Samuel Godsmark.

Godsmark's poems. An experimental treatise on the facts and theories of life online

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



\)




XPERIMENTAL REATISE



I



T iEI IE O IF*. I IEJ S



L



By SAMUEL GODSMARK.



FIRST EDITION.



RUSSELL BROTHERS, 28, 3O, 82 Centre Street.

1X71 .



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by

SAMUEL GODSMARK,



in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.



PS



~76SL



PREFACE.



r- 1 ^y

Mi

11 HE AUTHOR is aware that the literary market is suck

/i\ f, as might well retard an obscure individual from
' *^r> 3 adding to its superabundant commodities, jrom the
fact that the public taste is so nearly satiated that
it is difficult to persuade the generality to peruse, much
less purchase a publication ushered into the world under
humble auspices, especially when it savors of the
"poetical."

Poetry, although the highest order of literature in which
the grandest, holiest and purest sentiments of human nature
are most perfectly mirrored, and every phase and aspect of life
delineated in the most entrancing characters is the most
abused. The "Muse " appears to dispense her favors with
a profuse hand, so far as quantity is concerned^but quality
is essentially lacking, and although an "originality" may
be claimed, it mostly consists in decking ancient, well
worn sentiments in a different dress. True originally must

759417



iv PREFACE.

emanate directly from the brain and heart, its pictures -be
drawn from the ever changing scenes of actual experience,
and the mind aim at producing something entirely new, and
upon subjects immediately occupying the attention of a
practical age, and from ivhich something of utility may be
deduced.

This I have endeavored to do in this little preliminary
work, but as many might ascribe my motive in publishing
to a desire for fame, on an egotistic assumption of ability,
I may remark that it grew out of adverse circumstances,
and that two months ago I had no intention of publishing
this or any other BOOK, but yielded to the persuasion of a few
personal friends to whom, together with all who have so
readily subscribed to the work, I lender my hearty thanks.

With these few remarks I leave the issue in the hands of
my readers. If there be sufficient merit in my humble pro
duction to entitle it to a second edition I will greatly
enlarge it, and present it in an infinitely superior form
in every respect.

SAMUEL GODSMARK.



318 East 49th St

fr / >iuary



., N. Y. )
7, 1871. )





IND SUCH IS'LIFE! " These mournful words, tho' brief,
Wrung from self-suffering or from others' grief,
Which greet the careless ear, and pass away
Swift as electric light; their purport may
Embrace and concentrate the mightiest fact,
With every potent principle intact.
"And such is Life!" These simple words convey
That each immortal soul a debt must pay
To destiny a tribute sternly great
And bow before the mystic shrine of Fate.

So, ye wayward, wandering child of earth,
Wedded to worldly joys and transient mirth,
Absorbed in aerial dreams or vain desire,
Trim now thy mortal lamp ere it expire;
Then turn its rays, that they may penetrate
And radiate the mystery of thy state
That Life, in every vacillating view,
May teach thy pond'ring reason something new,
And ope the channels of immortal thought
To trace the hues with which that life is fraught.

Aye ! ponder well, for Life is but a dream,
Tho' mortals all so tangible may deem,



8 Life.

And thus will teach a lesson hard to learn;

Then ope' another page still hard to turn

In which experience is there portrayed

To guide an erring soul from whence it strayed,

And bitter truth illusion will destroy

But to refill the cup with truer joy.

While mortal life retains its transient power

We must be scholars to each passing hour,

For every age, tho' but a moment's span,

Receives a destiny ere it began,

And, as we gain in years, expanding views

Progressive elements must e'er infuse,

So, when one problem 's solved and myst'ry 's plain,

Another question takes the stand again.

Thus Life remains a vast prolific book,

At which some men scarce deign to take a look,

Except thro' spectacles of tinted gla>s.

Or with the reasoning instinct of an ass,

Which will ascribe the wond'rous works of Nature

To less creative power than vests the creature;

Stigmatize an infinite conception.

Its grand design, beginning and completion,

A- chance affairs. Because they can't conceive

Its mighty purport, therefore disbelieve:

Hccause their minds are not omnipotent,

Deem the great mystery as impotent,

And strive to waive the just decrees of Death

By hellrborn, foetid, Atheistic breath.

Without belief, without a consolation

That mortal life is only on probation;

Without a gleam of hope of power divine

By which their souls may ponder, and define



Life.

Their mission here, their state when Death demands
What good they have to give from empty hands.

