AT the moment
Puritanism lies under a cloud. Possibly in the rebound from the
present over-laxity the social and moral pendulum may swing that way
again. Such reaction would certainly be welcome if it resulted in
the creation of such home influences as surrounded the early years
of the subject of this sketch, David Lawton.
His father, Edwin Lawton, senior, was born at Fairbanks, and his
mother, Charlotte (nιe Schofield, of Warlow Clough,
Greenfield), was a "Friezlonder." Grandfather Schofield was a
typical Puritan, whose chief reading was the Bible, Baxter's
Saints' Everlasting Rest, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress,
and devotional books. The old gentleman's early influence over the
future poet was great, and perhaps here we are at the source of the
earnest aim so evident in all that he wrote. No need to ask if he
believed in poetry with a purpose!
It should not be inferred, however, that his parents influence was
passive or negligible far from it. They had character, and,
considering the opportunities of their generation, they were well
educated, and right to the end of their days were able to enjoy the
very best our English literature affords. But books were dear, and
hand-loom weavers' wages low, in the middle of the nineteenth
century in Greenfield.
Boarshurst, Greenfield, was their residence on January 26th, 1851,
when the first son, David, was born; his brother Samuel being born
some four years later. Though it was a home of poverty, the mother
was of the type able to make nineteen shillings do the work of a
pound, and so the two boys were reared respectably, and taught to
read and write. At the same time it was necessary that they should "larn
to addle ther meyt," and "into the woollen" the boys went as soon as
they were big enough.
The reign of the cottage industry did not finally wane in Greenfield
till thirty or forty years ago, power-looms and hand-looms existing
side by side for many years. There was no legislation covering home
industries in the 'fifties and 'sixties, so the working day was
rather long, judged by present-day standards. From six or seven in
the morning till eight at night was the common practice, and till
tea or baggin' time on Saturdays.
Notwithstanding all the drawbacks, memories of those days were
happy. There was not the rigidity of relationship between employer
and employee that now obtains; and if the rewards were scanty they
were more equally apportioned (locally) as between profits and
wages. There was scope for craftsmanship, too, and father and son
were both justifiably proud of their workmanship and craft.
As the cottage industry waned and yielded place to the factory
system the son found it necessary to change with the times, and for
a few years experienced the doubtful blessings of the factory
system. In early manhood he worked at Song Mill, Delph; later, at
the Cambrian Mills, Newtown; at Oak View Mills, Greenfield; and,
lastly, as overlooker at Messrs. Bottomley's Greenfield Mills, till
the stoppage of that firm in the eighties.
Almost in each case of change a spell of unemployment was
experienced, and his dialect poem, "Eawt o' Wark," though written
long afterwards, may be taken as recording his memories of these
After learning at home all that his father and mother could teach
him, his thirst for knowledge impelled him to seek other teachers,
and he became one of a band of day pupils at Boarshurst School until
he was about 13 or 14 years of age. This was supplemented by
attendance at evening classes at the Mechanics' Institute, Uppermill. As a youth he acquired a knowledge of Pitman's shorthand, and was
one of the earliest teachers of that subject in Saddleworth. Making
all due acknowledgments, it may be fairly said that he was
self-taught, for the larger and better part of his education was
that gained by himself in trying to teach others. Many clever people
pour scorn upon mutual improvement societies as being hotbeds of
"mutual admiration," but working people who have personal
acquaintance with these aids to culture know what a great factor
they have often proved in training men for public life. A list of
the topics he handled would astonish the reader, for there was
scarcely a literary society in the district to which he did not pay
regular visits during the last forty years of his life. During the
lives of the Saddleworth Literary and Philosophical Society and the
Saddleworth United Mutual Improvement Society he was an active and
interested member. He was always learning, and always eager to
assist others to knowledge. Each of the many papers read by him was
the outcome of exhaustive preparation and careful revision, so that
his mind became exceptionally well stored and ready.
As the son of an ardent teetotaller and pioneer Rechabite, it was to
be expected in his youth and early manhood, when temperance
agitation was more in evidence than at present, that he should be an
earnest and enthusiastic temperance worker. He and a few others were
responsible for carrying on a temperance society in Court Street, Uppermill, and all his life he was a temperance advocate,
contributing sketches, model addresses, verses, and dialogues to the
principal temperance periodicals. In later life the lack of balance
shown by some intemperate temperance men in Parliament offended his
common sense, his belief being that "half a loaf is better than no
bread," especially in politics.
Brought up as he was under Nonconformist and teetotal traditions,
his youth and early manhood were dominated politically by Bright and
Gladstone; but it was their high moral temper, more than their
policy, which won his allegiance, for, while he was a
hero-worshipper who would have satisfied the soul of Thomas Carlyle
himself, he would have said, with Lowell, "I claim the right of
knowing whom I serve." He was one of the earliest members of
Greenfield Liberal Club, strengthening the hands of those who fought
to keep it free from the taint of intoxicants, and acting as
treasurer for some years immediately prior to his final breakdown.
While his Liberalism was consistent, he firmly held that
co-operators and trade unionists were entitled to direct
representation in Parliament, on the principle that "if you want a
thing done, do it yourself; if not, send." In this connection it is
noteworthy that at a conference of co-operators, held at Higher
Hurst, in the Prestwich constituency, in November, 1899, he read a
paper advocating the direct representation of co-operators in
Parliament and on local public bodies, which paper had a cool
reception. Though laid aside by sickness during the Prestwich
by-election 4 of January, 1918, he was deeply interested, and very
shrewdly estimated the result. Under the heading of "Reveille"
readers will find verses which plainly set forth his political
sympathies and beliefs.
His connection with Sunday School work was life-long. As a boy he
was connected with Ebenezer Congregational Sunday School, Uppermill,
and, except for a short time spent in Newtown, Mon., he was a life
member of Ebenezer Congregational Church. Early in the 'eighties,
however, then living at Hey Top, and the Greenfield Wesleyan School
being in need of help, he turned in to assist, and up to his last
illness took a class regularly. In July, 1913, a rather noteworthy
photograph was taken, consisting of a group of no less than eight
male teachers who had served terms of from 27 to 38 years without
break in the same Sunday School. In passing, it may be noted that
father's death made the first break in the group. He must have been
a Sunday School teacher for nearly fifty years.
While early teachings and influences left their impress, his mind
was too liberal and independent to be trammelled by theological
superstitions, no matter how venerable and respectable. An
inveterate and discriminating reader, he thought for himself, and
readers of his poems will find that his creed may be reduced simply
to a belief in the Fatherhood of God, revealed to us through the
life of Christ as recorded in the New Testament; and, as a
corollary, the Brotherhood of Man, with all the duties and
privileges involved in such relationships. Those who knew him best
will agree that in religion he achieved at once breadth, depth, and
simplicity of ideas, manifested with great consistency in his life.
Like Holyoake, he might have said: "I have cared most for
co-operation." In January, 1887, the Greenfield Co-operative Society
decided to appoint a full-time secretary and cashier, and from a
number of applicants he was chosen. Whilst in Newtown (1874-7), the
place of Owen's birth and death, he assisted at the forming of a
co-operative society, and made out its first annual return. The year
1879 saw him back in Greenfield, acting first on the shops and hall
committee (in May), and later on the general committee. Appointed in
1895 on the Oldham District Conference Association, he read for that
body a baker's dozen of papers. As secretary of the Greenfield
Society he spent himself without stint to serve his neighbours in
all the varied ways open to an official of a workers' organisation.
Education was taken up by the Greenfield Society in 1892, and for
the first session the secretary of the general committee was
secretary of the education department as well. Housing schemes were
initiated by the society in 1892, 1897, 1901, and 1909, and as he
was an enthusiastic housing reformer it was natural that a large
share of the work fell to him. During the year 1906 Greenfield
Society celebrated its jubilee, and one of the forms taken was the
presentation to each member of a copy of the history of the society. This he compiled, giving it the title of Village Co-operation;
and with its illustrations of bygone worthies, giving honour where
due, it proved very acceptable.
Saddleworth has seven co-operative societies, and it was one of his
dreams to get them to amalgamate. A joint committee was formed in
1911, and ran a trip to Luton and London, which trip was a great
success from every point of view; and in 1913 the "co-operation of
co-operators" was carried a step further by a joint issue of the
localised magazine, the Wheatsheaf, of which he was appointed
Yet were not his activities or sympathies limited to co-operation,
for in 1904 he was co-opted to the Saddleworth Sub-Committee of the
West Riding Education Committee, on which body he steadily served
till his death; and in 1910 he was made a justice of the Peace for
the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Fortunately for his editor, he was unlike many writers
methodical in filing and dating his pieces, so that there is little
doubt that his first poetic attempt was a hymn composed and sung at
the cornerstone laying of Ebenezer Chapel, Uppermill, on April 27th,
1872; and his first appearance in the weekly press was in the
Oldham Chronicle of July 27th, 1872, with a poem "Passing Away,"
which he would not have included in a later collection; but one
piece of that period was "My Native Hills," first written in August,
1873, which stands in the present volume with very slight
His connection with the Oldham Chronicle lasted to the end,
and the Reporter of Ashton had an equal share of his
attention, contributions appearing in both papers regularly for over
forty years. Occasionally, too, the Herald (Ashton) printed
his poems and sketches.
It was to be expected that the co-operative press should have a
large share of his affection. The Co-operative News and
Millgate Monthly frequently accepted his poetry and sketches;
and he had the distinction of being one among two or three local
editors of the Wheatsheaf whose connection had lasted from
the inception of that magazine, in 1896, by the Co-operative
Wholesale Society, to his death.
Of his work in the dialect he was himself doubtful; yet his Warty
Rhymes (1894) was sold out in a very short time, showing that
his work had its admirers; and his "Owd Weighvur" sketches, which
took the form of a racy handling of current topics in dialect, had a
certain popularity and occasionally drew sharp protests from
anonymous letter writers.
His personal relationships with Brierley and
Laycock were most
cordial. With Trafford Clegg ("Owd Weighvur," Rochdale) he exchanged
many letters; Waugh, I think, he never met; but Laycock and he met
occasionally, and had the highest regard for each other. They were
certainly very similar in spirit and aim, however they might differ
in ability and popularity.
At the beginning of the present century, Dr. Joseph Wright, of
Oxford, brought out a Dialect Dictionary, and the "dark and
peculiar" words used by local weavers furnished a rich mine, which
was enthusiastically and thoroughly worked by "Th' Owd Weighvur,"
whose assistance was accepted and gratefully acknowledged by Dr.
Wright in his work.
Any attempt on my part to estimate his position in letters would be
out of place, and that task is left to others, though with some
confidence. One feature of his work merits a remark, and that is his
fondness for the sonnet. According to Henry Morley, the true sonnet
consists of two quatrains and a sestet or two tercets. The
Elizabethans, including Shakespeare, did not observe this rigidly;
and in the accompanying pages interested readers may note that the
fourteen-line form is very varied in treatment, even where two or
more sonnets are utilised to make up one poem. Some of them have
been very much admired by competent critics.
One personal word may be allowed which is, that no children could
possibly desire a more ideal father. In all his home relationships
he was fortunate. His first marriage was in August, 1875, to Esther
Jane Haigh, of Uppermill, who died after an all-too-brief married
life; and in February, 1880, he married Mary Sykes, of Greenfield,
who survives him. For the last ten years his health had not been
robust, following on a breakdown early in 1908; but he had been able
to maintain his usual activities. The extra strain of the war, with
its many varied calls, and its depressing effect on his sensitive
nature, finally bore him down, and on October 20th, 1917, he was
taken with a seizure whilst at a committee meeting. After a slight
rally he gradually weakened, despite his ardent desire to recover,
until on April 20th, 1918, he breathed his last at his home, Spring
There now remains the very pleasant duty of thanking the many
friends whose sincere kindness has made this edition possible;
likewise the editors of the Oldham Chronicle, Ashton
Reporter, Ashton Herald, Co-operative News, and
Millgate Monthly for the privilege of reprinting pieces which
have appeared in their periodicals. If any rights have been
infringed, it has been done unwittingly, and I trust this
explanation will be accepted.
