Samuel Godsmark.

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

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What mind can fully comprehend its source,
Or tongue describe its great unfailing strength,
Its wond'rous might, its depth, its breadth, its length?
No human^eloquence ; aye, richest lore
Of intellect and passion could no more
Than stand amazed, in steadfast, silent awe
And viewing, fail to picture what it saw
For grandest language fails to do its duty
In terms which near express its wond'rous beauty.

A mother's love ! oh, ye who have it prize it,
For those who judge it, lightly or despise it
Will s uft'er yet the deepest, fell remorse
Which ever typified an actual curse.
The time must come when those soft loving arms
Which reared thy infancy to manhood's charms.
That melting voice, which soot lied thy childish fears.
And gaily chased away thy gath'ring tears,


26 Marriage.

Those sparkling eyes, which watched thee as thou slept,

Or overflowed because her treasure wept,

Who nursed thee in thy sickness, and in health

Rejoiced at each return of \at ure's wealth,

Who taught thy prattling tongue to lisp her name,

And joined thy frolics, revelled in each game

Which pleased thy infant mind, and loved each toy

Because it gave her little offspring joy;

\Vlio watched thy budding charms of lovely youth,

And fed its soil with germs of holy truth,

Moulded thy beauteous manhood's opening leaf

With tend'rest care, lest it should gender grief

By turning into channels spread with snares,

Which might bear evil fruit in future years;

And whom, when indiscretion earned thee shame,

Sheltered thy deepest faults and bore their blame

Suffered, wept, rejoiced, and all for thee,

As my lost angel mother did for me

Shall pass away, and " immortality

Be swallowed up of life." Oh! dire fatality,

What sacrifices now thou'd fondly make

Could they that lifeless form again awake;

What wealth would give for one sweet chiding word,

Which yet in former years you coldly heard,

And maybe stung her kind solicitude

\Vith cruel anger and with bearing rude.

But no! the time is past, her body's dead,

And all but memory now from earth has fled.

Mother! the last sad glimpse I had of thee
Thy form was bowed with anguished grief for me,

Marriage. 27

For /was leaving home and friends, to dwell

In other lands and there the curtain fell

For ne'er again my weeping eyes will fall

On her who \vas my joy almost myall

For death has claimed her precious, treasured love,

And nought will e'er again its equal prove.

May (Jod permit, dear reader, you may never
Know what it is to part like this, forever,
From her who still remains, I trust, to prove
Her sons and daughters' fondest, tend'rest love.

X father* love! what words can tell the joy
Which centres in his dearest girl or boy ?
Gauge the strong, deep, stirring, pure affection
Heaven's attribute in earth's perfection.

Tis his great duty to correct and guide,
And make his present joy his future pride;
To chasten with a wise, impartial force,
And purge from evil weeds life's future course
To watch each yielding gift of budding years,
And nourish or suppress, as best appears.

The man who loves his wife must love his child
And foster love in it ; destroy or build
The future happiness of all their lives
According as his love withholds or gives;
That moral truth maintains its proper sphere
Wherever sentiment might interfere.
The father loved in youth, when manhood graces
His offspring's life, and gath'ring age replaces
//is raven head with locks of nlvery white,
And closing day foreshadows coming night

28 Marriage.

Gains holier love in venerable years,
Finds a sweet refuse from his former cares,
And in his children's children reaps great joy
For all the love he lavished on his boy.

Thus parents sip the sweetest draught from joy.
And test the truth of life without alloy,
Which binds the human race in bonds of bliss
And soothes the fiercest passion with a kiss.

May He who wro't this holy institution
Bless its vot'ries with a kind fruition
Of every hope, expressed in humble prayer
To Him who formed the words, so loves to hear.
Then skeptics shall restrain their foolish jeers
At married joys, because its life appears
The noblest lot on earth, and nearest heaven,
With its choicest blessings freely given
To gild our mortal life with purest gold,
And such as ne'er is bartered, bought or sold.



OMK men are prone to envy others' \vealth;

Some envy men's siiece.-s, some envy health;

Some envy intellect, some envy power;

Sonic envy passing pleasures of an hour.
There V little <rood or bad on this poor earth
Mut .-nne seemed (loomed to envy from their birth
\Vho never seem so pleased as when intent
In plaguing others with their discontent.
Nature has ordained that men must differ.
And some lie <|iiite exempt while others suffer;
And if we take our portion with a curse
It only makes the matter ten times \vorse.

