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Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,
II. Like linnets in the bush,
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ; Ye little know the ills ye court,
The shortening winter day is near a close ; When manhood is your wish.
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh, The losses, the crosses,
The blackening trains o'craws to their repose:
The toil-worn cotter frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th’expectant wee things, toddlin, stacher through The wintry west extends his blast,
To meet their dad, wi’ flichterin noise an'glee. And hail and rain does blaw;
His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily, Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile, The blinding sleet and snaw:
The lisping infant prattling on his knee, While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile, And roars frae bank to brae;
An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil. And bird and beast in covert rest, And pass the heartless day.
Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun': “ The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,"
Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin The joyless winter day,
A cannie errand to a neebor town: Let others fear, to me more dear
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown, Than all the pride of May:
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown, My griefs it seems to join,
Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee, The leafless trees my fancy please,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. Their fate resembles mine.
Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet, Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme An' each for others' wcelfare kindly spiers : These woes of mine fulfil,
The social hours, swift-wing’d, unnoticed fleet; Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; Because they are thy will!
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Then all I want, (0, do thou grant
Anticipation forward points the view. This one request of mine !)
The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, Since to enjoy thou dost deny,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new: Assist me to resign.
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
6 An’mind their labours wi' an eydent hand, INSCRIBED TO R. A****, ESQ.
An'ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play:
An'o! be sure to fear the Lord alway! Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might:
GRAY. They never sought in vain that sought the Lord I.
aright!” My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend !
VII. No mercenary bard his homage pays;
But hark! 'a rap comes gently to the door ; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise ; Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor, To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame. The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The wily mother sees the conscious flame The native feelings strong, the guileless ways: Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
What A**** in a cottage would have been ; With heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there,
name, I ween.
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;
Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, * Dr. Young.
XIV. Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben; The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye; How Abram was the friend of God on high ; Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta’en ; Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ; The youngster's artless heart o'erflows, wi’joy. Or how the royal bard did groaning lie But blathe and laithfu', scarce can weel behave;
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire ; The mother, wi’a woman's wiles, can spy Or, Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
What makes the youth sae bashfu'an'sae grave; Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ; Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre. the lave.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed ; O heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare !
How He, who bore in heaven the second name, I've paced much this weary mortal round,
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head : And sage experience bids me this declare
How his first followers and servants sped; “ If heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land: One cordial in this melancholy vale,
How he, who lone in Patmos banished, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand; In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the even
Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King, Is there, in human form, that bears a heart
The saint, the father, and the husband prays : A wretch! a villain ! lost to love and truth!
Hope “ springs exulting on triumphant wing," That can, with studied, sly, insnaring art,
That thus they all shall meet in future days : Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
There ever bask in uncreated rays, Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling smooth !
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?
Together hymning their Creator's praise, Is there no pity, no relenting truth,
In such society, yet still more dear ; [sphere. Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? While circling time moves round in an eternal Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction
Compared with this, how poor religion's pride, But now the supper crowns their simple board,
In all the pomp of method, and of art, The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food :
When men display, to congregations wide, The soupe their only hawkie does afford,
Devotion's every grace, except the heart !
The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert, That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood : The dame brings forth in complimental mood,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ;
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul;
And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol. The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i’ the bell.
Then homeward all take off their several way ; XII.
The yougling cottagers retire to rest : The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face, The parent pair their secret homage pay, They round the ingle form a circle wide;
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request The sire turns o’er, wi' patriarchal grace,
That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest, The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride :
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best, His lyart hafsets wearing thin an' bare ;
For them and for their little ones provide; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside. He wales a portion with judicious care;
XIX. And " Let us worship God !” he says, with solemn air.
From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur XIII.
That makes her loved at home, revered abroad: They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim :
“ An honest man's the noblest work of God:” Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,
And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind ; Or noble Elgin beets the heavenward flame,
What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load, The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays :
Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined ! The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise ; Mae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
Pope's Windsor Forest.
