Gathered Leaves: or, Miscellaneous Papers . . .


“And in each branch there was a budding gem,
And in each gem there was a hidden stem
And in each stem a leafy diadem,
And every branch of that prophetic tree
Was emblem of some mightier mystery.”

  These lines which Miss Gould has adopted as motto to this volume, are happily expressive of those causes which make the little things of daily life so fruitful to her. Her mind is so easily lured to meditation, her Muse so easily moved to reproduction, that she does not need to abstract herself at all from the common scenes of life. Sunday shines no Sabbath day to her, from precisely the opposite cause to that marked in the original application of the line, because she finds in every day a thousand occasions that serve as texts to her good thoughts.

  It is on this account that she is so great a favorite with those who need a cheerful, thoughtful companion in the busy walks of life; she comes to them like a kind sister, finding sermons in stones and good in everything. And persons to whom she has stood in this relation will receive from these leaves the same pleasure they have from other tokens from her hand. It is a neat volume suitable for a holiday gift. We extract the following poem:*

From a Tree standing near Sir Isaac Newton’s Dwelling.

LEAF of the green and shadowy tree,
That guards the window where the eye
Of NEWTON once looked forth, to see
The glorious hosts arrayed on high!—
Thy root holds fast the distant sod
That gave his foot a resting-place,
Untiring, while his spirit trod
Ethereal hights, the spheres to trace.

Thou art to me a beaming page—
Ay, volume! and in radiant lines,
The story of a deathless Sage
On thy fair, verdant surface shines.
While I peruse thee as a tome,
To fancy’s eye dear visions rise;
She hovers round his earthly home—
She soars where he surveyed the skies.

I bend in homage to the worth,
The power, the beauty of his mind,
That shows where’er it moved on earth
By brilliant tracery left behind.
And he, to whom a falling fruit
Mysterious Nature’s problem solved,
Unerring, up through space could shoot,
And span the spheres as they revolved.

As through the solar world he moved,
Among its beaming mechanism,
His lucid thoughts at will, be proved
To have the power of lens, or prism.
And measuring those proud realms afar,
With angel speed and prophet’s sight,
He set his foot from star to star;
His way-marks were the orbs of light.

Yet, not alone for earth and time,
Did that aspiring spirit rise;
But, for the science more sublime,
To bear the palm beyond the skies.
His soul with love of Truth inspired,
No rest in baser love could find
Till that vast mind divinely fired,
Broke forth with light for all mankind.

He sought her, studying Nature’s laws,
And these harmonious proved to men—
He traced her to her great First Cause,
By prophet’s voice and gospel pen.
And she then made so strong and clear
The crystal of his telescope,
It brought unearthly wealth so near,
’T was seen by Faith, and grasped by Hope.

NEWTON! to thee, where Truth unveils
Her lovely image to thy view,
Are not the philosophic scales
Thou here hast used, proved just and true?
Did not her clear, sweet accents tell,
While she bestowed thy diadem,
That when thy earthly apple fell,
It was her angel snapped the stem?—

That when she saw thy soul ascend,
To seek her, from the blushing fruit,
She bade that holy servant bend
His pinion for thy parachute?
To that fair attribute of heaven—
That daughter of the King Most High,
When thy young heart so soon was given,
She gave to thee thy seer’s eye.

Then many a bright celestial hue
She to thy vision made appear,
Which others ne’er discover through
Earth’s dust and vapory atmosphere.
She taught the fair analysis
Of rays which made thy mount,
Seeking a truer world than this,
Of light’s pure streams to find the fount.

And thus, thy high discoveries made—
The science so attained by thee,
Have made thy memory ne’er to fade—
Thy glory for eternity.
’T is from the freshness of the one
My leaf hath verdure not its own;
While from the other as a sun,
This radiance o’er the green is thrown.

“Gathered Leaves: or, Miscellaneous Papers . . .” New-York Daily Tribune, 24 December 1845, p. 1.