Folks may irrowl, complain, and waste their tear.-.
'Twill brighten not a day in fifty year.-:
The only antidote the iLi'ods have sent
Is to push ulonjr and lie content.
\Vhat if one be rich, another poor;
They e;ich have some afflictions to endure
Peculiar to their case, and fain would share
A portion of the ills they each must bear.

30 Poverty.

Stern poverty is Nature's noblest school,
And educates whom wealth might leave a fool;
Where all refractory youths arc forced to pen
The lessons which will make them useful men;
Give power to act and think, to n-nrl,- and make
A fortune, most, no doubt, would rather take.

Here genius weaves the fabric of a work
In which ten thousand hands may yet embark.
And builds a glorious future in a present
Which to a needy purse may be unpleasant.

Should destitution strive, with threatening frown,
To stint the gift e'en poverty has thrown.
Finn manhood rouses all his latent power
And saves his gutted ship from sinking lower:
And, like a vet'ran mariner at the helm,
Altho' before his, eyes the gathering Him
Of death ma} r oft obscure his forlorn hope,
With raging elements he'll bravely cope,
And guide his storm-tossed bark thro' treach'rou.- shoal-
And thereby save his own and many souls.
'We all'must serve apprenticeship to life,
Nor sip its sweets, but we resist it.- strife;
The test is grand, the effort grander still
Which wins a precious prize by hard bought skill.

But ye who shrink from poverty as crime,
Because no need its rugged dirt's to climb,
Who gauge its victims by a pampered rule,
1'nlit to test the substance of a fool
Who pride your manliness upon your wealth,
Whether inheritance or gained by stealth

Poverty. 31

Recline on velvet, drink from golden ware,
And eat the dainties epicures prepare,
Yet fear contamination in the touch
Of empty hands, but hands which labor much
To make your glitt'ring hordes time may reverse,
And in those honest hands may place your purse,
And then you'll learn it may be learn too late
To render poverty a kinder fate.

With riches man can frame a curse, or bless
The store of him who needs his kind caress,
Gain glory, education, highest fame,
And best of all, may earn an honored name ;
May feed the hungiy, clothe the shiv'ring form,
Shelter the homeless from the withering storm,
And gild the earth with radiant tints of joy
All burnished gold, and not a grain alloy
As oft he nobly does; and thus, poor man,
r>r generous in your veto if you can,
For know that were it not that some were rich
The bed of many poor might be a ditch.
The wealth you envy, and would idly share.
Yourself can make it if you do and dare;
And tho' an " Aristocrat" you roundly blame,
Would you object, just now, to be the same ?
If others have the gift of wealth and station
Let it excite your laudable ambition.
To gain yourself what now you may denounce,
Because its owners care not to renounce
Their title to it ; what you would humbly take
By honest labor you may trebly make.

32 Poverty.

Some men, when only poor, assume they've cast
A hopeful future in a baneful past, ,
And as the spectre may be grim and gaunt,
\Vill road its mission and its name as "Want;"
And tho' the two are cold and hard of heart
Their special destiny must lie apart,
But will assimilate if men permit
Their energies to flag, and bodies sit
In weak inaction, and in sorrow mope
Over the remnants of one blasted hope.

Want can be resisted by the poor
In many instances, if they endure
The prospect of its terrors without fear,
And force a smile instead of shed a tear.
But these conditions are most often blended,
And will increase a rent that might be mended
If sound material were rightly used
And older rags with dignity refused.
While health and strength are ours what need we more ?
Why demoralize because we're poor ?
While life retains a spark hope has not fled,
But we must lie as we may make our bed.
The hardest lot may still be softened much
By many a genial if not generous touch,
And sympathy exert a potent power
In the most weary, hopeless, bankrupt hour,
While friendship proves the choicest of its worth
And fructifies a lately barren earth.

The sorrows of the poor indeed are great,
But poverty is not so hard a fate

Poverty. } ]

As those who never felt it may conceive,
And still, perhaps, its evils ne'er relieve;
There's joy in sorrow us there's joy in love,
And joy in taking what 'tis joy to give;
There's joy in hardest toil, in poorest fare;
There's joy in every trouble man may bear;
No suffering, no affliction, loss or pain,
But some sweet gift will fill its place again.
Tho' wrested from the last of all our gold
Is life less .-weet because the tale is told?
The sunbeams still play o'er the glistering dew
Of early morn, which dawns as much for you
As other men ; then gird your loins for work,
And tho' the atmosphere be damp and dark
That bright sun's rays will penetrate at last
And all your gloomy visions shall be past.
And God may bless the means you once forsook
And give a hundred fold for what He took.