Man, the mighty work of God's creation,
Fills the highest place in earthly station;
All living things beside are 'neath his rule,
Because his breast alone embalms a soul;
'Tis he alone whose tongue can warble songs
Of gratitude to Him to whom belongs
The whole expanse of earth. Whose mighty mind
Gave vivid light and life to all mankind,
Inspired his soul with power to thread the maze
Of human life, and rapt'rously to ga/e
\Vith solemn awe upon that lumid star
Which sheds immortal lustre from afar,
And pointing hence, thro 1 mysteries of space,
Bids Reason follow at an humble pace,
And tho' it fail to penetrate the gloom
Which shrouds the hidden pathway from the tomb,
To accept the offerings of his spirit
And ask no more than mortal can inherit.

'Tis true that Life is only shared by man,
And e'en is shorter in its given span
Than many brutes'; but should men thus deduce
That geese and serpents find a holier u>e
For their poisonous fangs and cackling tongues
In some bright sphere, which after death belong.-
To souls of rtifx and monkey^' chatt'ring ghosts,
With all the motly groups of canine hosts.

"But why," men often ask, "should not it be?
" Can we believe in what we cannot see ?

1*



10 Life*

'' If we have souls, then why should (Jod deny
" To other living things like destiny
' Maki' \ve alone the heirs to joys divine,
" And as immortals us alone design'''
\Ve ans\ver thus : That to man \vas given,
By the Almighty senateship of heaven,
A lease of power o'er all creation's span.
From the first hour his term of life began,
O'er beasts of every name and every grade.
Which for his instruments \vere solely made:
Whether for sustenance or for employment.
For luxury or moderate enjoyment,
Quadruped?- receive their brief existence
That all human life may have Mibsisteiice.
The mind and body need -onie -u>tenance,
For death must needs result from abstinence.
And animal and vegetable food,
I>ead or alive, is nothing' more than food.
Devoid of intellect the brute has instinct,
\Vhile man has both, and each is quite distinct.
Instinct, must teach to live, but know:- not why
It has existence, or that it must die.
And nothing but instinctive intuition
Leads an animal to till its mis-ion.
This earth was formed for man, and animal
And vegetable life destined to till
A destiny which ends as it commence-
To animate the human frame and senses.

The works of (iod. so infinitely grand,
Display omnipotence on every hand;



Life. 1 1

The beauteous earth, In-decked with ein'rald fields?,
Which, tilled by man, so bountifully yields
A splendid harvest, food for man and beast,
And ev'ry fruit, delicious to the taste,
\Vhere flowers blossom in luxuriant groups
A fitting emblem of our fleeting hopes,
Shedding a fragrance o'er the gentle bree/e
\Vliich rustles sweetly thro' the murm'ring tree^
Wafting the od'rous incense of the earth
\- >aerilice to Him who gave it birth.

Where'er the eye may rest >ome mighty truth
I.- Mveet to silvered age or ardent youth:
The towering mounts, capped with (Vernal snow,
Ne'er melting in the sun's meridian glow,
Whose heights rise upward to the vaulted sky,
l>eyond the reach of keenest mortal eye,
Whence rushing cataracts, in foaming rage,
Hoar an impassioned song from age to age.
And rivulets and rivers, rippling >pread
A silv'ry mirror o'er their earthly bed.

The noble forests of a thousand years,
Which have outlived the human joys and tear.-
Of myriads of the mortal lords of earth,
And live to witness still the coming birth
Of millions more, ere time shall breed decay
And all its leafy grandeur fade away.
Are lilting types of Life. The tender plan).
Succored by Nature's hand, gains each instunt
Greater growth and more enduring form
To ki.-r- ihe Miubeums or withstand the >lorm.



1 2 Life.

Then from the sapling to the pond'rous stem,
When spreading branches deck the forest gem,
The pi-olid monarch's glorious charms expand
'Till it in full perfection nobly stand,
And summer's sylvan breezes sweep its boughs
With mystic chaunts, and stirs its calm repose
With those sweet, low whispers Poets love
To deem the spirits' converse from above.

But years roll on, and e'en this mighty tree
Must fade, and bow to Nature's stern decree,
And thus its mission to adorn the earth
Is ended while a million more have birth,
And still will live, thi* paradise to grace,
'Till God's last fiat shall each trace erase.