He had made a tentative collection of his pieces, with a title and
preface, which are here adopted; but his collection has been
extended and re-arranged, with the aim of making it thoroughly
representative. In treating the dialect the aim has been to make the
spelling phonetic, without any unnecessary departure from the
accepted English spelling. Some critics may smile at some of the
pieces included, but neighbours and friends will know the reason for
their appearance, so the critics may smile if they wish.
Like Milton's Samson (with one word altered), he may now be left :
Nothing is here for tears; nothing to wail
Or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise or blame; nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a life so noble.
who find a difficulty in understanding the dialect would be helped
by consulting F. E. Taylor's Folk-speech of South Lancashire,
or, if near a good reference library, Dr. Joseph Wright's Dialect
WEBBS FROM FANCY'S
who is he? say whence he came?
And who to him his wondrous art hath taught?
Who lit his soul with bright celestial flame?
And gave him words to speak his glowing thought?
God gave the poet; gave to him his theme,
Created him his purpose to fulfil;
Unfolded things to him from Nature's scheme,
Bestowed upon his song its power to thrill.
And gave him ears to hear, and eyes to see,
What others hear, see, know not of at all;
Then charged him thus, "My faithful servant be
Sing on until thou hear'st thy Master's call."
And so he sings the theme God gave to sing:
The beautiful and true in everything.
NEW YEAR THOUGHTS.
chapter in life's book is sealed,
Another page has opened fresh and white,
And on its surface pure what we shall write
We cannot tell; the future's unrevealed,
And wisely from our anxious eyes concealed.
But we shall make it bad or good, at will,
Just as the moments given to us we fill;
The seeds we sow decide our harvest yield:
Our words may die, our deeds immortal are,
And live to bless or curse us through the years,
To bring us joy, or fill our eyes with tears,
And all our hopes of coming brightness mar.
For what we do with good or ill is rife;
Our present moulds the future of our life.
How all-important, then, that we should live,
So that our future must be filled with good,
A healthful influence round about us give,
A holy effluence from our souls enflood
The minds of those with whom we daily meet;
For what we are we make our fellows, too.
The tracks we leave behind us with our feet
Some take as marks to show them what to do.
Each hour the flame within we should renew
With living coals from God's high altar fire.
That by our spirit's warmth we may imbue
Some other souls with pure and high desire.
Because we live 'mongst others, Saviour, we
Should strive to grow each year more like to Thee.
Nature, waking from her winter death,
Puts off her chilly shroud of frozen snow,
And, quicken'd by sweet Spring's congenial breath,
She seems once more with vigorous life aglow;
And robes herself anew in living green,
Adorned with gorgeous flowers of varied hue;
The sunlight beams upon her lovely sheen,
And white clouds sail across a sky of blue.
Fit emblem this of resurrection's morn,
When we, obedient to the trump of doom,
Shall wake from death, put off this shroud earth-born,
And rise victorious o'er the cold, dark tomb,
Bask in the rays of Christ our Sun and King:
Life's winter changed for heaven's eternal spring.
THE BIRTH OF SPRING.
Sun hath kiss'd the Earth to life again:
Each day he longer dotes upon her charms,
And she, rejoicing in his loving arms,
Forgets his recent coldness and her pain,
For joy that she doth still his love retain;
And, smiling up into his genial face,
To please him, drapes herself anew with grace,
And dons her beauties all, a glorious train.
The while he doth with loving eye survey
The wondrous fashion of her gorgeous dress,
Adorned with choicest blooming blossoms gay,
He's proud to own so much of loveliness;
And she, to crown his joy, doth bear and bring
To him their beauteous child, fair happy Spring.
THE EARTH AND THE SUN.
patiently poor shivering Earth has borne
Her long estrangement from Sol's genial arms;
And now his fitful warmth she does not scorn,
But smiles as if she'd win him by her charms
Back to his former love and faithfulness,
Entrance him with her sweet and wondrous grace;
And all her frame throbs at his fond caress
As she doth rest again in his embrace.
Dear Earth, so true and patient in thy love,
We would rejoice with thee in thy spring bliss,
Learn from thee how to love our Sun above;
And well 'twou1d be to copy thee in this
That thou unmurmuringly dost hope and wait,
However cold and drear thy wintry state.
A LESSON FROM THE BIRDS.
ONCE as I wandered forth in early spring,
To gaze on Nature newly robed and fair,
I listened to a lark on soaring wing
Which poured its melody upon the air.
Then other warblers seemed to catch its strain,
For soon the dell was vocal with their song.
Right merrily each sang its glad refrain,
Their joyful music blending sweet and long.
Well pleased I heard their harmony, for I
Am fond of Nature's music anywhere;
And as I watched them hop about or fly,
I seemed to hear them every one declare,
From soaring lark to robin perched on spray,
"We sing our songs in God's appointed way."
Ah well, I thought, e'en from the feathery throng
I may a useful lesson learn to-day.
For cheerfully doth each one sing its song,
However mean may seem its humble lay.
They cannot all be larks and nightingales,
Or pour their song on swift up-soaring wing;
So with their melody they fill the vales,
Content from blossomed bough or hedge to sing.
I too, like them, should pour my humble strain;
At worst 'twere only wasted on the air,
But it, perchance, may soothe the bitter pain
Of some lone heart bowed with its load of care,
And scatter seeds of good which yet shall spring
A harvest for the garners of the King.
A SABBATH WALK IN SPRING.
ONE Sabbath morn I rambled forth
The meadow paths along;
The breath of Spring blew o'er the earth,
The groves were full of song.
Bright buttercups and daisies sweet
Upreared their tiny forms,
The primrose blossomed at my feet,
Fair nursling of the storms.
As I inhaled the balmy breeze
Amid the calm around,
And paused beneath the new-leaved trees,
A holy bliss I found.
My soul, which had been tossed about
With anguish sharp and keen,
Now cast away its gloom and doubt,
And revelled in the scene.
Within my heart faith's smouldering flame,
Earth's gladness seemed to fan:
Ah, me! how Nature puts to shame
Unthankful, murmuring man!
I saw, as I'd ne'er seen before,
The sin of faithlessness
Did we regard our mercies more,
Our trials would seem less.
Thus while amid the vales I stood
In quietness alone:
I felt my Maker must be good
Were He but rightly known.
"My Father, God, in all things kind,"
With quickening heart I cried,
"Thee in Thy works I love to find,
And feel Thee at my side.
"O touch these poor weak eyes of mine
And give them power to see
Thyself in every object shine,
Look through all things to Thee.
And as Thou dost the earth renew
From winter's wide decay,
So now my waiting soul imbue
With trust and love alway.
"Then shall my spirit in Thee rest
As seasons come and go,
And ever with Thy presence blest,
My cup shall overflow
Till Thy fair angel, Death, shall come,
A crown of life to bring,
And lead me to Thy glorious home,
Thy heaven's unending spring."
A FORETASTE OF SUMMER.
'TWAS April, and the meadow grass was green;
The glorious Sun shone in a cloudless sky,
No envious mists his genial rays between:
Fair Nature smiled to see him climb so high;
It seemed a day of summer in the spring ―
An April imitation of July;
The heat not yet oppressing everything,
But promising it would do by and by.
Ah, well, I thought, while pausing in the heat;
The toil-drops trickling slowly down my brow,
A foretaste this of coming summer sweet,
From which I read a lesson needed now:
'Tis so in life. Like winter, trials past
But sweeten foretastes here of heaven at last.
WE bid thee welcome, lovely month of
Thou fairest daughter of thy mother, Spring:
With blooming cheeks, all wet with April's showers,
The bridal wreath of Nature thou dost bring,
And with it decks her brow; while in her pride
She drapes herself anew in rich array.
Thy magic power is seen on every side,
Thy presence bursting buds and leaves betray;
We hear thy voice ring through the verdant woods,
Thy footsteps we can trace on the glad earth,
And see thy smile reflected in the floods:
To what sweet things thou dost give happy birth.
And as thou fill'st with flowers each dell and dale,
Thy advent, gentle May, with joy we hail.
DELIGHTFUL month, thou manhood of the year,
When everything is full of active life,
And trees and flowers engage in friendly strife
Which shall the most luxuriant appear.
Ripe meadows green await the reaper's blade,
With buttercups and daisies sprinkled o'er;
The cuckoo's mellow notes ring through the glade
And joyous birds their gladsome ditties pour;
And Nature all her summer hues displays,
As if she boasted of her varied dress;
Morn, noon, and eve in different sheen arrays ―
So lavish is she of her loveliness.
With joy we hail thy genial, radiant noon,
Thou queen of summer months, all-glorious June.
A SUMMER SKETCH.
BENEATH tall, spreading trees I pause and dream;
Above me stretches heaven's wide arch of blue;
High distant mountains rise and bound my view;
Anon I hear the gurgling of the stream
Which shimmers past yon hedge, where roses teem
In wild luxuriance, and woodbine floats
Its sweet perfume. The cuckoo's mellow notes
Ring through the vale; the keen-edged scythe's a-gleam
In meadows where the ripening grass doth seem
To bow expectant of the reaper's stroke.
Earth hath put on her sweetest, loveliest cloak;
With summer joy her face is all abeam,
Upturned to God in gladsome thankfulness,
For that He doth with beauty plenty bless.
SWEET Summer's dead; the leaves are brown;
The fields look poor, and old, and bare;
The rough winds tear dead branches down ―
Decay and death are everywhere.
Bright Summer's gone; the flowers are dead,
Save just a few that linger on,
Like memories sweet of joys long sped,
When this life's summertime is gone.
The hills, erst bright with heather bloom,
Look dull and grey and cold as steel;
Their rugged peaks enwrapped in gloom
Suggest how keen the blasts they feel.
Yes, Summer's dead: her beauteous form,
So late in gorgeous hues bedecked,
Lies cold and stiff, beat down by storm
By bitter frost completely wrecked.
Alas! that things so fair should die!
That seasons bright should pass away;
And fruitfulness and warmth should fly,
Or ever yield to swift decay.
But there is hope, through Winter's gloom
Comes Spring's enchanting loveliness;
So we, by passing through the tomb,
Shall reach our highest blessedness.
THE wind moans sadly through the forest trees,
The faded leaves are scattered by the blast;
And everything the eye observant sees,
Shows that sweet Summer now is dying fast.
The dales, erst radiant with the golden broom,
Have nought but leafless shrubs and withering
The hills, so lately clad in heather bloom,
And washed by genial Summer's gentlest showers,
Are bleak and barren, for once more the cold
Helps on the mouldering finger of decay,
And Nature in her faded dress looks old,
But this she seeks to hide by shortening day,
And asks the ever-sympathising Sun
Just for her sake to take a shorter run.
The Sun, complying with his love's request,
Becomes a laggard and doth later rise;
And sooner every day he seeks the west,
As though in haste to quit our clouded skies.
Sweet Nature seems to miss his long embrace,
And languish for his full and genial smile;
But bears his lengthening absence with good grace,
Because she did request it for awhile.
And then she lives in hopes of his return,
Believes that he to her will e'er be true;
While in her heart the fond desire doth burn
Again to see him climbing heaven's bright blue
Once more to feel his loving, long embrace,
And gaze into his ever-glorious face.
AUTUMN hath painted the woodlands brown,
Made sober the tints of the meadows wide:
The faded leaves come fluttering down
And gather in heaps on every side;
And as they crackle beneath my feet,
Or whisper softly over my head,
They seem to ask me if I am meet
To mingle, as they do, with the dead.
I pause and listen to what they say;
I know that no idle words they speak
"We have done our work, and sink away
To rest on the earth so bare and bleak.
We have helped to purify the air,
We have nursed the buds and blossoms
The fruits have had our sheltering care
From the chilly winds and frosts of night.
"And now they are safely gathered in,
And we have answered a useful end;
To live for nothing we think is sin,
And in death new life to earth we send:
So gladly we pass to our decay
Since e'en in that we are useful still;
Our one desire is but to obey
The all-wise and loving Maker's will.
"O life is a sweet and precious loan,
To be wisely used, and rightly spent;
It has heights and depths of joy unknown,
When made to answer its high intent:
And no truer bliss we here may know
Than the joy a task completed gives;
And now away on the winds we go
We die, as everything else that lives."
Wisely and well ye speak, O leaves
Your words are a strong reproach to me:
The lessons you give my heart receives,
And longingly prays, like you, to be
Content with the work God hath assigned,
With which He giveth His peaceful rest;
And at last, like you, O may I find
My work with goodliest fruitage blest.
