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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Emigrant Mechanic and Other Tales In Verse, by Thomas Cowherd
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Title: The Emigrant Mechanic and Other Tales In Verse Together With Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects
Author: Thomas Cowherd
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7122] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 12, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English
Produced by Michelle Shephard, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
TOGETHER WITH Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects
By Thomas Cowherd
The Author of this volume does not feel much apology necessary for its publication, though the world is already flooded with Rhyme, upon almost every conceivable subject, and most of it of a very mediocre character.
Though living but a short time upon a Bush farm, my experiences were of such a practical nature as to entitle me to speak with confidence on many rural matters. The religious opinions so frequently and strongly expressed are the result of a careful study of God's Word, and I feel that for them no apology is necessary.
To learning I make but the most slender pretentions. Born in one of the humblest ranks in life, and going to my trade at the commencement of myteens, and working long weary hours for seven years at that trade, I found little opportunity of attaining anything like proficiency in literary composition. Many of my minor pieces have already seen the light in local and other newspapers, etc., and acting on the advice of several literary friends I have at last gathered my principal poems together in a permanent form. Should this effort not meet with public favor, the offense—if such it be—is not likely to be repeated, as I am now over sixty-five years of age. Many of the productions of my humble Muse were conceived, and in a great measure composed, while working at the bench—to which I am still confined, in order to provide for my family's needs.
If the advice of Pope to some of the Rhymers of his day was needful, viz., "to keep their effusions forseven yearscan," I say truly most of mine have been kept that period nearly four times over. I would not have the reader imagine that they have necessarily grown better by being on the shelf; still this has afforded an opportunity for polishing them up in some measure.
I may further say my "Emigrant Mechanic" was nearly or quite finished before Mr. McLachlan's "Emigrant" was published, and before I had ever heard of "The U. E.," a beautiful and very interesting Emigrant poem by Mr. Kerby, of Niagara.
My warmest thanks are due the Rev. W. W. Smith, of Newmarket, Ont., for his kindness in undertaking the preparation of these pages for the press. Also for many valuable emendations.
Such as they are I send forth my unlearned rhymes, with the earnest prayer that they may benefit the reader as much as they have benefitted me, for I can say in the words of Coleridge, "Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward."
THOMAS COWHERD. Brantford, Ontario, January, 1884.
Book I
Introduction. Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family. Death of Mother and two Sisters. Father's second marriage. Family tradition. Youth's thoughts and feelings in regard to it. Places visited. Crossthwaite, Underbarrow, Lake Windermere, Esthwaite. Incidents. Poetic Tastes. Conclusion.
Book II
Address to Domestic Bliss. Its influence on Society. Principal source from which it springs, viz., conjugal union, faithfully cherished. An appeal to Parents and Lawgivers on the subject. WILLIAM'S training under its influence. Difficulties in procuring trade. Success at last. Reflections on, and encouragements to, such trades. Temptations and trials. Anecdotes. Appeal to Masters and others. Narrow escape from a cut-throat. Courtship and its consequences. Conclusion.
Book III
Holidays. The Schoolboy's anticipations in regard to them. Improper use made of such times by some apprentices. Evil consequence of their conduct. An Appeal to them on the subject. The sad tale of young Daycourt. Address to Liquor. Its evils. WILLIAM'S holiday rambles. Father's Birthplace. Tragic scene there. Farleton Knot. Glance back to Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement. Visit of a man from Canada. His account of the country. Its consequences. WILLIAM'S taste in books. Rural rambles on business. Reflections on cruelty to animals. Retrospective glance. Conclusion.
Book IV
Address to the Sacred Scriptures, glancing briefly at their various excellencies. WILLIAM becomes a Christian. His reception into a. church. Different views of things after conversion. Voice of Nature heard in God's praise. Wonders why Man is so backward in this. Discovers reasons in Man's inbred corruption, temptations, etc. Salvation all of Grace. The humbling nature of this truth to Man's pride, but the security it affords believers. Its effects on him. Fresh Love-trials. Consequent resolutions. Sabbath morning walk. Church bells. Visit to Farm-house. Family worship. Glance at what England owes to prayer. Sunday-School teaching. Other exercises on that day. Their influence on him. Prepares to emigrate. Parting scenes, etc. Embark at Liverpool.
Book V
Address to Commerce. Emigrants reach the sea. Farewell to England. WILLIAM'S employments on board. Storm described. Reach Banks of Newfoundland. Foggy weather. Icebergs seen. Land seen. Emigrant's joy. Ship spoken. Cross Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enter River. Scenery, Etc. Arrive before Quebec. To Montreal. Thence by Ottawa to Kingston. Thence to Hamilton. Settle near Brantford on a Bush-farm. Shifts for furniture. WILLIAM'S narrow escape from death in logging. His relish of Bush sights and sounds. Wants a companion. Resolutions formed and kept. Remarks incident to it. Conclusion.
