Samuel Godsmark.

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

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As lnii/ii)'j what their Master freely gave.
Then, linked with some " dear brother" sainted f ri end-
Wit h solemn "Christian 1 ' gait they homeward bend,
And in the "spirit'' pleasantly commune,
Or as the " spirit moves" so change their tune:

"Brother, what did you think of that discourse
' Of Dr. Cash ? You heard him well, of course;
'' I never felt so lifted up before
"And much refreshed; and in that precious hour
" He suited me exactly made it plain
"That I'm a chosen ve-sel, void of stain.



Religion. 67



"And what fe\v sins I rrrr did commit

\Vere pardoned ; that I carried Christ's permit

" To pass me thro' this barren wilderness

"Straight to the promised land; and I confess

"That, as on Saturday I took my rents,

" I helped the blessed cause with; -fifty cents"

" But did you notice that young minx, Miss Dash ?
" It is a sin to come to church so ' flash; '
" She never pays for what she buys; I'm sure,
" For tho' she dresses fine she's very poor.
" Her ' pa' is but a clerk, and she, Ihdar,
" \ teacher for a paltry sum per year.
"And then to make a show- presuming creature
" She laid two dollars in the plate. / h"fr. Jin- ."'

" Quite right," says Brother Snuffle, " very true;
''I always sympathize with such as you.
"And notice Mrs. A., who looks so meek,
" She only paid me hall' her rent last week;
"She says her child is sick, her work is slack,
" And sundry things conspire to throw her back.
" That I cannot help; and, hc<j or borrow,
' She must pay me down my rent to-morrow.
" She always has enough for charity,
I>iit there, I think, is great disparity
For, if 'tis true it should begin at home,
"She'd better pay her debts, lint, brother, come,
" \Ve will not talk of that this Sabbath night ;
"'Tis true they 're in a very sorry plight.
" 1 thank the Lord lle'> made me differ much



68 Religion.

"In mind, and soul, and worldly goods, from s
" Who must l)o sinful else they'd not be poor,
" And torment Christian people every hour."

"But still there's Mrs. B., who's always smiling;
' I've heard she's half her time beguiling
" In prac.tie.ing before her looking-glass
" Indeed, I see her there whene'er 7"p ass
"And tho' by some she's counted quite a saint,
" Her color must be false I'm sure 'tis paint.
" She don't look Christianlike, and what is more,
" She never prays at least I never saw her"

" On Sunday last I heard old Parson Plain
" A dreadful man I will not go again.
" He was impious, spoke of hell and damn,
"And said our principles were all a sham;
" That we were sinners, vile, unclean and base,
" Instead of Christian people, saved by grace;
" Said that long prayers were hateful in the eyes
" Of Him who judges wholesome truth from lies,
"And public piety was oft a r/uise
"Concealing evil deeds with canting lies,
11 And other awful tilings I dare not mention
" Lest you believe I have some bad intention.
"But now we're home, dear friend, pray just step in
" And take, as usual, a glass of gin."



So now three s///r/^x join in blissful talk
We'll deem it prudent to resume our walk,
And ask no pardon for our sketch; in fact
It should be more severe to be intact.



Religion. 69

These frauds on every precept good and pure
Grow ten time- \vorse ere they become mature;
Thus " grow in grace" till God's eternal fiat
Hids their prating be for ever quiet.



True piety shines bext in Christian women
Fit emblems of the purity of heaven.
A lowly spirit, meekness of the dove;
A grand devotion, rich in faith and love;
A blessed charity and feeling heart,
In generous sympathy, all bear a part
(A pungent antidote to earthly ill)
In making lovely woman lovelier still.
This child of God devotes each precious hour
As ministering angel to the sickly poor,
To cheer the hopeless, succor the distressed,
Ease the suffering and relieve the oppressed.

The noblest laurels ever won and worn
Are thine, dear friend, to heighten and adorn
A life of love to which no eartlrly crown
Could add one lustre, glory or renown.

