost I the light withdrawn

Which once he wore I
The glory from his gray hairs gone

Forevermore!

' This is Wm. Leggett, who in 1829 was invited by Wm. C. Bryant as
aMoeiate editor of the '* Evening Post." He was an able and fearlen de-
fender of tmih, and in 1835, when the meetings of the abolitionists were
dispersed in New York by mobs, their houses attacked, and their fnmitnre
bamed in the streets, he defended with noble seal and signal ability the
right of liberty of speech, and became the warm and earnest friend of free-
dom. The following lines upon his n^mory, written by Mr. Brjant, do
credit no less to the anther than to the subject :—

The earth may ring, firom shore to shore.

With echoes of a glorious nftoie,
Bat he. whose lou our tears doplore,

Has left behind him more than fame.
For when the death-frost came to lie

On Ltoggett's warm and mlghtr heart,
And qnench his bold and friend! j eye,

His spirit did not all depart.
The words of fire that from his pen

Were flnng upon the sacred page.
Still moTe, still shake the hearts or men

Amid s eold and coward age.
His loTe of truth, too warm, too strong

For Hope or Fear to chain or chill,
His hate of txranny and wrong,

Barn in the breasU he kindled stllL
* Tkese lines, so fnll of tender regret, deep grief, and touching pathos,
were written when the news came of the sad coarse of Daniel Webster in sap-

66*



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€H JOflVCL W mi T IML



Rerile him not — ^the Tempter bAth

A snare for all t
And pitying tears, not 0eom and wrath.

Befit his faU.

Oh ! dumb be passion's stormy rage,

When he who might
Have lighted up and led his age

Falls back in night.

8oom ! wonld the angels langh to mark

A bright sonl driyen,
Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark.

From hope and heaven f

Let not the land, once proud of him,

Insnlt him now.
Nor brand with deeper shame his dim

Dishonored brow.

Bat, let its hombled sons, instead.

From sea to lake,
A long lament, as for the dead.

In sadness make.

Of all we loved and honored, nought

Save power remains —
A fallen angel's pride of thoi^ht

Still strong in chains.

All else is gone ; from those great ejes

The soul has fled :
When £sith is lost, when honor dies,

The man is dead I

Then pay the reverence of old days

To his dead Isme ;
Walk backward with averted gase.

And hide the shame t



MAUD MT7LLEB.

Mand Mailer, on a sammer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustio health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But, when she glanoed to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

porting ttie <*OompromiMMeaiarefl*' (inoluding the "Fugitive Slave Law^'),
in hit speech delivered in the U. S. Senate, on the 7th of March, 1856.



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The sweet B<ni9 died, and » ragiie unrest
And a nameless longing filled ker breast —

A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Jndge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's cheetnnt mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade

Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid ;

And asked a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow aoross the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin ci^ii,

And blushed as she gare it, looking down
On her Iset so bare, and her tattered gown.

** Thanks !*' said the Judge, " a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was nerer quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees ;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The oloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-tom gown,
And her graceful ankles bare and brown ;

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed : " Ah me I
That I the Judge's bride might be !

" He would dress me up in silks so fine.
And praise and toast me at his wine.

" My father should wear a broadcloth ooat ;
My brother should sail a painted boat.

" I*d dress my moUier so grand and gay.

And the baby should have a new toy eaoh day.

" And I*d feed the hungry, and clothe the poor.
And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he clfanbed the Mil,
And saw Maud Muller standing stilL

" A form more fsir, a fsce more sweet,
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

** And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair.



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6S8 joov o. wuiTViia.

" Would she were mine, and I to-daj,
Like her, a faarreeter of hay :

^ No donbtfnl balance of rights and wroogi,
Nor wearj lawyers with endless tongnes,

" But low of cattle and song of birds,
And health and qniet and loTing words."

Bat he thought of his sisters proad and cold,
And his mother rain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Jadge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

Bnt the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old loye-tune ;

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the nnraked clover felL

He wedded a wife of richest dower.
Who lired for fashion, as he for power.

