Land where Niagara thunders forth God’s praise;—
May Peace and Plenty henceforth dwell with thee,
And o’er thee War no more its banner raise!
Adieu, my native land,—hill, stream, and dell!
The hour hath come to part us,—fare thee well.
He hath unlearned to love;
for once he loved
A being whom his soul almost adored,
And she proved faithless; turned in scorn upon
His heart’s affections; to another gave
The love she once did pledge as all his own.
And now he doth not love. Within his heart
Hate dwells in sullen silence. His soul broods
Over its wrongs, over deluded hopes.
Fancy no more builds airy castles.
Amid the crowd he passes on alone.
The branches wave no more to please his eye,
And the wind singeth no sweet songs to him.
The murmuring brook but murmurs discontent,
And all his life is death since Love hath fled.
O, who shall count his sorrows? who shall make
An estimate of his deep, burning woes,
And place them all in order, rank on rank?
Language is weak to tell the heart’s deep, wrongs.
We think, and muse, and in our endless thought
We strive to grasp, with all the mind’s vast strength,
The undefinable extent of spirit grief,
And fail to accomplish the herculean task.
WHAT WAS IT?
It was a low, black,
Its roof was rotting; and above it hung
A cloud of murky vapor, sending down
Intolerable stench on all around.
The place was silent, save the creaking noise,
The steady motion of a dozen pumps,
That labored all the day, nor ceased at night.
Methought in it I heard a hundred groans;
Dropping of widows’ tears, and cries of orphans;
Shrieks of some victim to the fiendish lust
Of men for gold; woe echoing woe,
And sighs, deep, long-drawn sighs of dark despair.
Around the place a dozen hovels stood,
Black with the smoke and steam that bathed them all;
Their windows had no glass, but rags and boards,
Torn hats and such-like, filled the paneless sash.
Beings, once men and women, in and out
Passed and repassed from darkness forth to light;
And children, ragged, dirty, and despised,
Clung to them. Children! heaven’s early flowers,
In their spring-time of life, blighted and lost!
Children! those jewels of a parent’s crown,
Crushed to the ground and crumbled to the dust.
Children! Heaven’s representatives to man,
Made menial slaves to watch at Evil’s gate,
And errand-boys to run at Sin’s command.