AN AUTUMN EVENING SCENE.
SLOW sinks the sun behind the western hills,
Deep shadows softly creep o'er vale and stream;
And gratitude for harvest plenty fills
The farmer's heart, as homeward with his team
He gladly turns, and ceases from his toil,
When from yon fane the hour of rest doth chime.
Well pleased he is to find his weary moil
The ploughing, sowing, watching, waiting time,
Rewarded by the plenty which doth reign
Around, for glowing Autumn still is young,
And from her lap she scatters o'er the plain
The fruitage he hath hoped and worked for long:
With gladsome eyes he views the glorious feast,
God's rich provision made for man and beast.
THE year is dying with all else around;
For Nature now doth languish in decay,
And withered leaves lie strewn upon the ground;
The summer youth and glory's passed away.
Our years are like the leaves: in life's young spring
They bud and bloom to summer beauty bright;
They droop and fade away with everything
That with them grew; and pass into the night.
The withered leaves die back to earth again,
Whence they all sprang; and so the years go back
To the eternal past beyond our ken,
And we are going with them on their track.
The withered leaves would teach us as they lie,
If we but read the lesson of their life,
Both how we ought to live, and how to die,
And where our souls might end their pain and strife.
'Tis ours to read the lesson carefully,
For Nature seeks to teach by all she does;
And if we only watched her prayerfully,
What wondrous truths she would reveal to us!
IN THE OPEN AIR.
HIE TO THE FIELDS.
HIE to the fields, for the fields are green,
With patches of yellow and white between,
Where daisies and cowslips and kingcups grow,
And the sorrels their red-tipped banners show.
Now the hedgerows are dressing in radiant leaves,
'Neath whose sweet cover the throstle weaves
Her wonderful nest, and rears her young,
Whilst her watchful mate pours forth his song.
Hie to the woods, for the trees are green,
With a green the fairest that ever was seen;
In varied hues on the fir and beech
You can see it as far as the eye can reach.
Here all is growth, and song, and love,
From the turf beneath to the leaves above,
For genial Spring with her magic wand
Hath made our earth an enchanted land.
Hie to the hills, for the hills are green,
With springing heather and bilberry sheen,
And the grass, and fern, and moss, and ling
Their fairy arms in the breezes fling;
Thrilled through and through with a joyous life
That knows no carking care or strife,
But drinks in the light and balmy air,
And daily and hourly grows more fair.
Ye slaves of the desk, in the dingy town,
With its dismal walls of a blackened brown,
Run off to Nature, who waits to bless
And soothe your brows with a fond caress.
Her blues and greens are a sweet surprise
And a restful boon to aching eyes;
Then leave for a day the toil that kills,
And hie to the fields and woods and hills.
TO AN EARLY PRIMROSE.
early blossom, born before thy time;
Lured by a fleeting mildness into life;
Deceived by this our ever-changeful clime,
Thou hast come forth before the fitful strife
'Twixt winter's cold and springtide warmth is o'er;
And soon the bitter frost-winds passing by
Will make thee droop away to rise no more,
Alas! that pure sweet beauty e'er should die.
But thou, dear prophet of the coming spring,
Wilt not have lived thy little life in vain,
Since this thy coming early here doth bring
Good tidings of glad May's approaching reign,
And teaches me, in life's wild wintry clime,
To hope, and look for heaven's bright summer-time.
TO A LARK.
brown minstrel! who dost soar and sing,
And pour thy liquid sweetness on the air,
So full of gladness and so free from care,
Thou still dost mount as if on tireless wing:
How full of joy thou art, thou tiny thing,
Thou speck of life half lost in heaven's bright blue;
I strain mine eyes to keep thee well in view,
And wonder, as thy notes above me ring,
That thy small throat can fill heaven's arch with song.
Heaven surely taught thee that wild, wondrous strain,
That listening mortals might look up, and gain
A simple faith, like thine, to make them strong:
To rise above earth's all-encumbering dust,
And work, and soar, and sing, because they must.
IN LEAFY GLADE.
let me rest embow'rd in leafy glade,
And lie upon this soft luxuriant grass,
Within this palace of bright greenery made,
And watch yon silvery brooklet rippling past,
And smile upon the flowers that bend and kiss,
With laughing lips, its shining crystal face.
Sure never were a fairer scene than this;
Scarce heaven itself need be a lovelier place.
Here brook and breeze their murmurous music blend,
And hawthorn blooms thick on the hedgerows lie;
Sweet hyacinths in wild profusion lend
Their rich perfume, and please both nose and eye.
Thus Nature thrills me with her witching charms,
And wraps me round and round with loving arms.
A QUIET SPOT.
my feet the river winds away,
Deep, cool, and slow, with surface smooth as glass;
Flower-scented zephyrs kiss me as they pass
O'er meadows newly mown awhile to stray,
And gather sweetness from the new-made hay;
Then bear their stolen treasure to the town,
And scatter life, and health, and fragrance down
Upon the toilers in the heat of day.
High o'er my head the leafy branches play
At hide and seek in one another's shade;
The wild rose and the woodbine here have made
A bower where angel feet might love to stay.
All undisturbed the glad birds sing their psalm,
And lull my soul into a holy calm.
THE SUN AND THE CLOUD.
sun, which erst had shone so clear and bright.
Was hidden for a time behind a cloud,
Whose heavy, thick'ning folds as black as night.
Seemed all his former glory to enshroud.
And as its shadows on the landscape fell,
Each warbling songster ceased its cheerful lay;
And silence reigned o'er woodland, dale, and dell,
As if they thought it night instead of day.
Now while I stood amid the gloom alone,
Well knowing that the sun was shining still,
I thought: Here is a lesson plainly shown,
Could we but rightly see life's seeming ill,
We then should know when darkness doth enshroud,
God's love is shining on behind the cloud.
HOW FAIR IS EARTH.
fair, how passing fair this world of ours!
In spite of death and change, the fruit of sin,
For God has decked it o'er, without, within,
With things of beauty and with matchless flowers.
It moves amid heaven's glorious star-gemmed bowers,
Where beam for ever bright celestial blooms
Whose varied light all boundless space illumes,
And scatters radiance wide in ceaseless showers.
Deep in old ocean's depths lie brilliant dowers
Sweet forms of sparkling beauty spring and wave,
Where else would only be a dismal grave.
Thus lavishly our God doth use His powers,
That we in sky and earth and sea may find
Are placed His sweet love-tokens to mankind.
watched the mower, mowing the grass
Which fell 'neath the strokes of his keen-edged blade,
I saw there was nothing his scythe might pass,
For the buds and the flowers alike were laid
With the grass which formed the swathe that he made,
And were left to wither and die away,
In the sweltering heat of a hot June day,
And never a shrub or a tree to shade
From the burning sun with his noontide glare;
And as he moved on, not one would he spare,
No matter how fair, no matter how bright,
His scythe cut the flowers as well as the grass;
No difference it made through what it might pass,
For still he worked on, from morning till night.
I thought, as I saw the pretty things lie
All strewn with the grass they'd been growing near,
Though silent they seem, they speak to the eye ―
A lesson of life and death is taught here,
For then I saw the similitude clear;
The field is the world, and we are the grass,
And the buds and the flowers, through which doth pass
The scythe of the mower, Death, whom we fear.
The good and the bad together are thrown,
And all are alike by the mower mown.
He cares not a jot for wealth or state,
The rich and the poor to him are the same;
One swing of his scythe cuts the small and the great,
Nor turns he aside for wisdom or fame.
THE STORM GOD.
lightning played with many a vivid flash,
And heavy, awful thunder loudly roared,
While Earth stood trembling 'neath each dreadful
And angry clouds their myriad torrents poured.
The mighty rushing wind with violence shook
The stalwart trees, and laid them on the ground;
The gathering waters swelled the tiny brook
Into a surging flood, whose deafening sound
And widening sweep were terrible, yet grand.
The elements in all their fury raged,
And worked destruction dire on every hand,
As if in deep revenge they were engaged.
It was the Storm God from his sleep
And on the offending Earth his anger
Now, when his fury somewhat was assuaged,
The Earth her torn and bleeding bosom bared
Before the Sun, and said she was outraged,
And mourned because so badly she had fared;
And he, who hitherto had held his peace,
Now turned upon the god with angry eye,
And bade him from his evil-working cease;
And then he wished to know the reason why
Such mischief had been done unto his bride;
While vengeance deep he vowed, with rising ire,
Until the god in fear forgot his pride,
And fled before the dreadful sword of fire,
To hide himself away in his affright
Amongst the deepest, blackest shades
And then the Sun, with many a loving smile,
Enfolded Earth within his warm embrace;
And tenderly he nursed her for awhile,
Kissing her wounds, and healing each sore place,
Until, reviving from her drooping state,
She gave him thanks for all his loving care,
And ceased to mourn her hard and bitter fate.
Then, clad anew in verdure rich and rare,
She stood before the Sun his gorgeous bride,
In all her newest loveliness arrayed;
And he beheld her with a look of pride.
While his refulgence brightly round her played;
And she, rejoicing in her
Forgot the Storm God in his heights
ADDRESS TO THE SUN.
me! what hast thou seen of good and ill
Since first thy glorious eye on nature gazed;
Thou saw'st primeval man earth's bosom till,
And when he sinned, methinks thou wast amazed
That he should deem his state so little worth
As thus to bring Heaven's curse upon his head.
"Thou saw'st him from fair Eden driven forth,
And made to fight with Nature for his bread;
Henceforth an heir of ills and woes untold,
And lost to Nature, to himself, and God;
By sins unwept to greater sins made bold,
He seems defiant of th' avenging rod;
And piles his crimes on high with
All heedless of his Maker's wise
And thou, pure orb, behold'st with wondering face
Weak man's rebellion 'gainst his Maker's laws,
Whilst thou pursu'd thy course far out in space,
Obedient ever to thy Great First Cause;
And deem'st it strange that man, creation's crown,
Endowed with reason, should his Maker slight;
Nor ever bow in humble reverence down,
And own his great Creator's love and might.
And thou wouldst weep, were tears but given to thee,
For crimes which wicked mortals do not heed;
Alas! that they see not as thou dost see,
All blinded by their lusts and hateful greed.
Would that they had thy purity and
Instead of all their sinfulness and
Majestic orb, shine on, and may the light
Thou shedd'st abroad but typify the blaze
Of glory which shall drive away our night
Of sin and error with its burning rays.
Shineon, and mayst thou yet behold our earth
Than Eden was, a thousandfold more fair;
Wherein all beauteous things of heavenly birth
Shall bloom immortal in the sinless air.
Shine on, and may our weak and sinful race
Rise up to manhood, strong, and pure, and free;
Sink in oblivion all their past disgrace,
Godlike in all that they can God-like be.
Shine, till shall cease all death and
Till man regenerate, earth renewed
TO A MOUNTAIN STREAM.
babbling stream, so full of life and glee,
Edged in by towering rocks and hoary hills;
Fed by a score of tiny, tinkling rills,
Which haste to join in company with thee,
And run with thee adown thy rocky bed,
Or rest in thy still pools so clear and deep,
Whose crystal depths seem undisturbed asleep,
As they reflect the blue sky o'er my head.
Here Nature hath left touches of her art
More subtle than the clumsy work of man.
Who could to such a solitude impart
One half the charms that please me as I scan
This moorland range, yon rugged rocks up-piled?
Sure Nature is most lovely where most wild.
Flow on, glad stream, for thou hast work to do ―
Sweet flow'rets long for thy refreshing kiss,
Green meadows, too, would thy glad presence miss:
Man, whom thou serv'st so well, would miss thee too,
Should thou refuse to run thy usual course;
But thou dost readily to him submit,
And yield obediently thy potent force
In just such service as to him seems fit.
Yea, thou so willing art and quick to serve,
I seem to hear thee singing on thy way:
"I must not ever from my pathway swerve,
Or spend my strength on naught but bootless play."
Run on, wise stream; I learn of thy rich grace,
To be a willing servant of my race.
BETWEEN TWO HILLS.
two hills in solitude profound,
Thou liest, sweet infant river, on their lap,
While with their mighty arms they thee enwrap
In holy sabbath hush the whole week round.