Tet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a lecture come and go:

And sweet Maud Mailer's hasel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine In his glass was red.
He longed for the wayside well instead ;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms.
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain :
" Ah, that I were firee again I

, ** Free as when I rode that day.

Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care, and sorrow, and childbirth pain
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow-lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall.

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein.

And, gazing down with timid grace.
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls ;



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a^OHN O. WHTTf ISR. iM

The weary wheel to a splmiet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney log,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mng,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And Joy was duty, and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again.
Baying only, " It might have been."

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,

For rich repiner and household drudge I

Qod pity them both I and pity us all.
Who Tainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these : ** It might hare been t'*

Ah, well t for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried firom human eyes ;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from Its grave away I



DEMOCRAOT.

All things wh*Uo«Ter ye would that mon shoald do to yon, do je eren so to
them.— Matthew tIL 12.

Bearer of Freedom's holy light,
Breaker of Slavery's chain and rod,

The foe of all which pains the sight,
Or wounds the generous ear of Qod !

The generous feeling, pure and warm.
Which owns the rights of all divine —

The pitying heart — the helping arm —
The prompt self-sacrifloe — are thine.

Beneath thy broad, impartial eye.
How fade the lines of cast and birth I

How equal in their suffering lie
The groaning multitudes of earth t

Still to a stricken brother true,

Whatever clime hath nurtured him ;

As stooped to heal the wounded Jew
The worshipper of Oerizim.

By misery unrepelled, unawed
By pomp or power, thou see'st a Man

In prince or peasant— slave or lord —
Pale priest, or swarthy artisan.



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670 JOHN a. WHITTIBB.

Through all disgiiise, form, pUce or name*
Beneath the flaanting robes of sin,

Throagh poverty and squalid shame,
Thou lookest on the man within.

On man, as man, retaining yet,

Howe'er debased, and soiled, and dim,

The crown npon his forehead set —
The immortal gift of God to him.

And there is rererence in thy look ;

For that frail form which mortals wear
The Spirit of the Holiest took.

And veiled His perfect brightness there.

Thy name and watchword o*er this land
I hear in every breeze that stirs,

And round a thousand altars stand
Thy banded Party worshippers.

Not to these altars of a day.
At Party's call, my gift I bring ;

But on thy olden shrine I lay
A freeman's dearest offering ;

The voiceless utterance of his will —
His pledge to Freedom and to Truth,

That manhood's heart remembers still
The homage of its generous youth.

Ekction Day, 1843.



THE WISH OP TO-DAY.

I ask not now for gold to gild
With mocking shine a weary frame ;

The yearning of the mind is stilled —
I ask not now for Fame.

A rose-cloud, dimly seen above,
Melting in heaven's blue depths away-

! sweet, fond dream of human Love !
For thee I may not pray.

But, bowed in lowliness of mind,

I make my humble wishes known^
I only ask a will resigned,

Father, to thine own I

To-day, beneath thy chastening eye,

1 crave alone for peace and rest,
Submissive in thy hand to lie.

And feel that it is best.

A marvel seems the Universe,
A miracle our Life and Death ;

A mystery which I cannot pierce,
Around, above, beneath.



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JOHN G WHITTIKR. 671

In vain I task my aching brain,

In yain the sage's thought I soan ;
I onlj feel how weak and vain,

How poor and blind, is man.

And now my spirit sighs for home.

And longs for light whereby to see,
And, like a wearj child, would come,

O Father, unto Thee!

Though oft, like letters traced on sand,

M7 weak resolves have passed awaj.
In mercy lend thy helping hand

Unto my prayer to-day I



MILTON.

Blind Milton approaches nearly to my conception of atrae
hero. What a picture have we of that soblime old man, aa
sick, poor, blind, and abandoned of friends, he still held fast
his heroic integrity, rebuking with his unbending republican-
ism the treachery, cowardice, and servility of his old associates I
He had outlived the hopes and beatific visions of his youth ;
he had seen the loud-mouthed advocates of liberty throwing
down a nation's freedom at the feet of the shameless, debauch-
ed, and perjured Charles the Second, crouching to the harlot-
thronged court of the tyrant, and forswearing at once their
religion and their republicanism. The executioner's axe had
been busy among his friends. Yane and Hampden slept in
their bloody grayes. Cromwell's ashes had been dragged
from their resting-place; for even in death the effeminate
monarch hated and feared the conqueror of Naseby and Mar-
ston Moor. He was left alone, in age and penury and blind-
Bees; oppressed with the knowledge that all which his free soul
abhorred had returned upon his beloved country. Yet the
spirit of the stem old republican remained to the last un-
broken, realizing the truth of the language of his own Samson
Agonistes: —

" Patience is the exercise

Of saints ; the trial of their fortitude,
Making them each their own deliverer,
And victor over all
That tyranny or fortune can inflict."