These great testimonies of creation
Should silence doubters' gross confabulation
On points of theory which tend to stain
The grandest works divine but strive in vain.
Some men are fools and others overwise,
Some follow truth and others foster lies.
In some the animal will counteract
\Vliat iiifi'f/i'i-f demonstrates as a fact,
And, as our future state is not ren-aled,
Ignore a truth because the book is sealed;
When evidence exists on every hand,
Writ by eternal [ten. divinely plann'd,
That some great agency created men,
That they might read the transcript o/'that pen.
And thus inscribe upon the tablets of
Their hearts the grand solution deemed enough;



Life, \ \

To teach their living souls that after death
Some other life will give immortal breath.



Afflictions cloud the day. and poignant sorrow
Endures to-night, but joy returns to-morrow,
And when the sun of life may hide its beams
For days and years, till all existence seems
A burden, bearing heavily upon
A life which, maybe, is but just begun;
'Tis then we learn to long for other joys
Than those which earthly time so soon destroys,
And the great bitterness of life-long care
Leads to a refuge we can nut find here
Where the tired spirit soars t' immortal heights,
And revels in the sweets of heaven's delights;
\Vhere consolation sweetly blends with pain.
And promises a brighter sphere again.
But yet some men will eagerly confute
The argument that man ix not // l/rnff :
That he who governs all created things,
And bears the sceptre and the crown of kings,
Rules with a moral power this lower world,
Shall be in dark oblivion ever hurled
\Vhen death releases his most precious trust
And all of mortal life returns to dust.

Hut is not that a better view of Life
Which shows the i'inJ of all its toil and strife ''.
Why i-hould we live ''. Why should we .-utter here
If we no other mission have to bear?
Why ,-hould our minds and intellect aspire,
When Life's ambition 's gained, to soar the higher,



1 4 Life.

And i>'rand piv.> ( i>Tessive elements contend

llo\v iniicli to earthly greatness each will lend?

If all should pnfve at last an idle vision,

Anil God's most mighty works be Death's derision.

Could all the monuments, of skill and art,
And every labor of the brain and heart,
Be wrought to ^rand perfection; were no rule.-
Laid down to 'uide with skill the workman's tool>
By master ireniuse>; could peace or war
Imbibe it.- <'lement> except from /inircr
From mijrhty intellectual supervision,
From "-rand conception and as <>Tand decision '{
No ! Then, if true, these earthly laws must prove
That some command must lead ere man will move;
So, in the infinite counsels held on h.i<rh,
This hemisphere received its destiny,
And a> revolving a<re- live and die,
l-'rom heavt n's mount beams an eternal eye.
Noting the features in the life of man
From whence his infant mission first bejran
Controlling and directing all events,
The chanji'iiiir seasons, all the elements
\\"hich constitute the sum of life and death,
Cast from heaven or thrust from hell beneath;
And when the sands of time, which swiftly par-.-.
Shall lay its last deposit in the ^lass,
The "Teat tiwakeninir of the souls of men
Shall consummate this Lite's tableau, and then
He who has best fulfilled his mission here
Shall in the presence of his Judge appear



Life.

Receive his just, eternal, irreat reward.

For havinjr God's omnipotence adored.

While spirits swell in sweet enchantiitir lay.-

The vaults of heaven with Miners of joy and praise.

Then shall the infinite work, which now is veiled

To every human creature, be revealed,

And all the doubts of Atheists be hurled,

\Vith their immortal souls, in that sad world

Where He ha.- said, in outer darkne.-s dwell

The torturous spirits of eternal hell !



Oh, man ! While yet thylife has one day left,
liel'ore that Meeting shadow be bereft,
Ponder its truths, and may a power divine
With holy revelation in thee shine
Ransom thy stud from bonds of reaxtninji 1 elay,
That it may soar to realms of endless day
In wonder, adoration, love and awe
IV" Him who made thee. and who made the law
Which guides thy reason, and sustains thy soul,
That thou may rehear-e and act the ro/<-
Of Life's vast tragedy, and comprehend
The jrlory thou shah jrain when all shall end
Then, as the curtain tails, thy pispino- breath
Shall witness to the myst'ries after death.
And a> the thread of Life be breaking fast
Midway between the future and the paM,
A> dawnin.u- jo\> of hcaxcn -hall ji'reet thine eye
Thy faltering voice its truths shall testify.



r6



Life.



And men who witness how a Christian dies
M;iy then renounce all Reason's treaeh'rous lies,
And ere their bodies lie beneath the sod
They yet may learn to live to HONOR GOD.








TO K. S. K.



HEN GOD reviewed from his eternal throne

The gracious work His mighty hands had done,
The grand conception of omnipotent power
Wro't to perfection in an unborn hour,

The whole expanse of earth, of sea and land

Created, model'd by Hist master hand,

Kiii-li living thing, each unit of creation

Received its mission, with His approbation:

The everlasting hills, whose mighty span

Embraces space no human eye can scan;

The snow-capped mounts, oVrhanging precipice.