The noblest song that poet ever sung,
Or struck from sweetest lyre e'er yet strung,
Fails to record thy virtues, love and worth,
Which shed their radiance o'er this sinful earth;
But if an humble instrument like me
Presumes to add one tribute more to thee,
May God permit it may serve some good end,
If but the brief response of one dear friend.



radical j|[cn



i

I o\v tliis universe looms with "Practical Men,"
\Vlio scorn the theorist's soul inspired pen;
Who laugh at the glowing and eloquent fire
Which burns in his bosom, and know no desire
Bui to Stn.Ay themselves and their own selfish ends;
Whoso climax of happiness *<>lt'lij depends
On a snug little balance from " profit and loss"
And other small treasures of practical drox*.
Puffed up with importance inflated conceit,
With dull plodding mind and lead laden feet.
A stern cut face and an adamant heart,
With these " Practical Men" must each bear a part.
Thus the plea of the poor but closes his purse
With a snap and a snarl it may be a curse.

" Take example, my friend, be a Practical Man;
"I give my advice get the rest as you can.
" My purse is well filled, my health is robust,
" My mind is contented, my dealings are just;



Practical Men. ~]\

' I need no assistance, and ask no respect.
" The world is welcome to give and reject :
"I work to make money, and make it I can,
And keep it as well like a Practical Man.
"Do you the same; if you don't 'tis your fault
You are hut a nuisance, unworthy your salt."

Thus talks our n-ould lie line practical In-other,
Whose sympathy 's dead to t-he woes of another;
Who looks with contempt on a poor stricken wretch
On the verge of starvation, to coolly fetch
A grunt of disgust, that Nature should give
So useless an object permission to live.
Wrapped ii}) in himself, he cares not a straw
For aught in creation save lucre and law.

The youth's aspirations, his castles in air.
His visions ot life, unsullied and fair,
His bright happy dreams and worshipped ideal,
Which coming events might junction with real;
Hi< generous impulse to do and to dare.
To banish all features of sorrow and care.
With his soul beaming over with beautiful trust
In the faith of mankind the reward of the just
Nay, freighted with all that makes life worth the gift,
Will anon of existence be grimly bereft,
Should these i>ra<-ti<-(il fellows receive but a chance
To pierce his warm heart with their withering lance.
For the glories of *<-irn<-<' and beauties of art,
Which to men of true nature are joys of the heart,



7^ Practical Men.

For s\vc('ts of Religion exaltation of prayer
And holy communion they have not a care,
But are merely a fraud on life's meanest span,
Ai\d pilfer the title of " Practical Man"
To garnish their sins with a false shallow gold
That naught will refine, be they ever so old.

There is lowness in Virtue and meekness in Power,
And Genius shelters in Modesty's bower.
The rich may be humble, the wise be content
To ask no reward for great energies spent.
Aye, a man with the cardinal virtues all told
In the midst of life's blessings may stand in the cold.
But men of small calibre meanness of mind
To the best part of Nature remorselessly blind,
\Vho have nothing to offer, much less to give
In return for the gift of their Maker, to live
Know no higher mission than centres in self,
Which opens the portals of bargain and pelf
Ksteem themselves solely as models of worth,
And chief in the rank of the homage of earth.

But true Practical Men, whose contest with life
Has steeled them to reason whose veteran strife
Has rendered them lessons of practical truth,
Which can temper and chasten irrational youth ;
Who will wisely provide for a dull " rainy day"
And still sip the pleasures of life while they may;
Systematic in action, in judgment correct,
Sober in reason and prone to reflect,
Nobly deserve that each tongue and each pen
Shall yield them full honors as " Practical Men,"





OR, SHORT vs. LONG.DRESSES



HE vagaries of Fashion arc enough, beyond all

question,
Vr To spoil the mildest temper and ruin the digcs-

tion.

Some ladies are persistent , in refusing to admit
Much claim to common sense men's judgment not a

whit.

