페이지 이미지
PDF

THE CAUSE OF TEMPERANCE—John B. Gough.

Our enterprise is in advance of the public sentiment, and those who carry it on are glorious iconoclasts, who are going to break down the drunken Dagon worshipped by their fathers. Count me over the chosen heroes of this earth, and I will show you men that stood alone—ay, alone, while those they toiled, and labored, and agonized for, hurled at them contumely, scorn, and contempt. They stood alone; they looked into the future calmly and with faith; they saw the golden beam inclining to the side of perfect justice; and they fought on amidst the storm of persecution. In Great Britain they tell me when I go to see such a prison :—"There is such a dungeon in which such a one was confined:" "Here, among the ruins of an old castle we will show you where such a one had his ears cut off, and where another was murdered." Then they will show me monuments towering up to the heavens:—" There is a monument to such a one: there is a monument to another." And what do I find? That the one generation persecuted and howled at these men, crying "Crucify them! crucify them !" and dancing around the blazing fagots that consumed them; and the next generation busied itself in gathering up the scattered ashes of the martyred heroes and depositing them in the golden urn of a nation's history. Oh, yes! the men that fight for a great enterprise are the men that bear the brunt of the battle, and " He who seeth in secret"—seeth the desire of his children, their steady purpose, their firm self-denial—" will reward them openly," though they may die and see no sign 0/ the triumphs of their enterprise.

Our cause is a progressive one. I have read the first constitution of the first temperance society formed in the State of New York in 1809, and one of the by-laws stated, " Any member of this association who shall be convicted of intoxication shall be fined a quarter of a dollar, except such act of intoxication shall take place on the Fourth of July, or any other regularly appointed military muster." We laugh at that now; but it was a serious matter in those days: it was in advance of the public sentiment of the age. The very men who adopted that principle were persecuted: they were hooted and pelted through the streets, the doors of theii houses were blackened, their cattle mutilated.

The fire of persecution scorched some men so that they left the work. Others worked on, and God blessed them, Some are living to-day; and I should like to stand where they stand now, and see the mighty enterprise as it rises before them. They worked hard. They lifted the first turf—prepared the bed in which to lay the corner-stone. They laid it amid persecution and storm. They worked under the surface; and men almost forgot that there were busy hands laying the solid foundation far down beneath.

By and by they got the foundation above the surface, and then began another storm of persecution. Now we see the superstructure—pillar after pillar, tower after tower, column after column, with the capitals emblazoned with "Love, truth, sympathy, and good will to men." Old men gaze upon it as it grows up before them. They will not live to see it completed; but they see in faith the crowning cope' stone set upon it. Meek-eyed women weep as it grows in beauty; children strew the pathway of the workmen with flowers.

We do not see its beauty yet—we do not see the magnificence of its superstructure yet—because it is in course of erectioa Scaffolding, ropes, ladders, workmen ascending and descending, mar the beauty of the building: but by and by, when the hosts who have labored shall come up over a thousand battle-fields waving with bright grain never again to be crushed in the distillery—through vineyards, under trellised vines, with grapes hanging in all their purple glory, nevei again to be pressed into that which can debase and degrade mankind—when they shall come through orchards, undei trees hanging thick with golden, pulpy fruit, never to be turned into that which can injure and debase—when they shall come up to the last distillery and destroy it; to the last stream of liquid death and dry it up; to the last weeping wife and wipe her tears gently away; to the last child and lift him up to stand where God meant that child and man should stand; to the last drunkard and nerve him to burst the burning fetters and make a glorious accompaniment to the song of freedom by the clanking of his broken chains—then, ah! then will the cope-stone beset upon it, the scaffolding will fall with a crash, and the building will stand in its wondrous beauty before an astonished world. Loud shouts of rejoicing shall then be heard, and there will be joy in heaven, when the triumphs of a great enterprise usher in the day of the triumphs of the cross of Christ.

The sun was shimmering all the West,

And gilding all the main,
And casting shadows from the crest
Of gilded mountains to the plain,

A traveler pricked his weary horse;
When all at once upon his sight
Burst a fair village, clean and bright.

He asked a miner whom he met
If he could give its name: "You bet I"
"Pray do, my friend, and do not sham;"
The miner answered, " Yuba Dam."

"Kind, gentle friend! do not abuse

My ignorance; I cry a truce

To thy bold wit; come, tell me true;

I would not ask it if I knew;

But I, dear sir, a stranger am."