Book VI
Address to Rural Life. Logging Bee described. The feast. Loggers' jests and other incidents. Burning log heaps. Loggers' Song. WILLIAM'S thoughts, and employments in Autumn. The Autumnal garb of trees. Reflections connected therewith. The family's Sabbath-day employments. Beginning of their hardships. WILLIAM leaves the bush for village life, but soon returns. Father's narrow escape from being crushed. Winter employments. Preparations for sugar making. Process described. Sugarers' Song. Conclusion.
Book VII
Address to Memory. Spring time described. Thoughts and fancies connected with it. Build a log barn. Spring employments. Increase of trials. WILLIAM'S sickness. His song on Christian Warfare. Good to himself from its composition. Leaves Bush for village again. Tinkers in the country. Thoughts and feelings in connection with it. Preaches in public under peculiar circumstances. Introduced to his future father- in-law's family. Visits their house. Reception. Description of his future wife and sisters. Anecdote. Commences business. Visits the States to buy tools. Takes Niagara in his way. Scenery above Lewiston. First sight of Rapids. Of the Falls. Song to them. Conclusion.
Address to Hope. Its benefits to WILLIAM. Commences business. Manner of conducting it. Thinks again of Matrimony. Shop described. Inconveniences in it. An incident. Discouragements in trade. Compensation for them in visits to his intended. A further glance of her. The home provided her. Marriage. A peep at their home afterward. Forced to leave it. A second move. A Love's pledge. Imminent peril of the wife. Unhappy condition of first-born. Church matters. WILLIAM'S trials from Temper, etc. Continued success in business. Tinsmith's Song. His long sickness and support under it. Dutiful conduct of Apprentice. Wife's self-sacrifices and matronly management. COOPER'S gratitude to her for it. Continued Poetical predilictions. Visits with his wife the Falls of Niagara. Family increase. Troubles in church affairs. Excommunication. Fresh church connection. Troubles arise afresh. Death of wife. WILLIAM'S lament. Conclusion.
William and Amelia My Garden The Inebriate's Daughter's Appeal to her Father To the Children in Mrs. Day's School Song to Brantford To Elihu Burritt To a Violet Emma, the Tinker's Daughter To my Father, supposed to be dying Ode to Peace Stanzas suggested by a Funeral
ACROSTICS:  I. To Mr. J. P——n, Missouri  II. To my Eldest Son, in severe sickness  III. A Tribute to the Memory of John Dent
Impromptu: To J. W——t An Address to Brantford Stanzas, on Seeing the "Huron" Locomotive The Young Mother's Vision Stanzas to the Author of "Little Ragged Ned" "I Saw a Youthful Mother Lie"
FAMILY PIECES:  To my Beloved Wife  To my Daughter Mary Ann, Asleep  To Ellen and Willie  To Mr. and Mrs. C. Batty  To my Infant Annie  Stanzas in Memory of Annie  To Mrs. H. Battson  To Mr. and Mrs. W. Batty  Fireside Thoughts of Ann  To my Brother James  To my Daughter Ellen Murder Will Out, or the Power of Conscience
MISCELLANEOUS POEMS:  Jenny and her Pet Lamb  To a Very Tall Sunflower  Birthday Thoughts and Aspirations  Song to the Lily of the Valley  "Daisy, I Have Sought for Thee"  The Charms of June  To Dr. Laycock To Mr. Cowherd, from Dr. Laycock  To Mr. James C——t  To the Christians of Brantford  To the Same  Verses Written Immediately after Reading Horace Smith's "Bachelor's  Fare!"  Stanzas on the Fearful Struggle in Europe, 1854  Lines Written on the Morning, of the Dreadful Fire, March 9, 1854
 To the Rev. J. W. and his Bride  Stanzas on hearing an Auctioneer quote Scripture  Winter's Ravages; An Appeal  A Canadian National Song  A Call to the Soiree  An Address by the Members of the Institute at the Soiree  Alcohol's Arraignment and Doom  To Mr. James Woodyatt  On hearing of Dr. O'Carr's Death  Stanzas suggested by the Railway Accident at Desjardin's Canal  To the Memory of Dr. Laycock  Song of the Canadian Cradler  Stanzas to Rev. J. B. Howard and Family  Grumblings  Verses on the Railroad Accident near Copetown  A Tribute to the Memory of Rev. Thomas Fawcett  A Tribute to the Memory of Mr. Richard Folds  To the Humming Bird  To the Same  Fire Song  The Fire Alarm  My Old Arm Chair  A Tribute to the Bravery of my Cousin, Mrs. T. A. Cowherd  Canadians' Welcome to the Prince of Wales  Brantford's Welcome to the Prince of Wales, 1860  A Call for Help to Garibaldi  Lines suggested byNewYork Tribune'sAccount of Lincoln's  Departure from Springfield for Washington  "Sumter has Fallen, but Freedom is Saved!"  Song, "My Love is no Gay, Dashing Maid"  The Sewing Machine  Tabby and Tibby  Lines Composed at Mr. McLarty's, West Missouri
 Lines to my Mother  To my Wife  To the Same  To my dear little Boys, James, Christopher and Alfred  To Alfred  To Amelia  To Frederic  To my Daughter Ida  To my Wife on the Thirteenth Anniversary of our Wedding Day  To the Same (Twenty-fifth Anniversary)  To the Same (Thirtieth Anniversary)
"Let not Ambition mock their useful toil."— Gray.