I know the sweets of great prosperity,
Have felt the weight of deep adversity,
And in them each have learned, tho' may be loth,
Life's grandest work is centered in th<-m !><>th.

Life has many shades, and each complexion
Is food for sober thought and deep reflection,
And every phase has something worth to teach
Which only can be learned by toting each,
And tho' we shrink from what the task reveal,
In after life we may be brought to feel
Its pungent truths, and gain a rich reward
In having that once lost again restored,

2* '

34 Poverty.

Refined and purged from all impurity.
Which counteracts the soul's maturity.

We, as immortal, therefore must prepare

To learn to die, by braving what we fear

In case the casket may be bruised and torn

In polishing the gem which is t' adorn

A better life, a holier, happier sphere,

To enter which we needs must mffer here,

And gaining this, what greater, nobler gift

Could be desired, when nought on earth is left

Our race is run ; our destiny is done ;

Our haven gained ? -a bright immortal sun

Shall dry the rivers of our mortal strife

And shine forever o'er a peaceful life.

But here no sorrow floods the sufferer's eye,

No blasted hopes in shattered fragments lie,

No deprivations steal the joys of life

And strew our path with thorns of pain and strife ;

But in the hand which deals its bitterness

There nestles some sweet antidote, to bless

And fill the gaps of misery's creation

Thro' which the chill winds of destitution

May rush in woful blasts so cold, so bleak,

That shelter seems a mockery vain to seek.

By suffering loss ourselves we learn to know
The keenness of a fellow creature's woe,
And thus can heal a wound with tender skill
When otherwise we'd barely have the will.

However we may feel our life a cui>e
There's many a kindred soul which suffers worse,


And while we have a share, however poor,
Is there no starving brother need- it more?
Then ye who have ;i crust, tho' poor a fare,
Accept it humbly, accept it with a prayer
That having this a chastening 'Jod will bless
Your cruet, that its oil may ne'er be less.

That some have little, some e'en overmuch,
lias ever been, and must remain as such,
For were all'mortals rich life's war would end.
For none would lead the attack and none defend.
To corn their bread it follows men must irark:
Hut who amongst ns would not gladly shirk
So stern a duty and laborious task ''.
\Ve need not answer, much less need we ask.

Our mijrhty commerce ne'er had spread the seas
Had not a laboring hand first felled the trees
Wherewith to build the ships, and others still
Had planned and fashioned all with craft and skill.
Our stately structures, noble works of art,
Had never pleased the eye or cheered the heart
Had not necessity inspired the soul.
And fabricated when it left a whole.
Were we ne'er sick we should not value health.
Were we not poor, should not ".>/>//< to wealth;
And lacking thus an earnest aspiration.
Would never feel that trlorious inspiration
Which keeps the soul, the body and the mind.
In one intense, unswerving work combined,
(iaininjj: the road to wealth by earning fame,
Which good work most justly will reclaim

36 Poverty.

The poor man's portion from a stain so foul
That what he lacks in wealth he lacks in soul.

Poverty is noble, grand, sublime !
Tho' by misuse it often "renders crime.
Some fear its touch and dare not with it cope,
But in its iirst appearance lose their hope.
And fall a prey to what would be a friend
Did they its mission fully comprehend.
While some are wealthy others must be poor,
But self-respect can close privation's door
And keep it shut; while fortune, slow but sure,
Rewards the strength of him who can endure ;
And e'en the poorest may in time be rich
If they but weave the fabric stitch by stitch.

When youth attains to manhood's golden prime
Others must then commence their race with time.
Maturity has won its well earned wealth,
Then let the youth refuse its gain by stealth,
Nor envy him who, once as poor, has fought
And onward marched, as all true soldiers ought,
'Till Fortune's smile replaced her whirring frown
And showered the gifts with which his path is strewn.
Look upward ! Onward ! Flag not for an hour,
And as yon strive forget that you are poor.

The noblest, grandest, stateliest pride of man
Is having nothing when he first began
His contest with the world, and sought the field
With firm determination for his shield,
Resistance for his sword, and trust in God,
That he might find the path where fortune trod.


And tlio' we fail, and lose the all we make,
It matters not, there's plenty more to take;
And tho' the sacrifice may rankle sore,
AVe but resume the place we held before.
Defeat should not discourage try again;
We shall not find our energy in vain.
Our path may be obscure, our mission humble,
But we may higher rise howe'er we stumble,
And losing much, retaining sell-reliance,
Can bid the hard cold world a brave defiance;
For Fortune favors those who boldly seek,
And loves her votaries, however meek.
Howe'er swift she run we may o'ertake her,
And shout triumphantly at last, "Eureka!"
And if the hand of fate should interpose
And check the race, 'tis better to oppose
Than weakly grumble at the erratic course.
When forced to travel with an empty purse.

