Mary Ann H.T. Bigelow.

The Kings and Queens of England with Other Poems online

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Mary and Lily - how sweet are those names,
Allied as they are to my heart and my home;
Recalling with freshness the days that are past,
Yielding buds of sweet promise for days yet to come.

Links are these names to the chain that hath bound
In fetters my heart, to which still they lay claim;
Loved ones and lovely, still close by me found,
Years past, and time present, whose names are the same.

Enshrined in this bosom, is living one now,
Still youthful and truthful, and talented too,
Though years have elapsed since she passed from our view;
E'en in Summer midst roses in beauty and bloom,
She faded away, and was borne to the tomb.

Weston, March 5, 1852.




FOR MY FRIEND MRS. R.


When writing to you, friend, a subject I'd find
In which there's both pleasure and profit combined,
And though what I've chosen may pain in review,
Yet still there's strange mingling of pleasure there too.
Then let us go back many years that are past,
And glance at those days _much too happy to last_.
I have seen thee, my friend, when around thy bright hearth
Not a seat was found vacant, but gladness and mirth
Kept high holiday there, and many a time
Were mingled in pastime my children with thine.
I've looked in again, the destroyer had come,
And changed the whole aspect of that happy home.
He entered that dwelling, and rudely he tore
From the arms of his mother, her most cherished flower.
Thy heart seemed then broken, oh! how couldst thou bear
To live in this world, and thy idol not here?
Oh! heart-stricken mother, thou didst not then know
All the bitter ingredients in thy cup of woe.
The hand of thy father that cup had prepared,
Each drop needful for thee, not one could be spared.
Ere thy first wound had healed, while bleeding and sore,
Death entered again, and a fair daughter bore
From home of her childhood, to return never more.
How painful the shock, for in striking that blow
A child, parent, sister, and wife was laid low.
Thy strength seemed unequal that shock to sustain,
But death was not satiate, he soon called again,
And tears and entreaties were powerless to save
Another dear daughter from death and the grave.
Like a fair lily when droops its young head,
With little of suffering her mild spirit fled.
She was thy namesake, to her young friends most dear;
So many thy trials, so heavy to bear,
It seemed that much longer thou couldst not survive;
_How much can the human heart bear and yet live_.
Up to this time there had always been one
Who shared in thy trials and made them his own;
Many years his strong arm had support been to thee,
The friend of thy youth, thy kind husband was he.
He's ever been with thee in weal and in woe,
But the time's just at hand when he too must go.
The bolt fell not single, it pierced the slight form
Of a child, too fragile to weather the storm;
The summons that took her dear father away
Seemed her young heart to break, she could not here stay,
And now in deep slumber they side by side lay.
I have felt, my dear friend, as I've witnessed thy grief,
How inadequate language to give thee relief;
And that _real relief_ could never be found
Except from the hand that inflicted the wound.
In the furnace of fire thou wert not alone,
For walking beside thee had ever been one,
The kindest of friends, though thou could'st not him see,
For the scales on thine eyes weighed them down heavily.
Those scales have now fallen; look up, thou canst see
That look of compassion, it's fixed upon thee.
Raise thine eyes once again, see that head crowned with thorns;
In those feet, hands, and side, see the deep bleeding wounds.
You now know full well why such suffering was borne,
'Twas for thee, and for me, and for every one
Who trusts in his merits and on him alone.
Thy day is just passed, 'tis now evening with thee,
But the faith of the Christian is given to see
The star of bright promise, amid the dark gloom
Which shall light all thy footsteps and gild the lone tomb;
And at the last day mayst thou and thine stand
An _unbroken household_ at Jesus' right hand.

March 27, 1852.




FOR MY NIECE ANGELINE.


