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    TO THE NEW YEAR.   Table of Contents     THWARTED.

Thompson, Priscilla Jane
Ethiope Lays



WITHIN a dark and cheerless hut,
Where haughty spurned to stray,
Where even sunshine paused not long,
An old saint knelt to pray.

Her ill-clad form was bent with age;
Her crisp hair specked with snow;
Her eboned face was upward turned;
Her voice was deep and low.

Long had she worn her armor bright;
Oft Satan's host defied;
Full sixty years she'd faced the brunt,
And still she was not tired.

Her faith was stronger than the winds,
That rent lake Galilee;
She laid her crosses at His feet;
His blood, her only plea.

Before a living God she knelt;
She felt His presence near;
She prayed with all her heart, this saint,
She knew her Lord would hear.

Her trammeled race, bowed to the dust,
Beneath the tyrant's sword,
Abused and crossed on ev'ry side,
She laid before her Lord.

In earlier, gloomier, days than these--
Those bitter days of old,
When children, plucked from breaking hearts,
Were hurried off and sold,

Had she not felt His kindly arm
Embrace with father's care,
And bear her up, she knew not how,
From utter, dire, despair?

She knew on whom her hopes were built,
To whom her wrongs to tell,
She felt a peace steal o'er her heart,
That told her, all were well.

And all is well, oh blessed saint,
Thou lowly one divine!
God strikes the shackle from dim eyes;
And bids the light to shine.

And now behold, you eboned youth,
Is nerved to face the fray,
And lead a weaker brother through,
Unto a brighter day.

You dusky maid, with dauntless zeal,
Forced by a vague command,
Aspires to widen intellect,
As well as tutor hands.

Oh! many a noble, eboned youth,
By that low uttered prayer,
Was made to feel a discontent--
That forced him from the rear.

And up the line of intellect,
Was led by His strong hand,
'Til with his fair-faced brethren,
He faltering takes his stand.

Thou strong and mighty one in prayer,
Thou heir to bliss on high--
Cease not thine ardent, heavenly chant,
Jehovah heeds thy cry.

Thou canst not live to see the day,
When thy race shall be free,
To swell the volume of His choir,
The Lord hath need of thee.

But, when the last o'er-whelming foe,
Before thy race, shall fall,
Methink thy thankful, heavenly chant,
Shall rise above them all.

    TO THE NEW YEAR.   Table of Contents     THWARTED.