True, the overwhelming curse had gone over his country.
Harlotry and atheism sat in the high places, and the *' caresses
of wantons and the jests of buffoons regulated the measures of



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6T9 joHff G. wmmsB.

a goyernment which had Jost abilttj enough to deceive, jost
religion enough to persecate.'' Bat, while Milton raoarned
over this disastrons change, no self-reproach mingled with hk
sorrow. To the last, he had striven against the oppressor^
and when confined to his narrow alley a prisoner, in his own
mean dwelling, like another Promethens on his rock, he still
turned upon him an eye of unsnbdned defiance : and who that has
read his powerful appeal to his countrymen when they were oa
the eve of welcoming hack the tyranny and misrule which, at
the expense of so much blood and treasure, had been thrown
off, can ever forget it ?



LOBD BTBON.

I admire the sublimity of his genius. But I have feared,
and do still fear the consequences — the inevitable conseqaencea
of his writings. I fear that in our enthusiastic admiration of
ganius, our idolatry of poetry, the awful impiety, and the stag^
gering unbelief contained in those wntings, are lightly passed
over, and acquiesced in, as the allowable aberrations of a mastef
intellect, which had lifted itself above the ordinary world, which
had broken down the barriers of ordinary mind, and whick Te-
velled in a creation of its own : a world, oyer which the sun-
shine of imagination lightened at times with an almost inefEible
glory, to be succeeded by the thick blackness of donbt^ and
terror, and misanthropy, relieved only by the lightning flaahei
of terrible and unholy passion.

The blessing of that mighty intellect — ^tbe prodigal gift ef
Heaven — became, in his possession, a burthen and a corse. He
was wretched in his gloomy unbelief, and he strove, with tbt
selfish purpose which too often actuates the miserable, to diag
his fellow beings from their only abiding hope; to break dowa^
in the human bosom, the beautiful altar of its faith, and to fiLz
in other bosoms the doubt and despair which darkened his
own; to lead his readers — the vast multitude of the beaaUfal,
the pure, and the gifted, who knelt to his genius as to the
manifestations of a new divinity — ^into that ever darkened path
which is trodden only by the lost to hope^ — the forsaken of
Heaven — and which leads from the perfect light of holiness,
down to the shadows of eternal death.

Genius I the pride of genius I What Is there in it, after all,
to take the precedence of virtue? Why should we worship
the hideousness of vice, although the drapery of angels be



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HAinUH ILAGQ QOUU). VlZ

gathered aboat it? la tlie swfbl esdmaie of eternity, what is
the fame of a Sfaakspeare, to the beaatifnl hamility of a heart,
sanctified bj the approval of the Searcher of all bosoms? The
lowliest taster of the pare and living waters of reUgion is a
better and wiser man than the deepest quaffer at the fount of
Helicon : and the humble follower of that sublime philosophy
of Heaven, which the pride of the human heart acconnteth
foolishness, is greater and worthier than the skilled in human
science, whose learning and glory only enable them "Sapienter
ad infermam descendereJ^



HANNAH FLAQG GOULD.

