Monday, December 30, 2013

"The Old Year and the New" by Clementina Jones (1872)

The Old Year and the New.


The following lines, as will plainly appear,

Were meant to be published the last of the year,

But, perhaps 'tis well to take a review

Of seventy-one, during seventy-two;

And however we've spent, or misspent the past,

The present improve, as if 'twere our last.

The year is fast waving and passing away,

For, like all that is earthly, 'twas born to decay.

'Twill be well for us then, ere we bid it adieu,

To pause, for awhile, and the past to review.

We all have been trav'ling—what path have we trod?

The broad way to ruin, or the narrow to God?

Our steps have been rapid, oh! whence did they tend!

Have we, in our haste, never thought of the end?

Have justice and mercy, as time passed away,

Been leading us onward, and guiding our way,

Or has self been our idol, upon our hearts throne,

A monarch unrivaled, ruling alone?

Have lonely hearts, burdened with anguish and care,

Been cheered by our kindness, or saved from despair.

Or have these sorely wounded by want or disdain,

Been probed by us deeply, to add to their pain?

Have the naked been clothed, and the hungry been fed—

The sinful and erring to Jesus been led?

Or have we wronged others to gratify self,

Or lured them to ruin, to add to our pelf?

How many there were, when the year first begun,

Who ne'er thought that their work, ere its close, would be done,

Whose bodies are sleeping beneath the cold ground,

No more to awake, till the trumpet shall sound.

But we have been spared—oh! why! for what end!

Some to finish our work—some our lives to amend,

And some, from the dross, the Savior Divine,

With suff'ring and sorrow, the gold would refine.

But whatever we've been—whatever we've done

Can never be altered, never undone,

But, though polluted our hearts still remain,

The blood of the Lamb can remove ev'ry stain.

To that precious fountain, then let us apply—

There none are excluded—none suffered to die;

The remedy's certain, for suff'ring and grief—

None ever approached it, but soon found relief.

O! cleanse us, dear Savior, in thine own precious blood,

That we may be heirs, and the children of God,

And joint heirs with thee, our brother and friend,

To a kingdom of glory that never will end.

Troy Daily Whig. March 20, 1872: 1 col 6.

        Lansingburgh, N.Y., has the latest haunted schoolhouse, though it appears to be a dwelling house where Miss Clementina Jones receives pupils. Miss Jones told a reporter of the unearthly yells heard and the rocking of the whole house. Mysterious noises, light footfalls and heavy, have been bravely followed from cellar to attic, and still were heard, yet there were no visible boots or bodies. Falling bodies, the emptying of vessels, and other interesting phenomena, are heard; also strange voices. Miss Jones does not believe in ghosts or hobgoblins, and says she is not superstitious, yet she feels as if surrounded by evil spirits.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 5, 1873: 2 col 5.

St. Lawrence Republican. February 11, 1873: 2 col 4.

Clementina Jones (1814-1900)

Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Lansingburgh, NY

No comments:

Post a Comment