I could tell a lengthy story, but prefer to cut it short
" As you would prefer our dresses/' the ladies may retort.
Well yes perhaps I would, tho' dare not say the word
But relate a conversation I lately overheard.

Two Broadway belles collided one short, the other

tall-
Dressed in the latest fashions, and a-/-wuterfall.
After mutual addresses, and usual caresses,
Their regards were quickly turned from their faces to
their dresses.

4



74 Fashion's Vagaries.

"My dear," said Lady Short, "your dress seems out of
fashion,"

" If you have not read the styles I tender my com
passion,

" Half a yard or more is added to the dresses once dc
trop,

"And you see /follow Fashion, for Fashion should be
law."

Said Lady Tall, with kindling eye, "I need no information,

"I equal you in knowledge as I equal you in station;

" I wear my dresses short for the short and simple
reason

" That they are more elegant, and adapted to the season.

" Whenever Fashion nonsense quotes, tlio' other ladies
bear it,

" I need not aid its efforts, and I surely will not war II.

"My dress is not a scavenger, to s\veep a dirty street,

"To impede me in my motio'us and ahem ! In liidf /////
feet ;

"And another reason is well, perhaps you may infer it

"We always have acknowledged that the gentlemen
prefer it."

Miss Short had listened patiently, but with a gathering-
frown,

And with a /vW//<y etl'ort to keep her temper <7<//o/

Said she, " You may be right in a part of your defence.

" But I deprecate your hint that 1 lack in common
sense.

"The" season, I admit, is advancing so am I

"And am following Church fashion, which i.s not quite
so h'ujh.



Fashion's Vagaries. 7$

" Long dresses arc more modest and more graceful, all

Mhnit,
" And are wanner far in winter than the wind about the.

feet.

" Tho' gentlemen prefer, to criticise our gaiters,
" If Fashion should forbid they may chafe until they

hate us.
" As to sweeping on the roads Fashion does but aid

the law,

" And shames our ill contractors, who never xwecp at all.
" But then such talk is nonsense / can avoid the dirt,
" And injure not a thread by holding up my skirt.
"Your arguments are fair; but, in fact, they lack in

strength
" \Vhat your notions want in style and your garments

lack in length."
"I perceive," replied the other, "that 'tis useless to

prolong

"The subject any further but truly you are wrong.
"Some, tho' they are convinced, if convinced against

their will,
" Pleased with their own opinion they will retain it

still.

" Fashion is no guide when judgment is rejected,
"Common sense ignored, and sound advice rejected,
" Ere long you will discover that your care to hide

two feet

" Will end in dragging x/./- along the crowded street,
"And when you find ann/in'r tear the ir/m/r from o(T

your back,
"You may regret the xte)> which followed such a track.



'() Fashion's Vagaries.

I study others' comfort and still secure my own;
While you, who study Fashion, stand selfishly alone
Long dresses may be graceful, but in walking I desire
; My hands and feet at liberty ; nor do I much admire
: To see a lady occupy the path for full three yards,
'While gentlemen detest the style which business
haste retards;

I If Fashion runs in Folly's wake and you add to its

train,

I 1 disregard its weak attempt to steal away my brain.''





OD helps those who help themselves,

\Ylm brace the nerves for work,
And luce the world with firm resolves

They will no duty shirk
Who, having faith in^ Providence,

Still in themselves have trust,
And scorn to gain by mean pretence,

Or eat a beggar's crust.



ii.



The course of life is strewn with thorn-,

But flowers sweetly blend,
And many a resting place adorns

It ere we reach the end.
And tlio' we meet with powerful foes,

Who intercept our pace,
We shall recline in calm repo-e

If we but wiu the race.



78 Help Yourselves.

in.

The time is short, 'twill soon be o'er,

And life's warfare shall cease;
Then he who suffered values more

The boon of perfect peace,
The pass of life is " Go ahead !"

Work with untiring zeal,
For all must lie upon the bed

They make of woe or weal.

IV.

