The New Year 1852 (Poem by Eliza R. Snow Smith)
Hark! ’Tis the trump of Time that ushers in
The new, unfolding, undevelop’d year.
Who knows its secrets? Who can pry into
Its deeply folded vestments and foretell
The grand vicissitudes that will precede
The full-form’d egress of the op’ning year,
Wrapt in the curtains of futurity,
Which mortal ken, unaided by the light
Of inspiration, cannot penetrate?
Its introduction bears the impress of
The past, and casts its bold reflection on
The future: Time’s broad bosom heaves: On, on
Still moves the billowy tide of change, that in
Its destination will o’erwhelm the mass
Of the degen’rate governments of earth,
And introduce Messiah’s peaceful reign.
There is “a fearful looking for,” a vague
Presentiment of something near at hand—
A feeling of portentousness that steals
Upon the hearts of multitudes, who see
Disorder reigning through all ranks of life.
Reformers and reforms now in our own
United States, clashing tornado-like,
Are threat’ning dissolution all around.
Slavery and anti-slavery! What a strife!
“Japhet shall dwell within the tents of Shem,
And Ham shall be his servant;” long ago
The prophet said: ’Tis being now fulfill’d.
The curse of the Almighty rests upon
The colored race: In his own time, by his
Own means, not yours, that curse will be remov’d.
And woman too aspires for something, and
She knows not what; which if attain’d would prove,
Her very wishes would not be her wish.
Sun, moon, and stars, and vagrant comets too,
Leaving their orbits, ranging side by side,
Contending for prerogatives, as well
Might seek to change the laws that govern them,
As woman to transcend the sphere which God
Thro’ disobedience has assigned to her;
And seek and claim equality with man.
She led in the transgression, and was plac’d
By Elohim’s unchangeable decree,
In a subservient and dependent sphere:—
If virtuous, faithful, and submissive there,
She’s lovely, loving, and to be belov’d.
Can ships at sea be guided without helm?
Boats without oars? steam-engines without steam?
The mason work without a trowel? Can
The painter work without a brush, or the
Shoe-maker without awls? The hatter work
Without a block? The blacksmith without sledge
Or anvil? Just as well as men reform
And regulate society without
The Holy Priesthood’s pow’r. Who can describe
The heav’nly order who have not the right,
Like Abra’m, Moses, and Elijah, to
Converse with God, and be instructed thro’
The Urim and the Thummim as of old?
Hearken, all ye inhabitants of earth!
All ye philanthropists who struggle to
Correct the evils of society!
You’ve neither rule or plummet.
Here are men
Cloth’d with the everlasting Priesthood: men
Full of the Holy Ghost, and authoriz’d
To ’stablish righteousness—to plant the seed
Of pure religion, and restore again
A perfect form of government to earth.
If elsewhere men are so degenerate
That women dare compete with them, and stand
In bold comparison: let them come here;
And here be taught the principles of life
Let those fair champions of “female rights”
Female conventionists, come here. Yes, in
These mountain vales; chas’d from the world, of whom
It “was not worthy” here are noble men
Whom they’ll be proud t’ acknowledge to be far
Their own superiors, and feel no need
Of being Congressmen; for here the laws
And Constitution our forefathers fram’d
Are honor’d and respected. Virtue finds
Protection ’neath the heav’n-wrought banner here.
’Tis here that vile, foul-hearted wretches learn
That truth cannot be purchas’d—justice brib’d;
And taught to fear the bullet’s warm embrace,
Thro’ their fond love of life, from crime desist,
And seek a refuge in the States, where weight
Of purse is weight of character, that stamps
The impress of respectability.
“Knowledge is pow’r.” Ye saints of Latter-day!
You hold the keys of knowledge. ’Tis for you
To act the most conspic’ous and the most
Important parts connected with the scenes
Of this New Year: To ’stablish on the earth
The principles of Justice, Equity,—
Of Righteousness and everlasting Peace.
published in Deseret News, 10 January 1852