Page:The Poets and Poetry of the West.djvu/596

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MARY WILSON BETTS Mart E. Wilson, born near Maysville, Kentucky, a»Sl?t tire year 1830, was, in 1854, one of the most popular of the younger writers of that State. In the summer of 1854 she was married to Morgan L. Betts, a young man of talent and enterprise, who had been one of the publishers and editors of the Cd'^^^City Fact of Columbus, Ohio, and who was then an editor of the Detroit Times. On Uie sixt^nth of Sep- tember, 1854, Mrs. Betts suddenly died of congestion of ther^DHnn. feer husband survived her only a few weeks. '- Mrs. Betts was dearly beloved by many friends in Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan, as a woman, and was widely admired as a young poet whose writings gave promise of decided excellence. In a touching obituary notice, the editor of the Detroit Times said: "Radiant in the bloom of youth, she beheld the dawn of a bright future, only to recline in the silent chamber of an early grave. Friendship had crowned her temples with its choicest wreaths. Love scattered his sweetest blossoms in' her path, only to prepare her for the purer happiness of another world."

•c> A KENTUCKIAN KNEELS TO NONE BUT GOD.* Ah ! tyrant forge thy chains at will-^^ Nay! gall this flesh of mine ; ,■* Yet, thought is free, unfetter'd still, ' And will not yield to thine. Take, take the life that Heaven gave. And let ray heart's blood stain thy sod ; But know ye not Kentucky's brave Will kneel to none but God? You've quenched fair Freedom's sunny light, Her music tones have stilled ; And with a deep and darken'd blight, The trusting heart has fill'd ! ^'

  • Colonel Crittenden, son of John J. Crittenden, United

Stiitc8 Senator for Kentucky, commanded the filibuster forces taken prisoners at sea near Havana, Augu^^fteenth, 1851. Doomed to death by the Cuban aut^^Kies, and ordered to be shot on the sixteenth, they ^^^Kl com- manded to kneel. Colonel Crittenden spur^BHre com- mand with these words : "-A Kentuckian kneels to none but God." ( 580 ) "Then do you think that I will kneel ere such as ye have trod ? Na'M point your cold and threat'ning eel, ril%neel to none but God. As summer breezes lightly rest Uporoa quiet river, And geatly on it^leeping breast The moonbeams softjj^ quiver — Sweet thmights of Jerome lit up my brow When goaded -with the rod ; Y^^hese cannot unman me now — ^BP kneel to none but God. I And though a sad and mournful tone Is colWy sweeping by; And dreams of bliss forever flown Have dimm'd with tears mine eye — Yet, mine's a heart unyielding still — Heap on my breast the clod ; My soaring spirit scorns thy will — I'll kneel to none but God.