Born 'mid this utter wildness where no sound
Breaks the eternal silence of the rocks,
Save thy soft, murmurous voice, or bleating flocks,
Or cry of wandering bird; thou art unbound
As yet by any work of tyrant man:
Here thou dost sing in happy quietude,
Or pause in crystal pools with moss bestrewed,
As pure and free as when thy race began;
Untouched by any art save Nature's own,
Thou hold'st me with a charm that's thine alone.
Dear tiny brooklet, nursling of the hills,
So gladly hasting seaward on thy way,
Hast thou no little word for me to-day?
Whence comes the peace which thy pure bosom fills?
The joy that every crystal droplet thrills?
Methinks I hear thee, softly whispering, say,
"I do my work as God appoints each day,
And He this inward joy and peace instils;
I just obey Him, and obedience brings
This sweet reward which nothing can destroy:
To be what He doth will that is my joy.
Wouldst thou be blest as I? these are the springs
From whence I draw all blessings; they are thine;
And free to all, exhaustless and divine."
I ponder well these wise, true words of thine,
And listen with a reverent ear, sweet brook;
'Twere well to put thy whisperings in a book;
That other eyes may see as well as mine,
And other ears may hear thy mystic sense,
Learn that obedience is the law of life,
And waywardness the cause of all our strife,
While loving service hath full recompense.
A pearl of priceless worth I here have found,
Myself against my lower self to guard;
Unselfishness with inward peace is crowned,
Obedience is at once its own reward.
When from the heart all pride and self are torn,
Then highest joy from lowliest toil is born.
in this lovely glade I see a burn
Meandering 'mid the willows and the grass,
Where royal kingcups smile to see it pass.
Now at a sudden bank it takes a turn,
And forms a pool which, like Aquarius' urn,
O'erflows, and leaping forth glad to be free,
The droplets dance and glitter in their glee,
As if restraint and stillness they would spurn.
The wild flowers in its pathway stoop to kiss
Its shining lips, then start to see their charms
Reflected in its face; so like shy miss,
Who coyly turns and flees her lover's arms,
They now erect their tiny forms in air,
And blush to see that they are all so fair.
other lands and brighter climes the classic bards have
But unto thee, dear Greenfield vale, my humbler harp is
And though the proud and scornful world may say it knows
That does not make thee seem less fair, thou sweet
What though no lordly castles old adorn thy rugged
Nor winding through thy sheltered groves no mighty river
And thou so long hast been to fame and song alike
Thou hast a quiet loveliness, a beauty all thy own.
Oft when the breaking morn hath tinged thy hills with
I've left my lowly roof awhile, thy beauties to behold,
And watched the gloomy shadows fly before the sun's
As he, above thy eastern range, began his daily race.
And in the hush of eventide I've climbed thy brows to
Or knelt upon some mossy bank of limpid rill to drink,
Then paused awhile to watch the gorgeous sunset glories
Across the spreading landscape wide, and mingled with
And when the full-orbed moon doth drive her silvery
Thou mak'st a pleasing picture on the background of the
The contour of thy rugged peaks is sketched on heaven's
While hill, and dale, and deep ravine in light and shade
Forth from their sheltering trees thy scattered, quaint,
And, glittering high above, the stars their silent
While, 'neath old Wharmton's fir-clad slope just like a
The Tame flows on its seaward course and passes out of
True, some have gone from thee to seek in other lands a
But let me have in thee a cot, I would not wish to roam,
For dearer far doth seem to me thy heath-clad moorland
Than all the oft-sung beauties of some fertile foreign
True, other lands have milder climes and skies more blue
And fruitful vines and orange-groves are scattered far
But where the happy cottage homes that may compare with
And where in all the world, the home I would exchange
MY NATIVE HILLS.
native hills! my native hills!
Majestic, wild, and grand;
What awe ofttimes my bosom fills,
When at their feet I stand.
I yonder see old Alder frown,
And Alphin rising high;
While Wharmton hoar its fir-clad crown
Uprears against the sky.
I love their every rugged peak
And smiling heathery brow;
Though silent, yet to me they speak
They're speaking even now.
Their verdant slopes tell of the love
That made them all so fair;
Their rocky fingers point above
Remind me God is there.
I love to see their summits tower
Against the dark blue sky;
Emblems to me of that Great Power
Which nought can e'er destroy.
Though storms arise, and torrents teem,
Firm, fixed, and ever sure,
Like God, immutable they seem
From age to age endure.
The groves upon their lovely steeps
Wave in the passing breeze,
And many a quiet homestead peeps
From out its nest of trees.
Those lowly cots with love are bright,
The fear of God is there,
The sons are men who love the right,
The daughters chaste and fair.
From many homes on yon hillside
The song of praise doth rise;
And prayer ascends at eventide,
Like incense to the skies.
Far happier such a state as this,
It deeper joys can show,
A higher, holier, purer bliss,
Than aught mere worldlings know.
My native hills! my native hills!
For ever dear to me;
What joy ofttimes my bosom thrills
When I your beauties see.
Long may your giant arms enclasp
Each quiet nook and dell,
And keep within your mighty grasp
Bright homes where love doth dwell.
A SUNSET THOUGHT.
I watched a sunset afterglow:
Bright clouds of crimson rimmed with burnished
And in a molten sea of glory roll'd,
Rose in the western sky so grand and slow.
And as they rose their beauty seemed to grow
Until they broke in fragments o'er heaven's blue,
Or formed themselves in curious shapes anew
And made a gorgeous, ever-changing show.
Then, as I saw their colouring fade away
Before the gathering gloom of coming night,
I thought "E'en as this glory doth eclipse noonday,
With all its splendour of unclouded light,
'Tis so with men a good life's afterglow
Doth greater blessings than the life itself bestow."
A SABBATH AFTERNOON AMONG THE HILLS.
solitude! O, peaceful hour!
When I can leave the busy world behind,
And rest my wearied body, calm my mind
'Mid these grand hills, fit emblems of God's power,
Whose forms, like giant pillars, skyward tower
And form a glorious temple where I feel
It is a blessed thing to come and kneel
Before my Father, God not slavish cower
Beneath an awful judge of aspect sour;
But with the faith and freedom of a child
Rejoice in His dear loving presence mild,
Because He doth on me His blessing shower,
And bids me cease from all corroding care
And lends a loving ear to all my prayer.
I thank Thee, Father, for this inward rest,
For solitude, and nature's holy calm,
Which soothe my spirit as with heavenly balm
Diffuse a Sabbath peace within my breast,
And make me feel how greatly I am blest
Because I am an object of Thy care,
And Thou art ever with me everywhere.
Thy love on everything I see imprest,
While here I seem to rest in Thy embrace.
Earth has no joy that can with this compare,
To gaze enraptured into Thy dear face,
And read the wondrous love that's written there.
For me, a worm of earth so weak and small
A love which all my being doth enthrall.
I want to know more perfectly Thy will,
That mine with Thine may henceforth blended be.
O, lead me ever onward, upward still,
Through joy or sorrow, nearer, Lord, to Thee.
Thy gracious purpose in my nature wrought,
Shall make me strong so that I cannot fall,
And Thou wilt teach me all I shall be taught;
Love teaches, and love learns the best of all.
Here, on this peaceful Sabbath afternoon,
By faith I take Thy hand and grasp it tight;
I know I shall behold Thee, Jesus, soon,
And Thou wilt give to me my spirit's sight,
Bid darkness cease, the veil of flesh remove,
And let me revel in Thy glorious love.
THE WORKS OF GOD.
Lord, hast made the flowers,
And all things else so fair;
Help us to feel Thy tender love
Around us everywhere.
Thy hand hath clothed the fields
With grass and daisies bright;
And made the hedgerows, far and wide,
With hawthorn blossom white.
The elm and towering pine
In foliage rich arrayed;
And oak, and ash, and sycamore,
In different hues displayed.
All these Thy works proclaim
Thy matchless skill and care,
And tell us that Thy tender love
Is round us everywhere.
STUDIES FROM LIFE.
OLD Joe's a
weaver, hale and strong,
Of three score years and ten;
And though he's lived and worked so long
He'd beat some younger men.
Ask you the secret of his health
And cheerfulness of heart?
Contentment is his only wealth,
He's played a true man's part.
For he has been no idle drone
Within the human hive,
The ale bench he has never known,
Nor sought by wrong to thrive.
But miles and miles of cloth he's made
Both good, and stout, and strong;
Mankind are better, for his trade
Hath helped the world along.
While many a lordling in his pride
Has wasted time and health,
And all his talents misapplied
In squandering his wealth;
Old Joe has stored his growing mind
With knowledge pure and free,
And gladly taught to those inclined
Whate'er would useful be.
On Sundays in his hosen grey,
And coat of ancient make,
To Sabbath school he wends his way,
A class of lads to take.
The youngsters love his genial smile,
And hearty, homely speech,
Because they know him free from guile,
To do what he doth teach.
On weeknights oft the sick and poor
He visits in their need,
Nor turns he empty from his door
The beggars when they plead.
Thus his unselfish life is passed
In useful, loving toil;
And he'll go on until at last
He leaves this mortal coil.
And God, methinks, who all has known,
When life's rewards are given,
The humble weaver's work will own,
And grant him rest in heaven.
THE LIFEBOAT CREW.
me not of deeds of daring
Done on gory battle plains,
Where the gun and sword unsparing,
'Mid the din of martial strains,
Fill the air with shrieks of madness,
Cover o'er the fields with dead,
Fill the lands with dearth and sadness
Earth with horrors overspread.
Deeds of bloodshed done for glory,
Done to gain a brief renown,
Should not live in song and story,
Don't deserve the hero's crown.
War's a crime; the rifle's rattle
Is hell's music brought to earth;
And the tumult of the battle
Tells us of its fiendish birth.
Nobler deeds than deeds of slaughter
Should be sung in poet's song;
Every day on land and water
Humble men of patience long,
Full of noble, manly daring,
Where they're needed fearless go,
Death and danger freely sharing,
Truest heroism show.
See the lifeboat crew go boldly
Forth to battle with the waves;
And although the winds blow coldly,
And the storm-tossed ocean raves,
Though the sinking ship's a stranger,
On they go, the faithful band;
And in spite of every danger
Bring the wrecked ones safe to land.
Deeds like theirs are worth relation,
Worth a place on history's page:
They deserve all admiration
By the youthful rising age.
Such are heroes, grandly, truly,
Fearless, firm, of dauntless will;
For men own, when they judge duly,
Nobler 'tis to save than kill.
LOVE AND HOME.
is the mystic tie unseen which binds
Lives which else would be so widely sunder'd,
That even they themselves have often wondered
At the sweet, perfect unity of minds;
The full complete communion of their hearts,
As though were seen each other's inward parts:
For each is in the other so enwrought
Each seems to know the other's mutter'd thought;
And e'en the very feelings too are guess'd,
As though they rose alike in either breast.
This full communion is the bliss of love;
With mutual trust each doth reveal the whole;
Silently through the eyes soul speaks to soul
In language such as angels use above.
WHERE TWO STREAMS MEET.
sat upon a bank, a youthful pair,
He tall and strong, she beautiful and sweet;
The scent of hawthorn blossoms filled the air,
And two streams mingled just beneath their feet.
"Behold those happy streams," he musing cried;
"How gladly do they blend and so make one.
From hence together all their course is run,
Until they both are merged in ocean's tide.
What say you, darling, shall we here decide
From hence life's path together we will tread?"
"My heart has echoed all your lips have said,"
The gentle maiden with shy smile replied.
In silent bliss they rose and went their way,
Their two lives lived as one from that glad day.
A SUMMER MEMORY.
such a day as this my love and I
Met in a meadow near an ancient stile;
Sweet stillness reigned in earth, and air, and sky,
Dear Nature seemed upon our love to smile.
I looked into her ever-truthful eyes,
And saw the love-light coyly glancing out.
Emboldened thus, my tongue at length grew wise
To utter forth my hopes and fears and doubt.
I read her answer in a look so sweet
And so expressive that it told me more
That many words in studied phrases meet,
And made her dearer even than before.
Words are too poor ofttimes to play
Eyes speak the mystic language of the
The sweetness of that blessed blissful hour
Comes back to me to-day through all the years
Of toil and pain and suffering, groans and tears
A memory full of heavenly healing power.