In the morning of life, when all things appear bright,
And far in the distance the shadows of night,
With kind parents still spared thee, and health to enjoy,
What period more fitting thy powers to employ
In the service of him, who his own life has given
To procure thee a crown and a mansion in Heaven.
As a dream that is gone at the breaking of day,
And a tale that's soon told, so our years pass away.
"Then count that day lost, whose low setting sun
Can see from thy hand no worthy act done."
Midst the roses of life many thorns thou wilt find,
"But the cloud that is darkest, with silver is lined."
As the children of Israel were led on their way
By the bright cloud at night, and the dark cloud by day,
So the Christian is led through the straight narrow road
That brings him direct to his home and his God;
And when the last stage of life's journey is o'er,
And Jordan's dark waves can affright him no more,
When safely arrived in his own promised land,
He's permitted with Saints and with Angels to stand,
Then weighed in the balance how light will appear
All the sorrows of life, with his blissful state there.
Oh! let us by faith take a view of him now,
See the crown of bright jewels encircling his brow;
His old tattered robe swept away by the flood,
Is replaced by a new one, the gift of his Lord;
The hand of his Saviour that garment hath wrought,
It is pure stainless white, free from wrinkle and spot.
The streets that he walks in are pav√Ђd with gold,
And yet it's transparent as glass we are told;
The pure river of water of life is in view,
And for healing the nations, the tree of life too.
There's no need of a candle or sun there, for night
Is excluded forever - the Lord God is their light.
But here we will stop, for no tongue can declare,
No heart may conceive what the Saints enjoy there.
And these joys may be ours - oh! how blissful the thought,
Ours without money, without price may be bought.
For us they've been purchased by the Son of God,
At an infinite price - _his own precious blood_.
They wait our acceptance, may be ours if we choose,
'Tis _life_ to accept them, - 'tis _death_ to refuse.

Weston, May 15, 1862.




AN ACROSTIC.


Ah! what is this life? It's a dream, is the reply;
Like a dream that's soon ended, so life passes by.
Pursue the thought further, still there's likeness in each,
How constant our aim is at what we can't reach.
E'en so in a dream, we've some object in view
Unceasingly aimed at, but the thing we pursue
Still eludes our fond grasp, and yet lures us on too.

How analagous this to our waking day hours,
Unwearied our efforts, we tax all our powers;
Betimes in the morning the prize we pursue,
By the pale lamp of midnight we're seeking it too;
At all times and seasons, this _same fancied good_
Repels our advances, yet still is pursued,
Depriving us oft, of rest needful, and food.
But there's a pearl of great price, whose worth is untold,
It can never he purchased with silver or gold;
Great peace it confers upon all to whom given,
Ever cheering their pathway, and pointing to heaven.
Look not to this world for a prize of such worth,
Or hope _that_ to obtain from this perishing earth
Whose essence is spiritual, and heavenly its birth.

Weston, June 6, 1862.




ACROSTIC.


Even now I seem to see thee,
Lovely boy, with thy sweet smile,
Bright and beautiful as when
Reading that holy book, the while
I listened to thee, little dreaming,
Docile, gentle, pleasant child,
God who gave, _so soon would take thee_,
Even thee, so _sweet_, so _mild_.
But how merciful in chastening
Our father is - oh! bless his name -
Your little face was decked with smiles,
Dear child, just when the summons came.
Escaped from lingering sickness, thou hadst
Nought to mar thy little frame.
While ye mourn the dear departed,
Each bitter feeling disallow;
Look to heaven, ye broken hearted,
Look, and with submission bow.
In thy hour of deepest sorrow,
Never murmur, dare not blame;
God, who wounds, alone can heal thee;
Trust his power and praise his name.
Oh! may we say, _each_, every one,
"Not my will, but thine be done."




SHE SLUMBERS STILL.


On a midsummer's eve she lay down to sleep,
Wearied and toil-worn the maiden was then;
How deep was that slumber, how quiet that rest,
'Twas the sleep from which no one awakens again.

Morn returned in its freshness, and flowers that she loved
In beauty and fragrance were blooming around;
The birds caroled sweetly the whole live-long day,
But that strange mystic sleep all her senses had bound.

Day followed day until summer was gone,
And autumn still found her alone and asleep;
Stern winter soon followed, but its loud blasts and shrill,
Were powerless to rouse her from slumber so deep.

Again spring returns, and all nature revives,
And birds fill the groves with their music again;
But the eyes and the ears of that loved one are closed,
And on her these rich treasures are lavished in vain.

Unheeded by her the winter snow falls,
Its beautiful garment spring puts on in vain;
Many _summers_ the birds her sad requiem have sung,
But to sound of sweet music she'll ne'er wake again.

There is _but one voice_ that deep slumber can break,
'Tis the same one that loudly called, "Lazarus, come forth!"
At the sound of that voice all the dead shall arise,
And before God shall stand all the nations on earth.

Then shall this dear one, our first born, awake,
Her mortal put on immortality then;
And oh! blissful thought, that we once more may meet
In that home where's no parting, death, sorrow, or pain.

Weston, May 29, 1852.




TO A FRIEND IN THE CITY,

FROM HER FRIEND IN THE COUNTRY.