The truest pleasure represents the pace
A: which we run, and tho' we lose the race
Our happiness will never be the less
'Till we receive the blow or kind caress.
For even if we win the sequel sliow>
That many a keen, sharp thorn may stud a rose;
And, tho' we wear the laurels on our breast,
\Ve lose the unction when we >tay
What we receive in cool reality
Is little when compared to ideality;
Then if we rise or fall, no matter which,
The true delight consists in getting rich.


OMK men, born in chronic fomentation.
Effervesce with much determination,
As if their bubbling- and excited state
Evidenced a wise and well stocked pate;
Lecture and impart without permission,
Because they please to adorn a mission,
And minister to men their ultra notions
In vapid, crude, and nauseating- potion-:
Earning- more disgust for drug and doctor
Than estimation as a benefactor.

Fanaticism's soil is most prolific,
( ienerating; a divine specific
For the ills, corruptions and exces.-e-
Which its "advocate" the most distresses,
And 'mid the varied faults at which they rave
There's naught so potent as a " drunkard's grave."
While all true principles of temperance
Are injured by their lack of common sense,
Fevered imagination and weak brain,
Which, as an overloaded water main,

Temperance. 39

Prematurely cracked, explodes in haste,
And all its liquid treasure runs to waste.

Plumed with the notion that they are inspired
Their wat'ry zeal is indiscreetly fired,
And, once baptized in confraternity,
They plug the outlet to eternity
With condemnations of the wilful soul
Who dares to patronize the " flowing bowl,"
And would have the world make restitution
For fools' crimes and self-caused destitution;
Condemn indulgence, tho' in mod'rate use,
Because its principles some men abuse;
Have Legislative power assist their cause
By framing unjust, arbitrary laws.
Storming freerneris' rights, and inclinations,
And sound principles, with wat'ry rations.

But evil lurks in every form and guise
\Viiich sinful nature's cunning can devise;
With every pleasure and each passing joy
Some element of ill will mostly cloy,
And by insatiate lust and fierce desire
Transform a latent spark to raging fire,
Which, unchecked by reason, soon destroys
Life's truest Messing and most equal poise.

And ti'/n/xTd/K-i' \< tliat \vhich can resist
An evil, while temptation may persist
In making proselytes of knaves and fools,
Who for a drunken revel stake their souls;
Which reason dictates to discriminate
'Twixt good and ill, nor to appropriate

4-O Temperance.

The gift of Nature with a sottish greed,

Or seek indulgence in a simple need.

And, tho' the crime of drunkenness be great,

All .softer men decline to advocate

The doctrine of an abstinence fanatic,

That sinners to be saints must be aquatic.

But some stanch brothers of a gushing " League"
Will spout for many hours with small fatigue,
And argue, with a glowing eloquence,
That water is of vital consequence
In cleansing morals from an inward rust
And washing spirits from their mortal crust.

"Beware!" cries brother Aqua, "Friends, beware
" Of drunkenness, the mod'rate drinker's snare.
"Wine is a mocker, and strong drink a raging
" Which grows the fiercer while the thirst assuaging ;
" The more men drink the more they will desire,
'"Till soul and body burn in liquid fire.
"You cannot sip nor touch a sparkling wine,
" Altho' tile purest produce of the vine,
" But it \vill taint your nature, and will doom
' A short existence to a living tomb.
" A drunkard's portion fills that glitt'ring cup,
" Whether you merely taste or drink it up.

" When once you take this step all hope is lost,
" And as the purchase so must be the cost;
" I draw no difference nor demarcation
"Between a luxury or simple ration
" Between indulgence or a temperate use,
"A mod'rate custom or a rank abuse

Temperance. 41

"The man who drinks must bear a drunkard's name,
" And in a sot's carousal share the shame."

Thus have I heard these gentlemen denounce
The crime- of men who care not to renounce
Their, right to please a lawful inclination,
Enjoy their wine, and risk denunciation
From lips which frame, from mental indigestion, .
A damning answer ere one asks a question.

