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GEORGE W. BETHUNE. THE Rev. George W. Bethune, D. D., is a native of New York, and is widely known as one of the finest scholars and most eloquent preachers in the American churches. He is author of several volumes of literary and religious discourses, which are as much distinguished as his poems by a genial, loving spirit, and a classical elegance of diction. A collection of his poems was published in Philadelphia in 1847. Dr. Bethune has been for several years a minister of the Reformed Dutch Church in Philadelphia, where he now resides.


My mother !—Manhood's anxious brow

And sterner cares have long been mine;
Yet turn I to thee fondly now,

As when upon thy bosom's shrine
My infant griefs were gently hushed to rest,
And thy low-whispered prayers my slumber blessed.
I never call that gentle name,

My mother ! but I am again
E'en as a child ; the very same

That prattled at thy knee; and fain
Would I forget, in momentary joy,
That I no more can be thy happy boy ;-
The artless boy, to whom thy smile

Was sunshine, and thy frown, sad night,
(Though rare that frown, and brief the while

It veiled from me thy loving light ;)
For well-conned task, ambition's highest bliss,
To win from thine approving lips a kiss.
I've loved through foreign lands to roam,

And gazed o’er many a classic scene;
Yet would the thought of that dear home,

Which once was ours, oft intervene,
And bid me close again my weary eye
To think of thee, and those sweet days gone by.

That pleasant home of fruits and flowers,

Where, by the Hudson's verdant side My sisters wove their jasmine bowers,

And he, we loved, at eventide Would hastening come from distant toil to bless Thine, and his children's radiant happiness. Alas, the change! the rattling car

On flint-paved streets profanes the spot,
Where o'er the sod, we sowed the Star

Of Bethlehem, and Forget-me-not.
Oh, wo to Mammon's desolating reign!
We ne'er shall find on earth a home again!
I've pored o'er many a yellow page

Of ancient wisdom, and have won,
Perchance, a scholar's name—but sage

Or bard have never taught thy son Lessons so dear, so fraught with holy truth, As those his mother's faith shed on his youth. If, by the Saviour's


made meet, My God will own my life and love, Methinks, when singing at His feet,

Amid the ransomed throng above, Thy name upon my glowing lips shall be, And I will bless that grace for heaven and thee. For thee and heaven ; for thou didst tread

The way that leads me heavenward, and My often wayward footsteps led

In the same path with patient hand; And when I wandered far, thy earnest call Restored


soul from sin's deceitful thrall. I have been blessed with other ties,

Fond ties and true, yet never deem That I the less thy fondness prize;

No, mother! in my warmest dream Of answered passion, through this heart of mine One chord will vibrate to no name but thine.

Mother! thy name is widow-well

I know no love of mine can fill The waste-place of thy heart, or dwell

Within one sacred recess : still Lean on the faithful bosom of thy son, My parent, thou art mine, my only one !

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I am alone ; and yet
In the still solitude there is a rush

Around me, as were met
A crowd of viewless wings; I hear a gush
Of uttered harmonies--heaven meeting earth,
Making it to rejoice with holy mirth.

Ye winged Mysteries,
Sweeping before my spirit's conscious eye,

Beckoning me to arise,
And go forth from my very self, and fly

you far in the unknown, unseen immense Of worlds beyond our sphere-What are ye? Whence ?

Ye eloquent voices,
Now soft as breathings of a distant flute,

Now strong as when rejoices
The trumpet in the victory and pursuit ;
Strange are ye, yet familiar, as ye call
My soul to wake from earth's sense and its thrall.
I know you now

With more than natural light-ye are the good,

The wise departedye
Are come from heaven to claim


With mortal brother, struggling in the strife
And chains, which once were yours in this sad life.

Ye hover o'er the page
Ye traced in ancient days with glorious thought

For many a distant age;
Ye love to watch the inspiration caught


From your sublime examples, and so cheer
The fainting student to your high career.

Ye come to nerve the soul
Like him who near the Atoner stood, when He,

Trembling, saw around him roll
The wrathful potents of Gethsemane,
With courage strong: the promise ye have known
And proved, rapt for me from the Eternal throne.

Still keep! O, keep me near you,
Compass me round with your immortal wings :

Still let my glad soul hear you
Striking your triumphs from your golden strings
Until with you I mount, and join the song,
An angel, like you, 'mid the white-robed throng.



YES! bear them to their rest ;
The rosy babe, tired with the glare of day,
The prattler fallen asleep e'en in his play,
Clasp them to thy soft breast,

O Night,
Bless them in dreams with a deep bushed delight.

Yet must they wake again,
Wake soon to all the bitterness of life,

pang of sorrow, the temptation strife,
Ay, to the conscience-pain-

O Night,
Canst thou not take with them a longer flight ?

of wo,

Canst thou not bear them far-
E'en now all innocent—before they know
The taint of sin, its consequence
The world's distracting jar,

O Night,
To some ethereal, holier, happier height?

Canst thou not bear them up
Through starlit skies, far from this planet dim
And sorrowful, e'en while they sleep, to Him
Who drank for us the cup,

O Night,

of wrath for hearts in faith contrite ?

To Him, for them who slept
A babe all lowly on His mother's knee,
And from that hour to cross-crowned Calvary,
In all our sorrows wept,

O Night,
That on our souls might dawn Heaven's cheering light.

So, lay their little heads
Close to that human breast, with love divine
Deep beating, while his arms immortal twine
Around them as he sheds,

O Night,
On them a brother's grace of God's own boundless might.

Let them immortal wake
Among the breathless flowers of Paradise,
Where angel-songs of welcome with surprise
This their last sleep may break,

O Night,
And to celestial joy their kindred souls invite.

There can come no sorrow,
The brow shall know no shade, the eye no tears,
Forever young through heaven's eternal years,
In one unfading morrow,

O Night,
Nor sin, nor age, nor pain their cherub-beauty blight.

Would we could sleep as they,
So stainless and so calm, at rest with thee,
And only wake in immortality!
Bear us with them away,

O Night,
To that ethereal, holier, happier height.

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