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But roused, as if through every limb
Had passed a sudden shock of dread,
The mother o'er the threshold flies,
And up the cottage stairs she hies,
And to the pillow gives her burning head.
And Peter turns his steps aside
Into a shade of darksome trees,
Where he sits down, he knows not how,
With his hands pressed against his brow,
His elbows on his tremulous knees.
There, self-involved, does Peter sit
Until no sign of life he makes,
As if his mind were sinking deep
Through years that have been long asleep!
The trance is passed away–he wakes-
He lifts his head-and sees the ass
Yet standing in the clear moonshine.
“When shall I be as good as thou?
Oh! would, poor beast, that I had now
A heart but half as good as thine!”
But he—who deviously hath sought
His father through the lonesome woods,
Hath sought, proclaiming to the ear
Of night his inward grief and fear-
He comes-escaped from fields and floods:-
With weary pace is drawing nigh-
He sees the ass—and nothing living
Had ever such a fit of joy
As hath this little orphan boy,
For he has no misgiving !
Towards the gentle ass he springs,
And up about his neck he climbs;
In loving words he talks to him,
He kisses, kisses face and limb,-
He kisses him a thousand times !
This Peter sees, while in the shade
He stood beside the cottage door:
And Peter Bell, the ruffian wild,
Sobs loud, he sobs even like a child,
“Oh! God, I can endure no more!"
Here ends my tale :—for in a trice
Arrived a neighbour with his horse;
Peter went forth with him straightway;
And, with due care, ere break of day
Together they brought back the corse.
And many years did this poor ass,
Whom once it was my luck to see
Cropping the shrubs of Leming Lane,
Help by his labour to maintain
The widow and her family.
And Peter Bell, who, till that night,
Has been the wildest of his clan,
Forsook his crimes, repressed his folly,
And after ten months' melancholy,
Became a good and honest man.
MEMORIALS OF TOURS IN
AFTER VISITING THE GRAVE OF THEIR FATHER,
MD crowded obelisks and urns,
I sought the untimely grave of Burns;
Sons of the bard, my heart still mourns
With sorrow true;
And more would grieve, but that it turns
Trembling to you !
Through twilight shades of good and ill
Ye now are panting up life's hill,
And more than common strength and skill
Must ye display,
If ye would give the better will
Its lawful sway.
Hath Nature strung your nerves to bear
Intemperance with less harm, beware!
But if the poet's wit ye share,
Like him can speed
The social hour—for tenfold care
There will be need.
Even 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 haunts retire,
And add your voices to the quire
That sanctify the cottage fire
With service meet;
There seek the genius of your sire,
His spirit greet;
Or where, mid lonely heights and houghs,
He paid to Nature tuneful vows;
Or wiped his honourable brows
Bedewed with toil,
While reapers strove, or busy ploughs
Upturned 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 admonished by his grave,
And think, and fear!
“THERE!” said a stripling, pointing with meet pride,
Towards a low roof with green trees half concealed,
“Is Mossgiel farm; and that's the very field
Where Burns ploughed up the daisy." Far and wide
A plain below stretched seaward, while, descried
Above sea-clouds, the Peaks of Arran rose;
And, by that simple notice, the repose
Of earth, sky, sea, and air, was vivified.
Beneath "the random bield of clod or stone"
Myriads of Daisies have shone forth in flower
Near the lark's nest, and in their natural hour
Have passed away, less happy than the one
That by the unwilling ploughshare died to prove
The tender charm of poetry and love.
OR, THE BRAES OF KIRTLE.
Fair Ellen Irwin, when she sate
Upon the braes of Kirtle,
Was lovely as a Grecian maid
Adorned with wreaths of myrtle.
Young Adam Bruce beside her lay;
And there did they beguile the day
With love and gentle speeches,
Beneath the budding beeches.
From many knights and many squires
The Bruce had been selected;
And Gordon, fairest of them all,
By Ellen was rejected.
Sad tidings to that noble youth!
For it may be proclaimed with truth,
If Bruce hath loved sincerely,
That Gordon loves as dearly.