Kindness soothes the bitter anguish,
Kindness wipes the falling tear,
Kindness cheers us when we languish,
Kindness makes a friend more dear.
Kindness turns a pain to pleasure,
Kindness softens every woe,
Kindness is the greatest treasure,
That frail man enjoys below.
Then how can I, so frail a being,
Hope thy kindness to repay,
My great weakness plainly seeing,
Seeing plainer every day.
Oh, I never can repay thee!
That I but too plainly see;
But I trust thou wilt forgive me,
For the love I bear to thee.
1811. E. P. K.WRITTEN AT THE DELAWARE WATER GAP.
Great and omnipotent that Power must be,
That wings the whirlwind and directs the storm,
That, by a strong convulsion, severed thee,
And wrought this wondrous chasm in thy form.
Man is a dweller, where, in some past day,
Thy rock-ribbed frame majestically rose;
The river rushes on its new-made way,
And all is life where all was once repose.
Pleased, as I gazed upon thy lofty brow
Where Nature seems her loveliest robes to wear,
I felt that Pride at such a scene must bow,
And own its insignificancy there.
Oh Thou, to whom directing worlds is play,
Thy condescension without bounds must be,
If man, the frail ephemera of a day,
Be graciously regarded still by Thee.
Here, as I ponder on Thy mighty deeds,
And marvel at Thy bounteousness to me,
While wrapt in solemn awe, my bosom bleeds,
Lest recklessly I may have wounded Thee,—
Wounded that Being who is fain to call
The heavy-laden and the wearied home;
The dear Redeemer! He who died that all
Might to his glorious in-gathering come.
1818. E. P. K.WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM.
Judge we of coming, by the by-past, years,
And still can Hope, the siren, soothe our fears?
Cheated, deceived, our cherished day-dreams o’er,
We cling the closer, and we trust the more.
Oh, who can say there’s bliss in the review
Of hours, when Hope with fairy fingers drew
A magic sketch of “rapture yet to be,”
A rainbow horizon, a life of glee!
The world all bright before us—vivid scene
Of cloudless sunshine and of fadeless green;
A treacherous picture of our coming years,
Bright in prospective—welcomed but with tears.
How false the view, a backward glance will tell!
A tale of visions wrecked, of broken spell,
Of valued hearts estranged or careless grown,
Affection’s links dissevered or unknown;
Of joys, deemed fadeless, gone to swift decay,
And love’s broad circle dwindled half away;
Of early graves of friends who, one by one,
Leave us at last to journey on alone.
Turn to the home of childhood—hallowed spot,
Through life’s vicissitudes still unforgot;
The sacred hearth deserted now is found,
Or unloved stranger-forms are circling round.
In the dear hall, whose sounds were all our own,
Are other voices, other accents known;
And where our early friends? A starting tear
And the rude headstone promptly answer, “Here.”
Thus will compare Hope’s sketch of bliss to be
With the undreamed of, sad reality;
Yet this and more the afflicted heart may bear,
If Faith, celestial visitant, be there,
Whispering of greener shores, of purer skies,
Of flowers unfading, love that never dies,
A glimpse of joy to come in mercy given,
The eternal sunshine of approving Heaven....