W1127 POEMS, POSSIBLY WRITTEN BY MARGARETTE B. LERNED [MCQUESTEN]
Nov 1 1824 [estimated date]1
From: [Adams Female Academy, 2 Londonderry, New Hampshire]
FOR THE GLEANER3
THE EVENING STARS
Lovely harbinger of night4
Going round with eye so bright
O'er this shadowy ball,
Scanning with unclouded sight,
Many a scene of deep delight,
And many a foul deed of night
Seen by thee on all.
In the boundless aerie dome
Ever has been fixed thy home
Since thy years began.
Stationed from chaotic night
By wide decree of matchless might,
Vain in thee to seek thy flight
From Almighty hand.
Nor does such wish thy breast pervade
Far from the seeds of sin inlaid,
Unlike the sons of men,
Thou in thy appointed sphere dost move,
And thus display the gracious love,
Which all the parts of nature prove
But vile, ungrateful man.
His changing frailties thou dost spy--
It may be with exulting eye,
Deeming them endless day.
But, though thou'st held thy radiant throne
While thousand, thousand, years have flown,
And earth has mighty changes known,
Time shall eclipse thy rays.
When the last trumpet's voice shall sound
And moon, and stars be hurled around,
And floods of vengeance pour;
"The Righteous, says the page divine
Are as the firmament to shine,
And like the stars, when thou, and thine,
Are quashed, to beam no more."
The heart is a garden entrusted to our care, for the cultivation of which we are individually responsible. The spontaneous productions of its soil are various. If in the spring-time of life, care be not taken to eradicate the poisonous weeds of pride & passion, their rank and deformed growth will overspread and deface the beauty of its whole surface. But if the plants of virtue be cherished with care, and trained with assiduity, they will put forth buds which shall be transplanted to a more congenial soil, to bloom in the paradise of Heaven.
Individual influence, however limited, will be felt not only through time, but--forever. Like the little rill that gushes from the hidden fountain, it flows on, accumulating & widening in its course till its waves mingle with the ocean of life--eternity. How solemn the thought! How momentous a thing to live!
1 We have estimated the date as being during Margarette's terms at Adams Female Academy in 1824 & 1825.
2 For a note on Adams Female Academy, and on Margarette Barker Lerned, see W1100.
3 "The Gleaner,"--"the popular name," says Hyde (De Religione, Vet. Pers., p. 392), "for the female with the ear of wheat represented in the constellation Virgo." In Bryant (vol. iii. p. 245). "Gleaner constellation." The Story of Phaethon. December 12, 2003. http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/2bab051.htm.
In the Bible "the Gleaner" is Ruth who became the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David. Thus Ruth, a Gentile, is among the maternal progenitors of our Lord (Matt. 1:5). The story of the gleaner Ruth illustrates the friendly relations between the good Boaz and his reapers. . . . but, above all, handing down the unselfishness, the brave love, the unshaken trustfulness of her who, though not of the chosen race, was, like the Canaanitess Tamar (Gen. 38:29; Matt. 1:3) and the Canaanitess Rahab (Matt. 1:5), privileged to become the ancestress of David, and so of "great David's greater Son" (Ruth 4:18-22). "Gleaner Encyclopedia." WebBible Encyclopedia. December 12, 2003. www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/ruth.html.
4 The poem and "Fragmints" are in Margarette Lerned's handwriting. It is not know if she composed them.