Samuel Godsmark.

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

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Who curse the matter, and would save a sin
By emptying wine and pouring water in,
"Whose narrow minds, of gross and meanest span,
See evil in the drink but none in man,
Thus classify the whole as embryo sots,
And helpless slaves to pints, from thence to pots.
And teach that strongest nature can't restrain
A soul from hell until it shall abstain,
Are bigoted fanatics, dupes and fools,
And need be soused until their ardor cools.

Nature is bountiful; then use her well,
And pledge her in a glass, but simply full;
Enjoy the blessing our Creator gave
In moderation, and a balance save
For those whom poverty denies a share
Of that which many might a portion spare:
Then shall the wine our Saviour drank and blest,
As of natural bev'rage purely best,
Ere He resigned His glorious mission hm-
And bought immortal joys so richly dear.

46 Temperance.

Be rescued from its direful imputation
Of luring souls to death and to damnation.

But ye who retail liquors poisonous drugs
In shape of bev'rages, shall drink the dregs
Of that with which you succor every crime,
And guileless natures with a demon prime.

Let temperance advocates rehearse their parts,
'Till tempered to assail the hardest hearts.
While Legislative power provides no law
For drunkard makers drunkards still will fall
Deeper, yet deeper, in the pits of vice
Which these infernal human fiends devise.

See yonder youth, about to "take a drink;"
ITe makes it two, and totters on the brink
Of that abyss in \vhich he might not sink,
Did he who fed the spark but check the flame,
Instead of quickening the light of shame.
But no ! His cash alone these vampires seek,
Who reckon drunkenness a happy freak
To fill their coffers; and, if e'er his purse
Should fail in that, a thrust and callous curse
Stretches his senseless form upon the stones,
Whereon he ends his life or breaks his bones;
No matter which, no matter how he fell,
A drunkard's shame is all the tale to tell.

\Vhile this exists let temp'rance lecturers teach-
They'll gender little good by all they preach



And tho' their mission may be quite sincere, *
How loud they speak 'twill faintly reach the ear
Of those whom Satan finds an easy prey,
Because our Legislature paves the way.


ifnsation |itcratui|t

| ow strange it scorns that mortals, blost with brains,
Should sock to bind their intellect in chains
Moulded by Satan's hands, and linked with lies,
And coated with a counterfeit disguise
Of ninety-nine per cent, of base alloy
Mixed with a grain of fact, and that a toy,
Pleasing little by its introduction
But rather more by its entire destruction.

To define the worth and curzc of " Fiction"
Test its principles with cogent diction,
Laud its merits, and explain its uses,
Virtues, beauties, and its rank abuses ;
To separate the precious from the vile,
And classify the whole in graphic style,
Which might convince a poor deluded slave
That he abetted in a crime so grave
As robbing nature of its holiest truth,
De spoiling age, denuding early youth

Sensation Literature. 49

Of all the attributes which constitute
The actual facts of life; and substitute
A false, insidious, visionary cheat,
Beguiling reason to its treacherous feet,
And stamping out what little share of brains
In a poor addled cranium remains;
Wrecking God's best vessel on the strands
Of moral death must rest in stronger hands
And comprehensive intellects than mine,
Unless the arduous task they should decline.

The " literature " of this progressive age
Keeps pace with people's overwhelming rage
For something more than natural life can give,
To taint the atmosphere in which they live.
Thus, vilest sins, and hideousness of crime
Must be redeemed by traits of the sublime,
And causes and effects reverse their place
To admit of being decked with charming grace:
And shrouding fact beneath a false ideal,
That minds may fashion to a type of real,
And devilish natures, worse than Nero-ic,
Be rendered pretty, if not heroic.

But, virtues heightened by an ideal leap
To altitudes which make believers weep,
Descended from their bright, exuberant flight,
Present at best a very sorry plight
In human dressing, and in sober truth,
Undecked with glittering lies; and 'venturous youth


5O Sensation Literature.

Grows morbid in his rnsb attempts to reach,
In actual life, the dreams tbat tbeorists teacli.
And in bis baseless efforts to aspire,
Sinks yet deeper while he soars the higher.

Fiction which keeps within the bounds of rear-on.
And counts truth not wholly out of season.
Which neither soars to realms ethereal
Xor tampers with the attributes of hell,
Which dallies with the tender sentiments
Without depo.-iting rank sediments,
Or trifles with affairs of Trivial ca.-te.
.To be forgotten when the scene is past.
May help to while an idle hour away
And brighten up a gloomy wintry day,
And does no harm, at least, altho 1 the mind
Might often better occupation find.

