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*If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare, One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis 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 bears a heart
A wretch ! a villain ! lost to love and truth !
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling smooth !
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child?
Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild '
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food :
The sowpe 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 3 kebbuck, fell,
An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell
How 'twas a towmond' auld, sin' lint was i' the bello
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, forin a circle wide ;
The sire turns o’er, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big ha’-Bible ?, ance his father's pride :
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets 8 wearing thin an' bare ;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious e ;
And 'Let us worship God!' he says, with solemn air.
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' beets the heavenward 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 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, who lone in Patmos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand ;
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's
Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays :
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
• Pope's Windsor Forest.--R. B.
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, incer sed, 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? a cumbrous load,
Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined !
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, oh, 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-love, Isle
O Thou ! who poured the patriotic tide
That streamed thro’ 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 !
O Prince! O Chief of many throned Pow'n,
That led th’embattled Seraphim to war.—Milton.
O thou ! whatever title suit thee,
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie,
Wha in yon cavern grim an' sootie,
Closed under hatches,
Spairges about the brunstane cootie?,
To scaud poor wretches.
Hear me, auld Hangie, for a wee,
An' let poor damned bodies be;
I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,
Ev'n to a deil,
To skelp: an’ scaud poor dogs like me,
An' hear us squeel !
Great is thy pow'r, an' great thy fame;
Far kennd an' noted is thy name :
An', tho' yon lowin heugh's * thy hame,
Thou travels far ;
An', faith! thou's neither lag nor lame,
Nor blate nor scaur 5
5 Neither bashful nor apt to be scared.
Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion,
For prey a holes an' corners tryin ;
Whyles on the strong-winged tempest flyin,
Tirlin' the kirks ;
Whyles in the human bosom pryin,
Unseen thou lurks.
I've heard my reverend grannie say,
In lanely glens ye like to stray;
Or where auld ruined castles, gray,
Nod to the moon,
Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way,
Wi' eldritch croon?.
When twilight did my grannie summon,
To say her pray’rs, douce, honest woman !
Aft 'yont the dyke she's heard you bummin,
W' eerie drone ;
Or, rustlin, thro' the boortrees : comin,
Wi' heavy groan.
Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
The stars shot down wi' sklentin · light,
Wi' you, mysel, I gat a fright,
Ayont the lough ;
Ye, like a rash-buss', stood in sight,
Wi' waving sough.
The cudgel in my nieve o did shake,
Each bristled hair stood like a stake,
When wi' an eldritch, stoor, quaick, quaick,'
Amang the springs,
Awa ye squattered 8 like a drake,
On whistling wings.