The belted rocks and foaming deep abyss,

The running rivers and the murm'ring streams,

Dancing and sparkling in the bright sunbeams ;

The em'rald fields, the desert's sandy plain.

\Vhere thousands tread to ne'er return again ;

The mighty ocean's vast expansive sweep.

And wondrous myst'ries of an unknown deep ;

Each animal and vegetable life,

Its vital clement, however brief,



18



Imbibed existence sonic wise end to till,
In conformation with its Maker's will.

Then man was formed, and walked and talked with God
Where holy feet alone. had ever trod
Conversed with infinite eternal might.
Communed with holy spirits day and night
Till his Creator formed the great design
Of woman's mission and of man's decline,
Moulded her beauteous form, then gave her breath,
And made the twain one flesh in sin and death!
The serpent's power prevailed the deed was done,
And thus the scheme of Mortal Life begun.

Humanity increased and nations spread,
And. destiny its children blindly led
Thro' all the myst'ries of this transient life,
it- sensual passions and remorscjess strife.
The one great moving element of which
Sprung from the deed of earth's first born, to reach
A fruit that God forbid their lips should touch,
Borne by the tree of sin, and plucked as such.
Transformed their transient span of holv life
And wro't the destiny of MAX AND \ViFK ;
Revealing God's premeditated will .
To raise a mighty good from deepest ill.
In blessing that which earned Hi- direst wrath
To fructify the purest joys of earth,
That every moral good should concentrate
In married life, and from it emanate



Marriage. H)

Each element which sways the universe.

Its highest blessing and its deepest curse.

Thus man and wife fulfil the will of God
Arid represent the purest type of good,
While men who seek their mission to reject
Their Creator's holiest laws neglect,
And sacrifice the noblest joys of life
The second paradise of man and wife
For that which immolates their dearest gift,
And will embitter what few joys are left,
'Till with the keenest pain they'll mourn, too late,
Their self-imposed, unreal, unmarried state.

The obligations may appear immense
When gauged, defined, and rated by expense
But worldly wealth, when deemed a just excuse
For waiving moral right, is rank abuse
Of that which constitutes the greatest treasure,
And is itself the true impartial measure
Of earthly good, the only real foundation
Which rears the grandest work of life's creation ;
Where every moral law must gravitate,
And in its mysteries novitiate,
Kre man can realize the true extent
Of life's real purpose and its vast intent;
Its concentrated source of solid fact,
Where he alone receives its worth intact.
And that which young men fear would confiscate
Their cherished ///*T///, preponderate



2o Marriage.

In evil influence and in distress,

Would rather tend to foster and

The projects they conceive and strive to attain,

But fail because they wrongly seek to gain

An after portion first, and fear to test

Joys of connubial bliss at present, lest

Their worldly wealth might prove inadequate

To meet the burdens of the married state.

And, though its tribulations may be great,

Its varied joys will amply compensate,

And new born sorrow gender sweeter joy,

Which nought will badly tarnish, ne'er destroy;

Thus in affliction, wrought from righteous ends,

A more equivalent bliss most sweetly blends,

For 'tis by suffering we truly live,

Know what to take, and have one whit to give,

Which purifies the soul, and will renew

And build the smould'ring fires .of life anew.

The exquisite delight which love imparts,
From grandest attributes to minor parts,
The mighty power with which it elevates,
The least conception which it generates.
Should surely claim a trifle more regard
Than as a stumbling block, which may retard
Our efforts to secure what might be found
\Vith greater ease upon united ground.
And of the ills which emanate from love
The vast majority, statistics prove,
Arise from ignorance, or a sad abuse
Of that which constitutes its truest in-e.



Marriage. 21

Love unrestricted by the power of reason
May please the senses for a passing- season,
But as it germinates its rich beauty
Destroys strongest claims on moral duty,
Enchains the true conviction of the mind
In coils which kindred evils closer bind,
'Till love becomes a curse, and wrecks at last
All faith and hope on quicksands of the p;ist.
And what a wreck ; what blight, what desolation
Follows that tinted dream of love's creation.