Still, as a genuine source of relaxation,
When life's dull cares engender hard taxation.
'Twill prove a good specific, and its use,
While mainly sought to leisurely amuse.
Recuperates the exhausted powers of mind.
And physical and mental evils find
An exquisite relief refreshing ease
From that which otherwise might barely please;
And, that truths are well displayed in fiction
I offer no pretence at contradiction.

; Tis sweet, when tired, and weary of the world.
To have the leaves of fancy's dreams unfurled

Sensation Literature. 51

To wander 'midst elysian scenes of bliss,
Where llowei',- bend with wealth of love to kiss
Their blooming mates, and swayed by gentle bree/e
Coquette gaily 'neath the whispering trees
Whose iniirinnr'd songs, in cadence sweet and low,
(Their rust ling- leaves) in concert hail the bow
Which gives them budding- life and beauteous form,
And bears them strongly thro'each threatening storm.

'Tis sweet to spend a contemplative hour
In the recesses of a rustic bower,
Shielded with clustering vines, sweet jessamine,
Jvoses and honeysuckle, which entwine
Their loving branches, and whose rich perfume
Grows sweeter by each treasure they exhume;
To wander thro' the overhanging grove
And listen to the twittering words of love
With which bright plumaged birds allure their choice
To aid them in their song in twain rejoice.

To mount sky-kissing hills, and there review
The wond'rous picture which the Almighty drew
The towering mounts, the gentle sloping dale,
The lovely glen and peaceful sleeping vale,
The winding brooks, and plashing, murm'ring streams,
The emerald sea whose mighty bosom gleams
And sparkles in the sun's meridian rays
A cause of gratitude and endless praise
To Him whose lavish hands has fashioned thus
This second paradise, and nil for //.-.

$2 Sensation Literature.

' Tis sweet to commune with natures good and pure,
And in our views of truth find something truer
Something we seldom find in natural shape,
\Vhich needs therefore an ideal hand'to drape,
That we may feel that rarest virtues shine
In lustrous beauty, and this world entwine;
Which animate the soul to emulate
Such rich perfection or, at any rate,
To admire an altitude it cannot reach
And learn a lesson that it cannot teach.

Did novelists confine their highest pitch
To points where no impediments could hitch
Tvvixt earth ami heaven, they might etherealize
Their wondrous pictures to the vaulted skies;
But when they seek forbidden heights to scale,
And steal an angel's dress to deck their tale
Of wondrous purity, their ultra zeal
Gains more disgust than love for its ideal,
And men who, fondly loving virtuous women,
Despise the pilfered attributes of heaven;
For while one dreg remains of human nature
It will contaminate the purest creature,
And those who 're steeled by life to truth and reason
Judge every natural fraud as moral treason.
But when these subjects are the novelist's theme,
However overdrawn or stale they seem,
They do not tend to taint and vitiate
Tho' off ring little worth to appreciate,

Sensation Literature. 53

And with small patronage less commendation
Live and die without much condemnation.

But ye who build "sensation story' lame,
And gain a paltry tho' notorious name
For pand'ring to the worst desires of nature
Painting sin, and gilding every feature
Which might disgust the inexperienced youth
Who eagerly devours each lie as truth
Whose ''ghosts" disport in every shape and guise
Before his vacant mind and glaring eyes ;
"Demons and imps" of worse than hell's invention
Chaining his intellect in wrapt attention,
And deeds of horror, tales of crime and blood
A demoniacal and sickening brood,
Which float as ghastly phantoms o'er his brain
'Till semi-idiotcy his mind enchain
Deserve the highest censure; deepest curse
On every cent that swells your well filled purse.

These "writers" waste their most pernicious brains
In robbing others' wits t' increase tln'ir gains,
Counting no other cost than printer's ink,
And care not tho' a thousand souls may sink
In the abvss of crime from their tuition
So they escape the brunt of its fruition.
1 knew a " coxi'," 1 and there are many such,
Altho' our Christian friends don't heed them much.
In which a youth of promise early souglit
Morbid ex<'i'<'inent, where such things are taught

54 Sensation Literature.

As supernatural stories, tales of "ghosts,"

And awful earthly power of " demon hosts,"

"Thrilling adventures," and the num'rous trash

Which crowd the book stalls in a race for cash.

The more he read the more he wished to read,

And every leisure hour w r as wont to feed

His fast disordered mind with nervous fire,

Until its lurid gleams could rise no higher,

Then burst their bonds and left him *tai'in<i mad !

In moral darkness, and to reason dead.

This is a fact, and many daily tread

The same sad track, till life's best gift has fled

To such an extent as surely robs the mind

Of all pure attributes of true mankind.

