W1104 ESSAY BY MARGARETTE LERNED [MCQUESTEN]
Jan 1 1825 [approximate date]1
From: [Adams Female Academy 2 Londonderry, New Hampshire]
Night, sable goddefs 3 from her ebon throne,
In raylefs [sic] majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden scepter o'er a slumbering world.
The solemnity of the hour is pleasing to a mind fond of meditation. Man has now retired from the gay scenes of this fleeting world, to seek repose; and the melodious notes of the songsters are hushed, with their little limbs are sheltered beneath the covert [sic] of some neighboring tree; and silence reigns o'er all creation. Pale cynthia is decked with luminous apparel, and the stars are darting in the dark blue etherial [sic] regions which gives a sublime appearance to the grand works of nature.
Pensive and alone seated at my window, viewing the extensive prospect, by which I am surrounded, it arouses my mind from a stupidity to behold such exquisite beauty from the hands of so omnipotent a Creator. On one side the adjacent hills and green foliage are o'erspread with a mild radiance, and the distant mountains present the scenery in a more picturesque appearance; whole on the other side the moon is shedding a lustre o'er the rich harvest which has adorned the fields for the benefit of man. At such an hour the mind delights to meditate on absent friends. Some are surrounded either by happinefs [sic] of misery and many be lieing [sic] on a bed of languishment, enduring all the pangs of disease and afflictions while others are surrounded by a circle of dear friends, who are willing to do every thing for their happinefs and welfare in this world, and help them in preparing for another of real Blifs [sic].
Altho' many are lulled to rest by the toils and fatigues of the day, yet god is watching over than and trying to persuade the impenitent to engage in a work of more importance than earthly pleasures can afford and how indifferent we are to his holy will, not thinking that guardian angels are hovering around us, to protect our feeble limbs though the dangerous path of life, that is strewed [sic] with thorns and labyrinths which we mush unavoidably pafs [sic].
The blefsing [sic] of eternal life is offered to us, and instead of seeking the path which leads to it, we aim at that which leads to endlefs [sic] misery. Night may be compared to the evening of our life, and is a prelude to a glorious morn. How solemn to see an immortal spirit ready to take its flight from these fading scenes, to mansions which will never cease to endure.
Margarette B. Lerned.
1 This essay was not dated; however, it was likely written while Margarette was in school at Adams Female Academy in 1824 and 1825.
2 For a note on Adams Female Academy, and on Margarette Barker Lerned, see W1100.
3 The writer uses the now archaic "fs" construction for the "ss" sound, which we have retained for authenticity.
4 Margarette likely took her inspiration from Edward Young (1683-1765), poet, solicitor and rector. He wrote plays, satires and poems. He wrote "The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality" in about 1745. Dr. Johnson, concludes his life of Young with: "But with all his defects, he was a man of genius and a poet." (OCED 906). Margarette used Young's poem for inspiration for several essays W1104, W1145, W1147, W1150, see note at W1145.
"Edward Young." December 10, 2003. H. Forster, Edward Young: Poet of the Night Thoughts (1986). www.bartleby.com/65/yo/Young-Ed.html - 18k.