'Tis strange that men, and stranger still, that women
Should trifle with the only earthly heaven.
In which life's purest joys are typified
And noblest attributes intensified
Where sorrow finds its dearest, tend'rest friend,
And richest gifts of human nature blend,
'Till life assumes a garb of glorious hue,
Enhanced and freshened by the sparkling dew
Of early morn, and rendered lovlier still
When even's sunset tints the mantling hill
Of golden clouds which wait its royal descent
And sheds its parting rays on life n-cll *



Oh! ye who tamper with the power of love,
Pause ere ye seek its potency to pron;
Lest it return upon your guilty head
The coals of living fire your breath has fed.
The heart you once instilled with hope and joy
Then cast aside, a broken, worthless toy.



22 Marriage.

Whoso life you decked with pleasing gilded lies,
Shining as burnished gold before his eyes,
Who claimed the holiest gift from noblest man
But to despoil it, and return again
The power you hold to gender good or ill,
Will claim its vengeance here, or worse in hell !

Coquet ! thou poor deluded trivial thing,
Thy senseless trifling might excuse its sting-
Did you not transform men to weakest fools.
And use them as the powerless, soulless tools
Of your own pleasure, while you sacrifice
The purest trust of youth to abject vice,
Without an object but to captivate
And gain devotion ; tho' it turn to hate
You heed not its attendant gravities.
Nor that you gender worse depravities,
But soon or late the fate you please to mete
To others will recoil to your own feet.

The power some women wield is absolute;
Her character may be but dissolute,
And virtue be a by-word in her mouth,
And crush the choicest (lower of beauteous youth;
Yet, with a lovely, sweet, enchanting face,
And form bedecked with every natural grace.
A silvery voice, a rich mellifluous tongue.
Belying even simplest traits of wrong;
Indeed, a devil in an angel's dr>
Doomed to destroy e'en while she may caress.
She spreads the snare, and few withstand her arts,.
But yield the deepest pa>sions of their hearts,



Marriage. 2}

And falling willing dupes to broad design.
Kach future pledge of joy and hope resign.
Ca-ting their destiny in callous hand>,
Wielding the magic, swift transforming wand>
Which changes misjudged bliss to grim despair
Without a passing qualm or single care.

I have no faith in gen'ral "broken hearts,"
Because the salvo of time soon heals the parts.
And none but maudlin creatures long retain
A morbid liking for a lingering pain,
When their own folly and infatuation
W>o't all their ruin, loss and desolation.
But happiness will lose its varied charms
When wrecked in fickle woman's twining arms.
And taint the noblest, purest atmosphere
Which otherwise man holds so richly dear;
Will chasten all his life with stern tuition,
Blast his highest aim and best ambition,
And tho' the hand of time may heal the wound.
'Twill ne'er again in life be wholly sound,
For thro' this sad and oft occurring stain
The dream of imni and n-ii'c is rent in twain.
But now we pass from falsity to prove
The glorious influence of genuine love,
And that which constitutes without exception
The truest life, in all its rich perfection.

Dreams of wealth, of fame and noble station.
Glowing pictures, wro't by youth's ambition.
Absorb the mind with pleasant occupation.
But need one impulse to true inculcation



24 Marriage.

Of happiness. Tis love and union,

Holy and faithful in reciprocation,

Which lend a gilded charm to ev'ry function,

And blends with hardest toil the richest unction.

When once the beams of love illuminate

The heart of man, the hardest blows of fate

Fall with a softened touch upon a life

Absorbed in one great joy a future wife;

Then the roughest corners of his nature

And each unprepossessing feature

Are softened, moulded, cleansed and beautified,

To match the perfect model by his side.

The man or woman who has never loved
And such there are have never really lived.
By love I mean that fierce resistless fire
Which ever opposition fans the higher
A firm, enduring, soul inspiring power,
Which gathers nobler laurels every hour,
Braves the storms of life, of sin, rejection,
Loves when robbed of all its best perfection;
Still loves when weary years have long since cast
A former substance in a baseless past
Which wanders back in misty, painful dreams,
Yet as an earnest, mournful present seems,
Still loves when love has lost its charm in death,
Or worse, destroyed by sin's corrupting breath.
This is the love which gilds our dreary life
And brightens all our cares, our trials and strife,
Replenishes the exhausted powers of mind
'Till in existence new born joys we find
Sways us with influences sweetly tending
To noble issues, gently, purely blending



Marriage. 25

The attributes of good with powerful ill,

'Till all that holy stands grows holier still,

And shadows which might shroud our lives in gloom

Are scattered where 'tis litter they should loom.

But still the joys of lovers cud not, here,

However all-suffieient they appear;

The bless'd communication of their love

lias yet its choicest excellence to prove.

Parental love ! that deep unfathomed love
Which the recesses of our jaature move;
An uncontrollable, ecstatic force,


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