\Vhen woman falls a snare to this foul blot
Her reputation is not worth a jot,
And tho' her nature seeks more Mnifii/v/if
Than hideous pictures, still its vile intent
Robs her of all tha-t makes her worth the name
Of wife and mother turns her pride to shame;
And greatest duties meeting sad neglect,
Her person gains no longer men's respect;
Husband and children, all domestic cares
Are washed away in maudlin, senseless tears,
Shed for a baseless vision, void of good,
And to the purest nature noisome food.

Weak woman's nature craves what man rejects-
\Vho scorns an ideal life, which she respects

Sensation Literature. 55

Because his contact and combat with life
Dispels ethereal dreams thro 1 actual strife
Leaves him no time to play with moral fools
And con their vicious texts in Fiction's schools
Because his mind is formed for trork and. fact,
And every passing phase conspires to act
In opposition to the weak attempt
Of visionary minds to coax, and tempt
His reasoning powers to play a second part,
And pander to the weakness of his heart.

But woman, much secluded, left at leisure,
Has oft naught to engage her mind but pleasure,
And, if pernicious ' ; books '' are in her reach,
She'll sacrifice her mind and time to each
Until its influence becomes narcotic,
And she, wrapt in it, simply idiotic.
That is weak-minded souls, who have a share,
Enough of simple brains, but none to spare.

True women I admire and dearly love,
And would not wound their hearts, or seek to move
One glist'ning tear, or earn a just reproach
By one hard utterance, or to approach
Their persons, lives or names, in act or word,
But with respect and tenderest regard
And such will freely, willingly endorse
This painful picture, if not paint it worse.

I've seen these literal 1 } persons .-it
Like statues in an up >/>{<'< lie fit;

56 Sensation Literature.

Their rigid forms would give a sudden start,

Their eyes protrude, their ashen lips would part,

And every feature witness the intense

Delight they felt in losing all their sense.

Wrapt in the folds of pages "red with gore,"

They shiver, then perspire at every pore,

While ever and anon a sickly laugh

Will follow maudlin tears. If bold enough

To address them you will find them querulous

Try to detract them, 'tis but perilous

They mutter " yes " and " no." " Oh bother !" " Don't,"

As if to snap and snarl it was their wont;

And when at last reluctantly they fold

The "paper" thus a conversation hold :'

" How Harry Noodle fell in love with Maud,

" Who loved instead a certain Willie Laud ;

" And Harry, when rejected, fired with evil,

"Swore he'd send poor Willie to the devil;

" So sought him out and cut his wretched throat,

" Then cursed his own poor brains and blew them out!

" At which Miss Maud -fell sick and tried to die,

" But lived instead and married on the sly.

" Her husband proved a drunkard broke her head,

" Then, in delirium trrmens put to bed,

'' Passed quite a lively time with phantom hosts,

" And bolted off at last with other ghosts. "

And then they make the affecting declaration

How much it did excite their admiration ;

While all around, in slovenly profusion,

Are littered household goods, in blank confusion ;

Sensation Literature. 57

And they, perhaps the most confused, arise
To close in sleep their weary aching eyes,
And blissfully impart to walls ami chairs
Their furtJirr dreams for want of better ears.

Forty per cent, of all the " magazines "
Feed the rising generation in their teens
With food which ne'er digests, but turns to rot,
And makes the cheapest purchase dearly bought.
'Tis true they oft considerately allot
A space to " Household Treasures," "Facts," and dot
The pages here and there with trifling " Essays"
And borrowed jottings jokes in ancient dresses
Or touch upon some really truthful theme ;
But this is all the "good" that may redeem
Their character from absolute disgrace
And" help to cover stains they can't erase.
And even "Pulpit men " of wide repute
" Servants of Christ !" make up and follow suit ; .
" Contribute" to this cause of anti-truth,
Which mars the happiness of fervent youth.
Thus, those who should be most opposed to evil,
Neglect their Master's work to serve the devil.

Precious wasted hours will ne'er return,
Nor will the useful lessons men nught learn
When youth is supple, and whose future jov
Is -nerificed for what ? an ideal toy,
That pleases for an hour ; but, cast aside.
Retains its influence, and will deride,


58 Sensation Literature.

In timo, his ctlurts to secure a prize
In life's hard lottery, thro" 1 tinlt-d //>.-;.

For once the mind becomes a morbid slave
To baseless notions life becomes a grave.
Where present aerial hopes must sink at last.
A fit memorial to "a misused past.

May he or she who reads these humble line.
However little merit in them shine>.
Ponder \vell their truth, and if it save
One fellow creature from this moral grave.
My work is done, my recompense is great;
'Tis all I ask; God grant it soon or late.


