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The Philosophy of Love. [A Plea in Defence of Virtue and Truth!] A Poem in Six Cantos, with Other Poems

New Year Salutations, for 1863

page 184“Philosophy of Love”: Page 184.

New Year Salutations, for 1863.

To Mrs. J. H——, Poetess; Langloan, Scotland.
After receiving her gift, in a copy of her works

A Happy New Year to our friends far away,
And good folks at home, whose affections are one!
May Heaven vouchsafe us a special display
Of Providence good in this year now beguu!

Future; Joy; Sadness; ImaginationWe look on the future, but ’tis not defined;
A great bank of shaddows rests o’er the abyss;
And who can tell what underneath is design’d
To fall to our lots,—whether sorrow, or bliss?

How Fancy paints brightly things distant to reach!
Yet, what lies behind is in darkness conceal’d:
Thus, wisdom from all past experience would teach,
“Be prompt to embrace what is truly reveal’d!”

With hope in our hearts, may we ever press onward;
In each line of duty be never remiss:
And ever be watchful to keep from the downward,
Still upward be looking to meet with success!

Past; Future; Memory; Religion; Prosperity’Tis well to glance back on the paths we have travell’d,
To see where we’ve err’d, or have faild to take heed;
That future enigmas may soon get unrevall’d,
Which puzzling may seem; and so aid to succeed!

page 185“Philosophy of Love”: Page 185.

’Tis well to look back, the whole past to review
Of the year that is gone,—in all trials we’ve had,
See mercies commingled—take cognizance true
Of many deliv’rances, making us glad!

’Tis well to look back, and look faults in the face,
And have them condemn’d, and disown’d in our hearts:
Thus, riddance make of them; them giving disgrace;
Forgiveness obtaining which Jesus imparts!

’Tis thus we can better look forward, expecting
God’s blessing to cheer, in our progress through life;
His love in our hearts giving joy, and directing
The course we must follow, us warding ’mid strife!*

’Tis well to look back, and examine minutely
What good has been done; if such merit can claim:
Repenting each failure; and so resolutely
Determine to make better efforts our aim!

Past; Future; Religion; Joy; ChangeGood things of the past, bespeak much for the future,
Though nought of self merit in them may claim:
For, ’tis all of grace; in the act, and its nature,
We’re only mere agents unworthy of fame!

What gift is conferr’d on us, may we improve it;
’Twas not to lie idle, or put to abuse!—
Where energy’s roused, Heaven’s aid will approve it,
And joy shall result to our souls’ special use!

page 186“Philosophy of Love”: Page 186.

In ev’ry endeavour—improvement our aim—
Enjoyments, most fert le, our spirits will cheer:
So, may we in all things God’s glory proclaim;
In faith let us welcome another New Year.

A happy New Year bid the old and the young—
To the aged and infirm nearing end of their days;
That they, in the grace of the Lord, may be strong;
That they the last summons may welcome with praise.

To the young, in the ardour of every pursuit;
That virtue be theirs, and improvement their aim,
While guided by Truth, passion conquer’d to boot,
God’s glory, their motto, the strength of good fame!

Yes, may they aspire! It is duty:—’tis reason;
Till reaching as far as their natures can go;
Rejoicing in hope, may we, each renew’d season,
See in them advancements still upward to grow!

A happy New Year bid true lovers unwedded;
Whose love-vexing trammels have not been o’ercome;
May this year see granted their wishes, and gladded
Each heart be, ere close, in its much desired home!

A happy New Year to the tempted and tried,
Whose lives would seem fated to battle with cares:
May some turning point soon appear, when enjoy’d
Some comfort shall be, which yet has not been theirs!

page 187“Philosophy of Love”: Page 187.

Future; Sadness; Religion; Change’Tis hope, blessed hope in the future, that cheers
The heart in its sadness, and keeps it above
Whelming waves of affliction, from sinking in fears;
Aye, even when quench’d are the motives of love.

Oh! hard it is truly to be victimised,
As having one’s feelings the prey of despair:
Kind Heaven, look on such; let be realized
That hope in some change which their joy might declare!

A happy New Year bid all Nature around,
Though “Sixty-eighty” here, has been usher’d in storms;
Though rough the beginning, may th’ end yet be found
To all giving gladness by manifold charms!

The months, as they come in succession, all cheering
Let be each his message to garden and field
While seasons displaying their treasures, endearing,
Rejoicing our hearts with a plentiful yield.

May was do his duty, in aiding each blessing
Which Heaven vouchsafes on his toils to descend!
For, rich His rewards, and all worth the possesing;
And pleasures, which best can with industry blend!

Nation; War; Friendship; Commerce; JoyA happy New Year may we bid to the world:
May Nations in friendship, and concord unite!
The Banners of brotherhood wide be unfurl’d,
When Princes no longer in war shall delight!

page 188“Philosophy of Love”: Page 188.

When rulers shall reign in their subject’s affections,
And realms with their neighbours in goodness shall vie;
When Trade will increase in its daily transactions,
And peace universal be foster’d with joy!

This year be beginning of end of commotions,
Which oft have disturb’d with wild warfare and pest;
As when a calm comes o’er the storm-troubled oceans,
When settling down, glad of the forthcoming rest!

From this point of view, it is well to look back
On times, when each kingdom was like a wild horde,
And mark the advancements each made on the track,
Still leading to joys, other times may afford!

Who’d not sympathize with the shades of our fathers
Since we possess blessings, which never were theirs;
Their hardships so many, and toils thro’ all weathers,
With pastimes uncouth, like the corn full of tares!

Religion; Future; CivilisationTo think of such, now civ’lization enlightens
Our lot in our day, may we grateful be found!—
Thus, as we look forward, the prospect much brightens,
While duty is ours, in faith’s works to abound!

See! are we not nearing the borders sublime,
Of that dispensation, Millennium will cheer?
So, gladly let’s welcome that forth-coming time,
By bidding all round us, A happy New Year!

page 189“Philosophy of Love”: Page 189.

Thus closing:—Dear sister of spirit-land feelings,
Now verging on pleasures apart from all fear;
Long be thy harp strung to the Muse’s revealings,
Rejoicing thy heart with all heaven-like cheer!

And may the last embers of this earthly life,
Still glow with fresh brightness—thy crowning career
When call’d from this earth, may thy joys be more rife,
Beginning in Heaven an endless New Year!

An endless New Year without mixture of pain;
With no disappointment, or aught to cause fear;
Where all shall be pleasures renewing, and gain!
Aye such shall be truly a Happy New Year!!

* As in Isaiah, XLI, 10—18. & XLIII, 2, &c.