Like balm upon a deep and rankling wound
It stills the throbbings of my aching heart;
A prophecy of bliss that knows no bound,
When we shall meet again no more to part.
How priceless the remembrance of the good,
The pure and gentle who have passed away.
Whose worth while here we scarcely understood,
Whose presence is about us all the day,
And makes us feel how thin the veil
Our spirits and the spirit world
We lingered long, and talked of love and truth
Of love that knew no death, of love complete,
Abiding like the love of faithful Ruth,
In trial patient, making trouble sweet.
We dreamed sweet dreams of future wedded bliss,
Ah, me! that hour so fleet, those dreams were sweet!
We sealed our 'trothal with a fervent kiss,
And parted, hoping soon again to meet.
But she is gone where love and truth endure,
Unmarred by falsehood or malignant hate;
And her pure soul hath found a home more pure,
Where she my coming patiently doth wait.
Be still, my heart, life's sands are
Those dreams of ours will soon be
more than true.
I STILL REMEMBER THEE.
I STILL remember thee, my
The years are slipping by;
Dost thou still care for me, my love,
In thy bright home on high?
Say, do our loved ones e'er forget
Those whom they leave behind?
Is heaven so far away from us
They keep us not in mind?
An angel sweetly answers: "Nay;
True hearts love on for aye."
Dear heart, that once beat close to mine,
I miss thee every hour;
No eyes do shine with love like thine,
No smiles have thy sweet power.
No other voice can charm mine ear,
Or thrill me with its tone;
My heart cries out: "Art thou mine still?
For I am thine alone."
An angel softly whispers: "Yea;
True hearts love on for aye."
A NIGHT THOUGHT.
alone at fall of night,
Uplooking at the quiet stars
Glimmering in the waning light,
Struggling through eve's silver bars.
And while I sat there came a thought,
But why it came I do not know;
And memory before me brought
The love that had been long ago;
The love that I had cherished long,
And which had brightened all my life;
The love, which like some sweet, glad song,
Had soothed and hushed my pain and strife.
And then there came this cheering thought
True love is deathless as the soul;
In it no change will e'er be wrought,
Though ages should between us roll.
And though we have been long apart
For I am here and she's above
Yet, in the fulness of my heart,
I thanked my God who gave that love.
A MOTHER'S PRAYER.
old time fond mothers brought to Thee
Their helpless babes, and sought Thy blessing, Lord,
So now I bring these dear ones given to me,
And seek the blessing promised in Thy Word.
I ask not wealth, nor fame, nor length of days;
'Tis not for things like these I make request:
But this my prayer that they may live Thy praise,
And glorify Thee as Thou see'st is best.
O, what am I that Thou shouldst thus bestow
On me such high and such momentous trust?
A worm of earth, weak, sinful, Lord, I know
And feel I am but erring feeble dust.
Yet, if Thou wilt supply my every need,
And fold these lambs within Thy loving arms,
And bless and keep them safe in every deed,
My yearning heart shall cease from its alarms.
Keep me and mine enfolded in Thy love
Till life shall be, with all its changes, past;
Then grant, before Thy glorious throne above,
Parents and children safe may meet at last.
A MOTHER TO HER CHILD.
thee, I love thee, my beautiful child;
There is light in thy smile, thou art yet undefiled.
Thy innocent prattling, and freedom from care,
Oft make me look upward and breathe out a pray'r
For faith in my Father's unchangeable love,
And childhood's sweet trust, which no fears can e'er
The sunshine of life now beams on thy way;
How happy thy laughter, how guileless thy play!
How full are thy movements of sweet childish grace!
And oh! how endearing thy bright angel-face!
The stars that shine brightest for me are thine eyes,
In whose azure depths only purity lies.
O would I could keep thee for aye unbeguiled
By the world and its ways, my beautiful child!
Alas! that the years, as onward they flow,
Should sadden thy heart with darkness and woe;
But O, may our Father in heaven above,
Keep ever in safety my darling, my dove.
home is where the heart would be;
'Tis where the spirit feels most free.
The spot on all the earth most dear,
For the affections centre there.
No matter where the lot may fall,
In gilded palace, cot, or hall;
No matter where the feet may roam,
The loving heart doth yearn for home.
The marbled hall, or dingy room,
Alike would seem a living tomb
But for the faces gathered there;
And O, we know the hearth seems bare
If we but miss one smiling face
Which does not fill its wonted place.
Love makes the home in hall or cot,
Home is not home where love is not.
And could we range this wide world round
No other place would e'er be found
With half its charms, or half so fair,
To tempt the heart to linger there;
For e'en as flow'rets seek the sun
Fond memory oft doth backward run,
And many a wistful look will cast
Upon the bright and happy past.
Yes, wheresoe'er we rest or roam,
In life, in death, we think of home;
Of home, sweet home, abode of love;
Best type on earth of heaven above.
feet upon the floor
Come to meet me at the door;
Little eyes with gladness shine;
Little lips are pressed to mine.
Little prattle is round my knee,
Tell their wondrous tales to me;
Loving hands my food prepare,
Serve it with a wifely care.
When our evening meal is o'er,
Little feet are heard once more,
Pattering up and down awhile,
With fond task and loving smile.
O how dear those tiny feet,
Making music passing sweet;
Teaching me to know in part
Something of God's loving heart.
woman, counterpart of man;
Created to complete the social plan;
Into thy nature what sweet grace is wrought;
In very deed thou art God's grandest thought;
Creation's crown, man's pride and ornament;
To be his better self thy high intent:
Infinite Wisdom only could design
And execute a form and mind like thine.
Thy loveliness is far beyond compare
To aught that's found in earth, or sky, or air:
God's handiwork, perfection in its kind;
And eclipsed only by thy wondrous mind.
For here it is thy greatest glory lies,
'Tis this that lends a lustre to thy eyes;
Gleams like the summer sunshine in thy smile,
Whose cheering influence doth the heart beguile,
And makes of thee a being passing fair
Thy own sweet self complete, a jewel rare
Whose worth in costly gems can ne'er be told,
Nor reckoned up in silver nor in gold.
the firelight's fitful glow
Phantom shadows round me grow;
Dear loved faces in the gloom
Gladden my deserted room,
Though I know they've ceased to be,
Still they seem to smile on me.
Now they gather round the hearth,
Children full of childish mirth.
Husband draws me to his side
In his tender love and pride,
Smiling, as he smiled of yore,
Ere his earthly course was o'er.
O, how bright the vision fair!
Mine once more that husband's care;
And again, in eager glee,
Prattlers gather round my knee,
Sweetly singing some glad strain,
Till my heart forgets its pain.
Come they from the great Unknown?
Do they know that I'm alone?
Are their happy spirits here,
Seeking now my gloom to cheer?
Or is my disordered brain
Mocking thus my heart's dull pain?
Fade they with the firelight's glow,
As the embers flicker low
Into blackness, cool, and die,
While upon the hearth they lie;
So those faces, once my own,
Pass, and leave me all alone!
Yet a whisper seems to say
"Though thy loves have passed away,
Still o'er thee they ever bend,
All thy way through life attend;
Bid thy heart, then, cease its moan,
Know thou art not left alone!"
the flick'ring ember's glow,
Fancy makes her pictures grow;
Paints a face so dear to me,
Limns a form I love to see.
In his soft and tender eyes
What a world of love there lies;
Speak they of a depth of love
Such as angels feel above.
On his face a look I see ―
Just the look he gave to me
When we parted on the lawn,
Ere the break of morning dawn.
As beside his form so tall,
Standing where the shadows fall,
I, in angry, thoughtless pride,
Drove my lover from my side.
Blind and foolish was I then,
Thus to spurn the best of men,
Recking not the bitter cost
Till my treasure I had lost.
Long and weary years have passed
Since I saw my lover last;
Years of sore regret and pain
Will he ne'er return again
So I sit within my room
In the gathering twilight's gloom,
Watching, in the ember's glow,
His dear face in fancy grow.
Dare I hope we yet may meet?
Ah! such hope were very sweet,
Promising a future bliss;
But I cannot hope for this.
Yet, perchance, when life is o'er,
We may meet on heaven's bright shore;
There each read the other's heart,
And we never more shall part.
the deepening twilight, watching
By the one I loved so well,
Every sound and movement catching,
That might of awakening tell.
All my heart's great yearnings deep,
All my hopes and all my fears,
Centred in the one asleep
In the one I'd lov'd for years.
Weary with the watch I'd kept,
Weary with suspense and pain,
Overcome, at length I slept;
Nature would not brook the strain.
While I slept I dreamt a dream
Saw my love once more a child;
Watched her playing by a stream,
Heard her cry so loud and wild;
Plunged into the waters deep,
Saved her from an early death;
Then I started from my sleep,
And in fear I held my breath,
Dreading lest in death's cold wave
She should sink no more to rise;
From whose stream I could not save
All that now I seemed to prize.
And my heart its darkness felt
Felt how lonely it would be,
While o'erwhelmed with grief I knelt;
Pray'd she might be spared to me.
Then an answer from my Lord
Filled my heart with joy divine,
For I heard a loving word
Felt her gentle hand press mine;
Knew that she was mine once more,
Spared in answer to my cry;
For the crisis now was o'er,
And my darling would not die.
LOVE AND LUST.
is a meek-eyed angel blest,
Aglow with pure and warm desire;
Lust is a demon, in whose breast
There burns an all-consuming fire.
Yet Lust oft steals the form of Love,
And thus disguised he worketh ill;
And innocence betrayed doth prove
How base and ruthless is his will.
Alas! that ever Love's fair guise
Should hide the foul fiend, Lust, from
Alas! that poor weak human eyes
See not his fearful shape aright.
For surely if he were but known
In all his blackness and his guilt,
Mankind would tear him from his
Destroy the temples he has built.
How strange that men are all so blind
To the sad mischief he has wrought.
He dwarfs and shrivels up the mind,
And blasts all pure and holy thought.
O that dark Lust no more held place
Where Love alone supreme should reign:
Love, the good angel of our race,
The antidote to all our pain;
Who soothes and calms our inward strife,
Sustains the soul in depths of woe,
And in the darkest hours of life
Bids all the heart's best feelings flow.
But hideous Lust with snaky earth,
That fiend of hell and scourge of earth,
Doth quench all goodness in the soul,
And give to untold evils birth.
Britons, there is danger
To our well-beloved land;
But it comes not from the stranger,
Ours a foe that's near at hand.
Mighty armies we could fight with,
Ay, and overcome them too;
But this foe we cannot smite with
Swords, for weapons will not do.
Lo! he comes into our houses,
Fills our shops, and streets, and lanes,
And the vilest passion rouses,
Loads our sons with galling chains,
Worse than slays our lovely daughters;
Rushing everywhere in haste,
Like a flood of mighty waters,
Blighting, blackening, laying waste.
Britons, shall this dread invader
Mar our country's life and peace?
Down from heaven to hell degrade her,
Make her mighty influence cease?
No! we'll each one do our duty,
Drive him from our sea-girt shore;
Then our land in moral beauty
Bright shall bloom to fade no more.
COME AND JOIN US.
of every rank and station, men of every shade of
Join our temperance reformation, help us onward as ye
Then from crimes that sorely grieve us shortly will our
Drink with all its ills will leave us, hearts and homes
Join us, Christians; join us, patriots; let us form one
Fight against all social evil, raise and bless our
All who wish to lessen sorrow, all the truly good and
All who wish a brighter morrow on our drink-curst land
All who love our movement truly, all who long to aid the
By your own example duly help to fill the world with
Join us, nobles; statesmen, join us; ours a cause that's
Sworn are we to crush intemperance with a strong and
Henceforth let us be united, working out our noble plan;
Soon all evils will be righted, if but each does what he
Then our youthful population, full of high and holy
Shall attain the consummation all true men so much
Join us, preachers; teachers, join us; join our
See the powers of drinkdom tremble; soon we'll free our
BANISH THE CURSE.
our land afar and near
Tens of thousands every year
By the curse are slain.
Hearts are broken, homes destroyed,
Poor unwary ones decoyed,
Souls are filled with pain.
Spite of all that's great and grand
Vice and crime on every hand
Break all bars between.