THE ARGUMENT.—Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family. Death of mother and two sisters. The father's second marriage. Family tradition. Youth's thoughts and feelings in regard to it. Places visited: Crossthwaite, Underbarrow, Lake Windermere, Esthwaite. Incidents, poetic tastes, etc. Conclusion.
My harp awakes! And as I touch each string, The poor Mechanic Emigrant I sing. Eighteen eventful years, or rather more, Have fled since first he left his native shore— That much-loved shore! that dear old English home! So oft regretted since first led to roam. My Muse, 'tis thine to give in artless lays, A genuine history of his early days; Make known the place where first he saw the light, Portray the scenes which pleased his boyish sight, Unfold his parentage, and backward trace Their line, descended from no common race; Speak of his eagerness to learn a trade, Mark what proficiency in that he made, Glance at his love scenes, and a lesson show, Which youths in general would do well to know. Fail not to tell how, in his eighteenth year, He did, asChristian, publicly appear. Make known the cause that led him first to feel A strong desire to seek his future weal, In emigration to that distant shore Where flow great rivers, and loud cataracts roar; Where mighty lakes afford the fullest scope For future commerce, and the settler's hope. Go with him to his home in the wild woods— That rude log cottage where he stored his goods; Paint faithfully the scenes through which he passed, And how he settled in a town at last; What then befel him in successive years, Or aught which to thee suitable appears, To make his history such as may be read By high-born race, or those more lowly bred. Let usefulness be still thy constant aim, Nor care a jot for merely worldly fame. Help me to seek, by constant, earnest prayer That God's approval be my chiefest care. And if a Poet thou would'st wish to make Thy guide and pattern, gentle COWPER take. Thus, O my Muse! may we together spend Some happy hours, until my task shall end. And when 'tis finished, may it ne'er be said That we a useless memoir have displayed.
In the northwest of England's verdant isle, Where beauteous scenery meets one with a smile, Where lakes and rivers burst upon the sight And fill the mind with transports of delight, Where lofty hills unite with lowly dales To furnish matter for instructive tales, There is a town, a very ancient town, Which, should enjoy a share of high renown. My native place! I need not sink the name— Such act, sweet KENDAL! thou might'st justly blame, A place so dear, I trust I still shall love, Where'er I am, or wheresoe'er I rove! It has its site fast by a pleasant stream, Beside whose banks our hero learned to dream. Though quiet, it gave birth to many a name, Which for good deeds obtained a moderate fame. Some few there were well skilled in Science deep, Who now within its several graveyards sleep.
Its once-proud Castle that in ruin lies, The birthplace was of one who lived to rise To queenly state, and sit upon a throne And the eighth HENRY as her lord to own. Within this town some very rich men live; But many more who poverty receive As their low birthright, with the fullest share Of its attendants, constant toil and care! These oft, though poor, in honesty may vie With most of those who hold their heads so high. Of this large class young COOPER'S parents were; To peace inclined, they heeded not the stir Which proud Ambition's votaries create To gain such objects as their pride may sate.
E'er since this father was a little boy, Hard out-door labor did his hands employ. The mother, too, to work was early taught, And take delight in what her hands had wrought. This hardy training proved of use to them, A blessing they did never once contemn; For 'twas the means of gaining honest bread— And on no other would they e'er be fed!
In course of time four children needed care, And claimed from them of food and clothes a share. Nor did they grudge them what they could afford— For they had learned to live and serve the Lord! But soon Affliction, with her visage dire, Called them to pass through purifying fire! And first a smiling girl was snatched away— The mother next, to Death became a prey. The father, too, was sick, and laid aside For many weeks; thus sorely was he tried. Anon their pet, a lovely infant, died, And she was laid by her dear mother's side. Such fearful strokes, to one in poverty, Were hard to bear, as all may clearly see. But this poor man, all strong in holy faith, Was led to take a proper view of death— E'en to regard him as an enemy Conquered by Him who died on Calvary— And view his loved ones but as gone before. To Canaan's blest and truly happy shore!
Ere long the Lord a partner did prepare To aid this Christian, and his sorrow share. She had for many years in service been; Of careful habits, in good pay I ween. And this enabled her to lay aside A goodly sum, and keep her needs supplied. This virtuous woman thus became "a crown" To that poor man, by trials well bowed down. And by her cleverness in housewif'ry, With constant practice of economy, The family soon enjoyed a greater share Of household comforts, and had much less care.
Thus early schooled, our WILLIAM grew apace, And though still young, wore oft a thoughtful face. By nature studious, and of ready turn, He needful tasks most eagerly did learn. And being inquisitive, 'twas his desire On winter nights, and by their frugal fire, That his dear father should to him make known What kind of ancestry they chanced to own. To this the father, with a smiling face, Soon made reply, "We spring from noble race! Long, long ago, I can in truth declare, A wandering Minstrel visited a fair,
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