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CANADIAN WILD FLOWERS:

SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF

MISS HELEN M. JOHNSON,

OF MAGOG, P.Q., CANADA

WITH A SKETCH OF HER LIFE

BY REV. J. M. ORROCK

Good thoughts spring from the human mind Like flowers out the ground: Attractive, fragrant, beautiful,-- To make our joys abound

PREFACE.

An observance of the hand of God in his providences, as well as of his Spirit in the written Word and in the human heart, has led to the publication of this book. Though more than twenty years hare passed since Miss JOHNSON died, her name is like "an ointment poured forth." Many who never knew her personally seem to know her well from her poetic writings: for "as fragrance to the sense of smell, music to the ear, or beauty to the eye, so is poetry to the sensibilities of the heart,--it ministers to a want of our intellectual nature; this is the secret of its power and the pledge of its perpetuity." A 16mo volume of her "Poems" was published in Boston, in 1855, but has long been out of print. In 1864 the Rev. E. H. Dewart published in Montreal a work entitled "Selections from Canadian Poets," in which ten of her poems were inserted and a very appreciative notice of her given. She also wrote for several papers, so that in various ways her thoughts have been widely disseminated. A desire has often been expressed to have them collected into one volume; but to have all thus republished would not be best. I have therefore attempted only what the title indicates --to make _selections from her writings_; and conclude to send them forth under a name which she herself chose at a time when she had thoughts of getting out a book. Let critics remember that they claim to be only "_Canadian wild flowers_"; yet we feel sure that some of them, for beauty of form and fragrance of truth, will not unfavorably compare with some of the cultivated productions of our classic poets. Miss JOHNSON was better known by her poetry than by her prose writings, yet in the latter are found so many grand thoughts that I have copied from them freely. The biographical sketch, it is hoped, will add interest to the book, especially as so many of her diary notes have been interwoven. Some of her pieces are here printed for the first time. The prize poem on "The Surrender of Quebec" is given in full. In the Preface to her "Poems" she said: "I have been cheered and encouraged by the thought that perhaps through my instrumentality the heart of some humble believer might be comforted, and some wretched wanderer, weary of the vanities of earth, be directed to the only source of life and happiness. Should such be the case, the brightest hopes of the authoress will be fulfilled, and she herself be amply compensated for her care and labor." With a sincere desire to aid in the direction thus indicated this little work is now sent forth.

J.M.O. Brookline, Mass., June 22, 1884.

CONTENTS.

LIFE-SKETCH:

Birth-place--The Forest (a poem)--Conviction of sin--Baptism and Resolutions--Experience--Diary notes in verse--Sufferings--Last poem-- The One Name and The Adieu (poetry)--Death

RURAL SCENES:

The Walk in June.

An Evening Meditation.

Nature's Resurrection.

The Bird's Nest.

Gather Violets.

To a Dandelion.

To a Robin.

God is There.

The Canadian Farmer.

The Return.

The Old Sugar-Camp.

To a Rabbit.

The Old Man.

The Fading and the Unfading (prose).

On Receipt of some Wild Flowers.

The Sick Girl's Dream.

The Last Song.

An Evening Scene.

Autumn Teachings (prose).

The Watcher.

PATRIOTIC POEMS:

The Surrender of Quebec.

Song of the English Peasant Girl.

A Nation's Desire.

Canada's Welcome.

Our Native Land.

The Appeal.

I Love the Land where I was Born.

The World to Come.

TEMPERANCE:

A Welcome to a Temperance Picnic.

A Life-Scene--The Letter.

The Pledge.

SIGHS ON MORTALITY:

What is Your Life?

Life.

The Silent Army.

The Dying Warrior.

On Seeing a Skull (prose).

Thoughts on Death.

The Battle-Field.

Dead and Forgot.

Dear Emily.

On the Death of a Friend (prose).

The Heavenly Helper.

The Promise.

The Dead Christ (prose).

The Complaint.

The Mixed Cup (prose).

I Shall Depart.


Canadian Wild Flowers - 1/36

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