John Gardiner Calkins Brainard Poems >>
For The Carrier Of The Mirror. 1826

The carrier is a poor old man-
See his gray locks, his wrinkles scan,
Look at him and admire!
His coat is thin, his jacket torn,
All but his fob and pockets worn -
Such is his poor attire.

And what the scorching sun could throw-
And what the winter's pelting snow
Could give him, he has stood.
There is one earthly torment lacking-
One other process - that of hacking: -
He has not been reviewed.

Now for our annual New Year's song.
Short was the year, and not too long
Shall be the rhymer's strain:
It tells of all that all well know,
'T is mixed of folly and of woe-
Of happiness, and pain.

How like the seasons was the year!
Now rough, and rude- now mild, and clear,
Like March, and June together:
Now sweeping on with fury's blast-
Now stilly breathing on the past,
And calming all its weather.

When streams were stiff and snow was deep-
When Statesmen's promises were cheap,
And honesty near frozen;
When votes were counted, State by State,
Mid friends and foes- mid joy and hate,
A President was chosen.

Curst was the siroc, steaming hot,
When patriot against patriot
Was set in mad array;
And doubly curst that poisoned trail,
That lingers, when the sweeping gale
Has moaned and died away.

Our tree was fair in trunk and shoot,
Its verdant boughs bore flower and fruit
That ripened in the sun;
Why should the bramble shoot its thorn,
When of the fruits these stems had borne
The hand could pluck but one.

Fayette! the skies were bright to thee,
And our small State right proud may be
That on thy stormy track,
Her sons were guides; for she may boast,
That ALLEN brought thee to our coast,
And MORRIS bore thee back.

How did the blessed rainbow shed
Its gorgeous colors on your head,
When first you saw the shore:
How did it arch above your sail,
And span the bay, and tinge the gale,
And dye the waters o'er.

The Cadmus saw its tinted line, -
It smiled upon the Brandywine;
And how it shone on high,
He who can paint a rainbow's hues,
And dip his pencil in its dews,
May better tell than I.

Warm be your hearth, and full your store
And open as your hand, your door; -
And gently on your heart
Fall every blessing Heaven can shed,
Upon the virtuous patriot's head,
Till soul and body part.

I hear a sorrowing western breeze,
Sigh from Champlain's dark ice-girt seas -
Yet 't is a wind-harp strain; -
It mourns so sweetly, that its tone
Has consolation in its moan,
And soothing in its pain.

Brave Downie! thou had'st often seen
The bold in combat, and had'st been
Where decks and waves were gore;
Thy gallant foe, thy noble friend,
Has met in peace a Christian's end; -
Macdonough is no more.

He sleeps in quiet, by the side
Of wife and children dear; - nor pride
Nor pomp his tomb adorning:
The clods, the dust, his body cover,
But round him shall the angels hover,
"Till the bright morning."

On Groton heights, the lazy cow
Is grazing round the grass-grown brow
That once, in days gone by,
Was rough with pike and bayonet,
Stained with the carnage red and wet,
Of brave men met to die.

They died. - And must their memories die?
O! the weeper's sob and the mourner's sigh
Are quickly, quickly gone.
To the devotion of that band,
That cutlass drew and rampart manned,
That fought their foeman hand to hand,
That saved the honor of your land,
And died where their intrenchments stand,
Ye will not raise a stone.

But be it so. Whate'er the cause,
They fought not thus for vain applause -
'T was patriot duty pressed them;
And in their rough and gory shroud,
Without the purple of the proud,
God in his mercy rest them.

Yet shall those graves, unknown so long
To memory's tear and glory's song,
Be ever blest.
Green, rank, and bright the turf shall grow
Above the mouldered bones below-
"Rest, warriors, rest."

Now sullenly the damp winds blow,
And muddily the waters flow,
And fast the rain-drops fall;
Such is the time to hope that soon
A heaven-bright sun, a cloudless moon,
Shall shine upon us all.

The time is up, the morrow's dawn
Breaks on a purer, holier morn
Than Pagan new-year's day;
It comes not out in mirth and song,
It calls the vain world's passing throng,
To meet, and praise, and pray.

How should this hour, between the day
When God to Israel's array
Proclaimed the holy rest-
And that which saw a Saviour rise,
With our redemption to the skies -
How should such hour be blessed.