By especial request I take up my pen,
To write a few lines to my dear Mrs. N.;
And though nothing of depth she has right to expect;
Yet the _will_ for the _deed_ she will not reject
The task, on reflection, is a heavy one quite,
As here in the country we've no news to write;
For what is to _us_ very _new_, rich, and rare,
To you in the city is stale and thread bare.
Should I write of Hungary, Kossuth, or the Swede,
They are all out of date, antiquated indeed.
I might ask you with me the New Forest to roam,
But it's stript of its foliage, quite leafless become;
N.P. Willis and rival have each had their day,
And of rappings and knockings there's nought new to say.
Yet do not mistake me, or think I would choose,
A home in the city, the country to lose;
The music of birds, with rich fruits and sweet flowers,
We all in the country lay claim to as ours.
A bird that's imprisoned, I hate to hear sing,
Let me catch its glad note as it soars on the wing;
Its carol so sweet as it's floating along,
It seems the Creator to praise in its song.
With the sweetest of poets I often exclaim,
"God made the country," - let the pride of man claim
The town with its buildings, its spires, and its domes,
But leave us in the country our sweet quiet homes.
The scenery around us is lovely to view,
It charmed when a _child_, and at three-score charms too.
Then leave me the country with its birds, fruits, and flowers,
And the _town_, with its pleasures and crowds, may be yours.
E'en in winter the country has right to the claim
Of charms equal to summer; to be sure, not the same.
See winter, stern monarch, as borne on the gale,
He comes armed _cap-a-pie_ in his white coat of mail;
Behold what a change he hath wrought in _one_ night,
He has robed the whole country in _pure spotless white_.
He fails not to visit us once every year,
But finds us _prepared for him_ - meets with good cheer,
And a most cordial welcome from all of us here.
When with us he's quite civil and very polite,
In manners most courtly, and dignified quite;
But I'm told were he goes unexpected he's rough,
Chills all by his presence, and savage enough.
_Hark, hear how it storms!_ blowing high and yet higher;
But then we've books, music, and a brilliant wood fire,
Where logs piled on logs give one warmth e'en to see;
Oh! these evenings in winter are charming to me.
In good keeping these logs are with wind and the hail,
Everything in the country is on a _grand scale_.
You have nought in the city I think can compare,
To the bright glowing hearth from a good _country_ fire.
To be sure, now and then, one is cheered by the sight
Of wood fire in the city, but when at its height
Compared to _our fires_, Lilliputianal quite.
But here I will stop, for I think it quite time
To have done with my boasting, and finish my rhyme.

M.A.H.T. BIGELOW.
Weston, April 6, 1852.

P.S. And now, my dear friend, it is certainly fair,
Your city advantages you should compare
With ours in the country, let me know what they are.




REPLY:

WHICH I AM GRATEFUL FOR PERMISSION TO INSERT.


Dear Madam,
Many thanks for your missive so charming in verse,
So kind and descriptive, so friendly and terse;
It came opportune on a cold stormy day,
And scattered ennui and "blue devils" away;
For though in the city, where "all's on the go,"
We often aver we feel only "so so,"
And sigh for a change - then _here_ comes a letter!
What could I desire more welcome and better?
But how to reply? I'm lost in dismay,
I cannot in rhyme my feelings portray.
The _nine_ they discard me, I'm not of _their_ train,
They entreatingly beg, "I'll ne'er woo them again;"
But I'll brave their displeasure, and e'en write to _you_
A few lines of doggrel, then rhyming adieu.
My errors do "wink at," for hosts you'll descry,
And spare all rebuff, and the keen critic's eye.
I appreciate all of your calm country life,
And feel you are happy as mother and wife;
Surrounded by taste, and _the friend_ so refined,
Who with sterling good sense, loves the delicate mind;
Who with _you_ can admire the "bird on the wing,"
With _you_ welcome back the return of the spring;
Enjoying the promise of fruits and sweet flowers,
With music to cheer and beguile evening hours;
Then _long_, very long, may such hours be given -
They whisper content, and the foretaste of heaven.
I was born in the city, the city's my home,
Yet oft in the country with pleasure I roam;
For _there_, I confess, the heart finds repose
In its pleasures and sorrows, which _here_ it ne'er knows.

_There_ no fashion, no nonsense, intrude on your walk,
But rational moments of rational talk,
Asserting that soiries, with jewels and dress,
Make a very small part of life's happiness.
Ah! this I believe, most _sincerely_ I do,
And sympathize freely, most truly with you.
Now Kossuth is coming, pray what's to be done?
No pageant to welcome, to children no fun?
Some "turn a cold shoulder," and look with disdain,
Yet many there'll be who will follow his train.
He's "sure missed a figure," and "bit his own nose,"
Ah, many the thorn he'll find 'mid life's rose.

