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23 January 1855


Polysophical Society; Lorenzo Snow’s Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

A large white house surrounded by trees

Lorenzo Snow’s home on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo taken circa 1920. (Courtesy Church History Library.)

Address No. 3

Brothers & Sisters, I feel blest while here,

Where words instruct—where music charms the ear:

One mite, one moiety, I would add, at least,

To this rich mental pic-nic social feast,

Contrast.

The storm is past—All nature is serene;

How clear the sunshine, and how calm the scene,

The hurricane is over—Soft and low

As music’s whisper, gentle zephyrs blow;

The tuneful songsters chant their joyous lay,

And rose-cheek'd cherubs on the terrace play.

The cataract ceases—All is hush’d—is still,

Save the low murmur of the purling rill.

The earthquake past, that threaten’d to destroy,—

Each bosom swells with gratitude and joy.

Projecting fragments ceasing to divide—

Green verdure waves all down the mountain side.

The angry waves recede—Along the shore,

Sweet bugle notes, chime with the boatman’s oar.

When raging wars, with all their clamor, cease,

How rich—how greatful is the voice of peace?

To vet’ran warriors, from the battle field,

What sacred pleasures, cheerful firesides yield? [n.p.]

Turmoil and toil, give relish unto rest

And render silence too, a rich behest.

Retirement gives a zest to social life,

Concordia triumphs at the close of strife;

And after wild confusion takes its fill,

Sweet harmony seems more harmonious still.

All things are learn’d by contrast: Who would know

To prize a friend, that never had a foe?

With<out> the wrong, who could describe the right?

Without the darkness, how distinguish light?

Without a bitter, who would relish sweet?

If friend, ne’er parted, say, if friends would meet.

We learn in sickness to appreciate health—

From poverty the advantages of wealth.

What proves so well, pure wheat, as to compare

The genuine kernel, with the spurious tare?

Were no goats mingled in the shepherd’s flock,

Strangers might judge his sheep ignoble stock.

The school of God impresses lessons well—

The faithful “mormons” have been taught to spell—

Taught how t’ appreciate all and every good,

As hunger gives an appetite for food.Point me to one that never had to roam—

That is the man that does not value home.

Ask Israel’s elders who go forth to preach

To all, of every nation, grade and speech:

When far from all on earth, you dearly prize—

Far, far from home, and all its tender ties—

Expos’d to hatred, malice, scoff and scorn, [n.p.]

Where vice is cherish’d—where tradition’s born—

Where every heart you meet, is icy cold—

Each mind lock’d up in prejucide’ strong hold—

Where black corruption with the blight of death,

Enters the nostrils and pollutes the breath!

Strange, among strangers, and oft times unblest

With shelter, food or drink, or where to rest.

When there, altho’ to your high callings, true;

Think you of home?—You learn to prize it too

The sword of persecution, in the sheath

Gives to the Saints a time and place to breathe.

Who’ve suffer’d most—who most have been opprest,

Now most appreciate this mountain rest.

More than Elysian fields, we prize the spell,

This heav’nly rescue from the strifes of hell.

Led forth from tragic scenes, we feel the worth

Of peace, that dwells not elsewhere, on the earth.

All things existing, will to good conduce

When well applied, and to their proper use;

And all subserve our profit, when we know

Their adaptation, what, when, where and how.

When we, the circumstances can’t control,

Study submission—thus improve the whole.

That we, the depths of ignorance might know,

We’re cloth’d in frail mortality below;

It is through suffering, if we ever rise—

Without experience, Gods would be unwise;

With an opposite, is nothing known;

Happy results will generously atone

For present evils, ’Twill be ample pay

For all the struggles of the latter-day,

If we the glorious privilege obtain,

With Jesus Christ, on earth, to live & reign.

The foregoing was read at an Assembly of the “Polysophical Institution” in L. Snow’s Hall, Jan. 23, 1855. [n.p.]

Source Note

Snow, Eliza Roxcy, Journal (1842–1882), n.p., CHL (MS 1439).

See also Snow, Eliza R. “Contrast,” in Poems, Religious, Historical and Political, vol. 2, (Salt Lake City: Latter-Day Saints Printing and Publishing Establishment, 1877): 22–24.