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With equal care, as through immensity

The burning comet and the seraph's flight.

But who by searching can Thee comprehend ?

How futile even are our best essays ? What height, what depth, can with Thee co-extend ?

“O let expressive silence muse thy praise !"

PORTRAITURE OF REAL LIFE.

CURSED above all on this accursed earth!

Child of misfortune, who but pities thee ?
Go, curse like Job your ill-starred, hapless birth,

Grim incarnation, rank of misery,
And weep your lot, thrice wretched and obscure,
Reptile of earth, thou poorest of the poor.

But for your sunless, frowning, blasted fate,

Arraign not Heaven, who otherwise designed; But blame the dunghill, purse-proud, would-be-great,

Those basest tyrants, vipers of our kind, And your own truckling and ignoble soul, Where Reason seems to have the least control.

Mute as a statue, trembling, hat in hand,

I spurn your cringing, servile attitude;

Like “ Patience on a monument" you stand,

And have for hours thus so obsequious stood,
Unlike a freeman, independent, brave,
But as a vile, degraded galley-slave.

Speak! why so cowardly conceal the cause

Of your absurd, humiliating plight ?
What august presence here thee overawes,

Poor sneaking, timid, melancholy wight?
A pompous nothing by a counter's side:
Damned be his arrogance, contempt, and pride.

Solicit you a beggar's bite of bread,

From such a grovelling brother of the soil ? No !-why then hang as self-condemned your head ?

Go, ask mock-consequence for leave to toilWithout reserve, your wish a child might scanAnd show yourself, poor devil, once a man.

That “Britons never shall be slaves,” how vain

That boast with you ! so henceforth sing it not; Nor any of your smutty trade and train,

Who equally with you may curse their lot,
Pent up, to pine in garrets life away,
In grinding penury and dark dismay.

ANSWER TO ROBERT GILFILLAN.

PEALTH, sir, to you! I've lang essay'd

A gratefu' tribute to hae paid; But aye the Muse, that fickle jade,

Still jinket meSyne by the pen I've aften laid

Wi' tearfu' ee.

Then up the pipe wi' vengeance cocket,
Wi' feelings frozen, senses locket,
And aften been sa sair provocket

As tak an aith
To ne'er again wi' her be yocket

Till my last breath
'Twas in a plight like this yestreen,
Alane mysel, without my frien',
In his bit cot of ivy green

In scented breer,
I saw, what few hae ever seen

Save bards, I swear.

When seated at the clean fireside,
Where aft I've sate in rhymin' pride,
A form towards me seemed to glide

Divinely fair,
With whom on earth the gayest bride

Could ne'er compare.

Her flowin' robes were driven snaw,
And rich wi' stars were studded a';
Her scarf a rainbow bright and braw;

While round her brows Bloom'd flowers the sweetest e'er I saw,

O’endless hues.

Thought I, guid keep me; Lord, be here !
O'erpower'd wi' reverential fear
I guessed some goddess was asteer,

And felt undone:
She spak—'twas music in my ear-

"Fear not, my son.”

Then beckon'd to me and drew nigher,
While flash'd her eyes ethereal fire,
And syne she strung Auld Scotia's lyre,

And gied it me;
Then smilin', vow'd me to inspire

T' the day I die.

Hail, favours sacred ever new!
Then frae her breath distilld a dew,
Whase balmy fragrance, quaff'd by few,

I ’nhaled in store,
And raise transported, born anew,

For rhymin' lore,

My heart wi' gratefu' feelings glowed,
For boons and blessings then bestowed,

A thousand thanks I felt I owed

My heavenly Donor, Which, while I reverently bowed,

I poured upon her.

But by degrees a flood o' light Enwrapt her glorious image bright, That stunned my senses wi' the sight,

And maist my brain; But when I rallied on that night,

I found her gane,

Now on my harp, hail three times ten, Lang life and health to thee I sen'; While inspiration guides my pen,

Thy praise I'll sound, And honest worth, thou wale o' men,

Till a' resound.

Your kind reply to what I sent
Wi' joy I read and heart content-
Admired your wit as on I went,

And penetration,
Ilk cogent, candid free comment,

And observation.

Believe me, sir, for frae my youth,
Base flattery I disdained forsooth,
But aye adored the naked truth,

In prose or lays,

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