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Stop traveller beside this grave,

Which Spring has newly dress'd,
A heart sincere is mouldering here,

Tho' long with doubt oppress'd;
He slumbers on his mother's lap,

Earth claims her kindred clay,
From doubt's dead sea and darkness free,

His spirit soars away.

He talked with seers and sages gray,

And with the men of mark,
And found them all, both great and small,

But groping in the dark;
He went to nature, tried to pierce

The mystery of her plan,
The more he knew, the more he grew,

A sad and solemn man.

The world was but a prison house,
A strange a mystic hall,

Problems profound all hung around,

With writing on the wall;
Through day and night most reverently,.

He pondered on its lore,
The cloud of doubt compassed about,

Still thundered "Sleep no more."

Oh how he strove but to believe,

And all earth would have given,
To have the faith that smiles in death,

To have the hope of heaven;
He asked and still the answer was,

"This ye can only know— The realms are dumb from which you come,

As those to which you go."

This living world is all afloat,

Time bears it like a breath,
Our hearts she heaves like Autumn's leaves,

Upon the shores of death;
Tho' much he thought and moralized,

Upon her mighty river,
He saw but wreck and waves that break,

For ever and for ever.

And mystery on mystery,

Encompassed him around, He never caught the light he sought,

But darkness more profound; Go, traveller, nor deem his heart,

Was hardened as the clod, He sought the light, he sank in night,

Then leave him to his God.


A rev'rent man was Elder John,

Tho' but of low degree,
A bonnet blue upon his head,

And garters at his knee,
His coat was o' the hodden gray,

Wi' wally flaps ahin,
His stockings o' the rig-an-fur,

And buckles on his shoon,
His plaid was o' the shepherd's gray,

Which hapt him snugly roun, His waistcoat far below his waist,

Wi' pouches hangin' doun.

They didna ken the man wha judged,
But by the dress he wore,

And yet for that auld world garb,
We loved him more and more;

For tho' it was sae eldrish auld,
His heart was fresh and young,

And wisdom-laden were the words,
Which drappit frae his tongue,

And to the idols o' the age,
His knee he wadna bow,

For simple souled sincerity,
Was on his manly brow.

Tho' he was doure on points o' faith,

He cherished love and hope, And if he bore a grudge ava,

That grudge was to the Pope;
Despite the world and the flesh,

A Godly race he ran,
And yet he had his wee bit faults,

Like ony ither man,
And through the country far and near,

Nae ane was better known,
And lang he'll be remembered there,

As guid auld Elder John.

Though he was nae philosopher,

Tho' logic he had nane,
Yet kent he truth frae falsehood, by

A system o' his ain;

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