Haw AH F. Gould was born in Lancaster, Vermont ; but while yet a
child her father removed to Newburyport, Massachusetts. Soon after
this, she lost her mother, and thenceforth devoted her time to efaeer
and oomfort her father, who was in feeble health, and to whom slie
toaohingly allades in two or three of her poems. She early wrote
for several penodioals, and in 1B32 her poetical pieces were oolleeted
in a volame. In 1835 and in 1841, a second and third volume ap-
peared; and in 1846 she ooUected a volume of her prose oomposi-
tioiii, eaiitlod "Gathered Leaves.'* Of her poetry, a writer in the
** Christian Examiner*' ' remarks that it is impossible to find fault. It
is 80 sweet and unpretending, so pure in purpose, and so gentle in
^zpressloii, that oritioism is disarmed of i^l sevezHj, and engaged to
say DOthiBg of it but good. It is poetry for a sober, quiet, kindly-
ailectio&ed Christian heart. It is poetry for a united family oirole in
their hours of peaoe and leisure. For such companionship it was
made, aad into such it will find and has found its way.



A NAME IN THE SAND.



Alone I walked the ooean strand ;
A pearly shell was in my hand :
I stooped and wrote upon the sand
My name — the year — the day.



• Vol. xlv. p. 320,



57



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€T4 KAHMAH njiao OfWW,

Am cmwafcl ham the tpoi I paflBed,
One lingering look behind I oAst :
A waye oame rolling high and fast.
And washed my lines awaj.

And 80, methonght, Hwill shortlj be
With every mark on earth from me :
A wave of dark Oblivion's sea

Will sweep across the plaoe
Where I have trod the sandy shore
Of Time, and been to be no more,
Of me — my day — the name I bore.

To leave nor track nor trace.

And yet, with Him who counts the sands.
And holds the waters in his hands,
I know a lasting record stands,

Inscribed against my name,
Of all this mortal {>art hath wrought ;
Of all this thinking sool has thought :
And from these fleeting momenta caught

For glory or for shame.



THK PKBBTJB AND TBI ACORN.

*< I am a Pebble I and yield to n<nie P'
Were the swelling words of a tiny stone —
** Nor time nor seasons can alter me ;
I am abiding, while ages flee.
The pelting hail and the diisaling rain
Have tried t» soften me, long, in vain ;
And the tender dew has sought to melt
Or touch my heart ; but it was not felt.
• There's none can tell about my birth,
For Pm as old as the big, round earth.
The children oi men arise, and p(»e
Out of the world, like blades of grass ;
And many a foot on me has trod.
That's gone from sight, and under the sod.
I am a Pebble 1 but who art thou,
Rattling along from the restless bough I"

The Acorn was shocked at this rude salute.
And lay for a moment abashed and mute ;
She never before had been so near
This gravelly ball, the mundane sphere ;
And she felt Ibr a time at a loss to know
How to answer a thing so coarse and low.
But to give reprof^ of a nobler sort
Than the angry look, or the keen rttort,
At length she said, in a gentle tone^
** Since it has happened that I am thrown



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Fron tlM ttgliter «l6x&0Biwlieff6 I gMwv

Down to amother m kard and bmt.

And betida a persMiage so attg««t.

Abased, I will ooTor my hwid witk dost.

And quickly retire from the sight of one

Whom time, nor season, nor storm, nor son.

Nor the gentle dew, nor the grinding he^

Has ever subdued, or made to feel 1"

And soon in the earth she sank away

From the comfortless spot where the Pebble lay.

But it was not long ere the soil was broke
By the peering head of an infant oak t
And, as it arose, and its branches spread,
The Pebble looked up, and, wondering, said,
'* A modest Acorn — nerer to tell
What was inclosed in its simple shell I
That the pride of the forest was folded up
In the narrow spaoe of its little cup 1
And meekly to sink in the darkaome «arth^
Which proTes that nothing could hide her worth !
And, oh ! how many will tread on me.
To come and admire the beautiful tree,
Whose head is towering toward the sky,
AboTe sooh a worthless thing as 1 1
Useless and vain, a cnmberer here,
I have been idling from year to year.
But never from tibds, shall a vaunting word
From the humbled Pebble again be heard.
Till something without me or within
Shall show the purpose for which I've been P
The Pebble its vow could not forget.
And it lies there wrapped in silence yet.



lis midnight — all is peace profound !
Bat, lo I upon the murmuring ground.
The lonely, swelling, hunying sound



Online LibraryCharles Dexter ClevelandA compendium of American literature; chronologically arranged, with biographical sketches of the authors → online text (page 64 of 70)