Sidor som bilder

Or, shipwreck'd, kindles on the coast False fires, that others may bo lost.8


The Minstrels play'd their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves:
While, smitten by a lofty Moon,
Th' encireling lanrels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpower'c! their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had suuk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, tLe music of the strings;
So stout and hanlx were the band [hand!
That seraped the chords with strenuous

And who but listeu'd? —till was paid
liespect to every Inmate's claim:
The greeting given, the music play'd,
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And " merry Christmas " wish'd to all I

O Brother I I revere the choice
That took thee from thy native hills;
And it is given thee to rejoice:
Though public care full often tills
(Heaven only witness of the toil)
A barren and ungrateful soil.

Yet, would that Thou, with me and mine,

Hadst heard this never-failing rite;

And seen on other faces shine

A true revival of the light

Which Nature and these rustic Powers,

In simple childhood, spread through ours 1

For pleasure hath not ceased to wait
On these expected annual rounds;
Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate
Call forth the unclaborate sounds,
Or they are offerM at the door
That guards the lowliest of the poor.

How touching, when, at midnight, sweep
Snow-muffled winds, and all is dark,
To hear, — and sink again to sleep!

of con

L: ^ n

is rather ofa"sermouistng character; but 1 co'ild not well resist the temptation to isert so much of it.

Or, at an earlier call, to mark,
By blazing fire, the still suspense
Of self-complacent innocence;

The mutual nod, — the grave disguise
Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er;
And some unbidden tears that rise
For names once heard, and heard no more;
Tears brighten'd by the serenade
For infant in the eradle laid.

Ah I not for emerald flelds alone,
With ambient streams more pure and
Than fabled Cytherea's zone [bright
Glittering before the Thunderer's sight,
Is to my heart of hearts endear'd [rearM!
The ground where we were born aud

Hail, ancient Manners! sure defence,
Where they survive, of wholesome laws ;
Remnants of love whose modest sense
Thus into narrow room withdraws;
Hail, Usages of pristine mould,
And ye that guard them, Mountains old I

Bear with me, Brother! quench the


That slights this passion, or condemns;
If thee fond Fancy ever brought
From the proud margin of tho Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,
To humbler streams and greener bowers.

s, they can make, who fail to find,
Short leisure even in busiest days;
Moments, to cast a look behind,
And profit by those kindly rays
That thro' the clouds do sometimes steal.
And all the far-off past reveal.

Hence, while th' imperial City's din
Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,
A pleased attention I may win
To agitations less severe,
That neither overwhelm nor cloy.
But fill the hollow vale with joy 1'

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" Shiver, Spirit fieree and bold,

« thought of what I now behold : ps vapours breathed from dungeons cold

Strike pleasure dead,
So sadness comes from ont the mould

Where Burns is laid.

ave I then thy bones so near,
And thou forbidden to appear?
As if it were thyself that's here

I shrink with pain;
And both my wishes and my fear

Alike are vain.

Off, weight, — nor press on weight! — away, [stay :

Dark thoughts! — They came, bnt not to
With chasten'd feelings would I pay

The tribnte due
To him, and aught that hides his clay

From mortal view.

Fresh as the flower, whose modest worth
He sang, his genins "glinted" forth,
Rose like a star that touching Earth,

For so it seems,
Doth glorify its humble birth

With matehless beams.

The piereing eye, the thoughtful brow,
The struggling heart, where be they now?
Full soon th' Aspirant of the plough,

The prompt, the brave,
Slept, with th' obscurest, in the low

And silent grave.

I monrn'd with thousands, bnt as one More deeply grieved, for He was gone Whose light I hail'd when first it shone,

And show'd my yonth How Verse may build a princely throne

On humble trnth.

Alas! where'er the current tends,
Regret pursues and with it blends ; —
Huge Criffel's hoary top ascends'

By Skiddnw seen; — Neighbour* wu were, and loving friend* We might have been;

True friends though diversely inclined;
Bnt heart with heart and mind with mind
Where the main fibres are entwined,

Through Nature's skill
May even by contraries be join'd

More closely still.

The tear will start, and let ii flow:
Thou " poor Inhabitant below,"
At this dread moment—even So—•

Might we together
Have sate and talk'd where gowaus blow,

Or on wild heather.'

What treasures would have then been


Within my reach! of knowledge graced By fancy what a rich repast I

Bnt whvgoon? — O, spare to sweep, thou mournful blast.

His grave grass-grown!

There, too, a Son, his joy and pride,
(Not three weeks past the Stripling died,)
Lies gather'd to his Father's side.