Such words were cast, with most impressive force,
At my devoted head; nay, even worse,
By one who bathed his principles in water
And styled himself a " temperance supporter;"
Professed that all perfections must adhere
To mortals who condemn a glass of beer,
And that the doctrine first and last imputed
Is that the soul is lost unless diluted.
And yet that man is now committing treason
'Gainst, each dictate of the merest reason
By advocating anti-temp'rance notions
In unrestrained debauch and deepest potions.
From early youth his principles were trained
To abstinence and these were well retained,
With credit to himself and to the cause
He weakly deemed the best of moral laws,
Until the influence of actual life
Conquered his prejudices, once so rife,
Subdued his reason by a fierce desire,
Which shattered conscience only fanned the higher.

42 Temperance.

From which \vc can deduce that Nature asks

No forced restrictions or unusual tusks.

Offers her richest gifts with lavish hand,

But scorns the fool whose mind cannot withstand

Seductions of excess, and falls a snare

To depths of weakness idiots cannot share.

And should moral strength resign the palm

Which only saves a blinded youth from harm,

Itcsire and passion, once as strongly caged,

When by temptation's influence enraged,

AVill burst their life-bound bonds with reckless haste,

Anew intoxicating joy to taste;

And thus his principles will fast decay,

And once invulnerable precepts lay

Broken, blasted, crushed and wrecked, alas!

In what he once denounced, a tippler's glass;

For Nature, robbed for years of simple right,
When Indiscretion seeks to test her might,
Retaliates with cold, relentless power,
And fetters youth in vice within an hour.
But he who has been taught to moderate
His inclinations, and discriminate
'Twixt legitimate pleasures and the vices
Which throng in paths of life in strange devices,
Knows by tuition and experience
That true knowledge and most strong adherence
To life's bc-i portion is to test the whole,
Nor shun to blend his nature with his soul,
Will not reject a favor and a friend
Because some vicious attributes may blend

Temperance. 4}

To punish those who madly satiate
The wants of Nature at a sottish rale.

True temp'rance I admire; but that the " pledge. 7 '

A- enthusiasts glowingly allege,

Is Nature's noblest way to be divine,

And lie who f/rm.'x to drink a glass of wine.

Tho' strictly temperate, is ten times worse

Than he who forms and then rejects a <-iiw.

I must submit evinces inconsistence

In ganging principles of true resistance,

For he who can withstand a great temptation,

My traversing a line of demarkation

\Vhich assigns the paths of right from wrong,

Proves to possess an intellect more strong.

A sterner reason, nobler moral caste,

Than he who's forced to adopt the course at last,

When good example shows the enormity

Of what is self-imposed infirmity,

But daring not to trust true temperance

Shelters and saves his life in

A temperate life, in abstinence or slight
Indulgence, is and ever must be right:
But he who dares assert, as many do,
A theory so thoroughly untrue.
That men who love the produce of the vine,
Nay, may at times to jovially incline.
Pander to evil and support a crime
Too base to picture in this humble rhyme,

44 Temperance.

Must either lack experience or the strength
Of mind to clip desire to sober length.

A> prejudice must surely clog the mind,
And hardly judge of liberal mankind,
An analysis is worthy >mall respect
By men who never ted what they dissect.

Heal temperance men. of principle and sen.-e,
Will slum to annoy and offer deep offence,
By bigoted disgust and reprehension
Of that which meets their lawful condemnation
When made the slaves of Itmf. and sinful passion.
Blasting immortal life without compassion.
But so?m> who adapt their principles to <iii>.
Inflamed by prejudice, would please arraign
Their brethren who may differ at the bar
Of outraged 1 Nature, and indeed debar
Their precious souls from heavenly fruition
Because they may resent their crude tuition.
'Tis such at whom I take my truest aim: ~
\Vlio, if they care, may render me the same.

Noble temperance men! 1 gladly hail
Your great determination to assail
An evil which pollutes the atmosphere.
And lills each crevice in this lower spere;
Ne'er cease to raise in eloquence your voice
'(JainM drunkenness, and may your hearts rejoice
In reclamation of a mortal's name
From all the horrors of a drunkard's shame

Temperance. 4

high the banner of your righteous cause,
And may each tempted soul obey its laws;
May God support and bless an earnest aim
To save an erring: man from even blame;
Then shall the curse of wine resign its breath
And fill the grave it dug for moral death.

But they who haunt the cause with spectral dreams,
And bigoted and most obnoxious themes.
Disport their sentiments in Godly guise
When all is prejudice and blinded lies;

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Online LibrarySamuel GodsmarkGodsmark's poems. An experimental treatise on the facts and theories of life → online text (page 2 of 5)