[DRE, priceless gem, whose lustre never wanes;

Source of all earthly joys; Whose pow'r enchains
! ^Y, Our souls in the bonds of love, delight and peace,

Decking the hardest couch with softest ease;
\V~hose moral influence can best assuage
The fires of youth, and check the strongest rage
\Vhicli leads the soul to spread its win^s and soar
To realms where it would fain return no more ;
\Vhere, realizing heaven's abounding love.
Longs when that still small whisper from above
Shall breathe the message from Emmanuel's throne
That Nature to Death's fiat must alone.

Happy the man who, blest with light divine.
The problem of existence can define.
Penetrate the mysteries of his state, .
And link with Providence the law of ft><;
And. 'mid the principles of mortal life.
Its moral force and- fierce internal strife.

60 Religion.

Its gloomy sorrows, transient fleeting joys,
Its solid basis and its trivial toys,
Has one great object, one great hope to gain
One bright eternal promise to attain.

This temporary life must fade away,
And all its valued joys must soon decay ;
How soon how late the hour will come at last
When earth's long lingering destiny is past,
And God's most noble work must yield its trust
And turn again to earth its kindred dust.

The noble intellect, the powerful frame,
The splendid talent and the mighty fame,
Tlio kindling eye. the heart's swift beating pulse,
The steady purpose, and the warm impulse;
The love and anger passion's fitful sway
The fire of youth, each vivid quickening ray
Which lights the lamp of life, must fade and wane.
And lose its every vestige, but to gain
A nobler casket and a brighter gift
A substance offered for a dream bereft.

Oh, God! that man, thy handiwork and pride,
Should scorn Religion, and its claims deride;
Reject its counsels, ridicule its worth,
Blind to all attributes except of earth.
A living soul, but animated clay,
Without a hope beyond an earthly day;
Who lives for self, for lust, for sensual joys;
Whose wordly dreams all hope of heaven destroys,

Religion. fti

\Yhen could they fool, for one short dwelling hour,

Religion's .-\veet. enrapt, inspiring power

Hold sweet communion with its melting charms,

Rest for one moment in its loving arms

Sip but one drop of neetar from its fount

Of joy, compassion, mercy feebly mount

One step to heavenward hli>s, they'd barter all

Life's longest span that moment to recall.

Ah ! none can tell the joy Religion gives
But he who loves and in its influence lives.
The cup of life may overrun with gall
But God's most precious mercy sweetens all.
Dejected to despair, distressed with care,
Crushed with affliction, burdened much with fear,
The world's horizon may be dark with clouds.
Which with a gloomy veil all comfort shrouds;
Infirmities may compass flesh and mind,
And grief and sorrow vainly seek to find
Some antidote from earth for earthly pain,
Or in its many evils hope to gain
A listening ear. a sympathetic friend.
Or distant promise of a coming end.

But there the Almighty shows his boundless love.
And sends us stores of comfort from above.
Tis then our chastened spirits dwell with (iod.
Recipients of His mercy dealing rod,
And then we feel our need of something more
Than man can offer from his meagre store.

Religion is not learned by worldly good
From costly divans, epicurean food.

62 Religion.

Unbridled luxury and pompous \vcalth

N'or gained )>y bribery or treacherous stealth;

Tis no criterion of great estate,

Of education, or a \vell filled pate,

Nor the essential point in scholarship

Of solid reason, or a temperate lip;

'Tis not <lt'i>endent on morality,

On fleshly feasts nor high hilarity,

On penances, great sacrifice or cheer,

Or reckless daring and excessive fear ;

'Tis not an index from amoral sphere,

To lead its votaries to find it flnve,

Nor yet the pinnacle of earthly fame,

And of a so-called great, immortal name;

1 hif i/i(m mtnj ft Kir <ihoi-n h>n million* more,

And >/cf, in (in<r* lir*l irealth, be icow Ihmi poor.

All earthly pom}), pride, arrogance and sho\v,
And altitude of power, must 'meekly bow
The siren joy of life, its sensuous smile
Masking with luring charms a heart of guile
All earthly schemes, all sordid, selfish ends,
Bright, airy visions every hope that tends
To centre life in self must suffer loss
Kre man can fitly bear the Saviour's cross;
And then Almighty love, when nought remains
Of earthly bliss, a thousand fold sustains
The fainting heart and sorrow stricken soul,
And makes a shattered part a blessed whole.