Soul-mo ving sight I
Yet one to which is not denied

Some sad delight.

For he is safe, a quiet bed

Hath early found among the dead,

Harbour'd where none can be misled

Wrong'd, or distrest;
And surely here it may be said

That such are blest.

And, O, for Thee, by pitying grace
Check'd oft-times in a devious race,
May He who halloweth the place

Where Man is laid
Receive thy Spirit in th' embrace

For which it pray'd!

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standing in sight of each other, are the most conspicuous objects in their several places, they are well taken to represent the geographical nearness of the two poet?.

9 Oowan is a Scoteh word for daisy. The poet had in mind Burns' beaunfla stanzas To a Mountain Daisy.

Sighing 1 turn'd away; but ere
Night fell I heard, or seem'd to hear,
Music that sorrow cornea not near,

A ritual hymn,
Chanted in love that casts out fear

By Seraphim.i





Too frail to keep the lofty Vow

That must have follow'd when his brow

Was wreathed (The Vision tells us how)

With holly spray,
He falter'd, drilled to and fro,

And pass'd away.

Well might such thoughts, dear Sister,


Our mini I ~ when, lingering all too long.
Over the grave of Burns we hung

In social grief, —
Indulged as if it were a wrong

To seek relief.

But, leaving each unquiet theme
Where gentlest judgments may misdeem,
And prompt to welcome every gleam

Of good and fair,
Let us beside this limpid Stream

Breathe hopeful air.

Enough of sorrow, wreck, and blight;
Think rather of those moments bright
When to the consciousness of right

His course was true,
When Wisdom prosper'd in his sight

And virtue grew.

Yes, freely let our hearts expand.
Freely as in youth's season bland,
When side by side, his Book in hand,

We wont to stray,
Our pleasure varying at command
Of each sweet Lay.

How oft inspired must he have trod
These pathways,yon far-stretehing Kb
There lurks his home; in that Abode,

With mirth elate,
Or in his nobly-pensive mood.

The Rustic sate.

Proud thoughts that Image overawes;
Before it humbly let us panse,
And ask of Nature, from what canse

And by what rules
She train'd her Burns to win applanse

That shames the Schools.

Through busiest street and loneliest glea

Are felt the flashes of his pen;

He rules 'mid winter snows, and when

Bees flii their hives;
Deep in the general heart of men

His power survives.

What need of fields in some far clime
Where Heroes, Sages, Bards sublime,
iVnd all that feteh'd the flowing rhyme

From genuine springs,
Shall dwell together till old Time

Folds up his wings ?

Sweet Mercy! to the gates of Heaven
This Minstrel lead, his sins forgiven;
The rueful conflict, the heart riven

With vain endeavour.
And memory of Earth's bitter leavon,

Effaced for ever.

But why to Him confine the prayer.
When kindred thoughts and yearuitgl
On the frail heart the purest share [bear

With all that live? —
The best of what we do and are,

Just God, forgive I

1 This piece, as also several of those that follow, grow out of the tour that the poet and his sister made through Scotland m 1803. In a note-on the piece, the nuthoi has the following: " Wetalked of Burns, and of the prospect he must have had, 'jerhaps from his own door, of Skiddaw md his companions; indulging ourselves .u the fancy that we might have been personally known to each other, and he have looked upon those objects with more pleasure lor our sakes."



'MID erowded obelisks and urns

I sought th' untimely grave of Burns:

Sons of the Bard, my heart still mourns

With sorrow true; And more would grieve, but that it turni

Trembling to you.

Through twilight shades of good and ill

Fe now are panting up life's lull;

And more than common strength and

Must ye display, [skill

If ye would give the better will

Its lawful sway.

Hath Nature strung your nerves to bear
Intemperance with less harm, beware I
But, if the Poet's wit ye share,

Like him can speed
The Social hour, of tenfold care

There will be need;

For honest men delight will take
To spare your failings for his sake,
Will flatter you, —and fool and rake

Your steps pursue;
And of your Father's name will make

A snare for you.