Quick roared the miner: "Yuba Dam I*

Disheartened, on the stranger pressed,

And overtook a mincing dame,
With flaxen hair and silken vest,

And begged of her the village name.
She oped her sweet lips like a clam,
And simpered gently: "Yuba Dam."

On tore the stranger, nearly wild,

And came upon an artless child;

She had a satchel on her arm,

While o'er her face stole many a charm;

"Where have you been?" the stranger said;

The maid uplifted quick her head,

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

ind answered, with the ready truth

And open frankness of her youth.

* At school." "Who keeps it?" "Uncle Sam."

"What is this place, sweet?" "Yuba Dam."

"Alas!" he screamed, in frantic grief,
"Will no one come to my relief?
Will no one tell me where I am?"
The school-boys shouted, •' Yuba Dam V
And on the bridge, as he did slam,
The planks re-echoed, " Yuba Dam."

"Perdition seize the place!" he cried,
As through the street he swiftly hied,
Yet ere he went to bed that night.
From something told him by a wight,
He found that he himself had shammed,
And that the Yuba had been dammed.

THE SOLDIER'S PARDON.—James Smith.

Wild blew the gale in Gibraltar one night,

As a soldier lay stretched in his cell;
And anon, 'mid the darkness, the moon's silver light

On his countenance dreamily fell.
Nought c ould she reveal, but a man true as steel,

That oft for his country had bled;
And the glance of his eye might the grim king defy,

For despair, fear, and trembling had fled.

But in rage he had struck a well-merited blow

At a tyrant who held him in scorn;
And his fate soon was sealed, for alas! honest Joe

Was to die on the following morn.
Oh ! sad was the thought to a man that had fought

'Mid the ranks of the gallant and brave—
To be shot through the breast at a coward's behest,

And laid low in a criminal's grave!

The night call had sounded, when Joe was aroused

By a step at the door of his cell;
Twiis a comrade with whom he had often caroused,

That now entered to bid him farewell.
"Ah, Tom! is it you come to bid me adieu?

Tis kind, my lad! give me your hand! Nay—nay—don't get wild, man,and rnnke me a child!—

I'll be soon in a happier land!"

With hands clasped in silence, Tom mournfully said,

"Have you any request, Joe, to make ?— Remember by me 'twill be fully obeyed:

Can I anything do for your sake?" "When it's over, to-morrow!" he said, filled with sorrow,

"Send this token to her whom I've sworn All my fond love to share!"—'t was a lock of his hair,

And a prayer-book, all faded and worn.

"Here's this watch for my mother; and when you write home,"

And he dashed a bright tear from his eye—
"Say I died with my heart in old Devonshire, Tom,

Like a man, and a soldier! Good bye!"

Then the sergeant on guard, at the grating appeared,

And poor Tom had to leave the c old cell, By the moon's waning light, with a husky "Good-nightl

God be with you, dear comrade!—farewell!"

Gray dawned the morn in a dull, cloudy sky,

And Joe ever fearless, went forward to die,

By the hearts of true heroes surrounded.
"Shoulder arms" was the cry as the prisoner passed by:

"To the right about—march!" was the word; And their pale faces proved how their comrade was loved,

And by all his brave regiment adored.

Right onward they marched to the dread field of doom:

Then they formed into line amid sadness and gloom,

While the prisoner looked calmly around.
Then soft on the air rose the accents of prayer,

And faint tolled the solemn death-bell,
As he knelt on the sand, and with uplifted hand,
Waved the long and the lasting farewell.

"Make ready!" exclaimed an imperious voice:

"Present!" struck a chill on each mind;

Ere the last word was spoke, Joe had cause to rejoice,

For " Hold!—hold!" cried a voice from behind. Then wild was the joy of them all, man and boy,

As a horseman cried, " Mercy! Forbear!"

Wit h a thrilling " Hurrah! a free pardon! huzzah! *

And the muskets rung loud in the air.

Soon the comrades were locked in each other's embrace:

No more stood the brave soldiers dumb:
With a loud cheer, they wheeled to the right-about-face.

Then away at the sound of the drlim!'

And a brighter day dawned in sweet Devon's fair land,

Where the lovers met, never to part;
And he gave her a token—true, warm, and unbroken—

The gift of his own gallant heart!

[graphic]
[graphic]
« 이전계속 »