Religion. 63

Religion is A gift tlie gift of grace
Offered unfettered to the hiiinau rare.
<iod asks no price nor recompense from man
Kxccpt that cadi shall strive the best he can
To keep the casket pure, and best adorn
The spotless gem which His o\vn breast has \vorn.
That each may see, and seeing may admire
The Christian's badge, and earnestly aspire
To emulate a \vork whose zeal and power
( } rows but the stronger with each fleeting hour ;
That adds a lustre to a worthy name,
To moral worth high eminence and fame,
Beautifies the best of earth's perfection.
Mirrors. heaven's charms in sweet reflection;
Adds a mortal spark to heavenly light.
And proves its moral power hi/ doi/n/ rirjhf.

G<><><] iror/.-x must ever bear an essential part
\Vheiv godliness has graced the human heart ;
But CJii'i.tlian* seek to emulate their (lod,
And ask no merit from an earthly good,
Content that none should know or even guess
That they were made an instrument to bless
The weary soul, the wounded, sick and sore.
And aid the needy from their meagre store :
To cheer and comfort those oppressed with care.
And calm the spirit, faint with boding fear.
IIU deeds of mercy, generous works untold
And noble nature -be>t of earthly mould
May pass unrecogni/ed amid the throng
Of those \vlio tread the paths of right and wrong ;

64 Religion.

But registered in heaven each deed is known
Which gains at last a bright immortal crown.

But still Religion has another /nend
\ seeming angel, but at heart a fiend
The hypocrite the basest, meanest cheat,
Fawns and cringes at its blessed feet,
Because he knows the power it will sustain
With men of worth and reckons well its gain.

With craft enough to see its tendency
To gain respect, and much ascendanc}^
With men of merit, mind of course of wealth
Procures its vestures by insidious stealth
To serve perfidious ends and cloak a lie,
A fraud nay, crimes of nature's deepest dye
With a disguise of saintly purity,
Affecting zeal and lowly piety.

But e'en these people serve a better end,
And to Religion's prestige prove a friend;
For seeking to disguise their true aspect
Beneath its ample folds, they show respect
For virtues they are forced to don by fraud.
Lost their true intentions show too broad.
These vot'ries to Religion's holy shrine
As valued, useful members ever shine
In churches where the truth of God is made
A 'servant to the source whence most is paid
Where fleshly teachings puff with paltry pride.
Which devils foster, pamper, tho' deride.

Should Bishop So-and-so describe a case
Of charity, by which their Christian grace

Religion. 65

Mar lio enhanced by further commendation,
They will re>pond with ample contribution;
Thus gain the world's applause as generous men,
Earn sycophantic praise, and tongue and pen
Attest their wond'rous, open-hearted zeal
In giving what they'd ten times rather steal.
Should none but God perceive the deprivation,
And He alone demand a reparation,

The b&ser, meaner crime, the richer unction
Greater ill inflicted, least compunction
For while "Religion" can be bought with gold.
And keeps on par with men by whom Vz'x .<>///.
They glide to hell with very much distinction,
'Till there their virtues meet with sharp extinction;
And, 'mid the freaks of Nature's crafty skill,
Which patches up the meanest type of ill,
Really the worst disguise of fraud extant
Is Satan's own conception fulsome cant.

While Truth exists, and Purity sustains
An honored place with men of worth and brains,
These "creeping thing.*" of most obnoxious mould,
Which denizen the lowest moral world,
Will missile men with one eternal rant
Grovelling meekness and infernal cant.

These " Christ ian> '' tell you how " their spirit " yearns
Towards the "'dear Saviour;" how their "bosom burns"
With love and adoration for the Lamb
Their "gentle Jesus" paint the great f AM
A< meekly ministering \n their '' precious soul ;"
Themselves as spotlc - vessels, pure and whole,

66 Religion.

Watch tin-in at church, and note i\ie pious zeal
With \vhich they pray, respond, arise and kneel,
(Jazing upon their pastor's genial face
A\ r ith saiictiiiioiiions looks, brimful of grace,
Then nod the head, or wag- it to and fro,
To signify to Brother So-and-so
How \vell tJu'ij understand, ho\v sweetly hear
Mere fleshly words, which make "their case'' so clear.
But when the service ends, mark" well how strange-
A transformation scene betokens " change ;"
They shift and fumble, show a dollar bill,
That all may see the power, so judge the will ;
But when the plate is passed the bill is dropped,
And then a ten cent stamp is quickly popped
Amongst a goodly pile of " contribution,"
Which saves the church at least from destitution:
Or, more discreet, they get their full of grace,
Then quietly rise and meekly quit the place.
To save their conscience from a sin so grave

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Online LibrarySamuel GodsmarkGodsmark's poems. An experimental treatise on the facts and theories of life → online text (page 3 of 5)