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Thrice hallow'd pile, where all within
Accords with thy exterior mien.
Hail that recess, where first the light
Illumed the eye of genius bright;
The simple table, in its turn,
All nearly through with letters worn;
The portrait of immortal Burn,
His country's pride,
Beneath where here the bard was born,
And where he died.
Next “Auld Kirk Alloway," all hail!
What Muse when here that turns not pale,
As we thy haunted precincts near,
Recalling scenes enacted here,
Which yet thy crumbling gables two
Confirm too plainly to be true ?
But mark “the winnock in the east,
Whare sat Auld Nick in shape o' beast,
Wha screwed his pipes and gaurt them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' played dirl;"
The door through which, ere Maggie rallied,
The motley hellish legion sallied,
In fiendish vengeance, speed, and might,
Pursuing Tam, poor luckless wight,
Which put him in a dismal plight,
Despite his care,
Upon that memorable night
He passed from Ayr.
And oh! the “bonnie banks o’ Doon,” That echo loud with endless tune! How sweet to linger in the shade, Or tread the fragrant flowery glade, Where rapturous in the days of yore, The great magician we deplore So frequent trod and mused alone, As bland Erato favour shone. Here, what associations dwell ! Thrice hail thee, famous Mungo's Well, Thy cooling draught, as crystal clear, How grateful to the palate here ! The ivied bridge which “Tammy” crossed, Defying devil, witch, or ghost, Or aught of the infernal host,
The stream to pass; But where his trusty Maggie lost
Her tail, alas !
And hail, thou Cenotaph of fame,
Bearing the amaranthine name
Of Burns—ah ! tribute ever dear
To blasted genius, hail sincere !
With awe profound let me explore,
And o'er thy sacred relics pore.
First, of our Minstrel in the dust,
Behold the all but breathing bust;
The pledge of mutual love, the last
'Twixt him and Highland Mary past-
The Bibles, where we trace disclosed,
The solemn precept once imposed Of fealty by the happy pair, Alone upon the banks of Ayr; Besides, the slips of Mary's hair,
Conspicuous placed, With autographs in holy care,
As gems encased.
While hail the sculptor's noble part,
Hail, noble prototypes of art !
Here next in turn ecstatic view,
“ As large as life," the social two-
The noted Tam o' Shanter, and
The Souter smiling at his hand,
Who “life's glad moments" seem to share,
In spite of every cross and care;
Come weal or woe, seems little matter,
“ And aye the yill seems growin' better."
But fleeting Time what can restrain!
Farewell, thou ever-hallowed fane,
And thy sweet precincts for a while,
Where, trained by art and nursed by toil,
Dear Flora reigns in sceptred style,
And every hue,
With classic scenes that round me smile,
Alas ! adieu.
Now, lastly, to the brave and free:
First, Old Mortality, to thee,
Dear Kennedy, with thanks profound,
We'll pledge the jolly bumper round
Upon the fairy “banks o' Doon,"
Till lights her silver lamp the moon,
With heartfelt feelings of delight.
What kindness e'er can thine requite !
Unknown the term, at least to me,
If not philanthropy it be-
Tendered, unasked, frank, and sincere,
Unlooked for by a stranger here,
And such as rarely lights my lot,
While gratitude inspires my thought,
There as a holly-shall it not
For ever green
Flourish, ah! ne'er to be forgot,
Though far between.
THE DRUNKARD'S SOLILOQUY
WAKE ! yes, gracious Heaven, once more awake;
But ah to what ? ’tis only to protract, And thus worm out, in thraldom of the devil, A self-made, wretched, execrable life. By day, by night all solace seems denied; Sleeping and waking are alike with me. O my distempered brain, how whirls it round ! My aching head, parched mouth, mephitic breath,
And ever-burning, hell-fermenting stomach,
Which sickens at, and loathes the thought of food;
While cold the sweat that bathes my trembling limbs,
And pain-racked, weak, emaciated frame;
A living hospital immured I lie,
Sad victim of remorse, regret, and shame.
How brutalized, degraded, and abandoned !
To conscious rectitude and virtue lost,
Succumbed by every vile, unholy passion
Into all folly and excess of madness
The very incarnation of pollution;
A scourge, a pest, a curse to human kind-
A public scandal, and the scoff and scorn
Of former friends, and by the wise and good
Scarce noticed save with pity or contempt;
The dupe defenceless, and the ready prey
Of every cheat and sharper I may meet:
How like a vessel drifted here and there
Upon the squally, undulating deep,
Without a compass, chart, or helm to guide her!
And now at length_0 God, how horrible !—
Rock-foundered and a melancholy wreck;
To others beaconing the fatal reef,
I isolated stand, and curse existence.
Had but my natal been my mortal hour,
And never had those lips the nipple pressed,
How well for me! O why did not those hands
Which first received me on the stage of life
Anticipate my future wretched being
As some unseemly, heterogeneous birth?