Then we've concerts, fine readings, museum and halls,
With disputes, and debates, in legislative halls,
Ethiopian Minstrels, Shakesperian plays;
And yet, my dear friend, I'm told in these days,
Religion's blessed joys are most faithfully felt,
With devotion's pure prayers the proud heart to melt;
That many have turned to the straight narrow road,
Which leadeth to peace and communion with God.
To _you_ this assurance a welcome will find,
A subject of vital concern to the mind.

When hither you come, do enter our door,
I'll give you my hand, perhaps something more.
Let me urge, if inclined, to this you'll reply,
I'll again do my best, yes, surely I'll try;
The fair one who brings it ought sure to inspire
Some poetical lay from Genius' sweet lyre.
But Genius repels me, she "turns a deaf ear,"
And frowns on me scornful, the year after year;
Perhaps if I sue, in the "sere yellow leaf,"
She'll open her heart, and yield me relief.
But wayward my pen, I must now bid adieu,
My friendship, dear madam, I offer to you,
And beg with your friends, you'll please place my name,
The privilege grant me of doing the same.

S. NICHOLSON.
Boston, April 16, 1862.




REJOINDER TO THE FOREGOING REPLY.


Many, many thanks my friend,
For those sweet verses thou didst send,
So good they were and witty;
And now I will confess to thee,
Mixed up with bad, much good I see
Within the crowded city.

Boston, "with all thy faults I love
Thee still," though much I disapprove -
See much in thee to blame;
Yet to be candid, I'll allow
Thy equal no one can me show
From Mexico to Maine.

It is my boast, perhaps my pride,
To be to English blood allied,
Warm in my veins it's flowing;
And when I see the homage given
To foreign men and foreign _women_,[1]
_That blood with shame is glowing_.

I hope when Kossuth fever's cool
And we have put our wits to school,
And sober senses found;
When the Hungarian's out of sight
And shattered brains collected quite,
We may be safe and sound.

But what simpletons, should we choose,
With nought to gain and much to loose,
'Gainst Austria to war;
What greater folly, when we know
By doing this, we'll get a blow
From the ambitious Czar.

But you may not with me agree,
And I am getting warm I see,
So here I bid adieu
To Kossuth and to Hungary,
To Russia and to Germany,
And the great Emperor too.

And now my friend a word I'd say
Before I throw my pen away,
On subject most important;
In doing this I need not fear
I shall offend the nicest ear,
Or strike a note discordant.

Oh! had I true poetic fire,
With boldness would I strike the lyre
So loud that all might hear;
But ah! my harp is tuned so low,
Its feeble strains I full well know
Can reach no distant ear.

Yet I rejoice that harps on high,
And voices of sweet harmony,
Are raised to bless the name
Of Him who sits upon the throne,
Rejoicing over souls new born,
Who soon will join with them,
Eternally His name to adore
Who died, yet lives forevermore.

Weston, May 8, 1852.

[1] By this I do not mean to include all foreigners, for some of
them I consider among the very best of our population, but
dancers, &c., &c.




TO MY FRIEND MR. J. ELLIS.


To thee, the guardian of my youthful days,
Fain would I pay some tribute of respect;
And though it falls far short of thy desert,
The _will_ to do thee justice thou'lt accept.

As I recall the days of former years,
Thy many acts of kindness bring to mind,
Tears fill my eyes, in thee I've ever found
A friend most faithful, uniformly kind.

Thou art the earliest friend of mine that's left -
The rest have long departed, every one;
They've long years since the debt of nature paid,
But thou remainest still, and thou alone.

The snow of four score winters thou has seen,
And life's long pilgrimage may soon be o'er;
Respected, loved, and happy hast thou been,
With ample means to relieve the suffering poor,
Thou ever hadst the will, as well as power.

Temperate in habit, and of temper even,
Calm and unruffled as the peaceful lake,
To thee the satisfaction has been given
Much to enjoy, and others happy make.

And when thy days on earth shall all be past,
And thou before the Saviour's bar appear,
Mayst thou be found clothed in his righteousness
And from his lips the joyful sentence hear -

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou
Hast over few things faithful been, and now
I'll make thee ruler over many things,
And place a crown of glory on thy brow."

Such will be thy reward, my friend, and mine,
If trusting in Christ's merits, _not our own_,
We at the last great day in him be found;
_He_ is the ark of safety - _He alone_.

Weston, April 24, 1852.




A PASTORAL.


Oh! tell me ye shepherds, tell me I pray,
Have you seen the fair Jessie pass by this way?
You ne'er could forget her, if once you had seen,
She's fair as the morning, she moves like a Queen.

