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And think na, my auld trusty servan', That now perhaps thou's less deservin, An' thy auld days may end in starvin,
For my last fou, A heapit stimpart, I'll reserve ane
Laid by for you.
Still thou art blest, compared wi' me ! The present only toucheth thee: But, och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear; An' forward, though I canna see,
I guess an' fear.
But, mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain : The best laid schemes o' mice an' men,
Gang aft a-gley, As' lea'e us naught but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
“ Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust! And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost! Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows! Not all your rage, as now united, shows More hard unkindness, unrelenting,
Vengeful malice, unrepenting, Than heaven illumined man on brother man be
See stern oppression's iron grip,
O life! thou art a galling load, Or mad ambition's gory hand,
Along a rough, a weary road, Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,
To wretches such as I! Wo, want, and murder, o'er a land !
Dim backward as I cast my view, E’en in the peaceful, rural vale,
What sickening scenes appear ! Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
What sorrows yet may pierce me through, How pamper'd luxury, flattery by her side,
Too justly I may fear! The parasite empoisoning her ear,
Still caring, despairing, With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Must be my bitter doom ; Looks o'er proud property, extended wide ;
My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb !
Happy, ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife, Where, where is love's fond, tender throe,
No other view regard ! With lordly honour's lofty brow,
E’en when the wished end's denied, The powers you proudly own?
Yet while the busy means are plied, Is there beneath love's noble name,
They bring their own reward : Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight, To bless himself alone ?
Unfitted with an aim, Mark maiden innocence a prey
Meet every sad returning night, To love-pretending snares,
And joyless morn the same ; This boasted honour turns away,
You, bustling, and justling, Shunning soft pity's rising sway,
Forget each grief and pain : Regardless of the tears, and unavailing prayers !
1, listless, yet restless, Perhaps, this hour, in misery's squalid nest,
Find every prospect vain. She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
III. And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking
How blest the solitary's lot, blast!
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot, 50 ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Within his humble cell, Feel not a want but what yourselves create, The cavern wild with tangling roots, Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits, Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Beside his crystal well! Ili satisfied keen nature's clamorous call,
Or, haply, to his evening thought, Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep, By unfrequented stream. While through the ragged roof and chinky wall, The ways of men are distant brought, Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap!
A faint collected dream: Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
While praising and raising Where guilt and poor misfortune pine !
His thoughts to heaven on high, Guilt, erring man, relenting view!
As wandering, meandering, But shall thy legal rage pursue
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely hermit placed
Where never human footstep traced,
Less fit to play the part; I heard nae mair, for chanticleer
The lucky moment to improve, Shook off the pouthery snaw,
And just to stop, and just to move, And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
With self-respecting art: A cottage-rousing craw,
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,
Which I too keenly taste,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest!
He needs not, he heeds not,
Or human love or hate,
At perfidy ingrate !
When dancing thoughtless pleasure's mazo,
To care, to guilt unknown! OFFRESS'D with grief, oppress’d with care, How ill exchanged for riper times, A burden more than I can bear,
To feel the follies, or the crimes, I sit me down and sigh:
of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ;
The shortening winter day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh,
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 mo 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.
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.
The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers,
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;
« 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!
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!
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 ;
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme, O happy love! where love like this is found !
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 dloes 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, To grace the lad, her weel-hain’d kebbuck, fell,
May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul; An'ast he's prest, an’aft he ca's it guid;
And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol. The frugal wisie, 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 haffets 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
From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur air.
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, Of plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name:
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 ; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
* Pope's Windsor Forest.
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent !
content! And 0 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.
Or nobly die, the second glorious part,
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;
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,
To give him leave to toil;
The poor petition spurn,
By nature's law design'd,-
E’er planted in my mind?
His cruelty or scorn?
Disturb thy youthful breast:
Is surely not the last!
Had never, sure, been born,
The kindest and the best!
Are laid with thee at rest!
From pomp and pleasure torn;
That weary-laden mourn!"
IV. “O man! while in thy early years,
How prodigal of time ! Mispending all thy precious hours,
Thy glorious youthful prime! Alternate follies take the sway ;
Licentious passions burn; Which tenfold force gives nature's law,
That man was made to mourn.