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The humming bee or gaudy butterfly; Tired with the frolics of the happy day, Then hand in hand would pace their homeward way; With hearts elated with a kindred joy Unknown to care or aught that can annoy. His glistening eyes bedimmed afresh with tears, Now wander o'er the scenes of riper years; Where rise the lovely landscape on the sight, Where oft he mused away the summer night, And heard the river's lovely, distant wail, Fanned by the balmy and refreshing gale. He eyes the rocky steep and hallowed stone, Where Friendship’s vows were solemnized alone, Unseen by every eye but Heav'n's above, He often drank the cordial stream of Love Felt all its moving and its melting power In each lone walk, sweet grove, and shaded bower. No spot he passes, of whatever kind, But with its story strikes his working mind. All things around him eloquently preach, And teach what volumes ever fail to teach. With pain he marks the changes which have passed O'er well-known places since he saw them last. Within the precincts of his natal spot, Which now he enters_ah! the exile's lot There he beholds, with sadness and surprise, The many changes now that meet his eyes, How strange and altered ! all around seem new; Now stands the mansion where the hawthorn grew; Whole streets appear where cattle oft had grazed;
Where stood the oak the house of God is raised.
Those humble homes to which he would repair
To spend the night and social pleasures share-
Where are they now ? no lineament or trace
Is left of them to mark the hallowed place:
All levelled down by Time's destroying hand,
And in their room now others proudly stand.
His father's cot in sorrow next he sees,
And trembling enters, while new horrors seize
His anxious soul, oppressed with grief and care;
For, lo ! what sad and woful change is there!
None comes to meet him with a welcome kinds
To hear his tale, or soothe his troubled mind:
The social circle there no more appears,
But widely scattered through a vale of tears.
The winning child he left upon the knee,
The little school-boy full of mirth and glee,
To men are grown, and now abroad they roam
Through other scenes far from their native home.
The prattling girl, amused with little toys,
Now drinks the nectar of connubial joys;
Who, with her husband, sighed a sad adieu,
In other lands life's journey to pursue.
His parents mingle with their kindred clay,
Which wounds afresh, and deepens his dismay.
A race unknown now occupy the cot,
Who at him stare, and own they know him not:
While in the streets few can he recognise
Ainong the groups that meet his wondering eyes.
Of this new race he takes a calm survey,
Sees here and there the head of silver grey,
Faint recollects the features of the sage,
Though frail and tottering off this mortal stage.
Ah, mournful change ! how much he feels alone-
All his acquaintance and companions gone;
Some nipped by death, the others squandered wide
Upon life's ocean's ever-changing tide.
When comes the welcome, peaceful Sabbath round,
He hears the bell's all soft, inviting sound,
That oft him summoned to the house of prayer,
Led by parental tenderness and care;
Again he visits now the sacred place,
But vainly looks to recognise a face.
The priest has changed the pulpit for the tomb,
And there another fills his holy room;
There he beholds, ranged in the seats no more
His trusty comrades of the days of yore;
And sees, alas ! with pain and sorrow new,
His honoured father's old frequented pew-
Where oft they met, and joyful thither came
To worship God, and call upon his name-
Possessed by others strange and far remote,
As recognition owns she knows them not.
But, lastly, see him, deep in dread dismay,
The lonely churchyard next a visit pay,
To muse alone, to heave the bitter sigh,
O’er sleeping thousands, that oblivious lie
Low in the bleak and cheerless narrow tomb,
Dread place of solitude and rayless gloom.
Each stone he views, its brief inscription reads;
Sad in his heart: how recollection bleeds,
As o'er his sod-wrapt friends he softly treads,
And many a tear of heartfelt sorrow sheds
For pleasures vanished and for ever gone,
Like snows dissolved when April's breath has blown !
At last he sees his parents' burial mound,
All saddened down, all levelled with the ground;
And o'er the mossy stone, by Time decayed,
Sad mourns the havoc the destroyer made;
There, deep in anguish, drops anew the tear
Of filial love and sympathy sincere;
Then lifting up his eyes in faith to God,
He bows submissive to his chastening rod;
With hope anticipates the final day,
When conquered Death shall render back his prey-
When earth and ocean, at this dreadful hour,
Shall hear the fiat, and their millions pour;
Then shall be meet, no separation feared,
With those whom nature to his soul endeared,
In regions glowing with eternal spring,
Whose hallowed scenes with endless praises ring-
Where sweets unnumbered ever clust'ring grow,
And living waters clear as crystal flow-
Where they shall dwell for ever, and refine,
In endless knowledge, truth, and grace divine.
Blessed consummation, crowning all desires!
He sighs in hope, and from the spot retires.
LAMENT FOR THE SUDDEN DEATH OF AN
Written while standing over his Grave in Lennel Churchyard.
HOUGH Spring returns to clothe the naked
trees, And fragrant blossoms open to the day; Though songs of love are wafted in the breeze,
Yet what can glad the bosom of dismay?
Or soothe the heart that sobs in bitter grief
That bleeds for joys which never can return ? To him how vain e'en Nature's kind relief,
Whom cruel fate recalls, alas ! to mourn!
While sad I muse, O come, ye gentle gale!
List to my plaint, and waft my sighs along, Till sympathizing echoes wake and wail,
The dirge of lonely friendship to prolong.
Ye rueful trees, in keeping with my woe,
Which seem to share my sorrow by your nod, Soft may your sainted shades embalm the flow
Of Nature's tribute to bedew the sod !
O! as again I view the silent spot,
How bleeding Fancy musters up her train