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Or noble Elgin beets the heav'nward flame, The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:

Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's 2 ungracious progeny;
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
How He who bore in Heaven the second name
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head;
How His first followers and servants sped;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
How he was lone in Patmos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand,

And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by
Heaven's command.

Then kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King
The saint, the father, and the husband prays:

1 Beets, adds fuel.

2 Amalek, a king mentioned in the Bible.

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Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing"
That thus they all shall meet in future days:
There ever bask in uncreated rays,

No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,

Together hymning their Creator's praise,

In such society, yet still more dear;

While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere.

135 Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art,
When men display to congregations wide
Devotion's every grace, except the heart!
The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole; 1
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.

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Then homeward all take off their several way;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest:
The parent-pair their secret homage pay,

And proffer up to Heav'n the warm request,
That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest,
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,

Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best, For them and for their little ones provide;

But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside.

1 Sacerdotal stole, priestly vestments. Burns was a true Scotchman and disliked religious ceremonies.

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad: Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, "An honest man's the noblest work of God"; And certes,' in fair virtue's heavenly road, The cottage leaves the palace far behind;

What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load, Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refin'd!

O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil

Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!

And 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 muchloved isle.

O Thou! who poured the patriotic tide

That streamed thru 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, 1 Certes (sur-tēz), truly.

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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!

ROBERT BURNS.

QUESTIONS FOR STUDY

Describe the various pictures given in this poem.

Which is the finest ?

Which character is the most attractive?

Why does Burns say what he does in line 2? What other poem is suggested by the second

stanza?

How does the mother feel about the caller?
How does she relieve the youth's embarrassment?
How does the youth show his good manners?
Has this poem a climax? If so, what is it?

EDGAR ALLAN POE

(1809-1849)

Poe is one of the most widely discussed authors in American literature. The story of his life is characterized chiefly by sadness. Early left an orphan, he was adopted by a Mr.

[graphic]

Allan of Baltimore, who gave him his name. He was brilliant, but willful and inclined to dissipation. He tried many literary

ventures, but

they all proved

financial failures, and finally he died in poverty. Still his poetry is

one of the precious possessions of the American people. Some place it very high in the poetry of the world, and some regard it as deserving a much

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