My sheep are neglected, my crook's thrown aside,
In pursuit of dear Jessie, sweet Jessie, my bride;
I hear nothing of her, no tidings can glean,
To _see_ is to _know_ her, she moves like a Queen.

Say, have you seen her? oh, pity my grief!
Speak _quick_, and impart me the needful relief;
You cannot forget her, if once you have seen,
She's lovely as Venus, she moves like a Queen.

Have you not seen her? - then listen I pray,
Oh! listen to what a poor shepherd can say
In the praise of one ne'er so lovely was seen;
She's youthful as Hebe, she moves like a Queen.

She's fair as the Spring in the mild month of May,
She's brilliant as June decked in flowerets so gay;
You ne'er could forget her if once you had seen,
She's charming as Flora, she moves like a Queen.

Oh! tell me not Damon, that yours can compare
To Jessie, sweet Jessie, with beauty so rare;
With a face of such sweetness, so modest a mien,
She's like morn in its freshness, she moves like a Queen.

You tell me your Sylvia is beautiful quite;
She may be, when Jessie is kept out of sight;
She is not to be mentioned with Jessie, I ween,
Her voice is sweet music, she moves like a Queen.

Then name not your Sylvia with Jessie I pray,
'Tis comparing dark night with the fair light of day;
Sylvia's movements are clumsy, and awkwardly seen,
But Jessie is graceful, she moves like a Queen.

Menalaus' fair wife, for beauty far famed,
By the side of my Jessie is not to be named;
Paris ne'er had woo'd Helen, if Jessie he'd seen,
She's chaste as Diana, she moves like a Queen.

Oh! aid me, do aid me, ye shepherds, I pray!
The time is fast flying, no longer I'll stay;
You cannot mistake her, there's none like her seen,
She's lovely as Venus, she moves like a Queen.

Do help me to find her, I'm wild with affright,
The day passes swiftly, it soon will be night;
There's none to compare with her, none like her seen,
_More_ lovely than Venus, she moves like a Queen.




THE JESSAMINE.

EDDIE TO JESSIE.


There are many flowers famous for fragrance and hue,
Sweet Roses and Lilies, Geraniums too;
And though decked in gay colors they look very fine,
They are not to my fancy like _sweet Jessie mine_.




FOR THE S.S. CONCERT,

IN THE WAYLAND ORTHODOX CHURCH.


Feed my lambs! the Saviour said,
Near two thousand years ago;
If we truly love the Lord,
By obedience, love we'll show.

What was said to Peter then,
In that distant age and clime,
Sure is binding on us now,
Here and to the end of time.

If our Shepherd then we love,
His commandments we'll obey;
Let us true disciples prove,
Feed his lambs as best we may.

Twice twelve years have passed this day,[2]
Since our Sabbath School commenced;
Countless lessons have been learned,
Much instruction been dispensed.

Let us up and doing be,
Sow the seed all times and hours;
Cast our bread on water even,
Tax with vigor all our powers.

May the teachers now engaged,
Courage take, and persevere;
They'll not fail of their reward,
Though they may not meet it here.

God is faithful, who hath said,
(Let the thought allay your fears,)
"They with joy shall surely reap,
Who have sown in prayers and tears."

Then sow the seed with prayers and tears;
Never doubt, but faithful be;
Though thou reapest not for years,
A rich harvest thou wilt see.

Happy faces now we miss,
Who were wont these seats to fill;
Loved and lovely passed away,
Yet they're fresh in memory still.

Soon their earthly race was run,
In the morning called away;
Others soon may follow them,
May all hear the Saviour say,

"Well done, faithful servant; thou
Hast o'er few things faithful been,
I will make the ruler now
Over many - enter in."

[2] June 13, 1852.




FEED MY LAMBS.


Just before the bright cloud the Saviour received,
When about to return to his father in Heaven;
His mission accomplished, his work on earth done,
'Twas then that this parting injunction was given:

"Feed my lambs!" this was said to one of the twelve,
Whom he called to be with him while sojourning here;
"Feed my lambs!" Oh, what love was evinced by those words,
What tender compassion, what fatherly care.

Three times at this meeting the question was asked,
"Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"
And though grieved, yet how truly could Peter reply,
"Lord thou knowest all things, thou know'st I love thee."

Thrice this same Peter his Lord had denied,
And had he not reason reproaches to fear?
Oh, no! for his Saviour had all this forgiven,
He saw his repentance, he knew it sincere.

That disciple soon followed his Lord whom he loved,
And many long ages have since passed away;
But the parting command still remains in full force,
And will ever remain so till time's latest day.

Many wolves in sheep's clothing are still to be found,


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