(written in her fifteenth year)

Life is but a troubled ocean, 
     Hope a meteor, love a flower
Which blossoms in the morning beam, 
     And whithers with the evening hour. 

Ambition is a dizzy height, 
     And glory, but a lightning gleam; 
Fame is a bubble, dazzling bright, 
    Which fairest shines in fortune’s beam. 

When clouds and darkness veil the skies, 
    And sorrow’s blast blows loud and chill, 
Friendship shall like a rainbow rise, 
    And softly whisper—peace, be still.

More by Lucretia Maria Davidson

To My Mother

O thou whose care sustained my infant years,
     And taught my prattling lip each note of love;
Whose soothing voice breathed comfort to my fears,
     And round my brow hope’s brightest garland wove;

To thee my lay is due, the simple song,
     Which Nature gave me at life’s opening day;
To thee these rude, these untaught strains belong,
     Whose heart indulgent will not spurn my lay.

O say, amid this wilderness of life,
     What bosom would have throbbed like thine for me?
Who would have smiled responsive?—who in grief,
     Would e’er have felt, and, feeling, grieved like thee?

Who would have guarded, with a falcon-eye,
     Each trembling footstep or each sport of fear?
Who would have marked my bosom bounding high,
     And clasped me to her heart, with love’s bright tear?

Who would have hung around my sleepless couch,
     And fanned, with anxious hand, my burning brow?
Who would have fondly pressed my fevered lip,
     In all the agony of love and wo?

None but a mother—none but one like thee,
     Whose bloom has faded in the midnight watch;
Whose eye, for me, has lost its witchery,
     Whose form has felt disease’s mildew touch.

Yes, thou hast lighted me to health and life,
     By the bright lustre of thy youthful bloom—
Yes, thou hast wept so oft o’er every grief,
     That wo hath traced thy brow with marks of gloom.

O then, to thee, this rude and simple song,
     Which breathes of thankfulness and love for thee,
To thee, my mother, shall this lay belong,
     Whose life is spent in toil and care for me.
 

Fragment

(written in her twelfth year)

With snow-clad top, and far projecting height,
Yon mist-wrapp'd mountain rises on my sight;
There fancy's pencil draws a world unseen,
For ever smiling, and for ever green;
Fills it with beings pure from sin's black stain,
Where faith, hope, charity, and friendship reign.
There forests waving, fill'd with songsters sweet,
The ear with wild and warbling music greet;
There purling rills in soft meanders glide,
There no rough cataract whirls its foaming tide;
Life's little bark there man in safety steers,
And passions dark'ning storms he never fears.

Twilight

(Written in her fifteenth year)

How sweet the hour when daylight blends 
   With the pensive shadows on evening’s breast; 
And dear to the heart is the pleasure it lends, 
   For ‘tis like the departure of saints to their rest. 

Oh, ‘tis sweet, Saranac, on thy loved banks to stray 
    To watch the last day-beam dance light on thy wave, 
To mark the white skiff as it skims o’er the bay, 
    Or heedlessly bounds o’er the warrior's grave. 

Oh, 'tis sweet to a heart unentangled and light, 
   When with hope’s brilliant prospects the fancy is blest, 
To pause ‘mid its day-dreams so witchingly bright, 
  And mark the last sunbeams, while sinking to rest.