Some men presume that God has cast

Their destiny in moulds
Which break with every furnace blast,

And wreck the life it holds,
So fold their hands with meek resolve

Their portion to endure,
And thus with blind reliance solve

The mystery why they're poor-.



Each mortal lives himself to make,

And not to wholly trust
On miracles, that he may take

\Vliat others leave to rust;
To boldly face the foes of life,

And manfully appease
Its war of sorrow, care and strife,

'Till lighting brings him peace.



Help Yourselves. 79



VI.

The world is cold, and -tern, and hard

To those who shrink with fear
From boldly seeking the reward

Which vet'ran soldiers share;
And heaven pities not the man

Who fears his fellow's eye,
And that to do the best he can

lie thinks is but to die.

VII.

Our Infinite Creator's hands

Formed the vast univeise.
And every clement withstands

An idler with a curse.
The great ordeal of life is vork,

Of stern laborious cast,
And woe to him who cares to lurk

In corners of i\\c past.

VIII.

For man was born to live and learn,

And mould each passing hour,
That for each thorn it shall return

An everlasting flower;
And he who doe.- reject the task

Will e'er in gloom repine,
That life is but a hideous mask

Which he cannot define.



8o



Help Yourselves.



IX.

God marked our course and formed the mind,
And every feature noted,

That to some duty to mankind
Each portion be devoted,

To firmly crush each bulwark placed
To intercept our mission,

And not believe that it is based
Upon the world's permission.

X.

Altho' our souls we cannot save,

Or realize our state,
When death shall lay us in the grave

And close the book of fate,
We still can work with ardent zeal

To till the joys of earth,
And boldly stand while others kneel

And plead their lack of worth.



jf

f aitft
j




UK heart may grow weary of lessons of woe,
And the l)ody may quail at each chastening blow,
But courage ! dcaii' friend, tho 7 sick unto death,
Ne'er cease to remember the Icston of Faith
That glorious boon,
Which later or soon
Will infuse us with immortal breath.



Have faith in thyself, have faith in thy (Jod ;
Have faith in His love and His chastening rod;
Have faith in thy mission; have faith in thy life;
Have faith in its joys; still have faith in its grief.

The tale is soon told;

Youth noun must lie old,
And bid a farewell to its strife.

111.

When the terrors of doubt thy soul may suspend,
And ye auger with fear that new evils fun-fend

4*



82 Faitli.

When thy portion is bitter, thy joys have collapsed,
'Tis but for a period, which, when elapsed,

The hands which oppre<.-

The life with distress
Shall yet be entirely unclasped.

IV.

Let Hope, its sweet sister, unite tliee with- Faith,
That the sharp crown of thorns may give place to a

[wreath,
And the sun of mortality still ever shine

With a beautiful promise

Of joy and surprise
In the riches which yet will be thine.

v.

When the storms of adversity scatter thy hopes,
And fair fickle Fortune with promise elopes,

And the seeds of allliction take root in her place.
It is not dishonor it is not disgrace;

Have fait li in 1 lie end

That flower.- will blend,
And all its rank herbage replace.



But Faith without iror/ l -.< is a fragile belief,

And its fragile conceptions will e'er come to grief.

To have faith in a purpose, but use not the mean.'*

By which earthly substance shall gender from dreams



Faith. 83

Is an idle pastime
s' ay, a Tave moral crime,
But an error which ne'ertheless teem.-.

VII.

To have faith in the blessings of (Jod we must iror/.',
Lest the <rales of theory sliatter our bark.
With Hope as our anchor, and Faith as our cro
Let us e'er >teer our course thro' danger and loss,

And bullet the billows,

Not. use them as pillows
To lay our broad shoulders across.

VIII.

And when dangers thicken, and darkness surround,
Obscuring the haven for which we are bound,
Let Faith never wane, and labor ne'er cease,
And the end shall be rich with the harvest of peace;

Then (Jod will sure bios

With a holy car*
That chaos of ills will appease.

IX.