Far from their noisy hannts retire,
And add your voices to the quire
That sanctify the cottage fire

With service meet;
There beck the genins of your Sire,

Ilis spirit greet;

Or where.'mid " lonely heights and hows,"
lie paid to Nature tuneful vows;
Or wiped his honourable brows

Bedew'd with toil,
While reapers strove, or busy ploughs

Upturn'd the soil;

His judgment with benignant ray
Shall guide, his fancy cheer, your way;
But ne'er to a seductive lay

Let faith be given;
Nor deem that " light which leads astray

Is light from Heaven." '

Let no mean hope your souls enslave;
Be independent, generous, brave:
Your Father such example gave,

And such revere;
But be admonish'd by his grave,

And think, and fearl


iOKD of the vale! astounding Flood, The dullest leaf in this thick wood Quakes, conscious of thy power;

'he caves reply with hollowmoan; And vibrates, to its central stone, Yon time-cemented Tower I

And yet how fair the rural scene I
'or thou, O Clyde, hast ever been

Beneficent as strong;
'leased in refreshing dews to steep

The little trembling flowers that peep

Thy shelving rocks among.

Hence all who love their country, love ?o look on thec, — delight to rove

iVhere they thy voice can hear;

And, to the patriot-warrior's Shade,
,ord of the vale I to Heroes laid
n dust, that voice is dear 1

Along thy hanks, at dead of night,
Sweeps visibly the Wallace Wight;
Or stands, in warlike vest,
Moft, beneath the Moon's pale beam,
\ Champion worthy of the stream,
You grey tower's living erest I

But clouds and envious darkness hide
A. Form not doubtfully descried:
Their transient mission o'er,
O, say to what blind region flee
These Shapes of awful phantasy':
To what untrodden shore?

Less than divine command they spurn;
But this we from the mountains learn,
And this the valleys show, —
That never will they deign to hold
Communion where the heart is cold
To human weal and woe.

The man of abject soul in vain
Shall walk the Marathonian plain;
Or thrid the shadowy gloom,

2 This quotation is from Burns' poem The Vision:

" I saw thy pulse's maddening play Wild send tnee pleasure's devious way, Misled by Fancy's meteor ray,

By passion driven;
Bui yet; the light that led astray

Was light from Heaven."

3 Linn is Scottish for waterfall or coscade. The anthor's notes here furnish the following: " I had seen this celebrated Waterfall twice before: but the feelings to which it had given birth were not ex pressed till they recurred in presence of the object on this occasion." —The poet made a second tour in Scotland in iha Summer of 1814.

That etilI invests the guardian Pass,
Where stood, sublime, Leonidas
Devoted to the tomb.

And let no Slave his head incline,

Or knenl, before the votive shrine

By Uri's lake, where Tell

Leapt. from his storm-vext boat, to land,

Heaven's Instrument, for by his hand

That day the Tyran t fell. [l8U.


(At Inversneydc, upon Loch Lomond.) Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower Of beanty is thy earthly dower! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their ntmost bounty on thy head: And these grey rocks; that household


Those trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
This fall of water that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake;
This little bay; a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy Abode, —
In trnth together do ye seem
Like something fashionM in a dream;
Such Forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
Bnt, O fair Creature! in the light
Of common day, so heavenly bright,
I bless Thee, Vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart:
God shield thee to thy latest years I
Thee, neither know I, nor thy peers;
And yet my eyes are flll'd with tears.

With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away:
For never saw I mieu or face
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scatter'd, like a random seed,
Remote from men, Thou dost not need
Th' embarrass'd look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacedness:
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a Mountaineer:
A face with gladness overspread I
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, abont thee plays;
With no restraint, bnt such as springs

"om quick and eager visitingu

Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech;
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,—
Thus beating up against the wind.

What hand bnt would a garland cull For thee who art so beantiful ?

O happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A Shepherd, thou a Shepherdess!
Bnt I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality:

Thou art to me bnt as a wave

Of the wild sea; and I would have

Some claim upon thee, if I could,

Though bnt of common neighbourhood.

What joy to hear thee, and to see!

Thy elder Brother I would be,

Thy Father, anything to thee I

Now thanks to Heaveu I that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had; und going hence

l bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize

Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes:

Then, why should I be loth to stir?

I feel this place was made for her;

To give new pleasure like the past,

Continued long as life shall last.

Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,

Sweet Highland Gir!! from thee to parti

For I, methinks, till I grow old,

As fair before me shall behold,

As I do now, the cabin small,

The lake, the bay, the waterfall;

And Thee, the Spirit of them all !« [l803.


While my Fellow-traveller and I \vea walking by the side of Loch Kettenno, one flue evening aftfr sunset, in out road to a Hut where, in the course ol our Tour, we ha^ 'ieen hospitably eit tertained some wet.ts before, we met, in one of the loneliest parts of that solitary

4 The sort of prophecy with which these verses aoncludc has, through GoiT; gomlness, been realised; and now, :ip. proaching my 73d year, I have a mo«! vivid remembrance of her and the beau tifnl objects with which she was Sut rounded. Authur's Aoies.

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