Misery rolls a mighty flood,
Marring much of what is good,
Darkening every scene.
Vile intemperance, black as night,
Casting its unholy blight,
Is the frightful cause.
Stop the fountain whence there flows
Such a tide of human woes,
You that make our laws.
O! had I a voice to reach,
This the lesson I would teach
Every man and child,
All alike, both old and young,
Rich and poor, and weak and strong,
Maiden meek and mild:
Shun the tempter with his wiles,
Heed not his deceitful smiles,
Banish him away;
Then will peace and plenty reign,
Joy and hope come back again,
Darkness change to day.
Fair Religion, pure as light,
Usher in the reign of right,
Overthrow all wrong;
Make this earth a paradise,
Full of high and holy joys,
Full of blissful song.
is not ours to waste it as we will;
For high and noble ends awhile 'tis lent;
And if we fail its purpose to fulfil,
Whate'er we gain or lose, the time's misspent.
The talents God hath given, and bids us use;
The which we should improve with all our care;
His precious loan, alas! we oft abuse,
And change His blessings to a hurtful snare.
Allured, deceived by pleasure's vain display,
Through drink what myriads make their life a blot,
And in their sinful folly throw away
Their highest good for that which profits not;
Life's purpose miss; rob God of all they might
Have been, and done; and perish in the night.
ENGLAND, ROUSE THEE!
rouse thee! do thy duty,
Turn thy back upon the past,
Thou mayst yet escape the dangers
That are gathering round thee fast;
Thou mayst yet fulfil thy mission,
Lead the world to truth and right,
Break the power of proud ambition,
Usher in the reign of right.
From all wrong and all self-seeking
Let thy policy be free,
And thy sword, with blood all reeking,
Sheathθd now and ever be.
Write not thou thy name in story
With red lines of woe and shame,
Conquest cannot bring true glory,
War is every nation's bane.
Rouse thee, for thy sons are bending
'Neath drink's dark and loathsome curse,
With its crimes and sins heartrending,
Leading down from bad to worse.
All thy vices leave behind thee,
What thou hast been rise above,
Henceforth let thy compeers find thee
Worthy of sincerest love.
England, rouse thee! up, be doing,
There is work for thee to do,
All thy foolish past eschewing,
All thy hindrances break through;
Overcome thy pride and passion,
End the reign of lust and blood,
Set the world the glorious fashion
Of a nation great and good.
DON'T DESPISE A FALLEN BROTHER.
despise a fallen brother,
Though the world may look askance,
Pride should not all pity smother,
Let him have another chance.
We are human, and the purest
Yea the strongest sometimes fall,
And that soul is noblest, surest,
Which can love and pity all.
Then in mercy and in kindness
Look upon thy fellow-man;
Gently lead him in his blindness,
Do him all the good you can.
Don't despise thy erring sister,
Maid on whom there rests no blot;
Thou canst pity and assist her,
O be tender, spurn her not.
Pride of self is full of danger,
And the best will boast the least;
Yea, that heart to God's a stranger
Which finds not in love a feast.
O that we by deeds were proving
Faithful to the truths we speak,
Then we should be patient, loving,
With the erring and the weak.
We should seek our fallen brother,
Give him kindly, needed aid;
Try in charity to cover
Ills that make his soul afraid.
We should bring him to our Master,
Who will take his guilt away;
Daily bind him closer, faster,
Prove his surest help and stay.
Make him strong, and true, and tender,
Honest, noble, happy too;
Such the service we can render,
Work we should be swift to do.
We should seek our erring sister,
Draw her from the haunts of shame;
Kindly, lovingly, assist her,
Give no word or look of blame,
But with tender, Christian pity
Lead her in the path of truth,
Take her from the sin-curst city
Which hath blighted all her youth;
Let her feel the country breezes,
Let her breathe a purer air;
Point her to the cross of Jesus,
She will find all healing there.
Don't despise the fallen, broken
'Neath the trampling wheels of sin;
Show them still a brother's token,
Wake a spark of hope within,
And ye do a noble action,
Sow the seed of future good;
Break the power of sin's attraction,
Do a work that angels would.
Hearts crushed out of human fashion,
And yet struggling to be free,
Feel the power of sweet compassion
Open to love's master-key.
Sweet the joy that comes from sharing
Some poor sinner's bitter load;
O the blessedness of bearing
Some poor straggler from the road
Back into the path of duty,
Back into the joy and light.
Surely heaven's own bliss and beauty
All such labour doth requite.
And the Christly joy of saving
Fills hearts full of Christly love,
Satisfies their holy craving,
Fits them for their work above.
O SAY NOT LABOUR IS A CURSE.
not labour is a curse;
Mourn not because of toil;
For ease can never fill the purse,
Cause fields with corn to smile,
Or make the things that round us are
More useful e'en than gold,
And by a process wiser far
Than alchemy of old.
A life of vain, luxurious ease
The true man covets not;
Its aimlessness but fools can please
To others 'tis a blot.
Though limbs may ache, and brains may reel,
And eyes aweary grow,
The satisfaction toilers feel
Mere idlers cannot know.
'To live by changing Fashion's rule,
Shine in her tinsel world,
May please some purse-proud, empty fool,
Whose lip with scorn is curled
Each time he sees some labouring man
Pass heavy-laden by;
But nobler 'tis to work life's span
Than idly let it fly.
The empty fop who thinks it mean
His dainty hands to soil,
And shames to let himself be seen
Beside a son of toil,
Should blush at his own worthlessness
And, worse than Waste of time,
Misuse of wealth, and might confess
His life a life of crime.
No toiler true should ever shame
His honest trade to own,
For useful labour rank may claim
Before the mightiest throne.
It is a nation's source of wealth
It constitutes her life;
She owes her vigour, comfort, health,
To labour free from strife.
An idle man's a useless man,
Whate'er his rank or state;
He forms no part of Nature's plan
Can ne'er be truly great.
God works, and therefore work must be
In man a noble thing,
Befitting every state we see
The peasant or the king.
Then say not labour is a curse,
Mourn not because of moil,
For ease and idleness are worse
Than e'en the hardest toil.
God's love shows out through all His plan,
And work for daily food,
Though hard, ennobles every man
Whose soul seeks after good.
WHO ARE THE POOR?
are the poor? not they who toil
To win their daily bread;
Who weave or spin, or till the soil,
Who work with hand or head.
They are the poor who never learned
An art, or honest trade;
Who ne'er their daily food have earned
No useful thing have made.
O boast not of your gentleman,
With hands from labour free;
For e'en the humblest artisan
Is greater far than he.
The toilers make a nation's wealth,
Her glory they create,
She owes her vig'rous life and health
To those of low estate.
For with their toil they found her fame,
And spread it far and wide;
And make the glory of her name
Their patriotic pride.
They build her mills, and cots, and halls,
And ships which sail the seas;
Are ready, too, when duty calls,
To die defending these.
Then let the toiler lift his head,
Take in his calling pride;
And walk the earth with kingly tread,
Make heavenly truth his guide;
So shall he daily wiser grow,
His usefulness increase,
Till all shall come this truth to know
'Tis toil alone brings gain and peace.
A TOILER'S SONG.
man of lowly birth,
I toil as days roll by,
And yet no king in all the earth
Was e'er more blest than I.
True, that my home is but a cot,
And I must toil for bread;
But I am thankful for my lot
And cheerful lift my head,
And with a smile the world I face,
Contentment in my heart,
Determined I will fill my place
And play a true man's part.
The world may scorn my low estate,
My aims misunderstand,
But only he is truly great
Who works with head or hand.
He liveth best, who serveth best
His God and fellow-man;
Life was not given us here for rest,
For work with life began.
All things of beauty or of use,
Which men by hand or brain
For one another's good produce,
Are to the race a gain.
He who disdains all honest toil
Holds but a worthless creed;
Did no one weave, or till the soil,
We should be poor indeed.
Work forms a part or God's good plan
For our humanity.
True labour dignifies the man
Whose heart from pride is free.
The wealth each hath of strength or mind
Belongs to all the rest,
And he is greatest of mankind .
Who serves mankind the best.
A VOICE SAID "CRY!"
said "Cry!" "What shall I cry?
For men will heedless pass me by."
"Yet cry, for some perchance will hear,
And ponder o'er thy message clear.
"Cry to the nations, cease from war,
All envy, strife, and hate abhor;
Restrain ambition, greed, and pride,
And live as brethren side by side.
"Cry to the rich that wealth is vain
If spent on aught but lessening pain;
And only yields the joys it should,
In doing or in getting good.
"Cry to the poor that toil and care
Have made true spirits grand and rare;
That poor men can be good and great,
And help to build a noble state.
"Cry to the hurrying, jostling throng,
Who snatch at wealth, and wink at wrong:
What mean ye by this eager rush,
And constant strain and strife and crush?
"Alas! ye're full of all unrest,
In gain or loss alike unblest;
For ye are sowing to the wind,
And whirlwind harvest ye shall find.
"Your toil and strife is all for naught,
With bitter disappointment fraught;
Life's purest joys ye've never known,
Because ye live for self alone.
"The soul that would be blest indeed,
Must joy to share another's need,
And find its bliss in soothing pain,
In others' good its highest gain.
"O, cry to all men everywhere
That God is good, His world is fair,
And that He wills them to be free,
And pure, and good, and blest as He."
LET'S LIVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.
live for one another, not for ourselves alone;
Each be to all a brother, and gladly let us own
That we have all one Father, one Brother Christ above,
Who, loving us, would rather that we should dwell in
Let's live for one another, to do each other good;
Our baser instincts smother, and love as true men
Alas! that we so slowly this blessed state attain,
If we were truly holy, Peace through the world would
Let's live for one another, we stronger then shall grow,
When each one helps his brother his better self to show.
Then cease all selfish striving, mere glittering dross
This rush and crush and driving, which fills the world
Let's live for one another, our common interest own;
Each be to all a brother, Earth then will cease to moan;
And Heaven benignant smiling shall drive away our night.
Man's sin and woe beguiling shall fill the world with
Let's live for one another this is the only way
Man Eden may recover, o'er Satan win the day;
And, Godlike freedom gaining, bring peace to every land,
And angel heights attaining, unfettered perfect stand.
CO-OPERATORS, LEAD THE WAY!
air is full of bitter cries,
Which tell of wrong that round us lies;
And men, steeped in their greed of gain,
Grow callous to their fellows' pain.
O, be it yours, with constant zeal,
To prove that you for others feel;
Let sympathy have world-wide sway
Co-operators, lead the way!
The sweater's victims herd in dens
And holes not fit for cattle pens,
While Fashion's votaries motor by,
And hold their empty heads on high.
O, do not ye thus turn aside,
Your faces from your fellows hide;
But bring your schemes to light of day
Co-operators, lead the way!
Grim poverty, with all its ills,
The life-blood of the people chills,
Destroys their peace, and steels their heart;
Makes them unfit to play their part.
'Tis yours to give them hope again,
Help them to live and feel like men:
Rise with new life on each new day
Co-operators, lead the way!
By stern necessity held down,
Men cower beneath a master's frown
In servitude as hard to bear
As ever Afric's sons did share.
'Tis yours by one grand master-stroke
To break the toiler's galling yoke;
Bid Plenty's smiles about him play
Co-operators, lead the way!
While statesmen cry, "Uphold the throne,
For all is well, let well alone;"
Bold anarchists yell, "Pull it down,
Away with pomp and bauble crown."
With wealth and rank ye wage no war,
Yours is a wiser mission far:
Rise, and your heaven-born plans display
Co-operators, lead the way!
Let those who labour share the gain;
When needful too, share loss and pain;
With ready hand and willing heart,
Each do to all a brother's part.
"Then strikes and lock-outs soon would end,
And useful industry extend:
To hasten on this happier day,
Co-operators, lead the way!
Let Education lend her aid,
And throw her light across the shade,
And scatter knowledge pure and bright,
Put Ignorance and his train to flight:
So shall a wiser race arise,
A nobler manhood greet our eyes,
And woman gain her rightful sway
Co-operators, lead the way!
Bid men in fellowship unite
To gain whate'er is good and right;
Not to pull down the rich and great,
But lift themselves to higher state;
And find their own in others' good,
As men and brethren ever should:
To quench all hate, all strife allay
Co-operators, lead the way!