When death shall at last claim thy shadow of life,
And brin.u' to thy spirit immortal relief,
1'recious Faith will sustai.u thee, and nobly will bear
Thy ^lad ransomed soul to that paradise where

Sweet angels await,

At the heavenly .u'ate.
With the pure golden crown thou shall wear.





EE yon guiding star in the sombre horizon,
Shedding' silvery light o'er the gloom of a prison,
AVhere mortals lie bound in the fetters of sin
Where sorrow and grief seem forever shut in
How sweetly it beams,
How radiant gleams,
With a glow that is ne'er on the wane.

u.

Whence is it, poor pris'ner, and what is its name?
And why should it lure thee from sorrow and shame ?
Guide thy faltering steps to a haven of rest,
When the sun's last beams touch the brow of the West

\Vhen glory of light

Weds the gloom of the night,
And thy soul is so sorely oppressed ?

in.

Watch its lingering touch on that poor weary head,
Bowed with sickness and care on a pain stricken bed,



Hope. 85

With a halo of glory reful gently bright,
Transforming aflliction to joy and delight

A luminous shower

Of enduring power,
Of glorious prismatic light.

IV.

Watch yon golden haired mother, in sickening fear,
Whom Fate cruelly holds 'tween a smile and a tear;
Whoso darling first born, in its infancy's charms,
Lies fading, near dying, in love twining arms;
What glorious vision
'Invokes a revision
Of death, and her agony calm?- ''

v.

'Tis a sweet, soothing message from spirits on high,
That her loved treasure will surely not die-
Bourne sweetly and swift on thai eloquent ray
Which the hand of Despair tries so vainly to stav

'Tis that glimmering star,

Which sheds from afar
The bright budding promise of day.

VI.

When compassed around with legions of woe,
And wearily seeking to weaken I lie foe
When storm.- ol affliction and sorrow assail,



86



Hope.



And our energy Hags, and our strength seems to fail,

Inspiringly brig] it

That sweet satellite
Will guide us from valley to dale.



VII.



That, radiant star in the glimmering cast
Is the spirit of Hope that our trouble has ceased
Whose sweet dwelling presence new visions impart,
And faith in whose promise brings joy to the heart.

Then ever hope on,

'Till the glorious sun
Of fruition shall bid us to part.







'KIM povertv stalks, on misery bent,
On cruel desolation and sorrow intent
The home it visits jrnnvs sadder ij) <>'loom,
And shadows fall thick o'er each cheerless room,
So hopeless and dreary,
Its inmates rrow weary
Of life o'er which sorrows e'er loom.

ii.

Sickne.-s is busy, starvation is rife,
And death i.- contending, to ha.-ten the stril'e.
Nature i> cheerless all hope has expired
The last ^leani of joy has coldly retired

And each head is bowed low

In communion of woe,
And .-ped re.- UTOW hidous and weird,

in.

But now o'er the hearth sweet Charity's ray

from heaven, so cheering and ua\



88 Charity.

That sunken eyes beam and cold hearts grow warm,
And a genial glow floods the cowering form

Which hopefully waits,

As a whisper abates,
The parting refrain of the storm.

IV.

Sin has dismantled the beauties of youth,
And evil weeds choked the blossoms of truth;
A tempter has crushed the virgin's birthright,
And the fair head is hid from Purity's sight;

What bittei> she reaps,

Poor child! How she weeps
Thro' days and the long weary nights.

v.

But the world is cold her sisters are pure;
No evil has tempted their strength to endure.
With lips curled in scorn, and heads turned away,
With close gathered skirls they pass on their way;

Strong men and fair maidens,

Who happiness gladdens,
Leave the fallen to weep and to pray.

VI.

But a hand outstretched draws a beautiful veil
O'er the grief bowed form, so lovely tho' frail,
And with gentle caress o'er the bright golden hair
Bids the fair one abandon grief and despair,



Charity.

And in Charity's arms
Her agony calms,
And a smile replaces a tear.

VII.

