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Sabbath Morning
By Betsey (Guppy) Chamberlain

Page Created March 2000

It was a beautiful sabbath morning, and I had arisen earlier than usual. The tranquil hours had just given Aurora the tint of the rose, and dispelled the vapours of the night that hovered over the shadowy earth, while the sun's first rays tinged with radiant purple the half-enlightened clouds. It was a time for thought and reflection; and imagination carried me back to the years of childhood, when with a light step and merry heart I used to trip through the dewy grass, and hie to the wild-wood, that I might hear the birds, when they first awoke, begin to chant their morning songs. And I longed for the days of other years, that, far from the busy city of Lowell, I might again see Nature celebrate the returning light, and pay to Nature's God the sacrifice of praise.

Thus far had I proceeded with my communication, intending to delineate the various beauties which, in other days and far away, would, on a lovely sabbath morn, enchant my eyes and ears, and inspire my heart with a holy transport, awakening a desire to join in the rapturous employment of praising the great Author of all things. But my feelings overcame me, and my trembling hand refused to do its office. I threw down my pen, and burying my face in my handkerchief, a friendly shower of tears came to my relief. A visit from Morpheus hushed each rising sigh; and seated in fancy's car, imagination soon placed me on a huge rock which jutted over the limpid waters of my own loved Winipisiogee*. Through the grey mist of the morning I could discern the islands of Varney and Barndoor, with their green pastures and shady groves; also Rattlesnake island, with its tall cedars. Behind me was the wood, where in by-gone days I had spent many hours in the delightful employment of gathering wild-flowers and berries, nuts and acorns; and where I had watched the squirrel, as he hopped from tree to tree, and listened to the songs of the robin and bob-a-lincon, and sometimes chased the fox to his hiding-place. The returning day soon awoke the winged inhabitants of the grove, and they began to pour forth the melody of their little throats, to the praise of Him who gave them voice and melody. The resplendent sun, darting his rays from behind the woods, giving light and color to re-animated nature, now decked with smiles and new-born graces the whole enchanting prospect. The glittering summits of the rocks, and the shining sides of the opposite mountains, sent up exhalations which, mixing with the pure air of the morning as they arose, reminded me of the smoke of burnt-offerings, which anciently ascended from the altar of God's chosen people. In this smiling morn I could see all nature paying homage to the great Creator, and the language of my heart was, Let my voice reach Thy throne, O Lord, before that of Thy other creatures! In the grey twilight, at the dawn of the morning, while the birds and beasts yet sleep, may my solitary prayer find acceptance, and invite the reviving creation to praise Thee! Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

I awoke, and felt a sadness at heart to think that I had only been dreaming.


* This was the nineteenth-century spelling for Lake Winnipesaukee. B.G.C.'s childhood home was located on the shore of Winnipesaukee.

Source: Lowell Offering (Lowell, Ma.) 2 (1842): 207-08
Contributed by: Judith Ranta

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Betsey (Guppy) Chamberlain