Then stretch out loving arms afar,
Bid hush the waste and din of war,
That cursθd, awful game of blood;
Weld all men in one brotherhood:
So racial jealousies shall cease
In one grand universal peace:
'Tis yours to speed that blessed day
Co-operators, LEAD THE WAY!
TO GIVE IS TO LIVE.
"To give is to live," said the sun in his pride,
As he scattered his radiance far and wide.
"To give is to live," sang the tinkling rill,
As it hastened with sweetness the vales to fill.
"To give is to live," breathed the smiling flowers,
While filling with fragrance the summer bowers.
"To give is to live," whisper orchard and field,
As the ripe fruits of autumn in plenty they yield.
"To give is to live"; alas! man, in his greed,
Doth hoard for himself what his brethren need.
To hoard is to lose all life's highest and best,
For the giver alone is the truly blest.
TO GIVE IS TO GAIN.
give is to gain," cried the golden grain,
As it died in earth, to cover the plain.
"To give is to gain," sang the lark in flight,
While keeping his own little nest in sight.
"To give is to gain," spoke the river wide,
As it lost itself in the ocean tide.
"To give is to gain," said the summer shower,
As it woke into life tree, grass, and flower.
"To give is to gain," sighed the gentle maid,
As her hand in her lover's palm she laid.
"To give is to gain," crooned the mother blest,
As she laid her babe to her loving breast.
Such giving is gain ay, a thousandfold,
And the reckoning is paid in life's fine gold.
A VOICE FROM THE LOOM
let me ask you
If you think that it is right
You should crush your Irish brethren
Just because you have the might?
Strength with wisdom should be wielded,
Kindness guide the hand that rules;
Power's a blessing when love holds it,
Force the argument of fools.
Let not racial hatred blind you
To the wrongs the Irish feel;
Show that you are truly generous ―
You have felt the tryant's heel.
Yea, e'en now ye feel it keenly,
Serfs upon your native soil,
Drudging for a scanty pittance
At your daily round of toil.
Strike this blow to free the Irish!
Soon you'll free yourselves as well
From the land-law yoke that galls you,
Holds you in its cruel spell;
Hinders all your onward progress,
Clogs the lagging wheels of trade,
Thwarts and dwarfs your every effort
To ascend in social grade.
You've no interest in oppression,
Wherefore, then, should you oppress?
Now is just the time to free them;
At your hands they seek redress.
Loose the hateful bonds that gall them,
Let the suffering Irish free;
They'll forgive the past, and bless you,
Grateful for their freedom be.
Listen to our noble leader,*
Ponder well his weighty words,
Full of reason, wisdom, justice,
Truth is mightier far than swords.
Prescient and courageous ever,
Long and well he's played his part;
Greatest statesman 'mongst our statesmen,
He has still a feeling heart.
He appeals to you as brethren,
Speaks alike to heart and head;
Bids you do this act of justice,
Let the dead past lay its dead.
Draw with cords of kindly feeling,
Knit together heart and soul,
English, Scotch, and Welsh, and Irish
Into one fraternal whole.
And with arms outstretching widely
To our Colonies afar,
Fold them to the mother's bosom,
Arms of love the strongest are.
Thus united, strong and fearless
Shall our races spread abroad,
Civilise the heathen nations,
Give to all the light of God.
* H. H. Asquith (written in 1912).
THE IRISH PEASANT'S PRAYER.
long, O Lord! how long
Must vile oppression reign?
The poor and weak be slain?
Our land be filled with wrong?
Hear Thou our earnest cry,
Our Help in time of need;
We for our country plead
With Thee, O God, most high.
Our native isle behold!
The land we love the best;
By landlord greed opprest,
Unhallowed lust of gold.
See how evictions mar
Our homes, and fill with woe
Our hearts till tears o'erflow
How desolate we are.
Why should our brethren use
Their power to crush our heart?
This is no brother's part,
And love doth call for truce.
We ask but to be free,
As Thou hast made us, Lord;
Stay the oppressor's sword
Our cry goes up to Thee.
And Thou wilt hear our cry,
Thy mighty arm make bare;
The people's mind prepare
Deliverance is nigh.
Lo! Erin's star doth shine,
Prophetic of release;
Our freedom won in peace,
The glory shall be Thine.
COME WE, FATHER.
COME we, Father, in child fashion,
Tell our wants and woes to Thee;
Ever sure of Thy compassion,
Thou our help and stay wilt be.
Glad are we to call Thee "Father,"
Ready Thou to own the name;
This relation Thou wouldst rather
That we evermore should claim.
In all things around, above us,
Traces of Thyself we see;
Nature tells us Thou dost love us,
Bids us praise and worship Thee.
Every object is a treasure,
Far or near, or great or small;
Yielding us the truest pleasure,
When we think Thou mad'st them all.
All our varied wants Thou knowest,
Best by Thee they're understood;
What we need Thou e'er bestowest
Fountain, Giver of all good.
Teach us more and more to trust Thee,
Help us all our loads to bear.
Thou rememberest that but dust we
Are, and need Thy kindly care.
Wherefore, Father, should we doubt Thee?
Thou dost e'er remain the same;
Nought but good we know about Thee,
"Good" Thy well-befitting name.
For the present well provided,
Things to come we'll leave to Thee;
By Thy loving finger guided,
Happy, safe, and blest are we.
Whatsoever may betide us
In the future path of life,
Thou wilt ever be beside us,
Bring us safely through the strife.
Yes, we know Thou'lt leave us never,
We, like those with Thee above,
May enjoy Thy smile for ever,
Live enfolded in Thy love.
GOD, in Whom we live and move,
Who enfolds us by His love,
Crowns our days and nights with good,
Feeds with earthly, heavenly food.
Love, that paints the opening flower,
Drops in every passing shower,
Shimmers in the sunlit air,
Bounds and keeps us everywhere.
Love, which like the glorious sun
Never ceases in its run,
Pours itself in countless streams,
Lights our days and gilds our dreams.
Every day Thy love we trace
Beaming on each loved one's face,
Gleaming in each smile and look
Like the moonbeams on a brook.
May these rays of Love Divine
Prompt our love to answer Thine;
Till our spirits rise above,
To Thy home of light and love.
GOD of mercy, truth, and love,
Everything beneath, above,
All Thy works Thy skill proclaim,
Praise and magnify Thy name.
Nature ceaseless homage pays,
Daily pouring forth her lays;
All Thy creatures worship Thee,
How can I irreverent be?
While upon Thy world I gaze,
Bathed in cloudless mid-day blaze,
Clad in robes of living green,
Decked with flow'rs of varied sheen,
Beautified with woods and streams,
Lovely as a poet's dreams;
Somewhat of Thyself I see,
And I long to worship Thee.
In Thy works Thou dost reveal
Kindly care for human weal;
Seasons as they come and go,
With Thy bounty overflow.
All Thy works around, above,
Tell me of Thy matchless love;
Make me pray my life may be
One sweet song of praise to Thee.
SUNG AT MEMORIAL SERVICE OF KING
EDWARD VII., MAY, 1910.
GREAT God, beneath Whose chastening hand
We bow in grief to-day;
Help us, while stricken thus we stand,
To humbly own Thy sway.
Kings, princes, statesmen, come and go,
And nations rise and fall;
But Thou art still the same, we know,
Thy people's all in all.
Thy ways are hidden from our eyes,
And far beyond our thought,
Thy providence about us lies,
In loving mystery fraught.
So this our loss shall yet be gain,
If borne in faith and prayer;
And Thou within our hearts doth reign,
Sole sovereign ruler there.
Deign, Lord, to bless our sorrowing land,
Heal now Thy people's woe;
And let us feel Thy gracious hand,
Thy consolations know.
SUNG AT ROAD END, GREENFIELD,
ON THE OCCASION OF
THE GREENFIELD CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY'S JUBILEE,
GREAT God, who rules all human things
The peasant's lot, the thrones of kings
This joyful day to Thee we raise,
With grateful hearts, our song of praise.
'Tis all of Thee that, with our years,
Our cause has grown, despite our fears,
Till now it spreads from sea to sea,
Knits man to man, mankind to Thee.
Our fathers, guided by Thy hand,
Have made for us this glorious land;
A heritage so large and free
Received from them 'twas given by Thee.
Thy hand in all our life we trace,
And grateful bow before Thy face,
With reverence own Thy care and sing
High praise to Thee, our God and King!
HYMN FOR THE CORONATION OF KING
GREAT King of Nations, hear us;
We own Thy sovereign sway.
O let Thy smile now cheer us,
Our Empire bless to-day.
Knit Thou our scattered races
In bonds of brotherhood;
Fill them with heavenly graces
And all things bright and good.
Lord, how shall we address Thee?
Or all Thy goodness own?
With grateful hearts we bless Thee
For untold mercies shown.
Since Thou our greatness gave us,
Make Thou our Britain good;
From pride of power O save us,
And lust of gold and blood.
This day of coronation
On king and people smile,
And hymns of adoration
Throughout our sea-girt isle
Shall rise to Thee, the Giver
Of all that we possess,
Whose bounty like a river
Flows everywhere to bless.
Help Thou our king appointed
To rule our land in right;
May he, by grace anointed,
E'er keep Thy laws in sight;
And we, his loyal people,
Walk humbly with our God;
From mart, and mill, and steeple,
Thy glory shed abroad.
Great King of Nations, guide us,
That king and people, too,
Whatever may betide us,
Thy will may ever do.
Where'er we spread our pinions
May We Thy favour gain;
And through our wide dominions
Thy truth and freedom reign.
THE PASSING OF VICTORIA.
BORN MAY 24TH, 1819.
DIED JANUARY 22ND, 1901.
A WAITING world stands round Victoria's bier,
Kings at her burial bend their heads and weep,
Her peoples bow in lowly reverence deep,
While she is laid beside her husband dear.
Rest, noble pair, in loyal hearts enshrined,
Your memory breathes an effluence from above,
As wife and husband, dignifying love,
True goodness with your greatness intertwined.
Not for our Queen as Queen alone we weep,
But for the noble woman who adorned
The highest place with virtue, and who scorned
By gilded pomp her peoples' hearts to keep.
But all the round of woman's life she filled,
And bore its sweet relationships with grace,
A pattern wife and mother to our race,
Her purity the tongue of scandal stilled.
The glamour and the splendour of her reign,
Like cloud-cast shadows flitting o'er a stream,
Will pass and be forgotten as a dream,
But for all time her sainthood will remain.
God grant her death, e'en more than her great life,
May unify the nations, and make war
The thing we know she greatly did abhor
More hideous in the sight of all, till strife
Shall cease, and all mankind be firmly knit
In perfect bonds of helpful brotherhood
And loving service, as is fit they should,
And our dark earth with heavenly light be lit.
Lord, on her son, our King, let grace descend,
To follow wisely where his parents led;
In every great and goodly thing our head,
That every blessing may his reign attend.
WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE.
BORN DECEMBER 29TH, 1809.
DIED MAY 19TH, 1898.
GREAT statesman through a changeful strenuous time,
Grand patriot! loving well his native land;
The foremost figure in a brilliant band.
He's played his part with courage high, sublime,
His clarion voice rang clear through all our clime,
For freedom and for right; our country's fame
In his strong, sterling hands ne'er suffered shame.
He held her high, as in her proudest prime:
Though oft maligned and scorned, misunderstood
By smaller souls too mean his worth to feel,
He lived and toiled to serve the common weal
As statesman-patriot ever will and should;
And stayed the throne up from its base, and set
The widening bounds of freedom wider yet.
Peace hath her heroes true, no less than war
Unselfish souls, who rise at duty's call
And do their varied parts, soft ease abhor,
Nor cease until death's shadows round them fall.
And such was he whose death we mourn to-day,
Great in his gifts, in his attainments great,
And great in service done; his voice could sway
The senate, and his pen the world of State;
Kings waited for his words, and felt him wise
England's most widely, justly honoured son,
His name will stand, as generations rise,
High on the scroll of fame for all he's done.
To all who for their fatherland would live
His life and work a bright example give.
