« НазадПродовжити »
344 THE COTTER’s SATURDAY NIGHT.
Their master's an’ their rhistress's command
And mind their labors wi' an eydent hand,
“And, O, be sure to fear the Lord alway !
Lest in temptation’s path ye gang astray,
They never sought in vain, that sought the Lord aright!”
But, hark | a rap comes gently to the door;
Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,
The wily mother sees the conscious flame
With heart-struck, anxious care inquires his name,
Weel pleased the mother hears, it’s nae wild, worthless rake.
Wi’ kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit ’s no ill-ta'en;
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows with joy,
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
Weel pleased to think her bairn 's respected like the lave.
O happy love, where love like this is found !
I’ve pacéd much this weary, mortal round,
“If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare One cordial, in this melancholy vale, 'T is when a youthful, loving, modest pair, In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale.”
Is there, in human form, that pears a heart, —
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
Curse on his perjured arts dissembling smooth !
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild P
But now the supper crowns their simple board, The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia’s food; The soup their only hawkie does afford, That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood : The dame brings forth, in complimental mood, To grace the lad, her weel-hained kebbuck fell, An' aft he 's pressed, an’ aft he ca's it guid; The frugal wife garrulous will tell, How was a towmond auld, sin” lint was i' the bell,
The cheerful supper done, wi' serious face,
The sire turns o'er, with patriarchal grace,
IIis bonnet reverently is laid aside,
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious care;
And “Let us worship God ' " he says, with solemn à l'I’.
346 THE COTTER’s SATURDAY NIGHT.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim; Perhaps “Dundee’s ” wild-warbling measures rise Or plaintive “Martyrs,” worthy of the name ; Or noble “Elgin'” beats the heavenward flame, The sweetest far of Scotia’s holy lays: Compared with these, Italian trills are tame; The tickled ear 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 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; N 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,
How his first followers and servants sped,
How he who lone in Patmos banishëd
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by
Then kneeling down, to heaven's eternal King,
Hope “springs exulting on triumphant wing,”
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.
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 ; 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 enroll.
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 Heaven 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.
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 2 a cumbrous load, Disguising of the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts Df hell, in wickedness refined
348 DISDAIN RETURNED
O Scotial my dear, my native soil 1 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 1 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 much-loved isle.
O Thou, who poured the patriotic tide That streamed 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 1) O, never, never, Scotia’s realm desert, But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!
DISDAIN RETURNED. — Carew.
He that loves a rosie cheek,