CHARITY! Lovely, refined and sublime,

Thy presence can conquer the essence of crime,

And mis-led youths find a chastening guide

To sweetly save them from life's downward tide.

May thy spirit e'er beam,

As a beautiful dream,
O'er bulwarks of hardness and pride.

VIII.

Oh! ye of the world, secure from its harm,
When others arc tempted refuse not the balm
Which shall heal their wounds and cover their sin,
That each fallen sister and brother begin

To live life anew,

And each blessing renew,
That joy be forever let in.




otdiei[ of





j EAR the martial note of the bugle proclaim
That the soldier of valor, of honor and fame,
Must gird up his loins for the battle of life,
And boldly encounter its carnage and strife,
Undaunted and brave,
In the face of the grave,
To echo the shout of his chief.

ii.

" Onward !" still " Omvard !" to do and to dare
Its trophies and dangers to win and to share;
With thy motto emblazoned, thy banner unfurled,
Storm the ramparts and forts of the hard callous world,

And each enemy cast

In the grave of the pa>t.
\Vhere armies arc already hurled.

in.

Tho' thy fellows their wounds and defeats may bewail,
Still the world's moral forces with vigor assail;



Soldier of Life. 91

Let thy count-rc wax warm as tin 1 battle grows fierce;
Tlio' the luuee of tlie foe thy bosom may pierce

.Still gallantly on

Till the victory's won,
Nor flee at the sound of reverse.

IV.

Thy Captain has bid thee to fight and endure,
And suffer affliction, that life may be pure;
That thy mind and thy soul shall be grandly refined,
\Vhile all would be worthless by lagging behind.

Then onward forever,

Till futurity sever
The bonds which mortality bind.



Tho' thy heart may grow faint at each word of com
mand,

By the standard of Hope ever valiantly stand,
Till thy God shall reward thee with blessings of peace,
And thy labors and warfare forever shall cease,
And bright realms of bliss
Greet thy soul with a kiss,
And give thee eternal release.




ONG years have passed since childhood's home

shadowed an ideal life,
And shed a halo 'round a head now bent with

toil and strife;
But thoughts will come of those sweet days when sor
row was unknown,

And parents' fostering love enshrined a heart now sad
and lone.

Home! Home! Sweet, sweet Home!
'Tis vain to seek, the wide world through,
twin joys of childhood's home.

ii.

Wanderers in this wilderness face to the cold, hard
world

Our motto, tho', "Excelsior" our banner, tho', un
furled.



Home, Sweet Home. 93

Amidst its triumphs, joys and griefs, wherever we may

roam,

No love so pure, no thought so sweet, as that of child
hood's home.

Home! Home! Sweet, sweet Home!
'Tis vain to seek, the wide world through,
twin joys of childhood's home.

in.

The choicest gifts maturity can lavishly bestow

Can never rend our memory from dear friends, who, now

laid low,
Once ministered life's holiest charms, which shed its

hallowed rays
Upon the happiest dream of life Our childhood's home

and days.

Home! Home! Sweet, s \veet Home!
'Tis vain to seek, the wide world through,
twin joys of childhood's home.




J

TO JOHN HORN, JR., PRES'T KNICKERBOCKER LACROSSE CLUB.




N the field of Lacrosse, on the field of Lacrosse,

Sec opponents in battle array;
Both honor and name, and glory and fame,

\Vill 'pend on the issue to-day.
Let the standard wave o'er champions brave,

And each by his motto swear
Wage a gallant fight, with an arm of might,
Then onward to do and to dare.

Watch the ball in its flight, like a spirit of light,

Speed up from a glorious throw,
On its mission sent, and to conquer intent,

It answers a ready echo
To the cheers of its friends, as its promise forefends

The gain of the laurels of play,
And in its repose both brothers and foes

Clasp hands on the fate of the day.



Lacrosse.

The strutrirle is ^reat, and the powers of Fate

May waver at Victory's door,
And, tiiriiinir aside, will coolly deride

The best cherished hopes of an hour.


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