Not his the petty ends of petty minds,
He sought not power and place for their own sake,
But that thereby he might his talents make
Of service to the State; the great man finds
In serving his delight, the more he grinds
The brighter do his talents seem to glow,
With use his powers expand and stronger grow;
Yet this exalts him not a whit, nor blinds
Him to stern duty's beckoning hand, for he
Must put all mean and selfish aims aside,
That wisely he the ship of State may guide,
And give his best to cause the best to be.
Such was his aim all through his long career,
Unswayed by lust of gain or craven fear.
We loved him, though he seemed to stand alone
Upon a lofty height none else might reach;
All felt the place was his, by right his own,
Both won and kept by means none might impeach,
And firm upon his height he calmly stood
'Mid the contending forces at his feet,
With dauntless will behind his manners sweet,
So truly great because so truly good.
The land he served so well now mourns her loss,
For none can till his place in England's heart,
And few are they who've played so well their part,
Or proved themselves so free from worthless dross.
And he has left us with his deathless name
That priceless legacy a spotless fame.
O God! we thank Thee he has lived so long
Amid this scoffing and gainsaying age,
And borne himself so well as statesman, sage,
And counsellor; a man who hated wrong
And loved the right, and so was doubly strong
To bear the brunt of action, wisely sure
In word and deed, because his aims were pure,
Well he deserves to live in fame and song.
Give us his like to rule us through the years,
Men who shall know what England ought to do,
Unswayed by selfish aims or craven fears,
Great, Christly men, in all things wise and true:
That our dear country's prestige, wealth, and might,
May e'er be used to lead the world aright.
MRS. W. E. GLADSTONE.
BORN JANUARY 6TH, 1812.
DIED JUNE 14TH, 1900.
"WELL done!" we reverent cry, "thy noble part
Right nobly played, a great man's help and stay,
True wife to him, true patriot in thy way,
And woman through it all, thy faithful heart
Throbbed in attune with his and ours. Death's dart
Took him from thee and us away, and now
About thy bier the people lowly bow,
While tender, loving, heartfelt tear-drops start.
'Tis fitting thou shouldst rest beside the man
Whom England loves and honours, 'tis thy due,
Won by thy woman's service great and true
So sweetly rendered since thy course began.
Sleep on, ye twain, amid our great and fair,
'Mongst England's noble dead no nobler pair."
BORN JUNE 26TH, 1825.
DIED JANUARY 18TH, 1896.
THREE voices now are hushed; three singers sweet
Are gone to sing their stirring songs elsewhere
Waugh, Laycock, Brierley. Now, methinks, they greet
And mingle voices in yon happier sphere.
Each one a son of toil, a child of song,
Has added to his county's fair renown;
Has striven to make his fellows pure and strong,
And worthily has worn the poet's crown.
Not least, though last to go, we mourn to-day
Fun-loving, mirth-provoking Ben, whose mind
Was like a child's transparent, yet relined,
And whose creations cannot pass away.
Now by his darling's side lay him to rest,
And may each mourner feel that God knows best.
J. T. CLEGG
("Th' Owd Weighvur," Rochdale)
BORN JANUARY 21ST, 1857.
DIED MARCH 18TH, 1895.
ANOTHER cunning weaver's hand is stilled,
For ruthless death has stopped his magic loom
And summoned him to fill an early tomb,
His years but little more than half fulfilled.
How deftly he has worked with fingers skilled,
And poet fervour burning in his heart,
In prose or verse he wove each various part,
And drew our tears or laughter as he willed.
No more he'll weave those spells by which he's thrilled,
Enchained our hearts with strange and mystic power,
Chased off the gloom of many a weary hour,
And melancholy with sweet mirth has killed,
Now his last legacy the more we'll prize
That his swift lying shuttle silent lies.
BORN JANUARY 17TH, 1826.
DIED DECEMBER 15TH, 1893.
BARD of the loom, the workshop, and the mill,
Whose lowly songs for lowly folks were sung,
Thy death a thousand hearts with grief doth fill;
For thou didst speak to men in their own tongue,
And teach them how to see with clearer light
And hopeful vision through their ills and strife;
So that with patience they might view aright
The comedy and tragedy of life.
Adieu, sweet singer, gone to sing elsewhere,
Thy voice has ceased within our earthly choir,
To join the swelling chorus sung up there;
And we shall miss the music of thy lyre;
But in our memories we shall cherish long
The sweet remembrance of thy life and song.
ON THE CENTENARY OF J. C. PRINCE.
BORN JUNE 21ST, 1808.
DIED MAY 5TH, 1860.
THOU sleep'st, O son of toil and child of song,
But still thy strains are swelling in the air;
The music thou hast made doth roll along,
Awakening kindred echoes everywhere.
Men pause and listen to thy tuneful lyre,
Catch from it something of the spirit's flame,
Which kindles in their hearts a strong desire
To conquer sin and rise above their shame.
Cold poverty thy ardour could not stay,
Nor shake thy spirit from its love of right.
Though sore beset, thou still didst pour thy lay,
And turn with hopeful courage towards the light,
And point thy fellows to their highest good
A life of true and helpful brotherhood.
Nor hast thou sung in vain, for men have heard
And blest thee, humble singer, for thy strain;
Because its magic power their souls hath stirred,
And made them strong to fight with self and pain.
Yea, this is thine, and this the truest fame
The power to cheer, and sooth and elevate,
And teach high truth; and so thy lowly name
Is great in worth, not with the world's vain state.
Hence, though thy voice is hushed, thy songs still live,
Inspiring hearts that love the pure and sweet.
And this centenary men gladly give
To thy dear memory the praises meet
The honour which they feel to thee belongs,
Immortal singer of immortal songs.
WILLIAM T. STEAD.
BORN JULY 5TH, 1849.
DROWNED ON Titanic,
APRIL 1415TH, 1912.
PEACE Prophet of these later days, whose voice
Rang through the lands with vibrant, trumpet tone,
And bade the peoples their true kinship own,
And in each other's highest good rejoice.
He called his fellows to a nobler choice,
A grander vision and a wider view,
A deeper faith, whereon to build anew
A life of service and of purest joys.
Great Hopeful in this pessimistic age,
His faith in man was born of faith in God;
All rampant wrong filled him with noble rage,
And turned his pen into a scourging rod.
True to the end, chivalrous Christian knight,
Through ocean depths pass'd to the Eternal Light.
DIED FEBRUARY 20TH, 1891, IN HIS 79TH YEAR.
AWHILE we linger on the shores of time,
Then one by one we launch upon the sea
The boundless sea we call eternity
Which stretches out to heaven's celestial clime,
Where rings an ever-sweet angelic chime
To soothe the ears of spirits pure and blest
Who've won the crown of life and are at rest
In yon fair home of peace and joys sublime.
Death means escape from earth with all its grime,
And constant struggles with the powers of sin,
Hard fights without, and secret fears within,
And sleepless guard to keep the soul from crime;
From these our friend has gained a glad release,
Be still, O troubled hearts, he rests in peace.
Why should we weep for him when all is well?
To him the unknown is fully known at last,
The veil is lifted and the mystery past;
What gain is his since he on high doth dwell.
His broken harp is tuned afresh to swell
The anthem of the ransomed souls above,
Their theme the Saviour's everlasting love,
Whose heights and depths e'en angels cannot tell.
There in congenial air his soul expands,
His poet fire doth blaze with purer light,
No earthly trammels now impede his flight,
No sins enchain or paralyse his hands:
Speed on ye sands of time and never cease,
And bring us likewise such a sweet release.
"Father of Co-operation."
BORN MAY 14TH, 1771.
DIED NOVEMBER 17TH, 1858.
he was who lived his creed, did what he taught,
Nor shrank from persecution, pain, or death,
But toiled and strove e'en to his latest breath,
To make men understand his master thought
God's Fatherhood; for this in his own spirit wrought
Great things, and filled his noble, loving heart
With steady zeal to play his mighty part,
And sow, that men might reap the good he sought.
His generous mind craved not for sordid pelf,
The world's vain titles his bright name would blot;
The wealth he won he used not for himself,
But to improve the struggling toilers' lot,
And teach them each to work for others' good,
And all to live and love as brethren should.
PIONEERS, O PIONEERS!
(SUGGESTED BY HEARING G. J. HOLYOAKE AT THE GRAVES OF
SMITHIES AND COOPER, ROCHDALE CO-OPERATIVE CONGRESS, 1892).
memories hover round this hallowed spot,
So long connected with these honoured names,
For Smithies, Cooper, ne'er can be forgot:
These noble men with still more noble aims.
Men do not die, although their bones may rot
Their deeds live after them and show their worth;
The truths they teach and fearless do die not;
The good remains which they have brought to birth.
O valiant soldiers on a bloodless field,
Ye dauntless, true, heroic Pioneers,
What glorious harvests now your victories yield!
Your fame shall brighter grow through coming years;
For through the grand example you have shown,
The masses everywhere have happier grown.
A voice has spoken from your graves to-day;
A comrade lingers still to tell your worth,
And keep your memory green upon the earth;
And hold your standard high amid the fray.
Nor shall that voice be lifted up for naught:
True hearts still answer to the call of truth,
And forward press, in spite of toil and ruth,
To carry out the principles ye taught.
Ere long those truths their world-wide way shall win,
Cast out the demon Self, and end the strife.
E'en now we see that glorious day begin,
The toilers enter into larger life:
A foretaste of the Golden Age to be,
When men shall all be truly good and free.
GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE.
BORN APRIL 13TH, 1817.
DIED JANUARY 22ND, 1906.
voice is hushed in death; we mourn
A leader fallen in the fight to-day;
One more great soul has passed the mystic bourne,
From whence no traveller returns to say
What lies beyond our ken; but this we feel
That, if there be an after life at all,
Where good and ill work out man's final weal,
His portion with the best must surely fall.
If heaven is made for those who love to serve,
And give their best to cause the best to be,
And never from stern duty's pathway swerve,
High place must there be found for such as he.
For he, all through his useful, strenuous life,
Has toiled to bless his fellows in the strife.
Not what a man believes, but what he does,
Decides his future destiny; he stands
Or falls, is judged by deeds; and thus
We build our heaven or hell with our own hands.
Our friend built wisely, for he loved the truth,
And loved his fellow-men with all his heart;
All through his long career, from early youth,
By voice and pen he's ta'en the worker's part;
Mere sordid ends his generous mind abhorred,
High, noble aims held sway within his breast;
Unmoved by hopes and fears the creeds afford,
He strove to help the suffering and oppress'd;
And fought for liberty, and truth, and right
Heaven rest his soul in the Eternal Light.
J. T. W. MITCHELL,
Twenty-one Years Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Society.
BORN OCTOBER 18TH, 1828.
DIED MARCH 16TH, 1895.
chief has fallen foremost in the fight,
His well-won laurels fresh upon his brow;
We know how we revered and loved him now
That he has passed forever from our sight.
Whate'er he did was done with all his might;
His life devoted to the public good,
And worth as yet but dimly understood.
He loved and ever dared to do the right,
And sought for Truth: and, finding, held her tight;
A Christly man who lived a Christ-like life,
Unsullied bore his part amid the strife,
Duty his watchword, service his delight.
May his example now inspire our hearts
With zeal like his to play our several parts.
To-day we're poorer by his presence gone;
But what a precious heritage is ours,
More fragrant, lasting, than earth's fairest flowers:
The sweet remembrance of all he's done
'Mongst all our noble dead no nobler one
The bright example he has left behind
Will long endure in memories sweet enshrined.
How well his steady course of good he's run;
O may the men who after him shall rise
All seek to emulate his worthy fame,
Tread in his steps, be like him strong and wise,
Have his unselfish singleness of aim;
Then his true life will prove a seed of gold,
And bear in other lives a thousandfold.
E. VANSITTART NEALE,
Christian Socialist and First Secretary of Co-operative Union.
BORN APRIL 2ND, 1810.
DIED SEPTEMBER 16TH, 1892.
great soul entered into rest;
A man who truly loved his fellows here,
And lived to serve them through his long career;
Ungrudging to their service gave his best
Himself, and felt rewarded, greatly blest
If he could quicken them to do their part.
No mean or sordid motive in his heart,
He did his Christly work with holy zest,
The Master's life in his made manifest;
He aimed to purify the springs of life,
And taught men they were brothers though at strife,
And bade them let sweet peace their lives invest.
Thank God that he has lived, for such as he
Are prophecies of what our race will be.