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent !
content ! Aud O may Heaven their simple lives prevent
From luxury's contagion, weak and vile ! Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,
A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much loved isle.
XXI. 0 Thou ! who pour'd the patriotic tide That stream'd through Wallace's undaunted
heart; Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
Or nobly die, the second glorious part, (The patriot's God, peculiarly thou art,
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward !) O never, never, Scotia's realm desert:
But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !
MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN.
Made fields and forests bare,
Along the banks of Ayr,
Seem'd weary, worn with care ;
II. “ Young stranger, whither wanderest thou?”
Began the reverend sage ;
Or youthful pleasure's rage ;
Too soon thou hast began
Out-spreading far and wide, Where hundreds labour to support
A haughty lordling's pride ;
Twice forty times return;
How prodigal of time ! Mispending all thy precious hours,
Thy glorious youthful prime!
Licentious passions burn;
That man was made to mourn.
V. “ Look not alone on youthful prime,
Or manhood's active might;
Supported is his right:
With cares and sorrows worn,
In pleasure's lap carest;
Are likewise truly blest.
Are wretched and forlorn ;
Inwoven with our frame !
Regret, remorse, and shame!
The smiles of love adorn,
So abject, mean, and vile, Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil; And see his lordly fellow worm
The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, though a weeping wife And helpless offspring mourn.
IX. “ If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,
By nature's law design'd, Why was an independent wish
E’er planted in my mind ?
His cruelty or scorn ?
Disturb thy youthful breast:
Is surely not the last!
Had never, sure, been born,
XI. “O death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Are laid with thee at rest!
From pomp and pleasure torn;
That weary-laden mourn!"
A PRAYER IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH. LYING AT A REVEREND FRIEND'S HOUSE ONE NIGHT, THE
THE FOLLOWING VERSES
IN THE ROOM WHERE HE SLEPT.
O thou dread Power, who reign'st above!
I know thou wilt me hear:
When for this scene of peace and love,
I make my prayer sincere.
The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,
Long, long be pleased to spare !
To bless his little filial flock,
And show what good men are.
She, who her lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears,
O bless her with a mother's joys,
But spare a mother's tears !
Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
In manhood's dawning blush;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,
Up to a parent's wish!
The beauteous, seraph sister band,
With earnest tears I pray,
Thou know'st the snares on every hand,
Guide thou their steps alway!
UNDER THE PRESSURE OF VIOLENT ANGUISH.
Surpasses me to know:
that known to thee
All wretched and distrest;
Obey thy high behest.
From cruelty or wrath!
Or close them fast in death!
To suit some wise design ;
To bear and not repine!
THE FIRST SIX VERSES OF THE NINE
Of all the human race !
Their stay and dwelling place!
Beneath thy forming hand,
Arose at thy command :
This universal frame,
Was ever still the same.
Which seem to us so vast,
Than yesterday that's past.
Is to existence brought:
Return ye into naught !”
In everlasting sleep ;
With overwhelming sweep.
In beauty's pride array'd ;
All wither'd and decay'd.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonnie lark, companion meet! Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!
Wi’ spreckled breast.
The purpling east.
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form. The flaunting flowers our gardens yield, High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield, But thou beneath the random bield
O'clod or stane, Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Unseen, alane. There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawy bosom sun-ward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
And low thou lies !
And guileless trust,
Low i' the dust.
Of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er! Such fate of suffering worth is given, Who long with wants and woes has striven, By human pride or cunning driven,
To misery's brink,
He, ruin'd, sink!
Full on thy bloom,
Shall be thy doom !
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY,
Thy slender stem;
Thou bonnie gem.
I. ALL hail! inexorable lord ! At whose destruction-breathing word,
The mightiest empires fall ! Thy cruel wo-delighted train, The ministers of grief and pain,
A sullen welcome, all !
I see each aimed dart;
And quivers in my heart.